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under Lieut-Gen. Sir T. Hislop, thcin about to commence important
operations in the Deccan. In the instructions issued to this officer on
this occasion, the Bengal government observe, " It has been judged
to be for the benefit of the public service, that his £xc. should have
at his command the assistance of a Political Agent of character, ex-
perience, and ability, to be a channel of correspondence with the Re-
sidents at the courts of the allied Princes, and to be employed by his
Exc. in the conduct of such political arrangements and negociations
with the Native powers, or chiefs, with whom the course of events
may bring him into communication, as he may be empowered to
prosecute. The Gov.-Gen. in council, reposing entire confidence in
your zeal, ability, and knowledge of our political interests generally,
and in your personal acquaintance with the character, habits, and
temper of the several powers and chiefs in the Deccan, is happy to
avail himself of your services in this important duly.'' With a view
to place Sir John Malcolm, in the exercise of the functions thus
assigned to him, on an equal footing, in point of military rank, with


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the officers commandinsr ^divisioDs of the annv under Sir T. Hislop,
the Gov. -G I this ank of

brig.-gen. he w Bengal

governmen id plj orders

of Sir T. hisiop, ana eiiner ro accompany him to the Deccan, or
precede tim, and visit the several Native courts* for the purpose of
obtaining, by confidential the Residents, such

information as might be us( 3ss. He was placed

upon the same footing, as t( ^ Residents at those

courts : he was also to be es and equipments

by the Madras government, auu lo nave ivxaj. -^guew as an assistant.
Having equipped himself at Fort St. George, he proceeded, in the
first place, to Bangalore, in order to concert arrangements for the co-
operation of the troops of the Rajah of Mysore, which he found had
been already accomplished by Mr. Cole, the resident. He thence
proceeded to Hyderabad, to acquaint himself with the military re-
sources of that state, and to secure the support of the Nizam's troops
during the forthcoming operations. From Hyderabad he wont to
Poonah, to concert arrangements with the Resident connected with the
approaching service ; he reached Poonah on the 8th Aug., and from
thence proceeded, on the Peishwa's invitation, to Mehowly, the place
where his highness then resided, and with whom he had several con-
ferences, in which Sir John fully elicited the hostile state of the
Peishwa's feelings towards the British government, notwithstanding
the treaty he had so lately (13th June preceding) concluded with it.
Sir John Malcolm's reports of his conferences with the Peishwa
were particularly pointed out to the Court of Directors, as affording
the means of judging of the course of policy which was afterwards so
successfully adopted towards him; and Sir John was informed by the
Bengal government, that the topics of discourse chosen by him in his
discussions with the Peishwa, and the tone and language in wliich they
were urged, reflected credit on his judgment and discrimination. From
Poonah he proceeded to Hyderabad, where he continued a short time,
tor the purpose of obtaining information regarding the resources of

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the countrv. and of makino^ an arranfiremeilt with the local govern-
ment, tbad on
the 4th

In tJ Sir. J.

Malcolm was appomxea lo commana me inira ai vision oi ine aimy.
On the 25th Sept. Capt. Grant, under the orders of this officer, took
Talym by surprise ; the gal|||on of which place, with the exception of
one individual (Wahab Khan, the adopted son of one of the princi-
pal chiefs), was disarmed, 'hy Sir John's orders, and set at liberty.
Early in Dec. he jewed Sir T. Hiiilop at Ougein, and on the 21st of
that month the battle of Mebidpoor was fought, and followed by the
complete defeat and dispersion of the hostile army, under Mulhar
Rao Holkar, which was pursued for eight days by the cavalry and
light troops under Sir J. Malcolm. The following remarks are in
the general order issued by the Com.-in-Chief upon the field of battle : —
** His Exc. must here notice the undaunted gallantry with which the
charge was made upon the guns, under the conduct and direction of
Brig-Gen. Sir J. Malcolm.'' — " The Com.-in-Chief would not feel
himself justified were he to omit his warmest thanks and acknow-%
ledgments to Brig-Gen. Sir J. Malcolm, for the important assistance
he derived throughout the day from that officer's judgment, expe-
rience, and personal exertions in conducting the assault on the leil of
the enemy's line." Sir T. Hislop, also, in his despatch of the 23d Dec,
to the Gov.-Gen., observes, " Although the conduct of every officer
. of the army merits the highest commendation, I gladly seize this
opportunity of bringing to your lordship's notice those who were pro-,
minent from their rank and situations, and from the superior duties they
had to perform. Your lordship is too well aware of the high profes^
sional character and abilities of Brig.-Gen* Sir J. Malcolm to render
it necessary for me to dwell upon them ; I shall therefore merely
express my admiration of the style of distinguished conduct and. gal-
lantry with which the assault on the left of the enemy's position was
headed by the Brig.-Gen, and my warmest thanks for the great and
^sential aid I have derived from his councils, as well previous to^

