Tibet Frontier Commission

Last updated
Francis Younghusband FrancisYounghusband.jpg
Francis Younghusband

The Tibet Frontier Commission headed the British expedition to Tibet in 190304. The Commission comprised seven diplomats and army officers, led by Colonel Francis Younghusband. Despatched on the orders of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, the Commission was intended to establish diplomatic relations with the government of Tibet and, in particular, to resolve the dispute over the border between Tibet and Sikkim. The Commission was escorted by a large military force led by Brigadier-General J. R. L. Macdonald. However, the expedition was met with hostility by a Tibetan government uninterested in negotiation, and conflicts erupted, in one instance resulting in the massacre of hundreds of poorly armed and poorly trained Tibetan soldiers, which were no match for a professional army equipped with Maxim machine guns.

British expedition to Tibet

The British expedition to Tibet, also known as the British invasion of Tibet or the Younghusband expedition to Tibet began in December 1903 and lasted until September 1904. The expedition was effectively a temporary invasion by British Indian forces under the auspices of the Tibet Frontier Commission, whose purported mission was to establish diplomatic relations and resolve the dispute over the border between Tibet and Sikkim. In the nineteenth century, the British conquered Burma and Sikkim, occupying the whole southern flank of Tibet. The Tibetan Ganden Phodrang regime, which was then under administrative rule of the Qing dynasty, remained the only Himalayan state free of British influence.

Francis Younghusband British army explorer

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Francis Edward Younghusband, was a British Army officer, explorer, and spiritual writer. He is remembered for his travels in the Far East and Central Asia; especially the 1904 British expedition to Tibet, led by him, and for his writings on Asia and foreign policy. Younghusband held positions including British commissioner to Tibet and President of the Royal Geographical Society.

George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston British Viceroy of India and Foreign Secretary

George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston,, who was styled as Lord Curzon of Kedleston between 1898 and 1911, and as Earl Curzon of Kedleston between 1911 and 1921, and was known commonly as Lord Curzon, was a British Conservative statesman, who served as Viceroy of India, from 1899 to 1905, during which time he created the territory of Eastern Bengal and Assam, and as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, from 1919 to 1924.

Captain Herbert James Walton served as Medical Officer and Naturalist to the Commission, and was able to make a comprehensive study of the flora and fauna of the southern and central areas of Tibet during the expedition's slow progress to the capital, Lhasa. [1]

Herbert Walton was an English surgeon and naturalist. Born in London on 19 January 1869, he was the second child and elder son of James Sydney Walton and Eleanor Georgina Louissan, his wife. Walton was initially educated in Paris, before entering private schools in England, culminating in Charterhouse (1881–84); he went on to study medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital.

Lhasa District in Tibet, China

Lhasa or Chengguan is a district and administrative capital of Lhasa City in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The inner urban area of Lhasa City is equivalent to the administrative borders of Chengguan District, which is part of the wider prefectural Lhasa City.

Members

John Claude White British engineer, civil servant and photographer in India

John Claude White was an engineer, photographer, author and civil servant in British India.

Sikkim State in North-east India

Sikkim is a state in northeastern India. It borders Tibet in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. Sikkim is also located close to India's Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 35% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park.

Related Research Articles

Jelep La

Jelep La or Jelep Pass, elevation 4,267 m or 13,999 ft, is a high mountain pass between East Sikkim District, Sikkim, India and Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is on a route that connects Lhasa to India. The pass is about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Nathu La and although it is higher, Jelep has been used for centuries by traders because of its less rugged terrain. The Menmecho Lake lies below the Jelep La.

Nathu La mountain pass

Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas in East Sikkim district. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.

