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Chapter X – 1775

Expedition under Col Keating sails for Guzerat – Defeat of Rugonath Rao – flees to Surat – is joined by Col Keating – lands at Cambay – approbation of the Bombay government – dissent of Mr Draper – Instructions to Col Keating – he forms a junction with Rugoba’s troops – march to Neriad – detail of operations – Col Keating negociates – his envoy derided and insulted – Rugonath Rao is persuaded to move towards the Deccan – Battle of Arass – Surprise at Bowpeer – Treaty with Futih Sing – Prospects of the belligerents at the close of the season


The Bombay government, before the treaty was finally settled, had prepared a force of eighty European artillery, three hundred and fifty European infantry, eight hundred Sepoys, and one hundred and sixty gun Lascars, which, with their complement of officers and non-commissioned officers, made up the fifteen hundred men for immediate service. A reinforcement was to follow on the arrival of the troops expected from Madras.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Keating, commandant of the artillery and engineers under the Bombay presidency, was selected for the command, in preference to Colonel Egerton, who was the next senior officer to General Gordon, but whose health was supposed to disqualify him for active service.

February 1775

Lieutenant Colonel Keating’s detachment sailed from Bombay in the end of February, but in the meantime, the army under Hurry

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Punt Phurkay, accompanied by a part of the troops of Holkar and Sindia, amounting in all to about thirty thousand men, had entered Guzerat in pursuit of Rugonath Rao, which obliged him and Govind Rao to raise the siege of Baroda, and retire beyond the Myhie, near to which, at the village of Wassud, he was encamped, when on the 17th February, the ministerial army arrived in his neighbourhood.

According to a plan suggested by the local knowledge of Futih Sing, the ministerial army, on the afternoon of the same day, suddenly crossed the river in three divisions at separate fords; and whilst Rugonath Rao’s army was preparing to repel the centre-attack, before Govind Rao and Khundee Rao Gaekwar, who were encamped on the plain at a short distance in the rear, could come to his assistance, the other divisions took him in both flanks; a body of Arabs, whom he had lately entertained, refused to fight without pay, Mannajee Phakray274 and Sukaram Hurry, two of his best officers, were wounded in the commencement, the ground was confined, the confusion universal, and Rugoba, fancying that he was about to be seized by his own troops, suddenly set off from the field of battle, and fled with about one thousand horse to Cambay. The Nabob of that place, who had before intended to unite with him, was now

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apprehensive of the consequences of affording protection to a fugitive. Rugoba, therefore, applied to Mr. Charles Malet, at that time chief of the English factory, who had only heard by common report of the pending negotiation between Rugonath Rao and the Bombay government, but readily assisted to get him conveyed to Bownuggur, whence he embarked for Surat, and had been four days at that place, when the vessels, on board of which were Lieutenant Colonel Keating’s detachment, anchored at Surat bar on the 27th February.

27 February 1775

In the meantime, the defeated army of Rugoba, under Govind Rao and Khundee Rao Gaekwar, Sewdasheo Ramchundur, Mannajee Phakray and Sukaram Hurry, retired to Kupperwunj, and thence to Pulhanpoor. For the purpose of forming a junction with those chiefs, it was proposed to disembark the British troops at Cambay.

7 March 1775

The members of the Bombay government approved of that plan, with the exception of Mr. Daniel Draper, one of the members of council, who, at a consultation on the 7th March, dissented, because, as no formal change or ratification of the treaty had taken place, he conceived the circumstances to be so much altered, and their means so inadequate to the end proposed, that delay was both justifiable and advisable, at least until it could be ascertained what number of Rugoba’s party was likely to reassemble, and what resources of money and of troops could be afforded from the other presidencies. Mr. Draper recommended that the detachment should remain with Rugoba at Surat, to protect that place

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and Baroach, to give confidence to his cause, and, with Rugoba’s concurrence, to secure the revenues of the districts to be ceded.

It so happened, that the treaty was signed at Surat by Rugoba on the 6th Match, the day before this dissent was made, but the president and the other members at once decided that it was more advisable to proceed; in short, that inaction would be tantamount to desertion of the cause, and equally impolitic and spiritless. Governor Hornby seems to have had an idea, that his fifteen hundred men might overcome the whole Mahratta army; nor is the confidence and inexperience of Colonel Keating less apparent, for on meeting the forlorn Rugoba at Surat, he congratulates the Bombay government on their good fortune at finding the ex-Peishwa so entirely dependant on them for his future success.

