Indian Rings

This ivory "Indian Rings" puzzle (Aq.#J707) was brought to England in 1857 and is accompanied by a transcript of a memorandum dated December 1888 by E.H.Morland.



The notorious Nana Sahib was the adopted son of the ex-Peisha Bazie Rao, the great Mahratta chief in the Deccan who fought against and gave much trouble to the British troops. He was taken prisoner and removed to Bithoor near Cawnpore in the north western province of India, where he continued to live in great state on a very large pension granted by Government till he died about the year 1849. On the death of the Pashwa, Mr. E.H. Morland who was the magistrate and collector at Cawnpore was appointed by the government to act as the political agent to superintend the affairs and advise the adopted son, Nana Sahib, then a young man, who continued to reside as the heir of Bazie Rao at Bithoor, and the Nana and Mr. M. continued on the most friendly terms.

When Mr. M. was about to retire from the Civil Service in l857, having some time previously been promoted to judgeship at Agra, as he passed Cawnpore, the Nana begged him to stop en route at Bithoor to pay him a visit. Mr. M. did so and remained some hours and an exchange of visits took place, and on bidding him farewell the Nana expressed very great regret at the departure from India of Mr Morland for whom he declared the greatest regard and respect, adding in oriental fashion that Mr. M had acted as a kind father and guardian to him and he should ever remember him with feelings of esteem and gratitude ...

A very short time afterward the Mutiny broke out and the Nana under bad advice turned rebel and an archfiend and countenanced all sorts of diabolical atrocities committed in his name and ending in the terrible massacre of the garrison and European inhabitants of Cawnpore.

It is fun to speculate that the Nana Sahib himself may have played with this puzzle.



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