The Sepoy Rebellion

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Houses of Parliament

The Sepoy Rebellion – 1857 – As the mutiny developed, these conservatives looked round for some specific act to which they could triumphantly point the people of England as a verification of their predictions, and an adequate and valid reason for the Sepoy Rebellion.  They found it in the fact that the Governor General, Lord Canning, (fresh from home and not yet tainted with their Christless “neutrality,”) had so far forgotten the obligations of his high position before the people of India, that he had actually contributed money in aid of a Missionary Society.  

By an American reader this statement must be thought simply ridiculous, and the writer be deemed trifling.  But no, far from it; we are in sober earnest.   This was, in all seriousness, solemnly put forward before the British people and Parliament as the cause of the Rebellion by these “most potent, wise, and reverend seigneurs” of the East India Company.   They found a mouth-piece even in the House of Lords, in the person of one of their former associates, Lord Ellenborough, who rose in his place, and lifted his hands in horror as he announced the fact, and declared that nothing less than Lord Canning’s recall could be considered an adequate penalty for so great a violation of the rules and traditions of the Honorable Court!

This “old Indian,” who thus made a fool of himself, and slurred the Christianity of the very crown before him in the presence of what has been called “the most venerable legislative assembly in Christendom.

Excerpt from The Land of Veda by William Butler – 1872

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