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  • Angel of Empire: The Cawnpore Memorial Well as a British Site of Imperial Remembrance

At the centre of the north Indian city of Kanpur1 sit fifty acres of urban green space. Surrounded by a brightly painted iron railing, this city-owned oasis within the bustling industrial metropolis is Nana Rao Park. Like many civic spaces, it contains a commemorative statue: in this case it is a likeness of the brilliant leader of Sepoy rebels during the 1857 uprising, Tantia Topi. This statue is relatively new, barely fifty years old; the park is much older, first laid out over 145 years ago. The statue is surrounded by four marble frogs, and stands overlooking a large, empty, sandstone circle.2 Without prior knowledge, a visitor to this park today, and indeed perhaps most of the current residents of the city,3 would have no inkling that the blank sandstone circle within this pleasant but otherwise non-descript civic oasis was once the most venerated locale of the British raj. Nano Rao Park was, before 1949, the Cawnpore Memorial Gardens, and the sandstone circle overlooked by the Tantia Topi statue is all that is now left of the memorial well monument, built on the site of the final resting place of over 125 British women and children killed in Cawnpore on 15 July 1857, amidst the upheaval of the 1857–58 “Mutiny.”4

The well monument was removed, and the site leveled by the British themselves a year after India achieved independence, an act necessitated by the financial and political inability of the British to protect the site from defacement, and the vain – as the subsequent placement of the Tantia Topi statue indicates – attempt to prevent the site from being appropriated by Indian nationalists.5 This article examines the significance of the memorial well for the British imperial project and the history of the raj, and provides an indication of why, ten years after its demolition, the site retained enough potent symbolism that politicians in the city thought it necessary to erect a nationalist counter monument on what was an essentially empty space. For the Cawnpore memorial well was, for much of its 85 year existence, the iconic site of imperial remembrance in the British raj: a site that during the last third of the Nineteenth Century was reportedly more often visited by Europeans in India than was the Taj Mahal.6

In his seminal edited collection, Les Lieux de mémoire, Pierre Nora argued that a variety of French objects, places, and concepts have become the fixed, externalized “sites” of what was once an internalized, social memory.7 The move from “living” collective memory to the deliberate preservation of memory in historical ways – what a number of theorists have suggested as the characteristic project of modernity8 – developed because spontaneous social memory no longer functions as it once did. Nora’s project was to subject such sites of memory to rigorous analysis, examining them, largely, as self-referential signifiers of French national identity.9 While the argument pursued here shows that the paradigm of “sites” of memory also works in a colonial context, it also demonstrates that a memorial monument such as that at Cawnpore cannot alone convey transparent expressions of intended (or even accreted) social and political meaning: the object does not, nor ever did, speak for itself. To determine significance we must examine the intermediaries between the social and political worlds and the monumental representation; how observers have perceived and interpreted the meaning of the object and transmitted that perception to others. If, as is suggested by Nora, particular sites becomes the locus of collective memory, then we should conceptualize not only who keeps that memory – who, in other words, remembers and why – but also how a particular site keeps its association with a particular memory, which is “the result of the interaction among three types of historical factors: the intellectual and cultural traditions that frame all our representations of the past, the memory makers who selectively adopt and manipulate these traditions, and the memory consumers who use, ignore, or transform such artifacts according to their own interests.”10 Only if we use this “hermeneutical triangle” – a dialogue among the object itself, its makers, and its consumers11 – can we appreciate the significance of the Cawnpore monument during the height of the British raj.

The origins of the revolt of 1857–58 are complex and include longstanding discontent on the part of the Indian infantry (Sepoys) used by the British in Bengal, anger over the recent annexation of Oudh (Awadh), and fear of the rise of British missionary evangelicalism. The spark for the revolt, however, was the introduction of new rifle cartridges that used animal fats for their lubrication.12 In May, detachments of the Bengal army rose-up against their officers at Meerut (Mirath), killing many and setting fire to the cantonment, before marching on to Delhi, swearing loyalty to Bahadur Shah II – the 83 year old titular Mughal Emperor – and declaring him the king of Hindustan. These events sparked other revolts against British rule throughout central and northern India, most significantly at the British cantonments at Delhi, Lucknow, and Cawnpore. Fortunately for the British, the uprising in the ranks did not spread to the two other armies of the East India Company, those of the presidencies of Madras and Bombay. In some places, particularly in the recently annexed province of Oudh, the military revolt also unleashed widespread agrarian unrest,13 but these popular struggles tended to remain localized and disparate, so that the events of 1857–58 represented, in the words of Thomas Metcalf, “something more than a Sepoy mutiny, but something less than a national revolt,”14 although the social and political character of the rebellion has been hotly debated since Indian independence.15 Fighting continued for more than a year, the rebels brutally suppressed only with the arrival of some 35,000 troops sent from Britain. Accounts of the uprising, and the struggle to repress it, riveted widespread public attention in Britain on India – perhaps, if we are to believe Bernard Porter, for one of the few times in the Nineteenth Century that middle-class Britons were actively interested in their empire.16

At the outbreak of the rising in May 1857, British civilians, officers and troops in the British cantonment of Cawnpore, under General Hugh Massey Wheeler, took refuge in an unfinished barracks complex, hastily fortified and subsequently referred to as the “entrenchment.” The British were besieged by several thousand Sepoys led by the Nana Sahib (Dhondu Pant, Maharaja of Bithoor). After heavy causalities over a three-week period, the British negotiated a surrender on 26 June, and were promised safe passage down the Ganges to Allahabad on boats supplied by the rebels, only to be ambushed while boarding the boats at the landing stage (the Sati Chaura Ghât). All but four men were killed, while around one hundred twenty-five women and children were imprisoned in a house in the city known as the Bibighar (“ladies house” – this name predated the events of 1857) along with some other British civilians rounded up from the area, only themselves to be all killed and their bodies thrown into a well on 15 July. Two days later Cawnpore was reached by a British force under General Henry Havelock, which had been dispatched to relieve them and the larger besieged garrison at Lucknow (Lucknao).17

The subsequent reports of the massacres at Cawnpore would come to colour the entire “Mutiny” in British official and popular accounts for the remainder of the century.18 As late as the 1890s, an American missionary in India, William Butler, could refer to the events at Cawnpore as “the blackest crime in human history” since “every element of perfidy and cruelty was concentrated in it. No act ever carried to so many hearts such a thrill of horror as did the deed that was done there on 15th July, 1857.”19 The focus on the suffering and death of British women, especially, represented the severity of this imperial conflict. For instance, the Illustrated London News reported in September 1857:

We hear with pain, but not perhaps with horror, of the deaths of our brave officers and soldiers slain by the mutineers, for it is the soldier’s business to confront death in all its shapes; but when we read of the atrocities committed upon our women and children the heart of England is stirred; and the sorrow for their fate, great as it is, is overshadowed by the execration which we feel for their unmanly assassins, and by the grim determination that Justice, full and unwavering, shall be done upon them.20

