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VOL.  I.,  8vo,  188. 
VOL.  IL,  Svo,  208. 

[new  editions.] 


TiiREE  Vols.,  Post  Svo,  26s. 
[n»w  edition.] 


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VOL.   III. 

W.  H.  ALLEN  &  CO.,  13,  WATERLOO  PLACE. 

agentK  in  3viniu : 
Calcutta  :  Thacker,  Sfink,  and  Co.    Bombay  :  TEA0Cn^|rikl^^^V9  Co. 




In  the  autumn  of  last  year,  I  hoped  and  believed 
that  this  volume  of  the  History  of  the  Sepoy  War 
would  be  laid  before  the  public  in  the  course  of  thte 
following  month  of  November.  But  it  wag  other- 
wise ordained.  I  was  compelled  to  lay  aside  th^ 
pen,  when  I  thought  myself  most  capable  of  udnf? 
it ;  and  not  until  the  dawn  of  the  next  summer  wlui 
I  permitted,  or,  indeed,  able,  to  resume  my  work, 
with  a  feeling  that  I  was  equal  to  the  task.  Some 
had  exhorted  me  to  finish  it  any-how ;.  others,  to  got 
some  one  to  help  me.  I  could  only  answer  that  I 
would  rather  not  finish  it  at  all,  if  I  could  not  put 
my  best  powers  of  workmanship  into  it  j  and,  what- 
ever the  toil  and  travail  might  be,  write  every  line 
myself.  So  I  waited  patiently  for  the  hour  and  the 
hour  oame.  My  old  love  of  historical  research  came 
back  upon  me,  and  with  it  my  power  of  sustained 

Let  no  man  deceive  himself  as  to  the  nature  of: 
that   work.     There  is  no  such  thing  as  the  easy 
^vriting  of  History.     If  it  be  not  Truth  it  is  not 

t  V 


History ;  and  Truth  lies  very  far  below  the  surface. 
It  is  a  long  and  laborious  task  to  exhume  it.  Rapid 
production  is*a  proof  of  the  total  absence  of  con- 
scientious investigation.  For  History  is  not  the 
growth  of  Inspiration,  but  of  Evidence.  It  is  scarcely 
reasonable,  therefore,  to  complain  of  dela}^,  v;hen 
without  delay,  or  in  other  words,  protracted  inquir}'-, 
there  can  be  no  approximation  to  the  Truth.  I  can- 
not, therefore,  apologise  for  that  to  which  these 
volumes  owe  any  little  value  that  they  may  possess 
in  the  eyes  of  the  present  or  a  future  generation. 

As  I  went  further  into  the  depths  of  this  strange 
story  I  found  that  the  difficulties  of  narration,  to 
which  I  had  referred  in  my  second  volume,  had 
greatly  increased.  Materials  were  superabundant. 
I  cannot  sufficiently  express  my  gratitude  to  friends 
and  strangers  (strangers  only  in  the  flesh)  who  pro- 
vided me  so  freely  with  memorials  of  one  of  the  most 
wonderful  episodes  in  the  history  of  the  British 
nation.  But  the  very  wealth  of  these  materials  in- 
creased my  difficulties.  It  is  comparatively  easy  to 
describe  a  series  of  events.  But  I  had  not  to  do 
with  events  rising  out  of,  or  following  each  other  in 
succession,  but  with  a  multitude  of  detached  and 
almost  contemporaneous  incidents,  the  only  connect- 
ing link  being  the  universal  fact  that  the  Black  man 
had  risen  against  the  White.  As  illustrative  ma- 
terials, some  of  them  of  the  most  interesting  cha- 
racter, were  showered  upon  me,  it  became  increasingly 
difficult  to  deal  with  such  a  mass  of  details,  without 
extending  the  dimensions  of  the  work  far  beyond 
the  limits  that  would  be  acceptable  to  the  Public.  I 
have  endeavoured  to  give  prominence  to  the  most 
significant  and  suggestive  events.  I  cannot  hope 
that  I  have  altogether  succeeded;  but  I  trust  that  I 


have  not  wholly  failed.  Doubtless,  many  an  ex- 
citing adventure  whicli  would  have  stirred  the  heart 
of  the  reader,  and  many  an  act  of  personal  gallantry, 
which  it  would  have  been  a  delight  to  me  to  narrate, 
has  found  no  record  in  these  pages.  Nothing  but 
the  stern  laws  of  necessity  have  compelled  these 
omissions.  It  will  be  said,  perhaps,  that  greater 
compression  in  some  parts  might  have  afforded  larger 
space  for  amplification  in  others.  But  compression, 
though  doubtless  a  virtue,  is,  like  some  other  virtues, 
not  always  very  interesting;  and  every  man  must 
write  his  books  in  liis  own  way.  It  might  have  been 
better  for  me  if  I  had  not  undertaken  this  work  ;  but 
having  undertaken  it,  I  was  bound  to  complete  it, 
with  all  the  power  I  had  in  me,  at  any  cost  of 
worldly  fortune,  or  health,  or  even  of  life  itself. 

I  have  been  told  by  one  or  two  friends,  to  whom 
I  have  shown  some  passages  of  this  volume,  that  they 
will  "excite  controversy  and  give  pain."  No  one 
can  be  more  unwilling  than  I  am  to  cause  unne- 
cessary suffering.  There  is  no  greater  literary  crime 
than  the  infliction  of  pain,  without  thorough  in- 
quiry  into  the  painful  statements  made  and  ample 
proof  of  their  truth,  except  to  stand  by  them  after 
their  falsehood  has  been  made  manifest.  And,  as- 
suredly, it  is  pleasanter  to  praise  than  to  blame. 
"  But,"  I  am  told,  "  admitted  that  it  is  all  true,  it  is 
injudicious  to  publish  the  truth,  and  there  will  be 
much  controversy  arising  out  of  it."  The  Historian 
who  shrinks  from  controversy  has  mistaken  his  voca- 
tion. I  have  told  and  I  intend  to  tell  the  truth,  so 
far  as  I  can  discern  it,  after  laborious  and  conscientious 
inquiry,  without  any  regard  of  persons.  As  I  would 
speak  of  a  stranger  I  would  speak  of  a  friend*;  and 
as  I  would  speak  of  a  friend,  I  would  speak  of  a. 


brother  or  of  a  son — of  living  and  of  dead  alike.  If  a 
man  is  not  prepared  to  do  this,  and  to  take  the  con- 
sequences, let  him  write  novels  and  travels  in  the 
manner  of  Gulliver  and  leave  History  alone. 

The  present  volume,  like  its  predecessors,  contains 
three  books.  The  First  of  these  relates  to  affairs 
in  Bengal  and  Behar,  including  some  account  of  the 
excitement  at  Calcutta,  of  the  rising  in  Shahabad, 
the  mutiny  at  Dinapore,  the  defence  and  relief  of 
Arrah — together  with  some  notices  of  Lord  Canning's 
defensive  and  suppressive  measures  and  of  the  general 
policy  observed  by  the  Government  in  the  earlier 
days  of  the  rebellion.  In  the  preparation  of  these 
chapters  I  have  been  much  aided  by  the  private  cor- 
respondence of  Lord  Canning,  by  a  mass  of  docu- 
ments, printed  and  manuscript,  lent  to  me  by  Mr. 
William  Tayler,  Commissioner  of  Patna,  and  by  the 
simple,  manly  narratives  of  Sir  Vincent  Eyre.  The 
Second  (Book  VIII.)  contains  a  narrative  of  the 
several  risings  in  the  North-Western  Provinces,  the 
wide-spread  subversion  of  British  authority,  the  bear- 
ing of  the  principal  Native  Princes  and  Chiefs,  and 
the  defence  of  Agra  up  to  the  period  of  Mr.  Colvin's 
death.  My  information  with  regard  to  these  events 
is  principally  derived  from  Mr.  E.  A.  Reade,  Sir  Wil- 
liam Muir,  who  had  charge  of  the  Intelligence  De- 
partment, Mr.  Charles  Raikes,  Major  Weller  of  the 
Engineers,  and  the  Confidential  Reports  of  the  several 
civil  and  political  officers  whose  narratives  were 
called  for  by  Government  after  the  suppression  of  the 
insurrection.  The  Third  part  (Book  IX.)  is  devoted, 
firstly,  to  affairs  in  Oude,  the  general  state  of  the 
Provinces,  the  risings  in  the  Districts,  the  siege  and 
defence  of  Lucknow,  the  death  of  Sir  Henry  Law- 




rencdi  t&d  subseljuent  events  up  to  the  time  of  the 
first  relief  of  the  Residency  by  Havelock  and  Ou- 
tram ;  and  secondly,  to  the  final  and  victorious  siege, 
assault,  and  capture  of  Delhi.  These  last  chapters  have 
caused  a  greater  expenditure  of  time,  labour,  and 
thought,  than  any  other  part  of  the  work.  And  I 
cannot  be  too  grateful  to  those  who  have  enabled  me, 
in  some  measure,  I  hope,  to  overcome  the  difficulties 
of  the  task.  Among  these,  I  may  mention  the  late 
Sir  Archdale  Wilson,  the  family  of  the  late  Colonel 
Baird  Smith,  Sir  Neville  Chamberlain,  Colonel 
George  Chesney,  and  Colonel  Welby  Greathed  of 
the  Engineers,  Sir  Edward  Greathed,  so  highly  dis- 
tinguished in  subsequent  operations  against  the  in- 
surgents in  the  North-West,  Sir  Charles  Reid,  who 
held  so  long  the  Picket  at  Hindoo  Rao^  and  Sir 
Henry  Daly,  then  of  the  Guides.  Among  artillery- 
men, from  whom  I  have  derived  the  most  important 
assistance,  are  Sir  James  Brind,  Sir  Edwin  Johnson, 
General  E.  W.  Scott,  and  my  brother,  Lieutenant- 
General  Edward  Kaye.  From  such  authorities  as 
these  I  must  have  evolved  a  large  measure  of  truth, 
amounting  almost  to  perfect  accuracy.  But  I  wish 
the  reader  to  understand  that  I  have  not  pretended 
to  write  a  miutary  history  of  these  or  any  other 
operations — that  my  narrative  was  not  intended  to 
bear  "a  stamp  exclusive  or  professional,"  but  to  com- 
mand the  common  interests  and  catholic  sympathies 
of  all  classes  of  readers.  It  is,  therefore,  necessarily 
deficient  in  personal  and  statistical  details,  such  as 
may  be  gathered  from  old  Army  Lists  or  the  offi- 
cial reports  of  the  day.  And  I  have  purposely  ab- 
stained as  much  as  possible  from  technical  phrase- 
ology, though  having  had  the  advantage  of  a  military 


educntion  and  having  served  my  apprenticeship  to 
the  profession,  such  language  would  have  come 
readily  from  my  pen. 

I  had  intended  in  this  volume  to  have  included 
some  account  of  the  first  relief  of  Lucknow :  and,  in- 
deed, the  narrative  of  Havelock's  operations  were 
already  in  print ;  but  not  only  did  I  find  that  the 
fulfilment  of  this  design  would  have  swollen  the 
volume  to  an  inconvenient  bulk,  but  it  appeared  to 
me  on  reconsideration  that  it  would  be  more  advan- 
tageous to  the  entire  work  to  embrace  in  one  conse- 
cutive narrative  tlje  story  of  the  campaign  of  Have- 
lock  and  Outram  and  the  final  operations  of  Sir 
Colin  Campbell.  This  will  form  a  not  unimportant 
part  of  the  next  volume,  which  will  contain  also, 
if  I  am  suffered  to  complete  it,  some  account  of 
Delhi  within  the  walls,  of  the  Trial  of  the  King  and 
others  implicated  in  the  slaughter  of  our  people,  a 
history  of  the  Central-Indian  Campaign  under  Sir 
Hugh  Rose,  of  later  events  in  Agra  and  Rajpootana 
— of  the  risings  in  Western  India,  of  aflFairs  in  the 
Deccan,  and  of  the  general  pacification  of  the  coun- 
try ;  concluding  with  a  chapter  on  the  Fall  of  the 
East  India  Company,  the  proclamation  of  the  Queen's 
Government  throughout  the  country,  the  remedial 
policy  of  Lord  Canning,  and  the  manner  in  which 
our  promises  and  pledges,  given  in  the  day  of  danger, 
have  been,  in  the  day  of  safety,  fulfilled. 

J.  W.  K. 

Bote  Hill,  ITorest  Hill. 







State  of  Affairs  in  Calcutta — Anxieties  of  the  Governor-General — 
Despatch  of  Reinforcements — Retributory  Measures — The  Volun- 
teer Question — Restrictions  on  the  Indian  Press — Disarming  of  the 
Barrackpore  Regiments— The  Great  Calcutta  Panic — Arrest  of  the 
King  of  Oude — Sir  Patrick  Grant — Pinancial  Difficulties  of  the 
Crisis 1 



The  Bengal  Provinces — Character  of  the  Population — The  Cry  for 
Disarming — State  of  the  Dmapore  Regiments — Condition  of  the 
Putna  Division — Arrest  of  Wahabees — General  Lloyd's  Half- 
measure — Mutiny  at  Dinapore— Dunbar's  Expedition — ^The  Dis- 
astrous Retreat— Gallant  Exploits 61 



The  English  at  Arrah — Fortification  of  Boyle's  House — Appearance 
of  the  Mutineers— Prosecution  of  the  Siege— Gallant  Defence  bj 
the  Garrison — Major  Vincent  Eyre — Improvisation  of  a  Field  Force 



— ^Dcfeat  of  the  Enemy— Relief  of  Arrah— Flight  of  Kower  Singh— 
Destruction  of  Jngdcspore .        .124 



Mr.  Tayler's  Withdrawal  Order— State  of  Affairs  at  Gya— Retreat  to 
Patna — Return  of  Mr.  Money — The  March  to  Calcutta — Govern- 
ment Censure  of  Mr.  Tayler — The  Question  discussed — Arrival  of 
Sir  James  Outram — Appointments  of  Mr.  Grant  and  Mr.  SamueUs.  148 





The  North- Western  Provinces— Mr.  Colvin— Condition  of  Affairs  at 
Agra — Councils  and  ConQicts — Mutinies  at  Aligurh— Etawah  and 
Mynpooree — Alarm  of  the  Christian  Community  at  Agra — Measures 
of  Defence — Mr.  Colvin's  Proclamation — Opinions  of  Lord  Canning 
— Disarming  of  Native  Regiments 193 



State  of  the  Districts— The  Mcerut  and  Rohilkund  Divisions — 
Affairs  at  Mozufferuuggur  and  Saharunpore— The  Twenty-ninth 
at  Moradabad — Mr.  Cracroft  Wilson— Mutiny  of  the  Bareilly 
Brigade— Khan  Behaudur  Khan — Shahjehanpore  and  Budaon     '  .  2H 



Anxieties  of  Mr.  Colvin — ^The  Native  Chiefs — Scindiah  and  his  Con- 
tingent— Events  at  Gwalior — Outbreak  of  the  Contingent — Escape 
of  the  English — The  Neemuch  Brigade— Holkar  and  liis  Troops— 
Outbreak  at  Indore — Withdrawal  of  the  Resident— Rajpootana      .  308 





Agra  in  June  and  July— Fresh  Anxieties  of  the  Lieutenant-Goremor 
— The  Story  of  Jhansi — Advance  of  the  Neemuch  Brigade — Ill- 
ness of  Mr.  Colvin— The  Provisional  GJovemraent — ^Mutiny  of  the 
Kotah  Contingent— The  Battle  before  Agra — ^Ketreat  of  the  Britisli 

r  Force — Destruction  of  Cantonments      ..••••  359 



Agra  in  August  and  September — Life  in  the  Agra  Fort — Social 
Organisation— Noble  Conduct  of  our  Women^Exploits  of  the 
Volunteer  Horse — ^Reports  from  Western  India — ^Risings  in  Kola- 
pore— FaiUng  Health  of  Mr.  Colvin— His  Death      .        .        •    ,  394 




General  State  of  Dude— Causes  of  Inquietude — ^Ruin  of  the  Influential 
Classes— The  Nobles— The  Great  Landholders— The  Soldiery— 
Over-taxation  of  the  People — Lucknow  in  May — Threatcnings  of 
Revolt — Precautions  of  Sir  Henry  Lawrence— Defensive  Measures 
— Progress  of  Mutiny — The  Outbreak  in  Cantonments  .        .        .  417 



Revolt  in  the  Districts — Natural  History  of  Revolts — The  Outbreak 
at  Seetapore — Mutiny  of  the  Forty -first — Death  of  Mr.  Christian 
— MuUaon  and  Mohnmdee — Massacre  of  the  Refugees  from  Shah- 
jehanpore— The  Outbreak  at  Fyzabad — Death  of  Colonel  Goldney — 
Fate  of  the  Fugitives — Sultanpore— Events  in  the  Bareitch  Division 
— Escape  of  Mr.  Wingfield — Fate  of  the  Fugitives — ^Diirriabad — 
An  Episode  of  Captivity 450 





Lucknow  in  June — Sir  Henry  Lawrence — His  Failing  Healib — 
Martin  Gubbins — Nomination  of  a  Successor — Preparations  against 
a  Siege — ^Tbe  Disasters  of  Cbinbut — Destruction  of  tbe  Mutchce- 
Bhawun — Commencement  of  tbe  Siege-r-Deatb  of  Henry  Lawrence 
— Saceession  of  Major  Banks — ^His  Death— Sufferings  of  the  Gar- 
rison—*Mining  and  Countermining 493 



The  Dawn  of  September — Anxiety  for  tbe  Assault — Wilson's  Chief 
Assistants — Arrival  of  tbe  Last  Reinforcements  from  the  North — 
The  Question  of  Assault  debated — Wilson  ard  Baird  Srailh — 
The  Final  Order  given— Erection  of  Ihe  Breaching  Batteries — 
Efforts  of  the  Artillery  and  Engineers — Alexander  Taylor      .        .515 



Organisation  of  the  Storming  Columns — Delivery  of  tbe  Assault — 
Difficulties  of  the  Situation — Street-fighting — Nicholson  Wounded 
— ^Repulse  of  the  Fourth  Column — Hope  Grant  and  the  Cavalry — 
Wilson  in  the  City — Treatment  of  tbe  Enemy — Capture  of  the 
King  of  Delhi — Massacre  of  the  Princes— Death  of  Nicholson — 
Delhi  conquered 5S0 

Affexdices  and  Addenda CGI 

[In  Fifti  Edition  of  Ful,  III 

Page  79,  note,  for  "  Buktawuss  Sing"  read  "  Buktawur  Klian." 

Page  88,  lines  4  and  5,  for  "oflScers  of  the  Bengal  Artillery"  read  "offi- 
cers of  the  Ordnance  Commissariat  Department." 

Page  169,  line  10,  for  eight-pounders"  read  "  nine-pounders." 

Page  187,  line  5  from  bottom,  for  "  haying  moved  down  from  Bolund- 
sbuhur"  read  "  having  moved  up  from  Bolundshuhur." 

Pa:^e  266,  line  13,  for  *' Moole-gunj"  read  "  Mootee-gunj." 

Vtigt  376,  line  12,  for  "stimulate"  read  "simulate." 

Page  395,  line  5,  for  "  Kooslien  Gardens"  read  "  Khoosroo  Gardens." 

Page  397,  note,  for  "  short"  read  "  shot." 

Page  426,  line  3  from  bottom,  for  "  Punjabee  troops"  read  *'  troops  in 
the  Punjab." 

Page  447,  6  lines  from  the  bottom,  for  "  Inniskiilen  Dragoons"  read 
"  Twenty-seventh  Foot  (Inniskillens)." 

Page  667,  Appendix  (quotation),  line  10  from  bottom,  for  "  Accountant 
Commissioner"  read  "  Assistant  Commbsioner." 

.  .  .  For  to  think  that  an  handful  of  people  can,  with  the 
greatest  courage  and  poucy  in  the  world,  embrace  too  large  ex- 
tent of  dominion,  it  may  hold  for  a  time,  but  it  will  fail  suddenly. 
— Bacon, 








Page  429,  top  line,  for  "  Mr.  Colverly  JaclMon,"  lead 
"Mr.  Coverley  Jackion." 

STATE  07  APiTAIKS  1:1  cai/i/vaa«»     «.» 


Whilst  the  incidents  recorded  in  the  preceding      1857. 
books  were  occurring — whilst  Havelock   and  Neill       J'l^e. 
were  pushing  on  from  the  South  to  the  relief  of  The  Governor 
Cawnpore  and  Lucknow,  and  John  Lawrence  was^^|^e™^a* 
pouring  down  from  the  North  all  his  available  mili- 
tary strength  to  the  attack  of  Delhi — events  were  de- 
veloping themselves,  in  many  different  parts  of  the 
country,  which  showed  how  wide-spread  was  the  dis- 
affection, and  how  momentous  was  the  crisis,  with 
which  the  head  of  the  British  Government  was  called 
upon  to  contend.  To  Lord  Canning,  who  wisely  con- 
tinued to  reside  in  the  capital,  the  month  of  June 
was  one  of  intense  anxiety  and  vexation — anxiety 

VOL.  III.  B 


1857.      ^^^  t^^6  f^te  of  his  countrymen  in  the  Upper  Pro- 
June,      vinces,  vexation  engendered  by  the  attitude  assumed 
by  some  influential  classes  of  the  European  commu- 
nity at  Calcutta,  who  grievously  misunderstood  his 
character,  and  continually  condemned  his  conduct. 

The  lull  which  immediately  followed  the  outbreaks 
at  Meerut  and  Delhi  had  now  been  rudely  disturbed. 
Every  post  was  freighted  with  tidings  of  some  new 
manifestation  of  the  all-prevailing  excitement  in  the 
Native  Army  of  Bengal,  and  made  more  clear  to  him 
the  enormous  difficulties  which  now  threatened  the 
security  of  the  Empire.  The  North- Western  Pro- 
vinces were  in  a  blaze.  Not  only  was  the  whole 
Native  Army  falling  away  from  him,  but  the  fabric 
of  civil  government  was  in  many  places  crumbling  to 
pieces.  Whether  this  disorganisation  were  the  result 
merely  of  the  ravages  of  the  soldiery,  and  the  love 
of  rapine  natural  at  all  times  to  the  predatory  classes, 
or  whether  the  discontents  of  our  trained  lighting 
men  were  shared  by  the  peaceful  communities,  and 
the  country  was  ripe  for  civil  rebellion  no  less  than 
for  military  revolt,  was  not  at  that  time  apparent. 
But  it  was  certain  that  the  first  efforts  of  the  Govern- 
ment must  be  directed  to  the  suppression  of  the 
mutinous  activities  of  the  Sepoy  Army.  And  to  the 
accomplishment  of  this.  Lord  Canning,  never  dis- 
guising from  himself  or  from  others  the  magnitude  of 
the  danger  to  be  grappled  with,  had  put  forth  all  his 
personal  strength,  and  evoked  all  the  resources  of 
the  State. 

That  on  the  first  receipt  of  intelligence  of  the  cap- 
ture of  Delhi  by  the  insurgent  army,  the  Governor- 
General  addressed  himself,  with  the  utmost  prompti- 
tude and  vigour,  to  the  work  of  collecting  troops  from 
all  available  sources,  has  been  shown  in  the  first  volume 


of  this  Histor}\  The  looked-for  succours  were  of  two  1857. 
kinds:  those  already  on  the  Indian  establishment,  ^^^^' 
which  could  be  easily  gathered  up  and  brought 
speedily  to  the  scene  of  action  by  his  own  authorita- 
tive word ;  and  those  which  lay  at  a  distance  under 
the  control  of  other  authorities,  and  for  which  he 
could  do  no  more  than  ask.  The  first,  it  has  been 
seen,  soon  began  to  pour  in,  and  they  were  despatched 
to  the  Upper  Provinces  with  all  possible  speed.  That 
the  Government  were  taken  by  surprise,  that  the 
available  means  of  transport  were  inconsiderable, 
and  that  the  Military  Department  at  the  Presidency 
was  not  strong  during  the  first  month  of  trouble,  is 
not  to  be  denied.  But  it  is  equally  clear  to  me  that 
Lord  Canning  neglected  no  means  at  his  disposal  to 
despatch  European  troops  to  the  endangered  pro- 
vinces with  all  the  speed  which  could  be  attained  by 
the  functionaries  under  him,  who  had  never  before 
been  prepared  for  such  an  emergency,  and  were  not 
likely  now  to  be  in  an  abnormal  state  of  preparation. 
With  what  success  these  primal  efibrts  were  attended 
has  been  shown.  Benares  and  Allahabad  were  saved 
by  the  succours  sent  upwards  from  Calcutta.  But 
Cawnpore  was  lost ;  Lucknow  was  still  in  imminent 
danger ;  and  the  flames  of  rebellion  were  spreading 
all  over  North-Western  India. 

And  there  was  a  never-ceasing  source  of  dire 
affliction  to  him  in  the  thought  that  all  he  could  do 
at  such  a  time  was  but  little  and  light,  weighed 
against  what  needed  to  be  done.  "  It  is  enough  to 
break  one's  heart,"  he  wrote  in  June,  ''to  have  to 
refuse  the  imploring  prayers  of  the  Europeans  at  out^ 
stations  for  protection  by  English  troops  against 
the  rising  of  the  Sepoys  in  their  neighbourhood,  or 
against  the  savage  marauders  and  mutineers  who  are 

B  2 


relief  of 

1857.  afoot.  But  to  scatter  our  small  force  over  the 
^^^^'  country  would  be  to  throw  away  every  chance  of  a 
speedy  success." 
Efforts  for  the  Throughout  the  whole  country,  there  was  no  place, 
the  perilous  environments  of  which  had  been  regarded 
with  profounder  anxiety  by  Lord  Canning,  than 
the  cantonment  of  Cawnpore.  All  his  letters  written 
in  the  month  of  June  express  the  painful  uneasiness 
with  which  he  contemplated  Wheeler's  position,  and 
the  eagerness  with  which  he  sought  to  relieve  him  by 
succours  both  from  below  and  from  above.  Benares 
and  Allahabad  being  secured,  he  desired  that  all  the 
reinforcements  sent  up  from  the  southward  should 
pass  on  to  Cawnpore ;  and  he  wrote  to  Sir  Henry 
Barnard,  urging  him  to  send  down  a  regiment  from 
the  Delhi  Field  Force.*  "  Benares,"  he  wrote  in  the 
middle  of  June,  "  has  been  made  safe.  So  has  Allah- 
abad, I  hope,  but  only  just  in  time.  Henceforward, 
the  reinforcements  will  be  pushed  up  still  further — to 
Cawnpore ;  but  the  disorganised  state  of  the  country 
between  Allahabad  and  Cawnpore  may  interpose 
delay ;  and  both  telegraph  and  dawk  from  any  place 
north  of  Allahabad  is  now  cut  off  from  Calcutta.  I 
cannot,  therefore,  speak  so  confidently  of  the  time 
when  help  will  reach  Sir  Hugh  Wheeler.  It  may 
not  be  for  four  or  five  days,  or  even  more.t  This 
makes  it  all  the  more  urgently  necessary  that  you 
should  push  down  an  European  force  immediately. 
When  it  reaches  the  Cawnpore  Division,  it  will,  ac- 

•  It  has  been  shown  (vol.  ii.  p. 
136)  that  he  wrote  at  the  same  time 
to  Mr.  Colvin,  desiring  him  to  make 
every  effort  to  despatcn  southwards 
all  the  troops  that  Barnard  could 

f  I  have  not  the  original  of  this 
letter  before  me;   perhaps  it  does 

not  exist.  The  passage  is  correctly 
transcribed  from  the  copy,  in  the 
private  secretary's  handwriting,  kept 
by  Lord  Canning.  There  is  some 
reason,  however,  to  suspect  the  word 
"days"  is  a  clerical  error  for 
*'  weeks."  If  not,  it  is  difficult  to 
understand  the  context. 


cording  to  the  instructions  which  have  been  sent  to  1857. 
you,  pass  under  Sir  Hugh  Wheeler  s  command.  And  •^^'**- 
with  him  will  rest  the  responsibility  of  relieving 
Lucknow  and  pacifying  the  country  from  Ca^NTipore 
downwards.  It  will  be  for  you  to  judge  what  your 
o^vn  movements  should  be.  AH  that  I  require  is  that 
an  European  force,  as  large  an  one  as  you  can  spare, 
shall  be  sent  southwards  -mth  the  least  possible  delay, 
and  that  it  should  not  be  detained  an  hour  for  the 
purpose  of  finishing  off  affairs  at  Delhi,  after  once 
the  great  blow  has  been  struck."  Whether  this  letter 
ever  reached  its  destination  is  uncertain.*  If  it  did, 
it  must  have  been  received  vnth  astonishment  on  the 
Delhi  Ridge.  And  it  was  not  merely  in  that  direction 
that  the  expectations  of  the  Governor- General  were 
overleaping  the  stern  realities  of  the  position.  The 
succours  from  Allahabad,  by  which  first  Ca^vnpore 
and  then  Lucknow  were  to  be  saved,  were  almost  as 
remote  contingencies  as  those  summoned  from  the 
northward.  This  misconception  resulted  not  from  a 
want  of  sagacity,  but  from  a  want  of  information. 
The  magnates  of  Calcutta  were  groping  hopelessly  in 
the  dark.  The  difficulties  of  their  position  had  been 
rendered  still  more  difficult  by  the  interruption  of 
postal  and  telegraphic  communication  between  Cal- 
cutta and  many  of  the  chief  stations  of  Upper  India. 
Nearly  all  the  country  above  Allahabad  was  sealed  to 
them.  New8  from  Agra,  from  Delhi,  from  the  Punjab, 
came  in  by  many  devious  channels  after  long  in- 
tervals, and  was  often  little  to  be  relied  on  when  it 
came.  Again  and  again  news  came  that  Delhi  had 
fallen.     Not   only   in    Calcutta,    but  in   Allahabad, 

*  It  was  drafted  on  the  lOtli  of  until  that  day,  probably  in  nncer- 

June,  but  was  not  despatched  till  taintv  as  to  whether  the  accounts 

the  2Ist     Lord  Canning  retained  which  reached  him  "of  the  fall  of 

ity  after  a  duplicate  bad  been  made,  Delhi  were  true  or  false. 


1857.  Agra,  Cawnpore,  Lucknow,  all  our  chief  British 
^^^^-  posts,  the  cheering  report  came  down  only  to  disap- 
point and  to  mock  our  people ;  and  in  some  places 
royal  salutes  were  ostentatiously  fired  in  honour  of 
the  auspicious  event. 
Lord  Can-  In  spite,  however,  of  postal  interruptions — often 
retpondcn'cc  ^^^7  delays — ^Lord  Canning  received  many  letters, 
'  at  this  time,  from  officers  in  responsible  positions, 
who  rightly  took  upon  themselves,  in  total  disregard 
of  official  proprieties,  to  write  directly  to  the  Go- 
vernor-General;  and  from  others,  too,  upon  whom 
the  crisis  had  conferred  no  such  right,  but  who  were 
eager  to  offer  advice  to  the  head  of  the  Government. 
These  letters  were  of  very  different  kinds  and  cha- 
racters. In  many  there  was  serviceable  information 
of  the  best  kind  ;  in  others,  sound  good  sense,  often 
too  late  to  be  of  any  service  to  the  chief  ruler,  as  it 
related  to  the  causes  of  the  revolt,  not  to  its  remedies. 
In  some  there  was  blatant  folly.  Military  re- 
formers and  religious  enthusiasts  spoke  out  freely, 
and  the  Adjutant-General  and  Armageddon  alter- 
nately figured  in  these  volunteer  despatches.  Many, 
it  may  be  supposed,  counselled  the  most  sanguinary 
retributory  measures.  All  these  letters  Lord  Canning 
attentively  perused,  and  then  handed  them  over  to 
his  Private  Secretary,  to  be  duly  docketed  and 
properly  pigeon-holed.  Often  he  answered  them. 
When  good  service  was  done  he  was  prompt  to 
recognise  it.  Those  who  said  that  he  was  cold- 
hearted  because  he  was  cool  and  collected  in  danger, 
little  knew  the  warmth  which  he  threw  into  his  more 
private  correspondence.  Sometimes  this  warmth 
took  the  shape  of  reprobation  rather  than  of  ap- 
plause— reprobation  of  principles  asserted,  not  ap- 
proval of  actions  performed.     But  even  in  this  repro- 


bation  there  was  generally  some  recognition  of  the  1857. 
zeal  and  loyalty  of  the  man,  though  the  counsel  •^^^• 
offered  to  him  was  of  a  kind  altogether  foreign  to 
his  own  sentiments  and  opinions.  Thus  to  one  cor- 
respondent, who  recommended  that  measures  of  a  most 
vigorous  (or  otherwise  sanguinary)  character  should 
be  taken  for  the  purpose  of  overawing  the  Native 
soldiery,  he  wrote :  "  You  talk  of  the  necessity  of 
striking  terror  into  the  Sepoys.  You  are  entirely 
and  most  dangerously  wrong.  The  one  difficulty, 
which  of  all  others  it  is  the  most  difficult  to  meet,  is 
that  the  regiments  which  have  not  yet  fallen  away 
are  mad  with  fear — fear  for  their  caste  and  religion, 
fear  of  disgrace  in  the  eyes '  of  their  comrades,  fear 
that  the  European  troops  are  being  collected  to  crush 
and  decimate  them  as  well  as  their  already  guilty 
comrades.  Your  bloody,  off-hand  measures  are  not 
the  cure  for  this  sort  of  disease;  and  I  warn  you 
against  going  beyond  the  authority  which  Govern- 
ment  has  already  given  to  you,  and  even  that  autho- 
rity must  be  handled  discreetly.  Don't  mistake 
violence  for  vigour."  And  these  sentiments  were 
shared  by  the  wisest  and  most  heroic  of  Lord 
Canning's  Lieutenants.'  Sir  Henry  Lawrence,  both 
by  word  and  deed,  strove  to  allay  the  fears  of  the 
timid,  to  encourage  the  loyalty  of  the  wavering,  and 
in  all  to  reward  the  good  rather  than  to  punish  the 
evil.  Sir  John  Lawrence,  in  pure,  intelligible  ver- 
nacular, said  that  he  believed  it  was  "  all  funk"  that 
was  driving  the  soldiery  into  armed  opposition  to  the 
Government,  and  that  the  greatest  difficulty  with 
which  he  had  to  contend,  was  that  our  measures  of 
repression  had  a  necessary  tendency  to  prolong  the 
crisis  by  increasing  the  general  alarm.  And  Sir 
James  Outram  rebuked  an  officer  who  had  recom- 


1857.  mended  sanguinary  measures  of  retaliation,  by  saying 
J^'^e.  that  he  had  always  observ^ed  that  men  the  most  blood- 
thirsty in  council  were  the  least  gallant  and  cou- 
rageous in  action.  There  were,  doubtless,  times  and 
seasons  in  the  development  of  this  revolt,  when  the 
cruelty  of  the  hour  was  the  prescience  of  enlarged 
humanity — when,  to  strike  remorselessly  at  all,  taken 
red-handed,  in  the  first  flush  of  rampant  crime, 
would  be  merciful  to  the  thousands  and  tens  of  thou- 
sands who  were  waiting  for  the  encouragement  of  a 
successful  beginning  to  fling  themselves  into  the 
troubled  waters  of  rebellion.  But  this  dire  and  de- 
plorable necessity  differed  greatly  from  the  vindictive 
eagerness  which  longed  to  be  let  loose,  not  only  upon 
proved  murderers  and  mutineers,  but  upon  whole 
races  of  men  guilty  of  the  unpardonable  offence  of 
going  about  with  dark  skins  over  their  lithe  bodies. 

And  already,  indeed.  Lord  Canning  was  beginning 
to  fear  that  this  intense  national  hatred  was  bearing 
bitter  and  poisonous  fruit.  The  tidings  which  he 
received  directly  or  indirectly  from  Benares  and 
Allahabad  filled  him  with  apprehensions,  lest  the 
wild  justice  of  the  hour,  which  was  running  riot  in 
the  Gangctic  Provinces,  should  become  a  reproach 
and  a  misery  for  years.  He  feared  that  the  great 
powers  which  had  been  given  both  to  soldiers  and 
to  civilians  were  already  being  abused;  and  yet  he 
felt  that  he  could  not  arrest  the  hand  of  authority 
without  paralysing  the  energies  of  the  very  men  to 
whom  he  most  trusted  to  crush  the  rebellion  which 
was  destroying  the  lives  of  our  people  and  threaten- 
ing our  national  supremacy.  There  had  been  no 
feeble  humanitarianism — no  sentimental  irresolution 
— ^in  Canning's  measures.  It  has  been  seen  that,  on 
the  30th  of  May,  an  Act  had  been  passed  sweeping 


away  many  of  the  old  legal  fences,  and  giving  extra-  3857. 
ordinary  powers  to  officers  in  the  trial  and  execution  •^"°^' 
of  offenders ;  and  now,  on  the  6th  of  June,  another 
Act  was  passed  extending  these  powers  of  life  and 
death.*  That  the  Governor- General  should  have 
watched  the  result  of  this  exceptional  legislation  with 
anxious  forebodings  is  not  strange.  But  that  the 
head  of  a  Government,  which  had  given  what  it 
rightly  described  as  "  enormous  powers"  to  indi- 
vidual Englishmen,  for  the  suppression  of  mutiny 
and  rebellion  by  hanging  the  Natives  of  the  country, 
with  scarcely  the  formality  even  of  an  impromptu 
trial,  should  have  been  charged,  as  he  was,  with  not 
appreciating  the  gravity  of  the  position,  is,  rationally 
considered,  one  of  the  strangest  facts  in  the  whole 
history  of  the  war. 

The  strangest  things,  however,  are  not  always  un-  The  Calcutta 
accountable.  The  self-esteem  of  the  Calcutta  citizens 
had  been  wounded ;  and  egotism  often  affectionately 
adopts  what  reason  contemptuously  discards.  Lord 
Canning  had  not  accepted  the  first  offer  of  the  Euro- 
pean community  of  Calcutta  to  enrol  themselves  into 
a  Volunteer  Corps  for  the  protection  of  the  City ;  and 
it  was  thought  or  said,  therefore,  that  he  could  not 
see  the  dangers  which  beset  our  position.  But  even 
this  ground  of  reproach  was  now  to  be  removed.  In 
the  second  week  of  June,  the  reconsideration  of  the 
question,  which  had  been  decided  adversely  in  the 
preceding  month,  was  urged  upon  Lord  Canning  by 
the  ablest  of  his  counsellors.  Very  earnestly,  and 
with  a  great  show  of  authority,  Mr.  Grant,  on  the 
10th  of  June,  pressed  the  Governor-General  to  recall 
his  refusal.  His  memory  grasped  the  fact  that,  three 
years  before,  the  whole  question  of  Volunteer  Corps 

*  This  is  given  in  the  Appendix. 


857.  for  the  protection  of  the  chief  cities  of  India  had 
""*•  been  discussed  and  minuted  upon  by  Lord  Dalhousie's 
Government,  That  was  the  time  of  the  Crimean  War ; 
and  the  Governor-General  saw  but  too  plainly  that 
whenever  English  troops  might  be  wanted  for  purposes 
of  European  warfare,  little  thought  would  be  given 
to  the  requirements  of  the  great  Indian  dependency. 
It  had,  therefore,  been  held  worthy  of  consideration 
whether  in  all  the  large  towns  in  which  Europeans 
and  Eurasians  congregated  in  sufficient  numbers  to 
enrol  themselves  into  Volunteer  Corps  of  respectable 
strength,  the  movement  might  not  wisely  be  encou- 
raged by  the  State.  And  the  views  of  the  Govern- 
ment of  the  day  had  been  received  with  favour  by 
the  East  India  Company.  This  weighty  precedent 
being  now  exhumed,  the  papers  recording  it  were 
put  together  and  circulated  after  the  wonted  fashion, 
and  with  the  papers,  which  thus  brought  up  the 
Governor- General  of  yesterday  to  bear  witness  against 
the  Governor-General  of  to-day,  Mr.  Grant  despatched 
a  note  to  Lord  Canning,  saying :  "  I  entreat  your 
Lordship  to  read  so  many  of  the  papers  in  this  box  as 
I  have  put  at  the  top  of  the  bundle.  It  is  not  a 
quarter  of  an  hour's  reading.  You  will  see  that  the 
general  question  of  having  a  Volunteer  Rifle  Corps 
here,  when  the  Europeans  come  forward,  has  been 
settled  both  by  the  recommendation  of  Lord  Dal- 
housie's Government  and  the  Court's  decision  thereon. 
Now,  not  only  have  these  inhabitants  come  forward, 
but  they  are  grumbling  at  their  offer  having  been 
virtually  declined.  Certainly  an  emergency  has  oc- 
curred infinitely  greater  than  was  contemplated  at 
the  time  by  any  member  of  Lord  Dalhousie's  Govern- 
ment."*    And  he  added  to  this  that  it  was  highly 

*  In  ibis  letter  Mr.  Grant  thus    probabilities  of  danger.  I  do  not  think 
describes  the  situation  with  all  its    thelangnage exaggerated.   "I think 


probable  that  if  a  Volunteer  Corps  were  not  raised  in  1857. 
such  a  crisis  as  was  then  before  them,  the  Home  •^""^• 
Government,  after  what  had  passed  a  few  years 
before,  would  ask  the  "reason  why."  Lord  Canning 
was  not  a  man  to  be  moved  by  any  apprehensions  of 
this  kind ;  but  the  persuasive  utterances  of  his  col- 
league induced  him  to  reconsider  the  whole  question, 
and  to  reverse  his  former  judgment.  Perhaps  he  was 
not  sorry  to  prove  to  the  Christian  community  of 
Calcutta  that  they  had  erred  in  believing  that  he  had 
rejected  their  former  offer  with  studied  contempt.  In 
the  middle  of  June,  as  in  the  middle  of  May,  it  was 
still  his  impression  that  a  body  of  amateur  soldiers, 
with  other  interests  and  other  responsibilities,  would 
not  materially  augment  the  military  strength  at  his 
disposal,  or  enable  him  to  release  a  single  company  of 
Regulars  from  the  immediate  defence  of  the  capital.* 

it  is  one  thing  to  show  alarm  gra-  give  us  an  awful  shake — not  only  in 

tuitously  and  another  thing  to  make  Bengal,  but  in  Bombay  and  Madras 

all  secure  against  bad  weather,  when  —at  this  moment."  —  MS,   Corre- 

the  glass   falls  below  stormy.    In  spondence. 

reality,  as  well  as  in  appearance,  we  *  "  Another  sedative  to  the  fears 
are  very  weak  here,  where  we  ought  of  Calcutta  has  been  the  acceptance 
tobe— and  if  we  can't  be,  should  at  of  the  offer  of  Volunteers.  They 
at  least  appear  to  be — as  strong  as  resented  being  made  special  const  a- 
possible.  We  have  as  enemies  toree  bles,  and  objected  to  act  with  the 
r^ative  Infantry  regiments  and  a  Police.  They  have  now  been  en- 
half|  of  which  one  and  a  half  are  the  rolled  as  Volunteer  Guards.  Arms 
very  worst  type  we  know ;  one,  two.  have  been  given  to  them,  and  their 
three  (for  no  one  knows)  thousand  present  duty  is  to  patrol  at  night, 
armed  men  at  Garden  Reach,  or  After  a  little  training  they  will  make 
available  there  at  a  moment ;  some  a  very  useful  patrol  guard,  when 
hundred  armed  men  of  the  Scinde  needea ;  but  I  was  not  long  in  find- 
Ameers  at  Dum-Dum ;  half  the  Ma-  ing  out  that  any  duty  whicn  should 
homedan  population ;  and  all  the  take  them  away  from  their  homes  for 
blackguards  of  all  sorts  of  a  town  any  length  of  time— such,  for  in- 
of  six  hundred  thousand  people,  stance,  as  garrisoning  the  Fort  in 
Against  these  we  have  one  and  a  place  of  European  troops — would  be 
hidf  weak  regiments,  most  of  whom  strongly  objected  to  by  three-fourths 
dare  not  leave  the  Fort.  There  is  of  them.  The  truth  is,  that  Calcutta 
no  reason  to  expect  real  help  in  real  does  not  furnish  men  idle  enough 
danger  from  the  Native  Police.  The  and  independent  enough  to  be  able 
insurrection  is  regularly  spreading  to  give  themselves  to  that  duty  con- 
down  to  us.  Is  tbia  an  emergency  tinuously ."—Zori  Canaifia  to  Mr, 
ornotP  My  conviction  is  that  even  Vernon  Smith,  June  19,  1857,  MS. 
a  street  row  at  the  capital  would  Correspondence, 


;57.      But  he  consented  to  the  enrolment  and  the  arming  of 

^"®-      the  citizens,  and  he  sent  for  Colonel  Cavenagh,  the 

Town-Major,  and  instructed  him  to  make  immediate 

arrangements  for  the  organisation  of  the  force,  and 

to  take  the  command  of  it  himself. 

And  it  is  to  the  honour  of  the  community  that, 
notwithstanding  what  they  considered  to  be  a  rebuff 
in  the  first  instance,  they  again  made  offers  of  their 
services — not  so  numerously,  not  so  enthusiastically, 
as  in  the  month  before,  but  still  in  sufficient  force  to 
constitute  two  serviceable  bodies  of  Horse  and  Foot. 
Lawyers  and  merchants,  covenanted  and  uncove- 
nanted  civilians,  tradesmen  and  clerks  of  all  kinds  and 
degrees,  turned  out  to  drill  in  the  worst  seasons  of 
the  year,  in  scorching  heat  and  in  steamy  damp;  and 
we  can  take  just  account  of  what  they  did  and 
suffered  only  by  remembering  the  quiet,  easy,  mo- 
notonous lives  from  which  many  suddenly  emerged 
into  a  forced  and  unnatural  activity.  One  thing  at 
least  was  certain — the  enrolment  of  these  volunteer 
bands  had  an  assuring  effect  on  the  minds  of  the 
community  at  large.  They  seemed  to  start  suddenly 
into  life,  as  by  a  wave  of  the  enchanter's  wand. 
Cavenagh  went  about  his  work  with  promptitude 
and  energy  of  the  best  kind,  and  although  he  was 
soon  afterwards  honourably  relieved  from  the  com- 
mand, on  account  of  the  urgent  pressure  of  other 
duties,  it  is  hard  to  say  how  much  the  efficiency  of 
the  Volunteer  Corps  was  due  to  his  first  efforts. 

ictions       But  that  which  of  all  causes  of  vexation  vexed 
'  Indian  j^^^^  Canning  most  in  this  month  of  June  was  the 
language  of  the  Indian  Press — the  malignant  out- 
pourings of  the  Native  and  the  unguarded  utterances 


of  the  European  journals.  That,  for  some  time  past,  1857. 
the  former  had  been  overflowing  with  sedition  was  ^®' 
certain ;  but  the  latter  had  always  been  loyal,  if  not 
to  the  local  governments,  at  least  to  the  Crown  and 
the  Nation.  The  Native  newspapers,  printed  in 
Persian  or  Nagari  characters,  or  sometimes  only 
lithographed  as  rude  fly-sheets,  were  generally  sup- 
posed by  the  European  communities  to  be  of  small 
circulation  and  smaller  influence.  But  with  a  par- 
tially educated  and  a  generally  poor  people,  the 
influence  of  a  published  journal  is  out  of  all  pro- 
portion to  the  number  of  copies  printed.  Not  only 
did  every  impression  of  a  Native  newspaper  pass 
through  a  number  of  hands,  but  each  one  of  the 
numerous  recipients  read  it  aloud,  or  recited  its 
contents  to  a  still  larger  audience.  And  as  every 
reader  and  every  hearer  was,  in  an  extreme  degree, 
credulous  and  suspicious,  every  lie  uttered  and 
printed  was  believed  as  gospel,  and  other  lies  were 
encrusted  upon  it.  There  were,  doubtless,  some  ex- 
ceptions, especially  in  Bengal ;  but  the  majority  of 
Native  journals  were  either  intentionally  hostile  and 
fake  to  the  British  Government,  or  they  scattered 
abroad,  with  reckless  prodigality,  lying  rumours, 
which  were  perhaps  more  dangerous  in  their  insidious- 
ness  than  the  utterances  of  open  sedition.  Though 
generally  disregarded,  as  I  have  said,  by  Englishmen 
in  India,  these  manifestations  of  an  unquiet  spirit  in 
the  depths  of  Native  society  had  attracted,  during  a 
long  series  of  years,  the  attention  of  some  shrewd 
observers;  and  it  was  sometimes  prophetically  said 
that  the  fidelity  of  the  Native  Army  could  not  long 
survive  the  establishment  of  a  Free  Press.  And  it  is 
not  improbable  that  not  one  of  those  shrewd  ob- 
servers, from  Sir  Thomas  Munro  downwards,  ever 


1857.      discovered  half  the   mischief  lurking  beneath  the 
^^^^'      ambiguously  worded  articles  and  enigmatical  para- 
graphs of  the  Native  journalists.* 

The  European  journals,  on  the  other  hand,  which 
were  for  the  most  part  conducted  by  educated  Eng- 
lish gentlemen  holding  a  good  position  in  society, 
prided  themselves  on  being  intensely  English.      A 
large  proportion  of  their  readers,  and  a  still  larger 
proportion  of  the  purchasers  of  these  journals,  were 
either  "  in  the  services,"  or  members  of  the  com- 
mercial communities  of  the  large  towns.     That  there 
was  also  a  Native  Public  for  these  writings  is  true ; 
but  the  English  journalist  and  the  Hindoo  or  Ma- 
horaedan  reader  were   commonly  brought  together 
by  the  medium  of  translations  in  the  Native  papers. 
The  classes,  therefore,  for  which  the  English  news- 
papers were  edited  were  those  most  interested  in  the 
'maintenance  of  good  order  and  the  supremacy  of 
the  British  Government.     But  Anglo-Indian  editors, 
whilst  loyally  fulfilling  their  duty  to  the  Public  and 
to  the  State,  on  the  whole  with  praiseworthy  con- 
scientiousness, were  not  exempt  from  the  besetting 
infirmity  of  their  craft — an  intense  craving  for  news. 
The  fault  was  not  in  the  Journalist  so  much  as  in  the 
Public.     The  journal  that  published  a  lying  report 
one  morning  W6is  held  in  greater  esteem  than  the 
contemporary  who  contradicted  it  on  the  next.  Any- 
thing was  more  acceptable  than  dulness ;  and  to  be 
cautious  is  always  to  be  dull.     And  this  not  only 
with  respect  to  facts,  but  also  with  respect  to  opinions. 
A  critical  conjuncture  not  only  generates  an  extreme 
desire  for  news  on  the  part  of  the  public,  but  an  ex- 

♦   Sir  Thomas   Munro's  famous  ence  to  it.    I  have,  therefore,  given 

minute  has  been  often  quoted,  but  some  remarkable   passages  in  the 

this  narrative  would  be  incomplete  Appendix, 
without  some  more  particular  refer- 


cessive  tendency  towards  strong  writing  on  the  part  ^857. 
of  the  public  instructor.  The  excited  journalist  •^""®' 
naturally  throws  out  at  such  times  the  angry  sparks 
of  his  peculiar  national  tendencies  with  a  freedom 
which,  however  gratifying  to  himself,  cannot  be 
otherwise  than  embarrassing  to  the  State,  His 
patriotism  is  not  to  be  doubted.  He  is  English  to 
the  backbone.  He  will  fight  and  die  for  his  country. 
He  will  do  all  things  for  it — but  one.  He  will  not 
be  reticent  when  he  ought  to  be ;  he  will  not  forego 
the  privilege  of  saying  just  what  he  likes. 

But  there  are  times  and  seasons  when  even  the 
honourable  impulses  of  loyal  journalists  may  wisely 
be  held  in  restraint,  and  assuredly  such  a  time 
had  arrived  in  the  month  of  June,  1857.  In  the 
official  language  of  the  day,  "The  Bengal  Native 
Army  was  in  mutiny ;  the  North-Western  Provinces 
were  for  the  moment  lost;  the  King  of  Delhi  and  our 
treacherous  Sepoys  were  proclaiming  a  new  empire  ; 
small  bodies  of  gallant  Englishmen  were  holding  out 
for  Government  in  isolated  stations  against  fearful 
odds ;  the  revolt  was  still  extending ;  and  the  hearts 
of  all  Englishmen  in  India  were  daily  torn  by  ac- 
counts of  the  massacre  of  their  brethren,  and  the 
massacre,  and  worse  than  massacre,  of  their  women 
and  children.''*  In  a  word,  there  was  a  great  crisis, 
and  European  journalism  did  not  sufficiently  take 
account  of  it— did  not  sufficiently  consider  that, 
whatever  in  ordinary  times  might  be  the  uses  of 
plain-speaking,  a  little  reticence  at  such  a  season  as 
this  might  be  advantageous  to  the  general  interests 
of  the  Public  and  not  dishonourable  to  public  writers 

It  may  be  said,  that  when  everybody  else  is  excited, 

*  The  Government  of  India  to  the  Court  of  Directors,  July  4, 1857. 


1857.      it  is  not  to  be  expected  that  the  journalist  should 
June.      Y^Q  fj.^^  fj.Qjjj  excitement — that  if,  in  the  midst  of 

general  tribulation  and  confusion,  he  maintains 
serenity  of  mind  and  moderation  of  speech,  he  is 
superior  to  the  majority  of  his  fellows.  But  it 
is  not  to  be  forgotten  that  he  assumes  a  superiority 
— SL  superiority,  on  the  strength  of  which  he  criti- 
cises and  controverts  the  acts  and  opinions  of  the 
highest  officers  of  the  Government,  even  of  the  Go- 
vernment itself— and  that  he,  above  all  others,  there- 
fore, is  bound,  as  a  self-appointed  public  teacher,  to 
set  an  example  to  the  community.  The  responsibility 
which  he  takes  upon  himself  is  great ;  and  he  must 
stand  or  fall  as  he  proves  himself  worthy  or  unworthy 
to  be  invested  with  it.  If  an  individual  commu- 
nicates important  information  to  the  enemy — if  he 
spreads  abroad  false  reports  tending  to  endanger  the 
interests  of  the  State  and  to  jeopardise  the  lives  ot 
his  countrymen — if  he  inflames  and  alarms  the  minds 
of  those  whom  his  Government  are  striving  to  pacify 
and  to  reassure — every  journal  in  the  land  forthwith 
denounces  him  as  a  pestilent  spy,  a  dangerous 
agitator,  and  a  public  foe;  and  calls  for  condign 
punishment  to  be  inflicted  upon  him.  But  the  news- 
paper that  does  these  things  is  not  a  single  spy — a 
single  agitator — a  single  foe ;  but  a  legion  of  spies, 
and  agitators,  and  foes.  Its  emissaries  spread  them- 
selves all  over  the  country,  and  do  their  mischief  in 
the  most  remote  as  in  the  nearest  places.  The  treason 
is  of  the  most  dangerous  kind,  and  none  the  less  so 
because  it  is  unintentional. 

It  seemed,  therefore,  to  Lord  Canning  and  his  col- 
leagues in  the  middle  of  the  month  of  June,  that  the 
malignant  hostility  of  the  Native  and  the  reckless 
unreserve  of  the  European  Press  were  evils  which  it 


was  the  duty  of  the  State  to  arrest.  When  the  Press  1857. 
was  liberated,  some  twenty  years  before,  it  had  been  •'^®- 
one  of  the  most  cogent  arguments  in  favour  of  the 
liberation  —  one,  indeed,  which  had  disarmed  the 
hostile  and  encouraged  the  wavering — that,  in  the 
event  of  a  critical  conjuncture  of  affairs  calling  for 
such  a  measure,  the  Government  of  the  day  might  in 
the  course  of  an  hour  reimpose  such  restraints  as  it 
might  think  fit  upon  the  Press.  That  circumstances 
might  arise  to  render  the  reimposition  of  such  re- 
straints a  salutary  measure,  and  that  it  would  be  not 
only  justifiable,  but  commendable  on  the  part  of 
Government  to  exercise  the  power  vested  in  it,  was 
never  questioned  even  by  the  most  liberal  contem- 
poraries of  Sir  Charles  Metcalfe.  And  those  excep- 
tional circumstances,  calling  for  exceptional  measures, 
were  now  present  to  the  Governor-General  and  his 

The  Legislative  Council  of  Calcutta  was  then  com- 
posed of  the  members  of  the  Executive  Government 
and  others  especially  appointed  thereto,  including 
the  Chief  Justice  and  one  of  the  Puisne  Judges.  The 
legislators  who  met  the  Governor^General  on  the 
13th  of  June  consisted  of  four  covenanted  civilians, 
one  military  officer,  and  three  English  lawyers.  The 
English  element,  therefore,  of  which  the  Governor- 
General,  who  had  been  little  more  than  a  year  in 
India,  was  a  conspicuous  part,  was  certainly  not 
overborne  by  the  "  services."  The  Governor-General 
brought  in  the  Bill  and  proposed  its  first  reading, 
which  was  seconded  by  Mr.  Dorin,  as  senior  member 
of  Council.  Lord  Canning  made  a  brief  and  emphatic 
speech,  taking  the  whole  responsibility  on  himself; 
but  Chief  Justice  Colvile  frankly  declared  his  willing- 
ness to  share  that  responsibility  with  the  head  of  the 

TOL,  in.  c 


1867.  Executive  Government.  There  was  not  a  diss^itient 
Jane.  voice  in  Council.  There  was  not,  indeed,  any  re- 
luctance or  any  reserve  on  the  part  of  a  single 
legislator  in  that  assemblage.  Even  Sir  Arthur 
Buller,  a  Liberal  of  Liberals,  accorded  his  assent  as 
freely  as  Mr.  Dorin  and  Mr.  Grant  And  Mr. 
Peacock  was  equally  convinced  that  the  solus  populi — 
suprema  lex  demanded  the  exercise  of  exceptional 
powers  for  the  suppression  of  an  exceptional  eviL 
The  Act  was  passed,  placing  for  a  year  the  whole 
Press  of  India  under  penal  restraints.  Thenceforth  no 
printing-press,  within  that  time,  was  to  be  kept  with- 
out a  license  from  Government — if  so  kept,  in  de- 
fiance of  the  law,  it  might  be  seized  and  confiscated ; 
— and  the  Executive  Government  was  vested  with 
full  power  to  suppress  at  will,  by  an  announcement 
in  the  Government  Gazette,  any  publication  which 
might  be  considered  injurious  to  the  interests  of  the 
June  13.  Ever  since  the  days  of  John  Milton,  Englishmen, 
in  all  parts  of  the  world,  have  had  a  just  reverence 
for  the  privilege  of  "  unlicensed  printing."  It  is  not 
surprising,  therefore,  that  the  law  passed  on  the  13th 
of  June — ^No.  XV.  of  1857 — excited  a  howl  of  in- 
dignation at  the  time,  and  by  later  writers  has  been 
severely  condemned.  It  was  forthwith  christened 
the  Gagging  Act,  and  loaded  with  every  term  of 
reproach.  The  prompt  cries  of  the  daily  papers  were 
followed  by  the  more  deliberate  execrations  of  the 
weeklies.  It  is  unnecessary  to  examine  in  detail 
what  was  written  under  the  influence  of  intense 
excitement,  and  would  hardly  now  be  justified  by 
the  writers  themselves.  But  there  is  one  statement^ 
repeated  in  calmer  moments,  that  may  be  noticed 
here.     It  has  been  said  that  by  passing  this  Act  Lord 


Canning  insulted  the  whole  European  community  1857. 
at  a  time  when  it  was  his  special  duty  to  conciliate  ^^^' 
them.  But  it  is  stated  by  the  assailants  of  the  Go- 
vernor-General that  the  Company's  civilians  prompted 
the  measure ;  so  they  were  not  insulted.  It  has  been 
seen  that  the  most  eminent  lawyers  in  Calcutta  voted 
unhesitatingly  in  favour  of  the  Bill ;  and  it  is  not  to 
be  believed  that  they  would  have  deliberately  sanc- 
tioned a  measure  regarded  as  an  offence  to  the  whole 
legal  profession.  The  sentiments  of  the  merchants 
and  traders  are  not  equally  apparent  in  the  retro- 
spect. But  as  they  had  a  greater  interest  in  the 
preservation  of  order  and  the  protection  of  property, 
and  were  more  largely  connected  with  the  Native 
inhabitants  than  any  other  class  of  Europeans,  it 
must  not  be  hastily  assumed  that  a  measure  intended 
to  allay  public  excitement  and  to  moderate  anti- 
pathies of  race,  was  an  abomination  to  the  commercial 
community.*  Moreover,  to  have  drawn  a  distinction 
in  such  a  case  between  the  European  and  the  Native 
Press  would  have  been  an  insult  to  the  loyal  Native 

*  A  letter  before  me,  written  a  of  Sir  Henry  Lawrence,  as  contained 
week  after  the  Act  was  passed  (by  in  a  letter  to  Lord  Canning,  were 
a  high  ciyil  officer,  one  not  likely  these: ''Whatever  may  be  the  danger 
to  c&viate  from  the  truth),  says :  from  the  Native  Press,  I  look  on  it 
"  I  don't  know,  what  you  will  think  that  the  papers  published  in  our  lan- 
of  the  Press  Act,  but  no  one  ought  guage  are  much  the  most  dangerous, 
to  object  to  it  who  has  not  given  a  Disaffected  Native  editors  need  only 
week  to  the  study  of  the  Indian  translate  as  they  do,  with  or  without 
newspapers.  Sir  Henry  Lawrence  notes,  or  words  of  admiration  or  ex- 
tells  us  that  the  English  Press  has  cbmations,  editorials  from  the  jPrt>»^ 
done  us  more  harm  in  the  Native  of  India  (on  the  duty  of  annexing 
mind  than  the  Native  Press,  and  every  Native  State,  on  the  imbecilitv, 
that  no  paper  has  done  us  more  harm  if  not  wickedness,  of  allowing  a  single 
than  the  Friend  of  India,  which  Jagheer,  and  of  preaching  the  Gospel, 
preaches  the  duty  of  spoliation  in  so  even  by  commanding  officers),  to  raise 
many  words,  axid  almost  in  terms  alarm  and  hatred  in  the  minds  of  all 
recommends  forcible  conversion,  or  religionists,  and  all  connected  with 
the  next  thing  to  it.  .  .  The  sensible  Native  principalities  or  Jagheers. 
part  of  the  European  public  approve  And  among  the  above  will  be  found 
of  the  Act.  The  sood  Native  JPress  a  large  majority  of  the  dangerous 
openly  af^roves  of  it"  The  remarks  classes." 



1867.  inhabitants  who  were  supporting  the  Government  in 
June.  all  parts  of  India.  I  think  that  the  highest  praise  that 
can  be  bestowed  on  Lord  Canning  is  that  he  never  lost 
sight  of  the  fact  that  he  was  Governor-General  of  India 
— that  India  was  a  great  country,  inhabited  by  vast 
millions  of  people,  of  different  races  and  different 
religions,  and  that  although  it  was  his  duty  to  main- 
tain by  all  just  means  the  Empire  which  he  had  been 
commissioned  to  govern,  it  did  not  become  him  to 
keep  prominently  before  the  Natives  of  the  country 
the  fact  that  they  were  a  conquered  people — a  subject 
race — ^bound  by  other  laws  and  amenable  to  other 
conditions  than  those  recognised  by  their  white-faced 

But  no  man  knew  better  than  Lord  Canning  that 
distinctions,  which  he  was  himself  disinclined  to  draw, 
would  be  drawn  by  others  both  in  India  and  in 
England ;  and  he  wrote  to  the  President  of  the  Board 
of  Control,  saying :  "  Another  step  taken  last  week, 
and  which  Avill  provoke  angry  comment  at  home,  is 
the  check  put  temporarily  upon  the  Press.  The 
papers  which  go  to  you  show  the  grounds  on  which 
this  has  been  done.  As  regards  the  Native  Press, 
I  shall  be  surprised  if  even  in  England  there  are 
two  opinions  as  to  the  propriety  of  the  measure. 
The  mischief  which  such  writings  as  these  which  I 
send  to  you  do  amongst  the  ignorant  and  childish, 
but  excitable  Sepoys,  and  the  fanatical  Mahomedans 
of  every  class,  will  be  easily  understood,  especially 
when  it  is  known  that  they  are  eagerly  sought  and 
listened  to  by  the  Native  soldiers.  I  consider  that 
this  evil  is  one  which  cannot,  in  the  present  state  of 
India,  be  allowed  to  continue  without  positive  guilti- 
ness on  the  part  of  the  Government.  Therefore,  I 
have  not  hesitated  to  take  the  power  of  arresting  it 


by  the  only  means  which  will  be  summary  and  1857. 
efficacious.  As  to  the  English  Press,  it  has  no  claim  •^"**°' 
to  exemption.  If  it  were  read  only  by  English 
readers,  something  might  be  urged  in  its  defence. 
Such  an  article  as  appeared  in  the  Friend  of  India 
four  weeks  ago,  pointing  out  our  temporary  weakness 
and  the  opportunity  which  it  affords  to  our  enemies, 
might  then  be  harmless  enough.  But  the  articles  of 
the  English  newspapers  are  translated  into  the  Native 
languages  and  read  by  all.  Again,  as  regards  the 
announcement  of  facts,  where  a  very  little  trouble  of 
inquiry  would  avoid  error,  this  morning  (June  19) 
the  Hurkaru  states  that  European  troops  have  been 
sent  to  Berhampore  to  arrest  the  Nawab  of  Moorshe- 
dabad,  who,  with  his  principal  officers,  has  been  dis- 
covered, through  papers  which  the  Government  have 
seized,  to  be  deeply  implicated  in  the  rebellion.  This 
is  wantonly  false.  The  Nawab  has  hitherto  been 
perfectly  faithful,  but  how  long  he  may  remain  so,  if 
this  paragraph  meets  his  eye,  is  very  doubtful.  Of 
its  effect  upon  the  bigoted  Mahomedan  population  of 
Moorshedabad  there  can  be  no  doubt.  They  are  ripe 
for  revolt,  and  have  already  tampered  with  the  Sepoys 
at  Berhampore,  and  unless  the  means  which  have 
been  taken  to  prevent  any  copy  of  the  newspaper 
reaching  Moorshedabad  shall  be  successful,  the  risk 
of  a  rising  against  the  Europeans  will  be  most 
imminent;  for  the  post  will  arrive  there  two  days 
before  the  troops,  who  have  been  sent  for  no  other 
purpose  than  to  protect  the  station."* 

♦  The  displeasure  of  the  Govern-  tion  or  correction  of  current  rumours, 

ment  was  naturally  very  much  in-  |' He  has,"  wrote  Lord  Canning,  "  all 

creased  by  the  recollection  of  the  information  of  interest  supplied  to  him 

hd  that  the  Calcutta  Journalist  was  daily  by  the  Government,  and  all  his 

freely  supplied  with  information  from  questions  receive  immediate  answers ; 

Government  House,  in   the  shape  and  yet  he  puts  in  a  paragraph  for 

bpthof  actual  news  and  the  verifica-  which  there  is   not  a  shadow   gf 


1837.  Perhaps  now  that  Time  has  allayed  the  popular 

June.  excitement  and  moderated  the  rash  judgments  of 
men,  the  sober  conclusions  of  most  people  resemble 
these.  I  am  aware  that  they  are  mere  common- 
places ;  but  they  are  the  commonplaces  of  common 
sense.  That  it  is  the  duty  of  a  Government^  in  the 
general  interests  of  the  community,  at  periods  of 
great  popular  excitement,  to  obtain  the  sanction  of 
the  Legislature  for  the  exercise  of  exceptional  powers, 
has  never  been  questioned.  The  Liberty  of  the  Sub- 
ject and  the  Liberty  of  the  Press  are  blessings  to 
which  every  Englishman  holds  fast  as  to  an  inalien- 
able birthright.  But  there  are  times  and  seasons 
when  the  most  constitutional  of  Governments  impose 
restrictions  on  the  former,  by  suspending  the  Habeas 
Corpus  Act,  and  do  so  without  reproach  when  the 
public  safety  seems  to  demand  a  temporary  suspen- 
sion of  the  ordinary  laws  of  the  land.  It  is  neces- 
sary to  the  justification  of  such  a  measure  only  that 
the  crisis  should  be  one  of  extreme  urgency,  and  that 
the  violence  of  persons  should  be  sufficient  to  demand 
such  violent  interference  with  their  liberties.  And 
the  same  with  respect  to  liberty  of  speech.  Now  the 
urgency  of  the  crisis  in  this  case  was  unquestioned 
and  unquestionable.  The  only  consideration  was, 
whether  the  unrestrained  utterances  of  the  Anglo- 
Indian  Press  had  been  such  as  to  increase,  or  to 
threaten  to  increase,  the  danger  which  menaced  the 
State  and  the  lives  of  the  Christian  community? 
Lord  Canning  thought  that  they  were.  All  the 
members  of  his  Council  thought  that  they  were. 
The  most  eminent  la^vyers  in  Calcutta  thought  that 

foundatiou,  and  has  not  the  sense  to  times  as  these,  and  in  this  conntiy, 

see  that  he  is  perilling  the  lives  of  a  need  to  be  controlled,  whether  they 

whole   community   of  unprotected  be  European  or  Natiye." 
Europeans.     Such  editors  in  such 


they  were.  The  Governors  of  the  other  Presidencies  1857. 
thought  that  they  were.  Not  because  the  attitude  ^^^' 
of  the  Press  was  hostile  to  the  Government,  for,  in- 
deed, the  general  tendency  of  the  most  influential 
portion  of  it  was  to  support  the  British  authorities — 
but  because  —  notwithstanding  the  loyalty,  which 
had  never  been  suspected,  which,  indeed,  was  English 
to  a  fault — ^it  had  manifested  signs  of  a  dangerous 
want  of  caution,  both  in  the  dissemination  of  facts 
and  the  utterance  of  opinions  tending  to  expose 
the  weakness  of  the  British  Empire,  to  inflame  the 
passions  of  the  people  of  India,  and  to  excite  alarm 
among  her  Princes  and  Chiefs. 

But  it  has  been  said  that^  although  the  circum- 
stances were  such  as  to  justify  the  Government  of  the 
day  in  placing  restrictions  upon  the  liberty  of  the 
Press,  as  upon  the  liberty  of  the  Subject,  the  same 
results  might  have  been  attained  in  a  less  offensive 
manner.  In  other  words,  a  censorship  might  have 
been  established.  But  a  censorship  is,  at  all  times, 
an  inconvenient  and  embarrassing  affair,  and,  in 
times  of  great  popular  excitement,  the  difficulty  is 
increased  almost  to  the  point  of  impossibility.  For  it 
is  in  such  times  that  a  Government  has  most  need  of 
the  services  of  every  one  of  its  best  officers ;  and  it  is 
only  to  one  of  its  best  officers  that  the  work  of  a 
censorship  can  be  safely  intrusted.  To  take  away  any 
such  officer  from  his  normal  duties  to  watch  the  im- 
prudences of  the  Press,  would  have  resembled  the 
great  evil  which  all  men  were  bewailing  at  the  time 
— ^the  necessity  of  employing  European  regiments 
in  keeping  watch  over  suspected  Sepoy  battalions. 
"  Better  disarm  them  at  once !"  was  the  cry.  But 
Lord  Canning  had  another  and  still  more  incisive 
reason  for  rejecting  the  alternative  of  the  censorship. 


1857.  If  he  had  an  officer  whom  he  could  spare  for  this 
^^^  difficult  and  delicate  duty,  he  had  not  one  to  whom, 
he  thought,  he  could  safely  intrust  the  performance 
of  it.  "I  should  have  had  to  do  it  myself,"  he  said 
afterwards  to  a  gentleman  who  discussed  the  question 
with  him ;  and  this  may  be  considered  conclusive. 

But  it  is  not  to  be  doubted  that  this  and  other 
measures,  however  little  understood,  increased  Lord 
Canning's  unpopularity  with  some  classes  of  the 
European  community.  To  say  that  he  was  indifferent 
to  it  would  not  be  true.  No  man  can  be  altogether 
indifferent  to  the  opinions  of  his  countrymen.  But 
he  bore  up  bravely  against  it.  It  is  more  than  pro- 
bable that  a  certain  feeling  of  contempt,  which  he 
could  not  suppress,  contributed  to  the  strength  of  his 
endurance.  Perhaps,  he  had  formed  too  low  an  esti- 
mate of  the  courage  and  constancy  of  the  men  by 
whom  he  was  surrounded,  and  that  he  was  too  prone 
to  draw  general  conclusions  unfavourable  to  his 
countrjonen  from  a  few  isolated  facts.  This  was, 
doubtless,  in  some  degree  at  least,  to  be  attributed  to 
the  peculiarities  of  his  position.  For  the  head  of 
the  Government  often  lacks  information  of  what  is 
passing  beyond  the  walls  of  Government  House,  and 
knows  little  or  nothing  of  the  tone  and  temper  of 
general  society.  Those  who  sought  his  presence — I 
do  not  speak  of  the  official  functionaries,  jvho  had 
daily  access  to  him — commonly  came,  with  much 
excitement  of  manner,  to  tell  alarmist  stories,  which 
he  did  not  believe,  or  to  suggest  defensive  measures, 
which  he  could  not  approve ;  whilst  of  the  calm, 
quiet  courage  of  those  who  stood  aloof  he  probably 
heard  nothing.  Even  those  who  liked  him  least  and 
reviled  him  most  never  asserted  that  he  showed  the 
slightest  symptom  of  fear ;  and  it  must  be  admitted 


by  the  warmest  of  his  admirers  that  he  was  not  1857. 
tolerant  of  those  who  did.  It  has  been  said,  too,  that  •^^®- 
his  high  personal  courage,  in  which  there  was  nothing 
boastful,  sometimes  led  him  into  errors,  which,  though 
the  errors  of  a  noble  nature,  one  may  see  reason  to 
regret.  This  may  not  be  wholly  untrue.  But  the 
greater  part  of  the  charges  brought  against  him — 
charges,  which  after  ample  circulation  on  the  spot 
were  sent  home  to  friends  in  England,  and  by  them 
published  in  the  London  newspapers,  were  based 
upon  allegations  absolutely,  and  in  some  instances 
ridiculously,  false.  Even  Lady  Canning,  who  was 
as  little  afraid  as  her  lord,  but  who  was  full,  to  over- 
flowing, of  sympathy  and  compassion  towards  her 
distressed  countrymen  and  countrywomen,  did  not 
escape  the  mendacious  censoriousness  of  Calcutta. 
It  was  said  of  her  that  she  had  spoken  of  the  "  poor, 
dear  Sepoys ;"  and,  though  no  such  words  had  ever 
passed  her  lips,  the  rumour  ran  from  house  to  house 
and  found  its  way  to  England,  and  the  unpopularity 
which  had  gathered  so  thickly  around  Lord  Canning 
began  also  to  encompass  his  wife.  And  lies  grew 
apace — how,  no  man  knew ;  for  every  one  believed, 
who  uttered  them. 

In  the  first  week  of  June,  and  in  the  earlier  part  Lull  in  Cal- 
of  the  second,  there  appears  to  have  been  some  sub-  ^^^^^ 
sidence  of  the  excitement,  the  manifestations  of  which, 
in  the  latter  part  of  the  preceding  month,  had  aroused 
such  bitter  feelings  of  indignation  in  the  breast  of 
Lord  Canning ;  but  ere  the  second  week  had  expired, 
there  was  a  renewal  of  the  alarm,  in  a  more  exag- 
gerated form,  and  for  a  little  while  a  great  fear  of  the 
armed  Sepoys  took  absolute  possession  of  large  num- 


1857.      bers  of  Christian  people.     There  had  always  been  a 
June.      Jqij^  ^py  fQj,  ^Y^Q  disarming  of  the  Native  regiments 

in  Bengal,  to  the  extreme  limits  of  that  province  up 
to  the  great  military  station  of  Dinapore,  hard  by  the 
city  of  Patna,  not  seldom  in  a  state  of  Mahomedan 
fermentation.  Of  this  I  shall  speak  presently ;  but 
first  must  be  recorded  the  events  which  occurred  at 
the  Head-Quarters  of  the  Presidency  Division  of  the 
The  Barrack-  Whilst  the  first  reinforcements  of  European  troops 
mentT^"  ^^^^  pouring  into  the  great  Presidency  town,  at  Bar- 
rackpore  the  Sepoys  seemed  to  be  recovering  from 
the  epidemic  which  had  recently  assailed  them.  On 
the  25th  of  May,  the  Seventieth  Regiment  of  Native 
Infantry  had  made  ofifer  of  their  services  to  march 
against  the  rebels  at  Delhi.  Struck  by  this  evidence 
of  loyalty,  and  eager  by  all  means  to  encourage  it, 
for  he  believed  that  many  might  yet  be  reclaimed 
by  generous  proofs  of  confidence  on  the  part  of  Go- 
vernment, Lord  Canning,  without  loss  of  time,  had 
driven  to  Barrackpore,  where  the  regiment  was  drawn 
up  to  receive  him,  and  in  a  brief,  stirring  address 
thanked  them  for  their  ofier,  and  said  that  they 
should  march  up  the  country.  The  example  of  the 
Seventieth  was  soon  followed  by  the  Forty-third, 
who  requested  also  that  their  regiment  "might  be 
allowed  to  proceed  against  the  mutinous  regiments 
at  Delhi."  And  in  the  first  week  of  June  all  the 
corps  at  Barrackpore  besought  the  Government  to 
supply  them  with  the  new  Enfield  rifle.  Outwardly 
it  was  wise  to  accept  this  movement  as  another  proof 
that  the  Sepoys  had  cast  out  their  old  suspicions,  and 
were  prepared  faithfully  to  serve  the  Government^ 
whose  salt  they  had  so  long  eaten.  But  to  com{^ 
with  the  request,  if  compliance  were  poBsibk^ 


have  been  to  strengthen  the  hands  of  our  enemies  by  1857. 
placing  in  them  a  new  and  formidable  weapon,  which  ^^^ 
ere  long  might  be  turned  against  us.  Whether  such 
were  the  hidden  purpose  of  the  request,  or  whether 
the  regiments  who,  from  the  first,  had  been  swayed 
backwards  and  forwards  by  varying  gusts  of  con- 
fidence and  fear,  of  loyalty  and  infidelity,  were  at 
that  time  sincere  in  their  protestations,  can  never  be 
satisfactorily  determined.*  There  was,  fortunately, 
no  need  that  Government  should  unravel  this  knotty 
question.  The  difficulty  was  cut  through  at  once  by 
the  opportune  fact  that  there  was  no  supply  of 
Enfield  rifles  in  store  that  could  be  served  out  to  the 
three  regiments. 

And  before  another  week  had  spent  itself,  the 
whole  complexion  of  things  was  changed.  Instead 
of  thinking  of  marching  the  regiments  to  Delhi  with 
Enfield  rifles  in  their  hands,  the  authorities  were  now 
busy  with  the  thought  of  dispossessing  them  even  of 
the  old  clumsy  instrument  known  among  British 
soldiers  as  "  Brown  Bess."  On  the  night  of  Saturday, 
the  13th  of  June,  an  express  arrived  at  Government 
House  from  General  Hearsey,  stating  that  the  Sepoys 
at  Barrackpore  had  conspired  to  rise  in  the  course  of 
the  niglit,  and  that  he  had  sent  for  the  Seventy- 
eighth  Highlanders,  who  were  then  at  Chinsurah,  to 
disarm  the  suspected  regiments,  if  the  measure  were 
approved  by  Government.  The  sanction  to  the  dis- 
arming was  reluctantly  given.  General  Hearsey  had 
"  shown  such  firmness  and  nerve  before,"  that  Lord 

•  The  words  of  the  Native  officer  in  its  service,  we  hope  to  prove  be- 
ef the  Seventieth  are  worth  quoting,  yond  a  doubt  our  fidelity  to  Govern- 
"  We  have  thought  over  the  subject,  ment ;  and  we  will  explain  to  all  we 
and  as  we  are  now  going  up  country,  meet  1  hat  there  is  nothing  objection- 
we  beg  that  the  new  rifles,  about  able  in  them,  otherwise  why  should 
which  so  much  has  been  said  in  the  we  have  taken  them  ?  Are  we  not 
army  and  all  over  the  country,  may  as  careful  of  our  caste  and  religion 
be  served  out  to  us.    By  using  them  as  any  of  them  ?" 




June  14. 

nients  dis- 

Canning  "could  not  resist  the  appeal."  He  was 
never  satisfied  that  the  measure  was  necessary.  But 
he  issued  instructions  with  all  promptitude,  and  that 
night  one  European  regiment  was  marching  up  from 
Calcutta,  and  another  was  coming  down  from  Chin- 
surah,  to  enforce  the  disarming.* 

The  night  passed  quietly  in  the  Lines,  though 
anxiously  in  the  English  bungalo\^s ;  and,  perhaps, 
not  without  some  efibrts  on  the  part  of  the  worst- 
disposed  of  the  Sepoys  to  excite  their  comrades  to  an 
immediate  outbreak,  this  quietude  was  maintained. 
About  five  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  the  14th  the 
Highlanders  marched  into  Barrackpore.  Misled  by  a 
guide,  they  had  gone  out  of  their  way ;  and  when  they 
made  their  appearance  at  Head-Quarters,  weary  and 
footsore,  and  in  many  instances  only  half  dressed  and 
accoutred — according  to  contemporary  chroniclers, 
some  without  shoes  and  stockings,  and  some  in  their 
sleeping  drawers — the  time  had  passed  for  immediate 
action.  The  day  was  spent  quietly,  as  the  night  had 
been,  and  when  towards  evening  the  Native  regiments 
were  suddenly  warned  for  parade,  and  marched  to 
the  parade-ground,  they  found  themselves  face  to 
face  with  a  line  of  guns,  and  with  a  body  of  Euro- 
peans on  each  of  their  flanks.  Then  General  Hearsey 
addressed  them,  tenderly  and  kindly,  in  his  wonted 

*  A  week  afterwards  he  wrote  to 
Mr.  Vernon  Smith,  saying :  "  I  am 
not  now  satisfied  that  there  was  any 
sufficient  ground  for  a  general  dis- 
arming^ ;  and,  although  all  Calcutta 
is  delighted  at  it,  I  look  forward 
with  some  apprehension  to  the  effect 
which  the  measure  will  have  at  the 
several  stations  in  Lower  Bengal.  I 
have  always  foreseen  this  dauber  in 
disarming  at  the  Presidency,  i  shall 
rejoice  if  my  fears  prove  groundless 
—but  already  several  desertions  have 

taken  place  since  the  disarming,  and 
some  of  the  men  are  making  their 
way  to  Barrackpore  with  the  news. 
The  Forty-third,  the  best  behaved 
regiment  in  Bengal,  against  which 
there  has  never  been  a  breath  of  re- 
proach, is  completely  panic-stricken, 
and  the  men  are  deserting  one  day 
and  coming  back  the  next,  not  know- 
ing what  to  do  with  themselves,  but 
conGdent  that  some  further  disgrace 
or  injury  is  intended  to  them."— 
MS,  Correspondenee, 

"  PANIC  SUNDAY."  29 

manner,  and  told  them  that  it  was  the  order  of  Go-  1857. 
vemment  that  they  should  lay  down  their  arms,  lest  ^^®  ^*- 
they  should  be  incited  by  ill-disposed  persons  to  acts 
of  mutiny  and  rebellion.  They  obeyed,  promptly 
and  patiently,  with  the  air  of  men  who  had  been 
wrongfully  treated  rather  than  baffled  in  an  iniquitous 
design.  They  were  fearful  and  sorrowful,  and  many 
of  their  English  officers  were  well-nigh  heart-broken 
by  what  they  considered  the  unjust  punishment  and 
humiliation  of  their  men.  Some  asked  that  the 
Sepoys'  arms  might  be  restored,  whilst  the  Sepoys 
themselves,  believing  that  they  would  be  massacred 
by  the  Europeans,  deserted  in  large  numbers,  glad  to 
escape  even  with  their  lives. 

The  Sepoy  guards  in  Calcutta,  at  Fort  William, 
and  in  the  suburbs  of  the  great  city,  were  furnished 
from  the  regiments  at  Barrackpore.  If  the  main 
bodies  of  the  several  battalions  at  the  Head-Quarters 
of  the  Division  were  to  be  disarmed,  it  could  not  be 
othenvise  than  necessary  to  subject  to  similar  treat- 
ment the  offshoots  on  scattered  duty  elsewhere. 
Whilst,  therefore,  the  disarming  parade  was  being 
held  at  Barrackpore,  the  detachments  at  the  Presi- 
dency were  disarmed.  It  was  effected  without  re- 
sistance. The  work  was  easily  done  ;  and  in  the  same 
quiet  orderly  manner  the  Sepoy  guards  at  Dum-Dura 
were  deprived  of  their  arms  by  a  party  of  the  Fifty- 
third  sent  up  for  the  purpose. 

Meanwhile,  on  that  14th  of  June,  there  was "  Panic  Sun. 
great  excitement  in  Calcutta.  It  was  reported  *^* 
that  the  Sepoys  at  Barrackpore  had  risen  in  the 
night ;  and  soon  the  rumour  ran  that  they  were  in 
full  march  upon  Calcutta.  Then  also  went  abroad 
the  story,  and  ready  credence  grasped  it,  that  the 
Oude  people  at  Garden-Reach  were  to    rise  at  the 


1857.  same  time,  and  to  join  in  the  threatened  massacre  of 
June  14.  |.jjg  Christian  people.  So  the  hearts  of  many  failed 
them  through  fear,  and  some,  terror-stricken  and  be- 
wildered, left  their  homes,  seeking  refuge  wheresoever 
safety  could  be  found.  From  an  early  hour  in  the 
morning  a  great  shudder  ran  through  the  capital, 
and  soon  the  confused  activity  of  panic  flight  was 
apparent.  The  streets,  in  some  parts  of  the  city, 
were  alive  with  vehicles.  Conspicuous  among  them 
were  those  great  long  boxes  on  wheels,  known  as 
"palanquin  carriages."  Within  might  be  seen  the 
scared  faces  of  Eurasians  and  Portuguese,  men, 
women,  and  children ;  and  without,  piled  up  on  the 
roofs,  great  bundles  of  bedding  and  wearing  apparel, 
snatched  up  and  thrown  together  in  the  agonised 
hurry  of  departure.  Rare  among  these  were  car- 
riages of  a  better  class,  in  which  the  pale  cheeks  of 
the  inmates  told  their  pure  European  descent.  Along 
the  Mall  on  the  water-side,  or  across  the  broad  plain 
between  the  City  and  the  Fort,  the  great  stream 
is  said  to  have  poured  itself  The  places  of  refuge 
which  offered  the  best  security  were  the  Fort  and 
the  River.  Behind  the  ramparts  of  the  one,  or  in  the 
vessels  moored  on  the  other,  a  safe  asylum  might  be 
found.  So  these  fugitives  are  described  as  rushing 
to  the  gates  of  the  Fort,  or  disgorging  themselves  at 
the  different  ghauts,  calling  excitedly  for  rowing- 
boats  to  carry  them  lo  the  side  of  ship  or  steamer. 
There  was  a  prevailing  feeling  that  the  enemy  were 
on  their  track,  and  that  swift  destruction  would  over- 
take them  if  they  did  not  find  shelter  within  the 
earthworks  of  Fort  William  or  the  wooden  walls  of 
the  shipping  on   the   Hooghly.*      Hard  work  had 

*  An  informant,  resident  in  Cal-    flight  as  "what  might  have  been  seen 
catta  at  the  time,  who  describes  the    if  a  modern  Hercuhineum  bad  been 


Colonel  Cavenagh  to  dispose  of  all  these  refugees —      1867. 
harder  still  to  persuade  them  that  all  the  wild  stories    ^^^  ^^' 
with  which  they  were  full  to  bursting  were  nothing 
more  than  the  figments  of  an  excited 'imagination. 
But  he  contrived  to  dismiss  them  at  last,  and  sent 
them  back  to  their  homes.* 

It  is  recorded,  too,  by  contemporary  chroniclers 
and  correspondents,  how,  in  the  securer  parts  of  the 
city,  other  Christian  people  were  garrisoning  their 
houses  and  giving  ingress  to  friends,  who,  living  in 
remoter  places,  or  in  residences  less  capable  of  defence, 
sought  shelter  from  the  coming  danger — how  doors 

evacaated  in  broad  daylight  on  the  I  am  sure  that  many  left  under  the 
approach  of  a  risible  eruption  from  impression  that  I  was  misleading 
a neighboaring volcano/' says:  "The  them.  However,  in  time  I  pacified 
▼hole  line  of  the  ghants  was  crowded  them  and  sent  them  away.  Tiiis 
with  fugitives,  and  those  who  could  was  written  at  the  time.  Subse- 
find  no  shelter  in  the  ships  took  auentlj,  in  reply  to  my  inquiries  for 
refoge  within  the  Fort,  ot  which  roller  information.  Colonel  Cavenagh 
the  squares,  the  corridors,  all  the  wrote:  "I  took  mj  ride  in  the 
aTailable  space  everywhere,  indeed,  evening  to  visit  the  different  guards, 
were  thronged  by  manjr,  who  passed  and  satisfy  myself  that  mj  orders 
the  night  in  their  carriages." — MS,  had  been  duly  executed.  I  noticed 
Memorandum,  [As  some  guarded  thatthere  were,  comparatively  speak - 
statements  in  my  second  volume  inir,  few  carriages  on  the  Course,  but 
have  been  contradicted  on  the  au-  did  not  observe  any  unusual  number 
thority  of  Dr.  Mouat,  it  is  right  of  vehicles  in  the  Fort.  Being  Sun- 
that  I  should  state  that  the  writer  day,  there  may  have  been  a  few 
of  the  above  is  Dr.  Mouat  him-  drawn  up  on  the  roads  leading  to 
self.]  the  church,  but  none  on  the  parade- 
*  Very  contradictory  accounts  of  grounds,  for  I  am  certain  I  should 
the  rush  to  the  Fort  having  reached  at  once  have  ordered  them  off.  In 
me,  I  think  it  rig[ht  to  record  the  the  forenoon,  two  ladies,  perfect 
evidence  of  the  highest  official  au-  strangers  to  me,  liad  asked  fur 
thority  on  this  point.  Colonel  Ca-  shelter.  I  told  them  that  they  were 
veba£>;n,  early  on  the  morning  of  the  welcome  to  the  use  of  my  drawing- 
lith,  had  ridden  to  Government  room,  but  that  I  thought  they  had 
House  to  receive  instructions  from  better  return  home,  upon  which  they 
the  Govemor-Greneral :  "On  my  re-  departed.  I  believe  that  some  of 
turn  home,"  he  has  recorded  in  his  the  officers  in  the  garrison  gave  ac- 
iournal,  "  I  found  my  house  besieged  commodation  to  friends,  and  I  heard 
Dv  all  sorts  of  people  wishing  to  of  one  lady  and  gentleman  coming 
obtain  shelter  in  the  Fort,  and  all  during  the  night  to  the  officer  com- 
full  of  rumours  of  the  worst  de-  mandin^  the  Main  Guard,  with 
scription  from  Dum-Dum  and  Bar-  whom,  if  I  remember  rightly,  they 
rackpore.  I  endeavoured  to  reassure  were  connected." 
them  to  the  best  of  my  power ;  but 


1857.  and  windows  were  fast  closed ;  rifles  and  revolvers  were 
June  14.  loaded,  and  how  some  took  down  their  hog-spears  and 
placed  them  ready  for  the  expected  assault*  From 
the  less  fashionable  outskirts,  as  Entally  and  the 
Circular  Road,  occupied  mainly  by  the  great  world 
of  clerkdom — the  so-called  "  crannies,"  official  and 
commercial,  of  Calcutta — ^the  exodus  is  described  as 
universal.  The  thoroughfares  were  as  those  of  a  city 
which  had  been  smitten  with  a  pestilence.  Save  by 
a  few  sturdy  pensioners,  who  were  to  be  seen  uncon- 
cernedly smoking  their  pipes,  the  houses  in  that 
neighbourhood  were  wholly  deserted.  Many  had 
been  left  with  doors  and  windows  open,  at  the  mercy 
of  any  lawless  citizens  who  might  chance  to  covet 
their  neighbours'  goods.f  A  few  active  plunderers 
might  have  gathered  a  rich  booty.  But  it  seems  as 
though  even  crime  itself  were  bewildered  and  in- 
capable on  that  Sunday  afternoon ;  for  not  a  house 
was  entered  for  an  unlawful  purpose ;  not  an  outrage 
was  committed  in  the  streets. 

There  were  others,  who  bore  themselves  bravely 
before  their  fellows,  and,  confident  themselves,  inspired 
confidence  by  their  calm  and  resolute  bearing.  The 
ministrations  of  the  Church  were  not  neglected,  and 
the  pews  were  not  empty,  though  many  believed 
that  our  Christian  temples  would  be  the  first  points 

*  It  has  been  stated  (Bed  Pam*  tliese  examples,  baving  hastily  col* 
phlet)  that  among  the  most  panic-  lectcd  their  valuables,  were  rushing 
stricken  were  men  highest  in  an-  to  the  Fort,  only  too  happy  to  be 
thority.  "Those  lii^hest  in  office  allowed  to  sleep  under  the  Fort 
were  the  first  to  give  the  alarm,  guns."  Compare  note^.  34. 
There  were  secretaries  to  Govern-  f  One  imormant  (Dr.  Mouat), 
ment  running  over  to  members  of  who  drove  that  evening  through 
Council,  loading  their  pistols,  barri-  Entally,  the  Circular  Road,  &c.  &e.. 
cadin°^  the  doors,  sleeping  on  sofas ;  tells  me  that  "  the  very  doss  and 
members  of  Council  abandoning  cats  seemed  to  have  vanished  from 
their  houses  with  their  families,  ana  the  earth."  He  had  never  wit- 
taking  refuge  on  board  ship ;  crowds  nessed  "  a  scene  of  such  utter  and 
of  lesser  celebrities,  impelled   by  absolute  abaudoument.'* 



of  attack  for  the  furious  raging  of  the  heathen  or  the  1857. 
wild  fanaticism  of  the  followers  of  the  Prophet.*  It  ^"^  ^^' 
was  on  a  Sunday  that  the  great  storm  had  first 
burst  upon  us;  it  was  on  a  Sunday,  three  weeks 
afterwards,  that,  as  many  believed,  a  far  more  deso- 
lating storm  was  to  have  swept  over  the  country ; 
and  now  again  it  was  on  a  Sunday  that,  in  the 
excited  imaginations  of  our  people,  their  chief  city 
was  to  be  given  up  to  the  cruel  vengeance  of  barbarous 
enemies.  But  these  barbarous  enemies  were  as  much 
scared  as  our  Christian  people.  A  great  panic  was 
upon  them.  They  were  expecting  that  the  European 
soldiers  who  had  recently  arrived  from  beyond  the 
seas  would  be  let  loose  upon  the  unarmed  populace. 
And  many  shut  themselves  up  in  their  houses,  bolted 
and  barred  their  doors  and  windows,  and  looked  forth 
furtively  with  frightened  faces  when  they  heard  the 
sounds  of  horses'  hoofs  or  wheeled  carriages  in  the 
streets.  But  nothing  came  of  these  wild  alarms. 
The  day,  the  evening,  the  night  passed,  and  there 
was  no  shedding  of  blood,  no  disturbance  of  the  peace. 
Never  since  Fear  first  entered  the  world  had  there 
been  a  more  groundless  and  unreasonable  panic.  No 
demonstration  was  made  by  the  Sepoys  of  the  Presi- 
dency Division,  and  if  any  mischief  had  been  de- 
signed by  the  Oude  colony  at  Garden  Reach,  it 
never  developed  into  action.  The  promptitude  of 
Government  strangled  it  in  the  womb. 

It  will  be  seen  that,    of  the  phenomena  of  this 
"  Panic  Sunday,"  I  have   written  more  doubtfully, 

•  Dr.  Duff  says,  that  "  Almost  all  And  though,  to  their  credit,  no  one, 
the  ministers  in  Calcutta  had  expos-  as  far  as  i  have  beard,  yielded  to  the 
tulatory  letters  sent  them,  dissuad-  pressure,  the  churches  in.  the  forc- 
ing them  from  preachmg  in  the  fore-  noon  were  half  empty,  and  m  the 
noon,  and  protesting  against  their  evening  nearly  empty  altogether." 
attempting  to  do  so  m  the  evening. 

VOL.  III.  D 


1857.  after  a  lapse  of  years,  than  others  whose  knowledge  of 
June  14.  facts  both  time  and  place  must  have  favoured.  Con- 
temporary chroniclers  and  correspondents  who  were 
in  Calcutta,  or  the  vicinity,  on  that  14th  of  June, 
have  written,  in  graphic  language,  of  the  flight  to 
the  Fort  and  the  Fleet ;  and  others  have  narrated  to 
me  verbally  some  of  the  incidents  of  th^ great  Chris- 
tian exodus.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  men  of  high 
character  and  position  have  denied,  with  equal 
strength  of  assertion,  the'accuracy  of  these  records 
and  reminiscences  of  a  reign  of  terror.  After  most 
diligent  inquiry,  1  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that 
the  truth  is  to  be  found  mid-way  between  the  two 
extremes.  That  men  of  high  official  rank,  whose 
first  duty  it  was  to  set  an  example  of  confidence  and 
constancy  to  the  community,  stained  their  manhood 
and  disgraced  their  office  by  betraying  the  cowardice 
in  their  hearts,  I  have  discovered  no  satisfactory  evi- 
dence to  convince  an  impartial  historical  inquirer.* 
But  that  there  was  no  panic — no  flight — no  confusion ; 
that  there  was  little  to  distinguish  the  14th  of  June 
from  any  other  day ;  that  the  ordinary  goings-on  of 
social  life  moved  in  the  accustomed  groove ;  and  that 
the  outward  signs  of  a  great  bewilderment  were  dis- 
cernible only  by  the  eye  of  imagination — are  asser- 
tions equally  remote  from  the  truth.  The  excite- 
ment of  the  times  drove  men,  otherwise  honest  and 
truthful,  into  excessive  generalisation,  and  the  short- 
comings of  a  few  were  described  as  the  failure  of  a 
whole    community.      On    the  other  hand,  after  a 

*  It  is  to  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  inconyenience,  at  a  time  of  fre- 

eyen  in  ascertained  cases  of  high  quent  official  references,  of  residing 

functionaries     having     left    their  at  so  great  a  distance  from  Gorem- 

honses    in  the   suburbs    to    dwell  ment  House  ;  and  it  would  be  un- 

nearer  the  centre  of  business,  the  charitable  not  to  accept  the  osten- 

ostensible  reason  of  the  change  was  sible  reason  as  the  real  one. 


lapse  of  years,  there  is  a  natural  tendency  to  ignore      1857. 
what  cannot  be  spoken  of  with  pleasure  or  with    ^^^  ^^' 
pride,  and  broad  deniak  take  the  place  of   broad 
assertions,  equally  to  the  obscuration  of  the  truth.* 

For  some  weeks  the  rumour  had  been  gaining  June  15. 
ground  that  the  King  of  Oude,  or  more  properly  the  ^^es*  of  the 
people  about  him,  had  been  tampering  with  the  Oude. 
Native  soldiery,  and  instigating  them  to  rebellion. 
It  was  currently  believed  that  the  exiles  of  Garden 
Reach  were,  in  fact,  the  prime  movers  of  the  insurrec- 
tion which  was  bearing  such  bitter  fruits.  It  was  so 
inevitable  that  such  reports  should  be  in  circulation, 
and  so  probable  that  the  truth,  in  such  a  case,  should 
be  greatly  exaggerated,  at  a  time  when  everything 
was  magnified  or  distorted,  that  Lord  Canning  was 
slow  to  credit  all  the  stories  which  reached  him, 
sometimes  from  notorious  alarmists.  But  as  the 
month  of  June  advanced,  it  became  more  and  more 
apparent  that  the  reports,  which  came  to  his  ears, 
were  not  wholly  without  the  foundation  of  fact,  t     It 

*  It  is   a  significant  fact  that,  with  visitors,  and  in  houses  which 

four  days  afterwards,  tlie  following  were  selected  as  being  least  likelj 

graphic  account  was  published  as  to  be  attacked,  hundreds  of  people 

part  of  an  editorial  article  (Friend  of  gladly  huddled  together,  to  share  the 

India,  June  18,  1857),  and  I  do  not  peculiar  comforts  which  the  presence 

obserre  that  it  was  contradicted :  of  crowds  imparts  on  such  occasions. 

"  Whilst  the  work  of  disarming  was  The  hotels  were  fortified ;  bands  of 

going  on  at  fiarrackpore,  precisely  sailors  marched   through  the  tho- 

the  same  process  was  being  carried  roughfares  happy  in  the  expectation 

through  at  Calcutta,  where  it  was  of  possible  fighting  and  the  certainty 

rumoured  that  murder  and  mutiny  of  grog.     Every  group  of  Natives 

were  triumphant  at  the  former  place,    was  scanned  with  suspicion 

and  that  a  strong  force  of  rebels  was  Many  years  must  elapse  before  the 

marching  down  upon  the  city  from  night  of  the  14th  of  June,  1857,  will 

Delhi.  The  infection  of  terror  raged  be  forgotten  in  Calcutta." 

through  all  classes.     Chowringnee  f  Chie    incident    in    particular 

and  Garden  Reach  were  abandoned  created  a  great  sensation,  in  high 

for  the  Fort  and  the  vessels  in  the  places,  at  the  time.     A  man  had 

river.    The  shipping  was  crowded  been  caught  tampering  with  a  Sepoy 

D  2 



June  15. 

was  certain  that  people  living  within  the  great  cirde 
of  the  new  Oude  home  on  the  banks  of  the  Hooghly 
had  endeavoured  to  corrupt  the  Sepoys  in  the  Fort 
—  and  especially  the  sentries  posted  at  its  gates. 
Colonel  Cavenagh,  the  Town-Major,  had  received 
repeated  warnings  from  Mahomedan  friends  that 
mischief  was  brewing,  that  Mussulman  Sepoys  were 
frequently  visiting  the  King's  people  at  Garden 
Reach,  and  that  some  influential  visitors  from  Oude, 
including  the  great  Talookhdar,  Maun  Singh,  had 
visited  Calcutta,  and  held  conferences  with  the  King 
or  his  Minister.*  Of  his  obese  Majesty  himself,  it 
was  generally  said  that  he  had  not  energy  sufficient 
to  take  active  part  even  in  intrigue.  But  in  his  own 
indolent  way,  beguiled  by  large  promises  of  restora- 
tion to  his  lost  kingdom,  he  sufibred  the  work  to  be 
done  for  him  ;  and  it  went  forward — with  what  de- 

in  the  Fort,  had  been  tried  by  court- 
martial,  and  had  been  sentenced  to 
death.  The  trial  took  place  on  the 
14th  of  June ;  and  the  man  was  to 
have  been  hanged  on  tlie  following 
morning.  But  in  the  course  of  the 
night  he  managed  to  effect  his  es- 
cape.— See  Note  in  the  Appendix, 

*  The  fact  of  this  visit  to  the  King 
of  Oude,  and  of  the  subsequent  cor- 
respondence with  Maun  Singh,  was 
asserted  very  unreservedly  by  a 
Native  informant  of  Colonel  Cave- 
nagh, Town-Major  of  Fort  William. 
See  following  extracts  from  that 
officer's  journal :  **May  21.  My  old 
friend  Amir  Ali  called.  He  stated 
positively  that  the  King  of  Oude  had 
carried  on  a  correspondence  with 
Rajah  Maun  Singh,  who  had  ad- 
dressed him  in  the  furst  instance, 
calling  for  his  sanction  to  a  rising  in 
his  favour,  and  on  this  being  refused 
on  the  plea  of  the  King's  relations 
beingin  our  hands,  was  reminded  by 
tiie  JEtajah  of  the  fact  of  Akhbar 
XJmmi  liaving  secured  the  release  of 

his  father.  Dost  Mahomed,  upon 
which  a  firman  was  prepared  and 
despatched  to  Oude,  authorising  the 
movement  proposed,  provided  he, 
the  King,  was  not  in  any  way  com- 
promised, and  promising  to  remit 
three  years'  revenue  to  any  one  who 
shoula  join  his  cause."  . .  .  "Jl/tfy27. 
Amir  Ali  called.  He  states  that  the 
letter  from  Rajah  Maun  Singh  was 
despatched,  though  not  by  public 
dawk,  to  the  address  of  Zemindar 
MuUyan  Singh,  and  that  the  corre- 
spondence was  carried  on  by  cipher" 
(certain  Persian  letters  being  sub- 
stituted for  others  of  the  same 
alphabet).  "  He  asserts  that  Rajah 
Maun  Singh  has  certainly  reached 
Calcutta  and  been  closeted  with  the 
Kinff."  Lord  Canning  did  not  then 
credit  the  story,  ana  it  was  after- 
wards made  clear  [that  the  Rajali 
was  not  in  Calcutta  at  the  end  of 
May,  being  then  under  surveillance 
at  Fyzabaa.  It  is  believed  that  he 
visited  Calcutta  earlier  in  the  year. 
See  poit — Chapters  on  Oude. 


vices  we  may  never  know,  but  certainly  with  such  1857. 
activity  as  would  have  rendered  it  wrong  in  Govern-  "^^^^  ^^• 
ment  any  longer  to  neglect  it.  So  the  resolution 
was  taken.  The  King  of  Oude,  his  chief  minister 
(Ali  Nuckee  Khan),  and  one  or  two  others  of  the 
principal  people  about  him,  were  suddenly  to  be 
made  prisoners  on  the  morning  of  the  15th  of  June, 
and  to  be  conveyed  in  custody  to  Fort  William. 

The  performance  of  this  duty  was  intrusted  to  Mr.  Edmond. 
Mr.  George  Edmonstone.  Bearing  a  name  of  high  ®^^^®* 
repute  in  Indian  history,  he  had  well  maintained 
his  hereditary  title  to  distinction.  The  energy  and 
ability  which  had  placed  his  father  in  the  very  fore- 
most rank  of  a  past  generation  of  Indian  statesmen, 
and  which,  indeed,  in  a  great  measure  had  made  the 
reputation  of  the  greatest  of  India's  Governor- 
Generals,  had  descended  to  him  unimpaired ;  and 
there  was  not  one  of  all  Lord  Canning's  immediate 
advisers  whose  counsel  might  be  more  safely  trusted. 
Holding  the  office — the  most  honoured  of  all  under 
the  Governor-General  in  Council — of  Political  or 
Foreign  Secretary,  it  devolved  upon  him  to  transact 
ministerially  all  the  business  of  the  Native  States 
and  Native  Princes  of  India — chiefly  by  correspon- 
dence ;  but,  in  some  instances,  as  in  this,  by  more 
personal  action.  The  mission  on  which  he  was  now 
sent  was  a  delicate  and  a  painful  one.  Firm,  but 
yet  courteous  in  his  bearing,  he  acquitted  himself 
with  excellent  address,  and  did  the  work  intrusted 
to  him  with  all  fidelity  to  the  Government,  and  with 
as  little  oflTence  as  possible  to  the  exiled  monarch 
whom  he  was  sent  to  arrest. 

Accompanied  by  some  officers  of  Lord  Canning's  The  colony  at 
staff,  and  escorted  by  a  considerable  body  of  Euro-  v^^ 
pean  troops,  with  a  supplementary  force  of  police. 


1857.  Edmonstone  arrived  under  the  outer  walls  of  the 
June  15.  King's  residence  in  the  first  dim  light  of  the  dawn. 
Having  surrounded  the  premises,  so  as  to  render 
escape  impossible,  he  entered  the  compound  with  a 
detachment  of  the  Fifty-third  under  Colonel  Powell. 
A  strange  sight  greeted  him  there.  In  the  garden- 
grounds  of  Wajid  All's  new  home  a  great  village,  or 
a  small  town,  had  arisen.  The  area  was  thickly 
covered  with  Native  houses — a  great  confused  mass 
of  thatched  buildings,  huddling  one  upon  another, 
without  a  symptom  of  arrangement  or  design.  This 
rendered  the  advance  and  the  disposition  of  the 
troops  difficult ;  but  there  was  small  need  for  military 
coercion  of  any  kind.  There  was  not  a  sign  of  re- 
sistance, not  even  of  preparation.  The  strong  hand 
of  the  British  had  descended  suddenly  and  unex- 
pectedly on  the  new  Oude  colony,  and  the  most 
active  members  of  that  great  Mussulman  community 
were  rousing  themselves  in  the  early  morning  to 
respond  to  nothing  more  formidable  than  the  Azan, 
or  Mahomedan  call  to  prayer.  The  troops  had  been 
warned  not  to  use  their  arms  unless  there  were  signs 
of  armed  resistance.  One  man  only  was  put  under 
fixed  bayonets  and  gently  coerced  to  show  the  way 
to  the  residence  of  the  chief  minister ;  for  the  seizure 
of  Ali  Nuckee  Khan  was  the  first  step  to  be  taken. 
After  some  delay  the  Nawab  came  forth,  and  was  at 
once  arrested,  with  two  other  principal  members  of 
the  suite — Ahsun  Hoossein  Khan  and  his  son.  These 
last,  together  with  Tikaet  Rao,  the  Dewan  of  the 
Chief  Begum,  were  sent  under  a  guard  on  board  the 
Semiramis^  which  had  been  steaming  down  the  river 
to  Garden  Reach  whilst  the  troops  had  been  march- 
ing along  the  road. 
Arrest  of  the      It  was  now  Edmonstone's  duty  to  obtain  ingress 

AftREST  OF  TH£  KING.  39 

to  the  King's  apartments.  This  was  a  work  of  some  1857. 
difficulty  and  delicacy,  and  only  to  be  accomplished  "^^^  ^^' 
after  further  delays.  For  there  was  a  general  reluc- 
tance to  convey  the  unwelcome  message  to  his  Ma- 
jesty's ears ;  and  Wajid  Ali  had  to  bathe  and  to  attire 
himself  before  he  could  receive  the  English  gentlemen. 
But  the  regal  ablutions  and  the  toilet  having  been 
duly  performed,  Edmonstone  and  his  companions  were 
admitted  to  the  presence  of  the  King.  Seated  on  a 
couch,  and  surrounded  by  members  of  his  suite,  he 
welcomed  the  Government  Secretary  -with  a  sickly 
smile,  shook  him  by  the  hand,  and  courteously  re- 
ceived the  other  English  officers.  When  they  were 
all  seated,  Edmonstone  spoke.  He  said  that  intel- 
ligence had  reached  the  Governor- General,  which 
had  satisfied  his  Lordship  that  emissaries  using  his 
Majesty's  name  had  spread  themselves  in  all  directions 
over  the  British  dominions,  and  had  instigated  many 
of  the  Native  soldiers  of  the  Army  to  swerve  from 
their  allegiance.  "It  is  the  wish  of  the  Governor- 
General,  therefore,"  he  added,  "  that  your  Majesty 
should  accompany  me  on  my  return  to  Calcutta." 

Roused  by  this  address  into  something  at  least 
resembling  energy  of  manner  and  emphasis  of  speech, 
the  King  replied  that  he  had  not  been  guilty  of  the 
offence  imputed  to  him,  and  that  if  he  had  done  any- 
thing to  tamper  with  the  loyalty  of  the  troops,  he 
would  be  deserving  of  any  punishment  which  the 
British  Government  might  be  pleased  to  inflict  upon 
him.  Edmonstone  answered  that  he  had  no  autho- 
rity to  discuss  the  question,  and  requested  his  Majesty 
to  prepare  for  departure.  A  number  of  his  courtiers 
clamoured  for  permission  to  accompany  him.  Liberal 
compliance  was  accorded  to  them ;  and  ere  long  the 
unwieldy,  tottering  exile  was  leaning  on  the  arm  of 


1857.      the  British  Secretary,  who  escorted  him  to  the  outer 
June  15.    door,   where  the   Governor -General's   carriage  was 
waiting  to  receive  them. 

On  their  way  to  the  Fort  the  firmness  of  the  King 
broke  down.  He  seemed  suddenly  to  awaken  to  the 
misery  and  humiliation  of  his  position.  Bursting 
into  tears,  he  spoke  of  the  dignity  of  his  ancestors, 
his  own  heavy  fall  and  wretched  condition  as  an 
exile  and  a  suspect,  and  asked  whether,  if  he  had  ever 
intended  to  array  himself  against  the  British  Govern- 
ment, he  would  not  have  done  so  when  he  had  twenty 
lakhs  of  men  at  his  back.  "  But  ask  General  Outram," 
he  added,  "  if  I  did  not  quietly  submit  to  his  autho- 
rity, and  deliver  up  my  kingdom  into  his  hands." 
He  then  subsided  into  silence,  almost  into  insensi- 
bility ;  but  presently  he  burst  again  into  tears,  pro- 
tested his  innocence,  and  pointing  to  an  amulet,  on 
which  some  passages  of  the  Koran  were  inscribed, 
and  which  hung  from  his  neck,  he  said,  "  When  I 
read  in  the  Hurkaru  newspaper  that  I  was  accused  of 
tampering  with  the  troops,  I  swore  upon  this  that  I 
would  keep  clear  of  all  such  machinations."  To  this 
Edmonstone  could  only  reply  that  justice  would  be 
done,  and  every  consideration  shown  to  his  Majesty^ 
by  the  Government  which  he  represented.  The  rest 
of  the  journey  was  accomplished  in  silence,  and  about 
eight  o'clock  the  King  of  Oude  was  placed,  with  be- 
coming courtesy  and  respect,  in  the  hands  of  Colonel 
Cavenagh,  the  Town-Major,  who  was  prepared  to 
receive  him. 

Thus,  on  the  morning  of  June  15th,  Wajid  Ali,  Ali 
Nuckee  Khan,  and  three  other  members  of  the  King's 
suite,  were  conveyed,  state  prisoners,  to  Fort  William. 
There  quarters  were  provided  for  them  in  the  build- 
ing known  as  the  Government  House — an   edifice 


appropriated  to  many  uses,  but  seldom  or  never  to  1857. 
the  one  for  which  it  was  originally  designed.  Al-  "^^^  ^^' 
though  on  a  limited  scale,  the  accommodation  was 
not  ill-suited  to  the  purpose  to  which  it  was  now  to 
be  put ;  for  there  was  at  least  one  large  state  apart- 
ment, with  several  smaller  ones  opening  into  it,  and 
there  was  a  dignity  in  the  name  which  may  have 
rubbed  off  some  of  the  degradation  of  the  cap- 
tivity. It  was  the  best  place  that  could  be  found 
as  the  temporary  home  of  his  Majesty  of  Oude  and 
the  wily  ministers  who  directed  his  political  move- 
ments. But  little  or  nothing  was  brought  to  light 
to  implicate  the  King  in  the  alleged  conspiracies 
against  the  British  Government.  If  there  were  dam- 
natory evidence  in  letters  or  documents  at  Garden 
Reach,  it  was  not  discovered.  The  premises  could 
not  be  searched  without  violating  the  sanctity  of  the 
female  apartments ;  and  this  an  English  officer,  save 
in  extremest  cases,  is  ever  bound  to  respect.* 

The  dbarining  of  the  Sepoys  and  the  captivity  of 

*  This  measure  calls  for  neither  speaking  in  the  name  of  the  King  of 

justification  nor  explanation;  but  I  Oudc,  and  that  his  name  should  not 

may  as  well  place  upon  record  Lord  be   made  a  rallying-point   for  dis- 

Canning's   brief  statement    of   his  affected  soldiers.    I  think  this  the 

reasons,  as  contained  in  a  letter  to  more  necessary,  because  I  know  that 

tlie  Indian  Minister  at  home :  "  The  offers  of  enlistment  were  made  a  few 

King  of  Oude  and  four  of  his  suite  weeks  ago  by  a  person  in  the  King's 

have  been  placed  in  Fort  William,  service  to  another  supposed  to  be 

The  immediate  grounds  of  this  will  seeking  employment.     Of  the  four 

be  found  in  the  deposition  of  a  Se-  who  are  in  the  Fort,  Ali  Nuckee 

poy,  who  was  twice  tampered  with  Khan  is  the  King's  minister ;  Hoos- 

by  a  Mahomedan,  who    described  sein  Khan  is  a  notorious  intriguer  of 

himself  as  coming  from  the  Kind's  the  Court,  of  the  worst  repute  from 

people,  and  although  no  complicity  the  time  of  Colonel  Sleeman.  Hassan 

in  the  act  has  been  fixed  upon  the  Khan  is  his  son ;  Tikaet  Rao  is   a 

King  or  bis  chief  courtiers,  I  deem  Hindoo,  a  Dewan  or  steward  in  the 

it  necessary  for  the  safety  of  the  Queen's  service.  His  character  makes 

State  that  it  should  for  the  present  him  an  object  of  suspicion." — Zon/ 

be  put  out  of  the  power  of  any  one  Canning  to  Mr.  V$mon  Smith,  Jtm§ 

to  seduoe   the    State's  soldiers  by  19, 1857. — MS,  Beeords. 


