Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Further Stories of the Stones


Plan of cemetery, Hiltons Guide to Lucknow


 When a story is unfinished, it is not possible to draw conclusions - so it is for Rebecca Elizabeth Arnow (nee Saunders). Her story ended in Lucknow in 1857, but who was she?




Standing at the far end of the church yard, is an odd looking memorial. The writing is long gone, and graffiti has taken its place. It is the final memorial to one Mrs. Arnow.

"Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Rebecca Elizabeth Arnow, who departed this life on the 7th of October AD 1857, burnt with a shell ball during the siege, aged 37 years. My great Physician, thy will be done. Sorrow not, even as others which have no hope."

In 1832, on the 31st of May, she married William Arnow, a clerk to the Resident, in Lucknow. He was 40 years old, and Rebecca was 19. They had two children, both born in Lucknow -  Rebecca Matilda, born on the 6th of October 1833(baptised on the 5th of November)and Sophia, baptised on the 27th of November, 1836. By the time Sophia was baptised, William is listed as deceased. This is as far as I have come in my research into Rebecca Arnow's life. The resident at Lucknow at the time of her marriage was T.H. Maddock.

In the Calcutta Journal of 1836:

GENERAL REGISTER OF OCCURRENCES, 1836

Administrations to Estates: Arnow, W., 0/Lucknow  C. A- Cantor, Administrator, as constituted Attorney of the Executrix.

 It is also possible that William was married before - Mrs. Mary Arnow died in Lucknow, after a few days illness, on July 5th 1829. She was the daughter of the late Lieut.-Col. M. Macnamara. After this, the trail goes cold. I shall, however, keep looking. Somewhere, someone knows more about the Arnow family and how it came to be that Rebecca Elizabeth, alone, came to be at the Residency in 1857.

The siege had its fair share of heroes - when not in name, then in deeds. Among them, the most illustrious is Sir Henry Lawrence.


His epitaph "..who tried to do his duty" tells us little about the man himself. Appointed Chief Commissioner of the newly annexed province of Oude in 1856, an annexation he never completely supported. Intelligent and compassionate, Henry Lawrence believed the administrators of the empire did too little for the people they were ruling and was often unpopular with his superiors, insisting the government paid too little heed to the welfare of the Indian people. Never doubting for a moment that a mutiny was imminent, it was due to his foresight the residency fared as well as it did and his staunch belief that death was preferable to surrendering, gave many the courage they needed to survive. It his own words, he was a man of almost severe habits: " I keep very early hours, eat sparingly, and scarcely touch wine, beer or spirits. I believe I can stand fatigue of mind or body with any man in India. I have repeatedly ridden eighty and hundred miles in a stretch in the hottest season of the year, and I have worked for weeks twelve and fourteen hours a day at my desk."  He was a living inspiration;  it is no wonder his early death was viewed as a signal disaster.

On the 2nd of July, 1857 a shell burst in a room where he was resting, causing horrific injuries:
“..Sir Henry had had his thigh broken by a shell from the howitzer we lost at Chinhut, and was not expected to live…It appears that, before the shell which proved so fatal, another had been pitched into his apartment, raising a cloud of dust, and his staff had begged him to shift his quarters; but he had answered, in his cheery way, that sailors always consider the safest place in a ship to be that where the shot had last made a hole, and he did not think it likely that such another good aim would be made. But the event proved otherwise. Another shell came pitched precisely as the first, and this time the effect was fatal, and Sir Henry mortally wounded. He was carried to Dr. Fayrer’s house; the wound was in the thigh too high up to allow of amputation, and all that could be done was to give narcotics to ease the pain.”  (Inglis, p.64)  
He died 2 days later, on the 4th of July, buried according to his wishes in a common grave with the others who had died that day. 

