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Full text of "History of India from the earliest times to the present day"



Revised by W.H.HUTTON 



liDif-TV ll'alkfi\ I .tti.. photo'^rapher 










Revised Edition, brought up to 191 i, 




FELLOW OF s. John's college ; archdeacon of Northampton ; 


With 4 Afaps and 22 Illustrations 




Captain Lionel James Trotter was bom at Chowring- 
hee, Calcutta, in September, 1827. He died in Oxford on 
May 5, 1912. 

He first came to England in 1831, and went to school 
in 1837, to Charterhouse in 1841, and thence to Merton 
College, Oxford, in 1845. In 1846 he obtained a cadetship 
in the Bengal Infantry, and in 1848 was appointed to the 
2nd European Regiment. He served in the Punjab 
campaign, October, 1848, to May, 1849, was present at 
Ramnagar, Chilianwala, Gujrat, and the pursuit of the 
Sikhs and Afghans up to Peshawar, receiving the Punjab 
medal with two clasps. 

He served with the 2nd Bengal Fusiliers in Burma, 
1853 (medal and clasp). After absence on sick leave he 
returned to India in 1857, and was in command of the 
depot and station of Subathoo during the Mutiny. He 
retired on sick leave 1858, and left the Army on half pay 
in 1862. 

Captain Trotter was a prolific writer. He contributed 
largely to the Anglo-Indian press, and to reviews at 
home. Among his many separate publications were the 
two volumes he wrote for the Clarendon Press series (edited 
by Sir W. W. Hunter) of " Rulers of India," on Warren 
Hastings and Lord Auckland. The present " History of 
India" was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1874, and was 
revised by the Author in 1899. Its freshness and vigour 


well deserve a re-issue, and an endeavour has been made 
to continue it on the same scale. Recent research has 
made it necessary to modify or alter several parts, especially 
in the earlier chapters, of the book ; but personal judgments 
of the author have almost always been left untouched, and 
no alteration has been made in any place where the writer's 
personal knowledge was concerned. The original work 
ended with 1898. Two chapters have been added by the 
present editor. For all statements of opinion up to the end 
of the viceroyalty of the Earl of Elgin in 1898, the late 
Captain Trotter is alone responsible. 

The Vineyard, 


June, 191 7. 


The following pages were written at the request of the 
Society whose name appears on the title page. Within 
the space allowed him tlie Author has done his best to 
give such an outline of Indian history as might serve to 
interest that large class of readers which lacks time, means, 
or will, for the study of larger works on the same theme. 
In beginning, as it were, from the very outset, he has sought 
to fix the reader's attention to the successive stages leading 
from the first Aryan settlements in India, up to the final 
conquest of the whole country by another people of Aryan 
race. It is well for many reasons that Englishmen should 
understand how much the nations of the West have in 
common with the dark-skinned children of their common 
forefathers. Nor is the wondrous tale of English conquests 
in India a thing to be studied apart from its connection 
with the previous conquests of the Mohammadans, and the 
great fight for empire between the countrymen of Sivaji and 
the Moghals. 

In tracing, however rapidly, the history of so many 
centuries, the Author has availed himself of all the latest 
sources of information, many of which are pointed out in 
the footnotes. In no part of the book has he been content 
to follow slavishly in the wake of former historians and 
essayists. His treatment of Warren Hastings, for example, 


and his friend Sir Elijah Impey, however different from 
the picture drawn by Macaulay, is amply warranted by a 
careful study of documents which that great writer misread 
or overlooked. Throughout the volume he has striven to 
combine accuracy of fit detail with due breadth of handling 
and a clear, readable style ; to give due prominence to 
leading events and characters, and to avoid the faults of a 
mere partisan. How far he has succeeded in any of these 
aims, the more critical of his readers must be left to judge 
for themselves, remembering only to make fair allowance 
for the mistakes which they are almost certain to find here 
and there in a work that deals with so many centuries of 
stirring life. 


In this edition the spelh'ng adopted is that of the Imperial 
Gazetteer of India. Captain Trotter wrote thus as to the 
pronunciation of Hindustani words. 

" It will be seen from the following simple rules how 
many of the Indian vowel and consonant sounds correspond 
with those in our own and other Teutonic tongues. 

"Vowels — a broad as in 'father': a short as in 'America, or 

71 in 'butter,' or o in 'son.' 
e as in ' there,' or as « in ' pate,' or e in ' bell.' 
I'l long as in ' pique ' or ' machine ' : i short as in ' bit.' 
d long as in ' tone,' or shorter as in ' obey.' 
li long as in 'rude' or oo in 'fool': u short as in 

' full,' ' put.' 
ai as in German ' Kaiser,' or English ' aisle.' 
au as in German ' haus,' or the 010 in English ' cow * 

" Consonants — g always hard, as in 'give.' 
s hard, as in ' sin.' 
ch always as in ' church,' ' chin.' 
gh and kh guttural, as in Irish ' Lough,' and Scot 

'loch,' or English 'loghut' and ' inkhorn.' 
th and ph as in ' hot-house ' and ' up-hill.' 
y always as in ' yet,' ' young.' 
w as in * war.' 

"The remaining consonants are sounded as in English 
save that n final is sometimes nasal, as in French ' bon.' " 




Geographical and Ethnological Sketch of India ... ... xiii 




I. The Aryan Hindus ... ... ... ... ... i 

II. Brahmanism Re-ascendant ... ... ... ... i6 

III. Early History of India ... ... ... ... 23 

IV. Civilisation of Aryan India ... ... ... ... 37 



I. Early Mohammadan Conquests, a.d. 664— 128S ... 45 

II. The Khilji Dynasty of Delhi, a.d. 1290 — 1321 ... 57 
HI. The Tughlak, Saiyid, and Lodi Dynasties, a.d. 

1320 — 1526 ... ... ... ... ... ... 66 

IV. The Contemporary Indian Dynasties ... ... 80 

V. The Portuguese in India ... ... ... ... 92 



I. Babur and Humayun, 1526 — 1556 ... ... ... 99 

II. Jalal-ud-din Akbar, 1556—1605 ... ... ... 107 

III. Jahangir, 1605— 1627 ... ... ... ... ... 121 



IV. Shah Jahan, 1628— 1658 ... ... ... ... 129 

V. AURANGZEB, 1658 — 17C7 ... ... ... ... I35 

VI. AuRANGZEB — [cotiiittued) ... ... ... ... 145 

VII. Successors of Aurangzeb, 1707— 1740... ... ... 156 

VIII, The Mughal Empire to the Battle of P.\nipat, 1740 — 

1761 ... ... ... ... ... ... 167 

IX. The French and English in India, 1715 — 1751 ... 178 

X. The Fight between French and English, 1751—1757 187 
XI. The English Triumphant, 1757 — 1761 ... ... 196 



I. The English in Bengal, 1761— 1774 ... ... ... 207 

11. Events in Southern and Upper India, 1761 — 1775 ... 220 

III. Warren Hastings, 1775 — 1786 ... ... ... 236 

IV. Warren Hastings — [continued) ... ... ... ... 250 

V. Lord Cornwallis, 1786— 1793 ... ... ... ... 258 

VI. Sir John Shore and Marquess Wellesley, 1793 — 1800 272 



I. Marquess Wellesley — to 1805 ... ... 281 

II. Lord Cornwallis and Lord Minto, 1805—1813 ... 291 

III. Marquess of Hastings, 1813 — 1823 ... ... ... 299 

IV. Lord Amherst and Lord William Bentinck, 1823 — 1835 308 
V. Lord Auckland, 1836 — 1842 ... ... ... ... 320 

VI. Lord Ellenborough and Lord Hardinge, 1842 — 1848... 329 



I. Lord Dalhousie, 1848 — 1856 ... ... ... ... 341 

II. Lord Canning, 1856—1862 ... ... ... ... 356 

III. Lord Canning— (f<7«/<>/»«'a') ... ,,. ... ... 367 





I. Lord Q,k^vi\^o— {continued) ... ... ... ... 379 

II. Lord Elgin and Sir John Lawrence, 1S62 — 1869 ... 386 

III. Lord Mayo and Lord Northbrook, 1869— 1876 ... 396 

IV, From Lord Lytton to the Marquess of Lansdowne, 

1876— 18S9 ... ... ... ... ... ... 412 

V. The Marquess of Lansdowne, 1S89 — 1894 ... ... 424 

VI. The Earl of Elgin, 1894 — 1S9S ... ... ... 433 

VII. Lord Curzox of Kedleston, 1899—1905 ... ... 441 

VIII. To the Darbar of 1911 ... ... ... ... 472 




Warren Hastings ... ... ... ... Frojidspicce 

From the Painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., in the 
National Portrait Gallery. 

Emery Walker, Ltd., pkotograpiien. 

Buddha preaching. Discovered at Sarnath, 1904 ... ... 6 

From a Photograph in the possession of the India Office. 

Sarnath Capital (Asoka Period) ... ... ... ... 8 

From V. A. Smith's "Student's History of India." 

Rama and Sita enthroned, attended by Rama's Three 
Brothers, and the Faithful Hanauman receiving his 
Orders ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 16 

From an Oriental Painting in the Britiih Museum. 

AsoKA Pillar ... ... ... ... ... ... 32 

From V. A. Smith's " Student's History of India." 

Babur ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 78 

From a MS. of Shah Jahan Nameh, formerly in the poisession of Akbar III., 
now in the British Moseum. 

HuMAYUN ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 100 

From a MS. of Shah Jahan Nameh, rormerly in th« possession of Akbar III-, 
now in the British Museum. 

Akbar's Entry into Surat ... ... ... ... ... 114 

From a MS. in the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Akbar's Tomb at Sikandarau ... ... ... ... 116 

Pkcto. by UniUrvi'ood &' Vndefwood. 



Fatehtur Sikri ... ... ... ... ... ... ii8 

Photo, by Underwood b' Underwood. 

Dargah Mosque at Fatehpur Sikri... ... ... ... ii8 

Photo, by Underwood &■' Underwood. 

The Taj Mahal ... ... ... ... ... ... 130 

Photo, by Underwood &' Underwood. 
Aurangzeb ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 148 

From a MS. in the British Museum. 

A Street in Old Calcutta, showing Martyrs' Memorial ... 192 

From " Echoes of Old Calcutta." 

Lord Clive ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 214 

From the Painting by Nathaniel Dance, R.A., in the National Portrait Gallery. 

Emery IValker, Ltd., fkotographers. 

A View of the Trial of Warren Hastings, before the 

Court of Peers in Westminster Hall ... ... ... 254 

Charles, Marquess Cornwallis, K.G. ... ... ... 270 

From the Painting by Thomas Gainsborough, P. A., in the 
National Portrait Gallery. 

Emery Walker, Ltd., photosraphen. 

The Marquess Wellesley, K.G. ... ... ... ... 284 

From the Painting by J. Pain D.-ivis, in the National Portrait Gallery. 

Emery Walker, Ltd., photographers. 

Marquess of Dalhousie ... ... ... ... ... 348 

From the Painting by Sir J. Watson Gordon, R..\., P.R.S.A., in the 
National Portrait Gallery. 

Emery Walker, Ltd., photographer!. 

Ruins of the Residency, Lucknow ... ... ... ... 372 

Photo, by Underwood Ss" Underwood. 

Earl Curzon of Kedleston, K.G. ... ... ... ... 450 

Photo, by Bourne &^ Shepherd. 

Lhasa: the Potala viewed from inside the Western Gate... 462 


A Map of India at the Beginning of the XHIth Century xxiv 
» ,. ,, ,, XVHth ,, ... 140 

,t ,, IN 1751 ... ... ... ... ... 140 

>» J> 

AT THE Present Day ... ... ... 432 


The empire now ruled by the Viceroy of India includes 
not only the great Indian peninsula stretching under the 
shadow of the Himalayas, from the valley of the Indus to 
that of the Brahmaputra, but also the broad regions watered 
by the Irrawady and the Sal ween. This vast area of nearly 
1,700,000 square miles exceeds that of all Europe outside 
Russia. From the northernmost corner of the Punjab to 
Cape Comorin in the south its greatest length is about 
1830 miles, while its breadth eastward from Karachi, near 
the mouth of the Indus, to the easternmost point of Burma, 
is even greater. The great mountain-wall of the Himalayas, 
which forms its northern boundary, curves away from the 
Yang-tse river westward to the Hindu Kush and the 
Sulaiman Hills, dividing India from China, Tibet, and 
Turkistan. The Sulaiman and Hala ranges shut out the 
Punjab and Sind from their western neighbours in 
Afghanistan and Baluchistan. On the east the new 
Burman frontier may be said to march with that of China, 
Laos, and Siam. The whole length of coast-line from 
Karachi to the southernmost point of Tenasserim has been 
reckoned at nearly 4000 miles, while the extent of land- 
frontier is a thousand miles longer. 

From the wild recesses of the towering Himalayas flow 
down the sources of the great rivers, the Indus, the Ganges, 
the Brahmaputra, which find their several outlets in the 
Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Each of them on its 


long course to the ocean is fed by numerous streams, of a 
volume sometimes equalling its own. Two nearly parallel 
ranges of hills, the Vindhya and the Satpura, stretching 
eastward from the Gulf of Cambay to the valley of the 
Lower Ganges, divide India itself into two unequal parts, 
Southern India forming a kind of triangle whose point is 
Cape Comorin, with the double line of hills aforesaid for 
its base. At its western end the Vindhya range meets the 
Aravalli, a long, low chain of hills sweeping north-eastward 
across Rajputana almost to Delhi. In the east it merges 
into the highlands of Orissa, Chota Nagpur, and Birbhum. 
Again, from either end two chains of hills, the Eastern and 
Western Ghats, pass southwards at varying distances from 
the coast, to meet at last in the Nilgiri or Blue Mountains 
of Malabar, and to re-appear after a breach of twenty miles 
in the lofty hills that border Travancore and touch the sea 
at Cape Comorin. The Western Ghats are much higher 
than the Eastern, and far more abrupt on their seaward 
face. Their eastern ridges slope into the table-lands of the 
Deccan and Mysore, or serve as outworks to the loftier 
Nllgiris, even as the lower Siwalik range serves as an out- 
work to the Himalayas between the Sutlej and the Ganges. 
From the wooded heart of the Vindhyas the Narbada 
winds along its rocky bed, past the rising city of Jubbulpore, 
through several hundred miles of rock and forest, until it 
reaches the Gulf of Cambay, below Broach, Enclosed 
between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges the Narbada 
valley separates Southern India from Hindustan Proper. 
The Tapti flows past the southern slopes of the Satpuras 
into the same gulf a little below Surat. The Godavari, 
on the other hand, after leaving the Western Ghats near 
Nasik, crosses the Nizam's dominions, and, swollen by 
many tributary streams, empties itself by several mouths 
into the Bay of Bengal near Cocanada. The Kistna or 


Krishna also flows from the Western Ghats near Mahaba- 
leshwar, eastward to the Coromandel coast, receiving on its 
way the Bhima and the Tungabhadra. India altogether 
abounds in rivers great and small, four of which, including 
the Irrawady, are more than fifteen hundred miles long, 
while three of those in Southern India exceed 800 miles. 
It can boast, however, but few good harbours, chief among 
which are Bombay, Rangoon, and Moulmein. Goa, another 
good harbour, belongs to Portugal, and Karachi, the port of 
Sind, has yet to prove itself a worthy rival of Bombay. 
Karwar, Cochin, and Vijayadurg, would repay the cost of 
improving them. The approach to Calcutta on the Hugh 
is rendered dangerous to large vessels by the " William and 
Mary " shoal. 

Of the few lakes which India possesses nearly all are 
more or less salt. One of these, the great Rann of Cutch, 
is 190 miles long, and varies in breadth from two to ninety 
miles. In the dry season a waste of sand dotted with pools 
of salt water, it becomes in the rainy season an enormous 
marsh. From some of these lakes large quantities of salt 
are manufactured. A long tract of desert stretches from 
the southern border of Sind to the northern boundary of 
Rajputana. Nearly all the country, indeed, between the 
Indus and the Aravalli Hills is a waste of sand, dotted with 
oases of varying size and fertility. The prevalence of sand 
and saltpetre in the soil of Upper India points to a time 
when all India north of the Vindhyas lay buried in the sea, 
which washed the feet of the Himalayas themselves. The 
fertile plains now watered by the Ganges and its affluents 
must have been the work of ages, during which the Hima- 
layan rivers kept bringing down their yearly loads of earth 
from the mountains to the sea. It appears that the 
Himalayas themselves, whose snowy peaks now soar to a 
height ranging from 20,000 to 29,000 feet, have gradually 


been upheaved by volcanic agency from their ocean 

A broad belt of marshy jungle deadly to human life 
divides these mountains from the adjacent plains. The 
forests of this " Terai " afford ample means of smelting the 
iron found on the lower slopes of the hills. Many parts of 
India are rich in forest trees suited to almost every purpose 
of use or ornament. The teak of Burma, the Godavari 
valley, and Malabar; the bamboo of Kaman, Bengal, 
Burma, and Southern India ; the pines and deodars of the 
Himalayas ; the sal, ebony, and satin-wood of Central 
India ; the sandal, iron, and blackwood of Coorg, Mysore, 
and other districts ; the oak and walnut-wood of Sikkim ; 
the India-rubber tree of Assam ; the palm-trees of the 
Tropics, are far from exhausting the list. The noble mango- 
groves of Hindustan give welcome shade to the traveller 
weary with marching over miles of sun-burnt plain, and the 
banyan-tree of Bengal grows into a forest by throwing out 
new roots from its spreading branches. Cottages are 
thatched with palm-leaves, and houses built with scaffolding 
made of bamboos. Cocoa-nut fibre makes excellent rigging, 
and cocoa-nut oil is highly prized for lamps. Bamboo fibre 
serves for mats and baskets ; a bamboo stem yields the 
lightest of lance-shafts, while one of its joints does good 
duty for a bottle. Most of the houses in all parts of Burma 
are built entirely of wood. From the sap of the palm-tree 
is brewed the tari or toddy which forms a favourite drink 
among certain classes. Another kind of palm yields the 
betel nut, which natives of every class and both sexes 
delight to chew. The sal and deodar are largely used for 
railway sleepers, and in districts where coal is very costly 
forest timber serves as fuel for steamers and railway trains. 

All over India there are two harvests yearly ; in some 
places three. Bajra, jowar, rice, and some other grains arQ 


sown at the beginning and reaped at the end of the rainy 
season. The cold weather crops, including wheat, barley, 
and some other kinds of grain and pulse, are reaped in the 
spring. It is a vulgar fallacy that the people of India live 
on rice. The very opposite notion would be nearer the 
truth. Rice is grown mainly in the moist climate of Bengal, 
Burma, the Konkan, and Malabar. In Hindustan and the 
Punjab the staple food is wheat and millet ; in the Deccan 
a poor kind of grain called ragi. Berar, Khandesh, and 
Gujarat yield ample crops of cotton. The home of the 
sugar-cane is in Rohilkhand and Madras. The poppy- 
fields of Mrdwa and Bengal yield the opium which swells 
the Indian revenue by more than seven millions a-year. 
Indigo and jute are mainly raised in Bengal. Coffee has 
become the staple product of the hill districts in Coorg, 
Wynaad, and the Nllgiris. The tea-gardens of Assam, 
Cachar, Sylhet, and the southern slopes of the Himalayas 
from Kangra to Darjeeling, furnish most of the tea which 
now finds its way to English markets. The quinine-yielding 
cinchona is grown in even larger forests on the Nllgiri and 
Darjeeling Hills. Another medicinal plant of great value, 
the ipecacuanha, bids fair to thrive in the Sikkim Terai. 
Cardamoms and pepper abound along the Western Ghats, 
hemp and linseed are largely exported, and tobacco is 
widely grown throughout India. 

Of fruits and vegetables there is no lack. Mangoes, 
melons, pumpkins, guavas, custard-apples, plantains, oranges, 
limes, citrons, and pomegranates, are common everywhere ; 
figs, dates, and grapes thrive well in many places ; and the 
pine-apple grows wild in Lower Burma. Cucumbers, yams, 
tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and many vegetables familiar to 
English palates, are raised abundantly for general use. 
Flowers of every shape and hue, and often of the richest 
gcent, from the rose and jasmine to the oleander and the 


water-lily, spangle the plains, cover the surfaces of lakes 
and ponds, or glimmer in climbing beauty among the woods. 
The rhododendrons of the Himalayas grow like forest trees, 
and crown the hill-side in April and May with far-spreading 
masses of crimson blossoms. From the rose-gardens of 
Ghazipur is extracted the attar, a few drops of which con- 
tain the gathered fragrance of a thousand flowers. 

The jungles teem with elephants, bears, wild buffaloes, 
tigers, leopards, panthers, and hyzenas. Wolves and jackals 
prowl among the ravines in quest of deer and other prey. 
The lion is chiefly to be found in the wilds of Rajputana 
and Gujarat ; the camel in the sandy regions of the North 
West ; the one-horned rhinoceros among the swamps of 
the Ganges. Deer of many kinds abound everywhere. 
Snakes, poisonous and harmless, haunt the jungles and 
other lonely places. Wild boars are common. Monkeys 
abound in most parts of the country. The rivers swarm 
with fish, and alligators bask like huge lizards along their 
banks. Horses and ponies of divers breeds are used chiefly 
for riding, while the fields are ploughed and the carts and 
carriages of the country are drawn by bullocks of the 
Brahmani type. In many parts of India oxen still serve 
as carriers of merchandise. Buffaloes are usually kept for 
milk and ploughing. Sheep and goats are very common, 
and the Shfd goat of Kashmir supplies the soft pashmina of 
which Indian shawls and other articles of clothing are 

The woods re-echo with the harsh cry of the peacock 
and the lively chattering of parrots, woodpeckers, and 
other birds of gay plumage ; to say nothing of various 
birds common to India and the West. Eagles and falcons 
are found in some places ; kites, vultures, and crows abound 
everywhere. The great adjutant stork of Bengal plays the 
part of a scavenger in the most populous cities. Pheasants, 


partridges, ortolans, quails, snipes, and wild geese tempt the 
sportsman at certain seasons. The sparrow has followed 
the Englishman into the Himalayas. In one thing, how- 
ever, India is sadly wanting : the voice of song-birds is 
almost everywhere mute. 

India is fairly rich in minerals of various kinds. Her 
old wealth in diamonds, rubies, and other gems has well- 
nigh passed away ; but new stores may be gathered from 
the mines of Upper Burma. Of less valuable stones, such 
as opals, amethysts, garnets, jaspers, cornelians, she still 
yields a goodly share. Gold in small quantities may be 
found in the gravels of many streams. Lead mines have 
been opened in the north-western Himalayas. Rich veins 
of tin have lately been discovered in Tenasserim and 
Martaban. Antimony and copper abound in the hill 
ranges. Petroleum is known to exist in Pegu and Assam. 
Vast beds of rock-salt occur in the Punjab hills. The 
mountains of southern India are largely composed of 
granite, while excellent marble is quarried from the 
Aravalli range. 

Iron ores have been found in many parts of the country, 
notably in Kaman, Bundelkhand, the Central Provinces, 
and Lower Bengal. In the Chanda district the surface of 
a hill two miles long and half-a-mile broad is covered with 
masses of pure iron ore. The iron beds in the Kaman hills 
extend for miles, and the clay of the Damodar coal-fields 
contains 39 per cent, of iron. From the growing scarcity 
of charcoal for smelting purposes the native manufacture of 
iron is fast declining, and the attempts of Englishmen in 
the same field have hitherto been baffled by the same and 
other causes. A substitute for charcoal, however, may yet 
be found in coal, large beds of which extend from Rajmahal, 
on the Ganges, south to the Goduvari, and from the neigh- 
bourhood of Calcutta westward to the Narbada valley. 


The coal-bearing rocks of the Damodar valley, covering 
1500 square miles of ground, contain thick seams of coal, 
whose yield nine years ago exceeded half-a-million tons a 
year. From the Karharbari coal-fields north-west of 
Raniganj half that quantity could be supplied for 800 years. 
There are thick seams of coal in the Narbada valley. On 
the edge of the great sandstone tract watered by the 
Godavari and the Wardha some promising beds have lately 
been examined ; and over wide spaces in Berar and the 
Central Provinces seams of great thickness, and of a quality 
good enough for railway purposes, give fair promise of vast 
additions to India's store of fuel. The easternmost end of 
Assam also, where the Brahmaputra emerges from the hills 
into the forest-clad wilds of Dibrugarh, contains several 
seams of excellent coal. 

According to the census of 191 1, British India, as apart 
from the tributary native states, contained an aggregate 
population of nearly 250 million souls, of whom about two- 
thirds live by husbandry alone. To this may be added 
probably 70 millions in all for the Native States. But the 
increase of population is so great between each census that 
we will not attempt to record statistics which would be out 
of date soon after they were written down. It may suffice 
to say, in regard to the density of population, that to each 
square mile we have an average which exceeds that of 
Great Britain. The 70 millions in the Native States are 
ruled by some two hundred chiefs and princes, great and 
small, whose joint possessions cover an area of more than 
half-a-million square miles from Kashmir to Travancore. 

Of the whole Indian population some 217 millions are 
Hindus by religion, and several millions more are probably 
Hindus by race. The Muhammadans of all races, Aryan, 
Semitic, and Mongol, may be reckoned at 66 millions, most 
of whom profess the Sunni or Turkish form of Isl^m. The 


Shiah sect arc chiefly to be found in the Deccan and 
Kashmir. In Bengal the Muhammadans exceed 23 millions, 
the great bulk of whom are to be found in the Central and 
Eastern districts as husbandmen or landowners, while com- 
paratively few inhabit the old centres of Muhammadan 
power. In Bengal, as in Kashmir, the Muhammadan 
numbers seem to be largely swelled by former converts 
from among the low-caste Hindus. In the Punjab there 
are now nearly 1 1 million, in the North-Western Provinces 
about 2 million followers of Islam. In the United Provinces 
of Agra and Oudh they number nearly 7 millions, and in 
the Central Provinces and Berar about half that amount. 
In the Punjab, and along the frontier, there are about 10 
million Muhammadans to about 6 million Hindus, and little 
more than two million Sikhs. The 12 million people in 
Burma are mostly Buddhists. 

The aboriginal or prehistoric races scattered everywhere 
among the hills and forests are supposed to number about 
10 millions, a fifth of whom people the highlands of the 
Central Provinces, while perhaps as many more are found 
in Malwa and Khandesh. In the hills of Orissa, Chota 
Nagpur, Birbhum, Assam, and Cachar, they are also 
numerous. The Jains, an offshoot from Buddhism, number 
1,248,000. The Parsis, descendants of Persian Fire- 
worshippers, if few in numbers, fill a front place in the 
commercial doings of Western India. Christians of all 
sects and races may be set down at nearly four millions, 
about half of whom are Roman Catholics, owing allegiance 
to the Archbishop of Goa. 

In a country which extends from the eighth to the 
thirty-fifth degree of north latitude the climate varies, not 
only with the differences of relative position, but with those 
also of local surface and surroundings. The dry heats of 
the Upper Provinces differ from the moist heats of Bengal 


and part of Southern India as a furnace differs from a 
vapour-bath. There are large tracts of country in Sind, 
the Punjab, and Rajputana, where rain seldom falls, and 
the thermometer rises to 120° in the shade. In the North- 
western Provinces and Gujarat the rainfall varies from 15 
to 30 inches, most of it falling in about three months. A 
zone of light rainfall passes down the middle of Southern 
India. The eastern coast is generally hotter and drier than 
the western, which receives the full force of the south-west 
monsoon from June to September. From the Brahmaputra 
valley down to Moulmein the heat in these months is greatly 
tempered by heavy and continuous rains, which fall in some 
places to a depth of more than a hundred inches, and con- 
vert the country into a sea studded with islands. In the 
Khasi Hills 600 inches of rain have been measured in the 
year. In Lower Bengal and Orissa the rain-swollen rivers 
flood the country far and wide. On the table-lands of the 
Deccan and Central India hot days are followed by cool 
nights. Along the lofty slopes of the Himalayas and the 
wood-crowned ridges of the Nllgiris, the rain pours heavily 
with few intervals for several months. Along the coast 
sea-breezes also serve to temper the heat. Over the sandy 
plains of Northern India the dry west wind blows from 
March to the middle of June with the fury of a sirocco, 
relieved at times by a simoom or sandstorm, which turns 
day into night for an hour or more, and cools the air for 
some days afterwards. From July to October the showers 
in these regions are followed by intervals of close, steamy 
heat, which finally give place to three or four months of 
clear, cool, bright weather, with frequent frost at night, 
and mornings often cold enough for a fire. In the hill- 
stations, where the summer heat is generally moderate, the 
resemblance to an English winter is heightened by frequent 
falls of snow. Within the tropics, on the other hand, the 


cold season, except on some of the higher mountains, 
answers on the whole to a mild September in our own 

The languages and dialects used or spoken in India 
exceed in number and variety those of all Europe. The 
Aryan languages take the lead by right of their wide pre- 
valence. Of the dialects which have grown out of the 
parent Sanskrit there are at least a dozen separate forms, 
of which Hindi, the most purely Aryan, and Urdu, the 
mixed language of the law-courts and the public services, 
are the most widely used. Each of the great provinces in 
Upper and Western India has its own dialect, which differs 
from the rest much as English differs from German or 
Swedish. In Southern India the Dravidian languages, 
such as Tamil and Telugu, which belong in the main to 
some old non-Aryan type, are spoken by about fifty million 
people. In the Himalayan valleys, in Burma, and on the 
eastern frontier of Bengal, some form of Indo-Chinese or 
Mongol speech is generally spoken. Arabic, the language 
of the Koran, and Persian, the language of Mughal state 
officers and Anglo-Indian law-courts in former days, have 
enriched the Urdii of our day with a large stock of service- 
able words and phrases. 

joi..' ' .1 ii n i M<-J-i Lumu 


I N 








The circumstances which mark the rise and progress of 
England's empire in Southern Asia have no precise 
parallel in any other page of the world's known history. 
Nowhere else has the world beheld so strange and fruit- 
ful an outcome from beginnings apparently so small. 
Macedon, Rome, Arabia, have each in its turn made 
mighty conquests in a wonderfully short space of time. 
Spaniards, in the course of one or two generations, 
became masters of half the New World, The hordes of 
Tamerlane, issuing from Samarkand, overran Asia in a 
few years. In our own century half Europe bowed her 
head for a season at the feet of the First Napoleon. India 
herself for more than two hundred years obeyed successive 
kings of the house of Babur. In all these cases either the 
ground won at first by force of arms was speedily lost 
again, or else its further retention was mainly due to the 
settlements founded thereon by the conquerors them- 
selves. British India alone presents the spectacle of a 
vast dominion conquered during the last two hundred 



and fifty years by the servants of a trading company, 
whose one great aim was to increase its dividends, and 
upheld by a few thousand Englishmen encam.ping in the 
midst of more than two hundred million natives. No- 
where else has so wide a sway over so many populous 
and civilised states been wielded with a grasp so firm by 
a mere handful of foreigners, strange alike in speech, 
manners, religion, sent forth from one of the coldest to 
one of the hottest quarters of the earth, and debarred by 
causes more or less invincible from founding families of 
their own or of a mixed blood in a climate peculiarly 
hurtful to English life. 

How much of the seeming marvel sprang from sources 
in no way marvellous, the following pages may help to 
show. For that end it will not be enough to begin with 
the first days of British settlement in India. The true 
way to a clear understanding of later events leads far back 
through the Christian centuries into the twilight of pre- 
historic times. There is no real break in Indian history 
from the era of the Vedas until now. For all the changes 
that have been wrought by time and circumstance, the 
India of to-day reproduces in its main outlines the India 
of twenty or thirty centuries ago. Out of the two hundred 
and fifty millions who directly or indirectly obey our rule, 
more than a half may claim descent from those Aryan 
conquerors who, long before Hellas defied the Persian, 
were pushing the earlier races of Hindustan back into 
those sheltering hills and forests where their descendants 
may still be found.* The history of that olden civilisation 
has been written for us, not in chronicles like those which 
form the boast of Muhammadan India, but in the sacred 

* The date of the events apparently recorded in the oldest Hindu epic, the 
Ramayan, is placed by Sir W. Jones in the 2ist, by Tod in the I2th, and by 
Bentley in the loth century before Christ.— Griffith's " Ramayan," translated 
into English verse. 


writings of Sanskrit-speaking Hindus, and in poems which 
portray the social life of pre-historic India as vividly as 
Homer portrayed the social life of pre-historic Greece. 
From the Vedas, or religious hymns of the Brahmans, we 
learn what faiths were held, what gods were worshipped, 
what rites practised by the Aryan conquerors of Ancient 
India. The oldest Vedas, older by several centuries than 
the Homeric poems,* reveal to modern scholars the poetic 
sources of that purely natural worship which marks the 
childhood of all human races. They arc full of the life- 
like symbolism in which imaginative minds love to embody 
their impressions of the outer world. They sing the praises 
of the " Deva," the bright divinities of Sun and Dawn, of 
Fire, Storm, Earth, and Sky. In them all nature is divine. 
Surya, the Sun-god, his car drawn by shining steeds, dis- 
pels the darkness, hurries after the Dawn as lover after 
love-maiden, and sheds light, health, and every blessing 
on all the world. "Let us meditate," says one famous 
verse, "on the desirable light of the divine Sun, who 
influences our pious rites." 

Dyaus and Prithivi, Heaven and Earth — the Zeus 
and Demetcr of the Greek Pantheon — are invoked as the 
great, wise, energetic parents of all the other gods. Aditi, 
" mother of the gods," stands one while for the sky, anon 
for the whole universe, and at times for something dis- 
tinct from either. Ushas, the Dawn, the Homeric 'Wmq 
harnesses her purple oxen, calling all sleeping things to 
new life, enjoyment, or exertion, and sending her rays 
abroad like cattle to their pasture. Agni, the god of 
fire, the Latin Ignis, is a dear friend, who sits in the 

* The true date of the Rig- Veda, or "Book of Praise," the oldest of 
the four Vedas, is still a moot question. It is safe, however, to assume, 
with Dr. Max Miiller, on evidence of a very strong kind, that these old 
hymns and prayers, written in the oldest forms of a language probably older 
than that of ancient Greece, were composed between 1200 and 1500 years 
before Christ, 


sacrificial chamber, diffusing happiness, like a benevolent 
man among mankind. Indra, the son of Dyaus and Prithivi, 
is the far-darting Apollo of the Vedas, the god of storms 
and rain, who rends the clouds asunder, gives vent to the 
showers, and frees the obstructed streams. He is invoked 
as the Lord of Steeds, victorious in battle, whom neither 
earth nor heaven can contain. His horses are the scud 
that denotes the coming tempest. In his chariot rides 
Vayu or Vata, the rushing wind ; he delights in drinking 
the sacred soma juice ; * and the Maruts or storm-winds 
are his children, at whose approach earth trembles like a 
storm-driven boat, and in whose car ride the young light- 
nings. Varuna, the Vedic"Oi;|oavoc, represents the infinite 
wonder of the sky. He is the god who upholds order, 
who knows the place of the birds, the ships on the waters, 
the months of the year, and the track of the winds. 

In this old Vedic Pantheon no one god is raised, like 
the Hellenic Zeus, to permanent kingship over the rest. 
Each stands for the moment highest in the minds of his 
own worshippers. " Among you, O gods," says Manu, 
"there is none that is small, none that is young; you are 
all great indeed." To each is offered his befitting sacri- 
fice, each is marked off by his peculiar symbols ; and 
symbol and sacrifice, both in their turn, come to be 
worshipped as divine. Wc have later hymns in honour 
of the horse, dear to Indra ; of the ox or cow, that uni- 
versal blessing to men who live by the plough ; of the 
ladle and the post used for sacrifice ; and of the soma 
plant, which yields a nectar beloved of the gods. To the 
Rishis, or bards who camposed the Vedas.f all things 

* The soma plant of the Vedas was the Asclepias aciJa of Roxburgh, now 
known as the twisting sarkostema, a twining jjlant with few leaves, and with 
clusters of small white fragrant flowers. It yields a mild, acid, milky juice, 
and grows in various parts of India, 

t The Sanskrit ' ' Veda " means " what is known " ; from the same old 
Aryan root as Greek o75a ; Latin video, vates ; German -unssen ; Old English 
v.'itati (to wit, or weet) ; and the old Norse " Edda." 


appear divine, as symbols or expressions of the one 
supreme indwelling soul that quickens, moulds, and 
cherishes all alike. Sun, moon, and stars, the changes 
of night and day, the recurrence of the seasons, the trees, 
the flowers, the streams, the very means and processes of 
new growth, arc clothed by these worshippers of nature 
with a divinity not their own. In the world's childhood 
" Heaven lies about them," as it lies about thoughtful 
children \\\ all ages. They read the riddle of the universe 
with the eyes of poets whose natural language is that of 
worship. To them all life is a sacred mystery, an infinite 
marvel, to be studied only in a spirit of child-like thank- 
fulness and pious awe. From glorifying the life around 
them they come in time to contemplate the life within, to 
speak of right and wrong, to yearn after union with the 
Immortal Being. In the later Vedas the troubled soul 
seeks closer communion with the Unseen Spirit; it ex- 
presses sorrow and implores forgiveness for its sins ; it 
gives new names to the mysterious Power or Self which 
out of nothing evolved all things, and through which the 
good man's soul will find sure rest for ever beyond the 

Inevitably there comes a time when the beliefs of an 
earlier day harden, or are developed, into a fixed system. 
The poetic gods of the old Pantheon are replaced by the 
mystic trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva — the Maker, 
Preserver, and Destroyer — round whom revolve a host of 
smaller deities, whose numbers grow and whose features 
wax coarse with years. A race of philosophers and trained 
priests obscures the old imagery of the Vedic bards with 
the metaphysic subtleties of the Upanishads, the fantastic 
trifling of the Sutras and the Vedanta, and in time 
with the puerile grossness of the Puranas.* Old forms, 

* The Upanishads were a kind of supplement to the Vedas ; the Sutras 
were collections of philosophic aphorisms ; the Vedanta, from vcda and antat 


symbols, and figures of speech lose their old meaning; the 
attributes of godhead become distinct gods ; the dim shapes 
of poetic fancy reappear as the sharply defined concep- 
tions of an abtruse theology, or translate themselves into 
the uncouth, unmeaning objects of popular idol-worship. 

Against this lower tendency Buddhism sprang up as a 
powerful but fleeting protest about the end of the sixth 
century before Christ. It was then that Gautama first 
preached a return to the purer doctrines which centuries 
of priestly rule and popular delusion had buried under a 
rank growth of debasing errors. His father was a prince 
of the Sakyas, and hence Gautama is often called Sakya- 
muni, the wise man of the Sakyas. Of this reformer— 
whose creed, if banished from its old birth-place at the 
foot of the Nepalese Hills, has since become the religion 
of nearly a third of the human race — not much is known 
for certain ; and some years ago the very fact of his exist- 
tence was called in question by one of the foremost San- 
skrit scholars of our time. In spite, however, of Professor 
Wilson's doubtings, there is reason to believe that the 
Sakyamuni, afterwards more widely known as Buddha or 
The Enlightened, came of a race of kings who ruled at 
Kapilavastu, north of the modern Oudh ; that having 
long sat at the feet of the Brahman sages in Magadha, or 
Bihar, and at Benares, the Oxford of ancient India, he 
set forth with a few disciples to preach a purer gospel in 
Magadha, under the protection of its friendly king. The 
story of his after wanderings has been so beclouded with 
fable that time would only be wasted in trying to pick out 
the grain from the chaff. Before his death, however, the 
princely ascetic, whose own life and doctrines were in 

end, were commentaries enforcing the purpose of the Vedas ; and the 
Puranas from, pnrdna, old, embodied the whole round of legends, ritual, 
and philosophy, which had grown out of the Vedanta into the shape they 
first assumed about the ninth century of our era. 



p. 6 


open revolt from the debased religion, the pharisaic pride, 
and the social tyranny of the old Brahmanic order, had 
sown far and wide the seeds of a reaction, whose influence 
for mingled good and evil may still be found working in at 
least one province of British India, Burma, in one British 
colony, Ceylon, which was governed for a short time from 
British India, and among the numerous sect of Jains, who 
in various parts of India blend somewhat of old Buddhist 
traditions with the creeds and practices of modern 

Himself a prince of the Kshatriya or warrior caste, 
Sakyamuni held out the hand of fellowship to men of all 
castes and classes alike. Brahman and Sudra, priest, 
prince, and artisan, were all equal in his eyes. Breaking 
through the bonds of a religious system which had come 
to bring all things and beings under the yoke of an all- 
powerful priesthood, he strove to make men holy by teach- 
ing them to live pure and holy lives. Instead of sacrifices 
and severe penances he exhorted them to sin no more, to 
love one another, to forgive insults, to return good for evil, 
to bear patiently the ills of this life, to wage ceaseless war 
with their own lower natures. Life, he maintained, was 
full of sorrow, and the path to happiness could only be 
gained by mortifying the natural affections and desires 
wherein lie the sources of that sorrow. All virtue and 
well-being, in short, were summed up by the Sakyamuni in 
love and self-control. What else he may have taught, 
beyond the religious teaching of the Vedas and the meta- 
physics of their Brahman interpreters, remains for the 
most part an open question. That he aimed, for instance, 
at finding some new way of escape for the soul of man 
from its supposed liability to enter into new shapes of men 
and animals for evermore,* is a likely, if not quite a 

* The metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, was among the 
oldest tenets of Hindu philosophy. 


necessary inference, from the doctrines afterwards preached 
in his name. The climax of his attainment is found when, 
described as " passing out of the state between conscious- 
ness and unconsciousness, he fell into a state in which 
the consciousness both of sensations and of ideas had 
wholly passed away." * Scholars have disputed whether 
the " Nirvana," to which it is the highest bliss of the devout 
Buddhist to attain, means utter extinction or the calm 
that comes of absorption into the supreme soul. But " that 
Buddhism knows nothing of such absorption, if only be- 
cause it admits no such Supreme Being, is now at last 
beginning to be understood." f 

Be that as it may, we may hold it for certain that 
Buddha himself, like other great reformers, laid chief 
stress on that part of his teaching which would appeal 
most strongly to the popular heart. Some kind of hope 
for a happier future must have lain at the bottom of a 
religious movement which proclaimed the nothingness of 
human joys, and the need of deliverance from human ills 
and weaknesses. The idea of eternal rest beyond the 
grave may have meant for the multitude something 
very different from utter annihilation ; even as to the 
Buddhists of modern Burma, Nirvana means simple free- 
dom from old age, disease, and death. 

In due time the new revolt from caste-rules and Brah- 
manic traditions made its way over India and the neigh- 
bouring countries. Asoka, grandson of that king Chan- 
dragupta,! to whose court at the capital of Bihar Seleucus 
Nicator sent an envoy about 320 B.C., became the Con- 
stantine of the new creed. In his reign Buddhism spread 
over the whole of Northern and much of Southern India. 

* Parinibb Sutta in " Sacred Books of tlie East," vol. xi., quoted by R. S. 
Copleston, *' Buddhism," p. 144. 
t Copleston, op. ci{., p. 215. 
$ The Sandracottus of Greek historians. 


(kKOM v. a. smiths "student's history ok INDIA") 

p. 8 


The stone pillars that mark his sway and still bear his 
edicts carved on their face, in characters first deciphered 
by Mr. James Prinsep, may still be traced from Bengal to 
the heart of Afghrmistan. A great council held by him 
in 30S B.C., or as others reckon in 286 B.C., decreed the 
sending forth of missions to all the chief countries beyond 
India. In the first century of the Christian era Buddhism, 
having already struck firm root in Burma, Ceylon, Java, 
Tibet, and Kashmir, was declared by a Chinese emperor 
worthy to take equal rank before the state with the re- 
ligions of Confucius and Lao-tse. Losing its olden sim- 
plicity as its followers grew in numbers, it gathered 
strength from the very process of change and corruption 
which transformed its founder into its god and its very 
priests into heaven-born popes. Its temples were filled 
with images of the prince who had waged war against idol • 
worship, and its moral beauty was gradually marred by 
childish or grotesque superstitions, which culminated in 
the praying-wheels and the deified Lnmas or high-priests 
of Tibet. In spite, however, of the changes wrought by 
time and circumstance, Buddha's spirit still lives in the 
religion that bears his name ; his moral teachings still 
form the rule of conduct for millions of his present wor- 
shippers ; and the yellow-robed monks of Burma still 
hold out to every Burman child such means of learning 
to read, write, and cipher as our English children enjoy. 

In India the new religion seems never to have quite 
supplanted the old. For centuries they held between them 
a divided sway, each in its turn gaining or losing ground 
with the rise and fall of successive dynasties. At length 
came the inevitable conflict which ended by uprooting 
Buddhism from its very birth-place in favour of a religious 
system still dear to the bulk of modern Hindus. The 
stern simplicity of Sakyamuni's teaching had probably 
few abiding charms for his lively, sensuous, subtle-minded 


country-folk. Split up into opposing sects, the later 
Buddhists seem to have further weakened their cause 
by vain paltering with the popular taste for show and 
superstition. The old caste-system which Buddha had 
sought to demolish lent all its renewed strength to the 
Brahmanic reaction. From about the fifth to the tenth 
century of our era the long strife raged, until throughout 
all India Proper nothing was left of Buddhism but the 
grand old halls and temples which attest its former 
prevalence, and the mixture of Buddhist and Brahmanic 
usage which still marks the worship of the modern 

Upon the Institutes of Manu,* the Minos of Aryan 
India, and the philosophic systems spun out of the Vedas 
by successive schools of Hindu thinkers, the victorious 
Brahmans built up the social and religious fabric of modern 
Hinduism. Every nation has its mythical lawgiver, its 
Minos or its Lycurgus, in whom it finds the sources of its 
social and political growth. Manu, the Adam or first man 
of the Aryan race, had given his name to a code of laws 
and customs compiled 900 years B.C. perhaps, but dating 
in its present form from between 200 and 300 A.D., by 
certain of the Manavas, the oldest Aryan settlers in Upper 
India, who dwelt between the Sutlej and the " divine 
Saraswati." Their chief city, Hastinapur, the abode of the 
legendary King Bharat, renowned in old Hindu poetry, lay 
in Sind, to the north-east of the modern Meerut, and 
their settlements ere long covered the whole ground 
between the Ganges and the Indus. These were the men 
who founded that village-system and drew up those caste- 
rules by which Indian society is still in some measure kept 

* Mami, the first man of the Sanskrit-speaking Hindus, is the same word 
as lothic mannus, German 7nann and mejtsch, English man, and Welsh myniv. 
It comes from the same root as Sanskrit mdna, to think, mdnas, the mind 
(Latin mens), and perhaps German mehmng, "meaning." 


from falling to pieces. Each village or township became 
the centre of a little commonwealth, governed in the king's 
name by a head-man of the conquering race, with the help 
of a council of its own house-fathers, or heads of families. 
Acting under these were a staff of village officers, main- 
tained for various purposes at the common cost. Each 
village kept its own registrar, its own watchman, barber, 
schoolmaster, washerman, goldsmith, wheelwright. Every 
house-father obeyed the common laws and usages ex- 
pounded or enforced by the village council ; but within 
his own household he reigned supreme as any Roman 
father in the days of the Republic. Over the lands within 
and around his township his control was much more 
bounded. If, as head of a family, he might claim all but 
free and full ownership of the fields originally allotted to 
his family, the rest of his holdings belonged collectively 
to the whole village, and could only be used by him under 
certain fixed conditions. He had to sow the same crops 
as his neighbours, to let certain fields lie fallow in fixed 
succession, and to respect the right of other households to 
pasture their cattle on the fallow or stubble land. Each 
village, moreover, was fully equipped with tradesmen 
artisans, and so forth, whose relative place in the little 
commonwealth was determined by the several pursuits. 

In the code of Manu all these members of the Aryan 
village community are arranged into four separate classes 
or " colours," each governed by its own usages and fenced 
off by strict rules and duties from every other. First 
come the Brahmans, the hereditary priests, the Levites of 
Aryan India, who sprang, says later tradition, from the 
head of Brahma himself, and whose time-hallowed rights 
were carefully guarded from all profane encroachments by 
the teaching of those holy books whose meaning they 
alone could rightly interpret. At once the religious and 
social leaders of their day, they found in the popular 


reverence for their order a willing accomplice in the build- 
ing-up of a caste-system for which no real sanction can be 
found in the hymns of Vedic seers, nor in any writings 
earlier than Manu's code— itself the forged title-deeds of 
a class already supreme among the countrymen, by right 
of their general usefulness, their higher culture, and per- 
haps their purer lives. So firmly was their power estab- 
lished, that to kill a Brahman was accounted the worst of 
crimes, and to injure, or even insult him, a grievous 
outrage. No Brahman could wholly forfeit his divine 
birthright, nor could even kings take rank with Brah- 
mans, the favoured children of the gods. To honour or 
befriend one of the heaven-born race was enough atone- 
ment for almost any crime. It was forbidden by the laws 
of Manu to take from a Brahman borrower more than two 
per cent., or half the interest that might be taken from 
a merchant. A Brahman might not stoop to trade or to 
earn money by other than purely intellectual pursuits ; 
but he was always free to accept alms in food or money 
for the due performance of his priestly duties. 

Next to the Brahmans in the social order of Manu, ranks 
the Kshatriya or soldier class. To this belonged most of 
the princes and nobles of Aryan India ; and the Rajput 
tribes of modern India claim to be the purest living speci- 
mens of a class which seems once to have fought hard for 
social lordship with their Brahman rivals. Of the third 
or Vaisya class, tillage, trade, banking, law, and medicine 
were the chief pursuits, in most of which a very high 
degree of excellence had been already reached when the 
laws of Manu were first issued. These three classes em- 
braced all men of Aryan race. To Brahman, Kshatriya 
and Vaisya alike belonged the proud title of " twice-born " 
and the right of wearing the sacred thread. In the fourth 
or Sudra class, were comprehended all the "low-born," 
the people of mixed caste or of non-Aryan blood, who 


followed trades and callings forbidden to the twice-born, 
or belonged by birth to any of the subject races. No 
Sudra was allowed to read the Vedas, to eat or intermarry 
with any member of a higher caste, or even to sit upon 
the same mat with a Brahman. 

In course of time the system thus sanctioned by a 
mythical lawgiver, in behalf at once of an aggressive 
priesthood and a conquering race, underwent some note- 
worthy changes. Shattered, if not effaced by succeeding 
waves of Buddhism, it reappeared during the Christian 
centuries in a new and far more complex shape. Out of 
the four great castes there had grown some hundreds. 
The old sharp divisions of birth and caUing had well-nigh 
vanished. Race no longer determined a man's pursuits. 
The Brahman ceased to be a born priest. In the struggle 
for life he and the lowly Sudra not seldom changed 
places, while both alike invaded the old domains of the 
soldier and the husbandman. Sudra dynasties ruled the 
land ; Sudra priests sacrificed in the holy places ; Sudra 
soldiers fought by the side of Brahmans and Rajputs ; 
Sudra merchants, bankers, landholders, physicians, were 
held in equal honour with the Vaisyas, whose place they 
gradually filled. It was accounted no shame for a Brah- 
man to cook the dinner of a wealthy Sudra, to become a 
clerk in a public oflice, to follow the standard of a Sudra 
captain, or to earn a livelihood by managing a farm. He 
might still, like a modern Polish noble, carry his head 
high among men of his own caste ; but in the outer world 
his social importance came more and more to depend upon 
his worldly circumstances. As a priest or a Pandit he 
still enjoyed all the reverence which Hindus are wont 
to pay to their spiritual and intellectual guides. As a 
soldier or a merchant he continued to rank first amon^f 
followers of the same calling. But a wealthy Sudra 
merchant or landholder paid small deference to the 


twice-born clerk who wrote his letters, or to the high- 
caste menial who prepared his food. 

The Brahmans themselves branched off into a number 
of separate castes, each bound by its own rules, and few 
of them either claiming or conceding the right to eat or 
intermarry with any other. Alongside the old caste of 
birth and political standing there grew up also the caste 
of creeds and occupations ; and the two processes got to 
be so intermingled that it is often hard to distinguish 
between them. Each group of persons following the same 
trade or calling in the same neighbourhood formed itself 
into a separate guild or brotherhood, held together by 
rules that often diff^ered from those of corresponding guilds 
elsewhere. Like the trade-guilds of mediaeval Europe 
and the trade unions of our own day, these Indian brother- 
hoods fenced themselves round with a network of moral 
and social observances, through whose meshes no one 
could break without risk of social outlawry. A kind of 
religious sanction was impressed on these rules by the 
priests or elders empowered to interpret and enforce them. 
The innate Hindu craving for self-government under strict 
conditions was carried down into the lowest circles and 
the smallest details of social life. The very Pariahs and 
utter outcasts, the scavengers, leather-dressers, conjurors, 
gypsies, thieves, adopted caste-rules of their own, behind 
which they loved to guard themselves from the approach 
of all outsiders, high or low. Caste in one shape or 
another found acceptance even with the Jains, the Sikhs, 
and the Muhammadans, to whose own inherited systems 
of life and worship it ran directly counter. Its influence 
for mingled good and evil continued to assert itself through 
all the changes which Indian society has from time to 
time undergone. Christianity itself has for the most part 
warred in vain against an institution not altogether un- 
known in the most civilised of Christian countries. Caste 


in India has many forms, most of which may be said to 
reproduce themselves in the class distinctions and social 
usages of every nation in modern Europe. It is not in 
India alone that certain trades, classes, or professions 
take precedence of certain others, that a halo of special 
sanctity surrounds the priest, that a wide gulf of social 
habit divides the nobleman from the shopkeeper. In 
England a barrister would incur deep social disgrace by 
stooping to practices admissible on the part of an attorney. 
A German noble would still be degraded by intermarriage 
with a mere plebeian. Even in the United States of 
America, where all classes are equal before the sovereign 
people, wealth has set up an aristocracy of its own, and 
the old pride of birth still rears its walls of separation 
between the old families and the new-made rich. 



What the later forms of caste were to the earlier, the 
religion of the Puranas must have been to that of the 
Vedas. If the later Brahmans still professed to revere 
the teaching of Holy Books written in a tongue already 
strange even to themselves, they took care at any rate to 
amuse the people at large with scriptures better suited to 
the popular understanding. Somewhere about the ninth 
century of our era — the very time when Roman Popes 
were proclaiming the authority of those forged Decretals 
which gave a colour of old prescriptive right to their 
growing pretensions — the first books of the new Hindu 
Bible appear to have come into vogue. To these from 
time to time were added fresh Puranas, until their number 
had swollen to eighteen. In them were embodied the 
whole system of Brahmanic faith, worship, morals, philo- 
sophy, even law, as it grew up with the decline of Indian 
Buddhism. Borrowing alike from sources old and new, 
they contain a curious mixture of grotesque legends, gross 
superstitions, wild flights of reasoning and fancy, enno- 
bling maxims, holy aspirations, flashes of shrewd insight, 
long trains of close and subtle thought. In respect of 
mental gifts the later Brahmans were still the true, if 
perhaps the degenerate, children of their Vedic predeces- 
sors. Learned in all the knowledge of their day, but 
blind perhaps to the poetic origin of the popular theology, 
they seemed to have aimed at strengthening their hold 


"-; .^*^i/ 



RAMA AMI ^1 lA I-. N 1 1 1 l<( IM- I i Al llAhl-li I'.N RAMA- IHRKK 
liROTHI-'.RS AND I II I-. lAlllllll. flAXAr.MAN RE(i;i\IN(; 1II> 



1>. lb 


upon the people by sanctioning each new perversion of 
the old ancestral creeds, Under the working of the same 
law which evolved the later Greek Pantheon out of the 
simple nature-worship of the days before Homer, the 
religious poetry of the Vedas had blossomed out into a 
rank growth of monstrous-seeming legends, fantastic rites, 
and multiform idolatries. Whatever the Brahmans them- 
selves believed, the popular worship had already hardened 
into a lifeless caricature of the religion bodied forth in 
the Vedic Hymns. If the Puranas held that Brahma, 
Vishnu, and Siva were but different attributes of one same 
godhead, the people at large were wont to treat them as 
separate and rival gods, the chief, perhaps, but not the 
only dwellers on the Indian Olympus. 

Vishnu, the Indian Hercules, grew out of a Vedic 
synonym for the sun into the central figure of a new 
legendary circle, the divine embodiment of ever so many 
heroes renowned in song or fable. Hindu poetry is full 
of his Avatars or manifestations in the flesh. He is a 
little fish who swells and swells until he spreads for mil- 
lions of leagues in one golden blaze over the ocean. In 
the shape of a boar five hundred miles high he plunges 
his mighty tusks into the waste of waters, and brings up 
the solid earth from its briny bed. In the memorable 
Churning of the Ocean, Vishnu as Narayan recruits the 
fainting strength of gods and Titans employed in wresting 
from the deep the lost Ambrosia of the Immortals.* 

* The Amrita, or Drink of Immortality — answering to the Greek 
Ambrosia — had been lost in the great flood, which, according to Hindu 
legend, overspread the earth in the days of Manu — himself and the seven 
Rishis, or sages, floating on the waters in their ship of refuge, until, guided by 
the fish Vishnu, it rested on the highest peak of Himalaya. When the waters 
subsided, Brahma, at Vishnu's suggestion, proposed to churn the ocean until 
it yielded up the lost Amrit. How the Surs and Asurs, the gods and the 
demons, tearing up the hill Mandar, wound about it the hundred-headed 
Shesha, the serpent king, for a churning-rope ; how, standing on Vishnu's 
tortoise, they lowered tlic huge mass into the sea, whirling it round and round, 



Again, in man's form with a lion's head, he comes like 
another Briareus to restore the Indian Jove to his lost 
throne, and defeat the giants who have conquered the 
earth. Anon, as Rama the princely hero of the Ramayan, 
oldest and sweetest of Indian epics, he fights and slays 
the giant Ravan, who had carried off to the isle of Lanka 
his beloved Sita, the faithful partner of his long exile 
from home and throne. As Krishna, the warrior king of 
Dvvarka in Gujarat, he is the foremost figure in many 
an Indian tale of love, war, or bold adventure. His last 
advent under the form of Buddha, the founder of a rival 
creed, seems to attest either the readiness of Brahman 
teachers to reverence old truths preached under new dis- 
guises, or else their politic desire to stand well with the 
people at large by admitting new gods into the old Pan- 
theon ; even as the deifying of the dark-skinned Krishna 
may point to the gradual fusion of old popular legends 
with those of peculiarly Aryan birth.* 

If Vishnu owned and still owns millions of worshippers 
distributed among divers sects, Siva, the Destroying 
Principle, evolved from the Vedic Rudra, god of fire and 
storms, grew into the foremost rival, if not for a time the 
supplanter of his elder and more gracious brother-god. 
In some parts of India, temples that once bore the shield 

\vith Mshnu's help, until treasure after treasure rose out of the troubled foam, 
from the horses of the Sun and the bow of Siva, to Lakshmi, the Indian 
Venus ; how Siva betimes drank up the deadly poison that streamed from the 
mouth of the fainting Shesha; and how at last two maidens float up from the 
seething billows, the one bearing the heavenly Amrit, the other a flask of 
wine, which the heedless Asurs drink off, to their own confusion ; — all this 
Mr. W. Waterfield has well told in one of the most spirited of his " Indian 
Ballads." Of this wonderful story, which illustrates the mingled grandeur, 
wildness, sportive fancy, and tender grace of the best Hindu poetry, the original 
Sanskrit contains several versions, one of which, as given in the Mahabharata, 
has been cleverly versified by Mr. R. II. Griffith, in his " Specimens of Old 
Indian Poetry." 

* The Yadavas, or children of Yadu, were the brethren of Krishna, and the 
apparent forefathers of the modern Jats, who abound in Upper India. 


and club of Vishnu have since been dedicated to the 
eight-armed bearer of the bow and crescent, whose neck- 
lace is threaded with human skulls, whose waist is girdled 
with serpents, around whose shoulders hangs a raw 
elephant hide, and whose third eye, placed in the middle 
of his forehead, betokens the sharpness of his mental 
vision. If Vishnu may be taken to embody the genial 
human side of the great World-Spirit called Brahma, the 
worship of Siva expressed the sterner, wilder attributes of 
the same unseen mysterious Fountain of all life and death. 
Stoical or ascetic natures found in the grave and gloomy 
rites that mark his worship that kind of spiritual comfort 
which others drew from the worship of the milder god. 
Chief among Siva's votaries are the Brahmans of Bengal, 
but it is in Southern India, where the pious Sankara 
Acharya preached and travelled nine hundred years ago, 
that the sects which honour Siva have made most way 
among the people. Of these not the least numerous 
are the Lingayats who worship Siva under the form of 
the Lingam, the male emblem of Nature's reproductive 

Siva-worship in its turn seems to have begotten new 
and strange outgrowths in the shape of the fierce goddess 
Durga and the elephant-headed god Ganesha. The former, 
herself in part evolved from the earlier Parvati, Siva's 
queen, presently reappears in the yet sterner guise of 
Kali, at whose bloodstained altars the robber tribes of 
India pay their special homage, and whose favour was 
besought by the murdering brotherhood of the Thugs. 
Sita, the faithful wife of Rama, becomes merged in Sri or 
Lakshmi, the beautiful and bounteous goddess-queen of 
Vishnu. Surya, the sun-god, Kartikeya, god of war, Yama, 
the Indian Pluto, Saraswati, goddess of learning, fill each 
a certain place in the later Hindu Pantheon. In the 
natural course of things, new legends, creeds, practices, 


sprang up to displace or absorb the old. Besides the 
deities common to all Aryan Hindus, each place or district 
followed its own rites and bowed down to its own local gods 
or demons, many of them borrowed from indigenous, or at 
least non-Aryan sources. In short, the popular worship 
took its colour and its grosser traits from all the changing 
circumstances, moral and physical, which have helped to 
shape the destinies of the Indian peoples. 

Chief amongthelater off-shootsof modern Hinduism was 
the religious sect founded by the pious Kshatriya Nanak 
Shah, in the fifteenth century of our era. From time to time 
there arose in this or that part of India some earnest 
thinker, who strove to purify and regenerate the popular 
worship of his day. Buddha himself was not the first by 
many of those who essayed in India the kind of mission 
discharged towards their own countrymen by the Jewish 
prophets and the great religious teachers of Christian 
Europe. Of like stamp was Sankara Acharya, a native of 
Malabar, who in the eighth or ninth century of our era 
proclaimed anew the supreme bliss of perfect communion, 
through penitence, prayer, and self-sacrifice, between the 
human soul and the great unseen Spirit whence all things 
visible have their birth. Such, too, were the leading 
reformers of the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth cen- 
turies — Ramanand, the St. Francis, and Vallabha Swamin, 
the Epicurus of India ; Dadu, the cotton-cleaner of Ajmer, 
who taught that faith and a pure heart were better than 
fasting and sacrifice ; Khablr, who denounced the idol-wor- 
ship and the corrupt doctrines of his day ; and Tukaram, 
the Maratha poet, who preached a new gospel of love 
towards God and man, of child-like faith in all God's 
works and ways. 

Khablr, himself the disciple of Ramanand, seems to have 
been held in equal honour by Hindus and Muhammadans. 
His follower Nanak, founder of the Hindu sect of Sikhs 


which afterwards became the ruling race in the Punjab, 
proclaimed the religious brotherhood of the Hindu and 
the Mussulman in words which reflect the desire of bene- 
volent minds in all ages : " He only is a good Hindu who 
is just and a good Muhammadan whose life is pure." His 
teaching was specially levelled against Brahman tyranny 
and the mixture of forms and superstitions which passed 
with the multitude for true religion. A succession of 
Gurus or High Priests handed on his teaching and swelled 
the numbers of the new sect. In the Muhammadans, 
however, who then ruled India, the Sikhs found stern 
oppressors instead of powerful allies. After nearly a 
century of persecution they took up arms against the foe 
under the warlike Guru Gofind, and after a long course of 
varying fortune, the peaceful followers of Nanak wielded 
military rule from the Indus to the Jumna, and held under 
a yoke of iron the crushed Muhammadans of the Punjab. 

A still later revolt from the popular creed was set on 
foot in the nineteenth century by the enlightened Hindu 
Raja, Rammohan Rai. He proclaimed a pure Theism 
founded on the religious teaching of the Vedas, and en- 
riched with borrowings from the Christianity of the West. 
His mantle fell on the worthy shoulders of Dwarkanath 
Tagore, and the Brahma Savidj, or Church of Brahma, 
became the title of a sect which now owns several thou- 
sand followers. Some years later a fresh departure from 
the old faith was taken by the young Brahmist leader, 
Keshab Chander Sen, whose followers have disowned the 
last ties of social and religious habit that still bind the 
Brahmists of the older school to their unreformed country- 
men. The Arya Samaj has now i per 10,000 of the popula- 
tion, the Brahma ot, Christianity 079. Later developments 
show that Brahmanism retains its assimilative power. 
It endeavours to absorb the most incompatible opinions. 
It preserves its vitality by what it takes from other 


religions. The old Hinduism is incapable of revival : it 
lives only by what it absorbs. And this is seen in the 
poetry which it produces. India has given birlh to a 
great poet, Sir Rabindranath Tagore, the son of the 
religious leader Dwarkanath Tagore, who has learnt 
from the West to produce poetry which appeals to all 
the world, while it retains the character, embodies the 
feeling, and immortalises the history of the Indian peoples. 



Of the early history of the Aryan Hindus very little is 
known for certain.* In the time of the older Vedas, 
they had already gained a firm footing in the broad plains 
that stretch from the Indus to the Ganges. Coming from 
the regions beyond the Hindu Kush, the classic Cau- 
casus, they must have taken several centuries to win their 
way so far eastward ; and a list of their old kings, as 
quoted by Arrian, the Greek historian, would seem to trace 
their early history as far back as the year 3000 B.C. Of 
the people whom they conquered or pushed before them 
we only know that they spoke a different language and 
belonged to a different, perhaps an older, to all appear- 
ance a less civilised race. These latter, the Dasyus of 

* The word Aryan, from Arya, Sanskrit for "noble," is now used to 
denote the Caucasian, Japhetic, or Indo-European races of men, whose 
languages, customs, and bodily traits may all be referred to one com- 
mon type. From some central point in Upper Asia, one Aryan race 
after another appears to have wandered, either westward into P'urope, 
or southward into Persia and Hindustan, The Celtic races made their 
way into Greece, Italy, Spain, France, and Britain ; the Goths, or 
Teutons, into Germany, Scandinavia, and England; while the Slavs 
peopled Russia, Poland, and parts of the Austrian Empire. Persia was 
peopled by a Zend-speaking branch of the same Aryan family, and 
India became the heritage of the Sanskrit-speaking Hindus. None of these 
races can claim to be the parent of the rest ; it is not even certain which of 
them was the eldest brother ; but the fact of their common brotherhood, of 
their common distinction from the Semitic, Mongolie, and other types of men, 
has been clearly established by the researches of modern science. In the 
words of Dr. Max Midler, "The terms for God, for house, for father, mother, 
son, daughter, for dog and cow, for wail and tears, for axe and tree, identical 
in all the Indo-European idioms, are like the watchwords of soldiers.''— 
" Chips from a German Workshop," vol. i. p. 64. 


Aryan song, may once have covered the whole of ancient 
India ; and their descendants, to the number of eleven or 
twelve millions, make up the various tribes of Bhils, 
Gonds, Santhals, Kols, Mairs, Minas, Mangs, Kukis, and 
so forth, which still cleave to their ancestral hills and 
forests, or roam in quest of a livelihood from place to 
place. Dark-skinned, short, ugly-featured, with high 
cheek-bones and scanty beards, these rude, scattered 
remnants of some aboriginal race differ not more widely 
in outward shape and language than in tastes, habits, and 
ways of thinking, from the tall, light-skinned, full-bearded, 
comely-featured, subtle-brained Hindus of pure Aryan 
descent. They eat all kinds of food, are partial to strong 
drinks, know nothing of caste-rules, wear very little 
clothing, have no written language, no system of regular 
tillage, worship strange sprites and demons, and lead 
on the whole a wild, sequestered, unprogressive life. Some 
tribes however, have learned from contact with their 
civilised neighbours to move slowly forward in the same 

In the course of time the civilised conquerors of Upper 
India carried their arms and settlements across the great 
Vindhyan range, which walls off the Deccan, or Southern 
India, from the plains and deserts of the north. Mean- 
while the conquered country had been parcelled out into 
several kingdoms, such as the Punjab, Gujarat, Kanauj, 
Tirhut, Magadha, and Gaur or Bengal. It is hopeless trying 
to pierce the night of poetic fable which surrounds the 
history of those far-off days. The story of the great war 
between the Pandus and the Kurus, as told in the 
Mahabharata, the Indian Iliad, has probably as much or 
as little in it of the historic element as Homer's story of 
the Siege of Troy.* Not less baffling for historic purposes 

* This war, memorable for a great battle, fought for eighteen days, nea r 
Delhi, in \yhich all the tribes of Northern India arc described as taking part, 


are the events recorded in the yet older Ramayan, the 
^neid or the Odyssey of Aryan India. Rama, the hero 
of Vahnlki's graceful epic, and rightful heir by birth to the 
throne of Ajodhya or Oudh, is doomed by a step-mother's 
wiles to wander in lonely forests towards the south. His 
faithful wife Sita shares and cheers his exile, until Ravan, 
the demon king of Lanka, or Ceylon, bears her off through 
the skies to his own palace. Thither, with the help of an 
army of monkeys, who probably stand for the wild races 
of Southern India, the bereaved husband follows up the 
ravisher. A terrible fight ends in the death of Ravan 
and the return of Sita to her husband's arms after she 
has proved her purity by passing unhurt through the 
ordeal of fire. Rama, happy and triumphant, reappears 
in his late father's capital, to enjoy the kingly heritage 
which his faithful brother Bharat had so long held in trust 
for the rightful lord.* 

What traces of historic truth may be gleaned from this 
fine old Sanskrit epic are slight and often uncertain. Rama 
himself remains a heroic shadow, evolved, like Homer's 
Achilles, it has been thought, though improbably, 
from some dim poetic legend of the sun. The story of 
his wanderings and his southward march to Ceylon, if it 
has any historic meaning, may point to the progress of 
Aryan settlement in the regions south of the Narbada. 
At the time when Valmiki wrote his poem, his Sanskrit- 
speaking countrymen must have already gained some 
kind of footing in that part of the great peninsula. If 

is supposed to have occuned about 1300 E.G. The poem itself, the work of 
many authors, contains matter which dates from periods of eight centuries, 
four before and four after Christ. The Mahabharata— literally, the mighty 
Bharat — contains in eighteen books a series of legends concerning the 
adventures of the children of Pfindu and Kuru descended from Bharat the Great, 
who reigned at Ilastinapur. 

* The date of the Ramayan is very uncertain ; but from internal evidence 
it would seem to have been composed for the most part before 500 B.C. Both 
these national epics are stjll widely read, or chanted, throughout Hindustan, 


any trust can be placed in Hindu genealogies, a Pan- 
dyan dynasty of northern birth ruled part of Southern 
India in the ninth century before Christ, and a Chola 
dynasty, of like origin, sprang up a few centuries later in 
the modern Carnatic. Ere long Malabar also fell under 
the sway of Aryan kings ; and before the Christian era 
all India had been colonised or conquered by Sanskrit- 
speaking Hindus. 

They, or their Indian kinsfolk, had even carried their 
arms and settlement into the islands of Java* and Bali, 
and may perhaps, under Buddhist princes, have already 
become masters of Ceylon, although the conquest of that 
island by a prince of the great Gupta line dates back only 
to the fifth century of our era. 

Long before that time, in the first century B.C., another 
race of conquerors had overrun Saurashtra, the modern 
Kathiawar. In the country once ruled by Krishna and his 
Jat successors, the Sahs, an Aryan tribe from Persia, 
founded a dynasty which, about four centuries later, gave 
way to the prowess of the Gupta kings. These latter 
seem for a time to have wielded over the greater part of 
India a leadership akin to that which Athens, Sparta, and 
Thebes successively claimed over the rest of Greece, and 
which the Bretwaldas of the Saxon Heptarchy wielded 
over their fellow-princes. The strongest of the Indian 
rulers for the time being would win for himself the title of 
Maharaja Adirfij — Lord Paramount of the Old Empire — 
and that title his successor was free to keep, if he could. 
It was held from time to time by six of the Gupta princes, 
whose sway at one period extended from Kathiawar to 
Ceylon. In the middle of the first century before Christ 
it v/as held apparently by Vikram-Aditya, a prince of the 
Andhra dynasty, whose sway extended from Magadha, the 

* Java seems to have derived its name from the Yavanas ; the Javan of 
Scripture, the Ionian Greeks of history. 


erstwhile seat of King Asoka's power, through Central India 
to the modern Hyderabad in the Deccan, Descended from 
a powerful Rajput tribe, whom legend traces back to one 
of four Agnikul brothers — "Sons of Fire" — evolved by 
Brahman spells from the sacrificial fires of Mount Abu in 
Gujarat, in order to go forth and rescue India from the 
curse of Buddhism, King Vikram held his court at Ujjain * 
in Malwa, and became the Ilarun al Rashid of Indian 
story. His great victory over the Shakas — the classic 
Sacae — who had swooped down upon the plains of Upper 
India from the highlands of Kumaun, signalised the early 
years of a long and glorious reign. In him, after ages 
cherished the memory of an upright king and a steady 
partron of art and learning. Later Hindu fabulists were 
never weary of weaving legends in praise of Indra's god- 
like grandson, who "brought the whole earth under the 
shadow of one umbrella," whose court was adorned with 
the foremost poets and wisest thinkers of his day, and the 
beginning of whose reign has served to mark a new era in 
Hindu chronology.f Among those who had the largest 
shareofVikram's bounty were the " Nine Gems of Science"; 
one of whom, the poet Kalidasa, still charms the hearts of 
his living countrymen with the honied tenderness of his 
" Messenger Cloud," and the thick-clustering fancies of 
his dramatic masterpiece, " Sakuntala." 

In their victorious march southward the Aryan Hindus 
appear to have encountered a people almost as civilised as 
themselves, but speaking a language yet nearer to that 
primaeval tongue of which even Sanskrit was only a later 
offshoot. These earlier settlers may have built the crom- 
lechs and dolmens, and carved the funeral urn?, of which 

* Ujjain, one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus, now belongs to 
Sindhia, the sovereign of Gwalior. The ruins of the old city lie about a mile 
to the north of its modern namesake. 

t The Sambat era, as established by Vikram, dates from 56 B.C., and is 
still the recognised era of the Hindu calendar. 


SO many traces are found in the regions south of the 
Narbada, where some form of Tamil is still the prevail- 
ing tongue. New invaders in their turn pressed from time 
to time on the first Aryan settlements in Northern India. 
Kashmir, the ancient seat of a Kuru dynasty, was overrun 
by Scythian tribes, who appear to have mingled their 
own snake-worship with the Buddhism already imported 
thither.* Later still a Tartar dynasty ruled in their stead, 
and bequeathed to its own successors some noble monu- 
ments of architectural skill. Other tribes, whether of 
Scythian or Tartar origin, left their mark upon the country 
watered by the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, and even 
made their way down the seaboard of Orissa. Tradition 
likewise tells of the Yilvans, whose name marks their Ionic 
or Greek extraction, as founding settlements in Kashmir 
and Sind, and finally, in our own era, ruling Orissa for a 
century and a half. 

Amid all such events, however, the candid historian 
must still grope his way with much care and many mis- 
givings, content to rescue a few waifs of seeming fact from 
the darkness that everywhere broods around him. To 
trace events in their proper sequence becomes a hopeless 
task when the events themselves are shrouded in deceitful 
twilight, or lost in a tangle of decayed traditions. How 
much are we to believe, for instance, of that old story, 
which represents the Assyrian queen Semiramis as leading 
her myriads of horse and foot over the Indus, with thousands 
of camels disguised as elephants, whose panic-flight before 
the real elephants hurled against them by King Stabrobates 
caused the invading hosts to scatter in disastrous rout ? 
The story itself, however, unknown to the travelled 

• The term Scythian has often been misemployed as a synonym for Tartar 
or Tibetan. In point of fact the true Scythian belonged to a pure Aryan 
stock ; perhaps to thit branch of it, the Gothic, which furnished the forefathers 
of Saxon England. 


Herodotus, and incredible in the shape traced out by the 
pens of Ctesias and Diodorus, need not perhaps be abso- 
lutely untrue. Nor is there anything quite impossible in the 
story of a much more successful inroad, accomplished in 
the tenth century before Christ by the troops of the 
Egyptian Rameses II. 

There is surer ground for believing in a partial 
conquest of India by the troops of the Persian Darius 
Hystaspes, a near successor to the throne of Cyrus the 
Great. Fired by glowing tales of the rich and populous 
countries which his admiral Scylax had passed through on 
his memorable voyage down the Indus, that monarch 
carried his arms across the same river, as far as the great 
desert which divides Sind from Rajputana. lie created a 
satrapy out of the conquered province which must have 
included the whole of Sind and perhaps a large part of the 

About two centuries later a yet more famous conqueror 
stood upon the banks of the river, whence India has de- 
rived its name. Master of Persia on the defeat and sub- 
sequent death of Darius, the last king of his line, Alexander 
the Great of Macedon pushed his way steadily onwards 
through Balkh and Afghanistan, over the mountains of the 
Hindu Kush, through the rugged gorges of the Khyber, 
fighting and massacring as he went, capturing Massaga 
(probably near the Malakand pass) and the virgin fortress 
of Aornos, until his war-worn legions reached the Indus 
flowing in swift stream, which he crossed at Ohind, sixteen 
miles above Attock. Between the Indus and the Jhelum — 
the classic Ilydaspes — he met only with friends, one of 
whom, the King of Taxila, appears to have offered his 
own aid against his powerful neighbour, Poros or Puru, 
whose sway extended from the Jhelum to Hastinapur on 
the Ganges. The youthful conqueror of Greece, Persia, 
* See Mr. Vincent Smith's " Early History of India," 3rd edition, p. 38. 


and Babylon, caught with his usual eagerness at a bait so 
tempting. Two hostile armies soon faced each other on 
the banks of the swollen Hydaspes, at a spot since 
memorable for the passage of the troops with which 
General Gilbert followed up Lord Gough's crowning victory 
over the Sikhs at Gujrat. On the left bank of the river 
just below where it branches into several streams, Poros 
had arrayed his host, the flower of the warrior-tribes of 
Upper India. Alexander's strategy, however, served him 
well. Under cover of a dark stormy night, he carried a 
choice body of troops over the several branches of the 
main stream, and with the first streaks of morning bore 
swiftly down upon his opponent's flank and rear. Poros 
discovered the movement too late ; but the courage with 
which he maintained a hopeless struggle, after half his 
troops had left the field, won for him the forbearance of a 
conqueror in whose ambition there was nothing mean. 
Treating the captive monarch, as Poros himself had asked 
to be treated, " like a king," Alexander took him into friend- 
ship, restored him to his throne, and even enlarged his 
frontiers with new conquests. 

After founding two cities (Bonkephala, probably 
identical with the modern Jhelum, and Sikaia, perhaps 
Sukhchainpur) on the scene of his late successes, the 
conqueror led most of his troops across the Chenab and 
the Ravi or Hydraotes. On the kft bank of the 
Hydraotes he encountered a large but ill-disciplined force 
gathered together, it seems, from, the neighbouring hills. 
This he routed with heavy slaughter, in spite of a brave 
defence. Pushing on to the Sutlcj— the classic Hyphasis 
— he would have carried his veterans even to Pataliputra 
the far-famed capital of Magadha, the Gangetic kingdom 
then ruled by a Takshak * prince of the Nanda dynasty, 

*• The word "Takshak"' seems to imply the settlement of a Daco- 
Scythian people in the valley of the Ganges. 


which had flourished there for nearly four hundred years. 
But the men who had followed him so far in quest of the 
world's easternmost bounds at length refused to go an 
inch further. Daunted by their attitude, or moved by 
their just complaints, Alexander unwillingly prepared to 
retrace his steps. He set up twelve great monuments, as 
altars to the gods, which may perhaps still remain by the 
ancient bed of the river Bias. Leaving Poros, it is said, in 
command of seven nations and two thousand cities and 
in alliance with the King of Taxila, he then led his tired 
soldiers back to the Jhelum. At the point where it receives 
the waters of the Chenab, not far from Multan, he himself 
with part of his army embarked for a voyage down that 
river to its junction with the Indus, and then down the 
Indus to the sea, whilst his lieutenants, Hephaestion and 
Krateros, marched along either bank to the appointed 
meeting-place. A journey of several months, imperilled by 
the attacks of hostile tribes, and memorable for the storm- 
ing of a stronghold defended by the Malloi, the people of 
Multan, brought the whole army to the sea-coast. Here 
Alexander once more divided his forces. While one wing, 
under Nearchos, sailed along the shores of the Indian 
Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the Euphrates, 
he himself, with the other, marched along the coast amid 
the dreary sandhills of the Gedrosian desert, known to 
later times as Baluchistan. After his safe return to Susa, 
the great Macedonian still cherished the hope of one day 
planting his standard on the banks of the Ganges, of 
brinGrine: the farthest marts of India into close commercial 
fellowship with the valley of the Euphrates and his new 
Egyptian capital on the Mediterranean. But the fever 
which slew him at Babylon, three years afterwards, in the 
thirty-third year of his age, cut short his career of con- 
quest, and put off for rainy centuries th^ fulfilment of his 
schemes for the worldly advancement of the human race. 


His work, however, was not destined to be all in vain. 
The voyage of Nearchos, itself in those days a feat of bold 
seamanship, prepared the way for new voyages of dis- 
covery, which finally laid the whole coast of Western 
India open to Greek adventurers from the Red Sea and 
the Persian Gulf. If Alexander's empire fell to pieces on 
his death, the ablest of his generals founded Greek dynas- 
ties which long held sway over its component provinces. 
If Babylon gave place to Seleucia on the Tigris, as the 
great mart of trade with the countries eastward of Meso- 
potamia, Alexandria, under the Ptolemies grew apace into 
the first commercial capital of the civilised world, the 
common reservoir for the trade of three continents. Greek 
art inspired some of the noblest, if not the earliest, efforts 
of Indian architects and sculptors, as traceable in the great 
Buddhist domes whose ruined masses still meet the eye, 
here and there, on the road from Kabul through the Pun- 
jab to the banks of the Kistna. Greek coins discovered 
in Afghan, Punjabi, and Turkman cities, recall the days 
when Greek Seleucidae and their successors reigned over a 
Bactrian kingdom, stretching at one time from Lahore to 

When the first Seleucus had laid firm hold on the 
eastern provinces of Alexander's empire, he turned his 
arms against Chandragupta — the Sandracottos of Greek 
historians — who had annexed the kingdom of Magadha to 
the country erewhile ruled by Poros and the King of Taxila. 
But the able Greek soon found good reason to make 
peace with the powerful Sudra monarch, who remained 
master of all Alexander's conquests eastward of the Indus, 
in return for a yearly tribute of fifty elephants, and a 
marriage alliance with his late foe. A Greek envoy, 
Megasthenes, lived for many years at his court in Patali- 
putra,* and bore memorable witness to the peace, order, 

* The site of this great city, ten miles long by two broad, with its sixty 


■RDM V. A. smith's "sTLDENT's HIsIKKV OI INDIA ' 

p. 32 


well-doing^, and high enlightenment that prevailed through- 
out the realm. His son, Bindusara, renewed the treaties 
with Seleucus, and after a reign of twenty-five years 
handed on the sceptre of the Mauryan line to his like- 
minded heir Asoka, c. 273-232 B.C., the extent of whose 
sway is marked by the stone pillars engraved in Pali, 
the spoken Sanskrit of his day, which have been traced 
from Orissa even to Kabul. During his long reign of 
thirty-seven years this wise and beneficent ruler made 
justice easy of access to the poorest of his subjects, and 
outdid even his grandfather in the success of his efforts to 
encourage trade, learning, and every civilised art. The 
first Indian monarch who openly embraced Buddhism, he 
may have presided also at the birth of that new architec- 
ture which tells its own tale of Greek example, moulding 
the handiwork of the earliest native architects in stone.* 

He sent missions beyond the frontier of his territories, 
to Ceylon, as well as to the Tamil kingdoms of the south. 
" In this way Buddhism, which had been merely the creed 
of a local Indian sect, became one of the chief religions 
of the world, a position which, in spite of many ups and 
downs, it still holds." t 

Fifty years after the death of Asoka, which happened 
about 232 B.C., the great Mauryan dynasty gave place to 
that of the Sunga princes, who displayed their zeal for the 
faith of Buddha by building massive " topes " and hewing 
out majestic cave temples in many parts of their broad 

gates, 574 lowers, and moat thirty cubits deep, is placed by Mr. Vincent 
Smith at Patna. 

* According to ]\rr. James Fcrgusson ("Tree and Serpent Worship'"), 
Uie great Buddhist " tope " at Sanchi in Malwa is the oldest known specimen 
of pure stone architecture in Hindustan, and is one of many built by AsCJka 
in honour of S.lkyamuni. General Cunningham, however, would assign it 
a much earlier date. Be that as it may, iis gateways were evidently built 
at a time when stone was beginning to supersede wood for building purposes j 
and its sculptures show clear traces of Greek influence. 

t Vincent Smith, "Student's History of Indin," 1915, p. 6S. 



realm. These, in their turn, were succeeded about a 
century later by the Andhra line. Under its wide sway 
the greater part of India seems to have flourished for 
nearly five hundred years. It may have been a king of 
this line, perhaps Vikram himself, whom Strabo has 
described as sending an embassy to Caesar Augustus at 
Antioch, a few years after Actium had made Julius' nephew 
master of nearly all the civilised world. Another embassy 
to the same potentate appears to have been sent about the 
same time by a certain " King Pandion," a prince, no 
doubt, of the old Pandyan dynasty whose reign of two 
thousand years over part of Southern India ceased only 
with the Muhammadan Conquest. 

It was about a century later that some ripples from the 
wave of a new religious movement, whose birthplace was 
Judasa, first broke out upon the farthest shores of Southern 
India. Tradition, at any rate, points with some show of 
likelihood to Mailapur, or Mount St. Thomas, near Madras, 
as the last resting-place of India's first Christian teacher, 
St. Thomas the Apostle.* In the second century of our 
era Demetrius, Bishop of Alexandria, sent forth the elo- 
quent Pantsenus to visit and instruct the native Christians 
of Malabar, whose desire for further knowledge of the new 
Gospel some Egyptian sailors had brought to his ears. 
Two centuries later, we find John, Metropolitan of Persia, 
claiming authority over the Christian Churches in Southern 
India, In the sixth century a Christian bishop, consecrated 
in Persia, governs his Indian flock from Kalianpur, near 
]\Iangalore, and Christian villages are discovered even in 

* The tradition in question was already old in the time of Si. Jerome, 
who in the fourth century A. D., speaks of the Divine Word as being every- 
where present, "with Thomas in India, with Peter at Rome, &c." Long 
before then, in the second century of our era, happened the mission of 
Pantsenus to the Christians of Malabar, as described by Clemens Alexandrinus. 
A useful sketch of the early Christian Church of Malabar may be found in 
Rev, J. Lobley's "The Church and Churches in Southern India," chap, iv. 
But see Mr. Vincent Smith's " Early History of India," pp. 233 seq. 


Ceylon. In the latter part of the eighth century we see 
the Christians of Malabar living in peace and comfort 
under a king of the Chcra dynasty, and driving a busy 
trade with Persia and Egypt. 

About a century and a half later two Syrian priests 
from Babylon reach Southern India on a mission from 
their Persian Metropolitan, and make new converts in the 
country ruled by the friendly Raja of Travancore. For 
some part of the tenth century a Christian raja seems to 
have reigned in Malabar. In the course of years the 
Churches of Southern India mixed up with their own simple 
doctrines some of the ideas and usages that prevailed 
among their neighbours, or were imported by missionaries 
from the Latin Church, In the last year of the sixteenth 
century the long struggle of the native Christians against 
the claims of the Portuguese Archbishop of Goa ends in 
the temporary triumph of the Roman rule. Fifiy years 
later one-half of Rome's new subjects threw off the yoke 
they had never loved, and renewed their old allegiance 
to the Patriarch of Antioch. To this day the Church of 
St. Thomas, however shattered and defaced by time and 
human error, still owns many thousand worshippers who, 
whether in doctrine or discipline, have never bowed the 
knee to Rome. 

Let us return for a moment to the Indo-Macedonian 
kingdom of Bactria. Among the kings of the dynasty 
which, about 256 B.C., succeeded that of the Seleucidae, a 
prominent place is due to Demetrios, who reconquered the 
western provinces of the Punjab ; to his successor Eukra- 
tides, who carried his arms still further eastward ; and to 
Menander, whose sway extended over the Punjab and Sind. 
In the beginning of the first century before Christ, the 
Greek rule in Bactria and the adjacent provinces gives 
place to a succession of dynasties, Scythian, Parthian, 
Turkish, and Hindu, of all which some traces have been 


bequeathed to us in the coins discovered and deciphered 
by modern research. Each change of dynasty is marked 
by a change in the language of the legends borne upon the 
coins. Greek gives place to Sanskrit, which is followed 
in its turn by later forms of Aryan, Turanian, or Semitic 
speech. From some of these faithful witnesses to the past 
we learn that as late as the eighth century of our era 
Indian princes still reigned over the country westward of 
the Indus, from Sind up to Kabul.* 

* See Professor Wilson's " Ariana" ; Prinsep's " Historical Results," &c., 
and Mr. Vincent Smith's "Early History of India." 



During the long period of which we have thus far spoken, 
Aryan India seems to have filled a commanding, if not the 
very highest place among the civilised races of that old 
time. In almost every field of mental, social, and political 
life, the early Hindus long kept ahead of their Western 
kinsfolk. Centuries before Pericles ruled or Plato wrote, 
their village communities had proved their extraordinary 
fitness for the work of governing themselves. In the 
sphere of philosophy they rose to heights of speculation 
hardly matched by the most daring subtleties of Aristotle, 
Spinoza, Berkeley or Kant. Their moral and religious 
theories involved some of the highest truths conceivable by 
human wisdom. As subtle thinkers and keen logicians 
they have never been surpassed. Their oldest poem, the 
Ramayan, teems with tender and holy thoughts, glows all 
over with examples of every virtue, is crowded with pic- 
tures of fatherly and fraternal love, of filial submission, of 
wifely purity, faithfulness, self-surrender, of manly tender- 
ness, courage, firmness, long-suffering, of sexual love free 
from all earthlicr taint, of domestic harmony, social well- 
being, of unaffected pleasure in the beautiful things of 
earth and air and human handiwork. Their earliest 
writings, whether in verse or prose, reveal the great pro- 
gress made by a large-brained, supple-witted race in the 
arts that dignify, adorn, and sweeten life. 

In astronomy the Hindus of the Rig-Veda had already 


learned to mark out the moon's path through the constel- 
lations, to divide the zodiac into twelve signs or stations 
answering to the months, and seasons of the year, to mea- 
sure time by weeks, months, and solar years, to follow the 
movements of the planets, and to fix with some precision 
the date of each recurring equinox and solstice. A few 
centuries later their wise men had begun to calculate 
eclipses, to mark the precession of the equinoxes, to mea- 
sure the orbits of the moon and planets ; and sought, not 
quite in vain, to account for the apparent rising and setting 
of the sun. Still later, in the sixth century of our era, 
Aryabhata was perhaps the first in India who taught the 
spinning of the earth around its own axis, and who hit 
upon the true theory of solar and lunar eclipses.* He has 
been called, indeed, the founder of mathematical and astro- 
nomical science in India ; and certain it is, that whatever 
help he may have derived from older Greek researches in 
those fields, his own discoveries and improvements more 
than repaid the debt. 

In the twelfth century of our era Bhaskar-Acharya of 
Ujjain had forestalled by five hundred years the analytical 
methods of Newton and Leibnitz. Long before his day, 
centuries even before Aryabhata, the Hindus had begun to 
work out many of the higher problems in algebra. In 
arithmetic they invented decimals, and the letters of the 
Sanskrit alphabet supplied the numerals which modern 
Europe derived directly from Arabia. Their medical 
writings prove their early proficiency in the art of healing. 
They seem to have been clever surgeons, shrewd in de- 
tecting the sources and symptoms of disease, alive to the 
saving virtues of proper diet. They knew the value of 
human dissection,! and the medicinal uses of mercury 

* lie was born near Patna about A.D. 476. 

t The practice of dissection was greatly hampered, of course, by the 
strength of religious prejudice. 


and other minerals. Inoculation for small-pox seems to 
have been known to them from a very early age. Their 
chemical knowledge was far from despicable. Greek 
and Arabic physicians borrowed freely from the medical 
science of India; and the Khalifs of Baghdad, especially 
the far-famed Harun al Rashid, set no little store by the 
Hindu physicians who visited or held posts in their 

From the days of Manu's Code, ancient India possessed 
a noteworthy system of law which, after weathering the 
Muhammadan Conquest, still guides and bounds the latest 
efforts of Anglo-Indian law-makers. In the study of gram- 
mar, or word-lore in its highest and widest sense, the 
Hindus were deeply versed as far back as the sixth or 
seventh century before Christ. Their grammar, like their 
astronomy, may have sprung from the depth of their 
religious instincts. If the need of fixing the exact time 
for a given sacrifice first made them astronomers, the 
duty of understanding what they prayed or chanted led 
them, it seems, to study the meanings, origins, and 
arrangement of words. Their oldest known lexicon, a 
work even now of acknowledged value, must have been 
written more than two thousand years ago. Their early 
literature, viewed as art-work, ranks second only to that 
of ancient Greece. The one bears to the other the same 
kind of relation which some great Hindu temple bears to 
the Parthenon. An old Sanskrit play, poem, or romance, 
if it lacks the severe symmetry, the classic grace of Homer 
or Sophocles, recalls the teeming luxuriance of an Eastern 
landscape, filled with the weird sheen of a tropical moon. 
At once the wildest dreamers and the most subtle of 
thinkers, the old Hindus produced great poets, philoso- 
phers, fabulists, story-tellers, but not one historian of 
even the smallest mark. "Sweet Sakuntala" was the 

♦ Mrs, Manning's "Ancient and Mediseval India," vol. i. chap. 18. 


delight of Germany's greatest poet. The " Hitopadesa, or 
Fables of Pilpay," have during the last twelve centuries 
been translated into almost every civilised tongue.* The 
epics of Valmiki, Vyasa, and Kalidasa ; the dramatic, 
lyrical, and pastoral poems of Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti, Jaya- 
deva ; the collection of prose stories preserved from an 
immemorial past, all attest the range and fruitfulness of 
the Hindu imagination, and abound with passages unsur- 
passed for beauty by any writings in the world. Only for 
the Muse of History does Aryan India provide no pedestal. 
Roaming childlike in a marvellous dreamland, gazing with 
rapt eye into the essence and the mystery of things, or 
clothing with ideal graces the scenes and characters of its 
pourtraying, the Hindu mind seems to have always 
spurned the cold rules of historic inquiry, to have treated 
past dates and events as mere aids to the weaving of 
poetic fancies, or religious fables. Indian chronolog)^, 
such as it is, deals with myriads and even millions of years ; 
while the kings and heroes of Indian story live to an age 
far beyond that of any recorded in the Jewish Scriptures. 

Hindu plays were often accompanied by music of a 
sweet and plaintive kind, and the pathetic airs of Bengal 
have been likened by Sir William Jones to the wild but 
charming melodies of the Scotch Highlanders. In the 
sister arts of sculpture and architecture the old Hindus 
attained a pitch of excellence to which the ruined topes of 
Sanchi in Mrdwa and Amravati on the Kistna, the cave 
temples of Karle, Ajanta, Ellora, and Elephanta, the 
pagodas of Tanjore and Mahabalipur, bear memorable 
witness.! The carven pillars and gateways of Sanchi 

* A still older version of the " Hitopadesa " was found by Professor 
Wilson in the Panchata7itra, or " Five Sections," which coincides in the 
main with the work ascribed to Pilpay or Bidpai. 

t The old Buddhist topes, of great but still undefined antiquity, 
were almost solid domes of brick or stone and plaster, rising out of a 
low basem.ent, and crowned by a pillared Thee or relic-box, over which 


come midway between the art of Greece and Egypt ; and 
the friezes of Amravati, a few centuries younger, have the 
rich variety and flowing life-like grace that mark the 
sculptures of mediaeval Europe. In the rock-hewn halls 
and temples of the same or of somewhat later times, the 
massive pillars are often relieved with tasteful fretwork, 
and the broad flat roofs panelled out with carved and 
coloured scrolls, as graceful as those that adorn the Baths 
of Titus, and the best houses in Pompeii. The Viharas, 
or convents of Ajanta, near Bombay, contain fresco paint- 
ings of high merit, whose age may be reckoned at four- 
teen hundred years. Grandeur of form, combined with 
no small beauty of detail, distinguishes many of the old 
temples in Southern India. The Great Pagoda of Tan- 
jore, dating from the tenth century of our era, tapers 
upward through story after story to a height of two hun- 
dred feet. The wondrous temple of Ilalibcd in Mysore, 
built by a Brahman architect for a Jain king, is carved 
all over with designs of such exquisite beauty that they 
still form models for the carved sandal-wood of that 
province.* Orissa, famed for the worship of Jagannath, 
and rich in architectural remains, can boast of a temple 
at Bhubaneswar eleven or twelve centuries old, unsur- 
passed for lofty and solid grandeur. In Rajputana the 
temples of Baroli and Chitor claim special notice for 
the delicate fulness and classic grace of their sculptured 
details. The massive ruins of pillared temples in Kashmir 
carry us back to the first centuries of our era, and seem 
to attest the influence of Greek upon Indian art. India, 
in short, abounds in architectural remains of exceeding 

stood the mystic "umbrella." The tope, which served as a burial- 
vault, a relic-shrine, or a sort of temple, was usually surrounded by a 
rail of massive stone-work, richly sculptured, and divided by four tnll 
gateways. (Fergusson's "Tree and Serpent Worship.") 

* Bowrins's "Eastern Experiences"; Fergusson's "History of Archi- 


beauty and great age, in the shape of temples, palaces, 
tanks, colonnades, bridges, castles, and fortified towns, 
many of which in the beginning of the fifth century 
charmed the gaze of the Chinese traveller Fa Hien. 

In works of engineering skill, Southern India appears 
to have excelled from the earliest times. The tanks and 
reservoirs, which everywhere feed the country with water 
gathered from a thousand streams and from skies laden 
with tropical moisture, are often of vast size, with stone- 
faced embankments fifty feet wide, and sluices admirably 
fitted for their work. In old days, when iron was plen- 
tiful, India won the name she has not yet lost for skill in 
the making of fine steel. The best of the Damascus 
blades have been traced to the workshops of Western 
India. For skilful or artistic workmanship in gold, silver, 
and other metals, in ivory, earthenware, muslins, woollens, 
brocades, and precious stones, the artisans of India were 
renowned ages before our English forefathers landed in 
Britain, From the earliest recorded dates the Hindus 
appear to have been active merchants, neat-handed work- 
men, and patient farmers. It is probable that the gold of 
Ophir,* it is certain that the spicery borne by Arab 
traders to Egypt in the time of Joseph, came from Indian 
marts. The pepper of modern trade is still called by its 
old Indian name. It was out of Indian ivory that Phidias 
carved his statues of Minerva and the Olympian Jove, j 
Indigo, as its name denotes, was an old Indian product, 
known to Europe in the time of Pliny, if not before. 
From the same country came the sugar, v/hich, introduced 
into Europe by Greek merchants, betrays its Indian 

* According to Max Miiller, Ophir was the same as Malabar. 

t From the Sanskrit ibha came the Latin ebtir and our ivory. The 
Greek elephas may be another form of the same word. " India mittit ebur," 
"Quicquid gcmmarum prodiga mittit India;" " Prcebet odoratas quia 
discolor India messes," are among the references that crop up in the Latin 
poetry of the Augustan age. 


origin in the name it still bears throughout the civilised 

In the first century of our era rich streams of merchan- 
dise flowed from many a port of Western India to feed 
the growing luxury of Imperial Rome. Long before then, 
as we know from Manu's Code, Indian bankers issued 
their bills of exchange, and merchants insured their ven- 
tures by land and sea. Their character for enterprise, 
honesty, and shrewdness, stood high in the days of Marco 
Polo, who visited Southern India a few years before its 
great wealth in gold and jewels tempted the first inroads 
of Muhammadan conquerors. Then, as now, the fish- 
charmers on the Coromandcl coast levied a handsome 
profit from the pearl-divers, whose safety they pretended 
by their magical arts to secure. Already Arab pirates 
were preying on the sea-borne trade of the country, and 
all direct intercourse between India and Europe had long 
since come to an end. But a busy trade had sprung up 
with China and Japan, while the cotton, indigo, hides, 
agates, and fine muslins of Gujarat, the pepper, ginger, 
and peacocks of Ouilon, the diamonds of Golconda, the 
" woven-air " muslins of Masulipatam, the pearls of Tan- 
jore, still made their way through Egypt and Mesopotamia 
to the West. 

The practice of Sati or widow-burning, which Marco 
Polo found in full swing, appears to have been unknown 
in the days of Alexander. It was certainly unknown to 
the Hindus of the Vedic period. As far back as the reign 
of Chandragupta, tlie country was covered with thriving 
villages, relieved here and there by royal cities of vast 
circuit and stately adornment. Pataliputra, the capital of 
that monarch's realm, is said to have been ten miles long 
and two broad, with sixty gates, and more than five hundred 

* Our word " sugar," German Zucktr, Gretk saccharon, evidently came 
from the Sanskrit and Fersian " shakhar." 


towers along its outer wall. According to the author 
of the Ramayan, the ancient city of Ajodhya, near 
the modern Fyzabad, had a length of twenty-four and a 
depth of three miles. Broad roads, some of them lined 
with canals, ran past noble squares, smiling gardens, well- 
built houses, stately temples, and palaces alive with 
splendid pageantry. Chariots, wagons, elephants, horses, 
streamed to and fro, bearing choice merchandise, "gay 
sleek people " in quest of pleasure, envoys from distant 
kings, or " bands of heroes skilled in every warlike 
weapon." Everywhere busy artisans plied their calling, 
holy men chanted the Vedas, damsels danced and min- 
strels sang their verses to the music of tabret and lute. 
The poorest man in the city earned for his day's labour a 
piece of gold. The women, says the poet, were fair to 
see, graceful, modest, of a charming wit ; and each man 
was the loyal husband of one wife. Such are the leading 
strokes of a picture which, however coloured by the poet's 
fancy, may yet be taken for something like a fair present- 
ment of Hindu life and manners thirty centuries ago.* 

* The " Ramayan," translated into English verse by R. T. II. Griffith, 
M.A. Book I. cantos 5 and 6. 





For several hundred years of our era no new invader 
seems to have gained a firm footing on Indian ground. In 
the middle of the sixth century, indeed, during the reign 
of Chosroes, or Nushirvan the Just, the greatest Persian 
king of the Sassanid line, who fought successfully against 
Justinian himself, the Persian arms were carried for a 
while into the Rajput territory of Surat. But Goha, the 
son of the Rajput queen, appears in due time to have 
regained his lost inheritance, and from his marriage with 
the granddaughter of the Persian king sprang a line of 
princes whose descendants still rule in Udaipur. 

A hundred years later, when the Arab followers of 
Muhammad had already overrun Persia, conquered Egypt, 
Syria, Mesopotamia, and planted the standard of the 
crescent in a few years after Muhammad's death on the 
banks of the Oxus, they proceeded to turn their arms 
against the countries watered by the Indus,* In the 

* "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Apostle." Such 
was the substance of the doctrine preached to his countrymen by 
Muhammad, the whilom hermit of Mount Hira, the high-born son of Abd- 
allah, an Arab chief of the great Koreish tribe at Mecca. Born about 
A.D. 570, Mahomet — or more correctly Muhammad — began in his 
fortieth year to declare himself a messenger sent by God to turn his 


5'ear 664, the forty-second after the Prophet's flight to 
Medina, an Arab army marched from Basrah, on the Tigris, 
into Sind, while another, in quest of proselytes and 
plunder, set out for Kabul. The conquest of ancient 
Bactria seems to have been completed in fifty years, but 
Aryan India proved a harder morsel to swallow. Little, 
save the plunder of a few towns, was gained in this first 
inroad by the soldiers of Khalif Moawiyah. A more suc- 
cessful attack on Sind was conducted in 71 1 by Muhammad 
bin Kasim, who, in requital of some wrong said to have 
been sustained by the crew of an Arab merchant-ship, 
sailed up the Indus as far as Alor, the capital of the Sindian 
Raja, slaying him and his bravest Rajputs in their last 
hopeless sally from the hard-pressed town, and storming 
several other cities by the way. Dahir's brave queen, pre- 
ferring death to dishonour, perished in the flames of her own 
palace ; but one of her daughters lived, it seems, to grace 
the haram of an Arab Khalif, and to avenge, as the story 
goes, her father's fall, by causing the disgrace or death of 
his conqueror, Muhammad bin Kasim, who had meanwhile 
been carrying his master's arms and religion into the 

countrymen back from their idol-worship to the true faith as handed 
down by Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ, Belief and thorough trust 
in one righteous God, who rewards each man hereafter according to his 
deserts, formed the groundwork of a new religion which, as developed in the 
Koran, became the one fountain of moral, social, and civil law to many 
millions of Muhammad's followers in every age. Reviled, persecuted, threatened 
with death by his fellow-citizens, the prophet of Islam in 622 fled with a few 
score kinsmen and disciples to Medina, where the growing numbers and 
strength of his converts ere long tempted him to draw the sword, at first in 
self-defence, presently for the wide extension of his spiritual sway. Before his 
death in 632, all Arabia had submitted to his rule, and the Byzantine emperor, 
Heraclius, had been threatened with an attack on his eastern provinces. Twelve 
years afterwards Persia was conquered by the generals of Khalif Omar, the 
second of Muhammad's successors, whose sway already included Syria and 
Egypt, A few years later Bactria shared the same fate, and the Muhammadan 
arms and faith were carried to the Indus. Early in the next century Spain 
itself succumbed to the Arab invader. In every case the conquered people had 
to choose betv,een " the Koran, tribute, or the sword." 


neighbouring kingdom of Gujarat. Perhaps, however, his 
defeat by the Rajput chivalry of Chitor, in Mewar, had 
more connection than Arab chroniclers might care to own 
with his disappearance from the scene of his first successes. 
Certain it is that by the middle of the eighth century not a 
trace of Arab rule was to be found in Western India. 

