Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Survivors

Despite the terrible death toll, Cawnpore was not without some survivors. The list is small but at least it exists.

Shepherd puts them in 2 categories, those who were in the entrenchment and escaped and those who never went to the entrenchment and managed to escape.

Survivors of the Entrenchment

Mowbray Thompson

Lieutenant Mowbray Thompson
Lieut. H. Delafosse
Private Murphy
Gunner Sullivan
Mr. W.J. Shepherd
William Jonah Shepherd

Amy Horne and her siblings.
The picture was probably taken in Cawnpore in 1857.
Her siblings were killed at Satichaura Ghat.

Miss Ameila Horne - she was taken away by a sowar from the Satichaura Ghat and after 10 months in captivity, managed her escape. Later in life she married William Bennett and settled in Calcutta. 

Miss Eliza Morrison, one of the Free School Girls, since joined her parents in Dinapore
Mr. T. Farnon, of E.I. Railway
Mrs. Murray
Mrs. Hannah Spiers, wife of Band Sergt., 5rd NI
Miss Eliza Spiers
Miss Isabella Spiers
Miss Matilda Spiers
Master Fred Spiers
Miss Amelia Spiers, aged 14, taken away from Satichaura Ghat and not found.

Bradshaw, Eliza,  Mrs. widow (56th NI)
Bradshaw, Mrs., and 1 child Emelia
Bradshaw, Mrs., and 1 child, Ellen

Letts, Elizabeth, widow (56th NI)
Letts, 2 children, Caroline and Rachel
Mary Ann, ayah to Mrs. Greenway, escaped on the 27th of June and remained hidden in the city.

Khoda Bux, Jemandar, 56th NI
Elshee Bux, Sepoy, 56th NI
Gobind Singh, Sepoy, 56th NI
Sahib Dad Khan, Native Doctor, 56th NI
Mitter Jeet, Sepoy, 56th NI
Mahomed Gous, Sepoy, 56th NI. He was sent out on the 23rd of June to gain information and remained hidden in the city until the 17th of July.

Residents of Cawnpore who did not go into the Entrenchment and Survived

Abel, G., Pensioner
Abel, Mrs., and 2 children
Buttress, Thomas, Pensioner
Buttress, Mrs.
Brown, Margaret, Mrs., and child
Forrester, William, Pensioner
Farnon, Ambrose, Mrs.
Greenway, Charles, Mrs., mother of Mr. Samuel Greenway, Merchant. Owing to her old age, she was not killed but "received much annoyance from the rebels."
Ireland, J., Pensioner
Ireland, Mrs.
Jones, Stephen, Mr.
Jones, Mrs.
Jacobi, Isabella (wife of William Jacobi)
Lowther, Mrs., and her sister Eliza
Maling, Margaret, Mrs.
Maling, Thomas, her son
Maling, Edward, her son
MacMullen, Mrs., and child
Miss Hay - "an aged person"
Reid, W., Pensioner. Escaped to Allahabad
Reid, Mrs., and three children, escaped to Allahabad
Waterfield, Mrs., and child
Williams, Edward, escaped to Lucknow
Native Christians:
James John
Joseph, his wife and children
Ebenezer Gunput, Emanuel and his famil.

One woman who has not made it to any of these lists, is Helena Angelo, the wife of Lt. Frederick Cortland Angelo of the 16th BNI. They had only recently arrived in Cawnpore, in May 1857. Initially, Helena, who was pregnant, and her two daughters went to the entrenchment but her husband was sufficiently skeptical of the whole arrangement, that he insisted his wife and children accompany a Mrs. Volk to Calcutta. On the 28th of May, Mrs, Angelo, her children and Mrs. Volk left Cawnpore. They were probably the last people to safely have left Cawnpore before the outbreak. An account of her travails are available at the Muir family website:

Frederick remained behind at Cawnpore and was killed at Satichaura Ghat. 

MEMORIAL TABLET, All Souls Church, Kanpur.
Sacred to the memory of LIEUT. FREDERICK CORTLAND ANGELO 16th Grenadiers. B.N.I. Superintendent of the 4th division Ganges Canal who fell in the Mutiny at Cawnpore on the 27th June 1857 in the 32nd year of his age "Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." St John XI 25. This tablet is erected by his sorrowing widow.


No-one Important said...

