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Full text of "The Indian empire: history, topography, geology, climate, population, chief cities and provinces; tributary and protected states; military power and resources; religion, education, crime; land tenures; staple products; government, finance, and commerce"

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DEDICATED BY «Bl5raf^ AUTHORITY TO 

HER MOST GRACIOUS ^^!^^P^ MAJESTY THE QUEEX. 



THE 



INDIAN EMPIRE: 



HISTORY, TOPOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY, CLIMATE, POPULATION, CHIEF CITIES AJSfD PROVINCES ; TRIBUTARY AND PROTECTED 

STATES ; MILITARY POWER AND RESOURCES ; RELIGION, EDUCATION, CRIME ; LAND TENURES ; 

STAPLE PRODUCTS ; GOVERNMENT, FINANCE, AND COMMERCE. 



WITH A FULL ACCOVNT OF THE 

MUTINY OF THE BENGAL AEMT ; OF THE INSUREECTION IN WESTEBN INDIA; AND AN EXPOSITION 

OF THE ALLEGED CAUSES. 

BY R. MONTGOMERY MARTIN, 

AUTHOR OF THE " HISTORY OF THE BRITISH COLONIES," ETC. 



ILLUSTRATED WITH MAPS, PORTRAITS, AND VIEWS. 



VOL. II. 

THE MUTINY OF THE BENGAL ARMY; INSURRECTION IN WESTERN INDIA; AND AN EXPOSITION OF THE 

ALLEGED CAUSES. 



THE LONDOIS PRINTING AND PUBLISHING COMPANY, LIMITED 

97, 98, 99, & 100, ST. JOHN STREET, LONDON ; AND 55, DEY STREET, NEW YORK. 



M31 



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INDEX 



YOL. II. OF THE "INDIxVN EMPIRE." 



Albctt (James), deputy- commissioner of 
the Huzara district, 96. 

Ahkarry, spirit and opium tax, 24. 

Adjyghur, Hindoo principality, 313. 

Adoption (right and rite), 39 ; right re- 
pudiated by Lord Dalliousie, 42 ; pre- 
viously admitted by E. I. Company, 57 ; 
question of its public recognition by the 
Crown, 503. 

Adye {Lieutenant- colonel), account of 
second siege of Cawnpoor, 472. 

Agra, 134, 185 — 188; mutiny, 360; 
battle, 361 ; reinforced by British, 4G2 ; 
attacked by Gwalior contingent, 462 ; 
Motee Musjid, 463. 

Aitken {Captain John), defence of Baillie 
Guard, Lucknow, 420. 

Alexander {Major-general), on the opium 
trade, 26. 

Alexander {Captain William), 319. 

AH Morad, Ameer of Sinde, 49. 

Alt Nukkee Khan, minister of King of 
Oude, 73, 275. 

Alighur, 189; mutiny, 353, 4G1. 

Alison {Lieutenant-colonel), account of 
relief of Lucknow, 467 ; wounded, 468. 

Alison (Major), wounded, 468. 

Allahabad, general disaffection of Zemin- 
dars, 5 ; account of city, 292 ; fort, 293 ; 
proceedings of Col. Neil, 297, 374. 

A/mora, capital of Kumaon, 212. 

Alumbagh, description of, 419; engage- 
ment there, 465 ; Outram takes up 
position, 472 ; attacked by rebels, 4/7. 

Amanee, revenue system, 71. 

Ameer AH (Moonshee), appointment at 
Patna, 408. 

Ameihie {Fort of), British fugitives pro- 
tected there, 233 ; surrendered to Lord 
Clive, by Lall Madhoo Sing, 497. 

Amherst (Lord), dealings with Oude, 63. 

Amjherra, native state, 350; execution of 
rajah, 484. 

Anderson {L'eut. R. P.), defence of Luck- 
now outpost, 495. 

Annexation and infi-action of Indian laws 
of inheritance, 37, 503. 

Anson (General), 112; his innovations, 
128; conduct, 131, 133, 135,138, 154, 
177; death, 178; career, 181. 

Anson (Hon. Mrs.), 181. 

Aong, engagement at, 376. 

Arms Act, passed by Lord Canning, 267. 

Arrah, 398 ; Europeans besieged, 402 ; 
attempted relief by Captain Dunbar, 
403 ; successful attempt of Major Eyre, 
405 ; second British disaster, 492. 

Aseerghur (Fort of), 336. 

Assam, arrest of rajah, 490. 

Asylums (Lau'rence), 243. 

Atheism (spread of), in India, 13. 

Atrowlee, seized by Kooer Sing, 491. 

Attack (Fort of), held by British, 201. 

Augur, mutiny, 351. 

Aurungabad, 353, 355. 

Ayodha, 226, 230, 232. 

Azim Oollah visits London, 249; insti- 
gates the massacres at Cawnpoor, 380, 
381, 461; reported death, 499. 

VOL. 11. 



Azimghnr, 279, 491; mutiny, 280; occu- 
pation by Kooer Sing, and recapture 
by British. 491. 

Bahar, or Behar, disaffection caused by 
resumptions of land, 490; long-con- 
tinued insurrection, 492. 

Bahraetch, mutiny, 225. 

Bainie Madhoo, Rana of Shunkerpoor 
[see Note to p. 497] ; evacuation of 
fort, 497; defeat and death in the Terai, 
498. 

Balghnr (Ranee of), 170. 

Bnlmain (Captain J. H.), 369. 

Banda (Nawab), protects European fugi- 
tives, 312; kindness of Begum, 314; 
massacre of Europeans by mutineers, 
315; city captured by Whitlock, 486; 
fate of the Nawab, 500. 

Banks (Major), death at Lucknow, 386. 

Bnnpore (Rajah of), 336, 484. 

Banyans, native dealers, 271. 

Bareilly, mutiny, 212 — 21 1 ; rebel govern- 
ment established by Khan Bahadoor 
Khan, 476; capture and reoccupation 
by Sir Colin Campbell, 495. 

Barnard (Sir Henry), 178, 203 ; dies of 
cholera, before Delhi, 430. 

Barodia, capture of, 484. 

Barrackpoor, 127 ; partial mutiny and 
first bloodshed by Mungul Pandy, 131, 
142; disarming of brigade, 271. 

Battles— GhsLzi-n-Deen Nuggur, 203, 
Badulee-ke- Serai, 206 ; Chinhut, 239 ; 
near Agra, 361; Ravee, 372; Futteh- 
poor, 374 ; Aong and Pandoo Nuddee, 
376; near Cawnpoor, 377; Oonao, 389; 
Busserut Gunj, 389 ; near Arrah, 403 ; 
Lucknow (garrison reinforced), 418; 
Nujufghur, 438 ; Delhi, 442; Bolund- 
shuhur, 461; Agi-a, 462; Alumbach, 
465 ; Lucknow (garrison relieved), 467 ; 
Cawnpoor, 473, 475; Lucknow (city 
regained by Sir Colin Campbell), 480 ; 
Betwa, 485; Jhansi, 485; Koonch, 
486 ; Banda, 486 ; Atrowlee, 491 ; Jug- 
despoor, 492; Royea,493; Bareilly, 494. 

Batti/e (JJeut. Qidntin), of the Guides, 
killed at the siege of Delhi, 203 

Beadon, Secretary to Government, 23. 

Beatson (Captain Stuart) offer to raise 
cavalry corps, 278 ; death, 394. 

Bedars, aboriginal tribe, 50. 

Beecher (John), conduct in Huzara, 94. 

Be-duk-ilee, dispossession grievance, 225, 

Benares, 15, 281; mutiny, 284; titular 
rajah, 287. 

Bengal army, 103 — 110; condition in 
1857, 126; in 1858, 503. 

Bentinck (Lord William), 56, 104. y 

Belwa river, battle near, 485. 

Bhaugulpnor, defection of 5th I.C., 41.5. 

Bhopal, native state, 344 ; Ranee of, 484. 

Bhopal contingent, 344, 484. 

Bhopawur, in Malwa, 350. 

Bhurtpoor (Rajah of), 186, 263. 

Bignell (Cajitain, lOW N.I.), death, 327. 

Bird (Robert Martin), conduct to na- 
tives, 84. 

3t 



Bird (Major R. W.), 72, 89. 

Bithoor, residence of Nana Sahib, 249, 
evacuated by him, 384, 392. 

Blair family, sufferings at Cawnpoor, 383. 

Blake (Major), 337 ; killed at Gwalior, 
338 ; escape of Mrs. Blake, 338. 

Blou-ing from guns, in 1764, 99 ; in 1857, 
491. 

Bhi.e books — garbled despatches, 55 ; care- 
less compilation, 321. 

Bolundshuhur, engagement, 461. 

Bombay army, 27th N.I., 412, 413; co- 
lumns under Rose and Roberts, 483; 
24th and 25th N.I., 485 ; 10th and 12th 
N.I., 486. 

Boulderson (H. S.), on revenue settle- 
ment in N.W. Provinces, 84, 93. 

Bourdillon on land-tenures in Madras, 5. 

Boyle (Mr.), besieged in dwelling-house 
at Arrah, 404 ; government reward, 405. 

Brahmins (Modern), 9. 

Brasyer (Lieutenant), 294 ; influence 
over the Seiks at Allahabad, 298. 

Brind (Brigadier), 368 ; killed at Seal- 
kote, 370. 

British residents at Nagpoor, 48 ; at 
Lucknow, 71. 

Bruere (Major), 220 ; saved by sepoy at 
Chinhut, 239 ; killed at Lucknow, 423. 

Budaon, mutiny and bloodshed, 214. 

Bnist (Dr.), editor of Bombay Times, 20. 

Buldeo Sing (Thakoor), 339. 

Bnlrampoor (Rajah of). 225, 227. 

Burhampoor, or Berhampoor, 129, 270; 
cavalry disarmed, 416. 

Burton (Major), 195 ; killed with his sons 
at Kotah, 486. 

Busserut Gunj, 389 ; Havelock's first en- 
gagement with rebels, 390 ; second en- 
gagement, 391; third engagement, 392. 

Byron's (Lord) warning, 123. 

Calcutta, enrolment of volunteers, 267 ; 
panic, 272—274, 279. 

Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, 269. 

Calpee, mutiny, 329, 464 ; arrival of Gwa- 
lior continirent, 465, 475, 486; expul- 
sion, and British reoccupation, 487. 

Campbell {Lord Clyde), 104, 107, 394; 
sent from England as commander-in- 
chief, 395 ; person and character, 396 ; 
exertions at Calcutta, 397, 497; nar- 
row escape from mutineers, 464 ; ad- 
vance on Lucknow, 466 ; wounded, 
467 ; relief of Lucknow garrison, 469 ; 
evacuation of the Residency, 470 ; 
General Order signed at the Dilkooslia, 
471 ; timely arrival at Cawnpoor, 474 ; 
second march on Lucknow, 477 ; tele- 
gram reporting capture of the city, 
478 ; Rohilcnnd campaign, 492 ; narrow 
escape at Bareilly, 495 ; Oude cam- 
paign, 496 ; just and kind treatment of 
native chiefs, 502. 

Campbell (Lord), on judicial incompe- 
tency in India, 7. 

Campbell (George), opinions expressed in 
Modern India, 41 ; financial commis- 
sioner for Oude, 482. 



11 



INDEX TO VOL. II. OF THE " INDIAN EMPIRE. 



Campbell (Colonel), at the head of H.M. 
llOth, disarms sepoys at Barhamijoor, 
416; death at Lucknow, 425. 

Canning (Viscount), commencement of 
administration, 1, 23; differences with 
General Anson, 133 ; fatal delay in 
relieving Cawnpoor, 207 ; restriction 
of the press, 21J8 ; calmness during 
Calcutta panic, 273 ; Earl Granville's 
vindication, 273; cliecks indiscrimiuate 
veng.'ance of civilians, 412 ; differences 
with Sir Colin Campbell, 477 ; dif- 
ferences witli Sir James Outram, 482. 

Canning ( Vincountess), gentle courage, 
273 ; alleged letter oa sepoy atrocities, 
409. 

Canottjee Lai, Lucknow messenger, 466. 

Cape of Good Hope — troops sent thence 
CO India, 397. 

Carnatic, extinction of titular nawabship, 
by Lord Dalhousie, 58. 

Carthew (Brigadier), at Cawnpoor, 473. 

Cartridges (greased), 126, 128, 139 ; re- 
fused at Meerut, 144; opinion of 
Major Harriott refuted by Sir Jolin 
Lawrence, 501. 

Case {Colonel), killed at Chinhut, 239. 

Cashmere, Maharajah Goolab Sing, 368 , 
succeeded by Ruiigbeer Sing, 438. 

Cashmere contingent, 438, 442. 

Caste, 16; high-caste, low-caste, and out- 
caste, 17 ; sepoys mutiny on account 
of, 100, 112, 501. 

Causes of the mutiny (alleged), 1 — 124 ; 
precarious, inconsistent, and heavily- 
burdened tenure of land, 2 — 6 ; ad- 
ministratiou of justice tedious, costly, 
and uncertain, 6 ; exclusion of natives 
from honours and emoluments, 9 ; 
ignorance of Indian languages by 
Lritish functionaries, and aversion 
evinced to natives, 10 ; missionary 
operations, 12; caste, 16; free press, 
18 ; opium monopoly, 25 ; neglect of 
public works, 26 ; repression of British 
enterprise, 31 ; annexation, 37 — 90 ; 
resumption of rent-free lands, 90 — 93 ; 
rights of widows set aside, 92 ; dis- 
organisation and grievances of Beni-al 
sepoys, 96; Alohammedan conspiracy, 
115; Persian war, 116; Russian in- 
trigues, 119. 

Cawnpoor, 126, 211; account of, 245; 
intrenchment, 247 ; garrison, 247 ; 
mutiny, 252 ; siege, 252 ; appeals 
for aid, 254, 257 ; capitulation, 259 ; 
embarkation and first massacre, 260; 
intelligence disbelieved at Calcutta, 
373 ; victorious advance of Havelock, 
377 ; flight of the Nana, and second 
massacre, 378; heroism of the sufferers, 
379 ; children born during siege, 379 ; 
Nana's proclamations, 380 ; Sevada 
Kothee, or Salvador House, 381 ; the 
well, 383 ; British reoccupation of the 
city, 382 ; measures of Neil, 383 ; con- 
struction of defences, 472 ; Windham 
attacked by Gwalior contingent, 473. 

Central Indian field force, 483 490. 

Ceylon, troops thence sent to India, 397, 

Chamberlain (Neville), 211, 431, 444. 

Chandereefort, capture by British, 484. 

Cheek (Ensign), sufieriugs and death at 
Allahabad, 291. 

Chester (Adjutant-general), killed, 200. 

Chinese expedition, troops diverted to 
assistance of Indian government, 397. 

Chinhut, disastrous expedition, 238. 

Chirkaree (Rajah of), ;ilO. 

Cholera, at Allahabad, 301. 

Chuckladar, revenue farmer, 83. 

Chupatiies, circulation of, 137. 



Chvpra, station in Bahar, 398, 406. 

Chuprassies, messengers, 242. 

Chutterpoor (Ranee of), protects Euro- 
peans, 309. 

Clerk {Sir G.), Governor of Bombay, 42. 

Clire (Lord), organises sepoy force, 97. 

Culaba, or Kolaba, annexation of, 42, 44. 

Calvin (John), 185, 359; death, 305. 

Combemiere (Viscount), at Lucknow, 65. 

Cooper's (Frederick) Crisis in the Pun- 
jab, 427 ; his own account of the ex- 
termination of the 26th N.I. , 427— 429. 

Coopland's (Mrs.) escape from Gwalior, 
335 ; visit to Queen of Delhi, 454. 

Corbett (Brigadier), at Lahore, 199. 

Cortlandt ( General Van), 203. 

Cotton, production of, in India, 36. 

Cotton (Lieut. -col. H.), 69th N.I., pro- 
ceedings at Agra, 304, 463. 

Cotton (Lieut. -col. F. C), chief engineer 
at Madras, on the neglect of public 
works, 27. 

Courts -martial, 108; Meerut, 144,264; 
Dinapore, 414. 

Craigie (Captain), 3rd N.C., 143—150; 
account of Meerut outbreak by his 
wife, 149. 

Cumberlege (Colonel), pursuit of Kooer 
Sing, 492. 

Currency, insufficient, 24. 

Currie (Sir Frederick), opinions, 124. 

Dacca tmislin, 32. 

Dalhousie {Marquis of), furtherance of 
jiublic works, 28 ; opinions and policy, 
41; dealings with Oude, 75; unqua- 
lified approval of E.I. Company, 89 ; 
financial measures, 209. 

Davidson (Afr.), Hyderabad resident, 354. 

Debt {Lidian), 269, 503. 

Deeg Beejah Sing, Rajah of Byswarrah, 
protects Cawnpoor fugitives, 261. 

Delafosse {Lieutenant) , gallantry at Cawn- 
poor, 256; escapes massacre, 261. 

Delhi, 100, 117; mutiny and massacre, 
156—175; siege, 206—211, 216, 357, 
430 ; proceedings within the city, 430 ; 
state of British camp, 437 ; storm, 442 ; 
blowing in of the Cashmere gate, 442 ; 
failure in carrying the Lahore gate, 
443; drunkenness and looting, 444; 
loss of life, 444 ; complete occupation 
of the city, 445, 450 ; church of Eng- 
land service in the Dewani Khas, 453 ; 
suicide of natives, 460 ; number of 
native women who perished, 450, 460. 

Delhi campaign (works written on), 441. 

Delhi {King of), acquaints Mr. Colvin 
with proceedings of mutineers, 159 
negotiations during siege, 431, 439 
takes refuge in Humayun's tomb, 445 
surrender, 447 ; miserable captivity, 
452 — 457 ; trial, 500 ; sentence and 
deportation, 501. 

Delhi {Queen of), Zeenat Mahal, 434, 
439, 445 ; character and appearance, 
453; transportation, 501. 

Delhi royal family, disaffection caused by 
proposed suppression of titular sove- 
reignty, 115; surrender and fate of 
princes, 448; Jumraa Bukht, 455. 

Deprat, (M.), at Lucknow, 237, 423. 

Derby (Earl of), Indian debate, 407. 

Dhar, Rajpoot princi|)ality, 350 ; annexa- 
tion by Lord Canning, 503 ; order for 
its restoration by E. I. Company ig- 
nored by Indian government, but 
reiterated by Lord Stanley, 503. 

Dholpoor (Rana of), 342, 462. 

Dhoreyrah {Rajah of), 223, 220. 

Dhunna Sing, old Rajpoot chief, assists 
in saving Budaon fugitives, 331. 



Dhttrjna Sobha, Brahminical association, 
at Calcutta, 127. 

Dinapoor, 398, 401 ; mutiny. 402 ; court- 
martial on soldiers of H.M. 10th, 414. 

Dinkur Rao, Gwalior minister, 339, 487. 

Disraeli, on the vengeance-cry, 410. 

Dogras, under Van Cortlandt, 203. 

Dorin, (J.), 76 ; minute on mutiny, 140, 

Darin (Captain and Mrs.), 223. 

Dost Mohammed, of Cabool, 118, 42^.. 

Douglas {Brigadier), in Behar, 492. 

D'Oyly {Captain), 358; death, 361. 

Dudman, and party, protected by natives 
of Oude, 223. 

Duff {Dr.), statements of, 115, 275. 

Dugshai sanatarium,, 204, 

Dum Dum arsenal, 126, 

Dunbar {Captain), killed in attempting 
to relieve Arrah, 403. 

Durand {Col.), flight from Indore, 345. 

Duriabad, mutiny, 235. 

East India Company, summary of deal- 
ings with Great Moguls, 457 — 459 ; 
extinction of sovereignty, 502. 

Eastwick (Captain), E. I. director, 125. 

Echawur, French community, 352, 353. 

Editors of Indian newspapers, 20. 

Edmonstone {Mr.), opinions, 38. 

Edwardes (Colonel Herbert), 94. 

Edwards { William) ,212; adventures with 
the Probyn family in Oude, 323. 

Eed (Mohammedan festival), 218. 

Eitel Punt, Mahratta statesman, 9. 

Elgin {Earl of), visit to Calcutta, 397. 

Ellenborough {Earl of), anti-educationa) 
views, 14 ; conduct regarding the press, 
20, 39, 154 ; opinions on British posi- 
tion in India, 267 ; blimes sanguinary 
policy pursued at Delhi, 451 ; repu. 
diates Lord Canning's confiscating pro- 
clamation, 483. 

Elphinstone (Lord), governor of Bombay, 
20, 188, 268, 397. 

Enam, 90 ; commissions, 91 — 93, 490. 

Etawah, or Elah (Rajah of), 192. 

European officers of Native regiments, 
27 2 ; compelled to sleep in the lines 
of suspected regiments, 345. 

Ewart (Colonel and Mrs.), 250 ; letters 
from Cawnpoor, 251, 259; fate, 260. 

Eyre {Major Vincent), relief of Arrah ; 
rebuked by Sir Colin Campbell for de- 
stroying Hindoo temple, 405. 

Famines, caused by governmental neglect, 
27 ; pecuniary loss in Guntoor, 28. 

Farquharson {R. N.), sessions judge, 400; 
honourable conduct at Patna, 407. 

Feroze Shah, Prince of Delhi, 449, 497; 
ability and courage, 499, 500, 501. 

Ferozpoor, 183; mutiny, 429, 494. 

Finance, Lord Dalhousie's measures, 269 ; 
difficulties of Lord Canning, 270 ; 
arrangements at Agra, 303 ; loans 
raised by Sir J, Lawrence for Dellii 
campaign, 450. 

Finnis {Col.), killed at Meerut, 152, 

Fisher {Colonel), 15th I.C, 221 ; cha- 
racter, 233 ; shot at Sultanpoor, 234. 

Fitchett, a half-caste, his adventures, and 
account of massacre of women and 
children at Cawnpoor, 203, 382. 

Flour, production in India, 36. 

Forsyth {Douglas), Umballah commis- 
sioner, 208. 

Fonj ki Beera, will of the army, 221. 

Franks (Brigadier), column under, 478. 

Eraser (Commissioner), killed, 159. 

French Nuns rescued at Sirdhana, 182; 
Sisters of Charity saved at Sealkote, 370. 

French volunteer services during Arrah 
expedition, 403 ; reward, 405. 



IXDEX TO VOL. II. OF THE " IIS'DIAN EMPIRE. 



m 



Frere (Sinde Commissioner), 118. 

Friend of India, threatened witlidrawal 
of licence, 22, 454 ; cause of revolt in 
North-West Provinces and Behar, 490. 

FuUov, {Captain George), of the engineers, 
242, 387 ; killed at Lucknow, 423. 

Furruckabad, 320 ; Nawab of, 328, 500 ; 
massacre, 329 ; occupation by British, 
476; two nawabs hung, 470. 

Futtehghur, 320 ; mutiny, 324 ; massacre, 
47.T; reoccupied by British, 476. 

Futfehpoor, 315; insurrection, 316; vic- 
tory of Havelock near, 373 ; camp of 
Sir Colin Campbell, 477. 

Fyzahad, 226 ; mutiny, 229 ; flight and 
massacre of Europeans, 231. 

Garrqcotta, hill-fort, 484. 

Ghazit, at battle of Bareilly, 494. 

Gladstone, on the Indian debt, 269. 

Goldney [Colonel), 226; death, 231. 

Gomm {Sir William), 110, 135. 

Gondah, mutiny, 225 ; fate of Rajah and 
Ranee, 498. 

Goorgaon, station abandoned, 185. 

Goorkas, 107, 204, 206 ; auxiliaries from 
Nepaul, under Jung Bahadur, 477; 
their return, laden with loot, 482. 

Goorserai Chief, proceedings of, 319. 

Gopecgunge, village-burning near, 302. 

Gora logue, white people, 213. 

Goruckpoor, village- burning near, 491. 

Graham i^Dr. James), and Dr. John Colin 
Graham, killed at Sealkote, 370. 

Gram, a course grain, 258. 

Grant (Brigadier Hope), 210, 463. 

Grant {J. P.), 76, 141 ; made Lieutenant- 
governor of Central Provinces, 412. 

Grant {Sir Patrick), 115, 275, 373. 

Graves {Brigadier), at Delhi, 161. 

Greathed {H. H.), 145 ; account of occu- 
pation of Delhi, 450 ; death, 451. 

Great Moguls, 456 ; literary accomplish- 
ments of the dynasty, 456 ; verses by 
the blind Shah Alum, and by the ex- 
king Mohammed Bahadur Shah, 456 ; 
treatment by E. I. Company, 458. 

GieyiSir George), governor of S. Africa, 
zealous aid to Indian government, 397. 

Grove {Colonel Somerset), late of the 
Gwalior contingent, 333 ; information 
communicated by him, 337, 343. 

Qubhins {F.}, Benares judge, 287. 

Gubbins {Martin), 82 ; opinion on revenue 
system, 84 ; conduct at Lucknow, 218, 
423 ; " Gubbins' House," 424 ; alleged 
reproof of Sir Colin Campbell, 470. 

Guide corps, 201 ; march to Delhi, 207. 

Guise (Capt.), killed at Benares, 284. 

Gwalior, 40, 332 ; mutiny of contingent, 
337, escape or massacre of Europeans, 
338 ; Sindia and his minister detain 
contingent, 339; the Baiza Bye, 487 ; 
her courage and steadfastness, 488; 
advance of Maharajah, to meet rebels, 
487; flight of Sindia and his family, 
488; occupation by rebel leaders, 488 ; 
capture of city by Rose, and restoration 
cf Sindia, 489. 

Gwalior contingent, 333; mutiny, 337, 
351, 462; besiege Cawnpoor, 473; 
defeated by Sir Colin Campbell, 475 ; 
reassemble at Calpee, 475 ; driven 
thence by Sir Hugh Rose, 487. 

Gga, civil station in Behar, 398, 407. 

Halliday {Lieutenant-governor of Bengal), 
advocates police reform, 6 ; repudiates 
proceedings of Major Holmes, 398 ; 
removes Mr. Taylor from Patna, 407 ; 
censures impolitic tone of Anglo-Indian 
press regarding natives, 408. 



Hamilton {Sir Robert), 345, 351 ; return 

to Indore, 484. 

Handscomb {Brigadier), killed, 219. 

"Hanging Commissioyiers," 296, 499. 

Hansi, Hurriana battalion mutiny, 208. 

Hardinge {Lord), 71, 105. 

Harriott {Major), deputy judge-advo- 
cate-general — presides at Meerut court- 
martial, 144, 264; presides at trial of 
the King of Delhi, 500 ; death and 
great wealth, 501. 

Harris {Lord), governor of Madras, 22; 
on censorship of the press, 268. 

Harris {Major), killed at Mhow, 348. 

Hattrass, mutiny, 192. 

Havelock {Sir Henry), 275 ; appearance 
and character, 279 ; advance upon 
Cawnpoor, 374 ; Futtehpoor, 375 ; 
General Order after the battle, 376 ; san- 
guine anticipations of relieving Luck- 
now, 384 ; disastrous campaign in Oude, 
390, 392 ; retreat to Cawnpoor, 392 ; 
reverses. 393, 417; reinforcement of 
Lucknow, 419; made a K.C.B., 471 ; 
death at the Dilkoosha, 471 ; grave at 
the Alumbagh, 471. 

Hawkins {Captain), 337 ; killed with bis 
children at Gwalior, 343. 

Hay {Lord William), 218. 

Hay, American missionary, 415. 

Hayes {Capt. Fletcher), 60; death, 192; 
wife and family at Lucknow, 246, 

Hazareebaugh, mutiny, 406. 

Hearsey {Maj.-gen.), 127 ; timely warn- 
ing regarding greased cartridges, 127, 
128 ; promptitude at Barrackpoor, 132 ; 
reproved by Lord Canning, 141 ; dis- 
arms Barrackpoor brigade, 271. 

Hearsey {Captain John), adventxircs, 226. 

Heber {Bishop), 63, 123. 

Hedayut Alt, on causes of mutiny, 112. 

Herat, independence guaranteed, 117. 

Hewitt {Maj.-gen.), at Meerut, 151. 

Higginson {Sir James), Mauritius, 397. 

HiUersdon {Mr. and Mrs.), 250, 260. 

Himam Bhartee of Dhunoura, 169. 

Hingun Lall protects fugitives, 292. 

Hissar, mutiny and massacre, 208. 

Hobart {Lord), letter to Times, 119. 

Hodson {Captain), 202; character, 446; 
obtains surrender of King and Queen 
of Delhi, 447; kills the prjnces, 448; 
Mrs. Hodson's visit to the Queen, 453 ; 
Captain Hodson shot by a sepoy, 480. 

Hodson's Horse, 202 ; nicknamed the 
Flamingoes, 437. 

Hogge {Colonel), humanity to Prince 
Jumma Bukht, 455. 

Holcar, Maharajah of Indore, 40, 186, 
345; fearless mtegrity, 348. 

Holmes (Major), proclaims martial law 
at Segowlie, 398 ; excessive severities, 
401 ; killed by mutineers, 406. 

Home {Dr. A. C), defence of the wounded 
in the city of Lucknow, 421. 

Hcondees, bills of exchange, 52. 

Hope {Brigadier Adrian), 468, 469; 
killed at Royea, 493. 

Humeerpoor, 316 ; mutiny, 317. 

Hwiwunt Sing {Lall), talookdar of Dha- 
roopoor, his noble conduct, 235. 

Hurdeo Buksh, of Dhurumpoor, 323 ; 
character and appearance, 326. 

Hutchinson {Lieut.), Bheel agent, 350. 

Huzara district, 202. 

Hyderabad, 49; transfer of territory, 
55 ; Times advocates annexation, 268 ; 
steadfastness of Salar Jung and Shums- 
ool-Omrah, 268, 353; death of Nizam, 
353; his successor, 353; mutiny, 355 ; 
disturbances in the city, 356. 

Hyderabad contingent, 354, 488. 



Ijara, contract revenue system, 71. 

Ikbal, or Ekbal, luck. 199. 

Incendiary fires yirecede mutiny, 139,213. 

India, condition of, in 1856, 1. 

Indian army, organisation, 96, 100; first 
native court-martial, 96; pay of sepoys, 
100; abolition of flogging, 104; Bengal 
army, 108 — 110; sepoy grievances, HI 
— 115; native army, 125; statistics in 
1857, 126 ; extermination or dispersion 
in 1857; rapid reconstruction, and pre- 
carious condition, 502. 

Indian princes, study European politics 
and journals, 368. 

Indore, 344 ; mutiny, 345. 

Inglis {Brigadier John), 238 ; Mrs. Inglis 
at Lucknow, 424, 461, 470. 

Innes {Brigadier), at Ferozpoor, 183. 

Interest on money, rate of, 34. 

Intoxication among British troops, 384. 

Invaliding regulations for sepoys, 137. 

Jahooah, 350 ; rajah of, 351 ; princess- 
regent protects Europeans, 351. 

Jackson {Sir Mormtstuart, and his listers), 
223 ; their fate, 480. 

Jacob {Major J.), on native army, 110. 

Jalonn, annexation, 317 ; mutiny, 318. 

Jaunpoor, mutiny, 290 — 292. 

Jhaniii, annexation, 56 ; Ranee Lakshmi 
Bye, 57 ; peculiar hardship of her case, 
58; mutiny, 304; massacre, 305; Ranee 
besieged by Rose, 483 ; palace carried by 
storm, 484 ; flight of Ranee, and execu- 
tion of her father, 485 ; Rauee slain at 
Gwalior, 489. 

Jheend, Cis-Sutlej state, services of the 
Rajah, 183, 437, 438. 

Jhelum, mutiny, 367. 

Jhvjjur {Nawab of), executed, 500. 

Johnstone {Capt. Hope), at Lucknow, 479. 

Jones {Col. J), 60th Rifles, 432, 445,494. 

Jones {Colonel R. H.), 494. 

Jones {Mr.), account of Futtehghur mu- 
tiny and massacre, 321. 

Jowalla Persaud, 259, 500. 

Jubbulpoor, execution of Gond rajah and 
his sou, 490 ; mutiny, 491. 

Jugdespoor, palace and temple destroyed 
by Major Eyre, 406 ; British detach- 
ment defeated there, 492. 

Jullundur, mutiny, 366. 

Jung iia/iaefwr, INepaulese minister, 277 ; 
march in command of Goorka auxi- 
liaries, 477; arrival at Lucknow, 479; 
return to Nepaul, 482; made a K.C.li., 
482; defeats rebels in the Terai, 498. 

Jutog, hili-statioii, panic, 204. 

Kaiserbagh palace, Lucknow, 237, 479. 

Kantzow {Lieutenant de), 9th N.I., 190. 
1 Kaporthella {Rajah of), 200. 
I Kaoanagh, adventure from Lucknow, 406 ; 
I reward from government, 466. 
j Kerr {Lieut.), saves Kolapoor, 412. 

Kerr {Lord Mark), at Azimghur, 491. 

Khalsa, elect or cliosen, 199. 
I Khan Bahadour Khan, of Bareilly, 213 ; 
I revolt, 476 ; able instructions to rebel 
I troops, 492; evacuates Bareilly, 495; 
I surrender, 500. 

Khyr, 193; defeat and execution of Rao 
j Bhossa Sing, 193. 

I Kinnaird {Hon. A.), on Indian police, 6. 
I Kirke{Majur), iztii N.I., 307* death, 31 1. 

Knyvcit {CoL), escape from Delhi, 166. 

Kolapoor, mutiny, 412. 

Kooer Sing, of J ugdespoor, high character 
I and great age, 400 ; revolt, 404 ; palace 
I destroyed by Major Eyre, 406 ; inilu- 
j ence as a leader, 4 9'^ ; death, 492. 
' Koonch, victory cf Sir Hu-u Rose, 486. 



IV 



INDKX TO VOL. II. OF THE " IN1)I.\N EMl'lUK." 



Kotah {liajah of), 48G. 

Kotah contingent, 3G0; mutiny, 3G0, 430 ; 

uiutiuei.'rs exiielled from Kotah, 486. 
Krishnagur (native Christians of), 2G5. 
Kubrai, town in Juloun, 311. 
Kttilju-a engagement, 4C1. 
Kumaon district, 212. 
Kuntaul i^Nawab of), his services, 1G9. 
Kiusowlie nanatarinm, 204. 

Lahore, R.ijah Jowahir Sing, 203 ; mutiny 
and fstermination of 2Gth N.I., 42G. 

Lake {Lord), treatment of sejioys, 103. 

Lala Julee Penaud, Agra contractor, 
358 ; great services, 303. 

Lall Madhoo Sing (Rajah of Amethie), 
233. (See Note to page 497) ; surren- 
der of fort to Lord Clyde, 497, 

Land -revenue, 4 — 6, 32. 

Land-tenure, 2 — 6. 

Lawrence Asylums, 213, 244. 

Lawrence (G. JI.), at Lucknow, 242. 

Lawrence {Sir Henry), warning regarding 
Oude, 83 ; conduct in the Punjab, 94 ; 
in Oude, 139, 141, 217; person, 219; 
221, 228; Chinhut expedition, 238; 
narrow escape, 242 ; death, 243 ; Lady 
Lawrence, 243; character, 244; sug- 
gestions to Lord Canning for relief of 
Cawnpoor, disregarded, 2G6 ; 373 ; love 
and reverence shown to Lis memory, 
throughout India, 432. 

Lawrence {Sir John), 197, 201 ; advice 
to General Anson, 201 ; a dictator in 
Kortheru India, 430, 434 ; conduct at 
Delhi, 451 ; opinion regarding the 
cause of the mutiny, 501. 

Layard (M.P. for Aylesbury), 55 ; visit 
to captive King of Delhi, 455. 

Lennox {Col.), escape with Lis family, 
from Fyzabad, 231. 

Leslie {Sir X.), assassination of, 415. 

Lloyd {Major-general), 282 ; conduct at 
Dinapoor, 398, 402, 404; removal 
from divisional command, 414. 

Logassee, 310 ; rujah of, 310. 

Loot, at Delhi, 45 1 , 452 ; at Lucknow, 479. 

Low {Colonel), mission to Hyderabad, 53; 
opinions on the mutiny, 140. 

LacXrnoM', population, 217; mutiny, 219, 
235 ; natives engaged in defence of the 
Residency, 23G ; jireparations for siege, 
237 ; Cawnpoor battery, 237 ; public 
securities, 237 ; Chinhut expedition, 
238; commencement of siege, 241; 
mutiny of sej)oys and native police at 
Dowlulkhaiiaand Imaumbara, 241; Re- 
bidency, 242; Sir li. Lawrence killed, 
243 ; reported advance of Havelock, 38G ; 
mines and couuter-mines, 3S7; bread- 
want, 3S3 ; Outram's plans of advance 
overruled by Havelock, 417,419; rush to 
the Baillie Guard, 420 ; massacre iu the 
dhoolies, 421; resources of garrison, 423 
424, 405 ; Sir Colin Campbell reaches 
tiiC Alumhagh, 405 ; captures Dilkoosha 
and iMartiiiiuie, 400, Secunderaba.gh 
i.iul Shah Nujeef, 4G7; relief of garrison, 
4u9; bombardment of Kaiserbagh, 470- 
I vacuulion of the Residency, 4/1 ; Jessie 
liiown story, 470 ; Sir Colin Campbell 
and the Lucknow ladies, 470, his 
t-econd advance ou Lucknow, 478 ; cap- 
ture of the Chuckeiwallali, or Yellow 
Bungalow, 478 ; Begum Kuthee taken, 
478; Kaiserbagh evacuated, 479; re- 
occupation of city, 480 ; proclamaLion 
issued by order of Lord Canning, modi- 
lied by Outran), 482. 

Lugard {Sir Edward), 491, 492. 

Jjullutpoor, mutiny, 330. 

Lauhuujlou {Usury), appointmeats, 0. 



Lytton {Sir E. Dulwer), on t)ie mutiny, 2. 

Mucaulay {Lord), "on nabobs," 123. 

Macdonald {Major), Rohnee outbreak, 
415, and Bhaugulpoor mutiny, 416. 

Macgregor {Lieutenant), carried oif and 
killed by 52nd N.L, 491. 

M'Killop {John), death at Cawnpoor, 379. 

Macnughtcn, {Mr.), at Umritsir, 199. 

Marjjherson {Major), Gwalior resident, 
332 ; escape to Agra, 339 ; co-opera- 
tion with Sinuia and Dinkur Rao, 
3G2 ; return to Gwalior, 488. 

Madras, misery of ryots, 15 ; column 
under General WLitlock, 483 ; capture 
of Banda, 480. 

Magna Charta of Bengal, 35. 

Mahidpoor, or Mehidpore, 346. 

Majendie (Lieutenant), account of bar- 
barities committed at the taking of 
the Yellow Bungalow, Lucknow, 4 78. 

Malaghurfort, defences destroyed, 401. 

Malcclm [Sir John), 40, 105. 

Malwa Bheel corps, 350. 

Malwa contingent, 344; mutiny, 360. 

Maasel, Nagpoor commissioner, 45. 

Mansfield {General), 470, 478, 493. 

Manufactures {Native), 32 ; calico, 32. 

Mara {Lieutenant and Mrs.), death, 291. 

Marshnian {Dr.), proprietor of Friend of 
India, 270. 

Massacre of Europeans — IMeerut, 118^ 
151 ; Delhi, 172—174; BareiUy, 213 ; 
Shahjehaupoor, 214 ; Budaon, 215 ; 
Seetapoor, 223; near Aurungabad, 224; 
Bahraetch, 225 ; Cawnpoor, 200 — 203 ; 
Allahabad, 294, 295; Jhansi, 305, 300; 
Futtehghur and Singhee llampore, 
325; Furruckabad, 329; Gwalior, 338 
— 344; Indore, 346; Agra, 302; Seal- 
kote, 370; Cawnpoor (male portion of 
the Futtehghur fugitives), 320; Sevada 
Kothee, Cawnpoor, 381 ; (of surviving 
women and children from Futtehghur 
and the Cawnpoor intreuclimeut), 382; 
Lucknow, 481. 

Mann Sing {Rajah), 226 ; family history, 
227; character and position, 229; con- 
duct during siege of Lucknow, 425, 481 ; 
capture or Tantia Topee, 498. 

Mead, {H.), 5, 21 ; superseded as editor of 
Friend of India, 22, 209. 

Meean-Meer y sepoys disarmed, 190. 

Meer Furzund Ali and his artillerymen, 
their fidelity at Lucknow, 230. 

Mecr Mehndie Hussein, or Hossein, pro- 
tects the Lennox family, 232, 420 ; a 
rebel leader, 478; surrenders to Lord 
Clyde on terms uU'eicd by royal procla- 
mation, 498. 

Mcer Mohammed Hussein Khan {Nazim), 
protects Eui'oix.aus iu Lis fort near 
Goruckpoor, 232. 

Mcerut, 12G, 143; native cavalry refuse 
cartridges, 144; court-martial, 145; 
mutiny, 147; 155, 183, 431? 

Melville {Viscount), on sepoy mutiny, 
100; Indian command, 110, 114. 

Metcalfe {Sir Charles, afterwards Lord), 
removes resa'ictions on press, 18; 
opinions on British settlers, 33 ; on 
intercourse with Native princes, 38. 

Metcalfe {Sir Theophilus), 117, 159; 
liight from Delhi, 109; return, 451. 

Mkuw,'ii\; mutiny, 347. 

Mill (the historian), 12. 

Mill {Major and Mrs.), Fyzabad, 233. 

Mirza Mohaimned Shah, one of Delhi 
princes, 115. 

Missionary operations, 155; American 
Boai'd of Mu.-ious — Futtehghur station. 



224, 480 ; surrender, trial, and sen- 
tence, 500. 

Mofussil (country), community, 6. 

Mohumdee, mutiny, massacre. 224, 494. 

Monckton {Lietit. and Mrs.), 321 ; letters 
from Futtehghur, 322 ; peiish in the 
Singhee Rampore massacre, 325. 

Money (Alonzo), Behar magistrate, 400, 
407 ; reproved by Sir C. Campbell, 494. 

Montgomery {Sir liobcrt), 197; con- 
gratulatory letter to Coojier, on ex- 
termination of 20tli N.L, 4 29; to Hod- 
son, on " catching the king and slay- 
ing his sons," 449; supersedes Sir J. 
Outram at Lucknow, 482. 

J/cioZ/cH, revolt of neighbouring tribes,465. 

Muolvee of Allahabad, 293, 299. 

Moolvee of Aurungabad, 356. 

Moolvee {Ahmed Qollah), of Fyzabad or 
Lucknow, 229, 263, 386, 480, 494 ; 
death, 497. 

Moore (magistrate of Mirzapoor), 302 ; 
village- burning, 302 ; assassination, 411. 

Moore {Capt.), bravery at Cawnpoor, 255, 
259 ; shut at time of embarkation, 200. 

Moradabad, mutiny, 210. 

Mozufferpoor, station bravely lield, 407. 

Mitchee Bhawn, 217; evacuation, 242. 

Mullaon, station abaitdoned, 225. 

Mullapoor, station abandoned, 225. 

Mnmmoo Khan, the Begum of Oude's 
minister, 480 ; dismissed by her, sur- 
renders to British government, 480. 

Muiidcsore {Pass of), forced by Rose. 484. 

Mungul and Mgtaub Sing, Rajjjoot 
chiefs and twin-brothers killed, 401. 

Mungulwar encampment, 389, 418. 

Munro {Major Hector), 99. 

Munro {Sir 2\), 8 ; Ryotwar system, 84. 

Murray {Mrs.), wife of sergeant, asser- 
tions regarding siege of Cawnpoor, 252. 

Muiilatious (alleged), of Europeans, 409. 

Mutiny of Europeans (1757), 97; sepoys 
(1757), 97 ; Europeans and sepovs 
(1704), 98; sepoys, (1704). 99; Eu- 
ropeans (1700), 100; sepoys (1782 and 
1795), 101; (1849), 107; mutinies of 
1857-'5o. (See Meerut, Delhi, Luck- 
now, Cawnpoor, &.c.) 

Mutira {City of), mutiny, 193. 

Mynpoorie, mutiny, I'JO; gallant defence 
of the station by Lieut, de Kantzow 
and Rao Bhowanee Sing, first cousin to 
the Rajah, 191 ; taken possession of by 
British, 475. 

Mynpoorie — Tej Sing {Rajah of), 191, 
defeated by Col. beatou, 475. 

Nagode, 314 ; mutiny, 491. 

Nagpoor, or Berar, annexation, 44; treat- 
ment of the Ranees, 40. 

Najir Khan, revolt and barbarous execu- 
tion, at Futtehghur, 470. 

Nana Sahib, 240; history, 248; appear- 
ance, 250; besieges English in Cawnpoor 
intrenchment, 253 ; three massacres 
of Europeans, 200, 381, 382; evacu- 
ates Cawnpoor, 378; jiro'clamatioiis 
issued by him, 380 ; famous luby, 384 ; 
alleged death in the Terai, 499. 

Nanpara, native state, 225. 

Napier (Sir Charles), opinions, 11 ; de- 
tinition of economy in India, 20, 40, 

104 ; appointed commander-in-chief, 

105 ; resignation, 107, 124, 270. 
Native Christians at Krishnagur, 205; at 

Agra, 302 ; at Lucknow, 461. 
Natives, fidelity of, 150, 213, 340, 302, &c. 
Native officials underpaid, 95. 
Natives, ill-treatment of, 122 — 124. 
-Witj/ Brigane, 404, 405, 4/5. 



MUhowlce {Rajah Loncc Sinj, of), 223, Nczitn. revenue farmer, 83. 



IXDEX TO VOL. IT. OF THE " INDIAN EMPIRE.' 



Neemuch mutiny, 194. 

Neenmch lirigade, 430. 

Neil, 282 ; at Benares, 283 ; at Allahabad, 
297 — 303; at Cawnpoor, 385; makes 
Brahmins clean up blood, 385 ; shot at 
Lucknow, 420. 

Nejjaul-, Goorka auxiliaries from, 277. 

Neville {Glastonbury), Captain of en- 
gineers, killed at Barodia, 484. 

Nicholson {Brigadier-general John), 202 ; 
character and ajipearam/e, 372, 437 ; 
directs storming of Delhi, 441 ; woundedi 
44-3^ death, 459. 

Nirput Sing, expelled from Fort Royea, 
493; fclain in the Terai, 498. 

Nizam of Hyderabad (late), 49; con- 
tingent and subsidiary force, 50; his 
opinion of the E.I. Company, 5 4 ; death, 
268 ; accession of Afzool-ood-Dowlah, 
2G8. 

North- Western Provinces, landowners in, 

3 ; revenue settlement, 93 ; disaflection 
caused by resumption of laud, 490. 

Norton's Rebellion in India, 58. 

No w gong, inutiny, 307. 

Niijii/ghur, victory of Nicholson, 438. 

Niugoond {Rajah of), refused permission 

to adopt a successor ; revolt, caj)ture, 

and execution. 503. 
Nmseerabad, mutiny, 194 ; Nusseerabad 

brigade reach Delhi, 210. 
Nusneei'ee battalion, Goorkas, 204. 
Ngagony {Ranee of ), Bundelcund, 310. 
Nynee Tal, sanitary station, 212. 

O'Brien {Dr.), account of the mutiny at 
Lullutpoor, 33u. 

Odt'ipore, annexation of state, 49. 

Omlah, or native writers, 242. 

Ommaney {Mr.), killed at Lucknow, 386. 

Oodipoor (Rana of), kiuduess to fugitive 
English, 196. 

Oauao, fortified village, engagement, 389. 

Oorai, 317 ; mutiny, 319. 

Opium, 24 ; government monopoly, and 
opmm shops, 25 ; store at Putua and 
Ghazipoor, -iOl. 

OraiH (Colonel James), 102. 

Older of British India, 137. 

Order of the Fish {Mogul}, 217. 

Osborne {Lieut.), Reuah agent, 491. 

Oude, or Ayodha, 59 ; sketch of successive 
rulers, 59 — 73 ; cession of half Oude in 
IhOl, 62; contested succession, 65; 
suppressed treaty of 1837, 68 ; conduct 
of queen-mother, 79 ; annexation of 
kmgdom, and confiscation of property, 
79; mutinies and massacre, 217; pro- 
gress of revolt, 330 ; operations of Sir 
Colin Campbell, 496; restoration of 
tranquillity. (See Lucknow). 

Oude ( Wajid Alt, King of), deposition, 
81 ; arrest at Calcutta, 274 ; submission 
under protest, 275. 

Oude {Begum of), and Prince Birjis 
Kudder, 386, 425, 477 ; flight from 
Luckuow, 480, 481, 494; character, 
499. 

Outram {General Sir James), Resident at 
Lucknow, 74 ; return from Persian ex- 
pedition, 397 ; appointed commissioner 
of Oude, 397 ; gfUf ral order at Dina- ] 
poor, 414; anxiety for relief of Luck- 
now, 417; generosity to Havelock, 
417 ; person and character, 418 ; uiges 
adoption of more humane policy towards 
sepoys, 418; wounded in reinforcing 
Lucknow, 419; proceedings there, 425, 

4 65 ; resigns commissionership of Oude, 
rather" tluin carry out Lord Canning's 
confiscating measures, 482. 

Outram (i,ac/^), flight fron' Alighur, 190. 



PaJcington (Sir John), on Indian mis- 
government, and use of torture as a 
means of collecting revenue, 409. 

Pandoo Niiddee river, bridge carried by 
Havelock, 376. 

Pandy {Mungul), wonnds Adjutant Baugh, 
131; attempted suicide, 132; execu- 
tion, 133. 

Passees of Oude, 257. 

Patna, 398 ; disturbances, 399. 

Peacock, legal member of council, 76. 

Peel (Sir William), arrival at Calcutta, 
397 ; success at Kudjwa, 404 ; gallantry 
at Lucknow, 467; at Cawnpoor, 475; 
wounded at recapture of Lucknow, 480 ; 
death and character, 480. 

Peishwa {Bajee Rao), his family, 249. 

Penny, {Col.), died in the flight from 
Nusseerabad, 194. 

Penny (General), shot at Kukrowlee, 494, 

Pff'rshadipoor, mutiny, 235. 

Persian tear, 116. 

Peshawur, 200, 429. 

Peshawur light horse, 202. 

Phillour, 199; mutiny, 366. 

Pierson {Lieutenant and Mrs.), saved by 
sepoys at Gwalior, 338. 

Pirthee Pal Sing, 330. 

Piatt {Col. 2lst N.I.), at Mhow, 345. 

Pondicherry, French trade, 36. 

Poorbeahs, 199, 503. 

Population, adult male European, 21. 

Portuguese governor -general, Viscount 
de Torres Novas, zealous co-operation 
with Bombay government, 413. 

Power (John), magistrate of Mynpoorie, 
190; suspension, 476. 

Press, 18 ; opinions of Lord W. Eentinck 
on free press, 18; Muuro, Metcalfe, 
and Lord Elphinstone, 19 ; Auckland, 
EUenborough, and Napier, 20 ; censor- 
ship re-instituted by governor-general 
in council, with ajiproval of Lords 
Harris ;ind Elphinstone, 22, 268 ; edi- 
tor of Friend of India superseded, 269 ; 
statements of Friend of India and 
Lahore Chronicle, 4 55. 

Prize-money, and "■loot," — Sinde, 41; 
Cawnpoor and Bithoor, 384 ; Nujuf- 
ghur, 438 ; Delhi, 441, 449 ; Lucknow, 
480; .Ihansi, 486. [A very large amount 
was likewise obtauied at Bauda, and 
other places]. 

Proclamatio7ts — of Colvin at Agra, 187, 
218; H. Lawrence, in Oude, 218; 
mutineers at Delhi, 329 ; Nana Sahib 
at Cawnpoor, 380 ; Lord Canning, re- 
garding Oude, 482; Khan Bahudoor 
Khan, at Bareilly, 492 ; Queen Vic- 
toria, 502 ; Begum of Oude, 502. 

Pmijab, military strength in Europeans, 
at the time of the outbreak, 433 ; 
policy pursued to landowners, 487. 

Punkah {Rajah of), courage and fidelity, 
392, 484. 

Pimieah (Dewan ofMysoor), 103. 

Putteala (Rajah of), 188, important ser- 
vices, 208. 

Raikes, (G. D.), killed at Bareilly, 214. 
Raikes, (Charles), Judge at Agra, 300. 
Rajpootana, or Rajast'han, 194. 
Ramsay (Brigadier), at Gwalior, 334. 
Ranuay (Major), British resident at 

Nagpoor and Nepaul, 47, 48. 
Ramzan AH (Cazi), maintains order at 

Chupra station, 407. 
Rao Sahib, or Bala Rao, 380, 486, 498. 
Ratghur fort, taken by Sir H. Rose, 484. 
Ravee river, Sealkote mutineers, overtaken 

and almost exterminated by Nicholson, 

371. 



Rawnl Pindee, 106 ; sepoys disarmed, 368. 

Reade (E. A.), arrangements at Agra, 363. 

Regiments (European, Royal) — 6Ui Dra- 
goon Guards (Carabineers), 143, 183, 
206 ; 9th Dragoons (Lancers), 176, 206 
463, 465 ; 3rd Foot, 184 ; 4th Foot' 
397 ; 5th Fusiliers, 397, 401 ; 8th Foot] 
366, 462, 465; 10th Foot, 281, 39S, 
401, 402, 404, 414; 23rd Foot, 466; 
24th Foot. 201 ; 27th Foot, 201 ; 32nd 
Foot, 140, 217, 237, 246, 387; 33rd 
Foot, 397 ; 34th Foot, 473 ; 35th Foot, 
265; 37th Foot, 265, 397, 402; 42nd 
Highlanders, 493, 494; 52nd Light 
infantry, 368 ; 53rd Foot, 265,464,465; 
COth Rifles, 143, 459; 61st Foot, 183, 
438, 450; 04th Foot, 393, 418, 473; 
72nd Highlanders, 486 ; 75th Foot, 206, 
465 ; 78th Highlanders, 265, 288, 420 ; 
79th Highlanders, 494 ; 81st Foot, 197 
199 ; 82ud Foot, 466, 473 ; 84th Foot' 
246, 368, 407 ; 86th Foot, 485 ; 90th 
Foot, 415, 421 ; 93rd Foot, 464, 465, 
468, 493 ; 95th Foot, 486, 488. 

Regiments {European), E.I.C. — 1st Ben- 
gal Fusiliers, 204, 206 ; 2nd Bengal Fu- 
siliers, 206; 1st Maaras Fusiliers, 247, 
265, 282; 3rd Bombay regiment, 485. 

Regiments {Native ),H4 ; dress andappear- 
ance of Seiks, Afghans, and Goorkas, 
452; 1st Bengal LightCavalry, 344,360; 
2nd LightCavalry, 246, 252 ; 3rd Light 
Cavalry, 143, 147, 167, 175; 3rd Irre- 
gular Cavalry, 365 ; 4th Irregular Ca- 
valry, 208 ; 5th Light Cavalry, 202, 4 1 5; 
5th Irregular Cavalry, 415; 6th Light 
Cavalry, 211, 366; 7th Light Cavalrv, 
220; 8th Irregular Cavalry, 212; 9tli 
Irregular Cavalry, 368; 10th Light 
Cavalry, 183, 184, 429 ; 10th Irregulat 
Cavalry, 201, 202 ; 11th Irregular Ca- 
valry, 416; 12th Irregular Cavalrv, 
280, 398, 406, 418; 13th Irregular 
Cavalry, 280, 283, 302, 374, 375 ; 14th 
Irregular Cavalry, 304, 461 ; 15th Ir- 
regular Cavalry. 233; 16th Irregular 
Cavalry, 201 ; ISth Irregular Cavah-v, 
202. 

1st N.I., 246, 252, 314; 2nd N.I. mu- 
tinied at Ahmedabad, Sept. 15th, 1857; 
3rd N.I., 366; 4th N.l. [disarmed]; 
5th N.L, 176, 203 ; 6th N.L, 282, 293, 
316, 381; 7tJi N.L, 139, 398, 401; 
8th N.L, 39S, 401, 406; 9th N.L, 
189, 190, 435; 10th N.L, 321; 1 1th 
N.L, 143, 147 ; 12th N.L, 304, 307, 
309, 401 ; 13th N.L, 220, 420, 423; 
14th N.L, 367; 15th N.I., 194; 16th 
N.L, Gr&nadiers, 198 ; 17th N.L, 225, 
229, 232, 279; 18th N.L, 212; 19th, 
N.L, 129, 132, 157; 20th N.L, 143, 
147, 153; 21st N.L [intact], 202, 413; 
22nd N.L, 226, 231 ; 23rd N.I., 344; 
24 th N.I. [disarmed at Peshawur] ; 
25th N.L [mutinied] ; 26th N.I., 197. 
426; 28th N.L, 213, 214, 355; 29tli 
N.L, 212, 216; 30th N.L, 194; 31st 
N.L, 365; 32nd N.L, 464; 33rd N.L, 
369; 34th N.L, 132, 142; 35th N.L, 
368; 36th N.L, 177, 211, 366; 37th 
N.L, 235,281—286; 38th N.L. 157; 
39th N.L [disarmed at Jhelum] ; 40th 
N.I.,398, 401 , 414 ; 41st N.L, 223, 324, 
305, 476; 42nd Light Infantry, 365; 
43rd N.L, 183; 44th N.L. l8o, 193, 
358; 45th N.L, 183, 213, 235; 46th 
N.L, 368; 47th N.L, 411 [did not 
mutiny]; 48th N.L, 220; 49th N.L, 
107, I'i)/; 50th N.L, 314, 491; 51st 
N.L, 202, 429; 52nd N.L, 490, 491; 
5ord N.L, 246, 252, 300, 318; 5Jth . 
N.L, 157, 160; 55th N.L. 201. 202; 



INDEX TO VOL. II. OF THE " INDIAN EMPIRE. 



56th N.I. 246. 252. 300. 316; 57th 
N.I. 18.3, 235; 58th N.I.. 368; 59th 
N.I., 186, 199, 372; 60th N.I., 170, 
203, 210; 61st N.I., 211. 366; 62nJ 
N.I. [disarmed at Mooltau]; 63rd N.I., 
270, 416; 64th N.I. [disarmed iit 
Peshawur], May, 1857 ; 65rh N.I. ,404 ; 
66th N.I. (old), 107; (Goorka), 212; 
67th N.I., 185, 193, S58; 68th N.I., 
213, 215; 69th N.I. [mutinied at 
Mooltan. August, 31st 1858]; 70th 
N.I., 270; 71st N.I., 218, 219. 481; 
72ud N.I., 194, 360; 73rd N. I., [two 
companies mutinied at Dacca] ; 74th 
N.I., 157.194. 
Guide Corps, 201, 277, 459. 
1st Punjab Infantry. 201 ; 2nd Punjab 
Infantry, 465 ; 4th Punjab Infantry. 
465; 5th Punjab Infantry, 201. 
1st Oude Infantry, 234, 211. 3rd Oude 
Irregular Cavalrj', 2'J2; 4th Oude Irre- 
gular Infantry, '225, 241; 5th Oude 
Irregular Infantry, 235 ; 6th Oude Irre- 
gidar Infantry, 226 ; 7th Oude Irre- 
gular Infantry, 241 ; 8th Oude Irre- 
gular Infantry, 233; 9th Oude Irre- 
gular Infantry, 223, 224 ; 10th Oude 
Irregular Infantry, 223. 
10th Bombay N.I.', 486; 12th Bombay 
N.I., 486; 21st Bombay N.I., 413; 
27th Bombay N.I., 412. 
Rees' (L. E. R.), Narrative of Lucknow 

siege. 238, 423. 
Reid {Major-general), at Delhi, 207, 430. 
Rrid {Major), Sirraoor battalion, 207, 444. 
Religion, 155; "Day of humiliation" iu 

England and India, 452. 
Renatid (Major), 303 ; march of " aveng- 
ing columns" from Allahabad to Cawn- 
poor, 374 ; death, 376. 
Residents (British), at Nagpoor, described 
by Mr. Mansel, 48 ; at Lucknow, de- 
scribed by Colonel Sleeman, 71. 
Resumption of rent-free lands, 90. 
Reuah \ Rajah (;/'), 491. 
Rewah contingent, 268, 491. 
Revenue system, 215. 
Rhodamow, engagement near, 493. 
Ripley (Colonel), 160; death, 170. 
Roads, government neglect of, 29. 
R'jijertson, Judge, killed at Bareilly, 214. 
Rockets, for clearing villages, 412; etiect 

at the Shah Nujerf, at Lucknow, 469. 
Roliilcuud, 212 ; Sir C. Campbell's cam- 
paign, 492. 
Ruhuee, disturbances there, 415. 
Rose (General Sir Hugh], dusjiatches re- 
garding campaign in Central India, 
483; captureof Jhansi, 484; sun-stroke 
at Koonch, 486 ; occupation of Calpee, 
487 ; caj.ture of Gwalior, 488 ; resig- 
nation, 490. 
Rosser (Captain), refused leave to pur- 
sue Meerut mutineers, 183; mortally 
wounded at Dfliii, 444. 
Ration (Rev. J. E IV.), sermon at Meerut, 
154 ; account of siege of Delhi, 183, 453. 
Royea, Fort of Nirput Sing, 493. 
Russell (Lord John), on native army, 122. 
Russell (W. J.), Times' special corre- 
9]io!ident, 124, 151, 229; visit to captive 
King of Delhi, 456 ; at Bareilly, 495. 
Russian intrigues, 121. 



Sadks of Furruckabad, 328. 

Salcu'ies of Europeans and natives, 31. 

Salkeld (Lieut.), kiUed at Delhi. 442. 

Salone, mutiny, 234 

Suit monopoly, 31. 

Samuells (Mr.), Patna commissioner, 408. 

Smisee, mutiny, 359. 

Sattara (anucxation of), 42 ; disturb- 



ances, 413; arrest of titular rajah and 
family, 413. 
Savgor',YiAv{\a\ mutiny, 365 ; fort relieved 

bv Sir Hugh Rose, '481. 
Scott {Captain), 304; adventures with 

"little Lottie," 312, 314. 
Sealkote, 134, 368; mutiny, 369. 
Seatun (Colonel), appointed prize agent 
at Delhi, 448 ; march from Delhi, 475. 
Secrora, mutiny, 225. 
Seepree, mutiny, 351. 
Seelapoor, mutiny and massacre, 223. 
Seyowlie, mutiny, 406. 
Sehore, in Bhopal, 345. 
Seiks, or SikliJi, 201; mutiny of, 285, 
290; at Allahabad, 296; at Delhi, 
443. 
Sepoys (Bengal), affected by annexation 
of Oude, 85 — 87 ; character, 1 1 1, 122 ; 
fidelity of company of 3rd cavalry at 
Meerut, 149, 153 ; mode of dealing with 
disarmed regiments, 413 ; outrage upon 
faithful 40th N.I. , 414; gallant death 
of I3th N.I. sepoys at Lucknow, 420.' 
[The instances of individual fidelity 
are too numerous for reference]. 
Serai, lodging for travellers, 206. 
Seymour (Lord), gallantry as a volunteer 

at the relief of Lucknow, 466, 469. 
Shaftesbury (Earl of ), mistake regarding 
sepoy atrocities, and Lady Canning, 
4U9. 
Shahghur (Rajah of), 336, 484, 500. 
Shahgunje, residence at Maun Sing, 226. 
Shahjehanpoor, mutiny and massacre, 2 14; 

reoccupation by British, 494. 
Sheiahs, Mohammedan sect, 87, 115, 118. 
Shepherd, government clerk. 252 ; account 

of siege of Cawnpoor, 252, 253, 258. 
Shorapuor, 50 ; capture and suicide of 

the young rajah, 486. 
Shore's (Hon. Frederick) Notes on Lidian 

Affairs, 19. 
Shunkur Shah, Gond rajah and his son 

blown from guns, 490. 
Shuvisabad (Nawab of), 215, 477. 
Sibbald (Brigadier), shot at Bareilly, 213. 
Sieges — I>e\\n, 206—211, 430—452; 
Lucknow Residency, by rebels, 241 — 
545 ; reinforcement, 4 20 ; Lucknow city, 
by Sir Colin Campbell, 465 ; Cawnpoor, 
251 — 259, 379; second siege, 473; 
Arrah, 404 ; Jhaiisi, 414 — 486 ; Kotah ; 
Gwalior, 488; Royea, 493; Bareilly. 
495. 
Simla, 204 ; panic, 205. 
Smde annexation of, 40 ; landowners 

conciliated by Napier, 483. 
Sindia, 40, ls6 ; character, 332, 339 ; 
detention of the mutinous contingent, 
462 ; march from Gwalior to oppose 
advancing rebels, 487 ; abandonment 
by his household troops, and flight to 
Agra, 488 ; restoration to Gwalior, 489. 
Sirdkana, escajie of French nuns, 182. 
Sirinoor battalion, 206, 459. 
Skene (Captain and Mrs.), killed at 

Jhansi, 306. 
Sleeman (Sir William), on land-tenure 
iu Oude and N. W. Provinces, 4 ; tour 
through Oude, 71; character and 
career, 71 ; anti-anne.xatiou views, 74. 
Smith (Colonel Baird), description of 

Delhi fortifications, 439. 
Smith ( Vernon, Mr.), on the mutiny, 211. 
Smyth (Colonel), 3rd N.C., 141, 146. 
Society ( Christian VemacularEducaliun) , 

establishment of, 14. 
Sonniles, or Sunnis, 115, 118. 
Sonthals, insurrection, 15. 
Soorut Sing (Rajah), at Benares. 287. 
Soucars, native bankers, 52. 



Spoftiswoode (Lieut. -Col. H.), 55th N.I., 
201 ; suicide, 202. 

Spottiswoode, (Lt.-Col A.C.), 37th N.I., 
account of Benares mutiny, 285. 

Stalker (General), suicide, 273. 

Stanley's (Lord) description of Sir II. 
Lawrence, 244. 

Stirling (Major), of H.M. 64th regiment, 
394 ; shot at Cawnpoor, 473. 

Stores obtained by rebels at Nowgong 
and Jhansi, 309. 

Subzee Mundee, Delhi suburb, 207, 211. 

Subsidiary systetn of Lord Wellesley, 33. 

Sudder Ameen, native judge, 213. 

Suicide, 273; contemplated by besieged 
Europeans at Lucknow, 386 ; com- 
mitted by natives at Delhi, 459. 

Sultanpoor, 233 ; mutiny, 234. 

Sampler, 318 ; rajah of, 320. 

Suprerne govei-nment — delay in relieving 
Cawnpoor, 264 ; inattention to recom- 
mendations of Sir H. Lawrence, and 
appeals of Sir Hugh Wheeler, 266 ; 
orders regarding negotiations with 
Delhi, 434 ; orders against harsh treat- 
ment of captive king, disobeyed by 
Delhi functionaries, 454. 

Sykes (Colonel), E. I. director, opinions, 
40, 124, 153. 

Tal Behutfort, 484. 

Taloukdars of Oude, description of class, 

83, 226 ; generosity and ill-treatment 

of Kunwunt Sing and Roostum Sah, 

234 ; Sirmoor battalion, 235, 3H9, 425. 

Tanjore, abolition of titular principality, 

59 ; appeal of Kamachi Bye, 59. 
Tanfia Topee, appearance and character, 
464, 472, 4/5, 485 ; successful plot for 
the seizure of Gwalior 487, 488 ; ex- 
ploits in Central India, capture, trial, 
and execution, 498, 
Tatties, thatch screens, 301. 
Tayler {William), 398; proceedings, as 
commissioner, at Patna, 398, 406 ; c-der 
for abandonment of out-stations, 406 ; 
removal from office, 407. 
Telegraph (electric), 88. 
Thackeray, ( W.M.), wanted in India, 123. 
Thomason, Lieutenant-governor of North- 
West Provinces, 72 ; conduct desaibed 
by Sleeman, 84. 
Thomson s (Lieutenant Mowbray), escape 
from the first of Nana Sahib's mas- 
sacres, 260 ; Story of Cawnpoer, 300, 
378, 472. 
Thunessir, or Thwanessur — annexation 

of principality, 164. 
Times, advocacy of vengeance, 410. 
Tomb of Humayigi at Delhi, 445. 
Tombs (Major), at Delhi, 438. 
Toolseepoor (Rajah of), 237. 
Torture, used as a means of collecting 

British revenue, 409. 
Travers (Major), at Indore, 345. 
Treasuries, arsenals, and magazines, plun- 
dered,270 ; at Delhi, 174; Goorgaon, 1 86 ; 
Aligliur, 190; Mynpoorie, 191 ; Etawa, 
192; Muttra, 193; Nusseerabad, 194; 
Neemuch, 195; Hansi, 208; Hissar, 
2U8 ; Bareilly, 214; Shahjehanpoor, 
214; Budaon, 215; Moradabad, 216; 
Seetapoor, 223 ; Mohumdee, 224 ; Mul- 
liion, Secrora, Gondah, Bahraetch, and 
Mullapoor, 225 ; Fyzabad, 230 ; Salone, 
235 ; Duriabad, 235 ; Cawnpoor, 252, 
253; Azimgliur, 280; Jaunpoor, 291; 
Allahabad, 292, 294; Jhansi, 306; 
Nowgong, 308, 309 ; Banda, 314 ; Fut- 
tehpoor, 314; Humeerpoor, 317; Fut- 
tei'ghur, 324; Mhow (partial plunder 
and recovery by llolcai), 348; Agra, 



INDEX TO VOL. II. OF THE " INDIAN EMPIRE.' 



VH 



362; Jullundur, 366; Sealkote, 371; 
Arrah, 404 ; Hazareebagh, 406 ; Ko- 
lapoor, 412 ; Nagode, 491. 

Trevelyan {Sir Charles) — Letters of In- 
dophilus to the Times, 2, 21 ; on L-leu- 
tenant-governor Colvin, 365, 407. 

Tucker {Major-general), opinions on mu- 
tiny, 126, 137, 180. 

Tucker, {Lieut. C), at Sultanpoor, 316. 

Thicker (H. St. G.), E.I. director, opinion 
regarding tenure of land, 3 ; Memorials 
of Indian Government, 4. 

Tucker {H. C), 15; Benares commis- 
sioner, 281, 291 ; Miss Tucker's exer- 
tions for sick European soldiers, 463. 

lacker {Robert), Judge, killed at Futteh- 
poor, 316. 

Thicker {St. George), Mirzapoor magis- i 
trate, 297. 

Tucker {Col. T. T.), killed at Futtehghur, 
325. 

TiijJper {M. F.), on Indian policy, 410. 

Tweeddale {Marquis of), minute on 
education when governor of Madras, 
13. 

Twiss {Dr. Trovers), on illegal suppres- 
sion of Oude Treaty of 1837, 75. 
Ti/ek/iana, underground rooms, 242. 
Tjftler {Colonel Fraser), 375, 385. 

XJjnalla {Bastion and Well of), narrative 

by Mr. Cooper, 428. 
Umballah, 134, 176, 367. 



Ummer or Oomar Sing (brother to Kooer 
Sing), 406, 492 ; surrender, 500. 

Umritsir, holy city of the Seiks, 199. 

Ungud, exploits as messenger from the 
Lucknow Residency, 236, 385. 

Venables, 280 j killed at Azimghur, 
491. 

Vengeance, taken by Europeans, 295 ; 
parliamentary paper thereon, 296 ; san- 
guinary proceedings near Allahabad, 
302; near Agra, 359; measures ad- 
vocated by Times and Fiend of India, 
409 — 411 ; excesses of civilians checked 
by Lord Canning, 412; excesses of 
British soldiery, 436 ; of officers, 499 ; 
boast of Umballah civilian, 499. 

Victoria Cross, 394, 495. 

Village-burning, described by a High- 
lander, 289; suicidal policy 296, 301, 
302, 389 ; destruction of Holcar's vil- 
lages, 348 ; of villages near Agra, 364. 
411. 

Wahabees, at Patna, 399. 

Wajid All Shah, ex-king of Oude, 73 ; 
arrested at Calcutta, 274 ; quite uncon- 
nected with the rebellion, 275. 

Wake, magistrate at Arrah, 403. 

Walpole {Brigadier), Alb; disastrous 
repulse before Royea Fort, 493. 

Ward {Sir Henry), governor of Ceylon, 
prompt co-operation, 397. | 



Lord 



when 
Oude. 



Wellesley {Marquis), Indian policy, 38 
39 ; dealings with Oude, 61. 

Wellesley {Henry), afterwards 
Cowley, conduct in India, 62. 

Wellington {Duke of), views, 

Colonel Wellesley, regarding , 

61, 123; opinions expressed in 1850, 
on suppression of mutiny, 135. 

Wheeler (Colonel), 127, 132; efforts for 
conversion of sepoys, 136. 

Wheeler {Sir Hugh Massey), 246, 251 ; 
besieged in Cawnpoor intrenehment, 
253 ; letter to Sir H. Lawrence, 254 , 
one of his daughters carried off by a 
trooper, 263 ; fate of the family, 383 ; 
story of Highlanders finding Miss 
Wheeler's hair, 383. 

W^^?7/ocA:(GeMe?Yj/), commander of Madras 
brigade, 483 ; capture of Banda, 486. 

Willoughby {Lieut.), fires Delhi maga- 
zine, 158 ; death, 169. 

Wilson {Bishop of Calcutta), character 
and death, 452. 

Wilson {General Sir Archdale), person 
and character, 430, 437 ; order for 
assault of Delhi, 440, 441, 461. 

Wilson {Col.), of H.M. 64th, kiUed at 
Cawnpoor, 473. 

Windham {General), at Cawnpoor, 472. 

Wood {Sir Charles), Indian policy, 13. 

Hyatt, author of Revelations of an Or- 
derly, 96 ; killed at Bareilly, 214. 

Zubberdustee, petty tyranny, 282. 



ERRATA.— YOL. 11. 



Page 4, Col. 1, inverted commas placed in line 8, 
instead of line 1, where quota- 
tion begins. 

„ 17, „ 2, line 25, for 7nade, read rendered. 

„ 18, „ 1, lines 9 and 10, for at once, read 
both. 

» 65, „ 2, line 23, for secluded, read private. 

„ 69, „ 2, line 53, for exordium, read exhorta- 
tion. 

„ 72, „ 2, note, line 5, for wrote., read written. 

„ 112, „ 1, transfer reference f from line 42, to 
line 37. 

,,118, „ I, Yme2o,iQv Captain, xe&A Lieutenant 
Batty e. 

„ lis, „ 2, line 10, and note.J for Freere, read 
Frere. Same error twice in fol- 
lowing column, p. 119. 

„ 169, „ 2, line 15, instead of on the morning 
of the \9th, read at a much later 
period. 

„ 208, „ 2, line 20, for Hissar, read Hansi. 

„ 210, „ 2, note §, for Ration, read Rotton. 

„ 234, heading : for Bainie Madhoo, read 3Iad' 
hoo Sing. 



2, line 47, instead of an English 
officer, read ayi English traveller. 

1, note *, line 1, for thatched, read 
thatch. 

1, line 34 : the friendly thakoor nU' 
tive, omit the word native. 

2, for Rnjah of Baiipore, read Rajah 
of Ba7ipore : same error recurs 
in the column. 

1, line 13, for Ilaringford, read 
Harington. 

2, line 30 — 31, for at length as- 
smned a prominetit place, read 
was believed to have assumed a 
place. 

1, note, for suspected, read accused. 
1, line 12, for 61 sir eg ime7it found i7i 
holes, read 61st regiment found 
dead in holes, &:c. 
456, „ 1, line 37, for takes it character, read 

takes its character, 
484, note §, for 366, read 336. 
495, col. 1, line 26, for severely wounded, read 
nearly surrounded. 



Page 249, 


Col 


„ 301, 


)) 


„ 326, 


>» 


„ 336, 


)j 


„ 360, 


» 


» 426, 


)> 


» 435, 
„ 450, 






:(j(^mi rvji=ir ,^ /?\ ijST (MI n [j^ /g 



THE 



INDIAN EMPIRE. 



HISTOEY OP 

THE MUTINY OF THE SEPOY TROOPS. 



INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. 

ALLEGED CAUSES OF DISCONTENT— OPPRESSIVE AND PAUPERISING TENURE OF 
LAND— INEFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE— EXCLUSION OF NATIVES 
FROM ALL SHARE IN THE GOVERNMENT— IGNORANCE OF THE LANGUAGES, AND 
AVERSION EVINCED TOWARDS THE NATIVES— EDUCATION, RELIGION, AND MIS- 
SIONARY OPERATIONS— CASTE— FREE PRESS— DEFECTIVE CURRENCY— OPIUM 
MONOPOLY— NEGLECT OF PUBLIC WORKS— REPRESSION OF BRITISH ENTERPRISE 
—RECENT ANNEXATIONS— INFRACTION OF THE HINDOO LAW OF INHERITANCE 
—EXTINCTION OF NATIVE STATES— SATTARA, NAGPOOR, CARNATIC, TANJORE, 
JHANSI, OUDE, Etc.— STATE OF THE BENGAL ARMY; RELAXED DISCIPLINE; 
REMOVAL OF REGIMENTAL OFFICERS TO STAFF AND CIVIL EMPLOYMENTS; 
PAUCITY OF EUROPEAN TROOPS ; SEPOY GRIEVANCES ; GREASED CARTRIDGES 
—MOHAMMEDAN CONSPIRACY— FOREIGN INTRIGUES; PERSIAN AND RUSSIAN. 



Never, perhaps, was the condition of Bri- 
tish India deemed more fair and promis- 
ing than at the conclusion of 1856. The 
new governor-general, Lord Canning, who 
arrived in the spring of that year, had seen 
no reason to question the parting declara- 
tion of his predecessor. Lord Dalhousie — 
that India was " in peace without and 
within," and that there appeared to be " no 
qimrter from which formidable war could 
reasonably be expected at present."* 

The British and Anglo-Indian press, adopt- 
ing the same tone, declared " the whole of 
India" to be " profoundly tranquil."t The 
conviction seems to have been general amid 
all ranks and classes, from the viceregal 
palace at Calcutta, to the smallest and most 
distant English post ; and thus it happened 
that the vessel of the state pursued her 
course with all sail set, in the full tide of 
prosperity, till a series of shocks, slight at 
first, but rapidly increasing in strength 
and frequency, taught a terrible lesson of 
the necessity for careful steering amid the 
sunken rocks, the shoals, and quicksands, 

* Minute by the Marquis of Dalhousie, 28th 
February, 1856. — Parliamentary Papers (Commons), 
16th June. 1856; pp. 6—8. 

t The Times, 9th December, 1856. 

VOL. II. B 



heretofore so feebly and faintly traced iii 
those famous charts and log-books — the 
voluminous minutes and correspondence of 
the East India Company. 

The sky had been carefully watched for 
any indication of the storms of foreign in- 
vasion ; but the calm waters of our " strong 
internal administration," and the full cur- 
rent of our "unparalleled native army," had 
so long borne the stately ship in triumph 
on their bosom, that few attempts were 
made to sound their depths. Those few 
excited little attention, and were, for the 
most part, decidedly discouraged by the 
authorities both in England and in India. 
The consequence has been, that at every 
step of the revolt, we have encountered 
fresh proofs of our ignorance of the first 
conditions on which rested the general 
security of the empire, and the individual 
safety of every European in India. 

Our heaviest calamities, and our greatest 
advantages, have come on us by surprise : 
we have been met by foulest treachery in 
the very class we deemed bound to us by 
every tie of gratitude and self-interest, and 
we have found help and fidelity among 
those whom we most distrusted. We have 
failed where we confidently looked for 



ALLEGED CAUSES OF DISCONTENT. 



triumph ; we have succeeded where we anti- 
cipated failure. Dangers we never dreamed 
of, have risen suddenly to paralyse our 
arms; and obstacles which seemed well- 
nigh insurmountable, have vanished into 
thin air before us. Our trusted weapons 
have proved worthless; or worse — been 
turned against us; and, at the outset of the 
struggle, we were like men whose pistols had 
been stolen from their holsters, and swords 
from their scabbards, while they lay sleep- 
ing; and who, starting up amazed and be- 
wildered, seized the first missiles that came 
to hand to defend themselves against a foe 
whose numbers and power, whose objects 
and character, were alike involved in mid- 
night darkness. 

^'erv marvellous was the presence of 
mind, the self-reliance, the enduring cou- 
rage displayed by English men and women, 
and many native adherents, in their terrible 
and unlooked-for trial ; and very comfort- 
ing the instances of Christian heroism 
which adorn this sad and thrilling page of 
Anglo-Indian history : yet none will ven- 
ture to deny, that it was the absence of 
eflBcient leaders on the part of the muti- 
neers, and not our energy and foresight, 
which, under Providence, was the means of 
enabling us to surmount the first over- 
whelming tide of disaster. Nothing can 
be more contradictory than the opinions 
held by public men regarding the imme- 
diate object of the mutineers. Some deny 
that the sepoys acted on any " prearranged 
plan;" and declare, that "their primary 
and prevailing motive was a panic-terror 
for their rehgion."* Others regard the re- 
volt as the issue of a systematic plot, which 
must have taken months, if not years, to 
organise ; and compare the outbreak to the 
springing of a mine, for which the ground 
must have been hollowed, the barrels filled, 
the train laid, and the match fired, before 
the explosion. t A third party assert, that 
our own impolicy had gathered together 
masses of combustibles, and that our heed- 
lessness (in the matter of the greased car- 
tridges) set them on fire. 

It is quite certain that the people of India 
labour under many political and social 
evils, resulting from inefficient administra- 
tion. Human governments are, at best, 

• See Indophilus' (Sir Charles Trevelyan's) Let- 
ters to the Times. Kepublished by Longman as a 
pamphlet : p. 37. 

t See Sir E. Bulwer Lytton's speech at the Hertu 
Agricultural Society, October, 1857. 



fallible and weak instruments. In Chris- 
tian England, after so many centuries of 
freedom, kept and strengthened by un- 
ceasing effort, we all acknowledge how far 
the condition of the masses falls short, in 
reality, of Avhat in theory we might have 
hoped for. How, then, can we doubt, that 
there must be in India much greater scope 
for oppression, much greater need for 
watchfulness. We have seen, in Ireland, a 
notable example of the effects of absentee 
proprietorship ; but here is a case of ab- 
sentee sove.'X^igntyship, in which the whole 
agency is systematically vested in the 
foreign delegates of a foreign power, few of 
whom have ever acquired any satisfactory in- 
sight into the habits, customs, or languages 
of the people they were sent to govern. 

It is easier to account for the errors 
committed by the Company than for the 
culpable neglect of Parliament. We know 
that an Indian question continued to be the 
''dinner-bell" of the House of Commons, 
notwithstanding the revelations of the Tor- 
ture Committee at Madras, until the mas- 
sacres of Meerut and Cawnpoor showed 
that the government of India was a subject 
which affected not only the welfare of the 
dark-coloured millions from whom we ex- 
acted tribute, but also the lives of English- 
men, and the honour of Englishwomen — 
the friends or relatives, it might be, of the 
heretofore ignorant and listless legislators. 

A right understanding of the causes of 
the revolt would materially assist all en- 
gaged in framing measures for the resto- 
ration of tranquillity, and for a sounder 
system of administration. The following 
enumeration of the various causes, distant 
and proximate, which are asserted by differ- 
ent authorities to have been concerned in 
bringing about the present state of affairs, 
is therefore offered, with a view of enabling 
the reader to judge, in the course of the 
narrative, how far events have tended to 
confirm or nullify these allegations. 



Land-tenure. — The irregular, oppressive, 
and generally pauperising tenure of land, 
has been set forth in a preceding section : 
and since every sepoy looks forward to the 
time when he shall retire on his pension to 
live in his own cottage, under his own fig- 
tree, the question is one in which he has a 
clear and personal interest. Irrespective of 
this, the manner in which the proprietary 
rights of the inhabitants of the Ceded and 
Conquered provinces have been dealt with, 



BREACH OF FAITH WITH THE NORTH-WEST PROVINCES. 



is a matter of history with which the land- 
owners in native independent states are 
sure to make themselves acquainted; and 
the talookdars and hereditary chiefs of 
Oude, could not but have remembered with 
alarm, the grievous breach of faith com- 
mitted against the proprietors of the soil in 
the North-Western Provinces. 

A general allusion to this disgraceful 
procedure has been already made;* but 
the following detail is given on the autho- 
rity of various papers drawn up by Mr. 
Henry St. George Tucker. The views of 
i\Ir. Tucker were, it should be premised, 
utterly opposed to any system " founded on 
the assumption of the government being 
the universal landlord;" which sweeping 
assumption he regarded " as a virtual anni- 
hilation of all private rights." 

The Ryotwar Settlement made by Munro, 
in Madras, he thought tended to the im- 
poverishment of the country, the people, 
and the government itself; and was, in 
fact, a continuation of the policy of Tippoo 
Sultan, who drove away and exterminated 
the proprietors ; his object being to engross 
the rents as well as revenues of the country. 
The landowners of the North-Western 
Provinces — including Delhi, Agra, Bareilly, 
and the cessions from Oude in 1801 — have, 
however, peculiar aud positive grievances to 
complain of. In 1803, under the adminis- 
tration of the Marquis Wellesley, a regula- 
tion was passed, by which the government 
pledged themselves, "that a permanent 
settlement of tlie Ceded provinces would be 
concluded at the end of ten years;" and 
proclaimed "the proprietary rights of all 
zemindars, talookdars, and other descriptions 
of landholders possessing a right of property 
in the lands comprising their zemindaries, 
talooks, or other tenures, to be confirmed 
and established under the authority of the 
British government, in conformity to the 
laws and usages of the country." In 1805, 
a regulation was passed by the same gov- 
ernment, in nearly corresponding terms, 
declaring that a permanent settlement 
would be concluded wdth the zemindars and 
other landholders in the Conquered pro- 
vinces, at the expiration of the decennial 
leases. But, in 1807, the supreme govern- 
ment being anxious to extend to the land- 

• Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 579. 
t Calcutta Records — Regulation X. of 1807; sec. 5. 
:5. See Letter of Court of Directors to Bengal, 
16th March, 1813. 

§ The Ryotwar : see Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 575. 



owners of our newly-acquired territory 
those advantages which had been conferred 
on the zemindars of the Lower Provinces, 
by fixing the land-tax in perpetuity, a new 
regulation was enacted, appointing commis- 
sioners for superintending the settlement of 
the Ceded and Conquered provinces; and 
notifying " to the zemindars, and other 
actual proprietors of land in those provinces, 
that the jumma which may be assessed on 
their estates in the last year of the settle- 
ment immediately ensuing the present set- 
tlement, shall remain fixed for ever, in case 
the zemindars shall now be willing to 
engage for the payment of the public re- 
venue on those terms in perpetuity, and the 
arrangement shall receive the sanction of 
the Hon. Court of Directors."! Far from 
objecting to the pledge given to the land- 
holders in those regulations ; far from con- 
tending against the principle of a fixed 
assessment, either on the ground of policy 
or of justice, the Court expressed their 
approbation of the measure contemplated, 
and gave it their unreserved sanction. To 
as late a period as 1813, not even a donbt 
was expressed in the way of discourage- 
ment; and the government of India had 
every reason to presume that they wrere 
proceeding in this great work with the full 
concurrence and approbation of the con- 
trolling authorities in this country. Mr. 
Edmonstone, in his able aud instructive 
letters to the Court (of 31st July, 1821), 
has shown most conclusively, that the plans 
and proceedings of the government abroad 
received an ample confirmation. " Unhap- 
pily," says Mr. Tucker, " different views 
were adopted at a subsequent period; and 
since 1813,]: the w^hole tenor of the Court's 
correspondence with the supreme govern- 
ment, has not only discountenanced the 
idea of a permanent settlement of the 
lands in the Ceded and Conquered pro- 
vinces, but peremptory injunctions have 
been issued to that government, prohibiting 
the formation of such settlement at any 
future period." The pledge so formally 
given to the landholders in 1803, and 
1805, and 1807, has accordingly remained 
unredeemed to the present day; tem- 
porary settlements have been concluded, in 
various ways, with different classes of per- 
sons; some of the principal talookdars have 
been set aside, and deprived of the manage- 
ment of their estates ; aud the great object 
seems to have been, to introduce the system 
of revenue admiuistratiou§ which obtains in 



RUIN OF NATIVE ARISTOCRACY IN THE N.W. PROVINCES. 



the territory of Fort St. George. I (in 
1827) was a party to the introductiou of 
leases for thirty years in the Western 
Provinces, by way of compromise for vio- 
lating the pledge which had been given to 
the landholders in 1803 and 1805, to con- 
firm the settlement then made with them 
in perpetuity. " I trust that this long term 
will operate as some compensation for their 
disappointment, and that it will, in a great 
degree, answer the ends proposed by a per- 
manent settlement; but, as a principle, I 
still maintain, that permanency of tenure, 
and a limitation of the public demand upon 
the land, were boons bestowed under the 
dictates of a just and enlightened policy, 
aad that Lord Cornwallis is to be regarded 
as the greatest benefactor of India.''* 

The measure referred to by Mr. Tucker, 
which I had myself the satisfaction of 
assisting to procure, was, however, partial 
in its extent, as wxll as temporary in its 
operation. It can hardly be called a com- 
promise ; it was simply a sop thrown by the 
stronger party who broke the bargain, to 
certain members of the weaker party, who 
had no resource but to accept it. The 
public pledge of a permanent settlement 
with the whole Conquered and Ceded, or, 
as they are now styled. North- Western 
Provinces, remains unredeemed. Moreover, 
even supposing the landholders could forget 
the manner in which that great boon was 
freely promised and arbitrarily withheld, 
they would still have reason to complain of 
the irregular and often oppressive assess- 
ments to which they were and are sub- 
jected. There is abundant evidence on 
this head ; but none of greater authority 
than that of Colonel Sleeman, the resident 
at Luckuow; who, being commissioned by 
Governor-general Dalhousie to inquire into 
the state of Oude, became incidentally ac- 
quainted with the results of our fifty years' 
government of the half of Oude, ceded to 
us by the treaty of 1801. 

" The country was then divided into 
equal shares, according to the rent-roll at 
the time. The half made over to the Bri- 
tish government has been ever since yield- 
ing more revenue to us; while that retained 
by the sovereign of Oude has been yielding 
less and less to him : and ours now yields, iu 
l:uui revenue, stamp-duty, and the tax on 
spirits, two crore and twelve lacs [of rupees] 

• See Memorials of Indian Government ; a selec- 
♦;o" f'r.rn the jKipeis of H. St. G. Tucker, edited by 
J. W. Kaye; pp." lOG— 137. 



a-year ; while the reserved half now yields 
to Oude only about one crore and thirty- 
three lacs. Under good management, the 
Oude share might, iu a few years, be made 
equal to ours, and perhaps better; for the 
greater part of the lands in our share have 
been a good deal impoverished by over- 
cropping; while those of the Oude share 
have been improved by long fallows." 
Colonel Sleeman would seem to attribute 
the greater revenue raised from our terri- 
tories, to that obtained by the native govern- 
ment, simply to our "good management;" 
for he adds, that " lands of the same natural 
quality in Oude, under good tillage, now 
pay a much higher rent than they do in 
our half of the estate. "f Yet, in another 
portion of his Diary, when describing the 
decided aversion to British rule entertained 
by the landed aristocracy of Oude, he 
dwells on our excessive assessments, as co- 
operating with the cost and uncertainty of 
the law in civil cases, in causing the 
gradual decay of all the ancient families. 
" A less and less proportion of the annual 
produce of their lands is left to them in our 
periodical settlements of the land revenue ; 
while family pride makes them expend the 
same sums in the marriage of their chil- 
dren, in religious and other festivals, per- 
sonal servants, and hereditary retainers. 
They fall into balance, incur heavy debts, 
and estate after estate is put up to auction, 
and the proprietors are reduced to poverty. 
They say, that four times more of these 
families have gone to decay in the half of 
the territory made over to us in 1801, than 
in the half reserved by the Oude sovereign; 
and this is, I fear, true. They named the 
families — I cannot remember them."J 

To Mr. Colvin, Lieutenant-governor of 
the N.W. Provinces, the Colonel writes, that 
on the division of Oude in 1801, the landed 
aristocracy were equal in both portions. 
" Now (28th Dec, 1853) hardly a family of 
this class remains in our half; while in 
Oude it remains unimpaired. Everybody 
in Oude believes those families to have been 
systematically crushed."§ 

The correspondence in the public jour- 
nals, regarding the progress of the mutiny, 
affords frequent evidence of the heavy rate 
of assessment in the North- West Provinces. 
For instance, the special correspondent of 
the Times (Mr. Russell), writing from the 

f Journey through Oude, in 1849-'50, by Colonel 
Sir W. Sleeman ; vol. i., p. 169. 

X Ibid., vol. i., p. 169. § Ibid., vol. ii., p. 415, 



WRETCHEDNESS OF MADRAS RYOTS. 



camp at Bareilly, speaks of the " indigent 
population" of Rohilcuud ; and asserts, on 
the authoi'ity of Mr. Doualds, a settler and 
planter there, that the Company's land-tax 
on certain districts was not less than sixty- 
six per cent.* 

It is to be hoped that a searching and 
unprejudiced inquiry will be instituted 
wherever decided and general disaffection 
has been manifested — wherever such state- 
ments are made as that from Allahabad ; in 
which it is asserted, that ''one, and only 
one, of the zemindars has behaved well to us 
during the disturbances here.^f 

An exposition of the working of the 
" model system" in Southern India, is given 
by Mr. Bourdillou, secretary to the govern- 
ment at Madras, in the revenue department, 
in a pamphlet published in 1852, in which 
he showed that, in the year 1848-'9, out of a 
total of 1,071,588 leases (excluding joint 
holdings in the fourteen principal ryotwarree 
districts), no fewer than 589,932 were each 
under twenty shillings per annum ; ave- 
raging, in fact, only a small fraction above 
eight shillings each: 201,065 were for 
amounts ranging from twenty to forty 
shillings ; averaging less than 28^. 6d. each ; 
and 97,891 ranged between forty and sixty 
shillings; averaging 495. 6d. each. Thus, 
out of 1,100,000 leases, 900,000 were for 
amounts under sixty shillings each, the 
average being less than 19*. 6c?. each 
per annum. Mr. Bourdillon thus describes 
the condition of several million J of people 
subject to the Crown of England, and 
under its complete jurisdiction in some 
parts for more than half a century: — " Now 
it may certainly be said of almost the whole 
of the ryots paying even the highest of 
these sums, and even of many holding to a 
much larger amount, that they are always in 
poverty, and generally in debt. Perhaps one 
of this class obtains a small amount out of 
the government advances for cultivation; 
but even if he does, the trouble he has to take, 
and the time he loses in getting it, as well as 
the deduction to which he is liable, render 
this a questionable gain. For the rest of his 
wants he is dependent on the bazaar-man. 
To him his crops are generally hypothecated 
before they are reaped ; and it is he who 
redeems them from the possession of the 

• The Times, July 6th, 1858. 

t Pari. Papers, 4th February, 1858. 

X According to Mr. Mead, " 18,000,000 souls, in 
Madras, have only a penny a-week each to subsist 
on."— (p. 3.) 



village watcher, by pledging himself for the 
payment of the kist (rent claimed by gov- 
ernment.) These transactions pass without 
any written engagements or memoranda 
between the parties ; and the only evidence 
is the chetty's (bazaar-man) own accounts. 
In general, there is an adjustment of the 
accounts once a year; but sometimes not 
for several years. In all these accounts 
interest is charged on the advances made 
to the ryot, on the balance against him. 
The rate of interest varies with the circum- 
stances of the case and the necessities of 
the borrower : it is probably seldom, or 
never, less than twelve per cent, per annum, 
and not often above twenty-four per cent. 
Of course the poorest and most necessitous 
ryots have to pay the highest. A ryot of 
this class of course lives from hand to 
mouth; he rarely sees money, except that 
obtained from the chetty to pay his kist : 
the exchanges in the out-villages are very 
few, and they are usually conducted by 
barter. His ploughing cattle are wretched 
animals, not worth more than seven to 
twelve shillings each; and all the rest of 
his few agricultural implements are eCjUally 
primitive and inefficient. His dwelling is a 
hut of mud walls and thatched roof, far 
ruder, smaller, and more dilapidated than 
those of the better classes of ryots above 
spoken of, and still more destitute, if pos- 
sible, of anything that can be called furni- 
ture. His food, and that of his family, 
is -partly thin porridge, made of the meal of 
grain boiled in water, and partly boiled rice 
with a little condiment ; and generally, the 
only vessels for cooking and eating from, are 
of the coarsest earthenware, much inferior 
in grain to a good tile or brick in England, 
and unglazed. Brass vessels, though not 
wholly unknown among this class, are rare. 
As to anything like education or mental 
culture, they are wholly destitute of it." 

Mr. Mead, who resided several years at 
Madras, and who visited other parts of 
India, declares, that by the system which 
the British government have pursued, " the 
native aristocracy have been extinguished, 
and their revenues lost equally to the rulers 
and the multitude. The native manufac- 
turers are ruined ; and no corresponding in- 
crease has taken place in the consumption 
of foreign goods. Not a fourth of the land 
is taken up for tillage; and yet 200,000 
men annually leave these shores, to seek 
employment on a foreign soil. The tax- 
ation of all kinds, and the landlord's rent. 



6 INEFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE THROUGHOUT INDIA. 



amount to but 5*. per head; and yet the sur- 
plus production of 23,000,000 is but 2*. 7d., 
and the imports but \s. 6d., each person.''* 
The people of the North-West Provinces 
are being rapidly reduced to the condition 
of those of Southern India; and it is asserted, 
that they would rejoice at any change which 
promises relief from a " system" calculated 
to weigii down, with unceasing pressure, the 
energies of every man who derives his sub- 
sistence from the cultivation of the soil. 



The Inefficient Administration of Justice 
is an admitted ey\\ ; the costliness, the 
procrastination, above all, the perjury and 
corruption for which our civil and criminal, 
our S udder and Adawlut courts, are noto- 
rious. Shortly before the outbreak of the 
mutiny, Mr. Halliday, the lieutenant-gov- 
ernor of Bengal, urged, in the strongest 
language, the necessity for measures of 
police reform, which should extend to " our 
criminal judicatories as well as to the ma- 
gistracy and constabulary organisation." 
He adds, after referring to the evidence 
brought forward in Mr. Dampier's elaborate 
reports — " I have myself made much per- 
sonal inquiry into this matter during my 
tours. Whether right or wrong, the general 
native opinion is certainly that the admin- 
istration of criminal justice is little better 
than a lottery, in which, however, the best 
chances are with the criminals ; and I think 
this, also, is very much the opinion of the 
European mofussil [country] community. 
* * * Often have I heard natives ex- 
press, on this point, their inability to un- 
derstand the principles on which the courts 
are so constituted, or so conducted, as to 
make it appear in their eyes as if the object 
were rather to favour the acquittal, than to 
insure the conviction and punishment of 
offenders; and often have I been assured 
by them, that their anxious desire to avoid 
appearing as prosecutors, arose in a great 
measure from their belief that prosecution 
was very likely to end in acquittal, even, as 
they imagined, in the teeth of the best evi- 
dence ; while the acquittal of a revengeful 
and unscrupulous ruffian, was known by ex- 
perience to have repeatedly ended in the 
most unhappy consequences to his iH- ad- 
vised and imprudent prosecutor. That this 
very general opinion is not ill-founded, may, 
I think, be proved from our own records." t 
The youth and inexperience of the raa- 
• Mead's Sepoy Revolt; p. 313. (Routledge, 1858.) 
t Minute to Council of India, 30th April, 1856. 



gistrates, which contributes so largely to 
the inefficiency of the courts over which 
they preside, arises out of the numerical in- 
adequacy of the covenanted service to sup- 
ply the number of officers required by the 
existing system. The Hon. A. Kinnaird 
stated, in the House of Commons, June 
11th, 1857, that in Bengal, there were but 
seventy covenanted and uncovenanted ma- 
gistrates, or one to 460,000 persons ; and 
that there were three or four cases of a 
single magistrate to more than a million 
souls. It is terrible to think of the power 
such a state of things must throw into the 
hands of the native police, and this in a 
country where experience has taught us, 
that power, thus delegated, has invariably 
been employed as a means of extorting 
money. No wonder, then, that " from one 
end of Bengal to the other," the earnest 
desire and aim of those who have suffered 
from thieves or dacoits, should be, "to keep 
the matter secret from the police, whose 
corruption and extortion is so great, as to 
cause it to be popularly said, that dacoity 
is bad enough, but the subsequent police 
inquiry very much worse." 

The frequent change, from place to place, 
and office to office, is urged as another 
reason for the inefficiency of our system. 
In the district of Dacca, for instance, the 
average time of continuance in the magis- 
trate's office, has been, for the last twenty 
years, not ten months. The extent of the 
evil may be understood by looking over the 
register of civil servants, and their ap- 
pointments. The Friend of India quotes 
the case of a well-known name among 
Indian officials — Henry Lushington — who 
arrived in India on the 14th of October, 
]821, and, by the 9th of May, 1842, had 
filled no less than twenty-one offices — a 
change every year. But during this time 
he returned to Europe twice, and was ab- 
sent from India four years and a quarter : 
his occupancy of each office, therefore, 
averages scarcely nine months. The jour- 
nalist adds — " Thousands of miles of coun- 
try, inhabited by millions of people, would 
have neither justice nor protection, were it 
not for the illegally assumed power of the 
planter and zemindar. There are districts 
in which the magistrate's court is sixty 
miles away; and iu one case, I know of 
a judge having to go 140 miles to try a 
case of murder — so wide docs his juris- 
diction extend. This very district contains 
upwards of two millions of people ; yet to 



INGENUOUS YOUTHS" SENT OUT AS INDIAN JUDGES. 



govern it there are just two Europeans ; 
and one of these spends a considerable por- 
tion of his time in sporting, shooting wild 
animals, and hunting deer."* 

The diminished numbers and impaired 
efficiency of the rural police, or village 
chowkeedars, during the last twenty years, is 
another reason why " our magistracy is losing 
credit and character, and our administration 
growing perceptibly weaker." They are, 
says lieutenant-governor Halliday, so in- 
adequately and uncertainly paid, as to be 
kept in a permanent state of starvation; and 
though, in former days, magistrates battled 
for them with unwilling zemindars and 
villagers, and were encouraged by govern- 
ment to do so, they are now declared to 
have no legal right to remuneration for 
service, and have themselves become too 
often the colleagues of thieves and robbers. 
The measures suggested by Mr. Halliday 
as indispensable to the effectual improve- 
ment of the Bengal police, were — the im- 
provement of the character and position 
of the village chowkeedars, or watchmen ; 
the payment of adequate salaries, and the 
holding forth of fair prospects of advance- 
ment to the stipendiary police ; the appoint- 
ment of more experienced officers as cove- 
nanted zillah niagisti*ates ; a considerable 
increase in the number of the uncove- 
nanted or deputy magistrates ; an improve- 
ment in our criminal courts of justice; 
and, lastly, the establishment of sufficient 
means of communication Avith the interior 
of districts : because no system could work 
well while the police-stations and the large 
towns and marts in the interior continued 
to be cut off from the chief zillah stations, 
and from one another, by the almost entire 
absence of roads, or even (during a large 
part of the year) of the smallest bridle- 
roads or footpaths. 

The proposer of the above reforms added, 
that they would involve an increased ex- 
penditure of j6100,000 a-year on the magis- 
tracy and police of Bengal ; and this state- 
ment, perhaps, furnishes an explanation of 
the little attention excited by a document 
full of important but most unpalatable 
assertions. The onus cannot, however, be 
allowed to rest solely on the local authori- 
ties. The consideration of the House of 

* Quoted by Mr. Kinnaird, in Bengal, its Landed 
Tenure and Police System. (Ridgway, 1857; p. 14.) 
The series of measures provided by Lord Cornwallis, 
to protect the cultivator under the Permanent Set- 
tlement from oppression on the part of the proprie- 



Commons has been urgently solicited, by 
one of its own members,t to the report of 
the lieutenant-governor ; and the fact of 
such flagrant evils being alleged, by a lead- 
ing functionary, to exist in the districts 
under the immediate eye of the supreme 
government, is surely a sufficient warning, 
not merely of the necessity of promptly re- 
dressing the wrongs under which the Ben- 
galees laboured, but also of investigating 
the internal administration of the distant 
provinces. It is unaccountable that the 
judicial part of the subject should have been 
so long neglected, after the unreserved con- 
demnation of the system, pronounced by 
Lord Campbell in the House of Lords in 
1853. In reply to the complaint of the Duke 
of Argyll regarding the strong expressions 
used in a petition for relief, presented on 
behalf of the people of Madras, his lordship 
adverted to the mode in which '^ ingenuous 
youths" were dispatched from the college 
at Haileybury, with, at best, a very imper- 
fect acquaintance with the languages of In- 
dia, and were made at once judges. Even 
the advantage of only acting in that capa- 
city was withheld, the same youth being one 
day a judge of civil cases, the next a col- 
lector of revenue, and the next a police ma- 
gistrate. Speaking from experience derived 
from the appeals which had come before him 
as a member of the judicial committee of 
the Privy Council, he thought, "as far as 
regarded the administration of justice in the 
inferior courts, no language could be too 
extravagant in describing its enormities." J 
The testimony borne by Mr. Halliday, in 
Bengal, entirely accords with that given by 
other witnesses regarding the administra- 
tion of justice in the North-Western Pro- 
vinces. Colonel Sleeman, writing in 1853, 
declared — " There is really nothing in our 
system which calls so much for remedy." 
He says, that during his recent tour 
through Oude, he had had much conversa- 
tion with the people generally, and with 
many who had sojourned in our territory 
in seasons of disturbance. They were all 
glad to return, rather than remain in our 
districts and endure the evils occasioned by 
" the uncertainties of our law, the multipli- 
city and formality of our courts, the pride 
and negligence of those who preside over 

tors, have been disregarded ; and the consequence of 
this neglect has been to leave too great power in 
the hands of the zemindars. — {Ibid., p. 6.) 

t By the Hon. A. Kinnaird, June 11th, 1856. 

t Hansard's Debates, vol. cxxiv., p. 647. 



8 



NATIVE MODE OF PROCURING TESTIMONY. 



them, and the corruption and insolence of 
those who must be employed to prosecute 
or defend si cause in them, and enforce the 
fulfilment of a decree when passed." Colonel 
Sleeraan cites the statements made to him 
by the Brahmin communities of two villages, 
invited back by the native authorities from 
the Shahjehanpoor district, and resettled on 
their lands; "a mild, sensible, and most 
respectable body, whom a sensible ruler 
would do all in his power to protect and 
encourage ; but these are the class of land- 
holders and cultivators whom the reckless 
governors of districts under the Oude gov- 
ernment most grievously oppress. They 
told me : — 

" ' Your courts of justice are the things we most 
dread, sir; and we are glad to escape from them as 
soon as we can, in spite of all the evils we are ex- 
posed to on our return to the place of our birth. 
• • • The truth, sir, is seldom told in these 
courts. There they think of nothing but the num- 
ber of witnesses, as if all were alike ; here, sir, we 
look to the quality. When a man suffers wrong, 
the wrongdoer is summoned before the elders, or 
most respectable men of his village or clan ; and if 
he denies the charge and refuses redress, he is told to 
bathe, put his hand upon the peepul-tree, and declare 
aloud his innocence. If he refuses, he is commanded 
to restore what he has taken, or make suitable re- 
paration for the injury he has done ; and if he re- 
fuses to do this, he is punished by the odium of all, 
and his life becomes miserable. A man dare not 
put his hand upon that sacred tree and deny the 
truth — the gods sit in it, and know all things ; and 
the offender dreads their vengeance. In your Adaw- 
luts, sir, men do not tell the truth so often as they do 
among their own tribes or village communities : they 
perjure themselves in all manner of ways, without 
shame or dread ; and there are so many men about 
these courts, who understand the ' rules and regula- 
tions' (aen and kanoon), and are so much interested 
in making truth appear to be falsehood, and false- 
hood truth, that no man feels sure that right will 
prevail in them in any case. The guilty think they 
have just as good a chance of escape as the inno- 
cent. Our relations and friends told us, that all 
this confusion of right and wrong, which bewildered 
them, arose from the multiplicity of the ' rules and 
regulations,' which threw all the power into the 
hands of bad men, and left the European gentlemen 
helpless!"'* 

The comment made on the above asser- 
tions, tends to establish their accuracy. 
Colonel Sleeman says — "The quality of tes- 
timony, no doubt, like that of every other 
commodity, deteriorates under a system 
which renders the good of no more value, 
in exchange, than the bad. The formality 

• Sleeman's Journey throuf/h Oude, vol. ii., p. 68. 
t Ibid., vol. i., p. 1G8; vol. ii., p. 415. 
J The clause runs as follows : — " That no natives 
of said territories, nor any natural born subject of 



of our courts here, as everywhere else, tends 
to impair, more or less, the quality of what 
they receive. The simplicity of courts com- 
posed of little village communities and 
elders, tends, on the contrary, to improve 
the quality of the testimony they get ; and, 
in India, it is found to be best in the isolated 
hamlets and forests, where men may be 
made to do almost anything rather than tell 
a lie, A Mahratta pundit, in the valley of 
the Nerbudda, once told me, that it was 
almost impossible to teach a wild Gond of 
the hills and jungles the occasional value of 
a lie. It is the same with the Tharoos and 
Booksas, who are almost exclusively the 
cultivators of the Oude Turaee forest, and 
with the peasantry of the Himalaya chain 
of mountains, before they have come much 
in contact with people of the plains, and 
become subject to the jurisdiction of our 
courts. These courts are, everywhere, our 
weak points in the estimation of our sub- 
jects; and they should be everywhere sim- 
plified, to meet the wants and wishes of so 
simple a people," f 



The Exclusion of the Natives from all Share 
in the Government, has been acted on as 
necessary to our retention of India, Yet 
many leading authorities agree in viewing 
the degraded state in which they have been 
held as a great defect in our system, 
" We exclude them," said Sir Thomas 
Munro, " from every situation of trust and 
emolument. We confine them to the 
lowest offices, with scarcely a bare sub- 
sistence. * * * We treat them as an in- 
ferior race of beings. Men who, under a 
native government, might have held the 
first dignities of the state ; who, but for us, 
might have been governors of provinces, 
are regarded as little better than menial 
servants, and are often not better paid, and 
scarcely permitted to sit in our presence," 

Lord Metcalfe, Lord William Bentinck, 
and others, have taken the same tone ; 
and the opinions of the Duke of Welling- 
ton, Sir Robert Peel, and Lord Glenelg, 
are sufficiently evidenced in the 87th 
clause of the Charter Act of 1833, which 
declares the natives eligible to all situations 
under government, with certain exceptions. 
This clause,^ so generously intended, has 

his religion, place of birth, descent, colour, or any 
of them, be disabled from holding any place, office, 
or employment under the said Company." Mr. Came- 
ron, a gentleman long and intimately acquainted 



her majesty resident therein, shall by reason only of I with India, writing in 1853, says — "During the 



NATIVES EXCLUDED FROM HONOURS AND EMOLUMENTS. 



9 



proved a cruel mockery, by exciting expec- 
tations which have been frustrated by the 
conditions attached to it, and tlie deter- 
mined opposition of the Court of Directors, 
even when those conditions, including the 
voyage to England, have been fulfiiledv- 

The monopoly of commerce was the worst 
feature of the E. I. Company, as regarded 
the British nation ; tlie monopoly of patron- 
age is its worst feature as regards the 
Indian population, and not its best as 
regards that of England. Lord William 
Bendnck stated the case very ably in liis 
evidence before the select committee on 
steam communication with India in 1837. 
"The bane of our system is not solely that 
the civil administration is entirely in the 
hands of foreigners, but that the holders of 
this monopoly, the patrons of these foreign 
agents, are those who exercise the directing 
power at home ; that this directing power is 
exclusively paid by the patronage ; that the 
value of this patronage depends exactly 
upon the degree in which all the honours 
and emoluments of the state are engrossed 
by their clients, to the exclusion of the 
natives. There exists, in consequence, on 
the part of the home authorities, an interest 
in respect to the administration precisely 
similar to Avhat formerly prevailed as to 
commerce, directly opposed to the Avelfare 
of India; and, consequently, it will be re- 
marked without surprise, that in the two 
renewals of the charter that have taken 
place within the last twenty-five years, in 
the first, nothing Avas done to break down 
this administrative monopoly; and in the 
second, though a very important principle 
was declared, that no disability from holding 
office in respect to any subjects of the Crown, 
by reason of birth, religion, descent, or 
colour, should any longer continue, still no 
provision was made for working it out ; and, 
as far as is known, the enactment has re- 
mained till this day a dead letter."* 

The number of natives employed in the 
administration, notwithstanding the large 
accessions of territory between the years 
1851 and 1857 (inclusive), has actually de- 
creased from 2,910 to 2,846. Of the latter 
number, 856 receive less than j£120 per 

twenty years that have [since] elapsed, not one df 
the natives has been appointed to any ofRce except 
such as they were eligible to before the statute." 
Mr. Henry Richard, commenting on this policy, re- 
marks — " In adopting this course, and treating the 
natives as a conquered and inferior race, on no ac- 
count to be admitted to political and social equality 
with ourselves, we are not only violating the die- 
VOL. II. C 



annum; 1,377 from £120 to £240 per an- 
num ; and only eleven receive above £840. f 
These figures, when compared with the in- 
creased numbers and high salaries of the 
European covenanted and uncovenanted 
servants, can hardly fail to suggest a reason 
why the Hindoos — who frequently filled 
the chief positions in Indo-Mohammedan 
states, and almost invariably that of Dewan 
(or chancellor of the exchequer) — may 
think the rule of power-loving, money-get- 
ting Englishmen, worse for them than that 
of the indolent Moslem, who, though he 
sometimes forcibly destroyed the caste of 
thousands, yet never withheld from their race 
the honours and emoluments of high office. 
Rajpoots led the forces of Delhi; Rajpoot- 
nies (though that they affected to consider 
a degradation) sat within its palaces in 
imperial state — the wives and mothers of 
emperors : Brahmins filled every revenue 
office, from that of the treasurer-in-chief to 
the lowest clerk ; all the financial business 
being transacted by them. The Great Mo- 
guls, the minor Mohammedan sovereigns, 
and their chief retainers, were spendthrifts 
rather than hoarders : they won kingdoms 
with their swords ; and, like all conquerors, 
looked to reap where they had not sown ; but 
avarice, or the love of money for its own 
sake, was very rare among them. They sat 
on their silver howdahs, on the backs of 
their elephants, and threw rupees, by bags- 
ful, among the people, who always benefited, 
at least indirectly, by the lavish expenditure 
for which they furnished the means. 

The modern Brahmins (whatever their 
ancestors may have done) certainly evince 
more acquaintance with, and predilection 
for, the practice of the rules of Cocker, than 
for the abstract study of the Vedas, and the 
geographical and astronomical absurdities of 
the Shastras. They are born diplomatists, 
as well as financialists. Our greatest states- 
men have acknowledged their remarkable 
ability. The despatches, especiall}' the sup- 
plementary ones, of the late Duke of Wel- 
lington, abound with evidence of this : and 
when describing the character of Talleyrand, 
the duke could find no better comparison 
than that he was "like Eitel Punt (the 

tates of justice and of Christian morality, but we are 
disregarding all that the experience of the past has 
taught us to be wise policy with a view to perma- 
nent success."— (Prese«< and Future of India tinder 
British Rule, p. 37.) 

• Pari. Papers, 26th April, 1858 ; p. 201. 

t Pari. Paper (House of Commons), 16th Aprii, 
1858. 



10 AVERSION EVINCED BY THE ENGLISH TOWARDS THE NATIVES. 



Liahmin minister of Sindia) ; only not so 
clever."* Such men as these can hardly 
be expected to endure, without resentment, 
treatment which keeps the promise to the 
ear, yet breaks it to the sense. 

In England we have grown used to the 
assertion, that there is no such thing as pub- 
lic opinion or discussion among the natives : 
but this is a mistake, and only })roves that 
we have overlooked its rise and progress. 
The public meetings held in every presi- 
dency, the numerous journals, and, still 
more, the political pamphlets published by 
natives, attest the contrary. Of the latter 
class one now lies before me, written in 
English — fluent, grammatical English — with 
just a sufficient tinge of Orientalism to give 
internal evidence of the veritable author- 
ship. The writer, after admitting the pro- 
tection aft'orded by British rule from ex- 
ternal violence and internal commotion, adds 
— " But it has failed to foster the growth 
of an upper class, which would have served 
as a connecting link between the govern- 
ment and the mass of the people. The 
higher order of the natives have, ever since 
its commencement, been shut out of all 
avenues to official distinction. They may 
acquire colossal fortunes in commercial and 
other pursuits, or obtain diplomas and 
honours in colleges and universities, but 
they cannot be admitted into the civil ser- 
vice, or the higher grades in the military 
service, without undertaking a voyage to 
England, and complying with other equally 
impracticable conditions. The highest situa- 
tions to which they can aspire, are deputy- 
magistrateships and Sudder ameenships.^f 



Ignorance of the Languages, and the Aver- 
sion evinced toivards the Natives, are the 
causes alleged by Baboo Shew Purshad (in- 
spector of schools in the Benares division), 
for the " unpopularity of the government, 
and, consequently, of all the miseries under 
which the country labours," The reluc- 
tance of the English functionaries to mix 
■with the natives, has prevented their ac- 
quiring that thorough knowledge of their 
sentiments and capabilities, social and 
moral condition, internal economy, wants, 
and prejudices, which are essential to suc- 
cessful government. " In England," says 

• Kaye's Life of Malcolm, vol. i., p. 241. 

t The Mutinies, the Govennnent, and the People ; 
! by A Hindoo ; j). 36. (Printed at Calcutta, 1858.) 
j J Thoughts nf a Native of Northern India on the 
1 JRehellion, its Causes and Remedies (Dalton, Cock- 



the writer just quoted, " you have only to 
pass good acts, and draw good rules, and 
people will take upon themselves to see 
that they are worked in the right way, and 
for their benefit, by the local authorities ; 
but here the case is otherwise : the best 
regulations can be turned into a source of 
the worst oppression by an unscrupulous 
and exacting magistrate ; and if you give 
us a good magistrate, he can keep us happy 
without any regulation at all. The Pun- 
jab owes its happiness more to Sir John 
Lawrence and Messrs. Montgomery and 
Macleod, than to any system or regulation. 
* * * It is owing to these few officers, who 
come now and then to the lot of some dis- 
tricts, that people have not yet despaired 
and risen in a body. * * * The govern- 
ment will feel, no doubt, stronger after the 
suppression of the mutiny than they ever 
were. If the hatred of their countrymen 
towards the natives increases in ratio to the 
increase of power, as hitherto, the disaflPec- 
tion of the people, and the unpopularity of 
the government, will increase also propor- 
tionally. The consequences are obvious : 
and, be assured, the country will be deso- 
lated and ruined. "J 

Englishmen, generally, have no gift for 
languages ; and this has been always one of 
their weak points as rulers of India, where 
it is of the first importance that all func- 
tionaries, whether civil or military, should 
be — not first-rate Grecians, or versed in 
black-letter lore — but able to converse, in 
the vernacular dialect, with the men over 
whom they bear rule. Had such knowledge 
been at all general, warnings would, in all 
human probability, have been received of 
the combinations (such as they were) which 
preceded the massacres of Meerut, Cawn- 
poor, and Jhansi. It is a serious defect in 
the system (springing, no doubt, from the 
monopoly of patronage), that so httle trouble 
has been taken to promote the efficiency of 
the servants of the Company, as adminis- 
trators of a delegated despotism. Lord 
Wellesley strove earnestly for this end ; but 
his efforts were coldly received, and are 
even now insufficiently appreciated. 