His best memorial however, are his schools. During his lifetime he had the idea of establishing schools for the education of the children of deceased and serving soldiers and officers of the British and Indian Army. Four schools were established, two during his lifetime. Intially called the Lawrence Military Asylums, the schools took on new names: Lawrence School at Sanawar in Himachal Pradesh was established in 1847, Lawrence College, Mt. Abu,(1856), the Lawrence School at Lovedale (close to Ootacamund, established in 1858) and the Lawrence College (1860) at Ghora Ghali, near Murree in todays Pakistan. Of the four, only the school at Mt. Abu no longer exists - it now houses the Internal Security Academy.

Grave of Captain Fulton

Captain G.W. W. Fulton, of the Bengal Engineers died young. He 32 years old when he met is much lamented end on the 14th of September. As the garrison's senior engineer,  Captain Fulton was in charge of fortifying the defenses and  providing adequate protection for the powder magazines. His specialty however, was mining. Called a "genius" by some and a "mastermind" by others, Captain Fulton recognized early on in the siege that the greatest threat facing them was not so much an imminent attack from over the walls as much as one from beneath them. A mine dug beneath the walls, compromising any one of the posts and all would have been lost, the garrison would never have been able to withstand a complete breach in their defenses  Captain Fulton took it upon himself to plan elaborate counter mines, digging down with his miners to meet shafts started by the besiegers from outside the walls. In all 20 mines were driven towards the defenses but only three proved to be successful of which only one caused considerable damage. Counter mining on a massive scale was one of the features of the defense of the residency, with over 1 kilometer of of galleries constructed by the end of the siege in November. The shafts were on average 2.4.meters in depth, and the galleries usually, without utilizing timber shoring, were 90 cm high with an arched roof and only 60 cm wide. Some of the fiercest battles of the siege were fought deep in the hot clammy ground, with pistols, shovels and when necessary, fists. Captain Fulton led sorties outside the walls himself and did not shy from battle, be it above or below ground. However, "He did not effect to underestimate the dangers which surrounded us; but neither was he appalled by the them, nor did he lose in contemplating  them in the calm exercise of his judgement. Above all, by his happy, cheerful confidence and unflinching resolve, he succeeded in inspiring others with the same sentiments.” (Gubbins, p. 321).  His death (his head was taken off by a cannon ball) was a severe blow to his wife, Sophia. Her husband, for all his brilliance was penniless and she only received a special pecuniary grant of £70 and £13L 5s  per annum for each of their six children.


Grave of Lieut. Graham
Not all men inspired nor were remembered for great deeds. Lieutenant James Graham is one of these. He committed suicide "in a temporary fit of insanity" following the death of his beloved baby daughter, Fanny Jane. Within a space of three weeks, poor Mrs. Graham lost her whole family - her second baby died only weeks after her father.
The Graham family monument is one of those that has been badly damaged and the inscription is lost - it should read:
"Sacred to the dear and beloved memory of Lieutenant James Graham, 4th Battalion Light Cavalry, who departed this life during the siege of Lucknow on the 5th of September 1857. Also of his two children, Fanny Jane, who died on the 2nd of September 1857, aged one year and seven months, and Georgina Mary Louisa, who died on the 27th of September, aged one month and four days. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. - Malachi, III,17. This monument is erected by his widow."


Fitzherbert Dacre Lucas

Described as "an Irish gentleman, travelling," Fitzherbert Dacre Lucas was a traveler and a speculator. The outbreak of the mutiny put an end to his journey - by May, it was too dangerous to leave Lucknow by road and impossible by boat as the pre-monsoon Gomti river was nearly dry. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Lucas was stuck. Volunteering his services to Henry Lawrence, his obituary in The Times (February 10th 1858) reads,

"Among the latter I regret to name Mr. Fitzherbert Dacre Lucas, a traveler and speculator, a gentleman of fortune, the son, I believe, of the Right Honorable E. Lucas, of Castle Shane, in Ireland, and who had come to India more for pleasure than business. He had formerly been a captain of militia artillery, and as such had been of great service throughout the siege at Gubbin's battery. His gallantry and coolness under fire were conspicuous, and there was no expedition of danger for which he did not volunteer. He had safely come within our entrenchments from that sortie, but in returning to aid in bringing in the captured guns he was shot. He expired twenty-four hours after his return."

