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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Edmund David Lyon

Other: Captain Edmund David Lyon 
Other: Captaine Lyon 
Other: E.D. Lyon 
Dates:  1825 - 1891, 14 December
Died:  Austria, Gmunden
Active:  India / Malta
Lyon served in the British Army 1845 - 1854 and was Governor of Dublin District Military Prison 1854 -1856. Traveling to India he opened his photographic studio in Ootacamund in 1865. A series of photographs of the Nilgiris was shown at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1867. Under a commission firstly from the Madras governments and later the Bombay government, he photographed archaeological sites and architectural antiquities during 1867 -1868 assisted by his wife Grace. In 1871 his book ‘Notes to Accompany a Series of Photographs Designed to Illustrate the Ancient Architecture of Western India‘ was published. Lyon photographed Malta on his return to England and eventually settled there in the late 1880s.

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

Commercial, India
Baptised at Cowes, Isle of Wight, 11 July 1828 (is date of birth correct?) Of the family of Lyon of Aulbar. Son of James Lyon of Dengstone’s Mansion, Woolavington, Sussex by his wife Frances Harriett, daughter of Major-General Thewles of Rockwood, Co. Roscommon; his father stated when applying for his son’s commission that he had seen 11 years active service in the East Indies, had been severely wounded at the Battle of Mahidpur[1] and received a pension equal to the loss of a leg;[2] educated at Eton; Ensign 8th Foot 14 Nov 1845 (commission purchased for £450); 68th Foot 13 Jan 1846; Lieutenant 8 Aug 1847 (lieutenant’s commission purchased for £250); Captain 20 Jan 1854 (captain’s commission purchased for £1100); retired by sale 10 Mar 1854. During his military career E.D. Lyon served with the 60th Foot in Ireland and was Governor of Dublin District Prison (Military), 1854-56. He was certainly involved in photography by this time and at some stage joined the Dublin Photographic Society (founded 1854). His membership lapsed for non-payment in 1856.
Worked in India as a professional photographer, Ootacamund, 1865-9. A series of his views of Ootacamund and the Nilgiri Hills was shown at the Paris International Exhibition of 1867. Commissioned by the Madras and Bombay Governments to photograph antiquities, 1867-8. Assisted in his photographic work by his wife Anne Grace Lyon. His negatives of southern Indian architecture were subsequently (c. 1873) purchased by the India Office. He left India in 1869. Photographed in Malta en route for England and an album of his Malta views is in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Library, London. His photographs were shown in the Photographic Society of London Exhibition of 1869 and were there praised for their ‘tenderness and delicacy’. In the 1870 exhibition his views were described as ‘very beautiful, and exceedingly attractive’.[3] His photographs were also exhibited at the International Exhibition of 1871.[4] On 13 and 20 December 1872 he gave an illustrated lecture in two parts entitled Indian architecture, idols, and every-day life to the Society of Arts.[5] It was subsequently reported that ‘owing to the large amount of interest excited by Captain Lyon’s exhibition of his photographs of Indian temples, etc., at the Society of Arts last session, he was subsequently requested to exhibit the series at the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street; the Midland Institution, Birmingham; and the Philosophical Society, Sheffield; and the general public are now to have an opportunity to of examining those marvels of Indian art and industry by the exhibition of the entire series at the Crystal Palace on the 3rd, 5th, and 7th November, at three o’clock’. [6] An article in the Photographic News of 20 December 1872 describes his method of lighting temple corridors for photography.
Lived in Malta from 1887; he published at least two novels in the 1880s: The Signora (1883 [BL 12635.o.4]), Ireland’s Dream: a romance of the future (1888 [BL 012633.e.14]). Lyon was resident at 2 Strada Ghar Iddud, Sliema from 1887-91.[7] Index of wills at Somerset House describes him as ‘late of Sliema,’ and records that his effects of £628.6s.3d were left to his relict Anne Grace Lyon of Sliema.
On 13 November 1867, it is recorded that
Captain Lyon being about to proceed on a tour for the purpose of photographing the most remarkable architectural remains and works of art in the Madras Presidency, the Governor General in Council requests, with reference to the G.O. dated 29th October 1867, No. 1348, that all Collectors will assist Captain Lyon in his researches in their Districts, and that they will afford him every facility for visiting places which are likely to furnish subjects interesting to the Photographic Artist’.[8]
In April 1868 Lyon reported the results of his first tour in Madras:
I have sent off a box containing some specimens of the photographs I have lately taken, and trust that they may be approved of by Council. I am in hopes the copies in future will come out better than some of these, as I have found it impossible to get good paper in this country. Some of the figures in Madura are so situated, that it is impossible to photograph them properly, except by the aid of Magnesium light. I am expecting one of these lamps very shortly by steamer from London, and if Government are not satisfied with these figures, I shall be glad to return to Madura next cold season to retake them. The photograph mounted on small card is a specimen. I note that Government will probably require ten copies of each photograph, and wish to know the cost. Before I can give such an estimate, I would wish to be permitted to ask the following questions:-
(1.) Would Government wish the copies to be printed and mounted similar to the specimens?
(2.) Would Government wish the two figures on one card, or each figure on a separate card?
(3.) Could Government give me an Order on London for a portion of the money, and thus save me the heavy loss on exchange at present current rates?
May I, in conclusion, ask when I may expect some of the former account to be repaid me, as I am rather in want of it?
Hoping to hear the photographs have been approved of...
P.S. - Might Dr Hunter be permitted to see the specimens I have sent down, as he is very anxious to do so? Would Government wish to retain these specimen copies or return them?[9]
In May, Lyon was again in correspondence with Government:
I trust the photographs have reached you long since, and are approved of by Council. Government will now be able to judge whether they would wish to avail themselves of my offer to take some more photographs in this country before I go home. From what I have heard, I am led to believe that the best season for visiting Mysore, Allahabad, and Humpee will be next July and August, and I would wish to know whether Government would help me in my visit to those parts, either by paying my expenses as before, or by undertaking to take a certain number of copies of the photographs, whichever plan would be most approved of by the Government. I hope your Lordship will kindly let me have an answer as to whether or not Government will assist me in this trip, if by any means possible before next Sunday, to enable me to write for the things I want by the next Overland Mail.’[10]
A further letter was sent a few days later:
Your telegram just to hand, and I note that my offer to photograph in Mysore is accepted by the Government. With regard to the other request contained in the telegram for “detailed account of expenses incurred for the photographs sent to Government,” I hardly understand whether you mean the expense of printing, etc., the specimen copies sent down, or the travelling expenses, etc., incurred by me while taking the photographs. As I am inclined to think the latter is what is wanted, I send a memorandum of the same; but if I am wrong, on hearing from you, the expense of the specimen copies shall be sent to you, which I will in the meantime ascertain from the forwarding agents.
