Lieutenant-General Sir John Bennet Hearsey, 1839 (c)

Unknown artist

Lieutenant-General Sir John Bennet Hearsey, 1839 (c)
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm

Lieutenant-General Sir John Bennet Hearsey (1793-1865), 2nd (Bengal) Irregular Cavalry (Gardner's Horse), 1839 (c).

Oil on canvas by unknown artist 1839 (c).

Hearsey (1793-1865), shown here wearing his regimental uniform of green alkhalic and wide red drawers and standing before an artillery piece, was Commandant of the 2nd Local Horse between 1829-1839. He had earlier fought in the 3rd Maratha War (1816-1819) against the Pindaris. Hearsey later commanded the Dinapore Division and was in that post in March 1857 when the 34th Bengal Native Infantry, stationed at Barrackpore, refused to use the new Enfield Pattern 1853 Rifle Musket cartridges (believed by many to be greased with pig and cow fat). After Mangal Pandey had attacked his commanding officer, Hearsey had rode to the parade ground, drawn his pistol and ordered Pandey's reluctant comrades to do their duty and restrain the sepoy. The General threatened to shoot the first man that disobeyed. The men of the guard fell in, and followed Hearsey in the direction where Pandey was still screaming and shouting. Pandey then attempted to shoot himself but survived and was later tried and executed. Although Hearsey's intervention prevented the outbreak of revolt at Barrackpore, Pandey's actions helped spark a chain of similar events across northern India, in what became known to the British as the Indian Mutiny (1857-1859).

Image Details

Negative No.
Accession No.
NAM. 1984-11-227-1

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