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as during the action of, the 21st inst/' In tlie Gov.-Gen/s letter to
the Secret Committee, dated 29th Dec., his lordship observes, " When
we look to the additional instance of the important victory gained by
the energy of Lieut.-Gen. Sir T, Hislop, and Brig.-Gen. Sir J. Mal-
colm, over Holkar's army, one cannot but feel that the hand of
Providence has signally chastened the profligacy of those who forced
the contest upon us by the violation of the most solemn engagements.
It is unnecessary for me to expatiate on the high credit due to Sir
T. Hislop and Sir J. Malcolm, or on the extraordinary benefit attend-
ing the decisive correction given to an insolence of tone» which Hd-
kar's army had carried to a daring pitch.""

Lord Hastings, adverting to the same event, in his general order of
21st Feb. 1818, says, " The chivalrous intrepidity displayed by Brig.-
Gen. Sir J. Malcolm in the batde of Mehidpoor, and the admirable
tact manifested by him in the subsequent negociatioqs, advanced the
public interests no less than they distinguished the individual."' And
in a letter to the Secret Committee, dated 8th Feb., his lordship ob-
serves, " The zeal and success of Sir T. Hislop merit your compli-
mentary attention. Sir J. Malcolm has shewn equal valour and
ability, joined to indefatigable exertion, so that his behaviour deserves
cordial notice/" Mr. Canning, the President of the Board of Con-
troul, after moving the thanks of Parliament to Sir T- Hislop, who
commanded at this battle*, went on to say, ^^ And also to Sir J. Mal-

* The Prince Regent also judged this to be a proper occasion for expressing his sense of
the services of the Indian army, by a liberal distribution of military honours. The dbtinction
of a Knight Commander of the Bath was conferred upon one, and the honour of being
Knight Companions upon twenty-two of the Company's officers. The exclusion of Sir
J. Malcolm from a participation in the highest of these distinctions, was occasioned by it
not being considered consistent with military etiquette. But the Bengal government were
informed, that ** His Royal Highness had condescended to express his regret that the regu-
lations of the Order precluded the advancement of Sir John Malcolm, K.C.B. to the highest
rank with his then present military rank, but that it had pleased his Royal Highness to record
his gracious intention to confer the dignity of a Grand Cross upon that distinguished officer,
when he shall have attained the rank of Maj.-Gen.'^ The intentions of the Prince Regent
have since been fulfilled through the medium of the present Gov.-Gen., to whom the King's
instructions were transmitted early in 1821, and by his lordship forwarded to Bombay, at
which presidency Sir J. Malcolm was on the 6th Sept. 1821.; and upon that day he was

3 R

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colm, who was second in command on that occasion, but who is

The name of that gallant
^ ]ong as ihe British flag is

f under obligations to Sir J.
Malcolm for his attention to the Mysore troops during the whole of
the Pindarrj war, resolved, as an acknowledgment of that attention,
and as a token of his personal regard, to present him with a sword and
belt, valued at about 500 pagodas, which were taken by his highnesses
Silladar horse from Mulhar Rao Holkar during the action, which gift
the Bengal government permitted Sir J. Malcolm to accept.

This officer, as already stated, continued in pursuit of the fugitives
after the battle of Mdiidpoor, having under his command the larger
part of the cav. and light troops, joined by a light detachment from tlie
Bombay army, under Col. the JHon. Lincoln Stanhope. Coming up
with the retreating forde, he captured the whole of the enemy's bazar,
camels, 7000 bullocks, &c., and making prisoners of the men, he im-
mediately disarmed them, and sent them about their business. Thus
vigorously Encountered, Holkar gave up the contest, and signed a pre-
liminary treaty Avhich' Sir J. Malcolm had sent to him; and on the
tSth Jan- 1818, Sir John negotiated, under the instructions of Sir T.
Hislop, upon its ba»s, a treaty of peace with the vanquished chief,
by which the latter made very considerable cessions and remunera-
tions to the British government, and pledged himself to a fixture co-
operation with the British forces.

