- This extract comes from a British newspaper describing events in the
rebellion against British rule in India from 1857-58. It describes events
in the area around Agra and Gwalior in the north of India.
- The report mentions British officers leading forces in the area. It
also mentions their Indian allies (eg Maharaja Scindia).
- It is not difficult to see that this was a British newspaper. The
way British actions are reported shows this. So does the reaction to
the death of various rebel leaders, such as the Ranee of Jhansi and
- The Ranee (queen) of Jhansi was one of the leaders of the rebellion.
She led several successful campaigns against British forces. As this
report shows, she was killed in fighting with British forces around
Gwalior. The newspaper made a point of publishing this news to help
boost the morale of British forces.
- The Moulvie was Moulvie Ahmedoola Shah. He was a religious leader
who also opposed British rule.
- The British called the revolt 'The Indian Mutiny' of 1857-58. It did
begin with a mutiny by Indian troops serving in the army of the British
East India Company.
- The mutiny was sparked off when Indian soldiers were given a new type
of bullet that used grease to keep it dry. The grease contained pig
and cow fat. This offended both the Hindus and the Muslims in the army.
- However, tensions had been growing between soldiers and the army for
some years. Tension had also been growing because many Indians were
unhappy about the policies of the East India Company. For example, the
British Governor General Lord Dalhousie tried to stop Indian rulers
from adopting children to inherit their thrones if they had no children
themselves. He hoped that the East India Company would take over if
a ruler died without an heir.
- The revolt of Indian troops (sepoys) was the chance that discontented
Indian rulers needed to try to overthrow British rule.
- The rebellion lasted around 18 months. It was eventually crushed by
large British forces, fighting alongside the forces of Indian leaders
who supported British rule. The rebellion never really had the support
of the majority of ordinary Indian peasants. For them, British rule
or rule by Indian princes made little difference to their hard lives.
- Both sides committed terrible atrocities in the conflict, and
the rebellion damaged relations between the British and Indians for