Vignettes of Delhi types
Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)
Medium: Ink and colours 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.]
Owing to a variety of pressing exigencies in other quarters the garrison at this time was not only too small for the defence of so immense a city, the walls of which, besides their great extent, were accessible on all sides, but extremely faulty in its composition, consisting chiefly of 300 Mewaties robbers by profession and a body of Irregular Horse, where fidelity could not be relied on. The former justified their previous character by going over to the enemy at an early period of the siege; and the Irregular Horse theirs, by flying at the approach of the enemy, who in consequence approached close up to the walls. Having opened their batteries a few days afterwards, and several breaches being effected as much by the concussion of the guns on the crumbling ramparts as by the enemy’s fire. The latter made an attempt to carry the place by escalade. In this they were repulsed and soon afterwards their guns were spiked on their batteries by a gallant and well conducted sortie under Lieut Rose, now Major General Sir John Rose K.C.B. of Home N. Britain.
Being thus baffled in all their endeavours they moved off on the 15th October, although they had prepared mines. By the judicious arrangement of then Colonel Ochterlony and Col. Burns and the determined resistance of the garrison, a small force was enabled to sustain a siege of nine days - repelled an assault and defended a city nearly ten miles in circumference, which had ever been heretofore given up on the first appearance of an enemy.
Vide Page 22 [f. 24.]
Signed: May 23rd. D. Thompson.