Sailing the British Empire : The Voyages of The Clarence, 1858-73

The Indian Mutiny

      One of the most important events involving the British in India was the rebellion that would come to be known as the Mutiny of 1857. While the 18th Hussars were in England at the time and did not participate in quelling the rebellion, the outcome of the event would lead to their eventual deployment to India. The British became unpopular in North India due to several organizational polices in the military, such as the use of pork or beef fat in the shell cartridges (which went against the religions of the Indian soldiers), and discontent over land revenues led the Bengal Army to revolt in 1857. The Bengal Army (one of the three British armies in India, along with the Madras and the Bombay) was the only of the British armies to rebel, led by a group known as the Purabiyas. Many of the sepoys in the Bengal Army were Purabayas: high caste Hindus such as Brahmins and Rajputs from western India. The rebels quickly took regions around Delhi, Lucknow, and Jhansi in the Gangetic Plain  of north-central India.

The following map shows the key points of conflict of the Indian Mutiny.

1. Roy, Kaushik. The Army in British India: From Colonial Warfare to Total War 1857-1947. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. Print.
Heathcote, T. A. The Military in British India: The Development of British Forces in South Asia, 1600-1947. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1995. Print.
3. Bayly, C. A. "Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi." The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947. London: National Portrait Gallery Publications, 1990. 245-46. Print.

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