1800-1859 | Burning villages | Looting and plunder

11 JUNE

SARAWAK VILLAGES PLUNDERED AND BURNED TO THE GROUND

Henry Keppel, many years later as Admiral of the Fleet.
Photo via Wikimedia.

[ 11 June 1843 ]

Today in 1843, Captain Henry Keppel, leading a military expedition up the Saribas river in Sarawak, ordered the burning of several villages to the ground. Some of their inhabitants were deemed to be ‘pirates’ despite an absence of any specific charges. In his diary, Keppel described how ‘that evening the country was illuminated for miles by the burning of the capital Paddi; and adjacent villages, a plundering (at) which our native followers were most expert.’1 Naturally such a man was destined for a promising naval career and by 1877 he had risen through the ranks to become Admiral of the Fleet and the following year was appointed First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria.

BRITISH ARMY SLAUGHTERS ‘EVERY NATIVE THAT APPEARED IN SIGHT.’

[ 11 June 1857 ]

On 11 June 1857, Colonel James Neill, who had been ordered to crush the slightest sign of support for the Indian mutiny, seized the city of Allahabad. In the two days which followed he implemented a reign of terror, unprecedented in Indian history.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Captain Henry Keppel cited in ‘Rajah Brooke and his Massacres,’ Lloyds Weekly, 16 December 1849, p. 5.

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