In October another, larger, army under the new Commander-in-Chief, Sir Colin Campbell , was finally able to relieve the garrison and on 18 November, they evacuated the defended enclave within the city, the women and children leaving first. They then conducted an orderly withdrawal, firstly to Alambagh 4 miles 6. In March , Campbell once again advanced on Lucknow with a large army, meeting up with the force at Alambagh , this time seeking to suppress the rebellion in Awadh.
He was aided by a large Nepalese contingent advancing from the north under Jang Bahadur. This nevertheless allowed large numbers of the rebels to disperse into Awadh, and Campbell was forced to spend the summer and autumn dealing with scattered pockets of resistance while losing men to heat, disease and guerrilla actions. Jhansi was a Maratha -ruled princely state in Bundelkhand. When the Raja of Jhansi died without a biological male heir in , it was annexed to the British Raj by the Governor-General of India under the doctrine of lapse.
His widow, Rani Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of Jhansi protested against the denial of rights of their adopted son. When war broke out, Jhansi quickly became a centre of the rebellion. A small group of Company officials and their families took refuge in Jhansi Fort , and the Rani negotiated their evacuation. However, when they left the fort they were massacred by the rebels over whom the Rani had no control; the Europeans suspected the Rani of complicity, despite her repeated denials.
By the end of June , the Company had lost control of much of Bundelkhand and eastern Rajasthan. The Bengal Army units in the area, having rebelled, marched to take part in the battles for Delhi and Cawnpore. The many princely states that made up this area began warring amongst themselves. In September and October , the Rani led the successful defence of Jhansi against the invading armies of the neighbouring rajas of Datia and Orchha.
Thousands of local villagers welcomed him as a liberator, freeing them from rebel occupation. The Company forces captured the city, but the Rani fled in disguise. After being driven from Jhansi and Kalpi , on 1 June Rani Lakshmi Bai and a group of Maratha rebels captured the fortress city of Gwalior from the Scindia rulers, who were British allies. This might have reinvigorated the rebellion but the Central India Field Force very quickly advanced against the city.
The Rani died on 17 June, the second day of the Battle of Gwalior, probably killed by a carbine shot from the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars according to the account of three independent Indian representatives. The Company forces recaptured Gwalior within the next three days. In descriptions of the scene of her last battle, she was compared to Joan of Arc by some commentators. Colonel Henry Marion Durand , the then-Company resident at Indore , had brushed away any possibility of uprising in Indore.
When Colonel Travers rode forward to charge, the Bhopal Cavalry refused to follow. The Bhopal Infantry also refused orders and instead levelled their guns at European sergeants and officers. Since all possibility of mounting an effective deterrent was lost, Durand decided to gather up all the European residents and escape, although 39 European residents of Indore were killed.
What was then referred to by the British as the Punjab was a very large administrative division, centered on Lahore. It included not only the present-day Indian and Pakistani Punjabi regions but also the North West Frontier districts bordering Afghanistan. Much of the region had been the Sikh Empire , ruled by Ranjit Singh until his death in The kingdom had then fallen into disorder, with court factions and the Khalsa the Sikh army contending for power at the Lahore Durbar court. In , the region still contained the highest numbers of both European and Indian troops.
The inhabitants of the Punjab were not as sympathetic to the sepoys as they were elsewhere in India, which limited many of the outbreaks in the Punjab to disjointed uprisings by regiments of sepoys isolated from each other. In some garrisons, notably Ferozepore , indecision on the part of the senior European officers allowed the sepoys to rebel, but the sepoys then left the area, mostly heading for Delhi.
They intercepted the sepoys' mail, thus preventing their coordinating an uprising, and formed a force known as the "Punjab Movable Column" to move rapidly to suppress any revolts as they occurred. When it became clear from the intercepted correspondence that some of the sepoys at Peshawar were on the point of open revolt, the four most disaffected Bengal Native regiments were disarmed by the two British infantry regiments in the cantonment, backed by artillery, on 22 May.
This decisive act induced many local chieftains to side with the British. Jhelum in Punjab saw a mutiny of native troops against the British. To commemorate this event St. John's Church Jhelum was built and the names of those 35 British soldiers are carved on a marble lectern present in that church. The final large-scale military uprising in the Punjab took place on 9 July, when most of a brigade of sepoys at Sialkot rebelled and began to move to Delhi.