Memorandum of account due to Captain Lyon, while engaged in photographing for Government from November 25th [1867] to March 25th, 1868.
Travelling expenses................................................................. 1,200
Damage done to transit and two bandies including repairs....... 200
Damage done to apparatus....................................................... 100
Two large second-hand tents bought....................................... 350
Furniture for do., utensils for kitchen, etc.............................. 350
Maintenance allowance for self and Mrs Lyon, at 7 Rupees per day 840
Total 3,040
A correct account[11]
On 12 May 1868, Lyon telegraphs Government requesting that Rs. 2,000 Rupees be paid to London, the balance to Bank of Madras.[12]
On 17 May, Lyon once more wrote to Government asking when he was going to receive payment:
Will you kindly let me know when I may expect the money due to me for travelling expenses, and., to be paid. My reason for asking is, that I am anxious to order paper, cards, and chemicals from England by the next mail, and therefore wish to be able to tell the tradesmen when they may expect the money, as they will not ship the goods till the money is sent, and the delay in executing the Government Order will be in consequence very great. If possible, kindly let me have an answer by return of post in order to catch the next overland mail. I hope you received my telegram asking you to pay Rupees 2000 to London and Rupees 1000 to Bank of Madras here.'[13]
Lyon’s request for payment in this manner was sanctioned by order of 19 May.
A further advance of Rs. 2,000 was made to Lyon for further photography by the Governor in Council on 23 June 1868.[14]
Lyon’s account for his second trip was sent to Government on 6 November 1868:
Owing to the dilatoriness of others, I am only now able to send in the account for my last trip in Mysore and Bellary. I also enclose a letter from the Collector of Bellary showing the sale of a bandy (bought and used by me during my trip) for 51 Rupees, which sum has been credited to Government. I hope your Lordship has received the box of Photos sent on Saturday last, and that you are pleased with them. If it could be managed that the balance due to me could be paid before the 1st, I should feel greatly obliged, as I leave Calicut for Bombay on the 3rd proximo en route for Europe.
June 1868 -Expenses to Madras and back to Ooty.................230
 Loss on purchase and sale of one coach..............150
July 1868 -One telegram.................................... 5
 Purchased on bandy. Sold by Collector of Bellary
and money credited to Government as per enclosed
 Paid for travelling expenses from Ootacamund through
Mysore to Humpi and Bellary, and back to Ooty, and
carriage of tents to Bangalore, and from Tadpatry to
Madras, Distance travelled 1515 miles....................
July 1868 -Seventy-three days maintenance at 7 Rs. per day511
Some delay in the delivery of the photographs occasioned a further letter from Lyon on 8 November 1868:
I thank you for your kind letter of the 6th. I am indeed astonished the Photos have not reached you. They left me at midday on the 31st to be forwarded by passenger train with all speed. I have written about them to the Agent.
2. I enclose now an estimate of one of the London houses for binding, which will show to your Lordship that I could not afford to bind the photos at Rupees 1-8-0 each, and this is by no means one of the dearest houses; Marion’s charges are nearly 50 per cent. higher than those here quoted, nor are the cards here quoted of the best quality.
3. With regard to the “apprehension as to monotony and number” which you mention, I do not think you will say this as to monotony when you see the new series, and as to number, it of course rests with your Lordship to take what number you require, as the price is so low. It will of course make no difference to me, so long as I know in time to arrange with the shops at home what is to be done about printing the cards or otherwise.
4. May I ask whether it is the intention of Government to send any of these photos to Bombay Government. My reason for asking is, that as I go home by Bombay, I would try and dispose of some sets there to the Government, and also to the Asiatic Society.
5. I send a description of the Nallabeed and Bailor Temples, and Deira Dowlut, such as I propose to append to the photos, also one or two printed lists by book post.
Kindly return enclosure when done with.[16]
Payment for expenses sanctioned by order no. 1446, of 24 November 1868.[17]
A long minute written by Lord Napier, dated 18 November 1868, casts interesting light both on Lyon’s photography and the question of such architectural work in general:
Captain Lyon, who has been employed by Government in taking photographs of the architectural antiquities of the Presidency, has returned to Ootacamund, and has transmitted to me the accompanying selection from his works in the Northern Provinces.
The results of his southern tour are already known to the Members of Council.
The artist will proceed to England in the beginning of December, and will there prepare the complete series of photographs of which this Government has engaged to take ten sets, at the price of Rupees 1-8-0 for each impression, leaving the negatives in his possession.
Some specimens of the short explanatory notices prepared by Captain Lyon are appended.
Captain Lyon would prefer to see the collection bound in a series of volumes, but I question the propriety of this opinion. No doubt, the photographs would be better preserved in that form, but they would be less available for scrutiny. Many of the subjects represented are extremely minute and delicate. The pictures are intended not only to please by their beauty, but to be objects of curious study. Such volumes as are contemplated by Captain Lyon would be cumbrous and ill adapted for close inspection. A separate leaf can be carried to the light and examined with much greater facility. In my humble judgement, the impressions should simply be mounted on card board, and the explanatory notice should be pasted on the back of each card. This method will best serve the purpose which the India Office has in view, and it is the cheapest method.
2. The account of Captain Lyon’s expenses on his recent excursion is also enclosed, and he requests that the balance due to him may be paid at an early date. An opinion having been, I believe, entertained that the terms on which Captain Lyon has undertaken this work are unduly high, I think it right to submit that I do not share this view of the subject. Captain Lyon and his wife, who has acted as his assistant, have given their valuable time and distinguished artistic skill almost gratuitously to Government. The Government has merely paid their travelling expenses, and made them a moderate allowance for food. In exchange for these advantages, the Government obtain ten copies of each impression for a sum which Captain Lyon assures me is cost price, for half the price at which they will be supplied in detail sale to the public. The artist stipulates to retain the negatives, in order to indemnify himself for his expenditure of time, chemicals, and skill. The negatives are his remuneration. If the art authorities in England desire to possess them, they can be purchased hereafter.
