The album contains 54 views of central
and northern India that appear to have been taken by a skilled amateur photographer. Present
are views of forts and gateways (Kalinjar; Chunar; Baradar; Bharigarh), palaces, temples
(Khajuraho; Bhadaura), ghats, landscapes and waterfalls.
Edmund and William Bellairs were the sons of Sir William of Mulbarton, Norfolk (1793-1863),
who as a member of the 15th Hussars served in campaigns against Napoleon in Spain, France
and at Waterloo. The inscription and gift of this album to the Reverend Edward Cole thus
might be related to the death of Sir William. Both sons served in the British army: Edmund
Hooke Wilson Bellairs (1823-1898) retired as a captain in 1852 and settled in New Zealand
where he was appointed a member of the upper house of the country's first parliament. He
later moved to Biarritz, France, where he was Vice-Consul. Major-General William Bellairs
(1823-1913) had a distinguished military career, serving in the Crimea, the West Indies,
Canada, Gibraltar and South Africa.