Once more, in A.D. 812, the countrymen of Muhammad, 
under Mahmud, governor of Khurasan, a son or kinsman 
of the great Harun al Rashid, crossed swords with the 
Rajput warriors of Chitor. But Kamran, great-grandson 
of him who had routed Muhammad bin Kasim, summoned 
to his aid the princes of Northern India, and once more 
the old Hindu prowess drove back the Muhammadan 
invader beyond the Indus and the Sulaiman Hills. 
Thenceforth for more than a century and a half the peace 
of India remained unbroken by enemies from without, and 
the Hindus might claim the honour of having been the 
first to roll back that tide of conquest which had hitherto 
marked the progress of Islam. 

Their day of suffering, however, was to come at last ; 
but not from the Arab masters of Baghdad. About the 
year 913 Ismael Samani, a Turk of that race which has 
since ruled or roved from Constantinople to Pekin,* 
founded at Bokhara a dynasty v.'hich for the next hundred 
and twenty years held sway over Khurasan and other out- 
lying provinces once ruled by the Khalifs of Baghdad. 
The fifth prince of this Samanid line had a Turkish 
slave named Alptigin, who won his way lo the government 
of Ghazni, between Kandahar and Kabul, in Afghanistan. 
On the death of his master, Abd-al-Malik, in 961, Alp- 
tisfln voted against the son's claim to succeed his father. 

* The Turks of modern parlance are a mere branch of that Turanian 
race, which has given its name to Eastern and Western Turkestan, and 
furnished, in the forms of Attila, Chingiz Khan, and Timur, some of the 
greatest conquerors and most terrible scourges of medi.^val Europe and Asia. 


Suspected of intrigues against the new king, he retired 
to Ghazni, defeated the troops sent out against him, 
and finally carved out for himself an Afghan kingdom, 
which fell in 977 to his favourite slave and son-in-law, 

At this time the country on the left bank of the Indus 
was ruled by a Hindu sovereign, whose capital was Lahore. 
In order to forestall the real or assumed designs of his 
Turkish neighbour, King Jaipal marched a large army 
across the Indus to Laghman, on the road from Peshawar 
to Kabul. The hostile armies were face to face, when a 
sudden storm spread such dismay among his superstitious 
troops, that the Hindu monarch was driven to purchase a 
safe retreat by the surrender of fifty elephants and the 
promised payment of a large sum of money. 

On his return to Lahore, however, Jaipal refused to pay 
the price of his salvation, and put the Muhammadan 
envoys into prison. It was an evil hour for India when 
he preferred the crooked counsels of his priests to those 
of the high-minded warriors who urged him not to break 
his kingly word. 

After disposing of his other enemies, the angry Tartar 
once more hastened towards the Indus, seeking vengeance 
for the insult offered him through his ambassadors. Once 
more the hostile armies confronted each other at Laghman. 
On Jaipal's side were arrayed the flower of the Hindu 
chivalry, their numbers swollen by contingents from 
Delhi, Ajmcr, Kalanjar and Kanauj. The abler general, 
however, won the day. An obstinate fight ended in the 
utter rout of Jaipal's warriors, the plunder of their vast 
camp, and the subjugation of the Peshawar valley. 

Thus began that new career of Muhammadan conquest, 
which led in due time to the subjection of all India under 
the Mughals. Mahmud of Ghazni, Sabuktigin's son and 
successor, v/as not long in gratifying alike his ambition and 


his religious zeal by a series of inroads amongst the rich 
idolaters of Hindustan. In November, looi, his fiery 
Turks and Afghans once more overthrew with heavy 
slaughter the myriads of horse and foot that barred his 
progress through the Peshawar valley. Their aged leader, 
the luckless Jaipal, himself a prisoner at the close of that 
fatal day, was ere long set free on condition of paying his 
conqueror an annual tribute. But pride or reverence for 
the customs of his forefathers impelled the Raja to court 
an early death in the flames of his own funeral pile ; and 
his son Anandpfd mounted the tottering throne of Kashmir 
and Lahore. 

One of his feudatories, the Raja of Bhatnair,* on the 
northern edge of what is now the Bikaner Desert, refused 
to pay his share of the promised tribute. Mahmud turned 
upon him with his wonted energy ; but Bijai Rai and his 
bold Rajputs fought with the desperate courage of their 
race, and not till after many repulses did the Iconoclast 
Sultan of Ghazni succeed in driving them into their last 
stronghold. At length the Raja slew himself in his 
despair, and his forfeit realm was annexed to the do- 
minions of the conqueror. P'or the latter, fresh work had 
meanwhile been cut out by the rebel governor of IMultan, 
which had passed some time before under the Muham- 
madan yoke. This business settled and a Tartar inroad 
from Kashgar promptly repelled, Mahmud once more set 
out to punish the Raja of Lahore for help given to the 
Sultan's foes. 

Again a great Hindu army, gathered from all parts of 
Upper India, and equipped with the aid of money raised 
on the gold and jewels of patriotic Hindu women, crossed 
the Indus and spread out in magnificent array over the 

* It was once the chief city of Bhatiana, or tlie land of the Bhalis, an ulJ 
Rajput tribe, traces of whose former civilisation are still found in the many 
ruined towns and villages scattered over the sandy wastes. 



broad plain that stretches up to the Khyber. For forty 
days the armies faced each other. At length the Hindus 
advanced to the attack, or, as some say, to meet a feint 
attack on the part of Mahmud, whose skilful soldiership 
made up for his inferior numbers. For a time fortune 
smiled on Anandpal. His strong contingent of wild high- 
landers from Kashmir soon drove the Turkish archers 
back to their entrenchments ; the main line of Hindus 
swept forward as sure of victory over the hated Muslim, 
when suddenly the elephant ridden by Anandpal himself 
took fright at the arrows and burning naphtha-balls, and 
fled. Other elephants followed his example. Quick to 
profit by the consequent disorder, Mahmud hurled his 
Tartar horsemen in masses upon the foe. That day their 
swords drank deep of blood, if it be true that twenty 
thousand of Anandpal's soldiers perished on the field. 

The plunder of Nagarkot (Bhimnagar) and its richly- 
endowed temples sufficed the conqueror for that present. 
Three years later, however, he swooped down upon the yet 
holier shrines of Thanesar, in the Karnal district, only 
sixty miles from Delhi itself. Before the Hindu princes 
could rally to its defence, Mahmud was on his way home, 
laden with untold wealth in gold and jewels, while two 
hundred thousand captives, say the Arab chroniclers, were 
sold as slaves among the people of Ghazni, Still thirsting 
for fresh plunder, the Muslim hordes, in the name of their 
Prophet, swept down the Jumna as far as Muttra, in the 
year 1017, and carried off the gold and silver idols from a 
hundred shrines, besides levying rich tribute from Kanauj 
and other cities in their way. 

Mahmud's heavy hand next fell upon Anandpal, who 
seems to have leagued with other princes in punishing 
the Raja of Kanauj for making terms with the invader. 
Lahore, at any rate, was sacked in 102 1, and its unfortunate 
monarch fled to Ajmer. Two years later Gwalior opened 


its gates to the formidable Sultan. But the best remem- 
bered, if not the greatest, of Mamud's Indian campaigns 
was that of 1024, which issued in the capture of Somnath, 
on the coast of Gujarat, one of the holiest and wealthiest 
shrines in all India. Endowed with the revenue of two 
thousand villages, and blest with the ministrations of as 
many Brahmans, to say nothing of the hundreds of bar- 
bers, minstrels, and dancing-girls, who waited on the pre- 
siding god, this far-famed temple-stronghold was for three 
days besieged in vain. At length, in one last despairing 
onset, led by Mahmud himself, the besiegers stormed the 
place, slaying thousands of its defenders, and dealing 
havoc among the holy things. One huge idol the priests 
entreated and would have bribed their conquerors to spare. 
But Mahmud, who gloried in the name of idol-breaker, 
struck the figure with his mace ; the blows of his followers 
shattered it in pieces ; and jewels of untold value rolled 
out in glittering heaps upon the floor,* Laden with these 
unforeseen spoils and the sandal-wood gates of Somnath, 
the plunder-loving Sultan marched home a year later 
through the dreary deserts of Sind, where thousands of 
his followers perished by the way. Gujarat itself, like 
most of the provinces overrun by Mahmud, was left under 
the sway of a tributary prince. 

In the year 1030, soon after Persia had fallen under 
the yoke of Ghazni, death put an end to the terrible 
Sultan's career. P^or a century and a half his dynasty 
held its ground with varying fortunes in the country 
beyond the Indus. In India, however, it never gained 
any permanent footing eastward of Lahore. Mahmild's 
expeditions, indeed, had been little else than enormous 
raids, and his successors were too busy in fighting foes 
nearer home to keep in order their Plindu tributaries 

* Thornton denies the trutli of this story al out the jewels, as having been 
unknown to tlie earlier chroniclers. 


between the Sutlej and the Ganges. Before the middle of 
the eleventh century the king of Delhi threw off the 
Muslim yoke, other princes rallied to his side, and but for 
the desperate defence of its starving garrison, Lahore 
itself would have been rescued from the grasp of its new 
masters. In the middle of the twelfth century that city 
became the last refuge of the Ghaznevid Sultans, when the 
rest of their possessions had been torn from them by the 
Seljukian Turks and their own kinsmen, the Afghan 
princes of Ghor. 

Thirty years later the descendants of Sabuktigin ceased 
to reign in the Punjab also. In the year ii 86, Shihab-ud- 
din of Ghor, better known to history as Muhammad Ghori, 
crowned his former successes against Khusru Malik, the 
Ghaznevid Sultan of Lahore, by seizing his capital and 
bearing the Sultan himself a prisoner to Ghor, where 
Muhammad's elder brother then held his court. Master 
of the Punjab from Peshawar to Multan, Muhammad pre- 
sently led his warriors across the Sutlej to meet the allied 
Hindu hosts of Delhi and Ajmcr on the banks of the 
sacred Saraswati. A great battle, fought near Thanesar, 
ended in the rout of the invaders ; and Muhammad, after 
a hot pursuit, vs^as glad to place the Indus between his 
shattered forces and the foe. Next year, in 1192, the 
beaten prince, burning for vengeance, threw out fresh 
swarms of horsemen over the fair fields of Sind. Prithiraj, 
King of Delhi, his former foe, awaited him on the old 
battlefield, at the head of an immense array of horse and 
foot, marshalled under the foremost princes of Hindustan. 
The night before the battle which was to decide the fate 
of so many ancient kingdoms was spent by the Hindus in 
careless merriment, by the Turks in quiet preparations for 
attack. Before dawn Muhammad had crossed the Sara- 
swati and well-nigh taken his opponents unawares. Still, 
with ranks hastily formed, they withstood for a timic his 


most determined onsets. At length he ordered a retreat. 
The Hindus, in the eagerness of their pursuit, fell into 
disorder. Twelve thousand Turkish horsemen, led by 
Muhammad himself, thundered down into their broken 
ranks. The best and bravest of their leaders were slain or 
captured, and the shattered remnants of that proud army 
fled from a field reeking with the blood of their dead and 
dying countrymen. 

On that fatal day Aryan India lost far more than 
thousands of precious lives and the accumulated treasures 
of a vast camp. From this second battle of Narayan dates 
the true beginning of India's long subjection to Muham- 
madan rule. After staining his victory with the slaughter 
of his royal captive, Prithiraj, and of many thousand 
Hindus whom the storming of AjmCr threw into his 
clutches, the resolute Ghorian made over his new con- 
quests to his ablest general, Kutb-ud-din Ibak, who 
speedily carried his arms as far south as Koil, the modern 
Aligarh, and fixed the seat of his government in Delhi 
itself. Next year Muhammad, with a fresh army, returned 
from Ghazni to overthrow the immemorial kingdom of 
Kanauj and destroy or defile the temples of idolatrous 
Hindus at Benares, On this occasion the Rhators of 
Kanauj, one of the oldest Rajput tribes, sought honour- 
able exile among the rocks and sandhills of Miirwar, where 
they founded the still-existent kingdom and dynasty of 

Year by year the Muhammadan arms were carried by 
Muhammad or his generals, with almost unvarying success, 
now westward of the Jumna to Gwalior, Chitor, and even 
Gujarat, anon down the valley of the Lower Ganges into 
the heart of Bengal. If the Rajput princes of Upper 
India fought long and manfully against their doom, it took 
Kutb-ud-din*s soldiers but one year to bring the rich 
plains and populous cities of Bengal under the Muslim 


yoke. Nudiah, the Hindu capital, was given over to 
plunder, and the scat of the new government fixed at 
Gaur, on a branch of the Lower Ganges, a city whose 
vast circuit of verdure-covered ruins still reveals some 
noteworthy traces of Muhammadan genius in the domain 
of architecture. Ruthless in destroying the idols and 
pillaging the holy places of the Hindus, the Mussulman 
conquerors of India in the thirteenth and fourteenth cen- 
turies adorned their cities with mosques, palaces, tombs, 
and other buildings, conspicuous for bold outlines, square 
masses, and severe simplicity of detail. To the polished 
masterpieces of a later day, whose glories blossomed in 
the graceful grandeur of Bijapur, Ahmadabad, Jaunpur, 
Fatehpur Sikri, and bore ripest fruit in the buildings 
reared at Agra and Delhi by Shah Jahan, this old Pathaa 
architecture bore much the same relation that the towers 
of Exeter Cathedral bear to those of Canterbury, or the 
nave of Gloucester to the chapel of Henry VH. at West- 

On the murder of Muhammad Ghori in 1205 by some 
Punjabi hill-men, who thus requited him for his cruel 
treatment of their countrymen, Muhammad's faithful 
viceroy, Kutb-ud-din, v/as invested by the dead king's 

* The monuments of early Pathan art in or near Delhi include the KuLb- 
I\Iinar, one of the loftiest and most striking pillars in the world. The pointed 
arch first takes its place in Pathan buildings of the thirteenth century. At 
Bijapur, in Satara, the great dome of Muhammad Adil Shah's mausoleum, 
built in the first years of the seventeenth century, deserves special notice. 
The Jama Masjid of Ahmadabad, built by Ahmad Shah in the fifteenth 
century, with its fifteen domes upheld by 260 pillars, and the delicate lattice- 
work of its stone screens, may rank among the most beautiful of Eastern 
mosques. At Ahmadabad and Jaunpur the influence of Hindu on Muham- 
madan art is clearly traceable. The great mosque at Fatehpur Sikri, twenty 
miles south-west of Agra, with its glorious gateways, vast quadrangle, and 
majestic cloisters, attests from the hill on which it stands the piety and the 
splendid taste of the great Akbar, who also built at Delhi, in honour of his 
father Humayun, a marble monument second only as a work of art to its 
younger rival, the Taj at Agra. The preservation of these magnificent monu- 
ments was made one of the chief cares of the Government of Lord Curzon. 


successor with the sovereignty of Hindustan. The crown 
which he assumed at Lahore in 1206 he lived to wear but 
four years. His slave and son-in-law, Iltutmish, whom the 
nobles of the new kingdom chose for their next ruler, had 
a stormy reign of twenty-five years, during which he 
repelled an invasion from Ghaziii, wrested Sind from a 
Mussulman rival, conquered Malwa, up to that time ruled 
by a prince of the mythical Vikram's line, captured the 
strong fort of Gwalior, and re-established his sway over 
the rebellious governors of Bengal. Of all the old Hindu 
kingdoms in Northern India there remained scarcely one 
outside the Muhammadan rule. A fe-v princes were 
allowed still to reign on condition of paying tribute ; but 
far the greater part of the country was governed directly 
by rulers of the conquering race. 

It was in this reign that the Great Khan of Tartary, 
Chinghiz Khan, the scourge of Asia, swept with his count- 
less hordes of Mongol horsemen, like a lava-flood, over the 
vast regions between the Caspian and the Pacific, over- 
throwing the Turkish monarchy of Kharizm, and chasing 
the son of its Sultan, who had also reigned in Kabul, 
beyond the Indus. Had Iltutmish listened to the prayer 
of the fugitive prince, India might also have been involved 
in the general ruin. But Jalfd-ud-din had to flee else- 
whither, and the terrible Tartar contented himself with a 
flying raid through Sind. Three centuries more had to 
elapse before a conqueror of the race of Chinghiz founded 
a new empire in Hindustan. 

On the death of Iltutmish in 1236 his sceptre passed 
into the hands of a son, who was speedily set aside by his 
manly-hearted sister Raziyyat, whose only fault, says the 
historian Ferishta, lay in her being a woman. Her 
vigorous but troubled reign of three years collapsed in 
a rising among her nobles, who refused to submit to a 
woman. Carried off a prisoner to Bathinda, she won the 


heart of her captor, became his wife, and, with his help, 
took the field. Fortune, however, again deserted her 
arms, and her second imprisonment was speedily followed 
by her violent death. 

In the six following years two princes of the house of 
Iltutmish successively exchanged the throne of Delhi for 
imprisonment and death at the hand of their restless or 
insulted nobles. Nasir-ud-Mahmud, a younger son of 
Iltutmish, was then called to the throne, which he held 
for twenty years, dying peacefully in his bed after a 
series of successful struggles with the Hindu warriors of 
Rujputana, Bundelkhand, and other revolted or indepen- 
dent states. His nephew, Sher Khan, even succeeded in 
driving the Mughal invaders out of Ghazni and re-annexing 
it to the throne of Delhi, His successor, Balban, a Turkish 
slave whose daughter had married the Sultan by whom he 
was raised to the post of Wazir, or prime minister, stepped 
without difficulty, but not without bloodshed, into his 
place. Having in true Turkish fashion got rid of his fore- 
most rivals, he ruled the country for twenty years with a 
strong but by no means heavy hand, except when he had 
to put down a revolt in Bengal or to enforce his edicts 
against wine and open profligacy. His death in 1287, at 
a ripe old age, was hastened by grief for the loss of his 
favourite son Muhammad, who fell in the flush of victory 
over his Mughal foes. His splendid court, filled with 
poets, artists, philosophers from many lands, and refugee 
princes from the realms overrun by Chinghiz and his 
successors, furnished a congenial theme for the pens of 
fervid historians. It is worthy of remark, however, that 
the prince who thus opened his doors to high-born or 
accomplished strangers, had little mercy to spare for the 
subject Hindus. Not one of that race, we are told, was 
allowed by him to rise in the service of the State. 



Three years after Balban's death, Jalal-ud-din Firoz, a 
chief of the Khilji tribe that dwelt in the Afghan moun- 
tains founded a nevv dynasty in the blood of Balban's worth- 
less grandson, Kai-kobad. In 1294 a Mussulman army, led 
by his nephew Ala-ud-din, began that series of invasions 
which was to end in the conquest of Southern India. 
Laden with the untold plunder of Deogiri, the modern 
Daulatabfid, a famous hill-fort belonging to the Yadava 
kings of Maharashtra, the victorious nephew returned home 
to plot, to compass in the most treacherous manner, the 
death of his confiding old uncle in the seventh year of his 
reign. This murder having been presently followed up by 
that of the king's two sons, Ala-ud-din mounted the 
vacant throne. His reign of twenty years was opened by 
the reconquest of Gujarat and the capture of its Rajput 
queen, who lived to adorn the conqueror's haram. Next 
year his own strength and the courage of his troops were 
yet more severely tried in repelling the inroads of a vast 
body of Mughal horsemen, who swept Northern India up 
to the very gates of his capital. A great battle in the 
plains near the Sutlej issued in the rout of the invaders, 
but the victory was dearly won by the death of the Pathan 
monarch's ablest general. A second inroad took place in 
1303, while half of Ala-ud-din's army was engaged in a 
fresh invasion of Southern India, and he himself was about 
to lead thither another army flushed with the recent 


plunder of Chitor in Rajpulana.* The sudden retreat of 
the Mughals from the land they had wasted to their heart's 
content, was followed by their reappearance in 1305 and 
1306. Once more the choicest warriors of Islam advanced, 
says their historian,! " like clouds and rain " against the 
infidel Tartars, and falling on them " like a raging storm " 
drove them with tremendous slaughter across the Indus. 
" Countless infidels were dispatched to hell," and many 
thousands were taken prisoners. With a cruelty not alto- 
gether unprovoked, the merciless Sultan ordered that his 
male captives should all be slain and beaten up into 
mortar for the fort at Delhi. A bastion or pillar was 
likewise formed out of their heads. 

Free from further alarms on his Western border the 
energetic Sultan sent his general, Kafur, a promoted slave, 
to enforce payment of the tribute due from the Raja of 
Deogiri. Yielding to necessity, the Raja sued for easy 
and obtained liberal terms. Three years afterwards the 
same general subdued the kindom of Warangal, to the 
south of the Godavari, not very far from the modern 
Hyderabad. In besieging the walled town of Warangal 
the Mussulmans plied their "Western catapults" with 
such effect that the earthen walls were "pounded into 
dust" by the incessant shower of heavy stones. When 
the besiegers had stormed the outer works of the clty,| 
its defenders lost heart and sued for terms. Little was 

* During these centuries of trouble the Hindu princes, if they failed 
to avert disaster, knew at least how to die. Hopeless of resistance, the 
Queen of Chitor with the noblest of her ladies perished in the flames 
of their own kindling, while the Raja and his faithful followers were 
finding the death they sought on the weapons of the foe. A similar issue had 
marked the siege of Ranthambhor in 1299. 

t Mir Khusru, author of the Tarlkh-i-Alai, which narrates the History of 
Ala-ud-din down to A.D. 1310. See Sir H. Elliott's "History of India as 
told by its own Historians," vol. iii. 

X According to another historian, Barni, the besiegers took the outworks 
by escalade. 


granted them except their lives. Under fierce threats of 
a general massacre, the unfortunate Raja had to make all 
his treasures over to the conqueror, who returned to Delhi 
laden with the gathered wealth of a kingdom which for 
centuries had thriven peacefully under its Hindu lords. 
A hundred elephants, seven thousand horses, and treasure 
enough to load a thousand camels, were the visible tokens 
of Kaffir's success. His new conquest remained under 
the rule of its Raja, Laddar Deo, on condition of his 
paying a yearly tribute to the Sultan.* 

The following year saw Maabar, the modern Carnatic, 
overrun by the same commander, who left his footmarks 
everywhere in plundered cities, ruined temples, and idols 
broken into pieces or carried off as part of the prize. On 
his march south-eastward across the highlands of Mysore 
he sacked the city of Dora-Samudra, and defaced the 
beautiful temple which a king of the Belial line had just 
reared in honour of Siva.f After bearing his standard to 
Madura, if not to Cape Comorin, and building a mosque 
at some place on the sea-coast opposite Ceylon, Kafur 
returned to Delhi in 131 1 with a booty the like of which 
his countrymen there had never before seen. According 
to the native chroniclers, it included six hundred and 
twelve elephants, ninety-six thousand vians of gold,| 
several boxes of pearls and jewels, and twenty thousand 
horses. To each of his higher officers the Sultan dis- 
tributed the gold in shares, ranging from half a man to 
four mans. 

Once more, in 1312, Kafur invaded the Deccan, to 
punish the refractory Prince of Deogiri, receive tribute 

* Kaffir's army appears to have been reinforced by large numbers of 
Mavatlia horse and foot furnished by tlie Raja of Deogiri. 

t Supposed to be the great temple of Ilalibed in Mysore, a marvel of 
florid decoration. 

X A ina7i or maund equals about 80 lbs. weight English. 


from Warangal, and send home fresh spoils from con- 
quered countries. Meanwhile his master, Ala-ud-din, 
wreaked a fearful vengeance on the " new Mussulmans," 
or converted Mughals, who had been taken into his ser- 
vice or allowed to settle on his lands. Suddenly reduced 
by his orders to poverty and forced idleness, some of 
them plotted to seize, if not to slay, the ruler who was 
accused of grinding down his subjects with fines and 
heavy burdens, and enforcing with cruel penalties the 
prohibitions of the Koran against wine and other strong 
drinks. In meeting this new danger, Ala-ud-din gave full 
swing to his own bloodthirsty nature ; twenty thousand 
Mughals, most of whom knew nothing of the plot, being 
by his orders slaughtered in one day. 

Throughout his reign, Ala-ud-din seems to have be- 
trayed in turn the most opposite workings of a strong but 
ill-balanced nature. A cruel tyrant, he yet gave heed at 
time to the counsels of his more outspoken advisers, and 
made some attempts to administer a rude sort of justice 
among his people. From a life of the grossest debauchery 
he could pass for some years into one of outward temper- 
ance and self-denial. Illiterate himself, he encouraged 
the presence of learned men at his court, and even deigned 
for their sake to master the rudiments of the Persian lan- 
guage.* Utterly ruthless towards friends or foes who 
might have stirred up his bile against them, he would 
sometimes listen with good humour, or at least with 
patience, to advice offered him under the faith of his 
kingly word. If he plotted the death of one of his bravest 
officers, he never tired of heaping favours on another who, 
all the while, was planning how to wrest the sceptre from 
his heirs. Fines, confiscations, and plunder went far to 
fill his treasury ; but he checked the license of his nobles, 
tried to put down bribery and extortion among his revenue 
* Barni, however, says that he " never associated with men of learning." 


collectors, and punished with summary sternness every 
shopkeeper who was caught dealing in false weights or 
measures against the poor.* 

In order to keep down the turbulence of his nobles, the 
exactions of his public servants, and to enforce obedience 
to his many stern decrees, Ala-ud-din maintained an army 
of spies and informers, who reported regularly whatever 
they might see or hear, even in the most private places. 
So great was the dread of them that many a noble dared 
hardly speak aloud in his own palace. A special edict, 
moreover, forbade the nobles and great men from giving 
feasts, holding meetings, marrying or giving in marriage 
without the Sultan's leave, or admitting strange guests 
into their houses. No wonder that feasting and hos- 
pitality fell into disuse, that the sarais, or public resting- 
places, were cleared of plotters, and that treason for a 
time became too perilous a game even for the boldest to 
play at, when his trustiest-seeming comrade might prove 
to be his direst foe. 

Among other classes rebellion was to be disarmed by 
other means, such as heavy imposts, arbitrary fines, and 
sweeping resumptions of freehold estates. To the mass 
of the Sultan's subjects money became a thing unknown, 
and the people, says Barni, " were all so absorbed in 
obtaining the means of living, that the name of rebellion 
was never mentioned." For the millions of Hindus who 
had passed under the Muhammadan yoke this was indeed 
a time of bitter suffering. Like the Jews in Europe at 
that very date, they were fleeced and harried at every 
turn. PVom the y/xj/jw, or poll-tax, to the rack-rent levied 

* According to Barni, boys were frequently sent into the bazar \.o test the 
honesty of the shopkeepers. If one of these gave short weight, the inspector 
went to his shop, " took from it what was deficient, and afterwards cut from 
his haunches an equal weight of flesh, which was thrown down before his 
eyes,"— Sir H. Elliott's " History of India," vol. iii. p. 196. 


on the land in the shape of half the gross produce no 
etifort was spared to reduce them to a common poverty. 
The poorest Hindu was taxed for the goat that gave him 
milk ; his neighbour for the bullock that ploughed his bit 
of land. To ride their own horses and wear fine clothing 
were luxuries reserved for very few of the subject race. 
Threats and blows increased the tax-gatherer's merciless 
demands. No Hindu, says the historian,* " could hold 
up his head, and in their houses no sign of gold or silver 
or of any superfluity was to be seen." So hard became 
the strug'ple to live that the wives of Hindu landowners 
were often fain to serve for hire in the houses of the 

Nor did their troubles end here. It was the Sultan's 
ambition to keep up a large army on a low rate of pay — 
an achievement possible only if the price of provisions 
could be kept down. " The Second Alexander," as he 
/Relighted in calling himself, proceeded to fix the market- 
prices of various grains. A good deal of the " tribute " 
or land revenue was by his orders levied in kind. With 
the grain thus regularly accruing he filled his granaries. 
The grain-dealers were forced to sell again at a low 
uniform rate the corn which the rayats, or peasants, 
had been forced to sell them after satisfying the wants of 
the royal treasury. In times of drought and dearth the 
royal granaries threw open their stores at the market-rates. 
Regrating was punished by heavy fines and forfeiture 
of the stock held back from sale. Any attempt to 
raise the market-prices was further checked by the punish- 
ment of the market-overseer himself. Horses, cattle, 
slaves, fruit, vegetables, grocery, shoes, needles, every- 
thing, in short, exposed for sale in the bazars or market- 
places had its value strictly regulated and kept down by 
royal command. Nothing might be exported, while 

* Barni, " Tarikli-i-Firoz Shahi.' 


importation was freely encouraged. Hours were fixed for 
opening and closing shops. The monarch's will, in short, 
became law, overriding even the precepts of the Koran 
whenever these might clash with his own views of right 
and expediency. If his zeal for regulating everything led 
often to absurd injustice, or provoked repeated evasions of 
intolerable edicts, he appears at least to have succeeded 
in maintaining a cheap army, in keeping a tight hand on 
his unruly nobles, and in making life a sore burden to the 
mass of his Hindu subjects. 

For some years of his reign Ala-ud-din governed vigor- 
ously and with fair success. Peace and order flourished 
everywhere ; the nobles were quiet, the people outwardly 
loyal ; life and property were pretty safe on the highways. 
Splendid buildings adorned his capital, and noble tanks 
stored up their water for the use of the dwellers in large 
towns. At length, however, the worst traits of his 
character and conduct began to bear answering fruit. The 
arrogance which had formerly shown itself in schemes for 
setting up a new religion, now tempted him to exchange 
his able ministers for worthless eunuchs and slaves who 
only pandered to his love of pleasure. A dropsy, brought 
on or heightened by self-indulgence, increased the violence 
of his temper. Mistrustful of most men, he yielded him- 
self blindly into the hands of his cunning favourite — his 
partner in the foulest profligacy — Kafur. Under this 
man's baneful influence he ordered the death of his 
brother-in-law and the imprisonment of his two elder sons. 
His nobles at length began to plot against him. Gujarat 
broke into fierce rebellion. Chitor was wrested from 
Muslim rule by the famous Rajput chief Hamir, and the 
son-in-law of Ram-Dco drove the Muhammadans out of 
Maharashtra. On hearing of these manifold disasters, the 
death-stricken monarch is said to have bitten his own flesh 
with rage. He died soon afterwards in the last days of 


the year 1316; and Kafur, rightly or wrongly, was widely 
credited with a direct share in his death. 

That he meant to profit by it was at once made clear 
enough by his seizure of the government, under a show of 
acting as guardian to the youngest son and pretended heir 
of the late king. The eyes of the two eldest sons were 
put out by his orders, and nothing but his own death at 
the hands of some officers of the palace-guard saved the 
family of his late master from the doom which so often 
follows a change of dynasties, or even of kindred rulers, in 
the East. 

The third son of the late king, Mubarak, had no sooner 
regained his own freedom, and mounted the throne under 
the title of Kutb-ud-din, than he too proceeded to assure 
his hold of it by blinding his youngest brother and slaying 
the officers to whom he owed his life and sceptre. His 
short reign of four years opened well with the release of 
many thousand political prisoners, the restoration of much 
confiscated land, and the annulling of nearly all the harsh 
laws devised by his father. The Hindus breathed freely 
under a king who refused to tax them to the starving-point, 
and the Mussulmans once more took their pleasure without 
fear of spies and cruel tortures. While an able general 
suppressed the revolt in Gujarat, the king himself marched 
into the Deccan, retook the stronghold of Deogiri, and 
hunted the rebel leader, Harapala, out of his last hiding- 
place to a horrible death : he was flayed alive by order of 
the Sultan. 

Leaving his favourite Khusru, a converted Hindu, to 
overrun the Carnatic, Kutb-ud-din returned to Delhi. 
There, amidst his wine-cups, his women and his flatterers, 
he gave small heed to passing affairs, except when a plot 
discovered or a rebellion suppressed might rouse him into 
a burst of vindictive savagery. At length, in 1320, he too 
fell an unpitied victim to the treachery of his trusted 


follower Khusru, who clinched his crime by slaughtering 
all those members of the royal family whom his master 
had spared. Only for a few months, however, did the 
renegade Hindu enjoy his blood-bought crown. Ghazi 
Khan Tughlak, Governor of the Punjab, led his veterans 
against the usurper. The victory of Indrapat, crowned by 
the seizure and beheading of Khusru, opened Delhi to 
the conqueror, who was hailed by his Mussulman country- 
men as their deliverer from the yoke of " Hindus and 
Parwaris." * 

* These Parwaiis were a body of retainers from Gujarat. 



A.D. 1320— 1526 

Not one of the house of Khilji being found alive, Tughlak 
mounted the throne of Delhi with the title of Ghiyas-ud- 
din. Under the mild rule of this son of a Turkish slave 
by a Hindu mother the country prospered, the Muham- 
madans breathed freely, and even the Hindus had little 
cause to regret the change. After setting his finances in 
order and lowering the land-rents to a pitch so moderate 
that fresh fields might yearly be brought under the plough, 
the new king proceeded to strengthen his frontiers against 
the Mughals. In 1322 his son Juna Khan was deputed 
to bring the refractory ruler of Warangal to terms. 
Repulsed with heavy losses on the first attack, he 
succeeded the next year in capturing the city and bearing 
its Raja prisoner to Delhi. The name of the city was 
changed to Sultanpur, and Mussulman officers were left in 
charge of the conquered province. The king's arms were 
equally successful against the Mughal invader on the 

Next year the king himself marched into Bengal, 
where the son of his old master, Balban, still held an 
almost independent sway.* After bestowing on Karra 
Khan a royal umbrella in token of kingly rank, and reduc- 
ing to obedience the revolted provinces of Dacca and 
Jaunpur, he returned homewards, only to be crushed to 

* See page 56, 


death, by design or accident, in the pavilion which his son 
had built for his reception at Tughlakabad. 

Juna Khan, who succeeded him in 1325 under the title 
of Muhammad Tughlak, appears to have been one of the 
most gifted, wayward, wrong-headed, and merciless princes 
of his age. Deeply read in Persian and Arabic lore, 
equally at home in Greek philosophy and the physical 
sciences, a good mathematician, a renowned orator and 
letter-writer, endowed with a wonderful memory, of tem- 
perate habits, dauntless courage, invincible energy, in word 
and deed a pious Mussulman,* he bade fair to outtop the 
highest achievements of any former reign. But the curse 
of absolute power, working on a heated brain, a proud 
heart, and a fierce, unbridled temper, turned all that teem- 
ing promise to naught ; and the wonder of his age lived to 
become its direst scourge. 

His first measure, the payment of a heavy bribe to get 
rid of the Mughals who had invaded the Punjab, was 
rewarded with a success it hardly deserved. The same 
good fortune, with better reason, followed his standard 
into Southern India, nearly all of which became tho- 
roughly subjected to his rule. From Gujarat to Chitta- 
gong, from Lahore to Madura, stretched an empire wider 
than that of Aurangzeb. But Muhammad hungered after 
new conquests. Three hundred and seventy thousand 
horsemen, according to Barni, were held for a whole year 
in readiness to enter Khurasan. The cost of their main- 
tenance, however, emptied his treasury, and the troops, 
collected for the conquest of Persia, repaid themselves on 
their way home with the plunder of their own people. 

A few years later, in 1337, the restless Sultan sought 

* "No learned or scientific man, or scribe, or poet, or wit, or physician, 
could have presumed," says Barni, " to argue with him about his own special 
pursuit, nor would he have been able to maintain his position against the 
throttling arguments of the Sultan." 


to replenish a drained exchequer by throwing another 
large army somewhere across the Himalayas into Chinese 
Turkistan.* Checked in their advance by the courage 
or the numbers of the Chinese ; wasted by hardships, 
disease, and the attacks of the hill-tribes in their rear, 
very few of the hundred thousand who set forth on that 
fatal errand survived the perils of a yet more ruinous 
retreat through fever-breathing forests and flooded plains. 

Meanwhile Muhammad seems to have tried all manner 
of devices for recruiting his diminished revenues. New 
cesses on the land reduced the bulk of the rayats, or 
peasants, to utter beggary, thousands of them leaving 
their untilled fields to roam the jungles in quest of food 
or to lurk about the highways in hopes of plunder. 
Drought and high prices, the fruit in great measure of 
these exactions, brought on a famine which raged in the 
Ganges valley for several years, slaying "thousands upon 
thousands " of starving wretches, and breaking up many a 
household whose forefathers had dwelt for centuries in 
the same village. Large tracts of fruitful country were 
reduced to desert. In trying to mend matters the Sultan 
only made them worse. His scheme for circulating copper 
tokens of an artificial value in the place of gold and silver 
succeeded only in deranging the course of trade and 
enlarging the circle of popular suffering, without restoring 
the shattered finances of the state. 

In this state of things, discontent, disorder, and rebel- 
lion grew more and more rife. Hardly had Multan been 
reduced to obedience, when the king's nephew rose against 
him in the Deccan, and a Mussulman ncble drove the 
king's officers out of Bengal. With his usual energy 

* Barnl talks of a march towards " the mountain of Karajal," which "lies 
between the territories of Hind and those of China." The capture of this 
mountain was somehow to aid Muhammad in his still-cherished designs on 


Muhammad turned upon his assailants. His nephew was 
defeated, taken, and flayed alive. A popular outbreak in 
the Doab, or country between the Jumna and the Ganges, 
was suppressed with hideous slaughter of innocent thou- 
sands. The great city of Kanauj was given over to a 
general massacre. While one of his officers was putting 
down a revolt in Lahore, the king himself marched from 
Deogiri to deal with a like disturbance in the Carnatic. 
Cholera, however, made such inroads into his camp at 
Warangal that he withdrew his troops to Deogiri, him- 
self half dead from the same disease ; and presently Wa- 
rangal also threw off the imperial yoke. It is mentioned 
as a master-flight of whimsical self-conceit, that a tooth 
he had lost on his way homewards was buried with great 
pomp under a stately mausoleum at Bhir. 

It was about this time that Muhammad's liking for 
Deogiri issued in a rash and disastrous attempt to sub- 
stitute that place for Delhi as the seat of his rule. He 
changed its name to Daulatabad. When his new capital 
had been adorned with new buildings and strengthened 
with new lines of defence, he commanded the people of 
Delhi to leave the city, whose growing splendour had kept 
pace with the growth of Muhammadan conquests, and to 
march with all their household goods to the homes he had 
chosen for them beyond the Satpura hills. The road 
thither had been planted with full-grown trees ; but thou- 
sands perished from the toils of that long journey, and as 
many more filled the graveyards of Daulatabad. Ere long 
the survivors were allowed to return home, but once more 
under pain of death, were they compelled to emigrate 
afresh. The new capital, however, was not fated to pros- 
per on the ruins of the old. Delhi was again repeopled 
and Muhammad's last years were chiefly spent in the city 
that towers along the Jumna. 

Those years were troubled with fresh storms, and fresh 


disasters followed each other, in spite of the Sultan's high 
abihties and of the countenance bestowed upon him by the 
nominal head of Islam, the reigning Khalif of Egypt. 
Famine still raged in the Doab. His well-meant efforts to 
improve the revenue by bringing waste lands under tillage 
seem to have ended only in enriching a crew of official 
harpies at the public expense. Terrible punishments 
goaded his subjects into fresh outbreaks. The unprovoked 
slaughter of eighty " foreign Amirs," or converted Mughal 
settlers, by his willing tool, the governor of Malwa, roused 
their countrymen in Gujarat into a rebellion, the scene 
of which was afterwards shifted to Daulatabad. After 
wasting the former province with fire and sword, Muham- 
mad hastened into the Deccan ; but while he was besieging 
Daulatabad, the news of a fresh rising recalled him into 
Gujarat. Here he was again successful ; but meanwhile 
the Deccan was slipping surely out of his grasp. With the 
help of the governor of Malwa the insurgents drove the 
king's troops across the Narbada; and their new leader, 
Hasan Gangu, became the first king of an independent 
Bahmani line, whose sway was to flourish for the next 
hundred and eighty years. 

Gujarat reduced to order and desolation, the active 
monarch turned his arms against Sind, whose princes had 
given shelter to the fugitives from the neighbouring 
province. In spite of ill-health he was pushing on towards 
Tatta, on the Indus, when death, hastened by a hearty 
meal of fish, brought all his cares, schemes, and follies to a 
sudden close, in the twenty-sixth year of his unquiet reign. 
Seldom has a prince of like capacity laboured with a Avill 
so froward for his own undoing. The erewhile master of 
nearly the whole Indian peninsula had lived to see one 
province after another fall away from his sceptre. It was 
more than two centuries before an emperor of Delhi again 
held actual sway over the Mussulman lords of Bengal. 


For nearly the same period Vijayanagar, cradled among 
rugged hills on the right bank of the Tungabhadra, re- 
mained the seat of a powerful Hindu realm, at one time 
reaching southwards to Madura. The Hindu Rajas of 
Telingana fixed their capital for about eighty years at 
VVarangal, and when that stronghold fell into the hands 
of a Bahmani prince, they continued for another century 
to hoW the rest of their dominions on the Kistna and the 
Godavari by right of their own strong arms. Gulbarga, in 
the valley of the Upper Kistna, became the chief seat of 
the Bahmani * princes already named, whose sway ex- 
tended eastward from the sea to Berar, and from the 
Tapti southward to the Tungabhadra. Several other 
provinces, such as Malwa and Gujarat, were either in 
full revolt or smarting under heavy punishment for 
past outbreaks, when Muhammad Tughlak breathed his 

His nephew and successor, Firoz Shah, made a vigorous 
but vain attempt to reconquer Bengal. By the treaties 
afterwards concluded with that province and the Deccan, 
he accepted the issue he could no longer avert. t A sub- 
sequent expedition into Sind resulted in the nominal 
submission of the Jam of Tatta, a Rajput of the dynasty 
which had lately succeeded the old Sumcra line. With 
these exceptions and that of a temporary rising in Guja- 
rat, his reign for many years was peaceful and prosperous, 
and marked by not a few wholesome enactments. The 
savage punishments and tortures inflicted by former rulers 

* Hasan Gangu, founder of the dynasty, is said by Ferishta to have been 
an Afghan husbandman, settled near Delhi on the estate of a Brahman 
whose favour he had won by handing over to him some treasure found on the 
estate. The Brahman seems to have had friends at court, to whose notice he 
recommended his tenant. Taking his patron's name, Hasan rose in the king's 
service, and when he too became a king, he added the name of Bahmani in 
honour of the friendly Brahman. 

t The rulers of those provinces seem still to liavc paid tribute to Delhi, 
but were otherwise independent sovereigns. 


were nearly all done away.* A great many small and 
vexatious imposts were removed. The victims of his 
uncle's cruelty he consoled with gifts or restored to their 
forfeit honours. Lands wrested from their former owners 
were given back to them or their heirs. The needy and 
the unemployed he supplied with work. Learning was 
encouraged, vice in its worse and more open forms sternly 
repressed, and luxury discountenanced by the King's own 

A devout Mussulman, he gave alms freely to the poor, 
built many mosques, monasteries, and colleges, repaired 
the tombs of former sultans and nobles, and founded 
hospitals for high and low. With a grim sort of justice 
he refused to exempt the Brahmans, " the very keys of 
the chamber of idolatry," from the hateful Jiziya, or poll- 
tax, levied on all other Hindus. At the same time he 
remitted the tax on every Hindu who would make pro- 
fession of Islam, a stroke of policy which gained large 
numbers of converts to the dominant creed.f Gifts and 
honours further awaited these new soldiers of Muhammad ; 
but for those who held fast to the creed of their fore- 
fathers he had little mercy to spare. Their temples were 
destroyed, their holy books, vessels, and idols publicly 
burnt, their leaders not seldom put to death.;}: If the 
Christian princes of that age were equally ruthless towards 
the heretic and the heathen, we cannot wonder at the 

* " Amputation of hands and feet, ears and noses ; tearing out the eyes, 
pouring molten lead into the throat, crushing the bones of the hands and 
feet with mallets, burning the body with fire, driving iron nails into the hands, 
feet, and bosom, cutting the sinews, sawing men asunder ; these," says Firoz 
Shah himself, " and many similar tortures were practised. . . . Through 
God's mercy these severities and terrors have been exchanged for tenderness, 
kindness, and mercy," 

t See the " Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi " of Shams-i-Siraj, a contemporary of 
Firoz, and that monarch's own brief memoir of his reign, the " Futuhat-i- 
Firoz Shahi" — both in vol. iii. of Elliot's " History of India." 

X In spite of his own milder edicts, Firoz Shah had at least one poor 
Braliman burnt at the stake, according to the historian Shams-i-Siraj. 


intolerance shown by a believer in a religion which pro- 
claimed the duty of converting infidels at the sword's 

His religious training, however, bore fairer fruit than 
this. The historians of his day dwell with pride on the 
many public works begun or carried through during the 
reign of Firoz Tughlak. He is said, we know not how 
accurately, to have built two hundred forts and cities, 
forty mosques, thirty colleges, a hundred hospitals, a 
hundred and twenty khiinkas, or public inns and caravan- 
serais, twenty palaces, five tombs, a hundred tanks for 
bathing, a hundred and fifty bridges, and ten monumental 
pillars. To him also was Upper India first indebted for 
waterworks like those with which Southern India had 
long been blest. Besides damming fifty rivers and exca- 
vating thirty reservoirs, he carried a canal from Karnal, on 
the Upper Jumna, through the thirsty plains round Hansi 
and Hissar, to the Kagar river, and thence onward through 
once fertile Bhatind to the Sutlej.* 

After a reign of thirty-six years, the good old king 
resigned his throne to his son Nasir-ud-din. But a year 
had hardly elapsed before the new king was declared by 
his rebellious nobles unfit to reign ; and Firoz, recalled 
from his hard-won privacy, was glad to seek it again after 
he had placed the sceptre in the hands of his grandson 
Ghyas-ud-din. A few weeks later he himself, at the great 
age of ninety, had found the deeper privacy of the grave. 

For the next ten years the history of the Tughlak 
dynasty is one of continual disorder, unrest, and strife. 
In little more than a year cne king had been murdered by 
a rival brother, who in his turn had given place to his 
exiled uncle, Nasir-ud-din. For months more the strife 
between uncle and nephew raged with varying fortune, 

* Of this great irrigation-work some two hundred miles have since been 
reopened by the English Government in India with excellent results. 


before the twice-crowned son of Firoz Shah drove his 
nephew for the last time out of Delhi. His death in 
February, 1394, transferred the sceptre to his eldest son 
Humayun, who, dying a few weeks later, was succeeded by 
his brother Mahmud. 

This prince's nominal reign of nineteen years began in 
trouble and closed in deep gloom. He was a mere boy 
when Muzafifar Shah, the son of a converted Rajput, set 
up an independent kingdom in Gujarat. His example was 
quickly followed by the neighbouring governors of Malwa 
and Khandcsh, while his own Wazlr founded another 
kingdom at Jaunpur on the river Giimti, not far from 
Benares. Delhi itself was torn by incessant broils between 
the followers of rival claimants to the throne. 

In the midst of these disorders a remote descendant of 
Chinghiz Khan swooped down from Samarkand across 
the Indus into the fair plains of Hindustan. At the Sutlej 
this new invader, known in history as Timur or Tamer- 
lane,* was met by his grandson, fresh from the conquest 
of Multan. Their march towards Delhi by the way of 
Bhatnair, Samana, and Panipat, was marked by the usual 
atrocities of their age and race. All these, however, were 
surpassed, if we may believe Timur's own v/ords, by the 
massacre of a hundred thousand prisoners in cold blood 
on his near approach to Delhi.f Mahmud went forth to 
fight his fearful adversary, but his troops were no match 
for superior numbers, prowess, and military skill. The 
beaten monarch fled to Gujarat, and his capital fell into 
the hands of a conqueror whose deeds v/ere continually 
clashing with his pledged words. His promises of quarter 

' A corruption of Timur Lang, that is, Timur the Lame. Timur himself 
appears to have been more of a Turk than a Mongol by birth. 

t See his autobiography, the Malfuzati-Timuri, in vol, iii. of Elliot's 
"History of India." These "infidels and idolaters" were slain on grounds 
of alleged military expediency— a convenient excuse for the promptings of 
religious zeal. 


to the people of Delhi issued in a tremendous carnival of 
blood and plunder, which lasted for five days, he himself 
feasting all the while in state outside the city, in seeming 
helplessness to avert or stay the horrors let loose by his 
"savage Turks" within. His own account throws little 
light upon the real origin of a disaster which he com- 
placently ascribes to the will of God ; the tone of his 
narrative betrays small regret ; and his avowed attempt 
to seize all the Hindu refugees in the city provoked the 
tumults which his turbulent soldiery were so prompt to 
quench in blood. 

Be that as it may, however, nearly the whole of Delhi 
was given up to plunder, its streets were piled with dead, 
and when the new Emperor of India, as TimQr now chose 
to call himself, set forth on his homeward march, a host 
of captives and an enormous booty of the richest kind 
followed in his train. 

Having already, by his own account, slain some 
" lakhs" * of infidels, he resumed his holy war at Meerut, 
whose capture was attended by a general massacre. After 
raiding up the Ganges to Hardwar, at the foot of the 
Himalayas, and skirting that mighty range as far as 
Jammu, north of Lahore, he at length recrossed the Indus 
to renew elsewhere the horrors which had dogged his steps 
from that river to the Ganges. India at any rate saw him 
no more. 

The exiled King of Delhi returned to his capital, but 
found little left him except the name of king over a sorry 
remnant of the empire once ruled by Muhammad Tughlak. 
For twelve years more he lived as a titled pensioner of one 
strong-handed noble after another. With his death in 
141 3 the house of Tughlak ceased to reign. A fight for 
the succession ended fifteen months later in the triumph 
of Khizr Khan, a Saiyid or descendant of Muhammad, 
* A lakh is a hundred thousand. 


whom Timur had appointed Governor of the Punjab, The 
founder of the Saiyid dynasty, he still claimed to govern 
as viceroy of the Emperor Timur. After a prosperous 
reign of seven years, he was succeeded by his son 
Mobarak, whose uneventful reign of fourteen years was 
cut short by the assassin's knife. 

In the days of his son Muhammad, Delhi was saved by 
Bahlol Lodi, the Afghan Governor of Multan, from falling 
into the hands of the independent King of Malwa. Ere 
long, however, Bahlol himself was laying siege to Delhi, 
but in vain. Withdrawing to his own provinces, he had 
not long to wait before Muhammad's death and the help- 
less condition of his son Ala-ud-din, whose sway extended 
only a few miles round the capital, again brought him with 
fairer prospects to the front. Ala-ud-din retired on a 
pension to Budaun, and in 1450 the grandson of the 
ennobled Afghan merchant founded a dynasty which 
reigned at Delhi for about seventy-six years. 

For half that period the throne was occupied by 
Bahlol himself, who is said to have been " for those days 
a virtuous and mild prince, executing justice to the utmost 
of his knowledge." He treated his courtiers like friends, 
cared little for display, lived abstemiously, and enjoyed 
the company of learned men.* With the mingled courage 
and caution of his race, he put down one assailant after 
another, by fair means or foul, until nearly all the country 
between the Sutlej and the Ganges down to Benares had 
been re-annexed to the kingdom of Delhi. His greatest 
achievement was the reconquest of Jaunpur after a war 
which, with varying fortunes and few pauses, raged for 
about twenty-six years. 

Like so many Eastern sovereigns, his son Sikandar 
had to fight for his throne, first with the champions of 
his infant nephew, afterwards with two of his brothers. 
* See Dow's " History of Hindostan," vol. ii. 


Unlike most conquerors of his race, however, the new 
Sultan treated his fallen rivals with forgiving courtesy, 
sometimes even with brotherly affection. A just and 
vigorous ruler, he yet reserved his kindnesses for men of 
his own faith. Towards the Hindus he proved a merciless 
bigot, forbidding their rites of bathing and pilgrimage, 
destroying their temples, and building mosques in their 
stead. One poor Brahman, a probable disciple of the 
reformer Khablr,* was put to death for having dared to 
maintain before Muhammadan doctors the equal claims 
of all creeds, if honestly practised, to acceptance in the 
sight of God. 

After a reign of twenty-eight years, during which Bihar 
was added to his father's dominions, Sikandar was suc- 
ceeded by his son Ibrahim, whose pride and tyranny drove 
his subjects into frequent revolts, quenched by him in seas 
of blood. At length one of his tribesmen, Daulat Khan 
Lodi, Governor of the Punjab, turned for aid to Kabul, 
where Babur, a descendant of Timur.t after a strange 
career of perils, defeats, and victories, had finally fixed his 
throne some twenty years before. He was only fifteen 
when he set forth, in 1497, from Firghana, on the upper 
course of the Jaxartes (the river Syr), to conquer Samar- 
kand. A few months later he left that city to fight for 
the recovery of his native kingdom, which had risen in 
revolt against him. Again, in 1499, ^^ ^^'O" his way 
by stratagem into the capital of Timur, which had mean- 
while fallen into the hands of a powerful Uzbek chief. 
Blockaded by the Uzbeks in Samarkand, he left that city 
a second time to find Firghana also wrested from his 
grasp. For the next few years Babur was the sport of 
untoward fortune, successful at one moment only to be 

* See Book I. chap. ii. 

t He was si.\th in descent from Timur and a remote descendant of Chinghiz 


caught in sterner straits the next. Baffled at every turn, 
a wanderer hunted for his life, a prisoner in the hands of 
his worst enemies, the brave young chieftain never lost 
heart. Regaining his freedom he found shelter for a time 
in Kunduz, at the court of Khusru Shah. Starting thence 
with an army chiefly recruited from Khusru's troops, he 
marched on Kabul in 1504, and soon possessed himself 
of the country which his uncle had lately ruled. 

From that time fortune, if still uncertain, smiled upon 
him in the main. After extending his dominions around 
Kabul, he crossed the Oxus in 151 1, and for the third 
time conquered Samarkand. Driven thence in 15 14 by 
his old enemies the Uzbeks, he at length turned his 
thoughts towards India. His first invasion of the Punjab 
took place in 15 19. Twice again in the next five years he 
crossed the Indus; and in 1524 he made his way into 
Lahore and Debalpur, at the invitation of the aforesaid 
Daulat Khan. But that shifty or ill-used Afghan failed to 
convince Babur of his trustworthiness, and the latter again 
withdrew to Kabul, leaving Ala-ud-din, brother to the 
Sultan of Delhi,* in charge of the Punjab. 

The new governor, after fleeing from the hostility, was 
ere long enjoying the aid of Daulat Khan in his march 
upon Delhi. His defeat by his brother Ibrahim before the 
capital at length roused Babur, flushed with victory over 
the Uzbek invaders of Balkh, to one more decisive effort 
for the empire of Hindustan. In the spring of i 526 some 
ten thousand Mughal horsemen, with a smaller body of 
foot and a few field-guns,t emerged from the hills at 
Rupar, and, taking up fresh forces on their way, at length 
found themselves on the plain of Panipat, face to face 

* Some authorities call him uncle. 

t Field-artillery are known to have been employed in India as far back 
as A.D. 1365, when the spoils taken by the Bahmani king of the Deccan from 
the Hindu hosts of Vijayanagar at the battle of Raichor included 300 gun- 


KKll.M A MS. ()!■ 


p. 78 


with Ibrahim's army, reckoned by the chroniclers, more or 
less wildly, at a hundred thousand stronf,^ On a battle- 
field since famous in Indian history, Biibur entrenched 
his small army. His guns and infantry ranged in well-knit 
line behind their breastworks, while clouds of watchful 
horsemen covered their flanks, Babur, with his son 
Humayun, calmly awaited an attack from four times their 
own numbers. Impatient of delay, the hosts of Ibrahim 
thundered down upon the foe. Their strength, however, 
was spent in vain upon that bristling barrier. Baffled and 
disordered, they were suddenly beset on their flanks and 
rear by Babur's active horsemen, whose arrows seldom 
missed their mark. Repeated charges, one of them led by 
Ibrahim himself, resulted only in heavier slaughter, in 
more confused retreat. Meanwhile Babur, issuing from his 
entrenchments, led his unbroken troops steadily forward 
into the heart of the hostile ranks. Ibrahim and five 
thousand of his best soldiers fell in one spot. Utterly dis- 
heartened by their monarch's fall, the Pathan army, says 
the historian, " recoiled like surges from a rocky shore 
and the torrent of flight rolled towards the banks of the 
Jumna," * whither the Mughals kept up the pursuit, until 
Babur, tired of useless bloodshed, gave the word to halt. 
Of the routed enemy he himself reckoned f that sixteen 
thousand died upon the field, and some thousands more 
must have fallen in their subsequent flight. On that fatal 
evening of April, 1526, the house of Lodi ceased to reign 
over the kingdom it had virtually recalled into being. 

* Dow's " Hindostan," vol. ii. 

t See Babur's own Memoirs, translated by Mr. Erskine. 



At the time when Babur steps upon the stage of Indian 
history, it is well to pause for a moment and glance round 
over the great peninsula which his descendants were to 
bring for a season under their sway. 

To begin with the cool, well-watered valley of Kashmir, 
nestled in the heart of the north-western Himalayas, 
That country had been ruled by a long succession of 
Hindu, Buddhist, and even Tartar princes, when, in the 
early part of the fourteenth century, it fell into the hands 
of Shah Mir, the Muhammadan wazir of its late raja, the 
last of the ancient Hindu line. The new king, under the 
name of Shams-ud-din, governed mildly and well for 
twenty-three years ; but one of his successors, about the 
close of the same century, proved a cruel persecutor of the 
prevalent Hindu faith. The long reign of Sikandar's 
nephew, Shadi Khan, brought better times to his Hindu 
subjects. From the day of his death to the battle of 
Panipat was a period mainly of civil commotion and 
frequent change of rulers, one of whom, Muhammad, great- 
grandson of the wise and good Shadi Khan, was four times 
deposed during a nominal reign of about fifty years. On 
the last of these occasions, in 1525, he had been set aside 
in favour of his grandson by one of Babur's generals ; but 
the timely departure of the Mughal troops opened the 
prison doors of the old king, whose few remaining years 
were spent in comparative peace upon his father's throne- 


After its conquest by Muhammad Ghori, in 1186, from 
the Turks of Ghazni, the Punjab, or Land of Five Rivers, 
commonly shared the fortunes of the Delhi kingdom. 
Harassed in the thirteenth century by the Mughals, it was 
ruled in the first years of the fifteenth century by Khizr 
Khan, in the name of his master Timur. Hardly had the 
founder of the Saiyid dynasty won Delhi, when he began 
to lose his hold upon the Punjab, which presently passed 
into the hands of Bahlol Lodi, the destined supplantcr of 
the Saiyid line. From the middle of the fifteenth century 
to the time of Babur's invasion, the Land of the Imvc 
Rivers formed part of the dominions ruled by the house 
of Lodi. 

Multan, like its northern neighbour, passed from one 
Mussulman conqueror to another, from the Ghaznevid 
princes to the house of Ghor, from thence to the Slave 
Kings of Delhi and their successors, down to the end of 
the fourteenth century. After Timur's invasion, the 
country seems to have drifted away from its old allegiance, 
until in 1445 it fell into the guiding hands of the Afghan, 
Kutb-ud-din Langa, whose family during the next eighty 
years governed it without a master. 

From the middle of the eighth century, when the 
Sumra Rajputs drove out the Arab invader, Sind throve 
under a native Hindu dynasty for nearly five hundred 
years. Early in the thirteenth century the Sumra princes 
were ousted by a Mussulman named Nasir-ud-din. After 
his death Sind became the prize of another Rajput dynasty, 
that of the Jains, who paid some kind of tribute to the 
Sultan of Delhi, and towards the end of the fourteenth 
century embraced the creed of their Lord Paramount. A 
succession of Jain princes with Muhammadan names 
governed the country until, in 1520, the dynasty was 
displaced by that of the Arghuns from Khurasan, who 
presently became masters of Multan also. 



The old Hindu province of Gujarat or Saurashtra, ruled 
by Ballabi princes for two centuries, passed in 524 under 
the sway of a Chaura dynasty, which flourished for about 
four hundred years, giving place in its turn to the Salonka 
or Chalukya line of Rajput princes, led off by Mulraj, the 
warlike son-in-law of the last Ballabi king. Under these 
princes, who came from the Deccan, the land of Krishna 
prospered fairly on the whole for two centuries, suffering 
less than its neighbours from Muhammadan inroads, and 
bearing on its surface many noble monuments of its rulers' 
piety, splendour, and care for the common good. It still 
abounds in temples built by Jain architects, and the great 
reservoir of Kuran Sagar — the Sea of Kuran — constructed 
in the eleventh century, was effaced by a flood so late as 

In 1228, this dynasty was replaced by a line of 
Waghila chiefs, who ruled the country during the rest 
of that century, until it passed under the sway of Ala-ud- 
din Khilji, then Sultan of Delhi, A hundred years later, 
about 1391, a new kingdom was founded in Gujarat by 
the son of a Rajput convert to Islam. Sent thither from 
Delhi to displace the mild-hearted governor Farat Khan, 
whose kindness to the Hindus had roused the rancour of 
his own countrymen, Muzaffar Shah set up as king of the 
province entrusted to him as viceroy, and marked his reign 
by fierce persecutions of the people who still clung to his 
ancestral faith. His grandson, Ahmad Shah (1411-1443), 
the builder of Ahmadabad, was equally renowned for his 
wars, his splendid buildings, and his fierce zeal against 
idolators. The peninsula of Kathiawiir, hitherto ruled 
in practice by its own Hindu chiefs, was now brought 
more closely under the Mussulman yoke. One of his 

* The Jain temples of Mount Abu were built by Bh!m Deo about 1030, 
and his successor Kuran built those at Girnar, as well as the reservoir that 
bore his name, 


successors, Mahmud Shah, turned his arms with success 
against ahnost every neighbour, and raised his kingdom 
to its highest pitch of greatness by land and sea. An 
embassy from Delhi bore witness to his power ; and his 
fleets, in concert with those of the Mamluk Sultan of 
Egypt, inflicted a signal check upon the Portuguese 
invaders of Western India. In the reign of Mahmud's 
descendant, Bahadur Shah, the kings of Khandesh, Berar, 
and Ahmadnagar paid formal homage to the king of 
Gujarat, while Malwa, after repeated struggles, became 
a part of his dominions. 

The Mussulman kingdom of Malwa had thus lasted 
about a hundred and thirty years. That province, lying 
between Gujarat and Bundelkhand, with the Narbada for 
its southern boundary, had been governed by a long 
succession of Hindu princes, supposed to include the 
mythical Vikramaditya, and, some centuries later, the 
Raja Bhoj, before it passed under the Muhammadan yoke 
in the beginning of the fourtenth century. For nearly a 
hundred years its rulers were viceroys of the kings of 
Delhi. At last, in 1401, Dilavvar Khan of Ghor, a Pathan 
noble whom Firoz Tughlak had made Governor of Malwa, 
threw off the last shred of allegiance to Delhi and founded 
a kingdom whose sovereigns were always fighting with 
this neighbour or with that. One of them, Mahmud 
Khiiji, besieged Delhi itself in the days of Saiyid 
Muhammad, but was driven off, as we saw, by the timely 
prowess of Bahlol Lodi. Another Mahmud fled to 
Gujarat from the bondage prepared for him by his 
aggressive Hindu minister, Mcdni Rai. Restored to his 
throne by the help of King Muzaffar, ho was taken 
prisoner by the troops of Raja Sanga of Chitor, in a 
fruitless effort to drive Medni Rai out of Chanderi. The 
chivalrous Rajput forthwith set him free, a kindness which 
Mahmud afterwards requited by wantonly attacking his 


son and successor, Rattan Singh. A fitting Nemesis, 
however, dogged his steps, in the shape of Bahadur Shah 
of Gujarat, who listened the more readily to the Hindu's 
prayer for help, in that he himself had cause to complain 
of Mahmud's treachery to the son of his old ally. Mandu, 
the hill-crowning capital of Malwa, was stormed by the 
soldiers of Gujarat, Mahmud himself taken prisoner, and 
his kingdom annexed to that of Bahadur Shah. 

South of Malwa and south-east of Gujarat, lay the little 
Muhammadan kingdom of Khandesh, in those days a rich, 
smiling valley, watered by the Tapti and a host of smaller 
streams, which successive princes, Hindu or Muhammadan, 
applied to the enrichment of the surrounding fields. Ruled 
for long centuries from Malwa or Deogiri, it fell under 
the sway of its first Muhammadan governor in the reign of 
Firoz Tughlak. In 1399, Malik Raja was succeeded by 
his son, Nasir Khan, who first claimed the rank and 
honours of an independent king. His reign was marked 
by the capture of the strong hill-fortress of Asirgarh, one of 
the last remaining fastnesses of a Hindu dynasty, sprung 
from an old race of shepherd kings. The infernal 
treachery which issued in the seizure of a stronghold 
ruled by a friendly Hindu prince, and in the murder of 
the prince himself with all his family, was hailed by 
pious Muslims as a glorious triumph over the infidel. 
This noble deed was commemorated by the founding of 
Burhanpur, a city which one of Nasir's successors, Adil 
Khan, enriched with buildings and waterworks of sur- 
passing beauty or magnificent design.* Under its Muham- 
mudan kings Khandesh continued on the whole to 
prosper, until in the last days of the sixteenth century it 
passed under the wide sway of Akbar himself. 

After his revolt from Muhammad Tughlak in 1338, 

* Burhanpur is still noted for the manufacture of rich and beautiful 
broeades, muslins, and other tissues. 


Fakr-ud-din and his successors reigned for more than two 
centuries over Bengal. Of the events of that period not 
much is to be learned from the native chroniclers — a 
rare defect in the annals of any Muhammadan province. 
Frequent changes of dynasty happened of course in the 
usual violent way. One of the successful usurpers was 
Raja Kans, a Hindu ZamTndar, whose son became a 
Muhammadan, under the title of Jalal-ud-din. Several 
of the kings who reigned in the fifteenth century were 
Abyssinian slaves or chiefs. At the time of Babur's 
advent, their rule had been replaced and their power 
utterly broken by the house of Ala-ud-din, whose sceptre 
was ere long to pass into the hands of Humayun's 
conqueror, the redoubtable Afghan Sher Shah. 

Divided by the Great Desert from Sind and Multan, 
and spreading eastward nearly to the Jumna, rolls the 
broad sea of sandy rock-crested plain once called Rajas- 
than, "the land of kings," but now generally known as 
Rajputana, "the country of the Rajputs." Here reigned 
from century to century, hither from time to time fled 
with thousands of their followers and clansmen from 
neighbouring countries the high-souled, pure-blooded de- 
scendants of ancient Aryan lords. Century after century, 
from the days of the Arab Kasim to those of the Mughal 
Babur, these proud warrior chiefs defied the attacks or dis- 
owned in all but name the yoke of successive invaders. 
Some parts of the country were never conquered at all by 
the Pathan kings of Delhi. Others fluctuated between 
uneasy acquiescence and oft-recurring revolt. Foremost 
in bold, nor often vain resistance, were the Rajput princes 
of Mewar, whose capital, Chitor, crowned the rugged hills 
that guarded their eastern frontier. At the end of the 
twelfth century, the Rahtur clan of Rajputs left their early 
seats in Kanauj to wander westward across the Aravalli 
hills, and found a new kingdom in^Marwar. 


Under the feudal system which bound chiefs and 
followers together by strong ties of blood and fellowship, 
these Rajput races succeeded for the most part in main- 
taining a steady front against all assailants. A nation of 
born soldiers, who held their lands by a kind of joint 
military tenure, they mustered readily at the call of their 
hereditary chiefs, inflaming their courage with songs and 
tales commemorative of past glories, and betraying alike 
in victory and defeat the ancestral virtues of a proud, 
chivalrous, highbred, patriotic race ; * virtues not wholly 
lost in their enfeebled, opium-eating children of the pre- 
sent day. 

One of the foremost Rajput princes of the days before 
Babur was the Rana Sanga of Chit5r, who in the early 
years of the sixteenth century maintained a successful 
warfare against Gujarat, and defeated in battle Mahmud, 
the Muhammadan king of Malwa. How courteously he 
treated his royal prisoner, and how meanly the courtesy 
was afterwards requited, we have already seen. 

After the death of Hasan Gangu, founder of the Bah- 
mani kingdom in the Deccan, his successors waged con- 
tinual wars with the Hindu Rajas of Telingana on the 
east, and of Vijayanagar on the south of their dominions. 
In 142 1, Ahmad Shah dispossessed the former of their 
chief city Warangal, and made a savage inroad into 
Vijayanagar, part of which was added to his ov/n broad 
realms. His son Ala-ud-din partially subdued the Konkan, 
lying between his western frontier and the sea, and removed 

* "With them," says Elphinstone (p. 76), " the founder of a state, after 
reserving a demesne for himself, divided the rest of the country among his 
relations, according to the Hindu laws of partition. The chief to whom each 
share was assigned owed military service and general obedience to the prince, 
but exercised unlimited authority within his own lands. He in his turn 
divided his lands on similar terms among his relations, and a chain of vassal- 
cniefs was thus established, to whom the civil government as well as the 
military force of the country was committed." 


his capital from Kulbarga (Gulbarga) to the heights where 
Bidar still towers in ruined majesty above the plain. In 
the reign of his grandson, Nizam Shah, the Deccan, over- 
run by the king of Mfihva, was saved from imminent ruin 
by the timely interference of the King of Gujarat. In 
1477, Nizam's son Muhammad exacted tribute from the 
Raja of Orissa, and carried his arms down the eastern 
coast as far as Kanchi, the modern Conjeeveram. On 
the western coast he completed the subjection of the 
Konkan, part of which had for about forty years defied the 
arms of successive Bahmani kings. 

The real conqueror of the Konkan, Mahmud Gavvan, the 
king's chief minister, one of the noblest men of that or any 
age, now fell a blameless victim to the plots of rivals who 
envied him his well-earned honours and commanding in- 
fluence with the king. Too late Muhammad learned the 
innocence of the minister he had doomed to a hasty death. 
From that time the glory of the Bahmani kingdom began 
to fade away. His own death in the following year paved 
the way for the dismemberment of the Deccan under his 
child-heir. One large slice of his kingdom, from the sea 
to the Bhima and Kistna rivers, passed under the rule 
of Yusuf Adil Shah, who fixed his capital at Bijapur. The 
bought slave and faithful follower of Mahmud Gawan, he 
governed his new kingdom ably for twenty-one years, 
beating off assailants from every quarter, and attaching 
Maratha subjects to his rule by raising many of them to 
high civil and military posts. One of his successors, 
Ibrahim, adopted the Maratha language, instead of Persian, 
for the public accounts. The dynasty, which survived the 
reign of Bubur and lasted into that of Aurangzeb, was in- 
volved in frequent wars, among others with the Portuguese, 
who steadily encroached upon its seaward possessions. 

To the north of Bijapur grew up the rival state of 
Ahmadnagar, founded by Nizam Shah, who gave his 


original name of Ahmad to the city he built for his capital. 
He also appears to have favoured his Maratha subjects ; 
and his successor, Burhan Shah, for the first time recorded 
in Muhammadan history, raised a Brahman to the post of 
Peshwa, or prime minister. In spite of the Brahman's 
abilities, his master was compelled in 1530 to do homage 
to the King of Gujarat ; but the dynasty struggled on 
with varying fortune to its final overthrow by the troops of 
the Emperor Shah Jahan. 

Out of the eastern provinces of the Bahmani kingdom, 
Imad Shah, a converted Hindu, who had risen high in the 
service of Mahmud Gawan, carved for himself the kingdom 
of Berar, which extended from the Indhyadri [Ajanta] hills 
to the Godavari, with the highland city of Gawilgarh for 
its capital. After a somewhat stormy existence of nearly 
ninety years, Berar was finally absorbed by its old rival 

A longer life, even to the days of Aurangzeb, awaited 
the kingdom of Golconda, founded in 15 12 by Kutb Shah, 
a Turk whom Mahmud Gawan had appointed governor of 
the country between the Godavari and the Kistna. During 
a reign of thirty-one years he made fresh conquests from 
the Rajas of Telingana and Vijayanagar. His successors 
enlarged their dominions at the expense of their Hindu 
neighbours in Orissa and the Carnatic, and one of them 
in 1589 founded the city of Hyderabad, which became in 
after years the splendid capital of the Nizam's dominions.* 
Meanwhile, the diminished sway of the old Bahmani kings 
was still represented by the dynasty of Barid Shah, which 
ruled at Bidar down to the middle of the seventeenth 

One of the countries with which these Mussulman 
princes waged frequent war was Orissa, the Holy Land of 

* It was called at first Ehfignngar, the name it still bears among the 
Hindus. His son H^idar changed the napie to Hyderabad, 


successive Hindu creeds, and the seat for a century and a 
half of a powerful Yavan dynasty, founded apparently by 
Greek invaders from the regions watered by the Ganges. 
In this land of forest-covered hills and alluvial plains, 
stretching southwards from Midnapore to Ganjani, with the 
broad Mahandi winding through it to the Bay of Bengal, 
a race of Sanskrit-speaking Aryans seems to have settled 
some centuries before the reign of King Asoka, pushing the 
aboriginal dwellers westward into the hills. Thither, from 
about the fifth century B c, a succession of Yavan immi- 
grants from the north brought with them the religion of 
Buddha, and the manners of a kindred but separate Aryan 
race, whom modern scholarship would identify with the 
Ionian Greeks. The worship of the sun, at any rate, 
came in time to be supplanted by that of Buddha, and the 
prevalence of the new faith for centuries afterwards is 
clearly attested by the rock-hewn caves, shrines, sculptures, 
and inscriptions, which cover the country with curious 
suggestions of Greek art applied to Buddhist purposes.* 

Certain it is, however, that a Yavan dynasty, entering 
Orissa from the sea, about A.D. 323, was expelled a hun- 
dred and fifty years later by a Hindu prince of the Kesari 
line, whose advent paved the way for the gradual displace- 
ment of Buddhist by Brahmanic forms of worship. New 
temples everywhere arose in honour of Siva, whose worship 
in its turn succumbed in many places to the milder rites of 
the more genial Vishnu, best known to the myriads who 
yearly flock from all India to the priestly paradise of Pilri 
under his later name of Jagannath, the Lord of Heaven. 

The Kesari dynasty, which ruled Orissa for about six 
hundred and fifty years, was succeeded in its turn by the 
house of Ganga Vansa, in whose days the worship of 

* See Hunter's "Orissa," vol. i. Sir William Hunter attempted to prove the 
identity of tlie Vavanas in Orissa with the lonians of Greek history and the 
Greek settlers in Kabul and Lahore, 


Vishnu won its way into the headquarters of the Sivaite 
priesthood at Jajpur on the Baitarani. In the thirteenth 
century Hindu architecture reached its zenith, and the 
Orissa kingdom extended almost to the Godavari. In the 
middle of that century the people of Orissa hurled back a 
Pathan invasion from Bengal, and ten years later another 
inroad was followed by a like defeat. In the middle of the 
fifteenth century the Raja of Orissa joined his Hindu 
neighbours in a league against the Mussulman invaders of 
Southern India, but some thirty years later he himself was 
paying tribute to a Muhammadan king. In the beginning 
of the sixteenth century the armies of Orissa were aiding a 
Mussulman ally against the great Hindu monarch of the 
South, Krishna Raya Deva : but in vain. In 1 563, the Orissa 
prince, no longer of the Ganga Vansa line, beat back a 
formidable inroad from Bengal ; but this last flickering 
effort of native patriotism delayed for a few years only his 
country's doom. In 1567 the Afghan King of Bengal 
marched through Orissa at the head of an army which 
nothing could withstand, and for some unquiet years the 
country remained in the hands of its new masters. At 
last, when Bengal itself had acknowledged the superior 
might of Akbar, Orissa also was finally conquered by his 
great Hindu general, Todi Mall. 

Krisna Raya Deva, the Arthur of Southern India, 
mounted the throne of Vijayanagar in the first years of the 
sixteenth century. Ever since 1347, ifnot much earlier, the 
Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar had played a leading part in 
the history of Southern India. From the usual want, how- 
ever, of native annalists, our knowledge of the country comes 
to us in glimpses offered by the historians of the neighbour- 
ing Muhammadan states. The kings of the country, whose 
seaward frontier extended from Goa to Calicut, waged 
frequent wars with the Bahmani princes, and one of them, 
in 1493, suffered a heavy defeat from the ruler of Bijapur. 


The glory and greatness of the kingdom culminated with 
Krishna Raya Deva, whose sway extended over nearly all 
Southern India south of the Kistna, and whose arms were 
often successful against his Muhammadan neighbours. 

So great at last grew the power of Vijayanagar, that the 
kings of the four Muhammadan states in the Deccan 
leagued together in 1565 against Ramaraja, successor 
to Krishna Raya. Their combined forces crossed the 
Kistna, and encountered the hosts of the Ramaraja and 
his two brothers near Talikota. The Hindu horse charged 
boldly down upon the foe, with a fury which nothing could 
check until they came within reach of the guns brought 
forward by the King of Ahmadnagar. Against these 
Ramaraja hurled the pick of his infantry, who fell in heaps 
under their deadly hail. A timely charge of Mussulman 
cavalry turned the disorder into hopeless rout. The brave 
old king himself was taken prisoner and mercilessly be- 
headed ; one of his brothers died fighting ; the routed 
troops were followed up with fearful slaughter ; and untold 
treasures fell into the victors' hands. Vijayanagar was 
presently sacked and well-nigh destroyed ; and the last 
great Hindu kingdom in Southern India thenceforth ceased 
to be. 



About thirty years before Babur's victory at Panipat, one 
of the smaller Christian states in Europe began to take an 
ambitious part in the affairs of India. As early as 141 5, 
the success of the Venetians and Genoese in securing a 
monopoly of the carrying trade between Europe and India 
had fired Prince Henry of Portugal with the hope of divert- 
ing some part of a trade so enviable to his own shores. It 
was not, however, till the reign of John II. that Bartho- 
lomew Diaz fulfilled Prince Henry's previsions by rounding, 
in i486, the Cape of Storms, which was afterwards to 
bear the more cheering title of the Cape of Good Hope. 
Eleven years later. King John's successor, Emmanuel, 
despatched a fleet which, under the famous Vasco da 
Gama, rounded the Cape, discovered Natal, and in May of 
the following year cast anchor near the city of Calicut on 
the Malabar coast. Courteously entertained by the Zamo- 
rin, the Hindu ruler of the province, Da Gama failed 
wholly to bafile the intrigues of the Moorish traders from 
Egypt and Arabia, who saw in these western strangers 
their likely rivals and possible supplanters. He sailed 
homewards in August, his three ships followed for some 
way in vain by a fleet of forty vessels sent out to capture 

A fleet of thirteen ships and 1,200 men under Pedro 
Cabral appeared before Calicut in the autumn of 1500, 
less one ship lost with all its crew on the voyage thither, 


The strangers were allowed to establish a factory, which 
the wrathful Muhammadans carried by storm. This out- 
rage the Portuguese commander requited by setting ten 
Moorish ships on fire after their cargoes had been emptied 
into his own vessels, and cannonading the city itself. At 
Cochin, where he was kindly received, Cabral resumed the 
lading of his fleet, and took in some further cargo at 

Soon after his departure homewards, the Zamorin of 
Calicut sent a powerful fleet to intercept the few ships 
which, under Juan de Nueva, were looking after Portu- 
guese interests at Cochin and Cannanore. Careless of the 
odds against him, the bold Portuguese made ready for 
action, and used his guns to such purpose that the assail- 
ants speedily sheered off. 

In 1502 a much larger fleet than Cabral's,' carrying 
several hundred soldiers on board, sailed out of the Tagus 
under Vasco da Gama, who was empowered to take full 
revenge for the previous insults off"ered to the Portuguese 

Improving upon orders not perhaps too mild, the fiery 
Christian harried the Mussulmans wherever he met them, 
capturing a shipload of Mecca-bound pilgrims, and doom- 
ing hundreds of helpless prisoners to a cruel death in the 
flames of their own vessels. The Zamorin of Calicut 
being backward in making amends for the treatment of 
Cabral, the ruthless admiral hanged some fifty natives 
taken out of fishing-boats in the harbour, destroyed a great 
part of the town by bombardment, and set sail thence for 
Cochin, where his countrymen carried on a fair trade 
under the protection of its friendly Raja. 

In 1503 Da Gama returned to Europe. Meanwhile 
another fleet from Portugal, under Affonso Albuquerque 
and his two brothers, arrived at Cochin in time to frustrate 
the Zamorin's designs against his vassal, the Raja of that 


place, who had dared to encourage the pushing strangers 
from the west. Once more defeated and compelled to sue 
for peace, the Zamorin availed himself of Albuquerque's 
departure to renew his attack upon Cochin, with a larger 
fleet than ever, and an army reinforced by the troops of 
his lord paramount, the Raja of Vijayanagar. In a series 
of hard-fought battles against fearful odds, the brave 
Pacheco beat back the invader with heavy loss ; and a 
fresh fleet from Portugal under Soarez followed up his com- 
rade's successes by the bombardment of Calicut, and the 
capture of all the Zamorin's vessels in fair fight. 

Four years later, in 1 507, a grand attack upon the rising 
Portuguese power in the Indian seas was concerted between 
the Venetians, the Sultan of Egypt, the Zamorin, and the 
Mussulman king of Gujarat. Dom Francis Almeida, the 
first Portuguese Viceroy in India, had to meet this new 
danger as he best could. The allied fleets bore down 
upon that of Portugal, commanded by Lorenzo, the vice- 
roy's son. A sharp engagement near Chaul, on the 
Konkan coast, issued in the defeat of the Portuguese 
and the sinking of their flagship with nearly all on 
board, including Lorenzo himself. For this disaster 
Almeida soon took his revenge. The port of Dabal 
destroyed by the guns of his fleet, he sailed northwards 
after the retiring foe, coming up with them off Diu, 
at the outer entrance to the Gulf of Cambay. The allied 
admirals at once accepted the challenge, and after a hard 
fight, in which all the best of the Muhammadan ships were 
burnt or captured, the remainder spread all sail in timely 

Almeida was ere long displaced as viceroy by Albu- 
querque, who raised the Portuguese power in the Indian 
seas to its greatest height, and won for it a noble and 
commanding seat by his final capture of Goa from the King 
of Bijapur. His conquests ranged from Ormuz in the 


Persian Gulf to Malacca in the Malay Peninsula. Both towns 
were strongly fortified, and the whole sea-board of Western 
India became dotted with Portuguese factories. Baffled 
in his attempts on Aden and Calicut, he yet forced the 
Zamorin to sue for peace, crushed the Muhammadan trade 
in the Indian seas, and diverted the bulk of India's export 
trade with the West from the Adriatic to the Tagus, In 
spite, however, of these splendid achievements, Albu- 
querque fell into disgrace at Lisbon, and the news of his 
supersession by his foe Soarez broke his heart in the last 
days of 15 15. With his dying breath the great viceroy, 
whose successes had been marred by no acts of wanton 
cruelty, bequeathed his son and a small estate to his sove- 
reign's care, and appealed to his Indian career as the 
eloquent witness to his real deserts.* 

Six years after his death, Diego Lopez de Siquera, suc- 
cessor to Soarez, sailed against Diu with forty ships and 
three or four thousand men. But the bold front shown 
by the Gujarati admiral cooled his courage, and not with- 
out heavy loss did his vessels make good their retreat to 
Chaul. In the following year Goa itself was besieged to 
no purpose by the King of Bijapur. In 1527 the fleets of 
Gujarat were nearly destroyed in an unsuccessful attack on 
the Portuguese station of Chaul. Four years later Antonio 
di Silveira, with 4C0 ships and 22,000 men, made one 
more effort to capture Diu ; but the genius and the guns 
of Rumi Khan, chief engineer to the King of Gujarat, 
drove him out of the bay. 

In spite of their fresh repulse, the Portuguese ere long 

* Goa, the once splendid capital of the Portuguese in India, but now fallen 
into slow decay, lies in an island about twenty-four miles round. Its harbour, 
one of the noblest in India, is formed by an arm of the sea into which flows a 
small river. The old city still contains a number of fine churches, monasteries, 
and other buildings, the faded relics of former greatness. The Goa territory is 
about forty miles long by twenty broad, with a population of about 300,000, 
most of whom are Roman Catholics under a Portuguese archbishop. 


gained a firm foothold on the long-coveted port, by means 
of a well-timed alliance with Bahadur Shah, the enter- 
prising ruler of Gujarat. That monarch's fears, however, 
were soon roused by the encroaching policy of his new 
friends, and his death in a chance affray between his 
attendants and the Portuguese gave rise to charges, not 
quite perhaps unfounded, of preconcerted treachery on 
both sides.* 

Meanwhile a great fleet from Egypt, equipped by orders 
from Constantinople and commanded by a Turkish 
admiral, bore down in September, 1537, for the Gulf of 
Cambay, with intent to drive the Portuguese out of Gu- 
jarat, But the brave Silveira, with only 600 men, prepared 
to defend to the last the new factory, which he had already 
turned into a little fortress. After eight months of immi- 
nent peril, of sufferings more and more enhanced by famine 
and disease,! the wasted garrison were gladdened by the 
approach of a fleet which the Viceroy of Goa had brought 
in the nick of time to their help. Sallying forth from their 
battered works, they drove before them the disheartened 
besiegers, and Diu was saved. 

The history of the Portuguese during that century may 
as well be finished here. Two more futile attacks on Diu 
by Mahmud Shah of Gujarat, in 1545 and 1548, were 
followed by about twenty years of chequered warfare and 
much intrigue on land, and of supreme dominion by sea. 
No ship without a Portuguese passport could sail with per- 
fect safety over Indian waters. In many articles of trade 
the Portuguese monopoly v/as complete ; and of what trade 
was still open to ships of other countries, the Portuguese 
captains secured the lion's share by enforcing the right to 
load their own vessels first. If the frequent cruelty and 

* See Elphinstone's " India," p. 678 (4th Edition), 

t The ladies of the garrison bore no trifling part in the defence, and their 
heroic example went far to save the place. 


arrogance of Portuguese commanders earned them many 
foes, their alliance was often courted by neighbours who 
had learned to dread their prowess in the field, or to take 
due measure of the strength that lay unseen behind the 
few ships and soldiers that guarded their factories. Whe- 
ther from policy or national instinct, the Portuguese never 
pushed their way far from the sea-coast, confining them- 
selves even at Goa to a narrow strip of land between the 
sea and the Western Ghats. So long as their fleets ruled 
the ocean, nothing more was needed for the maintenance 
of their power. But the time was soon to come when 
stronger rivals pushed them from their watery throne, 
and their hold on India dwindled to a ruinous city, two 
small decaying seaports, Diu and Daman, and about 1,500 
square miles of ground. 

In 1570, however, the glory of Goa and the religious 
bigotry of its priesthood were at their height, when a great 
league was formed against it by the princes of Bijapur, 
Ahmadnagar, and Calicut. For ten months an immense 
army of horse and foot with 350 guns besieged in vain a 
city held by its governor, Dom Louis, with about 700 
soldiers, aided by 1,300 monks and armed slaves. Wearied 
at last of a siege in which he lost 12,000 men alone, 
besides thousands of horses and cattle, and hundreds of 
elephants, the King of Bijapur withdrew his troops from 
what seemed a hopeless enterprise. A like repulse was all 
the Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar obtained from his twice- 
attempted attack upon Chaul ; and Chale near Calicut was 
defended with equal success against the Zamorin. P^or 
the rest of the sixteenth century the Portuguese power in 
India remained unshaken. 

But early in the next century new rivals appeared upon 
the scene. In 1604 the Dutch, who had but lately won 
their independence of Spain, wrested Amboyna from the 
Portuguese, and even made an attempt upon Malacca. 



In i6i2 a small English fleet defeated with heavy loss the 
Portuguese squadron which strove to bar its way into the 
harbour of Surat. Another English fleet drove the Portu- 
guese, in 1622, from their flourishing settlement in the 
isle of Ormuz. Between the advances of two such rivals 
the Portuguese power in the Indian seas gradually de- 
clined, and the trade monopoly which the countrymen of 
Albuquerque had held for a century passed into other and 
stronger hands. 





With the fall of Ibrahim, and the rout of his army at 
Panipat, dates the beginning of a new empire in Hindu- 
stan. The two great cities of Delhi and Agra speedily 
acknowledged their new master. But the task before 
Babur was still formidable. The new Emperor of India 
had yet to make his way through the broad regions lying 
to the south, east, and south-west of his new capital. His 
soldiers and his nobles were equally unwilling to go fur- 
ther. Cheered at length by his brave words, or shamed 
by his earnest reproaches, most of them resolved to follow 
his standard, and in the course of a few months the old 
Mussulman provinces in the valley of the Ganges had 
nearly all submitted to his rule. 

Westward of the Jumna, however, a mighty force was 
gathering against him, under the powerful Rana Sanga, 
the Rajput sovereign of Mewar. Followed by all the 
chivalry of Marwar and Jaipur, and strengthened by the 
troops of Mahmud, a prince of the dispossessed house of 
Lodi, the great Raja marched towards Delhi. At Sikri,* 
not far from Agra, he assailed and defeated the van of the 
Mughal army. Had he only dared to order a general 

* Since called Fatehpur Sikii. 


advance, the future of India might have been very diffe- 
rent, for a panic had seized upon the bravest of Babur's 
troops. But the right moment was lost. Babur's stirring 
remonstrances touched the hearts of his officers. Dropping 
a few brave words here and there as he galloped along the 
line he had formed in order of battle, the light-hearted 
Mughal led his troops against the foe. The Rajputs 
fought with their usual courage, but nothing could with- 
stand the charge of Babur's veterans. Rana Sanga's 
bloody defeat left Rajputana at the victor's mercy, and 
cleared the way for fresh victories over Mahmud Lodi, 
who at length, with the shattered remnants of his army, 
retired beyond the Son. 

Next year Babur attacked and stormed Chanderi, the 
capital of a small Rajput kingdom carved by Mednl Rai, 
out of the lands he had wrested from the kings of Mahva. 
Once more Rajput heroism, hopeless of victory, preferred 
speedy death to the tender mercies of Muhammadan rule. 
As the Mughal troops were storming the city, the garrison 
slew all their women, and then rushed upon the foe to die. 
Chanderi captured, the fiery Mughal darted across the 
Ganges into Oudh, drove the Afghans before him in all 
directions, and ere long added Bihar also to his sway. 
The Sultan of Bengal was glad to sue for peace on terms 
which included the surrender of North Bihar. 

By this time Babur's health was fast breaking under the 
heavy strain of so many and prolonged exertions. His 
end was probably hastened by anxiety for his beloved son, 
Humayun, who now lay dangerously ill at Agra. With 
pardonable superstition, the war-worn father, walking thrice 
round his son's bed, solemnly besought Heaven to spare 
Humayun, and take himself instead. " I have borne it 
away ! I have borne it away ! " were the joyful words that 
presently escaped him. From that moment, say the his- 
torians, the son began to recover, and the father to decline. 



p. loo 


Be that as it may, it was Babur's own conviction that he 
would shortly die ; and it is certain that he met his end 
as cheerfully as he had battled through the darkest trials 
of his stormy life. After a few last words of wise and 
loving counsel to his sons and ministers, he died at Agra 
in December, 1530, at the age of forty-nine. 

The best picture of the great Mughal is that which he 
himself has drawn for us in his own delightful Memoirs, 
replete with every charm of a frank, genial, yet manly 
nature, and a well-stored, inquiring mind. At once a poet, 
scholar, and musician, he had all the qualities which those 
words imply, mixed up with the tougher tissues that go to 
the making of the adventurous soldier and the hard-headed 
statesman. In a straightforward, lively, picturesque style, 
perfectly natural, yet never coarse nor inflated, he tells or 
suggests to us everything he did, saw, or suffered ; how 
he wept for his boyish playfellow ; how fond an interest 
he took in his mother and near kindred ; how keen were 
his sympathies alike with the pleasures and the misfortunes 
of his friends ; how lightly he bore his own reverses, riding 
a race with the only two friends who followed him, a house- 
less, half-starved wanderer, on his dreary journey from 
Samarkand. With equal ease and lightness of touch, he 
describes the hardships he underwent, the bursts of revelry 
in which he and his companions not seldom indulged ; the 
scenery, climate, people, and products of the countries he 
passed through ; the sayings and doings of his friends ; 
his own successes, failures, and weaknesses ; the sense of 
loneliness that came over him as he ate a musk-melon 
brought from Kabul. Violent sometimes, and cruel when 
the fit was on him, he endeared himself to his friends and 
followers by many kindly actions, and treated his enemies 
on the whole with wonderful forbearance. His high courage 
never failed him and his buoyant spirit nothing seemed to 
pull down. Fond of wine, and given to hard drinking, he 


eschewed both in his later years. No small part of his 
leisure hours was bestowed on public business, and his 
active habits were equally conspicuous in the camp, the 
council-room, and the hunting-field. In his last journey 
of i6o miles from KalpI to Agra, in spite of failing health, 
he rode the distance in two days, and swam twice across 
the Ganges. Not content with the regular business of the 
state, his mind was always full of schemes for the public 
welfare, from the building of reservoirs and aqueducts to 
the introduction of new trade-products from abroad. No 
wonder that the memory of a king so lovable and so richly 
endowed should be cherished by the Muhammadans of 
India beyond that of all other princes, save Akbar, of the 
same great line, 

Humayun, heir to his father's Indian throne, seems to 
have inherited something of his father's chequered for- 
tunes. Much against his own will, he weakened his empire 
by handing Kabul and the Punjab over to his brother, 
Kamran. To another of his brethren he assigned the 
province of Sambal or Rohilkhand, while a third was ap- 
pointed Governor of Mewat, in Rajputana. The first two 
years of his reign were employed in quelling revolts in 
Bundelkhand, Jaunpur, and Bihar. Then began a quarrel 
with Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, who had given shelter to 
Humayun's brother-in-law, and furnished the uncle of the 
last Pathan king of Delhi with the means of waging war 
against the new dynasty. Defeated at Mandasor, and 
driven from place to place, the once powerful king of 
Gujarat found shelter at Diu, in the farthest corner of his 

Humayun's success was crowned by his daring capture 
of ChampanfJr, seated on a lofty rock, up whose steep side 
he and 300 of his chosen followers clomb with the help of 
steel spikes. Leaving his brother, Mirza Askari, in charge 
of his new conquests, Humayun marched back to Agra, in 


order to deal with a new rebellion got up by Sher Khan, 
an Afghan noble, who had already made himself master of 
Bihar, and begun the conquest of Bengal. The strong 
fort of Chunfir on the Ganges taken after a stout defence, 
the Mughal monarch pushed on to Gaur, the capital of 
Bengal. Here, however, his troops were sadly thinned by 
sickness, consequent on the heavy rains and floods of an 
Indian monsoon.* In' spite of the weather, his Afghan 
foe made his way up to Jaunpur, and threatened to cut 
off Humayun's retreat. Leaving garrisons in his new 
conquests, Humayun at length began his homeward 

Once more, however, Sher Khan's skilful strategy 
turned his resources to their best account. After defeat- 
ing a strong Mughal force at Monghyr, he suddenly fell 
about daybreak on Humayun's army encamped at Chausa, 
near Buxar, on the road to Benares, routed it with heavy 
slaughter, and drove its leader, with the shattered remnant 
of his host, in wild flight across the Ganges. Humayun 
himself barely escaped drowning, his empress was taken 
prisoner, and the bulk of his best troops perished by the 
sword or in the river. 

A like disaster befell him in the following year not far 
from Kanauj, where with fresh troops recruited from Kabul 
and Lahore he was again surprised by the same bold and 
crafty assailant. From this last crushing blow it took him 
many years to recover. Under the name of Sher Shah the 
victorious Afghan seated himself on the throne of Delhi, 
which he and his successors held for about sixteen years. 
While Humayun, with a few faithful followers, was 
roaming perilously from place to place, from province to 
province, in vain quest of help, now from his brother 
Kamran at Lahore, anon from the rulers of Marwar and 
Sind, Sher Shah was bringing province after province in 

* The rainy season in Bengal lasts from June to the end of September. 


Upper India under his sway, driving Kamran out of the 
Punjab, overrunning Rajputana, and wresting Chitor from 
the discomfited Raja of Mewar. 

His death before Kalanjar in the hour of victory trans- 
ferred the crown to his second son Salim Shah, who, 
supplanting his feeble elder brother, reigned in peace for 
about nine years, and, like his able father, did much for 
the internal improvement of his dominions.* He was 
succeeded in 1553 by his brother Muhammad Shah, who 
secured his power by the murder of his child-nephew, and 
lost half his dominions through successful revolts in the 
course of his three years' reign. 

By this time fortune, tired of persecuting the eldest 
son of Babur, opened the way for his triumphant return 
to India and his father's throne. The first five years of 
Humayun's exile had been a time of perilous adventures, 
cruel hardships, and hairbreadth escapes. Driven from 
Lahore by his brother's self-seeking policy, he had fled to 
Sind for the aid he was not to find there. Crossing the 
desert to Jodhpur with his household and a few followers, 
many of whom died of thirst and weariness by the way, 
he fared no better than before at the hands of a Hindu 
Raja, who had more reason to hate than help him. 
Thrown once more upon the dreary desert, with enemies 
behind him and before, each day's march bringing its own 
hardships, each halt a fresh fight for water with the 
unfriendly villagers, he lost all hope when the horsemen 
of Marwar, led by the son of their Raja, closed in upon his 
small band. But Rajput chivalry still spared the helpless. 
Reproaching Humayun for entering the Rajput country 
without leave, and for slaying the cattle which the Hindus 
held sacred, the son of the Raja supplied the fugitives 
with food and water, and bade them depart in peace, A 

* The stern-looking Pathan fort of Salimgarhat Delhi still bears his name, 

and was probably built in his reign, 


few more days of wandering in the sandy desert brought 
Humfiyun's diminished band to Umarkot on the borders of 
Sind, where they found rest and a kindly welcome from 
its Hindu chieftain, Rana Parsad. Here it was that 
Humayun's beloved Hamlda gave birth, in October, 1542, 
to the son, who afterwards became the glory of India 
under the Mughals. 

With the help of his new friend, Humayun marched 
into Sind, and was making his way there against his old 
enemy, Husen Arghun, when Rana Parsad, fired by some 
real or fancied affront, left the camp with all his followers ; 
and Humayun compounded with adverse fortune by re- 
tiring in 1543 towards Kandahar. Into that city his wife 
and child were admitted by his brother, Mirza Askari ; 
but Humayun himself gained no rest from wandering until 
he found an asylum at Herat, then held by the Shah of 
Persia, who treated him on the whole with great, though 
fitful munificence, and agreed to aid him in wresting 
Kabul from his brother Kamran, on condition of his 
embracing the Shiiih tenets of Islam, and ceding Kan- 
dahar to his Persian ally. 

These terms accepted, the royal exile set forth on his 
appointed task with a few hundred of his own adherents, 
aided by 14,000 Persian horse. In the autumn of 1545 
Kandahar surrendered ; but with the treachery of his race 
Humayun took the first tempting occasion to turn out the 
Persian garrison and replace them by his own troops, 
Kabul, which he took at the beginning of that winter and 
lost again during his absence in Badakhshan, was recap- 
tured in the spring of the year 1547. 

His hold upon the country was still, however, uncertain. 
A reconciliation between the four sons of Babur was ere 
long stultified by a fresh revolt on Kamran's part ; fresh 
mishaps awaited the much-enduring Humayun ; and not 
till 1551 did he find himself once more master of Kabul 


and the surrounding country. Chased from one shelter to 
another, Kamriin was at length betrayed into the hands of 
his long=sufitering brother, who commuted with the loss of 
his eyes the death-sentence awarded by the Mughal officers 
of state.* 

Humayun's thoughts still turned to the scene of his 
early greatness and his father's renown. The new Pathan 
empire was already breaking up, but years of peril had 
taught him caution. Superstition, however, came to the 
aid of his natural restlessness ; encouraging omens bade 
him venture on the path to which many friends and many 
circumstances were already inviting him. At length, in 
December, 1554, he marched from Kabul, made his way 
to Lahore, inflicted a crushing defeat on Sikandar Sur at 
Sind,t and once more entered the gates of Delhi in July, 
1555, after an absence of nearly sixteen years. 

He was not, however, to enjoy his new-found throne 
for long. About six months afterwards, he was going 
down the stairs outside the terrace of his library, when the 
cry to prayer reached him from the nearest minaret. After 
praying like a good Mussulman on the spot, he was rising 
with the help of his staff, when it slipped on the smooth 
marble of the steps, and the king fell headlong over the 
low parapet. On the 25th January, four days after his 
fall, the brave but unlucky son of Babur breathed his last, 
in the forty-ninth year of his age, after a career at least as 
stormy as his father's, set off by many of his father's 
noblest and most endearing, as well as some of his weaker 

* The " Memoirs" quoted by Elphinstone, book vii. chap. 4, say nothing 
of the previous sentence, but would lead us to regard the blinding of Kamran 
as an act of needless cruelty on Humayun's part. That, however, secnis to be 
an unfair view of Humayun's character. 

t Young Akbar, then but twelve years old, was in the thickest of the 
fight. Sikandar was a nephew of the great Sher Shah. 


JALAL-UD-DIN AKBAR, 1556-1605 

The throne to which Akbar succeeded in his fourteenth 
year was very different from that which he handed down 
to his successors. Enemies, open or secret, were plotting 
or rising against him on every side. He had hardly sent 
Sikandar Sur once more flying to the mountains, and 
despatched some of his troops to the help of his ministers 
in Kabul, when Hemu, the Hindu general who still fought 
for Muhammad Shah, the last king of Sher Shah's line, 
advancing from Bengal, captured Agra, occupied Delhi, 
and encamped on the fatal field of Panipat. It was a 
trying moment for the new dynasty when Akbar's general, 
Bairam Khan, resolved, with the young king's willing 
sanction, to stake the hopes of the Mughals on the issue 
of a battle against tremendous odds. On the morning of 
the 5th November, 1556, the fight began which ended in 
the utter rout of PIcmu's army and the capture of its 
brave leader, badly wounded. Urged by Bairam Khan 
to win the title of " Ghazi " — Champion of the Faith — 
by slaying the captive with his own sword, the generous 
Akbar — so some authorities say — refused to strike a 
wounded foe, and the fatal stroke was dealt by Bairam 

A campaign in the Punjab ended in the final surrender 
of Sikandar Sur, who retired to Bengal, where the Pathans 
still held their ground. For the next three years the 
government of Delhi was wielded by the able but too 


imperious Bairam, some of whose actions galled the pride 
and imperilled the authority of his young master. At 
length, in 1560, Akbar by a sudden effort took the reins 
of state into his own hands, and the unseated minister 
presently went into rebellion, in hopes of carving out a 
separate kingdom for himself. Foiled, however, by Akbar's 
promptitude, he had to throw himself on his sovereign's 
mercy. His prayers for pardon were heard by a prince 
who forgot his late offences in remembrance of his former 
great deeds. Raising the suppliant with his own hand, 
Akbar placed him by his side, and bade him choose 
between high office at court or elsewhere and an honour- 
able retreat to Mecca. Bairam chose the latter, but was 
stabbed on his way through Gujarat by an Afghan whose 
father he had slain in battle. 

For many years to come Akbar's throne was anything 
but a bed of roses. He had still to reconquer the greater 
part of India, to control his unruly nobles, to win the 
goodwill or break the power of formidable Hindu and 
Muhammadan princes, to restore order and well-being 
throughout his dominions, to lay anew, in short, the foun- 
dations of a great and lasting empire. His own country- 
men were mere strangers in the land, compared with the 
Pathans, who had been taking root there for three centuries 
past, and who, like the Norman settlers in Ireland, had 
lost many of their distinctive features by close and con- 
tinual contact with surrounding races. It was Akbar's 
chief glory that he saw clearly what he had to do as a 
wise ruler of a distracted country, and did it steadily with 
all his might. Through all the warfare of his long reign 
he acted on the principle of treating his enemies as though 
they might become his friends, and this far-seeing policy 
was justified by almost unvarying success. His highest 
aim was to unite all classes, creeds, and races in India 
under one mild equitable rule ; and his achievements in 


that direction have been rivalled by very few princes in 
any age or country. 

In the first four years of his reign, Akbar extended his 
conquests over Ajmcr, Gwalior, Oudh, and Jaunpur. In 
1 561 IMalwa was wrested from the Afghans by Abdullah 
Khan, an Uzbek leader, who afterwards sought to keep 
the province for himself. Akbar was not long in marching 
against the rebel, who fled to Gujarat. The turbulence 
of commanders who tried to retain the government, or, at 
least, the plunder of the provinces they helped to win, 
would have reduced their young sovereign to a mere 
puppet, but for his boldness in dealing with so common a 
danger to the Muhammadan power. Zeman Khan, the 
conqueror of Jaunpur, had once already succumbed to 
Akbar's resolute bearing ; but now he joined with the dis- 
affected Uzbek lords in Malwa in leading a formidable 
revolt, which Akbar, with hands full of other annoyances, 
could not for several years succeed in quelling. While 
the emperor was chasing his disloyal brother Hakim out 
of the Punjab, the Uzbek rebels pushed their way into 
Oudh and Allahabad. But Akbar's daring strategy served 
him well on this as on many another occasion. By a 
swift and sudden march, with only 2000 men he swooped 
down upon the rebel camp across the Ganges, slew or 
captured several of their leaders, and drove the scared 
troops before him in wild disorder. They never rallied 
again, and thus a revolt which had made head against his 
best generals was quelled at last by the brilliant energy of 
Akbar himself. 

