Archive / Papers / Rickards Papers


Given by Major D.A. Campbell and Mrs. P.R. Pye

Rajputana (Rajasthan), Afghanistan, Bombay: 1846-1894

    1. Large notebook (MS copy of original):
      • Pages 1-17: Journal of a march from Beaur to Jahazpoor and back to Beaur, 7 December, 1854 ? 12 January, 1855, with a detachment of sepoys, part of Sir Henry Lawrence settlement the Neemuch District. Details of the marches, towns passed. State of road ? various incidents. Receives a letter from Captain Showers. Going to meet Sir Henry Lawrence but is halted at Bissodunee for several days awaiting his orders from Jahazpoor. 2 January 1855 rides over to Jahazpoor to see Sir Henry Lawrence. Mentions the Meenahs (Minas) who are being pacified and the Newar and Deoghur Thakurs who are being troublesome. Detailed record of his conversations with Sir Henry Lawrence: discusses the Ajmer settlement and records Sir Henry’s opinion of the Settlement made by Colonel Dixon which is explained by Captain Rickards. Records Sir Henry’s opinion of Rajputana and the chiefs’ conduct, and also the Mewar officials. Remarks on Udaipur, and also the Mina question. 9 January – rides to Peeplee, a village inhabited by Purreha Meenahs – remarks on what good cultivators they are, and would all be were proper arrangements made. 10 January 1855, starts to march back to Beaur. More communication from Sir Henry Lawrence.
      • Pages 18-20: List of appointments held by Major General E.W. Rickards from May 1846 – June 1871.
      • Pages 21-27: Copies of letters regarding regimental matters, e.g. Bills for Compensation after Mutiny by the 6th Regiment Native Infantry on 6 June, 1857. (Rickards was with the infantry, but on leave at that time). Mess and band Bills dated 28 July, 1858. Other letters regarding compensation – difficulty of assessing it owing to death of most officers. Certificate of good conduct and character.
      • Pages 28-34: Memo of defence of the Peeplee Pass in the Mewar area against the rebels. 27 January – 14 February 1859.
      • Page 35: Copies of two private letters about a post of Acting Deputy Commissioner of Ajmer, 13 March and 30 April 1859.
      • Pages 36-44: Journal of tour of outposts 22 March – 1 April 1859, noticing crops, roads, forts. Skirmishing against the rebels. Copies of letter to A.G.G. Army H.Q. about claims to counting journeys to India as service in India enjoyed by Civil Service and asking for same claims to be permitted to Military Service. Memo to E.J. Rickards’ brother about the injustice of not receiving certain campaign medals. Letter to Director Adjnt. Gen. Calcutta about claim for service.
      • Page 44: Journal of a tour of district round Beaur noting roads, crops and the people, 23-31 March 1862.
      • Pages 48, 49: Statement of Rickards’ account with the Sylhet & Cachar Tea Company, which went into liquidation in 1866/67.
      • Subsequent numbering from the opposite end of the book: Pages 1-4: Detachment orders at various camps, 23 December 1854 – 12 January 1855.
      • Pages 8-9: Statement of account with the People’s Bank of India, Calcutta, 30 April 1861 – 14 March 1866.
      • Page 16: Statement of account with the East India Coal Company, 25 April 1862 – 30 April 1863. (Liquidation 1866).
      • Pages 27-49: Copies of letters regarding Rickards’ business transactions with the above Companies.
    2. Printed list of outfit necessary for India etc., supplied by W.H. Ablett & Co., Clothiers and General Outfitters, 37 Cornhill, London.
    3. Folded in paper marked ‘Papers relative to India 1837’. My father’s outfit etc. E.J.R.
    4. Letter with post mark, December 20, 1837 addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Burmon, Eaton Square, enclosing the list of requirements, with additions, from Anne M. Shuttleworth, giving good advice for further comfort on the voyage.
    5. Letter to Mrs. Perkins, 29 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, from her nephew Harry R. (Rickards) 20 January 1838, enclosing the above letter and lists and asking for instructions. Edward going to stay after being measured.
    6. 4 sheets of Urdu script.
    7. Memo, April 1894, written by E.J. Rickards on the incident of burying skeletons left after the last stand at Gundumuck Hill made by the Kabul Army, and building a cairn over them – 1841.
    8. Letter written by Gunga Persand, formerly Naik in the late 6th Regiment Native Infantry to E.J. Rickards. (Note on front dates it to June 1860) asking for restoration to the Service on Major Gordon’s recommendation.
