THE KING SUEEENDEES CONDITIONALLY,
that his life
Within the tomb despair was combating with
resignation. The favourite wife of the last of the
Moghols, anxious above all for the safety of her
son, a lad not old enough to be implicated in the
revolt, and yet not too young to escape massacre,
was imploring the old man to yield on the con-
dition of a promise of life ; the mind of the old
man, agitated by a dim recollection of the posi-
tion he had inherited and forfeited, by despair of
the present, by doubts of the future, was still
wavering. Why had not he acted as Akbar would
have acted, and accompanied the troops to die, if
he must die, as a king ? What to him were the
few years of dishonour which the haughty con-
queror might vouchsafe to him ? Better life in
the free plains of India, hunted though he might
be, than life in durance for him, a king ! But
then rushed in the fatal conviction that it was too
late. He had decided when he dismissed Bakht
Khan ! The Frank and his myrmidons were at
his door !
Yet still the difficulty with him was to act on
that decision. His mind was in the chaotic con-
dition when everything was possible but action.
For two hours, then, he hesitated, clutching at
every vague idea only to reject it ; his wife, his
traitorous adviser, his surroundings, all urging
upon him one and the same counsel. At last a
consent was wrung from him to send a message
to Hodson that he would surrender provided he
should receive from that officer an assurance that
his life should be spared.
On receiving this message, Hodson gave the
AND IS TAKEN INTO DEHL1. 77
promise. Then, issuing from his cover, he took Book x.
post in the open space in front of the gate of the " ap er
tomb, standing there alone to receive the royal Sept20
prisoner. Preceded by the Queen and her son in King as a
palanquins, the King issued from the portico, captlve
carried in a similar conveyance. Hodson spurred
his horse to the side of the palanquin and de-
manded of the King his arms. The King asked
if his captor were Hodson Bahadur. Receiving
an affirmative reply, the King asked for a pro-
mise from the Englishman's own lips of his life
and of the lives of his wife and her son. The
promise given, the arms were surrendered and the
cortege moved towards the city. The progress
was slow, and for a great part of the journey
the palanquins were followed by a considerable
number of the King's retinue — men never dan-
gerous and now thoroughly cowed. These gra-
dually dropped off as the Labor gate was
approached. By that gate Hodson entered, and
traversing the Chandni Chok, made over his cap- and makes
tives to Mr. Saunders, the principal civil officer the dSf
in the city. He then went to report his success- authonties -
ful achievement to the General, carrying with him
the arms of the last sovereign of the imperial
house of Babar.
So far Hodson had acted as a chivalrous officer
of the nineteenth century. But the spirit of the
eondottiere now came into play. The same active Hodsouieama
agents who had informed him of the whereabouts Bang's sons
of the Kin?, now came to tell him that two of the :in(1 :l -'"• u " 1 -
O' son could be
King's sons and a grandson, men who were re- captured,
ported to have taken part in the massacre of May,
HODSON RIDES TO SEIZE THE PRINCES.
with a hun-
had not accompanied the rebel army but were
concealed in the tomb of Humayun or in its vici-
nity. The information excited all the savage
instincts of Hodson. These men could not stipu-
late for mercy. He might himself " rid the earth
of those ruffians." He rejoiced in the opportu-
nity.* The following morning, then, having ob-
tained permission from the General to hunt down
the princes, he started, accompanied by his second
in command, Lieutenant McDowell, one hundred
troopers, and his two spy-informers, Miinshi
Rajab Ali and Mirza Ilahi Bakhsh, and rode for
Humayun' s tomb. The three princes, Mirza
Khazar Sultan, Mirza Moghol, and Mirza Abu.