17 March 1775

The British detachment, accompanied by Rugoba, proceeded to Cambay, where they landed on the 17th March; Colonel Keating, however, before he quitted Surat, probably in order to show their new Ally his alacrity, for it could be attended with no other advantage, commenced the war, by attacking a party of horse belonging to the ministerial army, which appeared in the neighbourhood, The Mahrattas withdrew and awaited his embarkation, when they took ample revenge, by plundering all within their reach who acknowledged the English authority.

Colonel Keating’s instructions were far from precise, but almost exclusively of a military nature. The object of the expedition which he was appointed to command was briefly stated; he

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was sent, according to the words, “for the assistance of Rugoba against all his enemies, the ministerial party and their adherents; to move with his army, and to do everything for bringing the war to a speedy and happy issue, that he (Rugoba) may desire, and which he (Colonel Keating) may think the force under his command able to effect.” Strict discipline among his troops, and particular attention to the prejudices of the natives; regular and constant information both of his own proceedings, and of the views, expectations, and designs of their ally, were the leading points particularly enjoined by government.

Colonel Keating was not authorized to act in any political capacity beyond the tenor of these orders; but, from an injudicious and excessive zeal, often as prejudicial to the public service as its opposite defect, he was ambitious of distinguishing himself as a politician, and entered into a correspondence with Futih Sing, shortly after he landed at Cambay, for the purpose of detaching him from the ministerial party, by persuading him that it was for his benefit. But those who do not perceive their real interest before it is pointed out by an enemy, are not likely to be convinced by mere reasoning. Colonel Keating had no personal knowledge of Futih Sing, no direct overtures had been made, and the British detachment had as yet gained neither advantage nor reputation. Nothing under these circumstances was to be expected from negociating, especially with a Mahratta, but humiliation and disappointment. Before quitting Cambay, Colonel Keating’s detachment was reinforced

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by the arrival of two companies of European grenadiers, and one battalion of Sepoys, from Madras, which made up the stipulated complement of two thousand five hundred men.

19 April 1775

On the 19th of April the detachment formed a junction with the fugitive army of Rugoba at the village of Durmuj, eleven miles northeast from Cambay, where Rugoba’s late followers assembled, principally, it would appear, in hopes of receiving their arrears. Mannajee Phakray and Sukaram Hurry were officers of reputation, and faithful to Rugoba’s cause, but their own followers, amounting to six or eight thousand, were without pay; mutinous, and clamorous: the whole multitude which assembled in their camp, estimated at upwards of twenty thousand men, were worse than useless. Colonel Keating, pleased with the formidable spectacle, which the tents, and flags, and crowd of a Mahratta camp present, congratulated himself and the presidency on their prospects, but in the same despatch earnestly solicits a supply of treasure, and informs the government of his having advanced what he could from his military chest, that the spirit of such an army might not be damped..

The ministerial party had succeeded in detaching Khundee Rao Gaekwar from the cause of Rugoba, but were considerably weakened by the return of Holkar and Sindia, with about twelve thousand horse, to Malwa, for reasons which are no where satisfactorily shown. Rugoba’s party interpreted their departure as a secession in his favor, and it probably did proceed, on the part of Sindia, from his being called upon by Sukaram Bappoo, to account

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for arrears due to the Peishwa; a circumstance, to which may be attributed the enmity which subsisted between Mahadajee Sindia and Sukaram ever after this period, but could have occasioned no material alteration in Sindia’s policy, as both Sindia and Holkar were at Poona a few months afterwards.

It was, however, confidently asserted by Rugoba’s party, that Sindia intended to join them, and that Holkar would never act against Mahadajee Sindia. The whole army under Hurry Punt, when joined by Futih Sing, amounted to about twenty-five thousand men, of which five thousand were infantry. Hurry Punt, in permitting the crowd to assemble about Rugoba, at such a distance from the capital, after the season when the revenues were collected, and when the rains might be expected in the course of six weeks, acted more judiciously than if he had harassed his own troops to prevent the junction of his enemies.

23 April 1775

On the 23d of April, the army of Rugoba, the strength of which lay in the British detachment, moved from Durmuj to Wursura, and from thence to the Saburmattee.

