The Indian Mutiny

Wednesday 23rd August 2023

St John’s Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, SP2 9NP


The Mutiny of 1857 took the East India Company completely by surprise. Its British officers had become remote from their Indian troops, the sepoys, but there were wider grievances too among the civilian population. Although it is fashionable today to call the Mutiny ‘The First War of Independence’, it was actually a series of localised events in a relatively small area of northern India. This lecture will examine the causes of the revolt and will look in detail at two cities, contrasting the tactics that led to the massacre at Cawnpore and the (eventual) victory at Lucknow. 

Entrance for members is included in your annual subscription. For non-members, entrance is £10 (cash, card or cheque) at the door.

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, MBE studied Urdu and Hindi at the School of Oriental & African Studies, London. Awarded a First Class Honours degree and completed a PhD in 1980, which was subsequently published as A Fatal Friendship: the Nawabs, the British and the City of Lucknow.  

She has written numerous articles and books on colonial India including The Great Uprising in India 1857-1858: Untold stories Indian and British (2007) and edited The Uprising of 1857 (2017). Her book in the HarperCollins India series on India’s Historic Battles, Lucknow 1857 was published last year and she is one of few female historians to examine the Mutiny in depth. She is a member of the History Reclaimed Group of scholars.

Rosie lectures extensively in Britain and abroad. She is editor of Chowkidar, the Journal of the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia (BACSA) which records and restores European graves of those who died before 1947. She was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to BACSA and British Indian studies. She was archivist at the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, until its move to Haileybury in 2021. She has visited India frequently, leading groups for major British-based tour companies, including Martin Randall and Indus Experiences. She is currently a Council member of the Royal Asiatic Society.