NARRATIVE OF MAINODIN.
In the name of the most merciful God.
Praise to the Almighty Creator of earth and Heaven, who at His first command created the heavens, and the tablets on which the decrees of mortals' fates are written, who brought into existence the universe, and invested it with divers forms of man and animal, with objects animate and inanimate, and devised means for their support.
And among these He gave excellence to mankind, and endowed him with wisdom and intelligence.
Man's very language in His glory fails.
Wisdom fails in proving His unity.
His Benevolence defies all description.
Praise to Mahommed Mustapha, the most excellent and chosen of mankind. Blessings on him, his friends and his children, him of whom God had said : "I would riot have created the world but for you."
And now it is necessary that I should relate my story, and the reasons which have led me to write this narrative.
I, the writer, am the descendant of Mu-in-uddin Hassan Khan, son of Nawab Ashruf-ulla Dowlah Kudmit-ulla-beg-Khan Bahadur, son of Nawab Shurruf-ul-Dowlah Cossim Khan Bahadur, a general, and sometime Kotwal of the province of Delhi, during the Mahommedan Dynasty. The real birthplace of my ancestors was Samarcand and Bokhara. My ancestor Nawab Shurruf-ul-Dowlah, together with his two brothers, Kochuh Mirza and Arif Khan, died, and Aruni Beg Khan made his home in the Punjab in the time of Shah Ahmed Allum Padshah, Emperor of Hindustan. After the decease of my ancestors, when English sovereignty was established and the Mahratta rule was declining, I took service under the English Government.
In the year 1848 I took up my residence in the province of Delhi, in Perghunah Hill, and was appointed a policeofficer, carrying out loyally all the orders that I received, and receiving kindness and encouragement at the hands of those in power, above all, from Sir Thomas Metcalfe, then Commissioner and Agent at the Court of Delhi. He was well acquainted with the nobility of my ancestors, and showed me great kindness, as also did his son, Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, at the time Joint Magistrate at Delhi; and after the events to which this history belongs, I received much kindness and protection from his younger brother, Mr. Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, of the Bengal Civil Service, at a time when I was helpless and friendless. And here I may say that I have always received much kindness at the hands of European gentlemen.
Of the mutiny of the Native Army in 1857 I was more than a witness, and by the force of circumstances I became acquainted with all that passed at the outbreak of the rebellion. I was in charge of the police division of Pahargunge, and it is through loyalty and faithfulness to Sir Theophilus Metcalfe that I am about to record the real circumstances of the mutiny as they came to my knowledge.
It has been said that I was an active participator in the mutiny. It is true that, after the capture of Delhi, through the evil machinations and falsehoods of a Chuprassie, by name Chuneri, and on account of my own evil fate, I dared not present myself before Sir Theophilus Metcalfe. After the assault, my house and all my goods were plundered.
I was dejected and in terror of my life. It seemed to me that I had neither bravery nor sense left. I believed at the time that my younger brother had gone, with all the members of his family, to Bombay, and thither I made my way in disguise.
There I lived as a merchant as best I could, and there I was joined by my younger brother. From Bombay we wrote to Sir Theophilus, asking him for certificates of character, and proofs of my loyalty and devotedness to him.
Sir Theophilus had gone to England, but from him I received both money and the proofs I wanted. But I was in such a distressed state of mind at all that had occurred, that I could determine on no course for the future.
Ever haunted by the fear of the extreme penalty of the law, I fled to Arabia, and there I remained for more than three years, sending my younger brother back to Delhi to ascertain all that was happening, as he was guiltless of any participation in the mutiny.
A weary time passed, during which I was separated frorn all dear to me. In 1863 I heard from my brother that he was then on a journey with Sir Theophilus Metcalfe through Kohistan. In 1864 I returned from Arabia, but still remained in concealment at Bombay. At this time Sir Edward Bayley1 (1 Brother-in-law to Sir Theophilus Metcalfe ) had been appointed Secretary to the Government of India, and knowing his generosity and nobleness, I determined to give myself up through him to the British Government. I presented myself before him, and under his instructions I gave myself up to Colonel McNeil, then Commissioner of the Delhi Division. I found, to my sorrow, that I was regarded with suspicion by the Commissioner, to whom I was personally unknown. He looked upon me as an enemy to the British Government. I was put on my trial, and through the justice of the English, and on the proofs I was able to produce of my devotedness to Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, I was acquitted.
I remained three days in Delhi, and then returned to Bombay, and thence went to Hyderabad, whence, being attacked by severe illness, I returned to Delhi, a restless wanderer. After remaining a few days in Delhi, I desired to return to Bombay, but, penniless and ruined, I threw myself on the generosity of the Nawab of Rampur, who with noble liberality gave me a home and an income. On the 1st of January, 1877, when the great assemblage of the Kings of Hindustan was held at Delhi, by order of H.E. Lord Lytton, Governor General of India, my poor circumstances (through the disinterested kindness of Sir Edward Bayley) were pointed out to his Lordship, who was pleased in the generosity of his heart to confer on me a sum of money to be settled upon me and my heirs. During the time that the deeds connected with this money were being drawn up I was constantly in communication with Mr. Charles Metcalfe, then Commissioner of Police in Calcutta. Mr. Metcalfe one day asked me if I had any papers in my possession connected with the occurrences at Delhi in 1857. I replied that as police officer I had been accustomed to keep a " Roznamcha," or diary of daily occurrences, and so through the troublous time I had kept a record of daily events, but as the hand of destiny had been against me, it would be better to leave unwritten this page of my own life history.
I was assured there were no grounds for further proceedings being taken against me, and I was encouraged to write of events in which I had been personally concerned, or which had come under my immediate knowledge.
My answer was that I would comply with whatsoever Mr. Metcalfe might desire, but that I was afraid to write of the events with which I was acquainted, for fear I might commit some blunder. I said it is a general defect with writers that instead of putting down the true and actual occurrences they may have witnessed, they fill their books with false statements and high compliments, colouring them as real facts. How could I write of the true events without implicating myself? for I had been an actor myself in these great occurrences as well as an eye witness.
My patron comforted me, saying that time had smoothed away many obstacles to writing a true history, and that 1 need no longer fear personal consequences. Paying my respects, I promised to write of every true occurrence of which 1 had been an eye witness, and of every fact with which I was acquainted. Sir Edward Bayley, too, gave me encouragement in this.
Now the duty devolves upon me to write in detail. Though many have written about the Mutiny of I857 in forms of memoranda, histories, and diaries, yet I consider all of them mere hearsay. I will not write of rumours and of unauthenticated stories, but of such events as have happened in my presence, and that which has been reported to me by reliable persons.
I will commence my narrative with the statement that, however the English may regard themselves, they are regarded by the natives as trespassers, and this feeling was intensified on the annexation of the province of Oude. Thence first arose dissatisfaction among the native troops, most of whom were natives of that province. Then followed the events of the mutiny and the arrangements made for its suppression, the calamities of the Ryots, the destruction of many native estates, the final ruin of several noted families and large cities ; the penalties inflicted on rebels and " Budmashes," who received the proper punishment for their misdeeds, and in consequence of whose acts many innocent persons were hanged and disaster hurled down upon the country. Their behaviour, instead of bearing any fruit, ended in the destruction of their own families. Now after a great revolution and fatal agitation, peace has been. restored, and the former state of public tranquillity again enjoyed by every subject. I call this book the " Khodang godur." May God bring prosperity and long life to those through whose accomplishment of purpose and effort the compiler of this book has come among the list of authors ! It is my earnest request to my readers that if they come across any mistakes in the language or in the usage of idioms, that they will pass them over indulgently, because man is born to err; besides, I am not a man of letters, but a soldier by profession, therefore it is absolutely necessary to overlook my shortcomings.
The English are familiar with the views of English writers on the causes of the mutiny of the Indian Army. These views differ in some respects from those held by natives, who trace the outbreak to a different source.
When Amjad Ali Shah Padshah, King of Lucknow, died in 1847, he was succeeded by Shah Wajid Ali, who devoted himself to the organization of the Army. Orders were issued that after morning prayer all the regiments in Lucknow were to parade daily at 5 a.m. The King was in the habit of taking command at the parade, dressed in the uniform of a general he used to drill the troops for four or five hours daily. Furthermore, he issued an order that if he were absent from parade, except through necessities of the State, he was to be fined 2,000 rupees, to be distributed among the regiments in garrison. An equivalent fine was to be levied if any of the regiments were late on parade, and as a further punishment two regiments of infantry and a resalah of cavalry were to remain under arms the whole day.
This activity of the King created suspicion, The British Resident inquired the cause of his exertions in creating an army, and suggested to him that if he required forces for the protection of his province he should employ British troops, to be paid out of the revenues of Clude. The courtiers of his Court also advised him not to raise suspicion by his personal activity. The King, discouraged by these remonstrances, replied that he would employ himself in future with some other occupation, as his interest in his army was not approved of. Henceforward he began to neglect the affairs of the State, and took pleasure in debauchery. The former Minister, Findad Hossim Khan, was removed from his post, and Ali Tuki Khan, a man of good family, was appointed to succeed him. The King married the niece of his new Minister, and then his daughter. He left the management of all the affairs of State to Ali Tuki Khan.
