The British & the Sikhs

Discovery, Warfare and Friendship c1700-1900

Gurinder Singh Mann

A book which covers the relationship between the British and the Sikhs in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
Date Published :
May 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Musket to Maxim 1815-1914
Illustration :
8 pp color section and 23 b/w images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781911628248
Pages : 112
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


The Sikh Confederacy consisting of military units or Misls rose from the ashes of the crumbling Mughal Empire in the Eighteenth century. As a result, under the leadership of General Baghel Singh they conquered the Red Fort of Delhi in 1783 leading to the Sikh Empire being formed in the Punjab under Maharajah Ranjit Singh in 1801. During this time the East India Company also expanded its frontiers and territories, witnessing the rise and the progression of the Sikhs. This was coupled with the influx of Christian Missionaries who came to convert the Sikhs into the British way of thinking. The two Empires were destined to clash and the Anglo Sikh Wars of 1845-1849 witnessed some of the bloodiest battles Victoria's Britain fought, with major losses on both sides. The annexation of the Punjab led to the employment of the Sikhs into the British Indian Army. This led to the Sikhs becoming part of many British campaigns, including their major contributions in the First and Second World Wars. This book weaves the reader through anecdotes and important events highlighting the relationship between the British and the Sikhs which exists to this day. In this deeply researched book, Mann uses rare anecdotes to provide recognition to early descriptions from British administrators, writers and illustrators who depicted the history of the Sikhs and the land of the Punjab. The book is also supplemented with a number of Anglo Sikh treaties which determined relations in the Nineteenth century.

About The Author

Gurinder Singh Mann is Director of the Sikh Museum Initiative. He is a Leicester born Sikh Scholar and historian. He holds an MA in South Asian Religions from De Montfort University, Leicester (2001). He is co-author of two books on the Sikh martial scripture: entitled: Sri Dasam Granth: Questions and Answers, (Archimedes Press, 2011) and the Oxford University Press published: The Granth of Guru Gobind Singh: Essays, Lectures and Translations (2015).

He is also co-convenor of the International Sikh Research Conference (ISRC) which takes place at the University of Warwick every year. Gurinder has researched and discovered many Sikh artefacts and relics as well as delivering lectures across the world for 20 years. He has appeared on radio and TV, including the BBC, ITV and other channels giving his views on heritage issues as well as theological matters.

He set up the Sikh Museum Initiative to research the numerous Sikh relics and artefacts in the UK. The initiative has already made headway by utilising new technologies including 3d modelling and augmented reality to showcase and preserve Sikh heritage. He curated the exhibition Anglo Sikh Wars: Battles, Treaties and Relics (2017) to great acclaim which took place at Newarke Houses Museum, Leicester.


"The strength of this work is when the author discusses Sikh translations and the acquisition of British colonial knowledge on Sikhism."

- Journal of Military History

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