Archive / Papers / Gibbon Papers


  1. Troop-ship Hydaspes. Saturday morning 18 September, 1857. First night on board, Tolerably comfortable. Going to St. Vincents and from there to Point de Calle, Ceylon. (1 sheet).
  2. Hydaspes. St. Vincents 30 September – 1 October 1857. Coaling (hope for 700 tons). Describes voyage – band of Horse Artillery on board which plays in evening – officers and men dance. Large number of books, many on India. Describes St. Vincents. 8pp).
  3. Extract from log of Hydaspes 18 – 30 September and 12 November – 14 December when reach Point de Galle, Ceylon. (2 sheets).
  4. Hydaspes at sea 6 October 1857. General news of voyage.
  5. Single sheet from sea outside Madras. Has too much baggage.
  6. Hydaspes. Madras Roads. 21 December 1857. Have brought 280 of 69th from Ceylon. Has been on shore at Point de Galle and in Madras. Troops behaved well. Good news of insurrection. Various individuals. Bishop of Calcutta dies. Going to Calcutta. (8pp).
  7. Artillery Mess House, Dum Dum, Calcutta. 9 January 1858. Describes disembarkation and subsequent events, and meeting with friends, arrangements for baggage, letters, paying for horses, etc.
  8. Neemuch Ghat, Bengal 17 January 1858. Ordered to Benares. By train to Raneegunje, then bullock train. Remarks on organisation of this. Likes climate and country.
  9. Allahabad 3 February 1858. Waiting for orders. Governor General expected next day, and possibly Commander in Chief. Description of the City. Mutiny seems to be decreasing. Position of Lucknow. Sir Colin Campbell’s decisions about bombardment and siege. Health of self and men. (16pp.)
  10. Ten miles beyond Cawnpore. Camp Oonas. 15 February, 1858. Detached bodies of rebels. Sir Colin Campbell and Brigadier General Hope Grant have been. Very dull. Good health. Very dirty everywhere. (4pp.)
  11. Cawnpore 26 February 1858. Back with a Battery. Going to Oudhe to Bunterra. Working extremely hard. Lucknow not expected to stand for more than 2 or 3 days.
  12. Lucknow 31 March 1858. Has been engaged with enemy. Some casualties. With Outram’s force and Sir Hope Grant. Lucknow overcome. The force diverted part to Azimghur and Benares, and part Lucknow, part Cantonments. People returning to city, shops opening. A great deal of ‘looting’. Rupees the real attraction of India. (8pp.)
  13. Lucknow 10 April 1858. Settled in large house, Armeenabad, in City with two companies of 23rd. Men on ground floor, officers above. Health good. Hopes to get some prize money. Hope for police to take over troops’ work in future. A Photographer arrived, the same one who went to the Crimea and took so many views of Sebastopol. Hopes to take Q Battery and officers and men. Rumours about promotion. Still large bodies of rebels to be dispersed. Need for books and papers. (2 sheets).
  14. Lucknow 15 April 1858. General Walpole gone to Bareilly, Brigadier Seaton to Futtehpur killing 600, General Hope Grant had a fight. Sir Edward Lugard believed to have defeated enemy at Azimghur. News of Sir Hugh Rose and General Roberts hemming in rebels in Bundebund. (2 sheets).
  15. Lucknow 22 April 1858. Given six months batta, hopes for prize money. Describes furnishing, and amenities of punkahstattiesand chatties. Fighting going on near Bareilly. Brigadier Hope killed – rumours about conduct of attack. Comments on prosecution of the war and fall of Lucknow. (2 sheets).
  16. Camp, Bunner Bridge, Oudhe. 27 April 1858. With ‘flying column’ chasing bands of rebels. Describes the post they hold, military movements, and future plans. Importance of publishing despatches for real news. Comments on women left alone in Calcutta. Opinion of Indians. (2 sheets).