Lord Hastings immediately after employed Sir J. Malcolm in re-
storing and settling the distracted government and territories of

invested with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, by his Exc. Sir C. Colville, the
Com.-in-Chief at Bombay^ acting for the Gov.-Gen. In the address from Sir Charles on
thb occasion^ is the following paragraph. —

^< In your person^ Sir John> I can, without fear of the imputation of flattery, say, that in
Europe, as in Asia, and in every branch of the public service, it will be freely admitted, that
the distiiictiod is most amply and in every way earned, which has been long, and wiU, I
hope, be much longer held up, and appreciated as the proud rewlurd alike of diploAatic and
ministerial as of military merit/'

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Miilhar Rao, so as to render that govenuDent^ in the hands of the
British, an ini of which it had

for a series ot jears oeen one of me mow acuve oisttirbers. To.this
charge was added the general superintendance of the distracted states
of Central India. In Feb. 1818, Scindia's general, Jeswunt Rao
Bhow, and a Pindarry chief, Kurreem Khan, surrendered to Sir J.
Malcolm. Several other Pindarry chiefs followed the example of the
latter, and were like him treated with consideration and humanity.
In this month the division of the Deccan army under Sir J. Malcolm,
was separated therefrom, and placed by order of the Gov.-Gen under
his lordship's immediate directions, with a view to the accomplishment
of some ulterior arrangements. In April the settlement of the district
of Soondwarrah, and suppression of the excesses of the freebooters
therein, is mentioned by Lord Hastings as having been effected by
this officer in such a manner as to entitle him to his entire approbation.
" The principle,'' his lordship observes, " upon which Sir J. Malcolm
has acted, in re-establishing the legitimate authority of several of the
chiefs, is calculated to exalt the reputation of the British government,
and diffuse a knowledge of its principles of action, which cannot ifajl
to be attended with the most salutary consequences." And on the
27th May, his lordship expressed his perfect approbation of the
whole of this officer's proceedings with respect to the occupation of
the possessions of the late Peishwa (Bajee Rao) in the ^erbuddah.
But the complete suppression of that chieftain, to whose treachery
was ascribed all that had given a character of importance to the war,
was, in his lordship's opinion, an object at this time of great moment,
as leading, in connexion with the extirpation of the Pindarries, to the
entire pacification of India. To this object, therefore, the several
divisions of the army in the field applied themselves ; and in the pur-
suit of it. Sir J. Malcolm very early obtained the most accurate in-
formation respecting Bajee Rao's moveiUents ; by which means he
was completely surrounded on the 30th of that month, then retaining
under his command a force which did not exceed 200Q horse, 800
infantry, and 2 guns. Thus circumstanced, he resolved upon nego-

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ciationy and sent two vakeels to Sir J. Malcolm, who proposed a
personal conference, which was agreed to* The particulars of this
conferetice are stated in Sir John's letter to the secretary to the Bengal
government, dated June 3, 1818. Its result was, the peaceable sur-
render, to Sir J. Malcolm, of the fallen prince, upon an agreement
that he should be allowed to reside in the British dominions, and
there to enjoy a revenue of eight lacs of rupees per annum. The
surrender of Bajee Rao was followed by the entire dispersion of his

By the fall of Bajee Rao the Company not only obtained a large
accession of territory, but treasure to a considerable amount. It was
also attended with the more important consequences of restoring com-
plete peace to the countries of which he was sovereign, and of de-
stroying the hopes and plans of those attached to his cause, or who
still U3ed his name as a pretext for their continued depredations.
Lord Hastings indeed stated some objection to the terms, as having
been granted by Sir J. Malcolm without specific authority ; at the
same time that his lordship expressed most decidedly a general appro-
bation of Sir John's conduct in the war. This diversity of opinion,
between the Gov.-Gen. and his political agent, gave rise to discussions
that subsequently came under the consideration of the Court of Direc-

