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retiring on his approach. For some time things went on in tranquillity; but when the
troops had fallen back to avoid the unhealthy season, which, in that part of the country, is
particularly fatal to any race of men but the natives of the province itself, a Nepaulese force
descended firom the hills, and surprised the Thannahs in the night^'time, murdered and
wounded a large proportion of the officers, the rest making their escape by flight. After
all that had passed, an outrage of this sort might justly be considered as placing us at once
in a state of actual war ; but as no opposition bad been made in the flrst instance to the
establishmeDt of the Thannahs, it was considered just possible that the peaceable execution
of that measure might have been owing to orders transmitted from Catmandoo, and that
the subsequent attack was the unauthorised act of the local authorities on the frontiers ;
and the British government, anxious to avoid involving the country in hostilities to the
last, made one more application to the Rajah, to give him the option of disavowing this
piece of violence, and of punishing the offenders : an application that proved as unavailing
as the rest. It would be useless to add any comment to justify this war : it must be ob-
vious, that It was necessary and unavoidable, and that the forbearance of the British govern-
ment was carried to the very uttermost extent to which it was right that it should go.
The security of the inhabitants, along the frontiers, had been destroyed ; our territories
usurped; our just demands, and our efforts at accomn[K)dation, alike treated with contempt;
the aggressions continued during the very progress of the discussions entered into by both
states, for the express purpose of investigating acts of the same unwarrantable violence ;
and finally, the British territory invaded by a military force, and the officers of the civil go-
vernment murdered at their stations."

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ciently advanced, another column was to possess itself of Almora
and Keuraoon, and to open the routes between the different di-

The only part of this plan that can be considered as attended
witii complete success, was that entrusted to Maj.-Gen. Ochterlony ;
it is, however, unnecessary to enter into a review of the operations
of the other divisions, and it will be sufficient, for the present pur-
pose, briefly to sketch those of the western division, under the
command of the subject of this memoir. Maj.-Gen, Ochterlony,
who had to contend with a country of great diflSculty, and with
an enemy, who, throughout the campaign, displayed a degree of
energy, of genius, and of resource, unprecedented in a native leader,
by a series of operations, gradually forced him from post to post,
and at length cooped him up, and compelled him to surrender, in
the almost inaccessible fortress of Mallown. This success put us in
possession of the more recent conquests of the Gorkahs, between
the Ganges and the Sutuleje, and produced the immediate sur-
render of the fort of Jytuck, before which Maj.-Gen. Martindell
(who, on the fall of Maj.-Gen. Gillespie, before Callinger, had suc-
ceeded to the command of his division,) had been \(mg occupied,
and with it the valley of the Dhoon, and the territory of Suena-


Maj.-Gen. Ochterlony was one of the officers of the Hon. Com-
pany's service first selected for the honours of the Bath, and of which
he was appointed Knight Commander. For his subsequent services
in the Nepaul war of 1814, 15, and l6, he was created a baronet;
a pension of 1000/. per annum was granted to him by* the East

* " At a Court of Directors, held on Wednesday, the 6th December 1815, a Report from
the Committee of Correspondence, dated this day, being read, it was resolved ananimously,
in consideration of the eminent and most beneficial services rendered to the Company by
Maj.-Gen. Sir David Ochterlony, Bart, and K.C.B., in the war against the state of Ne-
paul, (by which the honour of the British arms was upheld, and the enemy, after the cap-
ture of extensive provinces, important to them, were obliged to sue for peace, on terms
fiavourable to the Company,) a pension of lOOOl. per annum be granted to him, to com-
mence from the date of the victory over the Nepaulese army, the 16th of April 1815. The
said grant being subject to the approbation of the Court of Directors.**

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India Company ; and in December 1816 he was raised to the further
dignity of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath; with
which he was invested by the Gov.-Gen., the Marquess of Hastings.