3 May 1775

They then moved northward towards Kaira, but did not reach Mahtur, a village thirty miles north of Cambay, until the 3d May. This inactivity, in the first instance, was unavoidable; the reinforcements had, not arrived, and the commissariat of the Bombay troops was extremely defective; the delay in advancing was attributed to the numerous carts, baggage, and Bazar; but, no doubt, was partly owing to the want of arrangement

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on the part of the commanding officer; and above all to the indecision of Rugoba, who was inclined to proceed to Ahmedabad and remain in Guzerat during the monsoon, but the Bombay government disapproved of this intention, and strongly recommended him to push on to Poona at once.

Before the army arrived at Mahtur, they had two partial actions with Hurry Punt; the first took place on the 528th April, at the village of Ussaumlee, and was entirely maintained by the English detachment, with very trifling loss; the second was four days afterwards, when fifty or sixty of Rugoba’s army were killed or wounded, a loss which dispirited them ever after; but the enemy experienced a much greater, having made an attempt on the left of the English line, where they met with a severe repulse.

Colonel Keating, at length, by positive orders, from Bombay, prevailed on Rugoba to change the direction of his route, and proceed towards Poonah.

5 – 8 May 1775

They accordingly moved on the 5th, and before they reached Neriad, on the 8th, were again twice opposed; once in the mode usual for Mahratta horse, and a second time in the same manner, but supported by some pieces of cannon. As Neriad was a considerable town, in possession of Khundee Rao Gaekwar, Rugoba, to punish his defection, and administer to his own necessities, imposed a contribution of sixty thousand rupees; but, after wasting one week, he could only collect forty thousand. On the 14th, the army crept forward three miles further to the westward,

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and expected to have a decisive action at the Myhie; as it was known, in the Mahratta camp, that Hurry Punt Phurkay had received orders from Poona to attack Rugoba, in case he should attempt to pass that river.

Colonel Keating, in the meantime, had continued his correspondence with Futih Sing Gaekwar, and although aware that it had been discovered by Hurry Punt Phurkay from the first, he still persuaded himself that he should be able to bring over Futih Sing. He even entered into a treaty on the 22d April, secret as he supposed, and as Futih Sing pretended; and Colonel Keating was so credulous as to send an agent, Lieutenant George Lovibond, to the camp of Futih Sing, for the purpose of having it ratified. The agent was very grossly insulted, and the mission must have furnished a subject for ridicule in every Mahratta Kutha and Ukhbar of the day. But Colonel Keating knew so little of the people as to be insensible of the derision to which his notable diplomacy exposed him. The circumstances of the mission are too characteristic to be passed over. The agent, attended by the wukeel of Futih Sing, was carried to the camp of Hurry Punt; and on expressing his surprise at being brought there, was merely told by the wukeel that his master had joined. During the evening some inferior people about Hurry Punt and Futih Sing were sent to

Ukhbars are native newspapers; for an explanation of Kuthas, the reader may refer to page 21, Volume I.

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visit the British envoy. Early next morning the wukeel, told Mr. Lovibond that a tent was pitched for his reception, where he must meet Futih Sing and his Dewan to execute the treaty. In this tent he was kept the whole day; not without expressing his impatience, but Mr. Lovibond, by not bursting into a passion, which would be expected in a European, probably disappointed them of half their mirth. At last, at five o’clock in the evening, a single horseman rode up to the door of the tent, and desired the gentleman to follow the army to Dubhaun. On his complying, the palanquin in which he travelled was surrounded by a party of Hurry Punt’s horse, and he was thus exposed as a prisoner to their whole army. At this time, the wukeel coming up, with much seeming concern confirmed the truth of his being a prisoner, and earnestly begged of him to save his master, by destroying the treaty, and his other credentials. The good-natured Englishman contrived to do this most effectually, and after the horsemen had brought him to the middle of Futih Sing’s camp-bazar, they rode off, and there left him. The wukeel immediately urged him not to lose an opportunity so favourable, but to follow him. He was then carried to the tent of the Dewan, where, after one hour, came Futih Sing himself. He expressed great gratitude for the precaution Mr. Lovibond had taken in his favour, by destroying the treaty, which he begged to excuse himself from renewing at that time, owing to the vigilance of Hurry Punt, and the other great officers, but that he would soon be able to elude their jealousy, and make his escape

