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 3: Prophecies of Insurrection
Prophecies of Insurrection
IN 1862, a strange little book was published that gathered together a number of ‘historical predictions’ that had subsequently proved correct. With the Indian Uprising still fresh in the minds of readers, several pages were devoted to persons who had foreseen the rising of the sepoys. Reference was made to three accounts in particular. First, a ‘Brahminical prediction’ that British rule in India would last exactly 100 years—from the Battle of Plassey on 23rd June 1757 until 1857—with a citation from a book published in 1807 which related the words of a pundit. The second, which recalls the ‘Jessie story’, was the dream of a military widow, Mrs Torrens, who foresaw that her daughter and son in law would ...