The Chairman made the following address to the Court :— " The papers connected with
this subject had been," he observed, " before the proprietors, and the most material of them
were published in the newspapers ; it therefore would not be necessary for him to take up
much time in stating the merits of Sir David Ochterlony. They were of such a nature as
not to need any laboured panegyric from him. They appeared so clear — ^they stood so
completely by themselves, that they wanted not any adventitious assistance to support them.
He should do no more than venture to state a brief outline of those services which the
Company were now called on to reward. Gentlemen would be aware, that the enemy he
had to cope with, in the Nepaulese, was one of a new description— one whom we never had
to combat before. The Nepaulese were difiFerent in character from those Native forces
with whom we had formerly to combat, and their country, almost inaccessible, was diflfe-
rent from any into which our arms had previously penetrated. The war was, therefore, a
very arduous undertaking from the beginning. A very great part of the enterprise rested
with Sir David Ochterlony. It had happened that several of the operations conducted by
other officers had failed ; but Sir David was uniformly successful — his measures, in every
instance, were judicious and proper — and they were crowned by a success continued and
progressive. While other divisions of the army were repulsed, that commanded by him
attained every object it sought to achieve, although opposed by a determined enemy, and
having, at the same time, to contend with the disadvantages of a country most difficult of
access. By his conduct he upheld the military character of this country, when reverses

had taken place in almost every other quaner. The great weight of the war

rested on him ; and the part he acted was of the utmost importance, both in its effects
on the enemy, in its operation on the character of our own troops, and, above all, in its
influence on the minds and feelings of the natives of India generally. Having supported
the character and cause of his country in this manner, he compelled the enemy to have re-
course to negociations, which he (the Chairman) trusted had ere this terminated in peace }
but of this fact they had not yet received intelligence. The battles of the 14th, 15th, and
IGth of April, on the Mallown hills, ended in the complete discomfiture of the Nepaulese
forces. The principal officer of the enemy, Umar Sing Thappa, a brave and experienced
man, was captured, the provinces of Gorkah fell into our hands, and a convention, leading
to terms of peace, was entered into. These circumstances, and the recommendation of
the government of India (for the Earl Moira himself, and the council of Calcutta, have
given a particular prominence to the character and services of Sir David Ochterlony, and
pointed him out to our earliest consideration), have induced the Court of Directors to accede,
unanimously, to this resolution. But, if they wished to take a more general view of the
subject, for the purpose of delaying the expression of their opinion on the conduct of Sir
D. Ochterlony, they could hardly have done so with propriety, because the government of
this country had already marked their high sense of his services, by conferring on him a
very great honour. His pecuniary concerns were extremely moderate. Sir David was
said to be a soldier who had litert^lly lived on his pay, and had therefore saved nothing.

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The following account theregf^ is from the the Calcutta Government
Gazette of 9th April 1818 :—

" Maj.-Gen. Sir David Ochterlony having arrived at the head-quarter^ of
his Ex« the most noble the Gov.-Gen. and Com.-in-Chief, his lordship availed
himself of the Maj.-GeneraFs presence, to invest him with the insignia of
the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, in pnrsoance of the authority and
instructions of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, signified to his lordship
by Lord Viscount Sidmouth, one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of state.
Friday, the 20th of March, on which day the camp was at Terwah, having
been appointed for the performance of the ceremony, the civil officers in at-
tendance on his Ex. the Grov.-Gen., the officers of the general staff of the
army, and the officers of the body guard, and of the 2d batt. 25th reg. N. I.,
forming his Excellency's escort, were assembled at the Gov. -General's durbar
tent on the occasion. The NeWaub Ahmed Buksh Khan, and the Aumil of
the district, with other local officers of the government of his Ex. the Vizier,
as well as the native officers of the body guard and the escort, were also
present. His Ex. the Gov.-Gen. entered the durbar tent at one o'clock,
preceded by his secretary and the Persian secretary to the government,
bearing respectively the badge and decorations, and the statutes of the order,
and by the whole of his lordship's personal staff. His lordship having taken
his seat. Sir David Ochterlony was introduced by Lieut. -Col. Doyle and
Lieut.-Col. Young, with the usual forms ; and having advanced to the edge
of the carpet, on which the Gov.-Gen. 's chair was placed, his lordship rose
and addressed him in the following terms : —

** Sir David Ochterlony, — I cannot figure to myself any occasion on
which the high honour of representing the Prince Regent could be equally
flattering with this ceremony, in which he has deigned to order that 1 shall
act for his Royal person. The instruction has communicated to me a portion
of the warmth with which the generous mind of His Royal Highness glows
at every opportunity of encouraging any effort that tends to promote the glory
of the British nation, and I feel consciously elevated by the fulfilment of

Under these circumstances, the Court of l5irectors, to enable him to live in a style com-
mensurate with the dignity bestowed on him by the Prince Regent, have passed the resolu-
tion now before the Proprietors. It was not necessary for him to take up their attention
further ; the motion was one that recommended itself. The Hon. Chairman conclude^
by proposing, < That the Court do confirm the resolution.' — Agreed to unnnimously."