So far as the natives are concerned, 
sending out " incapables" to bear rule over 
them, manifests a shameful indifference to 

spur-street, 1858) : with a Preface, written at Cal- 
cutta, and signed " M. W." — initials which suggest 
the name of a well-known member of the Bengal 
(uncovenanted) service. The Dedication to H. C. T., 
Esq., is similarly suggestive. 



EUROPEAN FUNCTIONARIES IGNORANT OF NATIVE LANGUAGES. 11 



their interests, and is inflicting a wrong, of 
which we cannot hop-e to escape the penalty. 
" It is suicidal to allow India to be a refu^jje, 
as it is at present to a great extent, for 
those of our youth who are least qualified 
to make their way in their own country; 
and it is such an insult to the natives, who 
are full of intelligence, and are making great 
progress in European knowledge of all 
kinds, that if anything could excuse them 
for rebelling, it would be this." 

This is plain speaking from an authority 
like Indophilus ; and what he adds with re- 
gard to young officers is equally applicable 
to civilians : — " It should not be left, as it is 
at present, to the decision of a young man 
"vrhethar he will pass in the native languages 
or not. The power of understanding his 
men, and of rendering himself intelligible 
to them, should be considered an indispen- 
sable qualification ; and those who cannot, 
or will not, acquire this necessary accom- 
plishment, should be removed from the ser- 
vice. Every officer should be presumed to 
understand the language of his soldiers.'^* 

The change which has taken place in 
Anglo-Indian society, has, without doubt, 
been a painful one for the natives. The 
very large increase in the proportion of 
Englishwomen Avho now accompany their 
husbands, fathers, and brothers to India, 
has tended to decrease the association with 
the native gentry; and these are becoming 
yearly less able to vie with the Europeans, 
One branch of the intercourse of former 
days has greatly diminished; the conven- 
tionalities have become more stringent ; the 
temptations have decreased ; the shameless 
profligacy described by Clivef no longer 
exists; and a dark-coloured "beebee" (lady), 
the mother of a large family of Eura- 
sians, would not now be considered a fit 
head for the household of a distinguished 
military or civil servant. Ho\v far any 
radical reform has taken place, or whether 
the great " social evil" has only changed 
its hue, it is hard to say ; but several trust- 
worthy witnesses assert as an evident fact, 
that the Europeans and natives of all classes 
associate far less than they used to do, 
and that many of the former have adopted a 
supercilious tone towards the latter, which 
is equally impolitic, unjust, and inconsistent 

* Letter to the Times, September 25th, 1857. 

t Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 307. 

X A writer in the Times, " who has passed his life 
in India," asserts, that ■' the white and the dark man 
are no more equal, and no more to be governed by 
the same rules, than the man and the ape." — ('• H." 



with the usual refining and softening effect 
of legitimate domestic intercourse. 

Tlie repeated use of the word " niggers" 
in recent books of Indian memoirs, and in 
the correspondence published in the public 
journals,^ is itself a painful and significant 
symptom. An American traveller asks, how 
we can reconcile our denunciation of the 
social inequality of the negro and white races 
in America with our own conduct to the 
East Indians ? "I allude," he says, " to the 
contemptuous manner in which the natives, 
even those of the best and most intelligent 
classes, are almost invariably spoken of and 
treated. The tone adopted towards the 
lower classes is one of lordly arrogance; 
towards the rich and enlightened, one of 
condescension and patronage. I have heard 
the term ' niggers' applied to the whole 
race by those high in office ; with the lower 
order of the English it is the designation in 
general use."§ 

Sir CharlesNapier considered, thatnothing 
could be worse than the manners of Eng- 
lishmen in India towards natives of all ranks. 
Therefore, when endeavouring to bring 
into operation the resources of Sinde, he 
refused British officers a passage on board 
his merchant steamers, knowing that "if 
granted, they would go on board, occupy 
all the room, treat my rich merchants and 
supercai'goes with insolence, and very pro- 
bably drink and thrash the people." || 



Religion and Education. — Missionary ope- 
rations are alleged to have had their share 
in jeopardising the permanence of our 
power; while, on the contrary, the advocates 
of religious enterprise assert, that had the 
messengers of the glad tidings of universal 
peace aud good-will been suffered to have 
free way in India, as in every other depen- 
dency or colony of the British empire, such 
an exposition of the tenets of Protestant 
Christianity would long since have been 
afforded to the intelligent and argumenta- 
tive Hindoos, as would have rendered it 
impossible for the most artfully-concocted 
rumours, founded on the most unfortunate 
combination of circumstances, to persuade 
them (in the teeth of a hundred years' ex- 
perience to the contrary), that force and 
fraud would ever be used to compel the 
Nov. 23rd, 1857.) It is much to be regretted, that 
such mischievous and exceptional opinions as these 
should find unqualified expression in a journal 
which circulates largely throughout India. 

§ Taylor's Visit to India, <^c., in 1853 ; p. 273. 

;| Life, by Sir William Napier; vol. iii., p. 473. 



I ! 



12 



RELIGION AND EDUCATION IN INDIA— 1813 to 1834 



adoption of <a creed which appeals to the 
reason, and requires the habitual exercise 
of the free-will of every disciple. 

AVith some few and partial exceptions, the 
policy of tlie home and local government 
has been steadily and even sternly repres- 
sive of all attempts for the extension of 
Christianity; and every concession made 
has been wrung from them by the zeal of 
influential individuals, supported by public 
opinion. It needs not to establish this fact 
on evidence, or to remind the reader that 
English missionaries were not even tolerated 
in India until the year 1813 ; that Marsh- 
man and Carey Avere compelled to take up 
their residence 'without the British frontier, 
in the Danish settlement of Serampoor; 
that Judson and his companions were actu- 
ally deported; and that Robert Haldane's 
munificent and self-sacrificing intention of 
expending £40,000 on the formation of an 
efiective mission for Benares, was frustrated 
by the positive prohibition of government, 
despite the efforts of Wilberforce and others. 

An Indian director is said to have de- 
clared, that "he would rather a band of devils 
landed in India than a band of mission- 
aries;"* and his colleagues acted very much 
as if they shared his conviction. 

Secular education was long viewed by 
the East India Company as a question in 
which they had no concern ; and the efforts 
made by the Marquis Wellesley and others, 
were treated with an indifi'erence amounting 
to aversion. At length public opinion be- 
came decided on the subject; and, in 1813, 
the sum of £10,000 was, by the determina- 
tion of parliament, decreed to be annually 
appropriated, out of the revenues of India, 
for the cultivation of exclusively Hindoo 
and Mohammedan lore. 

In 1824, Mr. Mill (the historian, who 
entered the service of the Company after 
writing his famous exposition of the worst 
features of their rule) was ordered to pre- 
pare a despatch on the subject of education. 
He did so, and in it boldly laid down the 
principle of inculcating sound truth, in op- 
position to the absurd fictions of the Shas- 
tras. The directors accepted his dictum, 
and founded English schools and colleges 
for exclusively secular instruction. Lord 
W. Bentinck, in 1834, pursued a similar 
course; and a few thousand youths (including 
Nana Sahib) learned to talk English fluently, 

* Quoted by the Hon. A. Kinnaird — Exeter Hall, 
Jan. 5th, 1858. 

t Arthur's Mysoor, p. 91. 



to quote Shakespeare, Pope, Addison, and 
Byron, instead of the Banmyaiia and the 
Mahabharata, Hafiz or Sadi ; and to jeer with 
the flippancy of superficial scepticism at the 
ignorance of their parents and countrymen, 
in asserting that the earth rests on eight 
elephants, a serpent, a turtle, and such like;t 
and at the Mussulmans, for believing in 
Mohammed's journey to the moon. After 
all, such instruction was a direct and tan- 
gible interference with the religious views 
of the people. No greater would have been 
committed, had we placed before them a 
frank and full exposition of our own creed, 
choosing Moses rather than Milton to nar- 
rate the origin and fall of the whole human 
race, and trusting to the equally inspired 
record of the evangelists, to impart, with re- 
sistless power, the divinely revealed mystery 
of man's redemption. 

We have taught the whole truth as re- 
gards material things — that the earth is 
round, for instance, and that the ocean is 
everywhere the same ; in opposition to the 
Brahminical doctrine, that the earth con- 
sists of seven continents, divided by seas 
composed respectively of salt-water, wine, 
sugar-cane juice, clarified butter, curds, 
milk, and fresh-water. Spiritual truth we 
have not ventured to set forth ; and the con- 
querors who represent a nation which ap- 
plauds itself for the maintenance in strict 
union of church and state, have become the 
voluntary exponents of a neutral system 
which closely resembles practical infidelity. 
And practical infidelity is the cause to which 
alone our conduct is attributed by the more 
intelligent class of the natives. They know 
that the government is firm even to obsti- 
nacy in the maintenance of its convictions., 
and they utterly discredit the reality of a 
belief which can co-exist with the tempo- 
rising and cowardly half measures em- 
ployed by those who are in all other things 
habitually positive and outspoken. 

The Anglo-Indian authorities were not, 
however, all blind or indifferent to the 
workings of the " Godless colleges." In 
Madras, a strong feeling grew up in favour 
of the teaching of the Bible in government 
schools. The Marquis of Tweeddale, then 
governor, shared and ably expressed this 
opinion, declaring, that "it required a 
more solid foundation than is to be found 
in the Hindoo or Mohammedan faith, to 
bear the change which learning operates on 
the mind of those who emerge out of a 
state of ignorance, and attain those mental 



THE BIBLE EXCLUDED FROM GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS. 



13 



acquirements 
gives. * * 
itself 



wliich enlarged education 
* Nor do I see how native 
society itself can safely and permanently 
advance except upon tliis basis. I would 
therefore adopt the rule proposed by the 
council, which recognises the Bible as a 
class-book in the government schools, but 
at the same time leaves it free to the native 
student to read it or not, as his conscience 
may dictate, or his parent may desire."^ 

The Court of Directors refused to comply 
with Lord Tweeddale's recommendation, 
and persevered in their previous resolve, 
despite the remonstrances of the Madras 
council, and their clear exposition of the 
mistaken view on which that determination 
was founded. An able pen wrote a denun- 
ciation of the system, which now reads like a 
prophecy: — "The government does not 
know what it is doing. No doubt it is 
breaking down those superstitions, and dis- 
persing those mists, which, by creating 
weakness and disunion, facilitated the con- 
quest of the country ; but, instead of sub- 
stituting any useful truth, or salutary prin- 
ciples, for the ignorance and false principles 
which they remove, they are only facilitating 
the dissemination of the most pernicious 
errors, and the most demoralising and revo- 
lutionary principles. I have been appalled 
by discovering the extent to which athe- 
istical and deistical writings, together with 
disatfection to the British government and 
hatred to the British name, have spread, 
and are spreading, among those who have 
been educated in government schools, or 
are now in the service of government. The 
direction of the government system of edu- 
cation is rapidly faUing into the hands of 
astute Brahmins, who know how to take 
advantage of such a state of things, and 
at the same time to strengthem them- 
selves by an alliance with Parsee and Mus- 
sulman prejudices ; while the European 
gentlemen who still remain nominally at 
the head of the system, know nothing of the 
under-currents which pervade the whole, 
or consider themselves as bound, either by 
principle or policy, not to make any exer- 
tions in favour of Christian truth; while the 
professed object of the government is to 
give secular instruction only.^f 

• See Lord Tweeddale's Minute, August 24th, 
1846, and reply thereto. — Sixth Report of House of 
LWds, 1853; pp. 189; 152. 

f Testimony of Professor Henderson, of the Bom- 
bay Government Schools, dated 31st October, 1803 ; 
published in a Discourse upon his death, by Dr. Wil- 
son president of the Bombay Literary Society. 



In April, 1847, an order was issued by 
the Court of Directors to the governor-gen- 
eral, requiring, that the principle which had 
been " uniformly maintained, of abstaining 
from all interference with the religion of 
the natives of India," should be rigidly en- 
forced. A paragraph in a previous despatch 
(to Madras, 21st May, 1845), declared it to 
be " the duty of government, and not less 
of its officers, to stand aloof from all mis- 
sionary labours, either as promoting or as 
opposing them." At this time, it was well- 
known that many of the most esteemed 
officials, civil and military, were, and had 
been for years past, members of committees 
of Bible and Missionary societies. A public 
demand for "specific instructions" regarding 
the meaning of the directors, was made by 
their servants; and this, together with the 
privately expressed opinions which reached 
the governor-general (Lord Hardinge), in- 
duced him to withhold the despatch and 
recommend its suppression; in which the 
directors concurred, because its publication 
" might give rise to discussion on a subject 
on which it is particularly desired that the 
public mind should not be excited. "f 

In the year 1849, a native of high- 
caste, occupying a responsible position in 
the Calcutta college, publicly embraced 
Christianity, and was immediately dismissed 
by the English authorities. § 

The government pursued the system of 
excluding .the Bible from its schools, while 
the missionaries persisted in making it the 
foundation of theirs ; and the opinion 
of the natives was evidenced in the large 
voluntary contributions made by them to 
the latter. The statistics of 1853 gave 
the following result: — Government schools, 
404; scholars, 25,362: Christian Mission 
schools, 1,668; scholars, 96,177. The re- 
turns showed some singular facts : among 
others, that the only school at Bangalore in 
which Brahmin youths were found, was a 
missionary one. 

In 1854, the duty of adopting measures for 
the extension of education, was avowed in a 
despatch by Sir Charles Wood ; and the doc- 
trine of grants in aid for the support of all 
schools, without reference to the religious 
doctrine taught therein, was plainly set forth. 

X Pari. Papers (House of Commons), 12th Feb- 
ruary, 1858; pp. 3, 5, 11. — Letter from a Layman 
in India ; pamphlet, published by Dalton, Cock- 
spur-street, 1858; pp. 11, 12. — Speech of Rev. W. 
Chalmers, Exeter Hall, January 5th, 1858. 

§ Christian Education for India in the Mother- 
Tongue, p. 15. 



14 



CRY FOR " CHRISTIAN EMANCIPATION" IN INDIA. 



A minister of public iustruction for India 
■was appointed, with a salary of £3,000 
a-year; four inspectors, with salaries varying 
from £1,500 down to £750; and a large 
number of sub-inspectors : but no single 
vernacular school* was established, neither 
was any attempt made to frame and cir- 
culate tracts on agriculture and mechanics, 
or to convey, in the native languages, the 
more elementary and practical portions of 
the knowledge generally availed of in Europe 
for the furtherance of various branches of 
trade and manufacture. t 

The extensive scale on which prepara- 
tions were made surprised the natives, and 
the unauthorised and improper statement 
of some of the officials, that " it was the 
order of government that people should 
now educate their children,"]: created much 
anxiety. Yet proselytising was neither 
contemplated nor desired. The Calcutta 
Bible Society requested permission of the 
Council of Education to place a copy of the 
Bible, in English and the vernacular, in the 
library of each government school and col- 
lege. It was notorious that the Koran and 
the Shastras were there; yet the council 
declined to give the Bible a place beside 
them, because it would be a breach of 
" neutrality."§ 

In England, and even in India, the autho- 
rities generally seem to have had no mis- 
givings as to the result of purely secular 
teaching. Some few, however, deprecated 
education of any kind to any extent; and 
this party included a late governor-general. 
Lord EUenborough, who declared his belief 
of its incompatibility with the maintenance 
of British dominion in India — a conviction, 
the ground of which is explained by a sub- 
sequent statement made by his lordship in 
his place in parliament (in 1852), that ''no 
intelligent people would submit to our gov- 
ernment. "|| 

With such views, it is not surprising that 
Lord EUenborough, when addressing the 
House of Lords on the 9th of June, 1857, 
on the recent tidings of the mutiny of the 
Bengal army, should have adverted with 
extreme astonishment to a statement which 
he could " scarcely believe to be true," 
though he had seen it " distinctly stated in 
the papers, that thegovernor-general himself, 

• A Vernacular Society is now being organised 
in London. It is much needed ; for, as its chief pro- 
moter, Mr. Tucker, truly says, no people have ever 
been Christianised through a foreign language. 

t Report of Public Meeting for the Formation of 



Lord Canning, subscribed largely to a mis- 
sionary society, which has for its object the 
conversion of the natives." The reply of 
Lord Lansdowne was, that if " Lord Can- 
ning had so acted as to give countenance to 
such belief as the noble earl inferred, he 
would no longer deserve to be continued in 
his office.'^ These, and sinjilar expressions 
of opinion, have done good by affording 
unmistakable evidence of the feelings enter- 
tained by men of high talent and position. 
A cry arose for "Christian emancipation," 
and several public meetings took place. 
On one of these, held at Exeter Hall on the 
5th of January, 1858, the Times commented 
in the following terms: — "We have made 
a great mistake in India. The religious 
policy ptxrsued by the government of that 
country, has made us, as one of its own 
servants declared, 'cowards in the eyes of 
men, and traitors in the eyes of God.' 
* * * A stranger to the question, after 
reading the noble chairman's speech on 
that occasion, might well imagine that the 
Hindoos were the conquerors, and we the 
subjects ; that we had been tyrannically 
debarred, for more than a century, from the 
free exercise of our religion ; and that we 
were at length seizing a favourable moment 
to demand relief from these unjust disabili- 
ties. All that his lordship, and those who 
followed him, asked for, was Christian 
emancipation; * * * and that, under a 
government acknowledging faith in Christ 
Jesus, the profession of the Gospel should 
no longer be visited with penalties of civil 
disqualification. These are literally the 
conditions to which our policy has driven 
us. * H' * "VVe were never really neutral ; 
we made ourselves partisans; but, unfor- 
tunately, in our anxiety to escape the 
charge of favouring Christianity, we ac- 
tually favoured heathenism. * * * AH 
this must now end, if not for truth's sake, 
for the sake of government itself. Our 
policy has broken down utterly, and proved 
destructive to its own objects. There is no 
mistaking the results of the experiment. 
Where, asked Lord Shaftesbury, did the 
insurrection break out ? Was it in Madras, 
where Christians are most numerous, and 
where Christianity has been best treated ? 
Was it in Bombay, where caste was scouted, 

a Christian Vernacular Education Society, 20th Mar, 
1858; p. 8. 

X Pari. Papers, L'ilh April, 1808 ; p. 2. 

§ Letter from a Lnt/muti, p. 13. 

II Dickinson's India under a Bureaucracy, p. 117. 



DANGER OF CHANGING IDOLATERS TO ATHEISTS. 



15 



and Hindoos taught that government could ] 
pay no heed to such pretensions ? No ; it 
was in Bengal, where idolatry and caste 
received the greatest reverence; and in the 
Bengal army, which represented the most 
pampered class of the whole population." 

One last incident, illustrative of the anti- 
Christiau policy of the Indian government, 
remains to he quoted. The Sonthals — a 
wild trihe, resembling our gipsies — were 
driven into rebellion in 1856, by the mis- 
conduct of some railway contractors, the 
exactions of native bankers, and the out- 
rages committed by the native police. The 
missionaries materially aided in restoring 
tranquillity, and succeeded in obtaining the 
confidence of these poor savages, who were 
without the pale of Hindoo caste ; and the 
Calcutta authorities entered into arrange- 
ments with the Church Missionary Society 
for the establishment of schools of religious 
and industrial instruction among them, and 
specially among the females.* When the 
measure became known in England, the 
home government refused its sanction, and 
ordered the establishment of schools on its 
own plan, the teachers of which were to be 
"most strictly enjoined to abstain from any 
attempt to introduce religious subjects in 
any form.^f 

It is interesting to learn, from one of the 
Hindoos themselves, the \iew taken by them 
of our so-called neutrality. Shew Purshad 
says — " It is absurd to think that the Eng- 
lish are hated by the Hindoos on account of 
their religion. * * * It is not religion, 
but the want of religion, which has brought 
so much evil to this country. The people 
know that the government is a Christian 
one. Let it act openly as a true Christian : 
the people will never feel themselves disap- 
pointed; they will only admire it. * * * 
Education must be carried on upon a 

* See Mr. J. M. Strachan's Letter to Captain 
Eastioicli. (Seeley, 1858.) 

t Pari. Papers (Commons), 24th Aug., 1857; p. 2. 

I See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 46. 

§ " Active resistance to the recently introduced 
messing system in the gaols of Bengal and the N.W. 
Provinces, has produced bloodshed." — Col. Sykes' 
Letter to the Times, October 8th, 1857. 

II Thoughts of a Native, ^t., pp. 18 — 34. 

51 Mr. Tucker was connected with the Benares 
district for twenty-five years : during this period he 
avowed and acted up to his own high standard of 
Christian duty, at the risk of being deemed a dan- 
gerous fanatic ; the more so because the " Holy 
City" of Benares is the stronghold of the Brahmins, 
and holds a somewhat similar position, in the esti- 
mation of the Hindoos, to what Mecca does in that 
of the Moslems. Yet, on his departure for Europe 



sounder principle, and religion must be 
fostered. Don't turn India from idolatry 
to atheism. * * * Who can detest 
'religion?' It is the order of their own 
Shastrasf that every man is to revere his 
own religion. You may have a thousand 
missionaries to preach, and another thou- 
sand as masters of the schools, at the ex- 
pense of the government, or distribute a 
thousand Bibles at the hands of the gov- 
ernor-general. The people will not murmur 
out a single syllable, though they may 
laugh and jeer ; but take care that you do 
not interfere with their caste — you do not 
force them to eat the food cooked by another 
in the gaols, § or thrust grease down their 
throats with the cartridges made by Eu- 
ropeans. * * * Difference of caste 
must vanish, with many other offsprings of 
folly and ignorance, when its proper time 
comes. To try to exterminate it now must 
end in bloodshed." || 

Mr. Henry Carre Tucker, the son of the 
late chairman of the East India Company 
(and himself no mean authority^), confirms 
the statement, from long personal experience 
— that so long as we scrupulously abstain 
from any direct interference with the cere- 
monial observances of caste, we may teach 
Christianity as much as we please, adding — 
" This view is strengthened by the fact, that 
during the late mutiny, those large military 
stations have escaped the best where the 
governors Avere most zealous for Chris- 
tianity." He proceeds to instance Pesha- 
wur, tinder Herbert Edwardes ; and Lahore, 
tfnder "those brave Christian men, John 
Lawrence and Robert Montgomery :" but 
here we cannot follow him without anti- 
cipating the subsequent narrative. His 
conclusions, however, are too important to 
be omitted : they are — " That we ought to 
assume a bolder position as a Christian gov- 

in March, 1858, a valedictory address was presented 
to him, signed by all the principal inhabitants — ex- 
pressing sorrow at the termination of their official 
connection, a " deep sense of admiration of his en- 
larged spirit of philanthropy and almost boundless 
benevolence," and. "gratitude for his zealous exer- 
tions in extending the benefits of education." In 
token of their sense of the manner in which he had 
employed his few leisure hours in furthering " the 
welfare, here and hereafter, of those committed to his 
charge," the subscribers to the address collected 
among themselves 6,000 rupees, for the obtainment 
of a full-length portrait of their friend, to be placed 
in the Benares college ; and with the balance, after 
defraying the cost of the picture, they propose to 
found a schohirship to commemorate his name. 
Certainly the Hindoos know how to appreciate 
Christian disinterestedness when they meet with it. 



16 



CASTE, A SOCIAL CONVENTION. 



eminent ; that it is quite feasible to Chris- 
tianise our education ; and that, instead of 
causing alarm and disafi'ection, those dan- 
gerous points liave, through God's blessing, 
been the most quiet uhere Christian exer- 
tion has been the greatest. Oude, destitute 
of all missionary effort, and the sepoys, to 
whom Christian instruction was closed, were 
the worst of all."* 

The ignorance displayed by the sepoys, 
and that large part of the Indian population 
connected Avith the army, regarding Chris- 
tianity, is remarkable, even after making 
every possible allowance for the rigid exclu- 
sion of missionary teaching, and the abso- 
lute prohibition of proselytism among their 
ranks.f The cause is obvious — not simply 
to the minds of earnest Christians, but to 
the class who have least sympathy with any- 
thing approaching religious enthusiasm. 

The Tim€s,X in one of its leading articles, 
is constrained to admit, that it is because 
the superior beneficence and purity of our 
religion have not been vividly and trans- 
parently exhibited in practice, that we " have 
not converted the people who have witnessed 
the every-day life of British gentlemen and 
ladies — we will not say to an acceptance of 
our religion, but even to any high regard for 
it. * * * We ought to have stood high 



in that land of many religions, as a con 
sistent, believing, just, kind, and holy people. 
Tliat we have not even done this, and that 
we are regarded simply as unbelievers, with 
little religion except a few negative tenets, 
which we find convenient for political pm-- 
poses, must be deemed a shortcoming. in 
our practice. It must be our fault that we 
Christians stand so much lower in the reli- 
gious scale of India than we did in the scale 
of ancient paganism." 

While (according to the above impartial 
testimony) we have not taught Christianity 
either by precept or example, and while 
among tlie sepoys the Bible has remained a 

* It would seem as if the government had feared 
the influence of Christianity among the English 
soldiery; for it is only very recently that chaplains 
have been appointed to accompany expeditions. 
No provision of the kind was made in the Cabool 
war ; and Sir Charles Napier loudly complained of 
a similar deficiency among his force in Sinde. 

t Witness the case of Purrub-deen Pandeh, a high- 
caste Brahmin (a naik in the 25lh regiment), M-ho, 
though "previously much esteemed in the corps," 
was summarily removed for having received Chris- 
tian baptism. This occurred at Meerut in 1819. — 
(Pari. Papers, 8ih February, 1858.) 

j October 6th, 1857. 

§ See London Quarterly Review, October, 1857 : 



sealed book, no such embargo has ever been 
laid on the Koran. The Mohammedans, 
themselves essentially propagandists, have 
remained masters of the situation. Wrapped 
in a complacent belief of their own supe- 
riority, as believers in a revelation more 
recent and complete than that of their con- 
querors, the followers of the False Prophet 
adopt their own classification of " Jews, 
English, infidels, and heretics ;" and really 
viewing us (in a certain sense) as we do the 
Jews, have taken pains to communicate 
this impression to the Hindoos. 

Indeed, who will venture to defend from 
the charge of practical atheism, a govern- 
ment that causes such sentences as '' God 
is a Spirit," to be expunged from its school- 
books ;§ being apparently ignorant that this 
fundamental truth is the very essence of all 
that is sound in Mohammedanism, and is 
acknowledged, at least in theory, by every 
Brahmin and Buddhist in India. 



Caste, and the panic-terror which the 
idea of its violation may have occasioned, 
constitute a social and political, even more 
than a religious question. || Sir Charles 
Napier well defined the difference Avhen 
he said, that what the natives dreaded, 
was " not conversion, but contamination." 
Caste is no universal, immutable law : it 
is a pure convention ; but one which, by 
the nature of our position, we are bound to 
respect to a certain reasonable extent. 

The traditional four castes^ have merged 
into innumerable others. Human passions 
have proved too strong for the strongest 
fetters ever forged by a wily priesthood. 
Intermarriages have taken place between 
every variety of caste ; and the result is, the 
general division of the Hindoo population 
into high-caste (consisting of Brahmins Avho 
compose the priest and scholar class, and 
the Rajpoots, who are hereditary soldiers), 
low-caste (in which all the Mahrattas, and 

article on the "Sepoy Rebellion;" by the Hev. W. 
Arthur; p. 259. 

II No European can form, though they ought to 
form, a correct idea of the diti'erence between the 
prejudices of caste and those of religion. Give a 
couple of gold mohurs to a pundit, and he will cheer- 
fully compose a book in refutation of his own reli- 
gion ; but give him a glass of water openly touched 
by you, even through the medium of a stick a hun- 
dred feet long, and he will not drink it, though you 
offer him a thousand gold mohurs. Secretly, per- 
ha])s, he may not have objection to do anything 
either to please you or satiate his own passions. 
— {ITionyhts of a Native, 4"c. ; p. 18) 

^ See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 14. 



HIGH-CASTE, LOW-CASTE, AND OUT-CASTE. 



17 



most of the remaining native princes, are 
included), and, thirdly, out-caste — a section 
diffused all over India, and forming a large 
proportion of the entire population. The 
Abbe Dubois maintaiued, th;it they were, in 
his time, one in five ; but an able writer of 
our own day suggests one in ten as nearer 
the tnith : adding — " Even in this pro- 
portion the Indian out-castes would be 
twenty millions of human beings, or more 
than the population of all England/^* 

This class includes the aborigines, or at 
least the predecessors of the Hindoos, the 
Gonds, Bheels, Sonthals, &c., who have 
never accepted caste; and, indeed, could 
not by Brahminical law find place in it. 
The barrier is equally impassable for the 
Mussulmans, whose observance of certain 
caste rules is worthless in the sight of the 
Hindoos. No man can venture to foretel 
how much longer the system may endure, 
or how soon it may be thrown to the winds. 
The Jains have caste; the Buddhists (who 
still linger in India) have none. Then there 
are the Seiks, originally a peaceable, reli- 
gious sect, founded by a Hindoo, whose 
creed was derived from the Vedas and the 
Koran. Caste was suddenly abolished among 
them by Govind, their tenth " Guru," or 
spiritual chief; converts were gladly wel- 
comed from all quarters, and admitted to a 
perfect equality. f 

A similar change may come over the mass 
of the Hindoos; and as the teaching of St. 
Paul produced the simultaneous conversion 
of two thousand persons, so here, whole 
communities may be led at once to renounce 
the error which has so long enthralled them. 
Or, the work may be more gradual — indivi- 
dual enlightenment may be the thin edge 
of the wedge : but in either case, Christian 
civilisation is the instrument which alone 
can prosper in our hands — the only one that 
affords any rational prosjiect of leading to 
the voluntary renunciation of caste. This 
renunciation does not necessarily accom- 
pany conversion to Christianity ; though it 
would seem to be an inevitable consequence. 

Some of the Hindoo pamphleteers, how- 
ever, declaj'e that caste can hardly be 
deemed iucompatiblewith Christianity, when 
it exists so evidently, although under pecu- 
liar forms, among the English. They ask, 
whether we do not treat all men. whose 
skins are darker than our own, as if of quite 

* Sepoy Rebellion in Indln ; by the Rev. W. 
Arthur. — London Quarterly Review, October, 1857. 
t See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 1.54. 
VOL. II. D 



another caste or breed ? ^Yhether half-caste 
is not our contemptuous term for an Eura- 
sian ? They point to the whole framework of 
Anglo-Indian society, to its "covenanted" 
service, to the rigid exclusiveness produced 
by patronage alike in the military and civil 
service, in confirmation of their assertion. 
High-caste, low-caste, and out-caste, with 
their various subdivisions, are, they say, 
pretty clearly defined in our practice, how- 
ever forcibly we may repudiate such dis- 
tinctions in theory. 

To return : the Indo-Mohammedans have, 
to a certain extent, imitated Brahminical 
practices as conventional distinctions, and 
are interested in inciting the Hindoo se- 
poys to maintain a system which enables 
them to dictate to their officers the what, 
when, how, and where, in a service in 
which unhesitating and unquestioning obe- 
dience is otherwise exacted. The natives 
are perfectly aware that caste is a great 
inconvenience to the Europeans, and that it 
materially impedes their efficiency as sol- 
diers and servants. It is this which made 
them so watchful of every measure of gov- 
ernment that might infringe on the caste 
monopoly of privileges and immunities, 
which we had unwisely made their " ]\Iagna 
Charta," and which we, strangely enough, 
took no pains to investigate or define. The 
consequence of our ignorance of its theory 
and regulations has been, that we have been 
perpetually falling into opposite errors — 
vacillating between absurd deference to pre- 
tended scruples, and real infraction of the 
first and most invariable observances. Per- 
secution on the one hand, undue concessions 
on the other, have been our Scylla and Cha- 
rybdis ; but it is our ignorance that has 
made them so. 

In considering the operation of caste in 
India, we must bear in mind that it is a 
thing hard to preserve intact, and easily de- 
stroyed, either by force or fraud. Many 
comparatively recent instances of both are 
on record ; and Tippoo Sultan especially de- 
lighted in compelling Brahmins to forfeit 
their privileges by destroying kine. The 
natives know us too well to fear any such 
ebullitions of insane barbarity or fierce zeal ; 
but it is quite possible they may anticipate 
our desiring the annihilation of caste on the 
score of policy, and dread our attempting it 
by a coup d'ttat. It is ;dleged that articles 
in the public journals, regarding the need 
of soldiers experienced by England iti 
carrying out the Russian, Persian, and Chi- 



18 



THE GREASED CARTRIDGES. 



nese wars, gave rise to rumours whicli were 
circulated among the sepoys, of the anxiety 
of government to get rid, at once and for 
ever, of the shackles which prevented the 
Indian troops from being sent across the 
Cala-pani, or Black water, to fight our bat- 
tles in foreign climes.* A Hindoo would 
naturally cling to the system which was at 
once his reason and excuse for avoiding 
expatriation, which he fears worse than 
death ; and his suspicions would easily be 
roused on the subject. 

The readiest way of destroying caste, is 
by forcing or tempting the party concerned 
to taste anything prepared by unclean hands 
— that is, by persons of an inferior, or of no 
caste; or which contains the smallest par- 
ticle of the flesh of kine. The Mohamme- 
dans abstain as rigidly from tasting the 
flesh of the impure hog, as the Hindoos from 
that of the sacred cow. The motive differs, 
but the result is the same. In both cases, 
the abstinence respectively practised is one 
of the first and most generally recognised 
of their rules. The Indian government 
could scarcely have been ignorant, when 
issuing a new description of fire-arras to 
the sepoys, that to bite a cartridge greased 
with cows' or pigs' fat, was more to Hin- 
doos and Indo-Mohammedans, than " eat- 
ing pork to a Jew, spitting on the Host 
to a Roman Catholic, or trampling on the 
Cross to a Protestant. "f To the Hindoos 
it was indeed much more, so far as tem- 
poral welfare was concerned ; for it involved 
practical outlawry, with some of the pains 
and penalties specially attached to conver- 
sion to Christianity. It is clear, that if it 
had been necessary to distribute greased 
cartridges, to be bitten by the troops, not 
only the greatest care ought to have been 
taken that no contaminating material should 
be used in the manufacture, but also that 
an explicit assurance should have been given 
to this effect. Yet, the inspector-general of 
ordnance has stated, that "no extraordinary 
care appears to have been taken to ensure 
the absence of any objectionable fat. "J So 
that, so far from endeavouring to remove all 
suspicion from the minds of the sepoys, of 
any intention to inflict on them the calamity 
they most dreaded, we did not even guard 
against its perpetration. 

The issue of the greased cartridges, under 

• Mead's Sepoy Revolt, p. 37. (Routledge and 
Co. : London, 1858.) 

•)■ Letters of Indophilns, p. 33. 

X Pari. Papers (by command), 1857 ; p. 7. 



such circumstances, was unquestionably a 
gross blunder, and is viewed by many as 
the exciting cause of the mutiny. 

The Free Press, and the so-called Gagging 
Act of Lord Canning, have given rise to 
discussions which bring to mind Dr. John- 
son's remark, that opinions formed on the 
efficacy of a certain branch of scholastic 
discipline, are apt to be materially in- 
fluenced by the fact, " of which end of the 
rod falls to one's share." The evils alleged 
to have been produced by unrestricted pub- 
lication, are too circumstantially stated by 
official authorities to be omitted in the pre- 
sent category; and it becomes necessary to 
show, if possible, the two sides of the ques- 
tion — that is, the case of those who wield, 
and those who wince under, the rod of cen- 
sorship. It is now little more than twenty 
years since complete freedom of the press 
was bestowed by Sir Charles Metcalfe. § 
The measure was sudden and startling: it 
was scarcely in accordance with his own 
previous views ; and it was in decided oppo- 
sition to the opinions which the Court of 
Directors had from time to time enunciated. 
A recapitulation of the restrictive mea- 
sures adopted in the three presidencies, 
from 1799 to 1819, is given in an important 
communication made by "the Chairs" || 
to the president of the India Board, ou 
the 17th of January, 1823. Among other 
evidence in support of the necessity for a 
rigid censorship, they quoted the following 
Minute, written in 1807, by Lord William 
Bentinck (then governor of Madras), re- 
garding a charge delivered by one of the 
judges of the Supreme Court (Sir Henry 
GwiUim) to the grand jury: — ■ 

" It is necessary, in my opinion, for the public 
safety, that the press in India should be kept under 
the most rigid control. It matters not from what 
pen the dangerous matter may issue ; the higher the 
authority the greater the mischief. We cannot pre- 
vent the judges of the Supreme Court from uttering, 
in open court, opinions, however mischievous; but 
it is in our power, and it is our duty, to prohibit 
them from being circulated through the country by 
means of the press. Entertaining strongly this 
sentiment, I would recommend that the order of 
government may be given to all proprietors of ' 
printing-presses, forbidding them, upon pain of the I 
utmost displeasure of the governor in council, to I 
print any paper whatever without the previous ' 
sanction of the governor in council, communicated 
by the chief secretary."^ 



§ Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 431. 
II The chairman and deputy-chairman of 
E. I. Company (J. Pattison and W. Wigram.) 
% Pari. Papers (Commons), 4th May, 1858. 



the 



BENTINCK, METCALFE, AND ELPHTNSTONE ON FREE PRESS. 19 



The opinion pronounced by Sir Thomas 
MunrOj regarding the revolution which a 
free press would produce throughout the 
native army, is next quoted; and the writers 
proceed to express similar and very decided 
views on the subject : — 

"A free press is a fit associate and necessary 
appendage of a representative constitution ; but in 
no sense of the terms can the government of India 
be called a free, a representative, or a popular govern- 
ment; the people had no voice in its establishment, 
nor have they any control over its acts. • • • 
Can it be doubted that the respect of the natives for 
our authority would be greatly diminished, and the 
energy of the government impaired, by a free press ? 
* • * It is impossible to suppose that a foreign 
government, however strong and beneficent its cha- 
racter, should not be obnoxious in some degree to 
those who live under it. It is humbling to the pride 
of the people ; and where they difi"er, as in India, in 
religion, in language, in manners, in colour, and in 
customs from those who administer the government, 
there cannot be much sympathy or attachment 
between them. Though the situation of the large 
body of the people may now be greatly better, on the 
whole, than it was under their native governments, 
there are not a few, particularly among the Moham- 
medans, who have sufi"ered from the change. These, 
we may be sure, will always be ready to avail them- 
selves of any opportunity of retrieving their fortunes, 
and we know not that they could desire a more efficient 
auxiliary than a licentious press, labouring daily to 
extinguish all respect for our character and govern- 
ment in the minds of their countrymen. The ten- 
dency and efi'ect of our system, too, has been to 
beget in the minds of the people at large a respect 
for themselves, and notions of their own importance, 
which makes the task of governing them a more 

i difficult one than it was when they first came under 
our rule. But the delicacy of our situation in India 
cannot be well understood without special advertence 

• to the circumstance of the government being de- 
pendent in a great degree for its security on a native 
army, which, though better paid, with reference to 
the wages of labour, than any other army in the 
world, contains in its organisation some elements of 
discontent. The exclusion of the natives from its 
higher ranks must necessarily be a source of heart- 
burning to men of family and ambition ; and when a 
sense of mortification is united with a spirit of enter- 
prise, their joint workings are not easily daunted or 
repressed. It may be difficult to retain the fidelity 
of men of this description, with all the care and cau- 
tion that can be exercised ; but it would appear to 
be either a lamentable infatuation, or unpardonable 
rashness, to allow them to be goaded on to revolt, 
by means over which we possess or may obtain con- 
trol. "Whatever English newspapers are published 
at the presidencies will naturally find their way to 
the principal military stations. Many of the native 
officers can read and understand English ; and by 
means of the native servants of the European officers, 
it will not be difficult for them to obtain the perusal 
of those papers, containing a perhaps exaggerated re- 
presentation of their grievances or an inflammatory in- 
centive to rebellion, which, from their assemblage in 
garrisons and cantonments, they have better means of 
concerting than any other portion of the population."* 
• Pari. Papers, 4th May, 1858 ; pp. 20—23. 



The degree of severity with which the 
restrictions enacted to control the press 
were enforced, depended of course materially 
on the character of those by M'hom the 
supreme authority was wielded. Lord 
Amherst used his power as governor- 
general in such wise as entirely to stifle 
all public discussion; and Lord William 
Bentinck, his successor (in 1828), was so 
impressed by the mischievous effect of this 
policy, that though, as has been shown, very 
ready to repress, in the most summary 
fashion, any real or imagined excess on the 
part of journalists, he, nevertheless, deemed 
it necessary to issue a notice inviting sug- 
gestions from any quarter for the improve- 
ment of public measures, and the develop- 
ment of the resources of the country ; and 
the result was the publication of letters 
from various quarters, written with much 
ability and freedom ; among which, the first 
and most important were those afterwards 
embodied by the Hon. Frederick Shore, in 
his Notes on Indian Affairs. 

Lord William Bentinck quitted India in 
1835; Lord Auckland came out as his suc- 
cessor in the same year; and it was during 
the brief provisional sway of Sir Charles 
(afterwards Lord) Metcalfe, that the im- 
portant measure was adopted of giving 
complete freedom to the press. In ex- 
plaining the difference between his own 
opinions and those of his predecessor. Sir 
Charles says — 

" His lordship, however, sees further danger in 
the spread of knowledge and the operations of the 
press. I do not, for my own part, anticipate danger 
as a certain consequence from these causes. I see 
so much danger in the ignorance, fanaticism, and 
barbarism of our subjects, that I rest on the spread 
of knowledge some hope of greater strength and 
security. • • • The time is past when the ope- 
rations of the press could be effectually restrained. 
Even if that course would be any source of safety 
(which must be very doubtful), nothing so precarious 
could in prudence be trusted to. If, therefore, in- 
crease of danger is really to be apprehended from 
increase of knowledge, it is what we must cheerfully 
submit to. AVe must not try to avert it ; and, if we 
did, we should fail."t 

Lord Elphinstone (the present governor 
of Bombay), in commenting on this passage, 
truly says, that Lord Metcalfe " considers 
the freedom of the press, and the diffusion 
of knowledge, as convertible terms;" and 
expresses his surprise that a statesman who 
entertained such alarming notions of the 
insecurity and unpopularity of our rule, 
should have been the man to abolish the 

t Selections from the Metcalfe Papers, p. 197. 



20 AUCKLAND, ELLENBOROUGH, AND NAPIER ON FREE PRESS. 



few remaining restrictions deemed indis- 
pensable bv liis predecessor.* 

In 1841, Lord Auckland revoked an 
order passed in 182G, i)rohibitin|? public 
servants from being connected with news- 
papers as editors or proprietors. Next 
came Lord EUenborougli ; who found his 
tranquillity so disturbed by the "abuse" of 
the press, that after three months' residence 
ill India, he ceased " to read a word that 
appeared in the newspapers."! The com- 
mander-in-chief, Lord Gough, is alleged to 
have avowed with yet more stoical philo- 
sophy, that "for his part, he never read 
any 'paper but the Tipperary Journal." 
The governor-general deemed it the most 
judicious course to treat all attacks on his 
administration with silent contempt; and, 
in 1843, he issued an order of opposite 
tenor to that of Lord Auckland ; which, 
by enforcing strict secrecy regarding all in- 
formation officially obtained, neutralised the 
power which had been freely exercised un- 
der the express sanction of the three pre- 
vious rulers. 

. " Lord Ellenborough's general order," 
says Indophilns, " and the disposition which 
was shown to place a strict interpretation 
npon it, effectually restrained the pens of 
the Company's servants; and no govern- 
ment could stand such pounding and kick- 
ing, and bedaubing and besmearing, as 
ensued." Statements, however false, put 
forth in ignorance or from malice prepense, 
were left to be copied into the native papers ; 
and no denial, no antidote in any shape, 
was offered. Eor instance, a paragraph 
went the round of the newspapers, that it 
was intended to annex the Rajpoot states; 
and although great disquiet was thereby 
occasioned throughout Rajpootana^ no con- 
tradiction was ever published. J 

The Afghan war, and the annexation of 
Sinde, were subjects on Avhich the authori- 
ties were perhaps wise in preferring to 

• Mmute of 24th June, 1858. Pari. Papers 
(House of Commons), 4lh May, 1858; pp. 52, 53. 

t Debate, 27lh Dec, 1857. — Times report. 

X Letters of Indophilus, p. 48. 

§ Life, vol. iii , p. 194. |1 Ibid., vol. ii., p. 218. 

^ Ibid., vol. ii. p. 305. ])r. Buist (editor of the 
Bombay Times, and sheriff of Bombay), in a pamphlet 
entitled, "Corrections of a Few of the Errors con- 
tained in Sir William Napier's Life of his Brother, 
in so far as tliey affect the Press of India," gives 
some valuable statements ri'garding the Indian 
newspapers ; of which he says there were, in 1843, 
about thirty; costing close on £100,000 a-year for 
their maintenance — deriving their cliief support, and 
nearly all their intelligence from officers of the 



submit to comments vrhich they might treat 
as calumnious, rather tlian engage in con- 
troversy; but sometimes leading officials, 
more sensitive or less discreet than their 
superiors, broke all bounds, and declaimed 
against the press in terms of unmeasured 
invective. The brave, testy, inconsistent 
general. Sir Charles Napier, who came to 
India at sixty years of age with five pounds 
in his pocket, for the sake of providing for 
his famih'^,§ and who did provide for them 
magnificentlv, by what he termed that 
"very advantageous, useful, humane piece 
of rascality," the seizure of Sinde ;|| — this 
man (who was as ready with his pen as 
with his sword, and, in either case, fought 
ever without a shield) fairly flung himself 
into a hornet's-nest by his reckless and 
indiscriminate abuse of those "ruffians,"^ 
whom he boasted of taking every public 
opportunity of calling "the infamous press 
of India."** One of them excited his special 
displeasure by taking part against him in 
the Outram controversy — Dr. Buist, of the 
Bombay Times, whom Sir Charles alternately 
threatened with a law-suit and a horse- 
whipping, and of Avhom he spoke at a public 
dinner as that " blatant beast ;"tt a mot 
which he duly records, and which Sir Wil- 
liam has not thought it derogatory to his 
brother's fame to publish. 

With such personal feelings as these, it 
is not to be wondered that Sir Charles 
should regard the public statements of the 
journalists with jealous aversion, and should 
accuse them of desiring to excite mutiny 
among the troops; of inciting the hos- 
tile tribes to rise against them ; of glory- 
ing in the sufferings of their countrymen; 
and many similar accusations in which the 
fiery old warrior gave vent to his irrepres- 
sible belligerence. His is not fair testi- 
mony concerning the operation of a free 
press ; and it is necessary to turn to more 
impartial witnesses. Sir Charles Trevelyau 

British army. The Eiiglishmnn (Calcutta) was con- 
ducted by Captain McNaughton (Bengal Army.) 
and Mr. (now Sir Ronald McDonald) Stevenson, 
projector and engineer of the great Bengal railway: 
Hurkaru—'Slx. John Kaye, Bengal artillery, now of 
the India House (author of the History of the 
Afyhan War) : Calcutta Star and Monmiy Star — 
Mr. James Hume, barrister, now police magistrate 
of Calcutta : Friend of India — the well-known Mr. 
John Marshman : Bombay Courier, by Mr. W. 
Crawford, barrister, now senior magistrate of police : 
and Bornbay Gentleman's Gazette, by Mr. P. J. 
McKenna. — (p. 15.) 

•* Life, by Sir William Napier, vol. iii., p. 124. 

tt Ibid., vol. iii., p. 294. 



OPERATION OF A FREE PRESS IN INDIA— 1857. 



21 



asserts, that it has been, " on the whole, 
highly beneficial :" and that — 

" There cannot be a greater evil than that public 
officers should be exempted from the control of public 
opinion. In Lord William Bentinck's, Lord Met- 
calfe's, and Lord Auckland's time, the press was 
held in wholesome respect by the public function- 
aries at the most remote stations, and it acted as a 
sort of moral preventive police. • • * We used 
to call it the Parliament of the Press. It may 
safely be said, that there was not a single good 
public measure which was not powerfully aided by 
it. As regards the native press, some newspapers 
were conducted in a creditable manner in the Eng- 
lish language, by and for the natives, who had re- 
ceived an English education; others were published 
in the native language by the missionaries : and it 
must not be supposed that the remainder, which 
were written by natives in the native languages, did 
nothing but preach sedition. Their standard, both 
of intelligence and morality, was, no doubt, below 
that of the English newspapers ; but they opened 
the minds of the natives to an interest in general 
topics, and taught them to think, from tchich every 
thitiff else might be exjiected."* 

Sanscrit literature proves that the Hin- 
doos were a thoughtful people before the 
English set foot in India; but the spread of 
European and " non-religious'' theories, has 
been certainly likely to teach thera to reason 
in an entirely different fashion. We kno^y 
tliat Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, and Con- 
dorcet gave currency to ideas which took a 
very practical form in the French Revolu- 
tion. These writers, with the English iu- 
fidel, Tom Paine, have found imitators and 
admirers in India, and their doctrines are 
flung abroad like firebrands by the native 
press. A blind, unreasoning distrust of all 
governments — a fierce disaffection towards 
all constituted authorities — thirst for license 
under the name of freedom ; such are the 
fruits of the tree of knowledge, apart and 
contra-distinguished from the tree of life. 
A saying, attril)uted to the Duke of Wel- 
lington, is often cited against the danger at- 
tendant on promoting education without reli- 
gion — that of making men "clever devils." 
No better illustration of this need be ad- 
duced than the terrible scenes enacted by 
the Bengal sepoj's, among whom native news- 
papers of the worst class have freely circu- 
lated. The utter indifference so long evinced 
by government, regarding the number, tone, 

• Letters of IndophiJus, p. 45. 

t On application to tlie East India House for 
some additional details to those given in the Indian 
Empire (vol. i., p. 523), the writer was informed 
that the directors had no information on the subject. 

+ L>r. Buist's Corrections of Sir W. Napier, p. 40. 

§ The Edinburgh Review speaks of the Anglo- 
Indian press as exclusively representing " the opin- 



and character of the native journals, is 
almost incredible ;t indeed, that complete 
freedom should have been accorded even to 
the European press, is strangely at variance 
with the general policy of the Company. 

In 1857, the adult male European popu- 
lation scattered throughout India, not in 
the service, was estimated at only 4,000. J 
The journals must, therefore, to a great 
extent, have been maintained by officials. 
Some of them, especially the Madras Athe^ 
n<2um, uniformly deprecated annexation ; 
and thus its supporters contributed with 
their purses, and sometimes with their pens, 
to oppose the very acts which, in their 
official capacity, they were bound to en- 
force.§ It was impossible that the natives 
should not take a lively interest in discus- 
sions which immediately affected them. 
Even a child, hearing its own name often 
repeated, would listen ; and the natives have 
done so to some purpose. 

Five years ago, one of the ablest and 
most disinterested advocates for the neces- 
sity of Indian reform, as the sole means of 
averting the blow which has since fallen, 
wrote : — 

" The free press is doing its work in India : the 
Parsee merchants, the zemindars, the native heads 
of castes, are beginning to feel their power, to com- 
bine, and to ask for redress of grievances ; some of 
them are violent, and these do not alarm me ; but 
some are remarkably temperate ; and I confess, that 
knowing the strength of their case, I fear the men 
who begin so temperatelv, and have reason on their 
side."|| 

Sir Charles Metcalfe, in establishing, and 
Lord Auckland in confirming, the freedom 
of the press, especially insisted that the 
boon thus granted might be withdrawn, in 
the event of its proving injurious in opera- 
tion. " Should the safety of the state ever 
demand such a course, in a single hour a law 
may be passed to stop or to control every 
press in India: nothing has been lost of 
useful power."^ 

In the middle of June, 1857, when the 
mutiny was at its height, the supreme 
government deemed it necessary to pass 
an act, Avhich, for the space of the suc- 
ceeding twelvemonth, was intended to re- 
place the press in the position it occupied 

ions of European settlers in the country, or half-castes 
not in the Company's service," whom it describes as a 
class bitterly hostile to government. (October, 1847.) 
Mr. Mead, on the contrary, affirms, that " six out of 
seven of the whole body of subscribers are in the 
Company's service." — Sepoy Revolt, p. 183. 

II Dickinson's India under a Bureaucracy, p. 20. 

^ Minute, by Lord Auckland, 8th August, 1836. 



22 



RESTRICTIONS ON THE PRESS RE-ESTABLISHED— 1857. 



in 1835, before tlie removal of all restrictions 
by Sir Charles Metcalfe. The authorities 
were unanimous regarding the necessity of 
the measure, which involved the re-in- 
stitution of the licensing system, together 
with a rigid censorship. The act was passed 
by the governor-general in council in a 
sitting; and Lords Harris and Elphinstone, 
the governors of Madras and Bombay, ex- 
pressed their entire acquiescence. No dis- 
tinction was made between the English 
and the native press, the government being 
desirous to avoid drawing invidious distinc- 
tions between European and native sub- 
jects. They add, moreover — 

" "We do not clearly see how any distinction of the 
sort could be really carried into effect, for there are 
now more than one newspaper in the English lan- 
guage written, owned and published by natives, 
almost exclusively for circulation amongst native 
readers ; and although we have no reason to fear 
that treasonable matter would be designedly pub- 
lished in any English newspaper, we have to guard 
in these times against errors, indiscretion, and tem- 
per, as well as against international sedition. ♦ * * 
To show that the necessity of controlling the Eng- 
lish as well as the native press, is not merely imagi- 
nary, it will be enough to state, that the treasonable 
proclamation of the king and mutineers of Delhi — 
cunningly framed so as to influence the Moham- 
medan population as much as possible against the 
British government, and ending with the assurance, 
that the multiplication and circulation of that docu- 
ment would be an act equal in religious merit to 
drawing the sword against us, was published by a 
respectable English newspaper of this town without 
comment. For doing the very same thing, with 
comments having the outward form of loyalty, the 
publishers of three native Mohammedan papers in 
Calcutta, have been committed to the Supreme Court, 
to take their trial for a seditious libel."* 

Lord Harris went further than this, and 
declared " the larger portion of the British 
press throughout the country," and par- 
ticularly in the Madras presidency, to be 
"disloyal in tone, un-English in spirit, 
wanting in principle, and utterly regardless 
of correctness in statement. "f He com- 
plained especially of the seditious matter 
circulated among the sepoys by a newspaper 
entitled the Examiner, " the mouth-piece 
of the Roman Catholic priests."^ Lord 
Elphinstone considered the unrestricted 
liberty of the press incompatible with the 
continuance of British rule. " Systematic 
abuse of the government," he writes, " mis- 

• Despatch to the Court of Directors, dated 4th 
July, 1857. Signed — Canning, Dorin, Low, Grant, 
and Peacock. Pari. Papers (Commons), 28th Au- 
gust, 1857; pp. 4, 5. 

t Minute, by Lord Harris, dated "Fort St. George, 
2nd May, 1851"— Ibid., p. 11. 

X Minute, 22nd June, 1857— 76/rf., p. l.'i. 



representation of its acts, and all attempts 
to create ill-feeling between the different 
classes of the community, especially be- 
tween the European officers and the native 
soldiery, must be prevented. "§ The home 
authorities confirmed the act, declaring 
that they felt no doubt of its necessity. 1| 

The first English paper threatened with 
the revoke of its licence, was the well-known 
Friend of India, which, in an article en- 
titled " The Centenary of Plassy," censured 
the mammon-worship of the East India 
Company, and declared that " only the 
intense greediness of traders could have 
won for us the sovereignty of the country." 
Mohammedan princes and Hindoo rajahs 
were spoken of as a class that would speedily 
die out; and in conclusion, the writer held 
forth a hope that the second centenary of 
Plassy might be "celebrated in Bengal by 
a respected government and a Christian 
people." 

The secretary to government (Mr. Bea- 
don) officially informed the publisher, that 
the circulation of such remarks, in the 
existing state of affairs, was dangerous 
"not only to the government, but to the 
lives of all Europeans in the provinces not 
living under the close protection of British 
bayonets." This communication was pub- 
lished in the Friend of India, with satiri- 
cal comments, which the authorities consi- 
dered so offensive, that the licence would 
have been withdrawn but for the resigna- 
tion of Mr. Mead, who was acting as 
provisional editor during the absence of 
the proprietor, Mr. Marshraan.^ 

The Bengal Hurkarii (Messenger) was 
warned for its exaggerated echo of the 
vengeance-cry of the London Times; a 
writer, styling himself "Militaire," de- 
nouncing the just and wise recommen- 
dation of government not needlessly to 
"embitter the feelings of the natives," and 
urging that, "for every Christian church 
destroyed, fifty mosques should be de- 
stroyed, beginning with the Jurama Musjid 
at Delhi ; and for every Christian man, 
woman, and child murdered, a thousand 
rebels should bleed."** 

Ten daj's later, another article appeared, 
which contained the following passage : — 

§ Minute, 24th June, 1857. Pari. Papers (Com- 
mons), 4th May, 1858 ; p. 53. 

II Letter of Court of Directors, 26th August, 1857 
—Ibid., p. 30. 

5[ Pari. Papers— 76?rf., pp. 42—46. Mead's Se- 
poy Revolt, pp. 359 — 376. 

•• Bengal Hurkaru, 5th September, 1867. 



PUESS-CENSORSHIP ENFORCE D, AND LICEN CE S REVOKED. 23 ^ 

'"^- ' 0,1 \...r^^^\ oi'mnle neoole in 1 this, in Hindoostan, the system of justice was de- 

cZtVh;%rb'ofrstpred\"7aL^;r.e<i active. Moreover, on .hi, accoun., .he Eo.hsh 



L'alculta, wno mc uu..i. >>"-(- , -i ^ ^ 

that popular indignation has not boiled up to a 
higher pitch. They are astounded at finding that 
Lord Canning has not been already ordered home in 
irons and that Mr. Beadon has not been sentenced 
to be' tarred and feathered, and ridden upon a rail, 
previously to being placed in some extremely un- 
covenanted situation under a native superior. We 
are very far from saying that these proceedings 
would not be appropriate in the cases in question = 



name suffered ; and, in Hindoostan, amid ten judges, 
nine are Hindoostanees, but their pay and position 
was unimportant and inconsistent with their duties. 
And the heads of the E. I. Company say, that amid 
fourteen crore (million) of Hindoostanees, not one 
is worthy of rank or trust ; a very sad and distress- 
ing statement, enough to break, the hearts of the 
people of Hindoostan, and cow their spirits. Besides 
which, he said many more things; in answer to 



LTt"l'uld^^2r?o"rr rtSLiaTc frieKr'My which', the Duke of /Argyle was unable to advance 
dear sir you a^re too impatient. All in good any clear argument, f 

time.'"* It would be difficult to know on what 

ground an editor could be warned for the 
republication of the above statements, unless 
it were on the strength of the now repu- 
diated axiom, " The greater the truth, the 
greater the libel 1" 

In another case— that of a Persian news- 
paper, edited in Calcutta by one Hafiz 
Abdul Kadir— the insurrectionary views of 
the writer were undisguised. The licence 
was, of course, revoked ; and the press and 
printing materials seized. It would have 
been madness to suffer such effusions as 
the following to ga forth : — 



The licence of the Hurkm-u was revoked ; 
but the editor (Mr. Blanchard) having re- 
si'^ned, a new licence was issued to the 
proprietor. Other English papers have 
been warned for transgressing the condi- 
tions of their hcences ; but the native edi- 
tors generally do not appear to have in- 
curred censure. 

The existing difficulty seems to be, the 
course to be adopted with regard to the 
republication of articles from English 
papers. The following, for instance, is 
styled by Mr. Erere (commissioner ot 
Sinde), " a very mischievous perversion of 
an Indian debate, which, in quieter times, 
might be amusing." A summary of griev- 
ances could hardly be deemed amusing at 



"Now, when the drum of the power of the Eng- 
lish is sounding so loudly, it is in every one's mouth 
that the state of Travancore also is to be annexed 
to the British dominions upon the ground of mal- 
administration. It is also said that the principality 



ances COUia nanuy uc u<3t,ix.^v. ...^^^^^^ --- ^administration. It is also sam inai me pnucipauu.y 

any moment. At the present crisis, it is ^^ ^j^^^ ^.^jj ^g conJiscatedX by government. But 

■; i_- T .;i;„4-;v,^ V..if oljirminpr. to find ^t -.-.r-aaB-nt \hp r^rcfrYe.?.?. oi confiscation \% arrested hy 



not only humiliating, but alarming, to hnd 
such statements circulating in Hindoostan 
on the authority of British parliamentary 
debates; for the so-called perversion is 
really a summary of the leading arguments 
advanced by members of both houses 
against the East India Company, more 
especially by the Marquis of Clauricarde, 
whose speech, it was predicted at the time, 
would occasion great excitement among the 
natives of India. 

" The Jam-i-Jamsihid of Meerut relates, that in 
durbar of , the Marquis of Clanricarde com- 
plained much of the Indian government; that a 
vast amount of rupees was expended among the 
home authorities in the way of pay, they knowing 
little of the circumstances of the country ; that the 
nobles and great men of Hindoostan were becoming 
extinct ; and the middle classes gradually suffering 
damage, and poor people being ruined. It would 
be proper that the country should be so governed, 
that the people do not suffer. Some ziUahs require 
a decrease of taxation, and the salt-tax is very wrong. 
In whatever countries there was fitting manage- 
ment, the latter impost had been abolished. Beside 

• Bengal Jhirkaru, 14th September, 1857. 
t Pari. Papers (Commons), 4th May, 18o8. p. 48 
i All the italicised words are exactly rendered 
from the Persian by their English synonymes. 
§ Kirman, the name of a town and province m 



at present the progress of confiscation is arrested by 
the government of the Almighty Ruler. 

" The government should first arrest the progress 
of the disturbances and disorders which are raging 
in all parts of the country, and then address itself to 
these confiscations again. I formed a design of 
going to Worms. But the " worms"§ unexpectedly 
eat off my head. He (God) is Almighty. He does 
what he will. He makes a world desert in a breath. 
" Everybody knows, and now perhaps it has be- 
come quite clear to the lords of atmexation, what 
kind of mischief the confiscation of Luck now has 
done, causing ruin to thousands of their own frienas. 
♦ * * Come what may, in these degenerate 
days, the men of Delhi must be celebrated as sons 
of Rustum, and very Alexanders in strength. Uh ! 
God destroy our enemies utterly, and assist and aid 
our sovereign (Sultan)." 

With the above characteristic extract 
this section may fitly conclude, without 
any attempt to hazard conclusions on so 
difficult a subject as the degree of con- 
trol necessary to be exercised for the main- 
tenance- of a despotic government, m a 
crisis so arduous and unprecedented as the 
present. 

Persia, also signifies " worms." The conceit can 
thus be rendered into English. The whole tone of 
Ithe article, in the original, i^^.ghly sarcastic.-- 
Goohhun Nowhahar, 27th June, lb57. Pari. 1 apers 
(Commons), 4th May, 1858 ; pp. 46, 47. 




24 



METALLIC CURRENCY AN INCITEMENT TO MUTINY. 



Currency* — An ill-regulated and insuffi- 
cient currency has long pressed heavily on 
the people, and has exercised a singular 
influence iu the present crisis. Until re- 
cently there was only one pul)lic bank (that 
of Bengal) in all India : with much difficulty 
two others, also under the control of gov- 
ernment, were established at Bombay and 
Madras; but the amount of notes issued by 
them is insufficient for the requirements 
of even these cities. Three or four joint- 
stock banks have been lately formed ; but 
the government has continued, up to the 
present time, to rely on a bulky and in- 
divisible coin, the silver rupee (worth about 
two shillings), for its standard circulating 
medium. The exclusive use, by the state, of 
metallic money, has occasioned the accumu- 
lation of treasure, amounting, sometimes, 
to fourteen millions sterling, in thirty or 
forty treasuries, scattered all over the 
country. Forty to fifty thousand sepoys 
have been annually employed in escorting 
money from one district to another, an em- 
ployment properly belonging to a police 
force; which has occasioned much discontent, 
and tended to the relaxation of discipline, 
and general demoralisation of the soldiery. 
A paper currency would have answered 
every purpose of local taxation and pay- 
ments to the troops : it would have been far 
more easily transmissible, and it would not 
have offered so tempting a bribe to native 
cupidity. In several instances, it is evident 
that the sepoys wei'e stimulated to the 
commission of crime by the hope of plun- 
dering the local treasuries of much larger 
sums than were ever allowed to remain 
in them. 

The Times-\ has recently published the 
following forcible remarks on the subject : — 

" Regiments that held Company's paper were 
faithful until they had exchanged it for gold; regi- 
ments that had pay in arrear were faithful until the 
arrears were paid up. The Company's gold has 
never received credit for the part it played in the 
mutiny. Yet it had often been presssd upon the 
authorities at Calcutta, that a paper currency would 
be a boon to India. Those who wished for this, 
probably thought little of the danger of carrying 
bullion in bullock-trunks or palkies through the 
jungle, or storing it in exposed places ; their object 
was, in all probability, the extension of ;:ommerce 
and the development of the resources of the country. 
The policy of the Company was, is, and ever must 

• The cash balances in the different Indian trea- 
guries, varied from twelve to fourteen millions ster- 
ling. In 1856, the amount was £12,043.334: of 
this sum, there was in Bengal, £5,117,553; in the 
N. W. Provinces, £2,251,904 = £7,369,457. The 
Madras presidency had £2,311,365; and the Bom- 



be, to discourage all independent enterprise within 
their territories, and they were consistent in refusing 
to listen to any such suggestions. Now, however, 
when we are commencing a new era — if, indeed, we 
are commencing, or are about to commence a new 
era — this subject must be reconsidered. There can 
be no good reason why India should not in mone- 
tary facilities be placed upon a level with England. 
There is excellent reason why the troops should be 
paid in paper money. The absence of the gold is 
the absence of a powerful temptation, and the bank- 
note is a guardian of the fidelity of the man in 
whose pocket it lies." 



The Opium Monopoly, with its concomi- 
tant grievances — the forced cultivation of 
the poppy, and the domiciliary right of search 
— ranks among the causes of popular disaf- 
fection. The Company obtain opium from 
the ryots at a very low price, by a system 
of advances, and sell it for the contraband 
China trade, at a very high one. J An 
official authority declares, that the peasants 
in the opium districts of Patna and Benares, 
are compelled to give up fixed portions of 
their lands for the production of the poppy. 
The forced cultivation of this poisonous 
drug brings on the wretched cultivators the 
persecuting surveillance of the police ; the 
probability that they may be retaining some 
portion for private sale, exposing them to 
every sort of ingenuity which spies, autho- 
rised and unauthorised, can imagine, as the 
means of inflicting fines and extorting 
bribes. § The deteriorating influence on the 
consumer cannot be doubted. In China 
we have notoriously returned evil for good ; 
exporting ship-loads of their refreshing 
herb to combat our own spirit-craving pro- 
pensities; and importing, in defiance of the 
laws of God and man, millions of pounds' 
worth of a stimulant which we know to be, 
when once resorted to, almost invariably 
persevered in, to the destruction of the 
body, and, it would seem, of the soul even, 
of its miserable victim. In India we found 
the debasing indulgence general among cer- 
tain classes. Baber and his successors, with 
the exception of Aurungzebe, were all its 
habitual consumers ; and the able historian 
of Rajast'han, Colonel Tod, attributes the 
loss of independence by the Rajpoots, their 
general deterioration, and the diminished 
productiveness of the country, chiefly to the 
same suicidal practice. 

bav, £2,362,510.— (Parliamentary Papers, April 20ih 
1858.) t June, 1858. 

X J. Passmorc Edwards' Evils of the Opium 
Trade, p. 18. 

§ See Iniquities of the Opium Trade ; by Rev. 
A. A. Thelwell. 



THE WORKING OF THE OPIUM MONOPOLY. 



25 



But though the East India Company 
did not originate the use or cultivation 
of opium in all their vast dominions, they 
have done so in some. It is argued, that 
the very taxation is itself a discourage- 
ment to the cultivation ; and this would be 
the case in a free country; but is not true in 
India, where there are so many means of 
compelling the peasant to toil like a serf at 
any labour for a bare subsistence. That 
the Company have been voluntarily instru- 
mental in increasing the production, stands 
on the face of their own records. 

On the cession of Malwa by the Mahrattas, 
measures were taken to raise from that 
province a revenue similar to that obtained 
in the Bengal presidency. A powerful 
impulse was given to the growth of the 
poppy ; but the cost of cultivation was found 
so far to exceed that of Bahar or Benares, 
and the transport was likewise so much 
more difficult, that the excessive production 
obtained in Central India, scarcely afforded 
sufficient nett profit to atone for the injury 
done to the Bengal monopoly. The utmost 
efforts were made to remedy this, and to pre- 
vent diminished cultivation in the old pro- 
vinces. " Premiums and rewards,^^ says a 
late chairman of the East India Company, 
" have been held out ; new offices and es- 
tablishments have been created ; the revenue 
officers have been enlisted in the service; 
and the influence of that department has 
been brought into action to promote the 
production. * * * The supreme gov- 
ernment of India, too, have condescended 
to supply the retail shops with opium, and 
have thus added a new feature to our fiscal 
policy. I believe that no one act of our gov- 
ernment has appeared, in the eyes of re- 
spectable natives, both Mohammedan and 
Hindoo, more questionable than the estab- 
lishment of the Abkarry, or tax on the sale 
of spirituous liquors and drugs. Nothing, 
I suspect, has tended so much to lower us 
in their regard. They see us derive a 
revenue from what they deem an impure 
source ; and when they find the pollution 
of public-houses spreading around them, 
they cannot understand that our real object 
is to check the use of the noxious article 
which is sold, or to regulate those haunts 
of the vicious with a view to objects of 
police. And have we succeeded in pro- 

* 3Iemorials of Indian Government ; a selection 
from the papers of H. St. George Tucker ; edited by 
Mr. Kaye: pp. 152—134. 

■)■ Ibid., p. loG. 

VOL. II. E 



moting these objects? Will any man be 
so hardy as to maintain, that the use of 
spirituous liquors and drugs has beeii di- 
minished by the operation of the tax, or 
that it has not been everywhere extended? 
* * * But even if we admit that these 
objects have been kept in view, or that it is 
becoming, in the present state of the coun- 
try, to regulate the vend of spirits and 
drugs, was it becoming in a great govern- 
ment to exhibit itself as the purveyor of 
opium to publicans, or — in the words of the 
Regulation — ' to establish shops, on the part 
of government, for the retail sale of the 
drug?' Is it desirable that we should 
bring it to the very door of the lower 
orders, who might never otherwise have 
found the article within their reach, and 
who are now tempted to adopt a habit alike 
injurious to health and to good morals?^'* 

Not content with stimulating to the 
utmost the production of opium in our own 
territories, we voluntarily extended the curse 
in the Mahratta districts of Central India, 
in the Afghan state of Bhopal, in Oodipoor, 
Kotah, Boondi, and other Rajpoot princi- 
palities, by negotiations and treaties, " such 
as are not, I believe (says Mr. Tucker), to 
be paralleled in the whole history of diplo- 
macy •" whereby we have bound ourselves to 
the payment of large annual sums on ac- 
count of opium. "We make it the interest 
of the chiefs to increase the growth of the 
poppy, to the exclusion, in some instances, 
of sugar-cane, cotton, and other products 
which constitute the riches of a country, 
and which ought to minister to the comforts 
of the people." 

These statements are very important, 
coming from one whose official position, 
Indian experience, and personal character, 
give his opinions threefold weight. He 
adds a brief warning, which, read by the 
blaze of the incendiary fires of 1857, is 
pregnant with meaning. "The Rajpobt, 
with all his heroic bravery and other good 
qualities, requires very skilful management. 
The same may be said of the Afghan of 
Rohilcund, who is still more restless and 
impatient of control ; and if there were not 
other and better reasons, I should say that 
it is not safe, with either race — Rajpoot or 
Afghan — to supply the means of habitual 
excitement, which must render them more 
turbulent and ungovernable."t 

Sir Stamford Raffles, another acknow- 
ledged authority, indignantly denounced the 
conduct of the European government in 



26 



SEPOY ar:^iy injured by increased use of opium. 



overlooking every consideration of policy 
and humanity, and allowing a paltry addi- 
tion to their finances to outweigh all regard 
to the ultimate prosperity of the country. 
Unfortunately, the financial addition* is 
paltry only 'when viewed in connection 
with the amount of evil wiiich it repre- 
sents, and which has increased in propor- 
tion to the extended cultivation. An ex- 
perienced authorityt states, that wherever 
opium is grown it is eaten ; and considers 
tliat " one-half of the crimes in the opium 
districts, murders, rapes, and affrays, have 
their origin in opium-eating." Major-gen- 
eral Alexander uses the most forcible lan- 
guage regarding the progressive and de- 
structive course of intoxication by opium 
and ardent spirits throughout India, ap- 
pealing to the returns of courts-martial and 
defaulters' books for testimony of the con- 
sequent deterioration of the sepoys ; and to 
the returns of the courts and offices of 
judges, magistrates, and collectors, for that 
of the mass of the natives. Under this 
view of the case, and remembering also the 
example set by the notorious tendency to 
drunkenness which disgraces the British 
troops, there is something terribly significant 
in the fact, that the fiercest onslaughts and 
worst brutalities which our countrymen and 
countrywomen have endured, were com- 
mitted under the influence of the hateful 
drugs by which we have gained so much 
gold, and inflicted so much misery. 

The Neglect of Public Works must take 
its place among the indirect causes of 
revolt; for it has materially impeded the 
development of the resources of the coun- 
try, and furnished the people with only too 
palpable reason for discontent. It was a 
subject which ought always to have had the 
special attention of the Anglo-Indian au- 
tliorities. They should have remembered, 
that the people over whom they ruled were 
literally as children in their hands; and 
should have taken care to exercise a far- 
seeing, providential, and paternal despotism. 
Under Mohammedan and Hindoo govern- 
ments, the princes and nobles have ever 
delighted in associating their names with 
some stately edifice, some great road or 
canal, some public work of more or less 

* See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 582. 

t Mr. Andrew S} m, who had charge of the Com- 
pany's opium agency at Goruckpoor. See pam- 
j)hlets on the Ojyimn Trade ; by Major-general 
Alexander and Mr. W. S. Fry. 

I Life, vol. ii., p. 428. 



utility. It was a fashioti which those who 
made for themselves a fortune and a name, 
especially delighted in following; and the 
fact is so well known that it needs no 
illustration. Every book of travel aflfords 
fresh instances. Foreign adventurers have 
adopted the same beneficent custom : wit- 
ness the Martiniere college at Lucknow. 
Ver}' few Englishmen, however, have thought 
of spending on, or in India, any considerable 
portion of the wealth they made there ; the 
noble Sir Henry Lawrence and others, 
whose names are easily reckoned, forming 
the exceptions. 

It would occupy too much space to offer 
anything like an enumeration of our short- 
comings in this respect : able pens have 
already performed the ungracious task; and 
it needs but a few hours' attentive study of 
the admirably condensed exposition given 
by Lieutenant-colonel Cotton (chief engi- 
neer of Madras), and of the pamphlets pub- 
lislied by Mr. Dickinson and other mem- 
bers of the Indian Reform Society, to be 
convinced how unjust and impolitic have 
been our omissions in this important branch 
of government. 

Sir Charles Napier says, that "in India, 
economy means, laying out as little for the 
country and for noble and useful purposes 
as you can; and giving as large salaries as 
you can possibly squeeze out of the pub- 
lic to individuals, adding large 'establish- 
ments.''"J The force of this remark is 
painfully apparent, when the immense num- 
ber of "collectors," and the extent and enor- 
mous expense of the revenue establishment, 
are compared with the number of engineers, 
and the cost of the department for public 
works. The contrast between wiiat is taken 
from, and what is spent upon India, be- 
comes still more glaring when the items 
of expenditure are examined, and a division 
made between the works undertaken on 
behalf of the government — such as court- 
houses, gaols, &c. — and those immediately 
intended for the benefit of the people, such 
as roads, canals, and tanks. 

The injustice of this procedure is sur- 
passed by its impolicy. Colonel Cotton 
says — 

" Certainly, without any exaggeration, the most 
astonishing thing in the history of our rule in India 
is, that such innumerable volumes should have been 
written by thousands of the ablest men in the ser- 
vice on the mode of collecting the land revenue, 
while the question, of a thousand times more im- 
portance, how to enable the people to pay it, was 
literally never touched upon ; and yet, even the 



THE NEGLECT OF PUBLIC WORKS IN INDIA. 



27 



question of the amount of taxation was utterly in- 
significant in comparison with that.. While we have 
been labourino: for a hundred years to discover how 
to get twenty lacs out of a district which is not able 
to pay it, not the least thought has been bestowed on 
the hundreds of lacs it was losing from the enormous 
cost of transit, which swallowed up all the value 
of the ryot produce, if they raised it.* • * • 
If we take the whole loss to India, from want of 
communication, at only twenty-five million sterling, 
; it is twelve times as great a burthen as the in- 
i terest of the [Indian] debt. * • * Public works 
have been almost entirely neglected in India. The 
motto hitherto has been — ' do nothing, have nothing 
done, let nobody do anything.' Bear any loss, let 
the people die of famine, let hundreds of lacs be lost 
in revenue for want of water, rather than do any- 
thing. * * • Who would believe, that without 
half-a-dozen miles of real turnpike-road, with com- 
munications generally in the state that they were 
in England two centuries ago — with periodical 
famines and a stagnant revenue — the stereotyped 
answer to any one who urges improvement is, 
• He is too much in a hurry — he is too sanguine — 
we must go on by degrees;' and this, too, in the 
face of the fact that, almost without exception, 
money laid out upon public works in India, has 
yielded money returns of one hundred, two hun- 
dred, and three hundred per cent., besides innu- 
merable other advantages to the community. * * * 
We have already all but lost one century, to the 
great damage of our finances and the greater injury 
of the people."! 

It is terrible to think of the amount of 
suffering occasioned by the ignorant apathy 
of the nation to whom it has pleased Provi- 
dence to entrust the government of India. 
"The neglect of public works^' is a vague, 
unmeaning sound in British ears : no nation 
blessed with free institutions can appreciate 
its full intent; and no people under the 
despotism of a sinjjle tyrant, but would 
rise, and cut off the Pharaoh who demanded 
the tale of bricks, yet withheld the straw. 
Nothing but the complicated system of our 
absentee sovereigntyship, can account for 
such strange persistence in errors which 
have repeatedly brought the Company to 
the verge of bankruptcy, and inflicted on 
the mass of the people chronic poverty and 
periodical famine. 

In England, we are occasionally horror- 
struck by some case of death from actual 
destitution ; and we know, alas ! that large 
portions of our working population, with 
difficulty obtain the necessaries of life ; but 
we are also aware that public and indi- 
vidual benevolence is incessantly at work 
to diminish the sufferings inseparable, at 
least to some extent, from au over- populated 

• Public Works in India ; by Lieutenant-colonel 
Cotton, 1854; p. 8. f Ibid; pp. 294, 295. 

X Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 273. 



and money-worshipping country. When 
Ireland was scourged with famine, the 
whole British empire, even to its farthest 
colony, poured forth, unsolicited, its contri- 
butions in money or in food with eager 
haste. Is, then, human sympathy depen- 
dent on race or colour ? No ; or the West 
Indies would still be peopled with slaves 
and slave-drivers. The same springs of 
action which, once set in motion, worked 
incessantly for the accomplishment of negro 
emancipation, would, if now touched on 
behalf of the Hindoos, act as a lever to 
raise them from the deep wretchedness in 
which they are sunk. The manufacturers 
of Manchester and of Glasgow are surely 
blind to their own interests, or long ere 
this they would have taken up the subject 
of roads, canals, and tanks for India, if only 
to encourage the growth of cotton in the 
country in which it is an indigenous pro- 
duct, and to diminish their dangerous de- 
pendence on America. Had they done so, 
they would have had their reward. But the 
active and enterprising philanthropical class, 
which includes many "successful merchants" 
in its ranks, perhaps requires to be told, 
that the subject of public works for India is 
at once a great call for national justice and 
individual charity; that there is no con- 
ceivable means of fulfilling on so large a 
scale the unquestionable duty of giving 
bread to the hungry, as by initiating 
measures to rescue hundreds of thousands 
of British subjects from probable starvation. 

The frightful massacres of Meerut and 
Cawnpoor have not banished from our minds 
the recollection of that terrible "Black 
Hole," where 123 persons perished, some 
from suffocation, and others in the mad- 
dening agonies of thirst ; and this not from 
any purpose of fiend-like cruelty, but simply 
because the young Nawab, Surajah Dowlah, 
did not know the size of the prison-chamber 
of the English garrison in which he had 
directed his prisoners to be secuj'ed ; and 
none of his officers cared to disturb his 
sleep, to procure a change of orders. When 
he awoke the door was opened, and the 
few weak, worn survivors, on whose frames 
some hours of agony had done the work of 
years, tottered forth, or were dragged out 
from amid the already putrefying corpses 
of their companions. | 

Surajah Dowlah paid, with his throne 
and life, the forfeit of his apathetic igno- 
rance ; and his people were happily dehvered 
from that crowning curse — despotic iuca- 



28 



FAMINES CONSEQUENT ON MISGOVERNMENT. 



pacity. His fate ought to have served as a 
warning of the effects of mere neglect. 
Has it done so ; or has tlie evil been mul- 
tiplied a thousand-fold under a Christian 
government ? Can it, or can it not, be proved 
by public records, that, for every single 
Englishman who perished while the Indian 
nawab lay sleeping, many thousand natives 
have fallen victims to an apathy no less 
criminal, manifested by the representa- 
tives of the E. I. Company? This is the 
meaning, or at least a part of the meaning, 
of the " neglect of public works in India;" 
and the only excuse offered for it is the 
poverty of the government. It is asserted, 
that the drain consequent on perpetual 
wars, which directly enriched and often in- 
directly ennobled the individuals concerned, 
occasioned so wide a destruction of native 
property, created such an unceasing drain 
on the state revenues, and so increased and 
complicated the labours of the collectors, 
that the one-engrossing anxiety of the autho- 
ritiesjhow to meet current expenses, unavoid- 
ably superseded every other consideration. 

The peculiar system of the Company has 
likewise contributed to induce a selfish and 
short-sighted policy. The brief period of 
administration allotted to each governor- 
general, whatever its advantages, has had 
the great drawback of rarely sufficing for 
the initiation, organisation, and carrying 
through of any large measure of general 
benefit ; and it is, of course, seldom that a 
new-comer, fresh from England, has the 
ability or the generosity to appreciate and 
cordially work out the plan of his prede- 
cessor. The consequence has been a la- 
mentable want of any consistent policy for 
the development of the resources of India. 
Lord Dalhousie, it is true, exerted himself 
zealously and successfully in the furtherance 
of certain great undertakings, in connection 
with which his name may well be grate- 
fully remembered. The Ganges canal, the 
Bengal railway, the electric telegraph, are 
works of undoubted utility ; and the good 
service they have rendered to the supreme 
government in its hour of need, must be 
calculated in lives rather than in monej\ 
But a few great and costly achievements 
cannot excuse the general neglect mani- 
fested by the non-appropriation of a certain 
portion of the revenue of every district to 
meet its own peculiar and urgent require- 
ments. From the absence of any adequate 
provision, the vast reservoirs, someti mes numy 
miles square, constructed by luitivc princes 



centuries ago, have been allowed, to a con- 
siderable extelit, to go to decay, and are 
now sources of disease instead of fertility, 
being covered with rank weeds.* 

The East India Company have added the 
tax levied by their Mohammedan or Hindoo 
predecessors for annual repairs, to their 
general assessments, but have suffered many 
of the tanks to go to ruin ; while, according to 
a recent writer (1858), " in many cases they 
still exact the same money-revenue from 
the cultivators, amounting, at the present 
day, to fifty, sixty, and seventy per cent, of 
the gross produce of the soil, as if the tanks 
were kept in perfect repair, and the cul- 
tivators received the quantity of water re- 
quired to grow a full crop of produce.^f 

Water, water ! is the primary want of the 
Indian farmer; yet, according to Colonel 
Cotton, it is undoubted that, in the worst 
year that ever occurred, enough has been 
allowed to flow into the sea to have irrigated 
ten times as much grain as would have sup- 
plied the whole population. J The case is 
put in the clearest light in an extract from 
a private letter, hastily written, and not 
meant for publication, addressed by "one 
of the most distinguished men in India," to 
Mr. Dickinson, and published by him, under 
the idea that it was better calculated than 
any laboured statement, to carry conviction 
to an unprejudiced mind. The writer, after 
declaring that the perpetual involvements 
of the Company had originated in their 
having omitted not only to initiate improve- 
ments, but even to keep in repair the old 
works upon which the revenue depended; 
adds — " But this is not the strongest point 
of the case. They did not take the least 
pains to lirevent famine. To say nothing 
of the death of a quarter of a million of 
people in Guntoor, the public works' com- 
mittee, in their report, calculate that the 
loss in money by the Guntoor famine, was 
more than two millions sterling. If they 
could find money to supply these losses, 
they could have found a hundredth part of 
the sum to prevent them. 

" Lord thinks it would be better not 

to blame the government; how can we pos- 
sibly point out how improvement can be 
made without proving that there has been 
neglect before ? * * * Lord won- 

* jNIacleod Wylie's Bengal a Field of Missions, 
p. 241. 

t Lectures on British India; by John Malcolm 
Ludlow ; vol. ii., p. 317. 

I Quoled in the Madras Petition of 1852. 



WANT OF ROADS A CAUSE OF FAMINE. 



29 



ders at my vehemence about public works : 
is he really so humble a man as to think no 
better of himself, than to suppose he could 
stand unmoved in a district where 250,000 
people had perished miserably of famine 
through the neglect of our government, 
and see it exposed every year to a similar 
occurrence ? If his lordship had been living 
in the midst of the district art the time, like 
one of our civiUans, and had had every 
morning to clear the neighbourhood of his 
house of hundreds of dead bodies of poor 
creatures who had struggled to get near the 
European, in hopes that there perhaps they 
might find food, he would have realised 
things beyond what he has seen in his 
shire park."* 

What excuse, even of ignorance, can be 
offered for a government that turns a deaf 
ear to statements so appalling as these, 
made by their own servants? Such im- 
penetrable apathy affords a confirmation 
of the often-repeated assertion, that no- 
thing but the continual pressure of public 
opinion in England, will ensui'e anything 
being effected in India. Would that this 
power might be at once exerted ! Even now, 
in the midst of battles, we ought to be doing 
something to avert the consequences of past 
neglect, or the scourge of war will be fol- 
lowed by the yet more fatal visitations of 
famine, and its twin-sister, pestilence. 

We may not be able to do much, or any- 
thing, in some of the most disturbed dis- 
tricts; but in the great majority, where 
comparative quiet prevails, a vigorous effort 
ought at once to be made for the introduc- 
tion of a better system ; that is, one de- 
signed to benefit the mass of the people, 
instead of being exclusively framed to suit 
the convenience of the European officials. 
Had this been earlier attempted, we might 
have had fewer great works to talk about in 
parliament or at the India House (though 
that is hardly possible, considering that we 
are Anglo-Saxons of the nineteenth cen- 
tury) : but certainly India would not now 
be so generally destitute of the means 
of cheap carriage ; neither would it be ne- 
cessary to urge "the clearing-out of this 
poisonous old tank; the repairing of that 
embankment ; the metalling of this mud- 
track through the jimgle; the piercing, by 
a cheap canal of irrigation, of that tongue 
of land, of a few miles, between two rivers ;"f 

* Dickinson's India under a Bureaucracy, pp. 
87—90. 

\ Ludlow's Lectures, vol. ii., j). 320. 



the preservation of bridges; and such-like 
cheap, homely, obscure labours, as are now 
urgently needed throughout the length and 
breadth of the peninsula. 

Cheap transit by land and water is a 
point only secondary in importance to irri- 
gation, as a means of preventing famine, by 
enabling one part of the country to help 
another in the event of the failure of local 
rains. Major-general Tremenheere, in his 
recent evidence before parliament (May, 
1858), when adverting to the brief intervals 
which have elapsed between the years of 
scarcity in the present century, forcibly 
states the necessity for affording the 
greatest facilities for the transport of pro- 
duce, as the true remedy for these oft-recur- 
ring famines. { The evidence of subse- 
quent witnesses before the same committee, 
shows that, in a country where easy transit 
is essential to the preservation of life during 
periodical visitations of dearth, there exists 
the most remarkable deficiency of means of 
intercommunication ever heard of under a 
civilised government. 

" There are no roads to connect even Calcutta 
with any of the great cities of the interior. No road 
to Moorshedabad; no road to Dacca; none to Patna ; 
no such roads as parish roads in England, to connect 
villages and market-towns in the interior. Conse- 
quently, in the rainy season, every town is isolated 
from its neighbours, and from all the rest of the 
country. Besides roads, bridges are wanted : there 
are hardly any bridges at all in the country ; their 
place is partially supplied by ferries. The grand 
trunk-road, within the Lower Provinces, is only par- 
tially bridged ; and half the bridges, I believe, have 
been washed away from defects of construction. "§ 

In Bengal, Bahar, and Orissa, the main- 
tenance of good roads is a duty to which 
the government are alleged to be specially 
pledged ; for, in making the decennial set- 
tlement (on which the permanent one was 
subsequently grounded), a separate tax for 
the purpose was inserted in the rent-roll, 
but was afterwards merged in the general 
assessment, and not applied to the roads. 
The native land-owners have remembered 
this breach of faith ; and when urged, some 
years ago, to make fresh provision for the 
maintenance of highways, they objected, on 
the ground of the misappropriation of 
their actual yearly payments. Happily for 
them, their interests are closely allied with 
those of the British settlers. Both classes 
are equally without the pale of privilege 
and patronage, dignities and immunities, 

X First Report of the Select Committee on the 
Colonization and Settlement of India, p. 6. 

§ Ibid. Evidence of W. Theobald, Esq., p. 74. 



80 



MILITARY MOYEME^^TS IMPEDED BY WANT OF ROADS. 



with which the East India Company has 
fenced round its covenanted service; but 
the storm which has disturbed tlie immi- 
grant planters in tlieir peaceable avoca- 
tions, has contributed to procure for them 
the opportunity of laying before a par la- 
raentary committee, and consequently be- 
fore the nation at large, the obstructions 
which impede all attempts to earn an hon- 
ourable liveliliood by developing the re- 
sources of India. 

Several witnesses declare the want ot 
internal communication to be peculiar to the 
administration of the East India Company, 
who have attempted nothing except for 
military or governmental purposes, and even 
then very imperfectly; while, under Hindoo 
and Mohammedan dynasties, the peninsula 
was intersected with roads, the remains of 
which are still traceable.* The planters, 
to some extent, make roads in their imme- 
diate vicinity, suitable to their own neces- 
sities ; but these do not answer for pur- 
poses of general traffic, which requires 
continuous lines. The native land-owners 
understand road-making, but want the 
means, not the will, to carry it on exten- 
sively, Mr. Dalrymple, an indigo and sugar 
planter, and silk manufacturer, resident in 
India upwards of thirty years, adduces, as 
an instance of the feeling of the natives on 
this subject, that he has known one of 
them make a road for a hundred miles 
from a religious motive. f 

For the neglect of many duties, and espe- 
cially of this one, we are paying a severe 
penalty; and the hardships so long suffered 
by the natives, in having to carry their arti- 
cles of produce or merchandise on their 
heads, along paths impassable for beasts of 
burden, now fall with tenfold weight on 
our heavily-laden soldiery. Individual suf- 
fering, great as that has been (including 
the long list of victims to "solar apo- 
plexy," on marches which, by even good 
common roads or by canals, would have 
been short and comparatively innocucms), 
forms but the inevi<^able counterpart of the 
public distress, occasioned by the present 
insurmountable impcditneiits to the rapid 
concentration of military force on a given 
point. Facilities for the movement of 
troops are important in every seat of war; 
but particularly so in India, where the 

• Second Report — Evidence of Mr. J. T. Mac- 
kenzie, p. 88. 

t Second Report, p. 67. 

i Telegram of the governor-general to Sir Henry 



extent of country to be maintained exceeds 
beyond all proportion the number of Euro- 
pean troops wliich can at any sacrifice be 
spared to garrison it. 

The upholders of " a purely military des- 
potism'^ have not been wise even in their 
generation, or they would have promoted, 
instead of opposing, the construction of rail- 
ways between the chief cities, as a measure 
of absolute necessity. If only the few al- 
ready projected had been completed, Delhi 
could hardly have fallen as it did — a rich, 
defenceless prize — into the hands of the mu- 
tineers, nor aflPorded them the means of 
establishing a rallying-point for the dis- 
affected, and doing incalculable damage to 
European jore5/^^e, by setting an example of 
temporarily successful defiance. As it was, 
the contrast was most painful between the 
lightning-flash that brought the cry for 
help from stations surrounded by a seething 
mass of revolt, and the slow, tedious process 
by which alone the means of rescue could 
be afforded. Thus, the appeal of Sir Henry 
Lawrence for reinforcements for Cawn- 
poor, received the gloomy response, that it 
veas "impossible to place a wing of Euro- 
peans there in less time than twenty-five 
days." The bullock-train could take a hun- 
dred men a-day, at the rate of thirty miles 
a-day : J this was all that could be done ; and, 
with every effort, at an enormous cost of life 
and treasure, the troops arrived only to be 
maddened by the horrible evidences of the 
massacre they were too late to avert. 

"ludophilus" views the railroad system as 
the basis of our military power in India; and 
considers it "so certain that railways are 
better than regiments, that it would be for 
the interest of England, even in a strictly 
economical point of view, to diminish the 
drain upon her working population, by 
lending her credit to raise money for the 
completion of Indian rail\vays."§ The 
urgency of the requirement has become so 
evident as a measure of expediency, for the 
maintenance of our sovereignty, that it 
scarcely needs advocating : on the contrary, 
it seems necessary to deprecate the too exclu- 
sive appropriation of Indian revenue to rail- 
roads (especially costly ones, in which speed 
is apt to be made a primary requisite),!! 
to the neglect of the far cheaper means of 
transit which might be opened by single 

Pari. Papers on the 



Lawrence, May 24th, 1857. 
Mutiny; Appendix, p. 315. 

§ Letters of Indophilus, p. 12. 

Ij See Colonel Cotton's Public Works, p. 184. 



REPRESSION OF BRITISH ENTERPRISE. 



31 



rail, by tram-roads, by the formation of 
canals for steam navigation, and by the 
opening and improving of rivers. Measures 
of this kind must be taken, if we would 
enable the people to bear the expenses 
attendant on our system of government.* 
Labour thus wisely employed and directed, 
would prod\ice capital ; the now insuperable 
difficulty of raising a sufficient revenue 
without oppressing the masses, would be 
removed ; and their rulers, relieved from 
pecuniary pressure, might dare to be just 
by renouncing opium smuggling, and to be 
humane by abandoning the less criminal 
but still obnoxious saltf monopoly, which, 
as at present conducted, acts as an irre- 
gular poll-tax — falling heaviest on those 
who have farthest to fetch it from the 
government depots. 



The Repression of British Enterprise is 
closely connected with the neglect of public 
works; for had European plantei's been 
allowed to settle in any considerable num- 
bers, and to give free expression to their 
opinions, they would certainly have agi- 
tated the subject in a manner which no 
government could have wholly withstood. 

The Company, from their earliest days, 
strove with unremitting care to guard their 
chartered privileges against the encroach- 
ments of their countrymen, and adopted a 
tone of lofty superiority which was scarcely 
consistent with their own position as 
" merchant adventurers.^' Had there not 
been in America, the West Indies, and 
other colonies and dependencies of the 
British crown, abundant outlet for capital 
and enterprise, the Indian monopoly would 
probably have been soon broken through : 
as it was, the "interlopers" were compara- 
tively few, and easily put down, if they 
proved in the least refractory, by the strong 

• The salaries of EngHshmen in India are all on 
a very high scale. The average annual salary re- 
ceived by civilians is estimated at £1,750. — (See 
article on " British India" — Quarterly JRevieiv, Au- 
gust, 1858 ; p. 237.) A Queen's officer, directly he 
embarks for India, has double pay. The fees of the 
lawyers and solicitors at Calcutta, are more than 
double what they are in English courts. No trades- 
man in Calcutta would be satisfied with the Eng- 
lish rate of profit ; and, in fact, all European labour 
is much more highly remunerated in India than 
elsewhere. — (First Report of Colonization Committee. 
Evidence of Major-general Tremenheere ; p. 36 ) 
It was found necessary to raise the scale of salaries 
of English functionaries, as a means of preserving 
them from corruption ; and, to a great extent, the 
measure has succeeded. Even-handed justice re- ' 



measure of deportation. Gradually the ex- 
clusive system was greatly modified by the 
effects of the parliamentary discussions 
which accompanied each renewal of the 
Company's charter, together with the dis- 
closures of mismanagement involved in the 
perpetually recurring pecuniary embarrass- 
ments, from which they sought relief in the 
creation and augmentation of an Indian 
national debt. In 1813 their trade with 
India ceased entirely : it had long been 
carried on at an actual loss ; the traffic with 
China, and the Indian territorial revenues, 
supplying the deficit. Yet, notwithstanding 
the opening up of the Indian trade to all 
British subjects (followed by a similar pro- 
cedure with that of China in 1833), the 
Company were slow in abating their jealous 
hostility towards " adventurers,'' and did 
their utmost to prevent European enter- 
prise from gaining a footing in India. They 
do not seem to have recognised the change 
of policy incumbent on them when, ceasing 
to be traders, they became sovereigns of a 
vast empire, and were thereby bound to 
renounce class interests and prejudices, and 
merge all meaner considerations in the para- 
mount obligation of promoting the general 
good. 

Of course, colonization, in the ordinary 
sense of the term, is neither practicable nor 
desirable in a country already well and gene- 
rally densely peopled, and where land is the 
most dearly prized of all possessions. Even 
in certain favoured localities, where out- 
door employment can be best undertaken by 
Europeans, there is no product wliich they 
could ctiltivate on the spot, in which they 
would not be undersold by the natives. 
Indeed, it would be manifestly absurd to at- 
tempt to compete, as labourers, with men who 
can support themselves on wages ranging 
from 1^^. to 4^d. a-day.{ It is as the pio- 

quires, that the same experiment should be tried with 
the natives of the country from which the funds are 
levied, and it will then be seen whether improved 
efficiency and integrity may not equally be the re- 
sult. " A native judge, who has any prospect of pro- 
motion, hardly ever is known to be corrupt." — Raikes. 

f The diff'erence in the price of salt, between Cal- 
cutta and Benares, amounts to 100 per cent. Rice, 
which sells at a seaport at 2s. a bushel, is quoted at 
an average of 5s. Id. per bushel in the Punjab, the 
Trans-Indus, and the Cis-Sutlej territories ; the dis- 
tance of these states from a seaport being from 800 
to 1,200 miles. — Third Report of Colonization Com- 
mittee, dated July 12th, 1858. Evidence of W. 
Balston, Esq. ; p. 65. 

X Evidence of R. Baikie, Esq.— First Report of 
Colonization Committee, 6th May, 1858 ; p. 52. 



32 



DETERIORATION OF NATIVE MANUFACTURES. 



neers of skill and capital that Europeans must 
look to find remuneration and useful em- 
ployment in India. In that sense the field 
is wide enough, and the need great indeed ; 
for the native products and manufactures 
have, in many instances, actually diminished 
in extent and in value under the sway of 
the East India Company. Every child 
knows that calico takes its name from 
Calicut, whence it was first brought to Eng- 
land; yet domestic manufacture has been 
overwhelmed by the cheap, coarse fabrics of 
the Manchester steam-power looms; nor 
has the encouragement been given which 
might have opened for them a lucrative 
market in luxurious England for their own 
more delicate and durable productions. The 
Dacca muslin — the famous '' woven wind," 
which, when wet, lay on the grass like the 
night-dew — this, also, has become almost a 
thing of the past. Yet, if only a market 
were assured, the cotton could be grown as 
before, and the same exquisite manipulation 
would be as cheaply obtainable. 

Much important information regarding 
the present state of affairs, has been laid 
before the select committee lately appointed 
to inquire into questions affecting the settle- 
ment of India. Well-informed persons de- 
clare, that labour is cheap and abundant 
almost everywhere throughout India ;* that 
the natives are very tractable ; and yet, de- 
spite their readiness to learn, and long in- 
tercourse with Europeans, the knowledge of 
agriculture is in about the same position as 
at the time of Alexander's invasion. f This 
is in itself a discreditable fact, considering 
the effects produced by the application of 
science to agriculture in Europe : and the 
apathy manifested in India is especially 
blamable and impolitic, on the part of 
a government which has virtimlly usurped 
the position of landlord over a large portion 
of the country, more than one-half of the re- 
venues of which, that is to say, ^615,500,000 
out of £28,000,000, is derived by rents 
from the land; while four- fifths of the an- 
nual exports, namely, £17,500,000 out of 
£21,500,000, are the direct produce of the 
soil.| 

• Second Report of Select Committee on Coloni- 
zation and Settlement of India, 10th June, 1858. — 
Evidence of Mr. J. P. Wise ; p. 40. 

t First Report, 6th May, 1858. — Evidence of 
Major-general Tremenheere ; p. 29. 

I Second Report. — Evidence of Major-general 
Tremenheere ; pp. 28, 29. 

§ Ibid. — Evidence of Mr. J. T. Mackenzie ; p. 8.3. 

II Evidence of Captain J. Ouchterlony. — Third Re- 



While the system pursued has not im- 
proved under the rule of the Company, the 
cultivators themselves have absolutely dete- 
riorated ; the better class of farmers are 
alleged to have become generally impove- 
rished, and to live in less comfort than they 
used to do under the Hindoo and Moham- 
medan dynasties ; while very many of the 
ryots are hopelessly in debt.§ Impaired 
fertility is the natural consequence of over- 
cropping, and the native tenant has no 
means of counteracting this; his poverty 
being so great, that he cannot afford to 
keep up a farming establishment of suffi- 
cient strength, especially as regards cattle, 
to admit of the due production of ma- 
nure, or of those requirements which are 
considered indispensable, in England, to 
the cultivation of the commonest arable 
land. II The native agriculturist, if he bor- 
row from a native banker and capitalist, 
pays, it is alleged, from fifty to seventy- 
five per cent, interest.^ Usury thrives 
by sucking the life-blood, already scanty, 
of tillage and manufacture, and rivets the 
fetters of that system of advances which 
is truly described as the curse of India.** 

The existence of the prevailing wretched- 
ness above indicated, goes far to prove that 
the Company, in opposing the settlement 
of their fellow-countrymen, have not been 
actuated by a disinterested solicitude for 
the welfare of the natives. In fact, the fear 
of an influx of Europeans was almost a 
monomania with the Court of Directors ; and 
every measure which could in any manner, 
however indirectly, facilitate the antici- 
pated irruption, met with opposition avow- 
edly on that account. Thus, the chairman 
and deputy-chairman of the Company, when 
advocating the enforcement of rigid restric- 
tions on the press in 1823, adverted espe- 
cially to the possibility of its "affording 
amusement or occupation to a class of ad- 
venturers proceeding clandestinely to India, 
to encourage whom would be a departure 
from the policy hitherto observed. ^'ff 

Lord William Bentinck granted to Eng- 
lishmen the privilege of holding lands in 
the interior of India, contrary to the in- 
port, 12th July, 1858; p. 4. Another witness says, 
the charge for money advances is from fifty to a hun- 
dred percent.; "but when the lenders advance in 
grain, they generally charge from one to two hun- 
dred per cent,, because they have to be repaid in 
kind." — Mr. Mackenzie. Second Report, p. 83. 
fl Evidence of Mr. J. P. ^Visf.— Ibid., p. 41. 
•• Evidence of Mr. Fowler. — Third Report, ji. 54. 
+t Rarl. Papers, 4th May, 1858 ; p. 19. 



GOVERNMENT BY THE CROWN OR THE COMPANY. 



33 



structions of the Company ; and his reasons 
for so doing are recorded in the minutes in 
council^ of the years 1829 and 1830. At 
this period the question of settlement in 
India excited a good deal of interest in 
England ; and a clause ^vas inserted in the 
East India Charter Act of 1833, gmng 
permission to all British subjects by birth, 
to purchase land and reside in India ; and 
an enactment, in conformity with this clause, 
was passed by the local legislature in 1837. 
Sir Charles Metcalfe was one of the lead- 
ing advocates for a change of policy, as indis- 
pensable to the continuance of the Anglo- 
Indian empire ; but he held that this change 
could never be effected until the govern- 
ment of the Crown should be formally sub- 
stituted for that of the Company. The 
opinion is remarkable as coming from one 
of the most distinguished servants of the 
latter body — one who, trained in the close 
preserve of the covenanted civil service, rose, 
under the fostering care of Lord Wellesley, 
from occupying a clerk's desk, through in- 
termediate grades of oSicej to the highest 
place in the council-chamber, and exercised, 
in a most independent fashion, the supreme 
authority provisionally entrusted to his care 
in 1835. His views would lose much of 
their force if conveyed in terms less full 
and unequivocal than his own ; but, in read- 
ing the following extracts, it is necessary to 
remember that the word colonization has 
here a very limited application, and that the 
immigration required is not general; but 
must, to be beneficial to either of the parties 
concerned — the natives or the immigrants — 
consist of the capitalist class; in fact, of pre- 
cisely those who find in overstocked Europe 
no field for the development of their re- 
sources, and who are deterred from the 
colonies by the high rate of wages, which 
constitute their chief attraction to the la- 
bouring masses. 

" It 18 impracticable, perhaps [he writes as 
early as 1814], to suggest a remedy for the general 
disaffection of our Indian subjects. Colonization 
seems to be the only system which could give us a 
chance of having any part of the population attached 
to our government from a sense of common in- 
terests. Colonization may have its attendant evils ; 
but with reference to the consideration above-stated, 
it would promise to give us a hold in the country 
which we do not at present possess. We might now 

* Metcalfe Papers, pp. 144; 150; 164; 171. 
It is, however, only fair to remind the reader, that 
Lord Metcalfe is declared by his biographer, Mr. 
Kaye, to have subsequently greatly modified his 
opinions. Seeing that government by the Crovrn 

VOL. II. P 



be swept away in a single whirlwind. We are 
without root. The best-affected natives could 
think of a change of government with indifference ; 
and in the N.W. Provinces there is hardly a man 
who would not hope for benefit from a change. 
This disaffection, however, will most probably not 
break out in any general manner as long as we pos- 
sess a predominant power." In 1820, he declares — 
"As to a general reform of our rule, that question 
has always appeared to me as hopeless. Oar rulers 
at home, and councillors abroad, are so bigoted as 
to precedent, that I never dream of any change 
unless it be a gradual declension from worse to 
worse. Colonization, without being forced or inju- 
diciously encouraged, should be admitted without 
restraint. * * * I would never agree to the 
present laws of exclusion with respect to Euro- 
peans, which are unnatural and horrible." In 
1836, he says — " The Europeans settled in India, 
and not in the Company's service, and to these might 
be added, generally, the East Indians of mixed 
breed, will never be satisfied with the Company's 
government : well or ill-founded, they will always 
attach to it the notion of monopoly and exclusion ; 
they will consider themselves comparatively dis- 
countenanced and unfavoured, and will always look 
with a desire to the substitution of a King's govern- 
ment. For the contentment of this class, which for 
the benefit of India and the security of our Indian 
empire ought greatly to increase in numbers and 
importance, the introduction of a King's govern- 
ment is undoubtedly desirable.* * * It must be 
doubted whether even the civil service will be able 
to retain its exclusive privileges after the extensive 
establishment of European settlers. * * * The 
necessity of employing unfit men in highly important 
offices, is peculiar to this service, and demands cor- 
rection."* 

The evidence laid before parliament, after 
an interval of twenty-five years, forms a 
singular counterpart to the above state- 
ments. The persons examined speak from 
long and intimate experience; and their 
testimony, though varying in detail, coin- 
cides for the most part in its general 
bearing. They denounce the obstructive 
policy pursued towards them; and the ma- 
jority distinctly declare, that permission to 
settle has not been availed of, because the 
protection of life and property, common to 
every other part of the British empire, is 
not afforded in India to any but the actual 
servants of government ; the interests of all 
other subjects, European and native, being 
habitually disregarded. One witness alleges, 
that, " at this present time" (May, 1858), 
there are fewer Englishmen settled in the 
interior of India than there were twenty 
years ago, government servants excepted.f 

would be, in fact, government by a parliamentary 
majority ; he said, if that were applied to India, our 
tenure would not be worth ten years' purchase. — 
Papers, p. 165. 

t Mr. G. Macnair.— Second Report, p. 2. 



34 



OBSTRUCTIONS TO BRITISH SETTLEMENT. 



Another gentleman gives a clear exposition 
of similar convictions ; stating, that — 

"The real serious impediment to the settlement 
of Englishmen in India, is to be found in the policy 
of the system under which our Indian possessions 
have been hitherto, and, unfortunately, up to the 
present day, are still governed ; — that policy which, 
giving certain extensive and exclusive privileges to 
a corporation established for trading purposes, and 
gradually formed into a governing power, originally 
shut out the spirit of enterprise, by excluding from 
the country Englishmen not servants of the Corn- 
pany. Although the extreme severity of this 
original policy has been somewhat modified and 
gradually relaxed, its spirit has remained but 
little changed ; and its effects have been to keep 
the people of this country very ignorant of the 
resources and great value of India, and of the 
character, condition, and wants of the natives. 
Moreover, it is a matter of notoriety, that there has 
been, and is at the present time, a constant anta- 
gonism between the official and non-official Anglo- 
Indian communities ; and that exactly as the adven- 
turesome Englishman, who is called an interloper, 
with difficulty obtained his admission in the country, 
so even now he maintains his position in a con- 
tinuous but unequal struggle with the local gov- 
ernment, which he, in turn, regards as an obstacle 
between himself and the Crown and constitution to 
which he owns allegiance, and looks for protection in 
his own country. Then again, the departments of 
administration, police, the judicial system, both civil 
and criminal, are notoriously so wretchedly ineffi- 
cient, oppressive, and corrupt, that they deter the 
peaceful and industrious from living within their 
influence, or risking their lives and property under 
their operations. I believe that even the compara- 
tively few gentlemen settled in the interior of the 
country, would willingly withdraw, if they could do 
so without a ruinous sacrifice of property ; for little 
or no heed has been given to their complaints, nor 
indeed of the natives ; while the evils which have 
been pointed out for many years past are greatly on 
the increase. The present constitution of the legis- 
lative council has made matters worse than they 
were before ; and that body has certainly not the 
confidence either of Europeans or natives. "With 
the exception of two judges taken from the Supreme 
Court of Calcutta, it is composed of salaried and 
government officials, who have been such from the 
age of twenty, who have really nothing at stake in 
the country, and who are not likely to live under the 
operation and influence of the laws which they pass ; 
while those who are directly interested in the well- 
being of the country, both Europeans and natives, 
are entirely excluded from any voice in the laws by 
which they are to be ruled and governed, * * * 
At present, you have in India a series of anta- 
gonisms which works most injuriously for all classes, 
and completely prevents that union amongst the 
governing people which appears to me to be essen- 
tial to the well-being, not only of ourselves, but of 
the millions of people our subjects, taken under our 
care and protection avowedly for their own good, 
and enlightenment, and advancement in civilisation. 
At present there is an antagonism in the army, by 

* Evidence of Mr. J. G. Waller.— Second Report, 
pp. 169, 170. 

t Evidence of Mr. John Freeman. — First Report, 
pp.112; 119; 139. 



the distinction of two services ; and a worse anta- 
gonism between the Queen's courts and the Com- 
pany's courts ; between the laws administered in the 
presidency towns and in the interior ; between the 
covenanted service, who have a monopoly of the 
well-paid appointments, and the upper, or educated 
portion of the uncovenanted service, who think 
themselves most unjustly excluded from advance- 
ment : and, finally, between almost every English- 
man (I speak of these as facts, not as matters of 
opinion) not in the service of the Company, and 
the local government and covenanted service, who 
not only represent but carry out the policy of the 
East India Company, so as to shut out the direct 
authority of the Crown, the intervention of parlia- 
ment, and the salutary and most necessary influence 
of public opinion in England. You cannot discon- 
nect the European and the native. If you legislate 
simply with the idea of what is suitable to the Eng- 
lish, without referring to the native and redressing 
the grievances of the native, there will be that un- 
happy antagonism between them that will effectually 
bar Europeans from going out to India."* 

The exorbitant rate of interest (from 
fifteen to eighteen per cent.) charged on 
advances of money made to an indigo - 
planter, silk producer, or any settler occu- 
pied in developing the resources of the 
country (though not to be compared with 
that exacted from the native borrower), is 
urged by " an English zemindar^'f resi- 
dent some twenty-five years in Bengal, as 
another proof of the insecurity of property 
in the mofussil, or country districts, com- 
pared with that situated within the Cal- 
cutta jurisdiction, where large sums can be 
readily raised at from six to seven per cent, 
interest, J He enumerates the grievances 
already set forth in preceding sections, and 
points to the successful cultivation exten- 
sively carried on by European settlers in 
Ceylon, as a consequence of the perfect 
security and encouragment to capitalists, 
afforded by the administration, and regu- 
lations of that island. § 

Another witness declares that, in some 
parts of India, the land-revenue system 
actually excludes European capitalists. He 
instances the Madras presidency, and some 
portions of that of Bombay, where the 
Ryotwarree settlement is in force, where 
the government is the immediate landlord, 
and is represented in its transactions with 
its wretched tenants by the revenue police, 
an ill-paid and rapacious army of some 
60,000 men, whose character was pretty 
well exposed in the Madras Torture Report. 
The settlement makes no provision for the 

X The fixed legal maximum of interest in Bengal 
is twelve per cent. ; other commissions bring it up to 
eighteen per cent. — Evidence of Mr. J. P. Wise. 
1 Second Report, p. 54. § Ibid., p. 113. 



SERVICE RENDERED BY BRITISH SETTLERS. 



35 



introduction of an intermediate class of 
landlords; and the pauperised labourers 
emigrate in tens of thousands, to the Mau- 
ritius and elsewhere, leaving their own 
■waste lands, to obtain subsistence in better 
governed countries. 

In Bengal, both European and native 
capital and slcill find employment under 
the permanent settlement, the value of 
which the natives generally perfectly un- 
derstand, and call the "Great Charter of 
Bengal." The same witness adds — " It is 
invaluable to them and to us too; for it 
has saved Bengal from insurrection."* 

This one great advantage possessed by 
Bengal, cannot, however, compensate for 
its other drawbacks; among which, the 
British settlers especially dwell on the 
lamentable deficiency of commercial roads, 
and the contrast thereby oflFered to the 
beautiful pleasure-drives for civilians and 
their ladies, which surround the chief sta- 
tions. A settler engaged in growing rice, 
sugar, tobacco, and vegetables, for the Cal- 
cutta market, on an estate situated only 
forty miles from the great English metro- 
polis, describes the difficulty of transit as 
so great, that the men who come to take 
the sugar away are obliged to do so upon 
bullocks' backs, each animal carrying about 
two maunds (about 1^ cwt. Enghsh), and 
treading warily along the lines separating 
one rice-field from another, which are gene- 
rally about a foot in breadth, somewhat ele- 
vated above the field, acting also as ledges 
to keep the water in the fields : but, adds 
this witness, " some distance from there, 
where there is a little bit of road, they 
will take twenty or twenty-five maunds of 
produce with a cart and a couple of 

bullocks."t 

Despite all discouragements, the British 
settlers claim to have done good service to 
their country and to India; and they 
affirm, " that wherever Europeans have 
been settled during the late convulsion, 
those parts have been less disturbed. "J 
Their enterprise has been imitated by the 

* Evidence of Mr. Theobald. — First Report, pp. 
61,62; 85. 

t Evidence of Mr. J. Freeman. — First Report, 
p. 119. (See further testimony to the same effect — 
First Report, pp. 114 ; 157. Second Report, pp. 31 ; 
40; 52 ; 108. Third Report, pp. 64, 65.) 

X Evidence of Mr. J. P. Wise. — Second Report, 
p. 36. 

§ Evidence of Mr. Freeman. — First Report, p. 114. 

