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VOL. I. 


[The right of Translation is reserved, ~[ 



The compilation of this work was undertaken 
at the request of the University of Calcutta, to assist 
the studies of those who were desirous of competing 
for its honours. The author has been encouraged 
to publish an edition in this country on the kind 
assurance of friends, that it may also be found useful 
by those who are in search of a brief and compen- 
dious narrative of the progress of the British empire 
in India. So far as historical truth can be discovered 
he is prepared to vouch for the accuracy of the facts 
detailed in it, and he is not without a hope that 
his efforts to present an impartial and trustworthy 
opinion on the various transactions which have been 
the subject and the sport of party-feeling, may be 
found not altogether unsuccessful. 

January 1st, 1867. 

For the information of the English reader, it is 
requisite to intimate that a crore of rupees is a million 
sterling ; a lac of rupees, 10,000. ; a gold mohur, 32s. ; 
a pagoda, 8s. ; and a rupee, 2s. ; also that a maun is 
equivalent to 82 Ibs., and a seer to 2 Ibs. 






Boundaries and divisions of India 1 

Hindostan and the Deccan .... .... .... .... .... 1 

Chronology of the Hindoos ~. 2 

Early history of the Hindoos .. 2 

Ten divisions and ten languages 4 

The Vedus 5 

Jlunoo .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 5 

The solar and the lunar race 6 

Earau 6 

The great war celebrated in the Muhabharut .., 7 

The battle of Kooroo-kshetru .... 8 

Influence of Ramu's expedition and the great war 9 

The Takshuk invasion 9 

Expedition of Darius .... 10 

Eeligion of Boodh, spread of Boodhism 11 

Expedition of Alexander the Great .... .... .... .... 12 

H is progress and return ... It 

His great projects and death !<* 

Kundu, Chundra-goopta .... .... .... .... .... .... 15 

'The Mugudu kingdom 16 

The Ugnikools 17 

Expulsion of the Boodhists .... 18 

Cave temnles of India 19 

Vikramadityu ... 19 

The birth of Jesus Christ 20 

The Andras . 20 


Date. Page 

Early history of the Deccau , .... 21 

The Pandyas and the Cholas 21 

Kerula, Telingana, Orissa, and Maharaatru ... 22 

Rajpoots of Chittore 23 

Mahomed 24 

Early Mahomedan invasions 25 

War between the Mahomedans and Chittore 26 

The Cunouj Brahmins in Bengal 26 



Movements in Khorasan and Cabul 27 

976 Subuktugeen .... -. 28 

Invasion of Jeypal repelled 28 

997 Death of Subuktugeen .... 29 

Mahmood mounts the throne of Ghuzni 29 

1001 His first expedition to India 30 

1004 Second expedition 30 

1005 Third expedition .... 30 

1008 Fourth expedition; Hindoo confederacy defeated 31 

Capture of Nugarcote ... .... .... .... .... .... 31 

1011 Sixth expedition; Thanesur 31 

1017 Ninth expedition ; capture of Cunouj 32 

1024 Twelfth expedition ; plunder of Somnath 33 

1030 Death of Mahmood .... 34 

His character 35 

1030 1040 Musaood; his conflict with the Seljuka 36 

1040 1118 Succession of seven monarchs 37 

1118 Byram ; his quarrel with Ghore 38 

1152 The House of Gliuzni retires to India under Khusro .... .... 39 

1186 The House of Ghuzni extinguished in the reign of Khusro 

Malik 39 

Antecedents of the House of Ghore 39 

1152 Alla-ood-deea gives up the city of Ghuzni to plunder ... .... 40 

1157 Gheias-ood-deen mounts the throne, and associates his brother 
Shahab-ood-deen (Mahomed of Ghore,) with him in the 

government ... .... .... .... .... .... .... 40 

1191 State of the Hindoo princes 41 

Bhoje raja ... 4-2 

Mahomed Ghore defeated by the Hindoos .. 43 

1193 He conquers Delhi and Ajmere .. .... .... .... .... 44 

1194 Conquest of Cunouj ; emigration of the Rathores .... .... 45 

1203 Conquest of Behar and Bengal ... ... 45 

1206 Death of Mahomed Ghory ; extent of his territories; he utterly 

demolishes the Hindoo power in Hindostan .. .... ... 46 

1206 Kootub-ood-deen establishes an independent Mahomedan 

sovereignty at Delhi 47 

1211 Altumsh, the slave of Kootub, ascends the throne 48 

1219 Conquests o; the Moguls under Jenghis Khan .... 48 


Date. Page 

1236 Death of Altnmsh ~ ~. ~. .... 50 

Sultana Rezia on the throne ; her abilities, weakness, and death 50 

1246 Nazir-ood-deen sovereign ; Bulbun vizier 50 

1266 Bulbun succeeds to the throne ; his virtuous reign 51 

1279 Expedition against Bengal .... ... .... .... .... 52 

1288 Kei-kobad's atrocities bring the dynasty to an end 53 

1288 Feroze Ghiljie establishes a new dynasty - ; ;3 

1294 Alla-ood-deen's invasion of the Deccaa .. 53 

1295 He assassinates his father and mounts the throne .... .... 54 

1297 Expedition to Guzerat 55 

1303 Capture of Chittore 5 

1305 1306 Mogul invasions of India 56 

1306 Renewed expedition to the Deccan ... 57 

1310 Farther invasion of the Deccan; extinction of the Hindoo 

dynasty of Belial .. ... 57 

1311 Kafoor carries the Mogul arms to the extremity of the Deccan, 

and returns laden with booty ... ... 58 

1316 Mobarik succeeds to the throne, is assassinated, and Ghazee 

Toghluk extinguishes the dynasty 59 


OP THE MOGULS, 1321 1526. 

1321 Ghazee Toghluk 60 

1323 Conquest of Telingana, and capture of Warungole 60 

1325 A cce sion of Mahomed Toghluk; his wild character .... .... 61 

He attempts to conquer China and fails .... .... .... 61 

His tyrauny and exactions .... .... .... .... .... 62 

1338 He attempts to remove the capital to Dowlutabad 62 

1340 Revolt of the provinces 63 

1344 A new Hindoo dynasty established in Telingana 63 

Hindoo kingdom established at Beejuynugur .... .... .... 63 

1347 General rebellion in the Deccan 64 

135; Death of Mahomed Toghluk 64 

Feroze Toghluk ; his public works .... .... .... .... 64 

1394 General anarchy and dissolution of the monarchy .... .... 65 

1395 1400 Four independent kingdoms 65 

1398 Invasion of Timur 66 

He plunders Delhi, and retires beyond the Indus 07 

1414 Khi/Jr Khan Syud, founds a new dynasty .... .... .... 68 

1450 The Syud dynasty extinguished by Beloli Lodi 68 

Rise of the Lodi family ... .... .... .... .... .... 69 

1478 Jounpore reannexed to the throne of Delhi .... .... .... 70 

1488 Secundur Lodi, his bigotry and intolerance ... 70 

1517 Ibrahim Lodi succeeds to the throne; general revolt of the 

provinces .... ... .. .... 71 

1401 Sultan Dilawur founds the independent kingdom of Malwa .... 71 

1396 Mo/.ufler Shah becomes independent in Guzerat 72 

1435-HS2 Reign of Mahtnood Khan Ghiljie in Malwa 72 


Date. Paore 

1456 Alliance between Malwa and Guzerat for the conquest of 

Chittore 73 

1482 Seraglio of Gheias-ood-deen of Malwa 73 

1459151 1 Reign of the great Mahomed Shah of Guzerat 74 

1512 Mahmood the Second of Malwa .. 75 

Grandeur of Rana Sunga of Chittore 76 

1526 Extinction of the kingdom of Malwa 77 

1349 Hussun Guneu, first Bahminy king 77 

1358 Conflict of Mahomed Bahminy with Beejuynugar 78 

13971435 Reigns of Feroze and Ahmed Shah 79 

1435 A lla-ood-deen's wars with the Hindoos 80 

1463 Mahomed Shah Bahminy ^ 81 

1481 His great minister, Mahmood Gawan. executed by his orders ... 82 

1482 The Bahminy kingdom crumbles away, and five states formed 

out of it 83 

Rise of the Portuguese power 84 

1497 Vasco de Gama conducts the first expedition to India .... 85 

1499 Second voyage under Cabral .... .... .... .... .... 86 

1502 Vasco de Gaina's second voyage .... 87 

1508 Almeyda's naval actions 88 

15071515 Albuquerque .... _ 89 


Early career of Baber 91 

1519 1526 His five expeditions to India 92 

1526 Baber enters Delhi 93 

State of India on Baber's accession 93 

1527 Defeat of Rana Sunga 94 

1529 Baber attacks Chunderee 95 

1530 His death and character ^. 95 

Humayoon succeeds to the throne 96 

1533 He overruns Guzerat .... .... .... .... .... .... 97 

1537 Tragic death of Bahadoor Shah of Guzerat 97 

Origin of Shere Khan Afghan ... 98 

1539 He defeats Humayoon ... 98 

1540 Humayoon flies across the Indus .... 99 

1542 Birth of Akbar 99 

1540 1545 Illustrious reign of Shere Shah; his death 100 

1545 1554 His two successors; the crown lost to the family .... 101 

1543 Humayoon retreats to Candahar and Persia 102 

1555 He recrosses the Indus, and regains the throne of Delhi .... 103 

1556 His death 103 

Accession of Akbar 103 

Defeat and death of Hemu 104 

1560 Arrogance and fall of Byram 104 

Revolt of Akbar's generals 106 

1564 Heroism of Doorgawuttee, a Hindoo princess 107 

1566 Revolt of Akbar's brother 107 

1567 Complete subjugation of the disaffected generals 107 


Date. Page 

Matrimonial alliances with the royal Eajpoot families .... 108 

1568 Capture of Chittore 108 

Singular mode in which it is commemorated 109 

1572 Conquest of Guzerat 109 

1550 Orissa conquered by the Affghans of Bengal .... .... .... 110 

1576 Conquest of Bengal by Akbar Ill 

1577 Revolt of the Mogul Officers in Bengal 112 

1560 Destruction of the city of Gour 113 

1587 Conquest of Cashmere 113 

Attempt to curb the Khyberees 114 

1591 1594 Conquest of Sinde and Guzerat 114 

History of the Deccan in the 16th century ; the five kingdoms 

of Beder, Berar, Golconda, Beejapore, and Ahmednugur .... 115 

Rise and growing importance of the Mahrattas 115 

1565 Hindoo kingdom of Beejuynugur extinguished at the battle of 

Tellicotta 116 

Portuguese during the 16th century 117 

The great Beejapore gun 117 

1570 Combined attack on Goa ... 118 

1594 Complete pacification and settlement of Hindostan by Akbar 119 

1595 Akbar's views on the Deccan ... .... 119 

He enters the state of Ahmednugur ; the city defended by 

Chand Sultana 120 

1596 She cedes Berar and makes peace 121 

] 597 Doubtful battle of Soneput ^. 121 

1599 Akbar goes in person to the Deccse 121 

1600 Capture of Ahmednugur 121 

1601 Candesh absorbed 121 

1605 Akbar's death and character 122 

His religious views and toleration; his revenue reforms and 

military system, and his Court .... .... .... .... 124 

Division of the empire into soubahs ^. 124 


1605 Jehangeer ascends the throne .... .... 125 

1606 Rebellion of Khusro 126 

1611 Marriage of Jehangeer with Noor Jehan 127 

Talents of Malik Amber ; he defeats Jehangeer 128 

1614 Subjugation of Oodypoore .... .... .... .... .... 129 

1615 Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to Delhi 129 

1617 Second expedition against Malik Amber 130 

1621 Death of Khusro 131 

Empress alienated from Shah Jehan 131 

1623 Mohabet sent against him 131 

1625 Empress's hatred of Mohabet 132 

1626 Mohabet seizes the emperor .... 133 

Empress fights him, and is defeated 133 

She is reconciled to him j release of Jehangeer 134 

1627 His death and character ... 134 

Date. Pa~* 

Acesssion of Shah Jehan .... .... lt>4 

His extravagant expenditure 135 

Condition of the kingdoms of Beejapore, Ahmednugur, and 

Golconda 135 

16291637 Revolt of Jehan Lodi ; war kindled in the Deccan .... 136 

1637 The kingdom of Ahmednugur extinguished 137 

The emperor's accommodation with Beejapore 137 

Golconda submits to pay tribute 137 

Portuguese power in Bengal .... .... .... .... .... 138 

1632 Capture of Hooghly and extinction of the Portuguese power.... 138 

1637 Ali Merdan betrays Candahar to the emperor 139 

His canal 139 

1644 1647 Military operations beyond the Indus 139 

Services of the Rajpoots in the Hindoo Kosh 140 

1648 Persians retake Candahar ; three unsuccessful attempts to re- 

cover it .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... 140 

1655 Aurungxebe viceroy of the Deccan; renews the war with its 

princes 141 

Career and talents of Meer Joomla 142 

1656 Aurungzebe attacks Golconda ; plunders and burns Hyderabad; 

exacts a large tribute ... 143 

1657 Unprovoked attack on Beejapore; he is obliged suddenly to 

proceed to Delhi 143 

The four sons of Shah Jehan ... 144 

Aurungzebe moves with Morad towards Delhi .... .... 144 

Soojah takes the field, and is defeated by Dara 145 

1658 Dara defeated by Aurungzebe 145 

Aurungzebe deposes Shah Jehan and ascends the throne of 

Delhi 145 

Character of Shah Jehan 145 

His peacock throne .... .... .... .... .... .... 14d 


ADRDNGZEBE, 1658 1707. 

1658 Aurungzebe gets rid of his three brothers .... 147 

1662 His dangerous illness ; intrigues at the Court .... 149 

Meer Joomla's disastrous expedition to Assam, 149 

Rise and progress of the Mahrattas .... .... .... .... 150 

The Mahrattas trained to war during the contests between 

Beejapore and Ahmednugur 151 

1594 Birth of Shahjee 151 

1620 He succeeds to the jaygeer of Poona 152 

1634 He endeavours to create a king of Ahmednugur 152 

1627 Birth of Sevajee ; his early habits 152 

1646 Begins his career by capturing Torna 153 

1649 His constant aggressions ; his father seized as a hostage .... 153 
1657 His correspondence with Anrungzebe 154 

He plunders the Mogul territories 155 

1659 Auruugzebe cedes the Coucan to him 155 

King of Beejapore sends Afzul Khan to subdue him 155 


Date. Page 

Afzul Khan treacherously murdered 156 

1662 The extent of Sevajee's possessions 157 

Shaista Khan sent by Aurungzebe against Sevajee 157 

1664 Sevajee plunders Surat 158 

Great commercial wealth of that port .... 358 

Death and possessions of Shahjee 159 

Maritime exploits of Sevajee 159 

1665 He submits to Aurungzebe ^ .... 160 

Origin" of the chout ~ 160 

1666 Sevajee goes to Delhi ; treated with hauteur 161 

His civil and military institutions 162 

16661670 Prosperous state of the Mogul empire 162 

Aurungzebe breaks with Sevajee, who proceeds to levy cliout, 1<33 

1671 Jinjeerah made over to the Moguls 163 

1673 Aurungzebe baffled in the Khyber .... 164 

1674 Sevajee assumes royalty with great pomp 167 

1676 His expedition to the Carnatic .... .... .... .... .... 167 

1676 Insurrection of the Sutnaramees 164 

Iti77 Aurungzebe persecutes the Hindoos ; imposes the jezzia .... 165 

1678 Revolt of the Rajpoots in consequence 166 

1679 Aurungzebe attacks Beejapore 169 

1680 Death and character of Sevajee 169 

He is succeeded by Sambajee 170 

1683 Aurungzebe's grand expedition to the Deccan; his splendid 

camp ... 172 

1684 He invades the Concan and is repulsed 172 

1686 Invasion of Beejapore, and plunder of Hyderabad 173 

Conquest and extinction of the kingdom of Beejapore .... 174 

1687 Conquest and extinction of Golconda 174 

Confusion in the Deccan 175 

1689 Sambajee made prisoner and put to death .... 176 

Sahoo becomes king ; Eam-raja regent, retires to Ginjee .... 177 

1692 Extensive Mahratta depredations 177 

Comparison of the Mahratta and the Mogul armies 178 

1690 1698 Siege of Ginjee 178 

1698 Eam-raja returns and makes Satara his capital 179 

1700 New military plans of Aurungzebe 179 

1702 1707 His increasing embarrassments 180 

1706 He makes overtures to the Mahrattas 181 

He returns to Ahmednugur pursued by them 181 

1707 Death of Aurungzebe ; remarks on his reign .... 181 



1707 Bahadoor Shah ascends the throne 182 

1708 Dissensions among the Mahrattas 183 

Daood Khan grants the chout to the Mahrattas .... .... 184 

Origin and progress of the Sikhs 184 

1712 Bahadoor Shah marches against them ; his death 185 

Jehander Shah's brief reign .... 185 


Date. Paga 

1713 Ferokshere ascends the throne of Delhi 185 

Origin and progress of Nizam-ool-moolk 186 

1714 Balajee Vishwunath becomes Peshwa .... .... .... .... 187 

Hussein Ali, viceroy of the Deccan ., 187 

Death of Daood Khan .... 187 

1717 Hussein grants the chout by a convention to the Mahrattas .... 188 
Remarks on this event 188 

1718 Ferokshere put to death 189 

1719 Accession of Mahomed Shah 189 

1720 Revolt of Nizam-ool-moolk 190 

Hussein Ali assassinated ... .... .... .... .... .... 190 

Mahomed Shah abolishes the jezzia 190 

1721 Origin of the royal family of "Oude .... 191 

1723 Nkarn-ool-moolk, independent viceroy of the Deccan .... 191 

1720 Death of Balajee Vishwumth 192 

Bajee Rao, Peshwa .... .... .... .... .... .... 192 

Affairs of Guzerat 193 

1729 Bnjee Rao obtains the chout of Guzerat 193 

1730 The two Mahratta royal families 194 

1730 Origin of the Guickwar Family 195 

Origin of the family of Sindia .... .... .... .... .... 195 

Origin of the family of Holkar 195 

1731 Convention between the Nizam and Bajee Rao 195 

1736 Malwa ceded to Bajee Rao .... 196 

Bajee Rao's exorbitant demands; he marches to the gates of 

Delhi 196 

1737 The Nizam defeated by Bajee Rao at Bhopal 197 

Nadir Shah's antecedents and career 198 

He invades Afghanistan and India 199 

1739 He orders the massacre at Delhi 200 

He plunders Delhi and the provinces .... .... .... .... 200 

State of India after his invasion 201 


The English in India before 1600 202 

1599 Formation of the East India Company 203 

Their first adventures .. 204 

Power of the Portuguese at this period 204 

1613 Firmans granted by the Eiaperor 205 

1615 Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe 205 

1620 First settlement in Benaal 206 

1636 Privileges obtained by Mr. Boughton 2U6 

1639 First establishment of the factory at Madras 207 

1658 Cromwell grants a new charter to the Company .... .... 207 

1661 Charter granted by Charles the Second 208 

1662 Acquisition of Bombay 208 

1668 Introduction of Tea into England 208 

1664 French East India Company established 209 

1667 The Dutch begin to trade with Bengal 209 

1667 The Danes establish a factory in Bengal , 209 


Date. Page 

1682 Bengal erected by the East India Company into a Presidency 210 

Disturbance of the English trade in Beu.iral ... 210 

1685 The Company go to war with the Great Mogul 211 

1688 Bengal abandoned by the Company 212 

1690 Eeconciliation with the Emperor 213 

1690 August 24th, Charnock returns; foundation of Calcutta .... 214 

1690 Ambition of the Court of Directors quenched for 50 years .... 215 

1695 Fortification of Calcutta 215 

1698 Rival East India Company; mutual injury 216 

Depredation of Captain Kidd, the pirate 218 

1700 Embassy of Sir W. Norris to the Emperor 2)8 

1702 Union of the two Companies .... 219 

Constant contests between the Soobadar of Bengal and the 

Company's agents from 1700 to 1756 219 

Moorshed Koolee Khan, viceroy of the three soubahs .... 221 

1715 Embassy from Calcutta to Delhi 221 

Mr. Hamilton disinterestedly obtains great privileges for the 

Company 222 

1715 Financial system of Moorshed Koolee Khan 223 

1725 His death 223 

Succeeded by Soojah-ood-deen 223 

The Ostend East India Company 224 

1739 Death of Soojah ood-deen ' 224 

' 1740 Ali verdy Khan seizes the government 224 

1739 Disputes between Bajee Rao Peshwa and Rughoojee Bhonslay 225 
Rughoojee's expedition to the Carnatic 225 

1740 Death of Bajee Rao 226 

1740 Balajee Bajee Rao, Peshwa 226 

1741 Invasion of Bengal by the Berar Mahrattas 227 

1742 The Mahratta Ditch of Calcutta .... 227 

1744 Continued Mahratta depredations ' 228 

1745 Rebellion of Mustapha, the general of Ali verdy 228 

1751 Ali verdy purchases peace by ceding Orissa to the Mahrattas, 

and agreeing to pay chant .... ... .... 229 

1710 Daood Khan appoints Sadutoola governor of the Carnatic .... 229 

1732 On his death Dost Ali succeeds to the post 229 

1736 Dost Ali defeated and killed by the Mahrattas 230 

1741 Chunda Sahib sent prisoner to Satara .... 230 

1740 The Nizam moves into the Carnatic, appoints Anwar-ood-deen 
governor of the province, who founds the family of the 

" Nabob of Arcot" 231 



1744 War between the English and the French 231 

Labourdonnais' previous career .... .. .... .... .... 232 

1746 Arrives off the coast with a large armament .... .... .... 232 

Dupleix's early career 233 

Labonrdonnais captures Madras.... 233 

Fate of Labourdonnais on his return to France ... . 234 


Date. Page 

Defeat of the Nabob's army by a handful of French troops .... 235 

1747 Dupleix besieges Fort St. David; the Nabob changes sides and 

joins him ... .. ... 236 

1748 Fruitless siege of Pondicherry by Admiral Boscawen 237 

Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle terminates the war 238 

1749 Expedition to Devi-cotta '^38 

'J he ambitious designs of Dupleix 239 

1748 Death of Nizam-ool-moolk 240 

Nazir Jung sets up as K izam 240 

He defeats Anwar ood-deen, who is killed in battle 240 

1749 The English first espouse the cnuse of his son Mahomed AH ... 241 

Mozuffer Jung and Clurnda Sahib besiege Tanjore 242 

They are defeated by Nazir Jung 242 

Dupleix's skilful manoeuvres 243 

Nazir Jung attacked and killed by the French 243 

1750 Mozuffer made Nizam by them 244 

He appoints Dupleix governor of all the di.-tii'jts south of the 

Kistna .. .. .... 244 

1751 Mo/uffer Jung killed by the Nabob of Kurnool 246 

Salabut Jung made Nizam by Bussy .... 245 

1744 Olive enters the civil service of ihe Company 246 

1751 He captures Arcot 246 

Memorable sie<re of that pluce 247 

1752 French defeated by Major Lawrence 248 

Mysore Regent, the ally of Mahomed AH 24? 

French defeated at, Bahoor by Major Lawrence .... .... 24^ 

Mysore Kegent. and Morari Rao go over to the French .... 249 

1754 Godeheu arrives from Europe, supersedes Dupleix, and termi- 
nates the war by a treaty .... 250 

Fate of Dupleix 251 

1748 Death of Saboo 251 

1750 Balajee Rao, Peshwa, attains supreme power 252 

1752 Progress .f Bussy 253 

1753 He obtains the Northern Sircars, and acquires great power ... 254 

1754 Predatory expedition of the Mahrattas 255 

17551756 Movements of Salabut Jung 255 

1756 Intrigues against Bussy baffled by his genius 256 

1757 Bussy at the summit of success 257 

1758 Bussy's career cut short by Lally 258 

Lally's antecedents ; his arrival at Pondicherry 259 

He attacks Tanjore without success 260 

1759 He besieges Madras, and is discomfited 261 

1760 Coote defeats Lally at Wandewash i!61 

1761 He captures Pondicherry.... .... .... .... .... .... 262 

Fate of Lally .... 263 




1747 Ahmed Shah Abdalee , 264 

His first invasion of India .... 265 


Date. Page 

1748 Death of Mahomed Shah, accession of his son Ahmed Shah to 

the throne of Delhi 265 

The Nabob of Oude, pushed by the Bohillas, calls in the Mah- 

rattas 265 

1751 The Abdalee's second irruption 266 

1753 Nabob of Oude becomes virtually independent 266 

1754 Ghazee-ood-deen deposes and blinds the emperor 266 

1756 The Abdalee's third invasion ; he sacks Delhi .... 267 

The pirate Conajee Angria on the Malabar coast .... .... 268 

Ciive captures his fort of Gheriah .... 269 

Death of Ali verdy 269 

Seraja Dowlah succeeds him as Nabob 269 

Disputes between him and the governor of Calcutta 270 

Condition of Fort William 271 

Siege and capture of Calcutta 272 

The tragedy of the Black Hole 273 

Expedition from Madras to Calcutta 274 

1757 Olive recaptures Calcutta and takes Hooghly 275 

Seraja Dowlah marches to Calcutta and is defeated .... .. 276 

Olive takes Chandernagore .... 277 

Confederacy against Seraja Dowlah 277 

Clive joins the Confederacy .... 278 

He circumvents Omichund .... .... .... .... .... 279 

Battle of Plassy 279 

Seraja Dowlah flies to Rajmahal 280 

Meer Jaffier made Nabob by Clive .... .^ 280 

His large donations to the English .... 281 

Fate of Seraja Dowlah .... 281 

1758 Clive quells three insurrections 282 

Colonel Forde sent to the Coast 283 

1759 Ali Gohur invades Behar, and submits to Clive 284 

Dutch armament in Bengal defeated 285 

1760 Clive returns to England .... 286 

1753 Ahmed Shah A'jdalee returns to Persia 286 

1757 His son Timur expelled from the Punjab ; the Mahrattas plant 

their standard on the Indus 285 

Sudaseeb Rao Bhao, Mahratta generalissimo 286 

Peshwa wrests large territories from Salabut Jung 287 

1759 Power of the Mahrattas at its summit 287 

Fourth invasion of the ^Abdalee 287 

Murder of the Emperor Alumgir 288 

Vast Mahratta army advances against the Abdalee, under 

Sudaseeb Eao Bhao 289 

Sudaseeb rejects the advice of Sooruj Mull; the Jauts with- 
draw from him 290 

1761, January 7, Decisive battle of Paniput; death of Sudaseeb; 

total defeat of the Mahrattaa 291 

Pe-shwa dies of a broken heart _ 292 



BENGAL, 17611772. 

Date. Page 

1761 Condition of Bengal after the battle of Paniput 292 

Mr. Vansittart, Governor of Bengal 293 

Three members of Council summarily dismissed by the Court 

of Directors 293 

1760 Shahzada invades Behar, and is defeated by Colonel Calliaud 294 

Captain Knox defeats the Nabob of Purneah 295 

Death of Meerun 295 

1761 Meer JafEer deposed, and Meer Cassim made Nabob of Moor- 

shedabad 296 

Meer Cassim's vigorous administration; he organizes an 

efficient army 297 

The Emperor's force in Behar dispersed by Colonel Carnac .... 298 

1762 Meer Cassim despoils Ramnarayun, Governor of Patna .... 299 

The transit duties ; disorders arising from them .... .... 300 

Mr. Vansittart's convention regarding thorn with Meer Cassim 300 

1763 It is rejected by the Council in Calcutta; Meer Cassim 

abolishes all duties .... .... .... .... .... .... 301 

Mr. Ellis seizes the city of Patna ; is overpowered and made 

prisoner ... .... .... ... .... .... .... .... 302 

The Council in Calcutta make war on Meer Cassim .... .... 302 

Meer JafEer made Nabob a second time 302 

Meer Cassim's troops defeated at Cutwa and at Ghereah. .... 302 

He causes his European prisoners to be massacred ., 303 

Meer Cassim's troopa defeated at Oodwanulla ; he flies from 

Behar 303 

1764 The Nabob Vizier invades Behar .... .... 304 

First Sepoy mutiny quelled by Major Munro 304 

The Nabob Vizier defeated at Buxar .... 305 

Pecuniary arrangement with Meer Jaffier 306 

1765 Death of Meer Jaffier .... 307 

He is succeeded by his son, Nujum-ood-dowlah 307 

Lord Olive's treatment by the Court of Directors iu England ; 

they are constrained to appoint him Governor 308 

Condition of Bengal 309 

dive's arrangements with the Emperor, the Nabob of Moor- 

shedabad, and the Vizier 310 

He restores Oude to the Vizier 310 

He obtains the Dewanny of the three provinces for the Com- 
pany, 12th of August 311 

1766 Mutiny of the European officers quelled by Clive 312 

He establishes the Society for Inland Trade 314 

1767 He returns to England ; is subject to the most unworthy 

treatment 315 

1774 He puts a period to his existence 316 

17671772 Wretched condition of Bengal 316 



Date. Page 

1761 State of affairs at Madras and in the Carnatic 317 

1763 Mahomed All instigates the Madras Government to attack 

Tanjore 318 

The Peace of Paris, and its anomalies 318 

Nizam Ali, having previously deposed his brother, Salabut 

Jung, puts him to death .... ... .... .... .... 318 

1765 Clive induces the Emperor to make Mahomed Ali independent 

of Hyderabad 319 

He acquires the Northern Sirkars for the Company 319 

1766 Treaty with the Nizam, 12th November 819 

Eise of Hyder Ali 320 

1755 He lays the foundation of his fortunes 321 

1757 Peshwa besieges Seringapatam, which is relieved by Hyder .... 321 

1760 Hyder assists Lally ; gains an advantage over the English .... 322 

1761 His extreme danger; recovers his position, and usurps the 

throne 323 

' 1763 He conquers Bednore, and constructs a navy 324 

1761 Accession of Madhoo Rao as Peshwa 324 

1763 Nizam Ali invades the Mahratta dominions, and is defeated 

byRaghoba 325 

1765 Hyder defeated by the Mahrattas with great loss S25 

1766 Confederacy of the Nizam and the Mahrattas against Hyder; 

the Madras Government drawn into it 326 

1767 The Mahrattas constrain Hyder to make peace .... .... 327 

The Nizam deserts his English allies, and joins Hyder .... 327 

Nizam and Hyder defeated at Changama 328 

Expedition from Bengal against the Nizam .... .... .... 328 

1768 He hastens to make peace ; treaty of the 23rd of February .... 329 
Hyder proceeds to the western coast to repel an English 

invasion 330 

Campaign of 1768 unfavourable to the English 331 

1769 Hyder dictates peace under the walls of Madras 332 

17701771 War between the Mahrattas and Hyder 332 

1771 He is completely defeated at Milgota 333 

He demands aid of the English in accordance with the treaty, 

but in vain '. 334 

Sir John Lindsay sent as the King's representative to Ma- 
homed Ali 334 

1769 Mahrattas again invade Hindostan 335 

1771 The Emperor throws himself on them and is installed at 

Delhi 3?,5 

1772 The Mahrattas invade Rohilcund ; the bond of forty lacs .... 236 
The Mahrattas and the Emperor fall out; the Emperor obliged 

to submit 3?6 

1773 The Alahrattas enter Rohilcund for the invasion of Oude; 

their plans disconcerted ; they retreat to their own country 337 



1770 The singular anomaly of the Company's Government 337 

Its vicious constitution 338 

1771 Interference of Parliament 339 

Financial difficulties of the Company 339 

1773 The Regulating Act; appointment of Governor-General; 

establishment of the Supreme Court 340 


1773 "Warren Hasting's antecedents 341 

The condition of Bengal 342 

1772 Warren Hastings appointed Governor of Bengal ; his reforms 343 

1773 The first Rohilla war 343 

1774 Destruction of the Rohillas 344 

Remarks on this transaction .... .... .... .... .... 345 

Arrival of the judges of the Supreme Court and the new 

Councillors 346 

The old Government abolished ; the new Government installed 347 

775 Francis and his colleagues interfere in the affairs of Oude .... 347 

Death of the old Vizier ; treaty with his successor 348 

The begums claim the treasure and the jaygeers ; Mr. Bris- 

tow's arrangement 348 

Accusations multiplied against Hastings 349 

Charge brought by Nundu koomar 349 

Charge by his son and Munny begum 350 

Nundu koomar executed on a charge of forgery brought by a 

native 351 

Remarks on this transaction 851 

The Court of Directors condemn Hastings 352 

1776 He tenders his resignation through his agent, and retracts it 353 

1777 General Clavering's violent proceedings in the Council, and 

his death .... 353 

1780 Francis fights a duel with Hastings, is wounded, and retires 

from the service 354 

1777 New settlement of the land revenue of Bengal 354 

1772 Death of Madhoo Rao Peshwa 355 

Resources of the Mahratta empire at this period 355 

1773 Narayun Rao Peshwa assassinated 356 

1773 Raghoba becomes Peshwa ,.. 356 

1774 Revolution at Poona ; the widow of Narayun Rao delivered of 

a son ; Raghoba excluded 357 

17551772 Affairs of Guzerat 357 

1775 Raghoba negotiates with the Bombay government 358 

Treaty concluded 358 

Bombay government send a force to his aid ; battle of Arras 359 

Mahrattas driven back to the Nerbudda 360 

Treaty with Raghoba disallowed at Calcutta 860 

1776 Colonel Upton sent to Poona, who concludes the Treaty of 

Poorunder; remarks on it .... 361 

Treaty of Poorunder disapproved in England 362 


Date. Page 

1777 A Trench envoy received at Poona 363 

1778 Revolution in favour of Raghoba at Poona 363 

Counter revolution against him .. 364 

The Bombay government send ac expedition to Poona to rein- 
state Eaghoba , 365 

1779 Its disastrous termination 366 

Disgraceful convention of Wurgaum 366 

1778 General Goddard's expedition across India 367 

War between France and England 368 

1779 General Goddard reaches Surat safely 369 

Convention of Wurgaum disallowed at Bomoay and Calcutta 369 

Eaghoba sent by Sindia to Hindostan, and escapes 3G9 

General Goddard's success in Guzerat 370 

1780 Capture of Gwalior by Major Popham 371 

1781 Sindia's force defeated 373 

1779 Confederacy against the English 373 

1780 General Goddard captures Bassein 374 

Hartley gallantly repulses the Mahrattas 374 

1781 Failure of General Goddard's expedition to Poona 375 

1779 Eoghoojee Bhonslay sends an expedition to Bengal which is 

neutralized by Hastings 375 

.1781 Hastings sends an expedition under Colonel Pearce down the 

coast to Madras 375 

Colonel Pearce treated with kindness by Roghoojee Bhonslay 376 

Treaty with Sindia 376 

1782 Treaty of Salbye with the Mahrattas, negotiated by Sindia .... 377 
Nana Furnuvese hesitates to ratify it, till the death of Hyder 378 


MYSORE WAB. 17711784. 

1771 Mahomed All induces the Madras government to attack Tan- 

jore ; treaty made by his son 378 

1773 Second attack on Tanjore on indefensible grounds 379 

The country delivered over to Mahomed Ali .". 379 

1774 Court of Directors depose the Governor of Madras, and order 

the country to be restored 380 

1775 Lord Pigot Governor of Madras 380 

1776 Deposed by his Council 381 

1777 Restored by the Court of Directors, and dies 381 

1778 Sir Thomas Eumbold, Governor of Madras 382 

His conduct about the Guntoor Sircar inflames the Nizam, who 

forms the grand confederacy 383 

1781 Sir Thomas Rumbold dismissed by the Court of Directors .... 384 

1773 Progress of Hyder Ali 354 

1776 The Nizam and the Peshwa attack him and are foiled .... 385 

He negotiates with Madras without success 386 

1778 Capture of Pondicherry 386 

1779 Capture of Mahe incenses Hyder 387 

He joins the grand confederacy 337 


Date. Page 

1779 He terminates his disputes with Poona 387 

1780 His great preparations for war _ 383 

He bursts on the Carnatic - 389 

Stupefaction -of the Madras Council 389 

Toial destruction of Colonel Baillie's detachment 390 

Hast ings's energetic measures 391 

He suspends the Governor of Madras 392 

Sir Eyre Coote goes to Madras and takes the command of the 

army .... .... .... ... .... .... 392 

1781 Gallant defence of Wandewash by Lt. Flint 398 

Battle of Porto Novo ~ 393 

Arrival of the Bengal force ~ 394 

Battle of Pollilore 394 

Battle of Solingur .... 395 

Lord Macartney Governor of Madras .... 395 

Capture of Negapatam 396 

1782 Capture of Trincomalee ~. 396 

The revenues of the Carnatic taken over by the English ..... 396 

Defeat of Colonel Brathwaite by Tippoo 397 

Despondent feelings of Hyder . 398 

Eelieved by the arrival of a French expedition 398 

Naval actions between the English and French 399 

Indecisive action before Arnee 399 

French capture Trincomalee 400 

Admiral Hughes sails for Bombay .... .... .... .... 400 

Great storm at Madras .... 401 

Famine at Madras .... 401 

Operations on the Malabar Coast 401 

Tippoo sent to oppose an English force there 402 

Death of Hyder, December 7th 402 

Tippoo suddenly breaks up his camp and hastens back ; as- 
sumes the royal authority ... .... .... .... .... 403 

1783 Culpable supineness of General Stnart at Madras ... s .... 403 

Tippoo returns to the Malabar Coast 403 

Arrival of Bussy with a French force 404 

General Stuart proceeds against him to 'Cuddalore 404 

Naval action between the French and English 405 

Operations before Cuddalore 405 

Peace between France and England .... .... .... .... 405 

General Stuart arrested and sent home M 405 

Expedition from Bombay to Bednore , .... 406 

Tippoo reconquers Bednore 406 

He undertakes the siege of Mangnlore 406 

Extraordinary defence of it ; it surrenders 407 

Progress of Colonel Fullerton's army towards Seriniyapatam ... 408 

Madras enters into negotiations with Tippoo ; he cajoles them 408 
Colonel Fullerton stopped in the tide of victory by the Madras 

Council 409 

1784 Disreputable treaty of Mangalore 410 




ENGLAND. 17741784. 
Date. Page 

1774 Encroachments of the Supreme Court 411 

1775 Dismay of the Zemindars 411 

1775 1779 The Court interferes with the collections, and paralyzes 

the whole system of government 412 

1779 The Cossijura case 412 

Hastings resists the violence of the Supreme Court 413 

1780 Sir Elijah Impey made chief Judge of the Sudder Court .... 414 

Remarks on this arrangement 414 

Extraordinary aid demanded of Cheyt Sing .... 415 

1781 He is fined fifty lacs by Hastings ; he escapes across the river 416 

Hastings's danger ; he escapes to Chunar 417 

Capture of Bidgegur, and distribution of the booty .... .... 417 

1782 The begums of Oude; their spoliation 418 

1780 Proceedings against Fyzoolla Khan 420 

1783 Court of Directors censure Hastings ; he resigns 421 

1785 His reception in England; his impeachment 422 

.1786 Charges against him 423 

The three principal charges 424 

1788 Commencement of his trial 425 

1795 His acquittal 427 

Remarks on his public character and administration 427 

1781 1782 Parliament appoint a Select and a Secret Committee.... 428 

1782 Motion for the recall of Hastings 429 

1783 Fox's India Bill 430 

1784 Defeated in the House of Lords 432 

Pitt's India Bill 432 

Comparison of the two Bills 434 

The Nabob of Arcot's debts, their origin ; their nefarious cha- 
racter 435 

1785 Mr. Dundas orders them to be paid off without inquiry .... 436 
1785 Court of Directors remonstrate against this injustice ; Burke's 

celebrated speech 436 

Sequel of the Nabob of Arcot's debts 437 

The two dark spots in the Indian Administration 438 

The revenues of the Carnatic ordered from home to be re- 
stored; opposition of Lord Macarteny .. 438 




INDIA is bounded on the north and the east by 

Boundaries and . 

divisions of the Himalaya mountains, on the west by the 
Indus, and on the south by the sea. Its length 
from Cashmere to Cape Comorin is 1,900 miles ; its breadth from 
Kurrachee to Sudiya, in Assam, 1,500 miles. The superficial 
contents are 1,287,000 miles, and the population, under British 
and native rule, is now estimated at 200,000,000. It is 
crossed from east to west by a chain of mountains called the 
Viiidya, at the base of which flows the Nerbudda. The 
country to the north of this river is generally designated 
Hindostan, and that to the south of it the Deccan. Hindostan 
is composed of the basin of the Indus on one side, and of the 
Ganges on the other, with the great sandy desert on the 
west, and an elevated tract now called, from its position, 
Central India. The Deccan has on its northern boundary a 
chain of mountains running parallel with the Vindya, to the 
south of which stretches a table land of triangular form, ter- 
minating at Cape Comorin, with the western Ghauts, on the 
western coast, and the eastern Ghauts, of minor altitude, on 
the opposite coast. Between the Ghauts and the sea lies a 
narrow belt of land which runs round the whole peninsula. 



Chronology of Of the ancient history or chronology of the 
the Hindoos. Hindoos there are no credible memorials. The 
history was compiled by poets, who drew on their imagination 
for their facts, and the chronology was computed by astro* 
nomers, who have made the successive ages of the world to cor- 
respond with the conjunctions of the heavenly bodies. The 
age of the world is thus divided into four periods : the sutyu 
yogu, extending to 1,728,000, and the second, or treta yogu, to 
1,296,000 years ; the third, or the dwapur yogu, comprises 
864,000 years ; and the fourth, or kulee yogu, is predicted to 
last 432,000 years. A Jculpa, or a day of Brumlia, is com- 
posed of a thousand such periods, or 4,320,000,000 years. 
Extravagant as these calculations may appear, they are out- 
done by the Burmese, who affirm that the lives of the ancient 
inhabitants extended to a period equal to the sum of every 
drop of rain which falls on the surface of the globe in three 
years. The dates given for the first three ages must, there- 
fore, be rejected as altogether imaginary, while the com- 
mencement of the fourth, or present age, which corresponds, 
to a certain degree, with the authentic eras of other nations, 
may be received as generally correct. 

Early history of India is designated by native writers Bharut- 
the Hindoos, yursu, from king Bharut, who is said to have 
reigned over the whole country. That he did not enjoy 
universal monarchy in India is certain, though he was doubt- 
less one of the earliest and most renowned of its rulers ; but 
this fact loses all historical value when we are told in the 
shasters that he reigned ten thousand years, and, on his 
death, was transformed into a deer. Thus do we plod our 
way through darkness and mystery ; at every step fact is 
ronfounded with fable, and all our researches end only in 
conjecture. The original settlers are identified with the 
various tribes of Bheels, Coles, Gonds, Meenas, and Chooars, 
still living in a state almost of nature, in the forests of the 
Soane, the Nerbudda, and the Muhanuddee, and in the hills 
of Surgooja and Chota Nagpore. Their languages have no 


affinity with the Sanscrit, and their religion differs from Hin- 
dooism. In those fastnesses, amidst all the revolutions which 
have convulsed India, they have continued to maintain, un- 
changed, their original simplicity of habits, creed, and speech. 
They were apparently driven from the plains by fresh colonies 
of emigrants ; and these were in their turn conquered by the 
Hindoos, who brought their religion and language with them 
from regions beyond the Indus, and, having reduced the inha- 
bitants to a servile condition, branded them with the name of 
soodras. Of the four Hindoo castes, three are designated the 
twice born, which seems to indicate that they all belonged to 
the conquering race, although the term is now applied exclu- 
sively to brahmins. In the Institutes of Munoo reference is 
also made to cities governed by soodras, which the twice born 
were forbidden to enter, and the allusion evidently applies to 
' soodra chiefs, who continued to maintain their independence 
after the Hindoo invasion. 

The Hindoos who originally crossed the Indus took pos- 
session of a small tract of land, 100 miles north-west of Delhi, 
about 65 miles by 30, which was considered the residence of 
gods and holy sages, while the brahmins appear to have sub- 
sequently occupied the country north of the Jumna and the 
Ganges, stretching to the confines of north Behar. The 
India of the Vedus, of Munoo, and the earliest writers was 
exclusively confined to the region north of the Nerbudda, and 
comprised but a small portion even of that limited quarter. 
It was in the north that the four places of greatest sanctity 
were situated during the early ages, though the Deccan now 
contains many places of distinguished merit. The north was 
also the seat of the solar and lunar races, the scene of chival- 
rous adventures, and the abode of all those who are celebrated 
in the legends, the mythology, and the philosophy of the 
Hindoos. Even in the polished age in which the Ramayun 
and the Muhabharut were composed, the south was the land 
of fable, the dwelling of bears and monkeys, and it was not 
till a very late period that these apes and goblins and mon- 

B 2 


stcrs were transformed into orthodox Hindoos. It must, 
therefore, be distinctly borne in mind that the revolutions 
described in the sacred books of the Hindoos belong to Hin- 
dostan, and not to the Deccan. 

Some of the Poorans describe India as having 

The ten T -i i i i 

divisions and been formerly divided into ten kingdoms ; of 
these five were situated in Hindostan, Surus- 
wuttee, comprising the Punjab; Cunouj, embracing Delhi, 
Agra, andOude; Tirhoot, from the Coosee to the Gunduk; 
Gour, or Bengal, with a portion of Behar ; and Guzerat, which 
evidently included Candesh, and part of Malwa. Five are 
assigned to the Deccan, Muharastru, or the Mahratta coun- 
try on the western coast, and Orissa on the eastern, coast ; 
Telingana, lying between the Godavery and the Kistna; 
Dravira, or the Tamul country, stretching down to Cape 
Comorin ; and Carnata on the western face of the peninsula. 
In correspondence with these divisions, which are compara- 
tively modern, ten languages, of similar names, are enume- 
rated as being current in them. Of these, the language of 
the five divisions of Hindostan, as well as the Mahratta and 
the Orissa are branches of the Sanscrit, modified by the mix- 
ture of local and foreign words, and new inflections. The 
Teloogoo spoken in Telingana as well as the Tamul and 
the Carnata belong, however, to a distinct family, and the 
only Sanscrit words found in them are those which have 
reference to religious observances. The brahmins, crossing 
the Indus, brought their own language from the west, where 
it was in constant use as the ancient inscriptions in Persia 
testify and diffused it through the north of India in connec- 
tion with their religion. It thus became gradually mixed up 
with the dialects of the different provinces, which at length 
lost their original distinctions. The word Sanscrit signifies 
refined, and that language bears every indication of having 
received the improvements of the literati for many centuries, 
till it became the most exquisite medium of communication in 
the world. 


Tlle worsni P taught in the Vedus was the 
earliest form of the Hindoo religion, and was in- 
troduced into Hindostan by a body of priests, who crossed the 
Indus either in the train of a conqueror or on a mission of 
proselytism, possibly 1,400 years before our era. The Vedus are 
a collection of hymns, prayers, and precepts, composed by 
different authors, at different periods, and were delivered down 
orally till the time of Vyasu, the bastard son of a fisher- 
woman, though, on his father's side, of royal lineage, who 
employed four brahmins to collect and arrange them. Their 
leading doctrine is the unity of God, and the various divinities, 
the personification of the elements, whom the devotee is re- 
quired to invoke, are manifestations of the Supreme Being. 
The gods are mentioned, it is true, but without any pre- 
eminence, and never as objects of adoration ; and there is no 
trace of the legends of Krishnu and Sivu to be found in 
them. In that early age, indeed, there appears to have been 
no images, and no visible types of worship. Though the 
customs and habits of the Hindoos are said to be immutable, 
yet, strange to say, in a country which still regards the Vedus 
with profound veneration as the great fountain of religion, 
the ritual they prescribe has become so obsolete that the man 
who ventured to regulate his devotions by it would be con- 
sidered in the light of an infidel. 

Next in order comes the work called the 
" Institutes of Munoo," a code of rules and pre- 
cepts, religious and secular, collected together about 900 
years before our area, and attributed to Munoo. It inculcates 
the worship of the elements, of the heavenly bodies, and of in- 
ferior deities ; but none of the objects of modern worship are 
alluded to. Brumha is mentioned more than once, but the 
names of Vishnoo and Sivu do not occur. Idols are noticed, 
and one passage enjoins that they shall be respected, but the 
adoration of them is discountenanced. The caste of brahmins is 
in this code placed on an equality with the gods, and endowed 
with extraordinary privileges ; but they were at the same time 


allowed to eat flesh, and even beef, when it had been offered 
in sacrifice which was a daily practice and to intermarry 
with soodras. The worship enjoined in Munoo appears to 
have been succeeded by that of Brumha, which was almost, 
if not altogether, spiritual. Then came the deification of 
heroes, with which the popular system of idolatry may be said 
to have commenced. Perhaps the creed of Boodh and of the 
Jains may have been next in succession ; and there is every 
probability that it was not till the boodhists had been expelled 
from the soil of India that the Hindoo pantheon was com- 
pleted to its full complement of three hundred and thirty-three 
millions of gods ; and this was apparently effected under the 
authority of the Poorans, of which the oldest is only a 
thousand years old, and the latest about four hundred and 

The soiar and The Hindoo annals describe two races of kings 
lunar race. as h avm g reigned in India, that is, in Hindostan, 
from the earliest age, the race of the sun and the race of the 
moon. Ikswakoo, the progenitor of the former, founded the 
kingdom of Oude, and Boodh, the ancestor of the latter, made 
Priyag, the modern Allahabad, the seat of his government. 
We are, moreover, told that there was constant war between 
the brahmins, the champions of the solar race, and the military 
tribe of the kshetriyus, the adherents of the lunar race, until 
Purusramu, a great solar prince, arose and extinguished the 
warriors. They are said to have recovered their strength, 
and chased king Sagur up into the Himalayu. Sagur was 
evidently the sea-king of the Bay of Bengal, who engaged 
largely in maritime expeditions, and extended his power, and 
with it probably his religion, to the islands of the eastern 
archipelago, in one of which, Bali, he is Btill worshipped as 
the god of the ocean. 

The Hindoo writers assign fifty'Seven reigns to 

the period between Ikswakoo and Ramu, the 

great hero and ornament of the solar race, whose deeds have 

been immortalized in the great epic of Valmeeki. He was 


married at an early age to Seeta, the daughter of the king 
of Mithila, another branch of the solar line, whose capital lay 
within a hundred miles of Oude. He passed many years with 
her in religious retirement in the forest till she was carried off 
by Ravunu, the king of Ceylon. Karnu assembled a large 
army, and having in his progress secured the assistance of the 
king of the monkeys, marched southward through the great 
forest of Dunduku, which terminated on the banks of the 
Cavery. That forest is described as the abode of holy sages 
and devotees, and of apes and bears. Crossing the Cavery, 
Kamu entered on Junustan, or the abode of men the con- 
tinental territory of Ravunu. The expedition was crowned 
with success, and Ramu recovered his wife ; but having in- 
advertently caused the death of his brother, he cast himself 
into a river, and as the Hindoo writers affirm, was reunited to 
the deity. The expedition of Ramu was the most chivalrous 
exploit of that age, more especially when we consider the 
very limited resources of the kingdom of Oude, with two in- 
dependent sovereigns one at Mithila, and the other at 
Benares, within a hundred and fifty miles of his capital. He 
is, perhaps, the earliest of deified heroes, as his age is 
generally fixed at 1,200 years before our era, though on 
calculations by no means satisfactory. 
The The next great event in the heroic age of India 

Muhabharut. was tlle g^^ war? ce i e b rat ed in another Hindoo 
epic, the Muhabharut. The main object of this poem is to 
commemorate the exploits of Krishnu, another deified hero, 
who took a prominent part in the contest between the Pandoos 
and the Kooroos, two branches of the lunar line, for the 
possession of Hustinapore, situated in the neighbourhood of 
Delhi. Yoodistheer, the chief of the Pandoos, was resolved, 
it is said, to celebrate the sacrifice of the horse, which implied 
the possession of supreme dominion. The Kooroos burned 
with indignation at this arrogant assumption ; and their chief, 
unable to prevent it, had recourse to artifice. He engaged 
Yoodistheer in deep play, and led him on to stake his wife and 


his kingdom, both of which were lost at one throw of the 
dice, and he was obliged to go into exile for twelve years. 
Krishnu, a scion of the royal family at Muttra, on the Ganges, 
had already signalized himself in a conflict with the king of 
Mugudu, in south Behar, and now, in conjunction with 
Buluram, accompanied Yoodistheer and his four brothers in 
their exile. The heroes wandered through the various provinces 
of India, performing notable feats of valour, and leaving some 
memorial of then: romantic adventures in every direction. At 
the close of the period of exile Yoodistheer returned with his 
companions to the banks of the Jumna, and demanded the 
restoration of his kingdom. His opponent, Dooryudhun, re- 
fused his claim, and declared that he should not have as much 
land as could be covered by the point of a needle. There 
remained, therefore, no alternative but to decide the question 
by an appeal to arms. 

The Battle of I n this great battle fought on the plain, where, 
Kooroo-kshetru. fa a f ter t j mej ^ e i ast decisive battle between the 
Hindoos and the Mahomedans took place, all the tribes in 
northern India were ranged on one side or the other. Chiefs 
from Culinga, the sea-coast of Orissa, and even the Yuvuns 
the name generally given to the residents beyond the Indus 
are said to have taken a share in it. It lasted eighteen days, 
and the carnage on both sides was prodigious. Dooryudhun 
was at length slain, and victory declared for the Pandoos ; 
but when Yoodistheer beheld the field covered with the 
bodies of friends and foes, all descended from a common 
ancestor, he became disgusted with the world and determined 
to withdraw from it. He entered Hustinapore and performed 
the funeral obsequies of his rival ; after which he placed the 
grandson of his brother Urjoon on the throne, and retired 
to Dwarka, in Guzerat, in company with Krishnu, who had 
founded a kingdom there. That hero was soon after slain 
"at the fountain of the lotus," by one of the wild foresters 
of the tribe of the Bheels. Yoodistheer proceeded through 
Sinde towards the north, and is supposed to have perished in 


the snowy range. According to the popular notion, he 
ascended to heaven, which was by no means incredible, as 
the paradise of more than one of the Hindoo deities is placed 
on the inaccessible peaks of the Himalaya. 
influence of These two events, the expedition of Ramu, and 
these two the battle of Kooroo-kshetru, are the most impor- 
tant in the annals of the lunar and tne solar race. 
The genius of poetry has fixed the admiration of a hundred 
generations on them, and supplied a rich mine of images from 
age to age. The author of the Kamayun was Valmeeki, whom 
the gratitude of his fellow countrymen has crowned with 
the wreath of immortality, by ranking him among those who 
never die. He is supposed to have flourished in the second 
century before our era. The same period has also been 
assigned to the composer of the Muhabharut. Indeed, from 
the terms in which he describes the Yuvun Usoor, the 
demon or giant who engaged in combat with Krishnu, it 
has been conjectured that the poem must have been written 
after the invasion of Alexander the Great. The author 
was Vyasu, who has been confounded, through ignorance 
or flattery, with the great man who collected the Vedus, 
which is chronologically impossible. It is, moreover said, that 
a Vyasu appears in every age, though it is certain that no 
second Vyasu has since appeared among the poets of India. 
Krishnu was deified after his death. His adventures, and 
more particularly his flirtations with the milkmaidSj have ren- 
dered him the most popular of gods among an amorous people ; 
but the sects founded on the worship of Ramu, Krishnu, and 
other deities, are among the more modern innovations of 
Hindooism. Buluram, the brother of Krishnu, is said to 
have founded a kingdom, of which Palibothra, the capital, 
became the wonder of India, though even the site of it is 
now matter of conjecture. 

The Takshut The annals of Hindostan for several centuries 
invasion. a ft er fo e asgume( j period of the great war, are 
involved hi impenetrable obscurity, but it would appear that 


about six centuries before our era, a new swarm from the 
teeming hive of Scythia poured across the Indus upon the 
plains of India. Another swarm, is supposed to have moved 
down at the same time on the north of Europe, and settled in 
Scandinavia, the cradle of the English nation. This simul- 
taneous emigration to the east and to the west, may assist in 
explaining that similarity of manners and customs which has 
been discovered on many points between the Scandinavians 
and the natives of India. These invaders were denominated 
the Takshuk, or serpent race, because the serpent was said to 
be their national emblem. Under their chief, Suhesnag, they 
probably overran the northern provinces of Hindostan, and 
became gradually incorporated with the tribes which had 
preceded them. They flourished for ten generations, and 
appear to have professed the Boodhist creed. Of this 
dynasty was Nundu, or Muhanundu, who was seated on the 
throne when Alexander the Great appeared on the banks of 
the Sutlege, and was denominated by the Grecian historians, 
the king of the Prasii, or of the east. 

me expedition The first expedition to India from the west of 
which we have anything like an authentic record, 
is that of Darius, the king of Persia, who ascended the throne 
of Cyrus, in the year 518 before our era, and extended his 
conquests from the sea of Greece to the confines of India. 
His admiral, Scylax, was then directed to construct a flotilla 
on the higher Indus, and proceed down that stream to the 
ocean. The report which he ' made of the wealth and mag- 
nifiVvace of the country through which he passed, determined 
Darius to attempt the conquest of it. He crossed the Indus 
with a large army, and succeeded in annexing the countries 
bordering on that river to his great empire. The precise 
extent of his conquest cannot be determined, but there is 
every reason to conclude that his Indian province must have 
been of no inconsiderable magnitude, since it was esteemed 
more valuable than any other satrapy, and is said to have 
furnished one-third the revenues of the Persian empire. This 


tribute, moieover, is said to have been paid in gold, while 
that from the other divisions west of the Indus was delivered 
in silver. 

Religion of It was about the period of the Persian invasion, 

, that Goutumu gave a fixed character to the insti- 
stutions of Boodhism. It has been supposed that all the fifty- 
six tribes of the lunar race professed that creed, and Goutumu 
was reckoned the seventh Boodh. He was born at Kupilu, 
but the seat of the religion was planted at Gya, in the 
kingdom of Mugudu, or Behar, which the Chinese and Indo- 
Chinese nations consider the most sacred spot in the world. 
The Boodhists rejected the whole of the brahminical system 
of gods and goddesses, repudiated the doctrine of caste, and 
adhered exclusively to the spiritual worship of the Vedus. 
The priesthood amongst them was not hereditary, but formed 
a distinct community, recruited from the secular ranks, bound 
to observe a vow of celibacy, and to renounce the pleasures 
of sense. The hereditary priesthood of the brahmins, on the 
contrary, admitted no accessions from the lay classes, and 
considered marriage as indispensable as investiture with the 
thread, in the hope of giving birth to a son who should perform 
the funeral rites of his father, and secure him a seat in 
paradise. The death of Goutumu, is fixed by the general 
concurrence of authorities, in the year 550 before our era. 
spread of The religion of Boodh made prodigious progress 

Boodhism. after ttie (jga^ of Goutumu, while the creed of the 
brahmins was confined to the small kingdom of Cunouj. Two 
centuries later, in the reign of Asoca, Boodhism was triumphant 
through Hindostan. His edicts are still to be seen inscribed 
on the celebrated column at Delhi, on a similar column in 
Guzerat, and on a third in Cuttack, as well as in numerous 
caves and rocks. Boodhism was introduced into Ceylon about 
the end of the third century before our era. Shortly after, it 
spread through Tibet and Tartary, and was carried into China 
about the year 65. In Hindostan the brahmins exhibited the 
most rancorous hostility to their powerful rivals ; and we 


learn from the report of a Chinese pilgrim to the shrine at 
Gya, in the fifth century, that the strength of Boodhism had 
materially declined. But it appears subsequently to have re- 
covered some of its pristine vigour, and was not finally 
expelled from India till the tenth century ; though we have 
the assurance that it was the prevailing creed at Benares a 
centuiy later, and was predominant in Guzerat as late as the 
twelfth century. At the present time its votaries throughout 
Asia are more numerous than those of any other religion. 
Alexander the The empire of Persia was broken up by Alexander 
Great. ^he Great, the Grecian king of Macedon, and the 

greatest military genius of antiquity. After the defeat and death 
of Darius, the last Persian monarch of his dynasty, the troops 
of Alexander were engaged for three years in the most arduous 
military enterprises, and suffered incredible hardships in their 
winter campaigns, amidst mountains covered with snow. As 
a recompense for these toils their commander held out to them 
the spoils of India ; and, having subjugated Cabul, arrived on 
the banks of the Indus, in the year 331 before our era, at the 
age of thirty. Hindostan was ill-prepared to resist the legions 
of this mighty conqueror. It was split up into a number of 
independent states, oftener at war than at peace with each 
other; and a Greek historian affirms that there were no 
fewer than a hundred and eighteen different kingdoms in the 
north. Alexander, after having sent envoys to demand the 
submission of the princes in the Punjab, crossed the Indus, like 
all previous invaders, at Attok, and entered India with 120,000 
troops. Of the principal chiefs of the country, Abissares, 
whose territory lay in the mountainous region, probably of 
Cashmere, cent his brother with rich presents to conciliate the 
invader. Taxiles, who ruled the country between the Indus 
and the Hydaspes, or Jelum, entertained him with great hos- 
pitality at his capital, Taxila, where Alexander left his 
invalids. But Porus, whose dominions stretched eastward in 
the direction of Hustinapore, or Delhi, resolved to offer the 
most determined resistance to the progress of Alexander, and 


assembled his whole force on the banks of the Jelum. The 
river, swelled by the periodical rams, and at the tune a mile 
broad, rolled impetuously between the two camps. Porus 
planted a long line of elephants on the margin of the stream, 
and presented an impenetrable line of defence to his opponent. 
But Alexander discovered an island in the river, about ten 
miles above the camp, and took advantage of a dark and tem- 
pestuous night to cross over to it with 11,000 men, who were 
landed on the opposite bank before dawn. The main body of 
the Grecian army was in the meantime drawn up as usual, facing 
the Indian camp, and Porus was thus led to believe that the 
iroops who had crossed consisted only of a small brigade. 
But he was speedily undeceived by the rout of the force 
which he had sent to meet it, and the death of his son who 
was in command, and being now certain that it was Alexander 
himself who had crossed the river, prepared to encounter him 
with 4,000 horse and 30,000 foot, all of the kshetriyu tribe ; 
warriors by birth and profession. Alexander's small army was 
composed of veterans, strangers to defeat, and, under such 
a leader, invincible. The field was obstinately contested, 
but nothing could withstand the charge of Alexander's 
cavalry. Porus continued to maintain the conflict long after 
the great body of his troops had deserted him, but was at 
length persuaded to yield Alexander, who always honoured 
valour in an enemy, received him with distinguished courtesy; 
and not only restored his kingdom, but made considerable 
additions to it. Porus did not abuse this confidence, but re- 
mained ever after faithful to his generous victor, 
progress and After tne defeat of Porus, Alexander crossed the 
mum of Chenab and the Ravee, and came in contact with 
a body of Cathaians, probably Tartar immigrants, 
who maintained an obstinate struggle, which is said to have 
terminated only after the slaughter of 16,000, and the cap- 
tivity of 70,000 of their number. On reaching the banks of 
the Sutlege Alexander heard of the great Gangetic kingdom 
of Mugudu, the king of which, it was reported, could bring 


30,000 cavalry, and 600,000 foot, and 9,000 elephants into the 
field. He determined to march down and plant his standard 
on the battlements of its magnificent capital, Palibothra, which 
was nine miles in length ; and his troops received orders to 
prepare for crossing the river. But they were worn out with 
the fatigue and wounds of eight campaigns ; their spirits had 
moreover been depressed by the deluge of rain to which they 
had been exposed during the monsoon, and they refused to 
accompany him any farther. He employed menace and flattery 
by turns, but nothing could shake their resolution, and he was 
reluctantly obliged to make the Sutlege the limit of his ex- 
pedition, and return to the Indus, where he caused a large 
flotilla to be constructed, and sailed down the stream with all 
the pomp of a conqueror. 

The views of Alexander were gigantic and 
projects and beneficial beyond those of every other ruler 
in ancient times. He had erected the port of 
Alexandria on the Mediterranean shore of Egypt, and at the 
end of twenty-two centuries it still continues to attest the 
grandeur of his plans. He now resolved to establish a com- 
mercial intercourse between the coast of India, the rivers of 
Persia and the Red Sea. For this object he built a city and 
harbour at the estuary of the Indus, and fitted out a large 
fleet, which he entrusted to his admiral, Nearchus, with orders 
to proceed to the mouth of the Euphrates. The voyage, though 
tedious, proved successful, and was justly considered one of 
the greatest naval achievements of the age. In the midst of 
these great projects Alexander caught a jungle fever in the 
marshes of Babylon, and died two years after his return from 
India, at the early age of thirty-two. He was fully bent on 
returning to it; and there can be little doubt that if he 
had succeeded in crossing the Sutlege he would have made a 
complete conquest of the country, and given it the benefit of 
European civilization. His name does not appear in any 
Hindoo work a proof of the lamentable imperfection of the 
records which have come down to us; but his fame was widely 


diffused through India by the Mahomedan conquerors, among 
whom he was esteemed a magnificent hero. It was carried 
far and wide on the ocean with the stream of their conquests; 
and the distant islander of Java and Sumatra may be found 
singing the deeds of the mighty " Iscander." 
Nundu, At the period of Alexander's invasion, Nundu, 

Chundra-goopta. a prince of the Takshuk race, was seated on tho 
Mugudu throne at Palibothra. He was assasinated by his 
prime minister, and is said to have been succeeded by eight 
sons in succession. Their illegitimate brother, Chundra-goopta, 
the offspring of a barber's wife, was expelled from the kingdom, 
and wandered for some years through the various provinces 
of Hindostan. He was at length placed upon the throne 
through the efforts of the minister, Chanikya, who put all tho 
members of the royal family to death, and afterwards endea- 
voured to atone for the crime by penances so severe, that 
after the lapse of 2,000 years, the " remorse of Chanikya," is 
still the popular emblem of penitence. Chundra-goopta was 
a prince of extraordinary energy and talent, and, though a 
soodra, is stated in the hyperbolical language of the Poorans to 
have " brought the whole earth under one umbrella." The 
empire of Alexander the Great was, on his death, divided 
among his generals, of whom Seleucus, one of the ablest and 
most enterprising, obtained the province of Babylon, which 
comprised all the territory up to the Indus which had been 
subjugated by his master. Having determined to carry out 
his ambitious views on the east, he crossed the Indus with a 
powerful army, and was opposed by Chundra-goopta and the 
whole strength of the Mugudu empire. According to the Greek 
historians, Seleucus was completely victorious, which it is 
difficult to reconcile with the fact that in the treaty he made 
with the Indian prince, he resigned all the territory which had 
been acquired east of the Indus for an annual subsidy of fifty 
elephants, and likewise bestowed his daughter in marriage on 
him. Megasthenes was at the same time appointed his repre- 
sentative at the court of Palibothra, and it is from his reports 


that the Greek writers chiefly derived their knowledge of 

TheMugudu After a reign of twenty-four years, Chundra- 
kingdom. goopta was succeeded by his son, Mitra-goopta, 
with whom Seleucus renewed the treaty. The great kingdom 
of Mugudu maintained its pre-eminence in the valley of the 
Ganges, under a succession of royal families who appear to 
have been either soodras or boodhists, for a period of eight 
centuries from the year 350 before our era to 450 after it. 
Under their government the country is said to have attained 
the highest prosperity. A royal road extended from Pali- 
bothra to the Indus, with a small column at every stage. 
Another road stretched across the country to Broach, at that 
time the great emporium of commerce on the western 
coast. They encouraged learning with great munificence, 
and it is recorded that they endeavoured to diffuse it among 
the common people by the cultivation of the vernacular 
tongues ; and this, as it would seem, at the period when the 
Sanscrit had reached the summit of perfection in the two 
epics of the Muhabharut and the Ramaj^un. They appear also 
to have given every encouragement to trade, both domestic 
and foreign. While the silent Indus, as at present, exhibited 
no sign of commercial activity, the Ganges was covered with 
sails, and the produce of its various provinces was brought 
down to the sea-coast and conveyed across the ocean to the 
east and the west. The kingdom of Mugudu embraced what 
is designated in history the three Culingas ; that is, the 
northern section of the Coromandel coast ; the sea face of 
Bengal from Balasore to Chittagong, then the abode of men 
and not of tigers, and the coast of Arracan. Its subjects 
were thus stimulated to engage in maritime enterprise, and the 
Mugudu fleet crossed the bay of Bengal to the island of Java, 
and introduced the Hindoo religion to its inhabitants either in 
the current of conquest or of commerce. The native histo- 
rians of that island fix the year 75 before our era as the time 
when they received Hindooism from India. Many mag/iifi- 


cent monuments attest the diffusion of this religion, besides 
the fact that the language of literature and devotion in 
Java is a form of the Sanscrit. In the fourth century a 
Chinese pilgrim recorded that the island was peopled by 
Hindoos ; that in its ports he found vessels manned by 
Hindoo sailors which had sailed from the mouth of the 
Ganges to Ceylon, and from thence to Java, and were pre- 
paring to proceed on to China. A Hindoo government existed 
in Java till within the last 400 years, when it was subverted 
by the Mahomedans. Hindooism still continues to flourish in 
the neighbouring island of Bali, where the fourfold division of 
caste still survives, and widows are said still to ascend the 
funeral pile. Yet so signal has been the mutation of habits 
and opinions among the Hindoos of India, that any Hindoo 
who might visit the country to which his ancestors carried 
the institutes of his religion, and in which they exist in 
greater integrity than in India itself, would not be permitted 
to remain within the pale of the caste. 
____-_. The Hindoo annalists affirm that about twc 

The Ugnikools. 

centuries before our era, the brahmins " regene- 
rated the Ugnikools," literally the fiery generation, to fight 
their battles with the boodhists. The real origin of this race 
is lost in hopeless obscurity, and we have only a poetical 
version of their appearance, which may serve as an example 
of the mode in which historical facts have been bequeathed 
to posterity, and of the difficulty of separating them from 
allegory. Ignorance and infidelity, we are told, had spread 
over the land ; the sacred books were trampled under foot, 
and mankind had no refuge from the monstrous brood of 
boodhists. At the summit of Mount Aboo dwelt the holy 
sages who had carried their complaints to the sea of curds, 
on which the father of creation was floating on the back of a 
hydra. He commanded them to return to Mount Aboo, and 
recreate the race of the kshetriyas whom Purusramu, an 
incarnation of the deity, had exterminated. They returned 
accordingly with the four chief divinities, and a multitude of 


secondary gods. The fountain of fire was purified with water 
brought from the sacred stream of the Ganges. After the 
performance of expiatory rites, each of the four gods formed 
an image and cast it into the fountain, and there sprung up 
the four men who became the founders of Rajpoot greatness. 
They were sent out to combat the monsters, who were 
slaughtered in great numbers, but as their blood touched the 
ground fresh demons arose ; upon which, the four gods stopped 
the multiplication of the race, by drinking up their blood. 
The infidels thus became extinct; shouts of joy rent the 
skies ; ambrosial showers descended from above, and the gods 
drove about the firmament in their cars, exulting in the victory 
they had gained. 

Expulsion of This allegory of the regeneration of the Ugni- 
the boodhists tools at the fire fountain, evidently points to some 
religious conversion, or some political revolution. Of the 
four divisions into which they branched, the Prumuras be- 
came the most powerful. Their dominions extended beyond 
the Nerbudda, and comprehended all central and western 
India. The Indus formed their boundary on the west. They 
carried their arms into the Deccan, and appear, in fact, to 
have been the first to extend the Hindoo religion and power 
to the south of the Nerbudda. As brahminism did not be- 
come predominant till after many bloody conflicts with 
boodhism, it is not improbable that it was the alliance with 
the Ugnikools, which rendered the brahmins triumphant, and 
enabled them to extend their religious power from the king- 
dom of Cunouj to the southern extremities of the peninsula. 
The boodhists retreated in great numbers to Ceylon, carrying 
with them that passion for cave temples, for which they were 
distinguished. In that island they raised one of the most 
stupendous monuments of human labour in the world. Exca- 
vated by their exertions from the solid rock, we discover a 
series of temples, of which the largest is 140 feet long, 
90 wide, and 45 in height, and which contains a recumbent 
image of Boodh, 30 feet in length. The temples which the 


boodhists were constrained to relinquish were speedily occu- 
pied by the brahmins, and Vishnoo and Sivu displaced Boodh. 
Cave temples Under the brahmins, the construction of these 
cave temples was extended and improved. Those 
which they erected at Ellora, in the Deccan, exceed in magni- 
ficence anything to be seen elsewhere. In a range of hills 
which extend five miles in the form of a horse shoe, we 
discover a range of grotto temples, two and often three 
stories in height. The most remarkable of them is the 
temple of Koilas, or the palace of Muhadevu. Here 
is to be found whatever is splendid in architecture, or ex- 
quisite in sculpture. The scene is crowded with staircases, 
bridges, chapels, columns, porticoes, obelisks, and colossal 
.statues, all chiselled out of the solid rock. The sides of 
these wonderful chambers are covered with figures of the 
Hindoo gods and goddesses, and representations from the 
Kamayun and the Muhabharut. The pantheon of Ellora 
seems to have been the citadel of Hindooism when it spread 
into the Deccan. The precise age of these magnificent exca- 
vations it is impossible to fix, but it must have been at some 
period during the ten or twelve centuries which elapsed 
between the subjugation of the boodhists, and the arrival of 
the Mahomedans, in the high and palmy state of Hin- 
dooism, when the brahmins swayed the ecclesiastical sceptre 
of India without a rival or an enemy. 

vikra ad - "^6 & S e ^ Vikramadityu follows the supposed 

subjection of the boodhists. He is said to have 
been descended from one of the Ugnikool chieftains, the 
Prumura, now contracted to Puar. His reign began fifty-six 
years before our era, and the ancient city of Oojein was his 
capital. He is described as the, greatest monarch of his age, of 
which there is the most satisfactory proof in the fact that his 
era is still current throughout Hindostan. He encouraged lite- 
rature beyond all former example. He invited learned 
brahmins from every part of India, and rewarded them with 
magnificent presents, and they have repaid him by investing 

c 2 


him -with immortality. They have exhausted the resources 
of flattery in their attempt to describe the magnitude of his 
power, and have assured us, that without his permission the 
loadstone had no power over iron, or amber on the chaff of 
the field. So exemplary was his temperance, that while in the 
enjoyment of supreme power, he constantly slept on a mat, 
which, with a waterpot replenished from the spring, formed 
the whole furniture of his chamber. It is stated that while 
he extended his patronage to the worship of the gods and 
goddesses, then rising into popularity, he himself continued 
to profess the old creed, and adored the one infinite and in- 
visible God. 

The birth of Fif ty-six years after the accession of Vikruma- 
jesus Christ, dityu, Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, be- 
came incarnate in the land of Judea, and made an atonement 
for the sins of men, by offering himself as a sacrifice. On the 
third day he rose from the dead, and after giving his dis- 
ciples a commission to proclaim to mankind the glad tidings 
of salvation through his redemption, ascended to heaven. One 
of his disciples, St. Thomas, is generally supposed to have 
introduced Christianity into India, where he obtained many 
converts. The Hindoo legends present so many points of 
similarity with the facts of the New Testament, as to leave 
little doubt that the events connected with the life and death 
of the Saviour of mankind were widely disseminated through 
India, and embodied, though in a distorted form, in the 
writings of Hindoo poets and sages. 

It is about this period that we find the Andras 

The Andras. . _. 

dynasty enjoying great power in the Gangetic 
provinces, and their fame extending even to Eome. They 
were probably one of the families which successively filled the 
Mugudu throne. They appear to have gained it about twenty 
years before our era, and to have held it on till the year 436. 
The only notice of any of the monarchs of this line which has 
survived their extinction refers to Kurnu, whose fame was 
spread to the islands of the eastern archipelago, which were 


probably visited by his fleet. He still lives in the memory of 
posterity, and a man of extraordinary liberality is always 
compared to king Kurnu. The centuries which elapsed 
between the decay of the Andras and the invasion of the 
Mahomedans are filled up by the historians with barren lists of 
dynasties and kings which can be turned to no account ; and 
we turn therefore from the history of Hindostan to the annals 
of the Deccan. 

Early history of The early history of the Deccan is less obscure 
the Deccan. an( j j cgs roman tic than that of the northern division 
of India. All the traditions and records recognise in every 
province of it a period when the inhabitants did not profess 
the Hindoo religion. The brahminical writers describe them 
as mountaineers and foresters, goblins, and monsters ; but 
there is every reason to conclude that they had reached a high 
degf^e of civilization at a very early age. Ravunu, when 
attacked by Ramu, was the sovereign of a powerful and 
civilized state, which embraced not only the island of Ceylon, 
but the whole of the southern division of the peninsula ; and 
his subjects were, doubtless, far more advanced in the arts 
and literature than the invaders. A Tamul literature existed 
before the introduction of brahminism ; and some of the best 
authors in that language were of the tribe now stigmatised as 
pariars, which incontestibly proves that the pariars were the 
aborigines of the country, and a highly cultivated people, who 
were reduced to subjection and degraded by the triumphant 
brahmins. This remark applies to the group of tribes comprised 
in the ancient Telingana, Draviru and Kerulu. 
ThePandyas The most ancient kingdoms of the Deccan 
andtheChoias. appear to h ave been those of the Pandyas and the 
Cholas, established in the extreme south, where the Tamul 
language prevailed. Of the former, the seat of government, 
after having been twice removed, was fixed at Madura, where 
it was in existence in the time of Ptolemy, the great 
geographer of antiquity. In the ninth century the reigning 
family lost its consequence, but continued to linger in the 


scene of its eaily power till 1736, when the last of that royal 
line was conquered by the nabob of Arcot. The kingdom of 
Chola which some identify with Coromandel had Canchi, 
or Conjeveram, for its capital, and retained its vigour for 
many centuries, and, about the eighth century, appears to 
have extended its authority over a considerable portion of 
Carnata and Telingana. But its princes were driven back 
and confined to their former limits about the tenth century, 
and maintained a feeble existence, either as independent 
sovereigns, or as tributaries to the great Hindoo monarchy of 
Beejuynugur, till the province was subdued in the middle of 
the seventeenth century by Shahjee, the father of Sevajee, 
the founder of Mahratta greatness. 

Kcruiu and The ancient division of Kerulu included Mala- 

bar and Carnata, which are said to have been 
miraculously peopled with brahmins by their champion 
Purusramu, the renowned destroyer of the kshetriyus. Apart 
from this legend, it would appear that about the second cen- 
tury a colony of brahmins introduced themselves and their 
religion into this province, which they divided into sixty-four 
districts, and governed for a time by an ecclesiastical senate, 
over which a brahmin was chosen to preside every three 
years ; but they were subsequently subjected to the Pandya 
kingdom. About the ninth century the country was broken 
into various principalities; one of the most important of which, 
Calicut, was under the government of the Hindoo Zamorin 
when the Europeans first landed in India, under Vasco de 
Gama, in 1498. Of the history of Telingana no authentic 
records have been discovered, but it appears that about the 
eleventh century the Belial dynasty attained paramount 
power in this region. They dignified themselves with the 
title of Rajpoots, of the Yadoo branch, and at one period ex- 
tended their authority over the whole of Carnata, Malabar, and 
Telingana ; but it was extinguished by the Mahomedans in 
Onssaand 1310. The early annals- of Orissa are equally 
Maharaslra - indistinct. The authentic history of the province 


does not commence before the year 473, when the Kesari 
family obtained the throne, and held it till 1131. They were 
succeeded by the line of Gungu-bungsu, who maintained their 
power till it was subverted by the Mahomedan in 1568. Of 
the Mahratta province there are only two facts distinctly 
visible in history ; the existence, more than twenty centuries 
ago, of the great commercial mart of Tagara, so well known 
to the Romans, which has been identified with Deogur, the 
modern Dowlutabad, and was the capital of a long line of 
monarchs. The other event is the reign of Salivahun. All 
that is known of that prince, however, is that he was the son 
of a potter, that he headed a successful insurrection, de- 
throned the reigning family, and established a monarchy so 
powerful and extensive that it gave rise to an era which has 
survived him for eighteen centuries, and still continues cur- 
rentfin the Deccan. 

The Rajpoot While the GTangetic empire of the Andras was 
family of crumbling to pieces, the Rajpoot family of Chittore, 
now settled at Oodypore, was rising into notice. 
By the general suffrage of the Hindoos in the western pro- 
vinces its descent is traced from Loh, the eldest son of Ramu, 
the hero of the Rumayun, and it, therefore, claims pre- 
eminence among the Hindoo princes of India. The family 
originally migrated to the country of Surat, and fixed their 
capital at Balabhipore, in the Gulf of Cambay. The town 
was sacked about the year 524 by the son of Noshirvan the 
just, king of Persia, but the Rajpoot queen escaped the general 
destruction and took refuge in a cave, where she gave birth to 
a son, G-oha. The youth subsequently established a king- 
dom at Edur, and married the granddaughter of the Persian 
king, and of his queen, the daughter of Maurice, the Christian 
emperor of Constantinople. From Goha are lineally descended 
the rajas of Oodypore. " Thus," remarks the historian of 
Sajpootana, " we are led to the singular conclusion that the 
Hindoo sooruj, or sun, the descendant of a hundred kings, the 
undisputed possessor of the honours of Ramu, the patriarch 


of the solar race, from whom other Hindoo princes, before 
they can succeed to the throne of their fathers, must obtain 
the teluk, or sign of royalty and investiture, is in fact the 
offspring of a Christian princess." Eight princes succeeded 
Goha on the throne of Edur, the last of whom was put to 
death by his sons while hunting, but his infant son, Bappa, 
was conveyed to the fortress of Bhandere, and brought up 
among the shepherds. His mother aroused his ambition by 
revealing to him the secret of his royal birth, and he im- 
mediately proceeded to the court of Chittore, together with 
the followers he had been able to collect, and was favourably 
received by the king, but the nobles took umbrage at the 
favour shown to an unknown youth. At this juncture a 
formidable foe came down upon the country, and the chiefs 
refused to furnish their feudal contingents, but Bappa offered 
without any hesitation to lead the national troops into the 
field. That enemy was the Mahomedans, who now for the 
first time advanced into the heart of a country destined in 
after times to form one of their most magnificent empires. 
Else of Maho- Mahomed was born at Mecca, in Arabia, in the 
inedan power. vear ggg^ an( j a ^ ^ e a g e o f f or ty } announced him- 

self a prophet commissioned by God to convert the human 
race to the "true faith," by the agency of the sword. 
Having, by the force of his genius and eloquence, gained 
many proselytes in his native land, he raised an army of 
Arabs to subjugate the surrounding nations to his power and 
his creed, and commenced that career of conquest which was 
pursued by his successors with unexampled vigour and 
rapidity. Province after province, and kingdom after king- 
dom submitted to their arms, and in the brief period of half 
a century, they had subverted or shaken the political institu- 
tions of the west. From the birth of Mahoinedanism, its vota- 
ries were animated with the resolution to establish, by force 
of arms, a universal monarchy in which there should be but 
one law civil and religious, one prophet and one creed. Every 
Musulman who fell in this warfare, was promised a residence 


in paradise in the society of the black-eyed houris. It was 
not to be expected, that when the " Faithful," as they were 
termed, had conquered Africa and Spain, subverted the 
Persian empire, and looked on Europe as already their own, 
the rich provinces of India, which had been for ages the prey 
of every invader, should escape their notice. 
First Mahome- Within a f ew years after the death of Mahomed, 
dan invasion. |h e Caliph Omar founded Bussorah, at the estuary 
of the Tigris, and despatched an army into the province of 
Sinde. The invasion was repeated under his successors, but 
it was not till the days of Walid, that any successful effort 
was made to obtain a footing in the country. Between the 
years 705 and 715, he not only made an entire conquest of 
the province, but carried his victorious army to the banks of 
the^yffanges. It was the generals of this caliph who crossed 
the Straits of Gibraltar, planted the standard of the crescent 
on the soil of Europe, and subdued Spain in a single campaign. 
So lofty was the ambition which animated the early successors 
of Mahomed, that their arms were triumphant at the same 
time on the banks of the Ebro and the Ganges, and they 
aspired to the conquest both of Europe and India. Three 
years after the invasion of Walid, his general Mahomed ben 
Cossim overran the kingdom of Guzerat, and called on every 
city either to embrace the creed of the prophet, or to pay 
tribute. In case of refusal, the fighting men were put to the 
sword, and the women and children reduced to slavery, but 
the cultivators, artizans, and merchants are said to have suf- 
fered little molestation. Cossim at length advanced to 
Chittore, when the young Bappa placed himself at the head 
of the Rajpoot army, and not only completely defeated him, 
but expelled him from India. On his return to Chittore, 
Bappa was hailed by the nobles and people as their deliverer, 
and advanced to the throne, and from him are descended the 
ranas who now reign at Oodypore. After having governed 
the country for many years with great success, he abandoned 
his kingdom and his religion, and marched with his troops 


across the Indus to Khorasan, where he married many Ma- 
homedan wives, and left a numerous progeny. 
Renewed attack It was about this period that the Prumura 
onChittore. family, which had ruled for many centuries at 
Oojein, is supposed to have lost its authority in the north of 
India, and other kingdoms rose on its ruins. The Tuars 
occupied the districts around Delhi, and made that city their 
capital. Guzerat became independent, and was governed at 
first by the Chouras and then by the Solankis. The Rajpoot 
annalists state, that in the days of Khoman, the great 
grandson of Bappa, whose reign extended from 812 to 836, 
Chittore was again invaded by the Mahomedans under 
Mahmoon, the governor of Khorasan, probably the son of the 
celebrated Caliph, Haioun-ul-Rashid, the contemporary and 
friend of Charlemagne. The other princes in the north of 
India hastened to the assistance of the Rajpoots against the 
common enemy, and the national bard gives an animated 
description of the different tribes who composed the chivalry 
of the north on this occasion. With the aid of these allies, 
Khoman defeated and expelled the Musulmans, with whom 
he is said to have fought no fewer than twenty-four engage- 
ments. For a century and a half after this period, we hear 
of no further Mahomedan invasion, and it cannot but appear 
a very notable circumstance, that while the followers of the 
Prophet completely subjugated Persia and Spain in two or 
three campaigns, the resistance which they met in their early 
encounters with the Hindoos was so compact and resolute, 
that nearly three centuries elapsed after the first invasion, 
before they could make any permanent impression on India. 

The only authentic event to be further noticed 

rhe Cunouj ' 

brahmins in previous to the irruption of Mahmood of Ghuzni, 
relates to the kingdom of Bengal. Cunouj, the 
cradle and the citadel of Hindooism, had recovered its impor- 
tance under a new dynasty. Adisoor, of the Vidyu, or medical 
race of kings then ruling Bengal, and holding its court at 
Nuddea, became dissatisfied with the ignorance of his prieste, 


and applied to the king- of Cunouj for a supply of brahmins 
well versed in the Hindoo shasters and observances. That 
monarch, about nine centuries ago sent him five brahmins, 
from whom all the brahminical families in Bengal trace their 
descent; while the kayusts, the next in order, derive their 
origin from the five servants who attended the priests. 





WE have now reached the period when the 

Movements in 

Khorasan and Mahomedan empire in India may be said to have 

had a substantial beginning. 

The opulent regions of Khorasan and Transoxiana had 
been conquered by the Arabs in the first century of the hejira, 
and continued under the government of the lieutenants of 
the Caliphs, for more than 180 years. But after the death of 
Haroun-ul-Rashid, the most illustrious of that line of princes, 
their authority began to decline, and the different provinces 
aspired to independence, till at length, little, if anything 
remained of the once splendid empire of the Caliphs, except 
the city of Bagdad and its immediate .dependencies. Among 
the governors who thus assumed royalty, was Ismael Samani, 
a Tartar and a Turk, who seized on Transoxiana and Kho- 
rasan as well as Afghanistan, about the year 862, and fixed the 
seat of his government at Bokhara. This dynasty, called that 
of the Samanides flourished for about 120 years. The fifth 
prince of the line had a Tartar slave of the name of Alup- 
tugeen, a man of good sense and courage, who rose through 
the gradations of office to the government of Candahar, or 


Gliuzni. On the death of his patron, a controversy arose 
about the succession, and Aluptugeen voted against his son, 
who was, however, raised to the throne by the other chiefs. 
Aluptugeen having thus incurred his resentment, retreated to 
Ins own government, and declared himself independent ; and 
after defeating two armies sent against him, was allowed to 
remain unmolested. He had purchased a slave of Turkistan, 
of the name of Subuktugeen, who, though claiming descent 
from the illustrious Persian dynasty of the Sassanides had 
been reduced to the most abject poverty. His master, who 
had discovered great powers of mind in him, gradually raised 
him to such trust and power, that he became the first subject 
in the kingdom, and in 976 succeeded to the throne. 
Hindoos attack ^ ne provinces in the extreme north of India, and 
Subuktugeen, more particularly the Punjab, had for many cen- 
turies been linked with the fortunes and policy of 
Cabul and Candahar which lay to the west of the Indus. Hence, 
the establishment of a powerful Mahomedan kingdom, under a 
vigorous ruler, at no greater distance from the frontier of India 
than Ghuzni, gave no little disquietude to Jeypal, the Hindoo 
chief of Lahore. He determined to anticipate any designs which 
Subuktugeen might form on India, and crossed the Indus 
with a large army to Lughman, at the entrance of the valley 
which extends from Peshawur to Cabul, where he was met by 
that prince. While the two armies faced each other, a violent 
tempest of wind, rain, and thunder arose, which is said to 
have terrified the superstitious soldiers of Jeypal to such a 
degree, as to constrain him to sue for an accommodation, that 
he might escape to his own country. The Hindoo was the 
aggressor, and the treaty was not granted except on the 
surrender of fifty elephants, and the promise of a large sum 
of money. The envoys of Subuktugeen followed Jeypal to 
Lahore for payment, but on hearing that his opponent had 
been obliged to march towards the west to repel an invasion, 
he was disposed to withhold it. The brahmins, says the 
native historian, stood on the right of the throne, and urged 


him to refuse the tribute, since there was nothing 1 to be any 
longer apprehended from Ghuzni ; while his kshetriyu officers, 
standing on the left, reminded him of the sufferings beyond 
the Indus which had extorted the contribution, and, above 
all, of his royal word which he had pledged to the Mahome- 
dan prince. In an evil hour, Jeypal listened to the priests, 
and imprisoned the envoys. Subuktugeen speedily disposed 
of his enemies in the west, and marched with a large army 
towards the Indus, breathing vengeance against the author 
of the insult. Jeypal, notwithstanding his perfidy, succeeded 
in enlisting the aid of the kings of Delhi, Ajmere, Calinjer, 
and Cunouj, and advanced across the Indus, it is said, with 
100,000 horse and countless infantry. The Hindoos were 
utterly routed, and pursued to the banks of the river. Su- 
buktugeen found a rich plunder in their camp, and obliged 
ah 1 the tribes up to the Indus to submit to his authority. 

Subuktugeen died in 997, and was succeeded, in 

Mahmood's first 

and second the first instance, by his son Ismael, but he was 
teuption, 1001. superse( jed in a few months by his brother, the 
renowned Mahmood of Ghuzni, who inflicted the severest 
blow on the Hindoo power which it had ever experienced 
since its original establishment in India. From his early youth 
Mahmood had accompanied his father in his numerous expedi- 
tions, and thus acquired a passion and a talent for war. He 
succeeded to the resources of the kingdom at the age of thirty, 
burning with ambition to enlarge its boundaries. Having 
spent the first four years of his reign in consolidating his 
government west of the Indus, he cast his eye on the rich 
plains of Hindostan filled with idolaters, and invested with a 
romantic interest. In addition to the wealth he might acquire, 
the glory of extending the triumphs of Mahomedanism through 
new and unknown regions, possessed an irresistible charm 
for his mind. He began his crusade against the Hindoos in 
the year 1001, and conducted no fewer than twelve expedi- 
tions against the northern provinces, which, being held by 
various independent princes, fell an easy prey to his arms. 


He left Ghuzni in August with 10,000 chosen horse, and was 
met at Peshawur by his father's old antagonist, Jeypal, who 
was totally defeated and taken prisoner, but released on the 
promise of paying tribute. According to the Persian histo- 
rian, it was a custom or law of the Hindoos that a prince 
who had been twice defeated by the Mahomedan arms was 
considered unworthy to reign. Jeypal, therefore, resigned 
the throne to his son Anungpal, and closed the misfortunes 
of his reign by ascending the funeral pyre in regal state. 
Some of the chiefs subordinate to Lahore, however, refused 
to pay the contributions demanded of them, among whom 
was the raja of Bhutnere, situated at the northern extremity 
of the Bikaneer desert. The Sultan proceeded against him ; 
tire fort was taken after a siege of three days, and the prince, 
to avoid falling into the hands of the victor, fell upon his own 

Mahmood's third expedition was undertaken to 

His third and r 

fourth expedi- subdue Daood, whom he had left governor of 
dons, io< s. i^ooltan, but who, under the encouragement of 
Anungpal, had revolted against his master. Mooltan was 
invested for seven days, but an irruption of the Tartars from 
beyond the Oxus, constrained Mahmood to accept the sub- 
missions of the governor. Having succeeded in driving the 
Tartars back to their seats, he returned to India on his fourth 
expedition to chastise Anungpal for the revolt he had insti- 
gated, and for his repeated perfidies. That prince had sent 
envoys to the Hindoo monarchs in the north of Hindostan to 
the kings of Oojein, Calinjer, Gwalior, Cunouj, Delhi, and 
Ajmere, who formed a confederation and assembled the 
largest army which had as yet taken the field against the 
Mahomedans. The Hindoo women are said to have melted 
down their gold ornaments and sold their jewels to support 
the war, which was considered holy. The Hindoo troops again 
crossed the Indus and advanced to Peshawur, where the two 
armies were encamped opposite to each other for forty days, 
before joining issue. Mahmood at length commenced the 


engagement by a large body of archers, but they were driven 
back with the loss of 5,000, by the impetuosity of the bare- 
headed and bare-footed Gukkers, a tribe of savages, living 
in the hills and fastnesses to the east of the Indus, the ances- 
tors of the modern Jauts. The battle was long doubtful, but 
was at length decided by the flight of the wounded elephant 
of Anungpal, when the whole body of Hindoos, no longer 
having their leader before their eyes, dispersed in utter dis- 
order, leaving 20,000 dead on the field. Mahmood deter- 
mined to allow them no time to rally, bui on reaching the 
Punjab found their discomfiture so complete so as to afford 
Capture of him leisure for a plundering expedition to the 
Nagarcote, 1008. temple of Nagarcote, north-west of Lahore, a 
place of peculiar sanctity, built over a natural flame which 
issued from the mountain, and was the origin of its religious 
renown. It was so strongly f ortified as to be deemed impreg- 
nable ; it was therefore selected as the depository of the 
wealth of the neighbourhood, and was said at this time to 
contain a greater quantity of gold, silver, precious stones, and 
pearls than was to be found in the treasury of any prince on 
earth. It was, however, captured with ease, and Mahmood 
is said to have carried away 700 mauns of gold and silver 
plate, 200 mauns of pure gold in ingots, and 200 mauns of 
jewels. His next expedition was directed against Thanesur, 
about sixty miles from Delhi, one of the most ancient and 
Capture of opulent shrines in the north of India. Anungpal 
Thanesur, ion. gen t n j g b ro ther to entreat the sultan to spare 
the temple which was held in the same veneration by the 
Hindoos as Mecca was by the Mahomedans. Mahmood 
replied, that the religion of the prophet inculcated this pre- 
cept that the reward of his followers in heaven would be in 
proportion to the diffusion ,of its tenets and the extermination 
of idolatry. His mission to India was to root out the idols ; 
how then could he spare Thanesur? The Hindoo princes 
were therefore summoned to its defence, but before their 
arrival, the shrine was captured and all the costly images, 
and shrines, and wealth, together with 200,000 captives were 


sent off to Ghuzni, which now began to wear the appearance 
of a Hindoo city. 

Capture of During the next three years Mahmood was en- 

Cunouj, ion. gaged in two expeditions to Cashmere, of minor 
consequence reckoned the seventh and eighth ; after which 
he subdued the whole of Transoxiana, and extended his 
dominion to the Caspian sea. In the year 1017 he resolved to 
penetrate to the heart of Hindostan, and assembled an army of 
100,000 horse and 20,000 foot, drawn chiefly from the recently 
conquered provinces, the inhabitants of which were allured 
to his standard by the love of plunder and of adventure. He 
set out from Peshawur, and passed three months in skirting 
the hills, after which he marched southward, and presented 
himself unexpectedly before the city of Cunouj, which had 
been renowned in Hindoo history for twenty centuries. The 
description given of its grandeur, both by Hindoo and 
Mahomedan writers, staggers our belief, more especially when 
we consider the limited extent of the kingdom, and the ease 
with which it was subdued on this occasion. Its standing 
army is said to have consisted of 80,000 men in armour, 30,000 
horsemen, with quilted mail, and 500,000 well equipped in- 
fantry. The city, moreover, is reported to have contained 
60,000 families of musicians. The raja, taken unawares, was 
constrained to submit, and to enter into an alliance with the 
sultan, who remained in the city only three days and then 
turned his steps towards Muttra. This ecclesiastical city, the 
birth-place of the deified hero Krishnu, was filled with temples, 
and the shrines blazed with jewels. But it fell an easy prey 
to the Mahomedans, and was given up to plunder for twenty 
days, during which the idols were melted down or demolished. 
Some of the temples, however, were spared, on account either 
of their matchless beauty, or their soh'dity. "Here are a 
thousand edifices," writes the sultan, '" as firm as the creed 
of the faithful most of them of marble, besides innumerable 
temples. Such another city could not be constructed under two 
centuries." After capturing many other towns, and ravaging 
many districts, Mahmood at length returned to Ghuzni, laden 


with plunder and captives ; and the latter became so common 
as not to be worth more than two rupees a head. 

Passing over two expeditions of less moment, 

Somnath, 1024. f 

we come to the last and most celebrated in which 
Mahmood was engaged, and which is considered by the 
Mahomedans as the model of a religious crusade the capture 
and plunder of Somnath. This shrine was at the time one of 
the most wealthy and celebrated in India. It is affirmed that 
at the period of an eclipse it was crowded with 200,000 pilgrims, 
that it was endowed with the rent of 2,000 villages, and that 
the image was daily bathed with water, brought from the 
sacred stream of the Ganges, a distance of 1,000 miles. Its 
establishment consisted of 2,000 brahmins, 300 barbers to 
shave the pilgrims when their vows were accomplished, 200 
musicians, and 300 courtesans. To reach the temple Mah- 
mood was obliged to cross the desert with his army, 350 
miles in extent, by no means the least arduous of his exploits. 
He appeared unexpectedly before the capital of the province, 
and the raja, though considered one of the most powerful 
princes in India, was constrained to abandon it and take to 
flight. Pursuing his route to the temple the sultan found it 
situated on a peninsula connected with the main land by a 
fortified isthmus, which was manned at every point with 
soldiers. As he approached it, a herald issued from the portal 
and menaced the invader with destruction in the name of the 
god. Mahmood ordered his archers to clear the fortifications; 
the defenders retired to the temple, and prostrating them- 
selves before the image supplicated with tears for help. 
The next day there was a general charge by the Mahomedan 
troops ; but the Hindoos were roused to the highest pitch of 
enthusiasm, and vigorously repulsed the assailants. On the 
third day the chiefs in the neighbourhood assembled their 
troops for the defence of the shrine. The battle raged with 
great fury, and was for a tune doubtful. The Mahomedans 
began to waver, when the sultan prostrated himself to implore 
the Divine assistance, as he was accustomed to do in every 



emergency ; and then leaping into the saddle cheered on his 
troops. Ashamed to abandon a prince under whom they had 
so often fought and bled, they rushed on their enemies with 
an impetuosity which nothing could withstand. Five thousand 
Hindoos fell under their sabres, and the remainder rushed to 
their boats. On entering the temple Mahmood was struck 
with its grandeur. The lofty roof was supported by fifty- 
six pillars, curiously carved and richly studded with precious 
Btones. The external light was excluded, and the shrine was 
lighted by a single lamp, suspended by a golden chain, the 
lustre of which was reflected from the numerous jewels with 
which the walls were embossed. Facing the entrance stood 
the lofty idol five yards in height, two of which were buried 
in the ground. Mahmood ordered it to be broken up, when 
the brahmins cast themselves at his feet and offered an 
immense sum to ransom it. His courtiers besought him to 
accept the offer, and he hesitated for a moment ; but he soon 
recovered himself, and exclaimed that he would rather be 
known as the destroyer than the seller of images. He then 
struck the idol with his mace ; his soldiers followed the ex- 
ample; and the figure, which was hollow, speedily burst under 
their blows, and poured forth a quantity of jewels and 
diamonds, greatly exceeding in value the sum which had been 
pffered for its redemption. The wealth acquired in this ex- 
pedition exceeded that of any which had preceded it ; and the 
'mind is bewildered with the enumeration of treasures and 
jewels estimated by the maun. The sandal-wood gates of 
Somnath were sent as a trophy to Ghuzni, where they re- 
mained for eight centuries, till they were brought back to 
India in a triumphal procession by a Christian ruler. 

-s Mahmood was so charmed with the beauty and 

projects and the fertility of the country around Somnath, that 
he proposed at one time to make it the seat of his 
empire, and likewise to construct a navy to be sent in search 
of the pearls of Ceylon, and the gold of Pegu. But he had 
the wisdom to relinquish these projects, and, having placed a 


prince of his own choice on the throne of Guzerat, returned 
to Ghuzni, after a toilsome and perilous march through the 
desert. Two years after, his power reached its culminating 
point by the conquest of Persia, but his reputation was 
tarnished by the slaughter of some thousands of the in- 
habitants of Ispahan, who had obstinately resisted his arms. 
This execution was the more remarkable, as in all his cam- 
paigns in India, he never shed the blood of a Hindoo, except 
in the heat of battle, or in a siege. Soon after his return 
from this expedition, he expired at his capital in the year 
1030, and in the sixtieth of his age. Two days before his 
death, he caused all the gold and silver and jewels of which 
he had despoiled India, to be spread out before him, that he 
might feast his eyes for the last time with the sight, and 
then burst into tears. The next day he commanded his army, 
infantry, cavalry, and elephants, to be drawn up in review 
before him, and wept at the prospect of leaving them. 

