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Charles Dickens & the Maharani of Lahore

7/9/2009 4:14:46 AM

After hearing of the death of Maharani Jind Kaur, novelist Charles Dickens visited Kensal Green Cemeteray to see the coffin of the lady whom the British Empire feared. Read his account of the visit from old publications...


In July 1863, writer and author Charles Dickens visited Kensal Green cemetery. A couple of weeks later  he heard that Maharani Jind Kaur died at Abingdon House and her service and temporary burial in the catacoomb of Kensal Green Dissenter's Chapel was arranged by her son Maharajah Duleep SIngh.

On the 19th September 1863, Charles Dickens wrote the following two remarks in his weekly journal "All the Year Round":

"I have read in the papers of the Indian Princess brought here the other day, and whose remains some of her Sikh servants wished to have burnt. The coffin was placed in the Dissenters' catacomb, and though a speech was delivered on the virtues of the deceased, the burial is described in the company's registery book by the words "no ceremony". It was a large funeral with many carriages."

Later in the article Dickens writes:

I asked to be taken to the Dissenters' catacomb, that I may see for myself the last resting place of the poor woman whose ashes have been squabbled over, and written on by Sikh and Christian. And down here, in a coffin covered with white velvet, and studded with brass and nails, rests the Indian dancing woman whose strong will and bitter emnity towards England caused Lord Dalhousie to say of her, when in exile, that she was the only person our government near feared. I place my hand on the coffin, and holding the candle obliquely, see a large gilt plate, whereon her name and titles are engraved."

 

Courtesy of Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery

Conversation

  • SATPAL SINGH (CHANDIGARH, INDIA)
    7/18/2009 9:39:47 AM

    DEAR SIR, Although i had gone through,many articals, books, and other details about the family of MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH, and speciely of MAHARAJA DULEEP SINGH, but this is a realy very unknown information for me, that writer and author Charles Dickens had given some remarkable comments, about MAHARANI JIND KAUR, and he also visited there at that time. thanks for this valuable information.

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