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Title: The Vellore mutiny.
Author: Cameron, A. D.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3514 8898
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1984
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The Vellore mutiny of July 1806 occupies a rather enigmatic position in the history of British rule in India. It was a brief but extremely bloody episode. For a short time it appeared to threaten the military predominance of the East India Company in Bouth India, yet the threat died away quickly. This thesis attempts to resolve some of the mysteries which have subsequently surrounded the mutiny. Chapter I deals with the event itself. A detailed description is given of the events of 10 July 1806, drawing on first-hand accounts from a wide range of sources. The recapture of the fort by the British dragoons and the bloodshed which ensued is also discussed. Chapter 2 deals with the military background to the mutiny, citing previous examples of breaches of allegiance to the Company army by its sepoys and dealing in detail with the rejection by thf' sepoys at Vellore of a new pattern of turban in May 1806, three months prior to the mutiny itself. Chapter 3 examines the proceedings and findings of the three enquiries into the mutiny which were held by the authorities in Ivladras. Possible explanations for the different conclusions reached by these enquiries are discussed. Chapter 4 analyses the strength of the arguments which sought to place the blame for the mutiny either on the sons of Tipu Sultan, imprisoned at Vellore, or on the introduction of new dress regulations into the army. Evidence is adduced to argue that the underlying cause of the mutiny lay in the overall conditions of service of the Indian troops. Chapters 5 and 6 study the effects of the Vellore mutiny on the hadras government. The bitter division between the civil and military authorities over the causes of the mutiny is examined, as is the personal confrontation between the Governor, Lord William Bentinck, and the Commander-in-Chief, Sir John Cradock. In Chapter 7 the wide ranging effects and consequences of the mutiny are highlighted. Not only did the mutiny cause tremendous friction within the Madras government, it also deeply divided the Court of Directors in London and brought the debate on the ethics of missionary activity in India to the forefront of public attention o Chapter 8 looks at the way in which the Vellore mutiny was interpreted by some of its contemporaries both in India and in Britain and traces the way in which much of the public conception of the mutiny came to be based on gossip and rumour rather than on fact. In Chapter 9, attention is given to the historiography of the mutiny and it is argued that gossip and rumour also became built in to historical accounts of the mutiny. The effect of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 on interpretation of the Vellore mutiny is examined, along with the most recent contributions to its historiography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: British rule in India