B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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two field batteries of Royal xYrtillery ; a regiment of European Cavalry ;
ci regiment of European Infantry ; headquarters of Royal Engineers,


and 4 companit'S of Sappers and Miners ; a regiment of Native Cavalry ;
and 3 regiments of Native Infantry. At the TVench Rocks was
stationed a regiment of Native Infantry, with a detachment at Mysore.
The total number of fighting officers and men in March iSSi (not
counting the Native Cavalry, which came on the strength later in the
year), was 4,377 of all arms, 1,548 belonging to the European Force,
and 2,829 to the Native Force. The total cost during 1 880-1,
including contingencies, was Rs. 1,871,781.

Commencing with Colonel Arthur Wellesley, the illustrious Duke of
Wellington, the Mysore Division has been commanded by a dis-
tinguished line of Generals. The most disastrous event in its annals
was the short-lived mutiny of British Ofificers in 1809. This arose out
of certain obnoxious orders of the INIadras Government, which were
considered to entrench upon the privileges of the army, in consequence
of which the military in many stations of Southern India refused to
obey the Government. Prominent among the malcontents was the
officer commanding at Seringapatam, who took military possession of
the fortress on the 29th July, and stopped parties escorting treasure.
The force at Chitaldroog seized the treasure there and marched for
Seringapatam, but was dispersed^ by troops from Bangalore. But the
mutiny had lasted less than a month, when the officers returned to
their allegiance on the 22nd August. In 1857 it was the British
regiment withdrawn from I'angalore — the ist Madras Fusiliers — which,
under the since well-known designation of Neill's Blue Caps," saved
Allahabad, avenged Cawnpore, and took a [irominent part in the relief
of Lucknow, the gallant Neill falling in the assault. In 1879 a large
proportion of the Force was engaged on service in Afghanistan, and
in 1 88 1 the i4lh Hussars went on service to the Transvaal in South

Mysore Local Force. — The Mysore Contingent consisted of
Cavalry and Infantry, or Savar and Barr as they were termed. They
were commanded by Native Officers, and the whole force was under
the control of the Military A.ssistant to the Chief Commissioner. The
disposal made of the Sultan's army on the capture of Seringapatam in
1799, and the military arrangements of the new Government, have
already been described (p. 601). During the Mahratta War, a body
of the Mysore Silahdar Horse operated in 1802 and 1803 with General
^\'ellesley's army. The levies had been increased for this purpose, and
on the return of the troops, the sudden disbandment of the extra levies

' (3n tlic loth of August, near Wehlic's Monument, since then called ihc rana
kainbha, or war pillar.

^ From the colour of the pa^ri worn by the men round ihcir helmets.


being no less impracticable than impolitic, it was gradually effected.
Including the cost of this, the whole expenditure incurred by the
Mysore State in connection with the Mahratta A\'ar amounted to a
little less than 5 lakhs of star pagodas.

In consideration of this auxiliary, a Supplementary Treaty was
entered into in January 1807, whereby all pecuniary claims under the
third article of the treaty of 1799 were remitted, with retrospective
effect ; the Raja being required in future to maintain a body of 4,000
effective Horse (numbering about 500 Bargeer and the rest Silahdars),
ready to serve with the British Army whenever required, the British
Government bearing the charge of batta for service in the field out of
the country. It was also agreed that the force should be increased
when required by the British Government, the latter paying a fixed
sum, with batta, for each extra horseman.

Silahdars. — The Savar or Silahdar Horse formed the body of
irregular cavalry kept up under the above treaty. They several times
served beyond the frontiers of Mysore as auxiliaries in the campaigns
of the British Army in Southern India, as also in assisting to maintain

In 1802, 800 Silahdars accompanied Colonel Stevenson in the expedition
to Manantoddy. In 1802-3, 2,000 Silahdars accompanied General Wellesley
through the Deccan towards Poona. In 1809-10, 2,000 Silahdars marched
with Colonel Barry Close against Bavoo. In 181 5, 500 Silahdars accom-
panied the expedition to Karnul. In 181 5, the number of regiments
inaintained was eleven, and for a period of nearly four years a force of
4,500 Silahdars were employed under General Hyslop, &c., against the
Peshwa. In 1824-5, 2,000 Silahdars accompanied the force against Kittore,
and in 1826, 1,500 marched into the Dharwar country.