Mahmood was the greatest prince of his time ; the Ma- 
homedans, indeed, consider him the greatest prince of any 
age. He had all the elements of greatness, exemplary pru- 
dence, boundless activity, and great courage. His success in 
war has given him the highest military reputation, while the 
perfect order which prevailed throughout his vast dominions, 
notwithstanding his frequent absence in the field, proves that 
he likewise possessed the greatest talent for civil affairs. 
His court was the most magnificent in Asia; his taste in 
architecture was more particularly developed after his return 
from Cunouj and Muttra, when he determined to make his 
own capital worthy of his empire. He erected a mosque of 
granite and marble, called the Celestial Bride, which filled 
every beholder with astonishment, and became the wonder of 
Central Asia. His nobility vied with him in the erection of 
magnificent buildings, and in a short time the metropolis, 
which had been a mere collection of hovels, was ornamented 
with mosques, porches, fountains, reservoirs, acqueducts and 
palaces, beyond any other city in the east. He has been. 

D 2 


charged with avarice, but if he was rapacious in acquiring 
wealth, he was noble and judicious in the employment of it. 
Few Mahomedan princes have ever equalled him in the en- 
couragement of learning. He founded a university at 
Ghuzni, and furnished it with a large collection of valuable 
manuscripts, and a museum of natural curiosities. He set 
aside a lac of rupees a year for pensions to learned men, and 
his munificence brought together a larger assembly of literary 
genius than was to be found in any other Asiatic court. In 
the space of thirty years, he extended his dominions from tha 
Persian gulf to the sea of Aral, and from the mountains of 
Curdestan to the banks of the Sutlege ; yet while in posses- 
sion of this great empire, he considered it his highest glory 
to be designated the "image-breaker." 
Musaooa, Mahmood left two sons, twins; the eldest, 

loselow. Mahomed, had recommended himself to his father 
by his gentleness and docility, and was nominated his succes- 
sor. The younger Musaood had become popular with the 
nobles and the army, by his martial qualities, and within five 
months of his father's decease, marched to Ghuzni, deprived 
his brother of his throne and his sight, and made himself 
king. In the year 1034 he conducted an expedition to Cash- 
mere, which he subdued, but was recalled to the defence of 
his dominions by the irruption of a horde of Turki- Tartars, 
denominated Seljuks. His father had on one occasion de- 
feated them, but he let them off on easy terms, and they 
recrossed the Oxus in such numbers as to threaten the safety 
of his empire. Among the generals now sent to oppose their 
progress, was Jey-sen, the commander of Musaood's Indian 
battalions, from which we infer, that even at that early period 
the Mahomedan invaders found the Hindoos ready to enlist 
under their banners, and even to cross the Indus and fight 
their battles. The Seljuks offered their submission and were 
admitted to terms, which only served to increase their am- 
bition and cupidity; Musaood was impatient to renew his 
Attacks on the Hindoos, but was opposed by advice of his 

n.] SUCCESSION OP KINGS, 10401118. 37 

.wisest councillors, who represented to him that the incessant 
encroachments of the Seljuks required his exclusive attention. 
He persisted, however, in marching to India, where he 
captured the fortress of Hansi, but was recalled by a fresh 
invasion of the ever-restless Seljuks. Musaood appointed his 
son governor of the two provinces of Mooltan and Lahore, 
which were now permanently annexed to Ghuzni, and marched 
against the invaders in person, but after two years of inde- 
cisive warfare, Togrul Beg, the great Seljuk chief, advanced 
up to the gates of Ghuzni. At length, the two armies met on 
equal terms, when Musaood was deserted hi the field by some 
of his TurM followers, and totally and irretrievably defeated. 
He then resolved to withdraw to India, in the hope of being 
able quietly to retrieve his fortunes in that country. But his 
army was totally disorganized, and, on crossing the Indus, 
deposed him, and restored his brother Mahomed to the throne. 
The blindness of that prince rendered him incapable of con- 
ducting the government, and he transferred it to his son, 
Ahmed, whose first act was to put the dethroned Musaood to 
death in the tenth year of his reign. 
_ . , Modood, the son of Musaood was at Balkh. 

Succession of ' 

watching the movements of the Seljuks, when 

he heard of the assassination of his father, and 
hastened to Ghuzni, where he was saluted king. He then 
set out for Hindostan, and at Lughman encountered the forces 
of Mahomed and Ahmed, who were defeated and slain. The 
Seljuks took advantage of these troubles to push their con- 
quests, and having assembled at Nishapore, placed the crown 
upon the brows of their chief, Togrul Beg, and divided the 
country they had conquered, and that which they intended to 
occupy, into four parts ; but Modood was able not only to 
maintain himself in Ghuzni, but to recover Transoxiana. 
Meanwhile, the king of Delhi took advantage of his absence, 
and, as the Mahomedan historian observes, " those, who like 
foxes, dared not creep from their holes, now put on the aspect 
of lions." A large army of Hindoos was assembled. Tha- 


nesur, Hansi, and the Mahomedan possessions south of the 
Sutlege were recovered, and Nagarcote fell after a siege of 
four months. The idol which Mahmood demolished had been 
miraculously preserved so at least it was announced and 
was now discovered by the brahmins, and installed; the 
oracle was re-established, and the shrine was again enriched 
by the gifts of princes and people. All the other temples 
which had been subverted were restored, and recovered their 
sanctity. The Hindoos, flushed with success, thought them- 
selves strong enough to expel the followers of the Prophet 
from the soil of India, and proceeded to lay seige to Lahore, 
but after beseiging it seven months, were driven back by a 
vigorous sally of the besieged. Modood expired at Ghuzni, 
after a reign of nine years, in 1049, and was succeeded by 
four monarchs in succession, whose insignificant reigns ex- 
tended over nine years. Then came Ibrahim, in 1058, remark- 
able for his mildness and devotion , whose first act was to make 
peace with the Seljuks, and to confirm them in possession of all 
the territories they had usurped. He extended the fast of the 
Kamzan to three months ; he attended religious lectures, and 
bore patiently with priestly rebukes ; he gave away large 
sums in charity ; he presented two copies of the Koran of his 
own beautiful penmanship to the Caliph, and then died, after 
a reign of forty years, leaving thirty-six sons and forty 
daughters. The reign of his son, Musaood the second, ex- 
tended over sixteen years, and the throne descended on his 
death to his son Arslan, who immediately imprisoned all his 
brothers. One of their number, Byram, was, however, so 
fortunate as to escape to his maternal uncle, the Seljuk 
monarch, who marched against Arslan, and defeated him, 
placing Byram on the throne. But on the retirement of the 
Seljuk army, Arslan returned and expelled Byram, and was 
in turn displaced a second time by Sanjar, the Seljuk general, 
and soon after overtaken and put to death; Byrarn, finally 
ascended the throne in 1118. 
Bynun, the last Byram governed the kingdom with great wisdom 


a nd moderation, and like all the monarchs of 


his line, extended a liberal patronage to men 
of learning. Towards the close of his reign, which reached 
thirty-five years, he was involved in a feud with the ruler of 
Ghore, which cost him his Me and his crown. His family was 
expelled from Ghuzni, and the seat of his kingdom transferred 
to Lahore, which his son, Khusro, governed for seven years, 
and then bequeathed to his son, Khusro Malik, under whom 
all the provinces which had ever been held by the Mahome- 
dans, east of the Indus, were recovered. His reign extended 
to twenty-seven years, when he was overpowered by Mahomed, 
of Ghore, in 1186, and with him the family of Subuktugeen 
became extinct, at the close of the usual cycle of 200 years. 
The dynasty The dynasty of Ghore, which superseded that of 

Ghuzni, and rapidly extended its dominion from 
the Caspian Sea to the Ganges, was flattered by Mahomedan 
poets and historians with an ancient and honourable lineage, 
but the founder of the family was Eiz-ood-deen Hussein, a 
native of Afghanistan, of little note. He entered the service 
of Musaood, the king of Ghuzni, and rose in his favour, until 
he obtained the hand of his daughter, and with it the princi- 
pality of Ghore. His son, Kootub-ood-deen, espoused the 
daughter of Byram, who put him to death in consequence of 
some family disputes. Seif-ood-deen, his brother, took up arms 
to revenge the murder, and captured Ghuzni, from which Byram 
retreated in haste. Seif-ood-deen, who had sent back the 
greater part of his army, failed to conciliate his new subjects, 
and Byram was encouraged to return. He succeeded in 
defeating and capturing his opponent, whom he put to death 
under every circumstance of ignominy. His brother, Alla- 
ood-deen, on hearing of this tragic event, marched with a 
numerous army to Ghuzni, thirsting to revenge the murder. 
A long and bloody battle was fought under the walls of the 
city, which ended in the utter rout of Byram's army, and 
his retreat to India, during the progress of which, fatigue 
and misfortune put an end to his life. Alla-ood-deen 


entered Ghuzni, and gave up this city, then the noblest in 
Asia, to indiscriminate plunder for three, and, according to 
Borne historians, for seven days. The superb monuments of 
the kings of Ghuzni were destroyed, and the palaces of the 
nobles sacked, while the most distinguished and venerable 
men in the city were carried into captivity. Whatever pro- 
vocation Alla-ood-deen may have received hi the murder of 
his brother, the savage vengeance wreaked on this magnifi- 
cent capital, has fixed an indelible stain on his memory, and 
led the historians to stigmatize him as the " incendiary of 
the world." 

Aiia-ood-deen Alla-ood-deen, after having satiated his fury 
Ghory,ii62. at Ghuzni, returned to his capital at Feroze- 
khoh, but was immediately summoned by Sultan Sanjar to 
make good the tribute which had been usually paid by his 
predecessor, Byram. The demand was refused, and the 
Seljuk Sanjar immediately marched to Ghuzni, and defeated 
and captured Alla-ood-deen. But on hearing that his own 
lieutenant in Kharism had revolted, and invited the Khitans, 
a Tartar horde, who had been driven from the north of China, 
to assist him, Sanjar replaced Alla-ood-deen on the Ghuzni 
throne, and marched against this new enemy, by whom he 
was defeated. He was enabled, however, to recover his 
strength, but was brought into collision with another tribe of 
Tartars, generally called the Euz, and though he assembled 
100,000 men in the field was totally routed, and made prisoner. 
He died in the course of three years, in 1156, and with him 
ended the power which the Seljuks had been a century in 
building up. Alla-ood-deen died in the same year, and was 
succeeded by his son, an amiable but inexperienced youth, 
who was killed in the course of the year by one of his own 
nobles, when his cousin, Gheias-ood-deen, mounted the 
throne, and associated his own brother, Shahab-ood-deen, 
shahab-ood- known in history as the renowned Mahomed 
een, 1157. Ghory, with him in the government. It is a most 
singular circumstance that in that age of violence, when the 


love of power overcame all natural affections, and instigated 
men to the murder of fathers, and brothers, and kindred, 
Mahomed should have continued faithful in allegiance to his 
feeble brother for twenty-nine years. It was he who estab- 
lished the second Mahomedan dynasty at Delhi, generally 
known as the house of Ghore. 

state of the Mahomed Ghory was the real founder of Maho- 
Hindoo princes, medan power in India ; and it may therefore be of 
service to glance at the condition of the Hindoo 
thrones in the north, immediately on the eve of their ex- 
tinction. The king of Cunouj, of the Korah family, had 
been compelled to make his submission, as already stated, 
to Mahmood of Ghuzni, which excited the indignation of the 
neighbouring Hindoo princes, who expelled him from the 
throne, and put him to death. The kingdom was then oc- 
cupied by the Kathore tribe of the Rajpoots, and five princes 
of that line had governed it, when it was finally absorbed by 
the Mahomedans. The kings of Benares, who bore the 
patronymic of Pal, and professed the Boodhist religion, attained 
great power, and one of them is said to have extended his 
conquests to Orissa. The family, however, became extinct 
before the invasion of Mahomed Ghory, when the king of 
Bengal seized Gour and Behar, and the king of Cunouj, the 
western districts of Benares, which greatly increased his 
power and his arrogance. In the west, the kingdom of 
Guzerat was governed by the family of Bhagilas, who were 
generally found in alliance with the kingdom of Cunouj. 
Ajmere, then a powerful monarchy, was governed by the 
Chohans, and always sided with the sovereigns of Delhi, of 
the Tuar dynasty. The last king of this line having no son 
adopted his grandson, Prithiraj, the offspring of his daughter, 
who was married to the king of Ajmere. The king of Cunouj 
refused to acknowledge the superiority which had been con- 
ceded to the kings of Delhi ; and they were engaged in in- 
cessant warfare. Thus, at the period when Mahomed Ghory 
was preparing to extirpate the Hindoo power in the north of 


India, its princes, instead of combining against the common 
foe, were engaged in mutual hostilities, or alienated from 
each other by family jealousies. Hindostan was divided into 
two irreconcilable parties the one comprising Guzerat and 
Cunouj, the other Delhi, the Chohan of Ajmere, and the 
Hindoo raja of Chittore. It is asserted by some native 
authors that Jeychunder, the king of Cunouj, impelled by 
hatred of the young king of Delhi, invited Mahomed Ghory to 
invade India, but the evidence of this act of treason is doubt- 
ful, and the Mahomedan prince required no prompting to an 
enterprize of such large promise. But it is certain that the 
king of Cunouj assumed the arrogant title of lord paramount 
of India, and resolved to support his pretensions by celebrating 
the magnificent sacrifice of the horse. The other princes of 
the north hastened to pay their homage to him, but Prithiraj, 
the king of Delhi, supported by the raja of Chittore, refused 
to acknowledge the claim of superiority put forward by his 
rival. In this gorgeous ceremony it is required that every 
office, however menial, shall be performed by royal hands. As 
the king of Delhi refused to appear, an effigy of gold was 
made to supply his place, and planted at the entrance of the 
hall, to represent him in the capacity of the porter. In such 
acts of folly were the Hindoo princes in the north wasting 
their time and their energies, while the Mahomedan was 
thundering at their door. 

On the threshhold of the great revolution pro- 

BhojeBaja. , , , .,. . . 

duced by this invasion, we pause for a moment to 
record the civil virtues of Bhoje Raja, the last of the really 
great Hindoo sovereigns of Hindostan. He was of the race 
of the Prumuras, who still continued to reign, though with di- 
minished splendour, at Oojein and at Dhar. Seated on tho 
throne of Vikrumadityu, he determined to revive the literary 
glory of his court, and to render his own reign illustrious by 
the encouragement of literature. While the silly king of 
Cunouj was engaged in celebrating the sacrifice of the horse, 
and the princes of the north were hastening to that imperial 


pageant, the learned were crowding to the court of Bhoje, by 
whom they were entertained with royal hospitality. His 
memory is consecrated in the recollections of posterity, and 
his reign has been immortalized by the genius of poetry. His 
name is as familiar to men of the present age as that of Ramu 
and Yoodistheer ; yet few recognise the fact that he reigned 
only seven centuries ago, and that he was the last Hindoo 
sovereign who had the wish as well as the power to patronise 

Mahomea Mahomed now turned his attention to foreign 

defeated, 1191. con q ues t w ith all the vigour of a new dynasty. 
Having reduced the greater part of Khorasan to subjection, he 
led several expeditions to India, and at length defeated Khusro 
Malik, the Ghuzni prince of Lahore and Mooltan, and annexed 
those provinces to the empire of Ghore, thus extinguishing 
the Ghuznavede dynasty, and paving the way for the sub- 
version of Hindoo power in Hindostan. At this period there 
was little trace left of the early Mahomedan invasions. The 
ravages committed by Mahmood had been repaired; population 
was renewed, and prosperity revived ; the country was again 
filled with wealth and idols, and the Hindoo princes were en- 
gaged, as they had been from time immemorial, in fighting 
with each other. But the year 1 193 brought with it a tempest 
of desolation which swept away the Hindoo monarchies and 
institutions, planted the standard of the crescent on the battle- 
ments of Delhi, and extended its triumphs throughout Hin- 
dostan. Prithiraj, the heroic but unthinking king of Delhi, 
had wasted his strength in a vain struggle with the house of 
Cunouj, and only 64 out of 108 of his military chiefs had sur- 
vived it. But he still was able to bring 200,000 horse into the 
field, and a battle was fought at Tirouri, fourteen miles from 
Thanesur, on the great plain where most of the contests for 
the possession of India were subsequently decided. After 
performing prodigies of valour Mahomed found both the wings 
of his army give way, and was obliged to fly. He was pur- 
sued for forty miles by the victorious Hindoos, and was happy 


to escape across the Indus with the wreck of his army. 
Though he appeared outwardly to forget his disgrace, it was 
silently preying on his mind ; and he stated in one of his 
letters that he " neither slumbered at ease, nor waked but in 
sorrow and anxiety." 

Defeat of the Having in the course of two years recruited his 
king of Demi, army with Tartars, Turks, and Afghans, he 
moved again over the Indus, and entered Hin- 
dostan. A hundred and fifty chiefs rallied around the king of 
Delhi, who was enabled, on the lowest calculation, to bring 
300,000 horse, 3,000 elephants, and a vast body of infantry 
into the field. The allied sovereigns, inflated with an idea of 
their superiority, sent Mahomed a lofty message, granting 
him their permission to retire without injury. He replied, 
with great apparent humility, that he was merely his brother's 
lieutenant, to whom he would refer their message. The 
Hindoos misinterpreted this answer to denote weakness, and 
spent the night in revelry. The Caggar flowed between the 
armies. Mahomed crossed his army during the night, and 
fell upon the Hindoos before they had recovered from their 
debauch. But in spite of the confusion which ensued, so vast 
was their host that they still had time to fall into their ranks; 
and Mahomed, reduced again to difficulty, sounded a retreat. 
The Hindoos were, as he expected, thrown into disorder in 
the pursuit, when he charged them with his reserve ; and as 
the historian observes, " this prodigious army once shaken, 
like a great building tottered to its fall, and was lost in its 
own ruins." The gallant raja of Chittore, Somarsi, fell nobly 
fighting at the head of his Rajpoots ; and the king of Delhi, 
who was taken prisoner, was butchered in cold blood. 
Mahomed then proceeded against Ajmere, and captured the 
town, and put several thousands of the inhabitants to the 

Progress of Mahomed returned to Ghuzni laden with plunder, 

Kootub,ii94. an(i Kootub-ood-deen, a slave who had gained 
his confidence by the display of great talents both as a 


general and as a statesmen, was left in charge of his con- 
quests. He followed out his master's plans, by the capture 
of Meerut and Coel, and eventually of Delhi which was now, 
for the first time, made the seat of the Mahomedan govern- 
ment of India. The kings of Cunouj and Guzerat, who had 
looked on with malicious delight while the Mahomedan smote 
down their Hindoo opponents, had no long respite themselves, 
Mahomed returned the next year to India with a still larger 
force, and a battle was fought at a place between Chundwar 
and Etawah, in which Jey-chunder, the king of Cunouj, was 
totally defeated, and perished, and the oldest Hindoo monarchy 
in the north was finally subverted. This reverse induced the 
whole tribe of the Eathores to emigrate in a body to Rajpoo- 
tana, where they established the kingdom of Marwar or 
Joudhpore, which still continues to exist. Mahomed then 
advanced against Benares, which was captured with ease, and 
demolished 1,000 temples. And thus, in the short space of 
four years, was the Hindoo power in Hindostan completely 
and irrevocably extinguished. 

Kootub lost no time in despatching one of his 

Conquest of 

Behar and slaves, Bukhtiyar Ghiljie, who had risen to com- 
Bengai,i203. man( j by his native genius, to conquer Behar. 
The capital was sacked and the country subdued, and the 
army returned within two years to Delhi, bending beneath the 
weight of its plunder. An attempt was soon after made to 
supplant Bukhtiyar in his master's favour, but it was defeated 
by the prowess he exhibited in single combat with a lion, 
which his enemies at court had forced on him. This event 
established him still more firmly in the confidence of Kootub, 
who sent him in 1203 to reduce Bengal. That kingdom had 
for a long period been under the government of a dynasty of 
Vidyus, of the medical caste, who established an era which 
continued in vogue in the province till it was abolished by 
Akbar, two centuries and a half ago. The throne was then 
filled by Lucksmun Sen, who had been placed on it in his 
infancy, and had now attained the age of eighty. His long 


reign was distinguished by his liberality, clemency and 
justice. His court was usually held at Nuddea, though he 
occasionally resided at Gour, or Lucknoutee. On the approach 
of the Mahomedans, he was advised by his brahmins, in 
accordance, as they said, with the instructions of their sacred 
books, to retire to some remote province. He refused to 
follow their advice, but he made no preparation for the emer- 
gency, and allowed himself to be surprised at a ineal by 
Bukhtiyar, who rushed into his palace with a handful of troops. 
The king contrived to escape through a back gate to his 
boats, and did not pause until he had reached Jugunnath, in 
Orissa. It is worthy of remark, that while the king of Delhi 
offered an honourable resistance to the Mahomedans, and the 
king of Cunouj fell bravely defending his liberty, and 
Chittore made the most heroic struggle, Bengal fell without 
even an effort for its independence The whole kingdom was 
conquered within a single year, and submitted patiently to 
the rule of the Mahomedan for five centuries and a hah 7 , till 
he was supplanted by the Christian. Bukhtiyar delivered up 
the city of Nuddea to plunder, and then proceeded to Gour, 
which offered no defence. The Hindoo temples were de- 
molished, and Mahomedan mosques, palaces, and caravanseras 
built with the materials. After the conquest of Bengal, 
Bukhtiyar marched with a large army to Bootan and Assam, 
but was signally defeated by those brave highlanders, and 
driven back to Bengal, where he died of chagrin, three years 
after he had entered the province. 

Mahomed's During these transactions, Mahomed was en- 

death, 1206. gaged in ambitious expeditions in the west. The 
empire of the Seljuks having fallen to pieces, he was anxious 
to come in for a share of it. Of the new kingdoms which 
nad arisen upon its ruins, that of Kharism, on the eastern 
shore of the Caspian Sea, had Attained great power under 
Takash, against whom Mahomed now led his forces, but ex- 
perienced a signal defeat, and was obliged to purchase a 
retreat bv a heavy ransom. On his return to his own do- 


minions, he resolved to punish the Gukkers for their incessant 
rebellions, and not only brought them under subjection, 
but is said to have constrained them to embrace the creed 
of the Prophet; but on his way back to Ghuzni, he was 
assassinated by two of the tribe as he was reposing in his tent, 
in the year 1206. He governed the kingdom in his brother's 
name for forty-five years, and was king in his own right 
for only three. In the course of ten years, he completely 
demolished the Hindoo power from the banks of the Sutlege 
to the bay of Bengal, and at the period of his death, the 
whole of Hindostan, with the exception of Malwa, was under 
a settled and permanent Mahomedan government. The 
treasure he left, the fruit of nine expeditions to India, is 
stated at a sum which appears incredible, particularly when 
it is said to have included five mauns of diamonds. 
Kootub-ood- Mahomed, who was childless, was in the habit 

deen, 1206. O f training up the most promising of his slaves, 
and raising them according to their merit, to posts of dignity 
and power. His nephew, Mahmood, who was in possession 
of Ghore, was indeed proclaimed king throughout all the 
provinces on both sides the Indus, but the kingdom was soon 
broken up into separate states. Of the slaves of the deceased 
monarch, Eldoze, the governor of Ghuzni, seized on Cabul and 
Candahar, while Kootub retained the sovereignty of Hindos- 
tan. Eldoze, who affected still to consider India a dependency 
of Ghuzni, marched against him, but was defeated at Lahore. 
Kootub followed up the victory and recovered Ghuzni, where 
he assumed the crown, but was soon after expelled by his 
rival, and driven back to India, with which, after this reverse, 
he determined to remain content. The establishment of the 
Mahomedan empire in India is, therefore, considered to date 
from this event, in the year, 1206. Kootub was the first of 
those Turki slaves who rose to sovereignty, and furnished a 
succession of rulers to India. Meanwhile, Takash, the great 
monarch of Kharism, having overrun Persia, marched against 
Eldoze and extinguished his brief reign, as well as that of 


Mahmood of Ghore, and annexed all tne provinces west of the 
Indus to his possessions. Kootub did not enjoy his Indian 
sovereignty more than four years, when he was succeeded by 
his son, Aram, who was displaced within a twelvemonth by 
Altumsh, the slave and the son-in-law of Kootub, in 1211. 
He justified the preference of his master during a long reign 
of twenty-five years. 

It was in the tenth year of his reign that Jelal- 
ood-deen, the king of Kharism, was driven to seek 
shelter in India by the irruption of Jenghis Khan, the greatest 
conqueror of that age, and the original founder of Mogul 
greatness. The Moguls were a tribe of Tartars, who roamed 
with their flocks and herds on the northern side of the great 
wall of China, without any fixed abode. When their numbers 
increased beyond the means of subsistence they poured down 
on the fertile provinces of the south. The father of Jenghis 
Khan presided over thirteen of these nomadic tribes, whose 
number did not exceed 40,000. At the age of forty, Jenghis 
Khan had established his power over all the Tartar tribes, and 
at a general convention held about the year 1210, was ac- 
knowleged the great Khan of the Moguls by the shepherd 
hordes from the wall of China to the Volga. He had received 
no education, aud was unable either to read or write ; but a 
natural genius for conquest, and the fiery valour and insatiable 
cupidity of his followers, raised him to the summit of human 
power. The Moguls burst with impetuosity on China, over- 
leaped the barriers which the Chinese monarchs had erected 
to exclude them ; and after storming ninety cities compelled 
the emperor to cede the northern provinces to them and retire 
to the south of the Yellow river. In the west, the progress 
of Jenghis Khan brought Mm into collision with Mahomed, 
the great sultan of Kharism, who held in contempt the 
shepherd soldiers of Tartary, with no wealth but their flocks 
and then- swords and no cities but their tents. He put 
three of Jenghis Khan's ambassadors to death, and refused 
all redress, and the Mogul poured down on his dominions 


with an army of 700,000 men. Mahomed met him with 
400,000 troops, but was defeated and obliged to fly, leaving, 
it is said, 160,000 of them dead on the field. Mahomed then 
distributed his soldiers among his various cities in the hope of 
impeding the career of the enemy ; but the cities fell to him 
rapidly, and the magnificent monarch of Kharism, recently 
the most powerful in Asia, died without an attendant in a 
barren island of the Caspian Sea. From that sea to the Indus, 
more than 1,000 miles in extent, the whole country was laid 
waste with fire and sword by these ruthless barbarians. It 
was the greatest calamity which had befallen the human race 
since the deluge, and five centuries have barely been sufficient 
to repair that desolation. The son of Mahomed, the heroic 
Jelal-ood-deen, continued to fight the Moguls at every stage, 
but nothing could arrest their progress. He encountered them 
for the last time on the banks of the Indus, when his whole 
army perished, and he sprung with his horse into the stream, 
attended by only a few followers, and sought an asylum from 
Altumsh; but that prince was too prudent to provoke the 
vengeance of the man who had made himself the scourge of 
Asia, and Jelal-ood-deen was obliged to seek some other 
refuge. After a variety cf adventures he was killed about 
ten years after in Mesopotamia. The victorious and de- 
structive career of the Moguls does not belong to the history 
of India, the soil of which they did not then invade. But 
Jenghis Khan effected a complete revolution in the policy and 
destinies of Central Asia, and gave a predominant influence to 
the Moguls, who, after the lapse of three centuries, were led 
across the Indus, under the auspices of Baber, and eventually 
established on the throne of India. 

The emperor Altumsh was employed for several 

Altumsh, 1236. . r ', ,. , j. 

years in subduing his own insubordinate viceroys, 
and subjugating those provinces of Hindostan which still main- 
tained some show of independence. He reduced the fortress of 
Rmtambore in Rajpootana, captured Gwalior and Mandoo, and 
then proceeded against Oojein, the capital of Malwa, one o 


the sacred cities of the Hindoos, where he destroyed the 
magnificent temple of Muha Kal, erected 1,200 years before 
by Vikrumadityu, sending the images to Deihi to be broken 
up at the entrance of the great mosque. He died in 1,236, 
and was succeeded by his son ; but he was deposed for his vices 
within six months by the nobles, who raised his sister Sultana 
Kezia to the throne. This celebrated princess, endowed, ac- 
cording to the historian, with every royal virtue, governed 
the empire for a time with the greatest ability and success. 
She appeared daily on the throne in the habit of a sultan, 
gave audience to all comers, and set herself vigorously to 
the revision of the laws, and the reformation of abuses ; but 
she exalted to the highest dignity in the empire an Abys- 
sinian slave to whom she had become partial, and her jealous 
nobles took up arms against her. She fought them in two 
severe battles, but was defeated, captured, and put to death, 
after a brief reign of three years and a-half . The two suc- 
ceeding reigns occupied only six years when Nazir-ood-deen. 
Nazir-ood-deen, a grandson of Altumsh mounted the throne. 
i2. Bulbun, a Turki slave, and the son-in-law of 

Altumsh was appointed his chief minister, and proved to be 
one of the ablest statesman of his time. Under his administra- 
tion the government was strengthened by the more complete 
reduction of the Hindoo chiefs ; and his nephew, Shere Khan, 
who was charged with the defence of the Indus against the 
Moguls, succeeded likewise in re-annexing the province of 
Ghuzni to the throne of Delhi. Bulbun was for a time sup- 
planted in his office of vizier by an unworthy favourite of the 
emperor ; but the disasters which followed his dismissal, and 
the remonstrances of the nobles, constrained his master to 
reinstate him. In the tenth year of this reign an embassy 
arrived from Hulakoo, the grandson of Jenghis Khan, before 
whom Asia trembled; and it was resolved to make every 
exertion to give his envoy the most honourable reception. 
The vizier himself went out to meet him with 50,000 horse 
and 200,000 infantry, 2,000 war elephants, and 3,000 car- 

It.] feEIGN OP BULBUN. 51 

riages of fireworks. By this noble escort he was conducted 
to the durbar of the emperor, around whose throne stood 
twenty-five of the princes who had been expelled from their 
hereditary seats by the Moguls, and obtained an asylum at 
Delhi. Nazir-ood-deen's private life was that of a hermit ; 
his personal expenses were defrayed from the sale of the 
books which he transcribed ; his fare, which was of the 
simplest character, was prepared by his wife, who was his 
Bole female companion. He died without leaving any son, 
and was succeeded by his minister JBulbun. 

This prince was equally renowned for his 

Bulbun, 1266. ... r , .. l , / ,, . ,. 

justice and generosity and for the vigour of hia 
administration, though his cruelty on certain occasions has in- 
duced some of the historians to represent him as a monster. 
He continued the hospitality which his predecessor had shown 
to the dethroned princes of Tartary, Transoxiana, Khorasan, 
Persia, Irak, and other provinces, placed the royal palaces at 
then* disposal, and granted them the most liberal allowances. 
These princes were accompanied by the accomplished scholars 
who had been assembled around them, and the court of 
Bulbun was thus considered the most polite and magnificent in 
Asia. He banished all usurers, players, and buffoons from its 
precincts, and set an example of the severest frugality and 
temperance. At the same time he endeavoured to curb the 
insolence of the royal slaves who had begun to arrogate 
great power ; but he made it a rule to give no promotion to 
any Hindoo. He was advised to reconquer Malwa and 
Guzerat which had revolted, but wisely replied that the por- 
tentous cloud of Moguls, ever hanging over his northern 
frontier, demanded his undivided attention. He resolved, 
however, to inflict a severe retribution on Togrul Khan, the 
viceroy of the opulent province of Bengal, who had omitted 
to remit the plunder recently acquired from a rebel chief, and on 
hearing of his master's illnoss, had raised the red umbrella, and 
assumed the title of king. Two armies were sent in succession 
against him and defeated, and Bulbun took the field in person. 

E 2 


The refractory governor fled to Orissa, and was pursued 
by the imperial troops. Mullik, one of the emperor's gene- 
rals, advanced to the camp of the enemy with only forty 
followers, and rushing into Togrul Khan's tent shouted 
"Victory to king Bulbun," cutting down all who opposed 
him. The viceroy, imagining that the whole of the imperial 
army was upon him, took to flight, and his army was entirely 
dispersed. Bulbun made an ill use of his victory, by putting to 
death every member of the rebel's family, even to the women 
and children. During these transactions the Moguls again 
burst on Hindostan ; and Mahomed, the accomplished son of 
the emperor, who had collected around him the men most 
celebrated in Asia for learning and genius, marched to oppose 
them. The Moguls dispersed after a long and sanguinary 
action. Mahomed pursued them with imprudent haste and, 
on his return was unexpectedly enveloped by a body of their 
cavalry, superior in number to his own followers, and fell in 
the combat. With him perished the hopes of the dynasty. 
The army and the empire was equally filled with lamentation, 
for he was the idol of both; and his father, then in his eightieth 
year, soon after died of a broken heart. 
End of the The son of the deceased prince was appointed 

dynasty, 1288. |. Q succeec i him, but was speedily superseded by 
Kei-kobad, another of Bulbun's grandchildren, and the son of 
Kurrah, who had been appointed governor of Bengal after its 
reconquest. He was a youth of eighteen, addicted only to 
pleasure, and the slave of a profligate minister, who en- 
deavoured to pave his own way to the throne by encouraging 
him in eveiy vice. Kurrah, aware of the dangers which sur- 
rounded his son, succeeded, after great difficulty, in extorting 
his consent to an interview; but the minister imposed so many 
humiliating ceremonies on him as he approached the royal 
presence that he burst into tears. The son was overpowered 
by this sight, and leaping from the throne threw himself at his 
father's feet. Many happy meetings took place between them 
during a period of twenty days, when Kurrah, after giving his 


son the most salutary advice, returned to his own government. 
But the youth again abandoned himself to indulgence on his 
return to the capital, and it terminated in palsy. Then came 
a scramble for power between the Tartar mercenaries around 
the throne, and the Afghan mountaineers of Ghuzni and 
Ghore denominated the Ghiljies. The Tartars were cut to 
pieces : Kei-kobad was killed hi his bed, and the Ghiljie chief, 
Feroze mounted the throne at the age of seventy, taking the 
title of Jelal-ood-deen. Thus closed the dynasty which has 
been denominated that of the slaves, which commenced 
with the slave Kootub, in 1206, and terminated in 1288, 
within three years of the death of the slave Bulbun. 

1288. *^k e period of thirty-three years, during which 
the Ghiljie family occupied the throne of Delhi, 
was rendered memorable in the history of India, by the sub- 
jugation of the Deccan to the Mahomedan arms. Feroze, on 
mounting the throne, put to death the infant son of the late 
king, whose cause had been espoused by the opposite faction; 
but this was the only act of cruelty during his reign, which 
was, on the contrary, marked by a very impolitic lenity, which 
seemed to multiply crime, and to weaken the authority of 
government. In the fifth year of his reign, in the year 1294, 
Expedition to a century after the battle of Thanesur, which 
the Dtccan 1294. g ave fa Q fi na j i D j ow to Hindoo power in Hindos- 

tan, his nephew, Alla-ood-deen, a man of great energy and 
violent ambition, but without a conscience, carried his arms 
across the Nerbudda, and paved the way for the conquest of 
the Deccan. He had been appointed to the government of 
Oude and Korah, and was successful in subduing some 
refractory chieftains in Bundlecund and Malwa, which led 
him to project a marauding expedition to the south. He 
collected an army of 8,000 men, and swept across the Ner- 
budda with a degree of rapidity, which confounded the native 
princes, and suddenly presented himself before Deogur, the 
Tagara of the Roman writers, the Dowlutabad of modern 
history. The raja, living in the security of perfect peace, 


was ill prepared for resistance, but he contrived to assemble 
a respectable force, which was, however, signally defeated. 
The town was captured and given up to pillage, but the raja 
shut himself up in the citadel, which was considered impreg 
nable. Alla-ood-deen spread a report that his force was only 
the advanced guard of a vast Mahomedan army advancing 
from Delhi, and the raja, from whom all his Hindoo neighbours 
held aloof, was so alarmed at the prospect before him, that 
he sent proposals of peace, with the offer of a large ransom. 
During the negotiation, his son advanced with an army to 
his relief, but was defeated, and the terms of the ransom 
were raised. Some idea of the immense wealth which Alla- 
ood-deen obtained, may be formed from the assertion, that 
the jewels were counted by mauns, even though the maun 
may have been of a lower denomination. From this daring 
exploit Alla-ood-deen returned on the twenty-fifth day, pass- 
ing through various and hostile provinces without molestation, 
from which we gather that the same fatal want of political 
unity which had paved the way for the conquest of the north, 
existed also in the Deccan. It was this expedition which 
exposed the wealth and the weakness of the Hindoo princes 
of the south to the Mahomedans, and opened the door of 
plunder and conquest. 

Accession of Feroze was delighted to learn that his nephew, 
AUa-ood-deen, who had suddenly disappeared, was returned 
covered with glory, and laden with wealth. The 
latter he already reckoned his own, but his wary courtiers 
suspected that the victor had other views than those of sub- 
mission, and advised the emperor to adopt measures for his 
own security; but the generous prince resolved to repose 
confidence in the fidelity of his nephew, and was insiduously 
encouraged to advance and meet him. Alla-ood-deen fell at 
his feet, and the affectionate old man was patting him on the 
cheek, when the assassins, who had been posted in ambush, 
rushed in and despatched him. His reign extended to seven 
years. Alla-ood-deen hastened to Delhi and ascended tho 


throne, and endeavoured to divert the people from the odious 
crime to which he owed his elevation, by the exhibition of 
games and amusements. He was unable to read or write 
when he became king, but applied to letters with such 
assiduity, as to become a good Persian scholar ; after which, 
he surrounded himself with learned men, and took great 
pleasure in their society. His government was stern and 
inflexible, but admirably suited to the exigencies of the time. 
The insurrections which broke out hi various provinces 
immediately on his accession, were quelled by his promptitude 
and energy ; and his reign, which was prolonged to twenty- 
one years, was constantly occupied in efforts to repel the 
Moguls in the north, and to subjugate the Hindoos in the 

Conquest of Two years after he had mounted the throne, he 

Guzerat, 1297. dispatched an army to Guzerat, where the raja 
had resumed his independence. The country had recovered 
from the effect of previous invasions, and was again smiling 
with prosperity, but this new torrent of destruction swept 
away every vestige of improvement, and the Hindoo power 
sunk to rise no more. The magnificent city of Puttun, with 
its marble edifices, built from the quarries of Ajmere, was 
completely demolished. The images of its opulent shrines 
were destroyed, and a Mahomedan mosque erected in front 
of the principal temple. Among the prizes of this campaign 
the historians particularly note Kowla Devee, the wife of 
the king, a woman of unrivalled beauty, who was transferred 
to AUa-ood-deen's seraglio, and Kafoor, a handsome slave, 
who rose to distinction at Court, and eventually became the 
scourge of the Deccan. The expedition to Guzorat was no 
sooner completed, than the attention of the emperor was 
Mogul invar distracted by another Mogul invasion. Two hun- 
dred thousand horsemen, under Kutlugh Khan, 
crossed the Indus, and marched down upon Delhi. The 
wretched inhabitants were driven before them like sheep 
into the city, and famine began to stare that yast multitude 


in the face. The emperor marched out at the head of his 
troops, and the native historian affirms, that on no former 
occasion had so great a multitude of human beings been 
collected together in India in one place. The Indian troops 
won the day, chiefly through the exertions of Zuffer Khan, 
the most distinguished of the emperor's generals. But in the 
pursuit of the enemy he was carried away by his impetuosity; 
the emperor's brother who was jealous of his increasing 
power withheld all succour from him, and he was cut to 
pieces after having performed prodigies of valour. His 
ungenerous master who dreaded his genius, did not hesitate 
to say, that his death was as fortunate a circumstance as the 
defeat of the Moguls. 

capture of In the year 1303, Alla-ood-deen attacked the 

cuittore, 1303. fortress of Chittore, the seat of the Rajpoot 
family, which now reigns at Oodypore. The siege was pushed 
with great vigour, and when all further defence appeared hope- 
less, a large funeral pile was kindled in the fort, into which 
the queen, Pudmanee, a woman of exquisite beauty, and the 
females of the noblest families, threw themselves. After this 
fearful sacrifice, the gates were thrown open, and the raja, 
with his faithful followers, rushed on the weapons of the 
enemy, and obtained the death they sought. The emperor 
destroyed all the temples and palaces which had adorned the 
city, but spared the residence of the king and queen. From 
these transactions he was recalled by another invasion of the 
Moguls, who extended their ravages up to the gates of Delhi, 
and retired in consequence, it was said, of a panic created 
among them by the prayers of a saint. These invasions were 
renewed in 1305 and 1306, but the Moguls were defeated hi 
both expeditions. To make an example of them, the emperor 
ordered the heads of all the male prisoners to be struck off, 
and a pillar to be constructed of them at Delhi, and the women 
and children to be sold into slavery. After this event, there 
was but one farther imiption of these tribes during the 


invasion of tho The first expedition to the Deccan in this reign 
Deccan, 1306. j n ^303 wag interrupted by the invasion of the 
Moguls ; and the generals who were left to conduct it, when 
the emperor was recalled, were unsuccessful. Another army 
was assembled in 1306, under the command of Kafoor, once 
the slave, but now the favourite general of his master, and 
sent to chastise the raja of Deogur, who had neglected to 
pay up his tribute. It was in this expedition that Kafoor 
subdued the Mahrattas, whose name now appears for the 
first time in history. Ram-deva, the king of Deogur, made 
his submission, and proceeded to Delhi to wait on the 
emperor, when he was restored to power. Kafoor, likewise, 
recovered Dewal Devee, the daughter whom the empress had 
borne to her former husband, and who had inherited all her 
mother's beauty. After a long pursuit she was overtaken 
near the caves of Ellpra and this is the earliest notice of 
them and on her arrival at Delhi became the bride of the 
emperor's son; at so early a period do we find intermarriages 
between the Hindoos and the Mahomedans. An expedition sent 
from Bengal along the coast to Warungole, which was for 
nearly two centuries the capital of Telingana, having failed, 
Kafoor was sent against it in 1309. He ravaged the northern 
provinces, obtained a great victory, and took the fort after a 
seige of some months. The raja was condemned to pay 
tribute, and Kafoor returned to Delhi. 

Farther Deccan Tne next y ear he Wa8 Sent with a lal "o 6 ai ' mV 

expedition, 1310. t o the Deccan to reduce the raja of the Carnatic, 
of the Belial family. After a march of three months he reached 
the capital of Dwar Sumooder literally the gate of the 
ocean which has been identified with the modern town of 
Hallabee, a hundred miles north west of Seringapatam. 
Belial Deb fought a great battle, but was defeated and mado 
prisoner, and with him terminated the Belial dynasty of the 
Deccan. The capital was captured and neglected ; and, 
ceasing to be the abode of royalty, dwindled down, like other 
regal seats, into a hamlet. Kafoor does not appear to have 


proceeded farther down on the western or Malabar coast ; but 
he overran the whole of the eastern provinces on the Coro- 
mandel coast, to the extreme limit of the Peninsula ; and at 
Ramisseram, opposite Ceylon, erected a mosque, as a memorial 
of his victories. He returned to Delhi, in 1311, laden with 
the plunder of the Deccan; the value of which has been 
calculated by " sober " historians at 100 crores of rupees. 
The emperor made a liberal distribution of this wealth, but 
his generosity was forgotten in the barbarous massacre of 
15,000 of the converted Moguls who had manifested a dis- 
position to revolt on being capriciously dismissed from his 
service. In the year 1312, Kafoor was again sent into the 
Deccan to coerce the son of Kam-deva, the raja of Deogur, 
who had succeeded his father, and " withdrawn his neck from 
the yoke of obedience." He put the raja to death, annexed 
his kingdom to the throne of Delhi, and carried his arms over 
the whole of the Carnata and Mahratta territories. 
. . Towards the latter period of his reign Alla-ood- 

Extinction of 

the Ghiijie deen gave himself up to indulgence, which en- 
aynasty, 1321. f ee ki e( j both j^s mind and his body; but the 
vigour which he had infused into the government still con- 
tinued to animate it. At length his infatuated attachment 
to Kafoor, whose baseness was equal to his talents, created 
general discontent. It was at the instigation of this wretch 
that he imprisoned his queen, and his two elder sons. Rebel- 
lions broke out in rapid succession in the countries he had 
conquered. Hamir, the renowned Rajpoot chieftain, recovered 
Chittore ; the son-in-law of Ram-deva raised a revolt in the 
Deccan ; Guzerat was for a time in a state of insurrection, 
and the emperor sunk into the grave amidst these dark clouds, 
not without the suspicion of poison. It was during his reign 
that the Mahomedan arms were first carried to Cape Comorin, 
and the authority of the emperor for a tune predominated 
through the length of India; but the more southern conquests 
were transient. Though he was often capricious, and some- 
times cruel, his rule was energetic and beneficial; the in- 


cessant wars of the Hindoo princes with each other were sup- 
pressed by his sovereignty, and a general feeling of security 
gave prosperity and wealth to the country, and magnificent 
buildings rose in every direction. Alla-ood-deen had thoughts 
at one time of setting up for a prophet ; but he gave up the 
project, and contented himself with assuming the title of a 
second Alexander on his coins. Kafoor produced a pretended 
will of his patron, appointing his youngest son his successor, 
and himself regent. Then began the usual destruction of 
the royal family hi the struggle for power. Cafoor put out 
the eyes of the two eldest sons. The officers of the court in 
a few days caused Cafoor himself to be assassinated, and 
placed the third son, Mobarik, on the throne, who immediately 
put to death the instruments of his elevation, and extinguished 
the sight of his youngest brother. On the other hand he re- 
leased 17,000 prisoners, restored lands which had been unjustly 
confiscated, and repealed oppressive taxes. He put himself 
at the head of his army, and by an act of vigour reduced 
Guzerat, and captured the insurgent son-in-law of Ram-deva, 
whom he caused to be flayed alive. But on his return to the 
capital he gave himself up to the most degrading debaucheries, 
while his favourite Khusro, a converted Hindoo, was sent to 
ravage the maritime province of Malabar which Kafoor had 
left untouched, though by some the expedition is supposed to 
have extended only to the province of Coorg. Khusro re- 
turned to Delhi with abundance of treasure, assassinated his 
master, and usurped the throne. To secure the possession 
of it, he proceeded to put every surviving member of the 
royal family to death ; but Ghazee Toghluk, the governor of 
the Punjab, soon after marched on Delhi, with the veteran 
troops of the frontier province, disciplined by constant con- 
flicts with the Moguls, and put an end to the reign and life 
of the monster. 

60 [CHAP. 



GiiAZEE ToGHLUK, after this victory, was 
anxious to place some scion of the royal line on 
the throne, but it was found that the family of Alla-ood-deen 
had been utterly exterminated during the recent convulsions, 
and he was compelled to yield to the wishes of the nobles 
and the people, and accept, the supreme dignity for himself. 
His father was originally a slave of the emperor Bulbun, 
who rose through various offices to the government of Mool- 
tan, which devolved on his son at his death. The administra- 
tion of the empire in his hands was as commendable as the 
acquisition of it had been blameless. His son, Jonah Khan, 
was sent against the king of Telingana, but was completely 
baffled, and brought back only 3,000 of his troops to Delhi. 
But a second expedition which he undertook in 1323 was 
more successful, and resulted hi the capture of the capital, 
Warungole, and the extinction of the Hindoo dynasty, which 
had flourished for two centuries and a half. Complaints were 
at this tune carried up to the throne of oppressions in Bengal. 
That province had been under the government of the noble 
Kurrah, the son of the emperor Bulbun, for forty years, during 
which period he had witnessed the rise and fall of an entire 
dynasty, consisting of four sovereigns. The charges against 
him proved to be groundless ; the emperor confirmed him in 
his government, and the native historian illustrates the muta- 
tions of fortune by remarking, that it was the slave of the 
father who accorded the use of the royal umbrella to the son. 
On his return to the capital, the emperor was entertained at 
Afghanpore by his son Jonah Khan, in a magnificent pavi- 
lion which he had erected for the occasion ; but the son had 


no sooner retired from the edifice than it fell and crushed the 
father to death. 

Mahomed Jonah Khan ascended the throne in 1325, arid 

Togwuk, 1325. assiim ed the title of Mahomed Toghluk. This 
prince, whose follies brought on the dismemberment of the 
empire, was a compound of the most contradictory qualities. 
He was the most accomplished prince of his day, skilled ia 
every science, and learned even in the philosophy of the 
Greek schools, a liberal patron of learning, temperate, and 
even austere in his private life, and distinguished in the field 
by his courage and military talents. But all these noble 
qualities were neutralized by such perversity of disposition, 
and such paroxysms of tyranny, as made him the object of 

universal execration. It was the intoxication of absolute 


power which incited him to acts Avhich none but a madman 
would have thought of. " So little," says the native histo- 
rian, " did he hesitate to shed the blood of God's creatures, 
that when he took vengeance, it seemed as if he wished to 
exterminate the human family." The veiy first act of his 
reign was an enigma. The Moguls invaded the Punjab, 
under one of their most celebrated generals, and the emperor 
bought them off with a large subsidy, though he could not 
fail to perceive that this display of weakness would inevitably 
bring them back with a keener appetite for plunder. He 
then assembled a large army for the conquest of Persia, but, 
after consuming his resources, it was broken up for waat of 
pay, and became the terror of his own subjects in every 
direction. Finding his treasury exhausted by his extravagant 
schemes, he determined to replenish it by levying contribu- 
tions on the empire of China. A body of 100,000 men was 
accordingly sent across the snowy range, but it was attacked 
by a superior force on reaching the confines of that empire, 
and obliged to retire. Harassed in their retreat by the 
Chinese troops, and the exasperated mountaineers, and worn 
out by fatigue and privation, few of the unfortunate troops 
returned to tell the tale of their disgrace, and those who 


survived the sword and famine were butchered by their own 
master. Having heard that the Chinese were in the habit of 
using a paper currency, he determined to adopt this mode of 
filling his coffers, only substituting copper tokens for paper. 
The insolvency of the treasury depreciated the value of the 
tokens, and foreign merchants refused to touch them. The 
mercantile transactions of the empire were thrown into con- 
fusion, and the universal misery and discontent which the 
measure entailed, constrained him to withdraw the tokens, 
but not before thousands had been ruined by them. So ex- 
orbitant were his exactions, that the husbandmen sought 
refuge in the woods, and wei<,' driven to robbery for a sub- 
sistence. The towns were deserted, and the inhabitants 
goaded into resistance by despair. The enraged emperor 
ordered out his army as if for a royal hunt, surrounded a 
large circle of territory, and drove the wretched people into 
the centre, where they were slaughtered like wild beasts. 
On a subsequent occasion, he ordered a general massacre of 
the inhabitants of Cunouj. 
^ . .,/ , I n the year 1338 he took the field in person 

Continued fol- . . J - 

iies of Mahomed, against his nephew, who had been driven to revolt 
in the Deccan. The young prince was captured 
and flayed alive. On reaching Deogur, Mahomed was so 
charmed with the beauty of its situation, and the mildness of 
the climate, that he resolved to make it the capital of his em- 
pire, and at the same time changed its name to Dowlutabad. 
With his usual fatuity, he ordered Delhi to be abandoned, and 
its inhabitants, men, women, and children, to travel to the 
new city, a distance of 800 miles, along a road which he 
caused to be planted with full-grown trees. This wild at- 
tempt to change the long established metropolis of the 
empire was for a time suspended in consequence of the in- 
tolerable misery it created. It was subsequently revived, 
but though Delhi was deserted, Dowlutabad did not prosper, 
and the project was eventually abandoned, after thousands 
of families had been ruined by it. At the same tune, as if to 


mock the calamities of his subjects, he caused a decayed 
tooth, which had been extracted, to be interred at Beer, and 
erected a magnificent mausoleum over it. At length he con- 
ceived the notion that the disasters of his reign arose from 
the fact of his not having received investiture from the 
Caliph, the successor of Mahomed. A splendid embassy was 
accordingly sent to Bagdad, and on its return with the firman, 
he ordered the names of all his predecessors who had not 
received the same honour, to be struck out of the royal 

Eevoitofthc These caprices and oppressions produced the 
provinces, 1340. na tural harvest of insurrections. The province of 
Bengal- revolted in 1340, and it continued to be independent 
of the throne of Delhi for more than two centuries. Two 
Hindoo fugitives from Telingana, under a divine impulse, as 
the local historians affirm, and, under the guidance of a holy 
sage, proceeded to the banks of the Toombudra, and esta- 
blished a Hindoo kingdom, with Beejuynugur for its capital. 
The site of this city is supposed to correspond with that of 
the ancient capital of Hunooman and Soogrevu, who assisted 
Eamu in his expedition against Kavunu with their half savage 
subjects, and were described by the poet as the kings of the 
monkeys, and elevated by the piety of the brahmins to the 
rank of gods. About the same time a descendant of the 
royal house of Telingana established an independent princi- 
pality at Golconda, and for two centuries after this period, 
we find these two Hindoo powers taking an active part in the 
politics of the Deccan, and maintaining a vigorous struggle 
with the power of the Mahomedans. A still more important 
revolution wrested all the remaining provinces south of the j 
Nerbudda from the sceptre of Delhi. Of the foreign merce- 
naries from Tartary, Afghanistan, and other countriea 
beyond the Indus, with whom the imperial armies were con- 
stantly recruited, a large body consisted of the Moguls, who 
had embraced the creed of Mahomed. A large colony of them 
was also settled in Guzerat, and they rose at this time to 


avenge the wanton slaughter of seventy of their nobles. 
The emperor immediately proceeded against them, gave up 
the cities of Surat and Cambay to plunder, and ravaged the 
whole province as if it had been an enemy's country. The 
Guzerat Moguls obtained an asylum hi the Deccan, where 
they were joined by all whom the atrocities of Mahomed had 
exasperated, and, having taken possession of Dowlutabad, 
proclaimed Ismael Khan, an Afghan, king. The emperor 
marched against them with great promptitude, inflicted a 
signal defeat on them, and shut them in that fortress. But, 
while engaged in besieging it, he was called away by a fresh 
conspiracy in Guzerat. The Moguls defeated his son-in-law, 
who had been left in command, and in conjunction with the 
governor of Malwa, who had likewise revolted from his 
master, succeeded in establishing a new monarchy in the 
Deccan, which is known in history as the Bahminy kingdom. 
In 1351, Mahomed proceeded against the prince of Tatta, in 
Sinde, who had given an asylum to the Guzerat insurgents. 
He halted within a few miles of that city to celebrate the 
Mohurrum, and surfeited himself with fish, which brought on 
Death of a fever, of which he died in 1351. At the time of 
Mahomed, 1351. kj g death all the Mahomedan possessions in the 
Deccan, as well as the province of Bengal, had been alienated 
from the throne of Delhi. 

Feroze TogWuk, Mahomed was succeeded by his nephew Feroze 
13511388. Toghluk, who endeavoured to recover Bengal, 
but seeing no chance of success, acknowledged the indepen- 
dence of Hajee, who had assumed the government, and wisely 
fixed the boundaries of the kingdom. Soon after, he con- 
sented to receive an envoy from the Bahminy king of the 
Deccan, and thus admitted the fact of his sovereignty. The 
reign of Feroze, though by no means brilliant, was marked 
by a wise administration. He discouraged luxury by his 
own example, repealed vexatious imposts, limited the number 
of capital punishments, and abolished torture and mutilation. 
But the erection of public works was his ruling passion, 


and the historians of his day enumerate with exultation 
among the monuments which he left, fifty dams across rivers 
to promote irrigation, forty mosques, thirty colleges, twenty 
palaces, thirty reservoirs, five mausoleums, a hundred cara- 
vanseras, a hundred hospitals, a hundred public baths, a 
hundred and fifty bridges, and two hundred towns. The 
greatest achievement of his reign, however, was the canal 
from the source of the Ganges to the Sutlege, which still 
bears his name, and places him among the most renowned 
benefactors of mankind. After a reign of thirty-four years, 
he resigned the throne to his son, usually called Mahomed 
Toghluk the second, who gave himself up to indulgence, and 
was deposed by the nobles, when Feroze was constrained to 
resume the imperial power. But he was now in the ninetieth 
year of his age", and in 1388 transferred the sceptre to his 
grandson, Gheias. During the next ten years, the throne 
was occupied by no fewer than four princes. The court was 
filled with plots ; two kings resided within the circuit of the 
capital, for three years, and waged incessant war with each 
other. Hindostan was thrown into a state of complete 
anarchy, and four independent kingdoms were carved out of 
the dominions of Delhi, leaving nothing to that august throne 
but the districts immediately around it. 

The four independent kingdoms established 
dent kingdoms, about the close of the fourteenth century, upon 
13951400. j-he rums o f the imperial power, were those of 
Malwa, Guzerat, Candesh, and Jounpore. Dilawur Khan, of 
Ghore, the governor of Malwa, who raised the standard of 
independence, fixed his capital at the time-honoured city 
of Dhar, and subsequently removed it to Mandoo, fifteen 
miles to the north of the Nerbudda, the ramparts of which 
are said to have been thirty-seven miles in circumference. 
Mozuffer Khan, a Rajpoot converted to Mahomedanism, and 
like all converts, in India at least, a ruthless persecutor 
of his former creed, had been sent to Guzerat by one of the 
successors of Feroze to supersede the governor, who was 



suspected of treachery. His independence may be said to 
date from the day of his accession to the government, as 
there was no power at Delhi to enforce his obedience. It 
was about the year 1398 that Nazir Khan, the viceroy of 
Candesh, which consists of the lower valley of the Taptee, 
threw off his allegiance, and espoused a daughter of the new 
king of Guzerat, to which more powerful state his little prin- 
cipality was generally considered subordinate. Still nearer 
the capital, Khojah Jehan, the vizier of Mahomed Toghluk 
the third, and likewise viceroy of Jounpore, availed himself 
of the troubles of the times to assume the royal umbrella. 
The empire of Delhi, thus despoiled of its fairest provinces, 
fell an easy prey to the invader, who was now approaching 
it, the most ferocious of any of those who have laid waste 
the plains of Hindostan. 

Timur 1398 T ^ e -^ meer Timur > or Tamerlane, was born 
within forty miles of Samarcand, and came of a 
Turki family, which had long been in the service of the de- 
scendants of Jenghis Khan. His lot was cast at a period in 
human affairs when the decay of vigour in the established 
kingdoms presented the fairest opportunity for the foundation 
of a new empire by any daring adventurer. Timur was pos- 
sessed of the spirit suited to such an enterprise, and, having 
been raised at the age of thirty-four, to the throne of 
Samarcand by the general voice of his countrymen, in the 
course of a few years prostrated every throne that stood in 
the way of his progress, and became at once the scourge of 
Asia, and the terror of Europe. Animated by a stupendous 
ambition, he led the hordes of Tartary to the conquest 
of Persia, Khorasan and Transoxiana, and subjugated the 
whole of Mesopotamia and Georgia, and a portion of Russia 
and Siberia. Having made himself master of the whole of 
Central Asia, he despatched his grandson, Peer Mahomed, 
with a powerful army to invade India. The youth, however, 
encountered more opposition than was expected, and Timur 
found it necessary to advance to bis support^ He arrived on 


the banks of the Indus on the 12th of September, 1398, with 
ninety-two squadrons of horse, and crossed it at Attock, 
where Alexander the Great had crossed it before him. Hia 
grandson soon after joined his camp, and the two armies 
marched to Bhutnere, but though the town was surrendered 
on terms, it was burnt to the ground, and the inhabitants 
were put to the sword. The villages and towns were de- 
eerted as he advanced, but a considerable number of 
prisoners necessarily remained in his hands, and as they were 
found greatly to encumber his march, he ordered them 
all to be massacred in cold blood, to the number of 100,000. 
A battle was soon after fought under the walls of Delhi, 
between the veterans of Timur and the effeminate soldiers of 
the empire, with the result which might have been expected. 
The emperor was defeated and fled to Guzerat, and Timur 
entered the city, and caused himself to be proclaimed emperor. 
His soldiers could not be restrained from their usual violence 
which brought on resistance, and the whole of the Mogul 
army was let loose on the devoted city. The scenes of horror 
which ensued defy all description. The citizens sold then: lives 
dear, but their valour was quenched in their blood, and many 
streets were choked up with dead bodies. After Timur had 
satiated his revenge and satisfied his cupidity, by the desola- 
tion of the city, " he offered up to the divine Majesty," as his 
historian observes, " the sincere and humble tribute of grateful 
praise in the noble mosque of poh'shed marble," erected by 
Feroze on the banks of the Jumna, and directed his army to 
prepare for its return. On his way back he ordered a general 
massacre in the city of Meerut, and then proceeding to 
Hurdwar, skirted the hills, and recrossed the Indus in March, 
1399. He contented himself with the mere title of emperor 
of India, and left the country a prey to the distractions which 
his invasion had intensely aggravated. 

Mahomed Toghluk, the third, who had fled to 
the syuds, Guzerat after his defeat, returned to Delhi on the 
1412-1450. departure of Timur, but his minister, Ekbal, monq- 

f 2 


polized all the power of the state. Khizir, the governor of La- 
hore and Mooltan, resenting this usurpation, attacked and 
slew him, and thus restored to Mahomed some portion of his 
authority which he exercised till 1412. On his death, Khizir 
marched a second time to Delhi, and extinguished the Toghluk 
dynasty. He was a descendant of the prophet, and hia 
family, which filled the throne for thirty-six years, has from 
that circumstance, been denominated that of the Syuds. 
Khizir affected to decline the title of emperor, and styled 
himself the viceroy of Timur, in whose name he struck the 
coin, and caused the Khooiba to be read in the mosques. His 
administration was beneficial, and prosperity began again to 
dawn on the desolated provinces. He added his own princi- 
pality of the Punjab to the dominions of the imperial crown, 
but he made little progress in recovering the other districts 
which had become independent. His son, Mobarik, suc- 
ceeded him in 1421, but his reign of thirteen years was 
marked by no event except an indecisive battle with the king 
of Jounpore. The territories subject to Delhi were as limited 
in extent at his death as they had been at his accession. He 
was assassinated by some Hindoos at the instigation of his 
vizier, who raised his son Syud Mahomed to the throne, but 
was himself cut off by the exasperated nobles. The youth 
was found to be totally unfit for the duties of government, 
and the governors of the few districts still attached to the 
throne, began to aspire to independence. Among these, was 
Beloli Lodi, an Afghan, who made himself master of Mooltan, 
and tfye greater part of the Punjab. Encouraged by the 
weakness of the throne, the king of Malwa marched to the 
capital, but was repulsed by Beloli, within two miles of its 
gates. That chief subsequently laid siege to the city which 
he had saved, but finding himself unable to capture it, with- 
drew to his own province, to await the demise of the crown, 
which occurred in 1445. Mahomed was succeeded by his son 
Alla-ood-deen, during whose weak reign the domains belong- 
ing to the throne were still farther reduced, till at length 

in.] LODI DYNASTY. 69 

they extended only twelve miles from the city in one direc- 
tion, and scarcely a mile in the other. Beloli Lodi, thinking 
the pear was now ripe, marched down upon Delhi. The king 
resigned the throne to him without a sigh, and retired on a 
pension to Budaon, where he passed twenty-eight years of 
his life in cultivating his gardens. With him, in 1450, ended 
the house of the Syuds. 

Beioii Lodi, Beloli was an Afghan of the tribe of Lodi, 
14501488. now known as the Lohanee, which is engaged 
chiefly in the conveyance of merchandise between Hindostan 
and Persia. His grandfather, a wealthy trader, repaired to 
the court of Feroze Toghluk, the first great patron of the 
Afghans, where he acquired sufficient interest to obtain the 
government of Mooltan, to which was subsequently added 
that of the Punjab. This rich inheritance eventually came to 
Beloli, though not without great opposition on the part of his 
relatives. His success was chiefly owing to the talents of 
Humeed, the vizier of his predecessor, whom he subsequently 
banished from his court, on the plea that he was becoming 
too powerful for a subject. The ambitious Beloli was not 
likely to remain content with the humble limits to which the 
imperial territory had been reduced, and the great object of 
his reign was to extend his authority, and more particularly 
to' re-annex the kingdom of Jounpore to the crown, which, 
since its establishment, had become, in every respect, the 
rival of Delhi. Beloli had not been two years on the throne 
before he made an inroad into it, but was vigorously repulsed. 
The struggle between the two kingdoms was prolonged with 
various successes for twenty-eight years, during which period 
Delhi was twice besieged by the armies of Jounpore. Hos- 
tilities were occasionally suspended by a truce, but it only 
afforded the combatants the opportunity of recruiting their 
strength for fresh conflicts. It is distressing to reflect on the 
desolation entailed on these districts, which form the garden 
of Hindostan, and the misery inflicted on the wretched in- 
habitants, by the internecine wars of these two royal houses, 


in comparison with which even the oppression of the worst of 
governments must appear light. Happily for the interests of 
humanity, the conflict was brought to a close in 1476, when 
the " King of the East," as he was styled, fled to Bengal and 
the kingdom of Jounpore was absorbed in the territory of 
Delhi. The dynasty existed for eighty years, of which period 
one-half was comprised hi the reign of Ibrahim, one of the 
most illustrious princes in the history of Hindostan. Under 
his beneficent administration, the prosperity of the country 
reached its summit. Learned men from all parts of India 
were invited to the court, which was universally acknow- 
ledged to be the most polished and elegant in India. The city 
of Jounpore was adorned with superb and massive structures, 
the remains of which to this day testify the magnificence 
of the dynasty. Beloli survived this protracted warfare ten 
years, and died in 1488, after a reign of thirty-eight years, 
during which he succeeded in extending the territory of the 
crown from the Jumna to the Himalayu, and from the Indus 
to Benares. 

Seconder ana Beloli, as if he had determined to render family 
Ibrahim Lodi, feuds inevitable, divided his territories among 1 his 

1133 1526 

sons, but Secunder, to whom he had bequeathed 
the largest share, together with the throne, lost no time in 
dispossessing his brothers. His prosperous reign of twenty- 
eight years was marked by the recovery of Behar. Though 
just and equitable in his administration, he followed the rule 
rather than the exception of the Mahomedan conquerors of 
India with regard to the treatment of the Hindoos. He lost 
no opportunity of manifesting his hatred of them, and in 
every quarter demolished their temples and erected mosques 
with the materials. In the holy city of Muttra he planted a 
mosque in front of the stairs leading to the sacred stream, 
and at length forbade the devotees to bathe in it, and the 
barbers to shave the pilgrims. In the year 1517, he was suc- 
ceeded by Ibrahim, the third and last of his line, who 
alienated the nobles by his suspicious temper and his haughty 


demeanour. His reign was a constant struggle with rebel- 
lion. Behar revolted under its governor, who is said to have 
brought a body of 100,000 men into the field, and repeatedly 
defeated the armies of the emperor. A prince of his own 
family took possession of the eastern districts and endea- 
voured to revive the kingdom of Jounpore. Dowlut Khan, 
the governor of the Punjab, the viceroys of which had fre- 
quently imposed their own orders on the emperor of Delhi, 
and more than once usurped the throne itself, now entered 
into negotiations with Sultan Baber for the invasion of Hin- 
dostan. Even the emperor's own brother, Alla-ood-deen, 
joined that prince at Cabul, and encouraged him in his designs 
on Hindostan. The success which attended his invasion will 
be the subject of a future chapter. Having thus reached the 
period when the throne of Delhi was transferred to the fifth 
and last Mahomedan dynasty, we turn to the progress of 
events in the Deccan, in Malwa, and in Guzerat, from the 
period when those provinces were separated from the empire. 
Candesh, The principality of Candesh, the governor of 

Maiwa, Gozerat, wnich had revo i t ed from the throne of Delhi, 

and Mewar, to 

1443. though abounding in population and wealth was 

too limited and weak for independent action, and became sub- 
servient to its more powerful neighbours. During the period 
of more than a century and a half which elapsed between the 
dismemberment of the empire under Mahomed Toghluk, and 
the rise of the Mogul dynasty, the two Mahomedan kings of 
Guzerat, and Malwa, and the Hindoo raja of Mewar, or 
Oodipore, were engaged in perpetual hostilities with each 
other, and their history may therefore be conveniently grouped 
together. Sultan Dilawur, the first independent king of 
Malwa, bequeathed the kingdom in 1405, to his son, Sultan 
Hoshung, who was engaged for more than twenty-five years 
in wars with his neighbours, in which he was seldom success- 
ful. His name is perpetuated in the town of Hoshungabad, 
which he founded. He was attacked and made prisoner by 
Hozuffer, the king of Guzerat, but was released, upon a report 


that his subjects were about to elect another sovereign, and 
take the field. Mozuffer was succeeded in 1412 by his grand' 
eon, Ahmed Shah, whose long reign of thirty years, was 
passed in constant hostilities either with Malwa or Mewar. 
His name survives in the new capital, Ahmedabad, which he 
erected on the banks of the Sabunnuttee, and adorned with 
magnificent mosques, caravanseras and palaces, in such pro- 
fusion, that the Mahomedan historians described it as the 
handsomest city in the world. He was a zealous Mahomedan, 
and a great destroyer of Hindoo temples and images. He was 
succeeded in 1443 by his son, Mahomed Shah, surnamed by 
his subjects, the " merciful," and by his enemies, the " weak." 
Sultan Hoshung, the turbulent king of Malwa, died in 1432, 
and bequeathed the kingdom to his son, who was soon after 
put to death by his minister, Mahmood Khan Ghiljie, the 
Afghan, who mounted the throne, and proved to be the ablest 
of the kings of Malwa, during a long reign of forty-seven 
years, which extended from 1435 to 1482. Some years after 
his accession, he invaded Guzerat with an army of 100,000 
men, and pursued the feeble monarch to the promontory of 
I)UL The Guzerattee nobles, anxious to retrieve the national 
honour, persuaded the queen to administer poison to him, and 
then raised his son, Kootub Shah, to the throne, and resolved 
to make a vigorous effort for their independence. A pitched 
battle was accordingly fought under the walls of Ahmedabad, 
in which Mahmood was for the first and last time defeated ; 
but seeing the day lost, he put himself at the head of some 
troopers, and pushing through eveiy obstacle, bore off the 
regalia in triumph from the tent of the king. Notwithstand- 
ing this partial reverse, he seems to have had the unobstructed 
range of northern India, as we find him the next year march- 
ing to Biana, and establishing his son governor of Ajmere. 
On his return to Malwa he proceeded first against the 
Bahminy kingdom in the Deccan, then to Candesh, and finally 
against the rajah of Chittore. 
War with During the scenes of confusion at Delhi, which 


Chittore, 1554. have been previously described, one Hindoo king- 
dom in the north recovered its independence, and succeeded 
in maintaining it for two centuries the Eajpoot state of 
Chittore, or Mewar. In the days of sultan Hoshung the 
throne was filled by Koombhoo, one of the most illustrious 
princes of that ancient line, who applied himself for fifty 
years vigorously to the consolidation of Eajpoot power, and 
founded the city of Koomulnere. In 1456, Kootub Shah of 
Guzerat, formed an alliance with Mahmood of Malwa, for 
the conquest and partition of Mewar, but the result of the 
war is differently related. The Mahomedan historians affirm 
that the Rajpoot prince acknowledged himself the vassal of 
Mahmood, while Hindoo writers state that he was triumphant, 
and erected a column to commemorate his victory on, the 
brow of Chittore. In 1461, Mahmood, seeing the throne of 
the Deccan filled by a child, and the country distracted by 
factions, marched against the capital, Beder, under the walla 
of which a battle was fought in which he proved victorious. 
He renewed the invasion the next year, when the ministers, 
unable to cope with his superior force, implored the aid of 
the king of Guzerat, who readily granted it, and obliged the 
invader to retire, by creating a diversion in his own territo- 
ries of Malwa. A treaty appears to have been subsequently 
concluded between him and the Bahminy cabinet, based upon 
the cession of certain districts. The career of Mahmood, the 
greatest of the kings of Malwa, " whose tent was his house, 
and the battle field his resting place," was at length brought 
to a close in 1482, and the court of Mandoo exhibited a sudden 
and ludicrous change. 

His son and successor, Gheias-ood-deen, had no 

Gheias-ood- ..-. 

deen's seraglio, sooner ascended the throne, than he invited his 
nobles and officers to a splendid entertainment, 
and hi a set speech informed them, that he had passed thirty- 
four-years in the field, fighting by the side of hie gallant 
father, and was determined to spend the remainder of his life 
in peace and enjoyment, that he intended to retain the royal 


dignity, but to transfer the management of affairs to his son. 
The youth was accordingly proclaimed vizier, and the king 
retired to his seraglio, which he had filled with 15,000 of the 
most beautiful women he could procure. In this female court, 
the pomp and distinctions of royalty were strictly maintained ; 
the royal body guard consisted of 500 Turki maidens dressed 
in male attire and armed with bows and quivers, and of 500 
Abyssinian girls furnished with firearms. Strange as it may 
appear, the king was allowed to enjoy this pageantry for 
eighteen years, without a single attempt at rebellion. His 
son, Nazir-ood-deen, succeeded him in 1500, and his reign of 
twelve years was noted only by its cruelty and sensuality. 
,. * >. During the listless reign of Gheias-ood-deen, of 

Mahmood Shah, ' 

of Guzerat, Malwa, and the dissolute reign of his son, the rival 
H59-1511. t h r one of Guzerat was filled by Mahmood Shah, 
the brother of Kootub Shah, who ascended the throne in 1459, 
and shed lustre on it for fifty years. Though crowned at the 
early age of fourteen, his talents were soon matured, and it 
was while yet a youth that he marched into Malwa, and 
created the diversion which has been noticed. The European 
travellers who visited his court, awed by the dignity of his 
personal appearance, conceived the most extravagant opinion 
of his power. They affirmed that a portion of his daily food 
consisted of mortal poisons, with which his system be- 
came so impregnated, that if a fly sat on him it dropped 
down dead. He was the original of the picture drawn by 
the British poet of the prince of Cambay, " whose food was 
asp, and basilisk and toad." But even without the power of 
digesting poisons, he was a most puissant prince. In 1469, 
he attacked Gernal, a Hindoo fortress, of boundless antiquity 
and impregnable strength. It fell on the third assault, when 
the king is said to have persuaded the raja and all his court 
to embrace Mahomedanism. Three years after, he overrun 
Cutch and defeated an army of Belochees, annexed Sinde 
to his dominions, and extended his boundary to the Indus. 
Soon after, a Mahomedan saint complained to him that on hia 


return from Ormuz in Persia, he had been ill-used and plun- 
dered by the people of Jugut, the land's end of India on 
the western coast. The king and his soldiers were equally 
inflamed by the story of the holy man's wrongs, and they 
marched with great zeal " against the infernat-minded 
brahmins," as the Mahomedan historian, Ferishta, calls them. 
Jugut was reduced, but the pirates on the coast, who fled 
to the island of Bete, in the gulf of Cambay, are said to have 
fought twenty naval battles before they were finally subdued. 
In 1482, Mahmood led an army against the Hindoo ruler of 
the very ancient principality of Chumpanere. The place is 
said to have been defended by 60,000 Rajpoots, of whom a 
large number fell in the siege, and the prince and his minis- 
ters were put to death, when it was found that they refused 
to become Musulmans. The conflicts of the Guzerat navy' 
with the Portuguese during this reign, will be narrated here- 
after. On the death of this renowned prince in 1511, he was 
succeeded by his son, Mozuffer the Second. 

Mahmood the Second, the last king of Malwa, 

Mahmood, the 

second, of Mai- ascended the throne in 1512, when his nobles con- 
wa, 1512. spired to unseat him and to elevate his brother. 
The confederacy was defeated through the exertions of Medni 
Roy, the Rajpoot chief of Chunderee, who was thereupon ap- 
poirited the chief minister as the reward of his services, and 
proceeded forthwith to fill the court and the army with his 
own countrymen. The Mahomedans, considering all the offices 
of state as their own property, resented this intrusion, and 
endeavoured to infuse suspicions into the mind of the king, 
who is said to have dismissed 40,000 Rajpoots at once from 
his service, and to have employed assassins to despatch the 
minister himself. He escaped with a few wounds, and even- 
tually succeeded in regaining his power at the Malwa court. 
Mahmood, feeling himself little better than a prisoner in his 
own capital, escaped to Guzerat, where he found the king, 
equally with himself, alarmed at the growing power of the 
Hindoos. The neighbouring kingdom of Chittore was go- 


verned at the time by Eana Sunga, who had raised it to the 
summit of prosperity by his genius and valour. His army 
consisted of 80,000 horse, supported by 500 war elephants. 
Seven rajas of the highest rank, and a hundred and thirteen 
of inferior note attended his stirrup to the field. The rajas 
of Jeypore and Marwar served under his banner, and he was 
the acknowledged head of all the Rajpoot tribes. The historian 
of Rajpootana enumerates eighteen pitched battles which he 
had fought with Malwa and Guzerat. Those two sovereigns 
dreaded lest Medni Roy should obtain possession of the re- 
sources of Malwa, and unite with the Rana in establishing 
Hindoo sovereignty throughout central India. To meet this 
danger, they marched against Mandoo, the capital of Malwa, 
which was then held by the son of Mcclni Roy, and which did 
not surrender until 19,000 Rajpoots had fallen in its defence. 
Mahmood was restored to his kingdom, and in 1519 measured 
his strength with Rana Sunga. In the battle which ensued, 
the Malwa king was totally defeated and captured. The 
generous Rajpoot prince personally attended to his wounds, 
and, when they were healed, liberated him without a ransom. 
Hostilities, however, continued between the king of Guzerat 
and the Rana, which, after a succession of successes and 
defeats, terminated in a solid peace. 

Extinction of On the death of Mozuffer of Guzerat in 1526, 
Midwa - the throne was successively occupied by two 

princes, who speedily disappeared, when the wild and way- 
ward Bahadoor Shah ascended it. A brother of his fled to 
Malwa, and, in an evil hour, the king Mahmood granted him 
an asylum, which so incensed Bahadoor, that he immediately 
equipped a large army for the invasion of the country. 
While this storm was gathering on one side, the ill-starred 
king provoked the wrath of Rana Sunga, who lost no time in 
forming an alliance with Bahadoor Shah, and their united 
forces poured down like a torrent upon Malwa. Mahmood ia 
some measure retrieved his reputation by his noble conduct 
in the last scene of his life. Though his army was reduced 


to 3,000, he still continued to defend his capital with great 
courage, but he was at length obliged to capitulate ; and on 
the 26th of May, a month after Baber had established the 
Mogul dynasty on the throne of Delhi, the standard of 
Guzerat was planted on the battlements of Mandoo, x and the 
kingdom of Malwa, then in its hundred and twenty-fifth 
year, was absorbed in the dominions of its rival. Mahmood 
and his seven sons were sent prisoners to Chumpanere, but 
were put to death on the road, hi consequence of an attack 
by the Bheels. 
_ . It has been stated that the oppressions of Ma- 

The Bahminy 

dynasty, homed Toghluk produced a revolt in the Deccan, 

397 ' which issued in the establishment of an indepen- 
dent kingdom. Ismael, the Afghan, who had been raised to 
the throne, voluntarily ceded it soon after to the general 
Hussun Gungu, who had been the chief instrument in acheiv- 
ing the revolution. He was likewise an Afghan, but of 
humble extraction, who leased a plot of ground from a Hindoo 
astrologer hi the city of Delhi, and resigned to him of his 
own accord some valuable treasure which he had discovered 
in it. The astrologer was so highly pleased with his honesty 
as to recommend him to the notice of the emperor, under 
whose favour he rose to great distinction. Out of gratitude 
to the astrologer Gungu, his early patron, he had assumed 
his name, and on his elevation to the throne of the Deccan in 
1347* took the additional title of Bahminy, by which the 
dynasty is generally known in history. The kingdom com- 
prised all the territories held by the emperor of Delhi south 
of the Nerbudda, with the exception of the provinces of the 
two Hindoo kingdoms of Telingana and Beejuynugur, the 
establishment of which circumscribed the Bahminy dominions, 
and led to incessant war. Hussun died in 1358, after a pros- 
perous reign of eleven years, and was succeeded by his son 
Mahomed, who commenced his reign by attacking the king 
of Telingana, and obliging him to sue for peace, which was 
granted on the cession of the hill of Golconda, and the eur- 


render of a throne of immense value, which was subsequently 
enriched with additional jewels till it was estimated to be 
worth four crores of rupees. Soon after Mahomed, in a 
drunken revel, granted an order on the treasury of Beejuy- 
nugur, and the raja immediately sent an army across the 
Kistna to revenge the insult, when the town of Moodgul was 
captured and its inhabitants put to the sword. Mahomed, 
on hearing of the slaughter, swore "that food and sleep 
should be unlawful to him till he had propitiated the martyrs 
of Moodgul by the slaughter of a hundred thousand infidels." 
He crossed the Toombudra and pursued the raja for three 
months from district to district, putting to death every 
Hindoo who fell into his hands. A pitched battle was at 
length fought, in which the Bahminy monarch was victorious, 
when having, as he hoped, completed his vow of revenge, he 
granted his opponent honourable terms, and, on his return to 
his own capital, devoted his time to the improvement of his 
dominions. He died in 1375, after a reign of seventeen 
years, and was succeeded by his son Mujahid Shah, who pos- 
sessed the most majestic beauty of all the princes of his line, 
and was exceeded by none in valour and fortitude. He began 
his reign by demanding from the raja of Beejuynugur, 
Kaichore, Moodgul, and other places lying in the dooab of the 
Kistna and the Toombudra, the object of perpetual strife 
between the rival Hindoo and Mahomedan powers. The 
demand was refused, and a war commenced, during which 
Mujahid chased the raja for six months through the whole 
extent of the Carnatic, and at length accepted his submission. 
The merit of the young king in this campaign was rendered 
the more conspicuous by the disparity of his resources as 
compared with those of the Hindoo raja, whose territories 
stretched from sea to sea, and who reckoned the rulers of 
Malabar and Ceylon among his tributaries. Mujahid was 
assassinated by his own uncle, after a brief reign of four 
Ferozeana Fcroze, tho son of the assassin, mounted the 


Ahmed Shah, throne in 1397, and his reign and that of his 
13971435. brother, which occupied thirty- seven years, are 
considered the most palmy days of the dynasty. Feroze 
reigned twenty-five years, and made twenty-four campaigns. 
He carried fire and sword through the whole extent of the 
Carnatic, and constrained the raja of Beejuynugur to submit 
to an annual tribute of a crore of rupees, and to give him his 
daughter in marriage. He was a great patron of learning, 
and erected an observatory. He established a mercantile 
navy, and instructed his commanders to bring the most 
learned men and the most handsome women from the ports 
they visited. His seraglio is said to have contained beauties 
from thirteen different nations ; and the historians affirm that 
he was able to converse with each one in her own tongue. 
He likewise made a point of copying sixteen pages of the 
Koran every fourth day. The close of his reign was gloomy. 
He wantonly engaged in hostilities with the raja of Beejuy- 
nugur, and was totally defeated. The triumphant Hindoos 
appeared anxious to bring up the arrears of vengeance due to 
their relentless enemies. In the various towns which they 
captured they razed the mosques to the ground, and erected 
platforms of the heads of the slain. The end of Feroze 
was hastened by these reverses, and he was succeeded by 
his brother Ahmed Shah, denominated Wully, or the saint, for 
the supposed efficacy of his prayers in procuring rain in a 
season of drought. Anxious to recover the prestige of the 
Mahomedan power he proceeded immediately to the invasion 
of the Hindoo kingdom. He crossed the Toombudra in great 
force, defeated the raja, and pursued the Hindoos in every 
direction with unrelenting ferocity, halting only to celebrate a 
feast whenever the number of the slain was computed to have 
reached 20,000. He obliged the raja to pay up all arrears of 
tribute, and then turned his arms against Teliugana, captured 
and despoiled the capital, and, according to the usual 
Mahomedan practice, pulled down the temples, and erected 
mosques with the materials. He then marched to the north, 


where he was captivated with the situation of Beder to such 
a degree that he caused a new city to be built on the site, 
which he called after his own name, Ahmedabad Beder, and 
adorned it with magnificent buildings. He was likewise 
engaged in two wars with Malwa, and a third was averted 
only by the cession of Berar. His generals were also sent to 
seize the Concan, or strip of land lying between the ghauts 
and the sea, from Mahim, or Bombay, to Goa. But this expe- 
dition brought him in contact with the formidable naval power 
of Guzerat, and he was constrained to relinquish it. His wild 
career terminated in 1435. 

Aiia-ooa-deen, He was succeeded by his son Alla-ood-deen, 
H35. w } 10 immediately went to war with Beejuynugur, 

and was successful. He then proceeded to invade Caudesh, 
took the capital, Boorhanpore, and levelled the royal palaces 
with the ground. The Hindoo rajas of Beejuynugur had 
seldom been able to cope with their Mahomedan neighbour ; 
but, though their dominions were superior in extent, popula- 
tion and wealth, had been constantly subjected to the payment 
of tribute. It was about this time that the raja, Deva Roy, 
is said to have assembled his nobles to investigate the cause 
of this disgrace. Some ascribed it to the decree of the gods; 
others to fate, which is stronger than the gods; while a third 
party traced it to the superior cavalry and archery of the 
Mahomedans. The raja, therefore, enlisted 2,000 Mahomedan 
archers in his service, and, in conjunction with 60,000 of his 
own bowmen, took the field against Alla-ood-deen, and fought 
two battles, but with doubtful success. Two Mahomedan 
officers of rank, however, fell into his hands, and the Bahminy 
monarch swore that if they were not instantly given up he 
would sacrifice 100,000 infidels for each. Deva Eoy had not 
forgotten the result of a similar vow on a former occasion, 
and sued for peace, paying up all the tribute that had become 
due. Alla-ood-deen died in 1457, and was succeeded by his 
son a monster of cruelty who was assassinated by his own 
servants as he lay on his couch helpless from intoxication. 


We pass on to the last substantive king of the Deccan, 
Mahomed Shah, who was placed on the throne at the age 
of nine, in 1463. 

Mahomed shah, During his minority the administration was 
lies-use. conducted by the queen mother and two ministers, 
one of whom, the preceptor of the prince, was assassinated 
by her orders, because he was supposed to have acquired too 
great an influence over his pupil. The other, Mahmood 
Gawan, was the greatest general and statesman of the age, 
and one of the most distinguished characters hi the Mahomedan 
history of India. He marched into the Concan, where two 
former expeditions had failed, and not only reduced the pro- 
vince and the ghauts above it to subjection, but wrested the 
island of Goa from the raja of Beejuynugur, who had usurped 
it. He then turned" his attention to the eastern coast, rein- 
stated the Kay of Orissa, who had been expelled and sought 
protection, and added Condapilly and Rajahmundry to the 
Bahminy territories. But the Ray subsequently took ad- 
vantage of a famine which was desolating the country to 
make an attempt to regain the districts he had lost. Mahmood 
Gawan marched down upon him with prompitude, and speedily 
extinguished all opposition, and annexed Masulipatam to the 
kingdom. The king, who had accompanied the expedition, 
having- heard of the renowned temple of Canchi, or Con- 
jeveram, near Madras, the walls and roof of which were 
reported to be covered with plates of gold, rushed through the 
intervening country, at the head of 6,000 chosen horse, with 
such rapidity as to astound the various chiefs, took possession 
of the temple, and despoiled it of its wealth before they could 
come to its rescue. 
,, . . Under the powerful genius of Mahmood the 

Murder of r . 

Mahmood Bahminy kingdom reached its greatest limits. 
It stretched from the Concan to Masulipatam, 
and from the Nerbudda to the Kistna. The minister now 
resolved to turn his attention to the improvement of the ad- 
ministration. He divided the kingdom into eight provinces, 



and curtailed the power of the governors, thus diminishing the 
chance of their revolt. He introduced vigorous reforms into 
every branch of the government to the great disgust of all 
whose private interests were affected by them. They deter- 
mined, therefore, on his destruction ; and having ingratiated 
themselves with the Abyssinian who had charge of his seal, 
induced him, when half drunk, to affix it to a blank sheet of 
paper, which they filled up with a treasonable letter to the 
Kay of Orissa, inciting him to revolt, and offering him as- 
sistance. The paper was artfully produced before the king, 
as if it had been found by accident ; and Hussun Bheiry, a 
converted Hindoo, the mortal enemy of Mahmood, who had 
been his benefactor, endeavoured to inflame his mind against 
the minister. He was ordered into the royal presence and 
upbraided with his treason. He exclaimed, " This is a great 
forgery ; the seal is mine, but of the letter itself I am totally 
ignorant." The king, inflamed with wine and passion, ordered 
one of his Abyssinian slaves to cut him down. Gawan calmly 
replied that the fate of an old man could be of little con- 
sequence, but that his death would seal the doom of the king- 
dom. The king turned into his seraglio; the slave approached 
the minister, then in his seventy-eighth year, and he knelt 
down, with his face towards Mecca, and received the fatal 
blow. He died in graceful poverty. Though he had served 
five monarchs, his cabinet was found to contain only 10,000 
rupees. The proceeds of the jaygeer allotted for the support 
of his office, he had, in part, distributed among his officers, 
and, in part, disbursed among the poor in his master's name. 
The money which he had brought with him into the country 
had been employed in commerce, the profits of which, after 
providing for his kitchen on the moderate scale of two rupees 
a day, were assigned to the poor in his own name. The king 
died within a twelve month of his minister, a prey to remorse, 
exclaiming, in the paroxysms of his agony, that Mahmood 
Gawan was tearing him to pieces. 
Dissolution of It is unnecessary farther to pursue the history 


the Bahmin the Sim Of its pros- 

kingdom, ' perity set with the stroke which deprived the 
512 ' great minister of life. Mahmood Shah, the son of 
the late king, ascended the throne in 1482, and lived on, 
though he can scarcely be said to have reigned, for thirty- 
seven years ; the kingdom crumbled away, as governor after 
governor revolted, and it was at length resolved into five 
independent states. 

The fire king- 1. Eusof Adil Shah, the adopted son of Mah- 
mood Gawan, a Turk, who claimed descent from 
the conquerors of Constantinople, established the Adil Shahy 
dynasty at Beejapore. 2. Hussun Bheiry, who had insti- 
gated the murder of Mahmood, and was subsequently ex- 
ecuted by order of his master, was a brahmin of Beejapore, 
who was taken prisoner and sold to the Bahminy king, who 
circumcised him and raised him to distinction. His son, 
Ahmed Nizam, on hearing of his father's fate, raised the 
standard of revolt at Ahmednugur, and established the 
Nizam Shahy dynasty. 3. Imad-ool-moolk, on the general 
dissolution of the monarchy, made himself independent in the 
province of Berar, of which he was governor, and gave rise 
to the Imad Shahy line of princes. 4. Koolee Kootub was a 
Turkoman of Hamadan hi Persia, who came to India in 
search of employment, and rose to the post of governor of 
Golconda, where, on the decomposition of the Bahminy 
kingdom, he established an independent dynasty, which is 
known in history as the Kootub Shahy. 5. Ahmed Bereed 
was appointed minister on the execution of Mahmood Gawan, 
and gradually substituted his own influence for that of the 
king at the capital and in the adjacent districts, and at 
length established the Bereed Shahy dynasty at Beder. This 
division of sovereign power among five independent states 
who were incessantly at war with each other, was the 
greatest calamity which could have befallen the country, 
and subjected the wretched provinces for a century and a 
half to merciless rapine. 

a 2 


Rise of the For- While the Bahminy kingdom was thus crumb- 
tuguese power. jj n g ^ Q pj eceSj another race of adventurers ap- 
peared on the western coast of India, and gave a new direc- 
tion to its politics and commerce. A Portuguese expedition 
landed in the harbour of Calicut, and paved the way for the 
eventual transfer of power from the Mahomedans to the 
Christians. For some time previous to this memorable event, 
the general progress of improvement in Europe and the in- 
crease of nautical skill and boldness, had inspired its mari- 
time nations with a strong desire to discover the way to 
India by sea, and to participate in its rich commerce, which 
was then monopolised by the Venetians. The Portuguese 
were at this time the foremost and most enterprising among 
the navigators of Europe ; and John, king of Portugal, 
anxious to make the circuit of the continent of Africa, had 
sent his admiral, Bartholomew Bias, on this perilous under- 
taking. It was he who first doubled the Cape of Good Hope, 
which he named the Cape of Storms in reference to the tem- 
pestuous weather which he encountered. But the king was 
BO highly elated with the success of the expedition and the 
prospects which it opened to him, that he changed the name 
to that which it has ever since borne. Soon after, Christo- 
pher Columbus, hoping to reach India by sailing westward, 
obtained the patronage of the king of Spain, and, launching 
boldly into the ocean, which had never been traversed before, 
made the discovery of America. His successful return from 
this voyage of unexampled peril filled all Europe with as- 

The king 1 of Portugal was deeply chagrined to 

Portuguese ex- ' r J 

pedition to find that the neglect with which he had treated 
India, 1497. ^e a( j vances o f Columbus, had deprived him of 
the opportunity of adding another continent to his dominions ; 
but he resolved to seek compensation for this loss in an 
attempt to reach India, by doubling the Cape, and stretching 
to the eastward. An expedition was accordingly fitted out 
for this purpose, consisting of three vessels, the command of 


which was entrusted to Vasco de Gama. The whole popula- 
tion of Lisbon poured out to witness his departure on the 8th 
of July, 1497, and the sailors went through various religious 
ceremonies, as men who never expected to return. Vasco 
was four months reaching the Cape, which, however, he 
doubled with a fair and gentle breeze. He anchored at 
Melinda, on the African coast, where he was supplied with a 
pilot to conduct his vessels to India. On the 22nd of May, 
1498, .he cast anchor on the Malabar coast, off Calicut, which 
presented to his delighted eyes the appearance of a noble 
town with a fertile plain rising up in the back ground, bounded 
by a distant range of lofty mountains. Calicut, then a place 
of extensive traffic, belonged to an independent Hindoo raja, 
called the Zamorin, and lay considerably to the south of the 
limit to which the Mahomedan conquests had extended. The 
harbours on the coast immediately to the north of it, be- 
longed to the Hindoo raja of Beejuynugur ; those higher up 
to the Bahminy kingdom, while those in the extreme north 
were within the limits of Guzerat. The Zamorin was greatly 
struck with the appearance of strangers from a remote and 
unknown region, differing so entirely in aspect, manners, and 
arms from the foreigners who frequented the port. He re- 
ceived them at first with cordiality, and manifested every 
disposition to promote their views. But the Moors, as they 
were called, or the Musulmans from Egypt and Arabia who 
had engrossed the maritime traffic of that coast, and enjoyed 
no small influence in its ports, viewed the arrival of the in- 
terlopers with great jealousy, and determined to defeat their 
object. They bribed the minister of the raja to insinuate to 
him that the strangers were not the men they represented, 
themselves to be, but pirates, who had plundered the coast cfi 
Africa, and were now come to India on the same errand. 
The Zamorin, swayed by these accusations, authorized the 
Moors to adopt violent measures against them, and two of 
Vasco's principal officers, who were on shore, were treache- 
rously arrested. He immediately retaliated by seizing six of 


the respectable natives who happened to be on board his 
vessel, and refused to release them till his own officers were 
surrendered. The raja manifested some hesitation to comply 
with this reasonable demand, and Vasco weighed anchor in 
haste and began to sail out of the harbour with the hostages. 
Presently, several boats were seen to pull off from the shore, 
one of which contained his officers whom the Zamorin now 
hastened to release. Vasco sent back some of the natives he 
had detained, but resolved to take several of them with him 
to Lisbon, to give them an opportunity of viewing the city 
and reporting its grandeur on their return. Having now 
completed his cargoes, he set sail for Europe, and, on the 
29th of August, 1499, re-entered the Tagus, in regal pomp, 
after an absence of twenty-six months. Men of all ranks 
crowded to welcome him, and to admire the vessels which 
had performed so marvellous a voyage ; the king showered 
honours on him, and the nations of Europe were enraptured 
with the discovery of a new and easier path to the land of 
fabulous wealth. 
_ , A second expedition was fitted out in the same 

Second voyage r 

under Cabrai, year, consisting of thirteen ships and 1,200 men, 
the command of which was given to Cabrai. He 
was accompanied by eight friars, who were sent to preach 
Christianity to the natives, and he was directed to carry fire 
and sword into every province that refused to listen to them. 
In the course of the voyage he discovered Brazil, on the coast 
of South America, and took possession of it in the name of 
his sovereign, in the year 1500. In doubling thfe Cape he 
encountered terrific gales, and lost four of his ships, in one 
of which was the celebrated admiral Bias, who thus found a 
grave in the seas which he had been the first to explore. 
Cabrai, on reaching Calicut, restored the natives who had 
been taken to Portugal, where they had been treated 
with distinguished kindness. He was received with much 
courtesy by the Zamorin, to whom he presented gifts of rare 
beauty and value. But the Moorish merchants, annoyed at 


the return of the strangers whom they hoped to have finally 
driven from the shores of India, effectually prevented them 
from obtaining cargoes. Cabral presented a remonstrance to 
the Zamorin, and received authority, as he supposed, to se- 
quester vessels carrying the Mahomedan flag. A Moorish 
ship with a rich cargo was accordingly seized ; the merchants 
hastened to the raja with their complaints, and obtained 
permission to expel the intruders. The factory which the 
Portuguese had erected was forthwith attacked, and all the 
foreigners in it were put to death. Cabral immediately 
seized and burnt ten Moorish craft, after having transferred 
their cargoes to his own ships. He then laid his vessels 
abreast of the town, and having set it on fire with his 
artillery, set sail for the neighbouring town of Cochin, where 
he formed a treaty with the raja, and returned to Lisbon in 
July, 1501. 

Second voyage The report of these transactions inflamed the 
of vasco, 1502. fagfrQ w hich the king of Portugal had been 
cherishing to establish an empire in the east. He assumed the 
title of Lord of the Navigation, Conquest, and Commerce of 
Ethiopia, Persia, Arabia and India, and fitted out a more 
formidable expedition than any that had as yet left the shores 
of .Portugal. Vasco de Gama, who was placed in command 
of it, reached the coast of India without any accident, and 
anchoring off Calicut, demanded satisfaction for the insult 
offered to Cabral, which was at once refused, and Vasco is 
said to have put to death fifty of the natives who had repaired 
to his vessels. At the same time he poured a destructive fire 
into the town of Calicut, and then weighing anchor pro- 
ceeded to the friendly port of Cochin, which now became the 
mart of the Portuguese trade. Three expeditions of minor 
importance were successively sent out, and cargoes obtained 
partly by barter, and partly by terror. The Portuguese were 
lulled into security by the success which attended them, and 
Pacheco was left with a handful of men to protect their settle- 
ment at Cochin. The Zamorin was thus encouraged to make 


an attempt to expel them, and at the same time to punish the 
raja of Cochin for having fostered them. The troops of 
Calicut exceeded those of Pacheco as fifty to one, but his 
admirable strategy, and the valour of his soldiers, repulsed 
every assault ; and he was the first to exhibit that decisive 
superiority of European over Asiatic troops, which three cen- 
turies and a half have now abundantly confirmed. 

In the year 1505, the king of Portugal sent out 

Naval battle . . 

with the Maho- Francis Almeyda, with the title of viceroy ot 
medans, 1508, India) t h ou gh as ye t he did not possess a foot of 
land in it. The early success of the Portuguese in India is 
to be attributed to the singular genius and audacity of the 
men who conducted their expeditions, and Almeyda was infe- 
rior to none of them. Soon after his arrival, the Hindoo raja 
of Beejuynugur, who could not fail to perceive that the 
power of the strangers would become paramount on the 
western coast, sent an envoy with rich presents for the king 
of Portugal, to whom he proposed a treaty of alliance, and 
offered his own daughter in marriage. But the bright pros- 
pects thus opened to the Portuguese were soon overclouded. 
Before the discovery of the passage to India round the Cape, 
the whole trade of the east, conveyed overland, had been 
monopolised by the Venetians, and the " Queen of the Adri- 
atic," as Venice was called, became the envy of Europe. 
The Venetians had reason now to apprehend that this mag- 
nificent traffic would be diverted into a new channel, and pass 
altogether out of their hands. They possessed great influence 
in Egypt, which was one of their most important marts, and 
they urged the Sultan to fit out a fleet in the Red Sea, to 
sweep their rivals from the Indian Ocean, and assisted him 
with timber from their own forests in Dalmatia. A powerful 
fleet was speedily equipped and sent to India, under the com- 
mand of Meer Hookum, the Egyptian admiral. The king of 
Guzerat, who was equally alarmed at the progress of the 
Portuguese, ordered his admiral to co-operate with the Egyp- 
tians. Lorenzo, the son of Ahneyda, was cruising in the 


north with a division of the Portuguese fleet, when the com- 
bined squadrons bore down upon him. The Portuguese 
fought with the gallantry of European sailors, but the supe- 
riority of the enemy in the number of their ships, and the 
calibre of their guns, gave them the victory. The gallant 
Lorenzo, whose vessel was entangled in some fishing stakes, 
and thus exposed singly to the fire poured in upon him from 
all sides, fell covered with wounds, after performing prodigies 
of valour, which filled even the Mahomedans with admiration. 
To avenge the death of his son, Almcyda reduced the flourish- 
ing port of Dabul to ashes, and then proceeded in search of 
the enemy, whom he found anchored in the harbour of Diu. 
The conflict was long and doubtful, for the Egyptian and 
Guzerattee admirals were men of great nautical experience 
and valour, but all their larger vessels were at length either 
burnt or captured, and the smaller craft escaped up the river. 
Peace was subsequently concluded between the belligerents, 
and all the European prisoners were restored. 
Albuquerque, Almeyda soon after resigned his post to Albu- 
16071510. querque, the greatest of all the Portuguese com- 
manders. It was his ambition to found an empire in the east, 
and he succeeded in this bold enterprise. Abandoning the 
system of predatory excursions along the coast which had 
satisfied his predecessors, he resolved to establish and fortify 
a port which should serve as the centre of his operations. He 
fixed on the island of Goa, lying on the Malabar Coast, about 
twenty-three miles in circumference, of which he took 
possession, and though at one tune driven from it by the 
native prince, recaptured it, and erected fortifications which 
effectually baffled all the efforts of the country powers. 
From that time Goa became the seat of the Portuguese power 
in the east, and Albuquerque sent and received embassies 
with all the magnificence of an eastern monarch. Having 
placed the government of his new settlement on the wisest 
foundation, he -turned his attention to more distant regions and 
enterprizcs. He proceeded eastward, to the port of Ma- 


lacca, then the great emporium of trade in the eastern 
archipelago, with an armament of 800 Portuguese soldiers 
and 600 natives whom he had enlisted and trained. The 
native prince is said to have assembled an army of 30,000 
men to resist him, but the valour and discipline of his little 
force soon placed the city in his hands. The possession of 
this important position was immediately secured by the erec- 
tion of a strong fort, and a new field of commercial enterprize 
to Siam, Java, and Sumatra, was thus opened to his country- 
men. His efforts were next directed to the west, and he 
equipped a powerful squadron for the conquest of Ormuz, in 
the Persian Gulph. The imposing force which accompanied 
him effectually deterred the native prince from resistance, 
and Albuquerque was permitted to take possession of the 
island, and to raise a fortification in it. Ormuz rose rapidly 
in importance, the town was filled with 40,000 inhabitants, 
and became one of the most flourishing settlements in those 
seas. Thus had the genius of Albuquerque, in the short 
space of nine years, built up the Portuguese power in the 
east, and given them the command of the sea, and the 
control of the traffic throughout the eastern archipelago, 
which they continued to enjoy for a hundred years without a 
rival. Though he never obtained possession of a single pro- 
vince on the continent of India, his authority was supreme 
over 12,000 miles of coast, and it was sustained by an irre- 
sistible fleet and thirty factories, of which many were 
fortified. He was at length abruptly superseded in his com- 
mand by the orders of his own sovereign, who did not con- 
descend to soften the disgrace by any mark of distinction, or 
even by the courtesy of a letter. The ingratitude of which 
he was the victim, broke his heart ; he expired on the barque 
which was conveying him to Goa, and was interred in the 
settlement which he had created, amidst the lamentations and 
tears of natives and Europeans, by whom he was equally 

iv.] 91 



The Mogul IJT the month -of April, 1526, Sultan Baber cap- 

tured Delhi, and established the Mogul dynasty, 
which continued to flourish for a hundred and eighty years, 
under a succession, unprecedented in India, of six monarchs, 
distinguished by their prowess in the field, and, with one 
exception, by their ability in the cabinet. 
Eater's early Baber, the sixth in descent from Timur, was 
career. fae gon o f Sheikh Mirza, to whom the fertile 

province of Fergana, on the upper course of the Jaxartes, 
had been allotted in the distribution of the family possessions. 
His mother was a descendant of Jenghis Khan, and it has 
been noted by historians as a remarkable fact, that the 
empire founded by Baber should be known in history only 
as the Mogul empire, while he himself execrated the name 
of Mogul. Baber appears to have inherited that spirit of 
enterprise which distinguished both his renowned ancestors, 
and at the early age of fifteen, when he succeeded to the 
throne, commenced that adventurous career, which he pursued 
without interruption for thirty-five years. His first campaign 
was against the city of Samarcand, the metropolis of Trans- 
oxiana, wMch he captured with little difficulty, but he had 
not held it a hundred days before he was recalled to the 
defence of his paternal kingdom. He subsequently made 
three successful efforts to obtain possession of that city, 
which he coveted as the capital of Timur, and was thrice 
expelled from it. 

