The Sikh Encyclopedia The Sikh Encyclopedia Encyclopedia of Sikhism

Biographical

Search Now!

LAWRENCE, SIR HENRY MONTGOMERY

(0 votes)

LAWRENCE, SIR HENRY MONTGOMERY (1806-1857), elder brother of Governor General John Laird Mair Lawrence, was born on 28 June 1806 at Matura, in Ceylon. After education at schools in Londonderry and Bristol, he joined the Bengal Artillery, in 1823, as a Second Lieutenant. In 1833, lie was appointed an officer for the revenue survey of North-West Province, and, in 1839, he became assistant to the political agent, North-West Frontier Agency, at Firozpur. In 1841, when he was posted to Peshawar, lie took part in the Khaibar operations.

From 1843 to 1846, he was resident in Nepal. In 1846, after the first Sikh war, Lord Hardingc appointed him agent at Lahore and, after the treaty of Bharoval tlie same year, he became the British resident there.He served as chairman of the Board of Administration after annexation. Few Englishmen of that time, it has been said, understood the Sikhs as well as did Sir Henry Lawrence. He had come in contact with them in 1839, first as Political Assistant at Ludhiana and then in the same capacity at Firoxpur.

His admiration of the hardy and militant race of the Sikhs enabled him to handle with tact the Darbar politics when, after the treaty of Bharoval, he wielded unlimited power as Resident at Lahore. Sympathy and moderation marked his treatment of the Sikhs and he throughout resisted Lord Hardingc`s more stringent policy.His civil administration was run by a council of eight leading sardars, six of them Sikhs, one Hindu and one Muhammadan, each with specific portfolios. Towards the Sikh army.

Henry Lawrence adopted a conciliatory attitude. He introduced a system of regular payments against the old practice of keeping the troops in arrears for months. He was convinced of the qualities of the Sikh soldiers and recommended their wholesale enlistment in the British army. Thus he sought to pacify the common mass of the disbanded soldiery and attach it to British interests.

He reduced tensions in the frontier districts by pacification and settlement of the Sindh Sagar Doab, Bannu, Hazara, Peshawar and the entire trans Indus region. Politically, Henry Lawrence was apprehensive of the influence of Maharani Jind Kaur, widow of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He detained her in the Lahore Fort and implicated her in what is known as the Prcma plot. In August 1847, he had her expelled from Lahore.

Earlier, he had been instrumental in the expulsion and dismissal of Wazir Lal Singh, who was believed to have been behind the Kashmir revolt. In pursuing a moderate policy towards the Sikhs and the Punjab, Lawrence had to wage a private war with the Governor General, Lord Dalhousie.At heart, he was opposed to the annexation of the Sikh kingdom. In his communication to the Home Government and to friends in England, he described the annexation of tlie Punjab as immoral, unjust and impolitic.

Eventually, he fell out with the Governor General. The latter did not like Lawrence personally, nor Ins policies. He was also resentful of his popularity among the Sikhs. As he commented sarcastically: "[Lawrence] supposes himself as the king of the Punjab." In January 1853, Henry Lawrence resigned his post as chairman of tlie Board of Administration owing to differences with Lord Dalhousie. He was killed in action on 4 July 1857 while defending the Lucknow residency during the Indian rising.

References :

1. Khilani, N.M., funjah vndcr tin` l.awreiK`f",, 18`16-58. Punjab Government Records Office Monograph No.2
2. Smith, Vincent, Thr Oxford History of India. Oxford, 1958
3. Hasrat, BikramaJit, Anglo-Sikh Relations. IIoshiarpnr, 1968

Leave a comment

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

All About Sikhs

AllAboutSikhs is a comprehensive web site on sikhism, sikh history and philosophy, customs and rituals,sikh way of life, social and religious movements, art and architecture, sikh scriptures,sikh gurudwaras. Based on the belief in One God, the Sikh religion recognizes the equality of all human beings, and is marked by rejection of idolatry, ritualism, caste and asceticism. This website serves to heighten the awareness of Sikhism and hopefully can be of some use to seekers of knowledge.

Visit AllAboutSikhs.com

Search Gurbani

SearchGurbani brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas. You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.

Visit SearchGurbani.com

World Gurudwaras

World Gurudwaras will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.

Visit WorldGurudwaras.com

 

Get Latest Updates