Subsequent to the assumption of the country, they were also frequently
employed. In the Canara insurrection of 1838 they were required to cross
the frontier and afford assistance. In 1845-6, 1,000 horse were sent to
Vizagapatam ; and subsequently on several occasions considerable detach-
ments were employed in the Bellary and other adjoining Districts. In 1S57
the Government of India directed that a body of 2,000 should at once
proceed to Hindustan. This order was subsequently countermanded, but a
similar number were employed in the districts to the northward of Mysore
as far as Sholapur, and took part in the minor affairs which arose during
1S57-S in those parts of India. Medals for service in the Mutiny were
obtained by 37S men of the Silahdars.

As there were no circumstances calling for the continued mainte-
nance of the full complement, the number of Silahdars from time to
time varied from 2,000 to 4,000, accordingly as required for field
service or not. The number and efficiency of the Force, however,


gradually declined, owing to low pay, bad horses and arms, and the
corrupt practices of the Bakshis (as their commanders were called).
No proficiency in horsemanship or in the use of arms was insisted
upon, while the office of Silahdar was almost regarded as hereditary.
This state of things drew attention, and a good deal was done to
improve it, such as the adoption of a uniform, the arming of the men
with a serviceable lance, providing lines for each regiment, which did
not previously exist, the establishment of a Chanda Remount Fund,
which freed the service from its former precarious character, the raising
of the pay of each man from 20 to 26 Rs. per montli (one regiment of
the service then maintained being reduced to provide funds for this
most necessary measure), and lastly, the introduction of a new and
better system of accounts and payment. Nevertheless much remained
tp be accomplished to render the Silahdars even passably efficient as
an arm of the local militia.

In 1873, detailed arrangements were ordered for rendering the
Silahdars a compact body of efficient horsemen. In the first place it
was considered that the numerical strength of the Force was much
more than was called for by the requirements of the Province, and
that 1,000 well-disciplined and efficient men would serve all purposes
during the times of peace. Orders were accordingly issued for the
gradual reduction of the Force, to consist in future of three regiments,
the strength of each regiment

being as noted in the margin. ' l^egimcndar. i Kolllc Drummer.

_, , . rr 1 1 o Risalilars.

1 he reduction was effected by ^ jamadars.

offering inducements to retire, in i Sarzaffardar.

the shape of pensions. At the 36 Dafedars.

same time a carefully graduated ' >;i^hanl.ardar.

. I Trumpet Major,

.scale of invalid pensions was (3 Trumpeters.

made applicable to the Silahdars

for the future, thereby giving greater stability to the service. The

Force was properly drilled, under the supervision of a specially appointed

European Adjutant, aided by drill instructors from the Madras 1-iglU

Cavalry. They were supplied with saddles of English jiattern, and

equipped with an improved style of sabre. Boat cloaks were supplied

to both cavalry and infantry. In 1 880-1 the strength of the Force was

1,224, including 42 commissioned and 116 non-commissioned officers.

About ?ths of the Silahdars were Muhammadans, and the remainder

chieliy Mahrattas, with ,'^th Brahmans and Rajputs. The three

regiments were stationed respectively at Jiangalore, Mysore, ami

Shimoga, with detachments in certain talutis.

The Chanda Fund system was first introduced in 1S69. Its princi[)al

330 Savars.

I Farrier Major.

6 Farriers.

I Foot Mahaldar.

I SarjK'shkar.

6 I'eshkars.

4 Jhandavals.

762 // DMimSTRA TION

features were, that each Silahdar was to pay \\ R. monthly towards
the Fund, in consideration of receiving from it Rs. 200 towards the
purchase of a remount, on the death or rejection of his horse. These
were afterwards altered in favour of the system in force in the Bengal
Cavalry, with Stable and Stallion funds in addition. Each Silahdar
then paid Rs. 2 a month towards the Fund, from which fresh horses
were maintained, and on the death or rejection of his horse, a Silahdar
contributed but a month's pay, without reference to the value of the
horse which he received. Precautions were, of course, adopted to
prevent an undue advantage being taken of this benefit, and the
working of the system was satisfactory, and popular among the
Silahdars. The horses for the force were procured from Candahar and
Persian dealers, or were the produce of the mares in the force by
Government stallions, of which there were 19.