His arms were next turned against Chitor, whose Raja, 
a son of the great Ratia Sanga, retired into the hills, 
leaving behind him a picked garrison of 8000 men. The 
siege of the fortress-city was carried on with patient skill 
by means of regular zigzags and well-laid mines. But the 
defence was equally stubborn, and not till their brave and 


skilful leader, Jai Mai, had fallen by a well-aimed shot from 
Akbar's own bow did the garrison lose heart. Then, with 
the usual wild courage of their race, they slew their women, 
and rushed out to meet their own fate from the Mussulmans 
who had already mounted the breaches. They perished 
nearly to a man, and the fall of their famous stronghold 
sent a shiver of dismay through all Rajasthan. Udi Singh 
himself remained untouched in his native wilds ; but the 
hill-forts of Ranthambhdr and Kalanjar ere long fell to 
Akbar's arms, several of the foremost Rajput princes 
tendered their allegiance to the new power, and a few of 
them afterwards rendered it loyal service as soldiers, states- 
men, or governors of important provinces. Princesses of 
the purest Rajput blood had already begun to enter the 
Imperial household as wives of Akbar, his sons, and kins- 
men.* It is still the boast of the Ranas of Udaipur — the 
city founded by the son of Udi Singh some years after the 
capture of Chitor — that the ladies of their house alone 
have never stooped to intermarry with the kings of Delhi. 

Akbar's merciful treatment of the Hindus bore good 
fruit in his subsequent warfare against his cousins and 
their allies in Gujarat. In 1572 the last king of that 
country had made him a formal tender of his crown, and 
Akbar at once proceeded to make himself master of his 
new kingdom. In one of his rapid marches he found him- 
self with only 156 men in front of 1000 of the enemy. 
But his little band included the Raja of Jaipur and his 
nephew Man Singh, and their steadfast courage not only 
saved his life, but enabled him also to beat off and scatter 
his assailants. One of his rebel cousins was afterwards 
routed by Raja Rai Singh of Marwar. 

Hardly had Akbar returned to Agra from the conquest 
of Gujarat, when his cousin Mirza Husen once more defied 

* Akbar had married two queens from the houses of Jaipur and Marwar, 
and a princess of Jaipur was already married to his eldest son. 


him to the issue of battle. With a force of about 3000 
picked men the prompt Mughal marched more than 450 
miles in nine days, and suddenly confronted the insurgent 
troops near Ahmadabad. In a succession of bold charges 
he swept through and through the astonished foe; a suc- 
cessful sally from the city crowned his own efforts, and 
the siege of Ahmadabad was raised. Peace restored to 
the country, he again returned to Agra, the capital of his 

Two years afterwards he had entered upon the harder 
work of reconquering Bengal and the rest of Bihar from 
the Pathans, whose ruler, Daud Khan, had never paid his 
promised tribute to the Mughals. Before Akbar's steady 
advance Daud retired into Orissa, where he held his 
ground for a time against Akbar's generals, including the 
renowned Todi Mall, his Hindu Minister of Finance. 
Driven at length into a corner, he made peace on con- 
dition of retaining Orissa for himself. In a i^vi months, 
however, he was again tempted to try his fortune with 
Akbar ; but his defeat and death in a pitched battle with 
the Mughal troops ensured the overthrow of the Afghan 
power in Bengal and Bihar. It was not, however, until 
three years later that these new conquests were brought 
into perfect order, after Todi Mall and his successor had 
put down a formidable rising among Akbar's own troops ; 
and not till 1592 was the Afghan power in Orissa finally 
broken by Man Singh. 

Meanwhile Akbar himself had had to deal with his 
restless brother Mirza Hakim, who in 1581 invaded the 
Punjab from Kabul, and drove the governor, Man Singh, 
into Lahore. After chasing him back to Kabul, and 
thence into the mountains, Akbar, with his usual noble- 
ness, forgave his brother's offences, and left him in charge 
of Kabul until his death. This generous policy, however, 
was not always equally successful. At this very time the 


late king of Gujurat, Muzafifar Shah, on whom Akbar had 
bestowed a jaglr, or feudal estate, started a new insur- 
rection in his former kingdom. Driven out of the inland 
provinces Muzaffar still held his ground in Kathiawar for 
a few years longer, until in 1593 he was given up to the 
imperial commanders, and slew himself on his way to the 
Emperor's court. 

Master of Kabul, Akbar ere long set himself to con- 
quer Kashmir. The invading army made its way in 
1587 to Srinagar, the capital; and the king, on making 
his submission, was compensated with a noble jagir in 

Meanwhile Akbar's generals were engaged in a vain 
attempt to subdue the lawless mountaineers of Swat and 
the Khyber. In 1586 the Mughal troops got hopelessly 
entangled among the rugged hills and gorges of Swat ; 
the Raja Bir Bal's division perished nearly to a man under 
the swords of the daring Yuzufzais ; and his colleague 
Zain Khan was driven back with heavy loss to Attock, 
where Akbar had lately built the fort that still overlooks 
the Indus. Fresh troops sent into the mountains under 
Todi Mall and Man Singh made some impression upon 
the foe by cutting off supplies and establishing a chain of 
strong posts in commanding positions. But the Yusufzais 
were never thoroughly subdued, and the legacy of trouble 
which Akbar bequeathed to his successors has not yet 
been exhausted even under the British rule. 

It was about this time that Kandahar and Sind were 
annexed to Akbar's dominions ; * the one conquest com- 
pleting the range of his old hereditary possessions, the 
other leaving him undisputed master of all India north- 
ward of the Narbada, save perhaps the tract of country 
still held against him by the Rana of Udaipur. 

* In his war against Akbar the chief of Sind employed Portuguese soldiers 
and native Sipahis, dressed as Europeans. 


Akbar's hopes were now turned to the Deccan, whither 
a way for his arms seemed to open itself in the offer made 
him by one of the rival claimants to the throne of Ahmad- 
nagar. His troops marched upon the capital, but the 
brave woman Chand Bibl, who held it for her child-nephew, 
maintained a defence so stout and heroic, that, after more 
than one attempt to storm the city, Prince Murad was fain to 
let her alone on condition of being allowed to occupy Berar. 

A few months later war was renewed. Chand Bibi had 
fallen into the power of her own minister, who forced her, 
in spite of the late treaty, to enter into a league with the 
other princes of the Deccan. Early in the next year 
Prince Murad encountered the allies at Sonepet on the 
Godavari. A furious battle, which lasted two days, led to 
no more tangible issue than a protracted quarrel between 
the Mughal prince and his colleagues in command. At 
length Akbar himself resolved to interfere in person. 
Leaving the Punjab, where he had long been staying, he 
reached the Narbada in 1599, and sent an army to renew 
the siege of Ahmadnagar. In spite of the murder of the 
brave Chand Blbl by the agents of a hostile faction, in the 
midst of her efforts to treat for peace, the Mughals soon 
stormed the place with heavy slaughter ; the young king 
was sent prisoner to Gwalior, and the final conquest of 
the whole kingdom might have been forestalled by many 
years had Akbar's return homeward not been hastened 
by unforeseen events. As it was, however, he stayed in 
the Deccan long enough to complete the conquest of 
Khandesh, to betroth one of his sons to a princess of 
Bijapur, and to cripple beyond recovery the power of the 
Ahmadnagar kingdom. 

The cause of his sudden return to Hindustan was the 
revolt of his eldest son Salim, who, left in charge of the 
home government, took advantage of his father's absence 
to seize upon Oudh and Bihar, plunder the treasury at 



Allahabad, and proclaim himself a king. Cruel, violent, 
and revengeful, he had already, at thirty years of age, 
impaired his great mental powers and heightened his 
worst traits by hard drinking and excess of opium. 
Akbar, in terms of fatherly loving-kindness, entreated 
him to forego his unfilial projects, and all would be for- 
given. In the very midst of their negotiations Salim was 
plotting the death of Abul Fazl, one of Akbar's most 
trusted friends and officers, and the chief historian of 
his reign. In happy ignorance of his son's share in 
the murder of so dear a friend, Akbar renewed his offers 
of reconciliation, and Salim, returning to a show of duty, 
took up his abode of Allahabad. 

Fresh quarrels, the fruit of fresh excesses on Salim's 
part, were hardly appeased when Akbar, who had already 
lost his son Murad from illness, had to mourn the death 
of his third son, Prince Daniyal, from chronic drunken- 
ness. All these things preyed upon his own failing 
health, and his dying hours were further embittered by 
the intrigues of opposing factions at his court. Plans 
were formed for setting the unpopular Salim aside in 
favour of his eldest son Khusru, the child of his Rajput 
wife. Akbar's influence, however, asserted itself in the 
jaws of death. The plot came to nothing ; and in the 
presence of his weeping son and reconciled nobles, 
the dying king murmured his last injunctions to peace, 
goodwill, and loyal discharge of duties on the part of 
each and all there assembled. Entreating the forgive- 
ness of any whom he might have offended, and com- 
mendiner to his son's care his own friends and the ladies 
of his household, Babur's glorious grandson ere long 
passed away amidst the prayers of his chief Mullah, on 
the last day of his sixty-third year, in the fifty-second 
year of a reign which began two years before and ended 
two year5 after that of our own Elizabeth. 


IKiiM A MS. IN TIIK \li_lciKI.\ AMI \l l;|:l;i Ml SKIM 

p. 114 


He died in outward seeming a better Mussulman than 
he had lived. His early devotion to the faith of Islam 
had long since yielded to a spirit of philosophical inquiry 
and large-hearted tolerance for all kinds of worship, as 
expressions of human yearning towards a common God. 
The same generous instinct which shrank from slaying the 
captive Hcmu afterwards led him, in the teeth of the 
prevailing bigotry, to show equal courtesy to men of every 
creed, and to encourage Christian priests and Brahman 
pandits in holding free discussion with the learned doctors 
of Islam. The Christians he treated with marked respect, 
paying reverence even to images of Christ and the Virgin 
Mary, and allowing his son Murad to study the Christian 
Gospels. His innate piety, guided by a powerful intellect, 
a tender heart and a romantic sense of justice, taught him 
to see good in forms of worship the most diverse, and to 
eschew the persecuting habits so dear to well-meaning 
zealots of every creed. In his hands the sword of 
Muhammad became a sceptre of upright and merciful 
dealing with all whom circumstances placed under his 
power. He entertained many Christian missionaries and 
discussed religion with them, but he never thought 
seriously of accepting the Faith. 

In accordance with his love of evenhanded justice, he 
annulled all legal sanctions even for practices ordered by 
the Koran. No man was any longer forced by law to fast, 
attend public worship, go on pilgrimage, or abstain from 
wine and unclean meats ; and the rite of circumcision was 
put off till the age of twelve, in order that the young 
believer might be free in a measure to choose his religion 
for himself. In the same spirit he forbade the; burning of 
Hindu widows against their will, the marriage of Hindu 
children before a fit age, and the Hindu practice of trial 
by ordeal.* The latest efforts of English legislation in 

* On one occasion, hearing that the Raji of Jodiipur was forcing his 


India were forestalled by a decree allowing Hindu widows 
to marry again. All taxes on pilgrims, temples, religious 
rites, and the hateful Jiziya or poll-tax so long exacted 
from the conquered Hindus were done away, and a stop 
was put to the cruel old Muhammadan practice of selling 
into slavery all prisoners taken in war. The more zealous 
Mussulmans shrugged their shoulders at these lapses from 
orthodox usage; but the reforming emperor held his own 
way, and their anger seldom broke into open remonstrance 
against changes decreed by "God's Khalif," with the 
virtual assent of doctors learned in Muhammadan law.* 

In substituting a new era dating from his own accession 
for that of the Hijra, he may have been impelled by the 
same kind of vanity which led him to enforce the un- 
Muhammadan practice of prostration before the king. 
His extreme intolerance of the beards worn by all good 
Mussulmans appears to lack even the excuse of public 
policy, claimed for the war which Tzar Peter afterwards 
waged against the beards of Muscovite orthodoxy. But in 
the former instance it is only fair to credit him with the 
good results of a change, which at least included the more 
scientific method of reckoning by solar instead of lunar 
months and years. 

Improving on the example of the Bijapur kings, Akbar 
gave high employment to Hindus of mark or promise. 
The Raja Man Singh became one of his foremost generals 
and most trusty governors. Bir Bal perished as we saw 
among the hills of Swat. Bhagwan Das of Jaipur, Akbar's 
brother-in-law, took a leading part in the conquest of 
Kashmir ; while Raja Todi Mall eclipsed his own renown 
as a successful soldier by his civil government of Bengal 

son's widow to do Satif lie lode off to tlie spot to prevent the intended 

* Akbar took care to obtain the legal opinion of his chief lawyers, that as 
head of the Church he had a right to govern it according to his own judgment, 
(Elphinstone's " India," book ix. chap. 3.) 

Photo, t'y I'Kiiemiooii &• UH<ici~ivoo(i 

A'<r.AR> lOMl; A I >IKANI)AK\H 

p. 1 1 6 


and the great financial reforms which, as Akbar's prime 
minister, he succeeded in carrying through.* Under men 
like these, thousands of Hindus fought in the Imperial 
ranks, or found a wide field for their talents in every 
branch of the civil service, except the judicial, which was 
still reserved for Muhammadans alone. In all suits, how- 
ever, between Hindus, justice was dealt out by the Muham- 
madan judges in strict accordance with Hindu law. 

At once among the bravest and most merciful of men, 
Akbar never took the field himself without chaining victory 
to his standard, nor ever stained his arms with needless 
cruelties. But the need for his presence over, he left his 
commanders to follow up his own successes ; and enjoining 
them to deal humanely with the conquered, betook him- 
self with unfeigned pleasure to works of peace, especially 
to the great work of establishing order and good govern- 
ment throughout the fifteen provinces of his empire. 

For this end he found a fitting helpmate in Todi Mall, 
whose scheme for settling the land-revenue seems in the 
main to have developed the reforming policy of Humayun's 
conqueror, Sher Shah. The land was divided into three 
classes, whose degrees of fruitfulness were measured by 
one uniform standard. For each bigah — equal to about 
two-thirds of an acre — the average yield of its class was 
taken, and of the common average one-third was set apart 
for the government claim. The money value of that third 
was reckoned upon an average of prices for nineteen years 
back, and the husbandman was free to pay the State's 
share either in money or in kind. These assessments, at 
first made yearly, were afterwards revised only once in ten 
years, on an average of payments for the previous ten. 
All matters bearing on these settlements were duly entered 
from time to time in the village registers. No existing 
tenures were altered or ignored. Great care was taken to 
* Todi Mall was a Hindu from Lahore. 


respect the rights and redress the grievances of every 
husbandman. For revenue purposes the country was 
parcelled out into districts of a certain value, each placed 
under its own collector. A great many vexatious fees and 
taxes were removed, and the system of farming the re- 
venue was done away. The net result of these measures 
was to lighten the land of many burdens without much 
reducing its fiscal value to the State. Reforms like these, 
however imperfect, went far to secure the happiness of the 
people, and served as the foundation on which our own 
countrymen were afterwards to build.* 

In reforms of police and public justice the great emperor 
showed himselfequally zealous, in his own despotic fashion, 
for his people's good. Criminals were punished without 
needless cruelty in certain prescribed ways ; torture was 
v.hoUy forbidden ; and in ordinary cases no one could be 
judicially put to death until his sentence had been con- 
firmed by Akbar himself. His troops were regularly paid 
in cash, their equipment carefully supervised, and false 
returns of men and horses checked by musters taken before 
each issue of pay. Each of the officers appointed by the 
king had to keep so many men, horse, foot, matchlock- 
men, and archers, ready for service at need. The army 
thus maintained, however fit for its purpose, was still a 
mere collection of chance levies, compared with the stand- 
ing armies of modern Europe. 

With a soldier's eye for defensive purposes, Akbar built 
the river-fortresses of Attock on the Indus, Agra on the 
Jumna, Allahabad at the meeting of the Jumna with the 
Ganges. In all branches of public business, his hand was 
visible, sweeping away old abuses, retrenching needless 
outlay, and devoting part of his great revenues f to works 

* Elphiiislone's "India," book ix. chap. 3. Colonel Meadows Taylor 
(" Manual of Indian History ") points to the close resemblance between Akbar's 
revenue-settlement and the recent survey and assessment of Bombay. 

t He is said to have drav/n from India a revenue of thirty millions sterling, 


Photo, by Undei-tvood &* I'Htifr^vood 

AlKHPl'k sIKkl 

p. ii; 


of public usefulness or i^^sthetic grandeur. His piety 
reared near Delhi a noble tomb to the memory of his 
father Plumayun. His splendid taste in architecture shone 
out in the mighty gateways, broad quadrangles, and white 
marble domes of Fatehpur Sikri, whose ruined glories still 
fix the traveller's wondering gaze.* Nor did he fail to 
repair and extend the system of canals and waterworks 
begun two centuries earlier by Firoz Tughlak. To a Mir- 
ab, or Chief of the Waters, he entrusted the supreme 
control of all such works, including the collection of water- 
rents and the even distribution of water to those who 
needed it, whether rich or poor. With kindly thought 
for his people's comfort, he ordered the planting of trees, 
" both for shade and blossom," along both sides of the 
canal first cut by Firoz between Karnal and Hissar. t 

Of this great and wise monarch little more remains 
here to tell. His tall but well-knit frame, mighty chest, 
and long sinewy arms, seem to hint something of that 
great bodily strength which delighted in walks of forty 
and in rides sometimes of a hundred miles a-day. His 
eyes were full and dark, his skin of a ruddy brown. 
Though (as the Jesuit tutor of his son Murad testifies) he 
could neither read nor write, he was equally at home in 
the battle-field, in the jungle hunting tigers or tracking 
wild elephants, in the palace weighing or refuting the 
arguments of rival priests or sages, in the council-room 
discussing points of statecraft with ministers like Abul 
Fazl and Todi Mall. Fond in his youth of wine and good 
living, in his after years he kept both these likings under 
stern control. Amidst the splendour of his public pro- 
gresses and receptions, he astonished strangers from the 

more than half of \\ hich came directly from the land. See Thomas's " Revenue 
Resources of the Mughal Empire.'^ 

* Its magnificent ruins cover miles of ground on the road from Agra to 
Jaipur. Their preservation and restoration were undertaken by Lord Curzon, 

t Kaye's "Administration of the East India Company," p. 29. 


West by his unstudied courtesies and simple tastes. He 
slept, \vc arc told, but three hours a-day, spent hours 
together on public business, and took a keen interest in 
mechanical arts, especially in the casting of guns and the 
manufacture of other weapons. A steady friend, a 
generous foe, a forgiving father, a ruler merciful, upright, 
shrewd to select the fittest agents for his work, Akbar has 
left behind him one of the brightest names in the history 
of any country, a name whose lustre remains undimmed 
alike by the flatteries of indiscreet friends and the abuse of 
unsparing foes.* 

[After this chapter was in type, the most valuable life 
of Akbar by Mr. Vincent A. Smith (Oxford, 1917) was 
published. It adds greatly to our knowledge, and should 
be read by all who wish thoroughly to understand the 
complex character of "the Great Mogul." — W. H. H.]. 

* One of these indiscreet friends was Abul Fazl himself, whose " Akbar- 
namah " is one long panegyric. The most valuable record of Akbar's home 
government is the ATn-i-Akbari, or Code of Regulations, drawn up by Abul 
Fazl under his sovereign's direct supervision. 


JAHANGlR, 1605 — 1627 

The new emperor, Salim, under the sounding title of 
Jalianglr, " Conqueror of the World," succeeded peace- 
fully at the age of thirty-seven to his father's throne. 
His earlier measures went far to allay the fears engendered 
by his past shortcomings. His father's old officers were 
retained in their posts ; some vexatious duties and bar- 
barous practices which Akbar had left untouched were 
swept away ; himself a notorious drunkard, he strictly 
forbade the use of wine and regulated that of opium. 
The Muhammadan creed reappeared upon the coinage, 
and the forms and ritual of the old religion resumed their 
place in the outward life of the imperial household. 

The old nature of the man, however, soon revealed 
itself. In the spring of 1606, a few months after the 
emperor's accession, his son Khusru broke into rebellion, 
but a month afterwards found himself a prisoner in his 
father's hands at Lahore. Seven hundred of his followers 
were forthwith impaled alive on a double line of stakes 
outside one of the city gates.* Along this ghastly avenue 
the wretched prince was borne upon an elephant, and com- 
pelled each day to witness the frightful agonies of the 
victims to his own ambition and his father's fierce revenge, 
so long as one of them remained alive. He himself was 

* Elphinstone, quoting Jahangir's Memoirs, gives that number, which 
Dow reduces to three hundred. 


carried to Kabul, where the discovery of a plot for his re- 
lease again hardened his father's heart just as the emperor 
had begun to relax the closeness of his son's confinement. 
The next i^v^ years were marked by the efforts of the 
imperial commanders to subdue the Rana of Udaipur, and 
to complete the conquest of the Deccan, then ruled in 
fact by Malik Ambar, the great Abyssinian noble, who, 
for twenty years after the murder of the brave Chand 
Sultana, upheld the sinking fortunes of the house of 
Nizam Shah. Very little progress did the Mughal arms 
make against the Rajput highlanders of Mewar, until the 
emperor's third son, Prince Khurram, ere long to be 
known as Shah Jahan, took the field in person, and 
proved his generalship by compelling the Rana of Udaipur 
to sue for peace. Mindful of his grandfather's policy, 
Shah Jahan raised from the ground his suppliant foe, 
placed him by his own side, and treated him with all 
kingly courtesy. The heir to the glorious memories of 
Rana Sanga, the ruler of a kingdom independent for many 
centuries, now became the vassal of the great Mughal ; 
but the country which Akbar had conquered from the 
kings of Mewar was restored to that vassal's keeping, and 
his son was raised to one of the chief posts of honour at 
Jahanglr's court. 

Two years after his successes in Rajputana, Shah 
Jahan was sent to retrieve the mishaps of former com- 
manders in the war against Malik Ambar. Abandoned by 
his ally, the king of Bijapur, the great Abyssinian was 
soon forced to surrender the provinces he had won back 
from the Mughals. Within four years, however. Shah 
Jahan was again marching towards the Narbada to drive 
Malik Amt)ar's Afghans and Marathas back to their ap- 
pointed boundaries. In spite of his skilful soldiership, 
the champion of Ahmadnagar v»'as brought to battle and 
again beaten by his former conqueror, who granted him 


the peace he asked for at a heavy price in territory and 

In the midst of these successes trouble was lying in 
wait for the victor himself at the hands of his stepmother, 
Nur-Jahan. Some time before his own accession Jahan- 
glr had seen and loved the beautiful daughter of a Persian 
gentleman, who, after many misfortunes, had taken service 
in Akbar's court. But her hand was already plighted to 
one of Akbar's nobles, the brave Sher Afgan, who led her 
away with him to his manor in Burdwan. Still bent on 
winning her for himself, Jahfinglr, soon after he came to 
the throne, would have bribed her husband into giving 
up his treasure. On Sher Afgan's refusal, high words seem 
to have passed between him and Jahiinglr's agent, the 
Viceroy of Bengal. The latter fell under Sher Afgan's 
dagger, and the murderer in his turn was slain by the 
Viceroy's followers. Nur-Jahan, removed to Delhi, still 
turned a deaf ear to Jahanglr's addresses. At last, how- 
ever, she yielded to his prayers or her own ambition, and 
in 1611 the marriage was celebrated with unusual pomp. 

From that time Nur-Jahan wielded over her husband 
an empire which only ended with his life. He caused her 
name to be inscribed on the coinage ; in all matters which 
attracted her notice her will became law. Her father was 
made prime minister ; her brother was raised to an im- 
portant post. Her taste enhanced the magnificence, her 
good management kept down the expenses of the Emperor's 
court. His vicious tendencies were so far held in check 
by her sweet influence, that he seldom gave way to savage 
outbursts, and never allowed himself to get drunk before 
the evening. 

To Shah Jahan, the ablest and best beloved of his sons, 
the husband of her own niece, the Emperor's acknowledged 

* One of Malik Ambar's chief followers was ShahjT, father of SivajT, founder 
of the Maratha power. 


heir, she had hitherto given her powerful support. But 
the death of her father, followed by that of Prince Khusru, 
the marriage of her own daughter to the Emperor's fourth 
son, Prince Shahryar, and the serious illness of the 
Emperor himself in 1621, all conspired to turn the am- 
bitious woman's heart against the object of her former 
liking. The report of her altered feelings, of her intrigues 
in favour of her new son-in-law, reached the ears of Shah 
Jahan, who had just been ordered to retake Kandahar 
from its Persian conquerors. His manifest unwillingness 
to leave India on such an errand at a time so critical, 
brought him into conflict with his deluded father. A year 
passed away in fruitless interchange of messages between 
Jahanglr at Lahore, and his mistrustful son at Mandu, then 
the capital of Gujarat. At last the quarrel blazed out 
into open war, which told disastrously against Shah Jahan. 
Driven out of the Deccan by superior numbers, he sud- 
denly turned northwards, led his troops boldly through 
Orissa into Bengal, and early in 1624 defeated the 
Governor of that province at Rajmahal. 

For a short time he became master of Bengal and 
Bihar. But the imperial leaders followed him up ; his 
own troops began to melt away, he himself fell sick, and 
at length, in spite of the help afforded him in the Deccan 
by Malik Ambar, the hard-pressed Shah Jahan was fain to 
accept the terms— surrender of his last strongholds, and 
of his two sons as hostages — on which alone his father 
would grant him peace and forgiveness. 

By this time, however, a new quarrel of Nur-Jahan's 
provoking was about to involve the Emperor in new 
difficulties. Mahabat Khan, the Afghan general whom 
the Empress had employed to aid her against Shah Jahan, 
had aroused her jealousy by his late successes in the field 
and his growing influence at Court. False charges were 
brought against him, and by the Emperor's orders a cruel 


outrage was inflicted on his son-in-law.* Mahabat soon 
took his revenge. As the Emperor was marching towards 
Kabul, Mahabat, who had been ordered to accompany 
him, broke one morning into the tent where he lay sleep- 
ing off his last night's carouse. Jahfingir awoke to find 
himself a prisoner, cut off from his troops on the other 
side of the Jhelum by a strong body of Rajputs, who 
guarded the bridge of boats. Baffled in a daring attempt 
to rescue her captive husband, Nur-Jahan resolved to 
share his confinement in the hope of ere long finding a 
way to set him free. 

That hope was soon to be fulfilled. During a review of 
the Imperial troops at Kabul, a body of her own followers 
managed to strike in between the Emperor and his guards, 
and to bear the former away into the midst of assured 
friends. Mahabat Khan was pardoned on condition of 
restoring the Empress's brother, Asaf Khan, to freedom, 
and promising to go in chase of her enemy Shah Jahan. 
The fortunes of that prince, a fugitive in Sind, whom ill- 
health alone prevented from fleeing to Persia, had reached 
their lowest ebb, when the death of his brother Parviz was 
followed by new disagreements between his father and 
Mahabat Khan. The prince and his late pursuer joined 
forces in the Deccan, and appeared to march towards 
Agra, when the death of Jahanglr freed his son from 
further annoyances, and brought Nur-Jahan's power and 
plottings to a timely end. Thenceforth, until her own 
death in 1646, Jahfinglr's widow took no part in public 
affairs, devoting her life and the bulk of her magnificent 
pension to the memory of her uxorious husband. 

It was during the last two reigns that our countrymen 
first made their way to the court of the Great Mughal. In 

* A young nobleman, who had manied Mahabat's daughter without 
the Emperor's leave, was stripped naked and flogged with thorns in Jahanglr's 


1607 Captain Hawkins had been sent out by the East 
India Company with a view to obtain some footing for 
English trade in Indian ports. Some twenty years earlier 
two EngHsh travellers, Ralph Fitch and John Newbery, 
had found themselves, after many hardships and narrow 
escapes by land and sea, safe at last in Akbar's own city 
of Fatehpur Sikri. Little, however, came of this journey, 
whose quaint and interesting details are recorded in Hak- 
luyt's Voyages,* save fresh encouragement to that spirit of 
English enterprise which the voyages and achievements of 
Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh, and other of Elizabeth's captains, 
had just called into active play. Captain Lancaster's first 
voyage in 1591, if it added little to our knowledge of India 
itself, whetted the greed or the curiosity of Englishmen at 
home. In December, 1600, the Earl of Cumberland and 
215 knights, aldermen, and merchants were enrolled by 
royal charter into a company of merchants trading to the 
East Indies, and invested among other privileges with the 
monopoly of our Eastern trade for the next fifteen years. 
Their modest capital of ;^75,ooo was at once laid out in 
five vessels freighted with goods and bullion, and placed 
under the command of Captain Lancaster, who in due 
time brought home a goodly cargo from Sumatra and 
Java, enriched with the spoils of a large vessel captured 
from the Portuguese. Fresh fleets were afterwards de- 
spatched under Middleton, Keeling, and other captains, 
who refilled their vessels, by fair means nor foul, with equal 
scorn for the feelings of native traders and the exclusive 
claims of their Portuguese rivals. 

In company with Keeling went Captain Hawkins, who, 
after many adventures and much resistance from the 

* Richard Hakluyt., Archdeacon of Westminster, first published in 1582 a 
small collection of Voyages and Discoveries, afterwards much enlarged in 
1589 — 1600. He became the first historiographer to the old East India Com- 
pany, founded in 1600, 


Portuguese and their friends at Surat, met with a gracious 
welcome at Agra, in 1609, from Jahanglr himself. For a 
time all went hopefully with the English stranger. He 
was promised a handsome salary while he stayed at court ; 
an Armenian maiden was sought out and given him for 
wife ; his pleadings on behalf of the new company were 
heard with seeming approval ; and leave was granted him 
under the Emperor's seal to establish a factory at Surat. 
At last, however, his prospects began to change for the 
worse. The intrigues of his enemies at Surat and of 
Portuguese agents at Agra prevailed against him ; his 
salary was left unpaid ; his interviews with the Emperor 
grew less frequent; and at length, in November, 161 1, 
Hawkins set out on his homeward journey with the main 
object of his mission unfulfilled. 

A few months afterwards, however, Captain Best reco- 
vered the ground which Hawkins had won and lost. With 
his four ships he inflicted a signal defeat on a Portuguese 
squadron, which sought to keep English traders out of 
Surat. His victory taught the Imperial officers to respect 
those whom they had hitherto despised. In 161 3 Jahan- 
glr confirmed by formal treaty the privileges first bestowed 
on Hawkins ; and from that time Surat became the chief 
seat of English trade in Western India. 

The footing thus gained by the East India Company 
was quickly followed up by the despatch of another 
embassy to the Mughal Court. In the last days of 161 5 
Sir Thomas Roe presented his letters from King James I. 
to Jahanglr, who received him with marked distinction at 
Ajmcr, and treated him for two years as an honoured and 
even familiar guest. With very few exceptions, the great 
men and courtiers followed the Emperor's example. Their 
good-will indeed could not always be secured without 
heavy bribes; nor did Shah Jahan himself* look kindly 
* Roe describes him as a tyrant and a bigot, who never smiled, nor paid 


the new-comers who sympathized with his brother Khusru, 
and shared, however innocently, in the drunken revellings 
at his father's court. In the end, however, Sir Thomas 
overcame all obstacles by dint of unwearied patience and 
cool address ; and he returned to Surat armed with fresh 
powers on behalf of the Company, whose rights of trading 
were thenceforth extended to the whole of India. 

It was one thing to secure these rights on paper, but 
quite another to enforce them against jealous rivals from 
the West, and unwilling servants of the Mughal. Little by 
little, however, the Company enlarged their outlay and 
found new markets for their trade. A few years of joint 
action between the Dutch and English companies in the 
eastern seas closed abruptly in 1623 with the torture and 
execution of twelve Englishmen at Amboyna,* on an 
utterly false charge of conspiring to seize the Dutch fort. 
Driven from the spice-bearing Moluccas, the English 
turned their attention more and more to India itself, where, 
besides their growing trade with Surat, they had already 
gained a footing on the Malabar coast. In 1625, their 
first settlement on the eastern or Coromandel coast was 
founded at Armagaon, a little to the south of Vellore. 
Within three years the new factory was armed with twelve 
guns and manned by a small body of factors and soldiers. 
Thither was removed the trade which some years earlier 
had flowed to Masulipatam. Ere long, however, the trade 
of Armagaon proved so unprofitable, that in 1639 Mr. 
Day got leave from a native chief to build a new factory at 
Madraspatam, the germ of Fort St. George and the popu- 
lous city of Madras. But we must not further anticipate the 
events which have to be recorded in the following chapters. 

court to any in particular ; " flattered by some, envied by otliers, loved by 
none " ; but the picture must be taken witli large allowance for outward appear- 
ances and the force of personal prejudice. 

* One of the largest of the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, in the Eastern 


SHAII JAHAN, 1628-1658 

On the death of Jahangir, his son Shah Jahaii hastened 
to Agra, where with the help of Nur-Jahan's brother, Asaf 
Khan, he quietly mounted his father's throne. Freed 
from present anxieties by the capture and death of Shah- 
ryar,* the new emperor gave the reins to his taste for 
splendid pageantry and architectural grandeur. In the 
midst of festivals costing millions of rupees, and of magni- 
ficent plans for rebuilding and adorning Delhi, he was sud- 
denly called upon to put down a formidable revolt headed 
by Khan Jahan Lodi, one of his great lords and former 
opponents, who claimed descent from the Pathan kings of 
Delhi. Mistrustful of the emperor's feelings towards him- 
self he suddenly broke away from Agra with his household 
and armed retainers, beat back the pursuing troops at the 
Chambal, and, plunging into the wilds of Bundelkhand 
and Gondwana, made his way into the Deccan, where he 
counted on bringing many an old friend to his side, if not 
on raising the whole of Southern India against the 
Mughal. From the King of Ahmadnagar, who had just 
lost his able minister, Malik Ambar, he met with a warm 
w^elcome ; but the Kings of Bijapur and Golconda held 
aloof ; and the Maratha chieftain, ShahjT, soon saw reason 
to abandon his former friend, and enter into the service of 
Shah Jahan. Defeated, hunted from place to place, and 

* Not only Shahryar, but the sons of Prince Daniyal also, were put to death 
by Shah Jahan's orders, 



baffled in every attempt to make a stand, Khan Jahan fell 
at last fighting bravely near Kalanjar, at the head of a few 
of his remaining followers. 

After his death the war which he had kindled in the 
Deccan blazed up afresh. The King of Bijapur at length 
took part with his neighbour of Ahmadnagar. On the 
murder of the latter by his minister, Fattah Khan, the son 
of Malik Ambar, his people made peace with the emperor, 
who turned his arms against Bijapur. For several years 
the king of that country defied the efforts of such able 
commanders as Asaf Khan and Mahabat Khan. Ahmad- 
nagar, under its new master, Shahjl, again joined the 
conflict on the side of Bijapur ; and not till 1636 did Adil 
Shah of Bijapur give up the doubtful game, on condition 
of paying a yearly tribute to Shah Jahan in return for a 
large slice of the Ahmadnagar state. Next year Shahjl 
also made peace, and thenceforth Ahmadnagar ceased to 
be an independent kingdom. 

Meanwhile, in 163 1, the Portuguese were finally driven 
out of Hugli, near Calcutta, by order of Shah Jahan, who 
had not forgotten the refusal of the Portuguese governor 
to aid him in his hour of need against his father's troops. 
After an existence of nearly a century, the fort at HQgli 
was stormed by the Mughals, a thousand of the garrison 
were put to the sword, besides several thousands taken 
prisoners, and only three out of three hundred ships in the 
river made their escape. Thenceforth the Portuguese power 
in Bengal was crushed for ever. 

In 1637, Kandahar, the old appanage of the House of 
Babur, was surrendered to the Mughals by its governor, 
Ali Mardan Khan. Ten years later, however, it fell again 
into Persian hands, and the bravest efforts of Shah Jahan's 
officers and men failed, after three sieges, in winning it 
back. Meanwhile, Ali Mardan had tried the mettle of his 
troops, including 14,000 Rajputs, in conquering Balkh for 

I'iwla. by I iiiierwooi/ ih- I nAinovii 


p. 1 ;o 


Shah Jahan. After two years, however, of harassing war- 
fare with the Uzbeks from beyond Oxus, Shah Jahan 
was glad to make over his new conquest to its former 

For two years after the failure of the last attempt on 
Kandahar, the empire enjoyed unbroken peace. Shah 
Jahan employed that interval in extending to the Deccan 
the revenue system shaped out by Todi Mall. Emulous 
of Akbar's great example, his grandson governed well and 
justly according to Eastern ideas, treating his subjects, 
says Tavernier, as a father would treat his children, and 
choosing for his ministers men like Saad Ullah Khan, 
ablest and most upright of Indian wazirs. In spite of 
his lavish outlay on the court, on public shows, and the 
embellishment of great cities, he seems to have raised 
with ease a revenue of more than fifty millions, and he 
left as much as twenty-four millions behind him in his 
treasury. His people, on the whole, were prosperous and 
contented. The noblest streets in modern Delhi, the 
fortified palace with its marble halls and wide courts, and 
the Jama Masjid, or Great Mosque of that city, attest the 
splendour of his taste in building ; while the exquisite 
Taj Mahal at Agra, with its taper minarets, soft-swelling 
marble dome, delicate trellis-work, and flowing mosaics 
has few, if any, rivals in the world for stately grace and 
symmetry of form, chaste brilliance of general effect, and 
finished beauty of rich but telling decoration. Reared in 
memoryof his empress, Mumtaz-Mahall, it has since served 
to delight a long succession of strangers from the West.* 

* Seen by moonlight, filling up one end of the cypress avenue leading from 
the outer gate to the marble terrace whereon it stands, the Taj gleams like a 
vision of fairyland. In March, 1904, Lord Curzon was able to state that as 
the result of his exertions the Taj is now approached through a beautiful park, 
and " the group of tombs, the arcaded streets and grassy courts, that precede 
the main building, are once more as nearly as possible what they were when 
completed by the masons of Shah Jahan, Every building in the garden 


A yet costlier, if less noble, monument of decorative art 
was the far-famed peacock-throne at Delhi, adorned with 
a mass of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and other gems, 
after the fashion of a peacock's tail. 

Meanwhile, however, the ambition of Aurangzeb, one of 
the emperor's sons, and the intrigues of Mir Jumla, wazir 
to the King of Golconda, rekindled the flames of war in 
the Dcccan, with results that proved ruinous in the long- 
run to the Mughal empire. Appointed viceroy of the 
Deccan after his failure at Kandahar in 1653, Aurangzeb 
took up Mir Jumla's quarrel with his master, and per- 
suaded the emperor to let him work his will on the king 
of Golconda. Hyderabad was sacked by the viceroy's 
troops, and Abdullah Kutb Shah, driven in a corner, 
accepted the hard terms imposed by Aurangzeb. 

At this moment died Mahmud Adil Shah, the aged 
King of Bijapur, whose capital he had adorned with some 
of the noblest buildings to be seen in India, His death 
became the pretext for new aggressions on the part of 
Aurangzeb, who claimed for the emperor the right of 
naming an heir to the vacant throne. A Mughal army 
made a sudden inroad into Bijapur. Marking his pro- 
gress with- fire and sword, Aurangzeb at length besieged 
the city of Bijapur itself. The young king, whose troops 
were chiefly away in the Carnatic, was ready to accept 
such terms as his enemy might choose to force upon him, 
when news of the emperor's serious illness reached the 
camp of Aurangzeb, Concluding a hasty peace with his 
lately despairing foe, that crafty prince made ready to 
take all advantage of an illness which at any moment 
might end in death. 

Then began a fight for empire between the four sons of 

enclosure of the Taj has been scrupulously repaired, and the discovery of old 
plans has enabled us to restore the water channels and flower beds of the 
garden more exactly to their original state." 


Shah Jahan. Dara Shikoh, the eldest, who had for some 
time shared his father's power and duties, was now in his 
forty-second year — a frank, free-handed, open-hearted 
prince, of undoubted talent, marred by an overbearing 
temper and an utter want of common prudence. In 
religion a free-thinker of Akbar's school, he lacked one 
main source of the influence wielded by his abler, warier, 
more scheming, and far more bigoted brother, Aurangzeb. 
Between these two came Prince Shuja, viceroy of Bengal, 
whose talents were neutralised by his love of wine and 
pleasure. Aurangzeb's younger brother, Murad, viceroy 
of Gujarat, was brave and generous, but dull-witted, 
gluttonous, and a drunkard. In him, however, the third of 
his father's sons found a convenient tool for the carrying 
out of his own plans. Leaving Dara and Shuja to waste 
their strength against each other, Aurangzeb soon taught 
the credulous Murad to look upon him as a firm upholder 
of Murad's claim to their father's throne. They agreed to 
join forces against the free-thinking Dara and his Hindu 
lieutenant, Jeswant Singh. 

In April, 1658, Shuja, defeated by Suliman, the son of 
Dara, withdrew from his fruitless struggle into Bengal. 
Meanwhile Dara himself marched to his own defeat at the 
hands of Aurangzeb. Falling back from Ujjain to Agra, 
the beaten prince, impatient of his father's counsels, and 
trusting to his own superior numbers, staked his own and 
his father's fortunes on a battle fought near Agra in the 
month of June. The day was nearly his own, when a 
panic seized his troops, and Aurangzeb, pressing forward, 
drove them in wild flight from the field he had well-nigh 
lost. Pushing his advantage, he marched on to Agra, took 
his aged father prisoner, and, throwing off the mask he 
had hitherto worn, placed Murad also under close arrest. 
On reaching Delhi in August, he caused himself to be 
proclaimed emperor in the room of Shah Jahan. The 

134 fflSTOJ^y OF INDIA 

deposed monarch lived for eight years longer, but his 
splendid reign of thirty years ceased with the entrance 
into Delhi of his iindutiful son. 

During these years the English made further progress 
in their Indian trade. In 1634 Shah Jahan gave the East 
India Company leave to trade with Bengal, and the first 
factory in that province was set up at Pipli, near the 
mouth of the Hugh river. Two years afterwards a suc- 
cessful cure wrought on the emperor's daughter by Mr. 
Boughton, one of the Company's surgeons, was rewarded, 
at his own request, by new concessions to his employers. 
In return for a like service rendered by that gentleman 
to the household of Prince Shuja, his countrymen were 
allowed to erect new factories at Hugh and Balasore. 

Meanwhile a rival company, favoured, for his own pur- 
poses, by Charles I., attempted for about twenty years to 
trade on their own account in the Eastern seas. At length, 
however, the influence of the older body prevailed with 
Cromv/ell's councillors, and the two companies became 
one. Surat and Madras formed two presidencies ; the 
former having control over the settlements in the Persian 
Gulf and Western India, while the latter held sway over 
the factories in Bengal and along the Coromandel coast. 


AURANGZEB, 1658-1707 

Under the title of Alamglr, Lord of the World, the new 
emperor began his reign. In the midst of his relentless 
pursuit of his brother Dara, he was called away to 
encounter Shuja, who had once more taken the field with 
a well-appointed army, and had already reached Benares on 
his march up towards Agra. The two brothers encountered 
each other at Kajwa, a few marches to the north-west of 
Allahabad. In spite of a sudden attack upon his rear by 
his old opponent Raja Jeswant Singh, the emperor bravely 
held his ground, until by a mixture of cool courage, able 
generalship, and good fortune, the imminent defeat was 
turned into a crushing victory. Allahabad surrendered to 
the conqueror, and Shuja, hotly pressed by Mir Jumla, 
fell back into the heart of Bengal. The rainy season 
compelled a pause in the pursuit ; but by the year's end 
Shuja had been driven across the Brahmaputra. A few 
months later he fled with a few followers into the Arakan 
hills, where all trace of him and his family very soon 

Meanwhile Dara, abandoned by Jeswant Singh, whom 
his crafty brother had at length bought over to his own 
side, led his recruited forces to a strong position near 
Ajmcr. Once more a hard-fought battle ended in his 
defeat at the hands of his abler and more determined 

* It is suppossl that they lost their lives through plotting agiinst the 
Raja of Arakan. (Elphinstone's "India," booic ix. chap, i.) 


brother. Ahmadabad shut his gates on the princely 
fugitive ; his wife died of fatigue and suffering on the 
way to Kandahar ; and ere long Dara himself, with one of 
his sons, was basely betrayed into the hands of his ruth- 
less brother by a man whom he had once befriended, the 
chief of Jun in Eastern Sind. Led in chains, on a sorry 
elephant, through the streets of that Delhi whose heart 
still yearned towards its recent master, the ill-starred 
captive was hurried to trial on the convenient charge of 
apostasy from the faith of Islam. When his head was 
brought to Aurangzeb, the emperor made a show of weep- 
ing over the fruits of his own unsparing ambition. 

By a strange coincidence the two sons of Dara and the 
son of his youngest brother Murad died shortly afterwards 
in the prison they had been sharing together in Gwalior. 
Murad himself, whose blind trust in Aurangzeb had been 
requited by a long imprisonment, was finally brought to 
trial on a charge trumped up against him by his heartless 
brother, and paid with his life the penalty of standing too 
near the throne. 

Soon afterwards another source of possible danger was 
removed out of the emperor's way. His ablest general 
Mir Jumla, had been ordered or encouraged to attempt 
the conquest of Assam. For a time Mir Jumla carried all 
before him ; but the rain-floods stopped him in mid- 
career ; sickness raged among his troops ; and a disastrous 
retreat to Dacca ended in their great leader's death. His 
memory was honoured by his son's promotion, and an 
expressive eulogy from the pen of Aurangzeb.* 

By that time the emperor's alarming illness had for a 
moment threatened his life as well as his throne. As he 
lay in the last stage of weakness, he learned that his 
enemies were plotting to set up Shah Jahan, or one of 

* " You have lost a father," he wrote to Muhammad Amin, " and I have 
lost the greatest and most dangerous of my friends." 


his own sons, in his stead. Propped up by pillows, he 
insisted on receiving anew the homage of his chief barons ; 
and wrote out the orders which his tongue still refused to 
utter. By such means, with the help of his faithful sister, 
Raushanara, he kept his enemies quiet until his recovered 
health put all hope of active resistance out of their heads. 

About this time a new and more serious peril to the 
House of Babur had begun to rear its head beyond the 
Narbada. The bold Maratha chieftain Shahjl, whom we 
lately saw carving a new kingdom for himself in the 
Deccan,* was son of Maloji Bhosla, a Maratha captain 
of horse under the orders of Jadu Rao, a distinguished 
Rajput leader, who, after following the fortunes of the 
renowned Malik Ambar, had at length thrown him over 
for the sake of serving under Shah Jahan, In due time 
Maloji won for Shahjl the hand of Jadu's highborn 
daughter, to which he had long aspired in vain. By fair 
means or foul Shahji in his turn fought his way among 
the wrecks of fallen dynasties and dismembered kingdoms 
to the lordship of large estates lying between Poona and 

His second son SivajT, the future founder of the 
Maratha empire, was brought up at Poona under his 
mother's care, by his father's Brahman agent, Dadajl 
Pant. Inured from boyhood to hardy exercises, and 
mingling constantly with the wild Maratha highlanders 
in his neighbourhood, Sivajl ere long broke from his 
tutor's care, and became the leader of a band of lawless 
youths ready to follow him in any raid, whether against 
the wild beasts of their native hills or the Muhammadan 
dwellers in the plains. At the age of nineteen he con- 
trived to seize the strong hill-fort of Torna, twenty miles 
south-west of Poona. In the following year he built a 
new stronghold on a neighbouring hill. Ere long several 

* See book iii. chap. 4, 


Other forts were wrested from their Muhammadan masters, 
and placed under the charge of his Maratha followers. 
Emboldened by these successes, and enriched by the 
plunder of a convoy on its way to Bijapur, he swooped 
down upon the Konkan and brought under his sway a 
good deal of the rugged woody lowlands stretching west- 
ward from the Ghats to the sea.* 

At last the story of his exploits found its way to the 
court of Bijapur. His father, Shahji, was seized as a 
hostage for the offending son ; and a cruel death stared 
him in the face, when Sivaji's appeal to the emperor Shah 
Jahan opened the prison door to Shahji, if it failed as yet 
to ensure his perfect freedom. Four years later, when 
Shahji's services were imperatively needed elsewhere, 
Sivajl, by this time the eldest of his father's surviving 
sons, began to renew his old raids, with a steadiness of 
purpose heightened by religious zeal, and a boldness all 
the more successful for the tiger-like cunning that knev/ 
how and when to give it free play. A true Maratha in 
that wily daring and unscrupulous pursuit of a given end, 
which marked off his Sudra countrymen from the high- 
souled thorough-bred Rajputs of the north, he had long 
since gathered, alike from the folk-lore of his native hills 
and the religious surroundings of his boyhood, abundant 
fuel for his ambition, and all needful sanction for his most 
unscrupulous deeds. Patriotism and piety alike impelled 
him on that path of conquest, which was to end the last 
great struggle for empire between the Marathas and the 
countrymen of Lord Wellesley. 

Before the end of 1655 Sivajl had laid violent hands 
on the hill-country as far south as Satara. During the 
three years of Aurangzeb's viceroyalty, the wily Hindu 
amused his powerful rival with loyal offers which he took 

* The Ghats, or Sahyadri Hills, from 3000 to 5000 feet high, run along 
the western coast of India from the Tapti southwards, thirty or forty miles 
from the sea. 


care not to fulfil. On Aurangzeb's departure, Slvaji 
renewed his old game against Bijapur. An army sent to 
punish him under Afzal Khan was lured into the woody 
ravines near his strong fort of Partabgarh, where Afzal 
himself fell treacherously murdered by Sivajl at a peaceful 
interview, and his troops were slain or scattered by a 
sudden onset of Maratha bands. 

Next year the bold outlaw, hard pressed by his pur- 
suers, escaped by a clever trick from the fort of Panala 
after a close siege of four months. For several months 
defeat and danger dogged his steps. It was not in Sivajl, 
however, to despair. Fortune once more smiled on its 
daring follower; and before the end of 1662, with the aid 
of his father, Shahji, he had won from the King of Bijapur 
a peace which left him master of the Konkan from Kalyan 
to Goa, and of the hill country between the Bhima and the 
Kistna, a dominion 250 miles long by nearly 100 broad. 
His troops at this time already numbered 7000 horse and 
50,000 foot. 

Freed from one enemy, Sivaji presently dared the 
wrath of another, by raiding almost up to the walls of 
Aurangabad. In vain did Aurangzeb's generals bear 
down upon the foe, who gave way only to renew his 
attacks.* Driven out of Poona and shut up for a time 
in a neighbouring stronghold, Sivaji suddenly burst away 
from his pursuers, and with 4000 light horsemen swooped 
down upon Surat. The English and Dutch factories beat 
off the invader ; but the rich native city fell into his hands, 
and its plunder was safely lodged in his fort of Raigarh. 

The death of Shahji about this time threw into his 
son's hands a large tract of country on the southern 

* One of Sivaji's most daring exploits was the attempt to slay Aurangzeb's 
uncle, Shaysta Khan, who hatl taken up his quarters in Sivaji's house at Poona. 
Entering the house in disguise, he so nearly effected his purpose, that Shaysta 
Khan lost two fingers in getting away, while his son and most of his guards 
were cut to pieces by Sivaji's followers. 


frontier of Bijapur. Armed with fresh means for mis- 
chief, Sivaji began to worry the Mughals by sea. After 
capturing many of their ships and taking heavy ransom 
from rich pilgrims bound for Mecca, he sailed at the head 
of a large fleet down the coast to Barsalor, in Kanara, 
130 miles south of Goa. Enriched with the plunder of 
that ;once busy seaport, the royal freebooter — he had just 
assumed the title of raja — made a fresh inroad into the 
Mughal dominions. By this time, however, the wrathful 
emperor had despatched a large army under Raja Jai 
Singh against his irrepressible foe, who deemed it best to 
purchase present safety by surrendering most of the forts 
he had wrested from the Mughals, on condition of holding 
the remainder as a jaglr from Aurangzeb. Another claim 
which the emperor tacitly yielded, Sivaji's right to the 
" chauth," or a fourth part of the Bijapur revenues, became 
a fruitful pretext for many a future inroad into the heart 
of the Mughal empire. 

Under the standard of his countryman Jai Singh, 
Sivaji's warrior's fought so bravely in the next campaign 
against Bijapur, that Aurangzeb in flattering terms invited 
Sivajl himself to his court. So little, however, did the 
emperor's treatment of his new guest, whom he slighted as 
a mere adventurer and hated as a foe to Islam, appear to 
tally with his former promises, that Sivajl, swallowing 
down his rage and disappointment, quietly prepared to 
escape from the snares which his wily host had seemingly 
beorun to weave around him. His friends and followers 
once fairly out of Delhi, he himself in the dirt and rags of 
a Hindu fakir, made his way by baffling marches to the 
Deccan ; and, nine months after his flight from the capital, 
was safely lodged in his own eyrie at Raigarh. 

This period, which also marks the death of Shah 
Jahan, was perhaps the most prosperous of Aurangzeb's 
long reign. Little Tibet and Chittagong had just been 


added to his dominions. His capital was thronged with 
envoys from Arabia, Persia, Abyssinia, and the Khan of 
the Uzbeks. The only clouds that darkened his prospects 
were the failure of his designs on Bijapur, and the renewed 
activity of Slvaji himself. Even before the latter's return 
to Raigarh, his lieutenants had won back several of their 
master's former strongholds, and Sivaji lost no time in 
bettering their example. Jai Singh's successor, Jeswant 
Singh, was bribed, or frightened into making peace with 
his Maratha opponent on terms which the emperor, for 
his own purposes, deemed it best to sanction. 

Confirmed in his recent conquests, and endowed with a 
new domain in Berar, Sivajl turned his arms against Bijapur 
and Golconda to such purpose, that the rulers of both 
those states were glad to buy off their old assailant 
willi the promise of a yearly tribute. Two years of peace 
passed by, which SlvajI devoted to the better government 
of his various conquests. Great in peace as in war, he 
ruled his subjects with a firm yet light hand, enforcing 
equal justice between high and low, choosing his agents 
from the ablest men in the land, and recruiting his treasury 
by fair and regular processes. His troops were highly 
paid and kept under the strictest discipline, and a well- 
ordered economy marked every branch of the public 

Meanwhile the crafty emperor tried every art to lure 
into his hands the one foe whom he seems to have chiefly 
dreaded. Baffled at every turn by the wary Maratha, he 
at length gave orders for his forcible seizure. The peace 
thus broken, SivajT at once forestalled his enemies by a 
series of well-aimed and telling blows. By a daring night 
attack a choice body of his mountaineers recovered the 
strong fort of Singarh, near Poona. One of his generals 
overran Khandesh, and levied the chauth on that province. 
He himself once more plundered Surat, and Janjira, on 


the Konkan coast, only escaped his clutches by placing 
itself under the protection of the Mughals. An army of 
40,000 men, under Mahabat Khan, son of Shah Jahan's 
old ally, was sent against him ; but half their number 
were routed in fair fight by Slvaji's warriors, whose mettle 
had never before been tried against the Mughals in the 
open field. 

For several years the war in the Deccan languished, 
while Aurangzeb was engaged in a series of struggles, now 
with the hill tribes of Afghanistan, anon with Hindu 
fanatics and Rajput princes nearer home. Not till 1675 
did he succeed in patching up a piece with the unruly 
Khyberi and Yusufzai borderers, who had destroyed a 
Mughal army five years before. Next year the revolt of 
the Satnaramis, a sect of Hindu devotees who had seized 
Narnol and beaten back the troops at first sent against 
them, was quelled with heavy bloodshed and fearful mas- 
sacres. For some years back the emperor had done his 
worst to estrange his Hindu subjects by a series of attacks 
on their religion, by forbidding the further employment 
of Hindus in the public service, and by lightening the 
burdens of the Muhammadans at their expense. At last 
the reimposition of the hated Jiziya, and the attempt to 
seize the v,'idow and children of Raja Jeswant Singh, filled 
up the measure of his offences, and relit the flames of war 
in Rajputana. 

Overawed by the emperor's swift movements and 
powerful array, the Rana of Mewar, or Udaipur, agreed to 
a peaceful compromise, which a few months later he 
appears to have set at naught. A long and uncertain 
struggle, embittered by mutual hate, by the ruthless 
ravages of the Mughals, and revived by the defection of 
Prince Akbar from his father's side, ended in a peace 
which enabled Aurangzeb once more to turn his whole 
attention to the Deccan, But the old ties which had held 


the Rajputs faithful to the empire for a hundred years past 
were rent for ever. Aurangzeb's bigotry had undone 
Akbar's work, and the strife, thus hardly allayed by mutual 
concessions, blazed up ever and anon during the rest of 
Aurangzeb's stormy reign. 

Meanwhile Slvaji had not been idle. The death of the 
King of Bijapur tempted him to renew his inroads on a 
country ruled by a weak ministry, in the name of a child- 
heir. Ere long nearly all the Southern Konkan had 
fallen into his hands. In June, 1674, he had himself 
crowned with all solemnity at Raigarh. Next year he 
was beating up the Mughals in Khandesh, Berar, and the 
heart of Gujarat. A well-planned alliance with Golconda 
opened the way for his long and successful march across 
the Kistna by way of Cuddapah, Madras, and Gingee to 
Vellore. Fort after fort, including Gingee and Vellore, 
fell to his arms, his father's domains in Mysore were 
brought under his rule, the chauth was levied through the 
Carnatic, and his half-brother, Venkaji, had to pay over 
half his revenue for the peaceful retention of Tanjorc. 
By the middle of 1678 SivajI returned in triumph to 

A few months afterwards Sivaji was on his way to help 
Bijapur against its Mughal assailants, who were soon 
compelled, by his active efforts in their rear, to raise the 
siege of that city. The price of his timely succour was 
the cession of the Raichur Doab, between the Tungabhadra 
and the Kistna, and of full sovereignty over all Shahjl's 
domains in Bijapur. In the very flush of these last 
successes the great Maratha leader succumbed to a sterner 
foe than any he had yet encountered. A mortal illness 
carried him off in 1680, in the fifty-third year of his age, 
in the midst of a career not often paralleled in the history 
of any country. From a mere leader of banditti he had 
fought his way in thirty-four years, twenty of which had 


been spent in braving the might of Aurangzeb himself, 
into the very highest rank of Indian heroes, and the 
lordship of a kingdom strong enough to survive the 
onsets of, and ere long to break in pieces, the empire of 
the Mughals. 


AURANGZEB — {cotttifwed) 

SiVAjT'S eldest son, Sambhaji, had no sooner mounted his 
father's throne, than he took a cruel revenge on all who 
had favoured the cause of his half-brother, Raja Ram. 
Dissolute as well as cruel, he left the management of 
state affairs to his worthless favourite, Kalusha, while he 
himself launched out into all manner of sensual excesses. 
From these he roused himself to renew his father's attacks 
upon Janjira ; but the Sidis or Abyssinians, who held that 
city, forced him to raise the siege, defeated his fleet in the 
harbour of Bombay, and laid waste a part of his own 

He had not long returned to his favourite pleasures, 
when the advance of a Mughal army under Prince Muaz- 
zam called him again into the field. Aurangzeb himself 
was marching southwards at the head of a powerful array 
of horse, foot, and guns, followed by a train the most 
maenificcnt that even India had ever seen. The fine 
army which Muazzam led among the rocks and forests of 
the Konkan was so worried on its march by active 
Maratha horsemen, and so worn with hunger and disease, 
that only a disordered remnant emerged into the country 
eastward of the Ghats. Prince Azam was equally unsuc- 
cessful in his first attempt against Bijapur. While the 
emperor himself in the following year was preparing to 
move forward from Ahmadnagar, Sambhaji's horsemen 
scoured the country in his rear, sacked and burned the 



great city of Burhanpur, overran Khandesh, and threatened 
Berar. Next year the same tactics were employed with 
like success against Gujarat ; and Broach, at the mouth of 
the Narbada, shared the fate of Burhanpur. 

The emperor, however, was not to be lightly turned 
aside from his long-cherished schemes of conquests in 
Southern India. Golconda having in the meantime been 
heavily punished for daring to accept aid from SambhajT, 
he led his troops in person against the magnificent capital 
of the Adil-Shahi kings of Bijapur, A strict blockade 
forestalled the more hazardous issues of a direct assault, 
and on the 15th October, 1686, Aurangzeb was borne in 
triumph over the breach his guns had already made. 
Three years afterwards, the last Pathan king of Bijapur 
died a prisoner in his conqueror's hands, and the great 
city which his sires had embellished with mosques and 
palaces of surpassing beauty was consigned to neglect and 
its fatal follower, decay. 

Within a year after the fall of Bijapur, Golconda also 
had succumbed to the arms and treachery of Aurangzeb. 
For seven months Abul Hasan, the last king of the Kutb- 
Shahi line, defended his capital with the courage of 
despair; but treason fought against him, and in 
September, 1687, he too passed away from his throne 
to a prison in the fort of Daulatabad. 

No time was lost in continuing the work of conquest 
on which Aurangzeb had set his heart. Before the end of 
1688, his rule extended to the borders of Tanjore ; and 
SambhajT, steeped in debauchery, saw one after another of 
his father's conquests fall away from his enfeebled grasp. 
At length he himself, in the midst of a drunken revel, was 
surprised by a body of Mughals, and borne off a prisoner 
to the imperial camp. Offered his life on condition of 
abjuring his creed, the proud son of Sivajl spurned the 
bribe in terms of scornful ridicule, for which death alone 


was deemed too light a punishment by the enraged Mughal. 
After his eyes had been destroyed by a hot iron, and his 
tongue cut out for reviling the Prophet, he was at length 
beheaded along with his favourite, Kalusha. 

For a time it seemed as if all India lay helpless at the 
feet of Aurangzeb. So wide an empire had never been 
S'vayed by any former sovereign of Hindustan. But to 
the last his hold upon the Deccan remained insecure. 
Province after province, fort after fort, was wrested from 
the Marathas, and the conquered people for the most part 
bowed their necks to the heavy burdens imposed by their 
new master. But the most peaceful among them chafed 
under the exactions of the imperial officers, and the 
levying of the Jiziya rankled deep in the hearts of the 
wretched Hindus. The disbanded soldiery of Bijapur 
and Golconda roamed the country in lawless troops, or 
offered their services to Maratha leaders. There was little 
either of peace or order in the new conquests. The spirit 
of the Marathas also remained unbroken by passing 
defeats. After Sambhaji's death and the capture of his 
infant son, his brother, Raja Ram, upheld the fortunes of 
his line, first at Raigarh, and, when that place was about 
to fall, in the remote southern stronghold of Gingee. 
From that corner of the Carnatic he cheered the hearts 
and guided the movements of the Marathas against their 
puzzled foes. His trusiy lieutenants teased the Mughals 
with a kind of partisan warfare, in which the latter with 
their heavy accoutrements and luxurious habits were no 
match for the little, hardy, light-clad, ubiquitous horsemen 
whose usual food was a cake of millet with now and then 
an onion, who slept bridle in hand under the open 
sky, and whose strong, active, well-trained little steeds 
were always ready for the work required of them. Careful 
to avoid a charge from the heavy Mughal horse, they 
spread in countless bands over the country, plundering 


every district which refused to buy them off, hanging on 
the flanks of Mughal armies, cutting off their convoys, 
swooping down upon detached bodies of troops, and 
never losing a chance of doing their enemies the greatest 
possible harm. 

To attack these hornets in their nests was a task which 
long baffled the best of the Mughal commanders. Not 
till after several years of bootless efforts did Gingee itself 
fall, in 1698, into the hands of Zulfikar Khan. Even then, 
however, the bold Raja Ram renewed the struggle from 
his next place of shelter at Satara on the Western Ghats, 
whence he himself at the head of a great army carried his 
ravages as far * eastward as Jalna, in Berar, before the 
Mughals succeeded in driving him back. Soon after his 
own death in 1700, Satara itself with several other strong- 
holds was captured, after a brave defence, by the troops 
of the persevering emperor. But in spite of frequent 
reverses, of dissensions among themselves, and of Aurang- 
zeb's amended plans for their suppression, the Maratha 
leaders rallied again and again round the standard of the 
manly-hearted Tara Bai, who, for some years, ruled her 
people in the name of her late husband's heir, the boy 

For the next {q.'n years Aurangzeb tried hard to crush 
his daring foes in the Deccan. But for every fort he took 
he paid heavily with the lives of his own men j fresh 
swarms of Marathas worried him at every turn ; floods, 
famines, and deadly fevers weakened his resources or slew 
his troops. The untamable Rajputs of Mewar and the 
rebellious Jats of Bharatpur kept drawing his attention 
beyond the Narbada, while a large force was sent against 
the Sikh insurgents near Multan. His own troops began 
to mutiny for want of regular pay from his failing treasury. 
The Marathas in the meantime began to recover their lost 
forts ; were ere long pouring into Malwa, and carrying fire 

Al K.WCZEi: 

1-KO.M A MS. I.\ Tllli BKIIISH MUsliLM 

p. I4S 


and sword through Gujarat. They hovered like flies 
about the grand army which Aurangzeb himself had once 
more led against them ; they derided his very overtures 
for peace ; and worse and ever worse shame and disaster 
dogged his final retreat to Ahmadnagar, whence he had 
marched out twenty years before in all the pomp and 
glory of another Xerxes. 

A few months later the aged emperor breathed his last 
in the city which sheltered the wrecks of his beaten army, 
after a reign of forty-nine, and a life of more than eighty- 
eight years. To the last he seems to have retained all the 
mental and much of the bodily vigour which marked his 
prime, and won him a foremost place among the princes 
of his own dynasty. His close attention to the smallest 
details of government may have been sharpened by his 
habitual distrust of all around him ; but, in spite of the 
evils caused by his suspicious temper and narrow religious 
zeal, his people on the whole were well governed and 
lightly taxed.* One of his edicts forbade the raising of 
the land-rents on those who had improved their farms at 
their own expense. In anything that concerned the public 
welfare, from the tillage of the soil to the daily hearing 
of causes in the Hall of Audience, from the appoint- 
ment of a clerk to the supervision of a great province, 
he displayed a keen and enlightened interest. His sense 
of justice failed him only when bigotry or personal 
ambition clouded his mental view. Merciless to his 
betrayed or defeated brethren, he pardoned and employed 
their followers, set his face as a rule against savage or 

* His revenue from all sources has been reckoned, with seeming accuracy, 
at seventy to eighty millions sterling, at the rate of two shillings the rupee 
His land revenue alone amounted to thirty-four and a -half millions nett, 
about double that of Akbar's latter years, and twelve millions higher than 
that raised by Shah Jahan. His total revenue exceeded that of Jahangir by 
about thirty millions. These vast sums, equal then to about twice their 
present value, aprear to have been collected with little effort. 


severe punishments, and dealt mildly with all offences that 
touched neither his power nor his religion. 

Of courtly manners, great personal courage, varied 
accomplishments, and some military skill, Aurangzeb failed 
to win the love of his own children, or the zealous co- 
operation of his chief officers. Never was a prince of his 
intellectual mark so often cheated or so badly served,* 
His best-planned enterprises were marred by the fruits of 
his fatally suspicious temper. Trusting no one, he was 
trusted in his turn by none. His son Muazzam he kept in 
prison for seven years. His favourite son, Akbar, joined 
in succession the standards of his Rajput and Maratha 
foes. Another son, Kambakhsh, was placed in arrest on 
a groundless charge of plotting with the Marathas. His 
ablest surviving general, Zulfikar Khan, was driven by his 
worrying treatment to the verge of open rebellion. Even 
Prince Azam, best beloved of his sons after Akbar's defec- 
tion, saw only treachery in his father's earnest-seeming 
efforts to retain his love. 

Craft and cunning, indeed, were Aurangzeb's favourite 
weapons alike in the council and the field. " To succeed 
by art," says one historian,! " threw honour upon him- 
self; to subdue by power acquired to others fame." 
This preference for crooked ways may even have gained 
strength in such a nature from the undoubted warmth of 
his religious zeal. Hypocrisy and devoutness often go 
together, and the true key to his conduct may be found, 
we think, in the bigotry which brought Prince Dara to a 
cruel end, which estranged the hearts of the emperor's 
Hindu subjects, sanctioned the use of treachery against 
foes of a different creed, and blinded him to the fatal folly 
of crushing the old Muhammadan princes of the Deccan 
instead of helping them to put down the rising Maratha 

* Elphinstone's " India," book xi. chap, 4. 
t Dow's "Hindostan," vol. iii. 


power.* A scholar and a poet, he banished poets from 
his court, aboh'shed the office of royal historiographer, 
issued edicts against music and dancing, and turned every 
singer and musician out of the palace precincts. If his 
private morals were in keeping with the austere bent of 
his religious habits, he succeeded in uprooting the last 
traces of that wise and generous policy on which Akbar 
had sought to lay fast the foundations of the Mughal rule. 
If he neither drank, gambled, nor dallied with other than 
his lawful wives, he restored the old lunar year of the 
Muhammadans, maddened the Hindus with all kinds of 
petty persecutions, placed new weapons in the hands of 
his Maratha foes, and paved the way for the disruption 
of that broad empire which his own arms had helped to 
build up. 

Two years after Aurangzeb's accession Charles II. 
mounted the throne of England. Among his first acts 
was the granting of a charter to the united East India 
Company, empowering them to make peace and war with 
the natives of India, to administer justice, and to expel 
interlopers from their ground. A year later, in 1662, the 
island of Bombay, with its noble harbour, formed part of 
the dowry which the Princess Catherine of Braganza 
brought over to her English husband. After six years 
of profitless possession Charles II. transferred the island 
to the East India Company, under whose sway it was 
destined to become the fitting capital of Western India, 
and the seat of a trade exceeding thirty millions sterling. 
In 1676 the Company were allowed to set up a mint in 

* The kings of Bijapur and Golconda belonged, like the Persians, to the 
Shiah sect of Muhammadans, who acknowledge and almost worship Ali as the 
true successor to his father-in-law Muhammad in the leadership of the faithful, 
and as the first of the twelve Imams or Pontiffs of his line. Aurangzeb, like 
his forefathers and the bulk of Indian Mussulmans in these days, was a Sunni 
Muhammadan, one of those who ignore All's murdered son Husain as a true 
Khalif. To this sect belong the Turks of the Turkish Empire. 


their new possession, which had already been successfully 
defended against the Dutch. Nine years afterwards it 
displaced Surat as their chief station in the East Indies 
and the seat of the Western Presidency. In 1686 the 
President of Bombay was declared Governor-General of 
India. By that time ships of all nations had begun to 
anchor in the harbour of his new capital, and the Com- 
pany's Indian trade had risen to a hundred lakhs of 
rupees, or more than a million sterling. 

Meanwhile, in Bengal things had not gone smoothly 
between the English and the Mughals. With the French, 
Dutch, and Danish factories on the Hugli, the English 
agents had no cause of quarrel. But the alleged exactions 
of the Mughals, and their Viceroy's refusal to let the 
English Company's servants fortify the mouth of the 
Hugli against interlopers from England, provoked or 
became the pretext for a hostile movement against the 
masters of Bengal. In 1686 an English fleet sailed up 
the Hugli, on its way to Chittagong. A quarrel between 
some English soldiers and the native police brought on a 
regular engagement, in which the natives were worsted. 
The English admiral opened fire on the town of Hugli. 
An attempt to treat on the part of the Nawab of Bengal 
came to nothing. At last Job Charnock, the chief of the 
English factory, withdrew to Chatanatti, the future site of 
the city which became in later years the chief seat of the 
English power in India. 

Followed thither by the Nawab's army, Charnock led 
his followers to the swamps of Hijali, an island at the 
mouth of the Hugli. Here in the next few months half 
of his little garrison had perished from disease, and the 
rest were far on the road to a like issue, when matters 
began to take a more hopeful turn. Charnock was allowed 
to re-enter Chatanatti, and peace was all but re-established 
on the old footing ; but Captain Heath, who had just 


arrived with a fresh fleet from England, disallowed the 
treaty, and Charnock, with all his countrymen in Bengal, 
sailed down the Hugli for Madras. On its way thither 
the English fleet bombarded Balasorc, and tried in vain to 
effect a landing at Chittagong. 

Meanwhile, on the western side of India the Company 
had not gained much by the aggressive policy which its 
chairman, Sir Josiah Child, thought fit to pursue. The 
seizure of pilgrim ships on their way to Mecca was 
requited by the capture of the English factory at Surat, 
by a partially successful attack upon Bombay, and by 
the expulsion of the English from nearly all their settle- 
ments in Southern India. At last, in 1690, the Governor 
of Bombay was glad to renew the peace so rashly broken. 
His envoys returned from Bijapur with concessions easily 
granted by an emperor fully alive to the benefits of a 
growing trade with the foreigner ; and Charnock once 
more sailed up the Hugli to hoist his country's flag in 
the little hamlet of Chatanatti. 

In T695, three years after the death of Charnock,* his 
successor bought from the Mughals the three villages 
of Chatanatti, Govindpur, and Calcatta, out of which the 
modern Calcutta was to arise. To fortify their new pos- 
session was now the first thought of its owners, whose 
dreams of empire had already begun to mould their 
general policy, and whose agents had some years before 
been exhorted to look after the increase of their revenue 
at least as carefully as the growth of their trade. f It 

* He was buried at Barrackpore, which the natives still call after him, 

f "The increase of our revenue," wrote the Directors in 1689, " 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," 


was not long before the wish was gratified. During the 
height of a rebellion led by one of the old Pathan chiefs 
of Orissa, the French, Dutch, and English merchants on 
the Hugh got leave from the hard-pressed governor of 
Bengal to put their several factories in a state of defence. 
Fortified works sprang up accordingly around the new 
settlement of Calcutta, and the flag of England was soon 
floating above the ramparts of Fort William, so called in 
honour of William III. 

In the second year of the iSth century, another success 
— if the triumph of a monopoly may be so considered — 
befel the Company in its contest with younger rivals. 
For years past a host of " interlopers," licensed and 
unlicensed, had vexed the souls of the old chartered 
merchants by glutting the home markets with goods not 
seldom won by deeds of sheer piracy. The agents of 
rival companies intrigued against each other at home and 
abroad, their quarrels sometimes bursting into open war- 
fare, while pirates like Captain Kidd * preyed impartially 
on all ships coming from India. At length the influence 
of the oldest company prevailed with the English Parlia- 
ment to put an end to a rivalry so fraught with evil or 
unpleasant issues. In 1702 the chief of the rival com- 
panies were joined by royal charter into one " United 
Company of Merchants trading to the East." A i^w years 
later Calcutta itself, under the name of Fort William, 
became the seat of a new presidency. At this time, and 
for many years afterwards, the Company's servants, from 
the president to the lowest clerk, were free to eke out 
their small salaries with the profits which could then be 
gleaned from their private trade; profits so handsome, that 
ere long even the junior servants could sit down to dinner 

* William Kidd, by birth a New-Yorker, had been sent out by William 
III. to cruise against the pirates ; but ere long turned pirate himself. At last 
he was captured, tried in England for murder, and hanged. 


with music playing, and ride out in a carriage and 

* The president's salary was then fixed at ;^30O a-year, while his eight 
members of council drew Cifl, the junior merchants ClP% the factors £1^, and 

the writers ;^5 a-ycar. 



In the will he left behind him, Aurangzeb had assigned 
the northern half of his wide dominions to his eldest son, 
Muazzam, with the title of emperor, and Delhi for his 
capital. Of the remainder, Azarn was to rule from Agra 
all but the kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda, which were 
reserved for Kambaksh. Prince Azam, however, took 
advantage of his brother's absence in Kabul to assume 
the sovereignty of all India, But it was not long before 
his pretensions and his life were put out together in a 
bloody battle fought near Agra between him and Prince 
Muazzam. The subsequent defeat and death of his youngest 
brother, Kambaksh, freed Muazzam from all present 
rivals, and left him, in fact as well as name, sole head of 
the Mughal empire, under the title of Bahadur Shah. 

In the last-named victory, won at Hyderabad, a body 
of Marathas fought on the conqueror's side, in fulfilment 
of a pledge obtained from Shahu, Sambhajl's lineal heir, on 
his release from the long, if mild, captivity enforced by 
the politic Aurangzeb. Shahu's gratitude to the Mughals 
seems to have survived the fall of Prince Azam, who had 
been first to set him free. At any rate, he transferred his 
services to Bahadur Shah, whose help enabled him to set 
up at Satara a rival sway to that of the regent Tara Bai. 
A further treaty empowered him to receive the chauth in 
the name of the new emperor, through the hands of 
Mughal officers alone. 


Freed from anxiety on the side of the Marathas, the 
emperor turned his arms against the refractory princes of 
Marwar and Jaipur. Ere long, however, a new source of 
trouble drew his attention away from Rajputana to Sind. 
Granting the Rajput chief almost as easy terms as the 
Rana of Udaipur had won already, Bahadur Shah hastened 
to check the growing boldness of the Sikhs, who, early in 
the 17th century, had been driven by Muslim bigotry to 
employ worldly weapons in aid of the religious movement 
begun by Nanak more than a century before.* In the 
days of Guru Gofind, the tenth high priest in succession 
to Nanak, and grandson of Har Gofind, who had taken up 
arms to avenge his father's murder, the process of develop- 
ment, so common in like cases, from a body of religious 
reformers into a nation of armed fanatics had well-nigh 
become complete. From the highlands of the Punjab the 
Sikh warriors issued to try their strength anew against 
their Muhammadan persecutors, but in vain. After a 
long struggle with Aurangzeb's soldiers. Guru Gofind 
became a lonely wanderer in the Deccan, and fell at last 
by the hand of a private foe near the monastery he had 
founded at NandCr. 

To his old followers, however, remained a legacy of 
hatred and revenge, which a new leader, named Bandu, 
turned ere long to memorable account. Once more the 
Sikhs broke out from their highland shelter, to ravage 
Sind with fire and sword, and to repay, in the slaughter 
of mulla/is and the destruction of mosques, the wrongs 
and insults which they and their fathers had suffered at 
Muslim hands. At length the emperor himself went forth 
to confront the danger which his officers on the spot had 
failed to put down. The Sikhs were driven back into the 
hills, and Bandu himself had a narrow escape from cap- 
ture in the stronghold whose fall, after a brave resistance, 

* See book i. chap. 2. 


closed for that year a bootless struggle against overpower- 
ing odds. 

A few months afterwards the emperor himself died at 
Lahore, in the fifth year of his reign and the seventieth of 
his age. With him the glory of the house of Babur may 
be said to have departed. A fight for empire between his 
sons ended in the triumph of the eldest, Jahandar Shah, 
a worthless debauchee, who begun by slaying all his 
nearest kinsmen, and, after six months of costly dalliance 
with fiddlers and mistresses, perished in his turn at the 
hands of his nephew, Farrukhiszar. Installed as emperor 
at Delhi by the arms of two Saiyid* brothers, Husain AH 
and Abdullah Khan, that nephew began his reign with the 
murder of Aurangzeb's great general, Zulfikar Khan, the 
last emperor's able but overweening wazir. 

After a few more murders, Farrukhiszar proceeded to 
abet some new favourities in plotting mischief against his 
Saiyid benefactors. Ajit Singh, the Raja of Marwar, was 
secretly encouraged to hold out to the last against Husain 
Ali, who had been sent to subdue him. This plot baffled 
by the Raja's timely acceptance of the peace offered by his 
opponent on liberal terms, the emperor next schemed to 
get rid of his 'powerful servant by making him viceroy of 
the Deccan, in the room of Daud Khan. The latter, too 
faithfully obeying his secret orders from Delhi, fell 
fighting at the head of his troops on the field which they 
for a moment had nearly won. 

The same arts were employed by the emperor in the 
w^ar which Husain Ali had to take up against the Marathas. 
Once more, however, the wary Saiyid trumped his master's 
hand by concluding peace with Raja Shahu and his able 
minister, Balajl Vishvanath — a peace which left them 
masters of all SlvajI's former conquests in Southern 

* They were sprung from a family of descendants of Muhammad who had 
selllcd in the town of Bara. 


India, and acknowledged the Maratha claim to chauth 
upon the whole of the Deccan. Shahu's rival, Sambhaji, 
the son of Tara Bai, was also acknowledged as Raja of 
Kolhapur. For these concessions, Shahu agreed to pay a 
yearly tribute, and to furnish for the emperor's service a 
body of 15,000 horse. 

Meanwhile Bandu, the Sikh leader, had once more led 
his armed fanatics into the plains between the Sutlej and 
the Jumna. In the midst, however, of their destroying 
career, they were checked, routed, scattered, hunted down 
by the victorious Mughals. Hundreds of their leading 
men w^erc borne in triumph through the streets of Delhi, 
to the place where each in turn was beheaded, scorning to 
save his life by changing his creed. Bandu himself, after 
seeing his own child butchered before his eyes, was torn 
to pieces with hot pincers, exulting in the midst of his 
tortures at the vengeance which heaven at his hands had 
wreaked upon the wicked. 

Unwarned by past failures, Farrukhiszar renewed his 
plottings against the Saiyids, one of whom, Abdullah, held 
the post of grand wazir. Some of his chief nobles would 
gladly have helped him to get rid of the two men whose 
greatness eclipsed their own ; but the emperor's wavering 
policy broke up the league, and while he was yet dallying 
with a new favourite, Husain Ali, with 10,000 Maratha 
horse, marched up from the Deccan to his brother's rescue. 
The frightened emperor soon found himself at the mercy 
of men who had small reason to show him any. A tumult 
in the streets of Delhi sealed his fate. Dragged from his 
hiding-place to a prison, he was ere long put to death ; 
two of his young kinsmen, raised in turn to the throne, 
died of consumption in the course of a few months ; but 
at last a healthier successor turned up in Prince Roshan 
A.khtar, who took the name of Muhammad Shah. 

The new reign began stormily. Risings in Allahabad, 


the Punjab, and elsewhere, might be quelled with small 
trouble by force or cunning ; Chin Kilich Khan, the future 
Nizam of the Deccan, was not so easily put down. Of a 
good Turkish family, the son of a favourite officer of 
Aurangzeb, he himself had risen under the same emperor 
to high military command in the Deccan, \vith the dis- 
tinctive titles of Asaf Jah and Nizam-ul-Mulk. As 
governor of the Deccan for a few months after the death 
of Zulfikar Khan, he held the Marathas in check until 
Husain Ali came to supplant him. Transferred to the 
government of Malwa, Chin Kilich waited for the moment 
when his turn might come to triumph over the hateful 
Saiyid pair, whose influence at court still worked unfavour- 
ably for his own ambitious ends. 

It was not long that he had to wait. By the middle of 
1720 he had crossed the Narbada, planted his standard on 
the fort of Aslrgarh, and defeated an army sent against 
him near Burhanpur. Another victory at Balapar in 
Berar brought Husain AH himself into the field. On his 
march southwards, however, the Saiyid fell by an assassin's 
dagger ; his brother Abdullah, defeated in battle by the 
emperor he sought to dethrone, remained a prisoner in 
the hands of Muhammad Shah ; and ere long Chin Kilich 
Khan, already master of the Deccan, re-entered Delhi as 

But the pleasure-loving emperor and his dissolute 
friends soon tired of the company of the grave old states- 
man to whom they chiefly owed their deliverance from the 
Saiyid yoke. They sent him to displace the governor of 
Gujarat, who forthwith took up arms in his own defence. 
Chin Kilich put down the rebellion and added Gujarat 
also to his rule. His return to Delhi exposed him to fresh 
embroilments with the court. At length he threw up his 
post and retired to the Deccan, where Mobariz Khan, 
governor of Hyderabad, was secretly encouraged to 


withstand him. Once more the arts of the Delhi cabal were 
foiled by the defeat and death of their new tool ; and their 
intended victim was free to fix at Hyderabad the seat of 
a sovereignty which his successors have wielded to this 
hour. It is true that he covered the seizure of inde- 
pendent power by occasional gifts to his lord paramount ; 
but the dismemberment of the empire had already begun. 
It began indeed three years earlier, when Ajit Singh, 
the Rana of Marwar or Jodhpur, made up for his expulsion 
from Gujarat by wresting the Rajput province of AjmCr 
from the Mughals. If the Jfits of Bharatpur were once 
more quelled by the loyal Raja Jai Singh of Amber, more 
worthily remembered for his great love of science than 
for his success as a ruler,* the Marathas were already 
gaining ground in Malwa and Gujarat. On the death of 
King Shahu's able Peshwa, Brdajl Vishvanath, in 1720, 
the sceptre he had wielded in the name of his puppet 
sovereign passed into the strong hands of his yet abler 
son, Baji Rao. With a keen eye for the inward weakness 
of the Mughal empire, the new Peshwa scon carried the 
Maratha arms across the Narbada. " Let us strike," he 
said, " the withered trunk, and the branches will fall of 
themselves." His troops ravaged Malwa and levied chauth 
in Gujarat. Chin Kilich Khan himself had to back out 
of his craftily planned alliance with the rival INIaratha 
house of Kolhapur. The head of that house, Samba, was 
forced to acknowledge Shahu's right to all the Maratha 
country except that which immediately surrounded his 
own capital. A great Maratha chief, Dabari, who took up 
arms to depose the Peshwa, was himself defeated and 
slain by his skilful opponent, and Gujarat itself lay helpless 

* Jai Singh, Raja of Dhundar, a descendant of Akbar's friend and 
Jahanglr's falher-in-law, Bhagwandas, was the greatest Hindu astronomer 
since Aryabhata. lie erected observatories at Delhi, Muttra, UenareSj Ujjain, 
and Jaipur, his new capital, founded by him in 172S. From him is descended 
the present dynasty of Jaipur. 



at the conqueror's feet. Pilaji Gaikwar, whose descendants 
still reign at Baroda, was set to govern the conquered 
province in the name of Dabari's infant son. Two of 
BajT Rao's lieutenants, Malhar Rao Holkar and Ranaji 
Sindhia, founders of still existing dynasties at Indore and 
Gwalior, were already engaged in the work of wresting 
Malwa from the Mughals. In vain did the wily master of 
Hyderabad renew his old intrigues against his formidable 
neighbours. Loyalty to a tottering throne, filled by an 
ungrateful sovereign, formed no part of his political creed, 
nor had old age diminished his habitual caution. A com- 
pact formed between him and the Marathas in 173 1 left 
the latter free to push their conquests north of the Narbada, 
so long as they forbore from harrying the subjects of the 

The murder of Pilaji Gaikwar by the patricide son of 
AjTt Singh brought fresh swarms of Marathas into Gujarat. 
Driven out of the province he had hoped to reconquer for 
the Mughals, Abhi Singh, the murderer, retired into his 
own country. Ere long Malwa also was quietly surrendered 
by its governor, Jai Singh, into the hands of Shahu's 
Peshwa. Grateful for help received from that quarter, the 
Raja of Bundelkhand had meanwhile placed the Marathas 
in possession of his own domains around Jhansi, on the 

Still hungering for fresh conquests, the daring Brahman 
kept making fresh demands on the emperor, who for some 
time could see no escape from further annoyance save in 
concessions which only whetted the greed of his insatiable 
foes. At length Chin Kilich, repenting of his recent 
quietude, came forward to the rescue of his nominal 
master ; while Sadat Khan, the Persian nawab or governor 
of Oudh, marched forth to defend the empire on its north- 
eastern side. In spite of the check which Holkar's light 
horse received from the Nawab on their raid towards 


Agra, Baji Rao determined to show the emperor that he 
was still in Hindustan. Passing round the flank of a Mughal 
army encamped near Muttra, his swift-moving squadrons 
suddenly appeared before the gates of Delhi itself. After 
plundering the suburbs, beating back a sally from the city 
walls, and filling the citizens with utter dismay, they rode 
off again for the Deccan, laden with rich spoils, before Chin 
Kilich, the emperor's new wazir, had time to intercept 

In the first days of the next year the aged ruler of the 
Deccan, at the head of the strong and well-appointed 
army which he had led forth from Delhi, awaited near 
Bhopal, on the Malwa border, the approach of Bajl Rao. 
But in the course of a few weeks his own position in the 
midst of active foes, who laid waste the country, cut off 
his supplies, and assailed his outposts, became so perilous, 
that he could neither advance nor retreat without heavy 
loss. Attempting the latter alternative, he was soon 
compelled to save himself from worse misfortunes by a 
treaty which assigned to the Peshwa the whole of the 
countr}' between the Chambal and the Narbada, besides 
pledging the emperor to the payment of fifty lakhs of 
rupees, or half-a-million sterling of our money. 

But a yet more cruel blow was now impending over 
the Mughal power. In 1722 Husain Shah, the last of the 
Safavi kings of Persia, laid his crown at the feet of 
Madmud, the Khilji chief of Kandahar, whose victorious 
Afghans had for six months been closely besieging the 
Persian monarch in his own capital of Isfahan. On the 
death of Mahmud two years afterwards, the crown thus 
won by him at the sword's point devolved upon his 
nephew Ashraf, whose wars with the Turks and Russians 
were followed by a sharper struggle with an enemy nearer 
home. His new assailant. Nadir Kuli, was the son of a 
Turkish shepherd in Khurasan. Beginning, like Sivaji, as 

!64 inS'fORY OF INDIA 

a robber chief, he won his way to the leadership of an 
army which dehvered his native country from the Abdali 
Afghans, drove Ashraf out of Isfahan, fought successfully 
against the Turks, and set Tahmasp, the exiled son of 
Husain, upon his father's throne. 

Ere long, however, the new king had to make way for 
his abler protector, who began his reign by conquering 
Afghanistan. The internal weakness of the Mughal 
empire then turned his thoughts to the country beyond the 
Indus ; and a joint letter * from Chin Kilich and Sadat 
Khan is said by the native chroniclers to have spurred him 
on to the cheap and alluring task of heightening his own 
renown by the plunder of a defenceless people. On one 
plea or another he set forth from Kabul in the autumn of 
1738, passed safely through the mountains that barred his 
way, crossed the Indus, and easily defeated near Karnal 
the troops which Muhammad Shah had hastily brought 
up from Delhi to withstand him. Betrayed by his own 
officers, the luckless emperor sued in person for such 
mercy as the conqueror might deign to show. In the 
conqueror's train he returned to his own capital to collect 
the ransom which Nadir Shah was willing to accept. 

But the worst for him and his people was yet to come. 
Two days after his return to Delhi, the rumoured death of 
his conqueror roused the citizens to sudden fury. They 
fell upon the few thousand Persian troops scattered about 
the city. The cowardly nobles made no attempt to stay 
the slaughter of those whom they had shrunk from facing 
in the field. Nadir Shah himself became a mark for 
stones and bullets as he rode next morning through the 
streets where lay the bodies of his murdered followers. 
One of his favourite officers fell dead by his side. Provoked 
beyond bearing by this last blow, he let loose his impatient 

* Elphinstone doubts the truth of this story, which Mr, Keene, on the 
contrary, believes (Keene's "Mughal Empire," p. 36). 


soldiers on the raging crowd. In the next few hours the 
massacres of Timilr's day were renewed within hearing, 
if not under the eyes, of Delhi's new master. Thirty 
thousand people are supposed to have perished, before 
Nadir Shah, moved perhaps by the emperor's humble 
entreaties,* ordered his obedient warriors to hold their 

It remained to continue the work of spoliation already 
begun. Every man of the least wealth or mark in the 
city, from the emperor and his nobles down to the smaller 
tradesmen, had to contribute his share to the general 
ransom. Every house was ransacked for hidden treasure. 
Torture was employed in aid of threats. Numbers of the 
people died of ill-usage or slew themselves to avoid it. 
Among the latter appears to have been the traitor Sadat 
Khan himself.f The native officers who had to collect 
the plunder filled their own pockets with untold sums at 
the cost of their helpless countrymen. Heavy fines were 
also drawn from the provinces. After two months 
employed on a quest so fruitful, the Persian conqueror 
marched out of Delhi laden with treasure in coin, jewels, 
and goods, whose value may have amounted to thirty 
crores of rupees, or more than thirty millions of our money. 
Conspicuous among his plunder was the famous peacock 
throne of Shah Jahan, the chiefest jewels in which were, 
more than a century after, to become the prize of a power 

* According to Dow, Muhammad Shah himself, followed by his chief 
nobles, entered the Mosque of Roshan-ud-daula, in the Chandni Chauk, the 
Regent Street of Delhi, where Nadir was sitting in gloomy silence, and with 
tears besought him to spare the Emperor's subjects ; whereupon he stopped 
the massacre. 

t The story which Elphinstone quotes only to reject, is that Nadir sent 
for Chin Kilich and Sadat Khan, and reviling them for their treachery to 
their king, spat on their beards : a disgrace which only death could wipe 
out. Chin Kilich made a show of poisoning himself, and Sadat, deceived by 
his clever acting, took real poison and died. Whether the story be a myth 
or no, however, Sadat certainly killed himself on account of Nadir's 
behaviour towards him. 


at that time owning but a few square miles of Indian 

A year after Nadir's return homewards, Bajl Rao died 
in the midst of fresh plans for pursuing the work inter- 
rupted by the Persian monarch. Besides his northern 
forays, he had for some time past been engaged in warfare 
with the Portuguese, with the Sidis or Abyssinians of 
Janjira, and with Angria, the pirate lord of Kolaba, near 
Bombay. The Portuguese his brother Chimnajl drove out 
of Salsette, Bassein, and other places in the Konkan ; but 
the Sidis fought him on pretty equal terms, and the war 
with Angria, in spite of English aid, lingered on after the 
Peshwa's death. Nor had Bajl Rao succeeded in his latest 
essay against the Deccan, where Chin Kilich's brave son, 
Nasir Jang, had vigorously upheld the cause of his absent 
father. On the whole, however, in spite of partial failures 
abroad and dissensions among his own countrymen, the 
deceased Peshwa's daring policy had raised the Maratha 
power to a height whence nothing but the incurable folly 
of his successors could afterwards bring it down. 



Besides the plunder of a populous city and a broad 
province, Nadir Shah annexed the whole of the Mughal 
dominions in Kabul, Sind, and the Punjab within the 
Indus. To the Mughal emperor he left a dishonoured 
crown, an empty treasury, and the wrecks of an empire 
already breaking to pieces. The closing years of Muham- 
mad's reign were years of growing disorder, of ever- 
darkening prospects for the House of Babur. Muham- 
mad's court was rent with factions and filled with intrigues. 
Province after province slipped out of his feeble grasp. 
The Princes of Rajputana disowned their allegiance with 
impunity. The Maratha Gaikwar reigned in Gujarat. A 
bold adventurer, Mohabat Jang, best known as Alivardi 
Khan, had bribed the Court of Delhi to sanction his 
seizure of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Safdar Jang, the 
son of Sadat Khan, governed Oudh as the equal rather 
than the servant of his liege lord. In Southern India 
remained not a foot of ground which the emperor could 
henceforth call his own, if his nominal lieges chose to deny 
the claim. 

The very quarrels of Maratha leaders brought him no 
advantage. In return for help received from Balaji Rao, 
son and successor of the last Pcshwa, against the daring 
raids of his rival RaghujT Bhonsla from Berar into Bengal, 
the emperor was fain to grant him full possession of 
Malwa as a hereditary fief. A few months afterwards 


Balaji gave a new impulse to his countrymen's greed for 
plunder and conquest by granting his late opponent the 
right to levy chauth on Bengal and Bihar, if not on pro- 
vinces yet further north. Thus free to push his own 
fortunes, Raghuji carried his arms and ravages into the 
heart of Bengal, to such purpose that neither the skill nor 
the soldiership of Alivardi Khan could long hold out 
against Maratha energy, backed by a mutiny among his 
best soldiers, a body of Afghans under Mustafa Khan. 
The treacherous murder of Baskar Pandit, the Maratha 
general, by the Mughal Viceroy himself, was requited six 
years later by the cession to Raghuji of half Orissa, and a 
promise to pay chauth for Bengal. 

If Alivardi had looked for help to the aged Viceroy of 
the Deccan, he had looked in vain. After leaving his 
eldest son Ghazi-ud-din as wazir at Delhi, Chin Kilich on 
his return to Hyderabad had been for some time engaged 
in suppressing the revolt of his son Nasir Jang. That 
misguided prince brought to his senses in 1742, his 
father's attention had next been called to the Carnatic, 
which one of Raghuji's officers, Morari Rao, was employed 
in wresting from its Mughal Nawab. The old Tartar's 
presence at the head of a large army brought the Marathas 
to a timely compromise ; Morari Rao retaining Guti and 
some other districts, while the rest of the country was 
shared between Chin Kilich's grandson, Muzaffar Jang, 
and his faithful servant Anwar-ud-din. In 1748 Chin 
Kilich himself, the wily and ambitious Nizam-ul-Mulk, 
died at Burhaupur at the age of seventy-seven ; and his 
sons in the midst of their own quarrels could pay little 
heed to the affairs of remote Bengal* 

His death followed but a i^w weeks after that of 

* According to some accounts, Chin Kilich died at the fabulous-seeming 
age of a hundred and four. Elphinstone's estimate, however is probably 
much nearer the mnik. 


Muhammad Shah himself, whose path had latterly been 
cheered by a victory gained over Afghrm insurgents in 
Rohilkhand,* and later still by his son Ahmad's defeat of 
Ahmad Khan, the formidable leader of a new invasion 
from Kandahar. An Abduli Afghan, sprung from the 
sacred Sadduzai branch of his tribe, Ahmad Khan had 
no sooner fought his way to the headship of the Afghan 
race and the mastery of Sind, than he prepared to lead a 
small but resolute army across the Punjab into Upper 
Hindustan. His skilful strategy baffled all attempts to 
oppose him until, in March, 1748, his soldiers found the 
Mughals under Prince Ahmad strongly entrenched near 
the city of Sind. A series of hard fights, continued for 
ten days, ended in the Abdali's repulse with heavy 
slaughter ; and Delhi for a few years longer was saved 
from further sufferiner, 

A month after his victory Prince Ahmad mounted his 
father's throne, with Safdar Jang of Oudh for his wazir. 
It was not long before the latter, unable to cope by him- 
self with a new Rohilla rising on a formidable scale, 
appealed for aid to the Jats and Marathas in the pro- 
vinces skirting the right bank of the Jumna. With their 
help the invaders were driven back into Rohilkhand ; but 
this success was more than balanced by a Mughal defeat 
in Marwar, and by the conquest of the Punjab by Ahmad 
Shah the Abdali, or, as he now styled himself, the Durani, 
king of Afghanistan. The defeat of the Rohillas more- 
over placed new weapons of attack in the hands of Sindhia 
and Holkar, who were free to ravage Rohilkhand under the 
cloak of levying their favourite black-mail. 

Yet darker troubles awaited the luckless emperor. The 
streets of Delhi became the scene of a civil war between 

* The Rohillas were a colony of Yusiifzai and other Afglian tribes, which 
had lately conquered the country east of tlie Ganges, from Oudh up to the 



the wazir and his new rival Ghazi-ud-din, grandson of 
Chin Kilich and son of the late wazir. For six months 
the battle-cries of Persian and Mughal, Shiah and Sunni, 
resounded through the city. Holkar and his Marathas 
fought for the Mughal leader against their Hindu country- 
men the Jats, whose Raja, Suraj Mai, had espoused the 
cause of Safdar Jang. At length the latter withdrew from 
a fruitless struggle into his own province beyond the 
Ganges. The emperor, however, soon wearied of the 
burden he had brought upon his own shoulders, when he 
plotted with the youthful grandson of Chin Kilich against 
the murderer of his favourite eunuch. In the midst of an 
effort to shake off his new tyrant, he fell into the hands 
of Ghazi-ud-din himself, who straightway put out his eyes, 
and set up as emperor in his stead a son of Jahandar 
Shah, under the title of Alamgir II. 

Meanwhile the new Maratha Peshwa, Balajl Rao, had 
been steadily building up the fabric of Maratha power 
with the mingled boldness, cunning, and perseverance of 
his caste and family. In 1749, the long reign of Raja 
Shahu, the grandson of SlvajT, the prisoner of Aurangzeb, 
the patron or the puppet of three successive Peshwas, 
came to an end ; and Raja Ram IL, grandson, real or 
pretended, of his dead namesake and the still living Tara 
Bai, was installed as puppet sovereign in his place. 
While the titular heir of Sivaji held at Satara his phantom 
court, the Peshwa himself at Poona wielded the virtual 
sovereignty of all Maharashtra, and his orders were obeyed 
alike by Sindhia on the Chambal and by Raghuji Bhonsia 
beyond the Kistna. 

In spite of the intrigues of Tara Bai, the turbulence of 
his cousin Sedasheo Bhao, and the part he himself played 
in the affairs of the Deccan, Balajl Rao, with equal 
courage, skill, and good fortune, held his triumphant way 
through all snares and over all hindrances, until, by the 


time of Ahmad Shah's deposition, he had made the 
Maratha name a terror or a beacon throughout all India. 
In the fatal strife for power between the sons of Chin 
Kilich, he contrived not only to baffle Salabat Jang and 
his French ally, Bussy, but to obtain the cession of West 
Berar from Salabat's eldest brother, Ghazi-ud-din. In 
concert with the English Commodore James, his fleets in 
1755 aided in capturing Angria's pirate stronghold of 
Savandrug, which was forthwith made over to him in 
exchange for his seaport town of Bankot.* To him also 
in the following year was transferred the old Maratha fort 
and town of Giriah, which the redoubtable Tulaji Angria 
had vainly defended against Admiral Watson and his 
colleague Colonel Clive, already a soldier of mark in the 
service of the East India Company. 

A year earlier Balaji's brother Raghuba t had cleared 
away the last relic of Mughal rule in Gujarat by the 
capture of the old Pathan city of Ahmadabfid. Sharing 
the rich spoils with his lieutenant, Damaji Gaikwar, the 
conqueror carried his arms, and successfully asserted the 
Maratha claim to chauth against the Hindu chiefs of 
Rajputana and Bharatpur. In 175 1 his troops set forth 
from Malwa on their way to Delhi at the prayer of the 
ruffianly Ghazi-ud-din the younger. 

That luckless city had just been taken and despoiled by 
a second Nadir, in the person of Ahmad Shah, the Durani, 
who had thus revenged himself for the Mughal wazir's 
recent raid into Lahore. No sooner had he turned his back 
on Delhi, than Ghazi-ud-din besought the Marathas to aid 
him in getting rid of Ahmad's deputy, the able and honest 
Rohilla chief, Najib-ud-daula. Under the wing of his new 
ally he re-entered Delhi in triumph, and Najib-ud-daula 

* A town in the Ratnagiii district, sixty-eight miles south of Bombay, at 
the mouth of the river Savitri. 

t His proper name was Raghunalh Rao. 


retired northwards to his own domain near Saharanpur. 
Emboldened by this success, Raghuba a few months after- 
wards crossed the Sutlej, drove the Afghans out of the 
Punjab, and set up a governor of his own choosing at 
Lahore. One of his generals overran Rohilkhand. To 
crown all, his cousin " the Bhao," as Sedasheo Bhao was 
commonly called, was entering on a career of victory in 
the Deccan, which began with the taking of Ahmadnagar, 
and ended in 1760 with the conquest of half the country 
ruled by Ghazi-ud-din's successor, Salabat Jang. 

The Maratha power had now reached its highest point. 
From the Indus and the Himalayas down to the borders of 
Travancore, Balajl levied the Maratha blackmail, or ruled 
the country through his own officers. The seed which 
Sivajl had sown a century earlier had sprung up into a 
noble tree, whose branches, like the banyan-tree of the 
country, had struck fresh roots, until the single trunk had 
multiplied into a mighty forest overshadowing the whole 
peninsula, and threatening, as it grew, to kill off all rival 
growths. While the Hindu genius for civil government 
found free play in the countries which had been fairly 
brought under the rule of Brahman Pcshwas, the old 
swarms of mounted freebooters had been strengthened or 
replaced by regular armies of horse and foot, well paid, 
fairly disciplined, and equipped with guns, not wholly 
useless against ordinary foes. 

But the shadow of a great disaster was already creeping 
over the Pcshwa's path. The pride that goes before 
destruction impelled his cousin, the Bhao, to supplant 
Raghuba as Captain-General of the Maratha armies in 
Hindustan. Meanwhile, a Maratha force in Rohilkhand 
had been driven back across the Ganges by Shuja-ud- 
daula, the Nawab of Oudh. Ahmad Shah, the Durani, 
had once more issued from the Afghan hills to punish the 
bold invaders of his son's domains in the Punjab, and to 

Mughal empire to the battle of pan/pat 173 

drive the horsemen of Sindhia and Holkar across the 
Chanibal. The murder of Alamgir, by order of the blood- 
stained Ghazi-ud-din, left Delhi without an emperor, but 
failed to arrest for a moment the issues dreaded by his 
murderer. Ahmad Shah marched on towards the Mughal 
capital, and an Afghan garrison ere long held the city in 
his name. 

The Marathas on their side were not idle. A mighty 
gathering of Rajputs, Jats, and Marathas swept up the 
country to complete the downfall of Muhammadan rule, 
and drive the Durani across the Indus, Delhi itself was 
taken and once more despoiled by the soldiers of the 
Bhao, who would hardly wait to lead them against the 
Afghans before proclaiming Balaji's son, Wiswas Rao, 
Emperor of Hindustan. Puffed up with his past successes 
and an overweening self-conceit, the Maratha leader gave 
no heed to the cautious counsels of his Jat ally, Suraj Mai, 
but led forth his whole array of horse, foot, and guns, to 
attack an army of about equal strength commanded by 
the foremost general of his day. 

