Events at Lucknow

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The Residency, Lucknow
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Siege of Lucknow
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This article is part of the events in the Indian Mutiny


Lucknow was one of the major centres of the Indian Mutiny. Sir Henry Lawrence became Chief Commissioner of the Province of Oudh (Awadh) on March 20th 1857. The garrison at the time consisted of HM 32nd Regiment of Foot, the 7th Native Cavalry, the 13th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry, the 48th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry and the 71st Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry, with Indian soldiers outnumbering Europeans 10 to 1. Unrest was evident in the city for several months and when the mutiny reached the province, Lawrence fortified the Residency at Lucknow and took the British inhabitants into the compound. The rebellion broke out on the 30th May and a 87 day siege of the Residency ensued, with Lawrence killed in the first few days.

Forces led by Sir Henry Havelock (see Havelock's Campaign and Sir James Outram reached Lucknow in September (the First Lucknow Relief). After taking the Alambagh, this became the headquarters for subsequent actions at Lucknow. Under heavy assault from the rebels, they were unable to evacuate the Residency as intended and instead bolstered the garrison there, a second siege ensuing for six weeks. The Second Lucknow Relief came in November when Sir Colin Campbell reached Lucknow. On the 16th November, 2000 rebel sepoys besieged at the Secundrabagh villa were massacred when the 93rd Highlanders and the 4th Punjabi Infantry took the estate. Campbell managed to evacuate the besieged Europeans at the Residency, but Havelock died before he was able to leave the city. Outram stayed and defended Lucknow until the following March, when Campbell retook the city. During this action Major Hodson (Commander of Hodson's Horse) was killed and buried in the grounds of La Martiniere College.

Related articles

For details of actions during this period see the following articles

1 May 1857 Mutiny at Lucknow
30 June 1857 Battle of Chinhut
1 July 1857 Start of the First Siege of Lucknow
23 September 1857 Battle of Alambagh
25 September 1857 First Lucknow Relief
12 November 1857 Battle of Alambagh
14 November 1857 Actions at Dilkusha and Martiniere
16 November 1857 Battle of Secundra Bagh
17 November 1857 Second Lucknow Relief
27 Nov 1857-10 Mar 1858 Defence of Alambagh
22 December 1857 Battle of Gailee by Lucknow
9 March 1858 Battle of La Martinière
11 March 1858 Battle of Begum Kothi
14 March 1858 Battle of Imambara
19 March 1858 Battle of Moosa Bagh
21 March 1858 Recapture of Lucknow


Entries in the Dictionary of Indian Biography 1906:
Colin Campbell (1792-1863)
Henry Havelock (1795-1857)
John Inglis (1814-1862)
Henry Lawrence (1806-1857)
Edward Lugard (1810-1898)
Nana Sahib (1820?-1859?)
James Neill (1810-1857)
James Outram (1803-1863)
Tantya Tope (1819-1859)

External links

  • Indian Mutiny 1857-58
  • Siege of Lucknow Wikipedia
  • 1857: A Brief Political and Military Analysis by Maj (Retd) Agha Humayun Amin (Pakistan), now archived webpages. Issues March and May 2000
Chapter Eight "The Lucknow Campaign-1857-58 The Siege of Lucknow Residency" and Chapter Nine "Havelock's First Relief of Lucknow-June-September 1857" Chapter Ten "Sir Colin Campbell’s Final Relief and Evacuation of Lucknow Residency Garrison-November 1857" and Chapter Eleven "The Final Capture of Lucknow-March-1858"
  • Film: The Relief of Lucknow (15 minutes duration) 1912 Colonial Film. Transcript of an article published in the Penny Illustrated Paper, 14 September 1912 about four old veterans of the Relief of Lucknow viewing the film.

Historical books online

  • List of inscriptions on Christian tombs and tablets of historical interest in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh by E A H Blunt ICS 1911 Chronology of events and names on monuments of European casualties
  • An account of the mutinies in Oudh and of the siege of the Lucknow Residency; with some observations on the condition of the Province of Oudh and on the causes of the mutiny of the Bengal Army by Martin Richard Gubbins, Bengal Civil Service, Financial Commissioner for Oudh. 2nd edition, with additions; Third edition, with further additions. Also 3rd edition better text, but lacks images. 1858
  • Siege of Lucknow by a Member of the Garrison [ J C P] 1858 Google Books. Author is catalogued as J C Parry. He is stated elsewhere to have been Secretary/Manager of the Delhi Bank, Lucknow Branch.
  • A Memoir, Letters, and Diary of the Rev. Henry S. Polehampton, Chaplain of Lucknow ed. by E. and T.S. Polehampton. 2nd edition 1858 HathiTrust with 3 images (rotatable); Third edition 1859 clear text but no illustrations.
He arrived in India 1856. Appointed to Lucknow. Wounded and died during the Siege of Lucknow July 1857.
  • From London to Lucknow: with memoranda of mutinies, marches, flights, fights, and conversations. To which is added, an opium-smuggler's explanation of the Peiho Massacre by A Chaplain in H M Indian Service [catalogued James Aberigh- Mackay] (elsewhere stated to be [J. Mackay afterwards Aberigh-Mackay]) 1860. Volume I, Volume II Google Books.
  • The Siege of Lucknow : a Diary by The Honourable Lady Inglis 1892 The author was Julia Inglis, the wife of Lieutenant- Colonel John E. W. Inglis, 32nd Regiment of Foot.
The Chronicle Of Private Henry Metcalfe H M 32nd Regiment of Foot, together with Lieutenant John Edmondstone’s Letter to his Mother of 4 January 1858 collected and edited by Lieut.-General Sir Francis Tuker 1953
  • A Lecture On The Relief Of Lucknow on 7 August 1867 by Colonel H W Norman. 1867
  • The Tourists Guide to Lucknow by One of the Beleaguered Garrison [Edward H Hilton]
1st edition 1891; 2nd edition, revised 1894; 3rd edition, revised 1899; 9th edition revised 1916

Recommended Reading

Saul David, Indian Mutiny: 1857 (London: Viking, 2002), ISBN 0670911372 ; (Penguin, 2003), ISBN 0141005548


  1. page 230 footnote "Notes on the History and Services of the Thirty-Second Regiment" Colburn's United Service Magazine and Naval and Military Journal 1880 Part 3