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The Company Fights Back

The British were shaken by rebellion that started spreading all over India. The British were determined to put an end to the revolt.


Let’s see what the British did to quell the rebellion

  • The Company brought in military reinforcements from England.
  • It passed new laws so that the rebels could be convicted with ease.
  • In September 1857, Delhi was recaptured from the rebel forces.
  • The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar was tried in court and sentenced to life imprisonment. His sons were shot dead before his eyes. In November 1862, Bahadur Shah Zafar died in the Rangoon jail.

In spite of the British recapturing Delhi the rebellion did not die down. It took the British two years to quell the rebellion.

  • In March 1858, Lucknow was captured
  • In June 1858, Rani Lakshmi Bai was defeated and killed
  • In April 1859, Tantia Tope was captured, tried and killed
Trail of destruction left behind by the British when they quelled the Rebellion.


             The Jantar Mantar observatory in Delhi in 1858, damaged in the fighting


Mortar damage to Kashmiri Gate, Delhi, 1858

Bank of Delhi was attacked by mortar and gunfire

Secundra Bagh after the slaughter of 2,000 Rebels by the 93rd Highlanders and 4th Punjab Regiment. 

The Jhansi Fort, which was taken over by rebel forces, and subsequently defended against British recapture by the Rani of Jhansi.

The successive defeat of the rebel forces encouraged many Indians to join the British. The British also tried their best to win back the loyalty of the local people.

  • Rewards were announced for those who were loyal to the company.
  • Loyal landlords were allowed to enjoy their traditional rights over their lands.
  • Rebels were assured of safety and were promised land if they surrendered to the British.

Still, hundreds of Sepoys, rebels, nawabs and rajas were tried and hanged.

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