3. The photographic illustrations of National Art in Southern India, which are thus presented to students of art in England, will be highly appreciated by a critical class of judges, though they may never attract the attention of the multitude. They will arouse an interest for a department of art history which has been imperfectly observed, and which has never been analysed. But I am far from affirming that the collection so rapidly presented by Captain Lyon, single handed, fulfils the object of the Home Government, if they desire to secure substantial and comprehensive records of the religious and historical monuments of this extensive and diversified region. The present work is only a step in that direction. It is rather suggestive than satisfying. It is a picturesque preliminary to laborious and scientific investigation. In these plates an intelligent inquirer obtains a competent superficial view of the early and recent Brahminical art as practised in the limits of this Presidency (including Mysore), with the exception of Ganjam and Malabar, which present some specific local features not included here: he finds the principal examples of the style which was employed in secular structures by an intermixture of the Hindoo and Mussulman forms of the 16th and 17th centuries, and he possesses specimens of Jain and Buddhist works, with rock sculptures and inscriptions of disputed origin. It would, however, be vain to expect in this compilation such a methodical selection, comparison, or classification of monuments as could form the basis for an exact conception of the march of art in these countries, which has no doubt been controlled by numerous influences belonging to tradition, religious belief, contact with foreign ideas and foreign races, materials, climate, and other causes which have all to be explored. The arts in Southern India are a mighty maze in which there is scarcely a glimmer of light or understanding. Captain Lyon has merely opened some prospects on a scene in which there is space for the life-long labor of a Rickman or a Fergusson. The photographs now submitted will enable the Secretary of State, in consultation with the art authorities, to determine whether it is desirable to prosecute the subject further. It may be that a view of these productions will induce Her Majesty’s Government to prescribe a methodical inquiry. We may be required procure accurate plans and measurements, historical notices founded on a critical revision of inscriptions, local traditions, and manuscript accounts, carefully prepared models of individual objects - in short, all the data on which alone the true art history of the land cane be deciphered and composed in England. In that case it would be necessary to proceed with much care and deliberation, and with the benefit of direction from South Kensington. The work would be a work of time and cost. There is no man here capable of conducting it, and it could only be effected by combination of appropriate agents. I may even affirm that there is no one in this Presidency capable of indicating the object which would be most useful as illustrations of the history of art, or of selecting the details which would be acceptable at Home as examples and models. To accomplish the undertaking which I have adverted to, it would be necessary to entertain at least the following staff of agents:
(1). An architect or artist capable of measuring buildings, of drawing ground plans with intelligence and taste, of supplying ruined or obliterated portions, of discriminating the distinctive marks of style, connecting them with historical, religious, and physical causes, and appreciating the value of particular objects for the study and practice of art in Europe - in fact, a person perfectly versed in comparative æsthetics, the science which the Kensington Museum teaches. The duty of this gentleman would be to select and describe the fabric or monument and compose its history.
(2). An accomplished photographer for the executive pictorial part of the work. A more competent person than Captain Lyon could not be chosen. He is skilful, zealous, and acquainted with the country
. (3). An intelligent Native interpreter conversant with the several vernacular languages and English, with some knowledge of the history of the country, of Sanskrit, and, if possible, of other ancient characters and dialects. He must be found in the Madras Presidency among the Brahmin servants of Government.
(4). A party of Native Art Students, with some knowledge of drawing, modelling, and photography. They could be supplied by Doctor Hunter from the Art School of Madras
4. It would, in my opinion, be a great error to expect useful results from the employment of agencies in any degree inferior to those which I have indicated. We cannot look to the Art School of Madras for the organisation of such an enterprise. Doctor Hunter is a zealous and able man, entirely devoted to his duties, but he can hardly possess, if we regard his long residence in this country, the recent critical culture requisite for the task. The Officers of the Department of Public Works are out of the question. They know little or nothing of these matters, and have more important duties on hand. Amateurs can only supply isolated examples and specimens taken at random here and there. If such a review of the art monuments of Southern India as I have here contemplated should be contemplated, the selection of objects should be limited. The field is really boundless, the number of monuments is incalculable; but I suspect that the significant, characteristic works are not numerous. It is of the first importance that labor should not be wasted on repetitions, on mediocrity, on modern examples. The collection formed by Captain Lyon is open to this objection. It exhibits to the common eye a tedious reiteration of the same trivial and familiar forms. Captain Lyon is sensible of this defect. His justification is that his attention was often directed by undiscriminating persons to places remote and hard of access, without any accurate description of the monument to be delineated. He reached the spot with difficulty; he was naturally unwilling that his pains should be altogether cast away; he took his picture, rather than return empty handed. I can only hope that the better informed art student in England may discern varieties and distinctive traits which escape any blunt observation. We live in an age which would rather have too much than too little, and there are every where amateurs of the German school who despise nothing.
5. The object which the Secretary of State has in view is not only to possess accurate records and representations of objects of art, but also to preserve the worthiest of them from destruction and decay. The design is legitimate and honorable. It would be unworthy of our Government, and unjust to the Natives of the country, to permit the historical monuments of ancient Native power to be obliterated. Fortunately, all that is necessary for this purpose can easily be effected. I would do little for the temples and mosques, whether ruined or entire. The ruined works in forsaken localities which possess any vital artistic interest are for the most part of very enduring materials. The climate does not affect them much. They will last for ages, unless wantonly demolished. It would be sufficient, I believe, to direct the revenue authorities to give such instructions in their respective districts as they may think fit to prevent all ancient buildings, and especially all sculptured or inscribed stones, from being defaced or removed without special permission. The permission may sometimes be granted with advantage. We are now constructing the Streevaguntum Weir with the materials of two grand pagodas. The Mussulmans pulled down the Pagodas to build a fort, and the English are pulling down the fort to make an irrigation work. The gods are going to the river. Art will not suffer, and agriculture will gain. The great Brahminical structures, on the other hand, which are still the seats of pilgrimage and worship, possess, either in land revenues or in the offerings of the faithful, sufficient means of restoration and maintenance. They do not require the assistance of the State. Some of them are ill attended to, and more are disfigured by attention, but the Government cannot interfere administratively with advantage, and it is hoped that a projected amendment of the law respecting Pagoda Funds may ensure a stricter application of these revenues in future.