1857.  the  King  of  Oude  restored  for  a  time  tranquillity  to 
^^'  Calcutta.  To  this  result  the  activity  of  the  Volun- 
teer Guards  greatly  contributed.  Any  doubts  which 
might  at  first  have  been  entertained  respecting  the 
practical  efficiency  of  these  citizen-battalions,  were 
soon  removed  by  the  zeal  which  they  continuously 
manifested.  It  was  not  permitted  to  them,  as  to 
Havelock's  volunteers,  of  whom  I  have  already 
spoken,  or  Henry  Lawrence's,  of  whom  I  shall  speak 
presently,  to  flash  their  sabres  in  the  faces  of  an 
overwhelming  enemy ;  but  night  after  night,  amidst 
all  the  inclemencies  of  the  rainy  season,  they  were 
found  at  their  posts,  ready  for  any  service  which  they 
might  be  called  upon  to  perform.  Some  hundreds  of 
Infantry  were  thus  enrolled  under  Major  Davies,  with 
a  proportionate  number  of  Cavalry  under  Captain 
Turnbull,  whilst  Captain  Dickens  of  the  Artillery  or- 
ganised the  Ordnance  branch  of  the  brigade.  Major 
Strachey  of  the  Engineers  had  succeeded  Colonel 
Cavenagh  in  command  of  the  entire  force.  And  all 
did  their  work  so  well  that  it  was  not  long  before  Lord 
Canning  took  occasion  publicly  to  express  his  appre- 
ciation of  their  "  zealous  and  excellent  services."* 

*  See  reply  to  Address  of  Cul>  dimensions    it  might   assume,  the 

cutta  inhabitants,    petitioning    for  Governor-General  felt  it  to  be  ur- 

martial  law  throughout  the  Bengal  gently  necessary  to  check  panic  in 

Provinces.    At  a  later  period  Lord  places  where  no  real  danger  existed, 

Canning  wrote  with  reference  to  the  especially  in  Calcutta,  where  it  could 

Volunteers  :  "  It  has  received  every  not  fail  to  be  mischievous,  both  poli- 

cncouragement  from  the  Governor-  tically  and  commercially.    There  is 

General,  from  the  day  of  its  forma-  not  a  doubt  that  the  exaggerated 

tion,  and  has  done  useful  service  in  fears,  which  a  great  part  of  the  Cal- 

patroUing  the  town  and  giving  con-  cutta  population  have  exhibited  on 

fidcnce.     It  is  not  to  be  denied  that  at  least  three  occasions  during  the 

the  mutinies,  which  then  declared  progress  of  the  mutinies,  have  led 

themselves,  have  grown  into  a  more  the  Natives  to  doubt  our  self-reliance 

formidable  revolt  than  was  antici-  and  our  strength,  whilst  nothing  of 

pated ;  but  at  the  time  .  .  .  whilst  safety  has  been  gained  to  ourselves 

every  preparation  was  made  to  meet  thereby." 
the  growth  of  the  danger,  whatever 


The  centenary  of  Plassey  came  and  went.  In  1857. 
Calcutta,  as  in  other  parts  of  the  country,  apprehen-  •^'^^  ^^* 
sions  had  been  entertained  that  on  that  day  there 
would  be  a  formidable  rising ;  and  when  it  arrived 
there  was  something  more  than  the  wonted  vigilance 
and  preparation.  But  the  most  memorable  incident 
connected  with  that  23rd  of  June,  was  the  publica- 
tion, two  days  afterwards,  in  the  Serampore  journal, 
of  an  article  in  celebration  of  that  important  anni- 
versary — an  article  in  which  Mahomedan  Princes 
were  reviled  as  "  cruel,  sensual,  intolerant,  unfit  to 
rule" — and  Mahrattas  and  Sikhs  were  triumphed 
over  with  equal  insolence  of  self-laudation — an  article 
closing  with  the  words,  "  the  first  centenary  of 
Plassey  was  ushered  in  by  the  revolt  of  the  Native 
Army ;  the  second  may  be  celebrated  in  Bengal  by 
a  respected  Government  and  a  Christian  population." 
There  was  not  much  in  the  words.  Such  words  had 
been  often  published  before  and  smiled  at  compla- 
cently by  the  Government  of  the  day.  But  there 
was  much  in  the  time  of  publication.  The  article 
was  peculiarly  calculated,  in  such  a  conjuncture,  to 
irritate  the  minds  of  the  people,  for  it  might  bear  a 
meaning  which  perhaps  the  writer  never  intended  to 
assign  to  it.  Straightway,  therefore,  the  Government 
"  warned"  the  publisher  of  the  Friend  of  India.  This 
brought  forth  a  rejoinder,  headed  "  The  First  Warn- 
ing," still  less  discreet  than  its  predecessor.  And  the 
ablest  journal  in  Bengal,  which  had  always  been 
regarded  as  a  model  of  respectability  and  discretion, 
would  have  been  suppressed,  if  some  friends  of  the 
absent  proprietors  had  not  come  forward  to  protect 
their  interests,  and  guaranteed  that  the  "  officiating" 
editor  should   no  longer  have  it  iti  his  power  to 


1857.      sacrifice  their  property  by  his  want  of  temper  and 

^^*^-  want  of  tact.* 
\iilitary  pre-  Meanwhile,  every  exertion  was  being  made  to  ex- 
pedite the  movements  and  to  secure  the  efficiency  of 
the  reinforcements  despatched,  or  about  to  be  des- 
patched, to  the  North.  The  arrival  of  Sir  Patrick 
Grant  had  infused  new  vigour  into  the  military  de- 
partment of  Government,  and  had  aflforded  to  the 
Governor-General  himself  most  appreciable  assistance 
and  support.!  The  troops  from  the  Coast  and  from 
the  Persian  Gulf  had  been  despatched  to  the  Upper 
Provinces  before  the  end  of  the  third  week  of  June;  J 
and  now  Lord  Canning  looked  eagerly  for  the  coming 
of  the  regiments  which  he  had  urged  Lord  Elgin  and 
General  Ashburnham  to  divert  from  the  China  Ex- 
pedition. It  was  necessary  to  prepare  for  the  arrival 
of  these  by  providing  all  the  necessary  appliances  of 
equipment  and   carriage;    so   orders  were  sent  to 

*  I  do  not  parpose  to  dwell  any  1857,  no  such  articles  as  those  which 

further  upon  tne  practical  results  of  brought  temporary  discredit  on  the 

the  passing  of  this  law,  which  were.  Friend  of  India  would  ever  have  been 

indeed,  so  slight,  that  it  has  been  written. 

said  of  the  Act  that  it  was  a  "  dead  j*  Sir  Patrick  Grant  arrived  at 
letter."  It  is  right,  however,  tlius  Calcutta  on  the  17th  of  June. — 
to  state,  with  respect  to  the  Friend  of  Vol.  ii.  p.  281. 
India^  which  has  always  borne  a  high  %  "  The  European  troops  are  being 
reputation,  bv  no  means  confined  to  pushed  up  as  quickly  as  possible, 
the  place  of  its  nativity,  that  the  The  whole  of  the  Madras  fusiliers 
proprietors  of  the  paper  and  the  re-  must  now  be  at  Allahabad,  and  the 
sponsible  editor  were,  at  the  time.  Eighty-fourth  have  passed  beyond 
absent  from  India,  and  that  the  Benares,  as  also  a  portion  of  the 
literary  mana|^ement  was  then  in  Sixty-fourth.  The  last  of  the  Seventv- 
the  hands  of  a  public  writer  of  eighth  Highlanders  leave  by  bullock- 
more  ability  than  discretion,  who  train  to-morrow,  the  20th,  when  the 
has  placed  on  record,  in  a  perma-  wing  of  the  Thirty-seventh  will  be 
nent  form,  his  impressions  of  the  despatched.  One  Euro[>ean  battery 
great  events  whicn  were  passing  left  by  steam  this  morning,  and  an- 
around  him.  ("Mead's  Sepoy  Be-  other  is  preparing  to  follow.  The 
Tolt,"  published  by  Mr.  Murray  in  detachment  of  the  lloyal  Artillery 
1857.)  I  have  a  conviction  amount-  will  also  be  sent  up  by  bullock-train." 
ing  to  certainty,  that  if  eitlier  of  the  — Memorandum  of  General  Birch, 
absentees,  to  whom  I  have  referred,  June  19. — The  wmg  of  the  Thirty- 
had  been  in  India  in  May  and  June,  seventh  had  come  from  Ceylon. 

mhjtart  pbeparations.  45 

Madras  to  despatch  immediately  to  Calcutta  a  large  1857. 
proportion  of  the  clothing  and  camp-equipage  that  ^*^®- 
had  been  collected  there,  whilst  the  Bombay  Govern- 
ment were  called  upon  to  procure  from  Bushire  and 
other  places  "  as  large  a  supply  of  horses  as  possible 
for  Cavalry  and  Artillery  purposes."  Efforts  at  the 
same  time  were  made  to  communicate  to  Agra  the 
instructions  of  Government  that  no  exertion  should 
be  spared  in  the  North- Western  Provinces  to  collect 
carriage  for  the  upward  march  of  the  troops.  The 
miserable  want  of  conveyance  for  the  sick  and 
wounded,  which  had  so  palpably  presented  itself  to 
General  Neill  at  Allahabad,*  was  being  supplied  as 
rapidly  as  possible  by  the  artificers  of  Calcutta.  If 
there  had  before  been  any  short-comings,  omissions, 
or  delays,  nothing  now  was  neglected  that  could  give 
completeness  to  the  military  organisation  by  which 
the  succours  received  from  beyond  the  seas  were  to 
be  turned  to  the  best  account.  Nothing  escaped  the 
practised  eye  of  Sir  Patrick  Grant.  His  training  had 
been  of  the  right  kind  to  qualify  him  for  the  apt  per- 
formance of  the  work  in  hand.  His  coming,  there- 
fore, supplied  what  was  most  wanted  to  give  strength 
to  the  administration,  which  had  before  been  essen- 
tially wanting  in  military  efficiency.  Perhaps,  if  the 
General  had  been  moved  only  by  his  own  natural 
impulses,  he  would  have  proceeded  at  once  to  the 
seat  of  war  to  take  an  active  part  in  the  great 
struggle.  But  his  better  judgment  taught  him  that 
in  no  place  could  he,  at  that  time,  be  so  serviceable  to 
the  State  as  at  the  seat  of  Government ;  and  in  this 
opinion  Lord  Canning  and  all  the  members  of  his 
Council   concurred.!    To  the  Governor- General  it 

*  YoL  ii.  p.  273.  the  coane  of  eyents  shall  tend  to 

f  "I  am  of  opinion  that  as  soon  as    allay  the  general  disquiet,  and  to 


1857.  appeared  that  his  new  icolleague  possessed  most  of 
J^*"**-  the  essential  qualifications  to  be  looked  for  in  a  man, 
to  whom  the  chief  command  of  the  Indian  Army, 
with  the  great  after-work  of  reconstruction,  might 
now  be  safely  intrusted ;  and  he  wrote  letters  to  the 
Home  Government  urging  the  permanent  confirma- 
tion of  the  provisional  appointment.  He  was  afraid 
of  the  coming  of  a  stiff-necked  Horse  Guards  General ; 
and  dwelt  emphatically  on  the  importance,  in  such  a 
juncture,  of  that  knowledge  and  experience  which 
can  be  acquired  only  by  long  years  of  residence  in 
India  and  familiarity  with  its  camps  and  canton- 
Soocours  From  the  first,  Lord  Canning,  though  hoping  to 

Und.^"^"  gather  up  troops  enough  from  our  outlying  colonies, 
or  from  the  great  highway  of  the  ocean,  to  break  the 
neck  of  the  first  revolt,  felt  that  there  would  be  much 
after-work  to  be  done,  which  would  demand  the  aid 
of  large  reinforcements  from  England.  On  the  19th 
of  May,  he  had  written  to  the  President  of  the  India 
Board,  saying :  "  From  England  what  I  ask  is,  that 
you  should  immediately  send  out  the  regiments 
which  are  due  to  the  full  complement  of  Queen's 
corps  in  India  without  making  us  wait  for  the  issue 
of  events  in  China ;  and  that  you  will  give  support 
to  the  demand  for  three  new  European  regiments  to 
be  added  to  the  Company's  Army  in  place  of  the  six 
which  have  now  erased  themselves  from  the  Army 
List.     You  will  see  that  there  will  be  no  additional 

show  to  what  points  our  force  should  fullj  employed  in  the  disturbed  dis- 
be  mainly  directed,  with  the  view  of  tricts  or  their  neighbourhood.  For 
crushing  the  heart  of  the  rebellion,  the  present  there  will  be  the  greatest 
it  will  be  proper  that  his  Excellency  advantage  in  his  Excellency  remain- 
should  consider  anew  the  question  of  ixig  at  the  seat  of  GoTemment." — 
his  movements.  His  Excellency's  Minute  of  Lord  Canning,  June  22, 
experience  and  high  authority  will  1857. 
then,  in  all  probability,  be  most  use- 


cost.  I  beg  that  you  will  grant  me  both  these  re-  1857. 
quests."  But  ere  the  first  week  of  June  was  at  an  ^^^' 
end,  these  moderate  views  had  expanded  under  the 
expanded  significance  of  the  revolt.  The  magnitude 
of  the  work  to  be  accomplished  was  now  shown  to  be 
far  greater  than  it  had  appeared  some  two  or  three 
weeks  before.  ^'  Be  the  issue  what  it  may,''  wrote 
Lord  Canning  to  Mr.  Vernon  Smith  on  the  5th  of 
June,  "  whether  with  the  speedy  fall  of  Delhi  the 
rebellion  at  once  collapses,  or  whether  before  this 
happens  ravages  extend  and  the  Europeans  are  driven 
from  the  Central  Provinces,  and  those  parts  hence  to 
be  recovered,  I  reckon  that  we  shall  require  an  addi- 
tional force  of  twelve  regiments  of  Infantry  and  one 
regiment  of  Dragoons.  We  must  not  conceal  from 
ourselves  that  our  Government  must  henceforth  rest 
much  more  openly  than  heretofore  upon  military 
strength.  There  must  be  no  arsenal,  or  strong  places, 
such  as  Allahabad  and  Delhi;  no  fanatical  strong- 
hold, such  as  Benares ;  no  large  tract  of  rich,  defence- 
less country,  such  as  Lower  Bengal,  without  a  Euro- 
pean regiment.  No  brigade  of  Native  troops  should 
be  without  one.  A  strong  force,  not  less  than  eight 
regiments,  should  be  always  near  the  capital,  ready 
to  be  directed  to  any  point  in  the  Bay  of  Bengal. 
Second  and  third-class  arsenals  and  dep6ts  must  have 
a  defence  of  Europeans.  Europeans  must  be  seen  in 
Central  India  and  Nagpore.  We  must  for  a  time, 
and  no  short  time,  make  our  European  strength 
visible  and  sensible  to  all  India.  Our  power  and 
name  have  had  a  rude  shock,  and  nothing  must  be 
spared  to  make  them  firm  again.  Until  this  has  been 
done,  no  confidence,  political,  social,  or  commercial, 
will  be  re-established.  I  have  no  hope  that  it  can  be 
done  by  anything  short  of  ten  regiments  to  be  added 



1867.  permanently,  and  at  first  I  should  greatly  desire  to 
June.  iij^yg  twelve."  But,  although  he  saw  clearly  the  ne- 
cessity, and  thus  urgently  impressed  upon  the  Home 
Government  the  duty,  of  immediately  strengthening 
the  European  Force  in  Jndia,  he  was  careful  not  to 
make,  under  the  influence  of  this  pressure,  such 
demands  upon  the  military  resources  of  Great  Britain 
as  might  result  in  the  infliction  of  a  permanent  burden 
upon  India  such  as  it  would  be  difficult  to  bear  up 
against  on  the  restoration  of  peace.  He  saw  clearly 
in  the  distance  an  immense  strain  upon  the  finances 
of  the  Indian  Empire,  and  he  was  anxious  not  to  in- 
crease it  by  any  unnecessary  military  expenditure.* 
Economical  It  was  not,  indeed,  only  the  great  trouble  of  the  pre- 
sent that  oppressed  him.  He  was  even  then  compelled, 
amidst  all  the  distractions  of  the  hour,  to  look  the 
future  of  the  Empire  in  the  face.  The  mutiny — ^the 
rebellion — whatsoever  it  should  prove  to  be,  might 
be  trodden  down ;  but  still  it  would  leave  behind  it 
a  great  incubus  of  disorder  and  disaster,  rendering 
the  work  of  settled  government  difficult,  for  years  to 
come.  There  was  necessarily  an  enormous  addi- 
tional expenditure  of  money  at  a  time  when,  in  many 
parts  of  the  country,  the  sources  of  revenue  were 
being  dried  up  by  the  fire  of  revolt ;  and  how  to 
meet  all  these  extraordinary  charges  was  a  question 
of  no  very  easy  solution.  The  only  certainty  was,  that 
it  had  become  an  absolute  necessity  to  provide  for 
the  exigencies  of  the  moment  at  any  sacrifice  of 
future  efficiency  and  prosperity.     There  are  seasons 

♦  "  I  am  very  anxious,"  he  wrote  the  conntrj  has  at  the  best  been 

to  Mr.  Vernon  Smith,   "  that   we  pushed  back  many  years,  and  every 

should  not,  under  the  present  pres-  lakh  unnecessarily  spent  upon  mih- 

sure,  great  as  it  is,  rush  into  any  tary  establishments  will  retard  its 

superfluous  expenditure  for  purposes  advance."  —  MS,  Correspondence  of 

of  safety.    The  material  progress  of  Lord  Canning^  July  3, 1857* 


when  nations,  like  individuals,  must  live  from  hand      1S57. 
to  mouth ;  when  the  struggle  is  for  bare  existence,  ^^®~^^  -^• 
and  all  principles  of  sound  financial  economy  must 
yield  to  the  exigencies  of  the  crisis.     It  is  a  sore  trial 
to  a  statesman  to  be  compelled  to   cast  away  the 
means  of  large  prospective  gain  in  the  pursuit  of 
some  necessary  scheme  of  present  retrenchment.  And 
thus  now  was  Lord  Canning  tried.     He  had  to  get 
money  as  he  could ;  he  had  to  save  it  as  he  could. 
To  get  it  was  not  easy.     That  such  a  crisis  as  this 
must  have  greatly  shaken  the  credit  of  the  British 
Government  was  inevitable.     The  wonder  is  that  it 
was  so  little  shaken.    ^'  It  is  astonishing,"  wrote  Lord 
Canning  to  Mr.  Vernon  Smith  on  the  3rd  of  July, 
"how   little   Government    securities    have    suffered 
during  the  convulsion.     Four-per-cent.  paper  at  the 
beorinnino:  of  June  was  at  fourteen  to  fourteen  and  a 
half  discount — an  ordinary  rate.     About  the  12th 
of  June  it  reached  its  lowest  depreciation — twenty 
to  twenty-one  discount.   Since  that  it  has  been  pretty 
steadily  rising,  and  has  got  back  to  fifteen  to  fifteen 
and  a  half  per  cent.     This  does  not  look  very  bad/' 
A  five-per-cent.  loan  was  then  open.    At  this  time  the 
Governor-General  reported  that  it  had  "  stopped,  or 
all  but  stopped,  at  close  upon  two  millions  sterling." 
It  was  obvious,  therefore,  that  to  meet  the  enormous 
military  expenditure  some  extraordinary  means  must 
be  resorted  to,  to  raise  the  necessary  finances.     Whe- 
ther to  raise  the  money  in  India  or  in  England  was 
then   the   question.      After   much  discussion.   Lord 
Canning's  Government   determined   that  the  wisest 
course  would  be  to  open  a  six-per-cent.  loan  in  India, 
but  to  obtain  the  promise  of  the  Court  of  Directors 
that  they  would  be  "  prepared  to  help  if  need  be,  in 
order  that  it  may  be  known  here  that  we  are  not 

YOL,  UU  K 


1857.  altogether  at  the  mercy  of  the  holders  of  money  in 
^^^^'  this  country."  "  I  apprehend,"  added  the  Governor- 
General  in  his  private  letter  to  the  President  of  the 
Board  of  Control,  "  that  in  order  to  be  ready  to  help 
the  Government  in  India,  the  East  India  Company 
must  have  recourse  to  Parliament  for  permission  to 
borrow.  At  least  I  know  not  how  any  considerable 
sum  can  be  forthcoming  from  the  Court  by  any  other 
means,  \\liether  these  means  shall  be  had  recourse 
to,  you  at  home  will  decide.  My  belief  is  that  we  in 
India  shall  still  be  able  to  raise  what  we  want  (I  put 
it  at  three  crores)  by  oflFering  six  per  cent. ;  but  I  am 
sure  that  the  chances  of  being  able  to  do  so  will  be 
greatly  increased  if  we  have  an  assurance  that  in 
case  of  failure  help  will  come  from  home."*  Mean- 
while, there  was  a  pressing  necessity  to  reduce  the 
expenditure  of  the  Government  by  every  possible 
means,  at  any  sacrifice  of  future  advantages  to  the 

So  an  order  went  forth  for  the  immediate  suspen- 
sion of  all  the  great  reproductive  public  works,  which 

*  What  was  actually  done  in  Cal-  loan,  chiefly  out  of  consideration  to 
ciitta  may  be  gathered  from  the  the  then  nolders  of  Government 
following  statement,  which  forms  securities.  That  the  credit  of  the 
part  of  the  comments  of  Lord  Can-  Government  was  destroyed  is  proved 
nine  on  the  petition  for  his  recall :  not  to  be  the  case  oy  the  fact 
**  When  the  notifications  of  the  20tli  tljat  cash  subscriptions  have  been 
and  27th  Julv  were  issued,  the  received  since  the  21st  July  to 
position  of  affairs  was  altogether  the  amount  of  97,81,390  rs.,  while 
changed.  The  mutiny  had  spread,  the  transfers  have  amounted  to 
the  money  market  was  daily  be-  90,09,710  rs.,  and  this  notwithstand- 
coming  tighter,  a  falling  off  in  the  ing  that  the  subscriptions  in  Cal- 
reveuue  had  become  certain,  and  on  cutta  have  been  greatly  curtailed  by 
its  thus  being  unquestionable  that  the  Bank  of  Bengal  having,  for  a 
more  favourable  terms  than  five  per  considerable  period,  refused  any  ac- 
cent, would  be  necessary  to  secure  commodation  in  the  way  of  fresh 
subscriptions  to  a  loan,  the  arrange-  loans.  'At  the  present  date  (9th 
ment  lor  taking  four,  four  and  a  November)  the  loan  has  reached 
half,  and  three  and  a  half  paper  in  three  millions  sterling." — It  need 
part  subscription  to  the  five-per-  not  be  added  that  loans  were  after- 
cent,  loan  was  resolved  on,  in  pre-  wards  raised  in  Loudon,  on  the  se- 
ference   to  opening  a  six-per-cent.  curity  of  the  revenues  of  India. 


would  have  added  so  much  to  the  wealth  of  the  1857. 
Empire.  How  it  pained  him  to  do  this  may  be  ^' 
gathered  from  his  correspondence.  Respecting  what 
he  had  done,  he  wrote  on  the  3rd  of  July  to  the 
President  of  the  India  Board:  "The  stoppage  of 
public  works  is  made  as  absolute  as  possible.  No 
new  works  of  public  improvement  to  be  entered 
upon ;  many  already  in  full  swing  to  be  abandoned, 
and  nothing  but  the  real  necessities  of  the  military 
and  civil  establishments  to  be  provided  for,  and 
repairs.  The  Staff,  too,  vn\l  be  reduced.  This  sounds 
prudent  and  economical.  It  is  neither  one  nor  the 
other.  It  is  wasteful  to  the  last  degree — wasteful  of 
money  already  expended — wasteful  of  much  labour 
of  organisation  and  discipline,  and  much  dearly- 
bought  experience ;  and,  besides,  disheartening  to  the 
invaluable  Staff  of  officers  who  have  been  trained  to 
the  works,  and  humbling  to  the  Government.  But 
there  is  no  choice  for  the  present,  at  all  events." 

And  still,  as  these  cares  pressed  heavily  upon  him.  Personal 
there  were  trouble  and  vexation  at  his  own  door.  ^®"  ^^' 
For  the  Christian  communities  of  the  capital  con- 
tinued to  clamour  for  much  that  his  deliberate  judg- 
ment told  him  it  would  be  unwise  and  unjust  to  con- 
cede. As  weeks  passed,  and  every  week  brought  a 
fresh  catalogue  of  crimes  committed  against  our 
Christian  people  by  Natives  of  the  country,  Maho- 
medans  and  Hindoos — and  not  all,  not  nearly  all  by 
men  who  had  once  worn  the  uniform  of  the  British 
Government  —  as  many,  many  households  in  the 
capital  were  mourning  the  miserable  deaths  of  their 
nearest  and  dearest — nay,  as  fugitives  came  in  "from 
the  Upper  Country  with  dreadful  stories  to  relate, 
and  the  horrors  which  they  truthfully  recited  were 
magnified  in  repetition,  till  there  was  not  a  con- 

E  2 


1837.      ceivable  outrage  which  men  or  fiends  could  commit 
^  ^'      not  laid  to  the  charge  of  the  black  races — it  was  not 
strange  that  both  fear  and  hatred  should  have  grown 
stronger  among  our  white   people,  and   that   there 
should  have  been  a  cry,  ever  increasing  in  strength, 
both  for  protection  and  for  retribution.      To  have 
yielded  to  the  cry  would,  at  that  time,  have  won  the 
hearts   of  the   Christian   communities   of  Calcutta. 
But  he  could  not  sacrifice  his  sense  of  duty  to  any 
yearning  after  popularity ;  and  though  the  imploring 
cries  of  his  countrymen  from  all  parts  pained  him 
deeply,  and  he  grieved  for  the  tribulation  of  the 
great  English  capital,  he  could  not  bring  himself  to 
concede  all  that  they  asked.     So  as  week  followed 
week,  the   Governor-General  grew  more  and   more 
distasteful  to  the  European  communities  of  Calcutta, 
until  there  began  to  be  much  eager  talk  about  a 
Petition  to  the  Home  Government  for  his  recall. 
Instructions       He  borc  up  bravely  against  it,  never  for  a  moment 
cuUvo.          thinking  of  yielding  to  the  clamour.     Indeed,  the 
louder  it  grew,  the  more  convinced  he  was  that  it 
was  his  duty,  in  all  ways  and  by  all  means,  to  resist 
it.     For  every  day  it  became  more  and  more  sadly 
apparent,  that  in  all  parts  of  the  country  the   re- 
sentments of  the  Englishman  had  been  roused   to 
such  a  pitch,  that  he  was  ready  on  every  possible 
opportunity  and  occasion  to  take  the  law  into   his 
own  hands,  and  to  execute  upon  the  Native  races 
the  wild  justice  of  revenge.     There  was  nothing  in 
this  to  astonish  Lord   Canning,  and  he  could  not 
severely  condemn  it.     But  he  knew  only  too  pain- 
full)', to  what,  if  not  arrested,  this  must  tend ;  and 
he  bethought  himself  and   invited    the  counsel   of 
others  as  to  the  best  means  of  arming  the  Executive 
with  full  power  promptly  to  punish  the  guilty  with- 


out  placing  in  their  hands  authority  to  smite  un-      1S57. 
sparingly  at  every  Sepoy  who  nii^'ht  cross  their  path,     ^^^'  ^^ 
and  all  suspected  of  abetting  him.     So,  at  the  end 
of  July  a  resolution  of  Government  was  passed,  em- 
bodying instructions  to  officers  in  Bengal  and  the 
North- Western  Provinces  to  draw  lines  of  discrimi- 
nation between,   firstly,  Sepoys  of  regiments  which 
had  not  mutinied,  not   being  found  with  arms   in 
their  possession;  secondly.  Sepoys,  unarmed,  being 
mutineers  or   deserters  from   reofiments     iruiltv   of 
simple  rebellion,  but  not  charged  with  the  murder  of 
their  officers  or  any  other  sanguinary  crime ;  and 
thirdly,  mutineers  or  deserters,  found  to  belong  to 
regiments  guilty  of  the  murder  of  their  officers  or 
other  Europeans,  or  of  having  ''  committed  any  other 
sanguinary  outrage."     In  the  two  former  cases  the 
prisoners  were  to  be  sent  for  trial  by  the  military 
authorities ;  in  the  last  they  were  to  be  tried  by  the 
civil  power,  and  the  sentence  passed  upon  them  to 
be  carried  out  forthwith — with  this  reservation,  how- 
ever,  that  execution   should  be  stayed,    pending  a 
reference  to  the  Government,  if  the  accused  should 
furnish  evidence  of  his  not  having  been  present  with 
his  regiment  at  the  time  of  the  commission  of  the 
crime,  or  that,  if  present,    he  had  endeavoured   to 
prevent  it.     It  had  become  all  the  more  imperative 
on  Government  to  enforce  the  observation  of  these 
distinctions,  since  it  had  become  known  that  in  some 
instances  Sepoys  on  leave  from  their  regiments  (it 
was  the  furlough  season  of  the  year)  had  been  seized 
and  executed  when  passing  to  and  from  their  respec- 
tive homes. 

Having  recorded  these  instructions  with  respect  to 
military  prisoners  of  all  classes,  the  Government 
proceeded  to  define,  but  in  less  precise  language,  the 


1S57.  course  to  be  pursued  by  the  civil  authorities  "  in 
Julj  31.  regard  to  acts  of  rebellion  committed  by  persons  not 
mutineers."  ''  It  is  unquestionably  necessary,"  said 
the  Resolution,  "  in  the  first  attempt  to  restore  order 
in  a  district  in  ^vhich  the  civil  authoritv  has  been 
entirely  overthrown,  to  administer  the  law  with  such 
promptitude  and  severity  as  will  strike  terror  into 
the  minds  of  the  evil-disposed  among  the  people,  and 
will  induce  them,  by  the  fear  of  death,  to  abstain 
from  plunder,  to  restore  stolen  property,  and  to 
return  to  peaceful  occupations.  But  this  object  once 
in  a  great  degree  attained,  the  punishment  of  crimes 
should  be  regulated  with  discrimination.  The  con- 
tinued administration  of  the  law  in  its  utmost 
severity,  after  the  requisite  impression  has  been  made 
on  the  rebellious  and  disorderly,  and  after  order  has 
been  partially  restored,  would  have  the  effect  of 
exasperating  the  people,  and  would  probably  induce 
them  to  band  together  in  large  numbers  for  the  pro- 
tection of  their  lives  and  with  a  view  to  retaliation — 
a  result  much  to  be  deprecated.  It  would  greatly 
add  to  the  difficulties  of  settling  the  country  here- 
after, if  a  spirit  of  animosity  against  their  rulers 
were  engendered  in  the  minds  of  the  people,  and  if 
their  feelings  were  embittered  by  the  remembrance 
of  needless  bloodshed."  The  district  officers  were  in 
this  spirit  exhorted,  **  without  condoning  any  heinous 
offences,"  to  encourage  all  persons  to  return  to  their 
usual  occupations,  and  to  "  postpone  as  far  as  possible 
all  inquiry  into  political  offences  until  such  time  as 
the  Government  are  in  a  position  to  deal  with  them 
in  strength  after  thorough  investigation."  The  whole- 
sale burning  of  villages  was  especially  deprecated,  as 
tending  morally  to  the  general  exasperation  of  the 
people,  and  practically  to  the  prevention  of  their  re- 
sumption of  the  cultivation  of  their  fields — ''  a  point," 


it  was  added,   "at  this  season  of  vital  importance.       i^S/'. 
inasmuch  as  if  the  lands  remain  much  lon^jer  unsown,     ^^^^  ^^' 
distress  and  even  famine  mav  be  added  to  the  other 
difficulties  with  which  the  Gov-ernmcnt  will  have  to 

These  instructions,  the  extreme  moderation  and 
plain  practical  good  sense  of  which  cannot  at  this 
distance  of  time  be  questioned,  were  not  proclaimed 
or  published,  as  was  afterwards  stated,  but  were  sent, 
in  the  shape  of  confidential  circulars,  to  the  officei*s 
whom  they  concerned.  A  copy  of  them,  however, 
was  printed  in  a  Calcutta  paper.  And  the  more 
violent  section  of  the  European  inhabitants  of  the 
capital  w^ere  roused  to  a  high  pitch  of  indigna- 
tion by  what  they  afterwards  denounced  as  "  in- 
discriminate forgiveness,"  though  the  avowed  object 
and  practical  effect  of  the  measure  was  to  enforce 
a  wholesome  discrimination  in  the  punishment 
of  accused  or  suspected  persons.  '•  Lenity,"  it 
was  added,  *'  towards  any  portion  of  the  conspi- 
rators 18  misplaced,  impolitic,  and  iniquitous,  and 
is  calculated  to  excite  contempt  and  invite  attack 
on  every  side,  by  showing  to  the  world  the  Govern- 
ment of  India  so  pow^erless  to  punish  mutiny,  or  so 
indifferent  to  the  sufferings  which  have  been  endured 
by  the  victims  of  the  rebellion,  that  it  allows  the 
blood  of  English  and  Christian  subjects  of  Her 
Majesty  to  flow  in  torrents,  and  their  wives,  sisters, 
and  daughters  to  be  outraged  and  dishonoured  with- 
out adequate  retribution."  It  was  forgotten  that  this 
adequate  retribution,  if  it  had  been  commendable 
and  desirable,  would,  at  the  time  w^hen  these  orders 
were  issued,  have  been  impossible,  from  sheer  lack  of 
strength  to  execute  it,  and  that  the  attempt  w^ould 
only  have  rendered  greater  the  disproportion  between 
the  evil  to  be  suppressed  and  the  means  of  suppress- 


1857.      ing  it.    In  fact,  the  retribution  party  were  clamouring 
^'      for  that  which  would  have  aggravated  their  dangers 
and  increased  their  fears,  and  that  the  policy  which 
they  advocated  would,  in  its  adoption,  have  been  as 
fatal  to  the  interests  as  damnatory  to  the  character  of 
the  nation, 
'he sale  of         Another  source   of  discontent  was   this:    a  new 
'^"^**  element  of  danger  was  supposed  to  have  been  disco- 

vered in  the  fact  that  there  had  been  a  large  importa- 
tion of  arms  into  Calcutta,  and  that  the  Natives  of  the 
capital  and  of  the  surrounding  districts  were  purchas- 
ing them  freely  from  shopkeepers  not  disinclined  to 
make  money  by  the  crisis.  In  truth,  the  Natives  of  the 
country  were  more  alarmed  than  the  Christian  in- 
habitants; and  when  they  saw  our  people  arming 
themselves  everywhere,  and  knew  that  we  were  dis- 
arming their  military  compatriots,  they  began  to 
suspect  that  we  should,  at  no  distant  period,  use  our 
rifles  and  revolvers  for  other  than  defensive  pur- 
uljr  20.  poses.  On  the  20th  of  July,  the  subject  was  brought 
to  the  notice  of  Government  by  the  To^vn-Major. 
About  the  same  time,  the  Commandant  of  the  Cal- 
cutta Militia,  Major  Herbert,  sent  in  reports  to  the 
eff^ect  that  an  English  firm  had  imported  a  large 
quantity  of  arms,  which  had  been  sold  to  a  Native 
dealer,  and  that  they  were  being  freely  bought  in  the 
bazaars.  On  the  22nd,  the  Grand  Jurj^,  in  the 
Supreme  Court  of  Calcutta,  made  a  presentment 
recommending  that  all  the  Native  population  of  the 
capital  should  be  forthwith  disarmed,  and  that  the 
sale  of  arms  and  ammunition  should  be  legally  for- 
bidden. And  on  the  following  day,  a  number  of  the 
Christian  inhabitants  appealed  to  the  Government  to 
disarm  all  the  Natives  in  the  place.  To  this  reply 
was  given,  two  days  afterwards,  that  it  was  not  in- 


tended  to  disarm  any  class  of  the  residents  of  Cal-       1S57. 
ciitta  or  the  neighbourhood — that  sufficient  precau-       ^^^^' 
tions  had  been  taken  for  the  safety  of  tlie  city ;  and 
that  a  General  Arms  Bill  was  under  consideration.* 

This  was  not  considered  a  satisfactory  reply ;  but  Confidence  of 
the  sincerity  with  which  it  was  given  was  beyond  ^^g.  "* 
all  question.  For  Lord  Canning  had  up  to  this  time 
refused  to  disarm  his  own  body-guard — a  body  of 
picked  Native  soldiers,  well  armed  and  well  mounted. 
He  never  went  abroad  without  some  of  these  troopers 
in  attendance  upon  him.  lie  was  earnestly  exhorted 
to  disarm  them ;  but  he  was  reluctant,  at  this  time, 
to  consent  to  such  a  measure.  Some  said  that  it  was 
"fool-hardy;"  others  argued  that  it  was  another  proof 
that  he  did  not  understand  the  gravity  of  the  posi- 
tion. But  none  could  dispute  that  it  testified  his 
assured  conviction  that  the  general  disarming  of  the 
people  was  uncalled  for,  and  proved  that  he  was  not 
one  to  exhort  others  to  manifestations  of  confidence 
of  which  he  did  not  himself  set  a  conspicuous 

But  in  this  disregard  of  liis  own  personal  safety  Lord 
Canning  may  have  erred.  The  persistent  manner  in 
whicli  he  long  refused  to  change  the  Sepoy  guard  at 
Government  House  for  one  composed  of  European 
soldiers,  is  said,  however  commendable  it  might  have 
been  in  a  lesser  man,  to  have  been  an  indiscretion  in 
the  Governor-General.  It  was,  doubtless,  a  noble 
example  that  he  set.  If  he  had  dismissed  his  Sepoy 
guards  at  the  commencement  of  our  troubles,  the 
news  would  have  run,  like  an  alarm-note,  through  all 
classes  of  the  community,  and  there  would  have  been 
a  diminution  of  that  confidence  which  it  was  so  im- 

♦  Confidential  Mcmoraudum  by  Lord  Canning— unpublished. 


1867.  portant  to  maintain  in  every  quarter  where  Christian 
^^^'  people  were  assembled.  So,  although  oftentimes 
urged  not  to  trust  himself  any  longer  to  the  dan- 
gerous guardianship  of  men  whose  comrades  had 
stained  their  hands  with  the  blood  of  their  officers, 
he  continued  to  confide  in  them,  and  could  not  be 
induced  to  order  Europeans  to  be  posted  at  his  doors. 
Secretaries  and  members  of  Council  deplored  this ; 
but  they  could  not  bend  him  to  their  will.  At  last, 
Mr.  Ilallidaj.  Mr.  Halliday,  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Bengal,  who 
had  come*  down  to  the  Presidency  from  Darjeeling,  so 
wrought  upon  the  Governor-General  by  telling  him 
that  his  duty  to  his  country  demanded  that  he  should 
take  every  precaution  to  protect  a  life,  which  at  such 
a  time  was  of  incalculable  value,  that  he  began  re- 
luctantly to  yield,  and  to  bethink  himself  of  consent- 
ing to  the  change  which  had  been  so  often  vainly 
pressed  upon  him. 

It  was  no  easy  task  that  Halliday  had  set  him- 
self, and  it  was  not  easily  accomplished.  Time  did 
something  to  mitigate  the  difficulty,  for  the  general 
disaffection  of  the  Bengal  Army  was  every  week 
becoming  more  apparent.  But  the  personal  influ- 
ence of  the  Lieutenant-Governor  did  more.  Lord 
Canning  said  of  him  afterwards,  that  for  many 
months  he  had  been  the  "right  hand  of  the  Govern- 
ment." A  man  of  commanding  stature  and  alto- 
gether of  a  goodly  presence,  he  looked  like  one  born 
to  command.  He  had  all  his  life  been  a  steady, 
robust  workman,  and  he  had  brought  to  his  work  no 
small  amount  of  natural  ability  and  administrative 
sagacity  of  the  most  serviceable  kind.  His  lot  had 
been  cast  in  the  hitherto  tranquil  regions  of  Bengal. 
No  opportunity  of  proving  his  powers  in  action  had 
been  afforded  to  him ;  but  his  sufficiency  in  council 


had  won  the  confidence  of  successive  Governments,  1S57. 
and  in  all  that  related  to  the  Lower  Provinces  there  •'"^y* 
was  no  man  whose  experiences  were  of  greater  value. 
To  Lord  Canning,  who,  wisely  or  unwisely,  had  been 
chary  of  his  confidences  to  those  immediately  about 
him,  the  arrival  of  Mr.  Halliday  had  been  extremely 
welcome,  and  from  that  time  there  was  no  member 
of  the  Government  whom  he  so  frequently  consulted 
or  whose  opinions  he  so  much  respected.  But  still 
only  by  repeatedly  urging  upon  t\iQ  Governor-General 
that  his  life  belonged  to  his* country,  and  that  he 
had  no  right  to  expose  it  to  any  unnecessary  risks, 
could  his  Lieutenant  induce  him  to  allow  the  order 
to  be  issued  for  European  guards  to  be  posted  at 
Government  House.  It  was  not,  indeed,  until  the 
month  of  August  had  expired  that  the  European 
Guard  marched  into  the  compound  of  Government 
House,  under  the  immediate  orders  of  the  Lieutenant- 

In  the  mean  while  events  were  developing  them- 
selves in  the  country  below  Benares,  which  seemed 
in  some  measure  to  confirm  the  apprehensions  of 
the  European  community  at  Calcutta,  and  which 
doubtless  rendered  the  Governor-Generars  outward 
calmness  of  demeanour,  which  they  so  grievously 
misinterpreted,  more  offensive  and  irritating  to  them 
than  before.  It  seemed  as  though  the  toils  were 
closing  around  them — that  Bengal  itself  would  soon 
be  in  a  blaze,  and  murder  and  pillage  rampant  in  the 
capital — whilst  the  head  of  the  Government  was  com- 
placently closing  his  eyes  to  the  surrounding  danger. 
But  no  one  saw  it  more  clearly  than  Lord  Canning. 
Writing  at  the  beginning  of  August  to  the  Indian 

*  This  was  eitlicr  ou  the  31st  of  August  or  the  1st  of  September. 



1857.  Minister  at  home,  he  said :  "  For  the  moment  every- 
^^y-  thing  must  give  way  to  the  necessity  of  arresting  re- 
bellion or  general  disorder  below  Benares.  If  this  is 
not  done  our  slender  remains  of  revenue  will  be  in 
jeopardy,  and  every  isolated  regiment  throughout 
these  provinces  will  mutiny ;  for  it  is  impossible  to 
.  reach  them  with  any  European  force  strong  enough 
to  disarm  them,  without  their  having  full  warning  of 
what  is  coming  upon  them."  The  events  to  which 
reference  is  here  made  must  now  be  fully  narrated. 




The  India  Bill  of  1853  had  placed  the  provinces  1857. 
of  Bengal,  Behar,  and  Orissa  under  a  Lieutenant- The  Bengal 
Governor.  They  extended  from  the  borders  of  the 
Madras  Presidency  on  the  south  to  the  limits  of 
the  Nepaul  country  on  the  north.  Of  all  our  acquisi- 
tions in  Upper  India,  they  had  been  the  longest 
under  our  rule ;  and  the  people  had  become,  there- 
fore, most  habituated  to  our  systems.  A  peaceful, 
pliant,  plastic  people,  the  genuine  Bengalees  were 
easily  intimidated,  easily  subjected,  easily  moulded. 
They  were,  indeed,  what  the  moist,  relaxing  climate 
had  made  them,  a  feeble,  languid  race  of  men.  They 
did  not  recruit  our  armies ;  but  they  were  adepts  in 
trade.  They  could  not  fire  a  musket  or  handle  a 
sabre  ;  but  they  were  the  most  litigious  people  in  all 
the  world.  Whilst  they  schemed  and  trafficked  with 
immense  success,  they  did  not  hesitate  to  acknow- 
ledge, with  self-condemning  frankness,  that,  in  the 
active  business  of  fighting,  they  were  cowards.  They 
had,  however,  a  passive  kind  of  courage  of  their 


1857.  own.  They  had  great  powers  of  endurance.  They 
^^^^'  could  lie  down  to  be  crushed  to  death  under  the 
wheels  of  Juggernauth,  or  they  could  swing  from  a 
high  pole  with  iron  hooks  in  their  backs.  In  the 
aggressive  business  of  insurrection,  such  a  people 
could  be  no  proficients.  Their  idea  of  a  popular 
revolt  was  a  great  assemblage  of  people,  sitting  on 
their  haunches,  hungry  and  silent,  and  defying  the 
Government  by  sheer  force  of  utter  inaction  and  in- 
exhaustible patience. 

Such  was  the  general  character  of  the  population. 
But  there  are  no  places  in  which  there  are  not  excep- 
tional elements  of  violence — it  may  be  of  an  indi- 
genous, it  may  be  of  a  foreign  character.  In  Bengal 
were  large  numbers  of  immigrants  from  all  parts  of 
the  East — ^some  settled  and  some  transitory.  The 
Bazaars  of  Calcutta  were  swarming  with  them — with 
men  of  all  races,  from  the  flat-faced,  close-shaven 
Chinaman  to  the  aquiline,  bearded  Afghan.  The 
predatory  classes  were  not  absent  from  Bengal.  Bud- 
ducks  and  Kechucks,  and  other  professional  robbers, 
plied  their  trade  with  audacious  success.  The  Police 
was  about  the  worst  in  the  world — part  and  parcel 
often  of  the  predatory  organisation — and  certain,  in 
the  event  of  an  insurrection,  to  side  with  the  in- 
surgents as  the  more  profitable  course.  Notwith- 
standing, therefore,  the  non-military  character  of  the 
rural  population,  there  was  some  reason  to  regard 
with  dismay  the  rising  of  the  Native  troops  in  the 
Lower  Provinces,  where  no  European  battalions 
were  posted ;  whilst  higher  up  in  the  circle  of  the 
Lieutenant- Governorship  were  people  of  difi\3rent 
instincts  and  habits  from  those  of  the  populations  of 
Bengal  and  Orissa. 

Here,  indeed,  were  some  sources  of  reasonable  in- 


quietude.     To  one  of  the  chief  of  these  the  moneyed      1S57 
interests  of  Calcutta  looked  with  intelligible  anxiety.       ^^^^ 
If  the  rich  indigo  districts  of  Behar  were  oveiTun  Ajj™  ^Ji 
by  a  mutinous  soldiery,  aided  by  the    Budmashes  tricts. 
of  the  countrj^,  what  would  become  of  all  the  money 
advanced  upon  the  growing  crops  ?     This  was  a  sub- 
stantial ground  of  alarm  to  many  of  the  mercliants 
and  agents  of  the  capital,  but  the  ruin  which  would 
have  followed  such   incursions   of  rebels   into   the 
indigo  districts  would  not   have   been    confined  to 
them.     It  would  have  been  wide-spread  and  most 
disastrous.     Now,  the  apprehension  of  disturbances 
in  Behar  was  by  no  means  the  growtli  of  the  creative 
powers  of  an  excited  imagination.     The  Lieutenant- 
Governor  had  represented  in  June  that  there  was 
danger  to  be  apprehended  from  the  return  of  muti- 
nous Sepoys  to  their  homes  in  Behar — for,  although 
few  Native   soldiers  were  ever  drawn  from  Lower 
Bengal,  further  up  in  Behar  were  races  of  a  more 
warlike  character — immigrants   partly  from   higher 
latitudes.     Then  there  was  the  great  city  of  Patna, 
which  had  for  lon<r  vcars  been  a  not  unreasonable 
source  of  suspicion  and  mistrust  to  the  ruling  autho- 
rities.    Mahomedanism  was  strong  and  rampant  at 
Patna  ;  and  it  was  the  most  active  kind  of  Mahomed- 
anism, for  there  we  saw  the  followers  of  the  Prophet 
in  the  rejuvenescence  of  AVahabeeism.     Then  there  The  Scve: 
were  three  Sepoy  regiments  at  Dinapore,  and,   al-  FjjticJh^j 
though  they  were  watched  by  Her  Majesty's  Tenth  gimcnts. 
Foot,  it  was  still  probable  that  they  might  suddenly 
break  into  mutiny  and  escape,  as  others  had  escaped 
before  them.     The  result  of  this  might  have  been 
mischievous   in   the  extreme.     Already   were   there 
great  alarm  and  excitement.     Strange  rumours  agi- 
tated the  people.     ]\Ir.  Tayler,  the  Commissioner  of 


1857.  Patna,  had  written  to  Mr.  Secretary  Beadon,  saying : 
June.  u  The  whole  English  community  at  Tirhoot  have  de- 
manded protection,  as  they  believe  that  the  people 
will  rise  and  the  Nujeebs  mutiny.  All  Buxar  and 
Shahabad  fled  like  sheep  and  flocked  into  Dinapore. 
.  •  .  .  Richardson,  of  Chuprah,  writes  that  the  whole 
country  opposite  his  cutcherry  on  the  Ghazeporc 
Doab,  and  the  people  of  all  the  districts  to  the  west 
of  Chuprah,  are  in  open  revolt.'*  In  this  excited 
condition  of  the  people,  it  was  argued,  if  the  Sepoys 
at  Dinapore  should  rise  and  sweep  down  upon  Patna, 
carrying  off  the  treasure,  looting  the  rich  opium- 
godowns,  and  thence  spreading  desolation  through 
the  homes  of  the  indigo  farmers  of  Tirhoot,  the  con- 
tagion might  spread  lower  and  lower,  Moorshed- 
abad  might  rise,  in  spite  of  the  steadfast  loyalty 
of  the  Nawab  Nazim,  and  the  insurgents  gathering 
strength  as  they  went,  might  pour  themselves 
down  upon  the  capital.  Why,  then,  not  prevent  a 
calamity  of  so  probable  a  kind  by  disarming  the 
Dinapore  regiments?  It  was  a  feat  of  no  difficult 
accomplishment.  The  Tenth  Foot,  aided  by  some  of 
the  reinforcements  passing  up  the  river,  which  might 
have  been  detained  a  little  while  for  this  special 
service,  could  have  easily  overawed  the  Sepoy  bat- 
talions, and  deprived  them  of  all  means  of  offence. 
But  the  Governor-General  believed  that  there  was 
still  greater  danger  in  disarming,  and  so  the  Sepoys 
were  left  with  arms  in  their  hands ;  and  a  regi- 
ment of  Europeans,  when  every  English  soldier 
was  worth  his  weight  in  gold,  was  kept  at  Dinapore 
to  watch  them.  And  there  were  many  in  Bengal, 
who,  admiring  and  upholding  the  Governor-General, 
and  condemning  the  popular  clamour  which  had 
been  raised  against  him  as  intemperate  and  imbecile, 

The  aUESTIOK  of  DISARMING.  65 

thought  that  he  had  erred  in  refusing,  for  so  long  a      1857. 
time,  to  disarm  the  regiments  at  Dinapore.  •^*^- 

It  is  right,  however,  that  the  arguments  with  Arpiments 
which  the  Governor-General  sustained  his  declared  Jf^^^^  '^* 
reluctance  to  disarm  the  Dinapore  Brigade  should  be 
recorded.  If  the  question  before  him  had  related 
only  to  the  measures  best  calculated  for  the  protec- 
tion of  the  indigo  districts  of  Behar,  the  disarming 
of  the  regiments  (its  successful  accomplishment  as- 
sumed) might  have  been  the  stroke  best  tending 
towards  the  deliverance  of  those  whose  lives  and 
properties  there  were  in  danger.  But  Lord  Canning 
had  not  merely  to  consider  what  was  locally  or  in- 
dividually best,  but  what  was  generally  most  condu- 
cive to  the  interests  of  those  under  his  charge.  And 
he  could  not  but  perceive  that,  however  safe  it  might 
be  to  disarm  Native  regiments  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  European  troops,  the  result  might  be  dangerous 
in  the  extreme  to  our  people  in  other  parts  of  the 
country,  where  Sepoys  abounded  and  not  a  detach- 
ment of  Europeans  was  to  be  seen.  He  was  look- 
ing anxiously  for  the  arrival  of  fresh  reinforcements, 
when  the  game  would  be  more  in  his  own  hands ; 
but  in  the  then  destitute  state  of  the  Lower  Pro- 
vinces, it  seemed  to  him  and  to  the  members  of  his 
Council  to  be  sounder  policy  to  temporise.  It  could 
not  be  wise,  he  thought,  to  precipitate  a  crisis,  whicli 
he  had  not  the  power  successfully  to  confront.  All 
parts  of  Lower  Bengal  were  dotted  over  with  Sepoy 
detachments,  waiting  eagerly  for  news,  perhaps  for 
instructions,  from  Head-Quarters,  and  ready  to  break 
out  into  rebellion  at  an  hour's  notice.  And  it  had 
been  industriously  circulated  among  them  that  dis- 
arming was  only  another  name  for  destruction,  and 
that  -when  they  had  given  up  their  muskets,  they 

VOL.  III.  F 


1857.       would   either  be   shot  down   or  sent  as  prisoners 
June.       beyond  the  seas. 

The  intelligence,  which  Lord  Canning  had  received 
from  the  General  Officer  commanding  the  Dinapore 
Division,  tended  to  confirm  him  in  the  impression  that 
an  outbreak  at  that  station  was  not  to  be  expected. 
The  Dinapore  On  the  2nd  of  June,  General  Lloyd  had  written  to 
rcgimeu  s.  ^j^^  Governor-General,  saying :  "  Although  no  one 
can  now  feel  full  confidence  in  the  loyalty  of  the 
Native  troops  generally,  yet  I  believe  that  the  regi- 
ments here  will  remain  quiet,  unless  some  great 
temptation  or  excitement  should  assail  them,  in 
which  case  I  fear  that  they  could  not  be  relied 
upon."*  A  few  days  afterwards  it  seemed  that  the 
hour  of  temptation  had  come ;  for  news  had  arrived 
from  Benares  of  the  disarming  of  the  regiments 
there,  and  what  had  followed,  and  all  the  exertions 
of  the  Dinapore  officers  were  needed  to  allay  the 
alarm,  which  is  so  often  the  precursor  of  revolt. 
This  passed  ;  but  ere  many  days  had  lapsed.  General 
Lloyd,  in  reply  to  a  suggestion  from  Government, 
Avrote  to  Lord  Canning  that  the  opium-godown  at 
Patna  was  in  a  good  state  of  defence,  and  that  he  did 
not  believe  that  there  was  any  danger  of  an  attack 
upon  it,  as  no  treasure  was  kept  there.  But,  he 
added,  "the  temptation  to  an  outbreak  consists  in 
the  presence  in  the  Collector's  cutcherry  at  Patna  of 

*  Writing  at  the  end  of  May,  the  their  best  to  keep  matters  right,  and 
commandant  of  one  of  the  regi-  the  real  state  of  the  case  fully  ex- 
ments— an  excellent  Sepoy  officer —  plained  to  the  oflBcers  and  men ;  and 
said:  "I  am  very  happy  to  inform  they  are  warned  that  the  wild  stories 
vou  that  the  three  Native  regiments  and  lies  purposely  spread  about  by 
here  display  the  best  temper,  and  all  emissaries  are  only  to  alarm  and  dis- 
duties  are  being  regularly  carried  turbthem.  They  have  been  told  that 
on — parades,  drills,  and  target  prac-  if  they  can  seize  and  give  up  any  of 
tice  every  morning.  Not  a  murmur  these  emissaries,  they  will  be  pro- 
is  heard  about  cartridgjes.  All  com-  moted  and  rewarded  with  a  money 
mandiug  officers  and  oiners  are  doing  present." 


some  twenty  lakhs  of  rupees — money  brought  in  1857. 
from  Ghuprah,  and  expected  to  arrive  from  Arrah,  •^'^®- 
under  the  escort  of  Captain  Rattray's  men,  to-morrow 
morning.*  The  Treasury  is  under  the  charge  of  the 
Nujeebs,  and  a  guard  of  Sikhs  goes  for  its  protection 
during  the  night.  The  money  is  to  be  sent  to  Cal- 
cutta by  the  first  downward  steamer.  ...  I  believe 
the  worst  feeling  towards  us  prevails  in  Patna  and 
in  Behar  generally — particularly  among  the  Ma- 
homedan  population  and  the  sect  of  Wahabees.  As 
yet  it  is  confined  to  words  only;  but  a  very  little 
more  excitement  would  cause  it  to  show  itself  in 
deeds."  The  temptation,  however,  here  anticipated 
had  been  resisted,  and  the  Native  regiments,  all 
through  the  remaining  weeks  of  June  and  the  earlier 
part  of  the  month  of  July,  had  gone  about  their 
accustomed  duties  without  any  outward  manifesta- 
tions of  disloyalty.  And  General  Lloyd  had  con- 
tinued to  report  that  he  believed  they  would  remain 
true  to  their  salt,  unless  some  fresh  temptation  should 
arise  to  elicit  the  momentary  madness  that  had  driven 
so  many  others  to  perdition. 

It  was  not  to  be  doubted,  however,  that,  as  time 
went  on,  there  was,  apart  from  these  apprehensions  of 
the  sudden  falling  of  a  spark  upon  the  combustible 
elements  of  Sepoy  discontent,  a  not  unreasonable 
cause  of  anxiety  in  the  chronic  state  of  fear  into 
which  the  Native  regiments  had  subsided,  owing  to 
reports  industriously  circulated  among  them  that 
the  river  steamers  passing  upwards  were  crowded 
with  large  numbers  of  European  troops,  who  would 
bring  upon  them  swift  destruction  under  cover  of 

*  Rattrav,  with  his  Sikhs,  reached    will  be  made  of  their  excellent  ser- 
Patna  in  tuc  early  moruing  of  the    vices. 
8th  of  June.    Subsequent  mention 

F   2 


the  darkness  of  the  night.  In  vain  their  officers  tried 
to  reassure  thcni.  The  panic  grew.  As  had  hap- 
pened, and  was  yet  to  happen  in  other  pkces,  the 
strong  instinct  of  self-preservation  moved  them  to 
concert  measures  for  their  liberation  from  the  toils 
which  it  was  believed  were  closing  around  them. 
To  allay  these  fears,  orders  were  issued  that  each 
regiment  should  furnish  a  picket,  to  be  posted  at 
night  in  its  Lines,  ostensibly  for  the  purpose  of 
refusing  ingress  to  mutineers  or  deserters  from  other 
regiments,  and  to  seditious  and  intriguing  persons  of 
nil  kinds  who  might  seek  to  corrupt  thein.  This 
wise  precaution  was  not  without  good  results.  It 
seemed  for  awhile  to  pacify  the  nion.  If  it  did  not 
altogether  restore  confidence  to  them,  it  kept  them 
quiet  for  awhile.  And  it  was  the  desire  of  the 
General  commanding  to  keep  the  Native  regiments 
together  at  a  time  when  the  Government  were  strain- 
ing every  effort  to  send  upwards,  along  the  Grand 
Trunk  Road,  small  detachments  of  Europeans  in 
wheeled  carriages;  for  an  outbreak  of  the  Native 
troops  at  Dinapore  might  have  closed  the  road  and 
delayed  the  advance  of  our  reinforcements  in  the 
of  our  greatest  need. 
Meanwhile,  irrespectively  of  all  military  disloyalty, 
there  was  increasing  excitement  in  Behar.  It  has 
been  shown  in  an  earlier  chapter  that,  some  yeara 
before  the  general  outbreak  of  mutiny  in  the  ranks  of 
the  Bengal  Army,  there  had  been  dangerous  plots  de- 
veloped, if  not  originated,  in  Patna  for  the  corruption 
of  our  Sepoy  re^lnents,  as  the  first  step  towards  the 
subversion  of  British  power  in  the  East.*  In  no  place 
were  large  and  influential  classes  of  the  Native  com- 

*  Vol.  i.,  p.  301—309. 



munity  better  prepared  for  a  rising  of  the  soldiery ;  1857. 
and  nowhere,  when  the  crisis  came,  was  there  more  of  •^^°^- 
the  excitement  of  ill-disguised  sympathy.  As  a  link 
between  them  there  were  the  Police — the  Nujeebs 
— a  hybrid  race,  but  a  power  in  the  State.  The 
fusion  of  the  three,  whichsoever  might  be  the  prime 
mover  of  sedition,  was  dangerous  in  the  extreme ; 
and  it  was  certain  that  an  inert  policy  would  not  be 
a  successful  one.  So  already  the  civil  authorities 
were  striking  heavy  blows  at  incipient  rebellion,  and 
endeavouring  to  overawe  the  suspected  classes  by 
repressive  measures,  which  engendered  as  much 
hatred  as  fear. 

The  chief  civil  officer  of  the  division  was  Mr.  William  Tay. 
William  Tayler,  of  whom  mention  has  already  been  ^^^' 
made.  A  man  of  varied  accomplishments  and  of  an 
independent  tone  of  thought  and  speech,  he  had 
studied  the  Native  character,  as  only  it  can  be  rightly 
studied,  with  large-hearted  toleration  and  catholicity 
of  sentiment.  Fully  alive  to  the  melancholy  fact  of 
the  great  gulf  between  the  two  races,*  he  had  often 
dwelt,  in  his  public  correspondence,  on  the  evils 
attending  the  self-imposed  isolation  of  his  countrymen, 
and  the  want  of  sympathy,  and  therefore  the  want  of 
knowledge,  in  all  that  related  to  the  feelings  of  the 
people,  of  a  large  majority  of  official  and  non-official 

•  Nothing  can  be  better  tliau  the 
following,  which  I  extracted  some 
years  ago  from  one  of  Air.  Tayler's 
official  papers :  "  Separated  as  we 
necessarily  are  from  the  millions 
around  us,  by  our  habits  and  ideas, 
we  are  still  mrther,  and  without  the 
aame  necessity,  isolated  from  their 
hearts  by  the  utter  absence  of  all 
indiyidual  feeling  or  sympathy.  The 
great  mass  see  or  hear  of  functionary 
after  functionary  coming  and  going, 
and  holding  the    destinies  of  the 


eople  in  the  hollow  of  their  hands, 
ut  they  seldom,  perhaps  never, 
know  what  it  is  to  feel  that  the 
minds  of  their  rulers  have  ever  been 
directed  to  understand  or  sympa- 
thise with  the  great  heart  that  is 
beating  around  them.  The  result  is 
an  utter  absence  of  those  ties  be- 
tween the  governors  and  the  ^ 
vcrned,  that  unbought  loyalty  whidi 
is  the  strength  of  kings,  and  ▼hiohu 
with  all  his  faults,  tne  Native  qf 
India  is  well  capable  of  feeling." 


3857.  Englishmen  in  India.  Nearly  two  years  before  the 
^^^'  outbreak  of  the  mutiny,  he  had  reported  to  Govern- 
ment that,  "  owing  to  sundry  causes,  the  minds  of 
the  people  in  these  districts  are  at  present  in  a  very 
restless  and  disaffected  state,  and  they  have  generally 
conceived  the  idea  that  there  is  an  intention  on  the 
part  of  Government  to  commence  and  carry  through 
a  systematic  interference  with  their  religion,  their 
caste,  and  their  social  customs."  Utterances  of  this 
kind  are  never  very  palatable  to  Government;  and 
Mr.  Tayler  was  regarded  in  high  places,  if  not  actually 
as  an  alarmist,  as  a  man  who  suffered  his  imagination 
to  run  away  with  him ;  and  although  it  is  impossible 
to  govern  well  and  wisely  without  it,  nothing  is  more 
detestable  to  Government  than  imagination.  So  it 
happened  that  Mr.  Tayler  had  fallen  into  disrepute 
with  some  above  him,  and  had  excited  the  resent- 
ments of  some  below  him.  He  was  a  man  of  strong 
convictions,  not  chary  of  speech ;  and  there  was  small 
chance  at  any  time  of  a  division  under  his  charge 
subsiding  into  the  drowsy,  somnolent  state  which 
gives  so  little  official  trouble,  and  is  therefore  so 
greatly  approved. 

There  was,  a  short  time  before  the  outburst  of  the 
revolt,  one  especial  matter  which  had  been  a  source 
of  much  conflict,  and  had  resulted  in  the  determina- 
tion of  the  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Bengal  to  remove 
Mr.  Tayler  from  the  Patna  Commissionership.  It  was 
a  question  of  the  establishment  of  an  Industrial  Insti- 
tution, to  be  supported  by  the  landholders  of  the 
several  districts ;  and  Mr.  Halliday  was  of  opinion  that 
undue  influence  had  been  used  to  obtain  the  adhesion 
of  the  Zemindars  to  a  scheme  which  they  did  not 
really  approve.  Into  the  merits  of  this  question  I  do 
not  purpose  to  enter.     Mr.  Tayler  manfully  declared 


that  it  appeared  to  him,  after  the  storm  of  trouble  1857. 
had  burst,  to  be  so  paltry  a  matter  that  it  should  be  J»^e. 
dismissed  from  the  consideration  of  the  local  officers. 
But  it  is  necessary  to  the  right  understanding  of 
what  follows  that  the  general  position  of  aflfairs,  as 
thus  described,  should  be  known  to  the  reader.  It 
was  an  unfortunate  circumstance  that  the  Commis- 
sioner's authority  should  have  been  weakened  by  the 
notoriety  of  the  displeasure  of  his  Government.  There 
were  imdoubtedly  two  parties  in  Patna  ;  and  a  house 
divided  against  itself  is  always  infirm.  When  hostile 
multitudes  are  swarming  around  us,  nothing  but  the 
united  action  of  such  handfuls  of  Englishmen  as  we 
can  muster  to  oppose  them,  can  ever  work  out  perfect 

The  chief  out-stations  of  the  Patna  Division  were  Alarm  in  the 
at  Chuprah,  Arrah,  Mozuficrpore,  Gya,  and  Mote-  ^^*^^'^^^- 
haree.*  There  resided  the  usual  stafi*  of  administra- 
tors— judges,  collectors,  magistrates,  and  opium-agents 
— ^and  under  their  charge  were  the  gaols,  and  trea- 
suries, and  godowns,  the  repletion  of  which  bespoke 
the  activity  wherewith  they  pursued  their  callings. 
The  guardianship  of  these  was  intrusted  to  tlie  Police. 
It  would  have  been  in  favour  of  our  people  that  no 
detachments  of  Sepoys  were  posted  at  tliese  stations, 
if  the  Nujeebs  had  been  trustworthy ;  but  it  was 
generally  felt  that  their  fidelity  would  not  survive 
an  outbreak  of  the  soldiery,  and  they  might,  any 
day,  following  the  suit  of  their  military  brethren, 
release  the  prisoners  in  the  gaols,  carry  off  the  coin 
in  the  treasuries,  and  murder  every  Christian  in  the 
district.     When,   therefore,  news  came  that  Delhi 

*  The  districts  were  Sarun,  Shah-    were  at  Fatna,  which  gave  its  name 
abad,  Tirhoot,  Behar,  and   Chum-    also  to  a  dbtrict. 
parum.      The    civil    bead-quarters 


1857.      was  in  the  hands  of  the  insurgents,  and  no  news 
^"^^      came,  after  waiting  awhile  for  it,  that  the  English 
had  recovered  the  city  and  crushed  the  short-lived 
power  of  the  Mogul,  there  was  considerable  uneasi- 
ness in  the  minds  of  all  the  English  inhabitants  of 
Behar.     At  first,  there  was  the  comforting  reflection 
to  sustain  them,  that  the  Native  gentry  were  on  their 
side — that    the    influential    Zemindars  and    others 
would  place  all  their  resources  at  the  disposal  of  our 
people.      This  belief,   however,    soon  passed   away. 
It  is  curious  to  mark  in  the  private  or  demi-official 
correspondence  of  the  day,  how,  as  time  went  on, 
the  confidence  entertained  by  our  civil  officers  in  the 
loyalty  of  the  local  gentry  gradually  waned  and  at 
last  disappeared.    The  month  of  May  had  not  come 
to  a  close  before  stories  began  to  reach  the  Commis- 
sioner from  different  out-stations,  showing  how  great 
was  the  mistrust  that  was  beginning  to  overshadow 
the  minds  of  our  public  functionaries.    Just  ten  days 
after  the  outbreak  at  Meerut,  one  wrote  to  Mr.  Tayler, 
saying:    "A   Bazaar  report   was  abroad   that  the 
Persian  Army  was  close  to  Lahore,  and  hourly  ex- 
pected, and  that  all  was  up  with  the  British  in  India. 
This  is  enough  to  alarm  the  loyal,  as  well  as  to  en- 
courage the  disaffected.     There  is  another  story  that 
I  heard  privately,  and  some  weight  may  be  attached 
to  it,  namely,  that  Maun  Singh,  the  outlaw  of  Oude, 
is  in  Nepaul,  and  has  been  down  on  our  frontier 
making  observations  and  arrangements ;  that  he  ex- 
cited the  sympathy  of  many  in  our  provinces,  and 
that  our  great  Rajahs  in  those  parts  are  not  to  be 
depended  upon  for  a  moment ;  that  they  encourage 
revolt,  though  not,  perhaps,  ready  to  join  in  it,  unless 

an  invading  army  should  come I  know  the 

Hutwah  man  has  a  mooktear  at  Lucknow.     For  what 



possible    object?  ....  You  may  depend  upon   it 
that  the  cartridge  question  is  all  fudge.    Some  deeper 
scheme  than  that  has  been  laid."    Early  in  June,  one 
of  our  magistrates  T\Tote  from  Gya  to  the  Secretary 
to  the  Bengal  Government,  saying:  "I have  reason 
to  believe  that   the  Mahomedans   throughout  this 
province  are  greatly  disaffected ;  they  are  anxiously 
looking  out  for  news  from  the  North- West,  exag- 
gerating matters,  and  publishing  2^^'o  bono  jmblico  all 
they  hear.     In  Gya  this  feeling  has  shown  itself  to  a 
great  extent."     And  again,  some  days  later:  "My 
last  mentioned  state  of  feeUng  up  to  11th.     From 
that  time  the  people  have  become  much  more  dis- 
affected.    Reports    were    duly  received    that   Bud- 
mashes  and  numbers  of  the  Mahomedan  population, 
in  parties,  were  strolling  about,  poisoning  the  minds 
of  their  neighbours  with  wild  stories  of  our  reign 
having  come  to  its  conclusion,  the  massacre  of  the 
Europeans   in  the  North- West,  &c. ;    and  in  many 
other  ways  was  the  animus  but  too  apparent,  and  ex- 
citement was  thus  shown  to  be  at  its  highest  pitch, 

bordering  upon  an   outbreak It  is  reported 

from  several  places  in  my  jurisdiction  that  men  are 
wandering  about  in  the  guise  of  Fakeers  and  tam- 
pering with  the  villagers."  And  on  the  same  day, 
the  chief  civil  officer  of  Chuprah  wrote  to  the  Com- 
missioner :  "  There  is  no  concealing  the  present  con- 
dition of  the  Chuprah  people,  and  it  requires  but 
the  tidings  of  a  disturbance  at  Dinapore  to  make 
the  Mussulmans,  aided  by  the  Xujeebs,  rise.''* 



•  Another  letter,  written  from 
Chuprah  (May  25th),  said  :  "I  have, 
these  last  two  days,  been  visited  by 
numbers  of  the  iJatives,  and  I  have 
been  explaining  the  whole  matter  to 
them — impressing  upon  the  wealthy 
men  that  the  first  thing  the  Sepoys 

did  in  Delhi  was  to  loot  every 
wealthy  man.  I  also  informed  them 
that  the  regiments  which  were  on 
their  way  to  China  would  now  proba- 
bly pay  Calcutta  a  visit,  and  that  in  a 
few  days  there  would  be  a  European 
force  there  sufficient  to  conquer  tiie 


At  the  chief  station  of  Patna  there  was  the  greatest 
alarm  of  all.  It  was  not  unreasonably  anticipated 
that  if  the  Dinapore  regiments  should  revolt,  they 
would  pour  themselves  upon  Patna  with  a  great 
destruction  of  property  and  of  life.  At  the  end  of 
the  first  week  of  June  the  chronic  alarm  of  the  Euro- 
peans culminated  in  an  acute  paroxysm  of  panic. 
A  report  had  arrived  from  Dinapore  that  the  Sepoys 
were  expected  to  mutiny  in  the  course  of  the  night, 
Then  our  people  asked  what  was  to  be  done  ?  Mr. 
Tayler,  to  whom  all  resorted  for  guidance  in  this 
emergency,  counselled  concentration  in  his  own 
house.  And  in  a  little  while  the  spacious  residence 
of  the  Commissioner  and  his  family  was  gorged  to 
repletion.*  The  moon  rose  that  night  on  a  scene  of 
strange  bewilderment  and  confusion.  Outside  the 
house,  a  large  body  of  Nujeebs,  in  their  dark-green 
dresses,  were  drawn  up  under  their  English  chief  ;f 
and  a  guard,  from  Holmes's  Irregulars,  warlike  and 
picturesque,  was   mounted  at  the   chief  entrance. J 

whole  of  India  over  again,"  ....  upon,  bcMng  them  to  come  over 

'*  There  are  some  disaffected  people  without  oelaj,  bag  and  baggage,  to 

at  work,  and  I  only  wish  that  I  the  rendezvous ;    messengers  were 

could  get  hold  of  them.    I  have  mj  at  the  same  time  despatched  to  warn 

ejo  upon  one  or  two ;  but  they  the  more  distant  residents.    In  less 

seem  to  bo  raking  up  all  the  old  than  an    hour  almost  every  man, 

causes  of  complaint.    Twice  to-day  woman,  and  child  (excepting  some 

I  have  been  asked  why  the    Go-  few  who  lived  close  to  the  opium- 

vemmcut  wish  to  cut  off  the  pri-  godown  and    found  refuge  there) 

soners'  hair  and  beards,  and  though  were  hurrying  helter-skelter  to  our 

I  explained  to  them  that  the  Mus-  house,  foUowed  by  a  heavy  phalanx 

Bulman's    beard    was    only   to    be  of  beds,  clothes,  pillows,  mattresses, 

clipped,    and   that    four     fnigers'  and  other  domestic  impedimenta." 

breadth  was  to  be  left,  they  were  — TavWs  Patna  Crisis. 
not  satisfied,  and  said,  'One  day  it       f  Major   Nation  —  whence  they 

will  bo  four,  the  next  two  fingers,  came,  in  the  language  of  the  pro- 

and  then  it  will  be  cut  off  alto-  vince,  to  be  called   the   National 

gather.' "  Guard. 

•  "  My  wife  and  myself  were  in  a        ±  The  head-quarters  of  Holmes's 

curricle  when  wo  received  the  news ;  regiment  was  at  SegowUe.    An  ac- 

we  drove  off  at  once  to  the  houses  of  count  of  this  corps  will  be  found  in 

the  nearest  residents  and  informed  subsequent  pages  of  the  narrative, 
them  quietly  of  the  plan  decided 


Inside,  our  people,  men,  women,  and  children,  were  ^857. 
huddling  together,  some  confident  and  some  scared.  ^®' 
The  usual  strong  contrasts  that  a  season  of  danger 
commonly  evokes  were  strikingly  developed  by  the 
crisis.  Some  looked  to  the  locks  of  their  guns  or 
felt  the  edges  of  their  swords ;  some  resigned  them- 
selves tranquilly  to  their  fate.  Some  groaned  in 
spirit ;  some  laughed  regardless  of  their  doom.  And 
whilst  some  elders  were  examining  the  ladders  which 
led  to  the  roof  of  the  house,  and  preparing  them- 
selves for  a  sudden  ascent,  young  men  and  maidens, 
in  the  Commissioner's  garden,  could  not  resist  a  little 
moonlit  flirtation,  although  it  might  be  their  last.* 

But  there  was  no  need  of  the  ladders — no  use  for 
the  guns.  As  the  night  advanced,  the  danger  seemed 
to  thicken.  Letters  from  Dinapore  had  been  received 
by  the  Nujeebs,  saying  that  the  Sepoy  regiments  were 
all  of  one  mind,  that  they  were  coming  doAvn  upon 
Patna,  and  that  if  the  Police  battalions  would  join 
them,  success  would  be  assured.  With  the  exception 
of  a  few  troopers  from  Segowlie,  the  Nujeebs  were 
the  sole  protection  of  our  people.  The  gloom,  there- 
fore, grew  darker  and  denser.  But  never  were  the 
scriptural  words,  "  Heaviness  may  endure  for  a  night, 
but  joy  Cometh  in  the  morning,"  more  signally  veri- 
fied than  in  this  Patna  crisis.  There  was  hourly 
expectation  of  the  arrival  of  Captain  Rattray's  well- 
known  and  much-trusted  regiment  of  Sikh  Irregulars. 
The  Commissioner  had  already  sent  urgent  missives 
to  Rattray  to  hasten  his  advance,  and  on  that  very 

*  "On    the    garden    side,    our  seandaliscd  the  more  nervous  por- 

daughters,   with    some  other  girls  lion   of    the    assemblage    by  tiieir 

and  the  juveniles  among  the  centle-  laughter  and  merriment.     Wy  wife 

men,   in  spite  of  the  hubbuo  and  was,  as  is  her  wont,  engaged  in 

ignorant  of  the  real  danger,  were  ministering  to  the  comfort  of  all 

enjoying  the  open  walks  and  moonlit  who  had  taken  shelter  in  the  house." 

grass  of  the  garden,  and  somewhat  — Tayler^s  PaUia  Crisis, 


1857.  afternoon  he  had  despatched  fresh  messengers,  in  the 
June.  light- wheeled  carriages  of  the  country,  to  urge  and 
to  assist  the  rapid  progress  of  the  regiment.  And 
when  about  the  hour  of  dawn,  Rattray  himself,  with 
his  picturesque  accoutrements,  his  high  jack-boots, 
and  his  long  sword,  clanked  into  the  Commissioner's 
house,  and  announced  that  his  men  were  behind 
him,  there  was  a  general  feeling  of  deliverance.  But 
in  fact  there  was  no  danger  from  which  the  Euro- 
pean community  of  Patna  were  to  be  delivered. 
The  Dinapore  regiments  did  not  rise ;  and  next 
morning  the  strange  assembly  of  people  that  had  been 
gathered  together  in  the  Commissioner's  house  re- 
turned, safe  and  hopeful,  to  their  several  homes. 

Rcprc88i?e  There  was  not  a  man  in  the  country  more  disposed 
tncasures.  towards  strenuous  action  than  Mr.  William  Taylor. 
The  instructions  which  he  issued  to  his  subordinates 
all  through  the  months  of  June  and  July  were  of  the 
most  encouraging  and  assuring  kind.  He  exhorted 
all  men  to  put  on  a  bold  front,  to  maintain  their 
posts,  and  to  crush  all  incipient  sedition  with  the 
strong  arm  of  authority.  It  was  in  these  words  that 
he  wrote  to  the  chief  civil  officer  of  Tirhoot,  and  all 
his  directions  to  others  were  in  the  same  strain  :  "I 
don't  think  that  you  are  in  danger.  The  Sepoys,  if 
they  rose,  would  not  go  so  far  out  of  their  way.  Your 
own  Budmashes,  therefore,  are  all  you  have  to  fear. 
If  you  look  sharp  and  raise  your  extra  Police — ^keep 
your  Sowars  in  hand — stir  up  your  Darogah — tell  that 
little  Rajah  to  send  you  men  in  different  parts  to  help 
you — keep  a  look-out  at  the  ghauts,  and  at  the  same 
time  quietly  arrange  for  a  place  of  rendezvous  in  case 
of  real  danger,  where  you  may  meet,  all  will  go 


right Make  everybody  show  a  good  face — be       l 

plucky,  and  snub  any  fellows  who  are  impudent.  If  ^^ 
any  people  talk  sedition,  threaten  them  with  a  rope, 
and  keep  a  look-out  on  the  Nujeebs.  Try  and  form 
without  any  fuss  a  body  of  volunteers,  mounted 
gentlemen,  so  that  in  case  of  any  extremity  they 
might  all  meet  and  pitch  into  any  blackguards.  If 
anything  really  bad  were  to  happen,  the  branch 
volunteers  should  come  into  Patna  and  join  the  main 
body,  and  we  would  keep  the  province  till  assistance 
should  come.  These  are  only  probabilities,  so  don't 
tell  people  they  are  anticipated.  The  word  for 
Tirhoot  just  now  is  'AH  serene.'  "*  And  it  was, 
doubtless,  the  true  policy  to  betray  no  fear,  but  to  be 
thoroughly  awake  to  and  prepared  for  all  possibilities 
of  surrounding  danger. 

I  say  it  reluctantly — but  I  fear  that  it  is  to  be  said 
most  truthfully — that  all  the  Englishmen  in  the  Patna 
Division  were  not  of  the  same  high  courage  as  Mr. 
William  Tayler  himself  There  had  been  sudden 
alarms  and  flights  from  some  out-stations,  and  be- 
wildered rushings  into  Dinapore.  '^  Such  a  cowardly 
panic-struck  set  as  have  rushed  in  here  yesterday 
and  to-day  I  never  saw,"  wrote  General  Lloyd  to  the 
Commissioner  on  the  9th  of  June.  And  the  Com- 
missioner himself  had  been  compelled  to  rebuke 
some,  who  had  shown  too  great  an  alacrity  to  leave 
their  posts  without  sufficient  reason  for  running 
away.  But  it  must  in  all  fairness  be  conceded,  that 
there  were  some  exceptional  grounds  of  apprehension 
on  the  part  of  the  European  residents  in  Behar. 
Already,  in  general  terms,  has  mention  been  made  of 
these.  The  sources  of  danger  were  of  two  kinds — 
external  and  internal — military  and  civil.     Not  only 

*  M.S.  Records. 


1S57.  was  it  dear  that  into  the  Patna  Division  would  pour 
^'*^-  all  the  Sepoy  deserters  and  refugees  from  the  Lower 
Provinces,  but  that  large  numbers  of  the  influential 
local  gentry  were  disaffected  to  the  core,  and  were 
watching  the  movements  of  the  soldiery  with  grateful 
anticipations  of  a  time  of  trouble  to  the  English.  The 
fact  that  Sepoys  of  nine  different  regiments  were 
known  to  have  fought  against  us  in  Shahabad,  after- 
wards afforded  substantial  proof  of  the  former.  The 
plots  which  were  actually  discovered,  and  the  trea- 
sonable correspondence  which  was  intercepted  at  the 
time,  left  no  doubt  of  the  latter ;  and  if  any  had  re- 
mained, subsequent  revelations  would  have  thoroughly 
dispersed  it.  Apart  from  the  indigenous  sedition — 
the  sedition  of  "fanaticism"  as  it  has  been  called 
(for  a  sincere  belief  in  other  creeds  than  our  own  is 
always  fanaticism  in  the  Christian  vocabulary) — 
there  were  foreign  influences  at  work  to  stimulate 
the  Mussulman  inhabitants  of  Patna  and  the  neigh- 
bourhood to  rise,  whenever  a  fitting  opportunity 
should  present  itself,  against  the  British  Government. 
Foremost  among  these  were  the  sinister  influences 
that  issued  from  Lucknow.  The  annexation  of  that 
country  had  sent  to  Patna  a  small  Oude  colony  with 
all  kinds  of  embittered  resentments  against  the  British 
Government,  and  there  was  an  active  correspondence 
(continually  going  on  between  the  Mahomedans  of  the 
two  great  cities ;  whilst  in  the  districts  intrigue  was 
incosHantly  at  work  to  weaken,  and  eventually  to 
overthrow,  the  hateful  power  of  the  Feringhees. 
Arrffciof  One  incident  deserves  special  narration.      About 

WnrliAli.     ^^^^   ^^^^j   ^j«  ^j^^   third  week   of  June,   intelligence 

iHMvehed  the  authorities  of  Tirhoot  that  one  of  their 
fJeniadarH  of  Police,  Waris  Ali  by  name,  said  to 
have  been  of  the  blood-royal  of  Delhi,  was  in  trea- 


sonable  correspondence  with  some  disaflfected  Maho-  1S57. 
medans  of  Patna.  The  Magistrate,  seeing  at  once  ^^^' 
the  necessity  of  immediately  arresting  this  man,  who 
was  at  a  police-station  in  the  interior  of  the  district, 
asked  Mr.  William  Robertson,  a  young  civilian  of 
two  or  three  years'  standing,  if  he  would  under- 
take  the  work.  Robertson,  a  fine,  high-spirited 
youth,  who  seems  at  all  times  to  have  been  cheery 
and  confident,  and  ripe  for  action,  accepted  the  ofiered 
duty  with  alacrity ;  and  it  was  agreed  that  four 
Englishmen  of  the  district  should  be  selected  to  share 
the  dangers  and  the  honours  of  the  enterprise.  The 
gentlemen  finally  selected  were  Messrs.  Urquhart, 
Baldwin,  Holloway,  and  Pratt,  indigo-planters  of  the 
neighbourhood,  "  all  of  them,"  as  Mr.  Robertson 
wrote,  "  steady,  cool  chaps,  and  yet  fighting  men." 
All  arrangements  made,  this  little  party  of  five,  well- 
mounted  and  well-armed,  rode  for  Mr.  Baldwin's 
factory,  some  three  miles  from  the  police-station, 
where  they  dined  and  matured  their  plans;  and 
before  daybreak  started,  in  high  spirits,  for  the 
Jemadar's  quarters.  Coming  suddenly  upon  him, 
they  found  Waris  Ali  in  the  act  of  writing  a  trea- 
sonable letter  to  one  Ali  Kureem,  a  Mahomedan  of 
wealth  and  influence,  notoriously  disaffected,  who 
was  then  living  upon  the  road  between  Patna  and 
Gya.  The  culprit  was  seized  with  all  his  correspond- 
ence. He  had  evidently  girded  up  his  loins  for  im- 
mediate flight ;  and  if  William  Robertson  had  swooped 
down  upon  him  an  hour  later,  the  prey  would  have 
been  lost.  His  horse — a  remarkably  fine  one — stood 
saddled  in  the  stable,  with  holsters  at  the  pommel. 
Carts,  already  laden  for  a  journey,  with  the  draught 
cattle  beside  them,  were  standing  in  front  of  the 
houSe.     Every  article  of  furniture,  do^vn  to  the  cook- 


1857.  ing  pots  and  pans,  were  heaped  up  ready  for  depar- 
June.  ^pg  There  was  no  doubt  of  the  man's  guilt.  Taken 
fldgrante  delicto^  he  resigned  himself  to  his  fate.  He 
was  carried  a  prisoner  to  the  station,  and  soon  after- 
wards he  was  hanged.  It  is  said  that  at  the  foot  of 
the  gallows  he  cried  aloud,  "  If  there  is  any  friend  of 
the  King  of  Delhi  here,  let  him  come  and  help 
Flight  of  Ali  The  correspondence  found  in  the  house  of  Waris 
Ali  clearly  implicated  Ali  Kureem.  It  was  sent  to 
the  Commissioner,  who  determined  to  apprehend  this 
man.  A  party  of  Sikhs,  with  ten  mounted  troopers, 
under  Captain  Rattray,  and  accompanied  by  Mr. 
John  M.  Lowis,  the  Magistrate,  were  despatched  to 
his  house ;  but  either  warned  of  the  movements  of 
the  English,  or  scared  by  the  capture  of  his  friend, 
Ali  Kureem  had  placed  himself  on  the  back  of  an  ele- 
phant and  taken  flight.  What  now  was  to  be  done  ? 
The  answer  was  obvious.  The  troopers,  with  one  of 
the  English  officers  at  their  head,  might  have  gone  in 
pursuit  and  captured  him.  But  in  an  evil  hour,  Mr. 
Lowis  suffered  himself  to  be  persuaded  by  his  Nazir, 
of  whose  treachery  there  was  afterwards  little  doubt, 
not  to  take  the  horsemen  with  him.  So  he  started  in 
a  wheeled  carriage  ill-suited  to  rapid  travelling,  and 
when  Ali  Kureem  caught  sight  of  his  pursuers  he 
astutely  forsook  the  open  road  and  struck  across  the 
fields,  where  the  elephant  made  good  progress  but 
the  ecka  could  not  follow.  On  this,  Lowis,  still  eager 
in  the  chase,  left  the  carriage  and  followed  on  foot. 
But  everything  was  against  him.  The  sympathies  of 
the  people  were  clearly  on  the  side  of  the  fugitive.* 
They  rendered  the  English  officer  no  assistance ;  but 

*  Mr.     Tayler     ("The     Fatna    actually  remoyed  a  tattoo  (pony) 
Crisis")  says  :  "  The  yillages  not    that  he  had  secured." 
only  gaye  nim  no  assistance,  but 


on  the  other  hand  actively  impeded  tlie  pursuit.  So  1867. 
next  day  he  returned,  "  wearied  and  disheartened,"  ^""*" 
leaving  his  Native  assistant  to  follow  up  the  chase. 
But  the  heart  of  the  Nazir  was  with  the  enemies  of 
the  Nazarene,  and  the  fugitive  escaped.  A  reward 
of  five  thousand  rupees  was  afterwards  offered  for 
Ali  Kureem's  head. 

Meanwhile  a  crisis  was  approaching  in  the  city  of  Eicitement 
Patna  itself  Profoundly  mistrustful  of  the  popula-  ^  '''*  '^^^' 
tlon  of  that  great  city,  especially  of  its  Wahabee 
inhabitants,  some  of  whom  were  men  of  wealth  and 
influence,  Commissioner  Tayler  had  from  the  first 
endeavoured  to  overawe  the  disaffected  by  vigorous 
measures,  only  to  be  justified  by  the  extremity  of  the 
danger  to  be  combated.  The  practice  which  he  pur- 
sued was  described  in  the  rough  vernacular  of  the 
day,  as  "  hanging  right  and  left."  There  was  some 
exaggeration  in  this ;  but  the  policy  was,  doubtless, 
one  of  intimidation,  and  the  process  of  intimida- 
tion necessarily  involved  a  somewhat  slender  regard 
for  proofs.  Of  calm  judicial  investigation  there  could 
be  none  at  such  a  time.  To  strike  promptly  was  to 
strike  successfully ;  and  to  be  suspected  was  often  to 
be  condemned.  Arrest  followed  arrest.  A  great 
panic  arose  among  the  Mahomedans  of  Patna.  No 
one  knew  whose  turn  would  come  next,  or  what 
form  the  offensive  movements  of  English  authority 
would  take.  The  Commissioner  was  equally  cou- 
rageous and  adroit.  Though  he  fought  openly  and 
struck  boldly,  he  did  not  despise  the  aid  of  stra- 
tagem. One  story,  of  the  arrest  of  some  of  the 
principal  Wahabee  suspects,  is  worthy  of  narration. 

There  were  three  Moulavees  in  the  city,  believed  Arre»i  4 
to  exercise,  by  means  of  their  reputed  saintliness,  *^'"'|j 
great  influence  over  many  of  the  townspeople.    They 

VOL.  m.  G 


1857.      were  described  by  Mr.  Tayler  as  "  little,  shrivelled, 
June.      skin-dried  men,   of    contemptible    appearance    and 
plain  manners,"  but  with  "  a  large  body  of  followers, 
who  would  sacrifice  everything  at  their  beck."  There 
was  reason  to  believe  that  these  men  were  busily  in- 
triguing against  us.     So  Tayler  determined  to  arrest 
them.     "  I  felt  sure,"  he  wrote  afterwards,  "  that  with 
their  necks  at  my  disposal,  and  their  persons  under  the 
drawn  sabres  of  the  Sikhs,  not  one  genuine  Wahabee 
in  the  district  dare  stir  a  finger."     It  was  obviously, 
however,  a  thing  to  be  done  as  quietly  as  possible. 
A  violent  seizure  of  these  holy  men  in  the  heart  of 
the  city  might  have  precipitated  an  outbreak,  which 
would  have  had  inconvenient  results.     So  the  Com- 
missioner bethought  himself  of  a  device  whereby  this 
danger  might  be  avoided.     He  sent  a  Circular  to  all 
the  most  respectable  Natives  of  the  city  inviting  them 
to  visit  him  on  the  following  day,  "  for  consultation 
on  the  state  of  afi^airs."     At  the  appointed  time  they 
assembled  in   considerable  numbers,  and  the  three 
Moulavees  were   among  them.      When    they  were 
seated  around  Mr.  Tayler's   long  dining-table,   the 
Commissioner  with  his  Civil  Staff  entered  the  room. 
With  them  also  entered  Major  Nation,  Chief  of  the 
Police,  Captain  Rattray,  of  the  Sikh  Regiment,  and 
Soubahdar  Hedayat  Ali,  of  the  same  corps.     The 
long  swords  of  the  two  last  in  their  steel  scabbards 
clanked  ominously  on  the  floor,   as  they  took  their 
seats  near  the  little  Moulavees.     The  performance 
then  commenced.     There  was  some  talk  about  the 
troubled  times  and  the  measures  to  be  most  expediently 
adopted  for  the  safety  and  welfare  of  all  classes  of 
the   community.      When  suflBcient  time   had  been 
given  to  the  decencies  of  the  sham,  the  Native  gen- 
tlemen were  formally  dismissed;  but,  as  the  party 


was  breaking  up,  the  Moulavees  were  requested  to  1857. 
remain,  as  the  Commissioner  had  a  few  private  words  •^"'^®- 
to  say  ta  them. 

So  the  little  shrivelled  men,  who  had  been  sitting 
very  uncomfortably  during  the  conference,  with  their 
legs  tucked  up  on  Tayler  Sahib's  chairs,  and  who 
had  clearly  foreseen  what  was  coming,  resigned  them- 
selves to  their  fate.  The  Commissioner  told  them 
that  he  considered  it  his  duty,  in  the  interests  of  the 
public  safety,  to  keep  them  under  arrest  until  the 
coming  of  more  quiet  times.  No  resistance  was  at- 
tempted or  thought  of  for  a  moment.  There  was 
not  even  a  word  of  complaint.  With  the  quiet 
dignit)^  habitual  to  them,  they  courteously  ad- 
dressed the  British  Commissioner,  saying,  "  Great 
is  your  Excellency's  kindness — ^great  your  wisdom. 
What  you  order  is  best  for  your  slaves.  So  shall 
our  enemies  be  unable  to  bring  false  charges  against 
us  I"  To  this  the  Commissioner  responded  with 
equal  courtesy.  Then,  "  smiles  and  salutations" 
having  been  exchanged,  the  wretched  men,  bearing 
up  bravely  under  their  lot,  were  escorted  to  their 
palanquins,  and  under  a  guard  of  Sikhs  conveyed  to 
the  Circuit-house,  not  without  some  apprehension  of 
being  hanged. 

"To  this  day,"  wrote  Mr.  Tayler,  a  year  after- 
wards, "  I  look  at  the  detention  of  these  men  as  one 
of  the  most  successful  strokes  of  policy  which  I  was 
able  to  carry  into  execution."  But  it  can  hardly 
escape  the  consideration  of  any  candid  mind  that 
what  is  thus  regarded  as  a  successful  stroke  of  policy, 
when  executed  by  Englishmen  against  Mahomedans, 
would,  if  Englishmen  had  been  the  victims  of  it, 
have  been  described  by  another  name.  To  invite 
men  to  a  friendly  conference,  and  when  actually  the 

G  2 


1867.      guests  of  a  British  officer,  to  seize  their  persons,  is 
JuDe.       jjQ^  Qjj^jy  y^j^y  Yii^Q  treachery,  but  is  treachery  itself. 

If  these  little  shrivelled  men  had  resisted,  they  would, 
perhaps,  have   been    cut  down;    and    if  they  had 
been,  a  Mahomedan  historian  would,  doubtless,  have 
described    the    successful    policy    of    Commissioner 
Tayler  in  language  similar  to  that  in  which  I  de- 
scribed the  treacherous  assassination  of  Sir  William 
Macnaghten  by  Sirdar  Mahomed  Akbar  Khan.     The 
exigencies  of  a  great  crisis  justify  exceptional  acts 
in  the  interests  of  the  national  safety ;  but  I  do  not 
know  any  excuses  that  may  be  pleaded  or  arguments 
that  may  be  advanced  by  a  British  officer  in  such  a 
case,  that  might  not,  and  doubtless  have  been  pleaded 
and  advanced,  by  Native  chiefs  in  like  circumstances, 
and  freely  echoed  by  the  popular  voice. 
July  3.         But,   whatsoever  other  successes    this  stroke   of 
the^ci tj?^  ^^  policy   may  have   wrought,   the  tranquilisation   of 
Patna  was  not  one  of  them.     Following  closely  upon 
the  arrest  of  the  Moulavees,  an  attempt  was  made  to 
disarm  the  city  of  Patna.     Like  all  attempts  of  the 
same  kind,  it  was  only  partially  successful.     There 
was  a  limited  surrender  of  offensive  weapons ;  but 
many   more    were    concealed.      And   the   fanatical 
hatred  of  the  Mahomedan  population  seems  to  have 
been   increased  by  these  acts.      On  the  evening  of 
the  3rd  of  July  they  rose.     A  large  body  of  Maho- 
medans,  bearing  aloft  the  green  flag,  and  summoning 
others  to  join  them  by  the  beating  of  drums,  marched 
through  the   streets   of  the   city  and  attacked   the 
house  of  a  Roman  Catholic  priest.     The  Sikhs  were 
at  once  ordered   out,  and  an   express  was   sent  to 
Dinapore  for    European   troops.      Meanwhile,    Dr. 
Lyall,   with  praiseworthy  but  incautious  zeal,  had 
mounted  his  horse  and  ridden  down  to  the  scene  of 


tumult,  thinking  by  his  influence  to  pacify  the  crowd.      1857. 
He  had  scarcely  appeared  on  the  scene  when  he  was  •  * 

shot  dead.  But  when  Rattray  with  his  men  came 
dovm  upon  them,  the  victory  of  the  mob  was  at  an 
end.  Hating  with  a  bitter  hatred  these  Mahome- 
dans,  they  struck  out  with  hearty  goodwill.  The 
rioters  were  soon  dispersed,  and  quietude  was  restored 
to  the  city. 

A  number  of  the  most  notorious  malcontents  were  Execution  of 
arrested  in  the  course  of  the  next  few  days.    Among  ^^^'^  ^' 
these  was  one  Peer  Ali — a  Mahomedan  bookseller, 
whose  professional  acquaintance  with  the  amenities 
of  literature  may  have  sharpened  his  intellect,  though 
it  had  by  no  means  mollified  his  manners.     He  was 
brave  and  unscrupulous,  and  he  hated  the  English. 
He  had  been  a  long  time  plotting  against  us,  now  in 
communication  mth   Delhi,  now  with  Lucknow — 
mainly,  indeed,  with  the  latter  city,  of  which  he  was 
a  Native.     When   his  house  was    searched    much 
treasonable  correspondence  was  found  in  it.     One 
document  said :  "  The  state  of  affairs  at  Patna  is  as 
follows.     Some  respectable  persons  of  the  city  are  in 
prison,  and  the  subjects  are  all  weary  and  disgusted 
with  the  tyranny  and  oppression  exercised  by  Go- 
vernment, whom  they  all  curse.     May  God  hear  the 
prayers  of  the  oppressed  very  soon !"     It  was  gene- 
rally said  that  this  man  had  shot  down  Dr.  Lyall 
with  his  own  hand.     He  was  tried  and  sentenced  to 
death.     Brought  before  the  Commissioner  and  other 
English  gentlemen,  "  heavily  fettered,  his  soiled  gar- 
ments stained  deeply  with  blood  from  a  wound  in 
his  side,"  he  was  asked  whether  he  had  any  informa- 
tion to  give  that  might  induce  the  Government  to  . 
spare  his  life.     With  dignified  composure,  such  as 
our  own  people  did  not  always  maintain  under  excit- 


1867.  ing  circumstances,  he  confronted  his  questioners,  and 
^^^'  replied  :  "  There  are  some  cases  in  which  it  is  good 
to  save  life— others  in  which  it  is  better  to  lose  it." 
He  denounced  the  oppression  of  the  English,  es- 
pecially of  the  Commissioner,  and  added,  ''  You 
may  hang  me,  or  such  as  me,  every  day,  but  thou- 
sands will  rise  in  my  place,  and  your  object  will 
never  be  gained."  After  some  further  conversation, 
throughout  which,  except  when  he  spoke  of  his 
children,  he  betrayed  no  emotion,  Peer  Ali  was 
taken  out  to  execution.  He  salaamed  respectfully 
to  the  Commissioner,  and  went  forth  *'  unmoved  and 
unconcerned."  He  was  hanged.  His  house  was 
razed  to  the  ground,  and  his  property  was  con- 
Arrest  of  But  Peer  Ali  was  not  a  rich  man.     And  Com- 

Kbm.  missioner  Tayler  was  thoroughly  convinced  by  *'  the 

fact  that  men  had  been  kept  for  months  on  pay 
regularly  distributed,  under  a  conditional  compact 
to  come  forward  when  called  for,"  that  "some 
wealthy  party  was  at  the  bottom  of  the  intrigues, 
that  were  shown  to  have  been  carried  on  for  months." 
He  had  no  difficulty  in  naming  the  man.  There 
was  one  Lootf  Ali  Khan,  a  wealthy  banker,  against 
whom  there  was  a  strong  suspicion  by  no  means 
confined  to  the  Commissioner.  One  of  the  men 
arrested  and  executed  for  the  outrage  which  had 
resulted  in  the  death  of  Dr.  Lyall,  was  this  man's 
Jemadar.  He  was  known  to  have  harboured  a 
Sepoy  of  the  Thirty-seventh  Regiment  that  had  re- 
volted at  Benares ;  and  he  was  suspected  of  being  in 
communication  with  Sepoy  regiments,  and  to  have 
supplied,  for  rebellious  purposes,  the  money  distri- 
July  5.  buted  by  Peer  Ali  and  others.  When  the  Magistrate 
went  to  the  banker's  residence  in  the  city,  accom- 


panied  by  a  guard  of  Sikhs  under  an  English  officer,  1867. 
to  arrest  him,  Lootf  Ali  came  forth,  and  being  in-  ^^J' 
formed  that  he  was  to  accompany  the  Magistrate  to 
the  Commissioner's  house,  blandly  assented,  and  at 
once  ordered  his  carriage  to  be  brought  round.  After 
the  manner  of  his  tribe,  the  coachman  was  absent 
when  he  was  called  for;  so  Lootf  Ali,  having  requested 
the  English  gentlemen  to  take  their  seats  in  the  car- 
riage, mounted  the  box  and  drove  his  captors  to 
Mr.  Tayler's  door — a  manner  of  arrest,  perhaps,  un- 
precedented in  the  annals  of  police.*  The  banker 
was  formally  tried  by  Mr.  Farquharson,  the  Judge ; 
but  the  evidence  adduced  was  insufficient  to  convict 
him,  and  in  due  course  he  was  released,  t  If  the 
majority  of  English  residents  were  not  surprised, 
they  were  exasperated  and  alarmed  by  the  acquittal.  J 

*  As  this   statement    has    been  stating  what  had  been  proved  against 
questioned,  upon  high  authority,  I  Lootf  Ali,  says:  "We"   (the  resi- 
givc  the  following  confirmatory  pas-  dents  at  Patna)   "  knew  all    this, 
sage  from  Mr.  Lowis's  official  re-  which  was  afterwards  proved  upon 
port :  "  One  of  the  chief  events  to  his  trial,  and  doubted  not  of  his 
oe  noted  is  the  capture  of  Svud  fate ;  but  to  our  astonishment  and 
Lootf  Ali  Khan,  a  wealthy  banker,  mortification  and  disgrace,  he  was 
whom  I,  at  the  request  of  the  Com-  acquitted  and  borne  away  from  court 
missioner,  Mr.  W.  Tayler,  arrested  in  triumph  by  his  supporters.    This 
on  the  night  of  the  5th  instant.    I  was  sufficiently  alarmmg,  one  would 
was    accompanied    by    Lieutenant  suppose,  to  the  supporters  of  order; 
Campbell  with  a  guard  of  Sikhs,  who  but  this  was  not  tlie  climax.  A  few 
surrounded  the  house,  but  the  pre-  days  after  his  release,  the  man  who, 
caution  was  needless,  as  there  was  with  hardly  one  exception,  the  Euro- 
no  show  of  resistance  or  attempt  at  peans  of  Patna  and  Dinapore  consi- 
escape.    He  at  once  came  out  to  dered  a  rebel  ofthe  blackest  dye,  was 
meet  me,  and  wiien  informed  that  he  received  with  all  the  honours  due  to 
had  been  summoned  by   the  Com-  a  highly  faithful  and  meritorious  sub- 
missioner,  ordered  his  carriage,  and,  ject  by  his  late  acquitting  judge,  in 
as  the   coachman  was    not    forth-  his  then  merely  temporary  position 
coming,  got  himself  on  the  box,  and  of  Acting  Commissioner.   Could  any 
drove  us  to  Mr.  Tayler's  house."  act  of  a  single  man  have  alienated 

f  The  Sepoy  whom  he  had  har-  me  from  the  allegiance  due  to  our 

bourcd  was  hanged — as  well  as  (as  Government,  this  would  have  done 

stated  in  the  text)  Lootf  All's  ser-  it.    I  would  rather  we  had  been 

vant,  who  was  known  to  have  taken  all  driven  from  house  and  home  by 

an  active  part  in  the  murder  of  Dr.  an  open  rebellion  in  Patna  than  that 

Lyall.  this  moral  victory  should  have  been 

X  One    letter  before  me,    after  yielded." — MS.  Correspondence. 


1857.  Stories  were  freely  circulated  to  the  effect  that  the  great 
July.  wealth  of  Lootf  Ali  had  carried  him  triumphantly 
through  the  ordeal.  It  was  said  that  large  sums  of 
money  had  been  remitted  to  Calcutta  for  the  purpose  of 
working  out  his  deliverance.  That  deliverance,  when 
it  came,  was  quite  an  ovation.  The  paeans  of  party 
were  resonant  from  Calcutta  to  Dinapore.  The  great 
Mahomedan  capitalist,  who,  a  little  time  before,  had 
been  suspected  of  holding  large  numbers  of  armed 
men  in  his  pay  to  exterminate  the  Nazarene,  was 
now  welcomed  and  consoled  as  a  martyr  to  the  pre- 
judice of  an  individual.  Received  with  favour  by 
some  of  the  Government  officers,  and  invited  to  their 
houses — an  act  of  toleration  only  too  rare  in  official 
circles — he  could  afford  to  laugh  at  the  malice  of 
his  enemies,  and  so  he  expanded  into  greater  exu- 
berance than  before.  As  to  the  guilt  or  innocence 
of  the  man,  it  still  remains  a  subject  of  controversy ; 
but  it  is  right  that  history  should  give  him  the  benefit 
of  the  popular  doubt,  and,  still  more,  the  benefit  of 
the  judicial  acquittal.  It  is  to  be  remembered  that 
in  those  days,  not  only  in  the  Patna  Division,  but 
throughout  the  whole  country,  a  strong  anti-Maho- 
medan  feeling  pervaded  the  minds  of  the  English 
communities ;  and  that  many  fell  under  suspicion  of 
complicity  in  treasonable  designs  upon  evidence  far 
more  slender  than  that  on  which  the  Patna  banker 
was  arrested.  If  we  cannot  blame  Judge  Farquhar- 
son  for  acquitting  him,  it  is  equally  certain  that  we 
must  not  condemn  Commissioner  Tayler  for  com- 
mitting him. 

After  the  anti-Mahomedan  demonstrations  above 
recorded,  there  was,  as  the  month  of  July  wore  to  a 
close,  a  season  of  comparative  quietude  at  Patna ;  and 
outwardly  the  Sepoy  regiments  at  Dinapore  main- 


tained  the  order  and  discipline  habitual  to  them  in  1857. 
the  most  tranquil  times.  But  ever  was  flowing  on  an  ^^y- 
undercurrent  of  disafiection  and  intrigue  in  the 
towns  and  through  the  districts;  and,  as  weeks 
passed,  and  still  no  tidings  came  of  the  recovery  of 
Delhi — but  instead  of  this  intelligence  so  eagerly 
looked  for  and  confidently  expected  by  the  English, 
fresh  stories  of  defeat  and  disaster  fatal  to  the  British 
rule  came  huddling  on  each  other — when  it  was 
known  that  Cawnpore  had  fallen,  with  a  great  mas- 
sacre of  Christian  people,  that  Lucknow,  the  only 
spot  in  Oude  still  held  by  us,  was  beleaguered,  that 
Agra  was  in  peril,  and  nearly  all  parts  of  the  North- 
Westem  Provinces  in  a  great  blaze  of  rebellion — 
when  all  these  things  were  known,  and  many  wild 
exaggerations  were  associated  with  these  truthful 
reports  in  the  mouths  of  the  inhabitants  of  Behar,  it 
became  more  and  more  apparent  that  the  thoughts  of 
the  Native  gentry  were  turning,  with  vague  expect- 
ancy, to  a  coming  time,  when  they  would  recover  their 
ancient  dignities  and  privileges ;  whilst  men  of  less 
note  were  summing  up  the  offences  committed  by 
the  English  against  Mahomedans  and  Hindoos,  and 
prophesying  the  approach  of  a  day  of  retribution. 

In  this  excited  state  of  the  public  mind,  when  all  Mutiny  of  tL 
were  watching  with  eager  interest  the  movements  of  ,„g^,"^g/^^*' 
the  soldiery  at  the  Dinapore  Head-Quarters,  and  still 
they  gave  no  sign  of  open  mutiny,  the  long-anticipated 
crisis  was  evolved  in  a  most  unexpected  manner. 
The  cry  for  the  disarming  of  the  Dinapore  regiments 
had  been  resisted ;  but  it  had  not  been  stilled.  An 
advantao^eous  opportunity  for  the  successful  accom- 
plishment of  this  design  was  presented  in  the  middle 
of  July  by  the  arrival  at  Calcutta  of  the  Fifth  Fusiliers, 
which  w^as  to  be  sent  up  at  once  to  recruit  General 


1857.  Havelock.  The  detention  of  this  regiment  would  have 
^^J'  been  a  great  evil.  But  the  Calcutta  Government, 
urged  onwards  by  the  importunities  of  the  commercial 
communities,  consented  to  allow  its  stoppage  for  a 
little  space  at  Dinapore,  just,  in  the  language  of  the 
day,  "  to  polish  off  the  Sepoys,"  in  conjunction  with 
its  brethren  of  the  Tenth,  and  then  to  pass  on  to  its 
destination.  So,  on  the  15th  of  July,  Sir  Patrick 
Grant  wrote  confidentially  to  General  Lloyd,  saying : 
''  The  first  detachment  of  Her  Majesty's  Fifth  Fusiliers 
left  Chinsurah  this  morning  on  flats  towed  by  steamers 
in  progress  towards  Benares,  and  the  remaining  por- 
tions of  the  regiment  will  follow  by  the  same  means 
of  transit  to-morrow  and  Friday.  If,  when  the  regi- 
ment reaches  Dinapore,  you  see  reason  to  distrust  the 
Native  troops,  and  you  entertain  an  opinion  that  it 
is  desirable  to  disarm  them,  you  are  at  liberty  to  dis- 
embark the  Fifth  Fusiliers  to  assist  you  in  this  object ; 
but  it  is  imperatively  necessary  that  the  detention  of 
the  regiment  should  be  limited  to  the  shortest  possible 
period.  If  you  decide  on  disarming,  it  should  extend 
to  all  three  regiments,  and  it  should  be  carefully  ex- 
plained that  it  is  merely  a  measure  of  precaution  to 
save  the  well-disposed  from  being  led  to  commit  them- 
selves by  the  evil  machinations  of  designing  scoundrels, 
some  few  of  whom  are  always  to  be  found  in  even  the 
best  regiment.  If  resistance  to  authority  is  exhibited, 
the  most  prompt  and  decided  measures  for  its  instant 
suppression  should  be  adopted."  Although  these 
instructions  were  very  clear,  they  left,  to  a  certain 
extent,  the  responsibility  in  the  hands  of  General 
Lloyd;  and  General  Lloyd  was  one  of  those  who 
shrunk  from  responsibility.  And  for  some  days 
after  the  receipt  of  this  letter  he  was  minded  to  do 


But  on  the  24th  of  July,  in  an  evil  hour,  General  1857. 
Lloyd,  feebly  halting  between  two  opinions,  be-  ^^^ 
thought  himself  of  a  compromise.  Still  reluctant  to 
disarm  the  regiments,  yet  unwilling  to  turn  a  deaf 
ear  to  the  increasing  implorations  and  remonstrances 
of  the  Europeans  of  Bengal,  now  at  last,  after  long 
delay,  supported  by  Government,  he  fell  back  upon 
the  fatal  folly  of  a  half-measure.  There  was  nothing 
to  command  success,  in  those  days,  that  had  not  in- 
scribed upon  it  the  great  watchword  of  "  Thorough." 
But  General  Lloyd  did  not  see  clearly  that  to  give  to 
his  men  all  his  confidence  or  none — to  do  the  thing 
all  in  all  or  not  at  all — was  the  only  way  to  success. 
He  shrunk  from  the  decided  act  of  taking  away  from 
his  men  their  muskets  and  their  pouches.  But  he 
thought  that  he  might  render  their  possession  harm- 
less by  depriving  the  regiments  of  percussion-caps. 
So  taking  advantage  of  the  arrival  of  two  companies 
of  the  Thirty-seventh  Foot  on  the  24th  of  July,  ho 
ordered  a  parade  of  the  Europeans  for  the  following 
morning,  and  directed  arrangements  to  be  made  for 
carting  away  all  the  caps  in  the  magazines.  * 

At  the  appointed  time  the  parade  was  held.     The  July  25. 
European  troops  and  the  Artillery  were  drawn  up  in 
the  great  barrack-square ;  and  two  bullock  carts  were 

*  Theseycom panics     had    come  tify  us  in  partinp^  with  the  whole  of 

round  from    Ceylon    to    Calcutta,  the  Tliirty-sevcnth   Kegimeut,  and 

Lord  Canning  had  written  urgently  in  thus  placing  the  colony  at  the 

to  Sir   Henry  Ward   (sending  his  mercy  of  a  regiment  of  Malays  and 

letter  by  Major  Bazeley  on  a  special  Sepoys,  who  may,  I  think,  be  relied 

steamer")  to  despatch   the  whole  of  upon  as  ai^ainst  the  Natives,  if  kept 

the  Thirty-seventh;    but  both   the  in  check  by  a  proper  adniixturc  of 

Governor    and   the   Commander-in-  the  European  element,  but  who  may 

Chief  of  the  colony  had  demurred  also,  though  all  now  appears  to  be 

to  the   proposal   thus  to   strip  the  gained,  be  brought  under  those  mys- 

island  of  all  European  defence.     "  I  tcrious  influences  which  iiave  worked 

entirely  agreed,"  wrote  Sir  Henry  so  fatally  upon  the  Bengal  Army." — 

Ward,  "  with  Major-Gcncral  Lock-  MS,  Correspondence, 
jar's  view  that  nothing  would  jus- 


1857.  sent  to  the  magazines  to  bring  the  percussion-caps  to 
July  25.  ^]^Q  English  quarters.  Between  the  magazines  and 
the  square  were  the  Sepoy  Lines — so  the  laden  cart<^, 
which  told  the  story  of  the  present  disgrace,  and, 
perhaps,  the  coming  destruction  of  the  Native  regi- 
ments, had  to  pass  beneath  their  eyes.  As  they 
crossed  the  Lines,  there  was  a  great  commotion  among 
the  Sepoys  of  the  Seventh  and  Eighth  Regiments  ; 
but  the  Fortieth  appears  to  have  been  quiescent  on  the 
side  of  mutiny,  if  not  active  on  that  of  "  order  and 
discipline."*  The  Seventh,  who  were  being  paraded 
for  guard  at  the  time,  were  the  most  tumultuous. 
They  are  said  to  have  cried  out  for  the  murder  of  the 
Sahibs  and  the  rescue  of  the  ammunition.  But  their 
officers  went  among  them  and  pacified  them  ;  and 
the  danger  for  the  moment  was  tided  over.f  The  two 
cart-loads  of  percussion-caps  were  stored  away  under 
charge  of  the  Europeans.  The  officers  went  home  to 
their  breakfasts,  and  the  General  issued  some  sup- 
plementary orders  to  his  Staff,  of  such  small  im- 
portance he  thought,  as  not  to  require  that  he  should 
see  them  executed  himself. 

♦  General    Lloyd    says :    **  Tlie  of  our  parade  to  intercept  the  carts. 

Fortieth   Native   Infantry  made   a  In  tliis  they  were  most  decidedly 

decided  demonstration  towards  the  opposed  and  turned  back  by  the  men 

cause  of  order  and  discipline,  beitig  ot  our  grenadiers  and  right  wing — 

ready  to   oppose    any  attempt   to  our  men    meanwhile   keepins:   ])er- 

rescue  the  caps."      Colonel  Cum-  fectly  quiet  and  orderly." — ParliU' 

berlege,  who  commanded  the  For-  m^nfary  Papers, 
tieth,  says :  "  About  six  a.m.  on  the        f  1»    the    official    statement    of 

25th  of  July,   1857,   the  Fortieth  Brevet-Colonel    Templcr     {Parlia- 

Kegiment  had  just  been  dismissed  fnentary  Papers)  there  is  no  mention 

from  parade,  when  a  cart  containing  of  these  tlireats.    The  colonel  says, 

peroussion-caps  for  the  three  regi-  "  The  Seventh  Regiment  under  my 

ments,  taken  from  the   magazines,  command,  for  the  first  time  showed 

passed  along  the  road  in  front  of  our  a  mutinous  spirit  to  exist  in  some 

parade-ground ;    an  angry  buzz  of  of  the  men  on  the  morning  of  the 

voices  had  arisen  amongst  the  men  25th  of  July,   1857,  by  tlie  regi- 

in  the  lines  on  our  right,  and  some  mental  guards  (at  guard-mounting) 

of  the  men  of  the  Seventh  Regiment  dispersing,  instead  ,of  obeying  the 

Native  Infantry  were  rushing  in  a  orders  ot  the  officer  of  the  day  to 

disturbed  and  excited  manner,  and  wheel  into  column." 
some  tried  to  make  across  the  comer 


The  supplementary  orders  related  to  the  percussion-  1857. 
caps  which  were  already  in  the  possession  of  the  ^^^^  ^^• 
Sepoys — those  which  had  been  served  out  to  them 
for  immediate  use,  together  with  the  corresponding 
rounds  of  ball-cartridge.  Had  there  been  no  signs  of 
disaffection  in  the  early  morning,  these  few  caps 
might  have  been  left  with  the  men,  and  fired  away,  in 
course  of  ordinary  duty,  -without  exciting  suspicion ; 
but  the  bearing  of  the  Sepoys  rendered  it  expedient 
that  prompter  action  should  be  taken.  So  a  parade 
was  ordered  at  noon,  at  which  it  was  to  be  explained 
by  the  Native  officers  to  their  several  companies  that 
the  measure  then  ordered  was  "  merely  one  of  precau- 
tion to  save  the  well-disposed  from  being  led  away  to 
commit  themselves  by  the  evil  machinations  of  de- 
signing scoundrels"* — and  then  the  caps  were  to  be 
collected.  It  was  easier,  however,  to  empty  out  the 
magazines  than  to  take  this  little  residue  out  of  the 
clutches  of  an  excited  soldiery. 

A  little  after  the  hour  of  noon  the  regimental 
parades  were  held.  The  soothing  explanations  were 
given.  But  when  the  time  came  for  them  to  surrender 
their  caps,  the  Seventh  and  Eighth  Regiments  broke 
out  into  open  mutiny.  Rushing  towards  the  bells-of- 
arms  they  seized  their  muskets  and  fired  at  all  the 
Europeans  they  could  see.  They  took  their  regi- 
mental colours  and  their  regimental  treasure,  and 
prepared  themselves  for  flight.  The  Fortieth,  how- 
ever, hesitated.  There  was  still  some  sense  of  duty 
left  in  them.  The  Native  officers  and  non-com- 
missioned officers,  and  some  of  the  Sepoys,  formed 
and  marched  into  the  square  with  their  colours  and 
treasure,  intending  to  defend  them ;  and  it  is  pos- 
sible that  the  whole  regiment  might  have  stood  fast ; 
but  in  a  critical  moment  of  doubt  and  perplexity 

♦  Regimental  Orders  of  the  Seventh  Native  Infantry,  Juljr  25, 1857. 


1857.      some  Europeans  of  the  Tenth  fired  upon  them  from 
July  25.    ^j^g  pQQf  Qf  ^[^Q  Hospital,  and  panic  completed  what 

disaffection  had  only  half  done.  So  the  three  regi- 
ments went  off  together  e?i  masse — taking  their  arms 
and  accoutrements,  but  not  their  uniforms,  with 
them.  And  the  Commander  of  the  English  forces  put 
himself  on  board  a  steam-boat  in  the  river. 