II The " Nuddea Rivers" is the name given to the 
network of channels which traverse the country be- 



native merchants; and many in Calcutta 
have, during the last twenty years, be- 
come large shippers of produce, and send 
orders for manufactured goods direct to 
England.§ 

Articles of great importance have been 
principally discovered and worked by the 
"interlopers." The coal-beds found by 
them after years of research, now give 
beneficial employment to several associa- 
tions, including the Bengal Company, which 
alone pays about £2,000 per month to the 
railway, for the transit of coal from Ranee- 
gunge to Calcutta. The supply furnished 
by them has proved invaluable to the gov- 
ernment during the mutiny ; and the fleets 
of inland steamers belonging to the General 
Steam Navigation and Ganges Companies, 
have rendered vital service in the convey- 
ance of the British troops, the naval bri- 
gade, and military ammunition and stores. 
Their efficiency would have been much 
greater had the authorities heeded the 
arguments previously addressed to them 
regarding the want of a canal to Rajmahal, 
or kept open one of the Nuddea rivers 
from Nuddea to the Ganges. || 

The British settlers were the first to es- 
tablish direct steam communication between 
Calcutta and Suez : through their instru- 
meutality the transit through Egypt was 
carried out, and the first steamer placed 
on the Nile : they introduced the river 
steam-tugs, used to facilitate the intricate 
and dangerous navigation between Cal- 
cutta and the pilot station ; and they estab- 
lished the horse-carriages, by which Sir 
Colin Campbell and hundreds of officers 
and soldiers hastened to the seat of war. 
Silk, and other valuable and easily-trans- 
portable products, such as indigo, the hate- 
ful drug opium, together with jute, hemp, 
tobacco and linseed, have considerably 
increased in quantity, and improved in 
quality, under the influence of British 
capital and energy. The settlers succeeded 
in growing good tea before it was dis- 
covered to be indigenous in so many places 

tween the Ganges and the Hooghly. These chan- 
nels are supplied partly from the Ganges and partly 
from the drainage of the country, and are sometimes 
all but dry. The general opinion is, that one of 
them might be kept open for the country-boats and 
for steamers all the year round, instead of five 
months, if proper engineering skill were applied to 
the task ; by which means a circuitous and even 
dangerous route of five hundred miles would be 
avoided. — First Report. Evidence of Mr. W. Theo- 
bald, p. 75. 



36 



PRODUCE AND MANUFACTURES OF INDIA. 



in the Himalayas ; and were beginning the 
cultivation so successfully in Assam and 
Kumaon, that, in 185G, VoO^OOOlbs. were 
exported to England. The Neilgherry coffee 
is alleged to have obtained au excellent 
name in the London market, as that of 
Tellicherry has done long ago. Beer has 
been brewed on the Neilgherries, and sold 
at 9rf. per gallon, which the soldiers pre- 
ferred to the ordinary description, retailed 
there at 1*. and 1*. 2d. per quart bottle.* 

During the Russian war, there was an 
export of grains and oil seeds (forming, 
in 1856, a large item) from the interior 
of India to England ; but it ended on the 
conclusion of peace, because war prices, or 
canal irrigation and carriage, were essential 
conditions of remuneration. The same 
thing occurred with wheat. At the com- 
mencement of the war there was a first ex- 
port of twenty quarters, which rose to 
90,963 quarters in 1856, and fell with de- 
chning prices to 30,429 quarters in 1857. 
Rice is exported largely under any circum- 
stances, because it is produced in great 
abundance on the coast, and is not subject 
to the cost of inland carriage.f This, and 
much similar testimony, tends to corrobo- 
rate the unqualified declaration previously 
made by Colonel Cotton, that " India can 
supply England fully, abundantly, cheaply 
with its two essentials, flour and cotton ; 
and nothing whatever prevents its doing so 
but the want of public works." J 

The evidence of British settlers is very 
satisfactory regarding the possibility of cul- 
tivating cotton of good quality to an almost 
unlimited extent. One witness predicts, 
that the first three or four large canals (for 
irrigation as well as transit) made in India, 
would drive the American cotton entirely 
out of the market, from the much lower 
cost of production in India. American 
cotton costs Qd. per pound at the English 
ports : Indian, of equal quality, might, it 
is alleged, be delivered there from any part 
of India at a cost of ]^c?. per pound. § 

Even supposing this representation to be 
somewhat sauguine and highly-coloured, it 
is most desirable that a vigorous effort should 
be made to restore the ancient staple pro- 
duct of India, by making one grand experi- 
ment — whether slave labour may not be 
beaten out of the market by the cheapest 

• Evidence of Captain Ouchterlony. — Third Re- 
port, p. 4. 

t Third Report. — Evidence of Mr. W. Balston, 
pp. 64 ; 98. X Public Works, p. 29. 



and most abundant supply of free labour 
which could possibly be desired. In the 
cultivation and manufacture of cotton, all 
the requirements of England and of India 
(national and individual) are combined : 
capital, skill, and careful superintendence, 
would find remunerative exercise on the 
one side; and, on the other, large masses of 
people, now half-starved, would be em- 
ployed; and men, women, and even chil- 
dren could work together in families — an 
arrangement always much desired in India. 

Neither is there any reason why the 
manufacture of the finer fabrics — of gold- 
wrought and embroidered muslins — should 
not be resumed as an article of export. 
They are quite peculiar to India, and must 
remain so. The temperature of the coun- 
try ; the delicate touch of the small supple 
native fingers ; the exquisite, artistic tact in 
managing the gorgeous colouring: all these 
points combine in producing effects which 
have been strangely undervalued in Eng- 
land. The barbaric pearl and gold, the 
diamonds of Golconda, the emeralds and 
pearls, have led us to overlook the incom- 
parable delicacy of Indian manufactures. 

Shawls are almost the only exceptional 
article amid general neglect. The French, 
always discriminating in such matters, 
have shown more appreciation of the value 
of native manipulation. Several factories, 
called " filatures," have been for many years 
established in their settlement at Pondi- 
cherry, and where, properly organised and 
superintended by practical men, the profit 
yielded is stated at no less than thirty per 
cent, per annum on the capital invested. 
A parliamentary witness says, if three 
times the amount could have been spun, it 
would have found ready purchasers. || It is, 
however, asserted, that the assessments are 
not half as high in Pondicherry as in the 
neighbouring British territory. 

The point long doubtful, whether the 
English constitution could ever bear per- 
manent residence and active occupation in 
India, appears to be solved by the concurrent 
testimony of the planters, whose evidence be- 
fore a committee of the House of Commons, 
has been so largely quoted. Their stal- 
wart frames and healthy appearance, after 
twenty, and even thirty years' experience, 
went far to confirm their statements, that 

§ Evidence of Mr. W. Balston. — Third Report, 
p. 98. 

II Evidence of Captain Ouchterlony. — Third Re- 
port, pp. 13 ; 37. 



GOOD HEALTH OF BRITISH SETTLERS IN INDIA. 



37 



out-door employment in the more temperate 
localities, was, even in India, favourable 
rather than detrimental to health. It is 
still an open question, how far their chil- 
dren or grandchildren may thrive there ; 
and to what extent early transplantation to 
schools in the sanitaria afforded by the 
Neilgherries and other hilly tracts, may 
operate in preventing physical deterioration. 

The chief attractions to '^merchant ad- 
venturers" in India, are as prominent now 
as in the days when good Queen Bess 
granted the first charter to her subjects ; 
the field for capital and enterprise is qiiite 
as wide, and even more promising. Mer- 
chants, money-lenders, and government sti- 
pendiaries, are the only wealthy natives at 
present in India; and many of these — 
some by fair and highly creditable means, 
others by intrigue and usury — have be- 
come possessed of fortunes which would 
enable them to take rank with a London 
millionaire. 

India is, in truth, a mine of wealth ; and 
if we are permitted to see the sword of war 
permanently sheathed, it may be hoped 
that we shall take a new view of things; 
especially, that the leaders of our large 
manufacturing towns — Birmingham and 
Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast — will 
take up the question of good government 
for India, and convince themselves, by dili- 
gently comparing and sifting the evidence 
poured forth from many different sources, 
of the necessity for developing the re- 
sources and elevating the condition of their 
fellow-subjects in Hindoostan. Poverty, 
sheer poverty, is the reason why the con- 
sumption of our manufactures is so small ; 
and its concomitants — the fear of extortion, 
and personal insecurity, induce that ten- 
dency to hoarding, which is alleged to 
operate in causing the annual disappear- 
ance of a considerable portion of the already 
insufficient silver currency. 

This, and other minor evils, are effects, 
not causes ; they are like the ailments which 
inherent weakness produces : strengthen 
the general frame, and they will disappear. 
The temptation of profitable and secure in- 
vestments, such as urgently-required public 
works may be always made to offer by a 
wise government, would speedily bring 
forth the hoarded wealth (if there be 
such) of India, and would assuredly attract 
both European and native capital, which, 
thus employed, might be as seed sown. 
The British settlers, and some public- 



spirited native merchants (such as the well- 
known Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeeboy, of Bom- 
bay, with others in each presidency), have 
shown what individual effort can accomplish. 
It is now for the government to follow their 
example, and prepare for a rich harvest of 
material and moral progress. 



Annexation, and Infraction of the Indian 
Laws of Inheritance. — The system of sub- 
sidiary alliances, established by Lord Welles- 
ley, in the teeth of many and varied difiicul- 
ties, has, without doubt, been the means of 
quietly and effectively establishing the su- 
premacy of England over the chief part of 
the Indian peninsula. It has likewise 
greatly conduced to the general tran- 
quillity, by compelling the native govern- 
ments to keep peace with one another. 
It might have done much more than this, 
had subsequent governors-general entered 
into the large and generous policy of its 
promoter, and viewed it as a protective 
measure calculated to prolong the existence 
of native states, and regulate the balance 
of power. Lord Wellesley had no passion 
for annexation ; he did not even say with 
Clive, " to stop is dangerous, to recede is 
ruin :"* on the contrary, he believed that 
the time had arrived for building up a bar- 
rier against further extension ; and for this 
very purpose he bent every energy of his 
mind to frame the system which has been 
perverted by his successors, and warped by 
circumstances, into a preliminary to absorp- 
tion and extinction. 

He desired to preserve the independence 
of the Rajpoot principalities; and thus, 
rather than by exterminating wars, to keep 
in check the then alarmingly turbulent and 
aggressive Mahratta powers. His plans were 
perfected, and fairly in operation when he 
quitted India. Unhappily, his whole policy 
was, for a little while, misrepresented and 
misunderstood. Its reversal was decreed, 
and unswerving " non-intervention" was to 
be substituted for protective and defensive 
alliances. In theory, this principle seemed 
just and practicable ; in action, it involved 
positive breach of contract with the weaker 
states, with whom, in our hour of peril, we 
had formed treaties, and whom we were 
pledged to protect against their hereditary 
foes. 

Mistaken notions of economy actuated 
the authorities in England ; and, unfortu- 
nately. Sir George Barlow, on whom the 
* Metcalfe Papers, p. 5. 



38 SUBVERSION OF LORD WELLESLEY'S SUBSIDIARY SYSTEM. 



charge of the supreme government de- 
volved by the sudden death of Lord Corn- 
wallis, was incapable of realising, much less 
of forcibly deprecating, the evil of the 
measures he was called upon to take. 
Lord Lake, the commander-in-chief, felt 
his honour so compromised by the public 
breach of faith involved in the repudiation 
of treaties which he had been mainly in- 
strumental in obtaining, that he resigned, 
in disgust, the diplomatic powers entrusted 
to him.* 

No less indignation was evinced by the 
band of rising statesmen, whose minds had 
been enlarged and strengthened by par- 
ticipation in the views of the " great little 
man,'' who, " from the fire of patriotism 
Avhich blazed in his own breast, emitted 
sparks which animated the breasts of all 
who came within the reach of his notice.''t 
One of these (Charles Metcalfe) drew up a 
paper on the policy of Sir George Barlow, 
of remarkable interest and ability. He 
says — 

" The native powers of India understand the law 
of nations on a broad scale, though they may not 
adhere to it ; but they are not acquainted with the 
nice quirks upon which our finished casuists Avould 
draw up a paper to establish political rights. Our 
name is high, but these acts must lower it ; and a 
natural consequence is, that we shall not again be 
trusted with confidence. 

" Sir George Barlow, in some of his despatches, 
distinctly states, that he contemplates, in the dis- 
cord of the native powers, an additional source of 
strength ; and, if I am not mistaken, some of his 
plans go directly, and are designed, to foment dis- 
cord among those states. * * ♦ Lord Welles- 
ley's desire was to unite the tranquillity of all the 
' powers of India with our own. How fair, how 
beautiful, how virtuous does this system seem ; 
how tenfold fair, beautiful, and virtuous, when com- 
pared with the other ugly, nasty, abominable one."J 

All the members of the Wellesley school 
imbibed the same tone; and though they 
differed widely on many points, and sub- 
sequently became themselves distinctive 
leaders, yet Elphinstone and Malcolm, 
Adams and Jenkins, Tucker and Edraon- 
stone, consistently maintained the rights of 
native states, and regarded any disposition to 
take advantage of their weakness or promote 
strife, as " ugly, nasty, and abominable." 

When the non-intervention system proved 
absolutely impracticable, the authorities fell 
back on that of subsidiary alliances ; but 
instead of proceeding on the broad basis 
laid down by Lord Wellesley, and organ- 

• See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 406. 

t Metcalfe Papers, p. 10, 

X Ibid., pp. 6, 7. § Ibid., p. 178. 



ising such relations of mutual protection 
and subordination between the greater and 
the minor states, as might be necessary for 
the preservation of general tranquillity, a 
system of minute and harassing inter- 
ference was introduced into the affairs of 
every petty state. "We established," writes 
Sir Charles Metcalfe in 1830, when a 
member of the supreme council, " a mili- 
tary police throughout Central India, with a 
view to maintain order in countries belong- 
ing to foreign potentates."§ The arrange- 
ments made were costly, clumsy, and in- 
efficient; and, in the end, have worked 
badly for all parties. 

The British contingents, which have 
now joined the rebel Bengal army, were, 
for the most part, forced on the native 
princes, and their general tendency has 
been to foster the inherent weakness, 
corruption, and extortion of the states 
in which they have been established. 
The benefit of exemption from external 
strife, has been dearly purchased by in- 
creased internal oppression ; the arm of 
the despot being strengthened against his 
subjects by the same cause which paralysed 
it for foreign aggression. Then has arisen 
the difficult question — how far we, as the 
undoubted supreme power, were justified 
in upholding notoriously incapable and 
profligate dynasties, even while the cruel 
wrongs of the people were unceasingly re- 
ported by the British residents at the native 
courts ? A.S is too frequently the case, the 
same question has been viewed from dif- 
ferent points of view at different times, and, 
at each period, the decision arrived at has 
run the risk of being partial and prejudiced. 

In the time of Warren Hastings, Sir 
John Shore, and Lord Wellesley, the in- 
crease of territory was deprecated by the 
East India Company and the British nation 
in general, as equally unjust in principle 
and mistaken in policy. The fact that 
many of the Hindoo, and nearly all the Mo- 
hammedan, rulers were usurpers of recent 
date, ruling over newly-founded states, was 
utterly ignored ; and their treacherous and 
hostile proceedings against us, and each 
other, were treated as fictitious, or at least 
exaggerated. At length a powerful reac- 
tion took place ; people grew accustomed to 
the rapid augmentation of our Anglo-Indian 
empire, and ceased to scrutinise the means 
by which it was accomplished. The rights 
of native princes, from being over-esti- 
mated, became as unduly disregarded. 



ADVISABILITY OF MAINTAINING NATIVE STATES. 



39 



The system of annexation recently pur- 
sued, ■which has set at nought the an- 
cient Hindoo law regarding the succession 
of adopted sons and female representatives^ 
is alleged to have been a special cause of 
the revolt.* From time immemorial, the 
adoption of heirs in default of natural and 
legitimate issue, has been the common cus- 
tom of the Hindoos. If a man have no son, 
it is an imperative article in his religious 
belief that he should adopt one ; because it 
is only through the ceremonies and offer- 
ings of a son, that the soul of the father 
can be released from Put — which seems to be 
the Brahminical term for purgatory. The 
adopted child succeeds to every hereditary 
right, and is treated in every respect as if 
lawfully begotten. Lord Metcalfe has ex- 
pressed a very decided opinion on the sub- 
ject. After pointing out the difference 
between sovereign princes and jagheerdars 
— between those in possession of hereditary 
sovereignties in their own right, and those 
who hold grants of land, or public revenue, 
by gift from a sovereign or paramount 
power — he adds, that Hindoo sovereign 
princes have a right to adopt a successor, to 
the exclusion of collateral heirs ; and that 
the British government is bound to acknow- 
ledge the adoption, provided that it be 
regular, and not in violation of Hindoo 
law. " The supposed reversionary right of 
the paramount power," Lord Metcalfe de- 
scribes " as having no real existence, except 
in the case of the absolute want of heirs ; 
and even then the right is only assumed in 
virtue of power ; for it would probably be 
more consistent with right, that the people 
of the state so situated should elect a sove- 
reign for themselves,"t 

Many of our leading statesmen have con- 
curred not only in deprecating the use of 
any measures of annexation which could 
possibly be construed as harsh or unjust, 
but also in viewing the end itself, namely, 
the absorption of native states, as a positive 
evil. Mountstuart Elphinstone, who has 
probably had more political intercourse 
with the highest class of natives than any 
other individual now living, has always con- 
tinued to entertain the same views which he 
set forth as interpreter to Major-general 
Wellesley,in the memorable conferences held 
to negotiate the treaties of Surjee Anjen- 

* Vide Rehellionin Iiuiia ; by John Bruce Norton. 
t Metcalfe Papers (written in 1837) ; p. 318. 
X Supplementary Desjtatches of F. M. the Dxike 
of Wellington ; edited by the present Duke: vol. iii. 



gaum and Deogaum, in 1803, with Sindia 
and the rajah of BerarjJ when he described 
the British government as uniformly anxious 
to promote the prosperity of its adherents, 
the interests of such persons being regarded 
as identified with its own. 

Many years later, Mr. Elphinstone wrote — 
" It appears to me to be our interest as 
well as our duty, to use every means to 
preserve the allied governments : it is also 
our interest to keep up the number of in- 
dependent powers : their territories afford a 
refuge to all whose habits of war, intrigue, 
or depredation, make them incapable of 
remaining quiet in ours; and the contrast 
of our government has a favourable effect 
on our subjects, who, while they feel the 
evils thej"" are actually exposed to, are apt 
to forget the greater ones from which they 
have been delivered." 

Colonel Wellesley, in 1800, declared, 
that the extension of our territory and in- 
fluence had been greater than our means. 
"Wherever we spread ourselves," he said,'Sve 
increase this evil. We throw out of employ- 
ment and means of subsistence, all who have 
hitherto managed the revenue, commanded, 
or served in the armies, or have plundered 
the country. These people become addi- 
tional enemies, at the same time that, by 
the extension of our territory, our means 
of supporting our government and of de- 
fending ourselves are proportionately de- 
creased."§ 

Marquis Wellesley, in 1842, wrote — " No 
further extension of our territory is ever 
desirable in India, even in the event of war 
for conquest, if that could be justified or 
were legal, as the law now wisely stands." || 

Lord Ellenborough (despite the annexa- 
tion of Sinde) advised, that even " what 
are called rightful occasions of appro- 
priating the territories of native states," 
should be avoided ; because he considered, 
that the maintenance of those states, and 
" the conviction that they were considered 
permanent parts of the general government 
of India, would materially strengthen our 
authority. I feel satisfied, that I never 
stood so strong with my own army as when 
I was surrounded by native princes; they 
like to see respect shown to their native 
princes. These princes are sovereigns of 
one-third of the population of Hindoostan ; 

§ Wellington Despatches. Letter to Major Munro, 
dated 20th August, 1800. 

II Letter from the Marquis Wellesley to Lord 
Ellenborough, 4th July, 1842. 



40 



DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON ANNEXATION QUESTION. 



and with reference to the future condition 
of the country, it becomes more important 
to give them confidence that no systematic 
attempt will be made to take advantage of 
the failures of heirs to confiscate their pro- 
perty, or to injure, in any respect, those 
sovereigns in the position they at present 
occupy." 

Sir John Malcolm went further still, and 
declared, that "the tranquillity, not to say 
the security, of our vast Oriental dominions, 
was involved in the preservation of the 
native principalities, which are dependent 
upon us for protection. These are also so 
obviously at our mercy, so entirely within 
our grasp, that besides the other and great 
benefits which we derive from these alliances, 
their co-existence with our rule is, of itself, 
a source of political strength, the value of 
which will never be known till it is lost. 
* * * I am further convinced, that though 
our revenue may increase, the permanence 
of our power will be hazarded in proportion 
as the territories of native princes and chiefs 
fall under our direct rule/^ 

Henry St. George Tucker likewise lifted 
up his voice in warning, declaring, that the 
annexation of a principality to our gigantic 
empire, might become the source of weak- 
ness, by impairing our moral influence over 
our native subjects.* 

These opinions so far prevailed, that down 
to the viceroyalty of Lord Dalhousie, the 
Hindoo custom of adoption was not only 
sanctioned, but urged by the supreme gov- 
ernment on native princes in the absence 
of natural heirs. The majority of Indian 
dynasties have been maintained in this 
manner. The famous Mahratta leaders, 
Dowlut Rao Sindia of Gwalior, and Mul- 
har Rao Holcar of Indore, both died child- 
less : the latter adopted a son ; the former 
left the choice of a successor to his favourite 
wife, who exercised the right, and herself 
filled the position of regent. f 

On the death of the adopted prince, in 
1843, his nearest relative, a boy of eight 
years of age, was proclaimed maharajah. 
The war which took place in the san^e year, 
and which terminated in the capture of the 
fortress of Gwalior by the British troops, 
on the 4th of January, 1844, did not lead 

• Several of the above opinions, with others of 
similar tendency, will be found collected in a pam- 
phlet entitled The Native States of India ; pub- 
lished by Saunders and Stanford, G, Charing-cross : 
1853. 

t Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 427. 



to the extinction of the principality, as it 
would unquestionably have done under the 
course of policy whicli subsequently pre- 
vailed. The young maharajah was con- 
firmed in the position, for which, as he 
advanced in age, he showed himself well 
qualified ; and his name, like that of his co- 
temporary the rajah of Indore, now takes 
high rank amid the faithful allies of Eng- 
land. 

Lord Ellenborough's opinions regarding 
the maintenance of native states, were not, 
however, shared by his zealous champion. 
Sir Charles Napier, who expressed himself 
on this point, as on most others, in very 
strong terms. " Were I emperor of In- 
dia," he said, when his views were most 
matured, "no Indian prince should exist." 
He would dethrone the Nizam, he would 
seize Nepaul : in fact, he considered, that 
without the abolition of the native sove- 
reignties no great good could be effected, 
and the Company's revenues must be always 
in difiiculty.J 

Sir Charles was probably singular in his 
desire to extend the British frontier inde- 
finitely, and " make Moscowa and Pekin 
shake;" but many persons, including Mr. 
Thoby Prinsep and other leading India 
House authorities, looked forward to the 
extinction of the subsidiary and protected 
states within our boundary as desirable, 
both in a political and financial point of 
view, especially in the latter. § 

In India, the majority of the governing 
"caste," as Colonel Sykes called the civi- 
lians, || were naturally disposed to favour ex- 
tensions of territory which directly conduced 
to the benefit of their body, and for the in- 
direct consequences of which they were in 
no manner held responsible. To them, the 
lapse of a native state was the opening of a 
new source of promotion, as it was to the di- 
rectors in England of " patronage" — an ad- 
vantage vague in sound, but very palpable 
and lucrative in operation. No wonder that 
the death of the " sick man" should have 
been often anticipated by his impatient heirs 
as a happy release, which it was excusable 
and decidedly expedient to hasten. It was 
but to place the sufl'erer or victim within 
reach of the devouring waves of the Gauges, 

X See review in the Times, May 25th, 1857, of 
Sir W. Napier's Life of Sir C. Napier. 

§ See Mr. Prinsep's pamphlet on the Indian Que$- 
tion in 1853. 

II Third Keport of Colonization Committee, 1858 j 
p. 88. 



ANNEXATION POLICY OF LORD DALHOUSIE. 



41 



and the result, according to Hindoo notions, 
is paradise to one party, and pecuniary ad- 
vantage, or at least relief, to the other. 
The whirlpool of annexation has been hit 
upon as offering advantages of a similar 
kind ; namely, complete regeneration to the 
native state subjected to its engulphing 
influence, and increased revenue to the para- 
mount power. Bengal civilians began to 
study " annexation made easy," with the zeal 
of our American cousins, and it was soon 
deemed indispensable to hasten the process 
by refusing to sanction further adoptions. 
The opinions quoted in preceding pages 
were treated as out of date, and the policy 
founded on them was reversed. The ex- 
perience of the past showed, that from the 
days of Clive, all calculations founded on 
increase of territorial revenue, had been 
vitiated by more than proportionate in- 
crease of expenditure. It might have also 
taught, that the decay of native states 
needed no stimulating, and that even if 
their eventual extinction should be deemed 
desirable, it would at least be well to take 
care that the inclined plane by which we 
were hastening their descent, should not be 
placed at so sharp an angle as to bring 
them down, like an avalanche, on our own 
heads. These considerations were lost sight 
of in the general desire felt " to extinguish 
the native states which consume so large a 
portion of the revenue of the country ;"* and 
few paused to consider the peculiar rights 
of native administrators, as such, or re- 
membered that, in many cases, the profit 
derived from the subsidy paid for military 
contingents, was greater than any we were 
likely to obtain from the entire revenue. 
In fact, the entire revenue had repeatedly 
proved insufficient to cover the cost of our 
enormous governmental establishments, civil 
and military. 

The expenditure consequent on the war 
with, and annexation of, Sinde,t was the sub- 
ject of much parliamentary discussion, the 
immense booty obtained by the army being 
contrasted with the burden imposed upon 
the public treasury and highly-taxed people 
of India. Still the lesson prominently set 
forth therein was unheeded, or treated as 
applicable only to projects of foreign ag- 

• Modern India ; by Mr. Campbell, a civilian of 
the Bengal service. 

t Mr. St. George Tucker asserted, that the pro- 
ceedings connected with the annexation of Sinde 
Mere reprobated by every member of the Court of 
Directors of the East India Company, " as characler- 

VOL. II. G 



grandisement, and having no relation to 
questions of domestic policy. 

The Marquis of Dalhousie expressed the 
general sentiments of the Court of Directors, 
as well as his own, in the following full 
and clear exposition of the principles which 
prompted the series of annexations made 
under his administration : — " There may be 
a conflict of opinion as to the advantage, or 
to the propriety, of extending our already 
vast possessions beyond their present limits. 
No man can more sincerely deprecate than 
I do any extension of the frontiers of our 
territories, which can be avoided, or which 
may not become indispensably necessary 
from considerations of our own safety, and 
of the maintenance of the tranquillity of 
our provinces. But I cannot conceive it 
possible for any one to dispute the policy of 
taking advantage of every just opportunity 
which presents itself for consolidating the 
territories that already belong to us, by 
taking possession of states which may lapse 
in the midst of them ; for thus getting rid 
of these petty intervening principalities, 
which may be made a means of annoyance, 
but which can never, I venture to think, 
be a source of strength; for adding to the 
resources of the public treasury, and for 
extending the uniform application of our 
system of government to those whose best 
interests, we believe, will be promoted 
thereby." 

Lord Dalhousie diff'ered from Lord Met- 
calfe and others above quoted, not less 
with regard to the nature of the end in 
view, than as to the means by which that end 
might be lawfully obtained ; and he has re- 
corded his " strong and deliberate opinion," 
that "the British government is bound 
not to put aside or to neglect such rightful 
opportunities of acquiring territory or re- 
venue, as may from time to time present 
themselves, whether they arise from the 
lapse of subordinate states by the failure of 
all heirs of every description whatsoever, or 
from the failure of heirs natui-al, when the 
succession can be sustained only by the 
sanction of government being given to 
the ceremony of adoption, according to 
Hindoo law." 

It is not surprising that the process 

ised by acts of the grossest injustice, highly inju- 
rious to the national reputation :" and _ that_ the 
acquisition of that country was " more iniquitous 
than any which has ever stained the annals of our 
Indian administration." — 3Iemorials of Indian GoV" 
eminent, pp. 351, 352. 



of absorption should have been rapid, when 
tlie viceroy, who held the above opinions, 
was essentially a practical man, gifted 
with an '' aptitude for business, unflagging 
powers of labour, and clearness of intellect;" 
which even the most decided opponents of 
liis policy have applauded. In reviewing 
the result of his eight years' administration, 
Lord Dalhousie dwells, apparently without 
the slightest misgiving, on the large in- 
crease of the British territories in the East 
during that period; four kingdoms, and 
various chiefships and separate tracts, having 
been brought under the sway of the Queen 
of England. Of these, the Pmjab was the 
fruit of conquest.* Pegu and Martaban 
were likewise won by the sword in 1852 ; 
and a population of 570,180 souls, spread 
over an area of 32,250 square miles, was 
thereby brought under the dominion of the 
Biitish Crown.f 

The Raj or Principality of Sattara, was 
the first state annexed by Lord Dalhousie, 
to the exclusion of the claims of an adopted 
son. There was only one precedent — and 
that a partial one — for this measure : it 
occurred under the administration of Lord 
Auckland, in 1840, in the case of the little 
state qfColaba, founded by the pirate Augria, 
whose chief fort, Gheria, was taken by 
Watson and Clive in 1756. J Colaba was 
dependent on the government of the Peishwa 
at Poona; and, on the extinction of his 
power, the British entered into a treaty 
with Ragojee Angria, the existing chief, 
guaranteeing the transmission of his terri- 
tories in their integrity to his " successors.^' 
With the sanction of the Bombay govern- 
ment, Bagojee adopted a boy, who died soon 
after him. Permission was asked for a fresh 
adoption, but refused ; and the territory 
was treated as having escheated for want of 
heirs male, although, it is alleged, there were 
many members of the Angria family still in 
existence, legally capable of succeeding to 
the government. 

Sattara was altogether a more important 
case, both on account of the extent and 
excellent government of the kingdom, and 
because its extinction involved a distinct 
repudiation of the practice of adoption 
previously sanctioned by the British au- 
thorities, and held by the Hindoos as in- 
variably conferring on the adopted child 

* Norton's Rebellion in India, p. 65. 

+ Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 456. 

X Ihid.. p. 458. Pnrl. Papers, 16th April, 1858.) 

§ bee Ltdian Enqjire, vol. i., p. 271. 



every privilege of natural and legitimate 
issue. § The fact was so generally recognised, 
that there seems no reason to doubt that the 
native princes, in signing subsidiary or 
other treaties, considered that children by 
adoption were included, as a matter of 
course, under the head of legitimate heirs 
and successors. The exception, if intended, 
was sufficiently important to demand men- 
tion. But the conduct of the government, 
in repeated instances (such as those of the 
Gwalior and Indore principalities, of Kotah 
in 1828, Dutteah in 1840, Oorcha, Bans- 
warra, and Oodipoor, in 1842, and, several 
years later, in Kerowlee),|| was calculated to 
remove all doubt by evidencing its liberal 
construction of the Hindoo law of succes- 
sion. 

Lord Auckland declared, in the case 
of Oorcha, that he could not for a moment 
admit the doctrine, that because the view of 
policy upon which we might have formed 
engagements with the native princes might 
have been by circumstances materially al- 
tered, we were therefore not to act scru- 
pulously up to the terms and spirit of those 
engagements; and again, when discussing 
the question of the right of the widow of the 
rajah of Kishenghur to adopt a son without 
authority from her deceased husband, his 
lordship rejected any reference to the " sup- 
posed rights'' which were suggested as de- 
volving on the British government as the 
paramount power, declaring that such ques- 
tions must be decided exclusively with refer- 
ence to the terms and spirit of the treaties 
or engagements formed with the different 
states ; and that no demand ought to be 
brought forward than such as, in regard to 
those engagements, should be scrupulously 
consistent with good faith. 

By this declaration Lord Auckland pub- 
licly evinced his resolve to adhere to the 
principle laid down by high authority forty 
years before, under very critical circum- 
stances. It was not an obedient depen- 
dency, but the fortified border-land of a 
M'arlike principality, that was at stake, 
when Arthur Wellesley Urged the governor- 
general to abide by the strict rules of jus- 
tice, however inconvenient and seemingly 
inexpedient. On other points of the ques- 
tion the brothers might take different views ; 
on this they were sure to agree ; for they 

II The social grounds on which the practice of 
adoption is based, are well set forth by General 
Brings. See I<ndlo\v's Lectures, vol. ii., p. 226; and 
Native States, pp. 21; 23. 



ANNEXATION OP S ATTAR A— 1849. 



43 



were equally ready to " sacrifice Gwalior or 
every other frontier in India ten times over, 
in order to preserve our credit for scrupu- 
lous good faith/^* 

The recent mode of dealing with Sattara 
has not contributed to raise the British 
name either for generosity or unflinching in- 
tegrity. The deposition of that most able 
ruler, Pertab Sing, on a charge of con- 
spiracy against the supreme government,t 
was earnestly deprecated in England by 
many eminent men, and excited great in- 
dignation among his subjects. The secret 
and hurried manner in which his seizure 
and trial were conducted, increased the appa- 
rent hardship of his sentence ; and an able 
writer asserts his conviction that, at the 
present time, not a native in India, nor five 
persons in the world, believe in his guilt. J 
He died in 1847, leaving an adopted son, 
around whom the aff'ections of the people 
still cling.§ The remembrance of his misfor- 
tunes has not passed away ; and one of the 
mutineers, hung at Sattara in 1857, ad- 
dressed the surrounding natives while he 
was being pinioned, to the effect that, as 
the English had hurled the rajah from his 
throne, so they ought to be driven out of the 
country. II The deposition of Pertab Sing 
was not, however, accompanied by any at- 
tempt at annexation of territory ; the gov- 
ernment, on the contrary, "having no views 
of advantage and aggrandisement," resolved, 
in the words of the new treaty (5th Sep- 
tember, 1839), to invest the brother and next 
in succession to the rajah with the sove- 
reignty. This brother (Appa Sahib) died 
in 1848. He, also, in default of natural 
issue, had adopted a son, whose recognition 
as rajah was strongly urged by Sir George 
Clerk, the governor of Bombay, on the 
ground that the terms of the treaty, " seemed 
to mean a sovereignty which should not 
lapse for want of heirs, so long as there was 
any one who could succeed, according to 
the usages of the people." " In a matter 
such as this question of resumption of ter- 
ritory, recovered by us, and restored to an 
ancient dynasty,"^ he observes, "we are 
morally bound to give some consideration 
to the sense in which we induced or per- 
mitted the other party to understand the 
terms of a mutual agreement. Whatever 
we intend in favour of an ally in perpetuity, 

* Wellington Despatches, 17th March, 1804. 
t See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 432. 
\ Ludlow's Lectures, vol. ii., p. 171. 
§ Ihid., p. 171. 



when executing a treaty with him on that 
basis, by that we ought to abide in our rela- 
tions with his successors, until he proves 
himself unworthy." 

Sir G. Clerk further advocated the con- 
tinuance of the independence of Sattara, 
on account of its happy and prospei-ous 
state. Mr. Frere, the British resident, said 
that no claimant would venture to put for- 
ward his own claim against the adopted sons 
of either of the late rajahs ; but that there 
were many who might have asserted their 
claim but for the adoption, and who would 
" be able to establish a very good prima 
facie claim in any court of justice in India." 
These arguments did not deter Lord Dal- 
housie from making Sattara the first ex- 
ample of his consolidation policy, "The 
territories," he said, " lie in the very heart 
of our own possessions. They are inter- 
posed between the two military stations in 
the presidency of Bombay, and are at least 
calculated, in the hands of an independent 
sovereign, to form an obstacle to safe com- 
munication and combined military move- 
ment. The district is fertile, and the re- 
venues productive. The population, accus- 
tomed for some time to regular and peaceful 
government, are tranquil themselves, and 
are prepared for the regular government 
our possession of the territory would give." 
With regard to the terms of the treaty, he 
held that the words " heirs and successors" 
must be read in their ordinary sense, and 
could not be construed to secure to the 
rajahs of Sattara any other than the succes- 
sion of heirs natural : and the prosperity of 
the state, he did not consider a reason for its 
continued independence, unless this pros- 
perity could be shown to arise from fixed 
institutions, by which the disposition of the 
sovereign would always be guarded, or com- 
pelled into an observance of the rules of 
good government. (This, of course, could 
not be shown, such security being peculiar 
to countries blessed with free institutions, 
and utterly incompatible with any form of 
despotism.) In conclusion, the governor- 
general argued, that "we ought to regard 
the territory of Sattara as lapse, and should 
incorporate it at once with the British do- 
minions in India."** 

The Court of Directors were divided in 
opinion on the subject : nine of them agreed 

II Bombaij Telegraph, 19th June, 1857. 
^ Indian Umjnre, vol. i., p. 419. 
** Minute by Lord Dalhousie, COth August, 
1848. 



44 



ANNEXATION OF SATTARA— 1849. 



with, and five difi'ered from, Lord Dalhousie.* 
The dissentients were Messrs. Tucker, Shep- 
herd, Melville, Major Oliphant, and General 
Caulfield. Regardinoj the precedent estab- 
lished in the case of Colaba, Mr. Tucker 
said — 

" I remonstrated against the annexation (I am 
disposed to call it the confiscation) of Colaba, the 
ancient seat of the Angria family, to which the allu- 
sion has been made in the Bombay minutes ; and 
far from having seen reason to modify or recall the 
opinion recorded by me on that proceeding, I have 
availed myself of every suitable occasion to enforce 
my conviction, that a more mischievous policy could 
not be pursued than that which would engross the 
whole territory of India, and annihilate the small 
remnant of the native aristocracy. There are per- 
sons who fancy that landed possessions in India 
cannot be successfully administered by native agency. 
In disproof of this notion I would point to the Ram- 
poor jaghire in Rohilcund, which was a perfect 
garden when I saw it long ago, and which still re- 
mains, I believe, in a state of the highest agricul- 
tural prosperity. Nay, I would point to the princi- 
pality of Sattara, which appears to have been most 
successfully administered both by the ex-rajah, Per- 
tab Sing, and his brother and successor, Appa Sahib, 
who have done more for the improvement of the 
country than our government can pretend to have 
done in any part of its territory ."f 

This, and other energetic protests, are 
said to have produced so strong an im- 
pression, that a vote seemed likely to pass 
in the Court of Proprietors, repudiating the 
annexation of Sattara. The majority of the 
directors perceiving this, called for a ballot, 
and so procured the confirmation of the 
measure by the votes of some hundreds of 
ladies and gentlemen, for the most part 
utterly ignorant of the merits of the case.J 

The provision made by the supreme gov- 
ernment for the widows and adopted son,§ 
was censured by the directors; and Lord 
Dalhousie writes, that although the Hon. 
Court had declared " their desire to provide 
liberally for the family, and their wish 
that the ladies should retain jewels, fur- 

• The question of the rigHit of adoption, says Mr. 
Sullivan, was treated by all the authorities at home 
and abroad as if it had been an entirely new one, 
and was decided in the negative ; whereas, it ap- 
peared, by records which were dragged forth after 
judgment was passed in the Sattara case, that the 
question had been formally raised, and as formally 
decided in favour of the right, twenty years before ; 
and that this decision had been acted upon in no 
less than fifteen instances in the interval. — Pamphlet 
on the Double Governmeiit, published by India 
Reform Society ; p. 24. 

+ Lieutenant-general Briggs, in his evidence be- 
fore the Cotton Committee appointed in 1848, men- 
tioned having superintended the construction of a 
road made entirely by natives for the rajah of Sat- 
tara, thirty-six miles long, and eighteen feel wide, 



niture, and other personal property suit- 
able to their rank, they still objected that 
the grant of so much property, which was 
fairly at the disposal of the government, 
was greatly in excess of what was re- 
quired ."|1 

The Kingdom of Nagpoor "became British 
territory by simple lapse, in the absence 
of all legal heirs ;" for the government, 
says Lord Dalhousie, " refused to bestow 
the territory, in free gift, upon a stranger,^ 
and wisely incorporated it with its own 
dominions."** 

Absorption was becoming a very familiar 
process to the British functionaries, and the 
addition of a population of about 4,650,000, 
and an area of 76,432 square miles, ff ap- 
peared to excite little attention or interest. 
Parliamentary returns prove, however, that 
the kingdom was not extinguished without 
palpable signs of dissatisfaction, and even 
some attempt at resistance on the part of 
the native government. The ranees, or 
queens, on the death of the rajah in Decem- 
ber, 1853, requested leave to take advantage 
of the Hindoo law, which vested in them, or 
at least in the chief of them — the right of 
adopting a son, and of exercising the powers 
of the regency. They offered to adopt, ac- 
cording to the pleasure of the supreme 
government, any one of the rightful heirs, 
who, they alleged, existed, and were en- 
titled to succeed to the sovereignty; "both 
according to the customs of the family and 
the Hindoo law, and also agreeably to the 
practice in such cases pursued under the 
treaties." The reply was a formal intima- 
tion, that the orders issued by the gov- 
ernment of India having been confirmed 
by the Hon. Court of Directors, the prayer 
of the ranees for the restitution of the 
raj to the family could not be granted. 
The maharanee, called the Banka Bye (a 

with drains and small bridges for the whole dis- 
tance. 

:t: Sullivan's Double Govei-nment, p. 26. 

§ They were allowed to retain jewels, &c., to the 
value of sixteen lacs, and landed property worth 
20,000 rupees a-year. Pensions were also granted 
(from the revenue) to the three ranees, of £45,000, 
£30,000, and £25,000 respectively.— Pari. Papers 
(Commons), 5th March, 1856; p. 10. 

II Pari. Papers, &c., p. 10. 

% Lord Dalhousie, in a minute dated 10th June. 
1854, admits that lineal members of the Bhons- 
lay family existed ; but adds, " they are all the pro- 
geny of daughters." — Pari. Papers (Commons), 16th 
June, 1856. 

*• Minute, dated 28th February, 1856; p. 8. 

ft l^arl- Papers (Commons), 16th Ajiril, 1858. 



ANNEXATION OF NAGPOOR— 1853. 



45 



very aged woman, of remarkable ability, 
■who had exercised the authority of regent 
during the minority of her grandson, the 
late rajah), and the younger ranees, were not 
entirely unsupported in their endeavours for 
the continuance of the state, or at least 
for the obtainment of some concessions from 
the paramount power. The commissioner, 
and former resident, Mr. Mansel, repre- 
sented the disastrous effect which the an- 
nexation of Nagpoor was calculated to 
produce upon certain influential classes. 
The dependent chiefs, the agriculturists, 
and the small shopkeepers would, he con- 
sidered, "if not harshly agitated by new 
measures," be easily reconciled to British 
rule; but — 

"The officers of the army, the courtiers, the 
priesthood, the chief merchants and bankers who 
had dealings with the rajah's treasury and house- 
hold — all the aristocracy, in fact, of the country, see 
in the operation of the system that British rule 
involves, the gradual diminution of their exclusive 
consequence, and the final extinction of their order."* 

The extinction of the aristocracy was cal- 
culated to aff'ect the mass of the population 
more directly than would at first seem 
probable. Mr. Mansel truly says — 

"The Indian native looks up to a monarcliical 
and aristocratic form of life ; all his ideas and feel- 
ings are pervaded with respect for it. Its ceremonies 
and state are an object of amusement and interest 
to all, old and young ; and all that part of the hap- 
piness of the world which is produced by the grati- 
fication of the senses, is largely maintained by the 
existence of a court, its pageantry, its expenditure, 
and communication with the people. Without such 
a source of patronage of merit, literary and personal, 
the action of life in native society as it is and must 
long be, would be tame and depressing. * * * 
It is the bitter cry on all sides, that our rule exhi- 
bits no sympathy, especially for the native of rank, 
and not even for other classes of natives. It is a 
just, but an ungenerous, unloveable system that we 
administer, and this tone is peculiarly felt in a 
newly-acquired country. It may be that we can- 
not re-create, but we may pause ere we destroy a 
form of society already existing, and not necessarily 
barren of many advantages. * * • fhe main 
energies of the public service in India are directed 
to, or absorbed in, the collection of revenue and the 
repressing of rural crime; and the measures applied 
to the education of the native people are of little 
influence ; while many of our own measures — as in 
the absorption of a native state (if we sweep clean 
the family of the native prince and the nobility 
gradually from the land) — are deeply depressing on 
the national character and social system."t 

* Pari. Papers (Commons) — Annexation of Be- 
rar: No. 82; March 5th, 1856; p. 4. 
t Ibid., p. 6. 
X Ibid., pp. 12, 13. 
§ The mode of appropriating the personal and here- 



He therefore recommended, with a view 
of reconciling the past with the future, in a 
change of government from Oriental to 
European hands, that the Nagpoor royal 
family should be permitted to exercise the 
right of adoption ; to enjoy the privileges 
of titular chieftainship ; and to retain pos- 
session of the palace in the city of Nagpoor, 
with a fixed income and a landed estate. 

The reply to these recommendations was, 
that the governor-general in council could 
not conceal his surprise and dissatisfaction 
at the advocacy of a policy diametrically 
opposed to the declared views of the 
supreme authority. The grounds on which 
the British commissioner advocated the 
creation of a titular principality, were 
pronounced to be weak and untenable; 
while all experience was alleged to be 
opposed to the measure which he had 
" most inopportunely forced" on the con- 
sideration of government. The king of 
Delhi, the nawab of Bengal, and the nawab- 
nizam of the Carnatic, were cited as so 
many examples of its impolicy: but "in all 
these cases, however, some purpose of great 
temporary expediency was served, or be- 
lieved to be served, when the arrangement 
was originally made ; some actual difficulty 
was got over by the arrangement; and, 
above all, the chiefs in question were exist- 
ing things [?] before the arrangement." 
In the present instance, however, the offi- 
cial despatch declares there was no object 
of even temporary expediency to serve; no 
actual difficulty of any sort to be got over; 
no one purpose, political or other, to be 
promoted by the proposed measure. J 

The provision suggested by Mr. Mansel 
as suitable for the ranees in the event of his 
proposition being rejected, was condemned 
as extravagantly high ; the hereditary trea- 
sure of the rajah, the governor-general con- 
sidered, in accordance with the decision of 
the Hon. Court in an analogous case (Sat- 
tara), was "fairly at the disposal of the 
government, and ought not to be given up 
to be appropriated and squandered by the 
ranees. "§ 

The money hoarded, having been accti- 
mulated, it was alleged, out of the public 
funds, was available to defray the arrears of 
the palace establishments — a reasonable 

ditary treasure of the late rajah, suggested by the 
commissioner as likely to be approved by the ranees, 
was the building a bridge over the Kumaon river ; 
and thus, in accordance with Hindoo custom, link- 
ing tlie family name to a great and useful work. 



46 



ANNEXATION OF NAGPOOR— 1853. 



plea, which could not be urged in defence 
of the same seizure of personal savings in 
the case of Sattara. 

This unqualified censure of the commis- 
sioner was followed by his removal, a pro- 
ceeding directly calculated to inculcate the 
suppression not only of opinions, but even of 
facts, of an unpalatable kind. The half- 
measure which he had suggested might 
possibly have worked badly, as most half- 
measures do ; but it was avowedly pro- 
posed as a compromise, and as a means of 
meeting difficulties, which the Calcutta 
authorities saw fit to ignore. No notice 
whatever was taken of Mr. Hansel's state- 
ment, that in arguing with the people at 
Nagpoor on the practice of putting the 
members of the family of a deceased chief 
on individual life pensions, upon the absorp- 
tion of a state, they immediately (though 
not before unsubservient to the execution 
of orders from Calcutta for the extinction of 
sovereign powers) fell back upon the law 
and rights of the case, and contended that 
the treaty gave what was now being arbi- 
trarily taken away.* 

Nothing, indeed, could be more arbi- 
trary than the whole proceeding. A mili- 
tary officer, Captain Elliot, was made offi- 
ciating commissioner, and a large body of 
troops was placed at his disposal to overawe 
opposition, in the event of the royal family 
or their late subjects evincing any disposi- 
tion to resist the fulfilment of the orders of 
the governor-general for the seizure of the 
treasure, hereditary jewels, and even the 
personal property and household effects of 
the deceased rajah, which were advertised 
to be sold by public auction, to provide a 
fund for the support of his famih^ 

The ranees sent a vakeel, or ambassador, 
to Calcutta, to intreat that a stop should be 
put to the sale of cff'ects held as private 
property for a century and a-half; "and, 
further, for the cessation of the unjust, 
oppressive, and humiliating treatment shown 
by the commissioner, under the alleged 
orders of government, towards the maha- 
ranees and the other heirs and members of 
the family of the late rajah, whose lives are 
embittered and rendered burdensome by 
the cruel conduct and indignities to which 
they have been obliged to submit." 

iiepeated memorials were sent in by 

the ranees, concerning " the disrespect and 

contumely" with which they were treated 

by the acting commissioner, and also 

• Pari. Papers on Berar, p. 7. 



regarding the manner in which the sales by 
auction were conducted, and property sacri- 
ficed ; particularly cattle and horses : a pair 
of bullocks, for instance, estimated to be 
worth 200 rupees, being sold for twenty. 

The official return of the proceeds of the 
rajah's live stock, tends to corroborate 
the statement of the ranees. A hundred 
camels only realised 3,138 rupees, and 182 
bullocks only 2,018; elephants, horses, and 
ponies in large numbers, sold at equally low 
prices. The remonstrances of the ranees 
were treated with contemptuous indiff"er- 
ence. The government refused to recog- 
nise their envoys, and would receive no 
communications except through the official 
whose refusal to forward their appeals was 
the express reason of their having endea- 
voured to reach the ear of the governor- 
general by some other channel. 

The removal of the property from the 
palace was attended by considerable excite- 
ment. The native officer employed by 
the English goA'ernment, was " hustled and 
beaten" in the outer courtyard of the 
palace. The sepoys on duty inside the 
square, are described by Captain Elliot in 
his rather singular account of the matter, 
"as not aff"ording that protection and assis- 
tance they were bound to do; for, setting 
aside Jumal-oo-deen's [the native officer's] 
rank, position, and employment, he was 
married, and somewhat lame." There was 
great excitement in the city, as well as in 
and about the palace, and great crowds had 
assembled and were assembling. It was 
doubtful to what extent opposition might 
have been organised, for the aged maha- 
ranee was asserted to have sent a mes- 
sage to the British officer in command, 
that if the removal of property were 
attempted, she would set the palace on 
fire. This threat, if made, was never exe- 
cuted : reinforcements of troops were in- 
troduced into the city, and the orders Oi 
the government were quietly carried 
through. The governor-general considered 
that the " scandalous conduct'^ of the 
sepoys and rifle guards on duty, ought to 
have been punished by dismissal from the 
service; but it had been already passed 
over in silence, and so no maityrs were 
made to the cause, and the affair passed 
over as an ebullition of that " floating feel- 
ing of national regret," which Mr. Mansel 
had previously described as ready to dis- 
charge itself in dangerous force upon any 
objects within its range. 



ANNEXATION OF NAGPOOR, OR BERAR— 1854. 



47 



The maharanee denied havings incited 
or approved tlie resistance offered by her 
people ; but the Calcutta authorities per- 
sisted in considering that a plan of resis- 
tance had been organised by her during the 
night preceding the disturbances which 
took place in the morning of the 11th of 
October, 1854, and threatened to hold the 
ranees generally responsible, in the event of 
any repetition of such scenes as those which 
had already brought down upon them the 
displeasure of government. 

The ladies were, no doubt, extremely 
alarmed by this intimation, which the offici- 
ating commissioner conveyed to them, he 
writes, in ''most unmistakable language." 
The sale of the chief part of the jewels and 
heirlooms (estimated at from ^6500,000 to 
,£750,000 in value)* was carried on unop- 
posed in the public bazaars ; a proceeding 
which the then free press did not fail to 
communicate to the general public, and to 
comment on severely. t Of the money 
hidden within the sacred precincts of the 
zenana, 136 bags of silver rupees had been 
surrendered ; but there was a further store 
of gold mohurs, with the existence of 
which the Banka Bye had herself ac- 
quainted the British functionaries imme- 
diately after the death of her grandson, 
as a proof of her desire to conceal 
nothing from them. When urged, she 
expressed her readiness to surrender the 
treasure ; but pleaded as a reason for 
delay, the extreme, and as it speedily 
proved, mortal sickness of Unpoora Bye, 
the chief widow, in whose apartments the 
treasure was hidden, and her great unwil- 
lingness to permit its removal. The com- 
missioner appears to have treated this plea as 
a continuation of " the old system of delay 
and passive resistance to all one's instruc- 
tions and wishes." Nevertheless, he deemed 
it objectionable " to use force ;" and " was 
unwilling that Captain Crichton [the officer 
in command] should go upstairs on this 
occasion, or take any active part in this 
matter," it being " better to avoid a scene :" 
and, as an alternative, he advised " writing 
off the amount known to be buried, to the 
debit of the ranees, deducting the same 
from their annual allowance, and telling 
them the same was at their disposal and in 
their own possession." J 

• Pari. Papers (Annexation of Berar), p. 9. 
t Indian Neicx^ 2nd April, 1855. 
J Lettor from officiatin;^ commissioner, Ca])t. Elliot, 
to government, llith Dec, ISo-l. — Pari. Papers, p. 44. 



The princesses would have been badly 
off had this arrangement been carried out, 
for the amount of hoarded treasure had 
been exaggerated, as it almost invariably is 
in such cases ; and although no doubt is 
expressed that the formal surrender of 
10,000 gold mohurs (made immediately 
after the delivery of the governor-general's 
threatening message) included the entire 
hoard, yet double that sum was expected; 
the other half having, it is alleged, been 
previously expended. 

The maharanee excited the angry sus- 
picions of the Calcutta government by 
a despairing effort for the maintenance of 
the state, with which she felt the honour of 
her house indissolubly allied. It appeared, 
that Major Ramsay, then resident at Ne- 
paul, had, when occupying the same posi- 
tion at the court of Nagpoor, been on very 
bad terms with the deceased rajah. The 
Banka Bye attributed the extinction of the 
raj to his representations, and sent a 
vakeel to him, in the hope of deprecating 
his opposition, and obtaining his favourable 
intervention. The errand of the vakeel 
was misunderstood, and attributed to a 
desire to communicate with the Nepaulese 
sovereign on the subject of the annexation 
of Nagpoor. Under this impi'ession, the 
governor-general in council declared, that 
the ranees had no right whatever to com- 
municate with native courts ; that it was 
impossible to put any other than an un- 
favourable construction on their attempt to 
do so : and the acting commissioner Avas 
officially desired to acquaint them, that the 
repetition of such an act would " certainly 
lead to substantial proof of the displeasure 
of government being manifested to them." 

On the mistake being discovered, the 
following minute was recorded by the gov- 
ernor-general, and concurred in by the four 
members of council whose names have 
become lately familiar to the British pub- 
lic. Its curt tone contrasts forcibly with 
that adopted by the Marquis Wellesley, 
and his great brother, in their arrange- 
ments for the royal family of Mysoor : yet 
the dynasty of Hyder Ali had been founded 
on recent usurpation, and overthrown iu 
open fight ; while that of Berar represented 
a native power of 150 year»' duration, and 
long iu peaceful alliance with the Company 
as a piotected state. The age and reputa- 
tion of the Banka Bye, her former position 
as regent, the remaVkaMc infiuence exer- 
cised bv her during the late reign, and her 



uuiform adliesion to the British govern- 
ment, — these, together with the dying state 
of Unpoora Bye, the eldest of the rajah's 
widows, and the bereaved condition of them 
all, might well have dictated a more respect- 
ful consideration of their complaints and 
misapprehensions, than is apparent in the 
brief but comprehensive account given bv 
the supreme government, of the groundless 
charge which had been brought against 
the princesses : — 

" It now appears that the vakeel sent by 
the ranees of Nagpoor to Nepaul, was in- 
tended, not for the durbar, but for Major 
Ramsay, the resident there. Major Ramsay, 
when officiating resident at Nagpoor, was 
compelled to bring the late rajah to order. 
The rajah complained of him to me, in 
1848. The officiating resident was in the 
right, and, of course, was supported. . It 
seems that these ladies now imagine that 
Major Eamsay's supposed hostility has in- 
fluenced me, and that his intercession, if 
obtained, might personally move me. The 
folly of these notions need not to be no- 
ticed. The vakeel not having been sent to 
the durbar, nothing more need be said 
about the matter."* 

The means used by Major Ramsay " to 
bring the rajah to order,'' had been pre- 
viously called in question, owing to certain 
passages in the despatch which had occa- 
sioned the supersession of Mr. Mansel. 
These passages are given at length, in evi- 
dence of the entirely opposite manner in 
which successive British residents at Nag- 
poor exercised the extraordinary powers en- 
trusted to them ; interfering in everything, 
or being absolutely nonentities (except as a 
drain upon the finances of the state they 
w^ere, barnacle-like, attached to), accord- 
ing to their temper of mind and habit of 
body. 

" In my arguments," says Mr. Mansel, " with 
natives upon the subject of the expediency and pro- 
priety of the British government dealing with the 
Nagpoor case as a question of pure policy, I have 
put to them the position, that we had all of us at 
Nagpoor, for the last two years, found it impracti- 

• Minute, dated November, 1854. Pari. Papers 
(Annexation of Berar), p. 41. Signed — Dalhousie, 
J. Dorin, J. Low, J. P. Grant, B. Peacock. 

f Major Ramsay denies this ; and, while bearing 
testimony to the " high character" of Mr. Mansel, 
says, that tlie policy adoj)ted by the latter was 
radically opposed to his own, for that he had pur- 
sued the most rigid system of non-interference with 
any of the details of the local government; whereas 
Mr. Mansel appointed, or caused the appointment 
of, several individuals to responsible offices in the 



cable to carry on the government decently. I re- 
marked that Major Wilkinson, after a long struggle, 
succeeded in getting the rajah within his own in- 
fluence, and, by his fine sagacity and perfect ex- 
perience, had controlled him whenever he chose. 
Colonel Speirs, from decaying health, was latterly 
unable to put much check upon the rajah, though 
his perfect knowledge of afl"airs of the day here, and 
of Oriental courts in general, would otherwise have 
been most valuable. Major Ramsayf pursued a 
course of uncompromising interference, and, in a 
state of almost chronic disease, attempted a per- 
fect restoration to health. Mr. Davidson, as his 
health grew worse, left the rajah to do as he liked ; 
and under the argument, that it was better to work 
by personal influence than by fear, he left the rajah 
to do as he pleased, with something like the pretence 
of an invalid physician — that his patient would die 
with too much care, and required gentle treatment. 
During my incumbency, I found the rajah so much 
spoiled by the absolute indulgence of my prede- 
cessor, that I was gradually driven to adopt the 
radical reform of Major Ramsay, or the extreme 
conservatism of Mr. Davidson ; and in the struggle 
w^hich latterly ensued between myself and the rajah, 
his end was undoubtedly hastened by vexation at 
my insisting on his carrying out the reform in spirit 
as well as to the letter. • » * I'he argument of 
the natives, with whom I have frequently conferred 
on this subject, is, that the British residents at Nag- 
poor should participate in the blame charged to the 
rajah by myself; for if the same system of advice 
and check which was contemplated by the last 
treaty, had been carried out from first to last, the 
rajah would never have been tempted into the 
habits of indolence and avarice that latterly made 
him make his own court and the halls of justice a 
broker's shop, for the disposal of official favours and 
the sale of justice. The answer to this is, that the 
British government does its best; that it sends its 
highest servants to a residency ; and if the principles 
or abilities of the different incumbents vary, it is 
only natural and incidental to any colonial system 
in the world. The result, however, is, that the 
management of the country gets into all kinds of 
embarrassment, of death, judicial corruption, and 
irresponsibility of ministers, when the readiest course 
is to resume those sovereign powers that were dele- 
gated on trust."J 

Surely the foregoing statements of the 
last "incumbent" of the Nagpoor resi- 
dency; afford a clear exposition of the 
mischievous effects of establishing, at the 
courts of native princes, a powerful func- 
tionary, whose office combines the duties of 
a foreign ambassador with those of a domes- 
tic counsellor, or rather dictator. If the 

Nagpoor government, and set apart particular days 
in the week on which the heads of departments 
waited upon him at the residency, and submitted 
their reports and proceedings. — Letter of Major 
Ramsay to government, 5th February, 1855 — Pari. 
Pa])ers, pp. 46 ; 53. 

J Letter of Commissioner Mansel, 29th April, 
1854 — Pari. Papers, p. 7. See Indian Emjnre, vol. 
i., p. 420, for an account of the circumstances under 
which the so-called delegation of sovereign powers 
was made in the case alluded to. 



ANNEXATION OF ODEIPORE— 1853. 



49 



resident be an upright man, he can scarcely 
fail to be distracted by the conflicting in- 
terests of the paramount and dependent 
states — the two masters whom he is bound 
to serve; and if of a sensitive disposition, 
he cannot but feel the anomalous character 
of his situation at the elbow of a dependent 
sovereign, who must naturally regard him 
as sometliing between a schoolmaster and a 
spy. No doubt there have been British 
residents whose influence has been markedly 
beneficial to native states ; not only for- 
merly, when their position was better de- 
fined, and, from circumstances, involved less 
temptation to, or necessity for, interference 
in the internal aff"airs of the state, but even 
of late years. The general effect, however, 
has been the deterioration and depression 
painted with half unconscious satire by 
Mr. Mansel, in the case of Nagpoor. 

The circumstances attending the annexa- 
tion of this state, have been dwelt on more 
on account of the incidental revelations 
which they involve of the practical working 
of a pernicious system, than from any 
special interest which attaches to the par- 
ticular question so summarily decided by 
Lord Dalhousie. No connected statement 
of the case has been made public on be- 
half of the princesses, notwithstanding the 
spirited attempts made by the Banka Bye 
to obtain a fair hearing. When the gov- 
ernor-general refused to receive any com- 
munication through her envoys, she sent 
them to England, in the hope of obtain- 
ing a reversal of the decision pronounced 
at Calcutta. The vakeels complained of 
the treatment which the ranees had met 
with, especially of the strict surveillance 
under which they were placed : their state- 
ments were published in the newspapers, 
and the new commissioner for Nagpoor 
(Mr. Plowden) took up the matter in re- 
sentment. Meantime, Unpoora Bye died 
(14th Nov., 1855), her end being embittered, 
and probably accelerated, by the same 
mental distress which is acknowledged to 
have hastened that of her husband. The 
aged maharanee abandoned fui'ther opposi- 
tion, and wrote to London to dismiss her 
vakeels (2nd Dec, 1855), on the ground 
that, instead of obeying her orders, and 
laying her case before the authorities in 
a supplicating way, so that her " honour 
and humble dignity might be upheld," they 
had displayed a great deal of imprudence, 
and used calumnious expressions against 
the British officers. She informed them, 
VOL. ir. H 



with significant brevity, of the death of Un- 
poora Bye ; adding — " Well, what has hap- 
pened, has happened." This letter, which 
is alike indicative of the character of the 
writer and of the dictation (direct or indi- 
rect) under which it was written, closes the 
series of papers, published by order of par- 
liament, regarding the annexation of Berar. 

The territory resumed from AH Morad, one 
of the Ameers of Sinde, in 1852, comprised 
an area of 5,412 square miles. The reason 
of the resumption has been already stated.* 

Odeipore is mentioned, in a Return 
(called for by the House of Commons in 
April, 1858) "of the Territories and Tribu- 
taries in India acquired since the 1st of 
May, 1851," as having been annexed in 
1853. The area comprises 2,306 square 
miles, with a population of 133,748 per- 
sons. This place must not be confounded 
with the two Oodii)oors (great and small) 
in Rajast'han, the absorption of which even 
Lord Dalhousie would scarcely have ven- 
tured on attempting. 

The territory resumed from Toola Ram 
Senaputtee, in Cachar, in 1853, comprises 
2,160 acres of land ; but^ unlike Odeipore, 
has onlv the disproportionate population of 
5,015. f 

Hyderabad. — In 1853, the Nizam con- 
cluded a new treaty with the Company, by 
which he transferred to them one-third of 
his country, to meet the expenses of the con- 
tingent maintained by him, but disciplined 
and commanded by British officers. The 
resident, Major-geueral Eraser, when the 
proposition ibr the cession of territory first 
came under consideration in 1851, recom- 
mended nothing less than the deposition of 
the Nizam, and the assumption of sovereign 
power by the Company for a definite num- 
ber of years — a measure which he considered 
justified by the Aveak character of the Ni- 
zam, and the disorganised state of his ad- 
ministration. This proposition was at once 
rejected by Lord Dalhousie, who ably 
argued, that the transfer of the administra- 
tion to the British government would never 
be consented to by the Nizam ; that to im- 
pose it upon him without his consent, 
M'ould be a violation of treaties ; that the 
Nizam was neither cruel, nor ambitious, 
nor tyrannical ; that his maladministration 
of his own kingdom did not materially aftect 
the security of British territory, or the in- 
terests of British subjects; and that the 

* See Indian Empire, vol. i., p- -152. 

t Pari. Paper (Commons), 16th April, 1858. 



50 



THE NIZAM'S CONTINGENT AND SUBSIDIARY FORCES 



British authorities were neither called on, 
nor at libert}', to set aside an independent 
native government because, in their opinion, 
that government exercised its authority in 
a manner injurious to its subjects.* " The 
debt,^' Lord Dalhousie says, " which bur- 
dens the Nizam has been produced hy the 
contingent. The monthly subsidy for Mhich 
the resident at Hyderabad maintains a per- 
petual wrestle with the dewan [native chan- 
cellor of the exchequer], and which trans- 
forms the representative of the British 
government, by turns, into an importunate 
creditor and a bailiff in execution, is the 
pay of the contingent." The governor- 
general proceeds to expose the misinterpre- 
tation of the article of the treaty of 1800 ; 
which provided that the British army 
should, in time of war, be reinforced by a 
body of 15,000 of the Nizam's troops ; but 
which had " been made to justify our requir- 
ing the Nizam to uphold a force of about 
5,000 infantry, 2,000 horse, and four field 
batteries, officered by British officers, con- 
trolled by the British resident, trained on 
the British system, not in war only, but 
permanently, at a very costly rate, and so 
as to be available for the use of the Nizam 
only when the representative of the Bri- 
tish government has given his consent. "f 

The scale of expenditure on which the 
contingent was maintained, was inordinate. 
Lord Dalhousie, in a minute of the 25th of 
September, 1848, declared — "I agree with 
Colonel Low in thinking that we cause the 
contingent to become a mucli heavier burden 
on the Nizam's finances than it ought to 
be. The staff, in my humble judgment, is 
preposterously large. The pay and allow- 
ances, and charges of various kinds, are far 
higher than they ought to be." Still, 
nothing was done to reduce this ruinous 
waste of public funds; for in March, 1853, 
another minute, by the same readj'^ pen, 
described the contingent as having no less 
than five brigadiers, with brigade-majors, 
attached to it, and a military secretary, 
who drew the same salary as the adjutaut- 

• Pari. Papers, 26th July, 1854 ; p. 3. 

i Minute by the governor-general, June, 1851. — 
Pari. Papers— /6«/., p. 100. 

t Pari. Papers — Ibid., pp. 4 ; 103. 

§ Minute by governor-f;eneral, 27th Maj', 1851. — 
Pari. Papers— /i»/., p. 32. jj Ibid., p. 34. 

^ The resident, Major-general Fraser, adds a re- 
mark on Shorapoor, wliich illustrates the systematic 
encroachment, manifested in so many ways, and ex- 
cused by such various pretexts. The rajah of Sho- 
rapoor, he says, •' is near his majority ; but, I pre- 



general of the Bengal army. By the rules 
of the force, the officers were promoted to 
superior grades, and to higher pay, earlier 
than they would have been in their own 
service; and, altogether, the expenses were 
"unusually and unnecessarily heavy."J 

The plan devised for compelling the pay- 
ment, by the Nizam, of expenditure thus 
recklessly incurred in the maintenance of a 
contingent which no treaty bound him to 
support, and which had existed on suffer- 
ance from the time of the Mahratta war, 
without any formal sanction on the part of 
either government, is vaunted as extremely 
liberal, apparently because it fell short of 
total annexation. 

The sura claimed was about seventy-five 
lacs,§ or £750,000 (including interest at six 
per cent.) ; to provide for the payment of 
which, the supreme government demanded 
the transfer of " districts to the value of not 
less than thirty-five lacs per annum, so as 
to provide for the payment of the principal 
of the debt within three years, and further 
to afford a margin, which should in each 
year be applicable to meet any partial defi- 
ciencies which might still occur in the 
supply of monthly pay for the troops of the 
contingent." II The resident pointed out, 
as the districts of which the British gov- 
ernment might most fitly and advanta- 
geously demand possession, the Berar 
Payeen Ghaut, the border districts from 
thence down to Shorapoor,^ and the terri- 
tory of the dooab, between the Kistnah 
and the Toombuddra; wiiich, together, com- 
prised the whole fr(mtier of the Nizam's 
kingdom along its northern and western 
boundaries, and along its southern boun- 
dar}^, as far as the junction of the above- 
named rivers. 

" The Berar Payeen Ghaut (he adds) is, ■without 
exception, the richest and most fertile part of the 
Niz.im's country, and the Ilaichore dooab is the next 
to it in this respect. These two districts hold out 
great prospect of improvement in regard to revenue 
and commerce, from an extended culture of the two 
articles of cotton and opium. • * • The quan- 
tity of opium now cultivated in Berar Payeen Ghaut, 

sume, that when that district is given over to his 
charge, measures will be taken by the supreme gov- 
ernment for keeping it, for some years at least, sub- 
ject to the control of a British officer. It is at jjre- 
sent in a favourable and improving state ; but if 
given up to the young rajah's exclusive and un- 
controlled authority, it will quickly revert to the 
same state of barbarism in which it was before." — 
ParL Papers — Ibid., p. 14. Shorapoor is inhabited 
by the Bedars, a warlike aboriginal tribe, whose 
chief claims a descent of more than thirty centuries. . 



CESSION OF TERRITORY DEMANDED FROM THE NIZAM— 1851. 51 



as well as of cotton, might be greatly increased, and 
the duty u\mn them would form, in itself, a very 
productive source of revenue." 

Captain Meadows Taylor likewise gave 
an extremely tempting account of the 
same districts ; lie referred to the reported 
existence of very valuable anicuts, and 
described the llaichore district as well sup- 
plied with tanks. 

Temporary occupation, for the liquidation 
of the outstanding debt, was all that was 
to be immediately demanded ; but Lord 
Dalhousie avowedly anticipated the proba- 
bility of being compelled to retain these dis- 
tricts permanently, for the regular payment 
of the contingent. Major-geuei'al Fraser 
entered more fully into the sul)ject ; and his 
statements show, in the clearest manner, the 
irremediable disorder into which the pro- 
posed step was calculated to plunge the 
finances of Hyderabad. He writes (4th 
February, 1851):— 

"We are about to assume, in pursuance of a just 
right to do so, which cannot be denied, the tempo- 
rary management of a tract of country yielding from 
thirty to forty lacs of rupees ; and the Nizam, there- 
fore, will have so much income less to meet those 
demands, to which his whole and undivided revenue 
has long been proved to be quite unequal. He has 
been unable, for the last five years, to pay the con- 
tingent, except by partial instalments only, although 
he considers this the first and most important pay- 
ment incumbent on his government to make ; and 
it cannot, therefore, be expected that he should be 
able to meet this essential claim upon him with his 
financial means diminished to the extent above 
mentioned. It is all but certain that he will not be 
able to pay the contingent [brigadiers, hrigaiJe- 
maj'ors, military secretaries, and aW] for any further 
period than perhaps the next two months, and this, 
probably, but in small proportion only. The ulti- 
mate consequence, then, must be (and I see no rea- 
son why this argument should not be set before him 
in a plain and distinct light), that we should be un- 
der the necessity of retaining, permanently, in our 
possession the territory of which Me are now about 
to assume the temporary charge." 

The Nizam felt the iron pale which sur- 
rounded his kingdom closing in, and made 
an attempt at resistance which astonished 
the supreme authorities, and disconcerted, 
or at least delayed, the execution of their 
arrangements. Open resistance the gov- 
ernor-general was prepared to overwhelm 
by taking military possession of the speci- 
fied districts. The Nizam was too prudent, 
or too powerless, to offer any. Suraj-ool- 
Moolk, the chief minister, appointed in 
compliance with Lord Dalhousie's sugges- 
tion, and pronounced by him to be the only 
man who seemed to possess the capacity to 



grapple with the difficulties of the state, 
pointed out the certain ruin wliich the 
proposed cession would involve. The dis- 
tricts demanded, he said, afforded one-third 
of the entire revenue ; another third would 
be required for the regular monthly pay- 
ment of the contingent, &c. : and only one- 
third being left to carry on the entire 
administration, both the Nizam and his 
subjects would be reduced to distress for 
the means of existence. 

Arguments of this nature had been an- 
ticipated, and would probably have made 
little impression, had they not been fol- 
lowed up by a distinct offer for the imme- 
diate liquidation of arrears. The resident 
had received no instructions how to act in 
so unexpected a case, and he therefore 
wrote word to Calcutta, that pending fur- 
ther orders, he had judged it his duty to 
consent to leave the question of the transfer 
of the districts in temporary abeyance, the 
Nizam having found means to take upon 
himself the entire and immediate payment 
of his debt, and to give " the best security 
that could be offered for the future regular 
payment of the contingent, short of the 
actual transfer, to us, of part of his country 
for this purpose.''^* 

The first half of the debt was paid at 
once; the second proved more difficult to 
be raised in the precise manner required, 
although the Nizam contributed thirty lacs 
of rupees (£30,000) from his private funds. 
Suraj-ool-Moolk requested that a favour- 
able rate of exchange might be allowed 
for the Nizam's bills, in consideration of 
the interest paid by him direct to the 
British government, of that exacted by 
usurers on sums borrowed on the same 
account, and especially because of the no- 
torious embarrassments of the state. He 
asked that the existing average rate of 
exchange on the Company's bills should be 
applied to the Nizam's, and that these 
latter should be credited according to their 
dates. In support of his first request, he 
urged that it was the universal practice to 
pay a debt at the current rate of exchange, 
and not at the rate which prevailed when 
the loan was made; adding, that it ought 
to be borne in mind, that the present debt 
had accumulated, in the course of seven 
years, by comparatively small sums ; and the 
whole of it was now required to be paid 
within four months. With regard to the 

• Letter of Resident Fraser, 16th July, 1851.— 
Pari. Papers (Nizam's Territory), p. o'l. 



-f-%- 



52 



NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE NIZAM— 1852. 



second point, he said — " If instead of hoon- 
dees [bills], the Circar [state] paid the 
amount of the debt to you in cash, and you 
found it expedient to remit the money to 
the residencies, you would have to pay 
ready money to the soucars [bankers] for 
the hooiidees you procured for this purpose ; 
and as I send you hoondees so purchased, 
instead of the coin, I do not think I am 
unreasonable in requesting that credit may 
be given to this Circar [state] on the dates 
the hoondees are delivered to you/'* 

But the resident would hear of no allow- 
ance; no deductions in any way. The 
financial difficulties of the Nizam were a 
subject of regret ; but it ^vas not " equit- 
able, that the loss of which Suraj-ool-Moolk 
complained, should be lessened at the ex- 
pense of the British government." 

The 31st of October — the time specified 
for the payment of the second and final 
instalment — arrived. The Nizam, though 
unable to raise the entire sum required, yet 
managed to furnish a considerable portion 
of it, and acted in such a manner as to 
convince the resident that he was really 
" exerting himself, in good faith, to liqui- 
date the whcle.'^ The govern or-generaJ 
records this, in a minute dated 3i'd 
January, 1852; yet, at the same time, he 
was occupied in framing a treaty which 
was to deprive the Nizam of the territory 
he had made so strenuous an effort to re- 
tain. Colonel Low was dispatched to 
Hyderabad to conduct the negotiations; 
"his judgment, firmness, and conciliatory 
demeanour" being relied on to bring about 
the issue desired by the supreme govern- 
ment. The task was neither an easy nor 
a pleasant one. 

The proposals now made were, that the 
Nizam should cede the frontier districts 
in perpetuity, and receive, in return, a re- 
ceipt in full for the portion of the instal- 
ment he had failed to pay in October, and 
likewise for the future subsistence of the 
contingent, which the Company proposed 
to reorganise in their own name, on a 
reduced scale, transforming it from the 
Nizam's force into one to be maintained for 
him by the government. There was, more- 
over, a subsidiary force, which the Company 
were bound to maintain in perpetuity by 
the treaty of 1800, within the state of 

• Letter from Sooraj-ool-Moolk, 14th August, 
1851.— Pari. Papers (Nizam's Territory), p. 70. 

t For the origin and establishment of the subsi- 
diary force, see Indian Empire, vol. i., pp. 373 ; 378. 



Hyderabad; the funds being provided by 
the cession of the Nizam's share of the ter- 
ritory acquired from Mysoor.f The gov- 
ernment liad need of these troops, and de- 
sired to obtain, by a new treaty, the right of 
employing the chief part of them elsewhere, 
on the plea of there being no necessity for 
them in Hyderabad; the danger of external 
foes which existed when the arrangement 
was first made, and when the Mahrattas 
were in the height of their power and turbu- 
lence, having long since passed away. 

It was true that, by this particular part 
of the proposed arrangement, the Nizam 
would be no loser; because the contingent, 
and the large number of troops in his im- 
mediate service, alone exceeded the ordi- 
nary requirements of the state. Only, as 
Lord Dalhousie wanted the services of the 
subsidiary force elsewhere, and as the con- 
tingent force, to a great extent, performed 
its duties and supplied its place, it is evident 
that there could be no excuse for appro- 
priating the services of the former body 
without contributing to the expenses of 
the latter, which amounted to j630,000 a 

month.J 

This was never even contemplated ; and 
the state of Hyderabad having been made to 
furnish funds in perpetuity for a subsidiary 
force, was now to be compelled to cede 
territory for the support of another distinct 
but very similar body of troops, and to 
place the former at the service of the 
British government without receiving any 
compensation whatever. 

It is true the Nizam was to be given the 
option of disbanding the contingent; but 
then the immediate ruin of the country was 
anticipated by the resident as so palpable 
and certain a consequence of such a mea- 
sure, that the idea was viewed as one of the 
last the Nizam would entertain. Even 
in the event of his choosing this hazardous 
alternative, in a desperate endeavour to 
relieve his finances from the incubus with 
which they had been so long burdened, the 
transfer of territory was still to be insisted 
on, at least temporarily, for the payment of 
arrears, "and for covering the future ex- 
penses of the force during the time neces- 
sary for its absorption, in the gradual 
manner required by good faith to existing 
personal interests. "§ 

I Pari. Papers (Nizam's Territory), 26th July, 
1854; p. 94. 

§ Despatch from directors, 2nd November, 1853. 
— Pari. Papers — Ibid., p. 8. 



DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE NIZAM AND COL. LOW— 1853. 53 



" Beneficial as these proposals are, espe- 
cially to the Nizam," writes Lord Dal- 
honsie, " it is anticipated that his highness 
will be reluctant to assent to them :" and, 
in the event of his reluctance amounting to 
a positive refusal to sign the new treaty, 
military possession was ordered to be taken 
of the coveted districts. 

The Nizam was, as had been anticipated, 
incapable of appreciating the advantages 
offered him : he saw no occasion for any new 
treaty at all ; earnestly craved for time to 
pay off the debt ; and promised to meet the 
expenses of the contingent with regularity 
for the future — a promise which, however, 
there is reason to fear he lacked the means 
of performing. At first, he seems to have 
been inclined to stand at bay ; and in the 
opening conference with Colonel Low, he 
took up the strong point of his case, and 
put it very clearly. 

"In the time of my father," said the 
Nizam, " the Peishwa of Poona became 
hostile both to the Company's government 
and to this government, and Sir Henry 
Russell (the resident) organised this con- 
tingent, and sent it in different directions, 
along with the Company's troops, to fight 
the Mahratta people; and this was all very 
proper, and according to the treaty ; for 
those Mahrattas were enemies of both 
states; and the Company's army and my 
father's army conquered the ruler of 
Poona, and you sent him off a prisoner 
to Hindoostan, and took the country of 
Poona.* After that, there was no longer 
any war ; so why was the contingent kept 
up any longer than the war?" 

Colonel Low was not prepared to meet 
an argument which went at once to the 
gist of the question; and he made, as an 
honest man could not help doing, a very 
lame reply, excusing himself on the plea, 
that thirty-six years had elapsed since the 
occurrence of the events alluded to by the 
Nizam ; that he (the colonel) was not in 
Hyderabad at the time ; but that he sup- 
posed the reigning prince had considered 
the maintenance of the contingent a good 
arrangement, and therefore consented to 
it. He proceeded to represent the neces- 
sity of retaining this force to overawe the 
Arabs, Rohillas, Seiks, and other plunderers, 
and to enable the Nizam to collect his reve- 
nues : adding, that the governor-general was 
80 much disposed to act liberally in the 
matter, that he would probably aid in re- 
• See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 419. 



ducing the expenses of the contingent, if 
that were desired. The Nizam here 
abruptly terminated the conference. 

A draft treaty was sent in, providing for 
the required cession ; and the Nizam was 
reminded, that he would thereby gain relief, 
in future, from the heavy interest he had 
been compelled to pay on money borrowed 
for the maintenance of the contingent. 
His reiterated reply was — "A change in a 
treaty, be it what it may, can never be an 
advantage to a sovereign who prefers, as I 
do, that there should not be any change at 
all." He reluctantly consented to discuss 
the subject again with the resident, and re- 
ceived him at the second interview with a 
flushed face and excited manner, which, at 
first sight, resembled the effects of wine 
or opium. This was not the case ; for 
the Nizam had never shown himself more 
acute in argument, nor more fluent in con- 
versation ; but he was very angry, and had 
been sitting up nearly all night examining 
the treaty with his chief nobles. " Two 
acts," he said, " on the part of a sovereign 
prince are always reckoned disgraceful : one 
is, to give away, unnecessarily, any portion of 
his hereditary territories ; and the other is, 
to disband troops who have been brave and 
faithful in his service. * * * Did I ever 
make war against the English government, 
or intrigue against it? or do anything but 
co-operate with it, and be obedient to its 
wishes, that I should be so disgraced ?"t 
Again and again he asked to be allowed to 
pay the forty-six lacs of rupees then owing, 
and provide security for future regularity ; 
but the resident reminded him that similar 
pledges had been repeatedly violated, and 
urged him to accept the governor-generars 
proposition, and apply the sum he spoke of 
in lessening the heavy arrears of his own 
troops and servants. The Nizam, in reply, 
made what impartial readers may consider 
a natural and sensible speech; but which 
the resident reported as illustrative of " his 
highness's peculiar and strange character." 

" Gentlemen like you," he said, " who 
are sometimes in Europe, and at other times 
in India ; sometimes employed in govern- 
ment business, at other times soldiers; 
sometimes sailors, and at other times even 
engaged in commerce (at least I have heard 
that some great men of your tribe have 
been merchants), you cannot understand 
the nature of my feelings in this matter. 
I am a sovereign prince, born to live and 
t Par). Papers (Nizam's Territory), p. 119. 



54 ANOMALOUS POSITION OF THE NIZAM'S CONTINGENT FORCE. 



die in this kingdom, which has belon^red to 
my family for seven generations. You think 
that I could be happy if I were to give up a 
portion of my kingdom to your government 
in perpetuity : it is totally impossible that I 
could be happy ; I should feel that I was 
disgraced. I have heard that one gentle- 
man of your tribe considered that I ought 
to be quite contented and happy if I were 
put upon the same footing as Mohammed 
Ghouse Khan [the Nawab of Arcot] ; to 
have a pension paid to me like an old ser- 
vant, and have nothing to do but to eat and 
sleep and say my prayers. Wah !'^* 

Other remarks followed ; the Nizam went 
over all the most disputed portions of 
former negotiations, and said that the Com- 
pany ought to give him territory instead of 
taking any away. He complained bitterly 
of the discreditable transactions connected 
with the firm of Palmer & Co., by which 
his father had sustained both territorial and 
pecuniary lossjf ^^^ adverted sarcastically to 
the high value the British power placed on 
money. The second interview terminated 
as unsatisfactorily as the first. A third 
followed, at which the Nizam received the 
resident with " something of sadness in his 
expression of countenance," yet " with due 
courtesy and politeness.^' But he soon grew 
excited, and said angrily, " Suppose I were 
to declare that I don't want the contingent 
at all ?" In that case, he was told, some 
years might elapse before the men could be 
otherwise provided for, and the specified 
districts would still be required to provide 
for them in the interim. 

The conversation came to a standstill, 
and the resident broke silence by asking a 
decided answer to the question — whether 
the Nizam would consent to form a new 
treaty ? "I could answer in a moment," 
was the retort ; " but what is the use of 
answering? If you are determined to take 
districts, you can take them without my 
either making a new treaty, or giving any 
answer at all." 

Once more the discussion was adjourned. 
The government had resolved, iu case of 
necessity, "to take possession of the dis- 
tricts by physical force ;"| but a difficulty 
arose as to the troops to be employed. 
There were, indeed, more than sufficient for 
the purpose already stationed within the 

• An Arabic exclamation, indicative of anger and 
surprise, and uttered with uncontrollable passion. — 
Pari. Papers (Nizam's Territory), p. 120. 

I Lidian Emjnre, vol. i., p. 421. 



limits of Hyderabad ; but the employment 
of troops ostensibly organised for the 
Nizam's service, in direct opposition to his 
will, would, one of the members of gov- 
ernment observed, be a measure of doubt- 
ful propriety in the case of the subsidiary 
force, but, beyond all doubt, wrong in the 
case of the contingent. The same minute 
shows how completely native contingents 
were viewed as identified with British 
interests, and how little anticipation was 
then entertained that a time Mas coming 
when the majority would mutiny, murder 
their officers, and fight to the death against 
the united power of their own princes 
and the British government : it also illus- 
trates the anomalous condition of con- 
tingent troops in general, on whom such 
divided allegiance as is here described, must 
necessarily have sat lightly; and who were 
counted upon by the supreme government, 
as being ready, at any moment, to march 
against the person and the capital of their 
ostensible master, to whom they had sworn 
allegiance, and whose salt they ate. 

" I am quite satisfied," writes Sir Frederick Currie, 
" that the troops of the contingent would, at the 
command of the resident and their officers, march 
against the other troops of the state, against Hydera- 
bad, and against the person of the Nizam himself, if so 
ordered, as readily as against any other parties, so 
entirely have they been taught to consider them- 
selves our soldiers ; but we must not, on that ac- 
count, lose sight of the fact, that they are bondjide 
the Nizam's troops, enlisted (by British officers, it is 
true, but by British officers in the pay" and service 
of the Nizam) in his name, sworn to allegiance to 
him, and obedience to his orders. It would be, to 
my mind, the very height of anarchy to order these 
troops to coerce their master in any way ; but more 
especially so, to use them for the purpose of taking 
violent possession of a part of that master's terri- 
tories in order to provide for their own pay.''§ 

The government had therefore a special 
reason for desiring to procure the consent 
of the Nizam to their occupation of the 
frontier districts ; beside which, the use of 
the subsidiary troops for their own pur- 
poses, could only be obtained by an article 
framed to supersede the rule by which they 
were *'hampered"|| in the treaty of 1800; 
and further, it was desirable to secure a legal 
sanction for the continued maintenance of 
the contingent. 

At length a modification of the draft 
treaty was agreed upon, chiefly through 

\ llesident's Letter. — Pari. Papers — Ibid., p. 129. 
§ Minute by Sir F. Currie, 2nd April, 185.3. 
II Minute by Mr. Dorin, 1st June, 1853. — Pari. 
Papers, p. 154. 



TRANSFER OF HALF THE NIZAM'S TERRITORY— 1853. 



55 



the mediation of Shumsool-Omrah, the 
uncle-ia-law of the Nizam ; who was de- 
scribed by the resident as having been 
famed, throughout a long life, for truth- 
fuhiess and general respectability of charac- 
ter, and who evinced, at a very advanced 
age, remarkable manliness and good sense. 
The Nizam positively refused to sign away 
any of his territory in perpetuity ; but he 
reluctantly consented to the temporary 
transfer of the districts to British manage- 
ment, on condition of regular accounts 
being rendered to him, aud the surplus 
revenue being paid into his treasury, after 
the liquidation of the old debt, and the 
regular payment of the contingent, with 
some other items, should have been pro- 
vided for. 

The governor-general had previously de- 
clared, that "much consideration" was due 
to the Nizam on account of the unnecessary 
expense at which the contingent had been 
maintained ; and had dwelt forcibly on the 
heavy pecuniary sacrifice the government 
was willing to make by cancelling the old 
debt. Why this benevolent intention was 
not carried out, does not clearly appear. 
The Nizam would have joyfully accepted 
the boon, if assured that it involved no 
latent responsibility; but it never seems to 
have been placed within his reach. Lord 
Dalhousie, in his long minute on the sub- 
ject of the advantages procured by the 
treaty, says, " that in providing, beyond 
risk, the means of regularly paying the con- 
tingent, and of terminating all pecuniary 
transactions and consequent causes of dis- 
pute with the Nizam, the government ot 
India secured an all-important object ; to 
obtain which, it was prepared not merely to 
accept an assignment of districts only, but 
further to cancel the fifty lacs of rupees due 
to it." His lordship adds — "-¥hef govern- 
ment may well be content with a treaty 
which gives it what it sought without re- 
quiring the sacrifice it was ready and willing 
to make in return." 

No doubt the new arrangement was an 

* Pari. Papers, p. 40. 

t Minute and despatch by pov.-general, pp. 8, 9. 

t See Quarterly Review, August, 1858; article 
on "British India," pp. 265, 266. The writer (be- 
lieved to be Mr. Layard) refers to the " garbled" 
Blue Book from which the statement in the fore- 
going pages has been framed^ as affording some 
insight into the manner in which Lord Dalhousie 
bullied the Nizam into a surrender of his three 
richest districts ; and speaks of a letter full of un- 
worthy invective and sarcasm, in which the latter 
is likened, by the former, "to the dust under his 



extremely favourable one for the British 
government, when viewed in the light of 
temporary financial expediency. The benefit 
to be derived by the prince, whom Lord 
Dalhousie truly called our " old and staunch 
ally," is b)' no means equally apparent.* 
Yet it would seem to have been so to the 
Calcutta council ; for, in sending home to 
the Court of Directors the documeats from 
which the preceding account has been ex- 
clusively framed, and the precise words of 
which have been, as far as possible, adhered 
to, entire confidence is expressed in the 
irrefragable proofs contained therein, '' that 
the conduct of the government of India 
towards the Nizam, in respect of the con- 
tingent and of all his other affairs, has 
been characterised by unvarying good faith, 
liberality, and forbearance; and by a sin- 
cere desire to maintain the stability of the 
state of Hyderabad, and to uphold the per- 
sonal independence of his highness the 
Nizam." 

The directors evidently sympathised with 
Lord Dalhousie's views of the course 
prompted by such laudable motives, in- 
cluding "a due regard for our own inter- 
ests."f They rejoiced to find the Indian 
government relieved " from the unbecoming 
position of an importunate creditor;" and 
presented their " cordial thanks to the gov- 
ernor-general, and the officers employed by 
him, in negotiating so satisfactory a treaty." 

The transfer was effected in 1853. Since 
then, the annexation of Hyderabad has been 
openly canvassed, and, probably, would 
have been ere now completed, only the 
turn of Oude came first, and then — the 
mutiny. Fortunately for us, the Nizam 
died in the interim; otherwise, "the mingled 
exasperation and humiliation," which Lord 
Dalhousie himself declares the proceedings 
of the governor-general must have produced 
in his mind, would perhaps have taken a 
tangible form ; and, to our other difficulties, 
might have been added that of struggling 
with "one of the most dangerous and 
fanatical Mussulman districts in India. "J 

feet." This sentence is not printed in the only letter 
from the governor-general to the Nizam in the Pari. 
Papers ; which contains, however, the strange as- 
sertion, that the efficient maintenance of the contin- 
gent force was a duty imposed upon the government 
of Hyderabad, by the stipulations of existing treaties 
— a statement refuted by his lordship in repeated 
minutes. The Nizam is also threatened with the 
resentment of that great government " whose power 
can crush you at its will ;" and an anticipation is 
expressed, of the pain and anxiety which must be 
caused to his highness by " the plain and peremptoi7 



56 



ANNEXATION OF JHANSI— 1854. 



The present Nizam Mas suflFered to ascend 
his hereditary throue in peace, and will, it 
is to be hoped, reap the reward of his alle- 
giance in the restoration of the assigned 
districts, which a recent authority has de- 
clared, " were filched from his father by a 
series of manoeuvres as unjust and dis- 
creditable as any that may be found in the 
history of our administration of British 
India."* 

The Principality of Jhansi (a name with 
which we have been of late painfully 
familiar), annexed in 1854, added to our 
dominions 2,532 square miles of territory, 
peopled by 200,000 souls. The attendant 
circumstances were peculiar. In 1804, a 
treaty was concluded with Sheo Rao Bhao, 
subahdar or viceroy of Jhansi, by Lord 
Lake, under what the government truly 
described as the " nominal" sanction of the 
Peishwa. The adhesion of this chief was 
then deemed of much importance, and his 
influence had effect in inducing many 
others to follow his example, and thus 
facilitated our operations in Bundelcund. 
In 1817, the Peishwa having ceded to us 
all his rights, feudal, territorial, and pecu- 
niary, in that province, a new treaty was 
entered into, by which the governor-gen- 
eral, " in consideration of the very respect- 
able character" borne by the lately de- 
ceased ruler, Sheo Rao Bhao, " and his 
uniform and faithful attachment to the Bri- 
tish government, and in deference to his 
wish expressed before his death," consented 
to confirm the principality of Jhansi, in 
perpetuity, to his grandson Ram Chandra 
Rao, his heirs and successors. f 

The administration of Ram Chandra was 
carried on so satisfactorily, that, in 1832, 
the title of maharajah was publicly con- 
ferred on him, in lieu of that of subahdar, 
by Lord William Bentinck, who was re- 
turning by Jhansi to Calcutta, from a tour 
of inspection in the Upper Provinces. The 
little state was then well ordered. Its ruler 
was a sensible, high-spirited young man ; 
his aristocracy and army were composed of 
two or three thousand persons, chiefly of 
his own family and tribe ; and his villages 
and people had as good an appearance as 
language" addressed to him. Mr. Bright quoted 
the sentence already given from the Quarterly Re- 
view, 'm his place in parliament (June 24th, 1858); 
adding — " Passages like these are left out of des- 
patches when laid on the table of the House of 
Commons. It would not do for the parliament, or 
the Crown, or the people of England, to know that 
their officer addressed language like tliis to a native 
prince." It is further alleged, that when forced to 



any in India. After the ceremony had 
been performed in the presence of all orders 
of his subjects, the maharajah approached 
the governor-general in the attitude of sup- 
plication, and craved yet another boon. 
His subjects watched with deep interest the 
bearing of their ruler, which, in their view, 
implied unqualified devotion and allegiance ; 
but they noticed (according to a native 
writer) the smile of surprise and derision 
with which the ladies and ofiicials in the 
viceregal suite regarded the scene. Lord 
William himself had a juster appreciation 
of native character, but he naturally feared 
some embarrassing request, and heard with 
relief, that the boon desired was simply 
permission to adopt the English ensign as 
the flag of Jhansi. A union-jack was at 
once placed in his hands, and forthwith 
hoisted, by his order, from the highest tower 
of his castle under a salute of one hundred 
guns. The significance of the act thus grace- 
fully carried through, was beyond misappre- 
hension ; for the adoption of the flag of the 
supreme power by a dependent chieftain, 
was the expressive and well-known symbol 
of loyalty and identity of interest. J 

Upon the death of Ram Chandra in 1835, 
without male heirs, the succession was con- 
tinued in the line of Sheo Rao. Gunga- 
dhur Rao, the son of Sheo, while yet a 
young man, was suddenly carried off by 
dysentery, on the 21st of November, 1853. 
The day before his death, the maharajah 
sent for the political agent of Bundelcund 
(Mr. Ellis), and the oflacer in command 
(Captain Martin), and delivered to them the 
following khareeta, or testament, which he 
caused to be read to them in his presence, 
before all his court. 

" [After comphments.] The manner in 
which my ancestors were faithful to the 
British government, previous to the estab- 
lishment of its authority [in Bundelcund], 
has become known even in Europe ; and it 
is well known to the several agents here, 
that I also have always acted in obedience 
to the same authority. 

" I am now very ill; and it is a source of 
great grief to me, that notwithstanding all 
my fidelity, and the favour conferred by 
make the transfer in question, the Nizam had a 
counter pecuniary claim, exceeding in demand that 
urged against him ; which claim, though of om 
standing and repeatedly advanced. Lord Dalhousie 
refused to discuss, until the coveted districts should 
have been surrendered. 

* Quarterly Review, p. 266. 

t Pari. Papers (Jhansi), 27Lh July, 1855; pp.1; 17. 

X Indophilus' Letters to the Times, p. 11. 



LAKSHMI BYE, THE RANEE OP JHANSI. 



57 



Buch a powerful government, the name of 
my fathers will etui with nie ; and I have 
therefore, with reference to the second 
article of the treaty concluded with the 
British government, adopted Daraoodhur 
Gungadhur Ptao, commonly called Anund 
Rao, a boy of five years old, my grandson 
through my grandfather.* I stdl hope 
that, by the mercy of God, and the favour of 
your government, I may recover my health ; 
and, as my age is not great, I may stiil have 
children ; and should this be the case, I will 
adopt sucli steps as mny appear necessary. 
Should I not survive, I trust that, in con- 
sideration of the fidelity I have evinced to- 
wards government, favour may be shown to 
this child, and that my Avidow, during Iter 
lifetime, may he considered the regent of the 
state (Malika) and mother of this child, and 
that she may not be molested in any way." 

Lakslimi Bye addressed the governor- 
general in favour of the adoption. She 
argued, that the second article of the treaty 
was so peculiarly worded, as expressly to 
state the right of succession in perpetuity, 
either through rvarrisan (heirs of the body, 
or collateral heirs) or joh nasheenan (suc- 
cessors in general); which the widow inter- 
preted as meaning, " that any party wiiom 
the rajah adopted as his son, to perform 
the funeral rites over his body necessary 
to ensure beatitude in a future world, would 
be acknowledged by the British government 
as his lawful heir, through whom the name 
and interests of the family might be pre- 
served." She likewise pleaded, that the fide- 
lity evinced by the Jhansi chiefs in past 
years, ought to be taken into consideration 
in coming to a final decision on the fate of 
the principality. t 

Major Malcolm, the political agent for 
Gwalior, Bundelcund, and Rewah, in for- 
warding the above appeal, speaks of tlie 
first point as an open question for the deci- 
sion of government; but with regard to the 
latter plea, he says — " The Bye (|)rincess or 
lady) does not, I believe, in the slightest 
degree overrate the fidelity and loyalty all 
along evinced by the state of Jhansi, 
under circumstances of considerable temp- 
tation, before our power had arrived at the 
commanding position which it has since 
atta-ncd.":}: In a previous communication, 

• This term is used to denominate cousins in the 
third and fourth decrees, tracing their descent in the 
male line to a common ancestor. — Jhansi Papers, 
p. 8. 

t Letters from the Ranee. — Pari. Papers, pp. 14; 
24. 

VOL. II, I 



the British agent wrote — " The widow of the 
late Gun^adhur Rao, in whose hands he 
has expressed a wish that the government" 
should be placed during her lifetime, is a 
woman highly respected and esteemed, and, 
I believe, fully capable of doing justice to 
such a charge." Major P^llis, the political 
assistant for Bundelcund, considered the 
particular question of the right of adoption 
in Jhansi as settled by the precedent es- 
tablished in the case of Oorcha ; treaties of 
alliance and friendship existing with both 
states, and no difference being discernible 
in the terms, Avhich could justify the with- 
holding tlie privilege of adoption from the 
one after having allowed it to the other. 
Moreover, he considered that the general 
right of native states to make adoptions, 
had been cleai-ly acknowledged and re- 
corded by the directors. § 

The governor-general, after having "care- 
fully considered" the above statements, de- 
cided that Jhansi, having "lapsed to the 
British government, should be retained by 
it, in accordance equally with right and with 
sound policy." ^Measures were immediately 
taken for the transfer of the principality to 
the jurisdiction of the lieutenant-governor 
of the North-Western Provinces. The na- 
tive institutions were demolished at a blow, 
all the establishments of the rajah's gov- 
ernment were superseded, and the regular 
troops in the service of the state were im- 
mediately paid np and discharged. || 

The Gwalior contingent, and the 12th 
Bengal native infantry, were the troops 
chiefiy employed by the British govern- 
ment in carrying through these unpopular 
measures; but reinforcements were held in 
readiness to overawe opposition. Employ- 
ment such as this, on repeated occasions, 
was not calculated to increase the attach- 
ment of the sepoys to the foreign masters 
whom they served as mercenaries, in what 
many of them considered the confisca- 
tion of the rights and property of native 
royalty. If tluy had any latent patriotism, 
or any capacity for feeling it, nothing could 
have been more calculated to arouse or im- 
plant it than this ruthless system of absorp- 
tion. Their sympathies would naturally be 
enlisted in favour of Lakshmi Bye, who fierce, 
relentless tigress as she has since appeared, 

X Jhansi Papers, pp. 14 ; 24, 25. 

§ Major Ellis referred especially to a despatch 
from the Court of Directors, dated 27th March, 1839 
(No. 9). for an explicit statement of their views on 
the subjt^ct of adoption. — Jhansi Papers, p. 16. 

II Ibid., p. 31. 



58 EXTINCTION OF TITULAR NAWABSHIP OP THE CARNATIC. 



was then venerated as a marvel of youth, 
abiHty, and discretion. " This lady," said 
Major Malcolm, "bears a very high cha- 
racter, and is much respected by every one 
in Jhansi ;" and he urged especially (in the 
event of tlie annexation of the state), " that 
in compliance with her husband's last re- 
quest, all the state jewels and private funds, 
and any balance remaining in the public 
treasury, after closing the accounts of the 
state, should also be considered as her pri- 
vate property/'* 

The governor-general replied, in general 
terms, that the property of the rajah would 
belong by law to his adopted son; because, 
the adoption, if legally made, was good for 
the conveyance of private rights, though 
not for the transfer of the principality. 
Thus the ranee was not only deprived of 
the regency, but was held to be cut off from 
other claims by the very means her dying 
husbaud had taken to ensure her future 
position. The first part of her history 
ends here. We have no account of the 
manner in which she bore her disappoint- 
ment; but we know that she rose at the 
first signal of the mutiny, and that her 
name is now inseparably connected with 
thoughts of massacre and war. Her sub- 
sequent career does not, however, belong 
to this introductory chapter. The supreme 
council were by no means unanimous 
regarding the seizure of Jhansi. Messrs. 
Low and Halliday, while professing them- 
selves convinced by Lord Dalhousie's rea- 
soning on the legality of the annexation, 
stated, that they would have preferred the 
pursuance of a similar course towards 
Jhansi to that lately taken with regard to 
Kerowlee. 

Now Kerowlee was a Rajpoot princi- 
pality, the annexation of which was only 
prevented by the interference of the home 
governnaent, on a threatened motion of the 
House of Commons. t 

Indophilus (whose opinion on the subject 
is especially interesting, on account of his 
tendency towards the annexation poHcy in 
particular, and generally in favour of the 
Company) says, that Kerowlee had neither 
been so well governed, nor had entered into 
such an interesting relation with us, as 
Jhansi : but its rajah was descended from 
the Moon (Chandrabunsec) ; and some thou- 

* Letter of political ag-ent (Malcolm), 16th March, 
1854. — Pari. Papers oii Jliansi, p. 28. 

t Quarterly linieic, July, 1858 ; article on " Bri- 
tish India," p. 260. 



sands of half-civilised relations and retainers 
were dependent for their social position 
and subsistence upon the continuance of 
the little state. He also died without chil- 
dren ; but the native institutions of the 
state were suffered to continue, and the 
ruling chief has remained faithful to us 
during the insurrection. The larger Raj- 
poot states of Jeypoor, Joudpoor, Bikaneer, 
and others, have been also on our side. 
"The case of their Brother of the Moon 
was justly regarded by them as a test of 
our intentions towards them, and they were 
in some degree reassured by the result. 
There can be no doubt (adds Indophilus) 
that these small national states, which must 
be dependent upon the central government, 
and cannot, if treated with common fair- 
ness, combine against it, are an important 
element of the Indian system." 

The Nawab of the Carnatic died in 1855, 
leaving no son. The claims of his paternal 
uncle, Azira Jah (who had been regent), 
were urged as entitling him, by Mohamme- 
dan law, to succeed to the musnud; but the 
decision was given against him, and the 
title of nawab placed " in abeyance," on the 
ground that the treaty by which the musnud 
of the Carnatic had been conferred on the 
nawab's predecessor, had been purely a 
personal one, and that both he and his 
family had disreputably abused the dignity 
of their position, and the large share of the 
public revenue which had been allotted to 
them. J 

Mr. Norton, an English barrister of the 
Madras bar, who had been present at the 
installation of the deceased nawab, and had 
resided at Madras throughout the whole of 
his occupation of the musnud, says, he was 
neither of bad parts nor of bad disposition ; 
and had he been only moderately educated, 
his pi'esence at Madras might have entailed 
great benefits upon the people, especially 
the Mussulman population. The nawab 
had been under the tutelage of the Com- 
pany from his earliest infancy ; and instead 
of superintending his moral and intellectual 
training, they gave him over " to the offices 
of panders and parasites, and left him to 
sink, from sheer neglect, into the life of 
sensuality and extravagance common to 
Eastern princes." He died suddenly, while 
still young; and Mr. Norton argues, that 

X Letters of IndopJiilus, p. 11. Minute of Gov- 
ernor-general Dalhousie, 28lh February, 1856. lie- 
turn to order of House of Lords; printed 16th June, 
1856; pp. 12, 13. 



ABOLITION OP TITULAR PRINCIPALITY OF TANJORE— 1855. 59 



foolish and improvident as his conduct Imd 
heen, he had committed no offences suffi- 
ciently heinous to justify the penalty in- 
flicted on the family; addinpr, "we mi<;ht 
just as reasonably have refused to allow tlie 
heirs of Georjsje IV. to succeed him, on 
account of his irregular habits and extrava- 
gance." 

The same writer states, that Azim Jah, 
the rejected claimant of the musniid, had 
been on several occasions officially recog- 
nisisd, in writinsr, <is the lawful heir.* 

The titular Raj of Tanjore was abolished 
by alleged rijjht of lapse on the death of its 
last rajah, Sevajee, in 1855. The resident, 
Mr. Forbes, pleaded strongly in behalf of the 
daughter of the deceased. He urged that 
Tanjore was not a conquered country ; that 
its acquisition had not cost the life of a 
single soldier, nor the value of a single 
rupee; and that during fifty years' posses- 
sion, a revenue of no less than twenty crores, 
or as many millions sterling, had been de- 
rived from it by the British government. 
After entreating favourable consideration for 
the daughter of a line of princes who, when 
their aid was needed, had always proved our 
firm allies — he sets forth another and very 
pertinent view of the case, declaring, that "it 
is impossible to doubt that the now pros- 
perous condition of the country would be 
very greatly affected by the sudden with- 
drawal of a circulation amounting to about 
eleven lacs a-year. So gr&Eit a diminution 
of the expenditure within the province, must 
certainly lead to a difficulty in realising the 
revenue : it is a small tract of land from 
which to raise fifty lacs a-year ; and it cannot 
be a matter of indiflference to the producers, 
whether more than a fifth of the revenue be 
spent among them or not.'' 

Mr. Norton gives his personal testimony 
with regard to the unnecessary and impolitic 
harshness with which the extinction of the 
titular principality was accomplished. A 
company of sepoys was marched suddenly 
into the palace; the whole of the property, 
real and personal, was seized, and the Com- 
pany's seals put upon all the jewels and 
other valuables. The soldiery were disarmed, 
and in the most offensive way. The private 
estate of the rajah's mother, of the estimated 
value of three lacs a-year, was sequestered, 
and has remained so. The occupier of every 
piece of land in the district, which had at 
any time belonged to a former rajah, was 

• Norton's Rebellion in India, pp. 98 — 107. 
t Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 392. 



turned out of his possession, and ordered to 
come before the commissioner to establish 
a title to his satisfaction. The whole of the 
people dependent upon the expenditure of 
the raj revenue among them, were panic- 
struck at the prospect of being thrown out 
of employ ; and, in a week, Tanjore, from 
the most contented place in our dominions, 
was converted into a hotbed of sullen dis 
affection. The people venerated the raj, 
and were indignant at its suppression : the 
very sepoys refused to receive their pensions. 

According to Mr. Norton, the terms of 
the treaty promised the succession to "heirs'' 
in general, and not exclusively to heirs 
male; but he considers the prior claim to 
be that of the senior widow, in preference to 
the daughter; and quotes a precedent in the 
history of the Tanjore dynasty, and manv 
others in Hindoo history, including that of 
Malcolm's favourite heroine, Ahalya Bye, 
the exemplary queen of Indore.f 

Kamachi Bye, the senior widow, intends 
contesting her claims to the raj, in England. 
She has filed a bill in the Supreme Court, 
for the recovery of the personal private 
estate of her late husband, and has ob- 
tained an injunction against the Company, 
to restrain them from parting with the 
property. J 

Passing over some minor absorptions, we 
arrive at the last and greatest of Lord 
Dalhousie's annexations — one which, both 
from its importance and special character, 
requires to be entered into at some length. 

Oude, or Ayodha, was famous in ancient 
Hindoo lore as the kingdom of Dasa- 
ratha, the father of Rama, the hero of the 
famous epic the Ramayana. With the de- 
tails of its fall as a Hindoo kin«jdom, and its 
history as a province of the ^Nlogul empire, 
we are almost entirely unacquainted ; but 
we know that it has retained its insti- 
tutions to the present day, and that, in all 
respects, the Hindoo element largely pre- 
dominates throughout Oude. The ques- 
tion of immediate interest is its connection 
by treaties with the East India Company, 
and the proceedings of its Mussulman rulers. 

It has already been shown that their in- 
dependence was founded on simple usurpa- 
tion, having been obtained by taking ad- 
vantage of the weakness of their rightful 
sovereigns, the Moguls of Delhi. § 

Sadut Khan, nick-named the " Persian 
pedlar," the founder of the dynasty, was a 

X Norton's Jiehcllion in India, pp. 107 — 118. 
§ Indian Umpire, vol. i., p. 159. 



60 



CONNEXION OF OUDE WITH E. I. COMPANY— 1738— 1782. 



merchant of Khorasan, who, by dint of 
ability and intrigue, eventually procured 
for himself the position of };;overnor (or 
soubah, or nawah) of the province of Oude, 
together with that of vizier, which he held 
when Nadir Shah invaded India in 1738-^9. 

The reigning emperor, ^Mohammed Shah, 
was powerless in the hands of his ambitious 
servants ; their plots and peculations facili- 
tated the progress of the invader ; and their 
private quarrels incited the pillage and 
massacre which desolated Delhi. Sadut 
Khan Avas perpetually intriguing against 
his wily rival, the Nizam- ool-Moolk (or 
regulator of the state), "the old Deccani 
baboon," as the young courtiers called him ; 
from whom the Nizams of the Deccan 
(Hyderabad) descended. 

The death of Sadut Khan is said to 
have been indirectly caused by the Nizam.* 
It occurred before Nadir Shah quitted 
Delhi.f His sou and successor, Sufdur 
Jung, was likewise able and unprincipled. 
The third of the dynasty was Shuja Dow- 
lah.f who succeeded, in 1756, to the na- 
wabship, which the weakness, not the will, 
of the Moguls of Delhi had suffered to 
become hereditary. The unfortunate em- 
peror, Shah Alum, had indeed no worse 
enemy than his nominal servant, but really 
pitiless and grasping gaoler, the nawab- 
vizier of Oude.§ It was Shuja Dowlah who 
Avas conquered by the British troops in the 
battle of Buxar, in 1764; and with whom, 
in 1773, Warren Hastings concluded the 
infamous treaty of Benares, whereby the 
districts of Allahabad and Corah were, in 
defiance of the rights of Shah Alum, sold 
to the nawab-vizier ; and British forces were 
hired out to the same rebellious subject, for 
the express purpose of enabling him to 
"annex" Rohilcund, and " exterminate" || 
the Rohilla cl)iefs, with whom we had no 
shadow of quarrel. 

Immediately after the defeat and mas- 
sacre of the Rohillas on the bloody field of 
Bareilly in 1774, Shuja Dowlah was seized 
with mortal sickness, and died after many 

• Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 166. f Ibid., p. 173. 

X A memoianduia on the Oude dynasty, drawn up 
by Fletcher Hayes, assistant-resident at Lucknow, 
is inserted in the Oude Blue Book of 1856. Siiuja 
Dowlah is there described " as the infamous son of 
a still more infamous Persian pedlar," and as en- 
joying " the extensive province of Oude as a reward 
for a service of uncommon villanies." This and 
other statements are quoted on the authority of 
Ferishta, the famous Mohammedan atinalist ; but 
Mr. Hayes overlooks the fact, that Ferishta (or 
Mahomed Kasim) was born about the year lo70 



months of agony. The cause was said to 
have been a wound inflicted by the daughter 
of Hafiz llehmet, the principal Bohilla chief, 
who perished, sword in hand, at Bareilly. 
The unhappy girl had been raptured; and 
when the nawab sti'ove to add to the mur- 
der of the father the dishonour of his child, 
she stabbed him, and was immediately 
seized, and put to death. The Avound in- 
flicted by the unhappy girl Avas slight ; but 
the dagger's point had been dipped in poi- 
son, Avhicli slowly and surely did its Avork.^ 

The next uaAvab, Asuf-ad-Dowlah, Avas a 
weak and sensual youth, who had no 
strength of character to enable him to re- 
sist the evil counsels of unworthy favour- 
ites. The subsidiary troops at first ob- 
tained from the English for purposes of the 
most direct aggression, became a heavy 
drain on the resources of the misgOA'crned 
country. Warren Hastings saw, in his 
indolent neighbour, an instrument for in- 
creasing the dominions of the Company, 
and refilling their treasury ; and then fol- 
loAved new treaties, new loans, new cement- 
ing of eternal friendships, and, lastly, the 
shameless plunder of the begums of Oude, 
Avhich inflicted indelible disgrace alike on 
the nawab and the governor-general.** 

The Marquis Cornwallis, in this as in 
other cases, took a very different view to 
that acted on by his predecessor. He saw 
the increasing disorganisation of Oude, and 
remonstrated forcibly Avith its ruler; Avho 
urged, in extenuation, the exactions of the 
Company, amounting, within a period of 
little more than nine years, to .£2,300,000 
sterling. tt The annual subsidy settled by 
treaty, had been raised, on one pretext or 
another, until it averaged eighty-four lacs per 
annum ; and Warren Hastings himself ac- 
knowledged the " intolerable burden" Avhich 
was inflicted upon the revenue and authority 
of the nawab-vizier, by the number, influ- 
ence, and enormous amount of the salaries, 
pensions, and emoluments of the Company's 
service, civil and military ; Avhich called 
forth the envy and resentment of the whole 

during the reign of the emperor Akber, and was the 
cotemporary of the French traveller Bernier. It is 
therefore not the A7inals of Ferishta which Mr. 
Hayes quotes from, but the continuation of them, 
known as Dow's History of Hindoostan, a Avork 
which, though honestly and ably written, occasion- 
ally records rumours of the day as historical facts. 

§ Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 299. 

II The word used in the treaty of Benares. — Vide 
Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 329. 

^ Indian Empire, vol. i., j). 330. ** Ihid., p. 363. 

■ft Despatch of directors, yth April, 17tt9. 



CONNEXION OF THE E. I. COMPANY WITH OUDE— 1797. 



61 



country, by excluding the native servants 
and adherents of the vizier from the rewards 
of their services and attachment,* 

Lord Cornwallis reduced tlie amount of 
tribute to fifty hies; checked the interfer- 
ence, and curtailed the sahiries and per- 
quisites, of officials ; and insisted on the 
disbandment of the temporary brigade, 
which had been subsidized by the vizier for 
so long a time only as he should require its 
services, but from the costly maintenance of 
which he had afterwards in vain sought relief. 

The measures of the governor-general 
in favour of the Oude government were, 
unhappily, not attended by any correspond- 
ing internal reforms. Profligacy, inca- 
pacity, and corruption at court ; tyranny, 
extortion, and strife among the semi-inde- 
pendent Hindoo chiefs; neglect and abject 
wretchedness among the mass, continued to 
prevail up to the death of Asuf-ad-Dowlah 
in 1797. 

The succession was disputed between his 
brother Sadut Ali, and his son Vizier Ali, 
a youth of seventeen, of a disposition vio- 
lent even to madness. The Calcutta gov- 
ernment (of which Sir John Shore was then 
at the head) at first decided in favour of 
Vizier Ali ; but clear proof of his illegitimacy, 
and consequent unfitness to succeed accord- 
ing to Mussulman law, being adduced, the 
decision was reversed in favour of Sadut Ali, 
who entered into a new treaty with the 
Company; by which he consented to sur- 
render the fortress of Allahabad, to increase 
the annual subsidy, and to receive into his 
service the additional troops deemed neces- 
sary for the protection of Oude. 

The Marquis Wellesley (then Lord Morn- 
iugton) became governor-general in 1798; 
and his attention was at once drawn to the 
notorious misgovernment of Oude. The 
three brothers — the Marquis, Colonel Wel- 
lesley (the future duke), and Henry Wel- 
lesley (afterwards Lord Cowley) — discussed 
the subject publicly and privately ; and the 
colonel drew up a memorandum on the 
subject, which, in fact, anticipates all that 
has since been said on the evils of subsidiary 
troops. 