Bab r seizes Baber was engaged for eight years in a series 

Afghanistan, of the most perilous enterprises, and experienced 

vicissitudes of fortune, which would have crushed 

an ordinary mind, but they only served to give fresh vigour 


to his buoyant spirit. Seeing no hope of extending his con- 
quests beyond the Oxus, he seized the city of Cabul in the 
year 1504, and succeeded in maintaining possession of it for 
twenty years. During this period he was incessantly em- 
ployed in defending or enlarging his dominions, and never 
enjoyed a year of repose. His greatest peril arose from the 
progress of the Uzbeks, a tribe of ferocious Tartars, now 
swarming from their native hive, and seeking new settlements 
in the south. Their leader Shaibek had swept the posterity 
of Timur from Transoxiana and Khorasan, and in his progress 
towards the Indus had captured Candahar and threatened 
Cabul. Had he been able to march at once on that capital, 
he would probably have extinguished for ever the hopes of 
Baber, but he was recalled from these conquests by the 
hostility of Isrnael Shah, the powerful chief of the tribe which 
had recently seized the throne of Persia, and established 
the dynasty of the Sophis. The Uzbek chief was routed 
and slain, and Baber seized the opportunity of again occu- 
pying Samarcand, from which he wae again expelled in the 
course of a few months. 

Eater's five ex- To compensate for this disappointment, he 
tadiaTiwa turned his attention to India, where the imbeci- 
1525. lity of the emperor of Delhi presented a tempta- 

tion too strong to be resisted by a descendant of Timur. 
His first irruption was in the year 1519, and it was followed 
by two others, in five years, though with partial success. 
In 1524 he resumed this ambitious project, and overran the 
Punjab, where he was joined by Alla-ood-deen, the brother 
of the emperor, with Dbwlut Khan, and other officers, who 
had been alienated from him by his constant oppressions. But 
Baber, after having advanced as far as Sirhind, was obliged 
to return across the Indus, to repel an invasion from the 
north, and Dowlut Khan, on his departure, deserted his 
standard and took possession of the Punjab. Alla-ood-deen, 
who had been left in charge of the province, fled to Cabul, and 
was immediately sent back to India by Baber, with a well- 


appointed army ; but was signally defeated by the emperor, 
under the walls of Delhi. Baber now advanced on his fifth 
and last expedition with an army not exceeding 12,000 men, 
but they" were all experienced veterans. The emperor, 
Ibrahim Lodi, advanced to meet him with an army generally 
estimated at 100,000, and a thousand elephants. The destiny 
of India was decided on the field of Paniput. The engage- 
ment lasted from sunrise to sunset, and resulted in the total 
defeat of the imperial army, and the death of the emperor, and 
15,000 of his troops. Delhi opened her gates to the victor in 
May, 1526, and Baber vaulted into the vacant throne, and, as 
a token of his success, sent gifts from the treasury to the most 
celebrated Mahomedan shrines in Asia. 

But Delhi had long ceased to be the capital and 

State of India r 

onBaber'sac- the mistress of India. The great Mahomedan 
empire had been broken up more than a century 
and a half before, by the extravagances of Mahomed Toghluk, 
and at the period of Baber's accession the various provinces 
were in the possession of independent rulers. In the southern 
extremity of Hindostan, the great Hindoo monarch of Bee- 
juynugur claimed the allegiance of the various native chiefs 
who had never submitted to the Mahomedan yoke. Farther 
to the north lay the territories of the five kings of Beejapore, 
Ahmednugur, Golconda, Beder, and Berar, who were esta- 
blished on the dissolution of the Bahminy kingdom. The 
province of Gujerat was governed by a wild youth, who was 
ambitious of trying conclusions with the Mogul in the field. 
Kana Sunga, the most powerful prince of his race, was para- 
mount in Rajpootana. The opulent kingdom of Bengal, 
including Behar, was ruled by an Afghan family, and the 
" sacred soil," as it was called, of Orissa, was in the possession 
of its ancient Hindoo dynasty. Still nearer Delhi, an hade- 
pendent prince held his court at Jounpore, and supported it 
from the revenues of Oude. The victory of Baber, therefore, 
only gave him the command of the districts to the north-west 
of Delhi, and a narrow tract of land, stretching along the 


Jumna to Agra. He had India yet to conquer, but his gene- 
rals shrunk from the task, and entreated him to return to the 
cooler and more genial climate of Afghanistan, where they 
might enjoy the booty they had acquired at Delhi and Agra. 
But Baber had crossed the Indus, not simply to plunder pro- 
vinces, but to found an empire, and he announced his unalter- 
able resolution to continue in India, and pursue his career; 
at the same tune, however, he granted permission to all those 
to return who preferred ease to glory. His ardour subdued 
their reluctance, and only one of his generals availed himself 
of this privilege, and he and his soldiers were dismissed with 
honour, and laden with wealth, in the hope of inducing others 
to resort to Baber's standard. In the course of four months 
after the battle of Paniput, all the country held by Ibrahim 
Lodi had been secured, and the revolted kingdom of Jounpore 
brought under subjection. 

Defeat of Kana But a more formidable enemy now appeared in 
Sunga, 1527. the field. Rana Sunga, the Rajpoot prince of 
Chittore, and at this time the most powerful of all the sove- 
reigns north of the Nerbudda, elated by a recent triumph 
over the king of Malwa, espoused the cause of the dethroned 
dynasty of Delhi. All the princes of Rajpootana ranged 
themselves under his banner, and he advanced with 100,000 
men to drive Baber back across the Indus. The first conflict 
took place at Futtehpore Sikri, where the advanced guard of 
the Moguls was totally routed by the Rajpoots. Many of 
Baber's troops on this deserted their colours, some even went 
over to the enemy, and all were dispirited. Accustomed as 
he had been to dangers for thirty years, this extraordinary 
peril staggered him, but he never despaired. He states in 
his memoirs that in this emergency he repented of his sins, 
and determined to reform his life ; that he foreswore the use 
of wine, and broke up his gold and silver cups, and distributed 
their value among the poor. He resolved to allow his beard 
to grow like a true Musulman, and promised, if God gave 
him the victory, to remit the stamp tax to the faithful* 


Animated by his example, his generals took an oath on the 
Koran to conquer or to die. In this fever of enthusiasm 
Baber led them against the enemy, and by the aid of his 
efficient artillery obtained a signal victory, which completely 
broke the power of Chittore. He celebrated his success by 
constructing a pyramid of the heads of the slain, and assuming 
the title of Ghazee, or champion of the faith. 
conquest of The next year Baber attacked Ghunderee, held 
Ctad^and'' ky Medni Roy, whose history, in connection with 
Behar, 1529. the kingdoms of Guzerat and Malwa has been 
already related. Finding his position untenable, he and his 
Rajpoots devoted themselves to death with the usual cere- 
monies, and rushed with frenzy on the Mogul swords. Those 
who survived the onset put themselves to death. In the 
following year, Baber extended his authority over Oude and 
south Behar. But his constitution, which had been gradually 
impaired by long indulgence, was worn out by these severe 
exertions in an uncongenial climate. So active had been his 
life, that for thirty-eight years he had never kept the feast 
of the Ramzan twice in the same place. He died 

Death of r 

Baber, 1530, at Agra in 1530, at the age of fifty, and his 
his character. rema i ns were conveyed to Cabul and interred in a 
beautiful spot which he had himself selected for his tomb. 
The simple and chaste monument raised over his grave con- 
tinued to attract admiration three centuries after his death. 
Among the Mahomedan princes of India, no monarch is held 
in higher estimation than Baber. His career exhibited that 
romantic spirit of adventure of which nations are always 
proud. His personal courage bordered on rashness; his 
activity was almost fabulous. While labouring under a 
wasting disease he rode a hundred and sixty miles in two 
days, and swam across the Ganges. He was, however, 
rather a valiant soldier than a great general, and he lost 
nearly as many battles as he won ; but he never lost heart, 
and was as buoyant after a defeat as after a victory. Amidst 
all the bustle of war, ho found time for the cultivation of 


literature, and his Persian poetry has been always admired 
for its elegance. The little leisure he enjoyed from the 
labours of the field, he devoted to the construction of aque- 
ducts, reservoirs, and other works of public utility. There is 
no Indian prince with whose individual character we are so 
familiar, and this is owing to his own vivid delineation of it 
in the volume of personal memoirs he compiled, in which he 
records his transgressions with so much candour, and his 
repentance with so much sincerity, and recounts his friend- 
ships with so much cordiality, that in spite of all his failings 
he becomes an object of personal esteem. 

Humayoon succeeded his father at the close of 

Humayoon * 

succeeds to the 1530, but the first incident in his reign exhibited 
throne, 1530. t k a t easmegs o f disposition to which his subse- 
quent misfortunes were chiefly to be attributed. His brother, 
Kamran, the governor of Cabul and Candahar, hesitated to 
acknowledge his authority, and Humayoon, not only con- 
sented to resign these provinces to him, but added the Punjab 
also. By this injudicious act he was deprived of the means 
of recruiting his army from the countries beyond the Indus, 
a loss which was severely felt in proportion as Baber's vete- 
rans died out, and Humayoon was obliged to depend 
on the troops he could enlist in Hindostan. In the third 
year of his reign, Humayoon became involved in hostilities 
with Bahadoor Shah. This impetuous prince who ascended 
the throne at the age of twenty, was incessantly engaged 
in aggressive wars during the eleven years 

rat defeated, of his reign. He had subjugated the inde- 
pendent kingdom of Malwa, and annexed it to 
his own dominions. He had compelled the kings of Ahmed- 
nugur and Beder to do him personal homage. He had added 
the ancient and venerable city of Oojein to his conquests, 
and sacked the city of Chittore, in the defence of which 
32,000 Rajpoots are said to have fallen. Humayoon demanded 
the surrender of a fugitive conspirator, which was haughtily 
refused, on which he marched at once into the country. 


Bahadoor Shah had planted his army in an entrenched camp 
at Mandishore, trusting to his fine artillery, manned by Por- 
tuguese gunners and commanded by Roomy Khan, originally 
a Turkish slave, but now the first engineer officer in India. 
Humayoon besieged the camp for two months, cut off its 
supplies, and reduced the king to such straits, that he was 
obliged to fly, and eventually to take refuge in Diu, the most 
remote harbour in the peninsula of Guzerat. 
Humayoon's Humayoon immediately overran the province, 
of chmiipMere, an( ^ P r ceeded against the fortress of Chumpanerej 
1535. i n which the accumulated wealth of the dynasty 

was deposited. With only three hundred select troops, he 
climbed up the perpendicular rock on which it was built by 
means of steel spikes, and mastered it by an exhibition of 
heroism which rivalled the exploits of his father. The gal- 
lantry of his officers and soldiers was rewarded with as much 
gold and silver as they could heap on their shields. But his 
further progress was arrested by the necessity of returning 
to Agra, to arrest the progress of Shere Khan. On his 
retirement, Bahadoor Shah again took the field and regained 
his kingdom as rapidly as he had lost it ; but he did not long 
enjoy it. While at Diu, he had negotiated with the Portu- 
guese for three hundred Europeans to assist him in, recovering 
his' kingdom, and in return granted them permission to< 
establish a factory at that port. They began immediately to 
surround it with a wall, the rudiments of a fortification, and: 
brought up a fleet to protect the progress of the work. 
Bahadoor Shah had all the native horror of European intrusion, 
Tragic death of an( ^ was determined to prevent the completion of 
Shah, the work. He proceeded on board the admiral's 


ship, and invited him and his officers to an enter- 
tainment at which he had laid a plot to assassinate them. The 
admiral, it appears, was equally anxious to obtain possession 
of the king's person. An affray ensued in which the king 
lost his life, by accident, according to the Portuguese his- 
torians, by treachery, if we are to believe the Mahomedaus. 


Shere Khan, wlio now appears on the scene, was 

Origin and pro- rc . 

gross of shere one of the most distinguished characters in the 
annals of Mahomedan India. He was an Afghan 
of noble birth, of the tribe of Soor, which claimed affinity 
with the kings of Ghore. His father held the rank of a com- 
mander of 500, and the jaygeer of Sasseram, in Behar, where 
Shere Khan was born. At an early age he quitted his home 
in disgust, and enlisted as a private soldier under the king of 
Jounpore, but at the same time endeavoured to store his 
mind with knowledge, and prepare himself by study for future 
eminence. A long series of adventures in which he was 
engaged on his own account for several years, ended in the 
occupation of Behar and the siege of Gour, the capital of 
Bengal. Humayoon was recalled from Guzerat by the tidings 
of his alarming progress, and moved down to oppose him with 
a large army, but was detained six months beseiging Chunar, 
though it was assaulted by the floating batteries of Roomy 
Khan, whom Humayoon had allured to his service after the 
defeat of Bahadoor Shah. During this protracted siege Shere 
Khan captured Gour, conquered Bengal, and sent the king 
flying tor shelter to the imperial camp. 

Humayoon As Humayoon entered Bengal, Shere Khan 

store K-han at retircd to tne ni % and inaccessible region of the 
Buxar, 1539. south-west, and deposited his family and treasures 
in the fortress of Rhotas. The emperor took up his residence 
in Gour, then in the zenith of its grandeur, and on the eve of 
its decay. When the rains set in, the delta of the Ganges 
became a sheet of water, and the great army of Humayoon 
was reduced by disease and desertions. He was constrained 
to retreat with his dispirited troops towards the capital, where 
his brothers were beginning to take advantage of his diffi- 
culties and to intrigue for the throne. Shere Khan now 
issued from his fastnesses, interrupted the progress of Hurua- 
yoon's force, and after cutting up a detachment at Monghir, 
came up with the main army at Buxar. At a time when 
every moment was precious, Humayoon wasted two months 


in constructing a bridge across the Ganges. Before it wafl 
completed, he was attacked and completely defeated by his 
rival, who now assumed the title of Shere Shah, and openly 
aspired to the empire. 

Humayoon Humayoon at length reached Agra, and extin- 

aJriflies^ross" gashed the hostile schemes of his brothers, 
tue Indus, 1510. Eight months were passed in assembling an army 
for the great struggle with his formidable rival, who employed 
this period in subjugating and organizing Bengal. The two 
armies met in the neighbourhood of Cunouj, and Humayoon 
experienced a second and more fatal defeat. He fled from 
the field of battle to Agra, pursued by Shere Shah, and had 
barely time to remove his family to Delhi. From thence he 
Avas driven to Lahore, where his brother, instead of affording 
him an asylum, hastened to make his peace with the victor, 
and was allowed to retire to his territories beyond the Indus. 
Thus fell the kingdom which Baber had established, and not 
a vestige of Mogul sovereignty remained in India at the end 
of fourteen years. The throne of Delhi was restored to the 
Afghans. Humayoon made the best of his way with his 
few remaining adherents to Sinde, where he spent eighteen 
months in fruitless negotiations with its chiefs. He then 
resolved to throw himself on the protection of Maldeo, the 
powerful Rajpoot prince of Marwar, but on approaching the 
capital, found the raja more disposed to betray than to succour 
him. The wretched emperor endeavoured to cross the desert 
to Amercote, and was subjected to incredible hardships during 
the march. The son of Maldeo, eager to revenge the intru- 
sion of the emperor and the slaughter of kine in his territories, 
pursued him with the utmost rigour. At length Humayoon 
reached Amercote with only seven mounted attendants, and 
it was in these wretched circumstances that his queen, who 
had nobly shared with him all the disasters of this journey, 
Birth of Akbar, g ave birth to a son, afterwards the illustrious 
1542. Akbar, destined to raise the Mogul empire to the 

pinnacle of greatness. After another series of reverses, 

E 2 


Humayoon was obliged to quit India, and seek an asylum 
at Candahar. 

Five years' Leaving Humayoon across the Indus, we turn 

brilliant reign fo foe progress of Shere Shah, who now mounted 

of Shere Shah, 

15401545. the throne of Delhi, and established the Soor 
dynasty. While he was combating the emperor, Bengal re- 
volted, as a matter of course, but was speedily reduced to- 
subjection. In 1542 he conquered the province of Malwa, 
and in the succeeding year reduced the fortress of Raisin, 
remarkable for its unfathomable antiquity, and for the honour 
of having been erected, according to local tradition, by the 
great national hero of the Ramayun. It was here that his 
reputation was tarnished by the only stain ever attached to 
it. The Hindoo garrison had surrendered on terms, but the 
Mahomedan doctors assured him that, according to the pre- 
cepts of the Koran, no faith was to be kept with infidels, and 
the infidels were, therefore, slaughtered almost to a man. In 
1544 Shere invaded Marwar with 80,000 men. It was de- 
fended by a body of 50,000, and -by its own sterility. Through 
the artifice of letters intended to be intercepted, he contrived 
to raise suspicions regarding his chiefs in the mind of the 
raja, and thus induced him to retire from the contest ; but 
one chief, indignant at this distrust, fell on the emperor's 
force with 12,000 men with such fury as to expose him to 
the greatest peril; and the emperor, alluding to the barrenness 
of the country, said that " he had nearly lost the empire for 
a handful of millet." Soon after, the capture of Chittore 
placed Rajpootana at his feet, and he proceeded to the attack 
of Calinjer, one of the strongest fortresses in 
1545, and Bundlecund, but was killed by the explosion of a 

character. -, , j. ,, -, ,, 

magazine as he was superintending the batteries. 
Thus prematurely ended the career of Shere Shah. As 
he inflicted the greatest humiliation on the Moguls, the his- 
torians of their party have treated him as a usurper, and 
loaded his memory with obloquy. But his right to the throne 
was as valid as that of the Tartar adventurer Baber, and in 


both cases it was equally based on the decision of the sword. 
But the kingdom which he gained by conquest, he governed 
with the greatest beneficence, and the brief period of five 
years in which he held supreme power, is the most brilliant in 
the annals of India. He was a man of consummate ability, 
distinguished not less by his military exploits than by the 
triumphs of his civil administration. Though incessantly 
engaged in the field, he found time for a complete reform of 
every branch of the government, and his civil institutions 
survived his dynasty and became the model of those of Akbar. 
He constructed a grand trunk road from the banks of the 
Indus to the bay of Bengal, through a distance of 2,000 miles, 
and planted it with trees, and adorned it with wells and 
caravanseras, at short distances, for the convenience of travel- 
lers, and erected mosques for the benefit of the devout. He 
appears to have been the first prince who established a 
mounted post for the conveyance of the mails. At the end 
of three centuries, his stately mausoleum at Sasseram, the 
place of his birth and of his burial, continues to recall the 
remembrance of his grandeur and his glory to the mind of the 

His eldest son was set aside by the nobles 
for imbecility, and his second son, Jelal Khan, 

nephew, 1554. wag raiged t() the throne un( J er the t j tle of g e j im 

Shah. After quelling a dangerous rebellion by his prompti- 
tude and vigour, he was enabled to pass nine years in tran- 
quillity, indulging his hereditary taste for public works ; and 
if his reign had extended over a longer period, we should 
probably have heard little or nothing of a Mogul dynasty. 
It was the profligacy of his successor that brought the son 
of Baber again to India. He was the brother of Selim, and 
after having murdered his son, mounted the throne, and is 
generally known in history simply by the name of Adili. 
He was remarkable only for his ignorance and prodigality, 
and exhibited all those purple-born vices which, in India, 
presage the fall of a dynasty. But the ruin of this royal 


Hemn sustains house was retarded by the matchless talents of 
the throne. Hemu, a Hindoo, originally a shopkeeper, whose 
figure is said but only by Mogul historians to have been 
as mean as his origin. Adili having exhausted his treasury 
by profligate waste, began to resume the jaygeers of his 
Patan nobles, and they went one by one into insurrection. 
Five independent sovereignties were forthwith established 
in the dominions under the crown, till nothing was left to 
it, except some of the districts around the metropolis. Hemu 
presented a bold front to these difficulties, and had suc- 
ceeded in reducing two of the rebels, when the aspect of 
affairs was at once changed by the appearance of Humayoon 
on the banks of the Indus. 

Process of We left this prince a refugee at Candahar in 

SteM^g 1543 ' wuere Ilis adverse fortune still continued 
India. to pursue him. The hostility of his brother 

obliged him to retreat, and he sought shelter in Persia, the 
throne of which was then filled by Shah Tamasp, the 
second of the Sophi dynasty, who directed that he should be 
received with royal hospitality in his progress, but did not 
condescend to give him an interview for six months. The 
fugitive prince was subjected to all the humiliating caprices of 
a despot and a bigot, for Tamasp was an intolerant Shea, 
and regarded the Soonecs with more than the usual measure 
of polemical hate. His father had invented a peculiar cap 
the kuzelbash as an emblem of religious distinction, and 
Humayoon was required to place it on his head in the pre- 
sence of the Persian monarch, though the courtly historians 
of the Mogul dynasty speak with much reserve on this 
subject. He was also required to sign' an engagement to 
embrace and to enforce the Shea creed, and to cede the 
frontier provinces of Afghanistan to the Persian crown. 
The Persian monarch then furnished him with a body of 
14,000 horse, with which he marched to Candahar, and cap- 
tured it after a siege of five months, making it over, with 
all the treasure found in it, to Morad Mirza, the Persian 


prince. On his death, which happened soon after, Humayoon 
entered the city as a friend, but put the greater portion of 
the Persian garrison to the sword, an act of perfidy which has 
fixed an indelible stain on his memory. Having thus obtained 
Conquest of possession of Candahar, he marched to Cabul and 
b^H^a^on, established his authority in that province, but 
1545. had to maintain a protracted struggle with his 

brothers, in which he was alternately victorious and defeated. 
His brother Kamran at length fell into his hands, and to his 
disgrace, he ordered the sight of the unfortunate prince to 
be extinguished. 

He crosses the After ten years of incessant warfare, the in- 
renmurtifthe creasing confusion at the capital of India tempted 
throne, 1555. Humayoon to make a bold stroke to regain the 
throne. He crossed the Indus in 1555, and obtained a 
complete victory over Secunder Soor, who had usurped the 
imperial authority at the capital, and who was posted at 
Sirhind with a body of 80,000 men. In this battle the young 
Akbar gained his first laurels. Leaving the young prince in 
the Punjab to watch the movements of the usurper, Humayoon 
hastened to Delhi, and mounted the throne he had lost 
fifteen years before. But before he could recover the do- 
minions attached to it his career was brought to a close 
by a fatal accident. Six months after he had entered Delhi, 
while descending the steps of his library, he heard the 
muezzin's call to prayer, and stopped to repeat the creed, and 
sat down. As he endeavoured to rise, leaning on his staff, 
. it slipped on the polished steps, and he fell over 

llis death, 1556. 

the parapet, and four days- after closed his 
chequered life, at the age of forty-nine. 
Accession of Akbar, the greatest prince of the dynasty of 
Akbar, 1556. Baber, whose genius raised the empire of the 
Moguls to the summit of renown, was only thirteen years 
and three months of age when the death of Humayoon 
placed him upon the throne, which he continued to adorn for 
fifty years. He was the contemporary of Queen Elizabeth, 


his reign having 1 begun two years before, and ended two years 
after hers ; and thus, by a memorable coincidence, this period 
of half a century has been rendered as illustrious in the 
annals of England as of India. During the minority of Akbar, 
the regency continued in the hands of Byram Khan, a Turko- 
man, the companion of Humayoon in all his vicissitudes, and 
the greatest captain and statesman, of the age, but a man of 
austere manners and stern bigotry. Hemu, the Hindoo 
general of Sultan Adili, was employed in quelling a rebellion 
in Bengal when he heard of the death of Humayoon, and 
conceiving fresh hopes from that event deposited the emperor 
at Chunar, and moved up with an army of 30,000 men 
Defeat of which was swelled to 100,000 as he advanced. 
Hemu, 1556. Agra and Delhi opened their gates to him, and so 
completely were the commanders in Akbar's army confounded 
by the rapidity of his successes, that they entreated their 
master to abandon India and return to Afghanistan. Byram 
alone advised an immediate and vigorous attack, and Akbar, 
though only a stripling, seconded his ardour. The two 
armies met at Paniput, and the destiny of India was a second 
time decided on that field. Hemu, after prodigies of valour, 
was completely defeated, and conducted, bleeding from his 
wounds, to the tent of Akbar. Byram urged him to secure 
for himself the religious merit of slaying an infidel, but the 
generous youth refused to imbrue his hands in the blood of 
a gallant and now helpless foe, and Byram struck off the 
head of the captive with one stroke of his scymetar. 
, It was the military talent of Byram, and the 

Arrogance and * J 

fail of Byram, vigour of his measures, which had seated Akbar on 
the throne, but the minister had grown too big for 
a subject. So great indeed was his power and influence that 
for four years after his accession, Akbar felt himself a mere 
cypher in his own dominions. Such thraldom was intolerable 
to a high spirited prince, and when he had reached the age of 
eighteen he resolved to throw off the yoke. On the plea of 
the sudden illness of his mother, he repaired abruptly to Delhi, 


and immediately issued a proclamation announcing that he 
had taken the government into his own hands, and that no 
orders were to be obeyed but those which issued from himself. 
Byram felt that his power was slipping away, and endeavoured 
to regain it, but he had alienated all the public officers by his 
haughty demeanour, and in the time of his adversity found 
that he was without a friend. He retired to Nagore, giving 
out that he was proceeding on pilgrimage, but he lingered 
there in the hope of receiving some gracious message from his 
master. Akbar, however, discharged him from all his offices, 
und requested him to hasten his departure. Stung by this 
indignity, he assembled an army, and marched against the 
imperial troops. He was signally defeated, and constrained 
to throw himself on the mercy of the emperor. As the fallen 
minister entered the royal tent, with his turban humbly sus- 
pended on his neck, and cast himself at the feet of the prince 
whom he had cherished from his cradle, Akbar hastened to 
raise him, and seated him on his right hand, investing him 
with a robe of honour, and offering him the choice of any 
post in the empire. The pride of Byram, who had been the 
instrument of erecting the Mogul throne a second time in 
India, led him to prefer a retreat to Mecca, and he accordingly 
proceeded to the sea coast, but was assassinated on the route 
by an Afghan, whose father he had put to death. 

Akbar was now his own master, at the age of 

Akbar his own . ... 

master at eighteen, but he was surrounded with difficulties 
which would have broken a spirit of less energy. 
For some time after its establishment, the dynasty of the 
Moguls was weaker than any which had risen to power since 
the Mahomedans first crossed the Indus. It was not con- 
nected with any large and powerful tribes beyond that river, 
ready to support the progress of their countrymen. It had no 
resources in reserve. Akbar's army was simply an assembly 
of mercenaries drawn together by the hope of plunder from 
the various countries of Central Asia. His officers were only 
a band of adventurers, bound to his family by no ties of here- 


ditary loyalty, and more disposed to carve out kingdoms for 
themselves, as other adventurers had done for five centuries, 
than to unite in building up a Mogul empire. Their ambition 
had been effectually curbed by the iron despotism of Byram, 
but blazed forth on his removal, the effect of which soon 
became visible in the growth of disorders. In the fourth year 
of his reign, Akbar extended his authority along the banks of 
the Ganges to Jounpore ; the son of the last king, 
bar's generals, Adili, advanced to recover his dominions, and was 
567 ' defeated by Zeman Khan, but that general, despis- 
ing the youth of his sovereign, withheld the royal share of 
the booty, and manifested such a spirit of independence, that 
Akbar was obliged to take the field, and reduce him to 

Adam Khan, another of Akbar's generals, was sent to expel 
the Afghans from Malwa, but after defeating their general, 
he determined to keep the fruits of his victory to himself. 
Akbar marched against him in person, and accepted his sub- 
mission, but he soon after requited this lenity by stabbing the 
vizier when at prayers in a room adjoining that occupied by 
the young king. For this atrocious deed Akbar ordered him 
to be thrown headlong into the Jumna. Abdoolla Khan, a 
haughty Uzbek, who had been received into the Mogul service, 
with many of his countrymen, was then entrusted with the 
government of Malwa, but within a twelvemonth raised " the 
standard of revolt." Akbar came down upon him with promp- 
titude, and drove him ignominiously to seek shelter in the 
kingdom of Guzerat. This event created great discontent in 
the minds of the Uzbek officers, who were reduced by the arts 
of Abdoolla to believe that Akbar was animated with a here- 
ditary hatred of their tribe and had formed a resolution to 
disgrace them. The spirit of disaffection spread rapidly 
through the Mogul army. Asof Jah, one of its generals, had 
been sent to subjugate the little Hindoo principality of Gurra 
on the Nerbudda. It was then under the regency of the 
princess Doorgawuttee, renowned no less for her beauty than 


Heroism of a h er valour. She led her army in person against 

Hindoo princess, . 

1564. the invader, and maintained the conflict with tne 

greatest heroism till she received a wound in her eye. The 
troops, missing her command, began to give way, when she, to 
avoid falling into the hands of the enemy, seized the weapon 
of the elephant driver and plunged it into her own bosom. 
Her exploits are still a favourite theme with the Hindoo bards. 
The booty obtained by this capture consisted of a hundred 
jars of gold com, independently of jewels and gold and silver 
images, and Asof Jah appropriated the largest portion of it to 
his own use ajid then joined the hostile confederacy, which 
now included the most eminent of Akbar's generals. 
Eevoitof ^k e Danger f the emperor was extreme. It 

Akbar's brother, was as much a struggle for the throne, as the 

battle of Paniput, and the question at issue was, 
whether the empire should be Mogul or Uzbek. Akbar's 
detachments were repeatedly defeated, but he maintained the 
conflict with unflinching resolution for two years. Just at 
this critical juncture, his brother Hakim ungratefully took 
advantage of his embarrassments, and endeavoured to wrest 
the province of Lahore from the crown. Akbar was obliged to 
quit the pursuit of the Uzbeks to meet this new revolt, 
which, however, he succeeded in crushing at once. On his 
return to the south, he found that the revolted generals had 
obtained possession of the districts of Allahabad and Oude, 
and were preparing to advance on the capital. The rains had 
set in when all military operations are generally suspended j 
but he did not hesitate to march against them, and by the 
promptitude and vigour of his attack, completely broke the 
strength of the confederacy, and, at the age of twenty-five, 
had the happiness of seeing his authority firmly established 

throughout his dominions. Nothing gives us a 

Akbar's autho- 

nty fully csta- higher idea of the real greatness or Akbar s 
bushed, 1567. character, than the conflict which, at so early an 
age, he successfully maintained against his own mutinous 
troops and officers. 


Baber, with a liberality of spirit foreign to every preceding 
conqueror, had determined to strengthen his government by 
Matrimonial matrimonial alliances with the Hindoos. He en- 
the ! E? S oot th couraged his son Humayoon to espouse a daughter 
princes. of Bhugwan Dass, the raja of Jeypore. Akbar, 

following his father's example, allied himself with the same 
house, as well as with the ruling family of Marwar, or 
Joudhpore. At the same time he conferred an office of high 
dignity at his court on the raja of Jeypore. Thus the purest 
Hindoo blood was mingled with that of the Mahomedan con- 
querors, and the princes of Kajpootana gloried in these 
imperial alliances as conferring additional dignity on their 
families. But the orthodox house of Chittore, wrapped up 
in its religious pride and exclusiveness, disdained any such 
connection, arid even excommunicated the rajas of Jeypore and 
Marwar; though Bappa, the founder of that family, con- 
sidered by his countrymen as the " sun of Hindoo dignity," 
married Mahomedan wives without number, and left a hundred 
and thirty circumcised children. 

Akbar, having reduced his military aristocracy to sub- 
mission, determined to chastise the raja of Chittore for having 
Attack on th gi ven encouragement to the king of Malwa. The 
raja of ciiittore, throne was then filled by Oody Sing, the degene- 
rate son of the renowned Rana Sunga. On the 
approach of the Moguls, he fled to the hills, and left the 
defence of his capital to Jeymul, the Rajpoot chief of Bednore, 
esteemed by his countrymen the bravest of the brave. Akbar, 
with a powerful artillery, made his approaches in the most 
scientific mode, closely resembling the practice of modern 
Europe. The siege of Chittore was protracted by the genius 
and valour of Jeymul, but he was at length slain by a bolt 
from the bow of Akbar, while inspecting the ramparts. His 
death deprived the garrison of all confidence, and they deter- 
mined to sell their lives as dear as possible. The women 
threw themselves on the funeral pile of the raja, and the men 
rushed frantically on the weapons of the Moguls, and perished 


to the number of 8,000. With that generosity of character 

which distinguished Akbar, he erected a statue to the memory 

of his heroic foe in the most conspicuous place of his palace 

at Delhi. The fall of Chittore which from that 

Capture and 

abandonment of period was abandoned for the new capital, Oody- 
-ore, 1568. p 0r6j ca u e( j by ^ e founder after his own name 
was considered the most fatal blow which had fallen for 
ages on that royal house. The remembrance of this event 
has been perpetuated throughout India by a most remarkable 
practice. Akbar estimated the golden ornaments taken from 
the Rajpoots at seventy-four maunds and a-half. The nu- 
merals, 74|, were therefore deemed accursed. The Rajpoots, 
and more particularly the Marwarees, are now the largest 
and most enterprizing mercantile community in India, and 
their commercial correspondence bears the impress of these 
figures, signifying that " the sin of the slaughter of Chittore 
is invoked on any one who violates the secrecy of the letter." 
The practice has now become universal throughout India. 
Conquest of Akbar's next enterprize was one of greater 

Guzerat, 1572. magnitude. The province of Guzerat, enlarged 
by the conquests of Bahadoor Shah about forty years before 
this period, and enriched by maritime commerce, was estimated 
to yield a revenue of five crores of rupees, and to be equal 
to the support of 200,000 troops ; but it had been a prey to 
faction since his death. Four weak and profligate monarchy 
had filled the throne in thirty-six years. The distraction of 
the kingdom had been increased by the arrival of the Mirzas, 
as they are styled by the native historians, a family connected 
with Akbar by the ties of blood, who had revolted against his 
authority, and, having been driven out of his dominions, 
transferred their intrigues to Guzerat. Etimad Khan, origi- 
nally a Hindoo slave, who now managed the government in 
the name of Mozuffer the Third, seeing no other mode of 
quelling the factions in the country, invited Akbar to take 
possession of it. The emperor proceeded with a powerful 
army to Puttun, where that feeble monarch advanced to meet 


him, and resigned his crown without an effort; and Guzerat, 
after two centuries and a-half of independence, was again 
annexed to the crown of Delhi As soon, however, as Akbar 
returned to his capital with a large portion of his army, Mirza 
Hussein, the most turbulent of the brothers, raised a new 
revolt, and the imperial generals were reduced to great 
straits, and obliged to act on the defensive. The rains had 
set in, but Akbar was ready for action at all seasons. He 
immediately dispatched a force of 2,000 choice cavalry from 
Agra, and followed it with 300 of his own guards, marching, 
in that season, no less than four hundred and fifty miles in 
nine days. The rapidity and vigour of his movements con- 
founded the rebels ; they suffered a signal defeat, and the 
subjugation of the province was completed. 

The attention of Akbar was next directed to the 

Orissa con- 

quered by the recovery of Bengal, but before narrating this 
Afghans, 1550. ex p e( jiti n, it is necessary to advert to the for- 
tunes of the neighbouring kingdom of Orissa. That country 
had been governed by the family of the Guju-putees, or lords 
of the elephant, from a very remote period of Hindoo 
history. About 400 years before the time under review, the 
throne was occupied by the dynasty of the Gunga-bungsus. 
The princes of this race expended the revenues of the country 
in the erection of the most magnificent temples, and extended 
their authority from the river Hooghly to the Godavery, 
and on one occasion earned their arms as far south as Con- 
jeveram, in the vicinity of Madras. A little before the period 
of Akbar's accession, the king of Golconda, who was endea- 
vouring to extend his power over the Hindoo tribes on the 
sea coast, attacked the king of Orissa, Mookund Rao, the last 
of his race ; at the same time, Soliman, the king of Bengal, 
sent his general Kala-pahar with a large body of Afghan 
cavalry, to invade it from the north. The valour of the raja 
was of little avail; he was defeated and slain in 1558, and 
this venerable Hindoo monarchy, which had never before felt 
the shock of a Mahomedan invasion, was extinguished, and 



the Afghans parcelled the country out in jaygeers among 
themselves. The native inhabitants, who had enjoyed the 
undisturbed exercise of their religion from time immemorial, 
were now to taste the bitterness of persecution. Kala-pahar 
was a brahmin by birth, but had embraced the religion of the 
Prophet to obtain the hand of a princess of Gour, and now 
became a relentless oppressor of his former creed. So terrific 
did he appear to the Hindoos, that it was popularly reported 
that the legs and arms of the idols dropped off at the sound 
of his awful kettle-drum. He made every effort to root out 
Hindooism ; he persecuted the priests, and confiscated the reli- 
gious endowments which had accumulated during twenty 
generations of devout monarchs ; he pulled down the temples, 
and erected mosques with the materials, and seized the imago 
of Jugunnath, which he committed to the flames on the banks 
of the Ganges. 

Akbar invades The attention of Akbar was drawn to Bengal, 
Bengal, 1576. even while he was engaged in the subjugation of 
Guzerat. Under the successor of Shere Shah, the Afghan 
governor had assumed independence, and four kings reigned 
in Bengal during a period of thirty years, of whom the most 
distinguished was Soliman, the conqueror of Orissa. In the 
height of his prosperity, he had the wisdom to acknowledge 
the supremacy of the emperor. But his successor, Daood 
Khan, a debauchee and a coward, who ascended the throne 
in 1573, finding himself at the head of an army which was 
estimated, by oriental exaggeration, at 140,000 infantry, 
40,000 cavalry, and 20,000 guns of all sizes, considered 
himself a match for Akbar, and while he was engaged in 
Guzerat attacked and captured a fort above Ghazeepore. Akbai 
immediately ordered a large army to proceed to the con- 
quest of Bengal. Ghazeepore, which was strongly garrisoned, 
submitted after a brave resistance, and the king fled to Orissa, 
where he made one bold stand for his throne. He was de- 
feated, but allowed to retain Orissa, as a feudatory of Delhi. 
The year after, on the withdrawal of a portion of the imperial 


troops, he invaded Bengal, but was defeated and slain, and 
his head sent to the emperor. With Daood Khan, in 1576, 
terminated the line of Afghan kings in Bengal, who had 
reigned in succession over it for two hundred and thirty- six 
years. During the sovereignty of these foreigners, not only 
was every office of value bestowed on their countrymen, but 
the whole of the land was parcelled out among them in 
jaygeers, and the natives of the country were employed only 
as managers, or cultivators, of the estates. 

The iaygeers of the discomfited Afghans were 

Revoltofthe . " J& . ~s 

Mogul officers, seized by the victorious Mogul officers. Akbar 
was resolved, however, to introduce the same 
fiscal economy into Bengal which he had established in other 
provinces. But when his revenue officers called on the Mogul 
jaygeerdars to account for the revenues they collected, and 
to furnish a muster of the troops they were bound to main- 
tain, they rose in a body in Bengal and Behar, and 30,000 of 
Akbar's finest cavalry appeared in arms against him. His 
new conquest was for the time lost, and the spirit of dis- 
affection spread to the neighbouring province of Oude. 
Finding it difficult, in this emergency, to trust any of his 
Mogul officers, he sent an army of Rajpoots, under the cele- 
brated Hindoo raja Toder Mull, who succeeded in giving a 
severe blow to the revolt; but the war languished for a 
time, and was terminated by Azim Khan, whose success was 
owing as much to the offer of a compromise, as to the vigour 
of his arms. The Afghans in Orissa took advantage of this 
confusion, and recovered their footing in the lower provinces 
of Bengal. The great Kajpoot raja Man Sing, the near 
relative of the emperor, was sent to quell this formidable 
revolt, which was not effected without great difficulty ; and 
it was not till the year 1592, after a dozen battles and seven- 
teen years of conflict, that the authority of Akbar was con- 
clusively established in a province which, a century and a 
half later, was at once and finally conquered by Olive in one 
decisive action. 


Destruction of It was a short time previous to the invasion 
Gour, cii. 1560. O f B en g a i by Akbar, that the ancient city of Gour 
was depopulated and abandoned, after having existed more 
than twenty centuries. It was admirably situated on the 
confines of Bengal and Behar for the government of both 
these provinces ; it had been the capital of a hundred kings, 
by whom it was successively adorned with the most superb 
edifices. It extended along the banks of the Ganges, and 
was defended from the encroachments of the river by a stone 
embankment, not less than fifteen miles in length. This 
magnificent city, the seat of wealth and luxury, was suddenly 
humbled to the dust by some pestilential disease, which has 
never been satisfactorily explained. The establishments of 
government were transferred, in the first instance, to Tondah, 
and then to Eajmahal. 

Conquest of The next important event in the reign of Akbar 
Cashmere, 1587. was ^he conquest of Cashmere, by his brother-in- 
law, the raja of Jeypore, when the Mahomedan king of that 
province was enrolled among the nobles of the court, and this 
lovely valley, the paradise of Asia, becam'e the summer retreat 
of the emperors of Delhi. The attempt which Akbar was 
required to make, soon after, to curb the highland tribes 
around the plain of Peshawur, proved far more arduous. 
These wild mountaineers, of whom the Eusufzies and the 
Khyberees were the most considerable and most turbulent, 
had been for ages the plague of every successive ruler of the 
province. It was their hereditary belief that the fastnesses 
of the mountains had been bestowed on them by the Creator, 
to enable them to levy contributions on the industry of the 
plains. Every form of conciliation and coercion had been 
.^employed in vain to restrain their- inroads. On this, occasion 
Akbar sent an army against them, under the joint command 
of his foster brother, and his great personal friend and 
favourite, the Hindoo raja Beerbull. Their troops were 
decoyed into the defiles and cut off, and, to the infinite regret 
of the emperor, Beerbull was among the slain. So complete 



was the disgrace, that according to the historian of this reign, 
of 40,000 horse and foot, who entered the hills, scarcely an 
individual escaped. Such wholesale destruction would appear 
incredible, if we had not witnessed an example of it in the 
same scene in our own day. The task of subjugating them 
was then committed to the rajas Toder Mull and Man Sing, 
who established military posts in the hills, and cut off the 
supplies of the mountaineers from the plains, and thus imposed 
some restraint on then 1 violence. They became, however, as 
troublesome a century after, in the days of Aurungzebe, as 
they had been in the time of Akbar, and it is only since the 
establishment of British authority at Peshawur, that they 
have felt themselves in the presence of a master. 

Akbar, having no other war on his hands, pro- 

Conquest of 

sinde and can- cecded to annex the kingdom of Sinde to his 
danar, 1591-94. Dominions, an( j soon a f t er reconquered the province 
of Candahar. Thus, after a series of conflicts, which extended 
over a period of twenty-five years, Akbar saw himself the 
undisputed monarch of all his hereditary territories beyond 
the Indus, and of all the principalities which had ever 
belonged to the crown of Delhi, north of the Nerbudda, and 
it only remained to extend his authority over the Deccan. A 
brief notice of the events in that region, during the sixteenth 
century, will form a suitable introduction to the Mogul expe- 
dition, on which Akbar now entered. 

It has been stated in a previous chapter that on 

History of the _ r 

Deccan in the the decline of the Bahminy kingdom, the governors 
tury ' of the different provinces threw off their allegi- 
ance, and that at the period of Baber's invasion, five separate 
kingdoms had been established in the Deccan, at Beejaporc, 
Ahmednugur, Golconda, Beder, and Berar. Of these Beder, 
the most insignificant, was gradually absorbed by its more 
.. . powerful neighbours. Berar was scarcely of 

The kingdoms e 

of Beder and more weight in the politics of the Deccan, and was 

extinguished about the year 1572 by the Nizam 

Shahee ruler of Ahmednugur. The kingdom of Golconda, 


which was sometimes called Telingana, as comprising the 
districts of that extinct Hindoo monarchy, was consolidated 
Kingdom of ^J Koolee Eootub Shah, who claimed homage on 
Goiconda. ^he ground of being lineally descended from 
Japhet, the son of Noah. His reign extended over sixty 
years, during which he was employed, as he delighted to say, 
"in spreading the banners of the Faith, and reducing the 
infidels from the borders of Telingana to Masulipatam and 
Rajahmundry." Year after year he took the field against the 
Hindoos, reducing their villages to ashes, and turning their 
temples into mosques. Though the kings of Goiconda mixed 
freely in the intrigues of the two other princes of the Deccan, 
and were always ready to enter the lists against them when 
plunder or territory was to be gained, their attention was more 
particularly directed to the subjugation of the Hindoo districts 
lying between the eastern border of their kingdom and the 
Bay of Bengal. 

The two states of Beeiapore and of Ahmed- 
Kingdoms of . 
Eeejaporeand nugur, called the Adil Shahee, and the Nizam 

inugur. g na h ee? which bordered on each other, were inces- 
santly engaged in mutual hostility. Within the circle of 
those kingdoms was included the region inhabited by the 
Mahrattas, the rise and importance of whose power is to be 
attributed primarily to the perpetual warfare in which these 
royal families were involved. As early as 1499, we find a 
body of 5,000 Mahrattas enlisted in the service of one of 
them, and throughout the sixteenth century, their armieb 
were strengthened by Mahratta contingents, consisting of 
five, ten, and sometimes even twenty thousand troops. Not 
a few of the Mahratta families, which subsequently rose 
to distinction, traced the origin of their dignity to these 
appointments. There was as yet no bond of national unity 
among them, and their mercenary weapons were sold to the 
highest bidder, even though their own countrymen might bo 
in the opposite ranks. As the object of the kings of the 
Deccan was to inflict the greatest amount of havoc on their 

I 2 


opponents, the aid of men who were bandits by birth and 
profession, must have been invaluable. 

To the south of the three Deccan kingdoms, 

The Hindoo 

kingdom of lay the territories of the great Hindoo monarch 
Beejuynugur. o ^ Beejuynugur, who exercised authority, more or 
less complete, over all the Hindoo chiefs in the south. 
The kings of this race had incessantly waged war with the 
powerful Bahminy sovereigns, and on the extinction of their 
power, were always engaged either in alliance or in war with 
some one of the Deccan kings, the ally of one year being 
frequently the foe of the next. The revenues of Beejuynugur, 
which were said to have been enriched by the commerce of 
sixty seaports, on both coasts, enabled the king to maintain a 
force with which no other single state was able to cope. 
Earn Raja, the reigning monarch in the middle of the sixteenth 
century, had recently wrested several districts from Beejapore ; 
he had also overrun Telingana, blockaded the capital, and 
constrained the king to make large concessions. His growing 
power gave just alarm to the Mahomedan kings of Beejapore, 
Ahmednugur, Golconda, and Beder, and they resolved to 
suspend their mutual jealousies and form a general con- 
federacy to extinguish it. This was nothing less than a 
conflict for supremacy between the Hindoo and the Mahome- 
dan powers in the Deccan. Earn Eaja, then seventy years of 
age, called up to his aid all his Hindoo feudatories as far as 
Ceylon, and was enabled to assemble an army, consisting, on 
the most moderate computation, of 70,000 horse. 90,000 foot, 
2,000 elephants, and 1,000 pieces of cannon. The great and 
Battle of Teiii- decisive battle was fought on the 25th of January, 
cotta, 25 Jan., 1565, at Tellicotta, about twenty miles north of 
Beejuynugur, and terminated in the total defeat 
and capture of the raja, and the slaughter, according to the 
Mahomedan historian, of 100,000 infidels. The aged raja wan 
put to death in cold blood, and his head was preserved as a, 
trophy at Beejapore, and annually exhibited to the people for 
two hundred years on the anniversary of his death. The 


capital was plundered of all its treasures, and gradually sunk 
to insignificance. The power of the Hindoos in the Deccan 
was irretrievably broken, but the confederate monarchs were 
prevented from following up their victory by mutual dis- 
sensions, and the brother of the raja was thus enabled to 
save some portion of the territory, and to establish his court 
at Penconda. The capital was subsequently transferred to 
Chundergiree, which has been rendered memorable in the 
history of British India as the town where, seventy-four years 
after the battle of Tellicotta, the descendant of the raja 
granted the English the first acre of land they ever possessed 
in India, and on which they erected the town of Madras. 

During the sixteenth century, the Portuguese 

The Portuguese ,.,, . 

during the leth made little effort to extend their conquests into 
the interior of the country. They were content 
with being masters of the sea, from which they swept all the 
fleets of India and Arabia, and with the monopoly of the 
commerce between Europe and India. There are, therefore, 
few events of any consequence in their history. It was 
about thirty years after they had landed at Calicut that they 
determined to obtain possession of the harbour of Diu at all 
hazards. A large expedition was fitted out, consisting of 
400 vessels, with a force of 22,000 men, of whom 5,000 were 
said to be European soldiers and sailors ; but it was defeated 
by the artillery and the extraordinary talents of Koomy Khan, 
the great engineer officer of the Guzerat army. Here it may 
be useful to note, that the Portuguese, on their arrival in 
India, found the native princes furnished with artillery fully 
equal to their own,' and in some cases superior to it. The 
engineers in the native armies, who came from Constantinople 
and Asia Minor, and usually bore the title of Koomy, were 
skilled in every branch of the science of artillery, and few 
battles were fought without the aid of field guns. It was 
Roomy Khan who, in 1549, cast, or constructed, the great gun 
at Ahmednugur now called the Beejapore gun the calibre 
of which was 28 inches and the weight 40 tons. In 1535, 


Bahadoor Shah, the king of Guzerat, was driven from his 
throne by Humayoon, and took refuge at Diu, where the 
Portuguese, after their repulse, had succeeded in forming an 
establishment. There he entered into a treaty with them, 
granting permission to erect a fortress in return for a con- 
tingent of 50 European officers and 450 soldiers, with whose 
aid he was enabled to reconquer his kingdom on the departure 
of Humayoon. The disputes which arose regarding this 
fortification, and the tragic event in which they ended, have 
been already narrated. The fortress was completed in 1538, 
and contributed to strengthen the power of the Portuguese, 
who had now become the terror of the eastern seas through 
the superiority of their naval equipments. It became, there- 
fore, the interest of all the Mahomedan powers in Asia to 
extirpate them, and the Grand Seigneur at Constantinople 
entered into a combination with the king of Guzerat to 
accomplish this object. The Turkish admiral sailed from 
Suez to Diu, with a force of 7,000 men and a superb train of 
artillery. A body of 20,000 men co-operated with them from 
Guzerat. Sylveira, the Portuguese Commander, had only a 
force of 600 men, but defended himself with such gallantly, 
that the seige is one of the most remarkable transactions in 
the history of the Portuguese. When, at length, forty alone of 
the garrison remained fit for duty, and there was no prospect 
before them but an unconditional surrender, the Mahomedans, 
exhausted by this long and fruitless seige, drew off their 
troops, and Diu was saved. 

Combined ^ ne g rea test event of this century, however, 

attack on Goa, was the seige of Goa, in 1570. The kings of 
^esf s^fue- 11 " Beejapore and of Ahmednugur formed a coalition 
inents, 1570. w ^h the Zamorin of Calicut to expel the Portu- 
guese from the coasts of India, each of the confederates 
engaging to attack the settlements contiguous to his domi- 
nions. Ali Adil came down upon Goa, with a force of 100,000 
infantry, 35,000 cavalry, and 350 pieces of cannon ; Don Luis, 
the governor, was able only to muster 1,600 men, including 


the monks ; but he obliged the king to raise the seige with 
ignominy, after ten months had been wasted, and 12,000 of 
Iris troops slain. Mortiza Nizam Shah of Ahmednugur, 
descended the ghauts with an army scarcely less numerous, 
composed of natives of Turkey, Persia, Khorasan, and Ethio- 
pia, and attacked the port of Ghoul, in the neighbourhood of 
Bombay, but he was repulsed at all points, and 3,000 of his 
troops perished in the assault. The Zamorin, at the same 
time, laid seige to the port of Chale, but it was rescued from 
danger by the timely arrival of reinforcements from Goa. 
The Portuguese, having thus repulsed the most formidable 
attempt made on their settlements since they became a power 
in India, constrained the discomfited princes to sue for peace, 
and retained their supremacy in the Indian ocean, and on the 
coasts of India to the close of the century, when they had 
to encounter the rivalry of the new power introduced by the 
Dutch, to which they were obliged eventually to succumb. 
., , . Akbar, having consolidated his empire to the 

Akbar s views r 

on the Deccan, north of the Nerbudda, resolved to conquer the 
Deccan. There can be little doubt that this 
movement was dictated simply by the "lust of territorial 
aggrandisement," and that it is open to ah 1 the censure which 
English historians have bestowed on it. Yet aggression had 
been the normal principle of every government, since the 
Mahomedans " turned their face to India," in the year 1000 ; 
perhaps even long before that period ; and if the enterprise of 
Akbar had been crowned with success, it would doubtless 
have been an incomparable benefit to India. 

It is difficult to imagine a more deplorable condition than 
that of the unhappy provinces of the Deccan during the 
whole of the sixteenth century. The kings seem to have 
had no occupation but war. Scarcely a year passed in which 
the villages were not subjected to rapine, and the fair fruits 
of industry blasted by their wanton irruptions. No govern- 
ment, however tyrannical, could have inflicted anything like 
tlic wretchedness occasioned by these unceasing devastations. 


So inestimable is the blessing conferred by a strong govern- 
ment in India, in putting down intestine war, and giving 
repose and confidence to the people, that it appears mere 
affectation to inquire into the origin of its rights, which, in 
nine cases out of ten, will be found to be as valid as those 
of the power it subverts. 

Akbar enters On the death of Boorhan Nizam Shah, the king 
the Ahmed Q f Ahmednugur, i n 1595 four rival factions arose 

nugur stdtG, 

1595. in the state, the most powerful of which called in 

the aid of the Moguls. Akbar, who had long been watching 
an opportunity of interfering in the affairs of the Deccan, 
readily accepted the overture, and lost no time in sending 
forward two armies. But before they could reach the capital, 
another revolution had placed the power of the state in the 
hands of Chand Sultana. She was a princess of Ahmednugur, 
who had been bestowed in marriage in 1564 on Ah' Adil Shah 
of Beejapore, to bind him to the alliance then formed by the 
Mahomedan kings against the raja of Beejuynugur. On his 
death she returned to her native country, and now assumed 
the regency on behalf of her nephew, Bahadoor Nizam Shah. 
This celebrated woman, the favourite heroine 

The celebrated 

Chand Sultana, of the Deccan, the subject of a hundred ballads, 
determined to defend the city to the last extremity, 
and persuaded the rival factions to merge their differences iut 
a combined effort against the common foe. The Moguls had 
constructed three mines, two of which she countermined ; the 
third blew up, carrying away a portion of the wall, and many 
of her principal officers prepared to desert the defence. The 
Sultana flew to the spot in full armour, with a veil over her 
countenance, and a drawn sword in her hand, and recalled the 
troops to a sense of their duty. Combustibles of every de- 
scription were thrown into the breach, and so heavy a fire 
was directed against it, that the besiegers were constrained 
to retire. During the night she superintended in person the 
repairs of the wall. It is a popular and favourite tradition, 
that when the shot was. exhausted, she loaded the guns with 


copper, then with silver, and then with gold, and did not 
pause till she had begun to fire away her jewels. The allies 
whom she had importuned to aid her, were now approaching ; 
the Mogul camp began to be straitened for provisions, and 
prince Morad, the son of Akbar, who commanded the army, 
offered to retire on obtaining the cession of the 

She cedes Berar 

to the Moguls, province of Berar. Chand, having little confi- 
dence in the fidelity of her troops or of her allies, 
was constrained to accede to these terms. 
Battle of sone- Within a year of this convention, the kings of 
put, Jan., 1597. Beejapore, Ahmednugur, and Golconda formed 
an alliance to drive the Moguls back across the Nerbudda, 
and brought an army of 60,000 men into the field. An action 
was fought at Soneput, which lasted two days, without any 
decisive result, though both parties claimed the victory. 
Dissensions at length broke out among the officers of the 
Mogul army, and Akbar, who had resided for fourteen years 
in the countries bordering on the Indus, felt the necessity of 
proceeding in person to the Deccan. On reaching Boorhan- 
pore he sent an army to lay seige again to Ahmednugur. 
The government of the Sultana, which she had maintained 
with great difficulty, was now distracted by factions, and 
feeling the city to be incapable of defence, she endeavoured 
to make the best terms in her power with the Moguls. The 
populace, inflamed by her enemies, rushed into her chamber 
and put her to death. But they soon had reason to deplore 
their ingratitude. The Mogul army stormed and plundered 
the city, giving no quarter to the defenders, and the young 
king and his family were sent as state prisoners to Gwalior. 
The fall of the capital did not, however, ensure 

Capture of Ah- r 

mednugur, the submission of the kingdom, and it was not 
July, i6( incorporated with the Mogul dominions till thirty- 

seven years after this period. Soon after, Akbar deprived his 
vassal, the king of Candesh, of all authority, and that kingdom 
was re-annexed to the Mogul empire. 


This was the last event of importance in the 

Last four years . 

of Akbar-s reign, reign of Akbtff, who returned to the capital in 
iGoi-1606. by 

the misconduct of his son Selirn, then thirty years of age, a 
prince not altogether destitute of that talent, which for a 
century and a half distinguished the family of Baber, both in 
the cabinet and in the field, but violent and vindictive, and 
the slave of wine. The emperor had declared him heir to the 
throne, but he was so impatient to occupy it, as to take up 
arms against his father, which, however, he was induced to 
lay down by a fond and paternal letter, and a grant of the 
provinces of Bengal and Orissa. He had contracted an in- 
veterate hatred of Abul Fazil, one of the most illustrious 
officers of Akbar's camp, and, after the death of raja Beerbull, 
his most intimate friend. Prince Selim caused him to be 
assassinated by a zemindar of Bundlecund. Abul Fazil was 
equally eminent as a general, a statesman, and a historian ; 
and Akbar is indebted for his renown in no small degree to 
the pen of his noble historian. 

Akbar's death, Iu September, 1605, Akbar began to feel the 
isth oct, 1605. approach of death. The profligacy of Selim had 
induced an influential body of courtiers, among whom was raja 
Man Sing, to contemplate the elevation of his son Khusro, a 
minor, to the throne ; but Akbar nipped the project in the 
bud. He summoned his courtiers and his son around his 
couch, and ordered the prince to bind his favourite scymetar 
to his side as a token that the empire had been bequeathed to 
him, and recommended his personal friends and the ladies of 
the harem to Ins protection. Then, addressing the omrahs 
around him, he asked forgiveness for any offence he might 
have given them; a priest was soon after introduced, and 
Akbar repeated the confession of faith, and died in the odour 
of Mahomedan sanctity, though he had lived the life of a 
Akbar was not only the ornament of the Mogul dynasty 


r-s charac- b u t incomparably the greatest of all the Malio- 
institutions. medan rulers of India. Few princes ever exhibited 
greater military genius or personal courage. He never fought 
a battle which he did not win, or besieged a town which he did 
not take ; yet he had no passion for war, and as soon as he 
had turned the tide of victory by his skill and energy, he 
was happy to leave his generals to complete the work, and to 
hasten back to the more agreeable labours of the cabinet. 
The glories of his reign rest not so much on the extent of his 
conquests, though achieved by his personal talent, as on the 
admirable institutions by which his empire was consolidated. 
. The superiority of his civil administration was owing not to his 
own genius alone, but also to the able statesmen whom, like 
Queen Elizabeth, he had the wisdom to collect around him. 

In the early period of his career he was a devout 

ITis religious ' r 

Tiews and his f ollower of the Prophet, and was at one time bent 
on a pilgrimage to his tomb, the aspiration of every 
Mahomedan ; but about the twenty-fifth year of his reign lie 
began to entertain sentiments incompatible with fidelity to 
the Koran. He professed to reject all prophets, priests, and 
ceremonies, and to take simple reason as the guide of his 
thoughts and the rule of his actions. The first article of his 
creed was, " There is no God but one, and Akbar is his pro- 
phet." Whether he ever intended to become the founder of 
a new creed may admit of controversy ; but ah 1 his measures 
tended to discourage the religion of the Prophet. He changed 
the era of the Hejira ; he restrained the study of Arabic and of 
Mahomedan theology ; and he wounded the dearest prejudices 
of the faithful by proscribing the beard. Nothing but the 
ascendancy of his character, and -his dazzling success in war 
and in peace, could have preserved the throne amidst the dis- 
contents produced among his own chiefs by these heterodox 
measures. Among a people with whom persecution was 
considered the most sacred of duties, Akbar adopted the prin- 
ciple not only of religious toleration, but, what has been found a 
more difficult task even in the most enlightened Christian com- 


munities, of religious equality. He formed the magnanimous 
resolution of resting the strength of his throne on the attach- 
ment of all his subjects, whether they belonged to the esta- 
blished religion of the state or not. He disarmed the hostility 
and secured the loyalty of the Hindoos by allowing them to 
share the highest civil offices and military commands with 
the Mahomedans, and thus placed himself a century ahead of 
the Stuarts in England. He abolished the odious jezzia, or 
capitation tax ; he issued an edict permitting Hindoo widows 
to marry ; he discouraged suttees to the full extent of his 
power, and he abolished the practice of reducing captives to 

His revenue Under the supervision of the great financier 
reforms. o f fae age, the raja Toder Mull, Akbar radically 

remodelled the revenue system of the empire He caused all 
the lands to be measured according to a uniform standard, and 
with the most perfect instruments procurable. He divided 
them, according to their character and fertih'ty, into three 
classes, and fixed the demand of the state generally at one- 
third the annual produce, and then commuted it to a money 
payment. He abolished all arbitrary cesses, and made the 
settlement for ten years, and with the cultivators themselves, 
to the exclusion of all middlemen. It is questionable there- 
fore whether, during his reign, there were any zemindars in 
India at all, and whether those who afterwards assumed their 
prerogatives were, at this period, and for more than a century 
after, anything beyond mere officials employed in collecting- 
the public dues. 

Division of the The whole empire was divided into fifteen pro- 
empire, vinces, or soubahs: Cabul, beyond the Indus; 
Lahore, Mooltan, Delhi, Agra, Oude, Allahabad, Ajmere, 
Guzerat, Malwa, Behar, and Bengal ; and south of the 
Nerbudda, Candesh, Berar, and Ahmednugur. Each province 
was placed under a soobadar, who was entrusted with full 
powers, civil and military, and assisted by a dewan, or minis- 
ter of finance, who, though nominated by the emperor, was 


accountable to the soobadar. The military duties of each 
province were entrusted to a fouzdar, who also commanded 
the police force, and was responsible for the peace of the 
country. Civil law was administered by a Mahomedan chief 
justice, assisted by local judges, and the decisions were inva- 
riably in accordance with the precepts of Mahomedan law. 
His military The military system of Akbar was the least 
ecoiy^f ST P erfect of ali nis arrangements, and his extraordi- 
court. nary success is to be attributed more to the weak- 

ness of his opponents than to the superiority of his own 
army. He perpetuated the great military error of paying the 
commanders for their soldiers by the head, which created an 
irresistible temptation to make false musters, and to fill the 
ranks with ragamuffins. The same organization which per- 
vaded, the various offices of state was carried into all the 
establishments of his court, down to the department of the 
fruits and the flowers, the perfumery, the kitchen, and the 
kennel, which were regulated to the minutest details under 
the personal directions of the emperor. Every establishment 
was maintained upon a scale of imperial magnificence. He 
never had fewer than 12,000 horses and 5,000 elephants in his 
own stables, independently of those required for hawking, and 
hunting, and war. During his progress through the provinces 
his camp was a great moving city, and the eye was dazzled 
by the sight of the royal tents surmounted with gilt cupolas, 
and enriched with the most gorgeous ornaments. 


ON the death of Akbar, Prince Selim quietly 

Jchan^eer as- 

cends the throne, stepped into the throne, at the age of thirty- 
seven, and adopted the title of Jehangeer, the 
conqueror of the world. The great empire to which he sue- 


ceeded was in a state of profound tranquillity, and there was 
no spfrit of insubordination among the military or civil chiefs. 
His proceedings on his accession served not only to calm the 
fears which his previous misconduct had excited, but even io 
win him the esteem of his subjects. He confirmed his father's 
ministers in their posts, abolished some vexatious taxes, and, 
though strongly addicted to wine himself, prohibited the use 
of it, and endeavoured to control the indulgence in opium. 
He replaced the Mahomedan creed on the coin, and mani- 
fested a more superstitious attention to the precepts of the 
Prophet than his father had done. At the same time he 
courted popularity by affording easy access to the complaints 
of his people. But a subject of disquietude soon arose. 
His son Khusro had become the object of his 

Rebellion of his . J 

sonKhuuro, detestation by the effort made during the last 
days of Akbar's life to place him on the throne by 
some of the leading courtiers, and the youth now fled to the 
Punjab, where he collected a body of 10,000 men. He was 
promptly pursued and captured, and the emperor exhibited 
the brutality of his nature by causing seven hundred of his 
adherents to be impaled alive, while the wretched Khusro 
was carried along the line to witness their agony. 

The event which exercised the greatest influ- 

Parentage and 

marriage of encc on the conduct of Jehangecr for sixteen 
twn " years was his marriage with the celebrated Noor 
Jehan. She was descended from a noble Persian family of 
Teheran, but her father, having been reduced to poverty, 
determined to follow the prevailing current of emigration, and 
proceed to India to repair his fortunes. During the journey, 
his wife gave birth to a daughter under the most calamitous 
circumstances, though they were subsequently embellished 
with all the romance of poetry when she became the Queen 
of the East, and was in a position to reward the pens of poets. 
A merchant who happened to be travelling on the same route 
afforded assistance to the family in their exigency, and, on 
reaching the capital, took the father into his own employ, and, 


perceiving his abilities, introduced him to the service of 
Akbar, in which he gradually rose to eminence. His daughter, 
Noor Jehan, received all the accomplishments of education 
which the capital of India could afford, and grew up into a 
woman of the most exquisite beauty. In the harem of Akbar> 
which she occasionally visited with her mother, she attracted 
the attention of the prince Selim, who became deeply ena- 
moured of her. But she had been already betrothed to a 
Turkoman of the noblest descent, who had acquired the title 
of Shere Afgun, from having killed a lion singlehanded. He 
had served with renown in the wars of Persia and India, and 
was distinguished no less by his gigantic strength than by 
his personal valour. Akbar refused to annul the nuptial 
engagement, even in favour of his own son, and, in the hope 
that absence would allay the passion of the prince, appointed 
Shere to a jaygeer in the remote district of Burdwan. 

But Jehangeer had no sooner mounted the 

Noor Jehan 

raised to the throne than he determined to remove every ob- 
one, 1611. g t ac i e to the gratification of his wishes, and Shere 
perished in a scuffle, which was not believed to be accidental. 
His lovely widow was conveyed to Delhi, when Jehangeer 
offered to share his throne with her; but she rejected tho 
offer with disdain, and was consigned to the neglect of the 
harem, where she had leisure for reflection and repentance. 
Anxious to regain Jehangeer's attachment, she contrived to 
throw herself in his way, and her youth and beauty did not 
fail to rekindle his former passion. Their marriage was cele- 
brated with extraordinary pomp, and she was clothed with 
honours greater than any Sultana had ever enjoyed before. 
The emperor went so far as to associate her name with his 
own on the coin,- in these graceful terms: "By order of the 
emperor Jehangeer, gold acquired a hundred times additional 
value by the name of the empress Noor Jehan" the light 
of the world. Her talent for business was not less remark- 
able than her personal charms, and her influence was beneficial 
to the interests of the state. She softened the natural cruelty 


of the emperor's disposition, and constrained him to appear 
sober at the durbar, however he might indemnify himself for 
this restraint in the evening. Her taste imparted grace to the 
splendour of the court, at the same time that she curtailed 
its extravagance. Her brother, Asof Khan, was raised to a 
post of high dignity, and her father, who was placed at the 
head of affairs, proved to be one of the ablest of viziers. 
Malik Amber ^^ c ^ v ^ Ahmednugur, as previously stated, was 
ana the state of captured by Akbar, on the murder of Chand Sultana, 
in 1600, and the royal family was consigned to the 
fortress of Gwalior ; but the kingdom was not subdued, though 
Akbar designated it as one of the soobahs of his empire. 
Malik Amber, the chief of the Abyssinian nobles of the 
court, assumed the control of public affairs, and placed a 
kinsman of the late king on the throne. He attacked the 
Mogul forces with vigour, and erected the national standard on 
what had been regarded the impregnable rock of Dowlutabad; 
he founded a new capital at the foot of it, at Kirkee, and 
adorned it with many splendid buildings. Malik Amber stands 
foremost in the history of the Deccan as a statesman of sur- 
passing genius, who maintained the sinking fortunes of the 
Ahmednugur dynasty for twenty years with the greatest 
energy. Planting himself on the borders of the Deccan, he 
continued to repel the encroachments of the Moguls, and 
repeatedly drove their armies back to Boorhanpore. He 
availed himself to so great an extent of the services of the 
Mahratta chieftains, that he may be said to have cradled 
their power ; more especially was it under his banner that 
Shahjee, the father of Sevajee, laid the foundation of his 
greatness. With a natural genius for war, he was still 
more remarkable for the assiduity with which he cultivated 
the arts of peace ; and it is the revenue settlement he brought 
to perfection which has given lasting celebrity to his name. 
He was the Toder Mull of the Deccan. 

jciiangeerat- i n the year 1612 Jehangeer resolved to re- 
tacks Amber, . * 
K12. cover the footing which the Moguls had lost 


in the Deccan, and two armies, the first commanded by 
Abdoolla Khan, were sent against Malik Amber. But he 
avoided a general engagement, while his light Deccanee 
horse hovered on the flanks and rear of his enemy, cut off 
his communications and supplies, and harassed him by night 
and by day so inexorably as to oblige him to sound a retreat, 
which the Abyssinian soon converted into a disgraceful 
flight. The second army met the Ahmednugur troops in the 
flush of victory, and wisely retraced its steps across the 

Subjugation of These disappointments were balanced by success 
-oodypore, 1614- against Oodypore. It has been already stated 
that Oody Sing, the feeble rana of Chittore, the founder of 
the town of Oodypore, wa,s obliged by the generals of Akbar 
to seek refuge in the hills. He was succeeded by his son, 
Pertap Sing, who is still idolized by his countrymen for the 
heroism with which he repelled the attacks of the Moguls, 
and preserved the germ of national independence in his wild 
fastnesses. Although the Rajpoot rajas of Jeypore and 
Marwar were ranged against him, he succeeded in recovering 
the greater portion of his hereditary dominions before the 
death of Akbar. His son Omrah, equally valiant, but less 
fortunate, after having repeatedly defeated the Mogul troops, 
was, in the year 1614, attacked by Shah Jehan, the gallant 
and favourite son of the emperor, and compelled to acknowledge 
fealty to the throne of Delhi. That generous prince, himself, 
on the mother's side, of Rajpoot blood, restored the territories 
of the fallen prince, but only as the vassal of the emperor, at 
whose court, however, he was assigned the highest post of 
honour. Thus was the independence of the family of the 
great ranas of Chittore, which had been maintained for eight 
hundred years, at once extinguished. 

ofs - The tenth year of the reign of Jehangeer was ren- 

Thomas BOB, dered memorable by the arrival of Sir Thomas Roe, 

as ambassador from James, the king of England, 

to solicit privileges for the East India Company, then recently 



established. He landed at Surat, and proceeded by slow 
journeys to the court, then held at Ajmere, where he was 
received with greater distinction than had been conferred on 
any foreign envoy. Of the result of his embassy we shall 
have occasion to speak hereafter ; here it may be sufficient 
to state, that he was fascinated by the oriental magnificence 
of the court, which so completely eclipsed the tinsel pomp of 
that of his own master. He was dazzled with the profusion 
of gold and jewels on every side, and, not least, with those 
which adorned the foreheads of the royal elephants. But he 
perceived little comfort among the subjects of the empire, 
who were ground down by the extortions of the public ser- 
vants of every grade. The emperor dispensed justice daily in 
person ; but he retired in the evening to his cups, which he 
never left while there was any reason left in him. He was 
maudlin and easy, and his courtiers were universally corrupt 
and unprincipled. Military discipline had decayed after the 
death of Akbar, and the only good soldiers in the army were 
the Eajpoots and the Afghans. There was a large influx of 
Europeans at the capital, and so greatly was Christianity 
encouraged, that one of the emperor's nephews had embraced 
it, and the Emperor himself had an image of Christ and the 
Virgin in his rosary. 

Second cam- The attention of Jehangeer was now called to 
^ 1 f a . gai . nst the state of affairs in the Deccan, and he marched 

Malik Amber, 

March, 1617. down to Mandoo to superintend the war, which 
he entrusted to the command of Shah Jehan, at the same time 
declaring him the heir of the throne. The prosperity of 
Malik Amber had created a feeling of envy at the Ahmed- 
nugur court, and alienated many of his confederates. On 
the approach of Shah Jehan, he was still further weakened 
by the defection of the king of Beejapore, and was obliged 
to enter into negotiations, and cede the fortress of Ahmed- 
nugur, together with all the conquests he had made from 
the Moguls. But within four years he renewed the war, and 
succeeded in driving the imperial forces across the Taptee. 


Shah Jehan was again selected by his father to command the 
army ; but he accepted the charge only on condition that his 
brother Khusro should accompany him. Before he reached 
the province of Malwa, Malik Amber had crossed the Ner- 
budda and burned down the suburbs of Maudoo. But success 
still attended the arms of Shah Jehan. He contrived to cor- 
rupt the principal Mahratta chiefs in the army of Malik 
Amber some of them by the most extravagant offers and 
that general, deserted by his own officers, suffered a defeat, 
and was obliged to purchase peace in 1621, by a large sacri- 
fice of treasure and territory. 

Death of Khusro, Just at this juncture Khusro died, and themis- 
N l o d o?j!S 80f f o rtunes of Shah J ehan began. Noor Jehan had 
1621. bestowed her daughter by Shere Afgun on Shariar, 

the youngest of the emperor's sons, and determined to raise 
him to the throne, in the hope of perpetuating that unbounded 
influence which she had enjoyed under Jehangeer. Her father, 
the vizier, whose virtue and wisdom had maintained order in 
the empire, notwithstanding the dissoluteness of the Court, 
had recently died, and the salutary restraint of his authority 
being removed, she was at liberty to indulge her passions 
without control. The Persians had recently reconquered 
Candahar, and, in the hope of removing Shah Jehan out of 
her way, she persuaded Jehangeer to employ his great military 
talents hi regaining it. Shah Jehan was alive to the danger 
of quitting India, and began to stipulate for securities. 
His demands were regarded as treasonable j all his jaygeers 
and estates were sequestered, and he was driven into rebellion 
by the force of circumstances. 

Mohabet hunts To meet this difficulty, Mohabet, the ablest 
torough^e general in the emperor's service, was drawn from 
country, 1623. his government of Cabul, and directed to march 
against Shah Jehan. A partial and indecisive action took 
place in Rajpootana, and the prince unwisely determined to 
retire to the Deccan. This retrograde movement was attended, 
as might have been expected, with the most fatal couse- 


quences. Malik Amber and the kings of Beejapore and 
Golconda refused him any assistance ; his own troops began 
to desert, and he was obliged to retreat to Telingana. On 
reaching Masulipatam he marched along the coast to Bengal, 
took possession of that province and of Behar, and advanced 
to Allahabad. Mohabet, who was lying at Boorhanpore, on 
hearing of his sudden appearance on the Ganges, hastened to 
encounter him ; his raw levies were speedily dispersed, and 
he fled a second time to the Deccan. Malik Amber was now 
at issue with the emperor, and made common cause with his 
fugitive son, and they advanced together to the siege of 
that city. But Mohabet pursued the prince with such 
energy that he was f am to seek reconciliation with his father, 
which, however, was not granted but on the hard condition 
of surrendering all his forts, and giving two of his sons as 

Jehan A new scene now opens in this eventful drama. 
* Mohabet, the greatest subject of the empire, and 
1625. the prime favourite of the emperor, had acquired 
additional importance by his brilliant success; but as he 
manifested no disposition to second Noor Jehan's views re- 
garding the succession of Shariar, her confidence was 
capriciously converted into hatred, and she resolved on his 
ruin. Jehangeer was at this tune on his way to Cabul. A 
charge of embezzlement during his recent campaign was 
trumped up against Mohabet, and he was summoned to the 
court to answer it. He came, but with a body of 5,000 Rajpoots 
who were devoted to his service. He had recently betrothed 
his daughter to a young noble without obtaining the usual 
consent of the emperor. Jehangeer, on hearing of the cir- 
cumstance, ordered the youth into his presence, and hi a fit 
of brutal rage directed him to be stripped naked and whipped 
with thorns in the presence of the court, and confiscated all 
his estates. When Mohabet approached the royal encamp- 
ment he was refused admission. He could not fail to perceive 
that his ruin was determined on, and he resolved to strike 


. v . . the first blow. The following 1 morning the army 

Mohabet seizes ; 

the Emperor, crossed the Hydaspes, and Jehangeer, who had 
not recovered from the debauch of the previous 
night, remained behind with a slender guard. Mohabet pro- 
ceeded to the emperor's tent and seized his person. Jehan- 
.geer was frantic at this indignity, but seeing himself abso- 
lutely in the power of his general, was persuaded to mount 
an elephant, with his goblet and his cup-bearer, and proceed 
to Mohabet's tent. 

Noor Jehan crossed the bridge in disguise and 

Noor Jehan 

fights for his joined the imperial army, and the next morning 
cue, 1626. proceeded to the rescue of her husband. The 
bridge having been destroyed during the night by the Raj- 
poots, she advanced at the head of the troops to a ford which 
had been discovered, mounted on a lofty elephant, with a bow 
and two quivers. The struggle was long and deadly. She 
endeavoured to animate the soldiers by her exertions, but 
they were driven into the stream by the shower of balls, 
rockets, and arrows which the Rajpoots poured into the files 
massed on the narrow ford. Noor Jehan's elephant reached 
the opposite bank, but was assailed with redoubled fury ; her 
guards were cut down, and among the hundred missiles aimed 
at her one struck the infant son of her daughter whom she 
carried in her lap. The elephant driver was killed, the 
animal was wounded, and carried down the stream in 
endeavouring to recross it, and the life of the empress was 
in imminent danger. When her female attendants came 
shrieking to the spot, they found the howda, or seat, covered 
with blood, and the empress employed in extracting the 
arrow and binding up the wound of the infant. 
Noor Jehan After this vain attempt at a rescue the empress 
feigns recondii- yielded to necessity, and joined Jehangeer, who 
peror-'s release, continued a captive in the hands of his revolted 
subject, but was treated with the greatest respect. 
Mohabet, now in full command of the army, crossed the Indus, 
and encamped at Cabul. There, her fertile genius, by a 


series of skilful manoeuvres, contrived gradually to turn the 
tables on him; he saw that his position was becoming daily more 
insecure, and made offers for a reconciliation. Noor Jehan 
condoned his revolt on condition that he should proceed in 
pursuit of her other enemy, Shah Jehan. That prince, after 
making his submission to the emperor, had fled to Sinde, 
intending to seek an asylum in Persia, but he was still a for- 
midable obstacle to her views. But when his prospects were 
at the lowest ebb they began to brighten. Mohabet, dreading 
a reign of weakness and violence if Shariar succeeded to the 
throne through the influence of Noor Jehan, resolved to assist 
the efforts of Shah Jehan, and, instead of proceeding to attack 
him, joined him with the troops yet remaining under his 

The empress on hearing of this defection ordered him to 
be hunted through the empire, and set a price on his head. 
But her power was at once annihilated by the death of 
Death and Jehangcer, whose constitution was completely 
jehl^geerf exhausted by a life of indulgence, and who ex- 
1627. pired at Lahore on the 28th of October, 1627, in 

the sixtieth year of his age. He was contemporary with 
James the First of England. Not only was their reign of 
the same duration, but there was a remarkable accordance in 
their characters. They were both equally weak and con- 
temptible, both the slaves of favourites and of drink, and, by 
a singular coincidence, they both launched a royal decree 
against the use of tobacco, then recently introduced into 
England and India, and, in both cases, with the same degree 
of success. 
... On the death of Jehangeer, Asof Khan, the 

Accession of 

shah Jehan, brother of Noor Jehan, and one of the chief 
ministers, determined to support the claims of 
Shah Jehan on the same ground which had influenced the 
decision of Mohabet. He despatched a messenger to summon 
him from the Deccan, and at the same time placed the empress 
dowager under restraint. Her influence expired with the 


death of her husband, and she retired from the world with an 
annuity of twenty-five lacs of rupees a-year, and passed the 
remaining years of her life in cherishing his memory. Shariar, 
who was at Lahore, was attacked and defeated by Asof Khan, 
and put to death by order of Shah Jehan. That prince lost no , 
time in coming up from the Deccan, in company with ' 
passion for Mohabet Khan, on whom, as well as on Azof 
magnificence, j^ ^ instruments of nis elevation, he be- I 

stowed the highest dignities. He was proclaimed emperor, at 
Agra, early in 1628, and began his reign by indulging that pas- 
sion for magnificence in which he eclipsed all his predecessors. 
The anniversary of his accession was commemorated by a dis* 
play of incredible extravagance. A suite of tents was manu- 
factured of the finest Cashmere shawls, which, in the figu- 
rative language of his biographer, it required two months to 
pitch. In conformity with the usage of the ancient Hindoo 
sovereigns he was weighed against silver, and gold, and 
jewels, which were then lavished among the courtiers. 
Vessels filled with gems were waved over his head and 
emptied on the floor for a general scramble. The expense of 
this festival was computed at a crore and a half of rupees. 
Condition of The first eight years of the reign of Shah Jehan 
dora^the^" were occupied with military operations hi the 
Deccan. Deccan. Thirty years had now elapsed since 

Akbar crossed the Nerbudda, and overran the kingdom of 
Ahmednugur, on which occasion he added to his titles that of 
king of the Deccan. The genius of Malik Amber had, however, 
succeeded in restoring the independence of the kingdom, to- 
gether with much of its ancient power; but he had recently died, 
at the age of eighty. The king of Beejapore, Ibrahim Adil 
Shah, renowned for the grandeur of his edifices, had died about 
the same time, bequeathing a full treasury and an army of 
200,000 men to his successor. The king of Golconda was 
engaged in extending his authority over his Hindoo neigh- 
bours to the east and south. Of all the acquisitions made by 
Akbar south of the Nerbudda, there remained to the crown of 


Delhi only the eastern half of Candesh, and the adjoining por- 
tion of Berar. 

The war in the Deccan on which Shah Jehan 
Deccan occa- now entered, and which continued for eight years, 

was occasioned by the revolt of Jehan Lodi. He 
Lodi, was an Afghan of ignoble birth, but great ability 
and arrogance, who had raised himself to eminence 
in the Mogul army, and obtained the office of governor of 
the Deccan, from which post he was removed to Malwa under 
the new reign. He was invited to court, and treated appa- 
rently with great distinction ; but, having imbibed a suspicion 
that the emperor, to whom he was personally odious, had a 
design on his life, he quitted the capital abruptly with the 
troops which had accompanied him. He was immediately 
pursued, and overtaken on the banks of the Chumbul ; and it 
was only with extreme difficulty that he was able to elude 
pursuit and reach the Deccan ; but, having once reached it, he 
was joined by numerous adherents, and supported by the 
king of Ahmednugur. The emperor considered the revolt so 
serious as to order three armies, each consisting of 50,000 
men, into the field, and even to proceed to the Deccan in person. 
Jehan Lodi was driven out of Ahmednugur by the Mogul 
force, and sought the aid of the king of Beejapore, which was 
peremptorily refused him. His friend, Shahjee, the Mahratta 
chieftain, considering his cause desperate, abandoned it, and 
joined the Moguls ; for which act of treachery he was 
rewarded with a title of nobility. Meanwhile his allies, the 
Ahmednugur troops, were defeated by the Moguls at Dow- 
lutabad; and Jehan. Lodi, overwhelmed by the defection of 
his friends and the discomfiture of his allies, fled northward, in 
the hope of reaching Afghanistan, and rousing his country- 
men ; but he wap brought to bay on the borders of Bundle- 
kund, and, after performing prodigies of valour with the small 
body of 400 men who still adhered to his fallen fortunes, 
was struck dead by a Rajpoot, and his head sent as aii accept- 
able offering to Shah Jehan. 


The war with Ahmednugur did not, however. 

Termination of . . 

the war in the cease with the cause of it. The king, Mortiza 
Deccan. Nizam, had fallen out with his minister, Futeh 

Khan, the son and successor of Malik Amber, and thrown 
him into prison ; but, having experienced nothing but mortifi- 
cation in his struggle with the Moguls, released him, and 
restored him to power. The Abyssinian rewarded the kind- 
ness of his master by causing him and his adherents to be 
assassinated ; and, having placed an infant on the vacant throne, 
offered his submission to the emperor. Meanwhile, the king 
of Beejapore, alarmed at the progress of the Mogul arms, deter- 
mined to make common cause with Ahmednugur, and thus 
brought down the imperial armies on his own territories. It 
would be wearisome to go into a detail of all the intrigues, the 
treachery, and the vicissitudes which form the history of this 
period of five years. Suffice it to record that the war with 
Beejapore was conducted with varied fortunes ; that the king 
baffled the Mogul generals by creating a desert for twenty 
miles around his capital, and depriving their armies of food, 
forage, and water ; and that both parties, becoming at length 
weary of this war of fruitless desolation, listened to terms of 
accommodation. The result of this conflict of eight years 
may be thus summed up : the kingdom of Ahmednugur was 
entirely extinguished, after it had flourished a century and a 
half ; a portion of its territory was ceded to Beejapore for a 
tribute of twenty lacs of rupees a year, and the remainder 
absorbed in the Mogul dominions ; while the king of Golconda, 
overawed by the neighbourhood of the Mogul army, consented 
to pay an annual subsidy. 

The Portuguese We tum now to Ben al - At what period the 
power in Bengal Portuguese formed their first establishment in that 
province is not accurately known ; but in the year 
1537, the king, Mahmood, when pressed, as we have already 
stated, by the famous Shere Shah, invoked the aid of the Portu- 
guese governor on the Malabar coast, and Samprayo, his admiral, 
entered the Ganges with nine vessels. Though they arrived 


too late to afford him assistance, it is supposed that they formed 
a settlement in the neighbourhood of the great port of Satgong, 
at a place called Golin, or Gola, the granary, afterwards cor- 
rupted to Hooghly, where they continued to flourish for a hun- 
dred years. Towards the close of the century they appear to 
have formed another and larger settlement atChittagong, where 
Gonzales is said to have held the district around it in subjec- 
tion with the help of a thousand Europeans, two thousand 
natives, and eighty ships. So formidable was his power, that 
the Mogul viceroy made Dacca the seat of his government, in 
order more effectually to check his progress. With the com- 
mand of the only two ports of the Gangetic valley, the power 
of the Portuguese in Bengal during the sixteenth century 
must have been an object of no little alarm to the Mogul 

Hoogwy. At Hooghly they had fortified their factory, and 

obtained the complete control of the commerce of the river, 
and the prosperity of Satgong began to wane under this rivalry. 
At the time when Shah Jehan, flying before Mohabet, in 1624, 
advanced from Masulipatam to Bengal, he besought the 
Portuguese chief at Hooghly, Michael Rodrigues, to assist 
him with some guns and artillerymen, but, as the governor had 
no confidence in the success of that rash enterprise, the 
request was refused. Six years afterwards .when Shah 
Jehan had become emperor, a representation was made by 
the soobadar of Bengal that some European idolaters, who 
had been allowed to establish a factory in Bengal, had erected 
a fort and mounted it with cannon, and grown insolent and 
oppressive. Shah Jehan had not forgotten the repulse he 
received from Rodrigues at Hooghly in his adversity, and 
curtly replied, "Let the idolaters be immediately expelled 
from my dominions." 

capture of The viceroy lost no time in investing Hooghly, 

Hooghly, 1632. an< j ? fi n( ji n g ^^ j t cou i(j not fa carr i e d by storm, 

undermined the defences. The great bastion was blown up ; 
the Moguls rushed with fury into the breach, and slaughtered 


more than a thousand Portuguese, Of three hundred vessels 
then in the river, it is stated that only three escaped. More 
than four thousand were made prisoners ; the priests were 
forwarded to Delhi, and the most beautiful of the women re- 
served for the royal seraglio ; the churches and images were 
demolished. By this blow, the power of the Portuguese in 
Bengal was irretrievably broken ; and no vestige now remains 
of their former influence, save the few vocables they contributed 
to the language of the country, and the old church at Bandel, 
within sight of Hooghly, erected two centuries and a half ago. 
The Mogul viceroy directed that it should thenceforth be made 
the royal port of Bengal j all the public records and offices 
were removed to it from Satgong, and that city, which may 
be traced back to the days of the Caesars, sunk into a little 
paper making hamlet. 

Acquisition of In the year 1637 the emperor was gladdened 
^fSSl by the unexpected recovery of Candahar, which 
His canal. had been so often lost and gained by the family 
of Baber Ali Merdan, the governor under the Persians, was 
driven into rebellion by the tyrannical proceedings of his 
sovereign, and made over the town and territory to the 
Moguls; after which he sought a refuge at the court of 
Delhi. He was received, as may well be supposed, with 
great honour by Shah Jehan, and subsequently employed in 
many military expeditions beyond the Indus. But his fame 
has been perpetuated in India by the great public works 
which he executed, and more especially by the canal, near 
Delhi, distinguished by his name, which has proved an incal- 
culable blessing to the country it irrigates. 
Military opera- ^ notary operations which were undertaken 
tiona beyond the beyond the Indus, can scarcely be said to belong 

Indus 1644-47. , ,, , . , . T ,. m , P ,, 

to the history of India. The emperors of the 
house of Baber retained the same ardent interest in all the 
political movements of the region from which they sprung, as 
the first and second George took in the fortunes of Hanover. 
India was, therefore, drained of men and money for the con- 


quest or defence of those distant, and, as compared with 
India, unprofitable possessions The son of the Uzbek ruler 
of Balkh had revolted against his father; the government 
was thrown into confusion, and Shah Jehan, who had enjoyed 
seven years of repose, could not resist the temptation of again 
prosecuting the dormant rights of his family on that remote 
province. Ali Merdan was sent across the Indus with a large 
army, and ravaged Budukshan, but was constrained, by the 
severity of the whiter, to retreat. Raja Jugut Sing was 
then sent to conduct the war with 14,000 Rajpoots ; and 
never did the chivalry of that race of warriors, and their sym- 
pathy with a tolerant and just government, shine more conspi- 
cuously than in this expedition. Regardless of Hindoo preju- 
dices, they crossed the Indus, and surmounted the Hindoo 
Kosh, and encountered the fiery valour of the Uzbeks in that 
frozen region. To be near the scene of operations, Shah 
Jehan took up his residence at Cabul. His third son, Aurung- 
zebe was also employed in these operations, and at first gained 
a great victory, but was soon after obliged to retire upon 
Balkh, and then to make a most disastrous retreat to Cabul, 
with the loss of a great portion of his army. The emperor 
was at length induced calmly to weigh the policy of con- 
tinuing an expensive war in that distant quarter ; and he had 
the moral courage to relinquish the enterprize. 
The Persians ^^ e re P ose gained by abandoning Balkh was, 
retake candahar, however, of short duration. Shah Abbas, the 

and three efforts ,. - T T_ ^ j i_ -^ 

made in vain to king oi Persia, having now attained his majority, 
recover it, 1648. came down on Candahar and retook it, after a 
siege of two months. Shah Jehan was resolved to recover it, 
and the following yeai Aurungzebe invested it for foul 
months, but without success. Two years after, the vizier 
as well as the prince again invested the town with a larger 
force, but the attempt was a second time unsuccessful, and 
Aurungzebe was sent as viceroy to the Deccan. A third 
army was despatched in 1653, under prince Dara, the eldest 
eon of the emperor, who was impatient to achieve success in 


an expedition in which his ambitious brother had been twice 
foiled ; but, though it set out at the precise moment which 
the royal astrologer had pronounced to be most auspicious, 
it was equally destined to disappointment. Thus termi- 
nated the third and last attempt of the Moguls to recover 
Candahar, of which they had held but a precarious posses- 
sion since the days of Baber. The failure was followed by 
two years of repose, when Shah Jehan completed the revenue 
settlement in the Deccan, on which he had laboured for twenty 
years, and introduced the financial system of Toder Mull. 

The year 1655 marks the commencement of an 

Eenewal of the 

war in the important senes of events ; the renewal of the 
>eccan, less. war j n ^g j) eccari} wn ich continued for fifty years 

to consume the resources of the Mogul empire, and served 
to hasten its downfall. During the twenty years of peace 
which followed the treaty with the king of Beejapore, in 1636, 
'that prince had given his attention to the construction of 
those splendid palaces, mausoleums, and mosques which dis- 
tinguished his reign ; and to the conquest of the petty prin- 
cipalities in the Carnatic which had sprung out of the ruins 
of the Hindoo kingdom of Beejuyanugur. The tribute which 
he exacted at the same time from the king of Golconda, had 
been paid with punctuality, and that prince had manifested 
every disposition to cultivate the friendship of the emperor. 
There was no cause of difference with these rulers, and 
Shah Jehan appeared to be completely satisfied with the rela- 
tion they maintained with his throne. But in 1653, Aurungzebe, 
after his second repulse from Candahar, was appointed to 
the Deccan, and determined to obtain an indemnity for his 
disappointment in the subjugation of the two kingdoms of 
Beejapore and Golconda. 

Meer joomia. An unexpected event gave him the pretext he 
was seeking for an interference in their affairs. Mahomed, 
generally known by his title of Meer Joomia, then the chief 
minister of Abdoolla Kootub, king of Golconda, was born of indi- 
gent parents at Ispahan, the capital of Persia, and was placed 


in the service of a diamond merchant, who look him to Gol- 
conda, and bequeathed his business to him. The enterprizing 
youth embarked in maritime trade, and amassed prodigious 
wealth, and came to be held in high estimation for his talents 
and probity in every Mahomedan court in Asia. He entered 
the royal service of Golconda, and gradually rose to the 
supreme direction of affairs. He led an army to the south, 
and extended the authority of the king over the chiefs 
who yet enjoyed independence ; and it was while absent on 
this expedition that his son, Mahomed Amin, by some sup- 
posed act of disrespect, incurred the displeasure of his sovereign. 
Meer Joomla solicited that consideration for his 

Meer Joomla 

Attack of Qoi- son, which he considered his own services entitled 

conrta. submis- , . , -, ,. ,-, ft j 

sion of the icing, him to, but meeting with a refusal, made an 
1653 - appeal to Aurungzebe, which that prince was but 

too happy to take up. Under his influence, Shah Jehan was 
induced to send a haughty missive to Abdoolla to grant 
redress to the youth, which the king answered by placing him 
in confinement, and confiscating his father's estates. An order 
was then sent to Aurungzebe from Delhi to enforce compliance 
by the sword, and he entered upon the execution of it with 
that craft which was the prominent feature of his character 
through life. He assembled a large army, giving out that 
he was about to proceed to Bengal to celebrate the marriage 
of his son with the daughter of his brother, the viceroy of 
that province. He advanced towards Hyderabad with the 
most friendly professions, and the unsuspecting Abdoolla, 
prepared to welcome him with a magnificent entertainment, 
when he found himself treacherously assailed by the Mogul 
army, and constrained to seek refuge in the fortress of Gol- 
conda. A large portion of Hyderabad was burnt down, and 
the city subjected to indiscriminate plunder, by which the 
booty which Aurungzebe had destined to himself, fell to his 
soldiers. The king of Golconda, reduced to extremity by 
this sudden and unprovoked assault, was constrained to sub- 
mit to the harsh terms imposed by Aurungzebe, that he 


should bestow his daughter on one of his sons, with a rich 
dowry, and pay up a crore of rupees, as the first instalment 
of an annual tribute. Shah Jehan, who had a conscience, 
remitted one-fifth of this sum, and, inviting Meer Joomla to 
Delhi, invested him with the office of vizier. 
AsauitonBee- Having thus reduced Golconda to submission, 
japore, 1657. Aurungzebc resolved to attack Beejapore, and he 
had not long to wait for a pretext. Mahomed Adil Shah 
died in 1656, and bequeathed the kingdom to his son, a youth 
of nineteen, who mounted the throne without paying that 
homage which the emperor pretended to consider due to him. 
It was, therefore, given out that the youth was illegitimate, 
and that it belonged to the emperor to nominate a successor. 
The war which arose on this unwarrantable claim was, 
perhaps, a more wanton and heinous aggression than 
any to be found in the darkest annals of India. Meer 
Joomla, as commander-in-chief, and Aurungzebe, as his lieu- 
tenant, suddenly invaded the territories of Beejapore. The 
Mahratta chieftains in the service of that state, nobly rallied 
round the throne, but the abruptness of the irruption, ren- 
dered it impossible to collect a sufficient force a large portion 
of the army being absent in the Carnatic or to resort to the 
usual means of defence. The forts of Beder and Koolburga 
were captured, the country was laid waste with fire and 
sword, and the capital was invested. The king made the 
most humble supplications, and offered to purchase peace 
by the payment of a crore of rupees, or any sacrifice the 
prince might demand ; but every offer was sternly rejected. 
The extinction of the dynasty appeared inevitable, when an 
event occurred in the north, which gave it a respite of thirty 
years. News came posting down to the Deccan that the 
emperor was at the point of death, and that the contest for 
the empire had begun. Aurungzebe was obliged to hasten to 
the capital to look after his own interests, and the siege of 
Beejapore was raised. 


Shah Jehan had four sons; Dara, the eldest, 

The four sons of 

ehan. had been declared his successor, and admitted to 

va^eTt^Demi, a considerable share of the government. He had 
1657. great talents for command, and an air of regal 

dignity; he was frank and brave, but haughty and rash. 
Soojah, the second son, the viceroy of Bengal, had beea 
accustomed to civil and military command from his youth, but 
was greatly addicted to pleasure. The third, Aurungzebe, 
was the most able and ambitious, as well as the most subtle 
and astute member of the family ; while Morad, the youngest, 
though bold and generous, was little more than a mere sot. 
Dara was a free thinker of Akber's school ; Aurungzebe was a 
bigoted Mahomedan, and contrived to rally the orthodox 
around him by stigmatizing his brother as an infidel. The 
claims of primogeniture had always been vague and feeble in 
the Mogul dynasty, and the power of the sword generally 
superseded every other right ; when, therefore, four princes, 
each with an army at his command, equally aspired to the 
throne, a contest became inevitable. 

Soojah takes the ' Soojah was the first in the field, and advanced 
field, 1657. f rom B en g a i towards the capital. Morad, the 
viceroy of Guzerat, on hearing of his father's illness, seized 
the public treasure, and assumed the title of emperor. 
Aurungzebe, after having extracted a large supply of 
money from the king of Beejapore, granted him a peace, 
and advanced with his army to the northern boundary 
of his province. His object was to cajole Morad, whom 
he saluted as emperor, and congratulated on his new dignity, 
declaring that as for himself his only desire was to renounce 
the world and proceed on pilgrimage to Mecca, after he had 
liberated his father from the thraldom of the irreligious 
Dara. Morad was simple enough to believe these profes- 
sions, and united his army to that of Aurungzebe on the banks 
of the Nerbudda, when the two brothers advanced towards 
the capital. 