How  it  happened  that,  at  such  a  time,  the  General 
could  have  abandoned  his  proper  post  it  is  not 
easy  to  explain.  He  was  old  and  infirm.  He  was 
grievously  afflicted  with  the  gout.  He  could  not 
walk.  He  could  not  ride.  But  he  could  sit  upon  the 
deck  of  a  steamer,  and  there  dimly  survey  the  ope- 
rations on  the  shore.  Perhaps  the  feeling  of  thorough 
helplessness  reconciled  him  to  a  desertion  which 
could  not  be  regarded  as  otherwise  than  discreditable. 
Had  he  confessed  his  physical  inability  to  cope  with 
the  crisis,  and  made  over  the  command  to  the  officer 
next  in  seniority,  there  would  have  been  "a  far  better 
result.  But  the  crisis  had  arrived  at  Dinapore  ;  and 
there  was  no  responsible  officer  on  the  spot  to  con- 
front it.* 

♦  Tt  is  right  that  Greneral  Lloyd's  and  Her  Majesty's  Tenth,  under 
own  words  should  be  quoted.  The  their  respective  commanding  officers, 
following  is  from  a  letter  written  to  I  left  it  to  them  to  follow  up  the 
his  brother  and  published  in  a  Lon-  mutineers  by  land."  The  letter 
don  newspaper :  **  I  had  no  horse  in  from  which  this  passage  is  quoted 
cantonments.  My  stable  was  two  will  be  found  complete  in  the  Ap- 
miles  distant,  and  beiug  unable  at  pendix.  There  is  no  incident  de- 
the  time  to  walk  far  or  much,  I  tailed  in  this  volume  regarding  which 
thought  I  should  be  most  useful  on  I  have  had  more  travail  in  eluci- 
boara  the  steamer  with  cuns  and  dating  the  truth  than  this  story  of 
riflemen,  in  which  I  proceeaed  along  the  Dinapore  mutiny.  1  had  been 
the  rear  of  the  Native  lines — the  led  to  believe  by  previous  published 
river  being  only  two  hundred  yards,  statements  tliat  General  Lloyd  went 
or  thercaoouts,  distant  from  the  on  board  the  steamer  be/ore  the  regi- 
right  of  the  advancing  column  of  ments  had  mutinied,  liis  own  state- 
guns  and  Europeans,  and  expecting  ment,  however,  distinctly  refutes 
to  get  some  shots  at  the  Sepoys  on  this — whether  to  iiis  advantage  or 
shore  or  escaping  bv  the  river.  Con-  not  I  leave  the  reader  to  determine. 
sidering  that  I  had  fully  previously  I  confess  that  his  apology  appears  to 
given  instructions  for  the  attack  and  me  to  be  altogether  unsatisfactory. 
pursuit  of  the  Sepoys  by  the  guns 


It  had  been  supposed  that  in  any  emergency  of  1857. 
this  kind  the  European  force  at  Dinapore  would  have  ..•^,**^^  ^^\ 
been  more  than  strong  enough  to  turn  a  mutmy  ot  sepoys. 
the  Native  regiments  into  something  like  a  massacre 
of  insurgents.  There  was  the  Tenth  Foot,  less  two 
companies ;  and  there  was  a  battery  of  Foot  Artil- 
lery, but  wanting  some  of  its  guns  and  gunners, 
which  had  been  sent  to  Benares ;  and  there  were  two 
companies  of  the  Thirty-seventh  Foot.  The  assembly 
was  sounded  in  the  barrack-square,  and  the  English 
Infantry  and  Artillery  were  mustered  under  their 
commandants,  Fenwick  and  Huyshe.  But  the  Se- 
poys' power  of  flight  was  greater  than  our  soldiers' 
power  of  pursuit.  The  state  of  the  country  was  in 
favour  of  the  Natives.  The  parade-grounds  were 
mostly  under  water,  and  the  country  beyond  was  a 
great  swamp.  The  Sepoys  in  their  scanty  undress, 
literally  with  their  "  loins  girt  about  for  flight,"  tra- 
versed easily  the  familiar  morasses.  But  our  Infantry 
floundered  in  them,  and  our  Artillery  stuck  fast. 
Both  fired  when  it  was  too  late  at  "impossible  dis- 
tances,"* and  the  Sepoys  made  good  their  escape 
almost  to  a  man.  Full  notice  had  been  given  to 
them,  and  they  had  wisely  spent  the  morning  in 
making  their  preparations  for  a  triumphant  exodus, 
whilst  the  Europeans  made  only  a  feeble  efibrt  at 
pursuit ;  and  as  they  could  not  overtake  the  fugi- 
tives, set  fire  to  their  huts  and  halted  for  further 
orders.  The  General  was  missing.  No  one  liked  to 
take  the  responsibility  upon  himself;  no  one,  per- 
haps, knew  what  was  to  be  done.  The  emergency 
that  had  now  come  upon  our  people  had  been  anti- 
cipated for  months,  and  yet  when  it  came  no  one 
seems  to  have  had  any  conception  of  the  way  in 
which  it  was  to  be  met. 

*  These  are  General  Lloyd's  words. 


1867.  It  was  not  so  with  the  Sepoys.     Some  few  made 

July  26.  ii^Q  mistake  of  taking  to  the  Ganges,  where  their 
boats  were  fired  into  and  run  down  by  the  steamer, 
and  some  of  their  inmates  shot  or  drowned.  But 
the  majority  hastened  to  the  river  Soane,  which 
skirts  the  south-east  boundary  of  the  district  of 
Shahabad,  dividing  it,  for  some  fifteen  miles,  from 
the  Patna  district,  and  emptying  itself  into  the 
Ganges  about  ten  miles  south  of  Dinapore.  It  was 
the  object  of  the  mutineers  to  enter  this  district  of 
Shahabad,  from  which  it  is  said  that  the  Dinapore 
regiments  had  been  largely  recruited.*  On  the  banks 
of  the  river,  they  had  it  all  to  themselves.  It  was 
not  without  some  trepidation  that  they  looked  at  the 
waters  swollen  by  a  month's  rain,  and  thought  that 
it  would  go  hard  with  them  if  the  English  should 
arouse  themselves  into  aught  approaching  the  ac- 
tivity of  pursuit.  But  any  apprehensions  which  they 
may  have  entertained  were  shown  to  be  groundless. 
There  was  not  a  white  man  on  their  track.  Every- 
thing, indeed,  was  in  their  favour.  They  had  friends 
before  them ;  and  no  enemies  behind.  All  that  they 
wanted  was  a  little  time ;  and  the  complacency  of 
the  military  authorities  at  Dinapore  afforded  them 
even  more  than  they  required.  So  they  crossed  the 
river  with  as  much  ease  and  comfort  as  they  could 
desire,  some  in  boats  and  some  by  the  public  ferry ; 
and  then  they  set  their  faces  towards  Arrah,  the 
official  capital  of  Shahabad. 

♦  Mr.  Trevelyan,  in  his  grapliic  perhaps,  may  be  a  little  too  broadly 

account  of  the  defence  of  Arrah,  statea ;  but  it  is  not  to  be  doubted 

relates  that  "the  men  were  all  drawn  that  a  large  number  of  Kajpoot  Se- 

from  the  notoriously  turbulent  dis-  poys  were  drawn  from   Shahabad. 

trict  of  Shahabad,  of  which  Arrah  is  if  the  Dinapore  regiments  contained 

the  official  capital,  and  were  united  by  an  exceptional  number  of  these  re- 

the  bond  of  an  undefined  allegiance  emits,  it  was  a  grievous  mistake  to 

to  Kower  Singh,  who  was  recognised  post  them  at  Diuapore  at  all — still 

as  chieftain  by  the  Rajpoots  or  sol-  more  erievous  not  to  watch  them 

dier-caste  of  that  region.''    This,  more  closely. 


There  was  nothing  there  to  oppose  the  insurgent  1857. 
Sepoys  but  the  pluck  of  a  few  English  civilians —  •^"'^; 
public  functionaries,  indigo-planters,  and  railway  en-  °^^^  *°^  *' 
gineers,  and  a  handful  of  Sikh  mercenaries,  who 
might  or  might  not  be  faithful  to  their  employers. 
On  the  side  of  the  Sepoys  there  was  a  friendly 
country,  auxiliaries  from  other  mutinous  regiments 
flocking  to  meet  them,  and,  more  than  all,  that 
which  had  so  often  been  wanting  to  give  due  eflfect 
to  the  efforts  of  the  mutineers — a  leader  ready  to 
place  himself  at  their  head.  He  was  an  old  man. 
The  burden  of  some  fourscore  years  was  upon  him  ; 
but  he  had  retained  some  remnant  of  the  energy  of 
his  younger  days.  His  name  was  Kower  Singh.  He 
was  of  Rajpoot- stock ;  and  he  was,  or  he  had 
once  been,  the  owner  of  great  estates.  It  was  said 
that  the  revenue  systems  of  the  English,  the  ten- 
dencies of  which  were  so  much  towards  the  Dead 
Level,  had  greatly  impoverished  him ;  but,  if  it  were 
so,  his  influence  in  the  district  had  survived  his 
wealth,  and  he  was  still  a  power  in  Shahabad.  The 
story  ran  that  he  had  been  for  weeks  past  maturing 
his  plans  to  cast  in  his  lot  with  the  rebellious  Sepoys 
— that  he  had  intrigued  largely  with  the  mutinous 
regiments  of  the  Lower  Provinces — and  that  he  had 
even  been  in  communication  with  the  Nana  Sahib. 
It  is  not  easy  to  ascertain  the  exact  amount  of  truth 
in  these  contemporary  stories.  The  popular  voice  of 
the  English  at  the  time  proclaimed  him  a  miscreant. 
The  usual  strong  colours,  with  which  we  are  wont 
to  daub  our  enemies,  especially  when  they  are  suc- 
cessful, were  freely  used  in  our  portraiture  of  this 
man.  But  there  was  afterwards,  as  often  happens  in 
such  cases,  a  reaction  of  sentiment ;  and  he  grew 
into   a  veteran   warrior;  a   hero   and  a  deliverer j 

VOL.  m.  n 


1857.      rising  from   a  sick-bed,  forgetful  of  his  infirmities, 
Julj.       regardless  of  the  approaches  of  death ;  eager  to  re- 
dress the  wrongs  of  his  countrymen  and  to  smite  the 
persecutors  of  his  race ;  arming  himself  for  the  strife 
and  going  forth  to  the  battle. 

But  the  truth  lay  midway  between  these  two  ex- 
tremes ;  and  the  story  of  Kower  Singh  must  be  told 
in  less  ambitious  language.  A  little  while  before  the 
Dinapore  revolt,  the  old  Baboo  had  been  held  in  high 
esteem  for  his  loyalty  by  the  Patna  Commissioner. 
On  the  14th  of  June,  Mr.  Tayler  had  written  to 
Government,  saying :  "  Many  people  have  sent  me 
letters,  imputing  disloyalty  and  disaffection  to  several 
Zemindars,  especially  Baboo  Kower  Singh.  My  per- 
sonal friendship  for  him,  and  the  attachment  he  has 
always  shown  me,  enable  me  confidently  to  contradict 
the  report."  Again  on  July  8th :  "  Baboo  Kower 
Singh  would,  I  am  sure,  do  anything  he  could ;  but 
he  has  now  no  means.  He  has  written  to  me  several 
times  to  express  his  loyalty  and  sympathy."  It  was, 
perhaps,  true  that  he  had  no  means  for  good ;  but 
he  had  immense  means  for  evil,  for  the  hearts  of 
the  people  were  against  us.  But  his  position  was 
a  critical  one.  The  good  opinion  of  Kower  Singh 
entertained  by  the  Commissioner  was  shared  by  the 
Magistrate  of  Shahabad,  who  ^vrote  to  the  Govern- 
ment of  Bengal,  saying :  "  With  regard  to  the  Baboo, 
there  have  been,  ever  since  the  commencement  of  the 
present  disturbances,  reports,  some  of  them  tending 
to  implicate  him  seriously.  ...  I  have  no  reason  to 
believe  them.  The  Commissioner  has  the  highest 
opinion  of  his  loyalty,  and  I  see  no  reason  to  doubt 
it."  But  there  were  officers  in  other  districts  who 
knew,  and  who  did  not  hesitate  to  report  that  there 
were  many  influential  Zemindars  watching  the  move- 


merits  of  Kower  Singh,  and  prepared  to  follow  his      1857. 
example.     He  was  a  man  in  such  times  to  be  nar-       "^"^y- 
rowly  watched ;  and  so  Commissioner  Tayler  wrote 
to  him,  inviting  him  to  come  into  Patna  (of  course 
for  the  Baboo's  o^vn  good),  and  sent  an  ojficer  of  the 
Commission  to  visit  him  and  personally  to  observe 
the  state  of  affairs.     But  the  wily  old  Rajpoot,  who 
knew  that  this  was  only  a  courteous  mode  of  making 
him  a  prisoner,  pleaded  age.  and  infirmity,  and  was 
not  to  be  lured  from  his  sheltered  home  in  Jugdes- 
pore.     He  made,  however,  specious  promises  of  at- 
tending to  the  Commissioner's  wishes  at  some  future 
period  of  restored  health,  knowing  very  well  that 
something  would  happen  in  the  interval  to  prevent 
their  accomplishment.     The   old  man  was   waiting 
and  watching.     He  had  "  a  case"  of  his  own,  about 
the  issue  of  which  he  was  anxious  in  the  extreme ; 
and  it  is  possible  that  if  this  had  gone  well  for  him,  he 
might  not  have  desired  to  precipitate  the  convulsions 
which  seemed  to  afford  a  shorter,  if  a  more  rugged 
way,  out  of  the  jungle  of  his  difficulties.     The  em- 
barrassed state  of  his  affairs  had,  some  time  before, 
caused  the  intervention  of  Government.     His  estates 
were  in  liquidation,  and  it  required  the  support  of 
official  authority  to  carry  him  successfully  through 
the   ordeal.     At  a  critical  moment,   when    Kower 
Singh  was  in  doubt  and  perplexity  as  to  the  part  he 
should  play  in  the  great  historical  drama  which  he 
saw  clearly  in  the  foreground  of  the  future,  an  ad- 
verse decision  was  communicated  to  him.     The  sup- 
port of  Government  was  suddenly  withdrawn.   There 
was  but  one  thing  that  could  have  kept  the  old  Raj- 
poot free  from  the  entanglements  that  surrounded 
him,  and  that  one  thing  was  such  aid  from  Govern- 
ment as  iroiilijMg^JB^led  him  to  end  his  days  in 


1857.  quietude  and  peace,  and  to  leave  an  honourable  name 
J"ly-  behind  him  in  the  district.  But  instead  of  this,  he 
was,  like  many  others,  driven  to  despair  by  that 
miserable  want  of  imagination  and  lack  of  sympathy 
which  characterised  the  action  of  our  "  Boards."* 
So  as  the  saving  hand  of  Government  was  not  to  be 
extended  to  him,  he  betook  himself  to  the  other  way 
out  of  his  dijficulties ;  to  the  new  and  shorter  road 
to  the  coveted  release  which  lay  through  the  troubles 
sweeping  over  the  country,  t  There  were  many  about 
him  to  counsel  this  course  of  action — many  who, 
eager  for  rebellion  themselves,  turned  for  a  leader  to 

*  As  some  readers  may  wish  to  reality  Lc  is  a  ruined  man,  and  can 

have  a  more  specific  account  of  this  hardly  find  money  to  pay  the  in- 

transaction,  it  may  be  briefly  stated  terest  of  his  debts.    As  long,  thcrc- 

that  Kower  Singh  had  engaged  to  fore,   as  law  and  order  exist,   his 

obtain  an  advance  of  money,  to  the  position  cannot  improve :  take  them 

extent  of  twenty  lakhs  of  rupees,  for  away,  and  he  well  knows  that  he 

the  payment  of  his  debts.    There  would  become  supreme  in  this  dis- 

was  to  have  been  a  gradual  process  trict.    I  do  not  think  he  will  ever 

of  liquidation  from  the  proceeds  of  openly  oppose  the  Government  as 

his  estates  through  the  Collector  of  long  as  he  thinks  that  Government 

Shahabad.    This  loan  had  not  been  will    stand,   but  I  do  think  that, 

actually  negotiated.    But  the  capi-  should  these  districts  be  ever  the 

talist  had  promised  that  the  money  scene  of  a  serious  outbreak,  he  may 

was    shortly    forthcoming.      There  take  it  into  his  head  that  it  is  time 

were  some  delays,  as  there  com-  to  strike  a  blow  for  his  own  interests, 

monly  are  when  money  is  to  be  ad- .  and  his  feudal  influence  is  such  as 

vanced — but  in  the  meanwhile  some  to  render  him  exceedingly  dangerous 

smaller  sums  had  been  advanced  by  in  such  an  event.     I  am  narrowly 

•       other  parties,  and  some    advanta-  watching  his  conduct,  and  the  Com- 

gcous  compromises    had  been   ar-  missioner  has  sent  for  him  to  Fatua 

ranged.    Affairs  were  in  this  state  to  speak  to  him  on  the  subject  of 

when  suddenly  the  Sudder  Board  of  the  reports  about  him ;  he  is  said  to 

Revenue  sent  through    the  Patna  be  ill,  and  I  dare  say  will  object  on 

Commissioner  *'  a  peremptory  mes-  that  plea,  but  I  have  heard  that  ho 

sage  to  Kower  Singh  that  unless  he  has  stated  that  he  will  not  go  to 

obtained  the  entire  loan  within  a  Patna,  and  will  resist  if  he  is  sent 

month  (which  was  impossible)  they  for.   I  hope  soon  to  be  able  to  speak 

would  recommend  the  Government  with  more  certainty  on  the  subject." 

to  withdraw  all  interference  with  his  The  Bengal    Government  officially 

affairs  and  to  abandon  the  manage-  described  him  as  *'the  ruined  owner 

ment  of  his  estates."  of  vast  estates,  who  would  become 

f  This  opinion  was  entertained  by  supreme  in  the  district  on  the  occur- 

Mr.  Wake,    the    local  magistrate,  rence  of  disorder,  but  who,  so  long 

who,  writing  to  Goyemment  on  the  as  law  and  order  prevailed,  could 

19thof  July,  said: ''He  is  nominally  barely  find  the  means  to  pay  the 

the  owner  of  vast  estates,  whilst  in  interest  of  his  debts." 


this  venerable  chief.     So  he   consented  to  cast  in      1857. 
his  lot  with  them ;  and  his  name  became  great  in      •^^^^• 
Shahabad.     When  the  Dinapore  regiments  revolted, 
the  whole  district  rose,  and  the  Jugdespore  man  fell 
naturally  into  the  place  of  leader  of  the  insurgents. 

Whilst,  in  those  last  days  of  July,  the  old  Raj- General 
poot  chief  was  up  and  doing,  the  old  English  General  ^p^Tayler 
was  thinking  what  was  to  be  done.  Under  the 
powerful  influence  of  Kower  Singh,  the  insurgents  had 
marched  on  Arrah,  released  all  the  prisoners  in  the 
Gaol,  plundered  the  Treasury,  and  but  for  the  wis- 
dom and  bravery  of  the  European  inhabitants  (of 
which  more  will  be  said  presently),  would  [have 
butchered  them  all  to  a  man.  But  Lloyd,  though 
not  so  far  stricken  in  years,  could  only  think  and 
think  wrongly.  It  appears  that  his  first  idea  was  to 
assume  the  defensive  and  to  intrench  himself  at 
Dinapore.  He  expected  that  the  mutineers,  having  Julj  26. 
possessed  themselves  of  Arrah  and  slain  all  the  white 
men  in  the  place,  would  return  flushed  with  con- 
quest, under  the  leadership  of  Kower  Singh,  and 
attack  the  great  military  station.  But  Commissioner 
Tayler,  to  whom  the  General  referred  the  proposal, 
protested  against  such  an  exhibition  of  weakness,  and 
urged  the  immediate  despatch  of  a  strong  force  into 
the  Shahabad  district  to  crush  the  insurrection^  and, 
if  not  too  late,  to  rescue  our  people. 

This  was  on  the  26th.  All  through  the  previous 
day  there  had  been  great  excitement  at  Patna.  The 
firing  of  the  guns  at  Dinapore  had  been  distinctly 
Iieard.  The  English  residents  had  chuckled  over  the 
thought  of  the  victory  that  our  people  were  achiev- 
ing, and  had  counted  up  the  "  butcher's  bill."    T|i§ 


1857.  slaughter  of  the  mutineers  was  variously  estimated 
^"^^  at  from  five  hundred  to  eight  hundred  men.  But  as 
the  hours  passed  away,  and  the  sound  of  the  guns 
passed  away  too,  doubt  and  anxiety  began  to  take 
the  place  of  the  first  expectation  of  a  great  carnage. 
Then  a  rumour  came  that  the  mutineers  were  escap- 
ing, and  that  the  English  soldiery  could  not  follow 
them  through  the  swamps  which  stretched  out  before 
them.  Before  nightfall  there  was  a  gathering  of  all 
our  people  at  the  Commissioner's  house  ;  and  a  little 
force  was  improvised,  consisting  of  Sikhs  and  Nu- 
jeebs,  and  a  few  English  gentlemen,  which  went  out 
at  nighty  in  the  hope  of  being  able  to  cut  off  strag- 
glers, and  perhaps  to  intercept  a  diversion  of  the 
enemy  towards  Patna,  But  as  the  following  day 
broke,  news  came  which  gave  a  new  complexion  to 
affairs.  "  Whilst  it  was  yet  scarcely  daylight,"  wrote 
the  Commissioner,  "  a  note  was  brought  to  my  bed- 
side. By  the  imperfect  light  I  could  just  distinguish 
the  words,  '  Major  Holmes  and  his  wife.'  I  felt  at 
once  what  it  was,  and  shall  never  forget  the  sensation 
of  pain  and  horror  with  which  I  read  the  announce- 
ment of  this  gallant  and  chivalrous  officer's  murder. 
I  immediately,"  added  the  writer,"  recalled  our 
volunteer  detachment."  A  new  difficulty  had  come 
upon  us  from  a  most  unexpected  quarter. 
MworHolmcs  At  Segowlie  was  a  regiment  of  Irregular  Horse 
mcnt.*'  '^"  (t^®  Twelfth),  commanded  by  Major  James  Holmes, 
an  officer  made  of  the  right  heroic  stuff.  A  man 
of  an  ardent  temperament,  eager,  impulsive,  and 
bold  as  a  lion,  he  shrunk  from  no  responsibility, 
and  was  ready,  in  the  hour  of  difficulty,  to  assume 
authority,  which  he  did  not  rightfully  possess,  and 
to  trust  for  future  indemnity  to  the  generosity  of  his 
masters.    As  soon  as  the  first  developments  of  insur- 

MAJOR  HOLM£d.  103 

rection  rendered  it  certain  that  our  positions  in  Behar  1857. 
would  be  threatened,  he  placed  himself  in  direct  ^^^^^y- 
communication  with  Lord  Canning,  and  expressed 
his  opinions  with  a  freedom  rarely  seen  in  similar 
correspondence.  Like  Commissioner  Tayler,  he  was 
all  for  prompt  action  and  vigorous  repression.  "  If 
every  one,"  he  wrote  on  the  25th  of  May  to  the 
Governor-General,  "is  true  to  himself  and  to  the 
Government,  and  does  his  duty  with  smiling  cheer- 
fulness, all  things  will  go  well.  I  have  endeavoured 
to  impress  this  on  the  civilians  of  the  district.  I 
have  also  pointed  out  the  necessity  of  their  inform- 
ing the  wealthy  Natives  and  Zemindars  that  the 
chief  object  of  the  turbulent  Sepoys  is  plunder,  and 
that  it  is  their  interest  to  seize  any  mutinous  person 
and  hand  him  over  for  punishment."  "  It  is  abso- 
lutely necessary,"  he  added,  "to  strike  terror  by 
putting  such  ^persons  to  death  by  military  law,  and 
this  power  should,  I  think,  be  granted.  If  any 
person  already  discharged  for  mutiny  from  the  Army 
should  make  such  attempt,  I  would  act  on  my  re- 
sponsibility."* What  Lord  Canning  replied  to  this 
has  been  already  shown,  t  But  notwithstanding  this 
plain  expression  of  the  opinions  of  the  supreme 
authority,  the  fiery  commander  of  Irregulars  took 
upon  himself  the  responsibility  of  placing  the  entire 
districts  of  Tirhoot,  Chuprah,  and  Chunparum,  as  well 
as  Azimgurh  and  Goruckpore,  under  martial  law. 
"As  a  single  clear  head,"  he  wrote  on  the  19th  of 
June,  "  is  better  than  a  dozen  in  these  times,  and  as 
military  law  is  better  than  civil  in  a  turbulent  coun- 
try, I  have  assumed  absolute  military  control  from 
Goruckpore  to  Patna,  and  have  placed  under  absolute 

*  MS.  Correspondence.  chapter,  p.  7}    was  addressed  to 

t  Tlie  letter  quoted  in  the  last    Major  Holmes. 


1857.  military  rule  all  that  country,  including  the  districts 
^  ^'  of  Sarun,  Chunparum,  and  Tirhoot.  The  Governor- 
Gengral  having  requested  me  to  write  to  him  direct, 
I  do  so  daily,  and  have  informed  his  lordship  on  this 
head."  The  Commissioner  reported  that  Major 
Holmes  had  done  this  "with  the  knowledge  and 
concurrence  of  the  Governor-General."  But  this  was 
a  mistake — at  least  it  was  only  half  true.  Major 
Holmes  had  written  to  the  Governor-General,  saying: 
"Hearing  that  some  seditious  letters  and  speeches 
have  been  coming  into  the  district,  I  have  thought  it 
proper  to  order  my  patrolling  parties  to  proclaim 
martial  law  over  the  districts  of  Goruckpore,  Sehwan, 
Chunparum,  and  Tirhoot,  and  that  I  shall  punish 
with  instant  death  the  following  offences,  namely  : 

"  1.  Openly  bearing  arms  against  the  State. 

"  2.  Seditious  speaking,  or  exciting  others  to  rebel- 
lion, or  any  expression  of  disaffection  to  the  Govern- 

"  3.  Concealing  rebels,  or  even  hearing  others  talk 
treason,  and  not  immediately  reporting  to  the  nearest 

"  4.  Plundering — if  caught  in  flagrante  delicto. 

"All  this,"  he  added,  "may  not  be  lawful;  but  I 
don't  care  for  that.  There  are  times  when  circum- 
stances are  above  the  law.  I  am  determined  to  keep 
order  in  these  districts,  and  I'll  do  it  with  a  strong 
hand."*  Nothing  can  be  plainer  than  this — nothing 
more  certain  than  that  Holmes  proclaimed  martial 
law,  with  the  subsequent  knowledge  of  the  Governor- 
General.  But  the  Government  promptly  repudiated 
these  unauthorised  publications.! 

*  Major  Holmes  to  Lord  Can-  content  till  he  had  strung  up  a  high 

ning,  June  15,  1857. — MS.  Carre-  civilian. 

ipondettee.  In  a  letter  to  Mr.  Tayler,        f  I  cannot  find  the  slightest  trace 

he  wrote  that  it  had  been  said  that  in  Lord  Canning's  correspondence 

tl^is  hqt-headed  Major  would  4ot  be  of    any   sort   of   concurrence    in 



Major  Holmes  had  full  confidence  in  the  fidelity  of 
his  men.  He  commanded  a  model  regiment,  sup- 
posed to  be  proof  against  all  temptation.  There  was 
not  a  civil  officer  in  the  district  who  did  not  covet 
the  protection  of  a  few  sabres  from  Holmes's  Incor- 
ruptibles;  and  he  freely  scattered  them  about  in 
little  parties  of  fifty  or  thirty,  never  doubting  that 
they  were  true  to  the  core.  "  My  parties  now,"  he 
wrote  to  Lord  Canning  on  the  14th  of  June,  "patrol 
the  whole  country  from  Goruckpore  and  Azimgurh 
to  Tirhoot,  Chuprah,  and  Patna;  and  I  believe  that 
at  the  present  not  a  word  of  sedition  is  spoken  on 
the  banks  of  the  Ganges.  I  have  proclaimed  that  I 
shall  punish  with  instant  death  civilians  as  well  as 
soldiers  for  one  word  of  mutiny ;  and  all  know  that 
I  shall  keep  my  word.  In  consequence  all  is  quiet. 
Last  night,  at  nine  p.m.,  two  unfortunate  Sepoys  of 
the  Seventeenth,*  mutineers,  were  sent  into  me 
from  Sehwan.  Within  an  hour  I  had  hanged  them 
both.  I  enclose  copy  of  court-martial,  that  your 
lordship  may  understand  how  I  act.  It  is  vile,  dirty, 
unsoldierly  work ;  but  at  the  present  moment  I 
should  hang  or  shoot  my  own  brother  under  similar 
circumstances.  My  party  ^vith  the  treasure  have 
escaped  with  honour,  for  they  retired  by  word  of 
command  from  Captain  Palliser,  when  overpowered 
by  eight  hundred  Sepoys  and  gaol-birds,  and  three 
guns.     They  escorted  the  officers  to  Benares,  and 


Holmes's  act ;  I  presume,  there- 
fore, that  he  must  have  leaped  has- 
tily to  the  conclusion  that  silence 
gave  consent.  I  believe  that  the  Go- 
vernor-General only  wrote  one  letter 
to  him— the  one  referred  to  above — 
in  which  he  cautioned  him  against 
going  beyond  the  authority  already 
given  tohim.  In  that  letter  (May 
30th)  the  GoTemor-General  did  not 
re(|ue8t  Major  Holmes  to  write  to 

him  directly.  He  merely  in  reply  to 
that  officer  wrote,  "  I  shall  be  j^lad 
to  hear  further  from  you,  especially 
on  matters  within  your  own  obser- 
vation. I  cannot  undertake,"  he 
added,  "  to  answer  your  letters,  for 
I  have  no  time  for  writing." — MS, 

*  This  was  the  Azimgurh  regi- 
ment. See  ante,  vol.  ii.  p.  213,  ef 

.  li^dMHiaHMtoMi^ 



1857.  returned  to  their  post  at  Goruckpore  in  good  order." 
^*  And  so  letter  after  letter  was  written — ^now  to  the 
Governor-General,  now  to  the  Commissioner,  all  in 
the  same  confident  strain — the  fearless  utterances  of 
a  strong,  bold  man,  who  believed  that  all  things 
would  yield  to  the  force  of  his  own  resolute  will. 

But  those  were  days  when  appearances  were  most 
delusive,  and  the  most  reasonable  hopes  were  often 
doomed  to  bitter  disappointment.  One  evening 
Major  Holmes  was  taking  his  accustomed  drive,  ac- 
companied by  his  wife.     The  lady  had  once  been 

*  known  as  Dinah  Sale,  and  afterwards  as  the  wife  of 
4  Sturt  the  Engineer.*  She  had  survived  the  horrors 
i                         of  the  retreat  from  Caubul,  which  had  made  her  a 

*  widow,  and  had  become  the  wife  of  another  brave 
!  ^  man,  to  confront  greater  dangers  than  those  which 
j  she  had  escaped.  Neither  thought  so  at  that  moment ; 
;  for  they  believed  that,  though  all  else  might  be  false, 

Holmes's  troopers  were  as  true  as  steel.  But  suddenly 
the  truth  was  revealed  to  them.     A  party  of  Sowars 
i  rode  up  and  fell  upon  them  with  their  sabres.     The 

!  butchery  was  brief  but  effectual.     I  cannot  give  the 

{  details  of  it.     But  a  little  time  after  the  murder, 

I  Mrs.  Holmes's  Native  ayah  (or  tire-woman)  went  to 

i  the  spot  where  the  crime  had  been  committed  and 

,  saw  the  bodies  of  her  master  and  mistress.     The 

corpses  of  both  were   headless.      The   troopers,   in 

whose  devotion  he  had  trusted  to  the  last,  had  deca- 

i  pitated  their  late   commander,   and  carried  off  his 

i  head  as  a  trophy  and  a  witness  to  their  comrades. 

The  lady's  head  lay  still  there ;  and  the  ayah  bent 
reverently  over  it,  lifted  the  streaming  hair,  rich  and 

♦  *  Daughter  of  Sir  Eobert  Sale —    Sale,  who  gave  us  so  vivid  an  ac- 

distingoished  in   the   Afglian  and    count  of  the  former  in  her  published 
Sikh  wars— and  of  the  heroic  Lady    journal. 


beautiful  in  its  abundance,  and  cut  it  oflF,  as  a  me-  1857. 
morial  to  be  cherished  by  those  who  had  loved  her.*  ^^^^• 
Meanwhile,  a  party  of  troopers  had  completed  the 
work  thus  begun  by  murdering  the  other  Europeans 
at  Segowlie.  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Gamer  were  sitting  in 
their  bungalow,  when  the  Sowars  rushed  in  upon 
them  and  cut  them  down,  with  one  of  their  two 
children,  t  The  other,  a  little  girl,  escaped  from  the 
house,  and  was  rescued  by  a  Native  functionary. 
The  house  was  then  fired,  and  the  bodies  of  the 
doctor's  family  were  burnt.  Mr.  Bennett,  the  Deputy- 
Postmaster,  also  fell  a  victim  to  the  fury  of  the 
troopers.  The  great  body  of  the  regiment  broke  out 
into  open  mutiny  of  the  worst  kind ;  but  some  scat- 
tered branches  stood  fast,  and  a  detachment  of  them 
did  good  service  under  Captain  Johnson  in  the  sub- 
sequent operations  in  Oude. 

In  the  mean  time,  what  had  been  done  at  Dinapore  Proceedings 
to  compensate  for  the  first  great  failure  ?  The  muti-  **  I^"i»po'^«- 
nous  Sepoys  had  been  suffered  to  escape  towards  the 
most  dangerous  district  of  the  whole  great  province 
of  Behar.  At  first  it  was  thought  that  their  flight 
to  Shahabad  might  be  arrested  by  the  difficulty  of 
crossing  the  Soane,  as  what  were  called  "  precautions" 
had  been  taken  to  have  all  the  available  boats  re- 
moved to  the  other  side  of  the  river.  But  though  this 
wise  project  had  been  conceived,  the  right  man  had 
not  been  found  to  accomplish  it ;  and  so  the  surging 
insurrection  met  with  no  check,  and  the  flood  poured 
on  uninterruptedly.  On  the  26th,  a  feeble  and  un- 
successful effort  was  made  to  send  a  detachment  of 
riflemen  on  board  a  steam-boat  after  the  fugitives  ; 

♦  The  bodies  were  afterwards  j*  Dr.  Garner  was,  I  believe,  a  re- 
carried  into  Matclinree  bv  the  police,  lative  of  Major  Holmes,  whose  name 
as  was  also  that  of  Mr.  Bennett.  was  James  Gamer  Holmes. 


1857.  but  it  came  back,  having  accomplished  nothing.* 
July  27.  Another  effort  was  then  made  with  equal  want  of 
success.  On  the  27th,  a  steamer  ^vith  a  detachment 
of  the  Thirty-seventh  was  again  despatched  towards 
the  Soane,  with  intention  to  land. our  men  at  a  point 
some  nine  miles  from  Arrah,  and  "to  bring  away  the 
civilians  there  besieged."  This  vessel  did  not  return 
to  Dinapore,  but  it  stuck  fast  upon  a  sand-bank,  not 
without  suspicion  of  foul  play  on  the  part  of  a  Native 
pilot.  General  Lloyd  would  then  have  recalled  the 
detachment.  But  against  this  the  Commissioner  had 
protested,  and  had  urged,  on  the  other  hand,  the  ex- 
pediency of  despatching  another  steamer  with  a 
strong  reinforcement  to  pick  up  the  stranded  vessel, 
and  then  for  the  united  force  to  march  upon  Arrah. 
Another  steamer  had  come  in,  most  opportunely, 
from  Allahabad.  It  was  full  of  passengers  escaping 
to  Calcutta.  That  this  vessel  should  be  turned,  for 
present  purposes,  into  a  troop-ship,  and  that  the  Dina- 
pore Protestant  Church  should  be  converted  into  a 
great  caravanserai  during  the  employment  of  the 
vessel  on  this  special  duty,  was  then  determined  by 
the  military  authorities,  and  arrangements  were  made 
to  give  effect  to  the  design. 

The  departure  of  this  third  body  of  English  troops 
was  to  have  taken  place  at  daybreak  on  the  29th ; 

♦  The  foUowinff  is  taken  from  party  of  Europeans,  tbey  would  pro- 
General  Lloyd's  letter  to  his  bro-  bably  not  have  been  of  much  use. 
ther,  to  which  reference  has  already  However,  as  the  readiest  means  of 
been  made :  **  It  is,  perhaps,  to  be  following  them  to  prevent  them 
regretted  tliat  some  (English  troops)  crossing  the  Soane,  I  next  day  (the 
were  not  sent  that  night  or  next  26th)  sent  off  some  riflemen  in  a 
morning,  but  only  a  small  party  in  steamer  up  that  jiver,  expecting  that 
comparison  to  the  strength  of  the  at  this  season  there  would  have  been 
mutmeers  could  have  been  detached  suflBcient  water — but  unfortunatelr 
— no  guns  could  have  gone,  and  as  the  steamer  could  not  get  up  higii 
the  mutineers  avoided  the  road  and  enough,  and  returned  in  the  evening 
kept  to  the  fields,  where  they  could  without  having  effected  an^hing." 
scarcely  have  been  followed  by  a  small 


but  when  the  men  of  the  Tenth  had  been  marched  1857. 
down  to  the  river-side,  it  was  found  that  the  steamer  "^^^  ^^' 
was  full  of  sleeping  passengers,  and  the  captain  was 
reluctant  to  disturb  them.*  Then  it  was  discovered 
that  the  steamer  could  not  take  so  large  a  number  of 
men,  as  it  was  designed  that  she  should  also  take  in 
tow  the  boat  that  was  stranded  with  the  detachment 
of  the  Thirty-seventh.f  So  one-half  of  the  men  of 
the  Tenth  were  sent  back  to  their  barracks,  and 
Colonel  Fenwick,  who  was  to  have  commanded,  made 
over  the  charge  to  Captain  Dunbar.  A  hundred  and 
fifty  Europeans  were  thus  embarked  ;  and  with  them 
went  some  seventy  Sikhs  under  Lieutenant  Ingleby 
— a  spirited  young  officer  of  one  of  the  revolted  regi- 
ments, who  had  volunteered  for  this  service. 

And  there  were  other  volunteers.     On  the  29th, 
the   Commissioner  was  at  Dinapore  supporting  on 

*  Mr.  Taylor's  statement  on  this  given,  but  who,  after  Colonel  Fen- 
subject  is  too  distinct  and  detailed  wick's  departure,  had  done  nothing 
not  to  be  given  in  illustration  of  the  in  the  matter.  I  went  up  to  him 
narrative  in  the  text:  "Colonel  and  suggested  that  if  he  would  send 
Fenwick  appealed  to  the  General  for  three  or  four  hard-hearled  men  to 
authority  to  have  the  sleepers  turned  turn  the  passengers  out,  *  neck  and 
out,  which  was  promptly  given ;  the  crop,*  if  necessary,  it  would  be  a 
word  was  passed  on  to  the  non-com-  beneficial  move,  and  they  would 
missioned  officers,  and  from  them  to  never  get  off  if  he  didn't ;  he  had 
some  of  the  privates.  In  anotlier  just  said,  'All  right,  sir,'  with 
minute,  it  was  discovered  that  the  much  alacrity,  and  was  telling  off 
steamer  could  not  tow  her  own  flat  the  men  to  set  to  work,  when  some- 
as  well  as  that  of  the  Horungulta^  body  called  out  to  him,  '  Hallo ! 
which  it  was  arranged  she  was  to  you  may  knock  off,  you're  not  to 
take  on,  and  consequently  only  half  go  !'  The  man,  a  splendid  specimen 
the  force  told  off  could  go.  Colonel  of  a  soldier,  turned  short  off,  mut- 
Eenwick  retired  in  disgust,  and  the  tering,  and,  with  several  others, 
command  was  delegated  to  Captain  went  away  in  no  good  humour. 
Dunbar.  From  that  moment  all  Several  hours  elapsed  oefore  the  final 
was  confusion.  No  progress  was  start  was  made,  and  the  steamer  did 
made,  no  one  took  upon  himself  not  get  clear  away  till  about  half- 
to  disturb  the  happy  sleepers.  As  past  nine  !" — The  Patna  Crisis. 
Civil  Commissioner,  I  had  no  au-  f  It  should  be  explained  to  the 
thority  in  matters  purely  military,  English  reader  that  what  is  corn- 
but  I  could  not  quite  refrain  from  monly  described  as  a  "  steamer" 
interference.  I  saw  the  man,  appa-  consists  of  a  flat,  or  large  pinnace, 
rcntly  a  sergeant,  to  whom  the  order  with  good  accommodation,  towed  by 
for  turning  out  tho  passengers  was  a  steam-vessel. 


1857.      the  spot  his  protests  in  favour  of  a  forward  move- 
•^"^^^^-     ment.*     Mr.  M'Donell,  the  Magistrate  of  Chuprah 
and  Mr.  Ross  Mangles,  Assistant  to  the  Patna  Com- 
missioner, went  with  him.     Both  were  eager  to  ac- 
company any  force  that  might  be  despatched  to  the 
relief  of  Arrah.      For  such  men   there  was  great 
attraction   in  the  enterprise;  firstly,  for  love  of  a 
Mr.  Wake,     friend,  who  was  in  peril  there ;  secondly,  out  of  that 
strong  love  of  action  and  adventure,  that  irrepres- 
sible ardour  of  generous  youth,  which  will  not  suffer 
it  to  be  quiescent  when  danger  is  to  be  faced  and 
work  to  be  done.     With  the  means  already  at  the 
disposal  of  the  militarj'^  authorities,  and  fresh  rein- 
forcements  continually  coming  up  the  river,  what 
could  be  looked  for  but  a  successful — a  glorious  cru- 
sade ?    But  these  well-founded  expectations  were  most 
delusive.     Human  calculations  were  as  nothing  in 
this  emergency.     The  energy,  the  sagacity,  the  fer- 
tility of  resource,  which  Englishmen  were  now  dis- 
playing in  many  parts  of  the  country,  were  wanting 
at  Dinapore,  as  they  had  before  been  wanting  at 
Meerut.     Not  only  did  misfortune  track  our  steps, 
but  grievous  incapacity  obstructed  us  at  every  stage. 
How  it  happened  that  Dunbar  was  selected  for  the 
command  of  such  an   expedition  it  is  not  easy  to 
conjecture.     General  Lloyd  did  not  hesitate  to  de- 
clare his  opinion  that  the  leader  of  this  expedition 
was  chosen  by  his  commanding  officer  on  account  of 
his  incompetency. t     He  had  been  a  regimental  pay- 

♦  Mr.  Tajler  says  that  he  went  was  guided  to  it,  as  to  other  very 

to  Dinapore  on  the  evening  of  the  valuable  references,  bv  Mr.  Mont- 

29th,  which  must  be  a  mistake,  as  gomerv  Martin's  work.    It  is  ob- 

he  was  obviously  there  on  the  morn-  servable,  however,  that  that  pains- 

ing  of  the  29th,  when  Dunbar's  de-  taking  writer,  by  a  clerical  or  typo- 

tachment  embarked.  The  date  should  graphical  error,  makes  it  appear  tnat 

be  the  28 th .  the  G  eneral  hinted  that  Ck)loncl  Fen- 

t  General  Lloyd's  letter  will  be  wick  was  "  «>iaware"  of  Dunbar's 

found  complete  in  the  Appendix.   I  incompetence.  The  word  is  "  aware." 

Dunbar's  expedition.  Ill 

master,  and  he  had  but  scant  knowledge  of  military      1857. 
operations  in  the  field.     But  he  took  the  work  upon    ^^^J  ^^• 
him  readily  as  a  brave  man,  and  went  forth  to  his 

About  half-past  nine,  the  vessel  put  off  amidst  Dunbar's  ex- 
cheers  from  the  river-bank.  "  The  gallant  appearance  ^^  ^  *°^' 
of  the  men,"  wrote  one  who  watched  their  departure, 
"  the  eager  countenances  of  the  officers,  the  anticipa- 
tion of  certain  success  in  the  enterprise,  gave  the  ex- 
pedition a  character  of  bright  and  buoyant  hopeful- 
ness."* But  a  terrible  sentence  was  written  down 
against  it.  It  appeared  as  though  nothing  prosperous 
could  ever  come  out  of  Dinapore.  At  every  stage 
there  was  mismanagement  of  the  worst  type.  The 
men  embarked  hungry ;  and  hungry  they  were  suf- 
fered to  remain.  There  was  abundance  on  board,  but 
neither  food  nor  drink  was  served  out  to  them ;  and 
when  some  hours  after  noon,  having  picked  up  the 
stranded  vessel,  and  obtained  the  assistance  of  some 
roomy  country  boats,  f  they  disembarked  at  the  nearest 
point  to  Arrah,  they  went  fasting  and  feeble  on  a 
service  which  demanded  all  the  spirit  and  strength 
that  could  be  imparted  to  them  by  generous  internal 
stimulants.  They  had  a  long  march  before  them,  and 
nothing  was  to  be  obtained  on  the  way. 

It  was  about  seven  o'clock  before  the  whole  of  the 
troops  were  landed.  The  early  moon  was  shining 
brightly,  and,  aided  by  it,  Dunbar  made  his  military 
dispositions,  and,  having  secured  a  guide,  marched  on 
with  the  Sikh  detachment  in  front.  .  At  a  distance  of 
two  or  three  miles  from  their  destination,  they  came 

*  Tay let's  **  Pat na  Crisis."  left  the  steamer  and  embarked  in 

f  Mr.  Trevcljan  says:  **It  was  some  large  boats,  in  which  they  fol- 

the    height    of    the  rainy   season,  lowed  the  coarse  of  a  nullab,  which 

and  much  of  the  country  was  under  brought  them   some   miles    nearer 

water.     Accordingly,    on    arriving  their  point." 

nearly  opposite  Arrah,  the  troops 


1857.  upon  a  bridge  which  seemed  well  suited  for  a  halting- 
^  2^-  place.  Here  the  leader  of  the  expedition  was  recom- 
mended to  serve  out  some  rum  and  biscuits  to  the 
troops,  and  to  bivouac  for  the  night.  But  Dunbar 
determined  to  push  on  to  Arrah.  The  moon  was  now 
waning,  and,  before  midnight,  darkness  closed  upon 
the  advancing  force.  The  Sikh  skirmishers  had  been 
drawn  in,  and  our  people  were  moving  forward,  un- 
suspicious of  the  presence  of  an  enemy,  when,  in  the 
vicinity  of  a  dense  mango-grove,  a  tremendous  fire 
was  opened  upon  them.  They  were  then  marching 
on  a  raised  causeway  terribly  exposed ;  whilst  their 
assailants  were  concealed  by  their  leafy  shelter; 
so  none  knew  how  to  return  the  fire.  The  white 
uniforms  of  the  Europeans  were  seen  through  the 
darkness  of  the  night,  but  the  dusky  Sepoys  in 
undress,  little  short  of  nakedness,  could  not  be  dis- 
cerned among  the  trees.  It  was  plain  now  that  our 
people  had  been  drawn  into  an  ambuscade.  And  it 
was  a  fatal  one  to  our  relieving  force.  Officers  and 
men  fell  fast  beneath  the  fire  of  the  concealed  en  em)'. 
One  of  the  first  to  receive  his  death-wound  was  the 
commander  of  the  expedition.  If  Dunbar  had  erred, 
he  paid  dearly  for  the  error.  He  was  never  seen  alive 
after  this  first  discharge. 

From  the  front  of  our  column,  from  the  right 
flank,  from  the  left  flank,  came  through  the  darkness, 
with  fatal  efiect,  the  heavy  shower  of  musket-balls. 
What  the  strength  of  the  enemy  was  at  that  point 
it  is  hard  to  say.*  But  it  was  plain  to  our  people 
that  they  were  surrounded  by  a  multitude  of  Sepoys, 

*  Some  statements  fix  the  number  former  amount.     There  were  un- 

at  two  thousand — others  at  three  questionably,  however,  in  Siiahabad 

thousand  or  even  five  thousand.     It  at  this  time  many  men  from  other 

is  obvious  that  if  only  the  Dinapore  revolted  regiments,  and  many  Sepoys 

regiments  were  there,  the  number  on  furlough, 
could  not  much  have  exceeded  the 


and  that  their  ranks  were  being  rapidly  thinned.  1867. 
The  sudden  attack,  followed  by  the  fall  of  their  ^^^' 
leader,  had  thrown  them  into  confusion,  and,  strag- 
gling as  they  were,  they  could  not  return  the  enemy's 
fire,  in  the  darkness,  without  imminent  risk  of  shoot- 
ing down  their  own  comrades.  After  a  time,  how- 
ever,  they  rallied,  and  were  got  together  by  the 
bugle-call  in  an  enclosed  field,  at  some  little  distance 
from  the  grove,  where  they  found  shelter  in  a  hollow,* 
and  there  they  might  have  lain  in  comparative  safety 
if  our  men  could  have  been  restrained  from  firing ; 
but  the  occasional  crack  of  our  rifles  revealed  our 
position,  and  brought  back  bullets  with  destructive 
interest. t  Thus  the  night  passed  miserably  with  our 
people,  hungering  for  the  dawn.  But  daylight 
brought  no  relief  to  their  sufiferings — ^no  confidence 
to  our  afflicted  people.  There  were  those  who  coun- 
selled the  prosecution  of  the  march  to  Arrah ;  but  a 
retrograde  movement  was  determined  upon,  in  utter 
despondency  of  heart. 

A  disastrous  retreat  was  now^  to  be  commenced  by  Tie  retreat, 
the  survivors  of  this  luckless  expedition.  Fatigued 
and  famished,  and  sore  at  heart,  for  the  grievous 
necessity  of  leaving  the  wounded  behind  them  was 
theirs,  they  set  their  faces  again  towards  the  river. 
That  morning's  march  will  never  be  forgotten  by  the 
few  who  live  to  think  of  it.  As  they  went,  it  seemed 
to  them  that  the  enemy  were  ubiquitous — that  they 
started  up  on  every  side ;  from  copses  and  coverts  of 
all  kinds,  from  walled  enclosures  and  mud  villages, 
from  hollows  and  ditches  and  the  roofs  of  houses, 

•  Mr.  Trevelyan  describes  it  as  Native  Infantry,  a  volunteer,  was 

an  empty  tank,  which  is  confirmed  standing  up  behind  the  hed^e ;  he 

hj  Mr.  M'Dotiell,  in  a  narrative  pub-  was  shot  through    the  head,  and 

lished  in  the  Times,  jumped  up  like  a  buck— of  course 

t  "  Young  Anderson,  a  very  nice  killed  on  the   spot."  —  M^DonelVs 

Jfm%  Miov  of  tiie  Twenty-second  Narrative, 



1857.  came  with  destructive  activity  the  fire  of  the  in- 
^^^^'  surgents.  Against  it  our  people,  if  far  less  exhausted 
and  dispirited,  could  have  done  little  or  nothing. 
For  when  they  formed  and  fired,  as  they  sometimes 
did,  there  was  no  enemy  to  be  seen  ;  the  aim  of  our 
people  was  directed  only  towards  the  puffs  of  smoke 
which  indicated  the  position  whence  the  fire  had 
come,  and  every  rebel  volley  was  followed  by  a  rapid 
retirement  of  the  enemy.  But  these  eflbrts  soon 
ceased.  Our  retreat  became  a  rout.  Men  thought  of 
little  but  their  own  lives.  All  things  were  against 
them  but  one.  As  our  men  dropped  by  the  wayside, 
the  ammunition  of  their  assailants  was  running  short. 
This  was  a  great  deliverance.  But  for  it,  scarcely  a 
man  would  have  escaped. 
Julj  30.  As  it  was,  only  a  wretched  remnant  of  the  party 
that,  flushed  with  the  thought  of  victory,  had  left 
Dinapore  on  that  July  morning,  returned  to  the 
nullah  which  they  had  crossed  by  the  light  of  the 
rising  moon.  Happily  the  boats  were  still  there,  on 
the  left  bank,  as  we  had  left  them.  But  the  sight  of 
them,  presenting,  as  they  seemed  to  do,  the  means  of 
escape,  extinguished  the  little  discipline  that  was  left 
in  the  retreating  force.  There  was  a  scene  of  wild 
confusion — of  crowding  and  huddling — at  the  ghaut, 
each  man  seeking  his  own  safety,  and,  with  a  few 
bright  exceptions,  caring  but  little  for  his  fellow-men. 
It  was  not  strange,  for  the  enemy  were  upon  them — 
firing  upon  the  fugitives  from  aU  sides,  and  striving 
hard  to  bum  or  to  sink  the  boats.  In  this  they  were 
only  too  successful.  Some  of  our  people  were  shot ; 
some  were  burnt ;  some  were  drowned.  The  commands 
and  entreaties  of  their  officers  were  of  no  avail.  Many 
threw  away  their  arms  and  accoutrements — some 
stripped  themselves  to  the  skin,  and  flung  themselves 


into  the  water.  It  is  stated  that  the  last  man  to  leave  1857. 
the  shore  was  Lieutenant  Ingelby,  who  had  volun-  ^^^  ^^' 
teered  to  lead  the  Sikhs  to  Arrah.  He  stepped  into  a 
burning  boat,  as  it  was  putting  oflF,  and  ere  it  was 
half-way  across  the  stream,  the  flames  had  so  spread 
that  all  on  board  were  compelled  to  take  to  the  water. 
Ingelby  was  struck  on  the  neck  by  a  musket-ball  and 
went  down  ;  but  rising  again  to  the  surface,  he  threw 
up  his  arms,  cried  aloud,  "Good-bye,  Grenadiers  I" 
and  sunk — never  to  be  seen  alive  again. 

Those,  who  reached  the  opposite  bank  of  the 
nullah,  were  now  safe.  The  steamer  and  flat  were 
soon  gained ;  and  back  the  diminished  party  went  to 
the  cantonment  of  Dinapore.  Our  people  there  had 
looked  anxiously  for  their  coming — eager  to  welcome 
the  victors  and  to  congratulate  the  rescued — never 
doubting  that  there  would  be  a  great  ovation ;  and 
now  as  the  vessel  appeared  in  sight,  the  inmates  of  the 
Barracks  went  out,  men  and  women,  to  the  river-side, 
straining  eyes  and  ears  to  catch  a  sight  of  the  crowded 
deck  and  the  sound  of  triumphant  exultation  proclaim- 
ing the  success  of  the  expedition.  But  not  a  shout  was 
heard  as  she  steamed  on ;  and  there  was  little  sign 
of  life  on  board.  All  indeed  was  ominously  quiet. 
People  asked  each  other  what  it  meant.  But  when 
the  vessel  came-to  beside  the  Hospital,  there  was  no 
need  for  further  questioning.  The  silence  was  the 
silence  of  disaster  and  death.  The  whole  sad  story 
was  soon  known;  and  then  there  was  such  a  wail 
from  the  women  as  those  who  heard  it  can  never 
cease  to  remember.  Some  beat  their  breasts  and 
tore  their  hair  in  the  wild  excitement  of  their  grief, 
and  called  down  the  judgment  of  God  on  the 
authors  of  this  great  calamity.  It  is  said  that  if 
General  Lloyd  had  appeared  amongst  them  at  that 



1857.      moment,  they  would  have  torn  him  to  pieces.     Of 
Jttlj  30.     ^j^g  £q^j,  iiundred  men  who  had  gone  out  on  the  day 

before,  full  of  health  and  hope,  one-half  had  been 
left  behind  to  gorge  the  vultures  and  the  jackals, 
and  of  those  who  returned  only  about  fifty  were  un- 
Heroic  But  disastrous  as  was  the  retreat,  it  was  not  all 

exploits,  disgraceful.  There  will  always  be  acts  of  individual 
heroism  when  Englishmen  go  out  to  battle.  It  may 
be  a  soldier,  or  it  may  be  a  civilian,  in  whom  the 
irrepressible  warrior-instinct  manifests  itself  in  some 
act  of  conspicuous  gallantry  and  devotion — but  it  is 
sure  never  to  be  wanting.  In  those  days  well-nigh 
every  man  was  more  or  less  a  soldier ;  and  there 
were  few  better  soldiers  than  the  members  of  the 
Bengal  Civil  Establishment.  The  traditions  of  the 
old  Indian  Service  gave  them  a  pride  in  their  pro- 
fession, and  they  held  that  nothing  was  incompatible 
with  its  duties  that  tended  to  maintain  the  honour 
and  security  of  the  Anglo-Indian  Empire.  Accus- 
tomed, in  most  instances,  from  boyhood  upwards,  to 
the  use  of  fire-arms,  with  firm  seats  in  the  saddle,  and 
often  mighty  hunters  of  the  boar  and  the  tiger, 
rejoicing  in  the  perilous  excitement  of  such  sport, 
these  men,  especially  in  the  earlier  stages  of  their 
career,  were  well  braced  up  for  vigorous  action,  and 
had  little  to  learn  to  fit  them  for  the  front  of  the 
battle.  From  the  days  when  Charles  Metcalfe  headed 
the  attack  at  Deeg,  and  Mountstuart  Elphinstone 
rode  side  by  side  with  the  Wellington  of  the  future  at 
Assaye,  the  Indian  Civil  Service  had  been  fertile 
in  heroes.  But  never  before  the  convulsions  of  1857 
had  the  martial  energies  of  our  civilians  been  so 

*  The  official  return  says:  2  cap-  112  privates  killed ;  1  lieulenant,  S 
tains,  2  lieutenants,  3  ensi^s,  3  ser-  ensigns,  3  sergeants,  3  corporals^  S 
geants,  10  corporals,  3  arummers,    drummers,  and  49  privates  wounded. 


largely  reduced ;  never  had  the  pen  so  often  been  1857. 
laid  aside  for  the  sword  or  the  rifle.  It  has  been  ^^^^  ^^• 
already  shown  in  these  volumes  how  George  Ricketts 
fought  the  Nabha  guns  on  the  bank  of  the  Sutlej, 
how  John  Mackillop  kept  the  well  at  Cawnpore,  and 
how  other  soldierly  deeds  were  done  by  men  whose 
cutcherries  were  closed  and  Avhose  judgment-seats 
were  empty.  And  many  more  such  stories  will  be 
told  as  the  narrative  proceeds.  Two  at  least  lighten 
up  the  record  of  the  retreat  from  Arrah.  They  have 
been  told  before  and  better  than  I  can  tell  them.  But 
this  History  would  be  incomplete  without  the  recital. 
I  have  said  that  with  Dunbar's  relieving  force 
went  Mr.  M'Donell  and  Mr.  Ross  Mangles,  of  the 
Civil  Service.  They  did  excellent  service  on  the 
way.  The  local  knowledge  of  the  former  enabled 
him  to  act  as  a  guide,  and  the  rifles  of  both  were  in 
constant  requisition.  In  the  first  attack  on  our 
columns,  Mangles  had  been  stunned  by  a  musket-ball, 
but  he  soon  recovered  himself,  and  was  helping  the 
surgeon  who  accompanied  the  force  to  bind  up  the 
wounds  of  his  comrades,  or  carrying  water  to  them 
in  their  agony.  When  morning  dawned  he  shoul- 
dered his  piece  and  stepped  on  with  the  rest  towards 
the  nullah,  resolute  to  sell  his  life  dearly.  In  the 
flower  of  his  youth,  a  man  of  a  fine  presence,  with  a 
long  stride  and  a  firm  hand  on  his  two-barrel,  our 
men  looked  to  him,  in  the  morning  light,  as  to  one 
who,  though  without  official  command,  had  natural 
right  to  be  obeyed ;  and  he  did  much  good  service  as 
he  went  by  his  animating  influence  upon  others  and 
by  his  own  personal  prowess.*     Though  by  reason  of 

*  Mr.  Treveljrau  says  that  "be  he  was  a  noted  shikaree,  a  dead 

succeeded  in  keepingto^ether  a  small  hand    at  bear    and    antelope,    the 

knot  of  men,  who  supplied  him  with  Sepoys  thought  proper  to  keep  their 

a  SQOcession  of  loaded  muskets.   As  distance.'' 


1857.  his  stature  a  conspicuous  mark  for  the  enemy,  and 
July  80.  a  though  dozens  of  poor  fellows,"  as  he  wrote  after- 
wards, "  were  knocked  over  close  to  him,"  by  the 
blessing  of  God  he  escaped  unharmed.  He  escaped 
to  do  a  noble  deed.  A  soldier  of  the  Thirty-seventh, 
who  had  been  struck  down  and  was  left  helpless  on 
the  ground,  where  he  would  presently  have  been 
murdered  by  the  Sepoys,  implored  the  young  civilian 
not  to  desert  him.  So  amidst  a  destructive  fire  of 
musketr\%  Ross  Mangles  the  Younger  halted  and  knelt 
down,  bound  up  the  man's  wounds,  hoisted  him  on 
his  back,  and  strode  on  with  his  burden.  He  had 
fasted  for  twentv-four  hours;  he  had  watched  for 
forty -eight ;  but  notwithstanding  this  want  of  food 
and  rest,  he  declared  afterwards  that  he  had  '"^  never 
felt  so  strong  in  his  life."  And  well  was  it  that  the 
invigorating  sense  of  a  great  duty  so  sustained  him. 
For  the  man  whom  he  bore  was  as  big  as  himself, 
and  the  enemy  were  close  upon  his  track.  Com- 
pelled, now  and  then,  to  lay  his  burden  do^^'n,  he 
stood  over  the  wounded  man,  and  if  opportunity 
oflFered,  turned  the  interval  of  rest  to  account  by 
taking  a  shot  at  the  insurgents.  And  the  good  God 
watched  over  this  deed  of  mercy  and  love  ;  for  young 
Mangles  carried  the  wounded  soldier,  over  rough  and 
swampy  ground,  for  a  space  of  six  miles,  till  he 
reached  the  nullah ;  and  then  swimming  out  and 
holding  up  the  helpless  man  in  the  water,  he  reached 
a  boat,  laid  his  charge  safely  in  it,  and  soon  had  the 
delight  of  seeing  him  in  good  hands  at  the  hospital 
of  Dinapore,  with  leisure  to  thank  God  and  his  pre* 
server  for  his  almost  miraculous  deliverance.* 

•  The  maxims  name  iras  Richard  to  England.    Tiiis  story  haa 

Tavlor.    He  was  not  dismissed  from  markablc  sequel.    It  was  the  €tst 

hospital  tin  the  19cii  of  NoTember,  deed  of  the    kind  that   CTeatoally 

and  he  was  then  iaralided  and  sent  soUed  the  question  as  to      '    ^ 

m^donell's  heroism.  119 

Differing  in  kind,  but  not  in  degree,  from  this  1857. 
heroic  exploit,  was  another  act  of  daring  self-devotion  ^^J  ^^• 
done  by  Mr.  M'Donell,  of  the  same  service.  It  was 
in  no  small  measure  owing  to  his  representations  and 
to  his  offer  to  act  as  a  guide  to  the  relieving  force, 
for  he  knew  the  country  well,  that  General  Lloyd 
consented  to  send  the  European  detachment  into 
Shahabad.  Always  in  the  front,  always  in  the  thick 
of  the  battle,  he  did  excellent  service,  as  I  have 
said  before,  on  the  march.  Many  a  mutineer  sunk 
beneath  the  fire  of  his  rifle.  He  was  beside  Dunbar 
when  he  fell,  and  was  sprinkled  with  the  life-blood  of 
the  luckless  leader.  Wounded  himself,  he  still  fought 
on  gallantly   during  the  retreat,    and  reached  the 

civiliaus  could  share  witL  their  mili-  forwarding  it  for  their  information, 
tary  brethren  the  honour  of  the  and  emphaticallj  indorsing  its  con- 
Victoria  Cross.  Those  were  days  tents.  The  letter  adds,  "The  modesty 
when,  in  the  all-prevailing  excite-  which  has  allowed  the  event  to  re- 
ment,  heroic  acts  were  often  over-  main  unknown  to  those  in  authority 
looked  at  the  time.  And  it  was  not  until  after  the  lapse  of  a  twelve- 
until  the  lapse  of  more  than  a  year  month  it  was  brought  to  light  by 
that  oiFicial  notice  was  taken  of  this  the  journal  of  a  surgeon  recording 
honourable  incident ;  and  then  it  was  tlie  gratitude  of  the  wounded  soldier, 
brought  to  the  attention  of  Lord  is  not  the  least  remarkable  feature  in 
Cannmg  by  Sir  James  Outram.  Both  the  story."  Lord  Canning  wrote 
were  men,  who,  courageous  them-  also  to  the  younger  Mangles  saying, 
selves,  had  a  keen  appreciation  of  "  It  is  a  satisfaction  to  me  to  tell 
courage  in  others,  and  never  neg-  you  with  what  pleasure  I  have  done 
lected  an  opportunity  of  recording  this ;  but  the  pleasure  would  have 
their  admirmg  approval.  It  was  been  greater  if  (as  ought  to  have 
not  before  the  summer  of  1858  that  been  the  case)  my  official  letter 
Outram  was  made  acquainted  with  could  have  been  addressed  to  your 
the  exploit  above  narrated.  It  had  father."  Mr.  Ross  Mangles  the 
been  his  first  thought  to  recommend  Elder  had  vacated  the  Chair  of  the 
young  Mangles  for  the  Victoria  Court  of  Directors  in  April,  1858, 
Cross.  But  meanwhile  another  gal-  and  had  been  succeeded  by  Sir  Ere- 
lant  deed,  done  by  an  uncovenanted  derick  Currie.  The  whole  question 
civilian  in  Oude  (hereafter  to  be  of  tlie  claim  of  civilians  to  the  Vic- 
recorded),  had  been  recommended  toria  Cross  was  afterwards  with 
for  this  reward,  and  the  decision  reference  to  this  and  the  Oude  case 
was  that  members  of  the  military  (Mr.  Kavanagh's)  finally  decided  in 
and  naval  services  alone  were  en-  favour  of  the  claim  of  soldier-civi- 
titled  to  this  distinction.  Believing  lians — and  I  feel  that  there  was  not 
this  to  be  final,  the  Governor-General,  a  soldier  in  the  service  who  did  not 
on  receipt  of  Outram's  letter,  wrote  rejoice  in  the  withdrawal  of  the  invi- 
a  letter  to  the  Home  Gh)Temmeiit,  dioos  distioctioni 


1857.  moment,  they  would  have  torn  him  to  pieces.  Of 
Jalj  30.  ^j^g  £q^j.  iixin^red  men  who  had  gone  out  on  the  day 
before,  full  of  health  and  hope,  one-half  had  been 
left  behind  to  gorge  the  vultures  and  the  jackals, 
and  of  those  who  returned  only  about  fifty  were  un- 
Heroic  But  disastrous  as  was  the  retreat,  it  was  not  all 

exploits,  disgraceful.  There  will  always  be  acts  of  individual 
heroism  when  Englishmen  go  out  to  battle.  It  may- 
be a  soldier,  or  it  may  be  a  civilian,  in  whom  the 
irrepressible  warrior-instinct  manifests  itself  in  some 
act  of  conspicuous  gallantry  and  devotion — but  it  is 
sure  never  to  be  wanting.  In  those  days  well-nigh 
every  man  was  more  or  less  a  soldier ;  and  there 
were  few  better  soldiers  than  the  members  of  the 
Bengal  Civil  Establishment.  The  traditions  of  the 
old  Indian  Service  gave  them  a  pride  in  their  pro- 
fession, and  they  held  that  nothing  was  incompatible 
with  its  duties  that  tended  to  maintain  the  honour 
and  security  of  the  Anglo-Indian  Empire.  Accus- 
tomed, in  most  instances,  from  boyhood  upwards,  to 
the  use  of  fire-arms,  with  firm  seats  in  the  saddle,  and 
often  mighty  hunters  of  the  boar  and  the  tiger, 
rejoicing  in  the  perilous  excitement  of  such  sport, 
these  men,  especially  in  the  earlier  stages  of  their 
career,  were  well  braced  up  for  vigorous  action,  and 
had  little  to  learn  to  fit  them  for  the  front  of  the 
battle.  From  the  days  when  Charles  Metcalfe  headed 
the  attack  at  Deeg,  and  Mountstuart  Elphin stone 
rode  side  by  side  with  the  Wellington  of  the  future  at 
Assaye,  the  Indian  Civil  Service  had  been  fertile 
in  heroes.  But  never  before  the  convulsions  of  1857 
had  the  martial  energies  of  our  civilians  been   so 

*  The  official  return  says :  2  cap-  112  privates  killed ;  1  lieuleuant,  S 
tains,  2  lieutenants,  3  ensi^s,  3  scr-  ensigns,  3  sergeants,  3  corporals,  8 
geants,  10  corporals,  3  drummers,    drummers,  and  49  privates  wounded. 


largely  reduced ;  never  had  the  pen  so  often  been  1867. 
laid  aside  for  the  sword  or  the  rifle.  It  has  been  ^^^^  ^• 
already  shown  in  these  volumes  how  George  Ricketts 
fought  the  Nabha  guns  on  the  bank  of  the  Sutlej, 
how  John  Mackillop  kept  the  well  at  Cawnpore,  and 
how  other  soldierly  deeds  were  done  by  men  whose 
cutcherries  were  closed  and  whose  judgment-seats 
were  empty.  And  many  more  such  stories  will  be 
told  as  the  narrative  proceeds.  Two  at  least  lighten 
up  the  record  of  the  retreat  from  Arrah.  They  have 
been  told  before  and  better  than  I  can  tell  them.  But 
this  History  would  be  incomplete  without  the  recital. 
I  have  said  that  with  Dunbar's  relieving  force 
went  Mr.  M'Donell  and  Mr.  Ross  Mangles,  of  the 
Civil  Service.  They  did  excellent  service  on  the 
way.  The  local  knowledge  of  the  former  enabled 
him  to  act  as  a  guide,  and  the  rifles  of  both  were  in 
constant  requisition.  In  the  first  attack  on  our 
columns,  Mangles  had  been  stunned  by  a  musket-ball, 
but  he  soon  recovered  himself,  and  was  helping  the 
surgeon  who  accompanied  the  force  to  bind  up  the 
wounds  of  his  comrades,  or  carrying  water  to  them 
in  their  agony.  When  morning  dawned  he  shoul- 
dered his  piece  and  stepped  on  with  the  rest  towards 
the  nullah,  resolute  to  sell  his  life  dearly.  In  the 
flower  of  his  youth,  a  man  of  a  fine  presence,  with  a 
long  stride  and  a  firm  hand  on  his  two-barrel,  our 
men  looked  to  him,  in  the  morning  light,  as  to  one 
who,  though  without  official  command,  had  natural 
right  to  be  obeyed ;  and  he  did  much  good  service  as 
he  went  by  his  animating  influence  upon  others  and 
by  his  own  personal  prowess.*     Though  by  reason  of 

*  Mr.  Trevelyaii  says  that  "be  he  was  a  noted  sliikarec,  a  dead 

succeeded  in  keepingto^ther  a  small  hand    at  bear    and    antelope,    the 

knot  of  men,  who  supplied  him  with  Sepoys  thought  proper  to  keep  their 

a  succession  of  loaded  muskets.    As  distance." 


1857.  his  steture  a  conspicuous  mark  for  the  enemy,  and 
Julj  30.  a  though  dozens  of  poor  fellows,"  as  he  wrote  after- 
wards, "  were  knocked  over  close  to  him,"  by  the 
blessing  of  God  he  escaped  unharmed.  He  escaped 
to  do  a  noble  deed.  A  soldier  of  the  Thirty-seventh, 
who  had  been  struck  down  and  was  left  helpless  on 
the  ground,  where  he  would  presently  have  been 
murdered  by  the  Sepoys,  implored  the  young  civilian 
not  to  desert  him.  So  amidst  a  destructive  fire  of 
musketry,  Ross  Mangles  the  Younger  halted  and  knelt 
down,  bound  up  the  man  s  wounds,  hoisted  him  on 
his  back,  and  strode  on  with  his  burden.  He  had 
fasted  for  twenty-four  hours;  he  had  watched  for 
forty-eight ;  but  notwithstanding  this  want  of  food 
and  rest,  he  declared  afterwards  that  he  had  "never 
felt  so  strong  in  his  life."  And  well  was  it  that  the 
invigorating  sense  of  a  great  duty  so  sustained  him. 
For  the  man  whom  he  bore  was  as  big  as  himself, 
and  the  enemy  were  close  upon  his  track.  Com- 
pelled, now  and  then,  to  lay  his  burden  down,  he 
stood  over  the  wounded  man,  and  if  opportunity 
offered,  turned  the  interval  of  rest  to  account  by 
taking  a  shot  at  the  insurgents.  And  the  good  God 
watched  over  this  deed  of  mercy  and  love  ;  for  young 
Mangles  carried  the  wounded  soldier,  over  rough  and 
swampy  ground,  for  a  space  of  six  miles,  till  he 
reached  the  nullah;  and  then  swimming  out  and 
holding  up  the  helpless  man  in  the  water,  he  reached 
a  boat,  laid  his  charge  safely  in  it,  and  soon  had  the 
delight  of  seeing  him  in  good  hands  at  the  hospital 
of  Dinapore,  with  leisure  to  thank  God  and  his  pre- 
server for  his  almost  miraculous  deliverance.* 

•  The  man's  name  was  Richard  to  England.  This  story  has  a  re- 
Taylor.  He  was  not  dismissed  from  markablc  sequel.  It  was  the  first 
hospital  till  the  19th  of  November,  deed  of  the  kind  that  eventually 
and  he  was  then  invalided  and  sent  solved  the  question  as  to  whether 

m^donell's  heroism.  119 

Differing  in  kind,  but  not  in  degree,  from  this  1857. 
heroic  exploit,  was  another  act  of  daring  self-devotion  ^^y  ^^• 
done  by  Mr.  M'Donell,  of  the  same  service.  It  was 
in  no  small  measure  owing  to  his  representations  and 
to  his  offer  to  act  as  a  guide  to  the  relieving  force, 
for  he  knew  the  country  well,  that  General  Lloyd 
consented  to  send  the  European  detachment  into 
Shahabad.  Always  in  the  front,  always  in  the  thick 
of  the  battle,  he  did  excellent  service,  as  I  have 
said  before,  on  the  march.  Many  a  mutineer  sunk 
beneath  the  fire  of  his  rifle.  He  was  beside  Dunbar 
when  he  fell,  and  was  sprinkled  with  the  life-blood  of 
the  luckless  leader.  Wounded  himself,  he  still  fought 
on  gallantly   during  the  retreat,   and  reached  the 

civiliaus  could  share  witL  their  mill-  forwarding  it  for  their  information, 
tary  brethren  the  honour  of  the  and  emphaticallj  indorsing  its  con- 
Victoria  Cross.  Those  were  days  tents.  The  letter  adds,  "The  modesty 
when,  in  the  all-prevailing  excite-  which  has  allowed  the  event  to  re- 
ment,  heroic  acts  were  often  over-  main  unknown  to  those  in  authority 
looked  at  the  time.  And  it  was  not  until  after  the  lapse  of  a  twelve- 
until  the  lapse  of  more  than  a  year  month  it  was  brought  to  light  by 
that  official  notice  was  taken  of  this  the  journal  of  a  surgeon  recording 
honourable  incident ;  and  then  it  was  the  gratitude  of  the  wounded  soldier, 
brought  to  the  attention  of  Lord  is  not  the  least  remarkable  feature  in 
Canning  by  Sir  James  Outram.  Both  the  story."  Lord  Canning  wrote 
were  men,  who,  courageous  them-  also  to  the  younger  Mangles  sayins", 
selves,  had  a  keen  appreciation  of  "It  is  a  satisfaction  to  me  to  tell 
courage  in  others,  and  never  neg-  you  with  what  pleasure  I  have  done 
lected  an  opportunity  of  recording  this ;  but  the  pleasure  would  have 
their  admirmg  approval.  It  was  been  greater  if  (as  ought  to  have 
not  before  the  summer  of  1858  that  been  the  case)  my  official  letter 
Outram  was  made  acquainted  with  could  have  been  addressed  to  your 
the  exploit  above  narrated.  It  had  father."  Mr.  Ross  Mangles  the 
been  his  first  thought  to  recommend  £lder  had  vacated  the  Chair  of  the 
young  Mangles  for  the  Victoria  Court  of  Directors  in  April,  1858, 
Cross.  But  meanwhile  another  gal-  and  had  been  succeeded  by  Sir  Fre- 
lant  deed,  done  by  an  uncovenanted  derick  Currie.  The  whole  question 
civilian  in  Oude  (hereafter  to  be  of  the  claim  of  civilians  to  the  Vic- 
recorded),  had  been  recommended  toria  Cross  was  afterwards  with 
for  this  reward,  and  the  decision  reference  to  this  and  the  Oude  case 
was  that  members  of  the  military  (Mr.  Kavanagh*s)  finally  decided  in 
and  naval  services  alone  were  en-  favour  of  the  claim  of  soldier-civi- 
titled  to  this  distinction.  Believing  lians — and  I  feel  that  there  was  not 
this  to  be  final,  the  Governor-General,  a  soldier  in  the  service  who  did  not 
on  receipt  of  Outram's  letter,  wrote  rejoice  in  the  withdrawal  of  the  invi- 
a  letter  to  the  Home  Gh)Temmeiit,  dious  distinctioni 




1857.  nullah  with  a  stiffened  limb,  but  with  no  abatement 
Julj  80.  Qf  vigorous  courage.  There,  having  done  his  best 
to  assist  others  more  helpless  than  himself,  he  entered 
the  last  of  the  boats ;  and  deliverance  seemed  to  be 
at  hand.  But  the  insurgents  had  taken  away  the 
oars  and  had  lashed  the  rudder,  and  though  the 
breeze  was  favourable  for  the  escape  of  our  people, 
the  current  carried  the  boat  back  to  the  river-bank, 
and  fast  and  furious  came  the  shower  of  musket-balls 
from  the  pieces  of  the  enemy.  The  boats  were  the 
large  covered  boats — the  "floating  haystacks" — of 
the  country,  which  afforded  excellent  shelter  to  those 
who  huddled  together  beneath  the  clumsy  thatch, 
i*'  There  were  thirty-five  European  soldiers  on  board 
the  boat;  and  M'Donell,  seeing  the  difficulty  and 
danger  which  the  impossibility  of  steering  the  vessel 
brought  upon  them,  called  upon  the  men  to  cut  the 
lashings  of  the  rudder.  But  no  man  stirred.  So 
M'Donell  went  out  from  the  shelter,  and  climbing 
on  to  the  roof  of  the  boat,  perched  himself  on  the 
rudder  and  cut  the  lashings,  amidst  a  very  storm  of 
bullets  from  the  contiguous  bank.  It  was  truly  a 
providential  deliverance  that  he  escaped  instant 
death.  Coolly  and  steadily  he  went  about  his  peril- 
ous work,  and  though  some  balls  passed  through 
his  hat,  not  one  did  him  any  harm.  Thus  the  rudder 
was  loosened,  the  boat  answered  to  the  helm,  and  by 
M'Donell's  gallant  act  the  crew  were  saved  from  cer- 
tain destruction.  The  good  deed  was  not  forgotten. 
It  afterwards  earned  for  the  noble-hearted  civilian  the 
crowning  glory  of  the  Victoria  Cross.* 

*  The  following  is  the  ofl&cial  ac-  pcdiiioii  retiring  from  Arrah  on  the 

count  of  the  exploit  as  given  by  morning  of  the  30th  July,  1857,  and 

Captain  J.   W.  Medhur&t,    of   the  on  arriving  at  the  village  and  stream 

Sixtieth  Rifles,  previously  of   the  of  Blierara,  as  is  well  known    "* 

Tenth  Foot:  "On  the  ill-fated  ex-  men,  exhausted  and  dispirited,  * 


Nor  was  heroism  of  this  best  kind  confined  to  our  1857. 
officers  in  high  position,  whose  exploits  are  ever  sure  ^^^^  ^^' 
to  find  chroniclers,  whilst  the  doings  of  humbler  men 
are  often  obscured  at  the  time,  or  afterwards  for- 
gotten. In  the  ranks  of  our  luckless  army,  beaten  as 
they  were,  driven  back  disastrously  to  their  boats, 
by  an  enemy  whom  a  little  while  before  they  had 
despised,  were  some  stout-hearted  English  soldiers, 
who,  in  the  midst  of  that  confused  flight  for  life, 
could  think  of  the  sufferings  of  their  wounded  com- 
rades, and  pause  to  aid  them  amidst  the  thickest  fire 
of  the  enemy.  Among  the  officers  shot  down  during 
the  retreat  was  Ensign  Erskine,  of  the  Tenth  Foot,  a 
good  soldier,  who  had  risen  from  the  ranks.  As  he 
lay  there  in  his  helplessness,  to  be  bayoneted  or 
brained  by  the  Sepoys,  two  men  of  the  Tenth  espied 
him  and  carried  him  off^,  thus  encumbering  them- 
selves at  the  risk  of  their  own  lives.  Erskine  died, 
but  one  at  least  of  these  true  noblemen  survived  to 
receive  the  honour  for  which  some  of  the  greatest 

and  made  for  the  only   six  lar^e  causing  it  to  stick  fast.    On  looking 

couutry  boats  moored  close  to  the  round  I  saw  bim  seated  on  the  stern 

right   bank.    After  assisting  some  extremity  of  the  boat  in  full  view  of 

wounded  men  into  the  furtliest  boat,  the  enemy,   and   quite  exposed  to 

and  being  myself  pulled  in,  I  saw  their  fire.    lie  cut  away  the  mcn- 

tliat  Mr.  iM'Donell,  who  was  one  of  tioned  rope,  and  guiding  the  rudder 

our  number,  was  exerting   himself  himself,   a  fortujiate  breeze  carried 

with  a  sergeant  to  move  the  boat  our  boat  across  the  stream,  ground- 

into  the  stream.  It  being  discovered  iug  at  about  ten  yards  from  the  left 

that  the  boat  was  bound  to  the  bank,  bank,  whereby  all  those  who  were 

one  or  two  men  jumped  out  and  alive  were  enabled  to  jump  out  and 

loosened    the    rope,  and  the  boat  reach   the  steamer  in  safety.    The 

moved.    Assisted   by  the' less   ex-  number  of  men  thus  saved  was  about 

haustcd  of  my  partj,  I  was  keeping  thirty-five ;  and  during  tiie  passage 

up  a  fire  of  Efnaelds  on  the  enemy,  across  three  men  were  sliot  dead, 

whose  musketry  was  very  galling,  one  was  mortally,  and  two  or  three 

Whilst  80  employed,  I  heard  Mr.  slightly,  wounded.     I  may  safely  as- 

M'Donell  call  out  for  a  knife  to  cut  sert  that    it    was    owing    to    Mr. 

away  some  rope  which  bound  the  M'Donell's  presence  of  mind,  and  at 

rudder  to  the  right,    cauainff  the  his  personal  risk,  that  our  boat  got 

lamburiug  boat  to  yeer  round  into  across  on  that  day." 

and  for  a  time 


1867.      captains  of  the  age  would  have  willingly  surrendered 
Julj  30.     their  crosses  and  collars.     For  this  and  other  subse- 
quent acts  of  valour,  Dennis  Dempsey,  of  the  Tenth 
Foot,  was  decorated  with  the  Victoria  Cross.* 

One  more  episode  of  this  Dinapore  mutiny  must 
be  narrated.  I  wish  that  it  were  as  honourable  to  the 
national  character  as  those  which  have  preceded  it  in 
the  record.  It  happened  that  amidst  the  almost  gene- 
ral defection  of  the  Native  troops  at  Dinapore,  a  few 
Sepoys  of  the  Fortieth  Regiment  were  found  true  to 
their  colours.  When  their  comrades  had  deserted  they 
remained  at  their  post — doubtless  believing  that  their 
loyalty  would  be  respected.  But  it  appears  that  the 
fact  of  their  fidelity — the  truth  that  these  few  men  had 
remained  ''faithful  among  the  faithless" — sufficed  not 
to  countervail  the  other  patent  fact  that  these  people 
had  dark  skins.  So,  when  this  little  residue  of  loj^al 
Sepoys,  having  been  burnt  out  of  their  huts,  were 
gathered  together  beneath  a  tent,  or  some  other  tem- 
porary shelter,  it  befel  that  under  cover  of  the  night 
a  party  of  European  soldiers  rushed  suddenly  upon 
them  with  fixed  bayonets  and  thrust  out  among 
them,  striving  to  kill  as  many  as  they  could.  What 
the  actual  result  was  in  killed  and  wounded  it  is  not 
easy  to  ascertain.     From  authority  which  it  would 

*  The  following?  is  the  oflBcial  direction  from  the  blazing  houses, 
record  of  the  cumulative  services  Also  for  bavin?  been  the  first  man 
wbicii  obtained  for  Dennis  Dempsey  who  entered  the  village  of  Jugdes- 
tlie  Victoria  Cross:  "Private  Dennis  pore  on  the  12th  of  August,  1857, 
Dempsey,  Tenth  Kegiment  :  for  under  a  most  gallii.g  fire.  Private 
havint^,  at  Lucknow,  on  the  l4th  of  Demnsey  was  likewise  one  of  those 
March,  1858,  carried  a  powder-bag  who  nel|)ed  to  carry  Ensign  Erskine, 
through  a  burning  village  with  great  of  the  Tenth  Regiment,  in  the  re- 
coolness  and  gallantry,  for  the  pur-  treat  from  Arrah  in  July,  1857." 
pose  of  mining  a  passage  in  rear  of  The  chronological  arrangement  of 
the  enemy's  position.  Tliis  he  did  these  incidents  favours  the  supposi- 
exposed  to  a  very  heavy  fire  from  tion  that,  in  the  mind  of  the  com- 
the  enemy  behind  loopholed  walls,  piltr.  History  should  be  read  back- 
and  to  an  almost  still  greater  danger  wards, 
from  the  sparks  which  flew  in  every 




be  almost  presumption  to  question,  I  learn  that  none 
were  killed  by  the  onslaught.  Bayonet-wounds  are 
seldom  mortal.  But  this  matters  not.  The  intent 
to  kill  was  palpable ;  and  it  was  a  brutal  and  das- 
tardly act.  By  reason  of  their  own  inactivit)^,  or 
the  ineptitude  of  their  officers,  these  British  soldiers, 
having  suffered  our  enemies  to  escape,  disgraced  their 
uniform  and  stained  their  manhood  by  quietly  bayo- 
neting our  sleeping  friends,  because  they  were  of  the 
same  colour  as  th^ people  who  had  baffled  them.* 

*  I  have  been  informed,  since  the 
above  passage  was  written,  that  the 
men  of  the  Tenth  were  not  moved  to 
this  act  solely  by  their  resentment  at 
the  thought  that  the  mutineers  had 
escaped.  They  had  a  personal  wrong 
to  revenge,  for  not  long  before  some 
men  of  the  regiment,  iiavins;  come 
upon  a  party  of  Sepoys  sitting  in  con- 

sultation one  night,  under  cover  of 
the  darkness,  had  been  brutally  as- 
saulted by  their  Native  comrades, 
and  I  believe  that  one  of  the  Euro- 
peans was  killed.  This  may  not  give 
a  mucii  fairer  complexion  to  the 
story ;  but  it  imparts  a  mure  intel- 
li«jible  meaning  to  the  act. 

July  80. 




1857.  Meanwhile  the  little  party  of  English  residents 

July-  at  Arrah  was  holding  out,  against  tremendous  odds, 
at Amf^'^^  with  a  stern  resolution  worthy  of  Sparta  in  her 
prime.  Anything  more  hopeless,  on  the  face  of  the 
enterprise,  than  an  attempt  to  defend  a  house  or  a 
cluster  of  houses  against  some  two  thousand  Sepoys 
and  a  multitude  of  armed  insurgents,  perhaps  four 
times  the  number  of  the  disciplined  soldiery,  could 
not  well  be  conceived.  The  almost  absolute  certainty 
of  destruction  was  such  that  a  retreat  under  cover 
of  the  night  would  not  have  been  discreditable. 
Reason  suggested  it.  Nay,  indeed,  such  was  the 
value  of  European  life  at  that  time,  that  what  are 
called  the  "claims  of  the  public  service"  were  all  in 
favour  of  what  seemed  to  be  the  safer  course.  But 
the  European  residents  at  Arrah  had  other  thoughts 
of  their  duty  to  the  State.  There  were  about  a 
dozen  Englishmen,  official  and  non-official,  and  three 
or  four  other  Christians  of  different  races.  Already 
the  women  and  children   had   been   sent   away   to 


places  of  comparative  safety,  and  some  few  of  the  1857. 
male  sex  had  departed  in  expectation  of  a  coming  •^^^y- 
crisis  in  Shahabad.  So  what  was  left  was  of  the 
best  stuff  of  muscular  Christianity,  and  there  was 
nothing  of  a  feebler  kind  to  cling  to  its  skirts  and 
encumber  it.  Still  it  was  so  very  little  in  bulk,  and 
so  weak  in  physical  power  of  resistance,  that  self-pre- 
servation would  have  been  impossible,  but  for  a 
happy  circumstance  which  amplified  and  strengthened 
the  little  garrison  in  the  hour  of  its  need.  Commis- 
sioner Tayler  had  despatched  to  Arrah  a  party  of 
fifty  Sikhs,  of  whose  fidelity  he  had  no  doubt.  At 
such  a  time,  indeed,  the  Grunth  was  the  next  best 
thing  to  the  Bible.  There  were  fifty  good  fighting 
men  cherishing  no  sympathy  with  Poorbeahs  of  any 
kind,  and  plenty  of  hone&t  pluck  under  English 
leaders  to  make  a  vigorous  defence  against  any  odds. 
So  it  was  resolved  that  there  should  be  no  flight,  but 
that  the  issue  should  depend  upon  the  arbitrament 
of  hard  fighting. 

The  centre  of  defence  had  been  wisely  chosen.  Fortification 
The  works  of  the  East  Indian  Railway  were  then  in  goSe!^'''' 
course  of  construction,  and  at  the  head  of  the  staff 
so  employed  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Arrah  was  Mr. 
Vicars  Boyle,  a  gentleman  who  with  the  best  know- 
ledge of  the  civil  engineer  combined  some  acquaint- 
ance with  military  science,  especially  in  the  service- 
able branch  of  fortification.  The  premises  which 
Boyle  occupied  contained  two  houses.*  The  smaller 
one — a  two-storied  building  with  a  flat  roof — ap- 
peared to  him  to  be  best  suited  for  purposes  of  de- 

*  In  the  old  days  of  English  mentary  building,  to  be  used  as  a 
hospitality  in  India  it  was  a  common  guest-house.  In  this  instance  the 
praclice  to  erect  within  the  "  com-  principal  apartment  had  been  used, 
pound,"  or  premises  of  the  general  Defore  Mr.  Boyle's  time,  as  a  billiard- 
dwelling- honse,  a  smaller  MM^|JM|||^^. 

126  TU£  SI£G£  OF  ABRAH. 

1867.  fence ;  and  he  had  been  for  some  time,  in  contem- 
^^^J'  plation  of  the  storm  which  had  now  burst,  fortifying 
and  provisioning  this  structure.  If  they  could  hold 
out  for  a  few  days— or  it  might  be  only  a  few  hours 
— against  a  sudden  incursion  of  mutinous  Sepoys 
aided  by  the  Budmashes  of  the  place,  all  would  be 
well ;  for  who  could  doubt  that  relief  would  speedily 
arrive  from  Dinapore.  So  Boyle  set  to  work  and 
brought  in  stores  of  flour,  grain,  biscuits,  beer,  and 
other  provender  that  would  not  spoil  by  keeping  in 
that  July  weather — with  water  enough  to  supply 
seventy  men  for  a  fortnight.  He  got  together,  too, 
as  much  ammunition  as  he  could  find;  and  by 
building  up  the  lower  parts  of  the  house,  sufficient 
loopholes  being  left,  and  ranging  sand-bags  on  the 
roof,  he  not  only  provided  shelter  for  our  people,  but 
the  means  of  operating  freely  against  an  enemy  out- 
side the  walls  of  his  little  fortress.  Nor  was  this  all. 
Seeing  that  use  might  be  made  by  the  insurgents 
of  the  other  and  larger  house  in  the  compound,  some 
fifty  yards  ofi^,  he  had  razed  its  front  parapet,  which 
would  have  afibrded  shelter  to  our  assailants  and 
aided  their  means  of  attack.  When,  therefore,  news 
came  that  the  Dinapore  regiments  had  broken  into 
rebellion  and  were  streaming  down  upon  Arrah, 
these  wise  precautions  and  preparations  had  deter- 
mined the  Government  officers  not  to  desert  their 
post,  but  to  hold  out  within  the  improvised  fortifica- 
tions so  long  as  a  pulse  of  life  should  beat  in  their 
bodies.  So  they  gathered  themselves  together  in  the 
"  chota  ghur"  in  Mr.  Boyle's  compound,  and  braced 
themselves  up  to  give  a  warm  reception  to  the  insur- 
Ck)mmenoe.  On  the  27th  of  July,  the  bulk  of  the  Dinapore 
Httad^         mutineers,  after  doing,  on  the  way,  as  much  damage 

THE  SI£6£  COMM£KO£D.  127 

as  they  could  to  all  that  belonged  to  the  white  men,  ^857. 
poured  into  Arrah,  and  did  according  to  the  autho-  ^^^^' 
rised  Sepoy  programme — ^they  plundered  the  Trea- 
sury and  released  the  prisoners  in  the  Gaol.  Having 
thus  recruited  themselves  with  the  sinews  of  war  and 
the  rough  material  of  murder,  they  made  for  Boyle's 
little  fortress,  the  inmates  of  which  seemed  to  them 
like  so  many  rats  in  a  cage.  But  marching  up  with 
a  bold  front,  and  maintaining  a  smart  fire,  as  they 
advanced,  they  met  with  such  a  welcome  from  the 
British  garrison  as  to  check  their  confidence  for  a 
while,  and  make  them  think  that  it  would  suit  them 
better  to  fight  behind  walls  or  trees.  As  the  fore- 
most men  fell  beneath  the  fire  of  our  rifles  or  muskets 
from  the  loopholed  walls  or  from  the  well-sheltered 
roof  of  the  small  house,  the  military  order  in  which 
the  insurgents  had  advanced  was  broken  up,  and 
they  dissolved  into  scattered  groups,  looking  lovingly 
towards  the  big  house  or  the  trees  which  studded  the 
compound.  And  soon  they  had  disposed  themselves 
in  this  safer  manner,  eschewing  the  open,  and  taking 
up  their  head-quarters  in  or  about  Boyle's  house. 
But  it  happened  that  the  smaller  house  had  a  com- 
mand of  fire  over  the  larger,  and  whenever  one  of 
the  mutineers  exposed  himself  for  a  moment,  it  was 
fortunate  for  him  if  a  bullet,  from  behind  the  sand- 
bags on  the  roof,  did  not  put  an  end  to  his  teme- 

It  has  been  shown  that  there  was  not  an  English 
military  officer  in  the  garrison ;  but  never  was  a 
most  unequal  defence  more  gallantly  or  more  skil- 
fully conducted.  Herwald  Wake,  the  Magistrate, 
took  command  of  the  Sikhs,  and  they  had  confidence 
in  their  leader,  as  he  now  had  confidence  in  them. 
And  yet  iheir  fidelity  was  sorely  tried.     Since  the 


1S57.  annexation  of  the  Punjab  to  our  British-Indian 
J«Ij-  Empire,  there  had  been  a  considerable  enlistment  of 
Sikhs  into  many  of  our  Sepoy  battalions,  and  in  the 
Dinapore  regiments  were  some  who  had  cast  in  their 
lot  with  the  Hindostanees.  These  men  were  now 
used  as  decoys.  They  called  upon  their  comrades 
to  join  them  ;  they  offered  large  sums  of  money — 
readily  payable  from  the  spoil  of  the  Treasury — ^to 
each  Sikh  soldier  who  would  desert  the  English  ;  but 
the  answer  returned  went  from  the  muzzles  of  our 
rifles  and  carbines,  and  was  more  eloquent  than  the 
best  of  words. 
Proaecutioa  This  hope  having  now  departed  from  the  besiegers, 
oftheaege.  ^y^^y  bethoui^rht  themselves  of  new  devices.  Our 
little  fortress  with  its  seventy  fightino:  men  might  be 
treated  like  a  wasp's  nest:  the  garrison  might  be 
smoked  into  torpor  and  death.  So  under  cover  of 
the  night  our  assailants  brought  together  a  large 
quantity  of  combustibles,  such  as  straw,  and  fagots, 
and  bamboos,  and  heaped  them  up  under  our  walls. 
Next  morning  these  inflammable  materials  were 
ignited,  and  on  the  burning  pile  were  thrown  all  the 
chillies — the  raw  material  of  cayenne  pepper — ^that 
could  be  culled  from  the  gardens  of  Arrah,  where 
they  were  growing  abundantly  in  aid  of  the  savoury 
dbhes  of  both  races.  The  pungency  of  the  smoke  so 
raised  was  distressing  to  the  besieged,  and  in  time 
they  might  have  been  suffocated  by  it ;  but,  not  for 
the  first  time  in  our  national  history,  a  providential 
wind  arose  and  frustrated  the  knavish  tricks  of  our 
opponents.  The  peppery  smoke  was  swept  away, 
before  it  had  grievously  attected  our  garrison ;  and 
the  only  tangible  result  of  the  attempt  was  that  the 
remains  of  an  adventurous  insurgent,  who  had  been 
active  in  the  creation  of  the  bonfire  that  was  to  haire 


smoked  our  garrison  to  death,  were  found  charred      1857. 
and  calcined  amidst  its  ashes.     A  bullet  from  our      •'^'^^• 
little  fortress  had  penetrated  the  pile  and  killed  the 
stoker  in  the  midst  of  his  work. 

Another  device  was  tried.  It  was  not  a  dainty 
one.  The  Sepoys  may  have  heard  of  the  use  of 
stink-pots.  But  it  was  not  easy  to  make  them ;  and 
they  thought  that  they  could  produce  the  same  re- 
sults in  a  simpler  manner.  The  horses  of  Herwald 
Wake  and  Vicars  Boyle  and  others  were  at  the 
mercy  of  the  enemy,  if  their  masters  were  not ;  and 
it  occurred  to  the  Sepoys  that  the  English  warriors 
might  be  subdued  by  their  own  steeds.  So  they 
shot  the  Arabs  where  they  stood,  hastily  picketed, 
and  left  their  carcasses  to  rot  under  the  walls  of 
our  fortress.*  It  was  calculated  that  the  delicate 
sensibilities  of  the  Sahib-logue  could  not  hold  out 
against  the  effluvium  of  the  putrefying  horseflesh, 
supplemented  by  a  few  corpses  of  Sepoys,  who  might 
more  materially  aid  the  siege  in  death  than  in  life. 
It  was,  indeed,  a  very  heavy  trial  of  their  powers  of 
endurance.  Unfortunately,  those  useful  scavengers, 
the  vultures  and  the  jackals,  who  would  soon  have 
left  only  bleached  skeletons,  as  studies  of  compara- 
tive anatomy  for  Dr.  Hally,  one  of  the  garrison,  were 
scared  away  by  the  incessant  firing  from  our  rifles 
and  carbines  and  fowling-pieces,  and  compelled  to 
glut  themselves  on  such  carrion  as  they  could  find 
at  a  distance.  But  again  a  favouring  breeze  sprung 
up,  and  swept  the  foul  stench  away  from  the  de- 
fenders. And  they  fought  on  none  the  worse  for 
any  of  these  devices. 

The  next  tactical  experiment  was  this.  The  sturdy 

*  The  horses  were  shot  at  the  commencement  of  tlie  siege,  aficr  our 
first  brush  with  the  enemy. 


130  THE  SIEGE  OF  AE&IH. 

1-.57.  veteran,  Kower  Singh,  had  dug  up  a  couple  of  guns  of 
^^''  small  calibre.  To  what  extent  the  soil  of  India  was 
fertile  with  root-crops  of  this  kind  it  is  difficult  to 
afi<:ertain  ;  but  it  is  certain  that,  in  many  parts  of  the 
country,  arms  of  various  kinds  were  hidden  under- 
ground, to  be  exhumed  when  occasion  might  require 
them.  So  the  old  Rajpoot  brought  these  buried 
treasures  to  the  surface.  It  was  said  afterwards,  as 
a  complaint  against  the  Governor-General,  who  had 
been  slow  to  pass  the  Act  restricting  the  sale  of 
arms,  that  these  guns  had  been  bought  in  Calcutta. 
The  truth  of  the  matter  is  as  I  have  stated  it.  It  is 
plain,  indeed,  that  if,  with  malice  prepense,  there  had 
been  a  purchase  of  guns  at  the  great  Presidency  city, 
it  would  not  have  escaped  the  sagacity  of  Kower  Singh 
that  guns  are  not  of  much  use  without  ammimition. 
But  it  happened  at  Arrah  that  the  old  Rajpoot  having 
dug  up  the  guns,  was  sorely  perplexed  by  want  of 
the  means  of  loading  them.  Only  a  very  few  round 
shot  could  be  found,  and  these  were  soon  exhausted. 
But  the  Natives  of  India  are  an  ingenious  people. 
Having  occupied  Mr.  Boyle's  house,  they  were  not 
slow  in  turning  its  contents  to  account.  They  had 
throAvn  up  a  battery  in  the  compound,  constructed 
out  of  the  most  substantial  bits  of  furniture  to  be 
found  in  the  sitting-rooms  and  bedrooms  of  the 
Engineer,  and  behind  this  they  had  sheltered  them- 
selves whilst  working  their  guns.  But  the  happiest 
thought  of  all  was  the  discovery  of  implements  of 
oflFensive  warfare  in  these  articles  of  domestic  utility. 
Whatever  metal  could  be  found  on  Boyle's  furniture 
was  promptly  converted  into  ammunition ;  and  it 
was  no  small  source  of  merriment  to  him  to  find  that 
the  enemy  were  firing  into  his  fortress  the  castors  of 
his  wife's  piano  and  his  own  easy-chair.  But  although 


the  assailants  did  the  best  that  they  could  with  their      1867. 
guns — soon  to  be  supplied  with  more  suitable  am-  ^" 

munition  —  and  tried  their  eflfect  from  diflFerent 
points,  including  the  roof  of  the  big  house,  they 
could  not  bombard  our  people  out  of  the  fortress. 

But  there  was  an  enemy  more  formidable  than 
the  Sepoy  battalions^ — ^more  formidable  than  Kower 
Singh  and  his  followers.  That  enemy  was  Time.  As 
days  passed  and  still  no  relief  came,  it  was  impossible 
altogether  to  suppress  the  thought  that  the  prospects 
of  the  besieged  were  gloomy.  They  fought  on  stoutly 
as  before  ;  and  they  talked  cheerfully  to  one  another ; 
but  as  they  saw  both  their  water  and  their  ammuni- 
tion running  short,  and  there  were  no  tidings  of  the 
looked-for  succours,  even  the  bravest  felt  the  gnaw- 
ings  of  inward  care.  They  had  heard  the  firing  on 
the  night  and  morning  of  Dunbar's  disaster,  and  had 
rightly  divined  that  the  first  attempt  at  relief  had 
failed.  Speculation  had  been  afterwards  turned  into 
certainty  by  the  arrival  of  a  wounded  Sikh  soldier, 
who  had  contrived  to  crawl  to  the  walls  of  our  for- 
tress, and  being  received  within  them,  told  the  sad 
story  of  the  repulse  of  our  relieving  force.  It 
seemed  scarcely  possible  that  they  would  be  left  to 
their  fate  ;  but  no  one  could  say  what  greater  exi- 
gencies elsewhere  might  prevent  the  timely  assistance 
which  alone  could  save  them.*  Aid  might  come — 
but  too  late.  All  they  could  look  to  with  any  cer- 
tainty was  their  own  audacious  self-reliance — their 
magnificent  fertility  of  resource.  If  ball-cartridges 
were  scarce,  could  they  not  be  manufactured  ?  If 
water  failed  them,  could  they  not  sink  a  well?     So 

*  It  should  be  stated  that   the  to  make  their  way  to  some  ford  on 

garrison    had    determined,    in    the  the  river  Soanc.     But  this  a  cor- 

eveutof  succours  not  arriving  before  respondent  describes  to  me  as  "a 

the  exiiaustion  of  their  provisions,  forlorn  chance." 

K  2 


]:i'2  THE  SIFj.L  oF  ARRAH. 

]^.'»7.      soiiir;  took  to  castin^^  bullets,  aiul  some  to  boring  the 
•'•^'J-       rarrlj  for  wat'-r.     And   soon  the  eves  of  the  Sikhs 
\v(:rf:  '/hv](](:iu-*\  witli   the  sight  of  the  welcome  sup- 
j;Ii'.T.     If  every  bulht   had  its    billet,    there  would 
\iii\(:  }i'':ii  cartridL'es  euouirh  of  home  manufiicture  to 
4:rar':  ih^:  I)inai>« iiv  ivgiments  altogether  :  and  there 
v.;j-i   ijf}f}f\   v.ater   at   a  depth   of  eighteen  feet  from 
tlj'!  riirfii'.",  dug  down  from  a  chamber  beneath  the 
Ijou'-'-.  V}  l;i-t  out  any  possible  length  of  siege.     The 
*l'r/'/\h'/,  too.  had   double  uses.      Earth  was  wanted 
:jlf/i'/t  :j^  miir.-h  as  water,  for  our  defences  wercgrow- 
uiy  v.t  iihty  inidc.T  the  i\vv  of  the  enemy,  and  the  soil 
t/jiir  t  \t'ii\'iit('il  was  very  s<nTiceable  for  earthwork?. 
I  Jut.  »li<n:  v.jis  still  anotlier  diliieultv  to  be  encouu- 
f'l'd.       lioyl'r    had    ])rovisioned    the    garrison    with 
;'i;iin   of  all   kinds.     JJut   Englishmen  cannot   work 
d;iy  riiid  ni;/ht,  i*tr  any  length  of  time,  upon  rice  and 
'  liijj;;itti<'-,      T\i(:    want   of  the  accustomed   animal 
f'/'id'iti  \n"rii]i  to  be  severely  felt.     But  how  Avere 
f|,«.  /iii:d*d  supplies  of  butcher's  meat  to  be  provided? 
,'.'/m'-  ;li';<p  were  still  browsing  about  in  the  com- 
P'iund,  wondering  why  they  did  not  get  their  wonted 
;dl'/'.van''«'s  of  grain  to  fatten  them.  But  it  would  have 
I/' « jj  rM;i-tain  death  to  our  peojde  to  have  gone  out  to 
•  jjpture  the  animals,  except  under  cover  of  the  night, 
wlji-n  the  enemy  might  not  be  on  the  alert.     So  a 
K'^i  ruj'nal  sortie  was  determined  upon  in  aid  of  our 
».iijj/i y  lh*sh-pots.   The  sally  was  as  successful  as  could 
iiii\t  im-\i  d<;.sired.     Four  sheep,  ]iot  much  the  worse 
|i<j  liit-hl  limitation  to  pure  pasturage,  Avere  brought 
ill   niui'li-X  isvi'.iii  rejoicing.     Contemporary  history  is 
i:\li. hi  n.-.  hi  llie  manner  in  which,  in  the  absence  of 
bnh  li»-rl.v   ixjieriences,  the   live   animals  were   eon- 
vi:rli:ti  iiilo  joints ;  but  we  may  be  sure  that  this  diffi. 
•'illly  wnti  njilliiMtly  overcome  like  the  rest,  and  that 


the  roast  mutton  was  none  the  Avorse  for  the  absence       1857. 
of  any  professional  dissection  of  the  carcass.  ^^' 

But  the  most  formidable  peril  of  all  that  threatened 
the  lives  of  the  garrison  was  this.  Having  tried 
every  other  means  of  expelling  the  English  and  their 
allies  from  their  little  fortress,  the  enemy  bethought 
themselves  of  mining  operations.  There  were  signs 
of  this,  too  significant  to  be  neglected.  So  again 
Boyle's  engineering  knowledge  was  brought  vigor- 
ously into  work  to  frustrate  the  designs  of  the  as- 
sailants. If  the  enemy  could  mine,  the  besieged 
could  countermine.  Rapidly  and  successfully  the 
work  proceeded  to  its  completion ;  and  it  was  felt 
that  the  safety  of  the  fortress  was  secured.  It  was 
subsequently  proved  that  the  suspected  danger  was 
not  imaginary.  The  enemy's  mine  "had  reached 
our  foundations,  and  a  canvas  tube,  filled  with  gun- 
powder, was  lying  handy  to  blow  us  up."* 

And  thus  a  week  passed.  The  second  Sunday  August  2. 
came  round.  From  their  look-out  places  the  de- 
fenders could  see,  on  that  morning,  that  there  was 
unusual  excitement  among  the  people  of  Arrah. 
Something  evidently  had  happened,  or  was  going  to 
happen,  which  might  for  good  or  for  evil  have  an 
important  influence  on  the  fate  of  the  garrison. 
There  was  unwonted  commotion  in  the  vicinity  of 
the  town,  "  whence  crowds  of  people  were  hurrying 
with  carts,  elephants,  camels,  and  horses,  laden  with 
plunder."t  The  fire  of  the  enemy  was  not  silent, 
but  it  had  somewhat  slackened,  and  but  few  of  the 
besiegers  were  to  be   seen.      Then  as  the  day  ad- 

♦  Report  of  Mr.  H.  C.  Wake,  would  have  broken  into  our  coun- 

The  writer,  however,  adds  :  "  I  do  termine." 

not  think   they   would    have   sue-  t  Account  of  the  Siege  of  Arrah, 

cceded,  for  their  powder  was  bad,  written  to   illustrate  Mr.  Tayler'g 

and  another  stroke  of  their  pickaxe  picture. 


1857.  vanced,  tlie  ears  of  the  garrison  were  strained  to 
August  2.  catch  what  seemed  to  be  the  sound  of  a  distant  can- 
nonade, and  they  asked  each  other  what  was  it3 
meaning.  It  might  be  the  sound  of  a  coming  de- 
liverance, or  it  might  be  a  portent  of  greater  danger. 
They  listened  and  listened ;  they  watched  and 
watched;  and,  as  the  day  advanced,  all  outward 
interpretations  seemed  to  be  in  favour  of  the  be- 
sieged. It  was  plain  that  the  enemy  were  drawing 
off — that  they  had  other  work  in  hand;  that  the 
guns  which  had  been  heard  were  the  guns  of  a  re- 
lieving force,  and  that  the  Sepoy  regiments  had  gone 
out  to  meet  it.  Before  the  sun  had  set  the  siege  was 
August  3.  at  an  end.  Next  morning  they  welcomed  their  de- 

Major  How  the  deliverance  came  to  pass  must  now  be 

lucen  ^yre.  ^^^^      There  was  in  the  Company's  Army  an  officer 

named  Vincent  Eyre.  He  Avas  a  Brevet-Major  of 
Bengal  Artillery  in  the  prime  of  his  life ;  but,  though 
as  a  subaltern  he  had  come  out  of  the  disastrous  war 
in  Afghanistan  Avith  a  good  reputation,  both  as  a 
soldier  and  as  a  military  historian,  and  had  subse- 
quently been  selected  to  organise  and  to  command 
the  Artillery  of  the  new  Gwalior  Contingent,  the 
fortunes  of  the  service  had  given  him  nothing  better 
in  1857,  on  his  return  from  a  visit  to  England  on 
sick  furlough,  than  a  company  of  European  gunners 
with  a  horse  field  battery  of  six  guns.  With  this  he 
had  been  sent  into  the  obscurity  of  British  Burmah 
at  the  beginning  of  the  year  ;  but  the  convulsions  in 
Upper  India  called  him  and  his  battery  away  from 
the  outlying  province,  and  he  arrived  off  Calcutta  in 
the  midst  of  the  great  panic  of  the  14th  of  June,  and 

MAJOR  £TRE.  135 

at  once  took  the  measure  of  the  crisis.  It  was  plain  1857. 
that  there  was  work  for  him  to  do,  and  he  was  eager  ^^^J  ^^-2^- 
to  do  it.  Intelligence  of  fresh  disastei's,  each  more 
grievous  than  the  last,  was  coming  in  every  day. 
There  was  no  military  station  at  which  Eyre,  Avith  his 
sixty  European  gunners  and  his  Light  Field  Battery, 
would  not  have  been  a  valuable  accession  to  our 
strength ;  but  it  was  hard,  amidst  so  many  imploring 
cries  for  help,  to  determine  to  which  first  to  respond. 
On  the  10th  of  July  the  battery  was  embarked  on  a 
river-flat,  and  was  being  tugged  up  the  Ganges  on  its 
way  to  Allahabad. 

On  the  evening  of  the  25th  of  July  the  steamer  was  Eyre  impro- 
off  Dinapore.  That  very  evening  had  witnessed  the  f^*^  ^  ^^^ 
mutiny  and  the  flight  of  Lloyd's  regiments.  So  Eyre 
landed  at  once,  and  offered  his  services  to  the  General, 
who  accepted  the  loan  of  three  guns  for  the  night. 
But  next  morning  they  were  re-embarked,  and  the 
Artillery  company  went  on  its  way  up  the  river, 
with  instructions,  if  occasion  should  require,  to 
succour  the  station  of  Ghazepore,  Between  Dinapore 
and  Ghazepore  lies  the  town  of  Buxar,  near  which 
the  Company  had  one  of  their  breeding-studs  for 
horses,  with  an  extensive  establishment,  but  neither 
any  Sepoy  regiments  nor  any  European  troops.  There 
Eyre  learnt  that  the  Dinapore  mutineers  had  crossed 
the  Soane,  and  had  marched  upon  Arrah,  where  the 
lives  of  all  the  European  residents  were  in  imminent 
danger.  So  he  at  once  determined  to  rescue  them. 
A  company  of  Artillery  alone  could  not  accomplish 
this.  He  resolved,  therefore,  to  steam  on  to  Ghaze- 
pore, and  to  borrow  or  barter  a  handful  of  European 
Infantry.  At  the  latter  place  was  a  Native  Infantry 
regiment,  watched  by  only  a  hundred  men  of  the 
Seventy-eighth   Highlanders.      It   was    not  strange 


1867.  that  there  should  be  some  reluctance  to  part  from 
^^^*  any  of  these  ;  for  Ghazepore  was  one  of  the  places  on 
the  river  that  was  most  in  danger.  Although  the 
bulk  of  the  coin  in  the  Treasury  had  been  removed, 
there  was  great  wealth  of  opium  in  the  Company's 
godowns,  and  a  great  temptation,  tlierefore,  to  a 
rising  of  the  Sepoys.  But  a  couple  of  well-manned 
guns,  with  an  Artillery  officer  to  command  them, 
might  be  considered  to  contribute  as  much  to  the 
safety  of  the  place  as  twenty-five  foot  soldiers.  So  a 
bargain  was  effected.  Eyre  landed  his  only  subaltern, 
with  two  guns,  and  the  right  complement  of  gunners, 
and  took  on  board  with  him  his  little  party  of  High- 
landers, ripe  and  ready  for  the  work  before  them. 
He  then  turned  back  to  Buxar,  where  he  had  left 
some  high-spirited  officers,  as  eager  as  himself  to  go  to 
the  relief  of  Arrah,  who  had  promised  to  beat  up  for 
volunteers,  and  to  do  all  that  they  could  to  help  him. 
But  the  Captain  of  the  steamer  had  his  duty  to  per- 
form as  well  as  the  Commander  of  the  Artillery,  and 
that  duty  was  to  go  forward,  not  to  go  backward. 
There  was  a  heavy  penalty  payable  to  Government 
for  every  day's  delay,  and  his  destination  was  Allaha- 
bad. Eyre,  however,  was  not  a  man  to  shrink  from 
responsibility  of  any  kind,  so  he  took  upon  himself  to 
hold  the  Captain  and  his  employers  harmless;  and  on 
his  arrival  at  Buxar,  put  the  guarantee  in  official 
documentary  shape.  There,  to  his  delight,  he  found 
that  a  detachment  of  Her  Majesty's  Fifth  Fusiliers — 
a  hundred  and  sixty  strong — had  arrived  during  his 
absence.  They  were  under  the  command  of  Captain 
L'Estrange.  To  him  Eyre  at  once  made  requisition  ; 
and  again  was  met  with  the  question  of  responsibility. 
There  are  many  men  more  afraid  of  the  Government 
which  they  serve  than  of  the  Enemy  whom  they  ar^ 

eyre's  preparations.  137 

sent  to  encounter.  Eyre  was  not  one  of  them.  He  1857. 
addressed,  therefore,  a  public  letter  to  Captain  '^^J^- 
L'Estrange,  ordering  him  to  place  the  detachment  of 
Fusiliers  at  his  disposal,  and  to  make  ready  for  a 
march  upon  Arrah.  This  done,  he  had  to  provide 
draught  cattle  for  his  guns.  He  had  necessarily  left  the 
horses  of  his  battery  at  Burraah ;  and  now  he  had  to 
fall  back  upon  the  old  rejected  beasts  of  burden,  and 
to  take  bullocks  from  the  plough  to  flounder  on  with 
his  field-pieces.  His  ammunition-boxes  and  his  com- 
missariat stores  he  placed  on  a  number  of  country 
carts  ;  and  by  the  evening  of  the  30th  of  July  he  was 
fully  equipped  for  the  march. 

The  twenty-five  Highlanders  borrowed  from  Ghaze- 
pore  having  been  ordered  to  return  to  that  station, 
where  they  were  much  needed.  Eyre's  force  consisted 
of  a  hundred  and  fifty  men  of  the  Fifth  Fusiliers, 
fourteen  mounted  Volunteers,  and  thirty-four  Artil- 
lerymen, with  three  guns — in  all,  two  hundred  fight- 
ing men,  wanting  two.  Captain  Hastings,  whose 
acquaintance  Eyre  had  made  on  his  first  visit  to 
Buxar,  and  who  had  helped  him  to  beat  up  for 
volunteers,*  was  appointed  staff  officer  of  the  iforce. 
At  five  o'clock  on  the  evening  of  the  30th  of  July,  the 
little  party  set  out  in  high  spirits,  never  doubting  the 
issue.  Being  one  of  those  men  who  are  by  nature 
inclined  ^' just  to  scorn  the  consequence  and  just  to  do 
the  thing,"  Eyre  reported  to  Divisional  General  Lloyd 
what  he  was  going  to  do,  and  straightway  proceeded 
to  do  it,  leaving  the  sanction  of  higher  authority  to 
follow  after  him,  or  not  to  come  at  all,  as  the  case 
might  be. 

♦  Eyre  says  in  a  family  letter:  entered  enthusiastically  into  my 
"  The  Honourable  Captain  Hastinffa  plans,  as  likewise  did  Lieutenant 
(as  fine  a  feUow  as  erer  breathea)    Jackson  in  charge  of  the  stud." 

138  TU£  SI£6£  OF  AKRAU. 

1857.  After  five  or  six  -weeks  of  heavy  rain,  the  country 

July— Aug.  ijet^veen  Buxar  and  Arrah  was  not  likely  to  be  very 

The  march  to^  1.1     .xi.  c  -Ji. 

