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C. F. DE LA FOSSE, M.A., Oxon. 






First Edition 1902. - 
Reprinted March and July ly03 ; Feb., July, and Nov. 1904, 1905. 
Revised Edition, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1917 1918. 

* *> ^ '^ *, m 
^ * * * 



The continued demand for this small history has en- 
couraged the writer to undertake a complete revision of 
the work. In the present edition the major portion of 
the Hindu Period has been rewritten and the other periods 
carefully revised and brought up to date. But the lines 
upon which the book was originally designed have been 
scrupulously adhered to. It deals with events only which, 
are deemed to merit consideration in a general survey of 
the history of the country, and it remains, as far as it is 
possible to make it, a connected and consecutive account 
from the earliest times down to the present day. 


Oct 1909. 






I. The Vedic Age . . . . . , o 1 

a e c I t/ 

, , - 20 


11. Tks Age of the Brahmanas 

III. The Sutra I^eriod 

lY. The Buddhist Age 

V. Southern India . 


I. Afghan Rule , . 85 

II. Moghul Supremacy ....,<,, 121 

III. Decline of the Moghul Empire . , e , 170 


I. Foundation of British Rule in India . , c 182 

II. The Governor-Generals of British India . . 213 

III. India under the Crown 300 

Index .......... 323 

Map India IN 1913 At end of Book. 


The history of a country is largely influenced by its 
climate and physical features. India is no exception to this 
rule, and perhaps it would not be going too far to assert 
that the history of no country has been more profoundly 
affected thereby. Because of its fertility and its wealth in 
precious minerals and spices, it has from time immemorial 
tempted invasion ; while its very position, lying as it does 
to the south of the comparatively barren Central- Asian 
steppes, the breeding ground of hardy races of men, has 
laid it open to constant attack from the north. Although 
from east to west along its entire northern boundary there 
stretch the Himalayas, the most stupendous mountain range 
in the world, wave after wave of invasion has broken 
through the barrier and flooded the plains below. Long 
before the dawn of history streams of immigrants poured 
down the mountain passes, and from the earliest times of 
which anything is known the tale of invasion has been 
almost continuous. 

Towards the north-east the Himalayas gradually decline 
into hills that present no insurmountable obstacle to invaders, 
and from this side there must have been in early times a 
constant flow of immigration. The Turanians, as the 
early immigrants from the east are called, were a people 
akin to the Chinese. In course of time they penetrated far 
into the country ; for the peoples now dwelling in Eastern 
Bengal and Assam, and even for some distance down the 
coast of the Bay of Bengal, betray in their features distinct 
traces of Turanian origin. Bat beyond the fact that at 
some time Turanian people settled in India in large num- 
bers nothing whatever is known of their history. 


Bat while through the north-east barrier there was for 
many centuries in the long distant past a steadily flowing 
stream of immigration, history has recorded on the north- 
west frontier, particularly through the passes to the west 
of the Indus river, frequent and wide-spreading inundations. 
India has, indeed, been so continuously invaded from this 
side that at the present day among the three hundred 
millions that inhabit the peninsula there are literally 
hundreds of divisions of its people. It may with truth be 
said that, while innumerable races are represented, the 
intermingling has been so great that it has produced no 
predominant nationality throughout the whole. 

The tangle of races in the northern half is, as we might 
reasonably expect, far greater than in the southern, since it 
is from the north that invaders have almost always come. 
But tl;iere is another reason why the south has been less 
frequently overrun than the north. Within the peninsula 
itself there is a second mountain barrier, far lower than the 
first it is true, but still presenting a formidable obstacle to 
invaders. Though the Yindhya Range contains no lofty 
peaks it consists of a wide and pathless waste of rocks and 
jungle. So forbidding did its forests once appear that for 
long ages they served to check the progress of invasions, 
turning their waves eastward till, their force being spent, 
they subsided in the Gangetic plain. Therefore, while 
Hindustan, the country to the north of the Yindhyas has 
been from age to age the battle-ground of nations, the. 
Deccan, the country to the south, has enjoyed long spells of 
isolation. The sea too, which in modern times has rendered 
the Deccan so accessible to maritime nations, was a complete 
protection from attack on its other two sides by bands of 
primitive invaders. In consequence the peoples of the south, 
known collectively as Dravidians, from Dravida the old 
name of the Tamil country, retain' generally to this day 
certain well-marked characteristics. They are, as a rule, 
shorter and darker than those of the north, and the langup.ges 
which they speak are allied to one another and quite distinct 
from those spoken in Hindustan. Yery little is known of 
their early civilization, but it is certain that many of them 
had emerged from a state of barbarism long before they 
made their appearance in history. 


Philologists distinguish between the Dravidians and still 
older races of men living in various parts of the Deccan, 
such as the Santals, the Gadavas and the Juangs. These 
primeval peoples speak tongues belonging to a great family 
of languages, known as Munda, a form of speech which, it is 
believed, was once used not only all over India proper, but 
over Further- India, the Malay Archipelago and Australia 
as well. They are black and stunted and some of them are 
among the lowest types of humanity. But it would not be 
safe to assume that the most degraded have always been as 
savage and debased as they are now. It is probable that 
some are remnants of peoples who had to retreat to the 
iuno-le to save themselves from extermination at the hands 


of stronger races, and it should not be forgotten that they 
have been for thousands of years outcasts and despised, 
maintaining a constant struggle for a bare subsistence. The 
ceaseless hardships of their existence may therefore be 
largely responsible for bringing them to their present pitch 
of degradation. But the distinction between Munda and 
Dravidian is, in the case of several of these early peoples, 
less marked than in others, and some appear to be blended 
of both races. All that we can at anyrate confidently 
assert is that throughout India there are two distinct types, 
one tall and fair and the other short and dark, and that the 
latter is the prevailing type in the Deccan. We may there- 
fore safely infer that the short dark peoples represent the 
earlier inhabitants and that the fair skinned races, of whom 
the vast majority are to be found in Hindustan, are descen- 
dants of later invaders. 

'' ,0 " B J i> '1 



Absence of early historical records. There is 
no history of India, in the strict sense of the term, prior 
to the Muhammedan conquest. Its earliest inhabitants, 
knowii by the common name of non- Aryans to distinguish 
them from later immigrants called Aryans, were too little 
civilized in any part of the country to be able to record 
their history, and the Hindus, the peoples sprung from the 
union of the Aryan with non-Aryan races, seem never to 
have cared at all for posthumous fame. But from the 
sacred literature of the Hindus, portions of which relate to 
a time not later than 2000 years before the birth of 
Christ, can be pieced together a more connected story of 
human progress than has yet been compiled from the 
records of any other ancient nation. From it can be con- 
structed a wonderfully complete account of the gradual 
progress of their civilization and the development of their 
religion ; and from it something at the same time may 
be learnt of the evolution of society in early times. No 
stor}'- is more interesting, or from a historical point of 
view more important, than that which can be gathered 
from their ancient records. 

Aryan migration. The materials for the earliest 
accounts are supplied by the hymns of the Eig Yeda. 
This is the oldest work of the Hindus, and some of the 
hymns to the gods which it contains date back to a time 
not less than four thousand years ago. From it we learn 

H.I. U.S. A < 

f. c* 


that the Aryan ancestor^ of the Hindus came as a con- 
quering race from the north down into India ; and by- 
comparing the language of the hymns with other languages, 
both ancient and modern, it has been proved beyond a 
doubt, that the men who composed those hymns belonged 
to a branch of a great race which conquered, and then 
combined with, the primitive peoples of Europe and 
Western Asia, forming in the course of time many distinct 
nationalities. The Aryan race may broadly speaking be 
divided into two branches, the European, from which 
sprang the Celts, Teutons, Slavs, Latins, and Greeks, and 
the Asiatic, represented by the Iranians or Persians, and 
the Indo-Aryans or Hindus. The Asiatic branch seems to 
have remained united longer than the European branch, so 
that the Indo- Aryan was the last offshoot to seek a new home. 
Aryan civilization. The immigration of the Aryans 
into India must have commenced about fifteen hundred 
years before the birth of Christ. Yet even in that 
early time the Aryans had made some consideral)le 
advance in civilization. They had already settled to 
peaceful pursuits, and while some families cultivated 
the land and practised agriculture, others wandered 
about with their flocks and herds to difl'erent pasture 
lands, leading what is called a nomad life. Not only 
had they domesticated cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs, 
but horses had also been subjugated to their use. But of 
all the animals which they kept, the cow was the 
one to which they attached most importance and of which 
every house-holder desired to possess a herd. Though the 
Aryan immigrants did not, like their Hindu descendants, 
regard it with peculiar reverence as a sacred animal, the 
cow played so important a part in their daily lives that it 
may be said to have been, even then, the characteristic 
animal of the race. But the Aryans were not a merely 
pastoral people, for they had made some progress in in- 
dustry, could weave and spin, build houses, and make boats 
and chariots. Gold and silver were not unknown to them, 
and in their wars they made use of swords and spears as 
well as bows and arrows. Their system of Government was 
patriarchal, that is, the family and not the tribe was the 
unit of society ; though they had learnt to unite for 


purposes of mutual protection under chiefs and leaders 
distinguished for prowess in battle. The father as the 
head of the family was its ruler and its priest combined. 
Their religion consisted in the worship of what was awe- 
inspiring, or what struck them as specially beautiful or 
beneficial in nature. They prayed to the sun and the 
clouds, fire and thunder, the dawn and the bright sky ; not 
looking upon them as objects of terror in which lurked 
malignant powers, but as instinct with bright and friendly 
spirits, worthy to receive their hymns of praise and ready 
to listen to their prayers for help and protection. 

The Rig Veda. Such were the Aryans during the 
time when they were working their way southward into 
India. At the time of which we speak the Rig Veda, which 
is our only source of information concerning them, had not 
yet been compiled, though certain of its earlier hymns were 
already in existence. The others from time to time were 
being composed during a period which lasted, roughly 
speaking, from 2000 B.C. to 1400 B.C. After the close 
of this period, known as the Vedic Period, the hymns 
were collected together, arranged, and compiled ; but as 
writing was as yet unknown, the whole had to be com- 
mitted to memory. At first they were handed down in 
the fajnilies of their composers orally from father to 
son, but as time went on a special class of priests arose 
whose duty it was to learn and recite the sacred texts. 
It is difficult, indeed impossible, to attempt now to 
arrange the hymns in their chronological order ; but still 
we are able to get from them a good deal of historical 
information regarding the changing manners and customs 
of the Aryans, and their struggles with the aboriginal 
inhabitants of Northern India for the possession of the 

The Rig Veda is divided by its compilers into ten 
Mandalas or books, and, with the exception of the first and 
the last two, these are each ascribed to different BisJiis, or 
sacred composers. The last book must have been com- 
posed considerably later than the others, for it difi*ers from 
them in certain important particulars : the ideas are less 
primitive, it reflects a more advanced stage of society, and 
deals with a more complicated ritual. It is necessary to 


bear this in mind, otherwise it may give us wrong impres- 
sions of Vedic society and of the thoughts and feelings of 
the early Aryan conquerors of Upper India. 

Struggle with non- Aryans. We can gather a toler- 
ably clear idea of what was the state of North -Western 
India at the time of the Aryan invasion from the allusions 
in the hymns of the Eig Yeda to the native races with 
whom the Aryans came in contact. They found the country 
peopled by a dark-skinned race, in varying stages of 
civilization, who worshipped demons or evil spirits. The 
first bands of Aryans regarded them all with the liveliest 
abhorrence. Their colour, their shortness of stature, their 
flat noses, their gloomy and sometimes frightful supersti- 
tions, and their strange habits, excited the utmost repug- 
nance in the fair-skinned invaders. They looked upon 
them without distinction as unclean wretches whom it 
was a virtue to exterminate. 

At first when the invaders were few their advance must 
have been slow, and the resistance they met with stubborn. 
Even when they had firmly established themselves across 
the Indus, and had cleared tracts of country and settled 
down to the peaceful pursuits of husbandry, the aborigines 
hung about in the dense jungle on the outskirts of their 
colonies, and harassed the Aryan settlers. But the dark 
inhabitants of the land, however brave and cunning, could 
not effectually stay the march of the stronger and more 
hardy race, and they had to fall back or be exterminated. 
Gradually the Aryans extended their colonies over the 
Punjab, from the banks of the Indus to the Saraswati, a 
river that has now dried up, but which then flowed along 
the eastern boundary of the Punjab and through the deserts 
of Eajputana. 

As time wore on, and the fear of reprisals on the part of 
the aborigines whom they had dispossessed diminished, the 
Aryans began to look more tolerantly upon them. Not all 
the tribes with whom they came in contact were equally 
uncivilized, for in the Rig Yeda there are references to non- 
Aryan chiefs who possessed forts and castles. In point of 
civilization some of the peoples whom they conquered were 
probably even superior to the Aryans. For such as these 
the feeling of repugnance would not be quite so strong ; and, 


later, in the quarrels between Aryan tribes over coveted 
strips of territory, aboriginal chiefs are mentioned as lend- 
ing their powerful aid to one side or the other. 

Colonization. ^The Vedic period was a time of con- 
tinuous struggle. It was necessary that every man should 
be a warrior as well as a husbandman. Not only did the 
Aryans have to guard their villages, their cultivated 
fields and their cattle from the attacks of bands of maraud- 
ing aborigines, but, as they grew more numerous, they 
fought among themselves, and tribe disputed with tribe 
for the possession of coveted strips of country. Kingdoms 
at length sprang into existence, and chiefs ruled over 
territories which they had conquered from their neighbours 
and added to their own tribal settlements. 

Centuries must have passed while the Aryans were 
bringing the whole of the Punjab under their power and 
influence. Fresh streams of immigrants from time to time 
must have flowed from Afghanistan down the passes into 
India, merging with the early settlers or passing on to new 
tracts of country. Bands worked their way down the Indus, 
colonizing Sindh and Guzerat, and turning north-eastward 
found their way into Malwa. Others again settled in 
Kashmir, of whom some thence marched along the foot of 
the Himalayas into the United Provinces and beyond into 
Behar. Before the end of the period dealt with by the 
hymns of the Rig Veda the banks of the Jumna and the 
Ganges had been reached by exploring bands of Aryans. 
Here they found a still more fertile country awaiting 
conquest, and the tide of civilization ^ therefore swept 

Occupations. Before their coming into India we have 
seen that some of the Aryan families had already begun to 
practise agriculture. The fertility of the Indian soil must 
have given a new stimulus to cultivation ; and in the Eig 
Veda we find that agriculture became the main occupation 
of the people, though they still kept large herds of cattle 
and drove them out to pasture. Wheat and barley were 
the chief articles of their diet, but they did not disdain the 
use of animal food, and there are frequent allusions in the 
hymns to the killing of cattle and to the cooking of their 
fiesh for human consumption. They even made use of an 


intoxicant, indulging freely in a fermented liquor made 
from the juice of a plant called Soma. In one of the 
hymns the process of preparing the juice is described as 
a sacred rite : more than this, Soma was even deified, and 
one whole book of the Rig Veda is dedicated to it. Their 
constant wars with the aborigines and with each other 
naturally turned their attention to the improvement of 
weapons and the construction of shields and protective 
armour. They were thus led to acquiring considerable 
skill in metal work ; and w^e hear of their putting it to 
other than warlike uses, for mention is made of metal 
ornaments, of golden crowns, necklaces, bracelets, and 
anklets. . 

Absence of caste, and freedom of women. / 
While the Aryans were colonizing the Punjab, there are 
two points concerning their social life of which it is 
specially important to take note : the one is the absence 
of caste distinctions, and the other is the social condition 
of women. There is no mention of such a system as caste 
in the Rig Veda, except in the tenth book, which, as has 
already been pointed out, was composed in a later age. 
Nor is there even a trace of the existence of hereditary 
divisions of the community corresponding in any way to it. 
There were indeed men and families famous for their skill 
in the composition of hymns, but the Rishis, as they w^ere 
called, had no special privileges. Every man from the 
highest to the lowest was a warrior and a husbandman. 
There is therefore both negative and positive evidence that 
caste restrictions did not then exist. The very word 
^ varna,' which came to denote caste, meant only colour at 
first, and was employed to distinguish the fair Aryan from 
the dark-skined aborigines. Regarding the position of 
women, what better evidence could there be of the freedom 
and respect they enjoyed, than that some of the sacred hymns 
of the Rig Veda were composed by them, and that they 
were considered worthy to take part with their husbands 
in the performance of the domestic sacrificial rites, to sing 
the holy hymns and tend the sacred fire kept burning on 
the hearth \ Women had not yet been reduced to a position 
of complete subjection to the male members of their family, 
cut off from all intercourse with the outside world and 


deprived of liberty ; for there is ample evidence in the 
hymns that the ' purdah ' system did not then exist. 

Religion. We have already seen that the Aryans at 
the time of their first coming into India worshipped the 
powers of nature. It will be necessary now to say a few 
words concerning the gradual progress of religious thought 
during the Vedic age. As time went on, there is no doubt 
that among the foremost thinkers of the race the belief 
was gradually gaining ground that all these phenomena of 
nature, which they worshipped separately, were after all 
but manifestations of the power of One Being, who had 
created all things and was sustaining all things. This 
lofty conception, however vaguely entertained, marks a 
great advance in the history of human progress. Those 
upon whom it had begun to dawn were on the threshold of 
great discoveries in the realms of thought, and accordingly 
we find that even in that early time the Aryans had begun 
to speculate profoundly concerning the mysteries of creation 
and of life and death. A change was coming over the race, 
and the more thoughtful among them, confined probably to 
a few families, eminent for their knowledge of religion and 
their proficiency in the performance of its rites, were form- 
ing themselves into a class apart from the community. In 
brief, a priestly aristocracy, reverenced for its purity and 
intellectual superiority, was gradually springing up in 
different localities. 

Compilation of three more Vedas. The Aryans 
were from the first a deeply religious people, setting great 
store by the due performance of rites and ceremonies, and 
as tl^eir civilization developed their religion also grew more 
complicated, and the ritual connected with it more exacting 
and intricate. This led in course of time to t^e compilation 
of three more Vedas, for special religious purposes ; the 
Sama Veda, containing a selection of hymns, the majority 
of which are to be found also in the Kig Yeda, intended 
to be chanted by priests on particular occasions ; the 
Yajur Yeda, containing formulas to accompany sacrificial 
ceremonials ; and the Atharva Yeda, containing magic 
incantations and prayers for success in the various affairs 
of life and charms to ward off evil. The last named deals 
with a later period of development, and it is probable 


that the religion of the aborigines had by then gained a 
partial recognition among certain Aryan tribes ; for it is 
impossible not to suspect that many local superstitions 
found their way into this latest of the Yedas. It is 
historically important as exhibiting a profound change 
coming over the Indo- Aryan character. The bright and 
cheerful view of life reflected in the Rig Veda has in it 
begun to give place to a less hopeful outlook and a quiet 
resignation to destiny. 



The Brahmanas. But it is not from these new Yedas 
any more than from the Rig Veda that we can derive the 
histoiy of Aryan colonization beyond the Punjab. For this 
we must turn to another class of composition which sprang 
up in connection with the Yedas. In course of time the 
language of the hymns grew antiquated, and difficulties 
arose in regard to their meaning or the purposes for which 
they had been composed. Commentaries in prose were there- 
fore added to explain them, to show what was the origin of 
a hymn and the occasion of its use, besides setting forth 
the ritual connected with it. These prose works are called 
the Brahmanas and came in time to be looked upon as no 
less sacred than the hymns themselves. The Brahmanas 
were composed during the period with which we shall now 
deal. Mixed up with dry descriptions of rites and cere- 
monies, which have long since lost their significance, are 
passages which enable us to piece together a fairly con- 
nected account of the period of expansion which followed 
the subjugation of the Punjab. 

The kingdoms of the Doab. From the Brahmanas 
we learn that in course of time two kingdoms arose in the 
country between the Ganges and the Jumna. One in the 
neighbourhood of the modern Delhi, of which Indraprastha 
was the capital, was founded by a tribe called the Kurus, 


and another further eastward, with its chief cities at Kanauj 
and Kampilla, on the northern bank of the Ganges, was 
called the kingdom of the Panchalas. These two colonies, 
planted in a more fertile soil, gradually rose in power and 
glory till they surpassed the more ancient kingdoms in the 

Change of sentiment towards non-Aryans. As 
the Aryans migrated eastward, they came in contact with 
countless hordes of aborigines in various stages of civiliza- 
tion whom they could not have swept away even if they 
would. There are passages in the Rig Veda which can bear 
no other interpretation than that in the wars which Aryan 
bands waged against each other they did not always dis- 
dain the assistance of powerful non-Aryan chiefs. Political 
alliances were sometimes made, it would seem, with those 
who were willing to adopt the Aryan social and religious 
systems. It is possible that in this manner the colonization 
of the lands eastward of the Five Rivers was accomplished 
as much by peaceful means as by fighting with and attempt- 
ing to drive out the natives. One of the most celebrated 
of the Rishis, Vishvamitra, actually figures in the Rig Veda 
as the bard of a powerful n on- Aryan tribe, the Bharatas ; 
and it would appear that native converts were not infre- 
quently received into the Aryan community on equal terms 
with true-born Aryans, before the caste system had begun 
to crystallize. It is therefore not difficult to understand 
how by the intermingling of the two races non- Aryan 
beliefs and practices began to creep into the Aryan worship. 
In time the Aryan religion was greatly changed thereby. 
Though Aryan influence remained predominant, in the 
process of Aryanizing the native races the faiths and 
religious practices of the invaders underwent at length 
an almost complete transformation. 

Reaction against admission of native races to 
the Aryan community. Against this policy of con- 
ciliating the natives there was always arrayed a strong 
party among the Aryans themselves. In the Rig Veda a 
powerful tribe, called the Tritsu, living in the Punjab, is 
mentioned as the champion of orthodoxy and purity of 
blood, and they are represented as having gained a decisive 
victory over a combination of Aryan and non- Aryan tribes, 


which favoured the amalgamation of the two races. The 
legend of the fight between them may be entirely mythical, 
but it is clear from subsequent history that the party 
represented by the Tritsu eventually gained the upper 
hand. The origin of caste is lost in a mist of obscurity, 
but whatever may have been the other causes of its origin 
and development, there need be no doubt that, racial 
antipathy played at one time an important part in the 
formation of the system. Speaking generally, the admis- 
sion of non-Aryans into the Aryan social system was, when 
caste distinctions arose, granted only on their being willing 
to accept a position of inferiority in the community. 

Gradual absorption of non-Aryans. Thus in time 
there grew up a class in the Aryan community engaged in 
servile toil and occupying a humble and subordinate position 
to the men of pure descent. When the supply was limited, 
the class was too valuable to be maltreated ; but when it 
became numerous, as it must soon have done, it came to be 
looked upon as something vile ^nd worthless, which it was 
necessary to suppress by every possible means ; and many 
invidious distinctions were invented to differentiate the man 
of pure descent from the non- Aryan and the man of mixed 
parentage. Such as were not thought to be of pure Aryan 
blood were prevented from participating in the sacred rites, 
and were compelled to perform the meanest and most servile 
duties. They were taught that they had been created for 
servitude and to do such work as was degrading to true- 
born Aryans. Their position was not so utterly distasteful 
to them as might be supposed, for by accepting it they 
could attach themselves to the all-conquering Aryans, and 
in return were afforded their powerful protection. They 
felt pride in being associated, though in a humble capacity, 
with those who were recognized as possessing intellectual 
and spiritual superiority. It was an honour to be taken 
within the pale of Hinduism, as the transformed religion of 
the Aryan immigrants may now be called to distinguish it 
from the earlier faith ; for however degraded might be a 
man's position therein, he was at any rate vastly superior 
in the social scale to the unregenerate demon-worshipper of 
the jungle. Thus the mass of the indigenous inhabitants 
came in time to be absorbed into the Aryan social system. 


But here and there in spots remote from the track of civili- 
zation isolated remnants of the aborigines managed to pre- 
serve unmolested their ancient habits and beliefs. To this 
day in India there are tribes of non- Aryans who have never 
wholly come under the Aryan influence. Such are the 
Bhils of the Yindhiya hills, the Gonds of the Central Pro- 
vinces, and the Santals of the Raj-mahal hills. 

Origin of caste. The first distinction therefore that 
arose in the Aryan community was between the pure Aryan 
and the non-Aryan, in which latter class were included also 
the men of mixed descent. The distinction was at first 
mainly ethnological. But as the settlements grew and 
expanded into kingdoms, gradually class distinctions arose 
among the Aryans themselves. Two privileged classes 
sprang up among them, the sacerdotal and the military, 
denoting at first merely professional distinctions. Society, 
as it grew more complex, required a division of labour : 
that some of its members should perform the religious rites, 
some should fight its battles^ some should till its lands and 
some should do menial services. As among the ancient 
Egyptians and the Israelites, so amongst the ancient Indians 
professions tended to become hereditary, and were at last 
monopolised by particular classes of the community. Thus 
arose the Brahmans, the priesthood, formed of those who 
showed a special aptitude for the performance of rites and 
sacrifices ; the Kshattriyas, a military aristocracy formed of 
those belonging to kingly and noble families, whose ances- 
tors had led the Aryan hosts to battle against the aborigines; 
the Yaisyas, the mass of the people engaged in ordinary 
occupations, particularly in agriculture ; and the Sudras, 
composed of non- Aryans and those of mixed descent, who 
were the slaves and handicraftsmen of the community. 

The Brahmans. Mention has already been made on 
page 8 of the growth of a priestly aristocracy at the close 
of the Vedic period. In the age of expansion which 
followed, when rites were multiplied and sacrifices became 
more complicated, the priests, who alone knew how to 
perform them, came to be looked upon with ever-increasing 
reverence and respect. The sanctity of their lives, and the 
intellectual and spiritual superiority which they arrogated 
to themselves, set them apart from the rest of the 


community. At length when the priestly office was recog- 
nized as an hereditary one and the priestly families came 
to be regarded as sacred, almost divine honours were paid 
to the Brahman. 

The Kshattriyas. The Kshattriyas were at first 
merely^ the military leaders of the Aryans against the 
aborigines, but when the tribal was superseded by the 
kingly form of government, the distinction between the 
Kshattriya and the people whom his ancestors had led to 
battle grew more and more marked, so that it was felt to 
be unbefitting for one of the Kshattriya race to marry into 
any other class but his own. Thus at last the priests and 
the warriors were separated out from the people ; and to 
preserve the purity of their descent, they were absolutely 
forbidden to intermarry with any other class. The natural 
result of such a system was, that while the Brahmans and 
the Kshattriyas grew more haughty and exclusive, the 
people with no scope for social ambition grew less inde- 
pendent and less able to resist the imposition of debasing 

The Vaisyas and Sudras. The Yaisyas, the body 
of the Aryan people, were during the period of the 
colonization of the Gangetic plain, one undivided caste, and 
shared with Brahmans and Kshattriyas the rites and privi- 
leges of the Aryan race. The Sudras, on the other hand, 
were excluded from these by the strictest rules. There was 
therefore still the main distinction between Aryan and non- 
Aryan ; and the conquerors, though subdivided by caste, 
still felt themselves to be one nation and one race. The 
Brahman, the Kshattriya, and the Vaisya had the Yedic 
religion in common, while the Sudra was rigorously kept 
out from all participation in its rites and sacrifices. 

Advance in civilization. During the period of the 
Brahmanas the vigour of the early settlers in the Punjab 
seems to have declined, and the new kingdoms growing up 
between the Jumna and the Ganges became the centres of 
Aryan civilization and culture. The conquerors of the 
Punjab, when not engaged in fighting with the dark- 
skinned aborigines, had been content to be cultivators, to 
plough their lands and tend their herds. But the colonists 
who settled in the Doab, as the country between the 


Ganges and the Jumna is called, were a more highly 
civilized race. Learning and the arts flourished among 
them, and in their hands the old simple faith developed 
into a gorgeous religion, adorned with stately rites and 
ceremonies and tended by multitudes of priests. The 
whole machinery of a system of state government was 
elaborated by them. Kings maintained armies, collected 
taxes and appointed officers to administer justice and look 
after the affairs of state. The people lived in towns and 
villages following the pursuits of agriculture and industry, 
and gradually developing those social customs which have 
been in all subsequent ages so marked a feature of Indian 

The Mahabharata. But the old warlike spirit was 
still strong within the race. While the struggles with the 
aborigines grew less and less severe, their struggles with 
each other for .coveted strips of country grew more bitter 
and intense. In the earlier Brahmanas the Kurus and 
Panchalas are mentioned as living side by side on the 
friendliest terms, equally prosperous and powerful. But 
in the later Brahmanas there are allusions to a fierce inter- 
necine war. The great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, com- 
posed in a later age out of material some of which may be 
very ancient, celebrates the story of this conflict. Though 
quite unreliable from a historical point of view, this much 
at anyrate in it stands out as fact : that there was a great 
war in the Doab between the Kurus and the Panchalas for 
the possession of a particular strip of country, and that 
many kings and princes joined one side or the other. The 
picture that it paints of the manners and customs of those 
times makes it plain that while Aryan civilization had 
progressed, the race had lost nothing of the vindictiveness 
and passion for slaughter which had characterized its first 
encounters with the aborigines. 

The rise to power of three new kingdoms. As 
soon as the Doab had been conquered, bands of Aryans 
began to explore the country further east. A powerful 
y tribe, called the Kosalas, established a kingdom in Oudh. 
Another, called the Kashis, seized upon the country round 
about Benares, and a third known as the Yidehas peneti'ated 
into Behar. It is curious to note how each new kingdom 


growing up on freshly conquered ground, surpassed in power 
and civilization the older kingdoms lying to the westward. 
Those who were in the van of Aryan colonization, were also 
the most progressive in civilization. 

The Ramayana. The Eamayana, the other great 
Hindu epic, celebrates the exploits of a king of the Kosalas 
named Eama, who reigned at a place called Ajodhya. Un- 
fortunately, like the Mahabharata, it is almost valueless as 
history. But though it does not relate the events of any 
age, it throws much light upon the manners and the social 
condition of this tribe of Aryans dwelling on the outskirts 
of civilization. Rama, the hero of the epic, may be a wholly 
mythical person, but in its account of the society and 
religious customs of the Kosalas we can discern a 
change coming over the more advanced portion of the 
Aryan race. We may note along with more polished and 
refined manners the ascendancy gained by the priests over 
the rest of the community. The people of whom it tells 
are less vigorous than those of the Mahabharata, and have 
resigned themselves more completely to priestly domination 
in the affairs of state and in the rules which regulate their 
private lives. The old Vedic faith has been buried beneath 
a mass of rites and ceremonies ; and religion, which always 
played so important a part in the daily life of the Indo 
Aryans, has become the monopoly of priests. Dutiful and 
unquestioning obedience is rendered to their dictates by 
high and low alike. 

Videha. In the kingdom of the Videhas, however, 
lying to the east of Kosala, the Brahmans do not appear to 
have attained to such a complete mastery as in Kosala. 
Their pre-eminence in social and religious matters did not 
pass unquestioned, and learned Kshattriyas disputed the 
supremacy with them. The Videhas were a more in- 
dependent people, with political institutions which gave to 
them a share in the government of their country. Janaka, 
their most famous king, whose capital was at a place called 
Mithila in Tirhoot, is a different stamp of man to Rama, 
and though he may be no less mythical, yet he typifies 
a reaction which must have taken place in this kingdom 
against religious pedantry and dogmatism. 

Intellectual activity. Since at the time of which we 


are now speaking the political amalgamation of the native 
races with the dominant Aryan race was completed in the 
lands which the Aryans had colonized, the peoples of whom 
these kingdoms were composed may now be called collec- 
tively Hindus followers of the Hindu religion instead of 
being distinguished as hitherto by the terms Aryan and 
non-Aryan. The Hindus who dwelt along the banks of the 
Ganges and its tributaries were a very different people from 
the fierce warriors who had poured down from the north 
into the Punjab. They had attained by this time to a 
deojree of culture and refinement remarkable in those earlv 
times. The Brahmans were naturally in the forefront 
where development of mind and the increase of knowledge 
were concerned. They taught that learning was the highest 
and noblest possession of man, and established throughout 
the country schools of philosophy, theology and law. But 
it would be a mistake to suppose that learning was general, 
for it was only the leisured classes which could indulge in it. 
While the Brahmans and certain of the Kshattriyas spent 
their lives in acquiring it, the mass of the people, engaged 
in unremitting labour, remained steeped in ignorance and a 
prey to superstition. 

Brahman learning. The close study of the Vedas, 
handed down by word of mouth from generation to genera- 
tion in a language ever growing more obsolete, gave to the 
Brahmans in time an inherited power of mind, and raised 
them as a class immeasurably above the intellectual level of 
the rest of the community. The means of preserving un- 
impaired the text of their sacred compositions early 
engrossed their attention, and led them to an exhaustive 
examination of the structure of the language. They dis- 
covered not merely in this way for themselves the science of 
grammar, but carried it to an extraordinary degree of 
accuracy. The solution of difficulties of language and the 
interpretation of obscure passages in the hymns developed 
in them to a remarkable extent the qualities of ingenious- 
ness and subtlety. But their studies were not confined to 
the sacred texts alone, and they had energy to spare 
for scientific research. In the domain of natural philo- 
sophy the study of the stars seems first to have attracted 
their attention. The elements of astronomy were laid 


down even before the Rig Veda was compiled. In the age 
which followed considerable progress was made in it ; 
because it was found that without a knowledge of 
astronomy sacrificial rites could not be regulated. The 
time for commencing or ending them could not be deter- 
mined without a knowledge of the sun's annual course, and 
in some cases of the constellations also. A knowledge of 
the calendar, in fact, came to be an indispensable part of a 
priest's education. Logic and mathematics were also 
subjects of study and research among them, though they 
had not yet attained to any remarkable degree of pro- 
ficiency in them. Their chief delight, however, from the 
earliest times was in philosophy. Metaphysical speculation 
was to them an absorbing passion. The natural bent 
of their minds seems to have been towards it, and with 
such ardour did they pursue it, that they overlooked in 
favour of it subjects of more practical utility. From a too 
engrossing attention to it they acquired an abstracted and 
impractical habit of mind, to which in great measure is no 
doubt due their contempt of history, their backwardness in 
the cultivation of the aesthetic faculties and their neglect 
of political science. 

Sanskrit a secret language. But it must not be 
supposed that all the Brahman caste reached the same high 
intellectual level. Not a tithe of them probably at any 
time took part in the vigorous mental development and 
active inquiring spirit. The majority remained on a much 
lower plane and lived the life of the people, sharing with 
thpm their thoughts and beliefs. Sanskrit, in which the 
Yedic hymns and the Brahman^ were composed, though it 
had developed into a language of surpassing force and beauty, 
was no longer a living one. To the general mass of the 
people it was an unknown tongue. It had long since 
become a secret language of the priests; and, while it served 
them as an almost perfect medium for the expression of their 
thoughts, it served also to create an air of mystery around 
them and to confine the knowledge of the scriptures and of 
Brahman learning within the circle of their order. 

Change in character of Indo-Aryan race. Allu- 
sion has already been made to a profound change which 
had begun to come over the Indo-Aryan race towards the 

H.I.H.S. B 


end of the Vedic period. With the shifting of the centre 
of civilization from the Punjab to the Gangetic plain 
their character became transformed. From a hopeful and 
vigorous people they changed into a sad and mystical one. 
They gradually outgrew their simple worship of the deified 
powers of nature, and the sacrifice and all that it symbolized 
became of supreme importance. The earlier Brahmanas are 
wholly taken up with descriptions of sacrificial ceremonies, 
explanations of their hidden meanings, accounts of their 
origin and legends to prove their efficacy. This change was 
no doubt in great part due to the complete ascendancy gained 
by the priests in religious matters. The early Aryans, who 
sacrificed and prayed to their bright gods in their own 
homes, were content with a simple form of worship; but the 
Hindus of the Gangetic plain, by the aid of priestcraft, so 
overlaid the old faiths and beliefs of their forefathers with 
complicated ritual, that the gods were forgotten in the rites 
designed to celebrate them. In their superstitious venera- 
tion for forms and ceremonies they lost the spirit of the old 
Yedic religion. Yet they passionately clung to their ancient 
Vedas, regarding them still as the source of all religious 
inspiration and seeking with infinite labour and ingenuity 
to find in them authority for every act of worship and for 
every religious dogma which they enjoined. 

Pessimistic views of life. In the later Brahmanas 
the note of sadness becomes more strongly marked. Theo- 
sophic and religious speculations are alone regarded as of the 
highest import. But there is no return to the simple faith 
of Vedic times ; on the contrary, in place of the joyous 
religion of their ancestors, the Hindus have become im- 
pressed with a deep conviction of the misery of all earthly 
existence. A belief in the doctrine of metempsychosis, the 
passage of the spirit at death into another living body, 
whether of a brute or of a human being, has become 
general, and all that man is taught to hope for is reabsorp- 
tion into the universal All-in-One. Whence came this 
wonderful change 1 The enervating climate of the Gan- 
getic plain, and the barrenness of religious life to which 
their slavish devotion to forms and ceremonies had brought 
them contributed no doubt towards it, but are not in them- 
selves sufficient wholly to account for it. 


Non-Aryan influences. As they spread, no doubt, 
the Arj^an colonists came more and more under non- Aryan 
influence, and were infected with gloomy aboriginal beliefs. 
The further they migrated from their old homes, the more 
were they subjected to this influence and the more were 
their civilization, their religion and even their racial type 
liable to be modified thereby. There would always be the 
tendency for the lower strata of Aryan society to become 
merged in the non-Aryan portion of the community ; and 
the non-Aryan, while adopting the social customs and 
religious beliefs of the Aryan, would not be able to divest 
himself wholly of his own. It is a common belief all 
over the world among primitive peoples that disease is due 
to the work of malignant spirits. In a land so much 
ravaged by the forms of disease peculiar to tropical countries 
as India, it is natural that the belief in local spirits of a 
malignant disposition should have been common among its 
early inhabitants. When the Aryans came amongst the 
natives they found them haunted by the dread of demons 
supposed to be ever on the watch to injure those who 
neglected to propitiate them. To ward off their influence 
strange and often gruesome rites were devised. It is easy 
to understand how in this way those who advanced to 
settlements far removed from the strongholds of Aryan 
civilization came, to be infected by the prevailing demon 
worship. While they could not fail to perceive how much 
less than themselves the natives who propitiated the local 
spirits were ravaged by disease, they were not likely to 
perceive that it was merely because the indigenous people 
had gained a greater immunity by acclimatization and by 
adaptation to a jungle life. It must often have seemed 
to them that the natives escaped because they took pains 
to ward ofl" the anger of the fierce spirits who appeared to 
have the power, locally at any rate, to afflict mankind. 
We need not doubt too that the priests of the old gods, 
who are spoken of in the Rig Yeda as being skilled in the 
arts of spells and incantations, continued, in spite of the 
spread of the Aryan faith, to exercise a powerful influence, 
more particularly in times of drought, flood or sickness. 
Thus into the pure Aryan faith crept on all sides indigenous 
superstitions and strange forms and ceremonies, varying 


according to the ancient beliefs of different localities. 
There is also good reason for thinking that in the countries 
of Kosala, Kashi and Videha the Aryans came in contact 
with settled communities living under well organized systems 
of government, wealthy and as highly civilized as them- 
selves ; and that the conquerors, mingling and even uniting 
with the conquered peoples, adopted as time wore on many 
of their customs and beliefs. 

Transformation of national character. But what- 
ever were the causes of the change, the Hindus of the 
Middle Land towards the close of the Brahmana period 
had scarcely any characteristics left in common with 
their hardy Aryan ancestors of early Yedic times. Instead 
of a vigorous people rejoicing in their health and strength, 
we find a people prone to asceticism and lonely meditation. 
The Aranyakas, or Forest-treatises for the meditation 
of hermits, and the Upanishmh, or hidden doctrines 
regarding the destiny of the soul and the nature of the 
Supreme Being, to which the speculations of the Brah- 
manas gave rise, reflect a national character transformed 
almost beyond recognition. 



Aryavarta. We have seen the Aryan invaders first 
conquering bit by bit the land between the Indus and the 
Saraswati, next passing on to the colonization of Brah- 
marshidesa, the land of the Sacred Singers between the 
Saraswati and the Ganges, then spreading over Madhya- 
desa, the Middle Land, as far as Oudh, and finally expand- 
ing over the whole of Northern India to Behar on the east 
and the Vindhya hills in the south. To all this vast tract 
of country they gave the name of Aryavarta, the land of 
the Aryans, to distinguish it from Mlechcha-desa, the land 
of the unclean, which lay beyond. The period occupied in 
annexing and colonizing successively the different parts of 


it must, roughly speaking, have been a thousand years, and 
lasted till about 1000 B.C. 

Mlechcha-desa. The era which now opens shows us 
Aryan civilization spreading to the south. Bands of Aryans 
had before this made expeditions beyond the Vindhya Hills, 
and holy men had penetrated into the jungles of Central 
India in search of solitudes in which to practise religious 
meditation. A few scattered settlements had already begun 
to spring up ; but the country beyond Aryavarta was still 
practically an unknown land. The conquest of Aryavarta 
had meant the spreading of the Aryan race over Northern 
India, but the colonization of the country which lay to the 
south meant the gradual Hinduising of the tribes that 
peopled the Peninsula. It was in effect a social rather than 
an ethnical revolution. The aborigines were not hunted 
down and slaughtered wholesale, nor even dispossessed of 
the land, but, coming under the influence of a stronger 
race, they learned to adopt its civilization and religion. 

Dravidian civilization. The Dravidians, as the 
indigenous inhabitants of Central and Southern India 
are, for convenience, often called, were made up of many 
races, and while some were still in the savage state, others, 
and especially those in the extreme south, had already 
emerged from a state of barbarism. The Aryan settlers in 
the jungles of Central India were no doubt aided in the 
work of clearing the fertile valleys by bodies of aborigines 
who migrated from their forest homes, and eventually lost 
their identity by becoming merged in the Aryan social 
system. But as the Aryans penetrated further south they 
came in contact with peoples not less civilized than them- 
selves, living in towns with settled forms of government. 
Here, as in the eastern portions of Aryavarta, a conflict of 
civilizations took place, and though the Aryan was the 
stronger and ultimately prevailed, the Dravidian did not 
succumb without leaving strong traces of its existence 
behind it. Thus by degrees the whole of India south of the 
Vindhya Hills came under Aryan influence. 

In the mixed race that arose from the union of Aryan 
with Dravidian the preponderating element was naturally 
the latter ; in some parts, perhaps, the population remained 
pure Dravidian, and there were no other traces of the 


Aryan but the adoption of his civilization and reh'gion. 
The mass of the people continued to use their own tongue 
then, as they still do, in Southern India. Indeed, the 
Tamils, the most important among them, possess a noble 
literature, some of it of great antiquity, that owes nothing 
whatever to Sanskrit. But the Hinduising of the Peninsula 
has never been quite completed, and here and there a few 
small and scattered tribes far removed from civilization still 
remain in the enjoyment of their primitive habits and 

Spread of Aryan civilization over the Deccan, 
The Aryanising of the whole Peninsula must have taken 
many centuries. But by the fourth century B.C. the work 
had been practically finished, and Ceylon too had been 
brought under Hindu influence. Just as in Aryavarta, so 
in the Deccan, powerful states, organised after the Aryan 
pattern, arose, or grew out of existing Dravidian princi- 
palities. The kingdoms of the Cholas on the east coast, 
the Ch eras on the west, and the Pandyas in the extreme 
south, long remained famous in Southern India, but of 
their earlier history little or nothing is known. 

The Sutras. The period during which the Brahmanas 
were composed lasted, roughly speaking, down to the fifth 
century B.C. A reaction at length set in against the 
elaborate and pedantic style which had characterised it. 
Abridgment was felt to be necessary ; for the task of com- 
mitting to memory the sacred texts with their interminable 
descriptions of ceremonials and sacrifices, became too great 
a burden even for the highly trained minds of the Brah- 
mans. Treatises therefore were compiled which contained 
in a condensed form the learning, the science and the 
religious teachings of the Brahmanas. The Sutra, as 
the new style of composition was called, was as brief as the 
Brahmana had been verbose. It sought by means of 
aphorisms to compress as much meaning as possible into 
the fewest words, and thus frequently sacrificed perspicuity 
to brevity. 

It is important to notice one great distinction which was 
made between the Sutras and the works which had pre- 
ceded them. The Yedas and the -Brahmanas were looked 
upon as sacred and eternal and as having divine authority, 


but the Sutras were never held to be other than the work 
of man. 

The different sacred schools of the Brahmans throughout 
the length and breadth of India turned to this style of com- 
position, so that there grew up a vast body of Sutras, some 
dealing with the details of Vedic sacrifices and religious 
ceremonials, some treating of manners and customs and 
others setting forth domestic rites and duties. The most 
important from a historical point of view are the Dharma 
Sutras. These ancient treatises on law and morality have 
been the material out of which the codes, erroneously sup- 
posed to have been the inventions of later Hindu legislators, 
such, for instance, as the Code of Manu, have been compiled. 

Progress of Learning. During the Sutra period the 
Hindus made considerable progress in the arts and sciences, 
and particularly in their knowledge of philosophy, grammar 
and philology. One of the most famous names connected 
with the age is that of Panini, the grammarian, whose 
home was somewhere in the Punjab. His Sanskrit grammar 
in the form of aphorisms, has ever since remained the 
standard authority and the type of a scientific treatise on 
this subject. But this period is chiefly remarkable for the 
systems of mental philosophy which were developed during 
it; This is not the place to enter into descriptions of the 
different schools of philosophy which arose, but it is 
necessary for the sake of the period which follows to say a 
few words about one of them. 

The Sankhya System of Philosophy. One of 
the first attempts to give a reasoned answer to the ques- 
tions about the origin of things and the destiny of man 
was made by Kapila, who lived probably not later than 
the seventh century B.C. The Sankhya system which he 
founded was like all other systems of Hindu Philosophy, 
derived from the teachings of the Upanishads. His object 
was to help mankind to escape from the life of suffering 
and pain which is the lot of all living things. He taught 
that this end can be gained only by the soul attaining to 
perfect knowledge. By knowing itself it will be freed 
from the body, and therefore from pain and misery. Vedic 
rites are useless for this purpose, and he rejects them 
altogether. The historical importance of Kapila's system 


is that it is an open revolt against Vedic rites and sacrifices. 
In the age which followed, its essential doctrines were 
popularised by a great reformer who made it the basis of 
his teaching. In the hands of Buddha it blossomed into a 
religion destined to exercise the profoundest influence on 
the history of mankind. 

Triumph of the Brahman caste. The spread of 
Hinduism over the length and breadth of India brought 
with it a great extension of the caste system. We have 
seen that in the preceding age there were only four castes, 
and that the Brahmans and the Kshattriyas had gradually 
acquired a complete ascendency over the rest. In the 
Sutra period the power and influence of the Kshattriya 
caste decayed. There are legendary accounts of fierce 
struggles between the two castes for supremacy. But the 
Kshattriyas had by this time declined from hardy warriors 
into a military aristocracy, resting on the traditions of its 
glorious past ; while the Brahmans, on the other hand, who 
claimed a complete monopoly of religion and learning, were 
ever growing more necessary to the community. We may 
believe, therefore, that if a war of extermination did at 
any time take place between Brahmans and Kshattriyas, 
the Brahmans were supported by the bulk of the com- 
munity. At all events, in the Sutra period the Brahman 
became supreme. 

Multiplication of castes. Under Brahman supremacy 
the number of caste distinctions was gradually multiplied, 
and the rules relating thereto became more rigid and 
oppressive. There were two influences at work which 
tended to increase the number of caste subdivisions. First, 
the tendency noticeable in all early societies for professions to 
become hereditary; and secondly, the gradual incorporation 
into Hinduism of non-Aryan tribes with peculiar habits and 
religious customs. Those who followed a profession, because 
their fathers had done so before them, jealously excluded 
outsiders from coming into competition with them, and 
gradually hedged themselves round with a number of rites 
and usages distinctive of their calling. Caste distinctions 
began to multiply most rapidly among the Sudras ; for it 
was this caste which included most of those who followed 
professions and the aborigines who entered within the pale 


of Hinduism. It may therefore be readily understood 
how greatly during this period the system was extended. 
But besides growing more numerous castes became more 
exclusive. Keiigion was employed to tighten the bands 
which held the members of a caste together, and under 
Brahman influence restrictions were multiplied, and new 
restraints invented to hold the different castes and caste 
subdivisions asunder. 

.Objects of the caste system. There can be no 
doubt that at one time in the history of the Hindus caste 
was useful for holding society together ; that it was 
necessary for the preservation of social order; and that 
without it the non-Aryan element in Hinduism would have 
swamped the Aryan. It was necessary in the then state of 
society that there should be one class of men to whom it 
might look for guidance in religion and morality, a class 
that might hold aloft, uncontaminated by a baser civiliza- 
tion, Aryan traditions and beliefs. It was necessary also 
that there should be men who followed different profes- 
sions, that each- man should find his place and his work 
marked out for him from his birth, and that he should be 
held to his occupation by the strongest ties of religion and 
custom. Caste, in short, was necessary to the fullest life 
of those remote times, for it insured that the wants of 
society should be attended to and that its institutions 
should be preserved. 

Evils attendant upon it. But caste, while it served 
to maintain and spread Aryan religion and civilization, 
from its inflexibility and the inexorable nature of its rules 
was a system fatal to free and natural development. It 
stamped out individuality and confined genius and talent 
within the narrow range of a particular calling, and thus 
exercised a depressing and debasing influence on all but 
the highest caste. The lowly Sudra, born to a particular 
occupation, must pursue his life's work without hope of 
social improvement. If the Hindus thereby acquired the 
virtues of patience and resignation, it was at the expense 
of energy and ambition and all that makes for steady 
material progress. 




Political Divisions of India. Towards the close of 
the seventh century B.C. the kingdom of Kosala had become 
the most important in all Aryavarta. It had conquered 
and annexed the kingdom of the Kashis to the south, and 
included all the territory lying between the Ganges and 
the Gandak, while to the north ib stretched far up into 
Nepal. Ajodhya, the ancient capital, which had been so 
long the scene of Brahman triumphs, and in which, indeed, 
their pride had reached its zenith, had been deserted by 
the rulers for Sravasti, a city in the extreme north. This 
change of capital, whatever may have been the cause, seems 
to have dealt a severe blow to Brahman prestige ; for from 
that time the Brahman caste, which had for so many 
centuries dominated the kingdoms of the Middle Land, 
began to wane in power and influence. 

New kingdoms established on the frontiers of Aryavarta 
had also meanwhile risen to importance. Of these the 
principal were Avanti in Malwa, of which the capital was 
Ujjain ; Gandhara, the modern Kandahar, including Eastern 
Afghanistan and the north-west corner of the Punjab, with 
its capital at a place called Takkasila (Taxila) ; and Vamsa, 
lying to the north-east of Avanti, with its capital at Kosambi 
Qn the banks of the Jumna. But to the south-east of Kosala 
a new kingdom was arising, destined to absorb them all. 
This was Magadha, in South Behar, ruled over by a 
Kshattriya dynasty of kings who held their court at 
Rajagriha, forty or fifty miles south of the Ganges. 

The Republican states. The sources of our infor- 
mation as to the state of India at this time are the Jain 
and Buddhist records, composed by disciples of two great 
religious reformers who arose in Northern India in the 
sixth century B.C. Including the kingdoms mentioned 
above there were altogether sixteen independent states, 
and of some of these the government was republican in 
form. In the republics the adult male population met 



together in the principal town in a kind of parliament to 
transact the business of the state. They elected for a 
term of years one of their number, whom they called rajah, 
to preside over their meetings and to act as chief executive 
officer. In a similar manner the local affairs of each village 
were transacted by the assembled householders. Order 
was maintained throughout the state by a body of police 

Interior View of Karli. 

acting under the directions of the central authority. These 
republics were not named after towns or places, but after 
the principal clan within the territory. In one instance, 
that of the Vajjians, eight clans were included in one 
confederacy. The Vajjian state lay to the east of Kosala, 
and its capital was at Mithila, the city in which in an 
earlier age the learned Janaka was said to have held 
his court. The republic was a powerful one, and two of 
the clans included in the confederacy, the Videhans and 
the Lichchhavi; are frequently mentioned as playing an 


important part in the history of their time. But the fame 
of other tribal republics was eclipsed for all time, as we 
shall see, by that of the Sakyas, a small Kshattriya clan, 
who dwelt in a strip of country lying along the present 
border of Nepal and British territory. Their capital was 
at a place called Kapilavastu, the site of which has lately 
been identified in the Nepalese Terai to the north of the 
Basti district. 

The general state of the country, It is a point 
of much importance that no mention is made of Orissa 
in tlie Jain and Buddhist records, or of the country lying 
to the east of the modern Bhagalpur, or of the Deccan and 
Ceylon : though mention is made of " The Southern Road." 
From this we may infer that Aryan civilization had not 
yet reached those parts. The colonization of Southern 
India, though it must have commenced some time earlier, 
could not then have extended beyond the river Godavari. 
Even in Northern India the settlements were still widely 
scattered. There were few considerable towns and the 
villages were surrounded with primeval jungle. The plains 
were for the most part covered by dense forest. The Maha 
Yana, or Great Wood, is frequently alluded to as an inter- 
minable forest lying between and around the settlements, 
and making communication difficult and dangerous. 

Decay of Vedic Hinduism. The seventh century 
B.C. and the first half of the sixth is a dark period in Indian 
history. The bright and joyous spirit of the Vedic religion 
had been smothered under a complicated mass of ritual, and 
the very meaning of its hymns had been forgotten, while 
the priests were busying themselves with outward forms 
and ceremonies. A great gulf yawned between the masses 
and their spiritual leaders. The Brahmans, resting on the 
traditions of their glorious past, were intent only upon 
the aggrandisement of their own order and upon securing 
to it all the privileges they could ; and the people, whom 
in their intellectual arrogance they despised, left without 
guides and bound down by an iron system of caste, were 
sinking deeper and deeper into a state of ignorance and 

Gautama Buddha. But the dawn of a reformation 
was at hand even when the moral and religious state of 


the Hindus appeared most hopeless. In the city of Kapi- 
lavastu in the year 557 B.C. Mahama3^a, the wife of 
Suddhodana, Eajah of the Sakyas, gave birth to a son who 
was destined to eflf'ect that reformation. The child was 
named Siddartha, but in after years he came to be known 
more generally by his family name of Gautama or as 
Sakyamuni, the Sakya sage. From his youth upwards he 
was much given to study and contemplation, though he is 
said to have excelled also in manly exercises. His serious 
mind was early impressed with the vanity of all earthly 
gains and hopes, and his sympathetic nature was deeply 
stirred on behalf of the poor and lowly, ground down 
under the cruel and oppressive system of caste. He saw 
that what passed for religion, was a mere empty observance 
of forms and ceremonies, inwardly possessing nothing 
which could appeal to the hearts and imaginations of the 
people. So profoundly impressed was he with the need of 
a reformation that at length he determined to forsake his 
luxurious home and devote himself to the work of consoling 
and elevating mankind. 

His enlightenment. To this end he renounced ease 
and riches, wife, and child, and went forth into the world a 
beggar, to seek the salvation of his fellow-men. For many 
years he sought in vain for the key to the mysteries of 
human life. Neither learning nor penances could help him; 
but at last, when he had almost abandoned hope, the truth 
flashed upon him. Salvation lay in a well-governed life 
and love and pity for all living things. From henceforth 
he was Buddha the Enlightened, and he returned to the 
world to preach his gospel to all who would listen. 

His doctrine. He taught that salvation is within the 
reach of all, high and low caste alike ; that he who leads a 
pure life and helps his fellow-creatures has no need to 
propitiate the gods with sacrifice ; and that a man's present 
state is the result of his own acts, either in this, or in a 
former life. But as life must mean, even for the happiest 
of men, inevitably more of pain than of pleasure, it should 
be the object of a wise man to escape for ever from the 
weary round of existence, to gain the eternal rest of 
Nirvana, deliverance from being. This end can be attained, 
not through Yedic sacrifices and Brahman mediation, but 


by the practice of virtuous living, by kindness to all living 
things and by the suppression of the passions and desires. 
It is not difficult to trace in this the influence of Kapila's 
system of philosophy. 

The secret of his success. Throughout his life 
and teaching Buddha displayed no direct antagonism to the 
Brahmans ; though he would not recognise that there was 
any inherent difference between them and other men. It is 
doubtful indeed if he deliberately set out to found a new 
religion. It seems more probable that he meant at first to 
be no more than a social reformer and a moral teacher. He 
was deeply learned in the philosophy of the day, and much 
of what he taught was borrowed from that philosophy. 
The doctrine of transmigration, or metempsychosis the 
basis of his teaching he had learnt from his early Hindu 
teachers. What, then, was the secret of his success '? It was 
that he brought hope to a despondent people, by boldly 
announcing that all men might obtain salvation by charity 
and holy living. He was therefore listened to, as no 
teacher before had been listened to by them. Prince and 
peasant, Brahman and Sudra, Aryan and non -Aryan 
alike, flocked to hear his message.. The fame of his 
teaching spread far and wide, and those who came only 
out of curiosity, attracted by the story of his early 
life and its great renunciation, were influenced like the 
rest by his gentleness and his simplicity, and above all 
by his deep earnestness. Bimbisara, King of Magadha, 
who had been his early friend, and Pasenadi, King of 
Kosala, espoused his cause. His father, too, became one 
of his earliest converts. 

His missionary labours and death. Buddha's 
first appearance as a preacher was in the Deer Park near 
Benares, a city famous even then for its learning and 
devotion to religion. Within a few months he had gathered 
round him a host of enthusiastic disciples, w^omen as well as 
men, and many of these he sent out to preach his message in 
far distant places. He himself wandered throughout Oudh 
and Behar for the remainder of his life, preaching and con- 
verting the people to his faith. At the age of 80, while 
engaged in one of these missionary journeys, he was taken 
ill near a place called Kusinagara, about 80 miles east of 

Walker Ar Cockerel! sc. 


his native city, and there, teaching and exhorting to the 
last, he passed peacefully away. 
'Buddhism a social and religious reformation. 

Mt may seem strange that a religion which ignores the 
influence of a deity upon the destiny of man, and bids 

, him seek in the extinction of his individuality the only 
possible escape from the miseries of living, should have 
had so rapid and so wide an acceptance. But if we 
reflect that the religion to which the Hin'dus were then 
accustomed not only held out to them no hope, no 
alleviation of the miseries of life, but on the other hand 
lent its weighty sanction to the grinding tyranny of caste, 
Ave shall not wonder at the popularity this new creed 
achieved. A religion such as Buddhism that taught so 
noble an ethical code, that had within it so much of 
practical philanthropy and dealt so vigorously with the 
abuses of the time, could not in such circumstances fail to 
commend itself to the majority whom it sought to set free 
from their cruel bondage. 

Foundation of a monastic order. In order to 
extend his teaching and to assist his more zealous disciples 
in making progress towards the goal, Buddha established 
an order of ascetics. He himself had forsaken wealth, 
power and family, that he might not be drawn by them 
away from the path of right living, or for their sake desire 
to cling to life. He therefore urged such a mode of life 
upon earnest disciples, though he never insisted upon 
their adopting it. Self-suppression, abstinence and poverty 
were enjoined upon the members of this society. But in 
order to prevent enthusiasts from mortifying themselves in 
the manner of Hindu devotees, he was careful to, lay down 
rules regarding food, clothing and residence; remembering, 
no doubt, how, in the days when he was still searching for 
the truth, he had, all to no purpose, subjected his body to 
the severest penances. He therefore laid down for his 
disciples a middle path between pleasure and pain, by which 
man might attain to complete self-mastery without danger 
of injury to body or mind. Thus there sprang into existence 
in his lifetime an order of mendicants who dwelt together 
in monasteries, provided for them by wealthy converts and 
supported by the alms of believers, and who spent their days 


in exhorting each other to be steadfast in the path and in 
training themselves for the work of preaching and converting 
the people. Women as well as men were admitted to the 
Sangha or Society. Its members were known as Bhikkhus 
and Bhikkhunis, male and female mendicants. > The creation 
of such an order gave stability and vitality to the new 
religion, and more than anything else helped to keep 
together after Buddha's death those who had embraced tne 

The attitude of the Brahmans towards the new 
faith. It may seem surprising that the Brahmans inter- 
fered so little with Buddha during his lifetime. It is 
probable that they regarded him at first as a mere reformer, 
and they therefore treated him with the same easy toler- 
ance with which they were accustomed to treat the many 
itinerant preachers and propounders of new philosophic 
doctrines that arose in different parts of India in those 
times. Later on they no doubt feared in face of their 
diminishing prestige to attack one whose influence was so 
far-reaching, and who was supported by powerful kings. 
But the Sangha he had founded, in that it admitted all 
classes of men and women without distinction of caste, 
aimed too direct a blow against Brahmanism to be over- 

First two Buddhist Councils. Buddha's body was 
cremated, and his ashes reverently preserved. The fragments 
which were given to his Sakya kinsmen have, in confirma- 
tion of the story of his decease as told in the Buddhist 
chronicles, lately come to light. On the site of Kapilavastu 
a vase containing sacred relics has been unearthed with an 
inscription upon it setting forth that within are a portion 
of the remains of Buddha. But hardly had he passed away 
before dissensions and differences sprang up among his 
followers. To set these at rest, in the year 477 B.C. the 
leading Bhikkhus called together a council at Rajagriha, 
under the patronage of Ajatasutru, the powerful King of 
Magadha, the son and successor of Bimbisara, Buddha's 
early friend. At this council, at which 500 believers were 
present, the whole assembly chanted together the sacred 
laws of the faith to fix them on their memories. Harmony 
was thus for a time restored ; but one hundred years later 

H.I.H.S. c 


it was found necessary to hold another council at a place 
called Vaisali, the capital of the Lichchhavi clan, about 70 
miles north of Kajagriha; for differences had once more 
arisen. Meanwhile under the protection of the kings of 
Magadha the new religion was spreading far and wide. 

The rise of the Magadha Empire. Bimbisara, be- 
sides achieving fame as the patron of Buddha, is noteworthy 
as the king who layed the foundations of the great Magadha 
Empire by his conquest and arniexation of the Anga 
kingdom, lying to the east of his dominions. Its capital, 
Champa, a city far renowned for its beauty, was a place of 
great strategical importance, since it commanded the water- 
way down the Ganges as far as the modern Bhagalpur. After 
reigning for twenty-eight years Bimbisara is said to have 
abdicated in favour of his son, Ajatasutru, and to have then 
been imprisoned and starved to death by that ungrateful 
parricide. Ajatasutru enjoyed a long reign, and by success- 
ful attacks upon his neighbours added greatly to the size of 
his kingdom. With the growth of monarchical states there 
took place simultaneously a gradual disappearance of repub- 
lican forms of government. First Vidudabha, son and 
successor of Pasenadi, king of Kosala, in revenge for an 
insult to his family swept away in a general massacre the 
Sakya republic, two years before the Buddha's death; and 
later Ajatasutru destroyed the Vajjian republic by over- 
whelming the Lichchhavis and laying waste Vaisali. Kosala 
and Magadha in course of time between them absorbed all 
the surrounding states and thus brought themselves at 
length face to face with one another. A struggle for the 
mastery was inevitable, and though no details of it are 
recorded, the decline of Kosala marks the stages of a pro- 
tracted conflict. In time the whole territory comprised' 
roughly by Oudh and Behar passed under the sway of the 
kings of Magadha. 

Progress of the new religion. Bimbisara's dynasty 
came to an end early in the fourth century B.C. and w^as 
succeeded by that of the Nandas. The founder of this 
dynasty was of the Sudra caste, and, on that account 
perhaps, more favourably disposed to Buddhism than to 
Brahmanism. Under him and his eight sons the kingdom 
of Magadha grew to be the most powerful and the most 


extensive in Northern India, and with its growth the new 
faith also grew and prospered. Buddhism had this great 
advantage over Brahmanism, that it' availed itself of the* 
vernacular language to spread its teaching. It was thereby 
enabled to catch the ears of all. Wherever the Buddhist 
missionaries went they were listened to by eager crowds 
who had been shut out, by their lowly birth and their 
ignorance of Sanskrit, from the religion of the high caste 
Aryan. As they came with a peaceful message and sought 
to make their teaching acceptable only by gentleness and 
toleration, they stirred up little antagonism. 