206 years have passed since the guns fell silent over the Residency. Time shall continue to pass and they shall remain, testaments to a moment in history, each with his own tale, many untold, many forgotten - but as I close this chapter,  it is perhaps worth noting they should not be viewed as martyrs, as the Victorians would have liked, or as evil conquerors as present sentiment would have us believe. These were people, flesh and blood and now bones and dust, who once laughed, grieved and suffered, who believed in themselves, loved their families and were loved in return. Innocents were punished here without understanding their crime, the children who perished without knowing why. So let them sleep in peace, and when you visit the Residency cemetery, tread lightly and let them rest quietly.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Silent Stones


There is not very much sadness at the Residency Church yard nowadays. It has become a refuge for young couples, stealing precious moments away from prying eyes, young love among the old dead. Giggles and whispered conversations, half hidden behind the stones, they sit and imagine their futures. In this strange setting, history sleeps on.
Sir Henry Lawrence and countless others slumber on this patch of land, which to this day, is probably the most complete memorial to 1857 still existing in India. Everyone who is buried here was attached, in some way, to the Lucknow Residency, this resting place is exclusively theirs. Their fates intertwined, in life as in death.
There are no signs here, only tombstones. Some of the memorials have withstood time well, others have fallen prey to vandalism and neglect is starting to show it's ugly face. The grass is cut and most of the bushes trimmed giving an overall neat appearance, but too many stones are now illegible or scribbled upon - a few have disappeared altogether.

The Hale family
The grave of the Hale family stands close to the entrance of the churchyard. The monument is broken, their names lost.  The original inscription read:

"Sacred to the memory of Frances Ellen Hale, the beloved wife of George Herbert Hale, Lieutenant-Adjutant, 2nd Oude Light Infantry, who died in Lucknow Garrison on the morning of the Battle of Chinhut, 1857, aged 20 years. Sacred also to the memory of Kate Caroline Sophia, eldest child of the above, who died in Lucknow Garrison on the 23rd of September 1857. Sacred also to the memory of Henrietta Georgiana Frances, her infant child, who died at Secrora, Oude, on the 18th of April, 1857. The Lord is good, a stronghold in day of trouble and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum C.VII.V.I ."

Mrs. Hale died of cholera, after only 3 hours of illness. Her daughter, Kate, was given over to the care of Major and  Mrs. Marriot, but she died "just before Havelock entered Lucknow." (Bartrum, pp 25-26).

"Sacred to the memory of Cordelia Ellen, the beloved wife of Captain Lancelot F.C. Thomas, Madras Artillery, who died during the siege of Lucknow, 16th July 1857, aged 22 years. Those that seek Me early, shall find Me."  
Grave of Cordelia Ellen Thomas. She died of smallpox during the siege.
                       
Grave of T.W. Ereth

Mr. T.W. Ereth was shot in the neck while reinforcing the guards at Innes Post on the 20th of July, 1857. A railway contractor by profession, he served as a corporal of the volunteers during the siege. Rees visited him in hospital and describes the scene:

"Poor Erith was lying still sensible, but unable to move, on a bed clotted with his blood. His wife was bending over him, weeping bitterly. She had been told that no hope remained. As I approached the poor fellow's bedside he opened his eyes, looked at me, and calling me by name, asked if all was right at his garrison (Innes's  outpost). Poor Mrs Erith, was so soon to be a widow, had only been married three months, and seemed devoted to her husband. Though I had become accustomed enough to these sights, I could not help being moved by the image of despair which she presented. Poor Erith! He died tranquilly during the night, and without pain." (Rees, pp 163-164).
His wife survived the siege.