After fighting steadily but unsuccessfully for several hours, the sepoys tried to fall back across the river but became trapped on an island. Three days later, Nicholson annihilated the 1, trapped sepoys in the Battle of Trimmu Ghat. The British had been recruiting irregular units from Sikh and Pakhtun communities even before the first unrest among the Bengal units, and the numbers of these were greatly increased during the Rebellion, 34, fresh levies eventually being raised.
At one stage, faced with the need to send troops to reinforce the besiegers of Delhi, the Commissioner of the Punjab Sir John Lawrence suggested handing the coveted prize of Peshawar to Dost Mohammed Khan of Afghanistan in return for a pledge of friendship. The British Agents in Peshawar and the adjacent districts were horrified. Referring to the massacre of a retreating British army in , Herbert Edwardes wrote, "Dost Mahomed would not be a mortal Afghan Europeans cannot retreat — Kabul would come again.
The rebels held the jungles of Gogaira and had some initial successes against the British forces in the area, besieging Major Crawford Chamberlain at Chichawatni. A squadron of Punjabi cavalry sent by Sir John Lawrence raised the siege. Ahmed Khan was killed but the insurgents found a new leader in Mahr Bahawal Fatyana, who maintained the uprising for three months until Government forces penetrated the jungle and scattered the rebel tribesmen.
Kunwar Singh, the year-old Rajput Zamindar of Jagdispur , whose estate was in the process of being sequestrated by the Revenue Board, instigated and assumed the leadership of revolt in Bihar. On 25 July, mutiny erupted in the garrisons of Dinapur. Mutinying sepoys from the 7th, 8th and 40th regiments of Bengal Native Infantry quickly moved towards the city of Arrah and were joined by Kunwar Singh and his men. Boyle, a British railway engineer in Arrah, had already prepared an outbuilding on his property for defence against such attacks.
On 29 July men were sent out from Dinapore to relieve Arrah, but this force was ambushed by the rebels around a mile away from the siege house, severely defeated, and driven back. On 30 July, Major Vincent Eyre , who was going up the river with his troops and guns, reached Buxar and heard about the siege. He immediately disembarked his guns and troops the 5th Fusiliers and started marching towards Arrah, disregarding direct orders not to do so.
After an intense fight, the 5th Fusiliers charged and stormed the rebel positions successfully. After receiving reinforcements Major Eyre pursued Kunwar Singh to his palace in Jagdispur, however Singh had left by the time Eyre's forces arrived. Eyre then proceeded to destroy the palace and the homes of Singh's brothers.
In September , sepoys took control of the treasury in Chittagong. Further mutinies on 18 November saw the 2nd, 3rd and 4th companies of the 34th Bengal Infantry Regiment storming the Chittagong Jail and releasing all prisoners.
Causes of the Indian Mutiny - Telegraph
The mutineers were eventually suppressed by the Gurkha regiments. Residents in the city's Lalbagh area were kept awake at night by the rebellion. The interior areas of Bengal proper were already experiencing growing resistance to Company rule due to the Muslim Faraizi movement. In central and north Gujarat, the rebellion was sustained by land owner Jagirdars, Talukdars and Thakors with the support of armed communities of Bhil, Koli, Pathans and Arabs, unlike the mutiny by sepoys in north India. Their main opposition of British was due to Inam commission.
The Bet Dwarka island, along with Okhamandal region of Kathiawar peninsula which was under Gaekwad of Baroda State , saw a revolt by the Vaghers in January who, by July , controlled that region. In October , a joint offensive by British, Gaekwad and other princely states troops ousted the rebels and recaptured the region. The authorities in British colonies with an Indian population, sepoy or civilian, took measures to secure themselves against copycat uprisings. In the Straits Settlements , and Trinidad the annual Hosay processions were banned,  riots broke out in penal settlements in Burma , and the Settlements, in Penang the loss of a musket provoked a near riot,  and security was boosted especially in locations with an Indian convict population.