Such reporting of the events at Cawnpore helped construct a gendered narrative in which, in the words of Jenny Sharp, “a crisis in colonial authority was managed through the circulation of the ‘English Lady’ as a sign for the moral influence of colonialism. A colonial discourse on native savagery was inscribed onto the objectified body of English women, even as it screened the colonizer’s brutal suppression of the uprising.”21 After the events at Cawnpore became known, questions about the causes or conduct of the campaign were forced to the margins. In the early days of the revolt, the East India Company had been roundly attacked in the press and in Parliament.22 After news of the Cawnpore massacres filtered back to Britain, the public mood changed and a dominant narrative quickly developed that depicted British responses to the “Mutiny” as a righteous crusade to vindicate outraged British womanhood. Thereafter, the suppression, rather than the causes of the rebellion dominated public debate. And the calls for vengeance transformed the events for the British into a heroic struggle defined by the gendered notions of honour and manliness.23

The “unspeakable” outrages against British women perpetrated at Cawnpore thus confirmed evolving British views of Indians as degraded savages, and served as a rallying cry to the building of a renewed, Christian-militaristic masculinity. Though almost twice as many children as women died at the Bibighar, the event came to be known as the “Massacre of the Ladies” and, appropriating the name of the site and infusing it with a different connotation, the “Slaughter in the House of the Ladies.”24 Moreover, as the women were kept at the Bibighar for two weeks after the Ghat massacre and their corpses were found to be largely naked, those that discovered the bodies were convinced that many that the women had been subjected to sexual humiliations “with all those additional cruelties and mockeries that appear to form the staple of the Hindoo imagination.”25 Despite the fervid imagination of the British press, there was never any actual evidence of rape, and later official investigations found the likelihood of sexual assault remote.26 Still, innuendo and suggestive images of the fate of the prisoners in the Bibighar were effective at raising the level of popular outrage. Faced with such barbarism, the savagery of British reprisals was the more easily rationalized. Indeed, British vengeance appeared all the more virtuous in the face of Indian demonization and emasculation.27 Even before the extent of the massacres were fully known, the Illustrated London News, proclaimed “India was won by the Sword; by the Sword it must be retained. It may be the Swo rd of Justice, but it must not be a constable’s staff.”28

Indeed, not only would the events of 1857–58 provoke political and military reforms – replacing the East India Company with the colonial state and beefing-up the British component of the army in India – they also evoked a powerful and lasting cultural response within both Britain and India. The “Mutiny” became a touchstone in cultural representations of the raj until independence: it aided the hardening of racial categories and increased the symbolic distance between the British and their Indian subjects.29 Dozens of popular histories about the “Mutiny” followed on the heels of the popular journalism, poetry, and the published memoirs of survivors and campaign participants.30 Dozens of “Mutiny Novels” were published between 1858 and 1947,31 and a furor developed over “Mutiny” paintings exhibited in London in 1858.32 In British domestic school books, discussions of the raj tended to revolve around the significance of 1857, often emplotted in a symbolic narrative of Indian treachery and British tragedy (symbolized by the well at Cawnpore), heroic resistance against overwhelming odds (the siege of Lucknow), and manly triumph and renewal (the recapture of Dehli).33

As Gautam Chakravarty has written all this added up to a “dominant interpretation” of the meaning of the “Mutiny” which first lodged in the “British imagination” as the events unfolded and, with the exception of a few dissenting voices, informed thinking about, and material life in, the raj for a century after 1857.34 This dominant interpretation was neither systematic nor conspiratorial, but rather a “network of plots, redactions, myths, politics and cultures” that coalesced quickly around a number of core images. As already noted, key among these were the “powerful and emotive images of British women as the helpless victims of Mutiny violence.”35 And the representation of the massacres in journalism, history, literature and visual media amounted to a gendered “Mutiny” narrative that, as we shall see, shaped how the events at Cawnpore would come to be memorialized and provided a framework for subsequent visitors to understand the memorials to the “Mutiny.”

The process of commemorating the martyrs to British rule at Cawnpore began almost immediately – before, in fact, news of the events reached Britain. Initially, it was the Bibighar that served as instructive memorial, both for the troops still fighting the insurgency, and then for the press reportage of the events for British domestic consumption.36 After Havelock’s force arrived, the Bibighar was searched for inscriptions from the victims about the events, and when none could be found – in the words of The Times correspondent William Howard Russell, “One fact is clearly established; that the writing behind the door, on the walls of the slaughter-house, on which so much stress was laid in Calcutta, did not exist when Havelock entered the place, and therefore was not the work of any of the poor victims”37 – British troops provided their own impromptu imagined memorials in the form of graffiti such as “Your wives and children are here in misery and at the disposal of savages”; “My child!” “Think of us!” “Avenge us!”38 “Country men and women, remember the 15th of July, 1857. Your wives and families are here in misery and at the disposal of savages, who has [sic] ravished both young and old, and then killed. Oh, oh! My child, my child. Countrymen, revenge it.”39 Also numerous “Remember Cawnpore!” were scrawled on the walls; a phrase that became the de facto battle cry during the remainder of the British campaign to suppress the rebellion.40 This re-inscription of the site of the massacre by the troops that found the gruesome well, encouraged subsequent British soldiers to carry-out, without pause, the brutal retaliation and punishments ordered by Brigadier-General James Neill and the other British commanders.41 These reprisals included Neill’s “strange law” of 25 July that decreed that the blood and gore of the Bibighar would hereafter be cleaned by Indian prisoners before execution in a manner “made as revolting to [Indian] feelings as possible.”42 Lieutenant Arthur Lang wrote of his reaction to the site/sight in a letter home:

No one who has seen that spot can ever feel anything but deep hatred to the Nana and his fellow fiends and all his fellow race. No officer standing in those rooms spoke to another, tho’ each knew his neighbour’s feelings. I know I could not have spoken. I felt as if my heart was stone and my brain fire, and that the spot was enough to drive one mad. Neill made his high-caste Brahmin and Musalman Sepoy prisoners lick the stains on the floor and wall before he hung them. The gallows on which he hung them is the only pleasant thing in the Compound on which to rest the eye. All these fiends will never be repaid one tenth of what they deserve…43

Such punishments were lauded in the press back in Britain.44 And clearly the recent memory of what had been found in the well at Cawnpore was used as justification for the brutality of reprisals in other locales. Deputy Commissioner of the Punjab, Francis Cooper, for instance, summarily executed nearly 500 unarmed mutineers at Ujnalla (Ajnala) on 30–31 July, about which he is supposed to have said: “There is a well at Cawnpore, but there is also [now] one at Ujnalla.”45

