Tripe’s fate was inextricably linked with that of the British Empire in India. In May 1857 following months of unrest, Indian soldiers in the Bengal army, sparked by religious and cultural intolerance, shot their British officers and marched on Delhi. Their rebellion encouraged others in a large section of northern and central India to join the year-long revolt. After it was quelled, the British government stripped the East India Company of its privileges and took over administration and rule of India. Although Tripe was far away from the uprising and little evidence of it appears in his photographs, these actions inaugurated a new era of regulations and oversight that soon affected him. In 1860, after hurriedly completing his multi-volume portfolio of photographs from the Madras Presidency, he was forced to close his studio as a result of cost-cutting measures. Discouraged that his work was no longer appreciated, he all but abandoned photography at the youthful age of thirty-eight.
Next: Photographic Practices of the 1850s