Both combatant sides committed atrocities against civilians. In Oudh alone, , Indians were estimated to have been killed during the war, with , of them being civilians. The general population in places such as Delhi, Allahabad, Kanpur and Lucknow was massacred after being recaptured by British forces.
Another notable atrocity was carried out by General Neill who massacred thousands of Indian mutineers and Indian civilians suspected of supporting the rebellion. The rebels' murder of women, children and wounded British soldiers at Cawnpore , and the subsequent printing of the events in the British papers, left many British soldiers outraged and seeking revenge.
As well as hanging mutineers, the British had some " blown from cannon ," an old Mughal punishment adopted many years before in India , in which sentenced rebels were tied over the mouths of cannons and blown to pieces when the cannons were fired. Most of the British press, outraged by the stories of rape and the killings of civilians and wounded British soldiers, did not advocate clemency of any kind. Governor General Canning ordered moderation in dealing with native sensibilities and earned the scornful sobriquet "Clemency Canning" from the press  and later parts of the British public.
In terms of sheer numbers, the casualties were much higher on the Indian side. A letter published after the fall of Delhi in the Bombay Telegraph and reproduced in the British press testified to the scale of the Indian casualties:. All the city's people found within the walls of the city of Delhi when our troops entered were bayoneted on the spot, and the number was considerable, as you may suppose, when I tell you that in some houses forty and fifty people were hiding.
These were not mutineers but residents of the city, who trusted to our well-known mild rule for pardon. I am glad to say they were disappointed. From the end of , the British had begun to gain ground again. Lucknow was retaken in March On 8 July , a peace treaty was signed and the rebellion ended. The last rebels were defeated in Gwalior on 20 June By , rebel leaders Bakht Khan and Nana Sahib had either been slain or had fled. Edward Vibart , a year-old officer whose parents, younger brothers, and two of his sisters had died in the Cawnpore massacre,  recorded his experience:.
The orders went out to shoot every soul It was literally murder I have seen many bloody and awful sights lately but such a one as I witnessed yesterday I pray I never see again. The women were all spared but their screams on seeing their husbands and sons butchered, were most painful Heaven knows I feel no pity, but when some old grey bearded man is brought and shot before your very eyes, hard must be that man's heart I think who can look on with indifference Some British troops adopted a policy of "no prisoners".
One officer, Thomas Lowe, remembered how on one occasion his unit had taken 76 prisoners — they were just too tired to carry on killing and needed a rest, he recalled. Later, after a quick trial, the prisoners were lined up with a British soldier standing a couple of yards in front of them. On the order "fire", they were all simultaneously shot, "swept The aftermath of the rebellion has been the focus of new work using Indian sources and population studies.
In The Last Mughal , historian William Dalrymple examines the effects on the Muslim population of Delhi after the city was retaken by the British and finds that intellectual and economic control of the city shifted from Muslim to Hindu hands because the British, at that time, saw an Islamic hand behind the mutiny. The scale of the punishments handed out by the British "Army of Retribution" were considered largely appropriate and justified in a Britain shocked by embellished reports of atrocities carried out against British and European civilians by the rebels.
Incidents of rape allegedly committed by Indian rebels against European women and girls appalled the British public. These atrocities were often used to justify the British reaction to the rebellion.
British newspapers printed various eyewitness accounts of the rape of English women and girls. One such account was published by The Times , regarding an incident where 48 English girls as young as 10 had been raped by Indian rebels in Delhi. Karl Marx criticized this story as false propaganda, and pointed out that the story was written by a clergyman in Bangalore, far from the events of the rebellion, with no evidence to support his allegation.
One such incident was that of General Wheeler's daughter Margaret being forced to live as her captor's concubine, though this was reported to the Victorian public as Margaret killing her rapist then herself.
During the aftermath of the rebellion, a series of exhaustive investigations were carried out by British police and intelligence officials into reports that British women prisoners had been "dishonored" at the Bibighar and elsewhere. One such detailed enquiry was at the direction of Lord Canning. The consensus was that there was no convincing evidence of such crimes having been committed, although numbers of European women and children had been killed outright. The term 'Sepoy' or 'Sepoyism' became a derogatory term for nationalists, especially in Ireland.