" By the first treaty with the nabobs of Oude, the 
Company were bound to assist the nabob with their 
troops, on the condition of receiving payment for 
their expenses. The adoption of this system of 

• Quoted in Dacoitee in Excehis ; or, the Spolia- 
tion of Oxide, p. 28. London : Taylor. 

t Memorandum on Oude. — Wellington Supple- 
mentary J)csj)utche,i; edited by the present Duke. 
London : Murray, 1858. 



alliance is always to be attributed to the weakness 
of the state which receives the assistance, and the 
remedy generally aggravates the evil. It was usu- 
ally attended by a stipulation that the subsidy 
should be paid in equal monthly instalments ; and 
as this subsidy was generally the whole, or nearly 
the whole, disposable resource of the state, it was 
not easy to produce it at the moments at which it 
was stipulated. The tributary government was then 
reduced to borrow at usurious interest, to grant tun- 
caws upon the land for repayment, to take advances 
from aumildars, to sell the office of aumildar, and to 
adopt all the meas-ures which it might be supposed 
distress on the one hand, and avarice and extortion 
on the other, could invent to procure the money ne- 
cessary to provide for the payment of the stipulated 
subsidies. 

" As soon as this alliance has been formed, it has 
invariably been discovered that the whole strength 
of the tributary government consisted in the aid 
afforded by its more powerful ally, or rather protec- 
tor ; and from that moment the respect, duty, and 
loyalty of its subjects have been weakened, and it 
has become more difficult to realise the resources of 
the state. To this evil must be added those of the 
same kind arising from oppression by aumildars, 
who have paid largely for their situations, and must 
remunerate themselves in the course of one year for 
what they have advanced from those holding tun- 
caws, and other claimants upon the soil on account 
of loans to government ; and the result is, an in- 
creasing deficiency in the regular resources of the 
state. 

" But these financial difficulties, created by weak- 
ness and increased by oppression, and which are 
attended by a long train of disorders throughout the 
country, must attract the attention of the protecting 
government, and then these last are obliged to in- 
terfere in the internal administration, in order to 
save the resources of the state, and to preclude the 
necessity of employing the troops in quelling inter- 
nal rebellion and disorder, which were intended to 
resist the foreign enemy."t 

Lord Wellesley was ambitious, and cer- 
tainly desirous of augmenting, by all hon- 
ourable means, the resources and extent of 
the dominion committed to his charge. He 
had, however, no shade of avarice in his 
composition, for himself or for the Com- 
pany he served : all his plans were on a 
large scale — all his tendencies were magnifi- 
cent and munificent. He saw that the 
Company, by their ostensible system of non- 
interference in the internal aflfairs of the 
nawab's government, and by the actual 
and almost inevitable exercise of authority 
therein for the restraint of intolerable acts 
of oppression and disorder, had created a 
double government, Avhich was giving rise 
to the greatest extortion and confusion. 

Successive governors-general had borne 
testimony to the absence of law, order, and 
justice throughout Oude, and had endea- 
voured to introduce remedial measures ; 
which, however, had all produced a directly 
contrary ellect to that for which they were 



62 



LORD WELLESLEY'S TREATY WITH OUDE— 1801. 



designed, by complicating the involvements 
of the state, and increasing the extortions 
practised on the people by the auraildars 
and licentious native soldiery. These latter 
had become so perfectly mutinous and un- 
governable, that Sadut Ali required the 
presence of British troops to secure him 
against the anticipated treachery of his 
own ; and declared that, in the day of battle, 
he could not tell whether they would fight 
for or against him. 

The consideration of these circumstances 
induced Lord AVellesley to frame a treaty, 
concluded in 1801, by which the nawab 
ceded one-half of his territories to the Com- 
pany (including the districts now forming 
part of the North- Western Provinces, under 
the names of Rohilcund, Allahabad, Fur- 
ruckabad, Mynpoorie, Etawa, Goruckpoor, 
Azimghur, Cawnpoor, and Futtehpoor), in 
return for a release from all arrears of sub- 
sidy, and for all expenses to be hereafter 
incurred in the protection of his country, 
which the Company bound themselves to 
defend in future, alike against foreign and 
domestic foes. They distinctly promised 
that no demand whatever should be made 
upon his territory, whether on account of 
military establishments; in the assembling 
of forces to repel the attack of a foreign 
enemy; on account of the detachment at- 
tached to the nawab's person; on account 
of troops which might be occasionally 
furnished for suppressing rebellious or dis- 
orders in his territories ; nor on account of 
failures in the resources of the Ceded Dis- 
tricts, arising from unfavourable seasons, 
the calamities of war, or any other cause 
whatever. 

The Company guaranteed to Sadut Ali, 
his heirs and successors, the possession of 
the reserved territories, together with the 
exercise of authority therein ; and the nawab 
engaged to establish therein such a system 
of administration (to be carried into effect 
by his own officers) as should be conducive 
to the prosperity of his subjects, and cal- 
culated to secure their lives and property. 
He likewise bound himself to disband the 
chief part of the native troops; which he 
immediatelv did by reducing them from 
80,000 to 30,000. The treaty of 1801 
gave the nawab a certainty for an uncer- 
tainty; and restored to the remaining por- 
tion of Oude something of the vigour of an 
independent state. It would probably have 
done much more than this, had the Com- 
pany confirmed the appointment of Henry 



Wellesley, by the governor-general, to super- 
intend the working of the new arrange- 
ments, and assist in initiating and carrying 
out useful reforms. The ability, tact, and 
coui'tesy which he had manifested in the 
previous negotiations, had Mon the confi- 
dence of Sadut Ali; and, as the brother 
of the governor-general, Henry Wellesley 
might have exercised an influence bene- 
ficial to both parties, similar to tliat which 
contributed so largely to the tranquil settle- 
ment of Mysoor, under the auspices of 
Colonel Wellesley'. But the directors would 
not sanction such a breach of the privileges 
of the covenanted service, and the appoint- 
ment was cancelled. The papers of the 
late Lord Cowley, and the Wellesley MSS. 
in the British Museum, abound with evi- 
dence of judicious reformatoi'v measures 
projected for Oude, but neutralised or set 
aside by the home government. While Sadut 
Ali lived the treaty worked well, although 
the manner in which he availed himself of 
the stipulated services of British troops, 
repeatedly made the Calcutta government 
sensible of the responsibility they had as- 
sumed, and the difficulty of reconciling the 
fulfilment of their engagements to the ruler, 
with a due regard to the rights and in- 
terests of his subjects. 

The nawab conducted his affairs with 
much discretion and economy; and, on his 
death in 1814, he left fourteen millions 
sterling in a treasury which Avas empty 
when he entered on the government. 

The partition of Oude was not, however, 
accomplished without bloodshed. The Hin- 
doo landowners in the ceded country — who 
were, for the most part, feudal chieftains 
of far older standing than any Mussulman 
in India — resisted the proposed change, and 
were with difficulty subdued."^ The fact 
was significant ; and it would have been 
well had the subsequent annexators of Oude 
remembered, that the danger to be appre- 
hended lay with the feudal and semi-inde- 
pendent chiefs, rather than with their sen- 
sual and effete suzerain. 

Sadut Ali was succeeded byGhazi-oo-deen, 
who is described by one authority as " indo- 
lent and debauched -/'f and, by another, as 
bearing some resemblance to our James I.J 
He lent the Company two millions of the 
treasure accumulated by his predecessor, to 
assist them in carrying on their wars with 

* Lidian Empire, vol. i., p. 386. 

t Sleeman's Joumeij through Oude, vol. ii.,p. 192. 

X Heber's Journal. 



LORD AMHERST'S LETTERS TO THE KING OF OUDE— 1825-'6. 63 



Burmah and Nepaul ; aucl they gave liim, 
ill return, a share of their conquests ; 
namely, the Turaee* — a fertile, richly- 
Avooded, but unhealthy tract, which extends 
alonjj the foot of the Himalayas ; and sanc- 
tioned his assumption of regal dignity. 

The acceptance of a loan, under the cir- 
cumstances, was uuworthy of a great govern- 
ment ; and the confirmation of Ghazi-oo- 
deen's sovereignty was of doubtful policy. 
Complaints of misgovernraent were rife, and 
appear to have been supported by forcible 
evidence. Bishop Heber, who travelled 
through Oude in 1824;-'5, gave a more 
favourable account than other witnesses of 
the condition of the country ; but his ob- 
servations were necessarily cursor}^ He 
reasoned with Ghazi-oo-deen on the duty 
of attending to the condition of the people; 
and " the reply was, that he was power- 
less, having lent to the British government 
all the money which would have enabled 
him to ease his subjects of their burdens." 
Had the money I'cmained in the Oude trea- 
sury, it is highly improbable that it would 
have benefited the people, except, indeed, 
indirectly, through the reckless expenditure 
of an unscrupulous minister, and a most uu- 
worthy set of favourites. Still, it is painful 
to learn that English governors should have 
exposed themselves to such a reproach, 
or should have acknowledged a loan from a 
dependent prince, in such a strain of ful- 
some and profane flattery as that in which 
Lord Amherst invokes the blessing of the 
Almighty on ''the Mine of Munificence;'' 
and declares, that " the benefits and fruits 
of our amit)', which have existed from days 
of yore, are impressed upon the heart of 
every Englishman, both here and in Europe, 
as indelibly as if they had been engraven 
on adamant ; nor will lapse of time, or 
change of circumstance, efface from the 
British nation so irrefragable a proof, so 
irresistible an argument, of the fraternal 
sentiments of your majesty ."f 

Nevertheless, the internal management 
of the " Mine of Munificence" was far from 
satisfactory, and the resident was ofiicially 
reminded (July 22ud, 1825), that "by the 
treaty of 1801, the British government is 
clearly entitled, as well as morally obliged, 
to satisfy itself by whatever means it may 

* Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 413. 

t Letters of Lnrd Amherst to the King of Oude, 
October 14th, 1S25; and June 23rd, 18'2G. Quoted 
in Dacoitee in Excelsis; or, the Spoliation of Oude: 
pp. G8— 70. 



deem necessary ; that the aid of its troops 
is required in support of right and justice, 
and not to effectuate injustice and oppres- 
sion." In conformity with these instruc- 
tions, the resident, and the officers com- 
manding troops employed in the king's 
service, exercised a scrutiny which became 
extremely distasteful; and the treaty was 
violated by the increase of the native force 
(which was available, unchallenged, for any 
purpose, and aff'orded emolument and pa- 
tronage to the native ministers and fa- 
vourites), until, within the last few years 
of the reign of Ghazi-oo-deen, it comprised 
about sixty thousand men. 

Nuseer-oo-deen, the son of Ghazi, suc- 
ceeded him on the musnud in 1827. This 
is the "Eastern king" whose private life has 
been gibbeted to deserved infamy, in a sort 
of biographical romance^ written by a 
Euro[)ean adventurer, for some time mem- 
ber of the royal household (as librarian or 
portrait-painter.) Recollecting the scan- 
dalous scenes revealed by contemporary 
diaries and memoirs regarding our nomi- 
nally Christian kings — the Merry Monarch, 
and Nuseer's contemjDorary, the Fourth 
George — we need not be too much sur- 
prised by the mad vagaries and drunken 
cruelties of the Moslem despot, who prided 
himself on his adoption of certain English 
habits andcustoms§ — such as wearing broad- 
cloth and a beaver hat under the burning: 
sun of Oude ; and usually terminated his 
daily drinking bouts with his boon com- 
panions, under the table, after the most ap- 
proved English fashion. The favourite, 
shortly before the death of Nuseer, was a 
barber from Calcutta, who had come out to 
India in the capacity of a cabin-boy, and 
from that became a river trader. Hair- 
dressing, however, continued to be a lucra- 
tive resource to him : the natural curls 
of the governor-general were widely imi- 
tated ; and when the barber went on his 
other affairs to Luckuow, he was employed 
in his old vocation by the resident. The 
king, delighted with the change produced 
in the appearance of this powerful English 
functionary, tried a similar experiment on 
his own lank locks, and was so gratified by 
the result, that he appointed the lucky 
coijfeur to a permanent post in his house- 

X Private Life of an Eastern King; by a member 
of the household of his late mnjesty, Nuseer-oo-deen, 
Kiuij of Oude. London, IS.Jo. 

§ Nuseer substituted a chair of gold and ivory for 
the musnud, or cushion, of his ancestors. 



liokl, with the style of Sofraz Khan (the 
illustrious chief), and gave him a seat at 
liis table. T1)C l)arbcr had a fund of Ioav 
humour : he amused the king by pander- 
ing to his vitiated taste; and soon made 
himself indispensable. The existence of 
Nuseer-oo-deen was embittered by a well- 
gi'ounded suspicion of treachery among his 
own family and household : the fear of 
poison was continually present with him; 
and he would touch no wine but that 
placed before him hy his new favourite, 
who consequently added the office of wine- 
merchant to liis other lucrative monopolies. 
The European papers learned something 
of what was passing at the palace of Luck- j 
now, despite the care which the European 
adventurers installed there, naturally took 
to keep things quiet. The Calcutta Revieiv , 
and Agra Ukbar, published squibs and 
pasquinades upon the "low menial" who 
had ingratiated himself with the King of 
Oude ; but the object of their jeers set 
them at nought, and continued to ac- 
cumulate wealth, and to retain his influ- 
ence at court by ever-new inventions of 
buffoonery and indecency, until the Euro- 
pean members of the household threw up 
their appointments in uncontrollable dis- 
gust ; and such scenes of open debauchery 
disgraced the streets of Lucknow at mid- 
day, that the resident. Colonel Low, was 
compelled to interfere, and at length suc- 
ceeded in procuring the dismissal of the 
barber.* 

These and other statements of the anony- 
mous memoir-writer, are quite compatible, 
and, indeed, frequently correspond with the 
entries in the journal of Sir WiUiam 
Sleeraan, of accounts furnished by natives 
of the character and habits of Nuseer-oo- 
deen. 

Both writers dwell much on the repeated 
declaration of the king that he should be 
poisoned ; and Sir William states, that for 
some time before his death, Nuseer wore con- 
stantly round his neck a chain, to which was 
attached the key of a small covered well in 
the palace, whence he drew water. His death 
was very sudden. It occurred shortly after 
a glass of sherbet had been administered 
to him by one of the women of his harem, 
in the night of the 7th of July, 1837. 

The question of succession was stormily 
contested. The king had had several wives, 

• The barber carried off £2iO,OOQ.— Private Life 
of an Eastern Kintj, p. 3'iO. 

t Mrs. Park's Wanderings, vol. i., p. 87. 



whose history forms a not very edifying 
episode in Sir William Sleeman's journal. 
The most reputable one was a grand-daugh- 
ter of the King of Delhi — a very beautiful 
young woman, of exemplary character; who, 
unable to endure the profligacy of the court, 
quitted it soon after her marriage, and re- 
tired into private life, on a small stipend 
granted by her profligate husband. Then 
there was Mokuddera Oiileea, originally a 
Miss Walters, the illegitimate daughter of a 
half-pay officer of one of the regiments of Bri- 
tish dragoons, by a ]\Irs. Whearty, a woman 
of notoriously bad character, although the 
daughter of one English merchant, and the 
widow of another. She was married to 
the king in 1827, and was seen by Mrs. 
Park, in her visit to the zenana in 1828, 
sitting silently on the same couch with 
her successful rival, the beautiful Taj 
Mahal.f 

Mulika Zamanee (Queen of the Age) 
entered the palace of Lucknow while Nu- 
seer-oo-deen was only heir-apparent, in the 
capacity of wet-nurse to his infant son, 
Moonna Jan (by another wife called Afzul- 
Mahal) ; and so fascinated the father, that, 
to the astonishment of the whole court (in 
whose eyes the new-comer appeared very 
plain and very vulgar), he never rested until 
she became his acknowledged wife. Her 
former husband (a groom in the service of 
one of the king's troopers, to whom she had 
previously been faithless) presumed to ap- 
proach the palace, and was immediately 
thrown into prison ; but was eventually re- 
leased, and died soon after the accession of 
Nviseer. Her two children, a boy and girl, 
were adopted by Nuseer; who, when he be- 
came king, declared the boy, Kywan Jah, to 
be his own sou, and publicly treated him 
as such. 

When Viscount Combermere visited Luck- 
now in 1827, in the course of his tour of 
inspection as commander-in-chief, Kywan 
Jah was sent, as heir-apparent, Avith a large 
retinue and a military escort, to meet his 
lordship and attend him from Cawnpoor. 
The king was, no doubt, desirous to pro- 
pitiate his guest. He came outside the city 
to welcome him, invited him to share the 
royal howdah on the state elephant, and 
escorted him to the palace in full proces- 
sion, flinging, meantime, handfuls of coin 
among the multitude who accompanied the 
cavalcade. 

The Orientals dearly love pageantry ; it 
would seem as if it reconciled them to des- 



potism : and the present occasion must have 
been an interesting one ; for the externals 
of royalty sat gracefully on the handsome 
person of the sensual and extravagant 
Nuseer-oo-deen ; and the British general, 
besides being in the zenith of his fame as 
the conqueror of Bhurtpoor (which had 
successfully resisted the British troops under 
Lord Lake), had a manly bearing, and a 
rare gift of skilful horsemanship — befitting 
the soldier pronounced by the great Duke 
the best cavalry officer in the service — 
united to an easy, genial courtesy of man- 
ner, calculated to gain popularity every- 
where, but especially in India. 

Lord Combermere occupied the residency 
for a week, during which time, a succession 
of hunts, sports, and/e/e* took place, which 
formed an era in the annals of Lucknow. 
Nuseer-oo-deen was, in turn, sumptuously 
entertained by the commander-in-chief; to 
whom, on parting, he gave his own portrait, 
set in magnificent diamonds. The Com- 
pany appropriated the diamonds ; but the 
picture remains in the possession of Lord 
Combermere, and is an interesting relic of 
the fallen dynasty of Oude. 

Nuseer-oo-deen subsequently demanded 
from the resident the formal recognition of 
Kywan Jah, as his heir-apparent, by the Bri- 
tish government. The resident demurred, on 
the plea that the universal belief at Lucknow 
was, that Kywan Jah was three years of age 
when his mother was first introduced to his 
majesty. But this had no effect : Nuseer- 
oo-deen persisted in his demand; and, to 
remove the anticipated obstacle, he repudi- 
ated Moonna Jan publicly and repeatedly.* 
The consequence of his duplicity was, that 
he was held to have left no legitimate son. 
According to Sir William Sleeman (who, 
during his situation as resident, had abun- 
dant means of authentic information), the 
general impression at Lucknow and all over 
Oude was, that the British government 
would take upon itself the management of 
the country on the death of the king, who 
himself " seemed rather pleased than other- 
wise" at the thought of being the last of 
his dynasty. He had repudiated his own 
son, and was unwilling that any other 
member of the family should fill his place. 
The ministers, and the other public officers 
and court favourites, who had made large 
fortunes, were favourable to the anticipated 
measure ; as it was understood by some, 
that thereby they would be secured from 



Sleeman's Otide, vol. ii., p. 40. 



all scrutiny into their accounts, and en- 
abled to retain all their accumulations. f 

The reader — recollecting the custom in 
Mussulman kingdoms, of a complete change 
of officials at every accession, generally 
accompanied by the spoliation of the 
old ones — will understand this was likely to 
prove no inconsiderable advantage. Lord 
Auckland, the governor-general, had, how- 
ever, no desire for the absorption of Oude, 
but only that measures should be taken 
for its better government. He decided that 
the eldest uncle of the late king should 
ascend the musnud, and that a new treaty 
should be formed with him. 

On the death of Nuseer-oo-deen, a Bri- 
tish detachment was sent to escort the 
chosen successor from his private dwelling 
to the palace. He was an old man, had led 
a secluded life, and was weakened by recent 
illness. On arriving at his destination, he 
was left to repose for a few hours in a 
small secluded room, previous to the tedious 
formalities of enthronement. But the suc- 
cession was not destined to be carried with- 
out opposition. The Padshah Begum (the 
chief queen of Ghazi-oo-deen, and the 
adoptive mother of Nuseer, with whom she 
had been long at variance) asserted the 
claims of her grandson, the disowned child 
but rightful heir of the late ruler. She 
made her way to the palace in the middle 
of the night, on the plea of desiring to see 
the dead body of the king — forced the gates 
with her elephants, and carried in with her 
the youth INIoonna Jan, whom she suc- 
ceeded in literally seating on the musnud ; 
while she herself took up her position in a 
covered palanquin at the foot of the throne. 
Amid the confusion, the sovereign selected 
by the Company remained unnoticed, and ap- 
parently unknown. His sons, grandsons, and 
attendants were, however, discovered, and 
very roughly treated ; nor did the resident 
(Colonel Low) escape severe handling. On 
learning what had occurred, he proceeded 
to the palace with his assistants, and re- 
monstrated with the begum on the folly of her 
procedure; but his arguments were stopped 
by the turbulence of her adherents, who 
seized him by the neckcloth, dragged him 
to the throne on which the boy sat, and 
commanded him to present a complimentary 
offering on pain of death. This he posi- 
tively refused; and the begum's vakeel, 
Mirza Ali, seeing the dangerous excitement 
of her rabble followers, and dreading the 
t Sleeman's Ottde, vol. ii., p. 152. 



VOL. II. 



sure vengeance of the Company if the lives 
of their servants -were thus sacrificed, 
laid hold of the resident and his compa- 
nions, and shouted out, that by the com- 
mand of the begum they were to be con- 
ducted from her presence. The resident 
and his party, with difficulty and danger, 
made their way to the south garden, where 
Colonel Monteath had just brought in, and 
drawn up, five companies in line. The 
temper of the troops, generally, seemed 
doubtful. At this crisis Colonel Roberts, 
who commanded a brigade in the Oude ser- 
vice, went in, and presented to Moonna 
Jan his offering of gold mohurs ; and then 
absconded, being seen no more until the 
contest was decided. Captain Magness 
drew up his men and guns on the left of 
Colonel Monteath^s, and was ordered to pre- 
pare for action. He told the resident that 
he did not feel quite sure of his men ; and a 
line of British sepoys was made to cover his 
rear.* 

Meanwhile the begum began to think the 
game in her own hands. The palace and 
baraduree, or summer-house, Avere filled with 
a motley crowd; nautch-girls danced and 
sang at one end of the long hall, in front of 
the throne; and the populace within and 
without enjoyed the tumult, and shouted 
acclamation : every man Avho had a sword 
or spear, a musket or matchlock, flourished 
it in the air, amid a thousand torches. 
Everything portended a popular insurrec- 
tion. The begum saw this, and desired to 
gain time, iu the hope that the British 
troops in the garden would be surrounded 
and overwhelmed by the armed masses 
which had begun to pour forth from the 
city. Had this catastrophe occurred, the 
British authorities would have l>orne the 
blame for the deficiency of the subsidized 
British troops, and for having indiscreetly 
omitted to watch the proceedings of the 
Padshah Begum, whose ciuiracter was well 
known. The fault, in the latter case, is 
attributed to the negligence of the native 
minister. 

The resident was anxious to avoid a 
collision ; yet convinced of the necessity for 
prompt action : therefore, on receiving a 
message from the begum, desiring him to 
return to her presence, he refused, and bade 
her and the boy surrender themselves im- 
mediately; promising, iu the event of com- 
pliance, and of the evacuation of the palace 
and city by her followers, that the past 
* Sleeman's Oude, vol. ii., p. 162. 



should be forgiven, and that the pension of 
15,000 rupees a-montli, accorded bj'' the 
late king, should be secured to her for life. 
But in vain : the begum had no thought of 
surrendering herself; the tumult rapidly in- 
creased ; the rabble began to plunder the 
palace; several houses in the city had 
already been pillaged ; and the British officer 
in command urged the resident to action, 
lest his men should no longer have room 
to use their arms. 

The native commanders of the state 
troops manifestly leant towards the begum. 
One of them declared that "he was the 
servant of the throne ; that the young king 
was actually seated on it ; and that he would 
support him there :" whereupon he also 
presented his offering of gold mohurs. The 
armed crowds grew momentarily more 
menacing : a ringleader attempted to seize 
a British sepoy by the whiskers; and an 
affray was with difficulty prevented. The 
resident, taking out his watch, declared, 
that unless the begum consented to his offer 
within one quarter of an hour, the guns 
should open on the throne-room. She per- 
sisted iu her purpose, encouraged by the 
increasing numbers of her followers. The 
stated time elapsed ; the threat of the resi- 
dent w^as fulfilled ; and, after a few rounds 
of grape, a party of the 35th regiment, 
under Major Marshall, stormed the halls. 

As soon as the guns opened, the begum 
was carried by her attendants into an ad- 
joining room; and Moonna Jan concealed 
himself in a recess under the throne. They 
were, however, both captured, and carried 
off to the residency. None of the British 
troops were killed ; but one officer and two 
or three sepoys were Mounded. Many of 
the insurgents perished ; from forty to fifty 
men being left killed and wounded, when 
their companions fled from the palace. 
The loss would probably have been much 
greater, had not the soldiers of the 35th, 
on rushing through the nari'ow covered 
passage, and up the steep flight of steps by 
which they entered the throne-room, seen, 
on emerging from the dim light, a body of 
sepoys with fixed bayonets and muskets, 
drawn up (as they imagined) behind the 
throne. At these they fired; a smash of 
glass followed, and proved their first volley 
to liave been spent, on their own reflection, 
in an immense mirror. This happy mistake 
saved a needless waste of blood. No further 
resistance was attempted; order was gra- 
dually restored; and the sovereign selected 



ACCESSION OP MOHAMMED ALI SHAH. 



67 



by the Company was publicly crowned in 
the course of the morning. 

Strangely enough, the innocent and ill- 
used Delhi princess, after years of seclusion, 
was involved in the tumult, but escaped 
injury by the zeal and presence of mind 
of her female attendants. The begum, on 
her way from her own residence to the 
palace, had passed that of the princess, whom 
she summoned to accompany her. Perhaps 
awed by her imperious mother-in-law — per- 
haps desirous of looking once again on the 
face of the man whose conduct had doomed 
her to long years of widowhood, the 
princess obeyed, and appears to have been 
a silent witness of the whole aflair. AVhen 
the firing began, her two female bearers 
carried her in her litter to a small side- 
room. One attendant had her arm shattered 
by grapeshot ; but the other tied some 
clothes together, and let her mistress and 
her wounded companion safely down, from a 
height of about twenty-four feet, into a 
courtyard, where some of the retinue of 
tlie princess found and conveyed them 
all three safely home. 

The claim of Moonna Jan appears to 
have been a rightful one, despite the formal 
declaration of the late king, that he had 
ceased to cohabit with the boy's mother for 
two years before his birth. The decision 
arrived at by the British government cannot, 
however, be regretted ; for Moonna Jan was 
said, even by the members of his own 
family who asserted his legitimacy, to be of 
ungovernable temper, and the worst possible 
dispositions.* Both he and the begumf 
were sent to the fort of Chunar, where 
they ended their days as state prisoners. 

The new king, Mohammed Ali Shah, 
succeeded to an empty treasury and a dis- 
organised government : he had the infir- 
mities of age to contend with ; neverthe- 
less, he displayed an amount of energy and 
shrewdness very rare in his family. 

A new treaty with Oude was alleged to 
be necessary, because no penalty had been 
attached, in that of 1801, to the infraction 
of the stipulation for reforms to be made 
in the government. Another article had 

* Sleeman's Oude, vol. ii., p. 170. 

t The previous history of the begum appears to 
have been very remarkable. Ghazi-oo-deen had 
conceived a strong dislike to his son Nuseer, and 
considered him utterly unfit to mount the throne. 
The begum stanchly ;md successfully asserted his 
riglits, as her iiusbaud's lawful lieir. When he, in 
turn, conceived a violent aversion to his own child 
Moonna Jan, she took her grandson under her pro. 



been violated by the increase of the native 
army greatly beyond the stated limit. Of 
this latter infraction the British govern- 
ment were well disposed to take advantage, 
having, in fact, themselves violated the spirit, 
if not the letter, of the treaty, by keeping 
Oude very ill supplied with troops. Thus, 
at the time of the death of Nuseer-oo-deen 
(previous to the arrival of the five com- 
panies under Colonel Monteath), the whole 
of the British force in charge of Luckuow 
and its million inhabitants, consisted of 
two companies and a-half of sepoys under 
native officers. One of the companies was 
stationed at the treasury of the resident; 
another constituted his honorary guard; 
and the remaining half company were in 
charge of the gaol. All the sepoys stood 
nobly to their posts during the long and 
trying scene ; but no attempt was made to 
concentrate them for the purpose of arrest- 
ing the tumultuous advance of the begum's 
forces : collectively, they would have been 
too few for tlie purpose; and it was, more- 
over, deemed unsafe to remove them from 
their respective posts at such a time.J 

Something more than tacit consent had 
probably been given to the increase of the 
native force of Oude ; which, in 1837, num- 
bered about 68,000 men. By the new 
treaty, Mohammed Ali was authorised to 
increase his military establishment indefi- 
nitely ; but bound to organise, as a part of 
it, an auxiliary British force, and to provide 
a yearly sum of sixteen lacs (iSl^OjOOO) 
for the maintenance of the same. The 
concluding articles stipulated, that the king, 
in concert Avith the resident, should take 
into immediate and earnest consideration 
the best means of remedying the existing 
defects in the police, and in the judicial and 
revenue administration of his dominions; 
and set forth, that "if gross and systematic 
oppression, anarchy, and misrule shoidd 
hereafter at any time prevail Avithin the 
Oude dominions, such as seriously to en- 
danger the public tranquillity, the British 
government reserves to itself the right of 
appointing its own officers to tlie manage- 
ment of whatsoever portions of the Oude 

tection, armed her retainers, and, after a contest 
in which many lives were lost, succeeded in main- 
taining her ground until the resident interfered, 
and satisfied her by guaranteeing the personal 
safety of the boy, for whose sake she eventually 
sacrificed the indenendeuce of lier latter years, and 
died a prisoner of state. — Private Life of an Eastern 
Kimi, p. 205. 

I iSleeman's Oude, vol. ii., p. 168. 



68 



LORD AUCKLAND'S TREATY WITH OUDE— 1837. 



territory — either to a small or to a great 
extent — in which such misrule as that above 
alluded to may have occurred, for so long 
a period as it may deem necessary ; the sur- 
plus receipts in such case, after defraying 
all charges, to be paid into the king's trea- 
sury, and a true and faithful account ren- 
dered to his majesty of the receipts and 
expenditure of the territory so assumed." 
In the event of the above measure becoming 
necessary, a pledge was given for the main- 
tenance, as far as possible, of the native 
institutions and forms of administration 
within the assumed territories, so as to faci- 
litate the restoration of those territories to 
the sovereign of Oude when the proper 
period for such restoration should arrive.* 

The above treaty was executed at Luck- 
now on the 11th of September, 1837, and 
was ratified on the 18th of the same month 
by the governor-general. It is necessary 
that the manner in which the compliance 
of Mohammed Shah was ensured, should 
be clearly understood. The death of 
Nuseer occurred at midnight, and the resi- 
dent, as has been stated, instantly sent off 
one of his assistants to the house of Mo- 
hammed Shah, with orders to conduct him 
to the palace, after having secured his sig- 
nature to a paper promising consent "to 
any new treaty that the governor-general 
might dictate." This was obtained. 

Lord Auckland Avas rather shocked by 
such undisguised dictation; and declared, 
"he should have been better pleased if the 
resident had not, in this moment of exi- 
gency, accepted the unconditional engage- 
ment of submissiveness which the new king 
had signed. This document may be liable 
to misconstruction; and it was not war- 
ranted by anything contained in the in- 
structions issued to Colonel Low."t 

If Lord Auckland was startled by the 
means taken to ensure the consent of the 
king to any terms which might be required 
from him, the resident was not less painfully 
surprised by the draft treaty framed by the 
governor-general in council. Colonel Low 
wrote, that the concessions so unexpectedly 
demanded, were " of a nature that would be 
very grating to any native sovereign of re- 
spectable character;" especially to the pre- 
sent king, " who, to the best of my belief at 
least, knows by experience how to manage a 
country properly, and really wishes to govern 

• Treaty between E. I. Company and King of 
Oude : printed in Pari. Papers relatinj^ to Oude 
(Commons), 20Lh July, 1857 ; pp. 31—33. 



with moderation and justice." The resident 
especially deprecated the requisition for the 
payment of a very large annual sum for the 
maintenance of an army, Avhich was not to 
be under the command of the king, or even 
at his own disposal — "a heavy payment, in 
fact, which he must clearly perceive is more 
for our own purposes and iuteiests than for 
his, or for the direct advantage of his sub- 
jects." Colonel Low requested a recon- 
sideration of the unfavourable opinion which 
had been expressed regarding the prelimi- 
nary pledge he had exacted from Moham- 
med Ali, declaring, that so far from its being 
superfluous, it was indispensable ; otherwise, 
the"desired objectsof the Indian government 
could never have been gained without some 
forcible and most unpleasant exercise of 
our power." In a significant postscript, he 
asked whether, in the evezit of the present 
king's death before the ratification of the 
treaty, he ought to take any, and, if so, 
what, agreement from the next heir? adding, 
that the residency surgeon lately in atten- 
dance on Mohammed Shah, was decidedly of 
opinion, that " any unusual excitement, or 
vexation of mind, would be likely to 
bring on apoplexy."J All this the resi- 
dent stated in a public letter; but he 
Avrote another in the secret department, in 
which he earnestly advised a revision of 
the treaty; urging, that the formation of 
the proposed auxiliary force would create 
great discontent in Oude, and inflict a bur- 
den which would necessarily be felt by all 
classes ; and that it would be considered 
" as distinctly breaking our national faith 
and recorded stipulations in the former 
treaty." § 

Lord Auckland persisted in his policy : 
the resident was told that he had " misap- 
prehended" the spirit of the treaty, which 
the king was compelled to sign, literally at 
the hazard of his life; for, on being made 
acquainted with its terms, " the idea of such 
new rights being ordered in his time, so hurt 
the old man's feelings, that it had an imme- 
diate effect on his disease;" producing an 
attack of spasms, from which he did not 
entirely recover for twenty-four hours. || 

The authorities in England, to their honour 
be it spoken, refused to sanction such a 
shameless breach of faith as this repudiation 
of the terms on which half Oude had been 
annexed in 1801. They unanimously de- 

X Ibid., — pp. 14, 1j. 



t Pari. Papers, p. 13. 

ilbid., p. 17. 

II Letter of Resident, July 30, 1837 



-Pari. Papers. 



HOME AUTHORITIES DISALLOW THE TREATY. 



69 



creed the abrogation of the recent treaty, 
and desired that the king should be exone- 
rated from the obligations to which his as- 
sent had been so reluctantly given. No- 
thing could be more thoroughly straightfor- 
ward than the view taken by the directors. 
They declared, that it would have been better 
to have given the king a fair trial, without 
any new treaty ; and condemned the pre- 
liminary engagement as having been " ex- 
torted from a prince from whom we had no 
right to demand any condition on coming to 
his lawful throne." The proposed auxiliary 
force was pronounced inadmissible, on the 



The directors left the governor-general 
in council to choose the manner in which 
to convey to the King of Oude the welcome 
tidings of the annulment of a compact 
which, they truly observed, he regarded as 
inflictiiig not only a pecuniary penalty upon 
his subjects, but a disgrace upon his crown 
and personal dignity. They advised, how- 
ever, that it should rather proceed as an act 
of grace from his lordship in council, "than 
as the consequence of the receipt of a public 
and unconditional instruction from Eng- 
land." 

Lord Auckland thereupon declared, that 



ground that the payment " would constitute the directors, like the resident, had much 
a demand upon the resources of Oude that 1 misunderstood his measure ;t and his council 
we are not entitled to make; for we are agreed with him in the hope that, by a re- 
already bound, by the treaty of 1801, to | laxation of the terms of the treaty, the au- 



defend at our own expense, that country 
against internal and external enemies; and 
a large cession of territory was made to us 
for that express purpose." 

The sentiments expressed on this occa- 
sion are directly opposed to those which 
animated the annexation policy, subse- 
quently adopted. The directors conclude 
their despatch with the following explicit 
opinion : — " The preservation of the existing 



thorities in England might be reconciled to a 
measure which could not be cancelled with- 
out the most serious inconvenience, and even 
danger :| and when they found that the 
Company were pledged to the British par- 
liament for the annulment of the treaty, 
they persisted in urging the inexpediency of 
making any communication to the King of 
Oude on the subject. On the 15th of April, 
1839, the directors reiterated their previ- 
ous orders, and desired that no delay 



states in India is a duty imposed upon us by 
the obligations of public faith, as well as the i should take place in announcing, in such 
dictates of interest ; for we agree in the manner as the governor-general might think 
opinionexpressedbyLieutenant-colonelLow, j fit, to the King of Oude, the disallowance 
in his letter of the 26th of September, 1836, 1 of the treaty of 11th of September, 1837, 
that the continued existence of such states I and the restoration of our relations with the 



will attbrd the means of employment to re- 
spectable natives, which they cannot at pre- 
sent obtain in our service ; and, until such 
means could be provided in our own pro- 
vinces, the downfall of any of the native 
states under our protection might, by depriv- 
ing numerous influential natives of their ac- 
customed employment, be attended with 
consequences most injui'ious to our interests. 
Our policy should be to preserve, as long as 
may be practicable, the existing native 
dynasties ; and should the fall of them, or 
of any oue of them, from circumstances be- 
yond our control, become inevitable, then 
to introduce such a system of government 
as may interfere iu the least possible way 
with the institutions of the people, and with 
the employment of natives of rank under 
proper superintendence, in the administra- 
tion of the countr}\"* 

• Despatch, 10th April, 1838, from Secret Com- 
mittee ; p. 38. Signed by J. R. Carnac and J. L. 
Lushington. 

t Minute by Governor-general Auckland, dated 



state of Oude to the footing on which they 
previouslv stood. 

On the 11th of July, 1839, they simply 
reverted to their previous instructions, and 
required their complete fulfilment. § Yet, 
on the 8th of the same month, the governor- 
general acquainted the King of Oude that, 
after some months' correspondence with the 
Court of Directors upon the subject of the 
treaty, he was empowered to relieve his 
majesty from the payment of the annual 
sixteen lacs. His lordship expressed his 
cordial sympathy with the liberal feelings 
which dictated this renunciation of a sum, 
the raising of which he had " sometimes 
feared" might lead to " heavier exactions on 
the people of Oude than they were well able, 
in the pre-ent state of the country, to bear." 

Then followed an exordium on the light- 
ening of taxation, and the extension of 

"Umritsir, 13th December, 1838."— Pari. Papers, 
pp. 43—52. 

I Minutes bv Messrs. Morison and Bird, 28th Jan- 
uary, 1839 ; pp! 52 ; 57. § Pari. Papers, pp. 57—60. 



70 



ACCESSION OF WAJID ALI, KING OP OUDE— 1847. 



useful public works, which might be 
effected with the aforesaid sixteen lacs ; and 
a com])lacent reference to the fresh proof 
I tlius afforded, "of the friendship with which 
your majesty is regarded by me and by the 
British nation/' Not one word, not the 
most distant liint of the abrogation of the 
treaty ; nay, more — the newly-appointed re- 
sident, Ci)lonel Caulfield, was specially de- 
sired "to abstain from encoui'aging discus- 
' sion as to the treaty of 1837," except as 
regarded the reasons above quoted from the 
letter of the governor-general, for releasing 
the king from the pecuniary obligation of 
j maintaining an auxiliary force.* 

The above statements are taken from the 
' returns laid before parliament on the mo- 
I tion of Sir Fitzroy Kelly; but it is confi- 
dently alleged that the papers therein 
' published are, as in the case of the Nizam, 
fragmentary and garbled ; especially that the 
important letter written by Lord Auckland 
to the King of Gude is not a correct trans- 
; lation of the original, but a version adapted 
j to meet the ideas of the British public. f 
] No such aggravation is needed to en- 
hance the effect of the duplicity exhibited 
by the Indian govei'nment, in their sifted 
and carefully prepared records laid before 
parliament, of the mode in which the 
king was led to believe that the treaty 
; which the Court of Directors had disavowed, 
. because it was essentially unjust and had 
' been obtained by unfair means, was really 
in force, the pressure being temporarily 

■ mitigated by the generous intervention and 
i paternal solicitude of the governor-general. 

I This is a painful specimen of Anglo- 

I Indian diplomacy. Still more painful is 

it to find such a man as Lord Dalhousie 

i characterising the deliberate concealment 

■ practised by his predecessor, as " an inad- 
vertence.'' The treaty was never disallowed 

j in India — never even suppressed. The dis- 
cussion regarding its public disallowance 

* Deputy Secretary of Government to the Kesi- 
I dent, 8th July, 1839.— Pari. Papers, p. 61. 
I t The letter published in the Pari. Papers, and the 
Persian and English versions sent to the king : all 
I three differed on important points. In Dacoitee in 
i Excelsis (written, according to the editor of blee- 
I man's Oude, by Major Bird), a literal translation 
of the Persian letter actually sent to the King of 
j Oude is given, which differs widely and essentially 
! from that above quoted from the Pari. Papers. In 
I the latter there is no sentence wiiich could fairly 
I be rendered thus : — " From the period you as- 
cended the tlirone, your majesty lias, in compari- 
son with times past, greatly iinj)rove(l the kingdom; 
and 1 have, in consequence, been authorised by the 



seems to have fallen to the ground; the 
directors, engrossed by the cares and excite- 
ments of that monstrous compound of in- 
justice, folly, and disaster — the Afghan 
war — probably taking it for granted that 
their reiterated injunctions regarding Oude 
had been obeyed by Lord Auckland and his 
council. 

Mohammed AU Shah died in 1842, in the 
full belief that the treaty which so galled 
and grieved him was in operative existence. 
His son and successor, Amjud Ali, had no 
reason for doubt on the subject : the British 
functionaries around him spoke and Avrote 
of it as an accepted fact; and, in 1845, it 
was included in a volume of treaties, pub- 
lished in India by the authority of govern- 
ment. No important change, for good or 
for evil, appears to have taken place diu'ing 
the five years' sway of Amjud Ali, who died 
in February, 1847, and was succeeded by 
Wajid Ali, the last of his dynasty. The 
new king was not deficient in natural ability. 
He had considerable poetical and musical 
gifts; but these, precociously developed under 
the enervating infiuences of the zenana, had 
been fostered to the exclusion of the sterner 
qualities indispensable to the wielder of a 
despotic sceptre. 

Notwithstanding the acknowledged and 
often sharply-exercised supremacy of the 
British government, the dynasty of Oude 
still preserved, by virtue of Lord Welles- 
ley's treaty- of 1801 (that is to say, by the 
portions of it not cancelled by that of ,1837), 
a degree of independence, and of exemption 
from internal interference ; which, rightly 
used by an upright, humane, and judicious 
sovereign, might yet have raised fertile, beau- 
tiful Oude to a state of prosperity which, 
by affording incontestable proofs of its effi- 
cient government, should leave no plea for its 
annexation. Public works, efficient courts 
of justice, reduced rates of assessment — these 
thiugs can never be wholly misrepresented 

Court of Directors to inform you, that, if I think 
it advisable, for the present, I may relieve your ma- 
jesty from part of the clause of the treaty alluded 
to, by which clause expense is laid upon your 
majesty.^' The writer of Dacoitee in Excelsis, says 
that the italicised words bear a different sense in the 
autograph English letter, in wliich they run llius : — 
/ am directed to relieve you. The king pointed out 
the non-agreement of the two documents, and the 
governor-general forthwith issued an order, direct- 
ing that the old custom of sending the original Eng- 
lish letter as well as the Persian version, should be 
discontinued. — (p. 92.) See also Oude, its Frinces 
and. its Governiiient Vindicated : by INIoulvee j\Ius- 
seehood-deen Khan liahadoor; p. 75. 



COLONEL SLEEMAN'S TOUR THROUGH OUDE— 1850. 



71 



or overlooked ; but such reforms were little 
likely to be effected while Wajid Ali sat at 
the helm. 

In November, 1847, the governor-general. 
Lord Plardinge, visited Lucknow, held a 
conference with the king, and caused a 
memorandum, previously drawn up, to be 
specially read and explained to him. In 
this memorandum, Wajid Ali was enjoined 
"to take timely measures for the reforma- 
tion of abuses/' and for " the rescue of his 
people from their present miserable condi- 
tion." Failing this, the governor-general 
stated, he would have no option but to act in 
the manner specified by the treaty of 1837 ; 
which not only gave the British government 
a right to interfere, but rendered it obli- 
gatory on them to do so whenever such 
interference should be needful to secure the 
lives and property of the people of Oude 
from oppression and flagrant neglect. If 
the king, within the following two years, 
should fail in "checking and eradicating 
the worst abuses," then the governor-general 
would avail himself of the poAvers vested in 
him by the aforesaid treaty.* 

Two years and more passed, but the 
king evinced undiminished aversion for the 
duties of his position. His time and atten- 
tion were devoted entirely to the pursuit of 
personal gratifications, and he associated 
with none but such as contributed to his 
pleasures — women, singers, fiddlers, and 
eunuchs ; and could, in fact, submit to the 
restraints of no other society. He ceased 
to receive the members of the royal family, 
or the aristocracy; would read no reports 
from his local officers, civil or military — from 
presidents of his fiscal and judicial courts, 
or functionaries of any kind ; and appeared 
to take no interest whatever in public aftairs. 

A change was made about this time in 
the mode of collecting the land revenue (from 
the ijara, or CQ||tract system, to the amanee, 
or trust- management system) in many dis- 
tricts ; but no favourable result was pro- 
duced — the same rack-rent being exacted 
under one as under the other; the same 

• Sleeman's Oudc, vol. il., pp. 201— 215. 

t Letter from Lord ]3alliousie to Colonel Slee- 
man. — Journey through the Kingdom of Oude (Intro- 
duction), vol. i., p. xviii. 

X Dacoitee in £!xcelsis, ]), 109. 

§ Writin}^ to Mr. Elliot, secretary to government 
in 1848, regarding the difficulty of getting dacoit 
prisoners tried, Colonel Sleeman said that politi- 
cal officers had little encouragement to undertake 
such duties; adding — " It is only a few choice spirits 
that have entered upon the duly con ainore. Gen- 
eral Nott prided himself upon doing nothing while 



imcertainty continuing to exist in the 
rate of the govenmient demand; and the 
same exactions and peculations on the part 
of the native officials. 

Colonel (afterwards Sir William) Sleeman 
received the appointment of resident in 
1849, and was authorised l)y Lord Dalhousie 
to make a tour throughout Oude, and report 
upon the general condition of the people. 
The letter which communicates the informa- 
tion of the appointment, shows that the gov- 
ernor-general was bent on the assumption of 
sovereign power over Oude, and the recon- 
struction of the internal administration of 
that " great, rich, and oppressed country. "f 
The mission of Colonel Sleeman was evidently 
designed to collect a mass of evidence which 
should convince the home authorities of the 
necessity for the " great changes" which 
their representative had resolved upon ini- 
tiating; and in this sense the new resident 
has been truly called ''the emissary of a 
foregone conclusion. "J Still, though not 
unprejudiced. Colonel Sleeman was an 
honest and earnest man, well calculated by 
character and long training to extract truth, 
and experienced in framing a plaiu, un- 
varnished statement of facts. Forty years 
of active Indian service had afforded him 
opportunities of intercourse with the natives, 
of which he had taken abundant advantage. 
Active, methodical, and rigidly abstemious, 
he had been invaluable in the very depart- 
ments where his countrymen have usually 
proved least able to grapple with the ener- 
vating influences of climate, routine, and 
red tape.§ His successful efforts in bringing 
to justice, and almost eradicating the mur- 
derous fraternity of the Thugs, || by dis- 
persing the horrible obscurity in which 
their midnight deeds of assassination and 
theft had been so long shrouded, breaking 
up their gangs, and tracking them out in 
detail, was altogether most masterly, and 
conferred an incalculable amount of benefit 
on the peaceable and industrious, but help- 
less portion of the population. Colonel 
Sleeman's character and career, however, 

he was at Lucknow ; General Pollock did all he 
could, but it was not much ; and Colonel Kichmond 
does notliing. There the Euduk dacoits. Thugs and 
poisoners, remain without sentences, and will do so 
till Richmond goes, unless you give liini a fillip. 
• • • J^avidson was prevented from doing any 
thing by technical difficulties; so that out of fom- 
residents we have not got four days' work. — Jour- 
ney through the Kingdom of Oude (Introduction), 
vol. i., p. xxviii. 

II See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 429 ; for an ac- 
count of the Thugs, or Fhansi-gars. 



72 PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE IN THE GOVERNMENT OF OUDE. 



naturally tended to reuder liim a severe 
censor of incapacity, sensuality, and indo- 
lence — the besetting sins of the King of 
Oude. Consequently, his correspondence 
manifests a contemptuous aversion for the 
habits and associates of Wajid Ali, scarcely 
compatible -with the diplomatic courtesy ex- 
pected in the intercourse of a British func- 
tionary with a national ally. Personal ac- 
quaintance might have mitigated this feel- 
ing ; but Colonel Sleeman does not seem to 
have attempted to employ the influence 
which his age, position, and knowledge of 
the world might have given him with the 
king, who was then a young man of about 
five-and-twenty. " I have not,^^ he says, 
"urged his majesty to see and converse with 
me, because I am persuaded that nothing 
that I could say would induce him to alter 
his mode of life, or to associate and com- 
mune with any others than those who now 
exclnsively form his society/'* 

The tour of inspection was made during 
three months of the cold season of 1850, in 
defiance of the tacit opposition of the native 
government, on whom the expenses, amount- 
ing to £30,000, were charged. f The mode 
of proceeding adopted to procure evidence 
against the King of Oude, and the complete 
setting aside of the authority of the native 
government therein involved, may be ex- 
cused by circumstances, but cannot be jus- 
tified. A similar proceeding in any Anglo- 
Indian province would unquestionably have 
revealed a mass of crime and suffering, of 
neglect and unredressed wrongs, of which 
no conception could have been pi-evionsly 
formed. Under our system, however, the 
evils from which the people labour, lie deep, 
and resemble the complicated sufferings 
which aflect the physical frame in a high 
state of civilisation. Under native despotism, 
the diseases of the body politic are com- 
paratively few in number, and easily dis- 
cernible, analogous to those common to man 
in a more natural state. The employment 
of torture, for instance, as a means of 
extorting revenue, is a barbarism which 
seems general among Asiatic governments; 

•Pari. Papers relative to Oude. — Blue Book. 
1856; p. 158. 

t In the Reply to the Charges against the King 
of Oude, published in the name of Wajid Ali 
Shah himself, the following passage occurs: — "When 
Colonel Sleeman had, under pretence of change of 
air for the benefit of his health, expressed a wish to 
make a tour through the Oude dominion, although 
such a tour was quite unusual, I provided him with 
tents and bullock-trains, and ordered my officers to 
furnish him with men for clearing the road, provi- 



and it has been, if indeed it be not still, 
practised by our own native underlings, in 
consequence of imperfect supervision and 
excessive taxation. In Oude, this favourite 
engine of despotism and oppression was, as 
might have been expected, in full operation. 
It ought, long years before, to have been 
not simply inveighed against by residents in 
communications to their own government, 
but enacted against in treaties ; for, clearly, 
when the British government guaranteed to 
a despotic ruler the means of crushing do- 
mestic rebellion, they became responsible 
that their troops should not be instrumental 
in perpetuating the infliction, on the inno- 
cent, of cruelties which the laws of England 
would not sufi"er to be perpetrated on the 
person of the vilest criminal. 

The supreme government are accused 
of having contented themselves with in- 
culcating rules of justice and mercy by 
vague generalities, without any attempt to 
take advantage of opportunities for initiating 
reforms. Major Bird, formerly assistant- 
resident at Lucknow, affirms that he has 
now in his custody proposals framed by the 
native government, with the assistance of 
the resident. Colonel Richmond, in 1848, 
for the introduction of the British system 
of administration in the king's dominions, 
to be tried in the first instance in such 
portions of them as adjoined the British 
territories. The scheme was submitted to 
Mr. Thomason, the lieutenant-governor of 
the North-Western Provinces, for correc- 
tion, and was then forwarded to the gov- 
ernor-general, by whom it Avas rejected ; the 
secretary to government stating, that "if 
his majesty the King of Oude would give 
up the whole of his dominions, the East 
India government would think of it ; but 
that it was not worth while to take so 
much trouble about a portion."J 

Such a rebuff as this is qiMte indefensible. 
Although the worthless ministers and fa- 
vourites by whom the king was surrounded, 
might have eventually neutralised any good 
results from the proposed experiment, yet, 
had the Calcutta authorities really felt the 

sions and all other necessaries ; and although this 
cost me lacs of rupees, still I never murmured nor 
raised any objections." In Colonel Sleeman's very 
first halt, he is described as having received peti- 
tions, and wrote letters thereon to the native gov- 
ernment, in defiance alike of treaties, of the ex- 
press orders of the Court of Directors, and of the 
rule of neutrality previously observed by successive 
residents. — (Pp. 8 ; 13.) 

X Dacoitee in Excelsis ; or, the Spoliation of Oude, 
p. 102. Taylor; London. 



earnest solicitude expressed by them for tlie 
people of Oude, they would have encouraged 
anv scheme calculated to lessen the disorgan- 
isation of which they so loudly complained, 
instead of waiting, as they appear to have 
done, to take advantage of tlieir own neglect. 

It is not easy to decide how far the British 
government deserves to share the disgrace 
which rests on the profligate and indolent 
dynasty, of which Wajid Ali was the last 
representative, for the wretched condition 
of Oude. Of the fiict of its misgovernment 
there seems no doubt; for Colonel Sleeman 
was a truthful and able man ; and the entries 
in his Diary depict a state of the most bar- 
barous anarchy. The people are described 
as equally oppressed by the exactions of the 
king's troops and collectors, and by the 
gangs of rol)bers and lawless chieftains 
who infested the whole territory, rendering 
tenure so doubtful that no good dwellings 
could be erected, and preventing more than 
a very partial cultivation of the land, besides 
perpetrating individual cruelties, torturings, 
and murders almost beyond belief. 

No immediate result followed the report 
of the resident; for the Burmese war of 
1851-'2 occupied the attention of gov- 
ernment, and gave Wajid Ali Shah a re- 
spite, of which he was too reckless or too 
ill-advised to take advantage. Colonel 
Sleeman, writing to Lord Dalhousie in 
September, 1852, declared — 

" The longer the king reigns the more unfit he 
becomes to reign, and the more the administration 
and the country deteriorates. The state must have 
become bankrupt long ere this ; but the king, and 
the knaves by whom he is governed, have discon- 
tinued paying the stipends of all the members of the 
royal family, save those of his own father's family, 
for the last three years ; and many of them are re- 
duced to extreme distress, without the hope of ever 
getting their stipends again, unless our government 
interferes. The females of the palaces of former 
sovereigns ventured to clamour for their subsistence, 
and they were, without shame or mercy, driven into 
the streets to starve, beg. or earn their bread by 
their labour. • • • 'I'he king is surrounded by 
eunuchs, fiddlers, and poetasters worse than either ; 
and the minister and his creatures, who are worse 
tlian all. They appropriate at least one-half the re- 
venues of the country to themselves, and employ 
nothing [sic] but knaves of the very worst kind in 
all the branches of the administration. _• • * 
The fiddlers have control over the administration 
of civil justice ; the eunuclis over that of criminal 
justice, public buildings, &c ; the minister has the 
land revenue : and all are making large fortunes."* 

In the beginning of 1853, the resident 

• Sleeman's Oude, vol. ii., p. 369. 
t Ibid. (Introduction), vol. i., p. xxii. 
X Ibid., vol. ii., p. 388. 
VOL. II. L 



writes to Sir James Weir Hogg, that the 
King of Oude was becoming more and more 
imbecile and crazy ; and had, on .several 
occasions during some recent relisiious 
ceremonies, gone along the streets l)eating 
a drum tied round his neck, to the great 
scandal of his family, and the amusement 
of his people. The minister, Ali Nukkee 
Khan, is described as one of the cleverest, 
most intriguing, and most unscrupidous 
villains in India ;t who had obtained influ- 
ence over his master by entire subservience 
to his vices and follies, and by praising all 
he did, liowever degrading to him as a man 
and a sovereign. 

Notwithstanding the king's utter inat- 
tention to public affairs, and devotion to 
drumming, dancing, and versifying, he 
believed himself quite fit to reign; and 
Colonel Sleeman considered that nothing 
would ever induce "Wajid Ali to abdicate, 
even in favour of his own son, much less 
consent to make over the conduct of the 
administration, in perpetuity, to our gov- 
ernment. The conclusion at which the 
resident arrives is important : — 

" If, therefore, our government does interfere, it 
must be in the exercise of a right arising out of the 
existing relations between the two states, or out of 
our position as the paramount power in India. 
These relations, under the treaty of 1837, give our 
government ' the ri<,'ht to take upon itself the admin- 
istration under present circumstances ; and, indeed, 
imposes upon our government the duty of taking 
it: liut, as I have already stated, neither these re- 
lations, nor our position as the paramount power, 
give us any right to annex or to confiscate the 
territory of Oude. AVe may have a right to take 
territory from the Nizam of Hj'derabad, in payment 
for the money he owes us ; but Oude owes us no 
monev, and we have no right to take territory from 
her. We have only the right to secure for the 
suffering people that better government which their 
sovereign pledged himself to secure for them, but 
has failed to secure.:^" 

The entire reliance manifested in the 
above extracts, on the validity of the treaty 
of 1837, is equally conspicuous in other 
letters. It is repeatedly mentioned as giving 
the government ample authority to assume 
the whole administration ; but it is added — 
" If we do this, avc must, in order to stand 
well with the rest of India, honestly and 
distinctly disclaim all interested motives, 
and appropriate the whole of the revenues 
for the benefit of the people and royal 
family of Oude;" for, ''were we to lake 
advantage of the occasion to annex or con- 
fiscate Oiulc, or any part of it, our good 
name in India would inevitably suffer; aud 



74 



SIR WILLIAM SLEEMAN'S ANTI-ANNEXATION VIEWS— 1855. 



that good name is more valuable to us than 
a dozen Oudes." 

On the annexation policy in general, the 
resident commented in terms of severe 
censure. " There is a school in India," he 
says, "characterised by impatience at the 
existence of any native states, and by strong 
and often insane advocacy of their absorp- 
tion — by honest means if possible; but still 
their absorption. There is no pretext, 
however weak, that is not sufficient, in their 
estimation, for the purpose; and no war, 
however cruel, that is not justifiable, if it 
has only this object in view." Such views 
he denounced as dangerous to our rule; 
for the people of India, seeing that annexa- 
tions and confiscations went on, and that 
rewards and honorary distinctions were 
given for them, and for the victories which 
led to them, and for little else, were too apt 
to infer that they were systematic, and 
encouraged and prescribed from home. 
The native states he compared to break- 
waters, which, when swept away, would 
leave us to the mercy of our native army, 
which might not always be under our 
control.* 

With such opinions, he watched with 
deep anxiety the progress of the aggressive 
and absorbing policy favoured by Lord 
Dalhousie and his council, which, he con- 
sidered, was tending to crush all the higher 
and middle classes connected with the land, 
and to excite general alarm in the native 
mind. He began to fear the adoption of 
some coui'se towards Oude which would 
involve a breach of faith ; but he does not 
seem to have suspected the possibility of 
any right of annexation being grounded on 
the repudiation by the Calcutta govern- 
ment, at the eleventh hour, of the treaty of 
1837. 

In a private letter (the latest of his corres- 
pondence), he writes — " Lord Dalhousie and 
I, have different views, I fear. If he wishes 
anything done that I do not think right 
and honest, I resign, and leave it to be done 
by others. I desire a strict adherence to 
solemn engagements with white faces or 
black. We have no right to annex or con- 
fiscate Oude; but we have a right, under 
the treaty of 1837, to take the management 
of it, but not to appropriate its revenues to 
ourselves. To confiscate would be dis- 

• Sleeman's Oude, vol. ii., p. 392. 
t Written in 1854-'5. Published in the Times, 
November, 1857. 

I See Oude Blue Book for 1856; pp. 12—46. 



honest and dishonourable. To annex would 
be to give the people a government almost 
as bad as their own, if we put our screw 
upon them.^t 

The last admission is a strange one from 
the narrator of the Tour through Oude. 
He was not spared to remonstrate, as he 
certainly would have done, against the 
adoption of measures he had denounced by 
anticipation ; but lie was spared the too 
probable pain of remonstrating in vain. 
In the summer of 1854 his health began to 
fail. He went to the hills in the hope of 
recruiting his strength and resuming his 
labours. At last, warned by indications of 
approaching paralysis, he resigned his office, 
and embarked for England, but died on his 
passage, on the 10th of February, 1856, at 
the age of sixty-seven. Four days before, 
his services had been recognised by his 
nomination as a K.C.B., at the express re- 
quest of Lord Dalhousie, who, despite their 
difference in opinion, fully appreciated the 
qualities of his able subordinate. The 
mark of royal favour came in all respects 
too late : it would have been better be- 
stowed at the time when it had been richly 
earned by the measures for the suppression 
of Thuggee and Dacoitee, instead of being 
connected with the ill-omened Tour which 
preceded the annexation of Oude. 

General Outram (Napier's old opponent) 
was sent as officiating resident to Lucknow, 
in December, 1854, and desired to furnish 
a report with a view to determine whether 
public affairs continued in the state de- 
scribed from time to time by his predeces- 
soi. This he did, at considerable length, 
in February, 1855 ;J and his conclusion was, 
that matters were as bad, if not worse, than 
Colonel Sleeman had described them ; and 
that " the very culpable apathy and gross 
misrule of the sovereign and his durbar," 
rendered it incumbent on the supreme gov- 
ernment to have recourse to the " extreme 
measures" necessary for the welfare of the 
five millions of people who were now op- 
pressed by an effete and incapable dynastj'. 
Mnjor-general Outram added, that in 
the absence of any personal experience in 
the country, he was dependent for informa- 
tion on the residency records, and on the 
channels which supplied his predecessor. 
It would seem that he (like Colonel Caul- 
field) had been instructed to refrain from 
any mention of the treaty of 1837; for his 
report refers exclusively to that concluded in 
1801 : but in a paper drawn up by Captain 



DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE ANNEXATION OF OUDE. 



75 



Fletcher Hayes (assistatit-resident), on the 
"history of our connection with the Gude 
government," the Calcutta authorities are 
reminded, that in the absence of any inti- 
mation of the annulment of the treaty 
of J 837, all its articles (except that of 
maintaining an auxiliary force, from which 
the king had been relieved as an act of 
grace) were considered by the court of 
Lucknow as binding on the contracting 
powers.* 

The supreme authorities had placed 
themselves in a difficult position : they 
had pertinaciously stood between the 
Court of Directors and the government of 
Oude, and had taken upon themselves 
the responsil)ility of maintaining the treaty 
repudiated by the directors as unjust and 
extortionate. But in 1855, the rapid march 
of the annexation policy had left the land- 
marks of 1837 so far behind, that it had 
become desirable to set the contract of that 
date aside, because its exactions and its 
penalties, once denounced as unfair to tlie 
king, would now, if enforced, limit and 
cripple the plans of the governor-general. 
The very instrument, obtained and retained 
for aggressive purposes, in defiance of the 
orders of the home authorities, was likely 
to prove a weapon of defence in the hands 
of the King of Oude, and to be rested upon 
as the charter of the riglits of the dynasty 
and state. But the Red treaty palmed off 
on Omichund, with the forged signature of 
Admiral Watson, was not more easily set 
aside by Clivef than the treaty with Oude 
by the governor-general in council. In 
each case, the right of the stronger prevailed 
•without a struggle, and left the weaker 
party no power of appeal. Still the autho- 
rities, in discussing the affairs of Oude, ab- 
stained, as far as possible, from any mention 
of the treaty of 1837, and evidently thought 
the less said on the subject the better. 
Thus, the governor-genera!, in his minute on 
the measures to be adopted fur the future 
administration of Oude (extending over 
forty-three folio pages), adverts to the treaty 
of 1837, only in one short paragraph, in 
which he states that the instrument by 
■which the mutual relations of the British 
and Oude governments Avere defined, was 
the treaty of 1801. "A very general im- 

• Oude Blue Book, p. 81. 
t Indian Empire, vol. i., pp. 276 — 278. 
X Minute by Lord Dalhousie, June 18th, 1855. — 
Oude Blue Book, p. 149. 
§ Any reader who doubts the illegality of Lord 



pression prevails that a subsequent re-ad- 
justment of those relations was made by the 
treaty concluded by Lord Auckland in 
1837. But that treaty is null and void. It 
was wholly disallowed by the Hon. Court 
of Directors as soon as they received it." 

In other paragraphs, repeated reference 
is made to the warnings given by Lord 
Hardinge to Wajid Ali, in 1847, of 'the de- 
termination of the supreme government, ia 
the event of continued neglect, to interfere 
for the protection of the people of Oude; 
but the important fact is suppressed, that 
the right of interference was explicitly stated 
to rest, wholly and solely, "on the treaty 
ratified in the year 1837."| 

"It is to the' treaty of 1801," said Lord 
Dalhousie, "that we must exclusively look:"§ 
and, accordingly, it was looked to, for the 
express purpose of proving that it had been 
violated by the King of Oude, and might, 
therefore, be likewise declared null and 
void. Yet Lord Dalhousie hesitated at 
"resorting to so extreme a measure as the 
annexation of the territory, and the aboli- 
tion of the throne." The rulers of Oude, 
he admitted, had been unwavering in their 
adherence to the British power, and had 
"aided us as best they could in our hour of 
utmost need :" he therefore recommended 
that the king should be suffered to retain 
his title and rank, but should be required 
to transfer the whole civil and military ad- 
ministration into the hands of the E. 1. 
Company, in perpetuity, by whom the surplus 
revenues were to be appropriated, a liberal 
stipend being allowed for the maintenance 
of the royal family. " Tiie king's consent," 
he added, "is indispensable to the transfer 
of the whole, or of any part, of his sovereign 
power to the government of the East India 
Company. It would not be expedient or 
right to extract this consent by means of 
menace or compulsion." Lord Dalhousie, 
therefore, advised that the king should be 
requested to sign a treaty based on the fore- 
going terms, and warned that, in the event 
of refusal, the treaty of 1801 would be de- 
clared at an end, and the British subsidiary 
force entirely withdrawn. The proposal ap- 
pears to have been made under the idea 
that the very existence of the throne of 
Oude depended so entirely on the presence 

Dalhousie's conclusion, would do well to peruse ths 
able opinion of Dr. Travers Twiss, dated 24th 
February, 1857, on the infraction of the law of 
nations, committed by setting aside the treaty of 
1837 : quoted in Dacoitee in Excelsis, pp. 192 — 1991 



76 



MINUTES OF MEMBERS OF SUPREME COUNCIL— 1855. 



of a British force, that the king would ac- 
cede to any conditions required from him. 
But the other members of council unani- 
mously deprecated the offering of the pro- 
posed alternative, on the ground of the ter- 
rible crisis of anarchy which would be the 
probable consequence; and it was suggested 
that, " if there should be in the king's council 
but one person of courage and genius, 
though it should be but a dancing-girl 
(such as Indian annals show many), the king 
might be led to elect discounectiou rather 
than abdication."* 

Mr. Dorin minuted in favour of the entire 
incorporation of Oude, and objected to con- 
tinuing " to the most unkingly monarch of 
Oude any portion of the royal position and 
dignity which, by nature and inchnation, 
he is incapable of sustaining;" yet lie foresaw 
that the king would never surrender his 
kingdom except on compulsion. All Mr. 
Dorin's sympathies were, he declared, with 
the people of Oude, the " fine, manly race,'^ 
from whom we drew "almost the flower of 
the Bengal army." 

Mr. Grant agreed generally with Mr. 
Dorin, but thought that the king might 
be suffered to retain his title for his life- 
time. Mr. Grant took strong views of the 
rights and responsibilities of the British 
government, both in its own right, and as 
having " succeeded to the empire of the 
Mogul;" and he denied that the Oude rulers 
had ever stood in the position of sovereign 
princes. Major-general Low (who had held 
the position of resident at Lucknow for 
eleven years) minuted in favour of annexa- 
tion, bat desired to see more liberal provi- 
sion made for the present king and his suc- 
cessors than the other members of council 
deemed necessary. He urged that the well- 
known habits of INIohammedans of rank 
afforded a guarantee for tlieir income being 
expended among the people from, whom it 
was levied, and not hoarded up, and sent off 
to a distant country, according to the prac- 
tice of most European gentlemen on reaching 
the highest offices in the Indian service. 
The character of the last five princes of 
Oude, all of whom he had known personally, 
had, he said, been much misrepresented : 
they had sadly mismanaged their own affairs, 
but they had constantly proved active and 



useful allies, having again and again for- 
warded large supplies of grain and cattle to 
our armies with an alacrity that could not 
be exceeded by our own British chiefs of 
provinces, and having lent us large suras of 
money when we were extremely in want of 
it, and could not procure it elsewhere. As 
individual princes, their interctrurse with 
our put)lic functionaries had been regular, 
attentive, courteous, and friendly. f 

Mr. Peacock minuted in favour of the 
assumption of sovereign power over Oude, 
but desired that the surplus revenue might 
be disposed of entirely for the benefit of the 
people, and no pecuniary benefit be derived 
by the East India Company. The sugges- 
tion deserved more notice than it appears 
to have received, seeing that "the benefit 
of the people" is declared by the directors 
to have been " the sole motive, as well as 
the sole justification," of the annexation. J 
Not one of the four members of coun- 
cil (not even Mr. Peacock, though an emi- 
nent lawyer) took the slightest notice of 
the treaty of 1837, or alluded to the fre- 
quent references concerning it made by 
their delegates at the court of Lucknow. 
They spoke freely enough of treaties in 
general, discussed the law of nations, and 
quoted Vattel; but the latest contract was 
tabooed as dangerous ground. The governor- 
general, in forwarding to the Court of 
Directors the minutes and other papers 
above quoted, alluded to his own approach- 
ing departure, but offered to remain and 
carry out the proposed measures regarding 
Oude, if the directors considered that the 
experience of eight years would enable him 
to do so with greater autliority than a 
newly-appointed governor might probal)ly 
command. The task, he added, would 
impose upon him very heavy additional 
labour and anxiety ; the ripened fruit would 
be gathered ordy by those who might come 
after him.§ The simile is an unfortunate 
one, if the fruit we are now gathering in 
Oude is to be viewed as evidencing the cha- 
racter of the tree which produced it. 

The Court of Directors, in announcing 
their decision on the subject, imitated 
the reserve of their representatives; and 
having the fear of Blue Book revelations, 
and India Reform Society philippics before 



• Minute by Mr. Grant — Oude Blue Book, p. 218. 

f This last portion of Major-general Low's minute 
certainly does not accord with the account given 
by Colonel Sleeman of his intercourse with Wajid 
Ali; but the colonel, though just and honourable 



in deed, was not conciliatory in manner; and his 
official communication with the king would be 
naturally affected bv this circumstance. 

X Oude. Blue Book, p. 234. 

§ Despatch dated July 3rd, 1855. — Ihid., p. 1. 



BRITISH TROOPS MARCH ON LUCKNOW— 1856. 



n 



their eyes (but not of mutiny and insurrec- 
tion), they ignored the chief difficulty, and 
accepted Lord Dalhousie's offer iu the 
most complimentary terms, leaving him 
unfettered by any special instructions. 
They suggested, however, that the offi- 
ciating resident (Outram) should be in- 
structed to ascertaiu whether the prospect 
of declaring our connection with the Oude 
government at an end, would be so alarm- 
ing to the king as to render his acceptance 
of the proposed treaty a matter of virtual 
necessity. If this could be relied on, the 
alternative was to be offered; if not, the 
directors authorised and enjoined the at- 
tainment of the "indispensable result,'^ in 
such manner as the governor-general in 
council should see fit. Concerning the 
appropriation of the surplus revenue, they 
made no remark whatever.* 

The idea of offering the king the with- 
drawal of the subsidiary force as the alter- 
native of abdication, was abandoned, and 
measures were taken for the assumption of 
the government of Oude, by issuing orders 
for the assembling of such a military force 
at Cawnpoor as, added to the troops can- 
toned at that station, and to those already 
in Oude, was considered sufficient to meet 
every immediate contingency. The addi- 
tional troops numbered about 13,000 men, 
and were placed under the divisiouid com- 
maiid of (the late) jNIajor-general Penny; 
but constituted a distinct field force under 
(the late) Colonel Wheeler, as brigadier. 
In the meantime, the disorganisation of 
Oude was clearly on the increase, and one 
of its marked features was a rising s[)irit of 
Moslem fanaticism. It happened that a 
^Mohammedan fast fell on the same day as 
a Hindoo feast; and Ameer Ali, a moolvee, 
or priest, of high repute, took advantage of 
the circumstance to incite his co-reliiiionists 
to a fierce onslaught on the Hindoos, 
Troops were ordered out to queil the dis- 
turl)ances; but Ameer Ali seized and con- 
fined two of the officers, assembled 3,000 
men, and declared his intention of destroy- 
ing a certain Hindoo temple, and erecting a 
mosque iu its stead. At length the British 
subsidiary force was employed by the king 
against the moolvee. An affray ensued, iu 

• Despatch from the Court of Directors, dated 
November 21st, 1855. Signed— E. Macna<;hten, W. 
H. Sykes, &:c., &c., &c. — Oude Blue Book, pp. 
233—236. 

t Dacuitee in Excehis, p. 140. 

i Oude Blue. Book, p. 280. 



which a body of Patans fought with the 
recklessness of fanaticism, and were cut 
down, standing shoulder to shoulder round 
their guns, by a party of Hindoo zemindars 
and their retainers. In all, 200 Hindoos 
and 300 Patans perished. This occurred 
iu November, 1855. About the same time 
the Oude government became aware that 
some great change was in agitation. They 
asked the reason for the assembling of so 
large a force at Cawnpoor; and were, it is 
alleged, solemnly assured that it was in- 
tended to keep in check the Nepaulcse, 
who were supposed to be meditating a 
descent towards the district of Nanparah.t 
The veil, however, was soon withdrawn. 
On the 30th of January, 1856, General 
Outram requested the attendance of Ali 
Nukki Khan at the residency, and after in- 
forming him of the contemplated changes, 
"mentioned that, in order to prevent the 
chance of a disturbance on the part of evil- 
disposed persons, a strong brigade of troops 
was directed to cross the Ganges, and march 
on the capital."! 

Having impressed the minister with the 
futility of resistance, the resident pro- 
ceeded to seek, or rather to insist upon, an 
interview with the king. Remembering 
the discussions which had taken place be- 
tween the Nizam of Hyderabad and Colonel 
Low, the governor-general was anxious 
that General Outram should not be sur- 
prised into indiscreet admissions; and 
warned him, that it was " very probable" 
that the king would refer to the treaty 
negotiated with his predecessor in the year 
1837, of the entire abrogation of which the 
court of Lucknow had never been informed. 
"The effect of this reserve, and want of full 
communication, is felt to be embarrassing 
to-day. It is the more embarrassing that 
the cancelled instrument was still included 
in a volume of treaties which was published 
iu 1845, by the authority of government. 
There is no better way of encountering this 
difficulty than by meeting it full in the 
face." This was to be done by informing 
the king that the comuiunication had been 
inadvertently neglected ; and the resident 
was authorised to state the regret felt by the 
governor-general in council, that "any such 
neglect should have taken place even inad- 
vertently." Should the king observe, that 
although the treaty of 1837 was annulled, 
a similar measure, less stringent than that 
now proposed, might be adopted, he was to 
be told, that all subsequent experience had 



78 INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE KING AND GENERAL OUTRAM. 



shown that tlie remedy tlien provided would 
be wholly inadequate to remove the evils 
and abuses which had long marked the con- 
dition of Oude.* 

Such were the arguments put by the 
supreme government of India, into the 
mouth of General Outram. They must 
have been extremely unpalatable to a mau 
■whose friendly feeling towards Indian 
princes had been strengthened by pei'sonal 
and friendly intercourse, and not frozen by 
viceregal state, or ueutralised by exclusive 
attention to the immediate interests and 
absorbing pecuniary anxieties of the East 
India Company. But the resident had 
swallowed a more bitter pill than this when 
negotiating with the unfortunate Ameers of 
Sinde, whom, in his own words, he had had 
to warn against resistance to our requisi- 
tions, as a measure that would bring down 
upon them utter and merited destruction ; 
while he firmly believed, that every life lost 
in consequence of our aggressions, would be 
chargeable upon us as a murder. f 

In the present instance he was spared 
the task of adding insult to injury. Neither 
the king nor his minister attempted to 
stand upon any abstract theory of justice, 
or fought the ground, inch by inch, as 
Mahratta diplomatists would have done — 
throwing away no chance, but, amid defeat 
and humiliation, making the best possible 
terms for themselves. Wajid Ali Shah, on 
the contrary, "unkingly^' as he had been 
described to be, and unfit to reign as he 
certainly was, did not stoop to discussions 
which he knew would avail him nothing, 
but acted on the imperial axiom, ^' aut Ccssar 
aut nullus." 

When the resident proceeded, as pre- 
arranged, to present to the king the draft 
treaty now proposed, acconipanied by a 
letter from the governor-general urging its 
acceptance, he found the palace courts 
nearly deserted, and the guns which pro- 
tected the inner gates dismounted from their 
carriages. The guard of honour were drawn 
up unarmed, and saluted him with their hands 
only. The mere official report of the inter- 
view is very interesting. The king received 
the treaty with the deepest emotion, and 
gave it to a confidential servant, Sahib- 
oo-Dowlah, to read aloud; but the latter, 
overcome by his feelings, was unable to 

• Letter from secretary of government to Major- 
general Outram, January 23rd, 1856. — Oude Blue 
Book, p. 243. 

t Outram's Commentary on Napier's Conquest of 



proceed beyond the first iew lines; on 
which the king took the treaty into his own 
hands, and silently read the document, in 
which he was called upon to admit that he 
and his predecessors had, by continual mal- 
administration, violated the treaty of 1801 ; 
and to make over the entire government of 
Oude to the East India Company in per- 
petuity, together with the free and exclusive 
right to " the revenues thereof." In re- 
turn for signing this humiliating abdication, 
Wajid Ali was to retain and bequeath " to 
the heirs male of his body born in lawful 
wedlock^^ (not his heirs generally, accord- 
ing to Mohammedan law), the style of a 
sovereign prince, and a stipend of twelve 
lacs per annum. 

After carefully perusing every article, 
the king exclaimed, in a passionate burst 
of grief — " Treaties are necessary between 
equals only; who am I now, that the British 
government should enter into treaties with 
me?" Uncovering himself (the deepest token 
of humiliation which a Mohammedan cau 
give), J he placed his turban in the hands of 
the resident, declaring that, now his titles, 
rank, and position were all gone, he would 
not trouble government for any mainte- 
nance, but would seek, in Europe, for that 
redress which it was vain to look for in 
India. 

General Outram begged the king to re- 
flect, that if he persisted in withholding his 
signature, " he would have no security what- 
ever for his future maintenance, or for that 
of his family; that the very liberal provi- 
sion devised by the British government 
would inevitably be reconsidered and re- 
duced ; that his majesty would have no 
guarantee for his future provision, and 
would have no claim whatever on the gene- 
rosity of the government." The prime 
minister warmly supported the resident ; 
but the king's brother exclaimed, that 
there was no occasion for a treaty, as his 
majesty was no longer in a position to be 
one of the contracting powers. The king 
reiterated his unalterable resolve not to 
sign the treaty : the resident intimated that 
no further delay than three days could be 
permitted; and then, with the usual cere- 
monies and honours, took his leave. 

The government, in their anxiety to ob- 
tain the king's signature, had empowered 

Sinde, p. 439. See also Indian Empire, vol. i., 
p. 451. 

X May your father's head be uncovered ! is one of 
the most bitter curses of the Mohammedans. 



ANNEXATION OF 0UDE-7th FEBRUARY, 1856. 



79 



the resident to increase the proffered stipend 
of twelve lacs (£120,000) to fifteen, if their 
object could be thus attained. But the 
demeanour of Wajid Ali convinced General 
Outram that the promise of double that 
sum, or of any amount of money, would 
have no effect ; and he therefore considered 
it unworthy of the government he repre- 
sented, to make any offer to raise the pro- 
posed allowance by a lac or two per annum. 

An attempt was made to gain the king's 
consent through his mother, a lady re- 
markable for good sense and intelligence,* 
who exercised great influence over her son ; 
and a yearly stipend of a lac of rupees 
was offered her as the reward of success. 
The reply of the queen- mother is not stated 
in General Outram's account of the con- 
ference, and the circumstance itself is only 
incidentally mentioned; but it is evident 
that she rejected it, and ceased not to pro- 
test against the proposed treaty, and to beg 
that a further period might be allowed, 
during which the king might be enabled to 
show to the world, by the adoption of 
vigorous reforms, how anxious and eager he 
was to follow out the plans of the British 
government. 

The three days allowed for consideration 
elapsed: the king persisted in his resolve; 
and the resident carried out his instruc- 
tions by issuing a proclamation, previously 
prepared at Calcutta, notifying the assump- 
tion of the exclusive and permanent ad- 
ministration of the territories of Oude by 
the Hon. East India Company. 

The king offered no opposition whatever 
to the measures adopted by the British 
government; but, in what the resident 
called " a fit of petulance," he ordered all 
his troops at the capital to be immediately 
paid-up and dismissed. General Outram 
thereupon informed the king, that it was 
incumbent on him to retain the soldiery 
until the arrangements of the new adminis- 
tration should be completed; adding, that 
should any disturbance take place, his 
majesty would be held responsible, and 
made answerable for the same. Upon the 
receipt of this threat, Wajid Ali Shah, 
having resolved to give no pretext for a 
quarrel, issued proclamations, desiring all 
his people, civil and military, to obey the 
orders issued by the British government; to 
become its faithful subjects; and on no 
account to resort to resistance or rebellion. 

• "Note of a Conference with the queen-mother, 
by General Outram." — Oude Blue Book, p. 286. 



He expressed his determination of proceed- 
ing at once to Calcutta, to bring his case to 
the notice of the governor-general, and thence 
to England, to intercede with the Queen ; 
but he specially commanded that his sub- 
jects should not attempt to follow him. 
General Outram desired that this last para- 
graph should be omitted. It originated, 
he said, in the absurd idea impressed n[)on 
the king by his flatterers, that a general 
exodus of his people woiild follow his depar- 
ture; or else was introduced with the inten- 
tion of exciting sympathy in Europe. "An- 
other manoeuvre," he added, " has been had 
recourse to, with the same object doubtless. 
For two days past, a written declaration of 
satisfaction with his majesty's rule has 
been circulated for signature in the city, 
where it may probably meet with con- 
siderable success. Of course, most classes 
at Lucknow will suffer, more or less, from 
the deprivation of the national plunder 
which is squandered at the capital. "f 

There is reason to believe that very gen- 
eral dismay was caused at Lucknow by the 
annexation of the kingdom. The breaking 
up of a native government is always a 
terrible crisis to the metropolis. In the 
present instance, the amount of immediate 
and individual suffering was unusually 
large. The suddenness of the king's depo- 
sition, and his refusal to sign the treaty, 
aggravated the distress which the change 
from native to European hands must have 
occasioned, even had it happened as a so- 
called lapse to the paramount power, in the 
event of the sovereign's death without 
heirs. As it was, the personal rights of the 
deposed monarch were dealt with as sum- 
marily as the inherited ones of the royal 
family of Nagpoor had been. No official 
account has been published of these pro- 
ceedings; but in the statement of the case 
of the King of Oude, attributed to Major 
Bird, the following assertions are made : — 

" Since the confiscation of the Oude territory, the 
royal palaces, parks, gardens, menageries, plate, 
jewellery, household furniture, stores, wardrobes, 
carriages, rarities, and articles of vertu, together 
with the royal museum and library, containing 
200,000 volumes of rare books, and manuscripts of 
immense value, have been sequestered. The king's 
most valuable stud of Arabian, Persian, and Eng- 
lish horses, his fighting, riding, and baggage ele- 
phants, his camels, dogs and cattle, have all been 
sold by public auction at nominal prices. His 
majesty's armoury, including the most rare and 
beautifully worked arms of every desciiption, has also 

t Major-general Outram to secretary of govern- 
ment, February 7th, 185G. — Oittie Blue Book, p. 292. 



80 



DIFFERENT SETTLEMENT OF MYSOOR AND OUDE. 



been seieed, and its contents disposed of by sale or 
otherwise. • • • The ladies of the royal house- 
hold were, on the 23rd of August, 1856, forcibly 
ejected from the royal palace of the Chuttar Mun- 
zul, by officers who "neither respected their persons 
nor their ))roperty, and who threw their effects into 
the street."* 

It is to be hoped that the above state- 
ment is exagger;ited ; and if so, it is espe- 
cially to be regretted that the British public, 
or tlieir representatives, are not furnished 
with authentic information on so interest- 
ing and important a point as the manner 
in which the deposition of Wajid Ali Shah 
Avas accomplished, and in what respects it 
vas calculated to raise or allay the ferment 
of the mass of the aristocratic and manu- 
facturiug classes, the interests of the latter 
being closely associated with the former. 
In the Reply to the Charges against . the 
King of Oucle (already quoted), Wajid Ali 
Shah asserts, that the usurpation of his 
dominion would tend to destroy the trade 
in embroidered silk and cotton cloths. " It 
is notorious, that three-fourths of the rich 
embroidered cloths of Benares are imported 
to Oude; the remainder, one-fourth, being 
sent to other countries. In Bengal and 
other provinces, people very seldom use 
these costly dresses." The reason implied, 
rather than declared, by the king is pro- 
bably the true one; namely, that his sub- 
jects could afford to clothe themselves in 
luxurious apparel, whereas those of the 
East India Company could not ; and he 
adds — " ]\Iy territories have not been strictly 
measured with chains so as to render it im- 
possible for the agriculturist to derive a 
profit, nor have I resumed the allowances 
of any class of people. ■'^f 

The testimony of the king regarding the 
probable results of his deposition, is, in 
part, corroborated by that of an eye-wit- 
ness, who will hardly be accused of exagge- 
rating the case; and who, in speaking of the 
many innocent sufferers from the change of 
government, includes in his list, "thousands 
of citizens who had previously found em- 
ploy in providing for the ordinary wants of 
tlie court and nobility. There were several 
hundreds of manufacturers of hookah snakes. 
The embroiderers in gold and silver thread 
were also reckoned by hundreds. The 
makers of rich dresses, fine turbans, highly 
ornamental shoes, and many other subordi- 
nate trades, suffered severely from the cessa- 

• Dacoitee in Excehis, p. 145. 

t li*-phl to Charges, i^-c, \>. 4li. 

X Mutinies in Oudh ; by Martin Richard Gub- 



tion of the demand for the articles which 
they manufactured."! 

Oude was taken possession of, very much 
more as if it had been obtained by force of 
arms than by diplomacy. Annexation on 
a large scale, is in either case a hazardous 
operation, requiring the greatest circum- 
spection. Let any one turn to the Wel- 
lesley and AVellington despatches, or to 
the Indian annals of that eventful period, 
and see the extreme care which was taken in 
the settlement of Mysoor — the forethought 
in preparing conciliatory measures, and 
meeting national prejudices; the liberal 
consideration for individual interests — and 
then peruse, in the parliamentary papers, the 
summary manner in which the native in- 
stitutions in Oude, without the least con- 
sideration or examination, were to be rooted 
up and superseded by a cut-and-dried system, 
to be administered in the higher depart- 
ments exclusively by Europeans. After 
such a comparison of preliminary measures, 
the different results, in the case of Oude and 
Mysoor, will be deemed amply accounted for. 
It has been truly said of Lord Wellesley, in 
a leading Indian journal, that " w^iiatever 
he was suffered to carry out to his preme- 
ditated conclusion, fell into its place with 
as few disadvantages to the political and 
social state of Indian society, as a radical 
operation could well be attended with." In 
the settlement of Mysoor, it is asserted, 
"every difficulty was foreseen, and every 
exigency met; and the dynasty of Tippoo 
M'as plucked up, flung aside, and replaced 
by a new sirrangemeiit, w^hich fitted into its 
place as if it had been there, untouched, from 
the days of Vishnu." Regarding the occu- 
pation of Oude, a very different picture is 
drawn by the writer, who asserts, that its 
annexation Avas carried out in the most 
reckless manner, and that most important 
circumstances connected with it were en- 
tirely overlooked. " In Lord Dalhousie's 
opinion, all that was necessary was simply 
to n)arch a small body of troops to Lucknow, 
and issue the fiat of annexation. This done, 
everything, it was supposed, would go on in 
an easy, plain-sailing manner. The inhabi- 
tants might not be satisfied; the zemindars 
might grumble a little in their forts ; the 
budmashes might frown and swagger in the 
bazaar; but what of that? The power of 
the British was inviucible."§ 

: bins, of the Bengal civil service, financial commis- 
sioner for Oudh. London : Bentley, 1858 ; p. 70. 
1 § Bombay Atheiiceum. 



ANNEXATION OF OUDE— 1856. 



81 



The minutes of the supreme council 
certainly tend to corroborate the foregoing 
opinion, by showing that the difficulties 
and dangers attendant on the annexation of 
I Oude were very imperfectly appreciated, 
i The refusal of the king to sign the proffered 
i treaty (though previously deprecated by the 
[ governor-general as an insurmountable ob- 
stacle to direct absorption), seems to have 
been welcomed when it actually occurred, 
■ as an escape from an onerous engagement ; 
and the submission of all classes — heredi- 
, tary chiefs, discarded officials, unemployed 
; tradespeople, and disbanded soldiery — was 
looked for as a matter of course ; any con- 
I cessions made by the annexators being 
i vouchsafed as a matter of free grace, to be 
' received with gratitude, whether it regarded 
the confirmation of an hereditary chiefdom, 
: or a year's salary on dismissal from office. 
I The king, Lord Dalhousie considered, by 
refusing to enter into any new engagement 
with the British government, had placed 
i himself in entire dependence upon its plea- 
'' sure ; and although it was desirable that 
I "all deference and respect, and every royal 
honour, should be paid to his majesty Wajid 
I Ali Shah,'' during his lifetime, together 
{ with a stipend of twelve lacs per annum, 
j yet no promise ought now to be given of 
the continuance of the title, or of the pay- 
! ment of the same amount of money to his 
I heirs. Messrs. Dorin, Grant, and Peacock 
concurred in this opinion ; but Major- 
i general Low minuted against "the salary 
j of the heirs" of "Wajid Ali being left to the 
! decision of a future government, the mem- 
bers of which would very probably not suffi- 
ciently bear in mind the claims of the Oude 
family on the British government for com- 
fortable income at least. The minute pro- 
ceeded to state, that though, for many rea- 
sons, it was to be regretted that the king had 
not signed the treaty, yet, in a pecuniary 
point of view, his refusal was advantageous. 
To himself the loss had been great ; and, as 
he had issued all the orders and proclama- 
tions that could be desired, and had done 
his utmost to prevent all risk of strife at the 
capital, by dismounting his artillery, guns, 
&c., it would be harsh, and not creditable 
to a great paramount state, which would 
" gain immense profit from the possession 
of the Oude territories," if, in addition to 
the punishment inflicted on the king, the 
income intended for his direct male heirs 
should also be curtailed. 

Major-general Low was in a minority of 

VOL. II. M 



one, as Mr. Peacock had been regarding 
the appropriation of the surplus revenue; 
and their opinions, in neither case, appear 
to have met with any consideration. The 
claims of the various classes of the popu- 
lation were treated in as summary and 
arbitrary a manner as those of tbeir sove- 
reign ; and, owing to the peculiar constitu- 
tion of Oude, the experiment was a much 
more dangerous one in their case than in 
his. The administration was to be con- 
ducted, as nearly as possible, in accordance 
with the system which the experience of 
nearly seven years had proved to be emi- 
nently successful in the provinces beyond 
the Sutlej ; that is to say, the measures 
which had been matured, and gradually 
carried through, in the conquered Punjab, 
by the co-operation of some of the most 
earnest and philanthropic men whom India 
has ever seen, was now to be thrust upon 
Oude, without any preliminary inquiry 
into its adaptation. In the Punjab, the 
Lawrences and their staff" acted as a band 
of pacificators on an errand of love and 
mercy, rather than in the usual form of 
a locust-cloud of collectors. Such men, 
invested with considerable discretionary 
power, could scarcely fail of success; yet one 
at least of them shrunk from enforcing the 
orders of government, and left the Punjab, 
because he could not bear to see the fallen 
state of the old officials and nobility.* 

In Oude, the newly-created offices, rather 
than the men who were to fill them, occupy 
the foreground of the picture. General 
Outran! was appointed chief commissioner, 
with two special military assistants, a judi- 
cial and financial commissioner, four com- 
missioners of divisions, twelve deputy-com- 
missioners of districts, eighteen assistant- 
commissioners, and eighteen extra assis- 
tants, to begin with. An inspector of gaols 
was to be appointed as soon as the new ad- 
ministration should be fairly established; 
and a promise was held out for the organisa- 
tion of a department of public works, to aid 
in developing the resources of the country. 

The pay of the new functionaries was to 
range from 3,500 rupees to 250 rupees a 
month (say from £4,200 to j^SOO a-year.) 
The number of native officials to be retained 
was, as usual, miserably small, and their re- 
muneration proportionately low. As a body, 
they were of course great losers by the 
revolution. 

* Arthur Cocks, chief assistant to the resident. — 
Railves' Hevo/t in the Xorth- West Provinces, p. 25. 



82 



NATIVE FUNCTIONARIES SUPERSEDED BY EUROPEANS. 



The king urged, as a special ground of j from seven to fifteen years, received three 

complaint, thq manner in which " writers, ' 

clerks, and other attaches" of departments 

had been supplanted by strangers. " Is 

it," he asks, '' consistent with justice to de- 
prive people of the soil of situations of this 

nature, and bestow them on foreigners? 

Foreigners have no claim to support from 

the government of Oude, while natives of 

the soil are left without means of procuring 

their livelihood.'^* 

Mr. Gubbins, the financial commissioner 

for Oude, who was sent there at the period 

of the annexation, speaks of the sufferings 

of the nobility as having been aggravated 

by the neglect of the British functionaries. 

"The nobles had received lai'ge pensions 

from the native government, the payment of 

which, never regular, ceased with the intro- 
duction of our rule. Government had made 

liberal provision for their support; but be- 
fore this could be obtained, it was necessary 

to prepare careful lists of the grantees, and to 

investigate their claims. It must be admit- 
ted, that in effecting this there was undue 

delay; and that, for want of common means 

of support, the gentry and nobility of the city 

were brought to great straits and suffering. 

We were informed that families which had 

.never before been outside the zunana, used 

to go out at night and beg their bread."t 

When Sir Henry Lawrence came to 
Lucknow, towards the close of March, 1857, 
we are told that he applied himself to cause 
the dispatch of the necessary documents, and 
gave the sufferers assurance of early pay- 
ment and kind consideration. But nearly 
fourteen months had dragged slowly away 
before his arrival ; and a smouldering mass 
of disaffection had meanwhile accumulated, 
which no single functionary, however good 
and gifted, could keep from bursting into a 
flame. 

The discharged soldiery of the native 
government, amounting to about 60,000 
men, naturally regarded the new adminis- 
tration with aversion and hostility. Service 
was given to about 15,000 of them in newly- 
formed local regiments, and some found 
employment in: the civil departments. The 
large proportion, for whom no permanent 
provision could be made, received small 
pensions or gratuities : for instance, those 
who had served from twenty-five to thirty 
years, received one-fourth of their emolu- 
ments as pension ; and those who had served 



• Reply to Charges, p. 43. 

t Gubbins' Mutinies in Oudh, p. 



70. 



months' pay as a gratuity. Under seven 
years' service, no gratuity whatever appears 
to have been given to the xmfortunates sud- 
denly turned adrift for no fault of their 
own. It was further decreed, that no person 
whatever should be recommended for [)ension 
or gratuity, who should decline employment 
offered to him under the British govern- 
ment. J Of the late king's servants, civil and 
military, many remained without any per- 
manent provision ; and not a few refused 
employ — some because they hoped that the 
native kingdom would be restored; but 
the majority of the soldiery, on account of 
the severity of the British discipline. § 

By far the greatest difficulties in which 
the new government became involved, re- 
garded the settlement of titles to land. Con- 
sidering the long series of years during 
which at least the temporary assumption of 
the powers of administration had been con- 
templated by the British government, it is 
not a little surprising to find the governor- 
general in council avowedly unprovided with 
" any information as to the extent and value 
of rent-free holdings in Oude, or as to the 
practice which may have prevailed under 
the native government in respect of these 
grants." Without waiting for any en- 
lightenment on the subject, rules are laid 
down " for the adjudication of claims of the 
class under consideration;" and, as might 
have been reasonably expected, these rules 
worked badly for all parties. 

The despatch above quoted is very able, 
but decidedly bureaucratic throughout : its 
arbitrary provisions and minute details re- 
mind one of the constitutions which the 
Abbe Sieyes kept in the pigeon-holes of 
his writing-table, ready for any emergency. 
No consideration was evinced therein for 
the peculiar state of society in Oude, or 
even for the prominent features portrayed 
by Colonel Sleeman in his honest but cur- 
sory investigation. The fact was, that 
Oude, instead of the exclusively Mohamme- 
dan kingdom, or the British dependency, 
which it was represented to be, was really 
a Hindoo confederacy, presided over by a 
foreign dynasty. The most powerful class 
were Rajpoot chiefs, claiming descent from 
the sun and the moon ; who laughed to 
scorn the mushroom dynasty of Wajid Ali, 
and regarded, with especial contempt, his 
assumption of the kingly title. These men, 

X Oude Blue Book for 1856, p. 278. 
§ Gubbins' Mutinies in Oudh, p. 69. 



THE TALOOKDARS OF OUDE. 



83 



united, might at any moment have compelled I 
the Mohammedan ruler to abdicate or govern ! 
on just principles, had not co-operation for j 
such an object been rendered impracticable 
by their own intestine strife. The state 
of things among them resembled that which 
brought and kept the Rajpoot princes 
under partial subjection : the faggots bound 
up together could not have been broken; 
but it was easy to deal with them one by 
one. Thus the suzerainty of the Mogul 
emperor was established over Rajast^han; 
and tlius, though somewhat more firmly, 
because on a smaller scale, the power of the 
usurping governors was fixed in Oude. But 
the great jungle barons were overawed 
rather than subjugated ; and, in the time of 
Colonel Sleeman, the officers of the native 
government could not examine into their 
rent-rolls, or measure their lands, or make 
any inquiry into the value of the estates, 
except at the risk of open rebellion. They 
had always a number of armed and brave 
retainers, ready to support them in any 
enterprise ; and the amount was easily in- 
creased ; for in India there is seldom any 
lack of loose characters, ready to fight for 
the sake of plunder alone.* 

The talookdars were mostly the hereditary 
representatives of Rajpoot clans; but some 
were the heads of new families (Hindoo 
or Mohammedan), sprung from govern- 
ment officials, whose local authority had 
enabled them to acquire a holding of this 
description. The term " talookdar'' means 
holder of a talook, or collection of villages, 
and, like that of zemindar (as used in Ben- 
gal), implied no right of property in the 
villages on behalf of which the talookdar 
engaged to pay the state a certain sum, and 
from which he realised a somewhat larger 
one, which constituted his remuneration. 
In fact, the property in the soil was actually 
vested iu the village communities; who 
" are," says Mr. Gubbins, " the only pro- 
prietors of the soil ; and they value this 
right of property in the land above all 
earthly treasure.^'f 

Over these talookdars there were govern- 
ment officers (with whom they have often 
been confounded), and who, under the title 
of Nazims or Chukladars, aunually farmed 
from government the revenues of large 
tracts of country for a certain fixed pay- 
ment; all that they could squeeze out in 

• Sleeman's Otide, vol. ii., pp. 1, 2. 

t Gubbins' Blutinies in Oiidh, p. 61. 

^ Letter on Oudh and its Talookdars, p. 2. 



excess being their own profit. "These 
men, from the necessities of their position, 
were," says Carre Tucker, " the greatest 
tyrants and oppressors imaginable. Backed 
by artillery, and the armed force of gov- 
ernment, it was their business to rack-rent 
the country, extracting, within the year of 
their lease, all that they possibly could; 
whilst landholders resisted their exactions 
by force of arms. A constant war was 
thus carried on, and the revenue payments 
varied according to the relative strength of 
the nazim and the landowners To avoid 
such contests, and oljtain the privilege of 
paying a fixed sum direct into the govern- 
ment treasury, many of the talookdars 
would bid for the farm of their own part of 
the country. Such men, while acting as 
lord-lieutenants, would of course use their 
delegated uuthority to consolidate their 
influence over their own clan and tenantry, 
and also to usurp rights over independent 
village communities." This system led to 
the most cruel oppression ; but it was sup- 
ported by the ministers and courtiers of 
the king at Lucknow, as leading to an 
annual repetition of presents and bribes, 
without which no candidate could hope to 
obtain investiture as nazim or chukladar.J 

The government, not content with abo- 
lishing this manifest evil, attempted to re- 
volutionise, at a stroke, the whole state of 
society, by sweeping aside the entire class 
of chiefs and barons, with the incidents of 
their feudal tenure, and making the revenue 
settlement with the village communities 
and smaller holders. Hereditary rights, 
unquestioned during successive genera- 
tions, were confounded with those exer- 
cised by the revenue farmers ex officio, and 
the settlement officers were desired to deal 
with the proprietary coparcenaries which 
were believed to exist in Oude, and not to 
suffer the interposition of middlemen, such 
as talookdars, farmers of the revenue, and 
such like. The claims of these, if they had 
any tenable ones, might be, it was added, 
more conveniently considered at a future 
period. 

Nothing could be more disheartening to 
the great landowners than this indefinite 
adjournment of any consideration of their 
claims ; which, in effect, acted like a decree 
of confiscation, with a distant and very 
slight chance of ultimate restitution. It 
was quite evident that the motive of the 
measure was expediency, and that the 
government had, as stated by the Times, 



84 



TALOOKDARS OF THE NORTH-WEST PROVINCES. 



" a natural leaning in favour of the peasant 
cultivators, to the detriment of the war- 
like and turbulent chiefs," whom it was 
thought politic to put down ; and the plan 
of ignoring their ancient possessions had 
the additional advantage of bringing their 
manorial dues, averaging from ten to twenty 
per cent, on the \dliage assessment, into 
the public exchequer. 

The summary settlement in Oude too 
far resembled tliat which had been pre- 
viously carried through, with a high hand, 
in the North- West Provinces, concerning 
which much evidence has recently been 
made public. Mr. H. S. Boulderson, a 
Bengal civilian, engaged in establishing the 
revenue settlement of 1844, declares, that 
whether the talookdars in Oude experienced, 
or only anticipated, the same dealings from 
our government which the talookdars in the 
North- West Provinces received, they must 
have had a strong motive to dread our rule. 
"The 'confiscation' which has been pro- 
claimed against them — whether it really 
means confiscation, or something else — could 
not be more effectually destructive to what- 
ever rights they possessed, than the dis- 
graceful injustice by which the talookdars 
of the North- West Provinces were extin- 
guished." He asserts, that the settlement 
involved an utter inversion of the rights 
of property ; and that the commissioners, 
in dealing with what they termed " the 
patent right of talookdaree," and which 
even they acknowledged to be an here- 
I ditary right which had descended for cen- 
i turies, treated it as a privilege dependent 
j on the pleasure of government, and assumed 
j the authority of distributing at pleasure the 
profits arising out of the limitation of their 
own demand.* 

The opinion of Sir William Sleeman has 
been already quoted concerning the treat- 
ment which the landed proprietors had re- 
ceived in the half of Oude annexed by the 
British government in 1801, and now in- 
cluded in the North- West Provinces. By 
his testimony, the measures, and the men 
who enforced them, were equally obnoxious 
to the native chiefs and talookdars ; being 
resolved on favouring the village communi- 
ties, to the exclusion of every kind of vested 
! interest between them and the state trea- 
I sury. Sir William states — 
j " In the matter of discourtesy to the native 

* Minute on the Talookdaree cases, recorded on 
I 2nd of April, 1844. Printed for private circulation 
I in June, 1858 ; p. 19. 



gentry, I can only say that Robert Martin Bird in- 
sulted them whenever he had the opportunity of 
doing so ; and that Mr. Thomason was too apt to 
imitate him in this, as in other things. Of course 
their example was followed by too many of their 
followers and admirers. • • • It has always 
struck me that Mr. Thomason, in his system, did all 
he could to discourage the growth of a middle and 
upper class on the land — the only kind of property 
on which a good upper and middle class could be 
sustained in the present state of society in India. 
His village republics, and the ryotwar system of Sir 
Thomas Munro at Madras, had precisely the same 
tendency to subdivide minutely property in land, 
and reduce all landholders to the common level of 
impoverishment. • • • Mr. Thomason would 
have forced his village republics upon any new 
country or jungle that came under his charge, and 
thereby rendered improvement impossible. • • • 
He would have put the whole under our judicial 
courts, and have thereby created a class of pettifog- 
ging attornies, to swallow up all the surplus produce 
of the land. • • • Mr. Thomason, I am told, 
systematically set aside all the landed aristocracy of 
the country as a set of middlemen, superfluous and 
mischievous. The only part of India in which I 
have seen a middle and higher class maintained 
upon the land, is the moderately settled districts of 
the Saugor and Nerbudda territories; and there 
is no part of India where 6ur government and 
character are so much beloved and respected."t 

Mr. Gubbins makes some very impor- 
tant admissions regarding the revenue sys- 
tem pursued in the North- West Provinces, 
and that subsequently attempted in Oude. 
" The pressure of the government demand 
is, in many districts, greatly too high. It 
is too high in Alighur, in Mynpoorie, in 
Boolundshuhur, and throughout the greater 
part of Rohilcund. The principle on which 
that settlement was made, was to claim, as 
the share of government, two-thirds of the 
nett rental. But the fraud and chicanery 
opposed to our revenue officers, caused them 
unwittingly to fix the demand at more 
than this share. In Oude, after repeated 
and most careful examination, I came un- 
hesitatingly to the conclusion, that the gov- 
ernment collector appropriated, if possible, 
the entire rent, and never professed to 
relinquish any part of it." J Of course, 
under a system which grasped at the entire 
rent of the soil, there could be no landlord 
class : a very short period of time would 
suffice for their extinction; and any so- 
called proprietary rights must, in due 
course, have also been annihilated. 

No arguments in favour of the village 
system (excellent as this was in its place 
and degree), could justify the suppression of 

t Sleeman's Oude, vol. ii., p. 413. Letter to 
Mr. Colvin, dated "Lucknow, 28th December, 1853." 
X Gubbins' Mutinies in Oudh. p. 73. 



SEPOYS AFFECTED BY ANNEXATION OF OUDE. 



85 



every other co-existing institution. But 
the projected change, even had it been un- 
exceptionable in its tendency, was altogether 
too sudden : the village communities were 
not strong enough to feel safe in occupying 
the vantage-ground on which they were so 
unexpectedly placed; and many of them 
considered the rough-and-ready patriarchal 
sway of their chiefs but ill-exchanged for 
our harsh and unbending revenue system, 
and tedious and expensive law processes. 
Government erred grievousjy " in following 
supposed political and financial expediency, 
instead of ascertaining and maintaining 
existing rights in possession ; and in sup- 
posing, that in the course of a very hurried 
assessment of revenue by officers, many of 
whom were inexperienced, it was possible 
to adjudicate properly difficult claims to 
former rights.* Lord Dalhousie's succes- 
sor admits it to be too true, "that unjust 
decisions were come to by some of our local 
officers, in investigating and judging the 
titles of the landholders. "f The natural 
consequence was, as stated by General 
Outrara, that the landholders, having been 
"most unjustly treated under our settle- 
ment operations," and "smarting, as they 
were, under the loss of their lands," with 
hardly a dozen exceptions, sided against us, 
when they saw that " our rule was virtually 
at an end, the whole country overrun, 
and the capital in the hands of the rebel 
soldiery ."J The yeomanry, whom we had 
prematurely attempted to raise to inde- 
pendence, followed the lead of their natural 
chiefs. All this might, it is alleged, have 
been prevented, had a fair and moderate 
assessment been made with the talookdar, 
wherever he had had clear possession for 
the legal limit of twelve years, together 
with a sub-settlement for the protection 
of the village communities and cultiva- 
tors. § 

Very contradictory opinions are enter- 
tained regarding the manner in which the 
British sepoys were aflfected by the annexa- 
tion of Oude. 

Mr. Gubbins admits, that when the muti- 
nies commenced in the Bengal army, the 
talookdars in Oude were discontented and ag- 
grieved; numbers of discharged soldiers were 
brooding over the recollection of their former 
license; and the inhabitants of the cities 

• Letter on Oudh and its Talookdars ; by H. 
Carre Tucker : p. 5. 

t Despatch dated 31st March, 1858.— Pari. Papers 
on Oude (Commons), 20th May, 18oS ; p. 4. 



generally were impoverished and distressed; 
but the sepoys, he says, had benefited by the 
change of government, and were rejoicing 
in the encouragement given to the village 
communities at the expense of the talook- 
dars. Thousands of sepoy families laid 
complaints of usurpation before the revenue 
officers, and "many hundreds of villages at 
once passed into their hands from those of 
the talooqdars ! Whatever the talooqdar 
lost, the sepoy gained. No one had so 
great cause for gratulation as he." 

The sepoys, although an exceptional class, 
had their own grievance, besides sharing in 
the general distrust and aversion enter- 
tained by the whole people at the idea of 
being brought under the jurisdiction of our 
civil courts ; as well as at the introduction 
of the Company's opium monopoly, and the 
abkaree, or excise, on the retail sale of all 
spirituous liquors and intoxicating drugs, 
the consumption of which was very large 
throughout Oude, and especially among the 
soldiery. 

Under the native government, the Bri- 
tish sepoys enjoyed special and preferential 
advantages, their complaints being brought 
to its notice by the intervention of the 
resident. Each family made a point of 
having some connection in the British 
army, and, through him, laid their case 
before his commanding officer. The sepoy's 
petition was countersigned by the English 
colonel, and forwarded to the resident, by 
whom it was submitted to the king.H This 
privilege was not recognised or named in 
any treaty or other engagement with the 
sovereign of Oude, nor could its origin be 
traced in any document recorded in the 
resident's office ;5[ but it was in full opera- 
tion at the time of our occupation of 
Oude ; and had been, for a long term of 
years, the subject of continued discussion 
between successive residents and the native 
durbar. 

Mr. Gubbins considers that the termina- 
tion of this custom could not have produced 
disaflfection among the sepoys, because but 
little redress was thereby procured by them. 
" Some trifling alleviation of the injury 
complained of, might be obtained ; but that 
was all. That a sepoy plaintiff ever suc- 
ceeded in wresting his village from the 
grasp of the oppressor, by aid of the British 

X Despatch dated 8th March, 1858.— Pari. Pa- 
pers, p. 1. § Carre Tucker's Letter, p. 7. 

II Gubbins' Mutinies in Oudh, p. 64. 
if Sleeman's Oude, vol. i., p. 289. 



86 



SEPOY RIGHT OF APPEAL MUCH ABUSED. 



resident, I never heard ; if it ever occurred, 
the cases must have been isolated and ex- 
traordinary/'* 

The evidence of Sir W. Sleeman (whose 
authority is very high on this subject, in 
his double character of officer and resident) 
is directly opposed to that above cited. 
He thouglit the privilege very important; 
but desired its abolition because it had 
been greatly abused, and caused intolerable 
annoyance to the native government. The 
military authorities, he said, desired its con- 
tinuance ; for though the honest and hard- 
working sepoys usually cared nothing about 
it, a large class of the idle and unscrupu- 
lous considered it as a lottery, in which 
they might sometimes draw a prize, or ob- 
tain leave of absence, as the same sepoy has 
been known to do repeatedly for ten months 
at a time, on the pretext of having a case 
pending in Oude. Consequently, they en- 
deavoured to impress their superiors with 
the idea, "that the fidelity of the whole 
native army" depended upon the mainte- 
nance and extension of this right of appeal. 
And the privilege was gradually extended, 
until it included all the regular, irregular, 
and local corps paid by the British gov- 
ernment, with the native officers and se- 
poys of contingents employed in, and paid 
by, native states, who were drafted into them 
from the regular corps of our army up to a 
certain time — the total number amounting 
to between 50,000 and 60,000. At one 
period, the special right of the sepoys 
to the resident's intervention extended to 
their most distant relatives ; but at the ear- 
nest entreaty of the native administration, 
it was restricted to their wives, fathers, 
mothers, brothers, and sisters. "In con- 
sequence, it became a common custom with 
them to lend or sell their names to more 
remote relations, or to persons not related 
to them at all. A great many bad charac- 
ters have, in this way, deprived men of lands 
which their ancestors had held in undis- 
puted right of property for many genera- 
tions or centuries; for the court, to save 
themselves from the importunity of the 
residency, has often given orders 
claimant being put in possession 
lands without due inquiry, or any 
at all."t 

The use or abuse of the privilege de- 
pended chiefly on the character of the resi- 



for the 
of the 
inquiry 



* Gubbins' Mutinies in Oudh, p. 65. 
t Sleeman's Oude, vol. i., pp. 288 — 
i Ibid., p. 289. 



292. 



dent; and that it was occasionally shame- 
fully abused, is a fact established, we are 
told, by the residency records. 

" If the resident happens to be an impatient, over- 
bearing man, he will often frighten tlie durbar and 
its courts, or local officers, into a hasty decision, by 
which the rights of others are sacrificed for the native 
officers and sepoys ; and if he be at the same time an 
unscrupulous man, he will sometimes direct that the 
sepoy shall be put in possession of what he claims, 
in order to relieve himself from his importunity, or 
from that of his commanding officer, without taking 
the trouble to inform himself of the grounds on 
which the claim is founded. Of all such errors there 
are, unhappily, too many instances recorded in the 
resident's office."| 

Sir W. Sleeman adduces repeated in- 
stances of sepoys being put in possession of 
landed estates, to which they had no right- 
ful claim, by the British government, at the 
cost of many lives; and quotes, as an illus- 
tration of the notorious partiality with 
which sepoy claims were treated, the case 
of a shopkeeper at Lucknow, who pur- 
chased a cavalry uniform, and by pretending 
to be an invalid British trooper, procured 
the signature of the brigadier commanding 
the troops in Oude, to numerous petitions, 
which were sent for adjustment to the 
durbar through the resident. This pro- 
cedure he continued for fifteen years ; and, 
to crown all, succeeded in obtaining, by the 
aid of government, forcible possession of a 
landed estate, to which he had no manner 
of right. Soon after, he sent in a petition 
stating that he had been in turn ejected, 
and four of his relations killed by the dis- 
possessed proprietor. Thereupon an in- 
quiry took place, and the whole truth came 
out. The King of Oude truly observed, 
with regard to this affair : — " If a person 
known to thousands in the city of Lucknow 
is able, for fifteen years, to carry on such a 
trade successfully, how much more easy 
must it be for people in the country, not 
known to any in the city, to carry it on !"§ 
On one occasion, no less than thirty lives 
were lost in attempting to enforce an award 
in favour of a British sepoy. On another, 
a sepoy came to the assistant-resident 
(Captain Shakespear), clamouring for jus- 
tice, and complaining that no notice of his 
petition had been taken by the native gov- 
ernment. On being questioned, he ad- 
mitted that no less than forty persons had 
been seized, and were in prison, on his re- 
quisition. 

§ Letter of the King of Oude to the resident; 
16th June, 1836. — Sleeman's Journey through Oude, 
vol. i., p. 286. 



BRITISH SEPOYS RECRUITED FROM BYSWARA AND BANODA. 87 



i As to punishing the sepoys for preferring 
fraudulent claims, that was next to impos- 
sible, both on account of the endless trouble 
which it involved, and the difficulty, if not 
impossibility, of procuring a conviction from 
a court-martial composed of native officers; 
the only alternative being, to lay the case 
before the governor-general. The natural 
consequence was, that the sepoys became 
most importunate, untruthful, and unscru- 
pulous in stating the circumstances of 
their claims, or the grounds of their com- 
plaints.* 

It is impossible to read the revelations of 
Colonel Sleeman on this subject, without 
feeling that the British authorities tliem- 
selves aggravated the disorganisation in the 
native administration, which was the sole 
plea for annexation. At the same time, 
it is no less clear, that the injustice perpe- 
trated on behalf of the sepoys, was calcu- 
lated to exercise a most injurious effect on 
their morals and discipline. The unmerited 
success often obtained by fraud and col- 
lusion, was both a bad example and a cause 
of disgust to the honest and scrupulous, on 
whom the burthen of duties fell, while 
their comrades were enjoying themselves in 
their homes, on leave of absence, obtained 
for the purpose of prosecuting unreasonable 
or false claims. Of the honest petitioners, 
few obtained what they believed to be 
full justice ; and where one was satisfied, 
four became discontented. Another cause 
of disaffection arose when it was found 
necessary to check the growing evil, by de- 
creeing that the privilege of urging claims 
through the resident should cease when 
native officers and sepoys were transferred 
from active service to the invalid establish- 
ment. 

Altogether, the result of making the se- 
poys a privileged class (in this, as in so many 
other ways), was equally disastrous to their 
native and European superiors. Colonel 
Sleeman says, that the British recruits 
were procured chiefly from the Byswara 
and Banoda divisions of Oude, whose in- 
habitants vaunt the quality of the water 
for tempering soldiers, as we talk of the 
water of Damascus for tempering sword- 
blades. " The air and water of Malwa," it 
is popularly said, "may produce as good 
trees and crops as those of Oude, but cannot 
produce as good soldiers." They are de- 

• Sleeman's Journey through Oude, vol. i., p. 292. 

t Ibid., vol. i., p. 289. 