Bakht, were in the tomb attended by a consider-
able number of the scum of the people — the same
who, the previous day, had seen, without resist-
ance their king carried off, and who were not
more prepared to resist now. It is true that the
more daring among them, seeing the approach of
Hodson, implored the princes to resist, offering to
defend them to the last. Better for the princes,
ten thousand times better for Hodson' s reputa-
tion, if the offer had been accepted. At least,
then, the Englishman would have been able to
aver that he killed his enemies in fair fight. But
with the example of their father before them, the
princes hoped to gain the promise of their lives by
* " In twenty-four hours I
disposed of the principal
members of the House of
Titnour the Tartar. I am
not cruel, but I confess that
I did rejoice in the oppor-
tunity of lidding the earth
of these ruffians." — Letter
from Hodson, 23rd Sep-
THE PRINCES SURRENDER TO HIS MERCY, 79
negotiation. For two hours they implored, that book x.
promise. Hodson steadily refused it. Their ' ^—
spirits weakened by the useless effort, the three septal
princes then surrendered to the mercy and gene- They surren-
rosity of the conqueror. mercy and
They came out from their retreat in a covered generosity.
cart. Similar carts conveyed the arms of which
Hodson, in the meanwhile, had deprived the
crowd. Hodson placed troopers on either side of
the cart which bore the princes, and directed it
towards the Lahor gate. The people, the same
miserable population who had previously followed
the King, followed this cortege also. Between
them and the cart containing the princes were a
hundred of Hodson' s far-famed horsemen. There
was no real danger to be apprehended from them.
They were too cowed to act. Hodson would have
rejoiced had they displayed the smallest intention
to resist. He wanted blood. His senses were
blinded by his brutal instincts. He had completed
five-sixths of his journey from the place of cap-
ture to Dehli without the display of the smallest
hostility on the part of the crowd. Despairing,
then, of any other mode of gratifying his long-
ings, he made the pressure of the mob upon
his horsemen a pretext for riding up to the cart,
stopping it, and ordering the princes to dismount,
and strip to their under garments. Then, ad- He shoots
dressing the troopers, he told them in a loud „',',"!„" /mile
voice, so as to be heard by the multitude, that of Dehh -
the prisoners were butchers who had murdered
our women and our children, and that it was the
will of the Government that they should die.
80 WHICH IS DEATH.
book x. Then, taking a carbine from the hands of a
Chapter I. ,.-._... .
trooper, he snot dead, his three unresisting
Sep 8 t 5 2i. captives !
Comments on A more brutal or a more unnecessary outrage
was never committed. It was a blunder as
well as a crime. It is true that the gossip of
the camp had accused the princes of the imperial
house of having instigated the massacre of our
countrymen and countrywomen in the month of
May, but not a single item of evidence had been
adduced to substantiate the charge. It is quite
possible that a fair trial might have cleared them ;
or, had it convicted them, the British public would
have enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing that
they deserved the fate which would then have
befallen them. The princes surrendered, prisoners
of war. It is idle to say that unless they had
been shot they would have been rescued. No
attempt was made by the crowd to wag a finger
on their behalf. Its undisciplined and unarmed
component parts had lost the only fair chance of
resistance when they assented to the surrender of
the princes. They made no sign when Hodson
ordered his intended victims to descend from the
cart and to strip. It is possible, indeed, that a
man deficient in nerve might have been so far
daunted by the sight of the number of men fol-
lowing his troopers as to lose his presence of
mind, and, in sheer desperation, end the matter
by murdering his captives. But Hodson had
nerves of iron. He had all his wits about him.
He had regretted that his instructions forbade
him to kill the King. His savage instincts re-
THE ACT IS NOT TO BE JUSTIFIED. 81
quired to be satisfied, and he satisfied them by Book x.
.-, . -.-I -, Chapter ]
this cowardly murder.
It is to be regretted on every ground that he sepT^i
gave way to the promptings of his nature. On
the grounds of justice, because it was a base and
unnecessary act ; on the grounds of public interest,
because the trials of the princes would probably
have elicited much curious information regarding
the revolt ; on the grounds of his own reputation,
for though whilst men's blood was still hot the deed
might have been overlooked, their better feelings
would have asserted themselves in the end, and
Hodson would have been a marked man for ever.
In the history of the mutiny there is no more
painful episode than that connected with his
name on this occasion.
It is now time to return to the city. I left it
on the evening of the 20th, its strong places fully
occupied by our troops. On the following
morning began the work of securing the city.
To Major James Brind — known in the camp, for
his gallantry, for his untiring energy, for the
earnest and persistent manner in which he had
pounded the enemy, as Brind of the batteries —
was allotted the task, in conjunction with the
Chief Engineer, of ensuring the safety of the
gateways and posts.