6. Dismissing the religious structures, the maintenance of which is either unnecessary or sufficiently provided for, the Government might, I think, with great propriety contemplate the restoration of secular buildings which have been left to us by the Native Dynasties. The palaces of Bijeanuggur have fallen into a state of dilapidation which renders restoration impossible. Moreover, they are situated in a wilderness of ruins, haunted rather than inhabited by a few peasants who cultivate or pasture the area of the city, which is merely visited from time to time by a vagrant swarm repairing on pilgrimage to the single living temple at Humpi. It would be idle to attempt the restoration of anything at Bijeanuggur: it would be like repairing Palmyra. But Bijeanuggur in its secular buildings represents a phase of art which is repeated under far more favorable circumstances at Madura, where the Naik Princes seem to have worked in emulation of their northern rivals and superiors. At Madura, the old palatial buildings, though neglected and impaired, are not ruined, not ever quite abandoned by men. The agencies of English Government still cling to some habitable portions of that vast and curious pile which is associated with the name of Tirumala, and in which the Brahmin, the Mussulman, and the Jesuit fathers have all left their marks. Madura is an opulent and beautiful city, retaining after all its vicissitudes some of the arts and some of the accumulated wealth belonging to the hereditary residence of a Court. It is the capital of a little kingdom, of a Collectorate numbering more than two millions of inhabitants. In the province there are the remains of a great aristocracy; in the city, there are flourishing trades and a rich religious corporation. Various offices for the Revenue, Judicial and Municipal Departments are wanting. I would place them all in the palace of Tirumala. An opinion has got abroad that the buildings are not susceptible of restoration and adaptation, and, under this impression, a new Small Cause Court was recently constructed, in the shadow of the ancient walls, which is an outrage on good taste. The restoration of this old palace, and its appropriation to useful purposes, would be one of the most commendable and popular works which could be undertaken. There is no European Government that would not prosecute it with enthusiasm; there is no European artist who would not be proud to associate his name with such a renovation of the past. I do not believe that it would be costly. There are Native artificers on the spot who would only require the instructions of a single Englishman of competent knowledge and discrimination. We possess that Englishman in Mr Chisholm. I need not say that there are many precedents in India for the course which I advocate; and if they did not exist, this would be a good opportunity for creating one. The Mussulman buildings of Seringapatam have been restored by the Government of India without any view to utility whatever, merely for their historical associations and artistic beauty. The revenues of the Supreme Government have been liberally expended at Delhi and Agra I believe, without reference to practical purposes. But here I propose to repair a Native palace, and make it the machine of civilised administration. I believe it would not cost more than to build three public offices with stucco Doric pillars on the “standard plan.” The expenditure might be, and ought to be, scattered over a long series of years. The steady appropriation of thirty of forty Rupees would do the good work in time, and every year would give the artisan more consciousness of his patriotic task, and the public a deeper interest in the enterprise and greater fondness for it. It would become a local school for skilled labor and decorative taste, like the patient restoration of a Cathedral or College in England. Indeed it would be a real school of art for the working man — not a theoretic academy, but a practical creative training. Art cannot be fruitfully taught by books, pictures, and lectures only. As well might anatomy be inculcated without a knife or a subject. The restoration of the Madura buildings would even give a general intellectual impulse. I should not be surprised if it became the starting point of a considerable revolution in Native thought and taste. No person who has not been in India can conceive the pitiable state into which the beautiful arts of this country are falling. Designs which form the delight and study of the most cultivated minds of Europe are being rapidly forgotten or debased. Poverty, conquest, innovation, imitation, fashion, free trade have almost done their destructive work. The native craftsman has nearly lost his cunning. Surely it would beseem the English Government, which confers such substantial benefits on the Indian people by scientific, social, and political education, to arrest this degradation. Art is not capital interest, but it is an interest. A civilised Government cannot in the present time neglect any branch of human thought or culture with impunity. Even in a commercial point of view, beauty is becoming every day a larger element in value.
7. Such are my opinions with reference to the restoration of the most interesting examples of secular architecture in the Presidency. I do not, however, expect that my views will be immediately accepted, still less that they will be acted upon without careful inquiry. I shall, therefore, confine myself for the present to the two following proposals:—
(1.) That the Superintending Engineer of the Division be instructed to take measures for the protection, cleansing, and preservation of the buildings known as Tirumala Naik’s Palace at Madura, and especially for the removal of vegetation on the roof and walls.
(2.) That Mr Chisholm be directed to proceed to Madura, as soon as he can do so with due regard to the other duties in which he is engaged, for the purpose of inspecting the ancient buildings and of preparing a report upon the best means of restoring them and adapting them to the uses of the Public Service.
(3.) It only remains for me to suggest, in connexion with this subject, that it would be desirable to request Dr Hunter to make a selection from the photographs of architectural subjects taken by the School of Arts, for submission to Her Majesty’s. Dr Hunter possesses in his collection some very fine monuments which are not embraced in that of Captain Lyon, and which would be regarded as a valuable addition to the series formed by that gentlemen
(Signed) Napier.[18]
By 9 May 1870 Lyon was in Geneva, and from there wrote to the Secretary of State for India disputing the India Office’s assumption of ownership of his negatives:
I have the honour to acknowledge copy of a despatch from your Grace to His Lordship the Governor of Madras, dated 20th January 1870, No. 2 Public, in which allusion is made to the conditions on which I was engaged on the duty of photographing architectural structures in that Presidency, and your Grace seems to think that the “Negatives should be considered the property of Government.” I beg leave to bring to your Grace’s knowledge the following facts:- I received no pay whatever while on duty as I am no longer in the service having left Her Majesty’s 68th Light Infantry many years ago. The cameras, lenses, glasses, chemicals, and., etc., were all supplied by me. All I received from the Government was the exact amount paid by me for travelling expenses, and a maintenance allowance of seven rupees per day while employed, out of which I had to feed myself and pay my whole staff of assistants and servants. The Government further undertook to ascertain, as far as possible, the position where the temples were situated, but the information obtained was meagre in the extreme, and many dreary miles I travelled looking for temples which could not be found, or if found, could not be entered. Thus much time was necessarily lost, and yet I was only (7) seven months engaged, and during that time I traversed the whole of the southern part of the Peninsular [sic], the whole of Mysore, Bellary, the ruined city of Vizianuggur, and Tarputry, a distance little short of 2000 miles. I secured two hundred and seventy-nine negatives in Madras alone, which have been universally allowed to be the best ever taken in the east, and quite equal to any taken in Europe by the very best photographers. These negatives (which I have had the expense and risk of bringing home) are all that remain to compensate me for the labour and toil I underwent while engaged, travelling by night over roads that can scarcely be conceived, and necessarily exposed by day to a fierce tropical sun within 8° to 10° of the line, also the great expense incurred by me in chemicals and glasses, and the loss of time while employed.
2. As to my selling the negatives I confess I can hardly bring myself to consent to do so; but there is a process lately invented near this by means of which really wonderful copies of them could be taken on zinc-plates, and then by means of an ordinary lithographic press any number of copies struck off in ink at a mere nominal cost. I send, herewith, a copy of one of my negatives of Malta, which I sent to have copied by this process. If your Grace thinks well of the idea, I will make further inquiries and see what arrangements could be made. This process is very superior in every way in the results that I have seen to the process alluded to in your Grace’s despatch, much simpler and more easily worked and as permanent as ink and paper can be.
