[ Sir J. D. Rees, British Resident, proposes a toast to the Maharaja of Travancore on Queen Victoria's birthday. ] Manuscript transcript of the speech, corrected in Rees's autograph.

Author: 
Sir John David Rees (1854-1922), colonial administrator and author [ Mulam Thirunal Rama Varma, Maharajah of Travancore, 1885-1924 ]
Publication details: 
'[...] at dinner at Residency on 31st. May [ no year, but between 1895 and 1898 ]'.
£150.00
SKU: 20573

From the papers of Sir John David Rees, who served as Resident on three occasions between 1895 and 1898. For information on Rees, (see his obituary in The Times, 3 June 1922. The present eulogy should be evaluated in the light of another document among the Rees papers (offered separately), in which he states that 'Native rajas are unfit to be members of the House of Lords; even if they are found fit they will be of no use.' 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, aged and worn, with closed tear at head of gutter. 49 lines of text in one hand, with corrections and deletions in Rees's autograph. The first page begins: 'Following toasts were drunk at dinner at Residency on 31st. May: - | Her Majesty the Queen, Empress of India. | - | His Excellency the Governor | - | His Highness the MahaRajah. | -' Beneath this the transcript begins: 'Mr. Rees said | My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen, | I rise to ask you to drink the health of His Highness the MahaRajah of Travancore who, this knight, honours the Residency with his presence in order to celebrate the anniversary of her Majesty's birthday. It is a peculiar pleasure to myself that I have the honor to be host on this occasion, and to all the British Officers serving in Travancore it is all times an equal pleasure to find the Ruler the State amongst them.' Rees continues by praising the Maharajah's 'loyalty and devotion', greater than any of the other 'princes and potentates who have joined in this world wide celebration of the 24th. of the month'. He also praises 'His Higness' superlatively beautiful country' ('famous among Hindus for its religious charity' and 'renowned for centuries for its religious toleration'), which is 'known to Her Majesty from the descriptions of H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence who as His Highness' guest spent in it, as I have heard him say, some of the happiest days of his too short and blameless life'. Clarence, Rees claims, wrote regularly to the royal family in England, telling them of 'his reception in Travancore, of the country, its interesting people and its benevolent Ruler'. Among a number of minor emendations, Rees deletes the statement that the Maharajah 'has so many and peculiar claims to regard', and swanks up the word 'science' to the 'art of scientific enquiry'.