A more high-minded, a more gallant, or a more
merciful officer than Major James Brind never
lived. Every soldier knew, and every soldier
loved him. He brought to his task all the cha-
racteristics which had gained for him respect and
affection. lint that task was no light one. The
82 BRIND ENSURES THE SAFETY OF THE CITY.
the city of
scum of the rebel army still lurked in the place,
hiding in mosques or burying themselves in un-
derground receptacles. As Major Brind went
about it he was again and again startled by reports
of cold-blooded murder of our soldiers, of their
being enticed by a promise of drink into the dark
corners of the city and there basely murdered.
He found that numerous gangs of men were
hanging about, prepared to interfere with the
reliefs of the batteries and posts, and that it was
even possible they might attempt to surprise the
garrison. The time was critical. It was necessary
to show the rebels that we were prepared for them.
Major Brind, therefore, determined to make an
example of the first gang of murderers who might
be caught. Just at the moment a murder of an
atrocious character was reported to him. Col-
lecting a few artillerymen, Brind hastened to the
spot, stormed the mosques and houses where the
murderers and their associates were assembled,
ordered the perpetrators to be executed, and
made over the remainder to the authorities. This
act of vigour, combined with acts of the same
nature carried out by other commanding officers,
had a wonderful effect. The remainder of the
rowdy element quitted the city, and from that day
forth there was neither murder nor disturbance.
Major Brind was then able to continue, in com-
parative freedom from alarm, his task of making
the gate-ways and other military posts as se-
cure as possible from attack. Colonel Burn,
an officer not attached to the force, but who,
being on leave at the time, had joined it, was,
JOHN NICHOLSON. 83
on the 21st, nominated military governor of the Book x.
One sad event remains yet to be chronicled — sep^i.
the death of the heroic man who, sweeping across
the Panjab, had come down to reinforce the be-
sieging army, to inflict a deadly blow on the
enemy at Najafgarh, and to command the storm-
ing party on the 14th. After lingering for eight Sept. 22.
days. John Nicholson died. As fortunate as JohnNichoi-
» 1 son dies.
Wolfe, he lived long enough to see the run success
of the attack he had led with so much daring.
At the age of thirty-seven he had achieved the
highest rank alike as an administrator and as a
soldier. There never lived a man who more tho-
roughly exemplified the truth of the maxim that
great talents are capable of universal application.
Whatever the work to which he had applied him-
self, he had succeeded. Hijs mastery over men was
wonderful. His penetrating glance never failed
in effect. It was impossible to converse with him
without admitting the spell. With all that, and
though he must have been conscious of his power,
he was essentially humble-minded. " You must
not compare me with Herbert Edwardes," he said
to the writer in 1851. In appearance, especially
in the eye and the contour of the face, he bore a
<i riking resemblance to Lord Beaconsfield, as
Lord Beaconsfield was when, as Mr. Disraeli, he
first became leader of the opposition. The re-
semblance had been remarked by many when he
visited England in 1850. What he might have be-
come it is difficult to guess. It is difficult because
it would he hard to put a Limit to his career. Look-
84 REMARKS ON THE SIEGE.
Book x. ing at the point whence he started, at the reputa-
Chapter I. , . , , - . .. n <> i •
tion he had acquired at the age or thirty-seven —
Sept. 22. the reputation of being the most successful ad-
ministrator, the greatest soldier, the most perfect
master of men — in India, it is impossible to
believe that he would have fallen short of the
most famous illustrations of Anglo-Indian history,
for to all the military talents of Clive he united
a scrupulous conscience, and to the administra-
tive capacity of Warren Hastings he joined a love
of equal justice for the rights of all.
Remarks on The stronghold had fallen, " the first great
blow struck at the rebel's cause." * The total
loss of the army, from the 30th May to the final
capture on the 20th September, had amounted to
nine hundred and ninety-two killed, two thousand
seven hundred and ninety-five wounded, and thirty
missing, out of a force never numbering ten thou-
sand effective men. But in addition to these,
many died from disease and exposure.
" In the history of sieges," wrote at the
time an officer, in words the truth of which the
lapse of twenty years has confirmed,f "that of
Dehli will ever take a prominent place. Its
strength, its resources, and the prestige attached
to it in the native mind, combined to render for-
midable that citadel of Hindustan. Reasonably
might the ' Northern Bee ' or the ' Invalide Russe '
question our ability to suppress this rebellion if
they drew their conclusions from the numerical
* Medley. f The Bed Pamphlet.
