(These two memoranda are referred to in the note in Chapter XXV, Footnote 6.)
Memorandum by Lieutenant McLeod Innes.
'1. Sir H. Lawrence joined at Lucknow about the end of March, 1857, succeeding Mr. Coverley Jackson in the Chief Commissionership.
'2. On his arrival he found himself in the midst of troubles, of which the most important were these:
I. A general agitation of the empire, from the discontent of the soldiery.
II. A weak European force at Oudh, with all the military arrangements defective.
III. Grievous discontent among several classes of the population of Oudh, viz., the nobility of Lucknow and the members and retainers of the Royal Family, the official classes, the old soldiery, and the entire country population, noble and peasant alike.
'3. This third was due to disobedience of, or departure from, the instructions laid down by Government at the annexation, as very clearly shown in Lord Stanley's letter of October 13, 1858. The promised pensions had either been entirely withheld or very sparingly doled out; the old officials were entirely without employment; three-quarters of the army the same; while the country Barons had, by forced interpretation of rules, been deprived of the mass of their estates, which had been parcelled out among their followers, who, for clannish reasons, were more indignant at the spoliation and loss of power and place of their Chiefs than they were glad for their own individual acquisitions.
'4. The weakness of the European force could not be helped; it was deemed politic to show the country that the annexation did not require force.
'5. But the inefficiency of the military arrangements arose from mere want of skill, and was serious, under the threatening aspect of the political horizon.
'6. The discontent of the province, and the coming general storm, had already found vent in the brigandage of Fuzl Ali, and the seditions of the Fyzabad Moulvie.
'7. And with all these Sir H. Lawrence had to grapple immediately on his arrival.
'8. But I may safely say that ten days saw the mass of them disappear. The Fyzabad Moulvie had been seized and imprisoned. Fuzl Ali had been surrounded and slain. The promised pensions had been paid, by Sir H. Lawrence's peremptory orders, to the members and retainers of the Royal Family. A recognition had been published of the fair rights of the old Oudh officials to employment in preference to immigrants from our old provinces, and instructions had been issued for giving it effect. The disbanded soldiers of the Royal Army of Oudh were promised preference in enlistment in the local corps and the police, and a reorganization and increase to the latter, which were almost immediately sanctioned, gave instant opportunities for the fulfilment of the first instalment of these promises. While last, but not least, durbars were held, in which Sir Henry Lawrence was able to proclaim his views and policy, by which the landholders should be reinstated in the possessions which they held at the annexation, the basis on which the instructions had been originally issued, which had been hitherto practically ignored, but to which he pledged himself to give effect.
'9. To strengthen his military position, he placed Artillery with the European Infantry; he distributed his Irregular Cavalry; he examined the city, decided on taking possession of the Muchee Bawn and garrisoning it as a fort; and summoned in Colonel Fisher and Captain George Hardinge; and with them, Brigadier Handscombe and Major Anderson, consulted and arranged for future plans against the storms which he saw to be impending.
'10. Much of this, and his policy for remaining in Oudh, and the conduct of the defence of Lucknow, I know from recollections of what he occasionally let drop to me in his confidential conversations while inspecting the Muchee Bawn. He told me that nearly the whole army would go; that he did not think the Sikhs would go; that in every regiment there were men that, with proper management, would remain entirely on our side; and that, therefore, he meant to segregate from the rest of the troops the Sikhs and selected men, and to do his best to keep them faithful allies when the rest should go; that, if Cawnpore should hold out, we would not be attacked; but that if it should fall, we would be invested, and more or less closely besieged; that no troops could come to our relief before the middle of August; that the besieging forces would, he thought, be confined to the sepoys, for the people of the country had always liked our European officers, whom they had frequently had to bless for the safety of their lives and the honour of their families; and the whole Hindu population had a lively recollection of our friendly line of conduct in the late quarrel with the Mussulmans regarding the Hunnooman Gurhee; that to hold out where we were was necessary, for the slightest appearance of yielding, or of not showing a bold front, would result in annihilation; that to hold out we must get provisions; that to got provisions and prepare for an efficient defence we must keep open our communication with the country, and keep the city quiet; that to the former end the retention of the cantonment was necessary, and of the Muchee Bawn to the latter, while the site of the permanent defences, in case of the need of concentration, should be the Residency.
