Courts Martial could be General Courts Martial held for major offences or Regimental Courts Martial conducted by a commanding officer when offences were more minor. Commissioned officers were always subject to General Courts Martial.
For Bengal, you can probably obtain a summary of the Court Martial proceedings in the General Orders by C-in-C Bengal in the IOR/L/MIL/17/2/269-352 1820-1903 series at the British Library, and similarly for the other Presidencies (Unfortunately, these have not been microfilmed):
IOR/L/MIL/17/3/412-456 Madras General Orders by the Commander-in-Chief 1818-1895, (note, current typo error in catalogue entry) and possibly
IOR/L/MIL/17/3/481-489 1896-1904 Madras Command Orders 1896-1904
IOR/L/MIL/17/4/467-501 Bombay General Orders by the Commander-in-Chief 1860-1895, and possibly IOR/L/MIL/17/4/502-511 Bombay Command and Western Command Orders 1895-1904.
- For full details of Courts Martial and reports relating to General Courts Martial see the online research guide produced by the National Archives, Courts martial and desertion in the British Army 17th-20th centuries (Military Records Information 22)
- WO 88 1878-1945 Judge Advocate General's Office: District Courts Martial Registers, India. This series comprises registers of district courts martial in India from the Judge Advocate General's Office. These district courts martial tried only non-commissioned officers and other ranks. The registers of charges give, in tabulated form, the name, rank and regiment of each prisoner, place of trial, nature of the charge and sentence. The registers cover the period 1878 to the end of the Second World War, with some twentieth century gaps.
- WO 90 1779-1960. Judge Advocate General's Office: General Courts Martial Registers, Abroad. The registers of charges give, in tabulated form, the name, rank and regiment of each prisoner, place of trial, nature of the charge and sentence, and cover trials of both officers and other ranks
- (There are no similar records for minor offences handled by regimental courts martial – but mention of these may be found on a soldier’s record of service).
Details of Courts-Martial in India may also be found in annual directories such as The Asiatic Journal and Allen's Indian Mail. It is, therefore, recommended that a search also be made at Fibis Library or in any of the India related Newspapers and journals online
- General Orders by the Commander-in-Chief - transcriptions of 521 Court Martial proceedings in Madras (from L/MIL/17/3) that took place in the 1820s, 30s and 40s.
- FIBIS Journal 10, Autumn 2003 "Courts Martial in John Company's India and their help to the Genealogist".
- 12th Regiment of Foot and 34th Regiment of Foot for examples of death as a result of a duel between fellow officers, which resulted in a court martial.
- 17th Regiment of Foot - External links for an account of an execution by hanging of a soldier, for the murder of another soldier, following a court martial.
- History of the British Courts Martial system, now an archived webpage.
- Court Martial Wikipedia, including information on the British and Indian armies.
- A hot night in Bengal. Circumstances leading to a court martial on the 1st of August 1840 of Gunner Shehan at Dinapore. Wellcome Library Blog, now an archived webpage.
- Shortt, Captain James Symington: Court Martial transcript, 21 Jan 1847, Kamptee, India Your Archives. he was an officer in the 4th Regiment of Foot.
- Audio: 1980 Interview Lt Col R. Banks, with transcript Indian Army life and career 1914-c 1937 Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge. Initially he was with the 15th Sikhs, then joined the Judge Advocate General’s Department, part of the Indian Army dealing with court martial work, military law and any uprisings, and subsequently officiated as Judge Advocate General in India, until he was medically retired in 1937 (rabies related). His experience with riots resulted in an appointment to Palestine c 1938-39.
Historical books online
- A collection of the charges, opinions, and sentences of general courts martial: as published by authority; from the year 1795 to the present time; intended to serve as an appendix to Tytler's Treatise on military law, and forming a book of cases and references; with a copious index by Charles James 1820. A search using the words Bengal, Madras, Bombay shows courts martial in India. Index to Charges page 849. Google Books
- The practice of courts-martial, also the legal exposition and military explanation of the Mutiny act, and articles of war by William Hough (1825), Google Books, Table of Contents, Index
- Manual of Military Law. War Office 1907, published by HMSO. Archive.org. Contents, Index.
- Manual of Military Law. War Office, 1914. Reprinted 1917, HMSO. Hathi Trust Digital Library. Contents, Index