Dam defeats ^ ara P re P are( * to meet both these attacks. He 
soojah. Aiming- despatched raja Jey Sing, of Jeypore, to oppose 
Soojah, and raja Jesswunt Sing to encounter 

poses shah Aurungzebe. The selection of two Hindoo gene- 

Soojah.1658. 3 

rals to command the armies which were to decide 
the fortunes of the Mogul throne affords strong evidence of 
the feelings of loyalty which the wise policy of Akbar had 
inspired. Just at this juncture Shah Jehan was restored to 
health and resumed the functions of government ; but it was 
too late to quench the elements of strife. The imperial force 
came up with Soojah at Benares, and he was defeated, and 
obliged to fly to Bengal. The united armies of Aurungzebe 
and Morad encountered Jesswunt Sing near Oojein, and 
defeated him, and then advanced with 35,000 troops to 
the neighbourhood of Agra. Dara came -out to meet them 
with a superior force, estimated at 100,000 foot, 20,000 horse, 
and 80 pieces of cannon. In the fierce and bloody battle 
which ensued, Dara was completely overpowered and fled 
from the field with a remnant of barely 2,000 men. The 
victorious Aurungzebe entered the capital, deposed his father, 
and assumed the whole power of the empire. 
Character of The character of Shah Jehan is aptly described 
shah Jehan. by hj s na tive biographer. " Akbar was pre-emi- 
nent as a warrior and as a lawgiver. Shah Jehan for the 
incomparable order, and arrangement of his finances, and the 
internal administration of the empire." Though he drew a 
revenue of thirty crores of rupees annually from his dominions. 
which did not include the Deccan, it is generally asserted that 
the country enjoyed greater prosperity during his reign than 
tinder any of his predecessors ; it has therefore been charac- 
terized as the golden age of the Mogul dynasty. This is a 
significant fact, since this prosperity cannot be attributed to 
any enlightened policy, or to any encouragement given by 
the emperor to the pursuits of industry ; it was owing- simply 
to that respite from the ravages of war, which afforded the 
provinces within the Indus scope for the development of their 


resources. Shah Jehan was unquestionably the most magni- 
ficent prince of the house of Baber, and perhaps of any other 
Mahomedan dynasty. The pomp of his court, and the cost- 
liness of all his establishments almost stagger our belief ; but 
with a treasury which received 600 crores of rupees during 
twenty years of peace, what might not a monarch do, who 
had only his own will to consult ? In nothing was the splen- 
dour of his taste more manifest than in his buildings. It was 
he who founded the new city of Delhi, in which his castellated 
palace, with its spacious courts, and marble halls, and gilded 
domes, was the most attractive object. Of that palace the 
noblest ornament was the far-famed peacock throne, blazing 
with emeralds, rubies, diamonds, and the most costly stones, 
the value of which was estimated by a European jeweller 
and traveller at six crores of rupees. To him the country was 
indebted for the immaculate Taj Mehal, the mausoleum of his 
Queen, the pride of India, and the admiration of the world. 
But all his establishments were managed with such circum- 
epection, that after defraying the cost of his expeditions 
beyond the Indus, and maintaining an army of 200,000 horse, 
he 'left in his treasury, according to his native historian, a 
sum not short of twenty-four crores of rupees, 

AURUNGZEBE, 1658 1707. 

Accession of AuRUNGZEBE having thus obtained possession 
of the capital and the treasury, threw off the 

his conduct to- ,_. . . -n i p M 

wards hi three mask. He no longer talked of a pilgrimage to 
brothers, 1658. | ecca? b u t at once assumed all the powers of 
government, and took the title of Alumgeer, the Lord of the 


World. His father was placed in captivity in his own 
palace, yet treated with the highest respect ; but though he 
survived this event seven years, his reign ended with his 
confinement. Aurungzebe did not, however, consider himself 
secure while there was a single relative left, who might 
disturb his tranquillity. As he had now no further use for 
Morad, he invited him to an entertainment, and allowed him 
to drink himself into a state of helplessness, when he was 
taken up and conveyed to the fortress of Agra. Dara, after 
his defeat near Agra, had escaped to the Punjab, where, with 
the resources of that province and of Afghanistan, he might 
possibly have made a stand had not Aurungzebe pursued him 
with promptitude, and obliged him to retreat to Mooltan, and 
thence to Guzerat. The emperor then quitted the pursuit, and 
hastened to encounter his brother Soojah, who was advancing 
a second time from Bengal to contest th,e throne. The battle 
between the brothers was fought near Allahabad, when Aurung- 
zebe was for a time placed in extreme peril, by the treachery 
of raja Jesswunt Sing, who, in a fit of disappointment, had 
come to an accommodation with Soojah, and suddenly fell on 
the emperor's baggage. The constancy and valour of Aurung- 
zebe, however, restored the day. At one period of the engage- 
ment his elephant became unmanagable from its wounds, and 
the emperor was on the point of descending from his seat, 
when Meer Joomla, who was by his side, exclaimed, "you 
descend from the throne," on which the legs of the animal 
were bound, and Aurungzebe continued to animate his troops 
by his presence. Soojah was completely defeated, and the 
emperor returned to Delhi, leaving his own son Mahomed, 
and Mecr Joomla, to follow up the victory. They pursued 
the prince to Monghir, and from thence to Rajmahal, which he 
had made his capital, and adorned with noble edifices ; but 
his pursuers gave him no respite and hunted him down to 
Dacca, and then out of Bengal. He took refuge, at length, 
with the King of Arracan, by whom he and his whole family 
were barbarously murdered. 



Dara 'a cap- Meanwhile, Dara having obtained aid from the 

deato^tohis* governor of Guzerat was enabled to assemble an 
son, 1659. army and move up to join raja Jesswunt Sing, 
who was prepared to make common cause with him against 
the emperor. Aurungzebe, who dreaded this junction, em- 
ployed all his devices to detach the raja from the alliance. 
Dissembling the resentment which his recent treachery at 
the battle of Allahabad had naturally excited, he wrote him a 
complimentary letter with his own hand, and conceded all the 
honours, the refusal of which had driven him into rebellion. 
Under the influence of these flatteries Jesswunt Sing deserted 
the cause of Dara, who was defeated, and driven to seek 
refuge with the raja of Jun, whom he had formerly laid 
under the greatest obligations. By that ungrateful chief 
he was received with apparent cordiality, and then betrayed 
into the hands of his vindictive brother, who ordered him to 
be paraded, with every token of indignity, through the streets 
of Delhi, where he had recently been beloved as a master. A 
conclave of Mahomedan doctors was then convened, who 
gratified the Emperor's wishes by condemning him to death 
as an apostate from the creed of the Prophet. His son Soli- 
man, who had taken shelter with the raja of Sreenugur, by 
whom he was basely betrayed, was, like his father, exhibited 
in the streets of the capital, but in fetters of gold, and his 
noble bearing and deep calamity are said to have moved the 
spectators to tears. He and his younger brother, together 
with a son of Morad, were consigned to death in the dun- 
geons of Gwalior. 

It only remained now to dispose of Morad him- 

Aurungzebes r 

dangerous m- self, who had lain in confinement for three years, 
less, 1662. rp o ac kj mgu i i injury, he was subjected to a 

mock trial for some execution which he had ordered while 
viceroy of Guzerat, and condemned and executed. Thus, in 
the course of three years, had Aurungzebe, by a series of 
atrocious murders, secured, to all appearance, the stability of 
his throne, when his own life was threatened by an alarming 


illness ; and the edifice of his greatness, reared by so many 
crimes, was threatened with sudden destruction. While he lay 
helpless on his couch the court began to be filled with intrigues. 
One party espoused the cause of his son, Muazzim, another 
that of Akbar. Jesswunt Sing was advancing from Joudh- 
pore, and Mohabet from Cabul, to liberate and restore Shah 
Jehan ; but Aurungzebe, having passed the crisis of his dis- 
ease, caused himself to be propped up in his bed, and sum- 
moned the officers of his court to renew their homage to him. 
His recovery dissolved the various projects to which his 
illness had given birth ; and Muazzim had to wait forty -five 
years for the crown. 

Meer joomia's A short time previous to the illness of the 
Assamfand his emperor, Meer Joomla, who had been appointed 
death, 1662. viceroy of Bengal, on the expulsion of Soojah, 
entered upon his unfortunate expedition to Assam, in the hope 
of adding that kingdom to the Mogul dominions. He assem- 
bled a large army and conveyed it up the Berhampooter in 
boats. The capital of the province having been mastered 
without difficulty, he sent a pompous despatch to the emperor 
with a report of his success, promising in the following year 
to' plant the Mogul standard in the rich empire of China. The 
emperor was delighted with the prospect of treading in the 
footsteps of his renowned ancestor, Jenghis Khan, and ordered 
large reinforcements to Bengal. But a sad reverse was 
impending. The rains set in with extraordinary violence ; the 
Berhampooter rose beyond its usual level, and the whole of 
the country was flooded ; the supplies of the army were cut 
off ; a pestilence, probably the Asiatic cholera, broke out in the 
camp ; and Meer Joomla was obliged to retreat in haste and 
disgrace from the country, pursued by the exasperated Assa- 
mese. On his return to Bengal, he expired at Dacca, leaving 
behind him the reputation of one of the ablest statesmen, and 
of the greatest generals of that stirring period. Aurungzebe 
conferred all his titles on his son, Mahomed Amin, the youth 
who had been disgraced by the king of Golconda ; and in the 


letter of condolence sent to him, remarked " You have lost a 
father, and I have lost the greatest and most dangerous of my 
friends." Soon after the recovery of the emperor he was obliged 
to send an army to check the devastations committed by the 
Mahrattas in the Mogul provinces of the Deccan; and it 
becomes necessary, therefore, to pause and trace the origin 
and progress of this power, which rose to dominion on the 
ruins of the Mogul empire, and for more than a century 
governed the destinies of India. 

The country inhabited by the Mahrattas, desig- 

Eise and pro- * 

gressofthe nated Maharastra in the Hindoo shastrus, is con- 
sidered to extend from the Wurda on the east to 
the sea on the west ; from the Satpoora range on the north to 
a line in the south drawn due east from Goa. The great fea- 
ture of the country is the Syhadree mountains, more commonly 
called the Ghauts, which traverse it from north to south at a 
distance of from thirty to fifty miles from the sea, and rise 
to the height of four or five thousand feet above its level. 
The strip of land lying along the coast, at the foot of the 
mountains, is called the Concan. The inhabitants are of 
diminutive stature and vulgar in appearance, presenting a 
strong contrast to the noble figure of the Rajpoot ; but they 
are sturdy, laborious, and persevering, and distinguished for 
cunning. This mountainous region was exceedingly difficult of 
access, and the strongest points had been improved by forti- 
fications. For centuries the Mahrattas had been known 
chiefly as plodding accountants and village officers; and it 
was not before the sixteenth century that they were deemed 
worthy of notice by the Mahomedan historians. Then* coun- 
try was comprised in the dominions of the kings of Beejapore 
and Ahmednugur ; and the noblest Mahratta families trace 
their distinction to the civil and military employments which 
they held under these two dynasties. 

The Mahrattas These sovereigns were incessantly at war with 
trained to war. eac k O t ne r, or with their neighbours ; and they 
were happy to employ the Mahratta chieftains in raising 


levies among their own hardy countrymen, each one com- 
manding his own muster of free lances. Jaygeers, or lands 
given for maintaining a body of troops, were frequently 
granted for their support. Titles were likewise conferred 
upon many of the Mahratta chieftains, but they were gene- 
rally ancient Hindoo appellations. Towards the close of 
the sixteenth century, seven Mahratta chiefs are enumerated 
as being ranged under the banner of Beejapore, and two 
but of superior importance under that of Ahmednugur. It waa 
the wars which raged for a century in the Deccan, between 
the Kistna and the Taptee, that first taught the Mahrattas 
their own importance, and paved the way for their future pre- 
dominance ; but it was chiefly under Malik Amber that they 
made the most rapid strides towards political influence. A 
community of village clerks and husbandmen was thus trans- 
formed into a nation of warriors, and only required the appear- 
ance of some master spirit to raise it to empire. That spirit 
appeared in Sevajee. 

ori of shah ^allojee Bhonslay, an active captain of horse, 
jee, the father of was employed about the year 1600 in the service 
of the king of Ahmednugur. His wife, who had 
long been childless, offered her prayers and vows at the 
Mahomedan shrine of Shah Seffer ; and the child to whom she 
gave birth was named Shahjee in gratitude to the saint. He 
was born in 1594, and his father sought an alliance in the patri- 
cian family of Jadow Kao. In after times, when the Mahrattas 
had become the arbitrers of India, the national historians endea- 
voured to trace the family of Mallojee from the rajas of Chittore, 
who claimed to be the lineal descendants of the great denied 
hero, Ramu ; but at this period Jadow Rao spurned the alliance 
of so plebeian a family. Soon after Mallojee suddenly came 
into possession of a large treasure, acquired, doubtless, in the 
Mahratta mode; and he obtained from the venal court of 
Ahmednugur the jaygeers of Poona, Sopa, and several other 
places. No further objection was raised to the alliance, and 
the nuptials are said to have been graced by the presence of the 


king of Ahmednugur. On the death of his father, in 1 620, 
Shahjee succeeded to the jaygeer, and augmented his military 
force and importance, and entered into a close connection with 
Malik Amber. Nine years after, we find him espousing the 
cause of Jehan Lodi ; but when the fortunes of that Afghan 
chief appeared to be on the wane, he deserted his cause and 
joined the Moguls, for which he was rewarded with the 
nominal honour of a commander of 5,000, and the substantial 
boon of a confirmation of his jaygeer. But Shahjee was 
speedily disgusted with the shuffling policy of the Mogul com- 
manders, and again changed sides. 

Places a prince On the capture of the young prince of Ahmed- 
ofltaSuJir, augur, in 1634, he considered himself strong 
1634. enough to aspire to the regency, and raised 

another prince to the throne as the lawful heir of Nizam 
Shah. For three years he appears to have maintained a 
desultory warfare with the imperial generals, but was at 
length driven out of the country and obliged to seek refuge 
in the court of Beejapore, where his ability was known and 
appreciated ; and he was entrusted with the command of an 
expedition to the Carnatic. His zeal and success were 
rewarded with the grant of extensive jaygeers in Bangalore, 
and the neighbouring districts where he conceived the design 
of establishing an independent Hindoo sovereignty, and 
resigned the petty jaygeer of Poona to his son Sevajee. 

Sevaiee, the founder of the M'ahratta empire, 

Birth and early J 

life of Sevajee, was born m 1627, and was sent, three years after, 
to reside with his mother at Poona, under the 
tutelage of Dadajee Punt his father having taken a second 
wife. Dadajee managed the estate with the strictest eco- 
nomy as well as fidelity, and remitted the revenue with punc- 
tuality to Shahjee, but contrived to reserve a small sum 
annually at Poona. He watched over his youthful charge 
with assiduity, and is said to have given l.!m an education 
suited to his station and prospects. Sevajee, however, was 
never able to read or write j but he was skilled in the use of 


the bow and the sword, and the weapons employed in the 
Hills; he was expert in all manly exercises, and, like his 
countrymen, an accomplished horseman. His tutor did not 
neglect his religious instruction, and Sevajee grew up a 
devout and rigid Hindoo, with a profound veneration for 
brahmins, and a hearty hatred of Mahomedans. His imagin- 
ation was excited in youth by the perusal of the great epic 
poems of India, and he longed to emulate the exploits which 
are immortalized in them. At the "age of sixteen he formed 
an association with youths of wild and lawless habits, and 
engaged in hunting or marauding expeditions, which made 
him familiar with all the paths and defiles of the tract which 
became the cradle of his power. Having trained the inhabit- 
ants of his native glens the Mawullees to arms and disci- 
Sevajee begins pline, he began his career of ambition at the age 
?ur i r g r To r r2, CaP " of nineteen, by capturing Torna, a hill fort of 
1646. very difficult access. In the succeeding year he 

erected a new fortress, to which he gave the name of llai- 
gur. These proceedings did not fail to excite observation 
at Beejapore, and letters were sent to Shahjee in the Carnatic 
calling him to account for the doings of his son, but he replied 
tliat he had not been consulted by him, though he could not 
doubt that they were intended to improve the jaygeer. At 
the same time he remonstrated with Dadajee on the conduct 
of Sevajee, and the tutor failed not to reprimand his pupil ; 
but, finding that he was bent on pursuing a course which 
appeared likely to injure the prospects of the family, fell a 
prey to anxiety. As his end approached he is said to have 
called Sevajee to his death bed, and urged him to continue 
the career on which he had entered; to protect brahmins, 
kine, and cultivators, and preserve the temples of the gods 
from violation. 

Sevajee immediately took possession of the 

y& eer ' inhis father>s name bu t employed the 
hostage, 1649. treasure which Dadajee had husbanded, as well 
as the resources of the district in augmenting his little army, 


and in the course of two years extended his authority over 
thirty miles of territory. He attacked a convoy of treasure 
proceeding to Beejapore, and carried off three lacs of pagodas 
to his eyry in the mountains. In quick succession it was 
announced that he had captured seven other forts, and had, 
moreover, surprised the governor of Callian, and extorted the 
surrender of all his fortresses. The audacity of these pro- 
ceedings raised the indignation of the Beejapore court and 
Shahjee, who managed all their recent acquisitions in the 
Carnatic, was held responsible for the proceedings of his son, 
though he pleaded, and with truth, that he had long ceased 
to possess any influence over his movements. Shahjee was 
treacherously seized by the Mahratta chief of Ghorepuray, 
and brought a prisoner to the capital, where he was threat- 
ened with a cruel death. To procure his release, Sevajee, 
then only twenty-two, memorialized the emperor, and offered 
to enter the imperial service, and it is not improbable that 
Shahjee owed his life to the representations made by the court 
of Delhi. He was, however, detained for four years as a hostage, 
until the increasing disorders in the Carnatic conquests con- 
strained the king of Beejapore to restore the government of 
them to hun. During his father's detention, Sevajee dis- 
creetly suspended his incursions, but on hearing of his release 
resumed his predatory and ambitious course, and, by an act 
of base treachery murdered the brother chieftains of Jaolee, 
and appropriated then: lands to himself. 
_ .... While Aurungzebe was engaged in the war 

Sevajee's inter- 
course with AU- with Beejapore, in 1657, Sevajee entered into 
ebe, 1657. Corres p 0n d e nce with him, and professed himself 
a devoted servant of the throne of Delhi. He was thus 
enabled to obtain a confirmation of the territory he had 
wrested from Beejapore, and was encouraged to farther 
encroachments. But no sooner had Aurungzebe marched 
towards Delhi than Sevajee began to ravage the Mogul 
territories, and carried off three lacs of pagodas from the 
town of Joonere. For the more distant enterprizes to which 


he aspired, he felt the necessity of an efficient body of horse, 
and he now began to make the most vigorous efforts to 
organize that light cavalry, which subsequently became the 
scourge of Hindostan. About the same time he enlisted his 
first body of Mahomedan troops, taking into his pay 700 
Patans who had been unwisely discharged from the service of 
Beejapore ; but he took the precaution of placing them under 
the command of a Mahratta officer. The success of Aurung- 
zebe's efforts to obtain the throne gave just alarm to Sevajee, 
who sent an envoy to Delhi to express his deep regret for 
what had occurred, and his attachment to the throne ; and he 
had the effrontery to offer to protect the imperial territories 
during the emperor's absence, asking only for the transfer 
of the Concan to himself. Aurungzebe, conceiving that the 
security of the Mogul districts would be promoted by giving 
The concan encouragement to Sevajee, consented to his 
wsfireueveree Baking possession of the Concan. He lost no 
1659. time in sending an army to occupy the province, 

but his troops were defeated with great slaughter, and he 
experienced the first reverse he had sustained since the 
beginning of his career. 

Afzui Khan is The court of Beejapore was at length roused 
and'nfrcteredT to a sense * tne danger arising from the inces- 
1669. gant encroachments of this aspiring chief, and 

Afzul Khan was sent against him with 12,000 horse and foot, 
and a powerful artillery, consisting of swivels mounted on 
camels, rockets, and other ordnance. He was a vain, con-> 
ceited noble, and manifested the greatest contempt for his 
antagonist. Sevajee determined to defeat the object of the 
expedition by treachery. He professed the humblest sub- 
mission to the king of Beejapore, and offered to surrender 
all his territories, if he might but be allowed^to hope for pardon 
and acceptance. Afzul Khan was thrown off his guard by 
these artifices, and agreed to meet the Mahratta chief with 
only a single attendant. The Mahomedan army was stationed 
at a distance ; but Sevajee, acquainted as he was with, the 


mountain defiles, placed a select body of Mahrattas in ambus- 
cade. Having performed his religious devotions with great 
fervour, he advanced to the interview with all humility, and 
while in the act of embracing Afzul Khan, plunged a con- 
cealed weapon in his bowels, and despatched him with his 
dagger. The troops of the murdered general, thus taken by 
surprise, were surrounded and defeated, and the whole of the 
camp equipage, including 4,000 horses, fell to the victor. 
The success of this stratagem, notwithstanding the atrocity 
of the deed, served to exalt the character of Sevajee in the 
opinion of his countrymen, and greatly improved his position. 
He followed up this victory by the capture of numerous 
forts, and plundered the country up to the very gates of 

Sevajee is re- The king now took the field in person, and suc- 
king o^Beeja- 6 cee ded in regaining many of the forts and much 
pore, 1662. of the territory he had lost. The war was pro- 
tracted with various success for two years ; but the balance 
of benefit remained with the Mahratta. A reconciliation was 
soon after effected between the parties, chiefly, as historians 
conjecture, through the mediation of Shahjee, who had paid his 
son a visit. It will be remembered, that in 1649, Shahjee was 
betrayed to the king of Beejapore by the Mahratta chief," 
Ghorepuray. On that occasion, he wrote to Sevajee : " If 
you are my son, you must punish Bajee Ghorepuray of Moo- 
dhole." Thirteen years had elapsed since, that act of treachery, 
but Sevajee had not forgotten his father's injunction. During 
the war with Beejapore, he learned that his enemy had pro- 
ceeded to Moodhole with a slender escort, and he resolved not 
to lose this opportunity of avenging his family wrongs. He 
appeared suddenly before the town, captured and burned it to 
the ground, and with one exception, slaughtered the whole 
of the family and adherents of Ghorepuray, even to the 
infants in the womb. Shahjee was delighted on hearing of 
this vindictive exploit, and resolved to visit his son, whom 
he had not seen for twenty years. He was received with the 


highest distinction, and Sevajee attended him on foot for 
twelve miles. Shahjee congratulated him on the progress he 
had made towards the establishment of a Hindoo power, and 
encouraged him to persevere. On his return, he was entrusted 
with presents for the king of Beejapore, which served as 
a peace offering and led to a treaty. At this period, Seva- 
jee, hi his thirty-fifth year, was in possession of 
jee's possessions the whole coast of the Concan, from Callian to 
in 1662. Goa, extending about four degrees of latitude ; and 

of the ghauts, from the Beema to the Wurda, about 130 miles 
in length, and 100 in breadth. His army, which consisted of 
50,000 foot and 7,000 horse, was out of all proportion to the 
territory under his authority ; but he was incessantly engaged 
in war, and he made war support itself by exactions. 

Sevajee being now at peace with Beeiapore, let 

ShaistaKhan J . f , 

sent to repress loose his plundering hordes on the Mogul ternto- 
Sevajee, 1662. ^^ j n utter violation of his engagements with 
Aurungzebe, and swept the country up to the suburbs of 
Aurungabad. The emperor appointed Shaista Khan, his own 
maternal uncle, and the nephew of Noor Jehan, viceroy of 
the Deccan, with orders to chastise this aggression, and carry 
the war into the Mahratta domains. Shaista captured Poona, 
and took up his residence in the very house where Sevajee 
had passed his childhood ; and Sevajee conceived the design 
of assassinating him in his bed A Mahratta foot soldier in 
the imperial service whom he had gained, got up a marriage 
procession, which Sevajee joined in disguise, and was enabled 
to enter the town with thirty of his followers in the suite. 
After nightfall, when the town was dark and quiet, he pro- 
ceeded unperceived to the palace, with every corner of which he 
was familiar, and suddenly fell on its inmates. The viceroy, 
awaking suddenly from sleep, escaped with the loss only of 
a finger, but his son, and most of his guards were cut down. 
Sevajee, foiled in his chief object, the destruction of the 
viceroy, retired before the troops could be assembled, and was 
seen returning to his encampment amidst a blaze of torches. 


This daring exploit, so congenial with the national character, 
was regarded with greater exultation by his own countrymen 
than his most splendid victories. Shaista Khan was 'soon 
after recalled and sent to govern Bengal, and the Rajpoot 
raja Jesswunt Sing, the governor of Guzerat, who was left 
in command was little disposed to push matters to extremity 
against men of his own faith. 

sevajee attacks The operations of Sevajee, which had hitherto 
Surat, 1664. been limited to the neighbourhood of the ghauts, 
were now extended to a more remote and a bolder enterprize. 
The city of Surat, a hundred and fifty miles distant from 
Poona, was at that period the greatest emporium of the 
western coast of India. The annual importation of gold and 
silver from Arabia and Persia alone amounted to fifty lacs of 
rupees, and two families in the town were accounted the 
richest mercantile houses in the world. It was, moreover, 
considered pre-eminently the port of the Mogul empire, where 
all the devout Mahomedans, official and private, from the 
various provinces which yielded a revenue of thirty millions 
a year, embarked on pilgrimage for Mecca. Sevajee is said 
to have visited the city in disguise, and during four days 
marked the houses of the most opulent for plunder. Taking 
with him 4,000 of his newly raised horse, he appeared sud- 
denly before the town, which was ill fortified, and having 
deliberately plundered it for six days, returned leisurely to his 
capital at Raigun He met with no resistance except from 
the European factories. Sir George Oxenden, the English 
chief at Surat, defended the property of his masters, and also 
that of the natives, with such valour and success as to obtain 
the applause of Aurungzebe, as well as a perpetual exemption 
from some of the duties exacted of other merchants. This was 
the first occasion on which English and native troops came into 
contact with each other, and the result filled both Mahomedans 
and Hindoos with astonishment. On his return from this ex- 
Death of shah- pedition, Sevajee heard of the death of his father, 
jee, lee*. a t the age of seventy, and immediately assumed the 


title of raja, and began to strike the coin in his own name. 
At the period of his death Shahjee was in possession, not 
only of the extensive jaygeers around Bangalore which he 
had received from the raja of Beejapore, but of Arnee, Porto 
Novo, and Tanjore, in the south of the peninsula, which he 
had subjugated, and, in consideration of his fidelity to the 
state, had been permitted to retain. 

Sevaiee, finding that his power would not be 

Sevajee plan- J ' , & ., , ,, 

ders Barceiore, Complete unless he could command the sea as well 
i664- as the land, had been engaged for some time in 

creating a fleet. While his troops were employed in ravaging 
the Mogul territories up to the walls of Ahmednugur, hia 
ships were capturing Mogul vessels bound to Mecca, and 
exacting heavy ransoms from the rich pilgrims embarked on 
them. In February, 1665, he secretly drew a large fleet 
together at Malwan, consisting of eighty-eight vessels, of 
which three were large ships of three masts and the re- 
mainder of from 30 to 150 tons burden. Having embarked 
with 4,000 troops, he proceeded to Barceiore, a hundred and 
thirty miles south of Goa, which had long been considered 
one of the greatest marts of commerce on the western 
coast, but has now disappeared even from the map. There he 
obtained immense booty and returned to his capital before it 
was known that he had embarked. This was the first expe- 
dition at sea which he headed in person ; it was also his last, 
for a violent gale drove his vessel down the bay ; he suffered 
seriously from sea-sickness, and his spiritual guide assured 
him that this was the mode in which his tutelar deity had 
manifested his displeasure at such a heterodox enterprise. 
Sevajee submits On nis return from this voyage Sevajee found 
to Aurungzebe, that a powerful Mogul army, commanded by the 
renowned raja Jey Sing and Dilere Khan, the 
Afghan general, had entered his territories. Aurungzebe, who 
was an intense bigot, felt greater indignation at the interrup- 
tion of the holy pilgrims proceeding to the Prophet's tomb 


than at the assumption of the title of raja, the plunder of Surat, 
the coinage of money, or any other aggression of Sevajee. On 
this occasion Sevajee was attacked with the greatest impetu- 
osity by the imperial generals, and felt his inability to cope 
with an army so greatly superior to his own. He was, there- 
fore, induced to call a council of his officers, at which he 
appeared the most irresolute of all ; and it was resolved to 
enter into negotiations with the enemy. They ended in 
the Convention of Poorunder, by which he engaged to restore 
all the forts and districts he had taken from the Moguls, with 
the exception of twelve, which, with the territory around them, 
yielding a revenue of a lac of pagodas a year, he was to hold 
as a jaygeer dependent on the emperor. But he dexterously 
inserted a clause which would have overbalanced all his losses. 
In lieu of some pretended claims on the old Nizam Shahee 
state, he asked for certain assignments which he termed the 
chout, and the sur-desh-mookhee on some of the Beejapore dis- 
tricts above the ghauts, the charge of collecting which he 
offered to take on himself. This is the first mention in history 
of the celebrated claim of the chout, or fourth of the revenue, 
The origin of which the Mahrattas subsequently marched over 
the chout. India to enforce. So anxious was Sevajee to get 
the principle of these exactions admitted, that he offered a 
peshcush or donative of forty lacs of pagodas nearly a million 
sterling to be paid by aanual instalments, and engaged to 
maintain an additional body of troops for the emperor's ser- 
vice. In the letter which Aurungzebe wrote to him on this 
occasion he confirmed all the stipulations of the convention, 
but made no allusion to the chout or sur-desh-mookhee, probably 
because he did not comprehend the insidious tendency or even 
the import of these barbarous terms. But Sevajee chose to 
consider the silence of the emperor as an acknowledgment of 
these claims, which, from this time forward, it became the para- 
mount object of Mahratta policy to extend to every province. 
Sevajee, having now entered the emperor's service, 


Sevajee attacks joined the imperial army with 2,000 horsemen 
^u*Dduli, and an( * 8,000 foot, and marched against Beejapore. 
1666 - The Mahratta horse in the service of Beejapore, a 

portion of which was commanded by "Vencajee, the half- 
brother of Sevajee, greatly distinguished themselves in this 
war ; nor were the Mahrattas in the service of the emperor less 
conspicuous for their valour. Aurungzebe wrote a compli- 
mentary letter to Sevajee, inviting him to court, and he 
proceeded to Delhi with an escort of 1,500 horse and foot. 
The emperor had now an opportunity of converting a formi- 
dable foe into a zealous adherent ; but, either he had not the 
tact of conciliation, or his pride rendered him blind to his 
interests. Sevajee found himself treated with wanton insult, 
and presented at the durbar in company with nobles of the 
third rank. He left the imperial presence burning with indig- 
nation, and asked leave to return to his jaygeer. But the 
object of the emperor was to detain him, and his residence was 
beleaguered and all his movements watched; he contrived, 
however, to elude the vigilance of the emperor's guards, and 
escaped in a basket, and reached his own dominions in the 
disguise of a pilgrim in December, 1666. 

The raja Jesswunt Sing, and prince Muazzim 
were sent to command in the Deccan, the Maho- 
poiity, 1668-69. medan fond of pleasure, and the Hindoo of money. 
Sevajee gratified the avarice of the raja with large gifts, and 
through him was enabled to make his peace with the emperor, 
who made an addition to his territories and conferred on him 
the title of raja. The Mahratta manuscripts ascribe this un- 
expected lenity on the part of the emperor to the design he 
cherished of again decoying Sevajee into his power. About 
the same time a treaty was concluded between the king of 
Beejapore and Aurungzebe, by which the former ceded the 
fort and territory of Solapore, yielding near two lacs of 
pagodas a-year. Sevajee now prepared to enforce his claim 
of chout on the districts of Beejapore, alluded to hi the Con- 
vention of Poorunder, but the vizier of that state purchased 


exemption by agreeing to an annual payment of three lacs of 
rupees. Some agreement of a similar character appears to 
have been entered into by the minister of Golconda for a 
sum of five lacs of rupees. Having now a season of greater 
leisure than he had hitherto enjoyed, Sevajee employed the 
years 1668 and 1669 in revising and completing the internal 
arrangements of his government. There is nothing which 
gives us so high an opinion of his genius as the spirit of wisdom 
which pervades his civil polity. It is impossible to behold 
without the greatest admiration, a rough soldier, who was 
unable to read or write, and who had for twenty years been 
simply a captain of banditti, establishing a system of adminis- 
tration so admirably adapted to the consolidation of a great 
kingdom. His military organization, which was distin- 
guished for its vigorous discipline and its rigid economy, was 
equally suited to the object of creating a new and predomi- 
nant power in Hindostan. 

prosperity of This was also the most prosperous period 'of 
JKS** 1 * Aurungzebe's long reign. The empire was at 
166670. peace. His father Shah Jehan had recently sunk 
into the grave, and there was no longer any dread of projects 
for his restoration. The emperor was held in the highest 
respect throughout the Mahomedan world, and received 
tokens of deference from the most distant sovereigns. The 
Scheriff of Mecca, the Khan of the Uzbeks, the king of Abys- 
sinia, and even the sovereign of Persia, had sent complimen- 
tary embassies to Delhi. But the restless ambition of Aurung- 
zebe again kindled the flames of war, which continued to 
rage without the intermission of a single year through the 
period of thirty- seven years to which his reign was prolonged. 
Finding it impossible to inveigle Sevajee into his power, and 
knowing that his general Jesswunt Sing was inactive under 
the influence of Mahratta gold, he issued the most peremptory 
orders to seize him and some of his principal officers, threaten- 
ing vengeance for neglect. Sevajee, seeing hostilities inevit- 
able, prepared for the conflict with the most determined reso- 


lution. He opened the campaign by the capture of Singurh, 
a fortress deemed inaccessible to an enemy, but which his 
general Maloosray escaladed with his mountaineers, the Ma- 
wullees, and fell in the moment of victory. Sevajee rewarded 
every private soldier with a silver bangle. Poorunder, a 
fortress of equal strength and importance, was also recovered. 
With an army of 14,000 men he again plundered Surat, and 
again the factors of the East India Company covered them- 
selves with renown by the gallantry of their defence. One of 
Sevajee's generals overran the province of Candesh, and for 
the first time levied the chout from a Mogul district. The 
most remarkable circumstance attending this distant invasion 
was the exaction of a written document from the village 
authorities, in which they engaged to pay one-fourth of the 
government dues to Sevajee, or to his officers. Sevajee, on 
his part, engaged to furnish them with regular receipts, which 
would exempt them from future pillage and ensure them 
T . . . The great naval arsenal of the Beeiapore state 

Jinjeerah made J r 

over to the was the port of Jinjeerah, and it was under the 
Moguls, i67i command of an Abyssinian admiral. It had long 
been" the earnest desire of Sevajee to obtain possession of 
this important harbour, and he had besieged it annually for 
nine years, but, owing to the inferiority of his artillery, had 
invariably failed. In 1670 he again brought his whole force 
against it, but was again baffled. He endeavoured to seduce 
the admiral from his allegiance by large offers ; but three of 
the subordinate, officers of the port, who were personally 
obnoxious to Sevajee and detested the very name of Mah- 
ratta, imprisoned the admiral, and placed both the arsenal 
and the fleet under the protection of the Moguls. This waa 
a severe blow to the projects of Sevajee, as it strengthened 
his most formidable and inveterate foes, the Sedees of Jin- 
jeerah, by enabling them to obtain reinforcements from Surat, 
which rendered the port impregnable. Meanwhile, the em- 
peror, dissatisfied with the inactivity of his son Muazzim, sent 

M 2 


Mohabet Khan, with an army of 40,000 men to the Deccan. 
Sevajee had always avoided a pitched battle with the superior 
forces of the Moguls, but on this occasion he boldly resolved 
to try conclusions with them in the open field. The result was 
the most complete victory the Mahrattas had ever gained, 
and no trifling increase of their confidence. The attention 
of the emperor was soon after drawn to Afghanistan, and 
the war with Sevajee languished. 

Aumngzebe in The turbulent Khyberees and Eusufzies, the 
the Khyter, 1673. p er p e tual enemies of peace and order, had again 
broken out in open revolt. They had defeated Mahomed Amin, 
the son of Meer Joomla, and destroyed his army in the passes, 
subsequently rendered memorable by the annihilation of a 
British army, and obliged him to redeem his women and 
children by a heavy ransom. The emperor determined at 
first to undertake the subjugation of these incorrigible high- 
landers in person, and marched with a large force as far as 
Hussun Abdal, but soon after transferred the command of 
the expedition, in which little glory was to be reaped, to his 
eon. The war occupied two years, and the emperor was at 
length happy to terminate it by accepting the nominal submis- 
sion of the tribes. On his return to Delhi he found 

Revolt of the 

Sutnanuneea, himself suddenly involved in a most formidable 
difficulty arising from a most insignificant cause. 
A sect of Hindoo devotees, called Sutnaramees, living in the 
town of Narnoul, agriculturalists by profession but always 
bearing arms, were thrown into a state of extreme excitement 
by the violence of a police soldier. The emeute gradually 
grew into a revolt. The devotees assembled by thousands, 
and being joined by some disaffected zemindars and men of 
note, defeated a body of troops sent against them. The pro- 
vinces of Agra and of Ajmere were thrown into commotion, 
and the imperial army shrunk from collision with enthusiasts, 
who were said to possess the magical power of resisting 
bullets. The tact of Aurungzebe at length succeeded in 
putting down a rebellion which threatened his empire. He 


caused texts of the Koran to be written on slips of paper and 
attached to his standard, and his troops, now believing them- 
selves protected from the spells of the enemy, obtained an 
easy victory. 

This event would scarcely be worthy of notice. 

Aurungzebe per- " i 

secutes the but f or the disastrous results which sprung from 
Hindoos, 1677. j^ Akbar and his two successors had adopted 
the liberal and sound policy of reconciling the Hindoos to 
the Mogul power by granting them religious liberty and 
equality. During a century of toleration the Eajpoot chiefs 
became the firmest supporters of the Mogul throne. But the 
bigotted Aurungzebe entertained a strong religious hatred of 
all infidels, though from motives of policy, he still continued 
to employ Rajpoot troops, as a counterpoise to his Mahomedan 
soldiers, and had formed two family alliances with Eajpoot 
princesses. Prom the beginning- of his reign, all his mea- 
sures had breathed a spirit of intolerance, but it was not till 
his feelings were embittered by the want of success in the 
Khyber, and the revolt of the Hindoo devotees, that he entered 
upon a systematic persecution of the Hindoos. He issued an 
edict forbidding all governors any longer to receive Hindoos 
into the public service, and ordered the jezzia, or poll tax, to be 
imposed on all who were not Mahomedans. The tax was odious, 
not so much from its pressure, being less than three quar- 
ters per cent, on income, as from its being a " tax on infidels," 
and a token of religious degradation. On going to prayers 
at the mosque after this edict, his way was blocked up by 
suppliants whom his guards were ordered to disperse, and 
many of whom were trampled to death by his horses and 
elephants. After this example of severity, the tax was 
sullenly submitted to. So severe was the persecution, that 
not only were the pagodas destroyed throughout Bengal, but 
in the holy city of Benares, the sanctuary of Hindooism, the 
most sacred temples were demolished and mosques erected on 
the ruins, while the images were used as steps for the faithful 
to tread on. 


Revolt of the These violent proceedings produced great dis- 
Eajpoots, 1678. affection in every province, but no open revolt, 
except in Eajpootana, and for the Rajpoots the emperor had no 
sympathy. His father and grandfather were, indeed, the off- 
spring of Rajpoot princesses, but he himself was of unmixed 
Tartar blood. It was not, however, till after the death of the 
two celebrated Mahratta generals who had been the prop of the 
throne, raja Jey Sing, of Jeypore, and raja Jesswunt Sing, 
of Joudhpore, that Aurungzebe ordered the jezzia to be im- 
posed on his Hindoo subjects. Jesswunt Sing had recently 
died in the imperial service at Cabul, and his widow had re- 
turned to Delhi with her two sons, on her way to their native 
country. Aurungzebe, anxious to detain the children as 
hostages, surrounded their encampment with his troops ; but 
Doorga Bass, the faithful servant of the family, extricated 
them by the most ingenious contrivances from the toils of 
the emperor, and conveyed them in safety to their own capital. 
The insult thus inflicted on this noble house served to rouse 
the indignation of the Rajpoots, and, with the exception of 
the raja of Jeypore, who was bound to the imperial family by 
many intermarriages, the whole of Rajpootana was hi a blaze. 
The emperor lost no time in marching into the country, and 
constrained the rana of Oodypore to make his submission. 
Favourable terms were granted to him, and a cession of terri- 
tory was accepted in lieu of the poll tax. But soon after he 
took up arms again, and Aurungzebe, exasperated by this re- 
newed opposition to his wishes, summoned troops from every 
part of India, even 'from the province of Bengal, and let them 
loose on this unhappy country. The prince was again driven to 
the mountains, the women and children were carried into cap- 
tivity, and the country was consumed by fire and sword. The 
alienation of the Rajpoots from the Moguls was now complete. 
After this period they were often at peace with Aurungzebe and 
his successors, and furnished their contingents of troops, and 
accepted the government of provinces ; but that cordial attach- 
ment which had made them the bulwarks of the empire for 


more than a hundred years, was gone. During this war with 
the Rajpoots, the embarrassments of the emperor were in- 
creased by the defection of his son, prince Akbar, who went 
over to the enemy and advanced suddenly upon the imperial 
camp with an army of 70,000. Aurungzebe was in imminent 
danger of being captured with his slender escort, but with 
his accustomed craft he succeeded in sewing dissensions 
among the adherents of the prince, who found himself 
generally deserted, and sought refuge with the Mahrattas, 
accompanied by the faithful Doorga Dass, and 500 Rajpoots. 
Sevajee assumes To return now to the progress of Sevajee. In 
royalty, 1674. iQf2 he appears to have proceeded on a secret 
expedition to Golconda, and extracted nine lacs of pagodas 
from the king. While Aurungzebe was employed in Afghan- 
istan, he took advantage of the death of the king of Beeja- 
pore and the weakness of a minority, to annex the whole of 
the Concan and the adjoining ghauts, with the exception of 
the ports held by the English, Portuguese, and Abyssinians. 
He had long struck the coin hi his own name, and he now 
determined to proclaim his independence and assume all the 
ensigns of royalty. After many religious solemnities, on the 
auspicious day fixed by the brahmins, the 6th of June, 1674, 
he was enthroned at Raigur, and announced himself as the 
"ornament of the Khsetriyu race, the lord of the royal 
umbrella," the chutti*u putee of modern India, the satrap of 
ancient Persia. In accordance with the custom of oriental 
princes he was weighed against gold, and the money was 
distributed amongst the brahmins to the amount of 16,000 
pagodas, for, to their chagrin, he was found to weigh only 
ten stone. The next year he sent an army for the first tune 
across the Nerbudda, and ravaged the province of Guzerat. 
In the year 1676 he undertook one of the 

Scvajee's expe- ' 

dition to the most extraordinary expeditions recorded in Indian 
camatic, 1676. j^jy^ whether we regard the boldness or the 
success of the design. It was directed to the recovery of the 
paternal jaygeer, held by his half -brother Vencajee, as a vassal 


of Beejapore, and the extension of his conquests in the south 
of India. Having bribed the Mogul general Khan Jehan who 
directed the operations against him, and obtained an armistice, 
he made the most judicious provision for the protection of his 
forts until his return. At the close of 1676 he marched 
to Golconda with a force of 30,000 horse and 40,000 foot, 
and, through the medium of the chief minister, a Mahratta, 
entered into a compact with the sovereign, who engaged on 
his part to cover Sevajee's territories during his absence, 
while Sevajee agreed to grant him a moiety of all his con- 
quests, with the exception of the paternal estates. After a 
month of negotiation and the receipt of a large supply of 
money and artillery, he sent forward his army and proceeded 
himself to pay his devotions at the celebrated shrine of Pur- 
wuttun. Naked and covered with ashes, he assumed the guise 
of a Hindoo jogee or devotee, and having for nine days com- 
mitted various acts of superstitious folly, which at one time 
alarmed his attendants for his sanity, resumed the command 
of the army, and marched by Madras in the beginning of May. 
Fort after fort was surrendered to him ; but the most extra- 
ordinary exploit of this expedition was the capture of Ginjee, 
the inaccessible fortress of the south, " tenable by ten men 
against any force that could be brought against it." He had 
now advanced six hundred miles from his own capital, and at 
Trivadee had an interview with his brother, Vencajee, who 
held Tanjore and the other territories bequeathed to him by 
Shahjee. These domains he refused to share with Sevajee, 
who thereupon took forcible possession of the whole of the 
jaygeer ; while his horse ranged through the Carnatic and 
subjected it to plunder wherever the exaction of the chout was 
resisted, but no portion of either land or money did he allot, 
according to his agreement, to the king of Golconda. Mean- 
while the Moguls attacked that state, and Sevajee, having 
come to an understanding with his Tanjore brother, returned 
to his own dominions and reached Raigur in the middle of 
1678, after an absence of eighteen months. 


Attack of Beeja- A formidable army had been sent by Aurung- 
pore, 1679. Z ^ Q under Dilere Khan to besiege Beejapore ; 
and the regent, during the king's minority, invoked the aid of 
Sevajee, who stipulated as the price of his assistance, for the 
cession of the Raichore dooab, or country lying between the 
Toombudra and the Kistna, and the sovereignty of his father's 
jaygeer and of the conquests he had made in the south. To 
create a diversion in favour of Beejapore, he proceeded north- 
ward, and laid waste all the country between the Beema and 
the Godavery, and plundered the town of Aurungabad for 
three days, though the Mogul viceroy was at that time resid- 
ing in it. After his return from this expedition he captured 
twenty-seven forts, and on the receipt of an express from the 
regent of Beejapore hastened to the succour of the town. On 
the line of march, his son, Sambajee, who had been placed in 
confinement by his father for an attempt to violate the wife 
of a brahmin, made his escape and went over to the Mogul 
general. Sevajee retired to Panalla to devise means for the 
recovery of the youth, and sent his army to Beejapore, which 
was making a noble defence. The Mahratta generals cut off 
all supplies from the enemy's camp, and eventually obliged 
Dilere Khan to raise the siege. At the same time Sambajee 
returned to his allegiance and was placed under restraint by 
Death of seva- bjs father. But in the midst of these events all 
jee, 5th April, Sevajee's plans of ambition were cut short by his 
death, which happened at Rairee on the 5th of 
April, 1680, in the fifty-third year of his age. 
His character. Aurungzebe could not conceal the satisfaction 
he felt on the death of his most formidable enemy. During 
the long struggle which he was constrained to maintain with 
Sevajee, he affected to despise his power, and was accustomed 
to deride him as the mountain rat ; but after his death he did 
full justice to his character. " He was," he said, " a great 
captain, and the only one who has had the magnanimity to 
raise a new kingdom, while I have been endeavouring to 
destroy the ancient sovereignties of India ; my armies have 


been employed against him for nineteen years, and neverthe- 
less his state has been always increasing." This state, at 
his death, comprised a territory estimated at four hundred 
miles in length, and a hundred and twenty in breadth, in the 
north ; in the south he was in possession of half the Carnatic, 
which alone was equal in extent to many kingdoms in India. 
These large possessions were created by the efforts of his 
own genius, and consolidated by a communion of habits, reli- 
gion, and language, and a common hatred of the Mahomedans. 
Sevajee is one of the greatest characters in the native history 
of India, greater than Hyder Ali, greater even than Runjeet 
Sing who, in after times followed his example, and beginning 
life as adventurers closed it as mighty sovereigns. He did 
more than found a kingdom ; he laid the foundation of a power, 
which survived the decay of his own family. His son was a 
dissolute tyrant, and his grandson a simpleton, from whose 
hands the sceptre fell ; but the spirit of national enthusiasm 
which he infused into the Mahrattas, in a few years made 
them the arbiters of the fate of India. 

Succession of Sambajee, the eldest son of Sevajee, was 
Sambajee, 1680. living in durance at the time of his father's death, 
in the fortress of Panalla, and a party was formed among 
the Mahratta chiefs to exclude him from the throne, on the 
ground of his profligacy. But he succeeded in establishing 
his authority, and was acknowledged the sovereign of the 
Mahratta nation, after which he gave loose to the ferocity of 
his disposition. He caused one of his father's widows as well 
as those who had opposed his succession to be executed, not 
sparing Anajee, a brahmin, to whom he was under the 
greatest obligations. He had none of the virtues of his 
father, except his courage. His cruelties soon alienated the 
great generals and statesmen who had assisted in building 
up the Mahratta throne ; and he rendered himself an object 
of general contempt by his slavish devotion to a favourite of 
the name of Kaloosu, a Cunouj brahmin. His inglorious 
reign of nine years was marked only by rash enterprizes, or 


voluptuous excesses. At the beginning of his reign he was 
induced to renew the siege of the island of Jinjeerah, the 
great naval arsenal of the Moguls, which his father had 
attacked year after year in vain. He was obliged to relinquish 
the enterprize with disgrace, and the Seedee or Abyssinian 
admiral retaliated on him by ravaging the coast, and slaugh- 
tering kine, and eventually by destroying the fleet which 
Sevajee had been at the greatest pains to create. In the 
year 1681, the emperor's son, Akbar, who had at first 
joined the Rajpoots, sought refuge at the court of Sam- 
bajee and received a cordial welcome ; but, becoming at 
length disgusted with the follies of that prince, he retired to 

Aunmgzebe in Aurungzebe had never relinquished his designs 
theDeccan, on the Deccan. Though he had not prosecuted 
them with vigour, his generals had from tune to 
time invaded Beejapore, and he himself had steadily fomented 
all the internal discords in that state, as well as in Golconda, 
and encouraged the Mahrattas to assail and plunder them 
both. Having now, in a great measure, subdued the oppo- 
sition of the Rajpoots, which had been excited solely through 
his own bigotry, he resolved to bring the whole strength of 
the empire to bear on the subjugation of the south. It was a 
war of wanton aggression, and, by a righteous retribution, it 
exhausted the resources and hastened the downfall of the 
Mogul power. In the year 1683 he quitted Delhi, which he 
was destined never again to enter, with an army magnificent 
beyond all former example. The finest cavalry was assem- 
bled from the provinces beyond the Indus, and within it, and 
supported by a vast and well equipped infantry. The artillery 
consisted of several hundred pieces, served by native gunners, 
but directed by Europeans, as well as an efficient body of 
sappers and miners. A long train of elephants, intended both 
for war and equipage, and a superb stud of horses accompa- 
nied the camp. There was, moreover, a large menagerie of 
leopards and tigers, and hawks and hounds without number, 


and all the appliances of field sport. The camp, which re- 
sembled a moving city, was supplied with every luxury the 
age or country could furnish. The canvas walls which sur- 
rounded the emperor's personal encampment were twelve 
hundred yards in circumference, and the tents contained halls 
of audience, courts, cabinets, mosques, oratories, and baths 
adorned with the finest silks and velvets, and cloth of gold. 
There is no record of such extravagant luxury in any modern 
encampment, and it maybe questioned whether it was equalled 
by the Persian splendour of the army of Xerxes. But there can 
be no question that a thoroughly equipped and well commanded 
force of 10,000 Europeans cavalry, infantry, and artillery 
would have dispersed this host like chaff before the wind. 
Yet, amidst all this grandeur, the personal habits and expenses 
of the emperor were as frugal and austere as those of a 

invasion of the With this unwieldy army the emperor moved 
Concan, 1684. down to Boorhanpore, and then to Aurungabad, 
and, by a strange infatuation, commenced his operations by 
directing the odious jezzia to be imposed on all the Hindoos 
of the south. Contrary to all military principles he sent a 
body of 40,000 horse, under his son, prince Muazzim, to tra- 
verse the stupendous ghauts, and enter the maritime province 
of Concan. The prince reached the Concan without opposition, 
except from the natural obstacles presented by this region of 
mountains, and he plundered and laid waste every village as 
he proceeded. But the work of destruction recoiled on the 
invaders. The resources of the province were destroyed, and 
by the time the army reached the neighbourhood of Goa, it 
was in a state of starvation. The Mahratta cruizers inter- 
cepted the supplies sent from the Mogul ports, and their 
cavalry blocked up the passes. The wreck of this fine army, 
exhausted by hunger and pestilence, was at length happy to 
find shelter under the walls of Ahmednugur, while Sam- 
bajee, advancing to the north, insulted the emperor by plun- 
dering and burning down the town of Boorhanpore. 


invasion of l- n 1( >86 Aurungzebe moved his camp to Sola- 

Beejapore, 1686. pore, and sent his son, prince Azim, to attack 
Beejapore. In this, the last year of its national existence, the 
troops of that state exhibited the most devoted gallantry. They 
cut off the supplies of the Moguls, intercepted all their com- 
munications, and reduced the army to a state of extreme peril, 
from which it was extricated only by the extraordinary exer- 
tions of Ghajee ood deen, who, after a desperate engagement, 
succeeded in bringing up a convoy of 20,000 brinjaree bul- 
locks with grain; but the prince could effect nothing. In 
the meantime, the king of Golconda, Aboo Hussein, formed 
an alliance with Sambajee, who took advantage of the embar- 
rassment of the Mogul troops before Beejapore to lay waste 
the province of Guzerat, and sack the town of Broach. On 
the failure of the Beejapore expedition the emperor sent his 
general, Khan Jehan, to attack Golconda. Mudhoona Punt, 
the Mahratta minister of that state, had equipped an army of 
70,000 men to meet the invasion. It was commanded by 
Ibrahim Khan, whose superiority in the field was so great 
as to place the Mogul commander completely in his power ; but 
instead of pressing his advantages, he treacherously went 
over to the enemy with a large portion of his army. Mu- 
dhoona was assassinated in a popular tumult excited by his 
enemies, and the helpless king sought refuge in the fortress 
of Golconda. For three days Hyderabad was subject to plunder, 
which the Mogul commander could not restrain, and the 
wealth which Aurungzebe had destined for his own coffers 
was, to his infinite chagrin, shared among the soldiers. The 
king at length sued for peace, and a treaty was concluded 
with him, on condition of his paying a contribution of two 
crores of rupees. 

ConquestofBee- Aurungzebe was now at liberty to turn his 
japore, 1686. w hole strength against Beejapore. The walls were 
of hewn stone, six miles in circumference, and the artillery 
was as superior to that of the Moguls as it had ever been ; 
Aurungzebe determined therefore to blockade the town. The 


garrison began to be straitened for provisions, and its brave 
Patan defenders were at length, obliged to capitulate. The 
emperor, seated on a portable throne, was carried in triumph 
through a breach in the walls, and the young king was con- 
signed to captivity, and died within three years, not without 
suspicion of violence. On the 15th of October, 1686, Beejapore 
was blotted out of the roll of Indian kingdoms, after having 
enjoyed a career of independence for more than a hundred and 
fifty years. The revenues of the country were estimated in 
the imperial registry at seven crores of rupees a year, a sum 
which appears incredible, notwithstanding the fertility of its 
soil, and the wealth poured into it by maritime commerce. 
Whatever may have been the resources of the kingdom, the 
Adil Shahee dynasty employed them in works of utility or 
magnificence which had no rival in India. No race of princes 
ever adorned their capital in so brief a period with such magnifi- 
cent mosques, palaces, and tombs. Even at the present day, 
after nearly two centuries of decay in an Indian climate, the 
majestic ruins of the city attract the admiration of the traveller, 
more especially the mausoleum of Mahomed Adil Shah, with its 
dome of simple grandeur, which, like the dome of St. Peter's, 
fills the eye of the beholder from every quarter. 
Conquest of Goi- ^ ne ^ a * e f Golconda was not long delayed, 
condoles?. Aurungzebe was determined not to allow the 
treaty which he had recently concluded with the king, to 
impede the absorption of the kingdom. Though the Mogul 
army was now sufficiently strong to overwhelm it, the emperor 
again had recourse to his habitual craft. He advanced 
into the territory with a large force, under pretence of a pil- 
grimage to the tomb of a saint, and began to practise on the 
fears of the bewildered monarch, from whom he gradually 
extracted all his treasure and jewels. It is recorded, that 
Aboo Hussein stripped the inmates of his seraglio of their 
ornaments to propitiate the emperor. But Aurungzebe's cold 
and selfish nature was never capable of a generous emotion. 
The only return he made for these offerings was a declaration 


of war against the unhappy prince, charging 1 him, a follower 
of the Prophet, with the crime of having employed a brahmin 
for his minister, and formed an alliance with the infidel 
Mahrattas. The king, though addicted to pleasure, was roused 
to indignation hy the baseness of this treatment, and for 
seven months defended himself with a heroism worthy his 
ancestors. The fort of Golconda was at length captured, but 
only by an act of treachery, and the royal house of Kootub 
Shah became extinct, after a brilliant career of a hundred 
and seventy years. Mogul generals were sent to take posses- 
sion of the districts in the Carnatic and Telingana, which had 
been held by the kings of Beejapore and Golconda, and the 
Mahrattas, leaving nothing but the principality of Tanjore in 
the possession of Vencajee, in whose line it continued till 
it was absorbed in the British dominions. 
confusion in The ambition of Aurungzebe was now consum- 
tneDeccan. mated. He had extended his authority in the 
south over tracts which had never before acknowledged the 
sovereignty of the Mahomedans, and for the first time in 
seven hundred years the whole of India appeared to be 
bound in allegiance to a single head. The year 1688 is the 
culminating point of Mahomedan rule. The calamities of 
Aurungzebe commenced as soon as he had reached the sum- 
mit of success, and the decay of the Mogul empire may be 
dated from the fall of Golconda. The governments which had 
maintained order in the Deccan had disappeared ; no system 
of equal vigour was established in their stead. The suspicious 
nature of Aurungzebe prevented him from entrusting any 
of his generals with a force which they might be tempted, by 
its magnitude, to turn against him. The two states of Beeja- 
pore and Golconda had maintained their authority by an army 
of 200,000 men ; the Mogul army, after their subjugation, did 
not exceed 34,000 men. The disbanded soldiery enlisted 
under disaffected commanders, or joined the predatory bands 
cf the Mahrattas, and each petty chief, in accordance with 
the prescriptive habits of the country, "withdrew hia 


neck from the yoke of obedience," whenever it could be done 
with the prospect of impunity. Aurungzebe was incessantly 
employed in the siege of forts ; there was no energy at the 
head-quarters of government; there was no redress for the 
oppression of the governors, while the collectors of the jezzia 
extorted millions from the wretched Hindoos, and exasperated 
them against the Mogul conquerors. The Deccan became a 
scene of boundless confusion, and the last twenty years of 
the reign of Aurungzebe presented a constant succession of 
conspiracies and revolts, which consumed the strength of his 
army and of the empire. 

Death of Sam- Sambajee, infatuated with his favourite and 
bajee, 1689. immersed in low pleasures, viewed with indiffer- 
ence the fall of Beejapore and Golconda, though it enabled the 
Moguls to concentrate their efforts upon the Mahrattas. 
Aurungzebe had taken possession of the open country, and 
was engaged in besieging the forts, when Sambajee was sur- 
prised during a drunken revel, and conveyed as a prisoner to 
his presence. After the insult offered to the imperial power 
by the plunder of Boorhanpore and Broach he had sworn that 
" he would never return to Delhi till he had seen the head of 
the Mahratta weltering at his feet." The life of Sambajee 
was offered him on condition that he would turn Musulman. 
The haughty son of Sevajee replied, " Not if you would give 
me your daughter in marriage," and at the same time poured 
a torrent of abuse on the Prophet. Aurungzebe ordered his 
tongue to be cut out for his blasphemy, and finally put him 
to death with the most excruciating tortures. Though 
Sambajee had lived nine years amidst the contempt of his 
subjects, his tragic end created a strong feeling of pity among 
them, and gave a keen edge to that spirit of hostility which 
they cherished towards the Mahomedans The flagitious exe- 
cution of Sambajee, which has left a stain of the deepest die 
on the character of Aurungzebe, was not only a crime, but an 
error. It was the sowing of the dragon's teeth, of which 
the emperor reaped an abundant harvest before his death. 


The Mahrattas, unable any longer to look 

Sahoo, king of 

the Mahrattas, abroad f or assistance, and pressed by the whole 
power of the Mogul empire, were obliged to bend 
to the storm. The cabinet of ministers elected Sahoo, the 
infant eon of Sambajee, though then a captive in the 
emperor's camp, to fill the throne, and appointed his uncle, 
Earn raja, regent. Of the great kingdom founded by Sevajee 
little remained in the north, and it was determined to make 
suitable arrangements for preserving the remnant, and to 
transfer the seat of Mahratta power to the south. Ram- 
raja, with twenty-five chiefs, made his way in disguise through 
the Carnatic amidst a variety of adventures, on which the 
national historians delight to dwell, and established his 
court at the fortress of Ginjee, which Sevajee conquered in 
1676, little dreaming at the time that it was one day to be- 
come the refuge of his family. Ram raja, on his arrival, laid 
aside the character of regent and assumed the ensigns of sove- 
reignty, arranging his court on the model of that of his father. 
Mahratta depre- In tne following year he sent two of his 
dations, 1692. generals, Suntajee and Dhunnajee, with a force 
which increased on its progress, to plunder the Mogul terri- 
tories and distract their attention. They extended their ravages 
to the neighbourhood of Satara, where Ramchunder, who 
had been entrusted with the Mahratta interests in the 
north, devised a new plan for damaging the Moguls. He 
conferred the right of levying the chout and sur desk mookee, 
and of laying waste the districts which refused these exac- 
tions, on every Mahratta chief who could bring his retainers 
into the field. At the same time he created a new demand of 
ghaus dana, or forage money, which was to be the individual 
perquisite of each chieftain. Under this new impulse, every 
mountain and valley poured forth its inhabitants to desolate 
the plains, and the Mogul authorities instead of having one 
great predatory army, directed by a single head, and amenable 
to obligations on their hands, had a monster with a hundred 
heads to deal with. 


The Mogul army was ill fitted to contend with 

Comparison of . 

the Mogul and this new swarm of warriors. Its commanders were 

Mahrattaarmies. ^^ genera i s com pared with the iron chiefs of 
Akbar's days. They vied with each other only in extrava- 
gant display, while their persons were protected from danger 
by wadding and chain armour. The spread of luxury had 
eaten out the spirit of valour and discipline, and nothing was 
so little desired by them as the sight of the enemy. The 
number of men for whom the officers drew pay, was never 
honestly maintained, and the ranks were filled with any cheap 
and beggarly recruits they could pick up. A force thus con- 
stituted was no match for the Mahratta troops, accustomed 
to hard fare and harder work. "The horse without a saddle 
was rode by a man without clothes, whose constant weapon 
was a trusty sabre ; footmen inured to the same travel, and 
bearing all kind of arms trooped with the horse ; spare horses 
accompanied them to bring off the booty, and relieve the 
wearied or wounded. All gathered their daily provisions as 
they passed. No pursuit could reach their march ; in conflict 
their onset fell wherever they chose, and was relinquished 
even in the instant of charge. Whole districts were in flames 
before their approach was known, as a terror to others to 
redeem the ravage." 

siege of Ginjee, The rallying point of the Mahrattas was the 
169098. fortress of Ginjee, the siege of which was as 
protracted as . the siege of Troy. On hearing that Ram raja 
had taken up his abode in that fortress, Zulfikar Khan was 
in the first instance sent to capture it; but the suspicious 
temper of the emperor led him repeatedly to change the com- 
manders, and the operations necessarily languished. Zul- 
fikar was often in collusion with the Mahrattas, and it was 
even suspected that he contemplated the establishment of 
an independent authority through their aid, on the death of 
the aged emperor. It was during the languor of this siege 
that Suntajee Ghorepuray, having defeated the Mogul 
generals in the north, appeared before the place with a body 


of 20,000 horse. The besieging army was besieged in its 
turn, and Cam buksh, the son of the emperor, and the nominal 
commander-in-chief, was driven to a humiliating convention. 
Aurungzebe disallowed it, recalled his son, and entrusted the 
command for the third time toZulfikar. But as he was in 
communication with the enemy, the siege was again prolonged, 
till the emperor, indignant at his inactivity, gave him the 
option of its immediate capture, or his own degradation. 
Zulfikar now assaulted the fort in earnest, and it was reduced 
in the year 1698. 

Earn rafa makes ^ am ra J a ' Wn Da< ^ ^ een allowed, through the 

Satara his capi- connivance of Zulfikar, to escape from Ginjee 
before its capitulation, made his way back to 
his native mountains and selected Satara as his capital. 
He was soon enabled to assemble a larger army than Sevajee 
had ever commanded, and proceeded to levy what he termed 
" the Mahratta dues " through the provinces of Candesh and 
Berar. The greater portion of the maritime forts of the 
Mahrattas had been preserved or recovered ; and, with Colaba 
for their arsenal, they were enabled to keep the sea against 
the Moguls. On the other hand, the Mahratta cause suffered 
the severest injury by the death of Suntajee Ghorepuray, 
who had been the terror of the Mogul armies for seven years. 
Dhunnajee, his former associate, became his mortal enemy ; he 
was hunted by his own countrymen like a wild beast, through 
the region which he had filled with his exploits, and was 
at length brought to bay and his head cut off and sent as an 
acceptable present to the emperor. 

]ang To meet the increasing audacity of the Mah- 

Aurungzebe, rattas, Aurungzebe devised the plan of separating 
his army into two divisions one to be employed 
in protecting the open country from their depredations the 
other in capturing their forts. The first duty was committed 
to Zulfikar Khan, the ablest and the most energetic of the 
Mogul generals, at a time when they were universally ener- 
vated by indulgence and venality. He repeatedly defeated the 


Mahrattas in the field ; but he was unable to reduce their 
strength, and they always appeared more fresh after a defeat 
than his own troops after a victory. Aurungzebe reserved 
the task of capturing the fortresses for himself; and, breaking 
up his encampment on the banks of the Beema, to the deep 
regret of his voluptuous officers, commenced operations by the 
siege of Satara, which was surrendered to him in four months, 
in April, 1700. A month before this period Earn raja expired 
at Singur, and his son, a child of ten years of age, was 
declared king under the regency of his mother, Tara Bye. 
Hisincreasin During the succeeding five years Aurungzebe 
difficulties, 1702 was incessantly engaged in reducing the Mah- 
ratta forts ; but while thus employed he continued 
to superintend the minutest details of business throughout the 
empire, and not even a petty officer was admitted to the 
service at Cabul without his concurrence. When we are 
assured that the climate of India invariably relaxes the vigour 
of the body and the energies of the mind, we turn with 
astonishment to this octogenarian chief, engaged incessantly 
with youthful vigour in the duties of the cabinet or in the 
severer labours of the field, in a wild country and a vile 
climate. But all the energy of Aurungzebe was unable to 
cope with the disorders which multiplied around him. The 
Eajpoots were again in open hostility ; other tribes in the 
north, encouraged by his continued absence, and the conse- 
quent weakness of the administration, began to exhibit a 
refractory spirit. His treasury was exhausted by a wasting 
war of twenty-five years. The Mahratta chiefs began to 
recover their forts ; and in 1705 he received accounts at one 
and the same time that they had crossed the Nerbudda in 
great force, and extended their ravages to Malwa, and overrun 
Berar and Candesh, and also despatched 15,000 troops to levy 
contributions in Guzerat. In every direction around his camp, 
north, south, east, and west nothing was seen but the 
sack of villages, the slaughter of troops, and devastation of 
the country. 

VI.] HIS DEATH. 181 

Overtures to the In these deplorable circumstances the emperor 
Mahrattas, 1706. ma( j e overtures to the Mahrattas, and offered 
them a legal title to the fourth and the tenth of the revenues 
of the six soohahs of the Deccan, on condition of their main- 
taining order and repressing violence. But they immediately rose 
in their demands, and had the effrontery to require dresses of 
honour for more than seventy of their marauding chiefs. The 
negotiation was therefore broken off, and the imperial encamp- 
ment began to retire to Ahmednugur, closely followed by 
the Mahrattas, who plundered up to the verge of the camp, 
and converted the retreat into an ignominious flight. 
Twenty years before Aurungzebe had marched from this 
capital in all the pride and pomp of war, to extend this 
dominion to Cape Comorin ; he now returned to it with the 
remnant of a discomfited army, and pursued by a victorious 
. . , foe, and there he expired on the 22nd of February, 

Aurungzebe s r J 7 

death, 22nd 1707. By his will he directed that his funeral 
iruary, n( r ex p enseg should be limited to four rupees and-a, 
half, to be defrayed from the sum he had received for tht 
caps he had made and sold ; and that the sum of 805 rupees, 
which he had acquired from the sale of the Korans he had 
copied with his own hands, should be distributed among the 

Aurungzebe has been considered by the native 
Kemarkson historians the type of Mogul greatness, and his 
name is invested with an indefinite idea of gran- 
deur, even in the minds of Europeans. But this feeling is 
corrected by a close inspection of the events of his reign, and 
it is impossible to resist the conviction that few characters in 
Indian history have ever been more overrated. His personal 
bravery, his military talents, and his application to business, 
are deserving of all praise ; but he persisted in a policy which 
was inherently vicious, after he perceived the ruin it was 
bringing on the empire. He was engaged for twenty-five 
years in a war, first of intolerance, and then of aggression, 
which exhausted the resources of the country, and hastened 


the downfall of the house of Baber. The great oriental des- 
potism of the Moguls, like others which preceded it, had 
nearly run out the usual period of two centuries, and 
began to crumble to pieces, as soon as the genius or the 
prestige of Aurungzebe ceased to sustain it. 


NADIR SHAH, 17071739. 

ON the death of Aurungzebe, prince Azim, who 
M b een banished through his father's dread of 
Bkm of Bahadoor being treated by his own sons when weakened 
by disease, as he had treated Shah Jehan, im- 
mediately returned to the encampment, caused himself to 
be proclaimed emperor, and prepared to march to the capital; 
but his elder brother, Muazzim, with better reason, assumed 
the crown, and advanced from Cabul to meet his rival. His 
son, who had governed Bengal for eleven years, materially 
assisted his cause by opportunely bringing up eight crores of 
rupees which he had amassed during that period. The two 
armies met in the neighbourhood of Agra, when prince Azim 
was defeated and fell, together with two of his sons. Zulfikar, 
who had remained neuter during the engagement, at once 
declared for the victor. It only remained to dispose of the 
pretension of the youngest son of the late emperor, Cam buksh, 
who was assembling troops in the Deccan. Zulfikar marched 
against him with a contingent of Mahrattas, and defeated 
him. He died shortly after of his wounds, and Muazzim, who 
was left the undisputed master of the empire, assumed the 
title of Bahadoor Shah. 

^e Mahrattas, who had baffled the power of 
Ta Aurungzebe for thirty years, were now weak- 
ened by intestine discord. Tara Bye, the widow of 


Ram raja held the reins of government for seven years, in 
the name of her son. Sahoo, the son of Sambajee, the legiti- 
mate heir to the throne, had been for seventeen years a 
captive in the Mogul camp, where he had been treated with 
great kindness by the emperor, who married him to the 
daughters of two of the principal Mahratta sirdars in his 
service. Prince Azim, when setting out to seize the prize at 
Delhi, adopted the sage advice of Zulfikar, and not only 
granted Sahoo his liberty but furnished him with assistance 
to assert his claim to the Mahratta throne, on condition that 
he should hold it as a vassal of the empire. Tara Bye imme- 
diately proclaimed him an impostor, and collected an army to 
oppose him; but he succeeded in obtaining possession of 
Satara, and in March, 1708, assumed the functions of royalty. 
In this family contest, the great Mahratta chieftains embraced 
opposite sides, and drew their swords against each other ; a 
happy event for the neighbouring provinces. At the end of five 
years, Sevajee, the son of Tara Bye, died, and her minister 
seized the opportunity of superseding her authority, and 
placing another of the sons of Earn raja, Sambajee, on the 
throne at Kolapore, which, from that period became the seat of 
the younger branch of the royal family, and the rival of Satara. 
Zulfikar Khan was rewarded for his adherence 
grants the to Bahadoor Shah with the vice-royalty of the 
eAoitt, 1708. Deccan, which he committed to the care of Daood 
Khan, while he himself continued to reside at the capital. 
Daood Khan was a Patan of noble birth, famous throughout 
the Deccan for his matchless courage, and his love of strong 
drink. He paid frequent visits to Madras, and did not hesitate 
to partake of English hospitality. The Madras President 
always " took care to supply him with liquors, because he was 
BO generous under their influence." It is recorded that in 
1701, Mr. Pitt, the father of Lord Chatham, who then occupied 
that post, gave him a grand entertainment in the Council 
Chamber, when the Patan " pledged the chief largely in cordial 
waters and French brandy, amidst a discharge of cannon." 


Zulfikar, who was desirous of cultivating peace with the 
Mahrattas, of whom he had been the most formidable foe in 
the field for fifteen years, authorized his lieutenant to offer 
Sahoo the chout which the Mahrattas had so long extorted 
by violence. Though the concession came only from a local 
officer, and was not therefore conclusive, it was not the less 
prized by the Mahratta cabinet, as the first legitimate title 
they had been able to acquire to their exactions. The tran- 
quillity of Rajpootana was secured by the same spirit of 
concession to its three principal rajas. 

Origin of the These arrangement which clearly indicated the 
Sikhs. growing weakness of the empire, appear to have 

been hastened by the inroads of the Sikhs in the north. 
Nanuk, the founder of the Sikh community, who flourished 
about the close of the fifteenth century, taught, that devotion 
was due to God, but that forms were immaterial, and that the 
worship of the Hindoos and the Mahomedans was equally 
acceptable to the deity. The sect which he founded gradually 
increased in numbers for a century, and became an object of 
detestation to the bigotted Mahomedans, who massacred its 
pontiff in 1606. In 1675, Gooroo Govind, the tenth spiritual 
chief in succession from Nanuk, conceived the idea of forming 
the Sikhs into a military, ae well as a religious, commonwealth. 
He abolished all distinction of caste, and admitted all converts 
to perfect equality; but every member of the body was 
required to be a pledged soldier from his birth, or his initiation. 
He inculcated reverence for the Hindoo gods and brahmins, 
and prohibited the slaughter of kine. After a long struggle 
with the Mahomedans, he saw his strongholds captured, his 
mother and children destroyed, and his followers slaughtered, 
mutilated, or dispersed. These severities exasperated the 
fanaticism of the Sikhs, and planted an inextinguishable 
hatred of the Mahomedans in their minds. Under a new 
thief, of the name of Bandoo, they issued from their retreats, 
overran the Punjab, and, if we are to believe the Mahomedan 
historians, committed unheard of atrocities. 


Death of Baha- At the beginning of the eighteenth century, 
door Shah, 1712. they had extended their inroads, on the one side 
to Lahore, and on the other to Delhi; and Bahadoor Shah 
marched against them in person and drove them back to the 
hills. He died on his return to Lahore, in February, 1712, 
after a brief reign of five years, at the age of seventy-two. 
Accession and ^ s death was immediately followed by the usual 
death of jehan- contest among his sons, which terminated in the de- 
feat and death of three of them, when the survivor 
mounted the throne, and assumed the title of Jehander Shah. 
One of the earliest acts of his reign, was to put to death all 
the princes of the blood royal within his reach. He appointed 
Zulfikar Khan, who had supported him through the conflict to the 
post of vizier, while he resigned himself to the most degrading 
pleasures, and raised the relatives of a dancing girl who had be- 
fcome his favourite mistress, to the highest honours in the 
state. But his ignoble career was speedily cut short by his 
nephew, Ferokshere, who had escaped the massacre of his 
family, by his absence in Bengal, of which he was the vice- 
roy. He advanced with an army of 70,000 men, and defeated 
the emperor in the neighbourhood of Agra. The noble Zul- 
fikar Khan, the last of the great captains of the Mogul 
dynasty, whose ancestors had served it in the highest offices 
for more than a century, was basely strangled by the orders 
of Ferokshere, and the wretched Jehander Shah was put to 
death after a reign of six months. 

Ferokshere, HIS. Ferokshere, the most contemptible, as yet, of 
The syuds. anv O f ^he princes of his line, ascended the throne 
in 1713, and dishonoured it for six years by his vices and his 
coward/ce. He owed his elevation to the exertions of two 
brothers, Hussein Ali, the governor of Behar, and Abdoolla 
Khan, the governor of Allahabad, generally denominated the 
Syuds, to denote their descent from the Prophet, and his 
reign was little else but a series of machinations to destroy 
them. The one was advanced to the post of vizier, and Hussein 
Ali was appointed commander-in-chief. They were both men 


of talent and valour, but, as they monopolised all power, they 
incurred the jealousy of the emperor and the enmity of his 
favourites. Immediately on his accession Ferokshere made a na- 
tive of Mooltan, who had been a cazee at Dacca, his chief confi- 
dant, and under his influence sent Hussein Ali against Ajeet 
Sing, the raja of Joudhpore, in the hope that the expedition 
might prove fatal to him. But he disappointed his enemies by 
concluding an honourable peace with the raja, and inducing him 
to give one of his daughters in marriage to the emperor. The 
nuptials, which were celebrated at Delhi with extraordinary 
splendour, have become memorable in the history of British 
India by the patriotic conduct of a British surgeon, the par- 
ticulars of which will be given in a future chapter. 
Nizam-ooi- Daood Khan, who had governed the Deccan as 

<f. eroy the deputy of Zulfikar Khan, was removed after 

of the Deccan, J 

1713. the destruction of his patron, and sent as governor 

to Guzerat. The agreement he had made with the Mahrattas 
regarding the chout and other dues fell to the ground on his 
removal and they began to collect them again by violence. The 
office of soobadar of the Deccan was bestowed on the son of 
Ghazee-ood-deen, who has been already mentioned in connec- 
tion with the siege of Beejapore in 1686. The family had 
emigrated from Turkey, or rather Tartary, to seek its fortunes 
in India, and belonged to a clique of officials at the capital 
who were commonly designated the Tooranee nobles. Chin 
Kilich Khan, the new soobadar, rose to distinction in the court 
of Aurungzebe, by whom he was decorated with the titles 
of Asof-Jah and Nizam-ool-moolk. As it was on this occasion 
that he laid the foundation of the kingdom of Hyderabad, 
we shall anticipate the period of his independence by desig- 
nating him henceforward as the Nizam. He was a statesman 
of great experience and ability, but of still greater subtlety 
During the seventeen months of his incumbency he fomented 
the dissensions between the rival houses of Kolapore and 
Satara, and thus established some check on the ravages of 
the Mahrattas. Sahoo was induced to acknowledge himself 


a vassal of the emperor, and though in his own circle he as- 
sumed the title of king of the Hindoos, in the court calendar 
he was ranked as a Mogul commander of 10,000. 

Balajee Vishwu- 

nath.peshwa, The increasing contentions of these two branches 
of the family of Sevajee had created such anarchy 
as to bring the Mahratta state to the verge of ruin, when the 
genius of Balajee Vishwunath placed the party of Sahoo in the 
ascendant, and rekindled the smouldering energies of the nation. 
Balajee was originally a simple karkoon, or village accountant, 
but rose through various gradations of office till he reached the 
dignity of Peshwa, or chief minister. It was to his energy 
that the rapid expansion of the Mahratta power, when it had 
reached the limit of depression, is to be attributed, and 
he may justly be regarded as the second founder of its 

Hussein AH ^ ne Nizam was discharged from the office of 

Soobadarofthe viceroy of the Deccan to make room for Hussein 
Death of Daooa Ali, one of the Syuds, who was sent thither to 
Khan. remove hmi from the court. Instructions were at 

the same time given to Daood Khan to offer him the most 
strenuous but covert opposition, and the reversion of the ap- 
pointment was held out to him as the reward of success. 
But Daood Khan was too daring and impetuous for any sub- 
terfuge, and he determined to bring the dispute to an immediate 
issue. He accordingly met Hussein Ali with his own 
veteran force, and attacked him with such fuiy as to scatter 
his forces like a flock of sheep. But in the moment of victory 
a cannon-ball struck him dead, and the fortune of the day was 
changed. His devoted wife, a Hindoo princess, on hearing of 
his fate, stabbed herself to the heart. The memory of his 
reckless courage and his chivalrous exploits is still preserved 
in many a ballad and proverb in the Deccan. Hussein Ali, 
flushed with this victory, took the field against the Mahrattas, 
but was completely defeated, and they immediately extended 
their encroachments and enlarged their claims. The emperor, 
anxious only for the destruction of his own obnoxious general, 


gave them every encouragement to resist him, and promised 
to reward them if they were successful. 

Hussein Ali, distracted on the one hand by the 

Convention with ' i 

the Mahrattas, incessant plots hatched against him at Delhi, and 
on the other by the depredations of the Mahrattas, 
who were stimulated by the court, adopted the desperate 
resolution of winning them over to his cause by concessions. 
He entered into negotiations with the Mahratta cabinet, which 
were conducted with consummate skill by Balajee Vishwunath, 
and resulted in a convention as advantageous to the Mahrattas 
as it was disgraceful to the Moguls. Sahoo was acknowledged 
as the independent sovereign of the districts comprised in the 
family jaygeer, and of subsequent conquests. The " fourth " 
and the " tenth " of the revenues of the six soubahs of the 
Deccan, and of the tributary states of Tanjore, Mysore, and 
Trichinopoly, were bestowed on him on condition that he 
should, in addition to the usual fee on such grants, pay an 
annual tribute of ten lacs of rupees, furnish a contingent of 
15,000 troops, and become responsible for the peace of the 

Remarks on this This was the greatest stride to power the Mah- 
Convenaon. rattas had yet made, and it fulfilled the fondest 
wishes of the founder of this system of spoliation. It fur- 
nished them with a large and permanent revenue, for though 
the six soubahs had been exhausted by the incessant ravages 
of war, the assignment granted to the Mahrattas was, at 
their dictation, calculated on the sum of 18 crores, which 
those provinces had yielded in the years of peace and pros- 
perity. It would apparently have been more to the pecuniary 
advantage of the Mahrattas to exchange assignments spread 
over a country which extended from sea to sea, and from the 
Nerbudda to Cape Comorin, for a compact territory. But the 
great object of the Peshwa was to render the claims of the 
Mahratta nation as complicated, as extensive, and as vague 
as possible, and thus to acquire a right of constant inter- 
ference in the revenue administration of the entire Deccan, 


well knowing that the interpretation of its demands would 
rest with the strongest. This famous convention gave a 
new impulse to the Mahratta policy, and at the same time 
placed the government more exclusively in the hands of the 
cabinet of brahmins at Satara, of whom the Peshwa was the 
head. It likewise provided congenial employment for a host of 
Mahratta officers, who were now planted in every district of 
the south to collect the tribute, with every motive to multiply 
their exactions. 
Hussein Au This convention enabled Hussein Ali to with- 

marches to Dei- draw his armies from the Deccan, and to march to 

hi. Death of 

Ferokshere, Delhi. The emperor was advised to disallow 
the treaty, and the breach between him and the 
Syuds became wider. Hussein Ali hastened to the capital to 
restore the ascendancy of his family, accompanied by Balajee 
Vishwunath, and 10,000 select Mahratta horse. A confede- 
racy which included the chief ministers of state, was formed 
by the emperor for the destruction of the brothers, but he 
had not the courage necessary for such an enterprise, and 
had, moreover, come under the influence of a new favourite. 
Hussein Ali was therefore enabled to march into the city with 
little opposition. Ferokshere made the most abject submis. 
eions, but was dragged from the recesses of the seraglio 
where he had taken refuge, and privately assassinated. 

Two puppets were successively placed on the 

Accession of rjr * 

Mahomed shah, vacant throne by the tnumphant Syuds, but they 
disappeared by poison or disease in a few months, 
when Rustum Khan, a grandson of Aurungzebe, was made 
emperor, and assumed the title of Mahomed Shah, the last who 
deserved the name of emperor of India. Weak and despic- 
able as Ferokshere had been on the throne, his tragic death 
created great sympathy throughout the country, and the popu- 
lar indignation against his assassins was manifested by 
risings and rebellions in various districts ; but the greatest 
subject of disquietude to the brothers arose from the conduct 
of the Nizam. Though he had joined the Syuds against the 


late emperor, he was alienated from their interests by being 
nominated to the inferior post of governor of Guzerat, when 
he had every reason to expect the viceroyalty of the Deccan. 
He began to collect troops, on the plea of restoring order in 
the province assigned to him, but in reality to establish his 
own power in the south, where he had many adherents, both 
Revolt of the m- amon g the Mahrattas and the Mahomedans. He 
zam, June, n20. m arched southward with 12,000 men, and having 
captured the important fortress of Asseergur, and overrun 
Candesh, defeated two armies which were sent against him, 
and thus became master of his position. 
Hussein AH as- Meanwhile the young emperor was fretting 
lassinated, 1720. un ^ er the yoke of the Syuds, and, under the dis- 
creet guidance of his mother, formed a combination among 
the nobles of his court to release himself from their power. 
The plot, which embraced some of the most eminent of the 
courtiers, could not be concealed from the brothers ; but they 
were distracted by the difficulties which surrounded them on 
every side. At length it was resolved that Hussein Ali 
should march against the Nizam, taking the emperor with him, 
and that Abdoolla should return to Delhi, the court being then 
at Agra, to look after the family interests. Five days after 
the army had commenced its march, a savage Calmuck, who 
had been selected to strike the blow, approached the palan- 
keen of Hussein Ali, on pretence of presenting a petition, and 
stabbed him to the heart. In the conflict which necessarily 
ensued, the partisans of the emperor were victorious, and the 
army marched back to Delhi. Abdoolla, hearing of his bro- 
ther's fate, set up a new emperor, and marched to encounter 
Mahomed Shah, but he was entirely defeated, though his life 
was spared in consideration of his august lineage. 

Mahomed Shah, now a free monarch, entered 

Mahomed Shah 

enters the capi- his capital with great pomp a twelvemonth after 
"^ 1720 ' he had been elevated to the throne, and made a 
liberal distribution of offices. The odious jezzia, the tax on 
infidels, was abolished. The Rajpoot rajas of Joudhpore and 


Jeypore were promoted to governorships ; while the raja of 

Oodypore, still isolated by his . orthodox dignity, refused all 

intercourse with the court, and sunk into contempt. Sadut 

Ali, a Khorasan merchant, who had raised himself 

Origin of the ' 

oude family, by his talents to the charge of Biana, was made 

soobadar of Oude, where he founded the royal 

dynasty which was extinguished in 1856. The office of vizier 

was reserved for the Nizam, who came up from the Deccan 

to assume the control of public affairs. But 

The Nizam ap- 
pointed Vizier, he found the new emperor utterly unworthy 

of his station, immersed in pleasures, and so 
besotted with a favourite mistress. as to have given her the 
custody and use of the royal signet. He endeavoured to 
rouse Mahomed Shah to a sense of his duties as the head of 
a great empire which was exposed on every side to danger. 
But his master turned a deaf ear to this sage counsel, and 
listened with more delight to the advice of his dissolute com- 
panions, who amused him by turning the antiquated habits 
and solemn manner of the venerable statesman, then in his 
seventy-fifth year, into ridicule. 

He returns to the The courtiers, to rid themselves of the presence 
Deccan, 1723. o f the vizier, sent him against the refractory 
governor of Guzerat, whom their own folly had driven into 
rebellion. He quelled the revolt at once by his tact, and returned 
to the capital, where, however, he did not long remain. Dis- 
gusted with the weakness and profligacy of the court, and 
despairing of any reform, he threw up his office, and proceeded 
to the Deccan. The emperor loaded him with honours on his 
departure, but at the same time instigated the local governor 
of Hyderabad, Mobariz Khan, to resist his authority, and held 
out the reversion of the viceroyalty as a bait. The Nizam 
defeated Mobariz, and sent his head to Delhi, congratulating 
the Court on the extinction of the revolt. He then fixed on 
Hyderabad, the ancient capital of the Kootub-Shahee dynasty, 
Founds as ^ e seat f his government, and from this period 

Hyderabad, 1724. may be dated the rise of the Nizam's dominion. 


Balaiee Vishwunath, as already stated, had 
Death of Balajee J . . ' * 

accompanied Hussein All with a Mahratta con- 

im tingent to Delhi, and, on the accession of Maho- 

med Shah, obtained the imperial confirmation of the grants 
of the " fourth " and the " tenth," and returned in triumph 
with the invaluable charters, fourteen in number, to Satara, 
where he soon after died. Before his death he completed the 
arrangements for the collection of the assignments he had 
acquired, and established a system of the most intricate sub- 
division of interests, by which ample provision was made for 
a whole army of Mahratta officials. A preponderating power 
was thus given to the cabinet of brahmins at Satara, which 
eventually resulted in the transfer of all the authority of the 
state to their chief, the Peshwa. He was succeeded in his 
Bajee Eao, office by h* 8 son Bajee Kao, who exhibited in the 
Peshwa, 1721 highest degree the enterprise of the Mahratta 
character, and in talent and vigour proved to be second only 
to Sevajee. The interest of the succeeding twenty years of 
the history of India centres in the alliances, and disputes, and 
strategy* of the young Mahratta statesman of Satara, and the 
subtle old Turk at Hyderabad, who made peace and war with- 
out any reference to the emperor at Delhi. 

The impetuosity of Baiee Kao's character led 

Bajee Bao's ad- J J 

vice to sahoo, him to propose the boldest schemes of ambition 
to his master Sahoo. He felt that unless em- 
ployment could be found abroad for the large body of predatory 
horse which formed the smews of the Mahratta power they 
would be engaged in mischief at home. Fully aware of the 
decay of the Mogul power, he urged the king " to strike the 
trunk of the withering tree, the branches must fall of them- 
selves. Now is our time to drive strangers from the land of 
the Hindoos, and to acquire immortal renown. By directing 
our efforts to Hindostan the Mahratta flag in your reign 
shall fly from the Kistna to the Attok." " You shall plant it 
on the Himalayu," replied Sahoo. But he had been bred in 
the luxury of a Mahomedan seraglio, and had lost the boldness 


and energy of the Mahratta character. Bajee Rao found 
that his own ardour was ill seconded by his sovereign, and was 
constrained to act under his own discretion; and thus the 
house of Sevajee waxed weaker, and the house of the Peshwa 
waxed stronger. 

Affairs of The Nizam had appointed his uncle, Humeed 

Guzemt. Khan, his representative in Guzerat, in opposition 
to the court at Delhi. The court appointed Sir-boolund Khan 
governor of the province, with directions to extinguish this 
revolt. With the aid of two Mahratta commanders, Kantajee 
and Peelajee, Humeed Khan was enabled to defeat the Mogul 
armies, and rewarded them with a grant of the " fourth " and 
the " tenth " of the revenues of Guzerat. Bajee Rao took 
advantage of this discord, and renewed his excursions into 
Malwa, granting Sindia, Holkar, and Powar of Dhar, commis- 
sions to levy chout in that province, while he himself proceeded 
to the south, and exacted contributions from the ruler at Se- 
ringapatam. Alarmed by the increasing audacity of the 
Peshwa's depredations, the Nizam endeavoured to revive the 
dissensions of the rival houses of Kolapore and Satara. Sam- 
bajee claimed his share of the assignments which had been 
granted to the Peshwa, Balajee Vishwunath, on the six 
soubahs of the Deccan, and the Nizam, as the official represen- 
tative of the emperor, called on both parties to produce their 
titles and substantiate their claims before him. Sahoo and his 
cabinet were filled with indignation by what they deemed an 
insolent attempt to interfere in their domestic quarrels. Bajee 
Rao instantly assembled a large army, and marched against 
the Nizarn, who was likewise supported by a large body of 
Mahrattas, but he was driven into a position where the want 
of provisions constrained him to enter into negotiations, which 
terminated more favourably than could have been expected. 
. ... The singular moderation of the Peshwa on this 

Peshwa obtains 

the ciumt of occasion, when the Nizam was at his mercy, was 
!rat> 1 2 ' not without a cause. He was at the time nego- 
tiating with Sir-boolund Khan, the imperial governor of Guzerat, 


who had succeeded in establishing- his authority, for the chout 
and other assignments which had been granted to the two 
Mahratta officers already mentioned, and, to expedite the bar- 
gain, sent his brother to lay the country waste. Sir-boolund 
at length found it expedient to purchase some measure of 
peace by yielding to these demands The concession was, 
however, more restricted than that . which had been granted 
by Hussein Ali, and confirmed by Mahomed Shah. The 
ohout was to be calculated on the actual amount of collections ; 
only two or three officers were to be placed in each district to 
collect the dues ; no other exactions were to be inflicted on the 
ryots, and every assistance was to be given to the imperial 
authority. From these limitations we are enabled to perceive 
how greatly the Mahrattas had abused the power conferred on 
them by the charters which they obtained eight years before. 
Never was a more flagitious and intolerable system of extor- 
tion invented by human ingenuity than that which the genius of 
Sevajee had devised, and which the Mahrattas considered it 
their mission to extend over the whole of India. 

While Baiee Rao was employed in settling his 

Kolapore and > * 

Satora at peace, demands on Guzerat, Sambajee crossed the Wurna 
' 30 * and plundered the territory of his rival, Sahoo 

He was, however, subsequently defeated, and obliged to sign 
an acknowledgment of his cousin's right to the entire Mah- 
ratta territory, with the exception of a small tract around 
Kolapore, to which his branch of the royal family was thence- 
forward to be confined, and thus ended the dissensions of 
twenty years. The Nizam, foiled in his attempt to weaken the 
Mahrattas by internal discord, found a new instrument of 
mischief in Dhabarry, the Mahratta commander-in-chief. He 
had been intrusted with the Mahratta interests in Guzerat, 
and was mortified to find that the chout and other dues in his 
own province had been carried off by Bajee Rao. Under a 
feeling of resentment and at the instigation of the Nizam, he 
marched towards Satara with 35,000 men, with the avowed 
object of releasing Sahoo from the tyranny of the Peohwa, but 


he was defeated by an inferior force, and fell in battle. The 
influence of his rival was increased in no small degree by this 
attempt to destroy it. But the Peshwa acted with generosity, 
and conferred the office which had been held by Dhabarry on 
his son, an infant, and entrusted the management of affairs to 
origin of the Peelajee Guickwar, whose immediate ancestor 
Guickwar. was a co \v-herd, and whose descendants now 
occupy the throne of Baroda. 

origin of noikar To this period also belongs the rise of the fami- 
and Sindia. jj^ of Holkar and Sindia, destined to take a 
prominent share in the politics of India. Mulhar Rao Holkar 
was ihe son of a herdsman, but, being a youth of adventurous 
disposition, exchanged the crook for the sword, and by his 
daring courage recommended himself to Bajee Rao, who en- 
trusted him with the charge of levying contributions in eighty- 
four districts or villages in Malwa. Ranojee Sindia, th(,agh 
said to be allied to the noblest families in Rajpootana, was of 
the caste of cultivators, and entered the service of Balajee 
Vishwunath as a menial servant. It is related that on one 
occasion his master, returning from an interview with the raja 
Sahoo, found his attendant asleep on his back with the slippers 
firmly grasped in his hand. Struck with his fidelity in so 
humble an occupation, the Peshwa introduced him into his 
body-guard. He soon became one of the foremost of the 
Mahratta chieftains, and, like Holkar, received assignments 
on the districts of Malwa, which formed the nucleus of the 
family domain. 

After the defeat of Dhabarry, the Peshwa 

Convention be- j .1 XT- j j- 

tween Kajce Rao ano - *O6 .Nizam came to a mutual understanding 
ami the Nizam, f or ^he promotion of their respective interests, 
and it was agreed that Bajee Rao should be at 
liberty to plunder the Mogul territories in the north without 
restraint, and that the Nizam's possessions in the south should 
not be molested by the Mahrattas. In fact, the Nizam, the 
representative of the emperor in the Deccan, purchased peace 
by letting the Mahrattas loose on the dominions of his sove- 

o 2 


reign beyond the Nerbudda. Bajee Rao crossed that river in 
1732, and laid waste the devoted province of Malwa. The 
Mogul governor, Mahomed Bungush, was engaged at the 
time in besieging a refractory chief in Bundlecund, who in- 
voked the aid of Bajee Rao. Bungush was soon, in his turn, 
besieged, and was rescued only by the prompt arrival of his 
countrymen from Rohilcund. The Bundlecund raja evinced his 
gratitude to the Peshwa by bequeathing him a third of his 
territory of Jhansi; and thus was the Mahratta standard 
Maiwa ceded to planted for the first time on the banks of the 
Bajee Kao, me j umna> The government of Malwa was soon 
after conferred by the emperor on the Rajpoot prince, Jey 
Sing, whose reign was rendered illustrious by the encourage- 
ment of science and the erection of the beautiful city of Jey- 
pore, with its palaces, halls, and temples, and, above all, its 
noble observatory. The profession of a common creed had 
promoted a friendly intercourse between the Mahratta and 
the Rajpoot chiefs, and Jey Sing, who was more of a scholar 
than a statesman, made over the whole province of Malwa to 
Bajee Rao, though not without the supposed concurrence of 
the feeble court of Delhi. 

Bajee Rao's de- These concessions only served to inflame the 
mands, 1736. ambition of Bajee Rao, and the necessities of his 
position constrained him to extend his aggressions. Great 
as were the resources of the Mahratta state, the greater por- 
tion of the revenue was absorbed by the chiefs who collected 
it, and only a fraction reached the national treasury. The 
magnitude of Bajee Rao's operations had involved him in debt ; 
the bankers were slow to make further advances ; his troops 
were clamorous for their pay, and discipline was weakened by 
his inability to meet their claims. He therefore demanded 
of the imperial court a confirmation of the assignments 
on Guzerat which had been granted by Sir-boolund Khan, 
and of the recent cession of the province of Malwa, as his 
personal jaygeer. The emperor, or rather his minister, 
Khan Dowran, offered him an assignment of thirteen lacs of 


rupees on the districts south of the Chumbul, with permission 
to levy tribute in Rajpootana, in the hope that this claim would 
embroil him with the Rajpoot princes. But Bajee Rao, 
having learnt from his agent at Delhi that all his demands 
were likely to be conceded with a little more pressure, imme- 
diately increased them, and did not scruple to claim the whole 
territory south of the Chumbul, the surrender of the holy 
cities of Benares, Gya, Muttra, and Allahabad, and the im- 
mediate payment of fifty lacs of rupees. The court endea- 
voured to appease him with smaller sacrifices, which he readily 
accepted, but without abating the price of his forbearance, or 
the progress of his army. Holkar crossed the Jumna, by his 
orders, and plundered the Dooab, but was driven back by 
Sadut Khan, the soobadar of Oude ; and this success was 
magnified at Delhi into a grand victoiy, in which thousands of 
infidels were said to have perished. It was even reported 
that Bajee Rao had been obliged to retire. " I was compelled," 
he wrote, " to tell the emperor the truth, and to prove to him 
that I was still in Hindoostan; to show him flames and Mah- 
rattas at the gates of his capital." He advanced towards 
Delhi by forced marches of forty miles a day. The conster- 
nation in the imperial city may well be conceived ; but his 
object was not to sack the capital, but to intimidate the court 
into concessions, and circumstances rendered it advisable for 
him to withdraw. His moderation encouraged a party of 
eight thousand horse under some of the nobles to attack his 
carnp, but they were easily repelled by Holkar. Bajee Rao 
now retired from the north, recrossed the Nerbudda, and pro- 
ceeded to Satara. 

The Mahrattas appeared now to be paramount 

The Nizam do- . T ,. , 

feated by Bajee in India, and the Nizam was considered by the 
uao, 1737. emperor and his ministers, the only man who could 
save the empire from extinction. He himself perceived, when 
too late, the impolicy of his compact with Bajee Rao in 1732, 
which had enabled the Mahrattas to plunder the northern 
provinces without interruption, and augmented their power to 


an extent which now threatened his own safety and that of 
every other Mahomedan potentate in India. He listened to 
the overtures of the court, and repaired to Delhi, where the 
government of Malwa and of Guzerat was conferred on him, 
and all the power and resources of the empire were placed at 
his disposal. But these resources Were now reduced to so low 
an ebb that he could assemble an army of only 34,000 
men, with which he moved down to Malwa, while the Peshwa 
advanced to oppose him with 80,000. Owing, perhaps, to 
his great age he was now ninety-three perhaps to an 
over-confidence in his artillery, which was esteemed the best 
in India, he intrenched himself near Bhopal, instead of boldly 
encountering the enemy in the field. Bajee Rao adopted the 
usual Mahratta system of warfare laying waste the country 
around, intercepting all supplies, and harassing his opponent 
with incessant attacks. At length, on the twenty-fourth 
day from the commencement of the siege, the Nizam, receiving 
no reinforcements, while his enemy called up every Mahratta 
chief in the Deccan to his aid, was constrained to sign a humilia- 
tingtreaty, granting to the victorious Mahratta the sovereignty 
of Malwa, and of all the territory up to the banks of the 
Chumbul, and engaging to use all his influence to obtain the 
grant of fifty lacs of rupees from the treasury at Delhi. But 
that treasure was to find a different destination, 
invasion of Nadir ^ was m the midst of these distractions, which 
Shah, 1738. exhausted the strength of the empire, that Nadir 
Shah made his appearance on the banks of the Indus, and 
India was visited with another of those desolating irruptions 
to which it had been repeatedly subject during seven hundred 

Nadir's ^ ne P ers i an dynasty of the Sofis, which had 

antecedent lasted for two centuries, the usual term of Asiatic 
monarchies, was subverted in 1722 by the Ghiljies, 
the most powerful of the Afghan tribes. Shah Hussein, 
the last of that royal line, was blockaded by them in his capi- 
tal, Ispahan, which had then attained the summit of pros- 


perity, and contained a population of 600,000. After the 
besieged had endured the greatest extremities of misery and 
want, the king with his court went out attired in deep mourn- 
ing and gave himself up to Mahmood, the victorious chief, and 
placed the diadem on his brows. Mahmood, after a reign of 
two years, rendered execrable by his cruelties, left all his con- 
quests to his son Asruf. Nadir Shah, the greatest warrior 
Persia has produced since the days of Darius, was the son of 
a shepherd of Khorasan. His enterprising spirit led him to 
collect a band of freebooters ; their number increased with 
their success, and he soon found himself at the head of a 
formidable force, with which he freed Khorasan from the 
Abdalee Afghans who had overrun it. The Ghiljie king of 
Persia was the next to feel his power, and was obliged to re- 
sign all his father's conquests in Persia. Nadir, after his first 
success, raised Thamasp, the son of the dethroned Sofi monarch 
to the throne ; but when he had expelled the Turks and the 
Russians from the provinces they had occupied, and restored 
independence and dignity to his native land, he ascended the 
throne himself, on the assumed imporl unity of a hundred 
thousand of his subjects, nobles, soldiers, and peasants, as- 
sembled together on a vast plain to offer him the crown. 

To find employment for his troops, and to 

He invades Af- 

ghanistan and gratify the resentment of his countrymen, he 
India, 1737-38 carr i e( i his arms into the country of the Ghiljies, 
by whom they had been oppressed ; but Candahar was be- 
sieged for a twelvemonth before it surrendered. While en- 
gaged in the siege, Nadir sent a messenger to Delhi to 
demand the surrender of some of his fugitive subjects. The 
court was at the time distracted by the claims of Bajee Rao, 
and the demand was neglected. A second messenger was 
assassinated at Jellalabad. The government of India had, 
from time immemorial, been in the habit of paying an annual 
subsidy to the highlanders who occupy the passes between 
Cabul and Peshawur, and who were in a position to arrest the 
progress of any invader. In the confusion of the times the 


payment of this black mail had been discontinued, and the 
Highlanders now opened the gates of India to Nadir Shah, 
who crossed the Indus, on a bridge of boats, with 65,000 
hardy veterans, and overran the Punjab before the court of 
Delhi was aware of his approach. 