  17. Camp Khanta, Oudhe, 1 May 1858. Transferred to another Battery with Sir Hope Grant. Enumerates other regiments with them. Engaged in mopping up operations and general surveillance. Better health than in Lucknow. (2 sheets).
  18. With Sir James Hope Grant’s column, near Oudhe, banks of the Ganges, 13 May 1858. Has been wounded in left leg during a panic, consequent on a night attack. A flesh wound. (1 sheet).
  19. Lucknow 25 May 1858. Back in same house. Describes alterations to Lucknow, streets opened, buildings cleared etc., and defences organised. Describes the amount of luggage he has – 4 camel loads. (2 sheets).
  20. Lucknow, 31 May 1858. Wound progressing and is well looked after. Capture of Lucknow – impossible to prevent numbers of rebels escaping. There will be many stories especially Daily News which has numerous correspondents. Plans for the Battery during the rains. Comment on capture of Lucknow. Comments on various people. Says there. are a few ladies there. Losing men from the heat. Comments on news of mutiny, and rebels getting short of arms. Wound beginning to heal. (3 sheets).
  21. Lucknow, 8 June 1858. Making good progress. Mentions great loss at Jagdispur of 35th and Captain Le Grand, under rebel leader Kooar Sing (sic) (Kunwar Singh). The two guns lost were manned by Calcutta sailors – Sir Edward Lugard now routing them out in jungle. May not return if wound heals because of promotion. Directs his mother to gum her envelopes all round the edges. (2 sheets).
  22. Lucknow, 13 June 1858. Sir Hope Grant taken Battery to Nawabgunge. (1 sheets).
  23. Lucknow, 22 June 1858. Battery has successful action at Nawabgunge. Reports death of the Moulvi. Thinking of returning. Sepoys returning home. Mentions looting and prize money. Contd. 23 June. Cannot decide whether to return or stay (the latter because of promotion) Gwalior retaken. Homesick for England. Contd. 25 June (2 sheets).
  24. Lucknow, 30 June 1858. Leg improving. Good effect of summary punishment of mutineers at Gwalior and then defeat at Nawabgunge. Men well – comments on contrast with conditions during Crimea. Prepayment of postage from India compulsory after 1 September. (1 sheet).
  25. Lucknow, 12 July 1858. Everything fairly quiet, but still troublesome pockets of rebels. Mentions inaccurate reports of his own engagement. Mentions numbers of rebels remaining in Oudhe. (2 sheets).
  26. Lucknow 25 July 1858 Leg much improved. Battery gone to Fyzabad – intends to join them. Contd. 26 July. (l sheet).
  27. Lucknow 9 August 1858. Mentions official letter about his Battery’s action by Sir Colin Outram. Reading a number of newspapers and journals. (2 sheets).
  28. Lucknow, 18 August 1858. Reports on possibility of changes regarding promotion of officers generally. Two guns from Battery to join 2nd Batt. Rifle Brigade under Brig. Horsford against rebels at Sultanpore. New Police levies used to disperse small bands of rebels. Oudhe quietening down. Ladies now get permission to rejoin their husbands. Heard that there is a gay life in Benares. Numbers of people going on leave, and officers selling commissions to go home. A man starting a hotel in Lucknow. (2 sheets).
  29. Allahabad 3 September 1858. Started on journey home. To Cawnpore: Futtehpoor (stays with the Judge). Making for Calcutta, and a medical board. Promoted Major. (2 sheets).
  30. Steamer Lady Thackwell. Ghazeepore, 9 September 1858. Hopes to get to Calcutta on 15, and away on Steamer by the 23. The present boat tolerable. (1 sheet).
  31. 2nd sheet of a letter 22 September (1858) to his sister Harriet. From Calcutta. Doing business and waiting for a ship. Hears there is a plan for re-organising the Regiment. (1 sheet).
