The Prison, Magdala, Abyssinia, 1868

Cornelius Francis (Frank) James

The Prison, Magdala, Abyssinia, 1868
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

The Prison, Magdala, Abyssinia, 1868.

Watercolour by Captain Cornelius Francis James, Bombay Staff Corps, 1868.

The primary objective of the expedition to Abyssinia (1867-1868) was to secure the release of British hostages held by King Theodore. After his diplomatic overtures to the British for help against his Moslem enemies had been ignored (including a letter to Queen Victoria), the king imprisoned the British Consul, Captain Charles Cameron, along with several missionaries and other civilians. Lieutenant-General Sir Robert (later Field Marshal Lord) Napier's expeditionary force was subsequently despatched and advanced over 400 miles (640 km) of difficult country to the capital, Magdala, near to which the decisive actions of the campaign were fought in April 1868. The king released his hostages, but opted to commit suicide rather than be captured. In this view James has depicted the prison compound where the British hostages were kept.

Image Details

Negative No.
Accession No.
NAM. 1990-01-78-1

© National Army Museum Copyright

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