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to Baroda275. The envoy of Colonel Keating, after having thus furnished subject for what would, if well told, occasion as much laughter to Mahrattas as the story of the sleeper awakened among Arabs, was escorted back to the British camp. There are certain kinds of ridicule which are peculiarly national, and the full force of this imposture, practised by two personages in such high authority as Futih Sing and Hurry Punt Phurkay, would probably, from its seeming puerility, be at that time little understood, except by Mahrattas; but the Bombay government, in their judgment, disapproved of Colonel Keating’s proceedings, and ordered Mr. Mostyn to join his army, for the purpose of transacting its political affairs. The troops, however, had advanced too far from Cambay, through a hostile country, to enable Mr. Mostyn to overtake them.

17 May 1775

The army, after passing Neriad, continued their march towards the Myhie, and arrived at Nappar on the 17th. From Neriad their route lay through a highly cultivated country, along a narrow, deep, sandy road, which only admits one cart abreast, being enclosed on both sides by high milk-bush hedges. Numerous topes, or groves, appear in every direction; the country on both sides is generally a succession of enclosed fields, the borders of which are lined by stately trees, such as the mountain neem, the tamarind, the moura, and the mango. Guzerat, from Barreah and Godra, to Kattywar, is in general a perfect flat; between Neriad and the Myhie there are a few

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undulations, which add considerably to the beauty of the country, but tend to obstruct the progress of an army, by confining the line of wheeled carriage to the narrow road, just described. After passing Nappar about a mile and a half, the country opens on a fine plain, interspersed with trees, extending from Arass to near the banks of the river, which are full of extensive and deep ravines.

Rugoba’s horse, after their first skirmish on leaving Cambay, instead of acting on the flanks, and guarding the baggage, used constantly to intermix with it, and with the characteristic feeling of Mahrattas, depressed by previous discomfiture, on occasions of the smallest danger, crowded for safety towards the British detachment. Colonel Keating, at Rugoba’s request, in order to give them a little confidence, had formed two guards, consisting each of two hundred rank and file, one hundred Europeans, and one hundred native infantry, supported by two guns. One of these guards was posted in the rear, and one on the reverse flank of the whole army; the front and rear of the British detachment were composed of European grenadiers; and the orders were, that in case of an attack on the flank, the rear-guard should move to its support, whilst the division of grenadiers occupied their place; but in case the attack should be made on the rear-guard, the division of grenadiers should fall back and join it.

18 May 1775

On the morning of the 18th May, when marching in this order towards the Myhie, about a mile and a half from Nappar, a smart cannonade from six guns, suddenly opened on their rear from behind a grove on the left side of the road,

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where a large body of the enemy were advancing. Colonel Keating immediately halted the line, rode back, found Captain Myers, who commanded the division of grenadiers, moving according to the instructions, and having ordered down another gun and a howitzer, soon silenced the artillery of the enemy, and drove back the advancing body. Two of the enemy’s cannon were not withdrawn with the rest, and Captain Myers, with some of the other officers, proposed “having a dash at their guns;” to which Colonel Keating assented, and sent for the other company of grenadiers. The object of attack was in an enclosed field, the road to which was of the same kind as that already described, between two high milk-bush hedges. As soon as both companies of grenadiers were formed with the rear-guard, they were directed to advance with order and regularity, an injunction which Colonel Keating found it necessary to repeat; Captain Myers, however, again quickened his pace, until he got near the guns. He then halted, and had just formed for the attack, when a body of the enemy’s horse charged him; but being supported by the artillery which Colonel Keating directed in person, they were driven back with great slaughter. The division had reformed to prosecute their object, when another charge, more desperate than the first, was again made and repulsed, though many of the grenadiers were cut down, and among the rest, the gallant Captains, Myers and Serle. This was certainly the crisis which generally gains or loses an action; Colonel Keating performed the duty of a good captain of artillery, but as a commander, he neglected to support his exhausted