From the neglect of his kingdom there arose results which man's wisdom could not foresee. There was a Rajah, Dursham Sing by name, a nobleman of old family, the son of a Brahmin, Mahender Sing, a soldier by profession. This Dursham Sing had three sons-Buktour Sing, Durshin Sing, and Cholauka Sing. The eldest obtained the King's favour and a title of nobility, as did also Durshin Sing. They also obtained appointments as "Chakladars."
Durshin Sing next proceeded to force defaulting zemindars to draw out bills of sale of their property in his name. Thus he gradually formed for himself a large estate. His talook (property) adjoined a place called Hanumanjari, in the vicinity of Fyzabad, where there was a Mahommedan mosque which Durshin Sing annexed, together with its endowment.
Durshin had two sons, Hanuman Dull and Man Sing. These two men refused to allow the "Arjan " (call to prayer) to be sounded from the mosque. A few days later a travelling Moulvie, Fakir Hossein Shah, came to the mosque to pray, and not knowing of the prohibition, sounded the Arjan. The Brahmins of a neighbouring temple, hearing this, came to the mosque, assaulted the Moulvie, and taking from him the Koran which he held in his hands, threw it into a fire and burned it, and then drove the Moulvie out of the mosque.
The traveller went on his way to Lucknow, and told in the bazaars what had happened. It so happened that in the Hyderabad Mehalla ward of the city, the story interested a man called Hyder Khan, who lived there with his four brothers. All were soldiers in the service of the King. On bearing of the outrage, the two younger brothers offered to assist the Moulvie to obtain retribution for the insult to the Prophet. The three, in pursuance of their plan, returned to Hanumanjari, and the next day at the usual hour of prayer, they sounded the Arjan loudly and repeatedly. Brahmins came running to the mosque; an altercation followed; then a fight, in which the two soldiers were killed; Hossein escaped, and returning to Lucknow, laid a complaint before the criminal court. The native judge, seeing that the case was likely to prove troublesome, put it aside. The Moulvie then appealed to one Syud Amir Ali, Resident of Kasbeh Intaband, who bore a great reputation in the city as a holy and just man, and who had lived for many years as a recluse in a corner of the mosque at Kusbeh Amaitie. On hearing the story, he took up the Moulvie's cause. He first called a public meeting at the mosque, and issued a Futwa (law
decision) on the consequences of burning the Koran, and the murder of two zealous Mlahommedans, who had fallen in defence of their religion. He then began to preach jehad (holy war) in the streets of Lucknow, and in the adjoining country. He pointed out that there was a danger to the Mahommedan religion, and this excited and inflamed the public mind. Eventually, he started for Hanumanjari with a large following of persons burning to revenge the insult ofY~2red to their religion. The matter came to the cars of the British Resident, who hastened to the King, and urged him to take immediate measures to allay the excitement. The King sent for Kadum Hossein, and urged him to use his influence to settle the matter amicably.
Hossein Bux and Mahommed Tyer Khan were deputed to bring back the Moulvie, who, however, refused to return. Nawab Ali Tuk Khan then suggested to the Kin that Bashir-ul-Dowlah should be sent to bring back the Moulvie. He agreed to go if justice were done, and threatened if it were not that he would join the Moulvie. The British Resident again urged the King to prevent widespread bloodshed, and impressed on him his responsibility.
Both the King and his Minister for the time forgot their anger with the Resident for his interference with the King's military ardour, and consulted upon the measures necessary to suppress the impending trouble. They sent for Moulvie Kadim Hossein, a resident of Feringhee Mehal in Lucknow, a man of ability and position, and asked him to publish a contradictory Futwa, so as to cut away the ground from beneath the feet of those who desired war. The King also summoned Shah Hossein Bux and Mahommed Fakir Khan, and urged them to do all in their power to quiet the Moulvie ; but their efforts were fruitless. The Moulvie would listen to no terms other than that the Brahmins should be expelled from the Hanumanjari mosque, and the Mahommedans protected in the exercise of their ceremonials and prayers, and offenders punished in accordance with the laws of the Koran. Promises were made, but no steps were taken to fulfil them. The Moulvie remained at Lucknow for eight or ten days as the guest of Bashir-ul-Dowlah, who repeatedly urged upon the Vizier the fulfilment of his promise. The Moulvie then sent a message to the King that he would take the enforcement of justice into his own hands, and he returned to Hanumanjari after quarrelling with Bashir-ul-Dowlah for non-fulfilment of his promises. On this, the King ordered Colonel Barlow, who commanded the King's troops, to take a regiment of Hindus only, and to stop, the Moulvie by force, and if necessary he was to blow the Moulvie from a gun in case resistance was offered. The King's soldiers were encamped four miles from the Moulvie's camp. When the Moulvie attempted to march from Radli Maidan, Colonel Barton forbad his doing so and surrounded his camp.
Attacked by the Moulvie’s followers, the guns opened fire, and killed 111 of the assailants, many of the King's troops falling also. The news of this engagement spread throughout Hindustan and was the forerunner of still greater events. Little by little evil thoughts were generated. The British Resident, impressed by numerous petitions against the grave oppressions to which the people were subjected, and convinced of the inability of the King to rule the province in the interests of his people, recommended annexation. It is singular to record that under a Mlahommedan sovereign injustice should have been perpetrated in the matter of a mosque, and that the people should subsequently have arisen in rebellion against the British, to whom they appealed for justice and protection. On the 17th of, February, 1856, the British annexed Oude. They little anticipated the result. Thousands of men in the service of the King were thereby thrown out of employment, and were deprived of the means of livelihood. The worse the administration had been, the greater was the multitude of soldiers, courtiers, police, and landholders, who had fattened on it.
Those who had petitioned the English for redress were the poor and the oppressed. But the oppressors saw in British rule their own suppression. Oude was the birthplace of the Purbeah race, and these feelings of dissatisfaction affected the whole Purbeah race in the service of the British Government. To the native mind the act of annexation was one of gross injustice, and provoked a universal desire for resistance.
The King, and all those connected with him, although bowing to the hand of fate, became henceforward the bitter enemies of the English. At this time there were stationed at Lucknow two regiments, the 19th and the 34th , which were in the pay of the English Government. They had frequent consultations together on the injustice of the step which had been taken, and on the resistance which should be offered, and the attempts which should be made to create a rebellion for the purpose of overthrowing the British authority. It so happened that at the time of the annual change of regiments in I857 one of these two regiments was sent to Berampur, the other to Barrackpur. Both these regiments were full of bitterness towards the English Government, and from them letters were written to other Purbeah rec~iments. The 34th took the lead. These letters reminded every regiment of the ancient dynasties of Hindustan ;
pointed out that the annexation of Oude had been followed by the disbandonment of the Oude army, for the second time since the connection of the English with Oude; and showed that their place was being filled by the enlistment of Punjabi's arid Sikhs, and the formation of a Punjab army. The very bread had been torn out of the mouths of men who knew no other profession than that of the sword. The letters went on to say that further annexations might be expected, with little or no use for the native army. Thus was it pressed upon the Sepoys that they must rebel to reseat the ancient kings on their thrones, and drive the trespassers away. The welfare of the soldier caste required this ; the honour of their chiefs was at stake.
The proximity of these two regiments to each other enabled the conspirators to carry on a constant correspondence (the circulation of these letters being conducted with great secrecy), and frequent consultations ensued. By degrees it became known in native society which regiments were disaffected, arid it began to be inculcated as a creed that every Purbeah must withdraw his friendship from the foreigner; must ignore his authority, and overthrow his rule. Although these sentiments had become national, the methods to be employed in carrying them into action were but indistinctly known when the actual outbreak occurred. When the rebellion had begun, the frill force and significance of all that had preceded it became apparent, and men understood what it meant.
* * * * * *
In the month of January, 1857, the house of a European gentleman and the Telegraph Office at Ranigunge were burned down. This was a concerted signal ; it was calculated that the burning of a telegraph office would immediately, be cornmunicated along the line from Calcutta to the Punjab, and that those in the secret would understand on hearing of it that they too must fire houses. Information of these incendiaries was widely circulated in all directions, arid it is said that letters were sent from regiment to regiment inciting them. to commit similar acts.
