Raja Heera Singh
Artist: Eden, Emily
This is a lithograph of plate 7 from Emily Eden's 'Portraits of the Princes and People of India'. Raja Hira Singh was the son of Raja Dhyan Singh, a principal chief of the powerful Rajput 'Jammu Family' of Dogras. Some of these aristocratic Jammu Dogras occupied high office in the Sikh kingdom and were major players in the battles for power which beset Ranjit Singh's empire after his demise.
Eden wrote of Hira Singh: "[H]e was a marked personal favourite of Runjeet Singh, and was admitted to sit in his presence, when that favour was denied to other courtiers, including his own father. He has resided chiefly at court, and has hitherto taken no prominent part in public affairs." In fact, he later became a key figure in the Sikh administration and in the intrigues by Dogras and Sikhs in the anarchic years following Ranjit Singh's death