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 19: The Metropolitan Police Enquiry into ‘Popular Opinion’
The Metropolitan Police Enquiry into ‘Popular Opinion’
A curious set of ‘confidential’ reports written by London police superintendents lie among the Granville Papers, held at the National Archives in London. Evidently written in response to instructions from Sir Richard Mayne, head of the Metropolitan Police at the time of the uprising, police officers endeavoured to ascertain the attitudes of the British public to news of the Sepoy atrocities and, in particular, reactions to the news of Lord Canning's proclamation which promised amnesty towards all but the worst offenders in the recent tumults in India. The responses reveal the influence of the sensationalist news reporting on public opinion, but at the same time, suggest some indignation at reports of ...