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after which the Peguans were driven from Bassein and the adjacent
country, and were forced to withdraw to the fortress of Syriam, distant
12 miles from Rangoon. Here they enjoyed a brief repose, Alompra
being called away to quell an insurrection of his own subjects, and to
repel an invasion of the Siamese ; but returning victorious, he laid
siege to the fortress of Syriam, and took it by surprise. In these
wars the French sided with the Peguans, the English with the
Burmese. Dupleix, the Governor of Pondicherri, had sent two ships
to the aid of the former ; but the master of the first was decoyed up
the river by Alompra, where he was massacred along with his whole
crew. The other vessel" escaped to Pondicherri. Alompra was now
master of all the navigable rivers ; and the Peguans, shut out from
foreign aid, were finally subdued. In 1757, the conqueror laid siege
to the city of Pegu, which capitulated, on condition that their own king
should govern the country, but that he should do homage for his
kingdom, and should also surrender his daughter to the victorious

monarch.

Alompra never contemplated the fulfilment of the conditions;
and having obtained possession of the town, abandoned it to the
fury of his soldiers. In the following year the Peguans vainly
endeavoured to throw off the yoke. Alompra afterwards reduced
the town and District of Tavoy, and finally undertook the conquest of



222 BURMA, INDEPENDENT.

the Siamese. His army advanced to Mergui and Tenasserim, both
which towns were taken ; and he was besieging the capital of Siam
when he was taken ill. He immediately ordered his army to retreat, in
hopes of reaching his capital alive ; but he expired on the way, in 1760,
in the fiftieth year of his age, after he had reigned eight years. In the
previous year, he had massacred the English of the establishment of
Negrais, whom he suspected of assisting the Peguans. He was suc-
ceeded by his eldest son, Naung-daw-gyi, whose reign was disturbed
by the rebellion of his brother Hsin-phyu-yin, and afterwards by
one of his father's generals. He died in little more than three
years, leaving one son in his infancy ; and on his decease the throne
was seized by his brother Hsin-phyu-yin. The new king was intent,
like his predecessors, on the conquest of the adjacent States, and
accordingly made war in 1765 on the Manipur kingdom, and also on
the Siamese, with partial success. In the following year he defeated
the Siamese, and, after a long blockade, obtained possession of their
capital. But while the Burmese were extending their conquests in this
quarter, they were invaded by a Chinese army of 50,000 men from the
Province of Yunan. This army was hemmed in by the skill of the
Burmese ; and, being reduced by want of provisions, it was afterwards
attacked and totally destroyed, with the exception of 2500 men, who
were sent in fetters to work in the Burmese capital at their several
trades. In the meantime the Siamese revolted ; and while the Burmese
army was marching against them, the Peguan soldiers who had been
incorporated in it rose against their companions, and, commencing an
indiscriminate massacre, pursued the Burmese army to the gates of
Rangoon, which they besieged, but were unable to capture. In 1774,
Hsin-phyu-yin was engaged in reducing the marauding tribes. He
took the District and fort of Martaban from the revolted Peguans ; and
in the following year he sailed down the Irawadi with an army of 50,000
men, and, arriving at Rangoon, put to death the aged monarch of
Pegu, along with many of his nobles, who had shared with him in the
offence of rebellion. He died in 1776, after a reign of twelve years,
during which he had extended the Burmese dominions on every side.

He was succeeded by his son, a youth of eighteen, called Tsingu-ming
(' Changuzo' of Symes), who proved himself a bloodthirsty despot, and
was put to death in 1781 by his uncle, Bhodauphra or Mentaragyi, who
ascended the vacant throne. In 1783 the new king effected the
conquest of Arakan. In the same year he removed his residence from
Ava, which, with brief interruptions, had been the capital for four cen-
turies, to the new city of Amarapura, ' the City of the Immortals.'
The Siamese who had revolted in 1 7 7 1 were never afterwards subdued
by the Burmese ; but the latter retained their dominion over the sea-
coast as far as Mergui. In the year 1785, they attacked the island of



BURMA, INDEPENDENT. 223

junkseylon with a fleet of boats and an army, but were ultimately
driven back with loss ; and a second attempt by the Burmese monarch,
who in 1786 invaded Siam with an army of 30,000 men, was attended
with no better success. In 1793, peace was concluded between these
two powers, the Siamese yielding to the Burmese the entire possession
of the coast of Tenasserim on the Indian Ocean, and the two important
seaports of Mergui and Tavoy.

