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 11: The Day of ‘National Humiliation’
The Day of ‘National Humiliation’
A ‘Day of National Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer’ was announced by Queen Victoria and her government in Britain on Wednesday, 7 October 1857. Officially, it was ‘the day appointed by proclamation for a solemn fast, humiliation and prayer before Almighty God: in order to obtain pardon of our sins, and for imploring his blessing and assistance on our arms for the restoration of tranquillity in India’. The next day, the London Times carried reports from 159 different places of worship in the London area, many of which held two or three services, with money being collected to support the families of British victims in India. There were reports of similarly large attendances throughout the country, ...