This is an account from 1863, which is NOT factually correct, but justifies a couple of important things !!
The LANCET is one of the most notable and early scientific journals from the era of 1800's which was used to document advances in medical research throughout the world.
However, it can be seen from the picture attached here (click on it to expand), that there was an article that was published describing Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar and the holy Sarovar (pool).
The description is very disturbing to any Sikh or a person of faith in the Sikh religion. In fact, it is also very FACTUALLY INCORRECT, because it claimed that Maharaja Ranjit Singh established Harmandir Sahib in 1813 or so (50 years mentioned). We have enough resources and highly credible ones (utmost respect to Gurbani), to state that the 4th Guru, Sri Guru Ramdas ji Maharaj, constructed Harmandir Sahib and the Sarovar, way before in 1500's.
However, it re-establishes the fact that the Amritsar "Sarovar" was highly respected across undivided Punjab (if not the whole India) about its legacy stories to treat leprosy. As a Sikh, we have great Sakhis (religious accounts) about this, but it is quite unfulfilling to hear, a false and half-an-account of the Britishers from the East India Company. It was wrongly stated that Maharaja Ranjit Singh called all the beggers & Lepers to contribute, or even that, they were used as "Menials" to create an establishment.
But an interesting new information is about the allowance of a land and Rs.80 a month, that was paid by the British Government to keep the Lepers in Amrtisar, while making sure that it is NOT used for running the Harmandir Sahib services. This is quite strange and left us wondering about how that money was allocated, by whom, to whom, and for how long.
Therefore, I urge all readers to work on this piece of information with me, and to also SHARE this blog with Sikh historians, so that more information can be dug out from the British Archives.
It is the 2nd page, right bottom corner text: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673600634657
Feel Free to request the PDF, if you are unable to access it.
Please feel free to contact me for any advices or corrections.
Always open to Collaborations.