3. Should it be in contemplation to continue the work of photographing the ancient remains of temples, and., in that country, I beg to tender my services to the Government to complete the work I have begun, it being my earnest desire that the splendid subjects are to be found in that part of the world should be reproduced as they deserve to be.[19]
In his reply of 22 July 1870, the Under Secretary of State wrote that the Duke of Argyll, on further investigation, accepted that the negatives remained the property of Lyon. He turns down Lyon’s offer of photographs by a reproductive process, and states that Lyon’s offer to undertake further photography will be borne in mind should additional photographs be required.[20]
Resolution of the Bombay Government of 12 January 1869 employs Lyon as architectural photographer:
The Right Honorable the Governor in Council is pleased to employ Captain E.D. Lyon, of the Madras Army [sic], to photograph some of the most remarkable of the ancient architectural remains and works of art in this Presidency, and to depute that officer, in the first instance, to take photographs of the ruins at Beejapoor, the cave temple at Karlee, and the Temple of Ambernath near Callian. All collectors are requested to assist Captain Lyon in his researches in their districts, and to afford him every facility in visiting places which are likely to furnish subjects interesting to the photographic artist.’ [21]
Resolution of 29 January 1869 fixes his terms of employment after receiving information on his arrangements with Madras:
‘It appears that when employed in taking photographs for the Madras Government Captain Lyon received a maintenance allowance of Rs. 7 per diem, together with payment of all travelling expenses. While consenting to take photographs on the same terms for this Government, Captain Lyon has pointed out the very much higher cost of living in the Bombay Presidency, and preferred a request that his allowance may be raised to Rs. 10 per diem. The Right Honorable the Governor in Council considers this request a reasonable one...’[22]
Despatch from Madras re Lyon photographs sent in error to Madras rather than to Secretary of State for India; refers to lack of decision on sale of negatives. [23]
In 1869 Lyon sent photographs and an account of his work to The Photographic News.[24]
I have much pleasure in submitting for your inspection a collection of photographs taken by me in different parts of Southern India, by order of the Government. The whole series consists of about 400 negatives, many of which have never yet been printed. The time occupied in the taking of these was about seven months, during which time I travelled nearly 5,000 miles.
To give any idea of the difficulty of locomotion in such a country is hardly possible, except where the railways have here and there been made. The bullock-carts, both for yourself and luggage, are the only means of conveyance. Roads, though nominally existing, and marked on maps as such, are, in very many instances, things of the past, the bridges alone indicating where they ought to be; and the unhappy travellers, boxed up in a coach drawn by bullocks, think themselves lucky if they accomplish two miles an hour; in fact, I have often been twenty-four hours in travelling twenty-five miles, without one spot in which it would be possible to halt, or a tree to shelter one from the blazing sun, the natives at one time lifting the machine over a mud wall three feet high, and at another dragging it through the muck of a rice-field three feet deep. The destruction to every kind of photographic material under these circumstances I leave you to imagine.
But, distressing as locomotion is in such a country, it is nothing as compared with what one has to undergo when endeavouring to photograph, exposed to the full rays of an Indian sun, as one must necessarily be, for six to seven hours at a time, the ground so hot one can hardly stand on it for the time necessary to expose a plate, the glare so great and the shadows so black, that to get detail seems almost hopeless; and yet, under the circumstances here detailed, one is expected to produce photographs at least equal to those at home, and all the credit one gets is to hear, from the highest to the lowest in the land, the one and the same remark, ‘Oh, yes! the sun is so bright and the light so good, any one could photograph in India.’ All I can say is, I only wish they would go and try. I have said enough on this point, and will only add a few words on the photographs.
They are produced by the ordinary wet process, such as you are all acquainted with. But honour to whom honour is due; and I feel bound to bear the very highest testimony to the lenses supplied to me by Mr Dallmeyer. The one I used first, and with which nearly all the interiors were taken, was his triplet group lens, for 12 by 10 plates. The photographs speak for themselves so eloquently of its merits, no words are needed from me to bear testimony to its superlative excellence. Then I received the wide-angle rectilinear, and from what I saw of its powers, I christened it, the first day I used it, ‘The Little Wonder,’ and never, I think, was a name better applied. It certainly has a power of rendering dark shadows, and, notwithstanding the immense angle it embraces, giving marvellous definition to the extreme edges of the plate, in a matter that, I confess, astonished me quite as much as it delighted me.
As to chemicals, Thomas’s pyrogallic is deserving of every commendation; it is the only sample which will keep good in India; all others turn black, even during the passage out. As to collodion, I have tried all, but cannot say I am quite satisfied with any. Most of the pictures you see are taken with Mawson’s, a few with Huggon’s, and a few with Blanchard’s; but all have the one fault that only one bottle out of four or five will give an even film, free from reticulation in the heat; and the more you dilute it the worse it gets. But when you do get a good bottle, it can be used almost to the last drop without any dilution.
On 22 March 1870 Lyon wrote to the Duke of Argyll, Secretary of State for India:
Your Grace
1. I have the honor to request you will permit me to lay before you the following facts.
2. In the month of December 1868 I was requested to proceed to photograph some of the principal buildings in the Bombay Presidency and consented to do so on the same terms as I had been already working for the Madras Government one of which conditions was that my travelling expenses should be paid. I was altogether 51 days employed but as I left India in February [1869] I was not able to send in copies of the photographs at the time and consequently did not send in the account of money due. Unavoidable delays occurred one after the other at home but on the 4th of November last I sent in the account and copies of the photos direct to H.E. the Governor. I asked that the money should be sent to me at once but though I have written over and over again and telegraphed to Bombay no notice whatever has been taken of the letters or telegram and the amount due viz. 2015 Rs has never been sent, though this [was money] paid by me out of pocket and which [portion missing] been now at he loss of, for nearly [portion missing]teen months whereas had this money been invested [portion missing] I should have received 10% for it [portion missing].
3. I also hope Your Grace will further permit me to bring to your notice that I am also at a loss how to proceed with regard to the Madras Government. I undertook to furnish them with ten copies of the photographs I took in that Presidency at the sum of 3/ each, the copies to be mounted and none but first rate ones to be sent. This sum was also to include letter press etc. The price was so low I told Lord Napier I doubted if I could do it, but it was eventually agreed that that it should be done, but I told his Lordship I could not afford to be out of pocket of any money as there would be no profit. The actual number of photographs nearly 3000 have been completed these three months but I have only received £200 on account and have not enough to pay for cards etc to mount them on. Everything, paper, silver, gold etc has had to be paid cash. The cards are ordered and finished. and I am daily expecting legal proceeding to be taken against me for the amount due as these wholesale houses will not wait but require cash down on completion of the order. I have already spent more than the £200 received.
