I Have Sind – Charles Napier in India 1841 - 1844

by Priscilla Napier. First published in 1990 by Michael Russell Ltd., The Chantry, Wilton, Salisbury, Wiltshire 

ISBN: 0 85955 163 6

This book tells the story of three years in the life of Charles Napier, eldest son of Col. George Napier and Lady Sarah Lennox.  Here is a précis of the Encyclopaedia Britannica on-line article* on him:

Charles Napier fought in the Peninsular war against Napoleon and in the 1812 war against the United States.  He was military resident of Cephalonia, in the Ionian Islands 1822-30.  In 1839, Chartist agitation for political and social reform threatened to lead to violence at home and Napier was given command in northern England, where he kept a dangerous situation under control for two years.

In 1841 he was sent by the Duke of Wellington to India, and he was assigned to the Sind command.  The armies of Sind were forced to sign a bullying treaty providing for the permanent annexation of British-occupied bases in Sind and for the transfer of large northern areas to Bahawalpur.  Napier found the Sindi emirs disloyal, he decided that some of them were untrustworthy and he provoked a war, and, after winning a number of battles he was knighted and made governor of Sind.  After one victory at Miani, he is said to have sent a dispatch consisting of one word, “Peccavi” (Latin: “I have sinned”—i.e., “I have Sind.”).  [It is also reported that someone sent a letter to Punch magazine suggesting that General Napier might have used this pun to report his victory.  The editor liked the idea and ran the story as if Napier had sent the message to the War Office.  It then passed into general circulation. DAN].  He left for England in 1847, but returned to India in 1849 to be commander in chief in the Second Sikh War (1848–49) but the conflict had ended by the time he arrived.  A quarrel with the governor-general, James Ramsay, 1st marquis of Dalhousie, caused him to leave India finally in 1851.

A bronze statue of Napier by the sculptor G.G. Adams stands in Trafalgar Square, London.

*"Napier, Sir Charles James." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 28 Nov. 2007 http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9054812.