Brahman influence still powerful. But it must 
not be supposed that the Brahmans lost their influence 
altogether; for this, even when Buddhism became the pre- 
vailing religion, never was the case. Brahmanism was 
simply deposed from its hegemony, but the Brahmans still 
maintained their influence over large masses of the people. 
The Hindus had been too long accustomed to look up to 
them as their hereditary spiritual leaders to put ofl" their 
awe and reverence for them. Moreover, Buddhism itself 
recognised the sanctity of the priesthood, and enjoined as 
much respect for Brahmans as for learned men of its own 
order. Its wise tolerance in this respect went far to disarm 
Brahman hostility. 

Jainism. A few years before the time that Buddha 
started to found his religion, another reformer had arisen 
whose doctrines, somewhat similar to those of Buddha, were 
yet destined to find a more permanent place among the 
religions of India. Mahavira, who was born at Vaisali, like 
Siddartha, was of noble birth, and like him also retired from 
the world. in early manhood to lead a life of religious medita- 
tion. After some years of abstinence and profound study 
light came to him as to the Buddha, and he went forth to 
proclaim his discovery to the world. He thereafter called 
himself a Jina or * Spiritual Conqueror,' and in the course 
of a long life, spent as an itinerant preacher, gathered round 
him a numerous band of devoted disciples whom he organ- 
ized into an order or society. Jainism never attained the 
wide popularity of Buddhism, but it is curious to note that 
while the followers of Mahavira are still to be found in small 
communities all over India, Buddhism, which as a religion 


once had so great a vogue, has practically disappeared 
from the country. 

' But we must leave the fortunes of Buddhism for a 
while and turn our attention to the Punjab, which after 
many centuries of obscurity once more became the scene of 
events important to India. 


The Persian invasion. About the year 500 B.C., that 
is about the time when Ajatasutru was reigning in Magadha, 
Darius L, one of the greatest of the rulers of ancient Persia, 
sent an expedition under a general named Skylax into India 
by way of Afghanistan to explore the course of the river 
Indus. Skylax successfully accomplished his mission, made 
his way down to the Indian Ocean and sailed westward till 
he reached the Red Sea. His description of the country 
and its accessibility led Darius to send another expedition 
to conquer and annex it. No details of the struggle have 
been preserved, but the Indus Valley was quickly overrun 
and formed into a separate satrapy, or province of Darius's 
vast empire. It proved to be a most valuable acquisition, 
and at orte time the tribute which it yielded in gold alone 
was over a million sterling, the largest amount of revenue 
received from any satrapy, while it supplied a contingent of 
skilled archers for the Persian army. How long the Indus 
Valley remained subject to the Persian Empire is not known, 
but when the latter began to decline it was probably among 
the first of the satrapies to regain independence. At anyrate 
by the fourth century B.C. the Persian invasion had almost 
been forgotten in Northern India. 

Alexander invades the Punjab. In the year 327 
B.C. India was subjected to another invasion from the North 
West. Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, having com- 
pleted his conquest of the Persian Empire by the reduction 
of the fierce and warlike tribes of Central Asia, suddenly 
made his appearance in the neighbourhood of Kabul with 
his invincible army of Greeks, and summoned the princes 
of the Punjab to do him homage. He based his claim to 
their allegiance upon the shadowy ground that the Punjab 
as far as the Indus had been laid under tribute by Darius I. 



about 180 years before, and that, though tribute had long 
since ceased to be paid or even demanded, yet the right to 
levy it had never actually been renounced. 

The Punjab was then split up into several principalities, 
owing a sort of allegiance to an overlord of the Kshattriya 

%-v\ v-WW \<^\v>. < V ^.^.^^^ s % 

Khyber Pass. 

caste who ruled the country lying between the Jhelum and 
the Chenab. At the time of Alexander's coming some of the 
petty kings, probably later immigrants from Central Asia 
known as Scythians, were in revolt against Porus, their 
Aryan overlord. Taxiles, the ruler of the country between 
the Indus and the Jhelum, whose capital was at Taxila upon 
the banks of the Indus in the Attock district, and the 
rebellious princes hastened with rich gifts to pay homage to 
Alexander, but Porus and the others took no notice of his 
summons. Since all had not acknowledged his authority, 
the warlike Alexander considered that he had received 
sufficient provocation to justify an invasion. Had it not 
been for the jealousy and intrigues of these factious princes 


against their overlord, the task of invading India would 
have been a much more formidable one. As it was, 
Alexander was able unmolested to march down the danger- 
ous Khyber Pass into the valley of Peshawar, to cross his 
army without opposition over the river Indus, and to use 
the country of Taxiles both as a source from which to draw 
supplies for his army and as a base of operations in the 
ensuing campaign. 

The battle of the Jhelum. After halting some time 
at Taxila to complete his preparations, Alexander marched 
towards the Jhelum, where he heard that Porus with all the 
forces he could muster was waiting to dispute his passage. 
Alexander drew up his army on the bank of the river 
opposite that of Porus. But on one wild and stormy night, 
under cover of the darkness, leaving a portion of his forces 
behind him so as not to excite suspicion, he himself with 
the main body crossed the river at a spot a few miles dis- 
tant. When the scouts of Porus informed him of what had 
happened, he immediately despatched his son with a con- 
siderable body of troops to check Alexander's advance. 
The son of Porus hurried forward gallantly to the attack ; 
but the rain had made the ground soft, and the chariots on 
which he placed so much reliance stuck in the mud and 
impeded rather than assisted him. In the battle which 
ensued, the Indian horsemen, though fighting with desperate 
courage, could not stand against the well-disciplined cavalry 
of the Greeks, and were driven in upon the supporting 
infantry. Behind the Greek cavalry came the steady 
phalanxes of veteran foot--soldiers, who bore down all before 
them. The rout was soon complete, and the Indians fled 
precipitately, leaving their leader's body among the heaps 
of slain. 

Submission of Porus. When the news was brought 
to Porus that his son was killed and that the force sent with 
him had been dispersed, he drew up his whole army 
in array, determined that the issue between himself and 
Alexander should be decided in one pitched battle. 
In front of his infantry he stationed his two hundred 
elephants, which were to have been goaded forward by 
their drivers to trample down the enemy. He had 
besides an immense body of cavalry and a number of 


war-chariots. When the two opposing forces met, a sudden 
panic seized the elephants, and turning round they rushed 
back upon his army, crushing men and horses and throwing 
the ranks into confusion. The Greeks following close upon 
the terrified animals, quickly put to flight the whole army. 
Further resistance was vain, and Porus was obliged to tender 
his submission. Alexander was greatly pleased with the 
courage and spirit shown by his fallen enemy, and not only 
treated him with the honour due to his rank, but restored 
to him his kingdom. Porus repaid the kingly generosity of 
his conqueror by becoming henceforth his loyal and devoted 

Proposed attack on Magadha. While at Taxila, 
Alexander had heard tidings of a kingdom on the banks of 
the Ganges which far surpassed in wealth and power any 
that he had yet met with. This kingdom was Magadha, 
over which the last of the Nanda dynasty was then reign- 
ing. In the years that had intervened since Buddha's death 
Magadha had been steadily growing till it was now the 
most powerful kingdom in Northern India. It had already 
absorbed Kosala and the neighbouring kingdoms to the 
south, east and west, and now stretched right up to the 
borders of the Punjab. Alexander's informant was Chandra 
Gupta, or Sandrocottus as the Greeks called him, an exiled 
prince from Nand^'s court. With tales of the grandeur 
and magnificence of Nanda's capital the wily Indian fired 
Alexander's mind with lust of conquest, and then coolly 
proposed that they should invade the kingdom together, 
depose the reigning monarch, and place him, Chandra 
Gupta, on the throne. Alexander was impressed with the 
feasibility of the project, but was so greatly displeased 
with the presumption of the adventurer that Chandra 
Gupta was obliged to fly for his life from Taxila. 

After the conquest of Porus, Alexander fought his 
victorious way to the banks of the Chenab, receiving on 
the march the submission of the ruler of Kashmir. The 
Ravi and the Byas were next crossed without serious 
opposition, but in the country of the Kathaians beyond he 
met with a stubborn resistance, which was not overcome 
till Sangala the capital had been captured and rased to the 
ground. Magadha now lay before him, but the conqueror's 


war-worn veterans had had enough of fighting, and longed 
to return to Greece; and now, too, the south-west monsoon 
had begun to dehige the country with rain. When they 
heard that they would be required to march still further 
from their homes in Europe, they refused, in spite of 
threats, entreaties and promises of plunder to be led 
against Magadha. 

Alexander's departure and death. Alexander was 
therefore forced to relinquish his project and to make his 
way back to Persia. Part of his troops were sent down 
the Jhelum and the Indus in boats to tlie sea, while he and 
the remainder marched along the banks. On the way he 
met with considerable opposition from the natives, and was 
himself severely wounded in the assault and capture of 
Multan. Near the junction of the Five Rivers he halted 
for a while and began the construction of a city which he 
named Alexandria. There he left a Greek governor and 
garrison; then marching on to where the Indus branches 
out into its delta, he founded another city, Patala, which 
as Hyderabad, the capital of Sind, survives to this day. 
After suffering great hardships and losing many of his 
soldiers in the wild and desolate country of Baluchistan, he 
reached Persia in 325 B.C. Two years later at Babylon, 
the capital, while busily maturing fresh schemes of conquest, 
he was seized with a fever and died. 

Effects of his invasion. Though Alexander, added 
no portion of India to his vast dominions, yet by founding 
cities, establishing Greek garrisons and setting up and 
dethroniiioj kinors, he had insured that the eflf'ects of his 
invasion should endure. But the most important result of 
his invasion was that it brought into contact with each 
other the two most highly civilized nations of the ancient 
world a contact that could not be otherwise than to their 
mutual advantage. While the Hindus of Northern India 
felt the influence of Greece in science and art, the Greeks 
must have imbibed from the Hindus something of their 
deep religious and philosophical speculations. 

Chandra Gupta and Seleucus. After Alexander's 
death his vast empire broke up, and in the scramble which 
ensued Seleucus, one of his generals, seized upon the 
Province of Bactria, lying to the north of Afghanistan, and 



established there an independent Greek kingdom. As soon 
as he had consolidated his power, he invaded India, think- 
ing to carry out the plans of conquest which had filled the 
mmd of Alexander. But in the years which had passed 
since Alexander's death, Chandra Gupta, the exiled prince 

Head of Alexander (in the British Museum). 

of Magadha, had actually succeeded in carrying out, single- 
handed, the project which he had proposed that he and 
Alexander should jointly effect. Taking advantage of the 
anarchy which followed the withdrawal of the Greeks from 
Northern India, he had by promises of plunder gathered 
together a powerful army of mercenaries and freebooters, 
and with its assistance overthrown and slain the last of the 
Nandas and seized his kingdom. He had since entered 
upon a career of conquest, and at the time of the invasion 
of Seleucus had extended his sway over the whole of 


Northern India. Seleuciis therefore, unlike Alexander, had 
to face one powerful ruler instead of several petty kings 
who could not for. their mutual jealousies act in concert. 
When he had penetrated as far as the Ganges, he found- 
himself in such difficulties that he was glad to make peace 
with Chandi'a Gupta on terms very different from those of 
a victorious invader. He agreed to relinquish all territory 
south of Kabul to the Hindu king in exchange for 500 
elephants. An alliance was then concluded between the 
two monarchs, in proof of the good faith of which Seleucus 
gave his daughter in marriage to Chandra Gupta, and the 
latter agreed to receive a Greek ambassador at his court. 

Megasthenes's account of Magadha. This am- 
bassador, whose name was Megasthenes, wrote an account 
of his five years' sojourn at Chandra Gupta's capital, but, 
unfortunately, fragments only of it have been preserved to 
us. The capital had been removed from Rajagriha by one 
of the early Nanda kings to Pataliputra, at the junction of 
the Ganges and the Sone. Megasthenes describes it as a 
city ten miles long by two miles broad, protected on one 
side by the Ganges and on the other by a deep ditch, and 
surrounded oa all sides by a wooden wall. The government 
was, so far as the capital was concerned, a paternal des- 
potism. The people were entirely at the mercy of officials 
and had no voice in public affairs. The empire of Magadha 
was a loose confederacy of 118 towns and principalities, 
under the suzerainty of the ruler of Pataliputra, but prac- 
tically independent as far as their internal administration 
was concerned. 

The social state of the Hindus. Except in regard 
to matters which came under his own observation Megas- 
thenes's account must be received with caution. He was 
undoubtedly a close and accurate observer, but statements 
which he makes on the strength of reports made to him 
by others are often obviously false and show a degree of 
credulity which is astonishing. He gravely tells of tribes 
of men without mouths, of others with a single eye, and 
many similar absurdities : but it is only fair to him to add 
that his original work has not been preserved, and we have 
to rely upon quotations from it preserved in later writers, 
and that even when every deduction has been made there 


is still a considerable residuum of fact in his account which 
is well worthy of attention. Megasthenes remarks with 
approval the exemption of cultivators from military service, 
but he deplores the stringency of the caste rules. He was 
very favourably impressed with the Hindus, and ascribes 
to them many virtues for w^hich they are not now con- 
spicuous. But when he speaks of their simple and frugal 
habits on the one hand, and on the other of their extrava- 
gant love of ornament and show, he is noticing traits which 
prevail to the present day. Strangely enough he makes 
no reference to Buddhism ; though it is thought by some 
that by one of the two classes of philosophers mentioned 
by him may be meant the Buddhist teachei's. The omission 
may be due to the fact that in the time of Chandra Gupta, 
who was not a Buddhist king, the sect, deprived of royal 
favour, had dwindled to insignificance ; or it may be that 
the ambassador relied too implicitly for his accounts of 
Hindu society upon what he gathered from Brahman 
sources. He states that the Hindus had no laws ; but as 
his description of the Government agrees fairly closely 
with the form laid down in the Code of Manu, we may 
suppose that some portions of that sacred unwritten Code 
w^ere generally, if tacitly, observed. The village com- 
munity was answerable through its headman to the king 
for its taxes and good conduct, but otherwise was allowed 
to manage its own internal affairs as it pleased. The king 
was the owner of all the land, and exacted for the royal 
treasury a fourth part of the produce of the soil. 

Life at the Capital. Megasthenes gives a wonderfully 
vivid picture of the life of the court and of the capital. 
The palace which was surrounded by a wide and well-kept 
park, though made chiefly of wood, excelled in beauty and 
costliness of workmanship any to be found even in Persia. 
It was furnished with unexampled lavishness and splendour, 
gold and jewels being profusely employed for ornamentation 
and in the vessels for royal use. The king spent his leisure 
in hunting and in watching combats of animals and men, 
but he seldom showed himself outside the palace, and when 
he went among his people he was surrounded by a band of 
armed women, fierce and strong, and it was death to attempt 
to approach him. In spite of his magnificence and power 


he lived in constant dread of assassination, never sleeping 
during the day-time or in the same room on two successive 

The Administration. A huge standing army was 
maintained continuously on a war footing, which, if Megas- 
thenes is to be credited, comprised 600,000 infantry, 30,000 
horse and 9000 elephants, besides a multitude of chariots. 
The affairs of the army were managed by a commission 
consisting of thirty members, subdivided into boards which 
had charge of the various departments, such as infantry and 
cavaliy. The control of the capital was similarly adminis- 
tered by boards. Trade and manufacture were very strictly 
supervised with a view to insuring the full collection of the 
revemie from taxes thereon. The registration of births 
and deaths was likewise carefully maintained, and wages 
and prices were regulated by the State. The laws relating 
to the payment of taxes were very severe, evasions of pay- 
ment being punishable with death, and crime was repressed 
with almost inhuman cruelty and hanhness 

The administration of provinces was entrusted to viceroys, 
over whom a careful watch was kept by means of an elabo- 
rate system of espionage. The land tax was then as now 
the principal source of revenue and the land was "settled'^ 
for purposes of taxation ; but it is difficult to believe that 
a uniform rate of one-fourth of the gross produce, as 
stated by Megasthenes, could have been levied every- 
where. Irrigation was very carefully attended to and 
irrigation works of great importance were constructed. 
Megasthenes explicitly states that it Avas the duty of one 
set of officers ''to measure the land, as in Egypt, and inspect 
the sluices by which water is distributed into the branch, 
canals, so that every one may enjoy his fair share of the 

We are justified in inferring from Megasthenes's account 
of the Magadha Empire that, despite some barbarously 
cruel laws, relentless exactions, and the inquisitorial nature 
of the government, a high stage of civilization had been 
reached in India, and that the people were fairly prosperous 
and as a whole well cared for by the State. 



Asoka. Chandra Gupta reigned for twenty-four years 
as King of Magadha and overlord of many little kingdoms 
of Northern and North-Western India. He was the founder 
of a line of kings known as the Mauriya dynasty, and was 
succeeded by his son Bindusara. This king, who reigned 
for tAventy-eight years, extended his father's empire by fresh 
conquests. His successor was his son Asoka, one of the 
greatest of Indian rulers. The Buddhist chronicles declare 
that he succeeded in establishing himself upon his father's ' 
throne by the murder of the rightful heir, his elder brother, 
and the wholesale massacre of the members of the roval 
family. This is doubtless an exaggeration, for Asoka, in 
one of his edicts issued at a much later date, makes mention 
of brothers still alive. At the time of his father's death 
Asoka was acting as governor of Ujjain, and, as has so 
often happened in the history of India, a fratricidal struggle 
took place for the possession of the throne. His elder 
brother, who was governor of Taxila, appears to have been 
his most formidable rival, and a fierce encounter took place 
between them, ending in the defeat and death of the 
former. Asoka ascended the throne in B.C. 267, but was 
not crowned at Pataliputra till four years later. The early 
years of his reign were spent in extending still further the 
empire of Magadha by adding to it after a long and devas- 
tating war the territory of the Kalingas, lying between his 
kingdom and the Bay of Bengal. Under him the empire 
of Magadha became the greatest that had up to then been 
known in India. So great did his power become that his 
suzerainty was acknowledged up to the borders of Bactria 
in the north down to the Krishna River in the south. 

His conversion to Buddhism. But it is not so 
much on this account that he has left so great a name in 
history as because of his zeal in the cause of Buddhivsm 
He was not in early life a Buddhist; indeed, if we may 
believe the Buddhist chronicles, he had been notorious for 
violence and cruelty. But the horrors of the conquest of 
Kalinga, and the miseries inflicted thereby upon a prosperous 
and civilized people, so wrought upon his mind that they 
altered the whole tenor of his life. From that time he 


was troubled with remorse and began to show a kindly 
leaning towards the Buddhist religion ; and as he grew 
older, he came more and more under the influence of the 
Buddhist sages, till, in the eleventh year after his corona- 
tion, he openly avowed himself a convert to that mild and 
gentle creed. His was an ardent nature, and having made 
up his mind that salvation lay in the path that Buddha 
had revealed, he was determined to do all in his power to 
guide mankind along it. From that moment the power 
and the influence of the Brahmans, who had regained 
their ascendancy under his predecessors, rapidly declined. 
Buddhism was established as the state religion of his empire 
and its doctrines proclaimed far and wide. 

Third Buddhist Council. Two years after his 
conversion a great council was called together at his 
capital, to settle the faith, and to "classify and compile 
the Buddhist scriptures. This is known as the Third Great 
Buddhist Council. ^ It is important to notice in passing 
first, that the language employed was that in common 
use at the time, the Magadhi or Pali language, and 
secondly, that in Asoka's time writing was freely in use 
in India. 

Asoka's edicts. In the thirteenth year after his 
coronation he began to issue edicts setting forth the tenets 
of the faith, and had them inscribed on rocks in different 
parts of his kingdom. These rock-cut edicts exist to the 
present day, noble memorials of his earnestness and 
piety, and records of the greatest interest and impor- 
tance to the historian and the scholar. In all of them 
he styles himself King Piyadasi, beloved of the gods, 
and he tells us in them that he has ordered the faithful 
to gather in each district every five years for religious . 
instruction ; that he has appointed Buddhist ministers 
to go into every land to attend to the spiritual needs of 
believers and to teach those who have not yet heard 
the Law ; that he has enjoined universal religious tolera- 

^ There is no good reason for rejecting, as some have done, the 
story of the Third Buddhist Coiincil as a later invention of the 
monks of Ceylon, for the relics of Tissa, son of Moggali, who is 
said to have presided at it, have actually been discovered at Sanchi 
in the Central Provinces. 



tioii and exhorted his subjects to be ever extolling 
virtue and imparting true religion to each other; that 
he has prohibited the slaughter of animals for food or 
sacrifice ; that he has provided medicines for man and beast 

Asoka's Pillar. 

in all the realms over which he exercises suzerainty, dug 
wells and built rest-houses along the public roads, and 
planted medicinal herbs, fruit trees, and trees to afford 
shade to travellers, wherever they were needed. The 
edicts also tell us how wide-reaching was the influence of 
Asoka and with what distant countries the Empire of 


Magadha had intercourse. Antiochiis of Bactria, Ptolemy 
of Egypt, Antigoiius of Macedon, and Alexander of Epirus 
received his missionaries and permitted them to preach in 
their dominions. 

His zeal for the faith. In addition to the rock 
inscriptions, in the 26th and 27th years of his reign he issued 
a fresh set of edicts, containing further religious and moral 
instructions, and had them inscribed on pillars in different 
parts of his kingdom. His zeal in the propagation of the 
faith knew no bounds. Everywhere hospitals and dis- 
pensaries were established, schools opened for the teaching 
of religion and ministers appointed to supervise the morals 
of his people. Buddhist monasteries enjoyed the special 
patronage of the state. Those who took monastic vows and 
wore the yellow robe were so numerous that the eastern 
portion of the empire became known as the land of the 
Yiharas or monasteries. Mahendra, his son, and Sangha- 
mitra, his daughter, entered the order of mendicants, and 
went to Ceylon to spread the faith among its people.^ Their 
mission was from the first crowned with success. The 
king of the island embraced the new faith, and erected a 
stately monastery for those who joined the order, and 
there the brother and sister lived and taught for the 
remainder of their lives. The missionary enterprise 
during Asoka's reign was extraordinary vigorous and far- 
reaching. Buddhist mendicant monks penetrated to Kash- 
mir^ Afghanistan, Bactria, and Greece, Lower Burmah, 
and Indo-China, and to every part of India. Everything 
th^t could be done was done to spread the religion of 
Buddha and insure obedience to its tenets, short of persecu- 
tion or forcible conversion. These the religion itself strictly 
forbade ; for it is the special boast of Buddhism that from 
the first it has relied solely upon peaceful missionary work. 

His greatness. Asoka died in 232 B.C., after having 
reigned for forty-one years. He had been strong enough to 
keep in check the whole extent of his vast empire, and had 
preserved friendly relations with the independent kingdoms 
on its borders. Therefore during his long reign India 
enjoyed one of those periods of general peace which have 

^Mr. Vincent Smith in his Asolca rejects the whole story, but see 
Rhys Davids' Buddhist India, pp. 300-304. 



occurred so seldom in her history. Few kings have had so 
good a title to be called Great as this earnest noble-minded 
monarch, and none has exercised a greater influence for 
good upon his fellow-men. 

Decay of the Magadha Empire. After Asoka's 
death six kings of the Mauriya dynasty ruled over 
Magadha. But the Empire quickly dwindled in the hands 
of his successors, and in 184 B.C. the last of the Mauriyas, 
who reigned over little more than the province of Magadha, 
was assassinated by Pushyamitra, his commander in- 
chief. Pushyamitra seized 
the throne and was the 
.founder of a short-lived 
dynasty known as the 
Sungas. He favoured 
Brahmanism and is said 
to, have cruelly oppressed 
the Buddhists. His reign 
is chiefly noteworthy for 
another daring Greek in- 
cursion which occurred 
during it. The decay of 
the Magadha Empire 
seems to have resulted 
in the establishment of a 
number of little Greek 

kingdoms in the country west of the Indus. The ruler of 
one of these, Menander by name, who held sway in the 
Kabul Valley, undertook about the year 155 B.C. an 
adventurous incursion into Northern India. Not only 
did he cross the Beas, the furthest point reached by 
Alexander, but he pushed his way through the country 
now included in the United Provinces and was only 
checked finally at the very gates of Pataliputra itself. 
That a petty prince should have been able to accomplish 
such a striking feat of arms is eloquent of the rapid decline 
of military power in India since the days of Asoka. 

Rise of the Andhras. Northern India during the 
latter half of the second century B.C. was in a very unsettled 
state, and the rise about this time of a new power, the 
Andhras, in Central India must have contributed not a little 

H.I.H.S. D 

Coin of Menander. 


to increase the confusion and unrest. The Sunga dynasty of 
Magadha came to an end in B.C. 72, much in the same way 
as that of the Mauriyas had done. The last king was 
assassinated by his Brahman prime-minister, who usurped 
the throne. The Kanva dynasty, which the usurper 
founded, had an even shorter duration than the Sunga, for 
in 27 B.C. the reigning Andhra monarch defeated and slew 
the Kanva ruler and annexed his kingdom to his own. 
Thus ingloriously ended the great Magadha Empire. Very 
little is known of the history of the Andhras, but they 
rapidly rose in power and importance and conquered a 
large portion of the Deccan. Their territory, roughly 
speaking, comprised the modern Hyderabad, Berar and the 
Central Provinces. Their kings were Buddhists, and the 
remains of stupas and monasteries erected by them are still 
to be seen scattered over the Deccan. 




Rise of Magadha under the Saisunagas 600 

Birth of Buddha, founder of Buddhism - - - - - 557 

Commencement of the reign of Bimbisara . . . . 520 

Persian invasion of the Indus Valley ..... 500 

Ajatasutru's reign begins 490 

Death of Buddha 487 

First Buddhist Council - 477 

Second Buddhist Council 380 

The first of the Nandas begins to reign 370 

Alexander's invasion 327 

Chandragupta Mauriya - - - - - - - - 321 

Bindusara .......--- 295 

Asoka 267 

Third Buddhist Council 244 

Pushyamitra, founder of the Sunga dynasty 184 

Menander's incursion ........ 150 

The Kanva dynasty founded 72 

The Andhra ruler reduces Magadha - - - - - - 27 


Scythians and Parthians. About the middle of the 
second century B.C., that is a few years after Menander's 
invasion, the small Greek kingdoms of Bactria were 
attacked and overrun by the Sakas, nomad hordes of wild 
barbarians dwelling to the south-west of the Aral Sea. 
The Sakas, or Scythians as they are often called, had been 
forced south by the pressure of another invading host 
known as the Yueh-Chi, migrating westward in vast 
numbers from Chinese territory. The Sakas, after destroy- 
ing the Greek kingdoms of Bactria, seem to have secured for 
a time an uncertain footing in the northern Punjab ; but a 
branch that made its way down the Indus valley succeeded 
in establishing itself firmly in Kathiawar, then called Saur- 
ashtra. The ill-success of the Sakas in the Punjab was 
perhaps due to inroads of Parthians that occurred about the 
same time, for it seems certain that a succession of Parthian 
kings held sway upon the north-west frontier from about 
120 B.C. till the middle of the first century A.D. The Sakas 
appear to have accepted a position of vassalage under the 
Parthians, for their rulers took the Persian title of Ksha- 
trapa, or Satrap, which signifies subordination to an 
imperial ruler. Amidst the confusion of names and dates 
in the history of the period, the name of one Parthian 
overlord, Gondophares, deserves to be remembered. He is 
known to have ascended the throne in A.D. 21 and to have 
reigned for about thirty years ; but the chief interest 
attaching to his name is that very early Christian tradition 
represents him as having received a Christian mission 
led by the apostle Thomas himself. There seems no 
good reason for doubting the truth of the story, though 
it was not from this direction that Christianity was 
destined to gain a permanent foothold on the Indian 

The Yueh-Chi. But while Greeks, ' Parthians and 
Sakas were struggling desparately together, the Yueh-Chi 
were pushing relentlessly south, hard upon the heels of the 
Sakas. Before the Yueh-Chi all three contestants alike 
went down, and by the middle of the first century of the 
Christian Era, Kadphises, the ruler of the leading Yueh- 
Chi clan, the Kushans, had seized upon the whole of the 
territory north of India comprised by the countries now 


The Old Tower, Buddh Gaya, as Restored. 


known as Afghanistan and Bokhara. Kadphises died about 
85 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Kadphises 11. The 
latter, having made an unsuccessful attack upon the Chinese 
Empire, turned his attention to India, which offered an 
easier conquest. Crossing over the border he overthrew 
the Parthian ruler and the Saka Kshatrapas of the Punjab 
together, and speedily made himself the acknowledged 
master of Northern India as far as Benares and Ghazipur. 
Meanwhile the western Scythians, who still occupied Guzerat, 
taking advantage of the state of anarchy resulting from the 
struggles for supremacy in the north, succeeded in establish- 
ing a powerful and independent kingdom. The Saka era, 
78 A.D., an era widely employed in reckoning historical 
dates, marks the date of their declaration of independence. 

Embassy to Rome. It was probably on the con- 
clusion of his Indian campaign that Kadphises II. sent in 
99 A.I), his embassy to Rome to offer his congratulations to 
the Emperor Trajan. Though this is the first mention of 
intercourse between India and the Roman Empire it may 
be mentioned that an extensive trade with Europe in silks, 
spices and precious stones was being carried on during the 
whole of the first century A.D., mainly through the ports 
along the western coast of India. Commerce with foreign 
countries was no innovation, for in much earlier times 
Southern India had supplied the markets of Babylon with 
merchandise, and a coasting trade had existed between it 
and Mesopotamia almost from time immemorial. But 
Trajan's conquests brought India and Rome for the first 
time into actual contact; for Rome became through them a 
great Asiatic power, and direct trade relations were soon 
established between the two. Roman coins began to pass 
current in Northern and Western India, and the influence 
of Roman art is strongly marked in the currency and stone 
carving of the period. 

Political divisions of India. There was at this time 
in India no paramount power, as there had been in the 
time of Asoka. The Andhras, while able to extend their 
dominions over Behar, were unable to push their conquests 
south of the Kistna River, and the Cholas, the Cheras and 
the Pandyas still maintained their ancient sway in Southern 
India. The Kushan branch of the Yueh-Chi did indeed 


rapidly extend its dominions, but its power lay chiefly in 
the north and west of India and maiiilj^ beyond its borders 
in Central Asia. 

Kanishka. Kadphises II. was succeeded by Kanishka 
about the year A.D. 125, and under him the Kushan 

Kaniska offering Incense, 
(From a coin.) 

Empire reached the zenith of its power. Kashgar, Yar- 
kand and Khotan were added to the territories beyond the 
Indian frontier, and in India the Kushan monarch's 
sway extended as far south as the Yindhyas. Kanishka 
established his capital at Peshawar, upon Indian soil, and 
the city became under him rich and famous and renowned 
particularly for a noble style of stone-carving known as the 
Indo-Roman Buddhist style. Like the Great Asoka, whom 
he delighted to imitate, he was a convert to Buddhism. 


But the Buddhism of Kanishka's day was very different 
from that of Asoka's. Buddha, despite his express teach- 
ing, had long since been deified, and around him as a central 
deity the whole mythology of a spirit-world had grown up. 
Buddhism had, in fact, passed into a regular religion, and 
in the process the simple teaching of the founder was 
smothered beneath a mass of superstitious ritual. In 
Kanishka's reign, as in that of Asoka, a Great Council was 
summoned to settle disputed points of doctrine. This 
Council, v/hich was the last of the Buddhist Councils, 
settled the creed of the northern Buddhists, as Asoka's 
had settled that of the southern. It is significant of the 
revival of Brahman influence that the language used was 
Sanskrit, and that Brahmanical doctrine is much in evidence 
in these commentaries. There are thus two schools of 
Buddhism, that of the northern Buddhists, known as the 
Mahayana or High Path, and that of the southern Bud- 
dhist, the Hinayana or Low Path school. It was iif 
Kanishka's reign that Buddhist missionaries were sent 
northwards into Thibet and China. 

Decline of the Kushan Empire. Kanishka died 
about the year 150 A.D., and was succeeded by his son, 
Huvtshka. The new king was, like his father, a munificent 
patron of Buddhism and continued to endow monasteries 
and erect stupas on a lavish scale ; but he was lax in his 
beliefs and did honour to the gods of other religions as well 
Greek, Indian, and Persian. Huvishka, like his father, 
enjoyed a long reign and seems to have retained unimpaired 
the vast empire bequeathed to him. His successor was 
named Vasudeva, a significantly Hindu-sounding name. 
The fact, too, that upon his coins are represented the 
mystical signs of the Hindu religion seems to indicate 
that Brahman influence was in the ascendant and a change 
of faith taking place. Vasudeva was the last of the Kushan 
kings to hold imperial sway, and the empire rapidly declined 
during his reign. His death was followed by a period of 
great confusion in Northern India, during which no para- 
mount power arose nor were any stable kingdoms estab- 

Saurashtra. The Saka kingdom of Guzerat, known as 
Saurashtra, meanwhile grew and prospered. Its kings, 



known as the Western Kshatnipas, appear to have been 
Hindus by religion. An inscription of one of them, named 
Nahapana, who ascended the throne in 119 A.D., shows that 
he favoured Hinduism, and paid extravagant honours to 
Brahmans. Nahapana, who was of a warlike disposition, 
was for a time successful in his campaigns against his 
Andhra neighbours, and took from them much territory, 
including Malwa; but in 126 Vilivayakura XL, the Andhra 
king, overran his dominions and in pitched battle defeated 
and slew him. But this check to the fortunes of the king- 
dom of Saurashtra was only temporary, for Chasthana, 
Nahapana's successor, recovered Malwa and removed his 
capital inland to the ancient city of Ujjain. Rudradaman, 
his grandson, who reigned in the middle of the second 
century, made himself by extensive conquests the most 
powerful king in Western India, and twice defeated the 
Andhra king. 

The Guptas. The first half of the third century is 
marked by the decline of the Andhra kingdom. Exhausted 

by its struggles with 
Saurashtra and torn 
by internal dissensions 
it had begun to* lose 
its hold on the out- 
lying portions of its 
dominions. First a 
succession of revolts 
in the south led to 
the establishment of 
several small princi- 
palities, and then the 
northern provinces 
threw off their allegi- 
ancC; forming a new 
kingdom, that of the 
Chedis. The break up 
of the Andhra kingdom 
was followed by a period of general anarchy and strife, 
favourable to the rise ci daring and skilful adventurers. 
A strong hand only was needed to pacify and reunite the 
whole, and in the latter half of the century Magadha 


(From a coin.) 


once again supplied rulers capable of performing the task. 
Pataliputra, which had for so many years ceased to play an 
important part in history, was at this time ruled over by a 
petty prince of the name of Chandragupta. By his marriage 
with a Lichchhavi lady of noble birth, named Kumara 
Devi, he had gained both strength and prestige ; for the 
Lichchhavis, after centuries of obscurity, were once more a 
power in the land. It is noteworthy that at this disturbed 
period the tribal form of government revived in various 
parts of Northern India, tribal constitutions being formed 
in the Punjab and Rajputana as well as in Behar. After 
his marriage, Chandragupta, perhaps at first with the aid'' 
of the Lichchhavis, started on a remarkable career of 
conquest. So successful was he that before his death he 
had made himself the master of a kingdom stretching as 
far west as Allahabad and including large portions of Oudh 
and Behar. In consideration of his extensive dominions 
and his unbroken series of victories, he took the title of 
King of Kings and established an era, known as the 
Gupta Era, in honour of himself, dating from the year of 
his coronation in 320. 

Samudra Gupta. His son and successor, Samudra 
Gupta, who ascended the throne in the year 326, was an 
even greater soldier than his father, and his campaigns are 
astounding for their audacity. For the daring and skill 
with which he advanced into wild and distant countries 
Samudra Gupta is deserving of a place among the greatest 
of Indian kings. We are able to judge of his adventurous 
spirit for ourselves, for he has left upon one of Asoka's 
pillars, now standing in the fort at Allahabad, an inscription 
giving a detailed list of his conquests. It tells how he 
carried his victorious arms over the kingdoms of the 
Deccan as far as the Narbadda river, over Assam, Bengal 
and Orissa, and over the Mahratta country in the west, 
and northwards to the Himalayas. Only Sind and the 
Punjab and the south escaped his all-conquering army. He 
did not aiuiex all the kingdoms which he conquered, but, 
even so, his dominions stretched from the Himalayas to the 
Yindhyas and from the Ghambal to the Delta of the Ganges. 
He was not a Buddhist, though tolerant of Buddhism, but 
an orthodox Hindu who payed great honour to Brahmans. 


At their instigation on the occasion of his victorious return 
from the south he revived with unheard-of splendour the 
famous aswamedlia, the horse sacrifice of Vedic days. 
Besides being a great soldier he was also a great patron of 
learning and the arts. On one of his coins he is represented 
as playing the lyre, and the inscription mentioned above 
speaks of his skill in music and song. After a long and 
prosperous reign he handed on the succession peacefully 
to his successor, Chandragupta 11. 

Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Chandragupta II. 
ascended the throne about 375 a.d. and, like his father, 
spent the earlier part of his reign in warlike enterprise. 
First he put down a rising in Bengal with great vigour, and 
then he turned his attention to the independent kingdoms 
of the west. Malwa and Guzerat were quickly annexed, 
and Saurashtra, after a prolonged struggle, was forced at 
length to submit. The Saka kingdom of the Western Ksha- 
trapas, which had endured for three hundred years amidst 
the surrounding turmoil, was thus at length destroyed. 
Twenty years had been spent in these campaigns ; but 
the prize of victory was worth having, for Chandragupta 
now held the great trading route through Malwa to the 
sea. Saurashtra was at this time the great emporium 
of trade, and through its ports flowed the exports and 
imports of Northern India. The title of Vikramaditya, 
Sun of Victory, which Chandragupta bestowed upon him- 
self after his conquest of Saurashtra, was not altogether 
undeserved, for his empire was scarcely less than that 
of Asoka himself. Though Pataliputra remained officially 
the capital, Chandragupta removed the seat of his 
government, first to the ancient city of Ajodhya, and later 
to Kausambi, a place of great strategic importance, on the 
southern bank of the Jumna, commanding the high road 
through Malwa to the north. Chandragupta Vikramaditya 
inherited his father's literary and artistic tastes as well as 
his skill in war. He must too have possessed considerable 
ability as an administrator, for during his long reign of 
forty years his vast empire enjoyed peace and prosperity. 

Fa Hian^s Account of India. During the reign of 
Chandragupta II., Fa Hian, a pious Chinese Buddhist, 
came on a pilgrimage to India to visit the hallowed spots 


where Buddha had lived and taught, and to procure for 
his countrymen authentic copies of the Buddhist scrip- 
tures. He has written an account of his journey, and from 
it much valuable information can be gathered regarding 
the state of India at the time. He found Buddhism in a 
flourishing state and the country filled with monasteries. 
Buddhist monks were everywhere supported without stint ; 
but Hindu temples also had their votaries and in every 
large town flourished side by side with Buddhist monasteries. 
The Guptas were Hindus by religion and worshippers of 
Vishnu. It may be on this account that he passes them 
over ; for in his eyes they were heretics, arjd therefore 
unworthy of attention. But symptoms of the decay of 
Buddhism were not wanting, if he had had eyes to see them ; 
for the very places which had been the scenes of Buddha's life 
and teaching were for the most part neglected and their 
buildings in ruins. He found Sravasti, the ancient capital 
of Kosala, which in Buddha's time had been a flourishing city, 
almost deserted. Kapilavastu,the birthplace of Buddha, was 
a scene of desolation. Kusinagara, where he died, was 
inhabited only by a few priests and their families. Gaya 
was deserted, and the holy spots in the neighbourhood were 
overgrown with jungle, though the Bodhi Tree was still 
standing and venerated. At Pataliputra he saw the ruins 
of Asoka's palace, and was much impressed with its magni- 
ficence even in decay. Close at hand there was a handsome 
monastery containing six or seven hundred monks. In 
some of the places which he visited Buddhism was still in 
a flourishing state. In the Deer Park near. Benares, for 
instance, where the first sermon had been preached, the 
monasteries were liberally endowed and generously sup- 
ported by the alms of the faithful. At Mathura, also, the 
monasteries were thriving, and in that part of the country 
and in Malwa Buddhism was prosperous enough. 

Change in the character of Buddhism. But 
Buddhism had undergone a change since the days of Asoka, 
and symptoms of degeneration had begun to manifest them- 
selves. Gorgeous festivals, quite opposed to the spirit of 
the faith, had become recognised institutions, and image 
worship, for which no sanction could be found in the 
Buddhist scriptures, a universal practice. Fa Hian gives 


an interesting account of a Buddhist procession which he 
saw while staying at Pataliputra. Twenty four-wheeled 
cars surmounted with gaudy imitation pagodas were 
dragged through the streets amid shouting crowds. At the 
four corners of each car were images of Buddha in a sitting 
posture, and round the pagodas under embroidered canopies 
were figures of the Devas adorned with ornaments of gold, 
silver and glass. All the *day of the procession and the 
following night multitudes of gaily-dressed worshippers 
indulged in games and singing and dancing. 

Corruption of the faith. To such idolatrous pomp 
had the pure and simple faith of Buddha degenerated in the 
hands of its priests by the fifth century A.D. Just as the 
bright and cheerful Vedic religion of the early Aryan settlers 
had been smothered by the Brahman hierarchy of Kosala 
under a gorgeous ritual, so the light of Buddha's teaching 
was being in its turn extinguished by the priests under a 
mass of gaudy and idolatrous ceremonial. It may seem 
strange that Buddhism should have undergone so com- 
plete a -transformation ; but Buddhism being essentially 
a religion of the people, as opposed to Brahmanism, 
the religion of a caste, was very liable to be affected 
by current superstitions and to be influenced by the idol 
worship prevalent among non- Aryan peoples. The Buddhist 
priests, being in most cases ignorant men drawn from the 
people, were unable wholly to shake off their old associations 
and beliefs, and permitted, even if they did not encourage, 
practices which were more in accordance with demon- worship 
than with the new faith. It is an indication of the corrup- 
tion of the faith that throughout the whole of Northern 
India there was no complete copy of the Buddhist scriptures 
to be found, but the Bikkhus " trusted to tradition for their 
knowledge of the precepts.'' 

The state of the Country. Fa Hian's account of the 
condition of the places he visited is eloquent testimony to 
the goodness of the governments generally. Being a 
foreigner and a Buddhist he could appraise Hindu rule 
impartially. He found the people following peaceful pur- 
suits undisturbed and he noticed that traders and pilgrims 
passed to and fro freely. In the large towns there were 
abundant evidences of prosperity, and charitable institu- 


tions were numerous and well supported. At Pataliputra 
there was a noble hospital and dispensary at which the poor 
could receive medicine and attendance free of charge. 
Malwa seemed to him specially prosperous, and he notes 
with approval the gentleness of the people and the compara- 
tive mildness of the criminal law. Altogether from this 
traveller's account it may be gathered that India under the 
Guptas was prosperous and well-governed. 

Kumara Gupta. Chandragupta II. died in 413, and 
was succeeded by Kumara Gupta, who reigned till 455. A 
temple inscription has been discovered bearing reference to 
this king. In it Kumara Gupta is spoken of as " reigning 
over the whole earth " an exaggerated testimony to the 
greatness of his dominions, but proving that his empire must 
have been of vast extent. Kumara Gupta must have 
achieved some notable conquests, for he imitated his grand- 
father Chandragupta in celebrating the horse sacrifice ; but 
the close of his reign was troubled by the invasions of fresh 
hordes of barbarians from the north and by the attacks of 
the Chalukyas, a rising power in the south-west. 

The fall of the Gupta Empire. Kumara Gupta 
was succeeded by his son Skanda Gupta in 455. The new 
king inherited all the martial qualities of his line, but he 
had to contend with almost insurmountable difficulties. The 
White Huns, the name by which the fresh invaders from 
the north are known in history, had been repelled with 
difficulty by his father when they were still comparatively 
few, but they were now gathering again to the attack with 
greatly increased numbers. At the first encounter Skanda 
Gupta by a splendid feat of arms so completely defeated 
them that he gained a respite of several years. But about 
470 they gathered head once more, and in pitched battle 
inflicted a crushing blow upon Skandagupta within the, 
borders of his own dominions. He was soon in great straits 
for want of money to pay his troops, but he struggled 
gamely on, though losing ground steadily, till his death in 
480. By no fault of his own he had left the empire too 
exhausted to recover, and it quickly ' dissolved. By the 
beginning of the sixth century it had suffered so much from 
the ravages of these barbarians that it was reduced to 
insignificance and soon after disappeared from history. Its 


kings had been zealous Hindus, and it was during the time 
of their ascendency that Buddhism began markedly to 
decline. Sanskrit learning revived under them, and the 
Sanskrit language, which through the influence of Buddhism 
had fallen much out of employment in favour of the ver- 
naculars, once more came into general use among the 

The Huns. The original home of the Huns seems to 
have lain somewhere between the Great Wall of China and 
the Caspian Sea. Being driven out thence, they settled in 
the neighbourhood of the Ural river. In the latter half of 
the fourth century A.D. they began a westward movement, 
and in less than a hundred years had overrun most of 
Central and Northern Europe. Under a dreaded leader, 
named Attila, they even laid at length the Roman Empire 
under tribute. But shortly after his death, which occurred 
in 453 A.D., dissensions broke out among their chiefs, and 
the nations of south-eastern Europe whom they had 
reduced to dependence, combining against them, so sig- 
nally defeated them in one pitched battle that they never 
recovered from the effects of it. Their power was com- 
pletely broken, and they rapidly dispersed, the majority 
of them returning to Central Asia. 

Mihiragula. Within a few years of this event, under 
a leader named Toraman, the Central Asian PTuns, no doubt 
joined by the fugitives from Europe, swept down upon 
India, carrying all before them with resistless force. 
Toraman died about 510 A.D., and was succeeded by his son 
Mihiragula, who became even a greater scourge than his 
father. Wherever this ruthless and savage warrior passed 
he left behind him wide scenes of ruin and desolation to 
mark his victorious course. The Huns have won for 
themselves in history a name for unexampled cruelty 
and barbarity, but under Mihiragula they surpassed even 
their own record. His ferocious cruelties at length reached 
such a pitch that the princes of Northern India, sink- 
ing their mutual jealousies for once, combined against 
him. Baladitya, King of Magadha, and Yasodharman, 
King of Ujjain, placed themselves at the head of the 
league. The contending armies met at Kahror in 528 A.D., 
and Mihiragula was utterly defeated and taken prisoner. 


The power of the Huns in India was completely broken 
by this blow, but with misplaced clemency the victors 
spared their captured foe and unwisely released him. 
Mihiragula took refuge in Kashmir at the invitation of the 
king of the country, who appears to have been himself a 
Hun. His host had soon reason to repent his kindness, 
for Mihiragula secretly collected a band of desperadoes, 
murdered the king and seized the throne. Then by 
treachery he made himself the master of the neighbouring 
kingdom of Gandhara, and exterminated the royal family. 
Kashmir and Gandhara were at this time the principal 
strongholds of Buddhism, while Mihiragula claimed as a 
follower of Siva to be a Hindu. He therefore set fiercely 
about a systematic extermination of the cult by sacking 
temples and monasteries and massacring priests and wor- 
shippers wholesale. Fortunately for his subjects he died 
within the year of his usurpation, but within that short 
time he had wrought such havoc that Buddhism never 
recovered from the shock. 

The legend of Vikramaditya. A good deal of 
mystery surrounds the name of Yasodharman. On inscrip- 
tions which he has left he takes to himself the whole 
credit for the defeat of Mihiragula and claims to be the 
ruler of an empire more extensive than that even of the 
Guptas. But he is known from these inscriptions only. 
There is no mention elsewhere either of him or of his vast 
dominions. It is difficult to believe that the inscriptions 
are the vain and frantic boastings of an insignificant ruler 
anxious to deceive posterity, but it is still more difficult to 
believe that so mighty a monarch, as he claims to be, should 
have been so completely forgotten by history. Efforts 
have been made to identify Yasodharman with the famous 
Vikramaditya of Sanskrit literature, the perfect pattern of a 
Hindu king. Vikramaditya has been to Hindu story-tellers 
what King Arthur was to the bards and romancers of 
Western Europe in the middle ages. They have loved to 
bestow upon him every noble trait, and round his name 
there have gathered countless legends setting forth his 
valour and his piety. Just as Arthur, the British king, is 
fabled to have stemmed the tide of Saxon invasion, so 
Vikramaditya is related to have repelled the barbarians; 


and just as Arthur's Court was the centre of culture and 
refinement, so Vikramaditya's Court was the resort of 
poets and scholars. He is said to have gathered round him 
nine pre-eminent men of letters, the Navaratna, or nine 
jewels of his court, amongst whom were Kalidas, the 
greatest of Sanskrit poets and dramatists, Varahamihira the 
astronomer, Amara the lexicographer, and Vararuchi 
the grammarian. But whether all these four men were 
living in the time of Yasodharman, or were even con- 
temporaries of one another, is more than doubtful 
indeed such little evidence as there is seems rather to 
warrant a contrary opinion. Hindu writers, unwilling to 
allow their legendary national hero to* be relegated 
altogether to the realms of fiction, have been anxiously in 
search of evidence to connect him with some historical 
personage, and they have fixed upon Yasodharman as the 
most likely, because he claims to have driven back the 
terrible Huns and to have ruled over a wide extent of 
Hindustan. It seems, however, more probable that the 
Legends of Vikramaditya may have gathered round the 
name of Vikramaditya Chandragupta, or at any rate 
round some member of the famous dynasty of the Guptas. 

Confusion in Northern India. After the death of 
Yasodharman his kingdom must have rapidly declined, for 
very little is heard of Malwa subsequently. The period 
which follows is one of struggle for supremacy between the 
many petty kingdoms which had arisen out of the wreck of 
the Gupta Empire. The Huns still appear to have been 
giving trouble in the north ; for, nearly fifty years after the 
battle of Kahror, Prabhakara, King of Thanes war, was 
engaged in conflict with them. Towards the close of his 
reign, his son Rajyavardhan, whom he had sent to com- 
mand his army against the Huns, succeeded in reducing 
them to subjection, and from this time forward they are 
heard of no more in Indian history. -They were in their 
turn entering now upon a desperate struggle in Central 
Asia for existence with a fresh horde of barbarians, the 
Turks, and they had no strength left for Indian enter- 

Rise of Thaneswar. Rajyavardhan peacefully as- 
cended the throne ; but he had hardly assumed the reins of 


government when he was forced to march against the king 
of Malwa to avenge the death of his brother-in-law, the 
king of Kanauj, and to release from chains the queen, his 
sister. Rajyavardhan had no difficulty in disposing of his 
enemy, but in the hour of victory he unwisely accepted an 
invitation to a conference in the camp of Sasanka, the king 
of Western Bengal, an ally of the king of Kanauj, and was 
there treacherously murdered. At his death the succes- 
sion passed by common consent to Siladitya, his younger 
brother, better known to history as Harsha, one of the 
most famous of Indian rulers. 

Harshavardhan. Harsha ascended the throne of 
Thaneswar in 606. His first task was to punish his 
brother's murderer, and he lost no time in marching 
into Bengal to attack Sasanka. This king was doubly 
abhorrent to him, for besides his guilt as the perpetrator 
of a treacherous crime he was a notorious persecutor 
of Buddhists, while Harsha was a staunch supporter 
of the faith. Sasanka had destroyed the Bodhi Tree 
at Gaya, desecrated shrines and holy relics, demolishecj 
convents and driven away the monks. There are no 
records of Harsha's campaign, but Sasanka was doubtless 
thoroughly humbled. Having dealt with Sasanka, Harsha 
embarked forthwith upon an extensive scheme of conquest. 
No Indian king has shown a greater persistency in war 
than he displayed. For thirty-five years he was almost 
constantly in the field and he did not rest till he had 
overcome all opposition from the Punjab to Assam. 

Conflict with Piilikesin. Harsha would have carried 
his victorious arms over the Deccan as well as over all 
Northern India had he not met with an unexpected check 
at the hands of Pulikesin II., king of the Chalukyas. 
Pulikesin's capital was at a place called Vatapi in what 
is now the district of Bijapur, and the Chalukyas 
were immigrants from the north, possibly Scythians, who 
had imposed themselves as a ruling race upon the Dravidians 
of that part of the country. Pulikesin II., whose reign 
commenced in 608, is one of the most renowned of Indian 
warriors, and at the time when Harsha attacked him he was 
at the zenith of his power and prestige. Despite Harsha's 
most strenuous exertions and his enormous and unbeaten 

H.I.H.S. E. 


army Pulikesin successfully resisted him, and he was at 
length obliged to retire without having achieved anything. 
Thereafter for a time the two sovereigns practically divided 
India between them. Harsha's sovereignty was acknow- 
ledged fi'om the Himalayas to the Narbada, while Pulikesin 
was the recognized suzerain of Southern India. 

Houen Tsang. During Harsha's reign another pious 
Chinese Buddhist, named Houen Tsang, made a pil- 
grimage to India, and he too, like Fa Hian, wrote an 
account of what he saw there. He arrived i_i India in 630, 
^nd remained in the country for fifteen years. Being a 
man of superior intelligence and broader views than Fa 
Hian his account is more reliable. It throws a flood of 
light upon a dark portion of the history of India, and affords 
much valuable information concerning the manners and 
customs of the time. 

His travels. Houen Tsang passed through Kandahar 
and Kabul on his way to India. In the country of 
Afghanistan Buddhism had degenerated into idolatry, and 
the stupas and images of Buddha had been invested with 
supernatural powers by the superstitious inhabitants. 
Many of the monasteries were deserted, and Hindu temples 
were springing up in all directions. In Kashmir, where he 
stayed two years, he found the two religions existing 
side by side, but Hinduism had now quite as strong a 
following as Buddhism. He has much to tell of Kanishka 
and the Great Buddhist Council held in his reign. Time 
had not yet obliterated the traces of the dread Mihirakula's 
devastating invasions, and the memory of them was still 
fresh in men's minds. It is significant of the steady 
decay of Buddhism that it had not recovered from the 
shocks of his invasions despite the lapse of more than a 
century. In Mathura, Buddhism had a strong following, 
hul the great attention paid to outward forms and cere- 
monies was a symptom of decay. Next he visited Thanes- 
war, celebrated in the Mahabharata as the scene of the 
battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Near at 
hand, so he was told, were still to be seen the bones of the 
heroes scattered over the plain. If there were any bones 
visible, they could only have been those of men slain in 
some recent battle ; but the existence of the tradition 


points to a struggle having actually taken place, and is 
therefore evidence of the fact of the Kuru Panchala War. 
Curiosity led him to Hardwar, 'near the source of the 
Ganges, which had already become a great place of Hindu * 
pilgrimage, and there he saw thousands of pilgrims bathing 
in the sacred stream. Very few in that part of the country 
followed the law of Buddha, and the land was full of Hindu 

His stay at Kanauj. Thence he passed on to Kanauj, 
which Harsha had made his capital, and he was much im- 
pressed with the grandeur of the place. The city was 
surrounded by solid walls and deep ditches, and its wealth 
attracted foreign merchants from far and wide. The people 
were noble and gracious in appearance and famed for their 
learning and their piety, and their speech was considered 
the purest in Northern India. As Harsha was a zealous 
Buddhist, the faith was prospering in his kingdom, and 
there were several hundred monasteries maintained and 
thousands of Bikkhus. But even here Hinduism had a 
firm footing, and the people were almost equally divided 
between the two religions. Harsha, after the manner of 
Asoka, held quinquennial religious assemblies, forbade the 
killing of animals and provided hospitals and dispensaries 
throughout his kingdom. Later on, Houen Tsang had an 
opportunity of attending one of these quinquennial assem- 
blies and the festival that followed it. For days continuously 
there were gorgeous processions in honour of Buddha, in 
which his image in gold was carried amid jewelled banners, 
embroidered umbrellas, clouds of incense and showers of 
flowers. The king scattered the wealth of his treasury 
broadcast among the people, and feasted every day Buddhist 
sages and Brahmans indiscriminately. The idolatrous pomp 
exceeded even that witnessed by Fa Hian. After the 
festival, an assembly of learned men was convened, Brah- 
mans and Buddhists alike, and discussions were held on 
the merits of the two faiths. To commemorate the great 
occasion a tower was constructed on the banks of the 
Ganges ; but on the last day of the festival a fire broke out 
in it, and it was destroyed. According to Houen Tsarig, 
this was the work of the Brahmans. Whether this were so 
or not, there was much distrust and ill-feeling existing 


between the two sects. An attempt made upon the king's 
life during the festival was ascribed to Brahman plots, and 
led to the execution of some and the exile of other pro- 
minent Brahmans. 

He visits Prayag. Harsha was so greatly pleased 
with Houen Tsang and so deeply impressed with his 
learning and piety, that he persuaded him to accompany 
him to Prayag, the modern Allahabad, to witness another 
quinquennial festival held at the junction of the Ganges 
and the Jumna. Prayag was then as now a sacred city of 
the Hindus, and the immense multitude of pilgrims was 
doubtless mainly composed of them, for Buddhism had but 
a slight hold there. Harsha again distributed gifts with 
reckless profusion to religious persons of the different sects, 
though Buddhists naturally received the most ; but it was 
noticeable that the ceremonies of the festival honoured 
Hinduism almost as much as Buddhism. As showing the 
reality and extent of Harsha's power, it may be observed 
that at both festivals he was accompanied by vassal kings 
from kingdoms as far distant as Kamarupa in Assam and 
Valabhi in Western India. 

His pilgrimage through the Buddhist ttoly 
Land. Houen Tsang made an extensive tour during 
his stay in India, and it is clear from his account that 
Hinduism had made great headway since Fa Hian's 
time, even in the country where Buddha lived and taught. 
Sravasti,' the capital of Kosala, was deserted and in ruins, 
and the neighbourhood round about was once more under 
Brahman influence. Kapilavastu and Kusinagara were 
desolate, forsaken even by the monks. Benares was full 
of Hindu temples, and had become, then as now, a centre 
of orthodox Hinduism. But in the Deer-park close at hand, 
where Buddha had preached his first sermon, there was 
still a magnificent monastery, built partly of stone and 
partly of brick, 200 feet high. It possessed a noble image 
of Buddha in copper, and was inhabited by 1500 monks. 
Pataliputra had almost disappeared; nothing but portions 
of the ruined outer wall remained. Close to Gaya, which 
had become a Brahman colony, was the spot made famous 
by the Bodhi Tree. The tree itself, or what remained of 
it after its destruction by Sasanka, was surrounded by 


high brick walls, and all around were innumerable stupas 
and images of Buddha, many of which were believed 
to exercise miraculous powers. It was a place to which 
pilgrims flocked in thousands after the rainy season every 
year, to present their offerings, burn incense and deposit 
flowers. Near at hand was the stateliest and most 
beautiful of all the Buddhist monasteries. It was a 
monastery and temple combined, and had been built in 
former times by a king of Ceylon. Its exterior was a mass 
of ornamental work, and the utmost skill of the architect 
and the artist had been lavished upon it. Within was an 
image of Buddha in gold and silver adorned with precious 
stones. Close to Gaya was Nalanda, the famous Buddhist 
University, the ruins of which are still to be seen. It was 
the great seat of Buddhist learning, and was the resort of 
scholars and sages, Brahman and Buddhist alike, from all 
parts of India. The monastery was on a gigantic scale, 
and is said to have been capable of holding 10,000 monks, 
besides containing numerous lecture-rooms and halls for 
religious conferences. It was the last stronghold of 
Buddhism, and was still in Houen Tsang's time thronged 
with renowned teachers and multitudes of students. The 
Chinese pilgrim was met on his arrival and escorted to the 
monastery by 200 monks, and welcomed by a great assem- 
bly within its walls. A lodging was allotted to him in 
one of the buildings, and there he stayed five years till he 
had mastered the Buddhist Scriptures and acquired some 
knowledge of the Sanskrit literature of the Brahmans. 

He resumes his travels. He thereafter proceeded 
on his travels again and passed through Bengal, then 
divided into five petty kingdoms, on to Orissa. In the 
latter kingdom Buddhism was the prevailing religion, and 
there were a hundred monasteries, and thousands of monks. 
Puri was a famous place of Buddhist pilgrimage, but not 
then as now so much frequented by Hindu pilgrims. 

The kingdom of Kalinga which had been conquered by 
Asoka had sunk to insignificance, and much of the country 
was overgrown with jungle. Berar, which was then known 
as Kosala, but must be distinguished from the ancient 
kingdom in the north, was ruled over by a Kshattriya 
king, who honoured the laws of Buddha. Houen Tsang 


speaks of a rock-cut monastery there which was the 
wonder of all India. In his time it was in ruins, and a 
story was told that it had been wrecked by the Brahmans. 
The tale is a further indication of the growing hostility 
between the two religions. 

The country over which the powerful Andhras had 
held sway, which he next visited, had greatly declined in 
prosperity. In this ancient stronghold of Buddhism, the 
Hindu temples now outnumbered the Buddhist monasteries. 
There were many temples of the Hindus, but the Buddhist 
convents for the most part were deserted and the priests 
ignorant and dirty. Next he visited Kanchi, the modern 
Conjeeveram, then one of the finest cities in India and 
the capital of Dravida, a kingdom that may be iden- 
tified with the ancient Chola kingdom. He was much 
impressed with the beauty of its buildings and the en- 
lightenment of its people. Buddhism flourished there, 
and he saw hundreds of monasteries and thousands of 
priests. Turning northwards, he took his way along the 
Western Ghats to Maharashtra. It had long been a 
powerful and important kingdom, and he mentions that 
Pulikesin its ruler had successfully withstood the all- 
conquering armies of Harsha. Houen Tsang gives an 
account of the character of the people which does credit 
to his powers of observation. He speaks of their impetuosity 
in war, their impulsiveness, their pride and their vindic- 
tiveness, traits for which in after days the race became 

From thence he journeyed on to Malwa, and there 
he found many monasteries and 2000 Buddhist priests. 
But it is probable that Hinduism was the prevailing 
religion, for he mentions that the Brahmans were very 
numerous. He speaks in glowing terms of the inhabitants, 
and says that they were renowned in Western India for 
their learning and politeness. Gujrat was the last place 
of importance visited by him. A new kingdom had arisen 
there, called the Yalabhi kingdom, on the ruins of the 
kingdom of Saurashtra. The king was closely related to 
Harsha and was a zealous Buddhist; but Hinduism had 
many followers in the kingdom. The people were polite 
and learned, like those of Malwa, and had amassed great 


wealth in trade. From very ancient days there had been 
famous trading centres in Gujrat, and Indian merchants 
had carried on an export and import trade from the 
ports of Koruka and Bharukachcha (Bharoch) with places 
as far distant as Babylon and Burmah. Valabhi, like 
Saurashtra before it, was at that time the chief emporium 
of foreign trade. 

