During the summer of 1842, Emir Nasrullah of Bukhara, in what is now Uzbekistan, beheaded Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Stoddart and Captain Arthur Conolly, two British officers sent to his kingdom on a diplomatic mission. Reports of the officers’ deaths caused an uproar across Britain, and raised questions about the extent to which Britons abroad were entitled to government protection. Historians have generally examined the officers’ deaths exclusively in the context of the Great Game (the nineteenth century Anglo-Russian rivalry over Central Asia) without addressing the furor the crisis caused in England. By focusing too narrowly on the relevance of this crisis to the Anglo-Russian relations, scholars have overlooked the way Britons of the 1840s interpreted the crisis. This thesis argues that in order to understand the Stoddart and Conolly crisis fully, historians must also consider the British response to it, both in the press and in the form of a popular campaign. Seen in this light, the Stoddart and Conolly crisis is significant not merely as an event in the history of the Great Game, but also as an incident which raised lasting questions about the extent of the government’s responsibility to and for its agents.


Pettinato, Johnathan



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2016 Sarah E. Kendrick