Massacre of The emperor marched to Curnal to repel the in- 

Deihi, 1739. vasion, biit experienced a fatal defeat, and, being 
without the means of resistance, proceeded immediately to 
the Persian camp, and threw himself on the mercy of the con- 
queror. The object of Nadir was wealth, not conquest, and 
it has been affirmed that he was prepared to retire on receiving 
a contribution of two crores of rupees ; but Sadut Ali, the 
soobadar of Oude, who had been refused some favour by the em- 
peror, sought revenge by representing to Nadir that this was 
a very inadequate ransom for an opulent empire, adding, that 
he was able to furnish such a sum from his own province alone. 
On this Nadir determined to levy the exactions under his own 
eye. He entered Delhi in March, 1739, in company with the 
ompernr, and took up his residence in the palace. On the 
succeeding day a report of his death was spread abroad, and 
the citizens rose on the Persians, of whom a thousand perished 
in the tumult, which continued throughout the night. The 
next morning Nadir mounted his horse and went forth to 
restore order, but the first sight which met his eye was the 
mangled corpses of his soldiers ; at the same time he himself 
was assailed with missiles from the windows, and a favourite 
officer was struck dead at his side. Unable any longer to 
restrain his fury, he issued orders for a general massacre of the 
inhabitants. For several hours the metropolis of India pre- 
sented a scene of violence, lust, and bloodshed, and 8,000 are 
said to have fallen under the swords of the infuriated soldiery ; 
yet so complete was Nadir's discipline, that every sword was 
sheathed the moment he issued the order. 
Plunder of Nadir Shah now entered deliberately on the 

Delhi, 1739. W0 rk of spoliation. He despoiled the emperor and 
his nobles of all their treasures and jewels, caused every house 


to be searched and sacked, and spared no cruelty to extort 
confessions of wealth. Of the infamous Sadut Ah' he de- 
manded the whole of the sum which he had said his soubah was 
able to furnish, and the traitor terminated his existence by 
swallowing poison. The governors of the other provinces 
were likewise laid under heavy contributions. Having thus 
subjected Delhi to fifty-eight days of ruthless pillage, and ex- 
hausted, as he supposed, the wealth of the country, he pre- 
pared to take his departure with plunder estimated at thirty- 
two crores of rupees. Before his departure he reseated 
Mahomed Shah on the throne, but annexed all the countries 
west of the Indus to the crown of Persia. He likewise sent 
a circular to all the princes of India to acquaint them that he 
was moving to the conquest of other regions, and had replaced 
his dear brother Mahomed Shah on the throne of his extensive 
empire, and that if any report of their rebellion reached his 
ears, he would return and blot their names out of the book of 

The Mogul empire, which had been in a state of 

State of India 

after Nadir's rapid decay for more than thirty years, since the 
irruption in 1739. death of Aurungzebe , received its death-blow 

from the irruption of Nadir Shah and the sack of the capital. 
Its prestige was irrecoverably lost, and the various provinces 
ceased to yield any but a nominal obedience to the throne of 
Delhi. All its possessions beyond the Indus were alienated 
to the crown of Persia. In the extreme south the Mogul 
authority was extinct in the principalities of Tanjore, Madura, 
and Mysore. The nabob of the Carnatic recognised no 
superior. The government of the Deccan was shared between 
the Nizam and the Mahrattas, and the Mahrattas had recently 
extended their ravages to the gates of Delhi. In the pro- 
vinces of Guzerat and Malwa the authority of the emperor 
was trembling in the balance. The rajas of Rajpootana had 
ceased to be the vassals of the throne. The soobadars of 
Oude and Bengal acknowleged the emperor as the source of 
authority, but yielded him no obedience. Even in the imme- 


diate vicinity of the metropolis new chiefs were, as the Maho- 
medan historian remarks, " beating the drum of independence." 
Towards the close of Aurungzebe's reign a tribe of sooders 
called Jauts emigrated from the banks of the Indus to the 
districts lying between Agra and Jeypore, and founded their 
capital, Bhurtpore, out of the plunder of the emperor's camp 
equipage ; and their leader, Chooramun, did not scruple to set 
the imperial authority at defiance. To the north of Delhi, a 
tribe of Rohilla Afghans, recently embodied under a circum- 
cised Hindoo, were rapidly rising into importance. The house 
of Baber had accomplished the cycle of its existence, and the 
sceptre of India was about to pass into other hands. Having 
thus reached the verge of a new era, we turn to the origin 
and progress of the strangers to whose lot that sceptre was 
to fall, though at this period they were engaged in the peace- 
ful pursuits of commerce, and dreaming of nothing so little 
as the establishment of an empire in India. The main stream 
of this narrative will now follow the fortunes of the British 
po\er, to which the history of the various kingdoms which 
rose upon the decay of the Moguls will be subsidiary. But, it 
may be useful to bear in mind, that, with the exception of the 
liajpoot chiefs and the puppet emperor at Delhi, not one ol 
the kingdoms which were subsequently absorbed in the British 
empire had been in existence even a quarter of a century 
when the English first took up arms in Hindostan. 



THE rich trade which the Portuguese had esta- 

The English in 

India before Wished in the East during the sixteenth century 
served to quicken the spirit of enterprise which 
Queen Elizabeth laboured to foster in England, and her sub- 
jects were impatient to share in its profits. The splendid and 


successful voyages of Drake, Cavendish, and other English 
navigators to the eastern hemisphere augment the 
national ardour. In 1583, Fitch and three other adventurers 
started on a commercial expedition to India, by way of Aleppo 
and Bagdad. They carried letters of introduction from the 
queen to the emperor Akbar, soliciting his kind offices to her 
subjects who were proceeding from a far country to trade in 
his dominions, and offering the same kindness in return to 
any of his subjects who might visit England. Fitch travelled 
through the length and breadth of Hindostan, and was struck 
with the splendour of the court, the grandeur of the nobility, 
and the magnitude and opulence of the cities. The informa- 
tion which he collected regarding the commodities of the 
country, and the industry and wealth of the people, opened up 
visions of a lucrative commerce to his fellow-countrymen. A 
petition was accordingly presented to the Queen for permis- 
sion to send three vessels to India, but the political caution 
of her ministers rendered it fruitless. 

An association was at length formed in London, 
m 1599, consisting of merchants, ironmongers, 
clothiers, and other men of substance, who sub- 
scribed the sum of 30, 133 J. for the purpose of opening a trade 
with the East. In the following year they obtained a charter 
of incorporation from Queen Elizabeth, which granted them 
the exclusive privilege of this traffic for fifteen years, if it 
proved advantageous to the nation ; if otherwise, it was liable 
to be annulled on two years' notice. Such was the origin of the 
East India Company, which confined itself to commerce for a 
hundred and fifty years, and then took up arms in defence 
of its factories, and in less than a century established British 
sovereignty from the Himalayu to Cape Coinorin, and from 
Peshawur to the borders of Siam. 

The first adventure of the Company was placed under the 
command of Captain Lancaster, and consisted of five vessels 
freighted with iron, tin, lead, cloth, cutlery, glass, quicksilver, 
and Muscovy hides, of the value of 68,000 rupees, and 287,420 


rupees in bullion. It sailed from Torbay on the 2nd of May, 
1601, with letters of introduction from the Queen to the 
princes to whose kingdoms it might resort. The new Com- 
pany had no distinct knowledge of any part of India, and the 
fleet sailed to Acheen, in the island of Sumatra, where a cargo 
of pepper was obtained, and a treaty concluded with the Malay 
chiefs. In the Straits of Malacca, Captain Lancaster captured 
a Portuguese vessel of 900 tons, richly laden with calicoes 
and spices, and then steered for Bantam, the most flourishing- 
port in the island of Java, where he erected a factory and 
left agents. The expedition returned to England in September, 
1603, with a satisfactory profit to the adventurers. During 
the following ten years eight voyages were undertaken, 
which gave a return of from one to two hundred per cent. lu 
1608 the factors at Bantam represented that the calicoes of 
India were in great request in the islands of the Archipelago, 
and a fleet was therefore despatched, for the first time, to the 
coast of India ; but the object was defeated by the jealousy 
of the Portuguese. 

The Portuguese The Portuguese at this period enjoyed a corn- 
power, mercial supremacy in the eastern hemisphere, and 
were anxious to prevent the intrusion of rivals. They held 
little territory on the continent of India, but they completely 
monopolised its foreign trade. By the possession of Aden 
and Ormuz they entirely commanded the Ked Sea and the 
Persian Gulf. They occupied the coasts of Ceylon, and had no 
rival on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts. They were 
paramount on the Malay seaboard, and held possession of 
the Moluccas, or spice islands. They had erected a factoiy at 
Macao, and enjoyed the exclusive trade of China. Their 
well-fortified settlement at Hooghly, second only to that of 
Goa, rendered them a most formidable power in Bengal. It 
was \vith this great mercantile monopoly that the English 
had now to enter into competition. In 1611 the East India 
Company sent two vessels to Surat, and the Portuguese 
prepared to resist their advance with four ships, the largest 


cf which carried thirty-eight gung. In the several encounters 
which took place between them, the Portuguese were dis- 
comfited and disgraced in the eyes of the natives. The Mogul 
governor of Surat and his officers spent an evening on board 
the vessel of the commander, and was the first native chief 
who ever partook of the hospitality of the English. As the 
Portuguese power was an object of dread along the Coast, the 
reputation of the East India Company was relatively exalted, 
and they obtained authority to establish factories at Surat, 
Ahmedabad, and other towns. These privileges were con- 
firmed by an imperial firman granted by Jehangeer on the 
llth of January, 1613, and Surat became the chief seat of 
English commerce on the western coast of India. 
Embassy of si* To improve the footing which had been obtained 
T. Eoe, 1615. j n indja^ the Company prevailed on King James 
to send an embassy to the great Mogul. Sir Thomas Roe was 
appointed envoy, and proved to be admirably adapted for so 
delicate and difficult a mission. He sailed from England in 
January, 1615, and landed at Surat with great pomp, attended 
by a brilliant suite and eighteen men-at-arms, and proceeded 
to the imperial Court, where he was received with greater 
distinction than had been accorded to any Persian or Turkish 
ambassador. Having stated the chief object of his embassy, 
he was assured that the grievances of which he complained 
should be redressed. But he found himself thwarted by the 
influence of the Portuguese, as well as by the vizier and 
Shah Jehan, who subsequently succeeded to the empire. His 
talent and address enabled him to overcome these obstacles, 
and he obtained some valuable privileges for the Company, on 
whom, after his return, he bestowed the salutary advice 
which they did not forget for more than sixty years, "to 
seek their profit at sea and in quiet trade, and not to affect 
garrisons and land wars in India." 

It does not lie within the scope of this work to dwell on 
the long-continued struggle of the East India Company with 


the Dutch for a share in the spice trade of the eastern islands, 
or on the massacre at. Amboyna, which continued for thirty 
years to rankle in the minds of Englishmen, till Cromwell 
compelled the Dutch, to make satisfaction for it. In like 
manner we pass over the contests with the Portuguese for 
the possession of Ormuz and the trade with Persia, which, 
when obtained, was not found worth retaining. We move 
on to the establishment of the Company in Bengal. In 
1620 two of their factors visited Patna, but met with little 
The Enpiisn in encouragement. In 1634 a firman appears to have 
Bengal, 1620 se. j^^ obtained from the emperor, Shah Jehan, for 
the establishment of a factory in Bengal ; but the resistance 
of Rodrigues at Hooghly was yet fresh, and the residence 
of their agents was restricted to the port of Pipley, near Bala- 
sore. Two years after, the daughter of the emperor, who was 
then encamped in the Deccan, having fallen ill, the vizier dis- 
patched an express to the English factory at Surat to request 
the services of a surgeon. Mr. Boughton, attached to one 
of the ships, was accordingly sent to the imperial camp, and 
having succeeded in restoring the princess to health, was 
desired to name his own reward. In a spirit of the noblest 
patriotism, he stated that the only remuneration he would 
accept was an order granting his countrymen the privilege of 
trading in Bengal free of duty, and planting factories in the 
interior of the country. The request was at once granted, 
and he proceeded across the Deccan to Bengal at the charge 
of the emperor. Soon after his arrival at Pipley, the first 
English vessel which had ever visited Bengal entered the 
port, and he was enabled to negotiate the sale and purchase 
of the investment without being subject to extortion. Two 
years after, the emperor's second son, prince Soojah, who had 
been appointed viceroy of Bengal, established his court at 
Rajmahal. Mr. Boughton proceeded to pay his respects to the 
prince, and was requested to prescribe for one of the ladies 
of the seraglio. He was again successful, and enjoyed a 


second opportunity of promoting the interests of his country. 
At his request the prince granted letters patent to the English 
to establish factories at Balasore and Hooghly. 
Establishment The first factory of the Company on the Coro- 
of Madras, 1639. man( Jel coast was opened at Masulipatam, from 
whence it was removed, in 1625, to Armegan. The trade was 
not however found to be remunerative, and Mr. Day, the 
superintendent, accepted the invitation of the raja of Chun- 
dergiree, the last representative of the great Hindoo dynasty 
of Beejuynugur, to remove the establishment to his territories. 
In a small village on the coast a plot of ground was marked 
out, on which, in 1639, he erected the factory which after- 
wards expanded into the great city of Madras. To give 
confidence to the native merchants, it was surrounded by a 
fortification, with twelve guns, and in honour of the champion 
of England was called Fort St. George. 

For fifteen years after this period there is no event in the 
transactions of the Company worthy of attention. The un- 
settled state of England during the civil wars was not 
favourable to the interests of commerce, and the trade of the 
Company languished. The investments were small, and the 
profits smaller; but as soon as domestic tranquillity was 
restored under the Protector, an attempt was made by a body 
of men, calling themselves the " Merchant Adventurers," to 
break up the exclusive privileges of the East India Company. 
The arguments they employed for free trade appear at the 
present day to be unanswerable, but their validity was not 
likely to be admitted by those who had devised the Navi- 
gation Act. Cromwell referred the question to the Council of 
State, who recommended him to confirm the privileges of the 
Company, and a new charter was accordingly granted to that 
body. There can be little doubt that, in the circumstances of the 
times, the decision of Cromwell was sound, and that the power 
of a corporation was essential to the maintenance of a trade 
exposed to the caprice and the hostility of the native powers 
of the East. The Merchant Adventurers were therefore incor- 


porated with the old Company, and the two bodies united 
in soliciting a confirmation of their privileges from Charles 
the Second at the Restoration. A charter was granted on the 
3rd of April, 1661, which, in addition to the usual commercial 
privileges, conferred the right to make peace and to wage war 
with any people in India not Christians, to seize and deport 
to England all unlicensed Englishmen, and to administer 
justice. The Company, which existed only for trade, was thus 
invested with the most essential attributes of government. 
AC uisition of ^ n *^ e succeeding year Charles II. married the 
Bombay, 1662. daughter of the king of Portugal, and received 
the island and dependencies of Bombay as part of her dower. 
A grand expedition was dispatched to India by the Crown, 
under the Earl of Marlborough, to receive possession of the 
settlements ; but after having held it for six years, the minis- 
ters of the Crown found that it cost more than it yielded, 
and ceded it to the Company, under whose fostering care the 
population has increased from 10,000 to 500,000, and the trade 
has risen from a few lacs of rupees to thirty crores. 
First tea in "^6 vear ' * n which the Company acquired the 

England, 1668. island of Bombay, is also memorable as that in 
which the first order for the purchase of tea was sent out by 
them to the East. Tea had been used at the period of the 
civil war as a "regalia in high treatments and entertain- 
ments, and presents to princes and grandees," and was sold 
as high as 100 shillings the pound weight, or 100 rupees the 
seer. But in 1657, Thomas Garraway, the founder of Garra- 
way's coffee-house, which still exists in London, was the first 
to sell it " in drink made according to the directions of the 
most knowing merchants and travellers into the eastern 
countries, and many noblemen, merchants, and physicians 
resorted to his house in Change Alley to drink the drink 
thereof." He sold it at a rate varying from 16s. to 50s. the 
pound. But it was not till ten years after that the Company 
issued an order for "100 Ibs. weight of the best tey they 
could gett to be sent home by their ships." The consumption 


in England has increased from one hundred pounds weight to 
more than eighty millions of pounds. 

Events in Ben- Turning now to the progress of events in Bengal. 
cai, 16401680. With the exception of two biief intervals, the 
administration of the province was, during thirty-two years, 
in the hands of two princes of the imperial family, Soojah 
Khan and Shaista Khan, under whose mild arid beneficent 
rule it enjoyed repose and increased in prosperity. Shaista 
Khan is charged by the factors of the Company with insatiable 
rapacity; but they winced under every demand, however 
petty, and they did not deny that he fostered their commerce 
and obtained many favours for them from Delhi. In 
1664, the French, under the auspices of the great minister 
Colbert, established an East India Company, in the hope of 
participating in the trade which had enriched England 
and Holland. Soon after, a large French fleet sailed up 
the Hooghly and formed a settlement at Chandernagore. 
Three years after, the Dutch, whose trade had been confined 
to Balasore, were permitted to establish a factory at Hooghly, 
but eventually fixed on Chinsurah, two miles distant, as the 
seat of their traffic, and erected a fortification capable of 
resisting the native powers, which they named Fort Augustus. 
About the same period the Danes entered the river, and 
embarked in the trade of the country. Bengal, thus blessed 
with tranquillity, and enriched by foreign commerce, became 
the most flourishing province in the empire. The general 
trade of the Company, which had been drooping for many 
years, received a .new impulse from the rapid increase of pros- 
perity in England after the Restoration, and their exports rose 
from 10 lacs in 1666, to 100 lacs of rupees in 1682. The 
ambitious fortunes to which this trade gave birth in England 
created a brood of interlopers, and gave rise to disputes which at 
one time threatened to embroil the two Houses of Parliament. 
Disturbance of Shaista Khan had been relieved from the govern- 
the trade, 1682. mcnt of Bengal at his own request, and the Com- 
pany's agents in Calcutta took advantage of his return to the 


court to solicit a perpetual firman to exonerate them from 
the necessity of taking out a fresh firman on the arrival of 
every new governor, for which they were required to pay most 
heavily. It was granted through his intercession, and received 
in Calcutta with a salute of 300 guns. The trade of Bengal 
had moreover acquired such importance that the Court of 
Directors who managed the affairs of the Company raised it 
to the dignity of a separate and independent Presidency, and 
Mr. Hedges, the first governor, entered Hooghly with a body- 
guard of a corporal and twenty European soldiers. But these 
prospects were soon to be darkened by the wild ambition of 
the Court of Directors and the folly of their officers. Mr. Pea- 
cock, the chief of the factory at Patna, had remained neutral 
during a local emeute, and was charged by the Mogul governor 
with complicity, and placed in confinement, from which he was 
not released without much difficulty. The Company's lucra- 
tive trade in saltpetre was stopped at the same time. A 
rival East India Company had been formed in London under 
high auspices, and great efforts were made to obtain a char- 
ter for it ; but the old Company was still patronized by the 
Court, and was endowed with the additional powers of 
admiralty jurisdiction, which authorized them to seize and con- 
fiscate the property of their rivals abroad. They now soli- 
cited the permission of the viceroy to erect a fort at the 
mouth of the Hooghly, or on its banks, that they might more 
effectually intercept the vessels of interlopers. The repre- 
sentative of the Mogul had a horror of European fortifications, 
and, if he took any interest in the question of rival companies, 
must naturally have desired that the number of investments 
on which he could levy contributions, should be increased. 
The request was therefore refused, and not without reason, 
for such a fortification would have given the Company the 
absolute control of the port and of the commerce of the pro- 
vince. But the viceroy went further, and imposed a duty of 
3^ per cent, on their goods, notwithstanding the exemption 
acquired by the imperial firman. 


war with the Such demands had been often made before, and 
Moguls, less, as often eluded by a liberal donative ; but the 
East India Company had become inflated with an idea of their 
own power and importance, and determined to extort redress 
by going to war with the Mogul empire. They applied to 
James II. for permission to retaliate the injuries of which they 
complained, and fitted out the largest armament which had 
ever been dispatched from England to the East. Admiral 
Nicholson was sent out with twelve ships of war, carrying 200 
pieces of cannon and a body of 600 men, to be reinforced by 
400 from Madras. His instructions were to seize and fortify 
Ohittagong, for which purpose 200 additional guns were 
placed on board, to demand the cession of the surrounding 
territory, to conciliate the zemindars, to establish a mint, 
and to enter into a treaty with the raja of Arracan in 
short, to found a kingdom. But these ambitious projects 
were destined to a severe disappointment. The fleet was 
dispersed during the voyage, and several of the vessels, 
instead of steering for Chittagong, entered the Hooghly, and 
being joined by the Madras troops, anchored off the Company's 
factory. The arrival of so formidable an expedition alarmed 
th6 viceroy, and he offered to compromise his differences with 
the English ; but an unforeseen event brought the negotia- 
tion to an abrupt close. Three English soldiers, strolling 
through the market-place of Hooghly, quarrelled with some 
of the government policemen, and were severely beaten. 
Both parties were reinforced, and a regular engagement 
ensued, in which the natives were completely discomfited. 
At the same time the admiral opened fire on the town and 
burnt down 500 houses, as well as property belonging to the 
Company to the extent of thirty lacs of rupees. 

The Mogul commandant hastened to solicit a 

The English 

retire to ingeiee, suspension of arms, and assisted m conveying the 

remainder of the saltpetre on board the ships. 

Job Charnock, the English chief, considering Hooghly no 

longer safe, retired on the 20th December, 1686, to the little 

p 2 


hamlet of Chuttanutty, about twenty-six miles down the river, 
on the site of which subsequently arose the magnificent capi- 
tal of British India. There the viceroy renewed and spun out 
the negotiations till his troops could be assembled, when he 
marched down to attack the English encampment, and Job 
Charnock retired with his soldiers and establishments to the 
island of Ingelee, at the mouth of the river. It was a low 
and deadly swamp, covered with long grass, and destitute of 
any fresh water. It appears incredible that a man of Char- 
nock's experience, who had been thirty years in India, and 
who must have known the nature of that jungle, should have 
selected the most unhealthy spot in Bengal for an entrenched 
camp. The Mogul general allowed him to remain there 
without molestation, well knowing that disease would spare 
his soldiers the use of their swords. In three months one half 
of the troops were dead, and the other half fit only for hospital. 
Bengal atmn- At. this juncture, when the prospects of the 
doned, 1688. English were reduced to the lowest ebb, the viceroy 
made unexpected overtures to Charnock. It appears that 
simultaneously with the dispatch of Admiral Nicholson's 
expedition from England, the Court of Directors instructed Sir 
John Child to withdraw their establishments from Surat and 
the neighbouring ports, and to commence hostilities on the 
western coast. An English fleet was therefore employed in 
blockading the Mogul harbours, and the pilgrim ships were 
captured. The bigotted Aurungzebe hastened to seek a re- 
conciliation with those who commanded the highway to Mecca, 
and orders were issued to the governors of provinces to make 
terms with them. Charnock returned to Chuttanutty, and 
the pacification was on the point of being completed when the 
appearance of Captain Heath rekindled the flame. The Court 
of Directors, on hearing of the failure of Admiral Nicholson's 
expedition, instead of folding up their ambitious project, 
determined to prosecute it with increased vigour, and sent out 
reinforcements under Captain Heath. Immediately on his 
arrival he disallowed the treaty then pending, and having em- 


barked on board the ships under his command, lying off 
Chuttanutty, the whole of the company's officers, civil and 
military, proceeded to Balasore, which he bombarded and 
burnt. He then sailed to Chittagong ; but finding the forti- 
fications stronger than he had anticipated, crossed the bay, 
and landed the whole of the company's establishments at 
Madras ; and not a vestige was left of the commercial fabric 
which had been reared in Bengal by fifty years of painful 

Reconciliation "^ s fresh insult exasperated the haughty spirit 
with the of the emperor, and he issued orders for the 

extirpation of the English, and the confiscation 
of their property. His orders were literally obeyed, and the 
English possessions were reduced to the fortified towns of 
Madras and Bombay. Sir John Child sent two gentlemen 
from Bombay to the emperor's encampment at Beejapore to 
propose terms of accommodation. Aurungzebe never allowed 
his passions to interfere with his interests. He was aware 
that his dominions benefited greatly by the commerce of the 
English, the value of which exceeded a crore of rupees a year ; 
that their ships of war could sweep his coasts and extinguish his 
navy ; and, above all, that it was in their power to prevent the re- 
sort of pilgrims to the tomb of the Prophet. He was there- 
fore induced to accept the proposition of the commissioners, 
and directed the viceroy of Bengal to invite Mr. Charnock 
back to the province. 

Shaista Khan, who had now governed Bengal for twenty 
years, solicited permission to retire, and quitted Dacca in 1689. 
On his departure he closed one of the gates of the city, and 
placed an inscription over it to commemorate the fact that 
the price of rice had been reduced during his administration 
to 320 seers the rupee, and he interdicted any future governor 
from opening it till rice was again sold at the same rate. It 
consequently continued closed for thirty-six years. 
jfchiMinhmentof Shaista Klian was succeeded by Ibrahim Khan, 
Calcutta, lew. the sou of AH Mercian, whoso name is perpetuated 


by his canals. The new viceroy, who was partial to the 
English, lost no time in inviting Charnock to re-establish the 
Company's factories in Bengal. Charnock, however, resented 
the humiliating as well as vague terms in which Aurungzebe 
had conceded the restoration of the settlements of the English, 
in consequence, so ran the proclamation, of thek having 
" made a most humble and submissive petition that the crimes 
they had committed should be forgiven." He replied that he 
could not accept the proposal unless the emperor granted a 
specific firman for Bengal, setting forth the precise terms on 
which they were to cany on their trade in future. The 
viceroy sent him a second communication, stating that several 
months must elapse before the firman could be received from 
the imperial Court, and importuned him to return without 
delay, offering a compensation of 80,000 rupees for the goods 
which had been plundered. Charnock could not resist this 
friendly appeal, and embarked for Bengal with the commercial 
establishments of the Company, and on the 24th of August, 
1690, hoisted the standard of England on the banks of the 
Hooghly, and laid the foundation of the city of CALCUTTA. 
But he did not survive this memorable event more than two 
years. His name is perpetuated at Barrackpore, which the 
natives still continue to designate Achanuk, and a simple monu- 
ment in the churchyard of St. John's, in Calcutta, marks the 
grave of the man who founded the " city of palaces." It was 
not, however, till eight years after that the agent of the Com- 
pany was enabled to obtain permission, by a present of 1 6,000 
rupees to the viceroy, to purchase the three villages of Calcutta, 
Chuttanutty, and Govindpore, on which the city stands; 
though the Court of Directors did not fail to remark that 
" they considered the price very high." 

Ambition of the The sudden spasm of ambition which seized the 
courtquenched. CovLTt of Directors, in 1685, and induced them to 
fit out , this grand armament to establish a political power 
in India, did not, however, last more than five years. The 
dying indication of it appears in their despatch of 1689 : " The 


increase of our revenue is the subject of our care as much as 
our trade; 'tis that must maintain our force when twenty 
accidents may interrupt our trade ; 'tis that must make us 
a nation in India; without that we are but as a great 
number of interlopers, united by his Majesty's charter, 
fit only to trade where nobody of power thinks it their 
interest to oppose us ; and upon this account it is that the 
wise Dutch, in all their general advices that we have seen, 
write ten paragraphs concerning their government, their 
civil and military policy, warfare, and the increase of their 
revenue, for one paragraph they write concerning their trade." 
But adversity was not lost upon the Court of Directors ; from 
this time forward, and for more than fifty years, their views 
were confined so exclusively to the pursuits of commerce that 
in the year 1754, only three years before the battle of Plassy, 
which laid the foundation of their magnificent empire, they con- 
tinued to inculcate on their servants, the necessity of "avoid- 
ing an expensive manner of living, and of considering them- 
selves the representatives of a body of merchants, for which a 
decent frugality would be much more in character." 
Fortifications of After the establishment of the factory at Cal- 
caicutta, J695. cu ^ta, the Court of Directors were anxious to place 
it in a state of defence. They felt that their existence in 
India during the recent convulsion had been owing solely 
to the fortresses of Madras and Bombay, which were impreg- 
nable to the assaults of any native force. Those forts had 
been erected before the Mogul authority was extended over 
the territory in which they were situated ; but any increase 
of such defences was prohibited by the policy of the empire. 
Ibrahim Khan, the viceroy of Bengal, resisted all the impor- 
tunities of the Company's chief to fortify Calcutta, though it 
was backed by an offer of 40,000 rupees. But five years 
after that settlement had been established an unexpected 
event led to the gratification of this wish. Sobha Sing, a 
landed proprietor of Burdwan, irritated by the proceedings of 
his superior, created a rebellion, and invited Kuhim Khan, the 


leader of the remnant of the Orissa Afghans, who had not been 
heard of for seventy years, to join his standard. Their united 
force defeated the raja Krishnu Ram, plundered the town of 
Hooghly, and took possession of the district. The English 
at Calcutta, the French at Chandernagore, and the Dutch 
at Chinsurah, with a ferocious enemy at their gate, asked 
permission to put their settlements in a state of defence. 
The pacific and irresolute viceroy, who was unequal to the 
crisis of a rebellion, desired them in general terms to provide 
for their own security. Immediately every hand was em- 
ployed day and night in erecting fortifications. The fort, 
built with lime brought up from Madras, was so substantial, 
that the demolition of it a hundred and twenty years after 
was supposed to have cost more labour than its erection. 
In compliment to the reigning monarch, it was named Fort 
William. Meanwhile the rebellion made head, and the Afghans 
became masters of the whole country on the right bank of 
the river, from Orissa to Rajmahal ; but they were at length 
completely defeated and dispersed by Zuberdust Khan, the 
valiant son of the feeble viceroy. But both father and son 
were soon after superseded by the emperor, who dreaded the 
juccess of his generals only less than that of his enemies, and 
Bent his grandson, Azim, to take charge of the province. The 
character of this prince encouraged the rebels to reassemble 
their forces ; the royal encampment was furiously assaulted, 
and the viceroy himself was saved from an ignominious defeat 
only by the death of Ruhim Khan. He fell in single combat 
with one of his officers, who announced himself to be the prince, 
and thus saved his master's life. On the death of then: leader, 
the Afghans made their submission to the government, the 
revolt died out, and the Orissa Afghans disappear from the 
page of history. 

Rival Company, Scarcely had the Company surmounted their 
1698. difficulties in India, than they were threatened 

with a new and more appalling danger in England. The 
dazzling profits of the Indian trade had drawn forth a multi- 


tude of competitors ; but the Company were enabled to obtain 
a confirmation of their exclusive privileges from the Crown in 
1693. A few months after this event the House of Commons 
passed a resolution to the effect " that it is the right of all 
Englishmen to trade to the East Indies, or any part of the 
world, unless prohibited by Act of Parliament." This gave 
fresh animation to the interlopers, and many of them turned 
pirates, attacking the Mogul ships and plundering the Mecca 
pilgrims. In revenge for these injuries, the Mogul governor 
of Surat arrested fifty-three of the Company's servants, and 
put them in irons, and they were not liberated without the 
payment of heavy contributions. In 1698 the interlopers, 
and others who were eager to participate in the trade of the 
East, presented a petition to Parliament for a charter, and 
accompanied it with the tempting offer of accommodating the 
treasury with a loan of two millions sterling, at eight per 
cent. Their exertions were successful, and the old Com- 
pany, who had established British interests in India by a 
century of labour and expense, being unable to offer more 
than 700,000?., were ordered to wind-up their affairs and 
expire in three years. But the rivalry of the two bodies was 
found, even in the first year, to inflict the most serious injury 
on the national interests in India. At Surat the gentlemen 
on the staff of the old Company were seized by the agents of 
the new body, and conveyed through the streets like male- 
factors, with their hands bound behind them, and delivered as 
prisoners into the custody of the Mogul governor. In every 
market the competition of the two bodies created a scarcity, 
and enhanced the price of goods. The officers of the native 
government, courted by two parties, received bribes from 
each, and oppressed both. "Two East India Companies," 
exclaimed the old Court of Directors, " can no more subsist 
without destroying each other than two kings regnant at the 
same time hi the same kingdom ; that now a civil battle was 
to be fought between them, and two or three years must end 
this war, as the old or the new must give way." 


Embassy of sir On the establishment of the new Company, 
w. Nonis, 1700. g; r -William Norris was sent at their expense as 
ambassador from the court of England to the court of the 
Mogul, to obtain firmans for the establishment of factories. 
His difficulties began before he entered the port. The Mogul 
governor of Surat exacted 15,000 gold mohurs for granting 
him permission to make a public entry into the city. The 
vizier at Boorhanpore refused him an audience unless he came 
without drums and trumpets ; and he therefore turned off to 
the imperial encampment at Panalla, which he reached in 
April, 1701. Three weeks after, he proceeded to the durbar 
with a splendid cortege, and preceded by magnificent pre- 
sents. The aged emperor, then in his 88th year, but in the 
fullest enjoyment of his faculties, received him with great 
courtesy, and ordered the grants which he solicited to be pre- 
pared. But the Armenian agents of the old Company were 
present to thwart Sir William. Both parties were offering 
bribes and lavishing money, and decrying each other as 
impostors. With these conflicting claims before him, the 
emperor ordered a reference to be made to one Syud Sedoolla, 
a " holy priest of Surat," who was to determine by examina- 
tion which was " the real English Company." The holy priest 
put his award up to sale, and knocked it down for 10,000 
rupees ; but the governor of Surat refused to report it with- 
out a donative of more than two lacs and a half of rupees. 
Before the terms could be settled, it was reported at the 
The English Court that three Mogul ships coming from Mocha 
pirates, 1698. j^ ^ een ca pt ure d by English pirates. These 
pirates, of whom Captain Kidd was now the chief, had long 
been the terror of India. Their vessels were fitted out at 
New York and in the West Indies, and they possessed several 
fortified stations on the island of Madagascar. With a fleet of 
ten ships, some carrying fifty guns, and divided into squadrons, 
they kept possession of the Indian seas. Two of the Company's 
vessels, which were sent against them, were seized by the 
crews, after the massacre of the officers, and added to the pirate 


fleet. A squadron of four ships of war was sent against them 
under Commodore Warren, but one of his vessels was wrecked, 
and so lax was the naval discipline of the period, that the 
other three, instead of going in pursuit of the pirates, returned 
to England laden with cargoes of private merchandize. The 
emperor, on hearing of these renewed piracies, ordered the 
ambassador to furnish security for the restoration of the cap- 
tured vessels, and to enter into an engagement to prevent all 
piracies in future. With this unreasonable request he of 
course, refused to comply, on which he was informed that he 
knew his way back to England. He left the camp after seven 
months of fruitless negotiation, with a letter and a sword from 
Aurungzebe to the King of England ; and thus ended a mission 
which had cost the new Company nearly seven lacs of rupees. 
The embassy itself was a mistake. One of Cromwell's ambas- 
sadors a sixty-four gun ship, which spoke all languages, and 
never took a refusal would have been far more efficacious 
with this unprincipled court. Sir John Gayer and the other 
servants of the new Company at Surat would not then have 
been consigned to a jail as a retaliation for piracies they had 
no means of preventing. 

union of the ^he King, the Parliament, and the nation be- 

companies, 1702. came at length sensible of the fatal results of the 
rivalry they had created, and the two Companies were amal- 
gamated by universal consent, under the title of the " United 
Company of Merchants trading to the East," the indenture of 
which passed the Great Seal on the 22nd of July, 1702. On 
the completion of this union the Court of Directors, formed by 
the selection of an equal number from each Company, wrote to 
their representative at Calcutta, that " now they were esta- 
blished by a Parliamentary authority they deemed it a duty 
incumbent on them to England and their posterity to propa- 
gate the future interests of the nation in India with vigour." 
They directed their attention to the building of the town of 
Calcutta, and gave minute directions regarding its streets and 
houses. They completed the fort, surrounded it with au 


entrenchment, and mounted it with cannon. The military 
commandant of Hooghly was, on the occasion of a dispute 
with the Company's chief, deterred by its strength from attack- 
ing it, and the native merchants who resorted to it in large 
numbers were inspired with increased confidence. The Court 
of Directors then remodelled their Indian establishment, fixing 
the salary of the President at 300Z., of the eight members of 
council at 4QL, of the junior merchants at 30/., the factors at 
15., and the writers at 51.', but these inadequate salaries 
were eked out by the addition of commons, an annual supply 
of madeira, and the privilege of private trade. The trade 
proved so lucrative that we find the Directors soon after this 
period, complain that even the junior servants sat down to 
dinner with a band of music, and rode out in a coach and four. 
From this time forward to the battle of Plassey 

Contests with the . . * 

viceroy, 1700 the history of Calcutta is little else but a chronicle 
1756 ' of the exactions of the native government and 

the resistance, alternately bold and feeble, of the Company's 
agents. On one occasion the Directors complain that the 
extortions by the Fouzdar of Hooghly, who " was merely the 
jackal of the prince and the dewan to discover the prey, had 
made a great hole in their cash." Then, again, they remon- 
strate against the exorbitant demand of 30,000 rupees by the 
nabob that is, the viceroy and recommend greater discre- 
tion to their agents. Two years after, the nabob makes a 
new demand of 60,000 rupees, but is pacified with half that 
sum. The year after, the sum of 22,000 rupees is " squeezed 
out of them by the Patna king." Again, in 1717, they com- 
plain that " the horse-leeches of Moorshedabad had been prac- 
tising on their servants." " It was actual war which made 
Aurungzebe restore their privileges." Their servants are 
therefore ordered to stop, but not to seize, the vessels of the 
Mogul, " for reprisals, like extreme unction, must never be 
used except in the last extremity." " They never thought of 
carrying their contests so far as an open rupture with the 
viceroy of the whole country, though it might be expedient to 

Till'.] E5IB&SSY TO DELHI. 221 

speak and look big with the under-governors." But this 
brought them no respite. Soon after, their native agent was 
"chabooked," or flagellated at Moorshedabad to extort u 
bond of 45,000 rupees from him, which was commuted to 
20,000 rupees. Even so late as 1750, the President, having 
seized arid confiscated the vessel of an Armenian interloper, 
was fined a lac and a half of rupees to compensate the mer- 
chant, of which, however, he never received more than 20,000 
rupees. It was amidst the constant recurrence of these out- 
rageous demands that the President and council in Calcutta 
contrived to carry on the trade of the Company till the young 
nabob of Moorshedabad filled up the measure of iniquity by 
the sack of Calcutta and the atrocity of the Black Hole, and 
Clive marched up to Moorshedabad and seated a nabob of his 
own on the throne of the three provinces. 
Moorshed Kooiee In the year 1702 Meer Jaffer was appointed 
Khan, i.o2. d ewan of Bengal, and eventually viceroy of the 
three soubahs of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa. He was the 
eon of a poor brahmin in the Deccan, and was purchased and 
circumcised by a Persian merchant of Ispahan, on whose death 
he was manumitted. He then entered the public service, 
where his talents attracted the notice of Aurungzebe and led 
eventually to his being intrusted with the finances of Bengal. 
At the same time he was dignified with the title of Moorshed 
Kooiee Khan, which was perpetuated in the new capital which 
he founded, Moorshedabad. 

Embassy to He manifested no little jealousy of the growing 

eiiii, 1715. p Ower O f the Company, and interfered to such an 
extent with then- trade that the President was induced to 
Rend an embassy to Delhi to seek a redress of grievances. 
Two of the senior officers in the service were selected for this 
office ; but their appeal was thwarted at every point by the 
agents of the Bengal viceroy, and not less by the profligate 
courtiers of Ferokshere. At length, however, their mission 
was unexpectedly crowned with success when they were on 
the eve of abandoning it. The emperor, as stated in a former 


chapter, was betrothed to the daughter of Ajeet Sing, the 
raja of Joudhpore, whom Hussein All had brought with him 
to the court. But the marriage was interrupted by a disease 
from which the imperial physicians were unable to relieve 
Ferokshere. The surgeon of the embassy, Mr. Hamilton, was 
called in and effected a complete cure. He was desired to 
name his own recompense, and, with the same feeling of 
patriotism which had distinguished Mr. Boughton, he asked 
only for the concessions which the British envoys had hitherto 
solicited in vain. His request was granted, and thirty-four 
patents embracing the different objects of the memorial were 
issued in the Emperor's name and authenticated by the impe- 
rial seal. The privileges now obtained were, that a dustucTc, 
or pass, signed by the President should exempt the goods it 
covered from examination by the native officers of government ; 
that the mint at Moorshedabad should be employed three 
days in the week in coining money for the Company ; that all 
persons, European or native, indebted to the Company, should 
be made over to the President ; and that the English should 
be at liberty to purchase the lordship of thirty-eight towns in 
the vicinity of Calcutta. The embassy returned in triumph 
to Calcutta ; but the viceroy did not fail to perceive that this 
accession of territory would give them the complete command 
of the port and make their power formidable, and he deter- 
mined to defeat the grant. He sternly prohibited the zemin- 
dars to grant a foot of land to the Company on pain of his 
severe displeasure. But though the hope of enlarging their 
settlement was thus frustrated, the minor privileges they had 
acquired gave a new impulse to the prosperity of Calcutta, 
and the port was often crowded during the year with 10,000 
tons of shipping. 

system of the Moorshed Koolee Khan was the greatest and 
viceroy. .^ e mog energetic ruler Bengal had enjoyed since 

the days of Shere Shah. A hundred and fifty years before 
this period the great financier of Akbar, raja Toder Mull, had 
formed a settlement of the land rent of Bengal and Behar 


with the ryots, to the exclusion of all middlemen. To facili- 
tate the collection of the public revenue Moorshed Koolee 
modified this system and divided the province into chuklas, 
over each of which he appointed an officer to collect the rents 
and remit them to the treasury at Moorshedabad. It was 
these officers, who, in process of time, claimed zemindary 
rights, imperceptibly enlarged their power, and having 
assumed the title of raja, made their office hereditary. The 
viceroy, who considered a Mahomedan a sieve, which retained 
nothing, and a Hindoo a sponge, which might be squeezed at 
pleasure, employed none but Hindoos in these financial duties. 
This will account for the singular fact that, at the period of 
the battle of Plassy, all the zemindary rajas of Bengal were 
Hindoos, while the government itself was Mahomedan. The 
viceroy was stern and oppressive in matters of revenue. 
Defaulting zemindars were subject to torture, and some were 
dragged through a pond filled with insufferable ordure, which 
was called, hi derision, bykoont, or paradise. Before appoint- 
ing these fiscal officers he caused the lands to be surveyed, 
and fixed the assessment at 142,00,000 rupees, of which sum 
109,00,000 rupees were punctually remitted to Delhi year by 
year. The viceroy himself accompanied this convoy of treasure 
the first stage out of Moorshedabad. The whole expenditure 
of government was covered by the remaining 33,00,000 rupees ; 
but so tranquil was the province that 2,000 cavalry and 4,000 
infantry were found sufficient to maintain the public authority. 
Soojah-ood- Moorshed Koolee died in 1725, and was succeeded 
deen. 1725. jjy n [ g gon-in-law Soojah-ood-deen, a Turkoman, 
who was confirmed by the emperor hi the government of 
Bengal and Orissa, while that of Behar was conferred on 
another. He administered the government for fourteen 
years, and punctually remitted the annual tribute to Delhi. 
During these two reigns the sum abstracted from the resources 
of this flourishing province and squandered at the capital 
exceeded thirty crores of rupees. Soojah augmented his 
army to 25,000, and adopted a more magnificent style at bis 
court than his frugal father-in-law. The only event of any 


note during 1 his reign was the destruction of the Ostcncl East 
India Company established by the emperor of Germany at the 
factory of Bauky-bazar, on the Hooghly, opposite Chander- 
nagore. The settlement of these interlopers was regarded 
with feelings of intense jealousy by the Dutch, and more par 
ticularly by the English, who declared their intention to '' cut 
up the Ostender's trade by the roots and not simply to lop off 
the branches." One of their ships was captured by an English 
vessel which blockaded the Hooghly. The emperor of Ger- 
many was induced, by powerful remonstrances, to withdraw 
the charter, and a bribe of 320,000 rupees from the English 
and Dutch induced the viceroy to send a force against Banky- 
bazar, which fell after a gallant defence, and the Ostenders 
were chased out of Bengal. 

Aii verdy Khan, Soojah-ood-deen died at the period of Nadir 
174 - Shah's invasion, and his son Serferaj Khan took 

possession of the government, and ordered the coin to be 
struck and prayers to be read in the name of the Persian. 
But on his departure, Ali verdy Khan, the governor of Behar, 
who owed his fortunes entirely to the deceased viceroy, con- 
spired against his son, and, by large douceurs and larger pro- 
mises to the profligate ministers of Mohamed Shah, the empe- 
ror of Delhi, obtained a sunnud appointing him soobadar of 
the three provinces. With the army he had been for some 
time engaged in training, he marched against Serferaj, who 
was killed by a musket-ball in the battle which ensued, and 
Ali verdy mounted the throne, for which, however, he was 
eminently fitted by his great talents and experience. The 
promises he had made were faithfully performed, and he 
remitted to Delhi a crore of rupees in money and seventy lacs 
in jewels, obtained from the estate of the deceased nabob a 
most welcome supply after the imperial treasury had been 
drained by Nadir Shah. The presence of the new viceroy 
was required, soon after his accession, in Orissa, where the 
brother-in-law of Serferaj refused obedience; but he was 
speedily defeated and fled to Masulipatam, Having settled 
the province, Ali verdy disbanded his new levies, and was 


marching back at his leisure to Moorshedabad with a small 
body of troops, when he received intelligence that the Mah- 
rattas were rapidly advancing with 12,000 predatory horse 
to levy contributions in Bengal; and the difficulties of his 
reign began. 

Mahratta pro- We turn now to the proceedings of the Mah- 
ceedings, 1739. rattag after the departure of Nadu- Shah, It was 
a fortunate circumstance for India that Bajee Rao was pre- 
vented from taking advantage of the confusion of the times 
by the necessity of watching the movements of his formidable 
rivals, the Guickwar of Guzerat and the Bhonslay of Berar. 
Parsojee Bhonslay was originally a private horseman of 
Satara, who raised himself to notice in that age of adventure, 
and was entrusted with the charge of collecting the Mahratta 
dues in the province of Berar, where he founded the Mahratta 
state of Nagpore. At the period when Holkar and Sindia 
were only commanders in the service of the Peshwa, Roghoojee 
Bhonslay, who had succeeded his cousin Parsojee, was in com- 
mand of a powerful force of his own, with large independent 
resources for its support. While the Nizam was besieged, as 
already stated, at Bhopal, he resisted the orders of the Peshwa 
to join the Mahratta standard, and proceeded on a plundering 
expedition to the province of Allahabad. Bajee Rao resented 
this intrusion into his own exclusive quarry, and sent an army 
to ravage Berar, but it was defeated by Roghoojee. That 
leader was now sufficiently strong to entertain a jealousy of 
the ascendancy which the Peshwa had acquired in the Mah- 
ratta councils, and was intriguing to supplant him ; in which 
design he was eagerly seconded by the Guickwar. The dif- 
ficulties of Bajee Rao's position were relieved by his own 
tact. Roghoojee was persuaded to take the command of an 
expedition to the Carnatic, consisting of more than 50,000 
troops. During his absence Bajee Rao attacked Nazir Jung 
the second son of the Nizam, but was repulsed with great 
vigour. The war was protracted for many months, chiefly to 
the disadvantage of the Peshwa, and both parties, wearied 1 


with a fruitless struggle, at length agreed to an accommoda- 
tion. The Peshwa, dispirited by his ill-success and over- 
Death of Bt,jee whelmed by his debts, started for the north, but 
Bao, 1740. expired on the banks of the Nerbudda on the 28th 
of April, 1740. During the twenty years in which he wielded 
the power of the Mahratta confederacy he raised it to the 
highest position in India, and his power was equally felt on 
the banks of the Coleroon and of the Jumna. The impulse 
and the confidence he gave to the ambition of his countrymen 
continued to animate them after his decease to fresh conquests, 
and hi the course of twenty years rendered them supreme 
throughout India. He left three sons Balajee Rao, Roghoo- 
nath Rao, afterwards the notorious Raghoba, and the illegiti- 
mate Shumshere Bahadoor to whom he bequeathed his pos- 
sessions in Bundlekund. 

Succeeded by Balajee Rao was placed in his father's seat, 
Baiajee Kao. notwithstanding the strenuous opposition of the 
Bhonslay, and obtained, from his feeble sovereign, a grant of 
Salsette, Bassein, and the districts recently wrested from the 
Portuguese in the Concan, as well as the exclusive right of 
levying contributions to the north of the Nerbudda, with the 
exception of Guzerat, and this brought him into direct collision 
with Roghoojee. While that chieftain was engaged in the 
Carnatic, Bhaskur pundit, who had been left to manage his 
principality, entered Behar with a body of 12,000 horse, and, 
emerging from the Ramghur lulls, spread desolation over the 
western districts of Bengal. Ali verdy was returning from 
Cuttack with a slender force when the Mahratta commander 
encountered him, and demanded the immediate payment of ten 
lacs of rupees ; and, on its being indignantly refused, enveloped 
the Mogul army with his horse, capturing its tents, baggage, 
and artillery, and reduced the viceroy to the humiliation of 
offering 1 the payment he had previously refused. 

TheMahrattas -.r i 

invade Bengal, But the Mahratta now raised his demand to a hun- 
dred lacs, and Ali verdy resolved to run eveiy risk 
rather than submit to the exaction. With great gallantry he 


fought his way to Cutwa, where he considered himself secure 
from any farther attacks. The rains had by this time com- 
menced in Bengal and the Mahratta army prepared to return 
to Berar; but this resolution was opposed by Meer Hubeeb, 
who represented the folly of throwing away so rich a prize as 
Bengal without an effort. Hubeeb was a native of Sheraz, 
in Persia, and had been a broker at Hooghly, though unable 
to read and write. He entered the service of the viceroy, 
and by his distinguished talents and spirit of enterprize rose 
high in his estimation; but having been taken prisoner fey 
Bhaskur pundit was induced to accept service with the 
Mahrattas, and for eight years was the soul of their expeditions 
and the cause of incalculable misery to Bengal. On the pre- 
sent occasion he obtained a large force from Bhaskur and 
advancing against Moorshedabad, before AH verdy could come 
to the rescue, plundered the suburbs and despoiled the bank- 
ing-house of Jugut Sett of two crores and a half of rupees. 
On the appearance of Ah' verdy, Meer Hubeeb recrossed the 
river, and laid waste the country from Balasore to Rajmahal. 
He got possession of Hooghly by a stratagem. The wretched 
inhabitants crowded into the foreign factories, and more 
especially to Calcutta, for protection from this storm, and the 
President sought permission of the nabob to surround the 
The Mahratta Company's territory with an intrenchment. It 
ditch, 1742. wag readily conceded, and the work was commenced 
and prosecuted with vigour, but suspended on the retirement 
of the enemy. This was the celebrated Mahratta ditch, which, 
though it has disappeared, like the old walls of London, still 
continues to mark the municipal boundaries of the city, and 
has fixed on its citizens the sobriquet of the Inhabitants of 
the Ditch. 

Continued Mah- Before the close of the rains, Ali verdy crossed 
ratta invasions. ^ ne river with the army he had recruited, and 
the Mahratta general was eventually defeated, and obliged to 
evacuate the province. Roghoojee, who had returned from 
the Carnatic expedition, determined to support his pretensions 


in Bengal, and entered the province with a large army. OH 
the first appearance of the Mahrattas, Ali verdy had applied 
for aid to the court of Delhi, and the emperor invoked the 
succour of the Peshwa, offering him an assignment on the 
Bengal treasury, and a confirmation of the grant of Malwa. 
Balajee Rao, with his old grudge against Roghoojee, readily 
accepted the offer, and marched with a large force through 
Allahabad and Behar to the gates of Moorshedabad, where he 
is said to have exacted a crore of rupees from Ali verdy as the 
price of his services, after which he marched against Roghoo- 
jee, defeated his army, and despoiled him of the plunder he 
had acquired. Soon after, the two Mahratta chiefs found that 
their views would be most effectually promoted by coming 
to an understanding. The Peshwa agreed to assign the 
right to levy contributions from Oude, Behar, Bengal, 
and Orissa, to Roghoojee, who agreed, on his part, not to 
interfere with any of the plans or acquisitions of the Pesh- 
wa. The next year, 1744, Roghoojee sent Bhaskur pundit 
to renew his ravages in Bengal, when Ali verdy inveigled 
him to an interview, and by an act of the basest treachery 
caused him to be assassinated, upon which his army dispersed. 
Eeheiuon of This crime did not long remain unavenged. The 

Mustapha, 1745. nex t year witnessed the revolt of his great gene- 
ral, Mustapha Khan, who had been employed to decoy the 
Mahratta general to the fatal conference. Mustapha was the 
head of the Afghan troops who formed the strength of the 
Bengal army, and it was chiefly to his talents and valour that 
Ali verdy was indebted for his elevation. The government 
of Behar, which had been promised him, was refused by the 
viceroy, and he marched into that province with an army 
of 8,000 horse and a large body of infantry, and, at the same 
time, invited the Mahrattas to invade Bengal anew. The 
viceroy, menaced by this double attack, manifested the ut- 
most vigour, though then verging on seventy, and took the 
field with the Afghan generals who still remained faithful to 
him. Mustapha was at length defeated near Jugudeshpore 
and slam, and his body was quartered and exposed on the 


walls of Patna. The Mahrattas who were advancing to his 
aid, retreated on hearing of his death, but they returned the 
next year, and, for four successive seasons, ravaged all the 
districts on the right bank of the river The recollection of 
these devastations was not effaced for generations, and to 
a late period in the present century the dread of the Burgees, 
by which name the Mahrattas were designated, continued to 
haunt the natives from Balasore to Rajmahal. The viceroy, 
worn out by the inroads which had for ten years harassed 
his wretched subjects and exhausted his own treasury, was 
compelled, in 1751, to purchase peace by agreeing to an 
Peace with the annual payment of twelve lacs of rupees as the 
Mahrattas, 1751. C ^ OM ; o f Bengal, and the cession of the province 
of Orissa. The chout ceased, as a matter of course, seven 
years after, when British authority became paramount in 
Bengal ; but the province continued in the possession of the 
Nagpore family for half a century. 

The Garuatic was now to become the theatre of 

Events in the 

Camatic, 1701 great events, which exercised an important in- 
fluence on the destinies of India. This extensive 
province on the Coromandel coast, on the seaboard of which 
lay the English and French settlements, extended about five 
hundred miles from north to south, and about a hundred miles 
inland. After the conquest of the southern provinces by the 
Moguls under Aurungzebe, it was included in the soubah of 
the Deccan. Zulfikar Khan, with whose name the reader is 
familiar, when recalled from his government by the emperor, 
transferred his authority to Daood Khan, who drank " cordial 
waters and French brandy" with the governor of Madras, 
and Daood Khan, when summoned to take a command in the 
imperial army in 1710, appointed Sadutoolla to act as his 
deputy, and he continued to administer the government of 
the Carnatic for twenty-two years, to the great benefit of the 
people. His nephew, Dost Ali, assumed the office on his 
death in 1732, without seeking the sanction of his superior, 
the Nizam, who was, however, too deeply embroiled in his 
contest with Bajee Rao to resent this assumption. Dost All 


had two daughters ; one married to his nephew, Mortiz Ali, 
the most truculent and unprincipled prince in the Deccan, the 
other to Chunda Sahib, distinguished equally by his talents 
and his liberality. In 1736 he obtained possession of the im- 
pregnable fortress of Trichinopoly by treachery, siezed the 
surrounding country, and extinguished the independence of 
the reigning family. Soon after came the great Mahratta 
invasion, under Roghoojee Bhonslay. Dost Ali advanced to 
meet him, but was defeated and slain. The Mahrattas then 
proceeded to levy contributions in every direction, until they 
were bought off with the promise of a crore of rupees, to be 
paid by instalments by Sufdur Ali, the son of Dost Ah, who 
now assumed the title of nabob of the Carnatic. During this 
irruption Chunda Sahib placed his family, for greater security, 
under the protection of the French at Pondicherry, which led 
to important results. 

The popularity of Chunda Sahib had, however, 

Chunda Sahib. l J . . ' ' 

excited apprehensions in the mind of Sufdur Ah, 
and it was a part of his compact with the Mahrattas that 
they should return the next year and extinguish his power ; 
retaining the principality of Trichinopoly for themselves. 
They came down, accordingly, in 1741 and laid siege to that 
fort, which Chunda Sahib defended with great skill and valour 
for three months, but was eventually constrained to capitulate ; 
and as he was considered the ablest and most formidable 
soldier in the south, he was conveyed to Satara and placed in 
strict confinement. Morari Rao, the Mahratta chief of Gooty, 
with 14,000 men, kept possession of the fort and territory 
of Trichinopoly. A year after, Sufdur Ali was assassinated 
by Mortiz Ah, who proclaimed himself nabob ; but the friends 
and relatives of the murdered prince withdrew his infant son 
from Madras, where he had obtained shelter, and raided liim 
to the throne. Meanwhile the Nizam, who had returned from 
Delhi to the Deccan, resolved to put an end to the anarchy of 
the Carnatic, and moved down with an army little short of 
t>0,000 horse and 200,000 foot. All parties hastened to make 


their submission to this overwhelming 1 force, and the Nizam 
placed the administration of the province in the hands of one 
of his old and faithful servants, Anwar-ood-deen, as the 
guardian of the youthful son of Sufdur All, on whom he en- 
gaged to confer the nabobship when he came of age. The 
youth was soon afterwards assassinated, but 
founds the family Anwar-ood-deen is not chargeable with complicity 
of nabobs of the i n this crime, though he obtained the benefit of it. 

Carnatic, 1740. 3 

He was placed m the vacant post, and founded 
the family of the nabobs of Arcot, or of the Carnatic, subse- 
quently so notorious in the history of British India. Sadut- 
oollah and his son, Dost Ali, had governed the Carnatic for 
thirty years with great moderation and no little advantage 
to the people. To them are apparently due the merit of con- 
structing $iose works of irrigation which diffused fertility 
through the district. During their reigns the country enjoyed 
a respite from desolation, and begun to flourish. The people, 
grateful for so unusual a blessing, had contracted a warm 
attachment to the family, while the nabob of the Nizam was 
considered an interloper and regarded with a proportionate 
feeling of antipathy. 




War with WE are now entering on a series of events, 
France, 1744. w hich, though of little significance at the time, 
produced the most momentous results, and laid the founda- 
tion of European supremacy in India. Up to this time the 
French and English in India had been engaged only in the 
pursuits of commerce, and though they were repeatedly at 
war, during a period of seventy years, in Europe, there was 


peace between their factories, lying side by side on the same 
coast and the same river. But in the war which broke out in 
1744, the French ministry determined to extend the conflict 
to the east, and fitted out an expedition for the destruction of 
the English factories in India. So little apprehension was 
entertained in those settlements, at the tune, of any hostilities 
which might affect their security, that the whole amount of 
the European force at all the Presidencies and forts did not 
exceed six hundred, of whom more than one-half were un- 
trained recruits. It was in this unexpected emergency, 
that the English were obliged to take up arms in the defence 
of their interests ; and we have now to trace the steps by 
which they gradually became involved hi hostilities with the 
native powers, by the irresistible current of circumstances 
and contrary to their own wishes, till they found, themselves 
in possession of the empire of India. 

Labourdonnais, who was the first to break a 
lance with the English in India, had embarked for 
the east at the early age of fourteen, and in a long succession 
of voyages, acquired a complete knowledge of its trade, navi- 
gation, and resources. His application to business was 
indefatigable, and his spirit of enterprize was only strength- 
ened by difficulties. He was a man of large views, and yet 
personally directed the minutest details. In 1734, he was 
appointed governor of the Mauritius and Bourbon, which he 
found a wilderness, and left flourishing colonies. On his 
return to Europe, seeing the nation on the eve of a war with 
the English, he persuaded the minister to strike a blow at 
their commercial prosperity in India, and the command of the 
armament was judiciously entrusted to him. At the same 
time the British ministry despatched a squadron, consisting 
of six men of war, to protect the settlements of the Company 
on the Coromandel coast. On the morning of the 26th of 
June, 1746, the French fleet of nine vessels under Labour- 
donnais, appeared off the coast, and the British commodore 
brought on an immediate action, which, however, terminated 


without any result. The French general, impatient to plant 
the French flag on the ramparts of Madras, proceeded to Pon- 
dicherry to obtain the co-operation of the governor, Dupleix. 
Dupieix. He was the son of a farmer general, and was sent 

in his youth to India, where he embarked in an extensive 
trade with all the ports of the east, and acquired great wealth. 
Having been appointed governor of Chandernagore, he en- 
riched it by commerce till it became more than the rival of 
Calcutta, and left two thousand brick buildings as a monument 
of his enterprising spirit. He was a man of inordinate am- 
bition and egregious vanity, but at the same time of vast 
energy and resources. He had been employed for four years 
in fortifying Pondicherry, when Labourdonnais arrived with 
plenary powers, but instead of co-operating with him to pro- 
mote the common interests of the nation, a jealousy of the 
reputation he might acquire, induced Dupleix to thwart all his 
projects. But the indomitable zeal of Labourdonnais over- 
came every obstacle, and his fleet was rapidly equipped for a 
descent on Madras. On the other hand, the English squadron, 
sent out for the express purpose of protecting the settlements, 
was unaccountably withdrawn at this critical juncture, and 
the commodore abandoned them to their fate. 
_ t , Labourdonnais, finding the coast clear, lost no 

Capture of ' 

Madras time in steering for Madras. That settlement 

ber,n46. j^ g rown U p f rom an insignificant hamlet in 1640 
to a town of 250,000 inhabitants in 1746. The territory 
extended about five miles along the coast, and a little more 
than a mile inland. After a century of peaceful commerce, 
undisturbed by the appearance of any enemy by land or by 
sea, it was ill prepared for the formidable attack now impend- 
ing. The fortifications, which had never been strong, were 
now dilapidated, and the store of ammunition was scanty. Of 
the 300 Europeans in the town, 200 were soldiers, and few of 
these had ever seen a shot fired in earnest. On the 15th of 
September, 1746, Labourdonnais appeared off the town with 
1,100 Europeans, 400 Malagasees, and 400 sepoys, or native 


soldiers, trained and disciplined by Eiiropeans, an expedient 
which the French were the first in India to adopt. After a 
bombardment of five days, during which the French did not 
lose a man, and the English lost only five, and that by the 
bursting of one of their own bombs, the town and fort were 
surrendered. The French commander was interdicted by 
his instructions from retaining any of the settlements he 
might capture, and he, therefore, held the town to ransom, for 
the sum of forty-four lacs of rupees, independently of the mer- 
chandize, the military and naval stores, and the money belong- 
ing to the Company. None of the residents were molested 
in person or property; and it was agreed that the town should 
be evacuated by the French troops in three months, and that 
it should not be again attacked during the war. The success 
and the moderation of Labourdonnais only served to inflame 
the animosity of Dupleix, who protested against the ransom, 
and declared that the town and factory ought to have been 
razed to the ground. 

Fate of Labourdonnais was reinforced in a few days by 

Labourdonnais. fregh arrivals from France, which raised the number 
of Europeans under his command to more than 3,000, a force 
sufficient to have crushed every English settlement in India. 
But they were happily saved from destruction by the spleen of 
Dupleix, who obstructed all the projects of Labourdonnais, and 
by the weather. The monsoon set in with extraordinary 
violence ; and, though the ships freighted with the booty of 
Madras escaped the typhoon, some of the largest vessels in 
the squadron were stranded, and the whole of the fleet was 
disabled. Labourdonnais was constrained to quit the coast 
and return to the Mauritius, and eventually to Europe. On 
the voyage home in a Dutch vessel he was forced iiito an 
English harbour, and became a prisoner of war. But his great 
abilities, and his generous conduct after the capture of Madras, 
were so highly appreciated that he was immediately liberated 
on his parole. Far different was his reception in his native 
land. The representations of the envious Dupleix, and other 


enemies he had made in India by his energy and patriotism, 
were favourably received; his great services were overlooked, 
and he was thrown into the Bastile, where be lingered for 
three years, and died of a broken heart on his liberation. 

On the appearance of Labourdonnais' army 

Defeat of native L * 

troops; its before Madras, the Nabob of the Carnatic, An- 
suit; 1749. war-ood-deen, sent an agent to Pondicherry to 
remonstrate on the presumption of the French in attacking a 
settlement in his dominions which was tinder his protection. 
Dupleix endeavoured to pacify him by the promise of deliver- 
ing the town to him when captured, that he might enrich 
himself by its ransom. But after its surrender, the Nabob 
discovered that the promise had been made only to cozen 
him, and he sent his son with a force of 10,000 men to drive 
out the French. They advanced with confidence to attack 
the handful of Europeans, not exceeding a thousand, whom 
Labourdonnais had left to protect the town. But the field- 
pieces of the French fired three or four tunes a minute, while 
the native artillery thought they did wonders by firing once 
in a quarter of an hour. This rapid and galling fire staggered 
the Nabob's troops, and the resolute advance of the French 
infantry took all conceit of fighting out of them. The 
young Nabob, mounted on a lofty elephant which carried the 
great standard of the Carnatic, was the first to make his 
escape from the field, and he was followed by the whole 
army. This dastardly flight of ten thousand Indians before a 
ningle battalion of Europeans, is a memorable event hi the 
history of India. It dissolved at once and for ever the spell 
which had hitherto kept Europeans in dread of native armies. 
It demonstrated their inherent weakness, however strong in 
numbers, and it gave the English that confidence in their own 
valour and strategy which contributed more than anything 
else to the successive subversion of the native thrones. 

On the departure of Labourdonnais, Dupleix 

abandons the made no scruple to annul the treaty and confiscate 

iisn,i<49. ^ ^ property, private and public, found, in 


Madras. The governor and the principal inhabitants were 
declared prisoners of war and marched down to Pondicherry, 
where, under pretence of doing them honour, they were 
marched through the streets, amidst the jeers of fifty thousand 
spectators. Dupleix followed up this act of bad faith by 
laying siege to Fort St. David, another settlement of the 
Company on the Coast, about a hundred miles south of 
Madras, which was at the time defended only by 200 
European troops. The English chief solicited the aid of the 
Nabob of the Carnatic, who was smarting under the disgrace 
inflicted on his son at Madras, and readily advanced with a 
large force. A French detachment was unexpectedly attacked 
by the Nabob's general, and seized with a panic, and retired 
in disorder to Pondicherry with considerable loss. Dupleix 
who had a thorough knowledge of the native character, now 
set himself to detach the Nabob from the English alliance. 
The singular departure of the English fleet in the preceding 
year, and the arrival of four French vessels with reinforce- 
ments, enabled him to decry the one, and to extol the resources 
of the other. An Asiatic prince never considers himself 
bound by any principle of honour, or even consistency ; his 
own supposed advantage is the only rule of his conduct, and 
he changes sides without the smallest scruple. Dupleix suc- 
ceeded in persuading the Nabob that the English were the 
weaker party, and the Nabob did not hesitate for a moment 
to abandon them. His son was accordingly sent to Pondi- 
cherry to form an alliance with Dupleix, by whom he was 
received with the greatest ostentation, and loaded with 
presents. The French now advanced against St. David a 
second time with a greater force, but a large fleet was de- 
scried in the offing, which proved to be an English armament, 
and the besiegers retreated rapidly to Pondicherry. 

This armament, which had been despatched from 
of Poneucheriy, England for the defence of the Company's settle- 
1748 ments, under the command of Admiral Boscawen, 

arrived off Fort St. David on the 9th of August, and was 


immediately joined by the vessels of Admiral Griffin. The 
junction of the two squadrons formed the largest maritime 
force which had ever been seen in the eastern seas. It con- 
sisted of more than thirty vessels, none of which were of less 
than 500 tons, and thirteen of them men of war of the 
line. The English troops now on the oast comprised in all 
3,720 Europeans, 300 topasses, and 2,000 sepoys, equal to any 
enterprise. The Nabob still changing sides as the power of 
the English or the French appeared to predominate, promised 
the aid of a body of his troops. Every bosom was beating 
with the hope that the loss of Madras would be avenged by 
the capture of Pondicherry ; but the English were subjected 
to a bitter disappointment The army began its march to 
that settlement on the 8th of August, and the siege was 
prosecuted for fifty days, but, notwithstanding the valour of 
the officers and men, it was at length disgracefully raised, 
after more than a thousand European lives had been sacrificed. 
Seldom, if ever, has any siege in India exhibited more egre- 
gious blunders on the part of the commanders. Dupleix 
announced the abandonment of the siege as a magnificent 
triumph of the French arms, to all the various princes of India, 
not forgetting even the great Mogul, and he received from all 
quarters the most flattering compliments on his own ability, 
and the valour of his nation. For the time, the French were 
regarded as the greatest European power in the Deccan, and 
the English, who had not only lost theu: own settlement, 
but failed to capture that of their rivals, sunk into contempt. 
Seven days after the retirement of the English force, informa- 
tion was received of the suspension of hostilities in Europe, 
which ended in the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, and Madras was 
restored to the East India Company. 

Effects of this ^h* 8 war ' f k'ttle more than two years' duration, 
two years- war opens a new era in the politics of India. In 1746, 
neither the English nor the French were viewed by the native 
rulers in any other light than as inoffensive traders. By the 
end of 1748, they had come out as great military powers 


whose alliance or opposition was an object of importance to 
the princes of the country It might have been expected 
that on the return of peace both parties would lay aside their 
armour, and return to the counting-house. But as the 
eloquent historian of these transactions, who was at the time 
at Madras, observes, " The war had brought to Pondicherry 
and Fort St. David, a number of troops greatly superior to 
any which either of the two nations had assembled in India, 
and as if it was impossible that a military force which feels 
itself capable of enterprises should refrain from attempting 
them, the two settlements, no longer authorised to fight with 
each other, took the resolution of employing their arms in the 
contests of the princes of the country ; the English with great 
indiscretion, the French with the utmost ambition." 
Expedition to The English were the first to take the field. 
Devi-cotta, 1749. The little principality of Tanjore, seventy miles 
long and sixty hi breadth, with the history of which the 
reader is already acquainted, was at this time governed by 
Pretap Sing, the fifth in succession from the Mahratta chief- 
tain who had conquered it. His brother, Sahoojee, who 
had been deposed for his imbecility, applied to the governor 
of Madras to reseat him on the throne, engaging to defray 
all the expenses of the expedition and to cede the town and 
district of Devi-cotta, at the mouth of the Coleroon. The 
English had no right to interfere in this foreign quarrel, but 
their troops were unemployed, and the opportunity was very 
tempting. Tnis forms, perhaps, the only instance during a 
century of warfare of an expedition undertaken by them 
without any plea of necessity The force which was sent to 
conquer Tanjore consisted of 430 Europeans and 1,000 sepoys, 
with eight field pieces and mortars, under the command of 
Major Stringer Lawrence, the first of that long train of heroes 
who have rendered the British name illustrious on the plains 
of Hindostan. The commencement of the siege was inau- 
spicious. The typhoon which ushered in the monsoon, sunk 
some of the largest of the ships, and inflicted such destruction 


on the army as to oblige the Major to retire to Porto Novo to 
refit. It would be tedious to follow the varied events of the 
siege, which was our first and most clumsy attempt to take 
an Indian fort, and which derives its chief interest from the 
circumstance that it afforded the first opportunity for develop- 
ing the genius of Clive. The fort was captured after two 
unsuccessful attacks ; but it had now become manifest to the 
Madras Presidency that the cause of our protegee was un- 
popular and hopeless. The raja of Tanjore, menaced by Chunda 
Sahib, offered to defray all the expenses incurred by the Com- 
pany in war, to cede Devi-cotta with the district around it, and 
to grant a pension of 50,000 rupees a year to his disinherited 
brother. These terms were accepted, and the troops returned 
to Madras. 

Dupieix's amw- While the English army was thus wasting its 
tious designs, strength on the walls of Devi-cotta, Dupleix was 
playing a higher game. He had seen a thousand European 
troops disperse an army of ten thousand native soldiers like a 
flock of sheep, and he had received the congratulations of the 
native princes on the success of his arms. He had at his 
disposal an army capable of any enterprise, and, in Bussy, a 
general fit to command it. He determined, therefore, to take 
advantage of the confusion of the times, and the prestige he 
had acquire*?, to set up a French empire in the Deccan. 
Chunda Sahib was considered by the natives of the Carnatic, 
the ablest soldier in the country, and the only man who could 
deliver them from the yoke of the hated Anwar-ood-deen, and 
Dupleix at once perceived how greatly his ambitious projects 
would be forwarded if Chunda Sahib were placed on the throne 
of the Carnatic by his instrumentality. He accordingly 
opened a correspondence with that prince, who had been a 
prisoner for eight years at Satara, through the medium of his 
wife who was residing at Pondicherry under the protection 
of the French government. After much negotiation Dupleix 
succeeded in obtaining the liberation of Chunda Sahib by the 
payment of seven lacs of rupees, and he appeared on the 


confines of the Carnatic with 6,000 troops whom he had en- 
listed, when the death of the old Nizam, at Hyderabad, gave 
a new turn to public affairs. 

Death of the Towards the end of 1748 Nizam-ool-moolk, the 
Nuam, 1748. gO obadar of the Deccan, the great founder of the 
kingdom of Hyderabad, closed his long and eventful career at 
the age of a hundred and four. His eldest son, Ghazee-ood- 
deen, was at the time high in office at Delhi. His second son, 
Nazir Jung, who was with his father at the period of his de- 
cease and in command of the army, immediately seized the 
public treasure and the supreme authority, giving out that 
his elder brother had resigned the office of soobadar to him. 
But there was a grandson of the old Nizam whom he had 
cherished with great affection, and who now aspired to this 
honour. He affirmed that it had been conferred on him by the 
emperor himself, with the title of Mozuffer Jung, and he as- 
sembled an army of 25,000 men with which he hovered on 
the west of Golconda, watching the opportunity of action. 
Chunda Sahib, hearing of the position and designs of the 
young prince, immediately offered him the service of his sword. 
He was received in the camp with open arms, and his troops 
were at once taken into the pay of Mozuffer, who was per- 
suaded to appoint him Nabob of the Carnatic, and to march, in 
the first instance, to the conquest of that province, on the 
ground that its resources would be invaluable in the struggle 
with Nazir Jung. A communication was at the same time 
made to Dupleix, inviting him to join the confederacy, and 
offering him great advantages for the French Company. The 
proposal, if it did not originate with Dupleix, was most accep- 
table to hun, and a contingent of 400 Europeans and 2,000 
sepoys was immediately sent to join the confederates. Their 
united force, swelled in its progress to 40,000 men, entered 
the Carnatic and began to levy contributions. The Nabob, 
Anwar-ood-deen, advanced to repel the invasion with a force 
of only half that number, and a battle was fought in July, 1749, 
at Amboor, fifty miles from Arcot, which decided the fate of 


the Carnatic. The army of the Nabob was completely routed, 
chiefly through the valour of Bussy's troops ; the Nabob him- 
self was shot dead in the action, and his son, Mahomed Ali, 
fled to Trichinopoly, where the family and the treasures of 
the deceased Nabob bad been deposited. 

Mozuffer Jung marched the next day to Arcot. 

The English aid J 

Mahomed AH, and assumed the state and dignity of soobadar 
of the Deccan, conferring the government of the 
Carnatic on Chunda Sahib. From thence they proceeded 
together to Pondicherry, where Dupleix received them with 
all the oriental ceremonies due to the rank they had assumed, 
and was rewarded by the grant of eighty-one villages. 
Mahomed Ali, on his arrival at Trichinopoly, came to the 
conclusion that it could not be successfully defended against 
the victorious army of Chunda Sahib, backed by his French 
allies, although it was one of the strongest and most import- 
ant fortresses in the south. He sent, therefore, to implore the 
assistance of the English governor of Madras, who was, 
however, without any instructions for such an emergency. 
The Madras Council had bitterly repented of their wild 
expedition to Devi-cotta, and were anxious not to involve 
their masters again in the risk of alliances and disputes with 
the native powers. At the same time, they could not shut 
their eyes to the danger arising from the ambitious schemes 
of Dupleix, and the ascendancy he was acquiring in the 
Carnatic But they were incapable of that resolution which 
the crisis demanded, and they aided Mahomed Ali only with 
the contemptible force of 120 men, while by an act of 
incredible fatuity they sent back the fleet with the greater 
part of the land forces to England. Dupleix urged Chunda 
Sahib to lose no time in marching against Trichinopoly, 
where the adherents of the deceased Nabob were maturing 
their plans, and he placed 800 French troops at his disposal. 
But Chunda Sahib had an old quarrel to settle with the raja 
of Tan j ore, and was resolved to exact a heavy contribution 
from him. He immediately marched against that town, and. 


after two months had been wasted in the siege, the raja 
engaged to pay down seventy lacs of rupees to the allies, and 
to cede more than eighty villages to the French, around their 
settlement at Carical, With the view of gaining time, he 
doled out the money in driblets, but before the first instalment 
had been counted down, Dupleix informed the allies that Nazir 
Jung was approaching the Carnatic with an overwhelming 
force ; upon which they broke up their encampment in dismay, 
and retired to the vicinity of Pondicherry. 

The army with which Nazir Jung entered the 
Jung Carnatic to drive out the two adventurers did not 

and Chunda f a u gh^ O f 300,000 men, one-half of whom con- 

Sahib, 1749. 

sisted of cavalry, and a tenth of mercenary 
Mahrattas, with 800 guns and 1,300 elephants. He sum- 
moned to his standard all the tributaries of Hyderabad, and, 
among others, the Patan nabobs of Cuddapah, Kurnool, and 
Savanore. Their ancestors had held those districts under the 
crowns of Beejapore and of Golconda, and they themselves 
were at the head of the Patans, who were constantly 
streaming down from Afghanistan to seek employment and 
plunder in India. The encampment of Nazir Jung was esta- 
blished at Valdore, about fifteen miles from Pondicherry, and 
the Governor of Madras sent an English force of GOO 
Europeans to join it under Major Lawrence. Dupleix, on hia 
part, augmented the French contingent with Mozuffer Jung 
and Chunda Sahib to 2,000 European bayonets. But on the 
eve of the day fixed for battle, thirteen French officers, who 
were dissatisfied with their share of the treasure obtained 
from the raja of Tanjore, basely deserted their colours and 
returned to Pondicherry. The soldiers were panic struck, 
and followed their example. Chunda Sahib fought his way 
back gallantly to the French settlement, but Mozuffer Jung 
surrendered himself to his uncle, who took an oath to protect 
him, and then placed him in captivity. 
Dupieix's skilful The ambitious schemes of Dupleix were inter- 


movements, rupted by this reverse, but he showed himself as 
1749. great an adept in oriental intrigue as if he had 

been bred a Mahomedan courtier. He immediately opened a 
negotiation with Nazir Jung, and was allowed to send an 
envoy to his camp, who had thus an opportunity of ascertain- 
ing the precise position of affairs. Though the mission of his 
emissary was not successful, he discovered that the three 
Patan nabobs mentioned above were dissatisfied with the 
proceedings of the Nizam, and ready to revolt. Dupleix 
established a correspondence with them, and, with the view 
of securing their confidence and intimidating the Nizam, sent 
an expedition to Masulipatam, and captured the fort; 
attacked the camp of Mahomed Ali, and, after a prodigous 
slaughter, constrained him to fly with only one or two 
attendants, and then seized on Ginjee, the stronghold of the 
south, the siege of which had detained Zulfikar Khan nine 
years. These daring exploits at length roused Nazir Jung 
from the voluptuous sloth in which he was buried at Arcot, 
and induced him to send two of his officers to renew the 
negotiations with Dupleix. But Dupleix, seeing the game in 
his own hands, rose in his demands, and required the 
liberation of Mozuffer Jung and the restoration of his estates, 
together with the acknowledgment of Chunda Sahib as Nabob 
of the Camatic, and the cession of Masulipatam and its 
dependencies to the French. 

Nazir Jung, indignant at these audacious pro- 

Nazir Jung at- r 

tacked and posals, instantly ordered his army to march against 
kmed, 1749. the Frenc^ Though it had been reduced in num- 
ber by the dismissal of many detachments, fifteen days were 
occupied in marching a distance of only thirty miles. Scarcity 
and disease began to thin its ranks, and the Nabob, weary of 
a war in which he had wasted a twelvemonth to no purpose, 
conceded all the demands of Dupleix, and they were embodied 
in a treaty. But Dupleix had been for seven months in 
correspondence with the discontented nabobs, and on the 



maturity of the scheme, had ordered his commandant at 
Ginjee to proceed against the camp of Nazir Jung, as soon as 
he received a requisition from them. Their summons unfor- 
tunately reached him before the ratification of the treaty, in 
total ignorance of which, he marched on the 4th of December, 
1749, towards the Nizam's camp, with 800 Europeans and 
3,000 sepoys. After a long and fatiguing march of sixteen 
miles, he came in sight of it as it stretched over an area of 
eighteen miles, and immediately commenced the attack. His 
small force was repeatedly charged by different divisions of 
the enemy, but his field-pieces shattered their ranks, and by 
mid-day half their army was in flight. Nazir Jung could not 
credit the report, that the French with whom he had just 
concluded a treaty were engaged in attacking his troops ; 
but when he was assured of the fact, he rode up with indig- 
nant haste to the three nabobs, who were marching to join 
the French, and singling out the Nabob of Cuddapah, re- 
proached him with his cowardice and treachery- The Nabob 
lodged two balls in the heart of his unfortunate master, and 
having caused his head to be struck off, hastened to present 
it to Mozuffer Jung. 

Mozuffer Jung was immediately released from 

Mozuffer Jung 

becomes Nizam, confinement, and saluted Soobadar of the Deccan. 
"Never," remarks the great historian of this 
period, " since the days of Cortez and Pizarro, did so small a 
force decide the fate of so large a sovereignty." The new 
Nizam proceeded to Pondicherry, and was welcomed with a 
grand display of eastern pomp. The day following his arrival 
he was installed as Soobadar, and Dupleix, arrayed in the 
gorgeous robes of a Mahomedan omra, appeared as the chief 
actor in the pageant. Chunda Sahib was declared Nabob of 
the Carnatic, and Dupleix was nominated governor on the 
part of the Mogul, of all the country lying south of the 
Kistna. Thus had this daring politician, in the brief space of 
twenty months, outrun even his own large scheme of ambition. 
He had not only created a Nabob of the Carnatic, but even a 


Viceroy of the Deccan, and had obtained the supreme control 
of a kingdom larger than France. 

Death of Mozuf- But Mozuffer Jung was not to enjoy this dig- 
fer Jung, 1751. n jty long. After having made a profuse distribu- 
tion of the treasures of Nazir Jung, amounting to two crores 
of rupees among his partisans, he left Pondicherry on his 
return to Hyderabad on the 4th of January, 1751, accom- 
panied by a French force of 300 Europeans and 2,000 sepoys, 
under the command of Bussy. He had not proceeded more 
than sixty leagues, when the three Patan nabobs, who were 
dissatisfied with the rewards they had received on the occasion 
of his elevation, broke into open rebellion. Bussy 's force 
was immediately called forth, and his artillery swept 
down their battalions; the treacherous Nabob of Savanore 
was hacked to pieces, and the revolt was quenched in the 
blood of those who had excited it. But the irritated Nizam, 
rejecting the sound advice of Bussy, insisted on the pursuit 
of the fugitives, and was struck dead by the javelin of 
the nabob of Kurnool, who was in his turn slam in the conflict. 
The whole camp was thrown into the greatest confusion by 
this unexpected event, but Bussy never lost his presence of 
mind. He assembled the bewildered generals and ministers, 
and, such was the influence he had acquired, that he induced 
them to confer the vacant dignity on Salabut Jung, the third 
son of the old Nizam, who was then a prisoner in the camp. 
Tranquillity was immediately restored, and the army resumed 
its progress. Leaving it now to pursue its march to the 
north, we turn to the movements of Chtmda Sahib. 

Chunda Sahib proceeded from Pondicherry with 

i. 8 ' 000 of ms own tr( > P 8 and 80 French auxiliaries 
to Arcot, in February, 1751, to receive homage as 
Nabob of the Carnatic, and then advanced to the siege of 
Trichinopoly. Mr. Saunders, now Governor of Madras, felt 
that a great error had been committed in permitting Dupleix 
to obtain such a footing in the south, and he resolved to 
counteract his schemes by a more decisive support of the 


cause of Mahomed Ali. A large detachment was accordingly 
sent to the relief of the small English garrison cooped up in 
the fort of Trichinopoly, but the troops of our ally scarcely 
exceeded a tenth of those assembled under the banner of 
Chunda Sahib. Captain Clive, who accompanied the reinforce- 
ment, returned to Madras and urged on the Governor the im- 
portance of creating a diversion, and suggested an expedition 
to Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic. Clive, the founder of 
the British empire in India, had gone out to 

Career of Clive. . f . ' 

Madras in the civil service of the East India Com- 
pany in 1744, and was present at the surrender of that town 
to Labourdonnais, two years after. Following the bent of 
his genius, he exchanged the pen for the sword, and obtained 
an ensign's commission. He distinguished himself in the 
operations before Devi-cotta, where he attracted the ad- 
miration of Major Lawrence. He was also at the abortive 
and disastrous siege of Pondicherry under admiral Boscawen. 
Mr. Saunders adopted his advice, and confided the Arcot ex- 
pedition to his charge, though he was only twenty-six years 
of age at the time. The only force that could be spared from 
Madras consisted of 200 Europeans, and 300 sepoys, and eight 
field pieces. Of the eight officers who accompanied it one- 
half were civilians, attracted to the expedition by the example 
of Clive, and six of them had never been in action. But Clive 
had seen from the rnm parts of Madras a mere handful of 
Europeans defeat aud disperse ten thousand native soldiers ; 
and he had confidence in his own powers. During the march 
of the troops they were overtaken by a violent storm of thun- 
der, lightning, and rain ; but they continued their progress 
with the utmost coolness, and this circumstance impressed the 
superstitious garrison with so exalted an idea of their prowess, 
that they were allowed to enter the fort without opposition. 
The expedition produced the desired effect; Chunda Sahib 
was obliged to detach a large force to Arcot, and the pres- 
sure on the English garrison at Trichinopoly was alle- 


The fort of Arcot was more than a mile in cir- 
by cuve, 1751. cumference, with a low and lightly-built parapet ; 
several of the towers were decayed, and the ditch, 
where not fordable, was dry and choked up. From the day 
of its occupation, Olive had been incessantly employed in re- 
pairing the defences, but the place seemed little capable of 
standing a siege. Of his eight officers, one had been killed and 
two wounded in successive encounters with the enemy, and 
a fourth had returned to Madras. The troops fit for duty 
had been reduced by casualties and disease to 120 Europeans 
and 200 sepoys, and it was with this small body that Clive 
sustained, for seven weeks, the incessant assaults of 10,000 
native troops and 150 Europeans. On the last day of the 
siege the enemy endeavoured to storm the fort, but, during 
a conflict which lasted more than eighteen hours, they were 
repulsed on every point, and the next morning were seen to 
break up their encampment and retire. " Thus ended this 
<nemorable siege," as Orme remarks, " maintained fifty days, 
under every disadvantage of situation and force, by a handful 
of men, in their first campaign, with a spirit worthy of the 
most veteran troops, and conducted by the young commander 
with indefatigable activity, unshaken confidence, and un- 
daunted courage ; and notwithstanding he had at this time 
neither read books or conversed with men capable of giving 
him much instruction in the military art, all the resources 
which he employed in the defence of Arcot were such as were 
dictated by the best masters in the art of war." His charac- 
ter was completely defined in a single expression of the great 
minister of England, William Pitt, when he styled him the 
" heaven-born general." 

Chunda Sahib still continued to beleaguer Tri- 
Frcnch, ^! chinopoly with a large force, and Mahomed All 
was induced, by his terror, to invite the aid of the 
regent of Mysore and Morari Rao, the Mahratta chief of 
Gooty, as well as the general of the Tanjore troops. Clive, 
on his return from Arcot, proceeded to Trichinopoly, and was 


employed in various enterprises of a minor character, which, 
however, served to mature his military talents. The cam- 
paign was brought to an early and successful issue by Major 
Lawrence, who, in June, 1752, compelled the French comman- 
der Law, to surrender at discretion, with all his troops, stores, 
and artillery. Chunda Sahib, deserted by his own officers, 
yielded himself up to the Tanjorine general, who appeared to 
be the least inveterate of his enemies. The general took the 
most solemn oath to conduct him in safety to a French settle- 
ment, but immediately after caused him to be assassinated, at 
the instigation of Mahomed Ali, who, after feasting his eyes 
with the sight of his murdered rival, bound his head to the 
neck of a camel, and paraded it five times round the walls of 
the city. 

t , The war with Chunda Sahib had no sooner 

Discontent of the 

Mysore Regent, terminated, than the English found themselves 
involved in hostilities with the allies who had 
co-operated with them in the cause of Mahomed Ali; so 
utterly impossible did they find it to shake off their connection 
with country politics, when once entangled in them. The 
Mysore regent came forward and claimed possession of Tri- 
chinopoly and its dependencies, and the Nabob was constrained 
to confess that he had secretly contracted to transfer the city, 
and the territory south of it, to the Mysore prince, as the 
price of his alliance. It is easy to conceive the disgust of 
Major Lawrence on finding that the fortress which his own 
government had drained their treasury to secure for the Nabob, 
was now to be made over to a native chief who had rendered 
no assistance, and whose fidelity was exceedingly doubtful. 
He retired in disgust to Madras taking care, however, to 
leave Captain Dalton, with 200 Europeans and 1,500 sepoys, 
to guard the citadel against the artifices of the regent. Mean- 
while Dupleix, having received large reinforcements from 
Europe, proclaimed the son of Chunda Sahib nabob of the 
Battle of Bahoor, Carnatic, and sent a powerful force to renew the 
Aug., not gie g e of Trichinopoly. But Major Lawrence over- 


took the French at Bahoor, inflicted a signal defeat on them, 
and a second time captured their guns and ammunition. 

The Mysore regent, seeing it vain to expect the 

The Mysoreans .... . m . ,. , ,. c ,-, 

and Mahrattas acquisition of Tnchinopoly, or any portion or tlie 
:om^the French, gum O f eighty lacs of rupees, which he demanded 
in lieu of it, transferred his alliance, in conjunc- 
tion with Morari Rao, to the French. The town was regu- 
larly besieged by the confederates, who experienced many 
vicissitudes during the two years the investment lasted. 
These various actions it is not necessary to detail, and it 
may be sufficient to state that the French were three times 
worsted by the superior strategy of Lawrence, and that, on 
one occasion, the English sustained a memorable reverse. At 
length Morari Rao, on the receipt of three lacs of rupees from 
Mahomed Ali, consented to withdraw his force, and not to 
appear again in the field against the English, the Nabob, or 
the raja of Mysore. Before his departure, however, he con- 
trived to extort a further sum from the Mysore regent, under 
the threat of attacking him He was the ablest and the 
boldest native general of his tune, and his little army, com- 
posed of Mahrattas, Mahomedans, and Rajpoots, was the 
mbst compact and formidable body of native troops hi the 
south. They had stood the assault of European troops, and, 
what was of more importance, the fire of field-pieces, which 
were now, for the first time, introduced into Indian warfare, 
and they had unshaken confidence in each other, and in their 

The French and English had now been engaged 

Termination of . , , , .-t-.- etc jt 

the war. 1764. m mutual hostilities for nearly five years, madly 
exhausting their resources in the cause of native 
princes. The Court of Directors were anxious to put an end 
to this anomalous and wasting warfare, and, in 1753, made an 
earnest appeal to the ministers of the crown for aid, either to 
prosecute, or to terminate it. The ministry ordered a squadron 
and a military force to India, and theu remonstrated with the 
French government on the proceedings of their functionaries 


in the East. Anxious to avoid a war between the two coun- 
tries, the French cabinet despatched M. Godeheu, one of 
the directors of their East India Company, to India, with 
orders to supersede Dupleix, to assume the control of their 
affairs, and bring these hostilities to an immediate close. He 
landed at Pondicherry, on the 2nd of August, 1754, and all 
the schemes of ambition in which Dupleix had been so long 
engaged, were at once quenched. He immediately laid down 
his office ; but his vanity was soothed by being allowed to 
retain the emblems of his " Moorish dignity his flags, and 
ensigns, and instruments of music, and the dress of his nabob- 
ship, in which he went, in great pomp, to dine with M. 
Godeheu on the feast of St. Louis." 
___^v_. The negotiators, M. Godeheu and Mr. Saunders, 

Treaty between 

the English and agreed upon a suspension of arms at their first 
ncn, 1.54. mee ting. A conditional treaty was soon after 
signed, the salient points of which were, that both parties 
should, for ever, " renounce all Moorish government and dig- 
nity," and never interfere in the differences of the native 
princes ; that the possessions held by both nations should 
eventually be of equal value, but that they should retain aU 
their acquisitions till a final treaty was concluded in Europe. 
Mahomed Ali was, likewise, to be confirmed as Nabob of the 
Carnatic. The balance of advantage was on the side of the 
French. Independently of the Northern Sircars, held by 
Bussy, they remained in possession of a territory yielding 
eighteen lacs of rupees a year, while that occupied by the 
English was not of more value than ten lacs ; but, the East 
India Company was rid of the restless ambition of Dupleix, 
which outweighed every other consideration. The treaty was r 
however, little respected by those who made it. The ink 
was scarcely dry before the Madras government sent an 
auxiliary force with the army of their Nabob, to subjugate 
the districts of Madura and Tinnevelly, and the French de- 
spatched a body of troops to subdue Terriore. And as to any 
definitive treaty in Europe, every prospect of it was extin- 


guished by the war, which soon after broke out between 
England and France. 

Dupleix embarked for Europe in September. 

Fate of Dupleix. r ^- 4. 

17o4. He had expended a sum exceeding thirty 
lacs of rupees in the public service, partly from his private 
estate, and partly from funds raised on his own bonds. Gode- 
heu refused to audit his accounts, and referred the adjust- 
ment of them to the Directors of the French East India 
Company, in Paris, who, to their disgrace, basely disallowed 
the greater portion of the claim, under the pretence that these 
expenses had been incurred without their sanction. Dupleix 
was consigned to neglect and poverty the second instance 
of national ingratitude towards Indian servants. He merited 
a different return from his own nation ; for, whatever may 
have been the defects of his character, the French never had 
an officer more desirous, or more capable, of extending their 
reputation and power. At a time when Europeans, without 
exception, entertained a morbid dread of native armies, he 
boldly encountered them in the field, and demonstrated their 
weakness; and, if he had been adequately supported from 
France, he would probably have succeeded in the great 
object of his life the establishment of a French empire in 

Death of Sahoo Before we follow the career of Bussy, in the 
me Mahratta north, it is necessary to glance at the progress of 

Mahratta affairs. Sahoo, the grandson of Sevajee, 
who had been seated on the Mahratta throne for more than 
fifty years, and had always been imbecile, now exhibited signs 
of idiocy dressing up a favourite dog in gold-brocade and 
jewels, and placing his own plumed turban on his head in open 
durbar. All substantial power had long since passed into the 
hands of the Peshwa ; but the wife of Sahoo was his mortal 
foe, and, at this crisis, endeavoured to weaken him, by per- 
suading her husband, now in his dotage, to adopt his kinsman 
the raja of Kolapore. But Tara Bye, who had taken no share 
in Mahratta politics for more than twenty years, since the 


death of her son, now came forward and conveyed informa- 
tion to Sahoo, that her daughter-in-law had been delivered of 
a posthumous child, whose life she had succeeded with great 
difficulty in preserving, and who was now the nearest heir to 
the throne. The Peshwa, whether he believed the story or 
not, determined to support it, and advanced to Satara with a 
powerful army. Eveiy avenue to the couch of the dying 
monarch was strictly guarded by his wife ; but the Peshwa 
found the means of access to him, and induced him to affix 
his seal to a most extraordinary document, by which all the 
authority in the state was transferred to the Peshwa, on con- 
dition that he should maintain the royal title and dignity of 
the house of Sevajee, in the person of Tara Bye's grandson. 
Sahoo died two days after the execution of this document, 
and the Peshwa dexterously constrained his widow to ascend 
the funeral pile by giving out that she had announced her in- 
tention to do so ; and from such an announcement she could 
not recede without infamy. 

Balaiee Rao, the Peshwa, immediately pro- 
Supremacy of J r 

the Peshwa, claimed the adopted prince sovereign of the Mah- 
rattas, under the title of Ram raja. The Mahratta 
feudatories who had been summoned to the Court, accom- 
panied the Peshwa to Poona thenceforward the capital of 
Mahratta power to confirm and complete the provisions of 
Sahoo's testament. Rughoojee Bhonslay received new sun- 
nuds for levying chout in Bengal and Behar; the province 
of Malwa was divided between Holkar and Sindia, and the old 
cabinet of Ministers was confirmed in office. These appoint- 
ments were made in the name of Ram raja, but they served 
to strengthen the authority of the Peshwa. The year 1750 
may, therefore, be considered the period at which the power 
of the Mahratta state was definitively transferred to his 
family, and the descendant of Sevajee became a puppet at 
Satara. But Tara Bye, though seventy years of age, was 
mortified by this alienation of all power from the regal 
sceptre, and called to her aid the troops of the Guickwar, 


now the substantive ruler of Guzerat. At the same time 
she urged her grandson to strike for his independence, but he 
had no spirit for such a task, and she reproached him bitterly 
with his degeneracy, and then placed him in confinement. The 
Peshwa, who was then on a distant expedition, hastened to 
Satara, and, by an act of treachery which has sullied his 
character, seized on the Guickwar, but left Tara Bye unmo- 
lested. He felt that by consigning the legitimate monarch to 
a prison she was in reality playing his game. 
Progress of ^o return to the progress of Bussy, After the 

Bussy, 1752. defeat of the three Patan nabobs and the eleva- 
tion of Salabut Jung, he accompanied the army to Golconda, 
where he and his officers received the most liberal donations. 
In June the Nizam proceeded with great pomp to the city of 
Aurungabad, then considered second in magnitude and 
importance only to Delhi. But Ghazee-ood-deen, the elder 
brother of Salabut Jung, who held one of the highest posts 
at the court of Delhi, on hearing of the death of Nazir Jung, 
obtained a patent of appointment as Soobadar of the Deccan, 
and excited the Peshwa by the promise of large jaygeers 
to come down and attack Salabut Jung. The Mahrattas 
employed all the arts of their national warfare against Bussy, 
to whom the Nizam had confided the management of the cam- 
paign, but the superiority of European tactics and valour 
baffled all their efforts. The French artillery mowed down 
their ranks ; they were routed in every encounter, and chased 
back to within thirty miles of their capital. The Peshwa now 
hastened to offer terms of conciliation. Salabut Jung's army 
was, moreover, on the verge of mutiny, for want of pay and 
food, and he adopted the advice of Bussy and rid himself of 
this troublesome foe, by a cession of territory equivalent to 
that which Ghazee-ood-deen had promised him. Eoghoojee 
Bhonslay, who had also been incited to attack Salabut Jung 
and lay waste his territories, was bought off with similar 
concessions. Meanwhile, Ghazee-ood-deen himself advanced 
to Aurungabad with an army of 150,000 men, and immediately 


dispatched an envoy to Dupleix, offering him the most bril- 
liant advantages if he would detach the corps of Bussy from 
the interests of his rival and brother. To conciliate Dupleix, 
he went so far as to send him a sheet of blank paper with the 
broad seal of the Mogul empire affixed to it, for him to fill up 
with his own terms. But Salabut Jung cut short all his 
schemes by inducing his own mother to send him a poisoned 
dish, which she knew he would partake of, when he found 
that it had been prepared with her own hands. 

The ascendancy which Bussy had acquired at 
the Northern the court of Hyderabad raised him many enemies, 
:ars ' ni and even the minister, who was under the 
greatest obligations to him, became his determined foe, and 
plotted his destruction. In January, 1753, Bussy was obliged 
to visit the coast to recruit his health, and the minister during 
his absence endeavoured to break up his force by withholding 
the payment of their allowances, and subjecting them to a 
variety of insults. Bussy was obliged to return before his 
health was confirmed, and marched with a body of 4,500 men 
to Aurungabad, where the court lay. The minister, dis- 
tracted by the appearance of this force, determined to seek 
a reconciliation, to which Bussy, who wished to avoid 
extremities, was not less inclined. But to avoid all future 
occasion of discord regarding the pay of his troops, which 
amounted to forty lacs of rupees a year, he obtained the 
cession of the four districts on the coast, generally known as 
the Northern Sircars. By this bold stroke the French acquired 
an \minterrupted line of coast, six hundred miles in extent, 
yielding a revenue of fifty lacs of rupees a year, which 
rendered them absolute masters of a greater dominion than 
had been in the possession of any European power in India, 
not excepting even the Portuguese. The districts were 
admirably adapted by the bounty of Providence and the in- 
dustry of the inhabitants for a large and lucrative commerce ; 
they were protected on one side by a chain of mountains, 
and 011 the other by the sea, and they afforded every fa- 


cility for the introduction of reinforcements and munitions 
of war into the Deccan. 

Proceedin of ^ ne P esnwa having completed his arrange- 
the Mahrattas, ments in the territory ceded to him by Salabut 
Jung and terminated his differences with Tara Bye, 
sent an army to levy contributions in the Carnatic, and the 
expedition was considered the most profitable he had ever 
undertaken. Where the villages and towns refused immediate 
compliance with the demands of the Mahrattas, the local 
officers were seized, and compelled by threats and sometimes 
by torture, to make a settlement. Where no ready money 
could be obtained, bills were exacted from the bankers and 
forcibly cashed in other parts of the country. When a 
garrison presumed to offer resistance it was at once put to the 
sword. On the cessation of the rains, Rogoonath Rao, his 
lighting brother the Raghoba of British Indian history was 
dispatched to plunder Guzerat. From thence he proceeded to 
the north with a body of Sindia's and Holkar's troops, and 
after ravaging the territories still belonging to Delhi, exacted 
heavy payments from the Rajpoots and Jauts. 
Attack on Bussy, on his return to Hyderabad at the 

Mysore ana Sa- beginning of 1755, found Salabut Jung about to 
vanore, 1755-56. proceed to Mysore, to extort tribute. The Myso- 
reans then before Trichinopoly were acting in alliance with 
the French, but Bussy, as a feudatory, was obliged to 
" attend the stirrup " of his suzerain, though much against 
his will. The imbecile raja at Seringapatam directed his 
brother, the Regent, to hurry back with his troops from the 
Carnatic, and he was obliged to return without receiving the 
smallest compensation for the heavy expense incurred in the 
support of 20,000 troops for three years in that luckless 
expedition. So completely had the treasury been drained by 
this continued requirement that when the demand of the 
Nizam had been compromised, through the mediation of 
Bussy, for fifty-six lacs of rupees, it became necessary to 
despoil not only the members of the court, female as well as 


male, of their jewels and plate, but also the temples of the 
idols. The next year Salabut Jung marched against the 
nabob of Savanore, who had refused to acknowledge his 
authority. Morari Rao had equally resisted the authority of 
the Peshwa, and the Peshwa and the Nizam marched against 
their refractory vassals with a combined army of 100,000 
men. It was in the presence of this force, the flower of the 
Deccan soldiery, that Bussy opened fire on the fort of 
Savanore from his splendid artillery, in such style as to 
astound the allied princes, and constrain the enemy to 
send immediate proposals for a surrender; and an accommoda- 
tion was soon after effected through his good offices. 

