[These materials on the case of Lt. Kennedy were adapted by GPL, with permission of the author, from the latter's course website, which is no longer available online.]

Lt. R.C. Kennedy to Major Taylor, 2nd Light Cavalry

Commanding 2nd Light Cavalry
Camp Neemuch,
May 21st, 1860.


In reply to your letter of the 17th inst., and accompaniments, I have the honor to state in reply to No. 633 from the Acting Adjudant General of the Army to your address and with reference to the Consul's letter dated Damascus 26th December 1859, that I deny in toto having given expressions to anyone against the English Government or the rulers of India. Mr. Brant the Consul, states in his letter that he heard nothing himself, and merely makes this accusation against my loyalty to Her Most Gracious Majesty from hearsay.

His statement of my taking in the Bombay Times is incorrect, as I have never subscribed to that journal.

As to my having embraced the Mahomedan faith it is not true, and my chief object when residing at Damascus being to perfect myself in the native language, I adopted the costume of the country and gave out, I was a Mussulman, thereby enabling me the more easily to be admitted into the society of the inhabitants, that I believe has been done before by others in Her Majesty's Service without remark or censure.

Many Officers previous to me have visited Oriental countries, and whilst there adopted the costume and conformed to the religion, manners and customs of the inhabitants; the last instance, I believe on record, was that of Captain Burton of the 18th Bombay Native Infantry, who not only acted as I have done, but actually performed the pilgrimage to Mukkha and Mudineh, and necessarily adopted its native costume, and which I have heard he continued to do when at Bombay.

I would beg leave to this opportunity of observing that I am unaware by what authority I am deprived of my Troop and suspended from Regimental duty, thereby causing me to suffer greatly in a pecuniary point, as well as depriving me of the Interpretership of the Regiment to which I am entitled, as having taken the trouble to acquire a knowledge of Oriental languages.--

I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient Servant,

(Signed) R.C. Kennedy, Lieutenant.
2nd Light Cavalry.

Last modified 8 January 2024