X See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 62. 



scribed as never appearing so happv as 
when fighting in earuest with swords, 
spears, and matchlocks, and consequently 
are not much calculated for peaceful citizens; 
but the British sepoys who came home on 
furlough to their families (as they were freelv 
permitted to do in time of peace, not only 
to petition the native government, but also 
ostensibly to visit their families, on reduced 
pay and allowances), were the terror, even 
in the midst of this warlike population, of 
their non-privileged neighbours and co- 
sharers in the land. 

The partiality shown them did not pre- 
vent "the diminished attachment felt by 
the sepoys for their European officers" from 
becoming an established fact; and officers, 
when passing through Oude in their travels 
or sporting excursions, have of late years 
generally complained, that they received less 
civility from villages in which British in- 
valids or furlough sepoys were located, than 
from any others ; and that if anywhere 
treated with actual disrespect, such sepoys 
were generally found to be either the per- 
petrators or instigators. t 

The evidence collected in preceding pages, 
seems to place beyond dispute, that the an- 
nexation of Oude, if it did not help to light 
the flames of mutiny, has fanned and fed them 
by furnishing the mutineers with refuge 
and co-operation in the territories wliich 
were ever in close alliance with us when 
they formed an independent kingdom ; but 
which we, by assuming dominion over them 
on the sole plea of rescuing the inhabitants 
from gross misgovernment, have changed 
into a turbulent and insurrectionary pro- 
vince. 

The metamorphosis was not accomplished 
by the deposition of the dynasty of Wajid 
Ali Shah. Indian princes generally, might, 
and naturally would, view with alarm so 
flagrant a violation of treaties, and of the 
first principles of the law of nations; but 
the Hindoos of Oude could have felt little 
regret for the downfall of a government 
essentially sectarian and unjust. The kings 
of Oude, unlike the majority of Moham- 
medans in India, were Sheiahs;J and so 
bigoted and exclusive, that no Sheiah could 
be sentenced to death at Lucknow for the 
murder even of a Sonnite, much less for 
that of a Hindoo. According to Colonel 
Sleeman, it was not only the law, l)ut the I 
everyday practice, that if a Hindoo mur- 
dered a Hindoo, and consented to become a ; 
Mussulman, he could not be executed for , 



88 TELEGRAPH ESTABLISHED BETWEEN CAWNPOOR AND LUCKNOW. 



the crime, even though convicted and 
sentenced.* 

Under such a condition of thingfs, it is at 
least highly probable, that a rigidly impar- 
tial and tolerant administration would have 
been a welcome change to the Hindoo popu- 
lation. That it has proved the very reverse, 
is accounted for by the aggressive measures 
initiated by the new government, and the 
ineflficient means by which their enforce- 
ment was attempted. 

The latter evil was, to a certain extent, un- 
avoidable. The Russian war deprived In- 
dia of the European troops, which Lord Dal- 
housie deemed needful for the annexation 
of Oude : but this does not account for the 
grave mistake made in raising a contingent 
of 12,000 men, for the maintenance of the 
newly-annexed country, almost entirely from 
the disbanded native army. These levies, 
with half-a-dozen regular corps, formed the 
whole army of occupation. 

Sir Henry Lawrence foresaw the danger ; 
and in September, 1856, seven months be- 
fore the commencement of the mutiny, 
he urged, that some portion of the Oude 
levies should change places with certain of 
the Punjab regiments then stationed on the 
Indus. Oude, he said, had long been the 
Alsatia of India — the resort of the dissi- 
pated and disaffected of every other state, 
and especially of deserters from the British 
ranks. It had been pronounced hazardous 
to employ the Seiks in the Punjab in 1849; 
and the reason assigned for the different 
policy now pursued in Oude was, that the 
former kingdom had been conquered, and 
the latter " fell in peace." Sir Henry 
pointed out the fallacy of this argument, 
and the materials for mischief which still 
remained in Oude, which he described as 
containing " 246 forts, besides innumerable 
smaller strongholds, many of them sheltered 
within thick jungles. In these forts are 
476 guns. Forts and guns should all be in 
the hands of government, or the forts 
should be razed. Many a foolish fellow 
has been urged on to his own ruin by 
the possession of a paltry fort, and many 
a paltry mud fort has repulsed British 
troops."t 

The warning was unheeded. The gov- 
ernment, though right in their desire to 

* Sleeman's Oude, vol. i., p. 135. 

t Article on " Army Reform ;" by Sir H. Law- 
rence. — Calcutta Revieto for September, 1856. 

X See Letter signed " Index," dated " Calcutta, De- 
ctmber 9th, 1857."— Jjwies, January 15th, 1858. 



protect and elevate the village communities, 
were unjust in the sweeping and indiscrimi- 
nating measures which they adopted in 
favour of the villagers, and for the increase 
in the public revenue, anticipated from the 
setting aside of the feudal claims of the 
so-called middlemen. Before attempting 
to revolutionise the face of society, it would 
have been only politic to provide unques- 
tionable means of overawing the opposition 
which might naturally be expected from so 
warlike, not to say turbulent, a class as the 
Rajpoot chiefs. 

Had men of the Lawrence school been 
sent to superintend the " absorption" of 
Oude, it is probable they might have seen 
the danger, and suggested measures of con- 
ciliation ; but, on the contrary, it is asserted, 
that the European officials employed were 
almost all young and inexperienced men, 
and that their extreme opinions, and the 
corruption of their native subordinates, 
aggravated the unpopularity of the system 
they came to administer. Personal quarrels 
arose between the leading officers ; and the 
result was a want of vigour and co-opera- 
tion in their public proceedings. J 

Meantime, the obtainmeut of Oude was 
a matter of high-flown congratulation be- 
tween the home and Indian authorities. 
The Company have changed their opinion 
since ; § but, at the time, they accepted 
the measure as lawful, expedient, and 
very cleverly carried out. Far from being 
disappointed at the want of enthusiasm 
evinced by the people in not welcoming 
their new rulers as deliverers, their passive 
submission (in accordance with the procla- 
mations of Wajid Ali Shah) called forth, 
from the Court of Directors, an expres- 
sion of " lively emotions of thankfulness 
and pleasure," at the peaceable manner in 
which " an expanse of territory embracing 
an area of nearly 25,000 square miles, and 
containing 5,000,000 inhabitants, has passed 
from its native prince to the Queen of Eng- 
land, without the expenditure of a drop of 
blood, and almost without a miirmur."l| 

Upon the assumption of the government 
of Oude, a branch electric telegraph was 
commenced to connect Cawnpoor and Luck- 
now. In eighteen working days it was 
completed, including the laying of a cable, 

§ See Despatch of the Secret Committee of the 
Court of Directors, 19th April, 1858.— Pari. Papers, 
7 th May, 1858; p. 4. 

II Despatch dated December, 1856. — Oude Blus 
Book for 1856; p. 288. 



FIRST TELEGRAPHIC MESSAGE FROM OUDE, 1st MARCH, 1856. 89 



6,000 feet in length, across the Ganges. 
On the morning of the 1st of March, Lord 
Dalhousic (who on that day resigned liis 
office) put to General Outram the signifi- 
cant question — "Is all quiet in Oude?" 
The reply, " All is quiet in Oude,'' greeted 
Lord Canning on his arrival in Calcutta. 

On the previous day, a farewell letter had 
been written to the King of Oude by the 
retiring governor-general, expressing his 
satisfaction that the friendship which had so 
long existed between the Hon. East India 
Company and the dynasty of Wajid Ali 
Shah, should have daily become more firmly 
established. " There is no doubt,^' he adds, 
" that Lord Canning will, in the same 
manner as I have done, strengthening and 
confirming this friendship, bear in mind 
and give due consideration to the treaties 
and engagements which are to exist for 
ever."* 

It is difficult to understand what diplo- 
matic purpose was to be served by this 
reference to the eternal duration of treaties 
which had been declared null and void, and 
engagements proffered by one party, which 
the other had at all hazards persisted in 
rejecting; or why Lord Dalhousie, so clear, 
practical, and upright in his general cha- 
racter, should seem to have acted so unlike 
himself in all matters connected with what 
may be termed his foreign policy. 

It must not, however, be forgotten, that 
that policy, in all its circumstances, was 
sanctioned and approved, accepted and 
rewarded, by the East India Company. 
Lord Dalhousie's measures were consistent 
throughout ; and he enjoyed the confidence 
and support of the directors during the 
whole eight years of his administration, in 
a degree to which few, if any, of his prede- 
cessors ever attained. It was the unquali- 
fied approval of the home authorities that 
rendered the annexation policy tlie promi- 
nent feature of a system which the people 
of India, of every creed, clime, and tongue, 
looked upon as fi'amed for the express pur- 
pose of extinguishing all native sovereignty 
and rank. And, in fact, the measures 
lately pursued are scarcely explicable on 
any other ground. The democratic element 
is, no doubt, greatly on the increase in 
England ; yet our institutions and our pre- 
judices are monarchical and aristocratic : 

• Letter, vouched for as a true translation by 
Robert Wilberforce Bird, and printed in a pam- 

Shlet entitled Case of the King of Oude ; by Mr. 
ohn Davenport : August 27lh, 1606. 
VOL. H. N 



and nothing surprises our Eastern fellow- 
subjects more, than the deference and 
courtesy paid by all ranks in the United 
Kingdom, to rajahs and nawabs, who, in 
their hereditary principalities, had met — as 
many of them aver — with little civility, and 
less justice, at the hands of the representa- 
tives of the East India Company. 

Yet, it was not so much a system as a 
want of system, which mainly conduced 
to bring about the existing state of things. 
The constant preponderance of expenditure 
above income, and an ever-present sense of 
precariousness, have been probably the chief 
reasons why the energies of the Anglo- 
Indian government have been, of late years, 
most mischievously directed to degrading 
kings, chiefs, nobles, gentry, priests, and 
landowners of various degrees, to one dead 
level of poverty — little above pauperism. 
We have rolled, by sheer brute force, an 
iron grinder over the face of Hindoo 
society — crushed every lineament into a 
disfigured mass — squeezed from it every 
rupee that even torture could extract ; and 
lavished the money, thus obtained, on a 
small white oligarchy and an immense army 
of mercenary troops, who were believed to 
be ready, at any moment, to spread fire and 
the sword wherever any opposition should 
be offered to the will of the paramount 
power, whose salt they ate. 

We thought the sepoys would always 
keep down the native chiefs, and, when 
they were destroyed, the people ; and we did 
not anticipate the swift approach of a time 
when we should cry to the chiefs and peo- 
ple to help us to extinguish the incendiary 
flames of our own camp, and to wrench the 
sword from the hands in which wc had so 
vauntingly placed it. 

In our moment of peril, the defection 
of the upper classes of Hindoostan was 
''almost universal." But surely it is no 
wonder that they should have shown so 
little attachment to our rule, when it is 
admitted, even by the covenanted civil 
service, that they " have not much to thank 
us for." 

Throughout British India, several native 
departments are declared to have been 
" grossly underpaid," particularly the police 
service, into which it has been found diffi- 
cult to get natives of good family to enter 
at all. In revenue offices, they were for- 
merly better paid than at present. The 
general result of our proceedings has been, 
that at the time of the mutiny, "the native 



90 



HEAVY EXPENDITURE CONSEQUENT ON POLYGAMY. 



gentry were daily becoming more reduced, 
were pinched by want of means, and were 
therefore discontented."* 

It is difficult to realise the full hardship 
of their position. Here were men who would 
have occupied, or at least have had the 
chance of occupying, the highest positions 
of the state under a native government, 
and who were accustomed to look to the 
service of the sovereign as the chief source 
of honourable and lucrative employment, 
left, frequently with no alternative but 
starvation or the acceptance of a position 
and a salary under foreign masters, that 
their fathers would have thought suitable 
only for their poorest retainers. Not one 
of them, however ancient his lineage, how- 
ever high his attainments, could hope to be 
admitted within the charmed circle of the 
covenanted civil service, as the equal of the 
youngest writer, or even in the army, to 
take rank with a new-fledged ensign. 

The expenses of an Asiatic noble are 
enormous. Polygamy is costly in its inci- 
dentals ; and the head of a great family is 
looked to, not only for the maintenance of 
his own wives and children, in a style pro- 
portionate to their birth, but also of those 
of his predecessors. The misery which the 
levelling policy produced, was severely felt by 
the pensioners and dependents of the fallen 
aristocracy, by the aged and the sick, by 
women and children. And this latter fact 
explaius a marked feature in the present 
rebellion; namely, the number of women 
who have played a leading part in the in- 
surrection. The Ranee of Jhansi, and her 
sister, with other Hindoo princesses of less 
note, have evinced an amount of ability and 
resolve far beyond that of their country- 
men; and the cause of disaffection with 
almost all of these, has been the setting 
aside of their hereditary rights of succes- 
sion and of adoption. They have viewed 
the sudden refusal of the British govern- 
ment to sanction what they had previously 
encouraged, as a most faithless and arbitrary 
procedure; and many chiefs, whose hosti- 
lity is otherwise unaccountable, will pro- 
bably, like the chief of Nargoond, prove to 
have been incited to join the mutineers 
chiefly, if not exclusively, by this particular 
grievance. 

* Gubbins' Mutinies tn Otidh, pp. 56, 57. 

t Regulation xxxi., of 1803. 

X For instance, in the alienation of a part of the 
revenues of the post-office, and other public depart- 
ments ; enacted in the case of certain noble families. 



A branch of the annexation question, 
in which the violation of rights of succes- 
sion is also a prominent feature, yet re- 
mains to be noticed — namely, the 

Resumption of Rent-free Lands; whereby 
serious disaffection has been produced in 
the minds of a large class of dispossessed 
proprietors. All rightful tenure of this kind 
is described, in the regulations of the East 
India Company, as based upon a well- 
known provision " of the ancient law of 
India, by which the ruling power is entitled 
to a certain proportion of the annual pro- 
duce of every beegah (acre) of land, except- 
ing in cases in which that power shall have 
made a temporary or permanent alienation 
of its right to such proportion of the pro- 
duce, or shall have agreed to receive, instead 
of that proportion, a specific sum annually, 
or for a term of years, or in perpetuity. "f 

Both Hindoo and Mohammedan sove- 
reigns frequently made over part, or the 
whole, of the public revenue of a village, or 
even of a district, to one of their officers ; 
they often assigned it in jaghire for the 
maintenance of a certain number of troops, 
or gratuitously for life, as a reward for 
service done ; and sometimes in perpetuity. 
In the latter case, the alienation was more 
complete than that practised in the United 
Kingdom;! for here titles and estate 
escheat to the state on the death of the last 
legal representative of a family; but, among 
the Hindoos, such lapse never, or most rarely 
occurs, since all the males marry, in child- 
hood generally, several wives ; and their law 
vests rights of succession and adoption in 
the widows of the deceased. These rights 
were acknowledged equally by Hindoo and 
Moslem rulers — by the Peishwa of Poona, 
and the Nawab-vizier of Oude; the only 
difference being, that in the event of adop- 
tion, a larger nuzzurana, or tributary offer- 
ing, was expected on accession, than if the 
heir had been a son by birth : in other 
words, the legacy duty was higher in the 
one case than the other. 

" Enam," or " gift," is the term commonly 
given to all gratuitous grants, whether 
temporary or in perpetuity — whether to 
individuals, or for religious, charitable, or 
educational purposes : but it is more strictly 
applicable to endowments of the latter de- 
scription; in which case, the amount of 
state-tribute transferred was frequently very 
considerable, and always in perpetuity. 
" A large proportion of the grants to indi- 
viduals," Mountstuart Elphinstone writes, 



RESUMPTION COMMISSION APPOINTED IN BENGAL— 1836. 91 



" are also in perpetuity, and are regarded as 
among the most secure forms of private 
property ; but the gradual increase of such 
instances of liberality, combined with the 
frequency of forged deeds of gift, some- 
times induces the ruler to resume the grants 
of his predecessors, and to burden them 
with heavy taxes. When these are laid on 
transfers by sales, or even by succession, 
they are not thought unjust; but total re- 
sumption, or the permanent levy of a fixed 
rate, is regarded as oppressive."* 

During the early years of the Company's 
rule, the perpetual enam tenures were sedu- 
lously respected; but as the supreme govern- 
ment grew richer in sovereignty, and poorer 
in purse (for the increase of expenditure 
always distanced that of revenue), the col- 
lectors began to look with a covetous eye 
on the freeholders. They argued, truly 
enough, that a great many of the titles to 
land were fraudulent, or had been fraudu- 
lently obtained; and in such cases, where 
grounds of suspicion existed, any govern- 
ment woiild have been in duty bound to 
make inquiry into the circumstances of the 
original acquisition. 

But instead of investigating certain cases, 
a general inquiry was instituted into the 
whole of them ; the principle of Avhich 
was, to cast on every enamdar the burthen 
of proving his right — a demand which, of 
course, many of the ancient holders must 
have found it impossible to fulfil. The lapse 
of centuries, war, fire, or negligence might, 
doubtless, have occasioned the destruction 
of the deeds. Some of the oldest were, we 
know, engraven on stone and copper, in long- 
forgotten characters ; and few of the com- 
missioners could question the witnesses in 
the modern Bengalee or Hiudoostani, much 
less decipher Pali or Sanscrit. 

A commission of inquiry was instituted 
in Bengal in 1836, " to ascertain the grounds 
on which claims to exemption from the 
payment of revenue were founded, to confirm 
those for which valid titles were produced, 
and to bring under assessment those which 
were held without authority."t In theory, 
this sounds moderate, if not just ; in prac- 
tice, it is said to have pi'oved the very 
reverse, and to have cast a blight over the 
whole of Lower Bengal. The expense of 

* Quoted in evidence before Colonization Com- 
mittee of House of Commons, of 1858. — Fourth Kc- 
port, published 28th July, 1858; p. 3G. 

t Statement of the East India Company. 

X Fourth Report of Colonization Committee, p. 47. 



the commission was, of course, enormous ; 
and even in a pecuniary sense, the profit 
reaped by government could not compensate 
for the ruin and distress caused by proceed- 
ings which are asserted to have been so 
notoriously unjust, that " some distinguished 
civil servants" refused to take any part in 
them. J 

Mr. Edmonstone, Mr. Tucker, and a few 
of the ablest directors at the East India 
House, protested, but in vain, against the 
resumption laws, which were acted upon for 
many years. The venerable Marquess 
Wellesley, a few weeks before his decease 
(July 30th, 1842), wrote earnestly to the 
Earl of Ellenborough (then governor-gen- 
eral), as follows : — 

" I am concerned to hear that some 
inquiry has been commenced respecting 
the validity of some of the tenures under 
the permanent settlement of the land 
revenue. This is a most vexatious, and, 
surely, not a prudent measure. Here the 
maxim of sound ancient wisdom applies 
most forcibly — * Quieta non movere.' We 
ancient English settlers in Ireland have felt 
too severely the hand of Strafford, in a 
similar act of oppression, not to dread any 
similar proceeding." 

Straff'ord, however, never attempted any- 
thing in Ireland that could be compared 
with the sweeping confiscation which is de- 
scribed as having been carried on in Ben- 
gal, where " little respect was paid to the 
principles of law, either as recognised in 
England or in India;^' and where, " it is said, 
one commissioner dispossessed, in a single 
morning, no less than two hundred pro- 
prietors. "§ 

In the Chittagong district, an insurrection 
was nearly caused by " the wholesale sweep- 
ing away of the rights of the whole popu- 
lation ;" and in the Dacca district, the com- 
mission likewise operated very injuriously. || 

The general alarm and disaffection ex- 
cited by these proceedings, so materially 
affected the public tranquillity, that tlie 
Court of Directors was at length compelled 
to interfere, and the labours of the Bengal 
commission were fortunately brought to a 
close some years before the mutiny.^ 

The cnam commission appointed for the 
Deccan, was no less harsh and summary in 

§ Quarterly Revietc, 1858.— Article on "British 
India;" attributed to Mr. Layard : p. 257. 

II See Second Report of Colonization Committee 
of 1858; p. 60. 

^ Quarterly Review, 1858; p. 257. 



92 



EXAM COMMISSION APPOINTED IN THE DECCAN— 1851. 



its proceedings, the results of which are now 
stated to afford the people their " first and 
gravest cause of complaint against the gov- 
ernment."* 

Due investigation ought to have been 
made in 1818, when the dominions of the 
Peishwa first became British territory, into 
the nature of the grants, whether hereditary 
or for life; and also to discover whether, 
as was highly probable, many fraudulent 
claims might not have been established 
under the weak and corrupt administration 
of the last native ruler, Bajee Rao. All 
this might have been done in pei'fect con- 
formity with the assurance given by the 
tranquilliser of the Deccan (Mountstuart 
Elphinstone), that ''all wuttuns and enams 
(birthrights and rent-free lands), annual 
stipends, religious and charitable establish- 
ments, would be protected. The proprietors 
were, however, warned that they would be 
called upon to show their sunnuds (deeds of 
grant), or otherwise prove their title."t 

Instead of doing this, the government 
suffered thirty years to elapse — thus giving 
the proprietors something of a prescriptive 
right to their holdings, however acquired ; 
and the Court of Directors, as late as Sep- 
tember, 1846, expressly declared, that the 
principle on which they acted, was to allow 
enams (or perpetual alienations of public 
revenue, as contradistinguished from surin- 
jams, or temporary ones) to pass to heirs, 
as of right, without need of the assent of 
the paramount power, provided the adop- 
tion were regular according to Hindoo law.| 
The rights of widows were likewise dis- 
tinctly recognised, until the " absorption" 
policy came into operation ; and then inves- 
tigations into certain tenures were insti- 
tuted, which paved the way for a general 
enam commission for the whole Bombay 
presidency; by which all enamdars were 
compelled to prove possession for a hundred 
years, as an indispensable preliminary to 
being confirmed in the right to transmit 
their estates to lineal descendants — the 
future claims of widows and adopted sons 
being quietly ignored. 

The commission was composed, not of 
judicial officers, but of youths of the civil 
service, and of captains and subalterns taken 
from their regiments, and selected princi- 

* Quarterly Review, p. 259. 

t Proclamation of Mr. Elphinstone ; and instruc- 
tions issued to collectors in 1818. 

I Fourth Report of Colonization CiJiiinattee, p. 35. 
§ Ihid 



pally on account of their knowledge of the 
Mahratta languages ; while, at the head of 
the commission, was placed a captain of 
native infantry, thirty-five years of age.§ 

These inexperienced youths were, besides, 
naturally prejudiced in deciding upon cases 
in which they represented at once the 
plaintiff and the judge. The greater the in- 
genuity they displayed in upsetting claims, 
the greater their chance of future advance- 
ment. Every title disallowed, was so much 
revenue gained. Powers of search, such as 
were exercised by the French revolutionary 
committees, and by few others, were en- 
trusted to them ; and their agents, accom- 
panied by the police, might at any time of 
the night or day, enter the houses of persons 
in the receipt of alienated revenue, or ex- 
amine and seize documents, without giving 
either a receipt or list of those taken. 
The decisions of previous authorities were 
freely reversed ; and titles admitted by 
Mr. Brown in 1847, were re-inquired into, 
and disallowed by Captain Cowper in 
1855.11 

An appeal against a resumptive decree 
might be laid before the privy council in 
London; and the rajah of Burdwan suc- 
ceeded in obtaining the restoration of his 
lands by this means.^ But to the poorer 
class of ousted proprietors, a revised ver- 
dict was unattainable. Few could afford 
to risk from five to ten thousand pounds 
in litigation against the East India Com- 
pany. But, whatever their resources, it was 
making the evils of absentee sovereignty- 
ship most severely and unwisely felt, to re- 
quire persons, whose families had occupied 
Indian estates fifty to a hundred years and 
upwards, to produce their title-deeds in 
England ; and to make little or no allow- 
ance for the various kinds of proof, which, 
duly weighed, were really more trustworthy, 
because less easily counterfeited, than any 
written documents. 

The commissioners on whom so onerous 
a duty as the inquiry into rent-free tenures 
was imposed, ought at least to have been 
tried and approved men of high public 
character, who would neither h«rry over 
cases by the score, nor suffer them to linger 
on in needless and most harassing delays; 
as the actual functionaries are accused of 

II Quarterly Review, p. 258. Stated on the autho- 
rity of " Correspondence relating to the Scrutiny of 
the revised Surinjam and Pension Lists." Printed 
for government. Bombay, 1856. 

^ Second Report of Colonization Committee, p. 9. 



REVENUE SETTLEMENT OF N. W. PROVINCES A FAILURE. 



93 



having done, according to their peculiar 
propensities. Perhaps it would have been 
better to have acted on altogether a different 
system, and acknowledged the claim estab- 
lished by many years of that undisturbed 
possession which is everywhere popularly 
looked upon as nine-tenths of the law; and, 
while recognising all in the positions in 
which we fouud them on the assumption of 
sovereignty, to have claimed from all, either 
a yearly subsidy or (in pursuance of the 
practice of native sovereigns) a succession 
duty. At least, we should thereby have 
avoided the expense and odium incurred by 
the institution of a tribunal, to which Lieu- 
tenant-governor Halliday's description of 
our criminal jurisdiction would seem to 
apply — viz., that it was "a lottery, in which, 
however, the best chances were with the 
criminal." On the outbreak of the rebellion, 
the resumption commission was brought 
suddenly to a close; its introduction into 
Guzerat (which had been previously con- 
templated) was entirely abandoned, and 
some of the confiscated estates were restored. 
But the distrust inspired by past proceed- 
ings will not easily be removed, especially 
as the feeling of ill-usage is aggravated by 
the fact, that in border villages belonging 
jointly to the Company and to Indian 
princes, the rent-free lands, on the side be- 
longing to the former, have been resumed, 
while those on the latter remain intact.* 

In the North-West Provinces, the gov- 
ernment avoided incurring the stigma of 
allowing a prescriptive right of possession 
and transmission to take root through their 
neglect, by immediately making a very 
summary settlement. The writings of 
Sleeman, Raikes, Gubbins and others, to- 
gether with the evidence brought before 
the colonization committee, tend to prove 
the now scarcely disputed fact, that the at- 
tempted revenue settlement of the North- 
West Provinces, and the sweeping away of 
the proprietary class as middlemen, has 
proved a failure. With few exceptions, 
the ancient proprietors, dispossessed of 
their estates by the revenue collectors, or 
by sales ^uider decrees of civil courts, have 
taken advantage of the recent troubles to 
return, and have been suffered, and even 
encouraged, to do so by the ryots and small 
tenants, to whom their dispossession would 
have appeared most advantageous. f 

• Quarterly Beview, p. 259. t Ibid., p. 251. 

t Minute on Talookdaree cases; bv Mr. Boulderson. 
§ Quarterly Review (July, 1858)', p. 260. 



A number of cases of alleged indivi- 
dual injustice towards the rajahs and talook- 
dars, were collected, and stated, in circum- 
stantial detail, in a minute laid before 
Mr. Thomason (the lieutenant-governor of 
Agra in 1844), by Mr. Boulderson, a mem- 
ber of the Board of Revenue ; who eventu- 
ally resigned his position, sooner than be 
associated in proceedings which he believed 
to be essentially unjust. His chief ground 
of complaint was, that the board, instead of 
instituting a preliminary inquiry into what 
the rights of talookdars and other proprie- 
tors really were, acted upon a priori argu- 
ments of what they must be ; and never, in 
any one of the many hundred resumptions 
made at their recommendation, deemed the 
proofs on which the proceedings rested, 
worthy of a moment's inquiry. 

After reciting numerous instances of dis- 
possession of proprietors who had held es- 
tates for many years, and laid out a large 
amount of capital in their improvement, 
the writer adds : — 

" I have in vain endeavoured, hitherto, to rouse 
the attention of my colleague and government to 
this virtual abolition of all law. • • • Xhe 
respect of the native public I know to have been 
shaken to an inexpressible degree : they can see 
facts ; and are not blinded by the fallacious reason- 
ings and misrepresentations with which the board 
have clothed these subjects ; and they wonder with 
amazement at the motives which can prompt the 
British government to allow their own laws — all 
laws which give security to property — to be thus 
belied and set aside. All confidence in property or 
its rights is shaken ; and the villany which has been 
taught the people they will execute, and reward the 
government tenfold into their own bosom."| 

In a Preface, dated " Loudon, 8th June, 
1858," Mr. Boulderson states, that his minute 
" produced no effect in modifying or stay- 
ing the proceedings" of the revenue board ; 
and if " forwarded to England, as in due 
ofl&cial course it should have been, it must 
have had as little effect upon the Hon. 
Court of Directors." 

Even in the Punjab, the system pursued 
was a levelling one. Notwithstanding all 
that the Lawrences and their disciples did 
to mitigate its severity, and especially to 
conciliate the more powerful and aggrieved 
chiefs, the result is asserted to have been, 
to a great extent, the same there as in 
the Deccan : " the aristocracy and landed 
gentry who have escaped destruction by the 
settlement, have been ruined by the re- 
sumption of alienated land."§ 

Thus annexation and resumption, confis- 
cation and absorption, have gone hand-in- 



94 



KAKA ABBOTT AND JOHN BECHER IN HUZAKA. 



hand, with a rapidity which would have been 
dangerous even had the end in view and 
the means of attainment been both unex- 
ceptionable. However justly acquired, the 
entire reorganisation of extensive, widely 
scattered, and, above all, densely populated 
territories, must always present difficulties 
which abstract rules arbitrarily enforced can 
never satisfactorily overcome. 

The fifteen million inhabitants brought 
by Lord Dalhousie under the immediate 
government of the British Crown, were to 
be, from the moment of annexation, ruled on 
a totally different system : native institutions 
and native administrators were expected to 
give place, without a murmur, to the British 
commissioner and his subordinates ; and the 
newly absorbed territory, whatever its his- 
tory, the character of its population, its 
languages and customs, was to be " settled,^' 
without any references to these important 
antecedents, on the theory which found 
favour with the Calcutta council for the time 
being. 

Many able officials, with much ready 
money, and a thoroughly efficient army to 
support them, were indispensable to carry 
through such a system. In the Punjab, 
these requisites were obtained at the ex- 
pense of other provinces; and the picked 
men sent there, were even then so few in 
number and so overworked, that they 
scarcely had time for sleep or food. Their 
private purse often supplied a public want. 
Thus, James Abbott was sent by Sir 
Henry Lawrence to settle the Huzara dis- 
trict, which he did most effectually ; going 
from valley to valley, gaining the confidence 
of all the tribes, and administering justice 
in the open air under the' trees — looking, 
with his long grey beard on his breast, and 
his grey locks far down his shoulders, much 
more like an ancient patriarch than a deputy- 
commissioner. " Kaka," or " Uncle" Ab- 
bott, as the children called him (in return 
for the sweetmeats Avhich he carried in 
readiness for them), took leave of the people 
in a very characteristic fashion, by inviting 
the entire population to a feast on the 
Nara hill, which lasted three nights and 
days; and he left Huzara with only a 
month's pay in his pocket, " having literally 
spent all his substance on the people." His 
successor, John Becher, ably fills his place, 
" living in a house with twelve doors, and 

• See the graphic description given by Colonel 
Herbert Eclwardes, of Sir Henry Lawrence's old 
staff in the Punjab, previous to annexation. — 



all open to the people. * * * The re- 
sult is, that the Huzara district, once famous 
for turbulence, is now about the quietest, 
happiest, and most loyal in the Punjab."* 
Of course, Kaka Abbott and his successor, 
much less their lamented head (Sir Henry 
Lawrence), cannot be taken as average 
specimens of their class. Such self-devo- 
tion is the exception, not the rule : it would I 
be asking too much of human nature, to | 
expect the entire civil service to adopt what I 
Colonel Herbert Edwardes calls the Baha- j 
duree (summer-house) system of administra- 
tion, and keep their cutcherries open, not 
" from ten till four" by the regulation 
clock, but all day, and at any hour of the 
night that anybody chooses.f Neither 
can chief commissioners be expected, or 
even wished, to sacrifice their health as Sir 
Henry Lawrence did in the Punjab, where, 
amid all his anxieties for the welfare of the 
mass, he preserved his peculiar character of 
being pre-eminently the friend of the man 
that was down; battling with government for 
better terms for the deposed officials and 
depressed aristocracy, and caring even for 
thieves and convicts. He originated gaol 
reform; abolished the '' night- chain," and 
other abominations ; introduced in-door 
labour ; and himself superintended the new 
measures — going from gaol to gaol, and 
rising even at midnight to visit the pri- 
soners' barracks, f 

The manner in which the Punjab was 
settled is altogether exceptional : the men 
employed certainly were ; so also was the 
large discretionary power entrusted to them. 
Elsewhere matters went on very differently. 
The civil service could not furnish an effi- 
cient magistracy for the old provinces, much 
less for the new ; the public treasury could 
not satisfy the urgent and long reite- 
rated demand for public works, canals to 
irrigate the land, roads to convey produce, 
and avert the scourge of famine, even from 
Bengal: how, then, could it spare ready 
money to build court-houses and gaols in 
its new possessions? 

Like Aurungzebe, in the Deccan, we 
swept away existing institutions without 
being prepared to replace them, and thereby 
became the occasion of sufferings which 
we had assumed the responsibility of pre- 
venting. Thus, in territories under British 
government, thQ want of proper places of 

Quoted in Raikes' Revolt in the North- West Fro- 
vinces, p. 25. 

t Ibid., p. 29. X ^bid., p. 34. 



NATIVE OFFICIALS CORRUPT BECAUSE UNDERPAID. 



95 



confinement is alleged to be so great, that 
" prisoners of all classes are crammed toge- 
ther into a dungeon so small, that, when 
the sun goes down, they fight for the little 
space upon which only a few can lie during 
the weary night. Within one month, forty 
die of disease, produced by neglect, want of 
air, and filth. The rest, driven to despair, 
attempt au escape ; twenty are shot down 
dead. Such is a picture — and not an ima- 
ginary picture — of the results of one of 
the most recent cases of annexation !"* 

Even supposing the above to be an ex- 
treme, and, in its degree, an isolated case, 
yet one such narrative, circulated among 
the rebel ranks, would serve as a reason for 
a general breaking open of gaols, and as an 
incitement and excuse for any excesses on 
the part of the convicts, to whom, it will be 
remembered, some of the worst atrocities 
committed during the rebellion are now 
generally attributed. 

In fact, the increase of territory, of late 
years, has been (as the Duke of Wellington 
predicted it would be) greatly in excess of 
our resources. Annex we might, govern 
we could not; for, in the words of Prince 
Metternich, we had not " the material."t 
That is, we had not the material on which 
alone we choose to rely. Native agency we 
cannot indeed dispense with : we could not 
hold India, or even Calcutta, a week with- 
out it ; but we keep it down on the lowest 
steps of the ladder so effectually, that men 
of birth, talent, or susceptibility, will serve ; 
us only when constrained by absolute ' 
poverty. They shun the hopeless dead- 
level which the service of their country is 
now made to ofiFer them. 

Our predecessors in power acted upon a 
totally diflereut principle. Their title was 
avowedly that of the sword ; yet they dele- 
gated authority to the conquered race, with 
a generosity which puts to shame our ex- 
clusiveness and distrust ; the more so be- 
cause it does not appear that their confi- 
dence was ever betrayed. 

Many of the ablest and most faithful 
servants of the Great Moguls were Hin- 
doos. The Moslem knew the prestige of 
ancient lineage, and the value of native 
ability and acquaintance with the resources 
of the country too well, to let even bigotry 
stand in the way of their employment. 

• Quarterly Review (July, 1858), p. 273. 

t Quoted by Mr. Layard, in a Lecture delivered 
at St. James's Hall, Piccadilly, on his return from 
India, May 11th, 1858. 



The command of the imperial armies was 
repeatedly intrusted to Rajpoot generals; 
and the dewans (chancellors of the exche- 
quer) were usually Brahmins : the lamous 
territorial arrangements of Akber are insepa- 
rably associated with the name of Rajah 
Todar Mul ; and probably, if we had availed 
ourselves of the aid of native financiers, and 
made it worth their while to serve us well, 
our revenue settlements might have been 
ere now satisfactorily arranged. If Hindoos 
were found faithful to a Moslem govern- 
ment, why should they not be so to a 
Christian one, which has the peculiar ad- 
vantage of being able to balance the two 
great antagonistic races, by employing each, 
so as to keep the other in check ? Of late, 
we seem to have been trying to unite 
them, by giving them a common cause 
of complaint, and by marking the subor- 
dinate position of native officials more 
offensively than ever. They are accused 
of corruption — so were the Europeans : 
let the remedy employed in the latter 
case be tried in the former, and the re- 
sult will be probably the same. The 
need of increased salary is much greater 
in the case of the native official. Let 
the government give him the means of 
supporting himself and his family, and 
add a prospect of promotion : it will then 
be well served. 

By the present system we proscribe the 
higher class, and miserably underpay the 
lower. The result is unsatisfactory to all 
parties, even to the government ; which, 
though it has become aware of the neces- 
sity of paying Europeans with liberality, 
still withholds from the native " the fair 
day's wage for the fair day's work." Lat- 
terly, the Europeans may have been in some 
cases overpaid ; but the general error seems 
to have lain, in expecting too much from 
them ; the amount of writing required by the 
Company's system, being a heavy addition 
to their labours, especially in the newly an- 
nexed territories. The natural consequence 
has been, that while a certain portion of the 
civilians, with the late governor-general at 
their head, lived most laboriously, and de- 
voted themselves wholly to the duties be- 
fore them; others, less zealous, or less 
capable, shrunk back in alarm at the pros- 
pect before them, and, yielding to the in- 
fluences of climate and of luxury, fell mto 
the hands of interested subordiujites — signed 
the papers pi'esented by their clerks, and, in 
the words of their severest censor, " amused 



96 FIRST SEPOY BATTALION ORGANISED BY CLIVE— 1757. 



themselves, and kept a servant to wash 
each separate toe."* 

Under cover of their names, corruption 
and extortion has been practised to an 
almost incredible extent. "Witness the ex- 
posure of the proceedings of provincial 
courts, published in 1849, by a Bengal 
civilian, of twenty-one years' standing, 
under the title oi Revelations of an Orderly. 

An attempt has been made to remedy the 
insufficient number of civilians, by taking 
military men from their regiments, and 
employing them in diplomatic and adminis- 
trative positions ; that is to say, the Indian 
authorities have tried the Irishman's plan of 
lengthening the blanket, by cutting oflf one 
end and adding it to the other. 

The injurious effect which this practice 
is said to have exercised on the army, is 
noticed in the succeeding section. 



The State of the Indian Army, and the 
alleged Causes of the Disorganisation and 
Disaffection of the Bengal Sepoys, remain 
to be considered. The origin of the native 
army, and the various phases of its progress, 
have been described in the earlier chapters 
of this work. We have seen how the rest- 
less Frenchman, Dupleix, raised native 
levies, and disciplined them in the Euro- 
pean fashion at Pondicherry ;t and how 
these were called sepoys (from sipahi, Por- 
tuguese for soldier), in contradistinction to 
the topasses (or hat-wearers) ; that is to say, 
to the natives of Portuguese descent, and the 
Eurasians, or half-castes, of whom small 
numbers, disciplined and dressed in the Eu- 
ropean style, were entertained by the East 
India Company, to guard their factories. Up 
to this period, the policy of the Merchant 
Adventurers had been essentially commercial 
and defensive ; but the French early mani- 
fested a political and aggressive spirit. 
Dupleix read with remarkable accuracy the 
signs of the times, and understood the op- 
portunity for the aggrandisement of his 
nation, offered by the rapidly increasing 
disorganisation of the Mogul empire, and 
the intestine strife which attended the as- 
sertion of independence by usurping gov- 
ernors and tributary princes. He began to 
take part in the quarrels of neighbouring 
potentates ; and the English levied a native 
soldiery, and followed his example. 

The first engagement of note in which the 

• Sir Charles Napier, — Life and Opinions. 
t See Indian Empire, vol. i., pp. 114; 258; 
304; 533. 



British sepoys took part, was at the capture 
of Devicotta, in 1748, when they made 
an orderly advance with a platoon of 
Europeans, as a storming party, under 
Robert Clive. Three years later, under the 
same leader, a force of 200 Europeans and 
300 sepoys, marched on, regardless of the 
superstitions of their countrymen, amid 
thunder and lightning, to besiege Arcot; 
and having succeeded in taking the place, 
they gallantly and successfully defended it 
against an almost overwhelming native 
force, supported by French auxiliaries. 

The augmentation in the number of the 
sepoys became very rapid in proportion to 
that of the European troops. The expedi- 
tion with which Clive and Watson sailed 
from Madras in 1756, to recapture Calcutta 
from Surajah Dowlah, consisted of 900 
Europeans and 1,500 natives. 

The total military force maintained by 
the English and French on the Madras 
coast was at this time nearly equal, each com- 
prising about 2,000 Europeans and 10,000 
natives. The British European force was 
composed of H. M.'s 39th foot, with a small 
detail of Royal Artillery attached to serve the 
regimental field-pieces ; the Madras Euro- 
pean regiment, and a strong company of 
artillery. The sepoys were supplied with 
arms and ammunition from the public 
stores, but were clothed in the native 
fashion, commanded by native officers, and 
very rudely disciplined. 

At the commencement of the year 1757, 
Clive organised a battalion of sepoys, con- 
sisting of some three or four hundred men, 
carefully selected ; and he not only fur- 
nished them with arms and ammunition, 
but clothed, drilled, and disciplined them 
like the Europeans, appointing a European 
officer to command, and non-commissioned 
officers to instruct them. Such was the 
origin of the first regiment of Bengal native 
infantry, called, from its equipment, the 
"Lall Pultun," or " Red regiment" (pultun 
being a corruption of the English term 
" platoon," which latter is derived from the 
French word " peloton.") It was placed 
under the direction of Lieutenant Knox, 
who proved a most admirable sepoy leader. 
There was no difficulty in raising men for 
this and other corps ; for during the per- 
petually-recurring warfare which marked 
the Mussulman occupation of Bengal, ad- 
venturers had been accustomed to flock 
thither from Bahar, Oude, the Dooab, Ro- 
hilcund, and even from beyond the Indus; 



EARLY HISTORY OF THE NATIVE ARMY— 1757 to 1760. 



97 



ensjagiug themsielves for particular services, 
and being dismissed when these were per- 
formed. It was from such men and their im- 
meiliate descendants that the British ranks 
were filled. The majority were Mussulmans ; 
but Patans, Rohillas, a few Jats, some Raj- 
poots, and even Brahmins were to be found in 
the early corps raised in and about Calcutta.* 
The Madras sepoys, and the newly-raised 
Bengal battalion, amounting together to 
2,100, formed two-thirds of the force with 
which Clive took the field against Surajah 
Dowlah at Plassy, in June, 1757. Of these, 
six Europeans and sixteen Natives perished 
in the so-called battle, against an army 
estimated by the lowest calculation at 
58,000 raen.t Of course, not even Clive, 
" the daring in war," would have been so 
mad as to risk an engagement which he 
might have safely avoided, with such an 
overwhelming force; but he acted in reli- 
ance on the contract previously made with 
the nawab's ambitious relative and com- 
mander-in-chief, ^Meer Jaffier, who had 
promised to desert to the British with all 
the troops under his orders at the com- 
mencement of the action, on condition of 
being recognised asNawab of Bengal. The 
compact was fulfilled ; and i\Ieer Jaffier's 
treachery was rewai'ded by his elevatif)u to 
the musnud, which the East India Com- 
pany allowed him to occupy for some years. 
Meanwhile, the cessions obtained through 
him having greatly increased their terri- 
torial and pecuniary resources, they began to 
form a standing army for each of the three 
presidencies, organising the natives into a 
regular force, on the plan introduced by Clive. 

The first instance on record of a Native 
court-martial occurred in July, 1757. A 
sepoy was accused of having connived at the 
attempted escape of a Swiss who had de- 
serted the British ranks, and acted as a si)y 
in the service of the French. The Swiss 
was hanged. The sepoy was tried by a 
court composed of the subahdars and jema- 
dars (Native captains and lieutenants) of his 
detachment, found guilty, and sentenced to 
receive 500 lashes, and be dismissed from 
the service — wiiich was accordingly done. 

The hostilities carried on against the 
French, subjected the East India Company's 
troops to great har(ish;p><. The Europeans had 

• Rise ami Progress of the Bengal Army: by 
Captain Arthur Broome, Bengal Artillery; 1850: 
vol. i., p. 93. 

t See Indian Empire, "Table cf Battles," vol. i., 
pp. 460,461. 

VOL. II. O 



been much injured in health and discipline 
by repeated accessions of prize-money, and 
by the habits of drinking and debauchery into 
which they had fallen. Numbers Hied; and 
the remainder had neither ability nor incli- 
nation to endure long marches and exposure 
to the climate. During an expedition in 
pursuit of a detachment under ^I. Law, 
they positively refused to proceed beyond 
Patna : Major Eyre Coote declared that he 
would advance with the sepoys alone; which, 
they rejoined, was " the most desirable 
event that could happen to them." ^lajor 
Coote marched on with the sepoys only; 
but the French succeeded in eff'ccting their 
escape. The recreants got drunk, and be- 
haved in a very disorderly manner ; where- 
upon thirty of the worst of them were 
brought before a court-martial, and, by its 
decree, publicly flogged for mutiny and in- 
subordination. 

The sentence was pronounced and exe- 
cuted on the 28th of July, 1757. On the 
following day, the sepoys, undeterred 
by the penalty exacted from their Euro- 
pean comrades, laid down their arms in 
a body, and refused to proceed farther. 
The Madrassees especially complained, that 
although they had embarked only for service 
in Calcutta, they had been taken on to 
Chandernagore, ^loorshedabad, and Patna ; 
and that now they were again required to 
advance, to remove still farther from their 
families, and endure additional fatigues 
and privations. They alleged that their 
pay was in arrears, and that they had not 
received the amount to which they were 
entitled. jNIajor Coote warned them of the 
danger which would accrue from the want of 
unanimity and discipline among a small force 
surrounded with enemies, and the hazard to 
which, by laying down their arms, they ex- 
posed the savings they had already accumu- 
lated, and the large amount of prize-money 
then due to them. These considerations 
prevailed ; the men resumed their arras, 
and marched at once with the artillery to 
Bankipoor, the European infantry proceed- 
ing thither bv water. 

When Clive first left India, in 1760, the 
Bengal force consisted of one European 
battalion of infantry and two companies of 
artillery (1,000 men in all), and five Native 
battalions (1,000 men in each.) The number 
of European officers was at the same time 
increased : one captain as commandant, one 
lieutenant and one ensign as staflf, with 
four sergeants, being allowed to each Native 



battalion. There was likewise a Native 
commandant, who took post iu front witli 
the captaiu, and a Native adjutant, who re- 
mained in the rear with the subalterns. 

In 176-i, very general disaffection was 
manifested throughout the ai-my, in conse- 
quence of the non-payment of a gratuity 
promised by the nawab, Meer Jaffier. The 
European battalion, which was, unfortu- 
nately, chiefly composed of foreigners 
(Dutch, Germans, Hessians, and Freuch), 
when assembled under arms for a parade 
on the 30th of January, refused to obey the 
word of command, declaring, that until the 
promised donation should be given, they 
would not perform any further service. 
The battalion marched off under the leader- 
ship of an Englishman named Straw, de- 
claring their intention of joining their com- 
rades then stationed on the Caramnassa, 
and with them proceeding to Calcutta, and 
compelling the governor and council to do 
them justice. This appears to have been 
really the design of the English mutineers ; 
but the foreigners, who were double their 
number, secretly intended to join Shiaja 
Dowlah, the nawab-vizier of Oude; and went 
off with that intention. 

The sepoys were at first inclined to follow 
the example of the Europeans, whose cause 
of complaint they shared ; but the officers 
succeeded in keeping them quiet in their 
lines, until the Mogul horse (two troops of 
which had been recently raised) spread 
themselves among the Native battalions, and 
induced about 600 sepoys to accompany the 
treacherous foreigners. 

The European officers rode after the mu- 
tineers, and induced their leader Straw, and 
the greater part of them, to return. Pro- 
baby they would have done so in a body 
but for the influence exercised over them 
by a sergeant named Delamarr, who had 
been distinguished by intelligence and good 
conduct in the previous campaign, but who 
had a private grievance to avenge, having, 
as he alleged, been promised a commission 
on leaving the King's and entering the Com- 
pany's service ; which promise had been 
broken to him, though kept to others simi- 
larly circumstanced. This man was born in 
England of French parents, and spoke both 
languages with equal facility; on which ac- 
count he was employed by the officers as a 
medium of communication with the foreign 
troops. As long as any of the officers re- 
mained M'ith the mutineers, he affected 
fidelity; but when the last officer. Lieutenant 



Eyre, was compelled to reliuquisli the hope 
of reclaiming his men, by their threatening 
to carry him off by force, Delamarr put 
himself at the head of the party, and gave 
out an order that any one who should 
attempt to turn back, should be hanged on 
the first tree. Tiie order appears to have 
had a contrary effect to that which it was 
intended to produce; for the Germans 
thought the French Avere carrying the mat- 
ter too far; and they, with all but three of 
the few remaining English, returned on the 
following day, to the number of seventy, ac- 
companied by several sepoys. 

Thus the original deserters were dimin- 
ished to little more than 250, of whom 157 
were of the European battalion (almost all 
Frenchmen), sixteen were of the European 
cavalry, and about 100 were Natives, includ- 
ing some of the Mogul horse. They pro- 
ceeded to join the army of Shuja Dowlah of 
Oude ; and some of them entered his service, 
and that of other Indian potentates ; but the 
majority enlisted in Sumroo's brigade.* 

On the 12th of February (the day follow- 
ing the mutiny), a dividend of the nawab's 
donation was declared as about to be paid 
to the army, in the proportion of forty 
rupees to each European soldier, and six to 
each sepoy. The sepoys were extremely in- 
dignant at the rate of allotment : they 
unanimously refused to receive the proffered 
sum, and assembled under arms on the 
13th of February, at nine in the forenoon. 
The Europeans were very much excited; and 
it became difficult " to restrain their vio- 
lence, and prevent their falling upon the 
sepoys, for presuming to follow the example 
they themselves had afforded."t 

Suddenly the sepoys set up a shout, and 
rushed down, in an irregular body, towards 
the Europeans, who had been drawn up in 
separate companies across the parade, with 
the park of ai'tillery on their left, and two 
6-pounders on their right. 

Captain Jennings, the officer in com- 
mand, perceiving that the sepoys were 
moving with shouldered arras, directed that 
they should be suffered to pass through the 
intervals of the battalion, if they would do 
so quietly. Several officers urged resis- 
tance ; but Captain Jennings felt that the 
discharge of a single musket would be the 
signal for a fearful struggle, which must 
end either in the extermination of the 
Europeans, or in the total dissolution of the 

• Indian JEinpire, vol. i., p. 297. 

t Brooinc's Bciujal Ar.'iii/, vol. i., p. 4'20. 



Xative force, on which the government were 
deeply dependent. He rode along the 
ranks, urging the men to be quiet; and 
arrived at the right of the line just in time 
to snatch the match out of tlie hand of a 
subaltern of artillery, as lie was putting it 
to a 6-pounder, loaded with grape. 

The result justified his decision. Two 
corps (the late 2nd grenadiers and 8th 
Native infantry) went off towards the Ca- 
ramnassa river. The other two Native bat- 
talions present (the late 1st and 3rd Native 
infantry) , remained behind — the one perfectly 
steady, the other clamorous and excited. 
The remaining three detached battalions all 
exhibited signs of disaffection. Captain Jen- 
nings, with the officers of the mutinous corps, 
followed them, and induced every man of 
them to return, by consenting to their own 
stipulation, that their share of the donation 
should be raised to half that of the correspond- 
ing ranks of the European battalion. This 
concession being made generally known, 
tranquillity was at once re-established. 

The question of the better adaptation of 
the natives of India to serve as regular or 
irregular cavalry, Avas discussed. The coun- 
cil considered tliat a body of regular Native 
cavalry might be raised on the European 
system, under English officers. Major Car- 
nac objected on the following grounds : — 
" The T^Ioguls," he said, " who are the only 
good horsemen in the country, can never 
be brouglit to submit to the ill-treatment 
they receive from gentlemen wholly unac- 
quainted with their language and customs. 
We clearly see the ill effects of this among 
our sepoys, and it will be much more so 
among horsemen, who deem themselves of 
a far superior class ; nor have we a suffi- 
ciency of officers for the purpose : I am 
sorry to say, not a single one qualified to 
afford a prospect of success to such a pro- 
ject." These arguments prevailed. The 
Mogul horse was increased, during the year 
(1764), to 1,200 men each risallah (or troop) 
under Native officers, with a few Europeans 
to the whole. 

The number of the Native infantry was 
also rapidly on the increase; but their posi- 
tion and rights remained on a very indefinite 
footing, when Major Hector Munro suc- 
ceeded to the command of the Bengal army 
1 in August, 1764. In the following month 
a serious outbreak occurred. The oldest 
corps in the service, then known as the 9th, 
or Captain Galliez' battalion, but afterwards 
the 1st Native infantry, Avhile stationed at 



Manjee (near Chupra), instigated by some 
of their Native officers, assembled on parade, 
and declared themselves resolved to serve 
no longer, as certain promises made to 
them (apparently regarding the remainder j 
of the donation money) had been broken. 
They retained their arms, and imprisoned 
their European officers for a night; but 
released them on the following morning. 

There did not then exist, nor has there 
since been framed, any law decreeing gra- 
dations of punishment in a case which 
clearly admits of many gradations of crime. 
It has been left to the discretion of the 
military authorities for the time being, to 
punish what Sir Charles Napier calls 
'' passive, respectful mutinies," with sweep- 
ing severity, or to let attempted desertion 
to the enemy, and sanguinary treachery, 
escape almost unpunished. 

The present proceeding resembled the out- 
break of spoilt children, rather than of con- 
certed mutiny.* No intention to desert was 
shown, much less to join the enemy. Such 
conduct had been before met with perhaps 
undue concessions. iNIajor ^Munro now re- 
solved to attempt stopping it by measures 
of extreme severity. Accordingly he held 
a general court-martial; and on receiving 
its verdict for the execution of twenty-four 
of the sepoys, he ordered it to be carried 
out immediately. The sentence was, "to 
be blown away from the guns" — the horri- 
ble mode of inflicting capital punishment 
so extensively practised of late. 

Four grenadiers claimed the privilege of 
being fastened to the right-hand guns. 
They had always occupied the post of 
honour in the field, they said; and Major 
Munro admitted the force of the argument 
by granting their request. The whole 
army were much affected by the bearing of 
the doomed men. " I am sure," says Cap- 
tain Williams, who then belonged to the 
Royal ^Marines employed in Bengal, and who 
was an eye-witness of this touching episode, 
" there was not a dry eye among the Marines, 
although they had been long accustomed 
to hard service, and two of them had ac- 
tually been on the execution party which 
shot Admiral Byng, in the year 1757."t 
Yet Major Munro gave the signal, and the 
explosion followed. When the loathsome 
results became apparent — the mangled linibs 
scattered far and wide, the strange burning 

• Broome's Bengal Army, vol. i., p. 459. 
t Captain "Williams' Benr/al JVative In/antty, 
p. 170. 



100 



BENGAL ARMY REORGANISED BY CLIVE IN 1765. 



smell, the fragments of human flesh, the 
trickling streams of blood, constituted a 
scene almost intolerable to those who wit- 
nessed it for the first time. The officers 
commanding the sepoy battalions came for- 
ward, and represented that their men would 
not suffer any further executions ; but 
Major Munro persevered. The other con- 
victed mutineers attempted no appeal to 
their comrades, but met their deaths with 
the utmost composure. 

This was the first example, on a large 
scale, of the inffiction of the penalty of 
death for mutiny. Heretofore there had 
been no plan, and no bloodshed in the 
numerous outbreaks. Subsequently they 
assumed an increasingly systematic and 
sanguinary character. 

On the return of Clive to India in 1765 
(as Lord Clive, Baron of Plassy), the Ben- 
gal army was reorganised, and divided into 
three brigades — respectively stationed at 
Moughyr, Allahabad, and Bankipoor. Each 
brigade consisted of one company of artil- 
lery, one regiment of European infantry, 
one risallah, or troop, of Native cavalry, 
and seven battalions of sepoys. 

Each regiment of European infantry was 
constituted of the following strength : — 

1 Colonel commanding the whole Brigade. 
1 Lieutenant-colonel commanding the Regiment. 
1 Major. 36 Sergeants. 

6 Captains. 36 Corporals. 

1 Captain Lieutenant. 27 Drummers. 

9 Lieutenants. 630 Privates. 

18 Ensigns. 

The artillery comprised four companies, 
each of which contained — 
1 Captain. 

1 Captain Lieutenant. 
1 First Lieutenant. 
1 Second Lieutenant. 

3 Lieut. Fireworkers. 

4 Sergeants. 

Each risallah of Native cavalry con- 
sisted of — 

1 European Subaltern in command. 
1 Sergeant-major. 3 Jemadars. 

4 Sergeants. 2 Naggers. 

1 Risaldar. 6 Duffadars. 

100 Privates. 

A Native battalion consisted of — 



4 Corporals. 

2 Drummers. 

2 Fifers. 
10 Bombardiers. 
20 Gunners. 
60 Matrosses. 



1 Captain. 

2 Lieutenants. 

2 Ensigns. 

3 Sergeants. 
3 Drummers. 

1 Native Commandant. 
10 Native Subahdars. 



30 Jemadars. 

1 Native Adjutant. 
10 Trumpeters. 
30 Tom-toms.* 
80 Ilavildars. 
50 Nailts. 
690 Sepoys. 



* That is, Tom-tom (native drum) players, 
t Broome's Boiyal Ar»iy, vol. i., p. 540. 



Captain Broome, from whom the above 
details are derived, remarks, " that the pro- 
portion of officers, except to the sepoy bat- 
talions, was very much more liberal than in 
the present day ; and it is most important 
to remember, that every officer on the list 
was eff'ective — all officers on other than regi- 
mental employ, being immediately struck 
off" the roll of the corps ; although, as there 
was but one roster for promotion in the 
whole infantry, no loss in that respect was 
sustained thereby. The artillery and engi- 
neers rose in a separate body, and were fre- 
quently transferred from one to the other.^f 
The pay of the sepoy was early fixed at 
seven rupees per month in all stationary 
situations, and eight rupees and a-half when 
marching, or in the field ; exclusive of half 
a rupee per month, allotted to the off"- 
reckouing fund, for which they received one 
coat, and nothing more, annually. From 
that allowance they not only fed and 
clothed themselves, but also erected canton- 
ments in all stationary situations, at their 
own expense, and remitted to their wives 
and families, often to aged parents and more 
distant relatives, a considerable proportion 
of their pay; in fact, so considerable, that 
the authorities have been obliged to inter- 
fere to check their extreme self-denial. J 

In 1766, the mass of the British officers 
of the Bengal army entered into a very 
formidable confederacy against the govern- 
ment, on account of the withdrawal of 
certain extra allowances, known as " double 
batta." The manner in which Lord Clive 
then used the sepoys to coerce the Euro- 
peans, has been already narrated. § 

The first epoch in the history of the Ben- 
gal army may be said to end with the final 
departure of Clive (its founder) from India, 
in 1767. Up to this time, no question 
of caste appears to have been mooted, as 
interfering with the requirements of military 
duty, whether ordinary or incidental ; but 
as the numbers of the sepoys increased, and 
the proportion of Hindoos began to exceed 
that of Mussulmans, a gradual change took 
place. A sea voyage is a forbidden thing 
to a Brahminist ; it is a violation of his reli- 
gious code, under any circumstances : lie 
must neglect the frequent ablutions which 
his creed enjoins, and to which he has been 
accustomed from childhood ; and if he do not 
irrecoverably forfeit his caste, it must be by 
enduring severe privations in regard to food 

X AVilliams' Beiujal Native Infantry, p. 203. 
§ See hidian Empire, vol. i., p. 306. 



MUTINIES IN 1782 and 1795. 



101 



while on board ship. Tlie influence of the 
officers, however, generally sufficed to over- 
come the scruples of the men ; aud, in 
1769, three Bengal battalions prepared to 
return by sea from the Madras presidency 
to Bengal, Two grenadier companies em- 
barked for the purpose, and arc supposed to 
liave perished ; for the ship which they en- 
tered was uever heard of afterwards. This 
event made a deep impression ou the minds 
of the Hindoos, confirmed their supersti- 
tious dread of the sea, and aggravated the 
mingled fear aud loathing, which few Eng- 
lishmen, except when actually rounding 
the "Cape of Storms," or becalmed in a 
crowded vessel in the Red Sea, can under- 
stand sufficiently to make allowance for. 

In 1782, a mutiny occurred at Barrack- 
poor, in consequence of the troops stationed 
there being ordered to prepare for foreign 
service, which it was rumoured would entail 
a sea voyage. No violence was attempted ; 
no turbulence was evinced ; the men quietly 
combined, under their Native officers, in re- 
fusing to obey the orders, which the govern- 
ment had no means of enforcing. After 
the lapse of several weeks, a general court- 
martial was held. Two Native officers, and 
one or two sepoys, were blown from the 
guns. Tlie whole of the four corps con- 
cerned (then known as the 4Lh, 15th, 17th, 
and 31st) were broken up, aud the men 
drafted into other battalions. 

In 1787, Lord Cornwallis arrived in 
India, as governor-general and commander- 
in-chief. He earnestly desired to dissipate, 
by gentle means, the prejudices which 
marred the efficiency of the Native army ; 
and he off'ered a bounty of ten rupees per 
man, with other advantages, to such as 
would volunteer for service on an expedition 
to Sumatra. The required four companies 
were obtained ; the promised bounty was 
paid previous to embarkation ; every care 
was taken to ensure abundant supplies of 
food and water for sustenance and ablution ; 
the detachment was conveyed on board a 
regular Indiaman at the end of February ; 
and was recalled in the following October. 
Unfortunately the return voyage was tedi- 
ous and boisterous : the resolute abstinence 
of the Hindoos from all nutriment save dry 
peas and rice, and the exposure consequent 
on the refusal of the majority to quit the 
deck night or day, on account of the num- 
ber of sick below, occasioned many to be 
afflicted with 7Vjctalopia, or night-blindness; 
and deaths were numerous. Notwithstand- 



ing this, the care and tact of the officers, 
aud the praise and gratuities which awaited 
the volunteers on relanding, appear to have 
done much to reconcile them to the past 
trial, and even to its repetition if need 
were. 

The government thought the difficulty 
overcome, and were confirmed in their 
opinion by the offers of proceeding by sea 
made during the Mysoor war. In 1795, it 
became desirable to send an expedition to 
Malacca, whereupon a pro{)osition was made 
to the 15th battalion (a corps of very high 
character), through its commandiug officer, 
Captain Ludovick Grant, to volunteer for 
the purpose. The influence of the officers 
apparently prevailed ; the men were re- 
ported as willing to embark; but, at the 
last moment, a determined mutiny broke 
out, and the 29th battalion was called out, 
with its field -pieces, to disperse the muti- 
neers. The colours of the 15th were burnt ; 
and the number ordered to be left a blank 
in the list of Native corps.* Warned by this 
occurrence, the government proceeded to 
raise a " Marine battalion,"t consisting of 
twelve companies of a hundred privates 
each ; and it became generally understood, 
if not indeed officially stated, that the 
ordinary Bengal troops were not to be sent 
on sea voyages. 

A corps of Native militia was raised for 
Calcutta and the adjacent districts, aud 
placed, iu the first instance, under the town 
major. It consisted of eighty companies of 
ninety privates; but was subsequently aug- 
mented to sixteen or more companies of one 
hundred privates each. Captain Williams, 
writing iu 1816, says — "It is now com- 
manded by an officer of any rank, who may 
be favoured with the patronage of the gov- 
ernor-general, with one other European 
officer, who performs the duty of adjutant 
to tlie corps."! Several local corps were 
formed about the same time. 

Some important changes were made in 
the constitution of the Bengal army in 
1796; one effect of which was to diminish 
the authority aud influence of the Native 
officers. The staff' appointment of Native 
adjutants was abolished, and a European 
adjutant was appointed to each battalion. 
The principle of regimental rank and pro- 
motion (to the rauk of major, inclusive), was 

* A regiment was raised in Bahar, in 1798, and 
numbered the 15th. 

t Formed into the 20th. or Marine regiment, in 
ISOl. X Bengal Xative Infantry, p. 243. 



103 PROMOTION BY SENIORITY ESTABLISHED BY E. I. CY.— 1796. 



adopted throughout tlie E. I. Company's 
forces; and, contrary to the former ar- 
rangement, the whole of the staff of the 
government and of the army, inchisive of a 
heavy commissariat, with the numerous 
officers on furlough in Europe, and those 
employed with local corps, and even in 
diplomatic situations, were thenceforth borne 
on the strength as component parts of com- 
panies and corps. Thus, even at this early 
period, the complaint (so frequently reite- 
rated since) is made by Captain Williams, 
that the charge of companies often devolved 
on subalterns utterly unqualified, by pro- 
fessional or local acquirements, for a situa- 
tion of such authority over men to whose 
character, language, and habits they are 
strangers.* 

The rise, and gradual increase, of the 
armies of the Madras and Bombay presi- 
dencies, did not essentially differ from that 
of the Bengal troops, excepting that the 
total number of the former was much 
smaller, and the proportion of Mohamme- 
dans and high-caste Brahmins considerably 
lower than in the latter. The three armies 
were kept separate, each under its own 
commander-in-chief. Many inconveniences 
attend this division of the forces of one 
ruling power. It has been a barrier to the 
centralisation which the bureaucratic spirit 
of the Supreme government of Calcutta has 
habitually fostered; and attempts have been 
made, more or less directly, for an amalga- 
mation of the three armies. The Duke of 
Wellington thoroughly understood the bear- 
ing of the question, and his decided opinion 
pi'obably contributed largely to the main- 
tenance of the chief of the barriers which 
have prevented the contagion of Bengal 
mutiny from extending to Bombay and 
Madras, and hindered the fraternisation 
which we may reasonably suspect would 
otherwise have been general, at least among 
the Hindoos. The more united the British 
are, the better, no doubt ; but the more 
distinct nationalities are kept up in India, 
the safer for us : every ancient landmurk 
we remove, renders the danger of com- 
bination against us more imminent. 

The Madras and Bombay sepoys, through- 
out their career, have had, like those of Ben- 
gal, occasional outbreaks of mutiny, the usual 
cause being an attempt to send them on ex- 
peditions which necessitated a sea voyage. 

• Williams* Bengal Native Infantrj/, p. 253. 

t Parliamentary evidence of Sir J. Malcolm in 



1832. 



X Ibid. 



Thus, iu 1779, or 1780, a mutiny occurred 
in the 9th Madras battalion when ordered 
to embark for Bombay ; which, however, 
was quelled by the presence of mind and 
decision of the commandant. Captain Kelly. 
A fatal result followed the issue of a similar 
order for the embarkation of some com- 
panies of a corps in the Northern Circars. 
The men, on arriving at Vizagapatam (the 
port where they were to take shipping), rose 
upon their European officers, and shot all 
save one or two, who escaped to the ship.f 

One motive was strong enough to over- 
come this rooted dislflieto the sea; and that 
was, affection for the person, and confidence 
in the skill and fortune, of their command- 
ing officer. Throughout the Native forces, 
the fact was ever manifest, that their dis- 
cipline or insubordination, their fidelity or 
faithlessness, depended materially on the 
influence exercised by their Eui'opean 
leaders. Sir John Malcolm, in his various 
writings, affords much evidence to this 
effect. Among many other instances, he 
cites that of a battalion of the 22nd Madras 
regiment, then distinguished for the high 
state of discipline to which they had been 
brought by their commanding officer, Lieu- 
tenant-colonel James Oram. In 1797, he 
proposed to his corps, on parade, to volun- 
teer for an expedition then preparing 
against Manilla. "Will he go with us?" 
was the question which went through the 
ranks. " Yes \" "Will he stay with us?" 
Again, "yes!" and the whole corps ex- 
claimed, " To Europe, to Europe !" They 
were ready to follow Colonel . Oram any- 
where — to the shores of the Atlantic as 
clieerfuUy as to an island of the Eastern 
Ocean. Such was the contagion of their 
enthusiasm, that several sepoys, who were 
missing from one of the battalions in garri- 
son at Madras, Avere found to have deserted 
to join the expedition. J 

The personal character of Lord Lake 
contributed greatly to the good service 
rendered by the Bengal sepoys (both Hin- 
doo and Mohammedan) in the arduous 
Mahratta war of 1803-M'. He humoured 
their prejudices, flattered their pride, and 
praised their valour; and they repaid him 
by unbounded attachment to his person, 
and the zealous fulfilment of their public 
duty. Victorious or defeated, the sepoys 
knew their efforts were equally sure of 
appreciation by the commander-in-chief. 
His conduct to the shattered corps of 
Colonel Monson's detachment, after their 



MUTINIES OF 1806 (VELLORE), 1809, and 1825. 



103 



gallaut but disastrous retreat before Holcar,* 
was very remarkable. He formed them 
into a reserve, and promised them every 
opportunity of signalising themselves. No 
confidence was ever more merited. Through- 
out the service tiiut ensued, these corps 
were uniformly distinguished. 

The pay of the forces in the last century 
was frequently heavily in arrears, and both 
Europeans and Natives were driven, by 
actual want, to the verge of mutiny. The 
Bombay troops, in the early wars with 
Mysoor, suffered greatly from this cause; 
and yet none ever showed warmer de- 
votion to the English. When, on the 
capture of Bednore, General Matthews 
and his whole force surrendered to Tip- 
poo, every inducement was offered to 
tempt the sepoys to enter the sultan's ser- 
vice ; but in vain. During the march, they 
were carefully separated from the European 
prisoners at each place of encampment, 
by a tank or other obstacle, supposed to be 
insurmountable. It did not prove so, how- 
ever ; for one of the captive officers subse- 
quently declared, that not a night elapsed 
but some of the sepoys contrived to elude 
the vigilance of the guards by swimming 
the tanks (frequently some miles in circum- 
ference), or eluding the sentries ; bringing 
with them such small sums as they could 
save from the pittance allowed by the sul- 
tan, for their own support, in return for 
hard daily labour, to eke out the scanty 
food of the Europeans. " "We can live upon 
anything,'' they said ; " but you require 
mutton and beef." At the peace of 1783, 
1,500 of the released captives marched 500 
miles to Madras, and there embarked on a 
voyage of six or eight weeks, to rejoin tlie 
army to which they belonged at Bombay. f 

Similar manifestations of attachment were 
given by the various Native troops of the 
three presidencies; their num.ber, and pro- 
portion to the Europeans, increasing with the 
extension of the Anglo-Indian empire. In 
1800, the total force comprised 22,832 Euro- 
peans, and 115,300 Natives of all denomina- 
tions; the Europeans being chiefly lloyal 
troops belonging to the regular cavalry aud 
infantry regiments, which were sent to India 
for periods varying from twelve to twenty 
years. As the requirements of government 
augmented Avith every addition of territory, 
the restrictions of caste became daily more 

* Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 400. 
t Sir John Malcolm's GoveDinient of India. 
London : John Murray, 1833; p. 210. 



obnoxious ; and attempts, for the most part 
very ill-judged, were made to break through 
them. Certain regulations, trivial in them- 
selves, excited the angry suspicions of the 
sepoys, as to the latent intentions of govern- 
ment; and the sons of Tippoo Sultan (thea 
state-prisoners at Vellore), through their 
partisans, fomented the disaflection, which 
issued in the mutiny of 1806, in which thir- 
teen European officers and eighty-two pri- 
vates were killed, and ninety-two wounded. J 

In 1809, another serious outbreak oc- 
curred in the Madras presidency, in which 
the Native troops played only a secondary 
part, standing by their officers against the 
government. The injudicious manner in 
which Sir George Barlow had suppressed 
an allowance known as "tent-contract," 
previously made to Europeans in command 
of Native regiments, spread disaffection 
throughout the Madras force. Auber, the 
annalist of the East India Company, gives 
very few particulars of this unsatisfactory 
and discreditable afi'air; but he mentions 
the remarkable fidelity displayed by Pur- 
neah, the Dcwan of Mysoor (chosen, and 
earnestly supported, by Colonel Wellesley, 
after the conquest of that country.) The 
field-officer in charge of the fortress of 
Seringapatam, tried to corrupt Purneah, 
and even held out a threat regarding his 
property, and that belonging to the boy- 
rajah in the fort. The dignified rejoinder 
was, that the British government was the 
protector of the rajah and his minister; and 
that, let what would happen, he (Purneah) 
would always remain faithful to his engage- 
ments. § 

A skirmish actually took place between 
the mutineers and the king's troops. Lord 
Minto (the governor-general) hastened to 
Madras, and, by a mixture of firmness and 
conciliation, restored order, having first 
obtained the unconditional submission of all 
concerned in the late proceedings; that is 
to say, the great majority of the Madras 
officers in the Company's service. 

The refusal of the 47th Bengal regiment 
to march from Barrack poor in 1825, on the 
expedition to Burmah, is fully accounted 
for by the repugnance of tlie sepoys to 
embarkation having been aggravated by the 
insufficient arrangements made for them by 
the commissariat department. The autho- 
rities punished, in a most sanguinary man- 

X See Indian Umpire, vol. i., p. 407. 
§ Auber's British Power in Ijidia, vol. ii., pp. 
47G, 477. 



104 



"REGIMENTAL OFFICERS EMPLOYED AS CIVILIANS. 






ner, conduct -whicli their own negligence 
had provoked.* 

An important change was introduced 
into the Native army, under the adminis- 
tration of Lord William Bentinck (who 
was appointed commander-in-chief as well 
as governor-general in 1833), by the abo- 
lition of flogging, which had previously 
been inflicted with extreme frequency and 
severity. Sir Charles Napier subsequently 
complained of this measure, on the ground 
of its leaving no punishment available when 
the army was before the enemy. The 
limited authority vested in the officers, in- 
creased the difficulty of maintaining disci- 
pline, by making expulsion from the service 
the sole punishment of offenders who deserved 
perhaps a day's hard labour. Sir Charles 
adds — "But I have been in situations 
where I could not turn them out, for they 
would either starve or have their throats 
cut ; so I did all my work by the provost- 
martial." His favourite pupil, "the war- 
bred Sir Colin Campbell," appears to have 
been driven to the same alternative to 
check looting. 

The change which has come over the 
habits of both military men and civi- 
lians during the present century, has been 
already shown. Europeans have gradually 
ceased to take either wives or concubines 
from among the natives: they have become, 
in all points, more exclusive ; and as their 
own number has increased, so also has their 
regard for conventionalities, which, while 
yet strangers in the land — few and feeble — 
they had been content to leave in abeyance. 
The eflTect on Indian society, and especially 
on the army, is evident. The intercourse 
between the European and Native offi- 
cers has become yearly less frequent and 
less cordial. The acquisition of Native lan- 
guages is neglected; or striven for, not 
as a means of obtaining the confidence of 
the sepoys, but simply as a stepping-stone 
to distinction in the numerous civil posi- 
tions wliich the rapid extension of territory, 
the paucity of the civil service, and the re- 
jection of Native agency, has thrown open to 
their ambition. There is, inevitably, a great 
deal of sheer drudgery in the ordinary 
routine of regimental duty; but it surely was 
not wise to aggravate the distaste which its 

• Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 424. Thornton's India, 
vol. iv., p. 113. 

t Times, loth July, 1857. Letter from Bombay 
correspondent. 

X Indophilus' Letters to the Times, p. 15. 



performance is calculated to produce, by 
adopting a system which makes long con- 
tinuance in a regiment a mark of incapacity. 
The military and civil line of promotion 
is, to a great extent, the same. An In- 
dian military man is always supposed to 
be fit for anything that offers. He can 
be " an inspector of schools, an examiner in 
political economy, an engineer, a surveyor, 
an architect, an auditor, a commissary, a 
resident, or a governor. "f Political, judi- 
cial, and scientific appointments are all open 
to him; and the result, no doubt, is, that 
Indian officers, in many instances, show a 
versatility of talent unknown elsewhere. 

But through teaching officers to look to 
staff appointments and civil employ for ad- 
vancement, the military profession is de- 
scribed as having fallen into a state of dis- 
paragement. Officers who have not ac- 
quitted themselves well in the civil service 
are "remanded to their regiments," as if 
they were penal corps ; and those who re- 
main with their regiments, suffer under a 
sense of disappointment and wounded self- 
esteem, which makes it impossible for them 
to have their heart in the work. J 

The employment of the army to do the 
civil work, was declared by Napier to be 
"the great military evil of India;" the offi- 
cers occupying various diplomatic situations, 
the sepoys acting as policemen, gaolers, and 
being incessantly employed in detachments 
for the escort of treasure from the local 
treasuries, to the manifest injury of their 
discipline. " Sir Thomas ]\Iunro," he adds, 
" thought three officers were sufficient for 
regiments. This is high authority ; yet I 
confess to thinking him wrong ; or else, 
which is very possible, the state of the 
army and the style of the officer have 
changed, not altogether better nor alto- 
gether worse, but become different." 

There is, probably, much truth in this 
suggestion. The character of the Native 
officers and sepoys, as well as that of the 
Europeans, hacl changed since the days of 
Munro. The Bengal army had grown, with 
the Bengal presidency, into an exclusively 
high-caste institution. The men Avere 
chiefly Brahmins and Rajpoots, or Mussul- 
mans — handsome, stately men, higher by the 
head and shoulders than the Madrassees or 
Mahrattas; immeasurably higher in caste. 
Great care was taken to avoid low-caste 
recruits ; still more, outcasts and Christians. 
In this respect, most exaggerated deference 
was paid to religious prejudices which, in 



SIR CHARLES NAPIER MADE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF— 1849. 105 



other points, were recklessly infringed. In 
Bombay and Madras, no such distinctions 
were made. Recruits were enlisted without 
regard to caste; and the result was, a mix- 
ture much less adapted to combine for the 
removal of common grievances. A Native 
army, under foreign rule, can hardly have 
been without these : but so flattering a 
description was given of the Indian troops, 
that, until their rejection of our service, and 
subsequent deadly hostility, raised suspicions 
of " a long-continued course of mismanage- 
ment,'^* little attention was paid to those who 
suggested the necessity of radical reforms. 

Yet Sir John Malcolm pointed out, as 
early as 1799, the injustice of a system which 
allowed no Native soldier the most distant 
prospect of rising to rank, distinction, or 
affluence; and this "extraordinary fact" he 
believed to be " a subject of daily comment 
among the Native troops.^t 

The evil felt while the Indian army was 
comparatively small, could not but increase 
in severity in proportion to tlie augmenta- 
tion of the sepoys, who, in 1851, amounted 
to 240,121, out'of 289,529 men; the re- 
mainder being Europeans. ]\leanwhile, the 
extinction of Indian states and of national 
armies had been rapidly progressing. The 
disbanded privates (at least such of tiiem as 
entered the British ranks) may have bene- 
fited by the change ; regular pay and a retir- 
ing pension compensating them for the pos- 
sibility of promotion and the certainty of 
laxer discipline, with license in the way of 
loot (plunder.) But the officers were heavy 
losers by the change. In treating of the 
causes of the mutiny, Mr. Martin Gubbins 
says, that in the Punjab, " the father may 
liave received 1,000 rupees per mensem, as 
commandant of cavalry, under llunjeet 
Sing; the son draws a pay of eighty rupees 
as sub-commander, in the service of the 
British government. The diff'erence is pro- 
bably thought by themselves to be too 
great." In support of this guarded admis- 
sion, he proceeds to adduce evidence of the 
existence of the feeling suggested by him as 
probable, by citing the reproachful exclama- 
tion of a Scik risaldar, conspicuous for good 
conduct during the insurrection — " My 
father used to receive 500 rupees a-montli 
in command of a party of Runjeet Sing's 
horse ; I receive but fifty ."| 

• Speech of Lord Ellenborough : Indian debate, 
July 13th, 1857. Tlie Duke of Argyll, and others, 
said, that "there could be no doubt there had been 
some mismanagement." — Ibid., July 27th, 1858. 

VOL. II. P 



Sir Charles Napier returned to India, as 
commander-in-chief of the Anglo-Indian 
armies, on the Gth of May, 1849. He was 
sent out for the express purpose of carrying 
on the war in the Punjab ; but it had been 
successfully terminated before his arrival. 
He made a tour of inspection, and furnished 
reports to government on the condition of 
the troops; which contained statements cal- 
culated to excite grave anxiety, and [)rophe- 
cies of evil which have been since fulfilled. 

He pointed out excessive luxury among 
the officers, and alienation from the Native 
soldiery, as fostering the disaffection occa- 
sioned among the latter by sudden reduc- 
tions of pay, accompanied by the increased 
burthen of civil duties, consequent on the 
rapid extension of territory. 

It was, however, not until after positive 
mutiny had been developed, that he recog- 
nised the full extent of the evils, which he 
then searched out, and found to be sapping 
the very foundation of the Indian army. 

Writing to General Caulfield (one of his 
few friends in the East India direction) in 
November, 1849, he calls the sepoy "a 
glorious soldier, not to be corrupted by 
gold, or appalled by danger ;" and he adds — 
"I would not be afraid to go into action 
with Native troops, and without Europeans, 
provided I had the training of them first."§ 

In a report addressed to the governor- 
general in the same month, the following 
passage occurs : — 

" I have heard that Lord Hardinge objected to 
the assembling of the Indian troops, for fear they 
should conspire. I confess 1 cannot see the weight 
of such an opinion. I have never met with an In- 
dian officer who held it, and I certainly do not hold 
it myself; and few men have had more opportuni- 
ties of judging of the armies of all three presidencies 
than I have. Lord Hardinge saw but the Bengal 
army, and that only as governor-general, and for a 
short time; I have studied them for nearly eight 
years, constantly at the head of Bengal and Bombay 
sepoys, and I can see nothing to fear from them, 
except uhen ill-used ; and even then they are less 
dangerous than British troops would be in similar 
circumstances. I see no danger in their being 
massed, and very great danger in their being spread 
over a country as they now are : on the contrary, 1 
believe that, by concentrating the Indian army as I 
propose, its spirit, its devotion, and its powers will 
all be increased. "II 

The above extract tends to confirm the 
general belief, that the private opinion of 
Lord Hardinge, regarding the condition of 

t K aye's Life of Malcolm, vol i., p. 96. 
X Gubbins' Mutinies in Oudh, p. 98. 
§ Sir Charles Napier's Life, vol. iv., pp. 212, 213. 
j II Pari. Paper (Commons), 30lh July, 1S57. 



the army, was less satisfactory than he 
chose to avow in public. Lord Melville has 
given conclusive evidence on the subject by 
stating, from his personal acquaintance with 
the ex-commauder-in-chief, that — " Enter- 
taining the worst opinion privately, Lord 
Hardinge never would express it publicly, 
trying thereby to bolster up a bad system, 
on the ground of the impolicy of making 
public the slight thread by which we held 
our tenure of that empire."* Napier, who 
never kept back or qualified his views, soon 
saw reason to declare, that " we were sitting 
on a mine, and nobody could tell when it 
might explode.^t The circumstances which 
led him to this unsatisfactory conclusion 
were these. After the annexation of the 
Punjab, the extra allowance formerly given 
to the troops on service there, was sum- 
marily withdrawn, on the ground that the 
country was no longer a foreign one. The 
22nd Native infantry stationed at Rawul 
Pindee refused the reduced pay. The 13th 
regiment followed the example ; and an 
active correspondence took place between 
these corps, and doubtless extended through 
the Bengal army; for there are news-writers 
in every regiment, who communicate all 
intelligence to their comrades at head- 
quarters. | 

Colonel Benson, of the military board, 
proposed to Lord Dalhousie to disband the 
two regiments ; but the commander-in- 
chief opposed the measure, as harsh and 
impolitic. Many other regiments were, he 
said, certainly involved : the government 
could not disband an army; it was, there- 
fore, best to treat the cases as isolated ones, 
while that was possible; lor, he added, ''if 
we attempt to bully large bodies, they will 
do the same by us, and a fight must eusue."§ 
The governor-general concurred in this 
opinion. The insubordination at Bawul 
Pindee was repressed without l)loodshed, 
by the officer in command. Sir Colin 
Campbell; and the matter was treated as 
one of accidental restricted criminality, not 
affecting the mass. 

Sir Charles Napier visited Delhi, which 
he considered the proper place for our great 
magazines, and well fitted, from its central 
position, to be the head-quarters of the 

I • Letter to General Sir William Gomm, July 15th, 
1851 .—Times, July 2l3t, 1857. t H^ifi- 

X Evidence of Colonel Greenhill. — Pari. Committee, 
1832-'3. 

§ Sir Charles Napier's Life, vol. iv., p. 227. 

\\ Ibid., -pp. 216; 269; 427. 



artillery — the best point from whence to 
send forth troops and reinforcements. ; 
Here, too, the spirit of mutiny manifested 
itself; the 41st Native infantry refusing to 
enter the Punjab without additional allow- 
ances as heretofore ; and twenty-four other 
regiments, then under orders for the same 
province, were rumoured to be in league 
with the 41st. The latter regiment was, 
however, trnnquillised, and induced to 
march, by what Sir William Napier terms 
" dexterous management, and the obtaining 
of furloughs, which had been unfairly and 
recklessly withheld." 

At Yizierabad the sepoys were very 
sullen, and were heard to say they only 
waited the arrival of the relieving regiments, 
and would then act together. Soon after 
this, the 66th, a relief regiment on the 
march from Lucknow (800 miles from 
Vizierabad), broke into open mutiny near 
Amritsir, insulted their officers, and at- 
tempted to seize the strong fortress of 
Govindghur, which then contained about 
£100,000 in specie. The 1st Native cavalry 
were fortunately on the spot; and being 
on their return to India, were not interested 
in the extra-allowance question. They took 
part with the Europeans ; and, dismounting, 
seized the gates, which the strength and 
daring of a single officer (Captain M'Donald) 
had alone prevented from being closed, and 
Avhich the mutineers, with fixed bayonets, 
vainly sought to hold. This occurred in 
February, 1850. Lord Dalhousie was not 
taken by surprise. Writing to Sir Charles 
Napier, he had declared himself " pre- 
pared for discontent among the Native 
troops, on coming into the Punjab under 
diminished allowances ; and well satis- 
fied to have got so far through without 
violence.^' "The sepoy," he added, "has 
been over-petted and overpaid of late, and 
has been led on, by the government itself, 
into the entertainment of an expectation, 
and the manifestation of a feeling, which he 
never held in former times." j| 

This was written before the affair at 
Govindghur; and in the meantime. Sir 
Charles had seen " strong ground to suppose 
the mutinous spirit general in the Bengal 
army.-" 51 He believed that the Brahmins 

^ Two great explosions of ammunition have been I 
mentioned in connexion with the mutinous feeling ' 
of the period; one at Benares, of 3,000 barrels of 
powder, in no less than thirty boats, which killed 
upwards of 1,200 people: by the other, of 1,800 
barrels, no life was lost. 



MUTINY AND DISBAND^EENT OF GOm REGDIENT— 1849. 107 



were exerting their influence over the Hin- 
doos most injuriously; and learned, with 
alarm, a significant circumstance Avhich had 
occurred during the Seik >var. ^Major 
Neville Chamherlaine, hearing some sepoys 
grumhling about a temporary hardship, 
exclaimed, " Were I the general, I would 
disband you all." A Brahmin havildar 
replied, " If you did, we would all go to our 
villages, and you should not get any more 
to replace us.^' Napier viewed this remark 
as the distinct promulgation of a principle 
upon which the sepoys were even tlien ])re- 
pared to act. The Brahmins he believed to 
be secretly nourishing the spirit of insubor- 
dination ; and unless a counterpoise could 
be found to their influence, it would be 
hazardous in the extreme to disband the 
66th regiment, at the risk of inciting other 
corps to declare, " They are martyrs for us ; 
we, too, will refuse ;" and of producing a 
bayonet struggle with caste for masterv. 
"Nor was the stake for which the sepoy 
contended a small one — exclusive of the 
principle of an army dictating to the gov- 
ernment: they struck for twelve rupees 
instead of seven — nearly double ! When 
those in the Punjab got twelve by meeting, 
those in India Proper would not long have 
served on seven."* 

The remedy adopted by Napier, was to 
replace the mutinous 66th with one of the 
irregular Goorka battalions ;t and he ex- 
pressed his intention of extensively following 
up this plan, in the event of the disband- 
ment of further regiments becoming neces- 
sary. " I would if I could," he says, " have 
25,000 of them ; which, added to our own 
Europeans, would form an army of 50,000 
men, and, well handled, would neutralise 
any combination amongst the sepoys." 

The Goorkas themselves he describes as 
of small stature, with huge limbs, resem- 
bling Attila's Huns; "brave as men can be, 
but horrid little savages, accustomed to use 
a weapon called a kookery, like a straightened 
reaping-hook, with which they made three cuts 
— one across the shoulders, the next across 
the forehead, the third a ripping-up one." 

The Nusseeree battalion, chosen to re- 
place the 66th, welcomed, with frantic 
shouts of joy, the proposal of entering the 
regular army, and receiving seven rupees a 

• Sir C. Napier's Life and Correspondence, vol. 
iv., pp. 261, 262. 

t See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 445. 

X After Sir Charles left India, a minute was 
drawn up by the Supreme Council, which stated. 



month, instead of four rupees eight annas • 
which sum, according to their commanding 
officer, had been actually insufficient for 
their support. What the^European officers 
of the 66th thought of the substitution does 
not appear; but Lord Dalhousie, while ap- 
proving the disbandment of the nmtineers, 
disapproved of the introduction of the Goor- 
kas. The commander-in-chief was at the 
same time reprimanded for having, in 
January, 1850 (pending a reference to the 
Supreme government), suspended the opera- 
tion of a regulation regarding compensation 
for rations; which he considered, in the 
critical state of aff'airs, likely to produce mu- 
tiny. This regulation, says Sir W. Napier, 
" aff'ected the usual allowance to the sepoys 
for purchasing their food, according to the 
market prices of the countries in which they 
served: it was recent; was but partially 
known; was in itself unjust; and became 
suddenly applicable at Vizierabad, Avhere it 
was entirely unknown." General Hearsey, 
commander at Vizierabad, and Generals Gil- 
bert and Colin Campbell, deprecated its en- 
forcementas most impolitic, and ealculated,in 
the sullen temper of the sepoys, to produce a 
mutiny; and, in fact, only twelve days elapsed 
before the Govindghur outbreak occurred. 
The amount of money involved in the tem- 
porary suspension was only £10 ; but even 
had it been much greater, if a commander- 
in-chief could not, in what he believed to 
be a crisis, and what there is little doubt 
really was one, be allowed to use his dis- 
cretion on a subject so immediately within 
his cognizance, he had, indeed, a heavy 
weight of responsibility to bear, without any 
commensurate authority. A less impetu- 
ous spirit than that of the " fiery Napier," 
would have felt no better than a " huge 
adjutant-general," when informed that he 
"would not again be permitted, inider any 
circwnstances, to issue orders which should 
change the pay and allowances of the troops 
in India, and thus practically to exercise 
an authority which had been reserved, and 
most properly reserved, for the Supreme 
government aloue."| 

The general at once sent in his resigna- 
tion (May 22nd, 1850) through Lord Fitz- 
roy Somerset; stating the rebuke he had 
received, and probably hoping that the 

" that the ration and mutiny question, which led 
to Sir Charles Napier's resignation, was not the real 
cause for the reprimand; but the style of the 
commander-in-chief's correspondence had become 
offensive." — Life, vol. iv., p. 411. 



108 



CONDITION OF THE BENGAL NATIVE ARMY— 1850. 



British commander-in-chief, the Duke of 
"Wellington, would urge its withdrawal. 
The Duke, on the contrary, decided, after 
examining the statements sent home by the 
Calcutta authorities (which, judging by 
subsequent events, Mere founded on a mis- 
taken view of the temper of the troops), 
that no suflBcient reason had existed for the 
suspension of the regulation, and that the 
governor-general in council was right in 
expressing his disapprobation of the act. 
The resignation was consequently accepted ; 
and Sir Charles's statements regarding the 
condition of the army, were treated as the 
prejudiced views of a disappointed man. 

Yet the report addressed by him to the 
Duke in June, while ignorant, and probably 
not expectant, of the acceptance of his 
resignation, contains assertions which ought 
then to have been investigated, and which 
are now of primary importance as regards 
the causes of our sudden calamity, and the 
system to be adopted for the prevention of 
its recurrence. 

" The Bengal Native army," Sir Charles writes, 
" is said to have much fallen ofif from what it was 
in former days. Of this I am not a judge ; but 
I must say that it is a very noble army, and with 
very few defects. The greatest, as far as I am 
capable of judging, is a deficiency of discipline 
among the European officers, especially those of the 
higher ranks. I will give your grace an instance. 

'• The important order issued by the govei-nor-gen- 
eral and the commander-in-chief, to prepare the 
sepoys for a reduction in their pay, I ordered to be 
read, and explained with care to every regiment. 
"With the exception of three or four commanders of 
regiments, none obeyed the order ; some gave it to 
pay-sergeants to read, and others altogether ne- 
glected to do so — such is the slackness of discipline 
among officers of high rank, and on an occasion of 
such vast importance. This want of discipline arises 
from more than one cause : a little sharpness with 
officers who disobey orders will soon correct much 
of this; but much of it originates in the great de- 
mand made upon the troops for civil duties, which 
so breaks up whole regiments, that their command- 
ing officers lose that zeal for the service which they 
ought to feel, and so do the younger officers. The 
demand also made for guards is immense. * ♦ • 
I cannot believe that the discipline of the Bengal 
army will be restored till it is relieved from civil 
duties, and those duties performed by police bat- 
talions, as was intended by Lord EUenborough. 

" The next evil which I see in the Native army is, 
that so many of the senior officers of regiments are 
placed on the staff or in civil situations ; and very 
old, worn-out officers command regiments : these 
carry on their duties with the adjutant and some 
favoured Native officer. Not above one or two 
captains are with the regiment; and the subalterns 
being all young, form a society among them- 
selves, and neglect the Native officers altogether. 
Nothing is therefore known as to what is passing in 
a Native regiment. • • • Xhe last, and most 



important thing which I reckon injurious to the 
Indian army, is the immense influence given to 
" caste ;" instead of being discouraged, it has been 
encouraged in the Bengal army. In the Bombay 
army it is discouraged, and that army is in better 
order than the Bengal army. In this latter the 
Brahmins have been leaders in every mutiny." • 

Tiie manner in which courts-martial were 
conducted, excited his indignation through- 
out his Indian career. Drunkenness and 
gambling were, in his eyes, unsoldierly and 
ungentlemanly vices, and he drew no dis- 
tinction between the officer and the private. 
" Indian courts-martial are my plagues," 
he writes ; " they are farces. If a private 
is to be tried, the courts are sharp enough ; 
but an officer is quite another thing." He 
mentions a case of notorious drunkenness, 
in which the accused was '' honourably ac- 
quitted j" and he adds — " Discipline is so 
rapidly decaying, that in a few years my 
belief is, no commander-in-chief will dare 
to bring an officer to trial : the press will 
put an end to all trials, except in law 
courts. In courts-martial now, all is quib- 
bling and disputes about what is legal ; the 
members being all profoundly ignorant on 
the subject : those who judge fairly, in a 
military spirit, are afraid of being brought 
up afterwards, and the trials end by an 
acquittal in the face of all evidence !" 
This state of things was not one in which 
he was likely to acquiesce ; and in six 
months he had to decide forty-six cases of 
courts-martial on officers (some for gam- 
bling, some for drunkenness), in which only 
two were honourably acquitted, and not 
less than fourteen cashiered. In the cele- 
brated address in which he took leave of 
the officers of the Indian army (9th Decem- 
ber, 1850), he blamed them severely for 
getting into debt, and having to be brought 
before the Court of Requests. "A vulgar 
man," he wrote, " who enjoys a champagne 
tiffin [luncheon], and swindles his servants, 
may be a pleasant companion to those who 
do not hold him in contempt as a vulgar 
knave; but he is not a gentleman : his com- 
mission makes him an officer, but he is not 
a gentleman." 

The luxury of the Indian system was, as 
might be expected, severely criticised by a 
warrior who is popularly said to have en- 
tered on a campaign with a piece of soap 
and a couple of towels, and dined off a 
hunch of bread and a cup of water. Pre- 
vious commanders-in-chief, when moving on 

* Sir C. Napier to the Duke of "Wellington, loth 
June, 1850. — Pari. Paper, August 6lh, 1857. 



''OLD INDIANS," "MARTINETS," AND "FAST REGIMENTS"— 1850. 109 



a military inspection, used, at the public 
expense, eighty or ninety elephants, three 
or four hundred camels, and nearly as many 
bullocks, with all their attendants : they 
had also 332 tent-pitchers, including fifty 
men solely employed to carry glass doors 
for a pavilion. This enormous establish- 
ment was reduced by Napier to thirty ele- 
phants, 334 camels, 22.2 tent-pitchers ; by 
which a saving was effected for the treasury 
of £7oO a-mouth. " Canvas palaces," he 
said, " were not necessary for a general on 
military inspection, even admitting the 
favourite idea of some 'old Indians' — that 
I pomp and show produce respect with Indian 
I people. But there is no truth in that no- 
I tion : the respect is paid to military strength; 
! and the astute natives secretly deride the 

ostentation of temporary authority."* 
I " Among the modern military changes," he says, 
I " there is one which has been gradually introduced 
' in a number of regiments by gentlemen who are 
usually called ' martinets' — not soldiers, only mar- 
tinets. No soldier can now go up to his officer with- 
out a non-commissioned officer gives him leave, and 
accompanies him ! * * * This is a very dan- 
gerous innovation ; it is digging a ditch between the 
officers and their men ! How are Company's officers 
to study men's characters, when no man dare address 
them but in full dress, and in presence of a non- 
commissioned officer?"f 

Sir Charles deplored " the caste and 
luxury which pervaded the army," as calcu- 
lated to diminish their influence equally 
over European soldiers and Indian sepoys. 

"His [the soldier's] captain is no longer his friend 
and chief: he receives him with upstart condescen- 
sion ; is very dignified, and very insolent, nine 
[times ?] out of ten ; and as often the private goes 
away with disgust or contempt, instead of good, 
respectful, comrade feelings. Then the soldier goes 
daily to school, or to his library, now always at 
hand ; while his dignified officer goes to the billiard- 
room or the smoking-room ; or, strutting about with 

• L{fe, vol. iv., p. 206. The ostentatious parade with 
which the progresses of Indian functionaries, both 
civil and military, was usually attended, not only 
aggravated, by contrast, the hardships endured by 
their inferiors, but inflicted most cruel sufferings on 
the natives of the countries through which they 
passed, thousands being pressed for palanquin or 
dooly (litter) bearers, and for porters of luggage, 
and paid very poorly, and often very irregularly. 
" The coolies," says Sir C. Napier, " who are sum- 
moned to carry the governor-general's baggage 
when he moves, are assembled at, or rather driven 
by force to, Simla from immense distances, and are 
paid about twopence a-day, under circumstances of 
great cruelty. Now, I happen to know, that from 
the delays of offices, and without, perhaps, any tan- 
gible act of knavery in any especial officer or indi- 
vidual, some 8,000 or 10^000 coolies employed to 

take Lord down into the plains when he left 

India, were not paid this miserable pittance for three 



a forage-cap on the side of an empty pate, and 
clothed in a shooting-jacket, or other deformity of 
dress, fancies himself a great character, because he 
is fast, and belongs to a fast regiment — i.e., a regi- 
ment unfit for service, commanded by the adjutant, 
and having a mess in debt !"J 

It is, of course, exclusively to the sepoys 
that Sir Charles refers in the following pas- 
sages, in which he upholds the necessity 
for discipline and kindly intercourse being 
maintained by the European officers : — 

" They are admirable soldiers, and only give way 
when badly led by brave but idle officers, who let 
discipline and drill grow slack, and do not mix with 
them: being ignorant themselves, they cannot teach 
the sepoy. * * • I could do anything I like 
with these natives. Our officers generally do not 
know how to deal with them. They have not, with 
some exceptions, the natural turn and soldierlike 
feelings necessary to deal with them. Well, it 
matters little tome; India and I will soon be sepa- 
rate : I see the system will not last fifty years. The 
moment these brave and able natives learn how to 
combine, they will rush on us simultaneously, and 
the game will be up. A bad commander-in-chief 
and a bad governor-general will clench the business.§ 
* • • 1 am disposed to believe, that we might, 
with advantage, appoint natives to cadetships, dis- 
charge all our Native officers on the pensions of their 
present rank, and so give the natives common chance 
of command with ourselves — before they take it! 

" Every European boy, aye, even sergeants, now 
command all Native officers ! "When the native saw 
the English ensign live with him and cherish him, 
and by daily communication was made aware of his 
superior energy, strength, daring, and mental ac- 
quirements, all went smooth. Now things have 
changed. The young cadet learns nothing : he 
drinks, he lives exclusively with his own country- 
men ; the older officers are on the staff, or on civil 
employ, which they ought not to be ; and high-caste 
— that is to say, mutiny — is encouraged. I have 
just gotten this army through a very dangerous one; 
and the Company had better take care what they 
are at, or some great mischief will yet happen ! 

" I think that Native ensigns, lieutenants, and 
captains, aye, and commanders of corps too, will 
assimilate with our officers, and, in course of time, 

vears !" It is scarcely possible to believe that Eng- 
lishmen could be either so ungenerous or so short- 
sighted as wantonly to outrage the feelings of the 
natives; but, on this point, the testimony of various 
authorities is corroborated by the special correspondent 
of the Times, whose sympatliies naturally lay with 
his countrymen, and who would not, without strong 
evidence, venture to bring such a heavy charge 
against them. Seeing a native badly wounded on a- 
charpoy (movable bed), with a woman sitting beside 
him in deep affliction, he asked for an explanation,, 
and was told that an officer " had been licking two 
of his bearers, and had nearly murdered them." 
Mr. Kussell probably did not disguise his disgust oa 
this or other occasions; for he was often told, '• Oh» 
wait till you are another month in India, and vou'll 
think no'thing of licking a nigger."-— TAe Times, 
June 17lh, 1858. 

t Life and Correspondence, vol. iv., p. 325. 

X Ihid.,\ol iv., pp. 306 ; 326. § Ibid., pp. 185; 212. 



110 OPINIONS OF LORD MELVILLE, SIR C. CAMPBELL, & MAJOR JACOB. 



gradually throw caste to the dogs, and be like our- 
selves in all but colour. I have no belief in the 
power of caste resisting the Christian faith for any 
great length of time, because reason is too strong 
for nonsense in the long run ; and I believe if the 
Indians were made officers, on the same footing as 
ourselves, tliey would be perfectly faithful, and in 
time become Christians : not that I want to convert 
them ; but so it will be."* 

So far from any idea being entertained 
of elevating the Native officers according to 
the plan propounded by the commander-in- 
chief, their absolute extinction was discussed 
in public journals and periodicals ; a fact 
which supplies a very clear reason for gene- 
ral disaffection. 

Sir Charles Napier, in the year in which 
he died (1853), writes to his brother, Sir 
William : — 

"The Edinburgh article you mentioned 
says, that if the Native officers were gradu- 
ally gotten rid of, the operation would be 
safe, though not economical or generous. 
But however gradually it might be done, 
300,000 armed men would at once see 
that all their hopes of rising to be lieu- 
tenants, captains, and majors, and when no 
longer able to serve, the getting pensions, 
would, for those ranks, be blasted for ever. 
The writer would soon find his plan unsafe ; 
it would end all Indian questions at once. 
There is no sepoy in that great army but 
expects to retire, in age, with a major's 
pension, as certainly as every ensign expects 
to become a major or a colonel in our army. 
There is but one thing to be done : give the 
Native officers rank with our own, reducing 
the number of ours. This may endanger ; 
but it will not do so more than the present 
system does ; and my own opinion is pretty 
well made up, that our power there is crum- 
bling very fast.^'t 

The above statements have been given at 
length, not simply because they were 
formed by the commander-in-chief of the 
Indian army, but because they are the 
grounds on which he based his assertion, 
that the mutiny of the sepoys was " the 
most formidable danger menacing our Indian 
empire." Certainly Sir William Napier has 
done good service in his unreserved exposi- 
tion of his brother's opinions ; and though 
many individuals of high position and cha- 
racter, may, with justice, complain of the 
language applied to them, yet the sarcasms 

•Letter written May Slst, 1850; published by 
Lieutenant-general Sir William Napier, in the 
'rimes of August ITlh, 1857. 

t Life and Opinions, vol. iv., p. 383. 



of the testy old general lose half their bit- 
terness when viewed as the ebullitions of an 
irascible temper, aggravated by extreme 
and almost constant bodily pain. When 
he descends to personalities, his own com- 
parison describes him best — " a hedgehog 
fighting about nothing :" but his criticisms 
on the discipline of the Indian army, its 
commissariat, ordnance, and transport de- 
partments, bear witness of an extraordinary, 
amount of judgment and shrewdness. If, 
as "Indophilus" asserts, "Sir Charles Napier 
had not the gift of foresight beyond other 
men," it is the more to be regretted that 
other men, and especially Indian states- 
men, should have allowed his assertions to 
remain on record, neither confirmed nor re- 
futed, until the mutinies of 1857 brought 
them into general notice. 

Sir Charles Napier was not quite alone in 
his condemnation of the lax discipline of 
the Bengal army. Viscount Melville, who 
commanded the Punjab division of the 
Bombay forces at the time of the mutiny 
of the two Bengal regiments under Sir 
Colin Campbell, in 1849, was astonished at 
the irregularity which he witnessed in the 
Bengal army. When questioned concern- 
ing its condition, on his return to England 
in 1850, he did not disguise his strong dis- 
approbation ; upon which he was told that, 
however true his opinion might be, it would 
be imprudent to express it. J 

Sir Colin Campbell kept silence on the 
same principle; but now says, that if he 
had uttered his feelings regarding the 
sepoys ten years ago, he would have been 
shot.§ 

Major John Jacob wrote a pamphlet |j in 
1854, in which he pointed out various de- 
fects in the system ; but the home authori- 
ties were evidently unwilling to listen to any 
unpleasant information. The reports of 
the commander-in-chief who succeeded Sir 
Charles Napier, and of the governor-general, 
were both exceedingly favourable ; but then 
the efforts of both Sir William Gomm^ and 
of Lord Dalhousie, seem to have been di- 
rected exclusively to the furtherance of very 
necessary measures for the welfare of the 
European troops. Indeed, in his lordship's 
own summary of his administration, the 
condition of the immense mass of the Indian 
army, amounting to nearly 300,000 men, is 

\ Speech in the House of Lords, July 15th, 1857. 

§ Times, 15lh January, 1858. 

jl Native Troops of the Indian Army, 

^ Indiati JSmjnre, vol. i., p. 537. 



ALLEGED SEPOY GRIEVANCES— FRANKING ABOLISHED. 



Ill 



dismissed iu the following brief, and, if 
accurate, very satisfactory sentence : — 

"The position of the Native soldier in 
India has long been such as to leave hardly 
auy circumstance of his position iu need of 
improvement/'* 

This statement is hardly consistent with 
that made by the chairman of the East 
India Company (Mr. R. D. Mangles) to tlie 
cadets at Addiscombe, in June, 1857. He 
adverted to the " marked alteration in the 
tone and bearing of the younger officers of 
the Indian army, towards the natives of all 
ranks," as a fact which "all joined in la- 
menting ;" and he added, that if the " es- 
trangement of officers from men, and espe- 
cially of English from Native officers, was 
allowed to continue and grow, it was impos- 
sible to calculate the fatal consequences that 
might ensue. "t 

Here, at least, was one point in which the 
treatment of the Native soldiery was sus- 
ceptible of improvement. But there were 
others in which the peculiar advantages 
they had once enjoyed liad sensibly dimin- 
ished : their work had increased ; their pay, 
at least in the matter of extra allowances, 
had decreased. Sinde, for instance, M'as 
just as unhealthy — ^just as far from the 
homes of the sepoys ; under British as 
under Native government; yet the premium 
previously given for foreign service was 
withdrawn on annexation. So also in the 
Punjab, and elsewhere. 

The orders for distant service came 
round more rapidly as territory increased. 
The sepoys became involved in debt by 
change of station, and the Madras troops 
could, ill aftbrd the travelling expenses of 
their families, from whom they never wil- 
lingly separate, and whose presence has 
probably been a chief cause of their fidelity 
during the crisis. One regiment, for in- 
stance, has had, within the last few years, 
to build houses and huts at three different 
stations; and on their late return from 
Burmah, the men had to pay sixty rupees 
per cart, to bring their wives and children 
from Burhampoor to Vellore, a distance of 
700 miles. This is said to be a fair ave- 
rage specimen of what is going on every- 
where. " The result is, that the men are 
deeply embarrassed. A sepoy on seven 

* Minute, dated 28tli February. 185G: p. 41. 
t See Daily News, July 13lh,"l857, p.p. 26, 27. 
X Norton's Rebellion in India. 
^ Letter signed " Caubulee." — Daili/ Xews, July 
17th, 1837. 



rupees a-month, who has to pay fifty or 
sixty rupees for his wife's cart once in every 
two or three years, is unavoidably plunged 
in debt. He must borrow at exorbitant in- 
terest from the money-lender ; and before he 
can reclaim the past, the ' route' comes for a 
fresh march to far-distant cantonments, and 
hurries him into fresh difficulties."^ 

The Bengal sepoys do not carry their 
families with them on a campaign, but 
leave them in their native villages, visiting 
them every year. The furloughs granted 
for this purpose, have been diminished in 
consequence of the growing necessities of 
the service ; and another infringement of 
a prerogative, which their separation from 
their wives and children rendered very 
valuable, Avas committed by the withdrawal 
of their privilege of franking letters to their 
homes. Several late regulations regarding 
the payment of pensions, and increasing 
strictness on the part of the general in- 
validing committee, are asserted to have 
been viewed by the sepoys as involving 
breach of faith on the part of the govern- 
ment. They are said to have felt with the 
old Scotchwoman, "I ken ye're cheating 
me, but I dinna ken exactly hoo."§ Any 
alteration in the rules of the retiring pen- 
sion-list, was watched by the sepoy with 
jealous care. Tiie terms which secured to 
him a fixed monthly stipend in the event of 
becoming incapacitated for further duty after 
a service of fifteen years, and which, if he 
died in battle, or from sickness while on 
foreign service, made some provision for his 
family, could not of course be altered, even 
slightly, without exciting alarm as to what 
further changes might follow. The Bengal 
sepoys were largely drawn from Oude; 
and not from Oude generally, but from 
certain limited districts. Naturally there 
existed among them the feeling observable 
in British soldiers born iu the same county, 
when associated in a regiment on foreign 
service; and possibly it was clanship, quite 
as much as caste, which bound them together: 
but whatever it was, a strong tie of union, and 
consequent power of combination, existed 
among them, which rendered them efficient 
for good or evil. Sir John Malcolm had 
given a memorable warning regarding them. 
Neither the Hindoo nor the Mohammedan 
soldier were, he said, revengeful, but both 
were prone to acts of extreme violence in 
points where they deemed their honour 
slighted. The absence of any fear of death 
was common to them all. Such au iustru- 



112 OPPOSITE VIEWS— MALCOLM AND GENERAL ANSON. 



ment as an armv constituted of men like 1 The Afghan war was very unpopular for 
these aflForded, had need be managed with ' this reason ; and the calamities and sore dis- 
comfiture endured there, deepened the un- 
favourable impression which it made upon 
tlie whole Native army, and generally upon 
the people of India. An insurrection in the 
Saugor and Nerbudda districts broke out in 
1842. The wild barons of the liills and 
jungles swept down over the valleys and 
cultivated plains; yet the pillaged inhabi- 
tants yielded little support to the officers of 
the government, and would furnish no 
information with regard to the movements 
of the insurrectionists. Colonel Sleeman 
was sent by Lord Ellenborough to inquire 
into the cause of this inconsistency. He 
assembled a party of about fifty of the low- 
landers in his tent ; and there, seated on 
the carpet, each man freely spoke his mind. 
Umrao Sing, a sturdy, honest farmer, spoke 
of the conduct of the chiefs as quite natural. 
The sudden withdrawal of the troops for 



care and wisdom, or our strength would 
become our danger. The minds of the 
sepoys were alive to every impulse, and 
would all vibrate to the same toucti. Kind- 
ness, liberality, and justice would preserve 
their attachnient : besides this, Malcolm 
adds, " we must attend to the most trifling 
of their prejudices, and avoid rash inno- 
vations; but, above all, those that are 
calculated to convey to their minds the 
most distant alarm in points connected 
with their usages or religion."* This 
policy found little favour among the Euro- 
peans in 1856. 

The exclusive payment of the troops in 
such an inconveniently heavy coin as the sil- 
ver rupee (two-shilling) piece, obliges them 
to resort frequently to money-changers; 
and thus to lose a per-centage on their 
small stipend. Unfortunately, the gover- 



nor-general, whose practical ability might objects of distant conquest, and the tidings 
liave been so beneficially exercised in this of disaster and defeat, awakened their hopes 
and other matters, appears to have listened 
to only one set of statements regarding the 
Native army, and to have acted upon the 
principle that the sepoy had been ''over- 
petted," and required sterner discipline. 

General Anson, who succeeded Sir Wil- 
liam Gomm in command of the army, took 
the same view of the case, only a more exag- 



of regaining their former position, for they 
thought the British raj at an end. Colonel 
Sleeman said, that the farmers and cultiva- 
tors of the disturbed districts, having been 
more favoured, in regard to life and property, 
than in any other part of India, ought to 
have been stanch to their protectors : 
" but," he added, "there are some men who 



gerated one. When the cartridge agitation never can be satisfied ; give them what you 
first commenced, he set at nought the 
feelings of the sepoys, by declaring that 
"he would never give in to their beastly 
prejudices." This speech sufficiently reveals 
the character of the commander-in-chief to 
whom it could be even attributed with any 
show of probability; and it certainly de- 
serves a place among the immediate causes 
of the mutiny. t The European officers 
appear to have too generally adopted the 
same tone, especially as regarded the Ben- 
galees ; and it was commonly said, that 
whereas the leading feeling with the Bom- 
bay and ^ladras sepoys was the honour of 
their regiment, that of the Bengal sepoy 



will, they will always be craving after 
more." "True, sir," replied Umrao Sing, 
with the utmost gravity, "there are some 
people who can never be satisfied, give them 
what you will ; give them the whole of 
Hiudoostan, and they will go oflf to Cabool 
to take more." J 

Hedayut Ali, a subahdar of the Bengal 
Seik battalion, a man of excellent character, 
whose father and grandfather had occupied 
the highest positions attainable to natives in 
the British service, has furnished some 
important evidence on the causes of disaffec- 
tion among the sepoys. He lays much 
stress on the sufferingrs endured bv the 



was the pride of caste. But, in fact, all the sepoys in Afghanistan in 1838-'9, and the 



Hindoos, except the outcastes, maintain 
more or less strongly, certain religious 
prejudices which interfere with their effi- 
ciency as soldiers ; especially their invariable 
dislike to sea voyages, and to passing cer- 
tain recognised boundaries. 

* Malcolm on the Government of India, p. 219. 

f Cooper's Crisis in the Pintjah, p. 37. 

j Sleeiiian's Journey ihrouyJi Oude, vol. ii., p. 95. 



violations of caste which they were com- 
pelled to commit by the extreme cold, espe- 
cially in the matter of eating without first 
bathing, and of wearing sheepskin jackets; 
whereas no Hindoo, except of the lowest 
caste, likes to touch the skin of a dead 
animal. 

The annexation of Oude is cited by this 
witness as having, in addition to other real 



ARBITRARY REGULATIONS OF GENERAL ANSON— 185G. 113 



or imaginary grievances, caused universal 
disaflfection throughout the array, which 
from that time determined upon mutinying. 
The grounds upon which this opinion is 
based, are very clearly stated. On the 14th 
of March, 1856, the King of Oude reached 
Cawnpoor, on his way to Calcutta. Hedayut 
Ali reached that city on the same day. He 
remained there six days, and had frequent 
interviews with the king's vakeels, courtiers, 
and servants; as did also the principal 
people of Cawnpoor, and many of the Native 
ofiScers and sepoys of the regiments stationed 
there; all of whom were indignant at the 
king's dispossession. The vakeel of Nana 
Sahib was among the visitors, and took pains 
to increase the excitement, by saying how 
displeased and grieved his master was by the 
conduct of the English. Shortly after, 
Hedayut Ali proceeded to join his corps at 
Lahore, and marched thence to Bengal. 
On the way, he learnt that the Native in- 
fantry at Barrackpoor were showing symp- 
toms of mutiny ; and this, with other intelli- 
gence, he, from time to time, communicated 
to his commanding officer. 

The King of Oude again visited Cawnpoor 
in December, 1856, and stayed about a 
fortnight ; during which time much mischief 
is said to have been concocted. Meanwhile 
the commander-in-chief and the governor- 
general were initiating measures very dis- 
pleasing to various classes of natives. The 
Madras sepoys had shown, at Vellore, how 
dangerous it was to interfere with the 
marks on their foreheads, or the fashion of 
their turbans. The Seiks and Mohamme- 
dans are scarcely less susceptible on the 
subject of their beards and moustachios. 
Consequently, in the extensive enlistments 
of these races, carried on after the annexa- 
tion of the Punjab, a pledge was given that 
no interference should be attempted in the 
matter of hair-dressing. General Anson, 
however, issued an order, directing the 
Mohammedans to cut their beards after a 
prescribed fashion. They refused, pleading 
the condition of their enlistment. The 
general insisted on their obeying the order, 
or quitting the service ; and many of them, 
sooner than suffer what, in their view, was 
a disgrace, took their discharge, and went 
to their homes. Sir Charles Napier under- 
stood the native character far too well to 
have so needlessly played the martinet, in- 
dependently of the sympathy which he 
would naturally have felt for the recusants, 
by reason of having himself " a beard bke a 

VOL. II. Q 



Cashmere goat." The discharged sepoys 
"bitterly complained of the commanding 
officers having broken faith with them ; and 
several of them, who afterwards re-enlisted 
in the same regiment as Hedayut Ali, 
frequently spoke of the manner in which 
they had been deprived of the benefit of 
several years' service. But the crowning 
act of innovation enacted by Lord Canning 
and General Anson, was the general service 
order of 1856, by which all recruits were to 
be compelled to swear that they would go, 
by sea or land, wherever their services were 
required. The refusal of the 38th Bengal 
infantry to march to Burmah, was severely 
punished by Lord Dalhousie's sending the 
regiment by land to Dacca, where the can- 
tonments were very bad, and the loss of 
life among the troops extremely heavy."* 
He did not, however, attempt to strike 
such a blow as that now aimed at caste ; 
for the unqualified aversion to the sea 
entertained by the Bengal sepoys, would, it 
was well known, prevent many from bring- 
ing up their children to a profession which 
they had learned to look upon as an here- 
ditary means of obtaining an honourable 
maintenance. They feared also for them- 
selves. Hedayut Ali says — " When the 
old sepoys heard of this order, they were 
much frightened and displeased. 'Up to 
this day, those men who went to Afghanis- 
tan have not been readmitted to their 
caste; how are we to know where the Eng- 
lish may force us to go? They will be 
ordering us next to go to London.' Any 
new order is looked upon with much sus- 
picion by the Native army, and is much 
canvassed in every regiment." 

