The Indian Mutiny of 1857, Part III: The Siege of Lucknow

Jon Manchip White describes how a garrison of 1,050 Europeans and 712 loyal Indians held the Residency at Lucknow against an army of 30,000 Sepoys.

The negotiations of the British authorities with successive Kings of Oudh had been as ill-starred as their negotiations with successive Kings of Delhi; and we have seen in an earlier article that it was the British dethronement of the King of Oudh in February 1856 that led directly to the Sepoy revolt in May the following year. Yet although Delhi fell to the mutineers on the first day of the Mutiny, it was not until nearly a fortnight later that a full-scale revolt broke out in Lucknow. In part, this resulted from the phenomenon known to historians as “the lull in the Mutiny,” a strange period of inactivity on the part of the mutineers which gave their opponents a sorely needed opportunity to collect their scattered wits and their equally scattered regiments. In part, it was also due to the good sense of a man who was perhaps the most acute and sympathetic administrator in the history of nineteenth-century India.

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