Another lost tomb stone is that of Lieutenant James Fullerton and of his 9 month old son, Elphinstone. Very little remains but the chilling words: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Erected by his widow and mother." Originally, the inscription had been much longer, and should have read thus:
" In memory of James Fullerton, born in  Argyleshire, August 30th 1833, died in the Residency at Lucknow during the defence, September 15th, 1857, and of his child Elphinstone Fullerton, born November 28th, 1856, died August 7th, 1857. "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Erected by his widow and mother. Titus, II, 13."


It was one of the siege's strangest deaths - James Fullerton walked out of an upper storey hospital window -  whether in sleep or delirium could not be ascertained. He was taken back to his bed, but he never spoke again and died shortly after.- (Harris, pp 63-64) He was only 27 years old when he died. Elphinstone had died of disease a month before his father. Like so many others, Mrs. Fullerton was left to grieve alone. In life, James Fullerton had been the son of Lord Fullerton, senator of the College of Justice in Scotland and he had been the Assistant Commissioner at Dariabad.

This is by no means intended to be macabre, almost voyeuristic account of horrible, tragic deaths. It is however, intended to convey some understanding for the people buried here. Although their deaths occurred so long ago and we only vaguely brush past their stones as we walk past their resting places, I cannot help but feel anger when I see the terrible disrespect paid to those graves. It is difficult for me to understand the pleasure which has apparently been derived in some of the vandalism that has occurred at the Residency churchyard - with this writing I am hoping to save, at least in this humble way, some of those whose stones are now lost. Worst of all, no repairs are being undertaken and I fear, as time passes, all that shall remain are unidentifiable piles of rubble.  Of the 39 memorials belonging to those who died during the siege, 37 are still visible, 2 have been completely destroyed. On 10 graves the plaques are missing. We cannot erase or change history by removing the physical evidence of its passing - the graves at the Lucknow Residency are as much victims of  these modern times as the people during the siege were victims of theirs - some where, there has to be an understanding reached that these graves represent, first and foremost people, loved ones who were cherished in life and grieved over in death. 

Their stories, no matter how small, have a right to be told and to be remembered.


Thomas John Clancey

The inscription originally read:
Near this spot are interred the remains of  Thomas John Clancey of the Chief Commissioner's office Lucknow, who was killed during the siege of Lucknow of the 1st of July 1857, aged 28 years and 5 months.
"I shall go to him, but he shall never return to me." This tomb has been erected by his beloved wife, Elizabeth Clancey, and subsequently renewed by his sons John, Charles and Dominic James.  "Requiescat in pace."


The Dashwoods and the Ouseleys were to face loss beyond measure during the siege,  as if their collective luck had run out. 
At the beginning of the siege, on the 1st of July, Miss Susannah Palmer was mortally injured by round shot in the Residency building - she was the 19 year old daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Palmer of the 48th Regt., N.I. She died following amputation of her leg, on the 3rd. She was the sister of Charles Palmer, one of the smaller Martiniere boys and only 9 at the time of the siege, and of Elizabeth Anne Ouseley, the wife of Lieutenant Ralph Ouseley, Quartermaster, 48th Regt. N.I.  The Ousleys had two young sons, Ralph and Gore.
The family tragedy continued. Ralph and Gore soon fell ill and died within ten minutes of each other on the same day. Their poor mother never recovered from the shock - Anne Elizabeth contracted dysentery and died of complete exhaustion on the 14th of November.  
Unfortunately,  although the Ouseley plaque is still intact, the plinth upon which it lays has been severely damaged.


Elizabeth Anne Ouesley and her sons

The Dashwood family was equally unlucky. Lieutenant Alexander John Dashwood, 48th Regt.B.N.I. was injured early on in the siege - while recovering from his wound, he contracted cholera on the 9th of July and died less than 12 hours after the first symptoms appeared. It was a sad blow to his young wife, now alone with 2 small children to look after and one more on the way. Hers was not a happy fate. On the 19th of August, her son, Herbert John Garrett, "died at half past three this morning...One could not grieve; he looked so sweet and happy, the painful look of suffering quite gone.."(Harris, p.57).  In the face of such tragedy, some luck smiled on Mrs. Dashwood - her third son was born on the 31st of August and she left the Residency with two of her children. However, her husband's brother was not so fortunate.

