Goldney, Philip (DNB00)
GOLDNEY, PHILIP (1802–1857), soldier, second son of Thomas Goldney, esq., of Goldney House, Clifton, was born in London 21 Nov. 1802. He was educated at a private school, and in 1821 went out to Bengal as a cadet of the East India Company's army. He received a commission as ensign or second lieutenant in the 14th native infantry 11 June of that year; was promoted lieutenant 30 Jan. 1824, and brevet captain 11 June 1836. For some years he was engaged in subduing predatory tribes, and in learning the native languages and Persian. He translated various parts of the Bible into the vernaculars; and, when the office of interpreter and quartermaster in his regiment fell vacant, he was elected to the post.
In 1844 Goldney, then captain of the 4th native infantry, was ordered to Sind, which had recently been annexed. His regiment was one of four which mutinied in consequence of the withdrawal of the extra allowance previously given to sepoys when on foreign duty. Goldney personally attacked one of the ringleaders, and order was eventually restored. He was soon afterwards appointed to the civil office of collector and magistrate in Sind. At his own request, he was allowed by Sir Charles Napier to take part in the expedition to the Truckee Hills. His mastery of the Persian language led to his being ordered to accompany the force under the Ameer Ali Morad, whose fidelity was doubted by Napier. The expedition was successful, and he returned to Sind, where a wild district of Beloochistan formed part of the district in his charge. His influence over the ferocious inhabitants of this district was remarkable; he organised a system of police in which he enrolled many desperate characters, and gave employment to the population by cutting canals. In this way he greatly increased the area of cultivation in Sind, which is entirely dependent on the waters of the Indus.
On attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel he was appointed to the command of the 25th native infantry stationed at Delhi. Shortly afterwards he was appointed to the command of a brigade sent to annex and subjugate the kingdom of Oudh. He was made one of the five commissioners appointed to govern the country, and placed in charge of Fyzabad, the eastern division. When the great mutiny broke out in 1857, Goldney ‘appreciated more than anyone else the significance of the outbreak at Meerut’ on 10 May (Kaye, Hist. of the Sepoy War). He saw that the extension of the mutiny to Oudh was only a matter of time, and applied to Sir Henry Lawrence for a small number of European troops. The request was not granted, and Goldney removed from his residence at Sultanpoor to Fyzabad, (in his own words) ‘the most important and most dangerous position.’ Here he began to store provisions and to fortify a walled place, and to organise, as far as possible, the pensioned sepoys and the friendly zemindars of the district. Goldney's personal influence with his native troops delayed open mutiny; but when, on 8 June, the mutineers from Azimgarh approached within a march of Fyzabad, the sepoys rose and seized the public treasure. On the following morning they allowed their officers to leave in four boats. At the same time one of the chief zemindars of the district, Rajah Maun Singh, sent a strong force to protect Goldney and convey him to a place of safety; but, as the officer in charge of the escort was forbidden to rescue anyone else, Goldney declined the offer, and proceeded with the other officers down the river Gograh. The two foremost boats proceeded as far as Begumjee, a distance of thirty miles, when they were fired on by another body of mutineers. Goldney ordered the boats to be pulled to an island in the river, and directed his officers to cross to the other side and escape across the country. He himself declined to leave the island, and either remained under fire till he fell, or was seized by the mutineers and shot.
Goldney married, in 1833, Mary Louisa, eldest daughter of Colonel Holbrow. His wife and three of his children left Fyzabad before the outbreak. Two sons and three daughters in all survived him.[Information from the Rev. A. Goldney; Gubbins's Account of the Mutinies in Oudh; Kaye's Sepoy War; Malleson's Indian Mutiny; Dodwell and Miles's Indian Army List.]