Lord Curzon, who was then Viceroy of India, decided to send a mission to Tibet, and appointed me to take charge of it. In the Summer of 1903 I went up to the frontier and waited there for three months, but the Tibetans would have nothing to do with us. I went back to Simla and talked the situation over with the Viceroy. It was agreed that I should go through to Gyastse, about half-way between the boundary and the Tibetan capital Lhasa. Lord Kitchener, who was then Commander-in-Chief, provided me with a small force of troops, and, much against the advice of some of the military men, we started out in mid-winter to cross the Himalayas. On the ninth of January we crossed the main pass, at 15,200 feet, into Tibet.
Sir Francis Younghusband (above right) presented the first lecture
at the inaugural meeting of The Canadian Geographical Society,
which centred on his expedition to Lhasa at the request
of the Viceroy of India. His lecture was edited and included
in the first edition of Canadian Geographic Journal.
Along with the above excerpt from Younghusband's article, included below are photographs from the magazine and the text that was included with them.
THE CABINET COUNCIL OF TIBET
In the group are included the Regent, who was left in charge when the Grand Lama fled from Lhasa on the approach of the expedition. The Regent corresponds very roughly in office to a Prime Minister. With him are the Commander-in-Chief of the Tibetan army, an officer who at one stage of the proceedings remarked dryly that it was not his practice to eat meat, but that he would cheerfully eat the flesh of these Englishmen. He became quite friendly in the end. Another, a shrewd monk, filled the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer or Minister of Finance.
GROUP OF TIBETAN NUNS
They are far from prepossessing, and when one happens to be in their immediate neighbourhood, one is reminded of the story of the old woman who on being reproached by the parson with her lack of cleanliness and reminded that cleanliness was next to godliness, replied, ‘Aye, but I be godly’. These Buddhist ladies would need to be very godly.