Proclamations of Nana Sahib during 1857

Proclamations of Nana Sahib

The following proclamations were sourced from the National Archives, Delhi, Foreign Department, Secret Consultations 31 July 1857 Nos. 86-89 ‘Copies of three proclamations in Urdu issued by Nana Sahib of Bithur to incite the civil population to rebellion and troops to Mutiny.’ The three proclamations were sent to G.F.Edmonstone, Secretary to Government of India, from the Allahabad Magistrate on 26 July 1857. He had received them from Mr Wilcock at Cawnpore. The proclamations were translated in January 2006 by Dr S.A. Zafar, Reader in the Persian Department, Lucknow University. [Rosie Llewellyn Jones]


For any man from the arsenal, or the cavalry, or the battalion who will be, or who has been, slain in battle, his daughter, or his wife, or his mother, or his sister, will be entitled to a pension during their life time for one generation. And if the soldier who has served, grows old, he will be entitled to a pension during his life time for one generation, according to the rules. And those who have the ability to work, let them be active in their work place. And the man who grows old in this service will be entitled to a pension according to the rules and he will get a pension according to the rate of salary which is applicable in Delhi from the day the army joins the government.

13 Zulqada 1273 hijri


It was learnt from a traveller who has recently come to Kanpur from Calcutta, that before the distribution of the cartridges, through which Indians are to be deprived of their faith and religion, a Council [of the East India Company] was held. It was agreed upon by the members of the Council that since this matter is concerned with religion, that some seven or eight thousand white English soldiers and 50,000 Indian soldiers might be slain before all Indians embrace the Christian religion. Accordingly, a petition about this was sent to Queen Victoria’s ministry. From there approval came. Then again the Council was held and English merchants were also invited to participate in it.

A Resolution was passed that sufficient sepoys should be provided from the Indian Army by way of help, so that in the case of disorder spreading, the White Army would not be defeated. When this petition was studied in England, 35,000 White soldiers were immediately embarked for India and news of their departure reached Calcutta. The Sahibs at Calcutta issued an order to the effect that the main aim behind the distribution of the cartridges was to Christianize the Indian Army, for once the soldiers convert to Christianity, it will not take long to convert the common people and the fat of pigs and cows were rubbed on the cartridges. This became known through one of the Bengalis who was employed in the cartridge-making establishment. Out of those who divulged this, one man was killed and the remainder imprisoned. Here [in Calcutta] they were hatching their plans like this, and there in London the Ambassador to the Sultan of Turkey sent a message to him saying that 35,000 White soldiers are heading from here to India, to convert the Indians to Christianity.

The Turkish Sultan [Sultan Abd al-Madjid I] issued an order to the Emperor of Egypt, saying firstly that ‘You have conspired with Queen Victoria. This is no time to compromise. We came to learn from our Ambassador’s report that 35,000 White soldiers have left for India to convert the common people and the Indian soldiers. Faced with this [event], their chastisement is now possible. If we neglect it, how can we face God? And this day will come to us also. For if the English Christianize India, they will proceed to our countries too.’

When the order from the Sultan of Turkey reached the Emperor of Egypt, the latter deployed his army in the city of Iskandria [Alexandria] to wait for the White Army, for it was via this port that the Army would proceed to India. As soon as the White Army arrived, the Egyptian Army began to target it with cannon from every side and after breaking their ships into small pieces, drowned them so that not even a single soldier was left alive.

The Sahibs at Calcutta, after issuing the Order concerning the cutting of the cartridges, and after loftily spreading discord and disorder were waiting for help from the London Army. But the Most High God had already wiped them out with His power. When the news of the massacre of the London Army was learnt, the Governor General was filled with anguish and sorrow and greatly mourned.

In the night they were massacred. In the morning neither heads remained on the bodies, nor crowns on the heads. By the revolving of the heaves came the lotus-blue sky, neithr Nader nor Nadri remained.

By order of the Pshwa Bahadur, impressed with [his] seal 13 Zulqada 1273 hijri equivalent to Sunday 5 June 1857.

Via Mahindra Vist ( Facebook post)

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