Ensign Charles Keith Dashwood, the brother of Alexander, was 19 years old when the siege began. He was "such a nice boy, a great favourite with every one, and such a tall handsome fellow" (Harris, p.84). He fought in the defense in the Residency and miraculously escaped injury during battle. Off the field, he was not so lucky. A day after his brother's death. Charles accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun - the wound was not fatal and he was back in the defenses soon after. On the 4th of November, however, while making sketches of the Residency grounds, Charles was struck by round shot and lost both his legs. He died after the evacuation of the Residency, at the Dilkusha Park, on the 22nd of November.

One of the missing graves in the cemetery is that of Alexander Dashwood and his young son. During my visit in January 2011, I only found a partial plaque leaning against the broken memorial to the Ouseley family.

The partial plaque of Alexander Dashwood and the damaged memorial of Mrs. Ouseley.

Alexander Dashwood
Originally, the inscription on the Dashwood memorial read:
In Memory of Alexander John Dashwood, Lieutenant, 48th Regiment, Bengal Native Infanty, who died at Lucknow, July 9th 1857, aged 27 years. Also of his second son,  Herbert John Garrett, who died a Lucknow, August 19th 1857, aged one year.
Charles Dashwoods grave at Dilkusha Park, Lucknow




Reverend Polehampton
Time has wiped the words away - the plaque originally read:
"In Memory of Henry Stedman Polehampton, Chaplain of this station, born February 1st, 1824, died July 20th, 1857.  Also of Henry Allnutt, his only child born December 30th 1856, died January 3rd, 1857.  Enter thou into the joy of  thy Lord. Matthew, xxv, 21."
The Reverend Polehampton left behind an unfinished journal, published by his brothers and called "Letters and Diary of the Rev.Henry S. Polehampton, M.A." The book documents his childhood and schooling, his marriage to Emily Allnatt and their subsequent journey to India. The journey and his life in India are published in a series of letters written to family at home, personal and poignant. If one can look past some of the more laborious sermons published in the book and the ponderous preaching (he was after all, a man of the cloth, so it can be excused!) we get an small insight into the life the Polehampton's lead before the siege. The description of their son's death shortly after his birth would leave the most hardhearted in tears. The diary covers the siege from until the 18th of July, 2 days before his death. Mrs. Polehampton's recollections on the siege are included, as letters to her brother-in-law Edward in which she describes her "most precious hour" of the day: 
"...and that I spent at my darling Henry's grave. I often wonder how I escaped as I did on these occasions, for the bullets were constantly flying thickly, close over my head as I was sitting at the grave, and several times shells burst within a few yards of me there. It seemed so strange that I should be the one to escape."



The memorial to Mr. Thornhill

"Sacred to the Memory of John Bensley Thornhill,  Bengal Civil Service,  born May 7th 1832,  died from wounds received during the siege of Lucknow, October 12th 1857. Also of Mary Charlotte Bensley Thornhill, infant daughter of John Bensley and Mary Thornhill, died September 1st, 1857, aged 6 days.
The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."









Aldourie Patrick Grant
Aldourie Patrick Grant, 71st N.I. was not killed at the Lucknow Residency. He was an early victim of the uprising, killed by his own men on the 30th of May at the Muriaon cantonment, while on duty.


Willam Marshall and Anna Sanson

Unusually, William Marshall is buried together with his mother-in-law, Mrs. Anna Sanson.  Both of them died during the siege, William in July and Anna in October. William was not a military man - he was an opium contractor and had been a long term resident of Cawnpore, nor was he young - in Rees he is described as "an old man of 60."  Only a year earlier had he received the government contract for the sale of opium - his fortunes, it would seem, were looking up. 

