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Small Collections Box 21

William Sampson (1829-1882) was a Baptist Missionary in Bengal, chiefly in Serampore where he assisted in work at the College. He went to India in 1855, first to Calcutta and the following year to Serampore. He returned to England in 1864 because of failing health.

Typed transcripts given by Mr Peter Sampson, great grandson of William Sampson.

The papers consist of:-

  1. An obituary of William Sampson written for The Freeman of November 17, 1882. 3ff
  2. A letter dated June 18, 1857 written from Serampore to his and his wife’s parents in England.

The letter purports to give a ‘true account of the uprising thus far, neither underestimating nor exaggerating the danger’ they were in. He remarks that the Empire in India existed more on the opinion the people had of British strength than upon its actual force. “We had but 20 English Regiments to upwards of a hundred Native ones and the English were scattered all over the country in small bodies …”.

He gives as one of the chief causes of the “disturbances” the hatred of the “Mussalmen” for Christianity and their working “upon the prejudices of the Sepoys – the large majority of whom are Brahmins”. Sampson also comments that “…the King of Oude… has been discovered as having been deeply implicated…[in the rebellion].

The letter ends telling of news from Delhi that the “rebels were attacked on the 8th inst.” –  ten days earlier. They “were driven back with great loss … we are in possession of the heights.” Another cause for  optimism was the discovery and foiling of a plot to murder every European in Calcutta. “The Nawab of Moorshidabad  is at the bottom of it with the King of Oude.”