In the following month, February, another signal was given by the widespread distribution of chupattis (flat unleavened cakes), an ominous sign. At the time I was " Thanadar " (Head Police Officer) of the Pahargunge Police Station just outside the city of Delhi. Early one morning the village watchman of Indraput came and reported that the watchman of Seraie Faruck Khan had brought him a chupatti (which he showed me) and had instructed him to cook five similar chupattis, and send them to the five nearest villages of the neighbourhood, with orders that each village chowkider was to make five similar ones for distribution. Each chupatti was to be made of barley and wheat flour, about the size of the palm of a man's hand, and was to weigh two tolahs. I was astonished, yet I felt that the statement of the watchman was true, and that there was importance in an event which undoubtedly created a feeling of great alarm in the native mind throughout Hindustan. No extraordinary incident occurred until it was rumoured that on February 26 the 19th Regiment of Foot at Berampur had refused to take1 (1 There were two men of the British Army cashiered from their regiments at Meerut (see p. i of Narrative). One of these became a Mahornmedan and took the name of Abdulla Beg. From Meerut he visited Umballa, Ludiana, and Ferozepur, and, again returning to Mecrut, took up his quarters near the Cantonments, daily receiving visits from men of the native regiments, and gradually ingratiating himself. Consultations were daily held on the burning question of the greased cartridges. On one occasion, addressing a number of the Sepoys, he said : " 1 know these cartridges are smeared with the fat of pigs and cows, and the Government intends to tatke your caste. Even if you srnear them with ghee and oil, as soon as you use them your example will be cited, and other regiments will use thern.") cartridges served out to them, and that the 34th Regiment had behaved in a similar manner, and that seven companies of that regiment had been dismissed. When 1 heard this I suspected it was the beginning of a time of trouble. Information of the behaviour of the different regiments was widely circulated by the Press, in a native newspaper published at Umballa. Suspecting some significance in all this 1 deputed men at once to visit the whole of my police jurisdiction, and, after ascertaining whether chupattis had already reached other villages, to forbid their circulation.
My younger brother, Mirza Mahommed Hossein Khan, was Thanadar of the police jurisdiction of Buddapur, about sixteen miles from Delhi. The same day that 1 received information about the circulation of chupattis in Pahargunge I heard from my brother, by a mounted messenger, that chupattis were passing from village to village throughout his jurisdiction ; that pieces of goat's flesh were also being distributed; and he asked me what was to be done. 1 wrote to him at once to use all his influence to prevent the circulation, and immediately sent word to the authorities.
For some days 1 received no orders : subsequently an order came to inquire and report what was intended by this circulation. Other letters now came to me from Thanadars of Alipur and Shepur, who asked for advice what to do.
I then received orders to stop the circulation. In the meantime my brother was deputed to go both to Allyghur and Muttra and inquire whether this circulation was general throughout the country. From him I learned that he had travelled over a large part of the Delhi division, and wherever he had gone he found the chupatti had been received from some place still further east. He was beset with questions, but whence the sign had come no one could tell ; neither its origin, nor its intention, were known.
My brother suggested that letters should be sent to the civil authorities of other districts to trace this matter, or else that he should be allowed to trace it to its very source ; but no permission was given. Next I received an order from Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, then joint Magistrate at Delhi, to report privately what I believed to be the origin of the matter. 1 wrote that 1 had heard from my father how, in the downfall of the Mahratta power, a sprig of china (or millet), 1 (1 The Sonthals send round a sprig of the sal tree (Sgorea robusta) if they desire to attract public attention.) and a morsel of bread, had passed from village to village, and that it was more than probable that the distribution of this bread was significant of some great disturbance, which would follow immediately. I had no further official communications or orders on this matter.
Following on this circumstance, there arose a hue and cry that the English were plotting to destroy the "caste" of the native Sepoys, by causing them to use a cartridge dipped in the fat of cows and pigs. The officers of the Government seemed to attach no importance to the matter, and paid no heed to what we regarded as significant warnings of a serious spirit of disaffection, which was spreading far and wide over the country.
On the morning of the 11th May I was engaged in a case in the Criminal Court of the Magistrate and Collector, Mr. Hutchinson. Shortly afterwards Buldeo Sing, Darogah in charge of the Jumna Bridge, came and said that be had just received information that there had been a fight between the European and native troops in Mecrut, and that the latter were marching straight upon Delhi, burning all the bungalows, and killing all the Europeans and Christians along their route. The mutineers were reported to be close to Delhi. The Collector at once ordered Buldeo Sing to hasten to his post and make arrangements for closing at once the city gate leading to the bridge. The Collector then drove off in his buggy in the direction of the Commissioner's house. Mr. Fraser, being asleep, was aroused and informed of all that was happening. Among the natives it is said that late the night before a sowar had arrived from Mecrut with a letter for Mr. Simon Fraser, the Commissioner, which the Jemadar took to him ; he was sitting in his chair asleep after dinner, and the Jemadar had to call several times to his master before he awoke. The Jemadar then told him that a sowar had brought an urgent letter from Mecrut. The Commissioner, however, rebuffed him, and taking the letter from the servant's hands mechanically put it into his pocket, falling asleep again afterwards. The servants were afraid to awaken the Commissioner again, and all that they gathered from the sowar was that he had learned from the patrol who had given him the letter that there was a great goolmal (confusion) at Meerut, and he had been urged to gallop at speed with the letter. 1 learned all this from the chuprassis while awaiting Mr. Hutchinson's return to the Cutcherry. While 1 was thus speculating on what had happened at Meerut, Mr. Hutchinson arrived. Seeing me, he ordered me to go off at once to the city and warn the Kotwal (or chief police-officer) ; then 1 was to return to my station in Pahargunge, and do my utmost to preserve order. Leaving him I rode through the city, and on my way met the Kotwal and gave him the magistrate's orders. He rode with me part of the way. According to him the city was quite quiet. While we were riding along a watchman from the Rajghaut city gate ran up, and reported that a number of native cavalry had reached the city walls from Meerut, and he had seen a still larger body approaching in the distance.
He said, in reply to a question, that the gates had been closed, but that when he left there was a great disturbance outside to have the gates opened. Leaving the Kotwal to go to the city gate, Igalloped back to report to Mr. Hutchinson that the mutineers were already at the Rajghaut Gate. He quietly told me to go off to my own post. He asked a chuprassi if anyone had seen Mr. Le Bas, and then drove off as if in search of him.1 (1 From inquiry, 1 afterwards learned that Ar. Hutchinson had driven round to see that all his orders had been cai i ied out, and had driven to the Kolwali, with Mr. Le Bas, the judge. From Mr Fraser's chuprassi 1 also learned that when he had carefully read the letter, which he had received the night before, he sent orders to secure the safety of his office, and ordered his carriage and gun to be sent after him into the city. Then taking with him Karim Buxt Khan, the jujjur Rajah's Resaldar, he went towards the city. He does not appear to have issued any orders to employ his Bodyguard.) I mounted my horse and galloped off to Pahargunge, through the Ajmer Gate of the city. Arriving there I turned out all the polic " Burkundazies " " and ordered them to look to their arms.
Whilst I was talking to my Burkundazies I suddenly saw a horse ridden by a European galloping towards the police station. As soon as I saw the rider I recognized him as the joint Magistrate, Sir Theophilus Metcalfe. I rose from my seat, and coming forward to meet him, called out the guard, and gave him a salute. At this time he was without any clothes save his shirt and underdrawers. I asked him what had happened. He replied: "The mutineers have got into the city and are killing all the Europeans. I have escaped by seizing this horse and have been pursued through the city." He then said to me, "Are you willing to do me a service?" I replied : "All that I have is yours : what service can I perform ? " He then dismounted from his horse, and asked me for some clothes to put on. I took him to the police station and opened my box. He selected a suit of native dress and a good sword of the kind known as Jari Ghaut. He then ordered his horse with the view of returning to his own house. I begged of him not to go. He then said: "I have left in my bedroom, in my house, a box containing 13,000 rupees in notes and some gold in coins." He desired me to send two trustworthy persons to bring the box. I at once deputed Kaluja Sing Mohurur and Omrao Mirza for this purpose.
I then questioned Sir Theophilus as to how he had escaped, for it seemed to me an all but impossible feat. I learned from him that he had arrived rather late at the Court House. He had found the Courts all empty, and only the Assistant Magistrate present, who was waiting, not knowing what to do. Nazir Rani Chand Dass then reported to him that the Treasury Guard had been overheard the night before saying that the Government was tampering with their religion, and " What would be, would be." This report was followed by one from the Darogah of the Jumna Bridge, that the mutineers were hastening towards the city ; he was warned that they were already under the city wall. He then drove with the Assistant Magistrate to the Magazine, where he turned out the guard of twenty-nine Nujibs, and sent them to guard the city gates. The men pointed cut that they had no cartridges. They were sent off, and Sir Theophilus then drove by himself towards the Calcutta Gate. He was met by a crowd hurrying towards him ; from them he learned that the mutineers had already entered the city. Sending the Kotwal1 (1I was informed afterwards that this "Kotwa," Buldeo Dass by name, on arriving at the Kotwali, learned that Mr. Hutchinson had been already murdered. He galloped back to warn Sir Theophilus, but met his buggy, with the horse galloping, without a driver, or a " syce" , (groom).) who was with him to guard the Kotwali, he drove on. On reaching Dariagunge he was met by three sowars, who, pulling out their pistols, fired at him. As each man met the buggy, and raised his pistol, Sir Theophilus lashed him across the face with the buggy whip. Flinching from lash, each sowar missed him. He galloped on until he became separated by a crowd from his assailants, but another crowd ahead barred his progress. jumping out of the buggy, he threw off his coat, pulled off his trousers, and ran down one of the many lanes of the city towards the garden house of Madub Dass. On his way he had suddenly come across the Resaldar of the Rajah of Jujjur's Cavalry, Mahommcd Khan by name. He called on this man to give up his horse, but he refused. On this Sir Theophilus suddenly seized him by the leg, tilted him out of the saddle, wrenched the reins from his hands, and jumping on the horse rode hard for the Choree Bazaar. Again he was headed by sowars. He turned, and was pursued by them in the direction of the Ajmere Gate, through which he passed and reached Pahargunge.