Unfortunately for William Marshall, while defending Sago's Garrison, he was shot through the face, the ball passed through his right eye and came out of his mouth. He died in great agony on the 13th of July.


The inscription on the grave reads:
Sacred to the memory of William Marshall, who died 13th July 1857, of a wound received while defending Sago's Garrison. Also of mother-in-law, Anna Sanson, who died within the Residency entrenchment on the 24th October 1857. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord. This monument is erected by his disconsolate widow and daughter. 


(Sources: In order to provide the original transcriptions of the damaged graves, I have turned to "List of Inscriptions on Christian Tombs and Tablets of Historical Interest in the United Provinces of Agra and Oude" by E.A.H. Blunt, I.C.S., published 1911.)



Monday, 5 September 2011

Living Conditions During the Siege



The Slaughterhouse Post

The foresight of Sir Henry Lawrence in stocking the Residency with grain and other necessities prevented the garrison from undergoing the added hardship of starvation. As all contact with the outside world had effectively been cut off, the garrison had to rely on their own supplies and provisions from the beginning of July onwards. Nor did the situation improve when Outram and Havelock arrived: although they succeeded in reinforcing the garrison with some 2700 men, they only brought three days’ worth of supplies with them and precious little baggage. Believing they would be able to evacuate the garrison they had left almost everything behind at the Alum Bagh.  It was not long before some in the garrison ungraciously looked upon their saviors as more mouths to feed.        

For some, food remained plentiful throughout the siege, especially in those posts where the owners had laid in their own stocks. For others, it was a lean time and not everyone was fortunate.

“…rations were served to us: attar, or flour, which we made into chupatties; rice; dall, or peas; salt and meat…These, consisting of meat, peas, attar, rice and sea biscuits, were put together in a saucepan with some water and made into a stew..” 1

The food itself when turned out was often green in colour, on account of it being cooked in copper pots which could not be relined during the siege. So what little appeal the stew had to begin with, was certainly not aided by its luminous appearance. Mrs. Bartrum also notes that the dal “by grinding it between two stones and making it into flour…this is a good substitute for soap, but we have so little of it, that it is a question whether we shall use it to wash with or to eat.”  2    

In the early stages of the siege, full rations were issued daily to everyone in the garrison, of beef, rice, flour, tea or coffee, sugar and biscuits. However, as time went on, the meals consisted mainly of some beef and chapattis. Sugar was non-existent, and though some people, like Mrs. Inglis, kept some goats for milk, most of the garrison went without. Tobacco soon ran out and the men took to smoking neem and guava leaves with many of them becoming ill as a consequence. By smoking it through an old pipe, there was at least an illusion that the leaves tasted like tobacco! The merchants Deprat and Sinclair, had been allowed to bring the stocks of their stores into the residency but in the case of Deprat it wasn’t necessarily standard siege fare, consisting of a large supply of pickled salmon and truffled sausages. 

 By the 25th of August, things took a turn for the worse and the garrison was put on half-meat rations. Men were given 12 oz of meat, as opposed to 1 pound. Women and children over the age of 12 received 6 oz, children under 12 were not reduced and continued to receive 4 oz but children under 6 now were given only 2oz, half of their previous rations. The food itself was neither nutritious nor well cooked. Rees complains his “chef-de-cuisine...a filthy fellow…whom I am obliged to pay 20 rupees a month, results in an abomination which a Spartan dog would turn up his nose at.” 3 The meat came in varying conditions and quality, invariably consisting of a large quantity of gristle and bone – women and children, more often than not. got more of the latter. Too tough to roast, it was served up as stew. Mrs. Bartrum tried  to tenderize the meat by beating it with stick for half an hour and ineffectually cut it into pieces with a pair of nail scissors before stewing it.

