Letter by Sir Theophilus John Metcalfe (1828-83), son and heir to Sir Thomas T. Metcalfe, and Magistrate in Delhi, to C.B. Thornhill, Secretary to Government at Agra
Author: Metcalfe, Sir Theophilus John (1828-83)
Medium: Print on paper
[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]
[Photocopy of a letter written 24 May 1857 by Sir Theophilus John Metcalfe (1828-83), son and heir to Sir Thomas T. Metcalfe, and Magistrate in Delhi, to C.B. Thornhill, Secretary to Government at Agra.]
Kurnul, May 24th
To: C.B. Thornhill Esq
Secretary to Government
I have the honor to inform you that I have reached Kurnul via Hansi from Delhi, and altho’ my health is not very good yet I write to beg that the Lieut. Governor will allow me to accompany the forces of the C in Chief to Delhi in some official capacity; and I trust that what local information I possess of the Delhi Town & District may be of service to Government. I believe I am the only European who has escaped from Delhi of those who were present at the taking of the town by the troopers of the 3rd Cavalry. I will make a full communication of all circumstances known to me in a subsequent letter. I write now in haste hoping that this request of mine may be granted. I arrived yesterday morning in this place and have been requested to act as Magistrate in this District while Mr Richards proceeds to Muzuffernugger. I shall be happy at all times to serve when I can be of most use, but after 8 years connection with Delh I naturally in this great emergency flatter myself that so long a connection will ensure me employment there.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant, T. Metcalfe.
[In a later hand round the margins:]
This letter was written by Sir Theo. John Metcalfe, 5th Bart. to the Secretary to Government, Agra, when he reached Kurnul 75 miles north of Delhi on 24th May 1857, to report his arrival there and his escape from massacre after 13 days night and day wandering in the jungles after escaping on foot from Delhi on 11th May 1857 when all the other Europeans were killed, being assisted to escape by a native official Moyzoodeen Khan to whom he showed much kindness, and also by a Mahommedan gentleman called Booh Khan, who sheltered him in his own house for 2 days and nights.
Sir Theo. served with the Army Headquarters Dehlie from May to the end of September and on 14th of that month showed the Light Infantry column the way forward through the breach near the Cashmere Gate, and was given a military C.B. for this service by recommendation of Sir Hugh Rose, Com. in Chief, India.
Sir Theo. J. Metcalfe, born at Dehlie Nov. 28th 1828, died Nov. 8th 1883 at Paris.