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.

Memorandum Concerning ‘Rumours of European Females having been Dishonoured’

Memorandum concerning ‘rumours of european females having been dishonoured’

DISTURBING tales of the suffering experienced by British civilians, especially women and children, were used to inspire the troops tasked with overcoming the rebel forces and also to solicit popular support in Britain for the costly deployment of military resources required to suppress the Indian Uprising. Most injurious to British sensibilities were the allegations concerning the rape or ‘dishonouring’ of British women. However, one may speculate that as order was restored and the British once again resumed control, these stories—which testified to the powerlessness of the British in North India at the time—were less enthusiastically embraced by the administration. Hence, the following enquiry, initiated within the ...

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