4. May I request your Grace will be kind enough under these circumstances to direct the sum of Rs. 2015 on account of the Madras to be paid to me at once as I am a poor man and I cannot afford to be left thus without money week after week and I think your Grace will agree it is not just that it should be so and also the cardboard manufacturers will at the latest commence proceedings against me in the courts here. If this sum cannot be paid me by your Grace in London, may I ask your permission to draw bill on India for the amount as I beg to assure your Grace I find myself here in a foreign country in want of money for the common necessaries of life, and in a position of the greatest difficulty, and from no fault whatever of my own.
Awaiting with anxiety an early reply from your Grace
I have the honor to be etc.
[signed] E. D. Lyon
late captain H. M.’s 68th L. Infty[25] .
On 31 March again addressed Argyll:
My dear Sir,
On the 22nd of this month I had the honor to address a letter to His Grace the Duke of Argyll setting before him the way I have been kept without money by the Madras and Bombay Governments and I have been anxiously expecting an answer daily since, but none has come. May I ask you to be kind enough to inform me whether my letter was ever received and whether His Grace will be able to direct that I should be paid the money that I have asked for. I hope I may not appear importunate in thus troubling, but I really find myself a perfect stranger here, placed in such a very disagreeable position, and so pressed for money on all sides by persons, threatening immediate legal proceedings, that I am obliged to appear more pressing than I could wish. I am informed there is no imprisonment for debt here but everything I have can be seized and sold and all my negatives that cost me so much trouble and fatigue may thus be lost and for no fault of my own but because I have been cruelly deceived by [?the] Indian Government to whose [?honesty] I had implicitly trusted. His Grace may perhaps ask why I delayed so long to write to him. I felt a delicacy in doing so, daily hoping the money would be sent, and that it would be unnecessary to trouble him. I need not further remark on the unfairness to me in another way, namely that the negatives are not my property until this order is completed, nor have I been able to publish the photographs as I might have done months ago, but that I was bound to print the Government order first. and so I have lost the [---] of hundreds of copies and the [?profit] I might thus have gained. [?Hop,?Trust]ing I may hear from you by return of post,
Believe me Dear Sir,
Yours truly,
E. D. Lyon[26]
To: His Grace the Duke of Argyll, Secretary of State for India
From: Captain E. D. Lyon, 9th May 1870
1. I have the honor to acknowledge copy of a despatch from your Grace to his Lordship the Governor of Madras dated 20 January 1870 No. 2 (Public) in which allusion is made to the conditions on which I was engaged on the duty of photographing architectural structures in the Presidency. As Your Grace seems to think that the “Negatives should be considered the property of Government”, I beg leave to bring to His Grace’s knowledge the following facts. I received no pay whatever while on duty as I am no longer in the service having left H.M.’s 68th Lt Infty. many years ago. The cameras, lenses, glasses, chemicals, etc. etc. were all supplied by me. All I received [from] Government was the exact amount paid by [me] for travelling expenses and a maintenance allowance of 7 Rs. per day while employed, out of which I had to feed myself and pay my whole staff of assistants and servants. The Government further undertook to ascertain as far as possible position, where the temples were situated, but the information obtained was meagre in the extreme, and many dreary miles I travelled looking for temples which could not be found, or if found, could not be entered. Thus much time was necessarily lost, and yet I was only (7) seven months engaged and during that time I traversed the whole of the southern part of the Peninsula, the whole of Mysore, Bellary, the ruined city of Vijianuggur and Tarputry, a distance little short of 2000 miles. I secured two hundred and seventy nine negatives in Madras alone which have been universally allowed to be the best ever taken in the East and quite equal to any taken in Europe by the very best photographers. These negatives (which I have had the expense and risk of bringing home) are all that remain to compensate me for the labor and toil I underwent while engaged, travelling by night over roads that can scarcely be conceived and necessarily exposed by day to a fierce tropical sun within 8° to 10° of the line, also the great expense incurred by me in chemicals and glasses, and the loss of time while employed.
As to my selling the negatives I confess I can hardly bring my self to consent to do so, but there is a process lately invented near this by means of which really wonderful copies of them could be taken on zinc plates and then by means of an ordinary lithographic press any nummber of copies struck off in ink at a mere nominal cost. I send herewith, a copy of one of my negatives of Malta, which I sent to have copied by this process. If Your Grace thinks well of the idea, I will make further enquiries and see what arrangements could be made. This process is very superior in every way in the results that I have seen, to the process alluded to in Your Grace’s despatch, much simpler and more easily work[ed] and as permanent as ink and paper can be.
3. Should it be in contemplation to continue the work of photographing the ancient remains of Temples etc in that country I beg to tender my services to the Government to complete the work I have begun. It being my earnest desire that the splendid subjects that are to be found in that part of the world should be reproduced as they deserve to be.
I have the honor to be
Your Grace’s obedient servant,
E. D. Lyon.[27]
To: Secretary of State for India
From: E. D. Lyon, Geneva, April 2, 1870
Dear Sir,
I am happy to inform you that the money due by the Bombay Government has just been received by this mail. It appears that my letter (inclosing accounts) dated November 4/69 was never received and hence the delay, as of course I never wrote again till I thought I ought to getting an answer.
Belive me Dear Sir,
Yours truly
E. D. Lyon[28]
Minute paper in the Public Department re. Capt. Lyon’s letter of 22nd March 1870:
Claim on Bombay Govt. for Rs. 2015 for photographs of buildings in Bombay Presidency, and on the Madras Govt. for a further payment of Rs. 1000 on the same account in Madras Presidency.
Captain Lyon states that 15 months ago he was requested by the Bombay Govt. to undertake this duty; expended upwards of £200 upon it; and has written over and over again to that Govt., and telegraphed, for the money, but without getting any answer. He represents his consequent embarassments, and solicits payment by the Secy. of State.
No despatch has been received from Bombay on the subject - but perhaps, therefore, Captain Lyon should not be paid anything on this account; but the Bombay Govt. might be furnished with a copy of his letter, and be asked to report upon it.
Captain Lyon, however, makes a further claim on account of photographs taken for the Madras Govt; and it will be seen that we have a despatch from that Govt. on the subject. Considering that the Govt. thought the photographs worth sending to the Secretary of State, and that they seem to have met with praise on all hands; that Captain Lyon has only received hitherto £200 for his labours and that his alleged difficulties are liekly to be genuine, — perhaps the Secy. of State in Council will be willing to allow him the further £100 he solicits on account of the Madras photographs, for which he puts his total outlay at £450. The Madras Govt. have asked him to state the exact number of photographs taken, and there seems little fear of £300 exceeding the total to be ultimately paid to him by them, let alone Bombay. And the £100 might now be given subject to a report from Madras and future adjustment.