13th Dalai Lama 19th and 20th-century Dalai Lama of Tibet

Thubten Gyatso was the 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Frederick Marshman Bailey intelligence officer

Frederick Marshman Bailey was a British intelligence officer and one of the last protagonists of The Great Game - the fight for supremacy between the Russians and the British Empire along the Himalayas. His clandestine work gave him many opportunities to pursue his hobbies of photography, butterfly collecting, and trophy hunting in the high Tibetan region. Over 2000 of his bird specimens were presented to The Natural History Museum, although his personal collection is now held in the American Museum of Natural History, New York. His papers and extensive photograph collections are held in the British Library, London.

Chumbi Valley

Chumbi Valley is a valley in Yadong County, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. The valley is on the south side of the Himalayan drainage divide, near the Chinese border with Sikkim, India and with Bhutan. The Chumbi Valley is connected to Sikkim to the southwest via the mountain passes of Nathu La and Jelep La.

Khamber Jong

Khamber Jong, also called Gamba, Kampa, or Khampa Dzong, is a Tibetan hamlet north of Sikkim. In June 1903, Colonel Francis Younghusband, serving as British commissioner to Tibet, led a diplomatic mission consisting of five officers and five hundred troops through Nathu La to Khamber Jong. The objective of the mission was to meet Chinese and Tibetan representatives and discuss mutual non-aggression and trade agreements. After being kept waiting for five months before the Chinese and Tibetan representatives arrived, the mission was recalled.

Arthur Delaval Younghusband was a British civil servant of the Raj.

Postage stamps and postal history of Tibet

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Tibet.

James Macdonald (engineer) Scottish engineer, explorer and cartographer

Sir James Ronald Leslie Macdonald was a Scottish engineer, explorer and cartographer. He served as a British Army engineer, rose to the rank of Brigadier-General and was knighted. A balloon observer as a young man, he surveyed for railways in India and East Africa, explored the upper Nile region, commanded balloon sections during wars in South Africa and China and led a major expedition into Tibet in 1903–1904.

Sikkim expedition 1888 British military expedition to expel Tibetan forces from Sikkim

The Sikkim expedition was an 1888 British military expedition to expel Tibetan forces from Sikkim in present-day north east India. The roots of the conflict lay in British-Tibetan competition for sovereignty over Sikkim.

The Treaty of Lhasa, officially the Convention Between Great Britain and Tibet, was a treaty signed in 1904 between Tibet and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, then under administrative rule of the Qing dynasty. It was signed following the British expedition to Tibet of 1903-1904, a military expedition led by Colonel Francis Younghusband, and was followed by the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1906.

Affair of the Dancing Lamas 1924 Anglo-Tibetan diplomatic controversy

The Affair of the Dancing Lamas was an Anglo–Tibetan diplomatic controversy stemming mainly from the visit to Britain in 1924–25 of a party of Tibetan monks as part of a publicity stunt for The Epic of Everest – the official film of the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition.

Colman Patrick Louis Macaulay CIE was an administrator in British India and partly responsible for negotiating the opening of British trade with Tibet.

The 1943 New Year Honours were appointments by King George VI to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of the United Kingdom and British Empire. They were announced on 29 December 1942.

The 1911 Delhi Durbar was held in December 1911 following the coronation in London in June of that year of King George V and Queen Mary. The King and Queen travelled to Delhi for the Durbar. For the occasion, the statutory limits of the membership of the Order of the Star of India and the Order of the Indian Empire were increased and many appointments were made to these and other orders. These honours were published in a supplement to the London Gazette dated 8 December 1911.

William Frederick Travers OConnor British military interpreter in Lhasa, and a writer

Lieutenant Colonel SirWilliam Frederick Travers O'ConnorC.I.E. C.S.I. C.V.O was a British and Indian Army officer and diplomat. He was 6'1" tall with blue eyes and a fair complexion. He is remembered for his travels in Asia, cartography, study and publication of local cultures and language, his actions on the Younghusband expedition to Tibet, Royal Geographic Society council member, member of the Royal Automobile Club and for his work negotiating and signing the Nepal–Britain Treaty of 1923.

References

  1. Landon, P. (1905). The Opening of Tibet. Doubleday, Page & Co., New York.