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men with fresh troops. The Mahrattas took advantage of the oversight, placed two elephants to block up the narrow road, and being encouraged by a treacherous Carcoon in Rugoba’s army, charged the rear of the division, thus completely cut off from the main body. But the troops, as yet undismayed, facing about, attacked and routed them. By this time a body of Arabs and Sindians, in Rugoba’s army, were advancing in their irregular manner, and Rugoba’s horse, by careering about, between the advanced body and the British line, occasioned infinite confusion, and could scarcely be distinguished from the enemy, who, for a moment, seemed to have relinquished the attack; when suddenly, one of the companies of European grenadiers, without any apparent reason, went to the right about, and retreated at a quick pace; this retrograde movement, as was afterwards discovered by a court of inquiry, was partly the fault of their officer, whose word of command to face to the right, for the purpose of retiring, was mistaken “for right about face.” Without orders from Colonel Keating, the retreat was, at all events, inexcusable; and, as might have been expected, was attended with disastrous consequences. The Sepoys immediately fancied themselves defeated, they also turned, and the rest of the Europeans followed their example. Some order was preserved, until they gained the milk-bush hedges, when, in spite of all the exertions of their officers, they broke their ranks, and ran towards the line in the greatest confusion, whilst the enemy came amongst them, sword in hand, and made a great slaughter. Colonel Keating

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in vain attempted to rally the grenadiers, those men who had a few minutes before fought with all the ardour and constancy of British troops, now fled disgracefully; but the support of the line, and the fire of the whole artillery, within forty yards, again drove back the Mahrattas, who finally sustained a severe defeat. Such was the battle of Arass; and, notwithstanding the circumstances attending it, which are related principally from the candid narrative of Colonel Keating, it is a victory recorded by the best of testimony, the enemy, in terms highly creditable276. But it was dearly purchased. The loss on the part of Colonel Keating’s detachment, amounted to two hundred and twenty-two men; of whom eighty-six were Europeans, and eleven of them officers277.

29 May 1775

Colonel Keating arrived at Baroach on the 29th May, where he deposited his wounded.

8 June 1775

On the 8th June he again marched, intending to cross the Nerbuddah; but as the proposed ford was found impracticable, the army on the 10th moved up the river towards Bowpeer. After a march of about twenty miles, at five o’clock in the evening, Colonel Keating received intelligence that

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Hurry Punt was still on the north side of the river, about eight or ten miles further on. Having now less respect for his enemy, and having found the simple secret in Mahratta warfare, of always being the first to attack, Colonel Keating resolved on moving forward, as soon as he had allowed his men some refreshment. Accordingly, he was again in motion before one o’clock in the morning; but the troops of Rugoba, like their ill-omened master, whose presence seemed to blight the fairest prospect in every affair in which he was engaged, on this occasion, for the first time since their former slight check, stimulated by the hope of plunder, and elated by having received a little pay, part of a lack of rupees advanced to Rugoba by the Baroach factory, showed an inclination to advance, crowded the road, broke through Colonel Keating’s line of march in several places, and, at last, obliged him to halt till daylight. The enemy, therefore, saw him long before he could get near, struck their camp in the greatest confusion, threw their guns into the river, sent their heavy baggage across the Nerbuddah, and retreated along the north bank with the loss of an elephant and a few camels, which were plundered by Rugoba’s horse.

Colonel Keating’s intention of proceeding to the southward, according to repeated orders from Bombay, was now set aside, for many judicious military reasons, urged by Rugoba, of which the presidency afterwards approved; and it was therefore deter mined to retire to Dubhoy, nineteen miles southeast of Baroda, whilst Rugoba’s troops were encamped

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at Bheelapoor, a village on the Dadhur, between these places.

Colonel Keating then proposed to the Bombay government, at the repeated solicitation of Govind Rao Gaekwar, to reduce Baroda as soon as the violence of the monsoon abated, to which they assented. In the mean time, preparations were in progress at the presidency for the purpose of reinforcing Colonel Keating’s detachment, replenishing their ammunition, and completing their stores.

Futile Sing was now in earliest in his desire to enter into a treaty; and Colonel Keating, foreseeing more advantage to the cause by admitting his overtures than by reducing him, recommended to Rugoba the conclusion of such an agreement as might reconcile Govind Rao to the measure, secure the alliance of Futih Sing, and insure relief to Rugoba’s urgent necessities, by a supply of treasure.

