John Nicholson (East India Company officer)

John Nicholson (East India Company Officer)

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John Nicholson (East India Company officer)

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Brigadier-General John Nicholson (11 December 1822 – 23 September 1857) was a Victorian era military officer known for his role in British India. A charismatic and authoritarian figure, Nicholson created a legend for himself as a political officer under Henry Lawrence in the frontier provinces of the British Empire in India. He was instrumental in the settlement of the North-West Frontier and a played a legendary part in the Indian Mutiny.

Family & Education

Nicholson was born in Lisburn, Ireland, UK the eldest son of Dr Alexander Jaffray Nicholson (who died when J.N. was eight) and Clara Hogg. He was privately educated in Delgany and later attended the Royal School Dungannon.

Early career

Nicholson's uncle obtained a cadetship for him in the Bengal Infantry of the British East India Company. He obtained his commission as Ensign on 24 February 1839 and landed at Calcutta in July the same year, from where he joined the 41st Native Infantry at Benares, being transferred 6 months later in December to the 27th Native Infantry at Ferozepore. He served in the First Anglo-Afghan War, during which he was taken prisoner by the Afghans and held for some time.

First Anglo-Sikh War

Involved in the First Anglo-Sikh War as a junior officer, he was taken under the wing of Henry Montgomery Lawrence along with several other similarly-aged officers such as Herbert Edwardes, James Abbott, Neville Chamberlain, Frederick Mackeson, Patrick Alexander Vans Agnew, William Hodson, Reynell...
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