Sir Basil Gould

Sir Basil Gould

1998.131.389 (Print black & white)

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Other Version of this Photo in Evan Yorke Nepean collection

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

August 28th 1936

Named Person

Sir Basil Gould


Lhasa > Dekyi Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

162 x 118

Sir Basil J. Gould in official uniform. A head and shoulders profile portrait, without hat. This photograph was probably taken on the occasion of a visit to see the Regent

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

C.1.2 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


This Image also appears in another collection


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The reference number 'C-1/2' has been written on the back of the print in pencil [MS 22/03/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Ditto [BJG [Gould] in uniform] 1/2 length 3/4 face' [MS 22/03/2006]

Biographical Information - Sir Basil J. Gould in full dress uniform. Gould was Political Officer for Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet and leader of the 1936 British Mission to Lhasa. He was invited to attend the installation of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940 and made a final visit to Tibet in 1944. Heavily influenced by Sir Charles Bell (his predecessor as Political Officer) Gould was determined to establish a firm foothold for the British government in Tibet. He also took great pains to record and translate the Tibetan language and is said to have memorised a set of stock honorific phrases to assist in his diplomatic endeavours. Gould was renowned for his capacity for hard work and his colleagues found him “a lot to live up to”. As a career diplomat he was highly conscious of status, within both the British and Tibetan systems. He was pleased to be referred to as Lönchen – equating his rank with that of a Tibetan prime minister and is reputed to have worn evening dress for dinner even when in camp. [CH 2003]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'C.1' comprise a group of negatives containing images of Gould, Prime Minister, Regent, ‘big’ monk. They seem to have been taken on August 28th 1936 on the occasion of an official visit to the Regent [MS 22/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Sir Basil Gould" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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