Arrah.  favourable  to  the  passage  of  gun-carriages  and  heavy- 

laden  carts.  The  bullocks,  too,  resented  the  new 
kind  of  work  that  had  been  imposed  upon  them,  and 
were  not  easily  persuaded,  or  stimulated  practically, 
to  recognise  the  necessity  of  prompt  movement.  Still 
Eyre  contrived  to  make  progress;  and  after  a  two 
days'  march  he  came  in  front  of  the  enemy.  On  the 
second  day  he  had  learnt  the  disaster  that  had  over- 
taken Dunbar's  relieving  force.  This  had  increased 
his  eagerness  to  reach  his  destination  and  to  release 
our  beleaguered  people.  It  was  plain  to  him  now 
that  Providence  had  assigned  this  good  work  to  him, 
and,  despite  the  odds  against  him,  he  never  doubted 
its  successful  accomplishment. 
August  2.  In  the  early  dawn  of  Sunday,  the  2nd  of  August, 
he  had  just  commenced  his  third  morning's  march, 
when  the  familiar  notes  of  the  "  assembly,"  as 
sounded  by  our  buglers  in  the  Company's  Canton- 
ments, came  from  a  wood  in  his  front ;  and  soon  his 
two  hundred  English  fighting  men  were  in  the  pre- 
sence of  thousands  of  the  enemy.  It  was  plain  that 
they  were  extending  themselves  on  both  sides,  so  as 
to  outflank  and  to  surround  us.  So  Eyre  drew  up 
his  force  and  offered  them  battle.  There  were  three 
things  now  in  our  favour  to  counterbalance  the  im- 
mense disparity  of  numbers ;  we  had  Artillery,  the 
enemy  had  none;  our  Infantry  were  armed  with 
Enfield  rifles,  whilst  the  insurgents  had  only  Brown 
Bess ;  and  we  had  a  Commander  equally  skilful  and 
intrepid.  The  well-directed  fire  of  the  guns  soon 
disconcerted  the  insurgents ;  and  the  skirmishers  of 
the  Fifth  Fusiliers,  pressing  forward,  sent  such  mcB* 
sages  of  death  to  them,  with  unerring  aim  from  1 
distances,  that  the  Sepoys  were  not  minded  to 


vance.  Profiting  by  this,  Eyre  concentrated  his  fire  1857. 
upon  their  centre,  and  on  the  grand  old  principle  of  ^^f^^- 
aut  viani  inveniam  aut  faciam^  cleared  the  way  and 
marched  through  them  with  all  his  baggage.  Having 
extricated  himself  from  the  wood,  he  pushed  forward 
towards  the  village  of  Beebee-gunj,  which  lay  on  his 
road  to  Arrah.  But  there  the  enemy  had  destroyed 
the  bridge,  by  which  alone  he  could  pass  a  deep 
stream,  intersecting  his  route ;  so  he  was  compelled 
to  make  a  flank  movement,  which  brought  him  clear 
of  the  nullah  and  on  to  the  works  of  the  unfinished 
railway  on  the  direct  line  to  Arrah.  Meanwhile,  the 
Sepoy  regiments  were  marching  down  on  the  opposite 
side  of  the  stream,  eager  to  intercept  his  further  ad- 
vance, whilst  Kower  Singh,  with  a  large  body  of 
armed  retainers,  was  following  his  track.  It  was 
plain  now  that  another  battle,  and  a  harder  one  than 
the  first,  was  inevitable  before  the  end  of  morning 
prayer  in  our  churches. 

The  line  of  railway  gained.  Eyre  drew  up  his  force, 
and  the  fight  speedily  commenced.  Awed  by  the 
foretaste  they  had  had  in  the  morning  of  our  Enfield 
rifles  and  our  field-guns,  the  enemy  again  sought 
shelter  in  a  wood,  from  which  they  poured  a  galling 
fire  on  our  people.  Our  want  of  numbers  was  now 
severely  felt.  There  was  a  general  want  of  fighting 
men  to  contend  with  the  multitude  of  the  enemy, 
and  there  was  a  special  want,  almost  as  great,  which 
rendered  the  service  of  a  single  man,  in  that  con- 
juncture, well-nigh  as  important  as  a  company  of 
fusiliers.  Eyre  had  left  his  only  Artillery  subaltern 
at  Ghazepore,  and  was  compelled,  therefore,  himself 
to  direct  the  fire  of  his  guns  when  he  would  fain  have 
been  directing  the  general  operations  of  his  force. 
More  than   once   the   forward   movements   of  the 

the  guns  without  support ;  and  the 

A-  *. 


1857.       Sepoys,  seeing  their  opportunity,  had  made  a  rush 
Augusts,    upon  the   battery,  but  had  been   driven  back  by 
showers  of  grape.     Another  charge  made  in  greater 
force,  and  the  guns  might,  perhaps,  be  lost  to  us. 
The  Infantry  were  fighting  stoutly  and  steadily,  but 
they  could  not  make  an  impression  on  those  vastly 
superior  numbers,  aided  by  the  advantage  of  their 
position.      The   staff  officer,   Hastings,  indeed,  had 
brought  word  that  the  Fusiliers  were  giving  way. 
The  moment  was  a  critical  one.     Nothing  now  was 
so  likely  to  save  us  as  the  arbitrament  of  the  cold 
steel.     So  Eyre  issued  orders  for  a  bayonet-charge. 
With  the  utmost  alacrity,  Hastings  carried  back  the 
order  to  the  Commander  of  the  Infantry;  but  not  im- 
mediately finding  L'Estrange,  who  was  in  another 
part  of  the  field,  and  seeing  that  there  was  no  time 
to   be  lost,    he    "  collected    every   available    man," 
placed    himself    at   their    head,     and    issued    the 
stirring  order  to  charge.      L'Estrange,   meanwhile, 
had  come  up  with  another  body  of  Fusiliers,  and  the 
whole,  sending  up  as  they  went  a  right  good  English 
cheer,  cleared  the  stream,  which  at  this  point  had 
tapered  down  to   the   breadth   of  a  few  feet,   and 
charged  the  surprised  and  panic-stricken  multitude 
of  Sepoys.  It  was  nothing  that  they  had  our  numbers 
twenty  times  told.     They  turned  and  fled  in  con- 
fusion before  the  British  bayoneteers ;   whilst  Eyre 
poured  in  his  grape,  round  after  round,  upon  the  fly- 
ing masses.     The  rout  was  complete.     They  never 
rallied.     And  the  road  to  Arrah  was  left  as  clear  as 
though  there  had  been  no  mutiny  at  Dinapore — ^no 
revolt  in  Behar.* 

*  Among  the   foremost    in   the  been  under  hot  fire  in  the  capture  of 

charge  under  L'Estrange  was  Arthur  the  Redan  at  Sebastopol.    I  am  told 

Scott,  then  a  young  Captain  in  the  that  he  said  that  this  daj's  work  was 

same  regiment,  who  had  recently  far  the  more  trying  of  the  two. 


So  they  marched  on  along  the  line  of  the  railway  1857. 
until,  as  the  shades  of  evening  were  falling  upon  Augusts, 
them,  they  came  upon  a  rapid  stream — another  ^®j^/* 
branch  of  the  Beenas  nullah — over  which  Eyre  could 
not  cross  his  guns.  It  was  necessary,  therefore,  after 
some  fashion  or  other,  to  improvise  a  bridge  for  the 
occasion.  It  was  a  fortunate  circumstance  that  the 
railway  works  supplied  abundance  of  bricks.  To 
span  the  stream  with  a  bridge  of  masonry  in  a  single 
night  was  an  effort  beyond  the  reach  of  human  power. 
But  by  casting  large  numbers  of  bricks  into  the 
nullah  they  so  narrowed  the  extent  of  water  to  be 
passed,  that  by  the  help  of  the  country  carts,  which 
they  had  brought  with  them,  they  formed  a  wooden 
bridge,  across  which  the  guns  and  the  baggage  were 
conveyed  in  safety  ;  and  on  the  morning  of  the  3rd 
of  August  they  entered  Arrah  and  marched  upon 
Boyle's  little  house.  The  rapture  of  the  moment, 
when  Vincent  Eyre  learnt  that  he  was  in  time  to  save 
the  heroic  garrison,  must  have  been  more  than 
enough  to  compensate  him  for  all  the  sufferings  of 
his  long  captivity  in  Afghanistan.  And  it  would  be 
hard  to  say,  when  that  little  band  of  warriors,  drawn 
from  the  two  great  services,  met  each  other  on  that 
Monday  morning,  unshaven  and  unwashed,  with  tlie 
marks  of  battle  on  their  faces,  who  were  the  prouder 
of  the  two — the  Deliverers  or  the  Delivered. 

At  Arrah,  Eyre  halted  for  a  little  space.     He  had  Eyre's  march 

•^  1        n  t  '  /»  -.on  J  ugaes-^ 

need  to  recruit  the  strength  of  his  weary  torce ;  and  pore, 
he  had  some  accounts  to  settle  with  mutineers  and 
rebels,  otherwise  than  on  the  field  of  battle.     A  mer- 
ciful,  humane  man,  Vincent  Eyre  was  not  one  to 
delight  in  "  indiscriminate  hangings ;"  but  there  were 

-r^  >         '-^    *      '..    fc-J-    '..J 

142  THE  SIEGE  OF  AR&AH. 

1857.  stern  duties  to  be  executed  within  the  pale  of  right- 
August,  eous  retribution ;  there  were  proved  culprits  to  be 
executed,  and  there  were  populations  to  be  disarmed. 
A  week  was  spent  in  this  work  and  in  the  better 
equipment  of  his  t  roops  ;  and  then  Eyre,  reinforced 
by  two  hundred  men  of  the  Tenth  Foot  from  Dina- 
pore,  and  a  hundred  of  Rattray's  Sikhs,  prepared 
himself  again  to  take  the  field  against  the  rebels  of 
Behar.  With  him  went  Herwald  Wake,  at  the  head 
of  the  fifty  Sikhs  who  had  formed  the  bulk  of  the 
old  Arrah  garrison  ;*  whilst  others  of  the  European 
defenders  enrolled  themselves  as  troopers  in  Jack- 
son's Volunteer  Horse. 

Kower  Singh  had  taken  up  his  position  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Jugdespore,  where  he  owned  an 
ancestral  castle  or  mansion,  of  large  dimensions  and 
considerable  strength.  Within  its  walls  he  had  stored 
up  vast  quantities  of  grain,  the  collection  of  which 
had  grievously  afflicted  the  people,  and  he  had  brought 
together  munitions  of  war  qn  a  scale  sufficient  to 
enable  him  to  stand  a  protracted  siege.  It  might  well 
have  been  asked,   "  Who  would  have  thought  that 

the  old  man  had  so  much  blood  in  him  ?"  He  had 
obviously  made  great  preparations  for  a  campaign  ; 

and  there  had  flocked  to  his  standard  not  only  the 
Sepoys  of  the  revolted  regiments,  but  men  who  were 
on  furlough  from  other  corps,  and  even  the  old  pen- 
sioners, who  were  living  on  the  bounty  of  the  Com- 
pany, in  Behar.  It  was  shown  by  the  accoutrements 
found  upon  the  field  that  men  of  no  less  than  nine 
regiments  had  fought  against  Eyre  at  Beebee-gunj, 
And  this  was  the  feeble,  sick  old  man,  who  when 

*  There  was  glorious  compensa-    begged  that  none  might  be  sent  to 
tion  in  this,  for  Wake,  before  the    Arrah. 
siege,  bad  distrusted  the  Sikbs,  and 


William  Tayler  had  invited  him  to  Patna,  could  not       1857. 
stir  from  his  couch.     This  was  the  friendly  "  Baboo"      August. 
whose  fidelity,  in  the  fulness  of  our  national  self- 
complacency,  had  not  been  questioned  or  suspected, 
and  who  might  have  arrayed  himself  on  our  side  if 
he  had  been  better  treated. 

On  the  afternoon  of  the  11th  of  August,  Eyre's   August  11. 
force  commenced  its  march  to  Jugdespore.     On  the  |'*ie  fight  at 

^  ,  ,  o       1  Jugdespore. 

following  morning  they  found  themselves  before  a 
"formidable  jungle,"  covering  the  approaches  to  the 
town.  The  enemy  were  drawn  up  near  the  village 
of  DuUoor — the  Sepoy  battalions  being  on  the  right 
and  Kower  Singh's  Irregular  levies  on  the  left,  but 
so  sheltered  by  broken  ground  and  dense  jungle  as 
to  be  scarcely  discernible  by  our  people  as  they 
advanced.  But  the  fire  of  our  skirmishers  presently 
revealing  their  position,  a  shower  of  grape  was  poured 
in  upon  them  from  our  nine-pounders ;  and  then  the 
enemy,  after  some  temporary  confusion,  began  to 
shift  their  line  to  the  right.  On  this  the  men  of  the 
Tenth  Foot,  maddened  by  recollections  of  the  past, 
became  almost  ungovernable  in  their  eagerness  to 
fling  themselves  on  the  insurgents.  It  would  not 
have  been  wise  to  restrain  such  impetuosity,  so  the 
word  was  given  to  charge ;  and  on  they  went,  headed 
by  Captain  Patterson,  with  a  ringing  cheer,  hoping 
that  the  enemy  would  stand  the  shock  of  the  attack. 
But  when  our  people,  showing  such  a  front  as  to 
portend  that,  notwithstanding  the  fewness  of  our 
numbers,  there  could  be  nothing  but  death  and  de- 
struction in  the  impact,  were  within  some  sixty  yards 
of  the  enemy,  the  Sepoys  turned  and  fled,  some  seek- 
ing safety  in  the  jungle,  some  the  shelter  of  the  walls 
of  DuUoor.  And  thither  the  Tenth  pushed  on  and 
pursued  them. 




.  I 



.  ■ 

1 1 







Meanwhile,  Kower  Singh's  levies  had  been  closing 
August  n.  j^  ^p^j^  ^j^^  j,jgj^^  ^^^y.  ^f  j.yj.^,g  f^j,^^^  ^^^  L,j,g^ 

trange's  Infantry,  with  Wake's  Sikhs  and  the  Volun- 
teers, were  gallantly  holding  them  in  check.     Hap- 
pily, the  howitzer  had  been  left  with  this  part  of  the 
British  column,  and,  directed  by  Staff- Sergeant  Mel- 
ville, it  opened    upon   the  rebels   with   destructive 
effect.      The  result  was  that  ere  the   fighting   had 
lasted  more  than  an  hour,  both  the  Sepoys  and  the 
Irregulars  were  in  full  retreat  upon  Jugdespore,  pur- 
sued  by   Patterson   and   L'Estrange.      Two   of  the 
enemy's  guns  fell  into  our  hands  during  the  pursuit ; 
and  an  hour  after  noon,  the  British  force  had  entered 
the   stronghold    of  Kower  Singh.      The  town  was 
almost  deserted,  and  of  the  rebel  Rajah  himself  no 
tidings  could  be  learnt.     But  on  the  following  day 
it  was  known  that  Kower  Singh  had  deserted  his 
stronghold,  just  before  Eyre's  arrival  under  its  walls, 
and  had  sought  refuge  in  the  jungle.     There,   at  a 
distance  of  some  seven  miles  from   Jugdespore,   he 
had  an  umbrageous  retreat,  to  which,  it  was  reported, 
he  had  betaken  himself ;  so  L'Estrange  was  sent  to 
beat  up  his  quarters.     But  whilst  the  old  Rajpoot 
knew  every  path  and  winding  of  the  jungle,  and 
could  rapidly  make  his  way  through  it,  the  English 
oflScer,  having  no  such  knowledge,  was  comparatively 
slow  of  movement ;  and  ere  he  reached  the  place  of 
refuge,  Kower  Singh  had  fled  onwards  to  Sasseram, 
with  the  remnant  of  the   Fortieth    Regiment.     So 
L'Estrange   destroyed    the   evacuated   asylum,    and 
marched  back  to  Jugdespore. 
Destruction        Having  found  good  quarters  for  his  force  in  the 
^nrp"^^^^"     commodious  residence  of  Kower  Singh,  Ejtc  halted 
them  there  for  a  little  while,  determined  to  leave 
no  shelter  for  the  enemy  after  his  departure  from 


it.  He  undermined  all  the  chief  buildings,  and  1857. 
whilst  the  work  was  going  on,  he  distributed  among  August, 
the  villagers  the  large  supplies  of  grain  that  had 
been  stored  up  in  the  Rajah's  mansion,*  and  de- 
stroyed all  the  munitions  of  war  tliat  he  could  not 
take  away  with  him.  On  the  15th  of  August  every- 
thing was  ready  for  the  explosion.  About  mid-day 
the  force  marched  out  of  the  Jugdespore  quarters, 
and  soon  afterwards  the  mines  were  sprung.  All 
the  principal  buildings  within  Kower  Singh's  pre- 
mises were  soon  heaps  of  blackened  ruins;  and  a 
Hindoo  temple,  on  the  Rajah's  estate,  shared-  the  fate 
of  the  other  edifices. 

The  destruction  of  the  temple  excited  some  ad- 
verse comment.  Major  Eyre  was  censured  for  this 
act  of  severity  by  the  Commander-in-Chief  of  the 
Army.f  But  it  is  probable  that  the  case  was  not  un- 
derstood at  Head-Quarters.  The  temple  which  Eyre 
destroyed  was  not  an  ancient  fane,  held  in  veneration 
for  ages  by  the  people  of  the  surrounding  country. 
It  was  little  more  than  what  we  are  wont  to  describe 
as  a  "'  hobby"  or  "  folly" — an  edifice  recently  built,  at 
considerable  cost,  by  Kower  Singh  himself.  It  was, 
indeed,  a  sort  of  private  chapel,  or  pantheon,  by  the 

*  lu  Major  Eyre's  statement,  as  that  Kower  Singh  had  seized  all  their 

taken    down    by    Mr.   Gabbins  at  storesof  grain  to  hoard  up  at  Jugdes- 

Lucknow,  it  appears  that  *'  Kower  pore,  and  the  quantity  found  seemed 

Singh  had  collected  within  his  walls  to  justify  their  complaint." 
stores  of  grain  sufficient  to  have  sub-         j   No    such    censure    was    ever 

sisted  20,i)00  men /or  tix  months."     I  transmitted  to  Major  Eyre  by  his 

thought  that  there  must  be  some  ex-  superiors ;  but  Sir  Colin  Campbell, 

aggeration  iu  this.    But  Sir  Vincent  while  expressing  his  satisfaction  to 

Kyre  has  assured  me  that  tliis  was  the  Governor-General  at  Major  Eyre's 

the  calculntion  made  at  the  time  by  military  proceedings,   hesitated    to 

the  Commissariat  officers  and  civil  extend  his  praise  to  so  unusual  an 

officials :  "  Supposing  each  man  to  act  as  the  destruction  of  a  temple, 

consume  one  pound  of  rice  per  diem.  Lord  Canning,  with  a  fuller  know- 

the  total  supply  for  six  montiis  for  ledge  of  the  circumstances,  approved 

20,000  men  would  be  45,000  maunds.  of  it. 
The  surrounding  villagers  complnined 

VOL.  in.  L 




1857.  erection  of  which — at  least  as  Eyre  believed — the 
August,  old  Rajpoot  sought  to  glorify  himself  rather  than  the 
deities  which  he  had  idolised  there.  The  distinction 
thus  drawn  must  not  be  denied  its  just  weight.  It  is 
one  thing  to  destroy  an  ancient  religious  edifice,  in 
which  generations  after  generations  have  worshipped, 
and  another  to  demolish  a  modern  fane,  reared,  in 
ostentation,  by  a  living  individual.  Kower  Singh 
was,  doubtless,  grievously  pained  and  shocked  by  the 
demolition  of  his  cherished  temple ;  but  the  feelings 
of  the  peaceful  inhabitants  of  the  country  were  not 
outraged  by  it,  as  they  would  have  been  by  the  de- 
struction of  a  popular  shrine.* 

The  destruction  of  Kower  Singh's  stronghold  was 
in  effect  the  termination  of  Eyre's  short  and  brilliant 
campaign.  He  marched  on  the  16th  in  pursuit  of 
the  enemy  towards  Sasseram ;  but  he  received  on 
the  way  instructions  to  return  to  Arrah — his  force 
being  required  for  other  and  more  urgent  service. 
But  already  in  that  fortnight  he  had  done  such  work 
as  fairly  to  secure  for  him  a  place  among  the  fore- 
most soldiers  of  the  war.  He  had  rescued  from  cer- 
tain destruction  our  beleaguered  people.  He  had 
broken,  at  least  for  a  time,  the  neck  of  the  rebellion 
in  Behar.  He  had  dispersed  the  Sepoy  mutineers, 
and  shown,  brilliantly  and  unmistakably,  that  there 
was  still  a  robust  vitality  in  the  British  Army,  and 
that  the  sun  of  the  Company's  ''  iklihaV  had  not  set 
for  ever  in  disaster  and  disgrace.     He  had  restored 

•  Since  the  words  in  tlie  text 
were  written  I  have  clianced  upon 
the  following  passage  in  a  private 
letter  from  Sir  Vincent  Eyre  to  Mr. 
Tayler :  "  It  was  curious  to  see  how 
the  Hindoos  in  my  camp  seemed 
rather  to  delight  than  otherwise  '\\\ 
the  sacrilege  of  its  destruction.    I 

suppose  the  fact  is  tliat  they' care 
as  a  rule  only  for  public  fanes  such  as 
Juggernauth,  and  are  indifferent  as 
to  the  fate  of  private  ones,  built  like 
this  one  for  self-glorification.  I  re- 
garded the  act  at  the  time  as  neces- 
sary to  injure  Kower  Singli's  pres- 
tige, and  I  think  it  had  that  effect." 

« • 

RESULTS  OP  eyre's  VICTORIES.  147 

tranquillity  and  confidence  to  the  British  residents  in  1867. 
districts  where  before  there  had  been  excitement  and  August. 
alarm.  And  over  and  above  these  local  influences, 
there  was  the  great  fact  that  these  successes  opened 
out  our  communications,  by  road  and  river,  with  the 
capital,  which  otherwise  would  have  been  disastrously 
closed.  These  were  the  results  palpable  at  the  mo- 
ment of  victory.  It  was  left  for  time  to  develop  the 
full  benefits  of  Eyre's  noble  exploits.  What  those 
who  followed  him  in  the  track  of  victory  owed  to  his 
audacity  will  appear  as  the  narrative  proceeds.* 

*  I  must  acknowledge  mj  obliga-  indebted  to  a  narrative  written  by 

tions,  at  the  close  of  this  chapter,  to  Mr.  Martin  Gubbins,   from  Eyre's 

an  excellent  article  on  Sir  Vincent  dictation,  and  published  at  the  end 

Eyre's  operations,  in  the  Calcutta  of  the  history  of  the  "  Mutinies  in 

Review,  vol.  xliv.,  which  has,  since  Oudh."    Sir  Vincent  Eyre's  private 

these  pages  were  printed,  been  ac-  and   public    corresponaence    have 

knowledged  by  Colonel    Malleson,  enabled  me  to  verify  these  printed 

and  republished  in  his  "  Recreations  statements, 
of  an  Indian  Official."    I  am  also 





1B57.  There   is    no   part   of  this    vast    comprehensive 

•^"^^-  history,  in  which  the  lights  and  shadows  do  not 
withdrawal'  alternate.  Whilst  all  men  were  rejoicing  in  this 
order.  assertion  of  British  pluck,  a  cloud  came  over  the 

prevailing  joy ;  for  tidings  ran  through  the  country 
that  elsewhere  there  had  been  a  great  collapse.  To 
the  astonishment  of  most  men,  it  became  known  that 
William  Tayler,  the  Patna  Commissioner,  on  learning 
that  Dunbar's  expedition  had  failed,  had  issued  an 
order  instructing  the  few  remaining  civil  officers  at 
the  out-stations  to  withdraw  their  establishments  to 
Patna.  To  do  this,  it  was  said,  was  to  abandon 
much  Government  property,  to  leave  the  gaols  at 
the  mercy  of  the  populace,  to  sacrifice  the  good  name 
of  the  British  Government,  and  to  give  an  impetus 
to  rebellion  in  Behar,  that  it  might  take  long  months 
to  suppress.  That  Commissioner  Tayler,  who  had  in 
the  months  of  June  and  July  restrained  the  fugitive 
propensities  of  men  under  his  control,  should  have 


commanded  a  precipitate  flight  to  the  Civil  Head-  1857. 
Quarters,  was  something  strange  and  incredible  ;  but  •'^^* 
it  was  a  fact.  Mr.  Tayler  believed  that  there  was  no 
hope  for  Arrah,  and  that  as  the  fall  of  this  important 
station  would  be  the  forerunner  of  other  similar 
disasters,  there  was  nothing  left  for  him  but  to  save 
the  lives  of  the  Christian  people  in  the  districts.  So 
he  resolved  to  direct  the  chief  officers  at  Mozuffer- 
pore  and  Gya  to  withdraw  their  establishments  to 
Patna,  where  the  Chuprah  officers,  having  abandoned 
the  station  on  learning  that  Holmes's  regiment  had 
mutinied  at  Segowlie,  had  already  sought  safety.  In 
this  resolution,  he  recorded  a  Minute,  stating  fully 
his  reasons  for  the  step  ;  and  then  he  sent  a  copy  of 
it  to  the  Bengal  Government,  with  a  brief  recital,  in 
the  form  of  an  official  letter,  of  the  motives  which  July  31. 
had  actuated  him.* 

When  this  order  reached  Mozufferpore,  the  head-  Mozuflerporc. 
quarters  of  the  Tirhoot  district,  there  had  already 
been  some  discussion  as  to  the  expediency  of  with- 
drawal, and  some  .difference  of  opinion  had  prevailed 
among  the  chief  civil  officers  respecting  it.  Mr. 
Forbes,  the  Judge,  had  written  to  Mr.  Tayler  on  the 
29th,  declaring  that  the  station  was  in  extreme  dan- 
ger, and  that  unless  some  better  protection  could  be 
afforded  to  them,  the  officials,  '*with  due  regard  to 

•  The  following;  is  the  text  of  have  been  in  for  some  days ;  they 
Mr.  Taylor's  letter :  **  Separated  as  made  an  attempt  to  return  to  Doori- 
Englishmen  are,  and  scattered  in  gunge  yesterday,  but  returned  when 
sniful  numbers  over  several  districts,  they  lieard  of  the  defeat  of  our  force, 
with  no  sufficient  protection  what-  I  trust  the  Government  will  approve 
ever,  we  can  now  expect  nothing  of  the  measures  taken ;  whatever  be 
but  murder  and  disaster.  Concen-  the  temporary  confusion  caused  by 
tration  for  a  time,  therefore,  appears  this  measure,  the  object  appears  to 
an  imperative  necessity,  and  is  the  me  to  justify  it.  I  have  nitherto 
only  means  of  recovering  our  posi-  endeavoured  to  encourage  all  public 
tion.  I  have  therefore  authorised  officers  to  stand  fast,  but  I  now  con- 
all  the  officials  of  tiie  districts  to  sider  that  their  so  doing  only  in; 
come  in  to  J^atoa.  Those  of  Chuprah  creases  the  danger  to  all." 


1857.  their  own  safety,"  could  "not  reasonably  be  expected 
^^^y-  to  wait  before  quitting  the  station ;'  but  Mr.  Lautour, 
the  Magistrate,  had  "attempted  to  persuade  the 
residents  to  remain"  at  their  post.  The  non-official 
residents  of  Tirhoot  had,  on  the  same  29th  of  July, 
written  to  General  Lloyd,  saying,  that  "owing  to 
what  had  recently  taken  place  at  Dinapore  and 
Segowlie,  the  district  was  in  the  greatest  danger" — 
that,  on  the  outbreak  of  any  active  disturbance,  the 
"whole  district  would  rise,"  and  imploring  the  General 
to  send  a  few  European  soldiers  for  their  protection, 
or  at  least  a  sufficient  number  to  escort  their  families 
into  Dinapore.  In  this  state  of  almost  general  alarm, 
the  orders  of  the  Commissioner  were  received  and 
acted  upon  without  hesitation.  But,  in  this  instance, 
the  anticipated  results  were  not  realised.  The  people 
did  not  rise.  The  Treasury  was  not  plundered ;  the 
inmates  of  the  Gaol  were  not  released  ;  the  houses  of 
the  Europeans  were  not  burnt.  Perfect  quietude, 
however,  did  not  prevail.  There  was  a  detachment 
of  Holmes's  Irregulars  at  MozufFerpore,  and  when 
the  European  gentlemen  departed,'  they  broke  out 
into  open  mutiny.  If  the  Nujeebs  had  then  joined 
them,  the  station  would  have  been  sacrificed  and  the 
district  would  have  been  overrun  by  Budmashes. 
But  the  Nujeebs  stood  up  staunchly  against  the 
Irregulars,  and  defended  the  public  buildings;  so 
the  troopers,  being  repulsed  in  their  attempts  upon 
the  Government  property,  consoled  themselves  with 
the  plunder  of  some  private  houses,  and  made  off  in 
search  of  further  mischief.  When,  soon  afterwards, 
Mr.  Lautour  returned  to  Mozufferpore,  he  found  that 
his  own  residence  had  been  despoiled,  but  that  the 
station  was  quiet,  and  the  people  ready  to  welcome 
the  re-establishment  of  Government  authority,  if  it 


could  be  said  ever  to  have  been  effaced.  So  the  1857. 
episode  of  MozufFerpore  took  but  a  minor  place  in  ^^' 
history  ;  not  so  the  story  of  Gya. 

The  city  of  Gya,  the  chief  civil  station  of  the  Behar  Gya. 
district,  lay  at  a  distance  of  fifty-five  miles  from 
Patna,  and  two  hundred  and  sixty- five  miles  from 
Calcutta.  It  was  a  place  of  considerable  antiquity, 
instinct  with  historical  associations,  and  a  favoured 
home  of  Brahminical  superstitions.*  In  the  month  of 
July,  1857,  the  two  chief  British  officers  stationed 
there  were  Mr.  Trotter,  the  Judge,  and  Mr.  Alonzo 
Money,  the  Magistrate  of  Behar.  There  had,  ever 
since  the  commencement  of  the  convulsions  in  Upper 
India,  been  indications  in  the  district  of  an  unquiet 
spirit,  pervading  more  or  less  all  classes  of  the  com- 
munity, and  strongest  perhaps  among  the  Hindoo 
Zemindars.  In  the  city  itself  the  Brahmins  had  been 
busy,  industriously  disseminating  the  fiction,  so  rife 
in  all  parts  of  the  country,  of  the  mixture  of  the  bones 
or  blood  of  swine  and  oxen  with  the  atta,  or  flour,  in 
the  bazaars.  It  seemed  to  be  one  of  their  principal 
objects  to  corrupt  the  Sikh  soldiery  who  were  posted 
there,  and  to  win  them  over  to  the  rebel  cause  by 
these  infamous  fabrications.  When  it  was  found  that 
this  was  of  no  avail,  they  ostracised  the  Sikhs,  de- 

*  Mr.  F*dward  Thornton,  to  whose  commemorated  was  Mr.  Thomas  Law 
"  Gazetteer  of  India"  every  writer  — a  genuine  Englishman — who  pre- 
en Indian  subjects  is  much  indebted,  sidea  for  many  years  over  the  Corn- 
says  that  **  the  town  consists  of  two  pany's  establishments  at  Gya,  in  the 
parts,  one  the  residence  of  the  priests  latter  part  of  the  last  century.  He 
and  the  population  connectea  witli  has  been  described  (perhaps  in  imi- 
them  ;  tlie  other,  the  quarters  of  the  tation-  of  the  famous  description  of 
great  bulk  of  the  population.  This  Boyle)  as  "  the  Father  of  the  Per- 
mst  was  much  enlargci  by  Law,  and  manent  Settlement  and  the  brother 
thence  denominated  Sahib-gunj."  In  of  Lord  Ellenborough."  He  was 
a  note  Mr.  Thornton  says:  "Law  uncle  of  the  second  Lord  Ellen- 
commanded  the  French  force  in  this  borough,  formerly  Governor-General 
art  of  India  from  1757  to  1761."  of  India,  who  died   in  December, 


ut  I  suspect  that  the  Sahib  thus    1S71. 


1857.  daring  them  to  be  Christians,  and  refusing  to  smoke 
Julj-  from  the  same  hookah  with  them.  It  became  neces- 
sary to  suppress  these  machinations  with  a  strong 
hand ;  so  a  carpenter,  against  whom  there  was  proof 
of  having  attempted  to  corrupt  two  Sikh  soldiers,  was 
July  22.  hanged  in  the  most  public  manner  before  all  the 
troops  and  the  police  in  the  place.  And  the  example 
had  a  salutary  effect  in  the  city.* 

But  still  the  Gya  Magistrate  felt  that  he  was  sur- 
rounded by  enemies  only  waiting  the  signal  to  rise. 
Writing  on  the  24th  of  July,  he  said :  ''  There  are 
rumours  of  hostile  preparations  on  the  part  of  Kower 
Singh  in  Arrah.  Though  he  belongs  not  to  my 
district,  I  have  taken  steps  to  ascertain  the  truth.  A 
rise  on  his  part  would  be  felt  here.  A  messenger 
from  him  three  days  ago  went  to  the  Deo  Rajah  in 
thid  district,  and  came  on  to  Moodenarain  Singh.  For 
myself,  I  believe  that  half  the  people  in  the  district 
would  rise  against  us,  were  they  not  afraid.  I  hear 
constantly  of  ryots  being  instructed  by  their  Zemindars 
to  hold  themselves  in  readiness."  And  in  another 
letter  he  said:  *'If  Kower  Singh  goes,  half  Behar 
would  follow."  Strange  rumours  were  afloat  of  hostile 
movements  on  the  part  of  other  great  landholders. 
Moodenarain  Singh  was  reported  to  have  exhumed 
numbers  of  buried  guns,  to  have  enlisted  and  armed 
a  large  body  of  retainers,  and  to  have  put  his  castle 
in  a  state  of  defence;  and  it  was  added  that  the 
Rajah  of  Benares  had  been  in  communication  with 
the  great  Zemindar.  There  was  nothing  improbable 
in  this ;  but  when  it  was  stated  that  this  was  a  hostile 
conspiracy  against  the  British  Raj,  there  was  a  violent 

*   **  The  punishment,"  wrote  Mr.  But  I  hope  not  to  have  many.   I  am 

Money,  "  appeared  to  have  a  great  confident  that  the  daily  repetition  of 

effect.     One  or  two  executions,  I  such  scenes  (where  the  people  are 

believe,  strike  terror  and  do  good,  a^inst  us)  hai'dens  and  aggravates,*'. 


presumption  not  justified  by  ascertained  facts.     The       1857. 
Rajah  of  Benares  had  not  swerved  from  his  allegiance       •^^^^• 
to  the  British  Government,  and  it  may  be  fairly  con- 
jectured that  any  movement  upon  his  part  was  against 
the  insurgents.* 

When  news  reached  Mr.  Money  that  the  Dinapore 
regiments   had  revolted,    he   bethought   himself   of 
active  measures  of  defence.     "The  mutiny  at  Dina- 
pore," he  wrote  to  the  Bengal  Government,   "has    July 28. 
thrown  Gya  into  a  ferment.     There  is  nothing,  how- 
ever, to  be  apprehended  from  the  townspeople.    They 
are  surrounded  by  a  new  and  strong  police,  and  have 
a  wholesome  dread  of  the  forty-five  English  and  one 
hundred  Sikhs.     The  present  causes  of  apprehension 
are  two:  the  inroad  of  any  large  number  of  Dinapore 
mutineers,  or  the  approach  of  the  Monghyr  and  Deo- 
ghur  Fifth  Irregulars,  who  are  sure  to  rise,  I  imagine. 
...  If  the  mutineers,  or  any  portion  of  them,  come 
this  way,  they  will  either  remain  in  the  district  and 
be  joined  by  disafifected  Zemindars,  or  they  will  make 
for  Gya.     There  are  plenty  of  Zemindars  who  would 
join  them  if  they  once  got  the  upper  hand  ;    but 
there  are  none,  I  think,  who  will  hazard  life  and  pro- 
perty   before   that.     The  following   is  our  plan    of 
operations :  any  body  of  ^the  mutineers  under  three 
hundred  or  three  hundred  and  fifty,  are  to  be  met 
about  two  miles  from  the  town ;  forty-five  English, 
one  hundred  Sikhs,  and  forty  Nujeebs,  besides  four 
or  five  residents,  will  oppose  them.     I  shall  put  the 
Nujeebs  between  the  Sikhs  and  the  English,  so  they 

*  See  ante,  vol.  ii.  page  231 ;  and  to  Money  on  the  subject.    Money 

tlic    Memorandum    by  Mr.  E.  A.  was  eager  to  go  out  against  the 

Keade  in  Appendix  to  same  volume.  2ieniindar  and  beat  up  his  quarters. 

The  information  respecting  Moode-  but  he  admitted  that  the  facts  did  not 

narain  Singh  and  his  guns  was  com-  justify  the  inference  of  treason,  and 

municated  to  Mr.  Tatler,  who  wrote  the  issue  proved  that  he  was  porrect, 


1857.  must  be  staunch  or  be  cut  to  pieces.  The  muti- 
July  81.  neers  would  be  dejected  and  tired  after  a  long  march, 
and  I  have  no  doubt  of  giving  them  a  good  thrash- 
ing. If  they  come  in  large  numbers,  1  shall  place 
the  treasure  in  a  pucka  house,  which  is  being  pro- 
visioned, and  we  will  defend  it  with  the  same 
numbers  as  above."  The  man  who  >vrote  this  must 
have  had  the  right  stuff  in  him  ;  he  was  sure  not  to 
be  wanting  when  the  hour  of  danger  should  come. 

Affairs  were  in  this  state  when,  news  of  Dunbar's 
disaster  having  reached  Patna,  Mr.  Tayler  issued  the 
orders  of  which  I  have  above  spoken.  How  those 
orders  were  received  at  Gya  cannot  be  better  told 
than  in  the  words  of  the  Magistrate  himself.  "  On 
the  31st  of  July,"  wrote  Mr.  Alonzo  Money,  not  long 
afterwards,  "  I  was  sitting  in  my  room,  talking  to  the 
Soubahdar  of  the  Nujeebs,  when  a  letter  marked 
'urgent'  and  ^express'  was  put  into  my  hands.  I 
opened  it.  It  was  from  the  Commissioner.  It  con- 
tained an  electric  telegraph  message  from  the  Govern- 
ment and  an  order  for  me.  Tlie  message  spoke  of 
the  defeat  of  Dunbar's  party  at  Arrah,  and  con- 
tinued :  '  Everything  must  now  be  sacrificed  to  hold- 
ing the  country  and  the  occupation  of  a  central  posi- 
tion.' The  order  decided  me  and  the  other  civil 
authorities  to  come  with  all  our  force  to  Patna, 
making  our  arrangements  as  promptly  and  quickly  as 
possible.  It  contained  an  injunction  to  remove  the 
treasure,  if  doing  so  endangered  not  personal  safety. 
*  What  does  the  Commissioner  Sahib  say  ?'  asked  the 
Soubahdar.  I  made  some  excuse,  and  after  a  minute 
or  two  sent  him  off.  I  then  despatched  a  circular 
round  the  station,  and  within  an  hour  every  one  was 
present.  It  was  agreed  that  we  should  start  at  five 
that  evening At  six  we  started."     They  went, 


leaving  everything  behind  them — seven  or  eight  lakhs  1M7. 
of  rupees  in  the  Treasury,  and  a  gaol  gorged  with  '«'J— ^"S- 
criminals.  They  went,  leaving  the  station  and  all 
that  it  contained  under  charge  of  the  Darogah  and 
the  Soubahdar  of  the  Nujeebs,  and  set  their  faces 
towards  Patna,  in  obedience  to  the  orders  they  had 
received.  But  the  orders  were  that  they  should  not 
abandon  the  treasure  unless  their  lives  were  endan- 
gered by  the  attempt  to  remove  it,  and  there  were 
those  at  Gya  who  thought  that  they  might  have 
safely  remained  to  complete  their  measures  for  the 
safe  custody  of  the  coin. 

But  they  had  not  ridden  more  than  two  or  three 
miles,  when  Alonzo  Money  fell  into  conversation  with 
a  gentleman  of  the  Uncovenanted  Service,  named 
Hoilings.  He  was  an  oflScer  attached  to  the  Opium 
Agency,  and  he  had  no  duty  demanding  his  return 
to  Gya.  But  he  felt  acutely  the  degradation  of  this 
sudden  abandonment  of  the  station.  31r.  Money  was 
moved  by  kindred  feelings.  So  these  two  brave 
men  determined  to  return  to  Gya  and  see  what  could 
be  done  to  save  the  property  of  the  Government,  and 
to  lessen  the  discredit  of  this  precipitate  retreat. 
Whilst,  therefore,  the  rest  went  on  to  Patna,  Money 
and  Hoilings  went  back  to  the  station  which  they  had 
so  lately  quitted.  They  found  things  nearly  as  they 
had  left  them.  The  treasure  remained  intact ;  the 
Gaol  held  fast  its  prisoners.  Up  to  this  time  the 
Nujeebs  had  faithfully  fulfilled  their  trust.*     Tlie 

♦  Oil    the   1st  of   August    Mr.  Dinapore.   At  Gja  I  mljrut,  yr^ip^srr^. 

Money  wrote  to  the  Govcrament  of  order.  Mr.  Hollin^  vMaiv/M^f>/^ 

Bengal :  "  The  abandonment  of  the  to  retaro.     We  rod«  f/adi  u^i^h^ 

Govprnment    propertj  and    almost  haring  gone  aVz-jt  iUr^,  »tU-%  ffv* 

certain  giving  up  of  the  district  and  the  town.    All  w*%  qiiet.     H>  iriM4 

town  to  anarchj  and  plunder  wm  fint  to  the  (}wA ;  ttA  I  t^M  v*e 

repugnant  to  me.   I  felt  that  I  coald  the  KajediM  tmi  iMrtst^A  Vu^ 

personally  be  of  rery  little  ase  at  Tliey  all  profe«ie4  ki^illf^  V#iM» 


1867.  return  of  the  Magistrate  seemed  to  give  confidence  to 
August  4.  tjjg  people.  Many  of  the  most  respectable  inhabitants 
waited  on  Mr.  Money,  and  welcomed  him  back  with 
expressions  of  joy.  But  when,  as  a  measure  of  pre- 
caution not  unwise  in  itself,  he  burnt  the  Government 
stamped  paper,  the  first  feelings  of  confidence  sub- 
sided, and  presently  the  Nujeebs  rose  against  us. 

It  was  now  plain  that  the  position  of  these  gallant 
Englishmen  was  one  of  no  common  difficulty  and 
danger.  Not  only  was  there,  so  far  as  their  informa- 
tion then  extended,  a  prospect  of  being  visited  by  the 
Dinapore  mutineers  and  the  insurgent  rabble  under 
Kower  Singh,  but  they  were  threatened  more  im- 
minently by  an  incursion  of  mutineers  from  Hazara- 
baugh,  where  the  Native  troops  had  revolted.  The 
first  step,  therefore,  to  be  taken  was  to  recall  the  de- 
tachment of  Her  Majesty's  Sixty-fourth,  which  had 
left  Gya  just  before  the  European  exodus ;  and,  this 
done,  the  treasure  was  to  be  secured.  Every  eflFort 
was  made  to  collect  carriage  for  the  transport  of  the 
coin  ;  and  on  the  4th  of  August  the  convoy  was  ready 
to  depart.  But  in  what  direction  was  it  to  proceed  ? 
The  order  (it  has  been  shown)  which  Money  had 
received,  was  that  he  should  convey  the  treasure 
to  Patna,  if  it  could  be  done  without  endangering 
European  life.  And  this  was  the  course  whicl),  in  the 
first  instance,  he  had  resolved  to  pursue.  But  when 
false  rumours  came  from  Dinapore  that  a  body  of 
mutineers  was  marching  upon  Gya,  and  that  martial 
law  had  been  proclaimed  in  all  the  Behar  districts, 
there  seemed  to  be  little  hope  of  so  small  a  party, 
heavily  encumbered,  reaching  Patna  in  safety.*     It 

rode  to    the    Treasury,  and  there  been  numerous),  and  I  was  glad  to 

aj?ain  I  addressed  the  Nujeebs.    Wc  find  all  quiet." 
had  been  absent  three  hours  from        *  "  The  next  day  (August  3rd) 

\]ie  town  (for    the  stoppages   had  brought  a  letter  to  Captain  Tliomp- 

ALONZO  MONEt.  157 

was  determined,  therefore,  at  a  council  of  civil  and  1857. 
military  officers  that  the  better  course  would  be  to  ^"fi^^  • 
take  the  Grand  Trunk  Road  to  Calcutta — a  far  longer 
but  a  safer  journey.  So  the  treasure-party  moved 
out  from  Gya,  under  command  of  Captain  Thompson, 
and  Money  prepared  to  join  them.  He  was  rescuing 
a  few  of  his  household  gods  from  the  certain  wreck 
which  would  follow  his  departure,  when  a  noise  of 
shouting  and  yelling  was  heard,  which  needed  not 
the  explanation  of  a  servant  who  presently  ran  in 
to  announce  that  the  Gaol  was  broken  into  and  the 
prisoners  loose.  It  was  added  that  already  they  were 
streaming  down  upon  the  Magistrate's  house.  No 
time  was  then  to  be  lost.  His  horse  stood  ready 
saddled  in  the  stable.  Nothing  could  be  saved  but 
life.  So  Money  mounted,  and  rode  with  all  speed  to 
join  the  convoy.* 

That  night  our  little  party  was  attacked  by  a 
mixed  crowd  of  gaol-birds  and  gaolers.  The  escaped 
prisoners  and  the  Nujeebs,  who  should  have  forbidden 

son,  written  by  an  oflBcer  at  Dina-  troops,  Ihe  loading  of  the  treasure, 
pore  of  bis  own  corps.  It  contained  &c.,  and  baying  seen  tbe  convoy 
these  words  in  pencil :  *  For  God's  started  safe  out  of  Gya,  I  returned 
sake  look  out.  The  Eighth  Native  to  my  own  house  to  save  a  few 
Infantry  mutineers  bave  marched  tbings  of  value.  I  was  shutting 
upon  Gya,  they  say,  with  one  jEjun.'  down  a  small  portmanteau,  wben  I 
Tbe  news  of  martial  law  proclaimed  heard  shouts  and  yells,  and  a  servant 
in  all  the  Bebar  districts  reached  us  ran  in  saying  tbe  Gaol  was  loose  and 
the  same  mornint^.  I  called  another  tbe  prisoners  near.  I  had  just  time 
council,  and  told  Captain  Thompson  to  get  to  tbe  stable  and  mount  my 
be  was  now  the  principal  autbority  borse,wbich  fortunately  was  saddled, 
in  tlie  district.  I  gave  him  my  A  minute's  delay  would  have  pre- 
opinion  that,  encumbered  witb  trea-  vented  my  escape.  I  got  away,  but 
sure,  we  were  too  weak  to  run  the  with  the  loss  of  everything.  1  have 
risk  of  meeting  so  large  a  body  of  not  even  a  change  of  clothes.  How- 
mutineers,  and  recommended  falling  ever,  I  bave,  1  trust,  saved  the  Go- 
back  on  tbe  Grand  Trunk  Road,  vernment  property.  If  I  succeed  in 
All  coincided  in  the  view  of  the  conveying  it  safely  to  Calcutta,  I 
case." — Mr.  Alonzo  Money  to  Secre-  sball  feel  quite  satisfied." — Alonto 
tary  to  Bengal  Government.  Money  to  Secretary  to  Bengal  Oo- 

*  **  I    huad    been    busy   all    day  vernment. 
(August  4th)  with  the  carriage  of  the 

158  fiEHAft  AND  fiENCAL. 

1867.  their  escape,  had  made  the  expected  combination ; 
August  4—5-  and  now,  with  the  Government  arms  in  their  hands, 
they  came  down  to  seize  the  treasure.  It  was  not  to 
be  expected  that  such  a  temptation  would  be  resisted. 
So,  although  it  was  a  night-attack,  it  was  not  a  sur- 
prise. Thompson's  men  were  ready  for  them,  and 
they  gave  the  would-be  plunderers  such  a  reception 
that  they  were  soon  in  a  state  of  hopeless  panic,  some 
of  them  shot  down,  and  the  rest  glad  to  carry  their 
lives  back  with  them  to  Gya.  Of  course  it  was  an  easy 
victory  over  such  a  rabble.  From  that  time  Money, 
with  the  treasure  he  had  saved,  escorted  by  the  de- 
tachment of  the  Sixty-fourth,  went  on  his  way,  un- 
interrupted and  unmolested ;  and  in  the  middle  of 
August  he  rode  into  Calcutta,  and  delivered  over 
to  Government  the  large  amount  of  treasure  which 
he  had  rescued  from  the  clutches  of  the  insurgents. 
And  among  the  exploits  of  the  War,  scored  down 
to  the  credit  of  the  Bengal  Civil  Service,  there  are 
few  which  at  the  time  excited  more  enthusiasm 
than  this.  The  Governor- General  and  his  colleagues 
commended  the  conduct  of  Alonzo  Money,  and  sent 
him  back  to  Gya  with  enlarged  responsibilities  and 
increased  emoluments.  Mr.  HoUings  also  had  sub- 
stantial reasons  for  being  convinced  that  his  conduct 
was  approved  by  the  higher  authorities.  To  Money 
Lord  Canning  wrote  on  the  5th  of  August :  "  I 
should  reproach  myself  if  I  lost  a  day  in  expressing 
to  you,  not  my  approval  only,  but  my  admiration  of 
the  manly  and  wise  course  which  you  chose  for  your- 
self. Happen  what  may  at  Gya,  you  have  done  your 
duty  nobly  in  the  face  of  heavy  discouragement, 
guided  by  sound  sense  and  a  stout  heart,  and  with- 
out a  superstitious  fear  of  responsibility.  You  and 
Mr.  HoUings  have  acted  in  a  manner  to  secure  to 


you  both  the  respect  of  all  who  know  the  circum-  1867. 
stances  in  which  you  were  placed."  This  was  written  ^^S^^- 
before  it  was  known  that  Money  had  made  good  his 
march  to  Calcutta  and  saved  the  treasure.  The  com- 
mendation was  afterwards  repeated,  and  the  Gover- 
nor-General, announcing  to  him  his  promotion,  wrote: 
*'  I  am  heartily  glad  that  there  is  an  opportunity  of 
enabling  you  to  carry  with  you  an  unmistakable 
mark  of  the  approval  and  confidence  of  the  Govern- 

But  whilst  Authority  was  thus  extolling  and  Mr.  Tajlcr's 
rewarding  Alonzo  Money's  exploit,  a  great  storm  ^"°^**^*'- 
of  official  disapprobation  was  overtaking  Commis- 
sioner Tayler.  The  Government  of  Bengal,  with  a 
little  more  haste,  perhaps,  than  was  decorous  in  such 
a  case,  pronounced  the  conduct  of  the  Commissioner 
to  have  been  disgraceful,  and  forthwith  dismissed 
him  ignominiously  from  his  post.  "It  appears 
from  a  letter  just  received  from  Mr.  Tayler,"  wrote 
Lieutenant-Governor  Halliday,  on  the  5th  of  August, 
"that  whilst  apparently  under  the  influence  of  a 
panic,  he  has  ordered  the  officials  at  all  the  stations 
in  his  division  to  abandon  their  posts  and  to  fall  back 
on  Dinapore.  Had  it  not  been  for  the  spirited  and 
judicious  conduct  of  Mr.  A.  Money,  the  Collector  and 
Magistrate  of  Behar,  who,  in  spite  of  his  orders,  and 
with  only  Mr.  HoUings  to  bear  him  company,  deter- 
nwned  on  remaining  at  Gya  even  after  all  the  other 
residents  and  troops  had  left  the  place,  this  act  of 
Mr.  Tayler's  would  have  entailed  at  that  station 
alone  the  certain  loss  of  eight  lakhs  of  rupees  in  the 
Treasury,  besides  other  public  and  private  property, 
the  release  of  many  hundreds  of  determined  convicts 
from  the  Gaol,  and  the  risk  of  the  whole  town  and 

*  MS.  Correspondence. 

160  Beiiar  and  bengal. 

1867.      district  being  thrown  into  anarchy  and  confusion. 

ws«"  What  has  happened  elsewhere  is  unknown ;  but 
there  is  the  strongest  probability  everywhere  of  dis- 
aster arising  from  this  unhappy  measure.  Under 
these  circumstances,  I  have  determined  at  once  to 
remove  Mr.  Tayler  from  his  appointment  of  Commis- 
sioner of  Patna.''*  It  is  patent  on  the  surface  of  this 
paragraph,  that  when  the  Lieutenant-Governor  dis- 
missed Mr.  Tayler,  he  was  imperfectly  acquainted 
with  the  facts  of  the  case.  But  the  historical  inac- 
curacies which  it  contains  were  caught  up  in  London ; 
and  an  eminent  public  \vTiter,t  whose  name  carried, 
and  rightly  carried  with  it,  immense  weight  in  all 
discussions  relating  to  India,  indorsed  these  errors, 
and  they  were  disseminated  by  the  leading  journal 
of  Europe.  Mr.  William  Tayler  was  a  man  pug- 
nacious to  the  backbone ;  one  who  never  could  be 
brought  to  understand  the  great  truth  contained  in 
the  aphorism  that  "  speech  is  silver ;  silence  is  gold ;" 
and  such  a  flood  of  controversy  arose,  as  would  have 
sufficed  to  drown  not  only  the  patience,  but  the 
reason,  of  any  man  not  endowed  with  large  powers 
of  endurance,  who  might  be  condemned  to  breast  it. 
No  incident  of  the  Sepoy  War  has  elicited  such  an 
ocean  of  words.  The  great  Whig  Chancellor  who 
wrote  that  India  is  a  country  in  which  "  eloquence 
evaporates  in  scores  of  paragrajDhs,"  might  have 
added  "  and  energj^  also."  Mr.  Tayler's  mode  of 
battle  was  to  fight  upon  his  stumps  and  to  slay  the 
slain ;  so  the  storm  of  controversy,  which  his  re- 
moval from  Patna  excited,  has  scarcely  been  stilled 

1873.  up  to  the  present  time ;  and  the  usual  effect  has  been 
produced  by  the  conflict.     There  is   still   an  anta- 

*  Parliamentary  Papers.  tors  of  Indophilus,"  originally  pub- 

t  Sir  Charles  Trevelyan — "  Let-    liahed  in  the  Times  newspaper. 


gonism  of  opinion.  And  it  is  probable  that  if  Mr.  1857. 
Tayler  had  written  less,  he  would  have  been  more  ^^»g"«^* 
appreciated  and  more  applauded. 

On  the  whole,  it  appears  to  me,  on  mature  consi- 
deration, that  the  orders  issued  by  Mr.  Tayler  were 
not  of  such  a  character  as  to  merit  the  condemnation 
which  Government  passed  upon  them.  It  is  not  to 
be  questioned  that  up  to  the  time  of  the  mutiny  of 
the  Dinapore  regiments,  the  whole  bearing  of  the 
Patna  Commissioner  was  manly  to  a  point  of  manli- 
ness not  often  excelled  in  those  troubled  times.  He 
had  exhorted  all  his  countrymen  to  cling  steadfastly 
to  their  posts.  He  had  rebuked  those  who  had  be- 
trayed their  fears  by  deserting  their  stations.  His 
measures  had  been  bold ;  his  conduct  had  been  cou- 
rageous ;  his  policy  had  been  severely  repressive.  If 
he  had  erred,  assuredly  his  errors  had  not  leaned  to 
the  side  of  weakness.  He  was  one  of  the  last  men 
in  the  service  to  strike  his  colours,  save  under  the 
compulsion  of  a  great  necessity.  But  when  the 
Dinapore  re^ments  broke  into  rebellion — ^when  the 
European  troops,  on  whom  he  had  relied,  proved' 
themselves  to  be  incapable  of  repressing  mutiny  on 
the  spot,  or  overtaking  it  with  swift  retribution — 
when  it  was  known  that  thousands  of  insurgent 
Sepoys  were  overrunning  the  country,  and  that  the 
country,  in  the  language  of  the  day,  was  "  up" — that 
some  of  the  chief  members  of  the  territorial  aristo- 
cracy had  risen  against  the  domination  of  the  Eng- 
lish, and  that  the  predatory  classes,  including  swarms 
of  released  convicts  from  the  gaols,  were  waging 
deadly  war  against  property  and  life — when  he  saw 
that  all  these  things  were  against  us,  and  there 
seemed  to  be  no  hope  left  that  the  scattered  handfuls 
of  Englishmen  at  the  out-stations  could  escape  utter 

VOL.  ni.  M 


1867.  destruction,  he  deemed  it  his  duty  to  revoke  the 
August,  orders  which  he  had  issued  in  more  auspicious  times, 
and  to  call  into  Patna  such  of  our  English  establish- 
ments as  had  not  already  been  swept  away  by  the 
rebellion  or  escaped  without  oflScial  recall.  In  doing 
this  he  generously  took  upon  himself  the  responsi- 
bility of  withdrawal,  and  absolved  all  the  oflScers 
under  him  from  any  blame  which  might  descend 
upon  them  for  deserting  their  stations  without  the 
sanction  of  superior  authority.  It  was  not  doubted 
that  if  there  had  been  any  reasonable  ground  of  hope 
that  these  little  assemblies  of  Englishmen  could  hold 
their  own,  that  they  could  save  their  lives  and  the 
property  of  Government  by  defending  their  posts,  it 
would  have  been  better  that  the  effort  should  be 
made.  But  their  destruction  would  have  been  a 
greater  calamity  to  the  State  than  their  surrender. 
It  was  impossible  to  overvalue  the  worth  of  Euro- 
pean life  at  that  time,  and  the  deaths  of  so  many 
Englishmen  would  have  been  a  greater  triumph  and 
a  greater  encouragement  to  the  enemy  than  their 
flight.  It  was  the  hour  of  our  greatest  darkness  and 
our  sorest  need.  We  know  now  how  Wake  and 
Boyle  and  Colvin  and  their  comrades  in  the  ''  little 
house"  held  the  enemy  in  check,  and  how  Vincent 
Eyre  taught  both  the  Sepoy  mutineers  and  the  Shah- 
abad  insurgents  that  there  was  still  terrible  vitality 
in  our  English  troops.  Of  this  William  Tayler  knew 
nothing.  But  he  had  palpably  before  him  the  fact 
of  Dunbar's  disaster,  and  he  believed  that  nothing 
could  save  the  little  garrison  at  Arrah.  The  pro- 
babilities at  the  time  were  that  the  Dinapore  regi- 
ments, with  Kower  Singh  and  his  followers,  having 
done  their  work  in  that  direction,  would  move,  flushed 
with  conquest  and  gorged  with  plunder,  upon  Gy  a 


and  other  stations,  carrying  destruction  with  them  1857. 
wheresoever  they  might  go.  What  the  Commissioner  a^o"^* 
then  did  was  what  had  been  done  and  what  was 
being  done  by  other  authorities,  civil  and  military, 
in  other  parts  of  the  country;  it  was  held  to  be 
sound  policy  to  draw  in  our  scattered  outposts 
to  some  central  point  of  safety  where  the  enemy 
might  be  defied.  In  this  I  can  perceive  no  appear- 
ance of  panic.  If  Tayler  had  not  acted  thus,  and 
evil  had  befallen  the  Christian  people  under  his 
charge,  he  would  have  been  condemned  with  a  far 
severer  condenmation  for  so  fatal  an  omission. 

But  events  so  greatly  in  favour  of  the  nation  were 
all  against  the  Patna  Commissioner.  Eyre's  triumph 
was  Taylers  disgrace.  The  apprehensions  of  the 
latter  were  not  realised.  So  it  would  have  been  better, 
in  the  issue,  if  the  withdrawal  order  had  been  held 
in  abeyance.  Still  if  the  order  were  an  error — the 
error  of  one  not  a  prophet — I  can  hardly  think  that 
in  itself  it  merited  the  oflScial  punishment  which  it 
brought  down  upon  the  Commissioner — a  punish- 
ment which  involved  the  total  non-recognition  by 
the  Crown  of  all  the  previous  services  which  he  had 
conferred  on  the  country  in  the  earlier  stages  of  the 
rebellion  in  Behar.  But  the  Bengal  Government 
was  not  at  that  time  in  a  temper  to  overlook  any 
failure  on  the  part  of  Mr.  William  Tayler.  He  had 
given  dire  offence  to  his  superiors  by  his  "high- 
handed" mode  of  conducting  the  duties  of  his  office. 
Not  only  was  it  his  wont  to  do  his  work  in  his  own 
way  without  consulting  any  one — to  do  it  first  and 
to  write  to  Government  afterwards ;  but  sometimes^ 
in  the  hurry  and  crush  of  overwhelming  business,  he 
did  it  without  reporting  it  at  all ;  and  this  irritated 
superior  authority.     The  same  thing  was  being  done 

M  2 


1857.  on  a  larger  scale  elsewhere ;  but  Patna  was  compara- 
August.  tivelynear  to  Calcutta,  and  Calcutta  had  not  yet 
released  itself  from  the  coils  of  the  Red  Tape.  Those 
were  days  when  men  —  the  best  of  our  men — ^the 
men,  indeed,  who  saved  the  country,  thought  more 
of  doing  than  of  writing.  But  Bureaucracy  was  still 
fain  to  assert  that  there  could  be  no  duty  on  the  part 
of  a  public  functionary  more  urgent  than  that  of 
reporting  his  proceedings  to  Government.  It  is  not 
too  much  to  say  that  if  this  duty  had  been  generally 
recognised  we  should  have  lost  India.  But,  although 
at  such  a  time  great  toleration  should  have  been 
shown  towards  the  errors  of  men  called  upon  to  act 
promptly,  in  sudden  emergencies,  with  imperfect  in- 
formation before  them,  Mr.  Tayler's  conduct  was 
stigmatised  by  his  Government,  and  he  was  sum- 
marily removed  from  his  oflSce.  All  appeals  against 
this  decision  were  fruitless.  The  Governor-General, 
the  Court  of  Directors,  the  Crown  Government,  all 
recorded  adverse  decisions;  and  Mr.  Tayler  with- 
drew from  the  service  of  the  State.  But  I  cannot, 
after  full  consideration  of  all  the  circumstances  of 
the  case,  resist  the  conviction  that  if  there  was  not, 
in  this  instance,  a  miscarriage  of  justice,  there  was  a 
lack  of  that  generous  disposition  to  overlook  occa- 
sional errors  of  judgment  committed  by  men  who 
had  done  good  service  in  critical  conjunctures,  which 
Ls  a  distinguishing  characteristic  of  Indian  Govern- 
ment. Happily  such  instances  as  these  are  few — if,  in- 
deed, there  be  any  other  of  a  like  character ;  or  there 
might  be  a  fear  that,  warned  by  the  fate  of  William 
Tayler,  if  a  great  storm  should  again  overtake  us,  the 
masters  of  our  vessels  might  be  found  sitting  quietiy 
in  their  cabins,  with  their  pens  in  their  hands,  mi- 
nuting and  recording,  asking  leave  to  save  the  ship 


after  the  most  approved  fashion,  and  trying  to  still  1857—1865. 
the  troubled  waters  with  the  oil  of  official  corre- 

But  the  story  of  Mr.  Tayler  s  disgrace  would  be  Si^i^ 
incomplete,  if  one  special  reason  alleged  for  his  con- 
demnation were  not  noticed  and  examined.  It  was 
said  at  the  time  that  the  Wahabee  conspiracies  of 
Avhich  he  spoke  were  phantoms  of  his  imagination. 
Time  sets  all  things  right — whether  by  illustrating 
truth  or  by  unmasking  imposture.  The  Commis- 
sioner of  Patna  was  said  to  have  ill-treated  innocent 
Wahabee  gentlemen.  It  is  hard  for  a  man  who  has 
been  stripped  of  fame  and  fortune  to  wait  patiently, 
during  long  years,  for  his  vindication.  Mr.  Tayler 
did  not  wait  patiently ;  but  he  waited  long,  and  the 
vindication  came.  It  was  patent  in  rebellions  and 
Avars ;  in  secret  plots  and  open  assassinations.  It 
was  pronounced  by  high  courts  and  solemn  tribunals. 
It  was  proved  that  there  was  a  network  of  Wahabee 
conspiracy  all  over  the  land,  and  that  "  the  centre  of 
this  truly  bitter  and  formidable  conspiracy  was 

This  ought  to  have  been  no  unknown  history  in 
Calcutta,  at  the  time  of  the  events  of  which  I  have 
written ;  for  in  the  Government  archives  were  two 
minutes  of  that  great  minute-writer  Lord  Dalhousie, 
in  which  his  sagacity  was  shown  by  exposing  the 

*  Sir  Herbert  Edwardes  to  Mr.  velyan,  ia  his  admirable  historical 
Tayler.  "  The  Bcugal  Government,"  chapter  "  Cawnpore,"  sneers  at  that 
wrote  tliis  most  able  of  public  *'  favourite  bugbear  of  the  Calcutta 
officers,  and  most  upright  of  judges,  alarmists,"  "  the  city  of  Patna,"  and 
"was  determined  not  to  believe  in  says  that  after  Mr.  Tayler's  removal 
the  Wahabee  conspiracy,  and  pun-  "  ratna  was  as  quiet  as  Madras." 
ished  jou  for  your  rigour.  Time  Later  experiences  of  life  have  doubt- 
has  done  you  justice,  shown  that  less  satisfied  this  brilliant  voung 
you  were  right,  and  hanged  or  trans-  writer  that  the  places  in  which  con- 
ported  the  enemies  whom  you  sus-  spiracles  are  quietly  hatched  are  not 
pected  and  disarmed."  It  may  be  those  which  see  their  violent  deve- 
obaerred  here  that  Mr,  Otto  Tre-  lopments. 



1867-1865.  dangerous  character  of  the  Wahabee  combinations 
even  then  existing.  But  the  new  doctrine  of  1857 
Avas,  that  the  Wahabees  were  the  least  dangerous 
communities  in  the  country — and  at  Patna  especially 
to  be  encouraged.  But  not  long  afterwards  it  was 
apparent  to  the  whole  of  India  that  the  Patna  Pro- 
pagandists were  fomenting  frontier  wars ;  that  they 
were  sending  forth  missionaries  to  preach  destruction 
to  the  infidel ;  and  that  they  had  in  the  city  a 
cunningly  contrived  asylum,  in  the  penetralia  of 
which  were  secret  chambers  and  passages  alike  for 
concealment  and  escape.*  It  would  be  foreign  to 
the  purpose  and  design  of  this  history  to  narrate  the 
incidents  of  the  frontier  wars  provoked  by  rebel 
colonies  deriving  their  strength  from  the  great 
forcing-house  of  Patna.  It  is  enough  to  state  that  a 
The  Urn-  famous  trial  was  held  at  Umballah  in  1864,  and  an- 
ballah  trials,  other  at  Patna  in  1865.  The  first  was  presided  over 
by  Sir  Herbert  Edwardes,  before  whom  eleven  pri- 
soners  were  brought  charged  with  "attempting  to 
wage  war  and  abetting  the  waging  of  war  against 
the  Queen."  Five  of  these  prisoners  were  residents 
of  Patna.  The  arch-offender  was  one  Yahiya  Ali, 
"  high  priest  of  Patna."  Sir  Herbert  Edwardes  said 
of  him :  "  It  is  proved  against  the  prisoner  that  he 
has  been  the  mainspring  of  the  great  treason  which 
this  trial  has  laid  bare.  He  has  been  the  religious 
preacher,  spreading  from  his  mosque  at  Patna,  under 

resist  the  magistrate's  warrant  by 
force  of  arms,  but  their  successors 
fouud  a  less  dangerous  defence  in  a 
network  of  passages,  chambers,  and 
outlets.  When  the  Government  at 
length  took  proceedings  against  this 
nest  of  conspirators,  it  found  it 
necessary  to  procure  a  plan  of  tlie 
buildings,  just  as  if  it  were  dealing 
with  a  fortified  town," 

*  See  Mr.  William  Hunter's  most 
interesting  volume  on  the  "  Indian 
Mussulmans  :"  "  They  (the  Waha- 
beesj)  converted  the  ratna  Propa- 
gancla  into  a  caravanserai  for  rebels 
and  traitors.  They  surrounded  it  with 
a  labyrinth  of  walls  and  outhouses, 
with  one  enclosure  leading  into  an- 
other by  side^ioors  and  little  secret 
courts  m  out  -  of-  the  -  way  comers. 
The  early  caliphs  had  threatened  to 


the  most  solemn  sanctity,  the  hateful  principles  of  1857— 1865. 
the  Crescentade.  He  has  enlisted  subordinate  agents 
to  collect  money  and  preach  the  Moslem  Jehad.  He 
has  deluded  hundreds  and  thousands  of  his  country- 
men into  treason  and  rebellion.  He  has  plunged  the 
Government  of  British  India,  by  his  intrigues,  into  a 
frontier  war,  which  has  cost  hundreds  of  lives.  He 
is  a  highly-educated  man,  who  can  plead  no  excuse 
of  ignorance.  What  he  has  done,  he  has  done  with 
forethought,  resolution,  and  the  bitterest  treason." 
This  man  was  sentenced  to  death,  with  two  others. 
But  the  Judicial  Commissioner,  Mr.  A.  Roberts,  a 
man  of  rare  attainments,  whose  early  death  was 
greatly  deplored,  observed,  when  reviewing  the  pro- 
ceedings, "  The  particular  treason  of  which  these  pri- 
soners have  been  convicted  is  no  new  thing,  but  has 
been  going  on  uninterruptedly  for  the  last  forty 
years,  although  the  Government  has  had  full  cogni- 
sance of  its  existence.  Ever  since  Syed  Ahmed  ap- 
peared on  the  Peshawur  border  in  1823-24,  and  pro- 
claimed a  religious  war  primarily  against  the  Sikhs, 
but  also  in  fact  against  the  British  Government, 
whose  allegiance  he  threw  off,  a  continuous  stream 
of  men  and  money,  supplied  by  an  extensive  and 
well-organised  system,  having  its  centre  at  Patna, 
has  been  flowing  up  from  Bengal  and  Hindostan  to 
the  fanatic  colony  across  the  border.*     Influential 

*  Mr.  Hunter  gives,  as  an  eje-  traies  of  the  districts  tbrough  which 

witness,  tlie  following  graphic  ac-  he    passes;     and,  indeed,    his    fa- 

count  of  a  Wahabee  missionary—  Tounte  preaching-Rround  is  the  oj)en 

which  I  am  doubly  willing  to  quote,  space  thronged  witn  suitors  outside 

because  a  verfexperiencea  andr  well-  tne  magistrate's  court.      The  first 

informed  reviewer  laughed  at  the  preacher  whose  acquaintance  I  made 

generic  description  given,  in  a  former  was  encamped  in  the  avenue  of  the 

volume,  of  the  grey-bearded  emis-  Commissioner's  Circuit  House.    It 

sary    and     his   pony  :    "  Generally  was  oulv  an  old  man  talking  to  a 

speaking  the  Wahabee  missipnary  group  of  Mussulmans  under  a  penal- 

has  litde  to  fear  from  the  magie-  tree.  Close  by  an  iindeniised  redoish 


1867.  members  of  the  family  to  which  the  prisoners  Yahiya 
Ali  and  Abdool  Ruhmeen  belong,  have  from  time  to 
time,  up  to  the  year  1862,  gone  forth  from  Patna, 
and  passing  through  the  British  provinces,  have 
almost  openly  joined  the  hostile  band.  Those  who 
have  remained  behind  have  been  active,  as  Yahiya 
Ali  is  proved  to  have  been,  in  furnishing  their 
brethren  with  men  and  money."  He,  therefore, 
recommended  the  commutation  of  the  punishment  to 
transportation  for  life,  and  confiscation  of  property. 

But  the  work  of  retribution  was  not  then  com- 
plete. There  was  yet  another  arch -conspirator  to  be 
brought  to  the  judgment-seat.  This  was  the  Moulavee 
Ahmed-ooUah,  of  Patna — brother  of  the  above-men- 
tioned Yahiya  Ali.  He  was  one  of  the  three  Wahabee 
Moulavees  whom  Commissioner  Tayler  had  arrested  in 
his  dining-room  in  June,  1857 — and  was  their  spokes- 
man on  that  occasion.*  After  Tayler's  degradation, 
Moulavee  Ahmed-ooUah  was  fondled  by  the  Govern- 
ment officials  of  Bengal.  He  might  have  been  seen 
shaking  hands  at  Belvedere  with  the  Lieutenant- 
Governor,  in  the  presence  of  the  Viceroy.  It  was 
said  that  the  inoffensive  Wahabee  gentlemen,  whom 
Tayler  had  arrested,  were  mere  *'  book-men  ;"f  and 
for  awhile  they  laughed  among  themselves  at  the 
pleasant  credulity  of  the  English.  But  when  Captain 
Parsons,  in  1864,  swept  up  a  number  of  these  Wa- 
habee martyrs,  and  carried,  them  off  to  Umballah  to 

pony  with  a  large  head  fixed  on  a  f  There  could  not  have  been,  for 

lanky  neck,  was  trring  to  switcli  off  exculpatory  uses,    a    more  uufor- 

the  flies  from  a  saddle-gall  by  means  tunate    designation   than    that    of 

of  a  very  ragged  tail.  ....    The  "  book-men,"  for  the  most  despe- 

old  man  nad  a  fresh  complexion  and  rate  of  the  Patna  rebels.  Peer  Ali, 

a  long  white  beard."  was  a  bookseller  {ante,  page  85), 

*  Ante,  page  83.      I  wish    the  and  one  of  the  chief  agents  of  the 

reader  who  refers  to  this  passage  Patna  conspiracy  of  1845,  as  de- 

to   bear   in  mind,  that  I  objected  scribed    in    my    Grst   volume,  was 

therein  only  to  the  manner  of  arrest-  a    "  wandering    bookseller." — See 

ing  the  Moulavees,  l^pk  ii.  chapter  iv. 


be  tried  for  their  lives,  on  charges  of  high  treason,  1867. 
the  position  of  Ahmed-oollah — the  official  pluralist, 
high  in  honour,  drawing  the  money  of  the  State — did 
not  seem  to  be  quite  so  secure.*  It  was  doubtful 
whether  the  good  fortune,  which  hiad  compassed  him 
for  so  many  years  and  enabled  him  to  laugh  at  his 
enemies,  would  much  longer  sustain  him  in  prospe- 
rity. Parsons  came  down  to  Patna,  and  for  two 
months  was  helping  the  Magistrate,  Ravenshaw,  to 
hunt  out  evidence  aojainst  the  harmless  "  book-man." 
Nothing  could  be  clearer  or  more  convincing  than 
the  fact  that  he  had  aided  and  abetted  the  making  of 
war  against  Her  Majesty  the  Queen.  He  was  tried 
at  Patna,  before  Mr.  Ainslie,  the  Sessions  Judge,  and 
convicted  mainly  upon  the  evidence  of  one  of  his 
fellow-conspirators,  who  had  been  tried  and  sen- 
tenced at  Umballah.  The  Sessions  Judge  awarded 
the  punishment  of  death ;  but  the  High  Court  com- 
muted it  to  transportation  for  life  and  confiscation  of 
property.  So  the  honoured  guest  and  favoured  friend 
of  the  Patna  Commissioner  and  the  Lieutenant- 
Governor  of  Bengal  was  sent  to  the  Andamans,  where 
he  had  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  the  Viceroy  of  India 
assassinated  by  a  brother-convict. 

*  "He  was  appointed  member  of  his    employment    as    Depuly    Cnl- 

a  committee  under  Act  XX.  of  1856,  lector." — Report  of  Mr.  G.  F.  Cock- 

oil  the  15th  of  October,  1862,  and  burn.   Commissioner  of  Patna.     In 

again    under    Government    Orders  the  same  report  the  Commissioner 

No.  2577,  of  2l8t  September,  1860,  writes  with  respect  to  the  arrest  of 

he  was  appointed  Deputy  Collector  the  Moulavees  by  Mr.  Tayler,  that 

and  Income  Tax  Assessor  on  a  salary  '*  his  information  appears '  to   have 

of  two  hundred  and  fifty  rupees  per  been  correct,  though  the  propriety 

montli.     He  had  also  been  appointed  of  the  arrests  was  called  in  question 

a  member  of  the  Patna  Committee  at  the  time."    *'  Subsequent  to  the 

of  Public  Instruction,  so  that  he  was  mutinies/*  it  is  added,  **  these  Patna 

in  office  during  tlie  greater  part  of  Moulavees  redoubled  their  exertions, 

the  time    this    treason  was    bein:^  and  brought  about  the  frontier  war 

carried  on,  and  the  business  of  the  in  tlic  latter  end  of  1863." — Pub 

Committee  on  Treason  at  Sadikpore  lished  Correspondence, 
was  carried  on  si'nultaueously  with 


1857.  It  has  been  shown  that  the  events  recorded  in  the 

Lord"  °^  preceding  chapters  made  a  strong  impression  on  Lord 
Canning.  Canning's  mind,  and  that  for  awhile  even  the  re- 
covery of  Delhi  seemed  to  be  of  less  importance  to 
the  State  than  the  restoration  of  tranquillity  to 
Beliar.  It  was  becoming  clearer  and  clearer  to  him 
every  day,  that  there  was  something  more  to  be 
grappled  ^^^th  than  a  mutiny  of  the  Bengal  Sepoys^ 
and  that  it  would  demand  all  the  best  energies  of 
England's  foremost  soldiers  and  statesmen  to  prevent 
the  flames  from  spreading  in  every  direction,  or 
rather — ^for  it  was  hard  to  say  where  the  conflagra- 
tion raged  not — to  tread  them  out  in  one  place 
whilst  they  were  gathering  strength  in  another.  The 
crowning  difficulty  was  this,  that  the  very  measures 
which  seemed  to  be  best  calculated  to  overawe  and 
to  suppress  had  in  them  an  inevitable  tendency  to 
increase  the  evil,  by  arousing  the  fears  and  suspicions 
both  of  the  soldiery  and  of  the  people,  and  it  w^as 
patent  that  among  all  the  sources  of  rebellion  not 
one  was  more  cogent  than  terror.  "  The  mismanage- 
Vugu8t8.  ment  of  the  disarming  at  Dinapore,"  wrote  Xiord 
Canning  to  Mr.  Vernon  Smith,  "  is  the  greatest  evil 
that  has  befallen  us  since  Delhi  was  seized.  The 
consequences  of  it  will  be  that  revenue  will  be  more 
than  evei*  crippled,  and  that  the  means  of  strengthen- 
ing Havelock's  force,  Allahabad  and  Cawnpore,  must 
be  directed  to  pacifying  Behar  and  Bengal.  I  told 
you  some  time  ago  of  the  difficulty  and  risk  which 
would  at  anytime  attend  the  disarming  of  the  Native 
regiments  scattered  singly  or  in  detachments  through 
Bengal,  at  stations  far  removed  from,  and,  in  some 
cases,  inaccessible  to  European  troops.  This  risk 
is  unfortunately  increased  by  the  misconduct  of 
General  Lloyd  at  Dinapore.     To  some  of  the  sta,- 


tions  it  is  physically  impossible  to  send  aid.  At  1857. 
others,  it  is  a  question  whether  the  approach  of 
Europeans  will  not  precipitate  the  outbreak  of  the 
Native  troops,  and  lead  to  the  calamity  which  it  is 
desired  to  avert.*  Each  case  has  to  be  judged  by 
itself,  and  the  decision  to  be  taken  upon  each,  toge- 
ther with  the  general  question  of  weakening  the 
main  column  of  European  troops,  in  order  to  meet 
such  cases,  are  subjects  of  painful  anxiety,  which  will 
now  increase  daily." 

In  the  circle  of  the  Bengal  Lieutenant-Governor- Rohnee. 
ship,  other  troubles  than  those  in  Behar,  of  which  I 
have  written,  disturbed  the  mind  of  the  Governor- 
General.  Some  distressing  episodes  of  accomplished 
facts  were,  from  time  to  time,  reported  to  him ;  and 
there  were  some  peculiar  sources  of  anxiety  in  the 
Eastern  Bengal  districts  which  kept  his  mind  con- 
tinually on  the  rack.  I  cannot  write  of  all  these ;  but 
one  or  two  suggestive  episodes  may  be  narrated  in 
this  place.  At  Rohnee,  in  Deoghur,  was  posted  the 
Fifth  Irregular  Cavalry.  Major  Macdonald  was 
commandant.  Sir  Norman  Leslie  was  Adjutant  of 
the  regiment.  These  officers  were  sitting  one  even-  June  12. 
ing,  with  the  Regimental  Assistant-Surgeon  Grant,  in 
Macdonald's  compound,  drinking  their  tea  and  talk- 
ing in  all  the  tranquillity  of  perfect  confidence,  when 
three  Sowars,  in  undress,  with  swords  in  their  hands, 
rushed  suddenly  into  the  enclosure  by  the  rear  of  the 
house  and  fell  upon  them  with  deadly  ferocity.  One 
struck  at  Macdonald's  head  and  scalped  him  ;  Grant 
was  severely  wounded ;  and  Leslie,  who  was  sitting  • 
in  an  easy-chair,  was  cut  down — or  as  the  Com- 
mandant afterwards  reported,  "  literally  cut  to 
ribbons."      He  lived  for  half  an  hour,   and  then 

*  A  very  similar  opioion  was  expressed  bjr  Sir  John  Lfti 



1857.  "quietly  died."  The  murderers  were  detected  by 
the  help  of  some  faithful  men  of  the  regiment ;  were 
tried  by  a  drum-head  court-martial;  and  executed 
with  the  utmost  promptitude.  But  Macdonald,  who 
had  at  first  been  most  reluctant  to  believe  that  the 
assassins  were  men  of  his  ovra  regiment,  still  reported 
that  the  bulk  of  the  corps  were  staunch  in  their 
fidelity,  and  would  stand  by  him  to  the  last* 

There  was  nothing  more  observable  at  this  time 
than  the  fact  that,  while  the  British  Government 
were  utterly  unable  to  despatch  European  troops  to 
the  outlying  stations,  the  Native  regiments  posted  in 
those  stations  were  in  a  fever  of  alarm,  under  the 
belief  that  the  white  troops  were  coming  down  to 
disarm  or  disband — perhaps  to  fall  upon  them  and 
massacre  them.  Propagated  by  designing  persons  with 
fitting  circumstantial  embellishments,  these  stories 
wrought  upon  the  minds  of  the  Sepoys,  and  made 
them  consider  and  consult  whether  it  would  not  bo 
better  for  their  own  safety  to  rise  at  once  before  the 
threatened  invasion  could  come  upon  them.  From 
Cutiack.        Cuttack  came  announcements  that  the  Mussulmans 

*  The  cool,  almost  humorous 
manner  in  which  Macdonald  nar- 
rated this  tragic  incident,  so  far  as 
regarded  Idmsclf,  is  worthy  of 
notice.  "  I  am  as  fairly  and  neatly 
scalped  as  any  Red  Incfian  could  do 
it.  Grant  got  a  brace  of  ugly  cuts, 
but  Leslie  was  literally  cut  to 
ribbons ;  he  lived  half  an  hour,  poor 
fellow,  and  quietly  died.  We  were 
sitting  in  front  of  my  house,  as 
usual,  at  eight  tm.,  taking  our  tea, 
when  three  men  rushed  quietly  upon 
us,  and  dealt  us  eacli  a  crack.  I 
was  scalped.  Grant  cut  on  the 
elbow,  Leslie,  siltino^  in  his  easy- 
chair,  appeared  to  fall  at  the  first 
blow.  1  got  three  cracks  in  succes- 
sion on  the  head,  before  I  knew  I 

was  attacked.  I  then  seized  my 
chair  by  the  arms,  and  defended 
myself  successfully  from  two  of 
them  on  me  at  once ;  I  guarded  and 
struck  the  best  I  could,  and  at  last 
Grant  and  self  drove  the  cowards 
off  the  field.  God  only  knows  who 
they  were,  and  where  they  came 
froifi,  but  they  were  practised 
swordsmen.  Leslie  was  buried  with 
military  honours;  and  had  the 
burial  service  read  over  him  at 
Deo^hur,  in  Ronald's  garden."  In 
another  letter  he  writes :  **  When 
you  see  my  poor  old  head  you  will 
wonder  I  could  hold  it  up  at  all.  I 
have  preserved  my  scalp  in  spirits 
of  wine — such  a  jolly  specimen  V' 



were  tampering  in  this  manner  with  the  Native  1857. 
soldiery.  That  station  being  on  the  extreme  southern 
limits  of  the  Bengal  Presidency,  was  guarded  by 
Madras  troops;  and  the  lie  was  insidiously  framed 
so  as  to  meet  the  peculiar  circumstances  of  the  coast 
army.  They  were  told  that  the  European  troops 
were  coming  to  disarm  them,  and  then  to  march 
them  off  to  a  distance  of  many  hundred  miles.  Now 
the  Madras  soldier,  as  already  explained,  carries  his 
family  with  him  ;*  so  this  was  a  most  alarming 
rumour.  But  the  thought  of  the  family,  if  a  source 
of  alarm  to  the  soldier,  was  a  source  of  safety  to  the 
State.  The  Madrassees  would  not  listen  to  the  voice 
of  the  charmer,  whose  wisdom  overleapt  itself.  Some 
of  them  answered  that  they  were  "  bound  by  both 
hands;  in  one  they  had  their  wives,  in  the  other 
their  children."t  Those  wives  and  children  were 
hostages  for  their  fidelity.  If  the  families  of  the 
Bengal  Sepoys  had  followed  them  in  camp  and  can- 
tonment, they  would  not  have  gone  into  revolt. 

But  the  place  of  all  others,  in  which  the  isolation  Julpigooree. 
of  a  body  of  English  oflScers  with  a  Native  regiment,  ^^"y— ^"o- 
far  from  any  possibility  of  European  support,  caused 
most  serious  apprehensions  to  the  Government,  was 
Julpigooree,  which  lies  at  a  short  distance  from  the 
borders  of  Bhootan.  There  Colonel  George  Moyle 
Sherer  commanded  the  Seventy-third  Regiment.  It 
was  a  piece  of  rare  good  fortune  that  such  a  man 
should  have  been  at  the  head  of  the  corps.  He 
understood  the  Sepoys  well,  and  he  had  the  decision 

*  Vol.  i.,  p.  291.     "Tlic  family  heavj  expense  to  the  Madras 

of  the  Madras  soldier  followed  his  aud  whatever  increased  the 

regiment,  whilst  the  belongings  of  to  be  traversed  was,  t 

Jiis    Ben^    comrade  remained   in  grievance  to  him." 
their  native  village.    The  removal         f    Letter  from 

of  the  familj  from  one  station  to  Short,  Madras 

another  was  a  sore  trouble  and  a  Ushed  papers. 


1857.  of  character  and  the  conciliatory  manners  which  at 
June.  Qnce  invite  respect  and  confidence.  From  the  first 
he  determined  that  he  would  trust  his  men,  and  that 
he  would  let  them  know  that  he  trusted  them.  He 
felt  that  vague  alarms  and  groundless  suspicions, 
rather  than  any  discontent  or  any  hatred  of  the 
English,  were  hurrying  the  Sepoys  into  rebellion ;  and 
that  all  depended,  under  Providence,  on  the  belief  of 
his  men  in  the  good  intentions  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment and  its  officers.  For  all  sorts  of  rumours  were 
flying  about  to  the  effect  that  European  troops  were 
coming  in  vast  numbers  to  disarm  and  destroy  them. 
Disarming  had  come  into  fashion,  not  without  good 
reason,  and,  every  time  the  post  was  delivered,  Sherer 
expected  to  receive  orders  to  apply  the  universal  pro- 
phylactic to  the  case  of  his  own  men.*  But  so  reso- 
lute was  he  not  to  betray  the  least  want  of  confi- 
dence, that  when  the  postal  wallet  was  one  day  being 
unpacked  in  his  presence,  seeing  that  there  was  a 
despatch  to  his  address  from  Division  Head- Quarters, 
he  turned  to  his  second-in-command,  and  said:  "If 
this,  as  I  suspect,  is  an  order  to  disarm  our  men, 
nothing  will  induce  me  to  do  it ;  I  would  rather  lose 
my  commission."  From  this  decisive  settlement  of 
the  grave  question  some  about  him  dissented,  and  he 
was  urged  by  his  brother  officers  to  obtain  possession 
of  the  muskets,  to  place  them  on  board  boats,  which 
would  be  got  ready  for  them  on  the  Teesta,  and  to 
^end  them  off  to  a  place  of  safety. 

As  the  month  of  June  advanced,  sinister  rumours 
of  disaffection  increased  in  significance ;  and  it  was 

*  Two  troops  of  Irregular  Cavalry,  eager  to  be  led  against  the  Infantrj. 

believed  to  be  staunch,  were  at  Jul-  Two  companies    of    the    Seventy- 

pigooree.      Sherer  said  that    they  third,  who  mutinied,  were  at  Dacca, 
were  sharpening  their  swords,  and 


known  that  there  were  emissaries  in  the  Lines  from  1857. 
Meerut  and  Lucknow — one  in  the  well-known  guise  ^^°^- 
of  a  wandering  fakeer — who  were  endeavouring  to 
corrupt  the  men.  But  there  were  no  alarming  symp- 
toms until  the  25th,  when  these  disturbing  reports 
took  shape  and  consistency  in  the  statements  of  the 
men  of  two  companies  of  the  Twenty-third,  who  had 
arrived  from  Dacca,  and  who  spoke,  as  from  their 
own  knowledge,  of  the  dangers  to  come.  It  was 
affirmed  that  two  hundred  European  soldiers  were 
marching  from  Calcutta  to  disarm  them.  There  was 
then  great  excitement  in  the  Lines.  The  men  were 
swearing  that  they  would  not  surrender  their  arms, 
and  some  were  meditating  an  immediate  rising.  It 
seemed,  indeed,  that  the  time  had  come  when  Jul- 
pigooree,  like  other  British  stations,  would  be  run- 
ning with  Christian  blood. 

When  tidings  of  this  excitement  were  brought  to 
Sherer  on  the  following  day,  he  at  once  ordered  a 
parade,  sent  for  his  horse  and  galloped  to  the  Lines. 
He  heard  as  he  approached  them  that  murmur  of 
many  voices  which  bespeaks  the  general  excitement, 
and  he  knew  that  the  regiment  was  in  the  first  throes 
of  a  great  convulsion.  Everything  then  depended 
upon  the  answer  given  to  the  question,  "Are  the 
men  to  parade  with  their  arms  ?"  "  Yes,"  replied 
the  Colonel,  "  by  all  means — ^with  their  arms,  loaded 
as  they  are."  Every  man  had  ten  rounds  of  ammuni- 
tion in  his  pouch,  and  one  ready  for  mischief  then  in 
his  musket.  The  parade  was  formed ;  and  there  was 
not  a  word  spoken  or  a  movement  made  inconsistent 
with  the  strictest  discipline.  Confidence,  in  this 
instance,  was  triumphant. 

But,  although  the   crisis  of  the  hour  was  past, 

176  B£H A&  AND  BENGAL. 

1857.  and  there  was  less  reason  to  apprehend  a  general 
Junc-Aug.  rising  of  the  Sepoys  at  Julpigooree,  the  danger  was 
not  surmounted.  There  were,  from  time  to  time, 
signs  of  individual  discontent,  and  even  dribblings  of 
open  mutiny.  Suspicion,  though  temporarily  allayed, 
was  easily  re-awakened.  Signs  and  symptoms  were 
eagerly  watched,  and  commonly  misunderstood. 
When  Sherer  sent  a  number  of  elephants  to  Dar^ 
jeeling  to  bring  down  the  office  -  establishment  of 
the  Lieutenant-Governor,  with  bag  and  baggage,  to 
the  plains,  a  rumour  ran  through  the  Lines  that  the 
carriage  had  been  sent  to  convey  European  troops  to 
Julpigooree  to  overawe  the  Sepoys  and  disarm  them ; 
and  again  there  was  fear  of  a  sudden  outbreak.  By 
blended  kindness  and  vigour,  by  rewarding  some  and 
punishing  others,  Sherer  still  kept  the  rebellion  of 
the  regiment  in  check.  But  there  were  traitors  in 
the  heart  of  it ;  and  he  had  to  grapple  with  a  suc- 
cession of  plots  for  the  murder  of  the  English  officers. 
The  fidelity  of  some  of  the  Native  officers  brought 
these  conspiracies  to  light,  and  acting  on  each  occa- 
sion with  the  utmost  promptitude  and  decision,  he 
struck  terror  into  the  hearts  of  the  disaffected,  whilst 
he  encouraged  the  more  loyal  of  his  followers  by 
regimental  promotions  and  pecuniary  rewards.  Some 
men  were  brought,  without  warning,  to  court- 
martial,  sentenced  to  imprisonment  and  dismissal, 
and  sent  in  irons  to  Calcutta.  Others,  who  were 
known  to  carry  loaded  pistols,  waiting  their  oppor- 
tunity,  were  attacked  in  their  huts.  One  man  was 
shot  through  the  head.  Another,  who  in  abject  fear 
had  malingered  in  hospital  and  attempted  to  starve 
himself,  took  to  the  river  and  was  drowned.  And  so 
month  followed  month,  with  occasional  alarms,  but 
the  regiment  remained  true  to  the  leader  whom  they 

THE  AEMS  BILL.  177 

loved;    and   Sherer  lived  to  receive  the  honoois^      issr 
somewhat  overdue,  which  he  had  fairly  earned  by  the 
masterly  manner  in  which,  under  the  most  trving 
circumstances,  he  had  kept  his  r^im^it  fidthfol  to 

their  colours.  ♦ 

Other  troubles  had  Lord  Canning  to  ccmtoid  with^ 
at  his  own  doors — ^new  vexations  arising  finom  the 
discontents  of  the  English  in  Calcutta.  It  has  heesa 
said  that  a  General  Arms  Bill  was  under  considaa- 
tion.  It  was  thought  better  that  some  restricdons 
should  be  imposed  upon  the  firee  possession  of 
offensive  weapons.  Mr.  Barnes  Peacock,  the  Law 
Member  of  Council,  had  sketched  out  a  draft  Act. 
which  he  enclosed  in  a  letter  to  Lord  Canning.  It  was 
brought  forward,  after  some  delay,  which  seemed  to 
bespeak  reluctance  in  the  Legi^tive  Council^  by 
Mr.  Dorin,  and  was  generally  called  Mr.  Dorin's  Actf 
But,  instead  of  affording  any  contentment  to  the 
European  inhabitants  of  Calcutta,  it  filled  them  with 
intense  disgust.  It  had  the  same  fatal  blot,  in  their 
eyes,  as  the  detestable  "  Gagging  Act.''  It  affected 
all  races  alike.  The  Englishman  and  the  Bengalee, 
if  not  in  the  exceptional  clauses  of  the  Bill,  were 
alike  to  provide  themselves  with  licenses  for  the 
carrying  of  arms.  It  was  considered  by  the  Govern^ 
ment  that,  as  the  Native  communities  contained  large 
numbers  of  men  of  all  ranks,  who  had  declared  their 
fidelity  to  the  British  Government^  and  whose  sub- 
stantial  interests  were  so  much  mixed  up  with  our 
own  as  to  render  it  almost  a  certainty  that  their  ptor 

*  If  it  had  not  been  for  the  in-  an  enemy  in  the  iidd,  ha 

stitntion  of  the  Star  of  India,  Sherer  recei?e  the  honour  of 

would  ha?e  gone  nnrewarded  to  his  He  did  not  de^rqj  jut     ^ 

grarc.     It  waa  rnled  that  as  his  ho  ody  prescrred  it     ^*     7] 
serrioes  were  not  serrieet  against       t  Rnaliy  saactiaaea  Btpfc  Mr 

VOL.  ni.  N 


1857.  testations  were  genuine,  it  would  be  an  injustice  and 
an  insult  to  our  Native  fellow-subjects  to  draw  the 
line  that  was  desired  by  our  own  countrymen.  Lord 
Canning,  as  I  have  said  before,  conceived  that,  as 
Governor-General  of  India,  he  was  the  protector  alike 
of  the  black  and  the  white  races,  and  that  it  was  nei- 
ther just  nor  politic  to  impose  restrictions  only  on  the 
latter,  at  a  time  when  there  was  nothing  to  show  that 
the  non-military  communities  of  Bengal  were  not  as 
true  to  the  Government  as  the  Christian  populations. 
And  there  is  nothing  plainer  than  the  fact  that 
to  have  disarmed  the  Native  population,  at  a  time 
when  Government  were  serving  out  arms  gratuitously 
to  Europeans,  would  have  created  a  panic  of  that  dan- 
gerous kind  which  is  so  often  the  precursor  of  revolt. 
But  this  reasoning  was  by  no  means  convincing  to 
the  European  inhabitants  of  Calcutta.  So,  whilst 
Lord  Canning  was  laying  up  for  himself  such  a  store 
of  national  honour  as  has  seldom  been  amassed  by 
any  statesman  in  any  period  of  the  world,  his  name 
in  the  mouths  of  many  was  always  coupled  with  a 
term  of  reproach. 
Demand  for  And  there  was  soon  another  cause  of  offence. 
of  Marthd^^  The  Christian  communities,  in  the  fulness  of  their 
^^'  mistrust,  were  anxious  that  the  whole  of  the  Bengal 

Provinces  should  be  proclaimed  under  Martial  Law. 
This  Lord  Canning  firmly  resisted.  Hints  and  sug- 
gestions were  thrown  away  upon  him.  So  a  pubUc 
memorial  was  addressed  to  the  Governor-General  in 
Council  by  two  hundred  and  fifty-three  of  the  in- 
habitants of  Calcutta  and  the  suburbs,  setting  forth 
that,  having  viewed  with  deep  sorrow  and  alarm  the 
calamities  which  had  overtaken  British  India  in  its 
Bengal  Presidency,  "  they  had  the  painful  conviction 
forced  upon  their  minds  that  the  disturbances  might 

DEMAND  FOE  MiniAL  ULW.  179 

soon  extend  in  all  their  horrors  over  the  yet  quiet  1^7 
portions  of  Bengal,  even  to  Calcutta  itselt"  They 
declared  that  they  had  no  confidence  in  the  Natire 
Police,  either  of  the  Mofussil  or  of  Calcutta,  on  the 
contrary,  total  distrust  of  them^  as  men  who  would 
co-operate  with  the  insurgents ;  and  that  as  the  great 
Mussulman  Festival  of  the  Mohurrum  was  approach- 
ing, the  danger  had  become  imminent.  The  peti- 
tioners,  therefore,  earnestly  prayed  that  his  Lordship 
in  Council  would  be  pleased  to  ordain  that  Martial 
Law  be  at  once  proclaimed  throughout  the  Bengal 
Presidency.  To  this,  on  the  2l8t  of  August,  the 
Governor-General  made  reply,  through  Mr.  Secretary 
Beadon,  that  he  had  given  the  most  carefiil  con- 
sideration to  the  petition,  but  that  he  was  "  unable 
to  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  circumstances  of 
Lower  Bengal,  and  especially  of  Calcutta,  were  such 
as  to  require  the  proclamation  of  Martial  Law,  or 
that  such  a  measure  would  in  any  way  be  expedient 
or  useful."  It  was  pointed  out  that  large  and  ex- 
ceptional powers  to  deal  with  heinous  offences  had 
already  been  conceded  by  the  extension  of  the  Acts 
of  May  and  June  to  the  whole  of  the  Lower  Pro- 
vinces, and  by  the  issue  of  Commissions  in  such  dis- 
trict for  the  purpose — that  it  was  wholly  impossible 
that  European  military  troops  could  take  the  place 
of  Native  Police  in  the  Mofussil,  their  number  being 
quite  inadequate  for  the  purpose,  and  the  interests  of 
the  Empire  demanding  that  reinforcements  should  be 
otherwise  employed.  "  In  Calcutta,"  it  was  added, 
"  there  are  troops  enough  for  the  protection  of 
city  and  its  suburbs  against  any  disturbance, 
are  also  the  Volunteer  Guards,  whose  zealous 
cellent  services  the  Governor-General  in 
glad  to  have  an  opportunity  of  recogni^^. 

n2  ^ 


1857.      there  is  a  numerous  and  trained  Police,   a  consi- 
derable number  of  whom  are  Europeans,  and  all 
under  European  direction  and  control,  who,  whatever 
may  be  the  impression  entertained  of  their  fidelity 
and  efficiency,  have  hitherto  discharged  their  duties 
in  a  satisfactory  manner.     The  retention  in  Calcutta 
of  a  European  Military  Force  sufficient  to  take  a 
share  in  the  duties  of  the  Police  is  impossible,  if  it 
were  desirable. "     In  fact,  it  was  altogether  a  wild 
project  to  think  of  proclaiming  Martial  Law  over  a 
vast  tract  of  country,  where  there  were  no  European 
regiments  to  enforce  it.    Nothing  can  be  clearer  than 
this.     But  still  the  Europeans  of  Bengal  resented  the 
refusal,  and  Lord  Canning  became  more  and  more 
unpopular  every  day. 
False  reports.      Meanwhile  he  was  tantalised  by  reports  of  the  fall 
of  Delhi,  which  poured  in  upon  him  from  time  to 
time,  even  as  early  as  the  month  of  June.     At  first, 
he  was  disposed  to  afibrd  some  credence  to  them, 
and  sent  home  the  glad  tidings  without  expressing 
his  doubts  of  the  authenticity  of  the  story.     "The 
latest  news  from  Delhi,"  he  wrote  to  the  President 
of  the  Indian  Board  on  the  4th  of  July,  "  is  that  the 
town  was  in  our  hands  on  the  14th  (of  June)  ;  that 
there  had  been  great  slaughter  of  the  rebels ;  and 
that  those  who  remained  of  them  had  retreated  into 
the  Palace,  or  Fort.     This  is  by  tdegraph  through 
Central  India."*    At  that  time  there  seemed — and 
not  only  in  Calcutta — to  be  no   reason  why  such 
news  should  not  be  true.     And  it  might  have  been 
true,  for  on  that  14th  of  June  an  assault  upon  the 
city  was  to  have  been  delivered.     But  the  movement 

*  Colonel  Darand  sent  the  mes-    by  whom  it  was  forwarded   bm 
sage  from  Indore,  through  Major    Benares. 
Erskine,  who  sent  it  to  Mr.  Tacker, 


was  arrested  by  an  accident.  How  the  story  which  1857. 
anticipated  the  fact  by  exactly  a  quarter  of  a  year 
first  obtained  currency  it  is  not  easy  to  discover,  but 
it  was  believed  at  the  same  time  in  Oude  in  the 
Punjab,  and  in  other  places,  and  was  the  first  of  a 
numerous  family  of  false  reports  of  the  same  kind.* 

And  whilst  sometimes  he  was  tantalised  by  tidings  ?^^^  ^^ 
of  events  that  never  happened,  communicated  to  him 
perhaps  without  due  discretion  by  over-zealous  func- 
tionaries, he  was  also  disturbed  by  the  feeling  that 
what  liad  happened  was  not  always  reported  to  him 
with  the  promptitude  which  he  had  a  right  to  expect. 
Whether  from  accident,  or  from  remissness,  he  was, 
for  the  space  of  nearly  a  month,  without  any  com- 
munication from  the  Lieutenant-Governor  of  the 
North- Western  Provinces;  and  as  many  private 
letters  had  come  in  from  Agra,  Lord  Canning  was 
stung  by  what  he  conceived  to  be  Mr.  Colvin's 
neglect,  t  The  truth  appears  to  be  that  the  Lieute- 
nant-Governor was  deterred  from  writing  by  the  con 
sideration  of  the  extreme  uncertainty  of  his  letters 
ever  reaching  Calcutta,  and  that  although  he  and 
others  might  not  be  greatly  concerned  about  private 
communications  falling  into  strange  and  perhaps 
hostile  hands,  he  thought  it  expedient  not  to  incur 
the  risk  of  correspondence  of  a  more  important  cha- 
racter between  two  of  the  highest  State  functionaries 
being  intercepted  by  the  enemy  on  its  way. 

*  At  Allahabad  a  royal  salute  was  as  the  communication  of  the  latter 

fired  on  the  26tli  of  June,  for  the  date  begins  with  the  words,  "  The 

fall  of  Delhi.  dawks  are  so  completely  closed,  that 

f  Lord  Canninji^  to  Mr.  Vernon  we  can  only  try  our  cliance  of  a  letter 

Smith.  MS.  Ck)rrespondence,  July  4,  reaching  you  by  the  circuitous  course 

1857.    On  looking  over  the  letters  of  the  western  coast,  through  Jye- 

received  from  Mr.  Colvin  by  Lord  pore,"  I  think  it  very  probable  that 

Canning,  I  find  an  entire  blank  be-  no  letters  were  sent  in  the  interral 

tweeii  the  Ist  and  2l8t  of  June,  and  to  the  QoTemor-Oeneral. 


1857.  But  ever  was  there  to  be  seen,  breaking  through 

Arrival  of      these  great  clouds  of  gloom,  some  gleams  of  consola- 

succours.         x»  J  A       A     X*  A         xi      i_ 

tion  and  encouragement.  As  time  went  on  the  hopes 
of  the  Governor-General  rose.  For  he  saw  at  no 
remote  distance  the  incoming  of  the  ships  which 
were  to  bring  the  desired  reinforcements,  by  which 
he  knew  that  he  could  tread  down  mutiny  and  rebel- 
lion in  our  provinces,  so  long  as  the  Native  States  of 
India  should  continue  true  to  their  allegiance.  The 
great  deliverance  to  which  he  looked  so  eagerly  was 
close  at  hand.  From  the  first  day  of  the  outbreak 
the  cry  had  been,  "  Send  us  more  English  troops ;" 
and  now  from  all  quarters  were  coming  the  welcome 
responses,  for  there  was  not  an  Englishman  in  autho- 
rity who  was  not  willing  to  strip  his  own  colony  or 
dependency  to  succour  the  great  Eastern  Empire 
that  was  so  fearfully  endangered.  "  I  cannot  express 
to  you,"  wrote  Sir  Henry  Ward  from  Ceylon,  "  the 
pain  with  which  I  have  received  your  despatches  by 
Major  Bazeley.  The  need  must,  indeed,  have  been 
great  that  made  you  write  so  urgently,  and  I  should 
take  shame  to  myself,  as  an  Englishman,  if  I  were  to 
allow  any  consideration  of  responsibility  to  stand  in 
the  way  of  an  immediate  compliance  with  your 
request  to  the  utmost  extent  of  my  power."  He  had 
but  one  regiment — the  Thirty-seventh — some  eight 
hundred  strong.  Of  these  he  despatched  to  Calcutta 
four  hundred  and  fifty,  with  fifty  artillerymen  from 
Trincomalee,  and  a  large  complement  of  officers. 
Lord  Elgin  But  the  most  saving  help  of  all  that  was  to  come  to 
Ciitm  force  ^i™^'Was  that  which  he  expected  to  receive  from  the 
diversion  of  the  troops,  which  were  on  their  way  to 
China.  It  has  been  shown  how  earnestly  he  wrote, 
on  the  first  outbreak  of  the  rebellion,  to  Lord  Elgin 
and  General  Ashburnham,   and  how  manfully  he 


took  upon  himself  the  whole  responsibility  of  the  1857. 
diversion.*  It  does  not  seem  that  Lord  Elgin,  in  the 
first  instance,  took  in  the  full  dimensions  of  the  danger 
which  threatened  our  Indian  Empire.  He  received 
the  Governor- General's  letters  at  Singapore  on  the 
3rd  of  June  ;  and  on  the  following  dayt  he  replied : 
"  I  greatly  regret  that  we  can  do  so  little  for  you — 
but  we  are  doing  our  best.  It  is  not  quite  impossible 
that  troubles  in  India  may  re-act  upon  China  and 
add  to  our  difficulties  in  that  quarter.  I  hope,  there- 
fore, that  it  will  not  be  necessary  to  remove  any 
troops  from  Hong-Kong.  Indeed,  the  European  force 
there  is  so  small  that  it  could  not,  I  apprehend,  be 

reduced  without  positive  danger I  shall  await 

your  next  letters  with  the  greatest  anxiety.  Mean- 
while, I  can  only  express  my  earnest  hope  that  you 
may  get  well  out  of  your  difficulties."  This  was  a 
hurried  private  letter.  In  his  subsequent  official 
Iqtter  Lord  Elgin  says,  that  having  since  seen  a  letter 
from  Lord  Canning  to  the  Governor  of  the  Straits 
Settlements,  "  in  which  you  (the  Governor- General) 
suggest  that  it  might  perhaps  be  expedient  that 
means  should  be  taken  to  arrest  the  troop  ships  for 
China  in  their  passage  through  the  Straits  of  Sunda," 
he  had  put  himself  in  communication  with  the  senior 
naval  officer  on  the  station,  in  order  that,  with  his 
assistance,  he  might  effect  that  object.  "Such,"  he 
added,  "  are  the  measures  which  we  have  adopted  for 
the  moment,  subject,  of  course,  to  modification  in  the 
event  of  my  receiving  from  your  Lordship  intelli- 
gence to  the  effect  that  the  pressing  necessity  for  re- 
inforcements  in    India,    which    existed   when   your 

*  Ante,  vol.  i.  pp.  605 — 606.  (official)  communication,  also  dafed 

t  Probably  this  should   be  "  on  June  4,  says :  "  I  wrote  a  hurried 

the  same  day."    The  original  letter,  line  to  jour  lordship  yesterday." 

however^  is  dated  June  4.    Another 


|(;  184  BEUAB  AKD  BENGAL. 


1857.  Lordship's  despatch  under  acknowledgment  was 
written,  had  passed  away."  The  regiments  which  he 
considered  available  for  the  assistance  of  Bengal  were 
the  Fifth  from  the  Mauritius  and  the  Ninetieth  from 
England.  Mr.  Blundell,  the  Governor  of  the  Straits 
Settlements,  took  resolutely  in  hand  the  work  of 
arresting  the  troop-ships.  He  chartered  a  private 
steamer  to  proceed  at  once  to  Batavia,  with  a  despatch 
to  the  Governor-General  of  Netherlandish  India,  re- 
questing him  to  send  on  board  the  transport  the 
orders  of  Lord  Elgin  and  General  Ashbumham  to 
stop  them  on  their  way  through  the  Straits.  The 
General  set  his  face  towards  China  on  that  day.  The 
Envoy  remained  at  Singapore,  awaiting  the  arrival 
of  the  Shannon. 
CaDtainPeel       That  vessel  was  commanded  by  Captain  William 

'^hamMn.  ^^^ — ^  ^^^  ^^  *^^  great  Minister,  whose  career  had 
been  cut  short  by  one  of  those  lamentable  accidents 
which  at  a  later  period  deprived  Protestant  England 
of  one  of  the  best  of  her  religious  teachers.  The 
Shannon  was  "a  magnificent  ship-of-war  carrying 
sixty  sixty- eight-pounders."  She  was  described  by 
her  commander  as  "the  fastest  sailer  he  had  ever 
been  on  board  of,  and  with  the  best  set  of  officers."* 
At  break  of  day  on  the  11th  she  reached  Singapore. 
On  the  24th,  having  embarked  Lord  Elgin,  she 
sailed  for  Hong-Kong,  at  which  place  she  arrived  on 
the  3rd  of  July.  On  the  14th,  Elgin  received  further 
letters  from  the  Gx>vernor-General — ^not  with  better, 
but  with  worse  news  of  the  situation  of  affairs.  It 
was  plain  that  nothing  could  be  done  at  that  time  in . 
China  to  exact  reparation  from  the  Court  of  Pekin,f 

*  Lord  Elgin's  Journal.  rond,  tliat  I  need  only  refer  ibe 

t  Lord  Elgin's  motives  are   so  reader  to  pp.  194  et  ieq,  of  iht( 

clearly  stated  in  his  "Letters  and  interesting  work. 

Jonnuds/*  published  bj  Mr.  Wi^U 



as  the  French  troops  had  not  arrived.  So  Lord  1Sj7. 
Elgin  determined  to  start  for  Calcutta  in  the  Shannon^ 
and  to  take  council  with  Lord  Canning,  who  had 
promised  him  a  most  hearty  welcome.  On  board  the 
Shannon  went  also  three  hundred  marines,  who  had 
lately  arrived  on  board  the  Sanspareil. 

But  the  Slmnnon^  though  a  fast  sailer,  was  still  but  ^^^rd  Elgin  at 
a  sailing  ship,  and  Lord  Elgin  regretted  that  he  was 
not  on  board  a  steamer.  He  reached  the  Indian 
capital  on  the  8th  of  August.  Lord  Canning  was 
rejoiced  to  welcome  his  old  schoolfellow  and  brother- 
collegian.  The  community  of  Calcutta  equally  re- 
joiced in  his  appearance.  The  Governor-Gener«J  was 
then  in  the  lowest  depths  of  his  unpopularity,  and  it 
was  insanely  thought  that  Elgin  might  keep  Canning 
"straight."  But  Elgin  saw  at  once  that  his  friend 
needed  no  help  from  him.  "  There  was  hardly  a 
countenance  in  Calcutta,"  he  afterwards  said,  "save 
that  of  the  Governor-General,  Lord  Canning,  which 
was  not  blanched  with  fear."  He  had  not  much 
speech  of  the  ruler.  "  Canning  is  very  amiable," 
wrote  Lord  Elgin  in  his  journal,  "  but  I  do  not  see 
much  of  him.  He  is  at  work  from  five  or  six  in  the 
morning  to  dinner-time.  No  human  being  can,  in  a 
climate  like  this,  work  so  constantly  without  impair- 
ing the  energy  both  of  mind  and  body,  after  a  time. 
....  Neither  he  nor  Lady  Canning  are  so  much 
oppressed  by  the  difficulties  in  which  they  find  them- 
selves as  might  have  been  expected." 

But  there  was  an  arrival  more  important  than 
that  of  the  Chinese  Commissioner — the  vessels  which 
accompanied  him  to  the  Hooghly — the  Shannon 
commanded  by  William  Peel,  and  the  Pearl  com- 
manded by  Captain  Sotheby.  They  were  the  back- 
bone of  the  great  Naval  Brigade,  than  which  there  was 


1857.  none  that  held  higher  place  among  the  succours  sent 
to  Calcutta  at  this  time.  The  idea  of  this  important 
auxiliary  force  seems  to  have  emanated  from  General 
Ashburnham.*  But  it  was  readily  adopted  by  Lord 
Canning  and  Sir  Patrick  Grant,  and  consented  to  by 
Lord  Elgin,  who  wrote  to  the  Governor-General  on 
the  10th  of  August,  t  saying,  "  I  have  further  to  state 
that  having  learnt  from  your  Lordship  and  Lieute- 
nant-General  Sir  Patrick  Grant  that  a  body  of  sea- 
men and  marines,  though  roughly  trained  as  artil- 
lerjrmen,  conveying  guns  of  heavy  calibre,  and  com- 
manded by  an  officer  of  energy  and  experience,  may 
render  important  service  at  this  conjuncture,  on  the 
line  of  communication  between  Calcutta  and  Delhi, 
and  possibly  at  Delhi  itself,  I  am  prepared  to  place 
Her  Majesty's  ships  Shannon  and  Pearly  with  their 
respective  crews,  at  your  Lordship's  disposal,  on  the 
condition  that  a  suitable  steamer  be  provided  for  the 
conveyance  of  myself  and  suite  to  China,  and  for  my 
use  there,  until  I  can  obtain  the  requisite  accommo- 
dation in  one  of  Her  Majesty's  ships  of  war."  And 
thus  the  Naval  Brigade,  of  which  much  mention  will 
be  made  hereafter,  was  formed.  And  the  heart  of 
Lord  Canning  rejoiced. 

*  "  I  hope  I  have  been  to  some  aud  the  imperial  interests  at  &take.'' 

extent  instrumental  in  getting  up  a  — General  A.  to  Lord  C,  July  16, 

demonstration,  which  I  trust  will  be  1857, 3/iy.     It  is  worthy  of  record 

of  service.    My  great  wish  was  to  that  in  this  letter  General  Ashburu- 

see  a  Naval  Brigade  sent  you,  which  ham  writes :  "  Let  n«e  also  venture 

might  keep  open  the    river    com-  to  remind  you  of   the   dangerous 

munication  with  Allahabad,  manning  vicinity  of  raina,  with  a  large  and 

and    arming    some    of   the    river  highly  disaffected  population.* 

steamers.      My  plan    has    as    yet  f  The   original    letter    is    dated 

been    very    incompletely    followed  "Calcutta,  July  10,  1857,"  which 

out ;    but  with  Captain  Peel  once  is  obviously    a    clerical  error.       I 

with  you,  I  shall  be  surprised  and  have  before  observed  that  errors  of 

disappointed  if  he  does  not  afford  this  kind  are  numerous  in  the  cor- 

greater   assistance  than  now    con-  respondence  on  which  this  history  is 

templated.    We  are  both  impressed  based.     Sometimes  they  are   Terr 

with    one    idea,    and    both    desire  bewildering, 
nothing  better  than  to  serve  you 


Another  source  of  comfort  was  this.  As  the  Go-  1857. 
vernraent  needed  more  troops,  so  also  they  needed 
skilled  generals  to  command  them.  And  news  had 
come  that  one  of  the  best  of  India's  soldiers  was  close 
at  hand.  Early  in  the  month  of  June,  Sir  James 
Outram,  having  brought  to  a  successful  termination 
the  war  in  the  Persian  territory,  had  received  intel- 
ligence of  the  rising  of  the  Bengal  regiments.  He  was 
then  making  arrangements  for  the  re-embarkation  of 
his  troops,  and  his  own  return  to  the  political  post 
which  he  held  as  Governor-General's  agent  in  Rajpoo- 
tana.  The  stirring  news  gave  a  new  complexion  to  his 
thoughts.  He  felt  that  some  more  active  work  would 
be  required-^from  him,  than  that  which  was  likely  to 
arise  out  of  the  post  to  which  he  stood  appointed  in 
the  official  list ;  and  again  his  energies  were  revived 
by  the  thought  of  the  coming  conflict.  But  there 
was,  at  the  same  time,  much  to  depress  him.  "  More 
shocked  than  surprised,"*  as  he  wrote,  by  these  evil 
tidings,  and  seeing  clearly  the  magnitude  of  the 
danger,  he  was  torn  alike  by  public  and  by  private 
anxieties.     His  wife  and  son  were  at  Aligurh,  in  the 

midst  of  the  disturbed  districts,  and  he  wrote  that 
he  was  "tortured  by  fears"  for  their  safety.     His 

eagerness  to  return  to  India,  and  to  be  on  the  scene 

of  action,  was  intense.     So,  having  as  his  first  care 

taken  steps  to  communicate  the  news  to  England, 

through   Constantinople,   by   the   electric  wire,    he 

made  all  haste  to  Bombay,  telegraphed  thence  to  the 

Governor-General  for  orders,  but  having  received  no 

answer  up  to  the  9th  of  July,f  he  embarked   on 

*  The  letter  is  quoled  at  p.  242,  Canning,  Sir  James  Outram  says : 

▼ol.  ii.  "  After  my  departure  from  Bombay, 

t  In  an  autograph  memorandum  the    Governor-General  telegraphed 

before  me,  written  at  the  back  of  a  to  Lord  Elphinstone  on  the  15th  of 

draft  letter  of  that  date  to  Lord  June  (July)  to  send  me  in  command 


1857.      board  a  steamer  bound  for  Galle,  and  thence  steamed 

^"°^'*'     up  the  bay  to  Calcutta. 

Arrival  of  Sir      Qn  the  first  day  of  August  Outram  arrived  at 

James  Ou-         ,  •imi  •  <•  ti 

train.  the  Capital.      To  the  community  at  large,  as  to  Lord 

Canning,  his  appearance  was  most  welcome.  It 
seemed  to  solve  one  pressing  difficulty  arising  out  of 
the  great  failure  at  Dinapore.  "  There  is  no  need," 
wrote  the  Governor-General  to  the  Chairman  of  the 
Court  of  Directors,  "  of  his  services  in  Eajpootana, 
and  I  proposed  to  him  to  take  the  command  of  the 
two  military  divisions  of  Dinapore  and  Cawnpore, 
his  first  duty  being  to  restore  order  in  Bengal  and 
Behar,  for  which  purpose  every  European  soldier 
not  absolutely  necessary  for  the  peace  of  Calcutta 
and  Barrackpore,  would  be  at  his  disposal.  He  un- 
dertook the  charge  eagerly,  and  left  Calcutta  on  his 
passage  up  the  river  on  the  6th.  For  the  moment 
everything  must  give  way  to  the  necessity  of  arrest- 
ing rebellion  or  general  disorder  below  Benares." 
And  again  in  another  letter :  "  Outram's  arrival  was 
a  godsend.  There  was  not  a  man  to  whom  I  could, 
with  any  approach  to  confidence,  intrust  the  com- 
mand in  Bengal  and  the  Central  Provinces.  Colonel 
Napier,*  lately  returned  from  England,  would  have 
been  the  ofiicer  whom  I  should  have  selected  had 
Outram  not  been  here,  and  none  more  able  in  his 
vocation.  But  he  is  an  engineer,  and  the  work 
would  have  been  new  to  him." 