Decline of Buddhism. In Houen Tsang's account 
we may note the general decline of Buddhism in India 
and the rising tide of Hinduism. He has unconsciously 
indicated for us some of the causes of that decline. The 
faith had grown corrupt in the hands of illiterate priests. 
By the majority of the clergy and laity the ethics of 
Buddha's teaching had been forgotten. The simple story 
of his life had been so surrounded by legends and mir- 
aculous tales that its significance was obscured. The 
divine honours paid to his relics and the mysterious powers 
attributed to them and to his image were idolatrous 
practices utterly at variance with the true doctrine. In 
short, to all but a few the spirit of the faith was dead, and 
Buddhism, like Vedic Hinduism before it, had become a 
mere husk of religion. The monastic system, which in 
its infancy had been its strength, had grown to unwieldy 
proportions. The monasteries had become wealthy cor- 
porations, and those who joined the order of Bikkhus 
were often idle, dissolute and avaricious. The people, 
left without spiritual guidance, were slipping back into 
the old superstitions, the devil worship and the witch- 
craft which Buddhism had never really succeeded in 

The new Hinduism. It may seem at first sight 
surprising that Hinduism should have been able to 
undermine Buddhism and impose again, but with far greater 
severity, the shackles of caste upon the people. But when 
we realize what the new Hinduism was, and how Buddhism 
had ceased to stimulate religious fervour among its followers, 
we shall not wonder that the latter eventually succumbed. 
During the long period in which Buddhism was in the 
ascendant the Brahmans were putting into practice the 
lesson that their deposition had taught them. If they were 
to regain their lost authority, they could only do so by 


popularising their faith. They therefore set to work to 
make their religion acceptable to all classes of the people. 
By incorporating into it current superstitions and local 
religious practices they succeeded at length in devising a 
system which, while it made room for religious forms and 
beliefs peculiar to different peoples and districts, preserved 
such of the traits of Hinduism as would enable those of 
widely different creeds to recognize each other as belonging 
essentially to the same religion. In their hands a religious 
system was developed so elastic and so far-reaching that 
every sect, caste, tribe or people might find represented in 
it its own religious views. Buddhism itself was largely 
drawn upon in the process of construction; so that to this 
day, though expelled as a religion from the country, its 
influence is strongly marked upon the character of the 
system which has supplanted it. Even savage aboriginal 
superstitions were not discarded ; so that in its lower forms 
Hinduism is tainted with aboriginal demon-worship, and 
wild rites and gross and fantastic forms of idolatry have 
crept into it bodily or left their mark upon it. 

Failure of Buddhism as a popular religion. To 
people so prone to superstition and so credulous as the bulk 
of the natives of India, an impersonal faith such as Buddhism 
could not carry strong conviction. A system which taught 
that mankind, independently of the gods, could work out 
its own salvation was at variance with immemorial belief in 
the power of spirits capable of influencing the destiny of 
man. While Buddhism was the religion of mighty kings 
and princes, the people outwardly conformed to it, but it 
need not be doubted that they still remained a prey to 
their old superstitions. When Buddhism, in its struggle to 
maintain its waning popularity, began to make concessions 
to idolatry and compromises w^ith spirit- worship, it was 
attempting to fight its more adaptable rival on its own 
ground. Hinduism could incorporate old forms of belief 
without losing in the process its essential characteristics, 
"but Buddhism could not do so without sapping the very 
foundations of its teaching. 

Want of political unity in India. From Houen 
Tsang's description of Indian society we may gather that 
the races of India were on the whole learned and polite 


and justified the esteem in which they were held by 
foreigners who came in contact with them. But political 
unity was unknown among them. Such union as there was 
at any time did not rest upon a stable and far-reaching form 
of government, but upon the prowess of some great leader 
who compelled his neighbours to recognize his suzerainty. 
Empires therefore, as soon as the reigning monarchy showed 
signs of weakness, fell to pieces as quickly as they had 
arisen. The petty kingdoms of which they were com- 
posed, being mere tributaries, independent of the cen- 
tral authority in matters of internal administration, were 
-always ready to revolt as soon as they thought themselves 
strong enough to do ^o ; while the people, having no poli- 
tical life, were scarcely affected by a change of rule. But 
this very lack of political life served to strengthen the 
bonds of religion and to preserve ancient customs and 
beliefs ; and to it may perhaps be attributed the fact that 
there are no more conservative peoples in the world than 
those of Hindustan. 

The administration of Harsha's empire. The 
civil government in Harsha's day seems to have favourably 
impressed the Chinese pilgrim, just as that of the Guptas 
had impressed Fa Hian ; but the roads were not so safe for 
travellers and the punishment of crime had grown much 
harsher. Mutilation was inflicted for many offences, and 
prisoners were left to die unless cared for by relations or 
friends. The foolish practice of subjecting accused persons 
to trial by ordeal was commonly resorted to, and many inno- 
cent persons after suffering torture must have been unjustly 
condemned. But property rights were carefully respected, 
officials were paid by assignments of land instead of being 
left to live upon the people, and taxation was not burden- 
some. The ordinary land revenue assessment was one sixth 
of the gross produce. The picture painted by Houen Tsang 
of the manners and customs of India in his times never- 
theless shows no general advance of civilization from earlier 
days but rather in some respects a retrogression. Perhaps 
the havoc and confusion wrought by the terrible White 
Huns had resulted in a set-back in Northern India, and 
the people inured to scenes of cruelty had grown less 


Death of Harsha. Harsha died about 648 A.D. after 
reigning for 50 years. He had been a great king, and 
his authority had been respected far and wide. He was a 
man of learning as well as of piety and encouraged learned 
men to come to Kanauj. Banabhatta, one of the greatest 
of Indian poets, flourished at his court, and he himself 
under the name of Sriharsha is supposed to be the author 
of the famous Sanskrit drama Ratnmali. But his religious 
zeal had led him in his later years into the folly of deliber- 
ately squandering the resources of the state to gain religious 
merit, and when he died he left an empty treasury to his 
successor. Disorder quickly followed, aggravated by a 
severe famine, and in the confusion Arjuna, who had been 
Harsha's minister, usurped the throne. 

Wang Houen Tse. Arjuna was a keen supporter of 
Brahmanism and very hostile to Buddhists. It so happened 
that soon after his accession a Chinese Buddhist mission 
headed by Wang Houen Tse, the friend and companion in 
his wanderings of Houen Tsang arrived in his dominions. 
Arjuna, against all the laws of hospitality and in defiance 
of the comity of nations, seized and put to death every 
member of the mission upon whom he could lay his 
hands ; but Wang Houen Tse escaped to Nepal. The 
rulers of Nepal and Thibet, who were zealous Buddhists, 
incensed at the outrage to their faith, made common 
cause in assisting the Chinese envoy to avenge it. With 
a small force of sturdy mountaineers Wang Houen Tse 
encountered an army many times its size, led by Arjuna 
himself, in Tirhut and utterly defeated him; in a second 
battle he took the king prisoner; in a third he captured the 
whole of his family ; and then a regular reduction of the 
fortifications of the kingdom took place. The fierce hill- 
men, let loose upon the country, took signal vengeance for 
Arjuna's crime, many massacres occurred and great quantities 
of booty and numberless slaves were carried off by them on 
their retirement. Arjuna was led away captive to China 
and never heard of again. Later, when Wang Houen 
Tse returned to India at the head of another mission, 
the lesson was not forgotten, no opposition was offered 
to his passage, and he was allowed to visit the holy places 
without molestation. With these amazing incidents the 


curtain drops over the scene, and the history of Northern 
India becomes a blank for nearly a couple of hundred 
years. We may now conveniently turn our attention to 
affairs in Southern India. 



Gondophares, the Parthian 27 

Kadphises I. 45_ 

Saka Era commences 78 

Kadphises II. 85 

Embassy to Rome - - ... - . - - .99 

Nahapana - - 119 

Kanishka 125 

Third Buddhist Council - - 140 

Rudradaman of Saurashtra 150 

Establishment of Gupta Era - - - - - - - 320 

Samudra Gupta 326 

Chandra Gupta Vikramaditya 375 

Kumara Gupta - 413 

Skanda Gupta - - - - - 455 

Defeat of Skanda Gupta by the White Huns .... 470 

Mihiragula 510 

Battle of Kahror 528 

Harsha ascends the throne of Thanes war - - - . - 606 

Pulikesin 11. , king of the Chalukyas . - - . - 608 

Arrival in India of Houen Tsang - - . - - - - 630 

Arjuna usurps the throne --.--..- 648 

Wang Houen Tse defeats Arjuna - - - - - - 650 




Andhras and Pallavas. Very little is known of the 
history of Southern India during the Buddhist Age. A 
bewildering list of names and dates has been compiled 
from coins and inscriptions, but hardly anything worth 
recording regarding the kings and peoples referred to in 
either has survived. The Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas 
continued long after the Christian Era to share with varjang 
fortune the southern extremity between them, but towards 
the middle of the second century a new kingdom, that 
of the Pallavas, with its capital at Kanchi, rose to pro- 
minence and overshadowed them. The Pallavas are 
spoken of as foreigners, and there are good reasons for 
thinking that they found their way into India along with 
the Sakas and wandered or were driven south by them. 
Samudra Gupta claims in his inscription upon the Asoka 
pillar to have conquered the Pallavas when he raided 
Southern India. By far the most powerful of the early 
kingdoms of the south had been that of the Andhras, 
which has already been mentioned more than once. At 
one time it must have covered all Central India, from 
the Indian Ocean to the Bay of Bengal. The capital 
was at a place called Dhanyakataka on the banks of 
the river Krishna. Beyond the fact that the Andhras 
carried on an extensive trade through their seaports with 
most of the important countries of the then known world, 
and that scattered over the whole of their dominions 
are innumerable Buddhist stupas, some of which are 
among the noblest examples of the Indian stone-cutter's 
art, there is nothing to chronicle that has not been 
related in the previous chapter. It is probable that the 
Andhra kingdom gradually fell to pieces in the early 
centuries of the Christian Era under repeated attacks by 
SalJas on the north and Pallavas on the south. The latter 
undoubtedly seized upon much of the southern territory, 
and by the beginning of the fifth century the Andhras had 


disappeared and the Pallavas had become the most powerful 
state in Southern India*. 

The Chalukyas. The history of the south appears to 
have been from earliest times one of constant internecine 
strife between the many kingdoms among whom the country 
was divided, and, as in Northern India, first one and then 
another gained supremacy over the rest, but no power was 
able long to maintain its superiority. The supremacy of 
the Pallavas was short-lived, for before the close of the sixth 
century a new kingdom, that of the Chalukyas, with its 
capital at Vatapi, the modern Badami, had wrested it from 
them. The Chalukyas were, as has been stated, of foreign, 
probably of Scythian, origin. Their most famous ruler was 
Pulikesin II., who reigned from 609 to 642 and successfully 
withstood, it will be remembered, the victorious Harsha ; 
but his father Kirttivarma, who reigned from 566 to 597, 
also deserves a passing mention, for he conquered no less 
than seventeen kingdoms of the south. During the reign 
of Pulikesin his brother succeeded in establishing a new 
Chalukya kingdom to the eastward with its capital at 
Vengi, and thereafter the two kingdoms are distinguished 
as the Eastern and Western Chalukyas. The Chalukyas 
were followers of Vishnu, and it is noteworthy that about 
this time Buddhism began rapidly to decline in Southern 
India. The greatness of Pulikesin is testified to by the 
fact that the ruler of the mighty Persian Empire, 
Khusru II., not only received with all honour an embassy 
from him but despatched one to him in return. But 
Pulikesin was not destined to end his reign gloriously, 
for a confederacy headed by the Pallavas was formed 
against him, defeated him in a great pitched battle and 
then sacked and burnt his capital. For thirteen years 
Vatapi was deserted, but Vikramaditya, the son of Puli- 
kesin, having gradually restored the kingdom, routed the 
Pallavas and captured Kanchi, their capital, in the year 

The Rashtrakutas and Cholas. The Pallavas and 
Western Chalukyas continued to war with each other 
during succeeding reigns with varying fortune, but in 
740 Vikramaditya II., the Chalukya ruler, heavily defeated 
the Pallavas and once more captured Kanchi. The Western 


Chalukyas had, however, hardly emerged from the conflict 
when they were in their turn overwhelmed by a fresh rival, 
the Eashtrakutas of Northern Maharashtra. It is a curious 
fact worth noting in the history of Southern India that 
kingdoms, after being practically extinguished, frequently 
revived again. The Western Chalukyas, for example, two 
hundred years later, once more became the paramount power 
in the south, and the Pallavas, notwithstanding crushing 
defeats, were still strong enough to maintain throughout 
the eighth century the struggle with the Eashtrakutas, the 
temporary successors of their old enemy, the Chaluykas. 
The Eastern Chalukyas seem to have been able to hold 
their own against the new power, for at the end of the 
eighth century they divided with the Eashtrakutas Central 
India from sea to sea. The ancient kingdoms of the south 
continued to drag on, though one or other was constantly 
in danger of extinction. The Cholas, however, at the close 
of the tenth century, under an able ruler, Eajaraja, rose 
again to prominence, overran most of Southern India and 
even conquered Ceylon. The three southern kingdoms, 
it should be noted, unlike their northern neighbours, 
remained purely Dravidian states, and at no time in their 
history were foreigners able to impose themselves upon 
them as a ruling race. 


The Rajputs. With the fajl of Harsha's empire the 
history of Northern India, as we have already observed, 
practically ceases for two hundred years. The records of 
what happened during these centuries are scarce and 
meagre, and the literary remains do not guide us in 
reconstructing the history of that time. All that we 
know is that at the end of it BuddLxb.n has almost been 
swept out of the land, and a new power, that of the 
Eajputs, has arisen. Who these Eajputs were is a mystery, 
but there are grounds for believing that they were of 
mixed descent, partly native and partly foreign, and that 
many of them had Scythian blood running in their veins. 
They are spoken of in the legend which gives an account 
of their origin as sprung from four Kshattriyas, re-created 


in order to drive out the enemies of the Vedas. By the 
enemies of the Yedas it is thought that the Buddhists are 
meant, and as Buddhism expressly denied the efficacy of 
Vedic sacrifices for salvation, it is possible that this is so. 
Like the Aryans before them, the Scythians in time lost 
their identity by becoming merged in the peoples among 
whom they lived. But they infused some of their warlike 
qualities into the mixed race descended from them, and 
thus wherever they settled the people exhibited a prouder 
and more martial spirit. 

The Chalukyas and the Pallavas are examples of the 
way in which in Southern India the union of natives 
and foreigners was being effected, ^nd in Northern 
India the same process was at work. Whether or not 
the Rajputs really had a common origin they came 
at length to look upon themselves as being closely 
allied in blood, and by intermarriage and the adoption 
of common codes of honour and custom they formed 
themselves into a class apart. It was soon the ambition 
of nobles and ruling families to gain recognition as 
Rajputs or "sons of kings," and thus over Northern and 
Western India there arose a multitude of ruling clans 
or families claiming to belong to the same knightly order. 
A kind of Indian chivalry was thus instituted which 
produced a remarkable spirit of adventure and warlike 

Persecution of the Buddhists. The Rajputs were 
the self-constituted champions of Hinduism, and in their 
zeal for the faith they had adopted they were prepared to 
take any measures that were necessary to stamp out 
Buddhism. There can be little doubt that they resorted to 
violent means to achieve their object, and that where 
they found the Buddhists obdurate, they did not scruple to 
massacre the priescs, raze their monasteries to the ground, 
and destroy their images and stupas. To this work they 
were instigated by the Brahmans, and it is probable that 
for their services in re establishing Hinduism, the Brahmans 
rewarded them by inventing the fiction alluded to above, 
that they were miraculously sprung from the Kshattriya 
race. As early as the 8th century, Kumarila Bhatta, a 
Deccan Brahman and a crreat controversial writer who laid 




the foundations of Modern Hinduism, had openly advo- 
cated force if arguments were of no avail in combatting 

Sankara Acharya. While the Rajputs were expelling 
Buddhism by force, a champion of Hinduism arose in 
Southern India and started a reh'gious movement which did 
even more than Rajput persecution to sweep Buddhism out 
of India. Sankara Acharya, who was born in Malabar in 
788 A.D. was a profound Sanscrit scholar, a deep philoso- 
phical thinker, and a great preacher. During his short 
life of thirty-two years he wandered from place to 
place preaching against Buddhism, and propounding his 
Vedantic philosophy with its doctrine of the one Supreme 
Being, till he stirred up a revolution second only to that of 
Buddha. His teaching spread throughout the length and 
breadth of India, and in the hands of his disciples the form 
of Hinduism which he preached became one of the most 
widely adopted in the country. But though Sankhara 
Acharya condemned Buddhism, he wisely decided to adopt 
the monastic system which had been so important a feature 
of that religion, and had helped so much to give stability to 
the faith in its early days. The sect of Hinduism which he 
founded therefore has its monks and monasteries and 
observes many of the regulations which Buddha formulated 
for the use of the Bikkhus. The value of the monastic 
system as a means of proi)agating Hinduism was quickly 
perceived by others, and many orders soon arose, represent- 
ing different phases of Hinduism, with branches in various 
parts of the country. 

Puranik Hinduism. The new Hinduism which the 
Rajputs were so zealous in spreading, and which the 
Brahmans had been so patiently constructing through the 
many centuries that Buddhism prevailed, is known as 
Puranic Hinduism, and differs in many points from the old 
Vedic Hinduism. Two points require special notice, one 
being the change in the conception of deity, and the other 
the change in the form of worship. The Yedic deities 
representing the phenomena of nature, as the sun, the 
clouds, the sky and fire, were relegated in Puranic Hindu- 
ism to the position of minor gods, and in their place was 
substituted the Supreme Being in his triple form of Brahma 


the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Siva the Destroyer. 
The conception of a Supreme Being is as old as the Eig Veda, 
but this three-fold division of his powers arose during the 
Buddhist era. Under one or other of these names the deity 
came at some time to be worshipped. But Brahma was soon 
neglected, and Hindus by the time of the Eajput supremacy 
were mainly divided into Vaisnavas, or followers of 
Vishnu, and Saivas, or followers of Siva. Within these 
two main divisions many sects sprang up, ranging from the 
highest to the most degraded forms of worship. The works 
which glorify the Supreme Spirit under his three manifesta- 
tions are called the Puranas, because they profess to contain 
the old Vedic faith ; though as a matter of fact they have 
little in common with it. As we might expect from their 
origin, they exalt the Brahman at the expense of the lower 
castes ; but they do not make the mistake of ignoring the 
low caste man altogether, for they are an attempt to fit 
religion to all classes of the people. Every phase of 
Hinduism is represented in them, from the highest ethical 
teaching and the purest conceptions of deity to the crudest 
and most degrading superstitions of the non-Aryan. 

As regards the change in the form of worship, it will be 
remembered that in the old Vedic days the Aryan house- 
holder, when performing religious services to the gods, 
offered sacrifices in the fire of his own hearth. Up till 
the time of Buddhism image worship was not recognised 
by the Brahman hierarchy, nor had temples become 
essential for the worship of the gods. But by the time of 
the Eajputs, temples and the adoration of images had 
superseded the older forms of worship by the domestic 
fireside. It is hardly necessary to point out how much 
the building of temples, and the setting up of idols 
strengthened the hold of the priests upon the people. They 
were now, more than ever, the custodians of the national 
religion, and the people venerated them almost as blindly as 
the idols they guarded. To give money or bequeath land for 
the support of priests and temples were looked upon as acts 
of peculiar sanctity, and it was regarded as a duty incumbent 
upon all worshippets to make offerings according to their 
means at the shrine of the god whom they had come to 
venerate. In the course of centuries the temples amassed 


by such means great riches, and a large proportion of the 
wealth of the country became devoted to religious uses. 

Brahman supremacy re-established. Thus, though 
the history of Northern India is almost a blank from the 
8th till the latter half of the 10th century, it is possible to 
infer from the events which preceded and succeeded this 
period, the condition of the country during it. The old 
powerful kingdoms decayed, and with their decay Buddhism, 
which they had always tolerated if not actually patronised, 
was swept, not without violence, from the land. When the 
curtain rises again, the brave and haughty Rajputs are in 
possession of the ancient capitals of Northern India, and 
Brahman supremacy has been completely re-established. 





Islam. At the time when the Eajputs were making 
themselves the masters of Northern India and Paranic 
Hinduism was everywhere replacing Buddhism, a new 
religion was steadily spreading from its home in Arabia 
over the neighbouring countries. Islam, as it was called, 
was the very opposite of Buddhism, both in its teaching 
and the methods it adopted to make converts. While 
Buddhism made light of gods, and taught that man 
independently of them could work out his own salvation, 
the formula of Islamic faith was "There is no god but 
God, and Muhammad is His prophet." Buddhists were 
strictly enjoined lo use none but peaceful means to spread 
their gospel, and to be tolerant in their dealings with 
those who held other religious beliefs. Muhammedans 
were restrained by no such injunctions, and even during 
the lifetime of the founder Islam had become a militant 
faith and a strong incentive to conquest. 

Arab triumphs. A religion of such fiery energy was 
well adapted to the natures of the fierce and impulsive 
Arabs. They eagerly embraced it, and thereby were, for 
the first time, united together into one people. Made 
strong by faith, and filled with holy zeal, they poured 
out under the white banners of their religion upon the 
neighbouring countries. They were naturally a brave^ 
hardy, and warlike people, but religious enthusiasm welded 
them into an irresistible conquering force ; and within 
a hundred years of the death of Muhammad, so great 


was the success of their arms, that they had already 
reached the borders of India. 

Conquest of Sind. Scarcely then had Hinduism 
emerged from its struggle with Buddhism before it was 
called upon to fight for its very existence with a formidable 
and openly aggressive rival. The first warnings of the 
coming storm occurred in Sind. Desultory inroads of 
Arabs had taken place during the seventh century, but 
these had been mere plundering raids, and no attempt had 
been made to effect a permanent settloment. But in 712 
a determined and successful effort was made to gain a footnig 
in the country. A youthful general, Muhammad son of , 
Kasim, led an organised expedition against Dahir, the Rajput 
ruler of lower Sind, to punish him for the destruction of 
a force sent todemand compensation for the seizure of an Arab 
ship. After reducing the surrounding country he forced 
the king to take refuge in Alor, his capital, and there 
besieged him. The Hindus defended the city with obstinate 
valour till Dahir was slain and the provisions began to 
run short. Further resistance being vain, the women 
and children, it is said, preferring death to dishonour 
and slavery, with desperate resolution flung themselves 
upon a huge pyre and perished in its flames; while the 
men, rather than yield, rushed out upon the overwhelming 
numbers of the besiegers and fell fighting sword in hand. 
Muhammad after this soon reduced Silid and Multan, 
and the Hindus had to submit to Moslem rule and to 
pay tribute. Those who would not embrace Islam were 
also forced to pay a poll tax, but were otherwise tolerantly 
treated. Two and a half years after his conquest of Sind 
Muhammad was recalled by the Muhammedan Governor of 
Persia, whose displeasure he had incurred, and was put 
to death. The subsequent history of Sind for many 
years is a succession of Hindu revolts and quarrels and 
intrigues among the Muslim governors ; but the power of 
the Kajputs had been too greatly shattered by Muhammad's 
invasion to revive, and Sind, though insecurely held by 
the conquerors, was never able to shake off their yoke 

Continued ascendancy of Rajputs. After this 
India had peace from Muhammedan invasion till the end 


of the tenth century. During this period the Rajputs con- 
tinued to extend their conquests, and" by the end of it the 
whole of Western and North- Western India was ruled by 
Rajput kings and princes. Puranic Hinduism flourished 
greatly under their patronage. Tales and legends multiplied, 
and the worship of Krishna, the hero of the Mahabharata, 
and Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, as incarnations of the 
supreme being now became widely prevalent among the 
sect of the Vaisnavas. 

The influence of Kanauj. Amidst the general 
anarchy in Northern India caused by the rise of the Rajputs 
the kingdom of Kanauj managed to survive, though its 
boundaries were constantly shifting and its dynasties short- 
lived. The city grew and prospered greatly and it became 
during the period of Rajput ascendency the centre of civili- 
zation and religious life in Northern India. Under Bhoja L, 
who was ruling about the middle of the ninth century, it 
reached the zenith of its fame. Its wealth acquired by trade 
was vast, its temples magnificent, and its priesthood the 
acknowledged arbiter in all social and religious questions in 
the Hindu world. It was here that the new Hinduism 
had its principal seat, and it was here too that the new 
system of caste was evolved. Hitherto caste had been 
a division of the people arising mainly out of the Aryan 
pride of race and the development within the Aryan 
communit}^ itself of an aristocracy of priests and warriors. 
But the old distinction of Aryan and Non -Aryan had been 
long forgotten under the unifying influence of Hinduism, 
and caste had now become a purely social distinction. For 
their own ends the Brahman hierarchy felt it necessary 
to preserve this ancient institution, for upon its continuance 
their predominant authority depended. The Brahmans of 
Kanauj were therefore not content with enjoining purity 
of blood, to strengthen the bonds of caste they imposed 
scrupulous adherence to fixed rules of occupation as well. 
Under their leadership a new principle became henceforth 
a basis of caste distinction, the principle of classification 
by occupation, and those who followed a particular calling 
began to forn^^hemselves into a separate caste with customs 
peculiar to theijiselves. So great at length became the 
prestige of Kanauj in social and religious matters that 


Brahmans were invited by kings to migrate from it to king- 
doms so far distant as Guzerat, Bengal and Orissa, to re- 
organize society upon the model of Kanauj. Thus through 
the influence of Kanauj the new Hinduism spread to the 
four corners of India, and caste divisions grew and multiplied 
everywhere exceedingly. 

Pathan invasion of the Punjab. But all the while 
Moslem power was extending and closing in on India. At 
last, in 979, Jaipal, the Rajput Prince of Lahore, precipitated 
the conflict by marching an army up the Khyber Pass into 
Afghanistan, to exact compensation from Sabuktigin, the 
Muhammedan King of Ghazni, for raids on Indian territory 
committed by Afghans dwelling on the frontier. The Hindus 
suffered severely from the intense cold of that mountainous 
region, and after many had perished in a terrible snow- 
storm, they were so dispirited that Jaipal was forced* to 
retrace his steps. The Afghans now pressed close upon his 
army, and also cut ofl'his retreat by seizing the passes ahead. 
Jaipal was forced to surrender, to save his army from annihila- 
tion, and had to agree to pay a large indemnity to Sabuktigin 
before he was allowed to return with the remnant of his 
troops to India. The sum was more than he could pay at 
the time, and he promised to send the remainder when he 
returned to Lahore, But, in the security of his capital, 
he refused to fulfil his promise, and even flung into prison 
the men whom Sabuktigin had sent to fetch the money. 
This rash act drew upon India the second invasion and led 
to all its dire consequences. Sabuktigin promptly descended 
upon him to avenge the insult, and, though the neighbour- 
ing Rajput princes came to Jaipal's assistance, he was 
defeated and the province of Peshawar wrested from him. 
Sabuktigin returned to Ghazni, where he died in 997. 
Though he never returned to India, he maintained a strong 
garrison at Peshawar to hold the further end of the Khyber 
Pass. Thus by the folly of an Indian king was India 
deprived of her natural defence against a northern invader. 

Mahmud of Ghazni. Sabuktigin was succeeded by 
his son Mahmud, who, when little more than a child, had 
already proved himself a daring warrior and a skilful general. 
The first two years of his reign were spent in consolidating 
his power, a task in which he showed great administrative 


ability. His father's expedition against Jaipal had proved 
that the undisciplined valour of the Hindus could not with- 
stand a well-delivered attack, and the stories of the fabulous 
wealth of Hindu kings had excited his avarice. He there- 
fore turned his attention as soon as he had leisure to this 
rich field of enterprise, and in the year 1001 led the first of 
his many expeditions into India. Jaipal, his father's enemy, 
with a number of petty chiefs marched out to meet him. 
The opposing armies met near Peshawar, and the Hindus 
were signally defeated. Jaipal escaped from the battle, but 
was pursued and overtaken by Mahmud at the Sutlej. On 
payment of a large ransom and the promise of an annual 
tribute, he was released ; and Mahmud, satisfied with the 
amount of plunder he had taken, returned to Ghazni. But 
th proud Rajput would not survive his double defeat, 
and, having made over his kingdom to his son Anangapal, 
mounted the funeral pyre and perished in its flames. 

Signal defeat of the Hindus. During the next few 
years Mahmud paid three brief visits to India two to 
collect arrears of tribute and one to punish a rebellious 
chief in Multan. Anangapal, although a tributary of 
Mahmud, had been concerned in the Multan rising. 
Mahmud's next expedition was therefore directed against 
him, and in 1009 he appeared with a large force of horse and 
foot at Peshawar. Anangapal, who had had timely warn- 
ing of his approach, had meanwhile summoned all the 
powerful princes of Northern India to his aid, pointing out 
to them the necessity of combining against their common 
enemy. The kings of Delhi and Kanauj, of Ujjain and 
Gwalior, besides a host of petty princes, hurried to his 
assistance, realising that a national crisis had arisen, and 
that the coming struggle would be one between Islam and 
Hinduism. Northern India was now fully alive to the 
danger to which it was exposed, and bands of warriors 
flocked from all directions to the Punjab ; while women 
sold their jewels, melted down their golden ornaments, and 
laboured at the loom to assist the holy cause. Mahmud 
was alarmed at the enormous and Avell-equipped host 
gathering before him, and, afraid to assume the offensive, 
entrenched himself at Bhatindah. The armies are said to 
have been encamped facing each other for forty days. 


Then the Hindus, growing impatient, attacked, using the 
same formation as Porus had used against Alexander, and 
with the same disastrous result. The elephants took fright, 
and, turning, trampled down the men behind them. 
Mahmud's cavalry followed close upon them, and, dashing 
in upon the broken ranks of the Hindus, inflicted terrible 
slaughter upon them, and scattered them in flight. Hindu- 
stan now lay at Mahmud's mercy, but he contented himself 
for the present with the sack of the wealthy temple of 
Nagarkote in Kangra, and returned to Ghazni. 

Thanesar plundered. His next expedition of im- 
portance, undertaken ostensibly in the cause of religion, 
was against Thanesar in 1014. After a brief defence this 
ancient and wealthy city fell into his hands, and was given 
up to sack. The idols were of course destroyed, and the 
temples plundered of their vast hoards of treasure. Mah- 
mud's army then turned back to Ghazni, loaded with booty 
and encumbered with hundreds of slaves. 

Kanauj plundered. It was not to be expected that 
Mahmud, having penetrated so far into the country, would 
not make Kanauj and the famous cities in its neighbour- 
hood his next objective. In 1018 he crossed the Indus 
once more, took Muttra and Baran the modern Buland- 
shahr cities renowned throughout Hindustan for their 
beauty and their wealth, and then towards the close of the 
year delivered his attack on Kanauj. Eesistance was vain, 
and early in January 1019 its ruler, Jaipal, to save the city 
from the fate of Muttra, which had been ruthlessly sacked, 
made terms with the conqueror. Mahmud's object being 
merely plunder, he Avas ignominiously bought off with all 
the treasure that could be hastily collected. Its value was 
said to have been enormous, and to have well requited him 
for the abandonment of the siege. 

Permanent occupation of Lahore. In 1021 Mah- 
mud had to suppress a formidable rising in the Punjab, led 
by the son of Anangapal. It was the last despairing effort 
of the Hindus, doomed from the first to failure. Mahmud's 
army, confident and strengthened by fresh troops, in one 
pitched battle overwhelmed them. ^ To prevent a recurrence 
of rebellion in his rear Mahmud formally annexed the 
northern Punjab, and stationed a Muhammedan governor 


and garrison at Lahore. This was an event of great im- 
portance, since it gave a permanent foundation" to Moslem 
power in India. 

Plunder of Somnath. In 1026 he undertook his 
sixteenth and greatest expedition into India. At Somnath, 
in the south of Guzerat, was a temple of Siva which was 
reputed to be one of the wealthiest and holiest in all India, 
and was besides a great place of pilgrimage. Mahmud was 
told that the priests of the temple had defied him to reduce 
Somnath, and he therefore determined to show them how 
vain was their trust in idols. Marching through Rajputana 
and Guzerat, and easily overcoming the opposition he met 
with on the way, he arrived before Somnath in 1025 and 
laid siege to it. He met with the most stubborn resistance 
from the Eajput garrison, and was at one time even in 
danger of defeat. For two days they held him at bay, and 
then he broke into the city, but not before 5000 of the 
defenders had fallen and many of his own soldiers had been 
slain. Somnath was, according to custom, delivered up to 
plunder. Temples were looted, images destroyed, and the 
city ransacked by his soldiery for the wealth which it was 
known to contain. Mahmud then retraced his steps, carry- 
ing with him treasure to a fabulous amount. But on the 
way the Jats of Rajputana hung upon the skirts of his 
army, cutting off stragglers and plundering the baggage 
whenever a chance occurred. At length, to avoid the 
attacks to which his army was continually subjected, he 
was forced to turn aside from the cultivated tracts, and 
lead his demoralised troops through waterless deserts, 
where multitudes died of thirst and exposure. 

His last expedition. Mahmud was furious at the 
disastrous termination of the campaign, and his seventeenth 
and last expedition was undertaken to punish those who 
had molested his return march from Somnath. Rajputana 
was overrun, and terrible vengeance taken upon its unruly 

His death. After a reign of 33 years, in which he had 
devastated Northern India and added to his own dominions 
the Punjab, Bokhara, Samarkand, and part of Persia, in 
1030 this remarkable man died. For his services in the 
cause of his religion he gained the name of "The Image 


Breaker." But it is doubtful whether avarice and the love 
of conquest rather than religion had not led him to invade 
India. Besides being a great conqueror and a successful 
administrator, he was also a patron of arts and letters. The 
spoils of Hindustan were used to enrich and beautify his 
capital, and Ghazni was converted by him into a magnificent 
and stately city, with a museum, a library, and a univer- 
sity. The scholar Alberuni flourished at his court, and the 
great Persian poet Firdusi wrote his Shah Namah in his 

Decline of Ghazni. After the death of Mahmud the 
kingdom of Ghazni began to decline in power. A fresh 
horde of barbarians, the Saljuk Turks, appeared in Central 
Asia, and the kings of Ghazni were too busy repelling their 
invasions to be able to turn their attention to India. The 
Hindus, thus left to themselves, began to recover from the 
shock of Mahmud's invasion, and assuming the ofl"ensive 
wrested the sacred Nagarkote from the Muhammedan 
governor of the Punjab. 

Hinduism still flourishing. Except in those parts 
where the Muhammedans had established their rule, Hin- 
dustan was little affected by Mahmud's invasions. During 
the eleventh century the Rajputs continued to extend their 
conquests, Puranic Hinduism continued to oust Buddhism 
from the land, and much literary activity was displayed 
in diff*erent parts of the country. The kingdom of Magadha 
was finally swept away by Gopala, king of Western Bengal, 
early in the same century, and with its overthrow Buddhism 
in that part of India was practically extinguished. Kanauj 
recovered from the shock of Mahmud's invasion, and under 
Jaichand and his successors, who were Rajputs of the famous 
Rathor clan, became once more the most illustrious city in 
Northern India. King Bhoja of Malwa about the same time 
attained to great renown in Central India. Raja Bhoja, like 
the legendary hero Vikramaditya, is the subject of many a 
Hindu story. He was a famous patron of literature, and 
is himself the reputed author of several well-known works. 
Bhaskara Acharya, the greatest of Indian astronomers, 
composed his works during this period, and in this century 
the modern languages of India, Hindi, Bengali, Mahratti, 
Tamil, and Telugu, came largely into use for literary 


purposes. Early in the twelfth century Ramanuja, a great 
reformer, popularised the worship of Vishnu as the one 
Supreme Being, and many Yaisnava sects were founded by 
his followers throughout Hindustan. 

Rise of Ghor. While the Ghazni kingdom was declin- 
ing, a rival kingdom was rising at Ghor near Kandahar. 
Early in the twelfth century a quarrel broke out between 
the two kingdoms, which led to reprisals and a bitter feud. 
Hostilities continued with varying fortune for many years ; 
till at length in 1149 Alauddin, King of Ghor, in revenge 
for the treacherous murder of his brother, laid siege to 
Ghazni, and after a vigorous assault succeeded in cap- 
turing it. The vengeance that he wreaked upon it was 
terrible. For seven days his soldiers massacred the inhabi- 
tants indiscriminately, while the city was given up to sack 
and all its noble buildings destroyed. The chiefs who had 
betrayed his brother were led away in chains to Ghor and 
there put to death, and their blood mixed with the mortar 
of the fortifications which Alauddin was building round the 
city. The ruthless butchery of the defenceless inhabitants of 
Ghazni and the wanton destruction of its stately edifices, 
gained for Alauddin the name of Jahansoz, the Incendiary 
of the World. The King of Ghazni, before the city fell into 
the hands of his vengeful enemy, had, luckily for him, made 
his escape towards India with his son Khusru. But he did not 
live to reach it, for on the way he died, worn out with age 
and broken with misfortunes. Khusru, however, reached the 
Punjab in safety, and in this dependency of the shattered 
Ghaznavi kingdom set up his capital at Lahore. He died 
in 1160 after a reign of seven years, and was succeeded by 
his son. ' 

Muhammad Ghori. Alauddin meanwhile had died, 
and one of his nephews had become King of Ghor, and 
another Governor of Ghazni. The latter, named Shaha- 
buddin, but better known to history as Muhammad Ghori, 
determined to reduce the Punjab to its former allegiance to 
Ghazni. After two unsuccessful attempts, in 1186 he cap- 
tured Lahore and took its king prisoner. The last of the 
Ghaznavi dynasty was sent as a captive to Ghor, and the 
Punjab passed into the hands of the conqueror without a 


Dissensions among Rajputs of Northern India. 
Muhammad Ghori had long wished to emulate the con- 
quei'or Mahmud . and, now that he was master of the 
Punjab, and thus provided with a base in India itself from 
which to undertake the conquest of Hindustan, he lost no 
time in preparing an expedition for that purpose. There 
were at this time two great rival Kajput kingdoms in 
Northern India, Kanauj ruled over by Jaichand, and 
Delhi and Ajmir united into one kingdom under Prithvi 
Eaj. But a feud had arisen between the two kings, and at 
the time of Muhammad Ghori's coming the Kajput chiefs of 
Northern India were divided into two parties, one siding 
with Jaichand and the other with Prithvi. As in the 
days of Porus, so now the Hindus could not set aside their 
differences to meet a common enemy, and thus when the 
Muhammedans came down upon India they had the luck to 
find a disunited Hindustan. 

Fall of Delhi. Muhammad attacked Prithvi's kingdom 
first, and captured the town of Bhatindah in 1191. Prithvi, 
who had already in many a fight proved himself a redoubt- 
able leader, straightway marched out against him, and 
encountering him not far from Tarain, a hundred miles 
north of Delhi, utterly defeated him. 

Muhammad was badly wounded in the battle and made 
his way back wuth difficulty to Lahore. The project of 
conquering India had for a time to be given up, and as 
soon as he had sufficiently recovered he reluctantly re- 
traced his steps to Ghazni. But he had known defeat 
before, and he was a man not easily to be discouraged 
or turned from his purpose ; and having spent the 
next two years in making fresh preparations, he swept 
down upon India once more. Prithvi was again deserted 
by many who should have helped him, but collect- 
ing round him as many "of the Eaj put chiefs as would 
follow him, he encamped against Muhammad near Thanesar. 
For some time the opposing armies passively watched each 
other. But one morning before dawn the Muhammedans 
suddenly attacked the Indian camp. The Hindus were 
completely taken by surprise and thrown into great con- 
fusion ; and though they rallied and fought stubbornly 
throughout the day, the Muhammedans maintained their 


first advantage, and by evening the issue was no longer in 
doubt. Then Prithvi was captured, fighting in the fore- 
front of his army, and in despair the- Hindus at once 
broke and fled. Prithvi was put to death by his ungenerous 
conqueror, and his kingdom annexed as far south as Ajmir ; 
but Delhi, strangely enough, did not fall at once into the 
hands of Muhammad. A year later, however, Kutbuddin, 
who had been appointed governor of the conquered territory, 
succeeded in reducing it; Kutbuddin was a Turkish slave 
who by his military genius had raised himself to the rank 
of general in his master's service. Muhammad had mean- 
while returned to Ghazni to recruit for a fresh invasion. 

Annexation of Kanauj. Jaichand had soon good 
cause to regret that he had not- laid aside his enmity 
and helped Prithvi to repel the common enemy, for in 
1194 Muhammad returned and marched against Kanauj. 
Jaichand made one great effort at Etawah to repel him, but 
was defeated and slain. His kingdom passed at once to his 
conqueror, who, after formally annexing it and placing a 
Muhammedan garrison there to keep order, withdrew to 
Afghanistan. But rather than submit to Moslem rule, 
many of the Kajput chiefs of Northern India migrated 
to Rajputana, where they founded kingdoms which endure 
to this day. 

Further Muhammedan conquests. Muhammad 
again returned to Ghazni, and on the death of his brother, 
the King of Ghor, in 1196, was crowned King of Ghor and 
Ghazni. During his absence from India, Kutbuddin the 
Governor of Delhi conquered Guzerat, and Bakhtiyar 
Khilji, the general whom he had left behind in Kanauj, 
annexed first Oudh and Behar, and then Western Bengal, 
the last named without a struggle. 

Death of Muhammad. Muhammad's Indian Empire 
was now of vast extent, and practically comprised the 
whole of Northern India as far as Guzerat on the west and 
the delta of the Ganges on the east. But annexations had 
followed each other so quickly that he had had no time to 
consolidate his empire. He therefore spent the rest of his 
days in subduing rebellions in the north or marching 
expeditions into India to punish refractory Hindu chiefs. 
In the year 1206, while on his way back to Ghor after the 


suppression of a revolt of the Khokhars, whose territory 
was in the Punjab, he was assassinated by a Muhammedan 
fanatic at a place called Damyak. Though not comparable 
with Mahmud as a general, Muhammad left by his con- 
quests a more lasting effect upon India. While Mahmud 
had been content with raiding and plundering, Muhammad 
aimed at extension of dominions, and though he showed 
less capacity than Mahmud for administering a vast empire, 
the generals he left behind him were able to hold the con- 
quered countries for him and to establish Moslem rule 
firmly in India. 

The Slave Dynasty 1206- 1290. After Muhammad's 
death, his empire, as might have been expected, fell to 
pieces. Kutbuddin, the Governor of Delhi, set up as an 
independent sovereign, and proclaimed himself Emperor of 
India in 1206. He was the founder of a line of kings 
known as the Slave Dynasty, because, like him, several of 
his successors were originally slaves. Kutbuddin, after reign- 
ing for four years, was killed by a fall from his horse. His 
name is chiefly remembered in connection with the Kutb 
Minar, a tapering and graceful tov/er of red sandstone 
inscribed with verses of the Kuran, which he erected at 
Delhi. He was succeeded by his son, a weak and dissolute 
man, during whose brief reign the Muhammedan governors 
of 8ind and Bengal declared themselves independent. 
Before he had been upon the throne a single year he was. 
deposed by Altamsh, the Governor of Burdwan, who had 
once been his father's slave. 

First appearance of the Moghuls. During Al- 
tamsh's reign the Moghuls made their first irruption into 
India. By the military genius of a great leader, Chengiz 
Khan, the nomad tribes of Tartary had been gathered 
together into one people, and their fighting men converted 
from undisciplined but hardy savages into well-trained 
soldiers. After overrunning the whole of China, they 
poured in vast hordes into Central Asia. One after 
another the Muhammedan kingdoms fell before them, the 
fields were laid waste and the cities sacked and destroyed. 
Wherever the Moghuls met with resistance they signalised 
the defeat of their enemies with appalling massacres. In 
wanton barbarity and destructiveness the early Moghuls 

H.i.H.S. G 


were the equals of the White Huns, and though less fiend- 
ishly cruel their great leader was quite as pitiless and in- 
human as Mihiragula. Before he died this "World Stormer," 


as he is called, who had started life as the chieftain of 
a petty Mongolian tribe, had created an empire stretch- 
ing from the Dneiper to the China Sea. India narrowly 
escaped the horrors of one of his devastating invasions. 
On one occasion when in pursuit of the ruler of Khwarizm 
the modern Khiva who had fled to India, he appeared on 
the banks of the Indus, and the provinces of Multan, Lahore 
and Peshawar were actually ravaged by his troops. But 
fortunately for India he withdrew to attack Herat, the in- 
habitants of which had risen against the Moghul governor. 
As an instance of his ferocity, it may be mentioned that 
when the town fell into his hands, he put to death man, 
woman, and child. It is said that on this occasion alone 
1,600,000 people were butchered in cold blood. 

Altamsh subdues Northern India. The retire- 
ment of Chengiz Khan left Altamsh free to punish the 
rebellious governors of Sind and Bengal. After success- 
ful campaigns against both, he turned his attention to his 
independent Hindu neighbours, and invaded Eajputana. 
The fortresses of Eanthambhor and Gwalior were captured 
after protracted sieges, and then Ujjain, the ancient capital 
of Malwa, was taken. It is needless, perhaps, to add that 
wherever he went he broke down images and demolished 
temples. At his death, which occurred in 1236, he had 
made himself the master of all Northern India as far south 
as the Vindhya Hills. 

Causes of Muhammedan success. It may seem 
surprising that the Hindus, who so enormously outnumbered 
their conquerors, and who had fought so stoutly for their 
independence, should have been held in check from any 
general rising against their Muhammedan rulers. The 
explanation is to be found in the immense number of hardy, 
well-trained soldiers available at all times for repressing 
them. When Ghazni fell, Khusru was followed into India 
by bands of Turki warriors fleeing from the general 
massacre ; and when the Moghuls swept down upon Cen- 
tral Asia, many of the soldiery of Afghanistan, Samarcand, 
and Bokhara fled to India and took service under 
Moslem rulers. There was thus an almost inexhaustible 
supply of the finest fighting material ready to hand, and a 
Hindu rising could be crushed before it had time to grow 


formidable. The Muhammedan Emperor of Delhi in par- 
ticular, from the position of his capital, could always 
obtain as many mercenaries as he wanted to wage his 
wars. But while the presence of Afghan and Turki 
soldiers strengthened the hold which the Muhammedan s 
had over India, it was at the same time a fruitful source of 
danger and weakness to the Delhi Empire ; for it enabled 
pretenders to the throne and rebellious governors to 
surround themselves rapidly with large and well-disciplined 

Sultan Raziya. Altamsh was succeeded by his son, a 
feeble and cruel debauchee, who was deposed after a reign 
of six months and put to death. His sister Raziya, a woman 
of remarkable vigour and ability, was raised to the throne 
in his stead. She is known by the name of Sultan Raziya, 
a tribute to her masculine energy, and owns the proud 
distinction of having been the only woman who sat upon 
the throne of Delhi. She began her reign well, and acted 
up to her reputation for learning and good sense ; but, 
unfortunately for herself, excited the jealousy of her nobles 
by showing too great a partiality for an Abyssinian slave. 
A rebellion was the result, which ended in her being 
deposed and put to death, after a reign of three and a half 

Reappearance of the Moghuls. The next two 
kings, who were only distinguished for vice and cruelty, 
were, after brief reigns, both assassinated. Nasiruddin 
Ahmad, a younger brother of Raziya, then seized the throne 
and occupied it for 21 years. During his reign the Moghuls 
again made their appearance in the Punjab, and their 
invasions from this time forward became a constant source 
of anxiety to the Pathan rulers of Delhi. The Rajputs 
of Mewat seized the opportunity to revolt, and the 
Khokhars renewed their raids upon the Punjab. But 
owing to the energy and ability of his minister Balban, 
the tide of Moghul invasion was stemmed, the Rajputs 
were subdued, and the Khokhars driven back to their 
native hills. 

Balban. After Nasiruddin's death, in 1266, Balban 
seized his master's throne. Balban's career had been an 
unusually checkered one even for those w^ild times. Start- 


ing life as Altamsh's slave; "t^ MddC le/igtfr fevM been 
considered worthy to marry his master's daughter. His 
enemies had reason to tremble at his name, for he was 
as vindictive as he was able. His first act on becoming 
king was to massacre the band of confederates who had 
helped him to the throne. Governors suspected of har- 
bouring treasonable designs were flogged, sometimes 
even to death, before his eyes, The Rajputs of Mewat 
and Malwa, who had again risen, were hunted from their 
fastnesses, and nearly exterminated, and lastly a revolt 
in Bengal was put down with merciless severity. His long 
reign was a succession of Hindu revolts, rebellions of 
Muhammedan governors and Moghul invasions, but the old 
warrior was strong enough to hold his kingdom against 
them all. His capital became the asylum of ruined kings 
and princes from Central Asia, who had been driven out of 
their dominions by Moghul invasions, and was filled Avith 
poets and men of letters from northern countries. 

End of the slave dynasty. Balban died in 1287, 
and was succeeded by a grandson, who, like so many of his 
predecessors on the throne, was weak, dissolute, and cruel. 
After three and a half years of misrule he was assassinated, 
and by common consent Jalaluddin Khilji, governor of the 
Punjab, was placed upon the vacant throne. Thus the slave 
dynasty was brought to an end in 1290, after lasting for 84 
years. The cruelty and viciousness of most of its kings had 
alienated the Muhammedans and goaded the Hindus to 
revolt. When it ceased the Moslem Empire in India was 
4M10 firmer than it had been when Kutbuddin, the founder, 
ascended the throne of Delhi. 

The Khilji dynasty 1290-1320. Jalaluddin, the 
founder of the Khilji dynasty, was an old man when he 
usurped the throne. The best part of his life had been 
spent in repelling the Moghul invasions in the Punjab, and 
he was now hardly equal to the task of governing so wild 
and distracted a kingdom. His first year was spent in 
suppressing Hindu revolts. The temples of Malwa were 
plundered and Ujjain, which had regained its independence, 
captured and sacked, but the attempt to reduce Ranthambhor 
failed completely. Jalaluddin thereupon returned to Delhi, 
now anxious only to finish his days in peace. But his nephew, 


Alaiiddin, gcvernor > of - Xanu, near Allahabad, was of a 
restless and daring spirit, and could not be restrained. His 
first exploit was the capture of Bhilsa, south of the Vindya 
hills, 300 miles away, with a handful of cavalry. The Raja 
was taken unawares by the suddenness of the raid and 
forced to submit, and his city was plundered. Emboldened 
by this success, Alauddin, in 1296, made a dash upon 
Maharashtra with a body of 8000 troops. The Kaja was 
surprised in his capital of Devagiri, and obliged to sue for 
peace to save the city from sack. The price demanded was 
a portion of his territory, an enormous ransom, and the 
promise of a yearly tribute. EUichpur was next attacked, 
captured and sacked. Alauddin then galloped back to 
Karra, laden with booty. The old king, on the news of his 
return, hastened to congratulate his victorious n^ephew, and 
for his pains was treacherously seized and beheaded. 

Alauddin. Alauddin, after this dastardly act, marched 
on Delhi, and having by bribery and intimidation allayed all 
opposition, seized the crown, in 1296. He signalised his 
accession by hunting down and murdering the sons of 
Jelaluddin to make his position secure. The first two years 
of his reign were spent in campaigns against the Moghuls, 
whom he defeated and drove out of the Punjab. In the 
third year he made an expedition into Guzerat. The Raja 
fled before him, and the country was annexed. He next 
turned his attention to the Rajputs of Rajputana, who 
had never ceased, in spite of merciless repression, to raid 
the neighbouring Muhammedan territory. 

Invades Rajputana. As has already been stated^ 
when the Muhammedans conquered Northern India many 
Rajput chiefs with their retainers fled to Rajputana, and 
there established small independent kingdoms. For mutual 
protection they formed themselves into a loose confederacy, 
recognising the Rana of Chittor as their overlord. Alauddin 
was determined to put a stop to their raiding, and he there- 
fore marched the next year into Rajputana to punish them. 
Ranthambhor was captured by assault after a stubborn 
and protracted defence, and its inhabitants massacred : 
then laying waste the country, he marched against Chittor. 
The fortress held out for six months before he could reduce 
it, and the Rajputs fought to the last with desperate valour. 


The Ran a was captured when it fell ; but an heroic rem- 
nant of the garrison cut their way through the besiegers 
and fled to the Aravalli Hills. From there, under a nephew 
of the Rana, they made themselves so troublesome by con- 
tinually sallying out and raiding and ravaging the country 
round that Alauddin was glad at last to restore Chittor, on 
condition that his suzerainty was acknowledged. 

Campaign against the Moghuls. After reducing 
Chittor, Alauddin was forced to turn his attention to the 
Punjab, where a fresh invasion of Moghuls was taking 
place. This kept him busy for the next two years. 
Nothing could exceed the ferocity he displayed in the 
conduct of this campaign. The Moghuls had by this time 
been converted to Islam, but they belonged to the sect of 
Shiahs, while Alauddin and his Afghan soldiers were bigoted 
Sunnis. They were therefore detested by him on this 
account. Captives received no mercy at his hands. Men 
were put to death in cold blood, and women and children 
sold as slaves. Thousands of wretched prisoners were sent 
in chains to Delhi, where they were trampled upon by the 
state elephants to piake a public spectacle, and their skulls 
afterwards heaped up in pyramids at the city gates. 

Kafur's campaign in Southern India. While 
Alauddin was engaged in suppressing Rajput revolts and 
repelling Moghul invasions, Malik Kafur, his favourite 
general, was conducting a campaign against the independent 
Hindu kingdoms of Southern India. Kafur was a converted 
Hindu, and had been given as a slave to Alauddin during 
the expedition to G-uzerat. Alauddin had taken a great 
fancy to him, and had marked him at once for high command. 
At that time the chief kingdoms of the Deccan were 
Devagiri, Telingana, and Dwara Samudra in North Mysore. 
All three were ruled over by Rajput kings. Had they 
combined they might have been more than a match for the 
Muhammedans ; but they were no wiser than the Rajputs 
of Delhi and Kanauj had been when Muhammad Ghori 
descended upon Northern India. The excuse for Kafur's 
expedition was that the Raja of Devagiri had failed to pay 
his tribute. His country was quickly overrun, his capital 
pillaged, and he himself was sent a prisoner to Delhi. But 
he succeeded by rich gifts in pleasing Alauddin so well 

Emery Walker sc 


during his captivity that he was restored to his dominions.* 
After overrunning the whole of Maharashtra Kafur in 1311 
led his army south. Dwara Samudra was laid waste, 
Warangal, the capital of Telingana, sacked, and the country 
ravaged almost as far as Cape Comorin in the extreme 
south. The campaign was a proof of the wealth of the 
Hindu kingdoms of the Deccan, and also of their defence- 
lessness, and the facts were not forgotten. 

Last years of Alauddin. Kafur then returned to his 
master, and was rewarded by being made Prime Minister. 
Alauddin's constitution was now enfeebled, and his vigour 
greatly impaired, but his ferocity was no whit abated. 
A conspiracy to assassinate him having come to light, he 
massacred indiscriminately the whole of the Moghuls who 
had submitted to him and settled in his dominions ; his 
brother in law was put to death under suspicion of treason ; 
and the queen and her two sons, accused of plotting against 
him, were imprisoned. The news that his health was failing 
was the signal for a general revolt. Chittor regained its inde- 
pendence and the Muhammedan garrisons were driven out 
of the Deccan. Rebellion and sedition spread far and wide ; 
his very palace became a hot-bed of intrigue. In the year 
1316, in the midst of these disorders, he died, his end being 
hastened, it is said, by poison given him by his favourite, 
Kafur. Kafur placed Alauddin's youngest son upon the 
throne, and began to administer the empire as regent. But 
Mubarak, an elder brother of the young king, who had 
narrowly escaped assassination at the hands of Kafur, 
heading a successful rebellion, slew the regent, put out 
the eyes of the puppet ruler and imprisoned him, and had 
himself proclaimed king. 

Decline and fall of the Khilji dynasty. Mubarak 
proved himself a worthless debauchee, and entrusted the 
government of the state to slaves, one of whom, named 
Malik Khusru, a renegade Hindu, was made Prime Minister. 
Khusru took the earliest opportunity to murder his master 
and seize his throne. His first act as ruler was to cut off 
the House of Khilji root and branch by the murder of every 
member of Alauddin's family. But he was as stupid as he 
was brutal and cruel, and while he persecuted Hindus he 
insulted the religion of Muhammedans. Within five months 


of his accession he was deposed and put to death by Ghazi 
Beg Tughlak, Governor of the Punjab, whom the disgusted 
nobles had called in to rid them of the tyrant. No member 
of the Khilji family remaining, Ghazi Beg was chosen king, 
under the title of Ghiasuddin, Champion of the Faith, 
in 1320. 

The Tughlak Dynasty, 1320- 1414. The new king, 
who had begun life as a Turki slave, was the first of a line 
of kings known as the Tughlak Sultans. Delhi had become 
such a nest of sedition, owing to the number of wild Pathan 
and Turki adventurers from Central Asia that resorted to 
it, that he considered it unsafe to live there. He therefore 
removed his capital to a place about four miles away, which 
he called Tughlakabad. Ghiasuddin ruled wisely and well 
and under him the kingdom flourished greatly. The con- 
quest of the south was continued by him and Warangal 
finally reduced. Bengal also surrendered to him. But he 
had hardly been on the throne four years when he was 
killed in suspicious circumstances by the collapse of a 
wooden pavilion erected for his reception by his son and 

Muhammad Tughlak. This son was the celebrated 
Muhammad Tughlak, one of the strangest characters in all 
history. He was a man of deep learning and great abilities, 
simple in his manner of living, and brave and skilful in war. 
But his violence of temper, his waywardness, and his 
inhumanity made his long reign a curse instead of a blessing 
to his subjects. The position to which he had succeeded 
was one of extreme difficulty. His empire stretched from 
Assam on the east to Maharashtra on the west, but, owing 
to the rebellious nature of the Muhammedan governors and 
the un tameable spirit of the Rajputs, it was never under 
complete control. The country was flooded with petty 
trans-frontier chiefs and their retainers landless men 
who had been forced to seek refuge in India under pressure 
of Moghul invasions. They were restless freebooters, without 
any feelings of loyalty to the Delhi Emperor, and, when not 
engaged as mercenaries in plundering expeditions against 
the Hindus, were always ready to take part in any mischief 
that might be afoot. While in the north the Moghuls 
were becoming more continuously troublesome, their troops 


were better disciplined, and their raids more systematic and 
more skilfully executed. 

His folly and inhumanity. A cruel and capricious 
tyrant like Muhammad Tughlak, who frequently betrayed 
in his conduct symptoms of insanity, was hardly the man to 
administer such an empire. In order that he might be left 
alone to deal with his rebellious subjects, he emptied his 
treasury in bribing the Moghuls to retire from the Punjab ; 
and then to raise money he increased the land-tax to such 
an extent that the cultivators in despair abandened their 
lands and fled to the jungles. To punish them for this, 
bands of soldiers were sent out to surround the tractJS in 
which they had taken shelter, and hunt them down and 
kill them like wild beasts. On one occasion, in an outburst 
of mad fury, he personally conducted a general massacre of 
the Hindus of Kanauj. The desolated country was soon a 
prey to famine, Delhi itself was stricken and thousands 
within the city died of starvation. In the midst of these 
horrors, being struck with the beauty of Devagiri, the 
name of which he changed into Daulatabad, he determined, 
with characteristic impulsiveness, at once to make it his 
capital. The wretched famished people of Delhi were 
ordered to evacuate the city, on pain of death if they dis- 
obeyed, and march with all their belongings a distance of 
800 miles. In spite of the fearful mortality which occurred, 
and though the project had, to be abandoned as utterly 
impracticable, he had the folly and inhumanity to make a 
second attempt, and thus sacrificed to his whim the lives of 
many thousands more. At his wits' end for money, he sent 
out an expedition of 100,000 men, by way of Assam, to 
plunder China. The few who returned to tell the tale of 
failure were put to death by the furious and disappointed 
monarch. Another expedition was equipped and sent 
against Persia ; but the soldiers, being without pay, deserted 
in such large numbers that the project had to be abandoned. 
As a characteristic example of his imprudence it may be 
mentioned that on one occasion to replenish his empty 
treasury he issued a copper currency stamped with the value 
of the more precious metals. For a time it was successful, 
and his coins were accepted as tokens of fictitious value. 
But foreign merchants refused to accept them, and counter- 


feiters took to imitating them in amazing abundance. A 
panic was the natural result, trade stopped, and beggary 
and misery spread throughout the land. 

General revolt. Rebellion and anarchy followed closely 
on the heels of ruin and famine. The governor of Malwa, 
his nephew, first raised the signal of revolt, and being cap- 
tured was flayed alive by his ferocious uncle. Eebellions 
in the Punjab and Sind followed, but were quickly sup- 
pressed. Then came a rising in Guzerat, and while 
Muhamm&d was engaged in putting it down, the governors 
of Lower Bengal and the Deccan asserted their indepen- 
dence, and the Hindu kings of Southern India threw oflP 
their allegiance. The whole country was up in arms against 
the oppressor. Having crushed the rising in Guzerat, 
Muhammad hurried towards the Deccan ; but on the way he 
wasseized with a fever and died. His reign of terror had lasted 
27 years, and during it his empire had been subjected to 
every kind of calamity. His administration of justice had 
been so ferocious that in front of his palace there was daily 
heaped up a mound of corpses. He left to his successor a 
much reduced kingdom, an empty treasury, and a plentiful 
crop of troubles. 

Vijayanagar founded. During the reign of Muham- 
mad Tughlak two notable events occurred in the south. 
These were the establishment of the Hindu kingdom of 
Vijayanagar, and the foundation of the Bahmani kingdom, 
the first independent Muhammedan State in the Deccan, 
The ancient kingdoms of the Gheras and the Pandyas had 
long since sunk to insignificance, and the Cholas, who 
had dominated the extreme south for many centuries, had 
finally succumbed after a long struggle to the king of 
Warangal early in the fourteenth century. The result of 
Malik Kafur s expeditions into Southern India in the time 
of Alauddiii Khilji had been to plunge the country into 
a state of anarchy. The ancient Hindu kingdoms were 
overthrown or so weakened that there existed for a time 
no ruler with sufficient power to restore order or to cope 
with Muhammedan raiders. But the misgovernment of 
Muhammad Tughlak so distracted his empire that two 
Kanarese princes, named respectively Harihara and Bukka 
Ray, were able without molestation to build up out of the 


ruins of the lately destroyed Hindu kingdoms a new Hindu 
empire. This extensive kingdom, to which the name of 
Vijayanagar was given, after its capital, became for a 
couple of hundred years the last stronghold of independent 
Hinduism. So great did it at last become that in the 
beginning of the sixteenth century, under a ruler named 
Krishnadeo Eai, it comprised the whole of the Peninsula 
south of the Krishna river. 

The Bahmani kingdom established. The Bahmani 
kingdom owed its origin to a combination of the Muham- 
medan noblemen in the Deccan to resist the cruel oppressions 
of Muhammad Tughlak. Their leader was a man named 
Hasan, who, though of good birth, had in early life been 
reduced by poverty to take service under a Brahman called 
Gangu. On the death of Muhammad Tughlak, his successor 
being too weak to put down the rising acknowledged the 
independence of the Deccan, and thus Hasan became the 
founder of an independent Muhammedan kingdom. He 
ascended the throne in 1347 under the title of Sultan 
Alauddin Hasan Gangu Bahmani. The last two names he 
took in honour of his old Brahman master, who had be- 
friended him through life, and whom he now in gratitude 
made his first Prime Minister. His capital was, at a place 
called Kulburga, west of Golconda, and before he died he 
was ruler over a kingdom stretching from Berar in the 
north to the Krishna river in the south. 

Rivalry between them. Between these two rival 
kingdoms war was almost unceasing. Acts of aggression 
followed by bloody reprisals made up most of the history 
of both, the Hindus being not less cruel and vindictive 
than the Muhammedans. 