  32. Calcutta, 28 September 1858. Engaged passage on the Alma for 9 October. About arriving in England. (2 sheets).
  33. Steamer Alma, Red Sea, 1 November 1858. About to disembark at Suez, and take the S.S. Ceylon at Alexandria. A new ship. Arrangements for arriving in England. (2 sheets).
  34. Steamer Ceylon. Falmouth Roads. 16 November 1858 to his brother Willy. Has been held up by a fierce gale. May come on overland. (1 sheet).

Letters to Captain James Gibbon from his brother officers in the Royal Artillery.


    1. Charles Fortescue, Rome, 26 November 1857. Says his brother in 73rd N.I. imputes blame to the E.I.C. for want of foresight of the mutiny, which had origins in the past, and was incited. (2 sheets).
    2. H.J. Fitzhugh, Woolwich, March 1858. Mentions public opinion of Artillery at Cawnpore, and admiration for Sir Colin Campbell. (1 sheet).
    3. Captain J. Dawson, Assistant Commission, n.p. 10 April 1858. Note of the Officer Commanding Ahmeenahabad (sic) asking to allow the bearer to remove the chandeliers and lamps in the house (1 sheet).
    4. J.M. Radcliffe, Dum Dum, 23 April 1858. About canteen swindle, and other regimental and military news and gossip, about orders, contract allowances etc. (2 sheets).
    5. S.C. (?) Enderby, 30 April 1858. News of various friends. Half Anderson’s troop under Torrians is there. (1 sheet).
    6. J.M. Radcliffe, Dum Dum, 7 May 1858. Repaying debt, -contract allowance for R.A. and Bengal Army. News of friends, two of whom gone shooting in the Sunderbans for deer and tiger. Remark about command of Bengal Army Artillery over R.A. (1 sheet).
    7. C.W.B. Riddell, Camp near Jagdespoor, 30 May 1858. Been chasing Koor Singh’s followers in the jungle. Describes attack on the 35th at Jagdespoor, caught out by misjudged distance and no food. Others joined attack. Lost two guns held by Calcutta sailors. News of batteries. Suggests employing native artificers in addition to English. (Wheelwrights etc.). (1 sheet).
    8. F.B. Ward, Woolwich, 6 June 1858. News of promotions and changes in the Regiment. Smythe appointed director of Artillery Studies a Staff College of the Regiment to be formed at Woolwich. Reforms at Woolwich, Mess forms own committee. Giving a grand dinner to Sir Archdale Wilson. (2 sheets).
    9. J.M. Radcliffe, Dum Dum, 11 June 1858. Much illness. Looking after Gibbon’s carriages. 20 wheels to be tightened. Auditor General refuses to pay certain sergeants and refuses to answer letters. Depots of equipment to be set up over country. Feeling of being a prisoner in India. (1 sheet).
    10. A.I. Johnson, Camp Nawabgunge, 15 June 1858. Describes an engagement with enemy. Numerous deaths by sun-stroke. Hodson’s Horse refused to charge four times. Promotions. (2 sheets).
    11. A.I. Johnson, Camp Nawabgunge, 20 June 1858. Describes arrangements for building huts for men and horses. News of individuals. (1 sheet).
    12. N.W. Burnaby, Camp Nawab Gunge, 21 June 1858. News of individuals. Mentions permanent camping place for the rains (roofed over). Ommaney’s Co. has been at Jhansi. (2 sheets).
    13. J. Barker, Camp, 26 June 1858. Building own house. Miscellaneous gossip. (2 sheets).
    14. A.I. Johnson, Camp Nawabgunge, 26 June 1858. Plans for building huts for the men. Plans for building a mess. Hears there is poor prize money. (1 sheet).
    15. Major Dalzell, Greenwich Hostpital, 10 July ? 1858. Thanks for helping his brother. (1 sheet).
    16. J.M. Radcliffe, Dum Dum, 13 July 1858. Discussion of the contract system for supply of stores, or independent system, and difficulty of getting decision. Describes difficulty in getting two guns from Calcutta, bullocks and poles. (1 sheet).