While the Bibighar was the first focus of commemoration, attention soon switched to the site of well; Havelock and Neill decided not to disinter the bodies deposited there, but rather, for reasons of hygiene, filled the whole site with lime, and consecrated it as a single grave. As a poignant temporary marker, soldiers deposited the discarded clothing of the women and children onto the resulting mound, which later observers mistook for the cadavers themselves. Later in 1857, with the onset of monsoon rains, the earth began washing down among the corpses; it was at this time that the well was completely bricked over.46 The Bibighar was pulled down and a small monument in the shape of a cross was erected in front of the well by some troops, inscribed with the verse “I believe in the resurrection of the body.”47 When the newly proclaimed Viceroy, Lord Canning, passed through Cawnpore for his Durbar, he had the land around the well cleared of all the remaining partially destroyed buildings; by then decomposition of the corpses had caused the brick wellhead to be depressed several inches.48 Canning returned to Cawnpore in 1861 and decided to commission a permanent memorial to be placed on the wellhead.49 Lady Canning sketched a general design: a gothic stone screen surrounding a sculpture, with the whole memorial enclosed by a fenced garden. The actual garden design, originally encompassing some 60 acres, was done by the Collector at Cawnpore, and the landscaping of the gardens cost £30,000, paid for by a fine on the Indian inhabitants of the city for “their failure to resist” Nana Sahib’s insurrection.50 Consecrated and opened by the Viceroy Lord Elgin in February 1863 on the completion of the gothic screen at the centre of the park (designed by Colonial Henry Yule of the Bengal Engineers),51 the gardens were guarded by a British soldier at all times, and forbidden to Indian residents of Cawnpore without a pass until 1947. Indians were never permitted within the gothic screen, and British visitors were required to maintain a somber and dignified demeanour – carriages limited to foot pace, for example – within the gardens as a whole.52 The whole of the memorial gardens then, took on the atmosphere of a hallowed shrine to the dead.

But the appropriate iconography of commemoration at Cawnpore proved to be a challenge, particularly the sculpture to be situated on the wellhead within the gothic screen. Numerous demands were voiced in The Times for a worthy monument to the British dead.53 One sculptor proposed the figures of “dead children lying at the feet of an English woman leaning on a cross pierced with a sword.”54 This proved too graphic for the Cannings, who wanted to avoid depicting the “horrors” of 1857 and argued “this vision of murder and terror is not the moment to be perpetuated but rather the condition of sober mournfulness.”55 The Cannings intended the monument be a marker of the grave of Christian people, and were taken with the design of Baron Carlo Marochetti, who proposed a downcast marble angel standing before a cross and holding palm fronds in its crossed arms, very similar to his angel guarding the monument to the Crimea dead at Scutari.56 The inscription around the base of the statue, which he titled the “Angel of the Resurrection” (but which took on a number of other names) stated:

SACRED TO THE PERPETUAL MEMORY OF A GREAT COMPANY OF CHRISTIAN PEOPLE, CHIEFLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN, CRUELLY MASSACRED NEAR THIS SPOT BY THE REBEL NANA SAHIB, AND THROWN, THE DYING WITH THE DEAD, INTO THE WELL BENEATH ON THE XVTH DAY OF JULY, MDCCCLVII

The angel statue sat on the wellhead pedestal, surrounded by a moat and the gothic screen. Visitors entered Yule’s screen, after walking up a grassy knoll, through a heavy wrought-iron gate, over which were the words of the 141 psalm: “Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.”57 The Cannings paid for the monument, but both were dead by the time of its completion in 1865.58

A second major monument at Cawnpore was proposed at a location near Wheeler’s entrenchment, where many of the dead of the original siege were deposited in another well by the British during the siege. This was first commemorated with a cross, and then, also on the suggestion of Canning in 1862, by the building of a large Romanesque style church named All Souls, funded by public subscription, whose interior walls were covered with plaques honoring the regiments and men and women of the 1857 garrison.59 A debate raged in the Times over what denomination should administer the church, but it was eventually decided to consecrate it as Anglican, and the Bishop of Calcutta performed the first service in 1875.60 Clearly, both the angel in the Memorial Gardens and All Souls church were infused with Christian symbolism, and they soon became the focus of pilgrimage, although it was the memorial well that came to be the iconic site of memory. For tellingly, even serious 19th-Century general histories of India that did not dwell on the massacres at Cawnpore nevertheless contained illustrations or photos of the memorial well.61

Accounts of visits to the Cawnpore sites demonstrate the functioning of the Kansteiner’s hermeneutical triangle in operation. Various different constituencies visited these sites between the 1860s and the interwar years: Royal and Vice-regal official tours, by the members of the British-Indian62 community within the sub-continent, and by British and foreign tourists. In all three cases, it is clear that the purpose of visiting the memorials was significantly informed by the pre-existiing “Mutiny” narrative, and the meanings taken away from the sites by visitors and written into travel and tourist accounts served to reproduce that narrative. The sites thus served as physical locales were remembrance of the Mutiny was consumed, and then reproduced, albeit for different purposes and with subtlety different effects.

Vice-regal tours of Indian territory had been established by Canning and became a staple of the elaborate rituals of British “ornamentalism” that were designed to impart, symbolically, British imperial authority.63 The 1875, tour of the Prince of Wales, for instance, followed what had by then become the standard route: a pilgrimage of homage to the “Mutiny” sites of Lucknow, Cawnpore, and Dehli. When he arrived at Cawnpore, the Prince immediately visited All Souls Memorial Church and then the Memorial Gardens. The Times correspondent William H. Russell reported that the Prince read the “touching words” of the inscription out loud in a “low voice” while his retinue remained solemnly silent.64 Furthermore, the Prince told his entire retinue “not to leave till they had seen that which they had come to look for” – namely Marochetti’s “well known” statue.65 The following year the Viceroy Lord Lytton followed in the steps of the Prince and toured Cawnpore’s memorials on the 20th anniversary of the “Mutiny” — finding them all appropriately solemn.66 His wife, Edith, recorded in her diary “Such a pretty, fresh, peaceful spot, one can hardly realize the agonies experienced there,” though it was clear that she visited the well with some understanding of what those agonies might have been.67 The Marquis of Ripon visited the memorials in the summer 1880 as he took-up his Viceregal duties.68 Another royal tour took place in 1905, in which the Prince and Princess of Wales paid homage to the victims of the Mutiny, and which for one witness of the event, H.V. Prevost Battersby, affirmed the necessity of the colonial civilizing mission.69 Clearly, such official visits affirmed the quasi-religious, quasi-official status of the monuments: they had become significant symbolic sites of memory for the raj as a whole.

Some of the official visitors left their impressions of the monuments themselves. The Marchioness and Marquess of Dufferin (Viceroy 1884–88) made their visit as part of their Jubilee tour of 1887. The Marchioness recorded her reaction to “the saddest spot of all” – the monument in the Memorial Gardens.