From  Calcutta  Outram  wrote  to  Lord  Elphinstone 
at  Bombay,  saying :  "  It  will  take  me  a  fortnight^ 
they  say,  to  steam  up  to  Dinapore,  where  I  have  only 
a  bullock  battery.      Another   (Captain  Eyre^s)   is 

of  the  troops  in  Central  India,  but  *  Afterwards  Lord  Napier  of 
subsequently  again  telegraphed  to  Magdala  and  Commaader-ui-GluQf 
send  me  to  Calcutta."  of  the  Indian  Army. 


somewhere  between  that  place  and  Benares.  I  take  1857. 
up  a  mountain  train  with  me,  but  no  artillerymen 
are  to  be  had,  and  I  must  extemporise  a  crew  for  the 
guns  as  best  I  can  from  among  the  sailors  and 
soldiers.  You  will  allow  my  prospects  are  not  very 
brilliant,  but  I  will  do  my  best  to  uphold  my  honour 
as  a  Bombay  officer,  and  to  prove  myself  worthy  of 
the  confidence  you  have  always  placed  in  me."  In 
the  same  letter  Outram  says:  "Lord  Canning  is 
bearing  up  wonderfully  under  all  his  anxieties.  Sir 
Patrick  Grant  is  most  ably  supporting  him,  and  is 
an  excellent  fellow.*  The  Council,  too,  appear  to  be 
cordially  aiding,  Low  especially,  who  is  in  better 
health  than  when  he  left  England  to  return  here, 
and  he  stays  till  March,  to  my  great  delight.  Even 
had  his  seat  in  Council  been  vacant,  I  should  have 
deemed  it  my  duty  to  tender  my  services  where  they 
are  about  to  be  employed,  for  action  not  counsel  is 

now  required."t 

On  the  afternoon  of  that  6th  of  August,  when  Sir 
James  Outram  embarked  on  the  river  steamer  for 
Dinapore,  two  officers  of  high  repute  in  the  Bengal 
Civil  Service  embarked  with  him.  One  was  Mr. 
Samuells,  who  had  been  appointed  to  succeed  Mr.  The  new 
Tayler  as  Commissioner  of  Patna.     He  was  a  man  J!?f[\^£""^" 

J  iiiissii  Her* 

held  in  great  esteem  by  the  Government  and  by  his 
brethren  in  the  service,  as  a  prudent,  sagacious  officer, 
with  a  judicial  cast  of  mind,  one  never  likely  to 
commit  himself  by  any  indiscretions  of  undue  energy, 
or  to  compromise  the  high  reputation  of  his  profes- 
sion by  any  defects  of  personal  character.     He  was 

*  A  week  after  Outram  left  Cal-        f  Outram    had  been  nominated 

cutta,  Sir  Ck)lin  Campbell  arriyed  to  succeed  Low  in  the    Supreme 

and  took  the  chief  command  of  the  Couucil ;  and,  beine  eager  for  action, 

army.    But  the  deeds  of  this  true  he  was  sorely  afraia  of  a  call  to  the 

soldier  belong  to  another  yolume.  Board. 


1857.  not  a  brilliant  man,  but  it  is  the  nature  of  brilliancy 
to  contract  stains,  and  Mr.  Samuells*  good  name  had 
not  a  stain  upon  it.  In  a  word,  he  was  a  safe  man, 
which  Mr.  Tayler  was  not ;  and  for  purposes  of 
counteraction  no  better  selection  could  have  been 
made.  To  assist  the  new  Commissioner  in  the 
labours  which  lay  before  him,  a  Mahomedan  gentle- 
man of  good  repute,  named  Ahman  Ali,  was  ap- 
pointed as  Assistant-Commissioner.  It  was  presumed 
that  the  object  of  this  appointment  was  to  signify  to 
the  world  that  Mr.  Tayler,  in  distrusting  the  Maho- 
medan population  of  Patna,  had  committed  a  grave 
error.  If  it  were  so,  it  was  a  much  graver  error. 
But  in  itself  there  was  nothing  that  ought  to  have 
elicited  the  yellings  and  bowlings  which  it  drew  forth 
from  the  European  community  of  Calcutta.  No  ap- 
pointment more  unpopular  among  the  Europeans  of 
the  Presidency  was  ever  made.  They  were  greatly 
embittered,  at  that  time,  against  the  Native  races, 
and  most  of  all  against  the  Mahomedans,  whom  they 
believed  to  be  the  prime  movers  of  the  insurrection ; 
and  they  looked  upon  the  elevation  of  a  follower  of 
the  Prophet  as  a  declaration  of  sympathy  with  the 
rebel  cause.  The  interpretation  was  strained  and 
preposterous  in  the  extreme,  but  there  were  those 
who  pronounced  the  head  of  the  Government  to  be 
the  greatest  rebel  in  the  land. 
Appointment       The  other  fellow4raveller  of  Sir  James  Outrani 

tf  Se'cSnS  ^^'^^  ^^-  J^^^  ^^^^^  Grant,  a  member  of  Lord  Can- 

Provinces,      ning's   Council.     It   has  been   said   that  his   great 

abilities  had  not  up  to  this  time  been  much  tested  in 

situations  of  exceptional  responsibility,  demanding 

from  him  strenuous  action  in  strange  circumstances.* 

*  Jnie,  vol.  i.  page  389. 


But  although  his  antecedents,  and  to  some  extent,  in-  1867. 
deed,  his  habits,  seemed  to  fit  him  rather  for  the  per- 
formance of  sedentary  duties  as  secretary  or  coun- 
cillor, there  was  a  fund  of  latent  energy  in  him,  and  he 
was  eager  for  more  active  emplojrment  than  could  be 
found  for  him  in  Calcutta.  When,  therefore,  the 
state  of  affairs  in  the  Central  and  Upper  Provinces 
was  seen  to  be  such  as  to  require  closer  supervision 
and  more  vigorous  control  than  could  be  exercised, 
in  such  a  conjuncture,  by  the  existing  local  autho- 
rities, and  Lord  Canning  determined  to  despatch  a 
trusted  officer  of  high  rank,  with  a  special  commis- 
sion to  the  disturbed  districts  beyond  the  limits  of 
the  Lieutenant-Governorship  of  Bengal,  he  found  Mr. 
Grant  quite  prepared  to  undertake  the  work  at  any 
sacrifice  to  self,  and  to  proceed  at  once  to  the  scene 
of  action.*  "The  condition  of  the  country,"  wrote 
the  Governor-General  to  the  President  of  the  Board 
of  Control,  "about  Allahabad  and  Benares,  where 
we  are  recovering  our  own,  but  where  every  man  is 
acting  after  his  own  fashion,  and  under  no  single 
authority  nearer  than  Calcutta,  has  made  it  necessary 
to  put  some  one  in  the  temporary  position  of  Lieute- 
nant-Governor, all  communication  between  Agra  and 
those  districts  being  indefinitely  cut  off.  There  is 
no  man  in  whose  capacity  for  the  task  of  re-esta- 
blishing order  I  have  so  much  confidence  as  Mr. 
Grant,  and  certainly  none  who  will  act  more  in  har- 
mony with  the  military  authorities.  The  punishing, 
the  pardoning,  the  escheating  of  lands  and  the  re- 
appointment of  them,  need  to  be  superintended  by 
one  head,  and  there  is  no  time  to  be  lost  in  appoint- 
ing one.     I  have,  therefore,  sent  Mr.  Grant  there  in 

*  I  believe  that  I  am  not  wrong  in  sajfing  that  Mr.  Qrant  himself 
Boggested  the  i^pointment. 



mi.  the  character  of  Lieutenant-Governor  of  the  Central 
Provinces.  He  will  •fexercise  precisely  the  powers 
which  Mr.  Colvin  would  exercise  if  the  latter^  were 
not  shut  up  in  Agra,  without  means  of  communi- 
cating with  those  parts  of  his  Government,  and  this 
will  continue  until  Mr.  Colvin  is  set  free.  Every 
exertion  must  now  be  «iade  to  set  cultivation  going 
on  each  acre  of  ground  that  we  recover.  If  this  be 
not  done,  we  shall  have  famine  and  pestilence  upon 
us  in  addition  to  our  other  calamities;  and  the 
chance  of  doing  it  depends  upon  a  prudent,  tem- 
perate, and,  where  possible,  indulgent  treatment  of 
the  Natives,  both  proprietors  and  cultivators.  They 
must  be  encouraged  and  won  back  to  their  fields 
without  delay,  and  our  local  oflSicers,  even  the  best  of 
them,  are  too  much  irritated  and  excited  with  what 
has  been  passing  before  their  eyes  to  do  this  as  it 
ought  to  be  done." 

It  is  time  now  that  I  should  speak  of  the  events 
referred  to  in  this  letter,  which  had  "  shut  up  Mr. 
Colvin  in  Agra,"  paralysed  the  authority  of  the 
Lieutenant-Governor  of  the  North-West  Provinces, 
and  rendered  it  necessary  that  another  high  ofiicer 
should  be  sent  to  those  districts,  below  the  seat  of 
Government,  over  which  he  had  ceased  to  have  anj' 
bi|^  nominal  control. 



•     ...  1 





>         ••**     TH»'«ORTH-WESTERN  PROVINCES.  193 


[May— StiPTEMBEB,  1857.] 








The  "  North-Western  Provinces  of  India,"  as  then       1857. 
administratively  defined,*  extended  over  an  area  of      ^*.^- 
more  than  a  hundred  and  twenty-five  thousand  miles,  ]y^nt  oTthe 
comprising  the  most. important  and  the  most  interest-  North- 
ing part  of  Hindostan.     Stretching  along  the  great  provinces, 
valley  of  the  Upper  Ganges,  they  reached  from  the 
Kurumnassa  on  the  South-East  to   the  Sub-Hima- 
1     layahs  and  the  borders  of  the  Punjab  in  the  North- 
West,  and  embraced  nearly  all  the  great  historical 
cities  of  Northern  India.     In  the  time  of  the  Moguls 
this  country  had  afibrded  sites  for  their  palaces  and 
encampments  for  their  armies.     And,  in  later  days, 
it  had  witnessed  the  triumphs  of  our  military  strength 
and  the  successes  of  our  political  diplomacy.     How 

•  Major  Chesney,  in  his  admirable  vinccs,"  "  As  a  geo^aphical  expres- 

work  on  "  Indian  toUiy,"  very  truly  sion  the  appellation  'Nortli-West' 

says,  vith  reference  to  the  official  is  at  the  present  day  perfectly  inac- 

dcsignation  of  "  North- WJwtem  Pro-  curate." 

VOL.  III.  0 



194  AGRA  IM  HAT.  .  •    . 

18G7.  first  one  district  and  then  another  had  passed  by 
***?■  conquest,  or  by  cession,  under  British  rule  need  not 
here  be  narrated.  Notwithstanding  these  diversities 
of  times  and  circumstances,  there  was  a  certain  unity 
and  compactness  about  the  wliole.  The  people  were, 
for  the  most  part,  composed  of  the  same  races,  having 
the  same  cast  of  countenance,  speaking  the  same 
language,  and  conforming  to  the  same  usages.  If  the 
population  of  any  part  of  India  Proper  could  rightly 
be  called  a  warlike  population,  the  designation  might 
fairly  be  attached  to  the  inhabitants  of  these  pro- 
vinces.* They  were  a  handsome,  athletic,  robust 
^  community  of  men,  with  finer  qualities  than  those  of 

the  timid  and  astute  Bengalees ;  and  they  freely  sup- 
plied our  army  with  fighting  men.  In  no  part  of  the 
country  was  there  so  close  an  alliance  between  the 
military  and  the  agricultural  classes ;  and  nowhere, 
therefore,  was  a  great  movement  among  the  former 
more  likely  to  evoke  the  sympathies  of  the  latter  and 
to  swell  into  a  popular  revolt.  And  in  no  part  of  India 
was  the  population  so  dense.  Official  statistics  show 
that  upwards  of  thirty-three  millions  of  men,  women, 
and  children  were  congregated  in  the  towns  and 

The  general  administration  of  these  great  provinces 
was  confided  to  a  Lieutenant-Governor.  He  was 
not,  like  the  Governor-General  or  the  Governors  of 
Madras  and  Bombay,  assisted  by  a  Council ;  nor  had 
he  a  separate  army  under  liis  control.  The  troops 
located  in  the  North- Western  Provinces  were  compo- 
nents of  what  had  been  once  correctly  designated  the 
Bengal  Army,  but  which  by  the  extension  m^4 
Empire  had  been  made  wholly  to  outgrow  thcj 

•  It  wiil  be  understood  that  1  say         t  Of  llicsc,   in   roimd 
India  Proper,  because  tlic  PuDJab  is    tweiitj^iRht  millioi 
not  properly  a  part  of  India.  niid  Ayc  millions  Mi 


All  the  most  important  Divisions  of  the^Anny  were  1S57. 
included  in  this  tract  of  country,  until  the  Punjab  ^^-^• 
became  our  border  province,  and  the  defence  of  the 
frontier  against  foreign  invasion  by  land  became 
the  duty  of  the  regiments  that  garrisoned  it.  Still, 
however,  the  great  Meerut,  Cawnpore,  and  Saugor 
Divisions  were  within  the  circuit  of  the  North- 
western Provinces.  The  Meerut  Division  of  the 
Army  included  the  great  district  from  which  it  took 
its  name,  and  the  important  territories  of  Delhi, 
Rohilkund,  and  Agra.  The  CaAvnpore  Division  com- 
prised the  Allahabad  and  Benares  districts  and  the 
new  province  of  Oude ;  and  in  the  Saugor  Division 
were  Jubbulpoor  and  Jhansi.  The  Civil  Divisions 
were  more  numerous.  The  administration  was  en- 
trusted primarily  to  a  number  of  English  Commis- 
sioners, members  of  the  privileged  Civil  Service, 
under  whom  were  Judges  and  Magistrates  and  Col- 
lectors of  Revenue  of  the  same  class.  The  principal 
Commissionerships  were  those  of  Delhi,  Meerut,  Ro- , 
hilkund,  Agra,  Allahabad,  Benares,  Jubbulpoor,  and 
eThansi.  The  Head-Quarters  of  the  Civil  Government 
were  at  Agra. 

The  Lieutenant-Governorship  of  the  North- Western  Mr.  Colvin. 
Provinces  was  then  held  by  Mr.  John  Colvin.  He 
fltood  high  in  public  estimation  as  one  of  the  ablest 
civilians  in  the  country.  He  had^been  brought  into 
public  notice  as  the  Private  Secretary  of  Lord  Auck- 
land, over  whom  he  was  supposed  to  exert  an  influ- 
ence far  greater  than  has  since  been  exercised  by  any 
officer  in  the  same  subordinate  position.  The  disas- 
trous results  of  the  war  in  Afghanistan,  of  which  he  had 
been  supposed  to  be,  if  not  one  of  the  prime  movers, 
one  of  the  most  earnest  supporters,  had  for  a  time 
overclouded  his  reputation.  He  was  held  to  be,  though 


196  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  a  clever,  a  rather  unsound  and  erratic  statesman, 
^^y-  and  he  had  been  sent  to  outlying  protectorates,  such 
as  the  Tenasserim  Provuices,  or  to  far-off  frontier  re- 
sidencies like  Nepaul,  where  no  especial  opportunities 
of  distinguishing  himself  had  been  afforded  to  him. 
It  was  not  until  1853  that  his  great  administrative 
capacity  was  fairly  recognised  by  his  appointment  to 
the  Agra  Government  in  succession  to  Mr.  Thoma- 
son.  Then  he  fully  justified  the  opinion  which  had 
been  formed  of  his  capacity  as  an  administrator,  by 
the  conscientious  assiduity  with  which  he  super- 
intended the  internal  affairs  of  the  great  provinces 
which  had  been  committed  to  his  care,  and  the 
success  which  had  attended  his  efforts.  Like  others 
of  his  class,  he  had  profound  faith  in  the  security 
of  our  Empire,  and  believed  in  the  popularity  of 
our  rule.  Perhaps,  the  recollection  of  the  great 
historical  episode  of  Caubul  had  rendered  him  es- 
pecially unwilling  to  interfere  in  political  affairs, 
and  therefore,  when  news  came  to  him  that  the  Delhi 
Family  were  intriguing  with  Persia,  he  pigeon-holed 
the  report,  and  was  satisfied  that  it  was  all  nonsense.* 
He  did  not  see  that  the  effete  Mogul  could  possibly 
do  us  any  harm,  or  that  the  people  could  have  the 
least  concern  about  the  old  dotard's  doings.  And 
when  suddenly,  on  a  quiet  May  day,  tidings  came  to 
Agra  to  the  effect  that  the  Native  troops  at  Meerut 
had  broken  into  rebellion,  he  does  not  seem  to  have 
thought  of  the  great  political  danger  of  the  proximity 
of  the  mutineers  to  Delhi.  But  when  those  tidings 
were  supplemented  by  further  news  to  the  effect  that 
Behaudur  Shah  had  been  proclaimed  Emperor  of 
Hindostan,  it  was  seen  at  once  that  the  safety  of  the 
Empire  was  imperilled — that  a  crbis  in  our  fortunes 

*  See  artfe,  vol.  ii.  p.  38. 


liad  arrived,  the  like  of  which  had  not  been  seen  for  1857. 
a  hundred  years.  Sensible,  however,  as  he  was  of  ^^J- 
the  magnitude  of  the  danger,  he  met  its  first  ap- 
proaches with  a  calm  confidence,  not  unworthy  of 
the  man  whose  chief  lieutenant  he  was ;  he  looked 
forth,  from  the  great  centre  of  Agra  where  the  storm 
found  him,  over  the  vast  tract  of  country  under  his 
immediate  care,  and  he  comprehended,  with  a  steady 
far-seeing  eye,  the  peculiar  perils  and  necessities  of 
each  of  the  great  cities  on  the  banks  of  the  river,  and 
of  the  outlying  stations  more  remote  from  its  banks. 
He  saw  that  some  of  our  populous  towns,  as  Benares 
and  Allahabad,  were  almost  wholly  barren  of  Euro- 
pean troops,  and  that  other  important  stations,  where 
the  central  Civil  authority  of  vast  districts  was  esta- 
blished, the  English  Government  and  the  English 
people  might  be  swept  away  in  an  hour  by  the 
Sepoys,  who  had  been  charged  with  their  protection. 
What  the  dangers  were,  and  what  the  efforts  made 
to  counteract  them,  in  the  two  great  cities  above- 
named,  has  already  been  told.  But  it  was  not  only 
to  the  country  below  Agra,  but  all  around  and 
above  the  seat  of  Government,  that  Colvin  turned 
his  thoughts  with  apprehensions,  every  day  grow- 
ing into  certainties,  of  fresh  disasters — of  mutinies 
merging  into  rebellions,  of  British  Administration 
effaced  or  paralysed,  and  society  everywhere  con- 

Meanwhile,  at  Agra  itself,  as  the  month  of  May      Ag«- 
advanced,  there  was  great  excitement,  but  no  demon-  ***?*  ^^'■ 
stration  of  active  rebellion.     This  important  city  in 
the  days  of  the  old  Mogul  Eniptrors  had  been  second 
in  grandeur  only  to  DelhL   The  sinuous  wal 
Jumna  flowed  beneath  the  great  city-, 
and  that  wonder  and  delight  of  thoj^ 




The  military 
force  at 

First  tidings 
of  disaster. 

tiful  Taj-Mehal.  The  quarters  of  our  English  people 
lay  more  inland,  extending  in  something  like  a  semi- 
circle, following  the  curve  of  the  river,  behind  the 
City  and  the  Fort.  On  the  side  of  the  Taj  were  the 
British  Cantonments,  including  the  barracks  of  the 
Europeans,  the  lines  of  the  Sepoys,  the  bungalows  of 
the  officers,  and  the  Protestant  Church.  Beyond  the 
city  was  the  civil  station,  with  the  Government  House, 
the  Government  offices,  the  great  Gaol,  the  College, 
the  Roman  Catholic  Cathedral  and  Convent,  and  the 
residences  of  the  chief  civilians — the  whole  included 
within  a  circuit  of  some  six  miles,  the  Government 
offices  being  at  one  extreme  end  and  the  Sepoys'  huts 
at  the  other.  Between  the  Fort  and  the  City  was 
the  bridge  across  the  Jumna,  leading  to  the  great 
roads  to  Cawnpore  and  Aligurh. 

The  military  force  then  posted  in  the  Cantonments 
of  Agra  consisted  of  a  mixed  body  of  Europeans  and 
Natives.  In  the  barracks  were  the  Third  Regiment 
of  Company's  European  Infantry,  commanded  by 
Colonel  Riddell,  and  near  them  were  the  Euro- 
pean Artillery — a  horse  field  battery  under  Captain 
D'Oyley.  The  Sepoy  regiments  were  the  Forty- 
fourth  and  the  Sixty-seventh.  The  whole  were  com- 
manded by  Brigadier  Polwhele. 

Intelligence  of  the  great  events  at  Meerut  and  Delhi 
reached  Agra  on  the  12th  and  13th  of  May.*  On  the 
former  day  some  precautionary  measures  had  been 
taken.  A  company  of  Europeans  had  been  ordered 
into  the  Fort,f  and  Englishmen  had  begun  to  look  at 

*  The  official  report  of  Mr.  Phil- 
lipps,  magistrate  ot  A^gra,  says,  "  Ou 
the  14th  the  news  of  the  massacre 
at  Delhi  reached  Agra."  Mr.  Raikes, 
who  quotes  from  a  iounial  kept  at 
the  time,  savs  tlie  13th.  Mr.  Kcade 
tijso  gives  the  13th  as  the  date.    I 

am  inclined,  therefore,  to  accept  the 
latter  statement. 

t  So  Mr.  rhillipps*s  official  report. 
Mr.  Readc  says  two  companies  and 
adds,  that  the  merit  of  the  move- 
ment is  due  to  Brigadier  Polwhele. 
Mr.  Harvey's  report  says  "  que  com*. 


their  revolvers.  If  any  alarm  arose,  it  was  not  1857. 
that  there  was  a  doubt  of  the  power  to  suppress  ^J- 
at  once  all  mutiny  in  the  Agra  Lines,  for  an  Eng- 
lish regiment  and  a  company  of  English  Artillery 
could  have  readily  disposed  of  two  Sepoy  corps.  The 
danger  which  threatened  them  was  not  danger  from 
this  source.  It  was  of  a  twofold  character— danger 
from  the  great  city,  the  people  of  which  might  have 
risen  against  us— danger  from  the  outlying  districts, 
in  which  Sepoy  regiments  or  detachments  were  posted, 
without  any  European  troops  to  hold  them  in  check. 
It  was  possible  that  these  might  stream  down  upon 
Agra  —  possible,  even,  that  the  great  rebel  force 
gathered  at  Delhi  might  march  down  to  attack  the 
English  capital  in  the  North- West. 

There  were  many  stout  hearts  and  clear  heads  in  Precau- 
Agra,  and  Colvin  did  well  in  turning  them  to  the  best  m^SaSres. 
account.     Among  the  leading  civilians  then  at  the 
Head-Quarters  of  the  North- Western  Government  were 
Mr.  E.  A.  Reade,  Mr.  George  Harvey,  then  Commis- 
sioner of  the  Agra  Division,  Mr.  H.B.  Harington,*  Mr. 
(the  Honourable)  R.  Drummond,  Mr.  William  Muir, 
Mr.    Charles   Raikes,    and   Mr.    Cudbert  Thornhill. 
Never,  perhaps,  was  the  Bengal  Civil  Service,  great 
as  it  is  in  history,  represented,  on  one  spot,  by  seven 
men  of  greater  energy  and  intelligence.     These  men,  j^^_  24. 
with  the  higher  military  authorities — as  Brigadier 
Polwhele,  Colonel  Eraser,  Chief  Engineer,  and  others 
— were  summoned  to  Government  House  to  attend  a 

pany."  I  have  since  ascertained  intelligence  of  the  outbreak  was  re- 
frora  Colonel  Riddell  that  only  the  ceived.  He  might  easily  have  pro- 
light  company  was  sent,  commanded  ceeded  to  Calcutta,  and  thus  placed 
by  Captain  Patten.  himself  and  his  family  in  a  state  of 
*  Mr.  Harington  bad  been  ap-  comparative  safety;  but  he  cast  in 
pointed  a  member  of  the  Legislative  his  lot  with  his  old  comrades,  and 
Council  of  India,  and  was  preparing  remained  iit  Agra  till  the  danger 
for  his  departure  from  Agra  when  was  over. 

200  AGRA  m  MAY. 

1857.  Council  of  War.  Mr.  Colvin  stated  that  it  was  his 
May-  intention,  in  the  face  of  such  great  and  pressing  diffi- 
culty, to  bring  all  the  Christian  families  into  the 
Fort,  from  which  the  Native  regiments  were  to  be 
entirely  removed.  The  order,  indeed,  had  actually 
gone  forth.  But  against  this  measure  Mr.  Drummond, 
Mr.  Harington,  and  others  vehemently  protested, 
and  the  order  was  recalled.  It  was  then  resolved 
that  a  general  parade  should  be  summoned  for  the 
following  morning,  and  that  the  Lieutenant-Governor 
should  address  the  troops.  At  the  same  time,  it  was 
determined  that  a  body  of  European  and  Eurasian 
Militia  should  be  raised ;  and  that  the  minds  of 
the  community  should  be  reassured  by  a  system  of 
patrolling  which  would  enable  even  the  most  timid 
to  sleep  quietly  in  their  beds. 

The  meeting  then  broke  up.  It  had  not  been  a 
decorous  one.  Men  who  had  been  summoned  to  the 
Council  expressed  their  opinions  with  much  warmth  ; 
and  others,  who  had  not  been  summoned,  came  un- 
bidden with  notes  of  alarm  or  warning ;  whilst  letters 
from  outsiders  came  pouring  in,  further  to  emban*ass 
and  perplex  the  Lieutenant-Governor.  One  who  was 
present  writes  that  Mr.  Colvin  handed  him  one  of 
these  missives  with  a  smile.  "  It  was  from  an  able 
public  officer,  who  had  great  opportunities  of  know- 
ing what  was  going  on  in  the  city,  and  contained  a 
solemn  warning  to  His  Honour  to  beware  of  the  knife 
of  the  assassin.  One  officer  rushed  in  to  suggest  that 
we  should  all  retire  to  the  Fort,  another  to  ask  what 
was  to  be  done  at  the  Gaol,  a  third  to  speak  about 
provisions,  a  fourth  about  the  Sepoy  regiments  in 
cantonments.  Every  man  was  anxious  to  do  his 
best,  but  to  do  it  in  his  own  way."*     It  cannot  be 

♦  Charles  Raikes. 


truthfully  denied  that,  even  in  the  midst  of  the  cou-  1857. 
rage  and  confidence  which  were  generally  displayed,  ^^' 
there  was  some  trepidation.  All  men  have  not  the 
same  temperament,  and  among  the  large  number  of 
Christians  at  Agra  there  were  some  who  were  not 
able  steadfastly  to  confront  the  perils  of  the  situation. 
To  Mr.  Colvin,  the  multitude  of  counsellors  that 
assailed  him  on  all  sides  must  have  been  most  distract- 
ing and  perplexing.  He  was  not  merely  a  Civilian ;  he 
was  a  Civilian  of  Civilians.  He  stood  by  his  order ; 
for  he  had  faith  in  it.  And  he  had  reason  to  have 
especial  faith  in  the  members  of  that  order  who  sur- 
rounded him.  But  there  were  men  of  other  expe- 
riences, whose  counsel  he  neglected ;  and  it  was  said 
that  even  among  his  own  brethren  of  the  Civil 
Service,  he  did  not  always  choose  his  counsellors 
wisely.  In  Mr.  Drummond,  the  Magistrate,  he  had 
a  colleague  able,  active,  and  energetic;  and  he  re- 
posed unstinted  confidence  in  him.*  It  was  Drum- 
mond's  belief,  at  the  commencement  of  our  troubles, 
that  they  would  soon  subside — ^that  the  disaffection 
was  superficial  and  partial — and  that  the  soundest 
policy  was  that  which  indicated  the  greatest  confi- 
dence in  the  loyalty  of  the  people.  It  has  been  said 
that  this  in  a  great  measure  may  have  been  the 
growth  of  his  antecedents;  for  he  had  served  for 
many  years  in  the  Pillibhiet  district,  where  the  Mus- 
sulman population  was  abnormally  abundant,  and  he 
had  mixed  largely  with  Mahomedans  of  the  better 
class — the  most  thorough  gentlemen  on  the  face  of 
the  earth — who  had  made  so  favourable  an  impres- 

*  Writing  to  Lord   Canning  on  are  beyond  all  praise),  I  have  been 

the  29tk  of  May,  Mr.  Colvin  said  :  able  to  maintain  order  as  yet  in  all 

•'  With  the  invaluable  aid  of  Mr.  R.  the    Agra    district." — MS.    Corre^ 

Drummond,    the   Magistrate    here  spondence, 
(whose  energy,  influence,  and  spirit 

202  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  sion  upon  him,  that  he  was  slow  to  credit  the  stories 
^"^*  of  their  perversion.  When,  therefore,  unfavourable 
reports  were  brought  to  him — when  first  one  story 
and  then  another  of  treasonable  conspiracies  in  the 
city  reached  him — when  it  was  said  that  even  his 
o^vn  Native  oflScials  were  hatching  sedition  against 
the  State — he  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  these  warnings, 
and  could  not  be  induced  either  to  act  or  to  inquire. 
It  may  be  assumed  that  some  of  these  stories  were 
the  effusions  of  an  excited  imagination ;  but  the 
general  tendency  of  Mr.  Drummond's  policy,  and 
therefore  of  Mr.  Colvin's,  was  to  ignore  the  surround- 
ing danger,  and  to  avert  all  possible  hostility,  by 
appearing  to  be  unconscious  of  it. 
The  En-  There  were  protests  raised  against  this  policy  of 

M^eraat  over-confidence,  especially  by  the  Engineer  officers 
at  Agra.  Of  all  classes  of  public  functionaries,  per- 
haps, our  Engineer  officers  in  India  were  those  whose 
lives  had  best  fitted  them  to  take  an  impartial  and 
comprehensive  view  of  the  nature  of  the  crisis  that 
threatened  the  State,  and  of  the  best  means  of  com- 
bating it.  They  were  the  flower,  intellectually,  of 
our  military  service — the  emeriti  of  that  now-effaced 
college  at  Addiscombe,  which  sent  forth  so  many 
great  men  to  fight  our  battles,  and  to  direct  our 
councils.  Their  duties  lay  midway  between  thoBe  of 
the  soldier  and  of  the  civilian ;  and  they  were  com- 
monly free  from  those  professional  prejudices  and 
jealousies  which  often  raised  conflicts  of  opinion  and 
of  action  between  the  two  branches  of  the  public 
service.  They  had  in  many,  if  not  in  most  instances, 
served  in  widely  different  parts  of  the  country,  and 
they  had  enjoyed  peculiar  opportunities,  when  em- 
ployed in  the  districts,  of  ascertaining  the  feelings  of 
the  people.      And  when  it  is  considered  that  with 



this  general  knowledge  were  combined  their  own 
special  scientific  qualifications — ^their  knowledge  of 
the  theory  and  often  of  the  practice  of  modern  war- 
fare, and,  most  of  all,  of  defensive  operations — few 
will  hesitate  to  admit  that  the  crisis  at  Agra  de- 
manded that  the  advice  offered  by  the  Engineer  offi- 
cers should  be  received  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor 
with  the  utmost  deference  and  respect. 

It  was  not  so.  And  yet  the  Engineer  officers  at 
Agra  were  men  of  no  common  merit.  The  Chief 
Engineer  was  Colonel  Hugh  Fraser — a  soldier  of 
high  professional  attainments,  greatly  esteemed  in 
his  corps;  a  vigorous,  cool-headed  man,  prompt  in 
action  and  fertile  in  expedients.  Many  anecdotes, 
illustrative  of  his  courage  and  energy,  were  current 
in  the  country.*  If  he  lacked  anything,  it  was  power 
of  expression  to  enforce  his  views  in  the  most  effec- 
tive manner.  But  what  he  wanted  was  largely  pos- 
sessed by  Major  Weller,  his  comrade  and  friend,  who 
ever  went  hand-in-hand  with  him,  knowing  his  worth, 
and  feeling  that  the  day  would  come  when  it  would 
be  fully  recognised.  There  were  others  of  the  same 
distinguished  regiment,  including  Colonel  Glasford, 
who  at  an  early  period  was  appointed  Commandant 
of  the  Fort,  and  Captain  Norman  Macleod,  Military 



*  I  cannot  abstain  from  giving 
the  following,  in  the  words  of  one 
who  knew  him  well :  "  Many  years 
before  1857—1  think  in  1836  or 
1837 — he  was  driving  along  the 
parade  at  Cawnpore,  wnen  he  saw  a 
crowd  assemblea.  Always  inquiring, 
and  being  very  short-sighted,  he 
asked  his  syce  what  was  the  matter. 
The  syce  said  that  there  was  a  row, 
and  Fraser  got  out  of  his  buggy  and 
walked  to  the  spot.  A  Sepoy  of  the 
Seventh  Native  Infantry  had  shot  a 
Havildar,  and,  having  reloaded  his 

musket,  was  standing  at  bay  threat- 
ening to  shoot  any  one  who  at- 
tempted to  seize  him.  Fraser  at 
once  pushed  through  the  crowd,  and 

afterwards  told  me, '  Han*^  it, , 

what  could  I  do  but  to  collar  him  ?' 
The  man  was,  of  course,  tried  and 
hanged ;  and  I  think  it  probable  tliat 
no  one  less  generally  liked  could 
have  seized  him  with  impunity."  An- 
other characteristic  anecdote  will  be 
found  in  a  subsequent  chapter  re- 
lating to  events  at  Lucknow. 

204  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.      Secretary  to   the  Lieut^jnant-Governor,    whose   gal- 
^*J-      lantry  had  been  approved  before  the  gates  of  Ghuz- 
nee  at  the  commencement  of  ^the  great  Afghan  cam- 

When  Colonel  Fraser  first  learnt  that  the  troops 
at  Meerut  had  broken  into  rebellion,  he  wrote  a 
Minute,  or  a  series  of  "notes,"  setting  forth  the 
course  which,  as  he  conceived,  ought  to  be  adopted. 
The  essence  of  the  policy  which  he  advocated  was 
May  13,  contained  in  the  first  sentence :  "  If  the  news  from 
Meerut  is  bad,  or  none  arrives  from  that  place  by 
ten  A.M.,  distrust  everybody,  and  recognise  the 
emergency."  Mr.  Colvin  afterwards  said  that  he 
"recognised  the  emergency"  from  the  beginning; 
but  he  assuredly  did  not  support  the  policy  of  mis- 
trusting every  one.  If  Mr.  Drummond's  notion  at 
this  time  was  not  that  it  would  be  wise  to  trust 
every  one,  it  was  assuredly  his  belief  that  we  should 
appear  to  trust  every  one.  But  the  Engineers  thought 
differently.  They  recommended  that  all  the  treasure 
should  be  conveyed  to  the  Fort,  and  that  all  the 
women  and  children  should  be  ordered  to  take  up 
their  residence  within  its  walls — that  the  Lieutenant- 
Governor  with  his  Staff  and  all  important  records 
should  also  be  moved  into  the  Fort — that  one  half  ot 
our  Artillery  should  be  garrisoned  there,  and  that  "  all 
writers,  pensioners,  and  Eurasians"  should  be  armed 
and  sent  thither  with  "  magazine  establishment  com- 
plete." Other  detailed  suggestions  were  put  forth, 
and  among  them  one  to  the  effect  that  the  Ninth 
Native  Regiment  at  Aligurh,  believed  to  be  faithful, 
should  be  brought  down  to  Agra,  and  should  fumish 
guards  over  the  Treasury.*     It  was  recommended 

*   The  words  are,   "  March  the    Aligurh  down  to  the  Treasury,  prf 
Kinth  llcgioiCDt  Native  Infantry  at    all  women  and  children  there,  or  ii 

E£COM10:NDATIONS  of  TH£  £NGIN££BS.  205 

also  that  General  Wheeler,  as  one  of  the  best  Sepoy  1857. 
oflScers  in  India,  should  be  summoned  to  Agra ;  and  ^*y- 
that  the  Cawnpore  Brigade,  under  Brigadier  Jack, 
should  be  ordered  to  Aligurh,  there  to  be  joined  by 
any  troops  obtainable  from  Gwalior,  and  then  to  be 
marched  upon  Meerut.  Viewed  by  the  light  of 
after  events,  these  two  last  suggestions  were  of  doubt- 
ful wisdom ;  but  they  were  written  when  nothing 
more  was  known  than  that  the  Meerut  regiments  had 
revolted.  Of  the  recommendations  with  respect  to 
the  internal  defence  of  Agra,  I  cannot  think  other- 
wise than  that  they  were  wisely  conceived,  and  that 
it  would  have  been  well  if  they  had  been  adopted. 
Had  all  valuable  property,  public  and  private,  been 
removed  into  the  Fort,  together  with  the  public 
records,  much  would  have  been  saved,  the  loss  of 
which  has  since  been  bitterly  deplored  alike  by  in- 
dividuals and  by  the  State.  But  it  was  thought  that 
such  precautions  would  have  betrayed  a  want  of 
confidence,  and  so  the  advice  of  the  Engineers  was 

On  the  morning  of  the  15th,  the  troops  were  brigaded  The  Lieu 
in  cantonments.     The  Lieutenant-Governor  and  allQ^ernor's 
the  principal  civil  officers  were  present.     Mr.  Colvin,  address  to 

*  *^  *  the  troops, 

May  15. 
nearest  adjoining  buildings,  and  let  such  eourse.  It  would  liave  been  . 
the  commanding  officer  and  civil  explained  by  the  known  occurrences 
authorities  do  their  best — the  civil  at  Meerut  and  Delhi,  tbe  certainty 
authorities  arranging  for  Sowar  pa-  that  we  should  have  to  wait  for  Eu- 
trols  in  every  direction."  This  does  ropean  reinforcements,  and  *  fore- 
not  seem  to  be  quite  consistent  with  warned  is  forearmed.'  Few  bulky 
the  idea  of  "distrusting  everybody."  articles  would  have  been  sent  in, 
*  The  following  is  from  Mr.  and  tlie  terrible  and  irreparable  de- 
(afterwards  Sir  George)  Harvey's  struction  of  private  valuables,  libra- 
official  report :  "  It  was  unfortunate  rics,  &e.,  to  say  nothing  of  important 
that  occasion  was  not  taken  for  in-  public  records,  would  not  have  oc- 
viting  all  residents  to  send  in  their  curred.  Mr.  Drummond,  a  verv 
valuables  for  safe  custody.  It  was  able,  energetic,  and  intelligent  om- 
wholly  a  mistake  to  suppose  that  cer,  opposed  himself  strongly  to 
the  Native  mind  woula  have  im-  this  scueme." 
bibed    impressions  of  alarm  from 

206  AGRA  IN  MAT. 

1857.  standing  up  in  his  carriage,  first  addressed  the  Euro- 
^"y-  pean  regiment  on  parade.  He  told  the  men  not  to  dis- 
trust their  Native  brothers-in-arms,  but  significantly 
added  that  they  had  murdered  a  clergyman's  daughter 
at  Delhi.  The  Europeans  clutched  the  butts  of  their 
muskets  with  a  firmer  grasp,  and  there  was  not, 
perhaps,  a  man  in  the  ranks  who  would  not  fain  have 
loaded  at  that  moment  and  fired  his  piece  into  the 
thick  of  the  Native  battalions.  Then  Colvin  addressed 
the  Sepoys  in  Hindostanee,  telling  them  that  he  had 
full  trust  in  their  loyalty,  but  that  if  any  man  wished 
to  leave  his  colours,  or  had  any  complaint  to  make, 
it  was  the  desire  of  the  Government  that  he  should 
come  forward.  Then  the  Sepoys  set  up  a  shout,  or  a 
yell,  but  no  man  came  to  the  front.  It  has  been  said 
that  they  "looked  with  a  devilish  scowl"  at  our 
people,  and  it  is  probable  that  even  then  there  was 
rebellion  in  their  hearts.  They  were  merely  biding 
their  time — ^^vaiting  their  opportunity — seeing  what 
their  brethren  would  do. 

Having  done  what  he  thought  best,  in  that  first 
week,  to  provide  for  the  safety  of  his  capital,  Colvin 
bethought  himself  of  what  might  best  be  done  for 
the  great  country  under  his   charge,  or,    in  other 
words,   for  the   Empire.      He   had  never   taken  a 
desponding  view  of  the  situation.     He  knew  that  if 
Delhi  were  not  speedily  recovered,  the  structure  of 
British  rule  would  be  shaken  to  its  very  foundation ; 
but  he  did  not  think  that  the  mutineers  even  behind 
the  walls  of  the  great  city  could  make  an  effectual 
stand  against  the  troops  that  would  be  sent  down    j 
to  expel  them ;  and  he  wrote  to  General  Anson,  as   J 
Lord  Canning  and  Sir  John  Lawrence  had  written,   I 
to  urge  him  to  lose  no  time  in  moving  upon  and  f 
attacking  Delhi,     Meanwhile,  efforts  might  be  made  I 


at  Agra,  to  show  that  the  British  Government  1857. 
were  not  stunned  or  paralysed.  If  the  enemy  came  ^y- 
down  upon  them,  they  would  march  out  to  give 
battle  to  the  rebel  force.  And,  in  any  case,  some- 
thing might  be  done  to  re-open  the  roads  between 
Agra  and  Delhi,  to  give  assurance  to  the  neighbour- 
ing districts,  and  to  ascertain  the  actual  state  of 
things  in  the  country  above.  To  accomplish  these 
objects,  Mr.  George  Harvey,  the  Commissioner,  was 
selected  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor.  He  readily 
accepted  the  office,  and  prepared  himself  at  once  to 
set  out  on  his  hazardous  mission.*  He  started  on 
the  20th  of  May,  accompanied  by  some  officers  ot 
the  Customs  departments  and  some  employes  of  the 
East  India  Railway,  and  on  the  following  morning 
was  at  Muttra,  where  he  found  a  body  of  Bhurtpore 

It  was  of  immense  importance  in  such  a  con-  Support  of 
juncture  to  secure  the  support,  or,  indeed,  even  the  chjefg**'^® 
semblance  of  the  support,  of  the  Princes  and  Chiefs 
of  India,  who,  at  no  great  distance  from  Agra,  were 
maintaining  their  Native  Courts,  and  holding  in 
their  pay  Native  Armies.  Although  we  had  taken 
upon  ourselves  the  entire  defence  of  India,  protecting 
the  Native  States  against  Foreign  enemies,  and  not 
suflfering  them  to  make  war  among  themselves,  we 

*  "  Mr.  Cokin  iniimated  io  me  a  of  mmours  causing  dangerous  ex- 
wish  that,  escorted  bj  two  hundred  citement  should  be  ascertained — 
of  the  GwaUor  Contingent  and  two  whilst  it  was  of  essential  importance 
guns  daily  expected,  i  should  pro*  that  the  movements  and  wishes  of 
ceed  towards  Delhi  by  the  right  His  Excellency  the  Commander-in- 
bank  of  the  river,  Hd  Muttra.  It  Chief  should  be  known  to  Qovem- 
was,  he  said,  very  desirable  that  the  ment.  I  was,  on  arrival,  to  take 
Qovernments  of  the  North-Westem  charge  of  the  Delhi  Agency,  and  to 
Provinces  should  give  some  sign  of  remain  permanently  in  the  appoint- 
life  in  this  emergency;  that  the  ment  should  I  desire  it." — Official 
communications  between  Delhi  and.  Report,  The  Qwalior  troops,  h  " 
through  it,  of  Meerut  should  be  re-  ever,  were  required  for  other 
opened;  and  that  the  actual  truth  vice. 

208  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  had  permitted  these  Princes  and  Chiefs  to  entertain 
May.  considerable  bodies  of  troops,  partly  to  give  dignity 
to  their  rule  and  partly  to  support  the  Civil  admi- 
nistration of  their  respective  territories.  These  had 
not  the  high  organisation  and  matured  discipline  of 
our  own  troops ;  biit  though,  as  seen  by  the  outward 
eye,  they  lacked  much  of  the  military  steadfastness 
and  regularity  to  which  we  are  accustomed,  they  had 
some  good  fighting  qualities,  and  in  partisan  warfare 
were  by  no  means  to  be  despised.  And,  besides 
these  purely  Native  troops,  drilled  and  equipped 
after  the  Eastern  fashion,  there  were  in  some  states 
bodies  of  troops,  known  as  Contingents,  officered  by 
English  officers  and  disciplined  after  the  English 
fashion.  In  the  service  of  the  Maharajah  Scindiah 
was  a  strong  force  of  this  description,  with  its  head- 
quarters at  Gwalior  —  a  force,  the  components  of 
which  differed  little  from  those  of  our  own  resi- 
ments.  Of  this  Contingent  1  shall  presently  speak 
more  in  detail.  In  the  little  state  of  Kolah,  there 
was  also  a  Contingent,  on  a  much  smaller  scale ;  and 
at  Bhurtpore,  which  lay  nearer  to  Agra  than  either 
of  those  places,  there  was  a  Native  force  in  the  pay 
of  the  Rajah,  composed  principally  of  hardy  Jhdts. 
The  contiguity  of  these  several  military  powers 
might  be  a  source  of  strength  or  a  source  of  weak- 
ness to  us  at  Agra.*  In  Colvin's  eyes  it  was  the 
former.  At  that  time  the  movement  against  the 
British  authority  appeared  to  be  mainly  a  Mussul- 
man movement.  At  all  events,  at  the  great  centre 
of  Delhi,  it  had  taken  the  shape  of  a  Mahomedan 
revolution,    culminating   in   the   restoration   of  the 

*  It  will  be  understood  that  I  am    whose  movemenfs  especially  affected 
speaking  here  only  of  those  states    our  position  at  Agra. 


Mogul  Empire.  It  was  not  likely  that  the  Hindoo  1857. 
States  would  sympathise  with  this  movement.  "  Scin-  ^y- 
diah  and  Bhurtpore,"  wrote  the  Lieutenant-Governor 
on  the  15th  of  May,  "  will  be  heartily  with  us  against 
the  new  dynasty  of  the  House  of  Timour."  Both 
Princes  responded  readily  to  the  call,  and,  for  good 
or  for  evil,  sent  in  their  military  aid.  On  the  15th 
Captain  Nixon,  with  a  detachment  of  Bhurtpore 
troops,  occupied  Muttra;  and  on  the  16th  some 
details  of  Cavalry  and  Artillery  from  the  Gwalior 
Contingent  made  their  appearance  at  Agra.  Scindiah 
afterwards  manifested  his  loyalty  and  good  feeling 
by  placing  his  body-guard  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Lieutenant-Governor.  It  was  true  that  any  or  all 
of  these  might  follow,  or  even  lead  the  way,  along  the 
rough  road  of  rebellion  ;  but  still  the  mere  fact  that 
their  masters  had  sent  them  to  aid  us,  and  had  thus 
openly  arrayed  themselves  on  our  side,  could  not 
be  otherwise  than  productive  of  a  good  moral  effect. 
There  was  nothing  plainer  to  Colvin  than  that,  if  the 
Princes  and  Chiefs  of  India  were  then  to  rise  against 
the  British,  no  earthly  jtower  could  save  us  from 
destruction.  It  was  sound  policy  to  trust  them — to 
assume  that  the  interests  of  the  ^lahratta,  Jhat,  and 
Rajpoot  powers  were,  in  that  crisis,  identical  ^vith 
our  own.  It  flattered  their  pride  to  confide  in  them 
as  faithful  allies  and  to  seek  their  assistance  in  the 
hour  of  our  need.  The  presence  of  their  troops  at 
Agra  might  be  a  source  to  us  of  immediate  weakness 
rather  than  of  strength,  by  increasing  the  numerical 
preponderance  of  the  Native  soldiery ;  but  still,  at 
such  a  time,  there  would  be  gain  to  our  cause 
throughout  the  country  in  this  exhibition  of  the 
security  of  our  Native  alliances ;  and  Colvin  was  not 

VOL.  III.  p 


210  AGEA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  thinking  so  much  of  the  safety  of  the  city  in  which  he 
^'^-  Uved,  as  of  the  general  welfare  of  the  great  provmces 
committed  to  his  care. 
M  interval  Days  passed,  and  there  were  still  no  overt  signs  of 
May  15—21  ^^^*^^y-  Things  went  on  outwardly  much  as  they 
had  been  wont  to  do  before  the  sound  of  that  ominous 
word  had  been  heard.  The  formal  routine  of  public 
business  was  not  suspended  or  broken  through.  The 
Judge  took  his  seat  on  the  bench,  and  the  Revenue 
Officer  went  to  his  work  after  the  wonted  fashion.* 
The  Government  and  the  Missionary  schools  were 
attended  as  numerously  as  in  the  most  tranquil  times. 
Not  a  pupil  absented  himself  from  his  class,  not  a 
lesson  was  foregone  or  neglected.  And  though  the 
elder  and  more  thoughtful  civil  officers  went  about 
their  work  with  heavy  hearts,  thinking  of  friends  and 
relatives  at  a  distance  exposed  to  the  fury  of  the 
enemy,  the  younger  military  officers  took  their  accus- 
tomed rides,  played  at  billiards,  swam  in  the  river, 
and  were  apparently  as  joyous  and  unconcerned  by 
day,  and  slept  as  soundly  by  night  in  the  Sepoys' 
lines,  as  though  they  were  not,  in  all  human  proba- 
bility, destined  to  be  the  first  victims  to  the  savage 
hatred  of  the  soldiery  whom  they  commanded.f  But 
although  the  technical  business  of  administration  went 
on  with  outward  regularity,  precautionary  measures 
were  taken  by  the  authorities  to  give  confidence  to 
the  weak  and  the  wavering,  and  to  prepare  against 
any  sudden  attack.  Among  these  was  the  formation 
of  a  Volunteer  Cavalry  Corps,  for  service  beyond  the 
limits  of  cantonments — a  corps  that  afterwards  did 
right  good  service — and  the  organisation  of  patrolling 

*  Mr.  Raikes  says  with  emphatic    pass  decrees  which  no   one  ooqU 
force,  "  We  had  to  grant  injunctions    execute." 
which  nobody  attended  to,  and  to        f  Raikes. 


bands  for  the  immediate  defence  of  Agra,  intended  to  1857. 
assure  the  minds  of  the  people  if  loyal,  or  to  overawe  ^y  ^^ 
them  if  they  brooded  on  mischief.  It  may  be  said 
that  every  Englishman  in  the  place  joined  one  or 
other  of  these  forces,  whilst  many  Christians  of  the 
mixed  blood  enlisted  cheerfully  in  them.  Those  who 
had  no  ties  of  wife  and  children  were  glad  to  mount 
their  horses  and  to  scour  the  surrounding  country. 
Those  whose  families  were  in  Agra  naturally  preferred 
service  as  town-patrols. 

Affairs  were  in  this  state  when,  on  the  21st  ofTheMuiiuy 
May,  tidings  were  brought  to  Agra  that  the  Native  **  ^^^^'y 
troops  at  Aligurh,*  fifty  miles  distant,  on  the 
other  side  of  the  river,  had  broken  into  rebellion. 
The  story,  [as  subsequently  developed,  was  this : — 
Only  a  small  Sepoy  force  was  located  at  Aligurh. 
A  few  companies,  with  the  head-quarters,  of  the 
Ninth  Sepoy  Regiment,  under  Major  Percy  Eld, 
composed  the  garrison.  On  the  12th  of  May,  news 
of  the  Meerut  mutiny  reached  the  station.  But  the 
troops  did  not  seem  to  waver.  A  week  passed  away, 
and  the  only  symptom  of  disquietude  was  "  the 
burning  of  an  empty  bungalow."  But  that  ever  was 
a  sign  of  coming  trouble.  Reports  of  a  most  alarm- 
ing and  irritating  character  were  in  circulation — 
some  wholly  false,  and  some  having  foundation  of 
fact  with  a  vast  superstructure  of  error.  Among  the 
latter  there  was  an  exaggerated  story  of  the  unfor- 
tunate affair  of  the  Sappers  and  Miners  at  Meerut.f 
It  was  generally  said,  and  currently  believed,  that 
the  English  at  that  station  had  been  altogether  the 

*  Tlic  city  is  known  as  Coel,  the        f  Ante,  vol.  ii.  p.  1 7  S. 
fort  as  Aligurh. 





May  16. 

aggressors,  and  that  European  troops  were  coming 
down  to  destroy  the  Sepoys  at  Aligurh. 

It  was  plain,  indeed,  that,  although  all  was  quiet 
in  city  and  cantonment,  it  needed  but  a  spark  to 
excite  a  general  conflagration.  Before  the  third  week 
of  May  was  spent,  everything  was  ripe  for  an  out- 
break. It  was  a  mere  matter  of  accident  what  might 
be  the  immediate  cause  to  precipitate  it.  One  pit- 
fall was  escaped.  A  party  of  the  Ninth  had  been 
sent  out,  under  Captain  D.  M.  Stewart,  to  suppress 
some  alleged  disturbances  in  the  district ;  and  with 
it  had  gone  young  Francis  Outram,  of  the  Civil 
Service,  with  a  little  party  of  Sowars,  whom  he  had 
contrived  to  pick  up  at  Aligurh.  They  found  the 
stories  of  disorder  greatly  exaggerated — perhaps  they 
were  intentional  exaggerations  for  the  purpose  of 
diverting  our  minds  from  what  was  passing  in  the 
city — and  after  a  day  or  two  they  marched  back  to 
the  station.  As  they  passed  through  the  butchers' 
quarter  of  the  city,  there  was  much  excitement 
among  the  people,  which  communicated  itself  to  the 
Sepoys,  and  there  was  that  kind  of  noise  to  be  heard 
in  the  ranks  which  indicates  a  suppressed  consulta- 
tion. The  detachment,  however,  marched  on,  and 
nothing  happened.  It  was  known  afterwards  that 
the  townspeople  had  endeavoured  to  persuade  the 
Sepoys  to  murder  their  officers  and  fly,  as  the  Euro- 
peans from  Meerut  had  come  in  during  their  ab- 
sence and  massacred  their  comrades  in  Cantonments. 
And  they  would  have  fired  at  once  into  the  backs  ot 
their  officers,  if  a  drummer  of  the  mixed  race  had 
not  told  them  that  in  a  few  minutes  the  Treasury 


would  be  in  sight,  and  it  would  be  seen  whether  the 
guard  was  in  its  accustomed  place.  So  the  detach- 
ment marched  on,  and  it  was  presently  apparent  that 


everything  was  in  the  condition  in  which  it  had  been       1857. 
left.  May. 

But,  although  this  immediate  danger  was  tided 
over,  it  can  scarcely  be  said  that  the  escape  delayed 
the  inevitable  crisis.  Whilst  Stewart's  detachment 
had  been  absent  from  the  station,  a  new  danger  had 
arisen — not  in  the  Sepoys'  lines,  not  in  the  butchers' 
quarters,  but  in  the  rural  districts.  In  a  neigbour- 
ing  village  was  a  Brahmin  of  some  influence,  who 
had  a  relative  in  the  Gaol-guard,  and  who  was  not 
unwilling  to  do  service  as  an  ambassador  of  evil 
between  the  villagers  and  the  Sepoys.  It  was  known 
that  there  were  some  seven  lakhs  of  rupees  in  the 
Collector  s  treasury.  If  the  Sepoys  would  rise,  the 
villagers  would  come  down  and  share  in  the  plunder. 
It  was  proposed  that  at  a  given  time  a  crowd  of 
people,  simulating  a  noisy  marriage  procession,  should 
enter  the  city,  that  they  should  fraternise  with  the 
Sepoys,  massacre  the  Europeans,  and  seize  all  the 
property  of  individuals  and  of  the  State. 

The  Brahmin  began  his  work,  and  made  proposals 
to  two  Sepoys,  who  told  the  story  to  their  command- 
ing officer.  Major  Eld  ordered  them  to  seize  the 
rebel.  They  obeyed  his  orders,  and  the  man  was  tried 
by  a  Native  court-martial  and  sentenced  to  death. 
As  the  sun  was  setting  on  that  day,  the  Brahmin 
was  hanged,  in  the  presence  of  the  troops.  Up  to  May  20. 
that  time  there  was  everythinjg  to  encourage  the  belief 
that  the  Sepoys  were  true  to  their  salt.  But 
scarcely  had  swift  punishment  overtaken  the  high- 
caste  offender,  when  the  smouldering  mutiny  in  the 
breasts  of  the  Sepoys  of  the  Ninth  broke  into  a  flame. 
A  Brahmin  Sepoy  stepped  from  the  ranks  and  cried 
aloud  to  his  comrades,  "Behold  a  martyr  to  our 
faith !"     It  was  like  the  springing  of  a  mine,     The 

214  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  explosion  took  place  at  once.  All  discipline,  al 
^*  fidelity,  all  loyalty  were  blown  into  the  air.  Only  i 
tender  compassion  for  the  officers,  who  had  eve 
treated  them  justly  and  kindly,  remained.  Ther 
was  a  scene  of  terrible  confusion,  such  as  had  beei 
seen  before,  and  was  destined  often  to  be  seen  again 
The  Sepoys  spared  the  lives  of  their  English  com 
manders ;  but  all  were  then  compelled  to  escape ;  al 
who  in  any  capacity  represented  the  Government  o 
the  community  of  the  Christian  stranger.  Militar 
officers,  Civil  officers,  and  independent  Europeans  o 
Eurasians,  were  driven  to  fly  for  their  lives. 

In  the  little  party  of  Europeans  thus  expelled  frou 
their  homes  was  one,  of  whom  every  Englishmai 
must  have  thought  tenderly  and  affectionately,  whei 
he  heard  that  Aligurh  was  in  danger.  This  wa 
Lady  Outram,  the  wife  of  the  great  soldier,  who  hai 
just  brought  the  war  with  Persia  to  a  close,  and  t 
whose  return  all  men  were  looking,  in  this  emei 
gency,  as  to  a  very  present  help  in  trouble.  She  wa 
making  her  preparations  to  spend  the  hot  weather  a 
Nynee-Taal.  During  the  absence  of  her  son  wit! 
Captain  Stewart's  detachment,  Lady  Outram  ha< 
been  residing  at  the  house  of  Mr.  Dumergue,  th 
Judge,  whose  wife  and  daughter  were  the  only  othe 
English  gentlewomen  at  the  station.  But,  on  th 
day  of  the  outbreak,  she  had  returned  to  her  son' 
bungalow,  in  another  part  of  the  cantonment,  an< 
was  superintending  the  arrangements  for  her  d( 
parture,  when  the  regiment  broke  into  rebellioi 
Frank  Outram  was,  at  that  critical  moment,  in  th 
compound  of  the  Magistrate's  house,  conversing,  i 
absolute  peace  of  mind,  with  the  officers  of  a  detacli 
ment  of  Cavalry  from  Scindiah's  Contingent,  whicl 
had  come  in  from  Gwalior,  Avhen  some  officers  of  th 


Ninth  rushed  in,  crying  out  that  the  regiment  had      1B67. 
"gone.''  Outram's  pony  stood  saddled  close  at  hand  ;       ^^* 
so  he  mounted  at  once  and  rode  for  his  bungalow, 
where  he  found,  with  joyful  surprise,  that  his  mother 
was  safe,  and  in  happy  ignorance  of  the  danger  that 
surrounded  her. 

Lady  Outram  was  at  that  time,  dressed  for  the 
evening  drive,  awaiting  the  Judge's  carriage,  which 
was  to  call  for  her.  It  then  seemed  that  nothing 
could  save  her  but  instant  flight.  So  she  mounted 
the  pony  behind  her  son,  and  they  made  for  the  civil 
lines.  The  journey  was  not  a  long  —  but  it  was 
a  dangerous  one.  They  were  soon  compelled  to  take 
to  their  feet,  for  the  animal  they  rode  resented  its 
double  burden  and  was  loth  to  proceed.*  Their  road 
lay  through  the  cantonments,  where  they  saw  the 
Sepoys  moving  excitedly  from  place  to  place,  with 
their  arms  in  their  hands,  all  eager  for  the  plunder  of 
the  Christian  bungalows.  But  no  man  pointed  a 
musket  at  them.  So  they  passed  on,  unmolested,  to 
the  civil  lines,  and  soon  found  themselves  amidst  a 
little  assembly  of  their  countrymen  debating  what 
was  to  be  done. 

There  was  nothing  to  be  done — but  to  seek  safety 
in  flight.  The  Gwalior  Cavalry  had  outwardly 
remained  true,  but  they  were  insufficient  for  the 
recovery  of  our  position,  even  if  their  fidelity  could 
have  been  relied  upon.  The  only  question  then 
was,  whether  our  people  should  escape  to  Agra  or 
to  Meerut.  About  this,  there  was  either  difference 
of  opinion  or  misunderstanding  as  to  the  decision 
arrived  at,  for  some  went  in  one  direction,  some  in 

♦  Exaggerated  stories   of   Lady  wore  the  ordinary  light  costume  of 

Outram's  escape  were  at  one  time  cur-  the  hot  weather,  witn  thin  shoes,  of 

rent.     It  was  said  that  she  escaped,  which  the  rough  road  soon  dispos- 

barefootcd  io  her  niglit-dress.    She  sessed  her. 

216  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  another.  Lady  Outrara  had  a  seat  in  the  Judge's 
May.  carriage,  which  took  the  direction  of  Agra ;  whilst 
Frank  Outram  and  others,  headed  by  Mr.  Watson, 
the  Magistrate,  all  well  mounted,  took  to  the  Meerut 
road — a  party  of  Gwalior  Cavalry  accompanying 
them.  The  former  party  reached  Agra  in  safety. 
The  latter  encountered  some  adventures,  and  did 
right  good  service,  to  be  narrated  in  a  subsequent 
chapter  of  this  narrative. 

The  English  being  thus  driven  from  Aligurh,  the 
mutineers  and  rebels  proceeded  to  plunder  the  Trea- 
sury and  other  Government  offices,  and  then  to 
ignite  the  buildings.  The  seven  lakhs  of  rupees  in 
the  Treasury  were  shared  between  the  Sepoys  and  the 
Rabble.  The  former,  carrying  their  coin  with  them, 
set  their  faces  towards  Delhi.  The  latter  remained 
in  possession  of  the  place.  The  prisoners  in  the  Gaol 
were  set  free,  and  every  man  helped  himself  to  what 
he  could  get.  Public  and  private  property  fell  to  the 
strongest  and  most  active  plunderers.  The  houses  of 
the  Europeans  were  gutted,  and  everything  belong- 
ing to  them  either  carried  off  or  destroyed.  For  a 
time  every  trace  of  English  authority  was  utterly 
gone  from  Aligurh.  When  some  time  afterwards  it 
was  partially  re-established,  it  was  seen  how  great 
the  devastation  had  been.  Of  the  first  return  to 
Aligurh,  one  present  wrote :  "A  wonderful  appear- 
ance it  presented.  The  bungalows,  gaol,  &c.,  had  all 
been  burned  and  looted.  The  accumulation  of  laden 
bullock-trains  and  other  carts,  detained  from  further 
progress  after  the  12th,  shared  the  same  fate,  and 
the  miscellaneous  character  of  the  loot  may  be 
imagined.  On  our  approach,  the  Natives  had  has- 
tened to  clear  away  all  vestiges  of  booty  out  of  their 
premises,  in  fear  of  search  ;  and  the  roads  for  miles 


round,  the  jungles,  and  the  wells,  were  covered  and  1857. 
choked  by  the  most  extraordinary  chaos  of  articles  **•?■ 
conceivable,  from  cases  of  champagne  down  to  con- 
signments of  Holloway's  pills  (of  which  there  seemed 
to  be  a  carriage  load  or  two) — from  splendid  kin- 
caubs  down  to  our  old  garments,  plate,  furniture, 
boxes,  supplies  of  eatables — everything  except  bard 

Meanwhile,  at  Etawah,  which  lies  on  the  road  to  Btamb. 
Meerut,  at  a  distance  of  seventy-three  miles  from  ^y.  ISS?- 
Agra,  the  civil  officers  were  watching,  with  a  wise 
vigilance,  the  progress  of  events.  A  company  of  the 
Ninth  Sepoys  from  Aligurh  was  posted  there,  but  in 
the  earlier  part  of  the  month  there  was  no  reason  to 
doubt  the  fidelity  of  the  men.  The  people  of  the  dis- 
trict were  prosperous  and  contented.  Never,  indeed, 
had  there  been  more  hopeful  and  encouraging  signs 
of  present  tranquillity  and  future  progress.!  The 
Magistrate  and  Collector  was  Mr.  Allan  Hume — a 
son  of  the  great  English  reformer — who  had  inherited 
the  high  public  spirit  and  the  resolute  courage  of  his 
father.     When  news  of  the  mutiny  of  the  troops  at 

•  MS.  Memorandum,   Mr,  Bram-  cess ;  public  libraries  and  namerous 

Ij's  report  atatea  tbat  "  in  thia  H-otk  schools  gare  ricli  promise  of  future 

(rif  plunder)  Kcgaaal  Kban,  Khaosa-  progress;  new  lines  of  communica- 

man  (purrejor)  of  tlie  Dawlc  Bunga-  lion  were  being  rapidi;  openi^d  out ; 

low   (travelier'a   lialtinR.plaec),  aiid  llie  railroad  waa  fast  ripening;  the 

Mccr  Kbaa,  mail-coaehmaD,  distin-  great  canal,  wilh  its  daily  multiply- 

ftuished  tlicmtelTes,"    It  is  not  im-  ing  branches,  steadily  difFusiug  fer- 

prohable  tbat  both  had  taatid  tlie  tility  over  an  ever-widening  area; 

insolence  of  European  travellers.  and  all  cliissca   of  llio   com m unity, 

t     "The    fatal    monlh    of    Maj  though  of  cnuric  i 

opened   in  hppcfulncsa   and   pence,  minor  giievanccs,  c  .__ 

Never,  npparenllj,  had  the  prospeels  singularly  happj  andconi 

of   the   district   been   so   cheeriiir;.  denlj   llie   tnulinj  bur* 

Crime  was  and  had  been  for  the  effacing  apparenUf  W 

prerious  two  jears  steadily  decreas-  labour  of  years," 

log ;  the  lUveuue  flowed  in  without  Hume. 
a  recourse  to  ■  single  coercire  pro- 

218  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  Meerut  and  Delhi  arrived  from  Agra,  a  day  or  two 
^*y-  after  the  outburst,  Mr.  Hume's  first  thought  was  that 
he  might  arrest  some  of  the  mutineer  either  on  their 
way  to  their  homes  or  dispersing  themselves  over  the 
country  to  corrupt  other  Sepoy  regiments.  Patrol- 
ling parties  were,  therefore,  sent  out  to  watch  the 
roads,  and  on  the  night  of  the  16th  of  May  a  party, 
seven  in  number,  of  the  Third  Cavalry  was  arrested. 
Being  well  armed  with  swords  and  pistols,  when 
taken  to  the  Quarter-Guard  and  confronted  with  our 
soldiery,  they  made  a  vigorous  resistance,  shot  Lieu- 
tenant Crawford,  who  commanded,  in  the  shoulder, 
and  would  have  murdered  Lieutenant  Allan,  but  that 
the  assailant  was  killed  by  the  Kotwal  and  a  Sepoy 
of  the  Ninth.  The  guard  was  then  ordered  to  turn 
out,  and  the  mutineers  were  overpowered.  Two  were 
shot  dead,  two  were  cut  down,  and  two  escaped,  one 
of  whom  was  afterwards  captured  by  the  Police. 
And  this  was  the  fii*st  retributive  blow  that  fell  upon 
the  mutineers  of  the  Third  Cavalry.  They  were  all 
Mahomedans  (Pathans)  of  Futtehpore. 
May  18—19.  A  few  days  afterwards,  another  party  of  fugitives 
from  the  Third  Cavalry  made  its  appearance  in  Jus- 
wuntnugger,  about  ten  miles  from  the  chief  station  of 
Etawah,  armed  with  sabres,  pistols,  and  with  a  few 
caAines  among  them.  They  had  come  down  in  a 
capacious  cart,  which  was  stopped  by  the  patrol  upon 
the  road.  On  bemg  called  upon  to  give  up  their 
arms,  they  first  of  all  made  a  show  of  submission,  and 
then  shot  down  their  captors.  Having  done  this, 
they  made  their  way  to  a  Hindoo  temple,  at  the  end 
of  a  walled  grove,  and  prepared  to  defend  themselves 
When  tidings  of  this  movement  reached  Mr.  Hume, 
he  ordered  his  buggy  to  be  got  ready,  armed  himself 
as  best  he  could,  and,  accompanied  by  Mr.  Daniell, 


started  for  Juswuntnuggur.  It  was  then  nine  o'clock  1857. 
in  the  morning ;  there  was  a  fierce  sun,  a  hot  wind  *^' 
like  the  blast  of  a  furnace  ;  and  neither  had  broken 
his  fast.  A  brisk  drive  of  an  hour  and  a  quarter 
brought  thera  before  the  asylum  of  the  Meerut 
troopers.  It  was  a  strong  position  in  itself,  and 
admu-ably  suited  to  purposes  of  defence.  Everything 
was  in  favour  of  the  mutineers ;  they  had  shelter  for 
themselves,  a  command  of  observation  and  a  com- 
mand of  fire  in  all  directions  ;  and  whichsoever  way 
the  intrepid  Englishmen  turned  to  reconnoitre  the 
position  of  the  enemy,  the  Sepoys  fired  at  them  from 
their  cover  with  pistols  or  carbines.  Moreover,  the 
townspeople  were  on  the  side  of  the  mutineers.  Hume 
had  invested  the  place  with  some  troopers  of  the 
Irregular  Cavalry  and  some  of  his  own  Police ;  but 
they  could  or  would  not  keep  the  people  from  open- 
ing communication  with  the  troopers  in  the  temple, 
and  so  the  defenders  were  supplied  with  food  and 
ammunition.  There  was  no  hope,  therefore,  of 
starving  them  into  surrender,  or  rendering  them 
powerless  by  exhaustion  of  powder  and  shot.  To 
carry  the  place  by  assault  seemed  an  almost  hopeless 
endeavour.  For  although  there  was  a  large  body  of 
armed  Police,  none  would  go  within  reach  of  the  car- 
bines of  the  troopers.  They  were  content  to  show 
their  zeal  by  firing  from  a  distance  in  the  air.  Re- 
inforcements had  been  sent  from  Etawah,  but  the 
detachment  of  Sepoys  despatched  to  their  relief  pur- 
posely missed  their  way.  So  the  day  wore  on  in  its 
fiery  strength,  and  Hume  and  Daniell  were  without 
support.  The  excitement  among  the  townspeople — 
for  the  most  part  a  low  class  of  Mahomedans — was 
increasing.  In  a  little  while  a  rescue  might  be 
attempted,  and  the  retreat  of  the  Englishmen  might 




be  cut  off.  So  they  determined,  as  the  sun  was 
nearing  the  horizon,  to  make  an  effort  to  carry  the 
place  by  themselves.  Only  one  man  followed  them 
to  the  door  by  which  an  entrance  was  to  be  attempted. 
He  paid  for  his  fidelity  with  his  life.  Daniell  was 
shot  through  the  face,  and  fell  senseless,  amidst  a  yell 
of  exultation  from  the  townspeople,  who  were  eagerly 
watching  the  affray  from  the  side  of  a  neighbouring 
hill.  Then  Hume,  having  vainly  endeavoured  to 
rally  some  of  his  followers,  went  to  the  assistance  of 
his  friend,  and  through  the  pressing  crowd  and  the 
uproar  of  the  streets  led  him  safely  to  the  spot  where 
their  carriage  was  posted.  That  night,  in  the  midst 
of  a  violent  storm,  the  mutineers  escaped ;  but  the 
double-barrels  of  Hume  and  Daniell  had  done  some 
execution,  for  difficult  as  it  had  been  to  reach  them, 
one  of  their  party  had  been  killed  and  another  dan- 
gerously wounded.* 

This  was  one  of  the  first  of  those  heroic  deeds  of 
which  I  have  before  spokenf — great  deeds  of  heroism 
by  which  the  civil  servants  of  the  Company — men  not 
trained  to  arms  or  wearing  any  insignia  of  the  mili- 
tary profession — bore  noble  witness  to  the  courage 
and  constancy  of  the  national  character.  This  English 
Magistrate  and  his  Assistant,  in  the  face  of  an  insur- 

♦  The  following  is  Mr.  Hume's 
very  modest  account  of  the  affair: 
"  Early  in  the  morning  of  the  19th 
of  May  a  number  of  tlie  Tliird 
Cavalry  were  stopped  at  Juswunt- 
Nugger,  about  ten  miles  from  the 
Sudilcr  Station.  On  an  attempt 
being  made  to  disarm  them,  they 
shot  one  and  wounded  three  more 
of  the  Police,  and  then  took  up  a 
position  in  a  neighbouring  temple, 
small,  but  of  great  strenjjth.  Mr. 
Daniell  and  myself  proceeded  to  the 
spot,  and  did  our  best  to  carry  the 

place,  but  could  obtain  no  supportt 
owing  to  the  extreme  danger  attend- 
ing storming.  At  last,  after  a  final 
attempt  to  force  it  by  ourselves,  in 
which  Mr.  Daniell  was  shot  through 
the  face,  and  the  only  man  who  ac- 
companied us  killed,  I  thought  it 
advisable  (especially  as  the  whole 
body  of  the  townspeople,  mustering 
some  two  thousand  low-caste  Mus- 
sulmans, were  becoming  actively 
hostile,  and  the  Police  proportion- 
ately timorous)  to  return  toEtawah." 
f  AntCt  chapter  ii.,  p.  116. 


gent  population,  went  out,  resolute  to  bring  to  justice  1857. 
or  to  avenge  themselves  on  the  spot  upon  men  who  a  ^*^' 
few  days  before  had  foully  murdered  our  people 
under  the  eyes  of  a  brigade  of  Europeans  ;  and  with 
only  a  single  follower  they  had  laid  gallant  siege  to 
a  strongly  defended  place  of  refuge,  and  then  had 
quietly  Walked  back  through  the  crowd  with  the  con- 
fidence of  strength  and  the  assumption  of  victory. 
Habituated  to  rule  and  accustomed  to  do  much  great 
work  single-handed,  our  large-hearted  civilians,  with 
any  fearful  odds  against  them,  still  regarded  them- 
selves as  masters  of  the  situation,  and,  \vith  their 
double-barrelled  guns  or  revolvers,  made  light  of  their 
lack  of  followers,  and  seldom  shrunk  from  facing,  un- 
supported, a  multitude  of  enemies.  It  will  become  a 
familiar  record,  as  this  History  advances  ;  and  yet  so 
great  is  the  number  of  these  heroic  deeds,  that,  under 
pressure  of  historical  necessity,  some  acts  of  distin- 
guished gallantry  may  meet  with  less  than  their 
merited  applause. 

On   the  following  day,  the  head-quarters  of  the     May  20. 
Ninth  Regiment   at   Aligurh  broke  into   rebellion ;  ¥"^i??  ^^ 
and  when  news  of  this  disaster  reached  the  Govern- 
ment officers,  they  saw  at  once  that  it  was  their  first 
duty  to  keep  the  knowledge  of  the  event  from  reach- 
ing the  detachment  at  Etawah.     Accordingly,  Mr. 
Hume  took  counsel  with  the  senior  officer  of  the 
company  of  the  Ninth,  and  it  was  determined  that 
the  detachment  should  be  removed  to  an  isolated 
position,  where  they  were  less  likely  to  hear  of  the 
defection  of  their  comrades.     It  was  impossible  to 
keep  them  long   in   ignorance   of  this   event;   but 
Hume  had  written  for  reinforcements,  and  it  was  of 
primal  consequence   to   gain  time.     Accordingly,  it 
was  resolved  that  the  Sepoys  should  be  marched  to 



222  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.      Burpoorah,  a  police  station  on  the  road  to  Gwalior. 
^^y-       They  marched  out  with  apparent  cheerfuhiess,  but 
they  had  not  proceeded  more  than  two  miles,  when 
the  greater  number  of  them  threw  off  the  mask, 
broke  into  mutiny,  and  returned  to  Etawah.     A  few 
Native  soldiers  remained  staunch,  and,  with  their 
officers,  the  ladies,  and  the  children,  marched  on  to 
Burpoorah.     The  mutineers,  meanwhile,  re-entered 
Etawah,  and,  aided  by  the  surrounding  rabble,  plun- 
dered the  Treasury,  broke  open  the  gaols,  released  the 
prisoners,  burnt  all  the  public  offices  and  the  officers' 
houses  (Mr.  Hume's  excepted),  and  for  three  or  four 
days  anarchy  in  its  worst  forms  was  triumphant; 
every  trace   of  the   British   Government  had   dis- 
appeared.    Happily,  Hume's  forethought  had  greatly 
diminished  the  evil — ^for  on  the  first  rumour  of  re- 
bellion he  had  secured  all  the  most  important  Go- 
vernment records  by  bricking  them  up  secretly  in  a 
house  in  the  city,  and  had  sent  one-half  of  the  trea- 
sure to  safe  custody  at  Agra. 
May  24.         On  the  night  of  the  24th,  our  little  party  at  Bur- 
poorah were  succoured  by  the  arrival  of  Major  Hen- 
nessy  with  the  Grenadier  Regiment  of  the  Gwalior 
Contingent;    and   as  day  broke,    on   the  following 
morning,  the  whole  marched  into  Etawah  and  re- 
occupied  the  place.     A  miserable  spectacle  then  pre- 
sented itself  to  the  eyes  of  our  people.     Riot  and 
rapine  had  held  high  carnival  during  our  absence^ 
and  the  predatory  classes,  of  whose   inactivity  the 
English  Magistrate,  a  short  time  before,  had  great 
reason  to  be  proud,  were  now  suddenly  warmed  into 
new  life  and  vigour.     Not  only  the  released  convicti 
of  the  gaols,  but  others,  who,  under  the  strong  arm  of 
authority,  had  been  driven  to  seek  more  lawful  occtt* 
pations,  had  returned  to  their  old  courses.    Nor  werf 


the  criminal  classes  the  only  persons  who  were  dis-  1857. 
posed  to  take  advantage  of  the  temporary  obscura-  ^*^* 
tion  of  British  authority.  Those  who  had  suffered 
by  the  action  of  our  Civil  Courts  were  also  beginning 
to  rouse  themselves  to  reverse  the  decisions  of  men, 
who,  it  seemed,  could  no  longer  enforce  them ;  and 
in  one  village,  the  old  Zemindars,  who  had  ousted  the 
proprietor  recognised  by  the  British  Government, 
made  manful  resistance,  and  were  put  to  the  sword.* 
For  a  while  British  authority,  as  represented  by 
Allan  Hume,  was  again  on  the  ascendant.  But  it 
was  hard  to  say  how  long  the  Gwalior  Grenadiers 
would  continue  faithful  to  the  Raj  of  the  Feringhees. 
We  were  only  maintained  in  our  supremacy  by  the 
mercenaries  of  a  Native  Prince. 

At  Mynpooree  was  another  body  of  the  Ninth  Mynpooree. 
Sepoys.  The  head-quarters  of  the  regiment  having 
mutinied,  it  was  not  to  be  expected  that  the  detach- 
ment would  remain  true  to  its  colours.  On  the 
evening  of  the  22nd  of  May,  intelligence  of  the 
rising  at  Aligurh  was  received,  with  exaggerated 
accounts  of  the  murder  of  the  European  officers; 
and  at  once  arrangements  were  made  to  convey  the 
Christian  families  to  Agra.f  At  the  same  time  it 
was  agreed  between  the  civil  and  military  officers 

♦  Sec  Mr.  Hume's  official  report ;  t   Mr.   Power,   in  his  report  o 

"  One   village    fort   at    Sumpther,  May  25,  says :  "  Fourteen  females, 

where  the  old  2iCmindars,  who  had  consisting  of  ladies,  sergeants*  and 

onstcd  the  proprietor,  pertinaciously  writers'  wives,  with  their  children 

refused  to  surrender,  though  offered  (an  unlimited  number),  left  tlic  sta- 

pardon,  and  Gred  on  our  emissaries  tion  under  the  cliarge  of  Mr.  S.  VV. 

of    peace,  was    carried    by  storm.  Power,     the    Assistant-Magistrate, 

burnt,  and  the  garrison  nut  to  the  who  accompanied  them  a  stnge  to- 

•word."     This  is  rccordca  as  a  soli-  wards  Agra,   which    they    reached 

tary  instance ;  but  it  isjto  be  remem-  safely  in    *  shegrams'    (native  car- 

bercd  that  British  authority  had  then  riagea)." 
been  only  three  days  inabeyance. 





that  the  question  of  the  fidelity  of  the  Sepoys  should 
be  at  once  put  to  the  test  by  the  issue  of  an  order 
for  their  immediate  march  to  Bhowgaon.* 

The  officers  of  the  Ninth  with  the  detachment  at 
Mynpooree  were  Lieutenant  Crawford  and  Lieute- 
nant De  Kantzow.  The  civil  officers  were  Mr. 
Arthur  Cocks,  Commissioner;  Mr.  Power,  Magis* 
trate ;  his  brother,  Assistant-Magistrate  ;  and  Dr. 
Watson,  Civil  Surgeon.  The  Rev.  Mr.  Kellner,  a 
missionary,  was  also  at  the  station.  In  the  early 
morning  of  the  23rd,  whilst  the  civilians,  with  the 
exception  of  the  younger  Power,  who  was  escorting 
the  women  and  children  on  their  way  to  Agra,  were 
gathered  together  discussing  the  position,  the  mili- 
tary officers  were  endeavouring  to  induce  their  men 
to  march  to  Bhowgaon.  But  they  were  not  to  be 
commanded  or  persuaded.  It  was  plain  that  the 
experiment  had  failed.  The  Sepoys  were  breaking 
into  revolt  and  threatening  the  lives  of  their  officers. 
Upon  this  Crawford  galloped  back  to  the  Magis- 
trate's house,  told  him  that  the  Sepoys  were  in  open 
mutiny,  that  he  believed  that  De  Kantzow  had  been 
killed,  and  that  it  was  his  intention  to  ride  into 
Agra.  What  now  was  to  be  done  ?  Arthur  Cocks, 
a  brave  and  resolute  man,  saw  that  he  could  do 
nothing  in  the  immediate  crisis,  and  as  Crawford 
gave  it  as  his  opinion  that,  in  a  military  sense,  there 
was  nothing  for  them  but  retirement  on  Agra,  and 
the  Sepoys  were  shouting  defiance  and  firing  their 
muskets  to  threaten  and  intimidate  the  English,  he 
declared  that  no  one  was  bound  to  remain  at 
Mynpooree ;    and  presently,    accompanied  by  Mr. 

'  *  Mr.  Cocks,  in  his  official  re-  error,  as  the  troops  at  AligurliiU 
port,  says,  that  the  news  came  on  not  mntiny  before  the  ereniiig  ^ 
the    19th.    This   is   obviously   an    the  20th. 



Kellner,  he  set  out,  in  a  buggy,  for  the  Jumna,  with 
the  intention  of  returning  with  reinforcements.  But 
Power,  the  Magistrate,  declared  that  he  had  deter- 
mined to  remain  at  his  post ;  and  the  younger  Power, 
having  returned  to  the  station,  cast  in  his  lot  with 
his  brother.  Dr.  Watson  determined  also  to  remain 
at  Mynpooree.* 

During  this  time  nothing  had  been  heard  of  De 
Kantzow.  What  was  he  doing  ?  He  was  stemming 
single-handed  the  tide  of  mutiny.  And  it  was  mutiny 
of  the  most  delirious  kind.  The  Sepoys  returned  to 
the  station  dragging  the  Lieutenant  with  them.  As 
they  went,  they  fired  into  all  the  houses  of  Euro- 
peans that  they  passed.  They  broke  open  the  Maga- 
zine— took  possession  of  all  the  ammunition,  amount- 
ing to  some  three  hundred  rounds  a  man — and  then, 
proud  of  their  wealth,  proceeded  to  fire  wildly  in 
every  direction.  It  was  a  mercy  and  a  miracle  that 
De  Kantzow  was  not  shot  dead.  Often  was  the 
piece  of  a  Sepoy  pointed  at  him,  to  be  struck  down 
or  dashed  aside  by  the  hand  of  one  of  his  comrades. 
The  Sepoys  had,  according  to  their  wont,  made  for  the 
Treasury,  where  they  were  met  by  the  Civil-guard, 
who  would  have  fired  upon  the  Sepoys  had  not  De 
Kantzow  wisely  restrained  them.  There  was  then  a 
scene  of  wild  confusion.  The  Gaol-guards,  few  in 
number  and  badly  armed,  did  all  that  they  could  to 


•  "The  Sepoys  were  now  ap- 
proaching the  station  and  firing  olf 
their  nmskcts,  and  shoutint]^  like 
madmen.  Mr.  Power  seemed  to 
hesitate  what  he  would  do.  I  con- 
sidered it  no  time  for  hesitation.  I 
fairly  told  him  I  did  not  consider 
any  one  bound  to  remain ;  soon 
after  which  I  ordered  my  bui^gr, 
and,  with  the  Ilev.  Mr.  Kellner, 
drore  leisurely  away,  having  told 
the  people  about  that  1  hoped  to 


return  in  a  day  or  two  with  a  force." 
— Report  of  Mr.  Cocks,  November 
10, 1858.  "Mr.  Cocks  and  the  Rev. 
Mr.  Kellner  immediately  decided  on 
leaving,  and  the  former  tried  to  in- 
duce me  to  leave  also  ;  as  I  informed 
him  that  I  did  not  desire  to  leave 
my  post,  he  honoured  me  by  terming 
my  conduct  *  romantic,'  and  imme- 
diately departed  in  company  with 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Kellner." — Report  of 
Mr.  Power,  May  25,  1857. 




resist  the  Sepoys ;  but  against  such  a  multitude  their 
defence,  though  faithful,  was  feeble.  It  is  said  to 
have  been  "  a  fearful  scene."*  But  in  the  midst  of 
this  mighty  peril,  De  Kantzow  stood,  firm  and  un- 
daunted, imploring  the  soldiers  to  consider  the 
wickedness  and  folly  of  their  course,  and  showing  to 
the  wonder  and  the  admiration  of  the  surging  multi- 
tude of  Sepoys  that  a  single  English  officer  defied 
them — ^that  they  might  kill,  but  that  they  could  not 
conquer  him.  And  so  for  three  hours  the  young 
English  soldier  breasted  alone  this  great  flood  of 
furious  mutiny,  and  overawed  his  enemies  by  the 
consummate  gallantry  of  his  bearing.t 

When  Mr.  Power,  the  Magistrate,  heard  that  De 
Kantzow  was  thus  perilously  situated,  he  was  eager 
to  join  him  with  all  the  guards  he  could  muster ;  but 
he  was  dissuaded  from  this  both  by  the  Lieutenant 
himself,  who,  in  the  midst  of  his  own  tribulation, 
contrived  to  send  a  note  to  his  friend,  and  by  an 
influential  Native  gentleman,  the  Rao  Bhowanee 
Singh  (a  relative  of  the  Rajah  of  Mynpooree),  who 
had  come  in  to  our  assistance  with  a  small  body  of 
horse  and  foot.  This  man,  as  brave  as  he  was  faith- 
ful, went  unattended  to  the  spot  where  De  Kantzow 
stood  at  bay,  and  used  every  art  of  remonstrance  and 
persuasion  to  pacify  and  subdue  the  mutineers.  And 
after  awhile  he  succeeded.  "He  drew  off  and  ac- 
companied the  rebels  to  the  lines" — and  the  brave 
English  subaltern  was  saved,  with  the  treasure  which 

*  Mr.  Power's  Official  Report, 
May  25, 1857. 

t  The  official  account  written  by 
Mr.  Power  says  :  "  Left  by  his 
superior  officer,  unaided  by  the  pre- 
sence of  any  European,  jostled  with 
cruel  and  insulting  violence,  buffeted 

by  the  hands  of  men  who  had  re- 
ceived innumerable  kindnesses  from 
him,  and  who  had  obeyed  him  a  few 
hours  before  with  crawling  servility, 
Lieutenant  De  Kantzow  stood  for 
three  dreary  hours  against  the  rebels, 
at  the  imminent  peril  of  his  life." 

ALARM  AT  AGRA.  227 

he  had  so  nobly  protected.  Rife  as  is  this  narrative  i^^'^- 
with  records  of  great  deeds  done  by  the  younger  *^* 
officers  of  the  Company's  Services,  there  is  nothing 
more  illustrative  than  this  story  of  the  grand  self- 
reliance  and  self-devotion  so  often  manifested  in  the 
conduct  of  untried  men,  when  danger  suddenly  came 
upon  them  and  girt  them  round  as  with  rings  of 
fire.  Bravery  such  as  this  was  sure  to  win  the  heart 
of  Lord  Canning,  and  to  elicit  from  him  prompt 
words  of  admiration.  So,  when  he  received  Power's 
report  he  wrote  at  once  to  the  noble-hearted  young 
subaltern,  saying,  *'  I  have  read  it  with  an  admira- 
tion and  respect  which  I  cannot  adequately  describe. 
Young  in  years,  and  at  the  outset  of  your  career, 
you  have  given  to  your  brother-soldiers  a  noble 
example  of  courage,  patience,  good  judgment,  and 
temper,  from  which  many  might  profit.  I  beg  you 
to  believe  that  it  will  never  be  forgotten  by  me."* 

When  news  of  these  events  reached  Agra,  there      Agra. 
was  great  consternation  among  our  people.  Numbers 
of  the  Christian  inhabitants  rushed  wildly  to  such 
houses   and   buildings  as   seemed   most   capable   of 
defence.    A  brave-hearted  Englishman  then  wrote  to  Mr.  Patcrson 

V  •     t      xT_  •  cc  rn_  •      1-  J  Saunders. 

his  brother,  saymg:  "  Ihe  panic  here  exceeds  any-  „ 
thing  I  have  ever  witnessed.  Women,  children,  carts, 
gharries,  buggies  flying  from  all  parts  into  the  Fort, 
with  loads  of  furniture,  beds,  bedding,  baskets  of 
fowls,  &c.  &c.  The  Europeans  have  all  escaped  from 
Aligurh.      Lady  Outram  came  in  here,   partly  on 

horseback,  partly  on  foot One  or  two  civilians 

here  have  behaved  most  shamefully.     One  of  them 

•  Lord  Canning  to  Lieutenant  De  Kantzow,  June  7, 1857.   MS.  Records. 

Q  2 


228  AGRA  m  MAY. 

1857.  went  into  his  office,  pale  as  his  own  liver,  and  told 
^^^^'  all  the  crannies  to  save  their  lives  as  they  best 
Measures  of  It  was  now  obviously  necessary  to  look  the  situa- 
tion very  gravely  in  the  face.  The  Fort  had  been 
secured  by  the  detachment  of  a  body  of  Europeans  to 
garrison  it,  and  arrangements  were  being  made  to 
provision  it  for  six  months.  There  was  not  much 
apprehension  of  danger  from  the  unaided  efforts  of 
the  citizens ;  but  the  Native  regiments  were  of  very 
doubtful  loyalty,  and  if  they,  or  an  incursion  of  the 
predatory  classes  in  the  neighbourhood,  should  re- 
lease the  prisoners  in  the  gaols,  there  might  be  a 
popular  rising.  The  European  quarters,  owing  to 
their  straggling  nature  and  the  wide  space  which 
they  covered,  at  a  distance  from  the  European  bar- 
racks, were  not  easily  to  be  protected.  In  the 
Schools,  the  Convent,  and  the  houses  of  the  married 
civilians,  were  large  assemblages  of  women  and  chil- 
dren. It  was  expedient,  therefore,  to  organise  some 
system  of  external  defence,  and  Mr.  Reade  was  called 
upon  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor  to  do  it.  The  task 
could  not  have  been  intrusted  to  better  hands.  He  had, 

*  It  does  not  appear  that  this  worst  looks.   Outside  the  college  all 

account  is  at  all  overstated.    Mr.  alarm,  hurry,  and  confusion.  Within 

Charles  Raikes,  in   his    published  calmly  sat    the    good    Missionary, 

volume,  gives  the  following  graphic  hundreds  of  young  Natives  at  his 

sketch  of  the  general  alarm.     The  feet,  hanging   on   the    lips   which 

picture  of  the  calm  steadfastness  of  taught  them  the  simple  lessons  of 

the  missionaries  is  very  striking :  the  Bible.    And  so  it  was  through- 

"  Every  Englishman  was  liandling  out  the  revolt.     Native    function- 

his  sword  or    revolver — the    road  aries,  highly  salaried,  largely  trusted, 

covered  with  carriages,  people  has-  deserted  and  joined  our  enemies,  but 

tening  right  and  lett  to  the  rendcz-  the  students  at  the  Government,  and 

vous  at  Candaharee  Bagh.   The  city  still  more  the  Missionarv,  Schools, 

folks  running  as  for  their  lives,  and  kept  steadily  to  their  classes,  and 
screaming  that  the  mutineers  from  •  when  others  doubted  or  fled,  they 

Aligurh  were  crossing  the  bridge,  trusted  implicitly  to  their  teachers. 

The     Budmashes     twisting    their  and  openly  espoused  the  Christian 

moustaches,  and    putting  on  their  cause." 


at  an  earlier  period,  been  of  opinion  that  it  would  be      1857. 
expedient  to  intrench  the  station ;  but  this  view  had      ^*y* 
not  been  supported,  and  he  had  abandoned  it.     He, 
therefore,  projected  a  system  of  rendezvous  in  case  of 
alarm,  of  detence-posts,  and  advance-pickets ;  so  that 
if  danger  threatened,   early   announcement  of  the 
coming  enemy  might  be  received,  and  every  non- 
combatant  might  seek  an   asylum   in   one   of    the 
appointed  places  of  refuge.      The  principal  public 
buildings,  as  the  Government  House,  the  Post-office, 
the  Agra  Bank,  the   Customs'  House,  the  Medical 
College,  the  Convent,  and  the  Candaharee  Baugh,* 
with  some  of  the  private  houses  of  civilians,  were 
fixed  upon  as  places  of  resort,  and  arrangements  Avere 
made  for  their  protection,  extending  from  the  Taj  on 
one  side  to  the  Cutcherry  on  the  other.      Defence- 
posts,  ten  in  number,  so  as  to  form  a  cordon  around 
the  places  of  rendezvous,  were  to  be  manned  in  suffi- 
cient strength ;  and  beyond  these  again  another  line 
of  defences,  describing  a  larger  semicircle,  consisting 
of  fifteen  outposts,  five  of  Avhich  were  to  be  of  horse- 
men, to  bring  in  promptly  the  first  news  of  approach- 
ing danger,  Avas  to  be  established.     But  it  was  easier 
for  the  Lieutenant-Governor  to  invite  an  officer,  in 
whose  wisdom  he  had  confidence,  to  organise  a  plan 
of  defence,  and  easier  for  that  officer  to  perform  tlie 
important   duty  intrusted  to  him,  than   to   induce 
others  to  conform  to  the  plan.     Ever  in  such  cases  is 
there  disunion.     Opposition  to  any  scheme  is  to  be 
expected,  unless  it  comes  with  all  the  force  of  an 
imperial  edict  from  the  highest  authority,  and  there 
is  something  that  must,  not  something  that  may,  be 
done.     So  it  happened  that  Readc's  plan  of  defence, 

*   This  was  a  large  brick-built    Bhurtporc,   and  then   occupied  by 
bouse,  bclongiug  to  the  Rajab  of    Mr.  Morgan,  of  the  Civil  Service. 

230  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.      which,  read  at  this  distance  of  time,  seems  at  least  to 
-^y-      have  upon  it  the  stamp  of  the  broad  arrow  of  com- 
mon sense,  was  by  the  multitude  of  councillors  only 
partially  accepted  at  the  time,*   and   events  were 
taking  shape  which  soon  rendered  it  an  anachronism. 
Meanwhile,  Mr.  Drummond,  the  Magistrate,  was 
doing  all  that  could  be  done  to  convert  the  City 
Police  into  a  strong  defensive  force  of  Horse  and 
Foot.  Muskets  and  side-arms  were  served  out  from  the 
Arsenal,  and  ammunition  was  freely  supplied  to  them. 
But  it  was  hard  to  say  Avhether  they  were  to  be 
trusted,  or,  if  true  at  the  moment,  how  long  they 
would  remain  staunch  to  their  employers.     Already 
they  had  begun  ^'  to  scowl  upon  the  Christians."t 
Mr.  Colvin's       Affairs  were  in  this  state,  when  the  Lieutenant- 
roc  ama  ion.  Qoy^p^Qp^  tormented  by  doubts,  seeing  clearly  what 

had  already  been  done,  and  divining  what  would  ere 
long  be  done,  by  mere  force  of  example,  in  that  great 
flock  of  Sepoys,  whose  nature  it  ever  was  to  follow 
each  other  like  sheep,  bethought  himself  of  doing 
something  authoritatively  to  restore  the  fast-waning 
confidence  of  the  soldiery  by  a  public  appeal  to  them. 
One  of  the  ablest  and  most  experienced  officers  of  the 
Colin  Troup.  Sepoy  Army  had  written  to  him,  saying :  "  Having 
served,  as  I  trust,  faithfully  a  most  liberal  Govern- 
ment for  upwards  of  six-and-thirty  years,  during 
which  long  period  I  have  been  associated  with  the 
Native  soldier  in  every  position  in  which  he  can  be 
placed  (some  of  them  of  very  great  difficulty),  I  am 
sanguine  enough  to  believe  that  I  have  a  correct  and 
extended  knowledge  of  all  his  habits,  customs,  and 

*  Mr.  Keade  himself  states  that,  bj  the  wilfulness  of  some,  who  de- 
"It  was  partially  adopted  by  the  vised  defensive  measures  of  their 
Magistrate  and  other  residents — its  own,  and  tlie  neglect  and  careless- 
effectiveness,  however,    being   im-  ness  of  others." 
paired  by  want  of  unity  of  purpose,  t  Raikes. 


wishes,  and,  therefore,  hesitate  not,  under  the  present  1857. 
trying  events,  to  give  it  as  my  unqualified  opinion,  ^^ 
that  in  all  that  is  said  or  done  to  the  Native  soldier 
during  the  present  state  of  excitement  no  allusion 
should  be  made  to  the  retribution  .or  punishment 
awaiting  those  who  have  disgraced  the  name  of 
soldiers ;  and  I  feel  certain,  if  such  can  be  done  with 
propriety,  that  a  proclamation  from  you  to  the  eflfect 
that  the  past  has  been  forgiven,  and  that  the  moment 
things  are  more  settled  those  who  have  proved  true 
to  their  Government  shall  not  be  forgotten,  and  that 
a  commission  of  experienced  European  and  Native 
officers  will  be  formed  to  inquire  into  all  their  Avants, 
and  have  everything  so  arranged  as  to  put  it  out  of 
the  power  of  evil-disposed  men  to  interfere  with  their 
righta  and  privileges  for  the  future,  would  at  this 
moment  do  more  good  than  ten  thousand  European 
soldiers.  For  I  have  satisfied  myself  beyond  all 
doubt  that  fear  is  the  principal  cause  of  all  that  is 
going  on  at  present  among  the  men  of  the  Native 
Army."  And  he  added :  '^  Unless  this  comes  direct 
from  yourself  or  the  Government  (for  the  word  of 
any  intermediate  authority  would  be  of  no  avail),  it 
will  be  of  little  use."  The  sentiments  thus  expressed 
by  Colin  Troup  appear  to  have  made  a  deep  impres- 
sion upon  Colvin's  mind.  A  strong  conviction  took 
possession  of  him  that  the  old  soldier  was  right ;  that 
the  Native  troops  had  been  drawii  into  mutiny  more 
by  their  fears  than  by  their  resentments,  and  that  it 
was  sound  policy,  in  such  a  conjuncture,  to  endeavour 
by  every  possible  means  to  reassure  the  minds  of  the 
Sepoys,  who  were  huddling  one  after  another,  in 
panic-stricken  confusion,  like  a  flock  of  sheep,  to  de- 
struction. And  in  this  I  must  ever  think  that  he  was 
right.     But  the  question  was  not  whether  the  thing 



1857.  should  be  done,  but  how  and  by  whom  it  should  be 
May-  done.  To  have  reassured  the  minds  of  the  Sepoys 
who  had  not  yet  broken  into  rebellion,  and  to  have 
promised  condonation  of  the  offences  of  those  regi- 
ments who  had  only  mutinied — who  had  offended  as 
soldiers,  but  had  not  stained  their  hands  with  blood 
— might  in  that  conjuncture  have  been  a  wise  mea- 
sure. But  it  was  absolutely  necessary  that  in  such  a 
proclamation  care  should  be  taken  most  explicitly 
and  emphatically  to  shut  out  from  all  participation 
in  the  promised  amnesty  every  soldier  of  a  regiment 
which  had  outraged  its  officers.  And  the  proclama- 
tion should  unquestionably  have  proceeded,  not  from 
the  subordinate,  but  from  the  Supreme  Government. 
But  Colvin,  though  in  communication  with  Calcutta 
by  telegraph,  took  upon  himself,  without  consylting 
the  officers  surrounding  him,*  to  issue  a  manifesto  in 
the  following  words,  bearing  date  the  25th  of  May  : 

May  25.  <<  PROCLAMATION. 

"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  permitted 
to  do  so  unmolested. 

*  Mr.  Readc  says :  "  Here  I  must 
briefly  notice  tlie  proclamations 
issued  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor. 
The  first  of  these  is  dated  May  15, 
and  the  original  draft  was  sent  to 
me,  Mr.  Harington,  and  otliers, 
before  publication.  It  had  our 
hearty  concurrence,  both  for  the 
tone  it  assumed  and  the  line  of  policy 
it  indicated.  The  subsequent  pro- 
clamation of  the  25th  of  May  was 
framed  and  issued,  so  far  as  I  have 
been  able  to  ascertain,  witiiout  re- 
ference to  any  one  here  at  Agra.  I 
9ee  it  stated  in  a  republication  from 

the  Blue-book  that  it  was  sent  every- 
where as  being  thought  by  all  here 
likely  to  have  the  best  effect  on  the 
public  mind ;  but  this  is  altogether 
erroneous.  It  certainly  took  most 
persons  at  Agra  by  surorise,  not 
from  the  objections  made  by  the 
Supreme  Government,  which  nobody 
knew  of,  but  generally  from  its  sin- 
gular contrast  with  the  proclamation 
issued  only  a  few  days  before."  Mr. 
Colvin,  however,  emphatically  de- 
clared that  the  proclamation  bad 
been  "  universally  approved  *'  in 


"  Many  faithful  soldiers  have  been  driven  into  re-  1867. 
sistance  to  Government  only  because  they  were  in  tlie  ^^^' 
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  notification  is  known  shall  be 
treated  as  open  enemies." 

These  proceedings  deeply  pained  Lord  Canning.  Scntimonis  of 
Only  on  the  24th  he  had  written  to  Mr.  Colvin  in  Jj^J*  ^''°" 
that  warm  language  of  gratitude  and  encouragement 
which  came  spontaneously  from  his  generous  heart : 
"  I  have  never  yet  sufficiently  expressed  to  you  my 
admiration  of  your  cool  courage  and  excellent  judg- 
ment during  all  that  has  been  passing.  They  have,  I 
know  for  certain,  inspired  confidence  in  those  around 
you,  and  I  feel  that  it  would  be  difficult  to  appreciate 
at  its  true  value  the  service  which  you  have  rendered. 
To  myself  the  satisfaction  and  comfort  of  feeling  that 
your  charge  is  in  such  hands,  is  incalculable."  And 
now,  three  or  four  days  afterwards,  he  was  compelled 
to  repudiate,  as  chief  ruler  of  the  country,  the  most 
important  of  the  acts  of  his  once-trusted  Lieutenant. 
Writing  privately  to  Mr.  Colvin  on  the  28th,  he  said  : 
^'  I  never  did  an  act  that  gave  me  more  distress  than 
that  of  superseding  the  proclamation  of  the  25th.  I 
would  have  escaped,  if  I  had  thought  escape  possible, 
and  would  have  made  any  sacrifice  to  support  the 

234  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857. '  one  which  had  come  from  you.  But  I  am  strongly 
^*^*  of  opmion  that  it  would  not  have  been  safe  to  leave 
that  proclamation  unaltered.  The  terms  of  the  first 
paragraph  opened  escape  to  every  man,  and  I  cannot 
see  that  the  door  was  closed  to  the  most  heinous 
offenders  by  the  third  paragraph.  The  soldiers  who 
murdered  their  officers  are  not  mentioned  or  indicated. 
There  is  no  term  which  includes  them  among  the 
most  guilty.  With  that  proclamation  in  their  hands, 
every  man  of  the  Twentieth  and  Thirty-eighth  Regi- 
ments might,  so  far  as  we  know,  have  presented  him- 
self to  you  or  to  the  Commander-in-Chief  and  have 
claimed  liberty  to  go  home.  I  use  no  exaggeration 
when  I  say  that  had  any  of  these  men  availed  them- 
selves of  it,  the  Government  could  never  have  held 
up  its  head  again.  I  can  guess,  and,  indeed,  fully 
understand  the  difficulties  which  beset  you,  and  which 
you  have  met  so  calmly,  wisely,  and  with  such  dig- 
nity, but  I  do  not  gather  that  they  are  such  as  to 
compel  us  yet  to  offer  free  pardon  to  the  murderers 
of  our  officers.  Certainly  nothing  which  you  have 
sent  me  sets  affairs  in  that  light."  "Do  not  suppose," 
he  added,  "  that,  sitting  here  in  Calcutta,  I  wish  to 
carry  things  with  a  high  hand,  without  regarding  the 
embarrassments  and  unavoidable  weaknesses  of  those 
who  are  in  the  thick  of  the  difficulties.  I  have  no 
such  desire.  Menaces  are  unworthy  of  a  strong  and 
just  Government,  and  dangerous  to  a  weak  one.  I 
would  use  none.  The  proclamation  now  sent  has  less 
even  of  menace  than  your  own.  It  gives  even  more 
distinctly  a  free  and  unconditional  pardon  to  one 
section  of  the  mutineers,  and  marks  a  difference 
between  regiments,  which  strictly  accords  with  justice 
and  our  duty  towards  our  officers,  whilst  it  may  be 
expected  to  sow  disunion  at  Delhi." 

LORD  canning's  PROCLAMATION.  235 

The  proclamation  which  Lord  Canning  sent  forth  i857. 
to  supersede  that  which  had  been  issued  by  Mr.  Col-  ^^y. 
vin,  ran  in  the  following  words  : 

"  Every  soldier  of  a  regiment  which,  although  it  Lord  Can- 
has  deserted  its  post,  has  not  committed  outrages,  ^^ation^ 
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  par- 
don cannot  be  extended  to  those  regiments  which 
have  kiUed  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  themselves  unconditionally  to  the  authority 
and  justice  of  the  Government  of  India.  Any  pro- 
clamations offering  pardon  to  soldiers  engaged  in  the 
late  disturbances,  Avhich  may  have  been  issued  by 
local  authorities  previously  to  the  promulgation  of 
the  present  proclamation,  will  thereupon  cease  to 
have  effect.  But  all  persons  Avho  may  have  availed 
themselves  of  the  offer  made  in  such  proclamations 
shall  enjoy  the  benefit  thereof 

The  Lieutenant-Governor  was  slow  to  acknowledge, 
and,  therefore,  it  may  be  assumed  that  he  Avas  slow 
to  see — for  he  was  not  one  to  simulate  a  belief  that 
was  not  in  him — that  there  was  anv  material  differ- 
ence  between  the  two  manifestoes.  And,  perhaps,  as 
Mr.  Colvin  intended  his  own  proclamation  to  be  un- 
derstood, the  difference  was  but  slight.  Verbally, 
however,  the  distinction  was  great  and  striking ;  and 
practically  the  embarrassments  resulting  from  a  strict 
interpretation  of  the  Agra  manifesto  might  have  been 
immense.  What  Colvin  had  done,  unintentionally,  it 
would  seem,  was  to  exempt  from  punishment  all  but 




I   . 

236  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.  individual  Sepoys  known  to  have  been  "guilty  of 
^^^'  heinous  crimes  against  private  persons ;"  whereas  the 
proclamation  substituted  by  the  Calcutta  Government 
barred  whole  regiments,  any  members  of  which  had 
been  guilty  of  the  murder  of  their  officers  or  others. 
As  it  would  have  been  difficult,  if  not  impossible, 
save  in  rare  instances,  to  prove  blood-guiltiness  against 
individual  soldiers,  the  most  probable  result  of  the 
amnesty  issued  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor  would 
have  been  the  escape  of  numbers  of  actual  murderers, 
and  of  many  more,  guilty  in  the  second  degree,  as 
aiders  and  abettors.  Nothing,  moreover,  could  have 
been  more  infelicitous  than  the  expression  "  private 
persons,"  for  in  no  sense,  with  reference  to  the  Sepoys, 
could  their  officers  be  so  described.  This,  however, 
Lord  Canning  declared  to  be  but  a  small  part  of  the 
offence.  "  It  is  not,"  he  wrote,  "  only  a  question  as 
to  the  meaning  of  the  term  *  private  persons '  either 
in  English  or  in  Oordoo.  Whatever  may  be  argued 
on  that  point  (and  I  confess  that  I  do  not  like  sailing 
very  near  the  wind  in  interpretations  upon  which  the 
lives  of  men  and  the  honour  of  the  Government 
depend),  the  apparent  meaning  and  the  real  working 
of  the  proclamation  will  be  the  same.  The  vice  of  it, 
as  I  have  already  said  by  telegraph,  does  not  consist 
in  the  words  '  private  persons'  alone.*  The  whole 
burden  of  proof  against  each  man  is  thrown  entirely 
and  at  once  upon  the  authority  to  whom  he  presents 
himself.     To  put  a  plain  case.     If  twenty  men  of  the 

*  Mr.  Colvin  stated  afterwards  classes  of  iodividuals.    Mr.  Col?in 

tbat  as  rendered  in  the  Native  Ian-  said  that  his  intention  was  to  discri* 

guages,  the  words  literally  repre-  minate  between  offences  against  the 

sented  "  subjects  of  Government."  State  and  offences  against  persons — 

Now,  as  understood  in  India  at  that  but  surely  offences  against  the  ser- 

time,  "  private  personsT*  and  "  sub-  vants  of  Government  were  offences 

lects  of  Government"  were  different  against  the  Government. 


Thirty-eighth  Regiment  leave  Delhi  and  deliver  up       1857, 
their  arms   to   the  nearest  Magistrate,   who   knows        ^^' 
nothing  of  them  but  that  they  belonged  to  that  corps, 
can  their  unmolested  liberty  be  refused  to  them? 
Assuredly  not,  unless  the  promise  given  in  the  pro- 
clamation is  broken." 

To  such  strictures  by  Lord  Canning  and  others, 
Mr.  Colvin,  some  weeks  afterwards,  replied  in  a  letter 
to  his  brother:  "The  proclamation  was  universally 
approved  here,  though  much  that  I  have  done  since 
has  been  the  cause  of  much  difference  of  opinion. 
We  here  understood  the  vast  extent  of  the  danger 
that  was  opening  on  us,  and  the  sincere  and  thorough 
delusion  that  the  mass  of  the  Sepoys  were  in,  about 
the  intentions  of  Government.  Regiments  were  be- 
ginning to  give  way  all  round.  To  prevent  the  fatal 
mischief  spreading,  it  seemed  the  wisest  thing  that 
could  be  done  to  mark  that  we  desired  to  be  just, 
and  to  offer  the  means  of  retreat  to  those  not  already 
desperately  committed,  and  who  had  been  betrayed 
into  the  rebel  ranks  by  the  insane  apprehensions 
about  religion,  or  by  the  inability  of  getting  away 
from  them.  That  those  avIio  had  taken  a  leading 
or  a  deliberately  malignant  part  in  the  revolt  would 
ever  seek  to  take  advantage  of  the  notification,  we 
knew  to  be  quite  out  of  the  question.  The  chance 
that  seemed  open  (through  the  proclamation)  of 
escape  to  such  persons  was  what  called  forth  the 
heavy  censure  at  many  distant  points.  But  we  who 
were  nearer  the  scene,  and  knew  the  real  spirit  of  the 
revolt,  could  not  entertain  such  a  supposition.  The 
attempt  to  separate  the  comparatively  innocent — to 
appeal  through  them  to  the  feelings  of  tlie  regiments 
yet  in  obedience-  seemed  in  my  deliberate  opinion, 

238  AGRA  IN  MAY. 

1857.      and  still  seems,  the  right  and  useful  thing  to  do  at 

Maj.       that  time."* 

Upon  few  events  of  those  troubled  times  was  so 
much  useless  controversy 'expended.  For,  notwith- 
standing all  this  logomachy,  the  proclamation  was  a 
very  harmless  proclamation.  Nothing  in  eflfect  came 
from  it — except  that  the  adverse  criticisms  passed 
upon  it  in  Government  House  and  in  other  places, 
high  and  low,  had  a  wearing  and  depressing  eflfect 
upon  the  Lieutenant-Governor's  mind.  In  such  times 
and  in  such  circumstances,  a  man  even  with  robust 
health  and  a  strong  nervous  system  on  his  side  re- 
quires some  external  encouragement  to  sustain  and 
to  keep  him  up  to  the  athletic  standard  which  is 
necessary  to  the  right  discharge  of  great  responsi- 
bilities. But  Colvin's  health  was  failing ;  his  nerves 
were  shaken.  Whilst  day  after  day,  from  beyond 
Agra,  fresh  tidings  of  disaflfection  and  disaster  came 
in  to  increase  his  perplexities  and  to  aggravate  his 
distresses,  the  difficulties  which  presented  themselves 
to  him  at  home,  because  more  immediate  and  omni- 
present, were  still  more  vexatious  and  annoying.  The 
diflferences  of  opinion,  which  arose  among  the  many 
able  and  energetic  officers  who  surrounded  him,  were 
continually  distracting  his  mind  and  ministering  to 
his  irresolution.  What  he  suflFered  no  man  can  tell ; 
but  those  about  him  saw  more  clearly  every  day  that 
he  was  growing  weaker  both  in  body  and  in  mind. 
It  was  plain  that  the  burden  upon  him  was  greater 
than  he  could  bear.  He  was  a  brave  and  honourable 
Englishman  ;  but  his  lines  had  been  cast  in  pleasant 
places.  He  had  been  sage  in  counsel;  but  he  was 
not  accustomed  to  face  the  responsibilities  of  prompt 
and  strenuous  action,  and  now  he  began  slowly  to 

*  MS.  Correspondence. 


succumb  to  the  incessant  pressure  upon  his  brain ;       1857. 
and  those  who  watched  him  did  not  think  that  he  *^' 

would  long  survive  to  direct  or  to  control  them. 

Three  weeks  had  now  nearly  passed  away  since     May  30. 
the  conflagration  had  commenced  in  the  Upper  Pro-  Mutiny  at 
vinces  of  India ;  but  although  there  had  been  many  '^^*^^^*' 
alarming  rumours,   there  had  been  no   reality  of 
danger  at  Agra.     The  Native   regiments  had  per- 
formed their  accustomed  duties,  in  obedience  to  their 
officers,  who  for  the  most  part  clung  to  the  belief 
that  their  men  would  not  turn  against  them.*     And 
the  principal  civilians,   whose    counsels  up  to  this 
time  prevailed,  were  still  preaching  the  expediency 
of   maintaining  an    outward    show  of    confidence, 
though  in  truth  the  faith  itself,  if  ever  honestly  che- 
rished, was  rapidly  passing'away,  and  the  Lieutenant- 
Governor  was  beginning  to  doubt  whether  he  had 
not  been  ill-advised  from  the  first. 

But  before  the  month  of  May  had  closed  in  upon 
us,  a  crisis  had  arrived  in  the  affairs  of  Agra. 
There  was  a  company  of  one  of  the  Agra  regiments 
(the  Forty-fourth)  at  Muttra,  a  civil  station  some 
thirty-five  miles  distant ;  and  it  had  been  arranged 

*  It  is  probable  that  this  belief  Native  Infantry,  and  he  with  a  good 

\ras  more  strongly  impressed  on  the  deal  of  earnestness  denied  that  the 

minds    of   the   elder    than  of  the  Sepoys  here  had  given  the  slightest 

younger  officers.    When  Sir  Henry  grounds  for  such  a  suspicion.  There 

Durand  was  at  Agra,  on  his  way  to  In-  may  of  course  be  a  lack  both  of  ex- 

dore,  at  the  end  of  March,  he  wrote  perience  and  wisdom  among  young 

to  Lord  Canning,  saying :  "  Briga-  officers,  but  they  are  freer  in  their 

dier  Polwhele  spoke  with  dissatisfac-  expression  of  opinion  and  the  men 

tion  of  the  opinions  and  conversation  less  on  their  guard  before  them, 

of  some  of  the  younger  officers,  as-  Aged  officers  like  Polwhele  are  slow 

cribing  to  unwise  assertions  on  their  to  perceive  and  unwilling  to  admit 

parts  tlie  idea,  more  or  less  generally  anvthing  not  flattering  to  their  own 

entertained,  that  the  Sepoy  corps  influence  and  authority.**— 3^/9.  Cor- 

sympathised    with  the  Nineteenth  respondence. 