In 1795, the Burmese were involved in a dispute with the British in
India, in consequence of their troops, to the number of 5000 men,
having entered the District of Chittagong, in pursuit of three robbers
who had fled from justice across the frontier. Explanations being made
and terms of accommodation offered by General Erskine, the com-
manding officer, the Burmese commander retired from British territory,
when the fugitives were restored, and all differences for the time
amicably arranged.

But it was evident that the gradual extension of the British and
Burmese territories would in time bring the two powers into close
contact along a more extended line of frontier, and in all probability
lead to a war between them. It happened, accordingly, that the Bur-
mese, carrying their arms into Assam and Manipur, penetrated to the
British border near Sylhet, on the north-east frontier of Bengal, beyond
which were the possessions of the Raja of Cachar, under the protection
of the British Government. The Burmese leaders, arrested in their
career of conquest, were impatient to measure their strength with their
new neighbours, and at length ventured on the open violation of
British territory. They attacked a party of Sepoys within the frontier,
and seized and carried off British subjects, while at all points their
troops, moving in large bodies, assumed the most menacing positions.
In the south, encroachments were made upon the British frontier of
Chittagong. The island of Shahpuri, at the mouth of the Naf river, had
been occupied by a small guard of British troops. These were attacked
on the 23rd September 1823 by the Burmese, and driven from their
post with the loss of several lives ; and to the repeated demands of
the British for redress, no answer was returned. Other outrages en-
sued ; and at length, in February 1824, war was declared by the British
Government.

Hostilities having commenced, the British rulers in India resolved to
carry the war into the enemy's country ; an armament, under Com-
modore Grant and Sir Archibald Campbell, entered the Irawadi river,
and anchored off Rangoon on the 10th May 1824. After a feeble
resistance this great seaport surrendered, and the troops were landed.
The place was entirely deserted by its inhabitants, the provisions were
carried off or destroyed, and the invading force took possession of a
complete solitude. On the 28th May, Sir A. Campbell ordered an



224 BURMA, INDEPENDENT.

attack on some of the nearest posts, which were all carried after a feeble
defence. Another attack was made on the ioth June, on the stockades
at the village of Kemmendine. Some of these were battered by
artillery ; and the shot and shell struck such terror into the Burmese
that they fled in the utmost precipitation. It soon, however, became
apparent that the expedition had been undertaken with very imperfect
knowledge of the country, and without adequate provision. The
devastation of the country, which was part of the defensive system of
the Burmese, was carried out with unrelenting rigour, and the invaders
were soon reduced to great difficulties. The health of the men
declined, and their ranks were fearfully thinned. The monarch of Ava
sent large reinforcements to his dispirited and beaten army ; and early
in July, an attack was commenced on the British line, but proved
unsuccessful. On the 8th, the British assaulted. The enemy were
beaten at all points ; and their strongest stockaded works, battered to
pieces by a powerful artillery, were in general abandoned. With the
exception of an attack by the Prince of Tharrawadi in the end of August,
the enemy allowed the British to remain unmolested during the months
of July and August.

This interval was employed by Sir A. Campbell in subduing the
Burmese Provinces of Tavoy and Mergui, and the whole coast of
Tenassenm. This was an important conquest, as the country was
salubrious and afforded convalescent stations for the sick who were
now so numerous in the British army that there were scarcely 3000
soldiers fit for duty. An expedition was about this time sent against
the old Portuguese fort and factory of Syriam, at the mouth of the Pe«m
river, which was taken; and in October the Province of Martaban w & as
brought under the authority of the British.

The court of Ava, alarmed by the discomfiture of its armies, recalled
the veteran legions which were employed in Arakan, under their
renowned leader Maha Bandula, in vain attempts to penetrate the
British frontier. ■ Bandula hastened by forced marches to the defence
of his country ; and by the end of November an army of 60,000 men
had surrounded the British position at Rangoon and Kemmendine, for
he defence of which Sir Archibald Campbell had only 5000 efficient
troops. The enemy in great force made repeated attacks on Kem-

ZniTl" 10U ?K CCe c S ' ^ ° n thG 7th D ^ember, Bandula was
completely routed by Sir A. Campbell. The fugitives retired to a
strong position on the river, which they again entrenched; and here
hey were attacked by the British on the x 5 th, and driven in compl e
confusion from the field. "■■iprcic