The superiority which Bussy had exhibited in 

Intrigues ... 

against Bussy, this expedition served only to inflame the ani- 
mosity of the Nizam's minister, and increase his 
anxiety to rid the Deccan of this foreign influence. It was 
even determined, if necessary, to assassinate him. As soon, 
therefore, as peace was concluded with Savanore, Bussy was 
ordered to quit the territories of the Nizam, who was said to 
have no farther occasion for his services . He received the 
message without any feeling of resentment, and immediately 
began his march back to Masulipatam, but at the same time 
desired the government of Pondicherry to dispatch eveiy 
soldier who could be spared to that port without any delay 
On the departure of Bussy the minister of the Nizam applied 
to Madras for a body of English troops to aid in completing 
the expulsion of the French from the state. The two nations 
were then at peace, and a convention had been entered into 
which bound the two Companies to avoid all interference in 
the quarrels of the native powers. But the bait was too 
tempting to be resisted, and the government of Madras was 
on the point of sending a large force to demolish the power 
of Bussy in the Deccan, when intelligence arrived of the sack 
of Calcutta, and another direction was given to the expedi- 
tion. Bussy, while yet two hundred miles from the coast, 
found his ammunition running short and his military chest 


exhausted, and turned aside to Hyderabad, where his influence 
would more readily procure supplies of every kind. On the 
14th of June, 1756, he took up a position at Charmaul, in the 
neighbourhood of the city. Salabut Jung, whom he had 
raised from a prison to the throne, summoned every tribu- 
tary and dependent in the kingdom to his standard, and 
brought its whole strength down to crush his benefactor. 
Bussy defended himself with his usual skill and gallantry for 
nearly two months, but his position was daily becoming more 
critical, when Law, marching up from the coast with rein- 
forcements through a wild and mountainous track, and 
baffling a corps of 25,000 men sent to oppose him, succeeded 
in forming a junction with his chief at Charmaul. Salabut 
Jung, in a fever of alarm, sent proposals of peace, which 
Bussy was not unwilling to accept, and his authority became 
more firmly established in the Deccan than ever. 
B at the Towards the close of the year, Bussy proceeded 
iummitofsuc- to the districts assigned to him on the coast, to 
restore his authority, which had been impaired 
during the recent conflict, and he devoted the next year to 
the regulation of the government, in which he exhibited not 
less- talent than he had shown in the field. Early in the year, 
he received a pressing request from the young Nabob of 
Moorshedabad, to march up and assist him in expelling Olive 
from Bengal ; but, on hearing of the capture of Chanderna- 
gore and the imbecility of the Nabob, he resolved not to move 
out of his province. But, as war had now been declared 
between France and England, he proceeded to capture Vizaga- 
patam and the other English factories on the coast, but 
he treated the officers with the utmost liberality. During his 
absence from the court of Salabut Jung, that helpless prince 
was threatened with destruction by the machinations of his 
unprincipled minister, who had taken possession of the fort- 
ress of Dowlutabad, and of his own ambitious brothers, one of 
whom, Nizam Ali, had obtained possession of the royal seal, 
and usurped the authority of the state. The Hahrattas did 



Bot, of course, fail to throw themselves into the arena, when 
they saw the prospect of hooty. The crown was falling from 
the head of Salabut-Jung, and the country was on the eve 
of a convulsion, when Bussy started with his army from Raj- 
mundry, and, traversing a country never seen by Europeans, 
reached Aurungabad, a distance of 400 miles, in twenty-one 
days. There he found four armies assembled by the different 
parties to take a share in the struggle for power and plunder. 
His sudden appearance, with a force which all were obliged 
to respect, combined with the natural ascendancy of his cha- 
racter, at once extinguished all intrigues. The authority of 
Salabut Jung" was restored ; the venomous minister was killed 
in a tumult provoked by his own devices; Nizam All was 
constrained to fly to Boorhanpore ; and Bussy, by a coup 
d'etat, secured the citadel of Dowlutabad, the strongest in the 

Extinction of Bussy, who had for seven years exercised the 
Bussy's power chief influence on the destinies of the Deccan, had 


now reached the summit of his grandeur. The 
provinces on the coast, which were governed with great wis- 
dom and moderation, furnished abundant resources for the 
support of his troops, and he had secured an impregnable 
stronghold in the heart of the country. He had placed the 
interests of his nation on a foundation not to be shaken by 
ordinary contingencies. With a genius which was in every 
respect fully equal to that of Clive, he had succeeded in esta- 
blishing the authority of France in the southern division of 
India, to the same extent as the authority of England had been 
established in the north ; and it appeared, at the time, by no 
means improbable, that the empire of India would be divided 
between the two nations. But the power of the one was 
.destined to permanence and expansion, the prospects of the 
other were swept away by the folly of one man. At the 
commencement of the war in 1756, Lally was sent out as 
Governor-General of the French possessions in India, and 
immediately on his arrival, partly from caprice and partly 


i'rom envy, ordered Bussy to repair to Pondicherry, with all 
the troops not absolutely required for the protection of the 
maritime provinces. Bussy, who considered obedience the 
first duty of a soldier, withdrew his garrison from Dowluta- 
bad ; and, to the unutterable surprise of the native princes, 
who trembled at the sound of his name, retired with all his 
troops from the Deccan, just at the time when he had become 
arbiter of its fate. He took leave of Salabut Jung on the 
18th of June, 1758 ; and, with his departure, the sun of 
French prosperity in India sunk, never to rise again. 
War with France The command of the armament which the French 
Laiiy, 1768. government fitted out hi 1756, to extinguish the 
British commerce in India, was committed to Count Lally. 
He was descended from one of those Irish Roman Catholic 
families who had emigrated to France after the expulsion 
of James the Second. He inherited that implacable hatred 
of England which the exiles carried with them, and was, 
therefore, fitted, as much by his own animosities, as by 
his military talents, for the mission on which he was sent. 
He had been more than forty years in military service, and 
had gained some distinction in the field; but, with all hia 
bravery, he was headstrong, rash, and arrogant. He pro- 
ceeded to India with a powerful fleet and army, and, after an 
indecisive action with the English at sea, landed at Pondi- 
eherry in April, 1758. Before twenty- four hours had elapsed 
he was on his march to the English settlement of Fort St. 
David. It was garrisoned by 870 Europeans and 1,600 sepoys, 
and, but for the extraordinary incapacity of the commander, 
might have made an honourable defence ; but it was scandal- 
ously surrendered after a siege of only a month. The fortifi- 
cations were immediately razed by Lally. 
laiiy attacks The government of Madras naturally concluded 
Tanjore, 1758. that Fort St. George would be the next object of 
the victorious general, and they called in the garrisons 
from the subordinate stations, and prepared for a vigorous 
defence. Fortunately for them, Lally was as resolutely 

8 2 


thwarted by the civil authorities at Pondicherry, as La- 
bourdonnais had been in 1746, and his movements were, at 
the same time, crippled for want of resources. To obtain a 
supply of money he looked, in the first instance, to Tanjore. 
Seven years before this time, the raja, pressed by the demands 
of Mozuffer Jung and Chunda Sahib, had given them a bond 
for fifty-six lacs of rupees, which, as being of little value, they 
had made over to their French allies. This document Lally 
determined now to turn to account, and proceeded with his 
army to enforce payment. The town was besieged for more 
than a fortnight, a practical breach had been made in the 
walls, when an English fleet suddenly appeared on the coast, 
off the factory of Carical, on which the French army depended 
for its supplies. Lally, who had only twenty cartridges left 
for each soldier, and but two days' provisions in the camp, was 
obliged to raise the siege and return to Pondicherry, poorer 
than he had left it. To his infinite chagrin, the French 
admiral resisted his pressing importunities and sailed away, 
with the whole fleet, to the Mauritius. 
_ _, , Returning from Tanjore, Lally marched in the 

Unsuccessful J .' J 

siege of Madnw, first instance to Arcot, which the venal governor 
~ 59 ' surrendered without resistance. Bussy who had 
now arrived in the French camp from Hyderabad, implored 
Lally to employ the great resources at his command hi 
strengthening the position which the French nation had ac- 
quired in the Nizam's dominions. But Lally's head was 
filled with the magnificent project of driving the English from 
Madras, and then from Calcutta, and, finally, from the coasts 
of India. The wise counsel of Bussy was treated with con- 
tempt, and Lally scarcely condescended to read his letters. 
Contrary to the remonstrances of the Council at Pondicherry, 
he now determined to undertake the siege of Madras. The 
English governor had taken advantage of the respite 
gained while Lally was otherwise employed, to strengthen 
the defences and to lay in a full supply of provisions. The 
enemy brought up a force of 2,700 Europeans and 4,000 


sepoys, with 400 European cavalry, the first ever seen in 
India. The garrison consisted of 1,750 Europeans and 2,200 
sepoys ; but they were commanded by the veteran Lawrence, 
supported by thirteen officers who had been trained under his 
own eye, in the wars on this coast. Lally sat down before 
the fort on the 12th of December, 1758, and the siege was 
prosecuted for two months with the greatest vigour. There 
was no lack of military skill or courage on either side. But 
on the 16th of February, when a breach had been made which 
the French were about to storm, an English fleet appeared in 
the roads. The French army was seized with a sudden panic, 
the trenches were abandoned without orders, and Lally was 
obliged to retreat with precipitation, leaving fifty pieces of 
cannon behind him. 

coote baffles I n the course of the year there was an indeed 
Laiiy, 1759. g j ve action at sea between the English and French 
fleets, and a variety of movements and counter-movements 
by land without any definite result. Towards the close of 
the year the French troops, who were twelve months in 
arrears, out of provisions, and in rags,unable any longer to bear 
their privations, broke into open mutiny. Lally succeeded, at 
length, in quelling the revolt, but was, at the same time, 
constrained to take the fatal step of dividing his force, and 
sending a large portion of it to the south in search of money 
and food. This movement gave a great advantage to the 
English ; but they derived still greater service from the arri- 
val of Colonel Coote, a general second only to Clive, to take 
the command of the army. He entered upon the campaign 
with his accustomed energy, and recaptured Wandewash, 
which the French had occupied in the previous year. In 
January, 1760, Lally moved up to retrieve this loss, and 
Coote compelled him to fight, to great disadvantage, in the 
neighbourhood of the town, which has given its name to the 
battle. Independently of sepoys, the French brought 2,250 
and the English 1,900 Europeans into the field on this occasion. 
Lally sustained a complete and disastrous defeat, and Bussy 


was taken prisoner ; but, in consideration of his high cha- 
racter and his generous conduct to the English in the Northern 
Sircars, was immediately allowed to return to Pondicheny. 
Victory appeared now to desert the French standard. During 
the year 1760, Coote succeeded in depriving Lally of all the 
places he had taken, and Ginjee and Pondicherry were at 
length the only possessions remaining to the French. Lally's 
troops were not only without provisions, stores, or equipments, 
but without hope of obtaining any. The supplies from Europe 
had ceased. The settlements of the French, in Africa, in the 
West Indies, and in Canada, were attacked with such vigour 
as to leave them no leisure to attend to their affairs in the 
east. The extinction of the hope they had cherished of es- 
tablishing an empire in India may thus be traced, indirectly, to 
those energetic measures by which William Pitt, the great 
minister of England, defeated their attempts to establish an 
empire in America. 

Ca ture of Coote now prepared for the siege of Pondicheny, 

Pondicheny, when an event occurred which had well nigh 
marred the prospects of the campaign. The fleet 
from England brought a new commission to Col. Monson, the 
second in command, which virtually superseded Coote. 
Instructions were, it is true, given that the commission should 
not be acted on during the continuance of the war, but Coote 
at once yielded the command of the expedition to the man 
whom the authorities at home had thought fit to put over his 
head, and retired to Madras. The gallant Lawrence had, in 
like manner, been superseded on a previous occasion, and this 
is, unfortunately, not the only instance we shall have to 
notice in the course of this narrative in which Government 
has deposed a general from his command in the full tide of 
victory. In the present case there was at least this excuse 
for the conduct of the people at home, that they were at the 
time ignoi-ant of the great merit and brilliant success of Coote. 
Monson was baffled and wounded in his first independent 
enterprise, and requested Coote to resume the command of 


operations, which he did not hesitate to do. Pondicherry 
was now subject to a close blockade. The brave garrison 
held out till, even at the scanty rations to which they had 
been reduced, provisions were left only for two days. Lally, 
worn out with fatigue, ill health, and vexation, capitulated on 
the 14th of January. As the victors marched into the town, 
their feelings were strongly affected by the skeleton figures 
to which the noblest forms in the two French regiments had 
been reduced by long and painful privation. Pondicherry was 
levelled with the ground. The instructions sent to Lally by 
his own government to annihilate the English settlements 
which he might capture had fallen into the hands of the Court 
of Directors, and they issued orders to retaliate, and in the 
course of a few months not a roof was left of this once fair 
and flourishing colony. 

Thus ended a war between the English and 

Fate of Lally. 

French for the exclusive possession of commerce 
and power in India, which, with the exception of less than a 
twelvemonth, had lasted for fifteen years, and it terminated 
by leaving the French without an ensign in the country. 
Their settlements were restored at the Peace of Paris, two 
years subsequently, but they have never again been able to 
raise their heads in India. Lally returned to Paris, and was 
thrown into the Bastile. The French ministry were happy to be 
able to turn the popular indignation created by the loss of 
India, from themselves on the unfortunate commander. A 
charge of high treason was brought against him which de- 
prived him of the benefit of counsel, and he was condemned 
to death by the Parliament of Paris, drawn through the 
streets on a dung-cart, and executed the same day : " a murder 
committed by the sword of justice." Thus had the French 
government, in the course of fifteen years, destroyed three 
of their most eminent citizens, who had laboured with un- 
exampled zeal and the highest patriotism to promote the 
national interests ; and the expulsion of the French Company 
from the shores of India ceases to raise any emotion of regret 


when it is viewed as the just retribution of their iniquitous 



DURING- these transactions on the coast, a revolution was 
in progress in Bengal, which resulted hi transferring the 
empire of India to a European power. But before entering 
on the narrative of these events, it is necessary to glance at 
the progress of affairs at Delhi, though they had long ceased 
to exercise any influence on the destinies of Hindostan. 
Ahmed Khan I n the year 1747, a new and formidable enemy, 
Abdaiee, 1747. f rom the region beyond the Indus, appeared on 
the scene, in the person of Ahmed Khan, the chief of the 
Abdaiee tribe of Afghans, and of the venerated family of 
the Sudoozies, whose persons were held inviolate. He was 
rescued from the Ghiljies, when Nadir Shah appeared before 
Candahar, and at the early age of twenty-three, attracted 
the notice of that conqueror. He was present with him at 
the sack of Delhi, the horrors of which he was one day des- 
tined to renew. In June, 1747, the atrocities of Nadir Shah, 
which are without a parallel on the page of history, constrained 
his subjects to rid the world ' of him. Ahmed Khan imme- 
diately after rose to distinction, and extended his influence 
over the tribes around him, and so great was his success, that 
he was crowned at Candahar before the close of the year. 
From some motive of superstition, he was led to change the 
name of his tribe to that of Dooranee ; but he will continue 
to be designated in this work, by his original title of Abdaiee. 


His coronation was scarcely completed before he turned his 
attention to India, as the region in which his soldiers would 
most amply find both employment and plunder. Having 
crossed the Indus with a force estimated at 15,000 men, he 
overran the Punjab, and pushed on to Sirhind. An army was 
despatched against him from Delhi without delay, under 
Ahmed Shah, the eldest son of the emperor, who successfully 
resisted all the assaults of the Abdalees for ten days, and on 
the eleventh, completely discomfited them, and constrained 
them to retreat towards their own 'country. The battle of 
Sirhind was the last expiring effort of the dynasty of the 
Moguls, and the last event in the life of Mahomed Shah, who 
died a month after, in April, 1748, after an inglorious reign of 
twenty-eight years. 

His son, Ahjned Shah, was in pursuit of the 

Anmeu Mian, 

Emperor, 1748. Abdalees when he heard of the event, and returned 
Thenohuias. ^ ^ M ^ ascend the t h rO ne. Sufder Jung, the 

viceroy of Oude, was appointed vizier, and devoted his first 
attention to the subjugation of the Rohillas, who had been 
expelled from the provinces to which they had given their 
name, but had taken advantage of the invasion of the Ab- 
dalees, to re-establish themselves in it. He marched against 
them with a numerous but ill-disciplined army, and was de- 
feated by a far inferior force. The Rohillas pursued him into 
his own provinces, aud though beaten off from Lucknow, 
penetrated to Allahabad, and set the Emperor and the vizier 
alike at defiance. In this emergency the vizier called up the 
Mahratta chieftains, Mulhar Rao Holkar and Jyapa Sindia, as 
well as the Jaut chief, Sooruj mull, and with then* aid, com- 
pletely defeated the Rohillas, and obliged them to seek refuge 
in the hills. The Mahrattas were allowed to repay themselves 
by the unrestricted plunder of the province, which did not 
recover from the effect of these ravages for many years. 
Before his retirement, Holkar, true to his Mahratta instincts, 
exacted a bond of fifty lacs of rupees from the despoiled 


The Abdalee availed himself of these commo- 
of AhmlcTstah) tionB to invade India a second time, and having 
i75i. overrun Lahore and Mooltan, sent an envoy to 

Delhi to demand the cession of those provinces. The vizier 
was absent in pursuit of the Rohillas ; the emperor was under 
the influence of a favourite eunuch, and the whole country was 
under the dominion of terror. The provinces were formally 
surrendered to the invader. The vizier arrived at the capital 
too late to prevent this dastardly submission, but he mani- 
fested his disapproval of it, by inviting the favourite to an 
entertainment, and causing him to be assassinated. The 
incensed emperor soon found a fit instrument to avenge the 
insult, in the person of a youth destined to play an important 
part in the closing scenes of the Mogul empire. This was the 
grandson of the first Nizam, and the son of Ghazee-ood-deen, 
who was poisoned by his stepmother. The youth, whose 
original name was Shaha-boo-deen, but who is more gene- 
rally known by his title of Ghazee-ood-deen, was courageous 
and resolute, but at the same time, one of the most accom- 
plished villains of the age. He had been raised to the post 
of commander of the forces, through the favour of the vizier, 
but did not hesitate to turn against him at the bidding of the 
emperor. A civil war was carried on between the parties 
for six months in the city of Delhi, the streets of which were 
deluged with blood. Ghazee-ood-deen at length called Holkar's 
mercenaries to his aid, and the vizier finding himself no longer 
equal to the contest, consented to an accommodation, and 
independence of retired to his own government of Oude. That 
oude, 1753. province may be considered as finally alienated 
from the crown of Delhi in the present year, 1753. But the 
emperor was unable long to support the insolence of his 
overbearing minister, and marched out of the capital to 
oppose him, but was defeated and captured by Holkar. The 
Ghazee-ood-deen infamous Ghazee-ood-deen repaired forthwith to 

blinds the em- m 

fetor, 1754. tive, and put out his eyes, proclaiming one of the 
princes of the blood emperor, under the title of Alumgeer. 


Thw Abdaiee During these events, the vizier, Sufder Jung, 
invasion, n56. ^Q^ an d Ghazee-ood-deen invested himself with 
the office. His insufferable tyranny soon after drove his 
soldiers to revolt, and he was dragged by them through the 
streets, without his turban or slippers. He was eventually 
rescued from their hands by his own officers, and glutted his 
revenge by slaughtering the whole body of the insurgents. 
In an evil hour his ambition led him to invade the Punjab, and 
to expel the officers whom Ahmed Shah had left to govern it. 
That prince immediately crossed the Indus, and advanced to 
avenge the insult. Ghazee-ood-deen, unable to cope with 
such an adversary, repaired to his camp, and made the most 
humiliating submission. But though he obtained forgiveness, 
the Abdaiee was resolved to obtain a pecuniary compensation 
on this his third irruption. He accordingly marched on to 
Delhi and gave it up to plunder for many days. All the 
atrocities of Nadir Shah's invasion were repeated, and the 
wretched inhabitants were subjected a second time, in less 
than ten years, to the outrages of a brutal soldiery. Ghazee- 
ood-deen was sent to plunder the province of Oude, and 
Ahmed Shah himself undertook to pillage the territories of 
the Jauts. In this expedition he inflicted an indelible stain on 
his character, by the indiscriminate slaughter of thousands of 
unoffending devotees who were assembled during a religious 
festival at the shrines of Muttra. Agra was saved from de- 
struction only by a great mortality which broke out in the 
Abdaiee army, and constrained Ahmed Shah to hasten his re- 
treat across the Indus. The wretched emperor entreated that 
he might not be abandoned to the tender mercies of his ruthless 
vizier, Ghazee-ood-deen, and Nujeeb-ood-dowlah, an able and 
energetic Rohilla chief, was installed as commander-in-chief. '. 
a ^ tent i n of the reader is now transferred 

me pirate* on 

the Malabar to the Malabar coast, which had for centuries been 

denominated, and not without reason, the pirate 
coast of India. The western shore of the Peninsula is as 
thickly studded with harbours as the eastern coast, from the 


mouths of the Hooghly to Ceylon, is destitute of them. 
For fifty years the piratical princes on the coast had been 
increasing in power and audacity. Among 1 the most for- 
midable was Conajee Angria, who had raised himself from the 
condition of a common sailor to the command of the Mahratta 
fleet, and then declared his independence and set up a 
terrific piratical power, boasting that he was as great a 
freebooter at sea as the Peshwa was by land. He esta- 
blished fortifications in every creek, bay, and harbour, for a 
hundred and twenty miles on the Concan coast, but his most 
important arsenal was in the noble port of Gheriah, about a 
hundred and seventy miles south of Bombay. In 1752, an 
expedition, consisting of three British ships of the line and 
a Portuguese squadron attacked Colaba, another of his ports, 
but without success. In 1754, his corsairs overpowered three 
Dutch vessels, respectively of 50, 36, and 18 guns, the two 
largest of which were burnt, and the third captured. The 
following year the Peshwa and the Bombay government sent 
a joint expedition against Angria, and Commodore James 
attacked and carried the strong fortress of Severndroog, with- 
out the loss of a single man. The fort was made over to the 
Mahrattas, though their pigmy fleet of grabs had never come 
within gunshot of the place. 

ciive arrives at The Court of Directors viewed the progress of 
Bombay, 1785. B usg y fa tne Deccan with great alarm, and 
resolved to form an alliance with the Peshwa with the view 
of arresting it, and to send a powerful force to Bombay to co- 
operate in this design. Clive. on his return to England from 
Madras, had been received with great distinction by the 
Company and by the Ministers, and to him the Court of 
Directors committed the command of the troops destined to 
act against Bussy. On his arrival at Bombay, however, in 
October, 1755, he found the government of the Presidency 
firmly and conscientiously opposed to the enterprize. They 
considered themselves precluded from entering upon it by the 
Convention made in the preceding year between M. Godeheu 


and Mr. Saunders, of which their masters in England were 
ignorant when this design was formed. Admiral Watson 
happening to arrive with the fleet from Madras about the 
same time, it was resolved to take advantage of the presenco 
of this large armament to root out the piratical power on that 
coast, which it was costing the Company five lacs of rupees a 
year to oppose. An arrangement was accordingly made 
with the Peshwa for a joint expedition against Gheriah. The 
Mahrattas marched down by land, and Colonel Clive and 
Admiral Watson proceeded by sea, with 14 vessels arid 800 
Europeans and 1,000 sepoys. The fire from the ships set the 
pirate fleet in a blaze within an hour. The next morning 
Clive attacked the fort by laud, while the Admiral kept up so 
vigorous a canonnade from the sea that the defenders were 
obliged to capitulate in half an hour. In the arsenal were 
found 200 pieces of cannon, together with large quantities of 
ammunition and two large vessels on the stocks, as well as 
twelve lacs of rupees. The money was immediately distributed 
among the captors, without any reservation for the Mahrattas, 
or the Company, and the port and arsenal were, eventually, 
made over to the Peshwa. Admiral Watson and Colonel 
Clive soon after sailed for Madras, and, on the 20th of June, 
the latter took charge of the government of Su David, to 
which he had been appointed in England, 
serajadowiah Tne brave old Tartar viceroy of Bengal, AH 
viceroy of verdy, expired at Moorshedabad at the age of 
eighty, on the 9th of .April, 1756, bequeathing 
the government to Seraja Dowlah, a grandson on whom he 
had long doated. The youth, though only twenty years of 
age, was already cruel and profligate beyond the usual run of 
purple-born princes in India. The little understanding with 
which nature had endowed him was obscured by intemperance; 
he was the slave of parasites and buffoons ; he had carried 
pollution into the families of the nobility, and had become the 
object of general abhorrence before he ascended the throne. 
His young cousin, Sokut Jung, with a character not less 


abandoned than his own, had recently succeeded to the 
government of the district of Purnea, and sent large sums to 
the court of Delhi to obtain his own nomination to the vice- 
royalty of the three provinces. Seraja Dowlah resolved to 
lose no time in extirpating him, and marched with a large 
force to Purneah ; but on reaching Rajmahal he received a 
a letter from Mr. Drake, the governor of Calcutta which gave 
another direction to his purpose. 

Raja raj bullub, one of the Hindoo officers whom 

Pisputes with . 

the governor of it was the policy of All verdy to place in public 
Calcutta, 1756. em pl ynients, had amassed great wealth hi the 
service, and shortly before the death of the old viceroy had 
been nominated governor of Dacca. His predecessor in that 
office had been assassinated and plundered by order of Seraja 
dowlah, and he was anxious to place his family and treasures 
beyond the reach of the tyrant ; he, therefore, obtained a 
letter of recommendation from Mr. Watts, the Company's 
chief at Cossimbazar the factory adjoining Moorshedabad to 
the governor of Calcutta ; and his son, Kissen-dass, embarked 
at Dacca with a large retinue, under the pretence of going on 
a pilgrimage to Jugunnuth, and landed at Calcutta, where he 
received a cordial welcome. Seraja Dowlah, a day or two 
after the death of his grandfather, for which he had been 
waiting, despatched a letter to Mr. Drake, the governor, 
demanding the immediate surrender of Kissen-dass and his 
wealth. The messenger, though the brother of the raja of 
Midnapore, the head of the spy department, came in a small 
boat, and was expelled from the settlement as an impostor. 
A second communication was soon after sent to Mr. Drake, 
ordering him peremptorily to demolish all the fortifications 
which the Nabob understood he had been erecting. The 
governor replied that the Nabob had been misinformed, that 
no new defences had been attempted, and that nothing in fact 
had been done but to repair the ramparts facing the river, in 
the prospect of another war with France. The Nabob was not 
ill a humour to brook the slightest resistance of his will ; his 


indignation was kindled to a degree which astonished even 
those who had been accustomed to the violence of his 
passions, and he ordered the army to march down instantly 
to Calcutta. 

state of Fort Calcutta was ill-prepared for such an assault, 
wuiiam, 1756. During fifty years of peace, the fortifications had 
been neglected, and warehouses built up to the ramparts. The 
defenceless state of the fort at this juncture was owing to the 
neglect of the Council, not to the inattention .of the Court of 
Directors. After the capture of Madras by Labourdonnais in 
1747, they were naturally anxious to protect their settlement 
in Bengal from a similar fate, and sent orders to strengthen 
the defences, however the viceroy might oppose them. Year 
after year were these injunctions repeated, and on one 
occasion no fewer than 250 recruits were sent out, and 
the artillery establishment augmented to 114 gunners and four 
officers. Colonel Scott arrived at Calcutta in 1754 as com- 
mandant, with the most stringent orders to complete the 
fortifications, and, if necessary, to conciliate the Nabob by an 
offering of a lac of rupees. At the same time the Court 
directed that none but Europeans should be received into their 
military service, but Colonel Scott represented that there was 
" a set of men called Rashpoots, natives, on the banks of the 
Ganges near Patna, gentoos of the fighting caste, and he was 
of opinion that when disciplined they would make excellent 
soldiers." The Court thereupon permitted the garrison to be 
recruited with Rajpoots, and the nucleus was thus formed of 
that army of which a hundred thousand endeavoured a century 
-afterwards to subvert the British Empire. In 1755 the Court 
stated in their despatch that the death of the Nabob might be 
daily expected ; that it would be attended with great confusion 
and trouble ; that they trusted their officers had put Calcutta in 
a state of defence ; and that they were to be on their guard to 
protect the possessions, effects, and privileges of the Company. 
But these warnings were lost on the authorities in Calcutta, 
who were heedful only of their own pelf, and whose infatua- 


tion up the latest moment, was exceeded only by their 
cowardice when the danger came. Colonel Scott died in 1755, 
and all the works in pi-ogress for the defence of the settle- 
ment were immediately suspended; the militia was not 
embodied till it was too late; the gunpowder, made by a 
fraudulent contractor, whom no one looked after, was deficient 
both in quantity and quality, and there were only 174 men in 
garrison, not ten of whom had ever seen a shot fired. 

sieeofCai ^^ ie armv ^ tne Nabob, 50,000 strong, ap- 

cutu,June, preached the town on the 17th June. Under 
every disadvantage, Clive would have made as 
noble a defence of Calcutta as he had made of Arcot, but the 
governor was Drake, and the commandant, Minchin. Instead 
of clearing the space round the fort of houses and encum- 
brances, batteries were injudiciously planted at a great distance 
from it, which the enemy captured on the first day, and were 
thus enabled to bring a galling fire to bear directly on the fort 
itself. At two in the morning of the 19th a council of war was 
held, when it was resolved to send the women and children 
on board the vessels lying off the town. But as soon as 1 the 
water gate was open there was a general rush to the boats, 
many of which were capsized, and the rest pushed off without 
order or discipline. After the fugitives had reached the ships, 
a shower of " fire-arrows," by no means dangerous, was dis- 
charged on them, and the captains immediately weighed 
anchor, and dropped down two miles out of their reach. At 
ten in the morning only two boats remained at the wharf, 
into one of which, the governor, Mr. Drake, quietly slipped, 
without leaving any instructions for the conduct of the gar- 
rison. The military commander, Minchin, followed his ex- 
ample, and they rowed down to the ships hi all baste, 
surrender of As soon as this base desertion was known, 
Calcutta. nothing was heard on all sides but imprecations. * 
When calmness had been in some measure restored, Mr. Hoi- 
well was, by common consent, placed in command, and it waa 
resolved to defend the fort to the last extremity. It held out 


for forty-eight hours, during which signals of distress were 
made, day and night, to the vessels anchored below the town. 
They might have come up with perfect safety, and rescued 
the gallant garrison with ease ; but to crown this scene of 
infamy, not a vessel was moved to its assistance. On the 
21st, the enemy renewed the assault with increased vigour, 
and more than half the remaining force was killed or wounded. 
The European soldiers broke into the liquor stores and became 
unfit for duty. A flag of truce was deceitfully sent by the 
Nabob, and Mr. Holwell, seeing the utter helplessness of the 
garrison, agreed to a parley, during which the enemy treach- 
erously rushed into the fort, and the officers were obliged to 
surrender their swords. The Nabob entered the fort about 
five in the afternoon, and ordered Kissen-dass, the cause of 
these calamities, to be brought before him, but received and 
dismissed him with courtesy. Mr. Holwell was then ushered 
into his presence, and he expressed his resentment that the 
sum in the treasury was found not to exceed five lacs of 
rupees, but gave him every assurance of protection, and 
retired about dusk to his encampment. 

The Black Hole, The European prisoners were collected together 
175611 under an arched verandah, while the native officers 

went in search of some building in which they might be 
lodged for the night. They returned about eight in the 
evening and reported that none could be found. The prin- 
cipal officer then desired the prisoners to move into one of 
the chambers behind the verandah, which had been used as 
the prison of the garrison. Orme calls it a dungeon ; but the 
room immediately adjoining it was used as the settlement 
church for twenty-eight years after the recovery of the town. 
It was not twenty feet square, and however suited for the 
confinement of a few turbulent soldiers, was death to the 
hundred and forty-six persons, now thrust into it at the 
sword's point, in one of the hottest nights of the most sultry 
season of the year. The wretched prisoners soon became 
frantic with suffocating heat and insufferable thirst. The 



struggle to reach the window and catch a breath of air proved 
fatal to many. At length they began to sink one by one into 
the arms of death; and the few who survived that awful 
iiight owed their lives to the more free ventilation obtained 
by standing on the bodies of their deceased companions. 
When the door was opened in the morning, only twenty-three 
came out alive the most ghastly forms ever seen. This is 
the tragedy of the Black Hole, which has rendered the name 
of Seraja Dowlah the type of infamy among all the nations 
of Christendom. Yet so little did it appear to be out of the 
ordinary course of events in the East, that it was scarcely 
marked by the native community, and was not considered of 
sufficient importance to demand even a passing notice from 
the Mahomedan historian of the time. The next morning the 
Nabob came down to the fort, and inquired whether the 
English chief still lived ; and when Mr. Holwell was borne 
into his presence, he manifested no compassion for his suffer- 
ings, nor the least remorse for the fate of the other prisoners, 
but reproached him anew with the concealment of the public 
treasure, and ordered him to be placed in confinement. The 
Nabob returned to Moorshedabad, after having extorted large 
sums from the French and the Dutch, and confiscated all the 
property of the English throughout the country ; and thus 
was the East India Company expelled a second time from 
Bengal, as completely as they had been seventy years before, 
in the days of Aurungzebe. 
_ _. Information of this catastrophe was seven weeks 

Expedition to * 

recover Cai- in reaching Madras, where the military force con- 
01110,1756. eigted of 2j000 Europeans and 10,000 sepoys. 

But, while the national honour required immediate vindication 
in Bengal, there was a strong party in the council desirous 
of employing the resources of the Presidency in assisting 
Salabut Jung to expel Bussy from the Deccan, although the 
Convention which they themselves had entered into with 
M. Godeheu was still fresh and binding. Much time was 
wasted in discussing whether the expedition should be sent 


to Hyderabad or Calcutta. When the council at length came 
to the resolution to retrieve the affairs of the Company in 
Bengal, in the first instance, further time was lost in disem- 
barking the royal artillery and stores, which Col. Adlecron 
would not allow to proceed when he found that the command 
of the expedition was not to be given to him. Happily it was 
entrusted to the genius of Clive, who was instructed, after 
the recapture of Calcutta, to march up to Moorshedabad, if 
the Nabob continued refractory, and to attack Chandernagore, 
if the declaration of war with France, then hourly expected, 
should arrive before the time fixed for the return of the troops. 
Admiral Watson and Col. Clive sailed from Madras on the 
1 Oth of October with five ships of war, and five of the Com- 
pany's vessels, on which 900 Europeans and 1,500 sepoys 
were embarked. 

Recapture of ^ n * ne l^th of December the expedition reached 
Calcutta, 1757. Fulta, about forty miles below Calcutta, where 
Mr. Drake and the other fugitives were lying in the vessels 
on which they had taken refuge. A Mogul fortification on 
the river at Budge-budge was soon after attacked. Manick- 
chand, the Nabob's Hindoo general, who had been left in charge 
of Calcutta, had arrived there two days before with a large 
reinforcement of horse and foot; but a shot happening to 
pass too near his turban, he gave the signal of retreat, and 
the whole body of his troops marched back in disorder to 
Calcutta. Not considering himself safe even there, he left 
500 men to defend the fort, and fled with the remainder to 
Moorshedabad. Colonel Clive entered the dismantled town 
on the 2nd of January, and the fort surrendered at discretion. 
To impress the Nabob with a conviction of the power and 
resolution of the English who had come to avenge their 
wrongs, an expedition was sent about a week after to the 
important post of Hooghly, which submitted without resist- 

Defeat of the ^ ne Nabob had persuaded himself that the 
Nabob, no?. English would never again venture to set foot iu 

i 2 


his dominions, and the news of these transactions filled him 
with indignation, and he lost no time in marching down to 
Calcutta with an army of 40,000 men. Olive was anxious for 
an accommodation, and offered him the most moderate and 
reasonable terms. But while the negotiations were in pro- 
gress, the army of the Nabob was in full march towards the 
town, burning down the villages as it advanced. Two 
envoys whom Olive had sent on the 4th of February to reqiiest 
the Nabob to withdraw his army, if his intentions were pacific, 
were treated with contumely. Finding a contest inevitable, 
Olive determined to take the initiative; and, on the morning 
of the 5th, marched with his whole force, augmented by 600 
marines, to the assault of the enemy's entrenchment, which 
lay to the north-east of the town. But a little before sunrise 
he was confounded by one of those dense fogs which are 
common at that season of the year, and although his troops 
fought with the greatest gallantry, they became bewildered 
and disheartened, and he withdrew his force with the loss of 
more than 200 soldiers. But the Nabob was still more dis- 
heartened. He had lost twenty-two officers of distinction ; 
he had never been so much involved in the perils of a battle 
before, and, passing at once from the extreme of arrogance to 
the extreme of pusillanimity, hastened to make overtures of 
peace ; and on the 9th of February a treaty was concluded 
by which all their former privileges were restored to the 
English, and permission was given to fortify Calcutta and to 
establish a mint, and a promise of compensation for their 
losses was held out. 

Capture of Clive was directed, and had engaged, to return 

Chanaernagore, with the troops to Madras after the recovery of 
Calcutta, and he has been censured for disregard- 
ing his promise ; but in his determination to remain in Bengal 
he exercised a wise discretion. Information had been received, 
through Aleppo, of a declaration of war between France and 
England on the 9th of May in the preceding year. Chander- 
nagore was garrisoned with 700 Europeans. Bussy, with a 


victorious army, was encamped in the Northern Sircars, not 
300 miles from Calcutta, and the Nabob, immediately on sign- 
ing the treaty, had importuned him to march up and expel 
Clive from Bengal. The junction of the two French armies 
with that of the Nabob would have endangered the position of 
the English, more especially as, on Olive's departure for the 
coast, the management of affairs would have devolved on the 
wretched Drake, who still held his commission as governor. 
Calcutta would probably have been lost a second time. Clive 
justly concluded that it was his duty to remain and dislodge 
the French from Chandernagore. The Nabob was extremely 
averse to this proceeding, but Admiral Watson terrified him 
into a vague and reluctant consent, by threatening to " kindle 
such a flame in his country, as all the waters in the Ganges 
would be unable to extinguish." The Admiral proceeded up 
the river, with his ships of the line, while Clive attacked the 
town by land ; and Chandernagore surrendered, chiefly through 
the exertions of the fleet, after a noble defence of nine days. 
As Clive was preparing for the attack he uttered these me- 
morable words, " If we take Chandernagore, we cannot stop 
there;" and a century of progress has verified his prediction. 
Confederacy ^e ca P^ ure f Chandernagore still farther in- 
againstthe censed the Nabob, and he encamped his army at 
Plassy, forty miles south of Moorshedabad, and 
Clive kept the field in the neighbourhood of Hooghly, instead 
of withdrawing his army to Calcutta. Meanwhile, the vio- 
lence and atrocities of the Nabob continued to augment the 
disgust of his ministers and officers, none of whom considered 
themselves secure from the caprices of his passion. Every 
day produced some new act of provocation ; and in the month 
of May, Meer Jaffier, the paymaster and general of his forces, 
Koy-doorlub, his finance minister, and the all-powerful bankers, 
the Setts, entered into a combination to dethrone him. They 
were constrained to admit into their councils one, Omichund, 
the Shylock of this drama, who had settled in Calcutta forty 
years before, and accumulated great wealth by his contracta 


with the Company, in which, however, they always com- 
plained of having been overreached, and by his extensive 
commercial dealings throughout the country. He maintained 
the establishment of a prince in Calcutta, and rendered him- 
self important at the Court of Moorshedabad. He accompa- 
nied Seraja Dowlah on his return to the capital, and became 
a great favourite with that weak prince. He daily attended 
the durbar, thrust himself into every affair, and acquired such 
influence in the public councils that the confederates were 
constrained to take him into their confidence, as the least of 
two evils. 

ciive joins the As the plans of the party proceeded, Jugut 
confederacy. g e ^t. the banker, assured his friends that there 
was little, if any, chance of success without the co-operation 
of Clive, and they invited him to join them, holding out the 
most magnificent offers for the Company. Clive felt " that there 
could be neither peace nor security while such a monster as 
the Nabob reigned," and readily entered into their plans, not- 
withstanding the reluctance of the timid Council in Calcutta. 
A secret treaty was concluded between the confederates 
and Clive, the chief stipulations of which were that he should 
march with his army to Moorshedabad and place Meer Jaffier 
on the throne, and that Meer Jaffier should make the amplest 
reparation to the English for all losses, public and private. 
The whole scheme, however, had well nigh miscarried, through 
the rapacity of Omichund, who came forward in the last 
stage, and demanded, by the threat of disclosure which 
would have been certain death to all the confederates the 
insertion of a specific article in the treaty, guaranteeing to him 
thirty lacs of rupees, and a commission of five per cent, on 
all payments. Clive, on hearing of this outrageous demand, 
came to the conclusion " that art and policy were warrantable 
to defeat the designs of such a villain ;" and he formed the 
plan of deceiving the man by a fictitious treaty, written on 
red paper, which provided for his demand, while the real 
treaty, authenticated by the seals and signatures of the con- 


tracting parties, contained no such stipulation. This is the 
only act in the bold and arduous career of Clive, which, hi 
the opinion of posterity, does not admit of vindication. But 
it is due to his memory to state that, to the end of his life, 
he conscientiously asserted the integrity of his motives and 
of his conduct on this occasion, and declared that he " would 
do it a hundred times over." When the treaty was complete, 
Meer Jaffier took an oath on the Koran to be faithful to his 
engagements, and to withdraw with his troops from the 
army of the Nabob, either before or on the day of the battle. 
Battle of Clive, having concluded his arrangements, ad- 

piassy, 1757. dressed a letter to the Nabob, recapitulating the 
grievances of which the English had to complain, and stating 
that he was coming to Moorshedabad to submit them to the 
judgment of the durbar. He marched from Chandernagore, on 
the 13th June, with 1,000 Europeans, 2,000 natives, and eight 
pieces of cannon. On the 17th he reached Cutwa, and captured 
the fort, but looked in vain for Meer Jaffier, who had, in the 
meantime, taken another oath of fidelity to his master. On 
the 19th the rains set in with extreme violence, and Clive 
paused on the threshold of the campaign, doubting the pro- 
priety of opening it at the beginning of the rainy season, and 
on "their own bottom, without any assistance." But on 
second thoughts he felt he had advanced too far to recede, 
and that there would be more peril in returning than hi 
advancing. The whole army crossed the river on the 22nd, 
and encamped for the night in the grove of Plassy, in the 
immediate neighbourhood of which the Nabob was posted 
with an army of 15,000 horse and 35,000 foot, in an en- 
trenched camp. The next morning, the memorable 23rd of 
June, 1757, the Nabob's troops moved out and assaulted the 
English force which was sheltered by a high bank, but with 
little effect. About noon the enemy withdrew their artillery, 
and Clive advanced vigorously to the attack of their lines. 
Meer Mudun, the general-in-chief, was mortally wounded, 
and expired in the presence of the Nabob, who was unable 


any longer to control his terror, but mounted a camel and 
fled at the top of its speed, accompanied by about 2,000 horse. 
His whole army immediately dispersed, and this battle, so 
momentous in its eventual result on the destiny of India, 
was gamed with the loss of only 72 killed and wounded on 
the part of the English, while, even on the side of the enemy, 
the casualties did not exceed 500. As soon as victory ap- 
peared to declare in favour of the English, Meer Jaffier moved 
off with his troops and joined their standard. Seraja Dowlah, 
on his arrival at the capital, found himself deserted by his 
court, and, after passing a day in gloomy reflections, disguised 
himself in a mean dress and escaped out of a window in the 
palace at ten at night, with a favourite concubine and a 
eunuch, and embarked in a little boat which had been secured 
for him. 

Clive entered Moorshedabad on the 29th of 
Meer Jaffier, June, and proceeding to the palace, where all the 
1757. great officers were assembled, conducted Meer 

Jaffier to the throne, and saluted him Soobadar of Bengal, 
Behar, and Orissa. The change in the position and propects 
of the English was so rapid and stupendous as almost to 
exceed belief. In June, 1756, Calcutta had been plundered 
and burnt, its European inhabitants murdered, and the Company 
exterminated from Bengal. In June, 1757, they had recovered 
their capital, extinguished their European rivals, defeated and 
dethroned the Nabob, and disposed of the government of the 
three provinces, with a population of twenty-five millions, 
to their own partizan. In accordance with the terms of the 
treaty, the sum of two crores and twenty lacs of rupees was 
gradually paid out of the treasury at Moorshedabad, to make 
good the losses of the Company and of individuals. The first 
instalment of eighty lacs was conveyed to Calcutta in a tri- 
umphant procession with bands playing and banners floating 
a bright contrast to the spectacle of the previous year 
when Seraja Dowlah marched back to his capital with the 
plunder of Calcutta. While Clive was thus giving away a 


kingdom larger and more populous than England, he reserved 
for his own masters only the fee simple of the land six 
hundred yards around the Mahratta ditch, and the zemindary 
rights of the country lying to the south of Calcutta. Nor 
was his moderation as a private individual less conspicuous 
than as the representative of a victorious nation. While the 
opulent nobles of the court were anxious to conciliate his 
favour by pouring uncounted wealth into his lap, he refused 
every gift except that which the gratitude of Meer Jaffier 
pressed on him, not exceeding sixteen lacs of rupees. When, 
in aftertirnes, his great services had been forgotten and he 
was upbraided with rapacity, he indignantly replied, " When 
I recollect entering the treasury at Moorshedabad, with 
heaps of silver and gold to the right hand and to the left, and 
these crowned with jewels, I stand astonished at my own 

Fate of Sera Seraja Dowlah proceeded up the river in his 
Dowiah, 1757, boat in the hope of overtaking Mr. Law, the French 
officer, whom he had been constrained to dismiss at the man- 
date of Olive. Had Law, who had a large body of officers, 
and about 200 soldiers with him, succeeded in joining the 
Nabob, the history of Bengal, and perhaps of India, might 
have borne a different stamp. But Law, who had retraced 
his steps on hearing of the advance of Olive to Moorsheda- 
bad, retired with rapidity to Oude, after receiving news of the 
battle of Plassy. The fugitive prince landed at Rajmahal to 
prepare a meal, and unfortunately proceeded to the hut of a 
fakeer, whose ears he had ordered to be cut off in the 
previous year. The man immediately gave information of his 
arrival to those who were in pursuit of him, and he was 
conveyed back as a prisoner to Moorshedabad, eight days 
after he had quitted it. On the night of his arrival, Meerun, 
the son of Meer Jaffier, a youth as heartless and abandoned 
as Seraja Dowlah himself, caused him to be put out of the 
way by assassination. The nxt day his mangled remains 


were paraded on an elephant through the streets, and then 
buried in the tomb of his grandfather. 

Intelligence of the destruction of Calcutta did 

The Court of 3 

Directors on not reach England for eleven months. On the 
piassy, 1757. grd QJf August? 1757> tne Court of Directors wrote 

to the President in Calcutta : " On the 4th of June, we heard 
of the melancholy news of the loss of Fort William and the 
rest of our settlements in Bengal. On the 22nd day of July, 
Mr. Holwell arrived on the Siren, and gave a most agreeable 
turn to our thoughts by bringing advice of the recapture of 
Fort William." A few months after, they heard of the battle 
of Piassy, and the great revolution which had been effected 
by their troops. That victory more than realised the expec- 
tations which the Court had entertained seventy years ago, 
when they sent out Admiral Nicholson to make them "a 
nation in India." It had laid the foundation of a great 
empire. Yet so little conception had the Court of the high 
destiny which was opening before them that their chief 
source of gratification was derived from the hope that their 
servants in Bengal would now be able to provide the invest- 
ment for two years without drawing on them. 

The first object of Meer Jaffier, after his eleva- 

Clive quells J 

three reroitt, tion, was to plunder the Hindoo minister of 
finance, Roy-doorlub, and the officers who had 
amassed wealth in the governments conferred on them by 
Ali verdy. These proceedings provoked no fewer than three 
revolts within three months, in Behar, Purneah, and Midna- 
pore. But they were quelled without bloodshed, by the mere 
exercise of Clive's influence, to whom the whole country 
looked up as to a demigod. The ascendancy which he' thus 
acquired, though inseparable from his position and his genius, 
could not fail to lessen the importance of the Nabob, and to 
irritate his mind, while it gave umbrage to his family and his 
officers. They could not forget that it was only two years 
since the foreigners, who now bore the supremacy in Bengal, 


had approached them as suppliants, with gifts and flatteries ; 
and it required the most delicate management on the part of 
Clive to prevent the explosion of their discontent. A. few 
months after the battle of Plassy, a Mahratta envoy arrived 
at Moorshedabad to demand the arrears of ckout now due for 
two years, but he soon found that the days of chout had 
ceased with the advent of the English. 

Expedition to ^ ne Court ^ Directors, on hearing of the great 
the coast, Sep- victory of Plassy, placed the government of Cal- 

tember, 1758. . , , * c m- j 11. 

cutta m the hands of Clive, and he was anxious to 
afford substantial relief to Madras, now menaced by Lally ; 
but the presence of a formidable French force on the confines 
of Orissa, and of Law with 200 Europeans on the borders of 
Behar, combined with the growing alienation of the Nabob, 
made it impolitic to weaken Bengal. The number of European 
troops at Madras was, moreover, twice as large as the number 
at the disposal of Clive, and, above all, that settlement had 
Lawrence for its military commander, which Clive considered 
an ample guarantee of its safety. He, therefore, supplied it 
most liberally with funds from his own full treasury, and took 
steps to remove one cause of disquietude by an attack on the 
French possessions in the Northern Sircars, now no longer 
protected by the genius of Bussy. He entrusted the expe- 
dition to Colonel Forde, one of the great soldiers created by 
the long-continued wars on the Coast. Clive had begun to 
enlist the Rajpoots, and was enabled to send 2,000 sepoys 
with Forde, in addition to 500 Europeans and 14 guns. 
That officer landed at Vizagapatam, and, after defeating 
Bussy's feeble successor, the Marquis of Conflans, formed the 
bold design of laying siege to Masulipatam, the great strong- 
hold of the French on the coast, though it was garrisoned by 
a larger force than that of the besiegers. Conflans solicited 
the immediate aid of the Nizam, Salabut Jung, who marched 
down to the coast with a large army in support of his friends. 
Forde, however, pushed the siege with such skill and energy 
as to oblige the French general to capitulate before the 


arrival of the auxiliary force. The Nizam was thunderstruck 
at this early and unexpected surrender, and lost no time in 
changing sides, and courting the victor. A treaty was 
speedily concluded, by which Salabut Jung ceded Ma- 
sulipatam and eight districts around it to the English, and 
engaged to exclude the French from his dominions. This 
brilliant exploit raised the reputation of the English as high in 
the Deccan as it stood hi Bengal, and entirely deprived the 
French of the resources of the Northern Sircars. 
AH r,ohur While the troops were thus employed on the 

invades Behar, coast their presence was urgently required in 
Bengal. The emperor at Delhi was a mere puppet 
in the hands of his unprincipled vizier, from whose thraldrom 
the heir apparent, Mahomed Ali Gohur, had contrived to make 
his escape, not without his father's connivance. India, at 
this time, abounded with military adventurers ready for any 
service, and the name of the emperor was sufficient to attract 
crowds to the standard of his son. The Soobadar of Oude 
was likewise anxious to turn the unsettled state of Bengal to 
his own profit, and joined the camp of the prince with a large 
force, and induced him, in the first instance, to invade the 
province of Behar. An army of 40,000 men now suddenly 
appeared before Patna, the provincial capital, which Ram- 
narayun, the Hindoo governor, defended with great valour for 
twelve days. Meer Jaffier was thrown into a fever of anxiety 
by this invasion, and importuned Olive to hasten to the rescue. 
On his march towards Patna, Olive received repeated letters 
from Ali Gohur, offering him province after province for his 
assistance, but he handed them to the Nabob, who had like*- 
wise received letters from the emperor, written under the 
dictation of the vizier, and commanding him to seize his rebel- 
lious son, and chastise his adherents. Olive's advanced guard 
appeared in sight of the city on the 4th of April, and the 
Prince instantly raised the siege and endeavoured to escape 
from the province faster than he had entered it. As a matter 
of course, the Nabob of Oude deserted him on the first 


appearance of adversity, and he was reduced to such straits 
during his flight as to throw himself on the compassion of 
Clive, who sent him 500 gold mohurs to relieve his necessities. 
Conflict with Scarcely had this cloud blown over than another 
the Dutch, 1789 gathered on the horizon. The Nabob, fretting 
under the supremacy of Clive and the restraints it imposed 
on him, cast about for some means of counterbalancing it, 
and hit on the device of inviting the Dutch to introduce a 
large European force into their settlement at Chinsurah. The 
Dutch government at Batavia appear to have viewed the 
prosperity of the English in India with no small feeling of 
envy, and eagerly embraced the proposition, hoping to fish 
up some prize in the troubled waters of Bengal. They accord- 
ingly dispatched a fleet of seven vessels to the Hooghly, 
with 700 Europeans and 800 well-trained Malay sepoys. 
Clive would tolerate no European rival in Bengal ; and, on 
hearing of the arrival of the expedition, blocked up the river 
and took measures to prevent the junction of this force with 
that already cantoned at Chinsurah. The two nations were 
at peace in Europe ; but, according to the established practice, 
this did not impede their waging war with each other in 
India. Even if Clive had felt any delicacy on the subject it 
was removed by the aggressive movement of the Dutch com- 
mander, who seized upon some of the British vessels, hauled 
down their colours, and transferred their guns and stores to his 
own ships. Clive retaliated by sequestering the vessels which 
had arrived from Batavia, and sending Colonel Porde, who 
had returned from the coast, with all the troops available to 
intercept the progress of the Batavian force. Forde, dread- 
ing the responsibility of attacking the troops of a friendly 
power, requested a written order from Clive. He was sitting 
at cards when the letter was put into his hands, and without 
rising, wrote on one of the cards with his pencil, " Dear 
Forde, fight them immediately, I will send you the Order in 
Council to-morrow." That officer hesitated no longer, but 
advanced to meet the Dutch army, which he came up with 


just as it arrived within sight of Chinsurah, and defeated in 
half an hour. Immediately after the action, the Nabob's son, 
Meerun, appeared with an army of 7,000 men, who were 
destined to turn on the English if the fortune of the day had 
been different. Clive restored the vessels he had taken to the 
Butch authorities, on their engaging to make good all the 
expense incurred in defeating their plans, and embarked fo- 
England on the 25th of February, 1760. 
Ahmed shah ^ e now resume t^ e thread of Mahratta and 
and the Mahrat- Mogul affairs. Ahmed Shah Abdalee returned to 
Persia hi June, 1757, leaving his son, Timur, in 
charge of the Punjab, and Nujeeb-ood-dowlah in command at 
Delhi, to protect the emperor from the designs of Ghazee-ood- 
deen. That profligate minister called the Mahrattas to his 
aid, and Raghoba, the fighting brother of the Peshwa, 
marched up to Delhi, and captured it after a month's siege. 
Nujeeb retreated to Rohilcund, and Ghazee-ood-deen was re- 
instated in the office of vizier. Soon after the capture of the 
capital by Raghoba, one Adina-beg, a veteran intriguer in the 
Punjab, invited him to seize on that province, as well as Mool- 
tan, and annex them to the Mahratta dominions. He marched 
to Lahore, hi May, 1758; the Abdalees were totally routed; 
Prince Timur retreated to Persia ; and the Mahratta standard 
was planted, for the first time, on the banks of the Indus. 
Raghoba then returned to the Deccan, but with more glory 
than money ; and, instead of the loads of booty which usually 
marked the return of the Mahratta expeditions, brought back 
a load of obligations little short of a crore of rupees. This 
disappointment gave rise to a serious altercation with Suda- 
seeb Rao Bhao, the cousin and civil administrator of the 
Peshwa. "Then take charge of the next expedition yourself," 
was the tart reply of Raghoba. The Peshwa took him at his 
word, and compromised the differences between them by trans- 
ferring the command of the army to Sudaseeb, generally 
known as the Bhao, and placing his brother at the head of 
the civil department. 


Territory wrest- The Peshwa had been, for some time, engaged 
ed from Saiabut in intrigues for the acquisition of Ahmednugur, 

the most important city south of the Nerbudda, 
and, at length, obtained possession of it by an act of base 
treachery. This aggression brought on hostilities with Saiabut 
Jung and his brother, Nizam Ali, who had been recently re- 
conciled to him. The master-spirit of Bussy no longer ani- 
mated the councils or the army of the Nizam. Ibrahim Khan 
Gardee, one of the ablest native generals of the time, who 
was in command of the sepoy battalions trained by Bussy, 
and a powerful and well served artillery, had been dismissed 
from the service. He immediately transferred his sword to 
the Peshwa, and, in the conflict now raging, contributed, in 
no small degree, to reduce Saiabut Jung and his brother to 
such straits, that they were constrained to submit to the most 
humiliating conditions as the price of safety. A treaty was 
wrung from them, which conceded to the Mahrattas five of 
the most important fortresses in the Deccan, and some of its 
most flourishing districts, yielding a revenue of not less than 
sixty lacs of rupees a year. The Mahrattas had now reached 
Power of the the zenith of their power. Their authority was 
Mahrattas, 1759. equally acknowledged on the banks of the Cavery 
and the Indus. All the territory within these limits, which 
was not their own, paid them tribute. The vast resources 
of the Mahratta community were guided by one head and 
directed to one object the aggrandisement of the nation, 
and they now talked proudly of establishing Hindoo sove- 
reignty over the whole of Hindostan. The only hope of pre- 
serving the countiy from subjection to this power, of which, 
tyranny, rapine, and destruction were the constant attendants, 
now rested on the arms of a foreign potentate Ahmed Shah 

Fourth invasion ^ a ghoba had left Mulhar Eao Holkar and Data- 
of Ahmed Shah, jee Sindia to extort contributions from the Rajpoot 

princes, and to maintain the conquests he had 
made in the Punjab. At the instigation of Ghazee-ood-deen, 


Sindia sent his officers to invade Rohilcund, and in the 
course of a month they laid waste thirteen hundred villages 
in that flourishing province. The ulterior object of the vizier 
and of the Mahrattas was the possession of Oude, and as the 
Nabob dreaded them more than he hated the Rohillas, he 
entered into a treaty with Hafiz Ruhmut, the bravest of their 
chiefs, and, in conjunction with Nujeeb-ood-dowlah drove 
Sindia across the Ganges with great slaughter. Just at this 
juncture both parties were astounded by the intelligence that 
Ahmed Shah was entering India with a grand army to recover 
and extend his conquests. The remembrance of the sack of 
Delhi by his troops gave a portentous character to this, his 
fourth invasion ; and the Nabob and the Mahratta were in- 
duced, by a common alarm, to patch up an accommodation. 
The Abdalee crossed the Indus in September, 1759, and 
marched direct to Lahore. During his advance, the vizier, 
who had deprived his former master of sight, dreading the 
intercourse of the emperor with Ahmed Shah, on whom he 
felt that he had inflicted inexpiable injury, gave 

Murder of the , , 

emperor, Alum- orders for his assassination, and placed some 
geer, NOT., i<59. un ] cnown youth on the throne, who was howevei 
never acknowledged. 

The two Mahratta chiefs, supported by their allies, the 

Jauts, advanced to encounter Ahmed Shah, but they were in 

two divisions, widely separated from each other, 

Defeat of Sindia ' J 

and Hoikar; and he resolved to attack them before they could 
form a junction. The army of Sindia was sur- 
prised, and two-thirds of the troops, including the general, 
slaughtered. Hoikar made all haste to retreat, and might 
have escaped, but he could not resist the temptation of turn- 
ing out of his way to plunder a rich convoy, of which he had 
received intimation. Ahmed Shah overtook him by forced 
inarches of extraordinary length, and routed him with great 
carnage. Of these reverses the Peshwa received information, 
immediately after he and his cousin had succeeded in wresting 
the forts and districts already mentioned from Salabut. The 


Bhao, flushed with his recent success, entreated the Peshwa 
to allow him to proceed to Upper India, and restore the repu- 
tation of the Mahratta arms, and expel the Abdalees from 
the country. In an evil hour permission was granted, for 
though personally brave and resolute, he was rash and 
arrogant, and filled with an overweening conceit of his own 
abilities, which were unequal to the great expedition on which 
the fortunes of the Mahratta nation were about to be staked. 
The Mahratta "^ ne arrnv which now proceeded against Ahmed 
army. Shah was the largest and best equipped with 

which the Mahrattas had ever taken the field. It resembled 
rather the gorgeous array with which Aurungzebe had crossed 
the Nerbudda eighty years before than that of the humble and 
hardy mountaineers who had baffled him. The spacious 
and lofty tents of the chiefs were lined with silk and bro- 
cades, and surmounted with gilded ornaments. The finest 
horses, richly caparisoned, together with a long train of 
elephants, accompanied the army. The wealth which half a 
century of plunder had accumulated was exhibited in all its 
splendour. The officers, dressed in cloth of gold, vied with 
each other in profuse and prodigal display. The military chest 
was laden with two crores of rupees. Every commander 
throughout the Mahratta commonwealth was required to join 
the Bhao, and the whole of the Mahratta chivalry marched 
under the national standard. The Rajpoot chiefs contributed 
their cavalry brigades ; the Pindarrees, who now appear for 
the first tune in history, swarmed to the conflict, and Sooruj 
Mull, the Jaut chieftain, brought up a contingent of 30,000 
men. The entire force did not fall short of 270,000. It was 
the grand struggle of Hindoo and Mahomedan for the 
sovereignty of India. 

Arrogance of ^ ne experienced old Jaut did not fail to perceive 
the Bhao. that the unwieldy masses of the Bhao, encum- 
bered with artillery and other accessories unsuited to their 
national mode of warfare, were ill calculated for such a 
campaign. He strongly advised that the guns and the 



infantry should be left in his forts, and that the army should 
revert to the old system of warfare, and harass the enemy 
with incessant attacks and cut off his supplies, till the hot 
season obliged the Abdalee to withdraw his troops to a more 
congenial climate beyond the Indus. But this sage advice, 
though supported by the ablest of the Mahratta generals, 
was rejected with scorn by the Bhao. The city of Delhi was 
occupied almost without a straggle, and he was with difficulty 
dissuaded from proclaiming Wiswas Eao, the eldest son of 
the Peshwa, Emperor of India. But, in a spirit of wanton 
barbarity, he destroyed the monuments of art which even 
Nadir Shah had spared. Disgusted with these acts, and not 
less with the overbearing conduct of the Bhao, the Rajpoots 
and the Jauts withdrew from his army. 

Ahmed Shah was cordially supported by the 
the V Mahra.ttas Rohillas, and with less zeal by the Nabob of 

is, Qude. His regular army consisted of 38,000 
foot and 41,800 horse, with seventy pieces of 
artillery. His irregular force was computed to be equally 
strong. After a variety of manoeuvres the two armies con- 
fronted each other on the field of Paniput, where for the 
third time the fate of India was to be decided. The Bhao 
entrenched himself behind a ditch, forty feet wide and twelve 
feet deep. Ahmed Shah fortified his camp with felled trees. 
Numerous encounters took place from time to time between 
different detachments without any decisive result. The 
Rohillas and the Nabob of Oude were impatient to be led at 
once against the enemy, but the wary and experienced Ab- 
dalee prudently determined to wait the certain progress of 
famine in their encampment. The resources of the Mahrattas 
were gradually exhausted ; their foraging parties were con- 
stantly driven back, and starvation stared them in the face, 
while the stench from the dead bodies of men and animals 
within the narrow limits of the camp became at length 
insupportable. Unable any longer to bear these privations 
and evils, men and officers equally demanded, in a voice of 


thunder, to be led against the enemy instead of being cooped 
up to die like dogs. The Bhao was obliged to yield ; with 
the provisions which were left they partook together of one 
full meal, and then prepared for the struggle of the morrow. 

fp An hour before daybreak on the 7th of January, 
put, January 7, 1761, the Mahratta army issued from its en- 
trenchments, not, as on many former occasions, 
in the full confidence of victory, but with the recklessness of 
despair. The engagement was opened by Ibrahim Khan 
Gardee and his 10,000 sepoys, trained under Bussy, and his 
splendid artillery, with which he swept down the ranks of 
the Rohillas who were opposed to him. He then charged 
them with the bayonet, but they did not retire till 8,000 of 
their number lay dead or wounded on the field, while the loss 
of half the corps of Ibrahim shewed the desperate character 
of the conflict. The retirement of the Rohillas uncovered 
the right of the centre division of the Abdalees, and the 
Bhao and his cousin, with the flower of the Mahratta force, 
charged them with such vigour, that the day at one time 
seemed to belong to the Mahrattas, but at this critical juncture 
Ahmed Shah brought up his reserve, and the conflict became 
closer and more ferocious than ever. With the exception of 
Mulhar Rao Holkar, all the chiefs maintained their reputa- 
tion, but about two hours after noon, Wiswas Rao, the son 
of the Peshwa, was mortally wounded, and the Bhao imme- 
diately mounted his horse, and disappeared in the confusion 
of the fight. Holkar likewise marched off, and was followed 
by the Guickwar. As soon as the leaders were no longer 
seen the army fell into disorder and fled. No quarter was 
given, and the carnage was prodigious. Men, women, and 
children crowded into the village of Paniput, where they 
were surrounded for the night, but the men were drawn out 
the next morning, and ranged in files, when, to the eternal 
disgrace of Ahmed Shah, his soldiers were encouraged to 
amuse themselves in cutting off their heads, and piling them 
up as trophies in front of their tents. The body of Wiswas 

u 2 


Rao was found, and the Abdalee was with reluctance prevailed 
on to allow it to be burnt, instead of having it dried and 
stuffed, to take back with him to Cabul. Junkajee Sindia 
and the illustrious Ibrahim Khan Gardee, were taken prisoners 
and put to death, the latter on the ground of having fought 
on the side of the Hindoos against the true believers. Only 
one-fourth of the troops escaped ; and the entire loss of the 
Mahrattas, from the beginning of the campaign, was 
computed at 200,000. Never was defeat more complete 
or more fatal. There were few families which had not lost 
some relative, and grief and despondency overspread the 
community. The Peshwa died of grief, and with him 
perished the prestige of his family. The formidable unity 
of the Mahratta power was destroyed, and the hope which 
the Mahrattas had cherished of becoming masters of all India, 
was at once and for ever annihilated. 


BENGAL, 1761 1772. 

THE battle of Paniput forms an important epoch 

Condition of . , r 

India after the m the modern annals of India, and a brief notice 

of the position and strength of the various 
princes at that period will serve to elucidate its 
subsequent history. The great empire of the Moguls was 
dissolved, and the emperor was wandering about in Behar, 
accompanied by a small band of mercenaries. In the districts 
around Delhi, the Jauts on one side, and the Rohillas on the 
other, were consolidating the power they had usurped. The 
Rajpoot rajas had been humbled during the encroachments of 
the Mahrattas, and manifested little of their former energy. 
The Nabob vizier of Oude possessed a rich territory, and a 
large undisciplined army, but was deficient in every military 


quality, except courage. The Mahratta dream of universal 
empire in India, under a Hindoo sceptre, had been dissipated 
by the recent defeat, and although the Peshwa was still the 
head of the federation, its power was henceforth partitioned 
among the Guickwar, the raja of Nagpore, and Holkar and 
Sindia, who were seldom at peace with e:',ch other. The 
Nizam at Hyderabad, had been crippled by the surrender of 
some of his most valuable districts to the Mahrattas. The 
power of the French was completely broken. In the south 
of the peninsula, the Nabob of the Carnatic had been seated 
on the throne by the English, and was maintained solely by 
their arms, and Hyder All was on the point of grasping the 
supreme control in Mysore. The power destined eventually 
to bring these various principalities " under one umbrella," 
had recently subdued its European rivals in the south, and 
established its predominance in the valley of the Ganges, but 
was contemplating nothing so little as the conquest of India. 
Olive had become so completely identified with 


Governor of the existence of British power in Bengal, that his 
Bengal, 1760-61. Departure appeared to those who remained, as if 
the ' soul was departing from the government. He was 
succeeded in the chair by Mr. Vansittart, a Madras civilian, 
a man of the greatest probity, but utterly incompetent to 
manage the complicated machinery of the government. The 
appointment, though recommended by Clive, proved in every 
respect disastrous. The members of the Bengal Council were 
irritated by his intrusion into a seat which they considered to 
belong to them of right, and set themselves to thwart his 
measures, at a period when the exigencies of a novel and 
foreign administration required the greatest unanimity. Soon 
after Mr. Vansittart's appointment, moreover, an order from 
the Court of Directors reached Calcutta, summarily dismissing 
three of the ablest and most experienced members of Council, 
on account of a contumacious letter which had been provoked 
by their own arbitrary proceedings. The opponents of 
Mr. Vansittart thus obtained a majority in the Council, and 


this circumstance, combined with his imbecility, rendered the 
four years of his administration a period of extraordinary 

The Shah Zada, the son of the emperor, in- 

Invasion 01 x 

Behar by the vaded Behar a second time at the beginning of 

Shah zada, 1760: ^^ ^.^ ^ ^^ Q ^^ ^ ^ collected 

around him. As already stated, the intelligence of his 
father's death reached him after he had crossed the Gurumnussa, 
and he immediately assumed the imperial dignity with the 
title of Shah Alum, which brought a large accession of troops 
to his standard. The Nabob of Oude was appointed vizier of 
this relic of an empire, and, in the hope of adding Behar to 
his territories, joined the emperor with a considerable force. 
Colonel Calliaud, one of the generals created by the wars on 
the coast, the comrade of Lawrence and Olive, of Goote and 
Forde, had been sent up from Madras to take the command of 
the army in Bengal, and had proceeded to Moorshedabad, 
where Clive, then on the eve of embarking for England, was 
making the necessary dispositions for repelling the invasion. 
Meer Jaffier contributed 15,000 horse to the expedition under 
the command of his son, Meerun, whose oppressions had 
made even Seraja Dowlah an object of regret. The united 
forces of the emperor and the vizier advanced towards Patna 
on one side, while Colonel Calliaud was moving up in an opposite 
direction to its succour. Ramnarayun, the Hindoo governor, 
had been strictly enjoined to await the arrival of these re- 
inforcements, but he chose to march out and encounter the 
enemy alone, and was totally defeated. The city must hav r e 
surrendered at discretion, if it had been immediately invested, 
but the emperor wasted the precious moments in plundering 
the district. On the 20th of February, Colonel Calliaud came 
up with the emperor, and, notwithstanding the misconduct of 
Meerun's horse, completely routed his army. 
The Emperor The emperor had received the promise of assist- 
marches to ance f rom the Mahrattas, and made a sudden and 
ueo. ' rapid march through the hills on Moorshedabad 


to meet them. Calliaud lost no time in following his steps, 
and the two armies confronted each other about thirty miles 
from that city. But the emperor, hearing nothing of his 
allies, abruptly broke up his camp and marched back to 
Patna, to which he laid close siege for nine days. All hope of i 
" prolonging the defence was fading away, when Captain Knox, | 
who had advanced from Bengal by forced marches to its \ 
rescue, at the hottest season of the year, was descried ap- 
proaching it with a small force. The following day the two 
armies met, and the emperor was defeated, and his force dis- 
persed. The Nabob of Purneah, who had been for some 
time intriguing with the emperor, now advanced to his 
assistance with 30,000 men and thirty pieces of cannon. 
Captain Knox, to the utter amazement of the natives of 
Patna, immediately crossed the Ganges to oppose his pro- 
gress, with a handful of men not exceeding a battalion of 
sepoys and 200 Europeans, and a small squadron of cavalry. 
The native historian of that period vividly describes the 
breathless anxiety with which the inhabitants crowded on 
the walls to watch the issue of this desperate encounter. It 
was one of those battles in the early career of the English 
which gave prestige to their arms, and bewildered the native 
princes. It lasted six hours, and ended in tKe total defeat of 
the enemy. The result of the conflict was rendered the more 
grateful to the natives by the extraordinary valour displayed 
by one of their own country, raja Shitabroy, and by the high 
encomium bestowed on him by the English commander, as 
they entered the city together covered with dust. Colonel 
Calliaud and Meerun soon after arrived at Patna, and pro- 
ceeded across the river to follow up the victory. But they 
had not marched far when Meerun, as he lay on his couch 
listening to a tale, was struck dead by a thunderbolt, and the 
country was rid of a monster, in whose cabinet 

Death of ' 

Meerun, July 2, was found a list of three hundred men of note 
whom he had doomed to destruction on his 


Meer Jaffier The vigour of Meerun, in spite of his profligacy, 

deposed, 1760. h a d been the mainstay of the government of 
Moorshedabad, and his death brought on an immediate 
crisis. Meer Jaffier lost the little reason he ever possessed, 
and the administration fell into a state of complete anarchy. 
The troops surrounded the palace, and demanded the ar- 
rears of their pay with loud menaces, when Meer Cassim, 
the Nabob's son-in-law, came forward and offered to satisfy 
their claims from his own funds, on condition of being ap- 
pointed the successor of Meerun. The Nabob accepted his 
terms and his services, but, in an evil hour, sent him to Cal- 
cutta, to make pecuniary arrangements, in his name, with the 
Council. They had an expensive war on their hands, without 
a rupee in their exchequer. The treasure accumulated at 
Moorshedabad had been exhausted, and, in the confusion and 
scramble of the times, no thought had been bestowed on the 
future. The imbecile Meer Jaffier was not the man to re- 
move their embarrassments ; on the other hand, Meer Cassim 
appeared to possess great talent and energy. Mr. Holwell, 
who had taken the command of Fort William when it was 
deserted by Mr. Drake, was the inveterate enemy of Meer 
Jaffier, and urged his colleagues at once to determine on 
deposing him, and elevating his son-in-law to the throne. 
After a show of hesitation, the members of the Council 
adopted his advice, and Mr. Vansittart was requested to pro- 
ceed to Moorshedabad with 180 Europeans, 600 sepoys, and 
four guns, to persuade Meer Jaffier to resign the government 
of the three soobahs. The old man refused to abdicate, and 
threatened to appeal to Clive, his friend and protector ; but 
the arguments of Mr. Vansittart were irresistible, and he was 
obliged to submit to his fate, only stipulating for a safe 
asylum in Calcutta, well knowing that in India deposition meant 
Meer Cassim death. Meer Cassim became soobadai 1 , and, as 
Kabob, 1760- the price of his elevation, ceded to the Company 
the three districts of Midnapore, Chittagong, and 
Burdwan, which were then estimated to furnish a third of the 


revenue of Bengal. He agreed, moreover, to make good all 
arrears, and, above all, to bestow a gratuity of twenty lacs of 
rupees on his benefactors, of which Mr. Vansittart received 
five, and Mr. Holwell three lacs. The disorders of the times 
required a sharp remedy, but one might have been discovered 
without resorting to this odious breach of faith. Avarice 
was at the root of the transaction, and it ended in a fearful 

Meer Cassim's Meer Oassim met the difficulties of his position 
IdSntton, with "* energy. He curtailed the extrava- 
1701-63. gance of the court establishments. He abolished 
"the ram office, the antelope office, and the nightingale 
office/' and many other useless and costly appendages of the 
menagerie department. He subjected the public accounts to a 
severe scrutiny, and obliged the officers to disgorge the plun- 
der they had acquired. He exacted all arrears of rent with 
unexampled rigour, revised the assessment of the land, and 
made an addition of a crore of rupees to the annual revenue of 
the three provinces. These measures gave him the means of 
discharging all the obligations he had contracted to the 
English, after which he gave his entire attention to the great 
object of emancipating himself from the pressure of their 
authority, and restoring freedom to the soobah. He removed 
the seat of government to Monghir, a distance of 320 miles 
from Calcutta, where, free from observation, he prosecuted 
his plans of independence with such earnestness, that in less 
than three years, he considered himself in a position to set 
their power at defiance. For this rapid progress, he was 
mainly indebted to the exertions of an Armenian, born at 
Ispahan, generally known by his orientalized name of 
Gurghin Khan. He was originally a clothseller at Hooghly, 
but when entrusted with the responsibilities of office, turned 
out to be a man 'of original genius and vast resources. In 
less than three years, he created a force of 15,000 cavalry, 
and 25,000 infantry, disciplined on the model of the Com- 
pany's army ; he manufactured firelocks which were superior 


to the Tower proof muskets ; he established a foundry for 
casting cannon, and trained up a corps of artillerymen who 
would have done credit to the Company's service. Nothing 
was wanting to render Meer Cassim more powerful than 
Aliverdy Khan had ever beep, but a few years of undisturbed 

Transactions ^e em P eror > Shah Alum, unable to regain hia 
with the capital, lingered within the limits of Behar with a 

horde of troops, which wasted the districts like a 
flight of locusts. As soon, therefore, as the rains of 1761 
had subsided, Colonel Carnac marched to Gya with an English 
force and dispersed them. Law, the French general, whose 
little band of Europeans had been the chief support of the 
prince, was taken prisoner on this occasion. The distin- 
guished courtesy with which he was treated by the English 
commander, confounded the ideas of the natives, who ex- 
pected that he would have been led out to immediate execu- 
tion, in accordance with the practice of oriental warfare. 
"Nothing," exclaims the native historian in his remark on 
this circumstance, " can be more modest and becoming than 
the behaviour of these strangers, whether in the heat of 
action, or in the pride of success." After the action, Colonel 
Carnac sent raja Shitabroy with a conciliatory message to the 
emperor, which was cordially welcomed, and he was con- 
ducted with suitable honours to Patna. Meer Cassim felt no 
little alarm on hearing of this friendly intercourse between 
the English commander and his own liege sovereign, and 
hastened to the English camp, but sullenly refused to pay his 
respects to the emperor. Colonel Carnac obviated his objec- 
tions by bringing the parties together in his own tent, when 
Shah Alum received the homage of the nabob, and conferred 
on him the office of soobadar of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa, 
and obtained in return the promise of an annual payment of 
twenty-four lacs of rupees. The emperor then proceeded on 
his route to Delhi, and, on taking leave of the colonel, made an 
offer to the Company of the dewanny of the three provinces. 


spoliation of ne ^ tne earliest objects of Meer Cassim after 
Bamnarayun, his elevation was the spoliation of the great pro- 
vincial officers, who had amassed wealth in their re- 
spective governments. Ramnarayun, the Governor of Patna, 
was destined to be the first victim, but the Council in Calcutta 
had pledged their honour to protect him from the designs of 
his enemies, and the Nabob was for a time baffled. But 
Mr. Vansittart yielded at length to his importunities; Colonels 
Coote and Carnac, who insisted on keeping faith with Ram- 
narayun, were removed from the province, and Meer Cassim 
was left to wreak his vengeance on him. The unfortunate 
governor was immediately seized and despoiled, while his 
subordinate officers were pursued with all the ardour of 
cupidity, and tortured to disclose their wealth. Of all the 
proceedings of the feeble Vansittart, this was considered the 
most baneful, inasmuch as it destroyed the confidence which 
the natives had hitherto reposed in the protection of the 
Company's officers, and strengthened the hands of the Nabob, 
whose hostility to the English was daily becoming more 

The transit Meer Cassim had made great progress in con- 

duties, 1762. solidating his government, when a storm was 
raised by the unprincipled conduct of the Council board in 
Calcutta, which eventually swept him from the throne. From 
the days of Munoo, the duties levied on the transit of mer- 
chandise through the country had formed one of the principal 
sources of the public revenue, and the highways of com- 
merce, both by land and by water, were obstructed by 
custom-houses. Under the old imperial firmans, the goods of 
the Company intended for export by sea were allowed to pass 
duty free, when protected by the dustuck, or permit of the 
President. But the battle of Plassy transferred the power 
of the state to the Company, that is, to their servants, and 
they rushed eagerly into the inland trade of the country, and 
claimed the same exemption from duty for their own goods, 
which had been conceded to the merchandise of their masters. 


Their servants and dependants soon came to demand the same 
privileges for their own adventures. The native merchants, 
moreover, anxious to pass their goods duty free, were led to 
purchase dustucks from some of the Company's servants, even 
at a high premium, and the boys in the service, with less pay 
than fifty rupees a month, were enabled to realise an income 
of 15,000 or 20,000 rupees a year. To increase the confusion, 
any native trader who wished to evade the duties, had only 
to hoist the English niskan, or flag, on passing a custom- 
house. In every instance in which this symbol of impunity 
was not respected, sepoys were sent to drag the Nabob's 
officers as culprits to the nearest factory, and they soon came 
to understand the danger of offering the slightest resistance 
to the most glaring frauds. The Nabob was deprived of his 
revenues ; the entire trade of the country was disorganised, 
and nothing appeared on every side but the most perilous 

These encroachments "were rare during Olive's 

Mr. Vansittart's 

convention, administration ; but when his strong arm ceased 
to be felt, they increased to an indefinite degree. 
To provide a remedy for the disorders which thus threatened 
the peace of the country, Mr. Vansittart proceeded to 
Monghir, and, after a long conference with the Nabob, made 
an offer by way of compromise, which he at length accepted, 
that the trade of the Company's servants should be subject 
to a duty of only nine per cent., though that of his sub- 
jects was, in many cases, saddled with twenty-five per 
cent. This convention necessarily required the sanction 
of the Council board, to whom Mr. Vansittart had intended 
to break it with great caution, but the Nabob imprudently 
directed his officers to carry it at once into execution, 
and they entered upon the duty with little delicacy. 
Numerous collisions ensued, and the breach was widened. 
On his return to Calcutta, Mr. Vansittart encountered 
the most ferocious opposition from his colleagues at the 
board. To men with their lofty pretensions, who con- 


sidered themselves masters of the country, it appeared 
intolerable that their commercial agents should be subjected 
to the authority of one whom they had themselves raised to 
the throne, and to the insolence, as they deemed it, of his 
servants. All the members of Council at the out stations 
were called down to Calcutta, to overawe the President, and 
they declared that they would pay no higher duty than two- 
and-a-half per cent., and that on the article of salt alone. 
Th N bob ^e Nabob, incensed by this declaration, deter- 
aboiishes aii mined to place his own subjects and the foreigners 
duties, 1763. u p 0n an e q ua ]ity by abolishing all transit duties 

throughout the country. The members of Council voted this 
measure a crime, and demanded, as a matter of right, that 
the native trade should be subject to the usual duties, while 
their own was exempted from them. It Avas in vain that 
Mr. Vansittart raised his voice against this iniquitous doctrine ; 
he was supported only by Mr. Hastings. From words the 
Council at length came to blows, and Stanlake Batson, one of its 
most turbulent members, denounced Mr. Hastings as a partizan 
of the Nabob, and struck him a blow which led to a hostile 
challenge. After having passed this disgraceful resolution, 
the majority deputed Mr. Hay and Mr. Amyatt to announce 
it to the Nabob at Monghir. 

During these transactions a boat proceeding to 

Mr. Ellis's in- 
temperate con- Patna with concealed arms, was searched and de- 
duct, nes. tained by the Nabob's officers. The affairs of the 
Company in that city were unfortunately at this juncture 
under the direction of Mr. Ellis, one of the most unscrupulous 
and headstrong of all the public servants. He had violently 
opposed the elevation of Meer Cassim, and seemed now to be 
anxious to precipitate a rupture with him. The boat was 
eventually released, but Mr. Ellis continued his hostile pre- 
parations with so little disguise, that Meer Cassim thought 
fit to detain Mr. Hay as a hostage for some of his own 
servants who had been seized ; but Mr. Amyatt was allowed 
to return to Calcutta. Mr. Ellis waited for the day which 


had been fixed for their departure, and when he calculated 
that both of them were beyond the reach of the Nabob, 
seized on the city of Patna. The native commandant was 
obliged to retire, but on hearing that the European soldiers 
were confused with liquor, returned suddenly and recaptured 
the town. Mr. Ellis and the English gentlemen took refuge 
in their boats and proceeded up the river, but were overtaken 
and brought back prisoners to Patna. The Nabob, incensed 
at this outrage, ordered every Englishman throughout his 
dominions to be seized ; and Mr. Amyatt, then on his way to 
Calcutta, having refused to surrender, was slain in the scuffle. 
The Setts, the great bankers of Moorshedabad, who were 
possessed of incredible wealth, and had manifested a favour- 
able disposition to the English, were at the same time seized 
and conveyed to Monghir. 

war with Meer Both parties now prepared for war. The Nabob 
Cassim. Be- augmented his army, and applied for assistance to 

Btoration of , , , _ T , , . . -,_, n 

Meer Jaffier, the emperor and the Nabob vizier. The Governor 
1763> and Council in Calcutta ordered their army into 

the field, and, at the same time, determined to reseat Meer 
Jaffier on the throne. The old man, seventy-two years of 
age, and scarcely able to move for the leprosy, was withdrawn 
from the obscurity to which he had retired, and required to 
confirm the cession of the three districts which had been 
made by his predecessor, to concede the flagrant exemption 
from duty claimed by the majority of the Council, and likewise 
to make large donations to them individually. The English 
army consisted of 650 Europeans, 1,200 sepoys, and a troop 
of native cavalry ; and although the rains had set in, opened 
Actions of the tne campaign on the 2nd of July. On the 19th, 
i9th and 24th the troops of the Nabob were defeated at Cutwa ; 

July, and the t . 

2nd August, and on the 24th, Moorshedabad was occupied and 
Meer Jaffier, who had accompanied the army, was 
placed a second time on the throne. The army reached Gheriah 
on the 2nd of August, and found the Nabob's well disciplined 
troops drawn up to dispute their advance. The battle lasted 


four hours, and, in the opinion of Clive, never did troops fight 
better than those of the Nabob. At one period of the action, 
indeed, they penetrated the English lines and captured two 
guns, and victory appeared, for a tune, likely to incline to 
them, but the gallantry of the Europeans, and the steadiness 
of the sepoys bore down all opposition, and the Nabob's 
troops were constrained to abandon all their guns and stores, 
and retreat to Oodwanulla. 

Massacre of the ^ lis reverse threw Meer Cassim into a paroxysm 
English pri- of rage, and he gave way to the ferocity of his 

toasts. 1763. ,. ... T, ,111' 

disposition. Ramnarayun, the deposed governor 
of Patna, was cast into the river with weights attached to his 
neck. Raja Rajbullub, the former governor of Dacca, was 
put to death, with all his sons. The Moorshedabad bankers 
were thrown into the Ganges from one of the bastions of the 
fort of Monghir. One of their favourite servants, the faithful 
Chunee, begged permission to share their fate, and when his 
request was denied, plunged into the river, determined not to 
survive them. Early in the month of November, the English 
army carried the entrenched camp at Oodwanulla, and the 
Nabob fled to Patna. But before his departure he ordered his 
officers to proceed to the house where his European prisoners 
were confined, and put them to death without distinction. 
They nobly replied that they were soldiers and not execu- 
tioners. " Turn them out," they said, " with arms in their 
hands, and we will fight them to the death." But there was 
in the camp one Walter Raymond, who had been a sergeant 
in the French service, and now, under the name of Sumroo, 
held a commission in the Nabob's army, who came forward 
and offered to do the bloody deed. The wretch proceeded to 
the house with a file of soldiers, and poured in volley after 
volley through the Venetian windows upon the defenceless vic- 
tims, till forty-eight gentlemen among whom was Mr. Ellis 
and 100 soldiers lay stretched on the floor. Patna was 
captured on the 6th of November, and the campaign ended in 
four months by the flight of Meer Cassim to the court of the 


Nabob vizier. The vizier had fought by the side 

The Nabob * 

vizier marches of Ahmed Shah Abdalee at Paniput, and, in the 
tna, 1764. j an g ua g e O f ^ e na tive historian, " considered 
himself a second Rustum." He determined to take advantage 
of the confusion of the times, and, six months after the ter- 
mination of the war with Meer Cassim, marched down to 
Patna with a large but ill-trained army. It was an act of 
wanton aggression on his part, dictated by ambition and 
avarice. The emperor and the disinherited Nabob of Bengal 
joined his camp with a small body of followers. The English 
army in the field was straitened for provisions, and retired to 
the city of Patna, which was vigorously attacked on the 3rd 
of May, 1764. The assailants were repulsed, but not without 
great difficulty, and not before the close of the day. The 
Nabob vizier, after hovering about Patna for four weeks, re- 
tired to Buxar to encamp for the rains. 

The first sepoy Major Munro, who now assumed the command 
mutiny, 1764. o f ^he Company's army, found the sepoys in a 
state of open revolt. There is no instinct of obedience in 
native armies in India, as in those of Europe, and their 
normal condition under every dynasty, native or foreign, 
Hindoo or Mahomedan, and in every province, has from time 
immemorial been that of insubordination. The British army 
of sepoys was no exception to the general rule. During the 
seven years in which they had been embodied as mercenaries 
under the colours of a foreign power, they had been instru- 
mental in defeating and deposing two Nabobs of Bengal. 
They became inflated with an idea of their own importance, 
and they now manifested it by the demand of a large donation 
and increased pay. Such a demand from men with arms in 
their hands was necessarily refused, and a whole battalion 
marched off to the enemy with their arms and accoutrements. 
Major Munro, an officer of undaunted resolution, determined 
to subdue this spirit at all hazards. The battalion was pur- 
sued and brought back. Twenty- four of the most active of the 
mutineers were selected, arraigned before a field court-martial, 


consisting of native officers, and found guilty. The Major 
ordered four of them to be blown away from the guns, when 
four noble looking grenadiers came forward, and demanded to 
be the first to suffer, as they had always been the foremost in 
danger. The European officers then reported that the sepoys 
had announced their firm resolution not to allow any further 
executions ; but the unflinching commander loaded his guns 
with grape, placed his European soldiers in the intervals, and 
commanded the native battalions to ground arms, threatening 
to discharge the guns on them if a single man was seen to 
move. The sepoys were awed by his resolution ; sixteen 
more were blown away; the mutiny was quenched in their blood, 
and discipline was restored. This was the first of that series of 
mutinies which broke out from time to time among the native 
sepoys chiefly after a successful campaign, when they are 
least amenable to reason and terminated hi less than a 
century in the dissolution of the whole Bengal army. 
Major Munro shewed his masters how the insubordination 
of sepoys was to be dealt with, and there can be no doubt 
that if the same spirit and promptitude had been exhibited 
on every future emergency, the result would have been 
equally auspicious. 

Battle of Buxar ^^ s example of severity restored the discipline 
October 23, of the army so effectually that within four months 
of the mutiny, Major Munro did not hesitate to lead 
his troops against the Nabob vizier, who had been encamped 
for several months at Buxar with an army of 50,000 men. On 
the 23rd of October he was attacked and completely routed, 
and obliged to abandon his camp, with all its stores and 130 
pieces of cannon. The victory of Buxar was scarely less 
important to the interests of the Company than that of Plassy. 
It demolished the power of the Vizier, Soojah-ood-dowlah, the 
only chief of any importance in the north. It made the 
English masters of the entire valley of the Ganges, from the 
Himalayu to the sea, and placed Hindostan at their feet. The 
Nabob sent off his women and his treasure to Bareilly, and 



opened negotiations with the victor, offering as the price of 
his forbearance, fifty lacs of rupees for the Company and the 
army, and eight lacs for himself. But the Council board de- 
manded the surrender of Meer Cassim and Sumroo, as an in- 
dispensable preliminary. The former, who had been stripped 
of his wealth and imprisoned by his treacherous host, hastened 
to seek refuge among the Rohillas. With regard to Sumroo, 
the Vizier offered to invite him to an entertainment, and cause 
him to be assassinated in the presence of any English gentle- 
man who might be deputed to witness and certify his death. 
The offer was indignantly rejected. 

Amn ement Immediately after the battle of Buxar, the emperor 
with Meer joined the English camp, and commenced negotia- 
tions with the Council in Calcutta. They proposed 
that the forfeited territories of the Vizier should be partitioned 
between them, the Company receiving the zemindary of 
Benares, and the emperor the remainder, on condition of de- 
fraying all the expenses of the war. But the arrangement 
fell to the ground. Meanwhile, the government in Calcutta 
was on the verge of bankruptcy. The war was not only 
expensive, as all wars must be, but it was conducted on a 
system of profligate extravagance and peculation which com- 
pletely exhausted the treasury. Meer Jaffier was, therefore, 
brought down to Calcutta to concert some means of relieving 
the pressing necessities of the Council. His position required 
a passive acquiescence in whatever they might chose to dictate, 
and they required him to contribute five lacs of rupees a 
month towards the expenses of the war, as long as it might 
last ; but they did not forget themselves. He was also 
charged with the payment of what they had the impudence to 
call "compensation for losses," that is, for losses, real or 
fictitious, sustained by them and their friends in the illicit 
monopoly of the necessaries of life. The demand was at first 
stated at ten lacs of rupees, but they soon dismissed all 
delicacy of feeling and raised it to thirty, and then to forty 
lacs, and did not pause till it had reached fif ty-three lacs. It 


was, moreover, provided that this nefarious claim should be 
satisfied before any payment was made to the Company's 
treasury for the expenses of the war ; which were met by the 
ingenious device of lending to the Government at an exor- 
bitant rate of interest, the sums paid to individuals by the 
Nabob. The effrontery exhibited during these five years' of 
crime makes one blush for the honour of England ; and the 
only relief to the mind is to be found in the consideration 
that it was an exceptional case. 

These importunities, combined with the age 

Death of f 7 

Meerjaffier, and infirmities of the Nabob, hastened his end, 
and he expired in January, 1765. Then came 
the question of appointing his successor. The making of 
Nabobs had been, for seven years, one of the most lucrative 
employments of the Council, and the fourth opportunity 
which was now presented, was not to be neglected. Mr. Van- 
sittart had retired from the chair, and was succeeded by 
Mr. Spencer, a Bombay civilian, without either talent or 
probity. The Court of Directors, exasperated by the iniquity 
of their servants in Calcutta, had issued peremptory orders 
for the suppression of the inland trade, and for the execution 
of " covenants," binding them not to receive presents from 
native princes. These injunctions reached Calcutta before 
the death of Meer Jaffier. Mr. Spencer and his colleagues, 
were, moreover, aware that Lord Clive was on the eve of em- 
barking for India to root out abuses ; no time was, therefore, 
to be lost in the appointment of another Nabob. The cove- 
nants were thrown aside, and Nujum-ood-dowlah, the son of 
Meer Jaffier, was raised to the throne, and required to make 
donations to the members of the Council to the extent of 
twenty lacs of rupees, as well as to sanction the inland trade, 
exempt from the payment of all duty. 
_. , Clive, on his return to England in 1760, was 

Clive s second 

administration, received with great distinction by the king, the 

minister, Mr. Pitt, and the nation, and honoured 

with an Irish peerage. The India House, likewise, paid 

v 9 

V w 


homage to his talents and his success; but the Court of 
Directors was scarcely less demoralized by intrigue and 
jobbery than the Council board in Calcutta by venality and 
rapacity, and Clive was speedily brought into collision with 
the leading faction, at the head of which was Mr. Sullivan. 
In 1757, Meer Jaffier had ceded to the Company certain lands 
lying to the south of Calcutta, of the annual value of ten lacs 
of rupees, reserving to himself the quit-rent of three lacs a 
year. Two years after, the Nabob manifested his gratitude 
for the services of Clive by making him a donation of the 
quit-rent, which he received for several years without inter- 
ruption. But Mr. Sullivan and his party having gained the 
ascendancy in the Court of Directors in 1763, sent out orders 
to Calcutta, without any communication with Clive, to with- 
hold the usual payment, assigning no other reason for this 
act of injustice than the cessation of all cordiality between 
him and the Court. Clive was, therefore, obliged to file a bill 
in chancery for the recovery of his rights. But while this 
contest was raging, intelligence was received in London of the 
war with Meer Cassim, the massacre of the European pri- 
soners, and the total disorganization of the government in 
Calcutta. The proprietors of India stock saw with dismay 
the golden dreams of prosperity in which they had indulged 
vanishing away, and, in spite of the opposition of the Directors, 
resolved to send out the man to whom they owed all their 
greatness, to retrieve their affairs. They determined also to 
entrust the powers of government, which had hitherto been 
vested in a council of sixteen, to a select commitee of five. 
Clive was surrounded by friends and admirers, and in the 
enjoyment of an income of four lacs of rupees a year ; there 
was therefore no inducement for him to return to India, but 
he had been actuated throughout life by a high sense of duty, 
dnd he did not hesitate to accept the charge of a government 
which .was justly described as " headstrong and corrupt, and 
lost to every sense of honour." 
Clive landed at Calcutta on the 3rd of May, and found 


Condition of that the political dangers had passed off. Meer 
Bengal, 1765. c assmi had been expelled from Bengal, the Nabob 
vizier had been vanquished, and the emperor was a suppliant. 
Bat there were other and more alarming perils to be en- 
countered. Vast fortunes had been amassed by " the most 
nefarious and oppressive conduct ever known in any age or 
country." The power of the Company's servants had been 
employed in levying contributions on every class, from the 
Nabob down to the lowest zemindar. Even the exaction of 
twenty lacs of rupees from the young Nabob on his elevation, 
in defiance of the express orders of the Court of Directors, 
was openly avowed without a blush. Luxury, corruption, 
and debauchery pervaded every rank of the service, and 
threatened the dissolution of all government. Clive found 
Spencer, the governor, " as deep in the mire as any other," 
and he felt himself justified in affirming that " there were not 
five men of principle left at the Presidency." The massacre 
of the English gentlemen by Sumroo had thinned the ranks 
of the civil service; many of the seniors had returned to 
England laden with plunder, and young men had thus been 
pushed forward to posts of importance, with little judgment 
or experience, but inflamed with the most extravagant ex- 
pectations by the success of those who had preceded them. 
Clive's first duty was to enforce the execution of the cove- 
nants which abolished the receipt of presents, but he was 
met on the threshold by an attempt to question the powers 
of the Select Committee, and an effort was made to brow- 
beat him, but he soon reduced the refractory to silence by 
declaring that he would not allow his authority to be contro- 
verted for a moment, and that he would peremptorily dismiss 
from the service every officer who refused to sign the cove- 

Arrangement On the 25th of June, Clive left Calcutta for the 
with the nabob, upper provinces, to dispose of the weighty ques- 

the vizier, and . , . i .,,;,.. _, * 

the emperor, tions which awaited his decision. He attributed 
the recent war with Meer Cassim to the impru-. 


dence of Mr. Vansittart, in advising him to form and discipline 
an army, and to render it efficient by just and punctual pay- 
ment. To prevent the recurrence of this cause of anxiety, 
the Nabob of Moorshedabad was relieved of all responsibility 
for the military defence of the country, and of the manage- 
ment of the revenue. The sum of fifty-three lacs of rupees 
a year was assigned him for the expenses of his court and 
the administration of justice. He received the proposal with 
ecstacy. " Thank God," he exclaimed, " I shall now have as 
many dancing-girls as I like." With regard to the Nabob 
vizier, he had invaded Behar without the least provocation, 
on the mere impulse of cupidity, but his power had been 
irretrievably crushed by the battle of Buxar, the capture of 
Lucknow, and a second defeat at Corah. Seeing his fortunes 
desperate, he repaired to the camp of General Carnac, and 
threw himself on the consideration of the English authorities. 
His kingdom was forfeited by the laws of war and the usage 
of the country, but Olive evinced his moderation by restoring 
it to him, with the exception of the two districts of Corah and 
Allahabad, which were reserved for the emperor. Such an 
instance of generosity in a victorious enemy was unknown in 
India, and excited emotions of the deepest gratitude. The 
emperor, though he had appeared in arms against the English 
at the battle of Buxar, was gratified with the revenues of the 
two districts assigned to him, which, with the annual pay- 
ment of twenty-six lacs of rupees from Bengal and Behar, for 
which he was likewise indebted to the kindness of the English 
chief, constituted his whole dependence. 
TheDewanny, After the completion of these arrangements, 
Aug. 12, 1765. cii ve requested that the Dewanny of Bengal, 
Behar, and Orissa, which the emperor had repeatedly offered 
to the Company, should be conferred on them by an imperial 
firman. The act was completed on the 12th of August, 1765, 
a memorable day in the political and constitutional history of 
British India. As a substitute for a throne, two dining-tables 
were joined together in Clive's tent, and covered with em- 


broidery. The emperor took his seat on a chair planted on 
them, and transferred the government of twenty-five millions 
of people, and an annual revenue of four crores of rupees to 
Lord Olive, on behalf ot the Company. The Mahomedan his- 
torian of the time, scandalized by the simplicity which marked 
the completion of this grand transaction, exclaims with in- 
dignation that " a business of so much importance, which, at 
other times, would have required the sending of wise ministers 
and able envoys, was done and finished in less time than 
would have been taken up in the sale of a jackass." This 
affair serves to exemplify that expansion of views which re- 
sults from the progress of events in the East. On the eve of 
his departure from England, in April, 1764, Clive assured the 
Court of Directors that " nothing but extreme necessity ought 
to induce us to extend our ideas of territorial acquisitions be- 
yond the three districts ceded by Meer Cassim, in his treaty 
with Mr. Vansittart." Before sixteen months had elapsed, 
he congratulated the Court on the acquisition of three pro- 
vinces, and a clear revenue of two crores of rupees a year. 
Yet with this pregnant proof of the fallacy of his judgment, 
he thought fit again to fix the limits of the British empire in 
India, and informed the Court that " it was his resolution and 
hope always to confine our possessions to these provinces, 
and he declared that to go farther was a scheme so extrava- 
gantly ambitious that no government in its senses would ever 
dream of it." The Court of Directors, with all due modesty, 
concurred in the necessity of accepting the provinces. " When 
we consider," they wrote, " that the barrier of the country 
government was entirely broken down, and every Englishman 
throughout the country armed with an authority that owned 
no superior, and exercising his power to the oppression of the 
helpless natives, who knew not whom to obey ; at such a 
crisis, we cannot hesitate to approve your obtaining the De< 
wanny for the Company." 