    9. Return, showing the number of all ranks of the Mewara Local Battalion with the authorised rates of pay. Return shows the revised strength of 10 Companies consisting of 1 Subadar, 2 Jemindars, 7 Havildars, 7 Naiks, 2 Drummers and 81 Sepoys. Signed by E.J. Rickards, Major Commanding Mewara Local Battalion.
    10. Copy of a letter from Captain E.J. Rickards, Commander of the Mhairwara (Mewara) Local Battalion, Bewar 7 October 1861 to Captain G.L. Fraser Officiating Ass. Adj. Gen. of the Army, Simla: Statement of the record of military service during the Mutiny and the good conduct and rates of pay of the regiment, and right to back pay of certain individuals. 4 appendices ? extracts from letters from the Governor General et al regarding good conduct and back pay of the Regiment (6 sheets).
    11. (a & b)MS 2 sheets practice Urdu handwriting.
    12. (a & b) MS poem written in Urdu of 7 stanzas in praise of John Rickards, by Abhe Singh, 24 July 1858. 2 sheets.
    13. MS petition written in Urdu on behalf of Nabbi, the Darogha-I-baghat (in charge of gardens of Ajmer) regarding his pay claims. 17 January. 1861.
    14. Large notebook belonging to Captain E.W. Rickards, Officer Superintendent of Ajmer and Mairwarra, 8 December 1857. Entries 9 December – 23 December 1857 consist mainly of notes taken of legal cases and possibly during trials. Witnesses, accusations etc. 4 sentences. (pp. 1-19).
      • 16 December: Long account of case of suttee against Government orders. List of tulsidars, thanadas and mohurirs – Peshkars of the Ajmer District and their wages – List of the numbers of sirvars, jemandars, chaprassis etc.
      • Page 24, 2 April 1864: Account of a journey from Bewar to Bombay en route for England. Notes in detail the country, towns, people, cultivation, state of the road, etc., as he journeys and comments on it in relation to his own knowledge. Passes carts of cotton because of demand for cotton in England.
      • 5 April: Marches to Pallee over a plain which seems impregnated with nitre. Gets off the road and has difficulty in persuading people to help him – conversations on the way. Nawab of Palumpoor’s territory well managed.
      • 15 April: Mysana, good soil, little cultivation except poppies. People again misdirect him.
      • 18 April: Ahmedabad (Ahmadabad). Stationmaster says the rail not open whole way to Bombay. Therefore to Surat by rail, and Surat to Bombay by steamer.
      • 19 April: Railway to Surat. 6.45 a.m. Ahmadabad – arrive Surat 4.30 p.m. (142 miles). Description of Surat which he says seems decaying.
      • 20 April: Steamer due to leave 2 p.m. Delayed until 1 a.m.
      • 21 April: Gives details of his and servant’ railway fares, luggage due etc. Steamer leaves 2 a.m.
      • 22 April: Reaches Bombay 4 a.m. Stays at Adelphi Hotel until 29 April. Sails on the Salsette – steamer. General Lawrence C.B., A.G.G. on board. Account of an altercation on the ship between a passenger and an officer.
      • 14 May: Reach Suez. Go by train to Cairo and Alexandria which they reach on 15 May. There they embark on a new steamer, the Poonah (2,150 tons, 500 h.p.) The vessel is well fitted up.
      • 15 May: Sail at 4 p.m. In morning goes to see Alexandria. Comments on the arrangements of the Poonah.
      • 19 May: Land at Malta and look around.
      • Page 38. 27 May: Arrive Southampton in evening. Goes to Radley’s Hotel. Leaves for London 11.30 a.m. on 28 May and arrives at 3 p.m. at Waterloo.
      • Page 39: An account written by General Rickards of an event in 1841 when he was an ensign with the 6th Bengal Native Infantry and was sent to join General Pollock’s army advancing on Caubul (Kabul). When Rickards’ Company reaches Gundumuk (Gundamak) near Jalalabad the officers plan to go out to Gundumuck Hill where the last stand had been made the previous winter by the destroyed Kabul Army. They gather the dead bodies which are still there, preserved by the ice and snow, so that some are recognisable, and bury them under a cairn – the following day another section of the company completes the task, and altogether 120-130 bodies were buried there.
    15. Notes of General Rickards’ trip from Beaur to Bombay beginning 26 March, 1857, and thence to England.
      • Starts through the pass from Neaur to Marwar which is exceedingly narrow, and rough. Considers a good road might be made by prisoners at no extra expense beyond tools anal extra food. Great difficulty in getting a guide in a village called Peepla. Marches on to Chundoall; hills of red sandstone, passing monuments to the many women who have committed suttee – to Pallee. Description of town. Was a great trading town – trade now moved to Nyamugger (built by Colonel Dixon). Is misdirected again.