Jt ^l*^ C j un P beU now resoIw d to advance on Prome, about too

U r F S e a r r UP R the - IraWadi river ' He m ° Ved ** h ' s fo-e on the
13th February l8 2 5 m two divisions, one proceeding by land, and the



BURMA, INDEPENDENT. 225

other under General Cotton, destined for the reduction of Donabyu,
being embarked on the flotilla. Taking the command of the land fa
he continued his advance till the nth March, when intelligence readied
him of the failure of the attack upon Donabyu. He instantly com-
menced a retrograde march; on the 27th he effected a junction with
General Cotton's force, and on the 2nd April carried the entrenchments
at Donabyu with little resistance, Bandula having been killed by the
explosion of a bomb. The English general entered Prome on the 25th,
and remained there during the rainy season. On the 17th September
'an armistice was concluded for one month. In the course of the
summer, General Morrison had conquered the Province of Arakan ;
in the north the Burmese were expelled from Assam ; and the British
had made some progress in Cachar, though their advance was finally
impeded by thick forests and jungle.

The armistice having expired on the 17th October, the army of Ava,
amounting to 60,000 men, advanced in three divisions against the
British position at Prome, which was defended by 3000 Europeans and
2 ooo Native troops. But the British still triumphed ; and after several
actions, in which the Burmese were the assailants and were partially
successful, Sir A. Campbell, on the 1st December, attacked the different
divisions of their army, and successfully drove them from all hen-
positions, and dispersed them in every direction. The Burmese retired
on Myede and afterwards on Mellon, along the course of the Irawadi,
where they occupied, with 10,000 or 12,000 men a series of strongly-
fortified heights and a formidable stockade. On the 26th they sent a
flag of truce to the British camp; and a negot.ation having com-
menced, peace was offered on the following conditions :-

1st, The cession of Arakan, with the Provinces of Mergm, Ta o> and
Yea- 2nd The renunciation by the Burmese sovereign of all claims
upon Assam and the contiguous petty States; yi. The Company to be
paid a crore of rupees as an indemnification for the expenses of the war,
\tk, Residents from each Court to be allowed, with an escort Nfifty
men- while it was also stipulated that British ships should no tonga
be obliged to unship their rudders and land their guns as formed
Burmese ports. This treaty was agreed to and signed, but the mtdica
tionoftheking was still wanting; and it was soon par en. ^ha, he
Burmese had no intention to s,gn it, but were prepay £ r«KWthe
contest On the 19th January, accordingly, Sir A. Campbell att.u ea
a°nd carried the enemy, position at Mellon. Anoth* off. I-
was here made by the Burmese, but it was j^^-e- , and
the fugitive army made at %^£*fXZa«*m on the
in defence of the capital. They were attac

VOL. III.



226 BURMA, INDEPENDENT.

Europeans had been thrown into prison when the war commenced was

sent to the British camp with the treaty ratified, the prisoners of war

released, and an instalment of 25 lakhs of rupees. The war was thus

brought to a successful termination, and the British army evacuated

the country. The treaty is known in history as the Treaty of Yandabu.

For some years peaceful relations continued undisturbed. While the

prince by whom the treaty was concluded continued in power, its main

stipulations were fairly carried out. That monarch, Phagyi-dau or Naung-

daugyi, however, was obliged in 1837 to yield the throne to a usurper who

appeared in the person of his brother, Kounboungmen or Tharrawadi.

The latter, at an early period, manifested not only that hatred of the

British connection which was almost universal at the Burmese Court, but

also the extremest contempt. For several years it had become apparent

that the period was approaching when war between the British and the

Burmese Governments would a second time become inevitable. The

British Resident, Major Burney, who had been appointed in 1830,

finding his presence at Ava agreeable neither to the king nor to himself'

removed in 1837 to Rangoon, and shortly afterwards retired from the

country. Ultimately it became necessary to forego even the pretence of

maintaining relations of friendship ; and the British functionary in 1840,

Captain Macleod, was withdrawn altogether from a country where his

continuance would have been but a mockery.

