Duleep Singh


Maharaja Duleep Singh was the former Maharaja of Punjab who in 1849 at the age of 10 was removed from from the Punjab with his title and power devolved. The Koh-i-Noor Diamond was surrendered to Queen Victoria. Despite his exile and the removal of sovereignty, Duleep Singh became famous as a friend of Queen Victoria. He converted to Christianity in 1853 and settled in the UK in 1854. In 1864, Duleep Singh married Bamba Müller (of German and Egyptian descent) in Cairo and then established his family at Elveden Hall in Suffolk. Duleep Singh had raised the money by a loan from the India Office. They had eight children together. Queen Victoria was godmother to their eldest son.

Duleep Singh became known for his extravagant lifestyle, enjoying the countryside and game-shooting in particular. Duleep Singh also rebuilt the church, cottages and school in Elveden. Despite his lifestyle in Britain, he decided to fight to reclaim his land and title in the Punjab. In 1886 he returned to India where he re-converted to Sikhism. He went to live in Paris where he enlisted the help of Irish revolutionaries and the Russians to lead a revolt against the British in the Punjab but he was ultimately unsuccessful in bringing these plans to fruition. Bamba died in 1887, and in 1889 Singh married Ada Douglas Wetherill, an Englishwoman, in Paris. They had two children. He died in 1893 in Paris but his body was returned to Elveden, where he was buried.

Date of birth: 
06 Sep 1838

Nilakantha Goreh, Lord Kimberley, Lady Login, Lord Login, Sir Henry Posonby, Joseph Salter, Queen Victoria.

Children: Bamba Sofia Jindan Duleep Singh, Victor Albert Jay Duleep Singh, Frederick Victor Duleep Singh, Edward Alexander Duleep Singh, Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh, Catherine Hilda Duleep Singh, Paulina Alexandra Duleep Singh, Ada Irene Helen Duleep Singh.

Contributions to periodicals: 

The Times (letter, 31 August 1882)

Secondary works: 

Alexander, Michael and Anand, Sushila, Queen Victoria's Maharajah: Duleep Singh, 1838-93 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1980)

Bance, Peter, Sovereign, Squire and Rebel: Maharajah Duleep Singh and the Heirs of a Lost Kingdom (London: Coronet House, 2009)

Bance, Peter, The Duleep Singhs: The Photograph Album of Queen Victoria's Maharajah (Stroud: Sutton, 2004)

Bell, Evans, The Annexation of the Punjab and the Maharajah Duleep Singh (London: Trubner & Co., 1882)

Campbell, Christopher, The Maharajah's Box (London: HarperCollins, 2000)

Chakrabarty, Rishi Ranjan, Duleep Singh: The Maharajah of Punjab and the Raj (Oldbury: D. S. Samara, 1988)

Gulati, S. P., The Tragic Tale of Maharajah Duleep Singh (Delhi: National Book Shop, 1998)

Login, E. Dalhousie, Lady Login's Recollections: Court Life and Camp Life, 1820-1904 (London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1916)

Login, Lena Campbell, Sir John Login and Duleep Singh (London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1890)

Madra, Amandeep Singh, ‘Singh, Duleep (1838–1893)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2007) []

Singh, Ganda (ed.), Maharajah Duleep Singh Correspondence (Patiala: Punjab University, 1977)

The Maharajah Duleep Singh and the Government: A Narrative (London: Ballantyne, Hanson & Co., 1884)

Archive source: 

Mss Eur E377, family papers, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence, Royal Archives, Windsor Castle

Correspondence with Lord Kimberley, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone, British Library Manuscript Reading Room, St Pancras

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Other names: 

Maharaja Duleep Singh


Elveden, Suffolk IP24 3TA
United Kingdom
52° 23' 28.9824" N, 0° 40' 13.062" E
Date of death: 
21 Oct 1893
Location of death: 
Paris, France
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 May 1854
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 



Elveden, Suffolk

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