Sir Arthur Phayre and the Myoza of Magwé in Calcutta
This watercolour depicts Sir Arthur Phayre and the Myoza of Magwé in Calcutta 1854. In the early years of his reign, King Mindon tried desperately to persuade the British to return Lower Burma, which had been seized during the Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852-53). In 1854 he sent one of his most powerful ministers the Myoza of Magwé (a minister to the very influential senior queen) as his envoy to the Marquess of Dalhousie, then Governor-General of India. The Magwé Myoza was accompanied by Sir Arthur Phayre, the Chief Commissioner of Pegu. Phayre was by then already an accomplished Burma scholar and acted as interpreter. He would go on to write the first English language history of Burma. He also discovered a monkey which was named after him (Trachypithecus phayrei). Phayre Street is now Pansodan Road and Dalhousie Street is now Maha Bandula Street.