The first hard blow in the coming strife for empire 
between the Muhammadans and the Hindus was virtually 
struck when Ahmad Shah plunged into the swollen 
Jumna above Delhi, and by fording or swimming landed 
his troops on the other side in the face of their astonished 
foes. Entrenching himself on the ill-omened field of 
Panipat, the Bhao awaited an attack from the foe he had 
learned too late to value rightly. For two months the 
armies which were to decide the fate of India lay near 
each other, neither daring to move bodily out of its 
entrenchments, while outlying parties skirmished daily 
together, and flying columns beat up each other's quarters, 
cut off the enemy's convoys, or scoured the country for 
supplies. It needed all Ahmad's coolness and strength of 
will to curb the impatience of his Mughal and Rohilla 


officers, who were slow to see the wisdom of this long 
delay. But the far-seeing Afghan bade them sleep in 
peace, and trust all to a leader who knew what he was 
doing, " I will take care," he said, " that no harm befalls 
you," and he kept his word.* 

At last the hour drew near when his patient watchful- 
ness was to reap its due reward. Hemmed in on every 
side, their supplies cut off, their host of followers already 
starving, their huge camp reeking with the stench of dead 
bodies and the accumulated filth and refuse of near three 
hundred thousand souls, the Bhao's last efforts to treat 
with the double-dealing ruler of Oudh frustrated by 
Shuja's fears, and by the stern antagonism of the Rohilla 
chief Najib-ud-daula, the whole Hindu army marched 
forth to battle in the early morning of the 6th January, 
1761, with the courage less of hope than of sheer despair. 
" The ends of their turbans," says Grant Duff, " were let 
loose, their hands and faces anointed with a preparation 
of turmeric, signifying that they were come forth to die, and 
everything seemed to bespeak the despondency of sacrifice 
prepared instead of victory determined." On the side of 
Ahmad Shah were about 40,000 Afghans and Persians, 
mostly mounted, 13,000 Indian horse, and 38,000 Indian 
foot, with thirty guns and many wall-pieces. Under the 
Maratha flag were ranged some 50,000 splendid cavalry, 
at least 1 5,000 irregular horse, with an equal number of foot, 
mostly trained in the Deccan by a Mussulman deserter from 
the French service, and 200 guns, besides a large number 
of wall-pieces. Both sides may also have mustered a large 
contingent of wild volunteer horsemen, whom the thirst 
for plunder and excitement had brought into the field, f 

* " His orders were obeyed like destiny," says the chronicler Kasi Rai ; 
" no man daring to hesitate or delay one moment in executing them," 

t The Pindaris, of evil fame, are recorded as flocking to the Maratha 


The centre of the Maratha line was led by Sedasheo 
Bhao himself, with whom rode his young kinsman, Wiswas 
Rao, and several chiefs of note in the Deccan wars. 
Mahaji Sindhia commanded the right wing, while the 
left, under the Gaikwar, was strengthened by the 9,000 
disciplined Sepoys whom Ibrahim Khan had brought up 
from the Deccan. Malha Rao Holkar took post in the 
right centre. For one leader no place was to be found on 
that memorable morning. Suraj Mai, with many thousand 
Jats and Rajputs, had already retired in dudgeon to his 
own land. 

Hardly had the Marathas begun their forward march, 
when the watchful Ahmad drew out his own array to meet 
them. His Grand Wazir, Shah Walli, held the centre, 
consisting chiefly of his own Afghans. On his right were 
posted several Mughal and Rohilla chiefs, while the left 
was entrusted to the brave Najib-ud-daula and the half- 
hearted Nawab of Oudh. All day the battle raged with 
varying fortune. Overpowered by the steady onset of the 
Deccan Sepoys, the Afghan right gave way after a heavy 
slaughter. In the centre Bhao's Maratha and Rajput 
horsemen swept like a vast thunder-cloud upon the Grand 
VVazii's Duranis, and, in spite of Afghan prowess and the 
Afghan leader's bold example, drove them back in disorder 
on their reserves. On the Afghan left a more equal battle 
was waged by Najib's Rohillas against the troops of 
Sindhia and Holkar. 

In vain did the Grand Wazir attempt by repeated 
charges to retrieve the ruin that threatened his centre. 
The Bhao, whose courage far outstripped his generalship, 
still led forward his famished warriors into the heart of 
the hostile ranks. Round him and the hapless son of 
Balaji the fight still raged with deadliest fury, and spears, 
swords, and battle-axes drank their fill of blood. At that 
moment of seeming defeat, Ahmad Shah by one supreme 


effort restored the fortunes of his hard-pressed troops. 
While every Hindu soldier was already engaged, his own 
reserves were still waiting the order to advance. Hurrying 
off a part of these to aid in turning the enemy's right, 
with the rest he rallied the fugitives from his own right 
and centre, and renewed the battle on that side. 

The double movement soon bore fruit. Afghans and 
Rohillas reformed their broken lines, large bodies of fresh 
horsemen thundered down upon the weary foe, and Najib's 
reinforced warriors pushed back until they had rolled up 
the Maratha right. Still the fight raged under the hot 
afternoon sun, until Wiswas Rao was seen to fall. Mad- 
dened at the sight, or aware of coming doom, the Bhao 
plunged into the thickest of the fray ; Holkar, to whom he 
had last spoken, led his own troops from the field, as if all 
were lost already ; * the Gaikwar followed his example ; 
and presently the whole of that great army was flying 
in wild disorder from the swiftly advancing foe. The 
slaughter that followed in a chase of many miles com- 
pleted the horrors of that eventful day. No quarter was 
asked or given. Of those who escaped the swords of their 
pursuers, a great many were cut up by the villagers them- 
selves, and many more were afterwards slain in cold blood 
by their Durani captors. Among these last were Jankoji 
Sindhia and the brave Ibrahim Khan. The Bhao himself 
had found the death he sought for in the field. It is 
reckoned that only a fourth of the fighting men, and about 
the same proportion of camp followers, survived that 
fearful carnage. Thousands of women and children found 
in the entrenched camp and in the town of Panipat, were 
sold as slaves ; and the vengeance of the conquerors for 

* He is said to have had a secret understanding with Shuja-ud-daula ; but 
this is very doubtful. It is more probable, as Sir J. Malcolm thinks, that so 
good a soldier saw in a timely retreat the only hope of saving his own followers 
from the general wreck. In so doing he may only have obeyed the Bhao's 
last injunctions. 


their own heavy losses was sated only when their victims 
had drained the cup of suffering to its last drop. 

With the costly victory of Panipat the league of 
Muhammadan princes against the common foe seems at 
once to have broken up. Ahmad Shah himself recrossed 
the Indus, leaving his late allies to settle their own affairs 
in their own way. If the Maratha power had received a 
permanent check, the Mughal Empire was never again to 
emerge from its late eclipse, although a nominal emperor 
might still hold his shadowy court at Delhi, and powerful 
princes were to offer him mock allegiance for kingdoms 
won by their own swords. Throughout Maharashtra were 
heard the sounds of wailing for the carnage of Panipat. 
The Pcshwa himself, who was marching towards Delhi, 
broke up his camp, recrossed the Narbada, and reached 
Poona only to die, bequeathing to his successors a broken 
sceptre and a losing struggle with a power already domi- 
nant in Bengal. How that power had meanwhile been 
advancing, the following chapter will show. 




For many years after the death of Aurangzeb the English 
in Bengal continued to play the part of peaceful traders, 
jealous of all rivals from the West, ready to grasp at any 
new concession which prayers, clamours, or timely services 
might win from native rulers, and careful to hold aloof 
from the wars that might rage around them. The good 
fortune which enabled an English surgeon, Mr. Hamilton, 
to cure the Emperor Farrukhiszar of an illness which had 
baffled the skill of native Hakims, was requited, at Mr. 
Hamilton's own request, by an order exempting the Com- 
pany's agents from all local charges on their merchandise, 
and by another which empowered the Company to buy 
over the lordship of thirty-eight villages near Calcutta. 
The help which the English afterwards received from the 
Viceroy, Shuja-ud-din, in their efforts to destroy the trade 
of an interloping company established at Ostend, consoled 
them for the dirt they had eaten under his unfriendly 
predecessor, Murshid Killi Khan. During the troubles 
engendered by Alivardi Khan's long struggle with the 
Maratha invaders of Bengal, they obtained leave from the 
Viceroy to surround their settlement of Calcutta with an 
entrenchment afterwards known as "the Maratha Ditch." 

On the opposite side of India, however, the English 
were sometimes less peacefully employed in defending 
their interests against the assaults of Maratha pirates, 
who became a terror and a nuisance to all vessels trading 


with the Konkan. The failure in 1722 of a joint attack 
by the Engh'sh and the Portuguese on Angria's stronghold 
of Kolaba emboldened the pirates to fresh outrages ; and 
not till more than thirty years after was the power of 
Angria's successors broken, by the combined attacks of 
English and Maratha forces on the rock-perched fastnesses 
of the pirate chiefs. 

Meanwhile at Madras and in Southern India events 
had been happening which gave a new turn to the policy 
of the East India directors. While France and England 
were fighting at home, in India the merchants of either 
country had long been wont to follow peacefully, side by 
side, the business which took them so far away from 
their own land. Calcutta and Chandernagore, Madras 
and Pondicherry, were content to grow rich against each 
other, instead of taking an unprofitable part in the wars 
between the parent states. But in 1744, when France and 
England were once more at open strife, the bold Labour- 
donnais resolved, with the sanction of the French govern- 
ment, to fight his country's enemies in India also.* 
Returning to the Isle of France, of which he was then 
governor, he looked out in vain for the promised armament 
from home. But his amazing energy overcame all draw- 
backs. In one way or another he got together a fleet 
manned with sailors whom he himself, a sailor by pro- 
fession and something of an engineer, had trained for 
their destined work. In July, 1746, after beating off an 
English squadron sent to intercept him, he anchored off 
Pondicherry, took counsel with its able governor, M, 
Dupleix, and set off again two months later for his long- 
projected attack upon Madras. 

* A full and interesting account of this adventurer's brilliant career in 
India and the Mauritius may be found in Colonel Malleson's, " History of the 
French in India." During his rule, from 1735 to 1745, the Mauritius, or Isle 
of France, grew out of a wilderness into a flourishing colony. The be-:t life 
of Dupleix is that by M. Prosper Cultru (Paris, 1901). 


On the 1 8th September his ships and land-batteries 
began to bombard the fort, which Governor Morse with 
his three hundred Englishmen, of whom two-thirds only 
were soldiers, made a feeble show of holding. Three days 
afterwards the garrison surrendered as prisoners of war for 
the time being, with the power of redeeming the captured 
settlement after a specified term on payment of nearly half 
a million sterling. A large amount of booty fell at once 
into the conquerors' hands, besides the handsome present 
of iJ"40,ooo reserved by the governor for Labourdonnais 

The convention, however, displeased Dupleix, who 
found several reasons, including the powers entrusted to 
himself as Governor-General of French India, for after- 
wards setting it aside. In the midst of an embittered 
squabble between two men who, working together, might 
have driven the English out of India, a fearful storm so 
shattered the fleet of Labourdonnais, that he set sail from 
Madras, leaving the treaty he had just signed with the 
English Governor to be kept or broken at pleasure by 

Thus freed from a troublesome rival, Dupleix had now 
to deal with a new opponent in the shape of Anwar-ud-din, 
the Nawab or Governor of the Carnatic,t who sent troops 
to enforce fulfilment of the Frenchman's promise to sur- 
render Madras into his hands. If Dupleix had ever 
thought of keeping his pledge, he was now bent on keep- 
ing the fortified place instead. In vain did ten thousand 
of the Nawab's warriors encamp around Madras, in hopes 
of punishing the insolent strangers who had cheated him 

* At the Mauritius he found a new governor appointed in his place. On 
his way thence to France on board of a Dutch vessel, he fell into the hands 
of the English, was kindly treated in this country, and sent to France on his 
parole. There, however, he lay for three years in the Bastille, under charges 
of which he was at length acquitted. But he came out of prison penniless and 
broken-hearted, to die on the 9th September, I7S3> 

t Book iii, chap. 8. 


out of his due share in the winnings gained from his 
English friends. With four hundred Frenchmen and 
Sepoys drilled in French fashion, and two guns, their 
leader sallied forth against the Mughals. The Mughal 
horsemen came thundering down upon the little band, 
but a few well-aimed discharges from the French guns 
checked them in mid-career, causing them to waver, halt, 
and turn back in headlong flight from the foe they had 
ignorantly despised. 

This brilliant success was soon followed by another. A 
French force of 230 white men and 700 Sepoys was on 
its way from Pondicherry to succour Madras, when it 
found about 10,000 of the Nawab's troops guarding with 
their guns the passage of the little river Adyar, near 
Madras. In a moment Paradis and his men were across 
the river, up the opposite bank, and pouring a volley into 
the astonished foe. A charge with the bayonet drove the 
Mughals into the town of St. Thome.* Once more the 
French fire swept through their disordered masses, and 
sent them flying helter-skelter out of their last refuge. At 
that moment the victorious garrison of Madras came up 
to complete the rout, and chase the panic-stricken Mughals 
back towards Arcot. 

Flushed with these victories, Dupleix proceeded to 
attack the English in Fort St. David, about fifteen miles 
to the south of Pondicherry. But the troops sent out by 
him were badly led, and a sudden onset of the Nawab's 
soldiers drove them back in disorder to the French capital. 
An attack by sea on the Mughal town of Cuddalore was 
defeated by a timely storm. In March, 1747, Dupleix's 
best officer, Paradis himself, laid siege to P'ort St. David, 
whose slender garrison were saved for the second time by 
the approach of an English squadron sent from the Hugli 
to their relief. 

* Or Mahapuram. 


By this time the wily governor of Pondicherry had 
seduced the fickle Anvvar-ud-din from his English alliance. 
But the Nawab's friendship was short-lived. In 1748 he 
is again enlisted on the side of the English, who have got 
all ready for a grand attack on Pondicherry itself. By 
the end of June a bold attempt of the French to surprise 
Cuddalore had been baffled by the clever soldiership of 
Major Lawrence, the newly appointed commander of the 
English forces in India. It was not long, however, 
before Lawrence himself was taken prisoner by the brave 
defenders of Ariankopan, a kind of outwork to the 
defences of Pondicherry. Against the latter stronghold 
the renowned Admiral Boscawen opened his trenches on 
the loth September with about 6000 soldiers, aided by a 
powerful fleet. So skilfully, however, was the defence con- 
ducted by Dupleix himself, after the fall of his ablest 
engineer and stoutest helpmate, Paradis, that after six 
weeks of fruitless effort, in which young Clive,* the future 
victor of Plassey, nobly bore his part, Boscawen carried 
back his armament to Fort St. David, leaving behind 
him a thousand of his best soldiers dead from wounds 
or disease. 

The victorious Frenchman took care to trumpet the 
news of his success throughout India. From all quarters, 
even from Delhi, letters of congratulation came pouring 
in. It seemed as if nothing remained to him but the 
easy task of driving the defeated and despised English 
out of the country. But in the midst of the movements 
which Dupleix was planning for that end, came the un- 
welcome tidings of peace concluded at Aix-la^Chapelle on 
terms which obliged the French to give back their recent 

* As a "writer" or clerk of the East India Company, Robert Clive 
shared in the fruillcss defence of Madras against Labourdonnais. Carried 
off a prisoner to Pondicherry, he escaped thence in disguise to Fort St. David, 
and exchanging the pen for the sword, served as an ensign at the siege of 


conquests in Southern India. Madras was accordingly 
restored into English keeping, and the rival nations 
resumed the footing on which they had stood to each 
other five years before. 

But neither of them was willing to let things remain 
as they were. The quarrels of the neigbouring native 
princes opened out new fields of enterprise to the servants 
of rival companies founded for the promotion of peace- 
ful trade. On the plea of aiding the Maratha Raja of 
Tanjore to regain his lost throne, the English under Major 
Lawrence besieged and took the fort of Devikatta ; the 
possession of which, with a strip of adjoining country, was 
afterwards secured to them by treaty with the Raja's 
brother and victorious rival, Partab Singh. 

Meanwhile Dupleix was busy weaving a larger web of 
the same kind, in concert with Chanda Sahib, son-in-law of 
a former Nawab of Arcot, and for some years past a state 
prisoner at the court of Satara. The recent death of the 
old Nizam-ul-Mulk, Chin Kilich Khan, enabled the plot- 
ters to push their scheme. Set free by the Frenchman's 
intercession, Chanda Sahib made common cause with the 
Nizam's grandson, Muzaffar Jang, against his uncle Nasir 
Jang, the rival claimant to the throne of the Deccan. At 
the head of a large force, aided by a choice French con- 
tingent these two princes entered the Carnatic, and gave 
battle to Anwar-ud-din, whose fall completed their victory. 
The chief honours of the day were won by M. de Bussy, 
whose name was soon to figure prominently in the wars of 
the Deccan. Marching on to Arcot, Muzaffar Jang pro- 
claimed himself Subadar, or Viceroy of the Deccan, with 
Chanda Sahib as ruler of the Carnatic in his name. In 
proof of the latter's gratitude Dupleix himself was 
endowed with the lordship of eighty-one villages around 
his capital.* 

* Malleson's "French in India," chap. vi. 


Meanwhile Nasir Jang was raising a mighty army for 
the purpose of crushing his rival ; and Muhammad Ali, a 
son of the dead Nawab, had not asked in vain for the help 
of English bayonets from Madras. When the opposing 
armies were near each other, a mutiny in the French 
contingent spread dismay among their allies. Chanda 
Sahib bravely covered the retreat of the French in the 
face of Morari Rao and his swift Maratha horsemen ; but 
Muzaffar Jang surrendered to his uncle, who loaded him 
with irons after having sworn upon the Koran to let him 
go free. 

Nothing, however, seemed to daunt or overthrow Du- 
pleix. He brought the leading mutineers to a stern 
reckoning, and shamed their followers back into the paths 
of discipline. His envoys took high ground in treating with 
Nasir Jang. His trustiest messengers held' secret con- 
ference with discontented nobles in Nasir's camp. A few 
hundred of his soldiers beat up the quarters of Morari 
Rao, and frightened Nasir Jang himself into a swift 
retreat from the neigbourhood of Pondicherry. He 
shipped off five hundred Frenchmen and Sepoys to re- 
capture Masulipatam from the Mughals. With a force no 
larger D'Auteuil dared the attack of Muhammad All's 
thirty thousand men, including two thousand English and 
Sepoys. When the latter had withdrawn in dudgeon 
from the camp of their headstrong ally, D'Auteuil himself, 
emboldened by the arrival of fresh succours from Pondi- 
cherry, moved out against the Nawab, and drove his army 
like a flock of frightened sheep across the Panar. A few 
days afterwards some fifteen hundred Frenchmen and 
Sepoys, led by the skilful Bussy, scattered ten thousand 
of Muhammad All's warriors, who had rallied under the 
walls of Gingee ; and, strengthened at the right moment 
by fresh troops, Bussy's heroes not only entered the town, 
but carried the rock fortress which Sivaji had won through 


fraud, and Aurangzeb's best commander had retaken only 
after a long blockade. 

Disturbed by these successes, the master of the Deccan 
began to treat with his daring assailants. But the terms 
on which Duplcix insisted were still too hard for his 
digestion. At the head of a combined host of Mughals, 
Pathuns, and Marathas, he continued his advance on 
Gingee. But the traitors in his camp were numerous, and 
Duplcix was not a man to stick at scruples in pursuit of 
a given end. Ere long the Subadar was ready to yield all 
that the Frenchman had asked. But his offers came too 
late. Before a messenger from Dupleix could reach the 
French camp, a signal from the plotting nobles in that of 
Nasir Jang had brought the French commander up to the 
scene of action. In the fight that ensued between his 
troops and the enemy the Pathans and Marathas took no 
part. Guessing too late the meaning of their inaction, the 
angry Subadar rode up to the traitor chiefs, and scolded 
one of them, the Nawab of Cuddapah, for his cowardice. 
A bullet in his heart was the Nawab's reply. In a few 
minutes the dead man's rival, Muzaffar Jang, found himself 
transformed from a prisoner in chains, under peril of 
instant death, into the newly-elected Subadar of the 

When the fight was over the new Subadar set off 
for Pondicherry, where Dupleix, with much pomp and 
pageantry, installed him in his uncle's place. Dupleix 
himself, decked out in the robes of a Muhammadan 
"Amrah," or baron of the highest class, was invested 
with the government of all the Mughal dominions to the 
south of the Kistna. Chanda Sahib, as Nawab of the 
Carnatic, became the new governor's acknowledged vassal. 
The bestowal of a goodly yVF^Jr or fief on Dupleix himself, 
a handsome present in money to his officers and men, and 
the assignment of fresh districts to the Company under 


whose flag they had fought, filled up the ungrudging 
measure of the Subadar's gratitude to his French allies. 
At that moment the fame and influence of Dupleix had 
reached their highest point. Through his own skilful 
daring, seconded by a mere handful of his countrymen, 
the son of a French merchant had become the ruler of 
broad provinces and the patron of the lord of Southern 

Accompanied by a small force of French and Sepoys 
under Bussy, the new Subadar set out in the first days of 
175 1 for his own capital of Aurangabad. But the Pathan 
chiefs who had compassed the death of Nasir Jang were 
already plotting against his successor, who had stinted 
them of their expected rewards. Their treachery dis- 
covered, they were attacked and defeated by Bussy's 
soldiers ; but Muzaffar Jang, in the eagerness of pursuit, 
was slain by the hard-pressed Nawab of Kurnool, who a 
moment after shared his victim's fate. Amidst the con- 
fusion caused by this event Bussy showed himself equal to 
the need. With the consent of his Mughal allies, Salabat 
Jang, a younger brother of Nasir Jang, was straightway 
advanced, like his late nephew, from a prison to the vacant 



At the time of Salabat Jang's accession to the throne of 
the Deccan, Muhammad Ali was intriguing with the Eng- 
lish at Madras against his successful rival, Chanda Sahib. 
As soon as the hour seemed ripe for action, he threw off 
the mask of apparent readiness to make peace with his 
opponents, and refused to yield up Trichinopoly on any 
terms to the rival Nawab. Once more, therefore, the 
French and English were arranged in arms under opposing 
flags. While Chanda Sahib, aided by a few hundred 
Frenchmen, was advancing on Trichinopoly, a small 
English force marched off to strengthen the native de- 
fenders of tliat place, and a somewhat larger body took 
the field in concert with their native ally. The latter 
force, however, crowned their defeat before Volkonda by 
an ignominious retreat upon Trichinopoly ; and the troops 
of Chanda Sahib promised themselves an easy capture of 
his rival's last stronghold. 

But fortune and the skilful soldiership of two brave 
Englishmen were to spoil their reckonings. Captain 
Robert Clive, who had already earned some laurels before 
Pondicherry and at Devikatta, now urged Mr. Saunders, 
the able Governor of Madras, to save Trichinopoly by 
making a dash at Arcot. It was a suggestion of Muham- 
mad Ali, who knew the riches of the Arcot district. With 
200 Englishmen, 300 Sepoys, and eight guns, Clive was 
allowed to save Trichinopoly in his own way. In the 


midst of a fearful thunderstorm his daring band presented 
themselves at the gates of Chanda Sahib's capital. The 
astonished garrison offered no resistance to men who 
could thus brave the wrath of the storm-god. Once master 
of the fort, which was more than a mile round, Clive set 
hard to work at strengthening its weak defences. He first 
thought of retiring to Trimidi, but Mr. George Pigot 
strongly urged him to hold on. The task seemed well- 
nigh hopeless, but a master-mind had taken it firmly in 
hand. In spite of Dupleix's entreaties, Chanda Sahib 
detached some thousands of his best troops, under his son, 
Raja Sahib, to deal with Clive. For seven weeks the little 
garrison of Arcot withstood the assaults of 10,000 men, 
aided by a powerful battering-train ; their numbers reduced 
by disease and wounds to 120 Englishmen and 200 Sepoys. 
The succours which Mr. Saunders strained every nerve 
to forward from Madras were beaten back, and the sup- 
plies of the garrison were running very short, when Raja 
Sahib, learning that the Marathas under Morari Rao 
were advancing to raise the siege, and foiled in his efforts 
to win the place by treating with Clive himself, gave the 
order for one last desperate assault. 

On the 25th November, the fiftieth day of the siege, his 
troops rushed forward to the attack, drunk with bhang 
and religious ardour.* For many hours the fight raged 
at every assailable point, the Sepoys vying with their Eng- 
lish comrades in the stoutness of their resistance to almost 
crushing odds. In their attempts to crown the breaches 
the assailants were swept down by an unceasing fire of 
muskets and guns, each man of the little garrison having 
spare muskets ready to his hands, while Clive himself 
worked like a common gunner. At last the attack died 
away, the town itself was abandoned during the night, and 

* It was the day of the great Mussulman feast in memory of the martyred 
son of Ali. 


the next morning saw Raja Sahib's shattered forces retreat- 
ing on Vcllore. 

The news of this heroic defence, maintained by a hand- 
ful of men and half a dozen English officers, mostly raw 
volunteers, under a captain who had never before set a 
full company in the field, turned in favour of the English 
that tide of native feeling which had hitherto been setting 
strongly against them. Reinforced from Madras, Clive 
started off in pursuit of his late assailants, turned their 
flank with the aid of his Marathas, and drove them, with 
the loss of all their guns, from the field. Another great 
victory over Raja Sahib and his French allies at Kaveri- 
pak, on the road from Conjceveram to Arcot, left Clive 
free to arrange with Mr. Saunders for the relief of Trichi- 
nopoly, then closely blockaded by the troops of Chanda 
Sahib and M. Law. 

At that moment, however, another brave Englishman, 
Major Stringer Lawrence, the victor of Devikatta, who had 
meanwhile gone home to England, reappeared on the 
scene, as commander of the troops destined for the relief 
of Trichinopoly. With the hero of Arcot for his trusty 
lieutenant, he was not likely to fail without good cause. 
Trichinopoly was soon relieved ; and the French, defeated 
or out-generalled at every turn, and cooped up at last in 
an island between two rivers, gave themselves up to Law- 
rence as prisoners of war. Forty-one guns, with heaps of 
warlike stores, were included among the spoils. Meanwhile 
the luckless Chanda Sahib, who had surrendered to the 
general commanding the native contingent from Tanjore, 
under a solemn promise that his life should be spared, 
was straightway put to death by order of his perjured 
captor, and his head was forwarded as a welcome present 
to Muhammad AH.* 

* Lawrence has been blamed by Colonel ^ralleson for conniving at 
this piece of treachery ; but Orme's statement hardly bears out the charge. 


Foiled in his best efforts, Dupleix would not be dis- 
heartened. The son of Chanda Sahib was at once pro- 
claimed Nawab in his father's stead. Morari Rao and the 
Regent of Mysore soon turned against their late ally. The 
repulse of an English attack upon Gingee encouraged the 
French and their allies to renew the siege of Trichinopoly. 
For two more years strife raged in the Carnatic, Clive and 
Lawrence losing no chance of adding to their old renown, 
while the prompt courage of an English subaltern, Lieu- 
tenant Harrison, saved the fort of Trichinopoly from almost 
certain capture. 

Meanwhile Bussy's tact and boldness had served his 
country well at the court of Salabat Jang. In spite of 
secret foes and open assailants, he had not only upheld 
his own nominee on the throne of the Deccan, but had 
even won for himself the government of four fertile dis- 
tricts lying between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of 
Bengal, and stretching for nearly 500 miles from the 
Kistna northward to Ganjam. This valuable tract of 
country, since known as the Northern Circars, surpassed 
in extent and value the dominions which any other Euro- 
pean power had hitherto swayed in India. 

But a cruel blow was already being aimed at Dupleix's 
ambition and the power he had striven so hard to esta- 
blish. While the siege of Trichinopoly was yet languidly 
going forward, there arrived at Pondicherry, in August, 
1754, a special envoy empowered by the French Govern- 
ment to treat with Mr. Saunders for a speedy end to the 
strife between French and English on the Coromandel 
coast, M. Godeheu, himself a director of the French 
company, entered with a will on his appointed task. The 
truce to which both parties presently agreed was followed 
in December by a formal treaty, which bound both alike 

The Nawab surrendered not to the English, but to the forces of Muhammad 


to refrain from mixing in the quarrels of native princes, 
and virtually to accept Muhammad Ali as the rightful 
Nawab. Each side was to retain its present winnings 
until arrangements could be made for readjusting their 
several shares. Godeheu, in short, surrendered almost 
everything for which Dupleix had so long fought and 
schemed, with varying fortune, but with unflinching zeal. 
But more to the English than all their other gains was the 
recall of the daring statesman who had dreamed of build- 
ing up a great French empire in Southern India. The 
supplanted Governor of Pondicherry went home poor and 
in debt, to meet with a chilling welcome from the com- 
pany he had served so well, to plead in vain for repayment 
of the great sums he had spent out of his own fortune 
on their account, and to die at last in disgrace and almost 
beggary, with the debtors' prison already staring him in 
the face. 

The treaty thus concluded was soon broken. The 
Regent of Mysore, on the strength of a promise once made 
by Muhammad Ali, pressed his claim to Trichinopoly, 
which the English refused to render up. An English 
force set out early in 1755 to help Muhammad Ali in 
exacting tribute from the Palikars of Tinnevelly and 
Madura. The French in their turn gathered rents on 
behalf of the Regent of Mysore, and even threatened Tri- 
chinopoly itself. Early in the next year a movement of the 
English against Vcllore was thwarted by the firmness of 
De Leyrit, who had succeeded Godeheu as Governor of 
Pondicherry. Before the year's end it was known that 
France and England were again at war, and De Leyrit lost 
no time in acting upon that knowledge. While the English 
were engaged elsewhere in helping the Nawab against his 
own subjects, a strong force of French and Sepoys once 
more endangered the safety of Trichinopoly. But the brave 
Captain Calliaud, by a skilful movement, circumvented 


the French commander, and forced him to retire to 
Pondicherry. For this repulse the French consoled them- 
selves by a series of successful raids elsewhere, and the 
last days of 1757 left them masters of nearly all the 
strong places in the dominions of Muhammad Ali, while 
Bussy easily maintained his hold on the Northern Circars. 

Meanwhile Bengal had become the scene of a struggle 
on whose issue rested the future of all India. In April, 
1756, Alivardi Khan, the able and stout-hearted Subadar 
of Bengal, was succeeded by his favourite grandson, 
Siraj-ud-daula, a youth whose feeble intellect and im- 
perious temper had not been improved by a long course 
of debauchery and freedom from all control. One of his 
first acts as Subadar was to demand from Mr. Drake, the 
Governor of Fort William, the immediate surrender of a 
Hindu refugee, son of the wealthy governor of Dacca, and 
the destruction of all the new defences which Mr. Drake 
was accused of having erected round Calcutta. Enraged 
at the Englishman's evasion of the former demand, he 
led an army of fifty thousand men against a settlement 
in every way ill-prepared to defend itself. A garrison 
reduced by neglect to 174 men, weak defences, bad gun- 
powder, cowardice among the leaders, disorder and 
mismanagement everywhere, all combined to render the 
fort and city an easy prey to the furious Subadar. On 
the 19th June a general rush of men, women, and children, 
to get on board the shipping in the river, was followed 
by the flight thither of Mr. Drake and the military 

Thus shamefully abandoned, Mr. Holwell, the ablest 
civil officer left behind, took command of the weakened 
garrison, and prepared to defend the fort. But everything 
was against him. Blind to all his signals of distress, the 
captains of the vessels, which had dropped two miles down 
the river, made no attempt to succour their desertecf 

- H 

— u 

— X 


countrymen. The soldiers, who for two or three days had 
repulsed the enemy's attacks, at length broke into the 
h'quor-stores, and became too drunk for further resistance. 
While Mr. Hohvell was yet parleying with the besiegers, 
some of the latter rushed into the scene of disorder, and 
in a few minutes Fort William, with all its surviving 
defenders, fell into the conqueror's hands. 

But the survivors had yet to taste the full measure of 
their misfortunes. On one of the hottest nights in the 
year, when the climate of Bengal had changed from the 
heat of an open furnace to that of a well-warmed hot- 
house, a hundred and forty-six prisoners, including one or 
two women, were shut up in an old guard-room, or black- 
hole for soldiers, less than eighteen feet square, into which 
the air, yet further heated by the flames of burning ware- 
houses, crept through two small windows strongly barred. 
None but the strongest and those who kept nearest the 
windows, had a chance of living through that awful night. 
In the fight for life that went on from hour to hour, few 
heeded other tortures than their own. The living trampled 
on the dying and the dead in their efforts to reach the 
windows, or to get at the water handed in to them through 
the bars. Mad with thirst, fever, pain, and the fearful 
stench, many of them sought to end their sufferings by 
provoking the guards outside to fire upon them. But 
their inhuman jailors laughed the louder at their revilings, 
held lights to the windows the better to enjoy the dreadful 
scene within, and gloated over the sight of thirsty wretches 
fighting for the water with which they were kept supplied.* 
Next morning, when the Subadar had slept off the effects 
of last night's debauch, there crawled out of that den of 
horrors Hohvell himself, with twenty-one men and one 

* Mr. Hohvell, one of the survivors, wrote a detailed account of the 
horrors of that memorable night in language all the more powerful for its 
unadorned simplicity. 


woman,* most of them hardly more alive than the dead 
who lay heaped up in noisome ghastliness within, 

Holwell and four others, including the woman, were 
carried off, in irons, to Murshidabad ; but the rest were 
allowed to make their way to the ships, which forthwith 
dropped down to Falta, near the mouth of the Hugli. 
Three months afterwards Holwell and three of his fellow- 
sufferers were finally set free. It was not till the middle 
of December that the English refugees at Falta descried the 
fleet which Admiral Watson had led out from Madras two 
months before, laden with the troops destined to retrieve 
the disasters of the previous June, and to pave the way for 
the conquest of Hindustan. Their commander. Colonel 
Clive, who had returned to India in 1755 as Governor of 
Fort St. David, and had since shared with Admiral 
Watson in the taking of Giriah, lost no time in adding to 
his old renown. The fort of Baj-baj, a little way up the 
river, was soon taken by his troops and a body of seamen. 
On the 2rid of January, 1757, Calcutta and Fort William 
fell once more into English hands. Hugli itself was 
stormed on the loth by Clive's best subaltern, Captain 
Eyre Coote, the future opponent of Haidar Ali. 

Enraged at these unforeseen reverses, Siraj-ud-daula 
led a large army towards Calcutta, masking his purpose 
by a show of listening to the peaceful overtures from the 
Calcutta Council. At length, impatient of further dallying 
with a treacherous foe, Clive on the 4th February, made a 
determined assault on the Mughal camp. A heavy fog 
marred the full execution of a well-conceived movement, 
and after some hard fighting Clive withdrew his troops. 
But the frightened Subadar had no mind to renew the 
struggle with such foes. Drawing off his army to a safe 

* Mrs. Carey, whose husband, a sea-officer, died in tiie Black Hole. 
When the survivors were released, she herself being, in Holwell's words, 
"too young and handsome," was reserved for the Prince's haram at 


distance from Calcutta, he offered, this time sincerely, 
to make peace. On the 9th February was concluded a 
treaty which restored to the English all their former 
privileges and factories, gave them full permission to 
fortify Calcutta, to coin money at their own mint, and 
promised in some measure to make good their recent 



By this time Calcutta had learned the news of another war 
in Europe between France and England. Instead of 
returning to Madras, Clive at once resolved to attack the 
French settlement of Chandernagore, on the Hugh". The 
faithless Subadar, on the other hand, was already plotting 
with Bussy against his new friends, while the Calcutta 
Council, led by the wretched Drake, were bent on pledging 
their countrymen to remain strictly neutral towards the 
French in Bengal. But dive's forecasting energy over- 
rode all obstacles, and the way was further cleared for him 
by a threatening letter, in which Admiral Watson told the 
Subadar that, if any more plottings went on with the 
French, he would " kindle such a flame in the country as 
all the waters of the Ganges should not be able to 
extinguish." A humble answer from the frightened Siraj- 
ud-daula removed the last scruples from the mind of the 
honest sailor, who forthwith went heartily to work in aid 
of his less scrupulous colleague. 

On the 14th March Clive made his first movement 
against the fort of Chandernagore. On the 17th his 
batteries opened their fire, to which the defenders kept up 
for some days a spirited reply. It was not till the 23rd 
that Watson could bring two of his men-of-war alongside 
the fort ; but a few broadsides from the Kent and Tiger 
wrought such havoc that the French were driven to treat 
for a surrender, and before evening Chandernago;-e, with its 


brave garrison and much treasure, had passed into Watson's 
hands, not without heavy loss to the conquerors.* 

The Subadarvvas furious, but he took care to dissemble 
his rage and hatred of the victorious English. Cringing 
and insolent by turns, now bribing Bussy to come and 
help him against the common foe, anon seeking to lull 
Cllve's suspicions by letters full of high-flown compliments, 
now threatening the English factory at Kasimbazar, anon 
sending to Calcutta a large instalment of the promised 
indemnity, he furnished Clivc with ample pretexts for 
treating him as an enemy in disguise. The Englishman, 
however, for all his courage and his past achievements, 
would commit himself to no rash movement against the 
ruler of a rich and powerful province and the commander 
of countless legions. He preferred to meet cunning with 
cunning, plots with plots ; and his opponent's folly lent 
itself to all his schemes. A plot for the Nawab's dethrone- 
ment was carried on between the English leaders and some 
of the foremost statesmen and richest bankers in Bengal. 
It was agreed that Mir Jafar, brother-in-law of the late 
Subadar, should be raised to the forfeit throne, in return 
for vast sums of money payable to the English Company 
and their troops. 

The plot was well-nigh ripe when Amin Chand, a rich 
Hindu banker, who had long played a doubtful part both 
towards the English and his own sovereign, threatened to 
disclose to the latter all that he had somehow learned, 
unless his silence could be purchased on his own terms. 
Clive at once resolved to outwit him with his own weapons. 
Two copies of the secret treaty with Mir Jafar were drawn 
up, in only one of which was inserted the agreement made 

* Among the troops employed in the siege were the Bengal Battalion, 
afterwards the 1st Bengal European Fusiliers, and the Bengal Sepoy Battalion, 
afterwards the ist Bengal Native Infantry. The latter regiment had been 
raised, armed, and drilled like an English regiment by Clive himself. 
(Broome's "History of the Bengal Army," pp. 92 and 116.) 


with the treacherous Hindu. Among the names affixed 
to this document was that of Admiral Watson, forged 
apparently by Clivc himself with the assent of his more 
scrupulous colleague. In excuse for the part borne by 
Clive in these crooked proceedings, it must be remembered 
that many lives of Englishmen and natives in Bengal were 
staked on the good faith of a self-seeking scoundrel, who 
would else have sold to their worst enemy the secret he 
had ferreted out for himself. 

By this time Siraj-ud-daula had heard of Ahmad Shah's 
retreat from Delhi into Afghanistan. Danger from that 
quarter he no longer feared ; but the signs of danger 
nearer home had begun to attract his notice ; and the 
flight of Watts, the English agent, from Murshidabad 
seemed to confirm his worst suspicions. While his own 
troops were once more mustering at Plassey, about forty 
miles to the south of Murshidabad, Clive was preparing to 
strike the blow which was to make him virtual master of 
Bengal. On the 13th June, 1757, he marched from 
Chandernagoreat the head of 1000 Englishmen and about 
2000 Sepoys, and ten guns. On the 17th the fort of Katwa 
was carried by his troops after a brief resistance. Here the 
monsoon or rainy season burst upon them with a violence 
which for a moment damped the spirits of their bold 
leader himself. The news that presently reached him 
from Mir Jafar did little to allay his new-born doubts and 
misgivings. Defeat at that distance from all support 
meant utter ruin to his little army and to the hopes that 
centred in them. He wrote for help to the Raja of Burdwan. 
For the first and last time in his life he called a council of 
war. His own vote, the first given, was in favour of halt- 
ing at Katwa until the close of the monsoon. In spite of 
the counterpleadings of bold Major Coote, twelve officers 
out of nineteen voted with Colonel Clive. 

But a few hours later the cloud had passed away from 


his soul, and the order was f^iven for his troops to cross 
the river next morning. A long march of fifteen miles 
through mud and water brought them, at one in the 
morning of the 23rd June, to a grove of mango trees 
beyond the village of Plassey, within easy hearing of the 
enemy's drums. The left of his little array rested on the 
Bhagirathi river. A mile in front of him lay the enemy, 
50,000 strong in infantry alone, besides 18,000 horsemen 
from the north, and fifty-three guns, mostly of great size. 

Soon after daybreak the hosts of Siraj-ud-daula ad- 
vanced from their entrenchments to the attack ; a small 
party of Frenchmen with four light field-pieces leading 
the way. By eight o'clock the latter were engaged with a 
small body of English well posted in front of their main 
line. When the enemy's fire became too hot for his little 
force, Clive withdrew to the safer shelter of the grove. 
For some hours a cannonade was kept up on both sides, 
with little damage to the English, who from behind their 
own breastworks took leisurely aim at the masses in their 
front. At noon the enemy's ammunition was nearly all 
spoilt by a heavy shower. A charge of the enemy's horse 
was easily repulsed, and the fall of their leader himself 
struck the Subadar with sudden terror. By two P.M. the 
great bulk of his troops were already moving from the 
field, while their panic-striken commander led the way 
with 2000 horse to his own capital of Murshidabad. The 
French withdrew their guns into the entrenched camp. 
Mir Jafar Khan, whose movements had hitherto puzzled 
the English commander, at length drew off his own men 
from Clive's right flank. No longer doubtful of the issue, 
Clive pushed boldly forward against the entrenchments, 
where the French still bravely held their ground. Ere 
long they also had to retire without their guns. By five 
o'clock the victors were in full possession of the enemy's 
camp with all the vast wealth it contained in baggage, 


cattle, guns, and warlike stores. The victory which was 
to seal the fate of India had been won with a loss of only 
twenty-three soldiers killed and forty-nine wounded on the 
winning side. 

Arrived at Murshidabad, Siraj-ud-daula took counsel 
with his officers of state. For a moment the bolder policy 
recommended by some of them revived his courage ; but 
his old fears and suspicions speedily returned, and the 
next night he fled in disguise from his palace, only to fall 
a few days later into the hands of his enemy Mir Jafar, 
whose son, impatient of his father's kindlier leanings, 
caused the grandson of his father's benefactor to be privily 
put to death. 

Six days after the rout of Plassey, Clive entered 
Murshidabad. Mir Jafar was formally saluted as Nawab 
of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa, and steps were taken to fulfil 
the compact which had placed him on his kinsman's 
throne. A large sum of money was at once sent down to 
Calcutta in part payment of the promised compensation 
for the losses suffered in 1756. On the East India Com- 
pany was bestowed the fee simple of the land for six 
hundred yards around the Maratha Ditch, together with 
revenue rights over the country south of Calcutta. The 
members of the Calcutta Council, and the forces, naval 
and military, received handsome presents. The conqueror 
of Plassey, who might have helped himself to untold 
wealth out of the royal treasury, was content to accept a 
thank-offering of about two hundred thousand pounds,* 

It was now time to undeceive the wretched Amin 
Chand. The genuine treaty was produced and read. On 
discovering the trick which had been played upon him, 

* To those who aflerwards upbraided him with his greed, he indignantly 
replied, " When I recollect entering the treasury at Murshidabad, 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 moderation." 


Amin Chand fell senseless to the ground. The shock to his 
avarice may have weakened his wits ; it certainly sent him 
on a pilgrimage to a famous Hindu shrine ; but it did 
not afterwards keep him from mixing again in public 

Clivc had now gained for his countrymen that pre- 
eminence in Bengal which Dupleix had once secured for 
the French in Southern India. As Governor of Fort Wil- 
liam in reward for his brilliant services, he lost no time 
in following up his late achievements. The French were 
hunted out of Bihar into Oudh by the dogged pertinacity 
of Major Coote. Several risings against the new Nawab of 
Bengal were promptly suppressed. Colonel Forde, one of 
Clive's best officers, was sent off to fight the French, no 
longer led by Bussy, in the Northern Circars. By a series 
of bold movements and well-delivered blows that dashing 
commander wrested Masulipatam from the French, and 
frightened the Nizam, Salabat Jang, into ceding a large 
tract of adjacent country to the conquerors of his late 
friends. Shah Alam, son of the puppet Emperor of Delhi, 
sought, with the help of the Nawab of Oudh, to carve out 
a kingdom for himself in Bengal. But the mere sound of 
Clive's coming forced him to raise the siege of Patna ; the 
army he had got together melted away before the swift 
approach of Clive's warriors, who cared nothing for heat 
or superior numbers ; and the prince himself, deserted by 
his ally, was glad to obtain from his pursuer the means of 
continuing his homeward flight. For this fresh service 
Clive was rewarded by Mir Jaffir with B-jagir worth about 
;^2 5,000 a-year. 

But the new Nawab of Bengal had not yet learned the 
lesson of passing events. He began to intrigue with the 

* He is said by Orme to have become a drivelling idiot ; but the story is 
quite untrue. See Broome's " Bengal Army," p. 154, and " Catalogue of the 
Orme MSS." (S. C. Hill), p. xxxi. 


Dutch at Chinsura against the power to which he owed 
everything. A Dutch fleet from Java, laden with troops, 
appeared in the Hugh. There was then no war between 
England and Holland, and Clive had some private reasons 
for avoiding a quarrel.* But he met the danger with 
his wonted readiness, and Dutch outrages provoked the 
struggle which, as a statesman, he had no wish to avert. 
On the 24th November six out of seven Dutch men-of-war 
were taken, after two hours' hard fighting, by three 
English ships of small burden, t and the seventh was 
afterwards caught near the mouth of the river. On the 
same day the bold Colonel Forde drove the Dutch, with 
heavy slaughter, back into Chinsura ; and on the morrow 
another force of Dutchmen, Sepoys, and Malays, was well- 
nigh destroyed on the plain of Bidara by about half the 
number of English and native troops under the same 
leader. Thoroughly humbled, the Dutch at Chinsura 
sued for terms, which issued in a treaty binding them to 
pay the expenses of the war, to discharge the bulk of their 
troops, dismiss the vessels which Clive engaged to restore, 
and to resume the footing on which they had hitherto 
traded in Bengal. 

Early in the next year Clive sailed for England, in the 
flush of his well-earned fame, at the age of thirty-four, 
to receive fresh honours from his admiring countrymen. 
Meanwhile in Southern India also the tide was turning 
fast and finally against the French. Lally, a brave but 
headstrong soldier, who had fought in the Irish Brigade at 
Fontenoy, strove hard but vainly to stem that tide. Fort 
St. David and Devikatta fell before his arms. The siege 
of Tanjore was raised by the timely intervention of an 

* The bulk of his wealth had just been remitted to Europe through the 
Dutch East India Company. 

t The largest, the Calcutta, measured only 761 tons. Four of the Dutch- 
men carried thirty -six guns a-piece, and two more twenty-six guns. (Broome's 
*' Bangal Army," chap, iii.) 


English force ; and a French fleet, which might have done 
Lally good service, sailed off at a critical moment to the 
Isle of France. Arcot, on the other hand, was surrendered 
to the French by Muhammad Ali ; and Bussy, who had 
been summoned in an evil hour to Lally's aid from the 
scene of his own successes, vainly attempted to dis=;uade 
his headstrong chief from undertaking the siege of Madras 
itself. In the last days of 1758 Lally's soldiers took up 
their posts in front of a stronghold defended by the veteran 
Colonel Lawrence, For two months they held their ground 
in spite of the resistance offered by the besieged, and the 
spirited efforts of Major Calliaud to annoy the besiegers 
from behind. In February, 1759, ^ breach was made in 
the walls of the Fort, and Lally was preparing to storm it 
if he could, when, on the i6th, an English fleet laden 
with succours anchored in the Roads. Next day the 
French were in full retreat on Arcot, leaving behind them 
fifty-two guns and many of their sick and wounded. 

For yet another year the fight for empire in Southern 
India went forward to issues which grow daily clearer. 
The failure of the English in their first attack on Wandi- 
wash was brilliantly retrieved a {(t\v months later by 
Coote's capture of that place, and the crushing defeat he 
afterwards inflicted on a French force which ventured to 
renew the siege. Bussy himself, who was among the 
prisoners, was generously allowed to return to Pondicherry. 
One strong place after another was taken or retaken by 
the victorious English. With the fall of Karikal in April, 
1760, the French had little more to lose in Southern 
India besides Pondicherry itself. Hampered at every turn, 
now by want of stores and money, anon by the interference 
of his civil colleagues, or the mutinous conduct of his own 
ill-paid, starving troops, Lally saw his prospects growing 
darker and darker, until in September he and his country- 
men were closely besieged in their Indian capital by 


the foe whom he had so lately thought to drive into 
the sea. 

In vain had Lally looked round among the native 
princes to help him in his hour of need. Neither from 
Haidar AH, the usurping ruler of Mysore, nor from Balaji 
Rao, the Maratha Peshvva, could any help be obtained. 
Week after week saw his chances grow more desperate, as 
the English drew their circles closer around him, and the 
stock of food for his garrison melted away. Even the 
great storm of December, which destroyed the English 
batteries and sank or disabled many of the English 
ships, brought no relief to the despairing garrison and 
their sick commander. At length, on the 15th January, 
1761, when his stock of food was on the point of being 
exhausted, Lally offered to surrender. Colonel Coote 
would listen to no conditions, and Lally could only bow to 
his fate. Next day, when the English marched into the 
surrendered stronghold, the wasted forms and wan faces 
of the soldiers drawn up to receive them told their own 

Pondicherry was afterwards levelled to the ground. 
Lally, hooted by its ungrateful citizens, withdrew to 
Madras, from thence to Paris, where misfortune still dogged 
his steps. The men who had persistently thwarted him in 
Pondicherry sent home their own version of past events. 
Bussy himself made common cause with De Leyrit's 
party against the man who had bravely done his best to 
save French India. In 1766, after languishing for three 
years in the Bastille, the luckless Irishman paid upon the 
scaffold the penalty in France so often awarded to ill- 

With the fall of Pondicherry the French power in India 
passed away. Three months later the last of the French 
garrisons surrendered to an English force ; and three 
years after the death of Lally, the Company, which had 


made no effort to save one of its ablest servants, was itself 
consigned to extinction. Thenceforth the history of India 
becomes the history of British struggles and achievements 
in the path marked out for England by the victory of 
Plassey and the rout of Panipat. 




With the fall of Pondicherry and the battle of Panipat, 
two leading events in the history of the same year, a new 
power has begun to raise its head among the peoples and 
princes of India. Before tracing the further growth of 
that power, it is well to take a rapid survey of Indian 
affairs about the year 1761. 

If the strength of the Marathas was cruelly broken by 
the slaughter of Panipat, the empire of Delhi had already 
dwindled away to a few districts around the capital. The 
Punjab was ruled by the Afghan Ahmad Shah. In Sind 
the Talpur chiefs acknowledged no master. Rohilkhand 
obeyed the orders of Najib-ud-daula. Shuja-ud-daula, 
the Nawab Wazir of Oudh, paid the merest show of 
obedience to his titular lord at Delhi, The Hindu princes 
of Rajputana had won for themselves an independence 
tempered only by the need of paying now and then the 
Maratha chauth. The Maratha power, if its unity was 
broken at Panipat, still swayed under separate princes a 
vast tract of country, from Gujarat in the west to Tanjore 
in the south. The Gaikwar reigned in Gujarat, Sindhia 
and Holkar divided Malwa between them, the Bhosla 
dynasty was firmly seated in Nagpur, Maratha princes 


held Tanjore and part of the Carnatic, the Rajas of Kolha- 
pur and Satarawere still supreme along the Western Ghats, 
and the Peshwa of Poona reigned over a long stretch of 
country from the borders of Mysore to Kalpi and Jhansi 
on the Jumna. Orissa itself obeyed the Maratha rule, and 
nothing but Clive's firmness had deterred the Marathas 
from continuing to levy chauth in Bengal. 

The Jats, a warlike tribe of Hindu origin from the 
banks of the Indus, who had greatly troubled the officers 
of Aurangzeb, had already under the daring Suraj Mai 
founded a strong state between Jaipur and Agra, with 
Bharatpur for its fortified capital. Salabat Jang, as Nizam 
of the Deccan, ruled over a dominion sadly crippled by 
the conquests of his Maratha neighbours. In Mysore the 
ambitious Mussulman soldier, Haidar Ali, had already 
won the virtual sovereignty of a kingdom hitherto swayed 
by a long succession of Hindu rajas. Muhammad AH, 
under English protection, held independent rule over the 
Carnatic from the Panar river to Tanjore. The little 
states of Travancore and Cochin were still governed by 
Hindu rulers. Goa and its few dependencies belonged to 
Portugal. Besides their old settlements on either coast, 
the actual possessions of the English were confined to 
certain districts around Calcutta and in the Northern 
Circars, But the rich and populous provinces of Bengal 
and Bihar were ruled by a sovereign of their own choice, 
upheld on his throne by British bayonets, and liable at any 
moment to be set aside by those who had placed him 
there. It was, in short, the same tenure on which the 
Nawab of the Carnatic held the dominions he had won 
with English aid from the French and their native allies. 

Soon after his bootless raid into Bihar, Shah Alam, 
whose real name was Ali Johar, mounted the tottering 
throne of Delhi in the room of his murdered father. Still 
hankering after Bengal, and afraid to enter his own capital, 


he marched with his new wazir, Shuja-ud-daula, and a 
large force upon Patna in the first days of 1760. 
Defeated, followed up, and checked at every turn by the 
active Colonel Calliaud, he made a bold rush back from 
the neighbourhood of Murshidabad to Patna ; and that 
city, closely besieged for nine days, was on the point of 
falling, when Captain Knox with 200 Englishmen, a 
regiment of Sepoys, and a few troops of horse, came up 
to the rescue after a long hurried march in the hottest 
season of the year. The rout and final scattering of 
Shah Alam's troops was followed up by a yet more 
daring attack on the 30,000 men and thirty guns, which 
the Nawab of Purnea had brought up too late to the 
emperor's aid. A fight of six hours ended in such a 
victory for the handful of Knox's warriors, as clinched 
the hold already won by like feats of prowess on the 
native mind. 

Meanwhile the government of Mir Jafar was falling 
into worse and worse confusion. The death of his son, 
the cruel, profligate, but stronghanded Mlran, brought 
matters to a speedy crisis. Mir Kasim, the old man's 
son-in-law, opened the way for his own advancement by 
settling out of his own purse the arrears of pay demanded 
by the mutinous soldiery of Bengal. His schemes for 
the dethronement of his weak father-in-law found ready 
countenance at Calcutta, where Mr. Vansittart was ruling 
in the place of Clive. In due time Mir Jafar agreed, how- 
ever reluctantly, to make way for Mir Kasim ; and English 
help in the unpleasant business was repaid by the addition 
of Midnapore, Burdvvan, and Chittagong, to the realms of 
the East India Company ; besides a gift of twenty lakhs 
of rupees, or ;^25o,ooo, to Vansittart, Holwell, and their 

But the bargain thus concluded bore little fruit for 
good. It was not long before the new Nawab began to 



aim at gradually shaking himself free from British control. 
He transferred his seat of government from Murshidabad 
to Monghyr. His troops were disciplined on the English 
model and armed with muskets better than those which 
bore the Tower mark. A foundry for casting cannon was 
secretly set at work. A faithful friend of the English, 
Ramnarain, Governor of Patna, was plundered of all his 
wealth with the assent of the feeble Vansittart, in spite of 
the efforts made by English officers in behalf of one whose 
safety had been guaranteed by the Calcutta Council. 

At length the smouldering quarrel between the English 
and Mir Kasim blazed out into open war. A dispute 
concerning the undue extent to which the Company's 
servants had carried their right of exemption from transit 
duties on their own goods was inflamed by acts of violence 
on both sides. One Englishman was slain in a scuffle ; 
Mr. Ellis, head of the Patna factory, and several other 
gentlemen were taken prisoners after a vain attempt to 
seize upon the city ; some of the leading natives in Bengal 
shared the fate of their English friends ; and before the 
middle of 1763 the troops on both sides were ready to 
take the field. 

In the midst of the heavy July rains the campaign was 
opened by the Enghsh, who drove the Nawab's army 
before them at Katwa on the 19th, entered Murshidabad 
a few days later, and replaced Mir Jafar, now old, leprous, 
and half-imbecile, on the throne he had been forced to 
abdicate three years before. A second victory, won at 
Giriah on the 2nd August after a hard fight, enraged 
Kasim beyond all bearing. Ramnarain and the great Sett 
bankers of Murshidabad were thrown into the Ganges. 
Raja Rajballab, another old friend of the English, was put 
to death with all his sons ; and an order was issued for 
the murder of every Englishman imprisoned at Patna. 
When Kasim's own officers declined to do such butcher's 


work, he found a ready instrument in Walter Reinhardt, a 
native of Luxemburg, who had deserted from one service 
into another until, escaping with Law's small band of 
Frenchmen from Chandernagore, he rose to high com- 
mand under Mir Kasim. The nickname of Sombre, which 
his Swiss or English comrades at Bombay had given him 
for his dark complexion and sullen looks, his Bengali 
followers had turned into Sumru, the name by which 
English writers have handed him down to lasting infamy. 
This merciless ruffian, whose hatred of the English had 
helped to endear him to his new master, carried out so 
thoroughly his savage errand, that more than fifty gentle- 
men and a hundred soldiers with a few women were shot 
down or cut to pieces in cold blood. 

This happened in October, a few weeks after Major 
Adams with 3,000 men had utterly routed 50,000 of the 
enemy near Rajmahal, with the loss of 15,000 men and a 
hundred guns. On the 6th November Patna itself was 
stormed in the most brilliant style by Adams' unquailing 
heroes ; English and Sepoys vying with each other in 
deeds of daring against formidable odds. A week later 
Adams set out in chase of the disheartened Nawab, whose 
myriads were fast melting away from him under the spell 
of so many defeats. Before the year's end, however, Mir 
Kasim and the ruffian Sumru had found shelter in Oudh 
under the wing of his old enemy Shuja-ud-daula. 

Worn out with toil and exposure, Major Adams now 
threw up the command of the little army which in less 
than five months he had led from Calcutta to the Karam- 
nasa, defeating many times his own numbers of disciplined 
troops in two pitched battles, carrying four strong places 
by siege or assault, and capturing more than 400 pieces 
of cannon. It is sad to think that the foremost hero of a 
campaign, perhaps the most brilliant ever fought in India, 
was fated never to enjoy the honours he had so richly 


earned. Major Adams had hardly reached Calcutta on 
his way home, when he died amidst the unfeigned regrets 
of every Englishman in Bengal.* 

Next year the struggle was renewed by the Nawab- 
Wazir of Oudh, who marched down towards the Ganges 
with the wandering Shah Alam and the ousted Mir Kasim 
in his train. Chased out of Bengal in 1760, and shut out 
by the Marathas from his own capital, Shah Alam had 
lingered in Bihar, where early in 1761 he was twice 
encountered and defeated by Major Carnac. Among the 
prisoners taken in the well-fought action at Suan, near the 
city of Bihar, was the brave Frenchman Law, Clive's old 
opponent at Plassey, who surrendered only on condition of 
keeping his sword. The beaten emperor at length made 
peace, on terms which left him free to mend his tattered 
fortunes further north, with the help of a modest pension 
from his late foes. On his way up the country, however, 
he had fallen into the hands of Shuja-ud-daula, who kept 
guard over his titular sovereign as a kind of prisoner at 

On the approach of the Nawab-Wazir's army, the English 
retired into Patna, which on the 3rd May, 1764, was 
attacked by the enemy for several hours with more of 
daring than success. As the rainy season drew near 
Shuja-ud-daula fell back to Buxar. During the pause 
which followed the outbreak of the monsoon, the mutinous 
spirit which, earlier in the year, had spread for a time 
from the European soldiers to their native comrades, 
broke out again among the latter with such violence, that 
Major Munro, a king's officer who had just replaced the 
feebler Carnac in the chief command, was driven to quell 
it by blowing the ringleaders away from the cannon's 

* Broome's "Bengal Army," chap. 4. "What," asks the author, "were 
the boasted Indian triumphs of Darius, of Alexander or Seleucus Nicator, 
with their powerful and disciplined armies, opposed to unwarlike barbarians, 
divided amongst themselves, compared to this single campaign ? " 


mouth. His timely firmness nipped the new danger in 
the bud. The mutineers, who seem to have behaved like 
pettish children, returned at once to their duty, and Munro 
set forth in October towards Buxar with a force of about 
900 Europeans, 6,CX50 native horse and foot, and twenty- 
eight guns. 

On the 23rd he fought and won the famous battle of 
Buxar against an army about 50,000 strong, including 
Sumru's disciplined brigades, and thousands of Afghan 
horsemen who had fought under Ahmad Shah at Panipat. 
A hundred and thirty guns, mostly of large calibre, en- 
hanced the odds against the English commander. Nothing, 
however, could withstand Munro's skilful movements and 
the unfaltering prowess of his troops. After a day's hard 
fighting the English saw themselves masters of a field 
strewn with thousands of the enemy's dead. Thousands 
more perished in their headlong flight across a neighbour- 
ing stream, and but for the breaking of a bridge by Shuja's 
order a vast amount of treasure would have swelled the 
victor's gains. As it was, however, the enemy's camp 
and a hundred and thirty guns fell into their hands. 
For a victory which placed the whole of Bengal and a 
great part of Upper India at their mercy, the English paid 
with a loss of 847 in killed and wounded. 

Shuja-ud-daula fled across the Gogra into Gudh, while 
the English marched upon Allahabad. Want of money 
kept them from advancing further, and time was wasted 
in fruitless negotiations with Shah Alam, who had now 
had enough of Shuja's protection, and with the Nawab- 
Wazir, who declined to yield up Sumru and Mir Kasim, 
but proposed, of course in vain, to despatch the former 
by underhand means. Two brave but unsuccessful as- 
saults upon the rock-fortress of Chunar, a few miles above 
Benares, close the record of English failures and successes 
for this year. 


Once more in 1765 the Nawab-Wazir, withthe help of a 
Rohilla force from Rohilkhand, took the field, while Malhar 
Rao was bringing up his Marathas from Gwalior to attack 
the English on that side. But Carnac, who had taken 
the command vacated by Munro, soon drove the Marathas 
back across the Jumna, and, after beating Shuja himself 
in several encounters, forced him to make peace at any 
cost with his conquerors. The treatment he received was 
merciful enough, for Clive had once more appeared upon 
the scene. In the month of May the victor of Plassey 
sailed up the Hugli, Lord Clive, Governor and Commander- 
in-chief of the Company's possessions in Bengal. The 
years he had spent in England were years of frequent 
warfare between him and the Court of Directors, who 
begrudged their ablest servant the estates conferred on 
him by their Indian allies. But Clive's great influence, 
and the course of later events in Bengal, had at last com- 
pelled them to lay aside their private jealousies, in favour 
of one marked out by the common voice for the work of 
restoring order and good government on that side of 

One of Clive's first acts in India was to conclude with 
the suppliant ruler of Oudh a treaty which surrendered to 
the Mughal emperor the districts of Kora and Allahabad, 
assured the payment of fifty lakhs of rupees as a fine to 
the Company, and empowered them to trade free of duty 
throughout the Nawab's dominions. He next proceeded 
to ratify the agreement already made in effect with Shah 
Alam. In return for the revenues of the districts ceded 
by Shuja-ud-daula, and for twenty-six lakhs a year from 
the revenues of Bengal and Bihar, the emperor on the 
1 2th August formally endowed his English friends with 
the Diwani or virtual government of Bengal, Bihar, and 
Orissa — provinces which then contained about twenty-five 
million souls, and yielded a revenue of four millions 

timery ll'aiJker, Ltd., photographers 


p. 214 


sterling. The English, on the other hand, agreed to furnish 
the titular Nawab of Murshidabad with the means of sup- 
porting his mock sovereignty, and a household suited to 
his rank. A new nominee of the Company, Najm-ud- 
daula, had just been raised to the unreal throne, whence 
death, hastened by the insolence of English greed, had 
fmally removed his aged father, Mir Jafar. As for the 
discrowned exile, Mir Kasim, he had already exchanged 
the cruel guardianship of Shuja-ud-daula for a life of un- 
heeded poverty near Benares ; while the infamous Sumru, 
scenting danger from a prolonged stay in Oudh, had just 
hired out his services to the Jats of Bharatpur. 

Thus in less than ten years, the merchant-company 
whose life-struggles seemed to have been quenched in the 
Black Hole of Calcutta, had gone so far on its new career 
of conquest as to dictate terms to half the princes of 
India, to make the Mughal emperor himself a mere pen- 
sioner and footstool of his English lieges, and to thwart 
the greatest native power in India, the Maratha League, 
in all its efforts to retrieve the disaster of Panipat. " We 
have established," wrote Clive to the India House, "such 
a force that all the powers in Hindustan cannot deprive us 
of our possessions for many years." Yet Clive himself 
could not or would not see the goal to which events were 
already bearing the foreign masters of Bengal. He as- 
sured the Court of Directors of his firm resolve and hope 
always to confine their possessions to the provinces he 
had just obtained for them. To go any farther was " a 
scheme so extravagantly ambitious that no government in 
its senses would ever dream of it." 

The work of conquest was not, however, to be resumed 
by Clive. Far other tasks devolved upon him during the 
brief remainder of his Indian career. A serious mutiny 
among his own officers, caused by a reduction of their 
extra pay in the field, had to be encountered with a strong 


hand ; but Clive was equal to the need. The mutiny was 
promptly quelled with the aid of his faithful Sepoys ; * 
and after some of the worst offenders had been cashiered 
by court-martial, the rest in all penitence returned to 
their duty. 

A yet fiercer lion stood in Clive's way. The Company's 
servants in Bengal had been wont to eke out their small 
salaries by all manner of indirect gains, by means which 
made them a byword among their own countrymen, 
and a terror to the people at whose expense their ill- 
gotten riches were mostly earned. Intent on winning large 
fortunes in a few months, they overreached, plundered, 
oppressed their native customers, allies, and subjects at 
every turn. "The people under their dominion," said a 
native chronicler of those times, " groan everywhere, and 
are reduced to poverty and distress." Nearly the whole 
inland trade of the country passed through the all-grasping 
hands of the Calcutta Council and their like-minded 
agents. No one, high or low, was safe from their un- 
scrupulous greed. Their demands and exactions had 
hastened the death of Mir Jafar. Twenty lakhs of rupees 
from the exhausted treasury at Murshidabcid was the sum 
distributed among nine of the leading men at Calcutta, as 
the price of their agreeing to set up his infant son in his 
stead. While Bengal was going to ruin, and the Com- 
pany at home grumbled over their small dividends, the 
Calcutta factors kept filling their own purses in utter 
disregard of justice, decency and common patriotism. 
Clive mourned over the eclipse of his country's fame, and 
declared with honest scorn that " there were not five men 
of principle left at the presidency." \ 

* One Sepoy regiment marched 104 miles in fifty-four hours, reaching 
Surajpur in time to prevent an outbreak among the Europeans. 

■J" For a striking if somewhat exaggerated picture of Bengal at this period, 
the reader may turn with profit to Macaulay's masterly essay on " Lord 


He had gone out again, however, determined, as he 
said himself, to "destroy these great and growing evils, 
or perish in the attempt." In less than two years, the 
task entrusted to him was fairly accomplished. Armed 
with the chief civil and military control, he cared nothing 
for the intrigues, clamours and open resistance of his 
colleagues and subordinates. The taking of presents from 
the natives was forbidden under stern penalties, and the 
private trade of the Company's servants put down. Some 
of his opponents were turned out of office, and their 
places filled with gentlemen from Madras. Debarred by 
his instructions from raising the pay of the civil servants 
to a point commensurate with their official standing, 
Clive sought to check the tendency to make money 
through indirect and underhand means, by reserving 
the monopoly of salt, betel-nut, and tobacco, for the 
special use of the chief civil and military officers. After 
a certain sum had been set apart for the Company at 
home, the balance was parcelled out in so many 
shares among the members of council, colonels, senior 
merchants, factors, and other gentlemen, to each accord- 
ing to his rank. It is strange to think that a measure 
which at least succeeded in uprooting the worst abuses 
of a faulty system, was afterwards quoted against 
its author as the very wickedest of his alleged 

In the beginning of 1767 Clive quitted for the last time 
the scene of achievements which, however blurred by a 
few acts of doubtful justice, entitle him to a foremost 
place in the hearts and memories of his countrymen. No 
other man of his age and mark, beset with like tempta- 
tions, overcame them, on the whole, with loftier courage 
and cleaner hands. One of his last acts in India was to 
make over to the Company, in trust for invalided officers 
and soldiers, a sum of about ^60,000, which Mir Jafar 


had left him in his will.* In broken health he returned 
to England poorer than he had left it, although 
untold wealth from many quarters had lain within his 

The rest of his life-story is soon told. It was not long 
before his foes at the India House renewed their attacks 
on a hero, whose worst delinquencies were less intolerable 
than the good deeds of his latter years. To the blows he 
had struck at official knavery in Bengal, Lord Clive was 
mainly indebted for the storm of obloquy and personal 
slander, disguised as zeal for the public good, which 
embittered, if it did not even hasten, the close of his 
eventful life. Every bad act of his countrymen in India, 
whether done in his absence or against his express com- 
mands, was laid upon his shoulders ; and the founder of 
our Indian Empire was held up to popular hatred as a 
monster of every vice and crime. The dreadful famine of 
1770 in Bengal gave his enemies a fresh plea for venting 
their rancorous spite on a nobleman whose friends in 
Parliament were growing daily fewer. But Clive met 
their attacks with all his old courage and proud self- 
respect. From his place in the House of Commons he 
defended himself in a speech which for the moment 
silenced his accusers, and won from old Lord Chatham, 
who happened to hear it, the tribute of his highest praise. 
Before a committee of inquiry into Indian affairs he 
underwent an unsparing scrutiny into every act of his 
public life, claiming credit for the very things which his 
questioners sought to prove against him. He had de- 
ceived Amin Chand, but in the same circumstances he 
would certainly do once more the same thing. He had 
taken money from Mir Jafar ; but what then t Why 
should he feel ashamed of an act which was neither mean 

• Lord Clive's Fund was given up to his heirs a few years ago, after having 
done good service for nearly a hundred years. 


nor wicked ? All things considered, he could only wonder 
that he had not taken much more. 

At last, in 1772, a vote of censure was formally brought 
before the House of Commons, Once more Clive spoke 
with telling earnestness in his own defence ; and the 
Commons, refusing to brand with infamy a name so 
worthy to be held in proud remembrance, resolved that 
Clive had rendered great and meritorious services to his 
country. But their verdict came too late to undo the 
effects of illness aggravated by years of mental anxiety. 
In November, 1774, the conqueror of Plassey, who had 
already won for his countrymen a kingdom larger and 
much more populous than their own, died by his own 
hand at the age of forty-nine. 



The progress of events in Southern India after the fall of 
Pondicherry now claims our attention. With the expulsion 
of the French from India their English rivals found them- 
selves charged with the military defence of the Carnatic 
on behalf of its nominal ruler, Muhammad Ali. But they 
had no money to spare for that purpose, and their spend- 
thrift ally had even less. To replenish his own and the 
Madras exchequer by making war upon the Raja of 
Tanjore was Muhammad Ali's ready thought. But a 
peaceful settlement made with the Raja under English 
prompting enabled the Madras Council to pay their way 
for that present, and in time the surplus revenues of the 
Carnatic passed entirely into their hands. 

By the treaty of peace concluded between France and 
England in 1763, the factories taken from the French in 
India during the late war were given back to them, and 
both nations agreed to acknowledge Muhammad Ali as 
Nawabofthe Carnatic, and Salabat Jang as Subadar of 
the Deccan. The latter, however, had been dethroned a 
year before by his brother Nizam Ali, who straightway 
put him to death as soon as he heard of the treaty. Not 
long afterwards the usurping fratricide invaded the 
Carnatic, ravaging the country as he passed along, until 
the bold front displayed by a small English column at 
Tirupati compelled him to retrace his steps. 

In pursuance of the treaty made by Clive with Shah 


Alam, the Madras government in 1766 sent troops to 
occupy the Northern Circars. But Nizam Ali, who had 
meanwhile turned his arms against Janoji Bhosla, the 
Maratha sovereign of Berar, ill brooked the loss of further 
territory ; and the English at Madras had no Clive at 
their head. Yielding to the threats of the prince they had 
so lately defied, they at length agreed to hold the ceded 
province as tributaries of Nizam Ali, and to make 
common cause with him against common foes. 

One of these foes was Haidar Ali Khan, the Muham- 
madan soldier of fortune, whose stout arm and strong will 
backed by a matchless talent for intrigue, had made him 
the foremost officer, ere long the self-chosen ruler of the 
old Hindu state of Mysore.* For some ten years past he 
had fought with varying success against the Marathas, the 
Nizam, and the Nawab of the Carnatic. But for the 
perils which then came near to overwhelm him in Mysore, 
he would have aided Lally in his last struggles against the 
victorious English. A few years later he had overcome 
all antagonists at home, had thrown into prison his old 
patron and ablest rival Nanjiraj, and dethroned the last 
and weakest of the princes who for several centuries 
had ruled Mysore. Since then he had carried his arms 
as far as Calicut and Bednor, until his growing power 
provoked the Peshvva Madhu Rao to make war upon 
him in concert with Nizam Ali. 

Early in 1767 the Marathas invaded Mysore, and 
carried off rich plunder before the Nizam and his English 
allies were ready to fulfil their share of the compact. A 
few weeks later Colonel Smith, the English commander, 
saw too good reason to mistrust the good faith of his 
professed ally. At last the Nizam, who had succeeded in 

* Haidar Naik, as he was first called, was born in 1702, the son of a 
Mughal officer in the Punjab, where Haidar himself served as a naik, or 
captain, before he took service with the Raja of Mysore. 


selling himself to his late foe, threw off his mask entirely, 
and marched with Haidar Ali against Smith, who had 
withdrawn his troops from Nizam All's camp. On the 
3rd September the allied armies, reckoned at 70,000 men 
with more than 100 guns, attacked about 7,000 English 
and Sepoys with sixteen guns at Chengam in South 
Arcot, but were signally defeated with heavy loss. 
Retiring to Trinomalli for supplies and reinforcements, the 
victors, now 10,000 strong with thirty guns, were again 
attacked on the 26th by numbers nearly as great as before ; 
and again their stubborn courage and steady discipline 
drove their assailants in disorder from the field. On that 
day and the next more than 4,000 of the enemy were 
killed or v/ounded, and half their guns taken by the victors, 
whose own loss was only 150 men. Ill supported by his 
ally, the resolute Haidar still kept the field ; but his 
efforts to take the fort of Ambur, on the road from 
Bangalore to Madras, were gloriously repulsed by the 
brave Captain Calvert, and Smith's timely appearance on 
the 7th December forced Haidar Ali to raise the siege 
and withdraw the bulk of his army into Mysore. 

Early in the next year the Nizam's just fears of English 
vengeance were allayed by a treaty which bound him to 
help the Madras government in subduing his late ally, on 
condition of receiving tribute for the country which his 
new friends might conquer for themselves. Nizam Ali 
on his side agreed to acknowledge Muhammad Ali as 
ruler of the Carnatic ; and the right of the Company to 
hold the Northern Circars under the Imperial grant of 
1765 was virtually admitted. Haidar himself was to be 
treated as a rebel and an usurper, who ought to be 
suppressed at any cost. By this bold if hazardous move 
against the ruler of Mysore, the Madras Council com- 
mitted themselves and their unwilling masters at home to 
a deadly struggle with the boldest, fiercest, ablest, and 


most determined foe whom our arms encountered in 
Southern India. 

Meanwhile the Bombay Government had done their 
best to cripple Haidar's naval power in the west, by sending 
a fleet to take Mangalore and other places on the Malabar 
coast. It was not long, however, before the dreaded 
Mussulman won back his lost towns, including Mangalore, 
whose cowardly commander abandoned a large number of 
wounded English and Sepoys to the tender mercies of a 
ruthless and embittered foe. On the other side of his 
dominions, however, that foe kept losing so much ground 
before Colonel Smith's steady advance, that he was glad 
ere long to offer terms which the Madras government 
would have done well to accept. But the demands of the 
latter rose with their late successes, until Haidar, scorning 
to humble himself any further, and alive to every chance 
of bettering his own position, resolved to fight on and 
teach his enemies a lesson of wise forbearance in the hour 
of their seeming prosperity. 

Before the year's end he had forced Smith to raise the 
siege of Bangalore, had defeated the English under Colonel 
Wood, had recovered the districts he would have ceded 
to the Company, and begun to ravage the borders of the 
Carnatic with fire and sword. Ere long, in spite of 
Smith's watchfulness, Haidar's active horsemen outflanked 
their opponents, and swept forward in full speed for 
Madras. Smith followed them, eager for revenge and 
victory ; but it was too late. Frightened at Haidar's 
sudden appearance within a few miles of their own city, 
the Madras Council readily agreed to treat with the foe 
whose offers they had so lately spurned. Smith was 
ordered to halt his troops, while Haidar leisurely pro- 
ceeded to dictate the terms of a treaty which left him 
master of all his former possessions, and bound both 
parties to help each other against all assailants. For this 


lame conclusion to their former menaces, the rulers of 
Madras excused themselves by pleading want of money to 
carry on the war. 

About this time the Peshwa of the Marathas had sent 
forth a mighty army to levy chauth on the princes of 
Upper India, in the name of a power still bent on retrieving 
the losses of Panipat. When the Jats and Rajputs had 
been duly plundered, the invaders swept over Rohilkhand, 
but were induced by timely overtures from Shuja-ud-daula 
to spare Oudh, Masters of Delhi, they invited Shah 
Alam thither from his temporary capital at Allahabad. 
In spite of the warnings of his English friends, that weak 
but ambitious scion of the house of Babur suffered himself 
to be escorted into Delhi by Maratha sabres, and installed 
by his Hindu patrons in the throne of Akbar and 

But the foolish Mughal soon began to chafe under the 
protection of his new masters, whose little finger was 
heavier than the loins of the Nawab-Wazir. In the latter 
part of 1772, when the Marathas were engaged to the 
eastward in exacting fresh tribute from Rohilkhand, the 
Mughal Minister, Najaf Khan, was defeated by Tukaji 
Holkar in his attempt to ward off an attack of the Jats 
upon one of the Emperor's feudatories. In vain did Najaf 
Khan rally his troops for yet another stand before Delhi. 
The Mughal capital opened its gates to the victorious 
Marathas, and the fickle Emperor made his peace by dis- 
owning his brave defender, and yielding up the districts 
which Clive a io."^ years before had transferred into his 

But the English were in no mood to suffer Maratha 
aggrandisement at their own expense. The presence of 
an English force deterred the Marathas from entering the 
ceded provinces, which were afterwards handed over to 
the Nawab of Oudh, from whose charge they had been 


wrested by the English after the battle of Buxar. Mean- 
while the death of the Pcshwa, Madhu Rao, in November, 
1772, gave the Maratha general a good excuse for with- 
drawing his army, laden with the plunder of many provinces, 
across the Narbada before the middle of 1773. 

While one great army had been thus engaged in the 
north, another, led by Madhu Rao himself, had struck 
some heavy blows at the power of Haidar Ali, in return 
for his open defiance of claims pressed under former 
treaties. Fort after fort in his eastern provinces fell into 
the invaders' hands. A large part of Mysore was ravaged 
by clouds of Maratha horsemen, Trimbak Mama, who 
took over the command from the ailing Pcshwa, caught 
Haidar at a disadvantage on his retreat towards Seringa- 
patam, and nothing but the Maratha greed for plunder 
saved Haidar's routed troops from utter annihilation. In 
vain did the stout-hearted ruler of Mysore appeal to 
Madras for the succour which under recent treaties he had 
perhaps some right to claim, although he might seem to 
have forfeited that right by his wanton invasion of Maratha 
ground. The Madras Council would have given him the 
needful aid ; but Sir John Lindsay had been sent out 
from England as King's envoy to the Court of Muhammad 
AH, and the ruler of the Carnatic would hear of no friendly 
movement in behalf of his hard-pressed neighbour. Sir 
John himself shared the Nawab's feeling ; and the Council, 
hampered by their conflicting duties, abandoned Haidar to 
his fate. Before the end of 1771 the turbulent sovereign 
of Mysore was glad to obtain peace on conditions which 
stripped him of nearly half his kingdom, and saddled him 
with the payment of a heavy tribute to the Court of Poona. 
He never forgave the English for what he considered a 
cowardly breach of faith, and his son Tipu took up the 
legacy of revenge. 

By this time a fit successor to Clive was about to 


assume the office which Clive's retirement had left for 
some years past in much weaker hands. During those 
years many things had gone wrong with the East India 
Company and its servants in Bengal. In Chve's absence 
the old abuses began to crop up again more and more 
thickly ; the revenues, handsome in themselves, were 
wasted in the collection by all kinds of jobbery and mis- 
management ; the people of Bengal suffered from heavy 
and unfair exactions on the part alike of English super- 
visors and native deputies. Immense grants of land 
enriched a few native jobbers at the expense of their 
English rulers. On the top of all this broke out the 
dreadful famine of 1770, when the husbandmen sold their 
cattle, their farming tools, their very sons and daughters 
for food, when the living were fain to eat the dead, when 
pestilence added its ravages to those of hunger, and 
tender women, laying aside all their wonted privacy, rushed 
forth unveiled into the streets to beg a handful of rice 
for their starving children. More than a third of the 
people in Bengal are reckoned to have died of famine or 
disease, and for years to come large tracts of once fertile 
country lay waste or overgrown with rank jungle.* From 
these and such like causes it happened that the Company 
was already deep in debt, at the very moment when its 
directors were declaring dividends of six per cent, on the 

Conscious of the dangers that beset them in India, and 
frightened at the outcry waxing loud against them at 
home, the Court of Directors at length announced their 
resolve " to stand forth as Dewan, and to take on them- 
selves the entire care and management of the revenues 
through the agency of their own servants." Hitherto the 
government of Bengal in all its branches had been carried 

* Hunter's " Annab of Rural Bengal"; Macaulay's Essay on "Lord 
Clive " ; Girdlestone's " Report on Past Famines," etc. 


on mainly through native officers, most of whom had 
woefully abused their powers. To the strong hands of 
Warren Hastings was now entrusted the execution of the 
desired reforms. That great, if sometimes erring states- 
man, had first gone out to India at the age of eighteen. 
Seven years later, in 1757, his talents had won the notice 
of the hero of Plassey, who placed him in the difficult post 
of Resident at the Court of Murshidabad. In 1760 he 
rose to be a member of the Calcutta Council, where his 
great abilities and his upright dealings stood out in sharp 
relief against the shortcomings of profligate or blundering 
colleagues. Returning to England in 1764, with a good 
name and a purse but poorly stocked, he went out again 
five years later as second Member of Council at Madras. 
While he was doing his best there to retrieve the financial 
disorders consequent on the war with Haidar and the 
spendthrift rule of Muhammad AH, he found himself 
appointed President of the Calcutta Council ; and in 
April, 1772, Warren Hastings took charge of the post 
with which his name was to become inseparably linked 
for praise or blame in the minds of his countrymen at 

The new Governor of Fort William lost no time in 
carrying out the orders he had received from home. It 
was to him a painful but necessary duty to begin by deal- 
ing harshly with Muhammad Reza Khan, the Mussulman 
Governor of Bengal, and with his Hindu helpmate, Raja 
Shitab Rai, who had fought like a Rajput hero under 
Captain Knox twelve years before, in the memorable rout 
of Shah Alam, under the walls of Patna. Both these 
nobles were removed from office, and afterwards brought 
to trial for alleged misdeeds which their accusers wholly 
failed to prove. Both, in due time, were formally acquitted, 
the Hindu with especial honour and every token of regret 
for the wrong unwittingly done him. 


His chief foe, however, was the wily Nand Kumar, who 
had been Governor of Hugli under Mir Jafar, and made 
himself a byword for perfidy and intrigue, gaining nothing 
by his unsparing efforts to supplant his worthier rivals. 
The powers which Hastings took out of their hands were 
not to be entrusted again to native overseers. Thence- 
forth the real government of Bengal and Bihar was handed 
over to the acknowledged servants of the Company. The 
seat of rule was finally transferred, with the Treasury 
and the Courts of Justice, from Murshidabad to Calcutta. 
The little Nawab himself was to retain nothing of his 
father's crippled sovereignty, save the name and social 
state of Nawab, A son of Nand Kumar was appointed 
treasurer of his household. The courts of civil and 
criminal justice in each district were placed under the 
charge of English officers ; and courts of appeal were 
established in Calcutta, under regulations drawn up 
for their guidance by the clear-headed governor him- 

Hand-in-hand with these reforms proceeded the task of 
settling the revenues of the country. After a close but 
often baffling search into the rights of existing Zamindars 
or land-holders, the land of Bengal was farmed out to the 
highest bidders, by way of experiment, for five years.* 
In keeping with the immemorial usage of the country, 
with the practice alike of Hindu and Muhammadan rulers, 
Hastings looked to the land revenue as the mainstay 
of his new fiscal system. Several taxes which bore 
hard on the people, or yielded little to the Treasury, 
were abolished. In each district an English collector, 
aided by a staff of native officers, was appointed to collect 
the revenue, to settle all disputes between land-holders and 
tenants, to protect the Rayats or husbandmen from the 
extortions of Zamindars and native underlings, and to use 

* Kaye's " Administration of the East India Company," part ii. chap. 2. 


his best efforts in furthering the trade and industry of his 
own district. To each group of districts was assigned its 
own commissioner, who travelled about the country as 
overseer or controller, and sent in his reports to a central 
board of revenue sitting in Calcutta. 

While the new governor was thus engaged in Bengal, 
the process of reform was being applied by Parliament to 
his masters' affairs at home. The Select Committee of 
1772 issued a report which became the groundwork of 
the Regulating Act passed in the following year by the 
ministry of Lord North. An important change in the 
terms of admission into the Company and of election to 
the Court of Directors, reduced the number of stockholders 
greatly for the better,* and secured to each director four 
years of office at a time. The Governor of Fort William 
became Governor-General of India, with a salary of 
^^25,000 a-year ; and four members of Council, whose 
joint salaries amounted to ;^40,0C)O a-year, were to aid or 
check his movements. A Chief Justice and three puisne 
judges, appointed by the Crown, were to form a Supreme 
Court of Judicature, wielding large but ill-defined powers 
over all persons except the Governor-General and his 
Council. The clamours of the Company against these 
inroads on their chartered rights were partly allayed by a 
loan of a million sterling from the Royal Exchequer ; but 
the thin end of the wedge had been fairly driven into the 
fabric of their rule. 

Meanwhile Hastings, urged by an empty treasury and 
the prayers of the Directors for more money, had been 
doing his best to set things financially straight in Bengal. 
The tribute to Shah Alam, a quarter of a million sterling, 
was no longer paid. For twice that sum he agreed to 
make over to the Nawab-Wazir of Oudh the districts of 
Kora and Allahabad. For another large sum ho agreed 

* The (qualification for a Proprietor was raised from ^500 to ;^iooo, 


to lend the ambitious Shuja-ud-daula a body of English 
and native troops to aid in the conquest of Rohilkhand. 
His policy in this matter has often been denounced, by 
none more eloquently than Macaulay himself. But Hast- 
ings, handling the question as a statesman and a financier, 
paid small regard to the sentimental claims afterwards 
pleaded in behalf of a race of Pathan nobles too weak to 
bar out the Marathas, and too turbulent to keep the peace 
among themselves. He knew that their leader, Hafiz 
Rahmat Khan, owed Shuja-ud-daula, for help given against 
the Marathas, a sum which he could not or v/ould not pay. 
He knew that the Mughal emperor had bestowed on our 
good friend, the Nawab-Wazir, the government of a pro- 
vince which a predecessor of Hafiz Rahmat had wrested 
from a Mughal emperor thirty years before. He knew 
that his own masters were sadly in want of money, that 
the troops lent out to a useful neighbour would cost his 
own treasury nothing in the meantime, and that a sure 
way of keeping the peace in Bengal was to be found in the 
maintenance of a strong government on its northern 
frontier. As for the bulk of the people in Rohilkhand, it 
was not likely that they would lose on the whole by a 
change of masters which bade fair to rescue them alike 
from internal troubles and foreign raids. They were 
Hindus and they certainly rejoiced at being freed from 
the Muhammadan Afghans. 

In accordance with these views an English force under 
Colonel Champion marched into the doomed province. 
On the 23rd April, 1774, his little army had to bear the 
brunt of a hard fight against 40,000 Rohillas, led by Hafiz 
Rahmat himself. In spite of these odds, enhanced by the 
cowardice of their allies, the English won the day, leaving 
2000 Rohillas with their brave leader dead or dying on 
the field. Bitterly did Colonel Champion inveigh against 
those " banditti," the men of Oudh, who looked on at the 


fight from a safe distance and then hastened to plunder 
the enemy's camp. This victory sealed the doom of the 
Rohilla Pathans. Faizulla Khan indeed retained his 
father's fief of Rampur as the price of his timely submis- 
sion to the Nawab-Wazir ; * but some 20,000 of his 
countrymen were driven out of the conquered province. 
It is certain, however, that the mass of the people in 
Rohilkhand, mostly of Hindu descent, suffered neither in 
purse nor person from the downfall of their late masters ; 
and the stories of their cruel fate, as afterwards raked 
up in England by private and political foes of the 
great Governor-General, were little better than idle 
tales, t 

Had Hastings been left free to pursue his own plans 
for the better government of Bengal and the safeguarding 
of its frontiers, some dark passages in the history of this 
period might have remained unwritten. But with the 
landing of the new councillors in October, 1774, his 
powers of independent action were to be sadly crippled by 
the malice or the misconceptions of men who combined 
to outvote him at every turn. Of the four members of his 
remodelled Council one only, Mr. Barwell, took the part 
of Hastings against a majority led by Philip Francis, one 
of the ablest, fiercest, wrongest-headed, most rancorous 
statesmen of his day. Francis set himself at once to the 
congenial task of hampering the ruler whom he had 
already learned to hate. Under the guise of patriotism, 
of upright scorn for wrong-doing, he gave full vent to the 
workings of a narrow mind and a thoroughly malignant 
heart ; and in such a climate as that of Calcutta the 

* His descendants still hold their place as Nawabs of Rampur (Keene's 
" Mughal Empire "). 

t "The Hindu inhabitants, about 700,000, were in no way affected," writes 
Captain Hamilton in his " History of the Rohilla Afghans," founded on the 
works of Rohilla historians. Sir John Slrachey's " Hastings and the Rohilla 
War " has entirely freed the Governor-General from all the charges against him. 


natural sourness of his temper was pretty sure to derive 
fresh poison from the fierce summer heats. 

His evil influence soon began to bear fruit. The 
Governor-General's agent at the Court of Shuja-ud-daula 
was replaced by another of his own choosing. In spite of 
Hastings' remonstrances, the English brigade was recalled 
from Rohilkhand. On the death of the Nawab-Wazir 
his successor, Asaf-ud-daula, was forced to make over the 
district of Benares to his English allies, and to pay a 
larger subsidy for the use of his borrowed Sepoys. Francis 
and his friends in the Council thwarted and overrode 
Hastings at every turn. They interfered with a high hand 
in the affairs of Bombay and Madras ; their meddling 
fingers left unseemly marks on the government of Bengal 
itself. They listened with greedy ears to every charge 
which the enemies of Hastings were but too ready to 
bring against a governor fallen into manifest disgrace. In 
India it is always easy to complete the ruin of dis- 
honoured greatness by means of false witnesses and 
forged papers ; and the friends of Francis in the Calcutta 
Council became ready dupes of all who owed Hastings 
a grudge or deemed it politic to win the favour of his 

Foremost among the crowds who hastened to peck at 
that wounded vulture was the wily Hindu Nand Kumar. 
He had never forgiven Hastings for cheating him of his 
hoped-for succession to the post of Muhammad Reza 
Khan, and now it seemed as if the hour for his revenge 
had struck at last. This man, a master of intrigue and 
falsehood, openly charged the Governor-General with 
having taken bribes from the widow of Mir J afar, from 
Muhammad Reza Khan, and several others. In the 
Council he found a ready hearing. Scorning to defend 
himself against such a man before such a court, Hastings 
left the Council-room, followed by his friend Barwell. 


But Francis and the other two voted themselves a Council, 
went into the charges put forth by Nand Kumar, and 
declared Hastings guilty of having amassed no less than 
forty lakhs of rupees — ^^"400,000 — in two years and a half 
by all kinds of underhand means.* 

For a moment Nand Kumar could revel in the sweet- 
ness of gratified revenge. Courted by many of his own 
countrymen, and believing himself strong in the support 
of Francis and his English partisans, he little knew what 
an undercurrent of disaster was about to drag him down 
into its lowest depths. Scorning defeat at the hands of 
such a foe, Hastings turned for help to the Supreme 
Court. A charge of false swearing and conspiracy was 
lodged against the villainous Brahman. While the trial 
was yet pending one Mohan Prasad renewed on his own 
account an old action for forgery against the Raja, who 
had once been saved from impending danger by the 
timely intervention of Hastings himself. The case thus 
suspended a few years before was now transferred to the 
Supreme Court. Convicted on the clearest evidence, 
Nand Kumar was condemned to death in accordance 
with the law which Sir Elijah Impey and his brother 
judges were bound to administer. 

It was not the first time that a native of India had 
been doomed to the same punishment for the same offence. 
Ten years before a Hindu of rank had only escaped hang- 
ing by a timely reprieve ; f but since then at least two 
natives had been less fortunate. With the arraignment 
of the guilty Raja, Hastings had nothing whatever to do ; 

* The whole charge was afterwards proved to be a wilful falsehood, 
founded on letters forged by Nand Kumar himself. 

t " Memoirs of Sir Elijah Impey," by his Son, pp. 99 and 299, etc. 
The reprieve of Radachand Mithra had been owing to the fact that he was 
the first Hindu condemned for forgery under English law. Sir James 
Stephens, " Nuncomar and Impey," has fully vindicated Hastings and Impey 
from the charges against them made by Macaulay and James Mill. 


still less, if possible, with his execution. He had been 
fairly tried before an English jury, and all four judges had 
concurred in dooming him to a felon's death. From that 
fate neither Francis nor his colleagues made any effort to 
save the prisoner. No prayer for respite was presented by 
any of the prisoner's friends, native or English, to the 
Supreme Court. One petition, indeed, was forwarded 
by Nand Kumar himself to General Clavering of the 
Supreme Council ; but that petition was first presented 
at the Council Board eleven days after the writer's death, 
and Francis it was who proposed to have it burned as a 
libel by the hands of the common hangman. 

On the morning of the 5th August, 1775, Nand Kumar 
underwent the doom which, as a British subject amenable 
to the stern English law of that day, he had richly 
deserved. The most brilliant of English essayists has 
drawn a powerful picture of the horror, grief, dismay, 
which the hanging of so eminent a Brahman, for an 
offence in native eyes so venial, produced upon the minds 
of his countrymen in Calcutta and elsewhere. More than 
one historian of British India has dressed up in his own 
words the lurid fiction which Francis was the first to 
circulate many years after the event. In plain truth, 
however, the sentence of the law was carried out 
before spectators moved far more by curiosity than 

Of the Hindus who thronged at the gallows' foot few 
gave any signs of wild excitement. No loud shriek of 
horror and despair went up to heaven from the gathered 
mass ; but an audible hum of satisfaction went round the 
Muhammadans as the drop fell upon "the worst man in 
India," the perjured persecutor of Muhammad Reza Khan. 
As for the alleged rush of sorrowing Hindus to wash out 
the pollution of witnessing such a sight in the sacred 
Hugli, it was simply a natural movement from the scene 


of a tragedy already complete to the wonted bathing-ghats 
of a river that rolled hard by.* 

* It is a pity that Macaulay's splendid essay on Warren Hastings should 
have been marred by his rash adoption of the slanders circulated by Sir Philip 
Francis against both Hastings and Sir Elijah Impey. The whole story of 
Nand Kumar's trial and execution, as told in his pages, betrays a curious 
want of insight into the character of Francis, a perv'erse blindness to the 
legal questions involved in the case, and an unaccountable ignorance of the 
documents whence Mr. Impey drew the means of clearing not only his own 
father but Hastings himself from the groundless inventions of a spiteful 



The troubles of Hastings were not over with the death of 
Nand Kumar. His wiser policy was thwarted at every 
turn by the mischievous meddling of Francis and his 
partisans. In Oudh their chosen agent, Bristow, sup- 
ported the ladies of the late Nawab's household in their 
seemingly unfounded claim to all the treasure, about two 
millions sterling, which Shuja-ud-daula had left behind 
him. In spite of his own empty treasury, of his growing 
debts to the Bengal Government, and of the Governor- 
General's earnest remonstrances, the new Nawab-Wazir 
was compelled to forego his just share of the property 
in dispute. A fearful mutiny among his unpaid troops, 
quelled at last with heavy loss of life, was the natural, if 
sad result of the measures sanctioned by the Calcutta 

Nor was the outlook for Hastings much brighter else- 
where. If he had many friends both in India and in 
England, the Prime Minister, Lord North, and a majority 
in the Court of Directors sided with his opponents in the 
Bengal Council. His measures were condemned by the 
Directors, who, under Lord North's prompting, sought to 
remove him from his post ; but the Court of Proprietors 
flocked to his support, and quashed, by a large majority, 
the vote of their own Directors. Thus encouraged, Hastings 
struggled on at his thankless task. At last, in September, 
1776, the death of Colonel Monson gave him the casting 


vote in his own Council. Once more he found himself 
free to govern in his own way, unchecked by the ignorance 
or the malice of inferior men. 

But a new danger ere long confronted him. During 
the previous troubles he had lodged with Colonel Maclean 
a conditional offer to resign his post. This offer, in spite 
of its subsequent withdrawal, the Directors chose to accept 
as final, and Mr. Wheeler was ordered out to replace him. 
Before his arrival the senior member of Council, General 
Clavering had installed himself as acting Governor- 
General, and commanded the troops in Fort William to 
obey no other orders than his own. Francis, of course, 
was ready to follow up any blow aimed at his hated rival. 
But Hastings had no mind to throw up a doubtful game. 
His own orders to the troops were cheerfully obeyed. 
Colonel Morgan at once closed the gates of Fort William 
against Clavering. A like answer came from Barrackpore. 
An appeal made by Hastings to the Supreme Court 
clinched the defeat of his opponents. Impey and his 
fellow-judges ruled that Clavering had no power to assume 
an office which Hastings had not yet formally resigned, 
The General and his followers had the wisdom to accept 
the award, and Hastings, who had promised to accept it 
for worse or better, at once withdrew from all further 
action against his defeated colleague.* 

Two months afterwards Clavering died, and Wheeler, 
who had gone out to replace Monson, usually voted with 
Francis against the Governor-General. Hastings, how- 
ever, had still the casting vote, and the gallant Sir Eyre 
Coote, who presently took his seat in Council as successor 
to Clavering in the chief command of the troops, gave 
small encouracrement to the factious Francis. 


* See letter from Sir E. Impey, quoted by his son. "Memoirs," pp. 
162-5. Captain Trotter himself wrote an excellent Life of Hastings in the 
•' Rulers of India" series. 


During the lull which followed this passing squall, 
Hastings carried on the work of government with a firm 
and skilful hand. Before the last settlement of the land 
revenue expired in 1777, he had sent out commissioners 
to collect the means of renewing it in a better form, 
with especial regard for the just claims of the Rayats 
or husbandmen to protection from the demands of en- 
croaching or needy Zamindars. The latter also were to 
be assessed at a lighter rate, for many of them had 
suffered heavily under the assessments of 1772. For the 
next four years the revised leases were renewed yearly, 
with such corrections as policy or justice might demand. 
Meanwhile the enemies of Hastings at home still found 
fault with everything he did or planned ; but in spite of 
all their railings, the services of such a ruler were not to 
be lightly dispensed with at a time when England, hard 
pressed by a war with her American colonies and 
threatened on all sides by European foes, had special 
need of all her ablest men. At the end of his term of 
office in 1778, Hastings found himself reappointed for 
another five years. 

At that time a new danger was met by the dauntless 
Viceroy with his usual readiness of resource. In 1775 
the Bombay Government had somewhat rashly pledged 
itself to uphold the cause of Raghuba, the erewhile 
conqueror of Lahore, and sometime prisoner of his nephew 
Madhu Rao, against a rival claimant to the headship of 
the Maratha League. On the murder of Madhu's brother, 
the young and promising Narain Rao, in 1773, his restless 
uncle and suspected murderer, Raghuba, had declared 
himself Peshwa, while another party headed by the able 
Brahman Minister, Nana Farnavis, presently set up a 
posthumous son of Narain Rao on the throne of his 
murdered father. The Maratha leaders took different 
sides according as their interests or jealousies might lead 


them. Raghuba turned for help to the English at Bombay, 
who were nothing loath to turn his needs to their own ad- 
vantage. Without consulting the Government of Bengal, 
they agreed to help him with a body of troops in return for 
the cession of Salsette and Bassein, an island and 
a port near Bombay itself, and for a handsome yearly 
payment to the Bombay Treasury. Colonel Keating led 
his troops into the Maratha country, routed an army 
tenfold stronger than his own at Arras, near Baroda, and 
drove the enemy across the Narbada, while a heavy defeat 
was inflicted on the Marathas by sea. 

If Hastings condemned the Treaty of Surat as an 
impolitic measure which he had never sanctioned, he was 
not for rashly setting it aside in the face of these successes. 
But in these days the party of Francis had its own way in 
the Bengal Council ; and the Bombay Government was 
ordered to withdraw all its troops forthwith. Colonel 
Upton was sent from Calcutta to undo the work so 
promisingly begun. But the insolence of the Poonu 
Regency had well-nigh renewed the war, when Nana 
Farnavis at length accepted the compromise offered by 
the English envoy. By the Treaty of Purandhar the 
English retained possession of Salsette, which they had 
already won ; their claim on the revenues of Broach was 
also acknowledged ; but the rest of their agreement 
with Raghuba was formally annulled, in return for a 
pension allotted by the Poona Government to the late 


New causes of quarrel, however, soon arose. A des- 
patch from the Court of Directors confirmed the former 
treaty with Raghuba, Neither at Bombay nor Poona 
was the new treaty carefully observed. From mutual 
bickerings the quarrel proceeded to words and acts of 
mutual defiance. Surat was occupied by troops from 
Bombay. Raghuba himself was welcomed to the former 


city as an honoured guest. On the other hand, a French 
adventurer was received at Poona with open arms as an 
accredited envoy from the King of France, who was just 
on the point of declaring war with England. Hastings 
also was now free to act according to his own judgment ; 
and the timely secession of Sakharam Bapu from the 
Poona Regency furnished a new plea for returning to 
the policy always favoured at Bombay. 

At length, in the cold season of 1778, an English force 
took the field from the western capital, while a Bengal 
column under the skilful Colonel Goddard pushed on 
through Bundelkhand and Malvva, to cross the Narbada 
before the close of the year. Meanwhile the Nana had 
struck some hard blows at his Maratha assailants ; and 
Raghuba's prospects were already darkening when Colonel 
E^erton advanced towards Poona across the Ghats. 
They were now to become still darker. At Talegaon, 
within a forced march of Poona itself, a strange panic beset 
the Commissioner, Mr. Carnac, whose powers entirely 
overruled those of the English commanders. The order 
for retreat was given, the guns were hastily thrown into a 
pond, and nothing but the cool courage of Captain Hartley 
and his rear-guard of Sepoys saved the whole force from 
annihilation at the hands of an enemy who had hitherto 
shrank from barring its advance. Two days later, on the 
13th January, 1779, the English leaders crowned their 
disgrace by bargaining for a safe retreat for an army 
which under better handling might have borne Raghuba 
in triumph to the Maratha capital. 

A new gleam of hope, however, was soon to shine for 
that luckless prince. Neither at Bombay nor at Calcutta 
was any respect shown for the disgraceful Convention of 
Wargaom. Its English authors were dismissed the 
Company's service. Colonel Goddard brought his troops 
in safety to Surat. His proposals for a fresh treaty falling 


through, he took the field at the beginning of 1780, 
captured among other places Ahmadfibad, the stately 
capital of Gujarat, and twice defeated the Marfitha troops 
of Sindhia and Holkar. The gallant Hartley pushed his 
way in the Konkan. Meanwhile, another Bengal column 
under the daring Major Fopham, which had been sent by 
Hastings across the Jumna, drove Sindhia's Marathas before 
them, stormed the fort of Lahore, and carried by a well- 
planned escalade the formidable rock-fortress of Gwalior, 
which Coote himself had deemed it madness to attack.* 
Before the year's end Bassein had surrendered to God- 
dard, and the dashing Hartley crowned his former exploits 
by signally defeating 20,000 Marathas who had been 
pressing him hard for two days. 

These successes were followed by the surprise and rout 
of Sindhia,t in March, 1781, at the hands of Popham's 
successor. Colonel Camac. On the west, however, God- 
dard was less fortunate. A mighty gathering of the 
Maratha hosts barred his way to Poena from the top of the 
Ghats and went near to cut off his retreat. To advance 
was hopeless, to stand still was little better. It only 
remained for him to attempt a hazardous retreat before 
60,000 pursuers, keen for his destruction. Thanks to 
their own courage and their leader's skill, his troops suc- 
ceeded in the attempt, but not without paying dearly for 
their success. 

By this time evil tidings had come to Hastings from 
Madras. Ever since their rejection of his prayers for 
help against the Marathas, Haidar AH had been nursing 
his revenge against the English. For some years, how- 
ever, he contented himself with trying to repair his crippled 

* It was taken by Captain Bruce and twenty Sepoys. 

t Mahadajl Sindhia, a younger son of Ranoji Sindhia, had escaped, with 
a wound which lamed him for life, from the rout of Panipat, to become the 
head of the house of Sindhia. 



fortunes at every turn. Before the end of 1772 he had 
subdued the brave highlanders of Coorg, hundreds of whom 
were murdered by his orders in cold blood. In little more 
than a year later he had made good all his former losses, 
and before the end of 1776 new provinces had been added 
to his widening frontier. Two years later his northern 
frontier had been pushed up to the Kistna. 