The Madras Govt. should be told, if this be sanctioned a despatch to each of the two Presidencies can be submitted if the proposed course be approved.
I am directed to acknowledge your letter of the 22nd instant, referring to your employment by the Bommbay and Madras Governments in taking photographs of buildings in the Bombay and Madras Presidencies, respectively, and requesting that the Secretary of State will direct the sum of Rs 2015, and a further sum of Rs. 1000, on these several accouns, to be paid to you.
In reply I am to state that no despatch regarding your employment on the above duty having been received from the Government of Bombay, the Duke of Argyll cannot accede to you request in respect of the first mentioned sum; but that having regard to a despatch addressed to him in July last by the Madras Govt., His Grace in Council is willing to allow you a sum of £100 (one hundred pounds), on account of the duty entrusted to you by that Government.
This payment will be made to you subject to report and adjustment by the Madras Government, to whom as well as to the Government of Bombay, a copy of your letter under reply will be sent, together with instructions for a communication to the Secy of State on the subject.[29]
Minute re.Captain Lyon’s letter of 31 March and 2 April 1870
Since the annexed minute and draft were circulated with Captain Lyon’s letter to the Secretary of State of March 22nd, two letters have been received by the Private Secretary from the Captain, the first pressing for settlement of his claims under pecuniary difficulties in which he found himself, but the second stating that the Bombay Government had just paid him.
As his principal claim was against Bombay, Rs. 2015, and he is only asking, as far as Madras is concerned, a further payment of Rs. 1000 on account, the reply to be given is of course entirely altered; and as the greater of the two sums, which has now reached him from Bombay, would seem sufficient to meet his immediate requirements, there is no longer a necessity for our travelling out of the normal course to give him the further sum of Rs. 1000 which he solicits on account of the Madras photographs. His total claim for these photographs he places at £450. The Madras Govt. gave him the £200 he requested on account; but this is all we know officially as to their admission of his claims, and last para (5) of their order of 8 July 1869, No. 935, speaks of Captain Lyon as being called on to give information as to the number of photographs, there appearing to be an uncertainty prevailing as to the number of monuments taken.
It is submitted that the Govt. of Madras should be desired to report upon Captain Lyon’s remaining claim against them — and Captain Lyon be informed that this will be done.
Dated: India Office, 12 April 1870.
I am directed, etc., to acknowledge your letter of 23rd and 31st ultimo, and 2nd instant, relative to your employment by the Madras and Bombay Governments in taking photographs of buildings in those Presidencies, and your expenses and claims in connection with that duty.
Your last letter above cited states that you have received the money which was due to you by the Bombay Government.
As regards your further claim on the Govt. of Madras, the Dduke of Argyll, in the absence of the necessary information from that Govt., must decline to accede to your request for the payment to you of a further sum of Rs. 1000 on account of the photographs which you executed under its orders. But I am to add that His Grace will instruct the Madras Govt. to make to this office a further report upon the subject, on receipt of which you will again be addressed.[30]
Reference Paper in the Public Department, marked ‘Immediate’, re. Capt. Lyon’s letter of 22 March 1870 and referred to Keeper of the India Museum, 25th March 1870.
The five sets of Captain Lyon’s photographs, ordered by the Madras Gov. to be sent to this office — as intimated in the accompanying public letter from Fort St George (no. 21) dated 13th July 1869 — have lately been received and constitute a beautifully executed and interesting series. No official information regarding his employment by the Bombay Gov. has, as far as I know, come to hand, but I am aware from other sources that such is the fact.
Captain Lyon’s case seem to be a very hard one.
John Forbes Watson
Reference Paper in the Public Department, re. letter from Captain Lyon of 9th May 1870; referred to Keeper of India Museum, 13th May 1870.
For any observations he may have to offer.
Dr Forbes Watson’s attention is invited, in relation to the negatives, of the photographs taken in the Madras Presidency by Captain Lyon, to the undermentioned portions of the annexed former papers:
— The concluding sentence of Captain Lyon’s letter to the Govr. of Madras, 7 June 1869.
— Paras: 2,3,4, and 5 of Public Despatch to Madras, 20tg Jany. 1870, No. 2, drafted by Dr Watson.
— 2nd and 3rd pages of Captain Lyon’s letter to the Private Secy., 31 March 1870, and
— the concluding sentence both of the letter to Captain Lyon of April 12th, and of the despatch to Madras of April 28th, no. 12, 1870.
— See also remarks below.[32]
Dr Forbes Watson is requested to notice specially the suggestion made in the 2d. para. of Captain Lyon’s present letter with regard to further copies under a new process, of the photographs; — as well as his offer of his continued services in the matter of photographing ancient structures in the Madras Presidency.
The circumstances stated by Captain Lyon in his letter show that he is fully entitled to consider the negatives, taken by him in India, as his own property — and that Gov. has no claim upon him even for the loan of them free of charge, as suggested in the 4th paragraph of the depatch to Madras, No. 2, Public, of 20th Jany. last.
2. The process by which the specimen attached to Captain Lyon’s letter has been taken is decidedly superior to the ‘Autotype’ or carbon one presently used here. It would appear, however, to be identical with what is known as the ‘Albert-type’ — a process only very recently introduced, and the right to work which can be obtained for the sum of c.£30. In the interim, however, until the time arrives for making a selection from the negatives which will accumulate in connection with the operations of the Archaeological Survey of India, it would probably not be worth while to take any steps to to obtain the process referred to — for in so far at least as the illustration of these subjects is concerned.
3. With reference to Captain Lyon’s request to be further employed in photographing ancient structures in India, I would venture to say that Gov. could hardly find more suitable man for the purpose qua the taking of the photographs — the selection of the subjects and the views to be taken being assigned to some one possessed of the requisite archaeological knowledge and who acting as the head of the Department would decide on what should be photographed, etc.
John Forbes Watson
[Pencilled note at bottom of page: ‘If the Albert Type (at £30) is so superior to the Autotype why did we give £150 for the latter?’][33]
Minute paper in the Public Department, re. letter from Captain Lyon of 9th May 1870:
First, as regards the negatives: it I submitted that Captain Lyon should be told that the Secy. of State in Council will not require him to surrender them. We have no pretext for doing so, and if the Govt. of Madras, when they wrote their despatch of 13 July 1869, no. 21, had drawn attention to the minute which had previously (18 Novr. 1868) been recorded by the Governor, Lord Napier, the Secy. of State in Council would have had no occasion, in his reply to the above cited Despatch no. 21 of 1869, to raise the question of the negatives becoming Govt. property, on assumptions made naturally enough, but which Lord Napier’s minute would have prevented. The Secy. of State contended for even the loan of the negatives, only on the supposition that Captain Lyon was in receipt of full pay, and had all his expenses paid, including cost of glass and chemicals: whereas Lord Napier (para. 2 of Minute) explains that Govt. had only paid the travelling expenses, and a moderate “money allowance for food”, and that the negatives were Captain Lyon’s “remuneration for his expenditure of time, chemicals and skill” — and Captain Lyon states in his present letter that he received no pay whatever, having left the service many years ago.