Feroz Tuglak. Muhammad was succeeded in 1351 
by his cousin, Feroz Tuglak, a very different stamp of 
man. He was a pious Muhammedan, and more anxious to 
spread his religion than to extend his dominions. During 
his reign many Hindus were converted to Islam, especially 
in Bengal, by the efforts of itinerant Muhammedan preachers. 
He did not attempt to recover his lost provinces in the 
Deccan, but acknowledged the Muhammedan governors 
as independent sovereigns. Distant expeditions with his 
empty treasury were out of the question. Though nomi- 


nally Emperor of Northern India, he was in reality only 
King of the Punjab and the country now comprised by the 
United Provinces. Bengal had become an independent 
kingdom during the last days of his predecessor, and Malwa 
was practically self-governing during his reign. He did, it 
is true, on more than one occasion make a half-hearted 
attempt to recover Bengal, and was nearly lost with the 
whole of his army on another when retiring from an 
unsuccessful expedition into Sind. He deserves however 
to be remembered by his works of public utility and his - 
genuine efforts to ameliorate the condition of his subjects. 
Much of the land which had fallen out of cultivation in 
Muhammad's reign was reclaimed, taxes were lightened, 
canals were cut, tanks dug, roads constructed, caravanserais 
built, and hospitals, schools, and colleges opened. He was 
certainly a more enlightened ruler than any of his prede- 
cessors, but unfortunately, like them, he could not refrain 
from religious intolerance and from persecuting Hindus. 
He died in 1388 after a long and peaceful reign of 38 

Independent Muhammedan kingdoms. After his 
death anarchy and rebellion broke out afresh. His suc- 
cessors were weak and cruel, and soon completed the ruin 
which Muhammad had begun.* Within six years nothing 
remained to the Emperor of Delhi but the capital itself 
and the country round about it. But though the empire 
had decayed, the Muhammedans were increasing their hold 
upon India. Bengal, Jaunpore, Sind, Guzerat, Malwa, and 
the Deccan, having thrown off their allegiance to the Delhi 
ruler, had become powerful Muhammedan kingdoms, and 
their Hindu subjects had learnt to submit with patience 
to the rule of the foreigner. Rajputana and the south 
were now the last strongholds of independent Hinduism. 

Timur sacks Delhi. In 1398 another world-stormer 
from Central Asia swept down upon India. Timur, or 
Tamerlane, as he is sometimes called, was a descendant of 
the terrible Chengiz Khan. While Chengiz was a mere 
ruthless plunderer, Timur, who was a Muhammedan, pro- 
fessed religious zeal as the ground of conquest. The wild 
Tartar tribes who had invaded Central Asia under Chengiz 
Khan, had during the 13th century become converted to 


Islam, and were full of enthusiasm for their new faith. 
Eeligious fanaticism, added to their lust of plunder, made 
them, if possible, more ferocious and callous of human 
suffering than ever, and certainly more formidable in war. 
Timur had the genius of his ancestor for converting savage 
hordes into well-trained armies, and an equal ambition 
for coiiquest. He was over sixty years of age, and the 
ruler of an empire greater even than that of Chengiz Khan, 
when hearing of the wealth of India and the enfeebled 
state of the Pathan rulers of Delhi he determined to 
invade it. Giving out that his mission was to destroy 
idolatry, he marched with an immense armj^ down the 
Khyber Pass into the Punjab. Timur was destitute of 
humanity, and his soldiers were brutal and cruel to a 
degree unsurpassed in the annals of war. City after city 
fell before him and was plundered, and those of its inhabi- 
tants that were not taken as slaves were put to the sword. 
Wherever he went he spread ruin and desolation. Panic 
preceded his approach, and those who could, abandoning 
everything, fled for their lives ; so that the country was 
filled with hurrying and terrified fugitives. At length he 
reached Delhi, but before commencing the siege, he ordered 
a massacre of his Indian captives, that he might be un- 
encumbered by them in the attack^ and might engage with 
all his forces in the assault. In obedience to this cruel 
order 100,000 helpless prisoners were butchered in cold 
blood in the space of an hour or two. The day before the 
attack Mahmud Tughlak the Emperor slipped away from 
the doomed city, and fled to Guzerat. After a feeble 
resistance the inhabitants capitulated on a promise that 
their lives should be spared. Timur then entered with his 
army, and proclaimed himself the Emperor of Hindustan. 
But notwithstanding his promise, he gave the city up to 
sack. For five days his soldiers raged through it without 
restraint, pillaging and massacring till the houses were 
gutted and the streets impassable for the multitude of 
corpses. Timur then withdrew with his plunder and his 
captives to Central Asia, leaving behind him a wake of 
desolation. Famine :.nd pestilence soon followed, and the 
once populous and wealthy city was for a time actually 


End of the Tughlak Dynasty. The Delhi Empire 
was destroyed, but Ikbal, Mah mud's Prime Minister, seized 
upon the capital, and managed to maintain a semblance of 
authority for a few years. But in 1405 a rebellion broke 
out against him and he was defeated and killed. Mahmud 
was theui brought back from Guzerat and placed again 
upon the throne. He reigned till 1412, but nothing 
remained to him of the former Empire of Delhi except the 
city itself, and he relinquished the title of emperor. 

The Syed Dynasty, 1414-1450. After his death 
anarchy again prevailed, till in 1414 Khizr Khan, the 
Governor of Sind, marched upon Delhi and captured it. 
Three of his descendants occupied the throne after him, 
but their power was confined to the immediate neighbour- 
hood of Delhi, and they had to struggle with the neighbour- 
ing Muhammedan kings to retain the little territory they 
possessed. Their dynasty is known as the Syed Dynasty, 
because they claimed descent from the Prophet. Alauddin 
the last king of the line, resigned his throne to Bahlul 
Lodi, Governor of the Punjab, and retired from the world 
to pass his days in religious meditation. 

Prosperity of the Bahmani kingdoin. While the 
four rulers of the Syed Dynasty were occupying the throne 
of Delhi, the Bahmani kingdom of Southern India attained 
to the zenith of its prosperity. Under Sultan Feroz and his 
brother Ahmad, the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar was 
invaded, and its king forced to sue for peace ; the ancient 
kingdom of Telingana was in great part annexed, and two 
new cities, Ahmadnagar and Bidar, destined to be in later 
times themselves the capitals of kingdoms, sprang up within 
the state. 

The Lodi Dynasty, 1451-1526. Bahlul, who assumed 
the title of Sultan in 1451, was the founder of a hne of 
kings called the Lodi Dynasty. Twenty-six years of his 
reign were spent in a struggle with the neighbouring 
kingdom of Jaunpore, which was at length reduced, and 
annexed to his dominions. His son Sikandar succeeded to 
a kingdom which included the Punjab and the whole of 
the United Provinces. During his reign Behar was added 
to it, and the capital removed to Agra. But Ibrahim 
Lodi, his successor, by his cruelty, arrogance, and bigotry. 


estranged his subjects, both Hindu and Muhammedan, and 
brougKt about the ruin of the reviving empire. Eebellions 
broke out against him in all directions, in the midst of 
which Babar, the ruler of Kabul, appeared upon the scene 
with a Moghul army. 

Victory of the Moghuls at Panipat. Babar was 
a descendant of Timur, and on the strength of this he laid 
claim to the throne of Delhi ; but the immediate cause 
of his coming was an invitation from Daulat Khan, the 
governor of the Punjab to assist in dethroning the tyrant, 
Ibrahim Lodi. He had long cherished the desire of con- 
quering Hindustan, and he rightly judged the present to be 
the most propitious moment. He lost no time therefore in 
marching upon Lahore; but before he reached the city, 
the treacherous governor was driven out by the troops of 
Ibrahim Lodi. Babar quickly disposed of the enemy and 
chased them out with great slaughter. The bazaar was 
burnt and the city plundered, and then he moved on 
again. But he had not gone far before he met with a 
serious and unexpected check ; for Daulat Khan, who had 
repented of his treachery, went into rebellion against him 
and took the field with 40,000 men. He was forced, there- 
fore, to turn back and confront this danger threatening him 
in the rear. * The insurrection proved less formidable than it 
looked ; for at the approach of the Moghuls Daulat Khan's 
army vanished. Having restored order and secured the 
country behind him Babar resumed his march on Delhi. 
Ibrahim Lodi, recognising the seriousness of the crisis, 
gathered together all the forces he could muster and 
marched out to meet the invader. On the plain of Panipat, 
in the historic neighbourhood of the two great battlefields 
of Kurukshetra and Thanesar, in 1526, the Moghuls and 
the Afghans met to decide the fate of India. The battle 
was short but bloody. The well-disciplined and hardy 
warriors of Central Asia, though far outnumbered, were 
more than a match for the enervated Afghans of the 
Indian plains. By mid-day Babar had gained a decisive 
victory. 15,000 of the enemy lay dead upon the field, and 
Ibrahim Lodi was himself among the slain. In Delhi, 
which at once submitted to him without a struggle, Babar 
had himself proclaimed Emperor of India. He then 

H.I.H.S. H 


marched upon Agra, captured it, and seized the family of 
Ibrahim. Northern India now lay at the feet of the 

Mahmud Gawan. The year 1526 is also noteworthy 
as the year in which the Bahmani kingdom of the Deccan 
came to an end. Between the years 1435 and 1461, under 
two vicious rulers, the kingdom rapidly declined. Then 
the genius of a statesman, Mahmud Gawan, infused into it 
for a time fresh vitality. During his prime ministership of 
25 years he succeeded not only in maintaining a just and 
firm government, but by annexing the Konkan and the 
Northern Circars, and completing the subjugation of 
Telingana, greatly extended the boundaries of the state. 
He was a man of learning and piety, simple in his habits, 
and incorruptible, employing his great wealth without 
stint in charities and objects of public utilitj'. But all 
his virtues could not save him from an evil fate. In the 
faithful discharge of his duties he aroused the jealousy and 
the hatred of the turbulent Deccani nobility, and they at 
length contrived his ruin. He was executed on a false 
charge by order of the sovereign for whom he had worked 
so ably and so disinterestedly. 

Break-up of the Bahmani kingdom. After his 
death the state was rent by factions and quickly fell to 
pieces. But out of the ruins of the Bahmani kingdom 
there arose five small and vigorous independent states, 
Berar, Bidar, Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda. But 
they all continued to display the factiousness of the parent 
kingdom, were always at war with one another, and could 
not even combine for mutual protection against a common 
foe. Thus the extinction of the Bahmani kingdom greatly 
weakened Muhammedan power in the Deccan, and may 
justly be said to have contributed ultimately not a little to 
the downfall of Islamic supremacy in India. 

India under the Pathan kings. The Pathan kings 
of Delhi had held their dominions under a sort of military 
despotism. They had contented themselves with garrison- 
ing important places with their mercenaries, collecting the 
land tax in the country immediately under them, wresting 
tribute from Hindu Rajas, and exacting contributions from 
Muhammedan governors, when they felt themselves strong 


enough to enforce obedience ; they had never attempted 
directly to administer their territories. During all this 
period the Muhammedans continued to persecute the con- 
quered Hindus. Their own chroniclers testify with pride 
to the uncompromising way in which their rulers destroyed 
idols and temples, and slew by thousands those who per- 
sisted in idolatry. Even so mild and beneficent a ruler as 
Feroz Tuglak takes credit to himself for the destruction of 
shrines and the massacre of obdurate idolators ; while of the 
ruthless and bloodthirsty Alauddin it is recorded that 
** when he advanced from Karra the Hindus in alarm de- 
scended into the ground like ants. He departed towards 
the garden of Behar to dye the soil as red as a tulip." 

Condition of the Hindus. But the Hindus, while 
. subject at all times to religious persecution, enjoyed under 
their conquerors a large measure of liberty. Their social 
system remained unimpaired, and the Brahmans retained 
over them their power and influence undiminished. Though 
many converts were made to Islam, they were mostly from 
among those who had nothing to lose and everything to 
gain in the social scale by turning Muhammedan. The 
great mass of the people remained as before; and so far 
from the regulations of caste being relaxed, the persecutions 
to which they were subjected only made them hold to them 
more tenaciously than ever. 

Union of Hindus and Muhammedans in the 
Deccan. In Northern India there was very little sympathy 
between the rulers and the ruled, and their religious differ- 
ences made any sort of union impossible. But with the 
growth of independent Muhammedan kingdoms in Bengal, 
Sind, ancf the Deccan, Hindus and Muhammedans had to 
adapt themselves to a different condition of things. These 
kingdoms were essentially Indian, for the foreign element 
was small, and the rulers could not look to the north, as 
the Delhi Emperor looked, for a continuous and inexhaust- 
ible supply of Muhammedan mercenaries. It was therefore 
necessary to treat Hindu subjects with some consideration. 
In course of time, under the influence of climate and sur- 
roundings, racial differences grew less marked and antipathies 
less vehement. Hindus and Muhammedans came to regard 
each other as fellow-countrymen, and Hindu officers were 


employed in posts of trust side by side with Muham- 
medans. Although divided by the impassable barrier of 
religious difference, and maintaining an uncompromising 
attitude in the matter of their social and domestic regula- 
tions, they learnt in time to regard each other with a less 
intolerant spirit, so that it became possible for them to live 
together in some sort of harmony. 

Babar drives the Afghans out of Northern 
India. Babar and his son Humayun, after the fall of 
Agra, set about tranquillising the country round. The 
Afghans, though decisively beaten at Panipat, did not 
without further struggle relinquish Northern India to the 
Moghuls. They rallied at Jaunpore, and there made a 
desperate effort to set up a rival kingdom. But it was of 
no avail, and they were defeated and driven out. 

Defeats the Rajputs. Hardly had the Afghans been 
subdued before Sanga Singh, the Rana of Chittor, headed 
a combination of Rajputs against Babar. Sanga Singh had 
taken advantage of the stormy times preceding the fall 
of the Pathan empire to extend his dominions and con- 
solidate his power. He was therefore a formidable adver- 
sary, especiauy as Mahmud Lodi, brother of the late king, 
with 10,000 men had joined him, hoping with his assist- 
ance to drive the Moghuls out of India. In the year 1527 
the allies marched upon Agra, and encountered Babar at 
Fatehpur Sikri, close by. The fate of India hung upon the 
issue of the battle. At one time during the fight the 
Moghuls began to give way, and defeat seemed imminent. 
But their better discipline saved them, and, rallying under 
Babar's exhortations, they made one supreme effort, and 
snatched the victory from the already exultant enemy. 
The advancing Hindus and Afghans were checked, then 
driven back, and finally routed with great slaughter. 
Babar gave the Rajputs no chance to recover. Following 
up his success, he assumed the offensive, and completely 
broke their power in Northern India by the capture of all 
their principal strongholds. In 1529 Behar was added to 
his dominions. He was now the ruler of an empire stretch- 
ing from Bokhara to Multan, and from the Arabian Sea to 
the eastern borders of Behar. 

Death of Babar. Babar died in 1530 at the age of 


fifty. In many respects he was an ideal Eastern monarch. 
He was brave and generous, frank and impulsive, cheerful 
and patient under misfortunes, fond of letters himself, and 
a patron of learning ; and if in his dealings with his enemies 
he showed himself callous and cruel, he only acted after the 
manner of his times. On his death the empire he had 
created was divided up among his four sons. Humayun, 
the eldest, became Emperor of Delhi, and Kamran, the 
second, ruler of the Punjab and Afghanistan. The other 
two sons were provided with Indian governorships under 
their eldest brother. 

Humayun's critical position. Humayun's position 
was a critical one. The Afghans had not yet abandoned all 
hope of wresting India from the Moghuls,and were again giv- 
ing trouble in the eastern portion of his dominions. Bahadur 
Shah, the King of Guzerat, was absorbing into his kingdom 
the neighbouring territories ; and Sher Shah, a Pathan 
soldier of fortune, had made himself the master of Behar; 
added to which the jealousy existing between Kdmran and 
Humayun made it impossible for the latter to obtain from 
the north the fresh supplies of Moghul soldiers necessary 
for the defence of his kingdom. 

Bahadur Shah driven out of Guzerat. A few 
months before Babar's death, Bahadur Shah had captured 
Chittor and placed there a Muhammedan garrison. Soon 
after Humayun^s accession, the widow of the late Eana 
appealed to him to expel the Afghan governor. Humayun, 
who had a private grudge against Bahadur and was alarmed 
at his growing power, readily responded to her appeal and 
marched an army into Eajputana. Chittor was captured, 
Malwa annexed, and Bahadur chased into Guzerat. Huma- 
yun, following close behind, forced him to fly from place to 
place, and ultimately drove him from his kingdom. The 
campaign concluded with the storming and capture of 
Champanir, the hill fort in which were stored the treasures 
of the kingdom. In this last exploit Humayun displayed 
conspicuous courage, being one of the first to scale its walls. 

Struggle with Sher Shah. But while Humayun was 
thus employed, Sher Shah had conquered Bengal and pro- 
claimed himself its king. He had also seized the strong 
fort of Chunar, on the Ganges. Humayun was thus forced 


to leave Guzerat and hurry back to the north. As soon as 
he had gone, Bahadur Shah returned and recovered all the 
territory which had been taken from him. After a siege of 
six months, Humayun captured Chunar, and Sher Shah fled 
back to Bengal. Humayun followed in pursuit, and took 
Patna and Gaur, the capital of Bengal, on the way ; but he 
was unable to overtake Sher Shah, who made good his 
escape to the jungle. As the rainy season had commenced, 
Humayun decided to retire ; but sickness broke out in his 
army, and his retreat was cut off by floods. Whereupon 
Sher Shah emerged from his hiding-place, recovered Behar 
and Chunar, and laid siege to Jaunpore. Humayun, as 
soon as the rains were over, began to retreat. Sher Shah 
at once abandoned the siege of Jaunpore, and hurried back 
to cut him ofl". The two armies met at Buxar in 1539, and 
encamped opposite each other. Humayun, fearing to en- 
gage with his weakened forces, entered into negotiations 
with Sher Shah, and agreed to appoint him Governor of 
Behar and Bengal. Scarcely were the terms of peace agreed 
upon when the treacherous Afghans fell upon the rear of 
Humayun's army. The Moghuls, taken unawares, were 
seized with panic, and, flying in disorder, plunged into the 
Ganges, where thousands of them were drowned. Humayun 
himself leapt on horseback into the river, and attempted to 
swim across ; but his horse sank beneath him, and but for 
the assistance of a water-carrier, who lent him his inflated 
mashak, he too would have been drowned. 

Flight of Humayun. Sher Shah continued his 
victorious course as far as Kanauj, while Humayun fled 
before him to Agra. Both occupied the next few months 
in preparation for a final struggle. Sher Shah was now the 
champion of the Pathans against the Moghuls. Afghan 
chiefs flocked to his standard from all directions, and he 
had soon an immense army with him. Humayun, on the 
other hand, was hampered by the intrigues of his brothers, 
and was forced to face the crisis with what Moghuls he 
could collect in Northern India. The armies met at Kanauj 
in 1540, and the Moghtils were again defeated with great 
slaughter. Humayun was obliged to fly for his life and to 
abandon his kingdom to the victor. Kamran refused to 
afl'ord him refuge in his dominions, and he had to turn 


aside and make his way with his family to Persia through 
the desert of Sind. On the way to Amarkot, in 1542, his 
famous son Ak'bar was born. The fugitives, after enduring 
great hardships, at last reached Persia and threw them- 
selves on the protection of the king. But shelter was only 
granted them on the humiliating conditions that they would 
become Shiahs instead of Sunnis. 

Sher Shah at Delhi. After the victory of Kanauj 
Sher Shah ascended the throne of Delhi. The lessons of 
the past were not lost upon a man so able. He perceived 
that if he was to be free from Moghul incursions, he must 
get possession of the Punjab. Kamran, anxious to be on 
good terms with so formidable an antagonist, readily ceded 
it to him ; and Sher Shah lost no time in building a strong 
fort at Rhotas on the Jhelum as a protection against in- 
vasion. That he might be able to move an army quickly to 
any point in his wide dominions, he constructed a road 
stretching from Gaur to his new fort in the Punjab, a dis- 
tance of 2000 miles. Along both sides of it he planted 
trees, dug wells and built serais. Three other similar but 
shorter strategic roads, traversing different portions of his 
empire, were also made by him. 

His administration. Sher Shah was not only a great 
general, he was also a great administrator. Though almost 
continually occupied during his short reign with military 
operations, he found time to devise an admirable system of 
revenue collections', and to effect many improvements in 
civil government. It may justly be claimed for him that he 
laid the foundations of the successful system of administra- 
tion adopted by his great successors the Moghul emperors. 
Hindus for the first time under a Pathan emperor of Delhi 
were exempt from state persecution, and were even em- 
ployed in such important posts as those of revenue accoun- 
tants. The land revenue was fixed at one-fourth of the 
produce, and means devised to prevent, as far as possible, 
undue exactions. Sher Shah was the strongest and ablest 
Afghan ruler that ever sat upon the throne of Delhi. None 
of his predecessors had realised as he did the duties and 
responsibilities of a king towards his subjects ; and Northern 
India enjoyed under him a sense of security such as it had 
never known under any previous Muhammedan monarch. 


His campaign against the Rajputs and death. 
After making himself master of the Punjab he turned his 
attention to the Rajput chiefs in the south of his dominions, 
who now that they had had some time to recover from the 
crushing defeats inflicted upon them by Babar, had recom- 
menced according to their custom to harass their Muham- 
medan neighbours. Malwa was overrun, and the fortresses of 
Gwalior and Ranthambhor reduced, and then siege was laid 
to the stronghold of Raysia. With characteristic treachery 
Sher Shah promised the garrison that if they would submit 
he would spare their lives and property : but when they 
opened the gates on the faith of this promise, he massacred 
them to a man. For while he was just and capable as a 
ruler, he was an unscrupulous, crafty, and cruel enemy. 
The next year he invaded Marwar, and after narrowly 
escaping defeat at the hands of a Marwar chief, succeeded 
in subjugating it. In 1545 while engaged in besieging Kalin- 
jar, an almost impregnable fortress, he was mortally injured 
by an explosion of gunpowder. Although dying and in great 
pain, he continued to direct the operations up to the last, 
and expired just as the news of its capture was received. 

Hemu. His second son, Islam Shah, commonly known 
as Salim, succeeded him, and worthily followed in his foot- 
steps till his death in 1552. Then Muhammad Adil, a 
nephew of Sher Shah, usurped the throne, after foully 
murdering Islam's little son with his own hand, and by his 
vices and his folly did his best to undo all the good work 
of his predecessors. He had, however, the good luck to 
select as his Prime Minister a man of uncommon abilities, 
both as a general and an administrator. This remarkable 
man, whose name was Hemu, was a low caste Hindu, and 
had been a petty shopkeeper till Muhammad took him into 
his service. He was, moreover, deformed and of a weakly 
constitution. While' his master was wasting his treasures, 
and indulging in debauchery with low and dissolute com- 
panions, Hemu, triumphing over his infirmities and natural 
disadvantages, was administering the empire with conspicu- 
ous success. The proud Pathan nobles, however, could not 
endure the humiliation of being governed by a man of 
Hemu's antecedents, and they rose in rebellion. But one 
after another they were attacked and defeated in a series 


of brilliant campaigns by the man they had so much 

Return of Humayun. But while Hemu was busy 
quelling insurrections in the eastern districts, Humayun 
with the assistance of the King of Persia had made himself 
master of Kabul. He had for some time been watching 
the course of events in India, and he rightly judged that 
the moment was favourable for a descent upon the country. 
In 1555 he gained a decisive victory at 8irhind over 
Sikander, the Governor of the Punjab ; and in the autumn 
of the same year marched upon Delhi, which submitted to 
him without a struggle. He was now again, after an absence 
of twelve years, restored to his kingdom. But he was not 
destined to enjoy for long the throne which he had regained 
after so many years of exile. Six months after his return 
in the month of January, 1556, he was so severely injured 
by a fall from the terrace of his library that he died from 
the effects, after lingering four days. 



Akbar the Great, 1556-1605. At the time of Huma- 
yun's death his son Akbar was engaged with Bairam Khan 
his father's faithful companion in exile, in subjugating the 
Punjab. Akbar was then not fourteen years of age, but 
during his short life had experienced so many vicissitudes 
of fortune, and had already gained such a practical 
acquaintance with affairs, that he w^as shrewd and prudent 
beyond his years. He was, moreover, by nature manly 
and self-reliant. His first act on his accession to the throne 
was to appoint Bairam Khan his Prime Minister and to 
entrust him with the regency. His choice could not have 
fallen upon a better man for the task, for Bairam was a 
man of iron w\\\ and a consummate general, capable both 
of dealing with Akbar's unruly subjects and directing his 
forces in the coming struggle. Humayun had had no time 


to consolidate his power, and his son's position was there- 
fore a precarious one ; for Delhi and Agra and the country- 
round alone had been properly subjugated. Sikander was 
making a determined effort to regain the Punjab, and 
Hemu was still undefeated and holding the country to the 
east in the name of his master, Muhammad Adil. 

Defeat of Hemu. As soon as he heard of Humayun's 
death, Hemu marched westward with a formidable army, 

captured Agra, and ex- 
pelled the Moghul garrison 
from Delhi. Then without 
loss of time he advanced 
against Akbar and Bairam 
Khan. On the news of 
Hemu's approach with his 
unbeaten troops, the 
majority of Akbar's coun- 
sellors advised him to re- 
tire on Kabul rather than 
undertake the hopeless 
task of attempting to 
recover his father's Indian 
dominions. But Akbar, 
who was supported by 
Bairam Khan, was not 
inclined to yield with- 
out a struggle, and de- 
termined to give battle 
to the victorious Hemu. 
Gathering together all the forces he could muster, he 
advanced to meet him. The two armies encountered each 
other in the autumn of 1556 at Panipat, and once more on 
that historic field the Moghuls and the Afghans contended 
for the sovereignty of India. But jealousy and dissension 
were at work to ruin the Afghan cause. Hemu was sus- 
pected of aspiring to occupy his master's throne, and the 
Afghan chiefs chafed against his leadership. Muhammad 
Adil, who should have led them, was as usual absent. 
In the battle the Afghans would not obey Hemu's orders, 
but fought recklessly and without concerted action, up- 
setting all his plans. The well disciplined Moghuls, there- 



fore, under the skilful direction of Bairam Khan, though far 
outnumbered, gained a decisive victory. Hemu, though 
wounded, would not leave the battlefield, and, in the 
general rout which followed, was taken captive. He 
was executed the same day, and with his death the empire 
of Northern India passed finally from the Afghans to the 

Defeat of Sikandar. By the victory of Panipat and 
the death of Hemu, Akbar was left the master of Northern 
India, for Adil shortly after died, and he proceeded without 
opposition to take possession of Agra and Delhi. But his 
position was still by no means secure ; for early in the follow- 
ing year, 1557, news was brought to him that Sikandar Sur, 
the Afghan governor of the Punjab whom his father had 
defeated at Sirhind, issuing from the strong fort of Mankot, 
had defeated the Moghul troops left in the Punjab to 
watch him. His victory encouraged the disaffected Afghan 
nobles to try conclusions with the Moghuls once again, and 
they flocked to him from all the neighbouring districts. 
The situation was critical, but Akbar wisely lost no time 
in dealing with it. Marching rapidly upon Lahore, he 
forced Sikandar Sur to retire, and drove him. back to 
Mankot. For six months he besieged the place, and then 
Sikandar finding further resistance hopeless, surrendered. 
Akbar magnanimously allowed him to retire to Bengal, 
after exacting a promise from him that he would not again 
take up arms against him. 

Bairam* s regency. During the next two years Bairam 
Khan continued in his double office of regent and tutor to 
the young king. His skill and firmness were much needed, 
for the Moghul power was by no means firmly established. 
Only the Punjab and the country round about Delhi had 
been subdued, and the Afghans were still masters of a large 
part of India. But Bairam's methods though admirably 
fitted for the pacification of a turbulent kingdom were the 
reverse of conciliatory ; and as the country settled down 
his rule came to be regarded as unduly harsh and oppres- 
sive. His iron will and his relentlessness made for him 
many enemies ; and they were not slow to point out to 
their youthful sovereign that the regent was administering 
his dominions without reference to him, and that his cruel 


and overbearing conduct were estranging many of the 
king's loyal subjects. Akbar, though not unmindful of the 
debt of gratitude that he owed to his faithful servant, had 
observed with displeasure the way in which Bairam had on 
more than one occasion arbitrarily put to death men whose 
only fault appeared to be an enmity to the regent. More- 
over Bairam had in his self-sufficiency omitted to take 
account of the fact that his master was rapidly developing 
from a boy into a man of singularly strong character. The 
relations between Akbar and Bairam could therefore only 
grow more strained as time went on. 

Bairam dismissed. At length in the year 1560 
Akbar, who was now in his eighteenth year, determined to 
take the government into his own hands. Bairam had 
frequently expressed an intention of retiring from the 
regency, as soon as he could do so without damage to the 
interests of the young Emperor, in order that he might be 
able to make the pilgrimage to Mecca before old age should 
incapacitate him from taking so long a journey. Akbar, 
therefore, while issuing a proclamation to the effect that he 
had assumed the administration of affairs and that he alone 
was to be obeyed, sent a message to Bairam informing 
him that he was now free to undertake the pilgrimage he 
had so often expressed a wish to make. It was not to be 
expected that Bairam would tamely submit to so summary 
a dismissal. But Akbar was well aware of the nature of 
the man with whom he had to deal, and prudently made 
preparations to meet rebellious opposition. It was well 
that he did so ; for Bairam, who had quitted Agra, before 
the announcement of the proclamation, was in a few months 
in open revolt against his master. But Bairam soon found 
that he could not as a rebel command the ready obedience 
to which he had been accustomed as a regent, and that the 
influence he had so long and so powerfully exercised was 
no longer his. After a short and ineffectual resistance he 
was forced to throw himself on Akbar's mercy. Akbar was 
of too noble a nature to forget that the old man now suing 
for his life, had been his own and his father's most loyal 
and devoted servant. He readily forgave him, provided 
him with money, and left him, now thoroughly humbled, to 
proceed on his pilgrimage to Mecca. But Bairam was 


never destined to carry out his project; for while at 
Guzerat, completing his preparations for the journey, he 
was assassinated by an Afghan whose father he had put to 
death some years before. 

Akbar quells rebellion. After the defeat of- 
Bairam, Akbar returned to Delhi to assume the full 
responsibility of the empire. His position was still far 
from secure. The Punjab, Ajmir, Gwalior, Delhi, and 
Agra acknowledged his sovereignty, but in the east the 
Afghans were still all powerful. Akbar's army, which was 
officered by Moghul and Turkoman adventurers, was 
attached to him only by the hope of plunder, while his 
foremost generals were more anxious to increase their own 
power than to support his authorit3\ The next seven 
years, indeed, were mainly spent by him in putting down 
rebellions among his own followers. First Khan Zaman, 
who had driven the Afghans from Jaunpore, believing him- 
self strong enough to resist his youthful sovereign, raised 
the standard of revolt ; next Adam Khan, the conqueror of 
Malwa, tried to make himself independent ; and then Asaf 
Khan, the Governor of Karra, having possessed himself of 
much booty by the plunder of a neighbouring Hindu rajah, 
rebelled rather than give it up to his master. But like 
Bairam, they were destined to find that Akbar, though so 
young, was not a man to be trifled with, and that they 
were no match for him, either in generalship or readiness of 
resource. Akbar never gave his enemies time to consoli- 
date their power ; for by forced marches he was upon them 
long before they expected him, and had dealt them a 
crushing blow before they could concentrate their forces. 
Lastly his brother, the Governor of Kabul, treacherously 
invaded the Punjab, while Akbar was engaged in subduing 
his rebellious generals. All were in turn defeated, being 
unable to resist the suddenness and vigour of his att^ick. 

Conciliates the Rajputs. By 1566, Akbar had 
succeeded in establishing peace throughout his empire, and 
was now free to embark on schemes of conquest at the 
expense of his Hindu neighbours. Eajputana, which had 
so long been a thorn in the side of the Delhi Empire, 
naturally claimed his early attention. But Akbar, while 
following the traditional policy of the Kings of Delhi, was 


wiser than his predecessors ; for though he was just as 
eager to conquer, he desired to conciliate rather than to crush 
those whom he forced to submit to his authority. The 
Raja of Ambar, the modern Jaipur, became his personal 
friend, and even gave his daughter in marriage to the 
Emperor. In return Akbar appointed the Raja's son to a 
high military post. The Raja of Marwar, now Jodhpur, 
and other Rajput princes, after a brief struggle, submitted, 
and became loyal servants of their conqueror. The grand- 
daughter of the Jodhpur Raja was given in marriage to 
Akbar's eldest son, Prince Salim. But the proud Rana 
of Mewar, Uday Singh, rather than yield, retired to the 
rocky fastnesses of the Aravalli hills, leaving behind him a 
garrison of 800 Rajputs to defend his fortress of Chittor. 

Resistance of Udaipur. The defence of this fort by 
the Rajputs, under their brave leader Jay Mai, is one of 
the most stirring events in the history of those times. 
Akbar conducted the siege in person, yet with all his skill 
and determination he could not overcome the defenders. 
But one night Jay Mai, having too rashly exposed himself 
upon the fortifications, was shot by the Emperor's own 
hand. It is said that the garrison were so depressed at 
this incident that they concluded that further resistance was 
impossible, and in despair, rushing out, sword in hand, upon 
the besiegers, perished to a man. Uday Singh, in the depths 
of the Aravalli hills, managed to maintain his independence 
till his death nine years after this event. His son, Pratap 
Singh,, the founder of the modern Udaipur, regained after 
many hardships and reverses much of his father's territory. 
Alone of all the Rajput princes it is the proud boast of the 
Ranas of Udaipur that no ruler of their house ever sub- 
mitted to the indignity of a family alliance with the Moghul 
Emperors of Delhi. In 1570, by the capture of the two 
strong hill forts of Ranthambhor and Kalinjar, Akbar 
completed the conquest of Rajputana. Then the state of 
anarchy into which the Muhammedan kingdom of Guzerat 
had fallen tempted him to invade it. In the course of a 
few months the whole country was subdued and annexed 
to the empire. 

Conquest of Bengal. Bengal was now the only part 
of Northern India that did not owe allegiance to Akbar. 


The Afghan nobles, driven further and further east by the 
expansion of the Moghul Empire, had found an asylum in 
Bengal at the court of the Afghan ruler, Daud Khan. But 
they had not yet learnt the uselessness of struggling with 
the Moghul, and they were of such a turbulent disposition 
that they could neither agree together nor live at peace 
with their powerful neighbour. They had for years been 
raiding Moghul territorj^, and fighting on the borders had 
been continuous. Akbar, now that he had subdued and 
pacified all the rest of Northern India, lost no time in 
dealing with them. An army was accordingly dispatched 
against them, and in the year 1575, at the battle of 
Agmahal, the power of the Afghans was completely broken, 
and the province passed to the Moghuls. But the country 
was soon in a state of rebellion agaiu, for the Moghul land- 
holders, who had been put in possession of the estates of 
the Pathans, threw off their allegiance to the Emperol* of 
Delhi. In their attempt to assert their independence they 
were supported by the Afghan remnant; and in a short 
time Orissa and part of Bengal were again in open re- 
bellion. Akbar had had by this time sufficient experience 
of Afghan turbulence and Moghul treachery. He therefore 
determined to try a new experiment, and, as soon as the 
rising was put down, entrusted the government of it to a 
Hindu, Raja Todar Mai, a man of approved loyalty and 
ability, both as a general and an organiser. So well did 
the plan answer that the governorship continued to be held 
by Hindus down to the time of Akbar's death. 

Annexation of Kashmir. Kashmir had been from 
ancient times a Hindu kingdom, but towards the middle 
of the fourteenth century, a Muhammedan adventurer put 
to death the queen, then reigning alone, and succeeded 
in establishing himself upon the throne. The dynasty 
descended from him held the throne for a hundred years. 
Then the Thibetans invaded the country, destroyed the 
government, and reduced the wretched inhabitants to a 
state of the greatest misery. The fertility and beauty of 
the country, and the healthiness of its climate, have at all 
times made Kashmir the envy of surrounding kingdoms. 
Akbar particularly coveted the possession of it, and under 
the pretext of putting an end to the state of anarchy 


existing there he sent an expedition into Kashmir and 
annexed it in 1587. 

Conquest of Sind and Kandahar. In 1592 the 
Muhammedan kingdom of Sind, which had for some 
time been showing symptoms of decay, collapsed, and 
Akbar seized upon the occasion to take possession of the 
country. In accordance with his wise and kindly practice 
he treated the deposed ruler with becoming respect, and 
made him a nobleman of his court. In 1594 Kandahar, 
in similar circumstances, was invaded by the Imperial 
troops, and likewise fell into his hands and was incorporated 
in his empire. But though Akbar now claimed sovereignty 
over territory stretching as far northwards as Kabul and 
Kandahar, he was never able thoroughly to subdue the 
wild tribes living among the rocky hills and valleys round 
about the Khyber Pass. In an attempt to subjugate them 
his troops on one occasion suffered a severe defeat, and 
their Hindu general, Raja Birbal, Akbar's intimate friend 
and trusted councillor, was killed. 

Fall of Vijayanagar. During the early part of his 
reign an event occurred in the Deccan which, though un- 
connected with his rule, was of considerable importance in 
the history of Southern India. This was the overthrow of 
the powerful Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar. Under a 
great ruler, Krishnadeva, Vijayanagar had asserted its 
superiority over its Muhammedan neighbours and had 
made good its claim to be considered the premier state 
of Southern India. Its army is said to have numbered no 
less than 700,000 men, and the wealth of the city and the 
beauty of its buildings were the wonder and admiration 
of early European travellers. But with the death of 
Krishnadeva about 1530 the kingdom began rapidly to 
decline. War with one or other of its Muhammedan 
neighbours was almost constant. At length in 1565 the 
Muhammedan kings of Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, and 
Ahmadnagar, incensed at the conduct of Rama Raja, the 
ruler of Vijayanagar, who had behaved with great barbarity 
in a war against Ahmadnagar, made common cause against 
him, invaded his country, and utterly defeated him at 
Talikot. Signal vengeance was taken by the conquerors 
upon the vanquished Hindus. Rama Raja, who fell into 


their hands, was put to death with tortures, his city 
sacked, and his people slaughtered. So complete was the 
havoc wrought that Yijayanagar never recovered from 
the blow. The victors spent six months in ransacking 
the city and demolishing its principal buildings, arid, 
when they left, it had been so completely wrecked that 
it had to be abandoned as a hopeless mass of ruins. The 
kingdom sunk at once into insignificance and practically 
disappeared from history. But a descendant of its last 
king, who ruled in the first half of the seventeenth 
century over a petty principality at a place called Chand- 
ragiri, is still remembered as having granted to the 
English the strip of land upon which the city of Madras 
was founded. 

Moghul expedition to the Deccan. After the 
overthrow of Yijayanagar the Muhammedan kingdoms 
resumed the strife among themselves. At length in 1572 
the King of Ahmadnagar conquered and annexed the 
neighbouring kingdom of Berar. Ahmadnagar became at 
once the most important kingdom in the Deccan, and 
seemed to have a great future before it. But in a few 
years, by the factiousness of its nobles and princes, it was 
brought to the verge of ruin. In 1595 a party which had 
temporarily obtained possession of the capital invoked the 
aid of the Moghuls against its rivals. Akbar, having no 
other enterprise on hand at the time, readily responded to 
the invitation, seeing in it a chance of extending his 
dominions to the southward. A large army was despatched 
under his son, Prince Murad ; but before it reached 
Ahmadnagar the faction which had called it in had been 
expelled from the capital. The impending danger had 
united all parties in the state, and the rival factions, laying 
aside their differences, joined in opposing the invaders. 
By common consent Chand Bibi, or Chand Sultana, a royal 
princess, was appointed regent of the state. She was a 
woman of masculine vigour, and had long been famed in 
the Deccan for her spirit and her intellect, and though now 
in her fiftieth year had lost nothing of her energy. Not only . 
did she organise a complete defence, but when the Moghuls 
delivered the attack she directed in person the operations 
to repel them. Thanks mainly to her exertions and her 

H.I.H.S. I 


inspiring personality the expedition was unable to effect 
the capture of the city, and at length withdrew on the con- 
dition that Berar should be ceded to the Moghul emperor. 

Fall of Ahmadnagar and Khandesh. Chand 
Sultana had thus saved the state ; but hardly were the 
Moghuls gone when civil war broke out once more, and 
in a riot which took place within the city the brave Sultana 
was murdered. The Moghuls again interfered on the 
pretext of restoring order, invested the capital and after a 
short siege captured it in 1600. A portion of the kingdom 
was annexed to the Moghul Empire and its king removed 
to the fortress of Gwalior. The little kingdom of Khan- 
desh, which lay to the westward of Berar; and therefore 
now within the borders of the Moghul Empire, was also 
annexed at the same time. It contained the famous fort 
of Asirgarh, which, besides being almost impregnable, 
commanded the highway to Southern India. Had it not 
been for the outbreak of a virulent pestilence among its 
defenders after a siege of nearly a year it is doul^tful 
whether it would not have held out. 

Akbar's system of government. Akbar was now 
the master of an empire stretching from Kandahar and 
Kabul in the west and north to Bengal and Orissa in the 
east and Ahmadnagar in the south. But he did not, as 
former great conquerors had done, rest content with main- 
taining a nominal sovereignty over his vast dominions. 
He made it his endeavour to exercise a real control over 
the whole. For thi purpose he parcelled out his empire 
into fifteen subahs or provinces, over each of which he 
placed a governor, with complete civil and military control, 
but answerable for his conduct of the government to the 
Central Authority. The governor was assisted by a deivan 
or revenue collector, and a foujdar or military commander. 
Justice was administered by a mir-i-adl or chief justice, 
assisted by a kazi or law officer, to conduct the trial and 
explain the law. The city police were placed under a 
hotwal or police superintendent, with magisterial powers ; 
but in the country districts the landholders and villagers 
were left to their own devices. Thus the Hindu village 
system i-emained intact, and the peasantry had still to 
protect themselves as best they could against oppressive 


landholders, extortionate revenue collectors, and the attacks 
of bands of robbers. 

His revenue system. Akbar did not alter Sher 
ShaVs revenue system, but extended its operations to new 
tracts of country. It is worth while, however, to observe 
that while Sher Shah had been content with one-fourth of 
the gross produce as rent, Akbar required one-third. 
Under Raja Todar Mai a fresh revenue settlement was 
carried out, and all cultivated lands were surveyed and clas- 
sified according to their productive power. It was at first 
intended to repeat the survey annually, but as this was 
found too troublesome and expensive, it was afterwards 
made every ten years. So strictly was the Imperial 
revenue exacted that Akbar received yearly from this 
source more than is now taken by the Indian government, 
in spite of the enormo*us extension of cultivation that has 
occurred during the period of British rule. 

Precaution against mutiny. One of the greatest 
dangers to which a ruler or a governor, who is obliged to 
maintain a large army is subjected, is a rising among 
his troops. It was necessary for a despotic ruler, such as 
the Emperor of Delhi, to maintain a large standing army to 
provide against all emergencies; but this army, which was 
intended for his protection, was often also the chief source 
of his anxiety. Mutinies would frequently break out, and 
popular leaders would be joined by large numbers of dis- 
contented soldiers in their attempts to assert their independ- 
ence, or to overthrow the central government itself Akbar 
successfully met this danger by attaching the soldiers to 
himself. In place of the old system, by which the generals 
were provided withjagirs or grants of land out of which to 
pay the troops under their command, he arranged as far as 
possible that the soldiers should receive money paymeni^ 
direct. Where this was not possible, he made the military 
landholders dependent for their holdings upon himself. 
Thus the officers and the rank and file were alike interested 
in maintaining the emperor's authority. 

Wise treatment of Hindus None of Akbar's 

predecessors had ever considered it necessary to conciliate 
their Hindu subjects ; scarcely any had even refrained from 
persecuting them. Thus when, as so frequently happened, 


Muhammedan governors rebelled, a Delhi emperor not only 
could not rely upon Hindu support, but if the rebellion became 
formidable, had to face the added risk of a Hindu rising. 
Akbar was the first emperor to adopt a policy of conciliation 
towards the Hindus. We have seen how he bound certain 
of the great Rajput princes to him by marriage connections, 
and how he appointed Hindu noblemen to important 
positions of trust both in the army and the administration. 
Indeed the ablest and most trusted of his generals and 
administrators was a Hindoo named Raja Man Singh. 
Hindus were admitted among the number of his most 
familiar friends, and no one enjoyed a closer intimacy with 
the emperor than the witty and accomplished Brahman, 
Raja Birbal. But that which did more than anything else 
to reconcile his Hindu subjects to Muhammedan rule was 
the abolition of the hated jizya, or pOll-tax, on non-Muham- 
medans, and the remission of the taxes levied on Hindu 
pilgrims. His treatment of his Hindu subjects displays the 
emperor's character in a very pleasant light. He showed 
the deepest interest in their welfare; but while he respected 
their laws and customs, he would not countenance such of 
their rites as he considered cruel or unreasonable. He for- 
bade child marriages and the compulsory immolation of 
widows upon their husbands' pyres ; and he put a stop to 
trials by ordeal and legalised the re-marriage of Hindu 
widows. He was rewarded for his wise policy towards his 
Hindu subjects by gaining in return their loyalty and 
affection. It was largely by their aid that he was enabled 
to subdue the Pa than princes and nobles of Northern 
India, and that the forces of rebellion were kept in check 
in all parts of his vast dominions throughout his long reign. 
His religious toleration. Akbar's liberal-minded 
pplicy towards Hindus did not please the more bigoted 
section of his Muhammedan subjects ; and there were not 
wanting those who attributed the broadness of his views in 
matters of religion to the influence of his Hindu wives 
upon him. It is certain that, as he grew older, he grew 
more tolerant of other religious systems, and less strict in 
his observance of the tenets of Islam. But though he was 
not a devout Musalman, he was deeply interested in ques- 
tions of religion, and an earnest seeker after divine truth. 


He was accustomed in the evenings to hold assemblies 
constantly at which the doctors of various religions argued 
and disputed before him, each in favour of the teachings of 
his own faith. Hindus, Buddhists, Musalmans, and Chris- 
tians alike were represented at these disputations, and 
were listened to by the emperor with perfect impartiality. 

Abul Fazl and Abul Faizi. In his religious specula- 
tions, and in his liberal policy, Akbar was encouraged by 
two men in particular. Abul Faizi and Abul Fazl were 
brothers who entered the emperor's service, one in the 
twelfth, and the other in the eighteenth year of his reign. 
Both were men of irreproachable character, great learning, 
and liberal views. Abul Faizi's name is still revered as 
that of one of the greatest Persian poets that India has 
produced. He was, moreover, a diligent student of San- 
skrit, and, by means of Persian translations, introduced 
Akbar to the poetry and philosophy of the Hindus. Abul 
Fazl rose by his administrative ability to the post of Prime 
Minister, and to be the most trusted adviser of his sove- 
reign. Like his brother, he applied himself to letters, and 
produced a great work, the Akbar Namah, a history of 
Akbar's reign, which has been of the greatest value to 
historians. It contains, amongst other matters of interest 
and importance, the Aini-Akbari, a statistical survey of 
the empire, full of information regarding Akbar's system of 
administration. The brothers were men of great intellect, 
and deeply read in religion and philosophy, but study and 
reflection had led them to abandon many of the doctrines 
of Islam, and they had come to be regarded by the orthodox 
party as little better than atheists. It is small wonder, 
therefore, that zealous Muhammedans regarded them with 
distrust, and hated them as the perverters of their sovereign. 
In his old age, false friends and flatterers instigated Akbar 
to found a new religion compounded of various faiths, and to 
proclaim himself a heaven-sent prophet. We need not dwell 
upon this last infirmity of a noble mind, but it is much to 
the discredit of Abul Fazl that he not only did not restrain 
him, but encouraged him in these extravagant absurdities. 

Conduct of his sons. Akbar's old age was clouded 
by many sorrows, chief among which was the conduct 
of his sons. In 1599, Sultan Murad died through the 


effects of continued intemperance. In 1601, Salim, his 
eldest son, instigated no doubt by the Muhammedan party 
which was scandalised at the emperor's religious views, 
rebelled against him. His revolt was easily suppressed, but, 
instead of punishing him, his forgiving father appointed him 
Viceroy of Bengal and Orissa. Salim, however, showed no 
signs of repentance, and spent his time chiefly at Allahabad 
in drunkenness and debauchery, and in plotting against his 
father. At length he actually went so far as to cause the 
Prime Minister, Abul Fazl, to be assassinated The news 
of Abul Fazl's death was a great blow to Akbar, and he 
was visibl}' shaken by it. A year or two later Sultan 
-Danyal, his third son, also fell a victim to intemperate 

Death of Akbar. This quick succession of troubles 
told greatly on Akbar's health, and it became clear to all 
that his end was not far off. Salim's enemies at court now 
did all they could to persuade the emperor to pass him 
over and nominate his grandson Khusru, Salim's son, as 
his successor. Thus the old man's few remaining days were 
darkened by intrigues within his own palace. The next 
year, feeling that he was failing fast, and desiring to put 
an end to the plots and counter plots going on around him, 
the emperor sent for Salim, was reconciled to him, and 
nominated him his successor. He did not survive this 
event many days, for in the autumn of the same year he 
died at Agra, under circumstances which gave rise to the 
suspicion that he was poisoned. 

His character. Akbar's greatness, for he was the 
greatest Muhammedan ruler that ever reigned in Hindu- 
stan, was due to a combination of remarkable qualities. 
Besides bestowing upon him an excellent understanding, 
nature had endowed him with an inspiring personality. 
He was a handsome man, slightly above the middle height, 
possessed of great physical strength and an iron constitu- 
tion. His forehead was broad and his countenance open 
and dignified, his speech and manners were courteous and 
attractive, and his bearing was on all occasions noble and 
kingly. Added to his mental and physical qualifications, 
he was brave without rashness, and, in the hour of danger, 
cool and deliberate. Though generous and affectionate, 


under Aurangzeb, 

A.D. 1700. 

% Extent of Empire shown by thick black line. 


and averse from bloodshed, he could be stern and relentless 
on occasion, and was as well able to make himself feared as 
ioved. But the quality which most distinguished him from 
all other emperors of Hindustan, and which contributed 
not a little to his success as an administrator, was his 
open mindedness. He was altogether free from the pre- 
judice and bigotry which were so generally characteristic 
of Muhammedan rulers. It was this which enabled him to 
attach his Hindu subjects to him, and made his reign a 
time of prosperity such as Northern India had not known 
for many hundreds of years. 

His manner of life. He was a man of many interests, 
passionately devoted to hunting and manly exercises, yet 
diligent in the performance of duty. Besides encouraging 
literature, both Persian and Sanskrit, he interested himself 
deeply in affairs of state. He was accustomed every 
morning in full assembly to dispose of petitions by whom- 
soever presented to him, and to redress the grievances of 
such as clamoured to him for justice, though they might be 
the meanest of his subjects. Every evening he held a 
private audience, at which the nobles, holding office about 
his person or at the capital, were obliged to be present, 
when affairs of state were debated, or questions of religion 
discussed. It was a constant practice of his during his long 
reign to proceed on tour during the cold weather through 
portions of his dominions, accompanied by his court and 
his army. Wherever he went he listened to petitions 
and administered justice with the same regularity as 
at his capital/ In this way he not only made himself 
personally known to a large number of his subjects, but 
was enabled to gain at first hand information of the way in 
which portions of his empire at a distance from his capital, 
were administered by his provincial officers. Such a 
system of government was admirably adapted to the con- 
solidation' of his empire ; and nothing was so well calculated 
to attach his subjects to him as his ready accessibility to 
them at all times, and his personal interest in their affairs. 

Jahangir, 1605-1627. Prince Salim on his accession 
to the throne assumed the title of Jahangir or conqueror 
of the world. His assumption of the Imperial Sovereignty 
was naturally regarded with considerable misgivings. He 



had been a rebellious son, a drunkard like his brothers, 
and notorious for his vice and cruelty. But the responsi- 
bilities of sovereignty seem to have worked a change in his 
character ; for his rule was on the whole wise and statesman- 
like, and he showed a considerable amount of his father's 
capacity for business, as well 
as his love of justice. Dur- 
ing his reign the empire con- 
tinued for the most part to 
enjoy internal peace, and 
Akbar's measures of reform 
were carefully adhered to, 
and his system of administra- 
tion further elaborated. The 
emperor, like his father, sat 
every day in public audience 
to hear complaints and re- 
dress grievances, and was 
always genuinely anxious to 
give his subjects every op- 
portunity of direct access to 
him. Outwardly, he pro- 
fessed himself to be a good 
Musalman, was during the 
day time staid and sober in 
his demeanour, and even 
issued an edict against in- 
temperance and punished those of his Muhammedan 
subjects who made use of wine. But the vice of drunken- 
ness had taken too strong a hold upon him ever to be 
shaken off, and throughout the whole of his reign he 
was accustomed to indulge in almost nightly orgies of 

Rebellion of Khusru. Shortly after his accession, 
Khusru, his eldest son, who had schemed so hard during 
the last days of Akbar's reign to be nominated the 
emperor's successor, fearing his father's wrath, fled to the 
Punjab, seized Lahore, and there raised the standard of 
revolt. Jahangir proceeded against him in person at once, 
captured Lahore, and took him prisoner on the banks of 
the Jhelum, as he was in the act of escaping to Kabul. 



Khusru was kept in confinement for the remainder of his 
life ; but those who had had the rashness to support him 
were treated with merciless severity. Seven hundred of 
his adherents, many of whom belonged to the rising sect of 
the Sikhs, were impaled in a line outside the city of Lahore 
as a lesson to rebels against the Imperial authority. 

Submission of Udaipur. In 1614 the Rana of 
Udaipur, who had so stubbornly resisted Akbar, was forced 
to submit to Jahangir. The credit of his subjugation was 
due to Prince Khurram, the emperor's third son, who, as 
commander of the Imperial forces against the Rana, greatly 
distinguished himself in the conduct of the campaign. The 
Rana was treated with great magnanimity ; his kingdom 
was restored to him, and his son was appointed to a high 
military command in the Imperial army. 

Malik Amber. During the greater part of his reign 
Jahangir was troubled by affairs in the Deccan. It will be 
remembered that Akbar had only succeeded after much 
severe fighing in annexing the northern part of the King- 
dom of Ahmadnagar. After the fall of the capital, Malik 
Amber, an Abyssinian general in the service of the ruler of 
the state, succeeded in establishing a new capital at Kirki, 
afterwards called Aurungabad, and on three occasions 
defeated Moghul armies sent against him. At length, in 
1610, he actually recovered Ahmadnagar. As the Moghul 
governor of the Deccan seemed unable to cope with him, 
Jahangir sent 'Prince Kharram against him; but, though 
he succeeded in compelling Malik Amber to retire from 
Ahmadnagar, he could not subdue him altogether, and 
Malik Amber maintained his independence till bis death 
in 1629. 

Sir Thomas Roe's visit. In the year 1615 Sir 
Thomas Roe, an oriental scholar sent by James I. as an 
ambassador from the English Court to Jahangir, arrived in 
India at the port of Surat and made his way northwards 
through Burhanpur, the seat of the Moghul governor of 
the Deccan, and Chittor to Ajmir. Here he fell in with the 
emperor and his court proceeding on tour to Gujrat. He 
was granted a magnificent reception, courteously entertained 
by Jahangir, and permitted to accompany the court on its 
journey south. The object of Sir Thomas Roe's embassy 


was to advance the interests of an English company trading 
in the MoghuFs dominions, and he was successful in secur- 
ing for it many valuable concessions. His letters written 
during his visit contain matter of much historical interest, 
and enable us to judge of the condition of the country on 
the evidence of an impartial and enlightened eye-witness. 
While struck with wonder at the splendour of the court, 
and the magnificence of the Moghul Emperor, he noticed 
that the nobles were in debt, the administration corrupt, 
and the peasantry living in abject poverty. Everywhere 
were signs of misgovernment and decaying prosperity. 
Bands of robbers and outlaws infested the country, plun- 
dering the villages, and even cutting off stragglers from the 
Imperial camp. The cities of the Deccan bore a neglected 
appearance, and much land had fallen out of cultivation. 
The scheme of administration, for want of some effective 
system of central supervision and control, failed to secure 
good government in the outlying provinces of the empire. 

Nur Jahan's influence. An account of Jahangir's 
reign would be incomplete without some mention of his 
wife, Nur Jahan, the ' Light of the World.' This remark- 
able woman, who became the emperor's wife in the year 
1611, came of a poor but noble Persian family. Jahangir, 
drunkard and debauchee as he was, seems to have been 
sincerely attached to her, and to have had so high an 
opinion of her intelligence as to have consulted her upon 
all matters of state. Till his death her influence was para- 
mount in the state, and it was necessary for those who 
would avoid the emperor's displeasure, not to cross the will 
of his imperious wife. Her ambition for power, and her 
talent for intrigue, led, on more than one occasion, to a grave 
crisis. First, Prince Khurram having incurred her resent- 
ment, was goaded into rebellion against his father by the 
news that she was working to secure the nomination of his 
younger brother Shahriyar as heir to the throne, and had 
succeeded so far in estranging his father from him that the 
emperor, forgetful of his services, had already decided upon 
his humiliation. Muhabat Khan, a general of great ex- 
perience who was sent to the Deccan against him, quickly 
succeeded in overcoming him, and forced him to quit the 
province and fly to Bengal. Here, after some further 


resistance, he was compelled to submit. Then Muhabat 
Khan, though he had fought under Akbar, and was the 
most eminent man in the empire, because his influence with 
Jahangir had aroused her jealousy, found himself arraigned 
on charges of oppression and corruption, and ordered 
instantly to repair to court. Jahangir was on the banks 
of the river Behat on his way to Kabul when Muhabat 
Khan arrived, and the camp was at the time being crossed 
over the river. The troops had already crossed, and the 
emperor and his. court were about to follow. Muhabat, 
who well knew that his ruin was determined upon, con- 
ceived the bold but desperate plan of taking the emperor 
prisoner. By the aid of the Kajput body-guard, whom Nur 
Jahan had oflended, he successfully carried out his daring 
scheme ; and for nearly a whole year Jahangir was a 
captive in his hands. Then Nur Jahan, who had joined 
him in his captivity, succeeded by a clever stratagem in 
liberating the emperor. Muhabat Khan fled to the Deccan, 
and there joined Prince Khurram, who was once more in open 
revolt. But before the emperor could take steps to punish 
them, he was seized with a severe attack of asthma and died. 
Discovery of the sea route to India. In the 
course of the narrative of Jahangir's reign, mention has 
been made of an English company of merchants trading in 
the dominions of the Moghul Emperor. It will be as well, 
therefore, at this point to say something of the intercourse 
which, by means of commerce, sprang up during the six- 
teenth and seventeeth centuries between Europe and India. 
It has been mentioned, on page 57, that long before the 
dawn of history an extensive sea-borne trade in Indian 
merchandise was carried on with Babylon from the ports of 
Western India. With the expansion of the Koman Empire 
towards the East, Indian commerce began to find its way 
into Europe, and soon a flourishing trade sprang up. It 
was carried by two routes, one through the Red Sea to 
Alexandria, the other and older route, up the Persian Gulf 
to Palmyra. When through the jealousy of Rome Palmyra 
was destroyed, the latter route was. abandoned, and later 
when the Arabs conquered Egypt and Syria the former also 
was given up, and the main stream of trade passed across 
Central Asia to the Black Sea and on to Constantinople, 


When Constantinople, weakened by misrule and Muham- 
medan invasions, gradually declined, the trade with the 
East was monopolised by the cities of Italy, Venice and 
Genoa. The Venetians and the Grenoese, knowing that 
their power and wealth had been acquired through this 
lucrative commerce and depended almost wholly upon 
it, jealously guarded their monopoly. European States 
that had no ports upon the shores of the Mediterranean 
were completely shut out from participation in it, and 
it therefore became an object of ambition to the more 
enterprising among them to find a direct sea route 
to India which would enable them to tap the trade 
at its source. To Portu'gal belongs the credit of the 
discovery. After years of patient effort, in which her bold 
and skilful mariners won their way by successive stages 
as far as the Cape of Good Hope, her enterprise was at 
length crowned with success. In the year 1498 the famous 
Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, after doubling the 
Cape of Good Hope and skirting along the Eastern Coast of 
Africa, boldly steered across the Indian Ocean and discovered 
the much sought for sea route to India. In the month 
of May he reached land and put into the port of Calicut 
on its western coast. The Kaja or Zamorin of Calicut 
received him well, and after a stay of six months he 
returned to Portugal with the news of his great discovery. 
In proof of his statement he brought back with him a cargo 
of Indian spices and a friendly message from the Zamorin 
to the King of Portugal. 

Portuguese settlement established. The Portu- 
guese lost no time in taking advantage of his discoveryo 
Two years later a well-equipped expedition was dispatched 
to India by the newly found route, with a royal commis- 
sion from the King of Portugal to open up trade with the 
East. The fleet arrived at Calicut in the year 1500, and at 
first all went well, but the Muhammedan traders who were 
accustomed to frequent the place were jealous of the Portu- 
guese, and a serious quarrel arose which put an end to all 
prospects of trade at that port. The expedition, however, 
had better luck at Cochin, a city then very little inferior to 
Calicut, for it succeeded in establishing there a factory, or 
agency, for the purchase of goods, before it returned to 


Portugal. In the year 1503 a fort was built to protect this 
factory, and a garrison of 150 Portuguese soldiers left to 
guard it. 

Albuquerque. To Albuquerque, the second governor 
appointed by the King of Portugal to look after his 
interests in the East Indies, belongs the credit of having 
firmly established the Portuguese upon the mainland of 
India, and of having first given practical shape to the idea 
of establishing a Portuguese empire in the east. Between 

Vasco de Gama and the Zamorin. 

the years 1509 and 1515, when he died, he succeeded in 
converting the -Indian Ocean into a Christian trade route 
by destroying the commerce of the Arabs ; and by the 
seizure of Goa in 1510 he gave to his countrymen that 
which was essential for a maritime empire, a fine harbour 
in a central situation. 

Causes of Portuguese farlure. But their dreams of 
empire were their undoing, for they led them into embark- 
ing upon schemes which were beyond their strength. Their 
zealous efforts to spread their faith in the countries which 


they claimed as subject to their dominion, and their un- 
compromising attitude to the Hindu and Muhammedan 
religions, stirred up the deep resentment of the conquered 
peoples and provoked the animosity of neighbouring 
rulers. Moreover, in their dealings they were often 
harsh and cruel, and their officials not seldom arrogant 
and corrupt. In time, the drain upon the resources of 
Portugal to maintain sufficient European soldiers for the 
defence of its eastern possessions became more than the 
little state could stand. But an event which helped more 
than anything else to effect the ruin of its eastern trade was 
the union of Portugal with Spain under Philip 11. in 1580. 
Not only were Portugal's interests made subservient to 
those of Spain, but the English and the Dutch, who were 
at war with Spain, now preyed upon the Portuguese 
merchant ships as much as upon the Spanish. What was 
worse, both Dutch and English, vessels began to make their 
appearance in eastern waters, and to compete with the 
Portuguese for the trade of the Indies. 

Successful English rivalry. So profitable did 
the English soon find their eastern trade that in the year 
1600 a company of merchants was formed in London 
for the purpose of trading directly with India. The first 
yoy3.ges of the company's ships were highly successful, but 
they met with serious opposition from the Portuguese. In 
the year 1612, an expedition consisting of two vessels under 
the command of Captain Best was attacked by a strong 
Portuguese fleet at Swally, not far from Surat. A stubborn 
fight lasting four days ensued, the English trying to force 
their way through to Surat, and the Portuguese endeavouring 
to beat them off. In the end the Portuguese, in spite of 
their overwhelming numbers, had to give way, and the 
English proceeded in triumph to Surat. This victory 
was a great blow to the prestige of the Portuguese who 
had hitherto been regarded in India as invincible. The 
English were therefore treated with great respect on 
landing, and within a year succeeded in establishing 
factories on Indian soil at Surat, Ahmadabad, and Cambay, 
in the possession of which they were later assured by a 
decree of Jahangir, dated 11th of January, 1613. Two 
years later the Portuguese made another determined effort 


to drive out the English and to restore their waning prestige. 
Hearing that Captain Downton with four English ships had 
arrived at Surat, the Viceroy of Goa equipped a strong fleet 
against him and himself took the command. The Portuguese 
had upwards of 3000 soldiers on board their ships, while 
the English could not muster more than 800 men all told. 
Nevertheless after a stubborn fight at the entrance to the 
harbour the Portuguese were beaten off with a loss of three 
ships ; and though a few days later they were reinforced 
and renewed the attack, they had no better success. At 
length, thoroughly dispirited, they withdrew, leaving the 
English in possession of the harbour. The English had now 
fully established their reputation ; and though at first their 
trade was nearly ruined by arbitrary exactions, through the 
tact and firmness of Sir Thomas Roe, then engaged upon 
his embassy at the Moghul Court, several important 
privileges were conceded to them. Before the Emperor's 
death, general permission was granted to them to trade 
throughout the Moghul Empire, and to exercise jurisdiction 
over their own servants. Thus did the English succeed in 
ousting the Portuguese from their monopoly of the Indian 
trade and in laying the foundation of their Indian Empire. 
Shah Jahan, 1627- 1658. On the news of Jahangir's 
death. Prince Khurram and Muhdbat Khan hurried up Irom 
the Deccan. Shahriyar, aided by Nur Jahan, had mean- 
while made an attempt to seize the throne. Fortutiately 
for Prince Khurram he had a powerful friend at court in 
the person of Asaf Khan, Jahangir's chief minister. Khurram 
had married his daughter Mumtaz Mahal, and Asaf Khan 
was therefore deeply interested in helping him to secure 
the throne. While Khurram and Muhabat were still upon 
the way, Asaf Khan, acting with great promptitude, placed 
the queen mother under restraint, and then collecting an 
army attacked Shahriyar, defeated him and took him 
captive. Khurram, therefore, on his arrival found no 
obstacle in the way of his accession, and at once proclaimed 
himself Emperor under the name of Shah Jahan, King of 
the World, a title which his father had conferred upon him 
after his defeat of the Rana of Udaipur. His first act was 
to put to death, as a measure of precaution, his rival 
Shahriyar and two of his nephe\ys. 


