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Festival to celebrate last Sikh king who lived in Norfolk held

This week a festival was held in Norfolk to celebrate the life of a Sikh king that lived at Elveden Hall near Thetford.

The Festival of Thetford & Punjab 2023 marked the 130th anniversary of the death of By Capt. Goldingham of London. –

Singh was placed on the throne of the Sikh Empire in 1843 when he was only five; regents ruled through him and used his young age to their advantage. 

His short reign saw both the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, and after the British won the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, Singh was deposed when the Punjab were annexed. Notably, the British Royal Family acquired the Koh-i-Noor diamond from him when he signed the Treaty of Lahore. 

Singh arrived in England in 1854 and was a favourite of Queen Victoria. He spent some time travelling the Continent and then moved around England and Scotland for several years. 

In 1863, the India Office purchased Elveden Hall for him. The country house is on the border of Suffolk and Norfolk and was home to the Maharajah and his family until he died in 1893. 

The Elveden estate has become popular with Sikhs in England, and many community members will regularly visit his grave. The Festival celebrates his legacy, and anyone is welcome to attend. 

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