THE BEJTISH AND NATIVE S0LDJEKS. 85
strength of the little band that first sat down Book x.
before Dehli. But the spirit that animated that ' !f_I r
handful of soldiers was not simply the emulative sl S5 t 7 ' 2 -?
bravery of the military proletarian. The cries of
helpless women and children, ruthlessly butchered,
had gone home to the heart of every individual
soldier and made this cause his own. There was
not an Englishman in those ranks, from first to
last, who would have consented to turn his back
on Dehli without having assisted in meting out
to those bloody rebels the retributive justice
awarded them by his own conscience, his country,
and his God. It was this spirit that buoyed them
up through all the hardships of the siege, that
enabled them for four long months of dreary rain
and deadly heat, to face disease, privation, and
death, without a murmur."
It was indeed an occasion to bring out the rare The Britisl1
i* • pi ti • • it soldier.
qualities of the British soldier, to show how,
under the untoward circumstances of climate, of
wet, of privation, he can be staunch, resolute and
patient whilst waiting for his opportunity, daring
when 1 hat opportunity comes. With him, too, can
claim equal laurels the splendid Giirkah regiment
of Charles Reid, the magnificent frontier warriors His native
of the Guide Corps, the cavalry regiments of
Probyn, Watson, and Hodson, the levies from the
various parts of the Panjab. These men were
worthy to vie with the British soldier. Their
names, unfortunately, do not survive for the
advantage of posterity; but their commanders
live to speak for them. They, in their turn, will
leave the scene of this world. But when the tale
86 THEIR OFFICERS.
book x. is told to our children's children, the names of
!^ r ' Nicholson, of Chamberlain, of Charles Reid, of
se 8 t 7 22 Baird Smith, of Edwin Johnson, of Alec Taylor,
The heroes of of James Brind, of Seaton, of Daly, of Jacob, of
the siege. p ro by n , of Watson, of Medley, of Quintin Battye,
of Speke, of G-reville, of Aikman, of Salkeld, of
Home, and of many others — for the list is too
long — will be inquired after with sympathy, and
will inspire an interest not inferior to that with
which the present generation regard the achieve-
ments of their forefathers in Spain and in
Deeply sensible of the fact that a victory not
followed np is a victory thrown away, General
"Wilson prepared, as soon as he felt his hold upon
Dehli secure, to detach a force in the direction of wiison
Balandshahr and Aligarh to intercept, and, if pos- ^tm!"!^ 110
sible, cut off the rebels. Dehif
Had Nicholson lived, it had been the General's
intention to bestow upon him the command of
this force. On his demise it was thought that it
would be offered to the commandant of the
lry brigade, Brigadier Hope Grant. The by sending
presence of this gallant and able officer was, ?owa?ds
however, still thought necessary at Dehli. The
officer selected was Lieutenant-Colonel Edward
Great lied, commanding the 8th Foot.
The force consisted of two thousand seven
hundred and ninety men, composed as
follows : —
greathed's column leaves dehlt,
men on leav-
Captain Remmington's Troop of
Horse Artillery, five guns
Captain Blunt' s Troop of Horse
Artillery, five guns
Major Bourchier's Battery, six
H.M.'s 9th Lancers .
Detachments, 1st, 4th, and 5th
Pan jab Cavalry, and Hod-
son's Horse ....
H.M.'s 8th and 75th Regiments
1st and 4th Regiments Panjab
" Never," wrote a distinguished member of the
force,* " never did boys escape from the clutches
of a schoolmaster with greater glee than we
experienced on the 21st September, when we
received our orders to proceed on the following
morning to the plain in front of the Ajmir gate,
where a column was to be formed under the
command of Colonel Greathed, H.M.'s 8th Foot,
destined to scour the Gangetic Doab." With
the exhilarating feelings sufficiently indicated in
the above extract, the force I have detailed
marched on the morning of the 24th by way of
the Hindan in the direction of Balandshahr.
* Eight Months' Campaign by Colonel George Bourchier,
against the Bengal Sepoy Army C.B.
during the Mutiny of 1857,
AND MOVES OX BALANDSHAHR. 89
Crossing the Hindan, and passing through Book x.