    17. K.D. Majendie, Camp Nawabgunge, 13 July 1858. News of the buildings for men and officers. Gives numbers of cholera deaths in various regiments. (1 sheet).
    18. A.I. Johnson, Camp Nawabgunge, 20 July, 1858. Regimental gossip of individuals and horses. (1 sheet).
    19. No signature but probably A.I. Johnson, Camp Nawabgunge, 21 July, 1858. Only half letter giving list of deaths among N.C.O.’s and consequent re-appointments. (1 sheet).
    20. G.M. Riddell, month and address torn but probably August 1858. General gossip. Congratulates Gibbon on majority. (1 sheet).
    21. K.D. Majendie, Camp near Fyzabad, 2 August, 1858. Describes visit of Maun Singh to General Grant. Regimental gossip. (2 sheets).
    22. A.I. Johnson, Fyzabad, 4 August 1858. About pay for the men and harness for horses, and Mess Fund. Regimental gossip. The enemy in force 8 miles away. (2 sheets and envelope).
    23. Signature torn off, but probably N.W. Burnaby, Camp Fyzabad, 11 August 1858. Regimental gossip, and hopes of promotion. Mentions the bad state of the Thames in, London. (1 sheet).
    24. Letter with last page and signature missing but envelope marked in pencil Majendie. Same writing as 55 q.v. Camp Fyzabad, 16 August 1858. Describes engagement at Sultanpore – guns detached from the R.A. by Sir Colin Campbell. Describes the Camp just built, and the Fort. Snakes. Illness. (2 sheets).
    25. N.W. Burnaby, Fyzabad, 18 August 1858. Regimental news and a little about campaign manoeuvres. (Mentions the submarine telegraph to America). (1 sheet).
    26. N.W. Burnaby, Fyzabad, 19 August, 1858. Has heard from England that the Regiment is to be distributed. Mentions review of Fleet at Cherbourg. (1 sheet).
    27. N.W. Burnaby, Fyzabad, 28 August 1858. A force expected to go against the Begum and another at Rai Bareilly. Promotion. (1 sheet).
    28. J.B. Strange to (A.I.) Johnson, Camp on the other side – Sultanpoor, 28 August, 1858. Describes an engagement with the rebels with descriptions of various individuals and of the horses drowned. (2 sheets).
    29. A.I. Johnson, Fyzabad, 29 August 1858. Sorry about Gibbon leaving. News of the horses and other members of the troop, and their various engagements. (1 sheet).
    30. Incomplete letter. Camp, Fyzabad, 4 September 1858, (no signature). General news of army life. (1 sheet + envelope).

A.I. Johnson

    , Fyzabad, 4 September 1858. Taking over command of the battery from Gibbon and asks questions relating to this command e.g. contract allowance, accounts, etc. (1 sheet).

  1. C.R. Franklen, Bieh Gunge, Sassaram, 15 September, 1858. Describes the fighting round Sassaram. Attitude towards the rebels, and the mutiny. (1 sheet + 1 envelope).
  2. K.D. Majendie, Simla, 22 September 1858. News of individuals in the regiment, and gossip. News of the battery, its horses, equipment and men. Describes journey from Cawnpore to Bewar. Allygurh, and Delhi, where he sees all the sights of the Mutiny. On to Muballa and Kalka. Goes by jampan to Hurrepore and on to Simla. Overwhelmed with delight at scenery., Describes Simla, and gets room in the Club/Hotel run by Mr. Vivian. The drink has run out except porter. Criticism of elite society. Describes the evening ride in the Mall ‘at full gallop’. Met friends, goes to a wedding. Deplores lack of mail. Gratitude to Gibbon. Part of letter torn away. (4 sheets).