1857.  that  another  company  of  the  same  regiment,  and 
^*y-  one  also  of  the  Sixty-seventh,  should  be  sent  thither, 
partly  to  relieve  the  old  detachment,  and  partly  to 
bring  away  the  bulk  of  the  treasure.  This  amounted 
to  upwards  of  six  lakhs  of  rupees.  It  ought  to  have 
been,  and  it  might  easily  have  been,  brought  away 
before.  Mr.  Colvin  had  been  eagerly  besought  by 
the  Engineer  officers  to  remove  the  treasure  both 
from  Aligurh  and  Muttra;  but  these  would  have 
been  marks  of  no-confidence,  which  it  was  the  policy 
of  the  Government  to  disavow.  There  had  been  con- 
siderable excitement  at  Muttra.  News  had  come 
that  the  Delhi  mutineers  and  others  were  marching 
on  Agra,  and  would  pass  through  the  Muttra  station 
on  their  way.  The  European  women  and  children 
had,  therefore,  been  sent  to  the  former  place.  In 
the  nwddle  of  the  month  the  arrival  of  the  Bhurt- 
porc  force,  under  Captain  Nixon,  though  it  alarmed 
the  Sepoys,  did  something  to  restore  the  general  con- 
fidence.* It  was  believed  that  the  Foreign  Con- 
tingent was  to  be  trusted  ;  but  it  was  merely  a  ques- 
tion, to  be  determined  by  some  accident,  as  to  which 
should  be  the  first  to  rise.  The  event  proved  that  in 
the  race  of  rebellion  they  were  destined  to  achieve 
something  like  a  dead  heat.     When,  on  the  30th  of 

*  The  following  is  from  a  letter 
written  by  Cantain  Nixon  (Muttra, 
May  17) :  "  On  marching  in,  we 
drove  very  thoughtlessly  up  to  the 
Treasury-guard,  and,  on  arriving 
near,  the  Sepoys  turned  out  in  a 
dreadful  fright.  The  fact  is  they 
thought  that  they  were  going  to  be 
attached,  as  I  had  of  course  au 
immense  sotcarree  following  me.  I 
was  put  in  a  very  ticklish  position, 
and  had  to  send  back  my  sotcarree, 
as  I  saw  the  Sepoys  commencing  to 
load.  However,  they  immediately 
stopped  all  hostile  aemonstrations 

on  my  turning  the  sowarree  back,  and 
we  went  ana  reassured  them  and 
made  them  *  present  arms.'  The  fact 
is  that  my  people  had  evidently  been 
threatening  them,  and  they  thought 
that  their  time  had  come.  I  am 
glad,  for  one  or  two  reasons,  that 
this  has  happened — firstly,  because 
it  is  now  quite  clear  to  me  that  our 
Sepoys  and  the  troops  of  the  Native 
States  will  never  coalesce,  and  se- 
condly, because  they  are  now  fright- 
ened  by  an  enemy  from  another 
quarter."  All  this,  as  will  presently 
be  seen,  was  an  entire  mistake. 


May,  the  two  companies  marched  in  from  Agra,  there  1857. 
was  a  sufficient  body  of  Sepoys  at  the  place  to  seize  ^*^^- 
the  treasure  without  much  fear  of  successful  resist- 
ance. The  moment  was  opportune;  so  as  soon  as 
the  treasure  was  placed  on  the  carriages,  which  were 
to  convey  it  to  Agra,  the  Sepoys  broke  into  open 
rebellion.  Lieutenant  Boulton,  who  was  superin- 
tending, with  others,  the  transfer  of  the  coin,  was 
shot  dead ;  Lieutenant  Gibbon  was  wounded ;  and 
some  of  the  civil  officers  narrowly  escaped  the  fire  of 
the  insurgents.  The  Sepoys  now  had  the  rupee-bags 
securely  in  hand,  and  with  them  they  started  off  for 

There  was,  however,  some  hope  that  those  plans  May  31. 
might  be  frustrated.  At  that  time  the  Bhurtpore  JJ^*^°y  <J^ 
troops  were  at  Hodul.  Mr.  Harvey,  the  Commissioner,  pore  troops. 
was  with  them.  In  the  early  morning  of  the  J  1st  of 
May,  the  Commissioner  was  apprised,,  by  an  incursion 
of  fugitives  from  Muttra,  that  the  troops  had  risen 
and  were  on  their  way  to  Delhi.  His  first  thought 
was  to  intercept  the  progress  of  the  insurgents.  A 
plan  of  defence  was,  therefore,  agreed  upon  between 
the  civil  and  the  military  officers.  The  Bhurtpore 
guns  were  to  be  placed  in  position  across  the  road, 
by  which  the  mutineers  were  expected  to  advance. 
But  all  hope  of  a  successful  resistance  was  soon  gone. 
Many  of  the  artillerpnen  were  Poorbeahs,  deserters 
or  discharged  Sepoys  from  our  own  Infantry  ranks ; 
and  their  commanders  told  our  officers  that  the  men 
were  not  to  be  trusted.  The  Bhurtpore  camp,  indeed, 
was  declared  to  be  no  place  of  safety  for  Europeans ; 
and  our  people  were,  therefore,  exhorted  to  depart. 
But  they  were^slow  to  take  this  advice.  For  some 
hours  they  exerted  themselves  most  strenuously  to 
induce  the  regiments  to  do  their  duty.     They  offered 

VOL.  in.  R  I 

242  AGRA  IN  HAY. 

1857.  liberal  rewards  on  the  part  of  the  British  Govern- 
Maj  31.  ment.  They  reminded  the  troops  that  they  would 
bring  disgrace  on  their  own  Raj,  if  they  forsook,  in 
the  hour  of  need,  the  allies  whom  they  had  been 
sent  to  succour.  But  no  arguments,  or  persuasions, 
or  promises  could  avail.  The  only  result  of  these 
efforts  was,  that  the  Bhurtpore  artillerymen  pointed 
some  of  their  guns  threateningly  at  the  group  of 
Englishmen.  There  was  now  nothing  more  to  be 
done  but  either  to  seek  some  safer  place  or  to  remain 
in  the  Bhurtpore  camp  to  be  murdered.  So  the 
party  of  Englishmen — some  thirty  in  number — 
mouited  their  horses  and  rode  oflF,  carrying  nothing 
with  them  but  the  arms  in  their  hands  and  the 
clothes  on  their  backs.  Scarcely  had  they  started, 
when  the  Bhurtpore  troops  broke  into  the  wonted 
or^es^^t  rebellion.  The  tents  of  the  English  gentle- 
men were  almost  instantly  in  a  blaze.  A  few  bunga- 
lows, which  had  been  occupied  by  Customs'  officials 
in  our  pay,  were  fired,  one  after  another ;  and  such 
property  as  our  ppople  had  left  behind  them  was 
plundered  by  our  allies.  And  thus  was  the  first 
rude  shock  given  to  our  faith  in  the  allied  troops 
of  the  Native  States — thus  was  all  hope  of  the  Agra 
Commissioner  effecting  the  march  to  Delhi  cut  off 
from  him  for  a  time.  Harvey's  first  thought  was  to 
endeavour  to  form  a  junction  with  the  Sirmoor 
battaUon,  which  was  then  moving  upon  Delhi.  This, 
however,  was  not  accomplished;  and  he  eventually 
found  himself  in  Rajpootana,  where,  in  co-operation 
with  the  political  officers  in  those  states,  he  rendered 
excellent  service  to  his  Government. 
Disarming  of  It  was  to  be  expected  that  news  of  these  events 
i^imento!  ^^^^  produce  great  excitement  in  Agra.  The  com- 
panies which  had  mutinied  belonged  to  the  Agra 

DiaA&HiKO  Of  tae  ag&a  eegimemts.  243 

reoriments.    There  was  little  doubt  that  the  main      1857. 
bodies  would  follow  the  lead  of  these  pioneers  into    May  31. 
the  jungle  of  rebellion.     It  was  necessary,   there- 
fore,  to  act — and  at  once.     The  evil  tidings  had 
been  brought  by  a  camel-express,  and  communicated 
about  midnight  to  Mr.  Drummond.    The  Lieutenant- 
Governor  was  at  that  time  sleeping  in  the  Magis- 
trate's house.     So  Drummond  roused  him,  and  in- 
sisted that  it  was  necessary  to   disarm  the   Sepoy 
regiments  on  the  coming  morning  at  break  of  day. 
If  Colvin  demurred  for  a  little  space,  his  reluctance 
was  soon  overcome  by  the  earnestness  of  the  Magis- 
trate.    The  order  went  forth ;  and  at  dawn  on  that 
Sunday,  the  31st  of  May,  the  Third  Europeans  were 
brought  down  to  the  parade-ground,  and  Captain 
D'Oyley's  battery  was  drawn  up  ready  for  action. 
When,  therefore,  the  Sepoy  regiments  found  them- 
selves in  dangerous  proximity  to  the  British  Infantry 
and  the  guns,  they  knew  that  certain   destruction 
was  before  them  if  they  ventured  to  resist.     The  old 
Brigadier,  seated  on  his  white  charger,  addressed  a 
few  words  to  the  Sepoys  and  gave  the  word  of  com- 
mand.    "  Silent  and  sullen"  the  Sepoys  obeyed  the 
order  to  "  pile  arms ;"  and  they  were  marched  back 
to  their  lines.     Some   applied  for  leave  and  went 
to  their  homes.     Others  started  off  without  leave  for 
Delhi.     But  any  present  danger  to  be  apprehended 
from  them  was  gone ;   and,   practically,   two   more 
regiments  were  effaced  from  the  Bengal  Army  List. 

n  2 





1857.  Sq  ^\^q  month  of  June  dawned  upon  the  Lieutenant- 

May— June. 

Governor  and  his  colleagues,  with  at  least  one  source 
of  apprehension  less.  *'  The  greatest  good,"  wrote  Mr. 
Colvin  to  Lord  Canning,  on  the  1st  of  June,  "  has  been 
done  by  the  disarming  of  the  two  Native  regiments 
here.  Most  of  the  men  will  slink  away,  chiefly  from 
fear  of  what  we  may  do  to  them,  and  we  are  well  rid 
of  them."  In  other  parts  of  the  country,  this  "  slinking 
away"  of  disarmed  Sepoys  was  called  desertion,  and 
men  were  hanged  for  the  offence.*  And  wisely,  too — 
for  disarmed  men,  in  such  a  state  of  things  as  then  con- 
fronted us,  soon  became  full-armed  men.  They  had 
never  to  go  far  to  re-equip  themselves  for  the  battle. 
And,  therefore,  a  danger  removed  from  Agra,  or  any 
central  point,  was  only  a  danger  sent  to  reappear  on 
some  other  spot,  and  perhaps  with  redoubled  cogency 
for  evil.  It  was  commonly  said  that  Sepoys  who  had 
mutinied  or  deserted  "  went  off^  to  Delhi."  But  many 
halted  by  the  way,  scattering  themselves  over  the 

*  Ante,  vol.  ii.  page  482. 

]N8CiiEcno5  n  1HE  DBmcn.  345 

districts,  some  going  straight  to  their  Xarive  TiDages  1557 
with  such  share  of  the  wages  <^  rebdikm  a§  they 
might  have  succeeded  in  impropriating  to  ihem^ffhrek, 
and  spreading  abroad  everywhere  exaggerated  stories 
of  the  evil  intentions  of  the  English,  or  of  the  ^Kcdj 
downfall  of  the  British  Empire. 

Indeed,  nothing  was  more  certain  at  this  time  than 
that,  whatever  might  be  the  improvemem  in  the 
position  of  Agra  itself,  the  Xorth-Westem  ProTineei 
were  every  day  sinking  into  the  prcrfbondcst  depths 
of  disorder.     Before  the  end  of  Mav.  Mr.  Cohrin 
had  written  to  the  Govemor-GeneraL  saying :  -  The 
country  is  in  utter  disorder ;  but  bold  men.  holding 
together,  should  still  make  their  way  through.    The 
real  reason,  I  regret  to  say,  why  messages  do  not  get 
delivered  is,  that  the  belief  in  the  permanence  of  our 
power  has  been  very  deeply  shaken,  and  that  men 
think  that  there  is  a  better  chance  for  them  to  take 
to  open  plundering  than  to  engage  in  special  risks 

for  our  service The  country  north  of  Meemt 

(part  at  least  of  the  Mozuffemnggor  district)  is  at  the 
mercy  of  the  most  daring  and  criminal  There  are 
many  good  men,  whose  feelings  are  with  ns,  but  the 
vicious,  the  disappointed,  and  the  desperate,  are  the 
most  bold  in  all  such  convulsions  of  order,  and  <m 
the  whole  there  is  (its  police  force  being  dijipemed) 

no  support  to  the  Government Aligorh  and 

Etah,  the  two  most  important  districts  of  the  c^itre 

Upper  Doab,  are  in  a  blaze  of  riot  and  ravage 

It  is  melancholy  to  contemplate  the  fearful  calamiti^ 
which,  at  but  a  short  thirty  or  forty  miles*  frr/iu  me, 
are  causing  the  misery  of  our  poor  sufcjects,  for  whom 
we  have  thought  and  tmled  with  so  many  anxious 

cares Such  is  the  state  of  things  in  extremely 

opulent   districts^  which  but  three  months  ago  | 


1857.      prided  myself  on  having  done  so  much  to  improve." 
May— June,  gome  of  the  more  distant  manifestations  spoken  of  in 

this  letter  I  must  now  proceed  to  relate. 
Above  Delhi,      jj^  ^y^^  districts  of  the   North- Western  Provinces 

situated  above  Delhi,  British  authority  was  threatened 
with  greater  violence  than  below.     But  the  danger 
was  not  always  of  the  same  type.     What  we  have 
hitherto  traced  in  the  shape  of  overt  acts  against  the 
Government   of  the  English,   have  been   mutinou3 
risings  of  the  Sepoy  soldiery,  which  their  non-military 
brethren  more  or  less  aided  and  abetted.     Into  what- 
soever dimensions,  social  or  political,  the  movement 
may  have  afterwards  swollen,  its  first  activities  were 
purely  military.     At  all  our  great  civil  stations  were 
detachments  of  Native   Infantry  regiments   posted 
there  mainly  to  protect  the  Treasury  and  other  pro- 
perty of  the   Government.     The  revenue  was  col- 
lected, for  the  most  part,  in  the  silver  coinage  of  the 
country,  and  at  the  head-quarters   of  every  collec- 
torate   were  treasure-chests   groaning  with   rupees. 
No  one,  before  the  coming  of  this  month  of  May, 
ever  doubted  that,  under  the  charge  of  a  guard  of 
Sepoys,  all  this  wealth  was  as  secure  as  it  would  have 
been  in  Lothbury.     But  now  it  was  clear  that  our 
strength   had  become  weakness— our  security   had 
been  turned  into   danger.     The  guardians  of  our 
public  property  had  become  its  despoilers;  and  at 
most  stations  were  doubt  and  apprehension,  and  a 
general  wish  that  the  property  of  Government  and 
the  lives  of  its  servants  had  been  in  charge  of  the 
Civil  Police  of  the  district.     But  in  some  of  the  dis- 
tricts in  the  Meerut  and  Bareilly  Divisions  there  was 
less  fear  of  the  soldiery  than  of  the  populace.     The 
first  threatenings  came  from  the  disaffected  commu- 
nities, whilst  still  the  Sepoys  were  outwardly  staunch. 
At  Saharunpore  and  Mozuffemuggur,  in  the  Meerut 


Division,  and  at  Moradabad  and  Badaon,  in  the  con-  IW. 
tiguous  Bareillj  Division,  this  was  especially  app»-  Mky— Ji 
rent.  At  Sahamnpore  was  a  detachment  of  the 
Twenty-ninth  Sepoy  Regiment,  its  head-quarten 
being  at  Moradabad.  It  was  a  regiment  of  good 
repute,  believed  to  be  loyal,  and  for  some  time  it 
maintained  its  character.  But  the  guards  at  Mozuf-  Mocofer- 
femuggur  were  drawn  from  the  Twentieth  that  had  ■"««- 
mutinied  at  Meemt,  and  there  was,  seemingly,  small 
hope  of  the  continuance  of  its  loyalty.  It  was  pro- 
bable, indeed,  that  on  the  arrival  of  the  -news  from 
head-quarters,  the  detachment  would  break  into 
instant  rebellion.  For  three  dap,  however,  the 
Sepoys  were  quiet.  But  those  three  days  were  fatal 
to  our  rule.  Before  the  soldiery  had  struck  a  blow, 
there  were  signs  of  insurrection  in  the  town.  The 
English  Magistrate  had  closed  all  the  public  offices, 
and  hid  himself  in  the  jungle.*  The  most  exaggerated 
reports  of  the  total  collapse  of  British  rule  began  to 
spread  through  the  district.  Then  all  the  discon- 
tented, the  disappointed,  and  the  down-trodden  began 
to  take  heart.  The  houses  of  our  public  officers  were 
burnt  or  attacked  by  armed  bands ;  and  it  was  be- 
lieved  that  « the  imjiverished  Syud  Zemindars  insti- 
gated  the  villagers  to  commit  these  excesses."!  The 
example  having  thus  been  set  by  the  non-military 
classes,  the  Sepoys  rose.  On  the  afternoon  of  the 
14th,  when  it  was  proposed  to  move  the  treasure  to  a 
place  of  greater  safety,  the  guard  refused  to  allow  its 
removal,  broke  into  the  chest,  and  gorged  themselves 
with  the  plunder.  J  Taking  with  them  as  much  as 
they  could  carry — about  one-third,  perhaps,  of  the 

*  In  the  official  report  by  Mr.         f  Official  report. 
R.  M.  Edwards  it  is  signiGcantly        {  There  were  eighty-five  thousand 

said  :  "  Mr,  Berford  at  once  ordered  rupees  ia  the  Treasury,  and  there 

that  all  the  public  offices  should  be  were  only  thirty-fife  Sepoys  on  tht 

closed  on  that  day.  They  were  never  Treasury-guard, 
again  opened," 


1867.  whole — they  marched  off  triumphantly  towards  Mo- 
May— June,  radabad.  The  rest  of  the  coin  was  plundered  by  the 
townspeople,  the  Magistrate's  servants,  and  it  was 
more  than  suspected  by  the  Native  functionaries  of 
the  British  Government.  "  Nobody,"  says  the  official 
report,  "  raised  a  finger  to  prevent  them  ;  everybody 
seems  to  have  been  paralysed." 

But  there  was  something  still  more  surprising  than 
this.  Overcome  by  unmanly  fear  for  his  personal 
safety,  the  Magistrate  determined  to  strengthen  his 
own  body-guard  by  releasing  the  prisoners  in  the 
Gaol,  and  withdrawing  the  guards  that  were  protect- 
ing it.  This  crowning  instance  of  the  paralysis  of 
British  authority  gave  the  finishing  stroke  to  all  law 
and  order  in  the  district.  Whilst  the  Magistrate  was 
sheltering  himself  in  a  suburb  of  the  city,  with  a 
guard  of  Sepoys  around  the  house  in  which  he  lay, 
the  Government  offices  and  officers'  bungalows  were 
burnt,  the  public  records  were  exultantly  destroyed, 
the  empty  Gaol  was  pulled  to  pieces,  and  the  doors, 
and  shutters,  and  railings  carried  off  as  plunder  by 
the  villagers,  and  from  one  end  to  the  other  of  the 
district  the  tidings  ran  that  English  rule  was  at  an 
end,  that  the  English  were  hiding  themselves  for  fear 
of  their  lives,  that  a  reign  of  anarchy  had  commenced, 
that  every  one  might  do  as  he  liked,  and  take  what 
he  could  get,  that  the  race  was  to  the  swift  and  the 
battle  to  the  strong,  and  that  every  man  was  his  own 
judge  and  collector. 
Sahaninpore.  And  thus  the  prevailing  faith  of  Mozuffemuggur 
soon  became  the  prevailing  faith  of  Saharunpore.  I 
am  glad  to  change  the  scene,  for  in  the  latter  district 
English  manhood  was  not  utterly  at  its  last  gasp. 
All  men  are  not  alike,  and  even  on  the  fair  counte- 
nance of  our  national  manjiness  may  sometimes  be 


seen  ugly  blotches  and  unseemly  tumours.  The  1867. 
difficulties  of  Saharunpore  were  increased  by  the  May— June 
failure  of  Mozuffernuggur.  In  the  former  district 
there  had  been  some  bad  symptoms  from  the  com- 
mencement, and  when  it  was  kno\vn  that  English 
authority  was  prostrate  in  the  latter,  the  audacity  of 
the  people  increased.*  The  Magistrate,  Mr.  Spankie, 
on  first  learning  that  the  Meerut  troops  had  risen, 
summoned  a  Council,  and  it  was  considered  whether 
the  English  should  abandon  the  station  or  hold  on  to 
the  last.  There  was  energy  enough  in  the  little  con- 
clave to  carry  a  vote  in  favour  of  the  manlier  course. 
This  done,  all  the  ladies  and  children  of  the  station 
were  sent  under  safe  escort  to  Mussoorie,  on  the  Hills. 
There  was  no  expectation  that  the  district  would 
remain  quiet.  Its  population  was  a  dangerous  popu- 
lation. Its  '^plundering  tribes"  were  prominent  in 
its  statistics,  and  a  general  feeling  of  the  inability  of 
the  English  any  longer  to  maintain  order,  stimulated 
every  man  to  take  the  law  into  his  own  hand.  There 
was  a  company  of  the  Twenty-Ninth  Sepoys  in  the 
station,  guarding  the  public  property;  but  the  fear 
was  not  of  the  soldiery,  but  of  the  populace.  Whilst 
the  soldiery  were  at  least  outwardly  tranquil,  among 
the  people  were  throes  and  spasms  of  feverish  emotion. 

*  See  statements  of  Mr.  Dundas  formation,  I  was  much  struck  with 

Hobertson,  Joint-Magistrate  of  Salia-  their    evident    satisfaction    in    the 

mnpore,  in  his  work,  entitled  "  Dis-  generally  unfavourable  nature  of  the 

trict  Duties  during  the  Revolt  in  news,  and  with  the  promise  of  mis- 

ihc  North- West  Provinces  of  India"  fortune   to  the  English."    Again  : 

(1859),   one  of  the   best  of  many  '*  In    the    Mozuffernuggur    district 

valuable  books,  illustrative  of  scat-  (May  18-20),  some  thirty  miles  dis- 

tered  passages  of  the  rebellion.   See  taut,  Britisii   authority  had  almost 

also  Mr.  Spankie'^i  official  report :  ceased  to  exist,  and  was  but  feebly 

**  During  this  period  of  uncertainty  pulsating  in  the  southern  portion  of 

(May   13-14),  whilst    speaking    to  our  own,  bordering  on  Mozuffer- 

scveral  would-be  well-disposed  Na-  nuggur.  .  ,  .  The  whole  surround- 

tives,  who  it  was  easy  to  observe  ing  country  was  in  a  state  of  t\\^ 

visited  me  more  with  the  view  of  most  complete  anarchy." 
extracting  than    of  furnishing  in- 


1857.  Class  rose  against  class ;  the  strong  against  the  weak ; 
May— June,  the  debtor  against  the  creditor ;  the  beaten  defendant 
against  the  successful  plaintiff.  The  greatest  joy  of 
all  was  to  reverse,  by  stretching  forth  a  mailed  hand, 
the  decisions  of  the  English  Courts. 
Mr.  H.  D.  But  underlying  all  this  internecine  strife  there  was 
Bx)bert8on.  ^  hatred,  strong  though  subdued,  of  British  rule. 
And  a  shrewd  observer — a  man  equally  sagacious 
and  brave,  who  nobly  upheld  the  British  character 
in  Saharunpore — had,  before  the  close  of  the  month, 
assured  himself,  by  a  full  consideration  of  his  expe- 
riences, that  "  the  Zemindars  were  one  with  the 
lower  orders^ — that  rebellion,  not  plunder  alone,  ac- 
tuated the  mass  of  the  population."  It  was  as  sur- 
prising as  it  was  deplorable.  "  Troops  might  mutiny," 
said  the  Joint-Magistrate,  "  but  I  could  hardly  reaUse 
this  rapid  change  amongst  peaceful  villagers."*  The 
change  was  sadly  apparent  everywhere.  In  the  city 
men  were  closing  their  shops  and  burying  their  valu- 
ables. There  was  an  almost  entire  suspension  of 
business,  whilst  on  the  public  roads,  which  a  little 
time  before  had  been  *'  crowded  to  excess"  with  tra- 
vellers of  both  races  and  an  extensive  traffic,  there 
was  now  something  like  a  solitude,  broken  only  by  a 
few  bands  of  armed  men.  There  was  no  longer  any 
security  for  life  or  property.  The  civil  power  was 
utterly  prostrate.  Yet,  all  this  time,  there  was  no 
danger  from  the  Sepoys.  "  The  Sepoy  Treasury- 
guard  continued  true  to  their  duty." 

Indeed,  when  towards  the  end  of  the  month  it  was 
proposed  to  go  out  and  take  the  offensive,  a  styong 
party  of  Sepoys,  accompanying  the  English  gentle- 
men and  the  horsemen  of  the  District  Police,  went  out 

*  Robertson's  "  District  Duties  ascertained  that  several  of  the  larger 
during  the  Revolt."  "  A  few  days  villages  had  combined  to  att^ 
preceding  the    23rd    of  May,  we    us." 


to  coerce  the  rebel  villages.  The  detachment  of  the  1857. 
Twenty-ninth  had,  by  this  time,  been  strengthened  May— June, 
by  Sepoy  reinforcements  from  Umballah,  both  Horse 
and  Foot.*  Whilst  in  some  parts  the  authorities 
were  eager  to  rid  themselves  of  the  great  danger  of 
the  Sepoys,  here  they  were  regarded  as  elements  of 
safety,  and  our  people  sought  their  protection  against 
the  enmity  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  towns  and  vil- 
lages— and  this  at  no  great  distance  from  Meerut  and 
Delhi,  where  military  mutiny  was  rampant. 

Meanwhile,  in  the  Rohilkund  Division  were  to  Rohilkund. 
be  seen  similar  manifestations  of  contempt  for  and 
defiance  of  British  authority.  It  was  soon  appa- 
rent throughout  the  districts  that  there  was  an  un- 
easy, restless  feeling  among  the  people,  and  that 
the  national  heart  was  turned  against  the  English. 
There  was,  indeed,  no  part  of  the  country  under 
charge  of  the  Lieutenant-Governor  from  which  ac- 
counts were  looked  for  with  greater  anxiety  than 
from  that  important  province.  For  there,  the  Maho- 
medan  population  was  strong  both  in  numbers  and 
in  influence — especially  in  the  great  towns.  A  fine, 
hardy,  warlike  race  of  men  were  the  Pathan  Rohillas, 
and  there  were  chiefs  among  them  with  unforgotten 
hereditary  claims  and  unextinguished  hereditary  ran- 
cours. It  was  well-nigh  certain,  therefore,  that  the  bulk 
of  the  Mahomedan  population  would  cast  in  their  lot 
with  the  military  rebels ;  that  if  the  Rohillas  did  not, 
as  was  probable,  set  the  example  of  insurrection,  they 

*  "I  felt  that  I  required  help  the  FouHh  Light    Cavalry,   under 

from  without,  and  I  wrote  to  Mr.  Captain  Wyld,  and  a  company  of  In- 

Barncs,  Commissioner  of  Umballah,  fantry  (Fifth  Native),  under  Captain 

who  did  all  he  could ;  and  Mr.  Plow-  Garstcn.     The  appearance  of  the 

den,  Aflsistant-Commissioner  of  Um-  troops  was    most   opportune,   and 

ballah,  then  Quartered  at  Jugadhree,  confidence  for  a  time  restored." — 

crossed  the  Jumna  with  a  party  of  Mr,  Spankie^s  heport. 



1867.  would  instigate  the  Sepoys  to  cast  off  their  allegiance 
May— June,  ^q  ^he  British  Government,  and  strike  for  the  restora- 
tion of  the  Mogul  Empire. 
Moradabad.  At  Moradabad  the  main  body  of  the  Twenty-ninth* 
Sepoy  Regiment  was  posted ;  and  neither  their  own 
officers  nor  the  chief  civilians  in  the  district  showed 
any  sign  of  want  of  confidence  in  them.  There  was 
fortunately  then  at  the  station  a  high  civil  func- 
tionary of  immense  energy  and  courage,  a  man  equal 
to  any  emergency  and  capable  of  any  act  of  daring. 
Mr.  Cracroft  Wilson  was  Judge  of  Moradabad.  In 
that  capacity  he  had  no  official  control  over  executive 
details.  But  he  had  large  experience  of  that  part  of 
the  country ;  he  was  highly  respected  by  the  Native 
inhabitants  of  all  classes ;  and  it  was  with  no  undue 
appreciation  of  his  own  influence  and  capacity  for 
good  that  he  applied  to  the  Lieutenant-Governor  to 
enlarge  his  powers,  f  The  application  was  promptly 
granted ;  and  Wilson  began  his  work  with  cha- 
racteristic resolution  and  sagacity.  The  Twenty- 
ninth  was  a  regiment  of  good  repute,  and  it  was 
believed  that  by  firm  and  judicious  management  it 
might  be  kept  true  to  its  allegiance.  When  news  of 
our  disasters  at  Meerut  came  in,  Wilson,  with  the 
consent  of  the  military  authorities,  went  into  the 
Sepoy  Lines  and  conversed  freely  with  the  Native 
officers  and  privates,  telling  them  that  their  comrades 
had  been  misled  by  lying  reports,  and  that  to  follow 
the  noxious  example  of  these  misguided  men  would 

*  As  another  instance  of  the 
manner  in  which  writers  may  be 
misled  bj  following  official  docu- 
ments, it  maj  be  stated  that  Mr. 
Dunlop,  in  his  public  reports,  calls 
this  regiment  the  Twenty-third. 

t  It  should  be  observed  that  the 
Magistrate,  Mr.  C.  B.  Saunders,  had 

been  very  recently  appointed  to  Mo- 
radabad, and  tliereforc  was  compara- 
tively unacquainted  with  the  dis- 
trict. He  was  an  officer  of  tlie 
hifjhest  promise— since  abundantly 
fulfilled  by  his  attainment  to  some  of 
the  most  important  political  offices 
under  the  Government  of  India. 

•        •       •  I 


be  to  bring  ruin  upon  themselves.  Again  and  again  1857. 
he  went  among  them  with  reassuring  words.  And  it  May— June, 
seemed  to  him  that  the  majority  of  the  Sepoys  were 
by  no  means  disposed  to  swerve  from  their  allegiance, 
although  great  eflPbrts  were  being  made  by  some  dis- 
affected Mahomedans  in  the  town  to  induce  them  to 
depart  from  it*  There  was,  however,  a  detachment 
of  a  Native  battery  of  Artillery,  the  gunners  of  which 
showed  from  the  first  unmistakable  siorns  of  an  incli- 
nation  to  revolt. 

•  During  the  earlier  weeks  of  May  the  men  of  the 
Twenty-ninth  continued  to  obey  orders.  There  was 
work  for  them  to  do,  as  disorder  began  to  develop 
itself  in  the  district,  in  opening  the  roads  which  had 
been  closed  by  the  Goojurs,  and  arresting  any  danger- 
ous'rebels  whose  designs  had  become  apparent.  And 
for  this  work  they  seemed  to  exhibit  no  disinclination. 
But  a  far  greater  trial  awaited  the  Twenty-ninth. 

*  A  IlinHoo  Government  trans-  large  quantity  of  parched  grain  with 
later,  who  from  his  propensity  to  poor,  to  serve  as  breakfast  for  them, 
quote  Shakspcare  may  be  assumed  Ue  sent  bread  and  other  kinds  of 
to  have  been  educated  at  one  of  our  food  to  the  Mussulman  Sepoys.  The 
Government  colleges,  has  written  an  Sepoys,  after  accepting  his  presents 
amusing  account  of  the  Moradabad  and  thanking  him,  ordered  him  to 
insurrection,  which  contains  the  fol-  leave  the  lines  on  pain  of  death, 
lowing  passage  :  "An  old  pretender  The  ungrateful  beast,  thus  disap- 
was  now  seen  going  towards  the  pointed,  returned  to  his  house  with 
cantonments  with  a  frw  Mussulman  indignation  and  shame."  The  writer 
followers  to  tamper  witli  the  Sepoys,  adds,  with  a  self-denyinpf  naivete 
It  was  Newab  Niamut-oollah  Khan,  signiGcant  of  truth,  **  Although  I 
formerlv  in  Government  employ —  knew  a  great  deal,  but  being  an  in- 
viz.,  Moonsiflf  of  Nngeenah  in  the  significant  official,  whose  task  was 
time  of  Mr.  Judge  Okcden,  and  sub-  only  to  translate  into  English  heavy 
sequently  a  political  pensioner.  The  civil  suits,  was  never  asked  on  any 
hoary-headed  traitor,  emerging  from  subject,  nor  in  the  presence  of  a 
his  iiouse  in  MohuUah  Newab-ponah,  large  number  of  cunnhig  Mussulman 
began  to  assure  the  townsfolk  that  officers  of  great  influence,  I  had  the 
he,  being  a  descendant  of  a  former  pluck  to  reveal  anything  success- 
viceroy,  would  soon  take  possession  fully.  Thus  the  treason  of  Newab 
of  Moradabad,  and  govern  it  in  the  Niamut-oollah  Khan  was  suffered  to 
name  of  the  King  of  Delhi  with  pass  uimoticed  and  with  impunity, 
justice  and  peace.  In  order  to  gain  until  he  openly  became  a  uhazee, 
over  the  mutinous  Twcntv-nmth  and  was  shot  at  Delhi  on  the  day  of 
Native   Infantry,  he  sent    them    a  ossault." 



1867.  The  test  was  a  hazardous  one.  The  detachment  of 
May— June,  ^j^^  Twentieth  (the  mutinous  Meerut  regiment)  which 
had  risen  at  Mozuffernuggur  was  coming  down  upon 
Moradabad.  On  the  evening  of  the  18th,  intelligence 
was  received  of  their  arrival  at  the  Gangun  Bridge. 
Upon  this  it  was  agreed  that  a  party  of  Irregulars 
then  starting  on  an  expedition  to  clear  the  roads 
should  be  reinforced  by  a  detachment  of  the  Twenty- 
ninth.  So  Captain  Faddy  and  Lieutenant  Clifford, 
two  excellent  officers,  got  their  men  under  arms,  and 
accompanied  by  Mr.  Wilson  and  other  civilians,  they 
started  for  the  encampment  of  the  mutineers.  It 
was  starlight  when  they  reached  their  destination. 
What  followed  it  is  not  easy  accurately  to  describe. 
The  Sowars,  of  whose  fidelity  there  was  little  doubt, 
had  been  wisely  placed  in  front,  and  the  detachment 
of  the  Twenty-ninth  in  the  rear.  The  former  were 
spread  out  so  as  nearly  to  surround  the  mutineers  of 
the  Twentieth,  who  at  that  time  were  taking  their 
rest.  Their  slumbers  were  soon  broken ;  and  they 
started  up  surprised  and  bewildered,  and  wondering 
what  had  come  upon  them.  Then  Cracroft  Wilson 
saw  that  the  time  had  come  for  the  Twenty-ninth 
to  act;  so  he  called  upon  Captain  Faddy  to  ad- 
vance. Soon  there  was  a  scene  of  confusion,  in 
the  midst  of  which  it  was  apparent  that  Faddy 's 
Sepoys,  if  not  against  us,  were  not  with  us.  Some 
eight  or  ten  of  the  mutineers  were  seized,  and  one 
was  shot  dead  by  a  Sowar.  The  men  of  the  Twen- 
tieth were  heavily  laden  with  bags  of  rupees,  of 
which  our  people  made  a  capture.  The  fastening 
cords  of  one  or  two  of  these  bags  were  loosed,  and 
then  there  was  a  scramble  for  the  rupees,  which  put  an 
end  to  active  operations  against  the  insurgents.  The 
prisoners  and  the  coin  were  carried  towards  Meerut, 


and  the  bulk  of  the  detachment  went  back  to  Morad-      1867. 
abad,    bearing  with   them   the   body   of   the   slain  Maj— June 

On  the  following  morning  some  of  the  mutineers 
of  the  Twentieth,  who  had  escaped  from  the  onslaught 
on  the  Gangun,  believing  that  nothing  but  fraternity 
would  be  found  there,  entered  the  Lines  of  Morad- 
abad.  But  they  had  miscalculated  the  amount  of 
security  to  be  found  there.  One  was  shot  dead  by  a 
Sikh  Sepoy  of  the  Twenty-ninth,  and  four  were  taken 
alive.*  By  a  fatal  error,  living  and  dead  were  sent 
to  the  criminal  Gaol.f  If  they  had  been  placed  under 
a  military  guard,  as  was  Wilson's  desire,  they  might 
have  escaped,  or  they  might  have  been  released,  but 
they  alone  would  have  recovered  their  liberty.  But 
it  happened  that  the  man  who  had  been  killed  was  a 
relative  of  one  of  the  Sepoys  of  the  Twenty-ninth, 
who  incited  a  number  of  his  comrades  to  proceed 
with  him  to  the  Gaol  to  rescue  the  military  prisoners 
and  to  carry  off  the  body  of  the  slain.  Then  the 
Nujeebs  of  the  Gaol-guard  fraternised  with  them, 
declaring  that  carriages  had  been  prepared  to  convey 
the  prisoners  to  Meerut  to  be  hanged.  So  the  Gaol 
was  entered,  the  mutineers  were  released,  and  with 
them  went  forth,  cheering  and  shouting,  all  the 
prisoners  confined  by  order  of  our  criminal  courts, 
to  carry  devastation  with  them. 

When  news  of  this  event  was  brought  to  Wilson 
by  the  European  officers,  he  mounted  his  horse  and 
accompanied  them  towards  the  Gaol.  The  escaped 
convicts  were  then  streaming  about  in  all  directions, 

*  Baboo   Gunesh    Pershad    says  whose    permission     Heaven     only 

tbey  were  taken  "  by  the  City  Po-  knows !"     Mr.    Wilson    says    that 

Hce.'*  they  were  sent  there  by  the  Adju- 

t  The  Native  chronicler  above-  tant  of  the  Twenty-ninth. 
quoted  saysy  "  £y  whom  and  under 


1867.  and  it  would  have  been  madness  to  have  gone  un- 
May^June.  guppo^ej  among  them.  Remembering,  then,  that 
there  was  in  the  neighbourhood  a  party  of  the 
Cavaby  of  the  Nawab  of  Rampore,  he  rode  off 
towards  them  and  claimed  their  assistance,  but  they 
met  him  only  with  insulting  refusals.  So  he  rode 
back  to  the  Lines.  Meanwhile,  the  Adjutant  of  the 
Twenty-ninth  had  mustered  a  number  of  well-affected 
Sepoys,  and  gone  in  pursuit  of  the  fugitive  prisoners. 
Learning  this,  Wilson  endeavoured  to  raise  another 
levy  of  the  same  kind,  and  with  a  little  party  of  eight 
or  ten  Sepoys  and  a  few  Rampore  Irregulars,  he 
went  forth  to  capture  the  gaol-birds.  These  joint 
efforts  were  most  successful.  ''A  hundred  and  fifty 
men  were  recaptured  and  lodged  in  gaol."  Returning 
about  an  hour  after  mid-day  to  the  town,  he  found 
there  an  ominous  silence.  The  shops  were  closed ; 
the  streets  were  deserted.  No  food  had  been  cooked 
that  day  in  the  Lines.  It  was  evident  that  every  one 
had  been  waiting  and  watching  for  what  was  to  come 
next.  Wilson  looked  the  crisis  in  the  face.  His  first 
effort  was  to  endeavour  to  enlist  some  of  the  prin- 
cipal townspeople  on  the  side  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment. But  even  those  on  whom  he  had  most  relied 
held  back  in  the  hour  of  his  need.  So  he  determined 
to  address  the  soldiery  in  the  Lines.  The  Sepoy  is 
easily  wrought  upon  by  brave  words,  aided  by  a 
manly  presence  and  a  confident  demeanour.  The 
resolute  courage  which  the  Judge  had  evinced  from 
the  beginning,  had  made  a  great  impression  on  the 
Native  soldiery,  and  now  once  more  it  was  to  be 
tested.  As  he  rode  towards  the  Lines  he  passed  in 
front  of  the  Artillery.  The  Golundauze,  whose 
treachery  had  been  kno\vn  from  the  first,  laid  their 
guns  and  lit  their  portfires.     Wilson's  clear  blue  eyes 


calmly  confronted  the  murderous  design.  Without  1857. 
a  sign  of  fear  on  his  face,  he  rode  towards  the  guns,  M>J— J""*- 
not  from  them,  and  waved  his  hat  as  a  challenge  to 
the  gunners.  Abashed  and  overawed  by  the  bearing 
of  the  intrepid  Englishman  they  slunk  baclc,  and 
Wilson  was  saved.  Then  he  went  on,  accompanied 
by  some  officers,  to  the  Quarter-Guard,  but  not  a 
man  had  turned  out  on  parade.  It  seemed  that  they 
were  held  back  by  a  vague  suspicion  of  treachery ; 
but  what  these  few  Europeans  could  have  done 
against  so  many  it  is  hard  to  say.  Still  it  was  wise 
to  remove  the  groundless  fear  ;  so  ball-cartridges 
were  served  but  to  the  men  of  the  Twenty- ninth,  and 
they  were  ordered  to  assemble  %nth  their  arms.  Thus 
reassured  they  were  drawn  up  in  a  hollow  square, 
and  Wilson  went  into  the  midst  of  them  and  ad- 
dressed them.  He  told  them  that  they  had  com- 
mitted a  great  crime  in  the  morning,  but  that  only  a 
portion  of  the  regiment  had  been  implicated,  and 
that  it  was  not  right  that  he  and  others  who  had 
groivn  grey  in  the  service  should  be  ruined  by  the 
excesses  of  a  number  of  unruly  boys ;  but  that  if 
they  would  swear  to  behave  loyally  for  the  future,  he 
would  recommend  the  Governor-General  to  forgive 
tliem.  The  Native  officers  asked  if  he  would  swear 
on  the  Bible  to  fulfil  what  he  promised.  To  this  he 
readily  consented ;  mutual  oaths  were  taken,  and 
confidence  was  restored  for  a  time.  The  shops  were 
opened.  The  streets  were  thronged.  The  English 
ladies,  who  in  this  critical  conjuncture  had  been 
wisely  concealed,  came  forth  from  their  hiding-places. 
And  everj'  one  felt  as  if  a  load  had  been  taken  from 
his  mind. 

Meanwhile  there  were  great  commotions  in 
district.      Agiunst   the    non-military  insurgent? 

VOL.  HI.  s 


1867.  Sepoys  did  their  duty  well.  On  the  20th,  a  party 
May— June,  under  Lieutenant  Clifford,  >vith  a  few  horsemen, 
went  out  and  captured  eighty  Goojurs ;  and  on  the 
following  day,  Cracroffc  Wilson,  having  learnt  that  a 
disaffected  Moulavee  had  summoned  from  Rampore  a 
large  body  of  Mahomedans,  who  were  to  come  down 
upon  Moradabad,  raising  the  green  flag,  and  to 
plunder  the  town,  went  out  with  a  company  of  the 
Twenty-ninth,  commanded  by  Captain  Faddy,  taking 
some  Sowars  with  him,  and  arrested  their  advance. 
Their  leader  was  cut  down,*  and  several  others  of 
their  chief  people  were  captured,  whilst  the  rest 
sought  safety  in  flight. 

But  another  and  a  far  more  severe  trial  was  now  to 
be  forced  upon  them.  A  few  days  afterwards,  news 
came  that  the  two  companies  of  Sappers,  who  had 
been  left  at  Roorkhee,  had  piutinied  on  learning  how 
their  comrades  at  Meerut  had  been  treated.  These 
two  companies  were  now  marching  upon  Moradabad. 
Nothing  had  made  so  deep  an  impression  on  the 
minds  of  the  Sepoys  in  the  North-West  as  the  story 
of  the  destruction  of  the  Sappers — the  story  as  told, 
with  many  exaggerations,  in  the  Lines  and  Bazaars. 
A  belief  was  gaining  ground  that  the  English  in- 
tended to  deal  with  all  the  Native  regiments  after 
the  same  fashion ;  and  the  Twenty-ninth  had  been 
discussing  the  incident  with  no  little  excitement.  It 
was  impossible,  therefore,  to  feel  any  confidence  that 

*  Mr.  Wilson,  in  his  official  re-  held  it  firmly,   pointing  upwards, 

port,  thus   relates    this   incident :  The  fellow  then  drew  a  pistol  from 

"We  crossed  the  river  Ram-Gunja  his  belt,  when  a  Sepoy,  by  name 

at  the  Bareilly  Ghaut,  and  seeing  a  Kalkae  Singh,  of  the  fifth  comimny, 

man  dressed  in  ^reen  on  foot,  I  ad-  who  had  followed  me  nnperceiyed, 

Tanced  towards  nim.     Whilst  speak-  knocked  him  down;  and  then  the 

ing  to  him  I  knocked  up  the  pan  of  Darogah  of  the  bridge  of  boats  gave 

his  blunderbuss.    He  put  it  down,  him  two  sword-cuts  across  the  back 

I  then  laid  hold  of  the  muzzle  and  of  his  neck." 


they  would  now  operate  against  their  comrades.  1857. 
About  noon  the  advancing  body  of  Sappers  was  seen  May— June 
from  the  roof  of  the  Court-House.  Captain  Whish 
immediately  ordered  out  two  hundred  men  and  two 
nine-pounder  guns,  and  the  civilians,  with  Wilson  at 
their  head,  got  together  all  the  horsemen  they 
could  muster  and  joined  the  force.  They  were  soon 
in  front  of  the  advanced  body  of  the  mutineers.  The 
Sowars  went  in  among  the  insurg:ents,  endeavouring 
to  persuade  them  to  lay  down  their  arms.  The  guns 
were  loaded  mth  shrapnel,  and  the  port-fires  were 
lit.  But  the  position  of  some  of  our  own  people 
(purposely,  perhaps)  delayed  the  order  to  fire;  and, 
when  after  a  time  the  obstacle  was  removed,  the 
mutineers  "  flung  down  their  carbines  and  ran  into 
the  arms  of  the  men  of  the  Twenty-ninth  Regiment, 
which  by  this  time  had  come  to  within  two  hundred 
yards  of  the  scene  from  the  southward."  But  what 
was  to  be  done  with  the  prisoners  w^e  had  made  ? 
Past  experience  had  made  us  but  too  well  acquainted 
with  the  danger  of  taking  them  to  Moradabad.  So 
they  were  deprived  of  their  arms  and  ammunition, 
their  money,  and  nearly  all  their  clothes,  and  thus 
stripped  and  beggared,  were  cast  adrift  upon  the 
world.     The  majority  of  them  fled  to  Bareilly. 

After  this  there  was  an  outward  appearance  of 
order  and  discipline  in  the  Lines ;  but  in  the  sur- 
rounding districts  there  was  an  almost  general  de- 
fiance of  law,  and  the  Sepoys  found  employment  in 
repeated  expeditions  to  suppress  these  local  disturb- 
ances. The  Goojurs,  the  Mehwattees,  and  others 
took  advantage  of  the  opportunity,  and  improyed 
the  occasion,  to  the  terror  of  the  more  peaceful  inha^ 
bitants,  whilst  many  of  the  more  wealthy  inhahitiijte 
of  the  city,  though  outwardly  professing  their 

s  2 


1857.      to  Government,  secretly  intrigued  with  the  Sepoys, 
May-June.  ^^^  j.^^^  ^j^^^  ^.j^^^  the  British  Raj  was    for  ever 

overthrown.  So  the  men  of  the  Twenty-ninth  waited 
and  watched,  and  asked  each  other,  "What  news 
from  BareiUy  ?" 
June  1.  The  month  of  June  da^vned  ominously  upon  the 
News  from  little  body  of  brave-hearted  Englishmen  at  Morada- 
bad.  Ever  since  the  commencement  of  our  troubles 
their  thoughts  had  turned  anxiously  towards  Bareilly 
— ^the  head-quarters  of  the  division — where  was  a 
large  force  of  Native  troops  surrounded  by  a  hostile 
population.  Of  these  several  conditions  I  shall  speak 
presently,  when  I  come  to  write  of  what  happened 
there.  Here  it  need  only  be  said  that  upon  the 
movements  of  the  Bareilly  Brigade  depended  the 
safety  of  Moradabad ;  and  now,  on  the  1st  of  June, 
the  first  sign  of  danger  in  that  direction  was  given  by 
the  interruption  of  postal  communication,  which,  up 
to  that  time,  had  been  uniutermittent.  On  that 
Monday  morning  no  letters  came  from  Bareilly ;  and 
there  were  rumours,  both  in  the  Lines  and  in  the 
public  offices,  that  the  brigade  had  risen.  Two 
hours  after  midnight,  Wilson  was  roused  from  his 
sleep  by  the  arrival  of  a  messenger  from  the  Nawab 
of  Rampore,  informing  him  that  there  had  been 
mutiny  and  massacre  at  Bareilly,  and  urging  him  at 
once  to  seek  safety  in  flight.  To  this  the  English 
officer  demurred,  saying  that  honour  forbade  such  a 
course.  There  was  no  more  sleep  for  him  that 
morning.  He  rose,  and  went  to  the  Adjutant  of  the 
Twenty-ninth,  and  at  dawn  the  chief  European  and 
Native  officers  were  assembled.  Then  Wilson  stated 
unreservedly  the  information  he  had  received,  and 
explained  that  the  only  honourable  course  left  for 
them  was  *'to  hold  the  district  until  the  Bareilly 


Brigade  came  to  a  distance  of  twenty  miles  of  them,  1857. 
and  that  then  they  should  march  to  Meerut  with  •^^®- 
colours  flying,  taking  guns  and  treasure  with  them." 
To  this  the  Native  officers  consented,  well  knowing 
that  the  project  was  one  which  would  never  go 
further  than  the  language  in  which  it  was  spoken. 
Our  people  went  to  the  Lines  accompanied  by  the 
Native  officers,  and  Wilson's  brave  words  were  "  met 
with  derision."  They  believed  that  to  lead  them  to 
Meerut  would  be  to  take  them  to  their  doom,  and 
one  man  openly  reviled  Wilson  for  conceiving  this 
murderous  design.  Wilson  told  the  man  that  he 
lied,  which  was  true,  and  that  he  knew  it,  which 
perhaps  was  not  true ;  but  all  felt  that  now  the  game 
was  up  at  Moradabad,  and  that  there  was  nothing 
left  for  our  Christian  people  but  to  gird  up  their 
loins  for  flight. 

It  was  a  sore  trial,  but  what  else  could  be  done? 
The  townspeople  were  arrayed  against  us  as  virulently 
as  the  soldiery,  and  some  influential  noblemen  in  the 
neighbourhood  were  endeavouring  to  foment  rebel- 
lion, and  eagerly  watching  the  progress  of  events  in 
the  hope  of  profiting  largely  by  our  discomfiture. 
There  were  two  Nawabs,  said  to  be  men  of  ruined 
fortune,  men  who  had  been  crushed  by  the  padded 
feet  of  the  English  despotism,  who  now  appeared  on 
the  scene  with  rival  claims,  each  hoping  to  obtain 
supremacy,  on  our  expulsion,  as  Governor  of  Morada- 
bad under  the  Emperor.  Their  influence  over  the 
townspeople  was  far  greater  than  that  which  they 
exercised  over  the  soldiery,  for  the  Sepoys,  thinking 
that  they  might  lose  a  portion  of  the  perquisites  of 
rebellion,  resented  the  interference  of  these  pre- 
tenders. Still,  there  was  the  dispiritiiig  fact  that  we 
^ad  no  friends  on  our  side,  and  (}u|t 


1857.      US  to  contend  against  such  multiplied  antagonism. 

June.  Qj^g  Qf  ^Yie  Nawabs,  eager  to  make  a  short  cut  to  the 
desired  supremacy  at  Moradabad,  recommended  the 
immediate  execution  of  Wilson  Sahib  as  "a  great 
deed,  equal  to  the  destruction  of  half  the  Europeans 
in  the  Presidency  of  Bengal."*  It  was  plain  that  from 
either  quarter  death  might  come  suddenly;  so,  as 
the  destruction  of  the  English  would  have  been  great 
gain  to  the  enemy,  they  came  to  the  resolution  above 
recorded,  and  prepared  promptly  for  retreat. 

But  what  was  to  become  of  the  treasure?  Vir- 
tually it  was  already  lost  to  us.  To  carry  it  off  to 
Meerut  was  impossible  with  the  resources  at  our 
command.  The  only  question  was  whether  it  were 
better  to  abandon  it  altogether,  to  be  scrambled  for 
by  the  soldiery  and  the  townspeople,  or  to  make  it 
over  quietly  to  the  former.  After  some  consultation, 
it  was  determined  that  it  would,  be  better  to  remove 
it  from  the  Treasury,  and  to  place  the  money-bags  in 
tumbrils,  under  the  Treasury-guard  (which  was  in 
effect  to  surrender  it  to  the  Sepoys),  as  such  a  course 
"  would  remove  all  temptation  to  the  Budmashes  of 
the  city  to  come  out  and  join  in  the  disturbance." 
So  Wilson  went  to  the  Treasury  with  Charles 
Saunders,  the  Collector  and  Magistrate,  and  after 

*  The  story,  as  told  by  the  Native  check  myself,  so,  calling  myself  a 

writer  quoted  above,  is  too  charac-  Brahmin,  I  addressed  the  artillery - 

teristic  and  too  amusing  not  to  be  men  in  their  own  language,  which  I 

recorded  here.    **  The  first  Thakoor  can  speak  very  fluently,  and  used  all 

further  proposed  that  it  was  the  the  artful  arguments  of  a  Brahmin, 

wish  of  his  master  that  Mr.  Wilson  and  cited  several  Sanskrit  verses  on 

should  be  killed,  because  by  killing  the  impropriety  and  unrighteousness 

such  a  great  man  and  cunning  officer,  of  the  proposal  of  Abbas  Ali.     I 

who  possessed  magic  in  his  words,  openly  told   the  artillerymen  that 

they  would  achieve  a  great  deed.  Abbas  Ali  was  a  mere  mean  pre- 

equal  to  the  destruction  of  half  the  tender.  The  Thakoor,  being  a  rustic 

number  of  Europeans  in  the  Presi-  clown,  \ias  quite  bewildered,  and 

deucY  of  Bengal.     Such  was  the  the  artillerymen  seemed  pleased  with 

dreaa  entertained  by  that  villain  of  mj  arguments,  founded  on  the  doc- 

our  old  Mr,  Wilso^.    I  Qould  not  tnnes  of  the  SiMturs" 


some  difficulty  in  forcing  the  locks,  for  one  of  the  1867. 
keys  was  missing,*  they  proceeded  to  empty  out  its  ^'"'^ 
contents.  Whilst  Wilson  was  handing  out  the  bags, 
Saunders  was  secretly  destroying  the  stamped  paper. 
It  was  a  service  of  no  little  danger,  for  the  Sepoys 
were  hungry  and  impatient,  excited  and  malignant, 
and  the  amount  of  coin  in  the  Treasury  was  found 
to  be  less  than  they  had  expected.  In  this  moment 
of  disappointment  and  exasperation,  they  would  have 
blown  the  Treasurer  from  a  gun  and  shot  down  the 
English  civilians.  Captain  Faddy  saved  the  former, 
and  the  intervention  of  some  faithful  Native  officers 
rescued  Wilson  and  Saunders  from  death,  t  There 
was  now  nothing  left  to  them  but  to  trust  for  safety 
to  the  horses  on  which  they  rode.  So  they  made 
their  way  to  the  house  in  which  they  had  resided 
since  the  commencement  of  the  disturbances,  and 
made  their  arrangements  for  a  retreat  to  Meerut. 
There  were  four  civilians,  including  the  Civil  Sur- 
geon, with  their  wives.  An  escort  of  Irregular  Ca- 
valry— mostly  leave-men — was  ready ;  and  so  they 

*  The  second  key  is  always  kept  levelled  their  muskets  at  us.     At 

by  the  Native  Treasurer,  who,  m  this  instant  Bohwauee  Singh,  Soa- 

this  case,  not  without  reason,  was  bahdar,  and  Baldeo  Singh,  .pay-Ha- 

slow  to  appear  on  the  scene.  vildar  of  the  grenadier  company, 

t  Mr.  Wilson's  striking  account  stepped  between  the  muskets,  and 
of  this  incident  should  be  given  in  our  nersons  and  the  former  raising 
his  own  words:  "  When  all  the  his  nand  said,  in  an  authoritative 
treasure  was  placed  on  the  tumbrils,  tone,  '  \>'hat !  do  you  wish  to  see 
the  Collector,  myself,  and  the  (Na-  the  flesh  rot  from  your  bones  ?  Did 
tive)  Treasurer,  came  out  into  the  you  not  take  a  most  solemn  oath  not 
eastern  verandah,  and  then  began  to  hurt  a  hair  of  their  heads,  and  are 
murmurs  as  to  the  amount  of  trea-  you  now  firing  at  them  ?'  The 
sure.  The  artillerymen  forciblv  muskets  were  lowered,  and  (he  Col- 
carried  off  the  Treasurer  towarcTs  lector  and  myself  rode  off."  It 
the  guns,  and  were  in  the  act  of  tying  should  be  mentioned,  with  respect  to 
liim  to  one  of  them,  when  Captain  the  rescue  of  the  Treasurer,  that  Mr. 
Faddy,  who  is  deservedly  a  favourite  Saunders,  in  his  report,  says :  "  I 
with  his  men,  rescued  him.  Bv  this  succeeded  in  rescuing  him  from  the 
time  the  Collector  and  myself  had  awkward  position  in  which  he  was 
mounted  our  horses,  when  four  placed." 
young  Sepoys  of  the  Treasury-guard 


1867.      made  good,  without  accident,  their  way  to  the  great 

•^^°®-       military  station.* 

It  had  been  Mr.  Wilson's  intention  that  the  officers 
of  the  regiment  should  accompany  him  to  Meerut, 
and  due  notice  was  given  to  them,  but  they  went  off 
to  Nynee-Tal.  The  distance  was  shorter,  the  road 
was  less  perilous,  and  the  place  itself  was  more  at- 
tractive. Thither,  therefore,  with  their  wives  and 
children,  they  bent  their  way.  But  the  Government 
clerks  were  not  equally  alert  nor  equally  wise.  At 
Moradabad  was  the  usual  staff  of  subordinate  officials. 
Men  of  this  kind — many  of  them  Eurasians — strike 
deeper  root  in  the  local  soil  than  Englishmen,  soldiers 
or  civilians,  who  are  subject  to  more  frequent  changes 
of  residence.  The  covenanted  servant  in  the  Mofus- 
sil  is  a  bird  of  passage,  and  always  ready  for  flight. 
The  uncovenanted  servant  is,  more  or  less,  a  fixture. 
He  has  manifold  encumbrances  and  associations  which 
bind  him  to  the  spot.  He  has  relatives  and  con- 
nexions, a  little  house  property  and  other  belongings 
— the  savings  of  a  life — which  he  is  unwilling  to 
abandon,  and  so  he  commonly  clings  to  his  home  to 
the  last.  So  it  had  been,'and  so  it  was  to  be  in  other 
places.  And  so  it  was  at  Moradabad.  When  the 
military  officers  and  the  covenanted  civilians  started 
for  Nynee-Tal  and  Meerut,  the  uncovenanted  offi- 
cials thought  of  their  Penates,  and  were  unwilling  to 
gird  up  their  loins  for  flight.  Perhaps  they  con- 
ceived that  the  fury  of  the  enemy  was  less  likely  to 
descend  upon  them  than  upon  Christian  men  of 
higher  degree,  or  of  purer  European  blood.  But  it 
would  have  been  well  for  them  if  they  had  betaken 
themselves  to  flight.     For  some,  after  a  feeble  defence 

*  The  escort  consisted  of  a  Jema-    men,  and  a  few  Sowars  attached  to 
dar's  party  of  the  Eighth  Irregulars    the  Magistrate  of  Moradabad. 
from  wdllv,  some  twenty  leave- 


in  the  house  of  an  invalid  officer  named  Warwick,*      1857. 
were  killed  whilst  attempting  to  escape  ;  and  others,       •^^^• 
after  outwardly  apostatising  to  Mahomedanism,  were 
carried  off  captives  to  Delhi,  where  some  of  them,  at 
least,  were  killed  (it  is  believed,  by  our  own  people), 
at  the  capture  of  that  fortress. 

Bareilly  was  the  chief  city  of  Rohilkund.  It  was  Bareilly. 
the  Head-Quarters  of  the  Civil  Establishment— the 
Head-Quarters  of  the  Military  Brigade.  It  was  a 
busy,  stirring  place,  with  no  absence  of  the  hum  of 
peaceful  industry  among  the  people,  though  the 
germs  of  popular  commotion  were  ever  alive  within 
them.  The  traders  were  principally  Hindoos ;  the 
dangerous  classes  were  mostly  Mahomedans.  The 
conditions  of  which  I  have  spoken,  in  reference  to 
the  general  state  of  the  province  of  Rohilkund,  were 
peculiarly  observable  at  the  capital.  A  formidable 
insurrection  had  occurred  there  in  1816,  when  Ma- 
homedans from  different  parts  of  the  district — mostly 
Pathan  Rohillas — ^had  arrayed  themselves  against  us, 
and  it  had  been  no  easy  work  to  subdue  them. 
*' Taxes"  were  the  cause  of  this  popular  rising;  but 
there  were  no  military  discontents  at  that  time,  and 
the  soldiery  were  with  us.  But  now,  forty  years 
afterwards,  the  English  dreaded  that  dangerous  com- 
bination which  left  a  handful  of  European  officers  at 
the  mercy  of  thousands  of  the  people.     For  no  Euro- 

*  Lieutenant  Warwick  was  the  down.    His  wife,  seeing  what  had 

only  white  man  in  the  party.    He  befallen,  turned  back,  and  asked  the 

had    married    a    Native    Christian  murderer  to  deal  with   her  in  the 

woman,  whose  influence  prevailed  same  manner,  and  **  she  instantly  fell 

to  induce  him  to  remain.    Being  of  a  corpse  at  his  feet." — Narrative  of 

a  very  unwieldy  figure,  and  unable  to  Mr,  Cracroft  Wilson, 
run,  he  wa3  soon  overtaken  i^nd  cut 




State  of  ibe 
troops  in 

pean  troops  were  stationed  at  Bareilly.  The  warnings 
of  1816  had  been  utterly  disregarded.* 

In  the  hot  weather  of  1857,  the  troops  stationed 
at  Bareilly  consisted  of  the  Eighteenth  and  Sixty- 
eighth  Regiments  of  Native  Infantry,  the  Eighth 
Regiment  of  Irregular  Cavalry,  and  a  Native  battery 
of  Artillery.  Brigadier  Sibbald  commanded  the 
brigade.  But  at  the  first  outburst  of  the  mutiny  in 
Upper  India  he  was  absent  on  inspection  duty  at 
Almorah,  and  Colonel  Colin  Troup,  who  had  served 
in  Afghanistan,  and  had  been  one  of  the  British  cap- 
tives there,  was  then  in  charge  of  the  station.  There 
was  a  large  cluster  of  civilians.  Mr.  Robert  Alexander 
was  Commissioner  of  Bareilly.  Mr.  David  Robertson 
and  Mr.  George  Davy  Raikes  were  the  Judges.  Mr. 
James  Guthrie  was  the  Magistrate.  There  were  many 
others  of  loss  rank  employed  in  the  Government 
service ;  and  a  considerable  number  of  European  or 
Eurasian  merchants  and  traders.  Altogether  there 
were  nearly  a  hundred  Christians,  exclusive  of  women 
and  children. 

When  the  news  of  the  risings  at  Meerut  and  Delhi 
first  arrived  at  Bareilly,  the  temper  of  the  troops  ap- 
peared to  be  encouraging.  Especial  confidence  was 
reposed  in  the  Irregular  Cavalry,  who  were  believed 
to  be  true  as  the  steel  of  their  own  sabres — so  true, 
indeed,  that  their  Commandant  had  been  empowered 
to  increase  their  numerical  strength — and  yet  they 
had  been  largely  recruited  from  among  the  Pathans 

*  It  is  curious  to  read  the  follow- 
ing in  Hamilton's  Gazetteer :  "  After 
the  insurrection  of  1816,  Govern- 
ment thought  it  ad^isabie  to  erect  a 
small  regmar  citadel  on  the  plain 
to  the  south  of  the  town,  for  the 
erentual  protection  of  the  European 
inhabitants  should  any  similar  com- 

motion again  occur.  It  is  of  a  quad- 
rangular form,  has  a  good  ditch,  and 
two  bastions  projecting  from  oppo- 
site angles,  an  arrangement  which 
gives  the  whole  rather  an  odd  ap- 
pearance ;  but  it  is  quite  of  sufficient 
strength  for  the  object  contem* 


of  Rohilkund  and  Delhi.  As  time  advanced,  even  the      1857. 
Poorbeah  regiments,  though  their  demeanour  differed      ^y* 
from  what  it  had  been,  were  conceived  to  be  rather 
timorous  than  malignant — agitated  by  vague  fears, 
resulting  from  evil  reports  of  the  impending  ven- 
geance of  the  English.     If  assuring  promises  could 
be  made  to  them — if  they  could  be  induced  to  be-      * 
lieve  that  all  who  had  not  yet  committed  themselves 
would  meet,  not  with  punishment,  but  with  favour 
from  Government,   all  might  yet  go  well.     And  it 
was  in  this  conviction  that  Colonel  Troup,  with  the 
concurrence  of  Brigadier  Sibbald,  addressed  to  Mr. 
Colvin  the  letter  quoted  in  the  last  chapter.* 

Meanwhile,  in  the  city  and  in  the  surrounding  dis- 
tricts there  was  visible  excitement.  The  great  idea 
of  the  ''  something  coming"  permeated  all  strata  of 
society.  All  kinds  of  rumours  were  flying  about,  dis- 
turbing and  irritating  the  public  mind,  and  rendering 
men  ripe  for  rebellion.  On  the  20th  the  Commis- 
sioner wrote  to  the  Lieutenant-Governor,  saying: 
"  Things  here  arc  as  uncertain  as  ever.  This  state- 
ment, as  far  as  the  military  are  concerned,  is  made 
on  the  authority  of  Colonel  Troup.  The  Brigadier 
has  come  in  to-day;  he  is  old  and  ill,  and  has  not 
the  character  or  intelligence  of  the  Colonel.  The 
city  is  quiet ;  but  on  the  qui  vive  at  every  rumour. 
The  Kotwal  behaving  excellently.  In  the  Gaol  yes- 
terday, a  Jemadar  was  murdered  by  one  of  the  pri- 
soners. The  intelligence  of  this  has  caused  much 
sensation  throughout  the  town — some  people  consi- 
dering it  as  the  prelude  to  an  outbreak.  .  .  .  This 
morning  Native  officers  have  told  Colonel  Troup  that 
it  is  believed  that  the  prisoners  in  this  Gaol  have  been 

*  Ante,  page  230. 


1857.      beaten  and  kept  without  food  for  five  days,  and  they 

^®y-  say  that  they  must  go  in  and  see  them.  The  tale  is 
but  a  pretext'— but  of  course  we  are  in  the  power  of 
the  men,  if  in  a  body  they  go  to  the  Gaol.  I  have 
made  a  proposal  that  I  should  address  them,  giving 
them  my  word  and  my  personal  security — Le.  my 
person  at  their  mercy,  if  a  single  man  of  their  com- 
rades is  now  in  the  Gaol.  There  is  no  question  but  that 
we  must  refrain  from  imprisoning  the  mutineers."* 

May  21.  On  the  follomng  day  a  general  parade  was  held, 
and  Brigadier  Sibbald  harangued  the  troops.  He 
spoke  of  the  uneasy  feeling  that  had  recently  per- 
vaded all  ranks  of  the  Native  Army — of  the  discon- 
tent too  plainly  manifested  by  their  demeanour ;  but 
he  added  that  he  looked  upon  all  this  as  the  result  of 
their  erroneous  apprehensions,  and  that  if  they  would 
resume  the  cheerful  performance  of  their  duty,  the 
past  would  be  forgiven  to  them,  and  the  good  old 
relations  of  mutual  confidence  would  be  thoroughly 
restored.  Commissioner  Alexander  afterwards  ad- 
dressed the  Native  officers  in  front  of  the  troops.  He 
told  them  that  they  had  been  led  astray  by  a  great 
delusion,  that  the  intentions  of  Government  towards 
them  were  what  they  had  ever  been,  and  he  besought 
them  to  dismiss  from  their  minds  all  feelings  of  dis- 
trust and  alarm.     After  this  the  Brigadier  reported 

^*^  ^^-  to  Government  that  the  troops  were  in  a  more  happy 
and  cheerful  state,  and,  in  their  own  words,  had 
"commenced  a  new  life."  He  asked  for  a  formal 
assurance  from  the  Lieutenant-Governor  that  the 
promises  made  to  the  troops  would  be  confirmed. 
And  he  added,  "  were  the  men  under  my  command 

*  MS.  Correspondence.   The  wis-    above  recorded — and,  indeed,  by  pre- 
dom  of  this  is  sufficiently  proved  by    vious  events  at  Mcerut. 
^h»t  t^Qok  place  at  ^oradabad— as 


fully  convinced  that  the  past  would  be  forgotten,  I  1867. 
feel  convinced  that  their  loyalty  and  good  conduct  ^*^- 
may  be  relied  upon."  The  Lieutenant-Governor  lost 
no  time  in  sending  the  required  assurances.  The 
Brigadier  was  authorised  to  inform  the  troops  that 
"nothing  that  had  happened  since  the  commence- 
ment of  the  recent  agitation  had  at  all  shaken  the 
solid  confidence  of  the  Lieutenant-Governor  in  their 
fidelity  and  good  conduct."  This  was  written  on  the 
30th  of  May.  Before  the  letter  could  reach  Bareilly 
the  whole  of  the  Native  troops  there  had  revolted, 
and  there  was  not  a  living  European  in  the  place. 

For  some  days  after  this  general  parade  there  was  May  29. 
quietude  in  the  Lines.  On  the  29th,  a  crisis  was 
imminent.  Some  men  of  the  two  Infantry  regiments, 
whilst  taking  their  morning  bath  in  the  river,  had 
been  overheard  conversing  about  the  massacre  of  the 
English,  which  they  had  sworn  to  perpetrate  at  mid- 
day. So  the  Irregular  Cavalry  were  got  under  arms. 
The  cheerfulness  and  alacrity  with  which  they  obeyed, 
with  a  full  knowledge  of  the  occasion,  seemed  to  indi- 
cate that  they  would  be  true  to  the  death.  The  day 
passed  without  a  rising  in  the  Lines  ;  but  it  was  not 
an  uneventful  one.  A  swarm  of  mutineers  from  the 
Forty-fifth  at  Ferozepore  appeared  at  Bareilly,  scat- 
tering about  terrifying  rumours.  Their  comrades, 
already  prepared  to  believe  that  the  English  were 
about  to  destroy  them,  grasped  with  ready  credulity 
the  story  now  told  by  the  refugees,  that  there  was  a 
large  body  of  Europeans — Horse,  Foot,  and  Artil- 
lery— collected  in  the  neighbourhood  to  crush  the 
Native  Brigade.  After  this  there  was  the  wildest 
excitement  in  the  Lines — ^the  intensest  anxiety  in  the 
bungalows  of  the  British.  The  thoughts  of  all  our 
people  turned  with  painful  doubt  to  the  attitude  of 


1867.      the  Irregular  Horse,  from  whom  alone  coald  come 
^•y-      the  means  of  deliverance.   The  hope  once  entertained 
of  their  active  succour  was  now  passing  away  ;  but  it 
was  believed  that  they  would  remain  neutral,  let  the 
Infantry  do  what  they  might.     There  were  some, 
indeed,  who  still  cherished  the  belief  that  the  regi- 
ments would  not  rise.     But  it  was  well  to  be  pre- 
pared for  the  worst.     So  it  was  agreed  that  on  the 
first  sound  of  mutiny  or  rebellion,  the  English  should 
hasten  to  the  Cavalry  Lines  and  there  concert  mea- 
.   sures  for  their  safety.     An  influential  Mahomedan 
gentleman,  of  whom  more  will  be  presently  narrated, 
had  told  Commissioner  Alexander  that  the  Sepoys 
had  determined  to  revolt,  and  that  there  was  nothing 
left  for  him  but  to  "  look  out  for  his  life."     And,  in- 
deed, there  was  nothing  else. 
May  31.        But  the  30th  of  May  passed,  as  its  predecessor  had 
STbooM      P^^ss^d,   without  any   active   demonstrations.     And 
even  on  the  morning  of  the  31st— the  morning  of 
that  Sunday,  which,  it  was  said,  and  by  many  be- 
lieved, had  been  fixed  upon  as  the  day  of  simultaneous 
rising  against  the  white  men  in  all  our  garrisons  and 
cantonments — some   of  our  chief  military  officers 
could  not  bring  themselves  to  think  that  their  regi- 
ments would  turn  against  them.    At  nine  o'clock  the 
delusion  prevailed.     At  eleven  there  was  a  sound  of 
firing  from  the  Artillery  Lines.     It  was  a  signal  for 
general  action.     The  game  commenced  in  the  usual 
way.     Parties  of  Sepoys  of  the  Sixty-eighth  went  out 
to  fire  at  the  English  bungalows.     Their  first  object 
was  to  ignite  the  thatch  of  our  houses.     In  that  dry 
season  of  the  year  the  work  of  incendiarism  was  easy. 
Fire  and  smoke  soon  rose  from  the  burning  straw. 
A  strong,  hot  wind  added  fury  to  the  flames,  and  the 
work  of  destruction  was  accomplished.     Then  they 


turned  their  thoughts  towards  the  destruction  of  1857. 
human  life;  and  wheresoever  they  could  meet  a  ^"J^^- 
white  man,  they  shot  him  down  with  a  yell  of 
triumph.  Brigadier  Sibbald,  on  the  first  sound  of 
firing,  had  mounted  his  horse,  and  ridden  for  the 
appointed  place  of  rendezvous  attended  by  two 
mounted  orderlies.  A  party  of  Sepoys  met  him,  and 
he  rode  on  with  a  bullet  in  his  body.  He  is  said  to 
have  sat  his  horse  till  he  reaxjhed  the  Cavalry  Lines, 
and  then  to  have  fallen  lifeless  from  the  saddle.* 

The  chief  command  then  passed,  by  virtue  of 
seniority,  into  the  hands  of  Colonel  Troup.  An  abler 
and  a  braver  officer  there  was  not  in  the  service ;  but 
what  could  he  do  in  such  an  emergency  as  this  ?  He 
had  gone  down  on  foot  to  the  appointed  place  of 
assemblage,  which  was  near  to  his  own  house,  and 
there  he  found  the  Commissioner  and  several  other 
officers,  civil  and  military,  congregated  beneath  a 
camel-shed.  Up  to  this  time  it  was  known  only  that 
the  Sixty-eighth  and  the  Artillery  had  revolted.  The 
Eighteenth  seem  to  have  hesitated  all  through  the 
morning ;  and  the  Cavalry  were  making  a  show  of 
loyalty.  The  Commandant  and  Adjutant  of  the 
Eighteenth,  with  some  other  officers,  had  gone  down 
to  the  Lines,  and  found  the  men  in  their  normal 
state  of  hot  weather  inactivity — neither  armed  nor 
accoutred ;  and  though  apparently  in  a  state  of  ex- 
citement, by  no  means  bent  upon  mischief.  They 
were  perplexed  and  bewildered,  and  did  not  know 
what  to  do.  Whilst  they  professed  loyalty  to  the 
Government  and  fidelity  to  their  officers,  they  were 
slow  in  obeying  orders  to  fall  in — little  better  than 

*  Some  accounts  state  that  he  had  been  shot  by  one  of  his  orderlies 

was  shot  by  one  of  his  own  orderlies,  the  presamption  is  that  he  would 

But  it  is  said   also  that  he  was  have  oeen  shot  through  the  back, 
"shot  through  the  chest."    If  he 


1S57,  "  a  rabble  professing  devotion  and  sorrow,***  but  with 
^y-  their  hearts  in  the  rebel  cause.  Meanwhile,  the 
Cavalry  were  being  put  to  the  test.  The  officers 
assembled  in  their  Lines  had  determined  to  retreat 
to  Nynee-Tal.  At  first  it  seemed  that  the  troopers 
would  accompany  them.  They  were  mounted  and 
drawn  up  on  parade,  and  Troup  called  upon  them 
to  follow  him.  They  had  scarcely  moved  off,  when 
Mackenzie  represented  that  his  troopers  were  eager 
to  have  "  a  crack  at  the  mutineers."  Troup,  though 
doubtful  of  the  expediency  of  such  an  attempt,  con- 
sented, and  the  word  was  given.  But  the  trial  was 
too  much  for  them.  There  was  a  fine  open  space 
before  them,  and  a  charge  of  cavalry  would  have 
been  irresistible.  But  when  they  fronted  the  Sixty- 
eighth  they  saw  the  green  standard  of  Mahome- 
danism,  and  it  was  seen  at  once  that  the  game  was 
up  with  the  English.  Whether  a  sudden  impulse 
seized  the  troopers,  or  whether  the  movement  was  a 
preconcerted  one,  may  never  be  known;  but  the 
Eighth  Re^ment  of  Irregular  Horse  forsook  their 
English  leaders,'  and  drew  up  beside  the  mutineers. 
A  few  only  found  faithful  in  this  emergency  prepared 
to  accompany  the  English  in  their  flight.  They  were 
principally  Native  officers.  Their  conduct  was  above 
all  praise.  For  they  left  their  families  and  property 
behind  them  to  succour  the  English  gentlemen. 

This  important  combination  having  been  formed, 
the  insurgent  force  determined  that  there  should  be 
no  defaulters  in  the  great  hour  of  their  triumph ; 
and  so  they  turned  their  guns  upon  the  Eighteenth, 
which  up  to  this  time  had  been  kept  together  by 
their  officers,  threatening  to  blow  them  to  pieces  if 
they  did  not  join  the  national  standard.     Already 

*  See  Captain  Oowan's  Narrative. 


ripe  for  rebellion  and  eager  for  a  share  of  the  spoil,  1857. 
they  fell  in  with  the  mutineers.  The  whole  brigade  ^^  ^^* 
had  now  revolted.  There  was  no  hope  any  longer 
for  the  officers  whom  they  had  deserted.  So  Major 
Patterson,  Captain  Gowan,  and  others,  who  had  re- 
mained at  their  posts  to  the  last,  and  who,  on  the 
first  outbreak  of  the  Eighteenth  had  been  concealed 
by  the  men  of  their  regiment,  escaped  into  the  coun- 
try to  endure  great  privations,  and,  in  some  cases, 
eventually  to  suffer  death.  It  would  have  been  well 
for  them  if  their  corps  had  revolted  in  the  first  in- 
stance with  the  other  regiments,  for  then  they  would 
have  escaped  to  Nynee-Tal.  But  it  happened  that 
Major  Pearson,  with  four  other  officers,  were  killed 
by  the  villagers  of  Ram -Puttee,  whilst  Captain 
Gowan  and  some  others,  after  months  of  distressing 
concealment,  were  rescued  by  the  heroic  exertions  of 
Mr.  Cracroft  AVilson,  of  Moradabad. 

The  fate  of  the  civilians  was  of  the  same  chequered  Murder  of 
kind.  Some  were  killed — some  escaped.  Mr.  Alexan-^^^  * 
der,  the  Commissioner,  who  had  been  driven  to  his 
bed  by  a  severe  spasmodic  affection,  was  with  diffi- 
culty removed  from  his  house  in  a  buggy,  but  after 
awhile  the  emergency  of  the  occasion  compelled  him 
to  mount  a  horse,  and  he  reached  the  Cavalry  Lines 
in  safety,  eventually  to  escape  to  Nynee-Tal.  Mr. 
Guthrie,  the  Collector  and  Magistrate,  also  escaped. 
The  Judges,  Mr.  D.  Robertson  and  Mr.  G.  D.  Raikes, 
were  both  killed.  The  former,  with  Dr.  Hay  and 
Mr.  Orr,  took  refuge  in  the  house  of  the  Moonsiff, 
who  promised  to  protect  them,  but  they  were  both 
murdered ;  whilst  the  latter,  accompanied  by  Dr. 
Buck,  Principal  of  the  College,  was,  by  previous 
arrangement,  sheltered  in  the  house  of  one  Aman  Ali 
Khan,  a  Mahomedan  gentleman  of  Bareilly.     They 

VOL.  III.  T 


1857.  were  tracked  and  put  to  death  by  the  connivance  of 
^^«^J31.  Q^  nephew  of  their  host*  The  Joint-Magistrates, 
Mr.  Parley  and  Mr.  Currie,  escaped.  Equally  for- 
tunate was  Mr.  Poynder,  the  Chaplain.  Altogether 
nine  members  of  the  higher  class  of  civilians,  with 
several  of  the  subordinate  establishments,  were  slain. 
Many  merchants  and  traders,  with  their  wives  and 
children,  were  massacred  at  the  same  time.  It  need 
not  be  added  that,  attending  these  murders,  was  the 
usual  amount  of  plunder  and  devastation.  The  Trea- 
sury was  emptied  ;  the  houses  of  the  Europeans  were 
sacked  and  burnt ;  and  the  Gaol,  after  a  gallant  de- 
fence by  the  officer  in  charge,  who  paid  the  penalty 
of  his  devotion,  as  will  presently  be  narrated,  was 
emptied  of  its  criminal  inhabitants.  In  these  Jrgies 
the  people  of  Bareilly  were  in  nowise  behind  the 
miUtary  mutineers.  The  greater  number  of  murders 
were  committed  by  the  former.  The  dominion  of  the 
English  was  at  an  end. 

There  were  rival  claimants  to  the  Viceroyalty  of 
Rohilkund.  Both  were  of  the  old  stock  of  Rohilla- 
Pathans — descendants  of  those  hardy  semi-Afghan 
tribes,  against  whom  Warren  Hastings  sent  our 
trained  soldiery  at  the  infamous  bidding  of  the 
Wuzeer  of  Oude.  One  of  these  pretenders  was  Khan 
Behaudur  Khan ;  the  other  was  named  Mobarik 
Shah.  The  latter  was  a  man  of  good  family  and 
local  influence,  and  personally  possessed  of  some 
energy  of  character.  But  the  former,  though  older 
and  weaker,  had  superior  claims  upon  the  suffrages 
of  the  people,  for  he  was  a  descendant  of  that  Hafiz 
Kehmut  Khan,  who  had  been  the  first  Pathan  ruler 

*  The  story  of  the  English  Judges    before  Khan  Behaudur  Khan,  seems 
at  Bareilly  having  been  subjected  to    to  be  a  pure  fiction, 
a  formal  trial  and  deliberately  hanged 


of  Bareilly,  and  who  had  fallen  in  battle  killed  by  a  1857. 
round  shot  from  an  English  gun.*  He  had,  there-  ^^^  ^^• 
fore,  all  the  strength  of  old  historical  traditions  on 
his  side.  That  most  iniquitous  passage  of  our  Anglo- 
Indian  history,  to  which  I  have  above  referred,  had 
never  been  forgotten  in  Rohilkund.  Generation  after 
generation  may  pass  away,  but  the  memory  of  blood 
feuds  of  this  kind  is  not  obliterated  by  after-years  of 
peace  and  friendship  and  honest  dealing.  So  these 
men  came  to  the  front,  hating  the  English,  and  all 
the  Mahomedans  of  Bareilly  were  ready  to  become 
their  followers.  Mobarik  Shah,  when  he  heard  the 
firing  that  indicated  the  revolt  of  the  soldiery,  started 
at  once  for  the  Kotwali  to  proclaim  himself  Viceroy ; 
but  Khan  Behaudur  Khan  had  anticipated  him,  and 
it  was  plain  that  the  majority  of  people  had  accepted 
him  as  their  chief.  So  Mobarik  Shah,  with  outward 
observance  of  friendship,  but  with  enmity  in  his 
heart,  joined  the  party  of  his  rival,  who  was  formally 

The  first  act  of  the  new  Mahomedan  ruler  was  to  Massacre  of 
doom  to  death  all  the  Christian  people  who  had  not  ^""®***°'- 
already  perished.  This  cruel  decree  had  already  been 
so  prodigally  anticipated  by  the  unauthorised  bar- 
barity of  lesser  men,  that  there  were  not  many  vic- 
tims to  be  dragged  forth  from  their  hiding-places 
and  to  be  ruthlessly  massacred  before  the  eyes  of  the 
old  Viceroy.   The  first  to  be  brought  to  the  shambles 

*  I    have    taken    this   from    an  rising  ground  in  the  heat  of  the  fire, 

official  report  before  me,  but  if  the  conspicuous   by  his  splendid  dress 

following  passage  of  Bishop  Heber's  and  nis  beautiful  horse,  waving  his 

Journal  contain  the  historical  truth,  hand    and  vainly  endeavouring  to 

tlie  Kohilla  chief  must  have  been  bring  his    arm^  back    to   another 

killed  either  bv  grape-shot  or  mus-  charge,  till,  seeing  that  all  was  lost, 

ket-balls.     "  When  bis  nobles,  at  he  waved  his  hand  once  more,  gave 

the  head  of  their  respective  clans,  a  shout,  and  galloped  on  the  English 

either  treacherous  or   timid,  gave  bayonets.    He  fell  shot  through  and 

way,  he  remained  almost  alone  on  a  through ^ 

T  2 


1857.  were  the  family  of  Mr.  Aspinall,  a  merchant.  His 
"°®  •  two  children  were  murdered  in  the  presence  of 
their  parents,  who  were  then  put  to  death.  To  give 
further  effect  to  this  ghastly  spectacle,  the  naked 
corpses  of  Englishmen  slain  in  the  first  outburst  of 
rebellion,  having  been  dragged  through  the  town, 
were  brought  into  the  presence  and  cast  at  the  foot 
of  the  viceregal  standard.  Next  day,  Mr.  Hans- 
borough,  the  Superintendent  of  the  Gaol,  who  had 
manfully  defended  himself  throughout  the  whole  of 
Sunday,  was  captured,  and  brought  before  Khan 
Behaudur  Khan.  Overcome,  but  not  overawed,  the 
gallant  Englishman  defied  the  new  ruler,  telling  him 
and  his  followers,  in  a  loud  voice,  that  they  might 
kill  him  and  others,  but  that  they  would  never  de- 
stroy the  British  Government.  He  was  presently  cut 
to  pieces.  Some  others  of  less  note  shared  the  same 
fate ;  but  the  old  Rohilla  was  sorely  grieved  that 
there  were  so  few  victims  for  his  knife. 

Thus  the  English  were  in  our  expressive  Anglo- 
Indian  jargon  saf-kar^d^  or  cleaned  away.  After  a  day 
or  two  there  was  no  trace  of  them  or  their  authority 
left.  So  Khan  Behaudur  Khan  began  at  once  to  set 
his  house  in  order — to  organise  his  new  Government. 
He  had  already  made  proclamation  of  his  assump- 
tion of  authority.  He  had  paraded  the  streets  of 
Bareilly  on  an  elephant,  with  a  number  of  followers, 
with  bands  and  banners  and  other  properties  and 
paraphernalia  of  mock-royalty.  And  now  he  began 
to  address  himself  to  the  establishment  of  an  admi- 
nistration. The  various  posts  in  the  Soubah  were 
distributed.  Justice  was  administered,  and  revenue 
was  collected  in  the  name  of  the  Emperor.  It  was 
sound  policy  to  utilise  as  much  as  possible  of  the  old 
agency,  and  as  there  were  few  of  our  Native  officers 



who  were  not  willing  to  take  the  rupees  of  the  1857. 
restored  Mahomedan  Government,  it  was  expected  •^^®- 
that  business  would  go  on  very  much  in  the  old 
groove.  But  in  this  he  was  disappointed.  The  tur- 
bulent spirit  which  had  been  raised  did  not  readily 
subside.  Disorder  and  violence  were  rampant  every- 
where ;  men  rose  against  each  other  as  ruthlessly  as 
before  they  had  risen  against  the  white  men,  and 
were  quite  as  unscrupulous  in  robbery  and  murder. 

The  main  source  of  trouble,  at  the  outset,  to  Be- 
haudur  Khan  was  the  presence  of  the  Sepoy  Brigade. 
The  Viceroy  was  afraid  of  the  soldiery.  They  had 
shown  no  disposition,  at  the  beginning  of  the  rebel- 
lion, to  fraternise  with  his  political  party.  Their  con- 
tinuance at  Bareilly  would  have  been  a  source  of 
danger  to  the  new  Government.  The  Native  Brigadier 
was  named  Bukht  Khan — a  name  afterwards  distin- 
guished in  the  annals  of  the  war — and  he  had  been 
disposed  to  favour  the  pretences  of  Mobarik  Shah 
rather  than  those  of  his  more  successful  rival.  The 
defeated  candidate,  however,  had  not  given  up  the 
game.  He  might  obtain  from  the  Emperor  that  which 
he  could  not  secure  for  himself.  So  he  again  opened 
communications  with  Brigadier-General  Bukht  Khan, 
persuaded  him  to  march  the  troops  to  Delhi,  and  June  11. 
having  made  a  show  of  accompanying  them,  sent  a 
memorial  to  the  Emperor  by  the  hands  of  his  friend, 
petitioning  His  Majesty  to  appoint  him  Viceroy  of 
Rohilkund  ;   and  then  he  returned  to  Bareilly. 

AVhilst  these  terrible  scenes  were  being  enacted  at     May  31. 
Bareilly,  on  that  Sunday  morning,  there  was  a  tragedy  S^©^*^- 
in  some  respects  even  more  painful,  though  more 
limited  jn  e^tept,  S^^S  ^^  ^*  Shahjehanpore,  whicl} 


n57.  lies  at  a  distance  of  some  fom*-seven  miles  from  the 
^J  31-  chief  station,  and  had  once  been  but  little  behind  it 
in  importance.  Here  was  posted  the  Twenty-eighth 
Sepoy  Regiment,  commanded  by  Captain  James.  Mr. 
Mordaunt  Ricketts*  was  the  Magistrate  and  Collector. 
Mr.  Charles  Jenkins  was  his  Assistant.  There  was 
the  usual  staff  of  subordinate  Government  officials, 
and  a  few  Europeans  or  Eurasians  engaged  in  the 
pursuits  of  mercantile  life.  There  was  not,  with  the 
exception  of  the  commissioned  and  non-conunissioned 
officers  of  the  Native  regiment,  a  single  English 
soldier  in  the  place. 

When  intelligence  of  the  events  which  had  occurred 
at  Meerut  and  at  Delhi  first  reached  Shahjehanpore, 
there  were  great  excitement  and  commotio^  in  the 
cit}\  The  English  dreaded  a  rising  of  the  towns- 
people, but  looked  with  confidence  towards  the  sol- 
dier}'. It  was  rumoured — and  the  Sepoys  carried 
the  story  to  their  officers — that,  at  the  time  of  the 
Eed  Festival,  the  citizens  purposed  to  rise  and  to 
sack  the  Treasur}'.  So  it  was  determined  that  the 
station-guards  should  be  increased,  and  that  the 
sentries  should  be  doubled.  But  this,  which  was 
intended  as  a  compliment,  was  regarded  as  a  penalty. 
Instead  of  pleasing  the  Sepoys,  by  thus  manifesting 
the  confidence  that  was  placed  in  them,  it  excited 
their  indignation.  Vague  fears  and  suspicions  had 
taken  possession  of  their  minds.  Some  associated 
these  extra  duties  with  the  greased  cartridges ;  some 
thought  it  was  a  pretext  only  for  keeping  them  away 
from  the  "  m^la  "  or  great  fair,  which  was  being  held 

•  I  mav  avail  myself  of  the  men-  puty-Commissioner  of  Loodhianah, 

lion  of  Mr.   Mordaunt  Ricketts's  is  described  as  Mr.  M.  Bicketts. 

name  in  this  place,  to  call  attention  The  passage  is  a  literal  Quotation 

to  a  clerical  error  in  a  note  at  page  from  the  **  Punjab  Mutiny  Keport^" 

611  of  my  second  volume — where  where  the  error  occurred, 
t/Lff  George   Henry  Ricketts,  De^ 


in  the  neighbourhood.  And,  viewed  in  this  light,  it  lw» 
was  an  outrage  on  their  feelings,  for  it  indicated  ^ 
want  of  confidence  in  the  Sepoys.  On  the  following 
day  the  order  for  the  extra-guards  was  cancelled; 
but,  although  the  officers  of  the  Twenty-eighth  be- 
lieved that  the  bulk  of  the  regiment  would  remain 
faithful,  the  Sepoys,  as  the  month  wore  on  to  its 
close,  were  waxing  every  day  more  rebellious  in  their 
hearts,  and  ever  and  anon  muttering  sedition  not  to 
be  misunderstood. 

It  was  only  a  question  of  time — and  the  time  soon 
came.  On  Sunday,  the  31st  of  May,  the  troops  rose. 
Many  of  our  people  were  in  church,  for  it  was  the 
hour  of  morning  service,  when  the  revolt  commenced. 
It  was  the  old  story  over  again  with  scarcely  a  varia- 
tion. The  bungalows  of  the  English  were  plundered 
and  burnt.  The  Treasury  was  sacked.  The  Gaol 
was  opened.  The  prisoners  were  released.  The  towns- 
people made  common  cause  with  the  mutineers ;  and 
the  surrounding  villagers  broke  out  into  rebellion. 
An  English  factory,  where  sugar  was  refined  and 
rum  distilled,  was  attacked  and  devastated  by  the 
villagers.  And,  ere  night  had  closed  in  upon  the 
scene,  new  Native  rulers  had  been  formally  pro- 
claimed, and  the  dominion  of  the  white  man  was  at 
an  end. 

The  fate  of  the  English  residents  at  Shahjehanpore 
has  now  to  be  recorded.  The  murder  of  our  people 
was  not  a  conspicuous  feature  in  the  programme  of 
the  mutineers  of  the  Twenty-eighth.  If  the  compact 
had  been  to  destroy  the  English,  root  and  branch, 
on  that  Sunday  morning  whilst  engaged  in  the  offices 
of  their  religion,  it  was  very  imperfectly  fulfilled.  A 
party  of  mutineers  made  for  the  Christian  church ; 
but  it  w^s  to  be  counted  onl^  bv  units.    Armed  witlj 


1867.      swords  and  clubs,  they  rushed  in,  yelling.    Mordaunt 

Maj  31.     Ricketts  Avas  slashed  by  a  Sepoy,  but  he  carried  his 

wound  to  the  outer  vestry-door,  there  to  be  cut  down 

and  slain.*    A  clerk  in  the  Magistrate's  office,  named 

Le  Maistre,  was  killed  in  this  first  onslaught.  No 
other  member  of  the  congregation  stained  with  his 
blood  the  floor  of  the  Christian  temple.  But  the 
agony  of  the  women  was  great.  These  six  or  seven 
assassins  might  be  the  precursors  of  hundreds  of  re- 
morseless insurgents  from  the  Lines  and  from  the 
city,  all  thirsting  for  Christian  blood.  Was  it  better, 
then,  to  endeavour  to  escape  from  the  church,  or  to 
close  the  doors  and  prevent  further  ingress  of  the 
assailants  ?  The  Chaplain  endeavoured  to  escape ; 
but  he  was  wounded  as  he  left  the  church,  and  was 
afterwards  killed  by  some  villagers,  together  with  a 
clerk  named  Smith,  at  a  little  distance  from  Shahje- 
hanpore.  After  this  the  doors  of  the  church  were 
closed,  and  the  shuddering  women  were  removed  to 
the  Tower,  where  they  abided  in  safety  for  a  time. 

Meanwhile,  in  the  Cantonment,  the  Sepoys  were  in 
a  state  of  wild  excitement.  But,  as  often  happened, 
there  was  division  amongst  them.  Captain  James 
was  shot  on  parade  whilst  endeavouring  to  pacify  his 
men.  Dr.  Bowling,  who,  returning  from  his  morn- 
ing visit  to  the  hospital,  had  found  the  regiment  in 
rebellion,  placed  his  wife  and  child  and  an  European 
female  servant  in  his  carriage,  and  mounting  the  box 
beside  the  coachman,  had  made  for  the  church.  As 
they  went  a  party  of  Sepoys  fired  at  them,  and 
Bowling  fell  dead  from  the  box.  Another  bullet 
wounded  his   wife ;    but  she  escaped  to   reach   the 

*  According  to  one  account,  "Mr.  says:  "i  saw  Mr.  Ricketts's  body 
Ricketts  was  pursued  and  murdered  about  thirty -five  yards  from  the 
in  his  own  yerandah."    Mr,  Jenkins    cburcji  vestry?dpor," 


church,  where  other  fugitives  were  assembling;  an(i  1857. 
their  Native  servants,  true  to  their  salt,  were  bring-  *^*y  31. 
ing  guns  and  pistols  to  their  masters.  If,  at  this 
time,  there  had  been  united  action  among  the  Sepoys, 
not  one  of  our  people  could  have  escaped.  But  it 
happened  that  a  party,  scarcely  less  than  a  hundred 
strong,*  rallied  round  our  officers,  and  thus  the 
Christian  fugitives  were  saved.  With  this  safeguard, 
those  within  and  those  without  the  church  gathered 
themselves  together  and  took  counsel  as  to  the  means 
of  escape.  Mr.  Jenkins  recommended  that  they  should 
make  for  Pohwaine  beyond  the  Oude  border,  where  it 
was  believed  that  the  Rajah  of  that  place  would  shelter 
them.  As  by  this  time  several  horses  and  a  carriage 
or  two  were  assembled  in  the  church-compound,  the 
flight  was  not  difficult.  So  they  went.  But  the 
Pohwaine  man  declared  his  inability  to  protect  them, 
and  they  went  on  to  Mohumdee,  one  of  our  out- 
stations  in  Oude.  What  afterwards  befell  them  may 
be  narrated  in  another  chapter  of  this  history.  The 
tragedy  of  Shahjehanpore  had  not  yet  been  acted 

There  was  another  civil  station  in  Rohilkund —  Budaon. 
Budaon — some  thirty  miles  from  Bareilly.  The  Magis- 
trate and  Collector  was  Mr.  William  Edwards,  who 
had  been  for  some  years  attached  to  the  Secretariat, 
and  had  been  personally  familiar  with  the  stirring 
events  of  the  Governments  of  Lord  EUenborough  and 
Lord  Hardinge.  There  were  few  abler  and  few  better 
men  in  the  service.  He  had  sat  at  the  feet  of  Thomas 
Campbell  Robertson,  and  had  learnt  from  him  lessons, 
the  wisdom  of  which  was  now  too  miserably  apparent, 

*  I  believe  that  these  were  principally  Sikh^.  , 






1857.      He  saw  all  around  him  proofs  of  the  errors  that  had 
I  ^y-       been  committed  by  the  new  school  of  civil  adminis- 

trators. The  country  about  him  was  rising  against 
the  British  Government,  and  he  had  none  to  help 
him  in  the  hour  of  his  need.*  He  stood  quite  alone. 
He  had  not  an  English  friend  or  comrade  near  him. 
There  was  one  great  consolation,  however,  in  the 
thought  that,  foreseeing  the  danger  to  come,  he  had 
sent  his  wife  and  child  to  the  safety  of  Nynee-Tal, 
though  he  might  never  see  them  again. 

On  the  25th  (it  was  the  time  of  the  Eed  Festival) 
it  was  reported  to  the  Magistrate  that  there  was  to  be 
a  Mahomedan  rising  in  the  town  at  an  appointed 
hour.  So  he  invited  to  his  house  the  chief  Mussul- 
mans of  the  place,  and  there  taking  counsel  with 
them  on  the  public  safety,  detained  them  until  the 
hour  was  passed.  Many  of  them  were  fierce  and  in- 
solent, and  all  excited.  The  meeting  was  a  noisy 
and  tumultuous  one;  but  the  people  calmed  down 
after  a  time,  and  the  day  passed  over  without-an 
outbreak.  There  was  but  one  European  gentle- 
man to  confront  all  this  Mahomedan  fury — a  single 
white-faced  Christian,  a  prayerful,  God-fearing  man, 
esteemed  to  be  rather  a  Christian  of  Christians,  with 
Native  converts  clustering  around  him  as  he  minis- 
tered to  them  in  his  own  house.     But  he  was  known 

*  "  To  the  large  number  of  these  but  in  the  position  of  tenants,  not 

sales"  (sales  of  estates  by  decrees  of  proprietors.    None  of  the  men  who 

our  Ciyil  Courts)  *'  during  the  past  had  succeeded  them  as  landowners 

twelve  or   fifteen   years,    and  the  were  possessed  of  sufficient  influence 

operation  of  our  revenue    system,  or  power  to  give  me  any  aid  in  main- 

wnich  has  had  tlie  result  of  destroy-  laiuing  the  public  tranquillity.  .  .  . 

•ing  the  gentry  of  the  country  and  On  the  other  hand,  those  who  really 

breaking  up  of  the  village  commu-  could  control  tlie  vast  masses  of  the 

nities,  I  attribute  solely  the  disor-  rural  population  were  interested  in 

ganisation  of  this  and  the  neigh-  bringing  about  a  state  of  disturbance 

bouring  districts.  .  .  .  The  ancient  and  general  anarchy." — Edwardit 

landed  proprietary  body  of  the  Bu-  Personal  Narrative, 
daon  district  were  still  in  existence, 


also  to  be  a  just  man,  tolerant  and  compassionate;  1857. 
and  he  had  lifted  up  his  voice  fearlessly  against  the  ^*y- 
wrongs  which  had  been  done  by  our  own  Govern- 
ment, and  injured  himself  by  his  plain-speaking.  It 
might  have  been  a  consideration  of  this  fact  that 
saved  William  Edwards  in  that  hour  of  danger ;  or 
it  might  have  been  that  some  sentiments  of  chivalry 
restrained  them  when  they  thought  of  the  utter  help-  . 
lessness  of  that  single  white  man  among  so  many ; 
but  that  day  and  the  next  day  passed,  and  still  the 
solitary  Englishman  sat  and  prayed,  knowing  that  he 
could  do  nothing  unaided,  and  fearing  that  no  succour 
would  ever  come  to  him  from  a  distance.  He  had  a 
guard  of  Sepoys,  consisting  of  about  a  hundred  men 
of  the  Sixty-eighth  from  Bareilly,  and  these  he  was 
beginning  to  mistrust,  for  they  had  cast  a  covetous 
eye  on  the  Treasury;  and  he  had  little  more  confi- 
dence in  the  Xujeebs  of  the  Police.  He  knew  that  at 
a  signal  from  the  Suddur  station  the  anticipated  revolt 
would  at  once  commence. 

But  on  the  third  day,  as  he  sat  at  his  lonely  dinner,  May  27. 
he  saw  an  Englishman  ride  up  towards  his  house, 
escorted  by  a  dozen  horsemen ;  and  presently  he  dis- 
cerned the  familiar  features  of  his  cousin,  Alfred 
Phillips,  the  Magistrate  of  Etah.*  He  was  the  bearer 
of  evil  tidings ;  but  still  it  was  a  joyous  meeting — ^to  j^^jj 
Edwards  most  joyous,  after  those  long  dreary  days 
of  complete  isolation.  Etah  is  in  the  Agra  Division 
of  the  North- Western  Provinces,  nearly  opposite  to 
Budaon  on  the  other  side  of  the  Ganges.  The  dis- 
trict had  risen.  In  Mr.  Colvin's expressive  language, 
it  was  in  ''  a  blaze  of  riot  and  ravage,"t  and  now  the 

♦  Mr.  Phillips  in  his  official  rc-        t  ^^^«?,  P-  245.     The  "  riot  and 
port  says  that  he  did   not   reach    ravage"  were  increasing  every  day. 
Budaon  tUl  the  Mtb. 




Magistrate  was  on  his  way  to  Bareilly  to  ask  for 
military  aid.  The  cry  was  for  more  Sepoys  to  help 
them  against  popular  insurrections.  The  little  party 
of  the  Ninth  Regiment,  the  head-quarters  of  which 
were  in  rebellion  at  Aligurh  and  Etawah,  with  de- 
tachments in  the  same  state  at  Mynpooree,  had  quietly 
joined  their  comrades;  and  Phillips,  thus  deserted, 
with  only  a  few  Sowars  at  his  back,  had  crossed  the 
river  in  the  hopeless  errand  of  obtaining  reinforce- 
ments from  Rohilkund,  and  passing  through  a  dan- 
gerous country,  not  without  risk  of  his  life,  had  thus 
joined  his  cousin  at  Budaon.*  Edwards  told  him 
that  there  was  small  hope  of  assistance  from  Bareilly, 
as  he  had  himself  applied  for  it  in  vain.  But  when 
it  was  known  to  him  that  the  "  town  and  rich  mart 
of  Bhilsea"  were  threatened  by  the  marauders,  he 
made  another  appeal  to  the  Commissioner,  and  wrung 
from  him  a  promise  of  help.  It  gladdened  the  hearts 
of  Edwards  and  Phillips  to  learn  that  a  company 
of  Sepoys  from  the  Bareilly  Brigade,  under  the  com- 
mand of  an  English  officer,  were  coming  into  the 
disturbed  districts  to  aid  them  in  the  restoration  of 
order.  Every  day  the  anarchy  was  becoming  more 
extensive  and  more  intense ;  and  it  was  thought  that 

*  Mr.  Alfred  Phillips  distin-  flight.  We  followed  for  some  dii- 
guished  himself  greatly  on  this  oc-  tauce  outside  the  town,  and  killed 
casioD.  At  Kasgunj,  he  encoun-  many,  but  the  ground  was  difficult 
tered  a  large  body  of  insurgents  for  following  dispersed  footmen, 
who  had  been  plundering  in  the  and  we  were  too  small  a  body  to 
neigiibourhood — some  armed  with  separate  far.  Indeed,  with  the  ex- 
muskets,  some  only  with  lattics,  or  ception  of  the  Jemadar,  and  two 
long  clubs.  "  The  whole,"  Phillips  other  Sowars,  the  rest  showed  little 
reported,  *'  could  not  be  Jess  than  inclination  to  go  forward.  On  this 
fl?e  hundred  men."  "  As  soon  as  occasion  the  Jemadar  behaved  with 
they  saw  us,"  he  adds, '' there  was  undoubted  gallantry.  I  saw  him 
some  hesitation  apparent ;  on  which,  kill  two  men."  Phillips  says  no. 
calling  upon  the  Sowars  to  follow,  I  thing  of  his  own  exploits,  but  V^iU 
and  the  Jemadar  charged  them,  liam  Edwards  states  that  his  cousin 
They  fired  some  shots  as  we  ad-  killed  *'  three  men  with  his  owt^ 
vanced,  but  broke  before  we  reached  hands." 
t)iem.    And  the  whole  body  took  to 

*  1 1  I  1 

June  1. 


the  Sepoys  would  bring  deliverance  with  them.  But  1857. 
the  joy  of  the  English  officers  was  soon  turned  to  ^*y- 
mourning.  For  just  as  it  was  supposed  that  the 
wished-for  succoui's  were  at  hand,  news  came  that 
the  Bareilly  Brigade  had  revolted,  that  all  the  English 
officers  at  that  Suddur  station  were  either  killed  or 
in  flight,  that  the  prisoners  in  the  great  Gaol  had 
been  released,  and  that  the  surrounding  country  was 
in  the  wildest  state  of  confusion. 

What  now  was  to  be  done?  The  news  arrived 
early  in  the  morning ;  so  Edwards  at  once  aroused 
his  cousin,  who,  anxious  to  return  to  his  post  before 
the  roads  were  closed,  mounted  his  horse  and  galloped 
towards  the  banks  of  the  Ganges.  Soon  afterwards, 
the  Magistrate  was  joined  by  a  few  of  his  scattered 
countrymen  from  the  districts — ^two  indigo-factors 
and  another — which  greatly  increased  the  difficulty  of 
his  position.  Edwards  himself  determined  to  remain 
at  his  post  so  long  as  there  was  a  hope  of  being  useful 
to  his  Government.  But  he  called  the  others  toge- 
ther, and  after  they  had  joined  with  him  in  prayer, 
exhorted  them  to  seek  safety  in  flight.  But  they 
thought  that  their  safety  would  be  best  secured  by 
remaining  with  the  Magistrate,  and  they  were  un- 
willing to  depart.  Up  to  this  time  the  Sepoys  had 
riot  broken  into  revolt.  The  Treasury-guard  at 
Budaon  consisted  of  a  party  of  the  Sixty-eighth  In- 
fantry— one  of  the  regiments  that  had  revolted — 
under  the  command  of  a  Native  officer.  When  news 
came  that  the  troops  at  Head-Quarters  had  revolted, 
the  Soubahdar,  with  solemn  oaths,  assured  Edwards 
that  the  Sepoys  at  Budaon  had  had  no  communica- 
tion with  their  comrades  at  Bareilly,  and  that  they 
were  determined  to  defend  the  treasure  against  the 
Budmashcs  of  the  city.      But  on  that  very  evening 




the  Sepoys  rose,  and  the  usual  work  of  plunder  and 
devastation  commenced.  A  party  from  Bareilly 
came  to  fraternise  with  the  Budaon  guard  ;  and  the 
released  prisoners,  some  three  hundred  in  number, 
came  yelling  around  the  Magistrate's  house.  There 
Avas  nothing  now  left  for  him  but  instant  flight.  So 
he  mounted  his  horse,  which  had  been  saddled  since 
the  morning,  in  anticipation  of  a  crisis,  and,  accom- 
panied by  three  other  Englishmen,  rode  for  his  life. 
He  had  not  gone  far  when  a  Mahomedan  gentleman 
of  position  and  influence  in  the  neighbourhood  met 
him,  with  a  band  of  retainers,  and  persuaded  him  to 
turn  back  and  take  refuge  in  his  house,  which  lay  at 
a  distance  of  some  three  miles  from  Budaon.  Hoping 
that  by  these  means  he  might  conceal  himself  until 
the  mutineers  and  gaol- birds  had  scattered  themselves 
over  the  country,  and  then  return  to  re-establish  his 
authority,  Edwards  readily  accepted  the  proposal. 
He  passed,  as  he  went,  his  own  house,  and  found 
that  already  it  was  being  plundered — ^the  Chuprassies, 
who  had  recently  served  him,  being  active  in  the 
work.*  Thus  escorted,  he  passed  on  safely  to 
Sheckoopoor,  and  spent  part  of  the  night  in  the 
Sheikh's  house.  But  it  was  obvious  that  the  sole 
chance  of  safety  lay  in  his  speedy  departure,  so  he 
went  on  into  the  howling  wilderness. 

The  only  representative  of  authority  having  thus 
departed,  there  was  the  usual  license — the  usual 
crime.  The  Sepoys — the  townspeople — the  released 
convicts — the  predatory  classes  from  the  neighbour- 
ing villages  scrambled  for  the  spoil  of  the  British 
Government  and  its  officers,  and  execrations  bitter 
and  deep  went  up  at  the  thought  of  the  abnormal 

*  "  The  first  man  1  saw  was  okc  of    a  favourite  of  mine,  with  my  dress 
mj  own  orderlies,  and  who  had  been    sword  on  him." 


emptiness  of  the  Treasury — for  Edwards,  seeing  1857. 
what  was  coming,  had  wisely  refused  to  receive,  for  a  '^^'*®- 
time,  the  instalments  of  revenue  due  from  the  Ze- 
mindars. But  these  primal  excesses  at  the  central 
point  of  action  were  but  a  small  part  of  the  riotous 
disorder  in  which  the  month  of  May  closed  on 
Budaon.  The  whole  district  was  in  a  state  of  the 
wildest  anarchy  and  confusion.  Men  rose  against 
each  other — against  the  existing  order  of  things — 
against  the  decrees  of  the  British  Government.  All 
our  administrative  errors  then  stared  us  in  the  face.* 
Here,  as  elsewhere,  in  Rohilkund  and  in  the  greater 
part  of  the  Meerut  Division,  every  trace  of  British 
rule  was  effaced.  The  Sepoys  went  off  to  Delhi,  and 
left  the  work  of  rebellion  in  the  hands  of  the  rural 
population.!  The  authority  of  Khan  Behaudur 
Khan  was  proclaimed  and  acknowledged.  District 
officers  of  different  grades  were  appointed;  the  re- 
venue  was  collected  in  the  name  of  the  rebel  Govern- 
ment; and  the  whole  province  remained  to  be  re- 

It  was  necessarily  a  work  of  no  common  difficulty 

*  **  In  Budaon  the  mass  of  the  and  hereditary  holdings,  invariably 

population  rose  in  a  body,  and  tlie  termed  by  them  as  'jan  see  azeez' — 

entire  district  became  a  scene  of  dearer  than  /j/J?— which  excite  them 

anarchy  and  confusion.   The  ancient  to  a  dangerous  degree." — Edwards's 

proprietary  body  took  the  oppor-  Persotuil  Narrative. 

tunity  of   murdering  or  expellinff  f  "Disturbances    broke   out   in 

the  auction-purchasers,  and  resumed  every  direction,   and  anarchy  and 

possession  of  their   hereditary  es-  misrule     completely    obtained    the 

tates  .  .  .    The  rural  cUsses  would  upper  hand.    The  roads   were  no 

never  have  joined  the  Sepoys,  whom  longer  safe  for  travellers,  and  op- 

they  hated,  had  not  these  causes  of  portunity  was  taken  by  the  bands  of 

discontent  already  existed.     They  armed  men,  who  scoured  the  coun- 

evinced  no  sympathy  whatever  about  try  in  all  directions,  not  only  to 

the  cartridges,  or  flour  said  to  be  satiate  their  lust  for  plunder,  but  to 

made  of  human  bones,  and  could  not  settle  old  feuds  by  an  appeal  to  arms, 

then  have  been  acted  upon  by  any  or  more  frequently  by  tne  committal 

cry  of  their  religion  being  in  dan-  of  cruel  murders." — Mr,  CarmicheVs 

ger.     It  is  questions  involving  their  Official  Report. 
rights    and    interests    in   the    soil 


1857.      for  the  new  Government  at  such  a  time  to  reconcile 
all  conflicting  interests — especially  antagonisms  of  re- 
ligion.    The  faith  of  the  dominant  party  was  the 
faith  of  a  minority.     Even  in  Rohilkund  the   Ma- 
homedans  formed  but  a  small  part  of  the  population. 
The  impartiality  of  the  British  in  dealing  with  these 
several  races  was  unquestioned.     If  they  accused  us 
of  persecution,  as  they  insanely  did  at  that  time,  it 
was  persecution  of  a  catholic  kind.     If  the  Hindoos 
did  not  think  that  they  had  more  to  fear  from  the 
bigotry  of  the  Mahomedans  than  from  the  bigotry 
of  the  Christians,  it  was  sound  policy  on  the  part  of 
the   new   rulers  to   anticipate  such   a   feeling.      So 
Behaudur  Khan  issued  a  proclamation  calling  upon 
all,  Hindoos  and  Mahomedans,  to  combine  for  the 
extermination  of  the  Christians,    and  assuring  the 
first  that  "  if  the  Hindoos  shall  exert  themselves  in 
the  murder  of  these  infidels  and  expel  them  from  the 
country,  they  shall  be  rewarded  for  their  patriotism 
by  the  extinction  of  the  practice  of  the  slaughter  of 
kine "     But,  in  the  true  spirit  of  Mahomedanisrn, 
these  promises  were  accompanied  by  threats.     "  The 
entire  prohibition  of  this  practice,"  it  was  added,  "  is 
made  conditional  upon  the  complete  extermination 
of  the  infidels  from   India.     If  any   Hindoo   shall 
shrink  from  joining  in  this  cause,  the  evils  of  revival 
of  this  practice  shall  recoil  upon  them ;  and  if  any 
person  shall  be  guilty  of  acting  contrary  to  the  re- 
quirements of  this  proclamation,  he  shall  be  impri- 
soned for  six  months  with  a  fine."     The  Hindoos  of 
Rohilkund  were,  for  the  most  part,  a  quiet,  inoffen- 
sive people,  engaged  in  industrial  work,  artificers  or 
agriculturists,  or  traders  of  different  degrees,  little 
accustomed  to  the  use  of  arms,   and  by  no  means 
addicted  to  fighting.     But  the  Mahomedans  of  that 


country,  on  the  other  hand,  were  fierce  and  unscru-  1857. 
pulous,  skilled  in  the  use  of  offensive  weapons,  and  J^^c— Aug. 
ever  ready  to  use  them ;  so,  notwithstanding  their 
numerical  inferiority,  they  were  dominant  in  Rohil- 
kund  and  the  adjacent  country,  and  felt  that  they 
could  issue  their  mandates  without  much  fear  of 

Still  Khan  Behaudur  Khan  and  his  advisers  trusted 
more  to  their  guile  than  to  their  strength.     It  oc- 
curred to  them  that  the  Christians  might  endeavour 
to  checkmate  the  Mahomedans,   by  making  similar 
promises  to  the  Hindoos.    So  they  thought  it  wise  to 
anticipate  the  movement.     "  Should  the   English," 
said  another  proclamation,  "  with  a  view  to  neutralise 
our  proposal  and  make  a  similar  agreement,   and 
urge  the  Hindoos  to  rise  against  the  Mussulmans,  let 
the  wise  Hindoos  consider  that  if  the  English  do  so, 
the  Hindoos  will  be  sadly  deceived.     The  English 
never  keep  their  promises.     They  are  deceitful  im- 
postors.    The  Natives  of  this  country  have  always 
been  tools  in  the  hands  of  these  deceitful  English- 
men.    None  of  you  should  permit  this  opportunity 
to  slip.    Let  us  take  advantage  of  it."    There  is  much 
of  this,  doubtless,  plagiarised  from  our  English  modes 
of  assertion.     As  it  was  the  prevailing  faith  of  Eng- 
lishmen that  the  Natives  of  India  were  liars,  we  had 
no  reason  to  complain  that  this  slander  was  retaliated 
upon  us.     Moreover,  we  were  always  reminding  the 
bulk  of  the  people  of  what  they  had  suffered  under 
Mahomedan  rule,  and  assuring  them  that  their  only 
hopes  of  happiness  and  prosperity  resided  in  the  per- 
manence  of  the  British  Government.     It  was  na- 
tural, therefore,  and  excusable,  that  the  Mahomedans 
should  have  copied  us  also  in  this  matter,  and  told 
the  Hindoos  that  their  true  interests  lay  in  the  ex- 

VOL.  HI.  u 


1857.      termination   of  the  English   and    the    support    of 
unc— Aug.  Mussulman  rule.     A  Bill  of  Indictment  was  brought 
against  us.     It  was  declared  that  the  English  were 
the  ''  destroyers  of  the  creeds  of  other  nations."  Then 
the  Hindoos  were  reminded  that  we  had  sanctioned 
the  re-marriage  of  Hindoo  widows* — that  we  had 
forcibly  suspended  the  rites  of  Suttee — that  we  had 
pressed  the  Natives  of  India  to  embrace  our  religion 
by  promises   of  advancement — and  that  we    **had 
made  it  a  standing  rule,  when  a  Rajah  dies,  without 
leaving  any  male  issue  by  his  married  wife,  to  conr 
fiscate  his  territory  and  not  to  allow  his  adopted  son 
to  inherit  it."f     "  Hence  it  is  obvious  that  such  laws 
of  the  English  are  intended  to  deprive  the  Native 
Rajahs  of  their  territory  and  property.     They  have 
already  seized  the  territory  of  Nagpore  and  Lucknow. 
Their  designs  for  destroying  your  religion,  0  Rajahs, 
is  manifest.^  ...  Be  it  known  to  all  of  you,  that  if 
these  English  are  permitted  to  remain  in  India,  they 
will  butcher  you  all  and  put  an  end  to  your  religion." 
And  whilst  everywhere  were  going  forth  these   ap- 
peals to  the  religious  feelings  of  the  Hindoos,   the 
Mahomedans  were  called  upon,  in  most  inciting  lan- 
guage, in  prose  and  in  verse,  to  commence  a  Jehad, 
or  religious  war,  against  the  Feringliees.     On   the 
faith  of  the  Koran,  all  true  believers  were  told  that 
by  fighting  against  the  infidels,  or  paying  money  to 
enable  others  to  fight,  they  would  secure  to  them- 
selves  eternal  beatitude.     It  was  the  old  story  so 
often  told,  with  some  variations  to  suit  the  purposes 

*  The  words  were,  that  we  had  the  English  with  respect  to  the  in- 

"  promulgated  tliat  a  Hindoo  widow  troduction  of  the  new  messing  svs- 

must  re-marry." — See  vol.  pp.  188 —  tern  into  the  gaols,  to  which  reier- 

189.  ence  is  made   at  pages  195 — 196 

t  See  anie,  pp.  70,  et  seq,  vol.  i. 