This latter remark is unquestionably a just 
one; the intercourse maintained throughout 
the Bengal army, and tl^e rapid and correct 
transmission of intelligence, hanng beeu 
one of the most marked features of the 
mutinies. The folloAving observations are 
also painfully correct : — 

" Of late years the sepoys have not confided in their 
officers. • • • A native of Hindoostan seldom 
opens his mind to his officer ; he only says what he 
thinks would please his officer. The sepoys reserve 
their real opinion until they return to their lines 
and to their comrades. • • • The government 
must be aware, that when a soldier has once or twice 
shown a disposition to mutiny, he is useless as a 
soldier : one mutinous sepoy infects a whole com- 
pany ; and gradually, one man after another, from 
fear or sympathy, joins the mutineers. 

" Many commanding officers, to my knowledge, 
reported "that regiments were all right, when they 

• Norton's Rehellion in India, p. 21. 



114 



EVILS OF THE SENIORITY SYSTEM— 185fi. 



knew that there were discontent and bad feeling in 
the ranks; and, to my belief, for the sake of the 
name of their respective regiments, concealed the 
real state of their regiments, until at length the 
sepoys took to murdering their officers. * 
Another reason (and, in my opinion, a very serious 
one) -why the army became mutinous and disaffected 
is this. ' Promotion all went by senioritj-, and not, 
as it ought, according to merit and proficiency. All 
the old men, from length of service worth nothing 
as commissioned or non-commissioned officers, re- 
ceived promotion ; while younger men, in every way 
fit, languished in their lines : saying, ' What use is 
there in us exerting ourselves ; we cannot^ get pro- 
motion until our turn comes, and that time can't 
come until our heads are gray and our mouths 
toothless.' JFor this reason, the sepoys for the most 
part drew their pay, and were careless with regard 
to their duty. The higher ranks of the Native army, 
from old age alone, were quite incapacitated from 
doing their duty, even had they the will to do it. 
I state confidently, that the generality of Native 
officers were an encumbrance to the state : instead 
of commanding sepoys, the sepoys commanded 
them ; and instead of the commissioned and non- 
commissioned ranks preventing the men from muti- 
nying, they rather persuaded them to do so."* 

The above opinion of a Native officer 
on the effect of the Bengal military system 
upon his countrymen, reads like the echo 
of tliat of Indophilus, regarding its opera- 
tion on the Europeans. The arguments 
urged in the two cases are so nearly iden- 
tical, that it may well be asked whether 
justice and common sense do not prompt to 
the same course of general legislation. 

" Under a pure seniority sptem, an officer's pro- 
motion goes on precisely in the same manner 
whether he exerts himself or takes his ease; and as 
few love exertion for its own sake, the majority take 
their ease. Under a system of selection according 
to qualification and service, promotion is dependent 
upon exertion, and the majority consequently exert 
themselves. Those only who know the Bengal 
army can form some estimate of the amount of idle- 
ness and bad habit engendered by the seniority 
system co-operating with the enervating influences 
of the climate, which wf)uld be converted into active 
interest in professional duty, by the substitution of a 
well-considered system of promotion according to 
qualification and good service."t 

Lord MelvilleJ had also urged, so far as he 
was allowed to do, the evils of the seniority 
system. Other authorities, more or less di- 
rectly, assert, that it was the defective charac- 
ter, rather than the insufficient number, of 
the officers left to do regimental duty as "the 
refuse of the army," which weakened their 

• Translated by Captain T. Rattray, from the 
original Oordoo ; and published in the Tiynes, April 
1st, 1858. 

t Letters of Inclophilus, p. 18. 

X The directors are said to defend themselves for 
neglecting Lord Melville's representations, on the 
ground that his "evidence was contradicted most 



hold on their men. Brigadier-general Jacob 
remarks, that " qualifications, not numbers, 
are uecessaiy for the leaders of the native 
Indian soldiers ;" and his opinion is cor- 
roborated by the fact, that the irregular 
aud. local force, which was officered entirely 
by a few but picked men, was — allowing for 
discrepancies of pay and dates of enlist- 
ment — generally held to be in an equally, 
if not more, efficient condition than the 
regular regiments. 

A well-informed, but not unprejudiced, 
witness says, that the conduct of irregular 
regiments, which possess only three Euro- 
pean officers, has always contrasted so 
favourably with that of line regiments, 
with their fourteen or fifteen, that the 
natural conclusion one would arrive at is, 
that the latter are over-officered. He also 
deprecates the seniority system, by which 
a sepoy who may enter the service at the 
age of sixteen, cannot count on finding 
himself a naik (corporal) before he attains 
the age of thirty-six; a havildar (sergeant) 
before forty-five; a jemadar (lieutenant) 
before fifty-four; or a subahdar (captain) 
before sixty; while, "after fifty, most natives 
are utterly useless."^ 

Tiie full complement of European officers 
to each regular regiment is twenty-six; but 
of these half are generally absent, either on 
service or on furlough. The commander 
is usuallj'^ a lieutenant-colonel ; then there 
is an adjutant, to superintend the drill; a 
quartermaster, whose duty it is to look 
after the clothing of the men; and, lastly, 
an interpreter. The necessity for this last 
functionary lies at the root of our late sudden 
calamity; for the officers, if they had been 
able and willing to hold close intercourse 
with their men, and explain to them the 
reasons for the various unpopular orders 
recently issued, would, if they could not 
remove disaffection, at least have become 
acquainted with its existence. An infantry 
regiment on the Bengal establishment com- 
prises ten companies, each containing a 
hundred privates, two native commissioned, 
and twelve non-commissioned officers. 

The great increase of the irregular regi- 
ments has been in itself a source of jealousy 
and heartburning to the regular troops, who 

strongly, in every particular, by that of Sir Patrick 
Grant, who assured us, that the Bengal army (of 
which he had been long adjutant-general) was all 
that it should be."— Letter, signed " H. C." — Uailv 
Aeio/t, July 25th, 1857. 

§ 3Iutiny of the Bengal Army by one who has 
served under Sir Charles Napier ; pp. 1 ; 7. 



ARBITRARY REGULATIONS OF 1856. 



115 



expected that their numbers would be 
largely augmented on the recent annexa- 
tions, and that extensive promotions would 
take place. This expectation was wholly 
disappointed. The enormous expenses of 
the army rendered the comparative cheap- 
ness of irregular troops an irresistible advan- 
tage. According to the Army List for 1857, 
the irregular and local force of Bengal num- 
bered forty-two infantry, and twenty-seven 
cavalry regiments; and the so-called contin- 
gents of Native States, comprised sixteen of 
cavalry and nineteen of infantry : in all, 
ninety-four regiments; the whole officered 
by picked men from the twenty-four regi- 
ments of the regular army. The relative 
numbers of the three armies need not be 
given here, as their proportions and distribu- 
tion are immediately connected with the 
history about to be entered on. The ques- 
tion of the greased cartridges has been 
already noticed under the head of *' Caste ;'' 
and will frequently recur iu the ensuing 
narrative. 



A Mohammedan Conspiracy , widely rami- 
fied and deeply rooted, is urged by some 
authorities as in itself the great motive 
power of the late political convulsion ; 
others, on the contrary, deny its exij>tence, 
on the ground of no sufficient evidence 
having been adduced thereof. 

Dr. Alexander Duff, the eloquent Pres- 
byterian preacher of Calcutta, writing in 
August, 1857, says — " It is a long-con- 
cocted Mohammedan conspiracy now come 
to a head. The main object is the destruc- 
tion of British power, and the reascendancy 
of Mohammedan. Even the cartridge 
affair was only a casual incident, of which 
the conspirators adroitly took advantage."* 

In his published Letters on the Indian 
Rebellion, the Doctor throughout insists on 
Mussulman intrigues as being continually 
developed and exposed ; but he wrote in 
a season of excitement, when rumours 
abounded of dangers and atrocities, many 
of which have happily proved unfounded, 
but which naturally served to confirm his 
preconceived opinion. The truth is terrible 
enough; and for the sake of our national 
honour, for the sake of human nature, and, 
above all, for the sake of truth itself, we 

• Speech of the Hon. A. Kinnah-d, llth June, 
18.57 : second edition ; p. 35. 

t Proclamation issued by Prince Mirza Moham- 
med Feroze Shah, 17th February. 1858. 

t See Times, September 1st, 1857. 



should strive to strip this fearful episode of 
the obscurity in which conflictinir exaffse- 
rations have wrapped its origin and pro- 
gress. Beyond question, the !NIohammedan 
princes of India have strong reason for 
combining to restore the green flag of Islam 
to its former supremacy in Hindoostan. If 
an opportunity offered, it is at least highly 
probable that the orthodox Sounites of 
Delhi, and the heterodox Sheiahs of Oude, 
would be content to forget for a time the 
rival claims of Caliphs and Imaums to 
apostolic succession, and make common 
cause against the power which treats both 
with indifference. 

The whole Mussulman body would of 
necessity be drawn closer together by the 
danger which threatened all alike. They 
had still something to lose; that is, some- 
thing to fight for. Submission had not 
succeeded iu preserving the independence 
of Oude ; and even Hyderabad, much more 
the titular principality of Delhi, seemed 
tottering to a close. Still the Mohamme- 
dans were as a handful amid a heap; and 
the chief point to solve was, whether the 
recent innovations had sufficiently disgusted 
the leading Hindoos to render them willing 
to forget past usurpations, and join with 
their former subjugators in attempting the 
overthrow of the British rjij. 

Tippoo Sultan had made an effort of the 
kind, but without success; and it now ap- 
pears, by his own proclamation, that Prince 
Mirza Feroze Shah, on his return from a 
pilgrimage to Mecca, "persuaded many at 
Delhi to raise a religious war;" being in- 
cited thereto by observing that "the Eng- 
lish were in a bad and piecarious state. "f 

Great anxiety had been felt at Delhi, 
throughout the period of Lord Dalhousie's 
administration, regarding the manner in 
which his annexation policy would be 
brought to bear upon the family who, fallen 
as they were, still represented, in the minds 
of the Indian people, the mighty Mogul 
emperors of old, and whose restoration to 
power had been prayed for daily in the 
mosques throughout India for nearly a 
hundred years J 

In 1849, the heir-apparent died, and the 
Indian government recommended the Court 
of Directors to "terminate the dynasty of 
Timour whenever the reigning king should 
die." The court consented ; but so reluc- 
tantly, that the governor-general did not 
care to avail himself of their permission, 
and therefore recoi^uised the grandson of 



116 PERSIAN WAR DEPRIVED INDIA OF EUROPEAN TROOPS— 1856. 



the king as heir-apparent; "but only on 
condition that he slioulcl quit the palace in 
Delhi, in order to reside in the palace at 
the Kootub ; and that he should, as king, 
receive the governor-general of India, at all 
times, on terms of perfect equality." 

These conditions show that something 
of external pomp and circumstance still 
lingered around Delhi, of which the repre- 
sentatives of the East India Company were 
anxious to be rid, and the royal family as 
anxious to retain. True, the power had 
long vanished; but even the tarnished 
pageantry was clung to, naturally enough, 
by those who had no other birthright, and 
no prospect of being able to win their way to 
wealth and honour as warriors ; the profes- 
sion of arms being the only one in which a 
Mohammedan prince of the blood could en- 
gage without forfeiting caste. The sullateeu 
(plural for sultan) — as the various branches 
of the family are termed — are probably a very 
idle and dissolute race. It is in the nature 
of things that they should have become so. 
Certainly we never did anything to hinder 
their debasement ; and have, while acting as 
their political and pecuniary trustees, been 
lamentably indifferent to their moral and 
physical welfare. We never evinced the 
slightest interest in them; and have no 
right to wonder at their degradation. 

With the downfall of the dynasty we had 
no concern. In dealing generously with 
Shah Alum, we acted with sound policy. 
All India respected us for it. Even in 
Leadenhall-street, sufficient memory of the 
bygone feelings and events lingered in 1849, 
to make the application of the new absorp- 
tion laws seem peculiarly harsh in the case 
of Delhi. The scruples of the Court of Direc- 
tors induced Lord Dalhousie to draw back 
his hand, at least as far as the titular sove- 
reignty was concerned ; but his proposal for 
its extinction having been once mooted, and 
even sanctioned, itmay be considered that the 
sentence was rather deferred tlian reversed. 
This, at least, was the public opinion. 
It is a singular fact, that the same accounts 
from India, which have been already quoted 
as describing the unbroken tranquillity of 
the entire peninsula at the close of 1856^ 
state that the palace of Delhi was " in a 
ferment," owing to the recent death of the 
heir-apparent from cholera, and the renewed 
discussion regarding the succession. " We 
have (it is added) no treaty, agreement, or 

* Calcutta correspondent, November 8lh, 1856. — 
Timss, December 9th, 1856. 



stipulation with Delhi. The king's privi- 
leges and pension were all granted as of 
free grace ; and the former will probably be 
withdrawn. The palace is a sink of iniquity ; 
and the family, on the death of its present 
head, will probably be compelled to move."* 
The same paper contains the announce- 
ment that the anticipated declaration of war 
against Persia had appeared in a proclama- 
tion published at Calcutta on the 1st of 
November, 1856. The casus belli was the 
breach of the treaty of 1853, by which the 
Persian government promised to abstain 
from all interference with Herat; the inde- 
pendence of that city, under its brave chief, 
Esa Khan, being deemed essential to the 
security of the British frontier. On the 
pretence that Dost Mohammed had been 
instigated to seize Candahar and advance 
upon Herat, a Persian army crossed into 
the Herat territory (which was declared to be 
Persian soil), and laid siege to the city. 
Under instructions from the home govern- 
ment, a force was assembled at Bombay for 
service in the Persian Gulf. The Times' 
correspondent describes the departure of 
the force, in three divisions, as taking place 
in the middle of November. The first, con- 
sisting of H.M.'s 64th regiment and the 
20th Native infantry, embarked from Vin- 
gorla in two steamers, each with its trans- 
port in tow. The second, comprising a 
European regiment, the 2nd Belooch cavalry, 
and two squadrons of the 3rd cavalry, sailed 
from Poorbunder and Kurrachee. The third 
embarked from Kurrachee a few days later, 
and consisted of the 4th Rifles (a very strong 
and well-appointed regiment), two troops of 
the Poona horse, a field battery, a troop of 
horse artillery, a third-class siege-train, and 
two COM) panics of sappers and miners. The 
rendezvous was fixed at Bunder Abbas, a 
place near the entrance of the gulf, in the 
occupation of our Arab ally, the Imaum of 
Muscat.f 

At the time the above facts were recorded, 
no idea appears to have been entertained of 
any connection existing between the Persian 
war and the ferment in the palace of 
Delhi. The declaration of war had been 
long expected ; and, according to the Times' 
correspondent, created little excitement at 
Bombay. The Persians, who are nume- 
rous there, as also in other large Indian 
cities, relied on the promise of protection 
given them, and remained quiescent. " Even 

t Bombay correspondent, November 17th, 185G. — 
Times, December 9th, 1856. 



=(l 













J 



REPORTS OF MOHAMMEDAN PLOTS— 1856. 



117 



the Mussulman population, who sympathise 
with Persia," he adds, " sympathise still 
more with Afghanistan ;* and the fact that 
we are fighting with, and not against, Dost 
Mohammed, is thoroughly understood. The ! 
European public accepts the war with a 
feeling of quiet resignation. The idea that 
it is our destiny to advance — that we cannot 
help ourselves, has obtained a control over 
the public mind ; and every war breaks the 
monotony of Indian life, which is the curse 
of India, as of all aristocratic life." 

It seems probable that the Persian war 
materially, though indirectly, contributed 
to break up the aristocratic monotony of 
high-caste European life, by denuding India 
of her most reliable troops. The number 
sent, of men of all arms, to the Persian 
Gulf, in November, 1856, amounted to 
5,820, of whom 2,270 were Europeans. In 
the following February a still larger force 
was dispatched, under Brigadier-general 
Havelock, consisting of 5,340 men, of 
whom about 1,770 were Europeans; and 
800 cavalry were subsequently dispatched 
at an enormous cost. Thus the " array of 
Persia" deprived India of about 12,000 
men, of whom one-third were Europeans. 
Lord Canning considered this force quite 
sufficient for any operations which Major- 
general Outram could uudei'take before the 
hot season ; but, he adds, " it is certain 
that very large reinforcements will be 
needed before a second campaign, com- 
mencing with the autumn of 1857, can be 
entered upon." 

Man proposes — God disposes. Long 
before the autumn set in, an Indian cam- 
paign had commenced, which, whether the 
Persians had or had not withdrawn their 
claims on Herat, must have equalh'^ relieved 
the governor-general from the task of pro- 
viding a third armament for the Persian 
Gulf, " to include not less than six. Euro- 
pean regiments of infantry and one of 
cavalry.'" The Persians were overcome, 
and the independence of Herat was secured, 
at a cost to Britain of about £500,000 in 
money. t Meanwhile, intimations of Persian 
intrigues were given to the authorities by 
various persons, but set at nought as idle 

• This assertion may be reasonably questioned, 
since the Sheiahs of Oude looked up to the Shah of 
Persia as the head of their sect. Mr. Ludlow says 
that the Persian v/ar caused great excitement in 
Northern India, where many of the Moslems were of 
the Sheiah sect; and he adds, that one of his rela- 
tives had himself, within the last two or three years, 
read placards on the walls of Delhi, calling true 



rumours. The trial of the King of Delhi fur- 
nishes evidence that inducements to revolt 
were held forth by the Shah of Persia, who 
promised money and troops. His procla- 
mation to that effect was posted over the 
mosque gate, and was taken down by order 
of Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, who, moreover, 
was informed by John Everett, a Christian 
risaldar very popular with the natives, that 
he had been warned to fly, as the Persians 
were coming, and the Mussulmans were 
greatly excited. Sir T. Metcalfe thought 
the information of no importance. J A state- 
ment of a jNIoharamedan plot was laid 
before Mr. Colvin ; but he also suffered the 
warning to pass unheeded, and did not even 
report it to government. 

At this very time Delhi was absolutely 
devoid of European troops, yet strongly 
fortified, and stored with the munitions of 
war. Its palace-fort was still tenanted by 
the representative of the rois faiyitants of ; 
the East, whose persons had formerly been 
fought for by opposing factions as a tower 
of strength; their compulsory signature 
being used notoriously to legitimatise usur- 
pation, and influence the populace. 

Extreme insalubrity is given by Lord 
Ellenborough as the reason why no Euro- 
pean regiment had ever yet been stationed 
there, sickness prevailing to such an extent, 
that, after the rains, two-thirds of the 
strength even of the Native troops were in 
hospital. § Sanitary measures would pro- 
bably have prevented, or greatly mitigated 
this evil (as at Seringapatam); nor does it 
appear that any cause but neglect existed 
to render Delhi less habitable than of old. 

Sir Charles Napier's prediction was one 
which any chance traveller might have rea- 
sonably made ; and there is, therefore, the 
less excuse fur the absence of obviously ne- 
cessary precautions. " Men," he said, " of 
all parts of Asia meet in Delhi ; and, some 
day or other, much mischief will be hatched 
within those cit}'' walls, and no European 
troops at hand." II He knew also, and offi- 
cially urged upon the governor-general, 
" that the powder-magazine was defended 
only by a guard of fifty natives, and the 
gates so weak that a mob could push them 

believers to the holy war in the name of the Shah of 
Persia. — Lectures on British India, vol. ii., p. 219. 

t Speech of Lord Claude Hamilton : Indian de- 
bate, July •20th, 1857. 

X Calcuttacorrespondent—r/wjes, March 29, 1858. 

§ Indian debate, July 13th, 1857. 

il Letter to a lieutenant-colonel in the Bengal 
artillery: published in the Times, 20lh August, 1857. 



118 



BRITISH RULE TO LAST A HUNDRED YEARS. 



in; whereas the place ought to be garri- 
soned by 12,000 picked men."* 

The absence of a European garrison in 
Delhi is the most unpardonable of our blun- 
ders; and — what does not always follow — 
it is the one for which we have most dearly 
paid, not in money only, but in the life- 
blood of our best and bravest soldiers. One 
cannot think of Nicholson and his gallant 
companions without bitterly denouncing 
the neglect which suffered Delhi to fall 
defenceless at the feet of a few rebels, put 
at once a sword and shield into their hands, 
and gave them the ancient Mussulman 
metropolis of India as a nucleus for every 
aggrieved chief, every disaffected soldier, 
every reckless adventurer, escaped convict, 
piudarree, thug, dacoit, to rally round, for 
the destruction of the British raj — at least 
for a long carnival of war and loot. The 
very heroism of the troops who regained 
Delhi embitters the recollection of the 
neglect by which it was lost. Dulce et 
decorum est pro patria mori ! as one of 
them (Captain Battye) said when mortally 
wounded; but, to their country, their very 
devotion only renders it more painful that 
the necessity for such sacrifices should 
have been so culpably occasioned. This is, 
however, anticipating events, the progress 
of which will best evidence how far Persian 
intrigues may have l)een connected with the 
mutiny. At present, many assertions are 
made, the truth of which yet remains in 
dispnte. It would seem, however, that the 
efforts of the King of Persia had been chiefly 
directed to Delhi; and that if communica- 
tions were entered into with leading Mo- 
hammedans in other parts of India, thfese 
had not had time to ripen; and, conse- 
quently, when the mutinies broke forth, 
heralded by incendiary fires in every British 
camp, the conspirators must have been 



taken by surprise almost as much as the 
Europeans themselves. f 

Shett NowmuU, " a native merchant of 
Kurrachee, for many years favourably known 
to government on account of his great in- 
telligence, his extensive influence and con- 
nexions throughout the countries on our 
western frontier, and his true attachment 
to the British government," communicated, 
to Mr. Freere, commissioner of Sinde, in 
June, 1857, his reasons for believing that 
" Persian influence was at the bottom of the 
mutiny." He declared that cossids (mes- 
sengers), under different disguises, withletters 
secreted in the soles of their shoes or other- 
wise, had, for the last two years, been regu- 
larly passing between Delhi and the Persian 
court, via Candahar; that a great spread of 
the Sheiah tenets of Islamism had been 
observable during the same period ; and 
also that a very perceptible decrease had 
taken place in the rancour usually existing 
between the Sheiahs and Sonnites. The 
new cartridges had been used " through the 
same influence," to excite the feelings of 
the Hindoo portion of the army, and lead 
them to mutiny. Dost Mohammed, he 
said, thought more of Persia than of 
England, for a very pertinent reason — 
" Persia is on the Dost's head ; Peshawur is 
under his feet :" J in other words, a man 
placed between two fires, would especially 
dread the more immediate one. 

Prophecies of various kinds were current 
— always are current, in India ; but when 
the mutiny broke out, more heed was given 
to them by the natives; and the Europeans 
also lent an ear, knowing that a pretended 
prophecy might disguise an actual plot, and, 
in more ways than one, work out its own 
fulfilment. The alleged prediction which 
limited the duration of the British raj to 
a hundred years, was repeated far and wide ;§ 



• Memoir en the Defence of India ; addressed by 
Sir C. Napier to Lord Dalhousie. See Indian debate 
of 23rd July, 1857. 

t In the captured tent of the Shahzada com- 
mander, after the rout of the Persians at Mohum- 
rah, there was found a royal proclamation addressed 
•' to all the people of Heran ;" but which also called 
on "the Afghan tribes, and the inhabitants of that 
country who are co-religionists of the Persians, and 
who possess the same Koran and Kebla, and laws of 
the prophet, to take part in the Jahdd." It expressly 
invited the followers of Islam in India and Sinde to 
unite and wreak vengeance on the British for all the 
injuries which the holy faith had suffered from them, 
and not to withhold any sacrifice in the holy cause. 
■" The old and the young, the small and the great, 
the wise and the ignorant, the ryot and the sepoy, 



all without exception," are summoned by the Shah- 
in-Shah to arise in defence of the orthodox faith of 
the prophet ; and having girt up the waist of valour, 
adorn their persons with arms and weapons ; and let 
the Ullema and preachers call on the people in the 
mosques and public assemblies, and in the pulpits, to 
join in a Jahdd, in the cause of God ; and thus shall 
the Ghazis in the cause of faith have a just title to 
the promises contained in the words of the prophet, 
"Verily we are of those who fought in the cause of 
God." — Blackwood's JEdinburi/h Magazine for 1857 : 
article entitled " The Poorbeah Mutiny." 

X Letter from H. B. B. Freere, commissioner of 
Sinde, to Lord Elphinstone, governor of Bombav. 
11th .lune, 1857.— Pari. Papers (253), 4th May, 
1858; p. 48. 

§ Dr. A. Duff's Letters : London, 1858; p. 26. 



RUSSIAN INTRIGUES AN ALLEGED CAUSE OF DISSAEFECTION. 119 



\ 



and the Europeans in Calcutta and many 
of the leading cities, watched the approach 
of the centenary of Plassy with a feverish 
' anxiety bordering on panic. 
j But prophecies such as these, are usually 
the consequence or the sign, rather than the 
cause, of popular tumults. In health Me 
can smile at language which, in sickness, 
excites a fevered imagination to frenz3\ 
For years the natives had been allowed to 
speculate on the future destiny, and com- 
ment on the present policy, of their rulers, 
without any lestraint whatever; now, every 
third word seemed treason. Such of the 
English functionaries as understood Indian 
languages, began to examine the literature 
of the day ; and were exceedingly puzzled to 
decide what was, and what was not, written 
with a sinister intent. 

A Persian paper, for instance, was brought 
to Mr. Freere about the commencement of 
hostilities, which described the signs preced- 
ing the day of judgment, in language strik- 
ingly applicable to existing circumstances, 
and calculated to unsettle and excite men's 
minds, and prepare them for some sudden 
disturbance ; but it read so like a free trans- 
lation of a sermon by a popular English 
preacher on the same subject, as to rendgr 
it difficult to decide how to act with regard 
to it.* 

The struggle which lias taken place be- 
tween the Cliristians and the Mussulmans, 
in various distinct parts of Europe as well 
as Asia, and which has been cotempora- 
neous with the Indian mutiny, is viewed as 
indicating a desire on the part of the pre- 
sent representatives of Islam to regain some- 
thing of their former dominancy. The Indo- 
!Mohammedans are, however, very unlike 
their co-religionists in other countries, and 
the anti-idolatrous doctrines of their founder 
liave been so corrupted by intermixture of 
the superstitious practices of modern Brah- 
minism, that it is not possible to judge 
their feelings by any test applicable to 
Mohammedans in general. 

The English naturally A'iewed, with great 
alarm, the fanatical outbreaks at Jaffa, 
Ma7-ash, and Belgrade, and still more so the 
alarming one at Jeddah; but the govern- 
ment have wisely striven to repress the sus- 
picious distrust and aversion manifested by 
the Europeans to the Mohammedans as a 
class, fearing to see them driven to revolt 
by conduct equally unjust and impolitic. f 

• Letter from H. B. B. Freere. — Pari. Papers 
(253), 4th May, 1858; p. 48. 



This possible source of mutiny has been as 
yet but very partially explored, and the 
present heat of prejudice and excitement 
must be allowed to sul)side before any satis- 
factory conclusion can be formed on the 
subject. 

Foreign intrigues are alleged to have been 
practised against us, and attempts made to 
undermine our position in India, in various 
ways, by a Christian as well as by a Mo- 
hammedan power; by Russia as well as 
Persia. It is difficult to say how far the 
vague expectation of Russian invasion (which 
certainly exists in India) has been occasioned 
by exaggerated rumours, and perverted re- 
ports gleaned from European journals, and 
circulated by the native press during the 
period of the Crimean war, or how much 
of it may be attributed to the deliberate 
machinations of Russia. 

In England, both sources of danger were 
equally disregarded; and, amid the misera- 
ble inconsistencies which marked the war 
from beginniug to end, not the least was 
the fact, that one of the arguments used to 
reconcile the people to lieavy additional tax- 
ation, was the necessity of maintaining and 
restoring effete and incapable Mohamme- 
dan Turkey, as a means of checking the in- 
ordinate increase of the power of Russia, and 
making the battle-field in the Crimea, rather 
than on the frontier of our Indian empire. 
The Russian government intimated, that to 
roll back their European boundary would 
but lead them to advance their Asiatic one; 
and some years before the campaign of 1853, 
their organ at St. Petersburg declared that, 
in the event of war, the czar would dictate 
the terms of peace at Calcutta. In the 
teeth of this defiant warning, the British 
ministry, accustomed to treat India as a sort 
of peculiarly circumstanced colony, and to 
neglect colonies as a matter of course, paid 
no heed whatever to the strange excitement 
manifested tliroughout India at the first 
tidings of the Crimean conflict. No pains 
were taken to ascertain the tone adopted by 
the natives, or to guard against rumours cir- 
culated and schemes set afoot by foreign emis- 
saries, in a country where a passport system 
would have been a common measure of pru- 
dence. Ministers concentrated all their 
energies on the conduct of the European 
struggle (though not with any very satisfac- 
tory result), and acted as if on the under- 
standing that, "during the Russiau war, the 

t See letter of Lord Uohart.— Times, December 
3rd, 1857. 



120 



RUSSIAN ROUBLES IN BAZAARS— 1857. 



government had too much to do, to be ex- 
pected to attend to India."* 

The ill effects which the tidings of the 
Russian and Persian wars were calculated 
to produce in India, were aggravated by 
the drain of European troops thereby occa- 
sioned. The government demand for two 
regiments of infantry for the Crimean war, 
was earnestly deprecated by Lord Dalhousie. 

"Although the war with Russia," observes his 
lordship, "does not directly affect our Indian do- 
minions, yet it is unquestionably exercising at this 
moment a most material influence upon the minds of 
the people over whom we rule, and upon the feelings 
of the nations by which we are surrounded ; and thus 
it is tending indirectly to affect the strength and the 
stability of our power. 

" The authorities in England cannot, I think, be 
aware of the exaggerated estimate of the power of 
Russia which has been formed by the people of 
India. I was myself unaware of it until the events 
of the past year have forced it upon my convictions. 
Letters from various parts of India have shown me, 
that the present contest is regarded by them with 
the deepest interest, and that its issue is by no 
means considered so certain as we might desire. 
However mortifying to our pride it may be to know 
it, and however unaccountable such a belief may 
appear in people living amidst the visible evidences 
of our might, it is an unquestionable fact, that it is 
widely believed in India, that Russia is pressing us 
hard, and that she will be more than a match for us 
at last. 

" We know by our correspondence in the East, 
that the King of Ava has' declaredly been acting on 
this feeling; and that, influenced by it, he has been 
delaying the dispatch of the mission which many 
months ago he spoke of sending to Calcutta. * • * 
" India is now in perfect tranquillity from end to 
end. I entertain no apprehension whatever of dan- 
ger or disturbance. We are perfectly secure so long 
as we are strong, and are believed to be so : but if 
European troops shall be now withdrawn from India 
to Europe ; if countenance shall thus be given to 
the belief already prevalent, that we have grappled 
with an antagonist whose strength will prove equal 
to overpower us ; if, by consenting to withdrawal, 
we shall weaken that essential element of our 
military strength, which has already been declared 
to be no more than adequate for ordinary times ; 
and if, further, we should be called lypon to dispatch 
an army to the Persian Gulf — an event which, 
unlooked-for now, may any day be brought about 
by the thraldom in which Persia is held, and by 
the feeble and fickle character of the Shah ; then, 
indeed, I shall no longer feel, and can no longer 
express the same confidence as before, that the 



land shall be engaged in her present struggle with 
Russia." f 

The regiments were nevertheless with- 
drawn, and were not even returned at the 
close of the Russian war. Then came the 
Persian war, and the requisition upon Lord 
Canning, Avho complied less reluctantly 
than Lord Dalhousie had done; but still 
under protest. Lord Canning reminded 
the home authorities, that, for all Indian 
purposes, the strength of the army would 
be equally reduced, whether the regiments 
were sent to Persia or to the Crimea. He 
spoke of the excitement which even a dis- 
tant war raised in the minds of the natives, 
and insisted on the necessity of an increase 
of European troops, as necessary to the 
safety of India during the continuance of 
hostile operations against Persia. J 

It is at least possible that the Russian 
government should have retaliated on us 
our invasion of its territory, by striving 
to sow discord in India. The course of the 
rebellion has afforded many incidents cal- 
culated to produce a conviction of their 
having done so : for instance, the assertion 
of one of the Delhi princes, that when the 
mutineers marched on that city, the royal 
fapiily believed them to be the advanced 
guard of the Russian array. Another far 
more significant fact, which was communi- 
cated to me on the authority of a naval 
officer in a high position on the Indus, was 
the extraordinary amount of silver roubles 
seen in the bazaars in the North-West 
Provinces, immediately before the mutiny, 
and supposed to have passed to the tables of 
the money-changers from the notoriously 
well-filled pockets of Russian spies. The ex- 
tent and mode in which this agency may 
have been employed, will probably never be 
revealed; but it can hardly be doubted that 
it is an active and recognised mode of ob- 
taining the accurate and comprehensive 
information possessed by the government 
of St. Petersburg, regarding the condition of 
the domestic and foreign affairs of every 
other nation. Spies, in time of peace, may 
security and stability of our position in the East will I easily become political incendiaries in time 
remain unassailed. * * • In a country where of war, in countries hostile to the authority 
the entire English community is but a handful of vvhich they serve. As to detecting them, 



scattered strangers, I feel it to be a public duty to 
record, that in my deliberate judgment, the Euro- 
pean infantry force in India, ought in no case to 
be weakened by a single man, so long as Eng- 

• Speeches of Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Vernon Smith, 
president of the India Board.-^Indian debate, July 
26th, 1857. 

t Minute by the governor-general : 13th Septem- 



that is next to impossible : a charge of this 
nature is always difficult to prove; but, 
to an Englishman, the difficulty is iusur- 

ber, 1854.— Pari Papers, 12th February, 1858; pp. 
7; 9. 

X Minutes dated 7th and 8th February, 1857. — 
Pari. Papers, 20th July. 1857 ; pp. 8, 9. 



RUSSIAN SPIES AND POLITICAL DETECTIVES. 



121 



mountable. Clever thieves, clever forgers, 
England has produced in abundance: un- 
scrupulous politicians are not quite un- 
known among usj but our secret service 
department ha8, on the whole, been singu- 
larly free from subterranean and syste- 
matised " dirty work." The secret opening 
of a letter is scouted at, in a political func- 
tionary, as listening at a keyhole would be 
in a private individual; and, even while 
quite uncertain as to the extent of the 
mutiny in 1849, Sir Charles Napier would 
not entertain the idea of examining the 
correspondence of the sepoys, then passing 
to an unusual extent through the govern- 
ment post-offices. The Russian language 
has probably many words which, like the 
French one fin, finesse, and others, have no 
equivalent in English ; nor has America — 
sharp, shrewd, and slick as some of her 
children are — annexed to the mother-tongue 
any words which serve as fit exponents for 
that peculiar branch of continental diplo- 
macy which renders trained spies a regular 
governmental department. We liave no 
political detectives among us. Our aristo- 
cracy, whether of rank or letters, may 
indeed be occasionally annoyed by the 
indiscretion of caterers for the public press, 
in the shape of newspaper reporters and 
gossiping memoir writers ; but, at our tables, 
the host speaks his mind in the plainest 
terms regarding the most powerful per- 
sonages of the moment, without fearing 
that one of his servants may be taking 
notes behind his chair, which may procure 
his exile or imprisonment; and the hostess 
is equally certain that none of her guests 
will drive from her roof to lodge informa- 
tion of some enthusiastic ebullition which 
has escaped her lips, and for which neither 
youth nor beauty, character nor station, 
would save her from personal chastisement 
under the orders of a Russian Usher of the 
Black Rod. "What we call grumbling in 
Great Britain, folks abroad call treason; and 
that is an ofience for which Britons have so 
little temptation, that they are slow to note 
its existence, or provide against it even 
when themselves exercising those despotic 
powers which, if men dare not openly oppose, 
they secretly strive against. To what extent 
Russian emissaries have fomented Indian 
disaffection, will probably never be proved : 
the natives can, perhaps, give information on 
the subject, if they will; and if that evidence 
be obtained, and thoroughly sifted, by men 
possessing intimate acquaintance with the 

VOL. II. R 



Indian languages and character, united to 
sound judgment, some light may yet be 
thrown on a subject every branch of which 
is most interesting as regards the past, most 
important as regards the future. 

No Englishman, except under very pecu- 
liar circumstances, would ever detect spies 
amid a multitude of foreigners. I speak 
strongly on this point, because, in China, 
several Russians were pointed out to me by 
the experienced Dr. Gutzlaff; dressed in the 
costume of the country, speaking the lan- 
guage, adopting the habits of the people, 
and appearing, to the casual observer, to all 
intents native born. 

It is notorious that a Captain Vikovitch 
played a conspicuous part in inciting the 
unjust and disastrous expedition to Af- 
ghanistan against Dost Mohammed. This 
and many other instances, leave little doubt 
that Rus-sia maintains, in Central Asia, 
agents to watch and, if possible, influence 
the proceedings of England, and probably 
receives from some of the Greek or Arme- 
nian merchants settled at Calcutta or 
Bombay, accounts about the state finances, 
the army, and affairs in general ; but, be- 
sides this, disclosures are said to have been 
made which prove that Russian emissaries, 
under various guises, have been successfully 
at work in inflaming the bigotry of the 
Mussulman, and the prejudices of the 
high-caste Hindoo.* It is possible, how- 
ever, that information on this subject ob- 
tained by the government, may, for obvious 
reasons, be withheld from the public. 



This introductory chapter has extended to 
a greater length than the writer anticipated 
at its commencement. His design was 
simply to state the alleged causes of the 
mutiny, as far as practicable, in the words of 
those who were their chief exponents, and 
to refrain from minjilin": therewith his own 
views. But the future welfare of India and 
of England is so manifestly connected with 
the policy now evolving from the crucible of 
heated and conflicting public and party feel- 
ing, that it is barely possible for any one 
really interested in the result, to look on, and 
describe the struggle, without I'evealing his 
own convictions on points where right and 
wrong, truth and fallacy, justice and oppres- 
sion, are clearly at issue. 

In the foregoing summary, some alleged 
causes are noted which appear to be scarcely 
compatible Avith one another. The iucom- 
• Dr. Duff's Indian ReheS'Mn, p. 93. 



122 



NATIVE INDIAN ARMY AS LARGE AS EVER— 1858. 



patibility is perhaps less real than apparent. 
What we call British India, is, in fact, a 
congeries of nations, differing in language, 
creed, and customs, as do European states, 
and with even less points of union, except- 
ing only their involuntary association under 
a foreign government. 

It follows, that in striving to trace the 
origin of wide-spread disaffection, and the 
connection between seemingly distinct in- 
surrectionary movements, we must be pre- 
pared to fiiid great variety of motive — 
general, local, and temporary — affecting 
scattered masses, and manifesting itself 
sometimes in active hostility, sometimes in 
sullen discontent. 

Under a despotic government, with an 
enormous army of native mercenaries, the 
outbreak of rei3ellion would naturally occur 
among the soldiery. While they were con- 
tented, the people would almost necessarily 
remain in complete subjection ; but if the 
soldiery had grievances, however slight 
compared with those of the people, the two 
classes would coalesce; the separate dis- 
content of each party reacting upon the 
other, the array would initiate rebellion, 
the people would maintain it. According 
to Mr. Disraeli, this has actually been the 
case ; the conduct of the Bengal troops, in 
revolting, having been that of men "who 
were not so much the avengers of profes- 
sional grievances, as the exponents of gene- 
ral discontent,'^* 

It is difficult to understand what the 
reason can have been for keeping up such 
an enormous Native army as a peace es- 
tablishment. Soldiers were used to perform 
police duties in the older provinces, where 
war had been unknown for years, simply be- 
cause there were not policemen to do them ; 
and this confounding of civil and military 
duties lies at the bottom of much misgov- 
ernment, extortion, and unnecessary ex- 
pense. The troops so variously engaged 
were trained only for arms, yet employed 
mainly in duties which officers and men 
looked upon as derogatory to them as soldiers, 
and which, in fact, they had no business 
■with at all. It was at once deteriorating 

• Debate (Commons), July 28th, 1857. t l^id. 

X The new recruits are, however, very different 
men from the tall, well-formed Brahmin or Rajpoot 
sepoys of the old Bengal army. These were six feet 
in height, and forty inches round the chest ; docile, 
polite, doing credit to their officers on parade, smart 
at drill, neat and clean on duty. Already the re- 
action has commenced; and Indian officers in gen- 
eral appear disposed to recollect (what the best and 



their efficiency, and putting power unneces- 
sarily in their hands, to employ them in 
functions which should liave been, as a mere 
matter of policy, kept perfectly distinct. 

There is much justice in Lord John 
Russell's remark, that we have had alto- 
gether too large an army, and that 50,000 
Europeans, with 100,000 Natives, would 
be a much better security, as far as 
force is concei'ned, than a Native army of 
300,000.t 

At this moment, the total amount of 
troops in our service is scarcely less than 
before the mutiny, so rapidly have new 
corps replaced the old ones, and new sources 
of supply become available to meet an 
urgent demand. J 

There is need of care, lest our new aux- 
iliaries prove equally, if not more dangerous 
than the old ones. There is more need 
than ever of moderation, or rather of justice 
and charity, being urged by the British 
public on their countrymen in India, lest 
we lose for ever our hold on the confidence 
of its vast population. 

It is most true that "the time is really 
come for the people of England and for the 
government of the country to meet the 
manifestations of a spirit which would 
render our rule in India not only a crime 
but an impossibility, by an active and reso- 
lute policy. Outrages on natives must be 
punished, unless we would willingly and 
knowingly accept the hostility of India, 
and, with our eyes open, justify the asser- 
tions of the intriguers, who tell the people 
that nothing will content us but their utter 
extermination." 

The growing alienation of the Europeans 
from the natives has been already noticed 
as a cause of disaffection ; but since that 
section was written, the free, fearless, gra- 
phic representations of Mr. Russell have 
thrown new light on the subject, and shown 
but too plainly a sufficient reason for " the 
rift, bottomless and apparently causeless, 
which, even before the mutiny, was ob- 
served as separating the European from the 
uative,and increasing inbreadth every day. "§ 
Unhappily, it is no new thing to be told 

wisest of them have never forgotten), that " Pandy, 
until he went mad in 1857, was a good orderly 
soldier." " For myself," an officer writes in a recent 
Indian journal, " I would rather serve with them 
than with the dirty, unworthy, ungentlemanly 
(Pandy was a gentleman) set of strange bedfellows 
with whom misfortune has made us acquainted," — • 
Mr, llussell— r///ie.s, Nov. 8lh, 1858, 
§ Ibid., October 20Lh, 1858. 



ILL-TREATMENT OF NATIVES— 1858. 



123 



that Englishmen in India are arrogant and 
exclusive. In the last century, West Indian 
proprietors and East Indian nabobs were 
chosen by essayists, novelists, and play- 
writers, as representing a peculiar class of 
domestic tyrants, wealthy and assumptious ; 
whose presence. Lord Macaulay said, raised 
the price of everything in their neighbour- 
hood, from a rotten borough to a rotten e^^. 
The habits they had acquired indicated the 
life they had led; and all who knew India, and 
had the intelligence to form, and the moral 
courage to express, an opinion on the sub- 
ject, sorrowfully agreed with Bishop Heber 
in deprecating the "foolish, surly, national 
pride," of which he daily saw but too many 
instances, and which he was convinced did us 
much harm in India. " We are not guilty," 
he said, "of wilful injustice or oppression; 
but we shut out the natives from our society, 
and a bullying, insolent manner is contin- 
ually assumed in speaking to them." 

Some went still further than this, and 
echoed Lord Byron's emphatic warning,* of 
the sure retribution that would attend us, if, 
instead of striving to elevate India, by safe 
and sure degrees, to our own height of free- 
dom, we tried, with selfish blindness, to get 
and keep her down beneath the iron heel of 
despotism, using the energy our own dear- 
bought freedom sustains in us, not to loosen, 
but to rivet the chains of a feebler race, for 
whose welfare we have made ourselves re- 
sponsible before God and man. 

Nothing can be more incompatible with 
the dignity of our position, than the " vulgar 
bahaudering" which disgusted Sir Charles 
Napier in 1850. It appeared then as if 
Mr. Thackeray's lash were needed to keep 
within bounds the vagaries of the Anglo-In- 
dian variety of the genus " Snob." Now the 
evil seems to have passed dealing with by 
such means ; it is the provost-marshal or 
the police-magistrate, not the accomplished 
satirist, who can alone cope with men whose 
insolent cruelty needs corporeal rather than 
mental discipline. 

The Duke of Wellington always listened 
with impatience to commendations of the 
mere courage of officers. " Brave !" he 
would say, " of course they are; all English- 
men are brave; but it is the spirit of the 

• "Look to the East, where Ganges' swarthy race 
Shall shake your tyrant empire to the base; 
Lo! there rebellion rears her ghastly head, 
And glares the Nemesis cf native dead ; 
Till Indus rolls a deep purpureal flood, 
And claims his long arrear of Northern blood; 



gentleman that makes a British officer." 
Yet, at this very time, when Englishmen and 
Englishwomen have passed all former tradi- 
tions of valour and steadfastness in extremest 
peril, when once again India has proved, 
in Canning's words, " fertile in heroes" — a 
class, it would appear not inconsiderable in 
number, are acting in such a manner as 
to disgrace the British army, and even the 
British nation, in the eyes of Europe, and to 
render the restoration of peace in India as 
difficult as they possibly cau. 

The excessive timidity of the Hindoos (of 
which their reckless daring, or passive sub- 
mission when hopeless, is the natural coun- 
terpart) encourages, in coarse natures, the 
very arrogance it disarms in higher ones. 
The wretched manner in which our law- 
courts are conducted, and the shilling ne- 
cessary to procure the stamped paper on 
which to draw up a petition to the court,t 
operate, in the extreme poverty and depres- 
sion of the suflferers, in deterring them from 
bringing any formal complaint, even to 
obtain justice for a ferocious assault; and 
so the " sahibs" (European gentlemen) ride 
through the bazaars (markets), and lay 
open the heads of natives with the butt of 
their whips, just to clear the way; or, when 
summoned to court for debt, lay the lash 
across the shoulders of the presumptuous 
summonser in the open street, as an expres- 
sion of opinion. A young gentleman in his 
cups shoots one of his servants with his 
revolver; an officer kicks a servant down- 
stairs because he has entered without leaving 
his shoes outside the door; and now, daily 
at the mess-tables, " every man of the mute 
white-turbaned file, who with crossed hands, 
glistening eyes, and quick ears, stand mo- 
tionless in attendance," hears the word 
" nigger" used every time a native is named, 
and knows well that it is an expression of 
contempt. In India, the ears of Europeans 
become familiarised with the term, which 
soon ceases to excite surprise or disgust. 
In England, it is felt to be painfully sig- 
nificant of the state of opinion among those 
who use it, and cannot be disassociated with 
the idea of slaves and slave-drivers. It 
seems the very last word whereby British 
officers (even in the " griffin" stage) would 

So may ye perish ! Pallas, when she gave 
Your free-born rights, forbade ye to enslave." 

The Curse of 3Iinerva. 

t The number of petitions rejected because not 

written on stamped paper, is said to be enormous. 

The fact has been repeatedly alluded to in parliament. 



12 1 



IMPORTANCE OP MR. RUSSELL'S COMMUNICATIONS. 



choose to denote the men they commanded, 
or even the people among whom they lived, 
and who, whatever their colour, are not 
the less British subjects. But what is to be 
said for the example given to the European 
soldiery* by British officers, of Christian 
parentage and education, one of whom 
" takes his syce (native groom), because he 
has put a wrong saddle on his horse, and 
fastens him on a pole placed out in the full 
sun of May?"— or by another, who " fastens 
down his syce in the sun by heel-ropes and 
foot-ropes, as if he were a horse, and spreads 
grain before him in mockery ?" These in- 
stances Mr. Russell gives publicly. Pri- 
vately, he offers to send the editor of the 
Times evidence of still greater significance. 

It is a mockery to talk of equal laws, and 
yet suffer such outrages as these to pass un- 
punished. It is difficult to understand why 
the senior regimental officers do not bring 
the oflFenders to justice, unless, indeed, the 
courts-martial are becoming, as Sir Charles 
Napier prophesied, mere forms, and the 
most undoubted offenders certain of " hon- 
ourable acquittal." Some of the old offi- 
cers are said to watch the state of affairs 
with great dissatisfaction ; and Sir Frederick 
Currie (the late chairman of the Court of 
Directors), with Colonel Sykes and some 
other leading men, have expressed their 
opinions with a plainness which has exposed 
them to the invectives of a certain portion of 
the Anglo-Indian press.f 

The plain speaking of Mr. Russell him- 
self, is of the first importance to the best 
interests of England and of India. No- 
thing but the strongest and most genuine 
love of justice and hatred of oppression, 
could give him courage to write as he does, 
circumstanced as he is. Among the deeds 
of heroism he so eloquently chronicles, none 
can surpass that which he is himself enact- 
ing, in pleading even now for the rights of 
the wretched and despised native popula- 
tion, while living in the midst of the class 
to whom that very wretchedness furnishes 
food for cruel tyranny, or idle, heartless, 
senseless jests. On this point, as indeed 
some other leading features of the rebel- 
lion, the public journals, with the Times 

* The European soldiery are unhappily not slow 
to follow the example. It is alleged, that very re- 
cently a convoy, under a party of the 97th and 20th 
regiments, were on their way to Lucknow. Dark- 
ness fell upon them ; there were confusion and delay 
on the road ; probably there were apathy, neglect, 
and laziness on the part of the garrewans, or native 
drivers, who are usually a most harmless, inoffen- 



at their head, and the fragmentary but 
deeply interesting accounts of individual 
sufferers, are almost the exclusive sources 
of information. The government have, 
it is true, furnished the House of Com- 
mons with reams of Blue Books and 
other parliamentary papers ; but not one of 
these contains anything approaching a con- 
nected statement of the view taken by tlie 
home or Indian authorities of the cause, 
origin, or progress of the mutiny, which has 
now lasted fully eighteen months. Each 
department appears to have sent in its own 
papers, duly sifted, weeded, and garbled ; 
but no person appears to have revised them 
as a whole. The omissions of one set are 
partially supplied by the admissions of 
another; decided assertions made in igno- 
rance by one functionary, are qualified in the 
next page by the statement of a colleague. 
This is the case throughout the whole series 
yet published, beginning with the various 
and contradictory allegations made regarding 
the greased cartridges. To enter into dis- 
cussion on each point would be endless; and 
therefore, in subsequent pages, facts, so far 
as they can be ascertained, will be simply 
stated, with the authority on which they 
rest ; the counter-statements being left un- 
noticed, unless they happen to be of peculiar 
importance or interest. 

" That most vindictive, unchristian, and 
cruel spirit which the dreadful contest and 
the crimes of the mutineers have evoked," is 
not, however, confined to the army and the 
press; it extends to the counting-house, and 
even to the pulpit. " One reverend divine 
has written a book, in which, forgetting 
that the heart of man is deceitful and des- 
perately wicked, he takes the cheerful view 
that the Oriental nature is utterly diaboli- 
cal and hopelessly depraved, as contradis- 
tinguished from his own nature and that of 
his fellows. * * * An excellent clergy- 
man at Simla, recently took occasion, in his 
sermon, to rebuke the disposition on the 
part of certain of his hearers to ill-use the 
natives; but generally, the voice from the 
pulpit has been mute on this matter, or it 
has called aloud, ' Go forth and spare 
not.' "X 

sive, and honest race. Some ruffians among the 
soldiery took advantage of the obscurity to wreak 
their brutal ferocity on the drivers, and pricked 
them with their bayonets so severely that one man 
died of his wound almost immediately, and the 
others were removed to the hospital in litters. — Times, 
I Nov. 8th, 1838. t I^id., Oct. 20lh, 1858. 

X Ibid., November 8th, 1858. 






■-'/?S&2i>^i 



kTii^<«ai/<:^ 



-^'i,?'? ° ;:9i*2>' 



l4 











"S^ 



# 




The Map Drawn & Engraved ly J Rapktn. 



AifD P TIBI.IK HIWn- COMMRY 



CHAPTER II. 



JANUARY TO MAY, 1857. 



At the commencement of 1857, the Indian 
army, exclusive of the contingents of Native 
states, stood thus : — 



Presidency. 


Europeans. 


Natiyes. 


Total. 


Bengal .... 
Madras .... 
Bombay 


2t,366 
10.726 
10,430 


135,767 
51,244 
45,213 


160,133 
61,970 
55,069 


Grand Total . . . 


45,522 1 232,224 


277,172 



The royal European troops inchided four 
cavalry and twenty-two infantry regiments, 
containing, in all, 24,263 men. The Euro- 
peans in the service of the Company, con- 
sisted of five horse brigades of artillery, 
twelve battalions of foot, and nine cavalry 
regiments. The Native cavalry was com- 
posed of twenty-one regular, and thirty- 
three irregular regiments; the Native in- 
fantry, of 155 regular, and forty-five irregu- 
lar regiments.* 

The whole expense of the Indian army, 
which, including the Native contingents 
officered by us, mustered 315,520 men, was 
returned at £9,802,235, of which £5,668,100 
was calculated to be the cost of the 51,316 
European soldiers, leaving £4,134,135 as 
the sum total required for 263,204 natives. 

The number of European troops was 
actually less in 1857 than in 1835, whereas 
the Native army had increased by 100,000 
men. The disproportion was greatest in 
the Bengal presidency. .In Bombay, the 
relative strength of European to Native in- 
fantry was as 1 to 94-; in Madras, as 1 to 
16^; and in Bengal, as 1 to 24§-.t 

The preponderance of Brahmins in the 
Bengal army was very great, and the gov- 
ernment had directed the enlistment of 
200 Seiks in each regiment. But this order 
had been only very partially obeyed. A 
large proportion of the Madras troops are 
low-caste Hindoos. In the Bombay regi- 
ments a third are Brahmins, from one to two 
nundred men are Mussulmans, and the re- 
mainder low-caste Hindoos, with a (e\y Jews. 

The number and strength of the Bengal 



• Pari. Paper."!, April 16th, 1858 ; pp. 4, 5. 
t Pari. Papers on the Mutinies, 1857 (So. 
p. 9. 



1), 



army (European and Native) in January, 
1857, are thus shown : — 



Description 

of 

Troops. 



Queen's Troops : — 
2 Regts. of Dragoons 
15 ditto of Infantry 



Company's Troops: — 

Engineers and Sappers 

Artillery— Horse . . 

„ Foot(Euro.) 

„ (Nat.) 

Cavalry — Regular . . 

„ Irregular . 

Infantry — Europeans . 

„ Native Rcgr. 

., Irreg. 

Veterans 

Medical Establish- ] 
ment and Warrant > 
Officers . . J 



Total 



European 
Officers. 



56 
473 



529 

120 

63 
102 

76 
106 

91 

114 

1,276 

126 

85 

370 



3,058 



European 
Non-Com., 
and Rank 
and File. 



1,310 
13,956 



15,266 



999 

1,899 

27 

28 

2,460 

136 

56 

186 

163 



Native 
Commissd., 
Non Com., 
and Rank 
and File. 



1,289 
798 
1,531 
2,302 
5,002 
14,061 

83,103 
27,355 



326 



21,308 I 135.767 



Grand Total 160,133 



The distribution of the above force was 
as follows : — 



Distribution of Bengal Army. 



Presidency Division, includ- ") 
ing the garrison of Fort >■ 
William . . J 

Sonthal District 

Dinapore Division . 

Cawnpoor ditto 

Oude Field Force . 

Saugor District 

.Meerut Division 

Station of Sirdarpoor 
" ofRewah . 
" ofKherwarrah . 

Sirhind Division 

Lahore ditto . 

Peshawur ditto, including 
Bind Sagur District 

Punjab Irregular Force . 

Troops in Pegu 



Euro- 


Natives. 






1,221 


14,639 


41 


3,366 


1,174 


12.2.51 


314 


. 16.048 


1,034 


3,661 


257 


5.864 


3,098 


17,248 


1 


656 


6 


762 


6 


1.034" 


4,930 


12.849 


4,198 


15,964 


4,794 


20,129 


58 


9,049 


1,817 


2.121 



Total. 



15.860 

3,407 
13.425 
16.362 

4,695 

6,121 

20,346 

657 

768 

1.040 
17,779 
20,162 

24,923 

9.107 
3,938+ 



The Native regiments in India are never 
quartered in barracks, but in thatched huts; 
each of the ten companies which form a 
regiment having its own line, in front of 
which is a small circular building called 

J The above statements were kindly furnished by 
Captain Eastwick, deputy-chairman of the East 
india Company. 



1.2G GOVERNMENT WARNED ABOUT GREASED CARTRIDGES— 1853. 



"the Bells," in which the arms and ac- 
coutrements are placed after having been 
cleaned — the key being usually held by the 
havildar (sergeant) on duty. The officers 
reside in bungalows (also thatched, and very 
inflammable), each situated in its own com- 
pound ; and the powder-magazines and 
depots of stores are, or rather were, exposed 
without protection in the open plain. Each 
cantonment resembled an extensive camp ; 
and the principal stations (such as Meerut 
and Cawnpoor) covered so large an area, 
that they required almost as strong a force 
to defend them as to occupy them; and* a 
long time might elapse before what was 
done in one part of them was known in 
other parts.* The idea of combination to 
mutiny, on any ground whatever, was evi- 
dently the last thing the European officers 
suspected ; and the construction of the can- 
tonments was on a par with the blind 
security which marked the general arrange- 
ments of the period. 

In 1856, ihe authorities desired t-o place 
an improved description of musket in the 
hands of the sepoys ; that is to say, to sub- 
stitute the Minie rifle for the old " Brown 
Bess." Considering the nature of our posi- 
tion in India, and the peaceful character of 
the duties which the Native army was then 
fulfilling, and which alone it seemed likely 
to be required for, the policy of this mea- 
sure may be doubted ; but of the suicidal 
folly with which it was carried out, there 
can scarcely be a second opinion. 

In 1853, some rifle ammunition was sent 
from England to India, and experiments 
were directed to be tried, which induced 
Major-general Tucker (then adjutant-gen- 
eral) to recommend earnestly to govern- 
ment, that " in the greasing composition 
nothing should be used which could pos- 
sibly ofl'end the caste or religious prejudices 
of the natives."t 

This warning did not prevent the autho- 
rities, three years later, from committing 
the double error of greasing cartridges in 
the Dum Dum arsenal, eight miles from Cal- 
cutta, after the English receipt, with a com- 
pound chiefly made from tallow; and of 
issuing to the Native troops similarly pre- 
pared cartridges, sent out direct from Eng- 
land, but which ought, of course, only to 
have been given to the European troops. 
Not a single person connected with the 

• Indophilus' Letters to the Times, p. 12. 
t Letter of Major-general Tucker to the T%me», 
1857. 



store department cared to remember, that to 
order the sepoys to tear with their teeth 
paper smeared with tallow made of minted 
animal fat (a filthy composition, whether 
the animal were clean or unclean, and 
especially to men who never touch animal 
food), would naturally excite the distrustful 
suspicions of the Native soldiery — jNIoham- 
medan, Hindoo, and even Seik : for the 
Seik also considers the cow a sacred animal. 

Such suspicions were unquestionably ex- 
cited ; and though much latent disaffection 
might have existed, it is clear that the car- 
tridge affair was a grievance which gave the 
more daring a pretext for rebellion, and a 
rallying-cry, to which they well knew the 
multitude would respond. J 

The first persons who noticed the ob- 
noxious means used in preparing the ball 
cartridges, were the Native workmen em- 
ployed in the arsenal. A Clashie, or 
Classic, attached to the rifle depot, asked a 
sepoy of the 2nd grenadiers for water from 
his lotah (or brass drinking-vessel.) The 
sepoy refused, observing, he was not aware 
of what caste the man M'as ; whereupon 
the Clashie rejoined, "You will soon lose 
your caste, as, ere long, you will have to 
bite cartridges covered with the fat of pigs 
and cows." Lieutenant Wright, the officer 
to whom this circumstance was reported, 
understood the feelings of the Hindoos too 
well to neglect the warning. He entered 
into conversation with the men ; and they 
told him that the rumour of their intended 
degradation had spread throughout India, 
and that when they went home on furlough, 
their friends would not eat with them. 
Lieutenant Wright, " believing it to be the 
case," assured them that the grease used 
was composed of mutton fat and wax : to 
which they replied, " It may be so, but our 
friends will not believe it ; let us obtain the 
ingredients from the bazaar, and make it up 
ourselves ; we shall then know what is used, 
and be able to assure our fellow-soldiers and 
others that there is nothing in it prohibited 
by our caste." Lieutenant Wright urged 
the adoption of the measure suggested by 
the men. 

Major Bontein, the officer in command at 
Dum Dum, on receiving the above state- 
ment, assembled all the Native portion of 
the depot, and asked if they had any com- 
plaint to make. At least two-thirds of the 

X A good summary of the official proceeding 
regarding the cartridges, is given in a pamphlet 
by George Crawshay, Esq., mayor of Gateshead. 



INCENDIARY FIRES AND OPEN DISCONTENT— JANUARY, 1857. 127 



detacliment, including all the Native com- 
missioned officers, immediately stepped to 
the front, and very respectfully, but dis- 
tinctly, repeated their previous complaint 
and request. Major Bontein thought the 
matter so serious, that he took immediate 
steps to bring it before the commauder-in- 
chief. 

Major-general Hearsey, the head of the 
presidency division, in a letter dated " Bar- 
rackpoor,* January 23rd, 1857," represented 
to government the extreme difficulty of 
eradicating the notion which had taken hold 
on the mind of the Native soldiery ; and 
urged, as the only remedy, that, despite the 
trouble and inconvenience with which the 
arrangement would be attended, the sepoys 
should be allowed to obtain from the bazaars 
the ingredients necessary to prepare the 
bullet-patches. 

On the 29th, Colonel Abbott, the inspec- 
tor-general of ordnance, being desired to in- 
quire into the nature of the composition used 
at the arsenal, found that it was supplied 
by a contractor, and that "no extraordinary 
precautions had been taken to insure the 
absence of any objectionable fat." He adds — 
" It is certainly to be regretted that ammu- 
nition was not prepared expressly for the 
practice depot without any grease at all ; 
but the subject did not occur to rae, and I 
merely gave orders for the requisite number 
of rounds. "t 

Of course, after this admission, no officer, 
with any regard for truth, could state to 
his men, that contaminating substances had 
not been used in the preparation of the car- 
tridges. Instead of witlidrawing the cause 
of contention at once and entirely, the gov- 
ernment resolved that the sepoys at the 
depots should be allowed to use any mixture 
they might thiuk fit ; but that the question 
of the state in which cartridges should be 
issued under other circumstances, and 
especially for service in the field, must 
remain open for further consideration. 
The concession was both tardy and insuffi- 
cient. It was not communicated to the 
sepoys at Dum Dum and Barrackpoor until 
the 28ih. In the meantime, several fires 
occurred simultaneously at Barrackpoor and 
Raneegunge, where a detachment from Bar- 
rackpoor were stationed. The electric tele- 

* Barrackpoor (or barrack-town) is situated on 
the Hooghly, sixteen miles from Calcutta. The 
governor-general has a residence here, commenced 
on a magnificent scale by Lord Wellesley, and only 
partially finished, but standing in a park of about 
250 acres in extent, laid out with great taste and 



graphbungalowat the latter place wasbumed; 
and Ensign Chamier, of the 34th regiment, 
snatched an arrow, with a lighted match at- 
tached thereto, from the thatch of his own 
bungalow, and thus saved, or at least post- 
poned, its destruction. The arrow was one 
such as the Sontlials use, and suspicion fell 
on the men of the 2nd grenadiers, who had 
recently been serving in the Sonthal dis- 
tricts. A thousand rupees were offered for 
the conviction of the offenders, but without 
result. On the 27th, the men had been 
assembled on parade, and asked if they had 
any grievance to complain of; upon which 
a Native officer of the 34th stepped for- 
ward, and asked Colonel Wheeler whether 
any orders had yet been received regarding 
the new cartridges. The answer was, of 
course, in the negative. To add to the 
difficulties of the military authorities at the 
depots, the officer in command of a wing of 
her majesty^s 53rd, stationed at Dum Dum, 
received directions from Fort William (Cal- 
cutta), to be ready to turn out at any mo- 
ment, and to distribute to his men ten 
rounds of balled ammunition, as a mutiny 
had broken out at Barrackpoor among the 
sepoys. General Hearsey represented the 
ill-feeling which such rash precipitancy was 
calculated to produce. He also pointed out 
the influence which was probably exercised 
by a Brahminical association, called the 
Dhurma Sobha, formed at Calcutta for the 
advocacy of ancient Hindoo customs, against 
European innovations (especially the recent 
abolition of the laws enforcing perpetual 
widowhood.) This association he thought 
had been instrumental in tampering with the 
sepoys ; and had circulated, if not initiated, 
the idea, that the new ammunition was in 
some waj' or other connected with a general 
design of government for the destruction of 
the caste of the whole Bengal army. Every- 
thingconnected with the cartridges was viewed 
with suspicion; and it was soon noticed that, 
although served out ungreased, they had a 
greasy look ; consequently, by obeying the 
military regulation, " to bring the cartridge 
to the mouth, holding it between the fore- 
finger and thumb, with the ball in the hand, 
and bite off the top elbow close to the 
body," I they might still incur the forfeiture 
of caste, in consequence of some polluting 
care. Job Charnock is said to have built a bunga- 
low here in 1689, before the site of Calcutta was 
decided upon. Barrackpoor has been called the 
Montpelier of Bengal. 

t Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, 1857; p. 7. 

i Ibid., p. 37. 



128 FATAL INACTION OF GOVERNMENT IN JAN. & FEB., 1857. 



ingredient in the paper itself. The new 
cartridges were, in fact, made from paper 
sent from England — much more highly 
glazed than that previously used, and alto- 
gether thinner and tougher ; for the hore of 
the new rifle being far smaller than that of 
the former musket, the old thick paper 
would not contain the amount of powder 
necessary to throw the bullet to its utmost 
range, w'ithout being inconveniently long. 

The officers vainly reasoned with the 
men : the paper, they said, tore like waxed 
cloth; and, when thrown in the fire, fizzed, so 
that there must be grease in it ; in short, 
General Hearsey declared (February 8th), 
that "their suspicions having been fairly 
roused on the subject of cow and pig fat, it 
would be quite impossible to allay them."* 

The excitement continued to increase, 
and information was privately given to the 
officers, of meetings held at night in the 
sepoy lines, where plans of resistance to the 
new cartridges, amounting to open and vio- 
lent mutiny, were discussed. The four 
regiments then at Barrackpoor were the 2nd 
grenadiers, the 34th Native infantry, the 
43rd light infantry, and the 70th Native in- 
fantry. By information which has subse- 
quently transpired, the incipient mutiny 
appears to have been at this time confined to 
the two former regiments. They thought 
to induce their comrades to make com- 
mon cause with them, and then to rise 
against the officers, burn or plunder the 
bungalows, and proceed to Calcutta and seize 
Fort William ; or, failing that, take pos- 
session of the treasury. The man who 
communicated this intelligence could not 
be induced to divulge the names of the 
ringleaders, nor could any proof of the 
truth of his assertions be obtained. 

General Hearsey understood the native 
character well, and spoke the language with 
rare facility. He caused the entire brigade 
to be paraded on the 9th of February, and 
reasoned with them on the folly of supposing 
the British government inclined to attempt 
their forcible conversion. " Christians of 
the Book (Protestants)," he said, " admitted 
no proselytes, and baptized none, who did 
not fully understand and beheve in the 
tenets therein inculcated." His arguments 
proved successful in tranquillising the troops 
for the moment; but the brigadier knew 

• Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, 1 857; p. 20. 

X The franking by the European officers, was in 
itself calculated to impose some check on the trans- 
mission of treasonable correspondence. 



well that the lull was likely to be of brief 
duration, and he wrote to government on 
the 11th, urging that his previous proposal 
of changing the cartridge paper, might at 
once either be confirmed or rejected ; that 
no further time should be lost in coming to 
some decision ; for, he adds, " we are dwell- 
ing on a mine ready for explosion." 

On the 21st of February, Lieutenant- 
colonel Hogge wrote from Meerut, to pro- 
pose that the biting of the cartridge should 
be altogether abolished, and that the men 
should be instructed to twist off the end 
with the right hand — a plan which would 
" remove all objections from that class of 
Hindoos who never touch animal food." 
On the 2nd of March, Major Bontein wrote 
from Dum Dum to the same effect ; but he 
adds, that by his suggestion he did not " in 
the least intend to consult the caprice of the 
Native soldiers," and had no other motive 
than increased efficiency. 

Apparently this was the right way of 
putting the case in the sight of the authori- 
ties; for the governor-general in council,with 
ail due form, and without any undignified 
haste, informed the commander-in-chief, at 
Simla, of the proposed alteration; suggesting, 
that if his excellency approved, new instruc- 
tions should be given for the rifle practice, 
in which no allusion should be made to 
the biting of the cartridge, laid down in pre- 
vious regulations. Pending the answer of 
General Anson, private instructions were 
sent to Dum Dum, to let the musketry prac- 
tice there stop short of actually loading the 
rifle. 

While the European authorities discussed 
matters among themselves, the sepoys did the 
same, but arrived more rapidly at more im- 
portant conclusions. It is not probable that 
they viewed the cartridge as a solitary indi- 
cation of the feeling of government towards 
them : the general service order of 1856 ; 
the affront put on the Mohammedans in 
the Punjab by General Anson in the same 
year, by expelling them the service for re- 
fusing to allow their beards to be cut; the 
total withdrawal, when the penny postage 
came into operation, of the privilege of 
having their letters frauked| by their com- 
manding officers; the alterations in the 
invaliding regulations ; — these and other 
recent innovations were probably rankling 
in their minds. The regiments understood 
one another; a certain power of combi- 
nation existed, ready to be called into 
action; and by reason of constant correspon- 



MUTINY OF 19th N. I. AT BARRACKPOOR— 26th FEB., 1857. 129 



dence, the whole of the Bengal troops were 
engaged in an incipient conspiracy before 
they well knew whtit they were conspiring 
about. We left the poison full time to 
work. The filthy cartridges prepared for 
them did, wc cannot now doubt, actually 
contain the forbidden substance, which pri- 
soners starving in a dungeon, and sepoys 
on board ship, will perish sooner than touch ; 
and yet, instead of manfully owning the 
error, and atoning for it by changing the 
paper, and, once for all, removing every 
shadow of suspicion, we persisted in holding 
it over their heads like a drawn sword, to be 
let fall at any moment. So late as the 5th 
of March (the government respite not 
having then arrived), the sepoys at Dum 
Dum were, notwithstanding their remon- 
strances, employed in making cartridges of 
the new, and as they believed greased, 
paper; and Major Bontein was preparing 
to enforce the regulations, and considering 
how to deal with the prisoners he expected 
to be obliged to make for disobedience of 
orders.* 

The first mutiny was not, however, des- 
tined to occur at Dum Dum : it broke out 
at Burhampoor on the Ganges, about 120 
miles from Calcutta. The only troops then 
at the station were the 19tli Native in- 
fantry, a detachment of Native cavalry, and 
a battery of Native artillery. The 19th 
and 34th had been stationed together at 
Lucknow for two years; and the men were 
of course personally acquainted. During 
the latter part of the month of February, 
two sepoy parties of the 34tli regiment were 
sent from Calcutta to Burhampoor. The 
second came as the escort of some sick 
Europeans on the 25th, and their communi- 
cations regarding the proceedings at Bar- 
rackpoor, so alarmed the 19th, that the 
whole corps, Hindoos, Seiks, and Moham- 
medans, resolved upon a general fast ; and 
for three days, beginning with the 26th, 
took only bhang, and other exciting drugs. 
Of this excitement, their commanding officer, 
Colonel JNIitchell, was entirely ignorant. 
The new muskets had arrived shortly be- 
fore, and he had explained to the sepoys that 
the necessary grease would be prepared 
before them by the pay havildars. On the 
26th of February, orders were given for the 

• Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 38. 
t Ihid., p. 273. 

X Minute of March 27th, 18i37. — Appendix, p. 50. 
§ This threat was denied by Colonel Mitchell, 
but established on European as well as Native testi- 
yoL. II. s 



firing of fifteen rounds of blank cartridge per 
man. The cartridges were then sent to the 
bellsof arms, and examined by the men. They 
had previously been in the habit of making 
all they used. Those now served out were of 
two kinds ; one like the paper they had 
been accustomed to, the other whiter and 
thinner. The sepoys compared them in all 
ways ; they burnt the paper, and laid 
other portions in water. Still they saw, or 
fancied they saw, a marked difference. 
They felt convinced that they were greased, 
and refused to take the percussion-caps 
served out for the intended practice ; saying, 
" Why should we take the caps, as we won't 
take the cartridges until the doubt about 
them is cleared up?"t This occurred at 
about four o'clock in the afternoon. The 
incidents which followed are best told in 
the words of the petition subsequently 
laid before government by the 19th regi- 
ment, and which the governor-general in 
council has pronounced to be, " upon the 
whole, a fair account of what took place on 
the occasion of the outbreak ; the main 
points being borne out by the evidence at 
the court of inquiry." J 

" At half-past seven o'clock," the peti- 
tioners state, " the colonel, accompanied by 
the adjutant, came on parade, and very 
angrily gave orders to us, saying, ' If you 
will not take the cartridges I will take you to 
Burmah, or to China,§ where, through hard- 
ship, you will all die. These cartridges were 
left behind by the 7th Native infantry, and 
I will serve them out to-morrow morning by 
the hands of the oflacers commanding com- 
panies.' He gave this order so angrily, 
that we were convinced that the cartridges 
were greased, otherwise he would not have 
spoken so."|| 

Colonel Mitchell sent an order to the 
cavalry and artillery (whose lines were about 
three miles from those of the infantry), to 
assemble on parade, for the purpose of com- 
pelling the sepoys to use the cartridges. 
It would appear that the sepoys were right 
in believing that the cartridges were to be 
bitten, not torn. The news soon got wind; 
and the same night, about a quarter to 
eleven, shouts were heard in the lines ; some 
persons cried fire, others that they 'were 
surrounded by Europeans — that the guns 

mony. It might easily have been uttered in the 
excitement of so critical a moment, and forgotten 
by the utterer, but not by those wliose interests were 
immediately affected by it.— Appendix, &c., p. 290. 
II Appendix to Pari. Papers, pp. 278, 279. 



130 



PETITION OF THE 19th AGAINST DISBANDMENT— 1857. 



and cavalry had arrived. In the midst of 
the din the alarm was sounded ; and the 
sepoys, mad with fear, rushed to the bells 
and seized tlieir arms. 

It is manifest they had no plan, and no 
intention of attempting violence, or they 
would not have refused to receive the per- 
cussion-caps offered them that afternoon, nor 
have remained passive while the 11th irre- 
gular cavalry and guns were fetched to the 
parade, which they reached by torchlight 
between twelve and one. The armed sepoys 
then ran out of their lines to the parade in 
the greatest alarm. The colonel was much 
excited, and said, that he and the officers 
were prepared to do their duty, should the 
men not yield obedience ; they (the officers) 
were ready to die, and would die there. The 
Native officers represented that the sepoys 
really believed that the matter affected 
their religion, and begged the colonel to 
send away the cavalry and guns ; which was 
accordingly done.* The sepoys lodged their 
arms quietly, and returned to their lines. 
The whole regiment appeared on parade the 
next morning ; and, on the 28th, there was 
another parade. The cartridges which the 
men had refused to*"fire, were publicly in- 
spected ; and the two kinds were put up by 
Colonel Mitchell, and forwarded for the 
inspection of government, with an account 
of what had taken place. Daily parades 
took place, and the 19th again became as 
steady and orderly as any men could be.f 

Tranquillity was restored, and might have 
been maintained, had the government been 
sufficiently generous or discreet to deal 
gently with an offence which their own in- 
discretion had provoked. The disbandment 
of the regiment was summarily decided on, 
without any correspondence with the com- 
mander-in-chief, whose concurrence it ap- 
peared was necessary to the simple alteration 
of a clumsy mode of loading, which was goad- 
ing the troops to mutiny, but was not neces- 
sary to the enactment of a decree which sud- 
denly reduced a thousand men, whose fault 
must have varied very considerably in its cir- 
cumstances, to the same utter poverty. Their 
appeal made to government, through Colonel 
Mitchell, was very touching. They said it 
was hard, after so many years' service, to 
lose their bread. Since the unfortunate 

* It is highly improbable that, in the absence of 
European soldiers, the Native corps would have 
fired on their countrymen in such a case as this ; 
yet the mode in which " the coercing force was 
withdrawn," was pronounced by the governor in 



night of the 26th of February, all their duties 
had been carefully carried on, and (they 
add) " so shall be ; as long as we live we will 
faitljfully obey all orders; wherever, in the 
field of battle, we are ordered to go, tiiere 
shall we be found ; therefore, with every 
respect, we now petition, that since this is a 
religious question from which arose our 
dread, and as religion is, by the order of 
God, the first thing, we petition that, as we 
have done formerly, we may be also allowed 
to make up our own cartridges, and we will 
obey whatever orders may be given to us, 
and we will ever pray for you." 

There is no mistaking the earnestness 
with which the 19th, even in the moment 
of reaction and reflection, dwell on the im- 
mediate cause of their outbreak. The gov- 
ernment, in acquainting the Court of Direc- 
tors with the whole transaction, give the 
same version, by saying that the regiment 
had refused to take the cartridges, " in con- 
sequence of the reports in circulation, that 
the paper of which they were made was 
greased with the fat of cows and pigs." 

This despatch is dated 8th April, 1857. 
On the same day, the directors were inditing 
one expressive of their gratification at learn- 
ing that the matter had been fully explained 
to the men at Barrackpoor and Dum Dura, 
and that they appeared perfectly satisfied 
that no intention existed of interfering with 
their caste. Of course by this time it was 
pretty evident that the sepoys generally 
were convinced of the direct opposite, and 
viewed the 19th as a body of victims and 
martyrs. 

The penalty of disbandment found little 
favour with any party. The ultra-discipli- 
narians pronounced the punishment insuffi- 
cient, for what the governor-general thought 
fit to term " open and defiant mutiny ;" 
and moderate men considered it would have 
been wiser to have accepted the offer of the 
corps, and make it a general service regi- 
ment, rather than send a thousand men to 
their homes, to beg or plunder food for the 
support of themselves and their families, 
and to sow the seed of distrust and disaffec- 
tion wherever they went. Besides, evidence 
was adduced which proved beyond a doubt 
that the 19th had been instigated to i^iutiny 
by the representations of the 34th, who had 

council as a special reason for declaring Colonel 
Mitchell unfit for the command of a regiment. — 
Appendix to Pari. Papers, p. 297. 

t Letter of I.ieutenant-colonel Mitchell, March 
3rd, 1857. — Appendix, p. 2G7. 



FIRST BLOOD SHED— BARRACKPOOR— 29th MARCH, 1857. 131 



been long on the verge of an outbreak, and 
"uere only kept back by the iufiueuce of 
their officers. The government, knowing 
this, resolved on making the 19th the scape- 
goat for the 31th and other regiments, whose 
disaffection had been proved by incendiarism 
and sullen murmurings, and ordered the 
disbandment to take place at Barrackpoor. 

The Calcutta authorities were not quite 
insensible to the danger pointed out by 
Napier, of "attempting to bully large masses 
of men.^' The sentence resolved on against 
the 19th was not made public until Il.M.'s 
84th regiment had been brought from 
Rangoon. The 84th arrived at Calcutta on 
the 20th of March, and were immediately 
conveyed to Chinsurah — a station about 
eight miles from Barrackpoor, whither the 
19th were ordered to proceed. The arrival 
of the Europeans increased the excitement 
among the Native troops at Barrackpoor, 
which was evidently the centre of disaffec- 
tion. Two of the 2nd Native grenadiers 
were taken up on a charge of endeavouring 
to excite mutiny on the 11th of jNIarch, 
found guilt}^, and sentenced to fourteen 
years' hard labour. The sentence is memo- 
rable, since General Anson thought fit to 
write a minute on it from his far- distant 
residence in the Himalayas — a mark of in- 
terest which the disbanding of entire regi- 
ments had not elicited. Death wonkl, he 
considered, have been the proper penalty; 
but fourteen years of disgraceful labour 
might be to some worse than death ; there- 
fore he would not call for a revision of the 
sentence. " The miserable fate which the 
prisoners had brought upon themselves, 
would," he added, "excite no pity in the 
breast of any true soldier." * 

Avowedly, in consequence of communica- 
tions sent them by the 34th regiment, three 
companies of the 63rd regiment at Sooree 
refused to accept their furloughs, saying, 
"If our brethren at Barrackpoor go, we will 
go ; but we hear they are not going." After- 
wards they expressed contrition for their 
conduct, and were allowed to enjoy their 
furloughs. The refusal occurred on the 28th 
of March. On the afternoon of Sunday, the 
29th, the Native officers of the 34th regiment 
at Barrackpoor reported that the men were 
in a very excited state. Sergeant-major 
Hewson proceeded to the lines, and found a 
sepoy walking up and down in front of the 
quarter-guard, and calling out to the men 
of the brigade to join him in defending and 

• Appendix to Pari. Papers, p. 86. f -^^"^-j P- ^^'^^ 



dying for their religion and their caste. 
This was Mungul Pandy, a man of previously 
excellent character, who had been above 
seven years in the service, but had lately 
taken to the use of intoxicating preparations 
of opium and bhang. Whether he had 
resorted to these stimulants, as the Indian 
soldiery are in the habit of doing, to nerve 
himself for this special purpose, or whether 
the habit itself had rendered him reckless of 
consequences, does not appear ; but General 
Hearsey speaks of the actuating motive 
as "religious frenzy." "The Europeans," 
Mungul Pandy said, alluding to a wing of 
her majesty's 53rd, detached from Dum 
Dura, " had come to slaughter the sepoys, or 
else force them to bite the cartridges, and 
become apostates ;" and when the English 
sergeant attempted to seize him, he called 
out to the men who were thronging the 
lines, in their undress and unarmed, to 
come and support him. " You incited me 
to this," he cried ; " and now, poltroons, 
you will not join me." Taking aim at 
Sergeant Hewson, he fired, but missed; upon 
which the sergeant retreated, and called to 
the guard to fall-in ajid load. Adjutant 
Baugh, of the 34th, next rode up, calling out, 
"Where is he? where is he?" Mungul 
Pandy fired at the adjutant, and his horse 
fell wounded. The adjutant drew a pistol 
from his holster and took aim, but failed ; 
upon which he and the sergeant rushed on 
Mungul Pandy, who wounded both with 
his tulwar, or native sword. The other 
sepoys began to hustle and surround the 
two Europeans, but their lives were saved 
by the courage and devotion of a Mo- 
hammedan sepoy, named Sheik Phultoo, 
who rushed forward unarmed, and inter- 
cepted a blow directed at the adjutant; and, 
flinging his right arm round ^Mungul Pandy 
(the left being severely wounded), enabled 
the Europeans to escape. A shot from the 
direction of the quarter-guard was fired at 
them, but without effect. There were about 
400 men in the lines, looking on ; and Ad- 
jutant Baugh, as he passed them maimed 
and bleeding, said, "You cowardly set of 
rascals ! You see an officer cut down be- 
fore your eyes, and not a man of you ad- 
vances to assist him." They made no re- 
ply; but all turned their backs on the 
speaker, and moved slowly and sullenly 
away. The unpopularity of the adjutautf 
is alleged to have influenced the sepoys; 
and, after he had left, they compelled 
Sheik Phultoo to let Mungul Pandy go. 



132 



DISBANDMENT OF 19th N. I.— 31st MARCH, 1857. 



Lieutenaut-colouel Wheeler, the officer in 
command of the rcgimeut, came on parade 
soon after, aud ordered the quarter-guard to 
secure the mutiueer. The jemadar who 
ought to have led them, sided ^Yith Mungul 
Pandy ; and, coming up to the colonel, told 
him that the men refused to obey the order. 
A native standing by said, that the offender 
being a Brahmin, nobody would hurt him. 
Colonel Wheeler "considered it quite useless, 
aud a useless sacrifice of life, to order a 
European officer with the guard to seize 
him, as he would no doubt have picked off 
the European officer, without receiving any 
assistance from the guard itself." The 
colonel therefore left the spot, and re- 
ported the matter to the brigadier. On 
learning what had occurred. General Hear- 
sey, with his two sons and Major Ross, 
rode to the quarter-guard house, where 
about ten or twelve men had turned out. 
Mungul Pandy watched their approach, 
and Captain Hearsey called out to his 
father to be on his guard, for the mutineer 
was taking aim at him. The general re- 
plied, " If I fall, John, rush upon him, and 
put him to death." In a moment Mungul 
Pandy dropped on his knee, turned the 
muzzle of his musket to his own breast, 
and pulled the trigger with his foot. The 
bullet made a deep graze, ripping up the 
muscles of the chest, shoulder, and neck. 
He fell prostrate, with his clothes on fire, 
was picked up shivering, convulsed, aud 
apparently dving, aud was handcuffed and 
conveyed to the hospital ; none of the sepoys 
attempting further interference. 

General Hearsey rode amongst the 43rd 
and 34th Native regiments, and, while 
blaming the latter for their conduct (which 
appears to have been most outrageous), he 
assured them that no person should be per- 
mitted to interfere with their religious and 
caste prejudices while he commanded them. 
No attempt was made to arrest the jemadar 
or the sepoys of the quarter-guard, probably 
because General Hearsey feared to precipi- 
tate a struggle for which he was not yet 
prepared. The culpi'its must have known 
the rules of British discipline too well to 
expect to escape with impunity the conse- 
quences of their mutinous and dastardly 
conduct. That night, in the lines, a plan of 
action was concocted ; and the 19th regi- 
ment, on their arrival at Baraset (eight 
miles from Barrackpoor) on the following 
morning, found messengers waiting for them 
from the 34th, who proposed to them to 



rise that evening, kill their officers, and 
march to Barrackpoor, where they would 
find the 2nd and 34th in readiness to co- 
operate Avith them in overpowering the 
European force, and proceeding to surprise 
and sack Calcutta. 

The unfortunate 19th had already suffered 
deeply for listening to suggestions from 
Barrackpoor. They rejected the proposals 
decidedly and at once ; but they did not be- 
tray their tempters, who returned safely, 
their errand unsuspected. 

The disbaudment took place on the fol- 
lowing morning at Barrackpoor, in presence 
of the available troops of all arms within 
two days' march of that station. The gov- 
ernment order having been read, the arms, 
were piled, and the colours deposited by the 
sepoys, who evinced much sadness, but na 
sullenness. The number of the regiment 
was not to be effaced from the army list j 
and there were other slight concessions,, 
of which General Hearsey made the most in 
addressing the men. They knew he pitied 
them ; and as they left the ground, disgraced 
and impoverished, they cheered him cor- 
dially, and wished him long life — a wish 
which he as cordially returned. Perhaps no 
regiment in the Bengal army was more 
sound at the core than the 19th. Lieute- 
nant-colonel Macgregor, who had been sta- 
tioned with them at Burhampoor for some 
mouths, declared that he had never met. 
with a quieter or better-behaved regiment^ 
aud described them as appearing very sorry 
for the outbreak of the 26th of February.. 
They felt that they had been misled by the 
34tli ; and when their request to be suffered 
to re-enlist was refused, they are said to have 
begged, before leaving the ground, to be 
allowed to resume their arms for one half- 
hour, and brought face to face with the 
34th, on whom they promised to avenge the 
quarrel of the government and their own. 

Some alarm, says Mr. Mead, was enter- 
tained lest they should plunder the villages 
on their way up country, but they seem to 
have conducted themselves peaceably. ]\Iany 
got employment asdurwans (orgate-keepers), 
and a few were entertained by magistrates, 
for whom they have since done efficient ser- 
vice in the capture of fugitive mutineers. 
Hundreds died of cholera by the way-side, 
and a large proportion went into the service 
of the Nawab of Moorshedal)ad. It has not 
been proved that any of them entered the 
ranks of the rebel army.* 

• Mead's Sepoy Revolt, p. 62. 



EXECUTION OF MUNGUL PANDY— APRIL 7tti, 1858. 



133 



The order for the disbandment of the 
19th was r«ad on parade to every regiment 
throughout India. If the change from 
biting to tearing the cartridges had been 
simultaneously {umounccd, tlie army might 
have been tranquillised, and accepted the 
fate of the 19th as a vicarious sacrifice for 
the general benefit. Instead of this the 
order of disbandment was read alone ; and 
no mention whatever being made of the 
cartridges, the natural conclusion was, that 
the sepoys would be compelled to bite them 
or be turned on the world after long years 
of faithful service. The General Orders cer- 
tainly contained an assertion, that " it had 
been the unvarying rule of the government 
of India to treat the religious feelings of 
all its servants, of every creed, with careful 
respect;" but, as it was notorious that a 
flagrant breach of this rule had been 
recently committed, and was, so far as the 
sepoys could tell, to be determinedly per- 
severed in, it followed that the assurance, 
intended to tranquillise them, utterly failed 
in its effect ; and the only part of the address 
which really impressed them, was the de- 
clared intention of government never to 
cease exacting the unhesitating obedience 
the men had sworn to give. 

The 19th being disposed of, the next 
question was, how to deal with the 34th. 
Never was prompt action more evidently 
needed; yet five weeks were allowed to 
elapse, during which tokens of mutiny were 
multiplying throughout India, without any 
decision being arrived at regarding the 
dastardly quarter-guard. Mungul Pandy 
was tried, condemned, and hung, on the 7th 
of April, in the presence of all the troops 
then at Barrackpoor. He was much debili- 
tated by his wound (which would probably 
have proved mortal) ; but he met his death 
with perfect composure, and refused to make 
any statement which could implicate his com- 
rades. The jemadar, who commanded the 
guard of the 34th, was also tried and con- 
demned to death, but the execution of the 
sentence was delayed until the 21st of April, 
owing to the time lost in corresponding 
with the commander-in-chief at Simla; who 

* A telegram was transmitted to Simla, on the 
14th of April, strongly urging General Anson to 
issue a special warrant to General Hearsey, for the 
purpose of at once carrying out the sentence in 
which the trial then pending was expected to issue. 
On the 17th, the following telegram was sent to 
General Hearsey, from Calcutta : — '• The commander- 
in-chief refuses to empower you to confirm sentences 
of courts-martial on commissioned officers." On the 



first declined, and then consented, to em- 
power General Hearsey to confirm the sen- 
tences of court-martials on Native commis- 
sioned officers.* 

It seemed as if government had resolved 
to drop proceedings here. The remarks 
appended to General Anson's confirmation 
of the jemadar's sentence, were very like an 
act of amnesty to the Barrackpoor troops iu 
general, and the 34th in particular. He 
stated his trust tijat the crime of which 
Mungul Pandy and the jemadar had been 
guilty, would be viewed with horror by 
every man in the army ; and he added, in 
evident allusion to the guard, that if there 
were any " who had looked on with apathy 
or passive encouragement," he hoped the 
fate of their guilty comrades would " have a 
beneficial effect upon their future conduct. "f 

The Mohammedan orderly who had saved 
the life of the adjutant and sergeant, was 
promoted to the rank of havildar by Gen- 
eral Hearsey, and given an Order of Merit 
for his conduct. The divisional order to this 
eff'ect was issued on the 5th of April. The 
general was reproved by the governor-general 
in council, for having exceeded his authority 
by this act, and also for having described 
Mungul Pandy as stimulated by " religious 
frenzy ."J Lord Canning, in his own minute, 
speaks of Mungul Pandy as " that fanatic ;" 
but considered, that " however probable it 
may be that religioiis feelings influenced 
him," it would have been better to have left 
this feature of the case unnoticed. § 

Early in Api'il, a Native court-mai'tial sen- 
tenced a jemadar, of the 70th Native infantry, 
to dismissal from the army (in which he had 
served thirty-three years), in consequence of 
his having incited other Native officers to 
mutiny, as the only means of avoiding the 
pollution of biting the new cartridges. The 
commander-in-chief desired that the sen- 
tence should be revised, as too lenient ; but 
the Native officers persisted in their decision, 
which was eventually confirmed. 

An event took place at the same time, 
which showed that the temper of the distant 
troops was mutinous and disaftected. The 
48th infantry, a corps reputed to be one of the 

20th, General Anson changed his mind, and sent 
the desired warrant. — (See Appendix to Pari. Papers 
on the Mutinies, 1857 ; pp. 104 — 107.) 

t Ibid., p. 124. A sepoy was identified as having 
struck the sergeant-major (when cut down by Mun- 
gul Pandy) with the butt of his musket; but he 
escaped punishment by desertion. — (p. 158. ) 

X Divisional order, April 5th, 1857; p. 63. 

§ Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 63. 



134 



INCIPIENT MUTINY IN OUDE— APRIL, 1857. 



finest in the service, long commanded by 
Sir H. M. Wheeler, the general in charge of 
Cawnpoor, was at this time stationed at 
Lucknow, under the command of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Palmer. Dr. Wells, the 
surgeon of the regiment, having occasion to 
visit the medicine store at the hospital, and 
being at the time indisposed, drank a por- 
tion of a carminative from a bottle contain- 
ing a quantity, after which no high-caste Hin- 
doo could partake of the remainder without 
pollution. The Native apothecary in atten- 
dance, saw and reported the act to the sick 
sepoys, upon which they all refused to touch 
any of the medicines prescribed for them. 
Colonel Palmer assembled the Native officers, 
and, in their presence, rebuked the surgeon 
for his heedlessness, and destroyed the bot- 
tle which he had put to his mouth. The 
men took their medicines as before ; but a 
few nights after, the bungalow (thatched 
house) in which Dr. Wells resided was 
fired, and most of his property destroyed. 
It was notorious that the incendiaries be- 
longed to the 48th Native infantry; but 
their comrades shielded them, and no proof 
could be obtained against the individuals. 

Not long after, the Native officers of the 
regiment were reported to be intriguing 
with Rookan-oo-Dowlah and Mustapha Ali, 
relatives of the King of Oude, residing 
in Lucknow. The most absurd rumours 
were circulated and believed in the city. 
While the cartridges were to be used as the 
means of compelling the sepoys to lose 
caste, other measures were, it was reported, 
being taken to rob the non-military class of 
theirs. Government was said to have sent 
up cart-loads and boat-loads of bone-dust, 
to mix with the otta (prepared flour) and 
sweetmeats sold in the bazaars; and the 
authorities vainly strove to disabuse the pub- 
lic mind, which was kept in a perpetually-re- 
curring panic. Money was repeatedly given, 
with directions to purchase some of the 
adulterated otta; but though the parties 
always returned with the money in their 
hands, stating their inability to find the 
shops where it was sold, it was evident that 

* Gubbins' 3Iutinies in Oudh, pp. 86 ; 88. A sin- 
gular instance of the extent of the gulf which sepa- 
rates us from the aboriginal tribes, and the small 
respect they feel for European civilisation, was 
witnessed by Mr. Gubbins several years ago. A 
report got abroad among the hill-men of the sani- 
tarium at Simla, that orders had arrived from the 
governor -general for the preparation of a certain 
quantity of human fat, to be sent down to Calcutta ; 
and that, for this purpose, the local authorities were 



they were silenced, but not convinced of its 
non-existence. Sir Henry Lawrence lis- 
tened with patient attention to all these 
rumours, and did what probably few other 
men could have done to extract their venom. 
But the yet unwithdrawn order for biting 
the cartridges, afforded to the earnest a 
reason, and to the intriguing a pretext, for 
distrusting the government; and the four 
first months of 1857 had given time for the 
growth of seed, which could not afterwards 
be prevented from producing baneful fruit. 
There was a Hindoo subahdar of one of the 
Oude local artillery batteries, named Dabee 
Sing, an old and tried soldier. Mr. Gubbins 
speaks of Sir Henry Lawrence as having been 
closeted for hours at a time with this man, 
who told him all the wild projects attributed 
to the British government for the purpose 
of procuring the annihilation of the reli- 
gious and territorial rights of the people of 
India. Among other things which Dabee 
Sing gravely related, without expressing his 
own opinion one way or the other, was a 
plan for transporting to India the numerous 
widows of the Europeans who had perished 
in the Crimean campaign. The principal 
zemindars of the country were to be com- 
pelled to marry them ; and their children, 
who would of course not be Hindoos, were 
to be declared the heirs to the estates. Thus 
the Hindoo proprietors of land were to be 
supplanted !* 

How far such reports as these might 
really gain credence, or how far they might 
be adopted as a means of expressing the 
discontent excited by the recent annexation 
and resumption measures, does not appear; 
but throughout the Bengal army, the car- 
tridges continued to be the rallying-cry for 
discontent up to and beyond the end of 
April. At Agra incendiary fires had been 
frequent, and the sepoys had refused their 
aid to subdue the flames : at Sealkote, letters 
had been discovered from the Barrackpoor 
sepoys, inciting their brethren at that dis- 
tant station to revolt : at Umballah, the 
discontent and distrust excited by the new 
fire-arms, had been most marked.f The 

engaged in entrapping the hill-men, killing and 
boiling them down. Numbers of these men were 
at this time employed in carrying the ladies' litters, 
and in a variety of domestic duties which brought 
them in daily contact with the Europeans. Yet the 
panic spread, until numbers fled from the station ; 
nor were they, Mr. Gubbins believes, ever thoroughly 
convinced of the falsehood of the report. — (p. 87.) 

t 3Iutiny of the Bengal Army : by one who has 
served under Sir Charles Napier ; p. 28. 



DISUNION BETWEEN LORD CANNING AND GEN. ANSON. 



135 



Calcutta authorities were, nevertheless, so 
blind to the imminence of the peril, that the 
Oriental, which was supposed to be lying at 
Madras, was twice telegraphed for to convey 
the 84th back to Burmah; and but for the 
accident that sent her across to Rangoon, 
the month of May would have found Cal- 
cutta left as before, with only the wing of a 
European regiment. Nothing was decided 
upon with regard to the 34th, or the Bar- 
rackpoor division iu general, despite Briga- 
dier Hearsey's warning (given two months 
before, and confirmed by the very unsatis- 
factory evidence adduced before the court- 
martial) regarding the condition of the troops 
stationed there. It has since transpired, 
that an order, and a most needful one, for 
the disband ment of the 34th, was actually 
drafted immediately after the attack on 
Lieutenant Baug^ but it was withheld 
until new outbrealcs in various directions 
heralded the shock for which the govern- 
ment were forewarned, but not forearmed. 

The home authorities shield themselves 
from the charge of negligence, on the 
ground that up to May, 1857, not "the 
slightest indication of any disaffection among 
the troops had been sent home.'^* "Indo- 
philus," who has means of information pecu- 
liar to a man whose position enables him to 
search the government records, and examine 
the original papers unpublished and un- 
garbled, says, that it cannot be ascertained, 
by the most careful inquiry, that General 
Anson ever made a single representation to 
the directors,t or to any member of her 
majesty's government, on the subject; but 
that, on the contrary, assurances were given 
of the satisfactory state of the Bengal army, 
and especially of its continued fidelity, 
which might well lull suspicion to sleep. 
" It is hard," he adds, " to expect a govern- 
ment to see better than with its own eyes."| 
The government might, perhaps, save the 
nation many disasters, and themselves much 
discredit, by condescending to look through 
the eyes of those bystanders who pro- 
verbially see more of the game than the 
players. But in this instance they did not 
heed the warnings of even their own servants. 

* Speech of Mr. Vernon Smith. — India debate, 
July 27 th, 1857. 

t The chairman of the East India Company like- 
•wlse declared in parliament, that not a single word 
of notice had been received from General Anson on 
the subject. — (India debate, July 15th, 1857.) 

X Letters of Indophilus, p. 25. 
j § See ante, p. 120. 

II Napier's Life, vol. iv., p. 414. 



Sir Charles Napier, Lord Melville, Sir John 
Lawrence, and Colonel Jacob, all lifted up 
their voices in vain; nay, Lord Dalhoiisie 
himself remonstrated against the removal 
of Europeans, in a manner which proved 
his mistrust of the tone and temper of the 
Native army.§ The Duke of Wellington 
always watched Indian proceedings with an 
anxious eye. His decision against Napier 
was possibly prompted even less by the par- 
tial statements laid before him, than by the 
feeling that if the spirit of mutiny had been 
roused in the Bengal army, it would need 
all the influence of united authority for its 
extinction. No commander-in-chief could 
etfect it except with the full support and 
cordial co-operation of the governor-general. 
Such a state of things was impossible be- 
tween Lord Dalhousie and General Napier. 
"The suppression of mutiny," the Duke 
wrote, in his memorandum on the proffered 
resignation of Sir Charles Napier, "par- 
ticularly if at all general or extended 
to numbers, and the restoration of order 
and subordination to authority and dis- 
cipline among troops who have mutinied, is 
the most arduous and delicate duty upon 
which an officer can be employed, and which 
requires, in the person who undertakes it, 
all the highest qualifications of an officer, 
and moral qualities; and he who should 
undertake to perform the duty, should enjoy, 
in a high degree, the respect and confidence 
of the troops and of the government." || Sir 
William Gomm, the successor to Napier ap- 
pointed by the Duke (an active, kind- 
hearted, and thoroughly gentlemanly man), 
appears to have been popular both with the 
government and the army, European and 
Native, and mutiny certainly made no head 
under him. It does not appear that Gen- 
eral Anson enjoyed this advantage, either 
with regard to the government*! or the 
Native troops ; but, with the latter, decidedly 
the reverse. His appointment was a no- 
torious instance of the principle of " taking 
care of Dowb," at the expense of the best 
interests of the country. It is true, that in 
the civil position of "Clerk of the Ordnance," 
he had been both active and efficient ; and to 

^ Great difference of opinion is alleged to have 
existed between Lord Canning and General Anson ; 
and the conduct of the latter, together with the tone 
of the very few and brief communications published, 
as having passed between Simla and Calcutta even 
in the height of the crisis, tends to confirm this allega- 
tion. Mr. Smith blamed Mr. Disraeli for alluding to 
it ; but acknowledged the prevalence of the assertion 
" in private circles." — Times, June 30th, 1857. 



136 



CHARACTER OF GENERAL ANSON— 1857. 



a reputation for practical business habits, he 
united that of a popular " man about town ;" 
■was a high authority on racing matters, and 
a first-rate card-player; but he had never 
commanded a regiment, and would certainly 
not have been selected, at sixty years of 
age, to take charge of the Indian army, had 
he not been a member, not only of an 
honoured and really honourable, but also of 
a very influential family. In fact, he was a 
person to be handsomely provided for. By 
acts of commission and omission, he largely 
contributed to bring the mutiny to a head ; 
yet, strangely enough, those who have been 
most lavish of censure regarding Lord Can- 
ning and his colleagues, have for the most 
part passed over, in complete silence, the 
notorious fact that General Anson remained 
quietly in the Himalayas, in the healthiest 
season of the year for Calcutta, without 
taking the slightest share in the anxious 
deliberations of the Supreme Council ; yet, 
nevertheless, drew £6,000 a-year for being 
a member thereof, in addition to his salary 
of jSlOjOOO as commander-in-chief. For 
instance, " One who has served under Sir 
Charles Napier,^^ says — " The men who ruled 
India in 1857, knew little of Asiatic cha- 
racter. The two civilians [Messrs. Dorin and 
Grant] had seen only that specimen of it 
of which the educated Bengalee is a type : 
the legal member [Mr. Peacock] and Lord 
Canning had seen no more; and General 
Low was a Madras officer:" but the very 
name of General Anson is significantly 
omitted. The manner in which the council 
treated the crisis through which they were 
passing, proved, he adds, that they did not 
comprehend it.* This was conspicuous in 
the reproaches directed against Colonel 
"VVheeler for conversing with the sepoys, as 
well as the natives generally, on the 
subject of Christianity, and disseminating 
tracts among them. No single complaint 
was ever uttered by the sepoys on this head. 
They were quite capable of distinguishing 
the zeal of an individual from the supposed 
forcible and fraudulent measure of the 
greased cartridges, by which they believed 
the government desired to compel them to 
become apostates en masse. It was not 
change of creed, but loss of caste they 
dreaded; not tracts and arguments, but 
greased cartridges, backed by the penalty of 
disbandment courts-martial, and a park of 

• ^lutiny of Beiigal Army, p. 59. 

t Ibid., p. 58. 

X Appendix to Papers on Mutinies, p. 212. 



artillery. "Already, in their eyes, we were 
on a par with their lowest caste : a Christian 
was one who drank brandy and ate pork and 
beef. Was not the idea that we wished to 
reduce them, by trick, to the same degrading 
position, sufficient to excite every deep- 
seated prejudice against us?"t The military 
writer of the above sentence, does not add 
that Lord Canning and his council really 
sought to conciliate the sepoys by every 
measure short of the compromise of dignity, 
which they unhappily considered to be in- 
volved in withdrawing the cartridges (as they 
ought to have done in January), and publicly 
denouncing and punishing what the Supreme 
Council did not hesitate to call, among them- 
selves, "the very culpable conduct of the 
Ordnance department, which had caused all 
this excitement.^J It is, however, highly 
improbable that, had the council proposed 
such a measure. General Anson would, at 
any time during the first four mouths of 
1857, have sanctioned such a concession 
to what he termed the " beastly preju- 
dices," which, ever since he came to India, 
he had been labouring to destroy ; forget- 
ting that the Bengal army, whether wisely 
or foolishly, had been established and main- 
tained on the basis of toleration of caste 
observances, and that that basis could not 
be touched with impunity. He had been 
for a short time in command at Madras, pre- 
vious to his appointment as commander-in- 
chief of the three Indian armies ; and it was 
probably what he learned there, that gave 
rise to his strong anti-caste opinions. The 
sepoys had enjoyed perfect toleration for 
nearly a hundred years; but General Anson's 
policy, from the first, indicated a resolve, 
which the Anglo-Indian press earnestly 
supported, to abandon the old policy. The 
Bengal force had been, from its commence- 
ment, an enormous local militia, enlisted for 
service in India, and in India only ; special 
regiments (of which there were six), or 
volunteer corps, being employed on foreign 
service, and rewarded by extra allowances. 
In 1856, government declared its in- 
tention of radically altering the constitution 
of the army, and issued an order that every 
recruit should be enlisted for general service 
wherever the state might require. There 
can be no doubt, says Mr. Gubbins, speaking 
of the General Service Order, " that the vast 
change which it must of necessity make in 
the position of the Bengal soldier, was not 
duly Aveighed ; or, if weighed, provision was 
certainly not made to meet the consequences 



ADJ-GENERAL TUCKER ON GENERAL ANSON'S POLICY. 



137 



of the dissatisfaction which it would pro- 
duce."* 

Nearly at the same time another order 
was published, which affected not merely 
the prospects of recruits, but also the 
dearest privilege of the existing Native 
troops. Uuder the old regulations the 
sepoy might become invalided after fifteen 
years' service, and retire to his home on 
a monthly pension of four rupees. The 
Bengallee, it must be remembered, was 
never accompanied by his family when on 
service, like the Madrassee; and so earnestly 
was the power of returning home coveted, 
that men starved themselves for months, 
and became weak and emaciated for the 
sake of retiring on this scanty pittance. In 
former times, the evil had been met by 
holding out inducements to longer service ; 
au extra rupee per month being granted 
after fifteen, and two rupees after twenty, 
years' service. A further allowance, called 
hutting-money, was granted to them by 
Lord Hardinge; and an honourable dis- 
tinction, accompanied by a valuable increase 
of pay, was opened to the Native officers, by 
the establiNlunent of the " Order of British 
India." Still the love of home proved too 
strong ; and in pursuance of the new policy, 
it was decided that a sepoy who was de- 
clared unfit for foreign service, should no 
longer be permitted to retire to his home on 
an invalid pension, but should be retained 
with the colours, and employed in ordinary 
cantonment duty. This order was, as usual, 
read out to each regiment on parade, and it 
excited a murmur of general dissatisfaction 
throughout the ranks. By these two mea- 
sures the retired sepoy was transformed 
into a local militiaman, and the former 
militia became general service soldiers. f 
The first measure was a direct blow at caste ; 
the second was a manifest breach of the 
! terms of enlistment. There were also other 
circumstances, indicative of a policy very 
i diflfereut to the genial kindly consideration 
I of old times. " General Anson," says the 
late adjutant-general of the Bombay army 

• Mutinies in Oudh, p. 94. 

•f The authoritj' liere relied on is Mr. Gubbins. 
But it appears, tliat before the alterations in the 
invaliding regulations referred to by him, as nearly 
simultaneous with the general service order, strin- 
gent rules had been given to the medical com- 
mittees, M-hich as early as 1854 had proved " a 
fruitful source of discontent and disgust ;" native 
officers of excellent character being refused promo- 
tion, because " lame, worn-out, and unfit for fur- 
ther service ;" yet kept for cantonment duty, while 
VOL. II. T 



(Major-general Tucker), " anxiously desired 
to innovate; his predecessor had been 
harshly charged with supineness and apathy; 
his own he designed should be a reign of a 
very different description, and he attempted 
to commence it with a curtailment of the 
leave or furlough annually granted to the 
sepoys — a very hasty and injudicious be- 
ginning — and apparently so considered by 
more tlian myself; for it was then nega- 
tived, though I have since heard, that at a 
later period, it was successfully advocated." J 

The above circumstances tend to ac- 
count for the disbelief evidenced by the 
sepoys in the protestations of govern- 
ment, and the excitement created by the 
unprecedented order to bite cartridges 
made in the arsenal, instead of by them- 
selves, as heretofore. Brigadier Hearsey 
must have been well acquainted with the 
general feeling, when he urged in January, 
the immediate and total withdrawal of the 
new cartridges ; the idea of forcible con- 
version in connection with them, being so 
rooted in the minds of the sepoys, that it 
would be both " idle and unwise to attempt 
its removal." 

This idle and unwise attempt vras, as we 
have seen, continued through the months of 
February, March, and April ; and in spite of 
the mutiny of the 34th, and the disband- 
ment of the 19th, the experiment of ex- 
planatory words, and deeds of severe and 
increasing coercion, was continued, until the 
vigorous measures taken in May, issued not 
in the disbandment, but in the revolt of the 
entii'e Bengal army. 

One feature connected with the prelimi- 
nary stage of the mutinies remains to be 
noticed ; namely, the circulation in Feb- 
ruary of chupatties (small unleavened cakes) 
through certain districts of the North- West 
Provinces, and especially of the Saugor 
territory. INIajor Erskine, the commissioner 
for Saugor, made some enquiry regarding 
the purport of this strange proceeding; but 
could discover nothing, " beyoud the fact of 
the spread of the cakes, and the general 

younger men were passed over their heads, instead 
of being pensioned and suffered to retire and enjoy 
their latter years in the bosom of their families. 
" In my own regiment," a British officer writes to 
the Times, " we have havildars (sergeants), of forty 
years' service ; and the last muster roll I signed; the 
strength of my company bore upon it, I think, five 
full privates of twenty years' service."— Ttmes, July 
2nd, 1857. Letter signed Sookhn Sunj. 

% INIajor-general Tucker's Letter to the TimeSf 
dated July 19th, 1857. 



138 



CIRCULATION OF THE CHUPATTIES. 



belief that such distribution, passed on from 
village to village, will prevent hail falling, 
and keep away sickness. I also under- 
stand," the niajor adds, " that this practice 
is adopted by dyers, when their dye will not 
clear properly ; and the impression is, that 
these cakes originally came from Sciudia's, 
or the Bhopal states."* 

Certainly, there was no attempt at 
secrecy; the Native officials themselves 
brought the chnpatties to the European 
magistrates for inspection; but either could 
not, or would not, give any satisfactory ac- 
count of the meaning of the transaction. 
It appears, tliat each recipient of two cakes 
was to make ten others, and transmit them 
in couples to the chokeydars (constables) of 
the nearest villages. It is asserted, that the 
cakes were circulated among the heads of 
villages not concerned in the mutiny, and 
did not pass at all among the sepoys. f 

Still, the circumstance was a suspicious 
one, especially if there be any truth in the 
allegation, that sugar was used as a signal 
at the time of the Vellore mutiny. J The 
notion of thus conveying a warning to be 
in readiness for a preconcerted rising, is 
one which would naturally present itself to 
any people; and we ai'e told that, in China, 
the "Feast of the Moon Loaves" is still 
held, in commemoration of a similar device 
in the conspiracy by which the Mongol 
dynasty was overthrown 500 years ago.§ 
At all events, it would have been only pru- 
dent in the government to endeavour to 
trace out the source of the movement, and 
the intent of its originators. 

It is difficult to frame a succinct narrative 
of the events which occurred during the first 
few days of May. The various accounts laid 
before parliament are not only fragmentary, 
but consist in great part of telegrams 
^founded on current rumours; and those 
narratives of individuals, published in the 
public journals, are, for the most part, 
from the nature of the subject, trustworthy 
only as regards transactions which occurred 
in the immediate locality of the writers. The 
official documents, however, disconnected 
and unsatisfactory as they are, furnish a clue 
to the inconsistency, indecision, and delay, 
which characterised the proceedings of the 
authorities ; namely, that the objects and 
instructions of the commander-in-chief, were 

* Letter, March 5th, 1857.— Pari. Papers, 
t Edinburgh Review, October, 1857. | Ibid. 

§ Gabet and Hue's Travels in Tartary in 1844, 
chap. iii. 



diametrically opposed to those of the gov- 
ernor-general in council. They appear to 
have acted, the one on an avowedly inno- 
vating and coercive, the other on a pro- 
fessedly conservative plan ; each issuing 
orders which puzzled the Europeans, and 
aggravated the distrust of the natives. 
The officers were placed in a most painful 
position ; they could not tell which was 
to prevail, the Calcutta or the Simla 
policy ; and, meanwhile, they did not know 
what tone to adopt towards their men. 
In a circular issued in May, by the gov- 
ernor-general in council, their incertitude 
is specially noticed in a paragraph, which 
states that, "from communications lately 
received by the government, it seems 
that misapprehension regarding the car- 
tridges is not confined to the Native 
troops," but shared in by " some officers." 
The communications referred to would 
probably throw light on this critical period ; 
and a handful of papers, uninteresting or 
needlessly given in duplicate, might have 
been left out of the Blue Books to make 
room for them. But they might involve 
unpleasant revelations, and are probably 
purposely withheld. As it is, the series of 
papers published on the subject, when care- 
fully analysed, produce a painful conviction, 
not only that the attitude assumed by both 
civil and military authorities, was calculated 
to alarm the natives generally, and the 
Bengal army in particular; but also that 
the authorities themselves being aware of 
this, have concurred in withholding from 
the directors of the East India Company 
and from parliament, the evidences of their 
own disunion, vacillation, and inconsistency. 
Otherwise, surely they would have felt it 
necessary, and found it easy, to furnish the 
British nation with a connected statement 
of their measures and policy attested by the 
needful documents, instead of sending home 
a heterogeneous mass of papers, which, ex- 
cept in the case of those specially moved 
for by resolute members of parliament, re- 
semble a heap of chaft' in which some grains 
of wheat have been left by mistake. 

One of these grains is an official com- 
munication, dated Simla, 4th of May, in 
which General Anson, with an infatuation 
which would be incredible except on his 
own showing, takes the success of his sys- 
tem for granted, and informs the Supreme 
government, as a matter for congratula- 
tion, that tlie practice of the Enfield rifle 
has been commenced at the several mus- 



INCENDIARY FIRES AT UMBALLAII. 



139 



ketry depots, and that "the men of all 
grades have unhesitatingly and cheerfully 
used the new cartridges/'* In the com- 
mander-in-chiePs private circle " teaching 
the sepoys to fire with the Enfield rifle^^ 
•was, however, spoken of as an "expensive 
arausement'^t to government, on account 
of the incendiary fires by which the sepoys 
gave vent to their feelings. In a circu- 
lar issued in the middle of May, the gov- 
ernor-general in council affirms, that "no 
cartridges for tiie new musket, and no car- 
tridges made of a new kind of paper, have 
at any time been issued to any regiment of 
the army."J The substitution of tearing 
for biting, is referred to in the same paper 
as having been generally carried out; but 
this was not the case; for unquestionably, 
the first mutiny which occurred in Oude was 
directly caused by an attempt to compel 
a body of men, for the first time in their 
lives, to bite suspected cartridges. 

Oude. 7th N. Infantry disarmed. — On the 
1st of May, there were about 2,200 Native 
troops in Oude, and some 900 Europeans. 
The entire force consisted of — H. M.^s 32nd 
regiment; a troop of horse artillery; 7th 
light cavalry; seven regiments of Native 
infantry; three field batteries of the Oude 
irregular force ; three regiments of Oude 
irregular infantry : and three regiments of 
Oude police. 