The grain was coarsely ground and made into chappattis, while lentils and rice made up the rest of the standard fair.  There were no bakers in the Residency and it was considered that baking bread for the whole garrison would be a task too difficult for the ladies. Only those who had private means could avoid drawing too heavily from the commissariat for rations, and many, like the Martiniere boys, ended up eating broth made of animal heads. The lack of fresh fruit and vegetables led to cases of scurvy, unhygienic food preparation gave rise to bowel disorders and poor nutrition complicated the recovery of those already weakened by illness and injury.   In late August a large supply of grain was found stored in a plunge-bath near the banqueting-hall. As a consequence, there were more provisions available to the garrison – this grain had been the contribution of local merchants, was not on the military commissariat role and had subsequently been “forgotten”.  It was this late discovery that saved them from starvation when the reinforcements arrived in September but by no means did it waylay the fear.  

   “A poor woman, Mrs. Beale by name, whose husband, an overseer of roads, had been killed during the siege came to-day to ask me to give her a little milk for her only child, who was dying for the want of proper nourishment. It went to my heart to refuse her; but at this time I had only just enough for my own children, and baby could not have lived without it. I think she understood that I would have given her some if I could.” 4

Nor was alcohol readily available. There are indeed very few recorded cases of drunkenness and these only in the first part of the siege.  That a quantity of alcohol was kept in the hospital stores is not without credibility – indeed  patients too weak for chloroform, were put "under" with champagne or brandy as a way to help them face the horrors of amputation. Deprat's stores were broken into and Rees leaves us his following account, with more than a hint of irritation:

"We are at night several times, called "to arms," but these alarms prove to be false ones. This was fortunate, for if the enemy had made an attack he would have found most of our men at the Cawnpore battery in the last stage of intoxication. The men had found their way for some days, notwithstanding all precautions, into our cellar, and had of course diminished the large quantities of champagne and brandy stored up there. The claret and Haut Sauterne had not found many admirers, and remained untouched; but Deprat's chests, with valuables and gold and silver watches in them, had likewise been broken open and rifled. In the position in which we were, no search could be instituted, nor could the culprits be punished. The only thing which  could be done, and which the Brigadier did, was to get what remained removed to the school-houses and have it sold by Mr. Schilling, the principal, to whatever gentleman desired any. Officers, of course, had the preference,  and in the course of a couple of days, nothing remained." 5

Unless otherwise bequeathed, the belongings of the dead (civilian and military alike) were auctioned off. There were numerous such auctions, giving some idea as to what items still had value in a time when money and possessions were otherwise worthless. At the auction of Henry Lawrence’s goods, wine and brandy fetched unbelievable prices (in today’s money, for example, £6 would translate to £66)  from £14 to £16 for a dozen bottles, beer from £6 to£7, while tinned provisions were going for £7 a can. A bottle of honey fetched £4 and cakes of chocolate between £3 and £4. The only regret was the lack sugar. The auctions were well attended and provided a little bit of amusement. Not everyone approved:

“…we had to endure the melancholy sight of seeing the clothes, &c., of dead men sold at public auction…and it was sad indeed, to observe so much appearance of actual mirth and jollity displayed by many who were present. How very little we all seemed to reflect on the truth of the words, “In the midst of life we are in death.” Here you saw the coat of your friend “put up” and tried on by one and then another; now and then, too, you heard the passing joke of the crowd as to its being a “good fit,” &c. How little did many think that probably the next auction would be over their own clothes and that too within the space of only a few days.” 6

1  A Widows Reminiscences of the Siege of Lucknow – Kate Bartrum (1858), p.28
2  A Widows Reminiscences of the Siege of Lucknow – Kate Bartrum (1858), 50


3,5  Personal Narrative of the Siege of Lucknow – L.E. Ruutz Rees (1858), p. 175, p.130
4 The Siege of Lucknow, A Diary – The Honorable Lady Inglis (1892), p. 117
A Personal Journal of the Siege of Lucknow – Captain R.P. Anderson (1858), p. 88-89