- Category: The British and Sikhs [1849 - 1947]
, comprising private correspondence and letters of Lord Auckland, governor general of India (1836-42), now available in the British Library and Museum, London, provide interesting sidelights on political affairs in the Punjab (1836-1841), Sindh and Afghanistan, and also furnish useful information on the military power of the Sikhs, and persons and politics at the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Some of these letters were used by LJ.
Trotter in his Earl of Auckland (Oxford, 1893), and quite a few of them were published in the Journal and Correspondence of William Lord Auckland London, (1861-62).Of a total of eight volumes, six deal essentially with events leading to the first Anglo Afghan war, the tripartite treaty among Ranjit Singh, Shah Shuja` and the British Government, and despatches of Wade and other British officers who accompanied a British auxiliary force through the Punjab, under the nominal command of Shah Shuja`s eldest son, Prince Taimur, to Afghanistan (MS. Volumes No. 3768994).
The other two volumes contain Lord Auckland`s private correspondence with Sir John Hob house, President of the Board of Control, revealing the rising tension between the Sikhs and the English, and tracing the course of events which ended in the disaster in Afghanistan.Detailed information is provided about the Russo Persian threat to India and the measures taken to counteract it; Sikh designs on Sindh ; Sir Henry Fane`s visit to Lahore; the Sikh Afghan disputes and the British attitude; Ranjit Singh`s war and peace aims; French influence at Lahore; Burnes` negotiations at Kabul and Ranjit Singh`s reactions; danger of Sikh Afghan conflict; various schemes for the subversion of Dost Muhammad`s power and rehabilitation of Shah Shuja` with Sikh help; Auckland Ranjit Singh meeting; Wade`s transactions at Peshawar; Clerk`s reports from Lahore; death of Ranjit Singh; Wade`s recall from Ludhiana; death of Kharak Singh and Nau Nihal Singh; Sher Singh`s overtures and conditions of British support; and Macnagh ten`s accusations against the Sikhs.
1. Hasrat, BJ., ed. and annot.. The Punjab Papers. Hoshiarpur, 1970