NCERT Notes: Vellore Mutiny 1806 [Modern Indian History For UPSC]

NCERT notes on important topics for the IAS aspirants. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like banking PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on. This article talks about Vellore Mutiny, 1806.

The Vellore Mutiny predated the Indian Revolt of 1857 by about 50 years. It erupted on 10th July 1806 in Vellore, present-day Tamil Nadu, and lasted only for a day, but it was brutal and shook the British East India Company. It was the first major mutiny by the Indian sepoys in the East India Company.

Vellore Mutiny Causes

Causes of the Vellore Mutiny
  • The English disregard to the religious sensitivities of the Hindu and Muslim Indian sepoys.
  • Sir John Craddock, the Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army had issued orders prohibiting soldiers from wearing religious marks on their foreheads and also to trim their moustaches and shave off their beards. This offended both Hindu and Muslim soldiers.
  • They were also asked to wear new round hats instead of the traditional headgear that they were used to. This led to suspicion among the sepoys that they were being converted to Christianity.
  • Craddock was acting against warning from the military board not to bring about changes in the military uniform without taking into consideration all required precautions of Indian sensibilities.
  • A few sepoys who had protested against these new orders were taken to Fort St. George and punished severely. They were given heavy flogging.
  • Also present in the Vellore Fort were the wife and children of Tipu Sultan (who was killed in the Battle of Seringapatam in 1799) who were housed in a palace within the fort. Tipu Sultan’s sons also instigated the rebellion.

Course of events of the Vellore Mutiny
  • On 10th July 1806, the sepoys who had gathered killed 14 British officers and 115 Englishmen of the 69th Regiment.
  • The mutiny started during midnight and by dawn the fort had been captured by them.
  • They raised the flag of the Mysore Sultanate over the fort. They also declared Tipu Sultan’s son Fateh Hyder as king.
  • But a British officer who had escaped the fort alerted the British force present at Arcot.
  • From Arcot, British troops arrived led by Sir Rollo Gillespie. He was able to quell the rebellion.
  • About 100 Indian soldiers were brought out of the palace where they had sought refuge. They were then ordered to stand against a wall and shot dead.
  • In all, 350 Indian soldiers were killed and 350 wounded.

Significance of Vellore Mutiny

Effects of the Vellore Mutiny
  • All three Madras regiments involved in the Vellore Mutiny were disbanded.
  • After a trial, sepoys involved in the mutiny were punished by death (blown away from canons, hanging and firing squads) and by penal transportation.
  • John Craddock and other senior British officers responsible for the new dress regulations were recalled to Britain.
  • The new dress regulations were abolished.
  • Flogging for Indian soldiers was abolished.
  • Tipu Sultan’s family were moved to Calcutta.
  • It is believed that the brutal and swift suppressing of the Vellore Mutiny is partly responsible for the Southern sepoys not taking part in the Indian Revolt of 1857.

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