The well has been filled in, and is surrounded by an ornamental wall, inside of which, in the centre stands a white marble figure of an angel. She leans against a cross and has long wings touching the ground; her arms are crossed, and she holds a palm-branch in each hand. We did not think her face quite beautiful enough, but the whole suggests sorrow, silence, and solemnity and so far is successful. No native is ever allowed to enter this enclosure and they have to get passes to come into the Garden. It is very well kept, and is full of roses and flowering shrubs.70

Significantly, as with other observers, it is the racial exclusivity of the site – the fact that no Indian was ever allowed within the gothic screen, and only rarely in the gardens that surrounded it – rather than the statue that was recorded with approval. At the start of his Viceroyalty in the fall of 1899, Curzon made a point of visiting Cawnpore with his wife. They were in no doubt about the necessary exclusivity of the site, nor the necessity of the memorial as a reminder of the British sacrifices in India. They left deeply moved.71

In addition to the official visits of the imperial elite, significant numbers of the British community within India made the trek to Cawnpore. Memsahibs (British-Indian women), in particular, recorded their visits to the memorials, often using the language of pilgrimage and of collective trauma.72 Even when visited decades after the events, the monuments aroused “feelings of burning indignation” of “fresh personal sorrow”73 and brought home how “brutally, shudderingly real”74 the violence of the events had been. One member of the Indian civil service wrote of how visiting the Cawnpore Memorial in 1881 made the events of 1857 “painfully memorable.”75 He nonetheless felt obliged to visit the sites again in 1889.76 Many British-Indians had photo albums containing pictures of the Memorial Well reminding them of the martyrdom of their forebears, and Andrew Ward relates finding a postcard picture of the memorial well from William Lindsay to his niece in 1903, with his simple message, “Remember Cawnpore” on the reverse.77 Still, some criticized the Memorial Gardens for its excessive solemnity. In his Handbook to Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow and Benares (1896), Henry George Keene complained:

The necessary observances of a cemetery render this large and ornamental piece of ground useless for the ordinary purposes of a public garden; even though the monument is not visible from any but the most central position.78

Yet, many British-Indian residents of India had powerful reasons to treat the Cawnpore sites as hallowed shrines. Remembering the “Mutiny” – or at least the British “Mutiny” narrative – provided a powerful explanation and justification for the use of violence to keep order within the raj. This became particularly necessary by the early Twentieth Century when resistance to colonial rule within India grew, and the violence necessary to contain that resistance was viewed with skepticism back in Britain. As Procida notes, many British women in India “fore grounded the spectre of the Mutiny and of Mutiny violence in many of their writings” and especially in their vocal support of General Dyer after the British massacre of nearly 400 unarmed Indian protestors at Amritsar in 1919.79 For many residents, the Cawnpore sites were thus be mnemonic devices: the Mutiny narrative and the dangers it indicated for the present and future was kept omnipresent in the memorials. By visiting or otherwise consuming (picture, postcards, etc) the sites, the “lessons” of Cawnpore were powerfully reproduced.

Touring the “Mutiny” memorial sites by those visiting India had also become popular in the late-Nineteenth Century. As a letter to the Times noted in 1880, “no European traveller passes the neighbourhood of Cawnpore without making a pilgrimage to the solemn spot from which he looks back into that terrible past.”80 This was possible due to the East Indian Railway line that passed through Cawnpore and connected it with Lucknow in the early 1860s – part of the rail network designed immediately after the “Mutiny” to help speed troops to potential trouble spots.81 Many visitors to Cawnpore actually stayed in the city for one night or less; long enough to visit the memorial sites, all of which could easily “be seen in two to three hours”82 as part of a stop-over on their journey. Thomas Cook visited the “Mutiny” cities himself, and thereafter arranged tours of India that included Cawnpore on the itinerary, and commissioned guidebooks to northern India that paid special attention to the memorial sites.83 These guidebooks cited the early histories of the “Mutiny” and, in turn, later editions of the histories cited the guide books and gazetteers: Malleson prefaced his 6th volume (1889) of Kaye and Malleson’s History of the Indian Mutiny by noting that “the numbers of tourists who visit India is increasing rapidly” and that as a result, guides like Murray’s handbook “was indispensable” for visiting “Mutiny” sites.84 In Murray’s Handbook to the Bengal Presidency (1881) and Handbook for Travellers in India, Burma and Ceylon (1898 and 1903), the histories of Lucknow, Cawnpore and Dehli were represented almost exclusively through the lens of the “Mutiny.” In the 1903 edition, eight pages are devoted to the “Mutiny” sites in Dehli, the remaining ten covering the rest of the city’s long history and architecture, five of the eight pages covering Lucknow concern 1857, while for Cawnpore the entire entry is devoted to 1857 as the “sole interest attaching to the place arises from the frightful massacres of the Mutiny.”85 Similarly, Bradshaw’s Through Routes to the Capitals of the World and Overland Guide to India, Persia and the Far East (1903), included Cawnpore on its suggested itinerary with the sole comment “The principal object of interest is the Memorial Well, standing among remains of entrenchments thrown up by the sepoys, marking the spot where the murdered bodies of the ‘company of Christian people, chiefly women and children,’ were thrown, 17th June [sic]; now covered by Marochetti’s Statue, and surrounded by an eight-sided Gothic screen, dedicated in 1863 by the Bishop of Calcutta in the presence of the Viceroy; with a church in the grounds.”86 Both the guides and also the gazetteers prepared first by the Director-General of Statistics to the Government of Indian, and then by the Secretary of State for India in Council,87 arranged the events of 1857–58 spatially rather than chronologically: tourists were encouraged to visit sites that, in turn, narrativized the events, but also divorced them of wider context. The hand books and gazetteers thus transformed the uncertainties of history into discrete, readable spaces.88 Unlike at Lucknow, where the ruined residency had been kept as a memorial to the heroism of the defenders,89 the guides explained that at Cawnpore, there were no buildings to visit, only monuments to the massacres.90

Late-Victorian published accounts of visits to the sites similarly infused travel description with the “Mutiny” narrative:

Then we drove about a mile away to the deep ravine called the Suttee Chowra Ghât. Here were the very steps, shaded by the same peepul-tree, where the men, women, and children went down on their way to embark from the ghât on the river. They had surrendered to Nana Sahib, as will be remembered, on the condition of being transported in boats up the Ganges to Allahabad…. The women and children who were captured and not massacred were taken that night to the Assembly Rooms…. When, at Havelock’s approach, Nana Sahib ordered a general massacre at the Assembly Rooms, the ‘House of Massacre’ as it came to be called . . . . [their] bodies were cast into a well. It is on this awful spot that the most perfect imonument, full of beauty and peace, has been so fitly erected. . . . the lovely statue of Marochetti.91

This fusion of “Mutiny” narrative with travelogue continued well into the Twentieth Century and was even incorporated into the accounts of non-British tourists, such as Agnes Rush Burr, who, in 1929 opined: “The chief interest of Cawnpore for the average tourist is its Mutiny history. The events that happened here were far more tragic than those at Lucknow, and one feels like saying, far more sublime in courage than self-sacrifice…”92 Some travel accounts replicated the practice of the guide books and referenced the early histories of the “Mutiny” in their description of visiting the sites. Thus G.A. Matthews noted of his visit to the memorial well in his 1906 Diary of an Indian Tour, “This culminating horror of the great tragedy at Cawnpore is so well known and yet so obscure that it is best told in the fewest and simplest words” and then provided passages straight from Malleson’s account, concluding with his own accurate assessment, that “This bestial act of unmitigated cruelty sent a thrill of horror through the whole Christian world and roused English manhood in India to a pitch of national hatred that took years to allay.”93

