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'Tree at Hadjipore. Novr. 1831'

'Tree at Hadjipore.  Novr. 1831'

Artist: Woodcock, Harriot Mary (b. 1807)

Medium: Wash

Date: 1831

Shelfmark: WD3657

Item number: 3657

Genre: Drawing

Wash drawing of a banyan tree by Harriot Mary Woodcock (b. 1807), November 1831. The drawing is inscribed: 'Tree at Hadjipore. Novr. 1831. HMW' and on the reverse: 'Banyan Tree at Hadjipore. Novr/31'. Harriot was born in Calcutta in 1807, the daughter of Colin Shakespeare of the Bengal Civil Service. She married William Woodcock, also of the Bengal Civil Service, in Calcutta, 1828. William Woodcock was Assistant to the Magistrate and Collector of Tirhut, 1828-1832 and head Assistant to the Magistrate and Collector of Mirzapur, 1832-1834.

Hajipur is situated in Bihar on the River Ganges just above it’s confluence with the River Gandak opposite Patna. The town is said to have been founded by Haji Ilyas king of Bengal between 1345 and 1358 who is also said to have constructed the fort here. In the Muslim times the town was the headquarters of Bihar and played a large role in the struggles between Akbar and his rebellious Afghan governors of Bengal. In 1572 Afghan rebels seized the town but were driven out by Muzaffar Khan, one of Akbar’s Generals. Two years later a challenge was brought about by Daud Khan who took refuge in the fort at Hajipur which was laid siege to and reclaimed by Akbar’s forces. The town lost its importance after the transfer of Government to Patna.

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