Whilst he was relating these adventures, two policemen came and reported that the road to Sir Theophilus's house was completely blocked by bodies of mutinous soldiers and ruffians, who were past all control and bent on murder and rapine. The men betrayed by their faces the fear they felt, but Sir Theophilus was not to be scared by such a tale, and he still declared he would ride back to cantonments where the troops were quartered. I warned him of the danger of such a step. How would he escape if the native troops at Delhi mutinied also ? I begged him to go and take refuge in my family house in the city, where my eldest brother, Amir-u-din Khan and his tribesmen would answer for his life. I offered to conduct him myself to the house, suggesting also that his presence in the city might possibly benefit the English Government. But he replied: "My duty is with the troops. It may be that by this time I am the only civil officer alive; it is not fitting that I should think of personal safety, while there is a military force near at hand to restore order." He then mounted, and we rode towards the Farashkhania Bridge. On our way we saw a large body of mutineers marching out from the Lahore Gate, and coming towards us. We met Kallian Mohurur and Omrao Mirza, who had been sent to try and save the moneychest from Sir Theophilus Metcalfe's house. They had been terrified by what they had seen. They reported the whole road as occupied by Bazis and Budmashes. They were so frightened that they returned with their mission unaccomplished. We consulted, and it was thought madness to proceed by the straight road. We determined to go back and ascertain what the troops at the cantonments were doing. I again proposed that Sir Theophilus should go to my house. He refused, on the ground that his presence would become known and lead to the destruction of my family and all my property. We cautioned our companions against revealing Sir Theophilus's presence, and we rode off to the Durza of Kadim Shurif; passing it, we went through Molea Khand, Mullam Dhanda, Bukid Sahian, until we reached Bagh Kutapi in the surburbs, some three miles from the city. Stopping our horses before the house of Bhura Khan Mewatti, we dismounted. The man was riot known to me personally, but he bore the character of being a fearless, upright man. He held the position of a "Lumberdar." On inquiry, I learned lie was absent; but his son came out to inquire what we wanted. I sent him to look for his father, and we waited quietly near the house. In a short time Bhura Khan came, and, after salutations, I said Do you know who this is?" pointing to my companion. He looked earnestly at him; recognizing him he said "It is Mutculub1 Saheb." (1 Corruption of " Metcalfe. " Illiterate natives of India have a ready aptitude for corrupting Saxon names: thus. Abercromby become "Bikrom"; "Alexander" "Secundar"; "Hastings" "Istink.") I related to him the occurrences of the morning. He recognized my companion's danger, and of his own accord offered his services. Sir Theophilus Alletcalfe was anxious to learn the
fate of the other European officers, and bade me go into the city and try to save any European lives I could. But it was too late to avert evil. It is probable if earlier steps had been taken to rouse the leading men of the city, many human lives might have been saved. When as yet cornparatively few mutineers had entered the city, the personal retainers of the nobles might have been sufficient to deal with the handful of marauders. The Rajah of Bulubghur was, at the time, in the city with his followers. He, together with Nawab Amir-u-din Khan and Zia-u-din Khan, who were men of great influence and loyal to the British -these, I say, could easily have raised a sufficient force, on the spur of the moment, to attack the Meerut sowars. The sowars were mounted on horses, and they would have been helpless in the narrow lanes of the city, crowded as it was with people. Alas! the suddenness of the inroad of a handful of men created a panic. Ignorance of the strength of the mutineers, and exaggerated reports of their number, quite paralyzed the better disposed part of the inhabitants.
In the mind of the natives, blame is attributed to the unfortunate inaction of the Commissioner, due to his neglect of the very important information which reached him the day before. By nine o'clock of that fatal morning the principal executive officers of the Government were dead. Then there ensued a panic. Every man thought of his own safety and that of his family and property.
But to get back to my narrative. I returned first to Pahargunge police station. I was questioned where the magistrate had gone. I replied that he had outpaced me, and had ridden I knew not where. Changing my costume, and adopting the habit generally worn by natives, I rode towards the city. I found the gate open and unguarded. I rode to my family house, where the terrified inmates were closing the doors. I rode on to the fort, finding all the shops on the road closed, both those of artizans and those of the Bunyahs or provision merchants. On every side the scum of the population was hurrying to and fro, laden with the plunder of European houses. Arriving at the central police station I found it plundered even to the doors, which had been carried off. The place was apparently deserted. Calling aloud I was answered by two policemen; from them I learned that the convicts who had been working on the roads had been taken to the station house that morning for custody as soon as the disturbance had commenced. Shortly, afterwards two Mahommedan sowars had ridden up, and called out, "Are you all here for your religion or against it?" The Kotwal had replied, "We are all for our religion." The convicts then made a rush for a blacksmith's shop, and assisted each other to cut off their irons. After this, two men mounted on camels and dressed in green with red turbans rode by at a trot, calling out, " Hear, ye people, the drum of religion has sounded." Whence they had come or whither they went, my informant knew not, but the excited and terrified crowds in the streets believed they were heavenly messengers. The convicts, freed from their fetters, returned and stormed the police station. The doors had been closed, but they forced them open with the assistance of some Sepoys. The Kotwal saved his life by jumping down at the back of the premises from the roof, and escaped in the direction of Roson-ud-Dowlah. The Naib Kotwal similarly got away. Foiled of their victims, the convicts plundered the house and destroyed all they could lay their hands on. My informants, who were natives of Lower Hindustan, not knowing what to do or where to go, still hung about the premises for shelter.
I learned that the mutineers had all gone in the direction of the Cashmere Gate to plunder, and to kill the Europeans who lived there. Still hoping to prevent some butchery, I ordered the two policemen to go and collect as many of the police as they could find. I told them to say I had been appointed City Kotwal by the King. To reassure them I gave them five rupees to purchase sugar, and instructed them if any mutineers came to the place to mention my name as having been appointed Kotwal. If any Sepoys came there, they were to be welcomed and offered sugar to mix with water. I then rode on to the Palace to ask for an interview with the King, in hopes that I might get some appointment to give me influence to stop the butchery of Europeans, and ensure the protection of my own family.
As I passed the Lahore Gate of the city I found the Volunteer Company of Native Infantry standing in line, ready for action. They, however, took no notice of me. Leaving my horse outside the "Red Purdah," I entered the Palace on foot. The place was untenanted and deserted. On reaching the Taswir Khana I found four head servants and two eunuchs in attendance. One of the servants, whom I knew, asked me why I had come. I replied, " I must see the King," and inquired where he was; I induced him to seek the King. I was summoned, and, prostrating myself, replied to his questions that my object in seeking an audience was, that plunder and butchery were going on ; and all the bad characters were searching for European and Christian women and children to destroy them. I begged the King to stop this, and to arrange for the restoration of order. The King replied I am helpless ; all my attendants have lost their heads or fled. I remain here alone. I have no force to obey my orders : what can I do ?" I replied : " If your Majesty will tell me the desire of your heart, possibly I may be able to carry out your commands." I described my proposed line of action. The King replied: " My son, this duty will I expect from you ; you have come to me in a moment of difficulty and clanger; do whatever seemeth good to you: I command you." I then said to the King : " If anyone should speak evil of me, charging me with occupying myself in suppressing disorders, be pleased to say, 'He is acting under my orders.' If your Majesty will give me the services of one or two of your Chobdars,'and let thern come with me to the scene of the massacre and butchery, giving them orders to support me with your authority, the slaughter of the helpless ones may be stayed. They could be brought here in custody to await your Majesty's pleasure. If their lives are saved, such an act of benevolence will benefit your Majesty above everything, if it be possible to carry out this scheme." I asked also that one of the Royal Princes should be sent to ride through the city and order the shops to be opened. The King approved of this proposal, and sent for Hakim Ahsanullah Khan. He came, and was ordered to listen to my proposals. He replied: "What necessity is there for Chobdars1 (1 Bearers of the Mace) to accompany you? The bagheelog, (runaways) will never abandon the slaughter of Christians. If they are interfered with, yet worse things may happen. When satiated with the blood of Christians, they will direct their attention to us and to our property. Let us take care of ourselves." I replied: " Hakimjee, your judgment is not good. The massacre of innocent women and children is not a good work in the eyes of the Most High God. When this insurrection is suppressed, and the English power re- established, the saving of these lives will stand you in good stead. Even if you incline to the opinion that the English power is gone for ever, these lives you have saved will redound to your glory and honour." I told him it was my opinion that the insurrection would continue only a short while, and besought him to act on my advice. Hakim. Ahsanullah remained silent as if lost in deep thought.