Ghazi-ii-din Nagr, the force reached Dadri on ' i!_
the 26th. The Gujar inhabitants of this place $ e ^%- 2 7.
having been convicted of having sacked the loyal Greathed de-
town of Sikandarabad, their town was destroyed. f^omtTL
Pushing: on, Greathed reached Sikandarabad on the track of
° , the rebels.
the 27th. Here he found himself upon the
track of the enemy, a body of their cavalry
having evacuated the place only on the day pre-
ceding. The distance from Sikandarabad to
Balandshahr is about eight miles. Five miles
from the latter is the fort of Malagarh, a place
which had been held for upwards of three months
by Walidad Khan, a partisan of the royal family
of Dehli, and connected with it, it was said, by
ties of blood. To expel Walidad Khan from
Malagarh was then the first object of Greathed' s
Starting in the early hours of the 28th, the Se P*- 28 -
column reached at daylight four cross roads Bailndshahr.
within a mile and a half of Balandshahr. One of
these cross roads led to Malagarh. Balandshahr
was immediately in front of the column.
A picket of the enemy's cavalry, stationed at
the cross roads, falling back before the advanced
cavalry of the British force on Balandshahr,
made it clear to Greathed that that station was
the true point of attack. He at once prepared
to avail himself of his knowledge. Strengthening
the advanced guard with two Horse Artillery guns,
and forming a reserve under Major Turner for
the protection of his baggage, lie advanced, his
troops well in hand, towards the town.
COMBAT OF BALANDSHAHR.
The rebels had occupied a position in front of
the town, at a point where two roads leading to
it converged. The position was well-wooded,
abounding in high crops, and in gardens, the walls
of which were lined with infantry. Their guns
were in the centre, concealed by the crops.
On this position Greathed marched, four guns
of Remmington's troop moving on by the main
road ; Bourchier's battery, supported by a squad-
ron of the 9th Lancers and the squadron of the
5th Panjab cavalry, advancing on the right, the
remainder of the cavalry with the other two guns
of Remmington's troop under Lieutenant Crack-
low, on the left ; the 8th and 75th Foot and the
2nd Panjab Infantry being at the same time pushed
forward through the gardens and houses of the
civil station. Remmington's guns pounded the
enemy in front, while Bourchier advanced till he
could gain a position to open a cross fire on the
enemy's flank. The moment this position was
gained, the enemy gave in, and the British centre
and left advancing, drove them headlong into the
Meanwhile the cavalry under Major Ouvry and
Cracklow's guns had circled round to the left,
and though exposed in their progress to a severe
fire, from a serai* which the enemy had fortified
and from the jail, which momentarily checked
them, they carried all before them. Their loss
was heavy, — not, however, out of proportion to
the results obtained by their dash. The advan-
* A traveller's resting-place.
THE KEBELS EVACUATE MALAGAEH. 91
tao-e they had gained was followed up by the BooK x -
infantry and the remainder of the cavalry, who
penetrated into or turned the place. The rout S ep t 57 28.
then became general. Four hours after the halt at The infantry
the cross roads, the town, three guns, a quantity come up and
of baggage and ammunition, were in the hands complete the
of our troops. The enemy lost about three e nemy.°
hundred men, the victors forty-seven in killed
The wisdom of forming a reserve to cover An attack on
the baggage was justified by the results. For no repulsed with
sooner had the main column advanced to attack loss '
the town than a flying party of the enemy made a
dash at the baggage. Major Turner, however,
beat them off, and Lieutenant Probyn with the
squadron of the 2nd Cavalry following them up
killed several of them.
Lieutenant Watson, 1st Panjab Cavalry, and
Lieutenant Blair, 9th Lancers, greatly distin-
guished themselves in this action. Of Lieutenant
Roberts, of the Artillery, so distinguished during
the present year as General Roberts for his con-
duct in Afghanistan, and who, a few months later,
gained a Victoria Cross, Captain Bourchier writes
that he " seemed ubiquitous."
Malagarh was, however, the main object of Sept. 28-
Greathed's hopes, and he at once reconnoitred " "
with a view to attack it. But the blow inflicted pushes on to
at Balandshahr had penetrated to Malagarh. The
rebels evacuated it in a panic, leaving behind
them all the plunder the) had collected there.
Malagarh was occupied, and orders were given