Posted on: 13 November 2012

Harriet Christina Earle (1828 - 1907)

Harriet was the fourth daughter of Lieutenant Colonel John Lucas Earle (the eldest son of Captain Solomon Earle) and Mary Jane Lempriere (sister of Thomas Lempriere who subsequently became Assistant Commissary General of Tasmania). She was born in Secrora, Oudh, India when her father was an Acting Brigade Major. A couple of years later her fathers military record shows that he took leave to Tasmania presumably taking the family to visit his wife’s relatives there. When Harriet was 11 years old she was sent to England with a younger sister and brother to complete their education. She was returning to India six years later when a letter reached her in Aden advising her of her father’s sudden death. Her meeting with her mother and younger brothers and sisters in India was short lived. Her mother was to return to England with the younger children but Harriet was to remain in India and travel to the north west to stay with her aunt and uncle (Major Bird). Her older brother John was also serving with the same regiment there. Although Harriet wanted to return to England with her mother it was explained to her that she would only receive a pension (due to her father’s death) while she remained in India and that was very important. Two years later (and after several offers of marriage according to her memoirs) Harriet married Robert.

Following this introduction is an article that is a very good summary of the contents of her book.

After the mutiny Harriet and Robert who both keenly pursued the new science of photography revisited many of the battle sites of the mutiny and captured the scenes on film. A collection of more than 400 of their photographs is held by the British Library.

At least two of their children subsequently settled in Canada where there are still descendants. Harriet is known to have visited her daughter Edith in British Colombia in 1894 before she decided to write her memoirs.

Harriet died in Simla at the age of seventy-nine. I have included below a descendant chart showing the extent of my knowledge of her descendants.

Read more at Rick Desmier's webite:

Lahore Gate, Red Fort, Delhi - 1858

Part of a portfolio of photographs taken in 1858 by Major Robert Christopher Tytler and his wife, Harriet, in the aftermath of the Uprising of 1857. The Lahore Gate was the principal entrance of the Red Fort or Lal Qila, built by Emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) in 1639. This was the site where the collector, commissioner and magistrate of Delhi and other Europeans were killed by insurgents at the outbreak of the Uprising on 11 May 1857.

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In that incomplete list of descendents, James Douglas Tytler ( born Scotland, died in Delhi 1902 - 1973) finds no mention. The reverand who founded several schools in Delhi including DPS & Summerfields. One young boy ( Jagdish Kapoor) whom he helped, has stolen his surname, taken up christianity temporarily, befriended Rajiv & Sonia Gandhi & entered politics using the Tytler name. Jagdish Tytler, one of the main accused in the Delhi massacres of 1984, continues to use the Tytler surname & be a minister in India, even today. No links to the Tytler family ? ....Ok, we'll leave that one for Willie Dalrymple to research ...

Thank you Ratnesh Mathur. Most interesting update on the appropriation of the Tytler surname. The thought crossed my mind more than once as I was creating this series on the Tytlers yesterday.

Rare Book Socciety of India is an asset for History lovers.........Wonderful....Sir..