Sir Henry Lawrence was, as has been 
shown (page 88), fully aware of the dan- 
gerous character of the force provided by 
government for the maintenance of British 
power in Oude. His endeavours to con- 
ciliate the talookdars by redressing some of 
the most notorious cases of oppression, had 
not been ineffectual ; and the reductions 
made from the original rates of assessment 
in certain districts, had aflbrded some mea- 
sure of relief from our revenue screw. In 
short, things seemed settling down quietly, 
or at least the authorities thought so ; and 
they welcomed the rapidity with which the 

* Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 370. 

t An officer of rank, -writing a semi-official letter 
from Simla on the '28th of April, 1857, by com- 
mand of General Anson, says, "It is an expensive 
amusement teaching the sepoys to fire with the 
Enfield rifle, at least as far as it has turned out at 
Umballa. It has cost, I believe, the government by 
two fires alone some 32,700 rupees, and I take the 
liberty of doubting whether the old musket in the 
hands of the sepoy was not quite as efficient an arm 
as the new one is ever likely to prove." From March 
26th to May 1st, fires occurred on fifteen different 
evenings. "The 'new cartridges' were pointed out by 
Commissioner Barnes as the sole cause which rendered 



district treasuries were filled on the com- 
mencement of the month, as a very favour- 
able indication of the temper of the people. 
The troops were far from being in a satis- 
factory condition ; but the care with which 
Sir Henry watched, met, and explained 
away rumours calculated to incite them to 
mutiny, preserved, and might have con- 
tinued to preserve, at least their outward 
allegiance, but for the suicidal folly com- 
mitted in issuing an order to the 7th infantry, 
which the men could not obey without 
being, in the words of General Low, " guilty 
of a heinous sin." They therefore refused, 
" not from any feeling of disloyalty or dis- 
affection towards the government or their 
officers, but from an unfeigned and sincere 
dread, owing to their belief in the late 
rumours about the construction of these 
cartridges, that the act of biting them 
would involve a serious injury to their 
caste and to their future respectability of 
character."§ 

The commanding officer, Captain Gray- 
don, was absent in the hills, on sick leave; 
and Lieutenant Watson was in charge, 
when, on the 2nd of May, according to the 
brief official account, || the 7th N. infantry, 
stationed seven miles from the Lucknow 
cantonments, " refused to bite the cartridge 
when ordered by its own officers ; and, subse- 
quently, by the brigadier,''^ on the ground 
of a current rumour that the cartridges had 
been tampered with.** In the afternoon of 
the following day. Brigadier Gray reported 
to Sir Henry Lawrence, at Lucknow, that 
the regiment was in a very mutinous and 
excited state. About the same time a letter 
was placed in the hands of Sir Henry, in 
which the men of the 7th infantry sought the 
advice and co-operation of their " superiors" 
or " elders" of the 48th, in the matter of 
the cartridges, and promised to follow their 
instructions for either active or passive re- 
sistance. This letter was originally deUvered 
to a Brahmin sepoy of the 48th, who com- 

the musketry depot obnoxious to the incendiaries." 
—May 7th, 157. Further Papers (P arl.), p. 24. 

X Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies ; p. 340. 

§ Minute by Major-general Low. — Ibid., p. 211. 

11 The dates given above are taken from the offi- 
cial letter written by the secretary of the chief com- 
missioner (Sir H. Lawrence,) to the secretary to 
government at Calcutta, on the 4th of May, 1857. 
Mr. Gubbins, in his interesting account of the affair, 
places it a week later: that is, dates the emeute on 
Sunday, the 10th, instead of the 3rd of Mayi and 
other consecutive events accordingly. 

% Appendix to Purl. Papers on Mutinies, p. 209. 

•• Gubbins' Mutinies in Oudh, p. 10. 



140 SIR H. LAWRENCE DISARMS 7th NATIVE INFANTRY. 



municated its contents to two Native officers, 
and the three laid it before the chief com- 
missioner.* 

Sir Henry Lawrence ordered the brigadier 
to parade the regiment, make every possible 
explanation, and induce the sepoys to bite 
the cartridge. One Native officer was nearly 
prevailed on to obey the obnoxious orders ; 
but several of the men called out to him 
that, even if he did so, they would not. A 
wing of H.M.'s 32nd regiment, and a strong 
body of Native infantry and cavalry, selected 
from various corps, were ordered out by 
Sir Henry, and arrived at the lines of the 
mutineers about nine o'clock in the even- 
ing of the 3rd of May, the second Sunday — 
memorable for panic and strife. But the 
climax was not yet reached. The cup was 
not yet full to overflowing. 

Two officers (Captain Boileau and Lieu- 
tenant Hardinge) unconnected with the 
regiment,t and whose extraordinary and 
most creditable influence is not accounted 
for, succeeded, before the arrival of the 
coercing force, in restoring order; and, 
what was quite unparalleled, in inducing 
the 7th to deliver up the writers of the 
treasonable letter before named, and to pro- 
mise the surrender of forty other ringleaders. 
The approach of Sir Henry Lawrence and 
his staff, with the European troops, renewed 
the excitement which had nearly subsided. 
The terrified sepoys watched the position 
taken up by the European artillery and in- 
fantry. It was bright moonlight, when an 
artillery sergeant, by some mistake, lighted a 
port-fire. The 7th thought an order for 
their extermination had been given. About 
120 men stood firm, but the great mass of 
the regiment flung down their arms and fled. 
A squadron of light cavalry (native) was 
sent off to intercept the fugitives, and many 
of them were brought back. Sir Henry 
rode up to the remaining men, spoke calmly 
to them, and bade them place on the ground 
their muskets and accoutrements. The 
order was unhesitatingly obeyed. The sepoys 
laid down their pieces, and took off their 
cross-belts with subdued exclamations of 
good-will to the service, resting satisfied 
with Sir Henry's assurance, that though 
government would be asked to disband the 
corps, those found guiltless might be re- 
enlisted. J The disarmed men were directed 
to recall the runaways, which they did ; and 

• 3Iutiny of the Bengal Army : hj one who has 
served under Sir Charles Napier; p. 30. 

t Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 211. 



by about noon on the following day (the 
4th), the entire regiment had returned and 
reoccupied its lines. 

The views taken of the matter by the 
members of the Supreme Council differed 
materially; nevertheless, they all agreed with 
the governor-general in censuring the re-en- 
listment proposed by Sir Heury Lawrence^ 
and in seeing " no reason, in the tardy con- 
trition of the regiment, for hesitating to con- 
firm the punishment of all who were guilty." 

Mr. Dorin wrote a minute on the subject j 
which must suffice to exempt him, as senior 
member of council, from any portion of the 
censure heaped on Lord Canning for undue 
" moderation." He pronounced disbaud- 
ment an insufficient punishment ; adding — 
" The sooner this epidemic of mutiny is put 
a stop to, the better." (The conclusion is 
indisputable ; but it was formed some 
months too late to be acted on.) " Mild 
measures Avont do it. A severe example is 
wanted. * * * I would try the whole 
of the men concerned, for mutiny, and 
punish them with the utmost rigour of 
military law. * * * My theory is, that 
no corps mutinies that is well commanded. 
If it should turn out that the officers of the 
7th have been negligent in their duty, I 
would remand every one of them to their 
own regiments." This is a pretty compli- 
ment to regimental officers in general ; per- 
haps some of them had their theory also, 
and held that no people rebel who are well 
governed. If so, they might reasonably 
inquire whether there were no means of 
"remanding" a civilian of sixty years of 
age, described as being "in all his habits a 
very Sybarite ;" who " in no other country 
but India, and in no other service but the 
civil sei'vice, would have attained any but 
the most subordinate position ;"§ but who, 
nevertheless, in the event of any casualty 
occurring to Lord Canning, would become, 
by rule of seniority, the actual and despotic 
sovereign of the Anglo-Indian empire. To 
return to the case in point. Mr. Dorin con- 
cluded his minute by declaring, that the 
biting of the cartridge could only have 
been an excuse for mutiny; an assertion 
which corroborates the opinion expressed 
by the writer above quoted — that despite 
Mr. Dorin's thirty-three years' service in 
Calcutta (and he had never been fifty miles 
beyond it), he was "practically ignorant of 

X Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 210. 
§ Mutiny in the Bengal A riny : by one who has 
served under Sir Charles Napier ; p. 13. 



MINUTES OF CALCUTTA COUNCIL— MAY, 1857. 



141 



the manners, and customs, and peculiar 
requirements of the people of India/^* Gen- 
eral Low, whose experience of native cha- 
racter was second to that of no man in 
India, frankly pointed out the order to bite 
the cartridge as the cause, not the pretext, 
of mutiny. Had the energ^v of the general 
been equal to his judgment and integrity, a 
much wiser course would probably have 
long before been adopted by the council: 
but fifty-seven years' service in India can 
hardly be expected to leave a man the phy- 
sical strength needful to the lucid exposition 
of his views, and to the maintenance and 
vindication of his own ripened convictions 
in antagonism to the prejudices of younger 
colleagues. 

]\Ir. Grant, a civilian, of thirty years' 
standing, and a man of unquestioned talent, 
agreed with General Low in attributing the 
conduct of the men to an "unfeigned dread 
of losing caste, engendered by the stories 
regarding cartridges, which have been 
running like wildfire through the country 
lately." Sepoys are, he added, very much 
like children ; and "acts which, on the part of 
European soldiers, would be proof of the 
blackest disloyalty, may have a very dif- 
ferent signification when done by these 
credulous and inconsiderate, but generally 
not ill-disposed beings." He concurred 
with Mr. Dorin in censuring the officers ; 
and considered that the mere fact of making 
cartridge-biting a point, after it had been 
purposely dropped from the authorised 
system of drill, merely for " rifle practice, was 
a presumption for any imaginable degree of 
perverse management." Lord Canning 
also seems to have been puzzled on this 
point ; for he remai'ks, that " it appears 
that the revised instructions for the platoon 
exercise, by which the biting of the car- 
tridge is dispensed with, had not come into 
operation at Luckuow." The mischief 
would have been prevented had the govern- 
ment publicly and entirely withdrawn, in- 
stead of privately and partially " dropped," 
the obnoxious practice : but even as the 
case stands, it is unaccountable that a sub- 
altern, left in charge of a regiment, should, 
on his own responsibility, have issued an 
order manifestly provocative of mutiny, 
without any apparent object whatever. In 
the absence of any evidence to the contrary 

• Mutiny of the Bengal Army ; by one who has 
served under Sir Charles Napier; p. 13. 

t Mead's Sepoy Revolt, p. 21. 
f X Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 213. 



it is much more probable that he acted on 
orders emanating from Simla. 

Whatever the cause of the tmeute, Mr. 
Grant (who has been satirically described 
as belonging "to a family distinguislied 
for obstructive ability")t advised that the 
same "calm, just, considerate, and dignified 
course" which had been adopted in each of 
the cases of the 19th and 34th Native 
infantry, should be followed now ; aud he 
suggested "the dismissal of the bad men, 
with the trial, by court-martial, of a few of 
the worst men a month hence. "| 

Fortunately for the lives of every Euro- 
pean in India (not excepting that of Mr. 
Grant), Sir Henry Lawrence was not the 
man to stand with folded arms, watching 
the progress of a devouring flame, aud wait- 
ing orders regarding the most calm and 
dignified course to be adopted for its ex- 
tinction "a month hence." He poured 
water on at once, and quenched the flames 
so effectively, that Oude, the very centre of 
combustion, did not again catch fire until 
long after the "severe example," desired by 
Mr. Dorin, had taken place in Meerut, and 
set all India in a blaze. 

The conduct of Sir Henry was so utterly 
opposed to that of a model official, that 
there can be little doubt he would have 
received something worse than the " severe 
wigging"§ given to General Hearsey, for his 
prompt reward of native fidelity, had not 
one of those crises been at hand, which, 
while they last, secure unchecked authority 
to the men who have nerve and skill to 
weather the storm. While the council were 
deliberating, Sir Henry was acting. He 
forthwith appointed a court of inquiry, to 
investigate the cause, and attendant circum- 
stances, of the so-called mutiny; and then, 
instead of disbanding the regiment, accord- 
ing to his first impulse, he dismissed all the 
Native officers (with one or two exceptions) 
and about fifteen sepoys, and forgave the 
rest ; re-arming about 200 (probably those 
who stood firm, or were first to return to 
their duty), and awaiting the orders of 
government with regard to the others. He 
promoted several wliose good conduct had 
been conspicuous. The Native officers and 
sepoy who brought him the treasonable 
letter from the 7th, were made the objects 
of special favour ; as was also a sepoy of the 

§ Mutiny of the Bengal Army; by one who has 
served under Sir Charles Napier; p. 25. See also 
ante, p. 133 ; and Lord Derby's speeches in the India 
debates of December 3rd and 7th, 1857. 



142 



7th N. I. DISARMED. 34th N. I. DISBANDED. 



13th Native infantry, whose loyalty had been 
evidenced by tbe surrender of two Lucknovv 
citizens, who had endeavoured to stir up 
mutiny in the cantonments. A grand 
durl)ar, or state reception, Mas held at the 
chief commissioner's residence, in the Mu- 
riaon cantonments (whither Sir Henry 
had removed from the Lucknow residency, 
on account of the heat). All the chief 
civilians and military men were present, and 
chairs were provided for the Native officers 
of the troops in the cantonments, as also for 
the leading people of Lucknow. Sir Henry 
spoke ably and emphatically on the religious 
toleration of the Bx'itish government, and 
appealed to the history of an entire century, 
for evidence of the improbability of any 
interference being now attempted. He re- 
minded his hearers that Mussulman rulers 
at Delhi had persecuted Hindoos ; and 
Hindoo rulers, at Lahore, had persecuted 
Mussulmans; but that the British had equally 
protected both parties. Some evil-disposed 
persons seeing onl}'^ a few Europeans here 
and there, imagined that, by circulating 
false reports, the government might be easily 
overthrown ; but the power which had sent 
50,000 Eui'opeans to fight against Russia, 
could, in the space of three months, land 
twice that number in India. Then calling 
forth the natives who had given proof of fide- 
lity, he bestowed on them khelats or dresses 
of honour, swords, and purses of money; and 
cordially shaking hands with the recipients, 
wished them long life to enjoy the honours 
they had richly deserved. The tone taken 
by Sir Henry was adopted by the other 
Europeans. They mixed freely with the 
Native officers ; and such as could under- 
stand one another conversed together in 
groups, on the momentous affairs of the 
period. Sir Henry Lawrence gained time 
by this judicious policy, and used it wisely 
in preparing for the struggle which he had 
delayed, but could not avert. 

Disbandment of 34/A at Barrackpoor. — 
It is now necessary to notice the course 
adopted by the governor-general in council, 
with regard to the 34th regiment — a course 
which Mr. Grant, in a minute dated as late 
as the 7th of May, applauded in the highest 
terras, as having been "neither too hasty 

• Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 
213. 

t This resolve, tardy as it was, is said to have 
been hastened by telegraphic tidings of the emeute 
in Oude on the 3rd. The government order was 
dated the 4th of May; the punishment of the 34th 
being of imperative necessity before the disaffection 



nor too dilatory ;" adding, " it appears to 
me, to have had the best effects, and to 
have been generally approved by sensible 
men."* There were, however, not a few 
leading men in India who took a very 
different view of the case, and quoted the 
long-deferred decision regarding the 34th, 
in illustration of the assertion of an In- 
dian journal [Calcutta Englishman), that of 
two stamps in the Calcutta post-office, re- 
spectively marked " insufficient," and " too 
late," one or both ought to have been im- 
pressed upon every act of the Supreme 
government. 

Some five weeks after the memorable 
Sunday afternoon on which 400 men of 
the 34th Native infantry witnessed, with 
more than tacit approval, a murderous at- 
tack on two of their European officers, the 
government resolvedf on disbanding the 
seven companies of that regiment present at 
the time. The remaining three companies, 
stationed at Chittagong, were in no way 
implicated ; but had, on the contrary, prof- 
fered assurances of continued allegiance, 
and of regret for the misconduct of their 
comrades. J On the 6th of May, at five in 
the morning, in presence of all the troops 
within two marches of the station, the seven 
companies were paraded, and comm.anded 
to pile their arms and strip off the uniform 
they had disgraced. They obeyed ; the 
payment of arrears was then commenced ; 
and in about two hours the men, no longer 
soldiers, were marched off to Pulta ghaut 
for conveyance to Chinsurah. General 
Hearsey, who gave so interesting an ac- 
count of the disbandment of the 19th, ab- 
stained from furnishing any particulars in 
the case of the 34th ; but his very silence is ! 
significant, and lends weight to a circum- 
stance quoted bv a military author, in evi- 
dence of the bitter feelings of the latter corps. 
The sepoys w'ore Kilmarnock caps, which, 
having paid for themselves, they were 
allowed to keep. Before crossing the river, 
many of them were seen to take off their 
caps, dash them on the ground, and trample 
them in the mud,§ as if in angry defiance 
of their late masters. The order for their 
disbandment was directed to be read on 
parade, at the head of every regiment in 

of the 7th irregular infantry could become publicly 
known at Barrackpoor. Lord Derby commented on 
the want of foresight and vigour evidenced by Lord 
Canning's advisers in these proceedings. — 2'imes, 
Dec. 4th, 1857. 

X Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 147. 

§ Mutiny of the Bengal Army, p. 33. 



INCIPIENT MUTINY AT MEERUT— APRIL 23rd, 1857. 



143 



India, still unaccompanied by any assurance 
of the withdrawal of the abhorred cartridges. 
Either for this or some other reason, Sir 
Henry Lawrence would not allow the order 
to be read to the troops in Oude, fearing 
that it would hasten rather than repress an 
outbreak.* 



We have now reached the end of the 
"passive, respectful mutinies," which our 
own blind inconsistencies provoked and 
fostered. The name of Meerut stands at 
the head of a new series, the history of 
which might be fitly written in characters 
of blood. 



CHAPTER III. 



MEERUT— 23rd APRIL TO 11th MAY, 1858. 



The cantonment of Meerut, two miles dis- 
tant from the town, was divided into two 
parts by a branch of the Calee Nuddee 
river, and was chiefly remarkable for its 
great extent, five miles long by two broad, 
and for a fine parade-ground, four miles 
long by one broad. It had a very large 
bazaar, abounding in "budmashes" (lite- 
rally, men of bad livelihood), near which 
stood a gaol crowded with convicts. The road 
to Delhi (thirty-two miles distant) lay close 
to the Native lines. The troops stationed 
here consisted of H.M.'s 6th dragoon guards 
(carabineers); H.M.'s 60th rifles (one bat- 
talion); a light field battery; a party of 
horse artillery; 3rd Native light cavalry; 
11th and 20t"h Native infantry; some sap- 
pers and miners. The European troops 
(exclusive of the sappers and miners), 
amounted to 1,863 including 132 commis- 
sioned officers. The Natives numbered 2,912, 
including only 52 commissioned officers.f 

The cliief purpose of stationing an un- 
usually large proportion of Europeans 
here, was to keep in check the Native gar- 
rison of Delhi ; but this very proportion 
seems to liave rendered the authorities 
more than commonly indiff'erent to the feel- 
ings of the sepoys, and to the dissatisfaction 
which manifested itself in the form of deter- 
mined disobedience to orders as early as 
the 24th of April. The cause and pretext 
(cause with the credulous, pretext with tiie 
designing) was of course the cartridge, 
which had by this time become the recog- 
nised htte noir of the whole Bengal army. 

* Mutiny of the Betif/al Army : by one who has 
served under Sir CharJes Napier; p. 34. 

t Pari. Paper. — (Commons), 9th February, 1858 ; 
p. 3. 

X According to the East India JReyi.iter and 
Army List the colonel of the regiment, Colonel H. 
Thomson was absent " on furlough." The East 



The 3rd Native cavalry was a leading 
regiment. It had been greatly valued by 
Lord Lake, for service rendered at Delhi, 
Laswaree, Deig, and Bhurtpoor; since then 
Afghanistan, Ghuznee, Aliwal, and Sobraon, 
had been added to its list of battles. It con- 
tained a large proportion of men of good 
family and high-caste. The general weapon 
was the sword; but fifteen in each troop 
were taught to use fire-arms, and distin- 
guished as carabineers or skirmishers. 
There were a few bad characters among 
the carabineers, but the majority were the 
flower of a remarkably fine corps. To 
these men their commanding ofiicerj sud- 
denly resolved to teach the mode of tearing 
instead of biting the cartridges, in antici- 
pation of the new kind coming out; and on 
the afternoon of the 23rd, he issued an 
order for a parade of all the skirmishers on 
the following morning. The order created 
Kreat excitement ; and an old Hindoo 
havildar, named Heerah Sing, waited on 
Captain Craigie, the captain of his troop, 
and, in the name of his comrades, besought 
that the skirmishers might be excused from 
parade, because the name of the regiment 
would suffer in the estimation of other 
corps, if they were to use the cartridges 
during the present excitement on the sub- 
ject. They did not threaten to refuse to 
fire them, but only sued for delay. Captain 
Craigie reasoned with Heerah Sing on the 
absurdity of being influenced by groundless 
rumours ; but he knew that the feeling was 
real, however unreasonable the cause; and 
India Register dates his first appointment at 1798 ; 
and, therefore, after sixty years' service the veteran 
officer may be supposed to have been warranted in 
retiring from active service for the remainder of his 
life. In the Army List the name of the officer in 
command is given as Colonel G. M. C. Smyth, and 
the date of his first commission as 1819. 



144 



MEERUT— NATIVE CAVALRY REFUSE CARTRIDGES. 



it being then nearly ten o'clock, he wrote 
a private note to the adjutant of tlie 
regiment, stating the request which had 
been made to him, and urging compliance 
with it, as, ** if disregarded, the regiment 
might immediately be in a state of mutiny." 
Other officers had meanwhile reported on 
the distress of the regiment, and the colonel 
seemed inclined to put oflF the parade, when 
the adjutant unluckily suggested, that if he 
did so the men would say that he was afraid 
of them. The fear of being accused of fear 
decided the colonel on leaving his order un- 
cancelled. In the course of the evening, 
the house of the orderly (the hated favourite 
of the colonel) was set on fire ; also an empty 
horse hospital ; and the men kept aloof, in 
evident disaflfection. 

Next morning, at daybreak, the skir- 
mishers appeared on parade, and the fated 
cartridges were brought forward in bundles. 
The colonel harangued the men in bad 
Hindustani, and endeavoured to explain 
to them that the cartridges were to be used 
by tearing, not biting; and assured the 
troopers that if they obeyed, he would report 
tliem to head-quarters, and make them 
famous. But "there was no confidence 
towards him in their hearts, and his words 
j only mystified them." Heerah Sing, and 
! four other troopers, took the cartridges; 
j the other eighty-five refused them. The 
' colonel then dismissed the parade, and re- 
■ ported what had occurred to Genei*al Hewitt. 
A court of inquiry was held, and the disobe- 
i dient skirmishers were put off duty, and di- 
rected to remain in the lines till further orders. 
The European officers of the 3rd anxiously 
I waited instructions from the commander- 
in-chief on the subject, anticipating, as an 
extreme sentence, that, "the skirmishers 

• Despatch, May 6th. — Appendix to the first 
series of Pari. Papers on the Mutinies, p. 373. This 
is the only parliamentary document yet published 
which contains any reference to the events preceding 
the 9th of May. The above account is based on the 
graphic and succinct narrative, evidently written, 
though not signed, by the wife of Captain Craigie, 
dated April 30th, and published in the Daily News 
of 29th July, 1857. Mrs. Craigie adds — "General 
(Hewitt), commanding here, was extremely angry 
on learning the crisis which Colonel (Smyth) had 
brought on, bitterly blaming his having ordered that 
parade. • • • Of course, ordering the parade at 
all, under the present excitement, was a lamentable 
piece of indiscretion ; but even when that had been 
done, the colonel might have extricated himself 
•without humiliation. Henry feels convinced that he 
could have got the men to fire, or the parade might 
have been turned into an explanation of the 
new cartridge, without auy firing being proposed. 



might be dismissed without defence; in 
which case, it was whispered that the whole 
corps would mutiny, and be joined by the 
other Native troops in the station." The 
letter from whicli the above circumstances 
are quoted, was written on the 30th of 
April. The writer adds — " We are strongly 
garrisoned by European troops here ; but 
what a horrible idea that they should be 
required to defend us V 

The 3rd of I\Iay came, and brought no 
word from head-quarters, and the alarm 
began to subside : but between the 3rd 
and the 6th, orders on the subject must 
have been sent ; for a despatch was written 
from Simla on the latter day (from the 
adjutant-general to the secretary of gov- 
ernment), informing the authorities at Cal- 
cutta that Geueral Anson had directed the 
trial, by a general court-martial, of eighty- 
five men of the 3rd cavalry, who had refused 
to receive the cartridges tendered to them. 
It further stated, that a squad of artillery 
recruits (seventeen in number) having in 
like manner refused "the carbine cartridges 
ordered to be served out to them for use at 
the drill," had been at once summarily dis- 
missed by the officer commanding the artil- 
lery at the station — a punishment which the 
commander-in-chief censured as incommen- 
surate to the off'ence.* No report of the 
general court-martial has been made public 
up to the present time (December, 1858.)t 

In previous instances, the commander-in- 
chief had vainly endeavoured to compel 
Native courts-martial to adjudge penalties 
commensurate with his notions of the hei- 
nousness of sepoy offences : it is therefore 
necessary tha,t some explanation should be 
given for the unaccountable severity of the 
present sentence. In the first place, did 

Henry, as a troop captain, had nothing to do be- 
yond his own troop ; but thither he rode at day- 
break on that fatal morning, and remained for 
hours among his men, enjoining them to keep steady, 
and withstand any impulse to join others in excite- 
ment ; bidding them do nothing without consulting 
him, and assuring them that, though differing from 
them in faith, he was one of them — their frit-nd and 
protector, as long as they were true to their duty; 
and the men felt that he spoke the truth. They 
would have fired for him : they told him they 
would, though unwillingly." 

t It was held on the 6th, 7th, and 8lh of May, and 
the court was composed of six Mohammedan and 
nine Native officers, and presided over by tlie deputy- 
judge-advocate-general. For the latter piece of infor- 
mation, I am indebted to the courtesy of Sir Arch- 
dale Wilson, and for the former portion of the para 
graph to that of Mr. Philip Melville, late head of thj 
military department of the East India House. 



COURT-MARTIAL AT MEERUT— 6th, 7th, axd Sth MAY, 1857. 145 



the Native officers actually decree the en- 
tire sentence of hard labour in irons?* and 
if so, under what amount of direct or indi- 
rect coercion was it pronounced? Had the 
court received any private intimation of the 
decision at which they were expected to 
arrive? In what terms did the judge sum 
up the proceedings, and dictate or suggest 
the sentence ; and had it or had it not been 
previously suggested to him? Sufficient 
evidence has oozed out to prove that the 
commander-in-chief gave very decided in- 
structions on the conduct of tlie trial : the 
British public have a clear right to know 
precisely what they were, in order to ascer- 
tain what degree of general mismanagement, 
of individual crotchets in the governors, 
affecting the deepest religioiis convictions 
of the governed, and of petty tyranny, may 
be indulged in by future commanders-in- 
chief, without driving an Indian army too 
near the dizzy verge of mutiny. It appears, 
that some days before the assemblage of the 
court-martial, the European authorities 
knew the decision which would be arrived at, 
and anticipated its most natural result; for 
Air. Greathed, the commissioner of Meerut, 
being called away to Alighur on political 
business, returned to his post on the 9th (a 
day earlier than he had at first intended), 

• Since the above statement was written, some 
additional information has been published by gov- 
ernment on the Meerut proceedings, under the title 
of Further I'apers relative to the Insurrection (not 
mutiny, as heretofore styled by the authorities) in 
the East Indies. The papers only occupy six pages, 
and conta'in the usual amount of repetition and 
extraneous official matter. The proceedings of the 
court of inquiry and of the three days' court-mar- 
tial are still withheld, and the only new light on the 
subject is afforded in a " Memorandum drawn up by 
the judge-advocate-general of the army, of the cir- 
cumstances whicli apparently led to the mutiny of 
the Native army being precipitated." It is therein 
stated, that "by the votes of fourteen out of the fifteen 
Native officers who composed the court-martial, the 
whole of the accused were convicted and sentenced 
to imprisonment with hard labour for ten years 
each. But the court solicited favourable considera- 
tion for the prisoners, on account of the good 
character which they had hitherto borne, as testified 
to by their commanding officer ; and on account of I 
their having been misled by vague reports regarding 
the cartridges." Major-general Hewitt, however, 
declared he could find nothing in the conduct of the 
prisoners to warrant him in attending to the recom- 
mendation of the court. " Their former good con- 
duct has been blasted by present misbehaviour, and 
their having allowed themselves to be influenced by 
vague reports, instead of attending to the advice, 
and obeying the orders of their European superiors, 
is the gist of the offence for which they have been 
condemned. • • • Some of them even had the 
insolence to desire that firing parades might be 

VOL. II. U 



because "he knew that imprisonment would 
follow the trial, and that an attempt to force 
the gaol and to liberate the prisoners might 
be expected.^t 

A private letter from Meerut says, it was 
understood that General Hewitt had been 
desired to treat the skirmishers with the 
"utmost severity.^' The trial was con- 
ducted accordingly. " The prisoners were 
charged with disobedience, Avhich was un- 
deniable, and which certainly demanded 
punishment. A few tried to' plead, with 
little skill but considerable truth; but the 
principle adopted towards them seemed in- 
difference to whatever they might have to 
say, and the men felt themselves condemned 
already in the minds of their court." They 
were all found guilty, and sentenced to im'- 
prisonment in gaol and hard labour — eighty 
for ten and five for six years, the very note- 
worthy circumstance in the latter case being, 
that the favoured five had served under in- 
stead of above three years. Many of the 
former must have been able to plead a long 
terra of faithful service ; btit that, it seeras, 
was regarded as an aggravation, not an ex- 
tenuation, of their fault. 

General Hewitt had received orders to 
cany out the sentence of the court-martial, 
without waiting its confirmation by the 

deferred till the agitation about cartridges among 
the Native troops had come to a close. • • • 
Even now, they attempt to justify so gross an 
outrage upon discipline, by alleging that they had 
doubts of the cartridges ; there has been no acknow- 
ledgment of error, no expression of regret, no 
pleading for mercy." This latter hinted aggrava- 
tion is explained away by the testimony already 
quoted regarding the conviction entertained by the 
men, that nothing they could say would shake the 
foregone conclusion of the court. They persevered in 
asserting their belief that, by using the" new greased 
cartridges" urged upon them, they would forfeit caste. 
Major-general Hewitt declared, that to the majority 
of the prisoners no portion of the sentence would be 
remitted ; but that some of them being very young, 
those who had not been above five years in the 
service, would be set free at the expiration of five 
instead of ten years. Not only was there no remis- 
sion of the sentence, but a very cruel degradation 
was superadded, by the painful and ignominious 
fettering. Even General Anson, when informed of 
the prisoners having been " put in irons on parade- 
ground in the presence of their regiment, expressed 
his regret at this unusual procedure." Notwith- 
standing this qualification, it is evident that General 
Hewitt acted in accordance with the spirit, if not the 
letter, of his instructions. In the newly 'published 
papers, there is much in confirmation, and nothing 
in contradiction, of ^^rs. Craigie's statement. 

t Letters written during the Siege of Delhi ; by 
H. H. Greathed, Esq., late of the Bengal civil service, 
and political agent of Delhi. Edited by his widow. 
Longman, 1858. — Introduction, p, xv. 



146 FETTERING OF THE EIGHTY-FR^ TROOPERS— 9th MAY, 1857. 



coramauder-in-chief, and arrangements were 
made for its execution on the following 
morning, in the presence of all the troops at 
the station. A guard of European dragoons 
and rifles was ordered to keep watch over 
the prisoners during the night, and some 
difficulty was experienced in calming the 
excitement which the presence of the Euro- 
peans created in the Native lines. At day- 
break on the 9th of INIay, the troops 
assembled for this most memorable punish- 
ment parade. The "sunless and stormy" 
atmosphere, described by an eye-witness, 
bore but too close an analogy to the temper 
of the sepoys. The scene must have dis- 
tressed the British officers of the 3rd ; who, 
if not absolutely blinded by prejudice, must 
have felt for and with their men : but they 
were compelled to refrain from offering the 
slightest or most private and respectful 
warning, at this fearful crisis, by the " severe 
reprimand"* bestowed by the commander- 
in-chief on Captain Craigie, for his timely 
but neglected suggestions, given on the 
night before the parade of the 24th of 
April. After such a lesson, the subor- 
dinate officers could only watch, in silent 
amazement, the incendiary proceedings of 
their superiors. The uniform of the muti- 
neers was stripped off, and the armourers' 
and smiths' departments of the horse artil- 
lery being in readiness, each man was 
heavily ironed and shackled, preparatory to 
being worked, for the allotted term of years, 
in gangs on the roads. These ill-omened 
proceedings occupied three long hours. 
The victims to our inconsistent policy 
showed the deepest sense of the degra- 
dation inflicted on them. But resistance 
would have been madness; the slightest 
attempt would have produced an extermi- 
nating fire from the guns manned by the 
Europeans, and pointed at them. Some 
clasped their hands together, and appealed 
to General Hewitt for mercy; their com- 
rades stood looking on in gloomy silence, 
an order having been given that their offi- 

* The above fact is taken from a short unpub- 
lished paper, printed for private circulation, and 
entitled, A Brief Account of the 3Iutiny of the 
3rd Light Cavalry ; by Colonel Smyth. It appears 
that the colonel had, in the early part of April, 
received intelligence from a friend, regarding the 
feelings of a party of sepoys with whom he " had 
fallen in." They spoke strongly in favour of tlie 
disbanded 19lh, and expressed themselves ready 
to join in a general mutiny. This information 
Colonel Smyf.h forwarded to General Anson about 
the middle of April ; and, on the 23rd, he (Colonel 
Smyth) ordered a parade, intending to teach the men 



cers only should attend on horseback. 
When the fettering had been at length ac- 
complished, the men were marched off the 
field. As they passed the ranks of the 3rd 
they shouted blessings on Captain Craigie, 
and curses on their colonel, f and hurled 
reproaches at the dismounted troopers, 
for having suffered them to be thus de- 
graded. | At length, when the military 
authorities had done their work, they coolly 
delivered over the mutineers to the civil 
magistrate, to be lodged in the common gaol, 
in company with some 1,200 convicts; the 
whole to be left under the sole guard of 
native burkandauz, or matchlockmen. 

The sepoys returned to their lines appa- 
rently completely cowed. The Europeans 
were left masters of the situation ; and the 
affair having gone off so quietly, the majority 
were probably disposed to view more favour- 
ably than ever. General Anson's resolve 
to trample under foot the caste scruples of 
the sepoys, and " never give in to their 
beastly prejudices."§ The phrase, not a 
very attractive one, has been quoted before ; 
but it is necessary to repeat it, as the best 
explanation of the commander-in-chief's 
proceedings. Those about his person could, 
it is said, furnish other traits, equally strik- 
ing and characteristic. 

The mutineers were, as we have seen, 
marched off to prison ; the men returned to 
their lines, and the Europeans to their bunga- 
lows, to take a siesta or a drive, to smoke or 
play billiards, till dinner-time. The officers 
of the 3rd had, however, a painful task as- 
signed them — that of visiting the mutineers 
in prison to inquire about their debts, and 
arrange their affairs. The anxiety of the 
captives about their destitute families was 
most touching, and three of the officers re- 
solved to set on foot a subscription to pro- 
vide for tlie support of these innocent suf- 
ferers. But nothing transpired within the 
prison to give the visitors any idea of an 
intended revolt, or to lend weight to the ru- 
mours abroad. This same evening. Colonel 

to load without biting their cartridges, which he 
thought they would be pleased to learn. The car- 
tridges were to be distributed over-night. The men 
refused to take them ; and Colonel Smyth adds — 
" One of my officers (Captain Craigie) wrote to the 
adjutant in the strongest terms, urging me to put 
off the parade, ybr t<;7u'c/i he received a severe repri- 
mand from the commander-in-chief." 

t Testimony of an eye-witness. 

X Mutiny of the Tivnyal Army : by one who has 
served under Sir C. Napier ; p. 35. See, also, let- 
ter of correspondent to Calcutta Enylishman. 

§ Cooper's Crisis in the Punjab; p. 37. 



MEERUT GAOL BROKEN OPEN— SUNDAY, MAY 10th, 1857. 147 



Finuis, of the 11th Native infantry, was 
seated at Colonel Custine's dinner table, 
when a lady remarked that placards were 
said to have been seen about the city, call- 
ing upon all true Mussulmans to rise and 
slaughter the English. " Tlie threat," says 
Mrs. Greathed, " was treated by us all with 
indignant disbelief."* 

If any of the party could have heard 
what was then passing in the widely scat- 
tered Native lines, it might have spoiled 
their sleep that night. As it was, no 
one — not even the commissioner, who had 
foreseen the probability of an attack on the 
gaol — seems to have manifested any anxiety 
regarding the temper of the Native soldiery, 
or inquired the workings of their mind 
upon an act calculated to fill them with 
shame and sorrow for their comrades, and 
with terror for themselves. The penalty of 
disbandment for refusing to use the ab- 
horred cartridges, was changed, by the act 
of that morning, into the degrading punish- 
ment of a common felon : the recusants were 
doomed to labour for years, perhaps for life, 
in irons, for the profit of their foreign mas- 
ters, while their wives and children were 
left to starve ! Was there no alternative 
for them except the cruel one of forfeiture 
of caste, of virtual excommunication, with 
all its wretched consequences, its civil and 
religious disabilities? Both Mohamme- 
I dans and Hindoos had, as has been shown, 
recent grievances rankling in their breasts : 
the present measure looked like part of a 
system to prostrate them in the dust, if not to 
wholly crush them; and when the hum- 
bled 3rd looked at the empty huts of their 
comrades, and thought of the crowded 
gaol (which the excessive cleanliness asso- 
ciated with high-caste renders specially 
disgusting) and of their forlorn families, 
no wonder their hearts sank within them. 
Beneath the general depression, there were, 
doubtless, under-currents ; and the sugges- 
tions of the bolder or more intriguing, 
would naturally gain ready hearing. There 
must have been decided dissatisfaction ; but 
there is no evidence to show that any plot 
was formed on the night of the 9th ; it 
rather appears, that until late in the after- 
noon of Sunday, the 10th, the troops re- 
mained, as it were, paralysed, but ready to 

* Greathed's Letters; Introduction, p. xiv. 

t Major-general Hewitt to adjutant-general of the 
army, May 11th, 1857. — Further Papers on Muti- 
nies (Commons), No. 3 ; p. 9. 

X Letter of the Rev. J. C. Smyth, one of the chap- 
lains at Meerut. — Times, June 30th, 1857. 



be thrown into a state of panic by the most 
trifling occurrence. In fact, their excessive 
fear verged on despair : no report regard- 
ing the hostile intentions of the government 
was too absurd to be believed ; and fancy- 
ing themselves driven into a corner, they 
drugged themselves with bhang, and, to 
the amazement of the Europeans, suddenly 
changed their attitude of humble depreca- 
tion, for one of reckless, pitiless, unreason- 
ing ferocity. 

The best authority on the subject (Gen- 
eral Hewitt) considers, that " the outbreak 
was not premeditated*; but the result of a 
rumour that a party was parading to seize 
their arms; which was strengthened by the 
fact of the 60th rifles parading for evening 

service.^t 

The conclusion is evidently a just one; 
for had there been any combination, how- 
ever secret, or however superficial, the sepoys 
would have waited till the Europeans were 
either in church, or in their beds. They 
had no superiority of numbers to presume 
upon; and the majority acted, beyond all 
doubt, on an ungovernable influence of 
rage and desperation. Shortly before six 
o'clock P.M., a body of the 3rd cavalry 
flung themselves on their horses, and gal- 
loped oft' to the gaol, where they released 
their comrades, and the other prisoners, 
amounting in number to 1,200. Of course, 
many of these latter played a leading part 
in the outrages of that terrible night ; but 
some were so terrified by the madness of 
their new associates, that they came and 
voluntarily gave themselves up to the ma- 
gistrates as soon as the first tumult had 
subsided. The rescued "eighty-five" were 
brought back in triumph to the Native 
lines. They had had enough of prison dis- 
cipline to rouse, not quench, their fiercest 
passions. The degradation was fresh ; their 
limbs were yet bruised and raw with the 
fetters. They proceeded to the compound 
of Captain Galloway, of the 3rd light cav- 
alry, and compelled his blacksmith to re- 
move their chains.l Then they went 
among their comrades, calling aloud for 
vengeance. The whole of the 3rd, except 
Captain Craigie's troop of fifty men, joined 
the mutineers : so did the 20th N. I. ; but 
the 11th N.I. hung back, defended their 
officers, and such of them as were stationed 
on guard, remained at their posts. 

The mass of the troops had now crossed 
the Rubicon, and knew that to recede or 
hesitate would be to ensure the death of 



148 MUTINY AND MASSACRE AT MEERUT— MAY lOrn, 1857. 



rebels, or the life of galley-slaves. The 
inflammable bungalows, mostly thatched 
with straw, were soon set on fire, including 
General Hewitt's. Dense clouds of smoke 
filled the hot night air, and volumes of 
flame were seen shooting up in columns to 
heaven, or rolling in billows along the 
ground. The bugle sounded the alarm ; 
irregular discharges of musketry were heard 
on every side. The sepoys seemed to have 
turned in a moment from obedient children 
to infuriated madmen. The madness, too, 
was fearfully contagious; the impetus was 
irresistible. The llth held out long, and 
stood by their officers, while their colonel 
reasoned with the mutineers. But, alas ! 
the time was past for arguing the matter, 
save with swords and guns. A sepoy of 
the 20th Native infantry took aim at Colonel 
Finnis : the example was instantly followed; 
and the good and gallant officer fell dead 
from his horse, amid a shower of bullets. 
On this the 20th fired into the 11th; and the 
latter corps being no longer able to remain 
neutral,* reluctantly joined their country- 
men, after having first placed their officers 
in safety. Then incendiarism, practised in 
detail at the musketry depots ever since the 
hated cartridges were distributed, reached 
its height, the mutineers being "assisted 
by the population of the bazaar, the city, 
and the neighbouring villages." It was 
mutiny coupled with insurrection. The 
sepoys had, however, no leaders, and their 
movements were, to the last degree, irre- 
gular and disconnected. Kill, kill ! was 
the cry of a few desperate fanatics mad- 
dened with bhang; booty, booty! was 
the all-comprehensive object of the bud- 
mashes of the city, and of the scum of the 
vast following which ever attends a large 
Indian cantonment, and which was now 
suddenly let loose on the afi'righted Euro- 
pean families. The scene was terrible ; but 
it resembled rather the raid of insurgent 
villagers than the revolt of trained troops : 
there was, iii fact, no fighting at all, pro- 
perly so called ; for the incensed 3rd cav- 
alry mutineers (who, it must be remembered, 
were Mohammedans of high family) were 
anxious to reach Delhi, where they felt sure 
of the sympathy of their co-religionists; 
while the mass of the sepoys had joined the 
mutiny because they could not remain neu- 
tral; and the first flush of excitement passed, 
their great desire was to get out of the 
reach of the European guns. Eight women 
• General Hewitt's letter. 



and seven or eight children perished; and 
there were instances in which the dead 
bodies were horribly slashed and cut by the 
infuriated mob ; but the highest official 
account of European lives lost, including 
officers and soldiers, does not reach forty. 

The only considerable body of sepoys 
who remained thoroughly staunch during 
the night was Captain Craigie's troop of 
cavalry; but it required not merely his re- 
markable influence over his men, but con- 
summate tact in using it, to prevent their 
being carried away by the torrent. Never 
was there a more conspicuous instance of 
the value of that " faculty for managing 
natives," spoken of by the Calcutta cor- 
respondent of the Times as a " sixth sense, 
which can neither be communicated nor 
learnt."t Mrs. Craigie^s account of the 
afi"air bears strong internal evidence of 
truthfulness, and is corroborated by cotem- 
porary official and private statements. 
She was driving to church with another lady, 
when, passing the mess of the 3rd regiment, 
they saw the servants leaning over the 
walls of the compound, all looking towards 
the road from the Native infantry lines. 
Several voices called out to the ladies to 
return, for there was a mutiny of the Native 
infantry, and a fight in the bazaar. Crowds 
of armed men were now seen hurrying to- 
wards the carriage. Its occupants drove 
back in great alarm ; but soon overtaking 
an English private running for his life from 
several men (not sepoys) armed with lattees 
(long sticks), they stopped the carriage, and 
drew in the fugitive, his assailants continu- 
ing to strike at him ; but the heroines held 
out their arms and pleaded for him, and 
were suflered to drive off in safety with the 
rescued soldier. On reaching her own 
bungalow, Mrs. Craigie found her husband 
in entire ignorance of what was occurring. 
He started ofl" to the lines of the 3i'd, and 
found that the three first troops had disap- 
peared ; but his own (the 4th), with the 5th 
and 6th, were still there. Another of the 
troop captains, whose name does not appear, 
but who was senior in rank to Captain 
Craigie, now joined him, and the two 
officers asked the men if they could rely on 
them. The answer was an eager declara- 
tion of fidelity. The men said they had 
heard there was fighting at the gaol to re- 
lease the prisoners j and clustering round 
Captain Craigie, professed themselves ready 
to do whatever he might order. The officers 
•j- Times, June 15th, 1857. 



LrASSACRE AND CONFLAGRATION AT MEERUT. 



119 



directed the troops to mount and follow 
them. Meanwhile, a gentleman, whose 
name is not stated, came up, and was 
asked if he had any orders from the colonel. 
The reply was, that "the colouel was flying 
for his life, and had f^iven no orders.''* 
The officers rode on with the three troops. 
Captain Craigie, anxiously occupied with 
his own men, discovered, after riding some 
distance, that he was alone with the 4th 
troop. He soon afterwards met the released 
cavalry mutineers with their irons broken. 
They were on their way to Delhi, and were 
mounted and in uniform, their comrades 
having given them their own equipments. 
The fugitives recognised Captain Craigie, 
shouted to him that they Avere free, and 
poured forth blessings on him. " He was,'' 
says his wife, " indeed their friend ; and had 
he been listened to, these horrors might 
never have happened." Captain Craigie, 
seeing that it was too late to preserve the 
gaol, turned back, to try and save the stan- 
dards of the 3rd from the lines. The roads 
were thronged with infantry mutineers and 
bazaar men, armed and firing. A ladyf 
was driving by in a carriage, when a trooper 
came up with her and stabbed her. Captain 
Craigie cut the assassin down with his 
sword, but the victim was already dead. 
Soon after this, a ball whizzed by his own 
ear; and looking round, he saw a trooper 
out of uniform, with his head muffled, fire 
at him agaiu. "Was that meant for me?" 
he shouted. "Yes!" said the trooper, "I 
will have your blood." 

Captain Craigie's presence of mind did 
not desert him ; he believed the men might 
mutiny from him if he fired; and turning to 
them, he asked if they would see him shot. 
They vociferated "No!" and forced the 
mutineer back again and again ; but would 
neither kill nor seize him. A Chiistian 
trumpeter urged the captain to save him- 
self by riding faster, and he dashed on 
to the lines ; but passing his own house by 
the way, he asked who would go and defend 

• "This statement is partially incorrect, for the 
colonel had directed Adjutant Clarke to order the 
men to stand to their horses, to be ready to mount if 
required." The order did not reach the men, and 
would evidently have exercised very little efl'ect if it 
had; but the former portion of the quotation in ques- 
tion, is corroborated by Colonel Smyth's own words. 
•' Six officers," he states, "came into my compound 
chased by infantry sepoys, and concealed themselves 
in my house. I then went to inform the general 
(Hewitt) of what was going on. I took my own 
orderly and the field officers with me. I told them to 
draw swords, as the road was getting crowded, and 



his wife. The whole troop (at least all with 
him) raised their hands. He said he only 
wanted four men. " I, I, I," cried every 
one ; so he sent the first four, and rode on 
with the others to the lines, where he 
found Major Richardson and two European 
officers, with a few remaining men of the 
other troops. The Native infantry were 
flying across the parade-ground, pursued by 
the European artillery. The officers, bid- 
ding their men follow, galloped into the 
open country, with three of the four regi- 
mental staiulards ; and, on seeing them safe. 
Captain Craigie, by the permission of Major 
Richardson, returned to provide for the 
safety of his wife. She, poor lady ! had 
endured an interval of terrible anxiety ; but, 
like her husband, had retained perfect self- 
possession. The rescued European was one 
of the carabiniers — a guard of whom liad 
been placed over the mutineers, and had 
thereby become the objects of especial 
hatred with the mob. She dressed him in 
her husband's clothes, and then she and 
her female companion watched the progress 
of the incendiary crew, and seeing bungalow 
after bungalow blazing round them, expected 
that the lines of fire would close them in. 
At length the mob reached the next com- 
pound, and set light to the stables. The 
groans of the horses were fearful; but soon 
the more terrible utterance of human agony 
was heard through the diu ; and Mrs. 
Craigie, looking from the upper part of her 
own dwelling, saw a lady (Mrs. Chambers) 
in the verandah of the next house. At her 
entreaty, the servants ran to try and bring 
their unfortunate neighbour over the low 
separating wall. But it was too late; the poor 
victim (who had but newly arrived in India, 
and was on the eve of her confinement) had 
been already killed, and cut horribly. This 
was fearful news for INIrs. Craigie and her 
companions; they soon saw men bringing 
a burning log from the next compound, aud 
thought their own ordeal was at hand. 
Crowds gathered round; but the name of 

immediately galloped off as fast as I could, the 
bazaar people striking at me with swords and sticks, 
and shouting after me, which Mr. Hose, of the barrack 
department, witnessed. I went first to Mr. Great- 
hed's, the gate of whose compound was open ; but a 
man ran to it to shut it, I suppose ; but I got in and 
rode up to the house, and gave the information to 
the servants, as I was informed Mr. Greathed was 
out. I then went on to tlie general's, and heard he 
had just left the house in his carriage." — Colonel 

I Smyth's Narrative. 

I t jMrs. Courtenay, wife of the hotel keeper at 
Meerut. 



150 



CAPTAIN CRAIGIE'S LOYAL TROOP OF CAVALRY. 



Captain Craigie was frequently shouted in 
deprecation of any assault on his dwelling ; 
and a few of the Hindoo servants who re- 
mained faithful, especially one Buctour, a 
tent lascar, ran to and fro, trying to clear 
the compound, and declaring that his mas- 
ter was " the people's friend," and no one 
should burn his house. 

At this crisis the ladies saw the four 
troopers sent to guard them riding in, and, 
recognising the well-known uniform, though 
not the wearers, hailed them at once as 
deliverers. The troopers dismounted, and 
rushed eagerly upstairs; Mrs. Craigie strove 
to take their hands in her's, but they pros- 
trated themselves before her, and touching 
her feet with their foreheads, swore to pro- 
tect her at the hazard of their lives ; 
which they actually did. They implored 
her to keep within shelter, and not expose 
herself on the verandah. But anxiety for 
her husband overpowered every other con- 
sideration, and she could not be restrained 
from gazing forth on the blazing canton- 
ment in an agony of suspense, which pre- 
vented her from heeding the blinding, suffo- 
cating smoke, the parching heat, or even 
the shots fired at herself, until at length the 
brother of her young friend arrived in safety, 
and was soon followed by Captain Craigie, 
who having nobly performed his public 
duty, now came to rescue his heroic wife. 
Fearing that the house would be surrounded, 
the officers wrapped dark stable-blankets 
round the light muslin dresses of the ladies, 
to hide them from the glare of the flaming 
station, and lessen the risk of fire, and con- 
cealed them in a little thick-walled, single- 
doored temple, which stood on the grounds. 
There they remained several hours ; during 
which time, a band of armed thieves broke 
into the house; but two of them were shot 
(one by Buctour), and the others fled. 
Cavalry troopers continued to join the 
party, including one of the condemned 
eighty-five, who offered to stay and defend 
the Europeans; but Captain Craigie said 
he must surrender him if he did; and, "after 
a time, the boy disappeared.'' The other 
troopers, to the number of about thirty, 
entreated Captain Craigie not to take his 
wife away, as they would protect her with 
their lives ; but he dared not run the risk :* 
and when the roads became quieter, he put- 
to the horses (all the stable-servants having 

• Captain Craigie's house, and another, were the 
only ones left standing in the 3rd cavalry lines, 
t Greathed's Letters, p. 291. 



fled), and hurried the ladies oft* to the artil- 
lery lines, first allowing them to collect 
together a few clothes and their trinkets. 
The plate they could not get, the khitmut- 
gar (Mohammedan steward) having run off 
with the keys. He had, however, buried 
the property in the first moments of alarm, 
and he subsequently brought the whole intact 
to his master. The troopers, gallantly as 
they had behaved, '•' looked very blank' at 
the idea of proceeding to the European 
lines. Instead of confidently expecting re- 
ward, they " feared being made prisoners ;" 
and it was with the utmost difficulty that 
they were induced to venture within reach 
of the unreasoning fury of the British 
force. It is needful to remember this; 
for probably the excessive dread inspired by 
our policy, has been, with the vast majority 
of the Bengal army, the inciting cause of 
mutiny. Our very inconsistencies and 
vacillations have been ascribed by them to 
some hidden motive. At the outset, the 
only body of sepoys who kept together and 
obeyed orders during this terrible night, 
evidenced the most entire disbelief in the 
gratitude or justice of the military autho- 
rities, and ventured to remain in allegiance, 
wholly in dependence on the individual 
character of their captain. But for him, 
they too would have joined the mutineers. 

During the night, many Europeans were 
saved by the fidelity and daring of native 
servants, at the risk of their own lives. The 
commissioner (Mr. Greathed) and his wife 
are among the number. On seeing the 
mob approach their house, they took shelter 
with two English ladies on the terrace roof; 
but the wood-work was soon set on fire, and 
no alternative apparently remained but to de- 
scend and surrender themselves, when Gho- 
lab Khan, their head gardener, succeeded 
in inciting the crowd to pillage a large 
storehouse at some distance, he affecting to 
share in the plunder. t Ladders were then 
placed against the opposite wall by others 
of the establishment, ever}'' member con- 
tinuing faithful, and the whole party es- 
caped off the roof (which, some few minutes 
later, fell in with a fearful crash), and took 
refuge in the garden. When day broke, 
the rioters having left the place, Gholab 
Khan brought a buggy, wherein the com- 
missioner and his three companions pro- 
ceeded in safety to the artillery school of 
instruction, whither, on the morning of the 
1 ] th, all the ladies of the cantonment, Avith 
their children and servants, were takeii by 



EUROPEANS MURDERED AT MEERUT— MAY 10th, 1857 



151 



their husbands without any military escort. 
The school was a larjije, easily defensible en- 
closure, with lines of barracks; and here all 
the civilians and such of the staff as were 
not required outside took refuge, there 
being no fort at Meerut. Captain and 
Mrs. Macdonald (20th regiment) were both 
slain ; but their ayah (nurse) seized the 
children, and conveyed them to a place of 
safety. 

The following is the oflEicial list of the 
Europeans killed at Meerut, not already 
named. 3rc? Light Cavalry — Lieutenant 
INIcNabb (a youth of much promise, who 
had only just joined his regiment, and was 
returning home unarmed from the artillery 
mess) ; Veterinary Surgeons Phillips* and 
Dawson, Mrs. Dawson and children. 60/A 
Rifles — one corporal. 20th Native In- 
fantry — Captain Taylor, Lieutenant Hen- 
derson, Ensign Pattle, Mr. Tregear (in- 
spector in the educational department). 
A gunner, two Chelsea pensioners, a fife- 
major of the 11th Native infantry, four 
children, five men, and two women (whose 
names were unknown), were all killed by the 
released convicts or bazaar people. f 

There was, as has been before stated, 
no organised resistance ; and the general 
opinion, pronounced almost without a dis- 
sentient voice by the press of England and of 
India, is, that the deficiency of the rebels in 
leaders was more than counterbalanced 
by the incapacity of the British authorities. 
After making all reasonable allowance for 
the suddenness of the shock, and the un- 
preparedness of the officers in command 
(although that is, in fact, rather an aggrava- 
tion than an extenuation of their conduct), 
it is not possible to account satisfactorily 
either for the space of time occupied in 
getting the troops, especially the dragoons, 
under arms, or for the neglect of any at- 
tempt to forestal the mutineers in their 
undisguised plan of proceeding to Delhi, 
which everybody knew was strongly forti- 
fied, richly stored, and weakly garrisoned 
by Native troops ; and the care of which was, 

* This gentleman had calmly looked on during the 
punishment parade of the previous day, and had ad- 
vocated the adoption of the sternest measures to com- 
pel the entire corps to use the new cartridges. He 
•was shot while driving his buggy, and, it is said, mu- 
tilated by five troopers. — Letter of the Rev. J. C. 
Smyth, chaplain at Meerut. — Times. The governor 
of the gaol is said to have owed his life entirely to 
the gratitude of certain of the mutineers, to whom he 
had spoken kindlv while under his charge. 

t Siqiplement to Gazette, May 6th, 1858 ; p. 2262. 



in fact, the one great reason for the main- 
tenance of the costly and extensive Meerut 
cantonment. To begin with the first count, 
the 60th rifles were parading for evening 
service when the tumult began. They, 
therefore, ought to have been ready to 
act at once against the gathering crowds ; 
while the European dragoons, if too late 
in mounting to save the gaol, should have , 
been sent off either to intercept the fugitives 
or preoccupy the city.J Captain Craigie, 
who had acted on his own responsibility in 
proceeding with his troop to try and pre- 
serve the gaol, met several of the released 
prisoners, already on the road to Delhi, 
at that early hour of the evening. Even 
the 3rd cavalry do not appear to have gone 
off together in any large body, but rather 
in straggling parties ; and it appears that 
they might have been cut off, or at least 
dispersed in detail. The effort ought to 
have been made at all hazards. There was 
no fort in Meerut ; but the women and 
children might surely have been gathered 
together in the artillery school, under the 
escort of European soldiers, at the first out- 
break of the mutiny, while the 11th — who 
long held back, and to the last protected the 
families of their officers — were yet obedient; 
and while one portion of the force remained 
to protect the cantonment, the cavalry and 
guns might have overtaken the fugitives, 
the greater number of whom were on foot. 

Major-general Hewitt's own account of 
the affair is the best proof of the utter 
absence of any solicitude on his part, or, it 
would appear, of any suggestion on the part 
of those around him, for the preservation of 
Delhi. In acquainting the adjutant-gene- 
ral, in a letter dated May the 11th, with 
the events of the preceding night, he never 
even alludes to any plan of proceeding against 
the mutineers, or anticipates any other 
employment for the 1,863 European sol- 
diers stationed at Meerut, than to take care 
of the half-burned cantonments, and mount 
guard over their wives and families, until 
reinforcements should arrive to help them 

X The last witness on the subject is Mr. Russell, 
who, in October, 1858, examined Meerut in company 
with Colonel Johnson of the artillery, an officer pre- 
sent at the mutiny. Mr. Russell satisfied himself 
that there was indeed just ground, admitting the 
difficulty of the situation, and many embarrassing 
circumstances, "to deplore the want of energy of 
those who had ample means in their hands to punish 
the murderers on the spot, and to, in all probability, 
arrest or delay considerablv the massacre and revolt 
at Delhi."— r/;«es, 29th Nov., 1858. 



hold their own, and assist in carrying ont 
drum-head courts-martial for the punish- 
ment of the insurgent villagers and bazaar 
budmaslies; as to the civil law and civil 
courts, they were swept away by the first 
breath of the storm. 

Many a gallant spirit must have chafed 
and raged tliat night, asking, in bitterness 
of spirit, the question generally uppermost 
in the minds of British soldiers — " What will 
they say of us in England?" But then — 
and it is not the least strange point of the 
case — we hear of no single soldier or 
civilian offering to lead a party, or go, if 
need were, alone, to Delhi, if only to warn 
the defenceless families assembled there, of 
the danger by which they were menaced. 

The ride was nothing; some thirty-six 
miles on a moonlight midsummer night : 
the bullet of a mutineer might bring it to 
a speedy close; but was that enough to deter 
soldiers from endeavouring to perform their 
duty to the state of which they were sworn 
defenders, or Englishmen from endeavour- 
ing to save a multitude of their country- 
women from evils more terrible than death ? 
As individuals even, they might surely have 
done something, though perhaps not much, 
clogged as they were in a peculiar manner by 
the working of a system w'hich, amid other 
defects, makes a general of fifty-five a pheno- 
menon in India.* The commanding officer 
at Meerut was not a Napier or a Campbell, 
gifted beyond his fellows with immunity 
from the physical and mental inertia which 
threescore years and ten usually bring in 
their train. If General Hewitt had been 
ever characterised by vigour and decision, 
at least these qualities were not evidenced 
at Meerut. It is painful to animadvert on 
even the public conduct of a brave old 
officer ; the more so, because the despatch 
which evidences what he failed to do, is par- 
ticularly straightforward and manly. He 
states, without preface or apology, that " as 
soon as the alarm was given, the artillery, 
carabiniers, and 60th rifles were got mider 
arms ; but by the time we reached the Native 
infantry parade-ground, it Avas too dark to 
act with efficiency in that direction; conse- 
quently the troops retired to the north of 
the nuliah" (small stream before alluded to), 
" so as to cover the barracks and officers' 
lines of the artillery, carabiniers, and 60th 
rifles, which were, with the exception of 

* Times. — Calcutta correspondent, June 15th, 
1858. 

t Pari. Papers on Mutinies (No. 3), 1857; p. 9. 



one house, preserved, though the insurgents 
— for I believe the mutineers had at that time 
retired by the AUrjhur and Delhi roads — 
burnt the vacant sapper and miner lines. 
At break of day the force was divided : one- 
half on guard, and the other taken to patrol 
the Native lines." Then follows a state- 
ment of certain small parties of the 11th 
and 20th Native infantry who remained 
faithful, and of the fifty men of the 3rd 
cavalry; and the general adds — "Efficient 
measures are being taken to secure the 
treasure, ammunition, and barracks, and to 
place the females and European inhabitants 
in the greatest security obtainable. Nearly 
the whole of the cantonment and Zillah 
police have deserted. "f 

The delay which took place in bringing 
the 6th dragoons into action is quite unac- 
counted for. A medical officer, writing 
from Meerut on the 12th of May, says, that 
between five and six o'clock on the evening 
of the previous day, while preparing for a 
ride with Colonel Finnis, he heard a buzzing, 
murmuring noise, such as was common in 
case of fire ; and shortly after, while putting 
on his uniform, the havildar-major of the 
11th rushed into the room, exclaiming, 
" Fly ! sahib, the regiments are in open 
mutiny; Colonel Finnis has just been shot 
in my arms. Ride to the European cavalry 
lines and give the alarra.^' The doctor did 
so ; galloped off to the house of the colonel 
of the dragoon guards, which he had just 
left, and then on to the barrack lines, where 
Colonel Jones was engaged in ordering the 
men to saddle, arm, and mount forthwith. 
The remaining movements of the dragoons 
are best told in the words of this eye- 
witness, whose account is the only circum- 
stantial one which has been made public, 
regarding the proceedings of a corps which, 
rightly used, might have saved Delhi, and 
thousands of lives. 



" It took ns a long time, in my opinion, to get 
ready, and it was dark before the dragoons were 
ready to start in a body ; while by this time flames 
began to ascend in all directions from the lines, and 
the officers' bungalows of the .3rd cavalry and the I 
11th and 20th Native infantry; from public build- 
ings, mess-houses, private residences, and, in fact, 
every structure or thing that came within the reach 
of the torch, and the fury of the mutineers and of 
the bazaar canaille. * • • When the carabi- 
niers were mounted we rode off at a brisk trot, 
through clouds of suffocating dust and darkness, in 
an easterly direction, and along a narrow road ; not 
advancing" in the direction of the conflagration, 
but, on the contrary, leaving it behind on our right 
rear. In this way we proceeded for some two or 



MUTINEERS BIVOUAC ON THE ROAD TO DELHI. 



153 



three miles, to my no small surprise, when sud- 
denly the * halt' was sounded, and we faced about, 
and, retracing; our steps and verging off to our left, 
debouched on the left rear of the Native infantry 
lines, which were all in a blaze. Skirting along 
behind these lines we turned them at the western 
end, and wheeling to the left, came upon the 11th 
parade-ground, where, at a little distance, we found 
the horse artillery and H. M.'s GOth rifles. It 
appears that the three regiments of mutineers had 
by this time commenced dropping off" to the east- 
ward and to the Delhi-road ; for here some firing 
took place between them and the rifles ; and pre- 
sently the horse artillery coming to the front 
and unlimbering, opened upon a copse or wood 
in wiiich they had apparently found cover, with 
heavy discharges of grape and canister, which tore 
and rattled among the trees, and all was silent 
again. The horse artillery now limbered up and 
wheeled round, and here I joined them, having lost 
the dragoons in the darkness. By this time, how- 
ever, the moon arose ; ' we blessed her useful light' 
[so did the mutineers, no doubt] ; and the horse 
artillery column, with rifles at its head, moving 
across the parade-ground, we entered the long street, 
turning from the southward behind the light cavalry 
lines. It was by this time past ten o'clock, and 
having made the entire circuit of the lines, we passed 
up to the eastward of them, and, joined by the 
dragoons and rifles, bivouacked for the night."* 

At daybreak the doctor proceeded to 
visit the almost deserted hospital, where 
a few patients, prostrate with small-pox, 
alone remained. On his way he met a 
dhooly, and, stopping the bearers, inquired 
what they carried. Tliey answered, "The 
colonel sahib." It was the body of poor 
Finnis (with whom the inquirer had been 
preparing to ride scarce twelve hours before) 
which had just been found where he fell, 
and was being carried towards the church- 
yard. No search had been made for him or 
for any other of the fallen Europeans, who, 
if not wholly killed by the insurgents, 
must have perished in needless misery. 
Colonel Smyth, on the following morning, 
saw ten or twelve European dead bodies on 
the Delhi-road, near the old gaol.f 

The mutineers had abundant leisure to 
initiate, with a success they could never have 
anticipated, their first great step of syste- 
matic hostility. They were not, however,, 
unanimous in their views. Many of the 
20th Native infantry were still loyal at 
heart, and 120 of them turned back, and 
presented themselves at Meerut, where the 
iufluence of the officers and families whom 
they had protected, procured them a favour- 

• Times, June 29th, 1857. 
t Brief Account of the Mutiny, p. 6. 
X Letter from an ,eye-witness of the seizure of 
Delhi by the mutineers. — Times, July 14th, 1857. 
§ Letter to the Times, October, 1857. 
VOL. II. X 



able reception. Several of the 3rd cavalry 
also appear to have returned and surrendered 
themselves, and many of them were met 
with, wandering about the country, longing, 
but not daring, to return to their homes. 
Meanwhile, the mass of the mutineers, 
counselled by a few more daring spirits, 
took care to cut off the telegraph communi- 
cation between ^leerut and Dellii, and to 
post a guard of a hundred troopers at a 
narrow suspension-bridge over the Hindun, 
one of the two rivers between them and 
Delhi ; but which then, in the height of the 
hot season, was easily fordabie. They knew 
that there M'as no other obstacle, the country 
being smooth as a bowling-green ; and they 
took full advantage of the apathy of the 
British, by bivouacking for a brief rest, 
within si.x miles of the scene of their out- 
rages; after which, they rose up and pur- 
sued their way without the slightest inter- 
ruption. Their arrival at Delhi will be 
narrated in the following chapter. The 
Meerut catastrophe is sufficiently impor- 
tant to deserve what Nelson wished for — a 
gazette to itself. 

The general opinion of the Indian press 
and public, declared it "certain that the 
severe sentences on the mutineers of the 
3rd cavalry was the immediate cause of 
the Meerut massacre.^f In England, the 
same conclusion was naturally and almost 
unavoidably arrived at. Colonel Sykes, ex- 
chairman of the East India Company, and 
also a high authority on the score of indi- 
vidual character and experience, declared in 
the most emphatic language, his " thorough 
conviction, that but for the fatal punish- 
ment of the oighty-five troopers at jNIeerut 
to ten years^ confinement in irons, with hard 
labour as felons, for resisting the compulsory 
use of the suspected cartridges, the first 
instance in a hundred years, in Bengal, of 
sepoys in combination imbruing their hands 
in the blood of their officers, would not have 
occurred. In short, had the policy adopted 
by Colonel Montresor in the contingent 
force at Hyderabad in 1806, in abrogating 
a dangerous order upon his own responsi- 
bility, been adopted at Meerut, we might 
still have had a loyal Bengal army, as we 
still have a loyal Madras army, although the 
latter had, fifty-one years ago, revolted upon 
religious grounds. "§ 

Again, in his place in the House of Com- 
mons, Colonel Sykes said, that at the 
moment of ironing the troopers on parade, 
"an electric shock of sympathy went through 



154 COL. SYKES AND LORD ELLENBOROUGH ON THE OUTBREAK. 



the wliole army, and amongst their co-reli- 
gionists in the contingents with native 
powers. Up to that time tliere had been 
doubts and alarms, but no common sym- 
pathy or understanding. Then, however, 
every sepoy in the Bengal army made the 
case of the condemned his own."'*^ 

Lord Elleuborongh contrasted the promp- 
titude manifested by Sir Henry Lawrence in 
Oude, with the shiftless incapacity displayed 
at Meerut. At the latter place, the muti- 
neers, he said, rose at 6 p.m., and it was not 
until nightfall that H.M.'s carabiniers were 
able to move. " How did it happen that 
with a Queen^s regiment of infantry, another 
of cavalry, and an overwhelming force of 
horse and foot artillery, the mutineers yet 
escaped without injury to Delhi, and made 
a march of thirty to forty miles?" Lord 
Ellenborough spoke forcibly on the power 
of individual character in influencing events 
in India ; and, alluding to General Hewitt, 
he declared that no government Avas justi- 
fied in placing in a most important position 
a man of whom the troops knew nothing, 
and with whose qualifications the gov- 
ernment themselves were unacquainted. 
" Where," he added, " was the commander- 
in-chief upon this occasion ? Why was not 
he in the midst of his troops ? He must 
have been aware of all the difficulties which 
were growing up. He must have known 
the dangers by which he was beset. * * * 
He, however, went to the hills, leaving the 
dangers to which I refer behind him in the 
plain. Such is not the conduct which a 
man occupying the position of commander- 
in-chief ought to have pursued." f 

The leading reviews and magazines took 
up the same tone ; and the writer of an able 
and temperate article in one of them, gave a 
question and reply, which contain, in few 
words, the common-sense view of the mat- 
ter. '' Why was nothing done or attempted, 
before the insurgents reached Delhi, to arrest 
their murderous progress, and protect the 
unfortunate residents in that city ? Why, 
but that our leaders were unequal to their 
duty, and that General Anson had rushed 
into a menacing display of authority, with- 
out troubling himself to consider the means 
or the persons by whom it was to be 
sustained." J 

In India, however, the Meerut authorities 
were not \vholly without apologists, and 
even vindicators. Some intercepted sepoy 

• Speech on proposed India Bill, Feb. 18th, 1858. 
t India Debate.— Twnes, 30th June, 1857. 



letters were said to show, that the en- 
tire Bengal army had resolved on a simul- 
taneous rising on the 15th of May ; conse- 
quently, the blundering cruelties practised at 
Meerut were supposed to have precipitated 
the insurrectionary movement, and pre- 
vented the intended co-operation of the 
widely dispersed ti*oops. The evidence in 
favour of this supposition was little better 
than rumour ; if there had been any of 
weight, the authorities would have been 
only too glad to publish it for the diminu- 
tion of their own blame. But had such a 
plot existed, its development at Meerut 
would have been particularly unfortu- 
nate ; for subsequent events showed, that 
in most other stations, the officers in com- 
mand (whether soldiers or civilians) were 
ready to make pulilic duty their paramount 
consideration ; and proved, in many remark- 
able instances, no less conspicuous for the 
employment of their often slender resources 
for the public good, than the Meerut 
leaders had been for the misuse of their 
almost unparalleled advantages. The wan- 
tonly provoked catastrophe at Meerut was 
fitly followed by an access of stupefaction, 
which can alone account for the absence of 
any effort to save Delhi. 

The following is an extract from a sermon 
preached on the occasion by Mr. Rotton, 
one of the chaplains of the Meerut station ; 
who was subsequently attached to the be- 
sieging force sent against Delhi, where, 
according to Mr. Greathed, he was "well 
thought of," and "attentive to his duties. "§ 
The tone indicates the view generally taken 
of the recent outbreak ; for preaching 
of so very decided a character would, if 
not approved, scarcely be tolerated by any 
congregation. 

" Think awhile of our past position and 
our brightening prospects. The mutiny 
came upon us most unexpectedly. The 
scene of its commencement was Meerut; 
and the circumstances which led to its out- 
' break here, were doubtless arranged by 
matchless wisdom and unbounded luve. It 
seems, if report speaks truly, that a diabo- 
lical and deep-laid plot had been conceived, 
and was hourly maturing in detail, for the 
destruction of British supremacy in India." 
On this mere rumour, Mr. Rotton pro- 
ceeded to ground a description of the " un- 
paralleled skill" with which " the Moham- 
medan" had framed his alleged plot, and the 

X B\&c\iVi oo<X' ^ Edinhurgh 3£agazine for Sept., 1857. 
§ Greathed'a Letters, p. 188. 



STATE OF OPINION AT MEERUT— MAY, 1857. 



155 



means adopted by Providence for its dis- 
closure. " Hence, I say, He [the Alraiglity] 
arranged every incident connected with the 
mutiny of Native troops in this station 
[including, of course, the attempted enforce- 
ment of the polluting cartridges and the 
three hours' fettering] ; and but for the 
solemn and sad warning which we received 
here, it is possible, yea, very probable, that 
the enemy's plans would have arrived at 
such maturity, that our destruction might 
have been certain and complete. Such are 
the convictions of men of experience and 
judgment in India. They look on the out- 
break at jNIeerut as the salvation of India.'' 

The above quotation is not a very encou- 
raging one to lay before the religious portion 
of the British public, now earnestly striving, 
in an entirely opposite spirit, and with entirely 
different weapons, for the spiritual and tem- 
poral salvation of the people of India. But 
it is well that the zealous and self-denying 
supporters of missionary enterprise should 
fully recognise the dangers and difficulties, 
from within and without, which beset the 
progress of Christianity in India. Within 
the pale, an insidious spirit of formality, 
self-sufficiency, and belligerent intolerance 
is at work, which is diametrically opposed to 
the first principles of the gospel. The doc- 
trine of a special Providence, for instance, as 
illustrated above, can happil}' do little harm 
to hearers accustomed from childhood to 
test human teaching by the standard of 
Holy Writ, and to rely on the assistance of 
Divine wisdom to enable them to arrive at 
a right judgment. "Christians of the 
Book," as General Hearsey aptly translated 
Protestants, may indeed well dispense 
with any other light than that reflected 
from their Bibles by the operation of the 
Holy Spirit ; but if we send missionaries to 
India for the express purpose of expounding 
the Scriptures, we ought to be most careful 
that they be duly qualified for the work. 

Such teachers should have, at least in 
measure, the zeal of Peter and the love of 
John united with the controversial power of 
Paul. It is no simple task to disentangle 
the subtle web of casuistry which modern 
Brahminism has woven round the great 
verities of their ancient faith, or to eradicate 
from the afi'ections of the people the rank 
growth of impure idolatries, of superstitious 
and sensual customs founded on allegories 
originally more graceful and far more meta- 

* Her jaghiie was included in what is now the 
Meerut district. See Indian Empire, vol. i., p. 373. 



physical than those of Greece or Rome— and 
to graft in place of them simple faith in the 
Father of the spirits of all flesh, and in the 
One Mediator between God and man. 

With the Mohammedans the difficulties 
are still greater. Their deep reverence for 
the great Head of our church would seem, 
at first sight, to facilitate their acceptance 
of Christianity ; but it is not really so, for 
they view themselves as the objects of a 
further and fuller revelation than ours, which 
it is their duty to guard and propagate. 
Impressed with this conviction, they will 
not, like the Brahmins, engage in argu- 
ments, or view possible conversion to Chris- 
tianity in any light than as a crime, which 
if not repented of, must be punished with 
death. Thus, and thus only, can the 
plague of apostasy be stayed among them. 

There is no surer obstacle to Moham- 
medan conversion than an irreverent hand- 
ling of the deepest mysteries of the Christian 
faith. Yet the more rash and incompetent 
the preacher, the more likely is he to " rush 
in where angels fear to tread." An ex- 
ample of this is quoted by Lord Hastings 
in the diary kept by him, when making a 
tour as governor-general in 1815. He went 
to church at Meerut, in the handsome and 
extensive structure, towards the recent erec- 
tion of which the Begum Sumroo* (a Roman 
Catholic by profession) had been the chief 
contributor. ''The tenor of the sermon 
was," he says, " to impress upon us a strict 
and defined repartition of functions be- 
tween the different persons of the Trinity 
— a line which we were assured would be 
inviolably preserved from the indelicacy 
which each must feel would attend the tres- 
passing of the prerogatives of another."t 

The impediments to making proselytes in 
India Mill not, however, deter those from 
making the attempt who act in obedience 
to a Divine command, and in reliance on 
Divine aid. Still in this, as in all similar 
cases, we n/ust do our utmost before 
venturing to expect a blessing on our 
labours. An inexperienced and slenderly- 
gifted man, who would preach to empty 
pews in England, is not likely to attract 
hearers aniong a people whom he addresses 
under all the drawbacks inseparable from 
the position of a stranger and a foreigner, 
who, unpractised in their language, and yet 
more so in their modes of thought, comes 
to tell his audience that tliey and their 

t Private Journal of the 3Iarquess of Jfastings : 
edited by the Marchioness of Bute ; vol. ii., p. 329. 



156 



DELHI BEFORE THE IVIUTINY— MAY, 1857. 



fathers, and their venerated priesthood, have 
long lain in ignorance and darkness. To a 
preacher thus situated, it must be no small 
advantage to be perfectly versed in the 
antecedents of liis hearers : he can hardly 
know too much of their customs and pre- 
judices, of their strength and their weak- 
ness : his store of information cannot be too 
great : he should, like Moses, be versed not 
only in Israelitish history, but in all the 
wisdom of the Egyptians. In fact, the 
preliminary course of study requisite for an 
Indian missionary is altogether an excep- 
tional one. Controversy in Europe is usu- 
ally exercised regarding minor points of 
form, doctrine, and discipline. In India, 
the first articles of our faith — the creation 
of the world according to the Book of 
Genesis, the incarnation of the Saviour 
the very existence of the "Christ of his- 



tory," are controverted points, before ad- 
mitting the truth of which the Hindoos must 
unlearn the lessons of a lifetime, and disown 
traditions cherished for centuries as Divine 
revelations. Alas ! will it please God to raise 
up the meek, holy scholars who, to human 
judgment, seem alone capable of the task. 
But we must not despair: India has had 
already a Schwartz, Carey, and Martyn, a 
Middleton and Heber. She has just lost an 
excellent bishop (in Dr. Wilson, the late 
venerable diocesan of Calcutta) ; and there 
are probably many now living, clergymen 
and laymen, whose labours, though com- 
paratively unknown, are working out greater 
results than we dream of. Only when we 
send labourers into the vineyard, let them 
be our very best — clear-headed, large- 
hearted, gentle, men : no bigots, no secta- 
rians, no formalists, no shams. 



CHAPTER IV. 



DELHI— MAY Uth. 



It would be very easy to write a full and 
glowing account of the seizure of Delhi and 
its terrible consequences, on the plan of 
selecting the most probable and interesting 
portions of the statements yet published, 
and discarding the improbable and conflict- 
ing ones ; but it is difficult to frame even a 
brief narrative, grounded on authentic data, 
while the trial of the King of Delhi, with all 
the important evidence taken thereon, re- 
mains, like the Meerut court-martial, a 
sealed book to the general public, and the 
most important points have to be searched 
for bit by bit, through masses of Blue-Book 
verbiage, or received on the testimony of 
individuals, more or less discriminating in 
testing the accuracy of the intelligence they 
communicated to their friends in England. 

It is from private letters only that we de- 
rive our information of the state of feeling 
in Delhi immediately before the outbreak, 
and of the excitement occasioned by the 
cartridge question among its immense popu- 
lation, but especially among the three 
Native regiments by which it was garrisoned. 
The census of 1846 states the population of 
the city, exclusive of its suburbs, at 137,977 ; 
of these, 71,530 were Hindoos, 06,120 
Mohammedans, and 337 Christians (chiefly 



Eurasians) . Nowhere else in India was the 
proportion of Mohammedans to be com- 
pared with this : and although the British 
government might view the ancient capital 
of the Moguls as the shrine of buried great- 
uess, interesting only to the poet, the anti- 
quarian, or the artist, many a poverty- 
stricken Moslem noble, many a half-starved 
Rajpoot chieftain or ousted zemindar, re- 
membered that a Great ]\Iogul yet lived 
within the marble palaces of his ancestors, 
surrounded by a numerous offspring. Brah- 
mins and Rajpoots had fought for the 
Moguls, and had filled the highest offices 
of the state, from which Hindoos and Mo- 
hammedans were alike excluded by the un- 
generous policy of their pi-esent rulers. 
Men suffering under existing grievances, 
rarely think much of those of their prede- 
cessors from opposite causes; and it is only 
natural to suppose that there were many mal- 
contents in India, who beheld the roj of the 
Feringhee with intense bitterness, and were 
well content to unite on common ground as 
natives, for the expulsion of the hated 
foreigners, and then fight out their own 
quarrels by themselves. Of course, the 
great mass of the people, who earn a scanty 
subsistence literally in the sweat of their 



DELHI— THE 10th OP MAY, 1857. 



157 



brow — who depend on daily toil for daily 
food, and M'ho die by hundreds when any- 
thing occurs to interrupt their monotonous, 
resourceless industry — neither make, nor 
willingly take part in revolutions; for it is 
certain that, whichever side prevails, a mul- 
titude of the lowest classes will be trodden 
under foot by the combatants. Thus it was 
in all cases ; but especially at Delhi, where 
thousands of peaceful citizens, with helpless 
families, had as good a rightto expect from the 
British the benefits of a wise and strong ad- 
ministration, and protection against the mu- 
tinous spirit abroad amid the Bengal army, 
as any member of the covenanted service. 
The Indian population, could tlTey but 
find hearing, have a right to initiate rather 
than echo the indignant question of their 
fellow-subjects in England — why did govern- 
ment "make Delhi a strong fortress, sur- 
round it with new bastions, excavate a deep 
ditch out of the granite rock, leave within it 
a hundred thousand muskets, two parks of 
the heaviest artillery in India, and powder 
enough to blaze away at any enemy for a 
year, and then place the whole in the sole 
charge of three Native regiments?"* and 
leave it there, while incendiary fires, in 
different stations, were telling, week by 
week and month by month, the spread of 
disaffection. The circulation of the chupat- 
ties has been compared to the Fiery Cross 
transmitted by the Scottish Highlanders. 
The burning bungalows at the musketrj^ 
depots ought to have afforded a far more 
significant warning of what was going on, 
Aviitten, as the information was, in charac- 
ters of fire, which they who ran might read. 
Letters dated almost simultaneously with 
the execution of that fatal sentence on the 
IMeerut troopers (which was, in truth, the 
death-warrant of every European massacred 
in the following week), prove that some 
at least of the I)elhi officers were anxiously 
watching the signs of the times. Th« three 
Native regiments — the 38th, 5-lth, and 74th 
Native infantry — consisted of about 3,500 
men; there was also a company of Native 
artillery, comprising about 160 men. The 
Europeans numbered, in all, only fifty-two; 
of whom three commissioned officers and 
two sergeants belonged to the artillery. f 
They occupied the hottest cantonments in 

* Times (leader), July 24th, 1857. 

t The parliamentary' return, from ■which these 
statements are taken, p;ives sixty-five as the total 
number of "sick of all ranks;" but whether this 
heading is intended to include Europeans, or, as is 



India ; the low rocky ridge on which modern 
Delhi is built, reflecting the intense glare of 
the fierce Indian sun, under which many 
sank down in fever; while their comrade's 
had additional work to perform by day, with 
volunteer duty as nurses by night. Still, 
so far from being blinded by languor or 
fatigue to the temper of the Native troops, 
they noted it well ; and their correspondence 
tells of a degree of excitement unparalleled 
for many years; of the disbanding of the 
19th (the poor 19th, as those who know its 
history still sorrowfully term it) ; and of the 
unremoved persuasion of the sepoys, " that 
ox fat and hogs' lard had been imposed upon 
them in their cartridges." Where the offi- 
cers could speak the language well, they 
reasoned with their men for a time success- 
fully ; but where, as in the majority of cases, 
this free communication did not exist, and 
"where the best speakers of native lan- 
guages had been called away by staff ap- 
pointments or for civil service, leaving only 
dumb novices, or even dumb elders behind 
them," there mutiuy most surely flourished. 
So said these letters, written some forty- 
eight hours before the outbreak. Want of 
head and of moral union among the disaf- 
fected, was, it was added, the only chance of 
safety left to the Europeans : and so it 
proved. J 

These vague apprehensions had, however, 
no connection with jNIeerut. That station 
was the last in all India to which the idea 
of danger was attached, and it was the 
special point d'ajjpui for the Europeans at 
Delhi. At what hour the telegraphic com- 
munication was cut off between these posts, 
does not appear; but it is probable that the 
absence of any intimation of the disturb- 
ances, which commenced at INIeerut as early 
or earlier than five o'clock on Sunday, was 
occasioned by the same miserable incapacity 
which marked the whole conduct of the 
authorities. The communication with Agra 
was not cut oft' till nine o'clock; for at 
that hour, intimation of what was occurring 
was dispatched to that city, in the form of 
a private message, by the postmaster's sister, 
to prevent her aunt from starting for Meerut, 
according to a previous engagement.^ Un- 
happily, no private emergency induced the 
sending of a similar communication to Delhi. 

most probable, only the native patients in hospital, 
does not appear. — Pari. Papers, February 9th, 
1858 ; p. 3. 

X See Daily News, July 28th, 1857. _ 

§ Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 175. 



158 



DELHI— THE 11th OF MAY, 1857. 



The mutmeers, on their part, do not appear 
to have sent on messengers ; and there is no 
ground for believing that, at daybreak on 
I^Ionday, the 11th of May, any individual of 
the vast population of the Mohammedan 
capital and its suburbs had received the 
slightest warning of the impending calamity. 
The troops were paraded, in the cool of 
the early morning, to hear the sentences 
of the Bavrackpoor courts-martial, vrhicli 
■were read here as elsewhere, without any 
withdrawal of, or explanation regarding, the 
cartridges. After parade, the garrison 
guards were told-off, and the officers and 
men separated to perform their ordinary 
course of duty. 

The first alarm appears to have been 
taken by Mr. Todd, of the telegraph office; 
who, finding the communication with Mee- 
rut interrupted, proceeded to the bridge of 
boats across the Jumna, near one of the 
seven gates of the city, and there met a party 
of the 3rd cavalry, and was murdered by 
them. His fate was not known until late in 
the day. The European authorities do not 
state the manner in which they first learned 
the arrival of the Meerut mutineers in 
Delhi; but it would seem that a few of the 
released troopers rode in at the river gate, 
as the forerunners of the disorganised bands 
then on the road. At about eight o^clock 
the resident, Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, pro- 
ceeded to the Delhi magazine, for the pur- 
pose of ordering two gims to be placed on 
the bridge, to arrest the progress of the 
mutineers. He found Lieutenant Wil- 
loughby, and the other European and Native 
members of the establishment, at their 
post; and on alighting from his buggy, Sir 
Theophilus, with Lieutenants Willoughby 
and Forrest, proceeded to a small bastion on 
the river face, which commanded a full view 
of the bridge, and there saw but too dis- 
tinctly that the time for preoccupation was 
over; the mutineers had already posted a 
body of cavalry on the Delhi side, and were 
marching on in open column. 

The resident and the lieutenant immedi- 
ately proceeded to ascertain whether the 
river gate had been closed against the muti- 
neers: this had been done, but to no pur- 
pose, and Lieutenant "VYilloughby hurried 
back to place the guns and howitzers in the 
best possible positions for the defence of the 
magazine. The nine Europeans* then re- 

* Lieutenants Willoughby, Forrest, and Raynor ; 
Conductors Buckley, Shaw, Scully, and Acting Sub- 
Conductor Crow ; Sergeants Edwards and Stewart. 



mained in quiet expectation of the worst, 
which, when it came, they met with such 
wise valour. 

Meanwhile, it may be reasonably asked, 
who was the chief officer? and what orders 
did he give? The chief officer was Briga- 
dier Graves ; and it would appear that after 
parade he, like the other officers, went home 
to breakfast. When he learned the ap- 
proach of the mutineers does not appear ; 
but the first authentic mention of his pre- 
sence, describes him as having proceeded 
with his staff to a circular brick building of 
some strength, whence the daily gun was 
fired, situated on an eminence near the 
cantonment, and within a short distance of 
the Moree and Cashmere gates. To this 
building, called the Flagstaff tower, the 
European women and civilians flocked for 
safety on the first alarm, and found Brigadier 
Graves watching from thence the movements 
of the rebel force on the north and western 
faces of the city. " He had," one of the partyf 
writes, " no one to advise him, apparently ; 
and I do not think any one present envied 
him his post." In truth, it was no easy 
task to know what to do for the defence of 
a city seven miles in circumference, when 
mutiny without met mutiny within. Pro- 
bably the brigadier was anxiously looking 
for reinforcements : indeed, one of the offi- 
cers of the 38th, says — " What puzzled 
us -was the non-appearance of Europeans 
from Meerut, in pursuit of the insur- 
gents." An expectation of this kind alone 
explains the absence of any plan for the re- 
moval of the ladies and children to Kurnaul 
or INIeerut, instead of suffering them to re- 
main in the tower from morning till evening, 
although the obstacles against escape were 
multiplying every hour. The length of 
time occupied by the Delhi tragedy is not 
its least painful feature. The massacre 
was not a general one, but a series of mur- 
ders, which might have been cut short at 
any moment by the arrival of a regiment, 
or even a troop of European cavalry; for 
the rebels made no attempt to seize the 
guns till nearly sunset; nor did any con- 
siderable body of the Delhi troops join the 
mutineers until after the disorderly flight 
of the European officers and their families. 
The total disorganisation was, perhaps, in- 
evitable ; btit the accounts of raanj^ of the 
sufferers evidence the absence of any clear 

f Mrs. Peile, the wife of a lieutenant in the 38th; 
who had been very ill, and was about leaving Delhi 
on sick leave. — Times, September 25th, 1857. 




T'TULAR Kl' 



\1 I \ I 1 L. 



i-om aMinianiro.jainii'u en lajry Iv 'J«-' paru-adt psJjitjBrU;lhe.KJ;goi'LfeLiii Abeautiftil specimen ofiioLivt ; 



MR. ERASER, CAPTAIN DOUGLAS, AND OTHERS KILLED. 159 



understanding between Brigadier Graves 
and the officers commanding Native corps. 

To form a just idea of the events of 
this miserable day, they must be detailed, 
as far as possible, in the order of their 
occurrence. The next victim after Mr. 
Todd, was the commissioner, Mr. Eraser; 
and the only circumstantial account of his 
death yet published, is given by a native 
eye-witness, whose narrative, corroborated 
in various essential points by the official 
documents, serves to relieve what the 
Journal des Dtbats terms their *' incom- 
parable aridity/' 

Early in the morning of the 11th, a party 
of Hindoos, bound for a well-known place of 
Brahminical pilgrimage, started from Delhi 
for Mussoorie. Shortly after crossing the 
bridge of boats they met eighteen troopers, 
who inquired their business. " Pilgrims 
proceeding to Hui'dwar," was the reply. 
The troopers ordered them to turn back on 
peril of their lives: they obeyed, and wit- 
nessed the mutineers enter the city by the 
Delhi gate, after killing a European (pro- 
bably Mr. Todd) whom they met on the 
bridge. The cavalry cantered in, uttering 
protestations of good-M'ill to the native 
inhabitants, but death to the Europeans. 
They appear to have found the gate open, and 
to have ridden through without opposition ; 
but it was closed after them. The cutwal, 
or native magistrate, sent word to Mr. 
Eraser, who immediately ordered the records 
of his office to be removed from the palace ; 
and getting into a buggy, with a double- 
barrelled gun loaded, with two mounted 
(native) orderlies, proceeded towards the 
mutineers. They saw and advanced to 
meet him, calling out to his escort — "Are you 
for the Feringliee (the foreigner), or for the 
faith?" "Deen, deen V (the faith, the faith !) 
was the reply. Mr. Eraser heard the omi- 
nous Mohammedan war-crj^ once more 
raised in Delhi ; and as the mutineers ap- 
proached him, he fired twice, shooting one 
man through the head, and wounding the 
horse of another; then springing from his 
buggy, he rushed in at the Lahore gate of 
the palace, calling out to the subahdar on 
duty to close it as he passed, which was 
accordingly done. 

A trooper now rode up, told the Meerut 
story, gained a hearing despite the efforts 
of Mr, Eraser and Captain Douglas (the 
commandant of the palace guards), and won 
over the subahdar and company of the 38th 
tben on guard at the palace gate. The 



subahdar, being reproached by the Euro- 
peans for treachery in holding a parley 
with the mutineers, turned angrily on his 
reprovers, and bade them seek safety in 
flight, at the same time opening the gate 
for the troopers. Mr. Eraser and Captain 
Douglas ran towards the interior of the 
palace, followed by the mutineers, one of 
whom fired a pistol after the fugitives, which 
took effect, for the commissioner staggered 
and leant against a wall; whereupon another 
trooper went up, and, with a sword, severed 
his head from his body at a stroke. Cap- 
tain Douglas was slain at the same time; 
and the assassins proceeding to the king's 
hall of audience, found two other Europeans 
(one of whom was probably Mr. Nixon, 
Mr. Eraser's head-clerk), and killed them 
there. The Rev. M. J. Jennings and his 
daughter, who were living with Captain 
Douglas over the Lahore gate of the palace, 
are said to have perished at this time, as also 
their guest, a Miss Clifford. The mutineers 
attempted to open a negotiation with the 
king, who was, it must be remembered, M'ith 
his family, wholly at their mercy, in that 
very palace where the eyes of his aged ances- 
tor. Shah Alum, had been stabbed out by a 
Mohammedan freebooter. What could a 
pageant king, of above eighty years of age — 
surrounded by a progeny born and reared 
in an atmosphere of besotted sensuality, 
which we had never made one single effort 
to purify — do in such a case as this but 
temporise ? So far as the tale has yet been 
told, the royal family, doubtless more from 
fear and interest than any affection for the 
British government, were extremely loth to 
countenance the insurgents, and cordially 
joined the Europeans in hoping for succour 
from Meerut. The king wrote a letter to 
j\Ir. Colvin, the lieutenant-governor at Agra, 
informing him that the town and fort of 
Delhi, and his own person, were in the 
hands of the rebel troops of the place, 
who, it was added, had opened the gates, and 
joined about 100 mutineers from Meerut. 
The fate of Mr. Eraser, of Captain Douglas, 
and of Miss Jennings, was also mentioned 
in this letter ; and a telegram founded on it, 
was sent from Agra to Calcutta on the 
14th.* The account thus given was one of 
the earliest received by the Supreme gov- 
ernment. 

The Delhi cantonment was two miles 
from the city. At about ten o'clock, tidings 
reached the lines of what had taken place at 

• Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutinies, p. 178. 



160 



MUTINY OF 54th REGIMENT— OFFICERS SHOT. 



the palace, and the 54th regiment were 
ordered down to the city. One of the 
junior officers (a youth of nineteen, Avho 
wrote his touching tale home to his sister) 
says — " Of course, at this time, we had not 
the slightest doubt as to its loyalty." 
Happily for him, his company and one 
other were left to wait for two guns, with 
which !Major Paterson was to follow as 
quickly as possible, the rest of the regiment 
marching on at once. A lady already men- 
tioned (Mrs. Peile), who was then living 
close to the lines, Matched the 54th pass 
the house ; and she writes, that seeing 
*' their cheerful appearance, and yet deter- 
mined look, we congratulated ourselves on 
having such a brave set of fellows, as we 
thought, to go forward and fight for us."* 

Colonel Ripley, the commandant of the 
regiment, led his men into the city without 
letting them load, intending to charge the 
mutineers with the bayonet. The o4th met 
the rebels advancing towards the canton- 
ment, in numbers nowhere stated on autho- 
rity, and, in private accounts, very variously 
from twenty to 150. The original invaders 
had been probably, by this time, reinforced 
by straggling parties of their own mutinous 
comrades, as also by the rabble of Delhi, 
and by the lawless Goojurs of the iieigli- 
bouring villages — a predatory and semi- 
barbarous tribe, whose marauding propen- 
sities were, even in peace, very imperfectly 
kept in check by our defective system of 
police ; and who, in disturbed times, were the 
indiscriminating enemy of every one who 
had anything to lose, whether European, 
Hindoo, or Moham.medan. The insurgents 
came on, and met Colonel Ripley's force at 
the English church, f near the Cashmere 
gate. They advanced 'without hesitation, 
calling out to the 54th, that their quarrel 
was not with them, but with their officei's. 
The 54th first delayed firing on the plea of 
not being loaded; and, when they had 
loaded, their shots whistled harmlessly over 
the heads of the troopers. These galloping 
up, took deliberate aim in the faces of the 
Europeans, all of whom were unarmed ex- 
cept Colonel Ripley, who shot two of his 
assailants before he fell — hit by their pistols, 

* Letter. — Thnes, September 25th, 1857. 

t The English church was erected at the cost of 
£10,000, by Lieutenant-colonel Skinner. This officer, 
one of the ablest commanders of irregular troops 
■who ever served the E. I. Company, was a half- 
caste, and received an honorary lieutenant-color.' 1- 
ship from Lord Hastings in 1814, the motive being 
partly the governor-general's characteristic sense of 



and bayoneted by a sepoy of his own 
corps. The countenances of the troopers 
are described as wearing the expression of 
maniacs ; one was a mere j^outh, rushing 
about and flourishing his sword, and dis- 
playing all the fury of a man under the 
influence of bhang.J Captains Smith and 
Burro wes, Lieutenants Edwards and "Water- 
field, were killed, and Lieutenant Butler 
wounded. The Quartermaster -sergeant 
also fell. Dr. Stewart, the garrison sur- 
geon, had a very narrow escape : "he tripped 
on a stone, which saved him from a shot ; 
dodged behind a wall, and reached canton- 
ments."(^ 

It was long before the guns to support 
the 54th were ready ; for the Native 
artillerymen, though neither disrespectful 
nor disobedient, were manifestly uuAvilling 
to take part against their countrymen. 
At length Major Paterson, with the re- 
maining two companies and two pieces of 
artillery, passed through the Cashmere gate 
into the city. The mutineers fled at once, 
in wild disorder, through the streets. 
Major Paterson then returned through the 
Cashmere gate, and took up his position at 
a small fortified bastion, called the Main- 
guard, where he remained all day in 
momentary expectation of being attacked. 
The slaughtered Europeans were lying at a 
little distance, and the sepoys who had re- 
mained faithful brought in the bodies. " It 
was a most heartrending sight," says the 
young officer before quoted, '^ to see all our 
poor chaps, whom we had seen and been 
with that very morning, talking and laugh- 
ing together at our coffee-shop, lying dead, 
side by side, and some of them dreadfully 
mutilated." Colonel Ripley had been pre- 
viously carried back to the cantonments, 
and was found by two ladies (the wife of 
Major Paterson and Mrs. Peile), lying on a 
rude bed at the bells of arms. He pointed 
to a frightful wound on his left shoulder, and 
said that the men of his own regiment had 
bayoneted him. The colonel implored the 
native doctor to give him a dose of opium to 
deaden his sufferings, which, after some per- 
suasion, was done; and the ladies, anxious 
for the safety of their children, returned to 

justice, and partly, as the marquis himself says, the 
fear of losing a most valuable public servant, by 
subjecting him to be placed under the orders of 
inexperienced European juniors. — Marquis of Has- 
tings' Private Joiinuil, vol. i., p. 285. 

X Letter from an eye-witness. — Delhi Gazette, 
published at Agra (after the seizure of Delhi). 

§ I'rivate letter from an officer of the 38th. 



SUCCOUR FROM MEERUT EXPECTED AT DELHI. 



161 



their homes. On their way, they met men 
and women-servants, wandering about in 
the greatest confusion and distress. The 
servants begged them not to remain in the 
lines, as it was understood that the bunga- 
lows would be burned at night. The two 
ladies, therefore, packed up such property 
as they could in boxes, directed the natives 
to hide it, and left the lines about two 
o'clock, under the care of Lieutenant Peile, 
! who first sought out Colonel Ripley, placed 
him in a dhooly, and rode by his side to the 
j Flagstaff tower, which the whole party 
I reached without encountering any moles- 
tation. 
i The assembled Europeans were gi-ievously 
! disappointed by the non-arrival of succour 
! from JSIeerut ;* and Surgeon Batson, of the 
; 7th Native infantry, offered to attempt the 
\ conveyance tliither of a request for assis- 
' tance. Brigadier Graves accordingly wrote 
a despatch to this effect; and Mr. Bat- 
sou, leaving his wife and three daughters in 
the tower, proceeded to his own house, 
where he dyed his face, hands, and feet; 
and, assuming the garb of a fakir, went 
thi'ough the city, intending to cross the 
bridge of boats; but, finding the bridge 
broken, he returned towards the canton- 
ment, and tried to pass the Jumna at a 
feriy near the powder-magazine. The 
sowars, or troopers of the 3rd cavalry, had, 
however, preceded him, attended by crowds 
of Goojurs, who Avere plundering and firing 
the houses. Mr. Batson despaired of being 
able to reach Meerut, and rushed across 
the parade-ground. Either the act be- 
trayed him, or his disguise was seen through, 
for the sepoys fired at him ; but he suc- 
ceeded in getting as far as the garden near 
the canal, where he was seized by some 
villagers, and " deprived of every particle of 
clothing." In this forlorn condition he 
proceeded on the road to Kurnaul, in hopes 
of overtaking some ofiicers and ladies who 
had fled in that direction. Thus the only 
effort to communicate with Meerut was 
frustrated ; for no other appears to have 
been attempted, even by the more promising 
means of native agency. 

Had it been successful, it is not probable 
that the Meerut authorities would have 
made any effort, or encountered any risk, 
to remedy the evils their torpor had occa- 

* " It was so inexplicable to us why troops from 
Meerut did not arrive." — Lieutenant Gambier's Let- 
ter. — Times, August 6th, 1857. 

t The Chaplain's Narrative of Siege of Delhi, p. 6. 
VOL. II. Y ^ 



sioned. A message that a few scattered hand- 
fuls of men, women, and children were in 
momentary danger of being murdered some 
thirty-five miles off, would not have star- 
tled them into compassion ; for the calamity 
had been foreseen on the Sunday night. The 
Rev. Mr. Rotton describes himself and his 
wife as watching their children "reposing 
in profound security beneath the paternal 
roof" (a bungalow in the European lines); 
gazing upon the shining moon, "and an- 
ticipating what would befall our Christian 
brethren in Delhi on the coming morn, 
who, less happy than ourselves, had no 
faithful and friendly European battalions 
to shield them from the bloodthirsty rage 
of the sepoys."f 

Up till a late hour on Monday, the mass 
of the Delhi sepoys remained ostensibly 
true to their salt. On the departure of the 
54th from the cantonment, the 74th moved 
on to the artillery parade, where Captain de 
Teissier was posted with a portion of his 
battery : the 38th were marched towards 
the Flagstaff tower, and formed in line along 
the high road. When Major Paterson took 
up his position at the Mainguard, he directed 
Captain Wallace to proceed to cantonments 
to bring down the 74th Native infantry, 
with two more guns. 

Major Abbott, the commanding officer of 
the 74th, had previously heard that the 
men of the 54th had refused to act, and 
that their officers were being murdered. 
The intelligence reached him about eleven 
o'clock. Tie says — " I instantly rode off to 
the lines of my regimeut, and got as many 
as there were in the lines together. I fully 
explained to them that it was a time to 
show themselves honest ; and that as I in- 
tended to go down to the Cashmere gate of 
the city, I required good, honest men to 
follow me, and called for volunteers. Every 
man present stepped to the front, and being 
ordered to load, they obeyed promptly, and 
marched down in a spirited manner. On 
arriving at the Cashmere gate, we took 
possession of the post, drawn up in readi- 
ness to receive any attack that might be 
made. Up to 3 p.m. no enemy appeared, 
nor could we, during that period, get any 
information of the insurgents. "J 

The Meerut mutineers actually in Delhi 
at this time, were evidently but few : it is 

X Despatch from Major Abbott to government; 
dated " Meerut, May 13th, 1857."— Further Par- 
liamentary Papers on the Mutiny, No. 3 (Commons,) 
1858 ; p. 10. 



162 



DELHI ARSENAL FIRED BY LIEUT. WILL0UGHBY~3 p.m. 



impossible to tell in what numbers, or to 
what extent, the 38th and o-ith had as yet 
co-operated with them ; but the dregs of the 
population of the city, suburbs^ and villages, 
were thronging the streets, and especially 
around the magazine, the surrender of 
which was demanded by a party of the 
treacherous palace guards (the 38th), in the 
name of the king. No reply was given, 
whereupon the mutineers brought scaling- 
ladders from the palace, and placed them 
against the walls. The conduct of the 
native establishment had before this been 
suspicious ; and a durwan, or doorkeeper, 
named Kurreem Buksh, appeared to be 
keeping up a communication with the 
enemy, greatly to the annoyance of Lieu- 
tenant Willoughby, who ordered Lieutenant 
Forrest to shoot him should he again ap- 
proach the gate. The escalade from with- 
out was the signal for a similar movement 
from within ; for the natives, having first 
hidden the priming-pouches, deserted the 
Europeans by climbing up the sloped sheds 
on the inside of the magazine, and descend- 
ing the ladders on the outside. The insur- 
gents then gathered in crowds on the walls; 
but the besieged kept up an incessant fire 
of grape, which told well as long as a single 
round remained. At length, Conductor 
Buckley — who had been loading and firing 
with the same steadiness as if on parade, 
although the enemy were then some hun- 
dreds in number, and kept up a continual 
fire of musketry on the Europeans within 
forty or fifty yards — received a ball in his 
arm; and Lieutenant Forrest, who had 
been assisting him, was at the same time 
struck by two balls in the left hand. Fur- 
tlier defence was hopeless. The idea of 
betraying their trust by capitulation never 
seems to have been entertained by the gal- 
lant little band. Conductor Scully had 
volunteered to fire the trains which had 
been laid hours before, in readiness to blow 
up the magazine as soon as the last round 
from the howitzers should be expended. 
The moment had arrived. Lieutenant 
Willoughby gave the order; Conductor 
Buckley, according to previous arrange- 
ment, raised his hat from his head, and 
Conductor Scully instantly fired the trains, 
and perished in the explosion, as did also 
Sergeant Edwards. The other Europeans, 
though all hurt, escaped from beneath the 
smoking ruins, and retreated through the 
' sally-port on the river face. It is probable 
! that many of the leading mutineers perished 



here. "Lieutenant Willoughby estimated 
the number killed to be little short of 1,00C 
men."* The Hurdwar pilgrims before re- 
ferred to, fix the same amount ; but a native 
news-writer, in relating the same event, 
speaks of about 500 persons being killed in 
tl)e different streets; adding — ''The bullets 
fell in the houses of people to such a degree, 
that some children picked up two pounds, 
and some four pounds, from the yards of 
their houses. "f 

The Europeans at the tower, and those on 
duty at the Mainguard, had listened to the 
heavy firing at the magazine with great 
anxiety. A little after three o'clock the 
explosion was heard; but it was not very loud, 
and they did not know whether it was the 
result of accident or design. The 38th 
Native infantry, on guard at the tower, 
seized their arms, crying out, " Deen, 
Deen !" The Europeans seeing this ominous 
movement, desired the sepoys to surrender 
their weapons, which they actually did, and 
the ladies assisted in passing the arms to 
the top of the tower. At four o'clock, the 
telegi'aphic communication to the north- 
ward being still uninterrupted, the brigadier 
dispatched the following message to Um- 
ballah, the second of three sent here from 
Delhi in the course of the day : — 

" Telegram. — Cantonment in a state of siege. 
Mutineers from Meerut, 3rd light cavalry, numbers 
not known, said to be 150 men, cut off communica- 
tion with Meerut ; taken possession of the bridge of 
boats ; 54th N. I. sent against them, but would not 
act. Several officers killed and wounded. City in a 
state of considerable excitement. Troops sent down, 
but nothing certain yet. Information will be for- 
Avarded."f 

The brigadier, so far from having yet re- 
solved on evacuating Delhi, desired to de- 
fend the cantonments, and ordered Major 
Abbott to send back two guns. The major's 
reasons for not doing so, and the narrative 
of his subsequent conduct and escape to 
Meerut, may be best told in his own 
words. Interesting particulars, on official 
authority, regarding this memorable epoch, 
are extremely rare, and claim quotation in 
extenso, especially where, as in the present 
instance, the writer has occupied a respon- 
sible position in the affairs he describes. 

" This order [for the return of the guns] 
I was on the point of carrying out, when 

• Major Abbott's despatch. — Further Pari. 
Papers (No. 3), p. 10. 

t Lahore Chronicle: republished in Times, Sep- 
tember 18th, 1858. 

\ Further Papers, No. 3 (Commons), p. 5. The 
first telegram from Delhi is not given. 



PLIGHT OF EUROPEANS FROM DELHI— MAY 11th, 1857. 163 



Major Paterson told me, if I did he would 
abandon the post, and entreated me not to 
go. He was supported by the civil officer, 
a deputy-collector, who had charge of the 
treasury, who said he had no confidence in 
the 54th men who were on guard at the 
treasury. Although I strongly objected to 
this act of, as it were, disobeying orders, yet 
as the deputy-collector begged for a delay 
of only a quarter of an hour, I acceded to 
his request. When the quarter of an hour 
was up, I made preparations for leaving the 
Mainguard, and was about to march out, 
when the two guns I had sent back to can- 
tonments, under Second-lieutenant Aislabie, 
returned to the Mainguard with some men 
of the 38th light infantry. I inquired why 
they had come back, and was told, in reply, 
by the drivers, that the gunners had de- 
serted the guns, therefore they could not 
go on. I inquired if any firing had taken 
place in cantonments. My orderly replied, 
he had heard several shots ; and said, * Sir, 
let us go up to cantonments immediately !' 
I then ordered the men to form sections. 
A jemadar said, ' Never mind sections, pray 
go on, sir.' My orderly havildar then 
called up, and said, ' Pray, sir, for God's 
sake leave this place — pray be quick !' I 
thought this referred to going up to the 
relief of cantonments, and accordingly gave 
the order to march. I had scarcely got a 
hundred paces beyond the gate, when I 
heard a brisk firing in the Mainguard. I 
said, ' What is that T Some of the men 
replied, ' The 38th men are shooting the 
European officers.' I then ordered the men 
with me, about a hundred, to return to 
their assistance. The men said, ' Sir, it is 
useless ; they are all killed by this time, 
and we shall not save any one. We have 
saved you, and we shall not allow you to go 
back and be murdered.' The men formed 
round me, and hurried me along the road 
on foot back to cantonments to our quarter- 
guard. I waited here for some time, and 
sent up to the saluting [Flagstaff] tower 
to make inquiries as to what was going on, 
and where the brigadier was ; but got no 
reply." 

To supply the hiatus in Major Abbott's 
story, as to what was going on at the tower, 
we must fall back on the statements of 
private persons. 

At about five o'clock, a cart, drawn by 
bullocks, was seen approaching the building. 
An attempt had been made to hide its con- 
tents by throwing one or two woman's 



gowns over them ; but an arm hanging stiff 
and cold over the side of the cart, betrayed 
its use as the hearse of the officers who had 
been shot in the city. Happily, the ladies 
in the tower had little time, amid the 
momentarily increasing confusion, to dwell 
on this painful incident. One poor girl 
was anxiously enquiring of the officers who 
were now flocking in from various parts, if 
they knew anything of her step-brother, 
Captain Burrowes; but they shrank from 
her, knowing that all the while his corpse 
lay but a few hundred yards distant, at the 
gate under the window of the tower, covered 
over, like the bodies of his fallen comrades, 
with some article of feminine apparel. The 
men of Captain de Teissier's horse field bat- 
tery were at length " persuaded to take part 
with the mutineers, but only when pressed 
round by them in overwhelming numbers, 
and unable to extricate themselves from their 
power."* The commandant had his horse 
shot under him ; but he reached the tower 
in safety, and there found his wife, with her 
infant in her arms, watching in agony for 
him. The insurgents then took possession 
of two of the light guns. Major Paterson, 
and Ensign Elton of the 74th, came in about 
the same time from the quarter-guard, and 
said that the Europeans were being shot 
down. On receiving this intelligence, the 
brigadierf ordered a general retreat to Kur- 
naul, a distance of about seventy miles. 
Several ladies protested against quitting 
Delhi until they should be rejoined by their 
husbands, whom some of them had not 
seen since the morning. Alas ! there was 
already at least one widow among their 
number.J But the night Avas closing in, 
and Captain Tytler, of the 38th, urged im- 
mediate departure, and went with Lieu- 
tenant Peile to get the men of that regi- 
ment together to accompany the Europeans. 
Carriages of all descriptions were in waiting 
at the foot of the tower; but, in some 
cases, the native servants had proved fear- 
ful or unfaithful; and the vehicles were 
insufficient for the fugitives, so that wounded 
men found themselves bm'dened with the 
charge of women and children, with- 
out any means of conveyance. Lieu- 
tenant Peile, having Dr. Wood of the 38th 
(who had been shot in the face), Mrs. Wood, 

• Despatch from Lieutenant-governor Colvin^ to 
tlie governor-general in council, May 22nd, 1857. — 
Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutiny, p. 312. 

t Account by Lieut. Gambier, of the 3Sth N. I. 

i Account by Mrs. VnWa.— Times, Sept. 2Jth, 1857. 



164 



EVACUATION OF FLAGSTAFF TOWER— 6 p.m. 



and his own wife and child to take care of, 
and "not knowing how he was to get on," 
sought counsel of the brigade-major, Cap- 
tain Nicoll : the answer he received was, 
"The best way you can."* 

Another ladyf describes the general de- 
parture from the tower as taking place 
at about six o'clock ; and states — " We got 
into Captain NicoU's carriage [apparently 
meaning herself, her husband and child], 
and put in as many others as we could, and 
drove one pair of horses for fifty miles." 
A large number of Europeans, including 
Brigadier Graves, started at the same 
time, and some branched off to Meerut; 
while the others pursued the Kurnaul road, 
and arrived safely at Kurnaul on the follow- 
ing morning. Here a fresh separation took 
place, half the party, or about ten persons, 
going on to TJmballah at once, the remain- 
ing ten following more slowly. The natives 
"were " so unwilling" to assist them, " that," 
says the lady above quoted, " it was with the 
greatest difficulty we managed to get on at 

all ; L [her husband] being obliged to 

threaten to shoot any one who refused to 
give us assistance." However, they did get 
on, and started from Thunessir, a dawk 
station on the Umballah road, at six o'clock 
P.M. on Wednesday, "in a cart drawn by 
coolies^' reaching Umballah about eight 
o'clock on Thursday morning. J 

It would be unreasonable to criticise the 
measures of a man who saw the lives of his 
wife and infant in imminent peril. Only 
had the villagers been either cruel or vin- 
dictive, a few bullets or lattees would have 
quickly changed the aspect of affairs. The 
disinclination of the villagers to aid the 
Europeans, may possibly have some connec- 
tion with the manner in which the English 
had recently assumed supremacy over the 
district of which Thunessir, or Thwanessur, 
is the chief town. That territory contains 
about a hundred villages, producing an an- 
nual revenue of j67,600 sterling A moiety 
is said to have " escheated to the British 
government, by reason of the failure of 
heirs in 1833 and in 1851," and the remain- 
ing portions were soon afterwards confis- 
cated, " in consequence of the failure of the 
chiefs in their allegiance."^ 

Very few of the fugitives had the chance 

• Account by Mrs. Peile. — Times, September 25th, 
1857. 

t Probably the wife of one of the law officers, 
Mr. L. Berkeley, the principal Sudder Ameen, who 
escaped to Kurnaul with his wife and infant. The 



of carrying matters with such a high hand 
as " L." and his companions. So far from 
harnessing the natives to carts. Englishmen 
and Englishwomen, cold, naked, and hungry, 
were then in different villages, beseeching, 
even on their knees, for food, clothing, and 
shelter; literally begging — for they were 
penniless — a morsel of unleavened bread and 
a drop of water for their children, or a 
refuge from the night-dews, and the far 
more dreaded mutineers. The varied ad- 
ventures of the scattered Europeans are 
deeply interesting and suggestive. Many 
an individual gained more experience of 
native character between Delhi and their 
haven of refuge in Umballah or Meerut, in 
that third week of May, 1857, than they 
would have obtained in a lifetime spent in 
the ordinary routine of Indian life, than 
which it is scarcely possible to conceive any- 
thing more superficial and conventional, or 
better calculated to foster arrogance and 
self-indulgence. 

The next in order of flight to the brigade- 
major's party Avas Major Abbott, to whose 
narrative we return, as affording another 
link in the chain of events. After vainly 
attempting to get any orders from Brigadier 
Graves, his attention was directed to some 
carriages going up the Kurnaul road, among 
which he recognised his own, occupied by 
his wife and daughters. The men of 
his regiment, at the quarter-guard, assured 
him that the officers and their families 
w'ere leaving the cantonment, and entreated 
him to do the same. The major states — 
" I yielded to their Avishes, and told them, 
' Very well, I am off to Meerut. Bring the 
colours, and let me see as many of you 
at Meerut as are not inclined to become 
traitors.' I then got up behind Captain 
Hawkey, on his horse, and rode to the 
guns, which were also proceeding in the 
direction the carriages had taken, and so 
rode on one of the waggons for about four 
miles, when the drivers refused to go any 
further, because, they said, * we have left our 
families behind, and there are no artillery- 
men to serve the guns.' They then turned 
their horses, and went back towards canton- 
ments. I Avas picked up by Captain Wallace, 
who also took Ensign Elton Avith him in the 
buggy. 

identification is of some interest, on account of an 
incident mentioned in the text. 