Fall of Ahmadnagar. Shortly after his accession, 
Khan Jahan Lodi, the Viceroy of the Deccan, who was 
conducting the campaign against Ahmadnagar, rebelled 
and joined forces with the sons of Malik Amber. He was 
soon defeated and slain, but Ahmadnagar held out for 
another six years, till 1636, and then the kingdom was 
finally incorporated in the Empire. As Bijapur had assisted 
Ahmadnagar in its struggle against the Moghuls, it was 
now in its turn attacked. But the campaign against it was 
unsuccessful, and a peace was shortly concluded by which 
the King of Bijapur, on condition of being let alone, agreed 
to pay tribute to the Moghul Emperor. 

Rising power of Mahratta chiefs. The stubborn 
resistance which the Moghuls encountered at Bijapur was 
due in great measure to the assistance which the state 
received from a Hindu general named Shahji Bhonsla and 
his followers. Shahji had been in the service of the ruler 
of Ahmadnagar, and after the fall of that state had found 
employment in Bijapur. His home was at Poena in 
Maharashtra, but he claimed descent from the family of 
the Rajput rulers of Udaipur. The Hindu peoples of the 
Mahratta country or Maharashtra had in spite of invasion 
and conquest always enjoyed a large measure of independ- 
ence. They had moreover lost nothing of the hardy and 
warlike nature for which they had been famous in the days 
of Houen Tsang, and their Muhammedan rulers had been 
glad to enrol large numbers of them in their armies. 
Mahratta generals from time to time had obtained exten- 
sive grants of land for distinguished services. Shahji's 
own land at Poona had been obtained in this way. The 
destruction of. Ahmadnagar by the Moghuls, and the 
weakening of the other Muhammedan kingdoms of the 
Deccan, only served to strengthen the power and influence of 
such Mahratta chiefs as Shaji. In fact the Delhi Emperors 
in their blind desire to extend their dominions were break- 
ing down the bulwarks of their empire in the south. 

Portuguese driven out of Hoogly. While Shaj 
Jahan was occupied with matters in the Deccan, affairs in 
Bengal also claimed his attention. During Jahangir's 
reign, the Portuguese had been allowed to establish a 
factory at Hoogly. Here they had fortified themselves, and 

II. I. U.S. K * 


had established a flourishing trade. Mean^vhile the King 
of Arakan, who lived in dread of Moghiil invasion, had 
enlisted in his service a large number of Portuguese refugees 
from Goa, Cochin, Malacca, and other eastern settlements, 
and had allowed them to occupy the seaport town of 
Chittagong. From this base they were accustomed to 
make marauding expeditions in light galleys among the 
islands at the mouths of the Ganges, chiefly for the purpose 
of carrying off" the inhabitants as slaves. The Portuguese 
at Hoogly encouraged them in these nefarious expeditions 
by buying large numbers of their captives. To such a 

pitch had these wretches carried 
their acts of rapine and piracy that 
whole tracts of flourishing country 
had been depopulated by them. 
Shah Jahan, who was no friend to 
Christians, and who had a grudge 
against the Portuguese for refusing 
to assist him, when as Prince Kur- 
ram he was in revolt against his 
father, determined to punish the 
Portuguese at Hoogly for the part 
they had played in this traffic with 
his subjects. Accordingly in the 
year 1631, an expedition was sent 
against them, and they were driven out of Hoogly with 
great slavighter. Large numbers of them were taken 
captive, and, in their turn, sold as slaves. 

Kandahar lost to the empire. During Jahangir's 
reign the King of Persia had invaded Kandahar and 
wrested it from the Moghul Empire, but his treatment of 
the conquered proAance had been so harsh and unjust that 
he not only incurred the hatred of the inhabitants, but by 
his exactions had driven even the Persian Governor, Ali 
Mardan Khan, to despair. In the year 1637 Ali Mardan, 
finding his position intolerable, invited Shah Jahan to take 
possession of the country. The offer was gratefully 
accepted, and Ali Mardan henceforth became a trusted 
servant of the Moghul Emperor. But ten years later 
the Persians recaptured Kandahar, and Aurungzeb, the 
Emperor's third son, who was sent to recover it from 

Shah Jahan. 



them, was utterly defeated, and with difficulty escaped 
with the remnant of his shattered forces. From this time 
forward Kandahar was finally lost to the Moghul 

Shah Jahan's Magnificence. Under Shah Jahan 
the Moghul Empire may be said to have reached the zenith 
of its power and glory. Not only did the old provinces 
yield a greater income, owing to the long period of internal 
peace and the wider appli- 
cation of Akbar's reforms, 
but by the settlement 
carried out in the Moghul 
Provinces of the Deccan 
under Shah Jahan's able 
and upright minister, 
Saadullah Khan, and by 
the contributions levied 
from the tributary Mu- 
hammedan ' kingdoms in 
the south, the sources of 
revenue were greatly in- 
creased. Shah Jahan had 
thus the means at his dis- 
posal of indulging to his 
heart's content his artistic 
tastes. His famous Pea- 
cock Throne, constructed 
in imitation of that which 
had adorned the palace of 
the Kings of Vijayanagar 
six crores of rupees. It 

MuMTAZ Mahal, Wife of Shah Jahan. 

was estimated to be worth 
was of solid gold, studded 
with a mass of costly jewels of all kinds, and was a 
miracle of exquisite workmanship. The splendid speci- 
mens of Moghul architecture erected during his reign bear 
witness to his magnificence. Delhi was enriched with 
two stately and splendid buildings, the Dewani Khas 
and the Juma Musjid ; and at Agra, where he generally 
resided, he erected the Taj Mahal, the most beautiful 
mausoleum in the world, over the body of his wife 
Mumtaz Mahal. It is built entirely of white marble, 
and decorated with mosaics formed of various precious- 


stones. In perfection of finish, down to the minutest 
detail, there is no building that can surpass it. 

Shah Jahan's unruly sons. The old age of Shah 
Jahan was saddened by the unruly conduct of his four 
sons, Dara, Shuja, Aurungzeb, and Murad. Each was 

Taj Mahal. 

animated with the sole desire of securing for himself the 
succession to the throne, and consequently regarded the 
others with suspicion and hatred. Shah Jahan, in order as 
far as possible to put a stop to their quarrels and intrigues, 
appointed them governors of four distant provinces. Dara 
was appointed to Kabul and Multan, but did not actually 
leave the court, Shuja was sent to Bengal, Aurungzeb to 


the Deccan, and Murad to Gujrat. This plan, though it 
may have averted an immediate calamity, gaA^e them the 
means of furthering their designs. Under the pretence 
of preserving order, they began to make every prepara- 
tion for a fratricidal war in anticipation of their father's 

Dara, the eldest, was a brave and generous prince, 
liberal-minded, and fond of learning, but he was of a quick 
temper, haughty, and disdainful of advice, and by the loose- 
ness of his religious views had incurred the dislike of the 
orthodox Muhammedans about his father's court. It was 
said of him that Christian missionaries and Brahman 
pundits found in him a more appreciative and sympa- 
thetic listener than the doctors of his own religion. 
Shuja was a skilful general, and a man of ability and 
address; but excesses had undermined his constitution, 
and he was gradually losing nerve and vigour. Aurungzeb 
was " reserved and subtle, and a complete master of the 
art of dissimulation." Unlike his elder brothers he was a 
strict Muhammedan, even to the point of bigotry. Though 
cruel, austere, and distrustful, even of his most intimate 
friends, his great abilities and his religious enthusiasm 
gained for him many adherents among the Muhammedan 
nobles whom Dara had estranged by his arrogance, and 
Shuja had disgusted by his shameless self-indulgence. 
Murad, the youngest, was an open-hearted, brave and 
reckless soldier, fond of sport and wine, but, while no less 
ambitious than his brothers, was inferior to them in 

Mir Jumla. While Aurungzeb was acting as Viceroy 
of the Deccan, he received a letter from Mir Jumla, the 
vizier of the King of Golconda, suggesting a plan by 
which he might at one swoop seize both king and capital. 
Mir Jumla, who was a Persian by birth, was one of 
the ablest as well as one of the wealthiest men in 
Hindustan ; and Golconda owed much of its prosperity 
to his skilful conduct of its affairs. Under his leader- 
ship its troops had lately invaded the Carnatic, and 
by the plunder of its ancient temples acquired immense 
wealth in gold and jewels. On that occasion he had 
appropriated to his own use a large portion of the profits of 


the expedition, and had thereby incurred the anger of the 
king, already jealous of his increasing power and influence. 
Believing that his ruin was determined upon, he had 
addressed his treacherous letter to Aurungzeb. 

Aurungzeb's expedition against Golconda. The 
latter, for all his professions of piety, was not averse 
from making use of so despica\)le a means of increasing his 
power. In accordance with Mir Jumla's advice he suddenly 
marched into the Golconda state at the head of five 
thousand horse, giving out that he was an ambassador 
from the Emperor of Delhi. The king, anxious to receive 
so distinguished an embassy with due honour, came out. 
from his capital to meet him, and would have fallen into 
his hands had he not received warning of the fate awaiting 
him, in time to make his escape back to Golconda. There 
he was besieged by Aurungzeb, who would no doubt have 
captured the place had not Shah Jahan peremptorily 
ordered him to return to his province. The king, however, 
was made to agree to the most humiliating terms as the 
price of Aurungzeb's relinquishing the siege. On his way 
back from this expedition, in company with Mir Jumla, 
Aurungzeb laid siege to and captured the powerlul fort of 
Bidar. But perhaps the most important result of this ex- 
pedition was that Aurungzeb and Mir Jumla, both men 
of unlimited ambition and remarkable abilities, were from 
this time bound together in a close friendship and unity 
of interests. 

Struggle among the Princes for the throne, 
Shortly after this event, in 1657, Shah Jahan was taken 
seriously ill, and it was rumoured abroad that he was dead. 
His four sons at once began to put their ambitious pro- 
jects into execution. Shuja marched from Bengal upon 
Agra, and, announcing that he was coming to avenge the 
death of his father, who he declared had been poisoned by 
Dara, proclaimed himself Emperor. Murad in Gujrat like- 
wise assumed the royal title, and, to replenish his treasury, 
plundered Surat. Dara, who was acting as Regent for his 
sick father, at once despatched a powerful army under his 
son, Sulaiman Shikoh, and Eaja Jay Singh of Jaipur 
against Shuja. A battle between them took place near 
Benares, and Shuja was defeated and driven back to 


Bengal. Aurengzeb, too crafty to make an attempt upon 
his father's throne single-handed, offered his services to 
Murad, protesting that he had no designs himself upon the 
crown, but only wished to co-operate with him against their 
common enemy, the infidel Dara. 

Alliance of Murad and Aurungzeb. Murad wel- 
comed his alliance without suspicion, and having joined 
forces the two proceeded northwards together. An army 
sent against them by Dara was defeated, and then Dara 
himself, at the head of the Imperial troops, marched out 
against them. The two contending armies met at Sam- 
garh, afterwards known as Fatehgarh, the city of victory. 
In the fight which ensued all three brothers displayed the 
most determined valour But there was treachery on 
Dara's side, and he was deserted in the battle by part of 
his army led by a Muhammedan general whom he had 
once too deeply offended ever to be forgiven. In the end 
he was forced to give way and fly for his life. The victory 
was complete. Aurungzeb hastened to salute Murad as 
Enaperor, and the two together marched upon the capital. 

Shah Jahan made prisoner. Meanwhile they had 
received convincing proofs that Shah Jahan was not dead, 
but was actually recovering from his illness. They, there- 
fore, on their arrival hypocritically sent to assure their 
aged father of their respect and affection, but began at once 
to plot how they might get possession of his person. The 
Emperor attempted to temporise with them, and thus gave 
them time to mature a scheme for his capture. One night, 
by the help of Sultan Mahmud, Aurungzeb's eldest son, 
who was in attendance on the Emperor, they contrived to 
take the guard unawares, seize the gates and make the old 
man a captive in his own palace. 

With this event, t^hich occurred in June, 1658, Shah 
Jahan's reign came to an end; for though he lived for another 
eight years he never again recovered his liberty. His reign 
had been a time of peace and prosperity. Though an ortho- 
dox Muhammedan, he ,had continued the enlightened 
policy of his grandfather, making no invidious distinctions 
between Hindus and Muhammedans. His rule, on the 
whole, had been mild and just, and his subjects had come 
to regard him with respect and affection, forgetting, in 


their pity for his sorrowful old age, the unfilial conduct 
of his youth and his cruel treatment of his rivals for the 

Murad made prisoner. Having thus disposed of 
their father, Aurungzeb and Murad, leaving Shaista Khan, 
the uncle of Aurungzeb, in charge of Agra, started in pur- 
suit of Dara, who had fled to the Punjab. Aurungzeb 
continued to treat his younger brother with extravagant 
. deference, that he might not excite his suspicions, but all 
the while he was seeking for a means of quietly getting rid 
of him ; for he not only had no further need of him in 
carrying out his own designs, but found him the one obstacle 
left in his path to the throne. Having first by bribes and 
promises tampered successfully with the loyalty of the 
soldiers, he one night invited Murad to supper, and, know- 
ing his weakness for wine, tempted him to drink to excess. 
The unsuspecting Murad fell into the trap, and the next 
morning when he awoke from his drunken sleep found 
himself a prisoner in his brother's hands. Aurungzeb, 
throwing aside all his simulated respect, now openly 
denounced him as a drunkard, unfit to rule, and sent him 
in chains to the fortress of Salimgarh. 

Aurungzeb, 1658-1707. Murad thus being put out of 
the way, Aurungzeb proclaimed himself Emperor. Then 
resuming the pursuit of Dara, he pressed him so closely 
that he forced him to fly to Sind. But hearing that 
Shuja had again collected a formidable army, and was 
inarching on the capital, he abandoned the chase of Dara 
and returned to give battle to Shuja. The brothers met 
at a place called Khajua, near Fatehpur. For a long time 
the issue was undecided ; but an act of treachery on the 
part of one of Shuja's generals, similar to that practised 
upon Dara at Fatehgarh, eventually gave the victory to 
Aurungzeb. Shuja was forced to fly, and Aurungzeb 
returned to the capital, leaving his son, Sultan Mahmud, 
and Mir Jumla, to hunt him down. A quarrel, however, 
arose between them ; and Sultan. Mahmud, who was already 
suspected of disloyalty to his father, openly went over to 
the enemy. But Shuja, fearing a plot, put no trust in him, 
and he was forced at last in despair to return to Mir 
Jumla. Aurungzeb, on hearing of the incident, ordered 


him off as a state prisoner to the fortress of Gwalior, to 
which Murad had already been transferred ; and there he 
remained till his death. The wretched Shuja, pursued by 
Mir Jumla, was driven further and further east till at 
length he was obliged to throw himself upon the mercy 
of the King of Arakan. Here, after being plundered of 
the little treasure he still had with him, he was insulted 
and then attacked, and, being forced to fly for his life, 
perished in an attempt to escape to the mountains. 

Aurungzeb disposes of his rivals. Dara's fate was 
equally tragic. He made one more attempt to retrieve his 
fortunes, got together a considerable force, and met Aurung- 
zeb at Ajmir, but was defeated and again forced to fly. 
After wandering through Western India with an ever- 
decreasing retinue, exposed to attacks from bands of robbers, 
and suffering great hardships and privations, he sought 
at length the protection of a petty Afghan chief whom 
he had once befriended. But it was only to be robbed by 
his treacherous host of what little treasure he possessed, 
and then betrayed by him into the hands of Aurungzeb. 
From him he had no mercy to expect ; for there had always 
been the bitterest enmity between the two, and, moreover, 
Dara had openly declared his intention of putting Aurungzeb 
to death if he caught him. Dressed in mean and filthy 
attire he was paraded on a worn-out elephant through the 
city of Agra, then cast into prison, and there beheaded on 
a charge of apostasy. His son, the valiant and. chivalrous 
Sulaiman Shikoh, was likewise- soon betrayed into the 
Emperor's hands ; but the treatment which Dara had 
received had so horrified and exasperated the people of 
Agra that Aurungzeb found it impolitic to repeat it in the 
case of the son. He was, therefore, sent as a state prisoner 
to the fortress of Gwalior, and there, with his younger 
brother, who had preceded him thither, quietly put away 
by poison. Murad did not long survive them. He was 
shortly after executed on a trumped-up charge of murder, 
brought against him by the son of a man whom he had put 
to death in the days when he was Governor of Gujrat. 

Reasons for Aurungzeb's success. It may seem 
remarkable that Aurungzeb, in spite of his unnatural treat- 
ment of his father and the murder of his brothers and 


nephews, should have been able to secure the support of 
powerful noblemen and generals in carrying out his usurpa- 
tion of the throne. It will be as well, therefore, to explain 
how this came about. In Akbar s reign, as we have seen, 
there was an influential party at court which viewed, with 
deep resentment, the Emperor's laxity in matters of reh'gion. 

During the two succeed- 
ing reigns this party, 
though kept in check by 
the wise tolerance of the 
Emperor, steadily gained 
in power and influence. 
Its members, professing a 
rigid observance of the 
tenets of the faith, were 
uncompromising in their 
vfewsand austere in their 
private lives. To them a 
free-thinker like Dara, a 
debauchee like Shuja, 
and a wine-drinker like 
Murad appeared unfit for 
the succession to the 
throne. On the other 
hand Aurungzeb's Puri- 
tanical manner of life, his 
religious zeal, and even 
his bigotry strongly a]3pealed to them, and marked him out 
in their eyes as an ideal Muhammedan ruler. And as, with 
consummate cunning, he was always able, even when his 
conduct was most unnatural, to make it seem that he was 
guided by his notions of religious duty, they never wavered 
in their adherence to him, even if they suspected him of any 
but disinterested motives. Many, too, undoubtedly joined 
his party, being corrupted by his gold and promises. But 
when once it became evident that he must win in the 
struggle for the crown, the whole body of nobles, whatever 
were their private feelings, went over to his side. Nor are 
they to be severely blamed for this, for under the Moghul 
rulers of India the whole land was looked upon as the 
property of the king. The nobles of the court held their 



grants directly from the reigning sovereign, and were liable 
to have them increased, diminished, or even confiscated 
according to his will or pleasure. For their own sakes, 
therefore, Shah Jahan's nobles found it necessary to 
acquiesce in Aurungzeb's usurpation, 

Aurungzeb as Emperor. In May, 1665, Aurungzeb, 
feeling now that his position was secure, had himself 
crowned Emperor, under the title of Alamgir, or Conqueror 
of the World. It might have been expected that such a 
crafty and remorseless prince would have made a wicked 
king. But it was not so ; for Aurungzeb, having attained 
the summit of his ambitions, soon gave proof that he enter- 
tained the loftiest ideals of kingly duty. Not even Akbar 
laboured more unceasingly in the administration of the 
Empire, nor showed a keener desire to see that justice 
was done in every part of it. His religion, which had 
seemed to many to be assumed as a cloak for his ambition, 
was found to be deep and sincere. 

Affairs in the Deccan. We must now return to 
affairs in the Deccan. Whilst the Moghul princes were 
fighting among themselves for the possession of the throne, 
events of the highest importance were occurring there. 

Sivaji. When Shahji entered the service of the King 
of Bijapur he placed his ancestral home at Poona under 
the charge of a Mahratta Brahman named Dadoji Kondadeo, 
and also entrusted him with the guardianship of his little 
son Sivaji. The boy was brought up as an orthodox 
Hindu , and the duty of protecting his religion from the 
insults heaped upon it by the Muhammedans was strongly 
impressed upon him from his childhood. Before he grew 
to manhood he began to exhibit such a spirit of adventure, 
and so great a skill in organising predatory expeditions, 
that his fame soon attracted to him bands of daring Mah- 
ratta robbers. His success was so remarkable that before 
long he felt himself strong enough to enter on a career of 
conquest at the expense of his Muhammedan neighbours, 
already weakened by dissensions among themselves and by 
the attacks of the Moghuls. 

Conquers the Konkan. His first important achieve- 
ment, when he was yet only 19 years of age, was the capture, 
in 1646, of the hill fort of Torna, belonging to the King of 


Bijapur. From the plunder taken on this occasion he found 
means to build Raigarh, a fort which became thenceforward 
the centre and the stronghold of his rocky dominions. The 
capture of Torna was quickly followed by the capture of 
other forts belonging to Bijapur ; and at length emboldened 
by success he went so far as to plunder a convoy of treasure 
on its way to the capital. The King of Bijapur, enraged 
more by this act of brigandage than by the capture of 
his border forts, retaliated by seizing his father Shahji and 
flinging him into prison, in the hope of bringing the 
rebellious son to terms. But Sivaji was equal to the occa- 
sion, and threw himself upon the protection of Shah Jahan. 
The King of Bijapur, threatened with so powerful a com- 
bination against his state, was forced to release Shahji and 
to come to terms. Sivaji thereafter continued to plunder 
the territory of Bijapur almost with impunity, and with 
each new conquest growing more confident, began at 
length to ravage Moghul territory as well. By the year 
1689 he had by a" series of campaigns conquered the 
whole of the Konkan with the exceptions of Goa, belonging 
to the Portuguese, and Bombay, where there was an 
English settlement. 

Murder of Afzal Khan. The King of Bijapur, at 
last thoroughly alarmed at his growing power, determined 
to make a genuine effort to crush him. A large army was 
sent under the command of Afzal Khan, a Pathan general, 
to hunt him down in his mountain fastnesses. Sivaji, who 
was as crafty and treacherous as he was daring and skilful, 
pretending to be cowed by the sight of so large a force, 
lured Afzal Khan to a private interview at a spot close to 
Raigarh to arrange the terms of his submission. When 
Afzal Khan arrived Sivaji met him with becoming deference, 
but while in the act of embracing him, stabbed him to 
death with a deadly weapon called \Baghnakh (tiger's claws), 
which he had concealed in the palm of his hand. He and 
his followers then rushed out upon the Bijapur troops, who, 
deprived of their leader and taken unawares, were panic- 
stricken, routed them with heavy slaughter and chased 
them back to the plains. 

Sivaji plunders the Moghul Deccan. This ex- 
ploit of Sivaji's brought him to the notice of Aurungzeb, 


then, as viceroy of the Deccaii, maturing schemes for the 
conquest of Bijapur. He saw in Sivaji and his brigands 
a means of weakening the power of Bijapur, and he there- 
fore encouraged him in his aggressions upon that state, 
little dreaming that the Mahratta robber was destined to 
be the founder of a power which should even in his own day 
shake the Moghul throne to its foundations. Sivaji shortly 
after made peace with Bijapur, and then when. Aurungzeb 
left the Deccan to join his brother Murad against Dara, 
began systematically to plunder Moghul territory. So 
troublesome did he become that Aurungzeb, as soon as he 
had defeated his brothers, and established himself firmly on 
the throne, sent Shaista Khan and Jaswant Singh, Maharajah 
of Jodhpur to the Deccan with instructions to extirpate 
Sivaji and his band of robbers. 

Shaista Khan sent against him. In 1661 Shaista 
Khan, having made all his preparations, marched into the 
Konkan with a large and well-equipped force. One after 
another the Mahratta forts went down before him, and even 
Shahji's house at Poona fell into his hands. Believing that 
he had completely crushed his foe, he made his enemy's 
ancestral home his headquarters. In fancied security he 
omitted to take proper precautions to guard against a 
surprise. But one night Sivaji with a chosen band, all 
cunningly disguised, entered the city as guests on their way 
to a wedding party and managed to gain admittance to the 
house in which Shaista Khan was lodging. Before help 
could be summoned they had fallen upon the inmates 
with their swords and despatched the greater number. 
Shaista Khan himself escaped with a slight wound, but his 
son was among the slain. In the confusion which ensued 
Sivaji and his comrades made off unscathed to a mountain 
fort. Shaista Khan was soon after recalled to court. 

Sivaji plunders Sur^t.Sivaji's next adventure 
was even more daring. In 1664, pretending to be a Eajah 
on his way to the court of the Moghul Emperor, he succeeded 
in reaching the neighbourhood of Surat without arousing 
suspicion. Then at the head of a band of 3000 Mahrattas 
he made a sudden dash upon the city, which fell into 
his hands almost without a struggle. For three days the 
wretched inhabitants were cruelly tortured to make them 


disburse their wealth. The "English under their valiant 
President, Sir George Oxenden, alone held out against 
him, and made so stout a resistance that they saved not 
only their own but their neighbour's property. Sivaji 
and his followers, after burning what they could not 
take away with them, returned unmolested to Raigarh, 
laden with an immense booty. The attack on Surat was 
peculiarly exasperating to the Muhammedans, for the city 
was the port of embarkation for pilgrims on the way to 
Mecca. Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur, who had been asso- 
ciated with Shaista Khan in the command of the Moghul 
forces in the Deccan, was suspected of having connived 
at both Sivaji's latest exploits, and was recalled to court; 
but he prudently retired instead to his own territory. 

Sivaji submits to Aurungzeb. Sivaji now assumed 
the title of liajah, and began to coin money. About this 
time too he collected a fleet that he might combine the 
profession of pirate with that of brigand. Sailing along 
the coast he laid waste the seaboard far and wide, and by 
the sack of Barsilor, the chief port of Bijapur, obtained 
immense plunder. Then in open derision of the Moghul 
power, which he had bearded with such impunity when he 
sacked Surat, he began to prey upon the pilgrim ships 
leaving that port for Mecca. This was too much, and 
Aurungzeb, thoroughly aroused, sent another expedition 
against him under the command of Rajah Jay Singh of 
Jeypur and Diler Khan. Sivaji now found hiniself face to 
face with a force he could neither conquer nor evade, and 
after a brief struggle was compelled to submit. The terms 
of peace were that he was to surrender twenty of his forts, 
and unite with the Moghuls against Bijapur, the desire of 
conquering which Aurungzeb had never relinquished. In 
return he was acknowledged as a Rajah, and permitted to 
take the chcmth or fourth part of the revenues of certain 
districts, and his son was made a commander of 5000 horse 
in the Moghul army. 

Mir Jumla's expedition to Assam. Meanwhile 
in Bengal, Mir Jumla, who after the defeat and death of 
Shuja had been appointed Subahdar or governor of that 
province, was despatched on an expedition against the 
King of Assam. It was suspected that Aurungzeb, who 


trusted no man, was anxious that Mir Jumla should be 
employed at as great a distance from the capital as possible. 
He knew by experience how ambitious and unscrupulous 
Mir Jumla was, and he feared that being at the head of 
a powerful and victorious army, he might be tempted to 
set up an independent kingdom in Bengal, or even to 
aspire to the Imperial throne, should a favourable oppor- 
tunity present itself. The expedition was at first success 
ful ; the capital of the kingdom of Assam was occupied and 
sacked, and the country ravaged far and wide by the troops. 
But the rainy season setting in with its customary violence 
in those parts, soon made it difficult for the vast and 
unwieldy Moghul army to continue the campaign and com- 
plete the subjugation of the country. Then a terrible out- 
break of cholera occurred which swept away thousands of 
the invaders, and made it necessary for the decimated army 
to retire. The Assamese at once began to take heart and 
to assume the offensive, and by their guerilla tactics so 
harassed the retreat that only the consummate generalship 
of Mir Jumla saved the expedition from ending in disaster. 
The army reached Bengal in 1663 with an enormous 
quantity of plunder ; but Mir Jumla was so broken in 
health by fatigue and exposure that he died from the effects 
almost immediately. Aurungzeb was undoubtedly relieved 
at the news of his death. "You mourn," he said to Mir 
Jumla's son, "a loving father, and I the most powerful and 
most dangerous of my friends " 

Suppression of piracy in Bengal. Shaista Khan, 
who had* fared so ill in the Deccan, was appointed to 
succeed Mir Jumla, and was ordered to undertake, as soon 
as possible, an expedition against the King of Arakan, to 
punish hina for his insolent treatment of Prince Shuja. 
For though Shuja was a fugitive and in disgrace when he 
sought the king's protection, yet, argued Aurungzeb, as a 
Moghul prince he should have been respected. Moreover, 
the pirates of Chittagong, whom the King of Arakan 
continued to protect and encourage, had grown more daring 
of late, and their ravages more far-reaching. Shaista Khan 
determined to deal Avith them first. But being unable to 
meet them on the sea for want of ships, he made use of 
deceit to get them into his hands. By threats and promises 


he succeeded in inducing them to desert the King of 
Arakan, and then, when he had decoyed them away, treated 
them with the contempt they deserved. Having disarmed 
them and deprived them of their galleys, he settled them 
in a place a few miles south of Dacca and left them to live, 
as best they could, by honest means. Being quite unfitted 
to pursue any peaceful calling, they soon sank into a state 
of abject misery, and tasted to the full themselves the 
bitterness of poverty and despair. Having thus isolated 
the King of Arakan, Shaista Khan, proceeded in 1666 to 
invade his country, and quickly conquered and annexed it. 
This event, though seemingly insignificant, was in truth of 
the highest importance; for, by the suppression of piracy in 
the Bay of Bengal, Shaista Khan made it possible for 
English traders to gain a firm foothold in Bengal. 

Aurungzeb's devotion to duty. In January, 1666, 
Shah Jahan died, and with his death Aurungzeb was freed 
from the last cause of anxiety. Fortune had so far smiled 
upon the usurper's every undertaking, and there was now 
no one left who could make his position insecure. The 
Moghul empire was still at the zenith of its glory, and its 
revenues were greater than they had ever been before. 
The Emperor, with his high sense of kingly duty, seemed 
pre eminently fitted to govern so vast and so splendid 
an empire. Being a man of simple habits and austere 
religious views, he began at once to introduce a rigid 
system of economy in place of the profligate expendi- 
ture which had marked the latter portion of his father's 
reign. By way of setting an example, he ordained for his 
own household the most frugal mode of living, and it is 
said, employed his little leisure in embroidering caps to 
defray its expenses. Taxes which pressed hardly on the 
poor, and licenses which brought into the treasury profit 
from idolatry and vice, were abolished, and every effort 
was made to govern the empire according to the strictest 
tenets of Islam. The Emperor's watchfulness to prevent 
corruption and injustice in any part of his dominions 
was unceasing. In short, by his devotion to duty he did 
his best to atone for the crimes which he had committed to 
secure the throne. Yet, as if in punishment for his former 
wickedness, from this time forward every project failed 


him, and the empire, in spite of his unremitting care, 
began steadily to decline. 

His short-sightedness. It must be admitted, how- 
ever, that most of the disasters which subsequently over- 
took the empire were due to the emperor's short-sightedness 
and bigotry as much as to his evil fortune. A notable 
instance of his want of foresight occurred in the very 
month in which his father died. Sivaji, after his sub- 
mission, had so distinguished himself as an ally of the 
Moghuls in the invasion of Bijapur that he was invited to 
court as a special mark of Imperial favour. But on his 
arrival, instead of the honourable reception which the terms 
of his invitation had led him. to expect, he was treated 
with marked coldness by Aurungzeb, and found himself 
virtually a prisoner at court. By a clever stratagem he 
managed to effect his escape, and in the disguise of a 
religious mendicant made his way on foot to the Deccan, 
vowing vengeance against the faithless Emperor. Aurung- 
zeb thus made an implacable enemy of the one man above 
all others in Southern India whose friendship it was his 
interest to preserve. Nor was his treatment of the 
Muhammedan kingdoms of the Deccan that of a wise and 
far-seeing statesman. By seizing every opportunity to 
weaken them, by making war upon them himself, and by 
encouraging Sivaji in his a6ts of aggression upon them, he 
was merely paving the way for the enterprising Mahrattas 
to establish a powerful and militant Hindu confederacy in 
Southern India, and at the same time breaking down the 
barriers which protected the confines of his empire from 
their desolating invasions. 

Sivaji openly defies the Moghuls. Sivaji, on his 
return to his kingdom, lost no time in putting his threats 
into execution, and began at once to ravage Moghul 
territory. Aurungzeb, who was still at war with Bijapur, 
now found himself confronted with the Mahrattas as well. 
He felt that if he was to accomplish the subjugation of the 
Muhammedan kingdoms of the Deccan, upon which he had 
set his heart, he must hide his resentment and buy off the 
hostility of the Mahrattas. Accordingly, in 1667 Jaswant 
Singh, who had been taken back into favour, was com- 
missioned to open negotiations with Sivaji. By tlue terms 

H.I. U.S. L 


of the treaty agreed upon Sivaji's independence was recog- 
nised, and the territories taken from him by the Moghuls 
restored. He thus became more powerful than ever, and 
in the following year forced the kings of Golconda and 
Bijapur to pay him tribute. For the next two years he 
was busy in consolidating his kingdom, and then war 
between him and the Moghuls broke out afresh. The 
Moghul Deccan was ravaged far and wide by his troops, 
the hill forts were stormed and many of them captured, 
and Surat was once again plundered. Aurungzeb, suspect- 
ing treachery among his generals, made frequent changes ; 
but the Mahrattas, so far from being subdued, actually 
profited thereby, and began in 1670 for the first time to 
levy chauth from portions of the Moghul Deccain. In 1674 
Sivaji was enthroned with great pomp and ceremony at his 
capital Eaighar and openly proclaimed himself the * cham- 
pion of the Hindu gods against Aurungzeb.' 

Aurungzeb persecutes Hindus. Meanwhile trouble 
was brewing in Northern India. Aurungzeb's predecessors 
on the Moghul throne had had the wisdom to leave their 
Hindu subjects in the enjoyment of their ancient customs 
and religion. But, upon the death of Shah Jahan, the 
bigoted and uncompromising Sunnis of the court became 
all-powerful, and, under their instigation, the Emperor 
began to harass his Hindu subjects. Benares, as the centre 
of Hinduism, was the first place to feel the weight of his 
displeasure. The pundits were ordered to discontinue the 
teaching of the Vedas and, to show his contempt for 
idolatrous practices, the Emperor ordered certain of its 
famous temples to be destroyed, and out of their materials 
erected a stately mosque to dominate the city. Muttra and 
other holy Hindu cities were similarly desecrated, and 
general orders were issued to provincial governors to 
destroy temples, remove idols, and close Hindu schools. 
The campaign of persecution thus begun stirred up a wave 
of fanaticism which spread far and wide. Even the cities 
of the faithful Rajputs did not escape desecration. 

Hindu estrangement. This insensate policy led, as a 
matter of course, to widespread disafi'ection among the 
Hindus, and to many local disturbances. In 1676, a serious 
rebellion broke out at Narnaul, north of Delhi, among a 


sect of Hindu fanatics, known as Satnamis, which was not 
put down for a whole year. But, instead of acting as a 
warning to the Emperor, the revolt roused all his latent 
bigotry and perverseness of character. By way of retalia- 
tion for what he deemed Hindu insolence, he dismissed 
from the revenue service all his Hindu officers, and filled 
their places with inexperienced Muhammedans. As a 
natural result the revenue system fell into confusion, and 
he soon found himself without sufficient funds to carry on 
his expensive and disastrous campaigns in the Deccan. He 
thereupon, as an expedient for replenishing the treasury, 
revived in 1677 the hated Jiziya, or poll tax, on non- 
Muhammedans. The estrangement between him and his 
Hindu subjects was now complete, and he did not scruple 
to use force to coerce them. When crowds of Hindus 
thronged about his palace to protest against the obnoxious 
measure, he ordered them to be charged by the state 
elephants, and many were trampled upon and killed. He 
would not even exempt the loyal Rajputs from the tax. 

Rajput revolt. About this time Jaswant Singh of 
Jodhpur, died, while on active service in Afghanistan. As 
his widow and children were on their way back to Jodhpur, 
they passed close to Delhi. The Emperor, who had only 
too good reason to fear trouble in Rajputana, attempted to 
seize them as hostages for the good behaviour of the Rajputs. 
By the devoted courage of her retainers, the Rani and her 
children succeeded in eluding their pursuers and escaped to 
their home. This act of treachery, coupled with the imposi- 
tion of the Jiziya, roused nearly the whole of Rajputana to 
revolt, and the Emperor was forced to relax his efforts in 
the Deccan in order to deal with so formidable a rebellion. 
His three sons Muazzim from the Deccan, Azam from 
Bengal, and Akbar, who was at court were each sent in 
command of armies into Rajputana from different points, 
with orders to lay waste the country with fire and sword, 
sack the towns and villages, and desecrate the temples. 
His instructions were faithfully carried out, and Rajputana 
was given up to the horrors of an invasion equalling those 
perpetrated by the early Pathan conquerors. 

Rebellion suppressed. In the midst of this ruthless 
campaign of repression, Prince Akbar, his third son, suddenly 


went over to the enemy, and was soon at the head of an 
army of 60,000 exasperated and desperate Rajputs. 
Aurungzeb however was as usual equal to the occasion. 
He wrote a seemingly friendly letter to his son, which he 
contrived should fall into the hands of his Rajput allies, 
congratulating him upon the skilful way in which, while 
luring them on to destruction, he had feigned to be their 
deliverer. The Rajputs were completely deceived by this 
cunning device, and were furious with Akbar for his 
supposed treachery. With difficulty he escaped out of 
their hands and fled southward to the Deccan. Muazzim 
and Azam after this speedily reduced the rebels to sullen 
submission. But henceforth this proud and haughty race 
instead of being a bulwark of the empire was an ever- 
present source of weakness and anxiety. 

Aurungzeb goes to the Deccan. Meanwhile in the 
Deccan affairs had not been prospering with Aurungzeb. 
Bijapur and Golconda, though greatly weakened, were still 
holding out, and though Sivaji had died in 1680, the 
Mahratta power which he had organised was growing more 
formidable than ever. Prince Akbar, after his flight from 
Rajputana, had for a year taken refuge with Sambaji, Sivaji's 
son and successor. Aurungzeb was much incensed at this ; 
and as soon as the war in Rajputana was brought to a con- 
clusion, he bent all his energies to the task of subjugating the 
Deccan. He felt that if he was to carry out his scheme of 
conquest there, and punish the insolent Mahrattas, he must 
employ all the resources of his empire. In 1683, after 
spending two years in making his preparations, he marched 
out from Ahmadnagar to effbct his purpose at the head of 
an army the like of which had not before been seen in 

Fall of Bijapur and Golconda. The Grand Army, 
as it was called, was in fact several armies under difl'erent 
commands. The part commanded by the Emperor^himself 
commenced operations against Bijapur, but for some time 
effected nothing; for the Mahrattas, by laying waste the 
country behind it, and thus cutting off its supplies, rendered 
any movements in force impossible. Meanwhile Muazzim, 
who had been sent against Golconda, after a successful 
campaign had, much to his father's annoyance, admitted 


the king to terms of peace. The whole army was now 
directed against Bijapur; and the kingdom which had 
withstood the Moghuls so long was in 1686 conquered at last 
and added to the Empire. After the fall of Bijapur, 
Aurungzeb, who was equally bent upon the destruction of 
Golconda, refused to ratify the terms of peace concluded 
with the king by his son, and proceeded at once against it. 
Attacked by the whole of the Imperial army, and deprived 
of the assistance of the sister kingdom, it made but a 
feeble resistance, and was reduced within the year and 

Capture of Sambaji. Thus at last Aurungzeb had 
succeeded in carrying out his long-cherished dream of con- 
quest, and nothing now lay between him and the insolent 
Mahrattas. Sambaji had neither the genius for organisa- 
tion nor the military instincts of his father. While Bijapur 
and Golconda were falling he made no strenuous effort to 
save them, but stood aloof most of the time a disinterested 
spectator. He was, moreover, a cruel and rapacious ruler, 
and had by harsh treatment and exactions alienated many 
of his confederates ; so that he had to face Aurungzeb's 
Grand Army single handed with forces weakened by disaffec- 
tion. The Moghuls pressed him so vigorously that he was 
obliged to fall back, letting fort after fort fall into their hands. 
At length in 1689 he was surprised and captured, and 
the Mahratta power apparently all but destroyed. Sambaji, 
when brought before Aurungzeb, instead of displaying a 
submissive spirit, had the temerity to heap invectives upon 
the Emperor and his religion. For this the infuriated 
Emperor ordered his offending tongue to be instantly torn 
out, and then, after subjecting him to further cruel tortures, 
had his head struck off. 

Aurungzeb's rebellious sons. The war in the 
Deccan had lasted so long that the resources of the Empire 
were greatly diminished thereby ; but at its conclusion 
Aurungzeb was the ruler of a more extensive Empire 
than any of his predecessors. His forces even penetrated as 
far south as Tan j ore and the whole of Southern India was 
claimed as subject to him, though the claim was never 
more than nominal. Aurungzeb now at last looked forward 
to a time of peace in which to restore his disordered finances. 


But his hopes were doomed to spieedy disappointment. He 
was in his turn about to taste the bitterness occasioned 
by rebellious children, and to reap the fruits of his 
habitual suspicion and distrust. His youngest son, Akbar, 
was in exile and disgrace never to return ; next Muazzim, 
his eldest, fell under suspicion of plotting against his 
father, and was kept in close confinement; and then Azam, 
his second son, rebelled. Meanwhile the Emperor dared 
not trust any of his generals with the settlement of affairs 
in the Deccan, and was therefore forced, though now 
advanced in age, to remain himself in the field in order to 
stamp out the last embers of resistance in Maharashtra. 

Hindu revolts. But the Mahrattas, instead of sub- 
mitting after the capture of Sambaji, began on the 
contrary almost immediately to revive, and the Emperor 
had the mortification of realising that the reduction of 
the Muhammedan kingdoms of the south had greatly 
increased the difficulty of suppressing Mahratta brigandage. 
For in the anarchy which ensued upon the fall of Bijapur 
and Golconda the Mahrattas ravaged the Deccan far and 
wide almost without check, and grew bolder and more enter- 
prising day by day. To the anxiety caused him by his sons 
and the annoyance from the Mahrattas, were added Hindu 
rebellions in the north. The Jats, between the Jumna and 
the Chambal, raised the standard of revolt, and though 
treated with merciless severity, could not be completely 
subdued ; the angry and resentful Rajpu.ts were combining 
into a hostile confederacy ; and between the Sutlej and the 
Eavi the Sikhs, a militant religious sect, founded by a Hindu 
reformer named Nanak, were growing yearly more formid- 
able in spite of rigorous repression. 

Mahratta successes. The Grand Army in the Deccan, 
though commanded by the Emperor in person, was steadily 
losing ground, and, while constantly harassed by the enter- 
prising enemy, could never bring on a pitched battle, and 
inflict a serious reverse upon them. For the Moghul army 
was unwieldy, while the Mahrattas, mounted on wiry ponies, 
and carrying on their saddles all that they required, were 
extremely mobile. The former moved slowly and deliber- 
ately, encumbered by its transport : the latter scoured the 
country round in all directions, turning up where they 


were least expected, cutting off convoys and ravaging and 
plundering the districts from which the Moghuls obtained 
their supplies. At length by their guerilla tactics they so 
wore down the Moghuls and exhausted their resources that all 
the country of the Deccan except that which was in the im- 
mediate vicinity of the Moghul camps passed into their hands. 

General disorder. Jn 1695 the Bhima, upon the 
banks of which the Emperor had pitched his camp, swollen 
by heavy rain, suddenly overflowed and swept away 12,000 
of his soldiers, besides vast quantities of stores and pro- 
visions. Disaster followed disaster ; and year by year, in 
spite of all he could do, the Mahrattas grew stronger, 
while his own forces grew more timid and disheartened. 
The finances of the empire were failing, and in his absence 
from the capital corruption, oppression, and every species 
of misgovernment were flourishing unchecked. Yet he did 
not despair, and, though past eighty years of age, did not 
relinquish the vain struggle. All the while, too, he con- 
tinued to pay the closest attention to public business, and 
to spend hours daily over the minutest details of admini- 

Death of Aurungzeb. With all his faults, it is 
impossible not to admire the indomitable spirit with which 
the old man met his misfortunes. He had never trusted 
any one, least of all his children and relations, and now in 
his old age, unloved and unbefriended, he had to face alone 
an appalling accumulation of disasters. Yet he bore up 
against it all with calm courage, and fought and laboured 
on, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge defeat. At length, 
in 1706, after twenty-four years of continuous campaigning 
in the Deccan, when to continue in the field against the 
Mahrattas would mean the annihilation of his disorganised 
and dispirited troops, and perhaps his falling himself into 
the hands of the enemy, he retired to Ahmadnagar ; and 
there, in the very place from which the Grand Army had 
started out with such high hopes so many years before, 
the Emperor's spirit broke at last, and, worn out in body 
and mind, he gradually sank and died. 

His character. The character of Aurungzeb is one of 
the strangest in history, and most difficult to read. That 
he was a sincerely religious man there can be no doubt, 


blameless in his private life, and doing his public duties- 
according to his lights conscientiously and unremittingly. 
He was, too, a man of culture and refinement ; and, strange 
as it may appear, rather prone to mildness than severity. 
Indeed, much of the misgovernment of his reign is attri- 
butable to the too great leniency with which he treated 
corrupt officials. His personal courage is undeniable, and 
his whole life bears witness to his coolness and readiness of 
resource in times of danger. Such a man should have made 
a successful ruler of a great empire ; but against these high 
and kingly qualities must be set off a suspiciousness, per- 
versity and narrowness almost unexampled in history. 

Aurungzeb never really trusted any man, and in return 
was never thoroughly trusted himself It was this par- 
ticular trait in his character, more perhaps than his 
obstinacy and bigotry, which alienated his subjects from 
him, and he was, in consequence of it, always badly served. 
The great Akbar and in a lesser measure his successors 
had always at their beck and call a number of powerful 
noblemen, both Hindu and Muhammedan, attached to them 
as much by respect and affection as self-interest ; but the cold 
and suspicious Aurungzeb allowed no intimacy with him 
nor placed his confidence in anyone. It was his policy to 
play off one powerful nobleman against another, Hindu 
against Muhammedan, and to be ever on the watch to 
check the growth of power and ambition. He ruled by an 
elaborate system of espionage, and, while he was feared and 
respected, was regarded with distrust and dislike. Such 
a system led of necessity to misgovernment and corruption. 
High officers of state, realising the insecurity of their 
position under the jealous and suspicious eye of the 
Emperor, sought in the shortest time possible to eprich 
themselves by extortion and malpractices against the day 
when they should incur his displeasure ; while the 
Emperor, being without powerful and influential friends 
and relatives upon whose support he could rely in time of 
trouble, hesitated to punish wrongdoers in high places with 
due severity. The people, accustomed from the days of 
Akbar to regard the emperor as the fountain of justice, 
cried to him in vain against their oppressors ; and thus 
misrule led to widespread disaffection and murmurs against 


the throne. Added to all this, he had no tolerance for 
those who differed from him in religious belief, whether 
Shiahs or Hindus, and would not temporise with them nor 
turn from the path which, as a strict Sunni Muhammedan, 
he believed it to be his duty to follow, however insur- 
mountable the obstacles before him. 

Revival of the Hindus. It will be as well to pause 
here, and briefly survey the state of India at the time of 
Aurungzeb's death. We have seen the Moghul Empire 
steadily drifting into a state of anarchy and decay, and 
Hinduism, which had lain so long under the yoke of 
Islam, asserting itself once more in the Punjab, in 
Eajputana, and in Southern India. In the north the 
Hindus were still no more than struggling against their 
oppressors, but in the Deccan the bold and skilful Mahrattas 
had already emerged from the long contest as conquerors. 
Maharashtra was practically free, and the adjoining por- 
tions of the Moghul Deccan were actually tributary to 
Sivaji's successors. 

Growing importance of English settlements. 
But, besides the Mahrattas, two other powers destined to 
play a commanding part in the subsequent history of India 
were now coming into prominence. These were the English 
and the French. During the long reign of Aurungzeb, in 
spite of many lets and hindrances, the English had 
gradually extended their trade, till at his death they pos- 
sessed many factories along the Indian coast. At Madras, 
Bombay and Calcutta, forts had been built and prosperous 
towns had grown up ; and within the territorial jurisdiction 
of the Presidencies, as these three places were called, the 
English maintained civil governments, collected revenue 
from their lands, and dispensed justice to their native 

The Company's change of Policy. The change 
from quiet trading in defenceless factories to the establish- 
ment of forts and the maintenance of civil governments 
resulted from the force of circumstances, and not from any 
wish of the Company's to become a territorial ruler in 
India The Directors in England long cherished the belief 
that the acquisition of territory and the erecting of forts 
was impolitic. They argued that the Portuguese had been 


ruined by the expense of maintaining garrisons to guard 
their Indian Empire. While the Moghul Empire was 
strong enough to preserve order the doctrine of peaceful 
trade was a sound one. But when, in consequence of 
Aurungzeb's disastrous wars in the Deccan, the control of 
the central authority was weakened, the Company's settle- 
ments fell a prey to rapacious Provincial Governors, and 
were liable also to attacks from roving bands of Mahratta 
brigands. Towards the end of the seventeenth century it 
became evident even to the Directors that a change of 
policy was necessary, and at length in response to the 
urgent appeals of their harassed servants, they finally 
decided to renounce their traditional policy and to establish a 
dominion in India. This momentous decision was arrived 
at in the year 1688. Thus was the Company compelled at 
length in self-preservation to take its place as a territorial 
ruler in India. 

Establishment of French settlements. From the 
year 1604 the French had made four unsuccessful attempts 
to found trading companies in India. At last, in 1664, 
Colbert succeeded in establishing a French East India 
Company on a firm footing. Ten years later the French 
obtained a grant of land from the Bijapur state, and built 
thereon a city called Pondicherry, the New Town ; and in 
the very year in which the English declared their intention 
of becoming a ruling power in India, Shaista Khan, the 
Mughal viceroy of Bengal, permitted the French to esta- 
blish a factory at Chandernagore. Pondicherry, after 
passing through a period of storm and stress, by the begin- 
ning of the 18th century had already risen through the 
ability of Martin, its founder and governor, to a position of 
importance as a great emporium of trade in Southern India. 



Aurungzeb's will. On the death of Aurungzeb there 
was the usual fratricidal war for the possession of the 
throne. Before his death Aurungzeb had portioned his 


empire among his three surviving children, perhaps hoping 
thus to prevent strife among them, or realising by his own 
failure the impossibility of one man's governing such vast 
dominions. But these intentions were immediately frus- 
trated; for upon the news of his death the tw^o elder sons 
hastened towards the capital to seize the throne, while the 
youngest gathered his forces in the south to dispute the 
succession with the conqueror. 

Bahadur Shah. Muazzim reached Agra first, but 
Azam was not long in making his appearance. The issue 
was decided in one pitched battle to the south. Azam's 
forces were utterly routed, and he himself was among the 
slain. The credit of the victory was due not so much to 
Muazzim as to Zulfikar Khan, one of Aurungzeb's most 
famous generals. Muazzim thereupon ascended the throne 
under the title of Bahadur Shah, in 1707. He was a mild 
and kindly man, anxious only for the preservation of peace. 
But hardly was he seated on the throne before his other 
brother, Kam Baksh, refusing to acknowledge his sove- 
reignty, declared himself independent in the Deccan. 
Zulfikar Khan, without awaiting orders, marched against 
him ; and before the Emperor could intervene the prince 
had been defeated in a pitched battle, mortally wounded 
and taken prisoner. 

. Campaign against the Sikhs. Bahadur Shah, as 
soon as peace was restored, turned his attention to the con- 
ciliation of his Hindu subjects. But Aurungzeb's policy had 
so deeply stirred their resentment, that they were not to be 
won over. The Emperor, however, had the wisdom to profit by 
his father's mistakes and did not attempt to coerce them. 
Eecognising the uselessness of continuing the struggle with 
theMahrattashe acknowledged the claim of their leader Sahu, 
the grandson of Sivaji, to levy chauth, even in part of the 
Moghul Deccan. ' He also made peace with the Eajputs on 
terms which virtually conceded their independence. The 
Sikhs could not be treated with similar lenity ; for under 
the persecutions of Aurungzeb they had developed into an 
irreconcilable and dangerously aggressive militant sect. 
They had invaded the Eastern Punjab and seized Sirhind, 
and were bent on wreaking vengeance upon Muhammedans 
generally. Under their leader Bdnda they had begun to 


take fearful reprisals upon Muhammedans. torturing 
mullahs, burning mosques, and putting whole villages to 
the sword. Bahadur Shah, in spite of his mildness, was a 
man of spirit, and in 1710 marched out against them in 
person, defeated them with great slaughter, and drove 
them to take refuge in the hills. But their leader Banda 
escaped, and the Sikhs, like the Mahrattas, quickly recovered 
and again assumed the offensive. 

Death of Bahadur Shah. The Emperor was an old 
man when he ascended the throne, and he was now over 
seventy. It was a misfortune for the Empire that he had 
not many years to live ; for though he could not have 
restored it, had time been granted him he could by his 
conciliatory and tolerant policy have saved from dissolution 
what was left. The campaign against the Sikhs was his 
last achievement, and in 1712 while at Lahore he died, worn 
out by exposure and fatigue. 

The Peshwaship made an hereditary office. 
During Bahadur Shah's brief reign events of importance 
were following each other in quick succession in the Deccan. 
Sahu, the son of Sambaji, who had been taken prisoner 
along with his father by Aurungzeb and brought up at the 
Moghul court, was restored to his kingdom by Bahadur 
Shah, and with the support of the Moghuls had got himself 
crowned at Satara in 1708. But his claim to succeed to 
the throne of his grandfather was disputed by his iincle and 
his uncle's sons ; and a civil war broke out which divided 
the Mahrattas into two factions and greatly weakened them. 
Sahu, who was even more lazy and self indulgent than his 
father, troubled himself so little with affairs of state, that 
his kingdom soon fell into the utmost confusion. It 
began to look as if the Mahratta power would decline as 
rapidly as it had arisen. But in the year 1712, just when 
things appeared to be at their worst, he had the good 
fortune to select as his Peshwa. or chief minister, a Brahman 
of remarkable ability named Balaji Bishwanath. This man, 
by his energy and statesmanship, not only saved the totter- 
ing state from ruin, but reconstituted the Mahratta power 
on a firmer and more enduring basis. His indolent master 
was only too glad to leave the management of the kingdom 
to him, and in grateful recognition of his services granted 


the office of Peshwa as an hereditary possession to his 
family. Soon all power passed into the hands of the power- 
ful minister, and the king became a puppet in his hands. 

Form of Mahratta Government. It is interesting 
to note how the Mahratta form of government had thus 
accidentally been brought into conformity with the ancient 
Hindu ideal. There was the submissive king, descended 
from a noble Kshattriya family, whose ancestors had 
won their position by the sword ; there were the warrior 
chiefs of the confederacy that led the Mahratta hosts to 
battle ; there was the Brahman Prime Minister, with his 
host of Brahman accountants, transacting all affairs of state; 
and there was the low caste element supplied by the 
Dravidians of the- Konkan, who formed the bulk of the 
Mahratta population. Under the revenue system devised 
by Balaji the Mahratta leaders shared the proceeds of their 
exactions from the territories which they had overrun, and 
were thus bound together by the common bond of profit. 
The system of blackmail for it was nothing else under 
which the revenue was collected was so complicated that 
none but the Brahmans who administered it could hope to 
understand it. It would indeed seem to have been expressly 
designed as an engine of extortion, and as a means of 
strengthening the power of the Brahman class to which the 
Peshwa belonged. Its weakness was that it led inevitably 
to friction between the central authority and the collectors 
of the revenue. Thus at the time of Bahadur Shah's death, 
while the Moghul Empire, beset on all sides by enemies 
and torn by internal dissensions, was hurrying to its fall, 
the Mahratta power had taken a new lease of life, and was 
being consolidated under the form of government most 
likely to appeal to the religious sentiments of its Hindu 

Jahandar Shah. Upon Bahadur Shah's death, the 
Empire, according to now established custom, was the scene 
of a life and death struggle among the royal princes. At 
last, by the aid of the still all-powerful Zulfikar Khan, 
the weakest gained possession of the throne. Assuming 
the title of Jahandar Shah he signalised his accession in 
the usual way by the slaughter of all the relatives of the 
late Emperor upon whom he could lay his hands. But he 


was as feeble as he was cruel, and was during his brief reign 
a mere puppet in the hands of Zulfikar Khan. Zulfikar, 
though a fine soldier, was a bad administrator. Corruption 
and oppression had never been so rife before throughout 
the Empire; and, in the Moghul Deccan, Daud Khan, a 
Pathan general, whom he had appointed viceroy, was allowed 
to commit all sorts of excesses. At the end of one year's 
misrule, two brothers, Syed Husain Ali, governor of Behar, 
and Syed Abdullah, governor of Allahabad, set up a rival 
to Jahandar in the person of Farukh Siyyar, a grandson 
of Bahadur Shah, who had escaped the general massacre 
of his relatives. The brothers marched upon the capital, 
and Jahandar and Zulfikar marched out to meet them. A 
battle was fought near Agra in 1713, in which the Syeds 
gained a complete victory. Jahandar and Zulfikar were 
taken prisoners and both put to death, and Farukh Siyyar 
was at once placed upon the throne. 

Farukh Siyyar. The new emperor was, like his 
predecessor, a mere figurehead, and all real power was 
exercised by the Syads during the five years of his reign. 
Husain Ali was appointed governor of the Deccan, and Daud 
Khan was ordered off to Guzerat. But Daud Khan declined 
to go, and prepared to resist the new viceroy. The latter 
therefore attacked him, and after a stubbornly contested 
fight Daud Khan was defeated and killed. Husain Ali 
found his governorship anything but a sinecure, for a war 
with the Mahrattas broke out almost immediately, and he 
had so little success against them that he was forced to 
conclude an ignominious treaty, by which the Moghul 
Deccan was acknowledged as tributary to Sahu. This was 
the greatest disgrace that had yet befallen the Moghul 

Deputation from Calcutta. In the year 1716 the 
English in Calcutta sent a deputation to the Emperor to 
complain of the exactions of the governor of Bengal. With 
the deputation was a surgeon named Hamilton. It so 
happened that at the time of its arrival at Delhi the 
Emperor was ill, and the court physicians had failed to 
restore him to health. The services of Hamilton were 
called in, and he had the good fortune to eff'ect a speedy 
cure. The Emperor was so pleased with his skill that he 


asked him to name his reward. The patriotic Hamilton, 
disregarding self interest, asked that the English in Bengal 
might be exempted from custom dues and granted the 
possession of certain villages in the neighbourhood of their 
settlement at Calcutta. His request was granted, and a 
patent issued accordingly in 1717. This seemingly trivial 
incident proved to be one of the most important steps 
in the consolidation of the British power in India. 

Persecution of the Sikhs. While the deputation 
w^as at Delhi it witnessed a terrible scene characteristic of 
those troubled times. A campaign against the Sikhs had 
just been brought to a successful conclusion. Banda, their 
leader, had at last been captured and sent a prisoner to 
Delhi along with 740 wretches saved from the general 
massacre for a worse fate. They who had taken such fear- 
ful reprisals upon Muhammedans, in their turn, could expect 
no pity. After being first exhibited in public before the 
exasperated people, and subjected to every sort of insult, 
they were put to death with cruel tortures. The Sikhs 
showed themselves to be as brave as they had been remorse- 
lessly cruel, and, glorying in their martyrdom, met their 
fate with heroic fortitude. 

Mahrattas at Delhi. About this time, 1719, the 
feeble Emperor made an attempt to throw off the yoke of 
the Syeds, which had long been irksome to him. Husain 
Ali, Governor of the Deccan, hearing of it, promptly made 
a treaty of alliance with the Mahrattas and marched upon 
Delhi, accompaaied by a body of 10,000 Mahratta horse- 
men, under the command of the Peshwa himself, Balaji 
Bishwanath. On his way he was joined by a famous 
general and statesman, named Chin Kalich Khan. The 
allies speedily brushed aside all opposition, seized the 
Emperor and put him to death. This was the first inter- 
ference of the Mahrattas in the affairs of Delhi, and it 
marks an epoch in their history. They had now seen with 
their own eyes the rottenness of the Moghul Empire, and 
the lesson was not lost upon them. 

Rapid decline of the Moghul Empire. After the 
assassination of Farukh Siyyar the Syeds set up a fresh 
puppet Emperor; but he died of consumption after reigning 
for three months only. Then they selected another; but 


he likewise died within the year. Meanwhile the Empire 
was fast hastening to dissolution. The Mahrattas were 
granted formal permission to levy the chauth throughout 
the Moghul Deccan and also to take an additional ten per 
cent., and their absolute control of the Konkan was 
acknowledged; the Jodhpur Kaja, Ajit Singh, was made 
the viceroy of the subahs of Ajmir and Khandesh ; Jay 
Singh of Amber was appointed Governor of Gujrat ; and 
Chin Kalich Khan was given charge of Malwa ; but all 
w^ere virtually independent. The Jats, too, had by this 
time established their independence in the territory now 
known as Bhartpur, between the Chambal and Agra. The 
control of the central authority was gone, and the people, 
without hope of redress from the oppressions of petty 
rulers, were sunk in apathy and despair. 

Muhammad Shah. The Syeds now selected another 
grandson of Bahadur Shah's, named Roshan Akhtar, and 
placed him on the throne in 1719, under the title of 
Muhammad Shah. But the end of the Syed domination 
was at hand. A rival, party had arisen, headed by the 
redoubtable Chin Kalich Khan, with whom was associated 
a Persian adventurer named Saadat Khan. In 1720, Chin 
Kalich, having been ordered to hand over the governorship 
of Malwa and appear at court, went into open rebellion, 
seized Khandesh and made himself master of the Moghi\l 
Deccan. He was secretly supported by the Emperor, who 
saw in him a means of deliverance from the yoke of the 
Syeds. Husain Ali, who marched with the Emperor to the 
Deccan to oppose him, was assassinated on the way, and 
the Emperor at once turned back towards Delhi again. 
Abdullah, the surviving brother, made desperate attempts 
to retain control of the situation by setting up a new puppet 
as rival to the Emperor, but he was shortly after defeated 
in the battle of Shahpiir, near Agra, and taken captive. 
Thus ended the domination of the Syeds. The revolution 
was complete, and Chin Kalich Khan was invited by the 
Emperor to come to Delhi and assume the office of Prime 
Minister. From henceforward he is better known by his 
titles of Asaf Jah and Nizam ul Mulk. - 

The kingdom of Oudh founded. Saadat Khan, for 
his services in the overthrow of the Syeds, was appointed 


G-overrior of Oudh. But, taking advantage of the weakness 
of the central authority, he very soon converted his subah 
into an independent state. No attempt was subsequently 
made by the Delhi Emperors to recover the lost province or 
to assert their authority over the ruler, and for the next 1 30 
years Oudh was ruled by Nawabs descended from Saadat 

The kingdom of Hyderabad founded. Two years 
later Asaf Jah resigned the Prime Ministership and retired 
to the Moghul Deccan, where, choosing Hyderabad as his 
capital, he set up as an independent sovereign. The ten 
remaining years of his life were spent in establishing his 
authority and repelling Mahratta attacks. At his death he 
left to his successors (who, like himself, bore the title of 
Nizam) a considerable kingdom, that, through many vicis- 
situdes, has survived to the present day. 

