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 14: The Diary and Letters of Thomas B. Macaulay
The Diary and Letters of Thomas B. Macaulay
THE lawyer, Member of Parliament (MP) and historian, Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859) probably knew India as well as any man living in England at the time of the rebellion. Today, Macaulay is best known in Britain for his historical writing, but he also held important posts in the British Government in India in the 1830s. The reforms and innovations Macaulay introduced in India profoundly influenced the development of India's legal and educational system.
The reaction in Britain to the rebellion of the Bengal Army was characterised by almost universal condemnation coupled with strident calls for revenge. Macaulay was one of the few voices that diverged from these prevailing views. He ...