Our Empire Story - H. E. Marshall

The Mutiny—Lucknow

The Union Jack floated once more upon the walls of Cawnpore, but there was still much to do ere Mutiny should be over. "Soldiers," said Havelock, "your general is satisfied, and more than satisfied, with you. But your comrades of Lucknow are in danger." And with the memory of Cawnpore in their hearts, Havelock and his men marched on to Lucknow.

But Havelock had to fight his way there. He lost so many men and used so much ammunition that at last he was not strong enough to take Lucknow. He was obliged to turn back to Cawnpore and wait until Sir James Outram joined him with more troops. Outram was a gallant soldier, "without fear and without reproach," and together these two brave men marched to help their comrades.

At Lucknow the British had taken refuge in the Residency. This was a number of houses and gardens surrounded by a wall. It was not very strong, but it was far better than the old hospital at Cawnpore. Sir Henry Lawrence, the governor, was a wise and careful man. Seeing the storm coming, he did everything he could to meet it. He gathered stores of food and ammunition, and strengthened the defences of the Residency. But alas, at the very beginning of the siege, Sir Henry was killed.

One day a shell burst into the room where he was talking with some of his officers. There was a blinding flash, a fearful roar, and the room was filled with dust and smoke. In the deep silence which followed, someone asked, "Are you hurt, Sir Henry?"

For a moment there was no answer. Then quietly he replied, "I am killed."

So brave Sir Henry died. "If you put anything on my tombstone," he said, "let it be only, 'Here lies Henry Lawrence who tried to do his duty. May the Lord have mercy on his soul.'" Then with his last breath he urged his men never to give in, but to fight to the end.

The terrible summer days dragged on—days spent amid all the noise and din, dust and smoke of war, nights of anxious watchings, broken with sudden alarms. The houses were shattered and riddled with shot, so as to be scarcely any protection from the burning sun or from the enemies' guns. Food was scarce, clothes were in rags. But still the men fought and watched, and the women prayed and waited, and endured. And like an emblem of their dauntless courage, all through the siege the Union Jack floated from the highest tower of the Residency. It was faded and patched, tattered and riddled with holes, the staff was splintered with bullets, it was broken again and again. But a new staff was always found, and up went the gallant flag once more, a defiance to the foe.


At last one morning, distant firing was heard. As the hours passed the sound came near and nearer. Then the garrison new that at length help was at hand. The excitement and suspense were awful. But there was nothing to be done but to wait. It was not until it was growing dark that amid the clamour of fighting the sound of the British cheer was heard, and louder still, shrill and piercing, the scream of the bagpipes, and the yell of charging Highlanders. A few minutes more, and British soldiers were seen, fighting their way through the streets to the Residency gates.

Then from the battlements rose a deafening cheer. Such a cry of joy it is not often been man's lot to hear. It was the first cry of returning hope from the hearts that had grown hopeless. It was a sob, and a prayer, and an outburst of thanksgiving, all in one. And as the gates were opened, and the men, weary, dusty, bloodstained, rushed through, women sobbing with joy ran to throw themselves upon them, happy to touch their bronzed hands or war-worn coats. With tears running down their cheeks the rough soldiers lifted the children in their arms. From hand to hand they passed the little ones, kissing them and thanking God that they had come in time to save them. It was a scene of wild, sweet joy and almost unutterable relief.

But after all the siege of Lucknow was not over. Havelock and Outram had not men enough with them to cut their way back through the swarms of sepoys, and bring all the ladies and children to safety. So the siege began again. It was not until two months later that Sir Colin Campbell landed in India, and cutting his way through the rebels, really relieved Lucknow.

Scarcely a week later Sir Henry Havelock died. Greatly sorrowing, his men buried him in a garden near the city, his only monument being a tree marked with the letter H.

Before the relief of Lucknow, Delhi had been taken, and now the mutiny was nearly over. There was still some fighting, but gradually it ceased. Lord Canning made a proclamation, offering pardon to all who had not actually murdered the British. Most of the rebels laid down their arms, and once more the country sank to rest.

It was now decided that India should no longer be ruled by the Company but by the Queen. So the great Company, which had begun in the reign of Queen Elizabeth came to an end in the reign of Queen Victoria. This was proclaimed to all the people of India on the first of the 1st November 1858. Now, instead of Governor-General, the ruler of India was called Viceroy. And Lord Canning, who had been Governor-General throughout the mutiny, became the first Viceroy.


Front Matter

Part I—Canada
Lief the Son of Eric
Westward! Westward! Westward!
A Breton Sailor in Canada
The Story of Henry Hudson
The Father of New France
The Founding of Quebec
A Bold Answer Saves Quebec
Union Jack upon the Fort
Feast of Eat-Everything
A Knight of New France
The Hudson Bay Company
Adventures of La Salle
La Salle (cont)
Count Frontenac
Madeleine de Vercheres
War of the Boundary Line
The Pathy of Glory
For the Empire
The Story of Laura Secord
Red River Settlement
Louis Riel
Part II—Australia
Nothing New under the Sun
The Founding of Sydney
Bass and Flinders
A Little Revolution
First Traveller in Queensland
Through the Great Unknown
Tracts of Thirst and Furnace
The Finding of Gold
The Bushrangers
Part III—New Zealand
A Great White Bird
The Apostle of New Zealand
Hongi the Warrior
The Maoris
The Wild Cabbage Leaf
The Flagstaff War
The Warpath
Storming of the Bat's Nest
Taming of Wild Cabbage Leaf
King of the Maoris
Sound of the War-Song
The Hau Haus and Te Kooti
Part IV—South Africa
Early Days
The Coming of the Dutch
The Coming of the French
The Coming of the British
Rebellion of Slachter's Nek
The Great Witch Doctor
About the Black Napoleon
The Great Trek
Dingaan's Treachery
The War of the Axe
The Wreck of the Birkenhead
Founding of Two Republics
Story of a False Prophet
A Story about a Pretty Stone
Facing Fearful Odds
Upon Majuba's Height
The Gold City
War and Peace
Part V—India
Alexander Invades India
How Brave Men Went Sailing
Success at Last
Dutch and English
Ambassador Goes to Court
The Hatred of the Dutch
The French in India
The Siege of Arcot
The Black Hole
The Battle of Plassey
Times of Misrule
Warren Hastings—Governor
Warren Hastings—War
Tippoo Sultan
Warrior Chieftains
The Mutiny of Vellore
The Ghurkas
Pindaris and the Maratha War
The First Burmese War
The Siege of Bhurtpore
Sati and Thags
The First Afghan War
The Sikhs
The Mutiny—Delhi
The Mutiny—Cawnpore
The Mutiny—Lucknow
The Empress of India