Meanwhile Haidar's fear of the Marathas had tempted 
him more than once to renew his overtures to the English 
at Madras. But the latter, taken up with their own 
schemes, quarrels, and perplexities, paid little heed to the 
advances of a neighbour whose power for mischief they 
underrated, or whose friendliness they would not trust. 
Balked by the Home Government in their unjust designs 
on Tanjore, overruled continually by orders from Calcutta, 
hampered by their relations with the Nawab of the Carnatic, 
and pressed by a chronic want of funds, the Madras 
Council filled up the measure of their weakness by reckless 
quarrelling among themselves. One governor was sent 
home in disgrace ; another, Lord Pigot, was held prisoner 
by his colleagues for several months ; and his successor, 
Sir Thomas Rumbold, became from the first a mark for 
the many slanders which were destined long to survive 

Hardly had Rumbold taken up his ofiice, when he 
learned that war had already broken out between France 
and England. This became the signal for a prompt attack 
on the few places still held by the French in Southern 
India. With the fall of Pondicherry in October, 1778, 
Mahc alone, a town on the western coast, remained in 
French hands. In the following March, Mahe also fell to 
our arms, and very wroth thereat was Haidar Ali, some 
of whose troops had aided in the defence. His anger at 
the blow thus dealt to his secret friends was increased by 
the march of English troops through his newly conquered 


province of Karpa into the Guntur district, which Nizfim 
AH's brother Basalat Jung had lately rented to the govern- 
ment of Madras.* Now, if ever, had come the time to 
drive his old enemies into the sea. His own army, 
90,000 strong-, well-equipped, and trained by French 
officers, might alone suffice for that purpose. Backed by 
the hosts of Nizam Ali and Nana Farnavis, its shock 
would be irresistible. 

A willing listener to a tempting offer did the envoy from 
Poona find in the fierce old sovereign of Mysore. If Haidar 
loved the Marathas little more than the English, he had 
no objection to make use of either for his own ends. 
Turning a deaf ear to the counter offers now made by Sir 
Thomas Rumbold, he prepared, in his seventy-eighth year, 
for a campaign which might end in leaving him master of 
all Southern India. Happily for us at this critical moment, 
Nizam All's quarrel with his English neighbours, regarding 
the tribute claimed from them for the Northern Circars, 
was allayed by the timely interference of the Governor- 
General, enforced perhaps by his own fears of the danger 
involved in furthering the secret schemes of so ambitious 
a plotter as the Sultan of Mysore.! 

If Rumbold was dimly aware of coming danger, neither 
his own councillors nor Hastings himself, at the beginning 
of 17S0, seems to have guessed how near and terrible that 
danger was.J Sir Hector Munro himself, as head of the 
Madras Army, made no effort to meet the storm whose 
warning murmurs already filled the air. In every mosque 
and pagoda of Mysore Haidar's agents were busy preaching 

* Haidar had long marked out Guntur for himself. 

t It was given out that Haidar had obtained from the puppet Emperor 
of Delhi a formal grant of sovereignty over all the Nizam's dominions. 

X In reply to Rumbold's warnings, Hastings declared himself "conrinced, 
from Hyder's conduct and disposition, that he will never molest us while we 
preserve a good understanding with him." See Marshman's " India," vol. i., 


a Jihad or holy war against the infidels from the West. 
At length, in July, 1780, the hosts of Mysore poured like a 
lava-flood through their mountain-passes over the Carnatic ; 
their progress marked by burning villages, whose smoke 
ere long became clearly visible to scared spectators from 
the heights near Madras. 

To meet this formidable inroad, Sir Hector Munro, with 
about five thousand men, set out from Conjeeveram, while 
Colonel Baillie had to lead about half that number round 
from Guntur. Precious days were lost to the latter by a 
sudden flood ; and on the 6th September, when he was 
only a long day's march from Conjeeveram, his little force 
was fiercely attacked by Tipu, the brave son of Haidar. 
A timely reinforcement, under Colonel Fletcher, enabled 
Baillie to press onwards until the 9th, when only two 
or three miles divided him from Munro. But between 
them lay the bulk of Haidar's army, and next morning 
Baillie saw himself beset on all sides by overwhelming 
odds. All that day his men fought on under every dis- 
advantage, vainly hoping for the help that never came. 
The victor of Buxar proved utterly false to his old renown. 
Unmoved by the sounds of the heavy firing which was 
dealing havoc in his subaltern's ranks, Munro never 
budged an inch to rescue him. At last, in despair of 
maintaining a hopeless struggle, Baillie surrendered, and 
three hundred English soldiers, the feeble remnant of his 
shattered force, laid down their arms. But for the timely 
interference of Haidar's French officers, even these, in 
spite of their surrender, would have all been butchered 
where they stood. As it turned out, few of them were 
destined to survive the wasting effects of wounds, sickness, 
and prolonged ill-treatment in the noisome prisons of 

* Out of Baillie's eighty-ilx officers, thirty-six were slain or mortally 
wounded, and only sixteen surrendered without a wound. 


Munro himself, who seems to have been paralysed by the 
impending failure of supplies for his own army, fell back 
at once to Conjceveram. Thence, after throwing his heavy 
guns into a tank, and sacrificing much baggage, he hurried 
off in quest of supplies to Chingleput. Disappointed there 
also, he retreated on the 14th September to St. Thomas's 
Mount, near Madras, leaving Haidar to waste the Carnatic 
at his leisure, and to bring the siege of Arcot to a suc- 
cessful close. 

When tidings of these disasters reached Calcutta, 
Hastings met the occasion with his wonted fearlessness. 
A fresh quarrel with his old enemy Francis, who had 
broken his pledge to oppose none of Hastings' larger 
measures after the return home of Mr. Barwell, had just 
issued in a duel, from which Francis bore off a wound that 
did not tend to improve his temper. Backed, however, 
by Sir Eyre Coote, Hastings kept the upper hand in his 
Council. Not a moment did he now lose in developing 
his own plans for the salvation of Madras at any cost. 
Sir Eyre Coote, with a choice array of Bengal troops, 
was at once despatched to the scene of danger in super- 
session of Munro. The acting Governor of Madras was 
removed from his post. Even the Company's remittances 
to England were held back for the better carrying on of 
war against Haidar Ali. 

Arrived at Madras, Clive's old comrade hurried off to 
the relief of Wandiwash, the scene of his former victory 
over Lally. The news of his approach frightened the 
enemy away from a place which Lieutenant Flint, with 
the aid of a hundred men, had been defending with the 
courage of a second Clive. The relief of Chingleput and 
the capture of Karangali had marked the first stages 
of Coote's advance. Coote's repulse in June before 
Chilambram encouraged Haidar to make a dash on 
Cuddalore, while Coote was resting his troops at Porto 


Novo. But the fiery veteran made haste to grapple with 
his powerful opponent, and on the ist July his eight 
thousand men hurled themselves against ten times their 
number with a force that nothing could long withstand. 
After six hours' fighting the enemy fled, leaving ten 
thousand on the field, while Coote's loss amounted only 
to three hundred, so well had his guns been served. 

Again the two armies came together in August near 
the scene of Baillie's great disaster ; but this time the 
victory was less complete. On the 27th September, how- 
ever, Haidar was utterly defeated at Sholimgarh, with the 
loss of five thousand men. By this time Lord Macartney, 
the new Governor of Madras, was preparing another force 
for the capture of the Dutch possessions in Southern 
India ; Holland also having been added to the number 
of our foes. The fall of Negapatam in November was 
followed in January of the next year by the capture of 
Trincomali in the neighbouring island of Ceylon. 

Before Coote took the field again, Muhammad Ali, the 
worthless ruler of the Carnatic, had been forced to make 
over to the Company for five years the revenues he had 
hitherto squandered on himself, while the men who fought 
for him were in perpetual risk of starving. Thenceforth 
the movements of our troops would not be hampered by 
the want of those supplies which the Nawab had so often 
failed to furnish at the right moment. 

In the beginning of 1782 Coote hastened to the relief 
of Vellore, which, but for his timely movement, must soon 
have fallen into Haidar's clutches. A few days later the 
arrival of succours from Bombay enabled Major Abingdon, 
the bold defender of Telicherry, in Malabar, to rout the 
army which had vainly besieged him for eighteen months. 
Calicut, on the same coast, next fell to the English arms. 
But these successes were soon to be balanced by failures 
and mishaps elsewhere Forty thousand of Tipu's soldiers 


fell upon Colonel Braithvvaite's little force of two thousand 
men — nearly all Sepoys — in Tanjore ; and after a fight, 
prolonged with matchless heroism, for twenty-six hours, 
the wasted remnants of Braithwaite's band were saved 
from utter extinction only by the generous efforts of 
Tipu's French allies. French fleets appeared from time 
to time on the Madras coast, to be encountered with small 
result by English admirals. Cuddalorc was taken at last 
with the help of Suffrein's sailors, and Admiral Hughes 
was too late to save Trincomali. If Coote's dashing 
energy once more rescued Wandiwash, and dealt Tipu 
another defeat at Arni, his movement against Cuddalorc 
failed for want of timely succour from the fleet ; and 
the close of that year saw him trying to recruit his 
shattered health in Bengal. What with the desolation 
of the Carnatic, the famine raging around Madras, the 
daily expected landing of French troops led by the 
renowned Bussy himself, the losses caused to English 
shipping by gales on the eastern coast, and Humberstone's 
retreat before Haidar on the Bombay side, the outlook for 
our countrymen in Southern India at the end of 1782 was 
almost as dark as ever. 

One gleam, however, brightened it even then. On the 
7th December Haidar Ali died at the great age of eighty, 
worn out by an illness which had never kept him from 
sharing like a common trooper in the toils of the past 
campaign. Earlier in the same year Hastings had suc- 
ceeded in detaching the last of the Maratha leaders from 
their alliance with the Sultan of Mysore. The first to 
make peace with him was the Raja of Berar, who, early 
in 1781, had sanctioned the march of a Bengal brigade 
through Orissa towards Madras.* His example was 
followed by Sindhia, after his defeat by Colonel Carnac ; 

* This brigade suffered heavily on its march from cholera, the disease 
which has since become endemic in many parts of India. 


and at length, in May, 1782, was concluded the Treaty of 
Salbai, which left Mysore to fight on single-handed against 
the English power. By this treaty Sindhia regained his 
lost possessions, all but Gwalior, besides new territory 
about Broach ; the Gaikwar of Gujarat becanae an inde- 
pendent prince ; Raghuba was to retire into private life on a 
handsome pension ; and Bassein, with some other districts, 
was surrendered to Nana Farnavis as regent for the young 
Peshwa. It was not, however, till after Haidar's death that 
the Nana set his seal to a compact which further bound him 
to aid in rescuing the Carnatic from the yoke of Mysore. 

The news of his father's death brought Tipu back for 
a time from the western coast to his own capital, to 
make sure of his succession to the vacant throne. Ere 
long death relieved him of his stoutest foe, the war-worn 
Coote, who barely lived to reach Madras once more. In 
April, 1783, Bussy himself landed on the eastern coast 
and led his Frenchmen to the defence of Cuddalore. By 
that time, however, Tipu was far away to the westward, 
opening his batteries on the hill-fort of Bednor, held by 
some of the troops whose valour had hewn a way for 
General Matthews into the highlands of Mysore. After a 
brave defence, Bednor was surrendered a heap of ruins, 
and its luckless garrison, in breach of Tipu's pledged 
word, marched off in irons to the neighbouring fortresses. 
Yet more protracted was the defence of Mangalore by 
Colonel Campbell. At last, however, the wasted garrison, 
cheated of the supplies assured to them under an armistice, 
were fortunate in being allowed to march out with all the 
honours of war at the end of January, 1784. 

Meanwhile neither Bussy nor General Stuart had made 
much progress in the Carnatic. Two sallies ordered by 
Bussy from Cuddalore were repulsed with heavy loss.* 

* In one of these actions Sergeant Bernadotte, the future King of Sweden, 
was taken prisoner by the English. 


The fleets of Hughes and Suffrein fought and parted 
without result. At length came tidings of peace between 
France and England, when all hostile movements on either 
side were stayed by mutual agreement, and the French 
officers in Tipu's army left him to carry on the war 

By this time another British force under Colonel Ful- 
larton was steadily advancing into the highlands of Mysore. 
Before him lay the road to Seringapatam, and a fair chance 
of finishing the war by a few bold strokes. But the Governor 
of Madras, unheeding the counsel and the commands of 
Hastings, stooped to sue for the peace which Fullarton was 
eager to dictate under the walls of Tipu's capital. That 
brave officer was ordered to fall back, in compliance with a 
truce which Tipu was openly breaking. Lord Macartney's 
messengers were received with studied insolence by a 
monarch bent on turning their master's folly to his own 
profit. Not till Mangalore had fallen into his hands did 
the wily sultan deign to consider the object of their errand, 
or even to let them enter his camp. At last, on the nth 
March, 1784, the long series of scornful insults was crowned 
by the sight of two English envoys standing for two hours 
before Tipu, with heads bare, beseeching him to sign the 
treaty they held in their hands. Their prayers were 
finally granted at the intercession of envoys from Poona 
and Hyderabad. By this act of needless self-abasement 
the Madras Government purchased a peace which restored 
to each party their former possessions, and rescued more 
than a thousand Englishmen from the slow torture of 
prison life in Mysore. At the best, however, it was only 
a hollow truce, which Tipu, at once a fanatic, a restless 
schemer, and a born foe to the English, was pretty sure 
to break at the first opportunity. 


WARREN B-KSTl-ilGS— {continued) 

In the midst of his anxieties concerning the war in 
Southern India, Hastings found himself involved in fresh 
troubles nearer home. The conflicting claims of the 
Company's civil servants and the Crown judges in Bengal 
to jurisdiction over the natives beyond Calcutta, had 
brought him for a time into direct collision with the 
Supreme Court, headed by his best friend, Sir Elijah 
Impey. A war of writs on the one hand, of proclamations 
on the other, raged between the two parties. Arrests, 
resisted by the Company's soldiers acting under Hastings' 
orders, were enforced by the Calcutta judges with the 
help of sailors and policemen hired for the purpose. 
Hastings forbade the Bengal Zamindars from obeying the 
decrees of a court whose claims appeared to clash with the 
higher interests of the State. The Chief Justice in his 
turn issued summonses against the Governor-General and 
his Council, a proceeding which the latter laughed to 
scorn. Stories of outrages committed on either side were 
rife throughout the country, and the whole machinery of 
government was fast approaching a dead-lock. 

Happily, just before the departure of Francis, the 
quarrel was appeased by a timely movement on Hastings' 
part. The Sadr Dewani Adalat, or chief civil court of 
Bengal, as reformed by Hastings a few months earlier, 
was placed before the end of 1780 under the charge of 
Impey himself. The wisdom of this step soon became 


clear. An able lawyer and an upright judge, Impey at 
once drew up a simple and serviceable code of rules for 
the better administration of civil justice throughout Bengal, 
The young English judges in the lower courts soon learned 
to mend their ways and shape their judgments in careful 
accordance with the principles laid down by their new 
chief. The old broils between rival authorities came to an 
end ; law and order reigned once more throughout the 
province ; waste lands were brought again under the 
plough ; and revenue began to flow with its former freedom 
into the Company's treasury. 

This stroke of policy on the part of Hastings was hailed 
at the time by the Court of Directors with their hearty 
approval. But ere long their ears were poisoned by 
slanders emanating from the spiteful Francis, who, leaving 
India at the end of 1780, had carried his rancour and a 
goodly fortune home. In the course of 1782 they decreed 
the removal of Impey from a post whose burdens he had 
meanwhile borne with signal credit, at his own unaided 
cost,* A few months afterwards, his enemies at home 
had succeeded in carrying through the House of Commons 
a vote for the absolute recall of a Chief Justice who had 
ventured to take office under the Company while yet a 
servant of the Crown. 

Meanwhile Hastings, pressed for money to carry on 
the war with Haidar, had demanded from his feudatory, 
the Raja of Benares, a special aid of ;C50,000 and 20CO 
horse. Chait Singh's evasive answers failed to soften the 
heart of a Governor who had good reason to believe in the 
Raja's power to meet so moderate a demand. Not till 
Hastings approached Benares in August, 178 1, did Chait 

* Throuyh his acceptance of lliis further office, " the Chief Justice," says 
Macaulay, " was rich, quiet, and infamous." Unluckily for the brilliant 
essayist, the fact is that Impey refused the additional ;{^SOOO a-year which the 
Calcutta Council would gladly have paid him for the additi:inal work. 


Singh strive to avert his anger by begging him to take 
twenty lakhs of rupees — ;^200,ooo — in payment of all 
claims. Hastings sternly insisted on fifty lakhs, A few 
days afterwards, on reaching Benares with an escort of 
native troops, he placed the Raja under arrest. The 
people of the city rose upon the Sepoy guard, and slew 
them almost to a man. Chait Singh, escaping across the 
river, called his followers to arms. In that hour of 
supreme peril, with only half a hundred Sepoys between 
him and the insurgent rabble of a great city, Hastings 
quietly gave the last touches to his treaty with Sindhia. 
Faithful messengers, stealing out of Benares, carried his 
orders to the nearest military posts in Bengal. At the 
first opportune moment, he himself withdrew to the fortress 
of Chunar, to await the issue of his plans for suppressing 
the revolt. 

Defeated in the field, Chait Singh fled at last into 
Bundelkhand. His stronghold of Bijagarh fell into the 
hands of Major Popham, the conqueror of Gwalior, and 
the booty found there was divided among our troops. 
The bulk of Chait Singh's wealth, however, had followed 
him into his place of exile ; and the Governor-General, 
balked of his prey, consoled himself by exacting a larger 
tribute from the prince whom he set up in his uncle's 

Hastings was yet at Chunar, when a new way of 
replenishing his drained exchequer was opened to him by 
the treaty which he concluded with Asaf-ud-daula, the 
Nawab of Oudh. By this arrangement, the one dark spot, 
perhaps, in a bright career, the property which the Oudh 
Begams, the widow and mother of the late Nawab, had 
unjustly retained for their own use six years before, was 
now escheated to its rightful owner, the Nawab himself. 
Of this sum at least half a million was paid into the 
Bengal treasury in acquittal of the Nawab's debts to the 


Bengal Government. It was believed, indeed, by Hastings 
himself that the despoiled princesses had conspired against 
him with Chait Singh ; but the grounds for such an indict- 
ment have only recently been fully ascertained, and the 
harsh measures taken by the Nawab to enforce his 
claims redounded, unfairly, to the discredit of Hastings 
himself.* The money thus obtained, on whatever pre- 
texts, enabled Hastings to carry on the war with 
Mysore and to complete his successful dealings with the 

By this time the reign of the great Governor-General 
was drawing to its close. Censured by the Court of 
Directors for his share in the dethronement of Chait Sing-h 
and the plundering of the Oudh Bcgams, opposed once more 
by the members of his own Council, Hastings at length 
prepared to throw up his thankless post. Before carrying 
out his purpose, he visited Lucknow in 1784, and, in 
compliance with orders received from England, compelled 
the Nawab-Wazir to reinstate the Bcgams in the forfeited 
jaglrs. When all the more pressing affairs of his govern- 
ment had been duly settled, he issued farewell letters to 
all the native princes, handed over the keys of Fort 
William to his successor, Mr. Macpherson, and on the 8th 
February, 1785, sped by the good wishes of admiring 
thousands, he sailed away from the country which he had 
ruled for thirteen years, amidst every kind of danger, 
vexation, and discouragement, with a vigour, wisdom, 
self-reliance, and general mastery of his means, unsur- 
passed, if it has ever since been equalled, in the annals of 
British India.f 

* One of the Beganis was alive, lieaily, and "very rich" in 1S03, when 
Lord Valentia visited Lucknow. (" Memoirs of Sir E. Impey," p. 236.) 

t In Hastings the scholar was largely blended with the statesman. A 
steady patron of Eastern learning, he spoke the languages of India with ease, 
and was deeply versed in Arabic and Persian literature. Ignorant himself 


The welcome which Hastings at first received in 
England was not unworthy of his high deserts. At Court 
he was treated with every mark of respect. Of His 
Majesty's ministers, Pitt alone viewed the great Viceroy 
with unfriendly eyes, and declined to recommend him for 
the peerage he had so fairly earned. His services were 
acknowledged by the Court of Directors in a formal 
sitting, at which no voice was raised against him. He soon 
found a seat in the House of Commons. But rest from 
further trouble was not yet to be his lot. Pitt's Ministry 
had just succeeded in carrying the famous India Bill of 
1784, which placed the Court of Directors under the 
general control of a board composed of privy councillors, 
headed by a Minister of the Crown. If any traces of 
political power still remained in the hands of the Directors, 
the Court of Proprietors ceased to have any direct voice 
in the government of India. Under this arrangement 
Hastings lost the help of his most serviceable friends ; 
and in Parliament his enemies were neither few nor power- 
less. At their head was the eloquent and high-souled 
Burke himself, supported by Fox, Sheridan, and all the 
strength of the Whigs. In the background stood his 
inveterate foe, Sir Philip Francis, who furnished the Whig 
leaders with an ample store of arguments, fair or foul, for 
the coming attack. What friends Hastings might still 
number on the Tory side of the House were all too weak 
to make head against the hostile influences wielded by 
their great leader, Pitt. 

Early in June, 1785, Burke opened his campaign 
against the late Governor-General, who had landed in 
England but a few days before. In April of the following 
year his list of charges was laid before the Commons* 

of Sanskrit, he encouraged the study of it among his countrymen, and his 
influence led the Pandits of Bengal to leach English scholars the classical 
lore of ancient India. 








House. In the matter of the Rohilla war, Pitt sided with 
the friends of Hastings ; but when the treatment of Chait 
Singh came up for discussion, he was found voting with the 
majority in favour of the motion brought up by Fox, 
On the charge concerning the Oudh Bcgams, memorable 
for Sheridan's masterpiece of fiery rhetoric, Pitt once 
more threw his vote and influence into the scale against 

At last, in February, 1788, the final impeachment of 
the great English proconsul was begun before the 
assembled peers of England by Burke himself. For seven 
years the trial dragged on, until in April, 1795, Hastings 
found himself acquitted on every charge by a majority 
always large, sometimes overwhelming, of the twenty-nine 
peers who came to record their votes. He left their 
presence with a clear character, but an almost empty 
purse, the great bulk of his moderate savings having gone to 
meet the expenses of his long trial. But the timely grant 
of a liberal pension by the Court of Directors enabled him 
to spend his declining years in comfort and scholarly ease 
on the ancestral estate of Daylesford, which had been lost 
to his family for more than seventy years. Long after- 
wards, in 1 81 3, when the charter of the East India 
Company was to be renewed, Hastings, now in his eighty- 
second year, once more presented himself at the bar of the 
House of Commons. This time, however, he came, not as 
an arraigned criminal, but as a witness who had weighty 
things to say on many questions of Indian Government. 
The Commons, who had greeted his entrance with 
admiring cheers, rose and uncovered when he withdrew. 
Other tokens of respect and honour awaited him elsewhere, 
in London, Oxford, and at Court. He was made a 
member of the Privy Council, a doctor of laws ; the Prince 
Regent presented him to his royal guests, the Emperor of 
Russia and the King of Prussia, in whose train he went to 


Oxford ; and the hope of yet higher honours once more 
dawned upon him. But the half-promised peerage was 
still deferred; and in 1818 the white-haired statesman 
quietly breathed his last at Daylesford, in the eighty-sixth 
year of a life whose peaceful ending could hardly have 
been foregathered from its stormy noon. 

Before his departure from India, Hastings had ordered 
the Government of Madras to annul the agreement which 
placed the revenues of the Carnatic at their entire disposal. 
Against this act of well-meant but doubtful policy, Lord 
Macartney fought for a time with much success. But a 
fresh order from Dundas, the first President of the new 
Board of Control, overrode the policy upheld by Lord 
Macartney and sanctioned by the India House. Sir John 
Macpherson, who was acting in the room of Hastings, 
shrank from disobeying the commands of Dundas ; and 
the revenues, which in English hands would have been 
turned to good account, were at length surrendered into 
those of a spendthrift prince who owed everything he had 
to English support and forbearance. The result of this 
step was to enrich a number of greedy adventurers, native 
and European, who had lent money to the Nawab at 
enormous interest, and screwed untold profits out of the 
large estates assigned them in partial payment of their 

Sir John Macpherson continued to hold office until the 
autumn of 1786, when Lord Cornwallis, a statesman and 
soldier of some merit during the war with our American 
colonies, took up the reins of power at Calcutta. Sir 
John's government, if not otherwise eventful, had been 
marked by his stern refusal to pay chauth to the Marathas 
for Bengal, and by his undoubted success in reducing the 
public outlay. In Southern India a brief war between 
Tipu and the Marathas ruffled for a time the general 
peace ; and Sindhia in the north was already scheming to 


overthrow the last relics of Mughal rule around Delhi. 
But not till after the landing of Sir John's successor did 
the old storm of war and general tumult burst forth again 
with a fury which English guns and bayonets alone could 



Like many of his successors, Lord Cornwallis landed in 
India full of wise resolutions against war and conquest, 
and eager only to ensure peace and good government in 
the dominions entrusted to his charge. For a time his 
efforts were rewarded with success. Armed with powers 
which Hastings would have envied,* he put down abuses 
with a stern hand, raised the salaries of the civil servants 
and set his face like a flint against every kind of jobbery 
and crooked dealing. The Nawab-Wazir of Oudh was 
sharply lectured for his shortcomings as a ruler ; but his 
future payments to the Calcutta treasury were curtailed 
by more than a third, and his general right to mismanage 
his own affairs, and waste his revenues, if he chose, in 
riotous living, was carefully respected. 

By this time Cornwallis availed himself of the peace 
lately renewed between Tipu and his neighbours, to 
enforce his claim to the Guntur Circars, in pursuance of 
a treaty made with the Nizam in 176S. For several years 
after the death of Basalat Jung, his brother, on this or 
that pretext, had kept the province in his own hands. At 
length, in 1788, seeing that Cornwallis would brook no 
further trifling, Nizam Ali yielded up the disputed terri- 
tory, with a blandly expressed reminder of his own claims 

* Cornwallis was empowered liy Pitt's " Declaratory Act " to disregard the 
votes of his Council. 


under the treaty of 1768. At the same time, the wily son 
of Chin Kilich sounded the Sultan of Mysore about form- 
ing a league against the English. Tipu's ready assent 
was burdened by an offer of marriage with the Nizam's 
daughter. Wrath at the very notion of such an alliance 
with the son of a low-born adventurer gave the Nizam a 
timely motive for withdrawing from a perilous path, and 
making the best terms he could with the English Govern- 
ment. It was idle to hope for immediate possession of a 
province conquered by Haidar, and firmly held by his 
son : but Cornwallis undertook to hand the Balaghat over 
to the Nizam, whenever it might fall into English keeping, 
and promised to aid that monarch at need, under the 
terms of the old treaty, against all common foes. 

Tipu's hatred of the English was not lessened by this 
new proof of their readiness to meet his movements half- 
way. To blame Cornwallis for taking these precautions 
would be alike unfair to his known character and the cir- 
cumstances of a critical time. He knew that the fierce 
bigot who inherited all Haidar's schemes of conquest was 
only waiting for the right moment to avenge himself on 
the power which had thus far prevented him from carrying 
his arms all over Southern India. His attack on Tra- 
vancore in the last days of 1789, in defiance of the treaty 
which placed its Raja under our protection, compelled 
Cornwallis to take up the challenge thus flung in his 
very face. 

A joint treaty for defence and offence between the Eng- 
lish, the Nizam, and the Pcshwa, was the answer promptly 
given to that challenge. Fifteen thousand Englishmen 
and Sepoys, under General Meadows, opened the campaign 
on the side of Madras. In spite of hindrances caused by 
the wretched Madras Government, Meadows worked his 
way round by Coimbatore into the Mysore highlands, and 
carried in September the strong fort of Palghat. The 


Marathas on their part had not been idle, nor the English 
column despatched from Bombay. Tipu, on the other 
hand, watched with a tiger's cunning for the moment when 
he might catch his foe unready or asleep. Such a moment 
came when Colonel Floyd's column, too far from its sup- 
ports, was driven backwards with the loss of several guns. 
But the wily Sultan was already overmatched in fighting- 
power. A strong division from Bengal reinforced Meadows 
in November. On the Malabar side. Colonel Hartley 
added to the laurels he had won ten years before by 
routing the Mysore troops, many times his own numbers, 
under the walls of Calicut. The reduction of Cannanore 
by Abercrombie cut Tipu off from his last stronghold on 
the western coast. 

Next year Cornwallis himself, displacing the worthy but 
not too brilliant Meadows, set out at the head of a power- 
ful army from Madras. Misleading Tipu by a series of 
feints, he made his way into Mysore without firing a shot. 
On the 2 1st March, Bangalore surrendered, in spite of 
Tipu's efforts to relieve it. The Nizam, who had hitherto 
done little for the common cause, now joined the English 
with 10,000 horsemen, gaily apparelled but nearly useless. 
As for the Marathas, they never appeared at the right 
moment. Cornwallis, however, pressed on towards Se- 
ringapatam, through a country stripped beforehand of all 
supplies. On the 13th May he confronted Tipu strongly 
posted on the ridge of Arikera with the Cauvery on his 
right. By a well-planned night-march he turned the 
enemy's flank, and the battle of the following day resulted 
in a victory which might have placed the capital of Mysore 
at the victor's mercy. But the troops were already starv- 
ing, disease was fast thinning their ranks, and of the 
Marathas nothing had been heard. At last, on the 26th, 
the victorious army began its retreat towards Bangalore. 
A few hours later our Maratha allies came up with the 


retiring columns, in good time to assuage their hunger, 
but too late to check their backward march. 

The rest of that year was spent by our troops in con- 
quering the Baramahal on the eastern frontier of Mysore, 
and in the capture of Nandidrug, Savandrug, and other 
hill-forts which native armies had been wont to besiege in 
vain. Our native allies were also busy worrying Tipu's 
northern frontiers. Coimbatore, on the other hand, after 
a long and manful defence under Lieutenant Chalmers, 
fell at last, a mere heap of ruins, into the hands of the 
Sultan, who rewarded its brave defenders by carrying 
them off to prison in wanton breach of his pledged word. 

At length, in January, 1792, Cornwallis led a fine army 
of 22,000 men with ninety guns against Seringapatam. 
Reinforced by contingents from his native allies, he planted 
himself on the 5th February in front of Tipu's last great 
stronghold. A night-attack, skilfully planned and bril- 
liantly carried through, left him master of the outworks on 
the morning of the 7th, and gave his troops a commanding 
foothold on the island in the Cauvery, where stood the city 
itself. On the i6th, Abercrombie's Bombay column came 
up to complete the circle of attack ; and the fierce Sultan, 
already frightened at the progress made by the English 
batteries, and disheartened by the panic among his own 
followers, saw no escape from utter ruin save in accepting 
such terms as the English General might choose to enforce. 
On the 22nd February Tipu learned his fate. The 
price of his submission was to be the forfeiture of half his 
kingdom, the surrender of two sons as hostages, and the 
payment of three crores of rupees — about iJ"3, 000,000 — 
towards the expenses of the war. His proud spirit fought 
for a time against his better judgment ; but every voice in 
his council urged submission, and Tipu sullenly gave 
way. On the 24th he put his seal to the first draft of 
the treaty which was to cripple his power for ever. Next 


day his sons were received with all honour in the English 

A sudden check to the progress of the treaty was 
caused by the Governor-General's somewhat tardy effort 
to rescue the friendly little state of Coorg from Tipu's 
clutches. For some days it seemed as if the wrathful 
Sultan would stake everything on resistance to this new 
demand. But the counter-movements of the English 
army soon brought him into a calmer frame of mind ; and 
on the 19th March his sons presented to Lord Cornwallis 
1;he ratified treaty which placed Coorg, Dindigul, Malabar, 
and the Baramahal thenceforth in English hands. A large 
slice of Tipu's northern frontier along the Tungabhadra 
was shared between our native allies, who also received 
each a million of the money fine exacted from Mysore. 
Thus hemmed in by strong neighbours on every side, 
the humbled son of Haidar Ali might chafe at the shatter- 
ing of all his dearest hopes, and brood over schemes of 
vengeance on his English conquerors. But turn which 
way he would, failure and disappointment were still to be 
his lot ; and the only light which thenceforth shone upon 
his darkness was the baleful reflection of his own wounded 
pride, savage bigotry, and undying hate. 

The Maratha gains in Southern India were as nothing 
to the progress meanwhile made by Mahadaji Sindhia in 
the north. By the treaty of Salbai that able and ambitious 
ruler had been raised to the rank of an independent sove- 
reign. Already the foremost native power in Hindustan, 
he was bent on rising yet higher, on wiping out the last 
traces of Maratha failure at Panipat. His opportunity 
soon came. Delhi was again torn by rival factions, and 
the leader of one of them implored his help in the name of 
his helpless sovereign. Sindhia gladly accepted the offer, 
and the death of him who had made it soon left him 
master of the position. For the Peshwa of Poona, as head 


of the Maratha League, he obtained from Shah Alam the 
title of Regent of the Empire. As deputy for the Peshwa, 
he himself took charge of the Imperial government, with 
the supreme command of the Imperial armies, for whose 
maintenance the revenues of Agra and Delhi were en- 
trusted to his sole keeping. 

For the next few years the bold Maratha was engaged 
in strengthening the foundations of his new sway. His 
enemies around Delhi were neither few nor weak. The 
proud Muhammadan nobles chafed under the ascendancy 
of an upstart Hindu. The high-born princes of Rajputana 
begrudged the payment to a Sudra adventurer of the 
tribute claimed for the Mughal. His rival, Holkar, bore 
him no good-will, and the Court of Poona dreaded the soar- 
ing ambition of their self-appointed deputy. A powerful 
weapon, however, was already forging for Sindhia's benefit. 
With the help of Count de Boigne, a Savoyard who had 
lately entered his service,* he got together a disciplined 
force of 20,000 men, mostly infantry, officered largely by 
Europeans, and strengthened by a formidable array of 
guns. To the sturdy courage of these troops and the 
skill of their leaders he owed his final deliverance from 
more than one perilous strait. Defeated by the Rajputs 
and hard pressed by the Muhammadans in 1787, he looked 
in vain for help towards Poona, and was fain to seek 
timely shelter with the Jat prince of Bharatpur. Ere long, 
the foolish old emperor himself took open part against his 
defeated minister. 

But Sindhia's turn for triumph came at last. His defeat 
of Ismael Beg under the walls of Agra, in June, 178S, 
paved the way for his return to Delhi. He was still 

* This adventurer, after serving in the French and Russian armies, became 
an ensign in the 6th Sepoy Battalion at Madras. Thence he went round to 
Calcutta, was employed by Hastings on an embassy to Delhi in 17S4, and 
finally took service under Mahadaji Sindhia. 


loitering on his road thither, when he heard of the horrible 
outrages inflicted on the emperor and his household by 
the ruffianly grandson of the able and upright Najib-ud- 
daula, who had fought so bravely for the Mughal at 
Panipat. This Rohilla savage, Gholam Kadir by name, 
had retreated to Delhi in company with Ismael Beg. The 
frightened emperor closed the gates of the city on his 
defeated allies ; but Gholam Kadir bribed his way in, and 
a Muhammadan army was once more loosed for plunder 
in the Mughal capital. Disappointed, it seems, of the 
treasures he had hoped to find within the palace, and 
enraged beyond bearing at his repeated failures to search 
out an imaginary secret, the pitiless ruffian put the 
Princes of Delhi to the torture in the presence of the 
emperor himself.* In the depth of his anguish the old 
man cried out, "Take my sight rather than force upon it 
scenes like these ! " In a moment, Gholam Kadir sprang 
upon his victim, pinned him to the floor, and blinded him 
with his own dagger. But his hour of triumph was soon 
to be cut short. On the appearance of De Boigne's bat- 
talions before Delhi, he fled thence, after a vain attempt 
to fire the palace. On his subsequent flight from Meerut 
he fell into the hands of Sindhia's horsemen, and his crimes 
were requited by Sindhia's order with the poetic justice of 
a horrible and lingering death.f 

Thenceforth the deputy's greatness knew no check. 
He replaced the blind old emperor on the throne of Delhi ; 
but the whole powers of government remained in his own 
hands, and Shah Alam became a mere pensioner on 
Sindhia's bounty. His old opponents, one after another, 

* One of the tortured princes lived to witness as emperor the massacre of 
English women and children at Delhi in 1857. 

t Keene's "Mughal Empire," chap. 5. The wretched man was fust led 
through Muttra on an ass, with his face to the tail. His tongue was then torn 
out, his eyes blinded, his nose, ears, hands, and feet cut ofl"; after which he 
was hanged upon a tree. 


took arms against him only to ensure their final defeat. 
Too wise to embroil himself in a second war with the 
English, he yet steadily set his face against the policy 
which led his countrymen in Southern India to aid Corn- 
vvallis in humbling Tipu. At length, when all was peace- 
ful in Hindustan, Sindhia set out for Poona in 1792 to 
invest the young Peshwa, Madhu Rao, with the dignity 
thrice conferred on him by the head of the house of Babur. 
Such at least was the outward purpose of his journey ; 
but in all likelihood his real aim was to counteract the 
intrigues of Nana Farnavis, and render his own influence 
supreme in Southern as well as Northern India. 

The PC'shwa's investiture was the most splendid cere- 
mony which Poona had ever seen. Sindhia himself rode 
upon his elephant at the head of a gorgeous retinue; but 
with an artful show of humility he took the lowest place 
among the assembled chiefs. When the Peshwa would 
have placed him on the seat next his own, he displayed a 
pair of embroidered slippers, in token of the ofifice he had 
inherited from his father, and reverently placed them on 
the Peshwa's feet. With well-feigned reluctance he at 
length took the seat of honour which none there present 
had nearly so good a right to fill. 

From that time his Brahman rival. Nana Farnavis, 
began to lose all hold on the youth in whose name he had 
hitherto governed without a check. Another heavy defeat 
inflicted on Holkar by De Boigne left Sindhia virtual 
master of nearly all India, outside the English possessions 
and the {q.\^ native states which owned the English for 
their allies. In despair at his own darkening prospects 
the Nana was about to give up the struggle by retiring 
to Benares, when Sindhia's death from fever in February, 
1794, removed out of his path the only danger he had 
hitherto failed to overcome. 

By this time Cornwallis himself had disappeared from 


the scene of his past labours. But he left behind him a 
legacy whose value, however highly rated by the statesmen 
of his own day, has long been regarded by a large class of 
thinkers with less approving eyes. If the boldness of his 
foreign policy, in spite of its success, brought him into 
discredit with a small but noisy class of politicians at 
home,* his great measure for settling the land revenues of 
Bengal was hailed by the bulk of his own countrymen 
with a satisfaction largely owing to his well-earned fame 
as an upright, clear-headed, successful governor. It is 
needless here to discuss the question whether private 
property in land was or was not unknown to Indian 
usage, and contrary to the spirit of Indian laws.f For 
the present purpose it is enough to say, that the rents 
from land in India had come to be divided between the 
village communities, the Zamindars and Talfikdaj'S, who 
farmed the revenues of their several districts, and the 
State itself, which claimed from one-half to three-fifths of 
the yearly produce from the soil. In Bengal the rights of 
the old village communities had been swallowed up in the 
growing power of the Zamindars or middlemen, whom 
Hastings everywhere found claiming entire ownership of 
the land their fathers had mostly held on lease. The 
ousted Rayats or husbandmen had become mere tenants 
at will of the usurping Zamindars. These latter Lord 
Cornwallis had from the first been enjoined to treat, for 
fiscal purposes, as the only rightful lords of the soil. 

Accordingly in 1789 a new assessment of the land- 
revenue was carried out for ten years on the terms 
prescribed by the Court of Directors. In 1793 this 

* Sir Philip Francis, Hastings' old enemy, was at the head of them. 

t The true theory seems to be that private property in land had always 
been the rule in India, limited only by the sovereign's immemorial right to a 
certain share in the produce of the soil. The whole question is clearly 
handled in " Notes on the North-Western Provinces of India," by a " District 
Officer." (See also the works of Mr. B. H. Baden-Powell.) 


settlement was declared perpetual. In spite of the reasons 
urged against such a measure by Mr. Shore, and other 
men of long Indian experience, it was decreed that thence- 
forth the Zamindars of Bengal were to hold their lands for 
ever at the rent-rates charged upon them in 17S9. Three 
things were involved in this momentous enactment. The 
Zamindars were formally acknowledged as lords of the 
soil. The rent-charge on their estates was fixed for ever 
at a certain rate. And lastly the rate itself was taken at 
a fixed sum of money, without reference to future changes 
in the selling value of land and its yearly harvests. 

It will thus be seen that the weak points of this 
permanent settlement lay chiefly under the first and third 
heads. To turn a body of revenue-farmers into actual 
landowners was a measure which, however excusable and 
even expedient, was sure to entail some hardship on the 
old peasantry whose right to hold their ancestral acres was 
now swept away at one blow. It is true that some attempt 
was made to secure to the Rayats their ancient holdings 
by means of leases, which the Zamindars were bound as a 
rule to grant them at the former rents. Other steps 
were also taken to guard their interests from unfair 
encroachments on the part of their new landlords. But 
there, as in so many other cases, the weakest went to the 
wall. The new landowners abused their powers at every 
turn. Their luckless tenants found their leases withheld, 
their rents raised under any pretext, their goods liable to 
distraint without any notice, and themselves ground down 
by ever new and illegal demands.* To the courts of 
justice they were free to appeal ; but what justice could 
they hope to win, even if they had the means of seeking it, 

* It was not till some years afterwards that the Zamindar was compelled 
to "ive due notice of his intention to distrain, and was forbidden to seize the 
Rayat's cattle and farming tools. Kaye's "East India Company," part ii. 
chap. 2. 


against oppressors powerful from their rank, wealth, and 
readiness to gain their own ends by any means, however 
crooked ? Every avenue to legal redress was blocked up 
by pilfering policemen and venal underlings of the law, 
by whose influence the eyes of well-meaning English 
magistrates were too often blinded to the truth. 

The Zamindars, on the other hand, might plead some 
excuse for wrong-doing in the high rates at which they 
were assessed by the government, and the summary 
powers of sale under which the government demands were 
enforced. It is certain that under the new system many 
of their estates were brought to the hammer, and that in 
1799 some attempt was made to abate the evil effects of 
summary sales, by a rule which decreed that sales of land 
for arrears of revenue should be deferred to the end of each 
year. It was also alleged that a defaulting Rayat could 
sometimes evade the demands of a needy or grasping land- 
lord more easily than the latter could put off his payments 
to the State. On the whole, however, it is pretty clear 
that the balance of wrong-doing, as Sir John Kaye puts it, 
" must have been greatly on the side of the Zamindar." 
He and his agents were far more likely to plunder and 
oppress the Rayat, than the Rayat, for all his cunning, was 
likely to outwit them. 

If undue haste was shown in fixing the new settlement 
for ever, before the question of land-tenures in Bengal had 
been thoroughly sifted and the value of the land assessed 
had been clearly ascertained, it was still more unfortunate 
that the boon of a fixed assessment should have been 
clogged by the State's surrender of its prescriptive right to 
readjust the land-tax to its own fiscal needs in the future. 
The main source of revenue in India had always been the 
land. A certain share of the landholder's yearly profits, 
whether payable in kind or coin, had been taken by 
successive governments, Hindu or Muhammadan, for the 


public use. According as the land rose in value, or the 
purchasing power of money declined, the State charge on 
the land was also raised. Under English rule payment in 
kind had gradually been replaced by payment in money ; 
but it was left for Lord Cornwallis to fix the money pay- 
ment at a rate which could never more be raised or 
altered. His successors were thus for ever debarred from 
replenishing the public purse by adjusting the land-tax to 
the increasing profits of those who paid it. Had the money 
payments been fixed at a given proportion to the average 
rental of the land from time to time, the land revenue of 
Bengal would now have been double what it is, and the 
government would not be driven to devise new and often 
questionable means of taxation in order to arrest the 
gradual decline of its old fiscal resources. 

In some respects, however, the new settlement worked 
well. After a season of dire confusion and distress, 
during which many old families passed away from their 
ancient holdings, or tilled as mere serfs the fields which 
had once been theirs, while many even of the Zamindars 
were sold out of the estates conferred on them by English 
rulers, a new class of landed gentry, enriched by trade 
and money-lending, rose upon the wrecks of their neigh- 
bours' fortunes into a position of assured importance, if 
not of much political power. Waste lands were gradually 
brought under the plough ; the growing wealth of the 
province encouraged the growth of its population, and 
opened out new channels of trade and industry, as well as 
new sources of public income. If the land-revenue showed 
no sensible increase, its collection at any rate became 
easier and the amount less fluctuating. All this, however, 
might have happened under a system of periodical settle- 
ments. Meanwhile, whoever else profited, the Rayats 
were mostly on the losing side. Their rents were raised 
without mercy by their new masters, their old rights 


over-ridden without scruple, and new exactions levied on 
them at every turn.* 

Another important measure carried out by Lord Corn- 
wallis was the reform of the civil and criminal courts. 
The duties of revenue-collector were for the first time 
separated from those of the civil judge. Civil courts for 
the trial of native suits were established in every district. 
In the criminal courts of each district the higher civil 
judges held their sessions at different places in turn.t 
Sir Elijah Impey's Code of Regulations was re-modelled 
but hardly improved by the addition of intricate rules and 
idle formalities. Yet more unfortunate was the ordinance 
which shut out the natives of India from all but the lowest 
ranks in the public service. The highest office to which a 
native could thenceforth aspire was that of a police 
Darogah on twenty-five rupees a month, or that of a 
Munsif or petty judge, who obtained only a small per- 
centage on the cost of civil suits. The good thus wrought 
in one direction was counterbalanced by evil in another. 
If a higher moral tone began thenceforth to prevail 
among the English servants of the Company, their native 
underlings were driven to eke out their scanty wages by 
every form of jobbing and extortion. Let the English 
magistrate be never so upright, he had no means of check- 
ing the corrupt tendencies of ill-paid subordinates, who 
abused to their own profit the power which many circum- 
stances combined to place in their hands. Whatever 
good might come of English example in high places, it 

* "Not a child can be boin," wrote the Joint Magistrate of Rangpur in 
1815, "not a head religiously shaved, not a son married, not a daughter 
given in marriage, not even one of the tyrannical fraternity dies, without an 
immediate visitation of calamity upon the Rayat." On every such occasion 
the Zamindar or his agent levied a fresh tax on the Rayat's goods. (Raikes's 
" Notes on the North-Western Provinces of India.") 

\ Muhammadan law, tempered by English punishments, was still to be 
administered in Bengal. 

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p. 270 


was clearly unwise to block up all those avenues to prefer- 
ment by which the ambition of the higher classes in the 
country had been wont to seek its natural food. 

Before leaving India Lord Cornwallis sailed for Madras 
in order to command the force he had got together for 
the siege of Pondicherry, a task imposed upon him by the 
outbreaking of another war with France. But the timely 
surrender of that place to Colonel Braithwaite left him 
free to pursue his voyage homewards, in October, 1793, 
after a useful, firm, and prosperous reign of seven years. 
He was succeeded by Sir John Shore, a Bengal civilian of 
long standing, high character, and approved conversance 
with revenue affairs. 



The new Governor-General had not long taken up the 
reins of empire, when a storm of war once more burst upon 
Southern India. At the death of Mahadaji Sindhia the 
Maratha power may be said to have reached its zenith. 
His nephew and successor, Daulat Rao Sindhia, was still a 
boy ; but Nana FarnavTs once more reigned at Poona 
without a rival, and his influence made itself felt from the 
foot of the Himalayas to the southernmost bounds of 
Maharashtra. Quick to avail himself of Sir John Shore's 
inaction in the field of foreign politics, he began to make 
threatening demands upon the Nizam, who turned for help 
to the English Government under the treaty of 1790. 
But Shore could see no reason for helping one old ally 
against another, and the Marathas took their own way 

Early in 1795 the hostile armies took the field, A 
hundred and thirty thousand Marathas, gathered from all 
parts of India, followed the standard of the young Pcshwa, 
himself under the actual leadership of Pareshram Bhao, 
while the Nizam's forces, 1 10,000 strong, included a con- 
tingent disciplined by French officers under M. Raymond, 
who had served with Lally many years before. Sindhia's 
contingent on the Maratha side was also commanded by a 
Frenchman, M. Perron. The battle which ensued on the 
nth March at Kharda, on the Nizam's western frontier, 
was lost to the Muhammadans mainly by the cowardice of 


Nizam Ali himself. Two days afterwards the defeated 
monarch put his seal to a treaty which condemned him to 
pay the victors three millions sterling and yield up ter- 
ritory worth ;^3 50,000 a year. 

The wily minister, Nana Farnavis, had now reached the 
height of his power. Supreme at the court of his nominal 
master, he was held in awe at every capital where ruled 
a prince of the great Maratha League. Even the young 
Sindhia paid him the deference due from youth to a suc- 
cessful veteran in the field of statescraft. But the fate 
which had frowned so darkly on him a year before the 
victory of Kharda was ere long to hold him fast in its 
toils. In October, 1795, the young Peshwa, Madhu Rao, 
slew himself in a fit of despair at the utter thraldom in 
which his all-powerful minister was bent on keeping him 
at an age when other princes were deemed fit to govern 
for themselves. The rightful heir to his throne was Bajl 
Rao, son of that Raghuba whose chequered fortunes had 
closed in peace and privacy after the Treaty of Sfdbai. 
Distrustful of the Nana's real purpose, Bajl Rao secretly 
applied for help to Daulat Rao Sindhia. When this became 
known at Poona, the Nana, who had just been plotting on 
behalf of Baji's younger brother, ChimnajT, suddenly re- 
solved to forestal Sindhia by espousing the cause of Baji 
himself. The game of intrigue which followed has no 
parallel even in the history of Maratha politics. As a 
thing of course Sindhia and the Nana take opposite sides, 
and change them whenever it suits their purpose. At one 
moment the Nana is an exile and Bajl a prisoner. Ere 
long the former gains the upper hand, and Baji Rao is 
seated on the throne, which his brother had meanwhile 
occupied against his own will. Sindhia turns against his 
own nominee, and casts his own minister, Balloba Tantia, 
into prison. Baji Rao then plots the ruin both of Sindhia 
and Nana Farnavis, The former escapes death through 



Baji's timely indecision, but the latter is treacherously 
seized, with Sindhia's connivance, and hurried off a close 
prisoner to Ahmadnagar, whence he is afterwards set free 
by Sindhia on payment of a heavy bribe. 

Meanwhile Sir John Shore had been engaged in dealing 
with a serious mutiny among the officers of the Company's 
Indian army. The soreness caused by the late im- 
provements in the pay of the Civil Service, and by the 
threatened amalgamation of the king's and Company's 
troops, spoke out at last in a combined movement of the 
aggrieved officers for their own protection from alleged 
encroachments on their just rights. Daunted by the 
growing danger, or loath to use force against men whose 
claims he could not deem unjust, the Governor-General gave 
way. The double batta, which had lately been withheld 
from the Company's troops, was restored in full ; brevet 
rank was largely granted ; and an improved scale of pay 
for officers of every rank was drawn up. Shore's con- 
cessions so displeased Dundas, that he besought Lord 
Cornwallis to return at once to his former post ; but the 
" milk-and-water " policy of the Court of Directors towards 
their mutinous servants speedily decided him to refuse 
the offer, and Sir John Shore's concessions were finally 

If Sir John laid himself open to the charge of acting 
weakly on this occasion, a later conjuncture showed him 
to be far from wanting in quiet courage. On the death of 
Asaf-ud-daula, the Nawab-Wazir of Oudh, in 1797, he was 
led by faulty information to acknowledge Wazir AH, the 
Nawab's reputed son, as his successor. But further in- 
quiry taught him to uphold the stronger claims of Asaf's 
brother, Sadat Ali. That prince was therefore raised to 
the throne on condition of surrendering Allahabad to the 
English, and maintaining ten thousand of the Company's 
troops in Oudh. The treaty was concluded while Sir 


John was yet encamped at Lucknow, in imminent danger 
of an attack at any moment from the numerous and reck- 
less followers of the prince he was about to depose. But 
he held his ground with quiet firmness until the troops 
who were charged to escort the new Nawab arrived at 
Lucknow. At their appearance the followers of Wazir 
All dispersed without firing a shot, and in January, 1798, 
Sadat Ali was proclaimed Nawab amidst the general re- 
joicing of his new subjects. Wazir Ali was pensioned off 
at Benares, and Shore, who had just been made Lord 
Teignmouth, set sail for England in March of the same 

His successor was the Earl of Mornington, elder brother 
of the great Duke of Wellington, a friend and a follower of 
Pitt, a trained statesman from his youth up, a ripe scholar, 
and for four years a leading member of the Board of 
Control. In the middle of May, 1798, Lord Mornington 
landed at Calcutta, charged from home with strict in- 
junctions to keep the peace, to abstain from meddling in 
the affairs of native states, and to use all lawful means of 
replenishing the Company's exchequer. On his way out, 
however, he had touched at the Cape ; and there by a 
happy chance he had learned, through various channels, 
enough to convince him that a policy of peace and re- 
trenchment was far less feasible than it seemed at home. 
He had not been three weeks in India when the hour 
for action proved to be already ripe. In a proclamation 
which had found its way to Calcutta, General Malartic, 
Governor of the INIauritius, announced that Tipu had 
proposed a close alliance with the new French Republic 
against the English in India. Other tidings from trust- 
worthy sources strengthened Lord Mornington's newly- 
formed design to forestall the plotting ruler of Mysore. 
The Madras Government, unready as ever, was for tem- 
porising with its former foe ; but Lord Mornington would 


take no excuse for unwise delay, and General Harris was 
ordered to get the Coast Army, as that of Madras was 
called, ready for the coming march on Seringapatam. 

Meanwhile the new Governor-General set himself to 
win the alliance or secure the neutrality of the Marathas 
and the Nizam. From the Peshwa, whose counsels were 
once more guided by Nana Farnavis, he got little but fair 
words and fair assurances ; nor would Sindhia pledge 
himself to aid the English against the threatened advance 
from Kabul of Ahmad Shah's successor, Zaman Shah. 
With the Nizam, on the other hand, Lord Mornington 
was more successful. By the loth October a strong 
brigade from Madras was encamped at Hyderabad, and a 
iQ\w days later the whole of the French officers in the 
Nizam's service had gotten their dismissal from the Nizam 
himself. The twelve thousand Sepoys, whom M. Ray- 
mond had trained on the French system, laid down their 
arms, and the Nizam concluded a treaty which placed six 
thousand English Sepoys at his disposal, and made Eng- 
lish influence for ever dominant at Hyderabad. 

Tipu, on the other hand, was steadily rushing upon 
his doom. To all Lord Mornington's warnings, remon- 
strances, demands, proposals, he sent nothing but 
evasive or misleading answers, while he was engaged in 
sending messages for help to Zaman Shah, to the French 
Government, and to General Bonaparte, who had already 
landed in Egypt. Neither Nelson's great victory at 
Aboukir, nor the alliance of Turkey with England against 
the French, opened his eyes to the rock on which his 
consuming hatred of the English was about to hurl him. 
At last, by the beginning of February, 1799, the Governor- 
General's forbearance could hold out no longer. The 
English army was ordered to advance. If Tipu were yet 
willing to treat for peace, he might send an embassy to 
General Harris, who was now on the road to Seringapatam, 


at the head of six thousand white troops, about fifteen 
thousand Sepoys, and a hundred guns, to say nothing of 
the twenty thousand horse and foot furnished by the 
Nizam, and commanded in part by English officers. 

" Citizen Tipu," however, as his French friends from 
the Mauritius called him, would not be warned in time. 
With the courage of his race and the craft of an old 
soldier, he left part of his army to watch the English 
advance, while he hurried westward with the flower of his 
troops to overwhelm Stuart and Hartley on their advance 
with the Bombay column from Cannanore. In spite of the 
timely warning received from the Raja of Coorg, it was 
all that Hartley's brigade could do to hold the hill of 
Sidasir on the 6th March against Tipu's repeated onsets, 
until General Stuart could hasten up to the rescue. Half- 
an-hour afterwards the assailants fell back with the loss of 
two thousand men. A few days later the baffled Sultan went 
off to meet General Harris advancing by way of Bangalore. 

Again defeated at Malavalli on the 27th, Tipu fell 
back to a strong position in front of his island capital. 
But the English general declined to fall into his opponent's 
trap. Instead of marching straight forward through a 
country laid waste by Tipu's orders, General Harris led 
his troops round across the Cauvery by a ford lower down 
the stream. The Bombay column was thus enabled to join 
him, and the troops obtained supplies from fruitful dis- 
tricts untouched by the ravages of war. Tipu's rage at 
being thus outwitted passed ere long into sheer despair as 
the invaders slowly neared Seringapatam. 

On the 17th April the siege began. Three days later 
Tipu asked for terms. Two millions sterling and the 
cession of half his remaining dominion was the price 
named. His proud spirit rose in revolt against such an 
issue to the dreams and efforts of many years. " Better," 
he exclaimed, "to die fighting than live dependent on the 


mercy of infidels." On the 3rd May 44,000 English 
troops advanced under General Baird, a former prisoner 
in Seringapatam, to storm the city through a breach 
made by the English guns. A short but sharp struggle 
placed the stormers on the top of the breach. The two 
columns then turned off in opposite directions, pushing 
forward through every obstacle until they met again at the 
eastern gateway, thinned in numbers, but flushed with 
entire success. The Sultan's palace was in their hands, 
and his troops were become a flying mob. But Tipu 
himself could not be found. At length from amidst a 
gateway heaped with dead his lifeless body was dragged 
out under the guidance of a wounded servant, and duly 
recognised by one of his chief officers. It was buried the 
next day with all military and religious honours in the 
tomb which held the remains of Haidar Ali. The guns 
which boomed their last tribute to the brave but savage 
bigot who had lost all that his father had v/on, were 
strangely echoed by the dreadful thunder which crashed 
that evening over Seringapatam. 

The loss of the English in this memorable siege 
amounted to 1,164 killed or wounded. A vast store of 
guns and booty to the value of a million sterling fell into 
the victors' hands. General Harris was raised to the peer- 
age, and Lord Mornington became Marquess Wellesley in 
the peerage of Ireland, an honour which he regarded as 
no more than a " double-gilt potato," in return for the 
blow thus stricken at the fiercest enemy our arms had 
ever encountered in Southern India. Part of Tipu's con- 
quered kingdom was divided between the English and the 
Nizam, Bajl Rao having declined the conditions on which 
he also would have received his share. The remainder 
was reserved under English commissioners for the child- 
heir of the former Raja, whom Haidar Ali had dispos- 
sessed. Tipu's family were removed as state-pensioners 


to Vellore. Seringapatam itself was placed under the 
wise control of Colonel Arthur Wellesley, who, as com- 
mander of the Nizam's infantry, had borne a prominent 
part in the siege. 

If the timely triumph of our arms in Mysore had 
crushed one foe, it deferred the day of settlement with 
another. While General Harris was besieging Seringa- 
patam, Sindhia and the PC-shwa were plotting to aid Tipu 
and hamper the English by an inroad into the dominions 
of Nizam Ali. But the happy issue of Lord Wellesley's 
vigour and his General's soldiership struck them with 
alarm, and they hastened to congratulate the Governor- 
General on successes which not only deprived them of a 
useful ally, but established a closer union between the 
Niziim, their intended victim, and the English, their most 
dreaded rivals. A year after the conquest of Mysore, the 
Nizam's immunity from Maratha aggression was finally 
assured by a treaty which placed at his disposal a strong 
Sepoy contingent, commanded by English officers, in 
exchange for his share of the country won from Tipu in 
the last nine years. 

Another blow to Maratha influence had meanwhile 
been dealt by Lord Wellesley. In 1799 the little State of 
Tanjore, founded by Shahji, father of the great SivajT, in 
the middle of the previous century, passed under English 
rule with the consent of its rightful Raja, who retained 
the outward show of a sovereignty whose burdens were 
transferred to his English friends. A like course was 
taken with the little Muhammadan State of Surat. This 
was presently followed by the absorption of the Carnatic, 
whose late Nawab, the son of our old nominee Muhammad 
Ali, had been caught secretly plotting with our deadliest 
enemy, the late Sultan of Mysore. His successor refusing 
the terms offered by Lord Wellesley, a titular Nawab was 
set up in his cousin's place on a handsome pension, but 


without a shadow of his grandfather's power. Strong- 
handed measures these may be called ; but no one who 
has carefully read the foregoing narrative need shrink 
from allowing to Lord Wellesley and his masters at home 
the full benefit of the pleas on which those measures were 
carried out. Had English statesmen been less scrupulous 
the Carnatic might fairly have been absorbed many years 
earlier, whether as a stroke of policy or an act of justice. 
Our countrymen in India had long been drifting into a 
position from which they could never with any safety 
recede. Each step forward in self-defence brought them 
nearer some new danger, with which common prudence 
forbade them to palter on pain of losing the ground 
already won. It was Lord Wellesley's great merit, that, 
foreseeing the danger, he at once proceeded to pluck from 
that nettle the flower of safety. Knowing that the last great 
struggle with the Marathas must soon come, he took care 
that the rulers of British India should not be drawn into 
it unprepared or half-hearted. With him at any rate fore- 
warned was to be forearmed. 




Not long after the conquest of Mysore the peace of the 
kingdom was for a while disturbed by the movements 
of Dhundia Wagh, a Maratha freebooter, who, with the 
help of a few thousand horsemen recruited from Tipu's 
army, defied or baffled his pursuers, until Colonel Arthur 
Wellesley, in September, 1800, brought him to bay. With 
the utter rout of Dhundia's force and the death of its 
leader ended a rising which, but for Wellesley's unflagging 
pursuit, might have involved the Deccan in grave disorders 
at a very critical time. Lord Wellesley's hands indeed 
were just then full of work. A strong force of Europeans 
and Sepoys under General Baird was shipped off to aid 
the Turks in driving the French out of Egypt. Baird's 
march through the Desert of Suez was a feat of which any 
army might have been proud ; and the mere announce- 
ment of his approach decided the French commander to 
sue for peace. But for the disloyal conduct of the English 
Admiral commanding in Eastern waters, Wellesley would 
have forestalled the conquest of the Mauritius by nine 
years, and most of the losses inflicted on our shipping by 
French privateers would thus have been prevented. 

To counteract French intrigues in Persia, and to keep 


Zaman Shah from troubling India, was another scheme 
on which Wellesley had set his heart. A native Indian 
Wakll, or envoy, had already sounded the Shah of Persia, 
and sown dissensions between the Afghan monarch and his 
brother, which compelled the former to retire across the 
Indus, leaving Lahore, and the surrounding country under 
the rule of his chosen lieutenant, the great Sikh warrior 
Ranjit Singh, In 1800 a splendid embassy, laden with 
choice gifts and friendly overtures, was led to Teheran by 
Captain John Malcolm, the young Sepoy officer who had 
disarmed the French contingent at Hyderabad and shared 
in Colonel Wellesley's advance to Seringapatam. The 
descendant of Nadir Shah readily agreed to befriend the 
English, commercially and politically, to the best of his 
power, to expel every Frenchman from Persia, and to aid 
his new friends in keeping all invaders from the north- 
west out of Hindustan. 

Lord Wellesley's forecasting statesmanship had also 
employed itself in the direction of Oudh. After half a 
century of varying fortunes, the Sikh followers of Guru 
Gofind had come to sway a wide tract of country from the 
Indus eastward to the Slwalik Hills.* A Sikh alliance 
v/ith Sindhia against the English or the Muhammadans 
was once more upon the cards, and the Governor-General 
was resolved to make Oudh contribute its due share to 
the maintenance of English rule against all assailants. 
The murder of his agent, Mr. Cherry, at Benares by the 
followers of the pensioned rebel WazTr Ali, revealed at 
once the political weakness of the reigning Nawab of 
Oudh, and the readiness of his subjects to invite help 
from Kabul. Wazir Ali was soon hunted down, but 
thenceforth Wellesley made up his mind to place the 
military defence of Oudh on a much firmer footing than 

* Cunningham's "History of the Sikhs," chap. 5. 


His demands to this end — demands fully justified by the 
terms on which alone the Navvab held his kingdom as an 
English fief — were parried for a time by evasive offers 
and sounding remonstrances. These in their turn were 
answered by a judicious mixture of threats and warnings, 
until, in November, 1801, Sadat Ali signed the treaty 
which placed under our absolute sway the districts of 
Kora, Allahabad, Rohilkhand, Gorakhpur, and Azamgarh, 
in return for the guaranteed defence of his dominions from 
foreign attack.* 

Amidst the cares and entanglements of foreign politics, 
Wellesley found time for matters nearer home. His own 
energy braced up all around him for the work entrusted 
to their hands. His reforms in the Company's chief civil 
and criminal courts followed the lines first traced by 
Warren Hastings, and freed those courts from their old 
connection with the Calcutta Council, His encourage- 
ment of private trade between England and India in India- 
built ships, however gratifying to the English Ministry and 
advantageous to the English nation, gave sore offence to 
the Court of Directors, whose old dislike to " interlopers " 
no arguments could overcome. His noble scheme for the 
founding of a great college in Calcutta, at which the young 
" writers " destined for the Indian Civil Service might 
complete the training best suited alike to English gentle- 
men and to the future rulers of a great English dependency, 
was marred in its working by the same authorities, who 
restricted the new college to the teaching of the native 
languages, and founded at Haileybury a separate college 
for the instruction of young men going out as writers to 
the East. In his choice of public servants for high or 
difficult posts Lord Wellesley found his own efforts for the 
public good continually thwarted by the jobbery or the 

* The Hon. Henry Wellesley, afterwards Lord Cowley, was employed by 
his brother to conclude the treaty. 


prejudices of East India Directors at home. Annoyed at 
all these tokens of ill-will or blindness on the part of his 
ofificial employers, he wrote home to resign his office in 
1802. But the Court of Directors were loath at the last 
moment to lose the services of a great and successful 
ruler, and Wellesley was entreated to stay out in India 
another year. 

The answer reached him early in 1S03, on the eve of a 
decisive fight for empire between the English and the 
Marathas, After the death of Nana Farnavis in 1800, 
the great Maratha power, which for so many years he had 
striven to weld together in the Pcshwa's name, began at 
once to break up under influences always active in Indian 
history. As with the Greeks of old and the Italians of 
the Middle Ages, so it happened now with the princes of 
Maharashtra. The Sindhia and the Holkar of that day — 
the latter, Jeswant Rao, was a bastard son of the upright 
and able Tukaji — brought great armies against each other, 
which were defeated each in its turn. Ere long the 
Peshwa, Bajl Rao, paid with defeat and temporary exile 
the penalty of espousing the cause of Sindhia. A rival 
Peshwa was set up in his stead. In this strait Baji Rao 
no longer rejected the English alliance on the terms 
already offered by Colonel Close. By the Treaty of Bassein, 
concluded in December, 1802, he agreed to maintain an 
English contingent, to assign for their support the revenues 
of certain districts, and to wage no war nor advance any 
claims on other powers without leave from the Governor- 

In May of the following year Bajl Rao returned to Poona 
under the escort of his new allies. By this well-timed 
stroke of policy, which made the English paramount in 
Southern India, Lord Wellesley strengthened his own 
hands for the coming struggle with his Maratha neigh- 
bours. It was not long before the collision came. Sindhia 



p. 284 


had already formed a league with the Bhosla Raja of 
Berar against the Peshwa. Holkar still held aloof from 
either side, waiting to see how matters would turn out. 
But Sindhia's threatening movements and his insolent 
answer to Colonel Collins, the English Resident at his 
court, convinced Wellesley that no more time should be 
lost in idle negotiations. The Peshwa himself, with his 
usual treachery, was urging Sindhia to move at once upon 
his capital. General Wellesley, as great in politics as in 
war, made one last appeal to the confederate chiefs, but in 
vain. At length, on the 3rd August, 1803, Collins turned 
his face' from Sindhia's camp, and war was formally 

The first blow was struck by General Wellesley against 
Ahmadnagar, which surrendered on the 12th August, the 
same day on which General Lake laid siege to the 
fortress of Aligarh, on the road from Agra to Delhi. On 
the 23rd September General Wellesley, on his march from 
Aurangabad, found 50,000 of the enemy strongly posted 
around the village of Assaye. His own troops were only 
about 4500 in all, but their leader knew his men, and 
would lose no time in waiting for the rest of his army. 
His trained soldiers marched steadily forward across the 
Kaitna under a heavy fire from Sindhia's guns, overbore 
the sturdy resistance of Sindhia's best infantry, and carried 
all before them by dint of hard fighting and cool pluck. 
The Maratha hosts broke and fled in all directions, leaving 
thousands dead or wounded on the field, and ninety-eight 
guns with much booty in the victors' hands. This splendid 
victory if brought at a heavy price in killed and wounded, 
gave the death-blow to Sindhia's hopes in Southern India. 

Meanwhile in Gujarat one strong place after another 
had fallen to our arms. In the following months the pro- 
vince of Cuttack on the borders of Orissa was conquered 
from the Raja of Berar. At the same time the conqueror 


of Assaye was pressing forward without a check into the 
heart of the Raja's kingdom. The capture of Aslrgarh by 
Colonel Stevenson had already deprived Sindhia of his last 
stronghold in Khandesh. By the victory of Argaon on the 
28th November, and the subsequent capture of Gawilgarh, 
General Wellesley drove Raguji Bhosla to sue for peace, 
which he was fain to purchase with the cession of Cuttack, 
and all Berar to the west of the Wardha river. 

Lake's campaign in Upper India had been equally 
successful. The fall of Aligarh on the 29th August, one of 
the most brilliant feats in the annals of war, was followed 
up by Lake's victorious advance on Delhi. Crushing the 
resistance of a Maratha force outside the capital, he 
entered it on the nth, took the blind old emperor out of 
his prison, and once more placed him on his nominal 
throne. On the loth October the Marathas were heavily 
beaten near Agra, and the glorious city of Akbar and 
Shah Jahan surrendered a few days after to its bold 
assailant. On the ist November at the village of Laswari 
occurred the hardest fight of the war. Lake's cavalry 
were hurled in vain against entrenchments bristling thick 
with guns, and defended by the flower of Sindhia's army, 
the trained battalions of De Boigne. At length his 
infantry, who had been marching ever since midnight, 
came upon the field, and after a brief rest swept forward 
on their fateful errand. Sindhia's soldiers fought like 
heroes, and fell in heaps around their guns. But the 
shattered ranks of Englishmen and Sepoys still held their 
way under the leader whom they loved, until the crowning 
victory of the war was theirs, and seventy-one guns had 
been counted among its fruits. Their own loss was 
great ; but the strength of Sindhia was broken, and before 
the year's end he had concluded a treaty which stripped 
him of all his possessions between the Jumna and the 
Ganges, of nearly all his conquest in Rajputana, of the 


districts around Broach and Ahmadnagar, and wiped out 
all his claims on the Peshwa, the Gaikwar of Gujarat, and 
the Nizam. 

Of the provinces thus wrested from Sindhia and the 
Bhosla, Cuttack was incorporated with Bengal ; the Doab 
between the Jumna and the Ganges became the North- 
western Provinces ; and the Broach district was annexed 
to Bombay. The fortress and district of Ahmadnagar 
were handed over to the double-dealing Peshwa ; and the 
new Nizam, who had just mounted the throne of his 
father Nizam Ali, was placed in possession of western 
Berar. Thus, in less than five months, Wellesley had over- 
thrown the fabric of Maratha power, and placed all India 
from the Sutlej to Cape Comorin at the feet of an English 
company which less than fifty years earlier had been 
chased with ignominy out of Bengal. Relieved by the 
fruits of English valour from their forced allegiance to 
Maratha lords, the Jat and Rajput princes of Rajputana 
were glad to accept the milder guardianship of their 
English neighbours. The Sikh chiefs of Sind likewise 
transferred their allegiance from the Marathas to Lord 
Wellesley ; and the Maratha Gaikwar of Gujarat readily 
placed his own dominions under the partial control of that 
power which alone could shield him from foreign attacks. 

It only remained to deal with Holkar, whose ambition 
had been fed by the plunder of Sindhia's territory during 
the late campaign, and by the possession of an army 
largely recruited from the troops of his defeated rival, 
until he began to talk of fighting Lake for the lordship of 
Hindustan. At length his insolence reached so lofty a 
pitch, that Lord Wellesley was driven to fight him in self- 
defence. By the middle of April, 1804, the armies of 
Lake and Wellesley began moving from opposite quarters 
against their new foe. Holkar at once fell back from 
Jaipur across the Chambal, but the approach of the rainy 


season ere long sent Lake into cantonments ; and Colonel 
Murray, who commanded the southern or Gujarat column 
in the absence of General Wellesley, soon followed his 
example. A few thousand of Lake's Sepoys under 
Colonel Monson still kept the field. At length that 
officer's rash advance into the heart of Holkar's country 
became seriously hindered by want of supplies and the 
harassing attacks of Holkar's numerous horse. An ill- 
judged retreat, continued for nearly two months through a 
flooded country, from an enemy less to be dreaded for 
courage and soldiership than mere numbers, brought him 
back to Agra by the end of August with a scanty remnant 
of his brave Sepoys ; their guns, baggage, and supplies all 
captured or left behind them on the road. 

Emboldened by this disaster, Holkar sent his horsemen 
swarming across the Chambal up to Muttra and even to 
Delhi. On the 7th October 20,000 of his best troops with 
100 guns suddenly appeared before that city, into which 
nothing barred their way but a Sepoy garrison far too 
small for the works they would have to defend. But for 
ten days the brave Colonel Ochterlony held his perilous 
post, until Lake himself came up from Agra to his relief. 
Balked of his prey, Holkar turned off to plunder the Doab 
and lay waste its fruitful fields. The English, however, 
kept him moving at his best pace. While Lake with his 
"galloper" guns and light horse was in full chase of 
Holkar's cavalry, General Eraser on the 13th November 
came up with the enemy's main body drawn out under the 
guns of Daig, a fortress belonging to the revolted Raja of 
Bharatpur. The rout of the Marathas and the capture of 
half their guns once more attested the prowess of English 
troops against formidable odds, the Sepoys vying with the 
famous 76th Highlanders in deeds of daring. 

Four days later the dashing Lake burst upon Holkar's 
camp at Farrukhabad on the Ganges. The surprised 


Maralha had barely time to escape with a few followers, 
while the rest of his troops were ridden down and 
scattered with heavy loss. The fall of Daig on the 23rd 
December tempted Lake to enter on the siege of Bharatpur 
itself, where Holkar's infantry and his Jat allies had 
resolved to make their last stand. But even Lake's heroes 
failed to atone for the want of heavy guns and skilled 
engineers. Four desperate assaults, resulting in the fruit- 
less massacre of his best troops, at length convinced him 
that one of the strongest fortresses in all India was not to 
be taken by heroism alone. By this time, however, the 
Raja of Bharatpur had grown weary of fighting for his 
new friends. His prayer for peace was granted on pay- 
ment of a moderate fine, and Lord Lake — for such he had 
now become — returned to his former business, the pursuit 
of Holkar. 

For a time it seemed as if Sindhia also, in revenge for 
the transfer of his late capital, Gvvalior, to another chief, 
was again to be reckoned among our foes. The march, 
however, of an English force into Bundelkhand made him 
pause on the road to ruin ; and Lord Wellesley was about 
to strengthen his wiser learnings by the timely cession of 
Gwalior, when a new Governor-General landed at Fort 
William on the 30th July, 1805; and "the glorious little 
man," who in seven years had by force of arms or treaties 
placed all India within the Sutlej at his feet, went home to 
give account of his stewardship to those who had sent him 
out. A series of attacks in Parliament and a vote of 
censure from the Company whose possessions he had 
doubled, whose power he had raised to the highest pitch, 
were the immediate rewards of a career as statesmanlike 
as that of Hastings, as all-subduing as that of Lord 
Dalhousie. The attacks in Parliament were merited and 
signal failures, but it took the Company thirty years to 
discover their mistake, and to cancel the outrageous 



verdict of 1807 by voting a statue and a grant of ;!C20,000 
to the great man, whose " ardent zeal to promote the well- 
being of India, and to uphold the interests and honour of 
the British empire," ought to have been acknowledged 
many years before. In Calcutta, Government House, an 
impressive building, with fine rooms for the State functions, 
remains as a monument to his love of splendour and 



At the urgent prayer of the India House, Lord Corn- 
vvalh's resumed his former post with the avowed intention 
of turning back upon the footsteps of his bolder 
predecessor. The prevaih'ng " frenzy of conquest " had to 
be subdued, the Company's treasury to be saved from 
utter exhaustion. But the climate of Bengal played havoc 
with the old man's weakened frame ; and he died in 
October, leaving Sir George Barlow, the Senior member of 
his council, to carry on the mistimed and unseemly task of 
unpicking the web so carefully woven by Lord Wellesley. 
Sir George Barlow was a strong minded man and, with 
whatever reluctance, he felt bound to obey the orders of the 
Directors. A policy of self-repression, of retreat from 
fancied dangers and real responsibilities, took the place of 
that bolder, wiser, more merciful system, by which Wellesley 
had striven to raise up in India a power strong enough to 
keep the peace among its turbulent neighbours, and to 
rescue vast tracts of country from the miseries of chronic 

A fresh treaty concluded with Sindhia in November not 
only yielded everything he had asked for, but released him 
in part from the restraints imposed by that of Anjangaon. 
Jeswant Rao Holkar, whom the unflagging Lake had 
chased across the Sutlej, was glad to make peace on any 
terms with his pursuers ; but even the mild conditions 
granted by Lord Lake were yet further tempered by Sir 


George Barlow, who gave Rampur back to Holkar and 
left the hapless Raja of Bundi to his fate. In the same 
spirit our good friend the Raja of Jaipur, in spite of 
pledges received from Lake and Cornwallis, was aban- 
doned to the ruthless inroads of the Maratha chief whose 
final overthrow he had helped to hasten. It was a sore 
trial for the conqueror of Jeswant Rao to bear the upbraid- 
ings and disregard the prayers of the Raja's envoy ; but 
his orders were too clear, and all that he could do to show 
his indignation he did, by resigning his civil powers into 
the hands of the Governor-General. 

The fruits of this retrograde policy were not long in 
showing themselves. No sooner had Lord Lake turned 
his back on the Punjab than Holkar resumed his plun- 
dering habits at the expense alike of friend and foe. His 
bands of freebooters swept the country clean from the 
Beas to the Jumna. Hariana was laid waste. From the 
helpless Raja of Jaipur he extorted large sums of money; 
and the Raja of Bundi had cause to rue the day when 
he held out to Monson's soldiers a helping hand against 
their ravenous pursuers. Rajputana itself was ere long 
torn to pieces by intestine strife, and the ruin caused by 
the quarrels of Rajput princes was completed by the ruth- 
less raids of Sindhia's Marathas and Amir Khan's Pathans, 
whose progress was everywhere marked by blazing villages 
and wasted fields. In the midst of a career of boundless 
rapine and wanton bloodshed Holkar fortunately went 
raving mad from drink, and his death in 1811 relieved 
Central India of one of the worst scourges which his 
country had ever produced. 

Even the Pcshwa began to kick against the barriers set 
to his ambition by the Treaty of Bassein. The demand 
for chauth was heard again from Poona, and Bajl Rao 
claimed his share of the spoils which Sindhia and Holkar 
were carrying off from the plundered princes and peoples 


of Rfijputana. The Nizfim, also, who had succeeded his 
father, Nizam AH, in 1803, was already intriguing with 
the Marfitha princes against the power to which he owed 
his throne. But there was a point in his policy of for- 
bearance beyond which Sir George Barlow would not 
go. Both the Nizfim and the Pcshwa were compelled to 
retrace their steps, and to learn that the bolder spirit of 
Lord Wellesley had not quite departed from the counsels 
of his successor. 

Meanwhile a new and unforeseen danger threatened the 
government of Madras. With more than the usual folly 
of military martinets, Sir John Cradock issued a set of 
orders regarding uniform, which the Sepoys of Madras 
read as a wilful attempt to tamper with the creed and 
customs of their race.* It was about the time when the 
first English missionaries had entered in Bengal on the 
work which St. Francis Xavier had begun, and the Pro- 
testant Swart.t after a long interval, had continued in 
Southern India. The Company's servants looked on the 
new movement with dread, as a likely danger to the 
public peace ; and the labours of Carey, Ward, and Marsh- 
man had to be carried on from the Danish settlement of 
Serampore on the Hugli. Idle or evil tongues thereupon 
spread through Southern India the report of a set design 
on the part of the English against the creeds and customs 
of their native subjects. The spirit of distrust and dis- 
affection thus engendered among the Sepoys was carefully 
formed by the Muhammadans in Vellore where Tipu's 
family were allowed to dwell at no great distance from the 
Mysore frontier. One of the Sepoy regiments in that 

♦ The Sepoys were forbidden to wear earrings on parade, and were 
ordered to shave their chins, and exchange their turbans for a kind of shako. 

t He was one of the most remarkable of the missionaries employed by the 
S.P.C.K. at the end of the eighteenth century, and won the respect and con- 
fidence of Haidar, as well as of Cornwallis, Macartney and Coote, and did a 
remarkable work for more th:\n forty years at Tanjore. 


fortress had been largely recruited from the ranks of Ti'pu's 
own army. 

In the early morning of the lOth July, 1806, the two 
native regiments at Vellore rose in sudden mutiny, attacked 
the European barracks, where some 370 men of the 69th 
Foot were yet sleeping, poured volley after volley into their 
helpless victims, and shot down thirteen officers coming 
out of their rooms. Happily for the survivors, help was 
soon to reach them in their desperate need from the 
garrison of Arcot, eight miles off. At the head of a 
squadron of his 19th Dragoons and a few galloper guns, 
Colonel Gillespie rode at his best pace to the scene of 
massacre, blew open the gate of the fortress, and with the 
help of those inside dealt heavy destruction on the 
mutineers, hundreds of whom were shot, sabred, or taken 
prisoners. Of the 69th, however, ninety-five men and 
officers lay dead, and ninety-one wounded. Lord William 
Bentinck, Governor of Madras, was summarily ordered 
home without a hearing, as an abettor of Sir John Cradock 
in the measures which directly provoked so dire a disaster ; 
and the Mysore princes incurred no other penalty for their 
mischievous intrigues than a compulsory change of abode 
to Calcutta. 

In the following July Lord Minto, a statesman of some 
promise and of twelve months' special experience at the 
Board of Control, took his seat as Governor-General in 
the room of Barlow, transferred to Madras. Enjoined to 
uphold the policy of peaceful isolation, he soon found 
cause to unlearn the lessons dinned into his ears at home. 
The great Sikh leader, Ranjit Singh, was already seeking 
to extend his strong sway over the independent Sikh and 
Mussulman princes of Sind. Twice within as many years 
he had crossed the Sutlej in furtherance of his ambitious 
schemes. But at length the boldness of his movements 
and the prayers of his intended victims for English aid 


decided Lord Minto to enforce the powers ascribed to him 
by the supph'ant chiefs themselves. To this course he 
was all the more strongly impelled by Bonaparte's brilliant 
successes in Europe, and the peace he had just concluded 
with the Russian Emperor. Mr. Charles Metcalfe, one 
of Lord Welleslcy's ablest pupils, was sent to talk over 
matters with the bold but clear-headed ruler of the Punjab ; 
and when Ranjit Singh would have shaken himself free 
from English dictation by another raid across the Sutlej, 
Colonel Ochterlony marched to the protection of the 
Sind chiefs. Thanks to this movement and Metcalfe's 
patient firmness, a treaty was concluded in April, 1809, 
by which Ranjrt Singh withdrew all claims to sovereignty 
over the Sikhs on the south bank of the Sutlej. At the 
same time the outposts of his new allies were advanced 
from the Jumna to the borders of the Punjab. 

Other missions were despatched about this time to the 
Shah of Persia and to Shah Shuja, brother and successor 
to Zaman Shah of Kabul. The latter came to nothing by 
reason of the Afghan monarch's flight from before the arms 
of his victorious brother.* Colonel Malcolm's second 
mission to Teheran for the purpose of thwarting French 
intrigues was forestalled by that of Sir Harford Jones 
sent out direct from England. The Shah, however, greeted 
Malcolm as an old friend, and the rival envoys had become 
rivals only for the common good, when a new ambassador 
was sent out from England to supersede them both. 

Meanwhile Lord Minto had put forth a hand of power to 
save the Raja of Berar from the attacks of the turbulent 
Rohilla chieftain Amir Khan, who, in Holkar's name, had 
led out a host of armed freebooters to spread havoc 
through the fairest provinces of Central India. The 
invader was driven back to Indorc, and his own capital 

* The Hon. MouiUsluart Elphinstone, afterwards Governor of Bombay, 
was at the head of this mission. 


occupied by Colonel Close. But either from misplaced 
lenity or undue deference to the supposed desires of the 
India House, Lord Minto withdrew his troops from the 
conquered country, and the work which he had well-nigh 
completed had to be taken up afresh on a larger scale by 
his successor. 

In the same year, 1809, a vigorous onslaught was made 
on the plague of piracy in Eastern waters. The chiefs of 
Kolhapur and Savantvadi were forced to surrender their 
ports on the Malabar coast, whence pirate vessels had long 
been wont to prey upon the smaller trading craft that 
passed within their reach. In the Persian Gulf, where 
swarmed the Arab pirates who had lately murdered the 
crew of an English merchant ship, a British force from 
Bombay beat up their chief haunts, burnt their vessels, 
and stormed the great pirate stronghold of Ras-al-khaima. 

A like success rewarded Lord Minto's efforts to protect 
English trade from the French privateers in Eastern 
waters. The island of Bourbon was captured with little 
loss in 1 8 10, and before the year's end the Mauritius also, 
after a brief struggle, submitted to our arms. The turn 
of Java came next. Its Dutch possessors, aided by their 
French allies, made a gallant defence ; but Gillespie's 
timely daring and the strength of the army led by Sir 
Samuel Achmuty soon overcame their resistance, and 
Java for a few years passed under the Company's rule.* 

Meanwhile Sir George Barlow's government had been 
harassed by an outbreak in Travancore and a serious mutiny 
among its own officers. The former was suppressed in the 
beginning of 1809, and the country placed under English 
management. The mutiny, which had been provoked by 
the Madras governor's headlong zeal in a good cause, and 
fanned by his ill-timed severity, blazed up to such a 
height that the officers at Seringapatam turned their guns 
* Sir Stamford Raffles was appointed Governor, 


on the troops sent against them. At last, however, the 
mutineers returned to their senses. A few of the ring- 
leaders were cashiered or dismissed, and the remainder 
were glad to sign a pledge binding them to obey and 
support the government of Madras. Sir George Barlow 
was recalled. 

Not long after the conquest of Java, Lord Minto found 
himself confronted by a new foe. For some time past 
the Pindaris, a vast brotherhood of mounted freebooters, 
who were ready to fight under any standard for the chance 
of unbounded plunder, had been playing a more and more 
prominent part in the wars of native princes. As free 
lances, they had fought for the Pcshwa at Panipat, had 
shared in the frequent struggles of the Sindhias and Holkars 
in Hindustan and Southern India, and made war on their 
own account with every native prince whose weakness at 
any moment seemed to invite attack. Daulat Rao Sindhia 
himself was fain to purchase immunity from their plun- 
dering raids by the cession of several districts to one of 
their most daring leaders, Chltu, a Jat by birth and a 
robber from his earliest childhood. Another chief, the 
Rohilla Kharim Khan, had become a terrible thorn in 
Sindhia's side before that potentate could succeed in 
crippling him. Amir Khan himself was in league with the 
Pindaris, by whose help he had risen to power. From the 
hills and glens of Central India thousands of armed ruf- 
fians sallied forth year after year in quest of plunder, 
sparing no cruelty to gain their ends, and widening the 
circle of their ravages with each new raid, until in 181 1 
the smoke of their camp-fires could be seen from Gaya 
and Mirzapur. 

Had Lord Minto deemed himself free to act as he chose, 
this last outrage would have been speedily avenged. But 
his hands were tied by the Court of Directors, and while 
he was waiting for leave to punish the Pindaris according 


to their deserts, the order for his recall — a measure forced 
upon the India House by the Prince Regent — was already 
on its way to Calcutta. In October, 1813, he set sail for 
England, to enjoy the earldom which he had fairly earned ; 
and the Earl of Moira went out as Governor-General in 
his stead. 

In the course of the same year the question of renewing 
the Company's charter, under fresh conditions, for another 
twenty years provoked some warm debates in Parliament. 
In vain did the Company and their friends plead for the 
maintenance of all the privileges secured to the former in 
1793. Against them were arrayed the whole strength of 
Lord Castlereagh's ministry and the growing influence of 
the trading classes throughout the country. The trade 
with India was thrown open to all Englishmen alike ; but 
the Company were allowed for twenty years longer to keep 
in their own hands the sole right of trade with China. 
At last the Church was allowed to have a Bishop, for the 
control of its work in India, and Dr. Middleton was con- 
secrated to the see of Calcutta in 18 14. In respect, 
however, of their political power, the Company escaped 
the doom which some of the leading statesmen in England 
would have enforced against them even then. 



The peace which Lord Minto had left behind him was not 
to remain long unbroken. Among the legacies bequeathed 
to his successor was a deepening quarrel with the Gurkha 
rulers of Nepal, a long tract of Himalayan upland over- 
looking the fertile plains and forests of Oudh. In the 
course of four centuries the Rajput settlers in Nepal had 
brought under their sway the old Mongol dwellers in the 
hills, and out of their several conquests arose one Gurkha 
kingdom, whose power in the nineteenth century was felt 
from the highlands of Bhutan to the banks of the Upper 
Sutlej. For some years past the Gurkhas had carried 
their inroads across the Oudh frontier, even at last into 
the districts which the Nawab had ceded to Lord Wel- 
lesley. Lord Minto's demands for restitution of the con- 
quered villages had been treated with contempt, and when 
Lord Moira reached Calcutta, the quarrel was already 
swollen to a dangerous head. 

He renewed the former demand in terms whose meaning 
could not be mistaken. A murderous attack on the police 
at Botwal, in Gorakhpur, was the only yet decisive answer 
from Katmandu. In the autumn of 1S14 a strong 
British force, in four columns, marched on as many points 
of the Nepalese frontier. The campaign, which had been 
skilfully planned, was to be cruelly blundered in the pro- 
secution, Gillespie's headlong valour before the hill-fort 
of Kalanga cost him his life, and involved his troops in 


heavy losses. Not till after a second assault, attended 
with issues yet more fatal, did the remnant of the Gurkha 
garrison make their escape from a post no longer tenable. 
Gillespie's successor wasted months in blockading another 
fort, which a little more energy would have placed much 
earlier in his hands. General Wood and General Marley 
vied with each other in losing great opportunities and 
throwing discredit upon the British name. But for 
Ochterlony's successful advance from Ambrda into the 
troubled sea of green hills about Simla, and his brilliant 
capture of Malaun, on the Upper Sutlej, from the ablest 
of the Gurkha leaders, Amar Singh, this first campaign 
against a foe weak in numbers, but strong in native courage 
and natural resources, would have ended in utter failure, 
if not in something worse. 

The capture of Malaun, however, following on Colonel 
Gardiner's successes in Almora, changed the face of 
affairs, not only in Nepal, but all over India. The native 
princes, who were all but ready for one more struggle 
against the English power, drew back at the last moment 
from a course so dangerous to themselves ; and the 
Gurkha Raja of Nepal was about to make peace with 
Lord Moira, when the fiery Amar Singh persuaded him to 
renew the war. It was not long, however, before he had 
reason to repent his rashness. Early in 1816, Sir David 
Ochterlony, who had just gained his knighthood, marched 
at the head of a powerful army on Katmandu. After a 
brief but vain resistance, the Gurkha Government saved 
their capital by signing a treaty which stripped them of 
nearly all their lowland possessions, turned Kumaun into 
an English province, and placed an English Resident, for 
the first time, at the Nepfdese court. For his successful 
conduct of the war Lord Moira was created Marquess of 

To thv/art Maratha intrigues and punish Pindilri 


aggressions was the Governor-General's next aim. In spite 
of hindrances offered by his own Council and the Court of 
Directors, he set himself to revive and extend Lord 
Wcllesley's policy of securing peace and order throughout 
India by means of treaties, which placed one native prince 
after another in a kind of vassalage to the paramount 
power that ruled from Fort William. The Pathan ruler 
of Bhopal, in Malwa, claimed and received the formal 
protection of a power to which his successors have proved 
their loyalty under every trial. In 1816, Appa Sahib, the 
Regent of Berar, agreed to maintain a British contingent 
at his own cost. By means of a little timely compulsion, 
the able and accomplished Elphinstone baffled for a while 
the plots which the Fcshwa, Baji Rao, and his villainous 
accomplice, Trimbakji Danglia, had woven against their 
English allies. The treaty of June, 18 17, left Lord 
Hastings master of Sagar and Bundelkhand, while it 
bound the Pcshwa to renounce his friend Trimbakji, his 
own claims to the headship of the Maratha League, to 
make no treaties with any other native prince, and to 
accept in all things the counsel and control of the Com- 
pany's Government. Hard as these terms may seem, 
there was no choice, averred Lord Hastings, between thus 
crippling a secret foe and depriving him of the crown he 
had fairly forfeited. 

Meanwhile Lord Hastings' fearless energy had already 
saved the Rajputs of Jaipur from further suffering at the 
hands of their Pathan oppressor, Amir Khan, and forced 
from Sindhia himself a reluctant promise to aid in sup- 
pressing the Pindari hordes, whose fearful ravages had at 
length been felt by the peaceful villagers in the Northern 
Circars. In the autumn of 181 7 Hastings took the 
field at the head of an army which, counting native con- 
tingents, mustered nearly 120,000 strong, with some 
300 guns. From east, west, north, and south, a dozen 


columns set forth to hunt down the merciless ruffians who 
had so long been allowed to harry the fairest provinces of 
India. In spite of the havoc wrought among our troops 
by the great cholera outbreak of that year, and of a sudden 
rising among the Maratha princes for one last struggle 
with their former conquerors, our arms were everywhere 
successful against Marathas and Pindaris alike. The 
latter, hunted into the hills and jungles of central India, 
found no safety anywhere except in small bodies and con- 
stant flight. Chitu, one of their boldest leaders, was 
chased from Rajputana into Gujarat, from Gujarat into 
Malwa, where for several months he roamed through the 
dense jungles with hardly a companion, until one day his 
body was found half-eaten by tigers in the heart of the 
Satpura Hills. The other leaders were all slain or cap- 
tured, their followers dispersed, and the famous robber- 
league passed into a tale of yore. 

Not less swift and sure was the punishment dealt upon 
the Maratha leaders who joined the Peshwa in his sudden 
uprising against the British power. His late submission 
had been nothing but a mask for renewed plottings. 
Elphinstone, however, saw through the mask which had 
taken in the confiding Malcolm. Before the end of 
October an English regiment, summoned in hot haste 
from Bombay, pitched its camp at Kirkee, about two 
miles from Poona, beside the small Sepoy brigade already 
quartered there. In the first days of November Baji Rao 
began to assume a bolder tone as his plans grew ripe 
for instant execution. On the 5th, a body of Marathas 
attacked and destroyed the Residency, which Elphinstone 
had quitted in the nick of time. A great Maratha army 
then marched forth to overwhelm the little garrison at 
Kirkee, before fresh troops could come up to its aid from 
Sirur. Elphinstone, however, who knew his foe, had no 
idea of awaiting the attack. Colonel Burr at once led out 


his men, not 3000 all told. A brilliant charge of Maratha 
horse was heavily repulsed by a Sepoy regiment, and the 
English steadily advancing drove the enemy from the 

A few days later General Smith, at the head of a larger 
force, advanced on Poona, occupied the city, and pursued 
the frightened Peshwa from place to place. The heroic 
defence of Koregaom, a small village on the Bhima, by 
Captain Staunton and 800 Sepoys, with only two light 
guns, against 25,000 Marathas during a whole day, proved 
once more how nobly native troops could fight under 
English leading.* 

Happily for Staunton's weary and diminished band, 
Smith came up the next morning, and the desponding 
Peshwa continued his retreat. Turn where he would, 
there was no rest for his jaded soldiers. Munro with a 
weak force, partly of his own raising, headed him on his 
way to the Carnatic, took several of his strong places, and 
drove him northwards within reach of General Smith. 

On the 19th February, 181 8, that officer overtook and 
routed the flying foe at the village of Ashti. Bapu Gokla, 
the Peshwa's staunchest and ablest follower, perished on 
the field, while covering the retreat of his cowardly master. 
For some weeks longer Baji Rao fled hither and thither 
before his resolute pursuers. But at length all hope for- 
sook him as the circle of escape grew daily narrower ; and 
in the middle of May the great grandson of Balaji Vish- 
vanath yielded himself to Sir John Malcolm at Indore, on 
terms far more liberal than he had any reason to expect. 
Even for the faithful few who still shared his fortunes due 
provision was made at his request. He himself spent 
the rest of his days a princely pensioner at Bithur, near 
Cawnpore ; but the sceptre which he and his sires had 

* Only three English officers remained unhurt out of eleven. Of the men 
175 were killed and wounded. 


wielded for a hundred years passed into English hands, 
while the Raja of Salara, the long-neglected heir of the 
house of Sivaji, was restored to the nominal headship of 
the Maratha power. 

Meanwhile Appa Sahib, the usurping Raja of Berar, 
had no sooner heard of the outbreak at Poona, than he, 
too, like the Pcshvva, threw off his mask. On the evening 
of the 24th November, 1817, his troops, to the number of 
18,000, suddenly attacked the weak English and Sepoy 
force of 1,400 men with four guns, posted on the Sitabaldi 
Hills, outside Nagpur. A terrible fight for eighteen hours 
ended in the repulse of the assailants, with a loss to the 
victors of more than 300 men and twelve officers. A few 
weeks later Nagpur itself was occupied after another fight. 
Even then the Raja might have kept his throne, for his 
conquerors were merciful and hoped the best. But they 
hoped in vain. It was not long before Appa Sahib, caught 
out in fresh intrigues, was sent off a prisoner towards 
Allahabad. Escaping from his captors, he wandered 
about the country for several years, and died at Lahore 
a pensioner on the bounty of Ranjit Singh. 

The house of Holkar had also paid the penalty of its 
rash resistance to our arms. After the murder of the 
great Tulsi Bhai, Regent of Indore, a wise stateswoman 
famous among Indian rulers, by the chiefs of her own 
army, in 18 17, they spurned all Malcolm's offers of peace, 
and from a strong position at Mehidpur, on the banks of 
the Sipra, awaited the attack of a Madras column led by 
Sir Thomas Hislop. Under a withering fire from the 
Maratha guns Hislop's Sepoys crossed the river in the 
face of 20,000 foes, and carried all before them with 
the bayonet, after a hard struggle which cost the victors 
778 men. Sixty-three guns with all the camp stores fell 
into their hands. On the 6th January, 1818, the young 
Holkar was glad to sign a treaty which placed him and 


his heirs under Engh'sh protection at the cost of his inde- 
pendence and of some part of his realm. Luckily for 
himself, Sindhia had remained quiet, if not quite loyal, 
throughout this last struggle between the English and his 
Maratha kinsfolk. 

Thus in one short and decisive campaign, the great 
Maratha power, which had survived the slaughter of 
Panipat, fell shattered to pieces by the same blow which 
crushed the Pindaris, and raised an English merchant- 
company to the paramount lordship of all India. The 
last of the PCshwas had ceased to reign, the Raja of Berar 
was a discrowned fugitive, the Raja of Satara a king only 
in name, while Sindhia, Ilolkar, and the Nizam were 
dependent princes who reigned only by sufferance of an 
English Governor-General at Calcutta. The Mughal 
Empire lingered only in the palace of Delhi ; its former 
viceroy, the Nawab of Oudh, was our obedient vassal ; the 
haughty princes of Rajputana bowed their necks, more 
or less cheerfully, to the yoke of masters merciful as 
Akbar and mightier than Aurangzeb. Ranjit Singh him- 
self cultivated the goodwill of those powerful neighbours 
who had sheltered the Sikhs of Sind from his ambitious 
inroads. Witli the final overthrow of the Marathas a new 
reign of peace, order, and general progress began for 
peoples who, during a hundred and fifty years, had lived 
in a ceaseless whirl of anarchy and armed strife. 

With the capture of Aslrgarh in April, 18 19, the fighting 
in Southern India came to an end. The country con- 
quered from the Pcshwa was placed under the fostering 
care of Mountsluart Elphinstone, who afterwards, as 
Governor of Bombay, completed the healing work which 
he and his able subalterns had begun from Poona. Sir 
Thomas Munro, one of the ablest soldier-statesmen of his 
time in India, became ere long Governor of Madras, and 
reformed the land-revenue system of that Presidency in 



accordance with the lessons he had learned in the Ceded 
Districts.* About the same time Mr. Holt Mackenzie 
entered on the task of reassessing the land in the North- 
western Provinces, on the basis of a settlement neither 
with the Rayat as in Madras, nor with the Zamindar as 
in Bengal, but with the head-man of every village com- 
munity. In Orissa, on the other hand, a popular out- 
break, caused by excessive demands for land-revenue, had 
to be put down by force, and the assessments to be 
curtailed by nearly one-half. 

Free at length from warlike cares, Lord Hastings 
threw himself with unflagging zeal into the task of 
governing his broad dominions. His great capacity for 
hard work was enhanced by a thorough mastery of details 
and the liberal spirit of his measures for the good of his 
native subjects. He helped to found schools for the 
teaching of native children and youths. A native news- 
paper — the first of its kind — started by the Serampore 
Mission, received his steady support. The English press 
in India became for a time practically free. He restored 
the canal which had once supplied Delhi with water 
from the Upper Jumna. Calcutta itself was sweetened 
with broad streets and shady squares, and adorned with a 
noble strand. In 1819, with the help of Sir Stamford 
Raffles, he made up for the loss of Java, given back to the 
Dutch, by purchasing from its native ruler the neighbouring 
island of Singapore. His own example did much to 
raise the tone of the Indian services, and to strengthen 
their hold on the goodwill of the people at large. 

The only cloud upon these later years was caused by 
the embarrassed state of the Nizam's affairs. The great 
banking firm of Palmer & Co. had become a power at 

* The Rayatwari system, of which Munro was the chief advocate, was, 
broadly speaking, a yearly settlement of the land-revenue with each rayat or 


Hyderabad — a power which Sir Charles Metcalfe at length 
pronounced so dangerous, that Lord Hastings was com- 
pelled to step in between the impoverished Nizam and his 
more and more grasping creditors. The claims of the 
former to a yearly tribute for the Northern Circars were 
wiped out for ever by the payment of a large sum down, 
most of which went to extinguish the loans due to the 
English bankers. A year afterwards the house of Palmer 
& Co. stopped payment, while the Nizum appears to have 
reaped no lasting good from a compromise which placed 
him more than ever at the mercy of his turbulent barons, 
and of native usurers far less scrupulous than those from 
whom he had been rescued. 

Lord Hastings' services to the Company were crowned 
by his marked success in matters of finance. In spite of 
costly wars and other sources of increased outlay, the 
Indian revenues before his retirement were yielding a 
yearly surplus of two millions, and the Company's credit 
stood at a premium of fourteen per cent. All this, how- 
ever, added to his former deserts, failed to avert from 
Lord Hastings the attacks which awaited him on his 
return to England in 1823. The coolness of the India 
Board became open hostility in the Court of Proprietors, 
whose vote of virtual censure for his conduct in the affairs 
of Palmer & Co. was only softened by his acquittal of any 
corrupt intent. It was not till after his death in 1827 
that the India House made some amends for its p.ast 
unfairness by voting the payment of ;^20,ooo to his son. 




For the next few months after the departure of Lord 
Hastings, the government of British India rested in the 
hands of Mr. Adam, senior member of the Calcutta 
Council, His rule was chiefly memorable for the harsh 
treatment of Mr. Silk Buckingham, the able and in- 
dependent founder of the Calcutta Journal, whose 
comments on official acts and persons provoked Lord 
Hastings' narrow-minded successor to decree his banish- 
ment and virtual ruin. The press of India, as if unfit to 
exercise its newborn freedom, was once more placed under 
close supervision by a ruler bred in the despotic traditions 
of other days. Meanwhile the suicide of Lord London- 
derry — the Lord Castlereagh of earlier times — had deter- 
mined George Canning, the most eminent statesman of 
the day, who had accepted the office of Governor-General, 
to resume his place in the English Ministry, instead of 
giving India the benefit of his commanding talents. At 
length Lord Amherst, the late ambassador to China, was 
appointed to the vacant post, and reached Calcutta on the 
1st August, 1823. 

His arrival proved to be the forerunner of a new war. 
The conquest of Assam by the Burmese in 1822 had 
inflamed the ambition of a power which, from small 
beginnings, had in the last seventy years established its 
sway over the neighbouring provinces of Arakan, Pegu 


and Tenasserim, The successors of Alompra had even 
begun to dispute our right to various provinces of Bengal ; 
and an insolent letter to Lord Hastings in 18 18 — so 
insolent that he treated it as a mere forgery — was ere long 
followed by an inroad into Cachar. At length, in 1823, 
English forbearance gave way before a Burman attack 
upon Shahpuri, a British Island off the Arakan coast. It 
was soon recovered by a British force ; but the warnings 
addressed to the Court of Ava were answered only by the 
despatch of Maha Bandula, the great Burman general, 
with an army intended for the conquest of Bengal and the 
capture of the Governor-General himself. 

