View of the French Factory, Patna seen from the river - 19 November 1824
Pen and ink drawing by Sir Charles D'Oyly (1781-1845), of a view of the French Factory at Patna City in Bihar, from an Album of 80 drawings of views in Bengal and Bihar taken between January 1823 and May 1825. This image is one of a group of miscellaneous sketches which were made either at Patna, D'Oyly's headquarters, or at near-by Hajipur in March and October 1824 and May 1825. Patna, the ancient Pataliputra, was the centre of the opium trade in northern India. The Dutch, French, Danish and British East India Companies all had 'factories' there. Patna is now the capital of Bihar.
D'Oyly arrived in India in 1797 and spent his first few years in Calcutta as Assistant to the Registrar of the Court of Appeal. He was Collector of Dacca from 1808-18 and was made Opium Agent at Patna in 1821. Whilst at Dacca he met the artist George Chinnery and became his pupil from 1808-12. D'Oyly was a prolific amateur artist who was greatly admired by the European community. He set up and ran a lithographic press, the 'Behar Lithography', and also formed an amateur art society the 'United Patna and Gaya Society' or 'Behar School of Athens': 'for the promotion of Arts and Sciences and for the circulation of fun and merriment of all descriptions.'
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