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: British Empire & Commonwealth
: Sitwell collection
: c. 1840 - [1940s]
: Sir Sidney Sitwell was born in 1871 into a branch of the well known Sitwell family, one of three brothers. He moved to India in 1894 to work in the Bank of Bengal in Kolkata. He was manager of ten different branches of the Bank across India and Myanmar before being appointed Inspector of Branches. He played a pivotal role in the amalgamation of the three Presidency banks into the Imperial Bank of India in 1921, before being appointed Managing Governor of the Imperial Bank, based in London, in 1924. He was praised for the diplomacy with which he handled relationships with partners and for his wide-ranging understanding of the industries engaged in by the bank's customers. He retired in 1932 and died in 1954. Sir Sidney's first wife died young, and his second marriage to Rosamond produced two sons, Sisson and Isla. Sisson Sitwell, born in 1904, also worked in India for the engineering company Jessop & Co. The Sitwell collection is particularly valuable for the insight it provides into the life and interests of a young man working in India in the late Victorian/ Edwardian period. Sidney's two albums provide both evidence of his own lifestyle and career and an excellent example of the types of images desired from the professional photographic studios which were becoming increasingly popular in the colonies at that time. Although there is no information recorded on its provenance, the Sitwell album dating from the 1840s provides a fascinating window into this well-known family, and the combination of family photographs, prints and images from military campaigns gives an interesting flavour of the preoccupations of upper-class families in that period. The photographs dating from Sisson Sitwell's career in India are smaller in number than those of his father, but also shed interesting light on some large-scale engineering projects in the period leading up to independence. This catalogue was produced with support from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives
India, Myanmar, Burma, Sri Lanka, Ceylon, Bangladesh, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland