Palmer Family Collection

Palmer Family Collection

Repository ID: 0052 | Metadata type: TEI

Documents from the Palmer Family Collection



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About the Palmer Family Collection

The Palmer Family Collection consists of 253 images of documents, textiles, jewelry, and visual artwork connected to the life of Elizabeth Sharaf un-Nisa Ducarel (1758-1822), a Mughal woman who was born in modern-day Bihar, India and who died in Gloucestershire, England. This rare collection includes letters and documents in Mughal Persian, English, and French dating from the early 1780s to the early 1800s. The collection includes Elizabeth Sharaf un-Nisa's penmanship journal (1795-6), where she taught herself to write cursive English script and practiced the epistolary arts of an English lady. Elizabeth Sharaf un-Nisa cohabitated with Gerard Gustavus Ducarel (1745-1800), giving birth to several children and eventually following Ducarel and her children to England in 1784. She took on the name Elizabeth Ducarel and, unusual for relationships of this kind, she formally married Gerard Gustavus Ducarel in England in 1787. She lived the remainder of her life in England, even after G.G. Ducarel's death in 1800. After her husband's death, she lived with her son Philip John Ducarel (1778-1855) in the family estate at Newland in Gloucestershire. Rumored during her lifetime to be the daughter of a Hindu Maharaja, her brothers' letters and her wax seal indicate that Elizabeth Sharaf un-Nisa came from a Muslim family. This collection was collected by Lord and Lady Palmer after having been preserved by family members for generations. Lord Palmer is a descendant of Elizabeth Sharaf un-Nisa.

Image standards and specifications

Images from the Palmer Family Collection were shot and processed by the Bodleian Digital Libraries.

The documents on OPenn