      • 31 March: Marches to Erinpoora (Erinpura) a military station.
      • 1 April: Marches to Sirhoie where there are many temples. He describes the town. Climbs Mount Aboo (Abu). Notices English flowers. Sees Jain temples at Dilwarra which he considers most beautiful. Sees the Lawrence Mount Abu School and the church.
      • 6 April: Marches to Cantonment of Deesa. Describes complement and the lay-out of the cantonment. Comments on villages, cultivation, water supply, and the owners and state of the dak bungalows as he goes along.
      • 13 April: Marches into Ahmedabad. Describes town and bungalows. Hears of the end of the War because of Treaty signed with Persia.
      • 14 April: At Kairah, an abandoned military station. Describes the church and graveyard.
      • 15 April: Marches on to Kambay. Does not really know where the British Government territory lies. Cannot get a boat, so decides to march to Swat. Does a long march to Jumboosier and Baroch, 30 miles each in two days.
      • 21 April: Marches to Surat, described briefly. Embarks for Bombay on 22 May. Arrives 23 May. Stays at Hope Hall Hotel, all in for 5 rupees a day. Books passage (950 rupees) on the Ganges. While waiting he goes to Elephanta.
      • 1 May: Embarks. Describes voyage and cyclone. Reaches Suez 17 May and the passengers are taken in vans from the ship in 16 stages (at which the four horses are changed) to Cairo and goes to Sheppards Hotel. Sees the sights of Cairo and sees Pyramids from a distance. Goes by van to Railway Station, 8.30 a.m. The carriages are made by Wright of Birmingham. Arrives Alexandria 5 p.m.
      • 23 May: Embarks at noon on the P & 0 steamer Pera. (2,600 tons).
      • 24 May: The ship does 293 miles in 20 hours.
      • 31 May: Reach Gibraltar, see the lights of the town which are gas lights.
      • 6 June: Arrive Southampton.
      • 5 June: Goes to London by Railway. At the end of June hears about the mutiny of the Bengal Army. Ordered back to Bombay on 2 July but cannot get a ship until 20 August. Hears worse and worse accounts of the Mutiny. His own Regiment, the 6th Native Infantry was worse than most. He lists the officers killed. He says the men had protested loyalty at first and the officers placed confidence in them.
      • 24 August: Leaves for Marseilles via Paris. (Here two pages of copies of letter intervene regarding his arrival and return to India).
      • 28 August: Embarks on P. & 0. steamer Valetta, at Marseilles. Ship very full. Same journey by van across desert. Railway from Cairo to Suez nearly completed.
      • 6 September: Embark on the Pekin
      • 12 September: Hears news at Aden of the Mutiny – 8th Madras Cavalry, 12th Regiment, Bombay N.I. etc. Delhi not taken. Havelock had fallen back on Cawnpore.
      • 19 September: Arrives Bombay. Tries to get to Bewar. Copies of letters.
      • 22 September: Hears of disarming of 21st Regiment Bombay N.I. and about siege of Delhi ? General (Archdale) Wilson refuses to grant any terms to the mutineers there.
      • 23 September: Hears from Bewar. No carriage available to fetch him as all needed by the troops (270 of Mairwarra Battalion sepoys and 2 squadrons of lst Bengal Lancers, 1 Troop H.A., 190 men of 83rd Queens General Lawrence joining command ) there, assembled to punish the Jodpur Legion mutineers.
      • 24 September: News that mutinous spirit among 2nd Regt. of Bengal Grenadiers, and 50th Regt. of Madras. But troops from England arriving daily.
      • 25 September: Hear on telegraph of the assault on Delhi on 14th and also of death of J.R. Colvin, Governor of N.W.F.P. in Fort at Agra.
      • 28/29 September: More news of Delhi.
      • 30 September: News that Delhi has fallen. Hear that the force sent against Jodphur Legion Mutineers had met with a reverse.
      • 1 October: Hears Madras Government has sent requisition for European troops for Arcot.
      • 2 October: Hears P.A. of Jodphur has been shot at Awala.
      • 3 October: Hears General (G.). Lawrence has retreated to Beaur.
      • 7 October: Hears of capture of king of Delhi.
      • 8 October: Hears of Generals Outram and Havelock before Lucknow.