Death of Balaji Bishwanath. In 1720 Balaji, the 
first of the Peshwas, died. By organising the Mahratta 
Confederacy on a financial as well as a comtnon religious 
basis, he had converted it from loosely cohering bands of 
freebooters into a united and irresistible power, which 
nothing. but internal dissensions could destroy. He was 
succeeded by his son, Baji Rao, a man of great ability and 
insatiable ambition. 

Mahrattas threaten Delhi. About the time that the 
Nizam was founding his kingdom of Hyderabad several 
Mahratta leaders, destined themselves to be the founders of 
kingdoms, were coming into prominence. The chief of 
these were Ranaji Sindhia, who had at one time served as 
the Peshwa's slipper bearer, Malhar Rao Holkar, a Sudra 
by caste, and Pilaji Gaekwar, a cowherd. With their rise 
to power began a campaign of aggression upon neighbouring 
states which did not stop till the very gates of Delhi had 
been reached. By 1734 the Mahrattas had completely 
overrun Malwa, and plundering expeditions had been sent 
out across the Jumna threatening the Moghul capital itself 
Saadat Ali, coming to the assistance of the Emperor, suc- 
ceeded in repelling the invaders, but only temporarily ; for 
in 1736, under the Peshwa Baji Rao, the Mahrattas 
again advanced to the walls of Delhi and actually began 
to plunder its suburbs. 

H.I.H.S. M 


Mahrattas paramount in India. The feeble Em- 
peror sent urgent messages for assistance to the Nizam, 
appointed him Governor of Malwa and Guzerat, and called 
upon all the subject princes of the Moghul Empire to join 
him in expelling the Mahrattas. The Nizam responded to 
the appeal at the head of a large army, and, marching 
against the Mahrattas, compelled them to retire from 
Delhi. He then encamped his vast army at Bhopal, while 
he waited for reinforcements from the Deccan. But these 
never arrived, and meanwhile Baji Rao had surrounded his 
camp with an army of 80,000 Mahratta horse. Being 
unable to break through the investing ring, and finding 
himself in a state of siege with but a few days' provisions 
for his army, he was forced to capitulate He was only 
allowed his freedom on his agreeing to sign a conven- 
tion, by which he renounced the governorship of Malwa, 
ceded the territory between the Narbuddah and the 
Chambal to the Mahrattas, and engaged to pay from 
the imperial treasury of Delhi fifty lakhs of rupees. 
Sindhia and Holkar, as a reward for their services, were 
appointed governors of the newly-acquired territory, the 
subah of Malwa being divided between them. Mahratta 
power thus became paramount in India, and it looked as 
if a Hindu empire was; once again to be established over 

Invasion of Nadir Shah. But while the Nizam and 
Baji Rao were settling the terms of the Convention of 
Bhopal, a fresh invader from the north had made his way 
into India. This was Nadir Shah, who, starting life as a 
shepherd of Khorasan, had by his military genius made 
himself at length the master of the Persian Empire. In 
1736 he had had himself crowned Shah at Ispahan ; but his 
ambition for conquest was insatiable, and, after spending 
the next two years in overcoming the Afghans, in 1738, on 
a frivolous pretext, he invaded the Punjab and advanced 
upon Delhi. The Nizam and Saadat Khan, combining their 
forces, hastened to oppose him. The contending armies 
met near Karnal, and as usual the dwellers in the Indian 
plains proved no match for hardy invaders from the north. 
After a brief struggle the Indians broke and fled, and the 
Persians continued their progress towards Delhi unopposed. 


The Emperor, Muhammad Shah, seeing the uselessness of 
further resistance, surrendered, and JNadir and his army 
entered Delhi. 

Sack of Delhi. On the second day of the occupation a 
rumour spread among the inhabitants that Nadir Shah was 
dead, and they rose against the invaders. Seven hundred 
of the Persian soldiers, caught in the act of plunder, were 
killed in the streets by riotous mobs of citizens, before the 
report was found to be false. Nadir was furious at this act 
of treachery, and ordered a general massacre.^ For the 
best part of a whole day the city was given up to sack and 
slaughter. The Persians laid their hands upon everything 
of value that they could take away with them, and slew 
indiscriminately all who came in their way. The treasury 
was plundered, money and jewels were extorted from 
nobles and wealthy traders, and the famous Peacock Throne 
itself was seized, together with the crown jewels. Nadir 
Shah, after reinstating Muhammad Shah upon the throne, 
withdrew with all his spoil to Persia. It is estimated that 
he took with him plunder to the value of 32 millions 

Collapse of the Moghul Empire. Nothing could 
exceed the destitution which this invasion left behind it. 
The Moghul Empire was practically destroyed; for its 
-prestige and authority were now completely gone. Muham- 
mad Shah was left by this invasion little more than an 
emperor in name. The Deccan, Malwa, Guzerat, the whole 
of Eajputana and the Punjab ceased to acknowledge the 
sovereignty of Delhi ; the district now called Kohilkhand, 
occupied by Afghan freebooters called Eohillas, was virtually 
independent ; the Sikhs, the Eajputs, and the Jats in the 
north and centre were closing in on Delhi ; and the 
Mahrattas from the south were steadily extending their 
dominions. From this time forward even Bengal, under 
its Moghul governor, Ali Yardi Khan, ceased to pay tribute 
to the Delhi Emperor. 

Rise of independent Mahratta kingdoms. We 
must now return to affairs in the Deccan. In 1739 a 
memorable event took place, which broke for ever the 
power of the Portuguese in India. This was the storming 
and capture of Bassein by the Mahrattas under Baji Rao's 


brother. But while it ruined the prestige of the Portuguese, 
it greatly enhanced that of the Mahrattas, and emboldened 
them to further enterprise. The next year the Peshwa 
Baji Rao died. He had proved himself no unworthy 
successor to his father ; indeed, by some he is ranked 
among Mahratta leaders next in greatness to Sivaji 
himself. During his Peshwaship the Mahrattas had 
greatly extended their possessions. But the Mahratta 
power had become too vast for one man to wield, and 
signs were not wanting, in the constant dissensions 
of the Mahratta chiefs and generals, that the central 
control was breaking down. Sindhia, Holkar in Malwa, 
and the Gaekwar in Guzerat were asserting their inde- 
pendence, and another general, Raghuji Bhonsla, was laying 
the foundations of a separate kingdom of his own in 

Raghuji Bhonsla plunders Bengal. Baji Rao 
was succeeded by his son, Balaji Baji Rao, in 1740. Like 
his father and his grandfather before him, he was a man of 
great ability; but he had not the same chances of success 
that they had had, for he was saddled with heavy debts 
contracted by his father, and from the first met with much 
opposition, particularly from Raghuji Bhonsla. Two years 
after Balaji's accession, Raghuji, without his consent, sent 
an expedition into Bengal, defeated Ali Yardi Khan, the 
Moghul governor, and obtained two and a half crores of 
rupees by plunder. He would no doubt have overrun the 
whole country and annexed it, had not the Emperor, 
Muhammad Shah, who was aware of the jealousy between 
Raghuji and the Peshwa, appealed for help to the latter on 
Ali Vardi Khan's behalf. Balaji Rao was only too glad of 
the chance of humbling Raghuji, and willingly came to 
Ali Vardi's assistance. Raghuji was forced to retire for 
a time ; but though balked of his ambition to conquer 
Bengal he continued so systematically to harass Ali Verdi 
Khan that the latter was glad at length to permit him to 
levy the chauth over the whole of Bengal, Berar, and 

Poona made the capital of Maharashtra. In 
1748 Sahu died at Satara. The event made little difference 
to affairs in the Deccan; for he had exercised no real 


authority since the days of Balaji, the first of the Peshwas. 
After his death the Peshwa removed to Poona, which 
henceforth became the capital of Maharashtra, while Satara 
sank into insignificance. 

Disorder in the Carnatic. The same year the old 
Nizam of Hyderabad died. South of his kingdom lay a 
tract of country between the river Krishna and Ca|ie 
Comorin called the Carnatic. This, though not forming 
part of his dominion of Hyderabad, had been subject to 
him, and he had exercised the right of appointing its 
Nawab or governor. But the Nawab whose seat of govern- 
ment was at Arcot, was virtually an independent ruler; for the 
Nizam was generally too preoccupied with his own affairs to 
pay much attention to those of the Carnatic. A few years 
before the Nizam's death, however, the Mahrattas, by over- 
running the country and slaying the Nawab, forced the 
Nizam to intervene. He soon succeeded in driving them 
out, and having restored order appointed one of his 
generals, Anwaruddin, Nawab of the Carnatic. The 
death of the Nizam threw both countries into confusion; 
disputes arose regarding the succession to the vacant 
throne of Hyderabad, and in the Carnatic a rival to 
Anwaruddin appeared in the person of Chanda Sahib,, 
governor of Trichinopoly. What followed is so closely 
connected with the history of British rule in India that it 
will be dealt with in the next book. 




Dupleix seizes Madras. In the year 1742 Joseph 
rran9ois Dupleix, a man of remarkable ability and 

unljounded ambition, was 
appointed governor of Pon- 
dicherry and of the French 
possessions in India. The 
aim of his life was to found 
a French empire in India, 
and with this object in 
view, as a first step, he 
was bent upon driving the 
English, now firmly in- 
stalled at Madras, out of 
, Southern India. The out- 
break of hostilities in 
Europe between the French 
and English in 1740 afford- 
ed him the occasion for 
which he had long been 
waiting. In 1746 a French 
squadron, under the com- 
mand of La Bourdonnais, arrived in Indian waters, and 
was employed to attack Madras by sea, while Dupleix 
delivered an attack by land. After a few days' bombard- 
ment Madras was forced to surrender ; but La Bourdonnais 
and Dupleix could not agree as to the treatment of the 
captured town, and the former, whose fleet had been 



much damaged by a storm, set sail shortly after for the 

The battle of St. Thome. Anwaruddin, whose 
capital was at Arcot, had begun to view with anxiety the 
growing power of the French, and was looking out for a 
chance of humbling them. He strongly resented their seizure 
of Madras, and peremptorily ordered Dupleix to surrender 
the town to him. Since Dupleix was delaying to do so, he 
attacked him ; but to the surprise of all, the French, though 
far outnumbered, easily drove away the Nawab's vast 
army. This action, which took place on 4th November, 
1746, is known as the battle of St. Thome. Hitherto the 
European traders had confined themselves to the defensive; 
but this victory, by disclosing the weakness of oriental 
armies, taught them to despise them however large, and 
emboldened them to assume the offensive. It was the 
turning point in their history in India, and they began 
from this time forward boldly to interfere in the affairs of 
the neighbouring states. 

Madras restored to the English. After the fall 
of Madras some of the English managed to escape to Fort 
St. David, an English settlement a few miles south of 
Pondicherry, and there defended themselves so vigorously 
that the French were obliged to abandon the siege. Among 
this heroic handful was a young civilian named Robert 
Clive, who greatly distinguished himself by his courage and 
resource. The war between the French and English dragged 
on with varying success till 1748, the year of the Nizam's 
death, when news was received that peace had been made 
between the two nations in Europe. Hostilities therefore 
ceased, and it was agreed that Madras should be restored 
to the English, and that each side should give up what 
advantage it had gained during the war. 

MuzafTar and Chanda Saheb. On the death of the 
Nizam, his nephew, Muzaffar Jung, claimed the throne by 
virtue of his uncle's will. But Nazir Jung, the Nizam's 
second son, who was supported by the army, seized the 
throne, and Muzaffar was forced to fly for his life. He 
made his way to Satara to seek the aid of the Mahrattas ; 
and while there he met and formed a friendship with 
Chanda Saheb, the Governor of Trichinopoly, who, having 


fallen into the hands of the Mahrattas, had for seven years 
been kept a prisoner at Satara. Chanda Saheb, as has 
already been mentioned, had in former days been a 
claimant for the post of Nawab at Ai*cot. The French had 
favoured his claims, for he had always taken their part, 
and indeed had been of much assistance to them in their 
schemes of aggrandisement in the Carnatic. During all the 
years of his captivity his wife and children had been living 
at Pondicherry under Dupleix's protection. 

Dupleix's scheme. Since the Mahrattas would not 
take up the cause of MuzafFar, Chanda Saheb persuaded his 
friend to lay his cause before the French. This was 
accordingly done, and Dupleix, who saw thereby a prospect 
of making French influence paramount in the Deccan, 
promised to help him, and Chanda Saheb too, at the same 
time. Dupleix, who had a truly Oriental genius for 
intrigue, formed the following daring and brilliant scheme 
for making use of both. Chanda Saheb was to be ransomed 
from the Mahrattas, and then the French, Muzaflar, and 
Chanda Saheb were to fall on Anwaruddin. If they suc- 
ceeded in overthrowing him, Chanda Saheb should be made 
Nawab of Arcot in his place, and should then assist the 
other two to place Muzaflar on the throne of Hyderabad. 
After this the three were to unite in expelling the English 
from the Carnatic. Muzaflar and Chanda readily fell in 
with this proposal. 

Battle of Ambur. Chanda was thereupon ransomed 
by the French, and set to work immediately to collect as 
large an army as he could. As soon as their preparations 
were complete, the three allies joined forces, and, falling 
upon Anwaruddin at Ambur in 1750, gained a most 
decisive victory over him. The old Nawab and his son 
were among the slain, and all his baggage and artillery 
were captured. The French were commanded on this 
occasion by the famous General Bussy, to whose military 
skill the successful issue w^as mainly due. Chanda Saheb 
was now proclaimed Nawab of Arcot, and Muzaflar assumed 
the title of Subadar of the Deccan. So far the plan had 
been entirely successful. But, instead of following up their 
advantage, the allies, chiefly through the folly of Chanda 
Saheb, wasted precious time in plundering expeditions. 


Walker & Cockerel! sc. 

SOUTHERN INDIA to illustrate the wars with the French. 


Failure of Dupleix's scheme. Nazir Jung, finding 
himself threatened by so powerful a coalition, called in the 
Mahrattas and English to assist him. Both readily agreed 
to help him, for they perceived that the overthrow of the 
Nizam would imperil their own safety. A vast army was 
quickly brought into the field, composed of Mahrattas, the 
Nizam's troops, and a few hundred English. The French 
and their allies, being completely taken by surprise, were 
obliged to fall back, but were overtaken near Pondicherry 
and completely routed. Chanda Saheb fled southward, but 
Muzaffar fell into the hands of Nazir Jung. Chanda Saheb 
was at once proclaimed a usurper, and the Nizam appointed 
Muhammad Ali, a younger son of Anwaruddin, Nawab of 
Arcot in his place. 

French influence again supreme. Dupleix's scheme 
had therefore failed completely, but he was not the man to 
give way to despair in consequence. He retired to Pondi- 
cherry and waited upon events. It was not long before 
Muhammad Ali, who was weak and obstinate fell out with 
his English allies, and was deserted by them. This was just 
the opportunity Dupleix was waiting for, and he at once 
despatched the ablest French officer in India, Bussy, against 
him. Bussy utterly defeated him at Punar, and then 
followed up his victory by the storming and capture in 
a few hours of his stronghold of Ginji, hitherto considered 
by the natives impregnable. This last brilliant achieve- 
ment greatly raised the prestige of French arms. The 
Nizam, Nazir Jung, though greatly frightened at the turn 
of events, marched an army into the Carnatic ; but, before 
he could make up his mind whether to come to terms with 
the victorious French or to oppose them, he was assassinated 
by a band of conspirators working in the interests of the 
imprisoned Muzaffar Jung. The latter was at once released 
and placed upon the throne. Shortly afterwards Chanda 
Saheb, who had taken refuge at Pondicherry, was restored 
to the position of Nawab of Arcot. With Muzaffar 
Jung Nizam of Hyderabad and Chanda Saheb Nawab of 
Arcot, Dupleix's dreams of empire seemed likely to be 
realised. So elated was he with his good fortune that 
he set up a pillar near the place of Nazir Jung's assas- 
sination, and gave orders for the building of a town 


there, to be called Dupleix-Fatah-abad, the town of 
Dupleix's victory. 

The French at Hyderabad. French influence was 
now supreme in the Carnatic, and to ensure that it should 
also be supreme at Hyderabad, General Bussy was sent with 
a body of French troops to reside at the Nizam's court, 
under the pretence of protecting him. Muzaffar did not 
long enjoy his high position, for he was assassinated within 
six months by the very conspirators who had raised him to 
the throne. Bussy, however, lost no time in finding a 
successor who should be as subservient to the French as 
Muzaffar. Salabat Jung, a younger son of the old Nizam- 
ul-mulk, who had been kept a prisoner by Muzaffar, was 
released and placed upon the vacant throne. 

Critical situation of the English. Such was the 
position of affairs in 1751. The whole of the Deccan had 
passed under French influence, while the English, at the 
mercy of their rivals, and with their prestige destroyed, 
were clinging insecurely to their settlements at Madras and 
Fort St. David. Their ruin seemed imminefit, and it 
apparently only remained for Dupleix to attack them in 
order to drive them out of southern India altogether. 

Siege of Trichinopoly. Muhammad Ali, who had 
been so severely handled by Bussy, had retired after his 
defeat to Trichinopoly ; but Chanda Saheb, feeling that 
the presence there of the deposed Nawab was a menace to 
himself, laid siege to the town. Muhammad appealed 
in desperation to his former friends, the English. Their 
own position was hardly less critical than his, but 
they resolved as a last expedient for retrieving their 
fortunes to make an effort to save him. The Governor 
of Madras, Mr. Saunders, was a man of courage and 
firmness, and he had at his right hand the brilliant 
young soldier, Eobert Clive. Desperate efforts were 
made to relieve Trichinopoly ; but in spite of all that 
the English could do the place seemed certain to fall; for 
Dupleix, who had quickly perceived the importance of its 
reduction, had come to Chanda Saheb's assistance with all 
the resources at his disposal. At this juncture Clive sug- 
gested to Saunders the daring plan of attacking Arcot, as 
a means of creating a diversion and forcing Chanda Saheb 


|! ii.iiliJlii<l:IJ!li 

i lllljll 

Jill iiii li 



to relinquish the siege of Trichinopoly. It seemed a forlorn 
hope, but in the desperate state of the English fortunes it 
appeared worth trying, and Saunders gave his consent to 
the enterprise. 

Clive occupies Arcot. In 1751, with a force composed 
of ^00 Europeans and 300 Sepoys, and with a few light guns, 
Clive set out on this perilous enterprise. Fortune favoured 
the expedition, for, when 

the little force reached 
Arcot, it found the place 
weakly defended. The 
garrison, completely taken 
by surprise, fled without 
offering any resistance. 
Thus Clive was able to 
enter the Nawab's capital 
without striking a blow. 
He proceeded while he 
had yet time, to put it 
into a state of defence, 
and, having done all that 
was possible, awaited with 
a stout heart the arrival of 
the forces which he knew 
Chanda Saheb would send 
in all haste from the south to recapture the city. 

Successful defence of Arcot. On receipt of the 
news of the occupation of his capital Chanda Saheb sent 
his son with a force of 10,000 men from Trichinopoly to re- 
cover it. Thus Clive, by carrying the war into the enemy's 
country, succeeded, as he had hoped, in drawing off a large 
body of the enemy from before the beleaguered town, and 
lightened considerably the labours of the defenders. But he 
was soon in sore straits; for his gallant little band, besides 
having to withstand day and night, behind crumbling de- 
fences, the attacks of an overwhelming host, had to endure 
in a few weeks the privations of hunger. Yet he never 
thought of surrender, and continued to turn a deaf ear to 
the threats and promises of the baffled besiegers. At last, 
after seven weeks of the most heroic defence, help came. 
Morari Eao, a Mahratta chief, struck with admiration at 
the courage and endurance of the garrison, came to their 

Lord Clive. 


assistance with 6000 men ; Saunders from Madras also sent 
what help he could. The son of the Nawab made one 
more desperate attempt to carry the place by assault, was 
repulsed with heavy loss, and then withdrew, leaving Clive 
in undisputed possession of the capital. 

Relief of Trichinopoly. The effect of this splendid 
feat of arms was magical. It infused fresh courage into the 
defenders of Trichinopoly and disheartened the besiegers. 
With as little delay as possible Clive marched his victorious 
army southward to the relief of the town. On the way he 
encountered a French force sent out to intercept him, and 
utterly routed it. Further on he was joined by Lawrence, 
an officer who had greatly distinguished himself in the first 
war with the French, with a small but well-equipped force 
from Madras. Advancing together without meeting opposi- 
tion they arrived in front of Trichinopoly and proceeded to 
surround the besiegers. Chanda Saheb and the French, 
cut off completely, now found the tables turned upon them. 
They were forced to relinquish the siege and retire to 
Si'irangam, a small island close to the fort of Trichinopoly; 
and being closely invested were compelled to surrender 
unconditionally on 13th of June, 1752. Two days before 
the surrender Chanda Saheb was murdered. 

Decline of French influence. The relief of Trichino- 
poly, and the capture of the besieging force together with its 
guns and stores was a heavy blow to the French. Their posi- 
tion was now hardly less hopeless than that of the English 
the year before. But Dupleix did not cease to struggle. 
Bussy, who might have helped him, was at the court of the 
Nizam, and took no part at this time in the affairs of the 
Carnatic. He did, however, manage to arrange that the 
Nizam should nominate Dupleix Nawab of the Carnatic in 
place of Chanda Saheb ; but this did not help much, for all 
real power was exercised by Muhammad Ali, who had been 
restored to power. Clive meanwhile continued his victorious 
career, and the prestige of the French declined as that of 
the English rose. 

Fall of Dupleix. At last, in 1754, the French govern- 
ment, which had for some time been losing confidence in 
Dupleix, was prevailed upon to recall him. Thus ended 
the career of the restless and ambitious Dupleix. Had he 


been properly supported he might perhaps have realised his 
dream of founding a French empire in India. Instead, he was 
hampered continuously in all his schemes by the niggardly 
and short-sighted policy of the home government, and the 
selfishness, jealousy, and unpatriotic conduct of his country- 
men in India. He returned to France a ruined man, and 
was left by his ungrateful country to die in abject poverty. 

Arrival of Lally. -After his recall peace was made 
between the English and the French; the title of Muhammad 
Ali was recognised by the French, and the schemes of 
Dupleix were definitely abandoned. But hostilities breaking 
out again between the English and the French in Europe, 
the war in India was soon resumed. In 1758 Count Lally 
arrived from France to take command of the French forces 
in India. Clive was at the time absent in Bengal. Lally, in 
spite of the half-hearted support he received from jealous 
brother officers, was at first successful. He captured Fort 
St. David, and then, being joined by Bussy, he laid siege to 
Madras. But he was so badly served that from the first he 
had no chance of capturing the town ; and when an English 
fleet arrived in the harbour he relinquished the attempt, 
and retired an Pondicherry. Next year reinforcements 
from England arrived under General Sir Eyre Coote. 

Final overthrow of the French. Now began the 
last stage in the struggle between the two nations. The 
French attacked Wandewash, and Sir Eyre Coote hurried 
to its assistance. On January 22nd, 1760, a decisive battle 
was fought there, in which the French were completely 
routed and Bussy taken prisoner. This crushing defeat was 
fatal to the French cause, and the final issue of the war could 
no longer be doubted. Sir Eyre Coote in quick succession 
took one after another all the forts in the Carnatic belonging 
to the French. Finally, in 1 76 1, he captured Pondicherry and 
took Lally himself prisoner. This was the end of French 
ambitions in India, and in a few years the French East 
India Company was dissolved. Pondicherry was subsequently 
restored to them along with their other possessions which had 
also been seized ; but their power was completely broken and 
their prestige ruined. The English were left by the war in 
undisputed possession of the field, and the virtual control of 
affairs in Southern India passed finally into their hands. 


Afghans in the Punjab. While the struggle be- 
tween the French and the English was going on in Southern 
India, the Moghul Empire was continuing its downward 
course. Nadir Shah had been assassinated in 1747, and 
the succession to the Afghan portion of his dominions had 
passed to an Afghan chief, Ahmad Shah Abdali. Ahmad 
Shah was anxious to repeat his predecessor's triumphs in 
India. His first attempt in 1748 signally failed, and he 
was driven out of the Punjab after suffering heavy losses. 
A few years later he returned w^hile a struggle was occur- 
ring for the possession of the Delhi throne, and though he 
met with little success at first, he managed to gain a foot- 
hold in the Punjab, and before the end of the year had 
obtained the cession of Lahore and Multan. The Afghans 
now directly threatened Delhi, but they were not yet 
prepared to attack it. 

Continued decline of the Moghul Empire. 
During the next few years the process of decline continued, 
and one after another Bengal, Behar, Orissa, and the remain- 
ing portion of the Punjab, following the example of the other 
provinces, threw off the yoke of Delhi. Puppet emperors 
followed each other in quick succession, and reigned only so 
long as they were of use to the party w^hich supported them. 
One man however managed to maintain his influence at 
court through it all. This was the cruel and unscrupulous 
Ghazi-uddin, a descendant of the first Nizam of Hyderabad. 
Under his maladministration the empire fell into a state 
of anarchy such as even it had never known before, and the 
wretched people cried out in vain against every form of 
oppression and injustice. The Sikhs, however, profited by 
the general state of disorder and gained many converts 
during this period ; for with their military organisation, 
which was being steadily developed, they were able to 
afford some measure of protection to their adherents. 

Ahmad Shah sacks Delhi. The Afghans had mean- 
while been steadily increasing their hold upon the Punjab 
and growing more formidable. The administration of the 
conquered territory was about as bad as it could be, and 
they were exceedingly cruel in their treatment of the 
subject people ; but they were so strong that resistance 
would have been hopeless. In 1756 the Afghan governor 
died, and the whole Punjab was thrown into confusion. 


Ghazi-uddin, taking no account of Ahmad Shah Abdali, 
decided that the time had arrived for recovering the 
province for the Delhi Empire. Marching an army into 
the Punjab, he took possession of the government and 
appointed his own nominee governor. Ahmad Shah was 
furious when he heard what had happened, and at once 
descended upon India. Delhi itself was the objective 
this time ; and after overcoming a futile attempt at resist- 
ance, he entered the capital in September, 1756. Sack and 
slaughter followed as the necessary consequence, and the 
streets were soon filled with corpses. Ahmad Shah, bent 
on plunder, then sacked Muttra and massacred many 
defenceless Hindus, but a pestilence breaking out among 
his troops he thought it advisable to retire as quickly as- 
possible to his own country. 

The Mahrattas in Northern India. After Ahmad 
Shah Abdali's departure, Ghazi-uddin again assumed the 
reins of government, and recommenced his acts of oppression 
and violence. At last his conduct made for him so many 
enemies that he began to fear for his own safety. He 
thereupon, with the basest treachery, called in the Mahrattas 
to his assistance. In response to his appeal E-aghoba, the 
brother of the Peshwa, Balaji Baji Eao, entered Delhi at 
the head of a large army, ancf the enemies of Ghazi-uddin 
fled. The Mahrattas were now supreme at Delhi, and 
Raghoba, puffed up with his success, talked of founding 
once more a Hindu empire. Unmindful of what dire 
consequences had followed the provoking of Ahmad Shah 
Abdali's wrath in 1756, he rashly determined to drive the 
Afghans out of India.- Leading an expedition unexpectedly 
into the Punjab, he quickly achieved his object, and then, 
having set up a Mahratta governor of the province, he 
returned in triumph to Delhi. When Ahmad Shah Abdali 
heard what had occurred, he was beside himself with rage 
and swore to wreak full vengeance on the insolent 
Mahrattas. Re-entering India in 1759 at the head of a 
magnificent army, he encountered the Mahrattas under 
Holkar and Sindhia, and, driving them before him, retook 
the Punjab and advanced on Delhi. 

Bold bid for empire. By their talk of a new Hindu 
empire, the Mahrattas had alarmed the Musalmans of 

H.I.H.S. N 


Northern India. The Eohilla chief and the Nawab or 
Oudh, though they feared and hated the Afghans, yet recog- 
nised that without them there was no hope of stemming 
the rising tide of Hinduism, and they therefore decided to 
throw in their lot with them. The Mahrattas had now to 
face a most formidable combination ; but they could not 
for their credit withdraw. They perceiA^ed that a crisis 
was at hand which would decide whether the Musalman 
supremacy in Northern India was to continue, or whether 
the Hindus should at last throw off the hated yoke and 
recover their ancient liberty ; and they therefore made 
frantic preparations to meet it. No time was to be lost, 
and during the next few months reinforcements were 
arriving daily from the south as fast as they could be sent. 
Sadasheo Rao, known as the " Bhao," the Peshwa's nephew, 
and Viswas Rao, the Peshwa's son, Holkar, Sindhia, Gaek- 
war, and every Mahratta chief of note, with all the forces 
they could collect, were soon upon the scene. 

The battle of Panipat. The Mahratta army is said 
to have amounted to upwards of 270,000, including horse 
and foot ; the Muhammedan, to less than 90,000. The two 
hosts confronted one another on the field of Panipat, that 
ancient battleground on which the fate of Hindustan has 
so often been decided. From October 28th, 1760, to 
January 6th, 1761, neither side was willing to risk a 
general engagement. The delay, however, was all in 
favour of the Muhammedans, for the Abdali had collected 
abundance of provisions, while the Mahrattas had to supply 
themselves by plundering the country round. At last, on 
January 7th, Sadasheo Rao, who was in supreme command, 
believing -that further delay would be fatal, as his army 
was already suffering great privations, ordered a general 
attack. The Mahrattas advanced with great gallantry, and 
at first it looked as if they would overwhelm the en^my ; 
but the hardy Afghans, though forced back by the sheer 
weight of numbers, did not break, and after a time the 
Mahrattas began obviously to tire and their attack to fail. 
Holkar at this crisis deserted, and Sindhia soon after fled. 
The exhausted Mahrattas were now in their turn forced 
back, and the retirement soon became a rout. Viswas 
Rao was killed, and Sadasheo, in endeavouring to rally his 



men, was borne down by the enemy and never seen again. 
Many other noted chiefs fell, one after another, till at last 
the Mahratta army, deprived of its leaders, degenerated 
into a jumbled mass of terrified fugitives. The victorious 
Afghans, getting in amongst them, slaughtered them by 
thousands. All captives taken were, with characteristic 
inhumanity, beheaded the next morning. 

Thus ended the last battle of Panipat, and with it vanished 
forever the Mahratta dreams of empire. The news of the 
disaster is said to have killed the Peshwa. The whole of 
Maharashtra was plunged into mourning, for there was 
scarcely a household that had not to grieve for the loss of 
a son or father. 

Siraj -ud-Da^vla. We must now turn to aifairs in 
engal during these eventful years. In 1756 Ali Vardi 
Khan, the Nawab of Bengal, who had spent so many years 
of his life in resisting the encroachments of the Mahrattas, 
died at his capital of Murshidabad. In his will he 
nominated as his successor his grandson, Siraj -ud- Do wla. 
His choice could hardly have fallen upon a worse repre- 
sentative of his house. The new ruler, who was now 
about twenty-five years of age, had been a spoilt child, and 
had been allowed to grow up in complete ignorance of his 
duties. He was, moreover, self-indulgent, tyrannical, of a 
violent temper, cruel and revengeful. His accession was 
therefore regarded with consternation by his subjects. 

Quarrels with the English. Ali Vardi Khan, though 
making frequent demands' for money from the English 
settlers in Bengal, as the price of his protection from 
Mahratta raiders, had on the whole treated them fairly 
and justly. But Siraj >ud-Dowla, being devoid of any sense 
of honour, no sooner came into his title than he began to 
scheme how he might plunder them of the vast wealth 
which he believed them to possess. He therefore took the 
earliest opportunity to quarrel with them, and, because they 
would not comply with a dishonourable demand, plundered 
their factory at Kassimbazar, and marched with a large 
army upon Calcutta. 

Captures Calcutta. The fort at Calcutta during the 
days of Ali Vardi Khan had been allowed to fall into 
disrepair, and was in fact quite indefensible. The garrison 


contained about sixty ill trained European soldiers, and a 
small body of militia, drawn from the company's servants 
and the Portuguese and Armenians employed about the 
place. The bombardment commenced on the 18th June, 
and by night time most of the defences had been demolished. 
Seeing the hopelessness of the position, the Governor and as 
many as could get awayj'n the few available boats, lying in 
the Hoogly under the fort, made their escape to a station 
called Fulta, further down the river. One hundred and 
forty-six persons were left behind, amongst whom was 
Holwell, a junior member of the council at Calcutta. 
Further resistance was out of the question, and the next 
morning they were obliged to capitulate. The Nawab's 
troops at once marched in, took possession of the place, and 
made prisoners of all whom they found there. Holwell, 
who was sent for by the Nawab, received an assurance that 
no harm should happen to them ; and to the Nawab's 
credit it must be said that the tragedy which followed was 
not due to his orders. 

The Black Hole of Calcutta. When darkness 
came on the whole 146 wretched prisoners were driven by 
their guards, with threats of instant death if they did not 
comply, into a small dungeon, memorable for all time as 
the Black Hole of Calcutta. It was a military prison cell, 
not more than 18 feet square, and had only two small 
apertures for light and air high above the ground. What 
followed is soon told. It was the hottest season of the 
year, and as the buildings round about had been fired by the 
plundering soldiery of the Nawab, the heat was insufferable. 
The agonies endured by those wretched captives squeezed 
together in that tiny, ill-ventilated chamber, crying to their 
inhuman guards* in vain for release, are indescribable. 
When the door was opened in the morning only twenty- 
three, among whom was Holwell, were found to have 
survived that awful night. 

Recovery of the English settlements by Clive. 
The news of the tragedy was received in Madras with a 
thrill of horror, followed by a burning desire for vengeance 
on the perpetrators of this horrid crime. At the time 
there was fortunately a respite from the war with the 
French in the Carnatic. Clive, who was then Governor of 


Fort St. David, was naturally chosen as the leader of the 
avenging army that was quickly got together. With him 
went a squadron of the Royal Kavy under the command of 
Admiral Watson. The force which reached Calcutta in 
December, seemed absurdly small for the task it had before 
it. In all, it consisted of only 900 Europeans and 1500 
Sepoys; bub its ranks were filled with veterans who had 
followed Olive in his victorious career, and had unbounded 
confidence in his generalship. Immediately on its arrival 
the little army stormed and captured Budge-budge, one of 
the Company's settlements which had been occupied by 
the enemy. On this occasion Warren Hastings, destined 
to share with Olive the credit of establishing the British 
Empire in India, fought in the ranks as a volunteer. 
Calcutta and Hoogly were recovered soon after without 
much difficulty, and the Nawab's troops, beaten and dispirited, 
were everywhere driven back. Siraj-ud-Dowla, thoroughly 
alarmed, opened negotiations, and on his promising full 
compensation for the damage done and to respect the 
privileges granted to English traders, peace was concluded. 

Chandernagore captured. Shortly after, war between 
France and England once more broke out in Europe. Olive 
and Watson, following the example which Dnpleix had set 
in Southern India during the former war, declared war on 
the French in Bengal, and in spite of the Nawab's threats 
and remonstrances laid siege to their settlement of Chan- 
dernagore and captured it. 

Plot against the Nawab. The Nawab was the 
more annoyed because he was at the time intriguing with 
the French to turn the English out of Bengal. While 
pretending to conciliate the English, he was actually writing 
letters to the veteran Bussy, then at Cuttack, imploring his 
assistance against them. He was half crazy with fear, 
hatred, and disappointment, and like the spoilt child that 
he was, had not the sense to refrain from venting his spite 
and ill-humour on those about him. Such behaviour dis- 
gusted both Hindus and Muhammadans, and a plot was 
soon formed by certain of his wealthy nobles to dethrone 
him. Chief of these was Mir Jafar the commander of the 
Nawab's forces. The conspirators opened secret negotia- 
tions with Olive through Umichand, a wealthy merchant 


of Calcutta, and promised that if the English would 
help them to dethrone the Nawab, in return for their 
assistance they should bd granted certain valuable privileges 
which it was known they were anxious to obtain. 

War declared. Clive readily fell in with the scheme, 
but the plans so carefully laid were nearly wrecked, for 
Omichand subsequently threatened to disclose the whole 
plot to the Nawab unless he were given a large sum 
of money to maintain silence. The manner in which 
Omichand was tricked into keeping the secret and after- 
wards disappointed of the promised reward was extremely 
ingenious, but cannot be regarded otherwise than as a blot 
upon the memory of Clive, who consented to employ the 
device. Secrecy being assured, Clive, in order to force 
the Nawab to disclose his intentions towards the English, 
demanded immediate satisfaction of all outstanding claims, 
threatening hostilities if he did not comply. Siraj-ud-Dowla, 
perceiving that further concealment of his designs was im- 
possible, at once put in motion the large army he had been 
getting ready to attack the English. With 35,000 infantrj-, 
15,000 cavalry, a large train of artillery, and a small body 
of French gunners, he took up his position on the field of 
Plassey close to Murshidabad, and awaited the attack of the 
English. To oppose this vast army Clive had with him no 
more than 900 Europeans, 2100 Sepoys, and ten guns. 

The battle of Plassey. The situation was extremely 
critical, and Clive called a council of war to consider it. 
Of the 21 officers assembled only seven voted for attacking 
the Nawab, but among this minority were Clive and Coote. 
However since from the situation of the two armies to with- 
draw was well-nigh impossible, Clive determined to use his 
own judgment and attack. He accordingly ordered a general 
assault on June 17th, 1757. The French gunners, who 
were immediately in front of the English, opened fire, and 
with such effect that within half an hour the English were 
forced to retire for shelter. Had the Nawab's troops there- 
upon advanced they could easily have overwhelmed the 
small and dispirited force opposed to them ; but they 
contented themselves with discharging their artillery at 
long range. It was the rainy season of the year, and in the 
midst of the cannonade a heavy shower occurred which lasted 


for an hour. The Nawab's gunners kept pounding away 
through it till their powder, which they had omitted to 
protect, was rendered damp and useless. Meanwhile the 
English had carefully covered their ammunition, and had 
not attempted to reply during the rain to the enemy's 
fire. The Nawab, believing that the English guns had 
been silenced like his own by the rain, and that his enemy 
was now at his mercy, ordered his numerous cavalry to 
charge into their midst. This was the turning point of the 
battle ; for the English, reserving their fire till the cavalry 
was almost upon them, suddenly discharged their guns 
with such terrific effect that those who were not knocked 
over fled wildly back upon the main army. 

Mir Jafar and the conspirators, who had been watching the 
fight in some trepidation, and were waiting for the turn of 
events before deciding whether to fulfil their treacherous part 
or not, now hastened to the Nawab, and in feigned anxiety 
for his safety, begged him to fly while there was yet time 
for escape. The Nawab, believing his life in danger, with- 
out stopping to enquire, listened to the advice of these false 
friends, and fled in terror precipitately from the field. The 
news of his flight caused 'a panic in his army, and Clive, 
observing the signs of confusion, advanced once more to the 
attack. The gallant little band of Frenchmen alone made 
any resistance, and by five in the afternoon the Nawab's 
troops were in full flight, leaving everything behind them. 

Result of the battle. This victory, which decided 
the fate of Bengal, and is reckoned the starting-point of the 
British Empire in India, cost the English a loss of only 22 
killed and 50 wounded. Mir Jafar, despite his vacillation, 
was made Nawab of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa in place of 
the deposed Siraj-ud Dowla. The latter, who was soon 
after seized, was put to death by Mir Jafar's son. The 
new Nawab did his best to recompense the English for their 
losses due to the sack of Calcutta, and indeed was nearly 
ruined in his attempts to meet their extortionate demands. 
Almost his first act on his accession was to grant to the 
Company the zemindari, or landlord's rights, over a tract of 
country round Calcutta"' of some 880 square miles in extent. 

Clive's first governorship, 1757-1760. For the signal 
service which he had performed Clive was made governor of 


the Company's settlements in Bengal : but as Mir Jafar was 
little more than a puppet in his hands, he might almost be 
said to have become the ruler of the whole province. 

For'de drives the French out of the Northern 
Circars. Clive was not long allowed to enjoy his 
governorship in peace. The French were still in possession 
of the territory along the coast between Madras and Orissa 
known as the Northern Circars, and were found to be carry- 
ing on intrigues with the Nizam as well as with other native 
chiefs, whereby the security of the English in Bengal was 
threatened. Clive felt that there could be no lasting 
peace so long as they were allowed to occupy this strip of 
territory. He therefore despatched in 1758 a force under 
Colonel Forde to drive them out of the Northern Circars. 
The campaign was a brilliant one, and was entirely success- 
ful. The French were everywhere defeated, and finally 
Masulipatam, where they had strongly fortified themselves, 
was stormed and captured. 

The Shahzada invades Bengal. The same year the 
Shahzada, the eldest son of the Moghul Emperor, escaped 
A. from Delhi, where his father was a virtual prisoner in the 
^1 hands of Ghazi-uddi n, assumed the Imperial title, and 

advancing on Bengal laid claim to it as part of his empire. 
jHe was supported by the Nawab Vizier of Oudh, and the 
\\^ two together invested Patna, and overran the province 
\!^ of Behar. Mir Jafar was terror-stricken, and began to 
^^fi^ i waver in his allegiance to the English ; but he was soon 
^^ reassured, for Clive himself marched promptly at the head 
V^Jr- C)f a force to the relief of Patna, dispersed the Moghuls, 
I (^tr and forced the Shahzada to evacuate Behar. 

Defeat of the Dutch. Mir Jafar was by this time 
thoroughly tired of his powerful English friends, whom he 
saw gradually usurping all real authority, so he entered 
into an intrigue with the Dutch settlers at Chinsurah for a 
combined 'attack upon them. Though the Dutch had small 
hold upon the Indian peninsula, he knew that they had 
many valuable possessions in the East Indies, notably 
Batavia in Java, and that they were a power on the high 
seas with which even the English did not wish to come in 
conflict. In an evil hour for themselves the Dutch, though 
Holland was at peace with England, listened to his pro- 



posals and wrote to Batavia for reinforcements. Clive, 
however, gained intelligence o*f the intrigue before help 
could arrive, and at once attacked them by land and sea, 
utterly defeated them, took Chin surah and forced them to 
agree to humiliating terms of peace. 

State of India in 1760. Having thus secured Bengal 
on all sides against attack, Clive resigned his governor- 
ship and set sail for England in 1760. The comparatively 
few years which he had spent in India had witnessed the 
most momentous changes. The Moghul Empire had sunk 
to insignificance ; the Mahrattas, by rashly provoking the 
Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali, had suffered a crushing defeat 
which had well nigh destroyed their power; the final blow 
to French hopes of supremacy had been struck by Eyre 
.Coote at Wandewash ; and the English, by the victory of 
Plassey, had laid the foundations of their Indian Empire. 

Misgovernment at Calcutta. The outlook on 
Clive's departure was full of promise for his countrymen, 
and they seemed at last to have emerged safely from the 
long period of stress and struggle into a time of peace and 
prosperity. All that was needed was a firm and statesman- 
like policy to secure to them what they had so quickly won 
by the genius of Clive and the skill of Coote. But 
Yansittart, who succeeded Clive, was a man of a very 
different stamp, irresolute and short-sighted, and upon his 
Council there was no one fit to advise him ; for Warren 
Hastings, who might well have done so, was away at Mur- 
shidabad looking after the Company's interests there. The 
English officials, instead of devoting themselves, to the 
Company's interests, were bent on amassing private fortunes 
by trading on their own account, and bribes were accepted 
and even extorted by men in high places. 

Mir J afar deposed. The feeble Mir Jafar had by 
this time, through the exactions of the English and his own 
incompetence, become hopelessly involved in debt. The 
Calcutta Council, unjustly regarding him as the sole cause 
of his own misfortunes, and ignoring the part which the 
Company's servants had played in bringing about his ruin, 
resolved on his deposition in favour of his son-in law, Mir 
Kasim. Mir Jafar was accordingly made to resign and sent 
to Calcutta, and Mir Kasim was installed in his place. 


Quarrel with Mir Kasim. This transaction was as 
great a mistake as it was a piece of injustice ; for in place of a 
puppet, the English had to deal with a man of energy and 
ability who was even less likely to put up with their high- 
handed procedure than his predecessor. A quarrel soon 
arose between them and the Nawab regarding exemptions 
from transit duties on goods carried across his dominions. 
The Nawab would not give way, and the dispute led to an 
open rupture. When war was declared the Nawab seized 
Mr. Ellis, the resident of Patna, together with all the 
English in his dominions whom he could lay hands on. 
The Company retaliated by proclaiming the aged and 
deposed Mir Jafar Nawab once more and sending a force 
against Mir Kasim. Monghyr, which Mir Kasim had 
made his capital, was, after a stubborn contest, taken from 
him, and the English then advanced upon Patna to the 
release of their countrymen. 

The massacre of Patna. This was in 1763, and the 
year is memorable for a tragedy even more horrible, since 
it was more deliberate, than that of the Black Hole. For 
Mir Kasim, wild with rage and disappointment, ordered 
the massacre of his helpless prisoners. A file of soldiers 
under the command, it is said, of a German in the Nawab's 
employ, going to the house in which the captives were 
confined, pointed their guns at them through the windows 
and shot them do\Yn in cold blood. In the massacre of 
Patna, as this foul deed is called, 148 persons, including 
Mr. Ellis himself, perished. Patna was taken, but the 
bloody Nawab escaped to the protection of the Nawab 
Vizier of Oudh. 

The battle of Buxar. The Shahzada, noAv the 

Emperor Shah Alam II., had been residing at the Nawab 

^ Vizier's Court ever since his defeat by the English in 

4 J^ehar ; for while the Afghans were at Delhi he could not 

/^ ^ return to his capital. He had not 3"et abandoned hope of 

recoverino' Ben^-al, so that when Mir Kasim fled to Oudh 

he eagerly espoused his cause and petsuaded Shuja-ud- 

doula, the Nawab Vizier, to do the same. The two 

together marched with a large army into Bengal, but their 

advance upon Patna was checked, and they retired to 

Buxar. It was fortunate for the English that they did; 


for a Sepoy mutiny just then broke out in the Company's 
army. The "situation was critical, but Major Munro, who 
was in command, was a man of decision. On the first 
sign of rebellion he ordered twenty-four of the ringleaders 
to be blown from guns. This promptness and severity 
quelled at once what might have grown to be a formidable 
mutiny. As soon as order was restored, Munro, in October, 
1764, marched out against the enemy, who with an army 
of 50,000 men were still at Buxar, waiting for his attack. 
In the battle which ensued the allies were utterly routed, 
and 160 guns were taken from them. The victory was not 
less decisive than that of Plassey. The Nawab Vizier of 
Oudh, who had looked upon himself as the arbiter of 
Northern India, was forced to beat an ignominious retreat. 

English supremacy acknowledged in Northern 
India. English supremacy in Northern India was now an 
admitted fact, and Shah Alam II., the Moghul Emperor, 
came as a suppliant for terms to the English camp. The 
Nawab Vizier of Oudh retreated westward, and was joined 
by Holkar and his Mahrattas. But he could make no 
stand, and when Allahabad had been taken from him and 
his army finally scattered at Kalpi, he was forced to beg for 
peace on any terms that his conquerors would grant. The -,j ^ 
greater part of the United Provinces _werenow as much '^'^yf-^ 
at the disposal of the English as BengaT ABout the same' U^ 
time Mir Jafar died, greatly harassed by debt and worried 
by the shameless and extortionate demands of his English 
masters. An illegitimate son of his. who had heavily bribed 
the corrupt members of the Calcutta Council, was by them 
declared his successor. 

Clive's second Governorship, 1765 1767. At this 
juncture Clive, now Lord Clive, having been raised to the 
peerage for his services, returned to Calcutta as Governor 
of Bengal for the second time. The Directors of the Com- 
pany in London were thoroughly alarmed, as well they 
might be, at the conduct of their servants, and it was in 
response to their urgent appeal that Clive had consented to 
go out to India. He had only agreed on the understanding 
that his powers should be increased ; for he intended to 
take strong measures to put down the illicit trade which 
the Company's servants were privately carrying on, to the 


damage of the Company's interests and the corruption of its 

The dual system in Bengal. Immediately on his 
arrival he found himself called upon to settle the momentous 
questions which had arisen in connection with the late war. 
It was work which he dared not entrust to any of his 
Council, so he went himself to Allahabad and negotiated 
the terms of peace with the defeated princes. The Nawab 
Vizier was restored to his kingdom on his promising to pay 
five cro^^ s^ of rupees and become an ally of the English. 
The Emperor Shah Alam was given the tract of country 
comprised by Allahabad and Kora, in the Doab between 
the Ganges and the Jumna, on condition of his granting to 
the Company the Diwani or fiscal administration of Bengal, 
Behar and Orissa, and full possession of the Northern 
Circars. In return for this concession, and in acknowledg- 
ment of his title, he was to receive a yearly tribute from 
the Company of 25 lacs of rupees ; while the Nawab of 
Bengal, as his deputy, was to be allowed to retain the 
executive and judicial government, and was to receive 50 
lacs a year for his maintenance from the Company. There 
was thus a dual system of administration in Bengal, the 
)any collecting and controlling the revenues and main- 
taining a standing army, and the Nawab administering 
Tcriminal justice and maintaining the police. By this 
arrangement, which was concluded, August 12th, 1765, 
the Company was advanced from a mere trading corpora- 
tion to the greatest territorial power in India. 

Clive's reforms. Clive bad now leisure to carry out 
the reforms in the Company's administration which he 
had been expressly sent out to effect. His first measure 
was to forbid the receipt of presents by civil and military 
officers. The custom was one of long-standing, and was 
a fruitful source of corruption. His next measure was to 
reduce the extravagant allowances given to the army when 
on active service. Subsistence money, or hatta as it Avas 
called, had been granted at so preposterously high a rate 
that the expenses of a campaign had on that account alone 
become ruinously great. Something like a mutiny occurred 
among the officers when they heard of the proposed curtail- 
ment of their allowances. But Clive was firm and would 


not yield, though there were at the time grave fears of an 
incursion of the Mahrattas; and the officers, seeing the 
usclessness of resistance, soon submitted. His third reform 
raised a veritable storm of indignation among both military 
and civil officers. He absolutely forbade the Company's 
servants to trade on their own account. 

Their effect. In justice to the Company's servants, 
who one and all had been in the habit of making money 
by this means, it should be said that their salaries were 
wretchedly low, and that one of the chief inducements to 
accept the Company's service was the unquestioned privilege 
of engaging privately in trade. What made it harder was 
that the very man who was now introducing these reforms 
had himself amassed an immense private fortune by such 
means, and was known in times past to have accepted large 
sums of money from native potentates. But Clive was 
nevertheless right, and the reforms he introduced were 
necessary to secure the good name of the Company and 
insure the integrity of its servants. To compensate them 
for their loss, he set about devising means for increasing the 
pay of the Company's servants, both civil and military ; 
and to his credit it may be said that he suffered himself as 
much as any one by his reforms, so that he left India after 
his second governorship a poorer man than when he had 
returned to it. 

Clive leaves India. After carrying out these reforms 
Clive finally retired from the Company's service in the 
year 1767. He was the real founder of the British Empire 
in India; for he had not only won it by his brilliant 
achievements on the field of battle, but had secured it to 
his country by his wise and statesmanlike conduct of afiairs. 
In the words of the famous resolution passed by the House 
of Commons in the year 1773, when his enemies tried in 
vain to obtain his impeachment for maladministration and 
corruption, " he rendered great and meritorious services to 
his country." His name is now justly inscribed among 
those of the greatest statesmen and generals that England 
has produced. 

Growth of Sikh power. Though the genius of Clive 
had converted the Company's possessions in India into an 
empire, and had made the English the arbiters of Northern 


India, yet there were powerful and independent states in 
the peninsular which were quite equal to holding their own 
against the English, and which in combination would have 
been more than a match for them. The Sikhs in the 
Punjab, when that province was finally wrested from the 
Delhi Empire by Amad Shah Abdali, had little cause to 
rejoice ; for the Afghans were more fanatical and cruel 
than the Moghuls and their administration exceedingly 
corrupt. But the Sikhs never ceased to struggle, and for 
purposes of mutual protection organised themselves into 
small bands, or Mids. The Misls frequently fought with one 
another ; but they were capable of combining against a 
common enemy, and in 1 763 attacked and captured Sirhind. 
They signalised their victory, according to their usual custom, 
by perpetrating the most horrible barbarities upon its Musul- 
man inhabitants. Ahmad Shah more than once returned 
to the Punjab to punish them, but he never quite succeeded 
in subduing them. After his death they speedily revived, 
drove the Afghans out of the country and took possession 
of it. By the time of Olive's second governorship they 
had developed into a formidable power, capable of holding 
their own against all comers. But as yet the Company's 
interests did not extend so far north, and there was little 
or no danger of a conflict between the two. 

Rise of nevj kingdoms. The Mahrattas, since their 
defeat at Panipat, no longer exercised the same influence in 
the north, but they were still supreme in Central and 
Western India. At Poona the new Peshwa, Madho Rao, 
was only a boy ; and his uncle, Raghunath Rao, better 
known as Raghaba, was acting as regent. The latter was 
a restless man of a rash and scheming nature, and so long 
as he remained in power there could be no security for 
peace in Southern India. The Gaekwar of Baroda, the 
Bhonsla ruler of Berar Sindhia, and Holkar were now quite 
independent of control from Poona, and had developed into 
powerful monarchs. The Nizam of Hyderabad still ruled 
over a wealthy and extensive kingdom, and in recognition of 
his claim of suzerainty over the Carnatic had compelled the 
Madras Government in 1766 to sign a treaty acknowledging 
his authority, granting him a yearly tribute, and making an 
offensive and defensive alliance with him. While further to 


the south a powerful and aggressive ruler had lately ap- 
peared in the person of Haidar Ali, Sultan of Mysore. 

Haidar Ali. This extraordinary man had started his 
career as a soldier in the service of the Hindu Raja of the 
state, had risen to be commander-in-chief of his army, and in 
1761 had deposed his master and proclaimed himself Sultan 
of Mysore. Haidar Ali was as able and ambitious as he was 
cunning and unscrupulous. At the expense of his feebler 
neighbours he soon extended his territories in every direc- 
tion, and, with the wealth which he accumulated by plunder, 
raised and equipped a powerful army. Although on one 
occasion signally defeated by the Mahrattas, whose hostility 
he had rashly provoked, he continued steadily to grow 
stronger and to enlarge the boundaries of his kingdom. 

The first Mysore War, 1766-1769. In the year 1766 
he invaded Malabar and captured Calicut. This last 
achievement alarmed the Nizam and the Mahrattas, and 
made them fear for the safety of their own dominions. They 
therefore formed a confederacy against him and invaded his 
territory. The Madras Government, by reason of its recent 
treaty with the Nizam, was forced, much against its will, 
to take part in the war. Haidar was now in great straits, 
and, realising that he had no chance against so formidable 
a combination, he entered into secret negotiations with the 
Mahrattas, and bribed them to retire. He then made over- 
tures to the Nizam, and, surprising as it may seem, not only 
succeeded in detaching him from his alliance with the 
English, but persuaded him to join him in an attack upon 
them. The Madras Government, which had been forced to 
take part in the war, now found itself not only deserted by 
its allies, but attacked by one of them in conjunction with 
Haidar. But Colonel Smith, who commanded its contingent, 
was a brilliant soldier, and, though his force was immensely 
outnumbered by the enemy both in guns and men, he gained 
two signal victories over them and captured the greater 
portion of their artillery. A force, which had meanwhile 
been despatched from Bengal to aid the Madras Govern- 
ment, had entered Hyderabad territory, and another sent 
from Bombay had invaded Mysore from the west and 
captured Mangalore. The treacherous Nizam thereupon 
dissolved his alliance with Haidar and sued for peace. 


Haidar dictates terms of peace. The Council at 
Madras was at this time as feeble as it was corrupt. All 
the malpractices which Clive had sought to put down in 
Bengal flourished unchecked among -the Company's ser- 
vants in the Carnatic. They were so intent upon money 
making that they seemed to have no time to think of 
anything else. In spite of the successful state of the 
war and the humiliation of the Nizam, the Madras 
Government treated with him as if he had been a victor, 
acknowledged his authority in the Carnatic, and, what was 
still worse, entered again into an offensive and defensive 
alliance with him. Disaster shortly after this befell the 
Bombay contingent, which, after suffering heavy loss, was 
forced to retreat. But Colonel Smith continued his vic- 
torious career, and drove back the enemy towards the 
capital, Seringapatam, capturing the principal forts as he 
advanced. Haidar now asked for peace on terms which 
the Madras Government might with credit have granted; 
but, as if bent upon accomplishing its own undoing, it 
declined, and about the same time superseded Colonel 
Smith, its only capable commander. Reverses followed as 
a natural consequeoce, and Haidar, assuming the offensive, 
quickly recovered all he had lost. Smith was once more 
restored to the command, and did his best to check Haidar; 
but it was too late, and the Sultan, with a body of 6000 
cavalry, slipping round the force opposed to him made a 
dash for Madras. His unexpected appearance Avithin a few 
miles of the town struck terror into the hearts of its inhabi- 
tants. The place was almost denuded of troops, and was in 
no condition to withstand a determined assault. It was 
now Haidar's turn to dictate terms. The Madras Govern- 
ment was forced to consent to a mutual restitution of con- 
quests, and, notwithstanding its agreement with the Nizam, 
to enter into a defensive alliance with Haidar. Thus did 
the war, which, but for the folly of the Madras Government, 
might have ended with such credit a year before, terminate 
in defeat and disgrace. 

Haidar defeated by the Mahrattas. Haidar was 
so elated by his success that he determined to try con- 
clusions with the Mahrattas. But in 1772 he met with 
such an overwhelming defeat at their hands that he was 


forced to retreat precipitately to his capital, where he was 
soon besieged by them. In these straits he called upon the 
Madras Government to assist him in accordance with the 
treaty between them ; but this it declined to do, as it had 
not consented to nor taken part in his attack upon the 
Mahrattas. He was forced therefore to come to terms with 
the Mahrattas, and only got rid of them by making a 
payment of thirty-six lakhs of rupees, a cession of territory, 
and a promise of an annual tribute of fourteen lakhs. 
Haidar never forgave the English for what he considered 
their base repudiation of the treaty. 

The Mahrattas supreme at Delhi. The victory 
over Haidar greatly increased the prestige of the Mahrattas, 
besides supplying them with much-needed funds. They 
now felt themselves strong enough to renew their raids on 
Northern India, which had ceased since their disastrous 
defeat at Panipat. They had little to fear from the three 
British Presidencies. Madras was humbled by its dis- 
astrous campaign with Haidar ; Bombay was too weak and 
too near Poona to dare to interfere with their schemes ; ^nd 
Bengal was too far away to be affected thereby. In 1769 
they crossed the Chambal and invaded Rajputana. The 
Rajput princes were overawed and forced to pay a heavy 
tribute, and from the Jats a sum of sixty-five lakhs of 
rupees was exacted. Then, while Sindhia occupied Delhi, 
another army ravaged Rohilkhand. The Nawab Vizier of 
Oudh, alarmed for the safety of his own dominions, entered 
into friendly relations with them, and Shah Alam II., who 
had been living at Allahabad since the battle of Buxar, 
leaving British protection, returned to Delhi and placed 
himself in Sindhia's hands. Their triumph was complete, 
and all that was left of the dominions of the Great Moghul 
was virtually theirs. It suited their purpose, however, to 
preserve for the present the semblance of the Moghul 
Empire, so they formally placed Shah Alam II. on the 
throne of Delhi in 1771, but exacted characteristically a 
crore of rupees from him for the service. 

Hastings made Governor of Bengal, 1772-1774. 

At this juncture Warren Hastings was appointed Governor 

of Bengal. He had shown such conspicuous ability as 

Resident of Murshidabad, and later as a member of 

n.i.H.s. o 


Council at Calcutta, that the choice of the Directors 
naturally fell upon him. He took over charge on the 
13th April, 1772; and never did a Governor succeed to a 
more plentiful crop of troubles. The dual government 

which Clive had estab- 
lished seven years before 
had proved a complete 
failure^, and after his de- 
parture all the old forms 
of corruption had cr^pt 
in as^ain. The Nawab's 
government was too weak 
to perform its share of 
the work, so that crime 
went unpunished and in- 
justice prevailed ; the 
English officials, neglect- 
ful of their duties, were 
amassing private fortunes 
by trade monopolies at 
the expense of the Com- 
pany ; and the Company's 
native revenue collectors, while practising the most shameful 
extortions upon the people, defrauded the Company of its 
revenues. The treasury was almost empty, heav}^ debts had 
been incurred, and the >vhole administration was in disorder. 
In fact, under the dual system, with its divided responsibili- 
ties, there was not, nor could there be, any proper government. 
To add to the general confusion, a famine of unprecedented 
severity, followed by a terrible outbreak of epidemic diseases, 
had swept away in 1770 a third of the inhabitants of Bengal, 
and almost ruined the agricultural classes. 

His instructions from the directors. The Direc- 
tors at home were thoroughly alarmed at last at the state 
of affairs, and rightly attributing much of the decrease in 
the Company's revenues to the malpractices of their servants 
in India, were determined to put a stop to misgovernment 
at all costs. Hastings received strict injunctions to make 
a minute enquiry into cases of alleged misconduct, to 
punish offenders severely, and to reform the revenue 
system. He had hardly begun his task when he received 

Warren Hastings. 


a letter from the Directors informing him that it was their 
determination to take the collection of the revenue out of 
the hands of the native revenue collectors, and to trust to 
their European servants " the entire care and management 
of the revenues of Bengal.'' 

Reform of the revenue system. The reform of the 
revenue system therefore was the first matter which en- 
grossed his attention. A fresh assessment of the land was 
set on foot, the treasury was removed from Murshidabad 
to Calcutta, and European officers called collectors were 
appointed to supervise the collection of the land-tax, and to 
preside in the revenue courts of the districts into w-hich the 
country was divided. Still further, to guard against irre- 
gularities Commissioners were appointed over groups of 
districts to supervise the work of the collectors, and courts 
of appeal were established in Calcutta for both civil and 
criminal cases. In consideration of the abolition of the dual 
system of government and the consequent relief of the 
Nawab of Bengal from the responsibility of maintaining order 
the Nawab's pension was cut down to one half. His next 
and hardest task was the improvement of the Company's 
trade ; for the corrupt practices and irregularities which he 
had to put a stop to were in many cases committed by men 
in high places who were friends and relatives of Directors. 
He did not, like Clive, raise a storm of protest, for the 
wrongdoers had no shadow of excuse for their conduct and 
dared not openly protest ; but he made for Jiimself many pri- 
vate enemies, whose influence hereafter was used against him 
on every possible occasion. The result of these measures was 
that the Company once more received a profit from Bengal. 

Shah Alam forfeits the Company's tribute. ^ 
Meanwhile the state of Upper India was giving cause for 
serious alarm. As soon as the Mahrattas had got the 
feeble Emperor Shah Alam 11. into their hands they began 
to put pressure on him. One of their first acts was to force 
him to make over to them the districts of Allahabad and 
Kora, which Lord Clive had given him in 1765 for the 
support of his dignity. The occupation of this territory by 
the aggressive and predatory Mahrattas was a direct menace 
to the Company's possessions in Bengal, and to permit it 
would have been to acquiesce in a state of things which the 


grant to Shah Alam had been intended to prevent. Warren 
Hastings therefore declined to acknowledge the cession to 
the Mahrattas, promptly occupied Allahabad, and declared 
a protectorate OA^er the ceded districts. Furthermore, the 
yearly tribute of 25 lakhs paid by the Company to Shah 
Alam was regarded as forfeited, since he had voluntarily left 
British protection. 

