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.

‘Thuggee’ and the margins of the Colonial State in Early Nineteenth-Century India

‘Thuggee’ and the margins of the colonial state in early nineteenth-century india

‘THUGGEE’ was a form of banditry alleged by British Officers to be a vast criminal conspiracy affecting the lawless, newly ceded territories of Sagar and the Narmada valley in the early nineteenth century. The Oriental and India Office Collection (now known as Asia and Africa Collection) holds transcripts of the trials initiated by the magistrate of Etawah, Thomas Perry, against ‘thugs’ found in the ceded and conquered provinces in the 1810s. This encounter with ‘thuggee’ was far less spectacular than that later instigated by William Sleeman, but its failures were significant in shaping the anti-thug campaign of the 1830s. The ...

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