Barr. — The Barr, or Infantry, was also a relic of Tipu's army. The
strength of the force was 2,270 at the beginning of 1800; it was raised
., ... ,. . to 8, 000 during the war of

I Havihlar Major. °

70 Havildars. 1803-4, when the force was dis-

20 Drummers and ciplined after the English pattern,
Infers. ^j^^j y,^^ 4,000 in 1817. On the

5 nva es. transfer of the country to British

rule, it was reduced to four regiments of 500 each. The strength of
each regiment, omitting servants, was as given in the margin. In 1879
the 4th regiment was disbanded, as a measure of economy. The total
strength in iSSo-i was 1,831, which included 67 commissioned and
213 non-commissioned otificers. The duties of the Barr were confined
to guarding the District and taluq treasuries, jails, &:c. All four
regiments, till 1870, were armed with old flint muskets. These were
gradually exchanged for percussion muskets. In 1879, owing to the
absence of most of the British force in Afghanistan, the Barr furnished
guards for the Remount Depot at Hosur.

Bangalore Rifle Volunteers. — A Volunteer Force was raised at
Bangalore in 186S, and was popular with the young men of the large
Anglo-Indian community of this station. Three companies were here
formed, in 1873 an additional company was raised in Mysore, and ia
1875 a cadet company in Bangalore. The strength of the force in.
1880-1 was 415, including 59 cadets. There were 55 extra eflScients
and 122 efficients. The corps was up to this time maintained at the
cost of the INIysore revenues, but it was determined, on the Rendition,
to keep it up in future as a charge on Imperial Funds.

I Commandant

I Risaldar.

I Adjutant.
10 Sulmdars.
10 Jamadarp.


Since the Rendition

After the Rendition, in March 1881, the issue of Annual Adminis-
tration Reports was discontinued. But two Quinquennial Reports
have been published, bringing down the information to 1891. And
the Dewan's Annual Addresses, delivered before the Representative
.Assembly, though principally concerned with the revenues, contain brief
references to the more salient changes and proceedings of the year.

The form of Administration continued to be virtually the same as
previously under British rule, but with a preponderance of Native
officers. At the head of the executive administration was the Dewan,
under whom, as President, was the Council, composed of three
members, whose duties have already been described (p. 442). In 1889
it was decided that two members should sit regularly to hear and
dispose of all revenue matters coming before Government in appeal or
revision, which by the new Land Revenue Code were excluded from
the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts. In 1895, under the Regency, a
list was issued of additional subjects referred to the Council, giving it a
more effective share in executive control. Certain departments were
placed under each member ; the Council was ordered to meet
regularly once a week, and specific rules of business were laid down.
The constitution and functions of the Representative Assembly have
been sufficiently explained on pp. 442-3.^

In pursuance of measures of retrenchment, the 8 Districts, containing
69 taluqs, which existed at the time of the Rendition, were in 1882
reduced to 6 Districts with 60 taluqs. At the same time, as a
compensation, 3 SubT)ivisions under Assistant Commissioners, and 17
sub-taluqs under Deputy Amildars, were formed. But these changes
proved to be of great inconvenience. In 1886, therefore, the 8
Districts, with somewhat altered limits, were restored, with 66 taluqs ;
and in consequence of this step only i Sub-Division (French Rocks)
and 10 sub-taluqs remained. In 1891 three more Sub-Divisions (Sagar,
Closepet, and Chik Ballapur) were formed.

The various Departments were at first directly controlled by the
Dewan, but as the finances improved, and the work of the Departments
expanded, several Heads of Departments were appointed, such as for
Forests and Police in 1885, for Excise in 1889, for Muzrai in iS9i,

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 90 of 98)