'11. All this I know, as before said, from Sir Henry Lawrence's own casual and hurried remarks to me. Whether they are officially recorded anywhere I do not know; but they must have been written in letters to various persons, and repeated to others of his subordinates at Lucknow. I mention these matters thus early, as although the facts on which they bear did not immediately occur, still, Sir Henry Lawrence had prescience of them, and had decided on his line of policy.
'12. I understand, further, but not on authentic grounds, that Sir Henry wrote at a very early stage to Sir H. Wheeler, urging him to construct entrenchments at the magazine at Cawnpore, and to ensure his command of the boats, whatever might happen; that he wrote early to the Government, entreating them to divert one of the European regiments in the course of relief, and divide it between Cawnpore and Allahabad; and that subsequently he urged on Government to employ the troops of the Persian expedition in Bengal, and to stop the Chinese force for the same end, and to subsidize some of the Nepal troops for the protection of our older provinces east of Oudh.
'13. To revert to the narrative, the measures already mentioned so entirely pacified the province, that, in spite of the previous discontent, the previous troubles, the proverbial turbulence of its inhabitants, and the increasing agitation throughout the empire, there was no difficulty experienced in collecting the revenue by the close of April. And the subsequent disturbances were, as will be shown, entirely due to the soldiery, and, till long after Sir Henry's death, participated in only by them, by the city ruffians, and by a few of the Mussulman families of the country population. The mass of the city people and the entire Hindu population held aloof, and would have nothing to say to the outbreak; and, with one single exception, every Talookdar, to whom the chance offered itself, aided, more or less actively, in the protection of European fugitives. This phase in the character of the disturbances in Oudh is not generally known; but it is nevertheless true, and is due emphatically and solely, under Divine Providence, to the benignant personal character and the popular policy of Sir Henry Lawrence.
'14. The 1st of May saw our disturbances commence with the mutiny of the 7th Oudh Irregular Infantry. This, its suppression, and the durbar in which he distributed rewards and delivered a speech on the aspect of affairs, have been fully described elsewhere, and need not be repeated by me.
'15. The durbar was held on the twelfth. I am not aware whether he had any intelligence at that time of the Meerut outbreak. The telegrams, when they did arrive, were vague; but he indubitably kept on his guard immediately on receiving them. The Cavalry were piqueted between the cantonments and the Residency, and the Infantry and Artillery were kept prepared for movement. His plans were evidently already decided; but they were to be effected simultaneously and not successively, and the movements of the Europeans were somewhat dependent on the arrangements of the Quarter-master-General's Department. It was not until the sixteenth that the tents required for the 32nd were ready; and the morning of the 17th May saw an entirely new and effective disposition of the troops. Half the Europeans were at the Residency, commanding the Iron Bridge; half, with the Artillery, were at the south end of the cantonments; the bridge of boats was moved and under control, while the Muchee Bawn, not yet sufficiently cleansed from its old conglomeration of filth, was garrisoned by a selected body of Native troops. The whole of these dispositions could not have been effected at an earlier date, and Sir Henry would not do them piecemeal or successively. Simultaneous, they were effective, and tended to paralyze any seditious plots that may have been hatching. Successive and piecemeal, they would have incited the sepoys to mutiny and the turbulent to insurrection.'
Memorandum, 18th May, inserted in Sir Henry's own hand in his ledger book.
'Time is everything just now. Time, firmness, promptness, conciliation, and prudence; every officer, each individual European, high and low, may at this crisis prove most useful, or even dangerous. A firm and cheerful aspect must be maintained--there must be no bustle, no appearance of alarm, still less of panic; but, at the same time, there must be the utmost watchfulness and promptness; everywhere the first germ of insurrection must be put down instantly. Ten men may in an hour quell a row which, after a day's delay, may take weeks to put down. I wish this point to be well understood. In preserving internal tranquillity, the Chiefs and people of substance may be most usefully employed at this juncture; many of them have as much to lose as we have. Their property, at least, is at stake. Many of them have armed retainers--some few are good shots and have double-barrelled guns. For instance [name illegible], can hit a bottle at 100 yards. He is with the ordinary soldiers. I want a dozen such men, European or Native, to arm their own people and to make thannahs of their own houses, or some near position, and preserve tranquillity within a circuit around them.'