Lord Napier did speak of the “Art Authorities in England” purchasing the negatives hereafter, should they so desire: but Captain Lyon confesses himslef unwilling to sell them; and also, it is submitted, it is undesirable to make any such proposition, since Ld. Napier, in para. 4 of his minute, speak of the collection as “exhibiting to the common eye a tedious reiteration of the same trivial and familiar forms”, though he explains how this result was not the fault of Captain Lyon’s, and that officer states, in his letter to Ld. Napier 7th June 1869, that the photographs were pronounced by the authorities and ‘savants’ in England and Paris the finest collection ever seen of India, or even in Europe. Further the Govt. of Madras appears (para. 3 of Order 2 April/70, no. 377) to have asked Captain Lyons [sic] the question whether he would give up the negatives, and at what price.
Secondly, as to the offer of Captain Lyons to have more copies made by the new process in Switzerland advocated by him. It is presumed that the Secy. of State will decline this offer for the present. Dr Forbes Watson explains that the process, supposed by him to be the “Albert-Type’, is a superior one, and can at any time be used on a payment of £30, should Captain Lyon’s photographs be among those hereafter selected, which seems doubtful, to say the least, for our archaeological collection.
Thirdly, and lastly, with regard to Captain Lyon’s offer of his further services, perhaps the Secy. of State in Council will be disposed to answer that he will not fail to bear this offer in mind — so working the para. on this subject as to limit the employment to the actual taking of photographs, since Captain Lyon’s selection of objects seems to have been unfortunate, from whatever cause. — Ld. Napier (para 3 of minute 18 Nov/68, section 2) regards him as eminently fitted for the actual execution of the photographs - but he does not say more.
The letter from the Madras Govt. 12 April/70, No. 9) need not at present, it is submitted, be answered; - since the letter and Resolution no. 377, shew that further information has been called foron the subjects under discussion, and promises another communication.
We may, however, if thought fit, send to Madras, a copy of our reply to Captain Lyon, to keep the Madras Govt. informed of our proceedings in his case.
And letter drafted, dated 22nd July 1870
I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 9th of July last in relation to the photographs taken by you of the architectural structures in the Presidency of Madras.
In reply I am desired to state that the Duke of Argyll, having had under his consideration in Council the contents of that communication, as well as the proceedings of the Madras Govt. on the subject to which it relates, will not ask you to surrender the negatives of the photographs in question.
The Duke of Argyll, I am to inform you, does not require to avail himself of your suggestion to have copies of the photographs struck off by means of a process adverted to in your letter.
His Grace, I am to add, when the prosecution of the work of photographing architectural objects in the Madras Presidency is further considered, will not fail to bear in mind the offer you tender of your renewed services, with a view to the execution of additional photographs in that Presidency.
I am, etc.[34]

  1. Λ Battle of Mahidpur, Indore State, Central India, December 1817. 
  2. Λ WO31/894. 
  3. Λ British journal of photography, 9 December 1870, p. 581. 
  4. Λ British journal of photography, vol. XVIII, 2 June 1871, p. 251 
  5. Λ Journal of the Society of Arts, vol. XXI, 6 December 1872, pp. 41-42, 20 December 1872, pp. 74-75, 27 December 1872, pp. 93-98, 3 January 1873, pp. 105-110 
  6. Λ Journal of the Royal Society, 1873 [check date]). 
  7. Λ L. Critien’s Malta almanac and directory
  8. Λ Madras public proceedings, 13 November 1867, IOR/P/439/5 p.1866. 
  9. Λ E.D. Lyon to the Governor in Council, Fort St George, dated Ootacamund, 26 April 1868, Madras pub proc. 18 May 1868, IOR/P/439/6 p.736. 
  10. Λ E.D. Lyon to Chief Secretary to Government, Fort St George, dated Ootacamund, 5 May 1868, Madras pub proc. 19 May 1868, IOR/P/439/6 p.737. 
  11. Λ E.D. Lyon to Chief Secretary to Government, Fort St George, dated Ootacamund, 9 May 1868, Madras pub proc. 19 May 1868, IOR/P/439/6 p.737. 
  12. Λ idem. 
  13. Λ E.D. Lyon to Chief Secretary to Government, Fort St George, dated Ootacamund, 12 May 1868, Madras pub proc. 19 May 1868, IOR/P/439/6 p.737-8. 
  14. Λ Madras pub. proc., 23-4 June 1868, IOR/P/439/6 p. 928. 
  15. Λ E.D. Lyon to Governor in Council, Fort St George, dated Ootacamund, 6 November 1868, Madras pub proc. 23 November 1868, IOR/P/439/7 p.2216. 
  16. Λ E.D. Lyon to Chief Secretary to Government, Fort St George, dated Ootacamund, 8 November 1868, Madras pub proc. 23 November 1868, IOR/P/439/7 pp.2216-7. 
  17. Λ idem. 
  18. Λ Minute by the President, Madras pub. proc. 2 December 1868, IOR/P/439/7 pp. 2259-63. 
  19. Λ Letter from E.D. Lyon to the Secretary of State for India, dated Geneva 9 May 1870, reproduced in Madras pub. proc. 30 August 1870, IOR/P/439/10 p. 956. 
  20. Λ idem. 
  21. Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, 1869, IOR/P/441/p.12. 
  22. Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, 1869, IOR/P/441/p.38. 
  23. Λ IOR/L/PandJ/3/757 p. 27, not yet transcribed. 
  24. Λ The Photographic News, 21 May 1869. 
  25. Λ Lyon to Duke of Aryll, dated Geneva, 22 March 1870, Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345, IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325. 
  26. Λ Lyon to Duke of Argyll, dated Geneva 31 March 1870, Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345, IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325 
  27. Λ Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345, IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325 
  28. Λ Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345, IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325. 
  29. Λ Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345. IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325. 
  30. Λ Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345. IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325. 
  31. Λ Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345. IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325. 
  32. Λ ‘The only despatch recd. from Madras regarding Captain Lyon since that of the 13th of July 1869, no. 21, has been communicated to Dr Watson - it was received about 10 days ago (No. 9 of 1870).’ 
  33. Λ Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345, IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325. 
  34. Λ Public Department Home Correspondence 7/311 to 7/345, IOR/L/PandJ/2/50 item 7/325. 

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Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Edmund David Lyon.] 
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