There were three 19th-century Anglo-Burmese wars in 1825, 1852 and 1885. Although the western provinces along the sea coast were annexed to Britain after 1852, it was not until this expedition, during which the king was captured, that the whole country became part of the British Empire. Burma regained independence in 1948.
Hooper was Provost Marshal with the British Expeditionary Force, under the command of General Prendergast, which occupied upper Burma in 1885. The photographer almost lost his life trying to secure views of Burmese executions and a newspaper report of the time strongly criticised his treatment of the subject. The photography of victims at the time of their execution was considered inhuman, and there was such a reaction in Britain that Members of Parliament urged that Hooper be prosecuted. In 1886 there was a full court inquiry and Hooper was publicly reprimanded.