  3. H.J. Fitzhugh, Woolwich, 22 September 1858. Regarding money for officers’ widows – subscription from the Company not yet received. Anxiety over promotion. News of dissension at Woolwich about plan for the arsenal. Mentions invention of ‘rifled cannon’, (1 sheet).
  4. N.W. Burnaby, Camp, Fyzabad, 24 September 1858. Almost indecipherable; regimental news and gossip. (1 sheet).
  5. A.I. Johnson, Fyzabad, 27 September 1858. Settling accounts before Gibbon leaves. A sergeant asking for more pay – good discipline maintained among men. Sickness and deaths. Mentions the comet of Charles V last seen 300 years ago is now visible. (1 sheet).
  6. A.I. Johnson, Fyzabad, 28 September 1858. More about accounts having received letter. Regimental news and gossip. (1 sheet).
  7. K.D. Majendie, The Club, Simla, 8 October 1858. Has been very ill and is returning to England. A Committee concerned with sending officers to England coming to see him. Asks for advice on passage, money, etc., and where to stay in Calcutta. Mentions permanent field batteries etc. (1 sheet).
  8. N.W. Burnaby, Camp Fyzabad, 26 October 1858. Comments on the changes in Regimental structure. Describes a small engagement by a battery. Discussion of various officers and n.c.o.s.
  9. A.I. Johnson, Fyzabad, 10 November 1858. News of friends, officers and men. Dramatic society started; playing cricket. Pay cut. Rebels still firing at them from across the river and they fire back. Go on a picnic as part of an expedition to arrange about boats. Shoot at rebels and alligators and long for female company. (2 sheets).
  10. A.I. Johnson, Camp, Toolsiepore (sic) 20 February 1858. Describes a day’s march having joined other troops: crossing a river on Christmas Day. Describes an engagement in the jungle taking 15 guns and dispersing the rebels and a march over bad ground. All under General Sir Hope Grant. Hear the war in Oudhe is over. Fears he will not get his majority as has had no fighting since Fyzabad. Discussion of horses – Q battery in good shape, no discipline troubles, no drunkenness. School and library in a good state – books and papers from Calcutta. Dramatic society flourishing, cricket and pig-shooting described.
  11. A.I. Johnson, Toolsiepore, 13 March 1859. Enumerates the other forces he was with, and the ‘jolly’ time between marches. Innumerable accidents. Amateur dramatics and parties. Describes subsequent march after Christmas. Fears the hot weather. Gives views of the Battery. (3 sheets).
  12. J. Barker, Camp, Toolsiepore, 14 March 1858. General news. News that 40,000 are coming from Nepal to attack. Dreads hot weather in tents, will lose men. (2 sheets).
  13. Incomplete letter, no signature, Mhow, 6 May 1859. Congratulates Gibbon on C.B. News of the troop, complains of hermit life. (1 sheet + 1 envelope).
  14. A.I. Johnson, Goruckpore (sic) 13 June 1859. A very good place with good sheds, kitchens, punkahs, charpoys. Has turned a room into a library/school. Gives detailed account of officers, n.c.o.’s, men and horses. Mistake to bring English gun carriages. Has to pay the native artificers out of own pocket. A racket court, swimming bath. Describes other Europeans. Mentions meeting of late John Co’s European troops. His brother has reported on it. (2 sheets).
  15. A.I. Johnson, no date, Statement of Gibbon’s mess account. (1 sheet).
  16. Letters from Lt. R.F. Thompson, R.A. 1859-1869
  17. Vizianagram, 18 August 1859. To his cousin Jane. Building barracks at Walthair. Mentions the French war in Egypt. Rumour that one third of the army in India are taking their discharge and may call for volunteer officers to take them home. One quarter of his regiment taking their discharge. They will enlist again and return, as generally soldiers like India. Describes the festival of Agshoor-Khana to which the European officers are invited (46th Regiment). Races starting. (1 sheet).
