Reminiscences of Forty-three Years in India


George Saint Patrick Lawrence (1804–84) was a British Indian army officer who served in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42), the Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848–49), and the Indian Mutiny (also known as the Sepoy Rebellion) of 1857‒58. During the initial phase of the First Anglo-Afghan War, Lawrence was political assistant and later military secretary to Sir William Macnaghten, the British envoy to Afghanistan. When the Afghan amir Dost Mohammed Khan surrendered to Macnaghten in November 1840, Lawrence was put in charge of the Afghan ruler until the latter was exiled to India. Lawrence was also one of three officers who accompanied Macnaghten to his ill-fated meeting with Afghan general Akbar Khan. Following the killing of Macnaghten in December 1841, Lawrence was taken as a hostage, and remained in captivity for eight and a half months. Ill health obliged him to return to England in 1843, but he was back in India three years later. He was appointed assistant political agent in the Punjab, in charge of the important Peshawar district. During the Second Anglo-Sikh War, Lawrence’s troops, consisting mainly of Sikh soldiers, changed sides and Lawrence ended up a prisoner of the Sikh general Chattar Singh. Lawrence remained in captivity for five and a half months. Reminiscences of Forty-three Years in India is Lawrence’s account of these events, compiled from his letters and diaries by William Edwards, who was a judge in the Bengal Civil Service. The book consists of 21 chapters, of which the first 16 are focused on the events of the First Anglo-Afghan War. Chapters 17–19 recount the events of the Second Anglo-Sikh War. The remaining two chapters are dedicated to the Sepoy Rebellion and end with the retaking, in March 1858, of the city of Kotah (present-day Kota, India) from the insurgents. The book was published in London in 1874.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

John Murray, London


Title in Original Language

Reminiscences of forty-three years in India, including the Cabul disasters, captivities in Afghanistan and the Punjaub and a narrative of the mutinies in Rajputana

Type of Item

Physical Description

315 pages ; 21 centimeters


  1. G.C. Boase, revised by James Lunt, “Lawrence, Sir George St Patrick (1804‒1884),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Last updated: August 31, 2016