The mutiny of In announcing this acquisition to the India 
(fed*** House) c]iye remarkedj we have established 


such a force that all the powers in Hindostan cannot de- 
prive us of our possessions for many years," little dreaming 
that within a few months, the existence of that power 
would be endangered by that very force. The military 
expenses had hitherto swallowed up the resources of the 
Company. The army considered itself the most important 
department of the state, and the commanders, in the pride of 
their position, had endeavoured to imbue the native princes 
with the conviction that the power of the British government 
was lodged with them rather than with the civil authorities 
in Calcutta. A few months more of Mr. Spencer's servile 
administration would probably have rendered them masters of 
the country. The officers had been in the habit of receiving 
an allowance called batta when they took the field. Meer 
Jaffier, out of gratitude for his elevation, had increased this 
gratuity, and the army soon came to consider double batta as 
their right. When the Court of Directors became responsible 
for the finances of the country, they resolved to discontinue 
this extravagant allowance ; but the officers resented any in- 
terference with their interests, and the Council board was 
deterred by their imperiousness from carrying the orders into 
execution. The abolition of the double batta was enjoined on 
Clive when he was leaving England, and he lost no time, 
after his arrival, in announcing that it would cease after the 
1st of January, 1766. The officers were little disposed to 
submit to a measure which affected even a captain's allowance 
to the extent of 1,000 rupees a month, and those in the higher 
grades in a larger proportion. The announcement of the 
order was the signal for mutiny, and a universal combination 
was formed to compel Clive to retract it. A committee of 
secrecy was organized in each of the three brigades, and a 
fund created to reimburse officers for any loss they might 
sustain ; and to this fund the discontented and factious 
civilians in Calcutta contributed more than a lac and a half of 
rupees. It was agreed that two hundred officers should 
throw up their commissions on the same day; and, as an 


army of 50.000 Mahrattas was advancing for the invasion of 
Behar, it was calculated that the government would be undei 
the necessity of giving way to retain their services. 
Resolution of It was a crisis of singular peril, but exactly 
cuve, nee. fitted to the daring genius of Clive. He felt that 
to yield to the demands of men with arms in their hands was 
to abandon the government to them, and he declared that he 
must see the soldiers' bayonets levelled at his throat before 
he could be induced to give way. He directed the command- 
ants to accept every commission that was tendered, and to 
send the offender under arrest to Calcutta ; at the same time, 
he ordered up all the officers and cadets who could be spared 
from Madras. Taking with him the officers who yet re- 
mained faithful to their colours, he hastened to Monghir, 
arrested the ringleaders, and ordered them to be tried by 
court-martial. His undaunted resolution overawed the spirit 
of insubordination, and many of the officers who had been 
persuaded to join the malcontents, entreated permission to 
recall their resignations, and were allowed to return to their 
duty. He then proceeded to Benares, where the same energy 
produced the same beneficial results. In two instances the 
sepdys, who had themselves been in a state of mutiny two 
years before, were actively employed in coercing their Euro- 
pean officers, and exhibited such fidelity and steadiness, that 
one battalion marched more than a hundred miles hi fifty-four 
hours, and arrived at its destination in time to avert an out- 
break. Thus was this formidable confederacy, which brought 
the affairs of the Company to the brink of destruction, dis- 
solved in the brief period of a fortnight, by an energy which 
reflected not less credit on the name of Clive than the battle 
of Plassy. 

It remained for Clive to deal with the difficiilt 

Society form 

land trade. question of the trade of the public servants, to 

which the Court of Directors attributed all the 

anarchy and bloodshed of the preceding five years. From 

tbe earliest period, the East India Company had followed the 


example of all other commercial companies, in restricting 
their agents abroad to a mere pittance of salary, and allow- 
ing them to eke it out by private trade, and thus were the 
servants enriched at the expense of the masters. The same 
system was continued when the factory had expanded into 
a kingdom, and their servants entered on the government of 
provinces with unchecked power. The consequence was that 
from the governor to the youngest writer, from the general 
to the ensign, not excepting even the chaplains, all classes 
were busily engaged in commercial pursuits, which were ren- 
dered lucrative ' by the influence of their dominant position. 
In April, 1764, the Court of Directors thought that the evil 
might be remedied, simply by ordering that the trade should 
cease, without proposing any compensation to their officers ; 
but in a subsequent despatch they had the wisdom to modify 
this order by directing Clive to devise some equitable plan 
which should be satisfactory both to the government and the 
service. Clive felt that it was indispensable to the peace and 
prosperity of the country that the servants of the state 
should not be allowed to compete with the native dealers in 
every market, and equally indispensable to the integrity and 
efficiency of the public service that the officers of the go- 
vernment should not be left to starve in the midst of wealth 
which their position enabled them to grasp. He, therefore, 
established a Society for conducting a traffic in salt, on the 
principle of a monopoly, -the profits of which, after a reserva- 
tion of ten lacs of rupees a-year to the Company, should be 
divided among .the servants of the Company according to 
their rank ; the member of Council and the colonel receiving 
70,000 rupees a-year, and the subordinate officers, civil and 
military, in due proportion. The scheme continued in opera- 
tion for two years, and was then abolished by orders from 
home, which substituted in its stead a commission of two- 
and-a-half per cent, on the gross revenue of the provinces. 

After a residence of twenty-two months in 

Clive's return to i i ' -n i J v 

England, 1767. India, Clive was driven back to England by a 


severe attack of disease. In the large transactions in 
which he had been engaged, involving the fate of great 
kingdoms, and the disposal of crores of rupees, he might 
easily have added fifty lacs of rupees to his fortune, but 
he returned to his native land poorer than he had left it. 
It has fallen to the lot of few men to exercise so im- 
portant and permanent an influence on the course of 
human affairs. When he landed in Calcutta in 1757, he 
found the Company's factory in ruins, and their servants in 
exile. By 1767, he had made the Company the sovereigns of 
twenty-five millions of people, and masters of a revenue, 
little short of one-half that of England. He had laid the 
foundation of a great empire containing an irrepressible 
element of expansion. He had established the supremacy of 
Europe in Asia. His reception in England corresponded at 
first with his eminent merits, but it was not long before he 
was made to taste the bitterness of ingratitude. His great- 
ness excited envy and censure. The members of the civil 
service, whose rapacity he had defeated abroad, made large 
purchases of India stock on their return to England, and 
became members of the corporation in Leadenhall-street, that 
they might more effectually wreak their vengeance on him. 
His rancorous enemy, Sullivan, endeavoured by garbled 
statements to persuade Parliament that all the difficulties of 
the Company were to be attributed to his measures. The 
Court of Directors restored almost every civil and military 
culprit whom he had cashiered for peculation or mutiny. The 
Attorney-General proposed to confiscate all the donations he 
had received from native princes in India, and the Prime 
Minister joined the hue and cry against him. In Parlia- 
ment his conduct was described by his opponents " as a mass 
of the most unheard-of villanics and corruption." But when 
a vote of censure was pressed on the House, the members 
shrunk from the scandal of fixing a brand of infamy on the 
man who had given England a kingdom larger than itself, 
and came to the resolution that he had rendered great and 


meritorious services to his country. But his lofty spirit could 
ill-brook the persecution he had been subjected to, and under 
Death of the pressure of bodily and mental suffering, he 
ciive. 1774. p u ^ a p er } 0( j to his existence in November, 1774. 
_ . . , Lord Olive was succeeded in the government 

Wretched con- 
dition of Ben- by Mr. Verelst, a man of strict integrity, but 

without sufficient resolution to cope with the dis- 
orders of the times. Olive, with all his genius, had com- 
mitted the great error of establishing the system of double 
government, which for five years proved to be the curse of 
Bengal. The administration was nominally vested in the 
Nabob, in whose name the revenue was collected and justice 
administered, by native officers, but the irresistible power of 
the rapacious servants of the Company paralysed the whole 
system of government, and introduced endless intrigue and 
oppression. Those whom Clive had constrained to sign the 
covenants against presents, treated them as waste paper as 
soon as his back was turned, and plunged with increased 
ardour and perfect impunity into the trade of the country. 
Every man who was permitted to make out a bill, made a 
fortune ; and the nefarious charges of contractors, com- 
missaries, engineers, and other officers drained the treasury. 
The Council was without the power, even if they had 
possessed the will, to check these abuses. The three natives 
who managed the revenues enriched themselves, and left the 
governor to borrow money for the public service. It was at 
this period, and through their connivance, that the great 
majority of rent-free tenures was created, and an annual 
revenue little short of forty lacs of rupees was alienated 
from the resources of the state. It was a period of transi- 
tion between the dissolution of the old Mahomedan govern- 
ment and the vigorous development of British sovereignty, 
and it was, as usual, fruitful of anomalies, and not wanting 
in guilt. These evils were aggravated to a fearful extent by 
the great famine of 1770, which swept away one-third of the 
population of the lower provinces. 




state of affairs now to the progress of events at the 

at Madras. Madras Presidency. The extinction of the French 
power in India by the capture of Pondicherry, had given 
Mahomed Ali, the ally of the English, the undisputed title of 
Nabob of the Carnatic, and, though he had afforded them no 
assistance during the war, he regarded himself as the absolute 
ruler of the country. But he was conspicuous even among 
the princes of India for his imbecility ; and his army was a 
mere rabble, which devoured the resources of a territory they 
were unable to protect. The Company thus found themselves, 
by the issue of the war, saddled with the defence of a 
province comprising 50,000 square miles, without any re- 
sources for the maintenance of a costly army, but the profits 
of their trade, which belonged to their constituents in London. 
They were constrained, therefore, to demand a contribution 
of fifty lacs of rupees from Mahomed Ali, to discharge the 
obligations they had contracted during the recent conflict. 
But the Carnatic had been without any settled government 
for twenty years ; every invader had desolated its districts, 
and the polygars paid no revenue but at the sword's point. 
The countiy was, moreover, now in the hands of a court at 
once wasteful and neglectful, which had been subsisting for 
many years on loans raised on exorbitant terms at Madras, 
which impaired the strength of those who borrowed the 
money, and the morals of those who lent it. 
Affairs of Tan- To meet this demand, the Nabob proposed to 
lore, 1763. ^he government of Madras to despoil the gover- 
nors of Vellore and the Marawars, and more particularly the 
rajah of Tanjore, whose principality had, to a certain extent, 
escaped the ravages of war, and which he was anxious to 
appropriate to himself Tanjore was an independent province, 


which had never been incorporated with the Mogul empire, 
though it had often yielded to the pressure of invasion, and 
paid contributions when unable to evade them. The Presi- 
dent at Madras, with an exhausted treasury, manifested the 
greatest reluctance to go to war with this state, and effected 
an amicable adjustment of the Nabob's demand for a payment 
of twenty-two lacs of rupees in four instalments, and four 
lacs of rupees a year as tribute. But the Nabob derived 
little benefit from this arrangement, as the Court of Directors 
ordered the sums as they arrived, to be taken to the treasury 
at Madras, and placed to the credit of his account. 
The peace of ^ke war b e t ween the French and the English 
Paris, lotu \vas terminated by the peace of Paris, which 
restored to the former all the factories they had 
possessed in India. It likewise stipulated that in order to 
preserve future peace on the coast of Coromandel and Orissa. 
the English and the French should acknowledge Mahomed 
Ali for lawful Nabob of the Carnatic, and Salabut Jung, for 
lawful Soobadar of the Deccan. Olive was then hi England, 
and endeavoured to convince the ministry, who knew nothing 
about Indian politics, of the danger and embarrassment which 
this clause would inevitably entail, but could only secure a 
slight and unimportant modification of it. It involved the 
double absurdity of disposing unceremoniously of territories 
belonging to the crown of Delhi, and of acknowledging the 
authority of Salabut Jung, eighteen months after he had 
ceased to reign. He had been deposed and confined on the 
10th of July, 1761, by his brother, Nizam Ali, who, on finding 
that his rights were acknowledged by the two foreign Euro- 
pean powers, so formidable to the princes of the Deccan, lost 
no time in causing him to be assassinated, and the treaty 
which was intended to secure to him the possession of the 
the throne, became the cause of his death. Soon after, 
Nizam Ali invaded the Carnatic with a large army, laying 
waste the districts through which he passed, with the greatest 
barbarity. The English troops came up to the rescue, and 


faced the Nizam at Tripety, but he had no mind to try con- 
clusions with them, and instantly evacuated the country. 
During these events, Clive happened to touch at Madras on 
his way to Calcutta, and was requested by the Nabob to 
obtain a firman from Delhi, releasing him from dependence on 
the Nizam ; and on the 12th of August in the same year, 
Mahomed AH was empowered by the emperor's sunnud to 
hold his fief directly of the imperial crown. 

To meet the expenses of their military estab- 
th^Northern Hshment at Madras, the Court of Directors were 
A rCar i765 th anxiousto obtain a permanentright to the Northern 

sircars on the Coromandel coast, which had fur- 
nished the sinews of war to Bussy, and which were embraced 
in the districts ceded to Colonel Forde by Salabut Jung in 
1758. The Madras President had, at one time, offered to 
farm them of the Nizam at a high rent, but the proposal was 
declined. Clive, however, during his second administration, 
disposed of the question in a very summary manner. On the 
memorable 12th of August, when he received the Dewanny 
from the emperor, he likewise requested an imperial grant of 
the Northern sircars for the Company, which was necessarily 
granted. The Nizam, who had already lost his hold on the 
Carnatic, was not disposed tamely to part with this province 
likewise, and on hearing that an English force had been sent 
to take possession of the districts, threatened to march down 
and exterminate them, and also made preparations for the 
invasion of the Carnatic. The timid Presidency of Madras, 
alarmed at these menaces, directed their commander, General 
Calliaud, to suspend all military operations, and proceed to 
Hyderabad to enter into negotiations with the Nizam. 

They resulted in the disastrous and humiliating 1 

Treaty with tne 

Nizam, i2th treaty of the 12th of November, 1766, by which 
the Madras authorities agreed to hold the Northern 
sircars, which had been conferred on them by the paramount 
power in India, as a tributary tenure under the Nizam, at eight 
lacs of rupees a year, and, in addition, to make an immediate 


donation of five lacs. But what was still more objectionable, 
the President involved the Company in the intricate web of 
Deccan politics, by engaging to furnish the Nizam with two 
battalions of infantry and six pieces of cannon, " to settle, in 
everything right and proper, the affairs of his highness's 
government," well knowing that the first requisition for the 
troops would be to assist in attacking Hyder Ali, who had 
recently usurped the Mysore throne, and against whom a 
confederacy had been formed of the Mahrattas and the 

Rise of We turn, therefore, to the rise and progress of 

Hyder AIL this extraordinary chief, who proved, eventually, 
to be the most formidable and inveterate foe the English 
ever encountered in India. The principality of Mysore was 
one of the provinces of the Hindoo kingdom of Beejuynugur, 
which was extinguished on the field of Tellicotta in 1564. 
In the confusion created by this event, it fell to the lot of a 
Hindoo prince, whose descendants continued, for two cen- 
turies, to maintain their independence and to encroach on 
their neighbours. About the year 1750, the old dynasty 
having become effete, the whole power of the state fell into 
the hands of the minister, Nunjeraj. It was at this juncture 
that Hyder appeared on the scene, and, in a few years, super- 
seded both king and minister. His family came originally 
from the Punjab, and his father, Putteh Mahomed, gradually 
rose to be a sirdar of peons, or head constable, and then ob- 
tained the command of a small body of troops. Hyder was 
born about the year 1702, and, as he advanced in years, gave 
himself up to the pleasures of the chase, and plunged into 
voluptuous riot. Like Sevajee, he was never able to read or 
write, but this deficiency was in some measure supplied by 
an extraordinary memory. He remained in complete obscurity 
during forty-seven years of his life, and first entered the 
Mysore army as a volunteer at the siege of Deonhully, where 
his energy and self-possession attracted the notice of Nun- 

xii.] HYDER'S PROGRESS. 321 

The foundation ^ ne Hester immediately promoted him 10 the 
of his fortune, command of 50 horse and 200 infantry, with 
instructions to augment their number, and it was 
this commission which laid the foundation of his future fortune. 
In 1755, the difficult task of providing for the safety of the 
fortress of Dindigul, lying to the south of Trichinopoly, was 
committed to him, and it was while in command of this post 
that he appears first to have entertained those ambitious 
views which he was enabled to bring to a consummation in 
the brief space of six years. Dindigul became the cradle of 
his power, and it was there that he increased his resources by 
a system of plunder, of which there had been no example 
since the days of Sevajee. His troops were let loose indis- 
criminately on every one, friend or foe, who had anything to 
lose, and their zeal was sharpened by permission to retain 
half the booty for themselves. Hyder's progress to power 
was aided in no small degree by his unrivalled power of dis- 
simulation. Having on one occasion reported a great victory 
to Nunjeraj, that minister sent his commissaiy to bestow 
the usual pensions for wounds, when 700 men were exhi- 
bited to him, wrapped in bandages which had been steeped 
in turmeric, whereas only 67 had been wounded. By 
similar acts of deceit, and by the repetition of false musters, * 
he was enabled to obtain large supplies of money, and to in- 
crease his force to 7,000. At the same time, he procured 
skilled artizans from the French settlements on the coast, 
and established an arsenal and a laboratory, and brought his 
artillery to a high degree of perfection. 

In 1757, the Peshwa, Balaiee Rao, made one of 

ThePeshwabe- ,.,., j -.1 ,-. -j 

sieges seringa- his periodical raids into Mysore, and, with the aid 
ityde^acqui- of tne European engineers whom he had enlisted, 
sitions. laid close siege to Seringapatam. The minister 

was obliged to purchase a respite by the sacrifice of thirty-two 
lacs of rupees, and to pledge a large territory for the' amount 
he was umtble to furnish in money and jewels. The Mysore 
treasury was exhausted by this heavy di^in, and the troops 



became mutinous for their arrears. Hyder hastened to the 
capital, and engaged to satisfy their claims, on receiving the 
assignment of fresh jaygeers. By this politic act he in- 
creased his resources, and at the same time obtained an 
influence over the troops, and all classes began to regard him 
as the guardian of order. Soon after, he persuaded the 
minister to expel the Mahratta officers from the districts 
which had been pledged to the Peshwa, who immediately 
entered the country with a large force. Hyder was appointed 
to the command of the Mysore army, and harassed the 
Mahrattas in their own style of warfare, with so much 
effect that they offered to relinquish the mortgaged territory 
for an immediate payment. Hyder raised the money from 
the bankers of the city on his own personal security, and the 
districts were transferred to him. Then came fresh mutinies, 
and the raja and the minister were besieged in their palaces. 
Hyder was at hand to satisfy the troops and received fresh 
assignments, till he found himself hi possession of half the 
domains of the state. 

Hyder assists Lally was at this time besieged by Coote in 
laiiy, neo. Pondicherry, and solicited the aid of Hyder, who 
engaged to furnish him with 8,000 horse and foot and a due 
proportion of artillery, on being put in possession of the im- 
portant fortress of Thiagur. His relative and general, 
Mukdoom Ah, on his way to Pondicherry with the troops, 
fell in with a small English detachment, and defeated it. 
Hyder was so elated with this success, that he immediately 
ordered the strength of his contingent to be doubled. If this 
increased force had reached the French settlement while it 
was besieged, the war between the English and the French 
might have exhibited a very different result. But Hyder was 
Suddenly obliged to recall the whole force for the protection of 
his own interests. His usurpation of authority had created 
great indignation at the court, and the queen-mother and the 
raja, in conjunction with his bosom friend, Khundeh Rao, 
determined to take advantage of the absence of these troops 


to crush his rising power. He was encamped under the fort 
of Seringapatam with only 1,600 men, when the guns were 
unexpectedly opened on him, and he was obliged to fly for his 
life. He retreated to Bangalore, and recalled his troops from 
Pondicherry, but was overtaken and signally defeated by 
Khundeh Rao. 

Hyder's fortunes now appeared desperate, but 

covers his they were restored by his matchless tact and 
usurps the hypocrisy. Unarmed and alone, he suddenly pre- 
throne, i76i. sen t e( j himself before the minister, Nunjeraj, 
acknowledged his ingratitude with an appearance of the 
deepest penitence, and entreated that he might be forgiven, 
and allowed to serve under him hi any capacity, however 
mean. Nunjeraj was so simple as to give faith to these pro- 
fessions and condone his offence, and Hyder was thus enabled 
to assemble an army, but Khundeh Rao still followed him 
with such vigour that his escape appeared impossible. In 
this emergency, he contrived to throw in the way of his 
pursuer letters addressed to his officers, with the seal of 
Nunjeraj, in which allusion was made to certain treacherous 
proposals. Khundeh Rao, considering himself betrayed by 
his own officers, quitted his army, and fled with precipitation 
to Seringapatam. Hyder was now enabled to assemble a 
powerful army, with which he ascended the ghauts, and on 
his arrival at the capital in May, sent a message to the raja 
stating, " that large sums were due to him from the state, 
which must be liquidated, after which, if the raja thought fit 
to continue his services, it was well ; otherwise he would de- 
part and seek his fortune elsewhere." Such a message, 
backed by an overwhelming force, could not be misunder- 
stood. The raja yielded to necessity, and in June, 1761, re- 
linquished the government to Hyder Ali, on receiving an 
assignment of lands of the annual value of three lacs of 
rupees for himself, and one lac for Nunjeraj. 
Augmentation Hyder, now master of the kingdom of Mysore, 
directed all his energies to its aggrandisement, 

Y 2 


and in the course of two years extended his frontier to 
the banks of the Kistna. In 1763, he invaded the terri- 
tory of Bednore, on the summit of the ghauts, which over- 
looked the maritime province of Canara. The capital was 
eight miles in circumference, and the country had not been 
exposed to the desolation of war. The queen set fire to her 
palace, and fled with a large portion of the inhabitants into 
the woods, and Bednore submitted without a struggle. It is 
said to have been the most wealthy city in the Deccan, and 
the plunder which Hyder acquired has been estimated at 
twelve crores of rupees. This sum is a manifest exaggera- 
tion, but he himself always attributed his subsequent pros- 
perity to the treasure he acquired in this city. He had 
previously changed his name from Hyder Naik to Hyder AH 
Khan Bahadoor, and he now introduced greater etiquette and 
splendour into the arrangements of his court, and moreover 
took advantage of the access he had obtained to the sea 
coast, to commence the construction of a navy. 

To turn now to the progress of affairs among 
Marthoo Eao, the Mahrattas. On the death of Balajee Rao, after 
*m wa> Sept ' tne fatal Defeat at Paniput, his son, Madhoo Rao, 
a youth of eighteen, proceeded to Satara, in com- 
pany with his uncle, Roghoonath Rao, known in British annals 
as Raghoba, and was invested with the office of Peshwa by 
the descendant of Sevajee, who was still held in confinement 
by his cruel grandmother, Tara-bye. Nizam Ali, the dewan, or 
prime minister of his brother Salabut Jung, who had usurped 
the whole power of the Hyderabad kingdom, resolved to 
take advantage of the crippled state of the Mahrattas, and 
the confusion of a new reign, to recover the district which 
the deceased Peshwa had wrested from him in the preceding 
year. He marched to Poona with a large army, but, on 
arriving within fourteen miles of it, was induced to relax his 
demands, and accept lands yielding twenty-seven lacs of 
rupees a year. Six months after, he placed his brother 
under restraint, and not long after, when intelligence 


arrived that he had been recognised soobadar of the Deccan, 
by the peace of Paris, caused him to be put to death. Before 
the cession of the districts was completed, the restless 
Raghoba assembled his troops to oppose Nizam Ali, who 
immediately formed an alliance with Bhonslay, the raja of 
Berar, and marched again to Poona which, on this occasion, he 
plundered and burnt. Raghoba retaliated on him by marching 
to Hyderabad, and laying it under contributions. The two 
armies met on the banks of the Godavery. The faithless 
Nizam Ali de- Bhonslay was induced by the promise of lands, 
feated by Ra- valued at thirty-two lacs of rupees a year, to 

ghoba,1763. , ... *. , . . _ \ 

desert .Nizam Ali, and join Raghoba; and the 
result of this treachery was the entire defeat of the Nizam 
with immense slaughter. The raja of Berar, however, was 
not long permitted to retain the fruits of his perfidy. He 
had incensed the Peshwa by joining Nizam Ali, and Nizam Ali 
by deserting to the Mahrattas on the eve of the battle, and in 
1766, the united armies of these princes invaded Berar, and 
constrained him to restore four-fifths of the territory he had 
gained by his treachery. 

Mahrattas at- Mysore had hitherto been considered by the 
tack and defeat Mahrattas a submissive province, paying chout, 

and affording a field for plunder when no other 
expedition happened to be on hand. The sudden rise and 
rapid encroachment of a new power roused the indignation of 
the Peshwa ; and, having disposed of Nizam Ali, he deter- 
mined to chastise the audacity of Hyder, who had already 
increased his force to 20,000 horse and 40,000 foot, one-half 
of which consisted of well-disciplined infantry battalions. It 
was his first regular encounter with the Mahrattas, and he 
was completely foiled hi all his movements. At the close of 
the monsoon, the Mahrattas again took the field, and forced 
Hyder to a general action in which he was again routed, with 
the loss of 10,000 men. The Mahratta horse spread over 
the country and plundered it without mercy, and Hyder con- 
sidered himself fortunate in obtaining peace by the restora- 


tion of the greater portion of the districts he had usurped, 
and the payment of thirty-two lacs of rupees. These disasters 
shook his power in the other provinces he had recently con- 
quered, and it required a full year to restore his authority. 
Early in 1766, his ambition led him to invade the maritime 
province of Malabar. The Nan's, or military chieftains, 
anxious to maintain their hereditary renown, and to preserve 
their independence, offered a noble resistance, but their 
chivalrous valour could not avert their fate, and the whole pro- 
vince was reduced to subjection. In his progress along the 
coast, Hyder reached the town of Calicut, memorable as the 
place where the Europeans first set foot on the soil of India. 
The district had never been invaded by the Mahomedan arms, 
and the Hindoo chief still bore the title of Zamorin, as in the 
days of Albuquerque. He was awed into submission by the 
overwhelming force of Hyder, but seeing his minister subjected 
to torture, he set fire to his palace, and voluntarily perished hi 
the flames to avoid a similar fate. 

confederacy From these schemes of conquest Hyder was 
against Hyder, recalled to Seringapatam, to meet a confederacy 
which had been formed towards the close of 1766 
by the Nizam and the Mahrattas, for the entire conquest of 
his country. Into this league the Madras Presidency was 
unfortunately drawn by the treaty concluded with the Nizam 
on the 12th of November in that year, which stipulated that 
the English should assist him with an auxiliary force, of 
undefined strength, " to settle the affairs of his government 
in everything that was right and proper," though it was 
distinctly understood that the first service in which it was to 
be employed was the conquest or plunder of Mysore. The 
government of Madras was then under Mr. Palk, who had 
gone out to India as a chaplain, but renounced his orders to 
enter the more lucrative civil service of the Company, in 
which he amassed a large fortune, and on his retxirn to 
England was created a baronet. It was this unfortunate 
treaty which involved the Presidency in a war with Hyder, 


and subjected them eventually to the greatest ignominy. 
The Mahrattas determined to forestal the Nizam, and without 
waiting for his co-operation, crossed the Kistna in January, 
1767, and before the end of March had plundered the 
northern districts to the extent of seventeen lacs of rupees. 
Hyder discreetly bought them off by a payment of thirty 
lacs more. Madhoo Rao, the Peshwa, on his return from this 
successful expedition in May, met the Nizam's army at Colar, 
and was requested to share the plunder with it, but he 
treated the request with derision, and returned to his capital, 
leaving him and his English ally to settle with Hyder as they 
best could. 

Colonel Smith who commanded the contingent 

Nizam deserts . ,-, ... , , - , ... ,-, -WT. , 

tue English and of British troops, found, on joining the Nizam s 

1767 Hyder> cam P th at this perfidious prince, had already 
entered into negotiations with Hyder, and the 
Colonel advised the Presidency to be prepared for the 
invasion of the Carnatic by their ally, as well as by their 
enemy. To remove suspicion the Nizam made the strongest 
protestations of inviolable good faith ; but Colonel Smith, on 
entering the Mysore territory in May, 1767, perceived such 
unequivocal tokens of collusion, that he retired with the bulk 
of his force towards his own frontier, leaving only three bat* 
talions and some field pieces with the Nizam, at his special 
request. While this negotiation was in progress, the Nizam 
was intriguing with Nunjeraj, formerly minister of the old 
raj of Mysore, for the subversion of Hyder's power. Hyder, 
who had discovered the plot, invited Nunjeraj to Seringapatam, 
after taking a solemn oath on the Koran to do him no harm, 
and, on his arrival, showed him that the oath had been taken 
on a book of blank leaves, and then stripped him of all hia 
property, and consigned him to perpetual imprisonment. The 
bargain being now completed, the Nizam engaged to join in 
an attack on the Englbh, on receiving an immediate payment 
of twenty lacs of rupees, and a promise of six lacs of tribute. 
But this scene of treachery was relieved by one act of gene- 


rosity ; the English contingent of three battalions was allowed 
to leave the Nizam's camp without being attacked. The com- 
bined army of Hyder and the Nizam which now advanced 
against the English, numbered 42,000 cavalry, 28,000 infantry, 
and 100 guns, while Colonel Smith was only able to muster 
1,030 sabres, and 5,800 bayonets, with 16 guns. 

The first encounter with the English troops 
changama, 3rd took place on the 25th of August, when a small 
Sept., 1767. detachment was surprised and discomfited. The 
honour of the British flag was, however, retrieved at Chan- 
gama, where Colonel Smith totally routed the allied force ; 
but as the Madras Council had entrusted the charge of the com- 
missariat to their Nabob, Mahomed Ah', and he had, as usual, 
disappointed them, Colonel Smith found his army straitened 
for provisions, and was obliged to fall back on Trino- 
malee, where, after various manoeuvres, he was able to offer 
battle to the allies. The engagement lasted two days, and 
ended in their total defeat, with the loss of 4,000 men and 64 
guns. Their discomfiture would have been more complete, if 
the officer sent to improve the victory had not been led into a 
swamp by his guide, who, like most of the guides attached 
to this force, was one of Hyder's spies. Meanwhile his 
eldest son, Tippoo, then seventeen years of age, was em- 
ployed with a body of 5,000 horse, in plundering the country 
houses of the Madras gentry in the vicinity of the town, and 
the members of government escaped capture only by the 
eagerness of the Mysore troops for booty ; but on hearing the 
result of the action at Trinomalee, he hastily retired and 
rejoined his father's camp. For the next three months both 
paities were engaged in various operations, without interest 
or result, and Hyder was soon after called to the western 
coast, and deserted by the Nizam. 

Expedition The government of Bengal had not only as- 

Mdteat gal> sisted Madras with money for the support of the 
with the war, but sent an expedition under Colonel Peach 
by sea into the Hyderabad territories to create 


a diversion. He landed in the Northern Sircars, and pene- 
trated the country to Warungole, the ancient metropolis 
of Telingana, only eighty-six miles from Hyderabad. Nizam 
All began to repent of his alliance with Hyder, which had 
brought him neither plunder nor territory, but abundant dis- 
grace. He began, moreover, to tremble for his own capital, 
on which Colonel Peach was steadily advancing, and he de- 
termined at once to abandon his ally, and come to terms with 
the English. After several weeks of negotiation with Colonel 
Smith, the President at Madras concluded that memorable 
Treaty of the 23rd of February, 1768, which was not less 
ignominious than that which had been made two years before. 
The Nizam had been twice defeated in the south ; his do- 
minions had been successfully invaded in the north, and his 
capital was threatened. The President was in a position to 
dictate his own terms, but he abandoned every advantage and 
voluntarily placed his government in the most humiliating 
position. Instead of insisting on the right to hold the Nor- 
thern Sircars on the strength of the imperial firman, he agreed 
to pay tribute for them, and to postpone the possession of the 
Guntoor Sircar, till the death of Basalut Jung, the brother of 
the Nizam, to whom he had assigned it. Hyder Ah', more- 
over, who had been absolute master of Mysore for seven 
years, and was one of the greatest powers in the Deccan, was 
contemptuously styled Hyder Naik, and treated as a rebel and 
a usurper. It was also stipulated that the English should 
conquer the Carnatic Balaghaut from him, and hold it of the 
Nizam, subject to a tribute of seven lacs of rupees a-year, 
and, to the payment of chout to the Mahrattas, though they 
were no parties to the treaty. To crown their folly, the 
Madras Council again involved their masters in the labyrinth 
of Deccan politics, by agreeing to assist the Nizam with two 
battalions of sepoys, and six pieces of artillery, commanded 
by Europeans, whenever he should require them. The treaty 
was reprobated by their masters in Leadenhall Street, who 
indignantly remarked, "We cannot take a view of your con- 


duct from the commencement of your negotiations for the 
sircars, without the strongest disapprobation, and when we 
see the opulent fortunes acquired by our servants since that 
period, it gives but too much weight to the public opinion, 
that this rage for negotiations, treaties, and alliances has 
private advantage for its object, more than the public good." 
Hyder on the Hyder's presence was required on the western 
western coast, coast, to make head against a formidable expedi- 
tion fitted out from Bombay against his ports and 
his naval power. Mangalore and Onore were captured, and 
the Mysore fleet destroyed ; but in the month of May Hyder 
descended the ghauts with an imposing force, and completely 
turned the scale. The British commander at Mangalore, 
after a wretched defence, re-embarked his troops, 1,500 in 
number, abandoning, not only all his stores, but 260 of his 
wounded soldiers, among whom were 80 Europeans. Hyder, 
after wreaking his vengeance on the districts which had 
manifested a spirit of rebellion during the brief ascendancy 
of the English power on the coast, returned, after the lapse 
of seven months, to prosecute the war in the eastern districts. 
But the great opportunity which his long absence afforded to 
the British army in the Carnatic had been completely sacrificed 
by the imbecility of the Madras authorities. As if the king- 
dom of Mysore were already in their possession, they had 
given it away to their Nabob, Mahomed Ah', and he accom- 
panied the army to take charge of the districts as they were 
occupied. The provision of the commissariat, on which the 
movements of the army entirely depended, was, by a fatal error, 
committed to him, and Colonel Smith, the commandant was 
controlled and hampered by the deputation of two members 
of Council to regulate its movements. In spite, however, of 
these embarrassments, his exertions were attended with such 
success, that nearly one-half the dominions of Hyder, to- 
gether with eight of his principal forts, and the most impor- 
tant mountain passes fell into his hands. Hyder, after a calm 
consideration of the progress and prospects of the campaign, 


deemed it the part of prudence, in the month of September, 
to make overtures to Colonel Smith, offering to cede the 
Baramahal to the Company, and to pay down ten lacs of 
rupees. But the President and Council, inflated with recent 
success, made the most extravagant demands, and Hyder 
broke off the negotiation, and prepared for a mortal conflict. 
The tide tums ^he tide of success now turned against the 
against the En- English. Colonel Smith was constrained by the 

glish, 1768. , . . ' 

skilful manoeuvres of Hyder to raise the siege of 
Bangalore, and it was with great difficulty that he was able 
to maintain his ground. The " field deputies " and the Nabob 
had remained at Colar, where a body of troops, equal to a 
division, was idly detained for their protection. They had 
managed between them to ruin the prospects of the campaign ; 
the deputies, by their mischievous interference, the Nabob by 
his neglect in regard to the supply of provisions. On the ap- 
pearance of a detachment sent by Hyder to terrify them, 
they hastened back to Madras, accompanied by Colonel Smith, 
who had been invited to return to the Presidency to make room 
for a more favourite commander, Colonel Wood. Thus ended 
all the bright visions of conquest, in which the Madras Council 
had been indulging during the year, and they were now 
obliged to limit their efforts to the defence of the Company's 
territories. On the 6th of December, Hyder descended into 
the Baramahal, and in the course of six weeks recovered all 
the districts which he had lost. It was now the turn of the 
Council to solicit an accommodation with him, but the terms 
they proposed did not suit him, and, after two months of 
fruitless negotiations, he resumed his ravages, marking his 
progress by the flames of villages, and the flight of the 
wretched inhabitants. Colonel Smith was placed at the head 
of the troops, and, by his rapid and skilful movements, so 
effectually baffled the plans of Hyder, that he determined to 
attempt, by one bold stroke, to bring the war to a termina- 
Hyder dictates tion. Sending all his guns, heavy baggage, and 
peace, 1769. infantry back to Mysore by the pass of Ahtoor, 


he placed himself at the head of 6,000 chosen horse, unen- 
cumbered by a single gun, and marched a hundred and thirty 
miles in three days and a half. Early on the morning of the 
29th of March, his advanced guard appeared at St. Thome, 
five miles from Madras, and a messenger soon after an- 
nounced to the bewildered Council that he had come to con- 
duct the negotiations in person. Colonel Smith had been 
rapidly following in his track, and would shortly have reached 
Madras. Hyder therefore demanded that an order should be 
immediately sent requiring him to halt, wherever he might 
be, on the arrival of the communication, which was des- 
patched by one of his own dromedaries, and the Colonel, to 
his great chagrin, was obliged to remain inactive during 
this disgraceful negotiation. Hyder likewise required that 
Mr. Dupre, who had recently arrived at Madras, to succeed to 
the office of President, should be sent to his camp to adjust the 
conditions of peace. On the 4th of April a treaty was con- 
cluded on the very moderate terms of a mutual restitution of 
conquests. But it was at the same time stipulated that " in 
case either of the contracting parties should be attacked, they 
should from their respective countries mutually assist each 
other to drive the enemy out." Thus ended this ill-managed 
and unfortunate war by a treaty dictated by Hyder, under the 
walls of Madras. 

Hyder, having concluded peace with the En- 
nd the glish, and obtained the promise of their support, 
Mahrattas, began to set the Mahrattas at defiance, and not 
only withheld the payments due to them, but 
levied contributions on their districts. Madhoo Rao, the 
Peshwa. therefore, assembled a large army for the entire and 
final subjugation of Mysore. The forts in the eastern pro- 
vinces were rapidly reduced, and the districts laid waste ; and 
Hyder, knowing that his infantry, even with their high disci- 
pline, could ill stand the charge of the Mahratta horse, 
retired westward, and made overtures of peace, offering to 
pay chout, but refusing to surrender territory. Madhoo Rao 


demanded a crore of rupees, and the negotiation was broken 
off. In the month of May, 1771, he was constrained, by the 
state of his health, to relinquish the command of the Mahratta 
army, which devolved on Trimbuck mama. Hyder, who 
dreaded the abilities of the Peshwa, but held the new com- 
mander in contempt, advanced with 35,000 men and forty 
guns, to the pass of Milgota, where he found himself en- 
trapped into a false position. After sustaining an incessant 
cannonade for eight days, he was constrained, on the 5th of 
March, to break up Ms encampment, and commence his re- 
treat to Seringapatam, a distance of about twenty-two miles. 
The army commenced its stealthy march by nigbt, but it was 
revealed to the Mahrattas by accident or treachery, and they 
instantly made a vigorous assault on the retiring force. 
Hyder, who had been drinking to excess, and had not been 
able to relieve the effects by his usual period of sleep, was in 
a state of helpless inebriety. Tippoo was nowhere to be 
found, and when he presented himself to his father, the next 
morning, was overwhelmed with abuse,, and beaten without 
mercy, on which he threw his turban on the ground, and 
swore by the prophet that he would not draw sword any 
more that day. The rout was complete, and the carnage 
prodigious, and the army was saved from extermination only 
by the avidity of the Mahrattas for plunder. Hyder, on re- 
covering his senses in the morning, mounted a swift horse, 
and did not draw rein till he reached his capital. The 
Mahrattas laid close siege to it, but as they managed it with 
more than usual absurdity, Hyder had leisure to collect his 
scattered forces. During these troubles, he repeatedly im- 
portuned the President of Madras for that succour which the 
English government was bound, by the recent treaty, to 
afford him. He offered to pay twenty. lacs of rupees for a 
brigade of troops, and to cede the Baraniahal, Salem, and 
Ahtoor, and threatened to throw himself into the arms of the 
French if the assistance was withheld. The President con- 
sidered it of vital importance to the honour and interests of 


the Company to support Hyder. But he was paralysed by 
the presence and the interference of Sir John Lindsay, whom 
the ministry of the day had, by an act of incredible folly, sent 
out as the King's representative to the court of Mahomed Ali, 
and that prince was thus relieved from the salutary control 
of the Madras government. It was two years before thia 
mischievous mission was recalled, during which time the 
Nabob was enabled to indulge his extravagant propensities 
with perfect impunity, to the great delight and benefit of his 
European creditors. He insisted on an alliance with the 
Mahrattas, which was supported by Sir John Lindsay, and 
the Madras Council, not daring to act in opposition to one 
who was clothed with the royal authority, were constrained to 
abandon Hyder to his fate. The desolation of his districts, and 
the exhaustion of his resources, at length compelled him to sue 
for peace to the Mahrattas, which was not granted without the 
immediate payment of thirty-six lacs of rupees, besides the sti- 
pulation of fourteen lacs of rupees of annual tribute, and the 
cession of territory, which reduced the kingdom of Mysore to 
narrower limits than it comprised at the beginning of the cen- 
tury. Nothing exhibits the incapacity of the Madras authori- 
ties during the war with Hyder so conspicuously as the contrast 
between the disgrace which he inflicted on them and the 
humiliation he sustained from the Mahrattas two years later. 
The breach of faith to which he attributed his misfortunes he 
never forgot or forgave, and it resulted in establishing Mah- 
ratta garrisons on the northern frontier of the Carnatic. 

The incursions of the Mahrattas into Hindostan 
expedition u> were for a time checked by the battle of Paniput, 
Hmdostan, an( j ^Q <ji scor( i O f their chiefs ; but in 1769, the 
Peshwa equipped a grand expedition to renew 
their ravages, and recover their authority. It was accom- 
panied by a large body of horse belonging to Mahdajee 
Sindia, the illegitimate son of Ranojee, the founder of the 
house ; and also by Tokajee Holkar, who, though he bore the 
patronymic of the great chief by whom the dynasty was 


established, was not of his family, but was placed at the head 
of the army by Aylah-bye, the princess who, for thirty 
years, managed the state with consummate ability. The 
army, consisting of 300,000 horse and foot, and commanded 
by Visajee, the Peshwa's general, burst like a flood on Raj- 
pootana, and levied contributions to the extent of ten lacs of 
rupees. The Jauts, the next victims, were constrained to 
make a composition for sixty-five lacs, of which ten were 
paid down at once. During these transactions, the Mah- 
ratta chiefs invited the emperor to return to Delhi under 
their protection. That prince had continued to reside at 
Allahabad, after the arrangement concluded by Olive in 
1765, in the tranquil enjoyment of the stipend allotted to him. 
The government of Delhi and of the districts still attached to 
the crown, were administered for seven years with extra- 
ordinary talent and success, by Nujeeb-ood-dowlah, the 
Rohilla chief, whom Mr. Verelst, the governor of Bengal, 
justly designated " a great and good man," and on his death 
in October, 1770, by his son Zabita Khan. The emperor was 
naturally desirous of proceeding to Delhi, and mounting the 
throne of his ancestors. The Mahrattas were equally desirous 
of becoming the instrument of seating him on it, and turning 
the influence of his name to account The Council in Cal- 
cutta, however, strongly dissuaded him from this measure, 
feeling confident that it would involve the affairs of Hin- 
dostan in confusion, and eventually prove detrimental to his 
own interests. But the emperor turned a deaf ear to their 
remonstrances, and threw himself on the protection of the 
Mahrattas, by whom he was conducted to Delhi, and installed 
on the 25th of December, 1771. 

Early in 1772, they entered Rohilcund, reduced the Dooab, 
and laid waste the whole province. The family of Zabita 
Khan was made prisoners, and the great wealth accumulated 
by him and his father they appropriated to their own use. 
The Rohilla chiefs, in their extremity, were driven to solicit 
the aid of the Vizier, though they were fully aware that the 


possession of their territories was the object which lay 
nearest to his heart. There are few transactions in the 
history of the times more complicated and obscure than the 
negotiations which ensued between the Rohillas, the Vizier, 
and the Mahrattas. As some approach to the truth, it may 
be stated that the Mahrattas agreed to retire for a sum of 
forty lacs of rupees, but insisted on the guarantee of the 
Vizier ; that the Vizier required Hafiz Ruhmut, the chief of the 
Rohillas, to become responsible for the amount, and Hafiz re- 
quested the other chiefs to contribute their quota. These 
engagements appear to have been completed in June, 1772, 
and Hafiz paid the first instalment of five lacs to the Vizier, 
who, however, never paid the Mahrattas a cowrie, while the 
chiefs pleaded poverty for withholding their shares. As soon 
as the rains set in, the Mahrattas recrossed the Ganges for 
the season. Meanwhile, their arrogance and rapacity had 
become intolerable to the poor emperor, who determined to 
incur every risk to rid himself of them. His general, Nujeef 
Khan, a man of superior talent, and descended from the 
Sophi kings of Persia, led the imperial troops against them, 
but was totally defeated. It was a twelvemonth to a day after 
the emperor had entered his capital on the shoulders of the 
Mahrattas, that he was constrained to open its gates to their 
hostile battalions, and submit to all their demands. Among 
other exactions, they required him to cede the two dis- 
tricts of Corah and Allahabad, and they made preparations 
to occupy them. But the government of Calcutta wisely 
determined not to sanction the surrender of them to the 
Mahrattas, and thus introduce these unscrupulous marauders 
into the heart of the Gangetic provinces. 

At the close of the monsoon of 1772, the 
retire to their Mahrattas resolved on the plunder of Oude, and 
own country, o ff ere( j Hafiz Ruhmut and the other Rohilla chiefs 

J. 1 7o 

to make over to them the Vizier's bond for forty 
lacs of rupees, and to share the territory which might be 
conquered with them, if they would grant a passage through 


their country, and make common cause in the expedition. 
The Vizier, in an agony of terror, offered, when the Mahrattas 
retired, to restore the bond Hafiz had given him. But the 
Rohilja chief needed no such inducement to refrain from an 
alliance with those whom he regarded as " the savage and 
infidel Mahrattas," and resolved to co-operate with the Vizier 
in opposing them. That helpless prince, at the same time, im- 
plored the aid of the Council in Calcutta, who directed a brigade 
of troops to advance for the protection of the country. Several 
detachments of Mahratta horse laid waste a portion of Rohil- 
cund, but the main body was held in check by the combined 
forces of the Rohillas, the Vizier, and Sir Richard Barker. 
Meanwhile, the young Peshwa, having planned an expedition 
to the south, required the presence of the troops employed in 
Hindostan, and the Mahratta general suddenly broke up his en 
campment in the month of May, and retired across the Ner- 
budda, laden with the booty of three campaigns. But, even 
before the disappearance of the Mahrattas, and while the Ro- 
hilla chiefs were cordially engaged in supporting the cause of 
the Vizier, that prince was plotting their expulsion from 
Rohilcund, and the appropriation of their estates. The 
sequel of these transactions, belongs to the history of 
Hastings's administration, and we turn therefore to the 
progress of Indian affairs in England. 

The British Government in India, at this period 
anom^onhe was a strange and unprecedented anomaly. The 
Company's agents of a London trading Company had in a 

government. . 

few years acquired the sovereignty of provinces 
twice the size of England, and were employed in ruling a 
population twice as numerous as the subjects of their own 
king. The directors of a counting-house in London were 
making peace and war, setting up thrones and pulling them 
down, and disposing of princely revenues. Their servants 
abroad, with salaries of only three or four hundred pounds a 
year, were moreover, coming home, year after year, with 
colossal fortunes, made in four or five years, and setting up 



establishments which cast the ancient nobility of the country 
into the shade. Lord Clive was spending 40,000 a-year, 
and one retired member of Council was known t3 keep a 
dozen chariots. The time had not arrived for millionaire 
manufacturers and contractors, and the progress of national 
industry had not as yet trebled the value of landed estates. 
The servants of the Company presented to the envy of the 
country the only instances of sudden and enormous wealth. 
At the same time it was reported that the fortunes of the 
Indian Nabobs, as they were styled, had been acquired by the 
deposal of princes, the oppression of their subjects, and the 
most nefarious peculation, and a general feeling of indignation 
began to pervade the nation. 

The machinery of the Home Government of 
tutiou of the India had been constructed for the management 
company, 1770. of tradej and wag utter i v unsu it e d to the admi- 
nistration of government. The Directors were elected for only 
one year, and half their time was, therefore, devoted to the 
arrangements necessary for their re-election. The grand prin- 
ciple that the Directors should appoint men to the service, and 
that the government in India should appoint them to office, 
had not then been discovered. The offices in India, which 
afforded the means of amassing invidious wealth, were con- 
sidered to be at the disposal of the Directors in London, and 
it was chiefly to the discreet use of this patronage, that they 
looked for the support of the Proprietors, and the retention 
of their office. The possession of 500 of stock gave one 
vote, and there was no limitation to the number of votes 
which might be held by a single individual. Stock was, there- 
fore purchased not simply for investment, but for power and 
pelf. Those who returned from India with fortunes, found it 
useful to invest their property in India Stock, and thus acquire 
influence at the India House. In 1771, the ship's husbands, a 
wealthy and powerful body, bought 150,000 of stock, to create 
300 votes. Lord Shelburne laid out 100,000 for 200 votes, 
to secure the return of the factious Sulivan. The India House 


thus became a scene of jobbery and corruption, such as had 
never, perhaps, been seen in England before, and was scarcely 
paralleled by the depravity which prevailed among their ser- 
vants abroad. The great marvel is, how the British power in 
India survived the crime and confusion which, with some 
brilliant exceptions, characterised the period of fifteen years, 
between the battle of Plassy, and the new organisation of 1773. 
-I In these circumstances there was a general de- 


interference, mand for Parliamentary enquiry. It was seventy 
years since the House of Commons had interfered 
in the affairs of the Company ; it was then only a commercial 
interest ; it was now a political power. The first movement of 
the Minister was to claim for the Crown the sovereignty of 
the territories acquired by its subjects in India. The Com- 
pany resisted -the demand, and maintained that the posses- 
sions which had been obtained by their arms belonged 
exclusively to them. The dispute was for a time compro- 
mised by conceding the territorial revenues to them for five 
years, on the payment of forty lacs a year to the nation. It 
was likewise proposed to remedy the disorders in India by 
sending out three of the most eminent of the retired servants 
of the Company with unlimited powers, but the vessel in 
which they embarked foundered at sea. 
Financial aim- Meanwhile, the financial difficulties of the Com- 

StSS P anv brou g ht on a crisis - A11 the S lden dreams 
1773. which the acquisition of the three soobahs had 

created, were rudely dissipated. Fraudulent bills in India 
for contracts, cantonments, and fortifications, and extravagant 
charges for travelling, diet, and parade, had exhausted the 
surplus revenue, and created a deficit. With a revenue of 
two millions and a half a year, there was a debt of a 
million and a quarter in London, and of more than a million in 
Calcutta. The Court of Proprietors, as if they were anxious 
to compete with the profligacy of their servants in India, 
chose this period of impending bankruptcy, to vote themselves 
a dividend of twelve and a half per cent. The Court of 

z 2 


Directors borrowed repeatedly of the Bank of England, until 
the Bank would lend no more. They then applied to the 
minister, Lord North, for a loan of a million from the public, 
to prevent closing the doors of the India House, and he coolly 
referred them to Parliament, which was convened earlier 
than usual, to take their affairs into consideration. A Select 
Committee was appointed in 1772 to collect evidence, when 
the whole system of violence and iniquity, by which the 
British name had been tarnished in India, and individuals 
enriched, was laid bare to the nation. Parliament determined 
at once to take the regulation of Indian affairs into its own 
hands. The Directors protested against this violation of their 
chartered rights, as they termed the intervention of Par- 
Lament ; but they had incurred universal odium and contempt, 
and the Minister was enabled to carry his measures with a 
high hand. The immediate necessities of the Company were 
relieved by the loan of a million sterling from the exchequer. 
The vicious constitution of the India House was corrected; 
the qualification for a single vote was raised from 500 to 
1,000, and twelve hundred proprietors were thus disfran- 
chised at one stroke ; no individual was to enjoy more than 
four votes, whatever amount of stock he might hold ; and six 
Directors only were to go out annually, which extended the 
tenure of office to four years. The Governor of Bengal was 
appointed Governor-General, on a salary of 25,000 a year, 
with four counsellors at 10,000, and they were in the first 
instance nominated by Parliament. At the same time a 
Crown Court was established in Calcutta, to administer 
English law on the model of the Courts in Westminster, with 
a Chief Justice at 8,000, and three Puisne Judges, at 6,000 
a-year. The Act which embodied these provisions is known 
as the Regulating Act. Its enactments regarding the home 
government were highly judicious and beneficial ; but those 
which referred to the government in India, concocted without 
knowledge or experience, only seemed to increase the com- 
plication of affairs, and shook the power of Britain in the East 
to its foundation. 





WABBEN HASTINGS was appointed the first Governor- General 
tinder the new Act, a man endowed by nature with the great- 
est talent for government, and whose renown has not been 
eclipsed by the most illustrious of his successors. He landed 
in Calcutta in January, 1750, at the age of eighteen, and was 
employed for six years in the duties of appraising silk and 
muslins, and copying invoices. The political exigencies which 
arose out of the battle of Plassy suddenly developed his ad- 
ministrative abilities, which Clive was the first to discover 
and foster. He was selected to represent the Company at 
the Moorshedabad durbar, which, at the time, was one of 
the most arduous and delicate posts in the service. Three 
years after, he came by rotation to the Council board in Cal- 
cutta, and strenuously supported Mr. Vaneittart in his oppo- 
sition to those profligate measures which issued in the war 
with Meer Cassim. In the most venal period of the Bengal 
administration, he was distinguished by high principle and 
unsullied probity, and returned to England on furlough in 
graceful poverty, while his colleagues were retiring from the 
service with ambitious fortunes. By this step he forfeited his 
position in the service, according to the rules then in force, 
and he long solicited to be restored to it, but without success. 
By a happy accident, however, he was at length required to 
give evidence before a committee of the House of Commons, 
when the clearness of his statements, and the breadth of his 
views, excited the admiration both of the Court of Directors 
and the Ministry, and he was at once appointed second in 
Council at Madras. 

state of Bengal, ^he double government established by Clive 
U65-1772. after the acquisition of the Dewanny, though re- 


garded at first as a master-piece of policy, soon proved to 
be the curse of Bengal. It combined all the vices of a native 
government with all the confusion and mischief inseparable 
from foreign interference. The management of the revenue, 
which included the entire administration, was in the hands of 
native agents, who were subject to the supervision of the 
British resident at Moorshedabad, but his control was merely 
nominal. There was no European functionary in Bengal 
conversant with revenue details, and the zemindars were at 
liberty to make their own terms with the ryots on the one 
hand, and with the treasury on the other ; in every case it 
was the interests of the state which suffered. Individuals 
grew rich, while the government was sinking in debt. To 
check these abuses, supervisors or collectors were appointed 
in 1769 to look after the revenue ; but they were both ignorant 
and rapacious, and became mere tools in the hands of their 
banians, or native factors. The public money they collected 
was employed, for the most part, in supporting the mono- 
polies which they and their native banians had established in 
the traffic of the district, and the value of their appointments 
consequently ranged from one to three lacs of rupees a year. 
The Court of Directors determined, therefore, " to stand forth 
as Duan, and to take on themselves the entire care and 
management of the revenues through the agency of then: 
own servants." This decision involved a complete revolution 
in the whole system of administration, civil, criminal, and 
fiscal, among twenty-five millions of people, and a more mo- 
mentous change than any which had taken place since the 
days of Akbar and Toder Mull. Hastings was considered the 
only man in the Company's service capable of inaugurating 
this new policy, and he was accordingly elevated to the chair 
in Bengal, and took charge of the government on the 13th 
April, 1772. 

warren Hast- Upon this arduous task he entered with great 
ings, President zea i an( j ene rgy. It was resolved to farm out the 

of Bengal, 1772. , J 

Great change*, lands f or five years, and the President and four 


members of the Council proceeded through the districts 
to conduct the settlements. The offers made by the zemin- 
dars were, however, deemed unsatisfactory, and it was deter- 
mined to put the lands up to competition, after abolishing 
some of the most oppressive of the imposts with which the 
land had latterly been saddled. Where the old eemindars 
were displaced by higher bidders, an allowance was granted 
for their support out of the rents. The Khalsa, or exchequer, 
was removed from Moorshedabad to Calcutta, to which the 
entire administration of the country, in every branch, was 
transferred, and which became, from this date, the capital of 
Bengal. The charge of civil and criminal justice in each 
district was entrusted to European officers, and two courts of 
appeal were established at the seat of government. Without 
the aid of an English lawyer, Hastings drew up a short and 
simple code of regulations for the new courts, which exhibited 
in a remarkable degree the versatility of his talents. All 
these organic changes in the system of government were 
completed in six months. 

The first EO- The Mahrattas had no sooner crossed the 
hiiia war, 1773. Q an g es on their return home, than the "Vizier 
began to importune Hastings to assist him in seizing the 
province of Rohilcund, and offered a donation of forty lacs 
of rupees, and the payment of two lacs a month for the ser- 
vices of the English force. The Court of Directors, over- 
whelmed with debt and disgrace, were imploring the Council 
in Calcutta for remittances, and urging a reduction of the 
military expenditure, which was devouring the resources of 
the country. The treasury in Calcutta was empty, but the 
offer of the Vizier seemed to be exactly adapted to meet the 
exigency. Mr. Hastings was assured that the Rohillas had 
offered to pay the Vizier the sum of forty lacs of rupees if he 
would deliver them from the Mahrattas ; that they had been 
saved from destruction by the presence of the Vizier's troops 
and those of his English ally, and, that now the danger was 
passed, they refused to pay anything. With this garbled 


statement of the case, Hastings satisfied his conscience, and 
concluded that their ingratitude deserved punishment, and 
that, on the plan suggested by the Vizier, an act of just 
retribution might be made the means of replenishing the 
Company's coffers. The Vizier wanted territory, and Hastings 
wanted money. " Such," he wrote, " was my idea of the 
Company's distress in England and India, that I should have 
been glad of any occasion of employing these forces, which 
saves so much of their pay and expenses." Hastings 
accordingly proceeded to Benares in August, 1773, and con- 
cluded a treaty with the Vizier on the terms proposed by him. 
The districts of Corah and Allahabad were considered to 
have lapsed to the Company, when the emperor, to whom 
Clive had given them, was compelled to make them over to 
the Mahrattas. The defence of these districts such was 
the extravagance and embezzlement in the military depart- 
ment had cost the treasury two crores of rupees in five 
years, and Hastings wisely determined to " free the Company 
from this intolerable burden," and transferred them to the 
Vizier who offered an additional payment of fifty lacs of 
rupees for them. The subsidy of twenty-six lacs of rupees 
a-year from the revenues of the three soobahs, which had 
been settled on the emperor, was suspended during the 
great famine which depopulated and pauperised Bengal, and, 
as he had now ceased to be a free agent, it was finally 

The Vizier having secured the aid of an English 

Destruction of 

the Rohiiia*, force, demanded of Hafiz Ruhmut the payment of 
23rd Apni, ^ e Da ] ance o f h{ g foo^ thirty-five lacs of rupees. 
Hafiz offered to make good whatever sum the 
Vizier had actually paid the Mahrattas for their forbearance, 
but as he knew that he had never paid them anything, the 
offer was treated with contempt. Hafiz, seeing the storm 
ready to burst upon his head, proposed a compromise, but 
the Vizier raised his demand to two hundred lacs of rupees, 
and the Rohillas adopted the resolution of defending their 
independence to the last extremity. Colonel Champion, the 


British commander, advanced into Kohilcund, accompanied by 
the Vizier's army, and the campaign was decided in a single 
engagement, on the 23rd of April, 1774. Hafiz brought 
40,000 Robillas into action, and exhibited a degree of military 
skill and courage, which excited the admiration of his Euro- 
pean opponents. But nothing could withstand the steady 
charge of British bayonets, and after two hours of severe 
conflict, and the slaughter of more than 2,000 Rohillas 
anjong whom was the brave Hafiz and his son they were 
obliged to fly. The dastardly Vizier remained with his troops 
beyond the reach of fire, till the Rohillas were defeated, 
when he let them loose to plunder the camp. " We have 
the honour of the day," exclaimed the indignant Champion, 
" and these banditti the profit." 

Reflections on This transaction is one of the few stains on the 
this transaction, i^ght and honourable career of Hastings. It has 
been urged in extenuation of it that the Rohillas were mere 
usurpers, with no right to the province but that of the sword. 
But so were nine-tenths of the princes of India at the time. 
The usurpation of Holkar, and Sindia, and Hyder Ah', and 
even of the Peshwa, and the Nizam, was quite as modern as 
that of the Rohillas, and the Nabob vizier himself was only 
the grandson of the Khorasan merchant, who had alienated 
Oude from the crown of Delhi. That the Rohillas formed a 
powerful confederacy on the borders of Oude, which, in the 
unsettled state of India, might have joined the Mahrattas 
and endangered the safety of a province which the Company 
was bound, no less by policy than by treaty to defend, cannot 
be controverted. The extinction of this dangerous power 
was a wise and politic measure, so far as anything that is 
intrinsically unjust can be wise and politic. Such transactions 
were, moreover, of constant occurrence in India; no native 
prince saw anything unusual or unjust in it, and even the 
Rohillas themselves considered it only as one of the chances 
of war to which they, in common with all states, were con- 
stantly liable. But it was inconsistent with that higher 
standard of morals by which Hastings's conduct was judged 


in England, and it has been invariably condemned, even by 
those who admire his genius. The conduct of the Vizier 
towards the conquered, in spite of Hastings's remonstrances 
and threats, was infamous; but the assertion that 500,000 
husbandmen were driven acros.8 the Ganges, and that the 
country was reduced to a bare and uninhabitable waste, was 
an Oriental exaggeration. The " extermination," which was 
so loudly denounced by the enemies of Hastings, had refe- 
rence only to the power of the Afghans, who did not exceed 
20,000 in number. The Hindoo natives of the soil, numbering 
more than a million, experienced no other distress than that 
which follows every change of masters in India. 
Arrival of the Hastings had succeeded in reorganising the 
membVre of administration, and extinguishing the Indian debt. 
Council, 1774. He had overcome all the difficulties which beset 
his position on his arrival ; but he was now called to encounter 
the more serious dangers which arose out of the provision 
made by the wisdom of Parliament for the better government 
of India. The judges of the Supreme Court and the new 
members of Council arrived from England, and landed at 
Chandpal ghaut on the 19th of October, 1774, with the firm 
conviction that the government was a compound of tyranny 
and corruption, which it was their mission to purify. As the 
judges stepped on shore, one of them, observing the bare legs 
and feet of the natives who crowded to the sight, said to his 
colleague, " Our court, brother, certainly was not established 
before it was needed. I trust we shall not have been six 
months in the country before these victims of oppression are 
comfortably provided with shoes and stockings." Of the 
counsellors, Colonel Monson had served on the coast, General 
Clavering was the favourite of the King and the Ministry, 
and Mr. Francis, the undoubted author of Junius's letters, 
had been an assistant in the War Office, and was distinguished 
for his talents and his malignity. They had all imbibed the 
most violent prejudices against Mr. Hastings, and regarded 
him as a monster of iniquity, whom it was the part of virtue 


to censure and oppose. The spirit in which they entered on 
their duties may be inferred from the fact that their first com- 
plaint was that he had received them with a salute of only 
seventeen guns, when they expected nineteen. The old 
government was abolished, and the new government in- 
stalled by proclamation on the 20th of October. Mr. Francis 
and his two colleagues, commenced their opposition on the first 
meeting of Council, and, as they formed a majority, Hastings 
found that the government of India had at once passed out 
of his hands, and was transferred to men utterly ignorant 
of the feelings, the habits, and the weaknesses of the natives, 
and bent on thwarting and degrading him. 
The affairs of The first exercise of their authority had 
Oude, 1775. reference to the affairs of Oude. Nine months 
previously, Hastings had placed Mr. Middle ton as the re- 
presentative of the Company at the court of the Vizier. 
They demanded the production of every letter which had ever 
passed between them, even in the confidence of private 
friendship. Hastings refused this preposterous request, 
but offered to furnish them with an extract of every para- 
graph which had the smallest bearing on public business. The 
triumvirate protested against this reservation, and immediately 
superseded Mr. Middleton, and appointed Mr. Bristow, one of 
their own friends to the durbar, and thus proclaimed the 
extinction of Hastings's authority to all the princes of India. 
They reprobated the treaty of Benares made with the Vizier, 
as well as the Rohilla war, which was to be expected ; but 
they went further, and issued orders to the officer command- 
ing the brigade in Rohilcund to withdraw it immediately from 
the province, and to demand payment, within fourteen days, 
of all arrears due from the Vizier. Hastings warned them 
of the danger of these precipitate measures, which com- 
promised equally the safety of Oude and the honour of the 
British name, but they turned a deaf ear to every re- 
monstrance. During these transactions, the Vizier died, and 
his successor was informed by Mr. Francis and his col- 


leagues that all the engagements between the two states were 
cancelled by this event, except those which referred to the 
payment of arrears ; and that whatever assistance he might 
receive from British troops must be based on a new arrange- 
ment. A treaty was accordingly concluded under the 
auspices of Mr. Francis, and although he had condemned 
Hastings in no measured terms "for letting out British 
troops for hire to the Vizier," the services of the brigade 
were continued to him ; but the amount of the hire was 
augmented by half a lac of rupees a month. The Vizier was 
likewise peremptorily commanded to cede to the Company, 
the zemindary of Benares, which yielded twenty-two lacs of 
rupees a year, and this was the only addition made to 
the British territory during the long period of Hastings's 

deceased Vizier had amassed treasure to 

The treasure 

and the be- the extent of two crores of rupees, and deposited 

gums, 1775. . _ 

it m vaults in the zenana. His widoAv and his 
mother, known in history as "the begums," claimed the 
whole of this property on his death, under a will which they 
affirmed had been made in their favour. The will was never 
produced, and probably never existed ; at all events it could 
not supersede the right of the state to these public funds, 
and, least of all, in favour of females. The late Vizier was 
under heavy obligations to the Company at the time of his 
death, and his troops, a hundred thousand in number, were 
twelve months in arrear. The funds were therefore pri- 
marily chargeable with these liabilities, but Mr. Bristow, the 
resident, lent himself to the views of the begums, and con- 
strained the Vizier to affix his seal to a deed, under the 
guarantee of the government in Calcutta, which assigned 
three-fourths of this state property to them. Mr. Francis 
and his colleagues recorded their approval of this aliena- 
tion, in spite of an earnest protest from Hastings and 
Mr. Barwell, who invariably supported him. The Vizier thus 
ascended the throne with an empty treasury; the troops 


mutinied for their pay, and according to the report of the 
British resident, 20,000 of them were slaughtered, and nothing 
but the presence of the English brigade saved the country 
from a revolution. 

Accusations ^ ne discord in the Council soon began to tell 
against upon the government. The triumvirate had 

diligently studied the public records to discover 
grounds for criminating Hastings. They raked up informa- 
tion from the kennels of Calcutta, and offered every en- 
couragement to the miscreants in the provinces to come 
forward and defame him. As soon as it was known that his 
authority was extinct, and that any accusation against him 
would be welcome to those who now enjoyed the power of 
the state, a host of informers hastened to Calcutta and 
crowded their anti-chambers. Charges were manufactured 
with great activity. The widow of Teluk Chand, the 
zemindar of Burdwan a zemindary then scarcely a cen- 
tury old brought a charge against Mr. Graham, whom 
Hastings had appointed guardian of the person and property 
of his minor son, of having embezzled more than three lacs of 
rupees in five months, of which Hastings was accused of 
having received fifteen thousand. The native fouzdar of 
Hooghly had continued to receive an allowance of seventy- 
two thousand rupees a year, after the administration of the 
Company had commenced, and some native who coveted the 
place, charged Hastings with having appropriated to his own 
use one half this sum. No evidence was produced of the 
charge, which was in itself preposterous, but Mr. Francis and 
his two colleagues placed it on record " that there appeared 
to be no species of peculation from which the Honourable 
Governor-General has thought it reasonable to abstain, and 
that they had now obtained a clear light on his conduct, and 
the means by which he had amassed a fortune of forty lacs of 
rupees in two years and a half." 

charge of Nundu A more important charge was preferred by 
r, me. .Nundu koomar. This man, who had been re- 


peatedly denounced by the Court of Directors for his perfidy, 
and whose career had been marked by the most nefarious 
intrigues and treachery, offered to impeach Hastings, and was 
immediately taken into the alliance of the three counsellors. 
Under their auspices, he held his durbar in state in Calcutta, 
and issued his mandates to the zemindars throughout the 
country. At length, he came forward with a charge against 
Hastings of having received a bribe of three lacs and a half 
of rupees on the appointment of Munee Begum, the widow of 
Meer Jaffier, and his own son, Raja Gooroodass, to the 
management of the Nabob's household at Moorshedabad, and 
likewise of having connived at the embezzlements of Mahomed 
Reza khan for a douceur of ten lacs. Mr. Francis and his col- 
leagues proposed that Nundu koomar should be called before 
the Council board to substantiate the charge. Hastings, as 
might have been expected, opposed this proceeding with great 
indignation. " I know," he said, " what belongs to the dignity 
and character of the first member of this administration, and I 
will not sit at this board in the character of a criminal." It 
does not appear that on this or any other occasion, Hastings 
endeavoured to stifle enquiry, or objected to his opponents 
forming a committee of investigation, and reporting their 
proceedings to then- masters at home, or referring the questions 
at issue to the arbitriment of the Supreme Court; but he 
felt that the government would be degraded in the eyes of 
the native community, if the dregs of society were introduced 
into the Council chamber to criminate the President at the 
instigation of Nundu koomar, and he dissolved the meeting 
and left the chamber. The majority immediately placed 
General Clavering in the chair, and called in Nundu koomar 
who dilated on the venality of Hastings, and moreover, pro- 
duced a letter purporting to be written by Munee begum 
herself, which admitted the payment of two lacs and a half 
of rupees to the Governor-General, on which Mr. Francis 
and his friends resolved with one consent, that Hastings had 
clandestinely and illegally received three lacs and forty 


thousand rupees, and that measures should be taken to 
compel him to repay it into the public treasury. The signa- 
ture to the letter was pronounced on the most impartial 
examination to be spurious, but the seal appeared to be 
genuine. The begum herself denied all knowledge of the 
letter, and the mystery of the seal was not discovered till 
after the death of Nundu kooinar, when fac-similes of the 
seals of all the most eminent personages in Bengal were 
found in his cabinet. 

Execution of Hastings, in self-defence, now brought an ac- 
Nundu koomar, tion in the Supreme Court against Nundu 

koomar and others for a conspiracy to induce 
one Kumat-ood-deen, a large revenue farmer, to criminate 
him. The judges admitted the charge and held Nundu 
koomar to bail, and Mr. Francis and his two associates 
immediately paid him a complimentary visit at his own 
residence. Eight weeks after the commencement of this 
action, one Mohun Prisad, a native merchant, renewed an 
action for forgery against Nundu koomar, which had been 
originally instituted in the local court, when Nundu koomar 
was arrested, but released, through the intervention of 
Hastings. On the establishment of the Supreme Court, 
this suit, along with others, was transferred to its juris- 
diction. The forgery was established on the clearest evi- 
dence; the jury found him guilty, and the judges ordered 
him to be hung. It was the first instance of the execution of 
a brahmin, since the English became lords of the country, 
and it created a profound sensation in the native community. 
Thousands of Hindoos surrounded the scaffold, unwilling to 
believe their own eyes, and when the deed was completed, 
rushed down to the sacred stream to wash out the pollution. 
Beflections on ^kis transaction was long considered the most 
this tnmsac- atrocious crime of Hastings's administration. It 

was asserted in high quarters that Nundu koomar 
had been judicially murdered by nun through the agency of 
Sir Elijah Impey, the chief justice. But tune has dispelled 


the clouds of prejudice. For this foul imputation there was 
no other ground than the coincidence of this trial, in point of 
time, with the accusations brought by Nundu koomar against 
Hastings. There never was the slightest evidence that 
Hastings had ever prompted, or even encouraged the action. 
The capital sentence, however conformable to the barbarous 
laws of England at the time, was, on every consideration, 
most unjust. The offence was venial by the laws of the 
country, and the English code, which made it capital, was not 
introduced till several years after it had been committed. 
Mr. Francis and his colleagues protested against the whole 
proceeding, but the judges indignantly refused to submit to 
any dictation in the exercise of their judicial functions. But 
after the sentence had been passed, it was still within the 
power of the majority of the Council who exercised the whole 
authority of the government, to suspend the execution of it, 
pending a reference to England; they did not, however, 
choose to interfere, and the odium of this transaction must be 
divided between them and the judges. Nundu koomar, who 
began life a poor man, left a fortune of a crore of rupees. 
The Court of Towards the close of 1775, the decision of the 
Directors con- c our t O f Directors on the matters in dispute be- 

demn Hastings, 

1775. tween Mr. Francis and Hastings, was received in 

Calcutta. They condemned the measures of the Governor- 
General in strong language, but they neither ordered the resti- 
tution of Rohilcund to the Rohillas, nor the return of the forty 
lacs which had enriched their treasury, to the Vizier. But they 
recommended concord and unanimity to the Council, and the 
advice was received with a shout of derision by both parties. 
The adverse resolutions of the Directors were, however, over- 
ruled by the Proprietors, who held Hastings in the highest 
estimation; and the dissensions abroad, aggravated by the 
discord at home, brought the British interests in India to the 
verge of destruction, from which they were rescued only by 
the firmness and resolution of the Governor-General. In 
September, 1776, his authority in the government was re- 


stored by the death of Colonel Monson, which gave him the 
casting vote in an equally-balanced Council. But in the pre- 
ceding year, worried by the opposition and insults of his 
opponents, he had informed his agent in England, Colonel 
Macleane, that it was his intention to resign his appointment, 
if he found that his measures were not approved of at home. 
But within two months of this communication, he recovered 
his spirits, revoked his resignation, and, at the same time, 
informed the Minister, Lord North, that he would remain at 
his post till he was recalled by the same authority, that of 
Parliament, which had placed him at the head of the govern- 
ment. But Colonel Macleane, finding the current against 
Hastings as strong in Leadenhall Street as it was in Down- 
ing Street, took upon himself to announce to the Court of 
Directors that he was authorised, on certain conditions, to 
tender his patron's resignation. After several months of 
violent intrigue, which it is not necessary to detail, the Di- 
rectors came to the resolution that Mr. Hastings had positively 
resigned his office, though his latest as well as his earliest 
letters were before them, and appointed Mr. Wheler to the 
vacant seat in Council. 

When intelligence of this resolution" reached 
errt proceed- Calcutta, General Clavering, whom Lord North 

ings and death, j^ encouraged in his opposition to Hastings, by 
the Order of the Bath, attempted to seize the 
government, as being the senior member of Council, obtained 
possession of the Council Chamber, and took the oaths as 
Governor-General. He likewise demanded the keys of the 
Treasury and of the fort from Hastings, and wrote to the 
commandant to obey no orders but those which emanated 
from him. Hastings, who did not admit the fact of his re- 
signation, had anticipated Sir John Clavering by securing the 
gates of Fort William, and his messengers found them closed 
against him. The dispute was rapidly tending to a collision, 
which must have proved in the highest degree disastrous to 
the interests of the Company, when Hastings prudently 

2 A 


averted it by referring the question to the Judges of the 
Supreme Court. After a careful investigation of all the 
documents connected with this transaction, they came to the 
decision, that any assumption of authority by Sir John Cla- 
vering would be illegal, and the storm blew over. He did not 
survive the chagrin of this disappointment many months. 
Mr. Wheler, who had taken his seat in Council, though pro- 
fessing neutrality, generally sided with Francis, but the cast- 
ing vote of the Governor-General overruled all opposition. At 
the beginning of 1780, Mr. Barwell was anxious to return to 
his native land with the colossal fortune he had accumulated, 
but he hesitated to embark and leave his friend Hastings in a 
minority. Mr. Francis, unwilling to stand in the way of 
Mr. Barwell's retirement, came to an understanding with 
Hastings not to take advantage of it, and Mr. Barwell em- 
barked for England. But the discord was speedily renewed ; 
the antagonists could not agree on the nature or extent of the 
neutrality. Hastings charged Francis with having duped him, 
and the dispute was settled, according to the barbarous custom 
of the times, by a hostile meeting, in which Mr. Francis was 
wounded. At the close of the year he returned to England. 
Kew settlement ^ ne settlement of the land revenue, which had 
of the land been made for five years, expired in 1777, when it 
was found that the country had been grievously 
rack-rented. Many of the zemindars, ambitious of retaining 
their position in the country, had made offers which they soon 
found themselves unable to support. The speculators, who 
had in many cases outbid and dislodged the old landholders, 
had no object but to enrich themselves by oppressive exactions, 
and throw up their engagements as soon as the ryots were 
exhausted. The government, new to their duties, had com- 
mitted serious errors. To the usual imperfection of all new 
institutions, was in this instance added an entire ignorance of 
the quality and value of the lands and even of the language 
of those who held them. The whole system collapsed ; the 
country was impoverished, and, what with remissions and 


irrecoverable balances, the Company lost little short of two 
crores and a half of rupees in five years. Before the expira- 
tion of the old settlement, Hastings had wisely appointed a 
commission of inquiry to travel through the country and col- 
lect data for a new arrangement. The Court of Directors 
denounced the commission as a flagrant job, and charged 
Hastings with " the meanest and most corrupt motives in the 
selection of the members." They expressed their surprise 
that any such inquiiy should be found necessary, after they 
had held the Dewanny for ten years. But they seemed to 
forget that their own time had been occupied in cabal and 
intrigue at home, to the neglect of the duties of administra- 
tion, and that their ill-paid revenue officers in India had been, 
too closely occupied in making fortunes by private trade to 
have any leisure to attend to the interests of the state. By 
order of the Directors, the settlement was therefore made for 
one year only. 

Death of To resume the thread of Mahratta affairs. The 

Madhoo and young Peshwa, Madhoo Rao, little inferior to any 

Xarayun Kao J ' 

reshwai, of his race in the cabinet or in the field, died of 
consumption, on the 18th of November, 1772. 
At the period of his death, the nominal revenue of the Mah- 
ratta empire in Hindostan and in the Deccan, was ten crorea 
of rupees, but the amount actually realized did not greatly 
exceed seven crores, of which the sum at the absolute dis- 
posal of the Peshwa was only three crores, the remainder 
of it belonged to the Guickwar, Bhonslay, Holkar, Sindia, and 
minor chieftains. The Peshwa's own army consisted of 
50,000 horse, besides infantry and artillery, but the entire 
army he was able to assemble under the national standard 
was not less than 100,000 splendid cavalry, and a propor- 
tionate strength of foot and artillery, not including the 
Pindarrees, or hereditary freebooters of the country. It was 
a fortunate circumstance for India that this formidable force, 
animated by the instinct of plunder, and stimulated by the 
remembrance of past successes, was not under the control 

2 A 2 


of a single leader, but divided by allegiance to five princes, 
each one of whom had his own individual interests to pro- 
mote. Madhoo Eao was succeeded by his younger brother. 
Narayun Rao, who immediately proceeded to Satara, an (I 
was invested with the office of Peshwa. Though not, 
twenty, he was ambitious of military glory, and determined 
on an expedition to the Carnatic, which induced him to recal 
the Mahratta army from Rohilcund. But, after a reign of 
nine months, he was assassinated by the orders, or by the 
connivance of his uncle, Eoghoonath Rao, or Raghoba. 
Raghoba had long been distinguished as a brave soldier, and, 
in 1759 had led a body of 50,000 Mahratta horse from the 
banks of the Nerbudda to the banks of the Indus. But he 
was an inveterate intriguer, and had been repeatedly confined 
by Madhoo Rao for his turbulence and treason. He was, 
moreover, always imprudent, and rarely fortunate. 
Baghoba Raghoba took possession of the vacant office, 

Peshwa, sue- and after having obtained investiture from Satara, 
Madhoo Eao, plunged into hostilities with the Nizam, whom he 
1773. pursued with such vigour as to oblige him to 

purchase peace by the sacrifice of territory valued at twenty 
lacs a year. With his usual folly, Raghoba restored the 
lands to the Nizam, instead of judiciously distributing them 
among his military chiefs, and thus increasing the strength 
of their loyalty. He then marched against Hyder, but his 
pecuniary difficulties obliged him to be content with a promise 
of six lacs of rupees, and the acknowledgment of his title as 
Peshwa. From this southern expedition he was recalled by 
a formidable confederacy of the ministers at Poona, who were 
hostile to him, and had, moreover, received intimation that 
the young widow of the late Peshwa was pregnant. They 
conveyed her, on the 30th of January, to the fort of Poo- 
runder, taking the precaution of sending with her a number 
of females in the same condition, to provide against the 
chance of her giving birth to a daughter. They then pro- 
ceeded to form a Regency composed of Succaram Bappoo, an 


old and astute statesman, Nana Furnuvese, and the military 
commandant, and at once assumed all the functions of 
government. Raghoba, on the news of this revolution, 
hastened to meet his opponents, accompanied by Morari 
Eao, one of the greatest soldiers of the age, who had mea- 
sured swords with Lawrence and Coote in the Carnatic, and 
on the .4th of March inflicted a signal defeat on the army of 
the Regency. This success replenished his military chest, 
and brought crowds to his standard; fortune seemed to 
declare in his favour, when, having conceived suspicions of 
the fidelity of his own generals, he threw away his chance of 
power by turning off to Boorhanpore, instead of marching at 
once on Poona, which its terrified inhabitants had begun to 
desert. The widow was delivered of a son on the 18th of 
April, 1774, who was installed as Peshwa when only ten 
days old, under the title of Madhoo Rao the Second. 
Proceedings of After remaining a short time at Boorhanpore, 
Kaghota, 1774. R a ghoba crossed the Nerbudda to Indore, where 
he was joined by Holkar and Sindia, who had returned from 
Rohilcund with about 30,000 horse. He also indulged the 
hope of receiving aid from the raja of Berar, and advanced 
to the banks of the Taptee, to secure the co-operation of the 
Guickwar army. In reference to the province of Guzerat, 
then under the rule of this family, it is to be observed that 
the authority of the Emperor was finally extinguished in it 
during the year 1755, when the capital, Ahmedabad, was 
captured by Damajee Guickwar, the Mahratta sirdar. At the 
period of his death, in 1768, his son, Govind Rao, who hap- 
pened to be at Poona, obtained his father's title and posses- 
sions on the payment of various sums, which eventually 
reached fifty lacs of rupees. In 1771, his brother, Futteh 
Sing, proceeded to the Peshwa's court, and succeeded in 
supplanting him ; but Govind Rao's cause was espoused by 
Raghoba, on becoming Peshwa, and the province was dis- 
tracted by these rival claims. Raghoba now advanced to 
claim the support of his protegee. 


During the year 1772, the Court of Directors 
ith resolved to place a representative at the Poona 
the English, durbar, in the hope of promoting their commercial 
interests, and, more especially, of obtaining pos- 
session of the port of Bassein, and the island of Salsette, 
which was separated from Bombay by a narrow channel, and 
comprised an area of about 150 square miles. With these 
acquisitions the Directors hoped to render Bombay the great 
emporium of the trade of the western coast with Persia, 
Arabia, the Red Sea, and China. These possessions fell into 
the hands of the Portuguese in an early period of their career, 
but were conquered by the Mahrattas in 1739, by whom they 
were prized beyond their value, as having been wrested from 
a European power. Raghoba, on his arrival at the Taptee> 
sent an envoy to Bombay to solicit the aid of a sufficient 
force to establish him in the government at Poona, and offered 
to defray all the expenses of the troops, as well as to make 
large grants of territoiy to the Company. The President and 
Council eagerly grasped at the proposal, and on the 6th of 
September, 1774, offered to assist him with 2,500 troops, on 
condition of his advancing fifteen or twenty lacs of rupees, 
and engaging to cede Salsette and Bassein in perpetuity to 
the Company. But Raghoba, even in his extremity, refused 
to alienate Salsette from the Mahratta dominions. While 
these negotiations were pending, the Bombay authorities 
received information that a large armament was fitted out at 
Goa for the recovery of these possessions, and as it was felt 
that the Portuguese would be more dangerous neighbours 
than the Mahrattas, an expedition was sent to Salsette, and 
the island occupied before the end of the year. 
natrhoba-8 Meanwhile, the Regency at Poona having suc- 

weatywith cecded by large offers in detaching Holkar and 
nbay, 1775. gj n( jj a f rom h e cause of Raghoba, moved against 
him with a body of 30,000 men, and he narrowly escaped 
being captured by his perfidious allies and delivered up to his 
enemies. lie retreated hi all haste, leaving his beguin at 


Dhar, where she gave birth to a son, Bajee Rao, the last of 
the Peshwas. On the 17th of February, the troops of the 
Regency overtook him at Wassud, where his army was totally 
routed and dispersed, and he fled from the field with only a 
thousand horse. Ten days after this event, Colonel Keating 
arrived at Surat with the force which had been despatched 
from Bombay to his aid. Raghoba soon after joined his 
camp, and, after some further negotiations, affixed his seal on 
the 6th of March, 1775, to a treaty, known in history as the 
Treaty of Surat, concluded by the Bombay President, without 
the authority of the Calcutta Government, and which involved 
the Company in the first Mahratta war. The President had 
no evidence that Raghoba was chargable with the assassina- 
tion of his nephew, but his guilt was universally believed by 
the Mahrattas, and the alliance of the English with a man 
branded with the crime of murder created a deep and lasting- 
prejudice against them. By this treaty the Bombay Govern- 
ment engaged to furnish Raghoba with 3,000 British troops, 
and he pledged himself to the payment of eighteen lacs of 
rupees a-year, made an assignment of lands of the annual 
value of nineteen lacs, and such was the desperate state of 
his affairs agreed to concede Salsette and Bassein. The 
army of Colonel Keating, joined by the troops whom Ragho- 
ba's officers had succeeded in collecting together after their 
dispersion, manoeuvred for a month between the Sabermuttee 
and the Myhee. It was during this period that Colonel 
Keating indiscreetly attempted to detach Futteh Sing Guick- 
war from the Poona regency ; but the English troops had as 
yet achieved nothing, and the Colonel's envoy, a young lieu- 
tenant, was treated with the most humiliating contempt, 
jiattie of Arnw, ^ ne Bombay Government having thus embarked 
i;tu May, me. j n a war ^th the Mahratta Regency, ordered 
Colonel Keating to quit Guzerat, and march upon Poona ; but, 
as he moved down to the Myhee, he found the Mahratta 
army posted at Arras to dispute his progress. It was on this 
field that the English and Mahratta forces encountered each 


other, for the first time since the gentlemen of the factory 
at Surat had so gallantly repulsed Sevajee in 1669. The 
brunt of the action fell on Colonel Keating's brigade, which 
was attacked by an army of ten tunes its number. The loss 
of life was severe, but, though the English troops were for a 
time staggered, their final triumph was complete, and the 
Mahrattas retreated in haste and disorder to the Nerbudda. 
Colonel Keating pursued them with vigour, and they con- 
sidered themselves fortunate in effecting then- escape across 
the river, after they had thrown all their heavy guns into it. 
Futteh Sing now hastened to make his peace with the victors, 
and engaged to furnish Raghoba with twenty-six lacs of 
rupees in two months, together with a large body of troops, 
and to secure to the Company a share of the Broach revenues 
to the extent of two lacs a-year. The Mahratta navy, more- 
over, which consisted of six vessels, carrying from 26 to 46 
guns, was completely crippled by the English commodore. 
The campaign had been prosperous by sea and land ; the 
Company had obtained a territorial revenue of twenty-four 
lacs a-year; the Mahrattas had been driven with disgrace 
across the Nerbudda, and so effectually damaged was their 
reputation, that the Nizam was emboldened to take advantage 
of their distress, and, under the threat of joining Raghoba, 
exacted a cession of lands valued at eleven lacs a-year. But 
the brilliant prospects which this success opened up were 
ruined by the proceedings of the Calcutta triumvirate. 

The treaty with Raghoba, which appeared likely 

Treaty with . , * ._,_, , ' / 

oba disai- to involve a war with the Regency, was severely 

lowed at CM- condemned by both parties in the Council in Cal- 
cutta, 1776. rf r 

cutta, as "impolitic, dangerous, unauthorised, and 

unjust." When the war, however, had actually commenced, 
Hastings considered it almost impossible to withdraw from it 
with honour and safety, before the conclusion ; and he advised 
that the Bombay Government should be vigorously supported 
in conducting it, and instructed to bring it to a termination as 
speedily as possible. But Mr. Francis and his colleagues 


resented the audacity of the Bombay Council in making war 
without their consent, ordered the treaty with Raghoba to be 
immediately annulled, and all the British troops to be with- 
drawn from the field. At the same time, they announced their 
intention to send an agent of their own to open an indepen- 
dent negotiation with the ministers at Poona. In vain did 
the Bombay Council remonstrate with them on the disgrace 
of violating a solemn treaty. Colonel Upton was sent 
to Poona to disavow their proceedings ; their authority was 
paralysed, and their character wantonly disgraced in the eyes 
of the princes of India. 

The Treaty of ^ ne as ^ute ministers at Poona were not slow to 
Poorumier, take advantage of these discords, and extolled to 

March 1,1776. ,,,.,,. j c ,, ,, c 

the skies the wisdom or " the great governor or 
Calcutta, who had ordered peace to be concluded." When, how- 
ever, Colonel Upton came to propose that Salsette and Bassein 
and the assigned revenues of Broach should be retained by 
the Company, they assumed a lofty tone, and spurned the con- 
ditions, demanding the immediate surrender of Raghoba and 
of all the territory recently acquired by the English ; but they 
offered, as a matter of favour, to contribute twelve lacs of 
rupees towards the expenses which had been incurred in the 
war. The majority of the Council had, in fact, cut the sinews 
of the negotiation by the precipitate recal of the army from the 
field, but the insolent reply of the Regency roused their in- 
dignation, and they determined to support Raghoba, and to 
prosecute the war with all vigour. Letters were at once 
despatched to the various princes of India to secure then- al- 
liance, or their neutrality ; a supply of treasure was despatched 
to Bombay, and troops were ordered to be held in readiness 
to take the field. But the Poona ministers, after this display 
of arrogance, unexpectedly conceded the greater part of Colonel 
Upton's demands, and the Treaty of Poorunder was signed on 
the 1st of March, 1776, by Succaram Bappoo and Nana Fur- 
nuvese. It annulled the engagements of the Bombay Govern- 
ment with Raghoba, who was to disband his army and retire 


to the banks of the Godavery on a pension of three lacs of 
rupees a-year. The British army was to quit the field. Sal- 
sette was to be retained by the Company if the Governor- 
General desired it, but ah 1 the other acquisitions were to be 
relinquished ; the claim on the revenues of Broach was con- 
ceded, together with twelve lacs of rupees, towards the ex- 
penses of the war, "by way of favour." Considering that all 
the advantages of the campaign had been on the side of the 
English, the Bombay Presidency was fully justified in repro- 
bating the treaty, as " highly injurious to the reputation a5 
the interests of the Company." It was a flagrant breach of 
faith with Ragoba, and it served to impair the confidence of 
the native powers in the engagements of the British Govern- 
ment. It inspired the Poona Regency with an undue sense of 
theirown importance, and rendered asecond warinevitable. The 
Bombay Council did not conceal their anxiety to obstruct the 
treaty. They gave an asylum to Raghoba at Surat, and throw 
their field armies into Surat and Broach. The Poona ministers 
raved at this infraction of the treaty, and threatened to carry 
lire and sword into every part of the Company's dominions ; 
but all then: menaces were treated with contempt at Bombay. 
. . On the 20th of August, 1776, a despatch was 


of the court, received from the Court of Directors, approving of 
md!" 80 ' the treaty concluded with Raghoba at Surat, and 

directing the other Presidencies to give him their support, 
and to retain the territories which had been ceded by him. 
The Bombay Council, smarting under the degradation inflicted 
on them by the Supreme Government, lost no time in turning 
this favourable decision to account. To the great annoyance 
of the Poona Regency, they gave countenance to an impostor, 
who claimed the office of Peshwa, as the identical Sudaseeb 
Rao Bhao, who had disappeared at the battle of Paniput. 
They invited Raghoba to Bombay, and settled 10,000 rupees 
a month on him. The Mahratta cabinet remonstrated against 
this fresh violation of the treaty of Poorunder, but it was 
weakened by internal discords. Succararn Bappoo, the head 


of the ministry, was jealous of the growing power of his 
younger associate, Nana Furnuvese, who had fled from the 
field of Paniput, and who united the highest political talent 
with a singular want of personal courage. His cousin, Maroba 
Furnuvese, had been the minister of the deceased Madhoo Rao, 
and took a prominent part in public affairs, but in the interests 
of Succaram. Mahdajee Sindia was endeavouring to increase 
his own consequence by acting as umpire between the two 
factions. To increase the confusion at Poona, a French ad- 
venturer, of the name of St. Lubin, arrived there in March, 
1777, and announced himself as the envoy of the King of 
France, who was on the eve of a war with the English. He 
was authorised, as he said, to offer the Mahrattas the support 
of 2,500 European troops, an abundant supply of stores and 
munitions of war, and officers to discipline 10,000 sepoys. 
He affected horror at the connection of the English with the 
assassin Raghoba, and produced in the durbar, with a burst 
of grief, a picture of the barbarous murder of Narayun Rao, 
which had been painted under his direction at Paris. Nana 
Furnuvese affected to credit his mission, and, with the view of 
annoying the English government, afforded him eveiy en- 
couragement, and made over to him the harbour of Choul, 
only twenty-three miles from Bombay. 

Revolution in Meanwhile, a despatch was received at Bom- 
favour of bay and Calcutta from the Court of Directors, 

Kaghoba, 1778. ... .- a i_ A i. 

regretting the sacrifices made by the treaty of 
Poorunder, and stating that, although they considered them- 
selves bound in honour to adhere to it, yet, if there was any 
attempt on the part of the Poona Regency to evade its pro- 
visions, the Bombay Presidency was at liberty to renew the 
alliance with Raghoba. The President and Council found 
little difficulty in discovering infractions of a treaty which 
those who had dictated it never intended to respect but as it 
suited their interests, and prepared to espouse the cause of 
Raghoba. Their movements were hastened by the course of 
events at the Mahratta capital. Moraba Furuuvese, assisted 


by Holkar, resolved to support Raghoba, and Succaram 
Bappoo joined the confederacy, and despatched an envoy to 
Bombay to request the government to conduct Raghoba to 
Poona with a military escort. The proposal was eagerly 
accepted, and preparations were immediately made for the 
expedition. Hastings, who had now regained his ascendancy 
in the Council, gave the project his approbation, partly be- 
cause it was countenanced by Succaram Bappoo, one of the 
parties to the treaty of Poorunder, but chiefly because Nana 
Furnuvese was giving encouragement to the French, whose 
influence in Indian politics he considered the greatest of 
calamities. In a letter dated the 23rd of March, 1778, he 
authorized the Bombay Government " to assist in tranquil- 
lizing the Mahratta state," and engaged to send a large force 
across the continent to resist the aggressions of- the French, 
which, in his opinion, threatened the existence of the Com- 
pany's possessions in the west of India. 

Nana Furnuvese was obliged to bend to the 

Counter revolu- 
tion at Poona, storm, and retire to Poorunder. Hurry Punt, the 

July ' 1T 5 Mahratta general-in-chief, and one of his parti- 
zans, was, at the time, on his way to Meritch, to join Sindia 
in resisting the encroachments of Hyder, to which reference 
will be made hereafter. They were hastily recalled from the 
south, and reached Poorunder on the 8th of July, where they 
united with the army of Holkar, who had been, in the mean- 
time, detached from the opposite party by a bribe of nine lacs 
of rupees, and restored Nana Furnuvese again to power. 
Maroba and his colleagues were arrested on the llth, and 
many of them put to death, but Succaram Bappoo, whose 
name it was deemed important to associate with the pro- 
ceedings of the state, was simply placed under restraint. 
The party of Raghoba was thus extinguished at Poona. 
But the Bombay President and Council were not disposed to 
desert him. They addressed certain questions to the new 
ministry at Poona ; the replies were considered a violation of 
the treaty of Poorunder, and it was resolved to put to use the 


liberty granted to them in the despatch of the Court of Di- 
rectors and in the letter of Hastings. Towards the end of 
August, he informed them that he was endeavouring 1 to form 
an alliance with the Rajah of Berar, which would embrace the 
politics of Poona, and enjoined them to avoid any measure 
hostile to the Poona Regency. But their passions were en- 
listed in the cause of Raghoba, which, in effect, they made 
their own; and without adequate preparation, without a 
commander on whom they could depend, and without alli- 
ances, they determined to send a handful of men against the 
strength of the Mahratta empire. Nana Furnuvese perceived 
the gathering storm, and prepared to meet it; he enlisted 
recruits in every direction, repaired and provisioned his forte, 
and refitted his vessels. 

Expedition to ^ new * rea ty was now made with Raghoba, 
roona,jtfth which differed little from that of Surat. An 
army of 4,000 men, of whom 600 were Europeans, 
was equipped and entrusted to Colonel Egerton, who had 
seen some service in Europe, but was little qualified for the 
duty assigned him. Disregarding the experience so dearly 
bought in the war with Hyder in 1768, " field deputies,*' under 
the name of civil commissioners, were sent with the army to 
control its movements, and to check peculation. Carnac, 
who had won some credit in the field in Bengal, was ap- 
pointed the senior commissioner, and he exhibited his fitness 
for such a trust by a squabble, on the first day, with Colonel 
Egerton about the military honours to be paid him. The 
troops, encumbered with 19,000 bullocks besides other cattle, 
embarked at Panwell on the 25th of November, and, as if it 
had been designed to afford Nana and Sindia the most ample 
leisure for preparation, moved at the rate of two miles a day. 
It was the 23rd of December before the army ascended the 
ghauts, when its disasters began by the loss of one of the 
most energetic, bold, and judicious officers in its ranks, 
Captain Stewart, whose name, after the lapse of half a 
century, was still held in veneration by the inhabitants 


of those valleys as Stewart Phakray, or Stewart the gal- 

Disastrous pro- On the 6th of Jaimai 7 5 Celonel Egerton re- 
press oniw signed the command to Colonel Cockburn, but 

though he acted as civil commissioner, the respon- 
sibility of all subsequent movements rested with Carnac. 
On the 9th, the army reached Tullygaum, and found it de- 
stroyed. A report was spread that the enemy intended also 
to burn Chinchore, and even the capital itself. Carnac was 
panic-struck, and though within eighteen miles of Poona, 
with eighteen days' provisions in the camp, ^ determined, in 
the first instance, to open a negotiation with the enemy, and 
then to retreat. Raghoba, who, with all his faults, was a 
gallant soldier, protested against this cowardice, eo contrary 
to the British character, 'but the commissioners were so com- 
pletely under the control of their own terrors, that they 
refused to wait even a single day for the result of their 
negotiations, threw their heavy guns into a pond, and begun 
their retreat that very night, hotly pursued by the enemy. 
The rear-guard, upon which the enemy's assaults were chiefly 
directed, was commanded by a young and gallant officer of 
the name of Hartley, who had been in the service about 
fourteen years, and gained the entire confidence of the 
sepoys. He received every attack with the utmost steadi- 
ness and animation, and drove back the enemy at every 
point. The sepoys fought with perlect enthusiasm. Had 
the command of the expedition been entrusted to him, ho 
would, doubtless, have planted the British standard on the 
battlements of Poona: but in this, as in many subsequent 
campaigns, while the army contained men of the most heroic 
mould, and of the highest talent, it was under the command 
of wretched drivellers. 