In February, 1824, Lord Amherst declared war in his 
turn against the insolent barbarians who had mistaken 
forbearance for fear. Bandula's progress in Bengal was 
soon checked. Before the middle of May a strong force 
from Madras, under Sir Archibald Campbell, captured 
with unexpected ease the important town of Rangoon, 
near the mouth of the Irrawaddy. After the long inaction 
caused by the heavy rains of a tropical summer — inaction 
relieved only by the capture of several places on the 
Tenasserim coast, and of a few stockades near Rangoon — 
Campbell's army marched out to attack Bandula, who 
barred the way inland with 60,000 of his rabble warriors, 
mostly entrenched behind strong stockades. By the middle 
of December the last of these had been carried, and the 
boastful Burman retired with all haste to his stockaded 
fortress of Danubyu, forty miles up the Irrawaddy. The 
repulse of a weak brigade from this place in March of the 
following year was retrieved by its capture in April, under 
the eyes of Campbell himself, who brought back his troops 
and heavy guns betimes to Cotton's aid.* Before the end 
of April, Prome itself, the capital of Lower Burma, was 

* The death of Bandula during the attack contributed greatly to Campbell's 


occupied by an English garrison, and the Burmese began 
to treat for peace. 

By this time Colonel Richards had driven the Burmese 
out of Assam, and gained firm possession of its capital, 
Rangpur. On the other hand an attempt to reach Manipur 
from Cachar had been utterly baffled by the hardships 
of a march in the rainy season through an unbroken 
succession of steep hills and hollows, covered with path- 
less forests and beset with deep quagmires. Yet more 
disastrous was General Morrison's march from Chittagong 
into Arakan in 1825. Precious time was lost upon the 
road ; the May rains involved a halt at the town of Arakan ; 
and the subsequent sickness among our troops slew one- 
fourth of the whole number, and disabled nearly all the 
rest. The country was conquered, but of the 10,000 men 
who invaded it, very few were fit for duty when the order 
came for their return home. 

Once more, towards the end of 1825, Sir A. Campbell 
moved out against the Burmese, for their haughty monarch 
would not yet stoop to make peace on the only terms 
which Campbell w^as empowered to offer. After carrying 
a few more stockades and routing a fresh Burman army 
near Prome, the English general marched on to Yandabo, 
v/ithin sixty miles of Ava itself. At length the king, 
thoroughly frightened, agreed to purchase peace by the 
cession of Assam, Arakan, and Tenasserim, and the pay- 
ment of a million sterling towards the expenses of a war 
which had cost the victors nearly thirteen millions. Even 
at that price, however, the conquered provinces have 
proved well worth the conquering. The rice of Arakan 
and the tea of Assam are important staples of Indian 
commerce ; and the goods that pass through Moulmein, 
the chief port of Tenasserim, already amount in value to 
nearly a million a year. 

One sad incident sprang out of this prolonged and 


mismanaged war. The Madras Sepoys went cheerfully 
across the sea to fight the new enemy, but their high- 
caste brethren of Bengal, with their religious dread of 
the " black water," could only be forwarded to the field by 
land. Several regiments had already started in 1824, and 
others were waiting the order to start. But the arrange- 
ments for their march involved them in expenses to which 
they had never been accustomed. The news from the 
eastern frontier of Bengal, magnified by distance and 
transmission from mouth to mouth, struck terror into the 
hearts of the Sepoys waiting for their turn at Barrackpore. 
Their reasonable complaints unheeded by the Government, 
they began to nurse all kinds of unreasonable fancies. 
They believed that Government, in default of baggage- 
cattle, was about to carry them to Rangoon by S£a. 
Discontent soon ripened into open mutiny, in which the 
47th Regiment took the lead. Its officers, new to their 
men, for the whole native army had just been remodelled, 
failed to check the mutinous spirit which now found vent 
in open refusals to attend parade. On the morning of the 
2nd November, the 47th Regiment were confronted by the 
troops which Sir Edward Paget, the Commander-in-Chief, 
had brought up overnight to Barrackpore. The Sepoys, 
like passionate children, refused either to march or to 
ground their arms. The two English regiments wheeled 
aside to let the guns come forward, ready loaded with 
grape. At the first discharge, the frightened Sepoys cast 
away their unloaded muskets, and fled like scared sheep, 
followed by the troopers of the body-guard. A good 
many were shot down, sabred, or drowned in the Hugli ; 
the ringleaders were afterwards sentenced to death or 
hard labour ; and the regiment itself was struck off the 
list of the Bengal army. There was no more mutiny 
for many years to come ; but the verdict of a court of 
inquiry betokened the general sympathy with men whose 


unsoldierly outbreak had been largely owing to their 
master's own fault.* 

While the Burmese war was yet on foot, the growing 
insolence of the new Raja of Bharatpur had led to a 
second siege of that renowned fortress, with happier issues 
than those of 1805. In December, 1825, 20,000 men, 
with a hundred guns, marched out under Lord Combermere 
— the Sir Stapylton Cotton of the Peninsular war — and 
the fortress which Durjan Sal had deemed impregnable, 
and on which our heaviest guns could make no impres- 
sion, was carried by storm after a wide gap in its defences 
had been opened by the bursting of a great mine, on the 
1 8th January. Durjan Sal atoned for his rashness with 
the forfeiture of his realm, which was handed over to the 
nephew he had supplanted : and the dismantling of Bharat- 
pur itself once more proclaimed to the native princes the 
irresistible, if sometimes dormant, strength of their new 

In 1827 the East India Company lost one of their ablest 
servants, and Madras her most popular governor, by the 
death of Sir Thomas Munro. In the same year Elphin- 
stone was succeeded in Bombay by the soldier-statesman, 
Sir John Malcolm. It was in 1826 that Reginald Heber, 
the scholarly, pious, gentle, and justly-beloved Bishop of 
Calcutta, passed away to his rest, after three years of 
unwearied labour throughout a diocese then comprising 
the whole of British India. His letters and journal, after- 
wards published, throw much light upon the social life of 
India, among natives and Europeans, during this period. 
In this year also died Daulat Rao Sindhia, leaving his 
dominions to be ruled by his widow, in the name of her 
adopted son, Jankaji Sindhia. About the same time the 
government of Nagpur was handed over to its young Raja, 

* " The mutiny," said the Court, " was an ebullition of despair at being 
compelled to march without the means of doing so." 


whose subjects soon found cause to regret the change of 
rulers. The death of the gallant Ochterlony in 1826 had 
led to the removal of Sir Charles Metcalfe from Ilydcrubud 
to Delhi, and the good effect of his wise counsels soon 
passed away from the feeble government of the Nizam. 
After a farewell progress through the upper provinces, 
Lord Amherst himself retired from ofTice and from India in 
February, 182S. 

Lord Amherst was succeeded by that Lord William 
Bentinck whose career as Governor of Madras had closed 
so abruptly after the mutiny of Vellore. Coming out again 
to India full of humane intentions, and charged with strict 
orders to keep down the public expenses, he had the good 
fortune to achieve his twofold mission during a period of 
general peace. Before the end of 1829 he had issued the 
decree which made Sdti, or widow-burning, thenceforth 
punishable as murder throughout British India. In the 
following year he began a merciless war against the Thags, 
a brotherhood of secret murderers who, in the name of 
their goddess Kali, were wont to strangle in lonely places 
the unwary travellers whom they had agreed to rob. The 
task of hunting down these ruffians was entrusted to the 
active Major Sleeman, who, aided by a staff of picked 
subordinates, and the clues supplied by one of their own 
number, tracked them into their secret haunts, caught 
several thousands of them in a few years, and succeeded 
in utterly suppressing their dreadful trade. 

William Henry Sleeman (i 788-1 856) was one of the 
most valuable servants ever employed by the East India 
Company. Between 1825 and 1835 he did most im- 
portant work in the Central Province, and from 1839 he 
was commissioner for the suppression of Thagi and 
dacoity, and it was due to him that the terrible organi- 
zation for murder ceased to exist. His "Rambles and 
Recollections of an Indian Official" (1844) is a delightful 


book which has frequently been reprinted. He was made 
a K.C.B. just before his death. 

In unwilling obedience to orders from England, Lord 
William Bentinck carried out the ungracious task of cut- 
ting down the pay of his native troops in Bengal. Officers 
and men were alike indignant at a measure which seemed 
to them a wanton breach of faith, a measure which applied 
only to the stations nearest Calcutta. But the Court of 
Directors paid no heed to their just complaints, and Lord 
William Bentinck saw no way of shirking the enforcement 
of a cheese-paring thrift which saved his masters about 
twenty thousand a-year, and rendered himself for a time 
the worst abused Englishman in all India. In curtailing 
the allowances of civil servants, his lordship acted with 
much less reluctance, and his masters with better excuse. 
Another of his reforms laid him open to just censure : 
the abolition of flogging in the native army, while the 
punishment was still retained for our white troops, did 
honour to his humanity at the expense of his political 

His humanity was employed to better purpose in open- 
ing to the natives those higher ranks of the civil service 
from which Lord Cornwallis had shut them out. Native 
judges sat once more in civil courts ; native Christians 
were encouraged to take office ; and the old Hindu laws 
of inheritance were shorn of the provisions which virtually 
forbade the descent of Hindu property to heirs of another 
creed. Some useful reforms were made in the adminis- 
tration of justice, and the native languages of India sup- 
planted Persian in the courts of law. A medical college 
for the natives was founded in Calcutta, and the study of 
Western lore and science was encouraged by the introduc- 
tion of English teaching into the State-aided schools — a 
measure largely due to the zeal of such men as Mr. 
Macaulay and Sir Charles Trevelyan. 


In 1833 Lord William Bentinck gave the word for a 
revised settlement of the North-Western Provinces on the 
lines laid out in 1822. Under the able lead of Mr. Robert 
Mertins Bird, the work of surveying and reassessing the 
land of a province larger than England and Wales, and 
more populous than Great Britain, was carried through in 
eight years, with all the care and thoroughness demanded 
for the survey of a private estate. The trade of the 
country received a new impulse from Lord William Ben- 
tinck's efforts in its behalf. In 1830, English steamers, 
built at Calcutta, made their way for the first time up the 
Ganges to Benares and Allahabad. The same year also 
witnessed the successful voyage of a Government steamer, 
the Hugh Lindsay from Bombay to Suez, at the top of 
the Red Sea. Had Lord William Bentinck's efforts to 
shorten the journey from England to India been properly 
seconded by the Court of Directors, twelve years would 
not have been lost in following up the issues of an ex- 
periment which marked out the Isthmus of Suez as the 
best available road for the Indian mails. 

In his dealings with native princes, Lord William 
Bentinck combined the utmost forbearance with a certain 
share of firmness on fit occasions. The Raja of Jodhpur 
was replaced on the throne from which his rebellious 
barons had ousted him. The mother of the young Sindhia 
was bidden to hand over the reins of government to her 
son. In the affairs of Jaipur and Bhopal, the Governor- 
General declined to interfere for the maintenance of order 
and the protection of their rightful lords. But the reck- 
less and incapable Nawiib of Oudh was sharply rebuked 
for his shortcomings, and plainly warned against persis- 
tence in misrule. An armed force under General Eraser 
was sent to punish the refractory Raja of Coorg, and his 
little state was brought under English rule. Cachar was 
annexed on the death of its childish ruler. A serious 

3i6 ins TORY OF INDIA 

outbreak in Mysore, provoked by the misrule of its 
incapable Raja, had to be put down by a strong force 
from Madras ; and the power which he had abused, in 
spite of repeated warnings, passed into English hands, 
in accordance with the terms laid down by Lord 

A rising of Muhammadan fanatics at Barasat, not far 
from Calcutta, disturbed the peace of the empire in 1 83 1. 
Inflamed by the preaching of one Titu Mir, a disciple of 
Saiyid Ahmad, founder of the new Wahabi sect in the 
Punjab,* they proclaimed a holy war against the infidels 
in Bengal, and launched into all manner of outrages on 
their Hindu neighbours. Their suppression was followed 
in the next year by a rising among the Kols, an aboriginal 
race in the hills of Western Bengal. These rude foresters 
fell upon the Hindu settlers and underlings whose en- 
croachments and hard dealings had aroused their wrath ; 
and many fields were wasted, villages burnt, and people 
slain, before the revolt was put down, and their country 
placed under a special commissioner. A few years earlier, 
the brave young soldier, Outram, had reclaimed the Bhil 
tribes in the forests of Khandcsh from a state of lawless 
savagery into one of peaceful industry and loyal sub- 
mission to our rule. 

About the same time Captain Hall was engaged in 
taming the Mairs who inhabited the hills of Merwara, on 
the borders of Ajmer. Another wild race, the Khands of 
Goomsur in the Northern Circars, was being gradually 
weaned by the labours of Captains Campbell and Mac- 
pherson from the time-honoured practice of manuring 
their fields with the flesh of human beings offered up 

* In 1827 Saiyid Ahmad attacked Peshawar, which Ranjit Singh had 
lately won from the Afghans. The attack was renewed in 1830 with more 
success, but he was soon driven out again, and was slain in Kashmir in 1831 
by the Sikh troops. 


as a sacrifice to the Earth-goddess. Noble efforts were 
also made by several of our countrymen, with the warm 
encouragement of Lord William Bentinck, to check the 
prevalence of female infanticide among the Rajput tribes 
in various parts of India. But a practice born of caste- 
pride, and of hard social customs which forbade the 
marriage of a Rajput girl with one of lower rank, which 
made her marriage with an equal ruinously expensive, and 
which exposed her to the deep disgrace of remaining 
unmarried, was not to be uprooted all at once ; and the 
good work begun by Mr. Duncan in the first years of this 
century was very far from completion when Lord William 
Bentinck left India. 

Meanwhile, however, the results of two wars between 
Russia and Persia had made Russian influence supreme 
at Teheran,* and reawakened among English statesmen 
those fears of coming danger to India which Lord Wel- 
lesley's and Lord Minto's efforts had lulled to sleep. It 
was resolved to send a mission to Ranjit Singh by way of 
the Indus, with the twofold object of strengthening our 
relations with an old and useful ally, and of bringing the 
Amirs of Sind within the pale of Anglo-Indian diplomacy. 
The Talpur chiefs from Baluchistan, who had wrested 
Sind from the Afghans in 1786, did all they dared to 
thwart the policy of their English neighbours ; but Lieu- 
tenant Burnes succeeded in passing up the Indus and 
delivering his presents to the ruler of the Punjab.f Ranjit 
Singh received him with open arms, and the good results 
of their friendly intercourse were followed up by a formal 
interview between the ambitious Sikh and the Governor- 
General at Rupar, on the upper Sutlcj, in the same 

* The treaty of Turkonianchai in 1828 had given Russia a large slice of 
Persian territory in addition to the conquests of 1S12. 

t He was accompanied by Captain Wood of the Indian navy, who after- 
wards explored the sources of the Oxus. 


year. Sixteen thousand of his best soldiers, drilled by 
French and Italian officers, attended the former to the 
place of meeting, while a choice brigade of English 
troops discharged the like duty for Lord William 

With his usual good sense, the great Sikh ruler fell in 
with the views of his English ally, and Shikarpur, for 
which he had been hankering, was saved to the Amirs of 
Sind. The treaties concluded with him and the Amirs 
opened up the Indus and the Sutlej for the first time to 
English trade, and the Maharaja of Lahore found fresh 
employment for his restless soldiery in resisting the 
attempts of the Afghan, Dost Muhammad, to regain 
possession of Peshawar. 

At length in March, 1835, Lord William Bentinck 
sailed for England, leaving behind him the memory of a 
wise, humane, and successful governor, who had made the 
welfare of his subjects his foremost aim, struck heavy 
blows at barbarous usages, reformed the civil service, 
encouraged modern enterprise, and restored the Indian 
revenues to a state of health. The last years of his rule 
were memorable for the debates in the English Parliament 
which issued in the extinction of the Company's last 
remaining privileges in respect of trade. With the 
renewal of their charter in 1833 for another twenty years, 
the China monopoly ceased to exist, and the trade with 
Chinese ports was thrown open to Englishmen of every 
class. From that time also our countrymen became free 
to settle and buy lands in any part of India, while no 
native could any longer be debarred from public ofifice by 
reason of his religion, birthplace, colour, or descent. The 
legislative control of the Governor-General in Council over 
the minor governments was for the first time secured by 
the same act, and an English lawyer of acknowledged 
repute was added as a fourth member to the Calcutta 


Council. The first holder of this new office was Mr. 
Macaulay, the brilliant essayist and historian of a later 
day, whose Indian labours were ere long afterwards to 
bear rich fruit in the penal code first drafted by his own 


LORD AUCKLAND — 1836-1842 

]\Ir. Mountstuart ElpiiinsTONE having declined on the 
plea of ill-health to take Lord William Bentinck's place, 
the Government of India was for a time entrusted to the 
able hands of Sir Charles Metcalfe. But his very first 
measure, the passing of an Act which made the press of 
India as free as it is in England, gave such deep offence to 
the Court of Directors, that all his past services were 
forgotten ; and the Government of Madras, which had just 
fallen vacant when Lord Auckland went out to India, was 
refused to one whom the directors a few months before 
would have confirmed in his acting appointment, if they 
could. In March, 1836, Lord Auckland reached Calcutta 
and soon afterwards Sir Charles exchanged the service of 
the Company for a useful and distinguished career under 
the Crown. 

The first two years of Lord Auckland's rule were 
marked by nothing more important than his interference 
at Lucknow on behalf of the rightful heir to the throne of 
Oudh, against a rival set up by the widow of the late 
Nawab. In 1839 the intrigues of the Raja of Satara, 
whom Lord Hastings had restored to freedom and kingly 
honours, were brought to a final stop by his dethronement 
and removal to Benares. 

By this time, however, Lord Auckland's policy had 
committed India to a war, whose ultimate fruits were to 
be gathered amidst vain regrets for the loss of many lives, 


millions of money, and much of our national honour. In 
1837 Captain Burnes, Lord Auckland's envoy, was kindly 
received at Kabul by Dost Muhammad, the Barakzai 
chief, who had avenged his brother's cruel death by over- 
turning the dynasty of Zaman Shah. Not content with 
governing the unruly Afghans, Dost Muhammad was 
eager to enlist our aid in his efforts to recover the rich 
Peshawar valley from the Sikhs. A Russian emissary 
was then at Kabul. The English envoy's mind was 
sedulously filled with warnings of the danger which 
threatened India from Russia's progress in the East. 
But Burnes's errand was purely commercial: and Lord 
Auckland answered the Amir's overtures by a plain 
demand for the dismissal of his Russian visitor, and a flat 
refusal to aid him in any way against our Sikh ally. 

Meanwhile the Shah of Persia, with the help of 
Russian money and Russian officers, was laying siege to 
Herat, the Gate of Afghanistan. Dost Muhammad's 
brothers, the princes of Kandahar, were treating for a 
Persian alliance ; and the Amir of Kabul himself was ere 
long turning to the same quarter for the help denied him 
from Simla. In this state of affairs Lord Auckland chose 
the very worst of the courses which lay open to him. He 
resolved to aid Shah Shuja in recovering the kingdom from 
which he had been more than once expelled by Dost 
Muhammad. By a treaty concluded with the royal exile 
and Ranjit Singh he bound himself to support the latter in 
his efforts to replace the imbecile Shah Shuja on the 
throne of his father, Ahmad Shah. In the teeth of every 
argument, of warnings from every quarter against the folly 
of waging an unprovoked war at such a distance from his 
own frontier, in a barren and difficult country peopled with 
hardy, warlike mountaineers, Lord Auckland prepared to 
assemble an army for the invasion of Afghanistan. The 
Calcutta Council, the Court of Directors, nearly all the 



foremost statesmen in both countries, every one, in short, 
except Lord Auckland, his secretaries, a number of young 
Indian officers eager for distinction or adventure, and Sir 
John Hobhouse, President of the Board of Control, was 
against a move not more impolitic than unjust. But the 
Governor-General had taken it into his head that Russian 
intrigues could be thwarted only by the dethronement of 
Dost Muhammad ; nor could even the successful defence 
of Herat by the daring Lieutenant Pottinger avail to turn 
him from his purpose. The treaty with Ranjit Singh had 
pledged the English to help Shah Shuja with nothing 
more than money and English officers, and all danger on 
the side of Persia had been removed by the retreat of the 
Persian army from Herat. Shah Shuja himself had no 
wish to re-appear among his former subjects as a king who 
owed his crown to British bayonets. But Lord Auckland 
had made up his mind to act with vigour, and before the 
end of November, 1838, the "Army of the Indus" lay 
encamped on the sandy plain of Ferozepore, 

For some time all went swimmingly enough. The 
Amirs of Sind were coerced into forwarding the designs 
of the Governor-General. From Karachi and Ferozepore 
the two divisions of the invading army held their way 
towards the passes in the Sulaiman Hills, which lead from 
the Sind frontier into Afghanistan. The long march 
through dreary deserts and dangerous defiles was accom- 
plished painfully but successfully under the supreme com- 
mand of Sir John Keane. Before the end of April, 1839, 
Shah Shuja at the head of his own troops had entered 
Kandahar, where early in the following month he was 
joined by both divisions of Keane's army. 

After a rest of some weeks the army resumed its 
march. On the 22nd July the gates of the strong fortress 
of Ghazni were blown in by our engineers, and the place 
itself stormed by a bold rush with little loss to the victors. 


Dost Muhammad sued for peace, but the offer of a digni- 
fied retreat on Indian ground was spurned by a king who 
had ruled his subjects with marked ability for more than 
ten years ; and he fled, hotly pursued by Outram, to the 
wilds of Bamifm. On the 7th August his victorious rival 
rode through the streets of Kabul, escorted by British 
troops, amidst the silence or the muttered curses of the 
people he had not seen for thirty years, to his palace- 
citadel the Brda Hissar. 

Meanwhile the Sikh and Afghan force under Colonel 
Wade had won its way from Peshawar through the Khyber 
Pass to Jalalabad, reaching Kabul on the 3rd September. 
Ranjit Singh himself, the old one-eyed " Lion of the Pun- 
jab," had died in June at Lahore, after a masterful reign of 
about forty years, leaving his sceptre in the nerveless hands 
of his son Karak Singh. Thus far the army of the Indus 
had done its work ; and the honours showered on Lord 
Auckland, Sir John Keane, Colonel Wade, I\Ir. Macnagh- 
ten, and other chief actors in the late events, marked the 
high if not excessive value placed on their deserts. In 
September the Bombay troops began their homeward 
march, capturing on their way the town of Kalat, whose 
Baluchi master had been caught intriguing against Shah 
Shuja's allies. Some ten thousand Bengal troops re- 
mained behind to garrison the chief places in Afghanistan, 
while the care of our political interests was made over 
to Lord Auckland's Chief Secretary, Sir William Mac- 

For some time longer matters in the conquered country 
went on as smoothly as could be desired. Dost Muham- 
mad, hunted from place to place, yielded himself a 
prisoner to Sir William Macnaghten in November, 1840, 
and withdrew to India on a handsome pension. A few 
disturbances about Kandahar, Kalat, and elsewhere, were 
easily suppressed. In 1841, however, the storm of popular 


discontent began to blow more meaningly. A great rising 
among the Khilji tribes near Kandahar was quelled only 
after two battles and much loss of life. Later in the year 
they rose again, attacked our convoys, and spread the 
flame of revolt from the Khyber to Kabul. Sale's brigade 
on its way to India fell back to Jalalabad. The Afghan 
hatred of the infidel, fed by the loose behaviour of English 
officers towards Afghan women, could no longer contain 
itself. At length, in the beginning of November, Mac- 
naghten and Sir Alexander Burnes, who had been knighted 
for his many services, were roughly awakened from their 
dreams of a security in which clearer-sighted officers had 
long ceased to believe. 

On the morning of the 2nd, Burnes was attacked and 
murdered in his own house by a mob of furious Afghans, 
in revenge for the offence he had given an Afghan noble. 
No effort, worth the naming, was made either by Mac- 
naghten or the English officers who commanded in the 
cantonments to save their helpless countryman, or to 
avenge his death. The insurrection, which might easily 
have been quelled at once, spread fast and far. In the 
teeth of every military dictate the Bala Hissar was left to 
the sole charge of Shah Shuja, and five thousand English 
soldiers and Sepoys were shut up in a weak cantonment, 
while swarms of well-armed Afghans cut off their chief 
supplies, and beat back the troops sent out to dislodge 
them. The blundering of the leaders cowed their men, 
the supplies ran short, the sharp Afghan winter was setting 
in, and the enemy grew bolder day by day. Mac- 
naghten did his best to avert by diplomacy the disastrous 
issues of his own blindness and of General Elphinstone's 
unfitness for such a need. But English honesty was no 
match for Afghan cunning. On the nth December it was 
agreed that all our troops should be allowed to quit the 
country, the Afghans finding supplies and carriage for that 


purpose; that Dost Muhammad should be set free; and 
that the Kabul garrison should march out in three days, 
leaving four officers as hostages in the hands of Akbar 
Khan, the son of Dost Muhammad, and the acknowledged 
leader of his revolted countrymen. A more disgraceful 
treaty had never perhaps been signed by Englishmen ; but 
Macnaghtcn, a brave man of soldierly instincts — he had 
once been a soldier himself — saw no other means of escape 
from utter ruin, and the word went forth for the evacua- 
tion of all our chief places in Afghanistan. 

Days passed, however, and still the promised supplies 
were not forthcoming. In despair Macnaghten strove by 
secret negotiations to sow discord among the Afghan 
leaders. Akbar Khan got scent of what was passing, and 
laid a trap into which the ill-fated envoy fell but too 
readily. At the interview to which he had been invited 
on the 23rd December, the officers who went with him 
were suddenly seized by some of Akbar's men, and Mac- 
naghten himself, after a brief struggle with the angry 
chief, was shot dead by Akbar's own hand. The deed ap- 
pears to have been done upon the spur of the moment, 
and it is only fair to suppose that the seizure rather than 
the death of so important a leader was the real object of 
his murderer's attack. 

Not an effort was made to avenge Macnaghten's death. 
Matters only grew from bad to worse. There was no lack 
of brave hearts and cool heads in the luckless garrison, 
but the folly or the helplessness of their leaders would 
have paralysed the bravest troops. In vain did Pottinger 
urge a stand for life or death in the Bala Hissar. The 
negotiations were resumed, and Afghan insolence rose 
with each fresh default of English honour. At last, on 
the 6th January, 1842, General Elphinstone marched out 
of his cantonments, leaving behind him all his treasure, 
stores, and ordnance, except six guns, while four officers 


remained as hostages in Akbar's hands. The snow lay 
thick on the ground, and the neighbouring hills swarmed 
with Afghan marksmen thirsting for English blood. 

On the 13th January one Englishman, Dr. Brydon, 
half dead from wounds and exhaustion, was seen guiding 
his jaded pony towards the gates of Jalalabad. Of all the 
five thousand soldiers, with twice as many camp-followers, 
who had set out a week before, he alone succeeded in 
reaching an English garrison, to tell the dismal tale of his 
companions' fate. With the exception of a hundred and 
twenty men, women, and children, whom Akbar Khan had 
taken prisoners on the way, and a few score Sepoys who 
afterwards straggled into Peshawar, none else had survived 
the horrors of a retreat in mid-winter, without due supplies 
of any sort, through mountain-passes crowned with 
hostile Afghans, and blocked with a mob of helpless 
fugitives, who fell at every step under the falling snow 
from cold, hunger, or the deadly rain of Afghan bullets. 
Thousands perished in the Khurd Kabul Pass alone. In 
the Jagdalak Pass the slaughter was renewed, until every 
trace of a disciplined army had disappeared. Some sixty 
officers and men reached Gandamak ; but these too, with 
the one exception of Dr. Brydon, perished on the road 
thence to Jalalabad. 

The tidings of this great disaster, the heaviest which 
had yet befallen our arms in Asia, struck dismay for the 
moment into every English heart in India itself. They 
became the talk of every Indian bazaar, and inspired our 
ill-wishers throughout the country with vague hopes of yet 
worse things to come. No outward stir, however, gave 
form to the feeling of the hour, nor do any of the native 
princes seem to have renewed their old intrigues against 
our rule. Happily for England, her honour was still up- 
held by such men as Nott and Rawlinson at Kandahar, 
Sale and Broadfoot at Jalalabad, Clerk, Mackeson, and 


Henry Lawrence in the Punjab. While Lord Auckland 
and his Commander-in-Chief, Sir Jasper Nicholls, were 
feebly paltering with the new danger, Nott and Sale 
bravely held their ground, deaf to the orders they had re- 
ceived from Kabul and undismayed by the annihilation of 
Elphinstone's force. Instead of waiting behind his de- 
fences, Nott marched out and beat the enemy whenever 
he got a chance, and even sent out one of his two Sepoy 
brigades under Colonel Wymer to show the backward 
General England the way into Kandahar. 

Meanwhile Mr. George Clerk, as Governor-General's 
agent, was straining every nerve for the succour of General 
Sale. But the failure of Colonel Wild's attempts to carry 
his Sepoys through the Khyber threw Sale back upon his 
own resources for some months longer ; while the mis- 
conduct of our Sikh allies, the apathy of Sir Jasper 
Nicholls, and the mutinous spirit which had spread from 
the Sikhs to our own Sepoys at Peshawar, reduced Clerk 
and his able helpmates to the verge of despair. A fresh 
brigade, however, was already on its way to Peshawar 
under Colonel George Pollock, a Company's officer of 
acknowledged worth ; and other troops were getting ready 
for the same service at Ferozepore. 

By this time Lord Auckland had resigned his post into 
the hands of Lord Ellenborough, who reached Calcutta in 
February, 1842. One of his last acts had been to sever 
the old connection between the Government and the 
national faiths. The revenues derived from Hindu temples 
and religious rites were made over to the care of Hindu 
priests ; the tax on pilgrims was abolished on grounds 
still open to question ; and the Company's troops were 
forbidden thenceforth to parade in honour of native festi- 
vals. It is however by his Afghan policy that Lord Auck- 
land is best remembered, and the results of that policy 
were equally hurtful to his own fame, to his country's 


honour, and to the finances of our Indian Empire. The 
sad catastrophe in the Afghan snows could never have 
occurred but for the ill-judged invasion of Afghanistan ; 
and more than twenty millions were added to the debt of 
India, before the disgrace of Elphinstone's retreat from 
Kabul had been wiped out by the victories of Nott and 



A FEW weeks before Lord Ellenborough's landing General 
Pollock had reached Peshawar. The outlook at that 
moment was dark enough. Half his Sepoys were in hos- 
pital, and the rest were deeply tainted with the mutinous 
spirit of Avitabile's Sikhs. They had no mind to face the 
dreadful Khyber, and some of their English officers 
shared the feeling. The Sikhs were insolent and un- 
manageable by their own commanders. Sher Singh, the 
successor of Karak at Lahore, had little power to enforce 
compliance with Clerk's demands for the promised succours 
and supplies. The Khyberls, deaf to all Mackeson's offers, 
prepared to defend the pass with all their might. 
But Pollock's patience, well seconded by the energy of 
Clerk and Lawrence, overcame all hindrances. In two 
months the quiet, cool-headed artillery-officer, who had 
served in two sieges and three great wars, had so far 
recruited the health and discipline of his troops, that the 
timely arrival of English gunners and dragoons enabled 
him on the 5th of April to attempt the passage of the far- 
famed Khyber. 

The attempt was brilliantly successful. The tremendous 
cliffs on either side of the pass were soon swept clear of 
the astonished foe, while Pollock with the centre column 
held his way unchecked through the long gloomy gorges 
between. By the 15th April the relieving army had 
exchanged greetings with the brave defenders of Jalalabad, 


fresh from their last victorious sally against the troops of 
Akbar Khan, who had been closely besieging them for 
more than a month past. With the utter rout of the 
Afghans on the 7th April Sale's heroic garrison found rest 
from their prolonged toils, and perfect freedom from any 
immediate danger. Not till three months after their 
rescue did Pollock's pleadings for an advance on Kabul, 
in behalf of English honour and English captives, wring 
from Lord Ellenborough a half-hearted consent to the only 
course which policy and patriotism alike dictated. Pollock 
and Nott were at last permitted to withdraw at their own 
risk from Afghanistan " by way of Kabul and Ghazni." 

Those brave men, however, were quite prepared to take 
all the risk on their own shoulders. On the 7th August 
Nott led out his Sepoys from Kandahar. On the 30th he 
took Ghazni, which had been tamely surrendered to the 
Afghans some months before. The fortifications were 
blown up, and the famous sandal-wood gates of Somnath 
carried off from the spot where they had rested for eight 
centuries. One last victory on the 14th September cleared 
the road to Kabul, where three days afterwards Nott found 
Pollock already encamped. 

The latter general had set out from Jalalabad on the 
20th August, driving the Afghans before him at Jagdalak 
on the 23rd, and routing Akbar Khan's best troops on the 
13th September at Tezin. Two days' marching brought 
him to Kabul, and on the morning of the i6th the British 
ensign once more floated proudly from the top of the 
Bala Hissar. One thing only was wanting to crown the 
triumph of our arms — the recovery of the captives whom 
Akbar had sent off towards Bamian. The honour of rescu- 
ing them fell to Sir Richmond Shakespear, and by the 22nd 
September they were all safely lodged in Pollock's camp.* 

* General Elpliinslone had died in captivity. Among the released prisoners 
were nine ladies and several children. 


After the capture and destruction of Istalif and Charikar 
by General McCaskill, one last deed of vengeance for 
past humiliations remained to do. The great Bazaar of 
Kabul, where Macnaghten's mangled body had been 
exposed to every insult, was blown up and utterly des- 
troyed, while a maddened soldiery, bursting through all 
control, revelled for three days in the plunder of the city 
itself. At last, on the 12th October, the whole army set 
out from Kabul on their march homeward through the 
Khyber, carrying with them the family of Shah Shuja, who 
had been slain by his own subjects some months before. 
His eldest brother, the blind old Zaman Shah, who had 
dreamed of conquering India in the days of Lord Wellesley, 
and been driven from his throne in iSoi by a brother of 
Dost Muhammad, was now glad to close his days on 
English ground, a pensioner on the bounty of his ancient 

A splendid gathering of troops at Ferozeporc, in honour 
of Pollock's safe return, gratified Lord Ellenborough's 
taste for pageantry, and proclaimed to all India the com- 
plete success which had rewarded the efforts of his com- 
manders to wipe out the stain of Elphinstone's miscarriage. 
After a narrow escape from adorning Lord Ellenborough's 
triumph, Dost Muhammad was set free to govern the people 
who had once flung aside the dynasty of Shah Shuja. 
A bombastic manifesto from Simla announced the re- 
moval of the Somnath Gates to India, and "the insult 
of eight hundred years " was " avenged " by the possession 
of a trophy which proved to be no more than a modern 
forgery. For their splendid services in the late campaign — 
services performed in spite of Lord Ellenborough's virtual 
opposition — Pollock and Nott received each a knighthood, 
with a handsome pension from the Court of Directors. It 
was not till nearly thirty years later that Sir George 
Pollock was made a baronet, in reward for his achievements 


which not only stamped him as the greatest soldier of his 
day, but had probably saved our Indian empire from perils 
of the gravest kind. 

Pax A sice restiUitcB — "Peace restored to Asia" — was 
the high-flown legend of a medal struck by Lord Ellen- 
borough's order in memory of the late events. A few 
weeks afterwards he had entered on a war with Sind. 
The Amirs of that country were rewarded for their co- 
operation in the late campaigns by a demand for further 
concessions, which they were loath to yield. The demand 
was enforced by a movement of British troops under Sir 
Charles Napier towards Hyderabad on the Indus. On 
the 1 2th February, 1843, the treaty was signed; but 
the Baluchi followers of the Amirs were stirred to uncon- 
trollable rage on learning that half the country had been 
ceded to the English Government. A furious attack on 
the Residency at Hyderabad ended in the retreat of Major 
Outram and his weak escort to an armed steamer on the 

On the 17th February Sir Charles Napier won the hard- 
fought battle of Miani against seven times his own 
numbers. The capture of Hyderabad was ere long followed 
by another great victory at Dabha, which placed all 
Sind at the conqueror's mercy. The despoiled Amirs 
were hunted into exile or borne into captivity ; their con- 
quered kingdom was annexed to the Bombay Presidency ; 
and Sir C. Napier became the successful governor of a 
province won by the sword, on grounds which Outram did 
not stand alone in condemning. 

It was not long before the Maratha kingdom of Gwalior 
was once more to feel the weight of our arms. On the 
death of Jankaji Sindhia in February, his uncle, the Nana 
Sahib, became regent, with the Governor-General's express 
sanction. But Jankaji' s widow intrigued with the troops 
against him, and ere long a favoured rival was set up in 


his place. This defiance of the Paramount Power was 
made more serious by the growing turbulence of the 
Gwalior army, and by the danger which seemed to threaten 
India from the restless ambition of the great military 
power beyond the Sutlej. Even before the murder of our 
ally Sher Singh in September, the army of the Khalsa had 
begun to rule the Sikh state, and the men whom Ranjit 
Singh had hardly kept in hand might be tempted at any 
time through fear and wantonness to pick a quarrel with 
their English neighbours. 

An English army, under the veteran Sir Hugh Gough, 
began its warning march towards theChambal in December, 
1843, accompanied by Lord Ellenborough himself. All 
chance of a peaceful settlement vanished on the 28th, 
when the Marathas opened fire on an English outpost near 
M ah a raj pur. Next morning Sir Hugh Gough carried 
with the bayonet a strong position, armed with powerful 
guns and defended with a stubbornness which cost him 
dear. On the same day General Grey's division fought 
and routed another large body of Marathas at Paniar, 
twelve miles from Gwalior. 

These two victories ended the brief campaign. The 
Queen-mother and her young son the very next day 
placed themselves at the mercy of Lord Ellenborough, 
who had shared in the perils of the day before. The 
former was pensioned off ; a council of regency was set 
up under the virtual control of the Resident, Colonel 
Sleeman; the Gwalior army was cut down to 9,000 men ; 
and a contingent of 10,000 men, largely recruited from 
the old Rajput soldiery who had fought so well at Maha- 
rajpur, was placed under the command of picked English 

While the Governor-General was thus engaged on the 
frontier, his deputy at Calcutta, Mr. Wilberforce Bird, 
carried out Lord Auckland's humane designs by an Act 


which abolished slavery throughout India. A few months 
later Lord Ellenborough learned the tidings of his own 
recall by a vote of the India House, in spiteof the resistance 
offered to such an exercise of the Company's privilege 
by the Board of Control. In the minds of the Directors 
the alarm awakened by his warlike tendencies went hand 
in hand with deep resentment of his insolent behaviour 
towards themselves and their favourites in the Civil Ser- 
vice of India. In July, 1844, his brother-in-law, Sir 
Henry Hardinge, landed in Calcutta, and took up the 
vacant post. The very last months of Lord Ellenborough's 
brief rule had been clouded by a mutiny among the Bengal 
Sepoys. Several of the regiments which had been ordered 
to garrison Sind stood upon their right to receive extra 
pay for foreign service, and refused for a time to march 
on. Their claims were at length conceded ; but one 
regiment, the 34th, had gone so far towards open mutiny 
that nothing short of its disbandment could be allowed to 
atone for its offence. Even in Madras there were symp- 
toms of a like spirit during the same year. 

A rising in the Southern Maratha highlands about 
Kholapur broke the lull of Indian politics in October, 
1844. The task of suppressing it brought out in a new 
field the skill and energy of Colonel Outram, worthily 
seconded by the courage and endurance of his troops. A 
brilliant campaign against the Baluchi raiders on the 
Sind frontier in 1845 bore fresh witness to Napier's 
soldiership, and secured the peace of his new province. 
Meanwhile the new Governor-General kept his eye upon 
the darkening storm-cloud in the Punjab. With the death 
of Sher Singh the anarchy beyond the Sutlej grew worse 
and worse. A powerful army, restless, greedy for more 
pay or plunder, filled at one moment with wild mistrust of 
Anglo-Indian statesmanship, at another with ignorant 
scorn of English forbearance, had to be wooed and 


humoured by successive leaders, each of whom in his 
turn paid with a bloody death the price of his own folly 
or of his soldiers' fickleness. Even the brave, well-meaning 
Hira Singh, who ruled for a time in the name of the 
boy-king, Dhulip Singh, failed to escape the common 
doom. Twice in two years had a large Sikh army set 
out from Lahore, as if for the invasion of Hindustan. Sir 
Henry Hardinge quietly massed his troops in Sind, ready 
for the struggle whenever it might conic. At last, in 
December, 1845, a great Sikh army for the third time 
began its march towards the Sutlej. 

That the Sikhs were in earnest on this occasion no one 
in Hardingc's camp appears to have believed. It is even 
doubtful whether they themselves had quite made up their 
minds until the last moment to dare the issue of a struggle 
which Ranjit Singh would never have provoked.* Be 
that as it may. Sir Henry Hardinge, an old soldier who 
had earned his laurels in Spain under Wellington, was 
not to be caught asleep. Before the enemy had crossed 
the Sutlej our troops were hurrying by double marches 
towards the frontier,! commanded by the war-loving Sir 
Hugh Gough himself. On the 12th December the Sikh 
army, about 60,000 strong in regular troops alone, with 
150 guns, began to cross the river, and by the i6th were 
encamped in threatening neighbourhood to Ferozepore. 
Sir John Littler, with half of his 10,000 men, marched out 
to meet them ; but the Sikhs, declining the challenge, 
turned aside to entrench themselves at Ferozeshahr, while 
20,000 of them pushed on towards Mudkl in hopes of 
taking Cough's troops by surprise. 

On the 1 8th Gough's wearied soldiers were resting near 
that place, when the gallant Broadfoot gave timely warning 
of the Sikh advance. The battle of that afternoon was 

* See Sir Henry Lawrence's " Essays, Military and Political." 
f They marched 150 miles in six days. 


waged on both sides with equal courage, but nothing could 
withstand the repeated onsets of the English horse, fol- 
lowed up by the steady advance in line of our brave 
infantry. By nightfall the Sikhs had fled, leaving seven- 
teen guns in the hands of the victors, whose own loss had 
not been slight. 

Reinforced by half of Littler's men and some fresh 
troops from Ambala, Gough on the 2ist led his army, now 
17,000 strong, against the Sikh array of more than 
40,000 good troops entrenched at Ferozeshahr, behind 
breastworks guarded by a hundred guns. Sir Henry 
Hardinge, who had placed himself under Gough as second 
in command, led the centre of the English line. Late in 
the afternoon the battle began. On the English right 
and centre all went fairly well in spite of the havoc 
wrought by the steady fire from guns far heavier than our 
own. But on the left, where Littler commanded, his 
infantry, after a bold dash forward, fell back in utter 
disorder. When night fell upon the scene of carnage, a 
few thousand English soldiers and Sepoys lay on the 
ground they had already won within the entrenchment, 
worn out, hungry, thirsty, pinched with cold, and harassed 
by the frequent fire from still uncaptured guns. One of 
these tormentors had to be silenced by a charge of in- 
fantry under Hardinge himself. There was even talk of a 
retreat on Ferozepore, but neither Gough nor Hardinge 
would hear of a move so fatal to English honour. 

Once more with returning daylight our rallied regiments 
advanced to complete their work. Lai Singh's battalions 
wavered, broke, and fled ; battery after battery fell into 
our hands ; and the foe were already out of sight, when 
Tej Singh, coming up with a fresh army of 20,000 men 
and 60 guns, spread new anxiety in our shattered ranks. 
But the Sikh leader had no mind to dispute the issue of 
those two days' fighting ; and he too withdrew from the 


field, after firing a few shots, which the English guns for 
want of ammunition could not return. 

The victory thus hardly earned had been dearly bought. 
Out of 17,000 brought into the field, 2415 had been 
killed or wounded, including ten of Sir Henry's aides-de- 
camp. For the next few weeks, while the English were 
awaiting fresh succours and the heavy guns from Delhi, 
the Sikhs lay idle on their own side of the Sutlej. At 
length, towards the end of January, 1846, Ranjor Singh 
recrossed the river and threatened Ludhiana. On his 
march thither with a few thousand troops, Sir Harry 
Smith lost his baggage near the fort of Baduwal. But a 
{q\n days later, the brilliant victory of Aliwal, in which 
the Sikhs last ^J guns, more than atoned for the previous 
mishap; and the Sikhs, from behind their strong entrench- 
ments at Sobraon on the Sutlej, awaited the next move in 
the English game. At last, on the loth February, Gough's 
warriors, 15,000 strong, dashed forward, after a fierce but 
fruitless cannonade, to storm a position held by 35,000 
of the best Sikh troops, and armed with 6"] heavy guns. 
Under a withering fire they struggled onwards, recoiling 
only to renew the attack, until the entrenchments were 
fairly entered, and the Sikhs, still fighting manfully, were 
driven back before the British bayonet. 

Ere long the retreat became an utter rout. The English 
guns played havoc among the masses of flying Sikhs, who 
crowded towards the bridge of boats, or threw themselves 
into the swollen Sutlej. A river red with blood and 
choked with corpses seemed more than a figure of speech 
on that day of slaughter, when some 10,000 followers of 
Gofind perished in the field or in their flight. The loss 
of the victors in killed and wounded amounted to 2383 ; 
but the whole of the enemy's guns and stores on the left 
bank of the river had fallen into their hands, and no army 
now stood between them and Lahore. 




Ten days afterwards the victorious English were en- 
camped in view of the Sikh capital. On the 23rd Feb- 
ruary, the ministers of Dhulip Singh signed the treaty 
which transferred Jullundur and the Sikh states on the 
left bank of the Sutlej to English rule, and bound the Sikh 
Government to pay a heavy fine for the costs of the 
war. It was afterwards agreed that the bulk of the fine 
should be paid off by the sale of Kashmir to Gulab Singh, 
the Rajput lord of Jammu, who had borne no part against 
us in the late struggle. The remnants of the old Khalsa 
army were disbanded, and Lahore was held for a time by 
English troops. Colonel Henry Lawrence, who had been 
summoned from Nepal on the death of the gallant Major 
Broadfoot, was appointed^ to act for the Viceroy at the 
Lahore court. 

For these great successes, achieved in two months, the 
i Governor-General and Sir Hugh Gough were raised to the 
peerage. It was not long before Lawrence had to place 
a curb on the intrigues of the Lahore government. At the 
head of 10,000 of our late foes, he forced the unruly 
Shaikh Imam-ud-din to surrender Kashmir to its new 
master. Lai Singh, the Queen-mother's favourite, was 
removed from his office of wazir and banished to Benares. 
Before the year's end the treaty of Bhairowal made Law- 
rence virtual master of the Punjab, aided by a council 
of Sikh Sardars or chiefs, and a picked staff of English 
officers, v/ho looked for guidance to the Resident alone. 

Successful in war. Lord Hardinge turned his attention 
to works of peace. The crusade against SatI, infanti- 
cide, and slavery, was carried with good results into the 
dominions of native princes. The great Ganges canal, 
ordained by Lord Auckland after the dreadful famine of 
1837, and suspended by Lord Ellenborough, was pushed 
forward in the spring of 1846, with renewed vigour, under 
the able management of Major Cautley, seconded by the 


zeal of Mr. Thomason, Lieutenant-Governor of the North- 
Western Provinces. The question of railways in India 
found in Lord Hardingc an eager advocate, and the sur- 
veys for two great lines went steadily forward. Private 
enterprise opened out new fields of trade in the factories 
of Western India and the tea-gardens of Assam. To the 
cause of native education Lord Hardinge proved from the 
first an enlightened friend. New schools of various kinds 
were opened in many places ; and the new-born native 
impulse towards wider fields of learning and mental 
growth was encouraged by the preference given in the 
public service to those natives who had passed through a 
government school or college. 

A few local disorders, such as the Muhammadan plot 
at Patna, an anti-Christian riot at Tinnevelly, a civil war 
in Bhopal, armed strife in Oudh and the Deccan, and a 
rising among the Khands of Goomsur, marked the closing 
years of Lord Hardinge's government. The worst of 
these, however, happened in native states, where disorder 
was still the rule; and the Khand rising was put down 
with little bloodshed, if not without some trouble to the 
troops employed. At length, in March, 1848, Lord Hard- 
inge turned his face homewards amid the general regret 
of all classes, after making over the seals of ofiice to his 
great successor, James Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie. 



LORD DALHOUSIE— 1848-1856 

When Peel's able President of the Board of Trade arrived 
in India at the beginning of 1848, the country was in 
almost perfect peace. But for a commercial crisis in 
Calcutta and a flickering little war in the Khand jungles, 
not a cloud appeared on the political horizon. In a 
few months, however, all was changed. While Colonel 
Lawrence was seeking health and rest in England, a new 
storm of war was gathering in the Punjab. Mulraj, the 
Governor of Multan, had agreed to resign his post ; and 
Mr. Vans Agnew, with Lieutenant Anderson and a small 
body of Sikh troops, was directed by the Lahore Govern- 
ment to instal Khan Singh in his place. But the two 
Englishmen were treacherously attacked in Mulraj's pre- 
sence, and afterwards foully murdered by his men. 

Sir Frederick Currie, who was then acting for Lawrence 
at Lahore, instead of moving troops with all speed to the 
scene of outrage, as Lawrence would have done, awaited 
the issue of an appeal for help to the Commander-in- 
Chief. But Lord Gough was against moving a large force 
at the hottest season of the year ; and Lord Dalhousie, 
being new to office, concurred in his reasons for an 
ill-timed delay. It remained for one of Lawrence's best 


subalterns, the young Lieutenant Edwardes, who was 
engaged in settling the province of Bannu beyond the 
Indus, to set his countrymen an example of prompt 
action. With the help of his own levies, of some troops 
under Colonel Cortlandt, and of others presently furnished 
by the loyal Nawab of Bahawalpur, Edwardes thrice 
defeated the rebel Mulraj, and finally shut him up in 
Mult an. 

By this time matters in the Punjab looked so serious, 
that General Whish was ordered to undertake the siege of 
Multan with a ree^ular force of eight thousand English and 

o o o 

Sepoys. On the 4th September he pitched his camp 
before that city. Edwardes' little army had already been 
reinforced by a few thousand Sikhs under the Raja Sher 
Singh. Hardly had the siege begun, when the latter made 
common cause with the rebels and marched away to kindle 
fresh revolts elsewhere. His desertion caused the suspen- 
sion of the siege, pending the arrival of fresh succours 
from Bombay and Ferozepore. 

It was soon evident that a new fight for empire was 
on our hands. The Sikh leaders everywhere joined the 
revolt, and a holy war was proclaimed against the infidel 
"Faringi." Nothing remained but to take up the chal- 
lenge. "The Sikh nation," said Lord Dalhousie at the 
farewell banquet given him at Barrackpore, "has called 
for war, and on my word, sirs, they shall have it with a 
vengeance." While he hastened up the country, a power- 
ful army was mustering on the Sutlej under Lord Gough. 
Its march did not begin too soon. Sher Singh was already 
menacing Lahore, with a large army of the veterans who 
had rallied to the Khalsa war-cry ; and Dost Muhammad 
was bargaining for Peshawar as the price of his co-opera- 
tion with our Sikh foes. 

On the 27th December, Whish was enabled to renew 
the siege of P>Iultan. On the 22nd January, 1849, his 


troops stormed the city, but Mulraj still held the citadel 
with the obstinacy of despair. At last, on the 22nd 
January, when the fortress inside had become a mere 
wreck, and two great breaches invited an easy entrance 
to our troops, he and the remnant of his brave garrison 
surrendered at discretion. 

His followers were allowed to go their own way, while 
Mulraj himself was carried off a close prisoner, to await 
the trial which ended in dooming him to a felon's death. 
His life, however, was ultimately spared, but death alone 
cut short his term of lifelong imprisonment. 

Meanwhile Lord Gough had encountered Sher Singh 
at Ramnagar on the Chenab, and again in the jungles of 
Chilianwala on the Jhelum. The repulse of the Sikhs at 
the former place was marred by the headlong valour of 
Havelock's dragoons, many of whom, with their brave 
leader and General Cureton, perished in vain efforts to 
retrieve their blunder. On the 2nd December a part of 
Lord Gough's army under Sir Joseph Thackwell crossed 
the Chenab higher up the stream, and engaged the Sikhs 
at Sadulapur, forcing them to retreat towards the Jhelum. 
Thither Lord Gough slowly followed them, until, on the 
afternoon of the 13th January, he suddenly felt the fire of 
their outposts from amidst the jungle around Chilianwala. 
It was late in the day, but the fiery old soldier would not 
wait for the morrow. His troops, about 11,000 strong, 
advanced to attack some 30,000 Sikh veterans with sixty 
guns strongly posted on the plain behind a thick belt of 
intervening jungle. 

Before night-fall the Sikhs had been driven back to 
the Jhelum with a heavy loss in men and guns. But the 
victors also had suffered heavily. One brigade of Camp- 
bell's division had been hurled back in utter disorder,* 

• It is a well-attested fact that General Campbell made his division 
advance through the jungle with tinloaded muskets. One brigade under 


and the cavalry on the right wing had fled in sudden and 
mysterious panic before a small body of Sikh horse. The 
rest of the troops, however, fought with their wonted 
daring, and another hour of daylight would probably have 
renewed the slaughter of Sobraon. But night came on ; 
our troops fell back a little for want of water ; and the 
Sikhs, returning later to the field, cut up many of the 
wounded and carried off most of the captured guns. 
Twelve only were secured by the victors, whose own loss 
in killed and wounded amounted to 89 officers and 2357 
men, besides four guns and three sets of colours. 

For several weeks the two armies lay almost within 
sight of each other, while Lord Gough waited for rein- 
forcements from the camp of General Whish. While these 
were yet on their way, the Sikh army under Sher Singh 
and his father Chattar Singh marched round the English 
General's right flank towards Lahore. But the blow thus 
aimed fell short of its mark. British troops held the fords 
of the Chenab, and the Sikhs turned off to take up a 
strong position on the plain in front of Gujrat. There, 
with 50,000 men and sixty guns, the Sikh leaders awaited 
the final onset of Gough's army, now swollen to 20,000 
men and a hundred guns. 

On the 2 1st February the fight began with such a fire 
from the English heavy guns as had never before been 
witnessed on an Indian battle-field. For more than two 
hours the English batteries, light and heavy, played upon 
the foe with ever-increasing havoc. At last the Sikh 
gunners, who had manfully returned shot for shot, 
slackened their fire and began to fall back. The British 
infantry were then let loose upon the wavering Sikhs. 
One of Gilbert's brigades under Penny swept forward 
against the strong village of Kalra, still held by the pick 

Colonel Hoggan, however, advanced firing, and swept the enemy before them. 
The other obeyed the order, and suffered accordingly, 


of the Sikh infantry. Under a scathing fire the 2nd 
Europeans stormed the place, while a smaller village was 
attacked and carried by the lOth Foot. A spirited charge 
of Malcolm's Sind horse ere long drove the best of the 
Sikh cavalry from the field. Sir Joseph ThackwcU with 
the whole of his fine cavalry and light horse guns took up 
the pursuit of the beaten foe, driving them before him 
with heavy slaughter, until night found him fifteen miles 
from the field, which our troops had won with a loss of 
less than 800 men. Fifty-three guns, many standards, 
and the whole of the enemy's camp betokened the 
completeness of a victory which laid the Sikh power for 
the last time in the dust. 

It only remained to gather up the after-fruits of that 
day's work. Early next morning Sir Walter Gilbert, with 
12,000 men and forty guns, set off in pursuit of Sher 
Singh's broken army. The chase was kept up with so 
much vigour, that by the middle of March the last of the 
Sikh leaders had surrendered, and the last of their wearied 
soldiers had laid down their arms to the pursuing column 
at Rawal Pindi. Forty-one more guns were added to the 
spoils of Multan and Gujrat, and Sher Singh was carried 
off a prisoner to Lahore. His Afghan allies, who had 
shared the disasters of Gujrat, still kept ahead of their 
unwearied pursuers ; but only a few hours before Gilbert 
reached Peshawar, they fled back, as it was said, " like 
dogs " into the mountain passes whence they had ridden 
out " like lions " a few months before. 

On the 29th March the last blow was struck by order of 
Lord Dalhousie at the independence of the Sikh kingdom. 
In the presence of the boy-sovereign, Dhullp Singh, was 
read the proclamation which made him a pensioner of the 
East India Company, and annexed his country to British 
India. The conquered province passed under the rule of 
a Board of Three, at the head of which Sir Henry 


Laurence, who had come out again from England with a 
knighthood, deservedly took his place. Conspicuous 
among his colleagues was his brother John Lawrence, who, 
with the aid of a few irregular troops and Sikh levies, had 
kept Jullundur in comparative quiet during the war. For 
the next few years the two brothers, with the help of Mr. 
IMansel, and afterwards of Mr. Montgomery, ruled the 
Punjab with light but firm hands, restoring order, sup- 
pressing crime, revising the revenue system, enforcing a 
simple code of laws, freeing the trade of the country from 
its former shackles, making roads, canals, and other useful 
works, and winning alike the respect and the affections of 
a conquered but brave and high-spirited people. Sir 
Henry's mild influence fell like balm on the hearts of the 
humbled Sikh Sardars, and did much to counteract the 
harsher tendencies of a rule which recognised no distinction 
between class and class in respect of their common rights, 
duties, and burdens. To the Marquis of Dalhousie— for 
such he had now become — belongs much of the credit due 
to all concerned in the pacification of the Punjab. His 
eyes were everywhere during his frequent travels through 
the country ; no details of Government were too small to 
escape his notice ; and the measures taken for guarding 
the Punjab frontier were the direct offspring of his own 

Meanwhile the new Commander-in-Chief, Sir Charles 
Napier, was dealing in his own stern fashion with a mutiny 
among the Bengal regiments told off to garrison the 
new province. Some of them had refused to take their 
ordinary pay, and the 66th Sepoys went so far towards 
open mutiny, that Napier took upon himself to disband 
the regiment and put a Gurkha battalion in its place. This 
and other measures, decreed by him on his own authority, 
brought him into collision with the Governor-General, who 
had no mind to let another usurp his lawful power. The 


quarrel ended in Napier's resignation ; but the mutinous 
spirit which had been rife in the Bengal army ever since 
the Afghan wars kept smouldering beneath the surface, 
ready to burst forth again on the smallest provocation. 
The Government saw no pressing danger, and Delhi, the 
great centre of the Mussulman intrigue and the chief 
arsenal for Upper India, was still left under the sole 
protection of Sepoy bayonets. 

In 1852 another war was forced on Lord Dalhousie's 
hands by the continued insolence of the Burmese. The 
rude treatment of English Residents at Ava had been 
followed by a series of outrages on English merchants and 
shipping at Rangoon. Dalhousie's demands for redress 
were made in vain, and those who bore them subjected to 
open insult. At length Commodore Lambert was driven 
to blockade Rangoon and silence the batteries which had 
opened fire on his frigate. Dalhousie at once prepared 
for war. On the 2nd of April, 1852, a powerful British 
fleet, including many war-steamers, and carrying a strong 
force under General Godwin, anchored off Rangoon. 
IMartaban, on the Salwecn river, had already been attacked 
and taken by Bengal Sepoys. Before the middle of April 
the English, in spite of a brave resistance, were masters of 
Rangoon itself. Bassein was taken in May, and Pegu in 
June. The road to Ava lay open ; but Godwin declined 
to expose his small force to the risks and discomforts of 
the rainy season. 

His advance to Prome in October, and the relief of Hill's 
small garrison in Pegu, were followed early in the next 
year by the capture of Danubyu and the rout of the Bur- 
man leader, Mia-Tun, by Sir John Chcape. Thenceforth 
the war was virtually over. With the whole province of 
Pegu occupied by our troops, it was deemed needless to 
push on after an enemy who declined to fight. To nego- 
tiate with the King of Burma proved to be a waste of time 


and words. The Peguers on their part seemed perfectly 
wilh'ng to exchange the Burman for the British yoke. 
Dalhousie, therefore, boldly resolved to fill up the British 
seaboard between Arakan and Tenasserim by the annexa- 
tion of Pegu, with or without the consent of the Burman 
sovereign. His intention indeed had already been made 
public in December, 1852 ; but it was not until the follow- 
ing June, when the obstinate King of Burma had virtually 
yielded to all our demands, that peace was finally pro- 
claimed and Pegu freed from all fear of Burman aggression. 

While the conquest of the Punjab brought all India 
within the Sulaiman Hills and the Himalayas under our 
virtual rule, the annexation of Pegu made the Company 
masters of all the coast country on the eastern side of the 
Bay of Bengal, from Chittagong to the borders of Siam. 
Under the wise rule of Colonel Phayre, Pegu itself became 
a model province, easily held by a few troops, its people 
steadily advancing in wealth and numbers, and its chief 
port on the Irrawaddy becoming ere long the populous 
seat of a thriving trade. 

Meanwhile the work of annexation had been going on 
within the bounds of our Indian empire. In 1848 the 
Raja of Satara died without an heir. Was the boy whom, 
according to Hindu custom, he had adopted two hours 
before his own death to be recognised as his successor to 
kingly title and power, as well as to all his personal estate ? 
In spite of the arguments of Sir George Clerk, then 
Governor of Bombay, Lord Dalhousie held that the 
Government was not bound to accept the consequences 
of an act whose validity it had never acknowledged. The 
State of Satara, as created by an English viceroy, had 
lapsed to the Company through default of heirs ; and 
the Government was "bound to take that which was 
legally and justly its due, and to extend to that territory 
the benefit of our sovereignty, present and prospective," 

l\)nt'ry li'alkir, Ijd.^ photographers 

. p. R.S.A., 


p. 34S 


Armed with the approval of the India House, Dalhousie 
struck Satara out of the list of native states, bestowing 
liberal pensions on the Raja's widows and his adopted 

Five years later died the Bhosla Raja of Berar or 
Nagpur and the Raja of Jhansi in Bundelkhand. As the 
former had neither left nor named a successor, and the 
people under the fostering care of Mr. Jenkins had learned 
to value aright the benefits of our rule, Nagpur also was 
speedily annexed. The ruler of Jhansi, on the other 
hand, had left an adopted heir, in whose name his widow 
claimed to govern. But the absorption of Satara furnished 
the Governor-General with ample grounds for rejecting 
her claims, and placing Jhansi also directly under British 
rule. The Rani, an ambitious woman, brooded in secret 
over the imagined wrong, until the moment for taking a 
terrible revenge seemed to have come. 

Karauli, in Rajputana, was another state whose sove- 
reign had left no direct heir. But the question of its 
disposal was referred to the Court of Directors, who 
decided in favour of acknowledging the adopted son of 
a protected ally. Another question which came before 
Lord Dalhousie concerned the claim of Dhundu Pant, the 
infamous Nana Sahib of after-years, to the handsome pen- 
sion which Lord Hastings had bestowed on his adoptive 
father, the erewhile Pcshwa Baji Rao. It was decreed on 
just, if not politic grounds, that the ex-Peshwa's princely 
income had lapsed to the Company on his death in 1853. 
In vain did the angry Nana plead his cause at the India 
House. It was decided that he had no claim to a pension 
granted only to Bajl Rao and his family ; but by way of 
balm for his wounded feelings, he was allowed to hold 
the lordship of Bithur, on the Ganges, not far from Cawn- 

About this time also the Nizam's province of Berar 


was virtually transferred to British rule in payment of 
the heavy debts he had incurred to the Indian Govern- 
ment. To this concession the Nizam unwillingly agreed 
as the only means of retaining the services of his useful 
but ill-paid contingent. The weak-minded successor of 
Chin Kilich was thus rescued from the worst results of a 
misrule prolonged for many years past ; while the ceded 
province, over which he still retained a portion of his sove- 
reign rights, throve apace under a rule which brooks no 
internal disorders, and has always laboured for the well- 
being of the people at large. 

Three years later, in 1856, the dethroned Raja of 
Mysore renewed his prayer for restoration to the govern- 
ment of which he had been justly deprived in 1831. 
Through all that time his forfeit kingdom had been ably 
governed by General Mark Cubbon, in spite of some 
resistance from the Raja's friends. Lord Dalhousie saw 
no good reason to grant a prayer which Lord Hardinge 
had found good reason to reject ; and it was not till ten 
years later that an English minister was rash enough to 
reverse the wiser policy of successive governors-general, 
and hand over a flourishing province to the doubtful 
blessings of native rule. 

Meantime the misrule in Oudh had been growing 
yearly worse and worse, ever since Lord William Bentinck 
had solemnly warned the king of the Company's firm 
resolve to interfere, if he made no effort to mend his ways 
and govern his people in closer harmony with the counsels 
of the English Resident. In 1847 the warning was 
repeated by Lord Hardinge. But the long-suffering of 
the Indian Government proved of no avail. The king 
amassed money at the expense of his subjects, only to 
waste it on women, fiddlers, and buffoons. Justice was 
openly bought and sold. The great land-holders, like 
many a baron of the Middle Ages in Europe, openly 


defied the royal power from their well-armed forts, and 
throve on the plunder of their weaker countrymen. The 
king's troops made up for their scanty and irregular pay 
by living freely on the people they were supposed to 
protect. Colonel Sleeman, who became Resident in 1848 
and undertook a three months' tour through the country in 
1849-50, for all his sympathy with native princes, avowed 
that the misgovernment had reached an unbearable pitch, 
and advised his masters to place the country under British 
rule. His successor, the high-souled General Outram, pro- 
nounced in favour of a like course. All the best-informed 
statesmen in India argued to the same effect. 

It only remained to settle the conditions on which 
English rule should be established in Oudh. On this 
point Lord Dalhousie was nearly at one with Colonel 
Sleeman. Both agreed in wishing to leave the king his 
nominal sovereignty, but the Governor-General was for 
employing the surplus revenues that might accrue to him 
under the new form of government, not for the king's 
benefit, but for that of India at large. Some members of 
his Council argued strongly for the entire absorption of 
Oudh into British India, and their views found most 
favour with the Government at home. In compliance 
with positive orders from the India House, Lord Dalhousie 
prepared to annex the country, and dethrone the dynasty 
which Lord Hastings had set up. On the 7th February, 
1856, Sir James Outram announced to the king that he 
had ceased to reign. The tidings were received with a 
burst of tears, and a flat refusal to sign the treaty which 
transformed him into a discrowned pensioner of the 
Indian Government. It was useless, however, to struggle 
against his fate. He withdrew to Calcutta on a handsome 
pension, and the whole kingdom submitted without a blow 
to its future masters. 

A few months earlier, in July, 185$, the peace of 



Bengal had been broken by a sudden rising of abori- 
ginal Santals in the hill ranges of Rajmahal. Maddened 
by the extortions of Bengali money-lenders, who worked 
the law-courts for their own ends, these simple savages 
marched forth in a vast body to lay their grievances before 
the Calcutta Council. Provisions failing them, they began 
to plunder the villages on their way, to attack police-posts, 
to murder native officials and stray Englishmen, and even 
to threaten the safety of important stations. The few 
troops that first encountered them were driven back or 
slain by their poisoned arrows. It was not till the cold 
season of 1855 that their power for mischief was checked 
by the advance of fresh troops, who hemmed them in on 
all sides, and hunted them down with little mercy. By 
the year's end the rising had been quelled with the death 
of its ringleaders ; and the wrongs for which they had 
sought so wild a redress were shortly remedied by the 
appointment of a Commissioner, who ruled the Santal 
districts on a simpler system than that which had long 
prevailed throughout Bengal. 

We have yet to mention those peaceful services which 
have shed so bright a lustre on Lord Dalhousie's Indian 
career. No Governor-General has ever been so fortunate 
in his opportunities, or so successful in turning them to 
account. His genius for governing embraced a rare 
mastery of details, a clear conception of the work that 
lay before him, a thorough knowledge of his tools, and 
a strength of will which triumphed over the drawbacks of 
a sickly frame yet further enfeebled by prolonged toil in 
a very trying climate. In every department of the State 
his strong hand wrought some change for the better. 
Both in the army and the civil service individual over- 
looking was substituted for that of Boards ; even the 
Punjab Board under Sir Henry Lawrence giving place 
in 1853 to the rule of a Chief Commissioner, Sir Henry's 


brother John. In 1852 was established a new Department 
of Public Works, which furnished India with a staff of 
civil engineers fit to carry on the great projects which a 
time of peace and a full treasury encouraged Dalhousie 
to set on foot or bring to an early completion. The 
greatest of these was the Ganges Canal, perhaps the 
noblest work of its kind in the world, with its five hundred 
miles of navigable main stream and many hundreds of 
irrigating branches. Thanks to Lord Dalhousie's unwearied 
efforts, the waters of the Upper Ganges were let into this 
mighty work on the 8th April, 1854, amid crowds of 
wondering natives ; and its chief engineer, Colonel Cautley, 
received the Order of the Bath for his success in carrying 
out the scheme which he himself had planned fifteen years 
before. Of only less importance was the network of 
canals which Colonel Napier had meanwhile begun to 
weave for the parched but not unfruitful plains of the 

Dalhousie's name, indeed, is inseparably linked with 
the whole history of India's progress during the last 
twenty-five years. To him India owes the removal or the 
lowering of almost every remaining barrier to trade, 
industry, social well-being, and mental growth. From 
the planting of trees in dry places to the building of 
railways, from reforms in jail discipline to the diffusion 
of aids to knowledge among the people, nothing seemed 
too small or too great for his far-reaching powers. He 
was the first to endow India with a cheap uniform rate of 
postage, whereby a letter from Peshawar to Cape Comorin, 
or from Arakan to Karachi, could be carried for half an 
anna, or three farthings. Under his zealous encourage- 
ment Dr. O'Shaughnessy was enabled in the course of a few 
years to cover India with 4,000 miles of telegraph wires. 
Dalhousie succeeded in cheapening the rates of postage 
from England to India. Under his orders the first yearly 

2 A 


reports were sent in from the heads of every province 
on all things connected with its administration. To him 
also India owes the general planning and first instalments 
of those 4,000 miles of railway which now join Bombay 
to Madras, Calcutta, Allahabad, and Lahore. To the 
scheme of cheap popular instruction which Mr. Thomason 
first set on foot in the North-Western Provinces he lent 
his eager countenance ; and, fortified by Sir Charles 
Wood's Education Despatch of 1854, he began at once to 
organise that improved system of State-aided schools and 
colleges under which more than three million scholars are 
now taught, at a yearly cost of p^i, 300,000 to the State. 

In 1853 the question of renewing the East India 
Company's Charter was again the subject of parliamentary 
debate, which resulted as before in fresh curtailments of 
the Company's power. The days of its rule were, in 
fact, already numbered. Of the eighteen members of the 
Court of Directors, six were henceforth to be chosen by 
the Crown. India might still be governed in the name 
of the Company, but all power became practically vested 
in the Board of Control. A heavy blow was dealt at the 
Company's patronage by an Act which opened the Civil 
Service of India to public competition. A heavy burden, 
on the other hand, was taken off the shoulders of the 
Governor-General by the arrangement which gave a 
Lieutenant-Governor to the populous province of Bengal 
Proper. New members with enlarged povv^ers were also 
added to the Supreme Council in Calcutta. 

With the annexation of Oudh, Dalhousie's term of office, 
twice prolonged by the Court of Directors, came to a 
glorious, but for him much-needed end. Worn out with 
eight years of hard work, the great marquis gave the last 
tenches to the farewell minute — the master work of a pen 
as clear, direct, and polished as Caesar's or Wellington's — 
Vv'hich contains at once the history and the best defence 


of his memorable career. In another set of minutes he 
enlarged on the policy of reducing the overgrown Sepoy 
army and strengthening the European force in India. At 
length, on the 6th March, 1856, he embarked for England, 
followed by impressive tokens of the esteem and admira- 
tion which all classes had learned to feel for a ruler perhaps 
as great as any since Warren Hastings. But his part in 
life, as he himself declared, was already played out ; and 
the death which awaited him in i860 was even then written 
on the face of one who had landed in India at the early 
age of thirty-six. 

An able and determined man, with a burning zeal for 
good government, his work yet left seeds of serious trouble. 
The judgment of Sir John Kaye will probably be accepted 
as just by future historians. 


LORD CANNING— 1856-1862 

Lord Canning, son of the great English Minister whom 
Pitt had first brought into notice, found India for the 
moment in perfect peace. To follow in the footsteps of 
his great predecessor, and carry forward his unfinished 
schemes for the good of the people, was all the task which 
seemed then cut out for the erewhile Postmaster-General 
of Great Britain. The Penal Code, in which Macaulay 
had sought to furnish a simple uniform system of law for 
all creeds and classes in India, was entrusted to the re- 
vising hands of another great jurist, Mr. Barnes Peacock. 
Recruits for the Bengal army were henceforth required to 
take the same oath of general service as their brethren in 
Bombay and Madras ; a measure intended, like the intro- 
duction of Sikh recruits into Bengal regiments under Lord 
Dalhousie, to counteract the domineering spirit of the 
high-caste Sepoys in Bengal. Dalhousie's scheme for 
removing the Mughal princes from Delhi on the death of 
the reigning king, Bahadur Shah, was furthered by the 
recognition of his lawful heir, on terms which expelled the 
dynasty of Timur from the palace where they had hitherto 
retained a certain semblance of independent power. 

By this time, however, Lord Canning's attention was 
turned towards Persia, whose sovereign, in breach of former 
treaties, had sent an army to capture Herat from the 
Afghans. In obedience to orders from home, the Governor- 
General prepared for war. Early in December, 1856, a 


British force under the brave General Outram, aided by 
the fire of Lcckc's ships, gained swift possession of Bushirc, 
on the Persian Gulf, Ere long a Persian army began its 
march towards the conquered place ; but Outram hastened 
forward to stay its approach, and its retreat from Barasjfm 
on the 5th February was followed by its utter rout on the 
8th at Khushab. The strong fort of Muhamrah, on a 
branch of the Euphrates, was easily taken on the 26th 
March ; and the flight of the Persians a few days later 
from Ahwaz may be said to have finished the campaign. 
Its close was doubtless hastened by the treaty of alliance 
which Sir John Lawrence, Sir Henry's fit successor in 
the government of the Punjab, had formed with our old 
foe, Dost Muhammad, in January, 1857. By the Treaty 
of Paris, which had already been signed on the 4th March, 
the Shah of Persia pledged himself to withdraw his 
troops from Herat and renounce all claim to sovereignty 
over any part of Afghanistan. 

It was a happy thing for India that the war ended 
when it did, in good time to enable Lord Canning to meet 
the heaviest blow which has ever yet been struck at 
English supremacy in Hindustan. By whom that blow 
was planned is still a matter for conjecture ; but there is 
ample evidence that a spirit of unrest was abroad through- 
out the country in the beginning of 1857, that rumours of 
evil bode to India's rulers were everywhere rife, and that 
many causes combined to bring about the disaster to 
which those rumours seemed to point. It is always 
difficult for foreign rulers to guess at what is passing 
through the minds of their subjects ; and the gulf which 
parts our countrymen in India from the millions among 
whom they come and go is one which few Englishmen can 
quite bridge over. Some of them, indeed, were warned of 
mischief brewing, but few even of these paid any heed to 
the hints or counsels of their native friends, and those who 


smelt danger beneath the surface found small encourage- 
ment to speak out. 

In the Imperial Palace at Delhi, in the Nana's castle 
at Bithur, in the pleasant quarters occupied near Calcutta 
by the deposed King of Oudh, in every place where people 
cherished a grudge against their English rulers for some 
real or fancied wrong, plots were quietly hatching against 
the Power which, according to native soothsayers, had 
already entered on the last year of its reign. Emissaries 
from native courts were roaming the country, inflaming 
the minds of the discontented, and spreading everywhere 
dark rumours, none the less potent for their general 
absurdity, of a great English plot for abolishing caste and 
converting the whole of India, by fraud or force, to its 
masters' creed. The air grew thick with falsehoods, none 
of which were too wild for the popular belief. The fears 
alike of the Hindu and the Muhammadan were fed with 
omens and idle tales. An outbreak of cholera, a bad 
harvest, a jail riot, a heavy flood, anything served as a 
handle for the most outrageous slanders against a 
Government guilty only of a well-meant desire to keep the 
peace, to advance the general welfare, and to imbue its 
subjects with a taste for Western civilisation. 

The time seemed propitious to our foes in India. Our 
English garrisons had been weakened to furnish troops 
for the campaign against Russia in the Crimea ; nor was 
their place filled up by other troops from England, in 
spite of the warnings uttered by Dalhousie before and 
after the annexation of Oudh. Fresh regiments were 
shipped off from India for the Persian war. It was given 
out by the Nana's emissaries that our army in the Crimea 
had perished almost to a man, and that England needed 
every soldier she could muster for her own defence, to say 
nothing of fresh embarrassments caused by another Chinese 
war. It v/as certain that only one English regiment lay 


between Calcutta and Agra, and tliat all India was held 
at that moment by about thirty thousand English troops, 
more than half of whom were quartered in or near the 

The Sepoys also in Bengal were growing restless. 
Their discipline had been weakened by doubtful measures 
of military reform, by the moral effects of Afghan and 
Sikh campaigns, by the growth of new social habits among 
their English officers ; their caste pride was sorely hurt by 
the admission of Sikhs and other low-caste men into 
their ranks, and their prescriptive rights were scattered 
to the WMnds by the new rule which compelled all recruits to 
enlist for general service, whether by land or sea. While 
the Nana's agents tampered with the Hindu Sepoys, the 
minds of the Mussulman soldiery were inflamed against 
their masters by the preaching of Wahabi fanatics and the 
intrigues of the Delhi princes, wroth at their coming 
expulsion from the seat of their forefathers. 

About the beginning of 1857, a new cause of alarm 
began to spread among the Sepoys. A rumour, born of 
chance gossip in the Dam-dam Bazaar, but, as it proved, 
not wholly destitute of foundation, flew about the country 
declaring that the cartridges of the new Enfield rifles had 
been greased with the fat of pigs and cows, in order to bring 
about the defilement alike of Muhammadans and Hindus. 
No such intention of course was at the root of what 
was no more than an unintentional, though foolish and 
disastrous, blunder. Before the end of January the Sepoys 
in Barrackpore were holding nightly meetings on the 
subject ; several bungalows * were set on fire, and a 
marked change was seen in the men's bearing towards 
their officers. The same thing occurred at Riiniganj, the 
furthermost station on the new railway. On the 26th 
February, the 19th Sepoys at lierhampore refused to 
* One-storicil houses with steep ri^ofs of tliatch or lilcs. 


receive the suspected cartridges, and were hardly restrained 
from firing on their own officers. The mutiny was quelled, 
but no mercy was shown to the mutineers, who were 
marched down to Barrackpore and there disbanded by 
General Hearsey, in the presence of comrades no less 
guilty in spirit than themselves. Two days earlier, on the 
29th March, a Sepoy of the 34th N.I. at Barrackpore 
seized his musket and called on some of his comrades to 
rally round him in defence of their religion. He attacked 
and wounded two officers before help came, which led him 
to turn his weapon against himself. The wound, however, 
was not fatal ; he lived to undergo his trial and be hanged 
a few weeks afterwards. 

All through March and April the tokens of disaffection 
grew more and more rife. Night after night fresh fires, 
whose origin remained a mystery, broke out in the great 
northern station of Ambala ; and the men who handled 
the new cartridges were marked out for the jeers and 
persecutions cf their numerous comrades.* In Meerut the 
Sepoys readily came to believe that the wells had been 
defiled, that animal fat had been boiled up with the gJiee, 
or liquid butter, sold in the bazaars, and that ground 
bones had been mixed up with the flour they ate. Mean- 
while all over India a mysterious signal, in the shape of a 
chapathi, or flat cake of flour, was passed on from village 
to village, like the fiery cross in Scotch history, as if to 
prepare men's minds for some great scheme on foot. 

In April the disaffection spread to Oudh, where Sir 
Henry Lawrence had taken up the post of Chief Com- 
missioner in the room of Mr. Coverley Jackson. It was 
too late even for the successful ruler of the Punjab to 

* It seems that beef fat had really been used in greasing the cartridges ; 
but the use of these was countermanded by the end of January ; the Sepoys 
were then allowed to grease their own cartridges, and to tear off the ends 
instead of biting them off with their teeth. (See '■'■Incidents of the Sepoy War,'' 
by Sir Hope Grant and Captain Knollys. Blackwood & Sons : 1S73.) 


repair the mischief done by his predecessor, or to avert 
the great storm of mutiny and rebelHon whose warning 
murmurs were already faUing on men's ears. On the 2nd 
May a native regiment quartered near Lucknow broke 
out into open mutiny. Sir Henry's prompt advance 
scattered the mutineers, some forty-five of whom were 
seized, tried, and sentenced to imprisonment for various 
terms. For some weeks longer all seemed quiet in 
Lucknow ; but the frequent firing of bungalows and 
Sepoys' huts warned Sir Henry against setting too much 
faith in passing appearances and the soothing magic even 
of his own high name. 

At last, on the lOth May, the storm burst over Meerut, 
where 1800 English soldiers lay in the midst of 2900 
native troops. On the 24th April, 85 troopers of the 
3rd Bengal Cavalry had openly rejected the very sort of 
cartridges which they had been using for some time past. 
On the 9th of the following month the mutineers were 
marched off in irons from the parade-ground, to undergo 
their several sentences of imprisonment with hard labour ; 
a heavy punishment for Muhammadans of good family, for 
soldiers of any spirit a terrible disgrace. Next evening, 
while our countrymen were at church, the native regiments 
rose in arms with one consent, shot down some of their 
officers, set fire to their lines, emptied the jails, and 
spread sudden panic throughout the European quarters. 
General Hewitt and most of those around him were 
utterly paralysed by an outbreak which prompt action on 
their part would soon have quelled. The rabble of the 
bazaars joined with the released convicts in the work of 
murder, pillage, and general havoc ; and the moon rose 
on blazing bungalows, on men and women dead, dying, 
or fleeing for their lives from ruffians thirsting for yet 
more blood. When the European troops were at leiigth 
brought upon tlie scene of horror, night was already 


closing round them, and the mutinous regiments held 
their way unchecked and unpursued to Delhi. 

The early morning of the fatal ilth May saw some 
troopers of the 3rd Cavalry riding into that city, eager to 
continue the work they had begun at Meerut. In a few 
hours all Delhi was up against the bewildered English, 
who had heard nothing of the mischief wrought the day 
before, and little dreamed that not a hand from Meerut 
would now be stretched forth to help them. English 
men, women, and children were foully butchered within 
the Palace itself, under the eyes, if not with the express 
permission, of the old king, who owed to English forbear- 
ance all the dignities and comforts he still enjoyed. 
Many an officer was shot down by his own men. Before 
sunset all Delhi was in the hands of the mutineers ; the 
gallant Willoughby and his eight heroic followers having 
blown up the arsenal which they could no longer defend 
against hopeless odds.* Of those who had escaped death 
in the city, some were struggling on their perilous way 
to Karnal, while others had joined the little band of 
officers who, under Brigadier Graves, still clung to the 
Flagstaff Tower on the heights overlooking the northern 
side of Delhi, in vain hope of the help that never came 
from Hewitt's garrison. 

At last, when the ruffians from the city were renewing 
the work of plunder in the cantonments outside, the 
English watchers on the Ridge had to seek their only 
safety in flight. The more fortunate soon made their way 
to Meerut or Karnal ; but some of their number, including 
women, ran the gauntlet of every possible hardship and 
danger, in a hostile country under the fierce May sun, 
before they found rest and shelter among their friends. 

Happily for our countrymen elsewhere, the dreadful 

* Willoughby died soon afterwards of his wounds, Scully, who fired eht 
train, \Yas never seen again. 


deeds doing at Meerut and Delhi had been telegraphed 
to Ambala and Agra before the rebels had time to cut 
the wires. From thence the tidings were at once flashed 
on to the Punjab and down the country to Calcutta. Sir 
John Lawrence and his trusty subalterns proved equal to 
every need. Two days after the Delhi massacre Colonel 
Corbett had quietly disarmed the Sepoys at Lahore. 
Amritsar, the Sikh Benares, was speedily made safe. 
Timely succours were thrown into the fort of Phillaur on 
the Sutlej. At Peshawar, Brigadier Cotton and Colonel 
Edwardes planned and carried out the disarming of four 
native regiments out of the five there posted. Of the 
insurgent Sepoys at Mardan very few escaped the doom 
that dogged them, whether from English or Afghan hands. 
Betrayed by the hillmen of the border or hunted down by 
Edwardes's police, numbers of them were afterwards shot 
or blown away from guns, while many more paid the 
forfeit of their treason with life-long labour on the roads. 

It was fortunate also for our cause that Lawrence and 
his brave helpmates could reckon upon the loyalty of the 
Sikhs on either side the Sutlej, in his efforts to meet a 
danger, at thought of which even the boldest sometimes 
held their breath. Not only Sikhs but the wild Muham- 
madans of the border flocked into the new regiments raised 
by the Lahore Government. The ruler of Kashmir proved 
himself a friend in need. From the Cis-Sutlej chiefs of 
Patiala, Jind, Nabha, and Kapurthala, came ready pro- 
mises of aid in men, arms, and money ; promises which in 
every case were loyally fulfilled. Many chiefs and gentle- 
men of less mark in the Punjab offered their best services 
to the same effect. Nor was our old foe. Dost Muhammad, 
backward in assurances of goodwill. His hands thus 
strengthened, the Chief Commissioner of the Punjab was 
left free by the spread of revolt below Delhi to employ his 
best energies in defence of Upper India. While a movable 


column of picked troops marched out from Jhelum to keep 
the peace in his own province, regiment after regiment was 
sent across the Sutlej to aid in punishing the mutineers, 
and to strengthen the little force which General Anson 
had led to the siege of Delhi. 

All through May and June the revolt kept spreading, 
from Ferozepore to Allahabad and Benares, from Ajmer 
to Rohilkhand, involving hundreds of Englishmen in the 
same bloody doom. If some regiments spared their 
officers, others shot them down or saw them massacred 
by less scrupulous men. The Rani of Jhansi took a 
bloody revenge for the loss of her late husband's realm, 
by ordering the massacre of nearly a hundred men, women, 
and children, whose lives she had just sworn to spare. 
Before the end of June not a station in Oudh, except the 
capital, was left in English hands ; and the garrison of 
Lucknow itself was cut off from all communication with 
the outer world. At Cawnpore Sir Hugh Wheeler and 
his luckless followers were vainly fighting for their lives 
within weak intrenchments, under roofless and crumbling 
walls, against thousands of merciless rebels commanded 
by the infamous Nana Sahib. In many districts of the 
North-Western Provinces the mutiny had widened into a 
general revolt ; station after station was abandoned by 
those civil officers who had time to escape ; and the last 
traces of English law and order were swept away in a 
flood of rapine, bloodshed, and general lawlessness. Out- 
side the fort of Agra, where English folk of all classes 
found passing refuge, the power of Mr. Colvin, the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, was openly defied. A reign of terror 
had begun for all well-wishers to our rule. 

Meanwhile the news from Meerut and Delhi had roused 
Lord Canning into taking measures more or less worthy of 
so great a need. Messages for aid were sent in all direc- 
tions, to Bombay, Madras, Rangoon, and Ceylon ; special 


powers were entrusted to the Lawrence brothers ; and 
Lord Elgin was entreated to bring on to Calcutta the 
troops destined for the Chinese war. By degrees the 
expected succours flowed in ; but much tin:ie was lost in 
forwarding troops by driblets to Benares and Cawnpore ; 
and the delay in disarming the Sepoys at Barrackporc and 
enrolling volunteers in Calcutta led to a disgraceful panic 
in the capital of British India. Early in June the brave 
Colonel NeiU and his Madras fusiliers reached Benares in 
time to save that city from the worst issues of a Sepoy 
rising. On the nth his presence at Allahabad gave fresh 
heart to his countrymen in the fortress at the meeting of 
the Jumiia with the Ganges, and cleared the way for some 
dashing onsets against the rebels in that neighbourhood. 
He had got all ready for a final march on Cawnpore, when 
General Havelock came up to relieve him of the chief 
command, and to carry on the noble enterprise which he 
had so well begun. 

On the 7th July Havelock's little army set out from 
Allahabad. At Fatehpur, and again by the Pandu stream, 
the troops of Nana Sahib strove to arrest his progress, but 
in vain. On the night of the 16th his weary soldiers slept 
on the parade-ground of Cawnpore, still unprepared for the 
crowning tragedy, whose tokens on the morrow were to 
meet .their eyes. They knew that, after weeks of terrible 
suffering, Wheeler and his wasted garrison had surrendered 
to the treacherous Raja of Bithur, that volley after volley 
had been suddenly fired into the boats prepared for their 
promised voyage down the river, and that nearly all the 
men who survived this cowardly attack were afterwards 
taken out of the boats and shot. But not until the morrow 
did they learn the whole truth ; how on the 15th July, the 
day of his second defeat, the ruthless Nana had caused 
the remnant of his captives, men, women, and children, to 
be shot down, hacked, stabbed, or beaten to death, within 


the bungalow where they had been shut up for a fortnight 
past, and how next morning their mangled bodies had 
been stripped and tumbled in the nearest well.* Of all 
the 900 who had entered the intrenchments of Cawnpore, 
four only, two officers and two privates, escaped almost 
by a miracle to tell of the horrors they had seen and 
suffered.f * 

* Among the victims of the Nana's butcheries were a number of men, 
women, and children, who had escaped the slaughter of Fatehgarh, Two 
hundred in all are said to have perished in the bungalow. The well at 
Cawnpore was afterwards bricked over, and a handsome memorial built upon 
the site. 

t These were Lieutenants Thompson and Delafosse, Privates Murphy and 
Sullivan, who, after many hairbreadth escapes, found rest and shelter at last 
with a friendly Oudh chief, Raja Dig Bijai Singh, until they were able to join 
Havelock's force on the march to Lucknow. 


LORD CANNING — {continued) 

While Havclock was making desperate efforts to relieve 
Lucknow, and the flames of revolt were spreading into 
Central India, a few thousand English and native troops 
were engaged in the momentous work of besieging Delhi, 
the one great stronghold of the mutineers. After the 
death of General Anson, his little army, reinforced by a 
part of the Meerut garrison who had fought two battles on 
their way to Delhi, drove the rebels before them at Badli 
Serai on the 8th June, and encamped on the ridge over- 
looking the tall red towers and long walls of the Mughal 
capital. There, week after week, they lay like a forlorn 
hope in front of a city held by 30,000 Sepoys, themselves 
just able by dint of heroic efforts to hold their ground 
under every kind of danger and difficulty against repeated 
onsets from the walls. All through the heats of June and 
the rains of July the besiegers were in fact themselves 
besieged. Sally after sally from the city wasted their 
numbers, still further thinned by disease and overwork. 
Sir Henry Barnard, their brave commander, died of 
cholera in the beginning of July, and his successor. 
General Reed, was soon forced by illness to make over 
the command to Brigadier Wilson of the Bengal Artillery. 
But the road from the Sutlej was kept open by the loyal 
princes of Sind, and Sir John Lawrence strained every 
nerve to reinforce his countrymen from his own province. 
All through July and August fresh troops came streaming 


or dribbling into Wilson's camp. At last, by the middle 
of August the gallant Nicholson, fresh from the slaughter 
of armed mutineers on the Ravi, near Gurdaspur, led 
into the camp before Delhi the last brigade of troops 
which Lawrence could well spare from his already scant 

Nicholson's rout of the rebels at Najafgarh on the 25th 
finally cleared the way for the approach of the heavy guns 
destined to batter down the walls of the rebel stronghold. 
With their arrival on the 6th September the siege began 
in earnest. It did not begin a moment too soon. Partial 
risings had taken place in the Punjab itself. From 
Saharanpur to Meerut the country was overrun by bands 
of lawless villagers, or armed rebels following the standard 
of some ambitious chief. The hard-pressed defenders of 
Lucknow were beginning to despair of the help which 
Havelock had twice failed to bring them. Large bodies 
of rebels from Indore, Gwalior, and the neighbouring 
provinces were gathering for a march on Agra, and all 
Sindhia's efforts were growing powerless to keep the 
Gwalior Contingent from joining in the game of havoc. 
The most loyal of the native chiefs could hardly count 
on the faithfulness of his followers to what seemed already 
a losing cause. 

On the other hand, succours from Ceylon, the Cape, 
and other quarters, were steaming up the Hugli ; Peel's 
naval brigade was hastening up the country; Outram, 
in himself a host, was preparing for another march 
from Cawnpore to Lucknow ; and the gallant Major Eyre, 
an old Kabul prisoner, had just been scattering the rebels, 
who had besieged his countrymen at Arrah, and striven to 
bar his way among the jungles of Jagdispur. In Southern 
and Western India, where the Sepoys with one or two 
exceptions continued faithful, all was quiet ; and the 
Nizam's able minister, Salar Jang, maintained under very 


trying circumstances the peace of a province filled with 
warlike Arabs and fanatic Muhammadans of every class. 
Lastly, inside Delhi itself the rebels were disheartened by 
past defeats ; they had no leader in whonm all could trust ; 
their own countrymen grew weary of a yoke far heavier 
than that from which they had been rescued ; and the old 
strifes of race and creed broke out among men who had 
little in common besides the knowledge of their common 

On the nth September the new heavy batteries 
showered forth their iron rain on the walls of Delhi. In 
vain did the enemy strive their best to cope with the 
rising danger. In three days the battered walls were a 
heap of ruins, and Wilson's heroes were only waiting for 
the word to rush up the breaches made by their guns. On 
the early morning of the 14th September, the great rebel 
stronghold was stormed in three places by as many 
columns, numbering in all not quite three thousand men. 
The Kashmir Gate was blown in under a deadly fire, 
while Nicholson's stormers mounted the main breach. 
Two hours of hard fighting left our soldiers firmly lodged 
within the walls ; but their success was dearly bought by 
the fall of the gallant Nicholson, the leader of the storming 
columns, the hope and pride of all India. He lingered for 
nine days of a mortal wound ; but his last hours were 
cheered by the knowledge that he had not died in vain. 
After six days of hard fighting not one armed mutineer or 
rebel remained alive within the captured city. On the 
2 1st September the old king himself, in whose name the 
city had been defended, was brought back a close prisoner 
to his former home. His intriguing wife, Zinat Mahal, 
and her son, Jamma Bakht, shared his confinement. 
Two more of his sons were slain next day by their captor, 
the daring Captain Hodson, in the sight of a great crowd, 
who seemed bent on rescuing them from his small escort, 

2 B 


Several other of the Delhi princes were afterwards taken, 
tried, and hanged for the part they had borne in the 
murder of English women and children on the nth and 
1 2th May. In March of the next year the wretched old 
king was doomed to death by a military court for waging 
war against the English and ordering the murder of forty- 
nine Christians within Delhi. But death was exchanged 
for transportation, and the white-haired felon died a few 
years afterwards in a remote corner of Pegu. A cry for 
vengeance went forth against Zinat Mahal and her son ; 
but Lord Canning, as firm as he was merciful, gave no 
heed to the cry, and both queen and prince were allowed 
to share the fortunes and cheer the last days of Muhammad 
Bahadur Shah, . 

In all the history of British India, so fruitful in great 
deeds, no greater achievement was ever recorded than the 
capture of a strong walled city, seven miles round, by 
about six thousand Englishmen and Sikhs, arrayed against 
many times their number of desperate and well-armed 
foes. After three months of watching and hard fighting 
for the very ground on which they stood, their numbers 
steadily thinned by wounds and sickness, Wilson's heroes 
had planted their batteries within grapeshot of bastions 
heavily armed and stoutly defended, had scaled in broad 
daylight walls twenty-four feet high, and cleared out the 
foe in six days from a town where every large building was 
itself a stronghold, and every street had to be won by the 
bayonet or the pickaxe. And all this was done, as Lord 
Canning proudly declared, " before a single soldier of the 
many thousands who are hastening from England to up- 
hold the supremacy of the British power, has set foot on 
these shores," and even before any of the troops shipped 
off from the nearest colonies had made their way into 
Wilson's camp. For this memorable feat of arms, which 
cost the victors a total loss of nearly four thousand from 


the beginning of the siege, and of 1674 from the 8th to tlie 
2 1st September, no small share of England's gratitude was 
due to Sir John Lawrence, whose bold counsels and un- 
flagging efforts had enabled the Forlorn Hope before Delhi 
to hold the ridge against all comers, until the moment 
came for striking a death-blow at the rebel cause. With 
the fall of the old imperial city the neck of the mutiny- 
was fairly broken, although many months were yet to 
elapse before the monster breathed his last. 

While some of Wilson's victorious troops were engaged 
in scouring the country between Delhi and Agra, beating 
up rebels and restoring order as they marched along, the 
timely presence of Outram and Havelock at Lucknow had 
rescued its war-worn garrison from imminent destruction, 
if not yet from absolute danger. Down to the end of June 
Sir Henry Lawrence had been employed in strengthening 
the one post which still remained to the English in Oudh. 
But his failure on the 30th to check the advance of a 
strong rebel army on Lucknow was closely followed by the 
siege of the English Residency, wherein some fifteen 
hundred Europeans and faithful Sepoys were hemmed in 
for months by a well-armed, numerous, and determined 
foe. His own death, on the 4th July, from a mortal 
wound deprived the garrison of a leader whose many 
public services were enhanced by virtues of the highest 
order, and whose whole life may be summed up in the 
sentence carved upon his tomb — " Here lies Henry 
Lawrence, who tried to do his duty." 

Happily his spirit still lived in those who carried on 
the defence for which his foresight had so well prepared. 
Under every drawback of scanty numbers, sickness, hard 
fare, incessant work, in spite of a weak position, of hopes 
continually disappointed, of prolonged resistance to fearful 
odds, the defenders of tiie Lucknow Residency upheld for 
more than three months the honour of their flag and the 


safety of their countrywomen against the banded forces of 
a whole province in revolt. Men and women alike toiled, 
watched, and suffered in their several ways under a cease- 
less hail from guns and musketry, varied by the noise of 
bursting mines and the yells of desperate onsets daringly 
repelled. At last, in the beginning of September, Outram 
led forth his succouring brigade from Allahabad. On 
the 19th, some three thousand soldiers, chiefly English, 
marched out from Cawnpore under Outram, Havelock, 
and Neill, to cut their way at all hazards into Lucknow. 
On the 23rd, Havelock's army — for, thanks to Outram's 
generous self-denial, he had retained the chief command — 
stormed the Alambagh, or summer-palace of the queens 
of Oudh, under a furious fire from the enemy's guns. 

Two days later they fought their way through streets of 
loopholed houses, over barriers bristling with death, into 
the half-ruined Residency itself. Nearly five hundred 
slain or wounded was the price which Havelock paid for 
his success, and the joy of victory was further damped by 
the death of General Neill within a few yards from the 
British entrenchments. But the deliverers had not come 
too soon, for the enemy had carried two mines under the 
Residency, and a very {^.w days more might have seen the 
last of its defenders buried beneath its ruins. Even as 
things were, the relieving force, once more commanded by 
Sir James Outram, could do little more than carry on with 
ampler means the defence of the position so hardly won, 
until a new army could march up to aid them in with- 
drawing the old garrison to Cawnpore. 

In due time a fresh army, under Sir Colin Campbell, 
of Crimean fame, began its march towards Lucknow. By 
the 1 2th November it was encamped at the Alambagh. 
On the 14th Sir Colin resumed his advance, carrying one 
strong post after another at the point of the bayonet, with 
due help at need from his heavy guns. On the i6th 




two thousand rebels were mercilessly slain by the troops 
who stormed the massive walls of the Sikandar Bagh, 
The storming of the Shah Najaf Mosque, after Peel's 
naval guns had vainly battered its strong masonry for 
three hours, closed that day's work with brilliant promise 
of triumphs yet to win. A few hours more of steady 
fighting on the morrow, in which Outram's soldiers played 
their part, brought the besieged and their deliverers face 
to face. A few days later the last of the Lucknow garrison 
slept once more in peace and safety on the pleasant 
camping ground of the Dil-Kusha, There, on the 25th 
November, Sir Henry Havelock, worn out by toil and 
sickness, breathed his last. 

Leaving Outram strongly posted at the Alambagh, Sir 
Colin Campbell marched off with the rest of his troops and 
the rescued women and children for Cawnpore, where his 
presence was already needed by those he had left behind. 
The powerful Gwalior Contingent, having at last broken 
loose from Sindhia's control, had crossed the Jumna, and 
with numbers swollen by the remnants of the Nana's 
forces, marched on towards Cawnpore. After a vain 
attempt to bar their progress, Windham's small force fell 
back in some disorder into an entrenched position near 
the Ganges. Here for two days the rebels, twenty 
thousand strong, under their ablest leader, Tantia Topi, 
pressed him so hard that the bridge of boats was in 
imminent danger of destruction, when Sir Colin's soldiers 
on the 28th November reappeared betimes on the opposite 

As soon as the sick and wounded, the women and 
children of the Lucknow garrison had been sent off 
towards Calcutta, Campbell proceeded to settle accounts 
with the foe. Their utter rout on the 6th December, with 
the loss of seventeen guns and all their stores, was crowned 
on the 9th by their pursuit and final dispersion, with the 


capture of all their remaining gun?. During the same 
month fresh victories were gained by English columns over 
the rebels in Rohilkhand and the districts bordering the 
Ganges. Rewah, in Bundelkhand, was cleared of rebels 
by the gallant Lieutenant Osborne. The mutineers of 
Nimach were routed by Brigadier Stuart near Mandasor. 
Saugor, in Central India, was still held by faithful Sepoys, 
and order was restored in the dominions of Holkar. 

Several of the leading rebels had by this time been 
caught and hanged, nor was any mercy shown to those 
who had taken part in the murder or ill-treatment of 
English people. It must even be confessed that in some 
places the work of vengeance and repression had been 
carried by civil and military officers to a length which 
neither past provocation nor present danger could fairly 
excuse. The cry for blood went forth from all quarters, 
and many innocent perished, or were brought to ruin 
along with the guilty. It is greatly to Lord Canning's 
honour, that he boldly and firmly set his face against deeds 
of wanton cruelty wrought in the name of justice by some 
of those whom he had necessarily entrusted with special 
powers. From the first he denounced the folly of dealing 
with the people at large as mere rebels or abettors of 
rebellion ; and all the abuse showered upon him, both in 
India and England, for his noble interference failed to 
turn him from his purpose of tempering just retribution 
with open-handed and politic mercy. Even in the darkest 
days of 1857, it came out more and more clearly that the 
Sepoy revolt had widened into a popular uprising, mainly 
in districts new to our rule, or peopled largely by robbers 
and Muhammadans, or held by unruly and disaffected 
chiefs. Many a life was saved by the devotion of native 
servants, as well as the active loyalty of native gentlemen. 
In putting a stop betimes to the wholesale burning of 
suspected villages, and the indiscriminate slaughter of 


suspected criminals, Lord Canning rendered a signal 
service not only to his own countrymen, but to the people 
of India, who learned that their masters, however quick to 
strike and stern to punish, could yet stay their hands when 
the worst of the danger had blown over. Englishmen and 
natives alike may thank him for preventing a formidable 
outbreak from flaring up into a war of race against race. 

While Outram held his post at the Alambagh against 
repeated onsets of many thousand rebels, and Hope Grant 
was gaining fresh victories in Rohilkhand, and Franks, 
with a force partly composed of Gurkhas from Nepal, was 
driving the enemy before him into Lucknow, and other 
officers were doing good work in Central and Western 
India, Sir Colin Campbell was making ready, in his own 
cautious fashion, for one last overwhelming advance on 
the capital of Oudh. At length, on the 2nd March, 185S, 
the van of his fine army, 25,000 strong in all, including 
16,000 good English troops, with a powerful siege-train, 
halted after a brief fight on the old camping-ground at the 
Dil-Kusha.. On the 6th, Outram crossed the Gumti to 
play a leading part in the capture of Lucknow. By the 
1 6th the two commanders had won their way, not without 
some hard fighting, into the heart of the rebel city, while 
the Nepalese Jang Bahadur cleared out the enemy from the 
southern side, and rescued two English ladies who had 
survived the murder of their friends and kindred some 
months before. A few days later not an armed rebel 
remained in or near Lucknow. The trifling loss sustained 
by the victors was heightened by the death of the daring 
Hodson ; and Captain William Peel, whose sailors had 
been foremost in every fight, died in April of small-pox, 
which attacked him just as he was recovering from his 

The conquerors of Lucknow had still to deal with the 
insurgents in Rohilkhand, whose numbers were swollen by 


fugitives from all parts of Oudh. Shahjahanpur was taken 
on the 25th April, and Bareilly on the 6th May. The 
insurgent forces, beaten and broken up in every fight, still 
roamed about the country, causing their pursuers much 
trouble and some little loss from the heat and hardships 
to which they were exposed. Rohilkhand, indeed, was 
virtually reconquered before the end of June ; but the 
rising in Bihar under Koer Singh involved weary marches 
amid deep jungle, and the reconquest of Oudh was only 
completed on the last day of December, when the high- 
mettled Begam of Oudh, and the outlawed Nana Sahib 
led the last of their hunted followers across the RaptI into 
the forests of Nepal. Even of this poor remnant many fell 
by the swords of their pursuers ; while others, including 
the Nana himself, are believed to have perished of disease. 
One leader. Prince Firoz Shah of Delhi, cut his way with 
a few followers through Oudh across the Ganges, to share 
the fortunes of Tantia Topi, who, driven out of Gwalior by 
Sir Hugh Rose, still held a few troops together in the 
wilds of Rajputana, doubling on his pursuers like a hunted 
hare. How he had been brought to this plight, it remains 
to tell. 

In the beginning of 1858 several columns of troops 
from Bombay and Madras were marching on various points 
of the country lying to the west and south of the Jumna, 
from the Aravalli to the Vindhya Hills. A Madras 
column under General Whitlock, after doing good service 
about Jubbulpore, moved on to defeat the rebels in 
Bundelkhand. Yet harder work awaited the Bombay 
column which Sir Hugh Rose led first of all to the relief 
of Saugor. On the nth February the strong fort of 
Garhakotah fell into Sir Hugh's hands. The rout of the 
rebels at Madanpur opened the way to fresh successes. 
On the 17th March Stuart's brigade stormed the fortress 
of Chanderi. Jhansi itself was invested. Twenty thousand 


men under Tantia Topi crossed the Bctwa in hopes of 
raising the siege. On the ist April they were routed >vith 
heavy slaughter by 1200 of Sir Hugh's force, and two 
days afterwards the fierce Runi's rock-perched stronghold 
was carried by storm ; herself with a few followers escaping 
into the jungle. Again the Rani and her Brahman ally 
barred the way against their old assailants at Kunch on 
the 7th May. Once more driven from the field of their 
own choosing through Sir Hugh's masterly tactics, they 
fell back with a loss of several guns on Kalpi, a strong 
fortress overlooking the Jumna, not far from Cawnpore. 