3 D

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such a duty. You are to receive th^ l^nourable badge with which I am
commissioned to invest you, as a recognition of your admirable zeal, and of
the advantages secured by that zeal to your country's interest. Such a public
f^cknowledgment of ypur professional merit would alone be sufficient matter
of pride; y^<I have td congratulate you on what must be still more toudi-
ing to your, feelings. Yon have obliterated a distinction painful for the
office^v of the Hon. Company; and you have opened the door for your
brothers in arms to a reward, which their recent display of exalted spirit
and invincible intrepidity proves could not be more deservedly «xtend^ to
the officers of any army on earth.'*

The Gov.-Gen. then invested Sir David Ochterlony with the in-
signia of the order, under a salute of thirteen guns.

As a further mark of distinction for this officer's services, an honour-
able augmentation to his arms was granted in Jan. 1817*; and in

* " JFhitehall, Jan. 14, 18l7.-^Hi8 Royal Highn^s the Prioce Regent, in the name
and on the behalf of his Majesty, taking into consideration the highly-dbtingoished ser-
vices rendered by Sir David Ochterlony, Bart., a major-general in the army in the East
Indies, and knight grand cross of the most hon. military order of the bath, on divers
important occasions during a period of thirty^tiine years, particularly in the coarse of those
arduous operations of the Mahratta war, which conduced to the decisive victory gained by
the British forces under the command of the late Gen. Viscount Lake^ ip the memorable
conflict before Delhi, on the 1 1th Sept. 1803 ; to the consequent surrender of that capital,
and to the restoration of his majesty Shaw Alum to the throne of his ancestors ; as also
the proofs of wisdom and military talent afforded by this officer during the subsequent de-
fence of the said city against the whole force of Jeswunt Rao Holkar ', his prudent arrange-
ment and disposition of the comparatively few troops under his orders; his judicious
conduct, at so difficult a crisis, in the discharge of the high and important functions of
British Resident at the court of Delhi, combined with his great energy and animated per-
sonal exertions, to which were chiefly attributed the safety of that capital and of the person
of Shaw Alum, at a time when the loss of either might have proved highly prejudicial to
the public interests in Hindostan; and further, the unremitting zeal, foresight, and deci-
sion^ manifested by the said major-general, under circumstances of great difficulty^ dur-
ing the late contest with the state of Nepaul, especially in that series of combined move-
ments, during the nights of the 14th and 15th of April 1815, against the fortified
positions of the Gorkah army on the heights of Mallown, which led to the establish-
ment of the British troops on that range of mountains, theretofore deemed to be impreg-
nable ; to the evacuation by the enemy of the fortresses of Mallown and Jytuck ; to the de-
feat and surrender of Umar Sing Thappa, the chief commander of the hostile force ; and to
the successful and glorious termination of that campaign ; and, lastly, the judgment, pm^
severance, and vigour, displayed by the said Maj.-Gen., as commander of the BriitMi Js^i^


Feb. following, the thanks of the British Parliament* were unani-
mouslj voted to him ; and a beautifiil piece of plate was presented
to him by the officers who served in the division of the army under
his command.

In 1822 Sir David Ochterlony was appointed Resident in Malwah
and Rajpootana.


(Bengal Establishment.)

