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An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava (1827)


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An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava (1827)


Title: An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava, vol 1 only.
Author: Michael Symes
Publisher: Constable & Co, 1827.
Condition: Leather with marbled boards. Pocket size. Severe foxing on title pages, minor rubbing to covers. Marbled edges. Sparse foxing to text, well bound. Vol 1 only of 2 vols, part Constable’s Miscellany. No illustrations.

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SKU: embassyava-burma Categories: , ,

About the book:

An invaluable resource on Burma in the 18th century, and generally considered the first major work written about Burma in English. It deals with politics, society, history, daily life, economics and other important aspects of the Burmese Kingdom of Ava.

About the author (from Wikipedia):

Michael Symes FRS (1761–1809) was an Irish soldier, diplomat and politician.

He was the fifth son of Richard Symes of Ballyarthur, and Eleanor Cliffe of Ross, County Wexford, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.

Symes entered the East India Company Army in 1780, as a cadet in the Bengal Army. On furlough in 1786 as a lieutenant, he re-enlisted in 1787. He went to India again in the following year, with the newly raised 76th Regiment of Foot. He served as aide-de-camp to Thomas Musgrave, 7th Baronet at Madras in 1791, became captain in 1793, and lieutenant-colonel in 1800.

In 1795 Symes was sent by Sir John Shore, the Governor-General of India, on a mission to Burma. He obtained from King Bodawpaya, then known to the British as King or Emperor of Ava, a royal order permitting a British agent to reside at Rangoon to protect the interests of British subjects. Francis Buchanan-Hamilton accompanied him, as botanist. When Hiram Cox went as agent, however, he found the situation other than he had understood, and there were recriminations against Symes.

Symes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1800. In 1802, when his regiment was at Kanpur, Symes was sent by Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley on a second mission to Ava. On this occasion it was to protest against the demand made by the Burmese governor of Arakan for the surrender of fugitives, who had sought refuge in the British district of Chittagong. In the capital, he obtained a verbal assurance that the demand should be withdrawn. On the journey back to Calcutta, where he arrived in February 1803, he was affronted by the Burmese governor of Rangoon.