Bahadur Shah was arrested at Humanyun's tomb and tried for treason by a military commission assembled at Delhi, and exiled to Rangoon where he died in , bringing the Mughal dynasty to an end. The rebellion saw the end of the East India Company 's rule in India. In August, by the Government of India Act , the company was formally dissolved and its ruling powers over India were transferred to the British Crown. Some former East India Company territories, such as the Straits Settlements , became colonies in their own right. The British colonial administration embarked on a program of reform, trying to integrate Indian higher castes and rulers into the government and abolishing attempts at Westernization.
The Viceroy stopped land grabs, decreed religious tolerance and admitted Indians into civil service, albeit mainly as subordinates. Essentially the old East India Company bureaucracy remained, though there was a major shift in attitudes. In looking for the causes of the Rebellion the authorities alighted on two things: On religion it was felt that there had been too much interference with indigenous traditions, both Hindu and Muslim. On the economy it was now believed that the previous attempts by the Company to introduce free market competition had undermined traditional power structures and bonds of loyalty placing the peasantry at the mercy of merchants and money-lenders.
In consequence the new British Raj was constructed in part around a conservative agenda, based on a preservation of tradition and hierarchy. On a political level it was also felt that the previous lack of consultation between rulers and ruled had been another significant factor in contributing to the uprising. In consequence, Indians were drawn into government at a local level. Though this was on a limited scale a crucial precedent had been set, with the creation of a new 'white collar' Indian elite, further stimulated by the opening of universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, a result of the Indian Universities Act.
So, alongside the values of traditional and ancient India, a new professional middle class was starting to arise, in no way bound by the values of the past. Their ambition can only have been stimulated by Queen Victoria's Proclamation of November , in which it is expressly stated, "We hold ourselves bound to the natives of our Indian territories by the same obligations of duty which bind us to our other subjects Acting on these sentiments, Lord Ripon , viceroy from to , extended the powers of local self-government and sought to remove racial practices in the law courts by the Ilbert Bill.
But a policy at once liberal and progressive at one turn was reactionary and backward at the next, creating new elites and confirming old attitudes. The Ilbert Bill had the effect only of causing a white mutiny and the end of the prospect of perfect equality before the law. In measures were adopted to restrict Indian entry into the civil service. The Bengal army dominated the Indian army before and a direct result after the rebellion was the scaling back of the size of the Bengali contingent in the army.
The British looked for increased recruitment in the Punjab for the Bengal army as a result of the apparent discontent that resulted in the Sepoy conflict. The rebellion transformed both the native and European armies of British India. Of the 74 regular Bengal Native Infantry regiments in existence at the beginning of , only twelve escaped mutiny or disbandment.
The old Bengal Army had accordingly almost completely vanished from the order of battle.
British India and the 'Great Rebellion'
These troops were replaced by new units recruited from castes hitherto under-utilised by the British and from the minority so-called " Martial Races ", such as the Sikhs and the Gurkhas. The inefficiencies of the old organisation, which had estranged sepoys from their British officers, were addressed, and the post units were mainly organised on the "irregular" system. From until the rebellion of , each regular Bengal Native Infantry regiment had had 22 or 23 British officers,  who held every position of authority down to the second-in-command of each company.
In irregular units there were fewer European officers, but they associated themselves far more closely with their soldiers, while more responsibility was given to the Indian officers. The British increased the ratio of British to Indian soldiers within India. From Indian artillery was replaced by British units, except for a few mountain batteries. The recipients of the Victoria Cross are listed here. Clasps were awarded for the siege of Delhi and the siege and relief of Lucknow.
A military and civilian decoration of British India, the Indian Order of Merit was first introduced by the East India Company in , and was taken over by the Crown in , following the Indian Mutiny of The Indian Order of Merit was the only gallantry medal available to Native soldiers between and In India and Pakistan it has been termed as the "War of Independence of " or "First War of Indian Independence"  but it is not uncommon to use terms such as the "Revolt of ". The classification of the Rebellion being " First War of Independence " is not without its critics in India.