X  Here  follows  a  charge  against 


of  the  hour.  I  do  not  know  that  ever  before  the  1857. 
commercial  element  was  introduced  into  a  proclama-  •^^oe— Aug. 
tion  of  Jehad  with  so  much  pungency  as  in  one 
which  was  found  in  the  "  dufter"  of  Khan  Behaudur 
Khan,  and  translated  by  Cracroft  Wilson.  "  He,"  it 
was  said,  "  who  will  willingly  give  a  pice  in  this 
cause  will  get  from  God  on  the  day  of  judgment 
seven  hundred  pice.  And  he  who  will  spend  a  rupee 
in  this  cause,  and  will  use  his  sword  also  against  the 
infidels,  will  get  from  God  seven  thousand  rupees." 
It  may  be  presumed  from  this  that  the  "  sinews  of 
war"  were  wanting — that  the  great  difficulty  before 
the  new  Government  was  a  paucity  of  rupees.  But 
it  is  doubtful  whether  this  figurative  appeal  to  the 
moneyed  interest  produced  the  desired  effect,  for  the 
money  came  in  but  slowly  to  the  public  Treasury, 
and  more  forcible  means  were  resorted  to  for  the 
abstraction  of  the  public  coin  than  these  promises 
of  enormous  usufruct  on  the  day  of  judgment.  Still 
the  Native  Government  went  on  from  day  to  day, 
from  week  to  week,  from  month  to  month,  after 
a  rude  fashion  of  its  own ;  and  nothing  more  was 
heard  of  the  English  except  that  here  and  there  some 
wretched  fugitive  was  hiding  himself  disguised  in 
Oriental  costume,  and  indebted  for  his  life  to  the 
exceptional  kindness  of  some  Native  of  the  country. 

Meanwhile,  there  was  the  prologue  of  a  dreadful  Furrnckabad. 
tragedy  in  Furruckabad — a  district  in  the  Agra  Divi- 
sion of  the  North-Western  Provinces.  It  is  bounded 
OR  the  north  by  Shahjehanpore  and  Budaon,  from 
wliich  it  is  divided  by  the  waters  of  the  Ganges.  But 
though  geographically  and  administratively  severed 
from  Rohilkund,  the  social  conditions  of  the  districts 
were  nearly  the  same.  The  Mahomedan  influences 
were  there  especially  strong ;  and  the  Pathan  element 



1867.  was  largely  represented  among  these  followers  of  the 
Prophet.  Tn  the  early  days  of  British  rule  in  India, 
this  tract  of  country  had  been  infamous  for  its  law- 
lessness— for  the  supremacy  of  a  race  of  bandits,  who 
thought  robbery  insipid  if  it  were  not  flavoured  by 
murder.  All  this  was  gradually  effaced  under  the 
administration  of  the  English  ;  but  although  the  out- 
ward conditions  were  greatly  changed,  there  was  ever 
beneath  the  surface  the  old  hatred  of  the  white  man 
— the  old  desire  to  extirpate  him,  root  and  branch, 
from  the  land.  They  had  long  been  biding  their 
time ;  and  now  the  time  had  come.*  Before  the  end 
of  May  the  whole  district  was  in  rebellion.  The 
Native  regiment,  the  Tenth,  had  not  then  mutinied. 
"  I  traversed  a  great  portion  of  the  district  during 
the  first  week  of  June,"  writes  a  trustworthy  in- 
formant to  me,  "and  I  saw  villages  en  fire,  and 
being  plundered  on  all  sides.  At  that  time  the  Tenth 
Native  Infantry  had  not  revolted.  The  rebellion 
had  existed  for  a  full  month  before  the  corps  mu- 

March.  There  had  been,  indeed,  from  the  early  part  of  the 
and  alarms,  year  great  excitement  in  the  Furruckabad  district. 
In  no  part  of  the  country  had  those  monstrous  fables 
of  bone-dust  flour  and  polluted  wells  been  circulated 
more  freely  or  with  greater  success.  And  there  was 
at  least  one  story  more — one  of  which  I  have  no 
knowledge   of    having  been   current   in    any  other 

♦  Mr.    (afterwards   Sir    G.   F.)  of  and  old  traditions  to  excite  Uiem, 

Harvey,  in  his  official  narrative  of  who  were  too  proud  to  labour  and 

events  in  the  Agra  Division,  one  too  poor  not  to   be  discontented ; 

that  shows,  perhaps,   more  literary  the  very  indolence  and   depravifj, 

skill    than    anv  in  the    collection,  in  short,  of  a  large  number  of  the 

observes:    "The    (so    to    speak)  Bungush   family,   made  me  always 

Nawabee  cliaracter  of  li'urruckabad,  from  the   first  feci  more  appreheii- 

the  vast  number  of  dissolute,  des-  sion  for  the  safety  of  Futtehgurh 

perate,  and  distressed  Mahomedans  rEurruckabad)  than  for  that  of    any 

there ;  men  who  had  lineage  to  boast  abtrict  in  the  division." 

WILD  REPORTS.  .  293 

district — it  was  believed  that  the  English  Govern-  1857. 
mcnt  had  issued  rupees  of  leather  silvered  over  to 
represent  the  ordinary  coinage  of  the  country.  Major 
Weller,  of  the  Engineers,  of  whose  good  services  at 
Agra  mention  has  been  made  in  a  preceding  chapter, 
was  at  Futtehgurh  in  March.  A  Native  banker 
called  upon  him  to  inquire  into  the  trutli  of  the 
several  stories  about  the  bone-dust  and  other  vile 
designs  of  the  English  to  destroy  the  religion  of  the 
people.  The  English  officer  explained  to  him  the 
absurdity  of  these  rumours.  But  the  man  was  not 
convinced.  "  But  you  know,"  he  said,  "  that  Go- 
vernment are  issuing  leather  rupees,  and  intend  to 
gather  up  all  the  silver  of  the  country."  Major 
Weller  laughed  at  this  story.  But  the  credulous 
banker  shook  his  head,  and  said  that  he  had  seen  the 
leather  rupees,  and  had  some  in  his  possession. 
"  Bring  them  to  me,"  said  Weller,  "  as  many  as  you 
can,  and  I  will  give  you  fourteen  annas  for  each  of 
them."  The  Native  banker  took  his  departure,  but 
never  produced  a  leather  rupee.  It  is  difficult  to 
declare,  though  it  may  be  easy  to  conjecture,  the 
origin  of  this  story.  It  was  not  a  weak  invention  of 
the  enemy ;  it  was  in  truth  a  very  crafty  device, 
well  calculated  to  excite  the  moneyed  interests  by 
fears  of  a  depreciation  of  the  currency,  and  to  alarm 
those  who  still  held  to  the  belief  that  there  was 
desecration  in  contact  with  leather.  Nothing  could 
better  illustrate  the  unreasonable  alarm  pervading 
the  district. 

The  English  station  of  Futtehgurh  lies  at  a  dis-  Futtebgiirli. 
tance  of  about  six  miles  from  the  town  of  Furrucka- 
bad.     There  was  a  fort— or  some  works  which  were 
dignified  by  the  namcf  of  0067— within  which  was  the 
Gun-ci^rriage  l^uAgMHMUdl  Major  Robertson  of 


1857.  the  Bengal  Artillery  then  superintended.  The  Tenth 
May— June.  Regiment  of  Native  Infantry  was  commanded  by 
Colonel  George  Acklom  Smith — a  soldier  of  good 
repute.  The  confidence  which  he  felt  in  his  men — 
a  confidence  that  was  shared  by  most  of  his  officers — 
was  strengthened  by  the  belief  that  the  regiment  was 
generally  regarded  by  the  Native  Army  as  a  collection 
of  outcasts,  with  whom  their  brethren  had  no  sym- 
pathy ;  for  they  had  gone  to  Burmah  across  the 
"black  water."  In  times  of  violent  excitement,  how- 
ever, such  distinctions  are  disregarded ;  and  it  was 
soon  apparent  that  the  Tenth  were  in  communication 
with  mutineers  from  other  regiments.  Indeed,  there 
were  too  many  scourings  of  mutiny  and  rebellion 
from  neighbouring  stations  to  permit  any  thought  of 
safety.  All  Oude  had  risen,  llohilkund  was  in  the 
throes  of  a  great  rebellion.  What  hope  was  there  for 
Furruckabad  ?  Not  to  have  taken  some  precautions 
would,  at  such  a  time,  have  been  madness.  So  Colonel 
Smith  sent  numbers  of  the  women  and  the  children 
and  the  non-combatants  in  boats,  to  drop  down  the 
river,  and  to  make  their  way  to  what  was  then 
thought  a  i)lace  of  safety,  the  great  Cantonment  of 
Cawnpore.  On  the  3rd  of  June,  under  cover  of  the 
darkness,  some  twelve  or  thirteen  boats,  "  of  various 
sorts  and  sizes,"  carried  oiF  about  a  hundred  of  the 
residents  of  Furruckabad,  men,  women,  and  children 
— ^the  majority  of  them  being  Christian  people,  un- 
connected with  the  public  service. 
Occupatioa  Meanwhile  the  regiment  remained  in  a  state  of 
sullen  quiescence.  But  a  day,  an  hour,  might  change 
the  complexion  of  affairs.  And  Colonel  Smith,  there- 
fore, determined,  if  mutiny  should  surround  him,  to 
shut  himself  up  in  the  Fort,  with  his  officers  and  the 
Christian  people  who  had  either  remained  at^  or  h||4 

of  the  Fort. 


returned  to,  Futtehgurh.  It  was  hard  to  say  what  1857. 
was  the  temper  of  the  men  of  the  Tenth.  They  had  ^^®- 
behaved  well  on  the  occasion  of  a  revolt  in  the  Gaol, 
and  had  fired  upon  the  insurgent  prisoners,  but,  on 
the  other  hand,  they  had  prevented  the  removal  of 
the  treasure  into  the  Fort.  At  the  end  of  the  second 
week  of  June  all  confidence — all  hope — was  at  an 
end.  The  waves  of  rebellion  were  closing  around 
Futtehgurh,  and  it  was  impossible  that  the  Tenth 
should  resist  the  power  of  the  great  flood.  The 
troops  that  had  mutinied  at  Seetapore  in  the  Khyra- 
bad  Division  of  Oude*  were  approaching,  and,  feasted 
and  flattered  on  the  way  by  the  rebel  Zemindars, 
were  holding  traitorous  correspondence  with  the 
Tenth.  Colonel  Smith  then  saw  the  necessity  of 
destroying  the  bridge  of  boats  across  the  river ;  and 
his  regiment,  with  that  strange  outward  inconsis- 
tency which  sometimes  indicates  infirmity  of  purpose, 
sometimes  conceals  deep  designs,  applied  themselves 
manfully  to  the  work  of  destruction.  This  done,  a 
party  of  Native  officers  told  the  Colonel  that  their 
"  time  was  up,"  and  that  he  and  all  under  him  had 
better  retreat  into  the  Fort.  So  he  gathered  up  his 
people  and  prepared  to  defend  himself  against  the 
multitudes  that  might  rise  against  him.  There  was, 
indeed,  a  gloomy  prospect  before  them.  The  Fort 
was  in  a  most  miserable  condition  for  all  purposes 
of  defence.  There  was  a  glut  of  gun-carriages  and 
models  of  all  kinds  of  ordnance.  But  there  was  a 
dearth  both  of  serviceable  guns  and  of  ammunition. 
It  is  stated  that  there  were  six  guns  on  the  ramparts 
and  an  eighteen-inch  howitzer ;  but  that  only  thirty 

♦  These  were  the  Forty-first  nnd  one  Infantry.  The  narrative  of 
Native  Infontry,  with  two  regiments  this  outbreak  will  be  found  in  a 
of  Oude  Irregulars,  one  Cavalry,    subsequent  book  of  this  History, 


1857.      round  shots  could  be  mustered.   Of  ^mall-arm  ammu- 
nitipn  there  was  a  better  supply;  but  many  of  the 
cartridges  were  blank.     Provisions  were  with  diffi- 
culty obtained ;  but  after  awhile  a  flock  of  forty  or 
fifty  sheep  were  driven  within  the  walls  by  the  help 
of  a  Sepoy  of  the  Eleventh.     There  was  a  population 
of  about  a  hundred  and  twenty  Christian  people  in 
the  garrison— one-fourth  of  whom  were  men  capable 
of  bearing  arms.   The  rest  were  women  and  children. 
There  was  only  one  Artillery  officer — Major  Robert- 
son, of  the  Gun-carriage  Agency — in  the  Fort.     But 
Colonel  Tudor  Tucker,    of  the  Cavalry,  who  had 
learnt  the  gun-drill  at  Addiscombe,  was  improvised 
into  an  Artillery  Commandant,  and  right  well  he  did 
his  work. 
June  18.         Whilst  Colonel  Smith  was  gathering  up  his  people 

"^f^th^^N^^^^b  ^°^  concerting  measures  for  their  defence,  the  Sepoys 
'  of  the  Tenth  were  openly  declaring  themselves.  They 
tendered  their  allegiance  to  the  Nawab  of  Furrucka- 
bad,  who  had  cast  in  his  lot  against  us,  and  formally 
placed  him  on  the  Musnud  under  a  royal  salute. 
They  opened  the  Gaol,  and  they  seized  the  treasure, 
which  they  had  pretended  to  guard.*  But  when  the 
new  Native  Government  demanded  it,  they  resolutely 
refused  to  surrender  a  rupee.  They  were  determined 
not  to  mutiny  for  nothing.  And  when  the  Sepoys  of 
the  Forty-first  from  Seetaporc  asked  for  a  share  of  it, 
they  refused  to  divide  the  spoil.  From  that  time 
there  was  sharp  contention  between  the  two  regi- 
ments. The  Tenth  seem  to  have  had  more  greed  for 
money  than  for  blood.  But  the  Forty-first  having 
tasted  the  delights  of  murder,  were  eager  for  the 

*  Among  other  loot  that  fell  of  the  Maharajah  Duleep  Sin«,'li, 
into  the  hands  of  the  despoilers  who  had  an  establishment  at  Futtchf 
^ere  the  jewels  i^nd  other  property    gurh.    (See  note  in  Appendix.) 


destruction  of  the  English  in  the  Fort,  and  implored  1857. 
the  Nawab  to  order  the  Tenth  to  lead  the  attack  on 
their  old  officers.  Disappointed  in  this  and  in  their 
design  up  the  treasure,  they  set  fire  to  all  the  houses 
in  the  Cantonment,  and  preluded  their  attack  on  the 
Fort  by  an  internecine  conflict,  in  which  several 
Sepoys  on  both  sides  were  left  dead  upon  the  parade- 
ground.  The  Forty-first,  when  urged  to  display  their 
own  sincerity  by  leading  the  attack,  said  that  the 
omens  were  not  then  favourable,  but  that  the  25th 
would  be  a  propitious  day.  So  on  that  day  action 
commenced.  The  Sepoys  had  two  post  guns,  with 
which  they  had  pledged  themselves  to  protect  the 
treasure ;  and  the  Nawab,  who  had  flung  himself, 
with  the  deadliest  animosity,  into  the  active  work  of 
rebellion,  spared  no  pains  to  supply  the  besiegers  with 
the  munitions  of  war,  and  hounded  them  on  to  the 
destruction  of  the  white  men.  He  had  received 
favours  from  the  English  Government.  He  had 
been  rescued  from  ruin  by  their  kindly  exertions. 
But  nothing  could  eflface  the  traditions  of  a  by-gone 
supremacy.  He  had  assumed  an  air  of  friendliness 
and  an  appearance  of  placidity,  when  he  well  knew 
that  the  storm  was  brewing.  But  now  the  expected 
hour  had  come ;  and  he  found  himself  master  of  a 
country  in  which  before  he  had  only  been  a  pen- 

With  desperate  odds  against  them,  our  little  garri-  GalLmtry  of 
son  displayed  a  sturdy  gallantry  that  could  not  be      ^®^^*^^- 
surpassed.     Day  and  night  they  toiled,  weary  but 
undaunted,  in  the  batteries.     It  was  no  new  thing 

*  nis  family  were  in  receipt  of  British  Government,  by  tlie  careful 

arge  compensatory  allowances  from  management  of  the   property,  had 

the  British  Goverfimcnt.     But  liis  saved    the     family    from    absolute 

predecessors  and  himself  had  been  be^'gary, 
^idnoqsly    extravagant,    and     the 


1867.  for  our  people  to  be  driven  to  use  strange  ammuni- 
JuDc.  tion  with  their  artillery.  The  implements  of  the  Gun 
Manufactory,  as  screws,  hammers,  bolts,  and  axles, 
were  se>vn  up  in  gunny-bags  and  made  to  do  service 
as  grape-shot.  But  rude  as  were  these  implements 
of  warfare,  they  did  good  execution  among  the  be- 
siegers, and  many  fell  beneath  the  fire  of  our  English 
rifles.  Colonel  Smith,  a  noted  marksman,  picked  off 
the  enemy  with  an  amount  of  skill  that  would  have 
done  credit  to  the  prizemen  of  Wimbledon.  Tudor 
Tucker  was  shot  by  a  Sepoy  as  he  was  looking  out 
through  an  embrasure,  or  loophole,  to  see  the  effect 
of  the  last  discharge  of  his  gun.  The  Chaplain,  Mr. 
Frederick  Fisher,  alternated  the  duties  of  a  soldier 
with  those  of  a  Christian  minister.  He  preached  on 
the  text,  "What  time  I  am  afraid  I  will  trust  in 
thee;"  and  then  went  out  to  face  the  enemy.  His 
wife  and  boy  were  with  him.  They  were  secure 
in  the  residence  attached  to  the  Gun-carriage  Agency, 
and  it  is  related  that  little  Phil.  Fisher  and  the  other 
children  were  playing  and  singing  as  joyously  as  if 
nothing  were  going  on  out  of  the  common  course  of 
events.  The  women  prayed  almost  unceasingly  for 
the  brave  men  who  were  defending  them.  They  bore 
up  bravely  in  their  passiveness — all  but  one.  This 
was  the  widow  of  a  sergeant,  or  conductor,  attached 
10  the  Clothing  Agency,  who  was  shot  dead  at  his 
post.  She  was  not  one  to  sit  down  and  weep.  She 
went  out  to  work.  She  took  a  rifle  and  posted  her- 
self in  one  of  the  bastions,  whence  she  is  said  to  have 
shot  down  many  of  the  mutineers.  *     It  was  a  most 

♦  This  was  the  story  told  io  Mr.  it  would  appear  that  Sergeant  (Con- 
William  Edwards  by  a  Native  in-  ductor)  Ahem  \\as    killed   iu   the 
formant,  who,  however,  added  that  Fort,   but  Mrs.  Aliern  is  said   to 
the  woman  had  been  killed  at  her  have  bccD  murdered  at  Cawnpore. 
work.    From  the  official  accounts 


unequal  conflict.  The  besiegers  were  not  strong  in  1857. 
artillery,  and  their  light  guns  could  not  make  practi-  ^^^' 
cable'  breaches  in  the  walls  of  the  Fort.  They  de- 
livered  some  unsuccessful  assaults,  and  were  driven 
back  with  heavy  loss.  But  the  Sepoys  had  learnt, 
from  our  teaching,  lessons  of  warfare  not  to  be 
neglected  ;  so  they  betook  themselves  to  mining 
operations.  They  did  not  fight  unaided — for  many 
of  the  chief  Mahomedan  people  had  joined  them,  and 
were  animatinoj  and  aidino:  the  assailants.  In  one  of 
the  attacks  the  foremost  man  was  a  Pathan,  named 
Mooltan  Khan,  who  had  assisted  the  escape  of  Mr. 
Edwards.  The  Chaplain,  Fisher,  shot  him  dead  on 
the  crest  of  the  breach,  and  those  who  followed  him 
fell  back  in  dismay.  But  gallant  as  were  those  thirty 
defenders,  the  defence  could  not  be  protracted  with 
any  hope  of  success  or  safety  to  the  garrison.  Their 
ammunition  had  failed,  and  there  was  no  prospect  of 
the  arrival  of  any  succours,  though  Smith  had  WTitten 
imploringly  for  them.  His  letters  reached  Agra.* 
As  the  Native  regiments  there  had  been  disarmed,  a 
detachment  of  Europeans  might  have  been  spared 
from  the  seat  of  Government.  Major  Weller,  who 
knew  the  country  well,  offered  to  lead  it.  But  the 
detachment  was  not  sent.f  So  it  was  resolved  that 
the  besieged  should  drop  down  into  the  boats  on  the 
river,  under  cover  of  the  night. 

There  were  but  three  boats  for  the  party  of  a  hun-  Evacuation 
dred  Christian  people,  and  they  drifted  out  forlornly  °^  *^^®  ^^**^' 
into  darkness  and  unto  death.     This  was  the  second 
exodus  from  Futtehgurh.     How  it  had  fared  with 

*  One  of  I  horn  is  now  before  mc,  small  characters,  and  on  such  thin 
written    in    French  —  or    iu    such  paper  that  it  might  have  been  con- 
French  as    an   old  Indian   officer,  veved  in  a  quill, 
after  years  of  absenoa  from  Ettrope»  f  See  Appendix  for  further  in« 
can  com.nonlj  oommaiid— in  ferj  formation  on  this  point. 


1837.  the  first  was  not  known.  But  the  one  idea  was  to 
June.  escape  to  Cawnpore,  that  cruel  Cawnpore,  which  was 
to  witness  the  massacre  of  so  many  of  our  Christian 
people.  It  wos  a  necessity  that  there  should  be  some 
delay  in  embarking  so  many  women  and  children 
with  such  requisites  and  appurtenances  as  could  be 
gathered  together  for  the  river  voyage.  So  the  shades 
of  night  had  well-nigh  glimmered  into  dawn  before 
the  boats  were  fairly  afloat.  The  difficulties  and 
danger  of  the  escape  were  thus  greatly  enhanced. 
Colonel  Smith,  Colonel  Goldie,  and  Major  Robertson 
commanded  severally  the  three  boats.  But  ere  long 
the  three  were  reduced  to  two.  Colonel  Goldie's  boat 
ran  upon  a  shoal,  and  the  rudder  was  smashed,  A 
vain  attempt  was  made  to  repair  it^  the  result  of 
which  was  that  the  villagers  of  Soonderpoor  came 
down  upon  our  people  iu  great  numbers  and  fired 
upon  them.  The  blood  of  the  gallant  Englishmen 
was  stirred  by  this  assault.  Then  a  little  band  of 
five  Christian  officers*  went  out  and  charged  a 
throng  of  three  hundred  Natives,  and  drove  them 
back  to  their  vilhige  with  the  loss  of  some  of  their 
leaders.  But  it  was  plain  that  they  could  not  wait 
any  longer  to  refit,  so  the  occupants  of  Colonel 
Goldie's  boat  betook  themselves  to  Colonel  Smith, 
and  they  pursued  their  perilous  journey  down  the 
Pursuit  of  the  The  pursuit  now  became  more  active.  The  Sepo5''s 
cucmy.  ^^^^   possession    of    the    ferry-boats    to   follow     the 

fugitives,  and  a  gun  was  sent  down  on  the  right 
bank  of  the  river  to  bear  upon  our  unhappy  people. 
The  villagers  on  both  banks,  especially  the  dwellers 

*   Tlicsc    wore    Captain    Vibart  ncc Mints   say   tliat  the   armrd    vil- 

S Second    Cavalry),    Major    Munro,  lagers  were  from   four  Inmdred   to 

jifutniants  Ectl'ord,  bwcetenhani,  five  hundred  in  number.    They  came 

aud  Ileiidprsmof  theTcnth.     Some  from  three  villnRe<. 


in  the  Mahomcdan  villages,  fell  upon  them  with  1857. 
equal  ferocity.  There  had  been  small  chance  of  •^*^°^- 
escape,  from  the  first,  but  when  Major  Robertson's 
boat  grounded  on  a  sand-bank  opposite  to  Singee- 
Rampore,  all  hope  was  abandoned  by  its  inmates. 
The  Sepoys  were  coming  down  upon  them  in  their 
boats,  and  the  banks  of  the  river  were  lined  with 
enemies.  There  was  acted  over  again,  on  a  smaller 
scale,  the  dreadful  scene  of  the  massacre  at  the  Cawn- 
pore  Ghaut.    Men,  w^omen,  and  children  flung  them- 


selves  into  the  river,  some  to  be  drowned,  some  to  be 
shot,  some  to  be  cut  down.  Three  only  of  the  boat's 
crew  escaped  with  life  and  liberty.*  Out  of  the 
general  horror  it  is  difficult  to  extract  the  miserable 
truth  of  individual  calamities.  It  would  seem  that 
the  gallant  Chaplain,  Fisher,  severely  wounded,  leapt 
into  the  river  with  his  wife  and  child  in  his  arms. 
They  were  both  drowned ;  but  he  himself  escaped 
immediate  death  by  hiding  himself  during  the  night, 
and  then  making  his  way  at  dawn  to  Colonel  Smith's 
boat.f  Mrs.  Robertson,  her  child,  and  Miss  Thomp- 
son, who  accompanied  her,  also  lost  their  lives  at  this 

*  Major  Kobcrtson,  Mr.  Jones,  porting  ber,  and  be  had  their  child 

and    Mr.    Churcber,      two     badly  in  bis  arms.      He  (Jones)  tliinks, 

wounded.  from  the  appearance  of  the  child  in 

f  "Fisbcr  was  wounded,  a  brill  bis    arms,    Ihat    he    (little    Philip 

passing  through  bis  left  thigh.    ITie  Fisher)  was  probably  drowned,  for 

Sepoys  then  came  alongside  to  board  this  was  the  fate  of  many  children 

the   boat.      Major   Robertson   now  in  the  confusion  of  getting  out  of 

ntgcd  the  ladies  and  children  to  get  the  boat About  four  o'clock 

into  the  water  to  save  themselves,  on  the  morning  of  the  5tb  (Sunday), 

They  did  so.     Jones  was  still  in  the  poor  Fred.  Fisher  hailed  the  boat, 

boat  with  other  gentlemen,   using  lie  was  alone.     Directly  he  got  on 

tlu'ir  muskets.     He  cannot  say  to  a  board  he  burst  into  tears,  and  said, 

certainty  whether   the   ladies   were  *  My  poor  wife  and  child  were  both 

mostly  shot  in  the  water  or  were  drowned  in  my  arms!'    Where  he 

drowned  ;  but  when  he  jumped  into  had  been  all  night,  or  what  lie  had 

the   water    himself    he    saw    Mrs.  been  doing,  Jones  did  not  hear." — 

Fisher,  at  some  distance,  up  to  her  Rev.  Mr,  Spry,  Chaplain  at  Allaha- 

waist  in  water.     The  current  was  had,    to  Archdeacon   Pratt.      MS, 

strong,  and  it  carried   lier  off  her  Correspondence, 
legs  several  times.    Fisher  was  sup- 


1857.  place.  One  of  Colonel  Goldie's  daughters  fell  at  tbe 
June.  same  time.  Major  Phillott  of  the  Tenth,  and  other 
officers  of  the  same  regiment,  were  also  lost  here^ 
with  several  people  attached  to  the  Gun-carriage  and 
Clothing  Agencies.*  Some  were  taken  prisoners,  and 
blown  from  guns  by  the  Nawab  of  Furruckabad. 
Noble  Major  Robertson,  though  painfully  wounded,  escaped 

Srcli?  ^^^^^  ^^^  ^^^"^^^  ^y  ^^^  generous  aid  of  Mr.  David 
Churcher,  an  indigo-planter,  who  secured  an  oar,  on 
which  the  two  supported  themselves  in  the  river  until 
midnight,  when  they  went  ashore,  and  lay  hidden  in 
the  village  of  Kulhour,  where  some  herdsmen  shel- 
tered them  and  fed  them.  Then  was  witnessed 
another  of  those  acts  of  heroic  self-devotion  of  which 
the  annals  of  the  Sepoy  War  afford  so  many  touch- 
ing examples.  Churcher  might  have  made  his 
escape,  but  Robertson  was  in  such  dire  agony  both 
of  body  and  of  mind  that  he  could  not  rouse  him- 
self to  the  activity  of  flight.  So  Churcher  deter- 
mined not  to  leave  him.  For  more  than  two  months 
he  watched  over  the  stricken  artilleryman,  until 
death  mercifully  came  to  the  relief  of  the  sufferer. 
Then  Churcher  buried  his  friend,  raised  a  mound 
of  earth  over  his  remains  to  mark  the  spot^  and 
betook  himself  to  the  jungle,  where  Providence  mer- 
cifully protected  him,  and  enabled  him,  after  awhile, 
to  escape  to  Cawnpore. 

In  the  meanwhile  Colonel  Smith's  boat — the  last 
of  the  little  fleet,  with  all  the  survivors  of  the  Fut- 
tehgurh  Fort,  dropped  down  towards  Cawnpore — the 

*  Among  those  wlio  perished  sister  of  Mr.  F.  Fisher  and  of  Colo- 
were  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Hciithcote.  Mrs.  nel  Fisher,  whose  sad  fate  at  Sool- 
Henthcotc  was  a  niece  of  ^Mr.  tanpore  sliall  afterwards  be  de- 
FishiT,  and  sister  of  the  wife  of  scribed.  These  murdered  oflicers 
Major  Dnrcy  Todd — daughters  of  were  sons  of  the  Rev.  H«nry 
Dr.  Sandhain,  Surgeon  of  the  Six-  Fisher,  Senior  Prcsideucy  Ciiaj^hiiu 
tcenth  Lancers,  who  had  married  a  for  a  long  scries  of  years. 



desired  harbour  of  refuge.  And  here  authentic  1857. 
history  fades  into  dim  conjecture.  What  befel  them  ^^^' 
on  the  way  is  not  known.  But  it  is  too  sure  that 
they  all  perished  at  the  place  in  which  they  had 
thought  to  find  safety  and  shelter.  That  they  fell 
into  the  cruel  hands  of  Doondoo  Punt,  Nana  Sahib, 
and  were  butchered  at  Cawnpore,  has  been  already 
narrated.*  It  is  known  also  that  those  who  had 
preceded  them  in  the  flotilla  which  left  Futtehgurh 
on  the  4th  of  June,  had  been  sent  to  the  shambks 
before  them.  In  all,  more  than  two  hundred  Chris- 
tian people — men,  women,  and  children — who  were 
in  or  near  Futtehgurh  at  the  beginning  of  June,  died 
miserably  on  the  dreary  river  voyage  or  at  the  place 
of  their  destination,  where  they  had  hoped  to  escape 
the  malice  of  their  persecutors.! 

The  English  in  Furruckabad  having  thus  been  The  Nawab 
expelled  and  destroyed,  and  all  trace  of  their  autho-  abad. 
rity  effiiced,  an  attempt  was  made  to  systematise  the 
restored  Native  Government.  But  the  Nawab,  Tuf- 
foozul  Hoosein  Khan,  was  not  a  chief  of  super- 
abundant energy  and  activity,  and  it  is  doubtful 
whether  he  much  delighted  in  the  greatness  which 
had  been  thrust  upon  him.  He  was  a  man  of  quiet 
habits  and  dilettante  tastes,  fond  of  painting  and 
illuminating,  and  like  others,  both  in  the  East  and 
the  West,  of  the  same  artistic  tendencies,  somewhat 
addicted  to  epicurean  practices.     He  liked  dancing 

*  jinU,  vol.  ii.  page  353. 

t  Colonel  Williams,  in  his  ad- 
mirable report  of  events  at  Cawn- 
pore, which  I  have  before  quoted 
from,  savs  that  those  who  lelt  Fut- 
tch^Mirh  on  tlie  4th  of  June  are  sup- 
posed to  have  perished  at  Cawnpore 
on  the  12th  of  that  month.  He 
states    that  Colonel  Smith's    boat- 

reached  Bithoor  on  the  9th  of  July, 
that  the  occupants  were  seized  there 
and  sent  iiito  Cawnpore,  that  the 
gentlemen  (three  excented.  Colonels 
Goldie  and  Smith  and  Mr.  Thorn- 
hill)  were  killed  on  the  10th  or 
11th,  and  the  women  and  children 
massacred  on  the  15tli  of  that 


1S57.  girls  better  tlian  soldiers,  and  had  more  pleasure  in 
Juij-Aug.  the  society  of  parasites  than  of  public  functionaries. 
He  had  a  traditional  ascendancy  in  the  province,  and 
that  was  all.  He  was  a  weak  rather  than  a  bad 
man,  and  there  were  many  people  about  him  whose 
hatred  of  the  English  was  far  more  intense  than  his 
own.  He  sat  on  a  throne,  and  orders  were  issued  in 
his  name  for  the  collection  of  the  revenue,  and  for 
the  definition  of  the  processes  of  civil  and  criminal 
law.  The  regulations  did  not  differ  much  from  those 
which  had  been  ordained  in  the  time  of  British  rule, 
but  they  were  enforced  with  greater  stringency.  It 
was  not  to  be  expected  that,  here  or  elsewhere,  after 
long  years  of  depression.  Native  administrators  should 
suddenly  arise  with  systems  and  organisations  of  their 
own.  In  such  an  emergency  they  were  fain  to  pick 
up,  from  the  leavings  of  their  predecessors,  such 
crumbs  as  they  could  find.  Our  old  Native  officials 
were,  for  the  most  part,  not  unwilling — if  not  re- 
joiced— to  array  themselves  under  the  Native  Go- 
vernments. Not  being  able  to  see  into  men's  hearts, 
I  cannot  say  whether  in  this  there  was  any  spirit  of 
nationality,  or  whether  it  was  merely  an  instinct  of 
greed.  If  they  did  not  obtain  higher  pay — ^and  in 
most  instances  they  procured  at  least  the  promise  of 
it — they  had  greater  opportunities  of  illicit  gains. 
Our  military  retainers  were  as  children,  and,  like  the 
children  of  all  nations,  they  were  cruel.  But  our 
civil  functionaries  had  the  astuteness  of  maturity 
about  them,  and  were  cold  and  calculating  in  the 
midst  of  the  general  excitement.  It  was  a  necessity 
of  their  very  existence  that  they  should  cast  in  their 
lot  with  the  dominant  power.  And  perhaps  they  did 
not  much  care  whether  the  White  man  or  the  Black 
man  were  triumphant,  so  long  as  they  retained  their 

HUnNT  OR  BEBELUON  ?  805 

places  and  preserved  their  pay.    Some,  however,  held      1867. 
back — doubtful  as  to  the  final  issue  of  the  struggle —  May— Aug. 
far-seeing  men,  who  could  afford  to  wait.     And  in 
time  they  had  their  reward.* 

I  shall  not  pause  here  to  attempt  a  full  and  im-  Character  of 
partial  inquiry  into  the  inner  history — the  moral  ^^^  ^ 
anatomy,  I  may  say — of  this  great  movement  against 
the  White  Man.  But  something  may  be  briefly  said 
about  the  character  of  the  events  recorded  in  the 
chapter  now  brought  to  a  close— =-a  chapter,  the  mate- 
rials of  which  have  been  derived  from  the  o£Gicial 
reports  of  our  own  civil  oflScers.  In  many  parts  of 
the  North- Western  Provinces  there  had  been  violent 
rebellion  without  the  aid  or  presence  of  Sepoys — 
where  Sepoys  were  few  or  none — ^before  they  had 
risen,  or  after  they  had  left  the  disturbed  districts. 
And  in  some  instances  our  Native  soldiers  had  ac- 
tively aided  the  authorities  in  putting  down  popular 
insurrections.  The  violence  of  the  Sepoys  was  com- 
monly of  a  superficial  kind,  and  such  seeds  of 
rebellion  as  they  sowed  took  no  root  in  the  soil. 
Having  plundered  the  treasuries,  perhaps  killed  their 

*  Mr.  C.  R.  Lindsay,  in  his  very  the  collecting  Sowars,  with  the 
able  and  exhaustive  report,  sa;^s  :  exception  of  one,  went  over  to  the 
"The  conduct  of  the  officials  semng  Nawab  en  masse.  Of  the  other 
the  British  Government  at  the  time  officials,  such  as  Record-keepers, 
of  the  outbreak  was  not  praise-  Mohurrers,  Nazirs,  Burkendauzes, 
worthy.  Out  of  the  six  Tehseldars  Chuprassies,  &c.,  all,  or  nearly  all, 
(chiefrevenue  officers)  three  took  ser-  tendered  their  services  to  the  Go- 
vice  with  the  Nawab.  Out  of  eleven  vemment  of  the  time.  The  She- 
head  police  officers  six  accepted  ristadars  of  the  crimmal  and  re- 
situations  under  the  new  Govern-  venue  departments,  and  the  Nazir 
ment.  Amongpst  the  nine  Peshkars  of  tlie  former,  did  not  accept  ap- 
(officers  next  in  rank  to  the  Teh-  pointments.  The  latter  official  got 
seidars),  five  gave  in  their  adherence  rather  severely  handled  by  the 
to  the  Nawab.  The  Canoongoes  rebels.  He  was  fined  and  plundered 
were  all,  save  one,  employed.    All  of  a  portion  of  his  property." 

VOL.  Ul.  X 


1857.      officers  and  other  Christian  people,  and  opened  the 
M*j— Aug.  gaols,  they  made  for  their  homes  or  betook  tiiemselyeB 
to  Delhi.     It  was  not  on  account  of  the  violence  of 
the  Sepoys-  that  the  Lieutenant-Governor  described 
the  provinces  under  his  rule  as  in  "a  blaze  of  ravage 
and    riot,"    or    that    the    Governor-General   wrote 
officially  that  they  were  "  lost  to  us"  for  the  time. 
Where   were  no  sources  of  complaint  against  the 
British  Government  other  than  of  a  military  cha- 
racter, no  grievances,  no  apprehensions,  no  alarms, 
where  none  but  our  trained  soldiers  were  smarting 
under  injuries,  real  or  supposed,  these  uprisings  made 
comparatively  a  slight  and  transient  impression  upon 
the  country  in  respect  of  its  government  and  admi- 
nistration;   and    our    authority    was    speedily    re- 
iraposed.     But  there  were  fears  and  discontents  with 
which  greased  cartridges  had  no  connexion,    and 
uprisings  not  incited  by  thoughts  of  the  spoliation 
of  the  treasure-chests.    The  fears  and  discontents  of 
powerful  classes,  who  felt  that  they  had  been  down- 
trodden by  the   English,    that  their   old   dynasties 
had  been   subverted,   their   old  traditions  ignored, 
their   old  systems   violated,   their  old  usages    con- 
temned, and  that  everywhere  the  reign  of  annexation 
and  innovation  had  commenced,  and  was  threatening 
to  crush  out  the  very  hearts  of  the  nations,  struck 
deep  root  in  the  soil,  and  it  was  a  work  of  time  to 
eradicate  the  evil  growth.     And  all  this,  too,  in  the 
model  provinces,  the  administrative  conduct  of  which 
had  been  vaunted  as  the  greatest  triumph  of  British 
rule  in  the  East. 

It  belongs  to  a  later  stage  of  this  History,  when 
the  events  of  the  Sepoy  War  shall  have  been  more 
fully  narrated,  to  prosecute  this  important  inquiry 


to  its  legitimate  termination.  What  has  been  now  1857. 
written  is  a  commentary  only  on  the  contents  of  the  May. 
present  chapter.  The  brave  heart  of  Lieutenant- 
Governor  Colvin  would  not  have  been  torn,  as  it  was, 
if  he  had  thought  that  the  convulsions  in  the  North- 
western Provinces  were  confined  to  our  military 


308  DEARiNG  OF  THE  NAtlTE  CfflElB. 



1857.  CoLViN  suffered  cruelly,  but  lie  bore  up  bravely, 

ay  one,  jj^Q^gj^  ^j^^  silent  approaches  of  death  already  were 
casting  their  dark  shadows  over  him.  Much  of  which 
I  have  written  was  either  not  known  at  all,  or  but 
dimly  perceived  at  the  Head-Quarters  of  the  Supreme 
Government.  But  every  day  brought  in  some  dis- 
astrous tidings  to  the  Lieutenant-Governor,  whose  in- 
timate knowledge  of  all  local  circumstances  painfully 
disclosed  to  him  the  full  significance  of  the  distressing 
stories  that  came  huddling  on  each  other.  Those 
which  1  have  recorded  arc  but  excerpts  from  the 
grim  catalogue  of  "  ravage  and  riot"  which  so  dis- 
tracted and  distressed  him.  And  he  felt  that,  bad 
as  was  what  he  saw  before  him  in  the  Present,  there 
might  be  worse  in  the  Future  to  assail  him. 

To  the  bearing  of  the  Native  chiefs  in  this  con- 
juncture, and  especially  of  the  Maharajah  Scindiah 
of  Gwalior,  whose  capital  lay  at  a  distance  of  only 
sixty-five  miles  from  Agra,  Colvin  had  looked  from 
the  commencement  of  the  rebellion  with   extreme 



anxiety,  and  notwithstanding  the  promising  signs  1867. 
and  symptoms  above  recorded,*  he  was  still  racked  -^y^^^^"^- 
by  most  painful  doubts,  which  soon  became  most 
distressing  realities.  That  great  Mahratta  Prince 
had  a  Contingent  force  of  more  than  eight  thousand 
men,  with  twenty-six  guns,t  under  English  officers, 
and  a  purely  Native  force  of  ten  thousand  men. 
The  Contingent  was  little  more  than  a  local  branch 
of  our  o\vn  military  establishment,  and  there  was 
small  chance  of  the  Gwalior  soldiery  being  proof 
against  the  general  alarm  which  was  pervading  the 
Native  Army  in  all  parts  of  the  country.  It  was  very 
soon  apparent  that  they  were  tainted.  But  an  army 
rebelling  against  its  master,  and  without  an  acknow- 
ledged head,  is  one  thing ;  an  army  led  to  the  battle 
by  its  sovereign  prince  is  another  thing,  and  one  far 
more  perilous  to  encounter.  Everywhere  it  was 
asked,  nervously,  "  What  will  Scindiah  do  ?"  The 
opportunity  that  lay  before  him  was  a  tempting  one. 
He  might  shake  himself  loose  from  the  thraldom  of 
the  dominant  Englishman;  he  might  increase  his 
territory,  and  increase  his  army,  and  become  a  more 
powerful  and  independent  ruler  than  his  ancestors 
had  been  in  the  palmiest  days  of  the  Raj.  Every 
Native  Prince  is  surrounded,  more  or  less,  by  a  crew 
of  parasites  and  intriguers,  whose  game  it  is  to  foster 
the  growth  of  every  kind  of  corruption,  and  to  shut 
him  out  from  the  good  influences  brought  to  bear 
upon  him  by  honest  and  enlightened  advisers.  There 
were  those,  doubtless,  who,  still  smarting  under  the 
losses  sustained  by  their  defeat  at  Maharajpore  and 

*  Ante,  paj?e  208.  pounders   and  a  twentv-four-pound 

f  There  were   two   rogimcnls  of  nowitzer),   and   a   gariisou  battery 

Irregular  Cavalry — 1158  men  of  all  with  two  eightecn-pounder  iron  guns 

ranks — seven  re^i^imeuts  of  Infantry,  atlaclied  for  field  service.     Twcnty- 

ag'^regatin^  6412,    four    field    bat-  six  guns  in  all,  with  748  arliller)- 

tcries    (each   comprising   five  nine-  men.    Sec  Appendix. 


1857.      Punniah,    would  fain   have  persuaded    the   jouBg 
Maj-Junc.  Maharajah   to  array  himself  on   the    side    of  the 
I  enemies  of  tlie  English   now  that  all  things  seemed 

to  be  in  their  favour.     It  was  not  to  be  expected 

«  that  being  a  man  and  a  Mahratta,  he  should  not, 

when  assailed  by  the  fierce  temptation,  sometimes 
have  wavered  in  his  allegiance,  and,  for  a  little  while, 
yielded  inwardly  to  the  allurements  that  beset  him. 
Perhaps,  indeed,  there  was  not  a  Native  chief  in 
India  who  was  not  sometimes  minded  to   wait  and 

•  watch  at  the  outset  of  the  great  convulsion.     And 

there  were  some  personal  circumstances,  peculiar  to 
the  Gwalior  cliief,  which  rendered  it  especially  likely 
that  he  would  cast  in  his  lot  against  the  usurping 

I  I  The  At  this  time  Scindiah  was  in  his  twenty-third  year. 

r  Sdndiai!       His  passion  for  military  display  had  grown  with  his 

!  growth,  and  strengthened  with  his  strength.     Had 

he  lived  half  a  century  earlier,  this  ambition  might 
have  been  pregnant  with  great  events.  He  might 
have  ripened  into  a  leader  of  armies,  and  made  for 
himself  a  place  in  the  history  of  the  world.  But  all 
independent  action  of  this  kind  had  been  crushed  out 
of  the  Native  Princes  of  India  by  the  universal  domi- 
nation of  the  British.  By  the  introduction  of  what 
we  called  our  subsidiary  system,  it  had  come  to  pass 
that  there  was  but  one  military  power,  but  one  mili- 
tary nation  left  on  the  great  Indian  Peninsula.  The 
English  soldier  put  do^vn  all  internal  conflicts,  and 
took  upon  himself  the  general  defence  of  the  country. 
Neither  Mahrattas,  nor  Kajpoots,  nor  Pathans,  nor 
any  other  race,  Hindoo  or  Mahomedan,  within  cer- 
tain limits,  were  allowed  to  fight  among  themselves. 
So  a  Native  Prince,  with  strong  military  instincta 
had  nothing  to  do  but  to  play  at  soldiering.     Of  the 


young  Maharajah  Scindiah,  it  was  oflScially  reported       ^^^f' 
in  1856,  that  he  "seemed  to  enjoy  no  occupation  save  ^J— J'*^ 
drilling,   dressing,^  ordering,   transforming,   feasting, 
playing  with  his  troops,  and  the  unwearied  study  of 
books  of  evolutions ;  and  he  grudged  no  expenditure 
connected  Avith  this  amusement."* 

A  man  of  this  character,  if  he  had  fallen  into  bad 
hands,  might  have  been  dangerous  to  himself  and  to 
others.  Fortunately,  he  fell  into  good  hands — ^hands 
that  gently  but  firmly  restrained  the  restlessness  of 
his  nature.  At  the  most  critical  period  of  his  life  he 
had  Dinkur  Rao  at  his  elbow.  That  great  Native  The  Dcwan 
statesman,  who  has  shared  with  Salar  Jung,  of^"^^*^^®' 
Hyderabad,  the  glory  of  being  the  Abul-Fuzl  of  the 
nineteenth  century,  and  from  whom  the  best  of  our 
English  administrators  have  learnt  many  lessons  of 
wisdom,  exercised  a  benign  influence,  not  only  over 
the  government  of  the  Gwalior  territory,  which  he 
reformed  and  consolidated,  but  over  the  personal 
character  of  Scindiah  himself.  He  could  not  do  this 
wthout  exciting  some  jealousy  in  the  mind  of  the 
Maharajah,  and  raising  hostile  cabals  among  a  less 
worthy  class  of  Durbar  servants.  But,  encouraged 
and  sustained  by  the  British  Political  Agent,  he 
triumphed  over  these  difficulties.  In  Major  Charters  Charters 
Macpherson,  our  Government  had  at  the  Court  of  ^^  ^^^^ 
Gwalior  a  representative  in  every  way  qualified  both 
to  conciliate  and  to  restrain  a  man  of  Scindiah's  tem- 
perament. A  member  of  a  family,  distinguished  in 
many  different  departments  of  the  public  service,  he 
had  gained  for  himself  an  enduring  reputation  by  his 
successful  efforts  to  suppress  the  great  abomination 
of  Meriah  sacrifice  in  Southern  India.  He  was  one 
of  the  good  old  school  of  soldier-statesmen,  with  large 

*  Heport  of  Major  Chuptet  MaiflMfML  Seoember  13, 1856. 


1857.  human  sympathies  and  broad  catholic  political  views. 
May— June.  Few  men,  whom  I  have  known  and  conversed  with, 
have  had  less  of  that  national  self-love,  which  so  often 
over-rides  truth  and  justice  in  our  estimate  of  and 
our  conduct  towards  others.  Essentially  tolerant  and 
many-sided,  he  could  see  how  much  of  the  evil,  which 
we  are  wont  to  condemn  in  the  Native  States  of  India, 
is  the  growth  of  circumstances  which  have  been  de- 
veloped in  our  o^vn  forcing-house.  He  felt  that  the 
young  Maharajah  was  at  least  as  good  as,  perhaps 
better  than,  we  had  any  right  to  expect  him  to  be ; 
but  he  exerted  himself  to  make  him  still  better.  The 
relations  between  the  British  Officer  and  the  Mah- 
ratta  Prince  were  of  the  most  friendly  kind.  The 
cordiality  between  them  had  been  confirmed  by  their 
visit  to  Calcutta  in  March,  1857,  the  incidents  of 
which  made  a  strong  impression  on  Scindiah's  mind. 
He  saw  at  our  English  capital  much  that  was  new  to 
him — ^much  that  was  suggestive  and  impressive.  And 
he  returned  to  Gwalior  with  not  only  an  enlarged 
estimate  of  the  magnificent  resources  of  the  British 
Government,  but  with  a  more  assured  belief  than  he 
had  ever  entertained  before  of  their  friendly  feelings 
and  just  intentions  towards  him.  That  was  a  time 
of  almost  general  alarm  among  the  rulers  of  the 
Native  States  of  India  ;  and  Lord  Canning  saw 
clearly  the  necessity  of  allaying  it.  So  the  Maha- 
rajah carried  back  with  him  to  Gwalior  the  remem- 
brance of  assuring  words  spoken  to  him  by  the 
Governor-General  at  Calcutta,  and  had  no  more  fear 
for  the  perpetuation  of  his  dynasty.  If  he  did  not 
regard  with  much  complacency  the  domination  of 
the  English,  he  felt  that  it  was  inevitable,  and  he 
reconciled  himself  to  it,  more  contentedly  than  he 
could  have  done,  when  the  air  was  alive  with  rumours 
Qf  the  annexation  of  the  Native  States, 


It  has  been  seen  that,  on  the  first  outbreak  of  1857. 
revolt,  Scindiah  had  manifested  his  loyalty  by  placing  ^ay— J"ne- 
his  troops  at  the  disposal  of  the  Lieutenant-Governor  Scindi^. 
of  Agra.  Major  Macpherson  had  always  doubted 
from  the  first  whether  the  Contingent,  composed  as 
it  was  of  the  same  materials  as  our  own  Native  Army, 
would  ever  act  against  our  Sepoy  mutineers ;  and  he 
represented  that  in  no  manner  could  the  Maharajah 
testify  his  own  devotion  to  the  British  so  well  as 
by  sending  to  Agra  his  own  body-guard,  consisting 
mainly  of  Mahratta  horsemen  "  of  his  own  kindred 
or  caste."*  To  this  Scindiah  had  cheerfully  responded. 
He  saw  the  departure  of  his  favourite  phalanx  with 
pride,  and  rode  out  some  way  to  their  camp.  The 
Contingent,  the  Maharajah  mistrusted  as  much  as 
Macpherson  had  done ;  and  he  warned  the  British 
Agent  that  they  had  ceased  entirely  to  be  servants  of 
the  Government.  Their  hearts  were  with  the  mu- 
tineers of  the  Bengal  Army.  They  were  holding 
nightly  meetings — taking  oaths  upon  the  Ganges 
water — receiving  emissaries  from  Calcutta  and  Delhi 
— ^both  accepting  and  propagating  monstrous  stories 
of  our  effbrts  to  destroy  the  religions  of  the  country 
and  inculcating  upon  Hindoos  and  Mahomedans  alike 
the  duty  of  hastening  the  downfall  of  the  British 
Government  in  India.  But  still  Brigadier  Ramsay  Ck)nfidence  of 
and  his  ofiicers,  Uke  their  comrades  of  the  Regular  J^'^t^^^J^^^ 
Army,  believed  in  the  fidelity  of  their  men.  Vainly 
were  the  views  of  the  Maharajah  and  the  Political 
Agent  represented  to  him ;  he  said  that  they  were 
tinged  with  Mahratta  intrigue  and  were  not  to  be 
trusted.  Still  Macpherson  insisted  upon  the  duty  of 
taking  some  precaution  to  insure  the  safety  of  the 

*  Major  Macpherson  tajjB(^tliflie    igpinMo  from  bis  pleasures   and 

men, "  tnat  they  had  been     ^  " 

companions  by  day  and ' 


M57.      women  and  children  in  the  event  of  a  sadden  ont- 
•y—junt.  |,j.^.j^j^ .  jjyjj  ^^  ^Ijjg  ^j^j  jj  ^gg  aTTaDged  that  tfcc 

KcrMidoncy  should  be  fixed  upon  as  a  place  of  refuge, 
that  the  fJontingent-guard  posted  there  should  be 
withdrawn,  and  Durbar  troops  substituted  for  theoL 
Hut  when  the  Political  Agent  represented  that  it 
would  h(!  <*xp(!diont  for  the  wives  and  children  of  the 
rontingciit  oflicers  quietly  and  gradually  to  take  up 
their  abo(I(5  in  the  Residency,  the  Brigadier  protested 
agaiuHt  the  movement  as  one  that  would  indicate 
want  of  confidence  in  the  fidelity  of  the  troops. 
Mftj  28.  |{„t  ^,„  tii^,  y^^xt  day  there  was  a  great  panic  in 
imnir/*  Clantonments  ;  and  the  women  and  children  were 
flying  for  th(»ir  lives  to  the  Residency.  It  was  ex- 
pertcd  that  ihit  troops  would  rise  that  night ;  bat  it 
was  a  falMC!  nlann.  When  tidings  of  this  movement 
rcMurhcd  Seindiah,  he  rode  do^vn,  with  a  strong 
i*H(U)\%  to  the  Residency,  posted  troops  securely 
around  it,  and  urged  upon  Macpherson  the  expe- 
di(!n(;y  of  bringing  all  the  women  and  the  children 
to  a  spacious  nuuision,  built  in  the  English  style, 
attached  to  the  Palace,  where  they  would  be  pro- 
tect(Ml  by  his  own  ])eoplc.  So  on  the  next  day  they 
were  removed  as  quietly  as  possible  to  the  asylum 
provided  for  them  by  the  Maharajah ;  and  there  they 
ought  to  liave  been  suffered  to  remain.  But  the 
Sepoys  of  the  Contingent  protested  that  the  removal 
of  our  women  and  children  was  an  imputation  on 
their  honour,  and  they  prevailed  with  their  officers  to 
recall  their  families  to  Cantonments.* 

*  Major  Macpherson  telegraphed  that  all  was  quiet  and  confidenoe 

to     Mr.    Colvia    to     send     oack  increasing,  and  that  he  "  considered 

Scindiairs  bodjr-guard  as  there  was  that  Seindiah  was  endeavouring  to 

danger  of  a  rising ;  but  Brigadier  increase  his  own  sendees    at    the 

Ramsay  having  read  this  telegram,  expense  of  the  Contingent.** 
wrote  to  the  Lieutenant-Governor 


The  grievous  error  that  had  been  committed  was  1867. 
soon  palpable.  No  sooner  had  "  confidence  been  re-  J^«» 
stored"  at  Head-Quarters  than  all  the  Contingent 
troops  posted  at  the  out-stations  broke  into  rebellion. 
The  first  two  weeks  of  June  saw  all  the  country 
occupied  by  the  Contingent  in  a  blaze  of  mutiny  and 
rebellion.  One  regiment  revolted  at  Neemuch  on 
the  4th,  with  all  the  Company's  troops.  On  the  7th, 
revolt  was  inaugurated  at  Jhansi  with  the  most 
fiendish  orgies  that  the  imagination  could  devise. 
At  Sepree  and  Jubbulpore,  the  troops  were  showing 
unmistakable  signs  of  a  speedy  rising ;  and  from  our 
own  provinces  everywhere  came  disastrous  tidings  of 
regiments  in  mutiny,  of  Christian  people  murdered  or 
flying  for  their  lives,  of  law  and  authority  prostrate, 
of  districts  overrun  by  unscrupulous  marauders. 

There  was  now  an  almost  general  impression  at  Temper  of 
Gwalior  that  the  power  of  the  English  in  India  was  ^^"^  ^"^P"' 
at  its  last  gasp.  Among  the  very  few  who  did  not 
share  this  belief  were  Scindiah  and  his  Minister.  The 
difficulties  with  which  they  were  beset  were  of  a 
most  embarrassing  kind,  for  there  was  a  constant 
flood  of  Mahratta  intrigue  ever  pouring  itself  upon 
the  Maharajah,  and  endeavouring  to  sweep  away  the 
influence  and  ascendancy  of  the  Dewan,  who  was 
heart  and  soul  with  the  English  party.  His  most 
cherished  friends  and  companions  were  active  upon 
the  other  side.  They  had  suffered  by  our  domina- 
tion ;  they  were  eager  for  the  overthrow  of  Dinkur 
Kao ;  and  they  hoped  to  persuade  Scindiah  that,  as 
his  power  would  be  vastly  aggrandised  by  the  expul- 
sion of  the  British,  it  was  folly  to  abstain  from  cast- 
ing in  his  lot  with  the  victorious  army.  He  listened, 
made  plausible  answers,  and  talked  of  waiting;  but 
he  never  swerved  from  his  allegiance.    Amidst  all 


at  Gwolior. 



1857.  these  sinister  influences  he  remained  true  to  us ;  and 
June.  £qp  a^vhJie  the  Durbar  Army  continued  to  be  loyal 
to  its  master.  But  it  was  plain  that  the  Contingent 
at  Gwalior  might  at  any  moment  cast  off  the  trammels 
of  mock  loyalty  and  break  out  into  the  violence  of 
uncontrolled  rebellion. 
The  outbreak  The  day,  indeed,  was  close  at  hand.  On  Sunday, 
so  often  a  fatal  day  to  the  English — Sunday,  the  14th 
of  June — our  Christian  people  attended  divine  service 
in  the  church  and  took  the  Sacrament  of  the  Lord's 
Supper.  There  had  been  a  funeral  in  the  morning. 
A  little  son  of  Captain  Murray  had  been  laid  in  the 
grave,  and  many  of  the  European  residents  of  Gwalior 
had  attended  the  burial.  The  Sepoys  saw  them  go 
and  depart,  and  were  respectful — almost  sympathising 
in  their  demeanour.  The  day  passed,  and  all  was 
outwardly  quiet.  But  on  the  evening  of  that  Sabbath 
the  Contingent  rose.  The  crisis  was  precipitated  after 
the  wonted  fashion.  There  Avas  a  cry  that  the  Euro- 
peans were  upon  them — a  panic  in  the  Lines  and  then 
a  general  revolt.  The  Artillerymen  rushed  to  their 
guns ;  the  Infantry  seized  their  muskets.  The  sound 
of  firing  and  the  sight  of  flames,  breaking  the  still- 
ness and  the  darkness  of  the  night,  proclaimed  that 
the  orgies  of  rebellion  had  commenced.  Shouting, 
yelling,  bugling,  the  Sepoys  of  the  Contingent^  in  the 
wildest  confusion,  under  the  influence  of  a  great  fear, 
feeling  that  the  time  had  come,  roused  themselves  to 
the  work  of  mischief  Their  officers,  who,  in  accord- 
ance Avith  the  early  habits  of  the  East,  had  either 
retired  to  their  beds  or  Avere  prepai'ing  for  rest,  rose 
up,  hastily  clothed  themselves,  and  hurried  down  to 
the  Lines.  Many  then  left  their  homes  never  to  see 
them  again.  All  hope  of  quieting  the  general  excite- 
ment had  passed  aAvay.     There  was  a  furious  mi 

TtiE  OUTBREAK  At  6WALI0&.  317 

tude,  eager  to  cast  off  the  domination  of  the  British  1867. 
— some  thirsting  for  the  blood  of  the  white-faced  June  14. 
Christians.  So  when  our  officers  went  amidst  the 
mutineers,  in  the  darkness  and  confusion  of  the  night, 
they  were  shot  down  by  the  men  of  the  Contingent. 
Every  commanding  officer  then  at  Gwalior  was  killed. 
Hawkins  and  Stewart  of  the  Artillery,  Blake  and 
Sheriff  of  the  Infantry,  fell  beneath  the  fire  of  the 
insurgents.  The  truth  Avas  soon  known  to  all ;  and 
men,  women,  and  children  rushed  from  their  houses 
to  find  safety  where  they  could,  or  to  perish  by  the 
way.  The  Sepoys  in  their  fury  spared  none.  Hawkins 
had  his  sick  wife  with  him,  a  baby  of  a  few  days  old 
at  her  breast,  and  four  other  young  children.  Mrs. 
Stewart  and  her  children  were  also  under  his  care. 
The  fire  of  the  enemy  struck  down  the  artilleryman, 
and  Avhen  Mrs.  Stewart  bent  over  him  and  took  his 
hand,  a  volley  of  musketry  killed  them  both.  Three 
of  the  children  were  also  murdered.  Here,  as  in 
other  places,  the  inconsistency  of  the  Sepoy  character 
was  marvellously  manifested.  Captain  Stewart  him- 
self Avas  wounded  in  the  first  nocturnal  onslaught. 
Two  of  the  men  of  his  battery  nursed  him  tenderly 
througli  the  night ;  but  when  he  had  good  hope  of 
deliverance  in  the  morning,  he  was  taken  forth  and 
deliberately  shot  to  death.  Major  Blake,  Commandant 
of  the  Second  Infantry  Regiment — an  officer  much 
beloved  by  his  men — a  man  as  good  as  he  Avas  brave, 
who  never  feared  death  except  for  the  sake  of  those 
he  might  leave  behind  him — was  shot  through  the 
chest  as  he  sat  on  his  charger  before  the  main  guard, 
at  the  commencement  of  the  outbreak.  The  Sepoys 
of  his  own  regiment  expressed  profound  grief,  de- 
clared that  he  had  been  killed  by  the  men  of  the 
Fourth,  and  tried  to  prove  their  words  by  giving  him 



1867.       decent  burial.     The  Superintending  Surgeon,    Dr. 

June  15.  Kirk,  was  traced  to  an  out-house,  in  which  he  had  en- 
deavoured to  conceal  himself,  and  there  killed  in  the 
presence  of  his  wife.  The  Chaplain,  Mr.  Gooplond, 
having  taken  refuge  with  his  wife  in  Major  Blake's 
house,  was  dragged  away  from  the  arms  of  the  be- 
seeching women,  hunted  through  Cantonments  amidst 
volleys  of  musketry,  and  finally  overtaken  and  cut 
down.  Altogether  on  that  night  were  killed  seven 
officers,  six  sergeants  and  pensioners,  -with  three 
women  and  three  children. 

A  like  number  of  officers — '*  some  under  showers 
of  bullets,  but  favoured  by  a  moonless  night"* — 
escaped.  And  several  ladies  and  children  escaped 
with  them.  The  majority  of  these  made  their  way 
either  to  the  Residency  or  to  Scindiah's  Palace.  It 
seemed  that,  after  the  first  outburst,  the  Gwalior 
Sepoys  did  not  lust  after  the  blood  of  women  and 
children,  although  their  greed  compelled  them  to 
despoil  the  ladies  of  their  rings  and  bracelets^  and 
other  ornaments  on  their  persons.  A  party  of  five 
officers'  wives — all  but  onef  of  whom  had  been  made 
widows  by  the  tragedy  of  that  Sunday  night — escaped 
in  the  morning  >vith  their  children  closely  packed  in 
a  small  carriage,  which  conveyed  them  in  safety  to 
Scindiah's  Palace.  There  sufficient  carriage  was  pro- 
vided for  them,  and  they  were  sent  on  towards  the 
Chumbul.  In  the  Dholepore  country  they  were 
most   generously  protected    and   succoured    by  the 

*  Major  Macpherson's  Report.  was  treated  with  the  utmost  respect. 

t  The  exception  was  that  of  Mrs.  She  had  disguised  herself  in  Native 

Campbelli  whose  husband,  Captain  costume ;  but  the  disguise  was  soon 

Campbell,  was  at  Agra  at  the  time  penetrated.    It  is  related  that  some 

of  the  Gwalior  outbreak.    She  was  who  looked  upon  her  exclaimed,  with 

a  lady  of  great  personal  attractions,  that  appreciation  of  the  beauty  of 

and,  as  she  went,  she  excited  the  small  leet  that  seems  to  be  inherent 

admiration  of  all — Sepoys  and  vil-  in  nearly  all  nations  :  '*  See  how  well 

lagers  —  who    saw  her;    but  she  her  feet' look  in  Indian  slippers  !" 


Rajah  of  that  state,  who  provided  them  with   an      1867. 
escort,  and  safely  conveyed  them  to  Agra,  where  they     •^""®- 
arrived  on  the  19th  of  June,  some  of  them  in  a  very 
pitiable  plight.* 

When  the  news  of  these  terrible  events  reached 
Scindiah  in  his  Palace,  he  was  in  an  agony  of 
shame  and  grief,  and  in  dire  perplexity  as  to  what 
was  to  follow.  Macpherson,  not  without  risk  of  his 
life,  had  hastened  to  join  the  Maharajah.  On  his 
way  he  was  attacked  by  a  party  of  Ghazees,  who 
would  have  fired  into  his  carriage,  but  for  the 
assurance  of  a  Mahratta  officer  that  the  British  Agent 
was  then  on  his  way  to  Scindiah's  presence  as  a  pri- 
soner, by  the  express  orders  of  the  Chief.  When  he 
reached  the  Palace  he  found  the  Maharajah  and 
Dinkur  Rao  together.  Brigadier  Ramsay  and  others, 
who  had  escaped  from  Cantonments,  had  already 
arrived  at  the  Phool-bagh.  What  now  was  to  be 
done?  Scindiah  and  his  Minister  confessed  their 
inability  to  protect  our  people.  Assured  of  this,  they 
had  already  ordered  carriages  and  palanquins  for  the 
conveyance  of  the  fugitives  to  the  Chumbul,  or  across 
it  to  Agra.  A  party  of  the  body-guard  had  been 
warned  to  accompany  them.  Macpherson  oflfered  to 
remain  alone  with  the  Maharajah;  but  against  this 
Scindiah  protested.  It  might  have  been  a  needless 
sacrifice  of  a  precious  life.  It  would  certainly  have 
been  an  embarrassment  to  the  Durbar.  But  it  was 
important  that  the  Chief  and  his  Minister  should 
take  counsel  with  the  British  Agent  as  to  what  waa 
to   be   done  after  his   departure.    The  anxiety  of 

*  MS.  Memorandum  by  Colonel  tended  to  as  far  as  oar  means  p«r- 

Kiddell,  who  adds :  "  Acoommoda-  mitted."    The  services  of  the  RajaJi 

tion  was  immediately  provided  for  of  Dholepore  have  been    acknow- 

tbosc  who  had  no  friends  in  the  ledged  by  the  grant  of  a  knighthood 

garrison  in  one  of   the  £aropean  of  the  Star  of  India  of  the  highest 

barracks,    and    every    comfort   at-  grade. 

320  BEABmo  01?  THfi  NAtlVE  CHIEFS. 

1857.  Scindiah  was  extreme.  To  him  the  crisis  was  one  of 
•^^®*  ahnost  unexampled  difficulty.  It  was  certain  that 
the  Contingent  had  gone.  It  was  doubtful  whether 
the  Durbar  troops  would  remain  faithful  It  was 
feared  that  they  would  coalesce  with  the  mutinous 
Contingent,  and  call  upon  Scindiah  to  place  himself  at 
their  head,  to  march  upon  Agra,  and  to  drive  the 
English  out  of  the  great  capital  of  the  North- West 
To  obviate  this  difficulty,  it  was  the  desire  of  the 
Maharajah  to  feed  the  mutineers  largely  with  trea- 
sure, and  to  permit  them  to  depart  to  their  homes. 
But  Macpherson  saw  clearly  the  evil  of  such  a  course. 
He  implored  the  Maharajah  to  keep  his  troops  to- 
gether at  Gwalior,  and  consented  on  the  part  of  his 
Government  that  service  should  be  given  to  them,  so 
long  as  they  might  remain  in  their  Lines.  Scindiah 
promised  to  do  all  that  could  be  done  to  conform 
with  this  advice,  and  for  a  while  the  troops  of  both 
branches  of  the  service,  having  expelled  the  English, 
were  kept  together  at  Gwalior. 

But,  although  there  was  for  the  present  little 
apprehension  of  an  attack  upon  Agra  from  the  Head- 
Quarters  of  the  Gwalior  Force,  there  was  threatened 
danger  from  another  quarter,  which  Colvin  and  his 
colleagues  could  not  disregard.  It  was  reported  that 
the  Ncemuch  Brigade,  which,  as  before  said,  had 
revolted,  was  about  to  march  down  upon  Agra. 
Neemuch  was  a  British  Cantonment  on  the  borders 
of  Scindiah's  territory,  to  which  it  had  formerly  be- 
longed. It  was  one  of  the  pleasantest  and  healthiest 
places  in  that  part  of  the  country — ^a  "favourite 
station,"  at  which  a  large  body  of  troops  was  con- 
stantly posted.*     Being  on  the  western  boundary  of 

*  Mr.  Pritcliard,  in  his  very  in-  in  Rajpootana,"  says :  **  It  is  a 
tercsting  account  of  the  "  Mutinies    very  favourite  garrison  for  tioopL 


the  territory  administered  by  the  Lieutenant-Gover-  1867. 
nor  of  the  North- Western  Provinces,  the  regiments  May— June 
of  the  Bombay  Army  had  shared  with  their  comrades  jj^^^ 
of  Bengal  the  duties  of  garrisoning  the  station.  It 
was  an  unlucky  circumstance  that  early  in  the  ye&r 
some  Bombay  Infantry  corps  had  been  relieved  by 
Bengal  regiments.  On  thfe  first  outbreak  of  the 
mutiny  the  force  at  Neemuch  consisted  of  a  troop  of 
Native  Horse  Artillerj',  the  left  wing  of  the  First 
Light  Cavalry,  the  Seventy-second  Regiment  of 
Native  Infantry  (all  of  the  Bengal  Army),  and  the 
Seventh  Regiment  of  the  Gwalior  Contingent.  No 
European  troops  were  in  Cantonments,  nor  any 
within  a  distance  at  which  they  could  be  available  in 
an  emergency.  At  Nusseerabad  were  stationed  the 
Fifteenth  and  Thirtieth  Regiments  of  Bengal  Native 
Infantry  and  a  Native  Horse  Field  Battery.  They 
had  been  for  some  time  hovering  on  the  brink  of 
mutiny.  But  there  was  a  regiment  of  Bombay 
Cavalry — the  First  Lancers,  which  was  believed  to 
be  staunch.  But  when,  on  the  afternoon  of  the 
28th  of  May,  the  Bengal  troops  broke  into  open 
mutiny,  the  half-heartedness  of  their  Bombay  com- 
rades was  apparent.  Ordered  to  charge  and  retake 
the  guns,  they  dashed  forward,  but  when  within  a 
few  yards  of  the  battery,  they  turned  threes  about 
and  left  their  officers  to  be  slaughtered.  Two  were 
killed  and  two  were  wounded.  The  different  systems 
of  the  several  armies  under  the  Company,  to  which  I 
have  more  than  once  referred,  was  prominently  dis- 

liaving  tlie  repntstion  ot  being  one  cnlture,  utd  moat  of  tlie  baDgalowB 

o(  the    healthieit  Btaliona    in    the  bad  Kardena  attached  to  them.    A 

Presidcncj.      The    Cniilonmrnf     is  kiuJ  of  fori,  or  fortified  squnrp,  liad 

bnilt  on  an  elevated  ikigc  sutruuiid-  brcii  ereclvd   foe  tlic  protection  oF 

Jng  iiarth-*est  and  toullicaal;    in  tiio   Kurnpraii   iuhabilanti   or    e 

length  about  tvo  mills  and  a  hair,  mou,    nud  nra*  generallj  uaco, 

The  toil  ii  well  adapted  tut  hntU  b^mu  a  uu^uir " 
TOL  m. 


1867.  played.  The  Bombay  troopers  had  their  families 
June.  with  them.  They  were  alarmed  for  the  safety  of 
their  wives  and  children — ^for  if  they  had  used  their 
sabres  against  the  Bengal  Sepoys,  there  might  have 
been  a  massacre  in  the  Bombay  Lines.  This  ac- 
counted for  the  traitorous  inactivity  of  the  Lancers. 
It  was  now  all  over  with  our  unfortunate  people. 
They  had  nothing  left  to  them  but  flight — men, 
women,  and  children — to  Beawur,  some  thirty  miles 
distant  on  the  road  to  Deesa  —  all  their  property 
was  abandoned;  and  the  Sepoys  had  their  usual 
"  tomasha" — ^burning  and  plundering  all  the  public 
and  private  buildings,  and  then  marching  oflF  for 

The  Nusseerabad  troops,  having  revolted,  there  was 
small  probability  that  the  Neemuch  force,  which  had 
long  been  suspected,  would  remain  true  to  their  co- 
lours. On  the  3rd  of  June  they  broke  into  open  mutiny, 
and  revelled  in  the  wonted  plunder  and  devastation, 
but  they  spared  their  European  officers  and  their 
families.  The  only  victims  to  their  fury  were  the  wife 
and  children  of  a  Sergeant  of  Artillery  murdered  in 
their  own  house.  The  insurgents  then  made  a  move- 
ment to  march  on  Delhi,  taking  Agra  by  the  way, 
intelligence  of  which  caused  great  consternation. 
It  was  soon  known  by  the  garrison  of  that  place 
that  the  Neemuch  Brigade  had  determined  to  march 
•  down  upon  them,  and  that  there  was  little  or  nothing 
to  interrupt  their  progress.  The  distance,  however 
to  be  traversed  was  considerable,  and  there  was  an 
element  of  consolation  in  this.  More  than  three 
hundred  miles  of  country  lay  between  the  mutineers 
and  the  capital  of  the  North-West.  Weeks  remained, 
therefore,  to  prepare  for  the  reception  of  the  insur- 
gents.   Moreover,   the  well-known  vacillating  cha. 

LXDORE.  323 

racter  of  the  Sepoys  rendered  it  at  least  possible  that  1S57. 
they  would  abandon  their  design  of  marching  on  ^*"*®- 
Agra  and  strike  off  at  once  to  Delhi.  The  danger, 
though  formidable,  and  one  afterwards  fearfully 
realised,  was  not  one  of  urgent  pressure ;  and  in  the 
meanwhile  other  difficulties  might  present  themselves 
and  other  complications  were  to  be  considered.  Next 
to  the  bearing  of  Scindiah  in  this  emergency,  the 
propinquity  of  whose  dominions  was  an  immediate 
menace,  that  of  Holkar  was  to  be  regarded.  It  follows, 
therefore,  in  due  course  to  speak  of  the  conduct  of 
that  chief 

Indore,  the  capital  of  the  territory  over  which  the  Indore. 
Maharajah  Holkar  had  sway,  lies  to  the  westward  of 
his  dominions,  at  a  distance  of  four  hundred  miles  . 
from  Agra,  and  some  thirty  miles  less  from  Bom- 
bay. It  is  the  chief  seat  of  the  representative  of 
the  British  Government  in  Central  India.  The 
Residency  is  there ;  and  the  Agent  to  the  Governoiv 
Gencral  makes  it  his  home  during  the  greater  part 
of  the  year.  Thirteen  miles  from  the  capital,  within 
Holkar's  country,  is  the  British  Cantonment  of 
Mhow.  There  in  the  hot  weather  of  1857  were 
posted  the  TAventy-third  Regiment  of  Native  In- 
fantry— and  the  right  wing  of  the  First  Native  Ca- 
valry. These  were  our  weaknesses.  Our  strength 
lay  in  a  Horse  Battery  of  European  Artillery  com- 
manded by  Captain  Townsend  Hungerford.  The 
commandant  of  the  station  Avas  Colonel  Piatt  of  the 

The  officiating  agent  at  Indore  was  Colonel  Henry  Colonel  H.M. 
Marion  Durand.     He  had  earned  for  himself  a  high    ^"^^  ' 
reputation,   nearly  twenty  years  before,    when    he 



1857.      and  Norman  Macleod,  two  splendid  young  Engineer 
June.      officers,  blew  open  the  gates  of  Ghuznee.      Having 
returned  to  England,  after  the   first  Afghan  cam- 
paign, he  was,  on  the   nomination  of   Lord    Ellen- 
borough  to  the  Governor-Generalship   of  India^  ap- 
pointed his  Private  Secretary.*  He  went  out  with  the 
new  ruler  in  the   Cambrian^  and  was  at  the  great 
man's  elbow  until  his  recall.     He  was  known  then  to 
be  a  man  brave  in  battle  and  he  was  thought  to  be 
wise  in  council.  Responsible  appointments  in  the  Civil 
and  Political  branches  of  the  service  were  successively 
bestowed   upon    him.     In    1857,    he  was   acting  as 
Governor-Gcncrars   Agent    in   Central    India — one 
of  the  highest  political  offices  under  the  Supreme 
Government.    The  substantive  appointment  was  held 
by  Sir  Robert  Hamilton,  a  Bengal  civilian  of  high 
repute,  whom  ill-health  had  driven  to  England.    The 
two  men  were  extremely  dissimilar.     They  had  dif- 
ferent characters  and  different  opinions.     Sir  Robert 
Hamilton  had  much  tenderness  towards  the   down- 
trodden Native  princes  and  chiefs  of  India.  He  made 
great  allowances  for  the  evil  circumstances  surround- 
ing a  chief,  especially  in  his  younger  days ;  and   he 
conceived  that  it  Avaa  his  duty,  as  the  representative 
of  the  British  Government,  no  less  than  it  was  his 
inclination  as  a  man,  to  be  tolerant,   and  by  tolera- 
tion to  encourage  all  that  was  good  in  a  chief  rather 
than  to  suppress  the  evil  by  harshness.     But  Durand 
was  not  tolerant.     He  Avas  a  high-minded,  conscien- 
tious English  gentleman ;  but   he  looked  at  every. 

♦  It  appears  from  the  recently  to  Lord  Canning,  and  declined.  H 
published  correspondence  of  Lord  would  seem,  from  a  reference  in  Mm 
Ellenborough  that  Durand  was  first    Eilenborough  Correspondence,  %ha^ 

appointed  A.D.C.  to  the  Governor-  Lord  Charles  Wellesley  also  reeetvod 
General.  As  mentioned  in  vol.  i.,  an  invitation.  However,  Dor^^ 
the  Private  Secretaryship  was  offered    eventually  became  Private  ~ 



thing  through  the  pure  ci-ystal  of  Christianity ;  he  1857. 
wanted  imagination;  he  could  not  Orientalise  himself.  ''^"" 
Had  his  lines  been  cast  in  other  places,  he  might 
have  been  a  great  soldier.*  He  was  not  a  good 
political  officer,  because  lacking  sympathy,  he  could 
not  make  allowances,  and  expected  a  Mahratta  chief 
to  be  as  leal  m  a  Percy  or  a  Campbell.  This  caused 
hitn  to  leap  hastily  to  conclusions — as  will  presently 
be  shown. 

At  this  time,  Holkar  was  in  his  twenty-first  year.f  Tho  M»li»- 
He  was  a  quiet,  well-educated,  intelligent  man,  of  no  "J***  Holksr. 
great  energy  of  character,  and  by- no  means  addicted 
to  warlike  pursuits.  He  had  been  very  carefully 
trained  under  the  guidance  of  Sir  Robert  Hamilton, 
who  placed  over  the  young  Maharajah  as  his  imme- 
diate preceptor,  a  clever,  well-instructed  Brahmin, 
named  Omeid  Singh,  who  had  been  confidentially 
employed  by  Sir  George  Clerk  on  the  Punjab  fron- 
tier, and  who  had  afterwards  been  Government  trans- 
lator at  Agra.  He  was  conversant  not  only  with  the 
lan^Tuagcs  of  India,  the  Mahratta  included,  but  also 
with  English,  both  as  spoken  and  ^  written.  Sir 
Robert  Hamilton's  system  was  that,  which  has  since 
been  pursued  in  another  Native  state,  with  good 
promise  of  the  best  results.}  Ho  associated  with  the 
young  Prince  some  of  the  sons  of  the  chief  people 
of  Indore — boys  of  about  his  own  age,  who  became 
his  clasa-fellows  and  friends.    When  first  the  Maha- 

*  He  WH,  perhaps,  with  one  ex-  tctt  Talaable  Qctttttttr,  aajg  that 

ccption,  the  best  wiit«r  of  MUtan  Holkar    attained    bis    majorit;    in 

Hutory  wbom    I  eret  knew.    He  1859.     This  would  hare  made  the 

liad  not  the  Bre  and  eothnriaiiq  xX  Uabarajah  tveDtj-threo  ;cars  of  age 

iiMli!'i"l!",Vili''.r'c'   i'ulij'ot  i''x')ilulilea  ''   t'lii  M--i,i>'^  Colonel  Mai- 

more  clcarW  grrat  militarj   0|icn-  Icoou  is    (uliiiirubly  exercising  his 

tions  tlinn  llenrj  Ihiraud.  powcia,  as  guardian  of  the  futiiTe 

t  Mr.  Edirard  Thrantan,.^)**  -Htf  of  that  fine  coantrj  (1873). 






tics  of  Ha- 
milton and 

rajah  came  under  tuition  he  was  "  an  intelligent, 
bright  l)oy,  with  an  easy,  self-possessed  manTier/*  but 
his  attainments  went  little  beyond  his  capacity  to 
trace  a  few  Mahratta  characters  on  sand,  after  the 
custom  of  village  schools.  But  he  was  exceedingly 
ductile  and  eager  to  learn,  and  he  made  good  pro- 
gress with  his  studies.  Ere  long  he  came  to  read 
and  to  understand  English,  but  he  never  could  write 
it  freely.  Long  after  his  nonage  was  at  an  end — 
indeed  up  to  the  time  of  Omeid  Singh's  death 
— his  correspondence  was  conducted  by  his  old 
preceptor.  But  no  letter  went  forth  in  his  name, 
the  contents  of  which  he  did  not  thoroughly  under- 

It  might  have  been  right  or  it  might  have  been 
wrong — I  think  it  Avas  right — ^but  Sir  Robert  Ha- 
milton encouraged  the  young  Maharajah,   when  he 
came  of  age,  and  the  chief  people  around  him,  freely 
to   deliver   their   sentiments   on   all   subjects,    even 
though  they  might  not  be,  in  every  case,  very  flat- 
tering to  the  British  Government.     It  was  the  habit^ 
therefore,  at  the  Indore  Durbar,  when  Hamilton  re- 
turned to  England,  not  Avithout  some  mental  inquie- 
tude as  to  the  results  of  his  absence,  to  speak  out 
freely — to  ventilate  grievances,  and  to  expound  the 
supposed  means  of  remedying  them.     But  Durand 
could  not  tolerate  this.      A  man  of  an  imperious 
temper,  with  a  profound  belief  in  the  immense  infe- 
riority of  the  Asiatic  races,  he  esteemed  it  to  be  the 
worst  presumption  in  a  Mahratta  prince  or  noble    to 
openly  express  an  opinion  of  his  own  in  the  presence 
of   the   representative  of   the  British   Government. 
And,  for  this,  or  for  some  other  reason,    which    I 
cannot  even  conjecture,  he  seem||(^*'^|p  have  had 
any  feeling  of  personal  kindneasir      »        yH^e  i 

i       \ 



Maharajah.  There  was  an  antipathy  which,  perhaps,  1357. 
was  reciprocated.  But  no  member  of  the  British  May— June 
agency,  during  the  first  two  months  of  trouble,  ever 
spoke  of  the  disloyalty  of  Holkar.  Doubtless,  he  Sentiments  of 
was  sorely  troubled  in  his  mind.  He  knew  that  at  ^^"^'• 
Gwalior  the  Contingent  had  revolted.  He  knew  that 
the  British  troops  at  Nusseerabad  and  Neemuch  had 
declared  for  mutiny,  and,  if  not  drawn  away  towards 
Delhi  and  Agra,  might  disorganise  his  whole  country. 
He  saw,  on  his  right  hand  and  on  his  left,  most  ter- 
rible proofs  of  a  general  rebellion  against  the  domi- 
nation of  the  English.  The  whole  of  the  North- 
western Provinces  were  slipping  away  from  our  grasp. 
At  Delhi  Ave  were  still  besieged  by  an  insolent  enemy. 
At  Indore,  all  except  those  of  his  old  class-mates,  who 
were  still  attached  to  his  Government  or  his  person, 
were  openly  boasting  the  downfall  of  the  British 
Raj,  or  muttering  schemes  of  hostility,  whereby  they 
might  rise  on  the  ruins  of  the  British  Empire.  But 
Holkar  himself,  though  still  young  in  years,  was  old 
enough  in  wisdom  to  have  full  faith  in  the  dura- 
bility of  our  power.  He  knew  what  were  the  re- 
sources of  the  State — ^what  the  energy  of  the  English 
character ;  and  there  was  a  strong  conviction  within 
him  that  we  should  eventually  be  triumphant.  And 
although  he  did  not  love  Durand,  there  were  those 
of  our  nation  whom  he  did  love,  and  he  would  not 
willingly  have  blackened  his  face  before  them. 

So  little  was  Holkar  dreaming  of  war,  that  his  Arms  to 
troops  were  scattered  over  his  country,  and  every- 
where miserably  equipped.  His  arsenal  and  magazine 
were  almost  empty.  Early  in  June  the  Durbar  sought 
the  assistance  of  the  British  Agent,  who  wrote  to 
Lord  Elphinstone  on  the  5th  of  June  for  military 
supplies :    "  If  the  arms  can  be  spared,"    he    said, 



1867.      "  even  to  half  the  amount  named,*  a  thousand  fosilfl^ 
June.       Holkar  would  be  gratified,  for  his  Infantry  are  badly 
equipped,  and  would  be  much  the  better  for  reliable 
arms.    So  badly  off  is  this  Durbar  for  warlike  prepara- 
tions, that  although  they  have  some  good  six-pounders 
I '  and  nine-pounders,  they  have  no  ammunition ;  and 

I  have  taken  upon  myself  to  order  that  they  receive 
forty  rounds  per  gun  for  each  battery,  the  ammuni- 
tion being  drawn  from  the  Mhow  magazine."  No 
thought  had  Durand,  at  that  time,  that  the  Indore 
Governnlent  could  ever  turn  against  him.  He  be- 
lieved Holkar  to  be  true ;  and  he  sought  to  strengthen 
his  poAvers  of  defence  against  the  enemies  of  the 
British  Government. 

Up  to  this  time,   Durand  had  received  assuring 

»  accounts  of  the  state  of  the  brigades  at  Nusseerabad 

and  Ncemuch.  But  it  was  impossible  not  to  recog- 
nise the  magnitude  of  the  crisis.  "  Sir  Robert  Ha- 
milton," lie  wrote  to  Lord  Elphinstone,  "  escapes  a 
critical  period.  Central  India  is  as  yet  all  quiet; 
but  men's  minds  are  excited,  and  anxiously  awaiting 
news  from  Delhi,  which  I  had  hoped  to  receive 
to-day.  Neemuch  and  Nusseerabad  are  reported  all 
quiet,  but  the  officers  are  evidently  anxious,  and  not 
very  confident.  A  well-struck  blow  at  Delhi  will 
prove  an  invaluable  sedative.  The  present  is  even  a 
more  serious  crisis  than  that  which  your  Lordship 
announced  from  the  signal-post  at  Madras,  when  the 
Cambrian  hove  in  sight.     It  was  a  serious  Avelcome.f 

♦  The  request  made  by  Holkar's  was  answered,  that  our  troops  had 

Vakeel  was  for  two  thousand  fusils,  been    driven    out    of   Afghanistan, 

three  hundred  pairs  of  pistols,  and  Lord  Ellcnborough    drew    a    long 

four  lakhs  of  gun-caps.  breath  of  relief,  and  said  to  Daraod 

f  The    scmanhorc    announced,  that    he    had    expected   somefc^jim 

."     The  Cambrian  siff-  worse  —  a    mutiny   of  tb«  ,Ji|tt|k 

"Bad  news."     The  Cambrian  sig-    worse  —  a    mutiny 
nailed,    "What  news?"     When  it    Army. 


STATE  OF  MHOW.  329 

But  Lord  Canning's  present  difficulties  and  respon-  1857. 
sibilities  are  still  graver  than  those  which  beset  all  ^*"^* 
in  high  authority  at  the  time  I  had  the  honour  of 
being  presented  to  you.  It  is  matter  of  congratula- 
tion for  all  watching  the  course  of  events,  that  one 
of  your  Lordship's  experience  in  India  is  at  the 
head  of  the  Bombay  Government,  and  you  may 
command  my  services  in  this  sphere  of  action  in 
any  way  you  may  deem  necessary  to  the  public 

But  even  whilst  he  was  writing  that  all  things  Mhow. 
were  quiet  at  Nusseerabad  and  Neemuch,  the  troops 
there  Avere  in  the  throes  of  active  rebellion.  He 
then  trembled  for  the  safety  of  Mhow.  "  I  wish," 
he  wrote  on  the  13th  of  June,  "  that  I  could  give 
you  a  satisfactory  account  of  the  state  of  the  troops 
at  Mhow.  The  Twenty-third  Native  Infantry  is,  I 
think,  more  disposed  to  remain  quiet  than  the  wing 
of  the  First  Cavalry.  The  troopers  of  the  latter  are 
said  to  be  taunting  and  urging  the  Infantry  to  rise. 
Both,  however,  are  in  fear  of  the  European  battery, 
and  also  of  the  troops  and  guns  here.  They  are  in 
fear,  too,  of  the  column  from  Bombay,  which  they 
suspect  to  have  a  punitive  mission  for  themselves. 
The  officers  are  endeavouring  to  assure  them  that 
they  have  nothing  to  dread,  provided  they  remain 
orderly  and  quiet.  If  the  Mhow  troops  rise,  it  will 
probably  be  as  much  owing  to  the  apprehensions  so 
insidiously  spread  amongst  them,  of  stem  measures 
being  in  store  for  suspected  corps,  as  to  anything 
else.  We  sadly  want  the  capture  of  Delhi  to  act  as 
a  sedative  on  Chiefs  and  People,  and  the  smouldering 
spirit  of  Revolt."  And  so  it  was  from  all  parts  of 
India,  the  same  despairing  cry — Let  the  English 
triumph  at  Delhi,  and  the  head  of  the  great  giant 



1857.       Revolt  will  be  crushed  under  the  heel  of  the  EDgliah- 
Junc.       man. 

And  so  the  month  of  June  wore  to  a  close.  The 
Nusseerabad  and  Neemuch  Brigades  were  going  off 
to  Delhi.  But  the  troops  at  Mhow  had  not  risen,  and 
no  suspicion  of  the  fidelity  of  Holkar  had  been  enter- 
tained. By  Colonel  Piatt,  who  commanded  the  station, 
the  confidence  system  had  been  consistently  main- 
tained ;  not  without  some  protests  from  the  Artillery- 
man Hungerford,  who  urged  upon  the  coinmanding 
officer  wise,  but  not  obtrusive  precautions.  All,  how- 
ever, had  gone  well.  But,  with  the  month  of  June, 
the  prevailing  quietude  expired.  Suddenly,  a  little 
before  noon  on  the  1st  of  July,  Colonel  Piatt  received 
a  note  from  Durand  at  Indore,  saying,  "  Send  the 
European  battery  as  sharp  as  you  can.  We  are 
attacked  by  Holkar." 
July].  The  history  of  this  sudden  rising  at  Indore  will, 

llisingatln-  perhaps,  never  be  revealed  in  all  its  naked  truth.* 
But  we  know  at  least  this  much :  on  the  morninir  of 
the  1st  of  July,  Durand  was  writing  a  telegram  to 
Lord  Elphinstone,  when  the  sound  of  firing  was 
heard. t     It  was  a  startling  surprise  to  him,  for  the 

and  was  of  opinion    Indore  as  soon  as  it  arriTedj  ind. 
of  General  Wood-    being  immediately  followed  by  bad 



*  Colonel  Durand 
that  the  nrrest 

burn's    column,    'which    had    been  news  from  Delhi,  Holkar's  troops 

ordered  to  march  on  Mhow,  brought  and  city  rose,    attacked  t)ie   Resi- 

a£^irs  to  a  crisis ;  and  tiiis  is  ex-  dency,  &c.,  &c," — MS,  Memorandmm 

tremely  probable.     Note  the  follow-  by  Colonel  Durand. 
ing :  "  When  Lord  Elphinstone  noti-        f  Mr.  McMahon  and  Mr.  Butler, 

fled  by  telegram  the  countermand  of  and  some  of  the  East  Indian  writers 

the  advance  of  "Woodburn's  column,  and  Telegraph  people,  were  killed. 

and  asked  mc  the  probable  effect  on  The  following  account  of  the  Indore 

my  charge  —  i.r.,  Central  India — I  mutiny  and   massacre  is    borrowed 

replied  at  once  that  I  could   not  from  the  letter  of  an  eje-witness, 

answer  one  hour  for  Central  India,  published  in  a  contemporary  journal: 

when  it  became  known  that  "\^'ood-  *'  Tlic  slaughter  of  the  inhabitants  of 

bum's  column  was  not  to  advance  the  British  Civil  Station  of  Indore 

to  Mhow.     Unfortunately  the  con-  by  the  mutinous  troopi  qf  Holktf 

tents  of  the  telegram  were  known  in  commenced  at  eight 


guns  which  were  roaring  out  their  menaces,  were  1857. 
some  guns  of  Holkar's  Artillery,  which  had  been  ^^^^ 
brought  down,  at  his  own  request,  for  the  defence  of 
the  Residency  and  the  treasure.  It  was  soon  ascer- 
tained that  they  had  opened  fire  upon  the  pickets  of 
the  Bhopal  Cavalry,  and  on  the  tents  of  the  Bhopal 
Infantry.  Colonel  Travers,  who  commanded  the 
Bhopal  Contingent,  was  soon  in  the  saddle;  but 
with  the  exception  of  half  a  dozen  troopers,  nearly 
all  Sikhs,  his  Cavalry  would  not  follow  him,  when 
he  rode  forward  to  charge  the  guns.  It  is  a  miracle 
that  his  life  was  spared.  His  horse  was  shot;  the 
slings  of  his  sword-belt  were  cut  through,  but  he 
escaped  both  the  grape-shot  and  the  sabres  of  his 
assailants.  The  Infantry  of  the  Bhopal  Contingent 
were  equally  inactive.  They  refused  to  fire  on 
the  enemy — that  is,  upon  those  who  had  fired  upon 
them ;  but  levelled  their  pieces  at  the  European  ser- 
geants, and  seemed  to  be  eager  for  the  blood  of  their 
officers.  Two  guns  of  the  Bhopal  Contingent  were 
loyally  worked;    but    they   made   little   impression 

the  1st  instant.  Three  guns  and  tieman  and  bis  son,  who  provi- 
the  troops  sent  down  by  the  liajali  dentially  escaped  unburt  amidst  vol- 
for  the  profcction  of  the  Ilesidency  leys  of  musKetnr.  The  following 
were  the  first  to  turn  against  us  in  are  the  names  of  all  those  who  are 
the  most  unexpected  and  unprovoked  known  to  have  escaped  in  safetv 
maniKT;  nor  was  tlie  work  of  murder  from  Indore  :  Colonel  and  Mrs. 
aiid  tUst ruction  stayed  until  about  Durand;  Colonel  Travers;  Colonel 
twenty  of  the  Christian  residents  Stockley;  Captain  Ludlow;  Captain 
hafi  ^becii  slaughtered,  and  the  pil-  Cobbe  and  wife;  Captain  Magniac 
la^'e  of  the  Government  treasury,  as  and  wife ;  Captain  Waterman ;  Mrs. 
well  as  the  demolition  of  all  public  Captain  Robertson  and  two  children; 
and  private  buildings  had  been  ac-  Dr. Thompson ;  Mrs.  Dutton ;  Lieut! 
coniplishcd.  The  Post  Office  was  and  Mrs.  Shakespeare  and  child; 
one  of  the  first  buildings  attacked,  -Dr.  and  Mrs.  |Ricc;  Dr.  and  Mrs. 
and  the  wife,  dauglitcr-in-law,  and  Knapp ;  and  Messrs.  Crawley,  Ham- 
child  of  the  Postmaster,  Mr.  Beau-  mono,  Galloway,  O'Brien,  and  Col- 
vai-*,  were  shot  down  in  their  car-  lins,  of  the  Electric  Telegraph  De« 
riace  whilst  attempting  to  escape,  partment." 
be^rc  the  eyes  of  tlie  unhappy  gen- 


1867.       Q22  the  mutineers:    and   everythinjj    seemed    to   be 
against  us.* 
Departure  of     So  Durand  determined  to  gather  up  his  people, 

^mlttibre.  ^^^  *^  %  ^^^™^  Indore.  "  Finding,"  he  wrote,  *'  that 
the  Cavalry,  who  were  loyal,  though  disordered  and 
out  of  control,  would  be  off  on  their  own  score,  I 
very  unwillingly  gave  the  order  to  retire;  and, 
mounting  the  ladies  on  the  gun  waggons,  we  made 
an  orderly  retreat,  bringing  off  every  European  they 
had  not  killed,  during  the  first  surprise,  and  covered 
our  withdrawal  with  the  Bheel  corps  and  the  Cavalry 
of  the  Bhopal  Contingent.  The  ladies  went  off  from 
the  Residency  under  a  fire  of  grape  from  Holkar's 
guns,  followed  by  a  few  farewell  round-shots — but 
no  damage  was  done  to  any  of  the  riders  on  the 
waggons,  though  some  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing 
their  property  burning  before  they  got  clear  of  the 
Residency."!  It  was  the  saddest  hour  of  that  brave 
man's  life.  "  First,"  he  wrote,  some  time  afterwards, 
"  came  the  humiliation  of  being  forced  to  withdraw 
before  an  enemy  that  I  despised,  and  who,  could  I 
have  got  anything  to  fight,  would  have  been  easily 
beaten  back.     As  it  was,  with  only  fourteen  Golun- 

*  The  conduct  of  our  auxiliaries  was  turned,  or  that  of  their  own 

in  this  conjuncture  may  be  narrated  European  officer,  they  used  to  collect 

in   Colonel   Durand's   words  :    "  I  togetner  in  the  centre  rooms."  .  .  . 

never    expected    to    witness    such  "  We  could  have  repulsed  the  attack 

wretched   treachery  and  cowardice  on  the  1st  easily,  if  we  had  had 

as  drove  us  from  Indore.   .  .  .  The  anything  that  could  fight.     But  the 

Bhopal  and  Mehidpore  Contingent  Bhopal  Contingent  and  Mchidpore 

InfiEintry  would  not  fire  a  shot,  or  Contingent  fraternised  with  Holkar's 

obey  an  order,  and  threatened  to  troops.    The  Sikh  Horse  would  nei- 

shoot  their  European  officers.    The  ther  form  nor  fight,   and  the  only 

Bhopal  Contingent  Cavalry    never  thing  they  thought  of  was  keeping 

recovered  the  surprise,  were  panic-  out  of  fire  and  bolting.    It  was  the 

stricken,  and  from  the  first  quite  most   painfully  disgusting  affair  I 

beyond  the  control  of  their  officers,  ever  underwent." — MS.  Correspond- 

As  for  the  Bheels,  as  fast  as  I  put  ence. 

them  behind  pillars,  or  bays  of  win-  j*  Colonel   Durand  to  Lord  El- 

dows,  under  cover  for  defence  of  phinstone — Sehore,   July  4. — MS. 

the  Residency,  the  moment  my  back  Correspondence. 


dauze  who  would  stand  by  their  guns,  we  not  only 
held  our  o\vii  for  about  a  couple  of  hours,  but  beat 
back  their  guns  and  gained  temporary  advantage." 
So  that  "  we  retired  unmolested  in  the  face  of 
superior  masses,  whose  appetite  for  blood  had  been 
whetted  by  the  murder  of  unarmed  men,  women,  and 
children.  Of  all  the  bitter,  bitter  days  of  my  life,  I 
thought  this  the  worst,  for  I  never  had  to  retreat, 
Btill  less  to  order  a  retreat  myself,  and  though  the 
game  was  up,  and  to  have  held  on  was  to  insure  the 
slaughter  of  those  I  had  no  right  to  expose  to  such  a 
fate  without  an  adequate  hope  or  object,  still  my 
pride  as  a  soldier  was  wounded  beyond  all  expression, 
and  1  would  have  been  thankful  had  any  one  shot 

Meanwhile,  in  the  British  Cantonment  of  Mhow, 
the  Native  troops,  whom  Colonel  Piatt  had  so  greatly 
trusted,  were  in  the  first  throes  of  rebellion.  Hunger- 
ford,  in  contemplation  of  the  rising  of  the  Native 
troops,  had  urged  the  Colonel  in  the  month  of  June, 
to  allow  him  to  take  his  battery  on  to  the  open  plain, 
where  they  could  be  immediately  manned  and  pre- 
pared for  action.  This  had  been  granted  ;  but  when 
he  further  proposed  that  an  artillery  gun  should  be 
placed  at  the  Fort  Gate,  and  that  shelter  should  be 
found  behind  its  walls  for  our  women  and  children, 
the  old  confidence  cry  was  repeated.  Self-assured  of 
the  loyalty  of  the  Sepoys,  the  Commandant  had  re- 
fused to  sanction  a  measure  which  might  seem  to 
imply  suspicion  of  the  fidelity  of  his  men.  The  guns 
were  parked  in  front  o£  the  barracks,  but  nothing 

•  Colonel  Danubl  to  Lord  Lorme,  September  3'J,  1857.~MS.  Com- 


1857.      more  had  been  done  for  our  safety,  when  Hungerford 
July  1.     received  orders  on  the  1st  of  July  to  march  down  on 
Indore,  as  Holkar's  regunents  were  in  rebellion.     In 
a  little  while  his  guns  were  clattering  down  to  the 
capital.*      As  no  escort  had  been  ordered,  two  men 
for  each  gun  and  waggon  were  armed  with  muskets 
and  mounted  on  the  limbers.     But  Hungerford  had 
not  proceeded  more  than  half-way  to  Indore,  when 
he  met  a  trooper  of  the  Bhopal  Cavalry  bringing  a 
pencil-note  from  Colonel  Travers,  stating  that  Durand 
and  other  Europeans  had  evacuated  the  Residency, 
and  were    retreating   upon   Sehore.      The   trooper 
added  that  Durand  had  not  gone  to  Mhow,  because 
the  Cantonment  was  in  Holkar's  dominions,  and  an 
attack  on  our  Cantonments  was  meditated  in  the 
course  of  the  night.     So  the  battery  was  counter- 
marched, and  returned  to  the  Cantonment  of  Mhow. 
Then  Hungerford  went  straightway  to  the  Com- 
mandant and  met  him  on  the  road.     Having  com- 
municated the  strange  news,  which  had  reached  him 
on  the  route  to  Indore,  he  besought  Colonel  Piatt 
to  allow  him  to  take  his  battery  into  the  Fort,  as  he 
could  defend  the  place  for  any  time  until  succours 
should  arrive.     But  Piatt  could  not  be  brought  to 
listen  to  the  proposal.      Consent  was  emphatically 
refused.    And  so  the  day  wore  on  ;  and  Hungerford, 
in  spite  of  frequent  refusals,  continued  persistently  to 
Mutiny  at  advocate  this  course.      The  day  was  one  of  doubt 
^^^^'       and  fear.    Even  the  Commandant,  as  the  shades  of 
evening  fell  upon  Mhow,    began  to  think  that  he 
might  have  been  mistaken.  He  then  gave  a  reluctant 
assent  to  the  movement,  which  had  been  so  often 
pressed  upon  him ;  and  Hungerford  took  his  battery 
into  the  Fort     At  this  time  there  were  manifest 

*  See  Colonel  Darand's  aiatement,  pott^  page  344. 


signs  of  an  approaching  crisis.  The  mess-house  of  itt7. 
the  Twenty-third  was  on  fire.  Other  buildings  in-  ^^f 
the  Cantonments  were  blazing  and  breaking  through 
the  darkness  of  the  night.  This  was  ever  the  old 
signal  for  the  commencement  of  action ;  and  soon 
the  ominous  sound  of  firing  came  from  the  direction 
of  the  Lines.  At  nine  Colonel  Piatt  was  writing  to 
Durand,  "  All  right,  both  Cavalry  and  Infantry  very 
khoosh  (happy)  and  willing."  At  ten  o'clock  they 
were  in  the  spasms  of  revolt.  The  delusion  was 
suddenly  dispersed.  Piatt  mounted  his  horse,  rode 
into  the  Fort,  and  ordered  Hungerford  to  turn  out 
his  guns.  He  then,  accompanied  by  Adjutant  Fagan, 
rode  for  the  Lines.  At  the  Quarter-Guard  he  drew 
rein,  and  began  to  address  his  men.  His  appeal  was 
cut  short  by  a  volley  from  the  faithful  Twenty- third; 
and  both  the  Colonel  and  the  Adjutant  fell  from 
their  horses,  riddled  with  balls.  About  the  same  time 
Major  Harris  of  the  First  Cavalry  was  fired  upon  by 
a  party  of  his  troopers,  deliberately  told  off  for  the 
purpose.  The  first  volley  killed  his  horse.  Regain- 
ing his  legs,  he  attempted  to  escape  through  the 
darkness — but  he  was  shot  down,  and  then  gashed  to 
death  by  the  sabres  of  his  own  men.  These  were 
the  only  murders  of  the  night.  Other  officers  had 
marvellous  escapes. 

Meanwhile  Hungerford  had  been  getting  his  guns 
ready  for  action.  The  process  was  slower  than  it 
would  have  been,  if  men  and  horses  had  not  been 
wearied  by  the  march  and  counter-march  of  the 
morning.  Still,  there  was  but  slight  delay  on  the 
part  of  Hungerford's  gunners.  The  Artillery  Captain 
had  always  said  that  it  would  take  but  little  time  and 
trouble  for  him  to  crush  any  insurrection  of  the 
Native  troopa,  that  might  confront  him  at  Mhow; 


1857.  and  now  he  went  forth,  confident  of  the  result  But 
Jujj-  •  the  difficulty  was  to  find  the  enemy.  As  he  made 
for  the  Lines,  half  a  mile  dbtant  from  the  Fort,  he 
was  fired  upon  through  the  darkness,  but  he  could 
not  perceive  his  assailants.  The  bungalows  of  the 
English  officers  were  in  a  blaze ;  but  the  Lines  were 
in  total  obscurity.  He  was  perplexed,  too,  by  seeing 
nothing  of  the  Commandant,  from  whom  he  had  ex- 
pected to  receive  orders.  He  did,  therefore,  the  best 
thing  that  could  be  done.  He  opened  fire  upon  the 
Lines.  The  roar  of  the  guns  frightened  the  Sepoys, 
Cavalry  and  Infantry ;  and  they  streamed  out  on 
the  road  to  Indore,  where  they  fraternised  with  Hol- 
kar's  mutinous  regiments,  clamoured  for  the  blood  of 
our  Christian  people,  and  gutted  the  British  Trea- 
sury. "  Next  day  their  Lines  (atMhow)  were  found 
full  of  their  clothes,  cooking  vessels,  &c.,  and  many 
muskets,  coats,  &c.,  were  found  scattered  for  a  great 
distance  all  over  the  country."*  They  had  fled  from 
our  guns  in  a  state  of  panic  and  bewilderment 
j  Grape  and  canister  were  not  to  their  liking. 

Hungerford  was  now  master  of  the  situation.  He 
was  the  senior  officer  at  Mhow,  and  right  gladly  he 
took  the  command.  The  first  thing  that  he  did, 
after  burying  the  bodies  of  the  murdered  oflScers, 
was  to  proclaim  Martial  Law  "throughout  the 
station."  His  first  impression  was  that  Holkar  might 
be  leagued  with  the  mutineers.  Ominous  reports 
reached  him,  which  he  did  not,  over  hastily,  accept ; 
but  for  a  little  space  they  enfeebled  his  former  strong 
faith  in  the  Maharajah.  So  he  wrote  to  Holkar 
saying,  "  I  understand  from  many  Natives  that  you 
have  given  food  to  the  mutinous  troops.  I  have 
heard  also,  but  I  do  not  know  whether  to   believe, 

*  Captain  Hungerford*s  Report  to  Government,  July  17,  1873. 



holkar's  protestations.  337 

that  you  have  lent  them  guns  and  offered  them  1857. 
Irregular  Cavalry,  as  assistance.  These  reports  are  ^»l^* 
very  probably  much  exaggerated.  I  do  not  believe 
them.  You  owe  so  much  to  the  British,  and  can  be 
so  utterly  ruined  by  showing  enmity  towards  them, 
that  I  do  not  believe  that  you  can  be  so  blind  to 
your  own  interest  as  to  afford  aid  and  show  friend- 
ship to  the  enemies  of  the  British  Government."  To 
this  Holkar  promptly  replied :  "  The  accounts, 
which  you  seem  to  have  received  of  my  assistance  to 
the  enemies  of  the  British  Government  are,  as  you 
suppose,  not  only  exaggerated  but  entirely  false.  No 
one  regrets  more  than  I  do  the  heart-rending  catas- 
trophes, which  befel  at  Indore  and  at  Mhow 

I  have  not,  even  in  a  dream,  ever  deviated  from 
the  path  of  friendship  and  allegiance  to  the  British 
Government.  I  know  their  sense  of  justice  and 
honour  will  make  them  pause  before  they  suspect, 
even  for  a  moment,  a  friendly  chief,  who  is  so  sensible 
of  the  obligations  that  he  owes  to  them,  and  is  ready 
to  do  anything  for  them.  But  there  are  catastrophes 
in  the  world,  which  cannot  be  controlled,  and  the 
one  that  has  happened  is  one  of  them."*  Having 
written,  or  caused  this  to  be  written,  Holkar  sent  two  Wj  13- 
confidential  officers  to  Mhow  to  explain  all  the  cir- 
cumstances of  the  outbreak  of  the  1st  of  July ;  and 
Hungerford  was  satisfied  and  assured. 

But  it  was  hard  to  say  what  might  not  happen.  Conduct  oi 
No  tidings  came  from  Durand.     All  recognised  poli-  ^J^S  ^*" 
tical  authority  had  swept  itself  out  of  the   Indore 
territor3\     The  brave  Artilleryman,  who  had  taken 

•  In  this  letter  Holkar  sars  "  bat  to  offer  tbem  my  own  person, 
that  the  mutineers  demanded  the  Imt  I  woold  not  allow  the  poor  £aro- 
lieads  of  a  few  Europeans,  whom  be  pMOt  to  bejooebed  before  being 
bad  concealed  in  the  Palace.  "I  bad 
no  alternative/' added  the] 

VOL.  m. 


]86t  the  reins  into  his  own  hands,  took  upon  himself  the 
^"^^  diplomatic,  as  well  as  the  military,  control  of  affairs. 
He  garrisoned  and  victualled  the  Fort.  He  blew  up 
the  magazines  in  the  Lines.  He  planted  guns  in 
the  embrasures  of  the  Fort.  He  prepared  himself  to 
stand  a  month's  siege.  And  he  waited  for  orders — 
but  he  waited  in  vain.  No  orders  came.  He  -wrote 
to  Durand  at  Sehore^ — but  he  received  no  answers  to 
his  letters.  So  he  established  himself  as  representa- 
tive of  the  Governor-General  in  Holkar's  dominion, 
and  opened  a  correspondence  with  the  nearest  Go- 
vernment— that  of  Lord  Elphinstone  at  Bombay.  He 
was  one  of  those  men,  who,  little  thought  of  in  quiet 
times,  when  opportunities  were  wanting,  rose  with 
the  occasion  and  went  boldly  to  the  front.  He  did 
what  he  had  "  no  right  to  do,"  and  he  was  afterwards 
severely  rebuked  by  Durand.  But  History,  rising 
above  all  official  formalities,  must  pronounce,  that 
the  men  who  did  what  they  had  "no  right. to  do," 
were  those  who  saved  the  British  Government  in 

Bearing  of  But  what  was  Holkar  doing  all  this  time  ?  The 
Holkar.  j.qj^j.  ^f  ^j^q  g^jg  surprised  him  as  much  as  it  sur- 
prised Durand,  and  perhaps  it  bewildered  him  still 
more.  He  could  not  understand  what  it  portended. 
He  did  not  know  what  to  do.  He  knew  that  some 
of  his  guns  had  opened  fire,  but  for  what  purpose,  and 
in  what  direction,  was  not  clearly  known  to  him.  All 
the  inmates  of  the  Palace  were  in  the  wildest  state  of 
tumult  and  confusion.  First  one  story,  then  another, 
was  brought  to  him.  No  one  could  give  him  any 
clear  insight  into  this  most  unexpected  and  most 
mysterious  ebullition.     It  might  have  been  directed 


against  the  English,  or  it  might  have  been  directed  18B7. 
against  himself.  That  in  the  first  hour  of  the  out-  •''^J'' 
break,  he  was  astounded  and  paralysed  is  certain.  But 
no  one  can  have  followed  me  so  far  in  this  history  of 
the  Sepoy  War  without  discerning  the  patent,  the 
obstreperous  truth  that  English  soldiers  and  states- 
men of  ihe  highest  rank,  were  sometimes  bewildered 
and  paralysed  when  first  the  storm  burst  upon  them. 
If,  in  the  sudden  confusion,  when  there  were  runnings 
to  and  fro  at  the  Palace,  and  the  reports  of  one  man 
set  at  naught  the  reports  of  another,  Holkar  thought 
more  of  himself  and  the  Raj  than  of  Durand  and 
the  British  Agency;*  he  did  only  that  which  in  like 
circumstances,  any  Englishman  would  have  done. 
His  first  duty  was  to  his  Raj,  which  he  believed  to  be 
as  much  imperilled  as  the  lives  of  the  little  cluster 
of  Englishmen  at  his  Court.  But  before  the  Maha- 
rajah had  time  to  recover  himself  from  the  first  con- 
fusion and  stupor  of  this  sudden  outbreak,  Durand 
had  fled  from  Indore — no  one  seemed  to  know 

Still  Holkar  did  not  despair;  he  knew  that  his 
face  was  irretrievably  blackened  in  the  eyes  of  the 
representative  of  the  British  Government  at  his 
capital.  For  Durand  could  justify  his  own  de- 
parture, only  by  proving  the  consummate  treachery 

*  HolWs  ownTordsarc,  "The  The  tint  moment  that  I  received 

tumult  and  confugioD    whitdi    pre-  even  some  confused  intelligence  of 

vailci!    were  such,   and   alarm   and  vhat   was  going  on  I  ordered   mj 

fear  su  great,  that  it  was  impossible  Sawarree  and  was  on  tbo  point  of 

to  procure  an  account  of  nlint  proceed iiij;   to   yoil  at  oiici',   hut  at 

actually  happened.      I  »!•■    uiu.clj  tliul  ninmfut  I  Itanit  tiiut  joii  hml 

ignorant  of  what  had  brou^-hl  iihmit  left  ihe  Kcsidenoj.  7 

the  oulhrcak,  never  enteii^.iiiint.'  ('-  '  '               "" — " 
a  moment  Ihe  most  distant  iih'ultiL 

any  troops,  vrliieh  had  been  posted  llie   sh* 

ot  the  Residency  for  its  protecUou,  mfl,  M~ 

bad  thenuelve*   proved    mutinoua.  btnj| 



1857.  of  Holkar.  Less  than  two  hours  had  intervened 
^"'y-  between  the  first  outburst  of  the  guns  and  the  eva- 
cuation of  the  Residency.  It  must  have  been  a 
crisis  of  extraordinary  magnitude  that  compelled  the 
precipitate  retreat  of  so  brave  and  so  wise  a  man 
with  the  best  blood  of  England  in  his  veins.  All 
this  the  Maharajah  knew  to  be  fatally  against  him ; 
but  he  knew  also,  that  whatsoever  might  have  been 
done,  or  not  done,  during  those  two  delirious  hours, 
there  was  yet  time  for  him  to  prove  his  loyalty  to  the 
British  Government  by  casting  in  his  lot  with  them. 
And  he  did  it.  In  what  manner  will  presently  be 

Scarcely  had  the  representative  of  the  British 
Government  turned  his  back  upon  Indore,  when 
Holkar,  having  recovered  from  the  first  surprise  and 
confusion  attending  that  most  unexpected  outburst, 
began  by  many  outward  acts,  not  to  be  misunder- 
stood or  misinterpreted,  to  demonstrate  his  fidelity 
to  the  paramount  power  of  India.  A  few  Europeans 
were  still  left  alive  in  Indore.  The  Maharajah  con- 
cealed them  in  the  Palace,  and  the  insurgents  sent  to 
him  demanding  their  heads  and  those  also  of  some 
Durbar  officers  supposed  to  be  friendly  to  the 
British.  They  called  on  Holkar  to  come  forth  and 
show  himself,  and  he  rode  out  amongst  them.  They 
clamoured  loudl}^,  but  their  demands  were  resolutely 
rejected.  He  offered  them  his  own  person — but  he 
would  not  suffer  an  Englishman  to  be  hurt.  They 
called  upon  him  to  place  himself  at  their  head,  and 
to  lead  them  against  the  English.  They  reminded 
him  of  the  martial  character  of  his  great  ancestor 
Jeswant  Rao,  and  taunted  him  with  cowardice  ;  but 
even  this  did  not  move  him  to  join  the  ranks  of  our 
enemies.     He  told  the  insurgents  that  it  was  no  part 


of   the   traditions  of  his   family  that  they  should      1857. 
murder  women  and  children.     He  stood  out  boldly      ^"^^ 
against  all  the  entreaties  and  all  the  threats  of  his 
own  soldiery,  and  then  rode  back  to  the  Palace. 