Although it was never entirely verified, it does seem that General Wheeler's daughter Margaret (also known as Ulrica) survived as well. Ulrica apparently married her captor who had taken her from the boats and remained living in Cawnpore for another fifty years before dying in 1907. She was reportedly frequently seen riding her horse.

While I'm leaving a comment, I must also congratulate you on your wonderful site. I unfortunately only discovered it by chance today and I'm in awe with what you've done here.

Eva Schawohl said...

Thank you for comment.

I deliberately left out the Wheeler story even though I have read about it many times, because it could not be verified. The idea behind listing the survivors is that some of them have left written accounts which make for rather interesting reading and give a vivid picture of their experiences.
The Wheeler story ending, as I have heard it, was there was a woman living in Cawnpore who on her deathbed, asked for a priest to whom she confessed she was the General's daughter. I don't dispute that there is truth in it, but like all stories, without a source, it remains just that, a story.
Thank you for your comment, I am glad you enjoyed your visit to my site and I hope you will come back again! I try to publish new material as often as I can, so there is usually something to take a look at!

greetings, E.

Andrew Ward said...

First, congratulations to you for this fine website to which I was just introduced by a fellow writer. It's wonderful to see attention being paid to a particularly calamitous chapter in the history of the British Empire.

As the author of Our Bones Are Scattered: The Cawnpore Massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1857, I naturally spent a lot of time in this area, and I wanted to suggest vis a vis General Wheeler's daughter, that there is more substantiation to the story of Miss Wheeler's survival than you cite.

To begin with, there is the report of a Cawnpore memsahib, Mrs. Emma Clark, who said that Miss Wheeler used to come to her house regularly to don western clothing and admire herself in a mirror. Clark was a contemporary and an acquaintance of the Wheeler daughters before the uprising.

Also, two of the witnesses who testified before the police commission after the Mutiny said that they saw Miss Wheeler riding among the sowars, and Amy Horne, the only other abductee from Sati Chowra, also reported finding herself near Miss Wheeler on the riverbank where their sowars had deposited them.

The story of Miss Wheeler murdering her kidnapper's family and hurling herself into a well was almost certainly rubbish invented by her abductor to discourage the police from looking for her. It was depicted in a famous lithograph of the time, and embraced by a British public that was reluctant to believe that an Englishwoman, or even a Eurasian Christian woman would have succumbed to her Moslem captor.

I kicked around the subject of Miss Wheeler's fate with Zoƫ Yalland, Kanpur's municipal historian, and P.J.O. Taylor, a Mutiny expert with whom I managed to identify General Wheeler's wife, and though all three of us were skeptics about the folklore that circulated after 1857, we agreed that the story of Miss Wheeler becoming the wife of Ali Khan and refusing to inform her brothers of her existence, and her visiting Emma Clark and only revealing her identity to a missionary on her deathbed in 1907 is very likely true.

Nor would she have been unique, as there were several English and Eurasian women who were abducted during the Mutiny and afterward refused to re-enter Anglo-Indian society (Fred Roberts encountered one and honored her wish to be left alone, and Henry Dunbar claimed several such women were known to be living in scattered outposts of the Raj.)

In any case, for us the "proof" was compelling enough to sway us. Thanks again for your website, to which I will direct writers who want to know more about the Mutiny.

Eva Schawohl said...

Dear Mr.Ward
Thank you very much for kind comments! I am so happy to hear that you like my site.
I very much appreciate your comments about Miss Wheeler and I am hoping in the future to write up her story with more diligence than I have given it until now.
I have read your book several times through and it remains one of my main sources of inspiration. Unfortunately I have never been able to obtain any of Ms. Tallands books but I remain confident that somewhere there are copies I can get a hold of.
Once again, thank you for your comments!

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DhiRAj SinGh said...

Hi there Eva, thanks for the lovely post.

I came to your blog while looking for Margaret Wheeler... am sure you know her story...
Now the thing is that my grandmother from my mother's side always talked about her grandmother whom her grandfather had rescued during the gadar or mutiny. In their family it was said that my Nani's grandfather got three things from the war: 'modi, ghodi aur jodi' or 'a girl, a mare and a pair of doors'. This grandmother of my grandmother was British but she married her rescuer who was a Muslim. They were also Khans. My Nani's family came from Dholpur near Agra. Do you think these two pieces of a puzzle could somehow be connected??

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