The King, inclining to my advice, ordered the Chobdars to accompany me. I hurried with them to Dariagunge, where the greater number of Europeans lived. Here was a sad scene, for the wicked and miserable murderers were employed in burning bungalows and killing the women and children. May God be merciful, and not lay to my charge the terrible sights I witnessed ! I and the Chobdars loudly proclaimed the orders of the King. Our interference was so far effectual, that the lives of some dozen persons were spared. They were sent to the Palace, and confined in the chota kasa apartments, and orders were given to feed them. Until late in the afternoon I laboured, going from bungalow to bungalow, hoping to find some one still living whom I might rescue. A few Christians only were found alive and taken to the Palace.
Later on I met a large number of Christians, men, women, and children, closely guarded. Using my authority I ordered them to be sent to the Palace or to the Kotwali for trial, to prove if they were or were not Christians. I said : " If they be found hereafter to be Christians let them be slaughtered ; but if they are falsely accused, the King's orders are, they must be set free. These are not Europeans, but men of the country." I said all this to save their lives. Nineteen of them were given up to me and sent to the Kotwili. About four o'clock I was startled by the report as of a hundred cannon fired together, Astonished, I went towards the Cashmere Gate, and learned from some persons that the Magazine had been blown up.
I then went on to the Magazine. The wall facing the river was blown down, and some of the inmates escaped that way. When the smoke had blown away, I entered the place; six wounded Europeans were found after the explosion. I had them sent away to the Palace, saving them from immediate slaughter. It was now towards evening. The Treasury was still untouched, and the guard on duty present as usual. I learned that early that morning, when the mutineers entered the city, the officers in charge of the Magazine had closed the gates. They pointed the cannon at the gates and surrounded the place with prickly shrubs. Several Europeans frorn Dariagunge had taken refuge there. Working hard, they heaped up bundles of cartridges and barrels of powder in such a position, that on a match being applied the whole place could be blown to pieces. All natives were turned out of the place, When the mutineers attempted the assault, they were driven back by the guns being fired at them. They reassembled, this time with scaling ladders. The Magazine was then fired. Only twenty five Sepoys were killed by the explosion, but a mob of 400 onlookers perished. Indeed, many of the bodies were blown far into the city, After sending away the six wounded Europeans, I went towards the Kotwali. On my way I saw the bodies of many Europeans lying about the roads, some near the Church, and many in front of the Assistant Magistrate's Cutcherry. I passed the bodies of Kalla Saheb, Deputy Collector in charge of the Treasury, and of his son. I saw sights that unmanned me. I dared not look.. As I passed the Treasury the sentinel was still pacing on his accustomed beat.
On reaching the Kotwali I assumed great severity of manner, and ordered the native Christians sent there to be carefully guarded. I found the two policemen had carried out my orders, and in the course of the day had collected the main body of the police, who were again in attendance at the KotwAli. As soon as it was night, the native Christians were passed out of the city, and thus escaped. I did not reach my home until about midnight, when I heard the firing of heavy guns. Mounting my horse, I rode towards one of the bastions. There I learned that another regiment from Meerut had arrived to join the mutineers, and a salute had been fired.
On the morning of May 12th I rode up to the cantonments, and found the whole place in disorder ; ruins of burning bungalows, and remains of property scattered here and there. The three regiments stationed here, the 38th, 54th, and 74th, had all moved off into the city, together with a battery of artillery. I learned that on the previous morning, about nine o'clock, information had reached the cantonment that a body of mutineers had arrived in Delhi from Meerut. The Brigadier at once ordered off two guns and a force of infantry to protect the city. The force detached joined the mutineers. As soon as the news of this fact reached the cantonment, and it became known that the officers had been killed, the 38th broke out in a body, killing their officers and such Europeans as they came across. The men of the 54th behaved better a few joined the mutineers, but the greater part refrained from joining the insurrection. The 74th assisted their officers to escape, and committed no murders. The men of the 38th fired the cantonment bungalows, and did as much mischief as they could.
Many ladies in the cantonments made their way to the Flag Staff Bastion, and were there joined by a number of Christians and half castes of both sexes. The 54th and 74th had refused to attack the mutineers of the 38th, and had refused to help their officers to drag guns to the bastion to defend it. All the murders were committed by the 38th, and that regiment was answerable for the trouble and terror to which the ladies and children had been subjected.
All the officers who escaped assembled with their wives and children at the Flag Staff Bastion. About five o'clock in tile afternoon, when it became evident that no help was at hand, they began to make arrangements for flight. In this they were assisted by the servants, as well as by the Sepoys of the regiments. Some in carriages, some in buggies, they started for Kurnoul. By that time, the city and cantonments being without officers, they were given over to lawlessness, and were beyond control. The battery of artillery did not leave the cantonments until after the Europeans had left, and so it was night before they marched into the city, and encamped at the Dewan Aam. The infantry did not march into the city until the next morning.
The Gujurs (a tribe of robbers) had not been slow to appear. Bands from Wuzirabad and Chandraul were plundering right and left. Metcalfe House was plundered by the Zemindar of Chandraul, and then burned. Every house belonging to a European or a Christian had been first plundered, then burned. After seeing the condition of Metcalfe House and the cantonments, I returned to the city. I appointed Mahommed Khan " burkundaz " and Gopal "chowkidar," and sent them to convey to Sir Theophilus Metcalfe information of all that had occurred. I despatched thein on this errand, for though I wished to go myself there was no opportunity, since my duties occupied every minute of the day. Outrage and murder were of hourly occurrence. Thirty Europeans, of both sexes, who had taken refuge in the Rajah of Kishenglaur's house, had been attacked and butchered in cold blood. On the third day I was warned that I was thought to have concealed some Europeans.
I felt that the mutineers suspected me, and regarded me wIth hostility.
On the fourth day I determined, at all hazards, to visit Sir Theophilus Metcalfe. Taking a brave and trustworthy man, by name Imamn Khan, with me, I started. I had already passed out of the city, by the Ajrnere Gate, when he drew my attention to two men who seemed to be following us. They had water vessels in their hands, and were pretending that they were going out into the country to answer a call of nature. Believing that I was the object of their suspicions, I stopped at the rest house used by travellers in Pahargunge. I rested there some time as if wearied, and then went on to the shop of a man who sold lime. I entered into a conversation with him for a supply of lime for the repairs of the Kotwali. To lead them off the scent I leisurely returned to the city by the Delhi Gate, via Kundrat. The two spies entered the city with me, and I then watched them until they joined their comrades. This occurrence determined my plan of action. I felt I had incurred suspicion, that my life and my family were in danger. It was necessary to take some decided measure. In all hours of difficulty and danger, action is better than inaction a golden rule. It struck me that if I were to maintain my influence and position in the city, I too must become a mutineer, and checkmate the designs of those who would destroy me. When two men are contending, the one who is the less energetic must be worsted. I determined to go at once to the Palace, and offer my services to the King. At the gate I found a company of the Volunteer Regiment of Native Infantry. I called for the Subahdar, and speaking as if I had some authority, I inquired if they had received their pay. A knot of non-commissioned officers surrounded me, and began most eagerly to discuss their difficulties. No officer had been appointed to command them, and they were without pay. I suggested to them that they should ask the King to appoint me. I told them my name, and offered to get them their pay. They readily, assented. I then wrote a petition on their behalf, which they were to present to the King. In an interview with Prince Mirza Mogul I proposed to him that he should take this regiment as a bodyguard, and be appointed their Colonel, as his brothers had been appointed to the commands of other regiments. He accepted the proposal, and at an interview with the King obtained the issue of the necessary orders. These steps., no doubt, implicated me in the rebellion ; but I was actuated by no feeling of opposition to the English, against whom I knew the struggle was hopeless.