Sir Hugh, however, was not to be thwarted. On the 
19th May, with the aid of a column from Cawnpore, he 
began the attack. Twice the rebels sallied out against 
his wearied soldiers, but in vain. By the 23rd May they 
were off to Gwalior, and Sir Hugh became easy master of a 
fortified arsenal containing fifty guns and large store of arms 
and ammunition. By this time, both he himself and his 
heroic little army were in sore need of rest after so many 
months of constant marching and hard fighting under an 
Indian sun,* across many hundred miles of very broken 
ground. But the state of affairs at Gwalior forbade more 
than a brief halt at that moment. On the 1st June the 
brave young Sindhia and his able minister DInkar Rao 
were flying for their lives to Agra from a capital already 
filled with victorious rebels. Among these Tantia Topi at 
once took the lead, in the name of the Nana, whom the 
Maratha soldiery were bidden to accept as their future 
Peshvva. Leaving Whitlock, the captor of Banda, to guard 
Kalpi, Sir Hugh Rose lost no time in marching upon 
Gwalior, where some 18,000 rebels, strongly posted around 
a rock-fortress of vast strength, awaited his attack. 
Nothing, however, could long withstand the determined 

* Sir Hugh Rose himself had sufTered from five sunstrokes in a few days, 
and many of his soldiers died from the same cause. 


efforts of disciplined veterans led by the most brilliant 
general whom the mutiny had produced. Three days of 
bold manceuvring and successful fighting, in the course of 
which the bloodstained Rani of Jhansi met a soldier's 
death, placed all Gwalior outside the citadel in Sir Hugh's 
hands. On the 20th June a handful of Sepoys scaled the 
far-famed citadel itself, already abandoned by most of its 
defenders; and the young Maharaja rode back in triumph 
through the streets of a city which British valour had won 
back for its rightful lord. Next day Brigadier Robert 
Napier, with a few hundred horsemen and six light guns, 
caught up and scattered by a daring charge several thousand 
of Tantia's beaten troops. Twenty-five guns fell into the 
victors' hands, and the army of the Peshwa, broken up into 
small flying bands, no longer existed as an organised force. 
Thus ended one of the most brilliant and masterly 
campaigns of which history has any record. In less than 
six months Sir Hugh Rose had led his few thousand war- 
riors, English and native,* over more than a thousand 
miles of rugged country, bristling with arms, and dotted 
with strongholds, each capable of a stout defence. From 
Indore to Saugor, to Jhansi, to Kalpi, at length to Gwalior, 
they had marched without a check in the fierce heats of 
an Indian summer, from victory to victory, across rivers, 
over mountain passes, through intricate jungles, into the 
strongest forts, in the teeth of armies well fed, fairly dis- 
ciplined, not badly equipped, and always far outnumbering 
their own. Their bravery, devotion, and discipline, under 
hardships, dangers, and temptations of every kind, had 
well earned the hearty thanks of the skilful leader, who, 
with their help, had placed himself by that one campaign 
on a level with some of the first names in the annals of 
modern warfare. 

* Among these were some of the ITydcrabad Contingent, whose loyalty 
had remained proof to all temptations. 



LORD CAl^NlNG—{confin?ied) 

With the recapture of Gwalior ended the last serious 
struggle against our arms. In the most unquiet districts 
order was being gradually restored, and the rule of the 
civil officer was fast replacing that of the military chief. 
A passing outbreak in the Southern Maratha country 
had been suppressed betimes, before it came to a serious 
head. Delhi and the adjacent districts had been added 
to the Government of the Punjab. Order reigned in the 
North-Western Provinces. In Oudh the mild influence 
of Sir James Outram and his successor, Mr. Montgomery, 
was fast winning over the rebellious Talukdars or land- 
holders to accept the only terms on which Lord Canning 
would reinstate them in their forfeit domains. By the 
end of the year the last of the Oudh insurgents were 
driven, as we have seen, into the jungles at the foot 
of the Nepalese Hills. Tantia Topi was still at large in 
Central India, leading his pursuers a weary chase from 
Rajputana to Berar ; but he, too, on the 7th April, 1859, 
was caught at last in the jungle near Sipri, betrayed, 
like another Wallace, by one of his most trusty followers. 
His trial and speedy death as a proven accomplice in the 
Nana's crimes cut short the career of the one able leader on 


the rebel side, and marked the close of a mutiny which had 
drenched all Upper India in blood. His comrade, Firoz 
Shah, once more escaped ; but the last embers of revolt 
had been trodden out The great Sepoy Army of Bengal 
had been swallowed up in the storm of its own raising. 
The massacres of Cawnpore, Delhi, and Jhansi, had been 
requited a hundred-fold. Of the surviving mutineers 
thousands were doomed to hard labour in Indian jails, 
or to lifelong imprisonment in the Andaman Islands. Of 
the leading rebels who fell into our hands, some were 
put to death ; others, less criminal, were banished or 
imprisoned ; while the remainder, with the bulk of their 
followers, were allowed to go free. 

In the last months of this momentous struggle, the 
great Merchant Company, which had subdued all India 
in less than a hundred years, underwent the doom which 
had been hanging over it ever since the days of Pitt. 
On the 2nd August, 1858, Queen Victoria gave her 
assent to the Bill which, drawn up by Lord Stanley 
and carried with few amendments through both Houses, 
decreed the transfer of all sovereign power in India from 
the hands of the East India Company to the Crown. 
Thenceforth the government of India was vested in one 
of Her Majesty's Ministers, aided by a Council of Fifteen, 
eight of whom were to be chosen at first from the old 
Court of Directors. One of the last acts of the dis- 
crowned Company was to vote Sir John Lawrence a hand- 
some pension for services unsurpassed in Indian history. 

Thus in the very zenith of its outward greatness passed 
away from the historic scene a power whose services 
alike to India and England might have seemed to deserve 
a better fate. Englishmen might well be proud of a body 
whose fame had filled the world, whose servants in a 
hundred years had borne the Company's flag from one 
end of India to the other, fighting always against heavy 


odds, overthrowing many great dynasties, and proving in 
peace as well as in war their right to rule the two hundred 
and odd millions whom successive conquests, made for the 
most part in self-defence, often in the teeth of orders 
from England, had finally placed under their charge. 
But the tree, in fact, was rotten before it was cut down. 
The Company's sovereignty had long been undermined 
by the powers entrusted to the Ministerial Board of 
Control ; and its patronage, the last remaining source 
of its political life, was fast slipping out of its hands, 
when the great storm of 1857 revealed the weakness of 
its friends to withstand the widespread demand, raised 
both at home and in India, for its entire suppression as 
a ruling power. 

On the 1st November all India was made aware of the 
change which had befallen her late masters. On that day 
Lord Canning, as the new-made Viceroy under the new 
rule, issued from Allahabad the famous proclamation which 
announced in the Queen's name the final trai jfrr of 
India's sovereignty from the Company to the Crown. 
Throughout the chief cities of British India the new era 
of national progress was solemnly proclaimed to eager 
and rejoicing crowds, amidst the booming of guns, the 
clang of martial music, and the cheers of paraded troops. 
In the words of the royal manifesto there might be 
nothing absolutely new beyond the fact that another hand 
would henceforth wield the sceptre hitherto entrusted to 
a private Company. No new principles were really 
involved in the assertion of Her Majesty's resolve to 
govern her new subjects with a tender and scrupulous 
regard for the rights, dignities, usages, and well-being 
of each and all. liut a certain sense of relief from past 
troubles and secret fears for the future inclined the people 
at large to hail the new edict as a timely message of 
peace, forgiveness, and good will, a sure promise of better 


days to come, a formal charter of rights hitherto begrudged 
or disregarded in fact, if not in words. 

Honours and rewards were freely distributed among all 
who had done good service during the late revolt. Lord 
Canning became an earl ; Sir John Lawrence, General 
Wilson, and Sir James Outram baronets ; Sir Colin 
Campbell won his peerage as Lord Clyde ; the son of 
General Havelock succeeded to the baronetcy conferred 
upon his dying father. Nicholson's widowed mother was 
not forgotten, nor the family of the daring Neill. A host 
of deserving ofificers, civil and military, were endowed 
with the Order of the Bath. Every soldier who shared 
in the siege of Delhi or the defence of Lucknow was 
allowed to reckon another year's service towards his 
pension. Estates were conferred on unofficial Englishmen 
who, like Boyle, the defender of Arrah against thousands 
of armed Sepoys, had done things worthy of remembrance.* 
Every native known to have saved English lives or 
property received a liberal reward. On those native 
chiefs and princes who had stood loyally by the Govern- 
ment all sorts of honours and gifts were ungrudgingly 
bestowed. The Nizam himself got back a part of his 
former territory, and the balance of his debt to the State 
was wholly remitted. His able minister, Salar Jang, in 
addition to a knighthood of the new Star of India, was 
handsomely rewarded in other ways. New rights, grants 

* The defence of Mr. Boyle's bungalow at Anah by i8 Europeans and 
50 Sikh police, for seven days, against 3000 armed mutineers, aided by two 
guns, was one of the most brilliant episodes in the war of 1S57. It was con- 
ducted by Mr. Wake of the Bengal Civil Service, but its success was mainly 
owing to the foresight of Mr. Boyle, a railway engineer, who had fortified and 
provisioned his house weeks before the revolt of the Sepoys at Dinapore. 
One attempt to relieve the defenders from Dinapore was beaten back with 
heavy slaughter. The supply of drink ran short, but the Sikhs found fresh 
water by digging through the floor. At length, on the 3rd August, Major 
Vincent Eyre, with 200 English soldiers and three guns, scattered the 
besiegers, saved the little garrison from further danger, and cleared the road 
from Bengal to Cawnpore. 


of land, and privileges, were secured to Sindhia and 
Holknr, and in yet larger measure to the loyal Sikh 
princes without whose aid Delhi could not have been 
retaken, nor the adjacent provinces so speedily subdued. 
The noble Raja of Patiala was the first native who took 
his seat in the Viceroy's Legislative Council, as remodelled 
in 1861. 

One concession by which the nitive princes set most 
store was made by Lord Canning, in the Sanads or 
patents which acknowledged, with due restrictions, the 
right of every native feudatory to adopt an heir on the 
failure of male issue in his own line. In some cases a 
special provision was even made for the appointment of 
a fit successor to a prince who left neither a natural nor 
an adopted heir.* The spirit of the Royal Proclamation 
was also visible in the process of doing away with the 
old distinctions between Supreme and Sadr Courts. The 
right of sitting in the new High Court of each province 
was for the first time thrown open to qualified native 
judges of a lower grade. About the same time the Penal 
Code first drafted by Macaulay became the law of the 
land for all creeds and classes. For the first time also 
since the days of Cornwallis native gentlemen were 
empowered to serve as magistrates under the Crown. 

The last years of Lord Canning's rule were employed 
in repairing the mischief caused by the great mutiny. In 
1859 Mr. James Wilson was sent out from England to 
devise new ways and means of replenishing an exhausted 
treasury and reducing the public outlay. On his untimely 
death in i860 his place was taken and his task success- 
fully carried on by Mr. Laing. A few small local out- 
breaks rufifled for a while the general peace, and riots 
in the indigo districts of Bengal reduced some of the 
planters for a time to serious straits. But all these were 

^ " Fajahs of the Punjab," by Sir Lepel Griffin. 1S73. 


trifles compared to the great famine which wasted Upper 
India in 1861, causing the death of half a million sufferers, 
and throwing back for several years the process of recovery 
from the disasters of 1857. Foremost in the efforts made 
by his countrymen to allay the consequent misery was 
Colonel Baird Smith, who had borne no trifling part in the 
siege and capture of Delhi. He died on his way home, a 
victim to overwork in a baneful climate. 

In 1859 Lord Canning's Government passed a law 
which aimed at fulfilling the pledges made by Lord 
Cornwallis in 1793. The Bengal Rent Act secured for 
one class of rayats almost absolute ownership of their 
lands, and for another class the right of holding at a rent 
which no zamindar could enhance at his mere pleasure. 
A yet wider measure of tenant-right was carried, as we 
shall see, by a later Viceroy. 

On the 1st November, 1861, a splendid gathering of 
English officers and native chiefs ranged itself round Lord 
Canning at Allahabad, to take part in the investiture of 
some among them with the order of the Star of India. 
Chief among those who received the badges of the new 
order from the hands of its first Grand Master, the Viceroy 
himself, were the Rajas of Gwalior and Patiala, the Nawab 
of Rampur, and the stout-hearted Begam of Bhopal. A 
few months later Lord Canning, worn out with cares and 
failing health, left Calcutta on his way home. On the 17th 
June, but a few weeks after his landing in England, the 
heirless son of George Canning had ceased to breathe. 

He had already lived down the unpopularity which his 
earlier measures during the mutiny had provoked. What- 
ever may have been his shortcomings at the outbreak of 
a storm which found him still new to his work, surrounded 
by advisers no abler nor clear-sighted than himself, his 
cool courage and firm adherence to his own views of duty 
and justice won him the respect even of those who found 


most fault with his seeming blindness to the true purport 
of passing events. Undismayed by the panic around 
him, unswayed by the impulses of popular clamour, he 
worked away at his post with the calmness of conscious 
rectitude, and kept his own head clear when all around 
him were fast losing theirs. The bold stand which he 
made against the popular cry for indiscriminate revenge 
forms perhaps his highest claim to historic remembrance ; 
and the name of Clemency Canning, once fastened on him 
in keen reproach, has already become the fairest tribute 
to his public worth. 

Before Canning left India he could point to the great 
progress already made in works of national usefulness. 
By the beginning of 1862 thirteen hundred and sixty 
miles of railway had been opened, half of that total in 
the last two years. The great trunk road from Calcutta 
had been completed to Peshawar, and many hundred 
miles of new roads had been opened throughout the 
country. New canals were begun, continued, or completed 
in several provinces, and other public works were pushed 
steadily forward. The whole foreign trade of India had 
increased from 32 millions in 1850 to 80 millions in i86r. 
In Bengal the customs revenue had nearly trebled itself 
in ten years. In the last four years the foreign trade 
of Bombay had been increased by ten millions, to the 
enrichment of the cotton growers and merchants in 
Western and Southern India, who had begun to furnish 
the mills of Lancashire with the cotton no longer obtain- 
able from the war-burdened States of the American Union. 

2 C 



Lord Canning's place in India was worthily filled by 
Lord Elgin, whose successful diplomacy had just secured 
the fruits of Sir Hope Grant's victorious march to Pekin. 
The sometime Governor of Jamaica and Canada had 
already won for himself a name of statesmanship of a 
high order; and the work awaiting him in India was far 
from light. His first year of office was spent mainly in 
Calcutta, in the quiet discharge of his new duties. Early 
in 1863 he set out for the upper provinces, holding State 
Darbdrs at Benares, Agra, and Ambala, on his way up to 
the hills. Towards the end of September he started again 
from Simla on an exploring journey through the mountain 
tracts of the Punjab. But the keen air of the wild Kulu 
passes proved too much for a frame already weakened by 
the climate of Lower Bengal ; and on the 20th November 
Lord Elgin died of heart disease at Dharmsala in the 
Kangra valley, in the midst of plans for a great military 
and official gathering at Lahore, and for checking the 
movements of Wahabi fanatics in the hills westward of the 

Before his death the Sitana campaign had already 
begun with the advance of a British force under General 
Neville Chamberlain into the Ambela Pass. But the fierce 
mountaineers fought hard in their native hills ; Chamber- 
lain himself was badly wounded in November ; and his 
troops held only the ground they had won after days of 


incessant fighting. The Council at Calcutta were on the 
point of ordering an ill-timed retreat, when Sir William 
Denison, Governor of Madras, reached Calcutta as Lord 
Elgin's acting successor, in time to overrule their feebler 
counsels, and to support Sir Hugh Rose, the Commander- 
in-Chief, in his efforts to strengthen the hands of 
Chamberlain's successor. The needful reinforcements 
soon reached Garvock's camp, AmbCla was stormed in 
December, and some of our late foes were glad enough 
to show their victors the way to Malka, the chief seat of 
the Sitana fanatics. With the utter destruction of that 
place the war was over, and a wholesome fear of English 
prowess kept the rude highlanders of those regions quiet 
for years to come. 

In January of the following year Sir W. Denison made 
over the seals of government to Sir John Lawrence, the 
first Bengal civilian who had ever been formally appointed 
Governor-General of India since the days of Sir John 
Shore. His return to the country where he had lived 
and laboured for so many years was hailed by his 
countrymen as a just reward for his splendid services in 
1857. After spending the summer months at Simla, Sir 
John proceeded to meet his old friends and followers at 
Lahore. In simple but impressive terms he told the 
assembled Sikh chiefs and gentlemen of the interest 
which the Queen of England took in their well-being, 
and passed in brief review the efforts made by successive 
English rulers, from Sir Henry Lawrence to Sir Robert 
Montgomery, to further that well-being in every possible 

Meanwhile a little war was unwillingly opened with the 
rulers of Bhutan, a little Himalayan state to the north of 
Assam. For some years past the Bhotia highlanders had 
made frequent inroads into British ground 1} ing at the 
foot of their hills, and claimed by their chiefs as part 


of Bhutan. In 1863 the Hon. Ashley Eden had been 
sent to treat with the Bhutan government on behalf of the 
British subjects who had been kidnapped in these raids. 
The utter failure of the mission was crowned by the 
insults heaped upon the envoy himself. In fear of his life 
he had to sign a treaty surrendering the very lands in 
dispute. After some vain attempts to patch up the quarrel 
and gain redress for the outrage, Sir John Lawrence in 
November, 1864, declared war against Bhutan. A small 
force entered the hills ; but mismanagement and a sickly 
season delayed its progress ; some of our troops on one 
occasion were disgracefully defeated, and not till some 
months later was the enemy driven to sue for peace and 
give sure pledges for its maintenance. 

From that time no other warlike movement disturbed 
the general quiet, until 1868, when a rising of lawless 
Waghirs in Kathiawar had to be quelled by an armed ' 
force. Later in the year the Afghan tribes of the Black 
Mountain, not far from Sitana, egged on by Wahabi 
refugees from Patna, provoked speedy punishment for a 
daring outrage on the Punjab frontier. Determined this 
time to do nothing by halves, Sir John ordered a strong 
force under General Wylde to march towards the Black 
Mountain. In three weeks the invading columns had 
dealt the hill-tribes such a blow, that chief after chief 
threw himself and his clansmen on the invader's mercy, 
and the plotters who had stirred them up to acts of 
violence were glad to seek safer hiding-places else- 

The history of Sir Robert Napier's well-planned and 
thoroughly successful march to Magdala, the capital of 
King Theodore, the headstrong ruler of Abyssinia, is not 
to be told in these pages. It must not, however, be over- 
looked that the troops whom Napier led to victory in 
1868 were largely composed of Sikh regiments from 


India, that the task of equipping them and feeding them 
on the march devolved on ofificers of the Indian Govern- 
ment, and that Napier himself, as an officer of Bengal 
Engineers, had won his laurels in many an Indian field. 
In the preparations for this campaign the Viceroy himself 
played a useful and important part. 

A steady friend to peaceful progress, Sir John Lawrence 
withstood all temptations to meddle in the affairs of his 
Afghan neighbours. On the death of Dost Muhammad in 
1863, a long struggle for the throne of Kabul ensued 
between his sons Muhammad Afzul Khan and Sher AH 
Khan. The latter, whom his father had chosen for his 
heir in preference to either of his eldest sons, applied to 
the Indian Government for help against his insurgent 
brother. Beyond acknowledging Sher AH as king for the 
time being, Sir John Lawrence declined to interfere. A 
just dread of embroiling India in the domestic quarrels of 
a turbulent neighbour decided him to watch the progress 
of events across the frontier, and do nothing which could 
give either party fair cause for complaint. The strife 
between the brothers raged with varying fortune, and 
victory for a moment seemed to have finally turned the 
scales against Sher AH Khan. Afzul Khan in his turn was 
acknowledged as the actual ruler of Kabul and Kandahar, 
while Sher AH retained possession of Herat. Once mere, 
however, fortune smiled on the latter. On the death of 
Afzul Khan his next brother, Azim Khan, took his place at 
Kabul, but not for long. The dethroned Sher AH set out 
from Herat, and, fighting his way back to Kabul, once 
more became the acknowledged ruler of his father's realm. 
Before the end of 1868 he was firmly seated on the throne 
from which he had been driven three years before ; and 
Sir John's successor was enabled to reap the fruits of a 
policy which the event had fully justified. 

The five years of Sir John's rule were years on the 


whole of peace and marked prosperity. In Western and 
Central India new sources of wealth had been opened up to 
many classes by the great demand for Indian cotton which 
sprang out of the American war. For several years a 
golden stream kept flowing fast into the country. Cotton 
and railways brought untold plenty to millions who had 
hitherto earned their three or four rupees a month. The 
poorest Rayat became suddenly rich. His old mud hut 
was replaced by a roomier dwelling of brick or stone. His 
wife and daughters decked themselves in jewels of price. 
Earthenware pots gave way to vessels of brass, copper, 
and even silver. Every coolie — said one who lived among 
them — " took to dressing like a Brahman." In many cases 
old caste°distinctions were broken down by the growing 
self-esteem that comes of growing wealth. Bombay itself 
went mad over new schemes for making money ; and the 
great commercial crash of 1865, the natural result of 
reckless gambling in trade matters, dealt sudden ruin 
among many households. But the ruin did not spread 
far outside the western capital. Most of the new wealth 
remained in the country, enriching the mass of traders, 
husbandmen, and artisans, turning the waste lands into 
fruitful fields, giving new life to the cotton-looms of Nagpur, 
and increasing the public revenue in divers ways. Bombay 
itself, when the storm blew over, could still export more 
than a million bales of cotton in one season, and point to 
a foreign trade worth about forty millions a year. 

Under the active rule of Sir Richard Temple the 
Central Provinces, which had been formed in 1861 out of 
Old Bengal districts and later annexations, rose in a few 
years to a rare height of well-ordered prosperity. By 1868 
their foreign trade had swollen in value from two and a 
half to thirteen millions, and the number of schools had 
risen from four to 249. A line of railway linked Nagpur 
with Bombay and the cotton-fields of Berar, while rich 


streams of traffic from nearly all parts of India found their 
meeting-point at Jubbulpore. In British Burma the mild 
sway of Sir Arthur Phayrc did much to further the well- 
being of that young, loyal, and rising province. In twelve 
years its population was doubled, partly by immigrants 
from across the Burman frontier; its revenues had in- 
creased to the same extent, and its foreign trade risen to 
the value of ten millions a year. 

Oudh, the granary of Upper India, had little cause to 
repent the old days of Muhammadan misrule. The 
people at large were prosperous and contented ; new 
schools sprang up everywhere ; railways and canals were 
flinging abroad the seeds of golden harvests ; and its rulers 
found willing and enlightened helpmates in the Talukdars, 
whose submission to our rule had been rewarded by the 
restoration of their former rights and powers. What 
causes of difference at first lay seething between them and 
the tenant-farmers of a certain standing, were dispelled or 
abated by the measure which Sir John Lawrence carried 
in 1866 for securing the right of hereditary cultivators to 
hold their lands at the old accustomed rates. 

The Punjab, Dalhousie's model province, had thriven 
steadily under the rule of Sir Robert Montgomery and his 
widely-loved successor, Sir Donald McLeod. In no other 
part of British India did the people show equal readiness 
to pluck the best fruits of Western civilisation. The 
North-Western Provinces were fast recovering from the 
combined effects of the great Mutiny and the famine of 
1 86 1. Railways and public works gave a new impulse to 
trade and labour, while irrigation doubled and trebled 
the produce of the fruitful plains between the Ganges and 
the Jumna. When drought once more visited these pro- 
vinces in 1868 its worst horrors were averted by the new 
growth of railways and canals. Distress there was, of 
course, in some places, but the great Ganges Canal, with 


its 650 miles of main stream and 3000 of branch channels, 
saved nearly a million acres from drying up. A like 
service on a smaller scale was rendered by the Eastern 
Jumna Canal and the channels that water Rohilkhand and 
Dehra Dun, while the surplus grain of Oudh was poured 
by rail into those districts where the drought was sorest.* 

Less fortunate were the sufferers in Orissa during the 
great famine of 1866. A scanty rainfall in the previous 
year had been followed by a widespread dearth. The 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal shut his eyes to the tokens 
of coming disaster, until it was too late to pour in supplies 
of food by sea. Before relief came with the close of the 
next rainy season, nearly a million souls had died of 
hunger or disease in a province containing about four 
millions. In the neighbouring province of Madras a like 
disaster was averted by the zeal with which its governor, 
Lord Napier, took timely measures to relieve his suffering 
people. Mysore also in the following year was saved by 
the efforts of its English rulers from much of the suffering 
threatened by a sudden drought. 

During these years the whole foreign trade of British 
India rose to about a hundred millions sterling a year, or 
nearly four times as much as the total for 1848, The 
revenues of the country had increased in eleven years 
from thirty to nearly fifty millions, about five of which 
went to pay interest on the public debt. More than 1500 
miles of new railway had been laid down in the last five 
years on the lines projected by Lord Dalhousie. In 
almost every province new works of irrigation were 
steadily carried forward, or new embankments raised to 
lessen the mischief caused by sudden floods. The warm 
interest which Sir John took in the well-being of his 
European soldiers displayed itself in the building of new 

* In Rajputana, however, there was great distress from the drought of 


barracks at a heavy cost, while the safety of the empire 
against future revolts was ensured by the construction of 
fortified posts, which might serve at once to protect our 
arsenals, overawe the surrounding country, and furnish 
shelter for our countrymen in time of need. 

In each of the three presidencies a sanitary com- 
missioner was for the first time entrusted with the duty of 
planning measures for improving the general health of the 
people and guarding the military and civil stations from 
attacks of preventible disease. In aid of the former object 
municipal committees, formed largely of natives, and 
headed by the civil officers of districts, were for the first 
time established in the chief towns of the North-Western 
Provinces, with power to raise taxes for sanitary purposes 
on the towns and villages placed under their control. 
Important reforms were also carried out in the police of 
each province and in the management of the central jails. 

Great progress had meanwhile been made in the work 
of popular education. The State outlay on schools and 
colleges had risen in ten years from £\oof)QO to ;^8oo,ooo, 
the number of pupils from 40,000 to 70,000 and the 
number of schools and colleges, supported wholly or in 
part by public funds, from a few hundred to nearly 19,000. 
Every province had its own staff of paid teachers, from the 
chief director to the humblest of village schoolmasters. 
The vernacular, middle, and high schools in each district 
were linked together by means of scholarships, which 
enabled the best pupils to work their way up from the 
village school to the local college. Normal schools were 
training the youth of one generation to become the teachers 
of the next. S4,ooo girls were already learning their 
lessons in 2000 schools, while training schools for women 
sprang up here and there under English ladies. Mission 
and private schools added thousands of scholars to the 
general sum. In many districts natives of rank and 


wealth came forward with large subscriptions for the 
diffusion of knowledge among their countrymen. Some of 
the native princes — notably those of Jaipur; Kolhapur, and 
Travancore, were already following the good example of 
their neighbours within the British pale. 

Much of the impulse so given to the spread of popular 
instruction may be traced to the universal efforts and 
strong personal influence of Sir John Lawrence himself. 
To him also was largely owing the first successful attempt 
to bring the management of Indian forests under the 
nursing care of the State. In some other directions his 
hand was equally visible. He placed the cotton-culture of 
India under the charge of a special commissioner. Many 
hundred miles were added to the telegraph lines, and a 
messaGje could be flashed from one end of India to the 
other for a uniform charge of one rupee. The ruler of 
Kashmir was persuaded to abolish or reduce the tolls 
which hampered the growth of Indian trade with Ladakh 
and Turkestan. Like concessions were at length obtained 
from the headstrong King of Burma ; and the first attempt 
at opening Western China to our Indian trade was made 
in 1868, when Captain Sladen set off from Mandalay, the 
new Burman capital, on his exploring mission to Bhamo 
and Momein (Teng-yueh). Had the Burmese officers 
proved as friendly as the Panthay rulers of Yun-nan, that 
journey might have solved the question of carrying English 
wares from the Irrawaddy to the Yangtse. 

Early in January, 1869, Sir John Lawrence took his 
final leave of the country in which he had spent the best 
years of a useful and eventful life. One of his last acts 
was to double the standard weight of letters carried for 
half an anna. At the last sitting of his council he passed 
a Bill enabling the Talukdars of Oudh to borrow money 
from the Government in time of need, on the principles 
already applied in Bombay. On his return to England, 


worn out with ceaseless toiling for the public good, he 
obtained the peerage to which no living Englishman could 
have shown so strong a claim, and which the general voice 
of his countrymen would have awarded him ten years 



Lord Lawrence was succeeded by the Earl of Mayo, a 
statesman of some mark in Lord Derby's Government. A 
few weeks after his landing at Calcutta the new Viceroy 
set out to exchange greetings with Sher AH, whose crown- 
ing vn'ctory over his brother's troops at Ghazni had once 
more placed him firmly on the throne of Dost Muhammad. 
At the magnificent Darbar of Ambala, in the last days of 
March, 1869, the war-worn Amir of Kabul gave Lord Mayo 
a rare opportunity of playing at once the powerful patron 
and the winning host. For ten thousand pounds a month 
and a few thousand muskets Sher Ali agreed to be the 
friend of our friends and the enemy of our enemies. The 
lessons learned by him during that visit were not forgotten 
after his return home, and the friendly motives which had 
brought him so far away from his own dominions were not 
a little strengthened by Lord Mayo's kindly bearing and 
graceful words. 

The famine of the past year was still sore in Rajputana. 
In spite of the relief-measures ordained by Colonel Keat- 
inge, and promoted by some of the native princes, half a 
million beings were said to have died of hunger or disease, 
while nearly all the cattle perished or were driven beyond 
the border. The summer rains fell just in time to save 
the Punjab and Central India from a like fate. Later in 
the year fever raged among the marshy jungles of Hugh 
and Burdwan, Trade declined, and the public revenue 


fell far short of the estimated yield. Lord Mayo set 
himself to the work of retrenchment with more perhaps 
of zeal than discretion. The outlay on public works was 
cut down in all directions. The income tax was doubled 
in the autumn of 1869, and trebled in the spring of 1870. 
By this measure, which aimed at drawing money from 
the pockets of the wealthier trading-classes, the Viceroy 
and his finance-minister, Sir R. Temple, succeeded in 
restoring the balance between outlay and income at the 
cost of their own popularity and of untold oppression on 
the part of their native underlings. For every rupee 
v^hich reached the Treasury, at least three or four were 
squeezed by native harpies for their own profit from the 
fears or needs of their helpless countrymen. The rich 
gave bribes to escape their due share of the hated impost ; 
the poor were frightened into paying unlawful demands, 
or punished for their resistance by the seizure and forced 
sale of their few goods. Meetings against a tax denounced 
for one reason or another by all classes and colours were 
held in nearly all the chief towns and stations of India ; 
petition after petition was sent up by the Chambers of 
Commerce, and other bodies representing European or 
native interests : the newspapers teemed with instances of 
hardship or extortion ; and the Government found itself 
at issue with some of its oldest and ablest officers, notably 
with Sir William Muir, the enlightened ruler of the North- 
Western Provinces. 

All this, however, failed for the time to secure the 
removal or abatement of an impost utterly at war with 
native usages and modes of feeling. Lord Mayo lived, 
indeed, to own his error; but loyalty to his ministers and 
the India Office stayed his hands, and for his successor 
was to be reserved the credit of doing away with the 
pbnoxious tax. 

The landing of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, at 


Calcutta, in the last days of 1869, served for a time to 
draw people's minds away from their fiscal grievances to 
the progress of their princely visitor through his mother's 
Indian realms. His welcome everywhere was all that his 
own countrymen could have desired. Lord Mayo's taste 
for pageantry shone out in the great Calcutta Darbar, at 
which the Prince was invested with the Star of India 
amidst a picturesque and splendid gathering of English 
officers and native chiefs. The Prince was royally feasted 
by the native gentry of the capital. Hospitable Rajas 
found sport for him on his upward journey. The great 
cities of Upper India received him with all befitting honour. 
His visit to Lucknow was greeted by a brilliant gathering 
of loyal Talukdars. On the 7th March he played his part 
in the formal opening of the railway that links Jubbulpore 
with Bombay and Allahabad. The capital of Western 
India entertained him with becoming splendour for several 
days ; nor was Madras at all behindhand in her efforts to 
amuse and honour the departing guest. 

In spite of his economical efforts, Lord Mayo gave his 
best energies to the pushing forward of useful public 
works. On the score of cheapness a new system of State 
railways was set on foot, to continue and complete the 
work begun by the guaranteed companies. The first of 
the new lines, the Khamgaon Railway, which links the 
cotton marts of Berar to the port of Bombay, was opened 
early in 1870 by the Viceroy himself. Other lines destined 
to tap the salt-bearing districts in Oudh, the Punjab, and 
Rajputana, were begun or projected. The first sod of a 
State railway from Lahore to Peshawar was turned in 
1S70. On the older lines steady progress continued to be 
made. The opening of the great bridge over the Sutlej 
in October completed the line of railway from Bombay, 
through Allahabad and Delhi, to Lahore. Only a link 
or two was yet wanting in the iron chain which bound 


Madras to Bombay. On the last day of 1870 the Eastern 
Bengal Railway was completed to Goalundo in Assam. 
New roads and canals were making everywhere, new 
schools were founded in every province, a new department 
of trade and agriculture was called into being, and the 
opening of coal-mines in the Wardha Valley gave promise 
of a time when the railways in Western India would cease 
to depend on English coal. 

The year 1871 opened with the untimely death of Sir 
Henry Durand, whose long and able services had only 
seven months before been crowned by his promotion from 
a seat in the Viceroy's Council to the government of the 
Punjab, in the room of Sir Donald McLeod. Before the 
end of January the peace of India was once more broken 
by bands of Lushai savages, whose murderous raid across 
the Bengal frontier spread havoc among the outlying 
tea-gardens of Cachar. Troops and policemen were sent 
off to guard the frontier from further ravages ; but, owing 
to the lateness of the season, no attempt could then be 
made to pursue the raiders into their pathless jungles. 
In November, however, two columns, under Generals 
Bourchier and Brownlow, set out from different points on 
their toilsome march through a land of swamps and dense 
bamboo jungle, broken by a succession of steep hills, each 
crowned by a stockaded village. Both columns slowly 
forced their way through all obstacles, beating the enemy 
wherever they made a stand, and bearing hardships of 
every kind with the cheerfulness of soldiers confident in 
their leaders and in themselves. By the end of February, 
1872, their work was over, the Haulong and Sailu chiefs 
had yielded at discretion, and the troops quietly marched 
back across their own frontier before the rains set in. 
Their success was largely owing to the careful arrangements 
planned at the outset by Lord Napier of Magdala, the 


Meanwhile the Wahabi plotters in Bengal had received 
a severe check from the trial and condemnation of Amir 
Khan and some of his accomplices. In the Punjab a new 
danger to the public peace revealed itself in a number of 
murderous outrages inflicted on harmless Mussulman 
butchers by Sikh fanatics of the new Kuka sect, whose 
leader was Ram Singh. Condign punishment overtook 
the murderers ; but some of their brotherhood had yet to 
learn the folly of defying a powerful Government. In the 
middle of January, 1872, while British troops from Upper 
India were massed in the Camp of Exercise near Delhi, a 
few hundred of these fanatics sought to raise the Punjab 
by a sudden rush into the fort of Malodh, and a daring 
attack on the town of Malair-Kotla in Sind. Baffled in 
the latter attempt, they were speedily hunted down by 
the Deputy-Commissioner, Mr. Cowan, and the disarmed 
remnant were blown away from guns, with a merciless 
contempt of rules which evoked the just censure of the 
Indian Government. 

In his foreign policy Lord Mayo was equally cautious 
and successful. When civil war raged between Sher All 
and the unfilial Yakub Khan, the Viceroy's friendly 
counsels bore fruit in the timely reconciliation of the 
combatants, and in a large concession to the just demands 
of Sher Ali's ablest and most popular son. An old 
boundary dispute between Persia and Kalat was finally 
settled by Sir Frederick Goldsmid, acting as umpire for 
the Indian Government. A like dispute between Persia 
and Afghanistan regarding Seistan was in course of settle- 
ment by the same officer. The King of Burma was at 
length persuaded to proclaim free trade throughout his 
dominions. In the quarrels of petty potentates on the 
Persian Gulf, Lord Mayo interfered only when they seemed 
to imperil the interests of British subjects. Over the 
Indian chiefs and nobles who thronged to his frequent 


Darbars, his fine tact and courtly breeding conspired with 
a certain taste for pomp and splendour to strengthen 
the influence naturally due to his viceregal rank and 

Like many of his predecessors, he displayed a keen 
appetite for hard work, and a searching eye for details, 
however trifling. One of his rides before breakfast would 
have been for most men a good day's work. Now hurrying 
from one frontier post to another, anon inspecting the site 
for a new hill-station ; one while opening a new line of 
railway in a cotton district, at another exchanging courte- 
sies with the high-born princes of Rajputana or political 
talk with the Maharaja of Kashmir ; he went everywhere, 
saw and heard everything for himself, and turned his new 
knowledge to the best account. The abuses he discovered 
in the department of Public Works were exposed and 
repressed with a single eye for the public good. Few 
Viceroys have ever taken a keener or more intelligent 
interest in all schemes for developing India's productive 
wealth ; nor did even Lord William Bentinck show greater 
zeal in the task of keeping down the growing outlay at 
the least possible sacrifice of the public needs. 

During these years many useful and important measures 
became law. A Hindu Wills Act, framed by Mr. Fitzjames 
Stephen, Law Member of the Council, gave a legal sanction 
to practices more or less conflicting with old Hindu usage. 
The Punjab Tenancy Act defined and guarded the rights 
of occupiers under former settlements. A new amendment 
of the Penal Code assimilated the Indian law against 
sedition to that of England. Bills for legalising the 
marriages of Brahmists and other dissenters from the 
prevailing creeds were carried after much debating. An 
important measure for dealing with the criminal tribes of 
India, and an Act for checking the nuisance of European 
loafers, were likewise passed. In the Bengal Legislature 

2 D 


fresh safeguards were enacted on behalf of Coolie emigrants 
to the tea-gardens of Assam. The Government of Bengal 
was for the first time empowered to raise cesses on the 
land for the extension of roads and schools. In England 
an Act was passed in 1869 which limited the service of 
members of the Home Council to ten years, and took 
away from the Council itself the right of appointing half 
its own number. 

A yet more important measure of administrative reform 
was applied in 1871, when the local governments were 
for the first time entrusted with the management of all 
revenues required for local purposes. By this arrangement 
a due proportion of the imperial revenues was yearly 
allotted to the several provinces for disbursement on 
roads, schools, jails, police, and some other items hitherto 
supervised by the Central Government. Thenceforth each 
local governor was free to frame his own budget, to spend 
as he might deem best the money assigned him from the 
common fund, and to raise new taxes at need from his 
own province in aid of the purposes for which that money 
was to be assigned. A new guarantee for thrift in pro- 
vincial outlay was thus supplied by the transfer to pro- 
vincial rulers of a part of the power hitherto wielded by 
the Central Government alone. 

Lord Mayo's active and useful career was suddenly cut 
short by the knife of an assassin on a remote island in 
the Bay of Bengal. On the 24th January, 1872, he 
embarked from Calcutta on a tour of inspection whose 
promised goal was Orissa. Some days of busy sight-seeing 
were spent at Rangoon and Moulmein. On the 8th 
Februarj' he reached Port Blair, to examine for himself 
the new convict settlement in the Andaman Islands. 
After a hard day's work he reached the pier, where a boat 
was waiting to carry him and his party aboard their vessel. 

The brief tv.^ilight cf the tropics had already faded into 


night. In a moment an unseen convict, a Pathan who 
had been transported for murder done in the Punjab, 
sprang out of the darkness, and, before help could reach 
his victim, the stroke had been dealt which deprived India 
of an able ruler, and the native princes of a wise and 
honoured friend. In another moment the murderer was 
pinned by those around him, but his sharp knife and 
strong arm had done their work. Half-an-hour afterwards 
Lord Mayo breathed his last, a victim to the frenzy of a 
young savage soured by brooding over his fancied wrongs, 
and reckless of the means he took to gratify at once his 
thirst for vengeance and his fanaticism. 

The tidings of Lord Mayo's death thrilled all India 
with horror and genuine grief. All classes of his subjects 
mourned the loss of a ruler whose winning manners and 
honest zeal for the public good had secured the affection 
or the respect even of those who disliked some parts of 
his public policy. Hindus and Muhammadans alike came 
forward to express their loyal sympathy with the widow 
of a Viceroy whose strong good sense had bidden fair to 
undo the mischief caused by his earlier fiscal measures, 
and whose efforts to redress or abate Muhammadan 
grievances were already bearing fruit when the hand of 
a Mussulman savage laid him low. On the princes and 
nobles of India his death came like a personal bereavement. 
Sindhia's exclamation, " I have made and lost a friend," 
bore touching witness to the kindly tact and skill with 
which Lord Mayo won the hearts and moulded the policy 
of the native rulers. As a personal friend, indeed, he was 
mourned not only by the highest in the land, but by all 
who had ever felt the charm of personal intercourse with 
perhaps the most genial statesman of his day. 

For a few months his place was worthily filled by Lord 
Napier, the retiring Governor of Madras. Early in May, 
however, the new Viceroy, Lord Northbrook, took up the 


reins of government at Calcutta, laden with the fruits of 
a long previous training in the India Office, the Admiralty, 
the War Office, and one or two other departments of the 
State. His new career may be said to have begun at 
Simla, where, in compliance with recent usage, he and his 
Council passed the hot and rainy season of 1872. One of 
his first acts betrayed a becoming care to walk in the steps 
of his latest predecessors. The Russian conquerors of 
Bokhara were about to punish the Khan of Khiva, the 
ancient Kharizm, for the many outrages inflicted year 
by year on Russian subjects by his man-stealing and 
murdering Turkmans. An envoy from Khiva besought 
Lord Northbrook to step in between his master and the 
coming danger. Lord Northbrook answered by a friendly 
message counselling the Khan to offer timely amends for 
the misdeeds laid to his account. Had his advice been 
honestly followed, perhaps the Russian advance to Khiva 
in 1873 might never have taken place. 

After some months spent in useful if unobtrusive work, 
the new Viceroy set out in October on a tour of inquiry 
through nearly all the chief towns of Northern, Western, 
and Central India, from Lahore to Bombay and Jubbul- 
pore. Darbars were held at several places on his road, 
which brought him into friendly contact with a host of 
princes and great nobles north of the Tapti, from Patiala 
to Indore. The two great Maratha feudatories, Holkar 
and Sindhia, vied with each other in the splendour of the 
welcome given by the one at Bombay, by the other at 
Barwai, to their viceregal guest. In those two months of 
constant travel Lord Northbrook laid in fresh stores of 
practical knowledge on all the leading questions of the day. 

Foremost among these was the question of taxation. 
In a populous country ruled by a handful of strangers 
from afar, it behoves the rulers above all things to abstain 
from laying heavy or unwonted burdens on the subject 


millions. The murmurs provoked throughout India by 
the fiscal experiments of late years, especially by the 
income-tax of 1S70, had not been silenced by the sub- 
sequent lowering of that unpopular impost. Even Lord 
Mayo's concession of larger powers to the local govern- 
ments became, in the popular fancy, a mere blind for 
further inroads on the tax-paying classes. From the first, 
however, Lord Northbrook set himself to grapple with the 
salient causes of popular discontent. A careful inquiry 
into all the taxes and cesses levied throughout India 
issued in the collection of a large body of facts and 
opinions, which served to guide and strengthen the 
Viceroy's efforts in the field of financial reform. The 
lessons he had thus been learning emboldened him in 
March, 1873, to abolish the income-tax altogether, to 
proclaim the early enforcement of a road-cess in Bengal, 
and to warn the local governments against any further 
increase of the local burdens. 

In the early part of the same year the excitement 
lately caused, both in India and at home, by the progress 
of Russian arms and influence in Central Asia, was in 
some measure allayed by the readiness of the Russian 
Government to acknowledge and respect the new line of 
frontier laid down by the India Office for Afghanistan, as 
the limit of English influence in the regions bordering the 
Punjab. Later interviews between Lord Northbrook and 
a special envoy from Kabul issued in a renewal of the 
friendly assurances exchanged between Lord Mayo and 
Sher Ali at the Ambala Darbar. In the interests of 
Indian trade with Turkestan, Mr. Forsyth in 1873 led a 
second embassy to the court of our good friend Aluham- 
mad Yakub, the firmly established ruler of Kashgar, 
Khotan, and other provinces not long wrested from 
Chinese rule. Forsyth's success on this occasion was to 
bear no lasting fruit, for a few years later fortune turned 


against our new ally, and a Chinese Viceroy once more 
ruled over Eastern Turkestan. Another mission, headed 
by Sir Bartle Frere, had set out from England, towards 
the close of 1872, for the purpose of checking the rampant 
slave-trade along the eastern coast of Africa, by means of 
fresh treaties with the Sultan of Zanzibar and the adjacent 
chiefs. It was not till after the leader of the mission had 
returned home that the reluctant Sultan was coaxed or 
frightened into joining the new crusade against a traffic 
which his own connivance and the cunning of not a few 
Indian traders had done so much to foster and extend. 

In the midst of his official labours Lord Northbrook 
found himself confronted by a great and growing danger. 
During the rainy season of 1873 the greater part of Bengal 
and Bihar was suffering from a drought which boded a 
wide-spread failure of the autumn crops. Early in 
September the warning notes of impending famine were 
sounded by Sir George Campbell, the energetic Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal. Lord Northbrook hurried down at 
once from Simla to aid his lieutenant in fighting against a 
famine which might else rage unchecked among twenty- 
five million souls. The fight was long and arduous, for 
the winter rainfall proved too partial to do much good ; 
but the Viceroy was determined to spare no effort in the 
task of bringing food to the hungry and saving human 
lives. When Campbell's health, long failing, broke down 
under the strain, Sir Richard Temple, then Finance 
Minister, took his place. Vast stores of rice, bought up 
by Government officers in Burma, were shipped to Calcutta 
and distributed through the suffering districts ; relief 
committees sought out the weak and helpless, and those 
who were ashamed to beg ; and relief-works were promptly 
opened in every centre of distress. Temple himself spared 
no pains and knew no rest in the discharge of his multi- 
farious duties ; while a picked staff of officers, v/hite and 


dusky, worked away like heroes in aid of the object which 
their leaders had most at heart. 

In May, 1874, the famine reached its height. But the 
Viceroy's forethought, aided by Temple's supervising 
energy and the zeal of all who worked under him, kept 
the people alive, until the monsoon rains of July and 
August sent the most of them flocking from the relief- 
works back to their wonted labours in the fields. By the 
middle of October all fear of further suffering was dispelled 
by the tokens of returning plenty. For once no epidemic 
disease followed in the famine's wake. Only twenty-two 
persons in all were known to have died of sheer starvation ; 
a result which loudly testifies to the thoroughness with 
which Lord Northbrook's policy of saving life at what- 
ever cost was carried out. Of the six millions sterling 
spent on famine relief, no small part went towards the 
making of new roads, branch railways, and embankments 
for canals. In another twelvemonth all traces of the 
mischief caused by the famine had disappeared. The 
foreign trade of Bengal was steadily increasing, and her 
land revenue yielded its normal amount. 

As Lieutenant-Governor of that great province. Sir G. 
Campbell had proved himself a wise statesman and a 
vigorous reformer. He was the first to carry out in Bengal 
those principles of popular instruction which had already 
borne good fruit in Bombay and the North-West. In the 
course of three years and a-half his province was covered 
with primary schools, each furnished with trained masters, 
at a trifling increase of the total cost to the State. Tests 
of bodily as well as mental fitness were applied to 
candidates for the Native Civil Service. His scheme of 
"promotion" in the higher ranks of the Covenanted 
Service left every civil officer free to rise in that branch of 
the service which best suited his own tastes or his previous 
training, He carried through his Council a bill which 


compelled the Zamindars of Bengal to contribute some- 
thing towards the maintenance of roads and schools. 
Under his able guidance the first regular census of the 
people in his province was carried out in 1872. The 
agrarian troubles in Eastern Bengal brought out alike his 
sympathies with a rack-rented peasantry, and his firmness 
in repressing overt disorder. Of the administrative burden 
which had lain upon Campbell's shoulders some part was 
lifted from those of his successor ; for in 1875 the border 
provinces of Assam, Cachar, and Sylhet, were handed over 
to a chief commissioner responsible only to the Viceroy 

In the same year Sir John Strachey took over the 
government of the North-West Provinces from the 
scholarly and zealous Sir William Muir. The Revenue 
and Rent Acts, which Muir had lately carried through the 
Viceroy's Legislative Council, besides other improvements 
in the land-law of the province, secured to a large class of 
tenants the right of holding at a fixed rent for ten years. 
The timely action of the Indian Government averted a 
Santhal outbreak against the money-lenders of Bengal. 
Risings of peasantry against the village usurers of Poona 
and Ahmadnagar troubled for a time the peace of Bombay, 
then governed by Sir Philip Wodehouse. The report of a 
Commission ordered by Lord Northbrook to inquire into 
the cause of these outbreaks showed what reason the 
peasants of the Deccan sometimes had for turning upon 
those who plundered them in the name of the law. In 
due time they also were to obtain a lawful remedy for the 
wrongs thus brought to light. 

Plarly in 1875 the Gaikwar of Baroda, Malhar Rao, 
whose misrule had sorely taxed the Viceroy's endurance, 
was at length arraigned before a mixed Commission of 
Englishmen and Natives of high standing, on the charge of 
attempting to poison his Resident, Colonel Phayre. At 


the end of a long trial the three English Commissioners 
found him guilty, while their Native colleagues pronounced 
more or less confidently in the Gaikvvar's favour. In 
compliance with orders from Lord Salisbury, then Minister 
for India, Lord Northbrook formally deposed the Gaikwar, 
not for the outrage on Colonel Phayre, but for all his past 
misconduct, and his late disregard of former warnings. 
A new Gaikwar was installed at Baroda, under the regency 
of Jamna Bai, and one of the ablest of Native statesmen, 
Sir Madhara Rao, who had done good service in Travancore 
and at the court of Holkar, was appointed to rule the State 
as Chief Minister, with Philip Melville for his Resident. 

The misrule in Baroda formed a rare exception to the 
good things reported from most of the Native States. 
These were no longer as they had been in Dalhousie's 
days. The sons and nephews of Rajas and Sardars were 
learning to ride and play cricket in schools managed 
by English masters. In the high schools and colleges 
English teaching was steadily making its way. Many of 
the Native princes were learning X.o spend money freely on 
schools, hospitals, and public works. In several States of 
Rajputana and Central India justice was administered on 
pure English principles. Holkar was zealous in founding 
cotton mills, and otherwise developing the natural re- 
sources of Indore. The rulers of Travancore were liberal 
patrons of all Western culture, and the schools in that 
southern kingdom might bear comparison with those of 
any province in British India. 

In the higher offices of the State Native agency was 
steadily gaining ground. Native judges took their seats 
in the High Court of more than one province ; Native 
gentlemen appeared on Municipal Committees, on the 
bench of magistrates, and in the Legi>lative Councils. 
Natives thronged the higher ranks of the Uncovenanted 
Service, and two or three Native Candidates passed by 


open competition into the favoured Civil Service itself. 
On the other hand, Western Ideas and influences were 
gradually leavening the Native mind. Societies vi^ere 
founded in many places for the purpose of discussing 
questions of social or political reform. The great Brahmo 
reformer, Keshab Chandra Sen, taught his followers a 
religion deeply permeated by Christian modes of thought. 
Many Natives readily sent their children to Mission 
schools. Scholarly Natives wrote in good English on 
subjects which few Western writers could have handled 
more ably. Some of the leading Hindus had begun to 
educate their daughters in the learning of modern Europe, 
and Native ladies began to exchange visits with their 
English female friends. Brahman Pandits discovered that 
a Hindu might cross the sea without losing caste, that the 
eating of flesh was not forbidden by the Vedas, and that a 
Hindu widow might marry again without deadly sin. 

By the untimely death of Lord Hobart in April, 1875, 
Madras lost a Governor whose services to his people it 
would be hard to overrate. He had opened schools for 
the special use of Muhammadan children, and had fought, 
not wholly in vain, against the Viceroy's scheme for 
enhancing the salt-duties of his province in order to lower 
those of Upper India. Later in the year Lord North- 
brook's Council ordained a large reform of the Customs 
Tariff. Thenceforth export duties were to be levied only 
on indigo, rice, and lac ; of the import duties some were 
repealed and the remainder greatly reduced. In spite of 
famine charges and a falling exchange, the revenue for 
this year was to yield a net surplus of a million and 
one-third over an outlay of 49I millions. 

The visit of the Prince of Wales to India towards the 
close of 1875 was an event which stirred large classes of 
the people to unwonted enthusiasm. They welcomed him 
as their future sovereign, the heir of that royal lady who 


had first claimed their homage in the proclamation of 
1858. His progress everywhere from Bombay to Kashmir 
was one long triumph. Never had Calcutta beheld a 
pageant so gorgeous as the Chapter of the Bath held by 
His Royal Highness on the great Maidan. The princes 
and nobles of India vied with each other in the costliness 
of their presents and the splendour of their hospitalities. 
Their intercourse with a guest so gracious quickened their 
sense of personal loyalty towards the British Crown, 

In his dealings with the Border States Lord North- 
brook showed himself a friendly and forbearing neighbour. 
He succeeded in restoring peace between the Khan of 
Khalat and his unruly Sardars. His attempt to send 
a Mission through Burma overland to Shanghai was 
early frustrated by Chinese treachery. Sher Ali, the 
Afghan Amir, kept him duly informed of every letter 
that passed between him and the Russian Governor at 
Turkestan. But the Viceroy's views on Afghan policy 
were not those of the Home Government. Their proposal 
to place a British Resident at Herat was met by Lord 
Northbrook with grave remonstrances and well-reasoned 
warnings against a course so hateful to our Afghan ally. 
When Lord Salisbury finally urged him to find or make 
some pretext for sending a Mission to Kabul, Lord North- 
brook declined to embark on an enterprise which involved 
so dangerous a departure from the policy of twenty years 
past. Having to chose between a breach of discipline and 
the breach of treaty pledges, Lord Northbrook resigned 
office on some plea of ill-health, and turned his face home- 
wards in April, 1S76, amidst the outspoken regrets of all 
classes. As a leading Native journal well said, he "could 
not be considered a brilliant ruler, for he made no war, 
annexed no territory, committed no plunder; but he gave 
the land rest." 


DOWNE— 1876-1889 

On the 1 2th April, 1876, the new Viceroy, Lord Lytton, 
landed in Calcutta, and entered with a light heart on the 
task cut out for him by the Government at home. Faith- 
ful to the instructions sent out by Lord Salisbury, he at 
once requested Sher Ali to receive a British envoy at 
Kabul or elsewhere. The arrival of a new Viceroy and 
the assumption of a new title by the Queen of England 
were the pretexts assigned for a move so contrary to all 
existing pledges. In spite of the Amir's reluctance to 
walk into the trap thus laid for him, Lord Lytton con- 
tinued to press him with new demands backed by veiled 
menaces and fine-sounding offers. Sher Ali was reminded 
that the British Government "could break him as a reed" ; 
that his true position between England and Russia was 
that of the earthen pipkin between two iron pots. At last 
the Amir agreed to the holding of a conference at 

In the last days of January, 1877, the two envoys, Sir 
Lewis Pelly and Nur Muhammad, opened a conference, 
the very bases of which remained in dispute. The Afghan 
envoy pleaded long and earnestly against the formidable 
risks involved in the admission of British officers into 
Herat and Kandahar. Sher All's throne would be en- 
dangered, and the British officers might be killed. Pelly 


insisted on compliance with Lord Lytton's demands. 
After his envoy's death in March, Shcr AH was on the 
point of giving way, when Pelly, by the Viceroy's orders, 
brought the conference to a sudden close. Soon after- 
wards the Viceroy's Vakil, or Native agent, was recalled 
from Kabul. 

Meanwhile Lord Lytton had taken another long step 
in furtherance of the new policy favoured by the powers 
at home. In November, 1876, a British garrison was 
finally planted in the fortified town of Quetta, which over- 
looks the Shal valley and commands the road from 
Kandahar to Sind through the Bolan Pass. The right 
to occupy such a post was implied in the Treaty of 1854 ; 
but the wisdom of occupying a place so far beyond the 
wild mountains which guard our Sind frontier had been 
strenuously denied by nearly all the best judges from 
Lord Lawrence to Sir Harry Lumsden and Sir Herbert 
Edwardes. Nor can it be doubted that the presence of a 
British outpost in such a quarter deepened the Amir's 
distrust of British friendliness and good faith. 

On the first day of 1877 the Imperial Assemblage, in 
honour of the assumption by the English Queen of the title, 
justified by present facts as well as of historic usage, of 
Empress of India, was held on the memorable ridge that 
looks over the city of Delhi. Amidst a vast and gorgeous 
array of princes, grandees, British officers and ladies, Lord 
Lytton took his seat in the huge pavilion, to hear the 
proclamation of the new imperial title which the Queen 
had deigned to assume. Its last words were caught up by 
a grand salute of guns and musketry and the crashing 
music of thirty regimental bands. The proclamation was 
read aloud amidst smaller gatherings in all the chief cities 
and stations of India. Honours were showered in all 
directions ; a new Order of the Indian Empire was pro- 
claimed ; the rulers of Gwalior and Kashmir were gazetted 


generals in the British army ; and fifteen thousand 
prisoners were set free. 

Amidst all this splendour and excitement a dark cloud 
of famine was breaking over Southern India. By the end 
of 1876 vast numbers of people in Madras, Bombay, and 
Mysore were already feeling the pinch of a calamity far 
more prolonged and widespread than the- recent famine in 
Bengal. In July, 1877, two million people in the Madras 
Presidency alone were receiving State relief in the shape 
either of wages for special work, or of food and alms. By 
September the numbers were still greater. The distress 
continued even into the following year. In Mysore it 
became almost unmanageable. In spite of the vast 
machinery organised everywhere for famine relief, in spite 
of the help afforded by the railways, of all the precautions 
taken by the supreme and local governments, of the zeal 
and self-devotion displayed by a whole army of hard- 
working overseers, the total of deaths from famine and 
disease amounted to five millions and a quarter, while the 
whole cost of famine relief was reckoned at eleven millions 
sterling. At one time the scarcity spread over parts of 
Northern India, accounting for the loss of another million 
lives in the North-West Provinces alone. 

In order to provide against future famines Lord 
Lytton's Government of 1878 decreed the levying of a 
licence tax on trades, and of a special cess on the land in 
Northern India, while they enhanced the salt tax in Bombay 
and Madras. The proceeds of the new imposts were to 
form a famine insurance fund of a million and a half 
a year, not a rupee of which should be applied to other 
uses than the payment of famine debts or the making of 
" protective " works, such as canals and branch railways. 

Unfortunately the new fund was soon to be swallowed 
up in the expenses of another Afghan war. In the spring 
of 1878 a picked force of 8000 Sepoys was shipped off 


from India to Malta, as a kind of menace to Russia, whose 
armies were encamped within easy reach of Constantinople. 
The Russian countermove was made from Samarkand, in 
the shape of an embassy to the Amir of Kabul. Before 
Colonel Stoletofif arrived in Kabul, the treaty of peace 
between Russia and Turkey had already been signed at 
Berlin. Nothing came of the embassy to Kabul but an 
exchange of mere civilities. Lord Lytton, however, de- 
manded that Shcr Ali should forthwith receive an English 
embassy also. In spite of the Amir's protests and plead- 
ings for delay. Sir Neville Chamberlain with a strong 
escort set forth in September from Peshawar. At Ali 
Masjid in the Khyber Pass, one of his officers was 
firmly but politely required to turn back by the Afghan 

This rebuff was telegraphed to England as the forcible 
repulse of a British embassy from an Afghan outpost. 
Lord Lytton prepared for war, but by orders from the 
Home Government the Amir was granted a few weeks' 
grace. His letter of apology miscarried, and on the 
2 1st November three columns of British troops advanced 
from three different quarters into Afghanistan. Before 
the winter had set in, Jalalabad and Kandahar were in 
British keeping. Sher Ali fled from Kabul and died 
soon afterwards in a corner of his realm. In the following 
April his son Yakub Khan signed the Treaty of Gan- 
damak, which gave India a new frontier beyond the 
passes, and guaranteed the safety of a British Resident at 

For a few months all went smoothly in Afghanistan ; 
but it was only " the torrent's smoothness ere it dash 
below." On the 3rd September, 1879, the British Resi- 
dency, where Sir Louis Cavagnari had been installed in 
July, was attacked by a furious Afghan mob, including 
hundreds of the Amir's soldiers. The Amir himself was, 


or seemed to be, powerless to interfere. In a few hours 
the Residency was gutted and all its inmates and de- 
fenders dead. Early in October Roberts led his troops 
from the Kurram Valley on Kabul, while Stewart once 
more marched to Kandahar. The victory of Charasiah 
gave Roberts full possession of Kabul. More than once 
that winter his troops were fiercely assailed by swarms of 
insurgent Afghans. Yakub Khan gave himself up to 
Roberts and was sent off a State prisoner to Peshawar. 
His brother Ayub held Herat in his name, while other 
chiefs rallied to the cause of Yakub's infant son. Anarchy 
and violence reigned everywhere outside Kabul and the 
province of Kandahar. On his march from Kandahar to 
Kabul in the spring of 1880, Stewart had much ado to 
beat off a large body of Afghan fanatics in the fight of 
Ahmad Khel. 

He had hardly joined hands with Roberts at Kabul 
when a new Ministry came into power at home, pledged to 
undo Lord Lytton's aggressive policy in Afghanistan. 
Lord Lytton therefore at once resigned his post in April, 
1880, leaving behind him the legacy of a heavy debt 
incurred for no good reason, and the memory of a severe 
law passed against the Native Indian Press. In March, 
1878, he had forced through his Council an Act which 
placed Native newspapers under an almost Russian censor- 
ship. Of other measures enacted during his rule, the 
most beneficent was the Act of 1879, which insured to the 
peasantry of Southern India a sensible relief from the 
greed of ruthless money-lenders, and the one-sided action 
of the civil courts. Thenceforth, for one thing, the peasant's 
holding could not be wholly taken away from him, even 
for a term of years, until all means of inquiry and arbitra- 
tion had failed ; nor might the peasant be imprisoned in 
execution of a decree for debt. In 1879 the right of 
natives of India to a larger share in the government of 


their own country was acknowledged by the creation of a 
Statutory Civil Service, the candidates for which were to 
be selected by the Local Governments. A number of 
appointments hitherto reserved for the Covenanted Service 
were to be allotted yearly to civilians of the new 

Lord Lytton's place was filled by the Marquis of Ripon, 
who, as Lord Dc Grey, had once for a few months been 
Secretary of State for India. Sher Ali's nephew and old 
antagonist, Abdur Rahman Khan, had already been sum- 
moned from his place of exile to the vacant throne of 
Kabul. In July the new Amir was installed by British 
officers, and our troops were ordered to prepare for leaving 
his capital. By that time, however, Ayub Khan was 
marching with his Heratis across the Helmand. A British 
brigade sent out against him from Kandahar was routed 
with heavy slaughter at Maiwand, and great fear was felt 
for the safety of Kandahar itself. 

Happily the troops which Stewart had brought to 
Kabul were still there. Nine thousand of these under the 
dashing Frederick Roberts marched off without delay, 
traversed three hundred miles of rugged country in twenty 
days, and on the ist September drove Ayub's army, after 
some sharp fighting, in wild rout from the neighbourhood 
of Kandahar. In the following year Lord Ripon with- 
drew the last of his troops from Afghan territory. The 
Treaty of Gandamak became almost a dead letter. No 
successor to Cavagnari was ever forced upon the Afghan 
Amir, nor was any return attempted to the vexatious 
policy of Lord Lytton's day. Ere long Ayub was driven 
out of Herat, and Abdur Rahman reigned in peace over all 
the realms of Dost Muhammad. Of the twenty millions 
which India had expended on the late war, one-fourth was 
repaid her from the Imperial treasury. 

Under Lord Ripon's peaceful and progressive rule 

2 E 


India moved briskly forward along all the lines of organic 
growth. A series of good seasons fostered agriculture, 
stimulated trade, and enabled the Government to fill its 
treasuries without recourse to new taxes. Public works of 
all kinds were prosecuted with increasing vigour and with 
every promise of ultimate advantage. The railway system 
was steadily developed, especially in respect of new State 
lines. Several of the old guaranteed lines had begun to 
yield a substantial profit. India's foreign trade rose in 
value from a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty 
millions a year. A general lowering of the salt-duties 
to one uniform rate in 1882, entailed no permanent loss 
of revenue, while it proved a real boon to millions of 
poor rayats. In the same year were abolished the last of 
those duties on cotton imports, some of which had dis- 
appeared in Lord Lytton's time. The import duties on all 
articles except arms, alcoholic drinks, salt, and opium, 
were also done away. Of exports since 1880 rice alone 
continued to pay duty. 

In everything that concerned the moral and social 
well-being of his subjects Lord Ripon took a lively interest. 
In 1882 a select commission, with Dr. William Hunter 
(afterwards Sir William Hunter, one of the most eminent 
modern writers on Indian history and the creator of the 
Imperial Gazetteer of India) for its president, was appointed 
to inquire into the working of the educational system 
first organised in 1854. The inquiry resulted in a well- 
considered scheme for limiting the State outlay on the 
higher education, in order to improve and develope the 
still backward system of primary and middle schools. 
The training of the people for the due management of their 
local affairs was the object of a radical reform in the 
municipal system of India. The Municipal Committees 
in almost every province were remodelled on a basis of 
popular election, such as the great capitals had long 


possessed. By another enactment the Native Press was 
restored to its former freedom. 

Lord Ripon's zeal for even-handed justice brought him, 
once at least, into sharp coHision with the bulk of his own 
countrymen. Several Natives had lately made their way 
into the Covenanted Service. With the Viceroy's sanction 
Mr. Ilbert, Law Member of his Council, drew up a Bill 
which extended to Native rural magistrates the right of 
trying all criminal cases that came before the district 
courts. The Europeans in India raised a furious outcry 
at this new attack on the privileges of the dominant race, 
and a storm of obloquy raged loud and long against the 
Viceroy himself. Lord Ripon saw the need of some com- 
promise, and the Ilbert Bill in a modified form at length 
became law. The rancour of his assailants endeared him 
all the more visibly to Natives of every class. The 
spontaneous outburst of popular gratitude which every- 
where cheered his last journey through Upper India in 
1884 far surpassed in cumulative strength and fervour 
anything seen or heard by any former Viceroy. 

Three years earlier the province of Mysore, which had 
flourished for half a century under British rule, was form- 
ally handed over, by command of the India Office, to a 
youthful scion of the old Native dynasty, which Lord 
W. Bentinck had to all seeming dethroned for ever. 
Towards the end of 1884 Lord Ripon's place was filled by 
the Earl of Duffcrin, who had already won high honours 
both as a statesman and a diplomatist. For the new 
Viceroy was reserved the credit of carrying through its 
last stages a long-debated measure of reform in the rent 
law of Bengal. The Bengal Tenancy Act of 1885 gave 
clearer sanctions and a much wider scope to the principle 
of tenant-right enforced by the Rent Act of 1859. Fixity 
of tenure and fair rents were secured thenceforth, as a 
rule, to every rayat who had retained his holding for three 


, . L 

years, while a tenant of twelve years' standing could not 
have his rent enhanced on any pretext. Two years later 
a fair measure of tenant-right was secured to the rayats of 

Matters of less peaceful import were already engrossing 
Lord Dufferin's attention. English and Russian officers 
had been commissioned to define the northern boundaries 
of Afghanistan. Between the two parties arose disagree- 
ments and misunderstandings which at onetime threatened 
the peace of Asia and Europe. Happily the storm-clouds 
were dispelled by prudent statesmanship. The Amir of 
Kabul gave due heed to the Viceroy's counsels ; and the 
marking out of the Afghan frontier was finally carried 
through without any further hitch. Meanwhile fresh 
trouble had been brewing on the side of Upper Burma, 
where the long misrule and virtual hostility of the savage 
king Theebaw had brought matters to a deadlock. The 
need for British interference was accented by the rumour 
of French intrigues and the progress of French arms 
towards the Burmese border. Before the end of 1885 
Mandalay, the capital, was occupied by British troops, the 
king himself was prisoner in our hands, and the greater 
part of his country was held by British garrisons. In 
February, 1886, the issue which Dalhousie had long since 
foreseen became an historic fact. The Alompra dynasty 
ceased to rule over the wide tracts of mountain and forest 
which divide Pegu from the Chinese frontier ; and the 
half-conquered country was declared a British province, to 
be ruled by the Viceroy through a Chief Commissioner, 
aided by a select staff of British officers. It was no easy 
task to establish peace and order in a province as large 
as France, infested with rebellious chiefs and an armed 
banditti of unemployed soldiers. In three years, however, 
that task was nearly accomplished, and when Lord Dufferin 
quitted India the foundations of civilised order and social 


well-being were already laid in the youngest province of 
his empire. 

But for the lingering troubles in Burma, and the small 
campaigns of 1888 in the Black Mountain and on the 
borders of Tibet, the peace of India remained unbroken 
during the last years of Lord Dufferin's rule. The 
Burmese war, with all that came of it ; the need of 
strengthening the defences of the North-Western frontier ; 
a large increase of the Indian Army ; and a steady fall in 
the exchange value of the rupee — all this involved an 
outlay of many millions sterling, a part of which had to 
be defrayed by new or increased taxation, and by the 
appropriation of funds designed for local and special 
purposes. In spite of a growing revenue, of a flourishing 
export trade, and of a strict economy in administrative 
details, there was a deficit of six millions on the total 
income of four years. Several of the Native princes 
proved their loyalty by offering large sums of money in 
free gift towards the cost of the frontier defences, or by 
granting loans on liberal terms to the Supreme Govern- 
ment. In the Jubilee year, 1887, some of them, including 
Holkar, crossed the sea to pay their homage to the great 
Queen-Empress, and to bear their part in the ceremonial 
pomps and festivities which crowned the first half-century 
of her benign rule. In India the Jubilee festival was 
marked by the release of 25,000 prisoners from the jails, 
while Sindhia's heart was gladdened by the free surrender 
of that historic fortress of Gwalior which our troops had 
garrisoned ever since the Mutiny. 

Meanwhile the leaven of English influence and example 
was working more and more freely upon Native habits and 
institutions. The princes and chiefs of Rajputana pledged 
themselves to curtail the ruinous cost of marriage and 
funeral rites among their own people, and to fight against 
the time-honoured practice of child-marriage. English- 


women were doing good work as teachers or as doctors 
among the inmates of many a Zenana. Numbers of young 
Indians flocked over to England for the purpose of study- 
ing law or medicine, or other branches of practical know- 
ledge, or of gaining an insight into the social and political 
life of Englishmen at home. Two or three men of ripe 
ctdture and strong ambition stood forth as candidates for 
seats in the British House of Commons. In India a great 
" National Congress," composed of several hundred dele- 
gates — Hindu, Muhammadan, Parsi— from all parts of 
the country, met once a year in one of the great Indian 
cities, to discuss important questions, social and political, 
in a spirit by no means hostile to the British rule. If 
some of their language wanted measure, if their demands 
were not always reasonable, they expressed at any rate 
the thoughts, desires, ambitions of a class which for many 
years had been nourished on the strong mental food 
supplied by their English teachers — a class which was 
yearly growing in numbers and self-respect, and which 
had already learned from our example the policy of con- 
certed action for a common end. The National Congress, 
however misleading its title or faulty its methods, was 
becoming a fact which no prudent Viceroy could overlook. 
That the time was ripe for anything like true repre- 
sentative government, Lord Dufterin would not allow. 
But the time, he held, was come for giving the Natives a 
larger share in the government of their own country. 
Acting on the report of a special commission, he threw 
open to Native candidates three hundred of the higher 
posts hitherto reserved for the Covenanted Service. And 
before leaving India he had strongly advised the Home 
Government to admit more Native members into each of 
the legislative councils. During his rule a careful inquiry, 
begun under Lord Lytton, had been completed, into the 
condition of the people in every province ; an inquiry 


which tends to show that nearly all classes are somewhat 
better off now than they had been thirty years before. 
The growth of population in the more crowded districts 
has become a source of far greater anxiety than the recur- 
rence of a widespread famine. The true remedy for over- 
population can be found only when the habits and feelings 
of the people have undergone a radical change. 

Early in December, 1888, the Marquis of Dufferin and 
Ava made over the reins of power to his successor, the 
Marquess of Lansdowne. He had done his duty well and 
faithfully amidst untoward circumstances ; and he left 
behind him a fair prospect of unclouded peace, with all 
the blessings which peace, upheld by a strong but kindly 
despotism, can bring to birth. 



The Viceroyalty of Lord Lansdowne was marked by 
satisfactory progress in many fields of peaceful activity. 
During each cold season he visited some portion of his 
wide dominions, from Baluchistan in the west to the 
easternmost frontier of Burma, and from Kashmir south- 
ward to Mysore. In 1889, he received in public Darbar at 
Ouetta, the Khan of Kalat, and many chiefs and Sardars of 
Baluchistan. On his tour through the Punjab in 1890, 
Lord Lansdowne installed the young Maharaja of Patiala, 
whose grandfather had stood so bravely by us in the dark 
days of the mutiny. On his way through Rajputana Lord 
Lansdowne distributed prizes to the students of the Mayo 
College, which Rajput liberality had enabled Lord Mayo 
to found at Ajmcr, At Udaipur he opened the Victoria 
Hall, which the loyal Rana had built in honour of the 
Queen's Jubilee. 

At Jodhpur the Viceroy found a marked improvement 
in the general administration of a State which in former 
times had been among the least progressive in Rajputana. 
In the beautiful city of Jaipur he laid the foundation of 
the twenty-seventh new hospital which had been founded 
in the State of recent years ; and he paid a just tribute to 
the rapid progress of education among its people. 

In the autumn of 1891, Lord Lansdowne visited 
Kashmir and restored to its ruler some of the powers 
which that prince had resigned two years before. Turning 


southward to Gvvalior he exchanged courtesies with its 
youthful Maharaja, who was entrusted two years later with 
a probationary share in the government of his kingdom. 
From Gwalior the Viceroy journeyed to Bhopal, whose 
Begam renewed her offer to place a portion of her troops 
at the disposal of the Indian Government. 

In the following year the Viceroy spent some days at 
Hyderabad counselling the Nizam to look more carefully 
after his finances, and to get rid of a large proportion of 
his useless and expensive troops. At Mysore he compli- 
mented the young Sovereign of that State on the good 
work which his government had already achieved in many 
directions during the last ten years. " He has proved 
himself," said Lord Lansdowne, "an intelligent and up- 
right Ruler . . . alive to the duties of his position. 
There is probably no state in India where ruler and ruled 
are on more satisfactory terms, or where the great prin- 
ciple that government should be for the happiness of the 
governed has been more thoroughly carried out." 

Lord Lansdowne's last tour in 1893 carried him to 
Mandalay, the old Capital of Upper Burma. During his 
Darbar at that place, he spoke with just complacency of 
the success which had attended British rule in Burma ; 
especially in the work of suppressing the numerous bands 
of dacoits, by which that province had long been infested. 
From Mandalay the Viceroy passed on up the Irrawaddy to 
Bhamo, where he assured the Chinese traders of his desire 
to leave them no just cause for complaint. To the Kachin 
chiefs from the adjacent hills he promised the friendly 
countenance of his Government in return for their abstin- 
ence from all attacks on British officers, and the peaceful 
dwellers in the plains. 

During these five years Lord Lansdowne was more than 
once compelled to enforce the principles of British order 
on recalcitrant Native States. In September, 1.390, the 


reigning Chief of Manipur, a small protected State on the 
eastern borders of Assam, was deposed by his brother, the 
Senapati, or Commander-in-Chief, who set up another of 
his brothers in the Chief's place. As the deposed Prince 
had been a weak and incompetent ruler, the Viceroy de- 
cided to acknowledge his successor, but to banish the 
Senapati. In March, 1891, Mr. Quinton, the Chief Com- 
missioner of Assam, set out with an escort of 400 Gurkhas 
to carry out the Viceroy's orders at Manipur. 

On the 24th, an attempt was made by Mr. Quinton's 
orders to arrest the Senapati, who had refused to attend the 
previous Darbar. The attempt was defeated by the Mani- 
puris themselves, and after a fight of several hours our 
troops retired into the Residency, which afforded sorry 
shelter from the fire of the enemy's guns. In the course 
of the evening, Quinton and his assistant, Grimwood, with 
Colonel Skene were inveigled under a flag of truce into 
the Palace, and treacherously put to death. That night 
the Residency was abandoned by its diminished garrison ; 
but succour and revenge were soon at hand. A British 
force occupied the country, and stormed the capital. The 
Senapati and five others who had taken part in the murders 
were promptly tried, and paid with death the penalty of 
their crime. The Regent was transported for life, a heavy 
fine was inflicted on the State, and a child belonging to 
the ruling family was raised to the Chiefship. During his 
minority the State was administered by a British officer. 

In the course of 1893, the Khan of Kalat was relieved 
at his own request of the sovereign powers which he had 
in various ways outrageously misused. With the hearty 
approval of the Khan's chief Sardars, Sir Robert Sande- 
man, the British Agent, installed the Khan's son in his 
father's stead. 

At Gilgit on the northern frontier of Kashmir, Lord 
Lansdowne in 1889 re-established the British Agency 


which Lord Ripon had withdrawn in 1881. Westward 
of Gilgit lies the hill-state of Chitral, whose Mehtar, or 
ruler, had sought and obtained the feudal protection of 
Kashmir. The Mehtar's death in 1892 was followed by 
a period of intestine strife before his eldest son, Nizam- 
ul-Mulk, won his way to the disputed throne. A British 
officer was appointed to reside at the new Mehtar's Court, 
and the independence of Chitral against Afghanistan was 
guaranteed by the Viceroy's treaty with the Afghan Amir. 

It was not until 1893 that the Amir of Kabul, Abdur 
Rahman Khan, found himself free to receive the mission 
which Lord Lansdowne had long desired to send him for 
the purpose of settling matters of importance to both 
parties. In September of that year, the mission, headed 
by Sir Mortimer Durand, was escorted by Afghan troops 
across the Afghan frontier towards Kabul, where it was 
cordially received by the Amir himself. A series of 
friendly conferences between our envoy and the Amir re- 
sulted in a settlement which defined the respective spheres 
of influence for the two powers ; and transferred from 
Kabul to India the right of controlling certain frontier 
tribes. The Amir's subsidy was also increased from twelve 
to eighteen lakhs of rupees, and he was allowed to import 
arms of all kinds at discretion into Afghanistan. The 
signing of the treaty was followed by an exchange of 
friendly assurances between the Amir and Sir M. Durand, 
ending with the Amir's expression of his desire to see our 
envoy again some day at Kabul. 

" Spheres of influence " was the name given to the new 
policy which the government of Lord Lansdowne had 
set itself to pursue. This policy aimed at surrounding 
India's natural frontier with a belt of country within which 
British influence should alone prevail. With the dwellers 
along this political frontier no foreign power, Russian, 
French, or Chinese, should be allowed to interfere. The 


independence of the tribes within this belt was to 
be carefully respected, while the Indian Government 
claimed for itself the right of making roads through 
any part of it, and maintaining posts at need for their 

Towards the close of Lord Lansdowne's Viceroyalty, 
an important military reform, which had long been called 
for, was carried into effect. The three armies of Bengal, 
Madras, and Bombay were formed into one army under 
one Commander-in-Chief, with four large divisions, each 
commanded by a Lieutenant-General, The three separate 
Staff Corps were also amalgamated into one great Corps, 
thenceforth called the Indian Army. During the same 
period some thousands of picked troops from the armies of 
the Native Princes were enrolled for purposes of Imperial 
defence on the strength of Her Majesty's regular forces. 
These "Imperial Service" troops have since played 
their part with high credit in the customary camp of 
exercise, and have at need done excellent service in 
the field. 

By an Act of Parliament passed in 1892, the right to 
discuss questions of financial policy was fully conceded to 
the Viceroy's Legislative Council. The new rule appears 
to have worked well in the interests both of the public 
and the Indian Government. By the same Act, Lord 
Lansdowne was empowered to increase the numbers of 
the supreme and local Legislative Councils by means of a 
direct appeal to the votes of certain elective constituencies. 
" I earnestly trust," said Lord Lansdowne to his Imperial 
Council, " that this Council, strengthened as it has lately 
been by the extension of its functions, and by the addition 
to its ranks of a larger number of representative members, 
some of whom will owe their presence to the recommenda- 
tion of their fellow-citizens, will enjoy an ever-increasing 
share of public confidence, . . . and thqt it will prove 


to be a new source of stability and usefulness to the insti- 
tutions of this country." 

One of the beneficent measures passed by the Viceroy's 
Legislative Council, was an Act which limited to eleven 
hours the women's working-day in every Indian factory, 
and that of children to half-time. It also secured a weekly 
holiday for every factory hand. An Act of 1890 imposed 
certain penalties on all persons convicted of cruelty to 
animals, captive as well as domestic. 

The peace of the country was broken for a time by 
serious riots born of religious fanaticism. A social Hindu 
movement for the protection of cows from wanton ill-treat- 
ment, soon degenerated into a lawless agitation against 
the slaughter of kine for food or sacrificial purposes. The 
Muhammadans fiercely resented any interference with 
their customary ritual. Riots resulting in much loss of 
life took place in many parts of India, and for three days 
the wealthy and populous city of Bombay was given up to 
virtual anarchy. Order was everywhere speedily restored 
by the prompt action of the local authorities. At the 
Viceroy's invitation, the leaders of the people in the dis- 
turbed districts formed conciliation committees to ascer- 
tain and record the existing usage as to the slaughter of 
kine, and to make due provision against the recurrence of 
all such outbreaks in the future. 

During the five years of Lord Lansdowne's rule, educa- 
tion made some noteworthy progress both in primary and 
secondary schools. The revenue derived from school fees 
increased by more than 23 lakhs ; a result which showed 
the growing desire of the people to rely more upon their 
own resources, and less upon contributions from the State. 
A marked increase was also recorded in the number of 
girls reading in schools of both classes ; and thirteen 
females took the degree of Bachelor in Arts, while one 
woman was found duly qualified for the degree of Master. 


Workshops were attached to the Schools of Art in each 
of the great provincial centres, with results that justified 
their introduction. The teaching of science was carried 
on with equal success in most of the English and ver- 
nacular schools, while sanitation was made a compulsory 
subject in many parts of the empire. New industrial 
schools were established, and agricultural classes were 
formed in some of the high schools. 

The right of selecting a certain number of qualified 
men for University Fellowships was bestowed at the 
Viceroy's own suggestion upon the graduates of each 
University, an experiment which was justified by its 
practical results. At the same time the beginning 
of a great Imperial Library in Calcutta supplied a 
manifest want in the intellectual development of India. 
The establishment of a Central Record Office was 
another of the boons conferred by Lord Lansdowne's 

The census returns for 1891 showed the total of 287J: 
millions of souls, of which about 66 millions belonged 
to the Native States. In the ten years since 1881 
the population of British India had increased by 22 
millions, and that of the Native States by about 1 1 

During these years a vigorous attempt was made to 
grapple with the epidemic diseases to which millions of 
cattle fall yearly victims. Careful attention was also paid 
to all matters connected with the productive tillage of the 
soil. It appears that the Indian husbandman has after all 
not much to learn from the practice of other countries. 
"At his best," writes Dr. Walcker, "the Indian cultivator 
is quite as good as, and in some respects the superior of 
the average British farmer, whilst at his worst it can only 
be said that this state is brought about largely by the 
absence of facilities for improvement, which is probably 


unequalled in any other country." The same authority 
points out that the Rayat is always ready to adopt any 
improvement which may seem to offer him a fair return 
for his outlay. 

Irrigation works and railways have largely contributed 
to the development of India's agricultural wealth ; the 
peasant has been enabled to cultivate fields which had 
lain barren for ages, while the spread of railways tends 
to secure markets for his surplus produce. During this 
period the area of irrigation was increased by about 
1,878,000 acres, while nearly 4000 miles of new railway 
were opened for traffic. Important sanitary improvements 
were also carried out in many places. In many of the 
chief cities in Upper India new waterworks were con- 
structed with most beneficial results on the health of the 
millions concerned. A large extension was also given to 
Lady Dufferin's noble scheme for supplying medical aid 
and education to the women of India, by means of special 
hospitals and dispensaries. 

The first three years of Lord Lansdowne's government 
showed a considerable surplus of revenue over expenditure. 
In the next two years, however, various causes, and 
especially the fall in silver values, resulted in unavoidable 
deficits. In 1893 the Home Government consented to a 
modified form of the Viceroy's scheme for restricting the 
free coinage of silver by the Indian Mints ; and in the 
middle of that year the Mints were accordingly closed to 
the general public. At the same time the public treasuries 
were empowered to receive gold at the rate of one sovereign 
for fifteen rupees, and currency notes were issued in 
exchange for gold at the rate of \s. 4^. the rupee. By 
this means some check was placed on the serious fluctua- 
tions in the exchange value of gold and silver. As the 
exchange value of the rupee fell at one time to less than 
fourteen-pence, it is easy to see how heavy a burden was 


laid on the Indian Exchequer in respect of the home 
charges of the Indian Government. 

Early in 1894, the Marquess of Lansdowne was suc- 
ceeded by the Earl of Elgin, son of that Lord Elgin whose 
vice-regal career had been cut short in 1863 by his un- 
timely death. 


THE EARL OF ELGIN — 1894-1898 

During the year 1894, the process of marking out the 
new frontier between India and Afghanistan was inter- 
rupted for a time by need of punishing the Mahsud Wazirs, 
whose raids into Bannu had cost the lives of two British 
officers, and several sepoys. In the course of December, 
three strong columns under Lieutenant-General Sir 
William Lockhart, entered the wild Waziri hills, destroyed 
a number of Mahsud towers and villages, and made the 
offending clansmen pay very dearly for their murderous 

On the 1st January, 1895, Nizam-ul-Mulk, the new 
chief of Chitral, was slain at a hunting party by the 
emissaries of his half-brother, AmIr-ul-Mulk. Before the 
latter was firmly seated in the vacant chiefship, one of 
his brothers, and the chief of a neighbouring state, raised 
the standard of revolt and were quickly joined by the 
tribesmen of Chitral. Dr. Robertson, the British Agent, 
had to take refuge in the fort, which he prepared to hold 
to the last with a garrison of 370 men. After a fruitless 
sally on the 3rd March, Robertson was closely blockaded 
for the next six weeks before help could reach him from 

On the 1st April a strong British force under Lieutenant- 
General Sir Robert Low marched from Peshawar into the 
Swat valley for the purpose of attacking the insurgents 
from the south, while a smaller force under Colonel Kelly 

2 F 


moved out from Gilgit towards Chitral, On the 3rd April 
Low forced the Malakand Pass. Pushing its way across 
the Panjkora river Low's force on the 17th defeated Umra 
Khan, one of the insurgent chiefs, in the neighbourhood 
of Jandol. 

The tidings of Low's advance served to relax the 
pressure upon Chitral at the moment when the small 
Gilgit column was drawing near the beleaguered garrison. 
On the 20th April the brave Colonel Kelly entered the 
fort of Chitral at the head of a few hundred Gurkhas 
and Punjabis, after three weeks of toilsome and perilous 
marching over 200 miles of rugged mountainous country. 
Starting from Gilgit with only four officers and two hundred 
men while the snow still covered the ground, he forced 
his way over a pass about 12,000 feet high which lay 
between him and Laspur. On the 9th April he reached 
Mastuj, where he increased his numbers by some four 
hundred men and two guns. From Mastuj to Chitral 
Kelly's advance was a brilliant and unbroken success, 
and before the 20th the last of the insurgents had 

The relief of Chitral thus brilliantly accomplished, it 
became a question for the Home Government whether it 
was worth our while to maintain an outpost in a remote 
corner of the Hindu Kush, nearly two hundred miles 
beyond our Punjab frontier. The only possible excuse 
for a British garrison at Chitral was an unreasoning dread 
of Russian intrigues among the neighbouring hill tribes. 
To the Government of Lord Rosebery no such excuse 
carried any weight against the teachings of past experience 
and the opinions of the best military experts. On the 
13th June, 1895, Sir Henry Fowler, then Minister for 
India, telegraphed to Lord Elgin clear instructions that 

* Dr. Robertson was afteiwaids made a K.C.S.I., and Colonel Kelly a 
C.B. and A.D.C. to the Queen ; Sir R. C. Low was created a G.C.B. 


no British agent or garrison should be retained at Chitral, 
that the state should be handed over to its new Mehtar, 
Shuja-ul-Mulk, and that no attempt should be made to 
connect Chitral with Peshawar by means of a road across 
the Swat valley. Before Lord Elgin could carry out these 
orders, a Conservative Ministry came into power, and 
early in August the New Secretary of State for India, 
Lord George Hamilton, sent out a telegram countermand- 
ing the previous orders. Chitral therefore remained under 
the charge of a British Resident, aided by a sufficient 
military force. 

The failure of the monsoon rains in August, 1896, was 
followed by a serious failure of the harvest over a wide 
extent of country in Western, Central, and Southern India, 
and even in Upper Burma. From October onwards for 
more than a twelvemonth, famine more or less sharp 
spread by degrees over an area of 570,000 square miles, 
peopled by 130 million souls. The number of starving 
folk who were kept alive by the public relief works rose 
at one time to nearly five millions. In spite of railways, 
roads, canals, of public supervision and private charity, 
great numbers died of starvation and disease. This great 
famine, the most widespread of the century, cost the 
Government in one shape or another about Rx, 18,000,000, 
or about ten million sterling. But for the splendid contri- 
butions sent from all parts of the British Empire, and 
from some foreign countries, the cost, both in life and in 
expenditure, would have been much heavier. 

The year 1897, which brought to a happy close the 
sixtieth year of Queen Victoria's reign, was fraught for 
India with other calamities besides famine. Nearly fifty 
thousand natives perished in Western India of the plague, 
which had found its way thither from China in the previous 
autumn. The unceasing efforts made by Government 
officers to stamp out this new and terrible scourge were 


rewarded on the whole with marked success. But modern 
sanitary ideas came once more into open conflict with 
ancient Hindu customs, and the search for infected houses 
may not ahvays have been carried out with due regard 
for popular prejudices. At Poona, the great centre of 
Brahmanic influence among the Marfitha people, two 
British officers were murdered on the 22nd June; and 
some of the native newspapers inflamed the popular 
mind by unmeasured attacks upon the local Government. 
Several editors, including a native member of the Bombay 
Legislative Council, were tried and sentenced more or less 
heavily under the Indian Penal Code. 

On the 1 2th June, Assam and Lower Bengal were 
visited by the most disastrous earthquake ever recorded 
in the history of modern India. In Calcutta alone many 
public buildings were badly damaged. Several church 
spires and towers, including the spire of Calcutta Cathedral, 
fell to the ground. Numbers of private houses from 
Chauringhi to the native town, were reduced to wreck. 
The same shock was severely felt at Darjeeling, and less 
severely at Simla, Agra and Bombay. Great damage was 
also done to several lines of railway in Bengal. 

For some time after the relief of Chitral, in 1895, things 
went on tranquilly enough along the Punjab frontier. The 
intervening tribes seemed to acquiesce in the making of 
roads and the planting of British posts between Peshawar 
and Chitral, while Afridi levies loyally garrisoned the road 
through the Khyber Pass. But in June, 1897, the peace 
of the frontier was rudely broken by a murderous attack 
on the escort of a political officer passing through the 
Tachi valley, a few miles beyond the Bannu border. Three 
British officers were killed and as many wounded, of 
whom one afterwards died. Of the Sikh troops forming 
the escort, twenty-three were killed and twenty-five 
wounded. A strong British force under General Bird 


marched a month later into the Tachi valley and made 
the customary reprisals upon the offending tribesmen. 

Meanwhile, towards the end of July, another rising, 
due to the fanatical preaching of a mad Muhammadan 
fakir, took place among the Pathan tribes of the Swat 
valley. Their attacks on the British post at Malakand 
were, after some hard fighting, successfully repulsed, and 
other posts threatened by the insurgents were promptly 
relieved and strengthened. But the preaching of fanatic 
Mullas fanned the flames of popular discontent at the 
movements of British surveyors, engineers, and working 
parties, in a country peopled by independent and warlike 
tribes. By the end of August a general rising of tribes 
along the Punjab frontier involved the gathering of a 
powerful British army for its suppression. All the forts 
and fortlets in the Khyber Pass were captured by 
Afridi kinsmen of those who had lately guarded them. 
Mohmands, Afridis, Urakzais, Sheoranis, Wazirs, Mamu- 
zais, Swatis, and several other tribes and clans, all from 
time to time did their best to harass and hinder the march 
of our troops into their highland fastnesses. 

For over four months several British columns under 
the supreme command of General Sir William Lockhart 
were engaged in fighting their way through a wilderness 
of hills and valleys held by swarms of well-armed riflemen, 
whose bullets seldom missed their mark, and who never 
lost an opportunity of taking our troops at a disadvantage. 
After many weeks of hard incessant fighting, and of 
hardships bravely borne by officers and men, the hostile 
tribes, one after another, were fain to accept the terms 
imposed by the Indian Government ; and the long cam- 
paign was brought to a partially successful close in the 
first days of 1898. Fines were levied from all the insurgent 
tribes, and many hundred rifles were quietly surrendered 
into our hands. The losses on both sides had been very 


great, but the Khyber was once more re-opened to peace- 
ful traffic, and the bulk of our countrymen were glad of 
a decent pretext for closing a profitless and costly war. 

In 1896 an important change was made in the Indian 
cotton tariff. All cotton yarns, whether home-made or 
imported, were free from duty, while the uniform duty of 
3^ per cent, was imposed on all woven cotton goods 
whether imported or produced in Indian mills. Owing to 
famine, plague, earthquake and war, the Indian exchequer 
had been burdened with an outlay of Rx. 24,313,000; but 
the actual deficit for 1897 amounted only to Rx. 6,095,000. 

In September, 1897, Lord Elgin's Government urged 
the rejection of a proposal made by France and the 
United States for re-opening the Indian mints to the free 
coinage of silver, as part of an international scheme for 
establishing a joint gold and silver standard at a fixed 
ratio. The scheme therefore fell through. 

The first two years of Lord Elgin's administration 
resulted in a total surplus of more than Rx. 2,000,000, 
on a revenue rising from 95 to 98 million tens of rupees. 
By the close of the next year, 1896-97, an estimated 
surplus of Rx. 463,000 had been converted into an actual 
deficit of Rx. 1,594,000. For the year 1897 there was a 
deficit of Rx. 6,095,000, which was met by another loan. 

By the end of March, 1897, the total number of miles 
of railway throughout British India amounted to 20,390, 
while 4000 miles of new railway were in course of 
construction during the next two years. The net earn- 
ings of all these lines soon averaged about 5 per cent, 
yearly, in spite of the large yearly loss due to the low 
rate of exchange. In 1895 the irrigation works then 
opened throughout the country yielded a net income of 
4*1 per cent, to the State. During the next two years 
of scarcity and famine the net yield was still greater on 
eleven million acres of irrigated land. 


The Forest Department also showed satisfactory 
progress during the next few years. On 75,000 square 
miles of forest reserved and worked by the State there 
accrued in 1895 a nett revenue of Rx. 749,000. Before 
the clos* of 1896, 46,375 miles of telegraph lines were in 
full work, yielding a net revenue of ^\ per cent, on a total 
cost of nearly Rx. 6,000,000 ; and the Post Office was 
carrying 413 millions of letters, post-cards, newspapers, 
etc., at a net profit to Government of Rx. 70,000. It 
is worth noting, by the way, that in India the postal 
service has been carried on solely with an eye to the 
public convenience, and not as a means of enriching the 
State Exchequer. 

Salt and opium still continue to be two of the richest 
sources of revenue for British India. In 1896 the salt 
duties yielded a net revenue of nearly Rx. 9,000,000 on 
rates varying from i rupee a maund of 82 pounds in 
Burma to Rs. 2, 8 annas for the rest of India. On the 
other hand there has been a gradual decline in the 
exports of Indian opium to China, owing to the increased 
consumption of the home-made drug by the Chinese 

The total yearly value of India's foreign trade has 
continually risen. The exports, which cover about two- 
thirds of the total trade, include tea, coffee, cotton, raw 
and manufactured, jute, rice, wheat, oil-seeds, opium, hides, 
and skins, sugar, silk, indigo, saltpetre, spices, manures, 
wools, teak-wood, and several other staples of more or less 

Perhaps the most striking feature in this connection is 
the rapid growth of India's tea industry during the last fifty 
years. The people of England who once drank nothing 
but China tea, now drink hardly any tea save that which 
comes from India and Ceylon. The export of Indian 
wheat, on the other hand has greatly declined. The 


Indian imports include cotton goods, metals, hardware, 
petroleum, silk, raw and woven, machinery, chemicals, 
drugs, dyes, and alcoholic liquors. 

Owing to the development of Indian coal-fields there 
has of late years been a steady decline in the imports of 
English coal. Ninety per cent, of the coal used on all 
Indian railways is now supplied by India herself. 

Among other incidents of Lord Elgin's rule was the 
appointment in 1 897 of a Lieutenant-Governor for the great 
province of Burma in the place of a Chief Commissioner. 
The new functionary was furnished with a Legislative 
Council of nine members, five official and four non-official. 
In the same year a similar Council was attached to the 
Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab. 

Among the laws passed by the Viceroy's Council was 
an Act of 1897 for preventing the spread of epidemic 
diseases. Another Act of the same year enabled local 
authorities to borrow money for temporary emergencies, 
such as the recent famine. In 1895 an Act was passed 
for improving the sanitary arrangements on board the 
ships that carried Muhammadan pilgrims to Mecca. An 
emigration Act of the following year did away with some 
of the abuses which had marked the working of the old 
Act of 1883. The laws affecting the land revenue and 
municipalities of the Punjab were amended by two new 
statutes in 1896. In 1897 amendments were also made 
in the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, while the same year 
saw the passing of an Act for the protection of Indian 

In the autumn of 1898, the Honble. George Curzon 
(created Lord Curzon of Kedleston in the Peerage of 
Ireland), who had lately served with much credit as Under- 
Secretary in the English Foreign Office, was selected by 
Lord Salisbury to succeed Lord Elgin as Viceroy and 
Governor-General in the following year. 



Lord Curzon of Kedleston came to India with a 
knowledge of its politics and problems greater than that 
possessed by any of his predecessors who had not actually 
worked in the country as servants of the Company or 
the Crown. He had made long tours in the East, in the 
course of which, after a visit to Ceylon, he landed at 
Tuticorin in November, 1887. On this occasion he stayed 
over four months in the country, going eastwards as far 
as Darjeeling, and northwards to the Khyber Pass. In 
the next year he spent some time in Russian Central 
Asia, and in the year after he stayed some time in Persia, 
and thence came to India by way of Baghdad and the 
Persian Gulf. A later visit enabled him to "examine, 
in a. comparative light, the political, social, and economic 
conditions of the kingdoms and principalities of the Far 
East." On Persia and on the P^ar East he published 
important and valuable books. Again, in 1894, he visited 
India, going through Kashmir to the Pamirs, and winning 
the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society by 
discovering the source of the Oxus. On his return he 
saw the Hunza and Nagar states, among the mountains 
of Kashmir and Chitral, soon to become a centre of 
interest and danger. Afghanistan also he visited, and 
studied the opinions of Abdur Rahman and of Habibullah, 
who was to be his successor. Thence he rode to Kandahar 
and on to Baluchistan, It is known that the results of 


these travels were embodied in a volume which was ready 
for publication when he became Viceroy, but was sup- 
pressed in deference to the wishes of Lord Salisbury, the 
Prime Minister, who considered that no Governor-General 
ought to write a book on subjects with which he would 
be called upon to deal. 

Lord Curzon was indeed exceptionally fitted for his 
task. Not only had he studied the problems of Indian 
government on the spot, but he had dealt with them 
as Under-Secretary for India and, less directly, as Under- 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He regarded English work 
in India as the touchstone of imperial greatness. He saw 
that we were employed on a task which no other people 
had ever attempted. He believed that the attraction and 
importance of the East to England would continue to 
increase, and he hoped that parliament would come to 
take as much concern in India as it took in Europe. 
Towards this consummation it was his good fortune to 
lead the way. 

On January 6th, 1899, he formally assumed office at 
Calcutta. He had declared, in his first speech at Bombay, 
that his aim would be " to hold the scales even," a motto 
worthy of a Viceroy with the highest aims and of the 
British administration in India. His first Budget speech, 
on March 27th, showed a desire to view all sides of the 
financial position before embarking on definite changes ; 
and his tours through India during the year were designed 
to make him acquainted with the latest developments and 
difficulties, especially in the districts affected by plague 
and famine. At Poona, in November, he strongly 
advocated inoculation as a preventive of the bubonic 

During the first fifteen months of Lord Curzon's vice- 
royalty he had three finance ministers. Sir James West- 
land, whose was his first budget, had managed the finances 


with much skill, and was able to report a considcrab'.c 
increase of revenue. The railway system was being 
continually and profitably increased. But a remission 
of taxation was not yet found possible. 

The Indian Currency Committee reported in favour 
of a gold standard, and of fixing the rate of the rupee. 
On September 8th, Mr. Clinton Dawkins, the new financial 
member of the Council, on the instructions of the home 
government, introduced the Currency Bill, and it was 
passed on September 15th. By this the rupee was fixed 
at li-. 4^., and the British sovereign was made legal tender 
in India. Mints were to be opened in India and gold 
was to be coined there, as soon as possible, for use in 
the country. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Clinton Dawkins only 
held office till March, 1900, when he was called, with 
the consent of the Government, to important financial 
v\^ork elsewhere. He was succeeded by Sir Edward 
Fitzgerald Law, K.C.M.G., who had obtained a high 
reputation by his financial work at Constantinople, and 
was a man of great ability and personal charm. The 
second Budget speech of Lord Curzon, March 28th, 1900, 
eulogised the work of Mr. Dawkins, advocated sparing 
legislation, and dwelt upon the disappointment of financial 
hopes by the sad recurrence of famine. Plague and 
famine indeed were disastrously severe during Lord 
Curzon's first year. Official figures gave the total 
mortality as not less than a quarter of a million since 
the beginning of the outbreak of plague. Great relief 
works were organised to help the poor during the famine, 
and generous help was given by native rulers, especially 
the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Maharaja of Gwalior. 

On the frontiers there were slight operations due to 
the predatory attacks of VVaziris and Mahsuds ; but 
the relations with Afghanistan remained cordial. Abdur 
Rahman in his Autobiography, published in November, 


1900, showed no special attachment to Great Britain, 
but, on the other hand, he observed the treaties more 
strictly than his predecessors, and showed no sign of 
encouraging any Russian advance. He died in October, 

In 1900 frontier troubles were resumed, the Mahsud 
VVaziris being especially active. In November, Mr. 
Merk, Commissioner of Derajat, brought them to sub- 
mission under threat of a blockade. 

In this year a famine of unparalleled magnitude spread 
over India, particularly Bombay and the Central Provinces. 
This affected over twenty-five million people in British 
India, and thirty millions in native states. It was cal- 
culated that the loss in crops amounted to ^^50,000,000 in 
British territory alone. Lord Curzon stated that it was 
" not merely a crop famine, but a fodder famine on an 
enormous scale, followed, in many parts, by a positive 
devastation of cattle — both plough cattle, buffaloes, and 
milch kine. In other words, it affected, and may almost 
be said to have annihilated, the working capital of the 
agricultural classes." It attacked native states, ill-prepared 
to meet it. " It laid its hand upon primitive hillmen, 
unused to discipline or restraint, impulsive, improvident, 
lazy, living in an almost barbarous state in wild and 
inaccessible jungles. It sharpened the lurking nomadic 
instinct of wandering tribes, and sent them aimlessly 
drifting about the country, a terror to the famine country 
and an incubus in the camps." The Viceroy travelled 
through the famine districts, organising and superintending 
relief, and large sums were subscribed throughout the 
empire to provide the necessaries of life for the starving 

Lord Northcote, now Governor of Bombay, gave 
valuable aid, and the people noticed with awe that the 
Viceroy's visits to stricken districts were frequently followed 


by the much-needed rain. In Gujarat the cattle were 
saved by the action of Lord Northcote, who collected the 
best in herds. It was said that " Lord Northcote did many 
beneficent things during his period of office in Bombay, 
but nothing he did is held in more grateful remembrance 
than his salvation of the cattle in Gujarat." 

The mortality among the population was enormous. 
In British districts alone it seems that about a million and 
a quarter died : in native states the deaths were much 
more numerous. A Commission under Sir Antony (now 
Lord) Macdonell afterwards considered the famine works, 
and came to the conclusion that deficient organisation had 
led to considerable waste. The Famine Codes were there- 
upon revised, to provide work for the able-bodied, and the 
experience of 1907-8 seems to show that famines can 
now be dealt with much more successfully. 