X Letter published in the 'Times, July 17th, 1857. 

§ Thornton's Gazi'ttecr, on the authority of Indian 
Pol. Disp., 29Lh July, 183-3; and 10th Sept., 1851. 



ESCAPE OF MAJOR ABBOTT FROM DELHI TO MEERUT. 165 



"Ensign Elton informed me, that he and 
the rest of the officers of the 74th Na- 
tive infantry were on the point of going 
to march out with a detachment, when 
he lieard a shot, and, on looking round, 
saw Captain Gordon down dead ; a second 
shot, almost simultaneously, laid Lieutenant 
Revely low; he (Elton) then resolved to do 
something to save himself; and, making for 
the bastion of the fort, jumped over the 
parapet down into the ditch, ran up to the 
counterscarp, and made across the country 
to our lines, where he was received by our 
men, and there took the direction the 
rest had, mounted on a gun." The 
party with Major Abbott went up the 
Kurnaul road, until they came to the cross- 
road leading to jNIeerut, via the Bhagput 
Ghaut, which they took, and arrived at 
Meerut about eight o'clock in tlie evening 
of the 12th.* 

Regarding the origin of the outbreak, 
Major Abbott says — 

" From all I could glean, there is not the slightest 
doubt that this insurrection has been originated and 
matured in the palace of the King of Delhi, and that 
with his full knowledge and sanction, in the mad 
attempt to establish himself in the sovereignty of 
this country. It is well known that he has called 
on the neighbouring states to co-operate with him 
in thus trying to subvert the existing government. 
The method he adopted appears to be to gain the 
sympathy of the 38th light infantry, by spreading 
the lying reports now going through the country, of 
the government having it in contemplation to upset 
their religion, and have them all forcibly inducted to 
Christianity. 

" The 38th light infantry, by insidious and false 
arguments, quietly gained over the o4th and 74th 
Native infantry, each being unacquainted with the 
other's real sentiments. I am perfectly persuaded 
that the 54th and 74th Native infantry were forced 
to join the combination by threats that, on the one 
hand, the 38th and o4th would annihilate the 74th 
Native infantry if they refused, and vice versa, the 
38th taking the lead. I am almost convinced that 
had the 38th Native infantry men not been on guard 
at the Cashmere gate, the results would have been 
different. The men of the 74th Native infantry 
would have shot every man who had the temerity to 
assail the post. 

"The post-office, electric telegraph, Delhi bank, 
the Delhi Gazette press, every house in cantonments 
and the lines, have been destroyed. Those who es- 
caped the massacre tied with only what they had on 
their backs, unprovided with any provisions for the 
road, or money to purchase food. Every officer has 
lost all he possessed, and not one of us has even 
a change of clothes." 

* Despatch dated May 13th, 1857. — Further 
Pari. Papers on the Mutiny (No. 3), p. 10. 

t In the letter from wliich the above facts are 
taken, the writer says, " young Metcalfe had fled in 
the morning." This is a mistake, for he was still 
in Delhi, as will be shown in a subsequent page. 



Major Abbott's opinion of the conduct of 
the King of Delhi, does not appear justified 
by any evidence yet published; and his 
censure of the 38th hardly accords with the 
fact, that not one of the officers of that 
corps were killed. 

Lieutenant Gambler, writing from Mee- 
rut on the 29th of May, says — 

" Meer Mundoor Ali, and Sahye Sing [Native offi- 
cers from Delhi], who came over for court-martial 
on the mutineers, declare that nothing of this out- 
break was known before it occurred, and that if we 
two [himself and Colonel Knyvett] went to Delhi, 
the men would Hock to us. I also believe our lives 
would be safe among the 38th, but the rascals would 
not stand by us; and I make no doubt that the 
garrison duty men, inlluenced by the example of 
the 54th, would have committed any excess." 

The fugitives who escaped in carriages or 
carts, whether dragged by natives or quad- 
rupeds, had probably little conception of 
the sufferings endured by the footsore and 
weary wanderers who had no such help on 
their perilous journey. When the sepoys 
at the Mainguard turned against their 
officers, the latter strove to escape as Ensign 
Elton describes himself to have done, 
but were interrupted by the screams of 
some ladies in the officers' quarters. The 
Europeans ran back, and making a rope 
with tlieir handkerchiefs, assisted their ter- 
rified countrywomen to jump from the ram- 
part into the ditch, and then with great 
difficulty, and nearly half-an-hour's labour, 
succeeded in enaliling them to scramble up 
the opposite side. During the whole time 
not a shot was fired at them by the sepoys, 
and the party succeeded in making their 
way to a house on the banks of the river, 
belonging to Sir T. ^Metcalfe, where they ob- 
tained some food from the servants, who 
had not seen tlieir master since the morn- 
ing.f Here they stayed until they be- 
held the whole of the three cantonments on 
fire, and saw "a regular battle raging in 
that direction :"X they then, under cover of 
nightfall, ran to the river, and made their 
escape. The party then consisted of five 
officers and of five ladies — namely. Lieute- 
nant Forrest, his wife, and three daughters; 
Lieutenant Procter, of the 38th ; Lieutenant 
Vibart, of the 54th; Lieutenant Wilson, of 
the artillery; a Lieutenant Salkeld, of the 
engineers; and ]\Irs. Fraser, the wife of an 

X This fact shows how far the sepoys were from 
acting on any plan, much less having any recog- 
nised leader ; in which case, burning the canton- 
ments and fighting among themselves, after gettmg 
rid of their European masters, would have been 
quite out of the question. 



officer of the engineers, then absent on 
duty.* This poor lady, though shot through 
the shoulder at the' time the Europeans 
were fired on in the Mainguard, bore up 
cheerfully, in the hope of finding her hus- 
band at Meerut. At an early period of 
their journey the party fell in with Major 
Knyvett and Lieutenant Gambier, to the 
latter of whom a peculiar interest attaches, 
because, after escaping from Delhi, he re- 
turned thither with the besieging force, and 
received his death wound at the hands of the 
mutineers. By his account, corroborated by 
other testimony, it seems that at the time of 
the evacuation of the Flagstafi" tower, it was 
generally supposed that a considerable body, 
if not the greater portion, of the Native 
troops would accompany the fugitives to 
Meerut. They actually started for the pur- 
pose ; but Lieutenant Gambier, who was in 
the rear, says the sepoys were soon seen 
streaming off by hundreds, till at length 
he and Colonel Knyvett found themselves 
alone with the colours of the 38th and 
about 150 men, who refused to proceed 
further, and, laying hold of the non-commis- 
sioned officers with the colours, went to 
their lines. The two Europeans followed 
them, sounded the "assembly," and implored 
them to fall in, but without effect ; and the 
colonel, too grieved by the defection of his 
regiment to be heedful of personal danger, 
went in amongst them, and said, "If you 
wish to shoot me, here I am ; you had better 
do it." The men vehemently denied any 
such intention, and then the two officers 
dismounted, not knowing what they ought 
to do. Lieutenant Gambier, who tells their 
adventures with the simplicity which cha- 
racterises the highest class of bravery, adds 
— " I do not know whether we fully recog- 
nised the extent of the evil, but we then 
did not think of getting away. I had my 
bed sent down to the quarter-guard ; and 
my kit p^itmutgar] went for some dinner." 
Wearied with fatigue and excitement he 
fell asleep, and it was night before he 
awoke. On looking round, he saw Lieute- 
nants Peile and Addiugton (74ih), and 
Mr. McWhirter, collector of Paniput (who 
was in ill-health, and had come on a visit 
to Delhi), with Mr. Marshall, an auctioneer 
and merchant, standing near him. The 
sepoys urgently pressed the officers to 
escape, offering shelter and concealment in 
their huts. Firing was now commencing in 

' Letter of officer of 54th (probiiblv Lieutenant 
Vibart).— r*mes, July 23rd, 1857. 



the lines, and Peile and Gambier, each 
taking a colour, reached the door of the 
quarter-guard ; but the sepoys thronged 
round and jerked the colours from the 
hands of the officers. Lieutenant Gam- 
bier, meeting Colonel Knyvett in the 
doorway, said, " "We must be off." The 
colonel objected; but the lieutenant took 
him by the wrist, pulled him outside, and 
forced him away from the doomed regiment ; 
on which the colonel looked back with some- 
thing of the bitter yearning with which a 
sea-captain quits the sinking ship which has 
been for years his home, his pride, and his 
delight, the parting pang overpowering the 
sense of danger, even though a frail boat 
or a bare plank may offer the sole chance 
of escape from imminent personal peril. 
Neither the colonel nor his young com- 
panion had any ladies to protect, other- 
wise the feelings of husbands and fathers 
might naturally have neutralised the in- 
tense mortification and reluctance with 
which they turned their backs on Delhi. 
But though Mrs. Knyvett was safe at a dis- 
tance, and the lieutenant was unmarried, 
yet the latter had his colonel to support 
and save. "We hurried on," he writes, 
" tripping and stumbling, till we reached a 
tree, under which we fell down exhausted. 
I feared I should get the colonel no further ; 
he had touched nothing all day, and the 
sun had more or less affected him ; but to 
remain was death; and after a few minutes' 
rest, we again started forward. So we passed 
all that dreadful night. The moon rose, and 
the blaze of cantonments on fire made it 
light as day, bringing out the coloueFs scales 
and my scabbard and white clothing in most 
disadvantageous relief: as we lay, the colonel 
used to spread his blue pocket-handkerchief 
over my jacket, in order to conceal it as 
much as possible." The elder officer was 
unarmed and bareheaded ; he was, besides, 
subject to the gout, an attack of which the 
distress of mind and bodily fatigue he was 
undergoing were well calculated to bring 
on. In the morning, some Brahmins 
coming to their work discovered the fugi- 
tives hiding in the long jungle grass, and 
after giving them some chupatties and 
milk, led them to a ford over a branch of 
the Jumna. They met on the road Mr. 
Marshall, with whom they had parted in 
the quarter-guard: he had wandered on 
alone ; Mr. McWhirter having been, he 
believed, drowned in attempting to cross 
the canal cut at the back of the canton- 



ESCAPE OF THE DELHI FUGITIVES. 



167 



ments.* Soon afterwards the trio learned 
from a villager that there were other Euro- 
peans about a mile further on in the jungle. 
On proceeding thither, they came up with 
and joined Lieutenant Forrest's party, 
which raised their number to thirteen. The 
fording of the Jumna on the second night 
of their toilsome march, was the greatest 
obstacle they had to encounter. "The 
water was so deep, that whereas a tall man 
might just wade it, a short man must be 
drowned." The ladies, however, got over, 
supported by a native on one side, and a 
European on the other. Some of them lost 
their shoes in the river, and had to proceed 
barefoot over " a country composed exclu- 
sively of stubble-fields, thistles, and a low 
thorny bush." The treatment they met with 
was very varied : at one village they were 
given food, and suffered to rest awhile; then 
they were wilfully misled by their guides, 
because they had no means of paying them; 
and had nearly recrossed the Jumna in 
mistake for the Hindun, but were pre- 
vented by the presence of mind of Lieu- 
tenant Salkeld, in ascertaining the course 
of the stream by throwing some weeds into 
it. It was intensely cold on the river 
bank, and the wind seemed to pierce 
through the wet clothes of the fugitives 
into their very bones. They laid down 
side by side for a short time, silent, except 
for the noise of their chattering teeth ; 
and then, after an hour or two's pause 
(for rest it could hardly be called), they 
resumed their weary journey. Next they 
encountered a party of Goojurs, who plun- 
dered and well-nigh stripped them ; after 
which they fell in with some humane 
Brahmins, who brought them to a village 
called Bhekia or Khekra.f gave them char- 
poys to rest on, and chupatties and dholl (len- 
til pottage) to eat. Crowds gathered round 
the wanderers, " gaping in wonderment, and 
cracking coarse jokes" at their condition and 
chance of life. But the villagers, though 
rough and boorish in manner, were kind in 
act, until "a horrid hag" suddenly made her 
way to the Europeans, and flinging up her 
skinny arras, invoked the most fearful curses 
on them, tilted up their charpoys one by one, 

* Second Supplement to the London Gazette, 
May 6th, 1858 ; p. 2241.' 

t In the copies of tliis letter printed for private 
circulation, from one of which the above statements 
are taken, the name of the village is given as 
Khekra ; in the abstract .published in the Times, 
August eth, 1857, it is Bhekia. 

^ The faithful remnant of the 3rd did not, how- 



and drove them away. A fakir proved more 

compassionate, and hid them in his dwell- 
ing; and here their number, though not their 
strength, was increased by two sergeants* 
wives and their babes. One of the latter 
was a cause of serious inconvenience and even 
danger; for at a time when the general safety 
depended on concealment, the poor child 
was incessantly on the point of compromis- 
ing them, for it " roared all day, and howled 
all night." On the Thursday after leaving 
Delhi, a native volunteered to carry a letter 
to Meerut, and one (written in French) was 
accordingly entrusted to him. All Satur- 
day they spent " grilling under some apolo- 
gies for trees ;" but towards evening a mes- 
sage arrived from a village named " Hur- 
chundpoor," that one Francis Cohen, a 
European zemindar, would gladly receive 
and shelter them. With some difficulty 
they procured a hackery for the ladies, who 
were by this time completely crippled, and, 
escorted by about a dozen villagers, reached 
Hurchundpoor in safety, where they re- 
ceived the welcome greeting of " How d'ye 
do ? — go inside — sit down." The speaker, 
Francis Cohen, though very like a native in 
appearance and habits, was a German, about 
eighty-five years of age, who had formerly 
served under the Begum Sumroo. He 
placed the upper story of his dwelling at 
the disposal of the fugitives, sent skirts and 
petticoats for the ladies, with pieces of stuff 
to cut into more, and provided the officers 
with various kinds of native attire ; and once 
again they " ate off plates and sat on chairs." 
On Sunday, at sunset, while they were en- 
joying rest, after such a week's work as none 
of them had ever dreamed of enduring, the 
news came that a party of sowars (Native 
cavalry) were at the gate, sent by the King of 
Delhi to conduct the Europeans as prisoners 
to "the presence." The officers sprang 
up, and were hastily resuming the portions 
of their uniform which they still possessed, 
when two Europeans rode into the courtyard, 
announcing themselves as the leaders of 
thirty troopers from Meerut, come in answer 
to the letter sent thither by a native mes- 
senger. 

Of course, troopers of the 3rd cavalry^- 

ever, include Captain Craigie's entire troop. On his 
return to the parade-ground with his men, he found, 
as has been stated. Brevet-major Richardson with 
part of his troop, and Captain and Lieutenant 
Fairlie (brothers), with the remains of the oth and 
6th. Some hurried conversation ensued between 
the officers, which was interrupted by their being 
fired at. The mob of mutineers from the infantry 



168 



KINDNESS OF RANEE OF BALGHUR. 



were the last persons looked to for deliver- 
ance : nevertheless, Lieutenant Gambier 
adds— "These fine fellows had ridden all 
day, first to Bhekia, and afterwards to llur- 
ehundpoor, near forty miles, to our assis- 
tance." Under this escort, Colonel Knyvctt 
and his companions succeeded in reaching 
Meerut at about 10 t.m. — the eighth night 
after leaving Delhi. The first question of 
Mrs. Eraser was for her husband. An 
officer, not knowing her, immediately com- 
municated the fact of his death, the manner 
of which will be hereafter shown. The rest 
of the party were more fortunate, many 
friends coming in by degrees, who had been 
given up for lost. 

All the officers of the 38th escaped; 
Lieutenant Peile and his wife encountered 
extreme peril, aggravated for a time by 
separation from each other, as well as from 
their child. The carriages had nearly all 
driven off from the Flagstaff tower, when 
a gentleman, seeing that Mrs. Peile had 
no conveyance, offered her a seat in his. 
She accepted his offer for her little boy, 
who reached Meerut some days before 
his parents, and while they were supposed 
to have perished. Then jNIrs. Peile joined 
Dr. Wood and his wife. The doctor had 
been shot in the face, as is supposed by the 
men of his own regiment (the 38th), and 
his lower jaw was broken. The ladies with 
him were the last to leave Delhi; and they 
had scarcely started, when some natives 
came to them, and advised their turning 
back, declaring that the officers and others 
who had preceded them on the Kurnaul 
road had all been murdered. They re- 
turned accordingly to Delhi, and took re- 
fuge in the Company's gardens, where they 
found a gunner, who went to the hospital, 
at their request, to fetch a native doctor. 
Other natives brought a charpoy for the 

lines were seen advancing, and the officers agreed 
to start with the standards for the European lines. 
Captain Craigie states, that owing to the deafening 
uproar, the intense excitement, and the bewildering 
confusion which prevailed, the advance sounded on 
the trumpet was scarcely audible, and the greater 
part of the still faithful troopers did not hear it, and 
were consequently left behind. A few men who 
were nearest the officers went with them to the 
European lines ; and these, with some married 
troopers who had gone to place their wives in 
safety, with between twenty and thirty men of 
different troops who rallied round Captain Craigie, 
and assisted in defending his house and escorting 
him to the European lines, formed the remnant 
of the 3rd cavalry, which, with few exceptions, re- 
mained staunch during the mutiny, doing good ser- 



wounded European to lie on ; and in about 
an hour a coolie arrived with some lint 
and bandages from the hospital, accom- 
panied by a message from the native doc- 
tors, that they would gladly have come, but 
that they were then starting in dhoolies by 
command of the King of Delhi, to attend 
on his wounded troops. A band of ma- 
rauders discovered the trembling women 
and their helpless companion; carried off 
their horses, and broke up their carriages. 
Not daring to remain where they were, they 
started at midnight in search of a village 
near the artillery lines, where they were fed 
and concealed by the head man of the 
village — an aged Hindoo, who turned the 
cattle out of a cow-shed to make room for 
the distressed wayfarers. The next morn- 
ing, the three started again on their travels ; 
and after receiving great kindness at several 
villages, and narrowly escaping death at 
the hands of marauders, they at length 
reached a village inhabited by "the ranee 
of Balghur,'' probably a Rajpootni chief- 
tainess, who received them in her house, 
bade her servants cook rice and milk for 
their dinner, and gave them leave to remain 
as long as they pleased. In the morning, 
however, she told them she could not pro- 
tect them a second night, for her people 
would rise against her. This was on the 
18th, and the fugitives were as yet only 
twenty-two miles from Dv°lhi. Providen- 
tially, on that very day Major Paterson and 
Mr. Peile arrived separately at Balghur, 
from whence they all started together that 
evening. They met with some remarkable 
instances of kindness on the road. In one 
case, " the working men, seeing what diffi- 
culty we had in getting the doctor along, 
volunteered to carry him from village to 
village, where they could be relieved of 
their burden. This was a most kind offer, 

vice on all occasions. They, and they only, of the 
Meerut sepoys were permitted to retain their arms . 
even the 150 faithful men of the 11th N. I. being 
disbanded, but taken into service by the magis- 
trates. Major Smythe reported the state of the 
regiment, 31st of May, 1857, as follows:—^ 
Remaining in camp . . 78 

On furlough .... 83 
On command .... 9 

Dismissed the service . . 85 
Invalided .... ^ 

Deserted .... 235 

Total . . 497 
The infant child of Captain and Mrs. Eraser was 
separated from its parents, and perished from ex- 
posure on the Kurnaul road. — London Gazette. 



FLIGHT FROM DELHI— MAY, 1857. 



169 



and was most gladly accepted by us/' At 
length, Mrs. Peile, who had been robbed of 
her bonnet and shawl at the onset of 
their flight, begaa to feel her head affected ; 
but a wet cloth bound round her temples 
relieved her, and enabled her to prosecute 
the remainder of the journey, which termi- 
nated in a very diflFerent manner to its 
commencement; for our staunch ally, the 
rajah of Putteeala, on learning the vicinity 
of Europeans in distress, sent forty horse- 
men, well-mounted and gaily dressed, to 
escort them into Kurnaul, where they 
arrived on the 20th. Mrs. Paterson and 
her two children had previously reached 
Simla in safety. 

Surgeon Batson likewise, after wandering 
twenty-five days among the topes (groves of 
trees) and villages, eventually succeeded in 
joining the force before Delhi. He was an 
excellent linguist; but he vainly strove to 
pass as a Cashmere fakir. " No, no," said 
the Hindoos, "your blue eyes betray you; 
you are surely a Feringhee." They were, 
however, kind to him; but the Moham- 
medans would have killed him, had he not 
uttered " the most profound praises in be- 
half of their prophet Mahomet," and begged 
they would spare his life, " if they believed 
that the Imaum Mendhee would come 
to judge the world." The adjuration was 
efiFective, and Surgeon Batson's term of life 
was extended a little, and only a little, 
longer. His wife and daughters were among 
the more fortunate fugitives.* 

The adventures of Sir T. Metcalfe have not 
been circumstantially related beyond that 
after leaving Lieutenant Willoughby, he was 
attacked by the rabble ; but escaped from 
them, when he concealed himself in the city ; 
and, after remaining there for three days, 
eventually succeeded in making his way to 
Hansi. Lieutenant Willoughby was less for- 
tunate. He is supposed to have perished near 
the Hindun river. Lieutenant Gambier 
states — "There escaped with Willoughby, 
Osborne, B , H , and A . Os- 
borne's wound necessitated his being left in 
a ditch : he ultimately reached this place ; 
they have not." From the account given 
by a native, it is believed that Lieutenant 

• Surgeon H. S. Batson's Letter. — Times, August 
18th, 1857. 

t Lieutenant Gambler's account. The mother of 
Lieutenant "Willoughby being left a widow with four 
children, appealed to Sir Charles Napier, on his 
return to England after the conquest of Sinde, to 
aid in providing for her sons; and he, though a per- 
fect stranger, interested himself in the case, and ob- 

VOL. II. Z 



Willoughby shot a Brahmin, on which the 
villagers attacked and murdered hira.f 

Mr, Wagentreiber, of the Delhi Gazette, 
fled with his wife and daughter, in his 
buggy. They were attacked five times. 
Mrs. Wagentreiber received some severe 
blows from iron-bound lattees; as he did also, 
besides a sword-cut on the arm. But the 
ladies loaded, and he fired at their assail- 
ants with so much effect, as to kill four, and 
wound two others; after which, the fugi- 
tives succeeded in making good their way 
to Kurnaul. J 

Mrs. Leeson, the wife of the deputy-col- 
lector, made her escape from Delhi on the 
morning of the 19th, after losing three 
children in the ma8sacre.§ Two faithful 
natives accompanied and protected her ; one 
of them perished by the hands of the muti- 
neers in attempting to pass the Ajmere 
gate ; the other accompanied her in her 
wanderings, till they reached the European 
picket at Subzie Mundie. The poor lady, 
who had nothing but a dirty piece of cloth 
round her body, and another piece, folded 
turban-fashion, on her head, on finding 
herself again in safety, knelt do^vn, and 
thanked heaven for her deliverance. || 

In the midst of all these tales of strife 
and misery, it is well that an English offi- 
cial has placed on record the following 
statement of the humanity evinced by the 
villagers generally. Mr. Greathed, the com- 
missioner, writing from Meerut, in the 
very height of the excitement, states — 
" All the Delhi fugitives have to tell of 
some kind acts of protection and rough 
hospitality; and yesterday a fakir came in 
with a European child he had picked up 
on the Jumna. He had been a good deal 
mauled on the way, but he made good 
his point. He refused any present, but 
expressed a hope that a well might be 
made in his name, to commemorate the act. 
I promised to attend to his wishes; and 
Himam Bhartee, of Dhunoura, will, I hope, 
long live in the memory of man. The 
parents have not been discovered, but there 
are plenty of good Samaritans." 

The loyalty of the nawab of Kurnaul 
largely contributed to the safety of the 

tained Addiscombe cadetships for two of the young 
men. Sir Charles, had he lived to see the career of 
his proterjes, would have been richly rewarded for 
his disinterested kindness. — United 6'ervice Gazette. 

X Lieut. Gambler's account. — Times, July 14, 1857. 

§ Second Supplement to the London Gazette, 
May 6th, 1858. 

]|'Ball's Indian Midiny, pp. 100—107. 



170 



THE SUFFERINGS AND DEATH OF COLONEL RIPLEY. 



fugitive Europeans, who cliose the road to 
Umballah instead of to Meerut. INIr. le 
Bas, the Delhi judge, hud a very intcrestiug 
interview witli this chief. There was at the 
time no European force in the neighbour- 
hood of Kuruaul, to counteract the effect of 
the unmolested retreat of the mutineers 
from the head-quarters of the British artil- 
lery at ]\Ieerut, followed by their unopposed 
occupation of Delhi. INIoreover, European 
women and children were known to have 
been left to perish there; and cherished 
wives and mothers, on whom crowds of 
servants had waited from the moment they 
set foot in India, were now seen ragged, 
hungry, and footsore, begging their way to 
the nearest stations. The chiefs, country- 
people, and ryots doubted if they were awake 
or dreammg; but if awake, then surely 
the British raj had come to an end. At all 
events, the Great Mogul was in Delhi, and 
from Delhi the British had fled in the 
wildest disoi der ; whereupon a native jour- 
nalist thought fit to raise the following 
lo Pean, wuich, hke all similar effusions, 
whether indited by Europeans or Asiatics, 
is characterised by the most irreverent 
bigotry : — 

" Oh ! Lord the English have now seen 
a specimen of Thy power ! 

" To-day they were in a state of high 
power; to-morrow they wrapped them- 
selves in blood, and began to fly. Notwith- 
standing that their forces were about three 
lacs strong in India, they began to yield 
up life like cowards. Forgetting their 
palanquins and carriages, they fled to the 
jungles without either boots or hats. 
Leaving their houses, they asked shelter 
from the meanest of men ; and, abandoning 
their power, they fell into the hands of 
marauders,"* 

The British cause was, in May, 1857, gen- 
erally considered the losing one ; and even 
those friendly to it, were for the most part 
anxious, in native phraseology, " to keep 
their feet in both stirrups." There were, 
however, many brilliant exceptions — but for 
which, the sceptre of Queen Victoria would 
hardly now huvc much authority in Nor- 
thern India. The nawab of Kurnaul was 
one of the first to identify himself with 
the British in the hour of their deepest 
humiliation. 

Soon after tlie arrival of Mr. le Bas, the 
nawab came to him and said, " I have spent 

• Parsee Reformer: quoted in Boinhay Telegraph. 
— See Times, August 3rd, LS.jT. 



a sleepless night in meditating on the state 
of affairs. I have decided to throw in my 
lot with your^s. My sword, my purse, and 
ray followers are at your disposal." And 
he redeemed his promise in many ways; 
among others, bj"" raising an efficient troop 
of 100 horse, which he armed and equipped 
on the model of the Punjab mounted police 
corps. Mr. le Bas subsequently presented 
the nawab with the favourite horse whose 
speed had saved his master's life.f It is to 
be hoped the British government will be 
similarly mindful of the service rendered 
by their faithful ally. 

Many providential preservations have 
been related : the painful task remains of 
describing, as far as possible, the fate of 
the Europeans who were unable to effect 
their escape from Delhi. Among the victims 
was Colonel Ripley. His dhooly-bearers 
refused to carry him on with the first party 
of Europeans; and Lieutenant Peile, his 
former preserver, having left even his own 
wife and child to try and save tiie regi- 
mental colours, the wounded officer re- 
mained at the mercy of the native bearers, 
whose services are at the best of times little 
to be depended on; for, being frequently 
compulsory, they naturally take the first 
opportunity of escaping to their homes. 
They did not, however, give up the colonel 
to the mutineers, but hid him near the ice- 
pits at the cantonments. Here he remained 
for some days, until he was found and killed 
by a sepoy. This, at least, was the account 
given to Surgeon Batson, during his wander- 
ings among the jungles. J Colonel Ripley's 
sufterings must have been fearful. His 
isolation, and the state of utter helplessness 
in which he awaited the violent death which 
at length terminated his protracted an- 
guish, renders him the subject of a quite 
peculiar interest. The little that is nar- 
rated of him conveys the idea of a thoroughly 
brave man. He had need of all his natural 
courage, and of the far higher strength im- 
parted from Above, to enable him to resist 
the temptation to suicide ; to which, later in 
the rebellion, others yielded, utudcr (so far as 
human judgment can decide) much less 
temptation. 

The mutineers found it very difficult to 
convince the king, and probably still more 
so to convince themselves, that European 
troops were not already marching on Delhi. 
It is positively asserted, on European 

t Raikes' Revolt in N.W. Provinces, pp. 91, 92. 
X Times, August 18tli, 1857. 



EUROPEANS MASSACRED IN DELHI— MAY, 1858. 



171 



authority, that " the king sent a sowaree 
camel* down to the Meerut road, to report 
how near the British troops were to his 
city. When the messenger returned, saying 
there were certainly no European soldiers 
within twenty miles of Delhi, the spirit 
of mutiny could restrain itself no longer/'f 

A native, writing to the vakeel of one of 
the Rajpootana chiefs, says that it was at 
ten at night two pultuns (regiments) arrived 
from Meerut, and fired a royal salute of 
twenty-one guns; but he adds, that "it 
was not until the following day, about three 
in the afternoon, that the empire was pro- 
claimed under the King of Delhi, and the 
imperial flag hoisted at the Cutwallee, or 
chief police-station." But the authority 
thus proclaimed, was at first at least almost 
entirely nominal ; and later testimony tends 
to confirm the statement of the native eye- 
witness previously quoted; who, writing on 
the 13th of May, says — "There is now no 
ruler in the city, and no order. Everyone 
has to defend his house. An attack was 
made on the great banker, Mungnee Ram ; 
but he had assembled so many defenders, 
that after much fighting, the attack was un- 
successful. Other bankers' establishments 
were pillaged ; hundreds of wealthy men 
have become beggars; hundreds of vaga- 
bonds have become men of mark. When an 
heir to the city arises, then the public mar- 
ket will be reopened, and order be restored. 
For these two days thousands have remained 
fasting ; such of the shops as are left un- 
pillaged, being closed. * ^ * Hundreds of 
corpses are lying under the magazine. The 
burners of the dead wander about to recog- 
nise the looked-for faces, and give them 
funeral rites. * -x- * The mutineers 
roam about the city, sacking it on every 
side. The ^-ost is stopped. The electric 
wires have jcen cut. There is not a Eu- 
ropean face to be seen. Where have they 
gone, and how many have been killed?" 
This last question has been but imperfectly 
answered. The following statement is com- 
piled from the report furnished by the 
magistrate of Delhi, and other government 
returns : — 

List of the JEuropean victims {)iot before named) who 
perished on the Wth of May, or at some unknown 
date, in Delhi. 

Mr. Hutchinson, officiating magistrate and col- 
lector, after going to cantonments for assistancei 

* Meaning a trooper on a camel, 
t Statement of Delhi deputy-collector. — Rot- 
ton's Narrative of the Siege of Delhi, p. 12. 



rejoined Mr. Fraser, and is believed to have been 
killed at the Calcutta gate, on duty. 

Mr. A. Galloway, joint magistrate and deputy- 
collector, perished at the Cutchery, on duty. 

The Rev, A. Hubbard, missionary. Mr. L. Sandys, 
the head-master of the Delhi mission school, and 
3Ir. L. Cock, or Koehe, were killed at the school 
or at the bank. 

Mr. F. Taylor, principal of the Delhi college, 
and Mr. R. Stewart, the second master, are thought 
to have been in the magazine until the explosion, 
and then to have taken refuge with Moolvee Bakir 
Aii, who gave them up to the mutineers. 

Mr. J. McNally, second clerk in the commis- 
sioner's office, was killed on his way thither. Messrs. 
Moritreaux and Fleming, fifth and sixth clerks, 
perished, but the particulars of their death are not 
known. 

Mr. Beresford, the manager of the Delhi bank, 
would not quit his post, though warned by his ser- 
vants ; he was murdered there with his wife and 
three young children, and the money seized on by 
the mob. Mr. Churcher, the deputy-manager, like- 
wise perished. 

3fr. Dalton, inspector of post-offices, and 3Ir. C. 
Bayley, the deputy-postmaster, were cut down at 
their post. 

Sergeant Edwards, of the ordnance department, 
perished at the magazine on duty; and Sergeant 
Hoyle is supposed to have been killed on his way 
thither. 

Mr. T. Corbett, of the medical department, was on 
a visit to Mr. McNally : and he also perished on the 
11th of May. 

3Ir. T. W. Coliins fled to the Cutchery, and was 
killed there ; his wife and three children were mur- 
dered in the college compound, but on what day is 
not known. 

3Ir. Staines, the head-clerk of the treasury office, 
and two youths of the same name, were killed, the 
former at the Cutchery, and the latter at Deria- 
gunge. 

Mr. E. Staines, draftsman, railway department, 
also fell in Delhi. 

3Irs. Thompson, the widow of a Baptist mis- 
sionary, with her two daughters, and a 3Irs. Hunt, 
were killed in the city. 

Mr. G. White, head-clerk of the political agency 
office, was murdered in Delhi, but on what day is 
not known. 

Sergeant Dennis, of the canal department, with 
his wife, his son, and 3frs. White, were killed at his 
house on the canal banks. 

3Ir. J. Rennell, pensioner, his wife, two daughters 
and his son-in-law, and 3Ir. It. Skintier, were mas- i 
sacred in the city, but the date of the latter crime 
has not been ascertained. 

Sergeant Foulan, of the public works' department, 
and Mr. Thomas, agent of the Inland Transit Com- 
pany, and an Italian showman and his wife, named ; 
Georsetti, engaged in exhibiting wax-work figures, i 
were massacred near the Hindun river. | 

Three persons surnamed George — one a youth ' 
who had received pay from the King of Delhi for 
some service not known — were massacred in Delhi ; 
as was also a Portuguese music-master, named 
Perez, and a Jlr. O'Brien. I 

Father Zacharias, a lloman Catholic priest, was i 
murdered in the city. ' 

Mrs. {Major) Foster, and her sister, Mrs. Fuller, j 
endeavoured to escape, and got " into the city ditch" 



173 



EUROPEANS MASSACRED IN DELHI— MAY, 1858. 



(probably near the Mainguard). Mrs. Foster was 
unable to proceed any further, and her sister would 
not leave her ; they are supposed to have been 
found and murdered there. Mrs. Hickie (described 
as a half-servant, probably a half-caste), in atten- 
dance on Mrs. Foster, was killed in the city. 

Chummum Lull, the native assistant-surgeon, was 
one of the earliest victims of the outbreak. 

Mr. Philli2)s, a pensioner, was killed in Delhi, 
but on what day is not known. A Mr. Clarke, a 
pensioner, occupied a two-story house in the Cash- 
mere bazaar, with his wife and child, in conjunction 
with a 3Ir. and Mrs. Morlexj, and their three chil- 
dren, and was murdered there on the 11th. 

In a letter signed " James Morley," and 
published when the public excitement was 
at its height, the following horrible par- 
ticulars were related concerning the murder 
of Mr. Clarke and his family. The Gazette 
makes no mention of the circumstances; 
but the statement is important, as one of the 
exceptional ones made by a European eye- 
witness, of massacre aggravated by wanton 
cruelty. 

Mr. Morley states, that after the blowing 
up of the magazine, he crept from his hiding- 
place in the city, and went to his own 
house, near the door of which he found 
a faithful old Hindoo [a dhoby, or washer- 
man], sitting and crying bitterly. The 
Hindoo said that a large crowd, armed with 
sticks, swords, and spears, had entered the 
compound, pushed past Mr. Clarke, and 
began to " loot" or break everything,. At 
length one man went up to Mrs. Clarke, 
*' and touched her face, and spoke bad words 
to her." The enraged husband called the 
wretch by the most opprobrious epithet 
which can be applied to a Mohammedan 
(you pig !), and shot him dead; then, after 
discharging the contents of the second bar- 
rel into the body of another of the insur- 
gents, he began fighting with the butt-end 
of his gun. The old Hindoo, knowing that 
the doom of both husband and wife was 
now sealed, ran off in search of his own 
mistress and her children; but they were 
already in the hands of the mob, who drove 
off the dhoby with blows, and threatened to 
kill him if he did not keep away. Morley 
went into the house with his servant, and 
found Mr. and Mrs. Clarke (she far advanced 
in pregnancy) lying side by side, and 
their little boy pinned to the wall, with a 
pool of blood at his feet. Turning away 
from this sickening sight, Morley rushed oii 
towards the bath-room, at the door of whicli 
the old man stood wringing his hands. 
The fear of seeing his own wife as he had 
seen Mrs. Clarke, deterred him, he says, 



from ascertaining for himself the fate of Mrs. 
Morley and his children. When the first 
shock was over, he put on a petticoat and 
veil belonging to the wife of the Hindoo, 
and succeeded, accompanied by the latter, 
in reaching Kuruaul in six days. In the 
course of the journey, he states himself to 
have seen " the body of a European woman 
lying shockingly mutilated by the road-side; 
and it made me sick to see a vulture come 
flying along with a shrill cry. I saw 
another body of one of our countrymen. 
It was that of a lad about sixteen. He 
had been evidently killed with the blow of 
a stick. I buried him ; but it was but a 
shallow grave I could give him. I heard, 
on the road, of a party of Europeans being 
some distance ahead of me, and tried to 
overtake them, but could not." It is rather 
strange that the parties who preceded Mr. 
Morley, should neither have seen nor heard 
of the murdered man and woman ; and it is 
still more strange, that this one European 
should narrate horrors so far exceeding any 
which the other fugitives encountered, or 
heard of. Stories of mutilation, together 
with violation of the most abominable de- 
scription, were certainly published in the 
Indian and English papers of 1857; but 
they were almost exclusively founded on 
bazaar reports, or, what is much the same 
thing, the accounts of the lowest class of 
natives, who knew quite well, that the more 
highly coloured the narrative, the more 
attention it was likely to excite. Perhaps 
reporters of a higher class were not uninflu- 
enced by a similar desire to gratify the mor- 
bid curiosity of the moment ; for the atro- 
cities alleged to have been committed, were 
such as only the most practised imagination 
could conceive, or the most incarnate fiends 
have perpetrated. It should be remembered, 
that so far as indignities to Jinglishwomen 
were concerned, the least aggravated of the 
alleged offences would have cost the high- 
caste, or twice-born Hindoos, whether 
Brahmin or Rajpoot, the irremediable for- 
feiture of caste. Besides, the class of crime 
is one utterly opposed to their character 
and habits, and scarcely less so to that of 
the Goojurs, who, in fact, had no passion 
either of lust or revenge to indulge — nothing 
but an absorbing love of loot, which might 
tempt them to rob a lady of the cherished 
wedding-ring, but not to defile the purity 
of the sacred union it symbolised. With 
the Mohammedans the case may be dif- 
ferent : but whatever we may think of 



MASSACRE AT DELHI— 12th, 13th, AND 16th OF MAY, 1857. 173 



the unwarrantable license given by the Ko- 
ran, it may be doubted whether the scenes 
recorded in the history of cities sacked in 
European warfare by nominally Christian 
conquerors, have not afforded sufficient evi- 
dence of lust and rapine to explain why we 
looked to hear of such things, almost as 
necessary incidents, in a calamity like that 
of Delhi. But happily for us, our foes were 
not a united body of soldiers ; far from this, 
the great mass of the sepoys, and even of the 
escaped convicts, were a disorderly, panic- 
struck crew; and it was only the long interval 
of rest which elapsed while the authorities 
were making up their minds how to prepare 
for action, that taught the sepoys the value 
of the advantages which our superlative 
folly had given them, and the importance 
of their position in the eyes of their coun- 
trymen throughout India. At first their 
leading thought was, '•' let us eat and drink, 
for to-morrow we die ;" and it was during 
this phase of their career that they broke 
open the gaol, and released some 500 con- 
victs. Gradually a few of the more capable 
of the mutineers began to think that there 
was a chance for them, and that that chance 
lay in the extirpation of " the seed of the 
accursed Feringhee" from the land. Con- 
scious of their own weakness, they natu- 
rally adopted a cowardly and merciless, but 
not vindictive or wantonly cruel policy. 
The Europeans slain on the 11th of May, 
or subsequently at an unknown date, have 
been enumerated. The following is the — 

Ijist of the Delhi victims killed on the 12th, Idth, 
and 16th of May. 

Mr. T. Jones, of the collector's office, and Mr. T. 
Leonard, of the magistrate's office, with his wife, and 
two youths of the same, held out in the house which 
they occupied together near the Moree gate, until 
some time on the 12th, when they perished by the 
hands of the insurgents. 

A much larger party defended themselves until 
the 13th, at Deriagunge, in a house belonging to 
the rajah of BuUubghur, but rented by a Mr. 
Aldwell. Here Mr. Nol<in, one of the conductors of 
the ordnance department, was killed on the 12th by 
a grapeshot. On the 13th, a man named Azeezullah 
enticed the whole party from their retreat by saying 
that the king had sent him to fetch them safely to 
the palace. The Europeans, who were probably 
holding out in hopes of succour from Meerut, were 
deceived by the traitor, and were thus spared a 
longer period of sickening suspense, with des- 
pair as its climax. The official record states, that 
Mr. A. G. Aldicell, son of the gentleman who 
rented the house ; Mr. F. Davies, third clerk of the 
commissioner's office ; Mr. T. Davies, head-clerk of 
the agency office, and Miss J. Davies; Mr. J. B. 
Hanley, another agency clerk, with his wife and 
four of his family ; 3Ir. Muckey, a Baptist mis- 



sionary ; Mrs. Wilson, and her son ; Mrs. Nolan, 
and her six children ; Mr. Settle, conductor of 
ordnance ; Mrs. and Miss Settle ; Mrs. Crowe, and 
her two daughters ; Sergeants Connor, Hoyle, and 
Steicart, of the ordnance department, with a child 
belonging to the last ; Mrs. Buckley, and her three 
children; Mrs. Prince: Mrs. M iley, a.nd her son; 
3Irs. Ives, and 3Irs. Foiclan — were all slaughtered 
on the 13th, in a bullock-shed near the house. 

After this horrible butchery, no Eu- 
ropeans were found in Delhi until the 16th; 
and on that day, a party who had taken 
refuge in the palace on the 11th, were 
now delivered up to the insurgents, and 
put to death. The native authority above 
quoted, describes the victims as having 
been tied to a tree and shot, after which 
the bodies were burned. 

3£r. E. Roberts, head-master of the Delhi col- 
lege, and his son, together with 3Irs. S. S. 
Stewart, two 3Iisses Stewart and their brother, are 
said to have been massacred " at the instigation of 
Zeenath Mahal." The two Misses Beresfurd ; Mrs. 
Shaiv, and her two children ; 3frs. Glynn ; 3Ir8. 
Scully ; 3Irs. Edwards, and her three children ; 
3Irs. 3Iolloy, the wife of the band-master of 
the 54th Native infantry, and her two sons ; 
3Ir. J. Smith, head-clerk of the Delhi magazine ; 
3Irs. Corbett, and her child ; 3Irs. E. P. Staines ; 
the two 3Iisses Jfunt, and their young brother; 
3Irs. Cochrane ; 3Irs. and 311.18 Sheehan, govern- 
ment pensioners ; 3Iiss C. Staines, and 3Iiss Louisa 
Ryley — are recorded as having been murdered, with- 
out any particulars being given of the attendant 
circumstances.* 

The above statements are taken from the Gazette. 
A native gives the following somewhat dilTerent 
account of particulars which he describes himself 
as having actually witnessed : — " On the third day, 
the mutineers went back to the house [Mr. Aldwell's] 
near the mosque, where some Europeans had taken 
refuge. As they were without water, &c., for several 
days, they called for a subahdar and five others, 
and asked them to take their oaths that they would 
give them water and take them alive to the king; 
he might kill them if he liked. On this oath the 
Europeans came out: the mutineers placed water 
before them, and said, 'Lay down your arms, and 
then you get water.' They gave over two guns, 
all they had. The mutineers gave no water. They 
seized eleven children (among them infants), eight 
ladies, and eight gentlemen. They took them to 
the cattle-sheds. One lady, who seemed more self- 
possessed than the rest, observed that they were 
not taking them to the palace; they replied, they 
were taking them via Derya Gunje. Deponent says 
that he saw all this, and saw them placed in a row 
and shot. One woman entreated them to give her 
child water, though they might kill her. A sepoy 
took her child and dashed it on the ground. The 
people looked on in dismay, and feared for Delhi."t 

An anonymous writer, who describes 
• Second Supplement to the London Gazette, 
Mav 6th, 1858. 

t Statement made to deputy-commissioner Far- 
rington, of JuUundur, by three servants of Kapor- 
thella rajah. — Times, August 3rd, 1857. 



171 



STATE OF DELHI IN MAY, 1857. 



himself as having been in Delhi at the 
outbreak, but VFho does not state either 
the time or the manner of his own escape, 
writes — " Several Europeans, said to number 
forty-eight, were taken to the palace, or 
perhaps went there for protection. These 
were taken care of by the King of Delhi ; 
but the sowars of the 3rd cavalry, whose 
thirst for European blood had not been 
quenched, rested not till they were all given 
up to them, when they murdered them 
one by one in cold blood/^ The narrator 
adds, that the troopers were said " to have 
pointed to their legs before they murdered 
their victims, and called attention to the 
marks of their manacles, asking if they 
•were not justified in what they were doing/'* 
In a separate and evidently incorrect list, 
published in the same Gazette as that from 
which the above account has been framed, 
several names are given in addition to, or in 
mistake for, those already stated.f Among 
others, a "Mrs. Morgan and her grand- 
child" are said to have been among the vic- 
tims of this most horrible butchery, in 
which maid and matron, the grandame and 
the babe, were alike mercilessly hewn 
down. It must, however, be remembered, 
that many put down in the official records 
as massacred at Delhi, were probably killed 
after escaping from the city. 

We have not, and probably never shall 
have, any authentic statement of the number 
of Eurasians who perished at this period, 
nor of the amount of native life lost in the 
struggle between the citizens of Delhi and 
the ruthless insurgents. The mutineers, 
it is said, " asked the king either to give 
them two months' pay, or their daily 
rations. The king summoned all the 
shroffs and mahajuns (bankers and money- 
changers), telling them, if they did not 
meet the demand of the mutineers they 
would be murdered ; on which the shroffs 
agreed to give them dhoU rotee for twenty 
days; adding, they could not afford more. 
The mutineers replied — ' We have deter- 
mined to die ; how can we eat dhoU rotee 
for the few days we have to live in 
this world.' "% The cavalry, consequently, 
received one rupee, and the infantry four 
annas a day. With every offensive weapon 

• Times, July 14th, 1857. 

f The same persons are given under different 
names : Koehe in one, is Cock in the other ; Aldwell 
in one, is Aidwell in the other; with other mistakes 
of a simihir character. Compare paj^e 2220 with 
pages 2238 to 2241 of Gazette, May Gih, 1858. 



Delhi was abundantly stocked. After the 
escape of Lieutenant Willoughby and his 
companions, the mutineers (according to 
a native news-writer previously quoted), 
"together with the low people of the city, 
entered the magazine compound and began 
to plunder weapons, accoutrements, gun- 
caps, &c. The 'loot' continued for three 
days ; each sepoy took three or four muskets, 
and as many swords and bayonets as he 
could. The Glassies filled their houses with 
fine blacksmiths' tools, weapons, and gun- 
caps, which they sell by degrees at the rate 
of two seers per rupee. In these successful 
days, the highest price of a musket was eight 
annas, or one shilling; however, the people 
feared to buy it : a fine English sword was 
dear for four annas, and one anna was too 
much for a good bayonet. Pouches and 
belts were so common, that the owners 
could not get anything for this booty of 
theirs."§ Lieutenant Willoughby and his 
companions had succeeded in destroying 
a portion of the stores in the Delhi ar- 
senal; but abundance of shot and shell 
remained behind, and the cantonments 
afforded large stores of gunpowder. From 
native testimony we further learn, that " the 
Derya Gunje Bazaar was turned into an en- 
campment for the mutineers. Shops were 
plundered in the Chandnee Chouk|| and 
Diereeba Bazaar. The shops were shut for 
five days. The king refused to go upon 
the throne. The mutineers assured him 
that a similar massacre had taken place up 
to Peshawur and down to Calcutta. He 
agreed, and commenced to give orders : went 
through the city, and told the people to open 
their shops. On the fifth day, notice was 
given that if any one concealed a European 
he would be destroyed. People disguised 
many, and sent them off; but many were 
killed that day, mostly by people of the 
city. A tailor concealed no less than five 
Europeans. * * * The mutineers say, 
when the army approaches they will fight, 
and that the Native troops with the array 
are sure to join them. Many mutineers 
who tried to get away with plunder were 
robbed; this has prevented many others 
from leaving."^ 

This latter statement accords with a 



X Statement of Hurdwar pilgrims, before quoted. 

§ See Times, September 18th, 1857. 

I) The principal street in Delhi. 

^ Statement made to deputy-commissioner Far- 
ringtoii, of JuUundur, by three servants of the rajah 
of Kaporthella. — Times, August 3rd, 1857. 



FEROCITY OF ESCAPED CONVICTS— DELHI, MAY, 1857. 175 



proraiuent feature in the character of the 
Plindoos — namely, their strong attachment 
to their native village. All experienced ma- 
gistrates know, that however great a crime 
a Hindoo may have committed, he will, 
sooner or later, risk even death for the sake 
of revisiting his early home. Their domestic 
affections are likewise very powerful ; and, 
undoubtedly, the combination against us 
■would have been far stronger, but for the 
temporarily successful attempts of many, 
and the unsuccessful attempts of many 
more, to escape to their wives and childi'en 
from the vortex of destruction towards 
which they had been impelled. Hundreds, 
and probably thousands, remained in Delhi 
because their sole chance of life lay in 
combined resistance. The sepoys, as a body, 
felt that they Avould be held answerable for 
the slaughter at the " bullock-shed," and 
for atrocities which, there is every reason 
to believe, were never perpetrated by them ; 
but which, in the words of an English officer, 
" were committed by the scum of the earth, 
that never comes forth but on such occa- 
sions of murder and rapine, whose existence 
most people are ignorant of."* 

We know, however, that this scum exists 
even in England; the daily police reports 
give us occasional glimpses of it : those whose 
professional duties compel them to examine 
the records of our penal settlements (Nor- 
folk Island for instance), sec its most hideous 
aspect ; while others who have witnessed the 
class which appears with the barricades in 
Paris, and disappears with them, can easily 
imagine the bloody vengeance a mass of 
released convicts would be likely to inflict 
on their foreign masters. Many of the 
sepoys, especially of the 3rd cavalry, would 
gladly have returned to their allegiance. 
Captain Craigic received earnest solicitations 
to this efl'ect from men whom he knew to 
have been completely carried away by the 
current ; but it was too late : they were 
taught to consider their doom sealed ; there 
was for them no hope of escape, no mitiga- 
tion of their sentence, the execution of 
which might tarry, but would never be 
voluntarily abandoned. A most horrible 
epoch of crime and suffering, pillage, de- 
struction, bloodshed and starvation, had 
commenced for Delhi. The escaped Eu- 
ropeans shuddered as they thought of the 
probable fate of those they had left behind : 
but far more torturing were the apprehen- 

* Diary of an Officer in Calcutta. — Times, August 
3rd, 1857. 



sions of the natives who had accompanied 
the flight of their English mistresses and 
foster-children, not simply at the risk of 
their lives, but at the cost of forsaking their 
own husbands and families. So soon as 
they had seen the Europeans in safetv, their 
natural yearnings became irresistible, and 
they persisted in returning to ascertain the 
fate of their relatives. A lady who arrived 
at Meerut on the evening of the 12th of 
May, with her husband and children, having, 
she writes, " come the whole distance with 
our own poor horses, only stopping day or 
night to bait for an hour or two liere and 
there," and had since learned that her 
house had been burnt to the ground ; adds — 
" Of all our poor servants we have not since 
been able to hear a word ; four came with 
us ; but of the rest we know nothing ; and I 
have many fears as to what became of them, 
as, if all had been right, I feel sure that 
they would have followed us in some way, 
several of them having been with us ever 
since we came out. Our coachman and 
children's ayah (nurse) set off to Delhi 
three days ago, dressing themselves as beg- 
gars, in order to make some inquiries about 
their families. We begged them not to 
enter Delhi, and they promised not to do 
so. Should they do so they will be almost 
sure to be killed; they will return to us in 
a few days Ave hope."t 

This melancholy chapter can hardly have 
a more soothing conclusion. The writer 
depicts herself lodged in the artillery school 
at Meerut, in a " centre strip" of a large 
arched building partitioned off with mat- 
ting. It is night — her husband and chil- 
dren are in their beds, and the rain is pour- 
ing down "in plenty of places; but that 
is nothing." Afraid of being late for the 
post the next day, she sits writing to Eng- 
land ; and it is after mentioning very briefly 
that she and her husband have "lost every- 
thing they had," that she expresses, at much 
greater length, her solicitude for the lives of 
her faithful household. The host of admi- 
rable letters written for home circles, but 
generously published to gratify the earnest 
longing of the British nation for Indian 
intelligence, do not furnish a more charm- 
ing picture of the quiet courage and cheer- 
fulness, under circumstances of peril and 
privation, Avhich we proudly believe to cha- 
racterise our countrywomen, than the one 
thus unconsciously afforded. 

t Letter from the wife of a Dellii officer. — Times 
September 3rd, 1857. 



CHAPTER V. 

UMBALLAK— KURNAUL— MEERirr— FEROZPOOR.— MAY, 1857. 



Umballah is a military station, fifty-five 
miles north of Kurnaul, 120 miles N.N.W. 
of Delhi, and 1,020 N.W. of Calcutta. The 
district known by this name was formerly 
in the possession of a Seik sirdar, but "has 
escheated to the East India Company in 
default of rightful heirs/'* The large 
walled town of Umballah has a fort, under 
the walls of which lies the encamping-ground 
of the British troops. The actual force sta- 
tioned here at the time of the outbreak, 
was as follows : — 

Two troops of artillery. Europeans — 12 commis- 
sioned officers, 19 sergeants, 207 rank and file. 
Native — 2 havildars, 54 rank and file, and 15 sick 
of all ranks. 

One regiment of H.M.'s dragoons, 9th lancers. 
Europeans — 24 commissioned officers, 48 sergeants, 
663 rank and file ; 27 sick of all ranks. 

One regiment of Native light cavalry. Eiiropeatis 
— 14 commissioned officers, 2 sergeants. Native— 
11 commissioned officers, 25 havildars, 421 rank and 
file ; 20 sick of all ranks. 

The 5th and 60th regiments of Native infantry. 
29 commissioned officers, 4 sergeants. Native — 
40 commissioned officers, 117 havildars, 2,116 rank 
and file ; 43 sick of all ranks. Detachment of 
irregular cavalry. [No European officer.] Native 
— 3 commissioned officers, 1 havildar, and 89 rank 
and file.t 

Thus, at Umballah, there were, exclusive 
of the sick, about 2,290 Europeans to 2,819 
Natives. Here, as at Meerut, the strength 
of the Europeans appears to have rendered 
them indifferent to the mutinous feeling 
exhibited in the conflagrations already 
noticed as occurring in March, April, and 
the opening days of May, 1857. The cause 
of the disaffection was notorious, and was 
nowhere more clearly evidenced than in the 
immediate circle of the commander-in-chief. 
The circumstances have not been made 
public; and, as they are of importance, 
they are given here in the words in which 
they were communicated to the author. 

" In the commencement of 1857, each regi- 
ment of Native infantry received instruc- 
tions to detach one smart officer, aud a 
party of sepoys, to the school of instruction, 
for practice in the use of the Enfield rifle. 
" The 36th Native infantry, at the time of 

* Thornton's Gazetteer; and Prinsep's Life ofRun- 
j'eet Sing, p. 215. 



the issue of these instructions, composed 
part of the escort of the commander-in- 
chief. The quota furnished by this corps 
left General Anson's camp at Agra for the 
school of musketry at Umballah, commanded 
by a promising young officer. Lieutenant 
A. W. Craigie, since dead of wounds re- 
ceived in the encounter with the Joudpoor 
lesrion. The commander-in-chief continued 
his tour of inspection, and, after passing 
through Bareilly, arrived at Umballah in 
March. The detachment of the 36th came 
out to meet their regiment on its marching 
into the station ; but were repulsed by their 
comrades, and by the Native officers of their 
regiment, and declared 'Hookah panee 
bund' (excommunicated), in consequence of 
their having lost caste by the use of the 
polluted cartridges at the school. The men 
explained to their regiment that there was 
nothing polluting in the cartridges, and 
nothing which any Hindoo or Mussulman 
could object to. The regiment was deaf to 
their explanations, and treated them as 
outcasts. The unhappy men then repaired 
to their officer, Lieutenant Craigie, and 
informed him of the fact. Wringing their 
hands, and with tears in their eyes, they 
described their miserable state. They said 
that they were convinced of the purity of 
the cartridges, but that they were ruined 
for ever, as their families would refuse to 
receive them after what had happened in 
the regiment. 

" The circumstances were brought to the 
notice of the officers commanding the depot, 
who communicated with the officer com- 
manding the 36th Native infantry. This 
officer, assembling the Native officers, stated 
to them the facts, as reported to him, and 
censured them severely for permitting such 
unwarrantable treatment to the men. The 
Native officers replied, that there was no sub- 
stance in the complaint, and that the re- 
fusal to eat, or smoke the hookah, with the 
men of the depot, had been simply a jest I 
Here, unfortunately, the matter was per- 
mitted to rest J and such was the prevailing 
conviction in the minds of the natives on 

t Pari. Papers (Commons), 9th February, 1858 j 
pp. 4, 5. 



OUTBREAK OF MUTINY AT UMBALLAH— MAY 10th, 1857. 17; 



this question, that the unhappy detachment 
of the 36th Native infantry attending the 
school, were never acknowledged again by 
the regiment/' 

It was after this memorable warning, and 
in defiance of increasing incendiarism, that 
General Anson persisted in enforcing the 
use of the obnoxious cartridges. In fact, 
he fairly launched the sepoys on the stream 
of mutiny, and left them to drift on towards 
the engulphing vortex at their own time 
and discretion, while he went off "on a 
shooting excursion among the hills,"* no 
one knew exactly where; nor was the 
point of much importance until it became 
necessary to acquaint him of the massacres 
of Meerut and Delhi, and of the rapidity 
with which the Bengal array " was relieving 
itself of the benefit of his command."! 

It appears that the Umballah regiments 
were with difficulty restrained from follow- 
ing out the course taken at Meerut. No 
official account has been published of the 
Umballah emeute ; but private letters show 
that the authorities acted with consider- 
able energy and discretion. An officer of 
the Lancers, writing on the 14th, gives the 
following description of the scenes in which 
he took part. 

"Last Sunday, after we had returned from church 
and just finished our breakfast, at about 10 A.M., 
the alarm sounded for the regiment to turn out. 
The men were lying in the barracks undressed, and 
most of them asleep; but in an almost incredibly 
short time they were all on parade, mounted, and 
fully equipped ; the artillery were ready nearly as 
soon. When on the parade-ground, we found that 
the 60th Native infantry had mutinied, and turned 
out with their arms ; but we could not go down, 
because they had their officers prisoners, and threat- 
ened to shoot them if we came down ; but that if 
we did not they would return quietly. If our men 
had had the chance to go in at them, they would 
have made short work of them, they are so enraged 
at having had so much night-work lately, in con- 
sequence of the fires, which are all attributed to the 
sepoys. They (i.e., our men) only get about two 
nights a-week in bed. At twelve o'clock (noon) 
we were turned out again in consequence of the 
6th Native infantry having turned out; but we 
were again disappointed. They appeared to think 
us too attentive, and returned to their barracks. 
For the last two nights the wives of married officers 
are sent down to the canteen for better security. 
An officer remains at the Mainguard all night, and 
an artillery officer with the guns, which are loaded ; 
and ammunition is served out every hour. Two 
patrols go out every hour ; and all is alert. Yester- 
day (May 13th), three companies of the 75th (H.M.) 
marched up from Kussowlee. They started at noon 

• Mead's Sejyoy Revolt, p. 73. 
t The Bengal 3Iutiny. Blackwood's Edinburgh 
Magazine, 1858 ; p. 387. 

X Times, September 18th, 1857. 
VOL. II. 2 A 



on Tuesday, and arrived at about 2 p.m. on 
"Wednesday. The distance is forty-eight miles — a 
wonderful march under an Indian sun, when the 
thermometer was 92° to 94° in the shade : there was 
not a single straggler." 

A young civilian, attached to the Punjab 
district, who also witnessed the incipient 
mutiny at Umballah, and claims to have 
been the first to convey the tidings of the 
general revolt to the commander-in-chief, 
thus narrates what he saw and did : — 

" On Monday we received the painful news of 
what was going on at Delhi. It was heartrending 
to know that our countrymen and countrywomen 
were actually being murdered at the very moment 
we received the intelligence. The news came in by 
electric telegraph. • • • Towards afternoon we 
received another message, mentioning the names of 
some of the unfortunates. 

" On Tuesday came the news from Meerut, which 
took longer in coming, as it had to come by post 
instead of telegraph. But it was not a quiet night 
that we passed at Umballah. We had intelligence, 
which, thank God, turned out to be false, that on 
this night all the natives were to rise. Though 
three miles from cantonments, we were best off at 
the civil lines, as we had only our treasury guard of 
about fifty men of the 5th Native infantry to dread, 
while we had 200 faithful Sikhs to back us up. We 
patrolled the city all night, and the people in the 
cantonments kept a sharp look-out. AH was quiet. 
But it seemed to us, in our excitement, a quiet of ill 
omen. 

" On Monday, the commander-in-chief, who was 
up at Simla, about ninety miles from] Umballah, 
was written to, to send down troops at once from 
the hills, where three regiments of Europeans are 
stationed. 

" On Tuesday, the first of the Delhi fugitives 
came creeping in ; and on Wednesday evening there 
came a letter from a small band of miserables, who 
were collected at Kurnaul (eighty miles from Delhi, 
whence they had escaped), asking for aid. This 
letter, and another calling for immediate assistance 
in Europeans, I volunteered to take up to the com- 
mander-in-chief at Simla, and, after a hot ride 
through the heat of the day, and the best part of 
the night, I reached the commander-in-chief at 
about half-past four in the morning of Thursday. 
I turned him out of bed ; they held a council of war, 
and at half-past ten, we were all riding back again. 
On reaching the foot of the hills, I was knocked 
up — the sun, and want of sleep for two nights, added 
to a ride of 130 miles, having been too much for me. 
By this time the last European had left the hills, 
and on Sunday morning all were cantoned in 
Umballah. I reached Umballah myself on Satur- 
day."| 

The first telegram referred to in the 
above letter, has been given in the preceding 
chapter ; the second is undated, and appears 
to have been sent by the members of the 
telegraph establishment on their private 
responsibility, just before taking flight. 
Second (or third J Telegram fmm Delhi (Ma;/ 1 1//<). 
"We must leave office. All the bungalows are 



178 



GENERAL ANSON'S RECANTATION— MAY 14th, 1857. 



burning down by the sepoys from Meerut. They 

came in this morning — we are ofiF — dont 

"To-diiy Mr. C. Todd is dead, I think. He 
went out this mornin};, and has not returned yet. 
We heard that nine Europeans were killed. Good- 
bye." 

This intelligence was promptly conveyed 
from the Umbfillah ofiSce to the neighbour- 
ing station iit Dehra, and was sent on from 
thence by Major-general Sir Henry Bar- 
nard, the officer in command of the Sirhind 
division, to the adjutant-general at Simla, 
vith the following comment thereon : — 

" As Delhi has a large magazine, and only 
Native troops in cantonments there, the in- 
telligence may be of importance. * * * 
Philloor, also, with a large magazine, has 
only Native troops, who have been in a state 
of disorganisation. As it is possible this 
may be a combined movement, I have sent 
private despatches to the officers in com- 
mand in the hills, to hold their men ready 
(quietly) to move at the shortest notice. I 
have also sent on to Jullundur and Philloor; 
and should the officer in command at Phil- 
loor be under any apprehension, I have 
authorised him to apply to Jullundur by 
telegraph for assistance. * "^ * It may 
be possible that the message is greatly ex- 
aggerated ; but coming at the present crisis, 
and from the authority of Europeans at- 
tached to the telegraph, I have deemed 
precaution desirable, and that his excel- 
lency should be made acquainted with the 
circumstances without delay. I send by 
my aide-de-camp, Captain Barnard.^'* 

Whether Captain Barnard or the young 
civilian had the honour of first communi- 
cating the above intelligence to General 
Anson, does not appear ; but the adjutant- 
general (Colonel Chester), on the 14th of 
May, forwarded it to the secretary to the 
government at Calcutta, with a very brief 
notice of the state of affairs at Umballah, 
and the measures initiated by the com- 
mander-in-chief. 

After recapitulating the Meerut and 
Delhi intelligence. Colonel Chester adds — 

" Circumstances have also taken place at Umbal- 
lah which render it impossible to rely on the perfect 
fidelity of the 5th and 60th regiments of N. I. His 
excellency, therefore, has made the following ar- 
rangements to meet the existing state of affairs : — 

"The 75th foot marched yesterday from Kus- 
sowlee for Umballah, which place they will reach 

• Further Papers on the Mutiny (No. 3), p. 6. 

t Ibid., p. 5. 

X Mead's Sepoy Revolt, p. 73. This assertion is 
partially corroborated by a telegram dated " Cal. 
culta, May 26th, 1857," in which the Supreme gov^ 



to-morrow morning. The 1st European fusiliers 
from Dugshaie have been ordered to follow the 
75th foot with all practicable expedition. The 2nd 
European fusiliers are held in readiness to move at 
the shortest notice. The Sirmoor battalion has been 
ordered from Dehra to Meerut. Two companies 
of the 8th foot from Jullundur have been ordered to 
proceed from Lahore to Govindghur. The officer 
commanding at Ferozepoor has been ordered to 
place a detachment of European troops in charge of 
the magazine. 

" General Anson, I am to add, is anxiously look- 
ing for further intelligence, which will enable him 
to decide on the advisability of his at once moving 
down to Umballah. "t 

The above despatch took a long time in 
reaching its destination; for it is asserted 
that, for three weeks after the Meerut 
mutiny, no direct intelligence of the move- 
ments of the commander-in-chief was re- 
ceived at Calcutta. J Before those three 
weeks had elapsed. General Ansan was 
dead. The interval preceding his demise 
must have been one of intense mental 
suffering. His fatal misconception of the 
temper of the Bengal array, ceased just at 
the moment when the policy founded on it 
was in full bearing. Sir John Lawrence, § 
and Lieutenant-governor Colvin, addressed 
such cogent arguments to him on the sub- 
ject, warning him that the irregulars would 
follow the example of the regular corps, 
that the commander-in-chief followed ap 
the proclamation issued by him on the 
14th of May (withdrawing the cartridges), 
with another and far stronger one ; in 
which, after expressing his hope that the 
former order would have calmed the pre- 
vailing excitement, he confesses his mis- 
take. The general order of the 19th con- 
tains the following singular admissions : — 

" He [General Anson] still perceives 
that the very name of the new cartridges 
causes agitation; and he has been in- 
formed, that some of those sepoys who 
entertain the strongest attachment and 
loyalty to government, and are ready at 
any moment to obey its orders, would still 
be apprehensive that their families would 
not believe that they were not in some M'ay 
or other contaminated by its use. * * * 
His excellency, therefore, has determined 
that the new cartridge shall be discon- 
tinued. He announces this to the Native 
army, in the full confidence that all Avill 

ernment asks, whether, " notwithstanding the failure 
of the dawk and telegraph, some means might not be 
devised of communicating with the commander-in- 
chief" — Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutiny, p. 320. 
§ Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutiny, p. 373. 



GENERAL ANSON DIES AT KURNAUL— MAY 27th, 1857. 179 



now perform their duty free from anxiety 
and care, and be prepared to stand and 
shed the last drop of their blood, as they 
have formerly done, by the side of the 
British troops, and in defence of their 
country/' 

This climax is simply absurd : the con- 
test now unhappily commenced had none 
of the elements of defensive warfare in 
it, but involved the most revolting attri- 
butes of civil strife. Mohammedans and 
Hindoos, if true to their salt, were called 
on to fight, in support of Christian supre- 
macy, against their co-religionists — it might 
be, against their own relatives. The gen- 
eral order, however, need not be discussed : 
before it could be promulgated, the process 
of dissolution of the Bengal army was well- 
nigh complete — the vitality, the coherence, 
quite extinct. 

General Anson, grievously as he had 
erred, was both brave and energetic. His 
energy and his ignorance, together with his 
utter inexperience in military life, had com- 
bined in producing the present state of 
aflFairs. His fatal innovations were such 
as Generals Hewitt and Wilson would 
not have attempted ; but had he been at 
Meerut on the 10th, the mutineers would 
probably never have reached Delhi : as it 
was, he no sooner learned the fate of the 
city, than he earnestly desired to press for- 
ward for its immediate recapture. He 
reached Umballah on the 15th of May. A 
council of war was held, composed of five 
members, none of whom lived to see the 
capture of Delhi. Generals Anson and 
Barnard, Brigadier Halifax, and Colonel 
Mowatt, died of cholera ; Colonel Chester, 
the adjutant, was killed in action. Anson 
proposed to march on to Delhi at once, 
without waiting for reinforcements. " The 
guns might follow, he thought ; but it was 
pointed out to him that there was no com- 
missariat, no camels, not a day's allowance 
of provisions for troops in the field ;" and, 
to crown the whole, not a single medicine- 
chest available. 

" We cannot move at present," General 
Anson himself says, in an undated tele- 
gram addressed to the governor-general, 

* Neither the date of the despatch nor of the 
receipt of this telegram is given in the Appendix to 
Pari. Papers on Mutiny, p. 372. 

t Despatch to Major-general Hewitt. — Further 
Papers (No. 3), pp. 19, 20. 

X Times, 25th September, 1857. It is worthy of 
remark, that on the 26th ult., the day previous to 
General Anson's death, and again on the following 



" for want of tents and carriage ; it wotild 
destroy Europeans to march without both, 
and we have no men to spare. I see the 
risk of going to Delhi with such small 
means as we have — perhaps 2,500 Euro- 
peans ; for should they suffer any loss, it 
would be serious, having nothing more to 
depend upon in the North- West Provinces ; 
but it must be done."* 

On the 23rd, he writes from Umballah, 
that he proposes advancing towards Delhi 
from Kurnaul on the 1st of June, and hopes 
to be joined by reinforcements (including 
120 artillerymen, to work the small siege- 
train already on the road from Loodiana) 
from Meerut, under General Hewitt, at 
Bhagput on the 5th. He adds — " It is 
reported here that a detachment of the 
mutineers, with two guns, are posted on 
the Meerut side of the river. They should 
be captured, and no mercy must be shown 
to the mutineers."t 

At half-past two on the morning of the 
27th, General Anson died of cholera at 
Kurnaul, J a few hours after his first 
seizure, and was buried that same evening 
at sunset. One of the Delhi fugitives who 
was at Kurnaul at the time, says, " I do 
not know why it was, but he was laid 
in his grave without a military honour." 
Lieutenant-governor Colvin, in the telegram 
reporting this intelligence to the Supreme 
government, mentions that a copy of the 
order withdrawing all new cartridges came 
by the same express. Mr. Colvin adds — 
" The issue of an immediate nomination to 
the command-in-chief of the army proceed- 
ing fast on Delhi, under General Anson's 
orders, is solicited. Indian ability and ex- 
perience will be very valuable ; but time is 
before all ; every hour is precious."§ 

The government announcement of the 
death of the commander-in-chief, declares 
that, " in General Anson, the army has lost 
a commander than whom none was ever more 
earnest and indefatigable in labouring to 
improve the condition, extend the comforts, 
and increase the efficiency of every branch 
of the service committed to his charge." || 

An official notice of the death of a leading 
personage generally follows the rule of 

day, when the event took place, there was a report 
in the bazaars here that the general had died either 
by assassination or a stroke of the sun, according to 
different accounts. The notion had taken a strong 
hold of the natives, and was generally entertained by 
them. — Bengal Hurkaru, June 5th. 

§ Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutiny, p. 363. 

II Gen. Order, 5th June, 1857.— London Gazette. 



18u 



ANTECEDENTS OF GENERAL ANSON. 



tombstone inscriptions, and describes " not 
what he was, but what he should have been." 
Yet the praise, so far as tlie European 
branch of the service is concerned, was pro- 
bably not undeserved ; for, in reviewing the 
various regiments, he is described by the 
officers as having been keenly alive to their 
discipline; and even as giving the example 
of diligent application to the study of native 
languages — a mark of no small energy in a 
man who was some fifty-five years of age 
when he first set foot in India. Whatever 
progress he made in the native languages, it 
is certain he manifested a most lamentable 
ignorance of the native character ; and there 
were probably few men in India in May, 
1857, who, however well they individually 
liked the commander-in-chief, did not agree 
with Major-general Tucker, that " both the 
results of his (General Anson^s) command 
and his antecedents, are in proof that a vast 
weight of responsibility rests upon those 
who appointed to this important command 
a general so utterly inexperienced in practi- 
cal military affairs. * * * I venture 
to say/' Major-general Tucker adds, " it 
will be found, on inquiry, that he was quite 
unequal to the occasion ; and painful as it 
is to point to the weakness of one who 
was talented, amiable, and gentlemanly, it 
is yet due to the country, and to those 
whose sons and daughters, and kith and 
kin, are being sacrificed in India, to expose 
the favouritism which in high places has led 
to many such appointments."* 

Major-general Tucker writes, it miist be 
recollected, as one whose past position under 
General Anson, as adjutant-general, entitles 
his opinion to consideration. The Indian 
correspondence of the period confirms his 
observations; but gives further, and certainly 
exaggerated, views of the late commander-in- 
chief's notorious unfitness. One writer, 
apparently an Indian official of a certain 
rank, asserts — " General Anson's death 
saved him from assassination. He was 
hated by the troops, and they burnt his 
tents. He was quite unfitted for his post. 
Horses and gaming appear to have been 
his pursuits ; and, as a gentleman said, * No 
court pet flunky ought to come to India.' 
Every one gave a sigh of relief when they 
heard he was gone. Pat Grant is come 
over from Madras, to head the army till 
orders come from England. Henry Law- 
rence (also a brigadier-general) has been 

* Letter of Major-general Tucker to the editor of 
the Times, July 19th, 1857. 



named for the appointment, but he cannot 
be spared from Oude."t 

The term "court pet flunky" is not 
fairly applicable to the officer in question; 
but it is quoted here because expressions 
such as these, emanating from one of the 
masters of India, exercise an influence in the 
native mind, the effect of which can hardly 
be over-estimated. Englishmen at the din- 
ner-table are not famed for diplomatic re- 
serve: it follows that, through the servants in 
attendance (as well as in many other ways), 
the quick-witted natives are euabled to form 
a pretty clear notion of the views of the 
sahib logue (literally master-people) regard- 
ing their chief functionaries. Thus we 
know, on the authority of Mr. Raikes, that 
in February, 1857, a native journal had the 
audacity to declare — " Now is the time for 
India to rise, with a governor-general who 
has had no experience of public affairs in 
this country, and a commander-in-chief who 
has had no experience of war in any 
country.":!: 

This is nearly correct. General Anson 
(son of the first Viscount Anson, and brother 
of the first Earl of Lichfield) had been a 
commissioned officer in the 3rd or Scots, 
fusilier guards, with which regiment he 
served at the battle of Waterloo, in the 
baggage guard, being then eighteen years of 
age. Ten years later he was placed on half 
pay as a lieutenant-colonel by brevet. 

The Times describes his election to parlia- 
ment, as member for Great Yarmouth, in 
1818, and his acceptance of the Chiltern 
Hundreds in 1853, on his departure for 
Madras. The local rank of general was 
conferred on him in 1855 ; and in December, 
1856, he was nominated to the colonelcy of 
the 55th regiment of foot. His occupation 
as Clerk of the Ordnance (from 1846 to 
1852) has been already adverted to ; and he 
had previously filled the office of principal 
Storekeeper of the Ordnance, under the 
administration of Viscount Melbourne. 
" He was by hereditary descent, and by 
personal conviction, a liberal in politics, 
and invariably sided with the whig leaders." 
This sentence probably explains why her 
majesty's ministers considered Colonel 
Anson eligible for one of the most lucrative 
appointments in their gift, despite the mani- 
fest impropriety of confiding the charge of 
a large army to an officer who had never 
commanded a regiment ; and the conclud- 

t Daily News, August 3th, 1857. 
X Raikes, p. 173. 



INCOMPETENCY OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. 



181 



ing statement of the obituary, that Colonel 
Anson " was a zealous patron of the turf,"* 
shows why the far-away appointment was 
eligible to a most popular man about 
town. Only, had Sir Charles Napier's 
words been deemed worth attention, the 
government would have felt that a character 
of an altogether different type was needed 
to influence, by precept and example, Euro- 
pean officers in India, where gentlemanly 
vices (and especially gaming, and the plea- 
sures of the table) are peculiarly seductive, 
as enlivening the monotony of military 
routine, in a most enervating climate, during 
a period of profound peace. As to the 
Native army, it is the less to be wondered 
at that utter inexperience was not deemed 
a disqualification for its command ; because 
the authorities, if they thought of it at all, 
viewed it as a huge, clumsy, old-fashioned, 
but very safe machine, not quite fitted 
for the requirements of the times, but alto- 
gether too great an affair to be meddled 
with by persons entrusted with political 
powers of certainly very precarious, and 
possibly ephemeral, existence. 

So the army was supplemented with 
" irregular'' corps, which in many points re- 
sembled what the old regiments had been in, 
and long after, the days of Clive. These addi- 
tions complicated the working of the original 
machine, the constructors of which had long 
ago died, and, it would seem, their plans 
with them ; for when the whole concern was 
suddenly found to be dropping in pieces, the 
chief engineer proved utterly incapable of 
pointing out, much less of counteracting, 
the cause of the mischief. 

The Friend of India, the best known 
of Indian journals, in a leader published on 

• Times, July 14th, 1857. 

t In the year 1857, the Times, in alluding to the 
manner in which this sum had been diverted from 
its original destination, remarked — " Wc should be 
glad if the widows and families of those persons 
•who have distinguished themselves in war, in diplo- 
macy, or in administration, could be provided for 
from some other fund ; for certainly the sum of 
£1,200 a-year is no great amount for such a coun- 
try as England to expend upon the relief of science 
and literature in distress." To the widow of Mr. 
Gilbert A'Beckett a pension of £100 per annum 
was allotted, " in consideration of the literary merits 
of her husband, also of the eminent public services 
rendered by him in his capacity of a police magis- 
trate in the metropolis, and of the destitute circum- 
stances in which his widow and their children 
are now placed." — {Times, July 9th, 1857). In this 
case, it would appear that a conjunction of reasons 
are deemed necessary to justify the pension of a 
single hundred a-year to the widow of a distin- 
guished litterateur. A pension of £70 to the widow 



the 14th of May, 1857 (while General 
Anson was yet alive), says — 

" An army has often been likened to a machine; and 
we wish the comparison were thoroughly accepted. 
When your engine goes wrong, it is found needful 
to have at hand a man who understands every portion 
of it. Being able to place his hand on the defective 
spot, he knows exactly what is required in the way of 
reparation, and how to set about the work. But we 
never, except by chance, have a capable engineer 
in the person of the exalted official who has to 
guide the vast and powerful mechanism that holds 
the soil and collects the revenues of India. It is 
hard to divine in most cases the cause of his appoint- 
ment — harder still to justify the fact of it. It is a 
miserablfe thing to say that the state gains by the 
idleness of a commander-in-chief; and yet, in most 
cases, all ranks of the community would join in 
wishing that he would fold his hands, and only open 
them to clutch what ought to be the recompense of 
zeal, intellect, and energy." 

It is asserted, that immediately before 
his seizure, General Anson, finding that bis 
utter inexperience in warfare disqualified 
him for conducting the attack on Delhi, had 
formally communicated to General Barnard, 
through the adjutant-general, the intention 
to resign the command of the army. 

One other circumstance remains to be 
noticed, in illustration of the ill-advised 
" favouritism'^ which Major-general Tucker 
denounces as exercising so baneful an influ- 
ence in India. About the same time, when 
the " good-service pension" of £100 a-year 
was meted out to the gallant Havelock, 
an intimation appeared that the widow of 
General Anson had, in addition to the pen- 
sion on account of her late husband's rank 
in the service, been granted a stipend of 
£200 a-year out of the annual sum of £1,200 
granted by parliament, and known as the 
"Literary Fund."t 

of Hugh Millar, is likewise accorded on the double 
ground of his eminent literary services and her 
poverty. In 1858, a pension of £100 per annum was 
allotted from the same fund to the widow of Douglas 
Jerrold ; £50 per annum to each of the two Miss Lan- 
ders, "in consideration of the eminent services of their 
father, the late Mr. John Lander, who died from the 
effects of the climate while exploring the river Niger, 
and of the straitened circumstances in which they are 
placed at his decease;" £40 per annum to the 
daughter of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd ; and 
£50 to the aged widow of the late Dr. Dick, the 
author of the Christian Philosopher and other admi- 
rable works, " in consideration of the merits of her 
late husband as a moral and theological writer, and 
of the straitened circumstances in which she is now 
placed." Then follows— £200 per annum to the 
Hon. Isabella Elizabeth Annabella Anson, in con- 
sideration of the services of her husband, the late 
General the Hon. George Anson ; and £200 
per annum to Dame Isabella Letitia Barnard, in 
consideration of the services of her husband, the 



182 



MUTINOUS OUTBREAK AT MEERUT. 



It seems to be an inevitable necessity 
that, save in some rare cases, the rank of 
those who serve, rather than the value of 
the service rendered, is to be the rule of 
the reward. The East India Company have 
been accused of carrying this principle to an 
extreme, by their rigid adherence to the 
seniority system ; but it would be hard to 
bring against them any more direct in- 
stance (so far as the Europeans are con- 
cerned) of robbing poor Peter to pay rich 
Paul than that above noticed. 

The Indian crisis, however, for the mo- 
ment, laid favouritism, patronage, and seni- 
ority together on the shelf, and the ques- 
tion was earnestly and eagerly discussed, 
"Who is the fittest man to command the 
forces?" The emergency was far greater than 
that which had previously issued in the 
sending out of General Napier ; but the 
result was partially the same ; for as the war 
was ended before Sir Charles reached the 
scene of action, so, in 1857, the news of the 
recapture of Delhi greeted Sir Colin Camp- 
bell on his arrival at Calcutta. The predic- 
tion of Lieutenant-governor Colvin had, in 
fact, been fulfilled — " John Lawrence and 
his Sikhs had saved India.'^* 

Pending the decision of the Calcutta gov- 
ernment regarding the vacant position of 
commander-in-chief, the command devolved 
on Major-general Barnard, who was himself 
summoned, by a telegraph, from a sick bed 
to receive the last instructions of General 
Anson regarding the intended march on 
Delhi. New delays are said to have arisen, 
in consequence of the detention of Brigadier 
Archdale Wilson, and the reinforcements 
expected from Meerut, by the orders of Mr. 
Greathed ; so that General Barnard, disap- 
pointed of the artillery and gunners which 
were to have joined the Delhi column ac- 
cording to General Anson's arrangements, 
was compelled to send elephants to Meerut 
to bring on the troops from thence.f The 
authorities at that unfortunate cantonment 
had not yet recovered from the paralytic 
panic which had seized them on the 10th. 
In fact, they had had a new shock; for a fresh 
mutiny had broken out among a body of 600 
Native sappers and miners, who had been sent 

late Major-general Sir H, W. Barnard, K.C.B. 
{Times, July 28th, 1858). In the two last-named 
cases, the allusion to •' straitened circumstances" is 
omitted. Yet it is the only conceivable excuse 
for placing these two ladies on the Literary Fund. 
In the case of Mrs. Dick and others, it would 
surely have been more gracious to have accorded 
their slender pittances as a token of public respect 



in from Roorkee to repair and strengthen 
the Meerut station. They arrived on the 
15th of May. On the 16th about 400 of 
them rose in a body, and after murdering 
their commandant (Captain Eraser), they 
made off towards Delhi, but being pursued by 
two squadrons of the carabineers, were over- 
taken about six miles oflF, and forty-seven of 
them slain. The remainder continued their 
flight. One of the carabineers was killed, 
and two or three wounded, including Colonel 
Hogge, an active and energetic oflScer, who 
led the pursuit, and received a ball in his 
thigh, which unfortunately laid him up at a 
time when his services could be ill-spared. 
The remaining two companies were disarmed, 
and continued perfectly quiet. 

Two days later, a sapper detachment, 
about 300 strong, mutinied at Roorkee. A 
company had been detached to join the 
commander-in-chief's column, and had got 
half-way to Seharunpore, when tidings 
reached it of the collision at Meerut, in 
which Captain Eraser lost his life. It would 
advance no farther, but marched back to 
the cantonment at Roorkee, bringing the 
European officers, and treating them per- 
sonally with respect. When the men re- 
turned. Lieutenants Drummond, Bingham, 
and Fulford, had already left cantonments 
at the earnest request of the Native officers, 
and had been escorted to the college by 
them ; and a body of old sepoys resolutely 
resisted the attempts of a small party among 
the men, who urged the massacre of the 

Europeans.^ 

On the 13th, intelligence reached Meerut 
that Sirdhana, formerly the chief place of 
the Begum Sumroo's jaghire, had been de- 
vastated by the villagers, and that the nuns 
and children of the convent there were 
actually in a state of siege. The postmaster 
at Meerut, having female relations at Sird- 
hana, asked for a small escort to go to their 
relief. The authorities replied, that not a 
single European soldier could be spared 
from the station, but that four Native 
troopers would be allowed to accompany 
him. Even these he could not get ; but he 
armed three or four of his office people, 
started off at half-past four on the Thursday 

to the merits of the departed, and not as a charitable 
dole, their claim to which needed to be eked out by 
poverty. 

* Raikes' HevoU in the N. W. Provinces. 

t See Memoir of General Barnard's Services ; by 
a near connexion. — Times, December 25th, 1857. 

X Bombay correspondent : Daily News, July 15th, 
1867. 



OUTBREAK OF THE MUTINY AT FEROZPOOR. 



183 



evening, and returned a little after seven, 
with five females and girls. The nuns 
would not abandon the children, but had 
entreated him to try aud send them some 
help. The Rev. Mr. Smythe, who was at 
Meerut at the time, says — " The postmaster 
tried all he could to get a guard to escort 
them to this station, but did not succeed ; 
and yesterday morning (the 15th), having 
given up the idea of procuring a guard from 
the military authorities, he went round, and 
by speaking to some gentlemen, got about 
fifteen persons to volunteer their services to 
go and rescue the poor nuns and children 
from Sirdhana; and, I am happy to say, they 
succeeded in their charitable errand without 
any one having been injured."* 

The authorities subsequently took care to 
publish the rescue of the defenceless women 
and children, but were discreetly silent 
as to the individual gallantry by which it 
had been accomplished. Neither did they 
mention an ofi'er made, according to the 
Rev. Mr. Rotton, on the evening of the 
mutiny, by an ofiBcer of the carabineers, 
to pursue the fugitives, but " declined by the 
general commanding the Meerut division.^f 

Mr. Raikes also, in describing the course 
of events at Agra, records " the indignation 
with which, on Thursday evening, we learned 
that the mutineers, after firing the station, 
murdering our countrymen, women, and 
children, and breaking the gaol, had been 
permitted to retire quietly on Delhi, taking 
their barbers, water-carriers, bag and bag- 
gage, just as if they had been on an ordinary 
march :" and adds, " I now know that Major 
Rosser, of H.M.'s 6th carabineers, asked 
permission to follow them with cavalry aud 
guns. If he had been allowed to do so, it 
is quite possible, and indeed probable, that 
the mutiny, for the present at least, might 
have been crushed. •''J The Calcutta govern- 
ment were not insensible of the supineness 
indulged in at Meerut; for the governor- 

• Letters of Rev. Mr. Smythe, dated 16th and 
17th May, 1857. 

t The Chaplain's Narrative of the Siege of Delhi, 
p. 7. Mr. Rotton (whose book is far more moderate 
in tone than might have been expected from the ex- 
tract from his sermon given in Colonel Smythe's Nar- 
rative, and quoted at p. 154) says, that "in truth, 
our military authorities were paralysed. No one 
knew what was best to do, and nothing accordingly 
was done. The rebels had it all their own way." 
Mr Rotton also adverts to the " one thing which 
impressed every one — the delay in leading the troops 
from the grand parade-ground to the scene of mutiny 
and bloodshed. The native soldiery, and the fellows 
of baser sort in the bazaars, had ample time to com- 



general in council, in a telegram dated June 
1st, 1857, entreated ^Ir. Colvin to endeavour 
" to keep up communication with the south;" 
adding, " this, like everything else, has been 
culpably neglected at Meerut." § 

Ferozpoor. — The next outbreak after that 
at Delhi, occurred at Ferozpoor, an im- 
portant city, which long formed our fron- 
tier station in the north-west, and which, 
in May, 1857, contained au intrenched 
magazine of the largest class, filled with 
military stores scarcely inferior in amount 
to those in the arsenal of Fort William. 
Ferozpoor commands one high road from 
Lahore to Delhi, as Umritsir does the other. 

The troops stationed there consisted of 
H.M.'s 61st foot, about 1,000 strong; two 
companies of artillery, composed of a nearly 
equal number of European Sj about 300 in 
all ; the 10th Native light cavalry, under 
500 men; and the 45th and 57th Native 
infantry. Brigadier Innes|| assumed the 
command at Ferozpoor on the 11th of 
May ; on the 12th, he learned the events 
which had occurred at Meerut ; and, on the 
following morning, he ordered a general 
parade, with the view of ascertaining the 
temper of the troops ; which, on reviewing 
them, he thought ** haughty." At noon, 
information arrived of the occupation of 
Delhi (seventy-three miles distant) by the 
rebels. The intrenchments were at this 
time held by a company of the 57th Native 
infantry ; but a detachment of H.M.'s 61st, 
under Major Redmond, was immediately 
dispatched thither. The brigadier likewise 
resolved " to move the Native troops out of 
cantonments;" and the European artillery, 
with twelve guns, was ordered down, "to 
overawe or destroy the two Native corps" — 
that is, of infantry ; the cavalry being con- 
sidered perfectly reliable, and entrusted with 
the care of the new arsenal, its magazine, 
and contents. The preliminary arrange- 
ments were completed by five o'clock; and 

mit the greatest outrages in consequence of this 
simple fact." — (p. 4.) It is, however, alleged that 
General Hewitt cannot justly be held responsible 
for this tardiness, because although he was general 
of the Meerut division, Brigadier Wilson was in 
command of the station ; and it is urged, that of the 
proceedings of the latter officer during the memo- 
rable night of the outbreak, not one word, good, 
bad, or indifferent, is on record. 

X Revolt in the N.W. Provinces, p. 13. 

§ Appendix to Papers on Mutiny, p. 355. 

II Printed " James" in Further Papers on Mutiny 
(No. 3, p. 8), by one of the unaccountable blunders 
with which the Indian and Colonial Blue Books 
abound. 



184 



BRIGADIER INNES' CONDUCT AT FEROZPOOR. 



the Native troops being assembled on the 
parade-ground at that hour, the brigadier 
formed them up in quarter-distance co- 
lumns, addressed them, and ordered the two 
regiments to move oflF in contrary directions. 
Both obeyed without hesitation; but the 
road the 45th were directed to take to 
the place where they were to encamp, lay 
close to the intrenched camp ; on reaching 
which, the men broke into open mutiny, 
loaded their muskets, and, heedless of the 
entreaties of their officers, ran to the north- 
west bastion of the magazine, and stood 
still, apparently hesitating what to do 
next. At this moment, scaling-ladders 
were thrown out to them by the company 
of the 57th, who had been left there to 
avoid raising the suspicions of their com- 
rades before the parade. The 45th com- 
menced climbing the parapet; and some 
300 of them having succeeded in making 
their way over, attacked a company of the 
6lst, which was hurriedly drawn up to 
receive them. Major Redmond was wounded 
in repulsing the mutineers, who made a 
second attempt; but, being again defeated, 
broke up, and dispersed themselves through 
the bazaars and cantonments. A body of 
about 150 men continued to obey Colonel 
Liptrap and their other officers, and en- 
camped in the place pointed out to them ; 
the rest were deaf to threats and entreaties. 
Instead of acting on the offensive, and im- 
mediately following the mutineers, Brigadier 
Innes, according to his report, assumed an 
exclusively defensive attitude. He desired 
the Europeans to leave the cantonments, 
and come into the barracks; and suffered 
a portion of H.M.'s 61st to remain in their 
lines, while the mutineers, having carried 
their dead to the Mohammedan burying- 
ground, returned in small bodies to the can- 
tonments, and burned the church, Roman 
Catholic chapel, two vacant hospitals, the 
mess-house of the 61st, and sixteen bunga- 
lows. Two merchants (Messrs. Coates and 
Hughes) positively refused to abandon 
their houses, and, collecting their servants, 
successfully defended themselves ; Mr. 
Hughes' son, a mere boy, shooting one of the 
assailants. The fact of there being " 20,000 
barrels of gunpowder in the arsenal"* to 
care for, is alleged in excuse for the sacri- 
fice of the buildings. The next measure 

* Cooper's Crisis in the Punjab, p. 13, 
t Brigadier Innes' despatch, May 16th, 1857. — 
Further Pari. Papers (No. 3), p. 7. 
\ Crisis in the Punjab, p. 13. 



was still more extraordinary. Brigadier 
Innes states — 

" On hearing from Colonel Liptrap that the 45th 
intended to seize their magazine on the morning of 
the 14th, I determined to blow up the magazines 
both of the 45th and 57th. • • • The blowing 
up of the magazines so enraged the 45th, that they 
immediately seized their colours, and marched off 
towards Furreed Kote. On Colonel Liptrap re- 
porting this, I desired him to march in with those 
that stood faithful, and lay down their arms to the 
61st; 133 of all ranks did so. Three troops of 
the 10th light cavalry, under Majors Beatson and 
Harvey, aiid two guns, I sent in pursuit of the 
mutineers. 

"Major Marsden, deputy-commissioner, having 
volunteered his services, and from his knowledge of 
the country, I entrusted to him the command of the 
whole. He followed them for about twelve miles. 
They dispersed in all directions, throwing away 
their arms and colours into wells and other places. 
A few were made prisoners, and the country-people 
have since brought in several. 

" The above occurrences took place on the 14th. 
In the early part of the day, I acquainted Colonel 
Darvall that I would receive such men of his regi- 
ment as would come in and lay down their arms : 
the light company, under Captain Salmon, and 
owing to his exertions, almost to a man did so. 
On laying down their arms, I permitted them to 
return to their lines. It was immediately reported 
that stragglers from the 45th had entered their 
lines and threatened them, on which a company of 
the 61st cleared their lines. Unfortunately, the 
57th, seeing European troops in their lines, believed 
that their light company were being made prisoners, 
which caused a panic in the 57th, and prevented 
their coming in to lay down their arms, which 
Colonel Darvall reported they intended to have 
done. On regaining confidence, several parties came 
in under their officers ; and in the evening Colonel 

Darvall brought in of all ranks, with his colours, 

and I required them to lay down their arms, which 
they did without hesitation, but with a haughty air. 

" I am unable to furnish present states, but I 
believe that, of the 57th, about 520 men are present, 
and about half that number of the 45th. 

" It is gratifying to state that the 25th Native light 
cavalry have remained staunch, and have done good 
service. The greatest credit is due to Major M'Don- 
nell and his officers for keeping his regiment together, 
for this corps must have the same ideas as the other 
portions of the Native army. • • • The lOlh 
cavalry are constantly in the saddle." f 

Such is the account given, by the leading 
authority, of an affair which occasioned his 
" summary removal from the list of briga- 
diers," and materially strengthened the 
rebel cause. 

Mr. Cooper remarks that, ''on the 28th 
of May, the remainder of the 45th were 
turned ingloriously out of cantonments, 
and escorted to the boundaries of the dis- 
trict. They probably combated with no 
diminished acrimony against us at Delhi, 
from having been allowed to reach it alive, 
without money and without food."f 



CHAPTER VI. 



AGRA, ALIGHUR, MYNPOORIE, NEEMUCH, AND NUSSEERABAD.— MAY AND 

JUNE, 1857. 



Agra. — Nowhere could the tidings of the 
rebellion be more calculated to excite alarm 
than in the stately city of Agra — the rival of 
Delhi in the palmy days of the Mogul 
empire, and now the chief place in the 
division of the British dominions known 
as the N. W. Provinces. Agra is situated 
on the banks of the Jumna, 139 miles 
south-east of Delhi. 

The troops in the station consisted of one 
company of artillery (chiefly Europeans), 
H.^AI.'s 3rd foot, the 44th and 67th regi- 
ments of Native infantry, and a detachment 
of irregular cavalry, consisting of thirty-seven 
men, commanded by two Native officers. 
Intelligence of the outbreak at IMeerut was 
published in Agra on the morning of the 
11th of May ; but the newspaper announce- 
ment was accompanied by a remark, on the 
part of the editor, that, "in a station like 
Meerut, with the 6th dragoons, 60th rifles, 
and European artillery, it might be pre- 
sumed that the mutineers had a very short 
race of it."^ It was not until three days 
later that the Europeans at Agra became 
acquainted with the extent of the calamity. 

Lieutenant-governor Colvin was, happily, 
a man of experience and discretion. While 
the cloud was as yet no bigger than a 
man's hand, he recognised the tempe!^t it 
portended ; and, slowly as the intelligence 
reached Agra, he was more ready for the 
worst than some who had had longer warn- 
ing. On the 13th he dispatched a telegram 
to Calcutta, suggesting that " the force re- 
turning from the Persian gulf, or a con- 
siderable portion of it, should be summoned 
in straight to Calcutta, and thence sent up 
the country." On the 14th, he wrote 
urging that martial law should be pro- 
claimed in the Meerut district ; which, as 
we have seen, was done, and necessarily so, 
for our civil and criminal courts, always de- 
tested by the natives, were swept away by 
the first blast of the storm ; and, a few days 
later, Lieutenant-governor Colvin reported 
that, " around Meerut, the state of license 

* MofussuUte {extra); May 11th, 1857. 
t Despatch from Lieutenant-govei-nor Colvin, May 
22nd, 1857. — Appendix to Pari. Papers, p. 311. 

VOL. II. 2 B 



in the villages, caused by the absence of all 
government, spread for about twenty or 
twenty-five miles south, and about the same 
limit, or somewhat more, north. Within 
this belt, unchecked license reigned fi-om 
the Jumna to the Ganges. The absence of 
any light cavalry, or eff'ective means of 
scouring the country in this severely hot 
weather, paralysed the attempts of the 
Meerut force to maintain any regularity or 
order beyond the immediate line of its 
pickets.^t 

The question of holding the various small 
stations scattered throughout the disturbed 
provinces, became early one of anxious 
interest. They could be retained only at 
imminent risk to the handful of Europeans 
who were placed there ; nevertheless, the 
general good could scarcely be more efl"ec- 
tively served, than by each man standing 
to his post at all hazards, sooner than seem 
to fly before the rebels. Every one who 
knew the Asiatic character, concurred in 
this opinion ; and none stated it more 
clearly than Lieutenant-governor Colvin. 
His view of the conduct of the collector 
of Goorgaon — a district, the chief place of 
which (also named Goorgaon) is only eigh- 
teen miles from Delhi — shows how stern a 
sense he had of the duty of even civilians 
under new and trying circumstances. In 
describing the state of aff'airs in the North- 
western Provinces, he writes : — 

"On the evening of the 13th instant [May], Mr. 
Ford, and his assistant, Mr. AV. Clifford, having no 
support beyond their police and a parly of the con- 
tingent of the Jhiijjur horse, whose tone and conduct 
became rapidly menacing, thought that no good 
object would be attained by their staying at Goor- 
gaon. The lieutenant governor regrets the determi- 
nation to quit the station on Mr. Ford's part, because 
he does not doubt that the best mode, especially in 
India, of staying violent outbursts against authority 
of this kind, is to remain at the post to the last, even 
at the direct risk of life. 

"Withdrawal from a post, except under immediate 
attack and irresistible compulsion, at once destroys 
all authority, which, in our civil administration, in 
its strength is respected, if exercised only by a 
Chupprassee ; while in the event of any general 
resistance, accompanied by defection of our military 
force, it has in truth no solid foundation ro rest 
upon : but the lieutenant-governor has not thought 



186 



AGRA AND THE NORTH-WEST PROVINCES— MAY, 1857. 



it necessary on this account, after such alarmingly 
emergent circumstances as had occurred at Delhi, to 
censure Mr. Ford for the course which he adopted. 
" The introduction of general disorder into the 
j villages of the Goorgaon district, soon communicated 
! itself to the northern portion of Muttra ; and the 
isolated customs' patrol officers, whose duties render 
them necessarily unpopular, fell back from their 
posts with their men. This spread further the im- 
pression of a cessation of all government, and was 
having a very injurious effect up to the very walls of 
the im])ortant town of Muttra. 

" This state of things has, however, greatly altered 
for the better by the advance of an efi'ective portion 
' of the Bhurtpoor troops, which has now taken up a 
position on the Muttra and Goorgaon frontier." 

' The Jhujjur and Bhurtpoor troops men- 
' tioiied in the foregoing paragraph, consisted 
partly of a contingent or subsidiary force, 
1 furnished by the chiefs of those territories 
I to the British government, and partly of 
their own immediate retainers, who, being 
, a kind of feudal militia, were perfectly 
trustworthy; v/hereas the former, whether 
contingent or subsidiary, were essentially a 
portion of the Bengal array, drawn from 
the same sources, disciplined in the same 
manner, and officered by Europeans — hav- 
ing in all respects a fellow-feeling with the 
Delhi mutineers. At first, a degree of con- 
fidence was reposed in the fidelity of the 
native contingents, which was neither war- 
ranted by their antecedents, nor supported 
by their subsequent conduct ; for they were 
false to us, in defiance of the strenuous en- 
deavours of the native princes, on whom 
we had forced them under a mistaken view 
of our own interests. Sindia, Holcar, the 
rajah of Bhurtpoor, and other princes, 
never wavered in their opinion of the disaf- 
fection of the subsidiary troops, and gave 
conspicuous and self-sacrificing tokens of 
their personal fidelity, by placing their own 
retainers at the disposal of the British. As 
early as the 14th of May, Colvin received a 
message from Sindia, that his body-guard 
of 400 cavalry, and a battery of horse artil- 
lery, would be ready to start from Gwalior 
for Agra on the following evening. The 
offer was gladly accepted. 

On the 15th, the lieutenant-governor re- 
viewed the troops stationed at Agra, having 
previously ascertained, from undoubted au- 
thority, that a deep and genuine conviction 
had seized the mind of the sepoy army, that 
tile government was steadily bent on causing 
a general forfeiture of caste by the compul- 
sory handling of impure things. Privately, 
and on parade, the men assured the lieute- 
nant-governor, that " all they wanted to be 



certain of," was the non-existence of the 
suspected plot : he therefore addressed the 
Supreme government by telegraph, urging 
the immediate issue of a proclamation con- 
taining a simple and direct assurance that 
no attempt whatever would be made against 
the caste of the Native troops. He added — 
"An inducement, too, is wanted for not 
joining the mutineers, and for leaving 
them. I am in the thick of it, and know 
what is wanted. I earnestly beg this, to 
strengthen me."* 

On the 16th, the governor-general in 
council sent a telegraphic reply, promising 
that the desired proclamation should be 
issued, and encouraging Colvin in the 
course he was pursuing, by the following 
cordial expression of approval : — " I thank 
you sincerely for all you have so admirably 
done, and fur your stout heart."! 

No proclamation, properly so called, ap- 
pears to have been issued; but, according 
to the inaccurate and hasty summary of 
events sent to the Court of Directors from 
Calcutta, "a circular was issued on the 
29th, explaining that none of the new car- 
tridges had been issued toNative regiments." 
This statement was, as has been before 
stated, in complete opposition to that of 
General Anson, who had, some da)'s before, 
formally withdrawn the identical cartridges 
which Lord Canning declared had never 
been issued. To complicate the matter 
still further, the same page of the Calcutta 
intelligence which contains the notice of 
the circular of the Supreme government, 
states, also, as the latest intelligence from 
Umritsir, that " the 59th N. I. do not 
object to the new cartridges."^ 

The position of Colvin was most harass- 
ing. He never received any communica- 
tion whatever from General Anson — the 
regular posts being stopped, and the general 
not fertile in expedients for the conveyance 
or obtainment of intelligence. A council of 
war was held at the Agra government- 
house on the 13th of May : and even at 
this early period, Mr. Raikes describes the 
lieutenant-governor as "exposed to that 
rush of alarm, advice, suggestion, expostula- 
tion, and threat, which went on increasing 
for nearly two months, until he was driven 
nearly broken-hearted into the fort." The 
officers naturally urged advice with especial 
earnestness ou a civil governor, and " every 

•Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutiny, 1857; 
p. 181. 

t Ifjul., p. 193. :t ■^'■"■'^■, p. ''01. 



MR. COLVIN'S PROCLAMATION— AGRA— MAY 25th, 1857. 187 



man was anxious to do his best, but to do it 
his own way."* 

Long experience of native character, how- 
ever, had given Mr. Colvin an insiglit into 
the causes of the mutiny, which convinced 
]iim of the paramount influence that panic, 
and the feeling of being irremediably 
compromised by the misconduct of others, 
had exercised, and were still exercising, in 
the minds of tiie sepoys. In the excitement 
of the crisis his policy was the subject of 
sweeping censure; but, eventually, measures 
of a similar tendency were resorted to, 
as the sole means of healing a breach 
which he strove to narrow and close at its 
commencement. Witii regard to the Euro- 
peans, the attitude he advised and adopted 
was most unflinching. The same feeling 
which induced him to blame the abandon- 
ment of Goorgaon, led him to declare, a 
week later, when the danger was fast in- 
creasing — 

" It is a vitally useful lesson to be learnt from the 
expeiience of present events, that not one step should 
be yielded in retreat, on an outbreak in India, which 
can be avoided with any safely. Plunder and gene- 
ral license immediately commence, and all useful 
tenure of the country is annihilated. It is not by 
shutting ourselves in forts in India that our power 
can be upheld ; and I will decidedly oppose myself to 
any proposal for throwing the European force into 
the fort except in the very last extremity."! 

With regard to the Native army, he 
believed one measure, and only one, re- 
mained which might arrest the plague of 
mutiny by affording opportunity for repen- 
tance before war a I'outrance should be de- 
clared against the Europeans. Addressing 
the governor-general by telegraph ou the 
24th of May, he writes : — 

"On the mode of dealing with the mutineers, I 
would strenuously oppose general seventy towards 
all. Such a course would, as we are unanimously 
convinced by a knowledge of the feeling of the 
people, acquired among them from a variety of 
sources, estrange the remainder of the army. Hope, 
I am firmly convinced, should be held out to all 
those who were not ringleaders or actively concerned 
in murder and violence. Many are in the rebels' 
ranks because they could not get away ; many cer- 
tainly thought we were tricking them out of their 
caste; and this opinion is held, however unwisely, 
by the mass of the population, and even by some of 
the more intelligent classes. Never was delusion 
more wide or deep. Many of the best soldiers in 
the army — among others, of its most faithful section, 

* Ra ikes' Revolt in the N.W. Provinces, p. 10. 

t Mr. Colvin to the governor-general, May 22nd, 
1857. — The first two sentences of the quotation 
from Mr. Colvin's despatch to the governor-general, 
are quoted from the Appendix to Pari. Papers on 



the irregular cavalry— show a marked reluctance to 
engage in a war against men whom they believe to 
have been misled on the point of religious honour. 
A tone of general menace would, I am persuaded, 
be wrong. The commander-in-chief should, in mv 
view, be authorised to act upon the above line of 
policy ; and when m-eans of escape are thus open to 
those who can be admitted to mercy, the remnant 
will be considered obstinate traitors even by their 
own countrymen, who will have no hesitation in 
siding agtiinst them." 

On the following day, Mr. Cohin reported 
to the governor-general that he had himself 
taken the decisive step : — 

" Impressed by the knowledge of the feelings of 
the native population, as communicated in my mes- 
sage of yesterday, and supported by the unanimous 
opinion of all officers of experience here, that this 
mutiny is not one to be put down by high-handed 
authority; and thinking it essential at present to 
give a favourable turn to the feelings of the sepoys 
who have not yet entered against us, I have taken 
the grave responsibility of issuing, on my own autho- 
rity, the following proclamation. A weighty reason 
with me has been the total dissolution of order, and 
the loss of every means of control in many districts. 
My latest letter from Meerut is now seven days old, 
and not a single letter has reached me from the 
commander-in-chief. 

" Proclamatiox. 

" Soldiers engaged in the late disturbances, who 
are desirous of going to their own homes, and who 
give up their arms at the nearest government civil 
or military post, and retire quietly, shall be per- 
mitted to do so unmolested. 

" Many faithful soldiers have been driven into 
resistance to government only because they were in 
the ranks and could not escape from them, and 
because they really thought their feelings of religion 
and honour injured by the measures of government. 
This feeling was wholly a mistake ; but it acted on 
men's minds. A proclamation of the governor- 
general now issued is perfectly explicit, and will 
remove all doubts on these points. 

" Every evil-minded instigator in the disturbance, 
and those guilty of heinous crimes against private 
persons, shall be punished. All those who appear 
in arms against the government after this notifica- 
tion is known shall be treated as open enemies."|: 

The proclamation, according to Sir Charles 
Trevelyan, "was universally approved at 
Agra." He adds, that " its object was to 
apply a solvent to reduce the compact mass 
of rebellion to its elements, and to give to 
the well-disposed an opportunity of return- 
ing to their allegiance, leaving the guilty 
remainder to their well-deserved fate."§ 

The governor- general in council took a 
different view of the subject; and a tele- 
gram, dated May 26th, declared that the 

Mutiny, p. 313; the third, omitted in the Blue Book, 
is given by '• Indophilus" in his Letter to the Times, 
Dec. 2.3lh, 1857. 

X Appendix to Pari. Papers on Mutiny, 1857. 

§ 'Times, December 25th, 1857; 



188 



THE RAJAH OF PUTTEEALA. 



proclamation was disapproved, and that the 
embarrassment in which it woukl ph\ce the 
government and the commander-in-chief 
Avas very great. Everything was therefore 
to be done to stop its operation. Mr. 
Colvin protested against the repudiation of 
the prochamation, and denied the justice of 
the chief ground on which it was denounced 
by the governor-general in council — namely, 
that it offered means of escape to tiie men 
who murdered their officers. Lord Canning 
persisted in ordering its withdrawal, and 
directed that the following proclamation 
should be issued in its stead : — 

"Every soldier of a regiment which, although it 
has deserted its post, has not committed outrages, 
•will receive a free pardon and permission to proceed 
to his home, if he immediately delivers up his arms 
to the civil or military authority, and if no heinous 
crime is shown to have been perpetrated by himself 
personally. 

"This offer of free and unconditional pardon 
cannot be extended to those regiments which have 
killed or wounded their officers or other persons, or 
■which have been concerned in the commission of 
cruel outrages. 

" The men of such regiments must submit them- 
selves unconditionally to the authority and justice 
of the government of India. 

" Any proclamations offering pardon to soldiers 
engaged in the late disturbances, which may have 
been issued by local authorities previously to the 
promulgation of the present proclamation, will there- 
upon cease to have effect ; but all persons who may 
have availed themselves of the offer made in such 
proclamations, shall enjoy the benefit thereof."* 

It was clearly impolitic to issue orders 
and counter-orders which, to the natives, 
would bear the semblance of vacillation 
of purpose, if not of double-dealing. But 
in the excitement of the period, it is 
probable that nothing short of an explicit 
offer of amnesty to all who could not be 
proved to have actually shed blood, or been 
notorious ringleaders, would have sufficed 
to arrest the course of mutiny. The gov- 
ernment of India, true to the motto of 
their policy, " insufficient or too late,^' could 
not yet understand the urgency of the case, 
and went so far as to blame the lieutenant- 
governor for having taken upon himself the 
responsibility of an important measure, 
" without necessity for any extreme haste." 
And this to a man who heard the " crash of 
regiments" on every side. 

Lord Elphinstone, the governor of Bom- 
bay, dispatched a telegram to Lord Canning 
on the 17tli of Ma}-^, proposing to send au 
officer in a fast steamer, to overtake the 

• Appendix to Pai-l. Papers on Mutiny, 1857 ; 
pp. 334-5. 



mail, which had left Bombay four days pre- 
viously. The governor-general rejected the 
offer as uunecessarj'^, although it involved 
the saving of twenty-eight days in the 
appeal for reinforcements from England. 
About the same time, intelligence reached 
Agra that the treaty of peace was ratified 
with Persia, and that three European regi- 
ments, and a portion of the European artil- 
lery, Avere to return to India immediately. 
Mr. Colvin entreated that the troops, on 
arriving at Calcutta, might be immediately 
dispatched to the Upper Provinces; but 
the answer he received was, that many 
weeks must elapse before the force could 
reach India; in the meantime, a European 
regiment had been called for from Madras, 
and one from Pegu; but these were not 
expected at Calcutta under a fortnight, and 
not a single European could be spared until 
then. In the event of being severely 
pressed, Mr. Colvin was to apply to the 
rajah of Putteeala, or to the rajah of Jheend, 
for aid. The services of both these chiefs 
had already been volunteered, and imme- 
diately accepted and employed. 

The rajah of Putteeala has been men- 
tioned as sending cavalry to the rescue of 
the fugitives from Delhi. His name will 
recur frequently, in the course of the narra- 
tive, as that of " a constant, honourable, and 
invaluable ally." His principality is one of 
the most important of those known as the 
Seik protected states; and its extent has 
been recently increased by grants from the 
British government, bestowed in reward of 
his fidelity during the war with Lahore, on 
condition of his making and maintaining 
in repair a military road, and abolishing 
Suttee, infanticide, and slave-dealing in his 
dominions. 

The latest parliamentary return on the 
subject states the area of Putteeala at 4,448 
miles, and the population at 662,752 per- 
sons. The territory is very fertile, and 
exports large quantities of grain across the 
Sutlej to Lahore and Umritsir. The chief 
place, also named Putteeala (twenty miles 
from Umballah), is a densely peopled and 
compact town, with a small citadel, in 
which the rajah, or, as he is more generally 
called, the maharajah, resides. He is de- 
scribed as " a man in the prime of life, of 
some thirty-three or thirty-four years of 
age, of commanding stature and fine pre- 
sence, inclining to obesity ; a handsome 
oval face, black flowing beard, moustache, 
and whiskers; Grecian nose, and large dark 



MUTINY AT ALIGHUR— MAY 20th, 1857. 



189 



eyes of the almond shape, which is so much 
admired by the Asiatics. His court is the 
last which is left in the north-west of India, 
and is maintained with Oriental magnifi- 
cence. As a governor he is absolute in his 
own dominions, which he rules vigorously 
and energetically with his own hands. ^'* 

The position of Puttecala, the resources 
and energy of its ruler, and the disaffection 
of many of his subjects towards British 
supremacy, rendered the question of his 
allegiance one of extreme importance. 
His decision was immediate and unquali- 
fied ; and he assisted the British govern- 
ment, not only with troops and supplies of 
provision, but actually with a loan of money 
to the amount of i210,000.t The Um*- 
ballah cantonment was in so disorganised a 
condition at the time of the general mutiny, 
that, according to ]\Ir. Raikes, it could 
hardly have been preserved without the 
help of the Putteeala rajah. When sum- 
moned thithei', he came clad in a suit of 
mail, driving his own elephant, and spared 
no exertion to prove his zeal. J 

Jhtend is another, but much smaller, 
Cis-Sutlej state, part of which Avas annexed 
on tiie failure of direct heirs; but the re- 
mainder was suffered to pass into the 
possession of a collateral heir in 1837. Its 
limits were increased after the conclusion 
of the war with Lahore, on tlie same 
terms as those of Putteeala, and for the 
same reason — nameh', the good service 
rendered by its rajah. Jheend comprises 
an area of 376 square miles, and a popula- 
tion of about 56,000 persons. The rajah 
had an early opportunity of manifesting his 
determined allegiance to the English. It 
is said, that a deputation from Delhi sought 
him while reviewing his troops in his chief 
place, and that, on learning their errand, he 
immediately ordered every man of the 
messengers to be cut down.§ 

These w ere the allies to whom Lord Can- 
ning bade Mr. Colvin turn for the help ; and 
to them, among other benefits, we owe the 
aid of our first Seik levies. i| 

As the month of jNIay wore on, affairs in 
Agra began to assume a gloomier aspect. 
The detachments of the Gwalior contingent, 
sent as reinforcements, speedily betrayed 
their sympathy with the mutineers against 

• Times (Mr. Russell), 29th November, 1858. 
t Ihid. 

Raikes' Revolt in the N. W. Provinces, pp. 88, 89. 
§ Daily News, June 29th, 1857 
II Murray's Qxiarterly Review, 1858 ; p. 226. 



whom they were expected to act, by asking 
whether the flour supplied to their camp 
was from the government stores. If so, 
they would not touch it, having been in- 
formed that cows' bones had been pulver- 
ised and mixed with the otta sold in the 
bazaars.^ These indications of disaffection 
were marked by the Europeans with great 
uneasiness, the general feeling being, that 
the Hindoos were completely under the 
influence of the Mussulmans, who " were 
all, or nearly all, thirsting tor English 
blood." And, indeed, the feeling against 
them became so general and i