Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

32
INDIAN MUTINY

'We are in sad anxiety about India which engrosses all our attention.'

HOSTILITIES IN THE CRIMEA had not long been formally concluded when news reached London of renewed fighting; this time in India, where for some time now unrest had been fostered by the agents of princes dispossessed by the British, and by agitators, troublemakers, fakirs, maulvis, and men who had cause to resent the rule of the subcontinent by the East India Company, the British Government's representative in the civil administration of India, which was also responsible for the armies of native infantrymen and cavalrymen, sepoys and sowars, maintained by the three Presidencies: Bengal, Madras and Bombay. Villagers collected to hear warnings of the designs of the firinghis (the foreigners who, so they were told, were bent on destroying their faith), and to listen to prophecies that the British would be forced to leave India in 1857, the hundredth anniversary of the defeat of Siráj-ud-Dawlah's forces by the East India Company's army under Robert Clive at Plassey. Sepoys were assured that the British were not invincible; that, following the Crimean War, Russia had conquered and annexed England; and that, since their country's population was less than a hundred thousand, the English could not -- even if the Russians let them -- reinforce their own regiments, known as the Queen's Regiments, in India. They were told that Lord Canning, the recently appointed Governor-General, had been sent out with the express purpose of converting them to Christianity, and that the widows of soldiers killed in the Crimean War were being shipped out to India where the principal land-holders would be compelled to marry

-248-

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Queen Victoria: A Personal History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Author's Note and Acknowledgements xv
  • Queen Victoria's Prime Ministers xviii
  • Part One - 1819-1861 1
  • 1 - The Family 3
  • 2 - The Parents 9
  • 3 - The Child 17
  • 4 - Conroy 25
  • 5 - Progresses 30
  • 6 - Uncles 41
  • 7 - The Young Queen 53
  • 8 - Melbourne 60
  • 9 - Coronation 70
  • 10 - The Hastings Affair 76
  • II - A Pleasant Life' 85
  • 12 - A Headstrong Girl 90
  • 13 - German Cousins 98
  • 14 - Prince Albert 107
  • 15 - The Bridegroom 111
  • 16 - Honeymoon 120
  • 17 - Robert Peel 130
  • 18 - The Prince and the Household 137
  • 19 - Royal Quarrels 148
  • 20 - Osborne 157
  • 21 - Travelling 165
  • 22 - Balmoral 175
  • 23 - The Prince of Wales 183
  • 24 - Palmerston 193
  • 25 - Chartists 199
  • 26 - Pam is Out 204
  • 27 - The Great Exhibition 210
  • 28 - Scenes 216
  • 29 - Crimean War 221
  • 30 - Napoleon III 230
  • 31 - The Princess Royal 238
  • 32 - Indian Mutiny 248
  • 33 - The German Grandson 256
  • 34 - Death of the Duchess 264
  • 35 - The Disappointing Heir 268
  • 36 - Death of the Prince 276
  • Part Two - 1861-1901 283
  • 37 - The Grieving Widow 285
  • 38 - Seances and Services 293
  • 39 - Princess Alexandra 298
  • 40 - The Recluse 307
  • 41 - Disraeli 314
  • 42 - John Brown 321
  • 43 - The Royalty Question 331
  • 44 - The Princely Pauper 338
  • 45 - Typhoid Fever 342
  • 46 - Maids-Of-Honour 349
  • 47 - Secretaries and Ministers 353
  • 48 - Regina Et Imperatrix 360
  • 49 - The Half-Mad Firebrand 367
  • 50 - Golden Jubilee 379
  • 51 - Die Engländerin 384
  • 52 - The Daughters 391
  • 53 - The Sons 396
  • 54 - The Grand Children 414
  • 55 - Would-Be Assassins 420
  • 56 - Holidays Abroad 428
  • 57 - Death of Brown 440
  • 58 - The Munshi 446
  • 59 - Diamond Jubilee 455
  • 60 - Life at Court 461
  • 61 - Dinner Parties 468
  • 62 - Books 477
  • 63 - Bookmen 481
  • 64 - Failing Health 484
  • 65 - Death 492
  • 66 - Funeral and Burial 495
  • References 503
  • Sources 523
  • Index 535
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