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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Captain George William Playfair

Other: George William Playfair 
Dates:  1826, 27 August - 1875, 26 November
Born:  India, Calcutta

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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

Amateur, India
Son of William Davidson Playfair(1783-1852), Lieutenant-Colonel, 39th Bengal Native Infantry, and his wife Anne (née Ross). Nephew of Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair and cousin of Frederick Lyon Playfair (qv). Baptised, St Andrew’s, Calcutta, 24 Dec 1826
34th Madras Native Infantry. Cadet 1844/45.
‘With reference to the Order of Government, noted in the margin [No. 1070, 24 July 1861], I have the honor to state for the information of Government, that Captain Playfair, 34th Regiment, M.N.I. in the Nair Brigade, who is a skilful photographer, has expressed his willingness to aid in carrying out the wishes of the Government of India, providing that the expense to which he is put on account of Chemicals be refunded to him. Should the Government see fit to sanction this, I shall take steps for the necessary assistance being afforded to Captain Playfair in securing the attendance of those who will form the subjects of his pictures’ [Letter from Captain C.M. White, dated Trivandrum, 31 July 1861, No. 42, Madras Proceedings, Public Department, 15 August 1861, IOR/P/249/76].
Letter from Playfair to the British Resident at Travancore, dated Trivandrum, 3 April 1862: ‘I have the honor to inform you that I have this day despatched to the address of the Honorable T. Pycroft, the balance (5 of each) of the photographs that I have done of the Travancore castes for Government, making a totalof 20 of each caste and 13 castes in all. I have also to request that the amount of the expenses I have been put to in taking them, may, as early as convenient, be refunded — the amount being at the rate 1 1/4 Rupee each picture, 20 x 13 x 1 1/4 = 325 Rupees.’ [Madras Proceedings, Public Department, 15 April 1862, IOR/P/249/78].
[For family history see Hodson; IOR/N/1/59 f.49; IOR/L/MIL/9/208 f.456; details of wife/children in biog cards in RR] 

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