Already  had  the  Maharajah  addressed  letters,  on 
the  day  of  the  outbreak,  to  Colonel  Durand  and  to 
Lord  Elphinstone,  assuring  them  of  his  fidelity,  and 
he  urged  the  immediate  advance  of  the  Bombay 
troops,  under  General  Woodburn,  for  the  suppression 
of  disorder,  and  the  pacification  of  the  country. 
He  gathered  up  the  remains  of  the  English  treasure, 
and  sent  it  under  safe  escort  to  Hungerford  at  Mhow. 
He  sent  thither  also  his  own  money  and  jewels, 
and  Government  securities  and  other  property,  and 
he  despatched  his  most  confidential  servants  to  Hun- 
gerford to  assure  the  British  officers  that  he  was  as 
true  as  steel.  And  of  this,  the  stout-hearted  Artil- 
leryman, who  had  doubted  at  first,  was  now  fully 

With  sore  distress  and  dismay  the  Maharajah  heard 
that  Captain  Hutchinson,  who  held  the  post  of  Bheel 
Agent,  under  the  Indore  Resident,  had  been  taken 
prisoner,  with  his  family,  by  the  Amjheera  Rajah, 
and  was  confined  in  his  fort.  Mrs.  Hutchinson  was 
a  daughter  of  Sir  Robert  Hamilton,  and  it  was  in  no 
strain  of  Oriental  hyperbole  that  the  Maharajah 
declared  that  he  regarded  her  "  as  his  sister,  and  the 
whole  family  as  his  relations,"  for  he  looked  up  to 
Hamilton  with  filial  reverence  and  aflfection.  So  he 
determined  to  send  out  a  detachment  for  their 
rescue.  Amjheera  was  tributary  to  Scindiah  and  to 
Holkar,  therefore,  was  as  foreign  country.  So  he 
sought  instructions  from  Hungerford,  who  promptly 
took  upon  himself  the  political  responsibilil 
Hutchinson  and  his  party  were  not  i 


iflii?-  They  were  at  Bhopawur,  with  other  Europeans  con- 
^"'y-  nected  with  the  Bheel  Corps,  at  the  time  of  the 
Indore  revolt,  tidings  of  which  reached  them  on  the 
2nd  of  July,  with  the  addition  that  Holkar  had 
placed  himself  at  the  head  of  the  insurgents.  AH 
the  smaller  chiefs  in  the  neighbourhood  were  ripe 
for  revolt,  and  this  startling  intelligence  from  ludore 
made  them  eager  for  the  affray.  At  first  Hutchinson 
thought  that  he  could  defend  himself  and  his  people 
with  the  help  of  a  party  of  loyal  Bheels,  but  this 
hope  soon  passed  away  from  him,  and  he  saw  no 
chance  of  safety  but  in  flight.  And  even  that  was 
doubtful  and  precarious.  They  went  forth  disguised 
as  a  party  of  Parsee  merchants,  with  their  fomilies, 
on  tho  way  to  Baroda,  and  made  a  perilous  journey 
to  Jubooah,  where  they  were  hospitably  entertained 
by  the  yoiuig  chii'f  niul  his  family,  who  were  of  good 
old  Hnjpoot  ftock,  niul  would  never  betray  those  who 
hud  Bonght  wmctnary  with  them.  When  this  was 
known,  the  detachment,  which  Holkar  had  sent  out, 
WAS  rocflUcd,  and  an  escort  sent  forward  to  bring 
ourj-ioople  to  Indore.  "I  had  such  implicit  &ith  in 
Holkar's  fr!endslii|-»,''  wTotc  Hutchinson,  "that  I  did 
not  hesitate  to  place  myself  and  family  under  the 
protection  of  his  trooj'is.  for  the  purpose  of  proceed- 
ing to  Indore  to  assume  charge  of  the  He^deDcy, 
during  the  absence  of  Colonel  r>ijrancL  und  bv  my 
presence  and  advice  to  assure  i<iid  ^uide  Hiiftac  j 
through  the  crisis."  Thus  was  Hiiii!r(.Tf"or(]  ■ 
from  the  political  rcsponsibilitr.  iviiich  he  hnd  i 
dortaken  with  so  much  promptinidi'  und  qcqh 
himself  of  with  so  much  address.. 

:evicwing,   after  a  lapse  of 


judice  or  aiFection,  this  question  of  the  retreat  fi'ora  WW, 
Indore,  it  appears  to  me  that  the  grounds  upon  '^l/- 
which  the  abandonment  of  the  Residency  is  to  be 
justified  are  these,  as  set  forth  by  Durand's  friends : 
"  That  Holkar  s  force,  which  had  opened  fire  on  the 
Residency  and  attacked  our  people,  and  which  Hol- 
kar was  either  unable  or  unwilling  to  control,  were 
numerous  and  well-equipped — that  the  Residency 
was  a  building  not  calculated  for  purposes  of  de- 
fence— that  some  of  the  Contingent  troops  would  not 
act  against  the  enemy,  and  that  the  remainder  were 
too  few  to  resist  them — that,  by  withdrawing  at  once, 
and  falling  back  upon  such  support  as  he  could  find 
elsewhere,  he  would  maintain  the  independence  of 
the  authority  which  he  represented,  and  would  be 

able  to  make  his  influence  better  felt  by  the  several 
chieftains  under  his  agency,  and  even  by  Holkar 
himself.'*  The  force  of  these  considerations  may  be 
readily  admitted.  But  it  is  added — **  that  no  suc- 
cour could  be  obtained  from  Mhow,  where  mutiny 
was  known  to  be  imminent,  and,  in  fact,  took  place 
on  the  same  day ;  the  mutinous  troops  marching  to 
Indore  and  plundering  the  Government  Treasury ;" 
and  that  "had  Colonel  Durand  decided  to  remain, 
he  could  not  possibly  have  withstood  the  combined 
attack  of  Holkar's  troops  and  the  Mhow  mutineers. 
It  could  only  have  been  by  Holkar  s  being  able  and 
willing  to  control  his  own  troops,  and  to  use  them 
against  ,the  Mhow  mutineers,  that  the  Residency 
could  have  been  held."  It  is  evident,  however,  from 
wliat  has  been  already  related,  that  succours  fronr 
Mhow  of  the  most  serviceable  kind  were  available ; 
for  llungerford's  European  battery  was  rattling 
towards  Indore,  when  news  met  it  that  Colonel 
Durand  and  all  his  people   had  departed.     Had  it 


18B7»  arrived  whilst  the  Residency  was  still  occupied,  the 
July.  rising  at  Indore  would  most  probably  have  been  sup- 
pressed, and  there  would  have  been  no  combination 
of  Holkar's  troops  with  the  Mhow  mutineers.  The 
Sepoys  at  Mhow  were  encouraged  to  revolt  by  the 
knowledge  that  nothing  had  been  done  to  put  down 
the  insurrection  at  Indore.  The  evacuation  of  the 
Residency  naturally  caused  it  to  be  believed  that 
Holkar  was  on  the  side  of  the  insurgents.  To  have 
held  on  for  a  few  hours  would  have  given  time  for 
the  Maharajah  to  recover  from  his  first  bewilder- 
ment, and  to  declare  himself  on  our  side,  and  it 
would  have  brought  Hungerford  and  his  battery  to 

To  this  Colonel  Durand's  answer  was — ^in  a  letter 
written  to  Mr.  Talbot,  Lord  Canning's  Private  Secre- 
tary, on  the  16th  of  August — "I  see,  by  the  Friend 
of  India  of  the  30th  of  July,  that  that  paper,  taking 
up  the  tone  of  a  letter  written  from  Mhow,  talks  of 
my  inopportune  flight,  and  repeats  the  nonsense  and 
mis-statements  about  Hungerford's  proceedings  when 
shut  up  with  the  writer  of  the  letter — a  Captain  Trower, 
of  the  Twenty-third  Native  Infantry — in  the  Mhow 
Fort.     I  should  wish  the  Governor-General  to  know 
that  Hungerford's    battery  —  though   my   note   to 
Colonel  Piatt,  despatched  from  Indore  at  a  quarter 
to  nine,  reached  Colonel  Piatt  by  a  quarter  to  ten — 
was  not  ready  to  move  until  noon,  by  the  statement 
of  its  own  officers.     It  then  advanced  to  Indore  at  a 
trot,  and  had  gone  to  the  half-way  village  of  Rao, 
where  obtaining  information  that  we  had  left  Indore 
Hungerford  returned  at  a  gallop  or  canter  the  whole 
way,  and  dashed  with  his  battery  straight  into  the 
Fort  at  three  p.m. — the  moment  he  arrived.     Had  he 
continued  his  course  to  Indore  at  the  rate  he  moved 


away  from  Mhow,  it  woiild  have  been  four  p.m.  at  1857. 
least  before  he  reached  the  Residency,  for  they  did  ^"^* 
not  canter  out.  I  retired  from  the  Residency,  after 
a  two  hours'  cannonade,  about  half  past  ten."*  That 
is  three-quarters  of  an  hour  after  the  call  for  the 
battery  reached  Mhow.  Now  the  battery  could  not 
have  been  equipped,  mounted,  and  brought  down  to 
Indore,  at  full  gallop,  in  three-quarters  of  an  hour. 
So  it  is  clear  that  Colonel  Durand  did  not  await 
even  the  possibility  of  the  arrival,  under  the  most 
favourable  circumstances,  of  Hungerford  and  his 
guns.  Indeed,  Captain  Hungerford's  statement  is 
that  at  eleven  a.m.  Colonel  Piatt  called  on  him  with 
a  letter  from  Colonel  Durand,  begging  that  the 
battery  under  his  command  might  be  sent  to  Indore 
instantly.  "I  marched,"  added  Hungerford,  "my 
battery  at  once  on  Indore."t  So  it  appears  that 
Hungerford  did  not  get  his  orders  till  after  Durand 
had  quitted  the  capital. 

It  is  to  the  honour  of  Lord  Elphinstone,  whose  Lord  Blphin* 
whole  conduct,  as  Governor  of  Bombay,  during  this*  °j 
momentous  period,  was  distinguished  by  as  much 
energy  as  sagacity,  that  he  supported  Hungerford 
throughout  all  his  irregularities.  There  is  a  natural 
disposition  on  the  part  of  Governors,  where  there  is 
an  official  conflict,  to  side  with  the  higher  authority. 
Durand,  at  this  time,  had  a  great  reputation 
throughout  India.  Hungerford  was  an  unknown 
man — merely  a  Captain  of  Artillery — who,  in  the 
ordinary  routine  of  regimental  duty,  had  been  sent 
to  command  a  battery  at  Mhow.  But  Elphinstone 
could  not  resist  the  conviction  that  Durand  had 
hastily  condemned  Holkar,  and  by  his  flight  from 

*  MS.  Correspondence.  jutant-Genera],  Bombaj,   July 

t  Captain  Hungerford    to    Ad-    1857. 


18S7,      Indore,  had  brought   matters  to   this  issue  —  that 
^^-       either  the  Maharajah  was  a  traitor,  or  that  the  Bri- 
tish Agent  had  fled,  without  good  cause,  from  Indore. 
That  the  Governor  of   Bombay,  with  all  the  facts 
before  him,  came  to  the  latter  conclusion,  is  certain. 
At  Calcutta,  where  only  the  main  outline  of  events 
was  known,  the  honoured  Patriarch  of  the  Political 
Service,  then  a  member  of  the  Supreme  Government, 
wrote  that  if  the  story  of  the  abandonment  of  Indore 
were  true,  Durand  ought  to  be  removed  from  poli- 
tical employment.     This  was  merely  a  first  impres- 
sion.    What  I  have  written  will  show  Durand's  rea- 
sons for  the  movements — which  Lord  Elphinstone 
could  not  endorse.     But  admitting  that  the  sudden 
retreat  was  justifiable — or  even  commendable — I  can 
see  nothing  to  justify  the  after-treatment  of  Holkar 
by  the  Acting-Resident  at  Indore.     There  can  be  no 
question  that  Holkar  was  sacrificed  to  the  justifica- 
tion of  Durand. 
Durand  and       It  is  certain  that  in  the  brief  interval  between  the 
Holkar.         gj^^.  thunder  of  the  guns,  and  the  flight  from  the 
Residency,  there  was  no  time  to  ascertain,  and  no 
attempts  made  to  inquire  into  the  position  of  aff^airs, 
and  to  investigate  the  cause  of  the  unexpected  explo- 
sion.    Durand  had  been  warned  by  Holkar  that  the 
Durbar  could  not  rely  on  the  fidelity  of  their  troops. 
This  was  not  a  proof  of  treachery.     But  on  the  4th 
of  July  he  wrote  to  Lord  Elphinstone,  saying,  "  The 
storm  burst  upon  us  earlier  than  I  suspected,  and 
from  a  quarter  where    gratitude  and   every  other 
consideration  rendered  it  most  improbable.  ...  No 
surprise  could  have  been  more  complete,  as  Holkar's 
guns  were  there  to  aid  in  the  defence  of  the  Resi- 
dency and  the  Treasury.     The  Cavalry  never  reco- 
vered from  the  surprise  caused  by  Holkar's  treachery. 


Scindiah  and  Holkar  appear  to  be  allies.  Scindiah's  I8S7. 
treachery,  if  there  was  any,  never  was  palpable —  '"''• 
but  Holkar's  has  been  of  the  true  Mahratta  stamp." 
It  was  Durand's  argument,  persistently  repeated,  that 
a  Native  Prince  is  responsible  for  the  conduct  of  his 
troops.  Whether  this  opinion  be  sound  or  unsound, 
as  applied  to  ordinary  times  and  circumstances,  Jus- 
tice and  Policy  should  have  dictated,  at  such  a  period 
of  our  history,  entire  reticence  on  this  question  of 
responsibility.  For  the  great  military  revolt  of  1857 
was  conceived,  born,  and  developed  in  our  own  pro- 
vinces. Our  own  disciplined  troops  led  the  way  to 
the  terrible  revolts  which  convulsed  and  agonised  the 
country.  In  the  Native  States  the  contagion  of 
rebellion  was  caught  from  the  Company's  Army. 
It  is  scarcely  to  be  doubted  that  the  Sepoys  of  our 
own  regiments  at  Mhow  contaminated  Hfilkar's 
troops  at  Indore.  But  blinded  by  that  intense  na- 
tional self-love,  of  which  I  have  so  often  spoken, 
Durand,  like  many  other  good  men,  could  not  dis- 
cern the  fact,  that  the  great  burden  of  responsibility 
for  all  these  troubles  was  upon  our  own  shoulders. 
He  saw  through  a  glass  darkly  our  own  errors  and 
short- comings,  but  those  of  the  Native  States,  face 
to  face,  or  through  a  magnifying  glass  of  enormous 
power.  He  knew  that  by  some  negligence  or  mis- 
management of  our  own,  we  had  set  our  house  on 
fire  and  allowed  the  fiames  to  spread ;  but  when  the 
fire,  which  we  ought  to  have  extinguished,  extended 
to  our  neighbours,  he  held  them  rcsponeible  for  the 

With  what  tenacity  he  dung  to  this  d(M 
exemplified  by  the  manner  in  which, 
wards,  he  treated  the  petty  sta 
mercenary  troops,  in  tlie  first  \ 



1857.  of  the  young  Rajah,  went  into  rebellion.  He  recom- 
^^^J'  mended  the  sequestration  or  the  annexation  of  that 
ancient  principality  on  the  ground  of  the  responsi- 
bility of  the  Durbar.  And  this  most  unjust  and 
impolitic  sentence  would  have  been  executed,  but  for 
the  interposition  of  the  Court  of  Directors  of  the 
East  India  Company,  who  wrote  to  the  Government 
of  India,  saying,  *'  We  cannot  consistently  punish  this 
or  any  other  weak  state  for  its  inability  to  control 
its  troops,  when  it  is  patent  to  the  whole  world  that 
the  more  powerful  states  of  Gwalior  and  Indore,  and 
even  the  British  Government  itself,  were  unable  to 
control  theirs."* 

After  long  and  most  deliberate  consideration  of  all 
the  circumstances  of  Holkar's  conduct  in  that  first 
week  of  July,  I  cannot  resist  the  conviction,  that  he 
was  thoroughly  true  to  the  British  Government.  The 
charge  against  him  is  that  within  two  hours  from  the 
time  when  he  was  first  startled  by  the  roar  of  the  guns, 
he  had  not  assured  the  British  Agent  that  he  was  in 
nowise  concerned  in  the  hostile  movement.  Durand 
was  new  to  his  work.  If  he  had  any  knowledge  of 
the  Mahratta  character  it  was  only  a  half-knowledge. 
He  had  an  obscure  notion  that  all  Mahrattas  were  by 
nature  treacherous.  But  he  did  not  fathom  their 
treachery.  He  did  not  seem  to  know  that  from 
the  days  of  Sivajee  down  to  the  time  of  Doondoo 
Punt,  Nana  Sahib,  a  Mahratta  has  always  been  most 
dangerous  when  simulating  friendship.  If  Holkar  had 

*  I  do  not  know  why  Mr.  Dicken- 
son should  so  frequently,  notwith- 
standing numerous  proofs  to  the 
contrary,  have  called  the  despatch, 
from   which  the   above    passage   is 

? noted,  **Lord  Stanley's  despatch." 
do  not  question  that  Lord  Stanley, 
always  just  and  logical,  entertained 

the  opinions  thus  expressed — but 
tlic  passage  was  written  and  sent  to 
India  before  Lord  Stanley  was  ap« 
pointed  Secretary  of  State.  I  ought 
to  be  accepted  ns  an  autboriij  upon 
this  point  of  History — as  1  drafted 
the  despatch  myself,  for  the  Coort 
of  Directors. 


premeditated  the  attack  on  the  Residency,  he  would  1857. 
have  had  a  messenger  ready  to  be  despatched  to  ^"'■^■ 
Durand  to  assure  the  representative  of  the  British 
Government  of  his  loyalty.  That  this  was  not  done, 
within  the  two  first  hours  of  the  all-prevailiug  con- 
fusion, Beems  to  indicate  that  Holkar  was  as  much 
surprised  as  Durand.  So  strongly  impressed  was 
Lord  Elphinstone  with  the  conviction  that  the  Maha- 
rajah was  true  to  us,  that  he  wrote  to  Lord  Canning 
on  the  13th  of  July,  saying,  "  It  seems  clearly  proved  ^"''  ^^• 
that  Holkar  was  not  implicated  in  the  outbreak.  He 
was  unable  to  control  his  own  troops,  who  were  pro- 
bably set  on  by  the  Bengal  Sepoys  at  Mhow,  and 
who  attacked  and  plundered  the  Residency.  Colonel 
Durand  appears  to  be  under  the  impression  that 
Holkar  had  turned  against  us,  and  that  he  -^vas  attacked 
by  his  orders.  This,  however,  is  certainly  not  the 
case.  On  the  same  evening  Holkar  wrote  to  Colonel 
Durand  and  to  me,  protesting  his  innocence  and 
entreating  that  the  march  of  General  Woodburn's 
force  should  be  hastened  as  much  as  possible."* 
And  some  daj's  afterwards  he  wrote  to  Colonel 
Durand,  saying,  "  I  am  led  to  believe  that  you 
still  entertain  doubts  of  Holkar.  All  that  has 
happened  during  your  absence  from  Indorc  tends 
to  acquit  him  of  having  been  a  party  to  the  attack 
on  the  Residency.  Indeed,  if  he  had  been  ill-disposed 
towards  us,  the  whole  country  would  have  risen.  All 
the  smaller  chiefs  seem  to  take  their  cue  from  him  ; 
and  even  to  the  boi'Jers   of  Gujerat,  tin;  cftl'cta  of 

his  conduct  ^voiild    liave    be|^^augrciit 

This  comes  to  me  fronLjA^HPHHhuato  admit 
a  doubt  .....  j^^^F^         ^Wkhj^^j^ 

•US.  ComspondaneeJ^^^BW  Ti^^^^^^ 

Elpbinitotie.    Ba  wnM  4^^P  ^^^ 




.  « 

.  < 


to  harbour  any  prejudices  against  Holkar,  to  whom 
I  cannot  but  think  that  we  are  very  much  indebted 
for  the  preservation  of  the  peace  in  Malwa,  and  also 
in  Gujerat."* 

But  the  prejudice  never  was  overcome  in  the  high 
places  of  the  Supreme  Government.  Years  passed 
and  he  was  still  more  or  less  a  suspect.  The  Star  of 
India  was  conferred  on  him  ;  but  that  which  is  most 
coveted  by  all  as  the  highest  honour — a  grant  of  ter- 
ritory— was  -withheld  from  him  though  granted  to 
Scindiah.  He  seems  never  to  have  recovered  from 
this  slight.  Meanwhile  he  saw  Durand  elevated  to 
the  highest  offices  under  the  State — Foreign  Secre- 
tary to  Government — Member  of  Council — ^Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of  the  Punjab.  One  of  the  ablest 
men  and  best  public  servants  that  India  has  ever 
seen,  and  held  deservedly  in  the  highest  honour  even 
by  those  who  differed  from  him  in  opinion.  But  we 
have  still  to  mourn  the  fact  that  when  the  crown  of 
his  ambition  was  gained,  Sir  Henry  Marion  Durand 
died  disastrously,  in  the  prime  of  his  life  and  the 
fulness  of  his  reputation. 

Another  pregnant  source  of  anxiety  to  the  Liieu- 
tenant-Governor  was  the  condition  of  that  vast  tract 
of  country  inhabited  by  the  Rajwarrah  races,  and 
ruled  by  a  great  cluster  of  Rajpoot  chiefs — Sjnnpa- 
thising  little  with  each  other,  and  many  of  them 
living  in  continual  strife  with  the  chief  people  of  the 
principality — the  "  Thakoors" — whom  they  were  sup- 
posed to  govern.  There  was  small  chance  of  these 
Rajpoot  chieftains  sympathising  with  a  movement) 

11  ^ 

MS.  Correspondence  of  Lord  Elphinstone. 



which  if  not  in  its  origin  a  Mahoraedan  movement,  1857. 
had  culminated  in  the  recognition  of  the  King  of  ^"^^' 
Delhi  as  the  sovereign  ruler  of  India.  They  had,  on 
the  whole,  been  well  treated  by  the  British  Govern- 
ment, and  were  grateful  in  their  own  way.*  But  in  all 
parts  of  the  country  were  turbulent  elements  of  one 
kind  or  another,  and  inconsistencies  and  discordances 
were  as  nothing  when  there  was  a  common  belief  to 
be  encouraged — a  common  object  to  be  gained.  In 
Rajpootana,  as  elsewhere,  there  was  a  prevailing  faith 
that  it  was  the  intention  of  the  British  Government  to 
destroy  the  religion  of  the  country  ;  and  some  openly 
talked  of  the  restoration  of  the  Badshah.^  All  this  was 
mere  ignorance,  and  nothing  was  ever  likely  to  come 
of  it.  But  there  was  real  cause  of  alarm  in  the  fact  that 
the  legions  of  the  great  Rajpoot  chiefs  were  composed 
very  much  of  the  same  materials  as  our  own  Sepoy 
regiments.  They  were  commanded  by  officers  of  our 
own  army — but  that  had  already  been  shown  to  be 
no  safeguard.  The  probability  of  their  breaking  into 
rebellion,  when  time  and  opportunity  should  serve, 
was  too  patent  to  be  disregarded  by  the  statesmen  of 
Agra,  and  they  watched  the  event  with  the  deepest 

The  Governor-General's  Agent  in  Rajpootana  was 
Colonel  George  Fitzpatrick  Lawrence,  brother  of  Sir 
Henry  La^vrence,  whom  he  had  succeeded  in  that 
important  charge.  He  had  seen  more  hazardous  ser- 
vice and  taken  part  in  more  exciting  adventures 
than  any  officer  in  the  country.     Hair-breadth  es- 

*  A  short  time  before  the  out-  as  it  was  a  very  mbchievous  lie.     I 

break  of  the  mutinies,  a  report  was  obtained  the  permission  of  the  Court 

circulated  and  published  in  the  In-  of  Directors  to  contradict  it  on  au- 

dian  papers  to  the  effect  that  the  thority. 

Rajpoot  States  were  to  be  annexed.  f  Sec  Prichard's    **  Mutinies  in 

I  believe  it  to  have  been  a  malicioos,  Rajpootana^"  p.  182. 








capes  from  death  and  long  captivities  seemed  to  be 
his  portion.  But  he  bore  himself  gallantly  with  a 
stout  heart,  a  strong  frame,  and  a  noble  spirit  in 
every  way  worthy  of  the  name  he  bore.  He  was 
doing  his  duty  well  in  Rajpootana,  when  news 
reached  him,  on  the  19th  of  May,  of  the  commence- 
ment of  our  troubles.  He  wrote  at  once  to  all  the 
principal  officers  under  his  control,  urging  upon 
them  precautionary  measures  to  be  promptly  exe- 
cuted. He  called  for  a  light  field-force  from  Deesa ; 
and  he  pressed  the  Governor  of  Bombay  to  send  up 
to  Agra,  by  way  of  Gujerat  and  Rajpootana,  "all 
available  European  troops  returning  from  Persia." 
But  a  stronger  hand  had  already  been  laid  upon 
those  troops.  They  were  needed  for  other  more 
pressing  service  than  the  defence  of  the  North- 
western capital.  Lawrence  then  issued  a  proclama- 
tion to  all  the  chiefs  of  Rajpootana  calling  upon  them 
*'  to  preserve  peace  within  their  borders,  to  intercept 
rebel  fugitives,  and  to  collect  their  followers  on  the 
frontiers."  "  This,"  says  Lawrence,  "  was  promptly 
replied  to,  and  in  one  instance  (Jouhdpore)  antici- 
pated by  the  most  friendly  assurances  and  promises 
of  aid.''* 

It  is  a  striking  instance  of  the  fact  commented 
upon  in  an  earlier  portion  of  this  narrative — ^the 
fact  that  well-nigh  every  man  in  authority  thouc^ht 
only  of  the  safety  of  his  own  immediate  charge  and 
of  what  could  be  done  to  insure  it,  regardless  of  the 
interests  of  others,  or  of  the  general  welfare  of  the 
State — that  the  Lieutenant-Governor,  who  had  autho- 
rity over  the  Governor-Generars  Agent  in  Raj- 
pootana, called  upon  Lawrence  early  in  June  "to 
march  with   all  the  European  troops,  officers,   and 

*  Report  of  Brigadier-General  Lawrence,  July  27, 1858. 


treasure  he  could  collect,  upon  Agra,  for  the  defence  1857. 
of  that  place."*  It  is  impossible  to  conceive  a  M«y— J««f- 
wilder  project  than  this,  or  one  which  would  have 
been  more  fatal  to  British  interests,  if  forced  into 
execution.  Lawrence  was  startled  by  the  demand. 
But  he  was  never  for  a  moment  doubtful  of  the 
direction  in  which  lay  his  duty  to  the  State.  He 
would  not  abandon  his  charge.  Like  his  brothers, 
Henry  and  John,  he  did  not  shrink  from  taking 
any  responsibility  upon  himself.  He  saw  clearly 
what  would  ensue  in  Rajpootana,  if  the  whole  country  • 
were  evacuated  by  the  British  officers,  whose  influ- 
ence in  such  an  emergency  was  all  to  which  we  could 
trust  for  keeping  the  chiefs  true  to  their  allegiance, 
and  holding  the  contingents  in  check.  Such  a  move- 
ment, he  said,  would  entail  upon  us  the  loss  of  Aj- 
mere,  with  its  important  arsenal  and  stores,  and 
lead  to  a  general  rise  in  Rajpootana.  Representa- 
tions to  this  effect,  the  force  of  which  it  was  impos- 
sible not  to  recognise,  had  the  expected  result. 
Colvin  saw  that  he  had  been  wrong,  and  he  did  not 
enforce  his  request.  Indeed,  he  soon  perceived  that 
it  was  his  duty  to  strengthen  Lawrence's  hands,  so  he 
gave  him  entire  command  of  the  troops  by  appoint- 
ing him  a  Brigadier-General. 

And  under  George  Lawrence  worked  a  noble  staff 
of  officers.  There  was  Major  William  Eden,  Poli- 
tical Agent  at  Jyepore,  a  man  of  commanding  pre- 
sence ;  active  and  energetic  in  troubled  times — firm, 
prudent,  and  sagacious  in  hours  of  peace.  It  may 
truly  be  said  of  him  that  he  was  the  very  backbone 
of  Lawrence's  Staff.  Then  there  was  Captain  Charles 
Showers,  our  agent  at  Oodeypore,  a  man  in  whom 

*"  Reminiscences  of  Forty-three    Sir   George    Lawrence,    K.C.S.I., 
Years  in  India,"  by  Lient.-Cieneral    C.B. 

VOL.  in.  2  A 










1857.  some  fine  qualities  were  united,  but  who,  lacking 
May— June,  others  essential  to  a  political  officer,  marred  what  he 
might  have  made  a  brilliant  career.  He  had  high 
courage,  unquestionable  ability,  and  a  rare  gift  of 
speech.  But  he  wanted  judgment  and  discretion — 
especially  that  kind  of  discretion  which  recognises 
subordination  as  the  main  principle  of  all  service  and 
never  gives  way  to  the  practical  egotism,  which  men 
of  strong  convictions  are,  in  defiance  of  authority,  so 
prone  to  indulge.  Then  there  was  Captain  Monck- 
•  Mason,  Political  Agent  at  Joudhpore — a  man  shrewd 
and  sagacious,  of  a  firm,  well-balanced  mind,  but  not 
incapable  of  rising  to  any  height  of  daring,  if  stre- 
nuous action  should  be  demanded  from  him.  These 
were  our  British  representatives  at  the  principal 
ancient  courts  of  Rajpootana.  Beneath  them  were  a 
cluster  of  younger  political  officers — many  of  great 
promise,  who  did  their  duty  well  and  bravely  in  the 
emergency  that  had  then  risen. 

But  the  most  distinguished  officer,  connected  with 
Rajpootana,  was  Colonel  Dixon,  of  the  Bengal  Artil- 
lery, who  now  lay  dying  at  Beawur.  He  had  re- 
claimed Mhairwarrah  from  the  state  of  lawlessness 
and  barbarism  in  which  he  had  found  it  many  years 
before.  The  Mhairs  were  then  little  better  than 
savages ;  he  had  reformed  and  civilised  them.  By 
gentle,  kindly  measures — by  advice  and  persuasion — 
by  conferring  benefits  on  the  people,  teaching  them 
what  were  their  true  interests,  and  showing  them  the 
blessedness  of  peace,  he  had  gradually  weaned  them 
from  their  savage  habits  and  converted  what  had 
before  been  a  great  congeries  of  robber-clans  into  a 
prosperous,  thriving  community.  It  was  with  mingled 
astonishment  and  admiration  that  the  Mhairs  had 
witnessed  the  vast  improvement  of  their  country— 


and,  as  years  passed,  they  also  continued  to  improve  1857. 
and  never  again  fell  back  into  their  evil  ways.  And  May— June, 
now  this  wise  and  good  man,  stricken  in  years,  lay 
sick  unto  death,  with  all  this  great  turmoil  about 
him.  But  he  felt  in  his  inmost  heart  that  his  Mhairs 
would  be  true  to  the  Government  which  had  so  be- 
friended them.  A  Mhairwarrah  Battalion  of  trusty 
fighting  men  had  been  formed  long  ago  ;  and  of  all 
the  troops  in  Rajpootana  they  were  those  on  whom 
we  could  most  confidently  rely.  "  Do  you  think," 
they  answered,  when  an  attempt  was  made  to  tamper 
with  them,  "  that  we  will  war  against  the  Govern- 
ment which  raised  us  from  the  dust  and  made  us 
what  we  now  are  ?"  Dixon  died ;  and,  amidst  the 
clang  of  arms,  little  notice  was  taken  of  the  peaceful 
end  of  a  man  of  peace ;  but  he  left  behind  him  an 
abiding  monument  of  his  good  deeds,  such  as  few 
have  ever  reared  in  India.  He  did  not  live  to  see 
the  staunch  loyalty  with  which  the  Mhairs  followed 
us  everywhere  to  the  battle — but  he  never  doubted 
it  and  he  died  content. 

The  great  Meywar  chief—  the  Maharana  of  Oodey-  Oodcjpore, 
pore — was  the  acknowledged  head  of  the  Rajpoot 
Confederacy.  The  traditional  veneration  in  which 
he  was  held,  caused  the  other  chiefs,  in  this  crisis, 
to  turn  their  thoughts  towards  Oodeypore,  in  ex- 
pectancy of  some  sign  or  portent  aiding  them  the 
better  to  shape  their  own  measures.  It  was  not  a 
propitious  circumstance  that  George  Lawrence,  who 
had  preceded  Showers  as  Political  Agent,  had  been 
involved  in  a  sharp  conflict  with  the  Meywar  Durbar, 
and  had  recommended  military  coercion,  the  depo- 
sition of  the  Maharana  and  the  banishment  of  some 
of  the  principal  chiefs  under  him.  The  policy  then 
recommended  might  have  been  right  or  might  have 

2  a2 


1857.  been  wrong.  But,  right  or  wrong,  its  tendency  might 
May— June,  have  been  to  alienate  the  confidence,  if  not  to  excite 
the  animosity  of  the  Meywar  Durbar  in  this  con- 
juncture. So  it  happened,  that  either  for  this  reason, 
or  from  a  foregone  conclusion,  that  no  good  thing 
could  come  out  of  Oodeypore,  George  Lawrence  could 
not  believe  in  the  fidelity  of  the  Maharana  and  the 
chiefs.  But  Showers,  the  Political  Agent,  though 
recognising  the  probabilities  of  an  adverse  tone  and 
temper  in  the  Durbar,  in  no  way  despaired  of  success. 
The  Maharana  consented  to  meet  him  on  the  margin 
of  the  beautiful  lake,  with  its  glittering  summer  palace 
of  white  marble,  and  crossed  over  to  an  appointed 
place  in  one  of  his  covered  gondolas.  "  The  result 
of  this  interview,"  wrote  Showers,  "  was  the  Maha- 
rana giving  in  his  open  and  declared  adhesion  to  the 
British  cause,  and  practically  proving  it  by  placing 
the  most  trustworthy  troops  at  my  disposal  to  take  the 
field,  sending  his  highest  chiefs  present  at  the  capital 
and  Durbar-officers  to  accompany  me,  and  calling  by 
proclamation  on  the  loyal  chiefs  and  district  officers 
to  afford  every  aid  in  our  operations," 

Whilst  still  at  Oodeypore,  tidings  came  to  Showers 
of  the  mutiny  at  Neemuch,  and  the  flight  of  our 
people.  Barnes  of  the  Artillery  and  Rose  of  the 
Infantry  rode  into  the  Re&idency  and  reported  that 
a  party  of  more  than  forty  fugitives,  women  and 
children  included,  were  gathered  together  in  a  vil- 
lage about  fifty  miles  distant.  Showers  at  once 
made  his  arrangements  to  start  that  night,  accom- 
panied by  Barnes,  with  a  party  of  Meywar  Horse, 
for  the  prompt  delivery  of  the  captives.  He  found 
them  in  the  last  state  of  destitution — stricken  by 
want  and  disease — sharing  their  place  of  refuge  with 
cattle.    He  then  placed  them  under  the  charge  of 


the  Rao  of  Bedla,  whom  the  Maharana  had  sent  1857. 
with  Showers  as  the  most  trusted  of  His  Highness's  Maj— J«tt«- 
chiefs,  whilst  he  himself  pushed  on  in  pursuit  of  the 
Neemuch  mutineers.  The  fugitives  were  brought 
safely  to  the  capital  by  the  chivalrous  Rajpoot,  and 
were  lodged  in  one  of  the  beautiful  island-palaces  on 
the  lake. 

No  doubt  seems  to  have  been  entertained  about  Jjepore. 
the  fidelity  of  Jyepore.  Eden  placed  himself  at  once 
in  communication  with  the  Durbar ;  and  on  the  17th 
of  May  he  wrote  to  Mr.  Colvin  saying,  "  The  Maha« 
rajah  is  ready  to  aid  us  with  the  troops  to  the  utmost 
of  his  ability  and  means ;"  and  again,  '^  I  feel  assured 
that  the  Maharajah  and  the  Sirdars  will  do  all  in  their 
power  to  meet  the  wishes  of  our  Government."  At 
once  they  placed  at  Eden's  disposal  a  large  body  of 
troops  of  all  kinds,  good  and  bad ;  the  latter  greatly 
preponderating ;  but  it  was  not  easy  to  decide  .what 
was  to  be  done  with  them.  At  that  moment,  how* 
ever,  the  moral  effect  of  such  a  declaration  in  our 
favour  was,  perhaps,  of  more  importance  to  us  than 
the  troops  placed  at  our  disposal.  The  Jyepore  de- 
tachment under  Eden  were  to  protect  the  Agra  fron- 
tiers, and  he  wrote  to  Colvin  for  orders ;  but  it  was 
not  easy  to  give  any  defipite  instructions,  when  the 
agency  to  be  employed  was  of  so  uncertain  a  cha- 
racter. It  was  eventually  resolved  that  Eden  with  his 
five  thousand  Jyepore  troops  should  march  towards 
the  Muttra  and  Goorgaon  districts  '^  to  maintain  order 
and  aid  in  the  re-establishment  of  the  Civil  Govern- 
ment." But  it  was  apparent  that  the  force  had 
in  it  too  large  a  number  of  Hindostanees  to  render 
success  probable,  and  it  soon  appeared  that  they  had 
been  tampered  with  by  a  discarded  minister  of  the 
Maharajah.     So  Lawrence  was  obliged  to  admit  that 



1857.      the  assigned  "  duties  were  not  fully  discharged,"  and 
M«y— Jurifl.  Eden,  whose  personal  bearing  had  been  of  the  most 
heroic  kind,  was  compelled,  after  rescuing  some  Euro- 
pean fugitives,  to  return  to  Jyepore. 

Meanwhile  Monck-Maaon  was  calling  upon  Joudh- 
pore  for  assistance,  and  prompt  compliance  was  re- 
turned to  the  requisition.  There  was  no  doubt  of 
the  fidelity  of  the  Maharajah,  but  long-standing  in- 
ternal feuds  had  weakened  the  State,  and  there  was 
small  likelihood  of  united  action.  Some  of  the  great 
Thakoors,  not  long  before,  had  been  in  armed  resbt- 
ance  to  the  Maharajah.  He  now  placed  at  our  dis- 
posal two  thousand  Horse*  and  Foot  and  six  guns, 
hoping  almost  against  hope  that  they  would  be  ser- 
viceable to  us.  "  Thus  in  all  June  and  within  a 
fortnight  of  the  receipt  of  intelligence  o£  the  attack," 
wrote  George  Lawrence,  "  were  the  troops  of  Bhurt- 
pore,  Jyepore,  Joudhpore  and  Ulwar  co-operating  with 
us  in  the  field."*  AM  this  looked  well  at  the  outset, 
and  Colvin's  anxieties  were  relieved  for  the  present 
by  the  aspect  of  affairs ;  but  he  clearly  discerned  the 
fact  that  although  the  Rajpoot  Princes  bad  no  com- 
plicity either  in  Mussulman  or  Mahratta  intrigues^ 
they  gave  their  daughters  in  marriage  to  the  House 
of  Delhi,  made  obeisance  to  the  Mogul  and  coined 
money  in  his  name.  What  the  result  was  will  be 
told  in  a  later  chapter  of  this  History. 

nuent  sharp   conlention    suelj  it 
forded  no  lost  sronnd  for  the  & 

*  It  will  be  seen  tlist  there  is 
mcDtioR  of  Oodejpore  in     ' 

]  no  jost  ground  for  the  & 
,,  „  nowere    piar  of  antipatbieBJnreapecttowW 

vas  iffnored.    But  both  did  tight    bad  nothing  to  do  with  eiUtcxtki 
well  U  tba  ontaet.    A  previous  sna-    one  or  the  other. 
picion  in  the  one  case  and  a  subse. 

AGRA  m  JUNE  AND  JULT.  859 



The  Agra  regiments,  having  laid  down  their  arms,      1857. 
departed  peaceably,  with  money,  lawfully  their  own,       J*"^- 
in  their  waistbands.     Many  are  supposed  to  have 
gone  straightway  to  their  homes ;  others  may  have 
fallen  in  with  their  mutinous  comrades,  and,  newly 
armed  by  them,  gone  forth  to  fight  for  the  Padshah. 
Whatever  may  have  been  the  manner  in  which  they 
disposed  of  themselves,  the  Lieutenant-Governor  had 
no  more  anxiety  from  that  source.    They  were  swept 
out  of  Agra  and  there  was  an  end  of  them,  for  the 
present,  as  agents    of  mischief,   and    an  end   also 
of  Colvin's  anxieties  with  respect  to  threatenings  of 
internal  revolt. 

But  there  were  many  external  sources  of  inquie- 
tude. Of  the  existing  Native  States  within  Colvin's 
circle— of  their  rulers  and  their  armies — I  have 
already  written.  Elsewhere  were  remnants  of  Native 
gtates — ^prostrate,  down-trodden,  whose  aabi 


1857.  still  smouldering,  whose  fires  a  rude  touch  might 
June.  at  any  moment  revive.  It  was  too  much  our  wont, 
in  the  flush  of  our  strength,  in  the  pride  of  our 
egotism,  to  think  that  what  it  had  pleased  us  to 
extinguish  could  never  burst  into  a  blaze  again.  But 
this  was  only  one  of  our  natural  delusions.  If  there 
be  one  thing  which  the  Natives  of  India  thoroughly 
understand,  it  is  the  art  of  waiting.  In  their  hearts, 
if  not  on  their  haunches,  they  sit  dhurna.  So  it  was 
in  a  Native  State,  of  which  I  have  written — a  State 
our  rulers  had  crushed.  And  the  patience  was 
more  malignant,  because  the  remains  of  sovereignty 
were  represented  by  a  woman. 
Jbanai.  Jhansi  had  been  formerly  a  Native  State.  Lord 
June,  1857.  Dalhousie  had  annexed  it.  It  was,  perhaps,  the 
worst  of  all  his  annexations.*  It  was  now  to  bear 
its  bitter  fruit.  A  pension  of  five  thousand  rupees 
a  month,  or  six  thousand  pounds  a  year,  had  been 
offered  to  the  Ranee,  the  widow  of  the  last  ruler.  She 
had  at  first  declined,  but  afterwards  accepted,  it ;  and 
property  belonging  to  her  late  husband  of  the  value 
of  a  lakh  of  rupees  had  been  placed  at  her  disposal 
and  accepted.  But  she  was  thoroughly  dissatisfied 
with  her  lot.  Continuing  to  brood  over  the  injury 
and  the  disgrace  of  Annexation,  she  hated  the  Eng- 
lish with  the  deadliest  hatred.  And  soon  she  began 
to  cherish  new-bom  grievances.  Foremost  among 
these  was  the  killing  of  cattle  by  the  English—  an 
abomination  in  the  eyes  of  her  late  subjects.  On 
this  injury  she  memorialised  the  British  Govern- 
ment. The  people  of  Jhansi  did  the  same;  but 
the  answer  was  a  repulse.  Again,  the  Government 
were  guilty  of  the  extraordinary  meanness  of  calling 
upon  her    to  pay  the  debts  of  her  late  husband. 

♦  In  1864 — anie,  vol.  i.  page  89  ef  teg. 


The  Ranee  protested  against  this  wrong — and  Sir  1867. 
Robert  Hamilton  urged  on  Mr.  Colvin  compliance  '^™ 
with  Her  Highnesses  request.  But  the  Lieutenant- 
Grovemor  was  inexorable ;  and  part  of  her  pension 
was  resumed  or  suspended.  The  Ranee  pleaded,  very 
reasonably,  that  as  the  debts  were  not  her  debts,  she 
was  not  answerable  for  their  payment  out  of  her  per- 
sonsd  allowance,  and  she  threatened  to  write  to  Go- 
vernment requesting  permission  to  reside  at  Benares. 
I  do  not  know  what  would  have  been  the  final  issue ; 
but  the  wholp  treatment  of  the  Ranee  was  so  ungene- 
rous, and  being  ungenerous  was  so  unwise,  that  Colvin 
must  have  shuddered,  when  he  thought  of  the  evil 
fruit  that  it  was  developing.*  So  her  resentments 
grew  stronger  and  stronger.  A  woman  of  masculine 
energy  and  feminine  vindictiveness,  she  eagerly 
awaited  the  rising  of  the  storm,  well  assured  that  her 
time  would  come.  In  1857,  she  was  a  well-favoured 
woman  of  twenty-nine  or  thirty  years  of  age.  She 
was  endowed  with  a  keen  intelligence  —  strong- 
minded  and  quick-witted — quite  capable  of  discussing 
her  afiairs  with  a  Commissioner  or  Governor.  If  she 
had  any  evil  dispositions,  she  knew  when  to  restrain 
the  exhibition  of  them,  and  she  tried  to  set  bounds 
on  her  temper  when  conversing  with  a  British  officer. 
Evil  things  were  said  of  her ;  for  it  is  a  custom  among 
us  adisse  quem  Iceseris — to  take  a  Native  ruler's  king- 

*  Scarcely  less  irritaiine  as  a  support.  When  he  died  Captain 
tbom  in  the  flesh  was  the  following  Francis  Gordon,  Deputy  Commis- 
act  of  spoliation,  the  circumstances  sioner,  recommended  that  this  ar- 
of  which  are  thus  recorded  in  Captain  rangcment  should  continue,  but  it 
Finknej's  official  narrative.  "  The  was  ordered  that  the  villages  should 
temple  of  Luchmee,  situated  outside  be  resumed.  This  was  strongly  ob- 
the  walls  to  the  east  of  Jhansec,  had  jected  to  by  the  Ilanee  and  the  case 
long  been  supported  by  the  Native  again  referred  to  Government,  with 
rulers  of  the  country,  and  an  anccs-  the  same  result.  But  before  the  ro- 
tor of  Gungahur  Rao  had  made  over  sumption  order  could  be  carried  out 
the  rerenaes  of  two  villages  for  its  the  outbreak  at  Jhansee  took  place.** 



1857.  dom  and  then  to  revile  the  deposed  ruler  or  his 
May— June,  would-be  successor.  It  was  alleged  that  the  Banee 
was  a  mere  child  under  the  influence  of  others,  and 
that  she  was  much  given  to  intemperance.  That  she 
was  not  a  mere  child  was  demonstrated  by  her  con- 
versation ;  and  her  intemperance  seems  to  be  a  myth. 
The  troops  posted  at  Jhansi  consisted  of  a  wing  of 
the  Twelfth  Regiment  of  Native  Infantry,  the  head- 
quarters and  right  wing  of  the  Fourteenth  Irregular 
Cavalry,  and  a  detachment  of  Golundauze.  They 
were  under  the  command  of  Captain  Dunlop  of  the 
Twelfth.  The  Commissioner,  who  had  held  the  ap- 
pointment from  the  first  day  of  Annexation,  was 
Captain  Alexander  Skene.  How  it  happened  that 
the  Political  Officer  did  not  perceive  that  there  were 
few  places  in  the  country  where  it  was  necessary  at 
such  a  time  to  be  cautious  and  vigilant  and  mis- 
trustful of  every  one,  that  place  was  Jhansi,  it  is 
impossible  to  conjecture.  But  it  seems  never  to 
have  been  thought  that  there  were  any  smouldering 
animosities  in  high  places  or  in  low  places — ^never 
thought  that  there  was  any  one  within  the  boun- 
daries of  the  Commission ership,  which  had  so  lately 
been  a  petty  kingdom,  whose  interests  or  antipathies 
were  to  be  gratified  by  the  subversion  of  the  British 

Skene  had  no  belief  that  it  was  the  intention  of 
the  Sepoys  at  Jhansi  to  rise,  or  that  they  were  likely 
to  be  wrought  upon  by  external  influences.  On  the 
18th  of  May  he  wrote  to  Agra,  saying :  "I  do  not 
think  that  there  is  any  cause  for  alarm  about  this 
neighbourhood.  The  troops  here,  I  am  glad  to  say, 
continue  staunch  and  express  most  unbounded  ab- 
horrence of  the  atrocities  committed  at  Meerut  and 
Delhi.     They  are  commanded  by  a  man  (Captain 

May  18. 


MS.  (Jorre- 


Dunlop)  of  the  right  sort,  who  knows  how  to  manage      1867. 
Sepoys;   and  I  do   not   anticipate  any  disaffection      ^J- 
among  them.     As  for  the  smaU  Rajahs  and  Chiefs, 
they  saw  enough  of  rebellion,  fourteen  years  ago,  to 
give  them  a  salutary  dread  of  it.     Then  the  Oorcha 
and  Chutterpore  and  Ajeegurh  men  are  children ; 
the  Dubbah  man  is  off  to  Bithoor  in  a  moribund 
state ;  the  Sumpther  man  is  mad  and  a  prisoner  in 
his  own  fort ;  the  Chirkaree  man  and  the  Punnah 
men  are  almost  the  only  chiefs  worth  mentioning,  and 
they  have  kept  out  of  everything  of  the  kind  hitherto 
— so  I  trust  we  are  all  safe  ...  I  am  going  on  the  prin- 
ciple of  showing  perfect  confidence — and  I  am  quite 
sure  I  am  right."    On  the  30th  of  May,  he  wrote  again 
in  the  same  hopeful  strain  :  ^^  All  continues  quiet 
here,  and  the  troops  staunch.     But  there  is  of  course 
a  great  feeling  of  uneasiness  among  the  moneyed  men 
of  the  town,  and  the  Thakoors,  who  have  never  been 
well  affected  towards  any  Government,  are  beginning, 
it  is  said,  to  talk  of  doing  something.     All  will  settle 
down  here,  I  feel  perfectly  certain,  on  receipt  of  in- 
telligence of  success."    And  again  upon  the  3rd  of 
June:  "We  are  all  safe  here  as  yet.     I  heard  on 
Monday  night  of  an  intended  attack  on  Eunchra  by 
the  Puan   Thakoors.     At  midnight  I   called   upon 
Dunlop  to  send  a  party  to  protect  the  town,  and  at 
eight  A.M.  a  party  of  Infantry  and  Cavalry  started  in 
high  spirits.     They  reached  Kunchra  at  seven  in  the 
evening,  but  the  Thakoors  had  got  wind  of  the  move 
and  did  not  make  the  intended  chupao.     But  for  the 
feeling  that  this  mutiny  is   universal  I  should  say 
the  men  here  are  perfectly  staunch."     "  The  Sixty- 
seventh  are  the  sister  corps  of  my  regiment  the  Sixty- 
eighth,  and  I  have  been  watching  with  intense  inte- 
rest their  conduct.     I  see  the  Sixty-seventh  still  pro- 

364  THE  8T0RT  OF  JHANSI. 

1867.  mise  loyalty.  I  trust  the  Sixty-eighth  will  evince  it.** 
June.  ^(j  so  little  was  it  dreamt  that  there  could  be  any 
political  danger,  that  the  Ranee  obtained  permission 
to  entertain  a  body  of  armed  men,  as  she  said,  for  her 
own  protection.  With  the  true  Mahratta  instinct, 
she  pretended  that  she  was  in  danger  from  the  ene- 
mies  of  the  Englbh,  and  thus  intimated  that  her 
interests  and  desires  were  identical  with  our  own, 
whilst  she  was  plotting  our  overthrow. 

It  is  remarkable  that  although  Skene,  on  the  drd 
of  June,  had  expressed  his  belief  in  the  staunchness 
of  the  troops,  the  wonted  unmistakable  signs  of  a 
coming  outbreak  had  already  begun  to  display  them- 
selves. A  day  or  two  before,  in  broad  daylight,  two 
bungalows  in  the  Cantonment  had  been  burnt.  This 
was  the  warning  to  be  ready ;  and  on  the  5th  "  firing 
was  heard."  It  came  from  the  direction  of  the  Star 
Fort,  which  held  our  magazine  and  treasure.  A  party 
of  Sepoys  had  possession  of  it  and  would  not  sur- 
render it.  It  was  plain  now  that  the  mutiny  had 
commenced.  So  all  the  non-combatant  Europeans 
betook  themselves,  with  their  families  and  such  pro- 
perty as  they  could  carry-off,  to  the  Town  Fort, 
whilst  the  officers  of  the  Native  troops  remained  in 
the  Cantonments.  Dunlop  and  his  brother-officers 
did  their  best  to  soothe  and  pacify  the  Sepoys  and  to 
instil  confidence  into  their  minds.  Of  course,  there 
was  the  old  story  over  again.  The  Sepoys  were 
loyalty  itself ;  a  few  deluded  men  might  have  broken 
the  bonds  of  discipline  by  occupying  the  Star  Fort, 
June  6.  but  the  rest  were  true  to  their  salt.  A  parade  was 
ordered  for  the  following  morning.  It  was  attended 
by  the  Native  officers  and  men  of  all  arms  of  the 
Jhansi  force.  The  men  were  respectful  in  their  de* 
meanour.     What  this  meant  was  soon  apparent.     It 



was  only  intended  to  lull  us  into  the  sense  of  a  false  1867. 
security.  On  this  morning  Skene  and  Gordon  left  ^'"*®- 
the  Fort  to  visit  Dunlop  in  Cantonments.  What  the 
object  of  the  visit  or  what  passed  at  the  conference 
can  never  be  known.  Skene  returned  at  once  to  the 
Fort;  Gordon  breakfasted  in  his  own  house  and 
wrote  letters  to  some  of  the  neighbouring  chiefs,  in- 
voking their  aid — letters  to  which  no  answer  was 
returned — and  then  betook  himself  to  the  supposed 
safety  of  the  Fort.  Early  in  the  afternoon,  the  Ranee, 
and  a  crowd  of  people,  among  whom  were  her  chief 
adherents,  with  two  banners  borne  aloft,  went  in 
procession  from  the  Town  to  the  Cantonments ;  and 
a  Mahomedan  named  Ahsun-Ali  called  all  true  be- 
lievers to  prayers.*  Then  the  troops  rose  at  once ; 
and  fired  upon  their  officers.  All  were  killed,  except 
Lieutenant  Taylor,  who,  though  severely  wounded, 
mounted  a  horse  and  rode  for  the  Town  Fort.f  The 
massacre  of  the  Cantonment  officers  having  thus  been 
eflFected,  in  a  manner  most  gratifying  to  the  muti- 
neers, they  released  the  prisoners  from  the  Gaol, 
burnt  the  cutcherry ;  and  then  mutineers  and  gaol- 
birds, together  with  the  Police  and  Custom-house 
officials,  streamed  into  the  Town  and  invested  the 

Our  people  were  now  most  lamentably  in  the  Seizure  of  the 
power  of  the  mutineers,  the  rebels,  and  the  followers  ^^^• 
of  the  Queen.  They  had  triumphed  over  the  White 
Man,  who  now  lay  prostrate  and  writhing  at  their  feet. 
Another  day  or  two  and  all  would  be  over.  Jhansi 
would  be  purged  of  the  presence  of  the  usurpers. 
So  the  time  had  come  for  the  apportioning  of  the 
spoils.  To  whom  was  Jhansi,  recovered  after  three 
years  of  annexation,  to  belong  ?    On  the  night  of  the 

*  Captain  Pinkney's  Eeport.  t  Colonel  Malleson. 


1857.  6th  a  meeting  was  held  between  the  chief  officers  of 
^""*-  the  mutineers  and  certain  delegates  from  the  Ranee 
to  settle  this  momentous  question  of  the  future 
Government  of  the  country.  Then  came  the  great 
standing  difficulty,  which  was  doomed,  before  and 
afterwards,  to  cast  a  great  cloud  over  the  trium* 
phant  joy  of  the  victors,  and  sometimes  to  turn  con- 
flicts of  opinion  into  internecine  strife.  The  dele- 
gates  of  the  Ranee  and  of  the  mutineers,  after  long 
disputation,  could  not  come  to  any  terms.  The 
mutineer  party  bethought  themselves  of  a  some- 
what clever  piece  of  diplomacy.  At  Oonao,  a 
village  distant  about  twelve  miles  from  Jhansi, 
dwelt  a  kinsman  of  the  late  Rajah,  who  had  been 
one  of  the  claimants  to  the  Guddee  of  Jhansi.  His 
name  was  Sadasheo  Rao.  If  in  this  crisis  he  could 
be  induced  to  adhere  to  the  side  of  the  Sepoys  and 
to  set  himself  as  a  rival  of  the  Ranee,  they  might 
make  better  terms  for  themselves.  So  they  invited 
this  man  to  Jhansi.  Meanwhile  a  Proclamation  went 
forth,  declaring  that  "The  People  are  God's;  the 
country  is  the  Padshah's;  and  the  two  Religions 

The  7th  of  June  was  a  day  of  sore  tribulation  to 
the  ill-fated  garrison  of  the  Town  Fort.  The  clouds 
were  thickening  above  them,  and  there  was  small 
chance  of  their  escaping  the  full  fury  of  the  storm. 
Their  only  chance  of  escape  lay  in  the  good  offices  of 
the  Ranee.  The  English  were  reduced  to  the  humi- 
liating necessity  of  imploring  the  help  of  the  woman 
whom  they  had  so  grossly  wronged.  In  the  morning 
Captain  Skene  sent  three  uncovenanted  servants  con- 
nected with  the  Commission — Mr.  Scott  and  the  two 
Purcells — to  the  Ranee  to  solicit  safe-conduct  after 
the  exodus  of  our  people  from  the  Fort.     They  were 


*leized  on  the  way  by  some  of  the  Ranee's  troops  and      1S57. 

'  carried  to  the  Palace.  The  Ranee  sent  them  to  our  ^**'^^- 
own  revolted  Sepoys,  who  deliberately  murdered 
them.  Afterwards,  another  uncovenanted  servant^ 
Mr.  Andrews,  principal  Sudder  Aumeen,  was  but- 
chered at  the  Palace  door  by  the  Queen's  own  ser- 
vants. Skene  and  Gordon  wrote  often  to  Her  High- 
ness on  that  day — ^but  no  trace  of  their  correspon- 
dence remains.  It  was  a  last  hope  and  it  was  a  vain 
one.  Two  hours  after  noon  the  insurgents  recom- 
menced their  attack  on  the  Fort  and  continued  the 
firing;  but  they  did  very  little  damage,  hurting  none 
of  our  people ;  whilst  some  of  the  insurgents  fell 
imder  the  fire  from  the  Fort.  On  that  night  the 
besiegers  were  strengthened  by  the  accession  of  more 
guns  supplied  to  them  by  the  Ranee ;  and  on  the 
morning  of  the  8th,  with  these  increased  resources 
now  more  hopeful  of  success,  they  continued  their 
attack  on  the  Fort.  They  attempted  an  escalade,  but 
it  failed.  Too  many  good  shots  were  in  the  garrison 
to  render  it  safe  for  the  assailants  to  expose  them- 

Now  came  the  last  struggle  for  life — the  day  of 
their  death  or  the  day  of  their  deliverance.  Vigorous 
and  more  vigorous  became  the  efforts  of  the  enemy 
to  carry  the  place  by  assault ;  and  soon  after  noon 
they  established  themselves  on  the  lower  works  of 
the  Fort.  The  crisis  of  our  fate  seemed  to  be  ap- 
proaching. There  was  treachery  within  the  walls  no 
less  than  fury  without.  An  attempt  was  made  to 
open  a  gate  of  the  Fort  so  as  to  admit  the  ingress  of 
the  besiegers.  It  was  happily  intercepted  in  time — 
though  only  to  defer  the  final  catastrophe  for  a  few 
hours.  The  traitors  were  disposed  of  by  Gordon 
and  Burgess,  but  not  before  they  had  given  Powis 


1857.      his  death-wound.     Meanwhile  the  siege   continued^; 

June.  With  all  the  heroism  of  despair  our  people  worked 
on  nobly  in  the  defence  of  the  Fort — Skene  and 
Gordon  sending  many  a  message  of  death  to  the 
assailants.*  But  after  a  while  a  sad  calamity  befel 
us.  Captain  Gordon  was  looking  through  a  window 
over  the  Fort  gate,  when  his  familiar  face  was  ob- 
served by  one  of  the  enemy's  marksmen,  who  took 
aim  and  shot  him  dead.  He  is  described  as  '^  a  gal- 
lant gentleman  and,  an  excellent  officer,  the  life  and 
soul  of  the  garrison."  When  this  lamentable  event 
occurred,  a  great  cloud  of  despondency  gathered  over 
the  besieged.  Provisions  and  ammunition  were  be- 
coming scarce — the  enemy  were  swarming  around 
them.  So  it  was  felt  that  the  defence  could  not  be 
sustained — ^that  there  was  nothing  left  for  our  people 
but  to  surrender.  So  Captain  Skene  hung  out  a  flag 
of  truce,  or  otherwise  intimated  to  the  besiegers  that 
the  garrison  would  treat  for  terms. 

The  leaders  of  the  mutineers  and  of  other  insur- 
gents came  to  the  gate,  and  hearing  what  Skene  had 
to  say,  they  made  oath,  with  the  most  solemn  and 
sacred  adjurations,  a  native  doctor  named  Saleh 
Mohamed  being  the  spokesman,  not  to  hurt  a  hair 
of  the  heads  of  the  British  garrison,  if  they  would 
lay  down  their  arms  and  surrender  the  Fort.  The 
terms  were  accepted;  and  our  hapless  people  pre- 
pared to  depart.  As  soon  as  they  crossed  the  thres- 
hold of  the  Fort  gate  the  enemy  fell  upon  our  un- 
armed people,  and  binding  their  arms,  made  captives 
of  them.  There  could  be  no  resistance.  They  were 
helpless  as  sheep.  Through  the  town  passed  the 
melancholy  procession;  when  just. beyond  the  city 

*  It  has  been  stated  that  Mrs.  Skene  loaded  for  them^  but  I  have 
nothing  authentic  in  proof  of  this. 


.walls  some  Sowars  came  up  and  said  it  was  the  order  1857. 
of  the  Ressaldar  that  the  whole  should  be  put  to  ^^^ 
death.  They  then  filed  down,  captors  and  captives,  The  end. 
to  a  place  near  which  was  a  cluster  of  trees.  The 
Gaol-Darogah,  who  had  been  in  the  confidence  of  the 
Superintendent  and  was  never  suspected  of  treachery, 
was  at  the  head  of  the  party.  But,  presently  a  halt 
was  ordered.  The  murderous  work  commenced. 
The  Darogah  cut  down  his  old  master.  Then  a 
general  massacre  ensued.  The  women  and  chil- 
dren were  separated  from  the  men ;  but  they  shared 
the  same  sad  fate.  Not  one  of  those  who  left  the 
Town-Fort — man,  woman,  or  child — was  spared.* 
The  great  crime  accomplished,  the  bodies  of  some 
three  score  of  our  Christian  people  were  left  for  three 
days  on  the  road  to  rot.  Then  the  men  were  cast 
into  one  gravel-pit,  the  Avomen  into  another,  and 
lightly  covered  over.  Long  afterwards,  when  we 
again  triumphed  at  Jhansi,  the  burial  service  was 
read  over  their  remains  by  a  Protestant  minister, 
Mr.  Schwabc,  and  Mr.  Strickland,  the  Roman  Ca- 
tholic priest,  attached  to  Sir  Hugh  Rose's  army. 

Thus  the  curtain  fell  upon  the  dismal  tragedy 
which  was  the  antetype  of  the  massacre  of  Cawn- 
pore.  AVhether  the  Ranee  instigated  this  atrocity, 
or  to  Avhat  extent  she  was  implicated  in  it,  can  never 
be  clearly  known.  I  have  been  informed,  on  good 
authority,  that  none  of  the  lianee's  servants  were 
present  on  the  occasion  of  the  massacre.  It  seems  to 
have  been  mainly  the  work  of  our  oAvn  old  followers. 
The  Irregular  Cavalry  issued  the  bloody  mandate 
and  our  Gaol-Darogah  was  foremost  in  the  butchery. 

♦  The  iiunil)er  of  Chrislian  people  siege.    Captain  Pinkney  gives  sixty- 

«laiii   ill  this  iin.'il  massaeic  was  be-  seven  as  the  total  number.     ^Lijor 

tween  fifty  and  sixty.  The  rest  were  Erskine,  Commissioner  of  Jubbui- 

killcd  iu  Cantonments  or  during  tlic  pore,  suys  se vent}. six. 

VOL.  HI.  2  B 


1857.  So  long  as  the  English  were  cleaned  out  of  Jhansi 
Jane.  and  the  country  was  left  clear  for  the  prosecution  of 
Measves  of  her  political  intrigues — and  she  was  bent  on  cleaning 
the  Ranee,  them  out — it  mattered  not  to  her  by  what  means  the 
object  was  attained.  They  were  all  gone  now ;  and 
the  time  had  come  for  the  settlement  of  the  great 
political  question — "  Who  is  to  be  the  future  ruler  of 
Jhansi  ?"  The  mutineers  had  invited  Sadasheo  Rao 
to  the  city  and  he  had  gone  thither,  well  disposed  to 
bid  for  the  Guddee.  But  the  Ranee  knew  that  there 
was  nothing  they  so  much  coveted  as  money ;  so  she 
produced  a  large  sum  in  coin  and  promised  further 
donations  to  the  mutineers,  who  were  thus  brought 
to  adhere  to  her  cause,  and  then  the  Proclamation 
went  forth  :  "  The  people  are  God's ;  the  country  is 
the  Padshah's ;  and  the  Raj  is  Ranee  Lutchmee 
Baee's."*  This  accomplished,  she  threw  all  her 
energy  and  activity  into  the  work  of  firmly  establish- 
ing the  Raj.  She  raised  fresh  troops ;  she  strength- 
ened her  fortified  places ;  she  established  a  mint ;  and 
she  sent  delegates  to  Doondoo  Punt,  Nana  Sahib,  with 
whom  she  had  previously  been  in  communication. 
It  is  stated,  and  apparently  on  the  most  trustworthy 
authority,  that,  at  the  same  time,  she  "  endeavoured 
to  keep  terms  with  our  Government,  by  -vvTiting  to 
the  Commissioner  of  Jubbulpore  and  to  others, 
lamenting  the  massacre  of  our  countrymen ;  stating 
that  she  was  in  no  way  concerned  in  it ;  and  decla^ 
ing  that  she  only  held  the  Jhansi  district  till  our 
Government  could  make  arrangements  to  reoccupy 
it."t  But  I  have  searched  Major  Erskine's  exhaustive 
Report,  and  in  the  four  hundred  and  forty-four  para- 


♦  Professedly  slic  was  only  Re-    nally  the    possessor  of    the  G«i 
gent — her,  adopted  son,  then  a  boy    dee. 
of  eight  years  of  age,  being  nomi-        f  Captain  Pinkney. 


graphs  to  whifch  it  extends  I  cannot  find  a  word  upon       1857. 
the  subject*  ^"^^ 

Meanwhile  at  Naogong,  Avhere  wings  or  detach-  Naogong. 
ments  of  the  same  regiments  as  those  posted  at  Jhansi 
— ^namel}'',  the  Head-Quarters  of  the  Twelfth  Native 
Infantry,  a  wing  of  the  Fourteenth  Irregular  Horse, 
and  some  Golundauze  guns — were  stationed,  under 
the  command  of  Major  Kirke,  very  contradictory 
manifestations  were  apparent  in  the  Sepoy  Lines. 
From  the  23rd  of  May  to  the  1st  of  fTune,  it  seems 
that  they  were  waiting  and  Avatchiiig.  The  Irregulars 
were  lounging  about  in  a  careless,  insolent,  half- 
defiant  manner,  plainly  indicating  their  belief  that 
the  end  was  near ;  whilst  the  Infantry  putting  on  an 
outer  garment  of  loyalty,  protested  their  allegiance, 
and  gave  practical  proofs  of  it,  by  offering  to  march 
against  the  mutineers  at  Delhi.  On  the  5th  of  June, 
Major  Kirke  held  a  parade  of  all  the  troops  in  Can- 
tonments. He  then  addressed  them,  commended 
them  highly  for  their  loyalty,  and  told  them  that 
the  troops  were  in  partial  mutiny  at  Jhansi.  Then 
came  a  most  extraordinary  scene — a  preposterous 
piece  of  acting.  The  Sepoys  were  quite  jubilant 
in  their  devotion  to  the  British  Government.  The  Go- 
lundauze hugged  their  guns  in  a  paroxysm  of  en- 
thusiasm. Tlie  Infantry  rushed  to  their  colours.  The 
Cavalrv,  with  their  wonted  demeanour  of  outward 
insouciance,  merely  said  that  they  Avould  be  true  to 
their  salt.f  The  officers  were  *'  much  gratified." 
They  did  not  seem  to  see  that  the  violence  of  these 

*  If.  should  be    mentioned   here  throne  of  Jhansi  at   Kurrara."     It 

that,  tindinq  his  chdms  disallowed,  was  a  verv  nneasy  and  unstable  seat,  Rao  collected  some  threes  for  the  Kmee  desjiatchrd  a  body  of 

thousand  men,  seized  the  Fort   of  troops  against  him  and  he  was  fain 

Kurrara,  and  issued  a  proclamation  to  escape  into  i^ciiidiah's  territory. 
Raying,  "  Maharajah  Sadaslieo  Kao        f  Captain  Scot's  Report. 
Naraiu  has  seated  himself  on    the 

2b  2 


1857.      spasms  clearly  denoted  the  acted  lie.     For  some  days 
June.      everything  was  quiet.     But  on  the  10th,  the  play 
having  been  played  out,  the  reality  commenced.     A 
tall  Sikh,  followed  by  two  others,  walked  up  to  the 
ground,  where  the  guard  of  the  Twelfth  was  being 
relieved,   and  deliberately  shot  the  Havildar-Major. 
They  then  attempted  to  seize  the  guns  ;  there  was  no 
genuine  resistance ;  the  Native  Sergeant  w^as  over- 
awed and  his  foUow^ers  were  recreant  to  the  core. 
.  Then  was  heard   the  rattle  of  musketry  from   the 
Lines,  telling  the  old  story.     The  Sepoys  had  risen 
against  their   British   officers,   against    the    British 
Government ;  they  Avere  mutineers  and  rebels  of  the 
worst  kind,  Avorking  out  their  ends  by  means  of  the 
basest  falsehood  and  imposture. 
The  flight.       What  now  was  to  be  done  by  the  handful  of  Bri- 
tish officers  thus  shamefully  deserted?    It  was  hoping 
against  hope  to  think,  for  a  moment,  that  any  efforts 
of  theirs — any  appeals  to  the  Past,  any  promises  for 
the  Future,  Avould  lure  them  back  to  their  allegiance. 
Some  Sepoys  of  the  Twelfth  came  forward,  protesting 
their  fidelity,  and  mustered   in   the  mess-house  of 
their  English  officers,  but  they  were  not  strong  enough 
to  turn  the  tide  of  affairs  in  our  favour.     There  was 
nothing  for  them,  therefore,  but  to  remain  at  their 
posts  to  be  massacred,  like  their  comrades  at  Jhansi, 
or  to  attempt  to  rescue  themselves  by  flight.     They 
chose  the  latter  course — and  wisely  ;  but  it  was  a 
disastrous  and  a  disorderly  retreat.   The  eighty-seven 
faithful  Sepoys  accompanied  their  officers,  and  the 
derks   of  the  Civil  Establishment — some  burdened 
with  families- — were  among  the  number  of  the  fugi- 
tives.    Their  first  thought  had  been  to  make  their 
way  to  Allahabad,  but  this,  on  account  of  the  stiite 
of  the  country  about  Banda,  had  been  abandoned, 


and  they  next  set  their  faces  towards  Kalingliur  and  JS57. 
Mirzapore.  The  stor}-  of  their  flight  has  Ijeen  told  ™** 
in  graphic  detail  by  sun'ivoi-s  of  the  retreat.  It  was 
a  fortnight  of  misen-  and  horror.  The  adventures 
which  befel  the  fugitives  on  their  perilous  way  much 
resembled,  in  many  features,  those  which  were  en- 
countered bv  others  in  like  manner  driven  from  their 
homes.  And  the  same  diversities  of  temperament 
and  character  were  apparent.  Major  Kirke  soon  lost 
what  little  power  of  brainwork  he  possessed  at  the 
first  outbreak  of  the  mutinv.  It  is  recorded  of  him 
that  he  had  been  in  feeble  health  before  this  event 
and  that  "  now  from  want  of  tea,  and  beer  and  wine, 
he  was  quite  gone" — he  sometimes  "  spoke  of  a 
mango,  or  something  to  eat  and  drink  as  if  it  were 
his  life'* ;  and  he  sent  back  two  officers  to  Naogong 
to  carry  off  the  mess-stores.  Occasional  strange  hal- 
lucinations overtook  him.  The  first  place  to  Avhich 
they  made  was  Chutterpore — a  small  state  governed, 
like  Jhansi,  by  a  Avidowed  Ranee  as  Regent  for  her 
son.  It  had  escaped  the  great  planing-machinc  of 
Lord  Dalhousie's  annexations.  The  Ranee  behaved 
mercifully  and  generously  to  our  people :  and  they 
passed  on  with  some  needed  succours.  But  as  they 
moved  forward,  it  was  discovered  that  Kirke  Avas  miss- 
ing. He  fancied  that  the  Sepoys  were  plotting  to 
murder  him  and  had  made  off,  unattended,  bv  nidit, 
to  Logassee,  where  he  was  received  by  a  friendly 
chief  At  this  place  Captain  Scot  and  Lieutenant 
ToATOsend  found  him,  maundering  about  new  dan- 
gers and  insisting  that  the  Logassee  chief  was  bent 
upon  his  destruction. 

Meanwhile  the  Sepoys  had  gone  on  without  their 
officers,  greatly  distressed  by  what  they  supposed  to 
be  either  their  death  or  their  desertion.     But  on  the 


I867.  16th  Kirke  made  his  appearance  with  the  cart-load 
June.  of  beer,  wine,  and  tea,  which  he  had  sent  his  officers 
back  to  Naogong  to  heap  up  for  him,  and  to  satisfy 
his  cravings.  They  then  pressed  on  to  Chirkaree, 
another  friendly  Bundelkund  state,  the  cliief  of  which 
received  the  fugitives  with  hospitality,  and  supplied 
them  with  money.  The  gleam  of  sunshine  Avas  but 
brief.  A  powerful  gang  of  Dakoits  came  down 
upon  thenij  and  under  promise  of  safe  conduct  to 
Kalinghur,  eased  them  of  a  great  part  of  their  trea- 
sure, and  then  forthwith  began  to  acquit  themselves 
of  tlieir  part  of  the  compact,  by  killing  as  many  of 
our  people  as  they  could.  AVhen  Kirke  and  his 
followers  pushed  on,  Avithout  the  robber-chief,  Avho 
had  promised  to  guide  them,  they  were  fired  upon 
from  behind  the  cover  of  a  cluster  of  trees  and 
some  adjacent  hills.  The  Sepoys  in  return  fired  any- 
where. They  lost  heart,  whilst  the  Dakoits  rose  in 
their  audacity  and  fired  faster  and  faster  on  our 
people.  In  this  crisis,  the  Major  had  a  lucid  in- 
terval of  manhood.  He  went  among  the  Sepoys,  and 
eagerly  exhorted  them  to  carry  the  pass  before  them. 
But  it  was  of  no  use.  The  brigands  Avere  masters  of 
the  situation.  Their  matchlocks  carried  far  and  well. 
Lieutenant  ToAmsend  fell  dead  Avith  a  bullet  in  his 
body.  There  Avas  a  great  panic.  The  miscellaneous 
European  or  Christian  community  sought  safety  as 
best  they  could  in  flight — some  on  horseback,  and 
some  on  foot — for  the  Dakoits  had  seized  all  our 
wheeled  carriages.  It  Avas  then  necessary  that  the 
party  should  fall  back  on  Mahoba.  But  Kirke  did 
not  live  to  reach  it.  After  the  passing  excitement  of 
Avhich  I  have  spoken,  a  terrible  reaction  came  upon 
him,  and  Avithin  a  fcAV  miles  from  the  place  of  refuge, 
he  fell  from  his  horse  and  died. 


Then  Captain  Scot  became  chief  of  the  fugitive  1S57. 
band.  He  was  younger,  stronger,  more  active  than  ^""^' 
the  Major,  and  less  dependent  on  mess-stores.  He 
seems,  imder  most  trying  circumstances,  to  have 
worked  with  almost  superhuman  energy  for  the  pre- 
servation of  the  people  thus  committed  to  his  care.  But 
death  was  busy  among  them.  The  fierce  rays  of  the 
June  sun  smote  them  terribly.  Some  >yere  killed  or 
driven  to  madness  by  its  power.  Some  were  over- 
come by  extreme  exhaustion  and  fell  by  the  wayside. 
Others  sought  shelter,  sank  into  stupor,  and  wore  left 
behind.  The  great  difficulty  was  the  burden  of  the 
women.  There  was  but  one  wife  of  a  comniissionod  Mrs.  Mawe. 
officer  among  them,  but  many  wives  of  sergeants  and 
writers  with  children  in  their  train,  Avhoni  it  was  very 
difficult  to  succour  on  the  march.  There  would  be 
something  almost  ludicrous  in  the  narrative  of  their 
adventures,  if  it  were  not  for  the  beautiful  chivalry 
of  Scot,  who  went  to  the  rescue  of  fat  barrack-women 
with  as  much  heroic  self-devotion  as  if  they  hud  been 
princesses  in  the  bloom  of  their  youth  and  beauty. 
He  had  two  horses,  for  he  had  secured  Townseiid's, 
and  how  best  to  utilise  theui  was  the  diiHcult  problem 
which  he  had  now  to  solve.  Never,  jxThaps,  was 
back  of  horse  put  to  stranger  uses  l)efori».  Tlie 
stranijeness  culminated  in  the  circumstance  that  with 
a  nurserv  of  children  on  one  of  his  horses  he  was 
compelled  to  find  room  for  a  wretched  woman  with 
but  little  life  left  in  her — if  any.  The  back  of  the 
horse  was  her  death-bed,  and  the  body  was  left  to  the 
vultures.*     Nor  vras  Scot  alone  in  thesii  manifesta- 

*  Soc  tlio  foUowiiii;  pa>sai;.!  of  n  ilrcn  on  iny  liorM*  and  tri  d  to  keep 

])rivale   Inter   from  Ca  plain   Scot:  bick  the  Sir  j>o\s  who  wciv  with  uir. 

•*Mv  work  that,   day  was  torribh'.  Tlic  senior  llavihiar  jrot   ninn^  and 

I  had  to  try  to  lui,'  alonir  two  fat  old  more  savage  and  wa  :l('d  me  to  \vwm' 

women,  whilst   1  carried   thr.-e  chiU  the  children  and  tli  •  women;  b-it  1 




tions  of  the  chivalry  and  self-devotion  of  the  true 
Christian  gentleman.  Lieutenant  Jackson  took  up 
behind  him  the  wife  of  a  Sergeant  of  the  Public 
Works  Department,  who  rode  astride  la^jhed  to  lier 
preserver,  throughout  four  long  days  of  weariness 
and  pain — on  one  day  riding  forty  miles — until  they 
reached  Adjighur,  their  numbers  sadly  diminished  by 
the  agonies  of  that  dreadful  march. 

Before  this,  the  eighty-seven  faithful  Sepoys  had, 
by  agreement,  parted  from  their  officers.  They  had 
become  dissatisfied  and  hopeless  of  making  good  their 
way  to  British  territory.  The  people  along  the  line 
of  flight  were  manifestly  hostile  to  us.  It  was  plain 
that  our  officers  were  encumbered  with  women  and 
children,  and  the  Sepoys  could  not  appreciate  the  un- 
selfish chivalry  of  those  who  sacrificed  themselves  to 
the  weaklings  who  so  impeded  their  progress.  They 
proposed,  therefore — whether  in  good  faith  or  in  bad 
faith  it  is  hard  to  say — that  the  Europeans  still  re- 
maining alive  should  give  up  their  arms  to  the  Sepoys, 
who  should  report  everywhere  that  the  white  men 
were  prisoners,  whom  they  were  taking  to  Banda. 
Our  officers  consented.  For  a  time  it  succeeded. 
On  pain  of  the  displeasure  of  the  King  of  Delhi 
townsfolk  and  villagers  were  called  upon  to  supply 
food  and  forage  to  the  little  camp,  and  the  requisi- 
tion was  obeyed.  But  the  ruse  was  soon  discoveretl, 
or  the  Sepoys  said  it  was ;  so  this  state  of  things  was 


would  not,  and  thank  God,  they  did 
not  leave  ui*.  I  came  at  last  to  Mr. 
Snialley  sitting  beside  his  wife.  She 
seemed  dead,  but  it  was  doubtful, 
so  I  took  Ijcr  up  before  me  and  jjave 
one  of  the  children  to  my  writer, 
who  had  froi  hold  of  my  horse.  It 
was  a  niobt  arduous  task  to  keep  the 
utterly  inert  body  on  the  horse,  as  1 
placed    iicr  as  women  ride.     But 

after  a  while  she  seemed  dead.  I 
held  a  cousultalion  uboul  it  and  we 
left  the  body.  I  was  lame  from  an 
awful  kick  of  a  horse  and  had  but  a 
strip  of  cloth  on  one  foot;  but  poor 
Smalley  was  worse,  and  he  got  on 
my  horse  and  Mrs.  Tierncv  behind, 
her  two  chihircn  got  scats  upon  the 
horses — and  thus  I  readied  the  main 
bod  v.*' 

AGRA  IN  JULY.  377 

but  of  brief  duration.  The  whole  country,  it  was  1857. 
urged,  was  against  us,  and  it  was  better  that  they  ^^^' 
should  i^parate.  So  Scot  gave  them  certificates  of 
loyalty  and  they  made  their  way  to  Allaliahad ; 
whilst  the  wretched  remnant  of  the  Naogong  fugi- 
tives struggled  on  to  Adjighur,  Avhence  they  Avere 
passed  on  to  Nagodc  and  were  saved.  Mrs.  ilawe, 
whose  husband  had  died  on  the  march,  wandered  to 
Banda,  where  her  little  daughter  Avas  restorcid  to  h(*r 
by  Scot,  whose  noble  exertions  had  saved  the  cljild.* 

The  month  of  July  dawned  darkly  and  ominously       July. 
on  the  defenders  of  Agra.     It  was  now  certain  that  Agra. 
the   Neemuch   mutineers,   swollen    by   detachments 
from  other  rebel  hosts,  Avere    rapidly  jijiproaching. 
Colvin,  whose  health,  strong  man  as  he  was,  had  for 
some  time  been  breakin;]^  down  under  the  continur.'d 
pressure  of  external  anxieties  and  internal  dissen- 
sions, and  the   distressing  sleeplessness  which   tli(;y 
engendered,  was  now  said  to   be  dying.      lie   had  llowlinKH ol" 
many  enemies  among  those  who  should   have  bf^en '""^ ''*''''*''* 
his    friends — many    opponents    among    thos(:    who 
should  have  been  his  supporters.     Some  of  his  own 
officers,  openly  or  covertly,  conducted  theni.sfrlv'rs,  in 
this  crisis,  in  a  manner  as  disgraceful  to  tlKinisclvcs 
as  it  Avas  cruel  to  their  chief.     Some  wcrr;   insoh-nt 
and  minacious  to- his  face.     Some  wrot<'  letters  whirh 
ought  ne\x»r  to  have  been  Avritt<;n.     Whilst  oth^is, 
taking  advantage  of  the  post  by  l><jnibay,  adJn'^Md 

*  IJut  for  t  lie  iioccssifio'i  of  space,  f';i[jt.:i'ii   Sr*,!.  nwi  puMiTln-l  iii    fh- 

1  sliould  i^lally  have  told  this  story  TiMfif  im-wikiimt  of  .Si  pti  iiiIh  r   I  |, 

ill  prc;it«!r  detail,  for  it  is  a  toiu.'liinj;  JSj?.     Mri.    Mtiwr,  nl'-.n,  m-c-miiIi  ij 

illustration    of    Kiicrlish    heroisrn   of  li-r  advciitmr;,    anil    llir  nr  ml    ,, 

tlic  imrcst.  kind.     A  Lrrapliic  narra-  sniil  to  liavi*  Ijfrii  m' ui  (•»  ili  ■  *j»iii-i-ij 

tlvc  of    tlic    lliL;iit   wa-i   uriit.ii  Ijy  by  L'ldy  iyduitiin/. 

378  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1857.  tlie  Governor-General,  denouncing  the  conduct  of  his 
J^J-  lieutenant  in  no  measured  language,  declaring  his 
incompetency,  and  beseeching  Lord  Canning  to  re- 
move him.  Impeachments  before  Parliament  were 
talked  of  and  forcible  arrests — indeed,  there  were  no 
invectives,  no  threats,  to  which  his  assailants  did  not 
resort.  Lord  Canning  spoke  of  these  as  "  screeches 
from  Agra" — and  at  Delhi,  where  many  letters  were 
'  received  from  these  complainants,  it  was  said,  "There 
are  the  Agra- Wallahs  howUng  again !"  The  Agra 
Garrison  say  that  bowlings  came  to  them,  as  fre- 
quently from  Delhi. 

At  the  end  of  June  it  was  clear  that  the  Neemuch 
mutineers  were  approaching,  and  that  it  was  neces- 
sary at  once  to  concert  detailed  measures  for  their 
Approach  of  reception.  So,  on  the  30th,  a  Memorandum  was 
mutbeers!^  drawn  up  by  the  Brigadier,  in  which  he  very  clearly 
defined  our  position  and  the  dangers  which  threat- 
ened us ;  adding  :  "  It  is  as  well  to  observe  that 
merely  beating  the  mutineers  is  comparatively  no 
material  object  gained.  From  the  character  of  the 
enemy  it  does  not  seem  likely  that  these  mutineers 
would  venture  upon  an  attack  on  us,  unless  aided  by 
any  forces  in  the  present  neighbourhood,  or  by  some 
promise  of  local  treachery  here,  or  by  some  other 
aid  expected  from  the  westward.  The  rise  of  the 
Chumbul  river  seems  the  best  security  we  have 
against  any  early  hostile  movement  of  the  troops  at 
Gwalior."  On  the  following  day  a  llesolution  was 
passed  by  the  Lieutenant-Governor  containing  ex- 
plicit instructions  as  to  the  movements  of  all  branches 
of  the  Agra  force ;  but  when  the  time  came  for 
action,  circumstances  had  changed  and  the  Resolution 
became  a  dead  letter. 
Illness  of  Mf.      Colvin  had  boHie  all  the  assaults  upon  him  with 


the  finest  temper  and  the  truest  Christian  patience.  1857. 
But  the  malice  of  his  enemies,  and  the  unkindness  of  ^^^^  ^' 
his  own  people  struck  at  the  very  sources  of  his  life, 
and  on  the  3rd  of  July  alarming  symptoms  of  apoplexy 
presented  themselves.  He  was  then  compelled  to 
make  over  the  Government,  for  twenty-four  hours,  to 
a  Council  composed  of  Mr.  E.  A.  Reade,  Brigadier  Pol- 
whele,  and  Captain  Macleod,  Colvin's  military  secre- 
tary. The  Council  of  Administration  assembled  on  the 
4th  in  tlie  Brigadier's  house,  where  Colvin,  attended  by 
his  medical  adviser,  Avas  lying  in  an  adjoining  room. 
Later  in  the  day  he  brightened  up  a  little  and  ap- 
proved generally  of  the  instructions  issued  by  Reade 
and  his  colleagues.  They  made  the  most  of  their 
time  and  opportunity.  One  most  important  point 
was  gained.  The  first  paragraph  of  the  Proceedings 
of  the  Council  records :  "  The  information  reojardino: 
the  movements  of  tlie  Neemuch  mutineers  received 
through  the  Police  being  ambiguous  and  contradic- 
tory, volunteers  were  called  for  from  the  officers, 
who  reported  from  personal  observation  the  arrival 
of  their  camp  Avitliin  a  distance  of  fifteen  miles  from 
Affra.  Brio:adier  Polwhele  had  decided  in  the  event 
of  their  advancing  nearer,  to  meet  and  attack  them.'' 
This  Avould  have  been  a  great  point  gained,  if  there 
had  been  any  certainty  of  a  man,  so  vacillating  as 
Brigadier  Polwhele,  clinging  to  his  first  resolution. 
For,  a  few  days  before,  the  Lieutenant-Governor  had 
placed  the  Brigadier  in  full  possession  of  all  the  cir- 
cumstances of  our  position,  and  Avarned  him  of  the 
dangers  to  be  encountered.  He  had  told  Polwhele  to 
take  counsel  with  his  principal  officers,  receiving 
their  opinions  as  ''  to  how  fur  it  would  be  prudent  to 
advance  from  the  cantonment  and  proximity  of  the 
Fort  to  arrest  the  advance  of  the  enemy ;  whether  it 

380  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1857.  would  be  advantageous  to  employ  the  Kotali  Con- 
July  3.  tingent  then  encamped  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
Jumna,  opposite  to  Agra  ;  and  whether  it  would  be 
advisable  to  employ  a  force  under  our  staunch  ad- 
herent, the  Newab  SyfooUah  Khan,  to  co-operate 
Avith  us." 

So  Polwhele  had  assembled  his  officers  and  con- 
sulted them.  It  was  detennined  that  it  would  not 
be  a  wise  strategical  measure  to  move  out  the  force 
so  far  in  advance,  as  to  necessitate  its  encamping. 
It  would  be  better  to  await  their  coming  and  then  to 
march  out  from  the  barracks  to  give  battle  to  the 
enemy.*  It  was  resolved,  also,  that  the  Kotah  Con- 
tingent should  be  removed  within  the  cantonment, 
"  to  take  part  in  the  defence,"  and  that  the  services 
of  Syfoollali  Khan  should  be  accepted.f 
Mutiny  of  the  These  last  questions  soon  solved  themselves.  As 
tingent.  '  the  Contingent  Avcre  stationed  near  the  Europeans,  it 
Avould  have  been  easy  to  disarm  them.  This  was 
counselled  but  the  counsel  was  rejected.  Vacillation 
was  all  dominant  at  that  time.  The  Brigadier 
doubted  and  hesitated,  whilst  those  whom  he  should 
have  crushed  were  girding  up  their  loins  and  arming 
themselves  for  the  battle.  At  last,  on  the  4th  of 
July,  when  it  was  clearly  seen  that  their  proximity 
might  be  inconvenient,  if  not  dangerous,  orders 
were  issued  by  the  Council  of  Administration  for 
their  removal  from  Agra.     It  was  suggested  by  Major 

*  "  The  entire  want  of  Cavalry  after  midiiiglit,  to  the  railway  house 

with    the    force    here,"  wrote  Mr.  to  report,  the  desertion  of  tlieBhurt- 

Colvin,  *'  was  a  main  motive  to  this  poor  Horse,  and  the  Kuwab  having 

resolution,  which  1  myself  thought  acknowledged   that    his  matchlock 

the    best    tliat   could   be   adopted,  infantry  were  uuGt  to  figlit  against 

under  all  the  circumstances  of  our  mutineer   soldiers,  he  was  ordered 

position."  to  quit  Shagungc  at  ouce,  and  to 

f  The  sequel  maybe  given  in  a  return  to  Kcrowlce  wit  liout  delay.** 

note:  "Lieutenant  Henderson,  hav-  — Proceedings  of  Council  of  Admi- 

ing  brought  Nuwab  Sy'"oollah  Klian,  nisi  ration. 




Maclcod  that  a  test  should  be  applied  to  them  :  "that  1S57. 
their  guns  should  remain  with  the  reserve  of  Euro-  ^^^^  *• 
peans  left  for  the  protection  of  Cantonments,  while 
their  Infantry  and  Horse  should  accompany  the  force 
on  its  march  out  to  meet  and  attack  the  mutineers." 
At  first  the  men  of  the  Contingent  seemed  to  be 
satisfied  with  the  arrangement;  but  when  orders 
were  given  to  them  to  move  their  camp  to  the  rising 
ground  on  the  road  leading  to  Futtehpore  Sikri,  they 
broke  into  open  mutiny,  shot  down  their  European 
Sergeant-Major,  fired  at  other  British  officers,  and 
went  off  to  join  the  Neemuch  mutineers,  in  fear  and 
trembling  lest  they  should  be  overtaken  and  cut  up. 
Captain  Prendergast,  a  dashing  soldier  always  on  the 
alert,  with  a  party  of  Volunteer  Horse,  got  in  among 
them,  cut  down  some  of  the  mutineers  and  captured 
their  camels  and  ammunition.  On  the  same  even- 
ing it  was  discovered  that  some  of  the  components 
of  Syfoollah  Khan's  force  Avere  equally  treacherous, 
so  all  that  could  be  done  was  to  render  them 
harmless  as  enemies,  as  they  could  not  be  useful  as 

The  revolt  of  the  Kotali  Contingent  rendered  it  Removal  of 
necessary  that  the  Lieutenant-Governor  should  be  S^e  j^r^*° 
moved  into  the  Fort.  There  was  danger  of  an  attack 
on  the  Brigadier's  house,  and  a  party  of  volunteers 
and  others  had  drawn  up  in  front  of  it  for  purposes 
of  defence.  The  Brigadier  then  insisted  upon  the 
removal  of  Colvin  to  safer  quarters ;  and  the  Lieu- 
tenant-Governor somewhat  reluctantly  consented  to 
the  change,  lie  was  removed  under  an  escort;  but 
when  he  learnt  that  the  Kotah  Contingent  had  been 
dispersed,  he  desired  to  return  to  the  Brigadier's 
liouse  that  he  might  be  nearer  the  scene  of  action. 
Beade  carried  the  request  to  the  Brigadier,  but  the 

382  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1857.      old  soldier  was  peremptory  and   declared  that   he 
"  ^'       Avould  not  receive  him.    On  the  following  day  Colvin 
had  a  relapse  so  serious  as  to  cause  his  friends  and 
the  general  community  the  gi'eatest  anxiety.    But  he 
'    resumed  the   despatch    of  business   as  soon   as  his 
medical  adviser  reluctantly  consented  to  his  return- 
ing to  his  work. 
July  5.  It  was  not  then  very  clearly  known  at  what  point  the 

Advance  of    enemy  were  assembled ;  but  on  the  4th  of  July,  it  was 

our  troops.      /• ,     ,         ,  ,       ,  i     /»  • 

felt  that  they  must  be  close  upon  us.  bo  before  sunrise 
on  the  5th,  the  Engineers,  Fraser  and  Weller,  went 
to  Brigadier  Polwhele  and  besought  him  to  go  out  to 
meet  the  advancing  enemy.  ''  Give  the  Europeans 
their  breakfasts,"  said  Fraser,  ''  then  march  out  to 
find  the  enemy."  But  the  Brigadier  turned  a  deaf 
ear  to  these  entreaties.  He  refused  to  move  out  and 
said  that  he  Avould  hold  Agra  against  all  comers.  The 
lives  of  his  Europeans,  he  said,  were  very  valuable, 
and  he  would  not  needlessly  expose  them.  He  was 
a  brave  man ;  but  he  was  obstinate  and  Avanting  in 
judgment,  and  he  was  prejudiced  against  the  Engi- 
neers. So  Fraser  and  Weller  left  the  Brigadier's 
quarters-—  disappointed  and  crest-fallen— -lamenting 
the  failure  of  their  endeavours,  but  still  hoping  that 
another  hour  might  bring  forth  better  results. 

Brigadier  Polwhele  was  not  the  only  military 
ofiicer  of  rank  who  had  refused  advice  tendered  to  him, 
in  the  presence  of  his  advisers,  and  afterwards  acted 
upon  it  as  an  original  conception.  Tidings  that  the 
enemy  were  at  Shahgunj  were  brought  in  by  Ensign 
F.  Oldfield*  at  seven  o'clock  ;  but  it  was  ^ot  till  two 
hours  later  that  the  Brigadier  had  detennined  to 
move  out  the  troops,  and  about  an  hour  afterwards 


*  This   promisin<»   young  officer    CampbeU's  first  advance  on  Luck 
was  afterwards  killed  on  Sir  Colin    now. 


of  the  enemv. 


they  were  assembled  on  parade.*  Wlien  Fraser  1857. 
heard  of  this  he  went  to  the  Brigadier  and  offered  ^^^J  ^' 
his  services  as  second-in-command.  As  he  was  the 
next  senior  officer  in  the  station  this  request  could  not 
be  refused.  Weller  volunteered  at  the  same  time  for 
service  and  joined  the  Europeans,  as  a  Volunteer, 
on  foot.  But  there  was  still  much  hesitation  and 
delay ;  and  before  the  force  was  ready  to  move,  it 
was  known,  not  only  that  the  enemy  Avere  in  sight, 
but  that  they  had  occupied  the  very  position  which 
we  ought  ourselves  to  have  held. 

The  rebel  force  consisted  of  more  than  two  thousand  Composition 
men  ;  and  many  of  them  were  among  the  best  Native 
troops,  whom  our  English  officers  had  disciplined. 
There  was  the  fourth  troop  First  Brigade  of  Horse  Ar- 
tillery, known  as  Murray  Mackenzie's  troop. f  There 
was  the  Seventy-second  Regiment  of  Native  Infantry, 
with  its  rifle  company,  that  had  done  good  service  at 
Mooltan — part  of  the  First  Native  Cavalry,  with 
four  troops  of  the  Meliidpore  Horse — and  the  Seventh 
Regiment  of  the  Gwalior  Contingent.  And  to  these Avas 
goon  added  another  host,  on  which  we  had  relied  as 

*  "  However,  on  some  inlbrma-  being  his  second  -  in  -  eomniand, 
tion,  we  didnot  know  wliiit,  prol)ably  which — as  he  was  the  next  seuitu* 
acquired  after  Colonel  Eraser's  inter-  ollicer  in  the  station — could  not  of 
view,  the  l^ri^^adier  afterwards  dc-  course  be  refused.  I  was  unable  to 
cided  on  going  out ;  for  about  0  a.m.,  ride,  but  I  had  taken  a  gun  and  am- 
when  busily  ennjaged  in  tkc  Fort,  1  munition,  and  was  allowed  by  Co- 
was  surprised,  on  meeting  Mr.  loncl  liiddell.  Commanding  Third 
Thomhill,  Secretary  to  Government,  Europeans,  to  fall  in  as  a  volunteer 
to  learn  tliat  the  Brigadier  was  with  his  regiment." — MS.  Memo- 
going  out  lo  fii^'ht  tlie  Necmuch  rand  urn  of  Major  Weller. 
mutineers.  I  said  it  was  impossible,  f  At  the  time  of  the  revolt  of  the 
as  Colonel  Fraser  had  before  sunrise  troop.  Major  Mackenzie  was  at 
failed  to  persuade  him  to  this  course;  Delhi.  It  has  been  erroneously 
but  on  being  assured  it  was  true,  L  stated  in  some  narratives,  that  this 
at  once  hurried  oil'  to  Colonel  Fraser,  troop  had  rendered  itself  tamous  in 
and  we  wont  to  the  parade  ground  history,  as  a  component  of  tiic  "  II- 
and  found  the  troops  assembled,  lustrious  Garrison"  of  Jellalabad. 
This  was  between  10  and  11  a.m.,  Ihai  was  a  Light  Field  Battery 
and  Colonel  Fraser  at  once  solicited  (No.  0)  commanacd  by  Captain  Au- 
from  the  Brigadier  the  privilege  of  guslus  Abbott. 


384  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1857.  our  allies.  The  Kotah  Contingent,  who  had  been  at 
July  5.  Q^Y  mercy  on  the  preceding  day  and  had  gone  into 
revolt,  now  joined  the  ranks  of  the  enemy. 
The  battle  of  The  camp  of  the  mutineers  was  at  a  distance  of 
Shahgunj.  some  two  miles  from  our  Cantonment,  planted  ob- 
liquely on  a  metalled  road  with  a  village  of  mud-huts 
for  their  centre.  One  half  of  their  Artillery  was 
posted  on  one  flank — one  half  upon  the  other — shel- 
tered by  low  trees  and  walls,  and  natural  earthworks. 
The  camp  and  Cavalr}'^  were  in  the  rear,  hidden  from 
our  sight  as  Ave  advanced.  It  was  nearly  two  o'clock 
when  Polwhele  led  his  troops  to  the  attack.  Form- 
ing line  and  placing  one  half-battery  under  Captain 
D'Oyly  on  the  right,  and  the  other  under  Lieu- 
tenant Pearson  on  the  left,  he  moved  along  the 
sandy  plain  on  the  right  of  the  road  leading  to  the 
enemy's  position.  Our  force  consisted  of  eight  hun- 
dred and  sixteen  men,  all  in  fine  spirits  and  eager 
for  the  affray.  D'Oyly,  an  excellent  oflicer,  and  of 
the  highest  courage,  had  unbounded  confidence  in  his 
guns  and  his  gunners.  He  believed  that  it  would  be 
small  Avork  to  silence  the  enemy's  Artillery,  and  this 
done,  the  defeat  of  the  rebels  would  have  been  easy. 
His  influence  with  the  Brigadier  was  great,  and  it  is 
believed  that  the  plan  of  attack  was  in  accordance 
with  his  suggestions.  There  was  underlying  it  a 
wise  resolve,  not  to  expose  the  Europeans.  Riddell's 
regiment  was  eager  for  the  battle,  but  it  had  seen 
little  service,  and  at  a  time  when  the  loss  of  a  single 
English  soldier  was  a  calamity,  it  was  deemed  expe- 
dient to  take  every  precaution  against  the  possible 
results  of  rashness  and  impetuosity.  Yet  the  boldest 
movement  is  often  the  least  hazardous.  Had  the 
force  advanced  straight  along  the  metalled  road, 
upon  the  village,  or  had  it  moved  in  two  lines,  upon 


both  flanks  of  the  enemy,  success  would  have  been  1857. 
certain.  But  when  the  mutineers  saw  our  advancing  ^^^^  ^• 
troops,  they  opened  fire  upon  us,  from  their  cover, 
and  then  Polwhele  ordered  the  Infantry  to  lie  down, 
whilst  D'Oyly's  guns  answered  the  fire  of  the  rebel 
artillery.  But  the  enemy  were  too  well  posted  for 
us  to  do  them  any  grievous  injury,  and  the  delay 
enabled  them  to  get  our  range.  They  had  been 
firing  over  our  heads ;  and  if  we  had  at  once  ad- 
vanced, before  they  had  got  their  guns  to  the  right 
elevation,  we  might  have  fallen  upon  them,  with 
comparative  immunity,  and  they  could  not  have 
stood  the  rush  of  the  Europeans.  But  instead  of 
thus  utilising  all  branches  of  the  service,  the  Bri- 
gadier trusted  to  his  guns  and  wasted  his  am- 

Nothing  could  have  exceeded  the  gallantry  with  Our  disasters, 
which  D'Oyly  and  Pearson  worked  their  nine- 
pounders.  But  some  miserable  accidents  and  mis- 
carriages rendered  their  good  service  of  but  slight 
avail.  D'Oyly's  horse  was  shot  under  him  at  an 
early  period  of  the  engagement.  This  was  a  small 
disaster ;  for  he  could  command  on  foot,  but  at  a 
later  hour,  whilst  the  intrepid  artilleryman  was 
endeavouring  to  right  a  gun,  one  of  the  wheels  of 
which  was  in  difficulty,  a  grape-shot  from  one  of 
the  enemy's  batteries  Avounded  him  dangerously  on 
the  side.  He  was  placed  upon  a  tumbril,  from  which 
he  gave  his  orders,  suflfering  bravely  the  severest 
pain,  until  exhausted  nature  could  no  longer  sustain 
him.  Then  thinking  that  the  hand  of  death  was  upon 
him,  he  gasped  out ''  I  am  done  for.  Put  a  stone  upon 
my  grave  and  write  that  I  died  fighting  my  guns."* 

•  It  is  doubtful  wild  her  this  was     wards  in  liospitaL    It  was  probably 
said  on  the  field  of  battle  or  after-    repeated. 

VOL.  nr.  2  c 

386  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1857.  He  was  carried  from  the  battle-field,  and  after  some 
^**^y  ^-  hours  of  pain  exi)ired  in^the  Fort.  One  of  his 
ih^^tiScry.  subalterns,  Lieutenant  Lambe,  was  dangerously 
wounded  by  a  grape-shot,  which  shattered  his 
right  thigh.*  He  lingered  for  some  weeks  before 
death  terminated  the  intensity  of  his  sufferings. 
Lieutenant  Patteson,  who  commanded  the  left  half- 
.  battery,  exposed  himself  with  equal  audacity.  One 
of  his  guns  was  dismantled,  the  limber  was  blown 
up,  and  the  gun-carriage  ignited ;  but  he  and  his  men, 
exposed  to  a  heavy  fire,  and  molested  by  rushes  of 
Cavalry,  went  to  work  to  remount  it  as  coolly  as  if  they 
had  been  on  the  parade-ground  of  Dum-Dum  or 
Meerut  on  a  practice-day.  It  seemed  that  this 
battery,  heroically  as  it  was  worked,  was  doomed  to 
disaster,  for,  before  the  accident  above  recorded,  a 
round  shot  from  one  of  the  enemy's  guns  exploded 
an  ammunition  waggon  and  its  limber,  and  deprived 
us  of  that  which  was  the  very  life  of  our  power  of 
attack,  a  loss  which  soon  rendered  our  guns  only  an 
encumbrance  to  us.  The  rapid  firing,  with  but  small 
eflfect,  at  the  commencement  of  our  operations,  now 
told  most  lamentably  against  us ;  for  before  the  for- 
tune of  the  day  had  been  decided,  or  indeed  even 
before  the  decisive  action  had  commenced,  our  guns 
ceased  firing.  It  is  said  that  they  had  taken  out  ninety 
rounds  of  ammunition  for  each  gun,  but  by  four 
o'clock  in  the  afternoon  there  was  scarcely  a  shot  to  be 
Death  of  Ma-  Not  until  D'Oyly  had  reported  that  his  ammu- 
jor  m  .  jjjj-^j^  y^^  expended,  did  Colonel  Riddell  receive 
orders  to  advance  with  his  Europeans.  Then  "  two 
small   columns"  were  thrown   forward.     The  right 

Lambe  was  with  the  left  half-batterj. 



was  commanded  by  Major  G.  P.  Thomas*  of  the  1867. 
Third  Europeans,  and  the  left  by  Colonel  Eraser  ^^7^* 
of  the  Engineers,  with  whom  went  his  friend  and 
comrade  Weller,  both  "  with  their  shirt  -  sleeves 
tucked  up."  They  entered  the  village  with  a  good 
English  "  Hurrah !"  all  the  more  eager  for  having 
been  so  long  held  back.  After  an  obstinate  defence, 
and  not  without  heavy  loss  on  our  side,  the  village 
was  carried.  Here  Major  Thomas,  whose  horse  was 
shot  under  him  whilst  gallantly  leading  his  men, 
received  his  death-wound.  Eraser's  column  forcing 
an  entrance  into  the  village,  with  its  "  narrow  lanes 
and  strong  mud  huts,"  was  grievously  assailed  by  the 
firing  of  the  enemy  from  roofs  and  doorways.  It 
was  truly  a  critical  moment.  Eraser  was  eager  to 
hold  the  village  against  all  odds,  but  it  was  a  despe- 
rate undertaking ;  so  '  after  taking  coimsel  with 
Weller,  he  resolved  at  least  to  make  an  attempt  to 
bring  up  some  guns;  Weller,  who,  although  on 
foot,  seems  to  have  acted  as  staff-officer  to  the 
Brigade,  and  to  have  been  ready  for  any  kind  of 
service,  believing  that  Pearson  had  still  a  few  rounds 
of  ammunition  left,  Avent  off  to  him,  to  see  whether 
he  could  bring  up  his  half-battery  and  render  any 
service  in  this  emergency.  But  the  artilleryman 
shook  his  head.  So  many  men  and  so  many  horses 
had  been  killed,  and  so  much  damage  had  been 
done,  that  it  was  impossible  to  go  to  the  aid  of  the 
Infantry.  It  was  a  hapj)y  circumstance  that,  in 
one  important  respect,  the  enemy  were  in  like 
straits  with  ourselves ;  for  they  also  had  a  scarcity 

*  Mfljor  Thomas  had  been   for-  of  consummate  courage  as  a  soldier, 

merly  in  tlie  Sixty-fourth  Native  In-  and,  beyond  this,  he  was  a  man  of 

fantry,  in  which  he  had  distinguished  genius.     He  was   an  artist  and  a 

hiniself  at  the  commencement  of  the  poet.    I  liave  pleasant  recollections 

Second  Afghan  War.  He  was  a  man  of  days  passed  in  his  society. 


888  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1867.      of  Artillery,  and  their  guns  had  been  limbered  up  for 
J^iy  5-     flight.* 

Want  of  If  then  we  had  not  been  so  miserably  weak  in  the 
(^^rj,  mounted  branch  all  might  have  'gone  well.  But  all 
the  Cavalry  we  possessed  were  some  sixty  mounted 
militiamen.  They  were  men  of  all  kinds — "  military 
-  officers,  whose  regiments  had  mutinied  or  had  been 
disarmed,  members  of  the  Civil  Service  holding  ap- 
pointments, salaried  clerks  in  the  public  offices,  sec- 
tioners,  men  drafted  from  the  European  regiments, 
pensioners,  Christian  drummers,  musicians,  &c.,  from 
Native  regiments,  and  individuals  not  before  in  the 
service  of  Government."f  To  this  strange  list  we 
may  add,  "horse- riders  of  a  wandering  circus  from 
France."  They  had  been  exercised  only  for  a  space 
of  ten  days ;  but  weak  as  they  were  in  numbers  and 
in  discipline  they  were  strong  in  loyalty  and  in  cou- 
rage. With  such  mighty  odds  against  them,  they 
could  not  conquer,  but  they  took  a  glorious  part  in 
the  defeat.  Seven  of  their  little  party  fell  mortally 
wounded — among  them  Monsieur  Jourdan,  the  chief 
of  the  equestrian  troupe,  who  said  that  he  went  out 
to  ^ghtpaur  Thonneur  dalliance — and  proved  his  sin- 
cerity by  his  death. 
The  insurgent  The  enemy's  Cavalry,  on  the  other  hand,  were 
Cava  ry.  strong  in  numbers — more  than  as  ten  to  one.  And 
if  they  had  been  well  commanded  they  might  have 
cut  us  up  root  and  branch.  Some  dim  design 
of  planting  themselves  between  our  position  and  the 
Fort,  so  as  to  cut  off  our  retreat,  seems  to  have  been 
entertained  for  a  time ;  but  it  was  departed  from  in 

*  It  seems  that  thej  had  more  beeu  stated  tliat  the  last  amrauni- 

aense  than  we  had,  and  did  not  fire  (ion  used  against   us   consisted  of 

it  all  awaj.    This  may  be  gathered  bags  of  pice. 
from  the  fact  that  they  fired  upon        f  Memorandum    by  Mr.  £.  A. 

lu  daring  our  retreat ;   but  it  lias  Keadc. 


favour  of  another  project.  It  was  at  that  critical  1867. 
period  when  Weller  was  endeavouring  to  bring  up  ^^^  ^• 
Patteson's  guns,  that  large  bodies  of  horse  were  seen 
to  stream  out  from  behind  the  village,  as  if  to 
threaten  our  rear  and  to  render  our  retirement  on 
Agra  perilous,  if  not  impossible.  But  afterwards 
perceiving  that  our  two  half-batteries  were  separated 
and  but  imperfectly  protected,  they  determined  to 
make  an  effort  to  capture  our  guns.  So  they  charged 
down,  in  two  bodies,  each  on  one  half-battery — some 
hundreds  strong.  Then  was  it  that  our  mounted 
militiamen  showed  the  stuff  of  which  they  Avere 
made.  With  audacity  almost  sublime  they  galloped 
forward  to  meet  the  dense  hosts  of  the  enemy,  but 
they  were  "  terribly  shattered"  and  could  make  no 
impression  on  the  hostile  multitude.  But  a  volley 
from  the  British  Infantry  covering  the  guns,'  deU- 
vered  at  a  distance  of  seventy  yards  from  the  ad- 
vancing enemy,  threw  confusion  into'  their  ranks; 
and  they  wheeled  off  to  the  right,  making  for  the 
village,  Avhere  a  second  volley  from  the  Europeans 
checked  all  their  forward  designs.  The  few  troopers 
who,  with  exceptional  gallantry,  got  in  among  our 
guns,  were  easily  disposed  of  by  our  men. 

Meanwhile  the  conflict  in  the  village  had  notConOictin 
abated.  Our  two  detachments  were  separated,  and  ^"^■K®* 
at  one  time  had  lost  sight  of  each  other.  Fraser's 
column  had  captured  and  spiked  one  of  the  enemy's 
guns,  and  the  rest  had  gone  to  the  rear,  limbered  up 
for  flight.  But  the  Infantry  were  strong  and  bold 
behind  cover.  The  mud- wall  of  a  tobacco-field  gave 
them  great  opportunities  of  carrying  on  that  parti- 
cular style  of  warfare  in  which  they  most  rejoice  and 
are  most  successful.  We  were  in  every  way  out- 
matched, and  it  was  soon  apparent  that  we  could 

890  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1867.  only  destroy  our  Europeans,  every  man  of  whom  was 
July  6.  of  inestimable  value  at  such  a  time,  by  continuing 
the  unequal  contest.  So  the  attacking  columns  were 
withdrawn  to  join  the  main  body,*  and  preparations 
were  made  for  an  orderly  retreat  of  the  brigade. 
The  retreat.  In  all  the  force  that  went  out  on  this  disastrous 
expedition,  there  Avas  not  a  braver  man  than  the 
old  Brigadier.  He  was  always  to  be  seen,  con- 
spicuous on  his  white  charger,  sitting  composedly 
within  reach  of  the  enemy's  lire.  It  was  a  sore  trial 
to  him  to  be  compelled  to  give  the  order  to  fall  in. 
Then  there  was  great 'tribulation  about  carriage. 
Neither  Pearson's  disabled  piece,  nor  the  gun  which 
Fraser  had  spiked  could  be  carried  from  the  field. 
Two  elephants  had  been  sent  from  Agra,  but  they 
were  required  to  carry  off  the  wounded;  and  the 
dead  were  left  where  they  fell.f  But  when  the  Bri- 
gade had  formed,  it  moved  forward  so  steadily  that 
the  enemy  for  a  time  believed  that  we  were  re- 
turning to  our  quarters  to  obtain  more  ammuni- 
tion and  to  renew  the  conflict.  Under  this  impres- 
sion, not  thinking  that  the  battle  had  been  won  and 
lost,  they  persistently  harassed  our  retreat.  Their 
Artillery  galloped  ahead,  and  with  their  little  re- 
maining ammunition  fired  into  us  again  and  again, 
whilst  their  Cavalry  also  rode  forward  to  within  a 
mile  of  the  Fort,  firing  upon  us  from  behind  walls 
and  village-houses.  Still  our  people  marched  on 
"steady  and  confident,  many  even  cheerful," J  halt- 
ing ever  and  anon  to  fire  upon  the  rebel  Cavalry. 
There  was  very  little  slaughter  in  our  ranks,  and, 

*  "Wo  found    great    confusion  f  A    party   of  volunteers    went 

there—men  and    officers    drinking  out  next  morning;  buried  the  dead 

grejjdily  from  a  filthy  bu£Palo-pool,  bodies,  and  recovered  Pearson's  gun. 

which  nothing  but  dire  thirst  and  ex-  The   enemy    had  carried  off  their 

haustion  could  have  induced  them  own  piece, 

to  touch." — MS,  Memorandum  bi/ an  %  MS.  Memoranda, 


throughout  that  four  miles'  march,  the  column  was      1867. 
never  really  in  danger.  July  6. 

But  although  it  was  an  orderly  retreat — it  was 
truly  a  great  and  pitiable  disaster  and  a  dire  disgrace. 
The  want  of  Cavalry  was  a  grievous  misfortune.  But 
how  often  has  inferiority  of  numbers  been  atoned 
for  by  superiority  of  pluck.  It  was  not  this  mis- 
fortune that  destroyed  us.  We  were  destroyed  by 
the  errors  that  were  committed.  The  reserve  am- 
munition, though  packed,  was  not  sent  with  our 
force  or  after  our  force ;  and  our  Infantry  were  not 
brought  into  action,  until  our  guns  had  become  un- 
serviceable. It  was  madness  of  the  worst  kind  to 
reserve  the  action  of  our  Infantry  until  our  Artillery 
had  ceased  to  have  the  means  of  supporting  them. 
But  even  of  this  madness  we  must  speak  tenderly ;  for 
D'Oyly  paid  for  it  with  his  life,  and  Polwhele  by 
the  loss  of  his  professional  character. 

With  amazement  and  alarm  our  people  in  the  Fort  Dismay  of  tb 
had  marked  the  progress  of  the  action.  At  first  they  s**^®*^- 
could  but  dimly  conjecture  the  issue  of  events  from 
the  sounds  which  reached  them  from  a  distance.  They 
heard  the  booming  of  the  artillery  and  the  crashes 
of  the  great  explosions,  which  had  so  crippled  our 
action;  and  when  the  guns  ceased  firing  and  an 
ominous  stillness  ensued,  the  pause  excited  both 
wonderment  and  alarm.  But,  after  awhile  from  the 
Flagstafl^,  our  brigade  might  be  seen  retreating,  and 
soon  the  terrible  reality  was  announced  by  the  ap- 
pearance of  our  beaten  force  making  madly  towards 
tte  Fort — all  in  the  agony  of  thirst,  eager  to  reach 
the  canteen.  There  was  then  a  scene  of  terrible  con- 
fusion, such  as  those  who  witnessed  it  pray  to  God 
that  they  niay  never  live  to  see  again.     It  was  not 

392  AGRA  IN  JULY. 

1857.  strange  that  in  such  a  crisis  the  hearts  of  our  people 
^^J^'  failed  them  through  fear.  But  there  were  some, 
principally  Eurasians  and  Portuguese,  whose  sur- 
roundings and  belongings  were  such  as  to  render 
departure  from  their  old  homes  difficult  and  distaste- 
ful to  them.  They  said  that  they  had  faith  in  their 
friends  in  the  city  who  would  protect  them,  and  so 
they  refused  to  betake  themselves  to  the  shelter  of 
the  Fort.  But  they  had  miserably  miscalculated 
their  chances  of  safety.  The  enemy's  troopers,  who 
had  been  foremost  in  the  pursuit,  had  hounded  on 
all  the  rascality  of  Agra  and  the  surrounding  vil- 
lages to  slaughter  and  to  ravage  our  Christian  people. 
More  than  twenty  of  these  helpless  ones  were  killed 
either  on  that  evening  or  on  the  following  day, 
mostly  in  their  own  homes.  All  our  houses,  except 
those  immediately  contiguous  to  the  Fort,  were 
Bumingof  gutted  and  burnt;  the  greater  part  of  our  public 
CantonmcntB.  records  were  destroyed ;  and  by  the  lurid  light  of 
the  fires  they  had  ignited  might  have  been  seen  these 
savages  dancing  with  frantic  delight  around  the 
wrecks  and  ruins  they  had  created.  It  was  a  "  grand 
but  melancholy  sight.".  The  mighty  fire  disported 
itself  over  a  space  of  some  six  miles,  "from  the 
Civil  Lines  on  our  extreme  right  to  the  Khelat-i- 
Ghilzee  Lines  on  the  left."  Everything  of  a  combus- 
tible character  was  in  flames ;  and  our  people  looked 
out  on  the  illuminated  skies  with  a  sickening  sense 
of  the  sacrifice  of  their  cherished  goods,  which  the 
great  conflagration  portrayed. 

It  was  a  night  never  to  be  forgotten.  Memorable 
on  many  accounts,  it  was  memorable  for  nothing 
more  than  for  the  deep  devotion  with  which  the 
gentlewomen  of  Agra  ministered  to  the  wants  of  our 
wounded  and  weary  fighting  men.  Ghastly  sights 
were  before  their  eyes  to  make  them  shudder  and  other 


sights  from  which  feminine  delicacy  shrinks.  But  1857. 
these  brave-hearted,  humane  women  were  sustained  ^^^^  ^* 
by  a  solemn  sense  of  duty  to  their  God,  and  a  great 
love  for  their  fellow-creatures.  "  I  think  I  see  them 
now,"  writes  an  eye-witness  after  maming  some  who 
might  rank  with  the  Florence  Nightingales  of  the 
Crimean  War,  "  with  the  skirts  of  their  gowns  stuflfed 
through  their  petticoats,  waiting  on  the  weary  com- 
batants of  the  5th  of  July,  at  a  table  their  own 
hands  had  prepared,  and  in  turn  taking  to  my  poor 
and  almost  mortally  wounded  comrade,  Richard 
Oldfield,  lying  at  one  end  of  the  dining-