Equestrian statue of Lord Mayo, an outstanding British Administrator, Colonial India

Lord Mayo - Barrackpore ,West Bengal. flickr.com

Above image: This  equestrian statue is in Barrackpore, West Bengal; one of the statues in the garden of Flagstaff House.   Sculptor: Thomas Thornycroft (1815 – 1885) was an English sculptor and engineer. He spent four years as an assistant to the sculptor John Francis. In 1840 he married Francis’ daughter, Mary, who was also a sculptor.  He worked in the studio of  John Francis (as did the sculptor of the statue of Queen Victoria in Bombay).  He was also responsible for the statue of Queen Boadicea  at Westminster Bridge, London..........................

Lord Mayo. executedtoday.com

Above image:  (Illustrated London News, 8 January 1876). This equestrian beautiful statue stood at the junction of Mayo Road and Duffrin Road near the Maidan for more than ninety years, but was later removed.  When Lord Mayo's statue was opened  in June  1872 at a  simple public ceremony, many royals were present.  One Mr Bullen Smith  read an address, ''The Prince expressed a melancholy satisfaction at unveiling the statue of one whom he had been proud to call his friend, and who would have left a great name among Indian Viceroys had he lived. On behalf of the widow, children and friends of Lord Mayo he thanked the committee for what they had done, in honour of his memory. The Prince then unveiled the statue, that is a good likeness''...................................

In 2007, a statue of Lord Mayo was  accidentally unearthed in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The 9-foot-tall (2.7 m) cast-iron statue, weighing around 3 tons, was sculpted at the request of  Maharajah Ram Singh ji of Jaipur, as a tribute to Lord Mayo  soon after his assassination. The sculptors were J. Forsyth and R. Monti. It  was on the premises of Mayo Hospital, Jaipur, now called the Mahilya Chikatsalya. The statue is  shifted and is now in Mayo College, Ajmir, Rajasthan.

.Equestrian statue of Lord Mayo, Kolkata.oldindianphotos.in

Richard South Well Bourke (1822 –1872), British Conservative party politician of repute in  1869  became the fourth Viceroy of India where he was often referred to as “Lord Mayo”.  Mayo was born in Dublin, entered parliament in 1847, thrice appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland – in 1852, 1858 and 1866.  Being a good statesmen and hard worker,  no time was lost when he was the chief administrator and he began consolidating the troublesome  NW frontiers of India and restructured  the country’s finances. Besides, he also focused  his attention to other areas like irrigation, railways, forests and other useful public works. The first two fields  got his priorities. Better irrigation meant better food production that was good for the country. Improvements and expansion of the railways meant better access to the resources and easy connectivity to the major harbor areas for exports. Besides, with better railroad connection, he could move the military across the country without any difficulties The very first census took place in 1872 under his administration. The European-oriented Mayo College at Ajmer was founded by him for the education of young Indian chiefs, with £70,000 being subscribed by the chiefs themselves.

Unfortunately while on a visit to the convict settlement  there on the Andaman Islands at Port Blair  to examine the prison conditions and welfare of the convicts, he was assassinated by Sher Ali Afridi, an Afghan  tribesman.  Earlier his brother Abdulla stabbed to death the acting chief Justice of the Court in Calcutta John Paxton Norman in the same year. Justice Norman, it is said, pronounced biased judgements  on the NW frontier tribes linking them with Wahhabism. 

As for Mayo his  body was taken to to Ireland, his native place  for burial at the medieval ruined church in Johns town, County Kildare, near his home at Palmerstown House. Assassin Sher Ali, was hanged to death because it was a premeditated murder of the highest British official on duty. .