Others dispute this interpretation. Adas examines the historiography with emphasis on the four major approaches: Metcalf says Stokes undermines the assumption that was a response to general causes emanating from entire classes of people. Instead, Stokes argues that 1 those Indians who suffered the greatest relative deprivation rebelled and that 2 the decisive factor in precipitating a revolt was the presence of prosperous magnates who supported British rule.
Stokes also explores issues of economic development, the nature of privileged landholding, the role of moneylenders, the usefulness of classical rent theory, and, especially, the notion of the "rich peasant. The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi Dalrymple was assisted by Mahmood Farooqui, who translated key Urdu and Shikastah sources and published a selection in Besieged: Voices from Delhi He did not discover much in the way of proto-nationalism or any of the roots of modern India in the rebellion.
Almost from the moment the first sepoys mutinied in Meerut, the nature and the scope of the Indian Rebellion of has been contested and argued over. Speaking in the House of Commons in July , Benjamin Disraeli labelled it a 'national revolt' while Lord Palmerston , the Prime Minister, tried to downplay the scope and the significance of the event as a 'mere military mutiny'.
A second school of thought while acknowledging the validity of the above-mentioned arguments opines that this rebellion may indeed be called a war of India's independence. The reasons advanced are:. Several books written by Indian authors were released in the anniversary year including Amresh Mishra's "War of Civilizations", a controversial history of the Rebellion of , and "Recalcitrance" by Anurag Kumar, one of the few novels written in English by an Indian based on the events of In , a group of retired British soldiers and civilians, some of them descendants of British soldiers who died in the conflict, attempted to visit the site of the Siege of Lucknow.
However, fears of violence by Indian demonstrators, supported by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party , prevented the British visitors from visiting the site. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Sepoy Mutiny disambiguation. Lord Canning George Anson d. Indian Rebellion of Part of a series on the. Madrasian Culture Soanian , c. Maurya Dynasty , c.
Chalukya Dynasty , c. Delhi Sultanate , c. Mughal Dynasty , c. The Great Rebellion , c. Company rule in India. Causes of the Indian Rebellion of Central India Campaign This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Names of India's First War of Independence. For all their talk of improvement, the new rulers were as yet able to offer very little in the way of positive inducements for Indians to acquiesce in the rule.
Explanations have therefore to concentrate on the motives of those who actually rebelled. Two great cities, Delhi and Lucknow, were devastated by fighting and by the plundering of the victorious British. Where the countryside resisted, as in parts of Awadh, villages were burnt. Mutineers and their supporters were often killed out of hand. British civilians, including women and children, were murdered as well as the British officers of the sepoy regiments. It promised civil equality for Indians regardless of their religious affiliation, and state non-interference in Indians' religious affairs.
Although the Proclamation lacked the legal authority of a constitution, generations of Indians cited the Queen's proclamation in order to claim, and to defend, their right to religious freedom. But as is too often the case with noble statements of faith, reality fell far short of theory, and the failure on the part of the British to live up to the wording of the proclamation would later be used by Indian nationalists as proof of the hollowness of imperial principles.
Under these circumstances, it was not long before the seed-idea of nationalism implanted by their reading of Western books began to take root in the minds of intelligent and energetic Indians. Brook Northey, John Morris. Metropolis, India and progress in the colonial imagination , Manchester University Press, p. An expanding empire", in P.
The Moderates", Sources of Indian Tradition: A History of Modern India, — India and South Asia: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century". Oxford University Press, , p. Wagner , The great fear of The Indian Rebellion of London: Cardinal, , p. Forrest, Selections from the letters, despatches and other state papers preserved in the Military department of the government of India, —58 , pp. Ohio State University Press, p. Webb , New York: Cambridge University Press, p.
Retrieved on 12 July Littlehampton Book Services Ltd. Oxford University Press , p. A Matter of Honour. The Great Fear of Rumours, Conspiracies and the Making of the Indian Uprising. The Indian Mutiny of , Delhi: Nor did most Muslims share the rebels' hatred of the British, even as they deplored the more egregious excesses of colonial rule. During the uprising, the ulema could not agree whether to declare a jihad. Along with Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi , he took up arms when he was presented with clear evidence of English injustice.