The exact number of visitors to the memorials is unknowable, but in the late-Nineteenth and early-Twentieth Centuries, visitors arrived on practically a daily basis, “from many lands, who with sad thoughts and respectful steps approach[ed] the Ladies Monument.”94 Few detailed responses of these visitors to the monuments were recorded – some were clearly reticent about putting their emotions about the place into words95 – but a few published accounts do indicate the impact of the visit. When visited in 1876, the Times correspondent wrote of the angel: “It is worth notice that no two people agree, exactly as to the expression of Marochetti’s angel; is it pain, pity, resignation, vengeance, or triumph?”96 No doubt this ambiguity allowed for diverse reactions to the memorial, although like the official visits and British-Indian pilgrimages, these visitors must have arrived with some pre-knowledge of the Mutiny narrative: why else would they be visiting what was an obscure industrial city,97 often noted for its poor visitor accommodations and general lack of beauty or interest?98 The gardens themselves were generally reported as “lovely” and “beautifully kept,”99 while the marble angel was variously depicted in travellers’ accounts as “full of tender sorrow,”100 “as beautiful and exquisitely simple as it can be,”101 and as “emblematically of martyrdom and victory.”102 Others commented on its evocation of “every mournful memory from this loveliest and saddest of all spots on earth.”103 British visitors in the 1870s left the memorial gardens noting, “one cannot get rid of a sad feeling about the place,”104 others in the 1880s broke down in tears before the monument, and in 1905 one party was so moved by the “painful memories evoked by our pilgrimage” to the sites they felt the need to leave the city immediately.105 Even in the 1920s tourists wrote of standing “reverently” before the monument.106 A number of visitors promoted an exaggerated importance to the site in the same language found in published accounts of the “Mutiny” itself. American photographer James Ricalton, for instance, wrote in 1889, “If I were asked to name the saddest spot and most pathetic spot in the entire world, I would say that over which the pure and brooding angel stands.”107

Not all visitors were so impressed. The Russian founder of the modern Theosopohical movement, H.P. Blavastsky, although hardly sympathetic to British imperialism, noted of his visit in the mid 1880s, “neither the architecture…nor the walls of the garden, nor even the monument over the well are appropriate to the great tragic event or worthy of the great sums of money spent in the fulfillment of Canning’s idea.”

The statue represents a coarse figure of an angel with his [sic] hands held open, palms down, as though he felt cold and was warming them at an open fireplace. The statue is the work of Baron Carlo Marochetti and represents, according to his idea, ‘the angel of compassion.’ But why this pose should represent Compassion and not something else, is hard to say. The statue is placed within a granite enclosure with an iron railing around it; in front, marble steps lead to a wicket gate in the railing; this is even more ridiculous, as it would seem that in a structure having no roof a gate had no place, the more so as it seems to be hanging between heaven and earth.108

It is not clear why Blavstsky believed the statue represented ‘compassion’ but he went on to condemn the inscription that, to him, unjustly damned Nana Sahib, and proclaimed the English as God’s chosen people. “All sympathy, all deep grief for the undeserved suffering of the unfortunate martyred women and children – all such feelings must disappear in reading the disgraceful imprecations of this haughty and pompous inscription.”109 Moreover, by 1905, an undercurrent of anxiety about the future of the British in India is evident in the response of one visitor to the well who did not feel “that Marochetti’s beautiful angel over the well represented the presiding genius of Cawnpore,” but rather that the “fiendish spirit which had animated Nana Sahib was only smouldering, and the fifty years of western secular education, as assimilated by the Hindus would not protect us from another outbreak of fanaticism.”110 While some tourists seemed completely untroubled by the exclusionary nature of the memorial gardens — “As both Simon and our driver were natives, they were not admitted into the enclosure, which is sacred to the memory of those fellow-countrymen and women of ours who fell victims to Nana’s final act of butchery”111 – other visitors were critical of the symbolic context of the monuments, although this could be viewed as anxiety about the future of the raj. When Beatrice and Sydney Webb visited India in 1912, for instance, they too made the requisite pilgrimage to the “Mutiny” sites and found the angel on the wellhead wanting:

[W]e drove to the Memorial Gardens, which surround the consecrated tomb, once the well into which the women and children were thrown at the Mutiny. This tomb, with its somewhat meretricious Marochetti statue, is quite properly fenced in and only opened by a soldier to visitors.

But they also worried about the segregated nature of the site: “no Indians are allowed to enter the beautiful ornamental gardens, which are kept up out of public taxation.”

This dates from the Mutiny days, and is really an invidious piece of vengeful feeling. The soldier on duty defended the exclusion on the ground that if Indians were admitted they would picnic all over the grounds, and make a mess – but this is a mere excuse. The clerk at the bank of Bengal to whom we mentioned the matter said that he thought the continuance of an invidious race exclusion was a mistake.112

Doubts about the message being conveyed to the Indian population in keeping the memorial site exclusive to Europeans had even surfaced in the writings of the Marchioness of Dufferin in 1887. She noted that there was already division of opinion, on the subject of this the most “painful of memorials,” about whether “we should try to forget the misfortunes and the experiences of the Mutiny.” She did not state her own judgment, but concluded, “others consider that we cannot remember them too well, and that we should not let the people imagine that we have forgotten them.”113 “The people” in question were, perhaps, both the British-Indians whose existence within India seemingly depended on them not forgetting the lessons of 1857, and the Indian population itself, who while denied access to the shrines of British martyrdom (Cawnpore) and resistance (the ruined residence at Lucknow was similarly exclusive to Europeans), were nonetheless informed, by their very exclusion, that the British had not forgotten those lessons and would react with the same brutal severity should such a rebellious situation arise again.

Conclusion

For most of its existence the Cawnpore memorial well functioned as the locus of memory for “martyrs” to the imperial project in India, both as monumental tomb and as a place where remembrance of British trauma could be reverently rehearsed. This was essentially a British site for British consumption: a classic example of Nora’s lieu de mémoire in a colonial context. But as Jeffery Alexander argues, historical traumas are culturally constructed through a “sociological process that defines a painful injury to the collectivity, establishes the victim, attributes responsibility and distributes the ideal and material consequences” which are then revised and routinized through social remembrance and commemoration.114 The “Mutiny” narrative thus prompted the need to visit, and this act of pilgrimage to the spot reproduced the social remembrance of the trauma. The narrative and pilgrimage to the site thus worked together to create an understanding of the memorial well’s meaning, elements of which was then reproduced in further writing about the site in the form of travel accounts. Visitors to the well as “consumers” of the memorial site thereby helped perpetuate and give further meaning to remembrance of the events the site commemorated. Here we see Kansteiner’s hermeneutical triangle in operation, with the original significance of the site as intended by the “producers” of the memorial subtly changed by its “consumption.” Manu Goswami’s argument that the “Mutiny” sites helped aid the construction of Englishness back in the metropolis as well as within the raj, however, is rather a stretch, especially given the narrowness of her evidence. For the British community within India and those socially privileged enough who traveled to India, she undoubtedly has a case, and her suggestion that Englishness was not territorially-defined is well-taken, but these points alone are not enough to support sweeping generalizations about the role of these sites on the consciousness of the British population as a whole.115 As a shrine of the imperial family, it was particularly important to the British community within India that the memorial well remain a “private” shrine that was exclusive a to family members and their guests. Throughout the Nineteenth and into the mid-Twentieth Century, this family did not include the Indian population who paid for and maintained the site – regardless of the rhetoric of Dominion status.