If I had remained a passive spectator of this rebellion my life would certainly have been taken, while if I had left the city, and joined the English, the honour of my farnily would have been destroyed, and the rebels would have wreaked their vengeance upon them, for I was not an obscure man. I knew the position of the English, and how it would be, before the English Government could again reassert its authority and sovereignty ; so in my inmost heart I thought I was doing the best I could during this interval. To procure influence over the men of the regiment I advanced 5,000 rupees out of my own purse and personally distributed the money. That night I took up my quarters with the regiment. Next morning (May 15th) I was informed that the Sepoys who held the Ajmer Gate of the city, had come to search for me. I took my sword and went down among my men, who were falling in for morning parade. I recognized the two men who had followed me the day before. As the men did not salute me, I turned to the men of my company and pointed out to them the disrespect shown me by these two. An altercation ensued; the Ajmere Gate Sepoys then openly charged me with concealing some Europeans. My men retorted with abuse, on which my two accusers retired. On this day I again communicated with Sir Theophilus, informing him that matters were not mending, and that I saw no hopes of speedy succour; but, " Whatever must be, would be." After despatching my messenger, I was filled with the greatest anxiety for the safety of Sir Theophilus, the King having issued a proclamation offering a reward of 10,000 rupees for his capture. While debating with myself how to act, I received a verbal message from Sir Theophilus, asking for assistance to travel to Jujjur. The same evening I sent him a good horse, and some money, to Bura Khan's house, with advice how to travel. I felt I was in great difficulty, for if I myself went, and if my purpose became known, all my labour would be lost. It was arranged that Sir Theophilus should be dressed as a native soldier, and should be called Shere Khan,1 (1 Shere means "Lion") by which name henceforward he passed in all our communications. Next day I received a formal receipt for the money from Jujjur. My anxiety was much lessened by learning that Sir Theophilus had safely reached Jujjur, in company with Bura Khan and two of his brothers.
I placed myself from that day on the sick list, and remained at home, at the same time confining my military duties to attendance on the King. This line of conduct satisfied the men, for the Subalidars retained command without interference, while my position as Colonel protected me from immediate danger from my foes.
A man called Mir Nawab had taken charge of the Kotwali with my consent and my connivance. Subsequently, one Farg-ulla Khan was appointed Kotwffl, and Abdul Hakim was appointed his assistant. My position was better than that of the Kotwal, for the city was in the hands of the Sepoys, and these recognized no authority that was not military. The following Princes were appointed as Colonels to Regiments: Mirza Jewan Bukt, Mirza Mogul, Mirza Kider Sultan, Mirza Surub Hindi, Mirza Sidu Beg, Mirza Buktour Shah, Mirza Abdulla, son of Mirza Shali Ruk, Mirza Abu Bakr.
One of the first native houses plundered was that of Mohun Lall, who was said to be a Christian. 1 was informed that he had been arrested and placed in confinement, and was awaiting sentence of death. Now, Munshi Mohun Lall had during the Cabul War done good service to the English. He fell into the hands of the Afghans, and to save his life had passed himself off as a Mahommedan, under the name of Aza Khan. He was a man of good family, and was thoroughly loyal to the English. . . . . Learning that he was to be executed, 1 went to the house where he was confined, and using my authority ordered his release. 1 took him, after some difficulty, to my own house, and then sent him off to Ballaghur, under the protection of Nawab Wali Dad Khan, Talukdar, who was related to the King's family, and had been in Delhi for some days. The King had1 (1 The appointment was somewhat premature , as John Lawrence still held that Province) appointed him to be a Subahdar of the Province of the Punjab, giving him a retinue of fifty Sepoys. Mohun Lall, in company with Mirza Agham Hossein Khan and Wali Dad Khan, reached Ballaghur in safety, and thence escaped to Meerut.
The houses of the following men were plundered, as they were reported to be friendly to the English, viz., Munshi Rudur Mull, Golam Mirza, Juli Begum, all situated in Mehalla Buri, Baran. The house of Hamid Ali was next plundered on the accusation, that he had given shelter to Europeans. To put a stop to this wholesale destruction of property a meeting was held of the better-disposed classes. It was agreed to buy up a regiment by a monthly, payment, to protect their lives and property. The plan succeeded, and for a time at least they lived in security. Soon, however, the Princes, who had been placed in command of the different regiments, resented this arrangement, and calling together the Committee who had hired the regiment, fined and imprisoned them, appropriating the fines to their own purposes.
Even the leaders of the rebellion were not safe, for some enemy, in order to get Mahbub Ali Khan and Hakim Ahsanullah Khan into trouble, wrote a letter in their names, addressed to the Lieutenant Governor at Agra, which was allowed to fall into the hands of the mutineers who guarded the gates. The letter was taken to the King, and the immediate execution of the writers demanded. Mahbub Ali Khan was very ill at home, and was taken in his palki to the Dewan-I-Khas, He fell into the hands of the mutineers. Hakim Ahsanullah managed to escape from his house and take refuge in the Palace. The King saw through the treachery, and acquitted Mahbub Ali Khan. Nevertheless, the mutineers, in anger, plundered his house. Frightened at the turn affairs had taken, Hakim Ahsanullah treacherously gave up a number of European women and children, whom he had placed in security. The unfortunates were taken to the Dewan Aam and seated in the reservoir. A sowar first fired a carbine, then all were mercilessly massacred, to the horror of the whole city. In other parts of the city, fugitives were found and massacred at the order of native officers in command of detached parties.
Day by day perwanahs were extorted from the King addressed to particular regiments of the British Indian Army, promising monthly salaries of thirty rupees to infantry soldiers and fifty to cavalry, if they would join the King's Army. In every instance the King's perwanah had the effect of causing the soldiers to mutiny and make their way to Delhi. At the sight of the King's perwanah the men who had fought for the English forgot the past, in the desire to be re-established under a native Sovereign ; thus, daily, the city became more and more the centre of the rebellion. The English never thought of the truism expressed in these lines:
Dushman natawan, hakfr bechara shamurd."
("You should consider a weak man a despicable enemy.")
In the false security of their position, the English had long lived. As in nature, so in politics, a cloud the size of a man's hand often passes into a hurricane. It is quite true that the rebellion actually broke out on the excitement caused by the use of the new cartridges; but the real cause of the rebellion was an old enemy who, long vanquished, still existed.
But the enemies were not all natives : one of the most active of the mutineers was a European a discharged soldier of the 17th Foot who had resided at Meerut. This man turned Mahommedan, and assumed the name of Abdulla Beg. He became a resident at Delhi on the arrival of the mutineers, and immediately identified himself with them, and became virtually a leader and adviser. It was under his advice that the King issued perwanahs calling on regiments to join the King's forces. Since the 12th May the mutineers had taken possession of the King's private office, and had placed a guard over the Dewan Khas. They also insisted on the King holding a durbar daily, at which they could be present, and ensure a hearing. In place of the usual staff in attendance on the King's person, the mutineers substituted their own men, who were most violent, and quite wanting in ordinary respect to the King.
The force of mutineers in the city on the 12th May was as follows:
5 Regiments Native Infantry ... ... 2,000
1 " ... ... 350
1 Battery Artillery ... ... 180
Total ... ... 2,530
Of these, two Infantry and one Cavalry regiment were from Mecrut, and three Infantry regiments and one battery of Artillery from Delhi. They were stationed thus: one Infantry regiment to each of the following posts: Selimnghur, Lahore Gate (Fort), Lahore Gate (City), and Ajmere Gate (City), and Delhi Gate. The battery of Artillery remained at the Dewan Aam. The Cavalry encamped at Mahatub Bagh.
The period between the 11th and the 25th was occupied in restoring order and discipline in the city. An attack from the English was expected, and there was great want of powder. The powder magazine was situated outside the city at Wuzirabad, which had been plundered of its contents by the zemindars who had made away with the powder. Upwards of one lakh of rupees' worth of arms had been found in the magazine, which had fallen into the King's possession, but there was no powder. Orders were early issued for its manufacture, and towards the end of May a supply was ready. The King repeatedly urged an attack upon Meerut, but the mutineers delayed, first on one pretext, then upon another. At last, under pressure from the King, Mirza Abu Bakr, as Commander in Chief, started with a force on the 25th of May to attack the English at the Hindun River. The force consisted of Cavalry and of Field and Horse Artillery. The battle began with artillery fire. The Commander in Chief mounted on to the roof of a house near the River Hindun close to a bridge across the river and watched the battle. From time to time he sent messages to his Artillery to tell them of the havoc their fire was creating in the English ranks. Near the bridge he placed a battery with which he carried on an exchange of fire with the English, which became like a conversation of question and answer. Presently a shell burst near the battery, covering the gunner with dust. The Commanderin Chief, experiencing for the first time in his life the effects of a bursting shell, hastily descended from the roof of the house, mounted his horse, and galloped off with his escort of sowars far into the rear of the position, not heeding the cries of his troops. A general stampede then took place. When the news reached Delhi that the troops had been defeated, orders were issued to close the gates and exclude the Sepoys. When these arrived they found the Jumna Bridge had been broken down. In a hurried attempt to cross it the bridge gave way, and about 200 were drowned. The English did not follow up the victory they were not to be seen, and gradually the Sepoys forgot their fright.
The next morning (May 26) the English army crossed the Hindun and took the guns which the mutineers abandoned ; then they returned to Meerut. The Sepoys had now contended with the English on the open field. They had felt certain of success, but they had been worsted, and were filled with grave apprehensions for the future.