      • 10 October: Embarks on the boat the Pattinar, for Cambay. Many native passengers. He has the cabin, in which he expects he will be a prisoner as the boat does not stop until Cambay. No wind. Arrive Cambay 19th October. Starts out for Ahmedabad. Sir R. Shakespear has sent four servants to meet him and accompany him to Deesa.
      • 21 October: Arrives Ahmedabad
      • 26 October: Marches to Deesa. Remains until troops under General G. Lawrence should arrive. Hears of the mutiny near Neemuch.
      • 1 November: Ill. Starts march 9 November to Nusseerabad (Nasirabad).
      • 18 November: At Erinpoora station of the mutinous Jodhpoor Legion – bungalows burnt, no one in bazaars. Receives official letter from General Lawrence appointing him to act as Political Agent with the force. He has to get there as quickly as possible. Native letters inciting to Mutiny intercepted.
      • 26 November: Arrives at Beaur.
    16. Copies of letters from General G.H.P. Lawrence, A.G.G. and Officer Commanding Ajmer to C.B. Thornhill, Offg. Sec. to Government N.W.F.P. appointing Rickards as Acting Superintendent of Ajmer and Mairwarra from 1 December 1857.
    17. Also copies of other letters from Rickards including one about being superseded in command of his Battalion. Explains the delay in returning to his Battalion during the Mutiny. Found to be a mistake, and he assumes command.
    18. Other letters ordering beer and wines, and also caps for Battalion. Bank and other business.
    19. Journal continues 14 August 1858 about defence of the passes into Marwar (Merwar) against the rebels. Skirmishing round Udaipur. Captain Showers, A.G.G. Meywar (SEE Showers Papers item A.21).
      • 26 August: Returns to Beaur.
      • Page 87 Journal beginning, 12 November 1859: Beginning of a march to Kishenghur and 2 miles beyond. Find the P.A. there. Two forts surrendered there by Naraina Thakoos. Pig shooting.
      • 15 November: Pig shooting. Dines with Raja in strongly defended fort near the Palace.
      • 16 November: To Ajmeer.
      • 17 November: To Suhadna.
      • 18 November: Gola. Beaur.
      • Page 88 consists of copies of letters, including list stores from Nusseerabad, to bank etc.
      • Page 89 Diary continues, 14 March 1860: March to Jowaja. Good cultivation. Good many poppy fields. Inspecting the forts. Goes through Orcha. Bajnugger and Kankrowlie. Remarks on the lake and dam, said to have been built 200 years before by Maharaja of Udaipur, Rai Sing – Lake called Rai Sunujundar. Near Kankrowlie.
      • Marches back to Beaur, remarking on state and position of forts on the way.
      • Arrives Beaur 28 March 1860.
    20. Letters from Captain E.W. Rickards in Rajputana to his mother:
      • 29 November 1857: Beaur. Describes journey to Bewar from Deesa. Held up until a force assembles to enable him to go to Nusserabad. Becomes very ill. Receives letter from Brigadier General George Lawrence (brother of Sir Henry Lawrence) Resident of Rajputana appointing him P.A. with the force. Account of fighting in Lucknow. His battalion has behaved loyally. Finds his bungalow has housed refugees – is in bad state. Reports that Neemuch has been relieved, he was to have gone. Jodpur Legion Mutineers have gone off to Narnoul near Jeypur ? others who joined them, up to 4,000 defeated by force from Delhi. Appointed Superintendent of Ajmeer and Mewar. Copy of letter from Brigadier-General George Lawrence to Captain Rickards.
      • 14 March 1858: Ajmeer. Consists of a copy of a letter he received from J. Gordon (General Neil’s A.D.C.) also of 6th Native Infantry describing the mutiny at Allahabad.
    21. Undated letter from S.D. Swinburne to J.W. Brook at Camp Nuteawana about an engagement against ‘the rebel army’.
    22. 12 December 1857: From Colonel G. Lawrence at Camp (? Tahanpur) permitting Rickards to move against Tanta Topi if he could do so effectively.
    23. 23 December 1857: Ajmer. From Colonel G. Lawrence (Political Agent Rajputana) about assuming command and allowances.
    24. 26 December 1857: Ajmer. From W.A. Hardy asking for strategic information about the town of Roopnugger and the fort on the hill above Awah and Rickards’ opinion of the military plan Hardy puts forward. On back page Rickards’ reply, including a description of the Thakoor of Awah.
    25. 9 January 1858: Ajmer, from W.A. Hardy thanking him for help in cutting off the Thakoor’s retreat etc.
    26. 26 January 1858: From Hardy about Rickards’ own troop and other military movements around Ajmer, and some criticism.
