Captain Arthur Conolly

Arthur Conolly was the man who actually coined the term 'Great Game' and yet would become one of its victims as he sought to create a confederation to resist Russian expansion after the British had been evicted unceremoniously from Kabul. He had been trying to reconcile the three quarelling khanates of Khiva, Bokhara and Khokand and prepare them to unite to resist Russian expansion in the area. The emir heard of his exploits and invited him to Bokhara which fitted Conolly's plans. Unbeknownst to Conolly, the Emir was hostile to his plans and did not trust the fact that he had so recently been received by two of the Emir's avowed enemies. He was lured to Bokhara under the pretence of being able to release Charles Stoddart but was promptly arrested on his arrival. The fate of both men was looking bleak. The emir was emboldened in his hostile treatment once he heard of the defeat and massacre of the British in their retreat from Kabul. They were both executed by beheading in public. The Emir wanted it clear that he did not wish his lands to become pawns in the Great Game.

He wrote Journey to the North of India through Russia, Persia and Afghanistan

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by Stephen Luscombe