In the city there was rest for a time. News came of the assembling of the troops in the Punjab, and of their march upon Delhi. Four days before the arrival of the English, Ahmed Khan, Resaldar of the 4th Cavalry, made his way into the city. He sought an interview with the King, expressed his loyalty, and said his regiment was prepared to join the mutineers. He stated that the day the forces would meet, he would lead his men away to the right and join the mutineers. Ahmed Khan was received and treated with ' great courtesy. On the third day he took leave of the King, and returned to the English force. This man proved to be no rebel, but loyal to the English! On the same day the whole of the rebel force was paraded, under the command of Mirza Kizr Sultan, and marched to Alipur, where they entrenched themselves and rested.
On Monday, June 9th, the English arrived at Aliput. A regiment dressed in the uniform of the 4th Bengal Cavalry led the way on the right flank. The mutineers, seeing the advance guard approaching, naturally believed them to be the regiment of Ahmed Khan coming to join the rebel army. A cry of " Deen Deen ! " was raised, to welcome this addition to their forces. When the cavalry had approached near to the native army their squadrons suddenly wheeled, and immediately their front was cleared a battery opened fire from the centre of the column. The shells tearing through the ranks of the mutineers created great havoc, and immediately the Sepoys fled. The first to run was the Commander in Chief. He was met by Nawab Mahbub Ali Khan near the garden house of Mehaldar Khan. Explaining that he was hurrying back to the city for more artillery and ammunition, Mirza Kizr Sultan, in spite of all remonstrances, galloped away, The Nawab used every effort to stop the retreat, but nothing could stay the Sepoys as they hurried towards the city, into which they poured through the Cashmere, Lahore, and Cabul Gates, leaving these gates open behind them.
The English halted at Subzi Mundi, and then marched towards the Rajpur Cantonments. If they had instantly marched on the city, the place would have fallen easily into their power. On reaching the cantonments, the English force proceeded to take up position. Many of the guns which had been loaded to stop the English advance, were abandoned and taken by the English. The hesitation on the part of the English inspired the Sepoys with confidence, and, arming the city walls with guns, they soon began to fire shots in the direction of the cantonments. The English advanced to Mr. Fraser's house, where they erected a battery, as also at the place known as Futtehghur, and replied to the rebel fire. The din of the artillery fire lasted night and day. The rebels had four batteries at work one at Selimghur, two at the Cashmere Gates, and the fourth at the bastion at the Cabul Gate. The English replied from only two batteries. Very little was done by the English fire, the shot falling on unoccupied land and hurting no one.
The rebels were daily receiving additions to their ranks. The manufacture of gunpowder was begun in the house of Begum Simurd, being removed from the Dewan Aam for fear of an explosion. In this some two hundred to two hundred and fifty men were daily employed. News was received of the death of Nasir-ul-Dowlah, Nizam of Hyderabad, and that he had been succeeded by Afzul-ul-Dowlah. The King ordered a killut and honorary titles to be sent to the Nizam. Every morning a durbar was held, the King seated on his throne.
The rebel forces assembled daily on parade early in the morning, and marched to Mithar Bridge, where they halted, and, spreading into skirmishing parties, fired at random (bad-hawai), till 4 p.m., when they were withdrawn into their own lines. The casualties were about four killed and half a dozen wounded. The new arrivals were the most energetic and anxious to fight, but gradually their energy and bravery wavered, and they became more ready for retreat than for
advance, The Sepoys were laden with rupees ; they thought more of their plunder than of fighting.
Omrao Bahadur, a Talukdar of Alighur, with fifty stalwart sowars, and Umur Shobab, presented themselves before the King. Their names were entered as sirdars in the King's Army.
The rebels were becoming clamorous for pay. They were really laden with money, but they wished to extort as much more as they could. They threatened to leave the King's service unless paid, and they proposed that the wealthy men of the city should be ordered to subscribe for their maintenance. A Committee was formed of Nawab Hamud Ali Khan, Ruja Deby Sing Saligram, Nawab Mu'sa Khan, Nawab Ahmed Mirza Khan, and Hakim Abdul Hug. Some money was extorted, but too little to satisfy the rebels. Another device was then attempted : Nawab Amin-u-din Ahmed Khan and Nawab Zia-u-din Ahmed Khan were deemed wealthy men, and pressure was brought to bear upon the King to extort money from them. Gangs of armed men were collected in Rasim Khan's mohilla, to stop Sepoys from plundering. Orders, scaled with the King's seal, were then sent to these two men commanding their attendance at the Palace. Collecting their relatives and retainers, they consulted on the best means of escaping from this extortion. After putting their houses in a state of defence, they rode to the Palace, with a retinue of a few armed men. On reaching the Lal Purdah Gate, they were stopped by the sentries, as no armed men were allowed to enter the interior of the Palace. Nawab Amin-u-din at once knocked the sentries over, and pushing through the gate, passed into the Palace. On this occasion I was present. An audience was demanded of the King, who was at that time surrounded by the rebel Subahdars. Elbowing his way through the crowd of rebels, Amin u din Ahmed Khan presented himself before the King, together with his relatives. The King seemed pleased to see thern, but the rebels seemed to be nonplussed, and scowled at them. A further attempt was thereupon made to extort money from Amin u din. By the advice of one of the rebels it was suggested to Mirza Mogul to feign pleasure at seeing Amin-u-din, and to invite him to his house ; the others would take care to go there at the same time, to extort money from him. Accordingly, Mirza Mogul begged the King to request Amin-u-din to go to Mirza Mogul's house, as Mirza Mogul wished to consult him on an important matter. The King conveyed this invitation to Amin-u-din, and Mirza Mogul repeated it himself. Being pressed by the King to accept, Amin-u-din rode with his relatives to the Mirza's house. There he found large numbers of the rebels, and with difficulty obtained a seat. The rebels were ordered to be seated, but excused themselves. In the course of the conversation one of the rebels taunted Amin-u-din with living at his ease and in safety, while they were starving for want of food. This was followed by abuse. At once those who had accompanied Amin-u-din raised their carbines, and, covering the spokesman, challenged him at the peril of his life to repeat what he had said. The rebels were for the moment awed. Information of what was going on was carried to the King, who at once hurried to Mirza Mogul's house with his attendants, to prevent bloodshed. Bukt Khan, who had been appointed Commander in Chief, rode to the place, taking an escort of fifty soldiers with him, and severely reprimanded the rebels. Under the care of Bukt Khan and the soldiers who were with him, Amin-u-din Khan left the Prince's house, and reached his own in safety. He determined to leave the city: of course he was at once suspected of deserting to the English. On reaching the Cashmere Gate he was stopped by the rebel guard, threatened with immediate death, and detained. Unable to get out of the city, he returned to his own house.
A rebel regiment from Nusserabad arrived this day, and importuned the King for money. After taking up their quarters in Mobarah Bagh, they marched out at once to fight the English. The fighting commenced at three o'clock, and "tutors" and "pupils" met face to face. From firing the troops came to close quarters and crossed bayonets. The fight lasted for three hours; the ammunition was entirely expended. Towards sunset the Nusserabad regiment was withdrawn. In the morning the English took possession of the battlefield.
Buldeo Sing, the Darogah of the Jumna Bridge, was secretly conveying provisions this day to Sir Theophilus Metcalfe, when an informer pointed him out to the mutineers at the gate. He was stopped and searched ; attempting to run away, he was caught and taken to the Kotwali ; there he was killed, and his body suspended by the leg to a Neem tree.
A force arrived that day consisting of part of the Rajah of Ulwar's troops, and a regiment from Nimuch, after a fight at Akbarabad, under the command of Herra Sing. Immediately after arrival they too proposed to go out and fight the English. The bridge over the Canal had been destroyed by the English, so it was planned they should march via Nazufghur and engage the English from that side, while a counter attack was made from the city. The force therefore marched to Nazufghur. The English were aware of the movement, and arranged an ambuscade on the road, where the rebels, falling under a heavy artillery fire, fled, abandoning their guns. The force never again attempted an offensive movement.
The butchers accused of supplying the English with meat were decapitated. There were daily accessions to the ranks of the rebels, and daily attacks on the English position ; daily the rebels were driven back until this became the recognized rule. The gunpowder manufactory was blown up, whether by accident or design it was not known two hundred artificers were blown up with it.1 (1 Hudson, who commanded the guides, used to send his spies daily into Delhi. They reported to him that the manufacture of powder was going on, and eventually on their saying that the factory could be blown up, he promised the men 1,000 rupees reward if they could succeed in doing it. It was blown up as stated in this diary, but the reward was never claimed, nor did the men ever return. No doubt they were blown up.)
An attempt was made to plunder the house of the Kazi. The inmates defended the house, and killed several of the assailants with arrows. Mirza Mogul ordered a general review of the troops outside the Delhi Gate; they were extended to the Cashmere Gate. Seventeen regiments of foot, twentytwo regiments of cavalry, in all about 9,000 men, appeared at this parade. A quarrel between the sixth regiment and a regiment of infantry was excited by jealousy. The sixth, leaving their horses, issued by the Cashmere Gate, and attacking one of the English batteries, took the guns, and began to plunder the camp. When the infantry regiment arrived they found the plundering going on, and set to plunder too. Reserves coming up, the English attacked the mutineers and killed some two hundred of them, whereupon the force fled back to the city.