But the memorial was also, however, clearly a political statement about the British imperial presence, and a highly didactic feature of the imperial project: the well was a reminder to its visitors of the failure of British-Indian manhood to fulfil its most basic duty – the protection of women from the “treachery” of its colonial subjects – so as to ensure it never happened again. For most of its existence, the message was conveyed not by the symbolism of the actual monument per se – the angel was really rather an anodyne and common-place funerary sculpture – but by the racial exclusivity of the site and by the dominant “Mutiny” narrative script that provided the meaning of the site. Given that this monument was such a declaration about triumph through sacrifice, it is no wonder that the remaining British community in India, and officials in the High Commission and in Whitehall, feared that the site would become the site of Indian nationalist anger, and they worried that it would be defaced, desecrated or appropriated for another political purpose. After all, tearing down old and erecting new monuments is a way of taking vengeance on the past and attempting to create new understandings of that past.116 British fears were realized on the night of India’s independence, when a mob broke into the Gardens and defaced the Angel statue on the wellhead.117

While British official concern about the memorial well rested on concern about British prestige and Commonwealth relations rather than the protection of statues as works of art118, for many within the British-Indian community, both those that stayed in India and those that returned to Britain, the desire to protect the memory of British accomplishments, heroes and martyrs of the raj remained strong.119 The subsequent local British community decision to totally efface of the site of the memorial was thus an attempt to control the site’s meaning in perpetuity: to prevent any re-inscription of this material site of remembrance with any other meaning, by removing it entirely. The angel statue and portions of the screen were moved to the memorial church, and the rest of the site leveled. Once moved, this signifier of the memory of British rule in India – sacrifice, duty, fortitude and above all, the ultimate triumph over those who had threatened properly constituted authority and order120 – became merely a marble curiosity in a crumbling historic churchyard. Arguably, however, the monument lost its relevance the moment the British turned power over to their former subjects. No longer a signifier of the collective memory of the British-Indian community or of the imperially-interested domestic British population, the angel was as effaced of meaning as were the physical features of the site on which it sat for eighty years. Thus, except perhaps in the nostalgic imagination121 of the remnants of the surviving British-Indian community, as a “site of memory” the Cawnpore well ceased to exist. It was not the effacing of the physical site and the moving of the angel that accomplished this, but rather, the collapse of the relevance of the “Mutiny” narrative for the British in post-Independence India and in post-colonial Britain. For Indian nationalists, however, the site of the well – even after its effacement by the British – was still a marker of a different kind of imperial remembrance: that of the experience of the colonized, and of the trauma of the post-uprising repression.

Stephen Heathorn
McMaster University

Endnotes

* I wish to thank Pamela Swett, Juanita De Barros, Michael Silvestri, and the participants at the Southern Ontario Modern British History Seminar and the German Historical Institute of London’s “Revisiting Sites of Memory: New Perspectives on the British Empire” conference for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper. I also wish to thank the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which provided funding for the project of which this article is a part.

1. Kanpur is the post-independence Indian name/spelling of the city; Cawnpore was the spelling the British used throughout the period of the raj.

2. This description of contemporary Kanpur is based on Raleigh Trevelyan, The Golden Oriole: Childhood, Family and Friends in India (London, 1987), 472–73, and Andrew Ward, Our Bones are Scattered (London, 1996), 553–54.

3. Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 554.

4. The terminology of the 1857–58 uprising is contested: post-colonial scholars for instance, have drawn attention to the continuing colonialist/paternalist connotations to calling the rebellion a Mutiny. It is for this reason that the term is kept in quotation marks in this article. See Ranajit Guha, “The Prose of Counter-Insurgency” in Ranajit Guha and G.S. Spivak, eds., Selected Subaltern Studies (Oxford, 1983), 77.

5. The politics of this decision to efface the monument are discussed in my forthcoming essay “The Absent Site of Memory.”

6. Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 551.

7. Pierre Nora, ed., Les Lieux de mémoire. 7 Vols. (Paris, 1984–1992).

8. Richard Terdiman, Present Past: Modernity and the Memory Crisis (Ithaca, NY, 1993), 3–4, 22–24; Rienhart Koselleck, Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time (Cambridge, MA, 1985), 4, 15, 275–76; Helga Nowotny, Time: The Modern and the Postmodern Experience, trans. Neville Pierce (Cambridge, 1994), 22–23; Matei Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, Postmodernism (Durham, NC, 1987), 13; Peter Osborne, The Politics of Time: Modernity and the Avant-Garde (London, 1995), xii. More generally, see David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge, 1985), Matt Matsuda, The Memory of the Modern (Chicago, 1996), and most recently, Peter Fritzsche, Stranded in the Present: Modern time and the Melancholy of History (Harvard, 2004).

9. Pierre Nora, “General Introduction: Between Memory and History,” in Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past, Vol. 1, English ed. Lawrence Kritzman, trans. by Arthur Goldhammer (New York, 1996), 19.

10. Wulf Kansteiner, “Finding Meaning in Memory: A Methodological Critique of Collective Memory Studies,” History and Theory 41:2 (May 2002): 180.

11. Kansteiner, “Finding Meaning in Memory,” 197. See also, Marius Kwint, “Introduction: The Physical Past,” in Material Memories, ed. Kwint et al. (Oxford, 1999), 3, and Nick Merriman, “Introduction,” in Making Early Histories in Museums, ed. Merriman (London, 1999), 6, and Rudy Koshar, From Monuments to Traces: Artefacts of German Memory, 1870–1990 (Berkeley, 2000), 10.

12. On the background to the revolt see especially, Douglas Peers, Between Mars and Mammon: Colonial Armies and the Garrison State in India, 1819–1835 (London, 1995); Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Awadh in Revolt, 1857–58: A Study of Popular Resistance (Delhi, 1984). On the determination that animal fats were indeed used in the lard for the rifles, see Surendra Nath Sen, Eighteen Fifty-Seven (Delhi, 1957), 42.

13. G. Bhadra, “Four rebels of eighteen-fifty-seven,” in R. Guha and G. C. Spivak. eds., Selected Subaltern Studies I (Oxford, 1992); R. Guha, Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India (New Delhi, 1983); J. Pemble, The Raj, the Indian Mutiny and the Kingdom of Oudh 1801–1859 (London, 1977); and Eric Stokes, The Peasant and the Raj: Studies in Agrarian Society and Peasant Rebellion in Colonial India (Cambridge, 1978).

14. Thomas Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt: India 1857–1870 (Princeton, 1965), 60.

15. For an introduction into the complexities of the historiographical debate, see M. L. Bhargava, Saga of 1857: Success and Failures (New Delhi, 1992); Snigdha Sen, The Historiography of the Indian Revolt (Calcutta, 1992); and S. B. Chaudhuri, English Historical Writings on the Indian Mutiny 1857–9 (Calcutta, 1979), and idem., Theories of the Indian Mutiny, 1857–59 (Calcutta: World Press Private, 1965).