This officer was a cadet of 1794; he joined his reg., then serving on
the frontier, early in 1797 ; and in 1798 marched with his reg., the
1st light cav., with the army under Maj.-Gen. Robert Stuart, into

upon the renewal of the contest with the aforesaid state, the happy and triumphant results
of which have been consolidated by a treaty of peace between the East India Company and
the Rajah of Nepaul, highly beneficial to the interests of the British empire in India ;^His
Royal Highness, desirous, in addition to other marks of his rojrai approliation, of comme-
morating the faithful and important services of the said Maj.-Gren., by granting unto him
certain armorial augmentations, has been pleased to give and grant His Majesty*s royal
license and permission, that he, the said Sir David Ochterlony, and his descendants, may
bear to the armorial ensigns of Ochterlony the honourable augmentations following, viz. —
< On an embattled chief two banners in saltire, the one of the Mahratta states, inscribed
Delhiy the other of the state of Nepaul, inscribed Nepaul^ the staves broken and encircled
by a wreath of laurel,' with this motto to the arms, viz. — ' Prudentia ei ammo;* and the
crest of honourable augmentation following, viz.**^ Out of an eastern crown, inscribed
Nepaul, an arm issuant, the hand grasping a baton of command entwined by an olive
branch ;' provided the said armorial ensigns be first duly exemplified according to the laws
of arms, otherwise the said Royal license to be void and of none eflRect."

* ^^ JoviSj 6 die Februarn, 1817- — Resolved, That the thanks of this house be given
to Major-General Sir David Ochterlony, Knt. Grand Cross of the Most Hon. Military
Order of the Bath, for the skill, valour, and perseverance, displayed by him in the late war
with Nepaul, to which the result of that contest is mainly to be ascribed ; and also to the
several oflBcers of the army, both European and Native, for the braveiy and discipline dis-
played by them in that arduous contest.*'

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Rohilcund, to secure the family of Golaum Mahumnoiud, Prince of
the Rohillas. The same year he accompanied the army, under Sir
A. Clarke, Com-in-Chief, to depose Vizier Ally, the pretended Ne-
waub of Oude. In 1799, he marched with the army, under Sir
J. Craig, to meet the projected invasion of the Persian Zemaun Shaw,
In Jan. 1802 he was selected for the command of a detachment
against Toree Sing, a rebel Zemindar, in Rohilcund, on which occa-
sion he had the good fortune to secure the person, and destroy the
strong hold of that chief; for which service he received die thanks
of the Lieut.-Gov. of the ceded and conquered provinces, the Hon.
Henry Wellesley, Soon after, he commanded a squadron of his reg.
at the siege, evacuation, and night affair with its garrison, of the
fortress of Catchoura, under Lord Lake, when the enemy were
entirely destroyed ; and of the only two officers under him, on that
occasion, one was killed and the other wounded — Comets Pollock
and Cornish.

Capt Watson served in the first campaign under Lord Lake, and
was present at the battle of Coel, Aug. 22, 180S ; assault and cap-
ture»of Allyghur ; on which occasion he was capt. of the day, ' He
accompanied Col. Macau's brigade (of which his reg. formed a part,)
when detached from the army, in pursuit of the Mahratta force, un-
der the French officer Fleury, when the Dooaub was cleared of the
enemy. He was at the siege and surrender of Agra, and battle of
Laswarree. He commanded the troops composing the foraging
party of the army on the 11th Feb. 1804, when a body of hill-
robbersj/qonfiding in the security of their fastnesses, had carried off* a
number of the public camels, and other cattle of the army, baggage,
&c. ;. and pursuing them through the passes of the mountains, at-
tacked and destroyed their hill-forts and villages, kilUng a few and
dispersing the remainder of the marauders, after having recovered the
whole of the public ciimels and property. For thje latter service he
received the thanks of Lord Lake.

Capt. Watson was present throughout the second campaign under
Lord Lake ; he was detached from the line of march, by order of his

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lordship, with a sijuadron to protect and recover the public baggage,
elephants, camels, &c. of the arm5% which Holkar's cav. were plunder-
ing, between Agra and Muttra, at the opening of the campaign. The
numbers of the enemy's cav. frustrated this object ; large reinforce-
ments became absolutely necessary, and which at length joined
•Capt. Watson. He was present at the beating up of Holkar's camp,
by the cav. under Lord Lake, in person, near Muttra ; and Holkar,
while the army was detained at Muttra, having marched and besieged
Delhi, Capt. Watson was at the raising of the siege, and pursuit of
Holkar down the Dooaub ; the affair at Shamleh, where CoL Bums
was shut up, 3d Nov. ; action of Fultehgurh, 17th Nov. ; the recon-
noitring of Deig, by the cav. under Lord Lake, in the face of the
combined cav. of Holkar and the Rajah of Burtpoor; on which latter
occasion, Capt. Watson commanded the rear-guard, on returning to
camp, extremely harassed by the enemy, a great number of whom
were killed, though with a considerable loss on the side of the British.
Capt. Watson served at the siege, assault, and capture of Deig ; at
the siege and four assaults of Burtpoor; and commanded the 1st reg.
of cav., when in conjunction with a batt. of inf., (the whole under
Capt. Geo. Welsh,) it sustained, by the occupation of a village, the
united attacks of the combined armies of Holkar and Burtpoor until
reinforced from Lord Lake's camp ; when a general attack was made
upon the enemy, who suffered severel}', and lost many standards, &c.
The detachment, on this occasion, received the particular acknowledg.^
ments of Lord Lake.