Futih Sing agreed to furnish three thousand horse, to be at all times kept at Rugoba’s service; but if required, two thousand more were to be provided, for which pay was to be allowed: a Jagheer of three lacks, which Futih Sing, by his agreement with Mahdoo Rao Bullal, was bound to reserve in Guzerat for his brother, Govind Rao, was no longer to be required; but, in lieu of it, Rugonath Rao agreed to bestow a Jagheer of ten lacks on Govind Rao Gaekwar in the Deccan. Twenty-six lacks of rupees were to be paid to Rugoba in sixty-one days; and the East India Company, as guarantees and negotiators between the parties,

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were to receive the Gaekwar’s share of the revenue in Baroach and several villages, in perpetuity, estimated at (213,000) two lacks and thirteen thousand rupees.

This pacification, effected through Colonel Keating’s management, was, as circumstances then stood, politic; for, although Govind Rao afterwards seceded from the agreement, he declared himself satisfied at the time278.

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The war, thus waged in Guzerat, was also prosecuted by sea.

The Mahratta navy in the ministerial interest, at the commencement of the war, consisted of six ships, one of forty-six guns, one of thirty-eight, one of thirty-two and two of twenty-six guns, with ten armed vessels, mounting each from two to nine guns, besides swivels. This fleet was met at sea, by Commodore John Moor in the Revenge, frigate, and the Bombay, Grab. Though the Mahrattas were formidable in appearance; the commodore stood down to attack them, when they bore away with all sail set, but having singled out their

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largest ship, the Shumsher Jung of 46 guns, both the English vessels gave her chase, and at last the Grab, being an excellent sailer, brought her to action. The Revenge came up to the assistance of the Bombay, and after an engagement of three hours the Shumsher Jung blew up, her commander, with most of the crew, perished, and the ship was totally destroyed.

On the side of Rugoba everything seemed favourable; elated by the successful exertions of his allies, he presented the Company with the permanent cession of the valuable districts of Hansot and Amod, then estimated at 277,000 rupees of annual revenue. The whole amount acquired by the war, including cessions by Futih Sing, was valued at rupees 2,415,000, of all which the Bombay government had obtained possession, excepting Bassein and its dependencies.

The state of the young Peishwa’s affairs wore an aspect proportionally unpromising. Hurry Punt Phurkay, after the surprise at Bowpeer, left Gunnesh Punt Beeray in command of a detachment for the protection of Ahmedabad, and returned to the Deccan by a ford about one hundred miles above where his heavy baggage had crossed. Sukaram Bappoo and Nana Furnuwees were much disheartened in consequence of his defeat, and dreaded the consequences which generally follow disaster in India, by the defection of allies. Moodajee Bhonslay had a few months before prevailed over his brother Sabajee; and although, whilst Rugonath Rao was a fugitive in Guzerat, the former had

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solicited and obtained, through Nana Furnuwees, from the young Peishwa, a confirmation of the rights and honours of Sena Sahib Soobeb for his son Rughoojee, together with such privileges for himself as pertained to the guardianship, yet the ministers were apprehensive, that the rising fortunes of Rugoba would ensure him the support of the Raja of Berar. Several men of consequence already began to turn their eyes on Rugoba; and Nizam Ally, in hopes of being able to exact something additional from the one party or the other, or at least to retain what he had already recovered, opened a negotiation with Rugoba, which greatly alarmed the ministers, especially as the death of Rookun-ud-dowlah, happening about this period, obstructed their former correct intelligence of his master’s real designs. Nizam Ally augmented their uncertainty by pretending to disbelieve the truth of Mahdoo Rao Narrain’s legitimacy, and by proposing, as a conciliatory measure to all parties, that Amrut Rao, the adopted son of Rugonath Rao, should be made Peishwa. By this means Nizam Ally exacted a further cession from the ministers of nearly eighteen lacks of rupees279 of annual revenue. Great promises were also made to Sindia and Holkar; nor did any sacrifice, that could ensure the exclusion of Rugoba, appear too great to the ruling Bramins at Poona. The cause of Rugoba was extremely unpopular; of the generality of the Bramins in Poona, even those who were disposed to acquit him of the atrocity of having conspired against the life of