16. For Bernard Porter’s view see The Absent-Minded Imperialists (Oxford, 2004), 84, 112.

17. Early British accounts of the events at Cawnpore include, J. Shepherd, A Personal Narrative of the Outbreak and Massacre at Cawnpore, during the Sepoy Revolt of 1857 (Lucknow, 1894), and G. Trevelyan, Cawnpore (London 1886). For a recent revision, see Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Spectre of Violence: the 1857 Kanpur Massacres (Delhi, 1998). For the debate sparked by Mukherjee see his “‘Satan let loose upon Earth’: The Kanpur Massacres in India in the Revolt of 1857,” Past and Present 128 (1990): 92–116; B. English, “Debate: The Kanpur Massacres in India in the Revolt of 1857,” Past and Present 142 (1994): 169–78; and Mukherjee’s reply, 178–89.

18. Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt, 289–90.

19. William Butler, Land of the Veda (New York, 1894), 294.

20. Illustrated London News, 5 September 1857, 538.

21. Jenny Sharpe, “The Unspeakable Limits of Rape: Colonial Violence and Counter-Insurgency”, Genders, 10 (1991): 5; see also Sharpe, Allegories of Empire: The Figure of Woman in the Colonial Text (Minneapolis, 1993); Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830–1914 (Ithaca, NY, 1988); and Nancy Paxton, Writing Under the Raj: Gender, Race, and Rape in the British Colonial Imagination, 1830–1947 (New Brunswick, NJ, 1999).

22. Bernard Porter, The Lion’s Share: A Short History of British Imperialism (Harlow, 2004), 43–48.

23. Graham Dawson, Soldier Heroes: British Adventure, Empire, and the Imagining of Masculinities (London, 1994), 81–94.

24. J.W. Sherer, Daily Life During the Indian Mutiny: Personal Experiences of 1857 (Allahabad, 1910), 78.

25. The Times, 17 September 1857, 8.

26. See G.W. Forrest, A History of the Indian Mutiny (Edinburgh 1904), xi and J. Shepherd, A Personal Narrative of the Outbreak and Massacre at Cawnpore, during the Sepoy Revolt of 1857 (Lucknow, 1894), 158. On the official investigation see Mukherjee, “Satan Let Loose Upon the Earth,” 115.

27. Mrinalini Sinha, Colonial Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’in the Late Nineteenth Century (Manchester, 1995).

28. Illustrated London News, 22 August 1857, 186.

29. Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt; Bernard Cohn, “Representing Authority in Colonial India,” in Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds. The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge, 1983).

30. Lawrence James, Raj: the Making and Unmaking of British India (London, 1997), pp. 278–98; Michael Edwardes, Red Year: The Indian Rebellion of 1857 (London, 1973), 180–82.

31. Gautam Chakravarty, The Indian Mutiny and the British Imagination (Cambridge, 2005), provides evidence of about 50. Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness, suggests the number is over 80; Manu Goswami, “‘Englishness’ on the Imperial Circuit: Victorian Englishness, Mutiny Tours in Colonial South Asia” Journal of Historical Sociology 9:1 (1996): 54–84, improbably speculates there are more than 150.

32. Brian Allen, “The Indian Mutiny and British Painting,” Apollo 132 (1990): 156; Alison Blunt, “Embodying war: British women and Domestic Defilement in the Indian ‘Mutiny’, 1857–8,” Journal of Historical Geography, 26:3 (2000): 416–20; Mary Procida, Married to the Empire: Gender, Politics and Imperialism in India, 1883–1947 (Manchester, 2002), 113–15.

33. See Porter, Absent-minded Imperialists; J.M. Mackenzie, Propaganda and Empire (Manchester, 1984); Katherine Castle, “The Imperial Indian” in J.A. Mangan, ed., Imperial Curriculum (London, 1993), 23–32; and Stephen Heathorn, For Home, Country and Race, Constructing Gender, Class and Englishness in the Elementary School, 1880–1914 (Toronto, 2000), 133–35.

34. Chakravarty, The Indian Mutiny and the British Imagination, 181.

35. Procida, Married to the Empire, 111. Procida’s book is concerned to demonstrate that in their daily lives the Memsahibs refused to be bound by these discourses of feminine victimization and protective men folk.

36. Illustrated London News, 26 September 1857, 322–23.

37. W. H. Russell, My Indian Mutiny Diary [Reprint of My Diary in India, in the Year 1858–59, 1860] (London 1957), 35. See also, Francis Cornwallis Maude, Memories of the Mutiny (London, 1894), cited in Peter Stanley, “‘Highly Inflammatory Writings’: Soldiers’ Graffiti and the Indian Rebellion,” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 74:300 (1996): 236.

38. Charles Ball, The History of the Indian mutiny: Giving a detailed account of the Sepoy insurrection in India, and a concise history of the great military events which have tended to consolidate British Empire in Hindostan (London, 1858), I: 377; Forbes Mitchell, The Relief of Lucknow [1893], Folio edition, edited by Michael Edwardes (London, 1962), 113.

39. The Times, 16 January, 1858, 10.

40. George Dangerfield, Bengal Mutiny (New York, 1933), 206.

41. Mowbray Thompson, The Story of Cawnpore, (London, 1859), 214.

42. John William Kaye, A History of the Sepoy War in India, 1857–1858 (London, 1880), II: 399. For graphic descriptions of the ritual humiliations at Cawnpore, see Christopher Hibbert, The Great Mutiny (London, 1978), 211 and Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 454–57. Of course, the bloody reprisals and ritual humiliations were not limited to Cawnpore.

43. Letter cited in Wayne G. Broehl, Crisis of the Raj (Hanover, 1986), 145.

44. Illustrated London News, 26 September 1857, 322.

45. Sir Frederick Henry Cooper, Crisis in the Punjab (Lahore, 1858), 123.

46. Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 549.

47. Butler, Land of the Veda, 310.

48. H.G. Keene, Handbook to Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow and Benares (Calcutta, 1896), 34.

49. Canning to Granville, 3 March, 1861, reprinted in Lord Edmond Fitzaurice, The Life of Second Earl Granville (London, 1905), 395. The Times, 29 March, 1861, 4.

50. Charles Allen, ed., A Glimpse of the Burning Plain: Leaves from the Indian Journals of Charlotte Canning (London, 1986), 122; Keene, Handbook, 30; Zoe Yalland, Traders and Nabobs: the British in Cawnpore, 1765–1857 (Salisbury, 1987), 279.

51. The Times, 24 March 1863, 6.

52. Keene, Handbook, 29; Zoe Yalland, “Little Details of the Long View: Victorian Cawnpore” in Architecture in Victorian and Edwardian India, ed. Christopher London (Bombay, 1994), 106.

53. See the letters to The Times, 14, 16, 17 and 19 January 1860, and 10 July 1862.

54. Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 550; Yalland, “Little Details of the Long View,” 106.

55. Canning to Granville, 21 July, 1861, in Fitzmaurice, The Life of Second Earl Granville, 398; Yalland, “Little Details of the Long View,” 107.

56. Granville to Canning, 17 June, 1861, Fitzmaurice, The Life of Second Earl Granville, 398. The Scutari Angel was depicted in The Illustrated London News in May of 1856.

57. Butler, Land of the Veda, 310.

58. Keene, Handbook, 34.

59. Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 560.