  18. Mangalore, 22 October 1862. To his sister Millie. Continues description begun in previous letter (missing) re the Cuderi Mukh (sic) hunting bison (buffalo). Put up for the night by headman of the village Nagoor (sic). Continues next day up Mukh (14 miles ascent). Observes the coom trees; mentions Webster, the Collector. Climbs to 6,100 ft. Bungalow built in 1845 by Government as a Sanatorium for Europeans at. instigation of Mr. Fischer, Collector of Malabar: cost R14,000, describes the bungalow in detail. (3 sheets).
  19. Mangalore, 3 September 1865. To his brother William. About shooting panther with a field piece, and trying to shoot another for a reward of 50 rupees offered by Mr. Cadell the Collector. Mentions Sir J.E. Tennent has been handled badly by the Press for his book on the Armstrong/Whitworth systems.
  20. Bangalore, 13 July 1868. Working very hard at Persian, and has eye strain. Asks father to thank Sir Arthur Guinness for his help in furthering his interests. Mourning. the death of a comrade, Captain D.D. Anderson, R.H.A. by typhoid. (1 sheet).
  21. Bangalore, 22 October 1868. Has passed Higher Standard in Persian. Going to learn Pushtu so that he may get employment in the projected new embassy in Kabul. Hopes for the Berar Staff Corps, if not to the Hyderabad Contingent. Price of postage.
  22. Bangalore, 22 February 1869. To his father. Unable to enter the Staff Corps. Going to Bombay on leave to study Mahratta. Already knows Hindustani and Canarese. Hoping to be appointed to Berar Commission. (1 sheet).
  23. Mangalore, 17 April 1869. Received bad news from the Under-Secretary to the Government (copy of letter missing) which appears to be refusing Thompson a post as Assistant Commissioner in the Staff Corps. Probable reasons. Asks father to get Sir Arthur (Guiness) to write a recommendation to Lord Mayo. Other career possibilities.
  24. A note, copied, n.d., from Viceroy asking his preference in an appointment.
  25. Secunderabad, 28 May 1869. Appointed to Berar Commission – General de Saumarez Commanding the Force. Goes with him to Troop Review and Nizam of Hyderabad’s Durbar, breakfast with Resident Mr. Saunders, C.B. Notes his power. Describes Residency and Durbar. Europeans allowed in with shoes, and only time Thompson has salaamed a native first. Describes particularly Salar Jung. Describes the city and hatred of the white man. (1 sheet).
  26. Oomrawuttee (sic), 2 January, 1870. Starting a tour in Berar. Has been living a very gay life during Christmas, invited by Lt. Cambier at Ellichpur. Describes the pleasant life of the Commander of the R.A. Battery, pay, and power. Gives example of Captain Bell the D.G. Commissioner’s power. Examples of different ranks’ pay. Trying to get appointment in Persia to assist in re-organising the Shah’s Artillery. (2 sheets).
  27. Oomrawuttee, 4 February 1870. Brief note of a personal matter.
  28. Oomrawuttee, 18 March 1870. Been at Akola, and met the Governor General and Staff and the Nawab Salar Jung. To Khamgaon on 4th to see Lord Mayo open the first State Railway. Lord Mayo made a long speech about cotton. Salar Jung’s the only good speech; describes his dress. Describes celebrations; Salar Jung’s dinner followed by a nautch. Hopes to go to Umballa by railway recently opened on leave. Asks for book, Binnings Two Years’ travel in Persia. (1 sheet).
  29. Camp Rajura, 30 May 1878. About the death of Ayedia Parsad his former hunting companion. Drought. (2 sheets + 1 envelope).
  30. Three envelopes addressed to Major Gibbon, one to Captain Gibbon (sic) and one to V.D. Majendie.
  31. Collection of undated letters, notes on the letters, envelopes.
  32. Part of a letter to Captain J.R. Gibbon in England from Frederick Miller posted 30 November 1854, said to be about an attack in the Crimean War.

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