Simpson was sent out to Abyssinia by the Illustrated London News in 1868, to cover the British punitive campaign against the Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II. The paper felt that Simpson could add more life to the accounts of the war than Colonel Baigrie, a soildier whose work they had previously been using. On his return to England the Illustrated London News published a special folio volume on the Abyssinian Campaign containing many of Simpson's and Baigrie's drawings.
Sir Bruce Ingram (1877-1963) was managing editor of the Illustrated London News, and grandson of its founder. He was also an important 20th century collector of art.