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 8: Petitions Expressing Loyalty
Petitions Expressing Loyalty
SOON after the uprising broke out, British officers who felt they had good ties with their men secured their opinions about it and were pleased to pass on the ‘good news’ of their professed loyalty. J. McDonald, Lieutenant Colonel of the 39th Bengal Native Infantry, forwarded the petition that forms the first document on 17 June 1857, explaining that it was he who had ‘organised a parade and ensured that all signatories agreed with the contents’. The second document was sent to Colonel Birch of the Indian Government from Darjeeling by Lieutenant Charles Murray, Commanding Officer of Sebundy Sappers and Miners [a corps of Nepalese] on 31 July 1857.1 He explained, in the accompanying letter, that the petition had ...