Many Muslims, including Sunni and Shia ulema, collaborated with the British. Several of Nanautawi's fellow seminarians in Deoband and divines of the Ahl-i-Hadith reputed for their adherence to Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi rejected the jihad. The rebels coerced him into issuing a fatwa declaring a jihad Oxford University Press, pp. Carman, Morgan-Grampian Books , p. The Hindu Metro Plus Delhi. Daily Mail, 27 August The Institution of Royal Engineers. The Indian Mutiny , Capt. Mowbray Thomson , Brighton, Tom Donovan, , pp. Forrest, London, William Blackwood, Sherer, Daily Life during the Indian Mutiny , , p.
The Skull of Alum Beg. The Life and Death of a Rebel of Brief Narrative of the Defence of the Arrah Garrison. Two months in Arrah in Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts. Retrieved 18 July A turning point in the Indian mutiny. Shaping Of Modern Gujarat. James Macnabb Campbell , ed. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. The Government Central Press. A Comprehensive History of India. Retrieved 3 March Retrieved 13 August Four Courts Press, pp. Retrieved 30 May Delhi, Permanent Black, , As I read about the events of , I am forced to the conclusion that the Indian national character had sunk very low.
The leaders of the revolt could never agree. They were mutually jealous and continually intrigued against one another. In fact these personal jealousies and intrigues were largely responsible for the Indian defeat. New Perspectives on the Indian Uprising of Anticipations and Experiences in the Locality Metcalf, "Rural society and British rule in nineteenth century India. Modern Indian historiography on still seems, at least in part, to be responding to the prejudice of colonial accounts I see no reason to downplay, or to exaggerate, the atrocities carried out by Indians simply because such events seem to offend our post-colonial sensibilities.
Farooqui, trans Besieged: Wagner, "The Marginal Mutiny: Wagner , The Great Fear Of Selected case studies of the Indian rebellion. Savarkar argues that the rebellion was a war of Indian independence. The Indian War of Independence: Most historians have seen his arguments as discredited, with one venturing so far as to say, 'It was neither first, nor national, nor a war of independence. The Peasant Armed Oxford: The green flag was hoisted and Muslims in Bareilly, Bijnor, Moradabad, and other places the Muslims shouted for the revival of Muslim kingdom.
Sepoy Mutiny and Revolt of pp. Alavi, Seema , The Sepoys and the Company: Tradition and Transition — , Oxford University Press, p. Anderson, Clare , Indian Uprising of —8: Prisons, Prisoners and Rebellion , New York: Bandyopadhyay, Sekhara , From Plassey to Partition: Bayly, Christopher Alan , Empire and Information: History, Culture, Political Economy 2nd ed. The Origins of an Asian Democracy 2nd ed. Greenwood, Adrian , Victoria's Scottish Lion: Hibbert, Christopher , The Great Mutiny: India , London: Jain, Meenakshi , Parallel Pathways: Judd, Denis , The Lion and the Tiger: Keene, Henry George , Fifty-Seven.
Some account of the administration of Indian Districts during the revolt of the Bengal Army , London: A Short History , Oxford: Britain, India, and America c. India, — , New Delhi: Mukherjee, Rudrangshu , Awadh in Revolt — A Study of Popular Resistance 2nd ed. Roy, Tapti , The politics of a popular uprising: Bundelkhand , Delhi: Oxford University Press, p. Stanley, Peter , White Mutiny: British Military Culture in India, — , London: Stokes, Eric , The Peasant and the Raj: Stokes, Eric; Bayly, C. The Indian Revolt of , Oxford: British women and domestic defilement in the Indian "Mutiny", —8", Journal of Historical Geography , 26 3: Roy, Tapti February , "Visions of the Rebels: Mutiny at the Margins: New Perspectives on the Indian Uprising of 5 vol.
Lakshmibai, Jhansi, and Historiography , Oxford and New York: As one lieutenant noted sadly in his diary: The brutal punishments meted out certainly reignited the fears that had sparked the uprising in the first place A. Smyth 13 January 9: The Skull of Alum Bheg: Infantry… blown away from a gun. Most Popular Read Recent Read. Naz Shah needs to make up her mind about abortion Ross Clark. What happens when Steve Bannon is given a platform? The problem with the Brexit migration report Ross Clark.
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