The King of Oudh enters into a subsidiary 
alliance. It had been the object of successive Governors 
in Bengal to maintain and support one or more friendly 
powers an their northern border to serve as a barrier against 
invasion. The Nawab Vizier of Oudh by the turn of affairs 
was now alone able to play this part. To detach him from 
his northern neighbours became a matter of the first im- 
portance. Accordingly, in 1773 Hastings went to Benares 
and concluded a treaty with him, by the terms of which the 
Company sold to him the districts of Allahabad and Kora, 
and agreed, on the payment of a subsidy by him, to assist 
him with ^ the Company's troops in the event of his being 
-attacked by the Mahrattas. 

The Rohilla War, 1774. Within a few months of 
this agreement the Nawab Vizier of Oudh wrote to Hastings, 
proposing that the Company should assist him in driving 
out the Rohillas from Rohilkhand, and annexing their 
country to his own dominions. He pointed out that the 
Rohillas had dealt treacherously with him ; that the year 
before, at their earnest request, and on a promise made by 
them of a payment to him of 40 lakhs of rupees, he had 
assisted then in repelling a Mahratta invasion of their 
country ; that they had since refused performance of their 
promise ; and that they were now actually intriguing with 
the Mahrattas against him. The Vizier offered to pay all 
expenses of the expedition, and in the event of success, to 
give the 40 lakhs in dispute to the English. Although 
the Company had never been troubled by the Eohillas in 
any way, Hastings did not think it safe to stand by while a 
formidable coalition of Mahrattas and Rohillas was formed 
against the ally of the British. He therefore agreed to send 
a brigade. No act of Hastings has been so severely con- 
demned as this participation in the ruin of a power which 
had done nothing directly to incur the Company's hostility. 


But in his defence it must be said that honour and political 
expediency alike required that he should intervene ; for the 
fear of the Mahrattas was very real and to abstain from 
interference in the coming struggle between the Nawab 
Vizier and their friends the Rohillas would have been to 
desert an ally and to play directly into their hands. The 
Kohillas were not deserving of the sympathy they have 
received, for they were merely Afghan adventurers, who 
had but lately imposed their harsh rule upon the Hindu 
population of Eohilkhand. 

The Vizier having got what he wanted, lost no time in 
attacking the Rohillas. They fought bravely, and but for 
the staunchness of the Bengal brigade would have routed the 
Vizier's undisciplined hordes ; but they had no real chance 
of success, and were obliged shortly to submit. Eohilkhand 
was annexed to Oudh, and the Rohillas, to the number of 
some twenty thousand, were banished from the country. 



The Regulating Act. The constant wars with the 
" Country Powers " and the misgovernment and corruption 
which had marked the Company's administration since its 
conversion by the exploits of Clive from a mere commercial 
undertaking into a territorial sovereignty, had been viewed 
with some alarm in England, and the Government had been 
for some time anxiously looking for an opportunity of 
interfering in its affairs. The opportunity had now 
arrived ; for the Company which had for years been 
drifting further and further into debt was forced in 
the year 1773 to apply to Government for financial 
assistance. The Government, having the Company at its 
mercy, informed it that it would be prepared to help it 
pecuniarily only on conditions. These conditions were 
that the Government should be kept informed of all political 
transactions of the Company; that the Crown should have the 
right to veto or cancel any rules or orders of the Company; 
that a Supreme Court of Judicature, appointed by the 
Crown and independent of local authority, should be estab- 


lished in Calcutta ; and that the Governor of Bengal, Behar, 
and Orissa should be raised to the position of Governor- 
General of the British possessions in India, should be assisted 
by a Council of four, and should exercise authority over the 
Governors of Madras and Bombay. The Company was in 
no position to refuse these terms, and they were accordingly 
embodied with others of minor importance in an Act of 
Parliament known as the Kegulating Act. 

Meddlesomeness of the new Council. The Act 
did not come into force till October, 1774, when three of 
the members of the new Council arrived in Calcutta from 
England. They were General Clavering, Colonel Monson, 
and Philip Francis. The fourth member was a servant of 
the Company named Barwell, residing at Calcutta. Warren 
Hastings assumed the office of Governor-General from the 
date of their arrival ; but if he thought that his new 
dignity was to bring him increased power he was doomed 
to bitter disappointment. Under the new Act he was but 
the president of a committee, with a casting vote in case 
his Council disagreed. He was therefore liable to be out- 
voted and could do nothing withouttheconsentof themajority. 
The three councillors from England came out with a violent 
prejudice against him, having been well primed in England 
with stories more or less mendacious to his discredit by his 
enemies, of whom in the course of his administration he had 
been forced to make not a few ; and they proceeded at once 
to make things uncomfortable for him by enquiring into 
matters which had occurred before their arrival, and by 
reversing or annulling several of his most important acts. 
They seemed, in fact, bent upon his ruin, and prepared to 
encompass it at all costs. They eagerly listened to every 
charge of maladministration and corruption which the malice 
of his enemies could invent, and in the investigation of 
abuses acted rather as the agents of a prosecution than as 
impartial enquirers. Hastings withstood them with firmness 
and spirit, but as he was supported by Barwell alone he 
was completely at their mercy. 

Interference in the affairs of Oudh. In 1775 the 
Vizier of Oudh died, and the factious members of the 
Council, in spite of the remonstrances of Hastings and 
Barwell, cancelled the existing treaties, insisted on his heir 


paying an increased subsidy for the Company's troops 
stationed at Oudb, and compelled him to make over the 
districts of Ghazipur and Benares to the Company. Chet 
Singh, the local landowner, who had hitherto been a 
tributary of the Vizier of Oudh, was by them raised to the 
rank of Rajah, on consideration of his paying over to the 
Company the annual tribute of 22 lakhs which he had been 
accustomed to collect for the Nawab. This was bad 
enough ; but what followed was still worse. The Begums, 
the widows of the late Vizier, had appropriated two crores 
of rupees of treasure lying in the palace at the time of his 
death, and had laid claim to the revenues of certain rich 
districts in Oudh. The new Vizier, who was heavily in 
debt to the Bengal Government, whose treasury was empty, 
and whose troops were in a state of mutiny for arrears of 
pay, declined to acknowledge their claims ; for, in truth, 
to have done so meant practically ruin to him. The 
Begums appealed to the Council, and the intractable 
majority decided in their favour out of sheer perverseness. 
The affairs of Oudh at once fell into hopeless confusion, 
and the state was soon in no position to perform its part 
oftheTreaty of 1773. 

Execution of Nund Kumar. Not satisfied with the 
public mischief they had wrought, Clavering, Monson, and 
Francis proceeded to collect privately against Hastings 
evidence of corruption and embezzlement ; and to such a 
pass did things at length come that they recorded a minute 
in Council in March, 1775, that there was no species of pecula- 
tion from which the Governor-General had thought it reason- 
able to abstain. The chief of his accusers was a Bengali, 
named Raja Nund Kumar. He was known to have been a 
bitter enemy of Hastings for many years, and moreover he 
bore an infkmous reputation ; but the three members of 
Council, ignoring all this, proceeded to treat him as a 
trustworthy Avitncss, and eagerly listened to the monstrous 
charges which he brought against the Governor General. 
Hastings, whose ruin seemed imminent, resolutely faced his 
refractory Council ; and while declining to be arraigned as 
a criminal in the council chamber, offered to submit his 
conduct to the investigation of a special committee. To this 
the Council unreasonably declined to agree, and a deadlock 



ensued. Suddenly, in the midst of the confusion, the chief 
accuser, Nund Kumar, was arrested on a charge of forgery 
brought against him by a native merchant. .The enemies 
of Hastings asserte'd then and subsequently that he had 
instigated the prosecution, but Hastings solemnly denied on 
oath having done so, and no evidence has ever been found to 
support their allegation. It is significant that during the 
course of Nund Kumar's trial no such suggestion was made, 
and that the enemies of Hastings in the Council, though 
ai)pealed to, declined to interfere on the prisoner's behalf 
Nund Kumar was tried* in the Supreme Court, found guilty 
by the jury, and sentenced, according to the then existing 
law, to be hanged as a forger. Even then his patrons in the 
Council, who might still have intervened on his behalf, 
refused an application to suspend the sentence, and he was 
accordingly hanged in spite of his age, his caste, and his 
rank. This dramatic incident, though it checked for a 
w^hile, did not put a stop to the attacks upon Hastings' 
reputation. His implacable enemies in the Council still 
continued to assail him, and in order to destroy his influence 
systematically reversed all his decisions. 

Dispute over the succession to the Peshwaship. 
While through the action of the Council affairs in Bengal were 
getting into a desperate state of confusion and the kingdom of 
Oudh was drifting into ruin and anarchy, matters in Bom- 
bay and Madras were almost equally unsatisfactory. In the 
year 1772, a few months after his signal defeat of Haidar, 
Madho Rao, the Peshwa died, a victim to consumption. He 
was succeeded by his younger brother, Narayan Rao, who, 
being only a boy, was placed under the guardianship of his 
uncle Raghaba. But Narayan Rao had scarcely held office 
for six months when he was assassinated in circum- 
stances of peculiar atrocity. Raghaba as next-of-kin there- 
upon assumed the office ; but as he was unpopular, and was 
moreover strongly suspected of having contrived the murder 
of his nephew, a conspiracy was formed againsjb him, headed 
by Nana Furnavis, one of the greatest of Mahratta states- 
men. The conspirators produced a posthumous son of 
Narayan Rao, and succeeded in getting his claims recog- 
nised by most of the Mahratta chiefs. Raghaba, finding 
himself almost deserted, appealed for help to the Bombay 


Government, promising in return for it to give them the 
islands of Salsette and Bassien. 

First Mahratta War, 1775-1782. The Bombay 
Government had already taken possession of the former, 
and they were anxious to retain it, for fear that it might fall 
again into the hands of its original owners, the Portuguese. 
Without troubling themselves much about the merits of his 
case they readily agreed to help Eaghaba, and in 1775 
despatched a force under Colonel Keating into the Mahratta 
country to support his claims. The whole , Mahratta 
country rose in arms to resist this unprovoked invasion, 
and Colonel Keating found himself confronted with a force 
which outnumbered his own by ten to one. Nevertheless, 
on the plains of Arras, the Mahrattas, after a desperate 
struggle, were defeated. 

Interference of the Supreme Council. The 
Bombay Government, by the terms of the Eegulating Act, 
were not empowered to make war without the previous 
sanction of the Governor-General in Council. As soon as 
the Supreme Council of Calcutta heard of what was going 
on it denounced the war as * impolitic, dangerous, unauthor- 
ised and unjust,' ordered tlie Bombay Government to cease 
hostilities, and sent a representative to make peace with the 
Mahrattas. Hastings, though strongly disapproving of the 
conduct of the Bombay Government, disagreed with his 
Council's summary method of dealing with the affair. 
Moreover, he thought it impolitic for the Supreme Govern- 
ment openly to disavow the action of the Western Presi- 
dency, and he feared that the Mahrattas might misunder- 
stand the motives of the English in thus abruptly treating 
for peace. The Bombay Govermr.ent having meanwhile 
received the approval of the Court of Directors to their 
'agreement with Eaghaba, continued, in spite of the Supreme 
Government, to support his cause. The result showed 
that they were wise in not abandoning him ; for it was soon 
after discovered that Nana Furnavis was intriguing with the 
French, with a view to recovering Salsette from the 
English with their co-operation. 

Goddard's march across India. Hastings was not 
now hampered at every turn by a factious majority in 
his Council ; for of his antagonists Monson had died in 


1776 and Clavering in 1777, and Francis in a minority 
of one, though as bitterly hostile as ever, was now powerless 
to organise a systematic opposition to his plans. He was at 
last free to follow his own judgment, and the greatness of 
his character never showed to better advantage than in the 
eventful years which followed the outbreak of the first 
Mahratta war. Eealising that a crisis was impending on 
the western side, he promptly despatched Colonel Goddard 
with a force from Bengal to assist the Bombay Government. 
Goddard's rapid march across the peninsula through a wild 
and hostile country is one of the most daring and brilliant 
exploits in history. He reached Surat on 6th February, 
1779, having marched the last 300 miles in twenty days. 

The convention of Wargaom, But meanwhile 
disaster had overtaken an expedition sent by the Bombay 
Government against Poona. After getting within eighteen 
miles of the place, the officer in command came to the con- 
clusion that the task was too great for his small force, and 
decided to retreat. The Mahrattas at once took heart* and 
gathered round hini like a swarm of bees. The force, 
harassed in front and rear, and unable to obtain supplies, 
struggled on as far as a place called Wargaom, and there, 
utterly exhausted, allowed itself to be surrounded. To save 
his troops from annihilation, the commander was obliged to 
enter into a disgraceful convention with the two Mahratta 
Jleaders, Nana Furnavis and Sindhia. 

British successes. When the news of the disaster 
reached Bombay, the Government, though in sore straits, 
refused to ratify the convention, and Goddard, with whom 
was the fugitive Eaghaba, opened fresh negotiations with 
Nana Furnavis. But as the Mahratta haughtily declined to 
treat till Eaghaba had been given up and Salsette handed 
over, Goddard recommenced hostilities in January, 1780. 
The Mahrattas had soon cause to regret their uncompromis- 
ing attitude, for Goddard captured Ahmadabad, overran 
Guzerat, and reduced the strong fort of Bassein; while 
Captain Popham, with another force sent from Bengal, 
stormed and took the rock fortress of Gwalior, hitherto 
regarded by the natives as impregnable. 

The second Mysore war, 1780-1784. In the midst of 
these successes alarming news arrived from Southern India. 


The Madras Government, with characteristic incapacity and 
meddlesomeness, had so provoked Haidar AH and the 
Nizam of Hyderabad that, setting aside their differences, 
they had agreed to make common cause with the Mahrattas 
ao:ainst the Eno^lish. The Nizam from the first does not 
seem to have been in earnest, and not much difficulty was 
found in detaching him from the alliance. But Haidar, 
who cherished an implacable hatred against the English 
for their abandonment of him in 1772, was burning for 
revenge ; and as he had taken advantage of the war 
between the English and the Mahrattas in Western India to 
consolidate his power and to extend the boundaries of his 
kingdom, he was now a still more formidable antagonist 
than in the first Mysore war. In 1780, having completed 
his preparations for attack, he made a sudden descent upon 
the Carnatic, and laid waste the country with fire and sword 
-up to within fifty miles of Madras. The Government, with 
its wonted short-sightedness, had made no preparation for 
such a contingency, and though all available troops were at 
once ordered out, only a wretchedly inadequate force could 
be got together. When all arrangements were complete. 
Sir Hector Munro with 5000 men took the field against 
Haidar, while Colonel Baillie marched with 2800 men to 
occupy Guntur. A fatal mistake was made in dividing up 
so small a force ; for Haidar, getting between the two 
intercepted Baillie, overwhelmed him, and took him 
prisoner. Munro, now old and feeble, and but a shadow of 
his former self, on learning of the disaster and fearing that 
a similar fate would overtake him, at once retreated to 
Madras, and left Haidar unchecked, to spread ruin and deso- 
lation far and wide over the fertile country of the Carnatic. 
Sir Eyre Coote despatched to Madras. When 
Hastings received the news of this serious reverse he began 
at once with his accustomed calmness and energy to devise 
means of retrieving it. It was a difficult task, for the war 
in the Western Presidency had almost drained his resources. 
But he was as usual equal to the occasion, and within three 
weeks the veteran Sir Eyre Coote was despatched to Madras 
with all available men and money, and with orders to 
suspend the incompetent governor who had so recklessly 
involved his presidency in ruin. Haidar in the meantime 


had laid siege to and captured Arcot, and was causing 
untold loss and suffering in all directions by his raids ; 
while his son Tippu was vigorously assaulting Wandewash, 
and its reduction appeared imminent. 

Defeat of Haidar. For four months Coote was 
obliged to remain inactive for want of provisions, while 
Haidar ravaged the country to his heart's content. Then 
he struck a sudden and decisive blow, catching Haidar with 
the bulk of his forces at a place called Porto Novo. The 
battle raged for six hours, and Haidar, after losing 10,000 
men upon the field, was forced to fly. The news of the 
victory caused Tippu to relinquish the siege of WandcAvash, 
and completely changed the aspect of affairs. But Haidar 
was not yet vanquished ; for, quickly gathering together a 
large force he attacked Coote at Pollilor. Again he suffered 
a crushing defeat ; but, rallying once more, he threw him- 
self a third time upon Coote at Solinghar. After a stub- 
Dornly contested fight, he was there finally overcome and 
forced to retreat to the south, September, 1781. But his 
son Tippu still kept the field, and soon after succeeded in 
cutting off and overwhelming a force under Colonel 
Braithwaite operating on the western side. 

Capture of Negapatam. The English, though suc- 
cessful both against the Mahrattas and Haidar, were not 
yet by any means secure. Haidar was hardly in worse plight 
than themselves ; for they were nearly ruined by the cost 
of their wars, and the Mahrattas, though worsted, were still 
dangerous. To make matters worse, in the ^atter half of 
1781, the French and the Dutch, who were at war with 
England, came forward with offers of assistance to the 
enemies of the English in India. But far from being over- 
whelmed by misfortunes, the greater the dangers and 
difficulties, the greater grew Hastings's spirit and the 
stronger his determination. The Dutch, who had been 
encouraging Haidar to continue the war, had soon good 
cause to rue their interference ; for they were attacked 
by land and sea in their settlement of Negapatam, and after 
a short resistance, forced to yield up the place with all the 
stores and ammunition they had been accumulating there. 

Critical situation of the British. Early in the next 
year a French fleet under a distinguished naval commander. 


Admiral SufFren, appeared off the Coromandel coast, bringing 
help to Haidar in the shape of men and guns. Indecisive 
engagements between the French and English fleets followed ; 
but the French managed to land 3000 men at Porto Novo, 
while the English, under Admiral Hughes, although getting 
slightly the best of the encounters, suffered so much from 
the effects of a storm that they were obliged to put into 
Madras to refit. Affairs on shore were no better ; for Sir Eyre 
Coote quarrelled with Lord Macartney, the new governor, 
and resigning his command returned to Bengal. The outlook 
was indeed gloomy towards the end of 1782. Haidar was 
recovering from his defeats and had with him now a 
large contingent of French soldiers ; and the Mahrattas, on 
the western side, though they had been worsted in every 
engagement, still kept the field, and had lately mustered in 
such overwhelming numbers in front of Goddard that they 
had compelled him to retire. Madras was famine stricken, 
partly from natural causes and partly owing to Haidar 's 
devastating raids. Bengal alone was free from trouble; 
but its revenues were well nigh exhausted by the calls 
which the 'other Presidencies had made upon it to carry on 
their wars. 

Death of Haidar and treaty of Salbai But 
just when things were at their worst, news arrived that 
Haidar who was now more than 80 years of age, had 
died at his capital on the 7th December, 1782, from the 
effects of a carbuncle. His death coming so unexpectedly 
caused a profound impression. Some idea of the influence 
which he had exercised on Indian politics may be gathered 
from the fact that Nana Furnavis and the Poona party, 
upon receipt of the news, at once agreed to sign the treaty 
which Sindhia, tired of the war, was trying to negotiate 
with the English. On the 20th of December, at Salbai, near 
Sindhia's capital, a treaty of peace was made between the 
English and the Mahrattas, under the terms of which 
Eaghunath Rao, in consideration of foregoing his claims to 
the Peshwaship, received a handsome pension ; the English 
retained Salsette ; and the Mahrattas bound themselves not 
to admit the French or the Dutch within their dominions. 
Haidar's death at such a time was a great stroke of luck for 
the English. He was their most implacable enemy, and 


with his military genius, his large and well equipped army, 
and the support of the French, he might have wrested from 
them the whole of the Carnatic, had he lived a little longer. 
He had been a savage and a ruthless tyrant, ignorant and 
bigoted, and his subjects, more especially the Hindus, had 
groaned under his cruel yoke. But he must have possessed 
uncommon powers of organisation ; for h*e had found Mysore 
a petty and insignificant principality, and had left it the 
most powerful kingdom in the peninsula. 

Tippu resumes the war. Tippu was away on the 
Malabar coast when the news of his father's death reached 
him, and he hurried at once to Seringapatam to take 
possession of the vacant throne. He had good reason to 
congratulate himself upon his father's thrift ; for, in addition 
to a territory which stretched as far north as the Krishna, 
he came into possession of three crores of rupees in cash 
and vast hoards of treasure in jewels and gold. Tippu, 
though a man pf energy, had not his father's abilities ; but 
he was equally ambitious and unscrupulous, and had an 
even blinder hatred of the English. Finding himself 
possessed of such vast wealth, with an army of more than 
100,000 men at his command, and supported by the French, 
he was not inclined to make peace with the English. He 
therefore hastened back to the Malabar coast to resume 
hostilities. General Matthews, who was . in command of 
the forces operating on the western side and had been 
meeting with continuous siiccess, soon found the tables 
turned upon him. Tippu, as Sultan of Mysore, was a very 
diiferent person to be reckoned with than as heir-apparent. 
Matthews was forced to give up all he had taken, and 
within a year, being shut up at Mangalore with no hope of 
escape, was obliged to capitulate after a gallant resistance. 

French support withdrawn from Tippu. While 
Tippu was engaged upon the Malabar coast, the French 
under their veteran leader Bussy had managed to land a 
large force at Cuddalore to aid him. Things were becoming 
so serious that Hastings despatched Sir Eyre Coote again, 
to Madras to take up the supreme command. But, two 
days after landing, the fine old soldier died. His military 
career, which throughout had been almost uniformly 
brilliant, reached back to the days of Plassey. His loss at 


such a time was a great misfortune, for he was dreaded by 
the enemies of the English more than any other commander. 
Stuart, who succeeded him, was quarrelsome and irresolute, 
and wasted precious time in dilatory operations. A crisis 
again seemed imminent, when the English were once more 
saved by their good fortune. News arrived at this juncture 
that peace had been made between the English and the 
French in Europe. Bussy at once withdrew his troops and 
recalled the French officers and men lent to Tippu. Tippu, 
finding himself unsupported, and learning that a force 
under Colonel FuUerton had entered Mysore and was 
marching on his capital after reducing the forts along the 
way, surlily and with much reluctance consented to receive 
envoys of peace from the English. 

The treaty of Mangalore. It was by this time 
characteristic of the Madras Government to throw away its 
advantages, and it need not therefore be a matter of sur- 
prise that, in the midst of Fullerton's victorious progress, 
it sent an embassy to Tippu and sued for peace. By the 
treaty of Mangalore, 1784, which resulted from these 
negotiations, each side agreed to give up all that it had 
gained by the war, and Tippu restored to liberty such of 
his English prisoners as had survived the misery of their 
captivity, or had not, like the unfortunate Baillie and 
Matthews, actually been murdered in prison. Peace on 
such terms with a proud, revengeful and inveterate enemy, 
who now despised the English as much as he hated them, 
could not be lasting, and Lord Macartney who concluded it 
must bear the blame for what followed ; but at any rate it 
put an end for a time to hostilities in India, and gave the 
British time to recover from the exhaustion resulting from 
their recent struggles. 

The untamable spirit of Hastings. The Govern- 
ments of Madras and Bombay had shown recklessness and 
incapacity in the conduct of their wars. That disaster was 
averted was due to the energy and judgment of Hastings 
alone. He had kept them constantly supplied with money 
and troops, and, when their own generals proved incom- 
petent, had even supplied them with able commanders to 
replace them. He had never failed them in their hour of 
need, althougli himself at his wits' end to find means to 


meet their calls upon him; all the while, too, he had his 
own difficulties to contend with. Francis had never ceased 
to harass him with his opposition, and with unflagging 
malice to misrepresent his motives. The Court of Directors, 
which should have supported him with its confidence, 
treated him, as he himself says, "with every mark of 
indignity and reproach." But no amount of opposition or 
mortification could break his indomitable spirit ; instead, 
his determination to overcome his difficulties seemed to 
grow with their accumulation. 

His methods of raising money. Hastings's methods 
of meeting his financial embarrassments have been severely 
blamed ; and as it was in the main on this account that he 
was subsequently impeached by Parliament, we must there- 
fore briefly glance at the more important of them. 

The insurrection at Benares. In 1778, with his 
council's approval, he had called upon Chet Singh, the 
Rajah of Benares, for a war subsidy of five lakhs of rupees. 
This was provided without demur ; but when Hastings the 
next year made a similar demand, the Rajah did not 
comply. It will be remembered that Chet Singh had 
been made a tributary of the British by the Council, when 
the Vizier of Oudh was made to cede the districts of 
Ghazipur and Benares to the Company. As a feudatory he 
was, by immemorial custom, liable to aid his sovereign in 
time of war both with men and money, if called upon to do 
so. The contribution was not excessive, and the Rajah was 
moreover immensely rich ; but he had heard exaggerated 
accounts of the disasters which had overtaken the British 
in Madras, and had begun to wonder whether the end of their 
rule might not be at hand. He was, therefore, hesitating 
w hether or not to comply with their further demands. 

Hastings determined to teach him a lesson ; and, as he was 
on his way to visit the Nawab Vizier of Oudh, he halted at 
Benares and demanded from the Rajah fifty lakhs of rupees 
as a fine for his dilatoriness, and, further, called upon him 
to answer a charge of treasonable correspondence with the 
enemies of the British. As the Rajah's reply was unsatis- 
factory, Hastings, though Avith but a small escort, ordered 
his arrest. The Rajah submitted quietly enough; but this 
rash act caused an immediate commotion in the city, 


which quickly developed into a riot. The guard placed 
over the Rajah was massacred, the Rajah escaped, and 
within a few hours Hastings was in a very awkward 
predicament, being practically defenceless in the midst of 
a tumultuous and hostile mob. That night he and the few 
who were with him slipped away after dark to the fortress 
of Chunar. 

The disturbance spread very rapidly, and in a short 
time the whole country was up in arms. Hastings was 
soon closely invested in his place of refuge by the Rajah's 
troops. In this alarming situation he acted with his accus- 
tomed coolness and resolution, and, while concerting 
measures to repress the rebellion, r^ook steps to prevent its 
spreading beyond the Rajah's territory. To Major Pophani 
was entrusted the task of restoring order, and he did it 
speedily and effectually. The Rajah's troops, which were 
little better than an undisciplined rabble, were quickly 
dispersed, and the Rajah, fearing that he would be captured 
if he remained any longer in the field, fled to Gwalior. 
The country was soon pacified, and, the Rajah having been 
pronounced a rebel, his estates were confiscated and made 
over to his nephew. Much was made of this incident by 
the enemies of Hastings, and it must be admitted that his 
conduct was rash and his treatment of the Rajah in the 
earlier stages unduly severe. 

The affair of the Begums of Oudh. While Hastings 
was still at Chunar he was visited by the Nawab Vizier of 
Oudh. Hastings was now in greater straits for money than 
ever, for the visit to Benares, instead of producing fifty lakhs 
of rupees, had resulted in a small campaign and a tem- 
porary suspension of revenue. Money had to be found 
somehow ; for the Governments of Bombay and Madras, 
destitute of funds with which to pay their troops on 
service, were beseeching him for instant help to save them 
from utter ruin. The Nawab of Oudh was very much in 
the Company's debt ; and, since the Council at Calcutta had 
decided that the Begums should retain possession of the 
treasure and the districts which they had laid claim to on 
the death of his father, he was quite incapable of meeting 
his liabilities. Hastings had good reason for suspecting 
that one, at any rate, of the Begums had lent aid to the 
II. I. U.S. p 


rebellions Rajah of Benares, and it was a matter of common 
knowledge that both were intriguing against the Nawab. 
He did not therefore consider that they were entitled to 
much consideration ; so that when the Nawab proposed, as 
a means of liquidating his debts, to despoil the Begums, he 
readily acquiesced. 

Had Hastings gone no further, his conduct would have 
been correct ; for the Begums' claim was an unjust one, 
and Hastings had opposed it from the first and had never 
since acknowledged it. But in sending a body of the 
company's troops to coerce them, when they j)roved stub- 
born and the timid Nawab began to waver, he not only 
went beyond his authority, but acted in a manner 
unbecoming the dignity of his position. It is fair, how- 
ever, to add that after compelling the Begums to give up 
their lands and treasure, he took care to ensure that they 
should receive handsome pensions. 

His duel with Francis. If it cannot be denied that 
the methods which Hastings had sometimes recDurse to 
were not such as a high-minded statesman would employ, 
in his defence it may fairly be pleaded that he acted as he 
did from no mean personal motives, but to protect the 
Company's dominions in time of great emergency. The 
manner in which he rid himself at last of his implacable 
enemy Francis was characteristic both of himself and of 
his times. Towards the close of 1780, goaded to despera- 
tion by the ceaseless attacks of this man and by his 
rancorous and unpatriotic opposition, he charged him 
openly in council with being ' void of truth and honour.' 
Such an insult was a deliberate provocation, and according 
to the code of honour of those days made it incumbent on 
Francis to send Hastings a challenge to fight a duel. The 
two men met each other a little way out of Calcutta two 
days later, and Hastings so severely wounded Francis that 
he. had to be carried from the ground. The duel served 
Hastings's purpose well, for Francis, as soon as his wound 
would permit him, left for England. But Hastings pur- 
chased his temporary relief at a heavy cost, as Francis, a 
man of extraordinary pertinacity, devoted himself with all 
the ardour of his malignant nature to the task of poisoning 
the public mind against him. 


The dispute with the Supreme Court. There re- 
mains one other matter in connection with the conduct of 
Hastings, which was once more generally considered, cen- 
surable than it is now. The establishment of a Supreme 
Court under the Regulating Act led to a conflict of juris- 
diction between it and the District Courts, owing to the 
powers of the new court not having been properly defined. 
Sir Elijah Impey, the Chief Justice, and the judges of the 
Supreme Court claimed the right of general interference 
and the power to override the decisions of the District Courts. 
As the District Courts dispensed a somewhat rough and 
ready justice in accordance with the law and usage of the 
land, and the Supreme Court insisted on enforcing English 
law, strife and great confusion naturally ensued. The 
Council took the side of the District Courts, and strongly 
remonstrated with the Supreme Court for its unlawful in- 
terference. The Supreme Court rejoined with some heat, 
and as neither party would give way, a deadlock ensued. 

There had been in Calcutta for many years under the old 
system a Central Court of Appeal, called the Sudder Adalat, 
over which the Governor-General presided; but since the 
Regulating Act it had been seldom resorted to by litigants. 
Hastings, as a means of putting an end to the dispute with 
the Supreme Court and preventing further conflict of juris- 
diction, made Impey the chief judge of this court, and 
gave him a considerable addition to his salary for the extra 
work the appointment entailed upon him. The arrange- 
ment was vehemently decried as a bribe to Impey to forego 
his opposition as Chief Judge of the Supreme Court ; but as 
'^ Impey accepted the position subject to the approval of the 
Directors, and the measure, besides reconciling all parties, 
was a practical solution of the difficulties, the charge of 
corruption falls to the" ground. The district judges, whose 
method of dispensing justice had been haphazard, benefited 
by having someone to direct them according to recognised 
principles. The Court of Directors subsequently, influenced 
by the malicious misrepresentations of Francis, disallowed 
the arrangement ; but that the plan of placing the District 
Courts under the charge of the chief judge of the Supreme 
Court was a good one is proved by the fact that since 1853, 
when the Company's charter was renewed, the High Court 


of each presidency has been the Court of Appeal from the 
District Courts. 

Hastings resigns office. In 1783, just when 
Hastings after his long struggle believed himself finally 
to have emerged from his difficulties, he received a letter 
from the Court of Directors directly censuring him, and 
expressing the strongest disapproval of his conduct at 
Benares and in the affair of the Begums of Oudh. In 
spite of this and of the growing hostility to him in England, 
he stuck doggedly to his post for another two years. 
Then, finding himself abandoned by the Ministry in 
Parliament, on the support of which he had confidently 
counted, he resigned, and in February, 1785, left India. 
When it became known that he was going, his countrymen 
and the native princes and nobles of Northern India united 
in expressing their admiration of his high and statesmanlike 
qualities and their regret at his departure. He was re- 
turning to his native land in great depression of spirits, 
with little hope of meeting there with a just and impartial 
verdict upon his w^ork ; and as he had loved India well and 
spent the best part qf his life in her service, it must have 
been a great consolation to him to be thus assured that there 
at any rate his work was appreciated. 

His work as an administrator. Whatever may be 
the estimate in which his public acts are held, no one will 
now deny that Hastings was guided solely by patriotic 
motives in what he did; and it should not be forgotten 
that he steered the ship of empire safely through a time of 
unexampled storm and stress, and that but for the energy, 
resolution, and resourcefulness which he displayed through- 
out all that dark period it must have foundered and gone 
down. To him must be given the credit of planning a 
system of administration which in the main is still in 
force, and reducing the chaotic rule of the company to an 
ordered and settled government. In the midst of the cares 
of state and the anxieties which so continually beset him, 
he yet managed to find time to pay attention to many 
matters of public utility, amongst which may be mentioned 
the opening of a trade route with Thibet, the encourage- 
ment of the study of Sanskrit literature by European 
scholars, the founding of a learned society called the Eoyal 


Asiatic Society, the translation and compilation of a digest 
of Hindu law, and the establishment of a madrassah or 
college for Muhammedan education in Calcutta. 

His impeachment. On his return to England he met 
at first with an unexpectedly favourable reception. But 
Francis, his bitter and relentless enemy, was now in Par- 
liament, and had succeeded in persuading many of the 
most influential politicians of the day that Hastings 
was a corrupt and rapacious tyrant. Three years after 
his return, so great was the feeling aroused against 
him that he was impeached for crimes alleged to have 
been committed by him during his Govern or- Greneral ship. 
After one of the longest and most famous trials in history 
he was acquitted on all counts. Though much reduced in 
circumstances by the expenses of his defence he was not 
utterly ruined, but lived for many years after the trial in 
honourable retirement, and died at his country seat at the 
ripe age of 86. 

The India Bill of 1784. During the last year of 
Warren Hasting's Governor-Generalship, Indian afl'airs 
absorbed a good deal of the attention of Parliament. The 
late ruinous wars and the cases of the Eajah of Benares and 
the Begums of Oudh had created considerable uneasiness in 
England and great distrust of the Company's methods of 
dealing with the native states. William Pitt, who was then 
Prime Minister, shared in the general desire to curtail 
the powers of the East India Company and increase those 
of the Crown. He accordingly brought in a bill, the chief 
provisions of which were : the creation of a Board of Control 
in England of six members, presided over by an Indian 
Minister ; the reduction of the Governor-General's Council 
to three members ; the granting of authority to the 
Governor-General to override his Council in' case of 
emergency ; and the withdrawal of his powers of making 
war or entering into alliances with native princes on his 
own responsibility. The general result of the measure was 
that the Governor-General's supremacy in India was en- 
sured, but his authority was curtailed. 

Sindhia becomes supreme at Delhi. An interval 
of twenty months elapsed before a successor to Warren 
Hastings was appointed from England. Meanwhile Sir 


John Macpherson, Senior Member of Council, held 
charge. The period was an uneventful one, as far as the 
company's government was concerned, but it was utilised 
to good purpose by Tippu and by Sindhia. Sindhia had 
been largely instrumental in bringing about the peace of 
Salbai, and had in consequence been more generously dealt 
with by the English than other Mahratta chiefs.' Being 
an extremely ambitious man he was encouraged thereby 
to embark on schemes of aggrandisement. Shortly after 
the conclusion of peace he seized upon the territory of his 
Rajput neighbour, the Rana of Gohud. He next paid a 
visit to Delhi and obtained from the feeble emperor, Shah 
Alum II., the post of commander-in-chief of the imperial 
army. Shah Alum was not in a position to resist him, 
even if he had wished, and Sindhia soon usurped all 
authority and did as he pleased in Delhi and Agra, the two 
sole remaining provinces of the Moghul empire. So puffed 
up did he become with success that he sent at length a 
demand, in the name of the Emperor, to Macpherson for 
the tribute of Bengal. As this had not been paid since the 
time when Shah Alum 11. had left British protection for 
that of the Mahrattas, Sindhia was curtly told that the 
tribute had been forfeited, and that he must immediately 
withdraw the claim. Since he was not prepared to go to 
war again with the English, he at once explained that it had 
been made under a misapprehension, and there the matter 

Tippu persecutes the Hindus of the south. 
Tippu, after the peace of Mangalore, turned his attention 
to the Hindu principalities lying to the south and west 
of his dominions. Though a man of more culture than 
his father, he seems to have inherited a double portion of 
his cruelty and bigotry. With his vast and well-equipped 
army he swept like a whirlwind upon Kanara and Coorg, 
slaughtering the inhabitants or forcing them at the sword's 
point to embrace Islam, and pillaging and burning Hindu 
temples. It is said that two thousand Brahmans perished 
by their own hands to escape conversion, and that one 
hundred thousand persons were carried away and forcibly 
made into Mussulmans. This cruel persecution of the 
Hindus infuriated the Mahrattas ; and Tippu's assumption 


at this time of the title of Badshah, which had hitherto 
been reserved for the Delhi emperors alone, greatly dis- 
pleased the Nizam. Nana Furnavis had little difficulty, 
therefore, in persuading the Nizam to join in a war for 
the spoliation of the cruel and arrogant tyrant. 

But Tippu was too strong for the allies, and by carrying 
the war into their country soon forced them to come to 
terms. They had to acknowledge unconditionally his right 
to do as he pleased in the country south of the Tunga- 
bhadra Eiver ; while he on his part gave back the towns he 
had taken from them, and paid the Mahrattas the arrears 
of tribute which they claimed under the treaty made with 
his father in 1772. Tippa, fortified by the new treaty, then 
invaded the territory of the Nayars in Malabar. He after- 
wards boasted that in this expedition he had destroyed 8000 
Hindu temples, and that such of the popidation as he did 
not slay he converted to Islam or expelled the country. 
Thus, strangely enough, at a time when Hinduism was 
triumphantly asserting itself in other parts of India, the 
Hindus of the extreme south were at last subjected to the 
Muhammedan yoke, and made to suffer a persecution in 
which all the horrors of the early Pathan invasions of 
Northern India were repeated. 

Lord Cornwallis, 1786-1793 his reform of the 
services. In September, 1786, the new Governor-General, 
Lord Cornwallis, arrived in India. He came out with the 
declared intention of avoiding war and devoting himself to 
the reform of the company's service. In spite of the efforts of 
Clive and Hastings corruption was rampant in all branches, 
and the Company's servants continued to enrich themselves 
by illicit gains at its expense. In Madras, particularly, 
grave scandals were allowed to go on unchecked, and 
were even in some instances connived at by the author- 
ities. Lord Cornwallis turned his attention at once to 
this subject, and acted with vigour, firmness, and sym- 
pathy. Clive's proposal to pay the civil and military 
officers of the Company at a scale which would enable them 
to live by honest means was given effect to, and the regula- 
tions against bribery and corrupt practices were at the 
same time put stringently in force. Measures were also 
taken to reform the currency which had become debased ; 


so that no shadow of excuse for dishonesty now remained. 
The best proof of the fairness of his measures is to be 
found in the fact that the Company's servants responded 
generously to his effort to ameliorate their condition, by 
generally ceasing to accept bribes or enrich themselves by 
underhand dealings. 

His judicial reforms. To Lord Cornwallis is due the 
credit of certain important judicial reforms. Up to this time 
criminal justice had been administered by native subor- 
dinate judges under the District Officer, and there was no 
criminal appellate court at the headquarters of government. 
In the circumstances there was much complaint of unfair- 
ness and corruption. To secure the independence of the 
judiciary Lord Cornwallis separated the functions of District 
Judge and Collector and appointed Europeans to the former 
post also ; further, in order to ensure greater uniformity in 
the administration of justice, he established at Calcutta an 
Appellate Court of Cri-minal Judicature. To Lord Cornwallis 
is also due the abobtion of the distinction of " writers " and 
" merchants " among the Company's servants, and the 
organisation of a regular civil service. He may in truth be 
said to have completed the structure of administration of 
which Hastings had so skilfully laid the foundations, and 
though subsequently many changes have been introduced, 
the system in the main remains the same. 

Agreement for the cession of Guntur. Lord 
Cornwallis arrived in India with a strong prejudice against 
the methods of his predecessor, but he soon found that ho 
had misjudged Hastings, and that it was not so easy to 
keep out of entanglements as he had imagined. The Nizam 
of Hyderabad had promised some time before to cede to the 
British the district known as Guntur, south of the Krishna 
Eiver. The possession of Guntur was of great strategical 
importance to the Madras Government, and as the Nizam 
seemed inclined to forget his promise. Lord Cornwallis 
peremptorily ordered him to hand it over. This the Nizam 
did at once, but stipulated thati a British contingent should 
be lent to him to help him, if need be, against Tippu. 
Lord Cornwallis consented readily ; for he had by this 
time realised that the greatest source of danger to the 
peace of India lay in the growing power of Tippu, and he 


felt that something must be done to curb his aggressive 

Triple alliance against Tippu. Tippu himself 
brought matters to a crisis by attacking the Rajah of 
Travancore, who was an ally of the English. War was at 
once declared upon him, and not only the Nizam but the 
Mahrattas also were induced to join against him ; for much 
as Nana Furnavis, their great statesman, feared the English, 
he feared and hated Tippu more, and the whole Mahratta 
country was burning for revenge upon the cruel persecutor 
of the Hindus. 

The third Mysore war, 1790 1792. The Madras 
Government began the war with traditional half-heartedness, 
and Lord Cornwallis, who was himself a tried soldier, 
came down from Calcutta in 1790 to conduct the war in 
person. Tippu was deceived as to the direction taken by 
the English army, and Bangalore, the second city of his 
kingdom, was captured before he could come to its assist- 
ance. Two months later at Arikera, close to Seringapatam, 
where at length he came up with the British, he suffered so 
disastrous a defeat that he fled for refuge to his capital. 
The supplies of the British at this time began to fall short, 
and the Mahrattas, who should have been at hand, were 
far away engaged in plunder. Lord Cornwallis was there- 
fore forced to return to Madras. But the campaign still 
went on, and, one after another, Tippu's fortresses, deemed 
impregnable by him, were captured. 

In January, 1792, the G-overnor-General, having com- 
pleted his preparations, took the field again and marched 
direct upon Seringapatam at the head of a magnificent 
army. But the Mahrattas, who were expected to join 
him in large force, sent only a small contingent, and 
the troops of the Nizam proved worthless. The size and 
splendid equipment of the British army had alarmed the 
allies, and they were now as anxious to save Tippu from his 
fate as fhey had previously been anxious to procure his 
ruin ; for they feared that with Tippu's power destroyed 
there would be no one left capable of checking the British. 

Seringapatam, a fortress of extraordinary strength, was 
invested by the combined forces early in February. Not- 
withstanding its strength and the skill with which its 


defences had been constructed, its outer works were soon 
stormed and captured by the British, and the place was 
about to fall when Tippu wisely sued for peace. Lord 
Cornwallis conducted the negotiations in a very different 
spirit to that in which the Madras Government had 
arranged the treaty of Mangalore. Tippu was made to cede 
to the British the districts of Dindigal, the Baramahal, and 
Malabar, and to restore Coorg to its Hindu Raja, to pay 
thirty crorcs, and to surrender two of his sons as hostages 
for his good behaviour. 

Lord Cornwallis did not escape censure in England for 
provoking the war, and adding fresh territory to the Com- 
pany's dominions ; but the wisdom of his action in humbling 
the aggressive and insolent Tippu was so generally admitted 
that the attacks made upon his conduct failed ignominiously, 
and he was even made a marquis for his services. 

The Permanent Settlement. The Governor-General 
now turned his attention once more to the subject of reform. 
The land tax had been from time immemorial the chief 
source of revenue in India. The Moghul emperors had 
been accustomed to collect their revenue by means of local 
agents whose business it had been to realise for the state a 
certain sum annually By degrees, as the Empire fell to 
pieces, the agents in Bengal, left pretty much to their own 
devices, had developed into semi-independent local magnates, 
exercising authority by the maintenance of miniature armies. 
The East India Company, in making its land revenue 
collections, had ignored the Zemindars, as they were called, 
and dealt directly with the cultivators. The system had 
not worked well, and the Directors recommended that the 
experiment of collecting the revenue through the Zemin- 
dars should be tried for ten years at any rate. In 1793 
Lord Cornwallis, going beyond his instructions, recognized 
the Zemindars as the absolute owners of the soil, and made 
a permanent settlement of the land revenue with them 
instead of with the cultivators. Except from the point 
of view of the landlords the Permanent Settlement is now 
considered by most competent judges to have been a 
mistake. The hope that the landlords would prove far- 
sighted enough to encourage their tenants- by generous 
treatment to improve their estates has proved fallacious ; 


and while the value of land has greatly risen the State 
secures no increase in revenue on that account nor the 
cultivator as a rule any better terms. On the other hand 
the measure did not provide against tyranny and extortion 
but left the tenants practically no remedies against 
rapacious landlords. 

Departure of Lord Cornwallis. Lord Cornwallis 
left India in 1793 after seven years of office. Though 
not comparable as a statesman with Hastings, and having 
far less difficulties to contend with, his work, as judged 
by its results, was almost equally important; for by his 
reform of the services and his firm and vigorous policy 
he had added dignity and stability to the growing empire. 

His greatest mistake, and one it is strange that so 
tolerant and large-minded a man should have committed, 
was his laying down rules whereby the natives of India 
were excluded from all but the most subordinate posts in 
the public service. . 

Sir John Shore, 1793-1798. He was succeeded by 
Sir John Shore, a Bengal civilian, who had brought himself 
into notice by the ability he had displayed in carrying out 
the Permanent Settlement. Like Cornwallis, he looked 
upon himself as bound to abstain from interference in the 
affairs of native states, and to enter on none but defensive 
wars. The result of such a policy was that the implacable 
Tippu, being allowed to do as he pleased, began openly to 
make preparations for another struggle and to negotiate 
with the French, who were then at war with England in 
Europe, for assistance against the British in India. It was 
a prevalent but mistaken notion then, that the safety of 
the East India Company's dominions in India could best 
be secured by the maintenance of a balance of power among 
the native princes, and by holding aloof as far as possible 
from their internecine quarrels. 

Battle of Kurdla. In pursuance of this policy Sir 
John Shore declined to help the Nizam of Hyderbad, when 
the latter was threatened with war by Nana I^urnavis 
for non-payment of disputed arrears of tribute. The' 
Mahrattas, surprised and delighted at being thus given 
a free hand to deal with their ancient rival, mustered 
together to the task of subduing him in a way they had 


not done for many years. Sindhia, Holkar, the Bhonsla, 
and the Gaekwar of Baroda, besides most of the petty 
chiefs, all sent their contingents to the campaign. The 
Nizam had no chance against such a combination, and 
in 1795 sustained, at the battle of Kurdla, so crushing a 
defeat that he was obliged at once to submit to the most 
humiliating terms of peace. It was a great triumph for 
the Mahrattas, and for Nana Furnavis in particular ; for 
besides compelling the Nizam to pay three crores of rupees 
and cede several districts' to them, they had at length 
reduced the last Moghul stronghold, and made themselves 
supreme from Delhi to the Tungabhadra. 

Interference in the affairs of Oudh. But Sir 
John Shore, despite all his good intentions, could not get 
through his term of office without interfering in the affairs 
of a native state. The condition of the neighbouring 
kingdom of Oudh forced him at length, much against 
his will, to intervene. Long continued misrule had reduced 
the country to such a state of disorder that its condition 
had become a serious menace to the neighbouring territories 
of the Company. The Nawab Vizier, sunk in sloth and 
debauchery, neglected public business altogether, and 
turned a deaf ear to all remonstrances from the Governor- 
General. So grave did the situation at last become that 
Sir John Shore found it necessary to remove him and to 
place Saadat Ali, a brother of his predecessor, on the 
vacant throne. 

This was the Governor-General's last important act, and 
it is noteworthy that it should have been a reversal of the 
policy of non-interference which he had so long and so 
blindly supported. He cannot be said to have fulfilled the 
high expectations formed of him ; and he left to his successor* 
a plentiful crop of troubles. For Tippu, by the aid of 
French officers; was once more at the head of a powerful 
army, and the Mahrattas, since their defeat of the Nizam, 
had begun to assume an aggressive attitude. 

Lord Mornington, 1798-1805. Sir John Shore was 
succeeded in 1798 by Lord Mornington, "the Great Pro- 
consul,'' as he has been fittingly called; for no other 
Governor-General exercised so despotic an authority or so 
largely added by conquest to the territories of the Company 


His period of office is one of the most critical and eventful 
in Indian history, and it marks the final stage in the 
struggle between the British and the native powers for 

French influence in the native courts. He came 
out with two fixed ideas : one was to make the Company 
the paramount power in India, and the other to root 
out the malign French influence which, under the non- 
interference policy of his two immediate predecessors, had 
been steadily growing stronger at the courts of the leading 
native princes. The latter was the more pressing necessity; 
for Napoleon Buonaparte, who was then in Egypt, was 
known to favour the proposal for a French invasion of India, 
and to be in communication with his countrymen there and 
in the Mauritius regarding it. French influence was all- 
powerful at the courts of the Nizam, Sindhia, and Tippu, 
and many French officers and men had taken service in 
the armies of various native princes. Tippu's hatred for 
the English had become an absorbing passion with him, 
and he had begun openly to boast that with the help of 
the French he meant to drive them out of the country. 
There was only too good reason to suspect .also that 
the Mahrattas and the Nizam, influenced by their French 
advisers, were secretly intriguing with him to the same 
end. The position of the British in India in the year 
1798, thus threatened by a formidable combination of 
leading native powers backed and aided by the French 
with men and guns, was as critical as at any period in 
their history. 

It was to such a state of things that Lord Mornington, 
with his preconceived notions, arrived. It is no wonder 
that he found in them confirmation of his views. While 
the native powers maintained their political independence 
and were guided by French influence, there could be no 
guarantee of permanent peace in the land. He therefore 
set himself the task of devising means of putting an end to 
the one and stamping out the other. It was necessary for 
the peace of the country that some one power should be 
supreme, and he was determined that that power should be 
the British. 

Threatening attitude of the native powers. 


He had not long to wait for an occasion to put his 
views into practice ; for he had only been in the country a 
few weeks when indisputable proof reached him that Tippu 
had concluded an offensive and defensive alliance with 
the French with the object of attacking the British. Lord 
Mornington at once called upon Tippu to renounce his 
alliance with the French and respect his treaty obligations 
with the British. Tippu returned evasive answers and 
continued his preparations for war with feverish haste. 
The situation was daily growing more serious. The 
Mahrattas and the Nizam could not be trusted to remain 
neutral in case of hostilities breaking out, and the ruler of 
Afghanistan, to whom Tippu was known to have appealed, 
was threatening to invade Northern India. To add to 
the Governor-General's anxieties, the Madras Government 
could not be made to realise the seriousness of the situation, 
and in response to his urgent appeals to it made the most 
inadequate preparations to meet the coming storm. 

The Nizam forced into a subsidiary alliance. 
Had Lord Mornington followed at this crisis the 
traditional policy of non-interference in the affairs of native 
states, the British Empire in India might have been 
simTiltaneously attacked on all sides ; in which case it 
would in all probability have been overwhelmed. But he 
had the courage and ability to strike out a new line of 
policy. In place of the balance of power, by which his 
predecessors had sought to hold in check ambitious native 
princes, he introduced what is known as the Subsidiary 
System. It will be remembered that Warren Hastings had 
made an arrangement with the Nawab Yizier of Oudh, 
whereby, in return for a guarantee of protection against 
foreign invasion, the Nawab had acknowledged the supremacy 
of the British and had agreed to maintain a subsidiary 
force to aid them in time of need. Lord Mornington boldly 
called upon the Nizam to enter into a similar agreement, 
and backed up his demand with such prompt and vigorous 
action that the Nizam agreed at once. What no doubt 
greatly influenced the Nizam's decision was that the French 
soldiers in his army were on the verge of mutiny for arrears 
of pay, and his French advisers, backed by the army, had 
lately begun to adopt a threatening tone towards him. A 


British force was immediately despatched to Hyderabad to 
see the agreement carried out. The French officers in the 
Nizam's service were completely taken by surprise owing 
to the suddenness of the move, and without the need of 
striking a blow the French troops were disbanded. The 
Nizam at once signed the agreement and undertook in 
addition not to employ in future any Europeans without 
the consent of the British Government. The Peshwa, 
when asked to do the same, declined ; but he was so 
m-uch impressed by the way in which the British had put 
an end to French influence in Hyderabad, that he hastened 
to assure the Governor-General of his loyalty to existing 

The fourth Mysore War, 1799. Having thus pre- 
vented the dreaded combination by detaching the Mah- 
rattas and converting the Nizam into an ally. Lord 
Mornington sent an envoy to demand from Tippu an 
immediate and satisfactory reply to his communications, 
and went himself to Madras in December, 1798, to direct 
affairs in person. He had rightly little confidence in the 
ability of the Madras Government to conduct negotiations 
or prepare for eventualities. Tippu, relying on the 
promises of French assistance and encouraged by a friendly 
letter he had received from the great Napoleon himself, who 
was conducting at the time his famous campaign in Egypt, 
treated the British envoy with contempt. Further negotia- 
tions being out of the question, war was declared upon 
him. Two armies were despatched against his capital, one 
by way of the Carnatic under General Harris, the com- 
mander-in-chief, and the other down the Malabar coast from 
Bombay under General Stuart. The Nizam also sent a 
subsidiary force of 20,000 men under the nominal command 
of his son, but really led by the Governor-GeneraFs 
brother. Colonel Wellesley, afterwards the famous Duke of 

Tippu forced to retreat. Tippu attacked the 
Bombay army first and suff'ered a severe defeat at Sedasir. 
He then fell upon the army of the Carnatic at -Mallavelli, 
within twenty-six miles of Seringapatam, and was again 
heavily defeated. Fie was now upon the defensive, and his 
only chance was to prevent General Harris from crossing 


the Caveri and effecting a junction with General Stuart. 
But his two defeats seem to have so much upset him as to 
deprive him of his generalship ; for he allowed General 
Harris to elude him, and, before he had realised what 
movement was in progress, the river had been crossed and 
the Madras and Bombay armies had united. He made no 
further effort to check the advance of the British, but 
retreated before them to his capital. His rage and despera- 
tion at this time led him to act like a madman. Fits of 
ungovernable fury were followed by periods of blank 
despair, and, after proposing peace, he would not listen to 
terms. Meanwhile, with characteristic savagery, he put to 
death every European prisoner that had fallen into his 

Fall of Seringapatam. The siege of Seringapatam is 
one of the most glorious episodes in British Indian history. 
It "commenced on the loth of April, and by the ^th of May 
a breach had been made in the stupendous fortifications. 
General Baird, who had once spent four years as a prisoner 
in the dungeons of the fort, gallantly led the assault. A 
desperate little band of the defenders, among whom was the 
Sultan himself, attempted to repel it; but the British, 
despite their heavy losses, clambered in, and in a few 
minutes the city was taken. The Sultan's body was found 
in the archway where the fight had been thickest under a 
heap of slain. No further resistance was offei'ed ; and the 
city with its quantities of military stores and its immense 
treasure was handed over to the conquerors. 

Settlement after the war. The family of Tippu was 
removed from the kingdom and Colonel Wellesley was 
appointed Governor of Seringapatam, with orders to restore 
order in the country. The Sultan's dominions were 
divided up, the northern portion adjoining Hyderabad 
being given to the Nizam, while the districts of Kanara, 
Coimbatore and the Wynaad were annexed to the Com- 
pany's dominions, thus effectually preventing in future any 
landing of the French along the seacoast under the pro- 
tection of a native ruler. The ancient Hindu royal family 
was almost extinct; but after a diligent search a boy of ^ve 
years of age belonging to it was found living in a miserable 
hovel in a suburb of Seringapatam. He was duly installed 


upon the throne, and given a kingdom roughly correspond- 
ing to the old Mysore state. 

Effects of the war. The conquest of Mysore made a 
great impression on the native princes and gave to the 
British undisputed supremacy in the Deccan. Two years 
later the Nawab of Arcot, who was still the nominal ruler 
of the Carnatic, handed over the whole of his territories 
to the British, in return for a large pension. About the 
same time the Eajah of Tan j ore died without issue, and the 
Governor-General pensioned off his adopted son and 
annexed his territory. The Madras Presidency was thus 
greatly extended, and at the present time is little altered 
from what it then became. The overthrow of Tippu was 
recognised in England as a great achievement. Lord 
Mornington was made Marquis of Wellesley for his services, 
and suitable honours were conferred upon those who had 
played a prominent part in bringing it about. 

The Peshwa seeks British protection. Mahratta 
affairs next engaged the Governor-General's attention. The 
old confederacy was now practically dissolved, and the 
authority of the Peshwa, Baji Rao II., extended little 
beyond Poona, while the Rajah of Satara was a mere 
puppet with no influence at all. In 1795 the famous 
Maharani Ahalya Bai, who had for thirty years ruled the 
Holkar state so wisely and so well, died, and in 1800 Nana 
Furnavis, who by his statecraft had managed to keep 
the Peshwa's Government together, also died. The whole 
Mahratta country fell into a state of great confusion soon 
after and civil war broke out in various places. The leading 
chiefs at that time were Daulat Rao Sindhia and Jaswant 
Rao, a wild free-booter who had seized the reins of govern- 
ment in the Holkar state after the death of the Maharani, 
and a bitter feud existed between them. Each was jealous 
of the other's influence and each wished to get control of 
the Peshwa. First Jaswant Rao pillaged the sacred city of 
Ujjain in Sindhia's dominions, and then Daulat Rao pillaged 
Indore, Holkar's capital. The Peshwa favoured Sindhia, 
and, as their combined forces were much greater than those 
of Holkar, they together gained many successes against 
him. But Jaswant Rao was a dashing and brilliant soldier, 
and, just when his antagonists were expecting him to yield, 

II l.II.S. o 


he suddenly turned the tahles upon them. By a forced 
march he arrived unexpectedly in the vicinity of Poona 
in October, 1801, and, taking his enemies completely by 
surprise, defeated them decisively. Baji Rao II. at once fled 
to Bassein and put himself under British protection. Jas- 
want Rao Holkar entered Poona unopposed and set up a 
puppet Peshwa of his own choosing. 

The treaty of Bassein. The Governor-General had 
not relinquished his project of bringing the Mahratta 
chiefs under the subsidiary system. When therefore Baji 
Rao applied to the British for aid in recovering Poona, he 
agreed to assist him on condition that he entered into a 
subsidiary alliance. Baji Rao, being anxious on any terms 
to regain his capital, and recognising that there was no other 
way in which he could hope to do so, submitted to the 
condition ; and on the last day of 1802, signed a treaty at 
Bassein, engaging to maintain a subsidiary force, to take 
into his service no European without the consent of the 
British, and to enter into no engagements with other 
powers without the permission of the Governor-General. 

The second Mahratta War, 1803. The great Mah- 
ratta chiefs were all, as was natural, furiously angry when 
they heard the news, and refused to recognise the treaty. 
But General Wellesley, who was in command of the British 
forces, advanced so rapidly against Poona for the purpose of 
reinstating the Peshwa, that no concerted action was possible 
on their part, and Jaswant Rao sullenly retreated to 
Indore. But though an immediate conflict had been 
avoided by Wellesley 's promptness, serious trouble was 
clearly imminent; lor Sindhia and Raghuji Bhonsla were 
moving large masses of troops into the Deccan. The shifty 
and treacherous Peshwa, too, was found to be secretly 
urging them on. General Wellesley, recognising that 
war was inevitable, forced them to unmask by proposing 
that all parties, including the British, should retire to their 
own territory. This they declined to do, and war was at 
once declared upon them. The Governor-General felt that 
his opportunity had come to humble the Mahrattas, and he 
determined to make the most of it. When all was ready 
he arranged for an attack upon them at seven different 
points ; but the two largest and most important forces sent 


against them were those commanded by General Lake and 
General Sir Arthur Wellesley. The armies of Sindhia and 
Eaghuji Bhonsla were many times larger than the British, 
and had been carefully trained by French officers. It i 
said that at the beginning of the war there were upwards 
of 300,000 Mahrattas in the field. 

The battle of Assaye. General Wellesley scored the 
first success in August, 1803, by capturing Ahmadnagar, in 
which Sindhia had stored his munitions of war. Sindhia 
retaliated by plundering the Nizam's dominions in rear of 
the British. But he was not permitted to do so for long 
with impunity, for Wellesley wheeled round, and by forced 
marches came up with him at Assaye, a little village lying in 
the fork of two tributaries of the Godavari, between Khan- 
desh and Berar, With Sindhia was Raghuji Bhonsla, and 
the two had with them 128 guns and upwards of 50,000 
men, including 30,000 cavalry. To meet this vast army 
Wellesley had no more than 4,700 soldiers, of whom about 
1,500 only were Europeans, and 26 guns; moreover, tha 
position the Mahrattas had taken up was a very strong one. 
The prospect was sufficiently appalling, but Wellesley 
determined nevertheless to attack the enemy at once. 
On September 23rd the British advanced, and were met 
by a terrific and well-directed cannonade, which mowed 
down hundreds of them. But, nothing daunted by their 
heavy losses, they swept irresistibly forward, and, coming 
to close quarters, charged boldly in among the enemy. The 
Mahrattas fought stubbornly, but they could not with- 
stand the British bayonets for long, and, after a 
desperate struggle over the guns, wavered, broke, and 
were driven with great slaughter into the stream behind 
their position. Sindhia and the Bhonsla flpd from the 
field long before the end, and were pursued by Colonel^ 
Stevenson, who had arrived with reinforcements too 
late to take part in the battle. The victory was a 
most glorious one ; the enemy's losses amounted to 
upwards of 10,000 men, and the whole of their artillery 
was taken. But so severe had been the struggle that 
the British losses amounted to a third of the forces en- 

Lake's victorious campaign. General Lake mean- 


while advancing from Cawnpore captured by storm the 
strong fort of Aligarh, defeated Sindhia's French general 
Bourquin at Delhi, and then took Agra. This was the 
end for ever of Mahratta influence at Delhi and of 
Sindhia's pretensions in North-Western India. But Sind- 
hia's power was not yet completely broken ; for the 
flower of his arm}^ known as The Invincibles, includ- 
ing a veteran battalion which had been trained by a 
famous French officer, De Boigne, still remained to 
be dealt with. Lake, therefore, after the fall of Agra, 
went southward in pursuit of them, and on November 
1st came up with them*at a place called Laswari in the 
Alwar state. The battle which followed was almost as 
bloody and decisive as that of Assaye. The Mahrattas, 
though fighting with desperate courage, could not withstand 
the British onslaught, and were again driven from the 

Sindhia and Raghuji enter into treaty with 
the British. Sindhia was now in great straits. In 
every part of his dominions towns and fortresses had 
been captured by the British, and his magnificent 
army, beaten at every point, was almost destroyed. 
Raghuji Bhonsla had still a large army intact, but 
further resistance was clearly useless ; for besides being 
decisively beaten by Lake and Wellesley, the confederate 
Rajahs had suffered defeat at other points, notably 
in Bundelkhand and Orissa, out of both of which 
their forces had been driven. Sindhia at this juncture 
made overtures of peace, but the terms off'ered him were 
such as he would not accept, and the war was there- 
fore continued. It did not last much longer, however; 
for in November, Wellesley and Stevenson, catching the 
remnant of his forces and the bulk of Raghuji Bhonsla's 
together at Argaon in Berar completely defeated them 
after a short and bloody contest and scattered them in 
flight. Wellesley 's next objective was the hill fort of 
Gawilgarh, Raghuji's principal stronghold, situated in a 
range of mountains between the sources of the Purna and 
the Tapti. The fort was a very strong one and the 
garrison had been reinforced by the fugitives from Argaon. 
But their previous defeats had cowed the Mahrattas and 


they made but a half-hearted resistance to Colonel 
Stevenson's determined assault. The slaughter, when the 
besiegers broke in, was very great, and large numbers 
were cut down while attempting to escape. 

