Who was the Governor General during the time of Sepoy Mutiny?
Lord Canning was the Governor General of India from 28th February 1856 – 21st March 1862. He was the Governor General of India when the Sepoy Mutiny broke out.
Sepoy Mutiny which is also known as Indian Mutiny or The Indian Revolt of 1857 or most commonly known as the First War of Indian Independence was a violent rebellion against the British rule in India. It was a bloody uprising which broke out in the year 1857. It was an unsuccessful rebellion against the British East India Company which was functioning on behalf of the British crown. This violent rebellion is considered as the first outbreak of India’s freedom struggle against the British rule.
The British East India Company controlled much of India by 1850s. The British East India Company set its foot on Indian soil for trading purposes in the early 1600s, but later it gradually transformed into a huge military unit. Large numbers of Indian soldiers were employed by the British to maintain law and order and to guard the trading centres. The native Indian soldiers were very much loyal to the British. But tensions began to emerge by 1850s when the British East India Company started to annex the Indian states. The Indian soldiers began to feel offended and suspicion arose that the British were just taking advantage of them in annexing their own states.
The main cause for the Sepoy Mutiny to break out was the introduction of a new cartridge that was to be used in Enfield rifle. Rumours spread that the new rifle cartridge was wrapped with paper which was coated with grease derived from pigs and cows. This proved to be highly offensive to the Hindus and Muslims.
It was Mangal Pandey who initiated the revolt by shooting the British sergeant-major and lieutenant because his unit in Bengal Army was about to be punished for refusing to use the new rifle cartridge.