The mutineers represented to the King that the Sepoys were reluctant to attack the English, and demanded his presence in the field. This he promised to give. A large force was ordered to assemble in the evening. The King headed the force and passed by the Delhi Gate, and showed himself to the assembled troops. Passing by the Lal Dighi Tank he went on towards the Lahore Gate. One of the Palace dependants was substituted for the King, who secretly retired to the city by a back way. This show of force ended in nothing. The troops gradually moved back to their own quarters, and the threatened attack ended in smoke.
Three months had now passed, and the whole city had become accustomed to the sound of cannon being fired at all hours. A nuzzar was received from Bareilly from Khan Bahadur Khan. From Lucknow a nuzzar was brought from Mirza Abbas, consisting of gold mohurs of Badshah which bore the inscription
Suraj-u-din Bahadur Shah gazi."
The bearer of this nuzzar was lodged at the house of Mozuffer- ul- dowlah. The nuzzar was presented to the King.
A letter was written to Hakim Ahsanullah Khan by Rajub Ali Khan Mohussim, asking why the Standard of the Proplict had been erected in the city, since there were no English left in the city. He had forbidden its remaining there, and he had directed Mufti Mahommed Sadan-u-din Bahadur, Judge of the City, to instruct the people and explain to them that it was folly to raise the Standard. Soon afterwards a warning proclamation was issued that the city was about to be attacked, and that the batteries of the English were ready to fire upon the town. They commenced a cannonade upon the Cashmere Bastion. For eight days such a fire was kept up that the walls began to crumble away, and the shot began to fall inside the city. All the inhabitants of the quarter near the Cashmere Gate abandoned their houses and took refuge in more sheltered parts. Before the 14th of September the bastions upon which the English concentrated their fire, had become dust.
On this day, Monday, September 14th , the English made the attack on the Cashmere Gates, by which they entered and took possession of the city. The mutineers, abandoning the guns on the bastions, fled in every direction. The English penetrated as far as the Kotwali and Jumma Musjid in their assault. At the KotwAli a gun had been planted and was fired by some sowars and bad characters. This fire fell in the midst of the English advancing column, killing and wounding upwards of fifty of them. The mutineers defended the Jumma Musjid and checked the English advance. The English fell back on the Cashmere Gate. A further stand was made by the mutineers at Pulbin Bund and at the Calcutta Gate. The fighting continued for five days through the city. The Princes fled to the Tomb of Humaon at four o'clock in the morning- a bad omen. The mutineers then began to leave the city in every direction, as did also the inhabitants. The fugitives were attacked by the Gujurs (robber tribes), who plundered them of their arms and money. Nawab, Yakub Khan, who had lived shut up in his house in the city throughout the siege, left the city secretly with his family. He was attacked by Gujurs, plundered, and killed.
General Mahommed Bukt Khan, collecting a force, went to the King, and begged him to fly to Lucknow with him. He also offered to collect the scattered rebel forces outside the city and again fight the English. But the old King refused his help. Bukt Khan then marched for Lucknow with all the forces he could collect.
Mirza Abbas Khan, the vakil of the King of Oude, who had arrived four days before the assault with the nuzzar, now fled with his escort in the direction of Raiputana. The King fled to the old fort Killa Kahoma. The whole city once rnore came under the dominion of the English. When the English learned where the King had fled they sent orders to Mirza Elahi Bux and Hakim Ahsanullah to prevent the King from leaving the city, and directed them to bring him to the English camp. A force was sent with them of l00 cavalry, with the complement of officers, and proceeded to the old fort.
Mirza Elahi Bux and Hakim Ahsanullah went to the King, who was in great terror, but was reassured by those about him, who told him that a dish of pillau alone was in store for him. Four of the Princes were in company with the King, viz., Mirza Mogul, Alirza Abu Bakr, Mirza Kizr Sultan, Mirza Meddu. The party, on leaving the fort, was surrounded by the English escort. The King was placed in a palki, the Princes in a bullock cart, and taken towards the Palace. When the Princes reached the place in front of the Dewan-I-Aam, where the English women and children had been butchered, they were shot. The city was plundered from the Lahore to the Cashmere Gate. Mirza Buktour Shah, who was subsequently caught, was also executed. The King was placed in custody. Shah Samund Khan, the commander of the King's Bodyguard, was caught leaving the city by the Cashmere Gate. He was identified as General of the Rajah of Jujjur's forces, and was summarily shet. In the city no one's life was safe. All able bodied men who were seen were taken for rebels and shot.
Mahommed Ali, son of Nawab Jung Khan, nephew of the Rajah of Dadra, had closed his doors for safety. Some Gurkhas and Europeans who were plundering the city tried to force the doors. Baffled in the attempt, they mounted the wall. A wet nurse seeing them was so terrified that she threw herself and the child she was carrying into a well ; the other ladies of the house, panic struck, followed her example, and threw themselves into the same well and perished. Mahommed Ali from the centre of the house fired his gun and killed three Europeans. The house was immediately attacked by a large force and the inmates killed, Mahommed Ali among the number fighting to the last. Some sixty men found with weapons were killed, including Sheik Irnam Bux and his son, masters of the Mahornmedan College, who were mistaken for mutineers. Among those slain was Falla-ulla Khan, a well known native physician, and others who vere innocent of all participation in the multiny, In Bhojla Pahari, Meah Amin Saheb, a well known scribe, foolishly interposed to prevent soldiers from entering his house. He killed the first English soldier who entered, but was himself immediately bayoneted ; still, he died taking his murderer with him.
Moulvic Furid-u-din was on his way from his morning prayers, when he was met by the advancing column of English and fell in the rush, with which the English burst like a pent up river through the city. Hakim Ahmed Hossein Khan and Hakim Razi-u-din Khan fell in the same way. Mirza Eusuf Khan, brother of Mirza Asadilla Khan, who had long been out of his mind, attracted by the noise of the firing, wandered out into the street to see what was going on; he was killed. Many other well known men of the city were killed, being mistaken for rebels. In this way God showed His anger: the green as well as the dry trees were consumed ; the guiltless shared the same fate as the guilty. As innocent Christians fell victims on the 11th of May, so the same evil fate befel Mahommedans on the 20th September, 1857. The gallows slew those who had escaped the sword. Among them were Nawab Mozuffer-ul-dowlah, Mahommed Hossein Khan, Mirza Ahmed Khan, Mir Mahommed Hossein Khan, Akbar Khan, Mir Khan, Nowshir Khan, Hakim Abdul Hug, Kalifa Ismail, Mohommed Khan, Resaldar Safdar Beg Khan, Asjur Yar Khan, besides Princes of the King's family. Many died in jail. Numbers perished, until Sir John Lawrence re-established order, and Courts were once more opened for the trial of the guilty ; every man who had an enemy declared against him. False witnesses abounded on every side. On one side a man feared the rebels ; on the other he dreaded the false accusations of relatives and compatriots. The slaughter of innocent, helpless women and children was revenged in a manner that no one ever anticipated.
There were several ancient and noble families in the vicinity
of Delhi : Jujjur, with a revenue of fourteen lakhs, Dadra, Patuli, Bulubghur, with two lakhs subsidy from Government, Dogana, Faraknujjur, Loharu. Mention has already been made of Jujjur and the part he played. Dadra became disloyal to the English. Patuli opposed the rebellion ; he was attacked by the mutineers, defeated, and his palace looted. The Rajah, however, joined the English. Dogana remained loyal to the English throughout. Bulubghur was virtually Governor of the city during the siege. He, together with Jujjur and Faraknujjur, were hanged for rebellion. The death of Mr. Munder was brought home to the Rajah of Bulubghur. Loharu was virtually a prisoner in Delhi during the siege. His house and property at Loharu were plundered by the neighbouring zemindars.The bodies of the three Rajahs were buried in the same grave with the Delhi Princes, in the Durga of Kazi Bakibulla. Their estates were also attaclied. Perghanah Narnal, which yielded a revenue Of 200,000 rupees, was given to Puttiala. Perghanah Karonda was sold by public auction, and was allowed to be purchased by the Rajah of Puttiala, on account of his steadfast loyalty. Perghanah Kauli was given to the Rajah of Nabha. As a reward for his disloyalty Dadra was confiscated and made over to the Maharajah of Jeend. The Rajah of Dadra was banished to Lahore. The officers of the Rajah of Jujjur were banished to Ludiana. No action was taken by the English Government against the properties of Dogana, Patuli, and Loharu. The King, with his Begums, and joan Bukt and his wife, with certain Princes, were banished to Rangoon, and sent there under a European guard. A suitable allowance for their maintenance was sanctioned by the English Government, and the King was allowed to take with him four of his old retainers as servants.