Help support TMP

"War without Pity in the South Indian Peninsula ..." Topic

10 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Media Message Board

Areas of Interest


617 hits since 24 Apr 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2018 2:16 p.m. PST

-…1798-1813: The Letter Book of Lieutenant-Colonel Valentine Blacker

"In 1798 Valentine Blacker, the son of an Irish clergyman, born in Armagh, left the United Kingdom for a military career in the Madras Army. He was favoured by the presence in India of his uncle, Colonel Barry Close, the Adjutant General. His active service as a young cavalry officer in Southern India covered several wars and rebellions. He was wounded, suffered disease and the loss of many friends. From the day of his arrival, for the next fifteen years, he wrote regularly to his father until the latter's death in 1813. The letters to some extent expose the truth of how the British held India. Rebellion was ruthlessly crushed, wounded executed on the battlefield and if besieged garrisons failed to surrender, after a successful storm, they were 'put to the sword.'

This was viewed as part of the usages of war by either side, and the letters are intermixed with endearments for his family and his regret at the lack of correspondence from home. In juxtaposition to the executions following a native infantry mutiny in 1806, the 'officer's mutiny' of 1809 was dealt with by the utmost leniency. The East India Company is spared little criticism for its government of Madras and mismanagement of the army.

The correspondence ceases in 1813, but Valentines career progressed until the end of the 3rd Maratha and Pindari War of 1817-1819 when he was the the Quartermaster General of the Madras Army, and wrote 'A Memoir of the Operations of the British Army in India.' In 1823 he was promoted to Lieut. Col. and appointed The Surveyor General of India at Calcutta where he died in 1826"
Main page


Silurian25 Apr 2018 2:33 p.m. PST

Thanks Tango. Looking forward to getting that one.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Apr 2018 9:38 a.m. PST

A votre service mon ami!. (smile)


Gazzola27 Apr 2018 5:43 a.m. PST


I think some members will probably give it a miss considering it tells the 'truth' about how the British held India. LOL

But it goes onto my list to get, which always seems to expand rather than shrink, no matter how much reading I do.

Nice spot and appreciated by most. Keep them coming.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Apr 2018 10:23 a.m. PST

Hope you enjoyed it my good friend!. (smile)


Fatuus Natural Inactive Member27 Apr 2018 2:11 p.m. PST

I think some members will probably give it a miss considering it tells the 'truth' about how the British held India. LOL

Still scavenging for material for the anglophobic polemic, Gazzola? And also still tilting at strawmen, I see – I can assure you that this TMP member, being a historian interested in a wide spectrum of periods and subjects, certainly intends to read the book. Yours seems a rather aridly narrow approach to history – I wonder if you might find it more satisfying to broaden your interests, and perhaps even try some more positive approach to British history, rather than this ultimately fruitless search for proof of Albion's perfidy.

If I might make a suggestion, some promising themes of real history could be profitably investigated through the careers of Valentine Blacker and his uncle, the baronet Sir Barry Close – for example the major role played by the Irish and Scots in establishing the British Raj and extending its dominion over the Indian sub-continent and its peoples. Both members of the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy, Blacker and Close worked closely with that other scion of the Ascendancy, Sir Arthur Wellesley, during his 1803-5 campaigns against the Marathas (both were at Assaye, I believe). Wellesley said of Close that he was ‘by far the ablest man in the army of Madras, and few more able officers exist in the world'.

Gazzola28 Apr 2018 10:08 a.m. PST

Fatuus Natural

As I have said before, it would be silly to take any criticism from someone too afraid to reveal who he (or she) is and what he (or she) claims to have achieved.

But I really do think you need to stop assuming what people do and what they research and read and why. I find it rather sad that people like you have to find a negative or insulting reason for someone daring to disagree with them and having a different opinion on some matter or for bringing up material they might prefer remains hidden and unknown. Proper historians are above such amateurish and biased attitudes towards history.

For a start, I certainly don't go searching for negative aspects of the British during the Napoleonic period. I have much better and far more interesting things to do. But sometimes, when an interesting topic arises, and research into it is undertaken, certain aspects are often revealed. I see no reason not to hide them or pretend they do not exist or that certain events did not happen. Perhaps you do? Perhaps that is your way? It's hard to say because we know nothing about you.

However, the book in question, brought to our attention by Armand, not myself, sounds unusual and interesting to me and it is on my list to buy, eventually. As you can see, I am not buying it straight away in the hope of 'scavenging' something negative about the British, which suggests your silly accusations are not just silly but totally incorrect.

But if you want to carry on believing that's what I do, that's your problem. But I am sure both the author and the publisher will be so pleased that you are going to purchase a copy and apparently read it. Well done you.

Gazzola28 Apr 2018 10:12 a.m. PST

Supercilious Maximus

You really need to lighten up. At least Armand understands humour.

And please, having different viewpoints and opinions is not having a 'narrow attitude'. But ignoring and never accepting other viewpoints and opinions certainly is.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member28 Apr 2018 11:37 a.m. PST

Oh dear……

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.