    27. 19 February 1858: Camp Baghana from J.W. Brook about the sale of his property.
    28. 13 March 1858: H.Q. Camp. Before Lucknow, from H.M. Greenhow. Account of storming the Martinière by General Outram on 9th and 10th. Mentions losses including Hodson of Hodson’s horse. Military strategy and appointments.
    29. 16 March 1858: Camp Jehajpoor from Colonel G. Lawrence about defence at Ajmer etc.
    30. 16 May 1858: Koleat from Stuart Graham. About the memorial tablet in the church at Allahabad to the officers and men in his regiment killed in the Mutiny. Speaks in particular of Plunkett who was much loved. Mentions natives he remembers. Talks of trust and distrust of the natives and his assessment of their characteristics.
    31.  July 1858 Letters from John V. Booth, Ajmeer:
      • 1 July 1858: About inadvisability of relieving Rickards’ men on duty at Ajmer, because of possibility of attack by the Nawab or Tanta Topi. Remarks on strategy.
      • 5 July 1858: Further remarks on strategy.
      • 6 July 1858: Strategy and tactics against the rebels.
      • 8 July 1858: Regarding the inadvisability of defending Nyanuggur against the rebels, as against Ajmer. Criticism of General Roberts and news of what has army consists; they also have the Gwalior Crown jewels.
      • 9 August 1858: Has warned Generals Roberts and (G.) Lawrence that rebels intend to loot Palee.
      • 11 August 1858: Rebels not coming now. Account of rebel movements round Tonk.
      • 12 August 1858: Account of the manoeuvres round Ajmer between rebels and General Roberts.
      • 15 August 1858<: Manoeuvres against rebels.
      • 16 August 1858: Detail of manoeuvres round Udaipur against rebels with General Roberts.
      • 18 August 1858: Gungnpoor. From General H.S. Roberts about battle at Banass on 14 August and further rebel movements.
      • 22 August 1858: From John Booth – criticism of General Roberts’ estimation of rebel losses. Records the capture of Tantia Topi’s family.
      • 30 August 1858: From John Booth. Records Tantia Topi’s attack at Partabghur where Tantia Topi was wounded and after long battle the rebels lost.
      • 13 October 1858: From Stuart Graham at Koleat about Mess debts. News of execution of native adjutant of 6th Police Battalion.
      • 11 December 1858: From H. Simpson at Morar Cantonments, Gwalior. Complaining that the old days have gone for ever, and the Indian Officers have been badly treated. Account of his reaction against ‘a black face’ after the mutiny of the 6th N.I. Details of his life in India after returning in August 1857. Is waiting for the Nana Sahib to come. Repeats the effect mutiny has had on his attitude to Indians. List of natives he has assisted to execute. Mess debts.
      • 18 January 1859: n.p. From William Carneby. Account from Brigadier Showers that there had been a battle with Tantia Topi on the 14th (January) at Deesa. A great victory. Rebels now in three parties.
      • 26 January 1959: Ajmer, from General G.W. Lawrence. Instructions about defending the Meywar Passes. Account of rebel defeat on the 21st.
      • 17 February 1859: Deogarh. From John Booth. Lost opportunities against rebels due to inefficient officers. Action round Kelwa described with sketch map.
      • l7 April 1859: Camp Marser from H. Simpson, about a Regimental loan. Accounts of skirmishes with rebels, and surrenders. 200 rebels of the 72nd N.I. cornered near there. Encounters with rebels, and attitude towards them.
      • 10 July 1859: Beawar, from G.W. Rickards to his sister-in-law, Mrs. Thomas Rickards (in England). India quiet. Large numbers of Hon-John Co. Troopers etc. demanding discharge. The 5th Europeans mutinied at Berhampore about the change of government. Consequences of that mutiny.
      • 12 September 1859: Morar, Gwalior, from H. Simpson. About Regimental loan, also Bhurrut Singh Havildar of the Gen. Co. who saved Captain Gordon’s life on night of mutiny – pardoned by Simpson. News of pursuit other mutineers.
      • 24 September 1859: Morar, Gwalior, from H. Simpson. About exonerating sepoy, and condemning another. Very despondent about the future.
      • 30 May 1860.: Dinapore. Letter written by a sepoy to Captain E.J. Rickards through a letter writer, about his, and Prang Singh Havildar’s part in the mutiny of the 6th N.I. at Allahabad, and subsequent events. The letter is incomplete.
    32. Undated letter signed H. Lawrence to Rickards, returning a map.