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Council of the Secretary of State for India Despatch Box, 1908
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Council of the Secretary of State for India Despatch Box, 1908

Measurements: 16cm (6.25in) x 45.5cm (18in) x 30.5cm (12in)



Red leather over wood, the hinged lid embossed ‘INDIA OFFICE’ over the crowned ‘ER’ cypher of King Edward VII and the original bearer’s name ‘SIR JAMES THOMSON’ . The back fitted with a leather handle to ensure the box is locked before being carried. The interior lined in black leather. With working lock and key.

Sir James Thomson, K.C.S.I., I.C.S. (1848-1929) was educated at the University of Aberdeen and entered the Indian Civil Service by competitive examination in 1869. He arrived in Madras in 1871 and progressed through the service to become British Resident for the matriarchal states of Travancore and Cochin in 1895. In 1897 he was appointed to the Board of Revenue for the Madras Presidency, and was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council in 1898. He served as a member of the Executive Council of the Governor of Madras from 1901 to 1906. Thomson acted as the Governor of Madras from 30 April 1904 to 13 December 1904 in the absence of Lord Ampthill who was selected to officiate temporarily as the Viceroy of India. In 1908, Thomson was appointed to the council of the Secretary of State for India based in Whitehall. At the time the council included two Indians; Sir Krishna Govinda Gupta, K.C.S.I., I.C.S. a prominent Bengali social reformer, and Nawab Syed Hussain Bilgrami, C.S.I. .Thomson was made a Knight Commander of the Star of India in 1904. He married Charlotte Georgina Grant, the eldest daughter of William White Grant in 1873.