The British force encamped, on the night of the 
contention of 12th, at Wurgaum, and was assailed in the morn- 
j^lm ing ky the g 18 brought up by the enemy during 

the darkness. The troops began to lose heart ; 


the commander was bewildered, and declared that even a 
retreat had ceased to be possible. Captain Hartley in vain 
pointed out the mode in which it might be effected with little 
loss. Overtures were made to Nana Furnuvese, who de- 
manded the surrender of Raghoba, before he would listen to 
terms, and the commissioners would have complied with the 
demand if that prince had not saved them from this infamy by 
surrendering himself to Sindia. Nana Furnuvese, however, 
appeared to be impracticable, and the commissioners turned to 
rfindia to whom they sent Mr. Holmes with full powers to treat. 
This separate negotiation flattered his vanity and increased his 
importance, and a convention, known as that of Wurgaum, was 
concluded under his auspices, which rescued the British army 
from destruction by the sacrifice of all the acquisitions which 
had been made since 1773. The advance of the army under 
Colonel Goddard across the country was countermanded, and 
for the first time in the history of British India, two hostages 
were given for the performance of the treaty. The failure of 
this expedition, which \\as owing to the interference of the 
imbecile Cariiac, was a severe blow to the interests of the 
Company, who lost no time in dismissing him, as well as 
Colonels Egerton and Cockburn, from the service. The Bom- 
bay Presidency lost its reputation and its strength, and its 
only hope of safety now rested on the arrival of the Bengal 

This expedition was despatched from the banks 
o f tne j umna to Bombay through a thousand 
miles of unknown country, occupied by chiefs who were more 
likely to prove hostile than friendly. It was described by 
Mr. Dundas, the Indian minister, as "one of the frantic 
military exploits of Hastings," but he forgot that it was by u 
succession of such " frantic exploits " that British power and 
prestige had been established in India by a handful of 
foreigners. The force consisted of between 4,000 and 5,000 
men, under the command of Colonel Leslie, a fair soldier, but un- 
equal to such an enterprise. He crossed the Jumna in May, 


1778, and was expected to reach the Nerbudda before it was 
swelled by the rains, but he wasted his time in discussions 
with petty chiefs, and in the course of five months had only 
advanced 120 miles. He was accordingly displaced, but died 
before the news of his supercession reached him, and the com- 
mand of the army was entrusted by Hastings to Colonel 
Goddard, one of the brightest names in the history of British 
India. Through his energy, the expedition advanced at a 
rapid pace, notwithstanding the opposition of many of the 
chieftains. The raja of Bhopal, however, treated Goddard 
with the greatest kindness and hospitality, and furnished his 
troops with ample supplies, though at the risk of bringing 
down on himself the vengeance of the Mahratta powers. 
This generous conduct in a season of difficulty has not been 
forgotten by the British government in the height of its pros- 
perity. The house of Bhopal has been treated by successive 
Governors-General with marked consideration ; it has always 
been distinguished by its fidelity to the English crown, and 
the present Muha-ranee is the only female decorated with the 
most exalted Order of the Star of India. 
war between During the progress of Colonel Goddard's ex- 
Engand ai 7th pedition, intelligence was received in Calcutta 
July, nzs. of the declaration of war between France and 
England, and the difficulties of Hastings's position were 
greatly multiplied. The mission of St. Lubin who had not 
then been detected as a charlatan and the countenance given 
to him by Nana Furnuvese, created the apprehension that the 
Mahrattas would be strengthened by a large French arma- 
ment, and possibly tinder the command of the redoubted 
Bussy, who had retired to France with a magnificent fortune, 
and married the neice of the minister, but was thirsting for 
service in the country where his exploits were still held in 
honour. Hastings adopted the most vigorous measures to 
meet this new crisis; he augmented the army; he embodied 
the militia of Calcutta, to the number of a thousand ; and 
Bent Mr. Elliott to the Rajah of Berar to secure his alliance by 


the ofter of assisting him to obtain the office of Peshwa. 
The negotiation, the success of which would have involved 
the Company in endless complications, was happily nipped in 
the bud when the raja heard that the Bombay government 
were about to support the claims of Raghoba by force of 
arms, but he liberally supplied Colonel Goddard with 
money and provisions, and thus enabled him to reach Boor- 
hanpore without difficulty on the 30th of January, J779. So 
strict was the discipline which the Colonel maintained in his 
army, and so punctual were his payments, that the chiefs and 
people on the route hastened to furnish him with supplies. 
At Boorhanpore, he heard of the disaster of the Bombay 
force at Wurgaum, and immediately turned off to Surat, a 
distance of 300 miles, which he traversed in twenty days, 
though he was without any map of the country. By this 
prompt movement he avoided a body of 20,000 Mahratta 
horse sent from Poona to intercept him. His timely arrival 
on the western coast proved the salvation of the Bombay 
Presidency. The unexpected appearance of so large a force 
from the banks of the Jumna, augmented the reputation of 
the British power, and confirmed its influence at the native 
courts, which the convention of Wurgaum had impaired. 
Progress of This convention was repudiated equally by the 

events, 1779. Bombay Council and by Hastings, who directed 
Colonel Goddard to open a fresh negotiation with Nana 
Furnuvese, on the basis of the treaty of Poorunder, but with 
an additional stipulation for the exclusion of the French from 
the Mahratta dominions. In the meantime, Sindia had granted 
a jaygeer of twelve lacs of rupees in Bundlecund to Ra- 
ghoba, and sent him under a slender escort to take possession 
of it. Raghoba, who was permitted to take his body guard 
and his guns with him, attacked and overpowered the escort 
on the route, and escaped to Surat, where he was honourably 
entertained by Colonel Goddard, who settled an allowance of 
half a lac of rupees a month on him. The whole scheme was 
evidently a contrivance of Sindia, to procure the release of 

2 B 


Kaghoba, and hold Nairn Furnuvese in check, by his habitual 
fears. Towards the close of the year, Succaram Bappoo, 
being no longer considered necessary, was confined by Nana 
in the fortress of Pertabgur, 4,000 feet above the level of 
the plain, from the windows of which he could discern the 
spot, where, a hundred years before, his ancestor Puntajce 
had basely betrayed his confiding master, Ufzul Khan, into 
the hands of Sevajee. The venerable old man was soon 
after removed to Raigur, where he closed a life which had 
been marked by every vicissitude of privation and grandeur, 
of toil and triumph. 

Goddard's sue- *^^ e mm isters at Poona considered the conven- 
cess in Guzerat, tion of Wurgaum as a final settlement of their 

1779 QQ^ 

differences with the English, and invited them to 
unite in an attack on Hyder, who had taken advantage of the 
confusion of the times to overrun the Mahratta territories up 
to the banks of the Kistna. But the reception accorded to 
Eaghoba by Goddard on the 12th of June gave them mortal 
offence, and they immediately turned round and proposed to 
Hyder a union against the English, in pursuance of the con- 
federacy which had been formed by the Nizam at the end of 
the monsoon. When, therefore, Goddard, who had early in- 
timation of this alliance, demanded a categorical reply to the 
proposals he had made, Nana Furnuvese at once stated that 
the restitution of Salsette, and the surrender of Raghoba 
were necessary preliminaries to any treaty ; and Goddard im- 
mediately dismissed the vakeels, and prepared for war. At 
the same time he endeavoured to negotiate with Futteh Sing 
Guickwar, whom Hastings had determined to acknowledge as 
the ruler of Guzerat, biit that prince manifested a disposition 
to procrastinate, and Goddard lost no time in laying seige to 
Dubhoy, garrisoned by 2,000 of the Peshwa's troops, which 
surrendered on the 20th of January, 1780. Futteh Sing now 
began to negotiate in earnest, and a treaty offensive and de- 
fensive was concluded six days after, in which it was agreed 
that he should join the English camp with 3,000 horse, and 


receive possession of all the Peshwa's territories north or the 
Myhee, and that certain districts to the south should be made 
over to the Company. On the 10th of February, Goddard 
captured the noble city of Ahrnedabad, the modern capital of 
the province, surrounded by walls of immense extent, and 
filled with a population of 100,000. The capital was scarcely 
reduced, when Goddard heard that Sindia and Holkar had 
forded the Nerbudda with 20,000 horse on the 29th of February, 
and were advancing to encounter him. Sindia professed great 
enmity of Nana Furnuvese, arid great friendship for the 
English, and liberated the two hostages of Wurgaum, whom 
he had treated with hospitality. He endeavoured to open 
negotiations, but Goddard could not fail to perceive that his 
chief object was to waste the season of operations. Seven 
days were, therefore, allowed him for a definite reply, and as 
it did not prove satisfactory, Goddard attacked and dispersed 
his troops on the 2nd, and again on the 14th of April, and 
cantoned his army for the season on the banks of the 

Capture of Gwa- On the side of Bengal, the war was conducted 
iior, 3rd August, w ith brilliant success. Sixty miles south-east o/ 


Agra lay the little independent principality of 
Gohud, erected by a Jaut chieftain on the decay of the Mogd 
empire. The rana was incessantly threatened by the encroach- 
ments of Sindia, and solicited the protection of Hastings, who 
determined to take advantage of the appeal, and despatch ail 
expedition, chiefly however with the view of creating a salu- 
tary diversion. It consisted of only 2,400 infantry, with a 
small body of cavalry, and a detail of European artillery, but 
it was commanded by Major Popham, one of the best soldiers 
in the service. He proceeded on his march in February, 
1780, and having expelled the Mahratta invaders from the 
country, attacked the fortress of Lahar, without battering 
cannon, and carried it by the gallantry of his men. Fifty 
miles to the south of it lay the fort of Gwalior, on the summit 
of a stupendous rock, scarped almost entirely round, and 

2 B 2 


deemed throughout India impregnable. Sir Eyre Coote, the 
veteran hero of the Carnatic, now general-in-chief in Bengal, 
had declared that any attempt to capture it, more especially 
without siege guns, would be an act of madness. But Pop- 
ham had set this " glorious object," as he termed it, before 
him, and determined to accomplish it. For two months he 
lay about the fortress, maturing his plans with such secrecy 
as to baffle all suspicion. On the night of the 3rd of August, 
the troops selected for the assault proceeded under the guid- 
ance of Captain Bruce to their destination. Two companies 
of sepoys led by four European officers, and followed by 
twenty English soldiers, applied the scaling ladders to the 
base of the scarped rock, sixteen feet high, then to a steep 
ascent of forty feet, and, lastly, to a wall of the height of 
thirty feet. Captain Bruce with twenty sepoys climbed up 
the battlements before their approach was suspected. The 
bewildered garrison made but a feeble resistance, and, by 
break of day, the British ensign was floating over the re- 
nowned fortress of Gwalior, while the Mahratta troops fled to 
carry the news to Sindia. The report of this brilliant 
achievement resounded through India, and wiped out the 
disgrace of the "infamous convention of Wurgaum," as 
Hastings termed it, and which he considered "it worth 
crores to obliterate." Popham was promoted to a majority, 
and then superseded by Colonel Carnac, who brought au 
additional force with him, and not only invaded Malwa, but 
threatened Sindia's capital. That chief was obliged to quit 
Poona in haste to attend to the defence of his own dominions, 
and the object of Hastings in this expedition was fully ac- 
complished. Carnac, however, proved unequal to the enter- 
prise entrusted to him, and allowed his force to be surrounded 
by the enemy, who obliged him to retreat, and harassed him 
at every step. Having at length procured a small supply 
of provisions for his starving troops, by forced contributions, 
he called a council of war to determine his future course. 
Captain Bruce, who was fortunately with the force, urged a 


vigorous attack on the enemy's camp during the night, as 
affording the only chance of deliverance. His advice was 
adopted, and the surprise and overthrow of Sindia on the 
24th of March, 1781, was complete. He lost elephants, horses, 
baggage, and a large number of troops, but, above all, his re- 
putation, and that at a time when the credit of Holkar at the 
capital was elevated by his successful attack on General 
Goddard's force. Colonel Caruac soon after resigned the 
command of the brigade to Colonel Muir. 
Confederacy Towards the close of 1779, intelligence reached 
against the En- Hastings from various quarters of a general con- 

plish, 1779. . , . . , , , . . j i ,1 XT- 

federacy winch had been formed by the Nizam 
and Hyder, and all the Mahratta ciiiefs, with the exception of 
the Guickwar, for the expulsion of the English from India. A 
simultaneous attack was to be made on the three Presiden- 
cies; on Bombay, by Sindia, Holkar, and the army of the 
Peshwa ; on Madras by Hyder ; and on Bengal by the Moda- 
jee Bhonslay, raja of .Nagpore. At no former period had the 
English power been menaced with greater peril, and it re- 
quired all the fortitude, resources, and genius of Hastings to 
meet the crisis. Hyder Ali was the first in the field, and 
burst on the Carnatic in July, 1780, as will be hereafter nar- 
rated. The safety of Madras demanded the immediate and 
undivided attention of Hastings, and he was under the neces- 
sity of informing Bombay that he could afford it no farther 
assistance. Mr. Hornby, the President, feeling that he had 
no resource but in his own efforts, exhibited the greatest 
vigour and prudence. To. enable him to draw supplies from 
the Concan, Colonel Hartley was sent to clear the province of 
the Mahrattas, which he effected with little difficulty, after he 
had inflicted a severe defeat on them in October, 1780. God- 
dard marched down from Surat, and laid siege to Bassein on 
the 13th of November. Nana Furnuvese advanced with a 
powerful army to recover the Concan, and relieve that fortress. 
Colonel Hartley had been engaged for upwards of a month in 
daily skirmishes with the Mahratta force j his ammunition was 


nearly exhausted ; he was encumbered with 600 sick, and had 
only 2,000 jaded troops fit for duty ; but he felt the import- 
ance of maintaining his communications with Goddard, which 
Nana was endeavouring to cut off, and he took up a strong po- 
sition at Doogaur, where he sustained the assaultof 20,000 Mah- 
ratta horse for two days. On the third, the 12th of December, 
1780, their gallant and skilful general, Ramchunder Gunnesh, 
was killed ; the army became dispirited and fled precipitately 
with heavy loss. Bassein had surrendered on the previous day 
to Goddard with the loss of only thirteen of his men, and he 
immediately moved down to the support of Colonel Hartley, 
and, on surveying the field of action, expressed his admiration 
of the judicious position he had chosen, and the valour of his 
troops. This was all the reward. that gallant soldier ever 
received for his achievements in this war ; he was immediately 
after superseded, and the public service deprived of his 
talents at the time when they were most urgently needed. 

Hastings, alarmed by Hyder's irruption into 
-g ex- * De Carnatic, considered it important to the 
to safety of British interests in India to make peace 

with the Mahrattas, and he proposed a treaty on 
reasonable terms, through the raja of Nagpore, who, was 
still friendly to the English though he had joined the con- 
federacy. But on hearing of the destruction of Baillie's force 
in the Carnatic, in September, 1780, he considered their 
affairs desperate, and hesitated to become mediator, except 
on conditions to which the Governor- General would not 
accede. Goddard, conceiving that the desire for peace on 
the part of the Poona durbar would be quickened by an ad- 
vance towards Poona, ascended the ghauts with a large 
force. This expedition, which proved to be a total failure, 
was the only mistake of his career. After having inju- 
diciously taken post at the Bhore ghaut, he was incessantly 
harrassed by the Mahratta army, and obliged at length to 
retreat, when he was vigorously attacked by Holkar with 
25,000 horse, and did not reach Bombay without the loss of 


450, killed and wounded. The discomfiture of this renowned 
general was considered by the Mahrattas one of their most 
signal victories, and it was a fortunate circumstance that at 
this critical period the troops of Sindia should have been en- 
gaged in defending his own territories, many hundred miles 
distant. This inauspicious expedition, which terminated on 
the 23rd"0f April, 1781, was the last operation of the war, 
although more than a twelvemonth elapsed before the 
conclusion of peace. 

Arrangement ^e ra ja of Berar, to support appearances with 
with Bhonsiay, his confederates, sent an army of 30,000 horse in 
October, 1779, under his son Chimnajee towards 
Cuttack, for the ostensible purpose of invading Bengal, but 
he endeavoured to convince Hastings that his intentions 
were not hostile, by prolonging its march for seven months, 
and then employing it in the reduction of a fort in Orissa. 
To relieve Madras from the pressure of Hyder's army, 
Hastings resolved to aid it by a force from Bengal. But a 
body of Bengal sepoys, who had recently been ordered to 
embark at Vizagapatam for Madras, objecting to a sea voyage 
on account of their caste prejudices, had murdered their 
officers, and committed great outrages. To avoid the recur- 
rence of such a scene, Hastings determined to send the 
Bengal detachment along the coast by land, though the 
distance was seven hundred miles, and the route lay through 
unknown and hostile provinces. This was another of those 
" frantic military exploits " of Hastings, which served to 
overawe the native princes, and to establish the ascendancy 
of British power. Colonel Pearce started with the army on 
the 9th of January, 1781, and it was on the line of march 
in Orissa that one-half his force perished of cholera, and 
this is apparently the first notice which we have of the exist- 
ence of a disease which has proved the mysterious scourge of 
the nineteenth century. Colonel Pearce experienced the 
same friendly support from the raja of Nagpore, which that 
prince had previously given to Goddard. Hastings, with the 


view of detaching the raja from the confederacy, and enlist- 
ing him against Hyder, had made him a promise of sixteen 
lacs of rupees, of which three had already been paid. Chim- 
najee was, at this time, iu great distress for money, and 
Hastings eagerly embraced the opportunity of offering the 
remainder of the sum, on the condition of a treaty of alliance, 
which was soon after concluded, with the proviso that 2,000 
of the raja's horse should accompany the detachment, and 
act against Hyder. " Thus," remarked Hastings, with exul- 
tation, " have we converted an ostensible enemy into a de- 
clared friend, and transferred the most formidable member of 
the confederacy, after Hyder, to our own party, saved Bengal 
from a state of dangerous alarm, if not from actual invasion, 
and all the horrors of a predatory war, and have completed 
the strength of Colonel Pearce's detachment." 

The signal defeat of Sindia by Colonel Camac 

Treaty with ' 

sindia, ism convinced him that he had every thing to lose by 
Oct., i78i. a contegt w i t h t h e English in the heart of his 
dominions, which might end in driving him across the Ner- 
budda without land or friends, and extinguishing his influence 
in the Mahratta commonwealth. He accordingly made over- 
tures to Colonel Muir, which Hastings was but too happy to 
entertain, and they terminated in a treaty which was con- 
cluded on the 13th of October. The territory west of the 
Jumna, from which he had been expelled by Major Popham, 
was restored to him, with the exception of the fort of Gwalior, 
which was reserved for the rana of Gohucl, and he engaged 
to negotiate a treaty between the other belligerents and the 
British government, but, at all events, to stand neutral. 
The treaty gave great umbrage to Nana Furnuvese, partly 
because it acknowledged Sindia as an independent power, but 
chiefly because this assumption of the office of plenipotentiary 
served to increase his power and his importance. 
Treaty of Hastings's anxiety for peace with the Mahrattn 

nth Regency was quickened by the arrival of a French 

May, ma. . . , . ,. 

armament on the coast which, under existing cir- 


cumstances, might, he feared " result in the extirpation of our 
nation from the Carmvtic." " It was not," he said, " peace 
with conditions of advantage he wanted, but speedy peace, 
for which he would sacrifice every foot of ground he had 
acquired from the Mahrattas." After a variety of disappoint- 
ments, the treaty of Salbye was at length completed on the 
17th of May, 1782, and signed by Mr. Anderson on the part, 
of the Company, and by Sindia on behalf of the Feshwa and the 
Mahratta chiefs, he becoming at the same time the mutual 
guarantee of both parties for the performance of its conditions. 
All the territory acquired by the British arms since the treaty 
of Poorunder was restored. Futteh Sing Guickwar was re- 
placed in his original position in Gnzerat. Raghoba was to 
be allowed three lacs of rupees a year, with liberty to choose 
his own place of residence. Hyder was to be required to re- 
linquish all his conquests in the Carnatic, and to release all his 
prisoners within six months, and, in case of refusal, was to be 
attacked by the forces of the Peshwa. But Nana Fumuvese, 
after having accepted the treaty, hesitated to ratify it, in the 
hope of making better terms with Hyder. After many 
months of anxiety, Hastings became impatient of further 
delay, and on the 4th of December instructed Mr. Anderson 
to demand the fulfilment of Sindia's promises, and the imme- 
diate ratification of the treaty, stating that he should other- 
wise be under the necessty of making a separate peace with 
Hyder, which would leave him at liberty to carry all his forces 
towards the Kistna, and not only secure the possessions he had 
conquered from the Mahrattas, but augment them. On the 
5th of December, Hastings received a copy of the resolution 
of the House of Commons, that it was the duty of the Court 
of Directors to remove him from the head of affairs inasmuch 
as he had acted in a manner repugnant to the honour and policy 
of the British nation, and he began to tremble for the ratifica- 
tion of the treaty, when this resolution should be known in 
every durbar in India. On the 7th all anxiety was removed 
by the death of Hyder, of which Nana Furiiuvese was no 


sooner informed than he affixed the Peshwa's seal to the 
treaty, without any farther hesitation. 


SECOND MYSORE WAR, 1771 1784. 

Affairs of kingdom of Tanjore had been in a great 

Ta^ore, 1771 measure exempt from the ravages of war during 
hostilities with Hyder, but had contributed little 
to the defence of the country. Mahomed AH, from the period 
of his accession to the throne of the Carnatic had never ceased 
to covet the possession of it. He now asserted that former 
Nabobs had obtained contributions from it of sixty, eighty. 
and even a hundred lacs of rupees, and he importuned the 
Madras Council to aid him in fleecing the raja. The Court of 
Directors, impoverished by the expenses of the late war, 
looked to the resources of Tanjore with a wishful eye, and 
had instructed their servants at Madras to support the views 
of the Nabob, if the raja refused to submit to reasonable 
terms. The demands which the Nabob made, however, were 
beyond all reason ; the raja refused to submit to them, and 
the Council for some time manifested a virtuous reluctance to 
enforce them, but were at length induced to send forward 
an army. The Taujorines made a very spirited defence, but 
a breach was at length effected in the fortifications, and the 
town was on the point of surrendering, when, on the 27th of 
October, 1771, the Nabob's second son, who had accompanied 
the expedition, without consulting his English supporters, 
signed a treaty with the raja, extorting from him fifty lacs as 
the compensation for peace. With the aid of the British de- 
tachments he then proceeded to plunder the polygars, or 
zemindars of the two Marawars, and subjected the wretched 


inhabitants to the most revolting cmelties, leaving nothing in 
the track of his soldiers but burnt and desolated villages. 
second attack * u J 6 ) 1773, the Nabob again demanded the 

onTanjore, aid of the Madras government to crush the raja; 
he had not, he said, fulfilled his engagements; 
ten lacs of rupees were still due from him; and he had, 
moreover, made application to Hyder and to the Mahrattas for 
support. The Council ridiculed the preposterous idea of going 
to war with him for arrears. They knew that he had exhausted 
his treasury to make good the extortionate fine imposed on him, 
of which he had been enabled to pay five-sixths by mortgag- 
ing his districts and his jewels to the Danes at Tranquebar, 
and the Dutch at Negapatam. As to the overtures he had 
made to Hyder and the Mahrattas, they remarked that the 
treaty of 1769 had placed him under the protection of Hyder, 
and, that, when he found himself abandoned to the tender 
mercies of the Nabob, who had resolved on his destruction, it 
was natural that he should seek to strengthen himself by 
alliances with the other powers of the Deccan. Nevertheless, 
the President and his Council argued that the existence of 
such a power as that of the raja in the heart of the country, 
who would join Hyder and the French in the event of a war, 
unless the Company supported him in his just rights, was a 
source of danger ; and that it was therefore proper and ex- 
pedient to embrace this opportunity of reducing him entirely, 
before the occurrence of such an event. It is difficult to 
believe that Englishmen and Christians, even in that period of 
profligacy, could have adopted such a train of reasoning to 
justify the ruin of an innocent prince. The opponents of the 
President and Council, however, gave a different account of 
the origin of this war of extermination, and affirmed that it 
arose from the resentment of the gentlemen at Madras, 
when they found that the raja had resorted for loans to the 
Dutch and the Danes, instead of giving them the benefit of 
these lucrative transactions. Whatever may have been the 
motive, an English army marched into Tanjore in September, 


1773, deposed the raja and made over his country to the 
Nabob. The Court of Directors, astounded by the report of 
this infamous proceeding, lost no time in expelling the Presi- 
dent, Mr. Wynch, from the service, and ordering the raja to 
be restored, placing him for the future under the safeguard of 
British honour. 
Lord Pigot, The vacant chair at Madras was bestowed on 

BfotoTnai Lord Pi s ot who had ne out to Madras fortv 

Dec., 1775. years before, and, after having risen to the post 
of President, returned to England with a fortune of forty lacs 
of rupees, and was honoured with an Irish peerage. The old 
man was now seized with the mania of going back to Madras 
as governor. He found, on his arrival, that the system of 
peculation and extortion had intermediately attained great 
maturity ; and he set himself to the task of cleansing the 
Augean stable, which set the whole settlement in a blaze. 
To prevent the restoration of Tanjore to the raja, the Nabob 
spared no art or intrigue ; he went so far as to offer a bribe 
of sixty lacs of rupees to the governor himself, if he would 
only postpone the transfer, but the orders of the Court of 
Directors were peremptory, and Lord Pigot proceeded in person 
to Tanjore, and seated the raja on the throne on the llth of 
April, 1776, leaving an English garrison for the defence of the 
country. But the restoration was no sooner proclaimed that 
Mr. Paul Benfield came forward and asserted that he had an 
assignment on the revenues of Tanjore from the Nabob of six- 
teen lacs of rupees, and a claim on the standing crop of seven 
lacs for sums lent to the husbandmen. Nothing can more clearly 
demonstrate the total demoralization of the public service at 
the Madras Presidency than the fact that this Benfield, occupy- 
ing an inferior post, not worth more than 200 or 300 rupees a 
month, and keeping the grandest equipages at Madras, should 
not consider it by any means preposterous to assert that he 
had advanced twenty-three lacs of rupees on the revenues of 
the province. The Council called for vouchers, which he was 
unable to produce, but he assured them that the Nabob was 


prepared to admit the obligation, of which there could be no 
doubt, as the claim had evidently been concocted between 
them to defraud the Company and the raja. After long' 
deliberation the Council, on the 29th of May, 1776, rejected 
the claim. 

But the Council soon repented of this act of 

Deposition and 

death of Pigot virtue. They and the other members of the civil 
177677. service were creditors of the Nabob to the extent 
of a crore and a-half of rupees, and they discovered that by 
rejecting the claim of Benfield, they had impaired their hold 
on the revenues of Tanjore. The vote was reconsidered ; Lord 
Pigot and his friends strenuously resisted the proceedings, 
but a majority of seven to five resolved that the assignments 
made to Paul Benfield were valid. The dispute was widened 
by other questions, and both parties became inflamed. Lord 
Pigot unconstitutionally suspended two of the members of 
Council and ordered the commandant, Sir Eobert Fletcher, to 
be placed under arrest. Fletcher was the officer whom Clivo 
had dismissed ten years before, during the mutiny of the 
officers in Bengal which he had fomented, but whom the Court 
of Directors had, out of opposition to Clive, restored to the 
service. The majority of the Council then assumed the 
government, and placed Lord Pigot in confinement, The 
order was executed by Colonel Stuart, who passed the 
day with him at his country seat, in the most friendly 
intercourse, and drove out with him in the carriage, when, 
on a given signal, it was surrounded by troopers, and 
the governor was hurried off to a place of imprisonment. 
The Court of Directors, after receiving the report of these 
violent proceedings, ordered that Lord Pigot should be re- 
stored to the office of President, and then resign it. Seven 
members of Council were dismissed from the service, and 
the military officers placed on their trial. But before these 
orders could reach Madras, Lord Pigot was beyond the reach of 
praise or blame. He sunk under his misfortunes in April, 1777, 
after a confinement, by no means rigorous, of eight mouths. 


go- The state of affairs at Madras was not at all 
MadnL,8th improved by the appointment of Sir Thomas 
Feb. 1778. Rumboid, who had been trained up in the Bengal 
school of corruption, as his successor. The Northern Sircars 
formed the only territory from which the Madras Presidency 
derived any revenue, but the malversations of the collectors 
left but a small portion of it to the state. The Court of Di- 
rectora had, therefore, been induced to order five of the 
members of Council to proceed to the province, and after 
diligent investigation, to place the settlement on a satisfactory 
basis. Sir Thomas Rumboid, immediately on his arrival at 
Madras, cancelled the commission, and ordered the zemindars 
to repair in person to the Presidency, a distance of 600 miles, 
through a country without a road. The zemindars who were 
able to afford the cost, were required, on reaching the Presi- 
dency, to transact business with the governor alone, to the 
exclusion of the members of Council. The principal zemindar, 
Viziram raj, who was, in fact, a local prince, pleaded the 
injury which his affairs must suffer during his absence, as an 
excuse for not leaving his estates. But his brother hastened 
to the Presidency, and having given a bribe of a lac of rupees 
to the governor's secretary, was appointed dewan, in spite of 
all his brother's remonstrances, and thus obtained the entire 
control and management of the zemindary. Sir Thomas 
Rumboid himself was found to have remitted four lacs and 
a-half of rupees to England after he had been six months at 
Madras, and the suspicions to which so large a remittance 
gave rise, were never satifactorily removed. 
Thec-unroor The treaty with the Nizam in 1768, had given 
sircar, 1778. ^ ne reversion of the Guntoor Sircar to the Company, 
after the death of his brother, Basalut Jung. That prince, 
with Adoni for the capital of his little principality, was am- 
bitious of increasing his power and territory, and had gra- 
dually formed a French corps under M. Lally, which received 
recruits and supplies through the little seaport of Mootapilly. 
The Madras government repeatedly remonstrated against the 


presence of this corps, to Basalut Jung, and also to his feudal 
superior, the Nizam, who promised that every article of the 
treaty should be fulfilled to a hair's breadth, but the troops 
were not disbanded. Basalut Jung was at length threatened 
by the encroachments of Hyder, and opened a communication 
with Sir Thomas Rumbold, and a treaty was concluded in 
April, 1779, by which he bound himself to dismiss the French 
corps, and to entrust the defence of his dominions to an 
English force, and assign the Guntoor Sircar for its support. 
Scarcely was the treaty dry, when the Sircar was transferred 
on a ten years' lease to Mahomed Ali, that is, to his English 
creditors, and we are thus furnished with a key to the whole 
transaction. An English force immediately set out to take 
possession of the district, and Mr. Holland was deputed to 
Hyderabad, to expound the transaction to the Nizam. The 
Nizam expressed the highest resentment at this intrusion into 
the affairs of his family, and more especially at the military 
support offered to his brother, who might thus become a for- 
midable rival. But his indignation knew no bounds when 
Mr. Holland farther requested a remission of the peshcush or 
tribute payable for the Northern Sircars, which had already 
been withheld for two years. He called for the treaty and 
read it over, item by item, before Mr. Holland, and charged 
the English with violating its provisions, and seeking a quarrel 
with him. It was under these feelings of irritation that he 
get himself to organize the grand confederacy for the exter- 
mination of the English to which reference has been already 

Dismissal of Hastings, from whom these transactions had 
itumboid, 1781. fo een ca refully concealed, no sooner heard of them, 
than he superseded the authority of the Madras Council at 
the court of Hyderabad, and assured the Nizam that the in- 
tentions of the British government were honourable and 
pacific, that Guntoor should not be occupied, and that the 
arrears of peshcush should be discharged as speedily as pos- 
sible. By these assurances, Hastings was enabled to appease 


the Nizam, and to neutralize his hostility as a member of the 
grand confederacy. This friendly disposition was likewise 
improved by the discovery he had recently made, that Hyder 
Air's ambition had led him to send a mission to Delhi, and to 
obtain a sunnud from the phantom of an emperor, conferring 
on him the whole of the Hyderabad territories. The French 
troops, which Basalut Juug was constrained to dismiss, were 
immediately taken into the service of the Nizam, and the 
anxiety which their presence in the Deccan inspired was greatly 
augmented. Sir Thomas Kumbold remonstrated, with great 
vehemence against this interference of the Governor-General, 
in the political movements of the Madras Presidency ; but the 
measure of his transgressions was now full, and in January, 
1781, the Court of Directors after passing the severest 
censure on his conduct, expelled him from the situation 
which he had filled and disgraced for more than two years. 
But he anticipated their decision by deserting his post, and 
returning to England, as soon as the war with Hyder, which 
his follies had provoked, was on the eve of breaking out.* 

Before entering on the narrative of the second 

Progress of 

iiy<ier. Mysore war in 1780, a brief review of Hyder's 

progress, after he had been constrained to make 
peace with the Mahrattas in 1772, appears desirable. The 
confusion created in the Mahratta counsels by the murder of 
the young Peshwa, Narayun Rao, afforded Hyder an oppor- 
tunity of enlarging his territories, which he was not slow to 
improve. In November of that year he subjugated the prin- 
cipality of Coorg, which offered the noblest resistance, and 
was, therefore, treated with more than ordinary barbarity. 
The sum of five rupees was offered for the head of each male, 
and Hyder took his seat in state to distribute the rewards. 
After 700 heads had thus been paid for, two of surpassing 
beauty were laid at his feet, and he was so startled by their 
comeliness as to order the execution to cease. The circum- 
stance is remarkable, as this is said to have been the only 
instance in which he ever exhibited any emotion of pity. He 
* See Appendix. 


pursued this career of conquest with uninterrupted success, 
and in one short campaign, extending from September, 1773, 
to February, 1774, recovered all the districts of which he had 
been dispossessed by the Mahrattas, and strengthened his 
power in Malabar. In 1775, he reduced the fortress of 
Bellary, belonging to Basalut Jung, whom he constrained to 
purchase peace by the sacrifice of a lac of pagodas. He then 
proceeded to extinguish the power which Morari Rao, the 
renowned chieftain of Gooty, had been employed for thirty 
years in building up, and before the end of 1776, had extin- 
guished the independence of Savanoor. 

Raghoba, during his vicissitudes, had been in 
peshTraattack constant communication with Hyder Ali, who had 
Hyder, acknowledged his title, and furnished him, from 

time to time, with funds to the extent of sixteen 
lacs of rupees, receiving in return a confirmation of all the 
territories he had recently conquered. The cabinet at Foona, 
alarmed at his encroachments, formed an alliance with the 
Nizam, hoping, at the same time, to demolish all the hopes of 
Raghoba. A Mahratta army of 30,000, and a Hyderabad 
army of 40,000, accordingly took the field in 1776, but were 
unable to achieve any success. The invasion was renewed 
the next year, but the general of the Nizam was rendered 
inactive by the gold of Hyder, and the Mahratta commander- 
in-chief was obliged to retreat in consequence of the deser^ 
tion of one of his generals, whom Hyder had corrupted with 
six lacs of rupees. The year 1778 was marked by the most 
active and successful exertions on the part of Hyder, and at, 
the close of it he was enabled to contemplate the fertile 
banks of the Kistna as the northern boundaiy of his domi- 
nions. In May, 1779, he attacked the Nabob of Kurpa, who 
had sided with his opponents in the recent war, and annexed 
all his territories. 

The resentment which Hyder manifested at 

Hyder t ne- * 

gotiations with the refusal of the government of Madras to afford 
him any assistance, in 1772, when pressed to 

2 c 


extremity by the Mahrattas, did not prevent his making 
overtures to them, in 1773, but all his efforts to esta- 
blish a friendly intercourse were defeated by the machi- 
nations of the Nabob, Mahomed Ali. Hyder then turned to 
the French at Pondicherry, where his envoys were received 
with great eagerness by the governor, M. Bellecombe. The 
inveterate hostility and incessant invasions of the Mahrattas, 
however, induced him again to court the alliance of the 
English, and he offered his assistance towards the establish- 
ment of Raghoba at Poona, asking, in return, only for a 
supply of stores and arms, and a small body of troops, for 
which he was willing to make a suitable payment. The 
proposal, though acceptable both at Calcutta and Madras, 
was not entertained with any degree of cordiality. 

In the month in which this negotiation was in 

Capture of 

Pondicheny, progress, information was received of the com- 
mencement of hostilities between France and 
England, and a force was soon after sent against Pondi 
cherry, the fortifications of which had been completely re- 
stored. The place was defended by the gallant Bellecombe 
for ten weeks with great constancy, but capitulated at length 
in the month of October, 1778, when the garrison was 
permitted to march out with all the honours of war. The 
governor of Madras, in announcing this success to Hyder, 
offered to renew the negotiations, and to place a resident at 
his court, but intimated, at the same time, his intention to 
send an expedition to capture Mahe. This was a small French 
settlement on the Malabar coast, through which Hyder had, 
for three years, been in the habit of receiving recruits and 
supplies of every description from Europe, and the continued 
occupation of which by his French allies was to him a matter 
of great importance. He replied that he considered all the 
foreign settlements, English, French and Dutch, equally 
under his protection ; that he should support the French 
garrison with all his strength, and retaliate any attack by an 
invasion of the Carnatic. Hyder's troops accordingly as- 


sisted in the defence of the fort, and his colours were hoisted, 
side by side with those of the French ; but the place sur- 
rendered in March, 1779. Hyder did not disguise his resent- 
ment from the governor of Madras, and the tone of his 
communications created so much alarm as to induce Sir 
Thomas Rumbold to send the celebrated missionary, Swartz, 
to allay his feelings, and to sound his disposition. Hyder 
received the missionary with great respect, but nothing was 
gained by the mission except the most unequivocal evidence 
of his hostility. 

H der joins While Hyder's feelings were thus exasperated 

tue confederacy, against the Madras authorities, he received in- 


telligence that Colonel Harper, who had been 
sent to take possession of Guntoor, was marching through the 
province of Kurpa, which he had recently conquered, with- 
out even asking his permission. His indignation was roused 
to the highest pitch, and he declared that he would neither 
allow an English force to occupy Guntoor, or to proceed to 
Adoni, and his officers were ordered to resist the progress 
of Colonel Harper by an armed force. Basalut Jung was 
likewise obliged, by the menaces of Hyder and of the Nizam, 
to request that the march of the English troops might be 
countermanded, and the sircar restored ; but with this re- 
quest the Madras Government did not see fit to comply. 
Meanwhile, an envoy arrived at Seringapatam from Poona, 
to represent that Hyder, equally with the' Mahrattas, had 
reason to complain of the breach of their engagements by the 
English Government, and to request him to join the con- 
federacy which had been formed to expel them from India. 
The Mahratta ministers offered to adjust all their differences 
with him; to relinquish all claims for arrears of chout, to 
limit his future payments to eleven lacs of rupees a year, 
and to confirm the grants of territory up to the Kistna, made 
by Raghoba. Hyder accepted these proposals with avidity, 
and agreed to put forth his whole strength for the exter- 
mination of the British power. A few months after, Sir 

2 c 2 


Thomas Rumbold sent Mr. Grey to Seringapatam to offer an 
alliance with the Mysore state; but he was treated with 
studied indignity, and informed that the offer of friendship 
came too late. Osman, Hyder's minister, in the course of 
the discussions, took occasion to remark that he had been at 
Madras, and had seen how the English treated their allies. 
" Mahomed Ali," he said, " shewed me several letters he had 
received from the King of England, but he complained of tBe 
lacs of pagodas which each one had cost him." 

For many months Hyder had been making pre- 

Hyder's pre- * 

parations for parations for war on the largest scale, super- 
war, 1780. intending every arrangement in person, though 
then in his seventy-eighth year, and by the end of June, had 
equipped the most efficient force ever collected under the 
standard of a natives prince. It consisted of 90,000 horse and 
foot, a large proportion of which had been trained and was 
commanded by European officers. It was supported by a 
powerful artillery, directed by European science and skill, 
and his commissariat was admirably organized by a brahmin 
of the name of Poornea. At Madras no preparation was 
made to meet the coming storm. In a spirit of infatuation 
which has no parallel in our Indian history, the members of 
government refused even to acknowledge the danger, and 
the idea of an invasion became the topic of ridicule. The 
President informed the Court of Directors with peculiar satis- 
faction that the country was in perfect tranquillity, and that 
there was "the greatest prospect that this part of India 
would remain quiet." Even so late as the 17th of July 
while Hyder was advancing through the passes, the com- 
mander-in-chief declared that all apprehensions were ground- 

These illusions were speedily dispelled. Hyder, 

on theCamatic, having completed the equipment of his army, and 

July, uso. or( j er ed p ra y er8 for its success to be put up in the 

mosques, and offerings to be made in the Hindoo temples, 

burst on the Carnatic, through the Changama pass, on the 


20th of July, 1780, and his progress was marked by the 
blaze of towns and villages. He appeared anxious, on this 
occasion, to exhaust all the resources of cruelty which a 
mind never sensible to pity could suggest. The wretched 
inhabitants were required to emigrate to Mysore with their 
flocks and herds, and those who lingered about their home- 
steads, were mutilated without discrimination. With the 
exception of four forts held by four English lieutenants every 
fort, as far as the Coleroon, was surrendered by the com- 
mandants of Mahomed Ali, whom Hyder AH had corrupted. 
The incredulity of the Council was at length dispelled by the 
announcement that his troops had surrounded Conjeveram, 
only fifty miles from Madras. But it was not till black 
clouds of smoke were seen in every quarter from St. Thomas's 
Mount, distant only nine miles from Madras, that any order 
was issued for the movement of troops to repel the enemy. 
The main body of the British army encamped at the Mount 
was about 5,200 strong, and the force sent to occupy Gun- 
toor, now commanded by Colonel Baillie, amounted to about 
2,800 men. It was of the last importance that a junction 
should be at once effected of these two bodies, but Hyder 
had laid siege to Arcot, which contained the few military 
stores which the Nabob possessed, and, after a succession of 
distracted councils at Madras, it was determined to make an 
effort to relieve it. Sir Hector Munro, the general-in-chief, 
therefore, proceeded to Conjeveram, and Colonel Baillie, who 
had arrived within twenty-five miles of Madras, was ordered 
to make a circuitous march of fifty miles to join him. 

Colonel Baillie had reached the banks of the 

Colonel Baillie'g 

movements, Cortella, then nearly dry, but liable to be swollen 
by mountain torrents, on the 25th of August, and 
imprudently encamped on the northern bank. On that night 
the stream became impassable, and he was unable to cross it 
before the 4th of September. Hyder immediately despatched 
his son, Tippoo, with the flower of his army and eighteen 
guns, to arrest the progress of this brigade. Tippoo 


attacked Baillie on the 6th, at a place distant only fourteen 
miles from Sir Hector's encampment at Conjeveram. The 
contest was severe, and the loss on both sides so heavy, that 
Tippoo informed his father that he could make no impression 
on the English without reinforcements, while Baillie informed 
the General that it was no longer in his power to reach Conje- 
veram ; and therefore hoped, that he would unite with him at 
the spot where the engagement had taken place. Sir Hector 
Munro had acquired a brilliant reputation in Bengal sixteen 
years before, by quelling the first sepoy mutiny, and defeat- 
ing the Nabob Vizier at Buxar; but on this occasion he 
exhibited nothing but the most scandalous incapacity. Instead 
of forming a junction with the other detachment, he allowed 
Ilyder to interpose between the two bodies with the greater 
part of his army, and then detached Colonel Fletcher with 
1,100 men to the support of Baillie. The English force was 
thus broken up into three divisions, in the vicinity of a pow- 
erful and spirited enemy. But so great was the dread which 
Hyder entertained of British prowess, that he had determined, 
in case the whole force was united, to raise the siege of Arcot, 
and retrace his steps. Even Lally, his French general, con- 
sidered it incredible that Munro would remain inactive, and 
counselled a retreat, lest the Mysore army should be attacked 
at the same time in front and rear. Colonel Fletcher, know- 
ing that his guides were in Hyder's pay, prudently adopted 
a different route from that which they advised, and was 
enabled to join Baillie in safety. 

Total destruc- The two brigades advanced till the evening of 
tion of Bairns ^g 9^ September, and a short march would have 

force, 10th 

Sept., 1780. completed their junction with the main body ; but 
by an act of incredible fatuity, Baillie ordered his men to lio 
on their arms for the night. Meanwhile, Hyder having ascer- 
tained through his spies that Munro was making no prepara- 
tion for moving, despatched the remainder of his army 
against Baillie, who had no sooner commenced his march 
in the morning, than he found himself enveloped by the 


whole of the Mysore army. It was in vain that his men 
performed prodigies of valour, and repeatedly stormed the 
batteries. The enemy had chosen their positions with great 
skill, and poured in a destructive fire. The European soldiers, 
though they had sustained thirteen attacks, and were reduced 
to 300, still called out to be led against their assailants ; but 
Baillie refused to sacrifice the lives of these brave men, and 
held out a flag of truce. They had no sooner laid down their 
arms, however, than Hyder's men rushed upon them, and 
would have butchered the whole body, if the French officers 
had not interposed to save them. Of 86 officers, 70 were 
killed or wounded, and the whole army, with all its stores, 
baggage and equipments was totally and irretrievably lost. 
Sir Hector Munro's force was only two miles distant at the 
time, and if he had came up during the engagement, the 
defeat would have been turned into a victory, and the for- 
tunes of the war completely changed. On the following day 
he threw his heavy guns into the great tank, or pond, at 
Conjeveram, and retreated in haste and disorder to Madras, 
hotly pursued by the enemy, and losing baggage at every 
turn^ And thus terminated in disaster and disgrace, this brief 
campaign of twenty-one days, in which the heroism of the 
rnen formed a melancholy contrast to the utter incompetence 
of their generals. 

A vessel was immediately dispatched to Calcutta 

Hastines's ener- 

gutic measures, with information of the disaster. To the embar- 
rassment of a war with the Mahrattas, was now 
added a war with Hyder, which had commenced with the 
greatest reverse the English arms had hitherto sustained in 
I ndia. But never did the genius of Hastings appear to more 
advantage than in this emergency. "All my hopes," he 
wrote, " of aggrandizing the British name and enlarging the 
interests of the Company, have given instant place to the 
more urgent call to support the existence of both in the Car. 
natic, nor did I hesitate a moment to abandon my own views 
i'or such an object." Mr. Whitehill, the governor of Madras, 


who had persisted in retaining Guntoor, after he had received 
orders from Calcutta to restore it, was suspended from his 
office, to the great satisfaction of the settlement, though, as 
Hastings remarked, " the creature made some show of resist- 
ance." All the troops which could be spared were immediately 
despatched, together with fifteen lacs of rupees, for the sole 
use of the army, and not as a civil supply ; and such was the 
energy displayed on this occasion, that the whole embarkation, 
and all the measures projected for so great an occasion, were 
completed within three weeks. The veteran, Sir Eyre Coote, 
had succeeded Sir John Clavering, as commander-in-chief in 
Bengal, and was solicited to proceed to Madras, and restore 
the honour of the British name. He was now advanced in 
years, and feeble in health, but he would not decline this hon- 
ourable summons to the scene of his early triumphs. But 
the boldest measure which Hastings adopted at this crisis, 
was to stop the Company's investment, and apply the funds 
to the expedition. Even this provision, however, was found 
to be insufficient. It was a subject of exultation, that during 
the eight years of his administration, he had not only dis- 
charged debts to the extent of a crore and a half of rupees, 
but replenished the treasury with double that sum ; it was, 
therefore, with no ordinary chagrin that he was now obliged to 
have recourse to a loan. 

Defence of Sir Eyre Coote reached Madras on the 5th of 

wandewash, November, and found the equipment of the army 
so wretched, and the difficulty of obtaining draft 
and carriage cattle hi a country swept by hostile cavalry so 
great, that it was the 17th of January before he was able to 
move his army. Hyder had resumed the siege of Arcot, and 
its small European garrison, after holding out for six weeks, 
was obliged to retire to the citadel which Clive had defended 
for fifty days. But the Nabob's brahmin commandant, 
under Hyder's influence, spread a spirit of disaffection 
among the native troops to such an extent that the European 
officers had no alternative but to capitulate. Hyder was at 


the same time engaged in besieging five other forts, one of 
which, Wandewash, was defended by Lieutenant Flint and a 
brother officer, with such romantic valour and such military skill 
that the siege became one of the most honourable events of the 
war. This distinguished officer, however, received no other 
reward for his eminent services but the applause of Sir Eyro 
Coote, whose admiration of the resources which had been em- 
ployed knew no bounds. The Court of Directors refused even 
to promote him to the command of a company. Soon after, 
Sir Eyre Coote revived the drooping spirits of the army by 
the capture of Carangolly, which Hyder had fortified with 
great care. 

Battle of Porto ^ n ^ e 8th of February, the general *marched 
NOVO, ist July, southwards to Cuddalore, where he was subjected 
to the most mortifying embarrassment for supplies, 
which he could receive only by sea. The hostile armies re- 
mained inactive for four months, Coote unable to move for 
want of provisions, and Hyder dreading an encounter with 
him. On the 18th of June, Coote attacked the fortified and 
well-provisioned temple of Chillumbrum, but met with a 
repulse. Hyder was elated by this his first success against 
the renowned English commander, and resolved to risk a 
general engagement. Though on the verge of eighty, he 
marched up to Cuddalore, a hundred miles in two days and a 
half, and took up a strong position in its neighbourhood, 
which he began to fortify. Coote, ignorant of the nature or 
strength of the enemy's works, resolved, as his last resource, 
to sally forth and attack them. His battering guns were sent 
on board the vessels lying off the town, together with every 
other impediment, and the troops marched to the assault 
with the remaining provisions, enough only for four days, on 
their backs. After advancing a little distance, Coote per- 
ceived a road which Hyder had been cutting through the 
sand hills the previous night, and immediately pushed his 
detachments through the gap in the teeth of a heavy cannon- 
ade. After a long and arduous engagement, of six hours' 



duration, the val<sur of the British troops was rewarded by a 
complete victory, with the loss of only 300 men. The result 
of the action was most decisive. Hyder, who had lost 
10,000 soldiers, abandoned his designs on Trichinopoly, and 
Tippoo raised the sieg'e of Wandewash, which the gallant 
Flint still continued to defend. 

rattle of ^e Bengal brigade sent down the coast under 

Poiuiore, 2/th Colonel Pcarce, had been recruited after the havoc 
of the cholera, and reached Pulicat, forty miles 
north of Madras, in July, 1781. Hyder detached Tippoo with 
a large force to intercept it, and Coote marched 150 miles from 
Porto Novo to form a junction with it, which he effected on 
the 2nd of August. A similar movement, even with less 
foresight and vigour on the part of Sir Hector Munro in 
the preceding year, would have saved Baillie's army from 
destruction. Hyder had unaccountably allowed Coote to 
march through the country without that obstruction which he 
could have offered at every step, but he determined to make 
up for his neglect by opposing his return with great vigour, 
and advanced with the whole of the Mysore army to the spot 
where a twelvemonth before he had exterminated Baillie's 
force. He considered this a most fortunate spot for another 
battle, and his astrologers predicted a certain victory, if it 
took place on the same lucky day of the same lunar month, 
the llth Ramzan, or the 27th of August. The engagement, 
called after the neighbouring village, Pollilore, lasted through- 
out the day, but the result was doubtful, both parties firing 
a salute for victory. The action cost Hyder 2,000 men, 
while the loss on the side of the English was about 400. 
r j he next day, Coote's army was employed in the melancholy 
duty of interring the remains of Colonel Baillie's detachment 
in the same graves with their own dead. Vellore, one of 
the few fortresses left to the English, was at this time 
straitened for provisions, and the commandant represented 
the impossibility of holding out unless he was relieved. 
Coote advanced to raise the seige, and Hyder marched to 


Battle of prevent the attempt. The armies met again "Tor 
soiingur, 27th the third time during the year at Solingur, on the 
27th of September, 1781 Hyder having come 
to the conclusion that Coote could not, or would not, attack 
him on that day, had allowed his cattle and the drivers and 
followers to disperse, and the rapid movement of the British 
columns took him by surprise. Coote obtained a complete 
victory, which, owing to his admirable dispositions, involved 
the loss of only 100 men, while that of the Mysore army 
exceeded 5,000. Within a few days, however, Vellore was 
again reduced to extremity for supplies, and though the mon- 
soon had set in, Coote made three forced marches, and prov- 
visioned it for three months. Hyder did not venture again 
to attack him, and the British army soon after retired into 
cantonments at Madras, after a campaign in which all the 
plans of Hyder were baffled by the consummate strategy of 
Coote, and Coote's expectations were defeated by the wretched 
state of his equipments and the total absence of a commissariat, 
urd Macarteny, The question of filling up the vacant chair at 
governor of Madras now came up before the Court of Directors. 

Madras, 1781. . , c 

In the brief period of seven years, two governors 
had been dismissed by them, and one suspended by Hastings, 
for gross misconduct, and a fourth had been deposed by his 
own Council, and died in confinement. The service was 
thoroughly demoralised ; and it was, therefore, determined to 
try the experiment of placing the government in the hands 
of a new man, uncontaminated with the general corruption, 
and a stranger to all local associations, who might be expected 
to bring dignity to the office, and restore vigour to the ad- 
ministration. The choice fell on Lord Macarteny, a nobleman 
of much political experience, and imbued with a high sense 
of honour. He reached Madras on the 22nd of June, and 
brought the first intelligence of the declaration of war with 
the Dutch. Then 1 principal settlement on the coast, at Nega- 
patam, 160 miles south of Madras, was at the time garrisoned 
by a body of 6,500 troops, and Hyder Ali lost no time in 


opening- negotiations with the chief, which resulted in a 
treaty on the basis of mutual co-operation against the English. 
Lord Macarteny was anxious to prevent this formidable 
accession to the resources of Hyder, and resolved to attack the 
town, while he was able to reckon upon the assistance of the 
fleet, before the approaching change of the monsoon. Without 
abstracting a single soldier from the army of Sir Eyre Coote, 
who discountenanced the expedition, he drew together a force 
from Tanjore and Madras, and placed it under the command 
of Sir Hector Munro. The fleet contributed a large body of 
capture of marines and seamen, to whose steadiness and 
Nesapatam, gallantry the early surrender of the place was 
Trincouiaiee, chiefly owing. It fell on the 12th of November, 
1782- and was found to contain, in addition to a large 

quantity of military stores, two annual investments of great 
value. In the following January, Trincomalee, the noblest 
harbour in the island of Ceylon, was also wrested from the 

Arrangement The pressure of events on the coast forced the 
Ail^nd'cec* 1 Question of the Carnatic revenues on the considcra- 
J781 - tion of the government at Madras and Calcutta. 
The heavy expenses of the war fell exclusively on the Com- 
pany's treasury ; the province itself contributed nothing to its 
own defence, as the Nabob and his creditors absorbed the 
little revenue which was raised. While the troops of Coote 
were on half rations, the officers of the Nabob were selling 
the provisions collected for their support, and remitting the 
proceeds to his private purse. All his efforts were directed to 
impede, and often to counteract, the movements of the British 
troops. Not a single soldier in his pay was sent to Coote's 
camp, while his officers betrayed every fort to the enemy ; 
and his own brother made over the fortress of Chundergiree to 
Ifyder, with all the grain stored in it for a consideration. 
The venality and political profligacy of the Nabob's court, 
unmatched in India, was the constant theme of Coote's in- 
dignant remonstrance. The nuisance became at length in- 


supportable, and the Nabob, after repeated evasions, was 
constrained to resign the revenues of the Carnatic for a 
period of five years, at the least, with a reservation of ofle- 
sixth for his personal expenditure and for his creditors. 
Defeat of Colonel Brathwaite, who had assisted at the 

^cewatTem- ca pture of Negapatam, was subsequently em- 
cherry, 1782. ployed in establishing the Nabob's authority in 
Tanjore, which Tippoo had been sent to ravage. The 
Colonel was encamped on the banks of the Coleroon, when, 
owing to the treachery of his guides who were all in the pay 
of the enemy, he was surprised by Tippoo, with 20,000 horse 
and foot, and 20 guns. The valour and constancy of British 
troops have seldom been more conspicuous than on this 
trying occasion. During twenty-six hours of unremitted 
conflict they sustained without flinching the repeated charges 
of the Mysore horse, and the fire of their cannon, but sunk 
at length from wounds and exhaustion, and would have been 
annihilated by the troops of Tippoo, but for the generous 
exertions of the French officers, who appreciated their heroism. 
This disaster was counterbalanced by a victory on the opposite 
coast. Tellicherry, a fortified factory, and the only English 
possession in Malabar, had sustained a siege of eighteen 
months by a Mysore force. Early in February, the garrison, 
which had been reinforced, made a sortie, and captured 1,200 
of the enemy, together with all their baggage, equipments, 
and 60 pieces of cannon. The reverse thus inflicted on 
Hyder emboldened the conquered Nairs to rise throughout 
the province, and created a violent reaction in Goovg. 
Hyders de- Hyder began to give way to despondency. He 
pendency, had been foiled in every engagement with Sir 
Eyre Coote in which he was not signally defeated. 
He was deceived, as he supposed, by his French allies, who 
had engaged to come to his assistance, but had failed him for 
twenty months. The revolt, kindled on the western coast, 
might extend to his capital. The Governor- General had suc- 
ceeded in detaching Sindia, and the Nizam and Bhonslay from 


the confederacy, and the Poona durbar now threatened to 
unite with the English, and compel him to accede to a peace 
which would deprive him of all the advantages of the war, 
unless he consented to resign to them the territories he had 
acquired between the Toombudra and the Kistna, and abandon 
all claims on the poligars south of that river. He dis- 
burdened his feelings to hi& minister, Poornea. He lamented 
his folly in having provoked a war with the English. There 
were, he admitted, mutual grounds of dissatisfaction, but still 
he might have made them his friends notwithstanding the 
intrigues of the wretched Nabob. "The defeat of many 
Brathwaites and many Baillies," he said, " will not crush 
them. I may ruin their resources by land, but I cannot dry 
up the sea, and I must be exhausted by a war in which I 
can gain nothing by fighting." He resolved, therefore, to 
abandon all operations in the Carnatic, and to concentrate his 
efforts on the western coast. He had issued instructions for 
the entire destruction of tho districts on the Coromaridel 
coast, that he might leave no vestige of human habitation 
behind him, and had ordered the defences of Arcot to be 
undermined, when all these gloomy forebodings were at once 
dissipated by the appearance of the long expected French 
armament on the coast. 

French expedi- Early in 1781, the French government made 
turn, 1781-82. preparations for tbe despatch of a powerful fleet 
and army to India, under the command of the veteran Bussy, 
but the capture of two successive convoys by English cruizers 
retarded the execution of the plan. The first division at 
length reached the Mauritius, and was at once sent forward 
to the Coromandel coast. The death of the admiral during 
the voyage gave the command of the fleet to Suffrein, an 
officer of extraordinary enterprise and resources. He made 
the coast off Pulicat with twelve sail of the line and eighteen 
transports, as Admiral Hughes was returning in January, 
1782, from the capture of Trincomalee. Hughes, who had 
only six vessels with him, was fortunately reinforced by three 


others which had arrived from England, and bore down on the 
French squadron, and succeeded in cutting off six of the 
transports. The action was indecisive, and Suff rein proceeded 
to Porto Novo, where he landed 2,000 Frencli soldiers and 
1,000 Africans. Soon after, Hyder had an interview with the 
French commanders, when it was determined to attempt tho 
reduction of Cuddalore, and await the arrival of Bussy for 
larger operations. The extensive fortifications of that place 
had been incautiously left in charge of only 400 sepoys ana 
five artillerymen, and it surrendered without any show of 
resistance. A few weeks after, the important post of 
Permacoil was captured by Hyder. On the 12th of April, 
there was a second action between the fleets, but without 
any decisive result, and both the admirals were obliged to 
retire and refit their disabled vessels. 

Action before Coote began now in his turn to despond ; he 
2nd considered the aspect of affairs, not only embar- 

rassing, but even desperate. In the hope of bring- 
ing on a general action, he marched to Wandewash, which 
was besieged by the united armies of the French and of 
Hyder, but they refused the challenge, and retired to Pondi- 
cherry. With the view of drawing them from the position 
which they had strongly fortified, Coote determined to at- 
tempt the capture of Aruee, the chief depot of Hyder in the 
southern provinces. Tippoo was sent to protect it, and aa 
engagement ensued on the 2nd of June, the only result of 
which was the capture of one gun and eleven tumbrils, while 
Hyder was enabled to accomplish his object of rescuing his 
treasure and stores from danger. Six weeks after, he drew 
a young officer, who had been entrusted with a large detach 
ment, into an ambuscade, enveloped it with his cavalry, and 
inflicted on it the loss of two guns and 166 men. 
Ca tureofTrin- Suffreiri now appeared before Negapatam, which 
comaiee, sist he was desirous of obtaining as a depot for tho 
August, 1782. French army> n ugnes followed him, and a third 

naval engagement was fought on the Gth of July, with no 


other result than to defeat the views of the French on that 
town. Suffrein retired to Cuddalore where he repaired the 
damage his fleet had sustained with incredible speed and 
energy, and then sailed southwards. Lord Macartney had 
received intelligence that a second French force had arrived 
at Point de Galle, and that Bussy himself was immediately 
expected on the coast. He began to tremble for the safety 
both of Negapatam and Trincomalee, and urged Admiral 
Hughes to follow the French fleet with all expedition. But 
the energy of that officer by no means corresponded with his 
skill and courage, and he was, moreover, jealous of any in- 
terference with his command, and in this instance did not 
hesitate to sacrifice the interests of his country to his own 
caprice. Suffrein hastened to Galle, embarked the force of 
2,400, which had recently arrived, and landed them at Trin- 
comalee. The siege was pushed with extraordinary vigour, 
and the garrison was obliged to capitulate on the 31st of 
August, though on the most honourable terms. Four days later 
the dilatory Hughes looked into the harbour, and saw the 
French colours flying on the ramparts. The next day wit- 
nessed the fourth action between the two fleets, but though 
it lasted throughout the day, it terminated like all which had 
preceded it, without any result. The approach of darkness 
separated the combatants. This was the last and the se- 
verest naval engagement of the year, which was marked as 
much by the exertions of the fleets, as by the inactivity of the 

Admiral Hughes returned to Madras, and an- 

Haghes sails for . ' 

Bombay, isth nounced the necessity or proceeding forthwith to 
October, 1782. B om i, a y to re fit his vessels, which had kept the 
sea during the monsoon of 1781, and had sustained serious 
damage in four successive general actions. The governor 
represented to him the desperate condition to which the 
interests of the Company would be reduced by his departure, 
and earnestly pressed him to remain. Hyder, he said, was 
master of the Carnatic; the possession of Trincomalee would 


give the French the undisputed command of the sea, and 
enable them to intercept the supplies of grain, on which 
.Madras depended for its existence. Bussy, moreover, was 
hourly expected with large reinforcements. But the admiral 
turned a deaf ear to every remonstrance, and, looking only to 
the safety of the fleet for which he was responsible, set sail 
for Bombay on the 15th of October. That same night the mon- 
soon set in with a terrific gale ; the shore was strewed for 
miles with wrecks ; the largest vessels went down at their 
anchors, and a hundred coasting craft, laden with 30,000 bags 
of rice, were irretrievably lost. Four days after Admiral 
Bickerton anchored in the roads, and, after landing 4,000 
troops which he had brought out from England, put to sea 
again to join his own commander. Madras was now sub- 
jected to all the horrors of famine. The ravages of Hyder 
had driven the wretched inhabitants of the surrounding dis- 
trict for shelter and subsistence into the town, and for some 
time the number of deaths amounted to 1,500 a week. Sir 
Eyre Coote's shattered constitution obliged him to return to 
Bengal, and the monsoon suspended all military operations. 

After the relief of Tellicherry, on the Malabar 

E vents <on the " 

Malabar Coast, coast, and the defeat of the Mysore army in 
February, 1782, Colonel Humberstone, who had 
succeeded to the command of the force, marched southward 
and entirely routed Mukdoom AH, Hyder's general and rela- 
tive, whose loss exceeded 2,000 men. To create a diversion 
and relieve the pressure on the Company's arm} 1 on the Coro- 
rnandel coast, the colonel marched into the heart of the 
country to lay siege to Palghaut, one of the strongest of the 
fortresses which Hyder had erected in the south, but, on a 
close reconnoitre, found it less assailable than he had ex- 
pected. Hyder lost no time in despatching Tippoo with a 
large force and a French contingent to drive back this inva- 
sion. But the Bombay government was no sooner informed 
of the colonel's hazardous advance into the interior, than 
they sent him peremptory orders to return to the coast. This 

2 u 


retrograde movement he considered a great misfortune, but 
It proved the salvation of his army. On the 19th of No- 
vember Tippoo overtook the retiring force, which was con- 
strained to fight every step of its march, and arrived at dusk 
on the banks of the Paniani ; but, regarding them as a sure 
and easy prey, he neglected to watch their movements, and 
the colonel, having discovered a ford, passed his whole army 
over under cover of the night, and reached the town of 
Paniani the next day. On the 29th of November Tippoo 
made an assault in four columns on the British army, but was 
driven back with great loss. He then determined to blockade 
the force, and wait the arrival of his heavy equipments, 
when, on the 12th of December, his whole army was seen to 
strike its tents and march off to the eastward. A dromedary 
express had arrived the preceding evening with 

Death of Hyder, . r 

7r.h December, intelligence of the death of Hyder Ah. His 
health had been declining during the year, and his 
end was hastened by the fatigues of the field. He died at 
the advanced age of eighty, leaving behind him the reputa- 
tion of one of the ablest, most enterprising, and most suc- 
cessful adventurers in the modern history of India. 
Hyder's death Poornea, a Mahratta brahmin, the ablest of 
concealed, 1782. Jjyder's ministers, in conjunction with his distin- 
guished colleague, Kishen Rao, a Canarese brahmin, assumed 
the management of affairs, and acted with consummate pru- 
dence. Tippoo, the son and successor of Hyder, was four 
hundred miles distant, and an Asiatic army, deprived of its 
head, always becomes a scene of intrigue and confusion. 
Ryder's death was therefore carefully concealed in the carnp. 
The body was embalmed and sent under an escort to the capi- 
tal, as it had been usual to despatch chests of valuable plunder. 
All answers to letters were issued, and all orders published in 
his name, and his closed palanquin, with the accustomed 
retinue, moved out at the usual hour from the canvas inclo- 
sure of his tent. Tippoo, on receiving intelligence of his 
father's death, immediately abandoned the western campaign, 


and hastened to join the army on the Coramaudel coast, which 
he reached on the 2nd of January. The troops were gratified 
by the payment of arrears, and a liberal donative ; the minis- 
ters who had maintained the royal authority at this difficult 
crisis were confirmed in office ; and Tippoo at once succeeded 
to the command of a splendid army of 100,000 men, and to a 
treasury filled with three crores of rupees, besides an accu- 
mulation of jewels and valuables, which Poornea declared to 
be of countless value. 

Far different was the course of events at 

Tippoo returns 

to Malabar, ist Madras. The same fatality which had marked 
March, n83. the p rocee( jings of the Presidency for the last 
fifteen years, seemed still to influence its councils. There 
was a vigorous governor, but an imbecile general. Sir 
Eyre Coote's departure for Bengal had placed the army 
under the charge of General Stuart, and Lord Macarteny 
entreated him to take advantage of the consternation occa- 
sioned by the death of Hyder, to attack the Mysore army 
before the arrival of Tippoo. The general had never ceased 
to obstruct every movement since he succeeded to the com- 
mand, of the army, and he now affected to disbelieve the 
report of Hyder's death, and when it could no longer be a 
matter of dispute, refused to move until the " proper time," 
of which ho considered himself the sole judge. The golden 
opportunity of striking a decisive blow was thus lost, and 
the war prolonged for fifteen months. General Stuart had 
the entire conduct of the war in his hands, with an increased 
army and liberal supplies ; but sixty days were suffered to 
elapse after the death of Hyder, before he could be persuaded 
to move, and even then, he did nothing but demolish the for- 
tifications of three forts which Sir Eyre Coote had been 
anxious to preserve. The anxiety which his incapacity 
created, was, however, happily relieved by the abrupt depar- 
ture of Tippoo. The alarming intelligence which he received 
of the progress of a British force on the western coast, in- 
duced him to proceed in person to meet the danger, with tlie 


flower of his army, after having destroyed the works at 
Arcot, and, indeed, every remaining post except Arnee. Bussy 
was hourly expected with large reinforcements, and if the 
entire Mysore army had been strengthened by a European 
force, directed by the genius of that commander, Madras, 
entrusted to the wretched Stuart, would have been in imminent 
peril. From this danger the Presidency was rescued by the 
injudicious movement of Tippoo. Leaving him to pursue his 
course to the western coast, we continue the narrative of 
events around Madras. 

The plans of Bussy had been impeded by a 

Hussy's arrival. . . , , 

coote-s death, succession or untoward events ; but although, on 
im landing at Cuddalore on the 10th of April, 1783, 

he found himself at the head of 2,300 Europeans and 5,000 
French sepoys, he had also the mortification to find that 
Hyder was dead, and that Tippoo had gone to the opposite 
coast, leaving a force of only 3,500 men to co-operate with 
him. Admiral Hughes had also returned with his fleet to the 
coast, and General Stuart, having no longer any excuse for 
delay, marched towards Cuddalore, with a fine park of artil- 
lery, and 14,500 men, of whom 3,000 were Europeans. 
Nothing was wanting to the efficiency of this splendid force, 
except a commander ; and the troops were, therefore, looking 
with the greatest eagerness for their venerable and beloved 
general, Sir Eyre Coote, again to lead them on to victory ; 
but the veteran died two days after his arrival at Madras, on 
the 26th of April. The expedition moved towards Cuddalore 
under the command of General Stuart, but only at the rate 
of three miles a day. He sat down before that fortified town 
on the 7th of June, and on the 13th, attacked a formidable 
position of the French, who were obliged to retire to the 
citadel, with the loss of thirteen guns. The honour of the 
day was due to the extraordinary gallantry of the subor- 
dinate officers and men ; but it was dearly purchased by the 
loss of 62 officers and 920 Europeans, killed or mortally 
wounded.. On the same day, Suffrein appeared in the offing-. 


with sixteen vessels, and Admiral Hughes, who was anchored 
off Porto Novo, came up to meet him with eighteen ships. 
Notwithstanding this apparent superiority over the French, 
he was essentially weaker, as no fewer than 2,700 of his 
sailors were disabled by scurvy. Suffrein had borrowed 1,200 
soldiers from Bussy, and the two fleets met on the 20th of 
June, but the severe action which ensued, like the four which 
had preceded it, was without any decisive result. Night 
again parted the combatants, and Hughes finding his vessels 
crippled, his crews dying of scurvy, and his supply of water 
running short, bore up for Madras to refit ; while Suffrein, 
not only restored the 1,200 men lent him by Bussy, but rein- 
forced the French army with 2,400 marines and sailors from his 
fleet. With this addition to his force, Bussy made a sortie in 
the dark on the 25th of June, but was repulsed with the loss 
of 450 men. It was on this occasion that the young and 
gallant French serjeant, Bernadotte, who subsequently became 
one of Napoleon's marshals, and king of Sweden, fell into 
the hands of the English. General Stuart had been bustling 
about Cuddalore for three weeks, and yet the siege could 
scarcely be said to have commenced. His force was daily 
wasting away from sickness, fatigue and wounds; while 
Bussy, strengthened by the reinforcement from the fleet, and 
having free communication with the country around, was 
waiting for the maturity of his errors to strike some decisive 
blow. Considering the great talents of Bussy, and the in- 
competency of Stuart, there is every reason to apprehend 
that it would have resulted in the discomfiture and retreat of 
the English army, the loss of its battering train and baggage, 
perhaps also, in the siege of Madras. From this danger, the 
Company was happily relieved by the arrival of intelligence 
that peace had been concluded in Europe between the belli- 
gerents, and all military operations immediately ceased. 
General Stuart returned to Madras, and was placed under 
arrest by Lord Macartney, and sent to England. He was the 
officer who had been employed eight years before in the clan- 


destine arrest of Lord Pigot, and among the epigrams to 
which his own arrest gave rise, that of the Nabob's second 
son was by no means the least racy : " General Stuart catch 
one lord, one lord catch General Stuart." 
E. aition ^ ne aDru P* departure of Tippoo to the western 

from Bombay, coast was occasioned by the success of an expe- 
dition sent from Bombay against his possessions 
in that quarter. General Matthews had been despatched to 
the succour of Colonel Humberstone at Paniani, but, on 
hearing of the withdrawal of Tippoo's army, proceeded along 
the coast, and took possession of the towns of Mirjee and 
Onore. During this expedition, five of the Mysore ships of 
war, carrying from fifty to sixty-four guns, fell into the 
hands of the British admiral. The Bombay President, having 
received intelligence of the death of Hyder, directed General 
Matthews to march at once against Bednore. The general 
disapproved of the movement, which he considered injudicious 
and dangerous, but instead of entering into explanations with 
his superiors, proceeded doggedly to execute it, simply dis- 
claiming all responsibility. The ascent of the ghauts, which 
had been fortified at every point, presented the most for- 
midable obstacles to an invading force, but the gallantry of 
the 42nd Highlanders, led by Colonel Macleod, carried all 
the lower defences, and the army arrived in front of Bednore, 
when, to the utter astonishment of the general, the place 
was unconditionally surrendered to him. It afterwards tran- 
spired that Hyat Sahib, as he was called by the English, the 
Mysore commander, who had been a favourite of Hyder, and 
was consequently regarded with feelings of hatred by Tippoo, 
had obtained the sight of a letter directed by him to one of 
the officers in Bednore, ordering him to deprive Hyat of the 
command, and, if necessary, to put him to death ; and Hyat 
immediately made arrangements for delivering up the fortress 
and the district to the English. 

Piece of Man- It was the tidings of this transaction which in- 
taiore, naa. duced Tippoo to quit the Carnatic, and bend his at- 


tention to the expulsion of the English force from the western 
provinces, justly fearing lest they should be transferred to 
the Mahrattas, whom Hastings was urging to attack him. 
General Matthews, instead of concentrating his force, which 
did not exceed 1,600, at the most defensible point, frittered it 
away in small detachments, and the troops were allowed to 
disperse over the country in search of plunder. Bednore 
was, however, defended with great valour, and it was not 
surrendered till it had become a heap of ruins, and further 
resistance was hopeless. The capitulation was violated as 
usual, and the men and officers were marched off in irons, 
and consigned to dungeons. Tippoo fired a salute for this 
Ids first victoiy over the English troops, and then descended 
to the coast and invested Mangalore, the siege of which is 
one of the most memorable events of the war. The strength 
of the garrison, at the commencement of it was only 1,850, 
while the investing force under Tippoo amounted to 100,000 
with 100 guns. The command of the fort had devolved on 
Colonel Campbell, of the 42nd Highlanders, arid a brighter 
name is not to be found in the annals of British India. It 
would exceed the limits which can be assigned to this me- 
morable conflict in this brief epitome, to enter into any detail 
of the siege, or to describe how General Macleod, who was 
twice sent to relieve it, was, on each occasion, cajoled by 
Tippoo and left his task incomplete, and how an intermediate 
convention was disgracefully violated and the privations of 
the brave garrison augmented. It may be sufficient to state 
that the colonel and his troops defended the place for nine 
months with unsurpassed resolution against the whole army 
of Tippoo, and did not capitulate until their number was re- 
duced to 850, and those mere skeletons. 

Whilst Tippoo was thus wasting his strength 

Progress of 

coionei Fuiiar- and his reputation in a siege which cost him half 
ton, 1783. ki s armV) ^ absence of a Mysore army from the 
southern provinces, and the peace with France, enabled the 
Madras government to send a powerful force across the Pe- 


ninsula into the heart of Mysore. This able plan was 
devised and executed by Colonel Fullarton, who had em- 
braced the military profession late in life, but exhibited 
talents of. a very high order, and would have brought the 
war with Tippoo to an honourable termination, if he had not 
been thwarted by the folly of the Madras authorities. His 
force consisted of 13,600 men, but the native portion of it was 
twelve months in arrears. On the 15th of November, he 
captured the renowned fortress of Palghaut, and on the 26th 
occupied Coimbatoor ; on the 28th, he had made every pre- 
paration for an immediate advance on Seringapatam, while 
the Mysore army was detained before Mangalore. The 
capital was within his' grasp, but before night he received 
orders not only to suspend operations, but to relinquish all 
the districts he had occupied. To explain this singular re- 
quisition, it is to be remarked that while Hastings was 
engaged in urging the Mahrattas, in accordance with the 
treaty of Salbye, to compel Tippoo to make peace on pain 
of hostilities, Lord Maearteny, in defiance of the prohibition 
of the Supreme Government, to which, on such questions, he 
was entirely subordinate, opened negotiations with Tippoo, 
and by a singular infatuation, voluntarily agreed to a sus- 
pension of arms till a reply was received. So ignorant was 
the Governor of Madras of native habits, as not to know that 
any direct offer of peace to a native prince, rendered peace 
on honourable terms impossible. Tippoo took no notice of 
the proposals for three months, and then sent one of the 
most astute of his officers to cozen the President and Council 
at Madras. After a month passed in Jesuitical diplomacy, 
the envoy proposed that two gentlemen should be deputed to 
Tippoo to expedite the negotiations. The silly Council 
swallowed the bait, and even affirmed that this was a proposal 
which exactly met their wishes. The object of Tippoo was 
gained, and he was thus enabled to represent at every durbar 
in India that the English government had sent commissioners 
all the way from Madras to Mangalore to sue for peace. It 


was at this period and under the influence of this agent, that 
the commissioners instructed C.olonel Fullarton to suspend 
hostilities, and evacuate Lis conquests ; but he had just 
heard of the perfidious violation of the convention of Man- 
galore, and though he ceased to prosecute the war, determined 
to retain the districts he had conquered. Discussions soon after 
arose between the envoy of Tippoo and the commissioners, 
regarding the release of the prisoners and the surrender of 
Mangalore, which were referred to Lord Macartney. On the 
8th of December the Council met and reviewed their position ; 
their finances were ruined, their credit was broken, and the 
confidence of the Supreme Government was gone. But, 
instead of ordering Colonel Fullarton with his powerful army 
to push on to Tippoo's capital, while he was occupied at Man- 
galore, and end the war by one bold stroke, they directed him 
to relinquish all his conquests, and retire within the limits 
which they prescribed, although Tippoo's officers had violated 
their engagements, and retained all the districts they had 
overrun in the Carnatic, which they were equally bound to 
evacuate. The missionary Swartz met Colonel Fullarton at 
the -foot of the ghauts as he was marching back, and ex- 
claimed with astonishment, " Is the peace so certain that you 
quit all before the negotiation is ended. The possession of 
these two countries would have kept Tippoo in awe, and in- 
clined him to reasonable terms. But you quit the reins, and 
how will you manage the beast ? " The Colonel replied, I 
cannot help it. Hastings, with his profound knowledge of 
the native character, reprobated the negotiation, and con- 
sidered that it should have been entrusted to Colonel Fullerton, 
cvnd conducted at the head of his army, at the capital. But 
Hastings was now comparatively powerless. The Court of 
Directors, a prey to intrigue, had recently renewed their con- 
demnation of his conduct, his own Council deserted, him, 
Lord Macartney set him at defiance, and the negotiations 
with Tippoo were left to the mismanagement of Madras. The 
commissioners were marched leisurely through the country, 


subjected to every indignity and detained at every stage, till 
Mangalore had surrendered, when they were allowed to ap- 
proach the Mysore camp. And there, after having been again 
insulted by the erection of three gibbets in front of then* tents, 
they at length signed the treaty, on the basis of a mutual re- 
stitution of conquests. Of the prisoners who had fallen into 
the hands of Ilyder and Tippoo, the most distinguished had 
been taken off by poison, or hacked to pieces in the woods; 
but 190 officers and 900 European soldiers still survived the 
barbarous treatment to which they had been subjected for 
several years, and were now liberated. Of the treaty, it 
may be sufficient to say that it was not more disgraceful than 
those which the Governors and Council of Madras had been 
in the habit of making for the last fifteen years. It was in- 
jurious not only to the character of the British government, 
but also to the interests of peace, inasmuch as it entailed the 
necessity of another war to correct the arrogance with 
which it inspired Tippoo, and to which he gave expression 
iu the following terms : " On the occasion of the signature of 
the treaty, the English commissioners stood with their heads 
uncovered, and the treaty in their hands, for two hours, 
using every form of flattery and supplication to induce com- 
pliance. The vakeels of Poona and Hyderabad united in the 
most abject entreaties, and his Majesty, the shadow of God, 
was at length soiieued into assent." 



To resume the thread of events in Bengal. The 
pupremo court Supreme Court, established by the wisdom of 

n'l the zi-tnm- * 

oars, 1775- 1 i&o. Parliament in Calcutta, in 1774, was intended to 


protect the natives from the oppression of Europeans, and to 
give the English^ community the blessing of their own laws. 
The judges were invested with the attributes of the twelve 
judges in Westminster, and empowered to administer English 
law in all its branches. Parliament had thus, without any 
correct knowledge of the circumstances or wants of the new 
conquest, established two independent powers, but had ne- 
glected to define the sphere of their authority, and a collision 
between the government of the Company and the judicial 
officers of the Crown, became inevitable. One of the earliest 
acts of the Court was to hang Nundu koomar for an offence 
which had not been capital since the days of Munoo. The 
next blow fell on the zemindars. The country was slowly 
recovering from the confusion incident to the introduction of 
a novel and foreign administration, and the zemindars were 
but partially reconciled to the new economy. The Supreme 
Court, as soon as it was established, began to issue writi? 
against them, at the suit of any one who could fee an attor- 
ney, on the strength of which they were immediately seized 
in their own cutcheries, or rent-courts, and dragged down to 
Calcutta from a distance, sometimes, of several hundred 
miles, and consigned to jail if they were unwilling, or unable, 
to furnish bail. No indemnification was given to them for 
the expense or disgrace they had incurred, even when their 
arrest was cancelled for illegality. Of English law, then the 
most complicated system of jurisprudence in the world, they 
were profoundly ignorant, and they felt that no innocence 
and no ingenuity was able to protect them from the new 
dangers which menaced them. A dark cloud hung over the 
country, as portentous as a Mahratta invasion. 
The Court 1 * These proceedings necessarily affected the col- 

interference lection of the revenue, and endangered the re- 

withthe * 

Government, sources of government. The disposition to 
withhold every payment, however just, is in- 
herent in the native character, and the slightest pretext is 
sufficient to dcvelope it. The arrest and humiliation of tho 


zemindars destroyed their credit and authority, and gave 
their unscrupulous ryots an advantage they were not slow to 
improve. It had, moreover, been the immemorial custom in 
India to subject defaulters to coercion, without which they 
rarely paid their rents; but the attorneys of the Supremo 
Court, who had spread themselves over the country, advised 
the ryots and renters when arrested, to sue out a writ of 
habeas corpus, when they were brought down to Calcutta and 
discharged, leaving -the landlord without rent or remedy. 
The criminal judicature of the country, which embraced the 
police of thirty millions of people, had been left in the hands 
of the Nabob of Moorshedabad and his judicial and executive 
officers. But the authority of their courts was at once anni- 
hilated by the judges of the Supreme Court, who declared 
that the person called Mobarik-ood-dowlah, that is, the 
Nabob of Moorshedabad, was a phantom, a mere man of 
straw, without any legal right to the exercise of any power 
whatsoever. In one instance, indeed, the Court proceeded 
so far as to issue a process of contempt against his Highness. 
The next blow was aimed at the government itself, though 
it had been established under the authority of Parliament. 
The judges refused to acknowledge the East India Company 
except as a trading body, with no other power or position 
than an ordinary commercial association. They interpreted 
the Act to signify that the government of the country by the 
Governor-General in Council was subject to the jurisdiction 
of the Supreme Court, and that it would be penal fer the 
Company, or any of its servants, to disobey any order or 
process emanating from it. There was no department of the 
state with which they did not see fit to interfere ; the whole 
fabric of the administration was shaken to its base, and the 
country was threatened with universal anarchy, simply to 
enlarge the jurisdiction of the Crown court, and to exalt the 
authority of its judges. 

The cossijurah To enumerate the various instances of injustice 
cast, 1779. an( j oppression to which the enforcement of these 


claims gave rise would exceed the limits of this epitome, and 
one must suffice as a sample. A baboo named Cossinath was 
instigated to bring an action in the Supreme Court in August, 
1779, against his master, the raja of Cossijurah, lying to the 
south of Calcutta. A writ was issued on the strength of his 
affidavit, and the raja was required to find bail to the extent 
of three lacs and a half of rupees. He concealed himself to 
avoid the process, upon which the Court immediately des- 
patched two sheriff's officers, with a body of eighty-six men, 
of whom thirteen were European sailors, and the rest natives 
habited as sepoys, and all armed with muskets or swords. 
On their arrival at Cossijurah, they forced their way into the 
palace of the raja, maltreated his servants, violated the 
sanctity of the zenana, and desecrated his family temple, 
packing up the idol with other lumber in a basket, and affix- 
ing the seal of the Court to it. Hastings considered that the 
time had at length arrived when he could no longer delay to 
vindicate the authority of the government, and afford pro- 
tection to the natives, whatever might be the hazard attend- 
ing it. He instructed the military officer at Midnapore to 
intercept the whole party on their return, and march them to 
Calcutta, where they were immediately liberated. To prevent 
similar outrages which were then meditated, he likewise 
issued a proclamation, directing all landholders of every 
degree to consider themselves exempt from the jurisdiction of 
the Supreme Court, except in the two cases of their having 
bound themselves by agreement to submit to it, or being British 
subjects. The Supreme Court then proceeded to issue a sum- 
mons against the Governor-General himself and the members 
of the Supreme Council, but they peremptorily refused to 
obey it. 

s> E im Petitions were now addressed to Parliament by 

nnd the sudder both Europeans and natives, praying for a redress 
lurt, 1780. Q f these intolerable grievances. But as tho 
remedy might be long in coming, the sagacity of Hastings 
discovered a more immediate antidote, The Provincial Coun- 


oils established in 1773, held both revenue and civil courts ; 
and an appeal from their decisions lay to the Sudder Dewannj'- 
Adawlut, or chief court of appeal in Calcutta, in which the 
Governor-General and the Council were appointed to presidfc, 
which, however, their political and administrative duties 
seldom allowed them to do. In April, 1780, Hastings re- 
modelled the whole system, separated the fiscal from the civil 
jurisdiction, leaving the former with the Provincial courts, 
and entrusting the latter to the civil courts which he estab- 
lished in each district, "with an appeal to the Sudder Dewanriy. 
He then offered the post of chief judge of this court to 
Sir Elijah Impey, upon a salary of 7,000 rupees a month, 
which was accepted without any hesitation. This appoint- 
ment, together with that of another of the Crown judges as 
Commissioner of the Dutch settlement of Chinsurah, which 
had been recently captured, at once quieted the Supreme 
Court, and released the Government from its embarrassments. 
The position in which this arrangement placed 

Remarks on this r 

arrangement, the Chief Justice, proved highly advantageous to 
the interests of the country. The judges of the 
new civil courts who were young and inexperienced, were 
placed under his supervision and guidance, and he was thus 
enabled to give form and consistency to the system of civil 
judicature. Though bred in all the technicalities of English 
law, he drew up a code of regulations for the administration 
of justice in the interior, comprised in ninety-five sections, 
brief and clear, and exactly adapted to the simplicity of native 
habits ; and it has formed the basis of all subsequent legisla- 
lation at the Bengal Presidency. But this arrangement was 
assailed with great animosity, both in the Court of Directors 
and in the House of Commons. Sir Elijah was recalled for 
having accepted the office, and Hastings was eventually 
impeached, in addition to the other crimes charged against 
him, for having conferred it. But, after the lapse of eighty 
years, the wisdom of this proceeding has been triumphantly 
vindicated by the Parliamentary enactment of 1860, which 


placed the Chief justice of the Supreme Court at the head 
of the Company's Court of Appeal, and by amalgamating the 
two Courts, committed to him the duty of supervising the 
judicial system of the Presidency. On the receipt of trio 
petitions from Calcutta before alluded to, Parliament passed 
an Act in which the functions of the Supreme Court were 
more distinctly defined, and it continued from that period to 
the hour of its extinction, to enjoy the confidence and admira- 
tion of the entire community, European and native, for the 
equity and impartiality of its decisions. 
Cheyt sinfa ^ ne pecuniary difficulties of the government of 
delinquency, Bengal were at tliis time most critical. There was 
war with Ilyder, who was triumphant in the 
Carnatic ; war with the French, with the Dutch, and with the 
Mahrattas. The entire expense of all these wars fell upon the 
treasury in Bengal; a debt of a crore of rupees had been 
incurred, and the credit of Government was at the lowest ebb. 
Hastings was under the necessity of looking to other sources 
than the ordinary revenues of the country for supplies, and 
he was induced to make an additional demand on Cheyt Sing, 
the raja of Benares. The grandfather of the raja had begun 
life with the rent of half a village, but amidst the distraction 
of the times, had succeeded in acquiring a territory, which 
yielded 50 lacs of rupees a year. The district was transferred 
by the Nabob Vizier to the British government in 1775, and 
the rajah received a sunnud from the Governor-General, 
which stipulated that his annual tribute should be limited to 
twenty- two lacs and a-half a year- Hastings's demand was 
therefore stigmatised by his opponents as a breach of faith. 
But the tenure of Benares was more that of a feudatory than 
of a mere zemindar, which appears evident from the fact, that 
Hastings, when irritated by his opposition, threatened to 
reduce him to the condition of a simple zemindar, like the raja 
of Burdwan. By the law and constitution of India, he was 
liable, in cases of emergency, to be called on for extraordinary 
aids by his superior lord. Such payments had formerly been 


made to his liege, the Nabob of Ouole, and he was equally 
bound to meet the requisition made upon him on the present 
emergency by Hastings, of 2,000 horse and five lacs of 
rupees. The rajah pleaded poverty, and endeavoured t> 
evade the payment of the full amount, but Hastings had 
received intimation from various quarters that his hoards 
exceeded two crores of rupees, and he persuaded himself that 
the rajah's reluctance to comply with his demands, was a 
crime. He determined, therefore, "to make him pay largely 
for his pardon, to exact a severe vengeance for his delinquency, 
and to draw from his guilt the means of relief to the Com- 
pany's distresses." 

c gin , g Hastings was about to proceed to Benares to 
excessive fine, meet the vakeel of the raja of Berar, and nego- 
tiate a peace with the Regency at Poona. Cheyt 
Sing was fully apprised of his resentment, and hastened to 
avert it by waiting on him as he entered the province, and 
humbly beseeching him to accept twenty lacs of rupees. 
The offer was rejected with scorn, and the sum of fifty lacs 
peremptorily demanded. On his arrival at Benares on the 
15th of August, 1781, Hastings sent the raja a statement of 
his complaints, and placed him under arrest, by sending four 
companies of sepoys to take the place of his own guards. 
The city of Benares, the citadel of Hindooism, and the great 
focus of political intrigue, had always been notorious for its 
turbulence. On the present occasion, the populace, roused by 
the indignity inflicted on the raja, rose upon the sepoys. 
who had brought no ammunition with them, and slaughtered 
both them and their officers. During this emeute, the raja 
himself escaped across the river to his fortified palace at 
Kamnugur. The situation of Hastings was perilous in the 
extreme ; the native force on which he depended for protec- 
tion was annihilated, and he, and the thirty gentlemen with 
him, had only their own weapons to trust to. Happily the 
infuriated retainers of the raja crowded tumultuously after 
him, and quitted the city, instead of attacking Hastings in his 


defenceless state. The whole province was speedily in a 
blaze of revolt, and the zemindars of Behar, who had ever 
been disaffected towards the English, were ripe for insurrec- 
tion. It was at this critical period, while beleaguered in 
Benares, that Hastings exhibited his rare strength of nerve, 
by continuing and completing his negotiations with Sindia, 
as if he had been tranquilly residing in Calcutta. Equally 
remarkable was the confidence that Sindia manifested in the 
destinies of the English, by affixing his seal to the treaty, 
while he knew that the life of the Governor-General was in 
jeopardy. His situation at Benares, notwithstanding the 
rapid arrival of troops from different quarters, was not, how- 
ever, considered defensible, and he made his escape during 
the night, by a window, and rowed down to Chunar. 
Capture of "^ ne ra j a collected a force of 20,000 men, but did 

, 9th not cease to importune Hastings for a reconcilia- 
tion, which was wisely rejected, lest it should bo 
attributed to fear. The raja's troops were successively de- 
feated, and he took refuge in Bidgegur, but not deeming 
himself safe there, fled to Bundlecund with as much treasure 
as his elephants and camels could carry. The begums, who 
were left behind, surrendered the fortress on the 9th of 
November. In a private letter to the commander of the 
troops, in reference to the treasure which was supposed to 
be deposited in Bidgegur, Hastings had incautiously remarked, 
" With regard to the booty, that is rather your consideration 
than mine. I should be sorry that any of your officers and 
soldiers lost any part of the reward to which they are so well 
entitled." On the strength of this communication, the 
officers proceeded at once to divide the booty, amounting to 
forty lacs of rupees, among themselves and the troops. 
Hastings was especially mortified at the loss of the treasure 
with which he had hoped to replenish the empty treasury of 
the Company. The officers were invited to return it, and to 
Leave their claims to the equitable decision of the Supreme 
Council, but they manifested their discretion by refusing to 

2 E 


trust their interests to the arbitrament of a pauper govern- 
ment. In extenuation of the odious proceedings of Hastings 
towards Cheyt Sing, it was asserted that he was disaffected 
to the British Government ; but, in this case, Hastings would 
not have ventured to enter the capital with so slender an 
escort. Cheyt Sing was culpable in having hesitated to 
afford immediate aid to his liege sovereign in a great public 
exigency, but the imposition of a fine of fifty lacs of rupees 
for withholding payment of one-tenth of the sum, had an 
aspect of vindictiveness which it is impossible to palliate ; 
and although Hastings was so blinded by his own judgment 
as to claim merit for the transaction, it has always been 
considered a dark 'spot in his administration, and. it will 
hereafter appear that it was on this point that the question 
of his impeachment eventually turned. Cheyt Sing en- 
joyed an asylum at Grwalior for twenty-nine years. His 
nephew was raised to the throne, and the tribute augmented 
from twenty-two and a half to forty lacs a year. 
The begums of The disappointment which Hastings had x- 
Oude, 1782. perienced regarding these treasures increased his 
embarrassment. The treasury in Calcutta was drained for 
the support of more than sixty thousand troops required for 
the war at Bombay and Madras, and money was indispensable. 
It was in these 'circumstances that the Nabob vizier waited 
on him at Chunar, and represented the impossibility of making- 
good from his exhausted country ihe arrears of a crore and 
a half of rupees due to the Company, and of continuing to 
maintain the English troops stationed in his dominions. But 
these troops were indispensably necessary to their defence, 
and the withdrawal of them would have been immediately 
followed by a Mahratta invasion. He entreated Hastings to 
relieve him from the charge of at least one brigade, and to 
allow him to take possession of the wealth and the jaygeers 
of the begums, to enable him to discharge his obligations to 
the Company. Hastings subsequently affirmed that if the 
Vizier had not made this proposal, he himself would never 


have suggested it. At the same time, it was represented to 
him that the begums had abetted the rebellion, as he called 
it, of Cheyt Sing, and supplied him with troops and money. 
The charge rested chiefly on the assertion of one Colonel 
Hannay, who had obtained service with the Nabob vizier, 
and fleeced him to the extent of thirty lacs of rupees in three 
years. It was supported by affidavits taken before Sir Elijah 
Irnpey, the chief judge of the Supreme Court, who pro- 
ceeded to Lucknow for the purpose ; a most extraordinary 
pilgrimage, as was justly said, for a most extraordinary pur- 
pose yet it was utterly without foundation. But under the 
pressure of circumstances, Hastings brought himself round to 
the belief that " the begums had made war on the Company ;" 
he yielded to the solicitation of the Vizier, and his con- 
sent to the spoliation of the princesses was duly embodied in a 
treaty. The Nabob returned to Lucknow, and after some little 
hesitation, to save appearances and to throw the odium of the 
transaction on the Governor- General, surrounded the palace 
of the begums with guards, seized and fettered the two 
eunuchs who were their confidential ministers, sequestered 
their .estates, and extorted, at several times, sums to the 
amount of seventy-six lacs of rupees, which .were paid over 
to the Company. To these treasures and jaygeers the 
begums had originally no legitimate title, ,as we have ex- 
plained in a preceding chapter; they were state property, 
liable for the obligations of the state; but six years had 
elapsed since the Nabob however reluctantly it matters not 
had assigned them to the begums, under the official 
guarantee of the representative of the Governor-General. 
The coercive measure now adopted admits therefore of no 
moral extenuation. Yet so little was Hastings alive to the 
objectionable character of this transaction, that he ridiculed 
the censure which " men of virtue " might cast upon it. But 
the men of virtue and of political integrity in his own land 
have regarded it as a stain on his administration, however 
consonant it may have been with the Mahomedan law of 

2 E2 


euccession, or the practice of Oriental courts. As to the 
barbarities practised on the begums and their servants by the 
Nabob, Hastings cannot be held personally answerable for 
them ; the odium which they have fixed on his administration, 
was the revenge of civilization for an alliance with barbarism, 
for a most objectionable object. 

Fyzooiia Khan, Fyzoolla Khan, the Eohilla chieftain, was, in 
1780. 1774, left in possession of Rampoora and several 

other jaygeers, of the annual value of fifteen lacs of rupees. 
He devoted his attention with great zeal to the encourage- 
ment of agriculture and the improvement of the country, 
and with such success as to double his rent-roll in seven 
years, without overtaxing his subjects. He was bound by 
treaty not to increase his military force beyond 5,000 men, 
of whom 3,000 were to be at the disposal of the Nabob vizier, 
when he happened to be engaged in war. In November, 
1780, Hastings, distracted by the intelligence of Colonel 
Baillie's defeat, instructed the Vizier to demand the aid of 
5,000 troops for the defence of Behar, to liberate the English 
regiments for service at Madras. Fyzoolla Khan, with all 
humility, made an offer of 2,000 horse and 1,000 foot. 
Hastings, who always expected prompt obedience to his 
requisitions, was exasperated at this hesitation, and under 
the alarm created by Cheyt Sing's proceedings, assented, 
without adequate consideration, to the request made by the 
Vizier to dispossess Fyzcolla Khan of the whole of his 
zemindary and annex it to his own dominions: but he soon 
after discovered and acknowledged the error he had com- 
mitted in this interpretation of the treaty, revoked the per- 
mission he had given to the Vizier, and released Fyzoolla Khan 
from the obligation of furnishing any quota of troops in 
future, on the payment of fifteen lacs of rupees. 
Censure of the These proceedings were severely condemned by 
HMttafjTre- tne Court f Directors who pronounced the de- 
signs, i783-. m and on Cheyt Sing, a breach of faith, and 
ordered him to be restored to his estates. Under the in- 


fluence of this vote of censure Hastings's colleagues in 
Council not only withdrew their support from him, but 
became united in their opposition to him, and he complained, 
with great reason that while he was still held responsible 
for the safety of India, his degradation had been proclaimed 
at every court in India. " If," he said, " I am to be 
threatened with dismission, my acts reprobated, the whole 
responsibility of the government thrown on me, with only 
an equal voice in Council, I cannot discharge my trust with 
credit or effect." In a letter to the Court of Directors of 
the 20th of March, 1783, after appealing to them to attest 
the patience and temper with which he had submitted to all 
the indignities heaped upon him during his long service, he 
announced his determination to quit their service, and re- 
quested that a successor might be immediately nominated. 
During the year 1784 he proceeded to Lucknow, and in 
compliance with the requisition of the Court of Directors, 
restored the jaygeers to the begums, through the agency 
of the Nabob vizier. He adjusted all accounts between Oude 
and the Company, made every arrangement for the payment 
of the English troops employed in its defence, and then with- 
drew the Residency, which had become odious to the Vizier by 
its interference with his government, not less than by its 
depredations. On his return to Calcutta, Hastings addressed 
valedictory letters to all the princes and chiefs of India, and 
having laid the keys of the treasury on the table of the 
Council Board, and delivered the keys of the fort to his 
successor, Mr. Macpherson, embarked for England in Febru- 
ary, 1785, after a most eventful administration of thirteen 
TT t . , Hastings reached England on the 13th of June, 

Hastings s recep- 
tion in England, and experienced the most gracious reception from 

the King and Queen; and even the Court of Direc- 
tors greeted him with a courteous address. By one of the most 
influential members of the House of Lords, he was described 
as the Company's great minister the powerful Chatham of 


the east. The Ministry, with one exception, evinced the 
most friendly disposition towards him, and the preeminent 
services he had rendered to his country in the East fully justi- 
fied his expectations of a peerage. But that exception was 
fatal to all his hopes. Mr. Pitt, the prime minister, had 
imbibed a vehement prejudice against him. He admitted 
that he was a great and wonderful man, and that the charges 
against him were ridiculous and absurd; but, he had committed 
four transgressions he had attempted to extend the British 
dominions in India, which the minister highly disapproved of ; 
he had forfeited the confidence of the native princes ; he had 
disobeyed the orders of the Court of Directors ; and he had 
fixed enormous salaries to offices in India. There was, more- 
over, an adverse resolution on the records of the House of 
Commons, and until it was done away with by a vote of 
thanks for his great services, Mr. Pitt affirmed that he could 
not advise his Majesty to confer any honour on him ; yet the 
minister's favourite colleague, Mr. Dundas, with whom that 
damnatory vote originated, had subsequently .declared, that 
Hastings's conduct was worthy of every praise he could 
bestow, and of every support his Majesty's ministers could 
afford him ; and he went so far as expressly to pronounce him 
the saviour of India. As to the vote of thanks, Mr. Pitt had 
only to propose it to the House, and it would have been 
carried by acclamation. 

Seven days after Hastings landed in England, 
^ r - Burke, one of the most distinguished leaders 

ment, 2oth o f the Whigs, gave notice in the House of Corn- 
June, 1785. 

mons that he would on a future day, make 

a motion regarding the conduct of a gentleman recently re- 
turned from India. But a meeting of the party was held 
soon after, and it was resolved, with great unanimity, to be 
unadvisable to embark in a crusade against him. There was 
therefore every reason to conclude that the menace of a pro- 
secution would have blown over, but for the imprudence and 
arrogance of Major John Scott, the confidential agent and 


evil genius of Hastings. Like other retired Indians of ample 
fortune he had purchased a borough and entered Parliament. 
On the first day of the ensuing session of 1786, he rose and 
defied Burke to make good his threat. After this challenge, 
Burke had no option but to pursue his intention, and he 
entered upon the impeachment with all the ardour of his 
enthusiastic nature. His political associates, who had been 
lukewarm on the subject, felt themselves bound in honour to 
rally round and support him ; and this celebrated trial is thus 
traced up to the mistaken zeal of Hastings's own friend, 
Major Scott, who emphatically " bullied " Burke into the pro- 
secution. His first motion was for the production of papers, 
but the House resolved, that he should state his case before 
he applied for documents to support it. 

On the 4th of April, Burke brought forward 

Charges against r 

Hastings, 4th eleven charges, to which eleven others were sub- 
sequently added. For many years he had made 
the politics and the people of India and their ancient history 
his particular study, and no man in the House has ever been 
more familiar with all questions relating to that country. He 
was a worshipper of ancient institutions and dynasties, and 
having followed the career of Hastings step by step, gradually 
contracted a feeling of personal animosity towards him, for 
his attempts to subvert them in the East. But all the mate- 
rials of the charges were supplied by Mr. Francis, Hastings's 
rancorous opponent in India, who had obtained a seat in Par- 
liament, and determined to hunt him down with all the 
rancour which might have been expected from the writer of 
Junius's letters. After the charges had been introduced, 
Hastings obtained permission to be heard in reply, and on the 
1st of May appeared at the bar, bending beneath the weight 
of a document more prolix than even a Bengal dispatch. 
He read on till he was exhausted, when the clerks of 
the House came to his aid, and mumbled through its inter- 
minable pages, the reading of which required a second day. 
The only impression produced on the House was one of weari- 


ness and impatience ; yet so ignorant was Hastings of English 
sensibilities as to persuade himself that the idea of the reply 
was conceived in a happy hour, and by a blessed inspiration, 
and that "it instantly turned all minds to his own way." 

Of the twenty-two charges, only three were of 

The three prm- * ' J 

cipai charges, any serious importance, and they referred to the 

1 7ftfi 

first Rohilla war, toCheyt Sing, and to the begums 
of Oude. The rest such as that of having in six revolu- 
tions, brought the fertile and beautiful provinces of Furruck- 
abad to a state of the most deplorable ruin, and of having 
impoverished and depopulated Oude, and rendered the country, 
which was once a garden, an uninhabited desert, were the 
mere litter of Mr. Francis's malignity. The first charge 
accused him of having " hired British soldiers for the purpose 
of extirpating the innocent and helpless people inhabiting the 
Rohillas." But the first Rohilla war had received the appro- 
bation of the Court of Directors ; it had taken place fourteen 
years before, and whatever might have been its criminality, 
Parliament had condoned it by subsequently reappointing 
Hastings Governor-General. Mr. Dundas exp