Artist: Simpson, William (1823-1899)
This chromolithograph is taken from plate 9 of William Simpson's 'India: Ancient and Modern'. The ancient city of Peshawar is now in Pakistan and was within sight of the Khyber Pass. It had been an Afghan city for centuries and later a Sikh one, governed for many years in the name of Ranjit Singh of the Sikhs by the famous French pro-consul General Avitabile. At the time of this image, it was the headquarters of the North West Frontier Province of British India. Traders and travellers came from all over central Asia to gather in its bazaars. Simpson described it as a raw frontier town, "with predatory classes of men". He concluded that to live at Peshawar was to inevitably experience an attempt on one's life.