* Id reporting this event to the Court of Directors, Lord Hastings observes, (letter
20th June 1818), '^ Bajee Rao having submitted and placed himself in the hands of
Btig.-GreD. Sir J. Malcolm, I have the honour to congratulate you on the termination of
what still bore a lingering character of wan The troops with which Bajee Rao had
crossed the Tafty were completely surrounded. He found progress towards Gualior im-
practicable, retreat as much so, and opposition to the British force altogether hopeless ;
so that any terms granted to him under such circumstances were purely gratuitous, and
only referable to that humanity which it was felt your Hon. Court would be desirous should
be shewn to an exhausted foe. The ability with which Brig.-Gen. Sir J. Malcolm first
secured the passes of the hills, and then advanced to confine Bajee Rao in front, while
Brig.-GeD. Doveton closed upon him from the rear, will not fail to be applauded by your
Hon. Court; nor will you less estimate the moderation with which Sir J. Malcolm held
forth the assurance of liberal and decorous treatment, even to an enemy stained with
profligate treachery, when that enemy could no longer make resistance* Bajee Rao is to
reside as a private individual in some city within your ancient possessions, probably Benares,
enjoying an allowance suited to a person of high birthp but without other pretensions.*'

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tors, who resolved to approve the course which Sir Jc^n had adopted,
considering that the circumstances in which he was placed authorised
him to exercise his discretion. " This difference of opinion/' it is
added in the Court of Directors' letter, " does not extend to any of
the military arrangements, which must be admitted to demand un-
qualified applause ; neither is there any question respecting the zeal
and public spirit, and the indefatigable and skilful exertions of Sir
J. Malcolm, in the very prominent part which he took in the trans-

The next service of this officer was the suppression of the mutiny
of the Arabs in Bajee Rao's service, and in which he completely

"^The following account of this mutiny is extracted from Lieut.-Col. Blacker's ' Memoir
of the operations of the British army in India, during the Mahratta war of 1817-18, and
19/ — " All arrangements being complete, the mafch was commenced on the 4th June^ by
Beekungaum and Seeonee, towards the Raveir Ghat, on the Nerbuddah. This movement
was conducted for several days by moderate stages, without any extraordinary occurrence^
Bajee Rao's camp, which marched late in the day, being invariably separate from that of
the British troops. Yet scarcely any diminution was made in the number of his followers,
notwithstanding Sir John's occasional remonstrances on the embarrassments they were
likely to produce. The Ex.-Peishwa seemed averse to any measure calculated to dispel
the illusions of sovereignty, which he could yet scarcely believe to have vanished with the
last treaty. Th^ shadow still afibrded a soothing deception, which required, for its banisli-
ment, some external event, independent of his unwilling mind ; -or perhaps he even con-
sidered this as the least painful manner of being divested of his troops, the impropriety of
whose admission into Malwah he •would probably confess. Experience must have shewn
him that the Arabs, at all events, were a body with whom it was difficult to make a settle-
ment, and that, in all likelihood, the intervention of Sir John's means and influence
would be requisite to compromise the impending disagreement. This interference would
also save him from the necessity of anticipating an active exertion, so diflferent from the
usual policy of a Mahratta government, in which, through habit, he still imagined himself to
preside. These troops, amounting to about 2000 men, had been hired for Bajee Rao's
service, some months previously, by Trimbuckjee ; and they demanded their arrears of
pay from that date ; instead of which it was offisred to them from the day they had joined.
The comparative justice of the claim and offer, were it of importance for examination
here, might not be easily determined, as it would depend on express stipulations, or on the
prevailing customs in similar cases, which would generally be found in favour of the ofiier.
But a turbulent body, like the Arabs, are not always to be satisfied by the payment of just
demands, and instances are not uncommon of their rising in their exactions, in proportion
to the degree of acquiescence. Matters arrived at an extremity^ on the 9th of June, u

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After the termination of the war, Sir John Malcolm continued in
Malwah, for the purpose of making arrangements with the neighbour-