From this period till 1810, few opportunities offered for exertion,
and Capt. Watson continued with his reg. for the most part in canton-
ments, and often in command of it.

In March 1810 he marched with his reg., and a batt. of inf., under
Lieut.-CoL T. Brown*, against Gopal Sing; whose camp they beat
up at Bechoun, on the 19th of ihatmonth. Capt. W. was some time
after sent with a squadron up the first range of ghauts, in Bundlecund,

♦ Now Major-General — vide Services, p. 253.

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to rdnforce the troops employed against that chief and his allies.
Having rendered hin!)self thoroughly master of the nature and pecu*-
liarities of the country between the first and second ranges of hiUs
(which formed the grand scene of the enemy's depredations), as well
as of the principal haunts, secret connexions, family influence, &c. of
the rebels, Capt. Watson projected an enterprise which, he hoped,
might efiectually destroy their power and resources, and put an end
to that spirit of combination which their past successes in the province
had of late given rise to. He observed that these successes had re-
sulted chiefly .from their su|>erior knowledge, and our ignorance, of
the country, the caution with which they had avoided encounters
with our troops, excepting under circumstances of decided advantage ;
and that dispersion was the mode by which they had hitherto easily
eluded the open approach or attack of our troops ; re-assembling
again, with the greatest ease, in any named quarter, in greater force
than ever. Capt* Watson, accordingly, offered his services, and so-
licited the command of a detachment against them, with permission
to move across the river Byarny, which lay between our troops and
the enemy, then assembled in great force under the combined chiefs,
Lutchman Sing, Himmut Sing, and Omrah Sing, the latter the ne-
phew of Gopal Sing, the grand rebel and marauder, who himself at
this time was absent. Capt. W., in the meanwhile, arranged a system
of espionage, for the attainment of exact intelligence of the situation,
force, haunts, and movements, as well as the individual character
and interests of the enemy's chiefs and adherents : at the same time,
he set on foot reports and stratagem, for deceiving the rebels as to the
object of his detachment, in the event of its being formed, and passing
the Byarny ; of which he knew they would have immediate notice.
Capt. Watson, on the l6th Nov., having obtained the command of a
small detachment of observation, and the same day, quietly passing
the river Byarny (about forty miles beyond which the enemy lay),
and encamping a day on the opposite bank, he suddenly, by severe
forced marches in the night, conceahng his detachment during the
day, and, by his patrols, intercepting all possibility of intelligence

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reacluDg the enemy, came upon them by surprise, a little before day-r
tnreak, on the morning of the 19th, at the village of Bhomory, and so
entirely annihilated their force, that these chiefs never again made
head ; and the two former, after relinquishing their alliance with Go-
pal, were soon after slain, the first by his own, and the second by
the country people.

The day after the affair of Bhomory, an order arrived from Maj.-Gen.
Sir G. Martindell, commanding in the province, directing Gapt. Wat-
son's immediate recall, and ordering Col. Brown, commanding above
the Ghauts, to proceed with his own force against the enemy. Had
Capt. Watson, therefore, lost a few hours, or his plans been in the
least immature, the opportunity would, have been inevitably and for
ever lost. His detachment thus recalled by Gen. Martindell, as too
small to be hazarded, had been chiefly intended as a detachment of ob-
servation. The thanks of the Com.-in-Chief, and of the supreme go-
vernment, to Capt. Watson, were, on this occasion, promulgated in
general orders*.

la. 1811 Capt W. obtained the command of a detachment in su-
bordinate co-operation with Col. Brown, against Gopal Sing in per-

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 34 of 45)