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his nephew, remembered, with indignation, the criminal opposition he had always shown to the wise and virtuous Mahdoo Rao; they reflected, with regret, on his losses to the, state, and on the unfortunate issue of all his measures; the weakness and folly of his whole conduct they viewed with contempt; and his present connection with the usurping and impure Europeans, they regarded with jealousy and detestation. Others, and such were probably the majority of the Mahratta nation, true to no party, and guided by no principle, hitherto, considered Rugoba as an unfortunate person with whom it was unwise to be connected; but, the defeat of Hurry Punt, the subsequent discomfiture of his deputy Gunnesh Punt by Ameen Khan, an officer of Rugobas, the siege of Ahmedabad carried on by the same officer, the preparations of the English, the doubts of the young Peishwa’s legitimacy, and the desire of many of the Mahratta chiefs to become independent of the Bramin ministry, occasioned a revolution in the opinions of many, and an anxiety in the minds of all. In short, such was at this period the state of the Mahratta country, that it is generally believed; that any success of equal importance to that at Arass, on the opening of the expected campaign, would have brought the ministry into the terms of Rugonath Rao; and as-the fact of Mahdoo Rao Narrain’s legitimacy would have been proved to the satisfaction of the English, Rugoba appeared certain of being established as regent. But fortune was preparing a change, far different from such a prospect.


274. Mannajee Phakray was one of the legitimate Sindias of Kunneir Kheir, and in consequence, was more respected among the old Mahratta families than the great Mahadajee Sindia. We shall have frequent occasion to mention Mannajee Sindia, surnamed Phakray, or the heroic.

275. Mr. Lovibond’s letter to Colonel Keating is on the Bombay Records.

276. Mahratta MSS.

277. The officers killed were Captains Myers and Serle. Lieutenants Morris, Henry, Prosser, Anderson, and Young. The officers wounded were Captain Frith, Lieutenant Dawson, Ensigns Denon and Torin. Rugoba’s Arabs were also severe sufferers, but they wreaked their vengeance on the treacherous Carcoon, whom they seized, and contrary to Rugoba’s express orders, put him to instant death, by literally cutting him in pieces with their swords.

278. From Colonel Keating’s reports to the Bombay government, which are my chief authority for the above, it is evident that there must have been considerable modifications in the treaty of which the following production is the only copy that I have found either in English or Mahratta. It is, however, from very high authority, being an enclosure of a letter of 30th January 1802, from Mr. Jonathan Duncan, when Governor of Bombay, to Sir Barry Close, resident at Poona.

“Translate of the copy of the treaty between Rugonath Bajeerao Pundit Purdan on one part, and Futty Sing and Seajee Rao Shumaher Buhadur on the other part.

That Seajee and Futty Sing Shumaher Buhadur had disobeyed and joined with the rebels, but now by the means of Colonel Thomas Keating, for and in behalf of the united English East India Company, have, by promising presents, accommodated matters with Pundit Perdan, the following are the articles of the Gaekwar’s proposals.

Article I. – That Seajee, and Futty Sing Gaekwar Shumaher Buhadur, do hereby agree to pay the sum of eight lacks of rupees every year to the Sircar.

II. That they are to attend as usual with a troop of 3000 good horse and men, which number is not to be lessened.

III. In the late Madoo Rao’s time they used to pay every year three lacks of rupees to Govind Rao Gaekwar Sena Keakel Shumsher Buhadur, which sum is settled not to be paid him in future, about which Govind Rao is to make no claim against Seajee and Futty Sing,

IV. Conde Rao Gaekwar Hemut Buhadur is to be continued on the same footing, and agreeable to the agreement made in the time of the late Damajee deceased.

V. That the government and revenue of the Pergunnahs of Baroach have been wholly ceded to the Company agreeable to the agreement made between them and Sreemunt Pundit Predan, about which Seajee and Futih Sing are not to make any dispute.

VI. The Purgunnahs Chickaly Veriow, near Surat, and Coral, near the Nerbuddah river, and about 15 coss distant from Baroach, which together make three Purgunnahs, the Gaekwar has ceded to the Honorable Company for ever, on account of the peace they have made between the Gaekwar and Sreemunt Punt Purdan.

VII. That in the court of Sreemunt Punt Purdan, the Gaekwar must pay a due attention to everything that is reasonable, without having any communication with its enemies.

VIII. That for the confirmation and compliance of the above articles, the Honorable Company stand security; and should the Gaekwars appear any way false, the Honorable Company is not to protect them. Rugoba is also to fulfil the above articles without any difference.

279. He obtained rupees 1,784,576 8 0. (State Accounts, Poona Records.)

This collection transcribed by Chris Gage
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