During the year 1900, the Viceroy, accompanied by his 
wife, an American lady whose charm, ability, and goodness 
made a deep impression wherever she went, paid visits 
over a very wide area. Assam was visited for the first 
time by a Viceroy, and the keenest interest was shown in 
the work of the planters, those "independent pioneers of 
progress." At Ouetta the northern chiefs were addressed 
on the duty of loyalty and defence of the frontier. From 
Karachi Lord Curzon went to Kathiawar, to Surat, to 
Bombay, and thence to Bijapur and on to Goa. The visit 
to the flourishing Portuguese dependency illustrated the 
most cordial relations between the British Empire and its 
oldest ally. Southwards, through Travancore and Cochin, 
Tinnevelly, Trichinopoly, and Mysore, the Viceregal party 
went to Madras, where Lord Ampthill had now succeeded 
Sir Arthur Havelock as Governor, and thence returned to 
Calcutta, after a journey of about 6000 miles all round 

The year 1901 was chiefly important for the creation 


of a new frontier province. This was prepared by the 
establishment of a definite policy with regard to Chitral, 
where the maintenance of British troops was left undecided 
by Lord Elgin. Lord Curzon decided to maintain a small 
garrison at Drosh, with a guard for the Political Resident 
at the capital. A good road was made and a telegraph 
wire constructed. A force of scouts was raised among the 
Chitralis, to undergo periodical training, with a view to 
frontier defence. 

From Chitral Lord Curzon passed on to consider the 
condition of the Pathan frontier in general. In a minute 
addressed to the Secretary of State, Lord Curzon severely 
criticized the administration of this district of the Punjab 
government. He declared himself against a forward 
movement, and was thought to be a disciple of the policy 
inaugurated by the Lawrences half a century before. He 
advocated the " withdrawal of British forces from advanced 
positions, employment of tribal forces in defence of tribal 
country, concentration of British forces in British territory 
behind them as a safeguard and a support, and improve- 
ment of communications in the rear." But in this policy 
he was careful to show that he was not endeavouring to 
revive a dead past, but to meet the exigencies of the 
present and the future. The policy of Lord Lawrence he 
considered as dead " from the complete change in the 
situation and from the effluxion of time," and a forward 
policy was so elastic and pliable a phrase as to mean 
much too much or much too little. Lord Curzon's was a 
"common-sense" policy of concentration and conciliation. 

The new province was formed because the administra- 
tion of the frontier by the Punjab government had proved 
ineffective and unsatisfactory. The Punjab officials had 
enough to do in the districts that were properly their own, 
and had, as a rule, no frontier experience. Of late years 
they had committed palpable blunders. It had long been 


seen that a change was necessary, and several Viceroys 
had approached the subject with a view to the creation of 
a new system. Lord Lansdownc had expressed himself 
desirous of " a single frontier charge." Lord Elgin, 
listening to the opinions of conservative officials, had done 
nothing. Lord Curzon saw clearly and acted decisively. 

On November 9th, 190 1, the new North-West Frontier 
Province was called into being. The Aiinual Register for 
1901 states its geography thus : " Its territorial limits 
include the districts of Hazara, Peshawar, Kohar, Bannu 
(except Isakhel and Mianwali), and Dera Ismail Khan 
(except Leia and Bhakkar), and the trans-border territory 
up in the Durand line. The four tahsils taken from 
Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan are formed into a new 
Punjab district." A commissionership of Multan was 
created in the Punjab, those of Rawal Pindi and Lahore 
being rearranged. The old North-West Province now 
received the name of "the United Provinces of Agra and 
Oudh." The first Commissioner, Sir Harold Deane, was 
succeeded in 1908 by Sir George Roos-Keppel, and he by 
Mr. W. R. H. Merk (see above, p. 444). 

The policy of Lord Curzon in the _creation of this 
new province was subjected to severe criticism, and 
the past action of the Punjab government was defended 
notably by Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick and Sir Charles Roe. 
Difficulties in regard to the administration of land 
revenue arose, as had been foreseen. But, on the whole, 
the statement made in 191 1 was justified, and still 
remains true. Lord Curzon "gave India the longest peace 
upon her North-West Frontier she has ever known, and 
the system he devised is still unshaken." * 

In his budget speech of 1901, Lord Curzon was able to 
point to a practical and business-like session as concluded. 
Much needed relief in respect of inheritance and of 

* Lovat Fraser, " India under Curzon and after," p. 63. 


succession duties in regard to native Christians had been 
given, and the Assam Labour Bill and the Mines Bill had 
been carried. Sir Edward Law had won a surplus of one 
and three-quarter million pounds sterling. A reform had 
been made in the rules as to leave, with a view of securing 
closer continuity of administration, and preventing "the 
frequent removal of officers upon leave at short and 
insufficient intervals, with a consequent chain of transfers 
and far-reaching dislocation." An even more welcome 
reform was that which drastically curtailed the immense 
quantity of written reports which it had been the custom 
to require from overworked civil servants of every grade. 
A new set of Rules of Business for the Secretariat of the 
Government of India provided for "greater simplification 
of procedure, less penwork, more frequent verbal consulta- 
tions, superior despatch." Within a year the amount of 
printed pages of reports had fallen from 18,000 to 8600. 
During the year railway extension on a large scale had 
been inaugurated. 

At a time when India was itself providing the cost of 
rearming and reorganising the Army out of current 
revenue, and the pay of British troops in the country was 
being increased, it was natural that special attention should 
be directed to the relations between British soldiers and 
the natives of India. A revision of the rules under which 
soldiers could "go out shooting" the game of the country 
had been undertaken ; and this was but one illustration of 
the endeavour of Lord Curzon and his government " to 
draw closer the bonds of friendly feeling that should unite 
the two races whom Providence has placed side by side in 
the country." 

A year later, on March 26th, 1902, the Viceroy was 
able to announce definite progress on the lines sketched in 
1901. More than 3000 additional miles of railway had 
been laid down during his period of office, and 2000 more 


were in progress. Relief had been given to the cultivators, 
who had suffered severely from the famine, by remission 
of large arrears of land revenue. A Resolution on Land 
Revenue policy, issued in January, igo2, written by Lord 
Curzon, had examined the assessments of various parts 
of India and laid down lines for future treatment in a 
generous spirit. 

In foreign policy during the year 1902 it is to be 
noted that the relations with the new Amir of Afghanis- 
tan remained satisfactory. Some raids from over the 
border had been met by the Kurram Militia. The border 
towards Tibet had been rectified, with the addition of 350 
square miles to British India. 

The year 1903 opened with a great Darbar at Delhi. 
The death of Queen Victoria on January 22nd, 1901, had 
not passed unnoticed in India. On the contrary, the 
mourning had been marked and widespread. Though 
the Empress was doubtless a very dim and distant figure 
to the vast majority of the Indian peoples, yet her personal 
share in the great events of her reign was well known 
among, and indeed beyond, the educated classes. She 
was personally associated with the great proclamation at 
the close of the Sepoy War, the Magna Carta of Indian 
liberty under Great Britain as it was often called. Her 
deep interest in India and the Indians was evidenced 
by the number of Indians she had in her household and 
by her study of Hindustani in her old age. She had 
constantly advised her servants in the Peninsula, and she 
had shown the deepest concern in the welfare of the 
people whom they governed in her name. A Memorial 
Hall, the splendid services of which to the history, the 
commemoration, the education of India, past, present, 
and future, were eloquently prophesied by the Viceroy 
in several speeches when he initiated the scheme, 
was built at Calcutta. It was to be devoted to the 

2 c; 


commemoration of notable events and remarkable men, both 
Indian and European, in the long history of the country. 
It was to contain paintings, sculptures, enamels, manu- 
scripts, personal relics of all sorts. With a history and 
an art so magnificent as that of India, it should be 
possible to create a museum which, for interest and value, 
would be unsurpassed in the world. 

While the commemoration of the first Empress of 
India was proceeding, the coronation of her successor was 
being prepared. Edward VII. had himself visited India, 
in 1875, and he Vvas known to not a few of the ruling 
chiefs. His dangerous illness postponed his coronation 
at Westminster till August 9th, 1902. At this many 
Indian princes were present. On January ist, 1903, a 
great Darbar was held at Delhi, on the spot where Lord 
Lytton had announced, a quarter of a century before, the 
assumption ■ by the British Crown of the imperial title. 
The King was represented by his brother, the Duke of 
Connaught, and the Viceroy announced to the vast 
assemblage the coronation of Edward VII. A hundred 
of the ruling chiefs attended, and some 173,000 people. 
The Viceroy's speech, renewing to the princes and 
peoples of India the Emperor's promise to respect their 
liberties and rights and to serve their welfare, impressively 
summed up the objects of British rule. 

The Budget of 1903 gave welcome evidence how these 
objects were being attained in several and not unimportant 
points. Lord Curzon, on March 25th, was able to announce 
a considerable reduction in taxation. The classes most 
in need — though it cannot be said that, judged by the 
standards of Europe or by those of the Mughal govern- 
ment of centuries before, India vvas at all highly taxed — 
were relieved. The income tax, which in all countries 
presses so heavily on the wage-earners of the middle class, 
and the salt duty, felt by the cultivators, were now appreci- 

Photo, hy Soitntt Cr* S/ir/Afni 


p. 450 


ably reduced. In announcing this, Lord Curzon expressed 
the hope that critics who professed doubts as to the financial 
stability of the Indian Empire would see that steadily 
improving revenues, coupled with a reduction of taxation, 
afforded proof of the economic vitality of the country. 
Perhaps the new agreement with the Nizam may be 
regarded as looking the same way. This, concluded 
shortly before the Darbar, marked an important step in 
the confirmation of British power in Central India. The 
position of Berar had long been anomalous : the Nizam's 
ancient claims over it had not for centuries been effective 
rights. Lord Curzon made an arrangement by which the 
British Government obtained a perpetual lease of Berar 
for the annual payment of twenty-five lakhs of rupees to 
the Nizam, and the district was incorporated for adminis- 
tration with the Central Provinces.* 

During 1904 the plague still raged, but two good 
harvests had greatly benefited the country, and the yield 
of the taxes showed a real increase in national prosperit)'. 
Indian cotton had found wider markets, and the export 
of tea had greatly increased. Finance bore similar 
witness. The estimates for 1904-5 showed a revenue of 
;i^8o, 148,600, and an expenditure of ;^ 79,229,000, the 
surplus being thus not far from a million pounds. 

It will be convenient to reserve some of the more 
important works of Lord Curzon as Viceroy, and notably 
his foreign policy as a whole, for consideration at the time 
when his final resignation of office is recorded. But in 
the summer of 1904 he returned to England, during the 
interval between his first and second terms of office. In 
accordance with the Act of 1861, Lord Ampthill, as the 
senior of the two Governors of Presidencies, was appointed 
to act as Viceroy during the interim. 

Lord Curzon had a warm reception in England, and 

•* See below, p. 466. 


he took occasion to deliver several speeches which threw 
much light upon his aims, his endeavours, and his 
successes. On July 20th he received the freedom of the 
City of London, and he spoke twice at the Mansion 
House. On July 28th he received the freedom of the 
borough of Derby and addressed a large audience from 
his native county. In all the speeches he sounded a note 
of confidence in the future, and he emphatically dwelt 
upon the need of keeping India outside the party quarrels 
of England. He spoke of the isolation of India from 
ordinary English interests, and lamented that the average 
man at home seemed to care more for a football or a 
cricket match, a motor trial, or a wrestling encounter, 
than for " the greatest responsibility that has been under- 
taken by his fellow-subjects on the face of the earth." 
What was our record ? " Where else in the world has a 
race gone forth and subdued, not a country or a kingdom, 
but a continent, and that continent peopled, not by savage 
tribes, but by races with traditions and a civih'sation older 
than our own, with a history not inferior to ours in dignity 
or romance ; subduing them, not to the law of the sword, 
but to the rule of justice, bringing peace and order and 
good government to nearly one-fifth of the human race, 
and holding them with so mild a restraint that the rulers 
are the merest handful among the ruled, a tiny speck of 
white foam upon a dark and thunderous ocean } " 

Indian problems were like some of those at home, but 
magnified ; but also there were other problems remote 
from all our home experience. This involved ceaseless 
anxiety and unending toil, but the duty was cheerfully 
undertaken and proudly borne. 

Lord Curzon described the work of the last five years 
as one of reform and reconstruction, and he illustrated 
this in its different aspects. He was especially interest- 
ing when he spoke of the native princes and chiefs, and 


declared his desire that they should share the responsi- 
bilities as well as the glories of British rule. He spoke of 
the Imperial Cadet Corps, which he had founded, "where 
we give military education to the pick of the Indian 
aristocracy, which will eventuate, as time goes on, in 
the bestowal for the first time of commissions as British 
officers upon Indian chiefs, nobles, and gentlemen." 
After a sketch of the foreign policy of the last few years, 
Lord Curzon emphasised the fact that the basis of British 
rule was not military force, or civil authority or prestige 
alone, but, above all, the eternal moralities of righteous- 
ness and justice; and he repeated his determination that 
our Indian fellow-subjects should be recognised as truly 
our equals in the eyes of God and the law. And on this 
he based the assurance that " our work is righteous, and 
it will endure." 

In another speech he paid a noble tribute to the 
administrative ability, the industry, and the self-sacrifice 
of the officials, from the high Empire-builders to the " men 
in the plains," the " real organisers of victory." 

At Derby he remarked how strange it was that the 
three most eminent persons in purely British political life 
who had given serious attention to Indian problems should 
have been so wrong in their verdicts : Burke, Macaulay, 
and John Bright — and he showed that the union which the 
last deemed impossible is "neither a chimera nor a dream." 
The extraordinary diversity in Indian civilisation may 
long stand in the way ; but the ideal is there, and we are 
approaching continually nearer to its realisation. " The 
one thing in governing an Asiatic country," said Lord 
Curzon, " is to break down the barriers between the hearts 
and consciences of men." A striking passage from this 
same speech may well be quoted at length, for no better 
description exists of the India which Lord Curzon governed, 
or of its difference from the past. 


"I remember hearing of an English sportsman in 
India who examined the arrows in the quiver of a native 
shikari belonging to one of the aboriginal tribes. He 
found the first arrow tipped with a stone — a relic of the 
neolithic age ; the next arrow was tipped with electric 
telegraph wire — a theft from the twentieth century. That 
story is typical of the whole of India. It conveys to you 
the amazing synthesis of anthropology, of history, of 
human experience, which is gathered within the boundaries 
of that great area. You may imagine that with a people 
so diversified, representing such opposite poles of creed 
and civilisation, complete unity is a thing v/hich we cannot 
aspire to produce. India must always remain a constella- 
tion rather than a single star, must always be a continent 
rather than a country, a congeries of races rather than a 
single nation. But we are creating ties of unity among 
those widely diversified peoples, we are consolidating 
those vast and outspread territories, and, what is more 
important, we are going forward instead of backward. 
It is not a stationary, a retrograde, a downtrodden, or 
an impoverished India that I have been governing for 
the past five and a half years. Poverty there is in 
abundance. I ^Q^y any one to show me a great and 
populous country, or a great and populous ciiy, where it 
does not exist. Misery and destitution there are. The 
question is not whether they exist, but whether they are 
growing more or growing less. In India, where you deal 
with so vast a canvas, I dare say the lights and shades of 
human experience are more vivid and more dramatic than 
elsewhere. But if you compare the India of to-day with 
the India of any previous period of history — the India of 
Alexander, of Asoka, of Akbar, or of Aurangzeb — you 
will find greater peace and tranquillity, more widely 
diffused comfort and contentment, superior justice and 
humanity, and higher standards of material well- 


being', than that great dependency has ever previously 

On his return to India, Lord Curzon had the experi- 
ence, unique for a Viceroy, of welcoming the presenta- 
tion to the Legislative Council of a seventh budget. He 
congratulated Mr. E. N. Baker, the successor of Sir 
Edward Law, on the culminating point of a process of 
financial recovery. It marked at once an increase in 
administrative outlay and a reduction in the burdens on 
the people. The increase was largely due to expenditure 
on railways and on the army. The pending reduction of 
taxes had prevented what would have been a surplus of 
nearly three and a half millions sterling. Taxation to the 
amount of ^1,371,000 had been remitted, increased postal 
facilities had cost £dJ,QOO, and administrative reforms 
;i^i,077,ooo ; the balance was ;^903,8oo. Considerable 
progress had been made with great schemes of irrigation. 
The Chenab Canal, which cost 280 lakhs of rupees, gave 
a large district to cultivation which had hitherto been 
little better than a desert, and produced a revenue of 
65 lakhs per annum, A similar canal from the Jhelum 
promised equally well. 

This was Lord Curzon's last Budget speech. Within 
a few months he had resigned office, and before the end 
of the year, after welcoming the Prince and Princess of 
Wales, he left India. The cause of his resignation was 
a difference of opinion with the Home Government, and 
with Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief in India, as 
to army administration. The point at issue was distinct 
and simple. Lord Kitchener claimed that the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, when he submitted proposals on military 
matters to the Viceroy (who was at liberty to accept or 
reject them as he thought fit), should be regarded as the 
expert adviser of the Indian Government, and should not 
be subject to the criticism of the military member of the 


Council. It seemed to the Viceroy that this view would 
deprive him of the counsel which he might need, and 
that it was essential to the formation of wise decisions that 
he should be able to rely upon the advice of the military 
member of the Council when he had to consider the views 
of the Commander-in-Chief. The matter, of course, came 
ultimately before the Home Government (that of Mr. 
A. J. Balfour). A committee was appointed consisting of 
the Hon. St. J. Brodrick (afterwards Lord Midleton), Secre- 
tary of State for India, the Marquis of Salisbury, Earl 
Roberts, Sir George White, Sir James Mackay, Sir Edward 
Law, and General Gordon. Its report was unanimous, 
and to the effect that the strictly military parts of army 
administration should be controlled solely by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and the departments not exclusively 
military by another member of the Viceroy's Council ; and 
that, while a second purely military expert opinion in the 
Council was not desirable, a member of the Council should 
have charge of the subsidiary and less exclusively military 
business. The military member then sitting (Sir Edmond 
Elles) was to retire, and Lord Curzon was invited to 
propose a successor. He proposed Sir E. Barrow. Mr. 
Brodrick stated that his transfer from a military command 
was undesirable, and that his training made it likely that 
the old system would soon return. Lord Curzon declined 
to withdraw the suggestion, and as the Home Government 
would not give way he resigned office. He truly said, in 
his last speech in India, that no man would resign such 
a post for any but the strongest reasons. What these 
reasons were had best be stated in his own words : " I 
resigned for two great principles. Firstly, the hitherto 
uncontested, the essential, and, in the long run, the inde- 
structible subordination of military to civil authority in 
the administration of all well-conducted states ; and, 
secondly, the payment of due and becoming regard to 


Indian authority in determining India's needs. I am 
making no vain boast when I say that in defending these 
principles as I have sought to do, and in sacrificing my 
position sooner than sacrifice them, I have behind me the 
whole of the Civil Services in India, the unanimous weight 
of non-official English opinion in this country, an over- 
powering preponderance of Indian opinion, and I will add, 
which is more significant still, the support of the greater 
part of the Indian Army." 

We may now review Lord Curzon's administration in 
regard to those policies which were spread over several 
years, and are most conveniently to be taken as a whole. 
First of these may be taken that which aroused the most 
public comment, the partition of Bengal. 

While Calcutta was the centre of British official and 
commercial life in India, much of Bengal had remained 
in comparative neglect. Eastern Bengal was almost 
unknown : well watered, beautiful, with ancient cities and 
a contented peasantry, it seemed to have escaped for 
centuries the attention of its rulers. Dacca, its capital, 
was important in commerce, and the Government had 
endeavoured to make it important in education. The 
population was largely Muhammadan, and it was loyal. 
But the territory was vast, the officials were few, and the 
police system over considerable districts was impotent. 

It was to deal with this state of affairs, to lighten the 
burden on the higher officials, and to make good govern- 
ment possible, that after long consideration Lord Curzon's 
Government presented proposals to the Secretary of State 
which were eventually sanctioned, and on July 19th, 1905, 
were carried into effect. That scheme was published on 
September ist, 1905. A new province was created, called 
Eastern Bengal and Assam. It consisted of Assam, and 
the districts of Dacca, Mymensingh, Faridpur, Baicker- 
gunge, Tippera, Noakhali, Chittagong with the hill district 


near it, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Rangpur, Bogra, 
Patna, and Malda, in Bengal. Mr. (afterwards Sir) 
Bampfj'lde Fuller was the first Lieutenant-Governor, with 
a council of fifteen. 

On October i6th the new system began its work 
at Dacca. It was not destined long to survive, so it 
may be unnecessary to write of it in detail. It will be 
well, however, to record the aim of its creation, and to 
discuss the criticism to which it was subjected. The 
aim was undoubtedly to remedy defective administration. 
Sir Andrew Fraser, who became Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bengal in 1903, stated, in a review of the circumstances 
after he had left India, that the partition " was passed 
after the fullest consideration, after public and private 
discussion with representatives of all the interests con- 
cerned, and from no other motive than the real and 
permanent benefit of the people of the two provinces. 
I have never known any administrative step taken after 
fuller discussion and more careful consideration." But 
this was not heeded, in the agitation which instantly 
sprang up and was not quelled till the partition was 
revised eight years later. It was alleged that in the new 
province the Hindus would be made subject to the 
Muhammadans : figures and facts refuted the charge. 
But the Native Bar at Calcutta foresaw that it would 
ultimately suffer, and the native newspapers saw that they 
too would suffer, from the creation of a new Province 
which must soon have its own High Court and its own 

The agitation was fostered by members of the Calcutta 
University who had not forgiven the Universities Act, 
passed in March, 1904. This Act was the result of Lord 
Curzon's prolonged investigation into the educational 
system of India, and of the report of a Commission which 
visited the Universities in 1902, under the chairmanship of 


Sir Thomas Raleigh, Legal Member of the Viceroy's 
Executive Council. Lord Curzon approved of the intro- 
duction of European learning and English education into 
India, but he considered that English models had been 
too slavishly copied, and he desired to emancipate the 
system from the tyranny, though not from the assistance, 
of examinations. Primary education had especially 
suffered. '' Ever since the cold breath of Macaulay's 
rhetoric passed over the field of the Indian languages and 
Indian text-books, the elementary education of the people 
in their own tongue has shrivelled and pined." The Act 
was aimed to begin the reform from the top, by raising the 
standard of higher education, and, through that, working 
downwards. Thus the Universities were given new powers 
of government, and the policy of supplementing examina- 
tions by thorough general teaching was placed before 
them. The Senates of the Universities, Allahabad, Lahore, 
Calcutta, Madras, and of Bombay (the largest of all, of over 
three hundred members) were unwieldy and ill-regulated : 
the syndicates of each needed remodelling, and the afifilia- 
tion of colleges to the Universities needed some central 
control. All this was given by the Act. The colleges to 
be affiliated were placed under regulation and inspection, 
and the candidates for University examinations, if they 
were not already members of the University, were required 
to have completed a course of instruction certified by it. 
The educational effect of the Act was undoubtedly good, 
but all who were affected by the reforms vigorously pro- 
tested, and their opposition was thrown into the scale 
when the new Province came into view. 

In elementary education Lord Curzon secured a 
permanent annual grant (besides special benefactions when 
needed) of /"230,000 for the schools, which led to the 
opening of thousands of new schools. He was not 
himself in favour of a bureaucratic control ; he thought a 


department would be "packed with pedagogues and 
crusted with officialism " : he well knew what had happened 
in England. But in 19 lo a Ministry of Education was 
created, obtaining the wise control of Mr. (now Sir) 
Harcourt Butler, an eminent member of a family whose 
services to education are famous. Lord Curzon had laid 
foundations, and, of the battles fought over his educational 
reforms, he said he was " firmly convinced that out of 
them had been born a new life for Higher Education 
in India." 

We may now turn to Lord Curzon's foreign policy. A 
few words will suffice to conclude what is to be said about 
Afghanistan. Habibullah may be said to have kept the 
English for a long time at arms' length. He did not take 
the subsidy given to his father : he entered into no treaties 
with the Government : he was angry when he was not 
allowed to import munitions through British India. In 
1904, when Lord Ampthill was Viceroy during the absence 
of Lord Curzon in England, a mission under Mr. (later Sir 
Louis) Dane was sent to Kabul. It remained for three 
months, and was ended by the signature of a treaty 
accepting both the claims of the Amir, to arrears of the 
subsidy and free admission of munitions. A visit of the 
Amir to India in 1907 was no more than a friendly act : 
he was given the designation of " Majesty," which he 
claimed through a telegram from Edward VII. The 
Amir returned home, holding a strong position, and he 
has made considerable reforms within his kingdom. The 
alliance between England and Russia now secures both 
powers against his separate intrigues with either. 

In the Persian Gulf, and Persia itself, Lord Curzon acted 
with special knowledge. Persia may be regarded as outside 
the limits of Indian history. It needs therefore only to be 
said that Lord Curzon did his best to encourage the intro- 
duction of a telegraph system into Persia and maintained 


friendly relations with the country and with border chief- 
tains. With the Persian Gulf the concern is more direct. 
While Russian activity there died away, German efforts — 
the object of which has since then been clearly revealed — 
were continuous during the early part of Lord Curzon's 
rule. There were innumerable attempts, sometimes under 
the cloak of Turkish claims, sometimes by application of 
commercial companies, to acquire control over the Gulf, 
with a view to the acquisition of political power on the 
completion of the Baghdad railway. Commerce was the 
pretext, territorial status the end. 

Koweit was the first point of attack, where the Sheikh 
was, in the words of Mr. Balfour (April 3rd, 1904), " under 
our special protection and with whom we have special 
treaties," An attempt was also made to plant pearl 
fisheries under German control. The Hamburg-Amerika 
line sent a vessel to the Gulf every month. Then the 
Sultan of Turkey claimed suzerainty over Koweit and sent 
a ship to enforce it. But a British ship was there before 
the Turks, and they promptly retired. Before long they 
instigated a land attack, which was at least kept at bay. 
British protection, though the Foreign Office seemed tepid 
in the matter, was so far effective as to prepare allies for 
the Great War of 19 14. In Bahrein also there was trouble, 
but a British gunboat watched the fisheries. All along 
the Gulf Lord Curzon was vigilant. He had the 
surveys revised and completed, the canals increased, the 
residencies rebuilt or founded. The culmination of his 
action was the Viceroy's own visit to the Gulf in 1903, 
He came from Karachi to Muscat with a fine assemblage 
of warships, and decorated the Sultan in Darbar. Thence 
he went to Shargah, Bunder Abbas, Lingah, Bahrein, 
Koweit, and Bushire. On his way back he called at Sask 
and Pasni, No such visit had ever been paid by an 
English Viceroy, Important at the time, it is impossible 


to calculate its value in view of the desperate and world- 
wide struggle towards which the Empire was so rapidly, 
though unconsciously, approaching. Mr. Lovafc Fraser 
has very truly stated that " British supremacy in India is 
unquestionably bound up with British supremacy in the 
Persian Gulf. If we lose control of the Gulf we shall not 
long rule in India." * Lord Curzon's far-sighted and 
determined action served to preserve that control at a 
moment which the future showed to be critical indeed. 

Since the time of Warren Hastings, who inaugurated 
or foresaw so many of the wisest developments of British 
rule in India, little had been known of Tibet. His 
mission, of Mr. Bogle, had not been allowed to lead to 
intercourse which might have been of great service to the 
civilisation of Central Asia. When Darjeeling had become 
a British outpost, and the frontier line lay but a few miles 
beyond it in the valley, the traveller gazing from Tiger 
Hill to the magnificent range of eternal snows looked 
eagerly for the thin dark line which marks the single road 
to the city which remained sacred, inaccessible, and 
mysterious for a century and a half after the embassy 
which that great Governor had sent had returned to 
Calcutta. The Chinese had stepped in and checked 
every venture of English trade. Then Tibet played 
against China, China against Tibet, both against Great 
Britain. Sikkim remained under the protection of our 
Empire, and Nepal was our ally. But Tibet was closed 
even to trade, and a Joint Commission failed to achieve 
any result. In 1903 Lord Curzon sent Colonel Young- 
husband, but he was met by continual delay. The Dalai 
Lama was believed to be under the control of Russia. A 
Russian agent, Dorjiev, was suspected of having made a 
treaty which practically handed over Tibet to Russian 
rule. This was denied, and probably rightly. But, 
* Lovat Fraser, " India under Curzon and after," p. 112, 



p. 46-- 


however advised, the Tibetans were guilty of encroachment 
and attack, and of neglect of treaty obligations. It was 
resolved to send a mission to Gyantse, about halfway 
to Lhasa, and the mission was protected by a considerable 
force. There was a treacherous but ineffective resistance 
at Gura on March 31st, 1904. Of the expedition it has 
been said that, " No army in the world has ever before 
conducted a campaign at an altitude frequently as high 
as the summit of Mont Blanc. At the engagement in 
the Karo Pass the Gurkhas w^ere operating at a height 
of 19,000 feet. The whole enterprise was a triumph of 
organisation and daring, and at no time was its success 
more creditable than during the return journey." * Lord 
Curzon expressed his admiration at the expedition 
" getting back again." 

Lord Curzon's first term of office came to an end when 
the British force was still at Gyantse. Lord Ampthill, 
after the Tibetans had attacked our camp, ordered an 
advance to Lhasa. The sacred city w^as entered on 
August 3rd, 1904. On September 7th a treaty was signed 
in the great monastery, by which the Tibetans agreed to 
pay a lakh of rupees annually till ;^500,ooo was reached, 
and during that time the important strategical position of 
the Chumbi valley was to be held. The Secretary of State 
for India refused to sanction Colonel Younghusband's 
action ; the indemnity was reduced to p{^ 166,000. The 
conclusion of the whole matter will be recorded later. 

The Tibetan expedition was a remarkable and 
romantic one. If Lord Curzon had remained in India, 
doubtless it would have led to an opening of the country. 
But darkness has now settled down again upon the mys- 
terious land. 

British troops and native regiments had done gallantly 
among the snows. No less gallantly did they support 
* Lovat Fraser, op, cit,, p. 141. 


the Empire in Natal during the Boer War and in Somali- 
land. The English troops from India saved Natal. 
Lumsden's Horse, a corps composed largely of Calcutta 
business men and the tea-planters of Assam, did splendid 
service, and its return to the capital in 1901 was the 
occasion of a brilliant and moving display, civic, ecclesi- 
astical and imperial. The welcome accorded in the 
cathedral by Dr. Welldon, then Metropolitan of India, was 
singularly impressive, and a tablet, erected by the Viceroy, 
records the " wonderful movement which ran like a thrill 
through the whole heart of the Empire," and had its 
individual contributions from the traders of Calcutta and 
the planters of the East. The Indian troops upheld the 
honour of their country amid difficulties and dangers the 
most severe. 

The military tie is perhaps the strongest which binds 
the native states to the sovereign and imperial power, 
Sindhia had sent his contingent to join the British troops 
which sailed to relieve the besieged Legations in China. 
And whatever may be the political interests which 
bind the states together, there can be no doubt that 
a large part of the enthusiasm which is felt for the 
sovereign is due to the common service of his subjects 
in war. This has been abundantly shown in 1914 and 
the years that followed. But the political and com- 
mercial ties arc strong also. The agricultural needs, 
the village systems of cultivation or of government, the 
dangers of famine and plague, all form links between the 
states, large and small, and the paramount power. There 
are more than six hundred native princes, of every grade 
of rank and every diversity of intelligence, education, 
civilisation, interest. Lord Curzon probably entered 
more intimately into the aims of the native states than 
any Viceroy before him. Again and again he visited 
them, on occasions of public or of semi-private concern. 


He frequently admitted to the exercise of their authority 
young rulers, such as the Nfuvab of Bahawalpur, the 
Maharaja of Alwar, the Maharaja Holkar, the Maharaja 
of Kashmir, the Maharaja of Mysore. He brought the 
native rulers more and more into association with the 
central government. And this association became, in his 
hands, not only official but personal. He himself paid 
visits to more than forty native states, several of which 
had never been seen by a Viceroy before. But the 
military side of the connection still remained in obvious 
prominence. Lord Dufferin had formed a scheme for 
Imperial Defence, in which native troops should be 
inspected by British officers and placed, when their rulers 
thought fit, at the service of the British Government, As 
thus organised, there were some 18,000 men. In 1903 
the Aga Khan, the recognised representative of the 
Muhammadan powers in India, suggested in the Imperial 
Council that these troops should be placed more definitely 
under the control of the Commander-in-Chief while still 
remaining clearly the soldiers of their own states. The 
matter was much discussed, but no systematic organisation 
on these lines was reached. Lord Curzon's institution, the 
Imperial Cadet Corps, formed of the young sons of noble 
families who desired military training, was a further link 
between the sovereign power and its subject states. The 
creation of chiefs' colleges at Ajmer, Lahore, and Rajkote 
was a similar step, for it was designed to train the sons 
of chiefs for their future work, and the Daly College at 
Indore was given the same status and endowed by the 
chiefs on a generous scale. Many instances of Lord 
Curzon's personal interest in the chiefs could be given, 
but the most important event of his time in the relations 
between the Imperial power and the subordinate states was 
the settlement of the ambiguous and long-unsettled rela- 
tions between Hyderabad, Berar, and the Government 

2 H 


of India. After personal negotiation between Lord Curzon 
and the Nizam in 1902, the British Government re- 
ceived a perpetual lease of Berar for ;^ 168,000 a year. 
The Nizam's own finances were also rehabilitated by the 
capable supervision of Mr. Casson Walker. Lord Curzon's- 
policy towards the native states may be summed up in his 
words of November 12th, 1903 — 

" When the British Crown, through the Viceroy, and 
the Indian princes, in the person of one of their number, 
are brought together on an occasion of so much importance 
as an installation ceremony, it is not unnatural that we 
should reflect for a moment on the nature of the ties that 
are responsible for this association. They are peculiar 
and significant ; and, so far as I know, they have no 
parallel in any other country in the world. The political 
system of India is neither feudalism nor federation ; it is 
embodied in no constitution, it does not always rest upon 
treaty, and it bears no resemblance to a league. It 
represents a series of relationships that have grown up 
between the Crown and the Indian princes under widely 
differing conditions, but which in process of time have 
gradually conformed to a single type. The sovereignty 
of the Crown is everywhere unchallenged. It has itself 
laid down the limitations of its own prerogative. Con- 
versely, the duties and the service of the states are 
implicitly recognised, and as a rule faithfully discharged. 
It is this happy blend of authority with free will, of 
sentiment with self-interest, of duties with rights, that 
distinguishes the Indian Empire under the British Crown 
from any other dominion of which we read in history. 
The links that hold it together are not iron fetters that 
have betn forged for the weak by the strong ; neither are 
they artificial couplings that will snap asunder the moment 
that any unusual strain is placed upon them ; but they 
are silken strands that have been woven into a strong 


cable by the mutual instincts of pride and duty, of self- 
sacrifice and esteem. It is scarcely possible to imagine 
circumstances more different than those of the Indian 
chiefs now from what they were at the time when Queen 
Victoria came to the throne. Then they were suspicious 
of each other, mistrustful of the paramount power, dis- 
tracted with personal intrigues and jealousies, indifferent 
or selfish in their administration, and unconscious of any 
wider duty or Imperial aim. Now their sympathies have 
expanded with their knowledge, and their sense of 
responsibility with the degree of confidence reposed in 
them. They recognise their obligations to their own 
states and their duty to the Imperial throne. The British 
Crown is no longer an impersonal abstraction, but a con- 
crete and inspiring force. They have become figures on a 
great stage instead of actors in petty parts. 

" In my view, as this process has gone on, the princes 
have gained in prestige instead of losing it. Their rank is 
not diminished, but their privileges have become more 
secure. They have to do more for the protection that 
they enjoy, but they also derive more from it ; for they 
are no longer detached appendages of Empire, but its 
participators and instruments. They have ceased to be 
the architectural adornments of the Imperial edifice, and 
have become the pillars that help to sustain the main 


How this ideal was translated into fact was shown 
as it were in illustration of the magnificent Darbar of 1903, 
which was held to proclaim the accession of Edward VII. 
to the throne of Victoria. It has been declared 
that this was in several respects without precedent in 
the history of Asia. The princes were given their due 
honour, and their honour was laid, ceremonially and 
dramatically, at the foot of their Emperor's throne. Of 
Lord Curzon's personal share in this great historic event 


— for such it was — Lord Milner, than whom no living 
English statesman could be better qualified to judge, has 
quoted with approval an eloquent description — 

" The public never knew the enormous amount of 
labour Lord Curzon devoted to the Darbar. It came in 
the midst of absorbing preoccupations ; it was only an 
incident of his Viceroyalty, but the work he did for it 
would have served some men for a lifetime. The task of 
preparation ;on the spot occupied a considerable staff for 
a whole year. Four times Lord Curzon visited Delhi 
to inspect, revise, and improve the arrangements. He 
planned every detail, and saw every detail executed. 
From first to last, the whole gathering was his own 
conception, and the driving force which made him a human 
dynamo during his sojourn in India alone rendered the 
scheme possible of execution. Everybody predicted 
failure, and yet there was never the slightest semblance 
of a breakdown. The secret of the work which Lord 
Curzon accomplished in India was that from early man- 
hood he had trained himself to be absolutely methodical 
in all he undertook. No Viceroy, save Dalhousie, ever 
wrote so much with his own hand. His papers were a 
miracle of orderliness. Some one has said that his 
capacity for work is almost inhuman, and certainly to 
unmethodical men he seemed to toil with the unswerving 
certitude of a machine ; but it was only by this rigid per- 
sistence that he left behind him such an astonishing 
record of labours completed. In no undertaking did his 
talent for organisation shine so brilliantly as in the Delhi 

The indefatigable industry which created the magni- 
ficence of the Delhi Darbar was no doubt a labour of love. 
So it certainly was when it was devoted to the archaeology 
of India. Lord Curzon knew more of the art and the 
antiquities of India than any Viceroy before him, and he 


certainly cared for them with a more inteUigent and 
appreciative supervision. After personal inspection of a 
vast number of the artistic remains of ancient India, 
Lord Curzon embodied his proposals for the removal of 
the horrors u'hich had defaced them, and the conservation 
of the beauties which had remained or had been renewed, 
in the Ancient Monuments Bill which was passed in 
1904. In 1 90 1 he had appointed a Director-General of 
Archaeology (Mr. J. H. Marshall), whose work in advising 
and supervising the provincial governments soon bore 
abundant fruit. Lord Curzon himself had a close personal 
concern in all that was done. To record it would be to 
write an account of the greatest archaeological and artistic 
treasures of India. It may suffice to say that no one who 
has visited Delhi or Agra can fail to have been impressed 
by the beauty and splendour of the ancient memorials 
and the charm of the setting in which each is seen. 
They form a splendid memorial of the age-long great- 
ness of the Indian races and their rulers. And that 
they preserve these memories, it may now be hoped for 
ever, is due to the administration of Lord Curzon. 

These services to the Indian peoples were appreciated 
by every rank in Indian society, and they had a special 
personal interest for the Viceroy who inaugurated them. 
But it may well be that nearer still to his heart was the 
policy of his Government towards the dwellers and workers 
on the soil. "The peasant," he said, "has been in the 
background of every policy for which I have been re- 
sponsible, of every surplus of which I have assisted in the 

This feeling was embodied in constant and beneficent 
legislation, such as the Suspensions and Remission Reso- 
lution, regulating the non-collection of revenue in time of 
famine, the Punjab Land Alienation Act, which checked 
the depredations of the money-lender and helped the 


hereditary landholders and cultivators to retain their 
property, and the institution of land banks by the Co- 
operative Credit Societies Act, which has gone far to revive 
and establish agricultural prosperity in many parts of 
India. But more direct measures were also taken. Lord 
Curzon stated that the aim of his administration had 
been "for the first time to apply science on a large scale 
to the study and practice of Indian agriculture." In 1901 
an Inspector-General of Agriculture was appointed, in 
Mr. J. Mollison. An American millionaire, Mr. Henry 
Phipps, gave the Viceroy ;^30,ooo which with Government 
addition was used to found an Agricultural Research 
Institute at Pusa in Bengal; and ^^130,000 a year was 
granted by the Government for the support of " agri- 
cultural research, experiment, education, and demonstra- 
tion." Practical and theoretical agriculturists were brought 
from Europe, experimental farms were started, and 
attention was paid to the breeding of cattle. In every 
way the position of the cultivator was greatly improved. 
There could be no surer test of the prosperity of the land. 

Reform of the police, inaugurated by the Commission 
of 1902, was much needed, and not a little was accom- 
plished. At the same time judges were added to several 
of the courts, from the High Court at Calcutta downwards, 
and the Indian Code of Civil Procedure was revised, 
though this work v/as not completed till 1908. Lord 
Curzon's endeavours to form a military force of Eurasians 
(now called Anglo-Indians) were frustrated by the 
military authorities in India or at home. But his 
personal action on behalf of the Civil Service, the "men 
in the plains," and the men in offices, from the highest 
to the lowest, had many happy results. What he said 
about his powers as a final court of appeal on every 
case may well be recorded here, for it is a motto for 
much of the work which he did in India. " I can recall 


long night hours spent in the effort to unravel some 
tangled case of alleged misconduct resulting in the dis- 
missal of a poor unknown native subordinate. Perhaps 
those hours have not been the worst spent of my time in 
India, and the simple letters of gratitude from the score or 
more of humble individuals whom I have thus saved from 
ruin have been equally precious in my eyes with the reso- 
lutions of public bodies or the compliments of princes." 

It was in August, 1905, that Lord Curzon tendered his 
resignation. He actually left the country on November 18. 
He had remained to welcome the Prince and Princess of 
Wales, who began this cold weather a tour of the greatest 
interest by visiting Northern India. 

His successor was the Earl of Minto, the great-grand- 
son of the Viceroy who had ruled some eighty years 
before. The last words of Lord Curzon in India, two 
days before he sailed, may well be taken as the motto 
of the period which now closed — 

"A hundred times in India have I said to myself, 
' Oh that to every Englishman in this country as he ends 
his work, might be truthfully applied the phrase, "Thou 
hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity.* " No man 
has, I believe, ever served India faithfully of whom that 
could not be said. All other triumphs are tinsel and 



In 1906 the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales was 
extended southwards, and the heir to the thrones of the 
British Empire became the guest of great native princes 
of the south, at Mysore and Hyderabad. Gwalior was 
twice visited by the Prince, and an Anglo-Oriental College, 
for Muhammadan notables, was designed at Aligarh to 
commemorate the royal visit. At Ouetta the Prince 
attended a great Darbar on March 7th, where the Khan 
of Kalat and the Jam of Las Bela were present, the new 
Agent to the Governor-General in Baluchistan, Sir Henry 
MacMahon, thus inaugurating a valuable work of alliance 
and protection of frontier tribes, for which his settlement 
of the disputes on the Helmund, about irrigation and 
boundaries, had shown him to be well qualified. 

Afghanistan remained friendly, and the Amir, at the 
end of 1906, started on a visit to Calcutta, which had 
rather a ceremonial than a political significance, though 
the review of 30,000 troops at Agra, which he witnessed, 
may well have impressed him with the power of his great 
neighbour. An Anglo-Russian convention, concluded in 
1907, settled the status of Afghanistan, it may be hoped, 
for many years ; and it may well have marked the 
beginnings of a better understanding between the two 
great powers which has since developed Jnto a firm 
alliance. By this treaty the English Government dis- 
claimed any intention to alter the political position of 

TO THE DARBAR OP 1911 473 

Afghanistan or to take any measures there against Russia, 
while Russia agreed to send no agents thither, to treat 
with Afghanistan always through the British, and to 
regard the country as outside the sphere of Russian 
innuencc. Equality of commercial privilege was agreed 
upon. Lord Curzon's treaty of 1905 was declared to 
bind the English not to annex or occupy Afghan lands. 
It was a maintenance of the status quo, but dictated by a 
friendly spirit on both sides. The tranquillity of Afghan- 
istan was reflected, both in 1906 and in 1907, on the north- 
west frontier. 

During 1905-6 the revenue showed a considerable 
improvement generally, and it was anticipated that 
1906-7 would show an important increase. This proved 
to be the case, especially in the land revenue, through 
the very favourable season on the Bombay side, since 
which not only current taxes, but arrears had been 

Less was spent on the Army, the Financial Member 
of Council in 1907 reducing the annual grant of two 
millions by a quarter, owing to the improvement in 
the general political situation. It was considered that 
Lord Kitchener's military reforms were now concluded. 
They had almost entirely rearmed the artillery with 
quick-firing guns, established munition factories in many 
places, reorganised the hospital and transport service, 
and added considerably to the officers of the Indian 
Army. It was declared that the total military expendi- 
ture from 1904-5 to 1906-7, consequent on these measures, 
was ^^"5, 543, 000, of which ;(72,400,ooo was spent on Lord 
Kitchener's reforms. Railway and navigation schemes 
were pressed on, and both showed a substantial profit. 
In 1906 copper coinage ceased and was replaced by 
bronze, at a very considerable saving. 

Plague and famine remained, famine abating where 


the rains were plentiful, but still causing many deaths and 
involving much special relief work. Plague, reduced in 
1905-6, increased again the following year, and at the 
end of 1907, reached the highest point it had ever 
attained since statistics were accessible. The Com- 
mission of investigation had shown that the abandon- 
ment of affected areas and sites and the destruction of 
rats were the most efficacious remedies, but the ignorance 
of the people still rendered these measures often ineffectual. 
In 1907 a nickel coinage was added, and it proved highly 

If it had been hoped that the rearrangement of 
Bengal v/ould gradually be accepted by the people, no 
signs of this were visible in 1906 and 1907. In 
October, 1905, Sir Bampfylde Fuller, Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal, issued a circular reprobating the 
interference of scholars in politics, and threatening 
that schools which disregarded this order would be dis- 
affiliated from Calcutta University. Persistence in this 
conduct led to the reference of the matter to the 
University in 1906, but the Government of India, acting, 
it seemed obvious, on pressure from home, requested him 
to withdraw his demand on the University, and he in 
consequence resigned, and was succeeded by Mr. R. Hare. 
The general agitation continued. In 1907 the Governor- 
General ill Council issued an order empowering local 
governments to "proclaim " any district, thereby prohibit- 
ing public meetings without notice and sanction. This 
order was eventually embodied in a law, which was to 
be operative till the autumn of 1910. Extensive riots, 
with attacks by Hindus on Muhammadans, occurred in 
Eastern Bengal, and more dangerous ones in the Punjab, 
which led to the deportation, sanctioned by Mr. (after- 
wards Viscount) Morley, the Secretary of State, of the 
leaders, Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh. 

TO THE DA REAR OF \c)\\ 475 

The "National Congress" continued its meetings, and 
afforded a less dangerous but almost equally pugnacious 
outlet for the feelings of discontent. In 1907, the 
" moderate" party, under Mr. Ghose, declared that its aim 
was not severance from the PImpire, but the attainment 
of self-government similar to that enjoyed by Canada. 
The Magistrate at Dacca, Mr. C. B. Allen, was danger- 
ously wounded by some students on December 23rd, 1907. 
There were signs that sedition was becoming rife in the 

During this period the Home Government showed 
considerable firmness, and Mr. Morley declared that he 
would make no apology for strong' measures, such as 
deportation, legalised by the regulations of 18 18. India, 
he said, must remain under personal and absolute govern- 
ment. But he foreshadowed considerable changes, both 
in the Governor-General's and the Provincial Councils, 
quoting the great General Gordon's saying that the only 
way to govern men was by trying to realise their feelings. 
British rule in India must continue. The alternative is an 
anarchy of blood and chaos. In a later speech, in Scot- 
land, Mr. Morley said that it would be folly to govern 
India like Canada, and that the disorders were not 
political but racial. 

Mr. Morley's solution of the controversy which had 
caused the retirement of Lord Curzon was that the 
Military Secretary should hold a similar position to that 
of the other secretaries and be a member of the Mobili- 
sation Committee : that the military member of Council 
should serve on the Defence Committee : that the Viceroy 
should appoint to these Committees. 

In September, 1909, Lord Kitchener, having accom- 
plished a most important work, was succeeded by Sir 
O'Moore Creagh as Commander-in-Chief. His work had 
been considerable indeed. " He placed the Army of 


India on a far sounder footing, he made it a more efficient 
instrument ... he did great things in India and he did 
them well." * He paid much attention to the defence of 
the country. He rode up and down the Northern frontier, 
seeing every pass for himself. He seems to have regarded 
a Russian invasion as not impossible of accomplishment, 
and his action certainly alarmed the Russian Government. 
But he more than once explained that the policy of 
redistribution of troops, to which he paid so much 
attention, "did not contemplate the massing of troops 
on the north-west frontier," and that he himself was 
opposed to such a step. The frontier campaigns were of 
course under his direction : but he was never in favour of 
war when it could possibly be avoided. He did a great 
deal to increase the efficiency of the Indian Army as a 
striking force. He left it so that nine divisions of infantry 
and eight cavalry brigades could be placed in the field on 
mobilisation. In each division there were two brigades 
of native, one of British, troops. The divisions were 
concentrated along the main lines of railway, and were 
grouped under two commands, the Northern with its 
head-quarters at Murree and the Southern with its head- 
quarters at Poona. A Staff" College at Quetta provided 
for the education of officers : new methods of training the 
troops were instituted. The pay of the Indian soldiers 
was increased, and their allowances were enlarged : pension 
rules were revised and imposed. Lord Kitchener left 
India with much sound work done, though the change in 
the relation of the military department to the Central 
Government, by the creation of the Supply Department, 
for which he was responsible, was reversed within three 
years and before he himself left India. As a practical 
soldier he had done great good in India ; but his theory 
of the relation of the military to the civil power was not 
• Lovat Fraser, " India under Curzon and after," p. 399. 

rO THE DAKBAR OF 191 1 477 

one which was compatible with English ideas of con- 
stitutional government. 

A considerable change in the keeping of the accounts 
was ushered in by the Budget statements of March, 1908, 
from which accounts of local boards were omitted. The 
revenue showed an increased surplus. The expenditure 
showed a large increase in the civil departments, chiefly 
due to the new police regulations ; but next year, when 
a surplus of iJ^S/ 1,500 had been expected, a deficit of 
;^3, 720,500 resulted from the continuance of famine in 
Upper India. Plague, however, showed considerable dimi- 
nution at last. 

Afghanistan remained quiet, but the Amir's consent 
to the Anglo-Russian Convention was not announced. 
But in 1908 expeditions became necessary against the 
Zakka Khels and the Mohmands. Both were led by 
Sir James Willcocks, and were entirely successful, and 
the tribes submitted to the English terms. The troops 
were withdrawn, and tranquillity was only broken by a 
rapid raid of the Mahsud Waziris. Other raids were 
defeated in 1909, but tranquillity was only slightly 

In Bengal there was a great contrast. The agitation, 
only half real, which had been now going on for some 
years, showed itself to be in some of its developments 
distinctly seditious and anarchical. An attempt was 
made to wreck the train of the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir 
A. Eraser : he was fired at a few months later : attempts 
were made on the lives of English ofificials and residents, 
some of them successful ; and some of the police officials 
who had been most active were assassinated. Special 
legislation dealt with disloyal newspapers and with the 
manufacture of explosives. Mr. Tilak, an Indian journalist, 
was sentenced to a heavy fme and transportation for si.x 
years, but the Governor of Bombay remitted the fine and 


substituted simple imprisonment. The Indian penal code 
was strengthened ; but the end of the agitation was not 

On November ist, 1908, fifty years after the assumption 
of the direct government of India by the Crown, the 
King-Emperor issued a proclamation which was read to 
the princes by the Viceroy in Darbar at Jodhpur. It 
eulogised the services of the chiefs, renewed the promises 
of Queen Victoria's famous letter, and stated that in spite 
of the excesses of the last few years it was not intended 
to delay the promised progress and reform. This was 
explained by the introduction of a Bill into the House of 
Lords on December 17th. By this, which was severely 
criticised by several ex-Viceroys, but passed without 
alterations, in obedience to the wise principle that 
party politics should not be brought into Indian affairs, 
power was given to increase the Governor-General's 
Council by sixty additional members, the Councils of the 
Governors of Madras and Bombay and of the Lieutenant- 
Governor of the two Bengals and of the United Provinces 
by fifty, of the Punjab and Burma by thirty. Additions 
may also be made to the ordinary members of the 
Councils of Madras and Bombay. This would retain 
the official majority in the Governor-General's Council, 
but destroy it in the other Councils. The resolutions 
explaining the new law, issued by the Government of 
India on November 15th, 1909, explained these points and 
dealt in detail with the representation which they gave 
to the different classes of Indian life — the professional, 
the land-holding, the Muhammadan, and the represen- 
tative of Indian and of European commerce. 

The new constitution, for such it was, may briefly be 
epitomised as follows. In the Council of the Governor- 
General thirty-five new members are nominated, twenty- 
five elected. These latter are cliosen, two by the 

TO THE DARBAR OF 191 1 479 

non-official members of the Councils of Madras, Bombay, 
Bengal, United Provinces ; one by those of the Punjab, 
Eastern Bengal, Burma ; one each by certain district and 
municipal councils, one each by five Muhammadan com- 
munities. Similar arrangements were made with regard 
to the Provincial Councils. 

While these reforms were welcomed generally in India, 
the " National Congress " denounced them, and the anarchist 
schemes continued with but little check. Three murders 
of prominent persons were committed by students, and a 
bomb was thrown at the Viceroy, happily without effect. 
Where sedition showed itself in Native States the rulers 
promptly suppressed it. 

The conclusion of the war with Tibet may have been 
as good as could be expected, but the Convention which 
followed it with China and with Russia showed that 
England had surrendered any benefit she might have 
expected to win. Chinese suzerainty was recognised. Great 
Britain would not interfere in Tibet, nor would China 
allow any other power to do so. Russia and England 
agreed to treat with Tibet only through China, to send no 
representatives to Lhasa, and to seek no concession for 
mines, railways, roads, or telegraphs. But the trading 
facilities guaranteed in 1904 were to be effectively main- 
tained, and the British troops were withdrawn from the 
Chumbi valley when these facilities had become secure. 
A Convention with China, in April, 1908, confirmed the 
stipulations. The Dalai Lama, after a long residence in 
India, paid a visit to China, when the Chinese suzerainty 
was reasserted. The Chinese Amban became a real 
Viceroy of Tibet, and when the Dalai Lama returned 
to Lhasa he was expelled by the Chinese and fled for 
his life. 

The relations between China and the Indian Empire 
became of special interest during this period in two 


directions. In 1902 Lord Curzon had been able to record 
in his Budget speech, with laudable pride, that it was "an 
Indian General (Sir A. Gaselee) commanding native 
troops from India that relieved the Legations at Peking" 
when they were in grave danger from the Boxer rebellion. 
A force of about 20,000 men was sent, which remained 
in China for a considerable time.* Later on, the opium 
trade, which had long linked India to China, came into 
final question, leading, it was hoped, to eventual extinc- 
tion. In 1908 the Government, influenced no doubt by 
many years of anti-opium agitation, agreed to help the 
Chinese reformers in the attempt to suppress the opium 
traffic. It was decided to limit the export of opium from 
Bengal for the year, and thenceforth to reduce the number 
of chests each year. The area under cultivation was also 
reduced. In subsequent years the revenue from the sale 
was greatly diminished. In 1909-10 it was estimated to 
be about a million and a half pounds sterling less than 
in 1908-9. The agreement was confirmed in 191 1. The 
limit of ten years from March 31, 1907, was decided upon 
for the total end of the opium traffic.f 

Lord Curzon's policy with regard to the native princes 

♦ See above, p. 464. 

t The Times of March 31, 1917, in recording the conclusion of the period, 
stated that, " Under this Treaty His Majesty's Government undertook that the 
export of opium from India to China would be decreased annually by 5100 
chests, until its extinction at the end of 10 years, provided the Chinese 
Government carried out its arrangement for the reduction and consumption of 
opium in China. 

" The use of opium was regarded by the Chinese Government as one of the 
most acute moral and economic questions which they liad to face as a nation. 
It was estimated that it represented an annualloss to the country of 856,250,000 
taels. In 1906 the Chinese had decided to put an end to the use of the drug, 
and the agreement with Great Britain was eagerly welcomed. An edict was 
issued on September 20, 1906, forbidding the consumption of opium and the 
cultivation of the poppy in China, and the culminating act in this plan of 
national reformation took place in February last when the Cliinese Govern- 
ment concluded an agreement with the opium combination for the purchase 
for medicinal purposes of the surplus of certified stocks of opium remaining on 
March 31." 

TO THE DA REAR OF 191 1 481 

has been sketched above. It was probably not intention- 
ally that Lord Minto in 1909, at Udaipur, expressed what 
seems to be a direct contradiction to his predecessor's aims. 
He deprecated interferinfr with native governments, and 
preferred that reforms should be native-born and "grow 
up in harmony with the traditions of the states." Adminis- 
trative efficiency, carried on according to English methods, 
might well affect the loyalty of the people to their ruler : 
it might be bought too dear. These views, of course, 
made his relations with the native states fully as cordial 
as those of Lord Curzon. In 19 10 he installed the 
new Maharaja of Patiala and the Rana of Barwani, and 
announced the recognition of the Maharaja of Benares, 
the successor of the zamindar whose rank had in the 
days of Warren Hastings been so much misunderstood 
in England, as one of the Ruling Chiefs of India, with 
a territory containing a population of nearly 400,000. 

During the year 1910 there were several raids on the 
north-west frontier, but none of serious importance. The 
Viceroy visited the Kurram valley and addressed several 
of the chiefs. 

The surplus of 1910 proved to be ;!^269,5oo. The new 
budget, of Sir Guy Fleetwood Wilson, introduced by an 
interesting historical survey, anticipated good harvests 
and good trade, but a reduction in the opium profits. 
Increase in railway receipts, excise, customs, posts, salt-tax 
were expected, and a surplus of ^^"245,900 was looked 
for. New taxes were to be levied on alcoholic liquors, on 
bills of exchange, and for the transfer of securities. The 
budget now passed through three stages, of explanation, 
discussion, and revision. 

In 19 10, while famine had greatly decreased, plague 
was still rife. The people were still hostile towards some 
of the wisest preventive measures. 

On November 23rd, 1910, Lord Minto retired from 

2 I 


office and was succeeded by Lord Hardinge of Penshurst. 
This change coincided with the retirement of Lord Morley 
of Blackburn from the office of Secretary of State. The 
two statesmen had worked together throughout their 
terms of office, and it is impossible to distinguish the 
personal action of either in any special case. Both were 
agreed in " making a breach in the walls of bureaucracy." 
It is too early to criticise the manner in which, on 
particular occasions, they carried this aim into effect. 
Considerable interest, however, was aroused by the 
appointment of a Hindu barrister, Mr. Sinha, as legal 
member of the Viceroy's Council, and his replacement, on 
his resignation a few months later, by Mr. Syed AH Khan, 
an eminent Muhammadan representative of the same 

Lord Minto had kept watch on the northern frontier 
and the shores of the Persian Gulf. Into the sad and 
decadent politics of Persia it is not necessary to enter. 
But it may be noted that by British naval action a great 
number of rifles were stopped on their way to Afghanistan 
by the Perso-Mekran coast. On April loth, 191 1, a force 
of sailors and Indian soldiers was landed at Sirik on the 
Mekran coast, which in three hours dispersed the troops 
of Bakrat Khan and the hostile tribesmen. In British 
Baluchistan, Habibullah Khan, after the murder of his 
father by soldiers and the usurpation of his uncle, was 
installed by the British Political Agent as chief of Kharan. 
Afghanistan was quiet ; and the north-west frontier was 
disturbed only by a few raids. On the frontier of Assam 
a British official was slain by the savage Abors, and an 
expedition of punishment was sent. 

A satisfactory revenue year left a balance of ;^68o,ooo 
better than the estimates for 1910-11. Famine conditions 
existed, but were not excessive. The plague unhappily 
showed a sad increase. 

TO THE DARBAR (?/ 1911 .483 

In March, 191 1, the decennial census was taken. It 
showed an increase of population amounting to /"i per 
cent., the total population being 315,132,537. In the 
same session a valuable Factory Act was passed, limiting 
the hours of labour to twelve for men, and six for women 
and children. The Seditious Meetings Act of 1907 was 
r*.newcd in August, 1910, for six months only. In 191 1 
a select committee recommended that, with slight amend- 
ments, it should be made permanent, and this was done. 
It was indeed necessary, for during the year a considerable 
number of political murders were committed. Mr. Ashe, 
the collector at Tinnevelly, several police officials, and 
some witnesses in cases of sedition, were killed, at different 
times, by conspirators. The conspiracy at Dacca, 1910, 
was punished by long imprisonment or transportation of 
the criminals. 

The year ended, and this record of Indian history may 
fitly close, with the Darbar at Delhi in December, when 
King George V., accompanied by Queen Mary, wore his 
crown as Emperor of India, in the presence of a concourse 
of almost 100,000 people. He was received at Bombay by 
the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge of Penshurst, and arrived at 
Delhi on December 7th. The Marquess of Crewe, 
Secretary of State for India, was in attendance. The 
Emperor and Empress were received by the Viceroy, 
the Governors of Madras and Bombay, the Lieutenant- 
Governors of Provinces, the Commander-in-Chief, and the 
Ruling Chiefs, with many officials. After receiving 
private visits from the chiefs, on December 12th the 
Emperor met his subjects in a great Darbar. The Emperor 
addressed the assembly, and homage was done by the 
chiefs and princes. The Viceroy then, by the Emperor's 
command, announced the favours by which he marked the 
great occasion : grants of land to those who had done 
special service, a gift of fifty lakhs for the education of the 


people, release of prisoners, extra pay to soldiers of the 
Native Army and inferior civil servants. The Indian 
Army was declared eligible for the Victoria Cross. All 
was well and generously conceived. But the dramatic 
surprise, the disclosure of a policy which had been kept 
secret with entire success, was to conclude the great day. 
The Emperor announced that the capital of British India 
was to be transferred from Calcutta to Delhi ; that the 
two Bengals were to be reunited under a Governor-in- 
Council, thus creating what was practically a third presi- 
dency ; that Behar, Chota Nagpur, and Orissa were to 
become a Lieutenant-Governorship ; and that Assam was 
to be placed in charge of a Chief Commissioner. 

In 1901 Lord Curzon had said, "It is now too late — I 
sometimes wish it were not — to turn Delhi again into an 
imperial capital." The Government of 191 1 thought 
differently. The Government of India had recommended 
the change, the Secretary of State had sanctioned it, and 
the Emperor announced to his people this return of the 
supreme power to the home of the Mughal emperors. It 
was an expression of the desire of the British rulers to 
identify themselves with the great past of the Indian 

It is too early to judge the effects of this great change. 
Calcutta has hardly yet settled down to its new position. 
The new capital at Delhi is not built. But the Great 
War of 1914, in the splendid outburst of spontaneous 
loyalty which all India has shown, and the services which 
her gallant sons have rendered in the field, witnesses to 
the bonds which link the Great Empire to the British 

This sketch of Indian history, written and revised at 
intervals during the hundred years which have done so 
much to confirm and consolidate British lule, may well close 
with the words of the great Viceroy of the later years— 

TO THE DARBAR OP 191 1 485 

" If our Empire were to end to-morrow, I do not think 
that we need be ashamed of its epitaph. It would have 
done its duty to India, and justified its mission to man- 
kind. But it is not going to end. It is not a moribund 
organism. It is still in its youth, and has in it the 
vitality of an unexhausted purpose. I am not with the 
pessimists in this matter. I am not one of those who 
think that we have built a mere fragile plank between the 
East and West which the roaring tides of Asia will 
presently sweep away. I do not think that our work is 
over or that it is drawing to an end. On the contrary, as 
the years roll by, the call seems to me more clear, the 
duty more imperative, the work more majestic, the goal 
more sublime. I believe that we have it in our power to 
weld the people of India to a unity greater than any they 
have hitherto dreamed of, and to give them blessings 
beyond any that they now enjoy. Let no man admit the 
craven fear that those who have won India cannot hold it, 
or that we have only made India to our own or to its 
unmaking. That is not the true reading of history. That 
is not my forecast of the future. To me the message is 
carved in granite; it is hewn out of the rock of doom- 
that our work is righteous and that it shall endure." 


Abdur Rahman Khan installed as 
Amir, 417 ; receives British 
mission and signs new treaty, 427 ; 
his autobiography, 443 ; his 
death, 444. 

Abyssinian campaign, the, under 
General Napier, 388. 

Adam, Mr., his policy towards the 
Press, 308. 

Afghanistan, British invasion of, 
321, &c. ; again invaded in 1878, 
415 ; Sir M. Durand's mission to 
the Amir of, 427. 

Agra, capture of, by the British, 

Ahmadabad rescued by Akbar, 
III ; capture of, by the Mara- 
thas, 171. 

Ahmad Khan (Abdali Afghan), 
afterwards Ahmad Shah, in- 
vades India — repulsed by the 
Mughals, 169 ; conquers the 
Punjab— routs the Marathas at 
Panipat, 177. 

Ahmadnagar, early sieges of, 113 ; 
capture of, by General Welles- 
ley, 285. 

Ahmad Shah (Emperor of Delhi), 
blinded and deposed by Ghazi- 
ud-din, 170. 

Ajmer, conquest of, 161 ; Lord 
Lansdowne's visit to, 424. 

Akbar (Emperor) defeats Hemu, 
107 ; conquers Gujarat, Bengal, 
and Kashmir, 110-112 ; death 
and character of, 115-iig. 

Akbar Khan defeated by General 
Pollock, 330. 

Alambagh, storming of the, 372. 

Ala-ud-din (Sultan) ascends the 
throne of Delhi, 57 ; his con- 
quests in the Deccan, 58, &c. ; 
his home policy, 60, &c. 

Albuquerque, General, Portuguese 
Viceroy in India, 94 ; his super- 
session and death, 95. 

Alexander the Great crosses the 
Indus, 29 ; defeats Porus, 30. 

Alfred, Prince, his visit to Cal- 
cutta — his progress through India, 

397. 398. 
Aligarh, capture of, by General 

Lake, 285. 
Aliwal, battle of, 337. 
Allahabad, state of, during the 

mutiny, 365 ; grand darbar at, 


Almeida, Dom Francis, first Portu- 
guese Viceroy of India, 94. 

Ambela, storming of, 387. 

Amboyna, massacre at, 128. 

Ambur, brave defence of, by Cap- 
tain Calvert, 222. 

Amherst, Lord, appointed Gover- 
nor-General, 308 ; his war with 
Burma, 309 ; his retirement, 

Amir Khan (the Wahabi), trial 

of, 400. 

Amir-ul-Mulk, 433. 

Ampthill, Lord, 445, 460, 463. 

Andaman Islands (The), murder 
of Lord Mayo at, 403. 

Angria (pirate Lord of Kolaba), 
Maratha warfare with, 166; he 
is defeated by the English, 179. 

Anwar-ud-din, Nawab, lays claim 
to Madras, 180 ; his defeat by 
Duplcix, 181. 

Appa Sahib, his intrigues, de- 
thronement, and death, 304. 

Arcot, seige of, 187. 

Ashti, battle of, 303, 

Asirgarh, capture of, 84, 286. 

Assam, conquest of, 30S, 310 ; placed 
under a Chief Commissioner, 
408 ; earthquake in, 436 ; new 
province, with Bengal, 457 ; 
again placed under a Com- 
missioner, 483. 

Assaye, battle of, 2S5. 

Argaon, battle of, 2S6. 

Auckland, Lord, appointed Go- 
vernor-General — takes part with 
Shah Shuja, 320 ; his foreign 
policy and retirement, 320-32S. 



Aurangzeb, his invasion of the 
Deccan, 132 ; usurps his father's 
throne, 133 ; his wars in the 
Deccan and Northern India, 
1 40-1 48 ; death and character, 
149, &c. 

Ayub Khan defeats the British at 
Maiwand, 417 ; routed by 
Roberts at Kandahar, 417 ; 
driven out of Herat, 417. 

Azam, Prince, claims the Mughal 
throne — his defeat and death, 

Babur conquers Kabul, the Punjab, 
and Hindustan, 77, 78 ; his 
death, loi. 

Badh Serai, battle of, 367. 

Baduwal, battle of, 337. 

Bairam Khan (General in Akbar's 
army) rules at Delhi, revolts 
against Akbar, and is murdered 
on a pilgrimage, 107, 108. 

Baji Rao (Peshwa), his conquests, 
162-165 ; his death, 166. 

Baji Rao H., his intrigues, 273 ; 
his treaty with the English, 2S4. 

Balaji Rao (Peshwa), 170, &c. 

Balban, King of Delhi, 56. 

Balkh, conquest of, but abandoned 
by its conquerors, 130. 

Baluchistan, Lord Lansdowne's 
visit to, 424. 

Bangalore, fall of, 260. 

Bannu, Waziri raids into, 433. 

Baramahal, conquest of the, 261. 

Barasat, Muhammadan rising at, 

Barlow, Sir George, acts as Vice- 
roy instead of Lord Cornwallis, 
291 ; transfer to Madras, 294. 

Baroda, trial and deposition of the 
Gaikwar, 408. 

Barracks in India, extensive 
building of, 393. 

Benares, insurrection in, 252. 

Bengal, early revolts in, 66, 71, 
84 ; English occupation of, 201 ; 
erected into a Presidency and 
Lieutenant - Governorship, 154 ; 
354 ; great famine in, 226 ; ar- 
rival of missionaries in, 293 ; 
permanent settlement of, 266 ; 
Bengal Rent Act, 384 ; the 
famine of 1873-4, 4°^ ; improve- 
ments in, under Sir G. Camp- 
bell, 407 ; the Tenancy Act of 
1885, 419 ; earthquakes in, 436. 

Bentinck, Lord W., recalled from 
Madras, 294 ; appointed Gover- 
nor-General, 313 ; history of 
his administration, 313, &c., 
retirement, 318. 

Berar surrendered to Murad, 113 ; 
treaty with the English, 286, 349, 

Bernadotte, Sergeant (future King 
of Sweden), captured by the 
English, 248. 

Betwa, battle of — defeat of Tan- 
tia Topi, 377. 

Bhamo, mission to, 394 ; Lord 
Lansdowne's visit to, 425. 

Bharatpur, siege of, and peace with 
the English, 288, 2S9 ; capture 
of — dethronement of the Raja, 

Bhopal, British Alliance with, 301 ; 
Begam's offer to Lord Lansdowne, 


Bhutan, war with, 387, 388. 

Bihar, revolts in, 102 ; revolt 
during the mutiny of 1857, 
376 ; famine in, 406. 

Bijagarh, capture of, 252. 

Bijapur, invasion of, 130-133 ; 
conquest of, by Aurangzeb, 146. 

Black Hole of Calcutta, 193 ; fate 
of the English prisoners im- 
mured therein, 194. 

Black Mountain, campaign in, 421. 

Brahma Samaj, sect of the, 21. 

Brydon, Dr., his adventures in 
Kabul, and safe arrival at Jala- 
labad, 326. 

Bundelkhand, revolts in, 102 ; 
English victories in, 374, 376. 

Burma, first war with, 309 ; 
second war, capture of Rangoon 
— annexation of Pegu, 347 ; 
(British) under Sir Arthur 
Phayre, 391 ; conquest of Upper 
Burma, 420 ; visited by Lord 
Lansdowne, 425 ; partial famine 
in, 435 ; appointment of Lieu- 
tenant-Governor for, 440. 

Burnes, Sir Alexander, mission to 
Kabul, 321 ; his murder, 324. 

Buxar, battle of, 212, 213. 

Cachar, annexation of, 309, 310 ; 
raids on, resulting in the Lushai 
war, 399. 

Calcutta, foundation of, 153 ; ar- 
rival of Warren Hastings as 
president at, 227 ; transfer of the 
seat of government from, 483, 



Camac, Col., defeats Sindhia, 1781, 1 
241. I 

Campbell, Col., his final advance 
on Ava, 310. 

Campbell, Sir Colin, relief and 
capture of Lucknow during the 
mutiny by. 372-375- 

Campbell, Sir George, his ad- 
ministrative labours in Bengal, 

Canals, 353 ; and irrigation works, 

73. 353- 

Cannanorc, reduction of, 260. 

Canning, Lord, Governor-General, 
356-385 ; measures to suppress 
the mutiny of 1857, 379 ; " sa- 
nads " granted by him, 383 ; 
retirement, death, and character 

of, 384. 385- 

Carnac, Major, takes command 
of the English army against the 
Marathas, 212. 

Carnatic, the, invaded by the 
Pathans, 59 ; and the Marathas, 
168 ; French invasion, 191 ; 
revenues of the, assigned to the 
English, 246 ; absorption of the, 

Cautley, Colonel, constructs the 
engineering works of Ganges 
Canal in India, 353. 

Cawnpore, massacre of the garrison 
at, during the mutiny, 365 ; re- 
entered by the English on the 
defeat of the mutineers, 365 ; 
Brigadier - General Windham's 
defence of, 373. 

Central Provinces of India, re- 
forms of Sir R. Temple in the, 

Chamberlain, Sir Neville, repulse 
of his Mission to Kabul, 415. 

Champaner, capture of, 102. 

Chanderi, capture of, 100, 376. 

Chauth, the, a Maratha tax first 
levied by Sivajl, 141. 

Chenab Canal, 454. 

Chilianwala, battle of — defeat of 
the Sikhs, 343. 

Chinghiz Khan invades Kharizm 
and Kabul, 55. 

Chin Kilich Khan appointed wazir 
at Delhi — -suppresses a revolt in 
Gujarat — retires to the Deccan, 
160 ; attacks the Marathas near 
Bhopal — surrenders Malwa, 161- 
162 ; suppresses his son's re- 
volt — his death, 16S. 

Chitor, capture of — self-devotion of 
the Rajput garrison, 109. 

Chitral, 433 seq., 446. 

Chunar, capture of, 103 ; English 
repulsed from, 213. 

Civil Service of India, the, placed 
open to public competition, 


Clerk, Sir G., energetic proceed- 
ings of, at Lahore, 327, 329. 

Clive, Robert, 182 ; his defence of 
Arkot, 188-189 ; proceeds to 
Trichinopoly, 189 ; retakes Cal- 
cutta, 194 ; marches against 
Chandagore, which surrenders, 
196 ; capture of Katwa, 198 ; 
battle of Plassy, 199-200 ; Clive 
made Governor of Fort William, 
201 ; returns to England, 202 ; 
Clive (Lord Clive) returns to 
India — treaty with the Nawab 
of Oudh, 214 ; suppresses a mu- 
tiny of officers — his reforms in 
the Civil Government of Bengal, 
216 ; returns to England — ill- 
treated at home, 218 ; his de- 
fence and death, 219. 

Coorg, annexation of, 315. 

Coote, Sir Eyre, commander-in- 
chief, 237 ; defeats the French 
at Madras — effects the relief of 
Vellore, 246 ; retires to Bengal — • 
death of, 248. 

Comwallis, Lord, Governor-General 
of India, 258 ; concludes a 
treaty with the Nizam, 259 ; 
marches on Seringapatam — offers 
terms to Tippu, 261 ; his ad- 
ministrative reforms, 266 ; re- 
tirement of, 270 ; resumes the 
Viceroyship, 291 ; death of, 291. 

Curzon of Kedleston, Lord, 440 ; 
his Viceroyalty, 441-471. 

Cuttack, conquest of, 285. 

Dabba, or Hyderabad, battle of, 


Dahir, Sindian Raja, and his 
queen both fall in battle, 46. 

Daig, battle of, 288. 

Dalhousie, Marquess of, lands in 
India, 339 ; declares war with 
the Sikhs — the Afghans join 
them, 342 ; the second Burmese 
War, 347, &c. ; annexes Pegu, 
348 ; his administrative genius, 
and reforms, 352-353 ; cheap 
uniform postage, 353 ; his able 



farewell minutes — final retire- 
ment and death, 354-355. 

Dara, Prince (Dara Sheko), de- 
feated by Aurangzeb, 133 ; cap- 
ture, trial, and execution of, 

Daud Khan heads a revolt in 
Bengal — his death, 1 1 1 . 

Daulat Khan Lodi invites Babur 
into Hindustan, 78. 

Dawkins, Sir Clinton, 443. 

Deccan, first invasion, &c., 57, 
&c. ; successive wars in, 113, 130, 
132 ; invaded by Aurangzeb, 
146-147; HusainAli named Vice- 
roy — he makes peace with the 
Marathas, 159 ; Chin Kilich 
Khan and the Mar§.thas, 160. 

Delhi ruled by Kutab-ud-din, 53 ; 
the Khilji Dynasty of, 57-64 ; 
Tughlak, Saiyid, and Lodi Dy- 
nasties, 66-79 ; massacres of 
Timur, 74 ; Babur and his suc- 
cessors, 99-177; buildings of 
Shah Jahan, 131 ; sacked by 
Ahmad Shah the Durani, 171 ; 
mutiny in, 362 ; siege of, by the 
English, 367 ; storming of, under 
General Nicholson — the king 
taken prisoner — fate of the Delhi 
princes — trial and sentence of 
the king, 369-371 ; Imperial 
assemblage at, 413 ; Darbirs at, 
449, 483; declared the capital, 

Devikatta, Fort, capture of, 183. 

Diu, siege of — sufferings of the 
Portuguese garrison, 95, 96, 97. 

Donabyu, capture of, by Sir J. 
Cheape, 347. 

Dost Muhammad applies for Eng- 
lish aid — Lord Auckland's cold 
reply, 321-322 ; surrender, 323 ; 
and liberation, 331 ; death — 
civil war between his sons, 389. 

Drake, Hon. Mr., Governor of 
Fort William — his defence of 
Calcutta — diplomacy and com- 
pelled flight, 192. 

Dufferin, Marquess of, becomes 
Governor - General, 419; passes 
the Bengal Tenancy Act, 419 ; 
annexes Upper Burmah, 420 ; 
his financial difficulties, 421 ; 
his concessions to Native de- 
mands, 422 ; his success as a 
ruler, 422 ; is succeeded by 
Lord Lansdov.'ne, 423. 

Dupleix, Governor of Pondicherry, 
179; his brilliant career, 181, 
185 ; retirement, and subsequent 
misfortunes, 191. 

Dutch and English fleets, the. 
opposed to the Portuguese, 97-98, 

Dutch fleet, the, appears in the 
Hugli — defeated and captured, 
202 ; peace between the English 
and the Dutch, 202. 

East India Company, formation 
of the — mission of Captain 
Hawkins to the court of Akbar, 
126-127 ; erection of factories at 
Pipli, Hugli, and Balasore, 134 ; 
granted a new charter by 
Charles II. — the seat of the 
Company's rule transferred from 
Surat to Bombay, 151 ; Calcutta 
given up to the, and fortified, 
152, 153 ; become masters of 
Bengal, 213 ; cession of Guntur 
to the, 256 ; mutiny among the 
English officers in India, 274 ; 
renewal of the Company's char- 
ter, 298 ; the charter of 1833, 
318 ; and of 1853 — the Court of 
Directors remodelled, 354 ; the 
government of India undertaken 
by the Crown, 381-382. 

East India Company (French), 
abolition of the, 204. 

Edwardes, Lieutenant Herbert, de- 
feats the rebel Mulraj, Governor 
of Multan, 342 ; Colonel Ed- 
wardes at Peshawar, 363. 

Elgin, eighth Earl, appointed Gover- 
nor-General of India — his journey 
through the upper provinces — 
his death, 386. 

Elgin, ninth Earl, Viceroy, 432-440. 

Ellenborough, Lord, appointed 
Governor-General, 327 ; his 
bombastic proclamation — re- 

wards to the victors in the 
Kabul campaign, 331 ; his re- 
call, 334. 

Ellis, Mr., of the Patna Factory, 
murder of, 210. 

Farrukhiszar, successor to the Em- 
peror Jahandar, 158 ; deposition 
and death, 159 ; his concessions 
to the English, 178. 

Ferozeshahr, battle of, 335. 

Firoz Shah, his expedition into 
Sind, 71 ; character as a ruler. 



72 ; abdication in favour of his 
son — his death, 73. 
Forest Department of India, the, 

Forsyth, Mr., his mission to 

Kashgar, 405. 
Francis, Sir Phihp, 231, 232, &c. 
Frerc, Sir Bartle, his mission to 

Zanzibar — effects a treaty to 

suppress the slave trade, 406. 

Gandamak, treaty of, 415. 

Ganges river, first steam voyage 
on the, 315. 

Garhakotah, capture of, 376. 

George V., Emperor, at the Delhi 
darbar, 483. 

Ghazni, capture of, 322, 330. 

Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlak ascends 
the throne of Delhi, 66 ; his 
death, 67. 

Gillespie, Colonel, suppresses the 
mutiny at Vellore, 294 ; valour 
at Kalanga, and death, 299. 

Gingce, capture of, 148. 

Golconda invaded by Aurangzeb 
— fall of, 132. 

Gorakhpur, Gurkha invasion of, 

Gough, Sir Hugh, victories on 
the Sutlej, 335-338 ; is raised to 
the peerage, 338 ; defeats the 
Sikhs at Chilianwala, 343 ; and 
Gujarat, 344. 

Gujarat invaded by Muhammad 
Kasim, 51 ; conquest of — cap- 
ture of the Rajput Queen, 57 ; 
Muzaffar Shah's revolt, iii ; his 
capture and death, 112. 

Gujrat, Punjab, battle of, 344. 

Gwalior, capture by Popham, 
241 ; surrender of, to Sir Hugh 
Gough, 332 ; captured during 
the mutiny by Sir H. Rose, 377; 
restored to Sindia, 425. 

Haidar Ali Khan, rise of — de- 
thrones the Raja of Mysore, 
221 ; march upon Madras — die- | 
tates peace, 223 ; disastrous 
peace with the Marathas, 225 ; | 
invades the Carnatic, 242 ; cap- 
tures Arkot — defeated by Coote 
at Porto Novo — again defeated 
at Shohmgarh, 245-246 ; death of, 

Hardinge, Sir Henry, appointed 
Governor-General, 334 ; his war 

with the Sikhs, 335. &c. ; his re- 
tirement — raised to the peerage, 


Hardinge of Penshurst, Lord, Vice- 
roy. 481-483. 

Hastings, Warren, arrives at 
Madras, 227 ; is made President 
at Calcutta, his proceedings 
against Muhammad Reza Khan 
and Shitab Rai, 227 ; Governor- 
General, 229 ; Rohilla War, 230 ; 
his quarrel with Francis, 231, 
&c. ; Nand Kumar, 232, seq. ; 
war with the Marathas, 238, &c. ; 
with Haidar Ali, 245 ; and Be- 
nares, 251 ; treaty with the 
Nawab of Gudh, 252 ; retire- 
ment, and reception in England, 
253 ; proceedings against him 
in the House of Commons, 254 ; 
impeachment before the Lords, 
and triumphant acquittal, 255 ; 
his final appearance before the 
Commons, 255 ; his death, 256. 

Hastings, Marquess of, directs ex- 
peditions against Nepal and the 
Pindaris, 300, 301 ; his policy 
towards the native princes, 305. 

Havelock, Sir Henry, advances on 
Cawnpore and defeats the Nana 
Sahib, 365 ; relieves Lucknow, 


Heber, Bishop, 312. 

Herat, besieged by the Persians, 
321 ; their repulse by Pottinger, 

Hobart, Lord, his services in 
Madras, and untimely death, 

Holkar and Sindia, originally 
lieutenants to Baji Rao, 162. 

Holkar, Jeswant Rao, attacked 
by Lake at Farrukhabad, 288 ; 
peace effected with, 291 ; mad- 
ness and death, 292. 

Holwell, Hon. Mr., succeeds 
Drake as Governor of Fort 
William, 192 ; his surrender of 
Fort William — imprisonment of 
the garrison in the " Black 
Hole," 193-194. 

Humayun, son of Babur, his che- 
quered reign, 102, &c. ; death, 
and characetr, 106. 

Hyderabad, battle of, 332. 

Ilbert, Mr. C. P. (Sir Courtenay), 
his bill, 419. 



Impcy, Sir Elijah, Chief Justice 
of Bengal, 233 ; appointed to 
the Sadr Devvain Adalat, 250 ; 
his recall, 251, 

India, general sketch of, 1-44, 
&c. ; its early history and civi- 
lisation, 1-44 ; first Aryan settle- 
ments in, 23, &c. ; Greek inva- 
sion of, 29 ; progress of Western 
ideas in, 410, &c. ; the Empress 
of, 413 ; increased employment of 
Natives in public service of, 
422, 430, 478. 

Indian mythology, 3, &c. ; reli- 
gions, 6, 7, 16, 19, 21 ; castes, 
12, &c. ; early Christianity in, 3, 4, 
5 ; astronomy, 37 ; arithmetic, 
medicine, 36 ; literature, 37 ; 
architecture, 41 ; engineering, 
handicrafts, 41 ; trade, 42 ; 
Wills Act, 401 ; local govern- 
ments, powers of, 402 ; new 
constitution, 478, 483. 

Indrapat, battle of, 65, 

Jahandar Shah, Emperor of Delhi, 
158 ; murdered by Farrukhiszar, 
his nephew, who succeeds him, 

Jahangir, or Selim, accession of, 121 ; 
victories, rescue, and death of, 

Jaipur, capture of, 301, 

Jalalabad, 324, 

Jaunpur, revolt in, 102. 

Jhansi, capture of, 376. 

Jubbulpore Railway, opening of the, 

Kabul, General Elphinstone's de- 
fence of — treachery of the Af- 
ghans — Elphinstone's disastrous 
retreat from, 325 ; re-occupied 
by the British, 330 ; Stoletoff's 
mission to, 415 ; occupied by 
British troops, 416 ; capture by 
Lord Roberts, 416 ; replaced 
under a Native ruler, 417; 
mission to, 460. 

Kalat captured, 323. 

Kalpi captured by Sir H. Rose, 


Kalra, storming of, rout of the 
Sikhs, 344. 

Kandahar, surrendered to the 
Mughals by its Governor — re- 
captured by the Persians, 130 ; 
occupied by Stewart, 416 ; 

saved by Roberts — British 

troops withdrawn from, 417. 
Kashgar, Mr. Forsyth's mission 

to, 405. 
Kashmir, successive invasions of, 

28 ; ruins and architectural 

remains of, 41 ; made over to 

Gulab Singh, 338 ; visit of Lord 

Curzon to, 441, 465. 
Kathiawar, 82, 388, 445. 
Katmandu, and Gurkha War, 299, 

Katwa, capture of, 198. 
Keshab Chandra Sen, modern 

Brahamist leader and teacher, 

Khandesh conquered by the 

Mughals, 113. 
Khushab, battle of, 357. 
lOayber Pass, 329, seq., 415, seq. 
Kidd, Captain William, piratical 

adventurer in the Indian seas, 

Kirkee, battle of, 302. 

Kitchener, Earl, 454, seq. 

Kols of Bengal, rebellion of the, 

Konkan, Mughal invasion of the, 

141, seq. ; pirates of the, 178. 
Koregaom, gallant defence of, 303. 
Koweit, 461, seq. 

Lahore, first capture of, 50 ; Met- 
calfe's mission to, 295 ; the 
British advance on, and treaty 
with — Col. Lawrence appointed 
Resident, 338. 

Laing, Hon. Mr., financial reforms 

of. 383- 

Lake, General, his Maratha cam- 
paigns, 285, 288 ; his failure 
against Bharatpur, 289. 

Lally captures Fort St. David — • 
lays siege to Madras — his retreat 
and rout by Col. Coote, 202- 

Lansdowne, fifth Marquess of. Vice- 
roy, 423-432. 

Laswari, battle of, 286. 

Law, Sir Edward, 443, 448. 

Lawrence, Major, victory of Devi- 
katta, relieves Trichinopoly — 
surrender of the French to him, 
189, seq. 

Lawrence, Sir Henry, at the Punjab 
Board of Administration, 338, 
seq. ; his defence of Lucknow, 
and death, 371, seq. 



Lawrence, Sir John, made Chief 
Commissioner of the Punjab, 
353 ; his prompt help in the 
great mutiny, 363 ; made Gover- 
nor-General of India, 387 ; re- 
tirement, 394. 

Lhasa, Warren Hastings's embassy 
to, 462 ; British capture of, 1904, 
463 ; treaty of, 479. 

" Lord Clive's Fund." establish- 
ment of, 218. 

Lucknow during the mutiny — 
General Havelock and after- 
wards Sir Colin Campbell relieve 
the garrison, 365, 371, seq. ; 
final capture of the city, 375. 

Lushai war, 399. 

Lytton, Lord, Governor-General 
of India — presses his demands 
on Sher Ali, 412 ; closes the 
Peshawar Conference — occupies 
Quetta — presides at the Delhi 
Assemblage, 413 ; his famine 
insurance fund, 414 ; insists on 
sending a mission to Kabul — 
declares war with Sher Ali, 415 ; 
his severe measures against the 
Native Press — passes Act to 
relieve the Deccan peasantry — 
creates the Statutory Civil Ser- 
vice, 416. 

Macaulay, Mr. Thomas Babington, 
nominated to the Supreme Coun- 
cil, 319 ; author of the " Penal 
Code " for India, 379, 3S3 ; on 
Clive, 216 ; on Warren Hastings, 
233, 235. 

Macdonell, Lord, 445. 

Macnaghten, Sir W., envoy at 
Kabul, 323 ; murder of, by Ak- 
bar Khan, 325. 

Macpherson, Sir John, 253, 256. 

Madras first constituted a Presi- 
dency, 134 ; restored to the 
English by the Peace of Aix la 
Chapclle, 183 ; officers, mutiny 
among the, 296 ; its suppression 
by Sir Geo. Barlow, 297 ; pro- 
gress under Lord Hobart, 410 ; 
the great famine of 1877-8, 414. 

RIaharajpur, battle of, 333. 

Mahe, capture of, 242. 

Mahmud of Ghazni, his invasions 
of India. 48, &c. 

Mahmud Tughlak, emperor, his 
defeat by Timur, 74. 

Malaun, capture of, 300. 

Malcolm, Sir John, his embassy 
to Persia, 282 ; his second mis- 
sion, 295 ; Governor of Bombay, 

Malka, fall of, 387. 

Mahva, early conquests of, 55, 83, 
84 ; bestowed on Balaji Rao, 167. 

Mangalore, capture of, 223, 249. 

Maratha wars, the, 238, seq., 284, 
scq., 304, seq. 

Mayo, Earl of, appointed Governor- 
General of India — -his State visit 
to Sher Ali — retrenchment of 
expenditure, 396 ; his Afghan 
policy — settlement of boundaries, 
400 ; his foreign policy and treat- 
ment of feudatories, 400 ; his 
journey to Rangoon — visit to 
the Andaman Islands — his mur- 
der, 402-403. 

Meerut, mutiny and massacres at, 
361, and see Mutiny. 

Metcalfe, Sir Charles, undertakes a 
mission to Lahore, 295 ; acts as 
Governor - General — frees the 
Press — retirement of, 320. 

Miani battle of, 332. 

Middleton, Dr., first Bishop of Cal- 
cutta, 298. 

Milner, Viscount, on Lord Curzon, 

Minto, Lord, appointed Governor- 
General, 294 ; leading events of 
his rule, 294-298. 

Minto, fourth Earl of. Viceroy, 471- 

Mir J afar, Nawab of Bengal, 200 ; 
bestows lands on the East India 
Company, 200, 209. 

Mir Kasim — massacres English pri- 
soners — escapes into Oudh, 210, 

Mirza Hakim rebels against 
Akbar, iii. 

Moira, Earl of. Viceroy, 299-301 ; 
created Marquis of Hastings for 
his conduct of the Nepalese war, 

Mornington, Lord (Marquis Wel- 
lesley), appointed Governor- 
General, 275 ; conquers Mysore, 
278 (see Marquess Wellesley). 

Muazzam, Bahadur Shah, defeats 
the Sikhs in Sirhind, 156 ; his 
death, 157. 

Muhammad, sketch of his career 
(note), 45-46. 

Muhammad Shah, Emperor of 



Delhi, 159 ; his intrigues, re- 
verses, and death, 160, seq. 

Muhammad Tughlak, 67 ; invasion 
of Sind, 68 ; his death, 71. 

Muhammadans in India, 44, seq. 

Muir, Sir WiUiam, Lieutenant- 
Governor of the North-West 
Provinces, 408. 

Mulraj, Raja, heads a rising at 
Multan — besieged and taken by 
the English, 342. 

Mutiny of the Bengal Sepoys in 
1857, 359, seq. (see also Oiidh, 
Cawnpore, Lucknow, DeW, 
Meerut, and other scenes of the 
mutiny) ; early disaffection of 
Bengal regiments, 359 ; out- 
break at Barrackpore — the cha- 
pdthis — mutinies in Oudh — sup- 
pression — massacres at Meerut 
and Delhi — disarmings at Lahore 
and Peshawar, 359, seq. ; mas- 
sacre of the Cawnpore garrison 
— measures of Lord Canning — 
Colonel Neil at Benares and 
Allahabad — Havelock defeats 
the Nana — ^the English re-enter 
Cawnpore — fate of the garrison, 
364, seq. ; campaign in Central 
India, 367, seq. ; capture of 
Tantia Topi, 378. 

Mysore, conquest of, by Wellesley, 
276, seq. ; British occupation of, 
304 ; famine in, 414 ; restored 
to Native rule, 419 ; Lord Curzon 
in, 465. 

Nadir Shah, his invasion of Hin- 
dustan — victorious entry into 
Delhi — massacre of the citizens, 

Nagpur, capture of, 304 ; annex- 
ation, 349. 

Nana Farnavis, rule and death of, 
238, 265, 273, 284. 

Nana Sahib, massacres ordered b)'-, 
at Cawnpore, 364-365. 

Nand Kumar, Sir Philip Francis 
intrigues with, 232 ; trial and 
execution of, 233, seq. 

Napier, General Sir C, conquers 
Sindh, 346. 

Napier, Lord, Governor of Madras, 
staj's the famine in Southern 
India, 392 ; acts as successor 
to Lord Mayo, 403. 

Narain Rao murdered by Raghuba, 
who claims to succeed him, 238. 

Nasir Jang, appointed Viceroy of 
the Deccan, his campaign against 
the Marathas, 166 ; his revolt, 
168; and the French, 183-184; 
defeat and death, 185. 

National Congress, the, 422, 475. 

Negapatam, capture of, 246. 

Nepal, expedition against, 299 ; 
treaty with, 300. 

Nicholson, General, arrives before 
Delhi, 368 ; his death, 369. 

Northbrook, Lord, appointed Go- 
vernor-General of India, 403 ; 
tour of Upper and Western 
India, 404 ; abolishes the in- 
come-tax, 405 ; settlement of 
the Afghan frontier — his mea- 
sures for dealing with the famine 
in Bengal, 406 ; brings the Gaik- 
war of Baroda to trial — deposes 
the Gaikwar, 408-409 ; his differ- 
ence with the Home Government 
regarding Afghanistan — he "gave 
the land rest," 411. 

Northcote, Lord, Governor of Bom- 
bay, 444-445. 

Northern Circars, ceded to the 
French, 190 ; English conquests 
in, 201. 

North-Western Provinces, new 
land settlement of the, 315 ; 
famine in, 391 ; tenant-rights 
secured by Sir W. Muir, 408 ; 
scarcity in, and great loss of 
life, 414 ; new Province, 446- 

Nur-Jahan, Empress, 123 ; sup- 
presses the rebellion of Shah 
Jahan, who is defeated by her, 

Ochterlony, Sir David, his brave 
defence of Delhi, 288 ; leads 
the expedition against Nepal, 
300 ; death of, 313. 

Orissa, insurrection of, 306 ; great 
famine and loss of life in, 392 ; 
a Lieutenant-governorship with 
Behar, &c., 483. 

Oudh, cessions made to, 229 ; 
Hastings's treaty with the Na- 
wab of, 252 ; annexation of, 351 ; 
mutiny in, 364. 

Outram, Sir James, effects a retreat 
from Hyderabad, 332 ; sup- 
presses the South Maratha rising, 
334 ; marches to the relief of 
Lucknow at the mutiny of 1857 



— conducts the storming of the 
Alambagh, 371-375- 

Palghat, capture of, 259. 

Paniar, battle of, 333. 

Panipat, battle of, 78, 79 ; second 

battle and fall of Hemu at, 107 ; 

third battle of, 173-177. 
Pathans, expulsion from Rohil- 

khand, 230. 
Patna, massacres of English pri- 
soners at — storming of, by the 

English, 210, 212. 
Pegu, annexation of, 347-348 ; 

British administration of, 348. 
Persian Gulf, suppression of pirates 

in the. Lord Minto's policy, 296. 
Persian War of 1856— capture of 

Bushire and victory of Khushab 

— peace concluded, 357. 
Peshawar, conference at, 412, seq. ; 

its failure, 413 ; in new N.-W. 

Province, 447. 
Pigot, Lord, imprisonment of, 

Pindaris, the (robber tribes), sup- 
pression of, by the English, 

Pitt's India Bill of 1784, 254. 
Plassey, battle of, 199-201. 
Pollock, General, marches into 

Kabul, through the Khyber, 329- 

331 ; destroys the Great Bazaar, 


Pondicherry, 179, seq. ; the French 
besieged in, 203 ; surrender of the 
place several times, 203, seq. 

Poona, establishment of the Pesh- 
wa's Court at, 170 ; capture of 
city, 303 ; agrarian riots in, 408. 

Portuguese, the, early conquests 
in India, 92, 96 ; decline of their 
power, 98. 

Portuguese settlements in India, 
the, 94-98. 

Pottinger (Eldred), his successful 
defence of Herat, 321-322. 

Prome, occupation of, 347. 

Punjab, early wars in the, iii ; 
early annexation to the kingdom 
of Delhi, 89 ; invaded by Mirza 
Hakim, iii ; ruled by Ranjit 
Singh, 295, 317 ; conquest of 
338 ; annexation of, 345 ; loyalty 
of, during the mutiny of 1857, 
363 ; under the administration 
of Sir D. McLeod, 391-392 ; new 
district, 447. 

Quinton, Dr., in Assam, 426. 

RajputSna, historical account of, 

85 ; great famine of, 396. 
Ramnagar, battle of, 343. 
Rangoon captured by the English, 

309, 347- 

Ranjit Singh, aggressive move- 
ments of — 'treaty with, 294-295 ; 
Major Burnes' mission to, 317, 
seq. ; meeting between Lord 
Bentinck and Ranjit Singh at 
Rupar, 317-318 ; treaty with, 
321-322 ; death of, 323. 

Rawal Pindi, the Sikhs surrender, 


Rayatwari, settlement in Madras, 
the, 306. 

Reinhardt, Walter, alias Sumru, 
massacres English prisoners at 
Patna, 211. 

Ripon, Marquess of, becomes Go- 
vernor-General, 417 ; withdraws 
his troops from Afghanistan, 
417 ; reforms the Indian tariff 
— his education policy and mu- 
nicipal reforms — his compromise 
on the Ilbert Bill, 419 ; his 
popularity with the Natives, 419. 

Roberts, Sir Frederick (Lord 
Roberts of Kandahar), campaign 
in Afghanistan, 415, seq. 

Roe, Sir Thomas, his embassy to 
the great Mughal — obtains new 
rights for the Company, 127-8. 

Rohilkhand, British victories in, 
230. 375-376. 

Rose, Sir Hugh, his victorious 
marches through Central India, 
377 ; his brilliant strategy, 378. 

Sale, General, his defence of, 
Jalalabad, 329-330. 

Santal war, the, 351-352. 

Satara, 138, 148, 156, 170, 305 ; 
absorption of, 348-349. 

Sati, or widow-burning, practice of, 
43 ; prohibition of, 313. 

Shah Alam (Emperor) invades 
Bengal, 201 ; bestows the govern- 
ment of Bengal on the East 
India Company, 214 ; installed 
at Delhi by the Marathas, 224 ; 
tribute to, 229 ; prisoner of 
Sindhia, 264-2G5. 

Shah Jahan, Emperor of Dellii, his 
wars in the Deccan, 122, 131, 
139; his revenue reforms, 131; 



dethroned by Aurangzeb, 133 ; 
his grant to the E.I.C., 134. 

Shahji Bhosla (Maratha chieftain), 
conquests in the Deccan, 137, 

Shah Shuja supported by the 
English, 321 ; his death, 331. 

Shakespear, Sir Richmond, res- 
cues the English captives in 
Kabul, 330. 

Sher Ali, Amir, wins his father's 
throne, 389 ; meets Lord Mayo 
at Ambala, 396 ; sends his 
envoy to Lord Northbrook, 405 ; 
his futile negotiations with Lord 
Lytton, 413; his flight from 
Kabul, and death, 415. 

Sher Shah founds an Afghan 
Dynasty at Delhi, 103. 

Sher Singh (Raja) deserts Lieut. 
Edwardes at Multan, 342 ; his 
flank march on Lahore, 344 ; his 
defeat and surrender, 345. 

Shore, Sir John (Lord Teign- 
mouth), appointed Governor- 
General, 271 ; dangerous position 
of, at Lucknow, 274-275 ; retire- 
ment of, 275. 

Shuja-ud-daula, 212, seq. 

Shuja-ud-din, drives the Ostend 
East India Company out of 
Bankipur, 178. 

Seringapatam, sieges of, 261, 277. 

Sikandar Bagh, the slaughter of 
rebels at, 373. 

Sikandar Lodi (Emperor), his per- 
secution of Hindus, 77. 

Sikri, battle of, 99. 

Sind, Sikh invasion of, 157 ; annexa- 
tion of, 332. 

Sindhia, Daulat Rao, his defeats 
by Lord Lake, 284, seq. ; his sub- 
mission to Lord Wellesley, 289. 

Sindhia, Mahdaji, his wars with the 
English, 241, seq. ; his support 
of Shah Alam, 224. 

Sindhia (son of Jankaji), flight 
from Gwalior during the mutiny, 
377 ; restoration of Gwalior to, 


Siraj-ud-daula, Subadar of Bengal 
■ — lays siege to Calcutta, 192, seq. ; 
defeated at Plassey — his capture 
and death, 199-200. 

Sitabaldi, battle of, 304. 

Sitana, campaign of, 38S. 

Sivaji (son of Shahji Bhosla), con- 
quests in the Konkan — defeat 

and murder of Afzal Khan, 138- 
139 ; naval exploits, 140 ; sack of 
Barsalor, 140 ; crowned at Rai- 
garh — his death, 143. 

Slavery abolished in India, 338. 

Sleeman, Col., 313, seq. ; appointed 
Resident at Gwalior, 328 ; trans- 
ferred to Lucknow, 351. 

" Star of India," instituton of the, 
382, 384. 

Sobraon, battle of, 337. 

Somnath, early capture and plunder 
of, by Mahmud, 51 ; gates of, 331. 

Sonepet, battle of, 113. 

Stewart, Sir Donald, occupies Kan- 
dahar, 416 ; beats the Afghans 
at Ahmad-Khel, 417. 

Surat invaded by the Persians, 45 ; 
first opened to English trade, 
127; constituted a presidency, 134. 

Taj Mahal, the, at Agra, 54, (note) 


Talikota, battle of, rout of the 
Hindus, 91. 

Tan j ore placed under English rule, 

Tantia Topi heads the rebellion in 
Central India, 376, 378-9 ; execu- 
tion of, 379. 

Temple, Sir Richard, governs the 
Central Provinces, 397 ; his ser- 
vices during the Bengal famine 

Thagis finally suppressed by Gen. 
Sleeman, 313-314. 

Tipu Sahib invades Travancore, 
259 ; defeated at Arikera, 260 ; 
captures Coimbatore — treats for 
terms with Lord Comwallis, 261 ; 
defeated at Malavalli by Gen. 
Harris — his death, 277-278. 

Timur (Tamerlane), his invasion 
of Hindustan — massacres in 
Delhi, &c., 74. 

Todi Mall governs Bengal, 117 ; 
settles the land revenue under 
Akbar, 117, 118. 

Travancore placed under English 
rule, 296. 

Trichinopoly, siege of, 189, &c. ; 
siege of — successes of the French, 

Trincomali, fall of, 246. 

Tughlak I. (see Ghiyas-ud-din). 

Tughlak II. (Muhammad Tughlak), 
reign of, 67 ; unsuccessful inva- 
sion of China, 68 ; massacres 



ordered at Kanauj — rebuilding 
of Daulatabad, 69 ; revolts in 
Gujarat and elsewhere, 70. 

Ujjain, 27, 38. 

Uzbeks, revolt of the — suppressed 
by Akbar, 109. 

Vans Agncw, Mr., murder of, 341. 
VcUorc, mutiny of Sepoy regiments 

at, 294. 
Village communities in India, 11, 

266, seq. 

Wade, Colonel, his successful ad- 
vance through the Khyber, 323. 

Waghirs, rising of the, in Katia- 
vvar, and suppression, 388. 

Wales, Prince of (Edward VII.), 
makes a tour through India, 
410-41 1 ; (George v.), 472-472. 

Wandiwash, 203 ; gallant defence 
and relief of, 245. 

Wargaom, annulment of the dis- 
graceful treaty of, 240. 

Wcllcsley, General Arthur (Duke 
of Wellington), his first suc- 
cesses, 280 ; captures Ahmad- 
I nagar — routs the Marathas at 
I Assaye and Argaum, 283. 

Welleslcy (Marquess), Governor- 
j General of India, 275 ; conquest 
of Mysore, 276, seq. ; his home 
: policy, 283 ; subdues tlie Ma- 
! rathas, 284, seq. ; his retirement 
and illiberal treatment, 289-290. 
Wheeler, Sir Hugh, defence of 
I Cawnpore against the Sepoy 
mutineers, 364-366. 
Wild, Colonel, his repulse in the 
\ Khyber Pass, 327. 

I Yavanas in Orissa, 89. 

Zamindari, land settlement made 

permanent, 267. 
Zamindars, rise of the Bengal, 266 
! Zanzibar, Frere's mission to, 406. 


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