60. Gibbs, The Anglican Church in India, 223, cited in Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 551.

61. See for example, Robert Frazer, British India [1896] (New York, 1972 ed.), 293.

62. Following the practice used by Elizabeth Buettner, Empire Families (Oxford, 2004), the term British-Indian refers to British residents of India. While not ideal, this term avoids the confusion (and Anglo-centrism) of the term Anglo-Indian, which was commonly used to describe British residents in the 19th Century and people of mixed European and Asian ancestry in the 20th Century.

63. David Cannadine, Ornamentalism (Oxford, 2001); Cohn, “Representing Authority in Colonial India,” 167.

64. W.H. Russell, The Prince of Wales Tour: An Official Diary (London, 1876), 401.

65. The Times, 18 January, 1876, 5.

66. Mary Lutyens, The Lytton’s in India; An account of Lord Lytton’s Viceroyalty, 1876–1880 (London, 1979), 116.

67. Marian Fowler, Below the Peacock Fan (Markam, 1987), 218.

68. The Times, 7 June, 1880, 7.

69. H.V. Prevost Battersby, Through Royal Eyes (London, 1906), 390.

70. Marchioness of Dufferin, Our Vice-regal Life in India (London, 1891 ed.), 218–19.

71. Fowler, Below the Peacock Fan, 269.

72. Procida, Married to the Empire, 120; Margaret MacMillan, Women of the Raj (Toronto, 2005 ed.), 73; Charles Allen, ed., Plain Tales from the Raj (London, 1975), 57; Pat Barr, The Memsahibs (London, 1976), 192–93. On the omni-presence of the memorial to life in Cawnpore, see Zöe Yalland, The Boxwallahs: The British in Cawnpore, 1857–1947 (Norwich, 1994).

73. Isabel Fraser Hunter, The Land of Regrets (London, 1909), 135.

74. Norah Rowan Hamilton, Through Wonderful India and Beyond (London, 1915), 156.

75. A Young Victorian in India: Letters of H.M. Kisch, ed., by Ethel A. Waley Cohen (London, 1957), 183.

76. Ibid., 239.

77. Ward, Our Bones are Scattered, 683; Yalland reprinted one of these postcards in essay “Little Details of the Long View,” 99.

78. Keene, Handbook, 26.

79. Procida, Married to the Empire, 118–26, quotation on 126.

80. The Times, 3 January, 1880, 10.

81. R.C. Dutt, An Economic History of India in the Victorian Age (New York, 1904), 548. The line to Cawnpore was running by March 1863 when Lord Elgin made the trip to consecrate the well memorial, The Times, 24 March, 1863, 6.

82. Walter del Mar, India of Today (London, 1905), 126.

83. Piers Brendon, Thomas Cook: 150 years of Popular Tourism (London, 1991), 148.

84. J.W. Kaye and C.B. Malleson, History of the Indian Mutiny of 1857–8 (London, 1898), VI: vii. Goswami, “‘Englishness’ on the Imperial Circuit, 71.

85. Murray’s Handbook for Travellers in India, Burma and Ceylon (London 1903), 133–43, 239–47, 261–64. The quotation is on 261.

86. Bradshaw’s Through Routes to the Capitals of the World and Overland Guide to India, Persia, and the Far East: A Handbook of Indian, Colonial and Foreign Travel (London, 1903), 257.

87. W.W. Hunter, The Imperial Gazetteer of India (London, 1885), 289–93; The Imperial Gazetteer of India (Oxford, 1908), 315–17.

88. Goswami, “‘Englishness’ on the Imperial Circuit”,73; Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Randall (Berkeley, 1984), 35.

89. Agnes Rush Burr, India the Land that Lures (Boston, 1929), 79–80.

90. Handbook to the Bengal Presidency (London, 1890), 353.

91. Lady Ethel Gwendoline Moffatt Vincent, Forty Thousand Miles over Land and Water: The Journal of a Tour through the British Empire and America, (London, 1886), II: 149–51. See also, Julia Stone, Illustrated India: its Princes and People. Upper, Central and Farther India, Up the Ganges and Down the Indus (Hartford, Conn, 1877), 227–30.

92. Burr, India the Land that Lures, 83.

93. G. A. Matthews, Diary of an Indian Tour (Edinburgh, 1906), 105.

94. Butler, Land of the Veda, 310; Yalland, Boxwallahs.

95. Augusta Klein recorded in 1895, “of the impression of these days, of their meditations in these places, our friends may be forgiven if they keep no written record,” Amongst the Gods: Scenes of India: with Legends by the Way (Edinburgh, 1895), 228–29. For similar reticence to write to the experience, see the Diary of Anne Allnut Brassey, Baroness Brassey, February 1887 in The Last Voyage to India and Australia in the Sunbeam (London, 1888), 30–31.

96. The Times, 18 January, 1876, 5.

97. Stone, Illustrated India, 226; Hunter, Imperial Gazetteer of India, 292.

98. Vincent, Forty Thousand Miles,147.

99. Letter of Alice Mary Moore Wade, December 23, 1870, In Memoriam, Augusta S. Moore ed., (Edinburgh, 1872), 57.

100. Vincent, Forty Thousand Miles,151.

101. Wade, In Memoriam, 57.

102. Rev. W. Urwick, Indian Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil ([London 1891], reprinted, New Dehli 1972), 149.

103. Stone, Illustrated India, 229.

104. Wade, In Memoriam, 57.

105. del Mar, India of Today, 128.

106. H.P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan, 1883–1886 (Wheaton, Ill, 1975), 376–77; Burr, India the Land that Lures, 85.

107. James Ricalton’s Photographic Travelogue of Imperial India [1889], ed. by Christopher Lucas (Lewiston, NY, 1990), 122.

108. Blavatsky, Collected Writings, 374–75. Emphasis in original.

109. Ibid., 375.

110. A.H. Hallam Murray, The High Road of Empire, cited by Goswami, “‘Englishness’ on the Imperial Circuit,” 80.

111. Mathews, Diary of an Indian Tour, 103.

112. Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Indian Diary, ed. Niraja Gopal Jayal (New Dehli, 1988), 72.

113. Dufferin, Our Vice-regal Life in India, 219.

114. See Jeffrey Alexander, “Toward a Theory of Cultural Trauma,” in Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity, ed. Jeffrey C. Alexander (Berkeley, 2004), 1–30, esp. 22–24.

115. Goswami, “Englishness on the Imperial Circuit”.

116. William Cohen, “Symbols of Power: Statues in Nineteenth Century Provincial France” Comparative Studies in Society and History 31:3 (1989): 493–4.

117. H.A.F. Rumbold (Commonwealth Relations Office) to C.A. Gault (Office of the High Commissioner for the UK, New Delhi), 19 August 1947, Oriental and India Office Library Collection [hereafter OIOL], British Library, R/4/82, citing official file 180/47/EC/1.

118. Brigadier Henry Bullock’s minute of 15 December 1947, on the preservation of monuments of British rule in India and Pakistan, OIOL R/4/82; Chisholm to Gibson, 18 October 1948, Re: British monuments in India, National Archives, Kew, DO 142/255.

119. Buettner, Empire Families, 252–70.

120. Cohn, “Representing Authority in Colonial India”.

121. Elizabeth Buettner, “Cemeteries, Public Memory and Raj Nostalgia in Postcolonial Britain and India” History and Memory, 18:1 (2006): 5–42.

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