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 6: ‘Indiscriminate’ Execution: Renaud's March and General Neill
‘Indiscriminate’ Execution: Renaud's March and General Neill
ACT No. XIV of 1857, passed on 6 June, made provision for the punishment of persons convicted of inciting mutiny or sedition in the army: the offender was rendered liable to the punishment of death and forfeiture of all his property, and persons guilty of harbouring such offenders were also punishable. Power was given to general military courts (courts-martial) to try all persons, whether amenable to the articles of war or not.1 This order was issued prior to the infamous Kanpur massacres. The notorious Scottish General James George Smith Neill, a veteran of the Crimean War, interpreted this order broadly and encouraged his officers to summarily execute all who were suspected ...