Seeonee, when the Arabs^ instead of marching, clamorously surrounded Bajee Rao's tent,
threatening personal injuiy if their demands were not satisfied on that ground, which was
within ten miles of the Nerbuddah. They accompanied this violent conduct with decla-
rations, that any movement on the part of the British troops would cause his instant de-
struction, and that of all the helpless people about him. The contagion of their example
spreading to the Rohlllahs, in a short time the whole of the infantry were in a state of
mutiny. Sir J. Malcolm, though not apprehensive of the extreme crisis which was ap-
proaching, was not without the expectation of some disturbance this morning. While,
therefore, he dispatched his baggage to the next ground, with the irregular horse, and
part of the infantry, he retained the regular cavalry, with six companies of the battalion,
and two galloper guns. In this predicament were affairs when Bajee Rao applied for
assistance, at the same time that he entreated no coercive movement might take place,
to bring on the fate with which he was threatened ; and Sir John finding that he had not
sufficient force to awe the mutineers, sent off a despatch for the troops which had marched.
The day passed in messages to Sir John from Bajee Rao, declaring his apprehensions ; and
from Sir John to the Arabs, menacing them with extirpation if they proceeded to violence.
Towards the evening, however, he had such communications with the refractory principals,
who were themselves comparatively reasonable, as to enable him to send consolation to the
encircled chief, whom he assured of a favourable settlement on the following morning.
The Mahratta camp was established along the bank of a nullah or ravine, much divided
by small water-courses, and interspersed with scattered jungle highly favourable to the
efforts of irregular troops ; but to the west the ground gradually rose into a commanding
position, lliis Sir John assumed at day-break on the 10th, and was joined by the troops
who had countermarched, which completed his corps to 400 regular Native cav., 700 re-
gular Native inf., with seven guns and GOO irregular horse. These he extended in a single
rank, to increase their apparent numbers, as his object was intimidation, under the appre-
hension of the results of mutineers' despair. This expedient was not without the desired
effect, and the principal Jemidar, Syed Fyze, advanced to demand a parley, while some of
his own lawless bands opened a fire, which wounded two Sepoys. The troops were under
sueh admirable discipline, that no attempt was made to resist this aggression, though the
guns were loaded and the matches lighted; but all communication was refused till this
irregular firing should be discontinued ; and as their chief dispatched an attendant for this
purpose, he was permitted to approach. Bajee Rao had already paid the greater part of
their demands ; and the remaining subjects of difference consisted of trifling matters,
which both parties were satisfied to refer to the arbitration of Sir John, who willingly
assented to become the umpire. Syed Fyze galloped off, on this assurance, to withdraw
his people from their position rouad Bajee Rao's tent ; but these refused to be removed,
.till all their leaders had received a promise of security against attacks after they should relin-
. ^sb the pledge they already held. As Sir John instantly gave his hand to eveiy Jemidar, their
mien were drawn off without more delay; and the Mahratta chief, attended by some horse,
came io front of the British line, delighted at his emancipation from such barbaroiu
thraldom. To make the contrast of the treatment to be derived from his own troops

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ing States, and of introducing and eistablisbing the Company's autho-
rity in that province, and th^ other territories which bad been ceded
to them. With the Rajah of Dewleah and Purtaubgurh, a Rajpoot
chief, and formerly a tributary of Holkar, Capt. Caulfield, under
Sir John Malcolm's orders, concluded a treaty on the 5th Oct. 1818,
by which the Rajah transferred to the British government his rights
over Purtaubgurh, on receiving from the Company the amount of the
tribute realized from that petty state. The controul over Purtaubgurh,
which commands one of the principal roads from Guzerat to
Malwah and Hindostan, was on that account esteemed to be a point
of much interest, as well as in consideration of Purtaubgurh having
been, in former times, the channel of a very considerable trade. On
the 5lh Dec. following, Capt. Caulfield, under the orders of tfiis

and from t\\e British authorities, more striking, Sir John received him with a general salute j
and he acknowledged the error he had committed in neglecting previous admonition, with
expressions of gratitude for the henefits recently conferred. His first mark of obedience was
moving off instantly to the opposite bank of the Nerbuddah, while the British commander was
engaged in granting passports to the remaining troops, and in witnessing the departure of the
Arabs and Rolrillas towards, what they called, their respective homes. When the mutineers
began to cool, after the heated state of irritation to which they had been raised, they ex-
pressed themselves equally indebted with Bajee Rao, for the lenity and temper with which
they had been treated. Nor were these sentiments entertajned without sufficient grounds ;

Online LibraryJohn PhilippartThe East India military calendar: containing the services of ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 44 of 45)