Skip to comments.Tory Historian's blog: General Napier's response
Posted on 09/22/2012 11:57:38 PM PDT by ScaniaBoy
For a number of reasons, not unconnected with recent events, Tory Historian decided to look up the comment, ascribed to General Sir Charles Napier in William Napier's History of Sir Charles Napier's Administration of Scinde, published in 1851, on the subject of sati or suttee or, in plain words, the habit of burning of widows on their husbands' funeral pyre (prohibited by Sikhism, incidentally).
This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.
It seems that no suttee took place then or afterwards while the General remained in charge.
Thank you for the post and the link. A review of British history of this period is always instructive.
Your thread caught my attention, more for the historic reference than the anthropological significance...
I’m into Brit history too but from a different angle...
Gen Napier, I believe, is the son of a Col. Napier and his mother was a daughter of the Duke of Richmond, Sarah Lennox, who had a rather naughty life until she settled down with the Col. The Duke, her father, was the son (or grandson) of the first Duke who was a bastard son of King Charles II....
I love this stuff!
After the climactic battle which secured the acquisition of Sindh for British India, Napier sent a one-word message to his commander: "Peccavi" (Latin for "I have sinned"), a homophonic pun on the phrase "I have Sindh."
Alas, it appears that this story is not true. Too bad -- it nicely summarizes both the public school erudition and elan of the British sahibs of the 19th century.
So Napier has been exonerated of homophonia?