The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the revolt of 1857 from original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.
Chapter 9: Chinese Perspectives on the Uprising
Chinese Perspectives on the Uprising
THIS selection of documents offers a perspective on the events in India from East Asia. Britain was engaged in a military offensive in China when news of the rebellion in India broke. Owing to the diversion of troops to Calcutta, warfare was suspended until further reinforcements, including a force of sepoys, could be despatched. The first two documents offer some insights into the reactions of Chinese officials to the news. The first extract is a draft Memorial of China's imperial commissioner, Ye Mingchen, which came into the possession of Arthur Fisher, of the Royal Artillery, following the conquest of Canton and a translation was made for him. Fisher found Ye's ‘idea of the Indian mutiny’ ...