The state of sullen dislike which followed was after a while succeeded
by more active evidences of hostility. Acts of violence were committed
on British ships and British seamen. Remonstrance was consequently
made by the British Government, and its envoys were supported by
a small naval force. The officers on whom devolved the duty of
representing the wrongs of their fellow-countrymen and demanding
redress, proceeded to Rangoon, the governor of which place had been
a chief actor m the outrages complained of; but so far were they from
meeting with any signs of regret, that they were themselves treated with
indignity and contempt, and compelled to retire without accomplishing
anything beyond blockading the ports. A series of negotiations followed
nothing was demanded of the Burmese beyond a very moderate
compensation for the injuries inflicted on the masters of two British
vessels, an apology for the insults offered by the Governor of Rangoon
to the representatives of the British Government, and the re-establish-
ment of at least the appearance of friendly relations by the reception of
a British Agent by the Burmese Government But the obduracy of the
king-known as Pagan-meng, who had succeeded his father in 1846-

of re^f ^ r 1 / 1 ^ ° f at0nement for P»* wrongs, of any expression
ot regret for the display of gratuitous insolence, and of any indication of

l^Z T? n / nendshi P for the fu ^e. Another Burmese war
was the result, the first shot being fired in January 1852. As in the



BURMA, INDEPENDENT. 2:7

former, though success was varying, the British finally triumphed, and
the chief towns in the lower part of the Burmese kingdom fell to them
in succession. The city of Pegu, the capital of that portion which,
after having been conquered, had again passed into the hands of the
enemy, was recaptured and retained; and the whole Province -m Pi
was, by proclamation of the Governor - General, Lord Dalhousie.
declared to be annexed to the British Dominions on the 20th 1 lecember
1852 No treaty was obtained or insisted upon, the British Govern-
ment being content with the tacit acquiescence of the King of Burma
without such documents ; but the resolution was declared, that any active
demonstration of hostility by him would be followed by retribution.

About the same time a domestic revolution broke out which resulted
in Pagan-meng's dethronement. His tyrannical and barbarous conduct
had made him obnoxious at home as well as abroad, and indeed many
of his actions recall the worst passages of the history of the later Roman
emperors. His brother, the Prince of Mengdun, who had become
apprehensive for his own safety, made him prisoner in February 1853,
and was himself crowned King of Burma towards the end of the year.
The late monarch, known as Mengdun-meng, showed himself sufficiently
arrogant in his dealings with European powers; but he was wise enough
to desire to live on peaceful terms with the Indian Government
The loss of Pegu was long a matter of bitter regret and he absolutely
refused to acknowledge it by a formal treaty In the beginning of 185,
he sent a mission of compliment to Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-
General; and in the summer of the same year, Major Arthur Phayr*
de facto governor of the new Province of Pegu, was appointed envoy to
the Burmese court. He was accompanied by Captain (now Co one >
Henry Yule as secretary, and Mr. Oldham as geologist, and h
mission added largely to our knowledge of the state of the country; but
in its main object, of obtaining a treaty, it »«""«■*** ~£
until X862 that the king at length yielded so far as to concludes t
at least of commerce. A British Resident was until ^ ^;
maintained at the capital. Much interest has been takenof K*eut

formally authorized. In the following year a .0- - n « M • *
consisting of Captain Williams as **£*£*>™ Burn as repre-
naturalist, and Captain Bowers and Messrs. blew art
sentativesof the commercial interests of Rangoon, was decked un
the leadership of Major Sladen, Political Agent at Mandalay.



228 BURMA, INDEPENDENT.

royal steamer Yendn-Sakyd was placed by the King at the service of
the expedition, and letters of recommendation were furnished to the
Burmese officials, but in other respects scant courtesy was shown to
the party. Escorted by fifty armed police, the explorers advanced in
safety about 135 miles north-east of Bhamo to Momein or Teng-yue-
Chow, a principal town of the Muhammadan insurgents, known to the
Burmese as Panthays, then in possession of Western Yunan ; but beyond
this it was not allowed by the Muhammadan authorities to proceed
on account of the disturbed condition of the country. In i860 Captain
Strover was appointed first British Resident at Bhamo; and about the
same time, the Irawadi Flotilla Company started a monthly steamer
service to that town. The King's interest in the commercial
development of his country was shown by his erecting and garrisoning
a series of guard-houses through the dangerous parts of the Kakhven
Hills. J

In 1874, another expedition was despatched, consisting of Colonel
Horace Browne, Mr. Ney Elias, and Dr. Anderson, with instructions to
proceed, if possible, right across the country to Shanghai in China To
facilitate the success of the undertaking, Mr. Margary, a gentleman
familiar wuh the Chinese language and customs, was commissioned to
start from Shanghai and meet the party at Momein or the neighbour-
hood. The King's reception of the new mission, which arrived on
December 23, 1874, at Mandalay, was favourable in the extreme On
the i5th January 1875, the explorers reached Bhamo; and two davs
afterwards Mr. Margary arrived from Hankow. After the mission had
proceeded to the banks of the Nampaung, a river which joins the
Tapeng some distance east of Ponline, they heard rumours of hostile
preparations in front; and Mr. Margary volunteered to proceed to

STaf l aSCertam the , trUth ° f tHe reP ° rtS - °" reCei ™S f ™ ^m
word that the way was clear, his companions advanced; but on the

23rd of February their camp was attacked by the Chinese, and they

were ultimately compelled to retreat, with the sad knowledge that their

gallant pioneer had fallen at Manwaing by the hands of cowardly

assassms. The Burmese officials stood nobly by the mission though

Z 3 25? them that their ™* ~ - «* «K^S

o<MLf£^™«z2™7s*::r on in i8 ir the prince

, uicu uu ii,c uctooer 1878, and was succeeded, without anv
opposition, by one of his sons, called the Theebaw or Thiobo Pr „ ce
*ho massacred almost all the direct descendants of his predecessor m

L2T: m: oT i879 - R r mces — -«S:

Ke ident a Mandalay against this barbarity, but without much effect

£ tf Th S el;r k eCUnty Whi< \ it -P'^ -^-edtlUheclS
year. The late king was on the whole, with all his faults, the best



BUTAN—BUTANA. 129

example of a Burmese sovereign with whom we have ever had to do.
He was personally an orthodox and a devoted Buddhist, and largely
under the influence of ecclesiastical advisers. Indeed, in 1.S74 he was
re-crowned at Mandalay, in compliance with the requirements of a
prophecy; and he made spasmodic attempts to enforce .sumptuary law,
in accordance with his creed. In his anxiety to raise a revenue, his
monopolies and other interferences with trade were injurious to the
prosperity of the country.

Although a suspicion in regard to British policy always lingered in
the late king's mind, and led him into great expense to little purpose
in endeavouring to cultivate a connection with other foreign powers, he
generally acted in a friendly manner to the English who resided at his
capital; and his reign was never stained with the abominable cruelties
that were habitual under his predecessors. He seemed to have a really
humane character; and while some of his officials were hostile to
European interests, the great mass of the people appear genuinely
favourable. As much cannot be said of the present King. I he
British Resident at Mandalay at the time of Theebaw's accession
and of his palace massacres, was Mr. R. B. Shaw, CLE. After his
death at Mandalay, which occurred in June 1879, Colonel Browne,
Commissioner of Pegu, was temporarily deputed to Mandalay as
Resident. He was succeeded by Mr. St. Barbe, who was withdrawn
with the rest of the Residency officers in October 1879, and
the British Government has since been unrepresented at the Court
of Ava. At the end of October 1879, an Embassy from the King
of Ava arrived at Thayet-myo, where it remained till J™*«£«
but as it had no authority to make concessions on points which woe
regarded as important by the British Government no sat.sfactor
results were attained. In spite of various disquieting rumours ^0
breach of peaceful relations between the British and Burn, e ^Go .m-
ments has yet occurred; and although no British *****" **»"«
at Mandalay, direct communication has been maintained* th t he \ .1
Court. In June 1880, the Nyoung Oke prince one of the refugee
princes who quitted Mandalay shortly after the death o the late
king, made an attempt at insurrection, but his opera .0. s were -
and merely caused some temporary disturbance on the frontier Uk
prince made his escape into British territory, where he was M
and removed to Calcutta. An embassy from the King* ta ma
arrived at Simla in 1882 with a view, nominally, to a commercud treaty.
It was productive of little or no results.

Sr-TofnTcohdnd M Rohtak District, Punjab, situated
on^Sch of the Western Jumna Canal, to which it ,-,.-
Population (1881) 7656, namely, Hindus, 6971 5 Sikhs, a, Jams, .,0,



23° BUTCHIREDDIPALEM— CACHAR.

and Muhammadans, 533; number of houses, 1041. A flourishing
agricultural village.

Butchireddipalem.— Village in Nellore District, Madras Presidency.
— See Bachireddipalem.

Buxar.— Sub-division and town in Shahabad District, Bengal.— See
Baxar.

Bwot-le.— River in Pegu, British Burma.— See Pa-de.
Byadgi.— Town in Dharwar District, Bombay Presidency. — ^
Baiadgi.



Cachar (Kdchdr).— A District in the Chief-Commissionership of



Online LibraryWilliam Wilson HunterThe imperial gazetteer of India (Volume 3) → online text (page 27 of 56)