The fall of Gawilgarh decided Eaghuji to make peace 
at once before he was utterly ruined; and on the 17th 
December, two days after the fall of Gawilgarh, he signed 
a treaty at Deogaon, by which he agreed to receive a 
resident at Nagpur, to enter into no relations with other 
states, to admit no foreigners into his service without 
the consent of the British, and to cede a large part of 
his territory, including the greater part of Orissa, to 
them. Daulat Kao Sindhia, thus left alone, with no 
means of continuing the struggle, was forced to accept 
such terms as the British would ofi'er him ; and a 
little later signed a treaty at Burhanpur, by the terms 
of which he agreed to receive a resident at his court, 
ceded to the British all his possessions north of the 
Jumna and the districts of Ahmadnagar and Broach in 
the south, and renounced his claims to interfere in the 
affairs of his neighbours. 

Results of the ^var. The result of this war greatly 
increased the power and prestige of the British. Most of 
the Rajput chiefs hastened to enter into treaty with 
them, and British influence became paramount over all 
India, with the exception of the Punjab, where the Sikhs had 
now firmly established their supremacy. The Moghul 
Emperor returned once more to British protection, and 
the whole of his dominions were brought under the 
Company's rule. It would have been well for Shah 
Alam had he never left it ; for Mahratta friendship had 
not been able to prevent his falling on one occasion 
into the hands of a cruel and bloodthirsty Afghan 
noble, named Ghulam Kadir, who, after torturing his 
sons and grandsons before his face, struck out both the 
old m^tn's eyes with a dagger. 

Disorder in Oudh. The Governor-General, like his 
predecessors, was troubled with the aflairs of Oudh. 
Saadat Ali, whom Sir John Shore had placed upon the 
throne, proved no better than the Nawab whom he had 
displaced, and by continued mismanagement had become 


so hopelessly involved in debt that he was unable any 
longer to pay for the maintenance of his subsidiary force 
The Marquis, finding remonstrance useless, and being deter- 
mined to prevent the disorders of the kingdom of Oudh 
from endangering the peace of Northern India, compelled 
the Nawab to cede certain districts for the support of the 
force. These districts, together with the remnants of the 
Moghul Empire, comprised the whole of what is now called 
the United Provinces. 

Holkar provokes the British. It may seem strange 
that Jaswant Rao Holkar should have taken no part in the 
second Mahratta war. Indeed nothing but his hatred of 
Sindhia and his desire to see his rival humbled had kept 
him from plunging at once into the struggle. But he was of 
so wild and turbulent a disposition that he could not long 
remain inactive ; moreover, some employment had to be 
found for the hosts of restless freebooters who kept flocking 
to Indore during those troublous times. Beside this rabble 
horde, ever ready for mischief, he had a numerous and well- 
equipped army, which was continually being swelled by 
batches of deserters from the armies of Sindhia and Raghuji 
Bhonsla. By the end of the second Mahratta war he had 
at his command an army of 80,000 trained soldiers, the 
pick of the fighting men of Malwa and Central India. 
It was not long before he began to ravage Malwa and 
Raj pu tana, and, ignoring remonstrances, raided the terri- 
tory of Rajput princes who were allies of the British. 
Growing daily more insolent he at length sacked Ajmir, 
and made peremptory demands for the cession of territory 
from the British. War was therefore declared upon him, 
and the British forces put in motion against him in April, 

The third Mahratta War, 1804 1805. Thus com- 
menced the third Mahratta war. General, now Lord, 
Lake was still available, but Sir Arthur Wellesley had left 
for England early in the spring. The campaign opened 
brilliantly with the capture of Indore ; but soon after 
Colonel Monson, by a rash advance into Central India, found 
himself opposed to nearly the whole of Holkar's army. In 
fear of being overwhelmed he thereupon retreated with 
equal precipitancy to Agra, abandoning most of his guns and 


baggage on the way. Such a reverse to British arms 
had not occurred since the Bombay army had been 
surrounded and forced to capitulate at Wargaon in 1778. 
Holkar, greatly elated at his success, first seized Muttra 
and then attacked Delhi; but he was repulsed at the 
latter place with such heavy loss by Colonel Ochterlony 
that he retired to Bhurtpur, the Rajah of which place, 
though an ally of the British, had espoused his cause. 
Monson, joined by General Fraser, now made a fresh 
advance, and coming up with Holkar's and the Rajah's 
combined forces at Dig utterly defeated them and captured 
all their guns. Lake meanwhile was carrying on his cam- 
paign with his usual brilliancy and success, and had soon 
captured Holkar's principal forts. 

Siege of Bhurtpur. Holkar's power was now practi- 
cally broken and the end of the war seemed to be in 
sight; but in January, 1805, Lake received a serious check 
at Bhurtpur. This huge fort, surrounded with a mud wall, 
was one of the strongest in India ; but Lake, grown over- 
confident, attacked it recklessly and tried to capture it by 
assault. Four times his gallant troops made the attempt, 
and were each time repulsed with heavy loss. He then 
found himself obliged to besiege it, and for this he had 
made no proper preparation. By great good fortune, after 
a siege of three and a half months, at the end of* which 
the British were no nearer capturing it than at the 
beginning, the Rajah of Bhurtpur, grown tired of the 
defence, opened negotiations with Lake. On condition of 
the British relinquishing the siege he agreed to pay 
twenty lakhs of rupees and to renounce his alliance 
with Holkar. But the failure to reduce Bhurtpur left 
a bad impression, and, though the ^balance of success was 
greatly in their favour, the military reputation of the British 
did not stand quite so high towards the close of the war as 
it had done at the beginning. The war had, however, 
clearly established the fact that it was useless to struggle 
against British supremacy ; and the Gaekwar of Baroda, 
when called upon to enter into a subsidiary alliance, did 
not dare to demur. Thus all the Mahratta chiefs, except- 
ing the ruined Holkar, who was still in arms, had now been 
brought under the subsidiary system. 


Resignation of the Governor-General. The 
Marquis' Wellesley had for some time been contemplating 
retirement; for the Court of Directors did not share his 
Imperial views and had grown more and more impatient of 
the expenses of his great campaigns. Moreover the Governor- 
General's policy was at variance with that of his employers 
in another matter. He was anxious for the free and 
unrestricted development of Indian trade, while the Com- 
pany was only anxious to keep the trade as much as possible 
to itself; and his letters urging upon the Directors the advan- 
tage to India of throwing open the trade to all comers gave 
great offence. He was a proud man as well as a determined 
one, and when he found that he had forfeited their confi- 
dence he resigned, and in August, 1805, while the third 
Mahratta war was still in progress, left the country. 

His Imperial policy. The Governor-Generalship of 
the Marquis Wellesley is memorable, not only for the 
destruction of the aggressive Muhammadan kingdom in the 
south, the crippling of the Mahratta power, the rooting out 
of antagonistic French influence, and the addition of a large 
amount of territory to the Company's dominions, but be- 
cause the East India Company was made by his masterful 
hand to stand forth openly at last as a great Imperial power, 
and forced to accept its responsibilities as such for the 
peace and welfare of India. The policy which he then 
laid down has come to be regarded as the only possible one 
for British rule in India, and its success is an enduring 
monument to his statesmanship and sagacity. 

Return of Lord Cornwallis, 1805. He was suc- 
ceeded by Lord Cornwallis, who, though now very old and 
feeble, had been induced to take up the post of Governor- 
General once more. He came out strongly biased against 
the policy, of the Marquis Wellesley, and with the declared 
intention of reverting to the old idea of a balance of power. 
He had in England denounced the Mahratta wars and con- 
demned the treaty of Bassein which led to them, and he 
was now determined that peace should be restored at any 
cost So set upon his purpose was he that he turned a 
deaf ear to all remonstrances and w^ould not even listen 
to Lord Lake. Shortly after his landing he left Calcutta 
for the seat of war to conduct the peace negotiations in 


person. But the fatigues of the journey, undertaken at 
the most trying season of the year, proved too much for the 
old man, and he was soon seriouslj^' ill. By the time he 
reached Ghazipur he was a dying man, and there a few 
days later he expired, on October 5th, 1805. It was for- 
tunate for his country and for his own high reputation that 
he did not live to carry out his purpose ; for by undoing 
all the work of his predecessor he would undoubtedly have 
encouraged the Mahrattas to try conclusions with the 
British again. But in that case the blame would have 
lain rather with those who had sent him out at a time of 
life Avhen he was no longer fit for work, than with the 
upright and spirited old soldier. 

Sir George Barlow, 1805-1807. Sir George Barlow, 
the senior member of Council, was appointed to succeed 
him. He also was a firm believer in the policy of non- 
interference, though he was not prepared to go to the 
length of undoing all that Wellesley had done. But in 
s}3ite of Lord Lake's remonstrances, and of the fact that 
Holkar had been driven away into the Punjab and was at 
the mercy of the British, he insisted upon concluding peace 
with him at once upon the easiest terms ; and then in 
order to conciliate Sindhia, who had begun to be trouble- 
some again, he handed over to him the strong fortresses of 
Gohud and Gwalior. What was far worse, on the plea that 
the British had no business to interfere in the affairs of 
the native states, he broke the engagements made by 
Wellesley with the Rajput chiefs, and abandoned them to 
the vengeance of the resentful Holkar and Sindhia. 

The Vellore Mutiny. During Sir George Barlow's 
administration a significant incident took place at Vellore 
in Southern India. The Madras Sepoys stationed there 
mutinied and massacred 113 European soldiers garrisoned 
with them. The causes which led to the outbreak were 
curiously similar in some respects to those which led to the 
great mutiny of 1857. The Sepoys were led to believe by 
disaffected persons that certain changes which were being 
made in their uniform were designed to take away their caste 
and turn them into Christians. The mutiny was quickly 
suppressed ; but it showed, though the lesson was unfortu- 
nately not taken to heart, how extremely credulous the 


masses of India were, and how easily they could be excited 
to savage and fanatical outbursts. Tippu's family, which, 
it may be remembered, had been removed to Vellore, had 
taken advantage of its freedom from restraint and the 
liberality with which its members had been treated to 
corrupt the Sepoys and spread sedition. It was in conse- 
quence of the outbreak removed to Bengal, in order that it 
might be more closely watched. 

Sir George Barlow superseded. Sir George 
Barlow was superseded in 1807 and sent as Governor to 
Madras. His two years of office had proved his unfitness 
for so high and responsible a position, and it was felt that 
a stronger and abler man was required. 

Lord Minto, 1807-1813. lord Minto, the President 
of the Board of Control, was selected as his successor. It 
was his task to restore the credit of the British name which 
had been tarnished by the feeble policy of his predecessor, 
and to consolidate the conquests of the Marquis Wellesley. 
The lawless state into which Central India was sinking, 
owing to the return to the non-interference policy, was 
causing grave anxiety, and the first matter to engage the 
new Governor-General's attention was connected with it. 
Holkar and Sindhia, though they had subjected the peoples 
of Malwa to every sort of oppression and misrule, had once 
been strong enough to maintain some sort of order in their 
dominions, and to keep in partial check the lawlessness 
and violence of robber chiefs. But when their power 
was broken by the British, Western and Central India 
sank into such a state of anarchy, that the people were 
left to defend themselves as best they could against the 
marauding bands that sprang up in every direction and 
infested the land. Whole tracts of fertile country, from 
which the peaceful and industrious peasantry had been 
driven by the depredations of these bandits, went out of 
cultivation, and many of those who had been plundered of 
all they possessed, turned robbers to make a living. 

Pacification of Bundelkhand. Lord Minto could 
not interfere in the affairs of the native states because he 
had been expressly forbidden by the Board of Control to 
do so. He was therefore forced to remain a passive 
spectator while all sorts of barbarities were committed. 


But the lawlessness of Bundelkhand was a direct menace to 
adjoining British territory, calling for prompt action, and 
he felt justified in taking upon himself the responsibility of 
sending a force against its turbulent chiefs. The campaign 
lasted from 1807 till 1812, and much hard 'fighting in diffi- 
cult country occurred ; but in the end, after the strong hill 
fort of Kalanjar had been,taken, they were forced to submit, 
and the country was pacified. 

Treaty with Ranjit Singh. In the second year of 
Lord Minto's administration the British Government, for 
the first time, came into touch with the Sikhs. Ihe chiefs 
of the districts between the Sutlej and the Jumna, known 
as the Cis-Sutlej Sirdars, appealed to the British for protec- 
tion against Maharajah Ranjit Singh, the powerful and 
ambitious ruler of Lahore. Charles Metcalfe, a young man* 
of 26, w^as sent by Lord Minto as British envoy to Lahore 
to try and settle matters ; and so well did he succeed that 
Ranjit Singh signed a treaty engaging to abstain from 
interference with the Sirdars of the Cis-Sutlej states. 

Embassies to Sind, Kabul, and Persia. England 
was again at war with France, and the possibility of the 
revival of French influence caused much anxiety in India. 
Trouble had already occurred at Travancore owing to French 
intrigues ; and it was feared that the hostile French influence 
which it was known was being exerted in Sind, Kabul, 
and Persia, might endanger the peace of India. Negotia- 
tions were therefore opened with the Amirs of Sind and 
ambassadors sent to Kabul and Persia. All three enter- 
prises were successful. The Amirs of Sind readily agreed 
to exclude the French; Mountstuart Elphinstone, the 
envoy to Kabul, succeeded in getting the ruler of Afghani- 
stan to sign a treaty that he would not have any dealings 
with any other European power than the British ; and Sir 
John Malcolm persuaded the Shah of Persia to bind himself 
not to allow the passage of European troops through his 
dominions to India. 

French and Dutch piracy put down. But Lord 
Minto was not yet satisfied ; for so long as the French 
could use Mauritius as a base of hostilities there could be 
no security for peace. The Dutch, w^ho were then in 
alliance with the French, were also proving troublesome in 


eastern seas. French and Dutch cruisers lay in wait for 
British merchant ships, and did great damage to the East 
India Company's trade. In 1 809 Lord Minto organised an 
expedition, and sentit first against Mauritius and the adjacent 
French islands. They were speedily captured and annexed ; 
though Mauritius only was afterwards permanently re- 
tained. The Dutch colonies were next attacked, and all 
were taken, including the magnificent island of Java, 
though this was afterwards restored. Before the expedi- 
tion returned it had brilliantly accomplished its task, 
having stripped the French and Dutch of all their colonies 
in the East Indies, and cleared the seas of their armed 

Retirement of Lord Minto. Lord Minto left India 
in 1813. He had successfully performed the difficult duty 
entrusted to him ; for he had succeeded in keeping free 
from any entanglements with native states without loss of 
prestige, and had waged no serious wars. By peaceful 
means for the most part he had done his work of consolida- 
tion, had widened the sphere of British influence, and 
worthily upheld his country's name. 

Abolition of the Company's monopoly in Indian 
trade. In the same year, the period of twenty years for 
which the Company's charter had been last renewed expired, 
and it became necessary for the Directors to obtain from 
Parliament a further extension. The East India Company, 
as we have seen, had long ceased to be a mere trading 
corporation, and had become a great territorial sovereign 
responsible for the lives and happiness of millions of human 
beings. The opinion had for some time been steadily 
gaining ground in England that its interests as a trading 
corporation were often opposed to its duties as a ruler, and 
that its tremendous responsibilities in the latter capacity 
required that it should confine itself more exclusively to its 
governing functions. When, therefore, the question of the 
renewal of its charter for another twenty years came before 
Parliament great stress was laid upon this point, and after 
a heated discussion it was decided, in spite of the most 
strenuous opposition on the part of the Company's supporters, 
that its monopoly of Indian trade should be abolished. Thus, 
what Wellesley had pleaded for in vain was now accom- 


plished, and the trade of India was at last thrown open to 
all comers without restriction. 

Lord Moira (the Marquis of Hastings), 1813 1823. 
The Earl of Moira, who was appointed to succeed Lord 
Minto, was a man already distinguished as a statesman and 
a soldier. It has been the good fortune of England to 
obtain, with scarcely an exception, men of the highest 
character and ability to fill the post of Governor-General of 
India ; but none have deserved better of their country than 
this great nobleman, who may be said to have completed 
the Avork begun by Olive, and to have accomplished the 
making of the Indian Empire. He was fifty-nine years of 
age when, in October, 1813, he landed in Oalcutta ; yet he 
held the rein^ of government for nine years through a 
critical period, and up to the last continued to discharge his 
duties with unflagging zeal and uniform success. 

The Nepal War, 1814-1816. The conduct of the 
Gurkhas of Nepal had lately been giving cause for un- 
easiness ; and the first question that confronted him was 
the settlement of a dispute which had arisen between the 
British Government and this aggressive and truculent little 
people. The Gurkhas, the ruling race in Nepal, were 
Hindu immigrants, who less than fifty years before had 
overrun the country and subdued the indigenous Indo- 
Thibetan people. They had since gradually been adding 
by conquest neighbouring Indian districts to their posses- 
sions, till at last, emboldened by success, they seized Butwal 
and Sheoraj in the northern part of Oudh, belonging to the 
British. When called upon to give them up they refused, 
and shortly after committed an act of war by putting to 
death eighteen British police officers taken in Butwal. Lord 
Moira himself directed the plan of campaign, and despatched 
against them four divisions starting from difi'er^it points. 
It was a difficult undertaking, and in view of the condition 
of India a critical one too. The great Mahratta chiefs were 
watching with close attention, and the new's of a severe 
reverse might set all India in a blaze of revolt. 

The southern frontier of Nepal stretched 600 miles, and 
the mountainous nature of the country made the advance 
slow and difficult. The Gurkhas were an enterprising 
enemy with a natural aptitude for war. The British 


troops, both native and European, being accustomed to win 
brilliant victories against enormous odds, made at first the 
mistake of despising them. But when they met with 
stubborn resistance and failed to carry all before them, 
their recklessness gave place to despondency. The Gur- 
khas were proportionately elated as their foes \^'^re de- 
pressed; and though the hill fort of Kalunga was taken 
and General Ochterlony in the west had stormed and 
captured all the Gurkha posts in that direction, the out- 
look on the whole was not encouraging. The other divisions 
had meanwhile made little or no progress, General Gillespie 
had been killed in a repulse, and there had been too many 
mishaps and small reverses. 

Treaty of Sagauli. But the skill and courage of 
General Ochterlony eventually saved the situation. In 
May, 1815, he captured a principal Gurkha stronghold 
named Malaon, and thereby forced the Gurkhas to evacuate 
the district of Garhwal. Early the next year, marching 
straight from Behar upon Katmandu, the capital, he got 
almost within striking distance of it, before the main army 
of the Gurkhas, which was guarding the regular route to it, 
could intercept him. Thereupon, the Gurkhas, finding 
their capital threatened, lost heart, and opened negotiations 
for peace. In March> 1816, a treaty was concluded at 
Sagauli, by which the Gurkhas agreed to receive'a British 
resident at Katmandu, to give back the places they had 
wrongfully seized, to cede the districts lying to the west of 
the Gogra, and to withdraw from Sikkim on the east. The 
Gurkhas have never since given trouble, and have faithfully 
observed the terms of the treaty. For his successful con^ 
duct of the war Lord Moira was created Marquis of 

Impeitding trouble in Central India. The Gover- 
nor-General had next to turn his attention to aff^iirs in 
Central India. The Peshwa, Sindhia, and the Mahratta 
chiefs in general, though much disappointed at the issue 
of the Nepal War, had not yet given up all hope of 
crushing the British, and w^ere evidently waiting for^ a 
favourable opportunity to try conclusions with them once 
more. But besides the fear of a combination of Mahratta 
chiefs a new danger had arisen in Central India, and was 


rapidly assuming formidable proportions. To understand 
clearly what this danger was and how it had arisen, a short 
digression will be necessary. 

Unsettled state of Malwa. When the Moghul 
Empire began to decay, one of the first provinces to be 
overrun by the Mahrattas was Mahva. After overthrowing 
the government and plundering the country from end to 
end, they contented themselves with levying chautJt from 
it, and so long as this was paid troubled themselves but 
little with its affairs. It soon fell, for want of a strong 
central authority, into a state of anarchy, and rob])ery and 
violence of all sorts went on unchecked. Sindhia and 
Holkar, when they subsequently divided the country 
between them, being mere military chiefs, organised no 
proper government, so that their dominions were always 
more or less in a state of unruliness. When the British 
began to restore order in India, Malwa became the refuge 
of all the restless spirits and bad characters of Western 
and Central India; added to which the Bhils, the indigenous 
non-Aryan peoples scattered up and down the country, 
were by nature a predatory folk. In the beginning of the 
nineteenth century the country simply swarmed with 
desperadoes, freebooters, mercenary bandits, and thie^Ts 
of all sorts. 

The Pindaris. When Lord Moira came to India the 
Pindaris, as these lawless bands of robbers were called, 
had become so numerous and so enterprising in their 
plundering expeditions that no part of Western and Central 
India was safe from them. They were always ready to 
hire themselves out for a promise of plunder to any chief 
who required their help, and Sindhia and Holkar especially, 
who derived great assistance from them in their constant 
wars, sheltered them, and even assigned grants of land to 
some of them. They were men of no particular nationality, 
nor even of the same religion ; their only bond, in fact, was 
their common profession of robbery. The most redoubtable 
leaders among them were Amir Khan, Karim Khan, and 
Chitu, a Jat. They could on occasion put into the field an 
army of 60,000 horsemen, and they possessed several 
batteries of guns. They were the most cruel and callous 
ruffians imaginable, and in pursuit of plunder would not 


stop at any atrocity, but mutilated and murdered men, 
women and children indiscriminately. 

Fourth Mahratta War, 1817-1819. The immediate 
cause of their coming into conflict with the British was a 
raid which they made in 1816 into the Northern Circars, 
during which they destroyed no less than 339 villages. 
The Governor-General determined at once to put them 
down, and, as he knew that they were receiving the secret 
support of the Mahratta chiefs, he made his preparations 
on the largest scale. It was well that he did so, for hardly 
were they completed when, in November, 1817, the Peshwa, 
Baji Rao, openly took their part and attacked the British 
Residency at Poona. Mr. Elphinstone, the Resident, 
retired with the British subsidiary force, numbering 2800 
men, to Kirki. The Peshwa, after plundering the Residency, 
attacked him with a force more than ten times as numerous, 
but was gallantly repulsed, and withdrew. Meanwhile the 
Bhonsla made a similar attack upon the British Residency 
at Nagpur ; but by the steadfastness and courage of the 
native sepoys under Mr. Jenkins, the Resident, he was 
heavily repulsed at the hill of Sitabaldi close by, despite the 
enormous preponderance of his forces. Holkar also was 
moving out against the British. 

Sindhia made to stand aloof. The Governor- 
General's worst fears seemed likely to be realised. It 
looked as if the British would have upon their hands not 
only a Pindari war, but another Mahratta war as well. 
Assuming himself the post of commander-in-chief, the 
Marquis of Hastings marched rapidly on Gwalior at the 
head of a large force, and arrived just in time to prevent 
Sindhia, who was growing restless, from plunging into the 
war. This prompt action so disconcerted Sindhia that he 
gave up all idea of joining in the fray, and even signed a 
treaty promising to help the British in restoring order and 
stamping out the Pindaris. 

The Battle of Ashti. While these events were taking 
place other British forces were advancing from different 
directions, it being the Marquis's plan to surround the 
Pindaris on all side^. The Peshwa had soon good cause to 
regret his rashness, for he was driven out of Poona and 
forced to fly. Satara was next occupied by the British ; and 


of the dominions of the descendants of Sivaji all but a small 
portion, which was reserved for the maintenance of the 
Rajah, was annexed. Baji Rao was pursued towards the 
Carnatic ; and at Ashti, near Sholapur, where his troops 
made a last desperate stand, while he was devising means for 
his own safety, he was finally and decisively beaten in 1818. 
After wandering about in great distress, seeking vainly 
for assistance, he surrendered at last to Sir John Malcolm. 
His territory was forthwith annexed, and he himself 
was sent to reside at Bithur, near Cawnpore, as a state 
prisoner. Thus ended ingloriously the great house of the 

The battles of Nagpur and Mehidpur. The 
Bhonsla ruler at Nagpur after his defeat at Sitabaldi tamely 
submitted, but as he was found still to be intriguing: 
against the British, a grandson of the late Raghuji Bhonsla, 
was placed upon the throne in his stead, but with such 
greatly curtailed powers that Nagpur fell thereafter almost 
wholly under British control. 

Jaswant Rao Holkar had died raving mad some years 
before the occurrence of these events, leaving his throne 
to an illegitimate son named Mulhar Rao. As the latter 
was a minor the state was being administered for him 
by a regency ; but, owing to the turbulence of the nobles 
and the mutinous condition of the army, it had been 
for some time in a chronic state of disorder. When 
the Pindari war broke out the army became uncontrol- 
lable and forced the State Council to join in the attack 
upon the British. In 1817 the whole army, numbering 
some 20,000 men, marched out to Mehidpur, on the left 
bank of the Chambal, and there encamped against the 
British. Sir John Hislop and Sir John Malcolm, who were 
in the neighbourhood with a strong force, boldly crossed the 
river and attacked it. The Mahrattas fought gallantly,, 
but in spite of a stubborn resistance the camp was 
brilliantly stormed, and they were driven out and forced 
to fly in all directions. A fortnight later the young Mulhar 
Rao capitulated and placed himself in the hands of the 

The Pindaris exterminated. Meanwhile the Pin- 
daris were being summarily dealt with. Amir Khan, the 

H.I.ll.S. R 


most powerful of them, soon came to terms and disbanded 
his army, on condition that he should be allowed to retain 
the small principality of Tonk in Raj pu tana. Karim Khan 
surrendered unconditionally in 1818 to Sir John Malcolm. 
Chitu, the cruellest and most remorseless of them all, after 
being defeated was driven from place to place, till at 
last, being deserted by his followers, he fled alone to 
the jungle, and there came to a fitting end being killed 
and eaten by a tiger. The Pindari bands were speedily 
broken up, and the robbers hunted down and killed like 
wild beasts. 

Restoration of peace and order. The whole of these 
campaigns lasted only four months, yet in that short time the 
question of British supremacy had been finally settled and 
the country freed from lawlessness and violence. In the 
words of the Governor-General, " multitudes of people had 
been enabled to return from the hills and fastnesses, in 
which they had sought refuge for years, and had reoccupied 
their ancient deserted villages. The ploughshare was again 
in every quarter turning up soil which for many seasons 
had never been stirred, except by the hoofs of predatory 
cavalry." The Eajput chiefs, who had been so basely 
deserted by Sir George Barlow, were now compensated 
by assignments of land and taken again under British 
protection. But to prevent disorder Ajmir, as being 
central, was taken over by the British Government, and 
Rajputana as a whole placed under the supervision of 
British officers. 

Resignation of the Governor-General. The re- 
mainder of the Marquis's term of office was not eventful. 
Much of his time was taken up in questions of law reform 
and the improvement of the Civil Service. He was a most 
enlightened ruler ; for he did much to encourage education 
by the opening of schools, and permitted the issue of a 
vernacular newspaper, the first of its kind in India. He 
proved himself as successful in finance as he had been 
a skilful commander in the field. Notwithstanding his 
great wars he was able to show an annual surplus of two 
millions sterling. Yet he did not escape censure. The 
acquisition of so much new territory displeased the 
selfish and short-sighted Directors, and they disapproved 


of his schemes for ameliorating the condition of the 
people by the spread of education, and his encourage- 
ment of a free press. At length, like Lord Wellesley, 
growing disgusted, he resigned, and in January, 1823, 
left for Ena^land. 

Lord Amherst, i823-i828.~His successor. Lord Am- 
herst, did not arrive till six months afterwards, and Mr. 
Adams, a Civil Servant, officiated in the interval. It seemed 
as if now at last the period of great wars was over, and a 
time of peaceful development had set in. But Lord Amherst 
had hardly taken office when the arrogance of the Burmese 
forced him to undertake a costly war against them. Some 
years before, the king of Burmah had made an impudent 
demand for the session of Chittagong, Dacca and Mursheda- 
bad on the ground that they belonged to the old kingdom 
of Arakan, which had been absorbed into the Burmese 
Empire in times long past. No notice was taken of 
the demand, and there the matter was thought to have 
ended. But the Burmese had lately become aggressively 
insolent, had raided British territory and carried off 
British subjects. When called upon for redress their only 
answer was to commit fresh outrages ; so that there was no 
other course than to declare war upon them. 

The first Burmese War, 1824-1826. In May, 
1824, Sir Archibald Campbell, in command of a strong 
British force, entered the Irrawady and anchored off Kan- 
goon. The Burmese now quickly realised what was the 
power of the enemy they had so lightly provoked. After 
offering a feeble resistance to the landing of the British they 
fled precipitately and left the town q. solitude. At Kern en- 
din, where they had constructed strong stockades, they 
attempted to make a stand ; but when the guns came into 
action, the shot and shell hailing upon them struck such 
terror into them, that they fled again in confusion.. But as 
they retreated they took care to remove all supplies they 
could, and to lay waste the country ; so that the British, 
who had not brought large stores of food with them, were 
soon in great straits for provisions. To add to the misery 
of the situation, the rainy season set in and the counti:y 
wa's soon dehiged. Malarial fever then made its appear- 
ance, and committed such fearful ravages in the British 


^ force that at length there were not left 3000 men fit for 

duty. In these depressing circumstances the British were 
called upon to repel a desperate attack by a largely rein- 
forced enemy. The artillery again did great service and the 
Burmese, unable to face it, were repulsed at all points. 
After this the British were left unmolested for two months, 
and employed the time in subduing the country behind 
them and along the coast. 

The treaty of Yendabu. When the rainy season 
ceased, a large force, consisting of the flower of the Burmese 
army under a redoubtable leader, was despatched against 
them by the King of Ava. But it had no better success than 
its predecessors, and by the middle of December it had been 
dispersed and its leader killed. The British now again 
assumed the offensive ; and while Sir A. Campbell pushed 
on to Prome, another force was sent on to Arakan. A 
second rainy season had to be endured before a further 
advance could be made, but the time was well employed in 
expelling the Burmese from Assam and Arakan. As soon 
as the cold weather set in the Burmese again advanced in 
great force, and attacked Sir A. Campbell at Prome. After 
n couple of months' continuous fighting, in which no con- 
siderable advantage was gained by either side, the British 
made a determined attack and drove the Burmese in great 
' confusion from all their positions. Some fruitless negotia- 
tions with the King of Ava then followed ; but as it was 
clear that the Burmese were merely trying to gain time, 
they were broken off, and the British continued their 
advance. At Pagahn the Burmese made another stand, but 
were driven ofiP with great slaughter. At length, in 
February, 1826, when the British had got within four days' 
march of Ava, the king, recognising the hopelessness of. 
further resistance, sued for peace. The chief conditions 
upon which it wds granted were that Arakan, Tenasserim, 
and certain of the lower provinces, should be ceded to the 
British, and that the King of Burmah should renounce all 
claims to Assam, and pay an indemnity for the war of a 
crore of rupees. The agreement is known as the treaty of 
Yendaboo, after the place where it was signed. 

Important result of the war. Thus, after an 
arduous campaign lasting nearly two years, the war was 


brought to a successful conclusion. The most interesting, 
and indeed the most important consequence of the war, was 
that the barrier which for so many hundreds of years had 
arrested the eastward progress of Aryan civilisation was at 
length broken down; and under the protection of the 
British Government immigration began at once to flow from 
Hindustan into adjoining Burmese territory. 

The taking of Bhurtpur. Before the Burmese war 
had reached its end Lord Amherst found himself involved 
in a dispute over the succession to the vacant throne of the 
Jat state, Bhurtpur. He had declined to be guided by the 
advice of Sir David Ochterlony, then agent to the Governor- 
General in Eajputana, who strongly urged him to intervene, 
and that fine old soldier had in consequence resigned. But 
intervention soon became imperative, and he had to send a 
force under Lord Combermere, the Commander-in-Chief, 
against the celebrated mud fort overlooking the city. 
Artillery could make no impression on its massive walls ; 
but at last, on January 18th, 1826, a breach was made by 
the explosion of a mine containing 10,000 lbs. of gunpowder,, 
and the fort, which had baffled Lake and had come to be 
regarded as impregnable, was gallantly stormed and cap- 
tured. The taking of Bhurtpur was convincing proof to all 
of the invincibility of the British, and their supremacy was 
recognised throughout India as an accomplished fact. 

The Company's supremacy proclaimed. After 
this event it was not thought expedient any longer to main- 
tain the fiction that the pensioned Moghul ruler of Delhi 
was still the Emperor of Hindustan ; and Lord Amherst 
went to Delhi and announced that henceforward the Com- 
pany was to be treated as the paramount power in India. 

Only one other fact is noteworthy in connection with 
Lord Amherst's administration, and that is that Simla was 
in his time first occupied as a summer residence for the 
Governor-General. Lord Amherst left India in March, 
1828. During the four month-s that elapsed before Lord 
William Bentinck, his successor, arrived, Mr. Butterworth 
Bayley acted as Governor-General. 

Lord William Bentinck, 1828-1835. Lord William 
Bentinck had been Governor of Madras about the beginning 
of the century, but had been unjustly recalled on account of 


the Vellore Mutiny. He had now an opportunity of show- 
ing how false had been the estimate then formed of his 
capacity, and he may be said to have more than justified his 
selection for the highest appointment in India. Lord 
William Bentinck's seven years of office are noteworthy 
for the many important reforms which were introduced 
during it. But he did not escape altogether from the 
necessity of making war. 

Annexation of Coorg. The ruler of the little state of 
Coorg in Southern India was in his small way as great a 
tyrant as any known to history. He put to death every 
male member of his royal house, committed every vice and 
crime, and shamefully misgoverned his people. When 
remonstrated with by the -British Government he madly 
defied it. A force was therefore sent to depose him ; and 
after a state of war which lasted ten days he was taken 
prisoner and sent a captive to Benares. As he had put to 
death all possible claimants to the throne, and as the people 
of Coorg expressed a strong desire to come under British 
rule, his state was annexed. 

Financial reforms. One ofithe first subjects to engage 
Lord William Bentinck's attention was finance. The condition 
of the finances was beginning to cause serious uneasiness; for 
the cost of the Burmese war had been very great, and the 
annual expenditure on administration had outrun the annual 
income. It was necessary to make extensive reductions if 
the Company's government were to be kept solvent. Com- 
mittees were appointed to inquire into civil and military 
charges, and as a result the permanent expenditure on the 
services was considerably cut down. This method of effect- 
ing economies was naturally regarded with great disfavour 
by the European officers whose emoluments were curtailed 
thereby, and the reduction of the allowance given to troops 
on active service particularly aroused resentment. Besides 
reducing expenditure the Governor-General created new 
sources of revenue ; a duty was levied on Malwa opium, 
and lands which by oversight had escaped assessment, or 
had been too lightly assessed, were made to yield their fair 
share of revenue. Whatever hostility his financial policy 
may have aroused at the time, it came to be admitted, even 
before he left India, that he had saved the country from a 


grave financial crisis and had enabled the revenues to meet 
all normal charges of government. 

Judicial reforms. He next turned his attention to 
judicial reform. The pressure of work upon the European 
officers of the department had become so heavy that 
arrears had accumulated in nearly every district. To 
increase the number of European officers was out . of 
the question, on the ground of expense. Lord William 
Bentinck solved the difficulty by appointing Indians to 
many of the posts hitherto held by Europeans and by 
increasing generally the number of native judicial officers. 
To lighten the work of the Calcutta Court of Appeal, which 
had grown exceedingly heavy, he created a Court of Appeal 
for Upper India at Allahabad ; and finally, to facilitate 
justice, in place of Persian, which had been the court 
language since the establishment of the Moghul Empire, he 
substituted the Vernaculars in all courts. 

Sati prohibited. But the reform with which his name 
is most commonly associated was the abolition of Sati, From 
very early times there had existed a belief in Northern 
India that it was a noble act for a widow to burn herself on 
the pyre of her dead husband. Though not essentially a 
part of the Hindu religion, this barbarous rite had come to 
be looked upon with reverential awe. In Bengal particularly 
the practice was very prevalent, no less than 287 being 
known to have occurred in the Calcutta division alone in 
the year previous to its suppression. In spite of the most 
strenuous opposition and even of threats of revolt, the 
Governor-General, having fully weighed the arguments on 
both sides and considered the possible consequences of an 
interference in the religious rites of the people, decided 
that this brutal and inhuman custom should at any cost be 
put a stop to. In December, 1829, a Government resolu- 
tion was passed making it a penal offence to aid or abet a 
Sati^ and authorising the police to interfere to prevent its 
performance. His courage and humanity were rewarded 
by the almost immediate and complete suppression of the 

Suppression of inhuman rites and Thugi. But 
he did not rest satisfied with having saved Hindu widows 
from a dreadful fate. Proceeding on the assumption that 


it was not right for an enlightened Government to tolerate 
the shedding of innocent blood, he took measures to prevent 
the killing of infant daughters, so prevalent among the 
Kajputs, and the performance of human sacrifices among 
the wild non-Aryan tribes. Then his attention was called 
to the existence of a sect of secret murderers and robbers 
in Central India, called Thugs. In the annals of crime there 
is nothing more wild and gruesome than Thugi. It is not 
easy to conceive of a more despicable gang of miscreants 
than the Pindaris, yet the Thugs were far worse. The 
Pindari was a professional robber, not averse from 
murder in pursuit of plunder; but to the Thug murder 
was as much part of his business as robbery. These vile 
wretches, having decoyed their victims, strangled them by 
throwing a handkerchief or noose round their necks, and 
then robbed and hid the bodies in the ground, counting 
every such murder a propitiation of the savage goddess. 
Kali, whom they worshipped. That such an association 
could have sprung into existence and flourished, and that 
such atrocious crimes should have been committed in the 
name of religion, are sufficient evidence of the state of 
depravity into which long continued anarchy and misrule 
had reduced Central India. To Major, afterwards Sir 
William Sleeman was deputed the task of exterminating 
these inhuman ruffians ; and so well did he perform it that 
before Lord William Bentinck left India fifteen hundred 
and sixty-two Thugs had been brought to justice, and the 
gangs practically broken up. 

Renewal of the charter. In the year 1833 the 
question of renewing the Company's charter came before 
Parliament again. Public opinion was now more than ever 
opposed to the Company's continuing to engage in trade ; 
and a parliamentary committee, appointed to enquire into 
the subject, strongly recommended that the Company 
should be required to confine itself to the business of 
administering its vast dominions. The charter was 
accordingly only renewed on this condition ; but the share- 
holders of the Company were guaranteed by Parliament 
against loss. The new charter was a great gain to India ; 
for under it the Government was freed from the necessity 
of viewing questions from a commercial as well as a 


political point of view, and was able to devote its whole 
attention to the task of administering its Indian Empire. 
The Company became, in fact, from now a great Imperial 
ruler, looking solely to the welfare of those committed to 
its charge. 

English education. During the last two years of 
Lord William Bentinck's Governor-Generalship a contro- 
versy was raised regarding the best medium for imparting 
education to the people. Mr. Macaulay, afterwards Lord 
Macaulay, the legal member of Council, lent the whole 
weight of his great influence in support of English as 
opposed to the Oriental classics or the Vernaculars. The 
Governor-General, after carefully considering the opinions 
expressed by all parties, decided in favour of English, and 
issued a resolution that the funds appropriated to education 
should be employed in imparting a knowledge of Western 
literature and science through the medium of the English 

One other measure connected with the Governor-General's 
term of office is important. This was the conversion of 
the United Provinces into a separate presidency with Sir 
Charles Metcalfe as its first Lieutenant-Governor. 

Lord William's benevolent rule. Lord William 
Bcntinck left India in May, 1835, amid general expressions 
of regret. Among the natives particularly his memory was 
long cherished with affection and respect; and even his 
countrymen who had suffered not a little by his reforms, 
joined in honouring the departing Governor as one who 
had done great good to India. His peaceful and benign 
administration went a long way towards persuading the 
natives of India that their foreign rulers had the welfare of 
their subjects at heart. His admission of Indians in large 
numbers into the public services and their appointment to 
more responsible posts were convincing proofs of the con- 
fidence and good faith of the British Government; and the 
greater security to life anc^property, which had resulted 
from his efforts to put down robbery and violence tended 
greatly to reconcile them to a foreign domination. 

Liberation of the Press. It was hoped that Sir 
Charles Metcalfe, who held charge of the office for one year 
after the Governor-General's departure, would be appointed 


his successor, but the Government in England in the end 
decided to send out Lord Auckland. During his officiating 
term of office Sir Charles Metcalfe, supported by Macaulay, 
removed all restrictions on the liberty of the Press, a measure 
which Lord William Bentinck had long been contemplating ; 
but the Board of Control so strongly expressed its dis- 
approval of what it considered a premature innovation, that 
Sir Charles Metcalfe, after handing over the charge to Lord 
Auckland, found it necessary to resign the service and retire. 

Lord Auckland, 1836-1842. Lord Auckland's adminis- 
tration marks an epoch in British Indian history. With 
the pacification of the country, and the extension of the 
Company's dominions, questions of foreign policy had 
begun to attract attention. While the British were 
gradually acquiring fresh territory, and getting nearer 
and nearer to the north-west frontier of India, Russia was 
rapidly absorbing the petty kingdoms of Central Asia into 
her vast empire, and reaching out in a southerly direction 
towards India. Prior to the coming of the English every 
invasion of India known to history had come from the 
north west. In that corner alone is it possible to break 
through the cha^in of mountains which protects India on the 
north. Previous to Lord Auckland's time, beyond sending 
embassies of a friendly nature to the ruler of Afghanistan, 
the British had taken no interest in affairs beyond the 
frontier. The presence of so powerful a ruler as Ran jit 
Singh at Lahore with his magnificent Sikh army, burning 
with a traditional hatred of the Afghans as oppressors of 
their forefathers, was a sufficient guarantee that no descen- 
dant of the Abdali would be able to repeat his devastating 

Troubled state of Afghanistan. During Lord 
William Bentinck's term of office. Shah Shuja, the reign- 
ing monarch of the Abdali dynasty, as the result of a 
successful revolution against l^ia headed by a chief named 
Dost Muhammad, had been driven out of Afghanistan 
to seek refuge in India under the shelter of the friendly 
British Government. Dost Muhammad was only able to 
establish his authority over the districts of Kabul and 
Ghazni ; for Herat remained faithful to the house of the 
Abdali, Balk was annexed by the ruler of Bokhara and 


Peshawar, and the Indus districts were seized upon by 
Eanjit Singh. The Shah of Persia, noting the troubled 
state of the country, thought an opportunity had arrived 
for repeating the conquests of Nadir Shah, and as a 
preliminary step attacked Herat. In his attempt to 
subjugate Afghanistan he was found to be receiving 
encouragement from Russia, who hoped by fomenting 
trouble to find later on an excuse for interfering to her 
own advantage. 

Lord Auckland supports Shah Shuja. Into this 
turmoil Lord Auckland plunged with all the recklessness of 
inexperience. Some action to counteract the schemes of 
Russia was no doubt required, but nothing could have been 
more disastrous than the line of policy he pursued. Ke 
first tried to come to an agreement with Dost Muhammad, 
but failed, chiefly through the influence of the Russian 
envoy at Kabul. Though no open rupture had occurred, 
and though Dost Muhammad showed no hostile inclination. 
Lord Auckland determined that if he would not do as he 
wished he should be dethroned. He therefore took up the 
cause of Shah Shuja, and persuaded Ranjit Singh, by pro- 
mising to guarantee him in the possession of the districts he 
had seized, to help him to replace Shah Shuja on the throne. 
It is fair to Lord Auckland to state that he looked upon 
Dost Muhammad as a usurper occupying a precarious 
position, and believed that the people of Afghanistan would 
welcome the return of their lawful sovereign. 

First Afghan War, 1838-1842. A British . army 
escorting Shah Shuja on this hazardous enterprise marched 
byway of Sindh into Afghanistan in 1838. While it was 
on its way news arrived that the Shah of Persia had 
relinquished the siege of Herat, and abandoned his project of 
conquering Afghanistan. The intrigue of Russia was thereby 
frustrated, and there was no longer any urgent reason for 
interfering in the affairs of Afghanistan. Yet the expedition 
was not recalled, but continued amid great difficulties and 
privations to force its way into Afghanistan. In the middle 
of 1839 it reached Kandahar, and thefe Shah Shuja 
was solemnly enthroned; but it was noticed that the 
Afghans did not welcome back their lawful ruler with 
any enthusiasm. While the British force was resting at 


Kandahar, the disquieting news arrived that their ally, 
Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab, was dead, and that his 
kingdom had fallen into the utmost confusion. There was 
no assistance, therefore, to be expected from the Sikhs. 

Shah Shuja restored to his throne. But the 
British officers had their orders to restore Shah Shuja to 
Kabul, and, moreover, matters had gone too far now for the 
possibility of withdrawal. Within a month of the en- 
thronement of Shah Shuja at Kandahar the army was on 
the march again. G-hazni was gallantly stormed, and Dost 
Muhammad driven away into the Hindu Kush. In August 
the British entered Kabul, and Shah Shuja was wdth great 
ceremony restored to his kingdom. A British force, much 
against his advice, was left to defend him ; and Sir William 
MacNaghten remained with it as British Resident at 
Kabul. The subjugation of Afghanistan then really began, 
and much severe fighting took place before it was effected. 
But it became increasingly evident that the Afghans did 
not want Shah Shuja back, and that Dost Muhammad had 
very many adherents. At length, in 1840, Dost Muhammad, 
who had reappeared, was decisively beaten and forced to 
surrender. He was at once sent as a prisoner to Calcutta, 
and with his departure all opposition to Shah Shuja seemed 
to be at an end. 

Evacuation of Kabul. Lord Auckland had effected 
his object, but he had little reason to congratulate himself 
on the result ; for the Afghans were in such a sullen and 
dangerous mood that it was necessary to maintain at great 
expense a military occupation of the country. In fact they 
were ready to rebel at any moment, and a general rising 
was only a question of time. The storm burst very sud- 
denly two years later. First * the Ghiljis revolted and 
attacked Sir Robert Sale while on his way with a body of 
troops to India, and forced him to take refuge in the fort of 
Jellalabad. The next month Sir Alexander Burnes, the 
political agent, was, together with his suite, murdered in 
Kabul. Forthwith an insurrection broke out, headed by 
Akbar Khan, a 'son of Dost Muhammad. A little later Sir 
William MacNaghten, who had opened negotiations with 
the insurgents, deceived by the apparently friendly attitude 
of their leader, was induced to meet them at a conference, 


and during the interview was treacherously assassinated with 
all his staff. The officer in command of the British troops 
stationed at Kabul was old and timid, and could not make 
up his mind to do anything. The opportunity of saving 
the situation was lost in inactivity, and the British canton- 
ments were soon surrounded by hordes of ferocious Afghans. 
The general was now thoroughly frightened, and believing 
that resistance was useless surrendered all his guns, and 
pledged his Government to pay fourteen lakhs and to 
restore Dost Muhammad,^ on condition that the British 
troops were given a safe escort back to India. 

Retreat from Kabul. The whole British force at 
Kabul, numbering 4000 combatants and 12,000 camp fol- 
lowers, started on the return journey to India on January 
6th, 1842. Shah Shuja was almost immediately afterwards 
murdered, and his body thrown into a ditch. The 
treacherous Afghans, having the British at their mercy and 
burning for revenge, had no mind to let them escape. 
Hardly had the retreat commenced before they began to 
hover about them, day and night, harassing them in front 
and rear, cutting off stragglers, stealing their baggage 
animals, and ambuscading them on every possible occasion. 
The sufferings endured upon that disastrous march beggar 
description. It was the depth of winter and the snow lay 
thick upon the ground; added to which there was scarcely 
any food to be got. Three thousand perished in the Pass 
of Kurd Kabul alone ; but the force struggled desperately 
on, every day losing numbers by cold, starvation, and the 
ceaseless attacks of the Afghans. When no longer any 
real hope of escape remained, the surviving women and 
children, and some of the married officers, gave themselves 
up to the enemy, and were taken back to Kabul. The 
remainder, with a solitary exception, perished in a vain 
attempt to reach Jellalabad. 

Lord Auckland recalled. The disaster was the most 
complete that had ever befallen the British in the East, and 
it was a heavy blow to their military reputation. But 
fortunately there were other forces in Afghanistan to 
uphold their credit ; and two of these at any rate rendered 
good accounts of themselves. The gallant defeijce made by 
General Sale at Jellalabad was as creditable as the retreat 


from Kabul had been humiliating. Here a small British 
force, behind dilapidated walls, kept at bay enormous 
numbers of the enemy, and sallying out, more than once 
inflicted severe loss upon them. General Nott, at the same 
time, was maintaining a stubborn defence at Kandahar. 
When the news of the catastrophe became known in 
England it created something like consternation. Lord 
Auckland, who had been made Earl of Auckland for 
restoring Shah Shuja to the throne, was now as much 
blamed for his aggressive policy as he had before been 
praised for it. He was given no opportunity for retrieving 
his reputation, but was at once recalled. 

Lord Ellenborough, 1842-1844. He was succeeded 
by Lord Ellenborough, the President of the Board 
of Control, in March, 1842. The Afghan Campaign 
had converted a balance of ^10,000,000 into a con- 
siderable deficit; but there could be no thought of peace 
till the treacherous Afghans had been punished, the bravo 
defenders of Jellalabad and Kandahar relieved, and British 
prestige re-established. But before any steps could be 
taken news arrived of another reverse, scarcely less dis- 
graceful than the retreat from Kabul, and almost equally 
disastrous. The British garrison at Ghazni had lost heart 
and evacuated the place, and had been almost annihilated 
in an attempt to retreat. 

Jellalabad and Kandahar relieved. Though prepa- 
rations for avenging these disasters were pushed on with 
the utmost haste, it was not till the middle of April that 
the relieving army, under the command of General Pollock, 
forced the Khyber Pass and arrived before Jellalabad. 
The Afghans had worn themselves out in fruitless efforts to 
capture the place, and they fled at once on the approach of 
the relieving force. The failure to capture Jellalabad was 
a bitter disappointment to the Afghans, and their inability 
to stop the advance of the British caused a general panic. 
The besieging force in front of Kandahar gradually melted 
away, and the garrison was soon after able to relieve itself 
At this stage Lord Ellenborough was for withdrawing 
altogether ; but when the generals protested against so 
timid a co^^se he yielded, taking care, however, to throw 
upon them the responsibility for continuing the campaign. 


Kabul occupied. Kabul was now the objective ; and 
while General Pollock advanced upon it from Jellalabad, 
General Nott, who had meanwhile been reinforced, made 
towards it from Kandahar. General Pollock's victorious 
progress did much to wipe away the disgrace of the sur- 
renders at Kabul and Ghazni. The forts met with on the 
way were levelled to the ground, and the Afghans, 
wherever they made a stand, decisively beaten. The 
capture of Ghazni by General Nolt and the complete 
destruction of its fortress was the crowning triumph of 
British arms. The Afghans were now everywhere in full 
retreat, and little further resistance was encountered. The 
two generals met at Kabul in September, 1842, having 
thoroughly restored the credit of their country and accom- 
plished the purpose of the campaign. As a punishment for 
the treachery of its inhabitants the great bazaar was blown 
up. The pacification of Afghanistan was speedily effected 
after the fall of Kabul; and by great good luck the captives 
taken the year before during the retreat from Kabul were 

Settlement after the war. The policy of inter- 
ference in Afghan affairs had so unmistakably proved a 
failure that the only thing to be done was to get out of the 
country as soon as a satisfactory settlement of its affairs 
could be made. Since it was clear that the Afghans wished 
to have Dost Muhammad back, and that he was the only 
man capable of keeping order in the country, he was 
released and reinstated on the throne. The British then 
withdrew immediately, and everything was restored to 
what it had been before the war. Such was the end of 
Lord Auckland's policy of intervention ; 15,000,000 had 
been spent, and upwards of 20,000 lives sacrificed, in a 
fruitless attempt to counteract Russian influence ; the mili- 
tary reputation of the British had been tarnished ; and the 
Afghans, whose friendship it was to the interest of the 
Indian Government to cultivate, had been converted into 
bitter and implacable enemies. 

Annexation of Sind. As soon as Lord Ellen- 
borough was free from his Afghan difficulties he had to 
turn his attention to the affairs of Sind. The Amirs of 
Sind, with whom it will be remembered Lord Minto had 


made an agreement, had lately shown unmistakable signs 
of hostility to the British, notwithstanding that they had 
more than once been protected by them from their aggres- 
sive Afghan and Sikh neighbours. The Amirs were not 
natives of Sind, but Baluchis whose forefathers had in- 
vaded and conquered the land. They lived in castles 
dotted about the country, and exercised a sort of feudal 
sway over it. They were a turbulent set of men, fierce 
and treacherous, and they cruelly oppressed the conquered 
people. Lately their attitude had become so threatening 
that Lord Ellenborough despatched Sir Charles Napier in 
1842 with a considerable force to Sind, giving him full 
powers to deal with them as occasion should demand. 
Early the next year the Amirs committed themselves by 
attacking in great force the British Residency. Sir Charles 
therefore moved out against them and inflicted two crush- 
ing defeats upon them, the first at Miani and the second 
at Hyderabad (Sind). Their power was completely broken 
and they had to surrender unconditionally. It was decided 
to send them as state prisoners to Benares, and to annex 
Sind to the British dominions. The decision was thought 
harsh ; but whether it were so or not, the Amirs were 
not entitled to much consideration, and the people of Sind 
benefited greatly by the change of rule. 

Trouble in Gwalior. Hardly was the war in Sind 
brought to a successful conclusion before trouble occurred 
in Grwalior. A dispute as to who should be Eegent 
during the minority of the young Rajah led to bloodshed 
and great disturbance in the state. The Gwalior army, 
which was out of all proportion to the needs of the state, 
had lately usurped all authority, and being under no 
proper control, had begun to assume a threatening attitude. 
Lord Ellenborough saw that unless he interfered promptly 
there was the probability of so serious an outbreak occurring 
that it might spread and embroil the whole of Northern 
India. He therefore ordered two considerable forces to 
march from different points on Gwalior, and himself accom- 
panied one. The Gwalior army was not in the least dis- 
mayed at the prospect of a fight with the British, and 
confidently prepared to give them battle. 'One half 
faced the British at Maharajpur and the other at 


Punnair. By a strange coincidence, at both places battrles 
took place on the same day, December 29th, 1843, 
and at both, after hard fighting, the British gained decisive 
victories and captured the whole of the enemy's artillery 
and baggage. The last semblance of Mahratta power dis- 
appeared when the Gwalior armies were routed. The 
Gwalior state had now, like the rest of the Mahratta states, 
to submit humbly to whatever terms were imposed upon it ; 
and Lord Ellenborough took care that they should be such 
as should insure a lasting peace and dependence on the 
British Government. 

Lord Ellenborough recalled. Two months later 
the Governor-General was recalled. The annexation of 
Sind had . particularly displeased the Directors, but there 
were many other points on w^hich they diflfered from him. 
If he had not succeeded in pleasing them he had at any 
rate the satisfaction of knowing that he had piloted his 
Government with credit out of the dangerous situation into 
which Lord Auckland's disastrous Afghan policy had 
brought it. 

Lord Hardinge, 1844- 1847. H^ "^^s succeeded by 
Sir Henry Hardinge, a fine old soldier who had served 
with Wellington through the Peninsular War, and had 
distinguished himself on many a field. It was well for the 
British Government in India that a soldier was then sent 
to take control ; for a crisis was at hand to deal with which 
the highest military skill was needed. The threatening 
attitude of the Sikhs had lately given cause for considerable 
anxiety. A conflict with them, sooner or later, had for 
some time come to be regarded as inevitable, but it was 
now felt to be imminent. 

The military power of the Sikhs. The Sikhs 
are, roughly speaking, a people of Jat descent who 
migrated from Eajputana to the Punjab. At first they were 
mere cultivators ; but in the period of anarchy that set in 
with the decline of the Moghul Empire they began to 
enrich themselves at the expense of the feebler peoples 
among whom they dwelt. Their leaders soon acquired 
large tracts of land, and set up as independent chiefs ; but 
their rule was harsh and oppressive, and the people of the soil, 
particularly the Muhammadan portion, suffered much at their 
H.i.n.s. s 


haTids. They were but a small proportion of the population of 
the Punjab, for the Hindus and Muhammadans outnumbered 
them by ten to one; but their religious fervour, their 
martial spirit, and their military organisation gave to them 
a striking predominance. Such a people only required to 
be welded together under an overlord strong enough to 
control them to become a great power in Northern India. 
At the beginning of the nineteenth century they found 
their master in Ran jit Singh, the ruler of Lahore. The 
Sikh Sirdars to the west of the Sutlej were one after 
another overthrown by him; and before he died he had 
established a great Sikh kingdom in the Punjab, more than 
strong enough to hold its own against its neighbours. At 
the time of his death the Sikh army was a splendid fighting 
force, numerous, well-equipped, and highly trained. The 
Maharajah Ran jit Singh had had the wisdom to recognise 
that European drill and tactics were immensely superior to 
anything of Indian origin, and had engaged the services of 
several European instructors. The most noteworthy of 
these was a Frenchman, General Avitabile, and it was to 
his skilful training that the efficiency of the army was 
mainly due. At the time of Ranjit Singh's death the Sikh 
army numbered 92,000 infantry and 31,000 cavalry, and 
possessed more than 500 guns. 

Affairs in the Punjab after Ranjit Singh's 
death. But Ranjit Singh, though a great leader of men, 
was not an administrator. During his reign there was no 
abatement of the old corruption and extortion. The 
people suffered as much as ever from the oppression of 
petty tyrants, and in addition were burdened with a multi- 
tude of vexatious taxes to support the Maharajah's vast 
army. Nothing but the magic of his name kept his king- 
dom together. Therefore, as was inevitable, when his 
strong hand was removed his kingdom fell instantly into a 
state of disorder bordering upon anarchy. While rival 
claimants fought for the possession of his throne, the 
turbulent nobility, always impatient of control, did as they 
pleased. By murders and massacres each party rose to 
power, and by the same means was in its turn disposed of 
by its victorious rival. At last in 1845, after scenes of 
horrible barbarity in which most of the relatives of the late 


Maharajah had successively been assassinated, an arrange- 
ment was come to which seemed to give some hope of 
order being re-established. Dhulip Singh, his youngest 
son, was by common consent placed upon the throne and 
the principal Sirdars formed themselves into a Council 
of State. 

Turbulent state of the Sikh army. To the Khalsa, 
as the Council was called, was entrusted the control 
of the army ; but it very soon found that the army 
was unmanageable, and that unless some employment 
could be found for it, it might rise at any moment and 
sweep away the Government. The fears of the Khalsa 
were very real ; for there is indeed no greater danger to a 
state in peace time than the existence of a huge standing 
army which has lost its respect for authority and knows its 
strength. At length, as an alternative to civil war, the 
Khalsa was driven to the desperate expedient of launching 
it against the British. The Khalsa probably realised that 
there was little or no likelihood of its overthrowing that 
power ; but it hoped no doubt that at the worst it would 
return cowed and humbled and capable of being controlled. 
But the army itself had a very different opinion as to what 
the upshot of a war with the British would be ; for the 
disasters of the first Afghan war had shown that the 
British were not invincible after all. The Sikhs them- 
selves had never known defeat during the late Maharajah's 
reign, and they had no doubt as to their superiority 
to the Company's Indian soldiers. Whatever misgivings 
their leaders may have had, the rank and file of the Sikh 
army were burning to try conclusions with the British, 
and entered upon the war with the utmost confidence of 

The first Sikh War, 1845-1846. The battles of 
Mudki and Ferozshahr. In December, 1845, the Sikh 
army poured across the Sutlej into British territory, and the 
first Sikh war began. British troops were dispatched 
against them as soon as possible, and Sir Hugh Gough, the 
Commander-in Chief, and Sir Henry Hardinge both hurried 
to the front. The first encounter took place at Mudki, 
between 16,000 British and 30,000 Sikhs. The Sikhs, after 
a short and sharp conflict, were driven from the field by a 


magnificent charge of the British infantry. Their loss was 
heavy, and seventeen of their guns were captured ; but the 
victors, too, suffered considerably, and among the slain was 
Sir Eobert Sale, the hero of Jellalabad. Three days later 
the British attacked the Sikh camp at Ferozshahr. Sir 
Hugh Gough somewhat recklessly assaulted with his whole 
force just before sunset, and all night long the battle raged 
in great confusion. In the morning, by the exertions of 
Sir Henry Hardinge and Sir Hugh Gough, the British 
troops were re-formed, and by a well-concerted movement 
the Sikhs were at last driven with heavy loss out of their 
encampment, and fied in great disorder, leaving 73 guns 
behind them. The victory was a glorious but costly one ; 
for, though the enemy's losses were very great, the British 
had more than 600 killed, and were so exhausted that they 
could not follow it up. After this, for a month both 
sides remained inactive, the British waiting for reinforce- 
ments and supplies and the Sikhs mustering for a fresh 

The battles of Aliwal and Sobraon. Towards the 
end of January, 1846, the Sikhs again crossed the Sutlej. 
General Harry Smith, who was sent ahead against them, 
encountered them at Aliwal, close to the bank of the river. 
They fought stubbornly as usual, but were steadily pushed 
back towards the river, and at length with great slaughter 
driven into it, and forced to abandon all their stores, guns, 
and ammunition. The Sikhs were greatly disheartened at 
this defeat, but they made one last great stand at Sobraon 
to dispute the passage of the Sutlej. General Harry Smith 
and Sir Hugh Gough had now joined forces, and both to- 
'gether advanced against the Sikhs on February 10th. The 
battle began with a heavy cannonade on both sides, the Sikh 
gunners displaying quite as much skill as their opponents. 
As neither side gained much advantage thereby, Sir Hugh 
Gough ordered a general advance. The British troops, 
though suffering heavily all the while, charged undauntedly 
across the intervening space, and getting to close quarters 
carried the enemy's entrenchments at the point of the 
bayonet. The Sikhs fought with the courage of despair, 
and though many fled thousands preferred to die at their 
posts. The carnage in the hand-to-hand fighting was fearful : 


but at last the remnant of the Sikhs broke and fled into 
the river, pursued by the destructive fire of the British 

Terms of submission. The victory cost the British 
more than 300 killed and 2000 in wounded, but it was 
decisive. Lahore now lay at their mercy, and further 
resistance was seen by the Sikhs to be vain. The young 
king in person tendered his submission, and terms of peace 
were speedily arranged. The tract between the Sutlej and 
the Ravi was ceded to the British ; the Sikh army was 
considerably reduced ; a British Eesident was received at 
Lahore; a British garrison stationed there for his pro- 
tection ; and an indemnity of a million and a half sterling 
fixed as the cost of the war. As the indemnity could not 
be paid, Kashmir, which formed part of the Maharajah's 
dominions, was subsequently sold to the Rajah of Jummu 
for 1,000,000. 

There was great rejoicing in England over these brilliant 
victories against so stubborn and formidable a foe. For 
fcheir services Sir Hugh Gough and Sir Henry Hardinge 
were both raised to the peerage, and General Harry Smith 
was made a baronet. 

Lord Hardinge's administration. Lord Hardinge 
now had leisure to devote himself to questions of adminis- 
tration. It is noteworthy that during his time the siibject 
of the construction of railways in India was first con- 
sidered. The Governor-General entered with zeal into the 
work of putting down inhuman rites which Lord William 
Bentinck had begun. Thugi, Sati, and human sacrifices 
were further suppressed, and vigorous steps were taken to 
put a stop to female infanticide and the revolting cruelties 
perpetrated in the name of religion among the wild tribes. 
His efforts to preserve from defacement and decay the 
splendid architectural remains of ancient and mediaeval 
India have given him a special claim to the gratitude of 
posterity. He left India in 1848, after having held office 
for only three and a half years ; yet few Governor-Generals 
have left a better record of service or have been more 
sincerely regretted at their departure than this chivalrous 
and humane old soldier. 

Lord Dalhousie, 1848-1856. His successor was Lord 


Dalhousie, the last of the Governor-Generals of the East 
India Company, and as great an administrator as its great- 
est, Hastings and Wellesley. He was only 35 years of 
age when he landed in Calcutta in January, 1846 ; but he 

had already made his 
mark in politics, and had 
displayed so singular a 
talent for organisation 
that it was felt that in 
accepting the office of 
Governor-General he had 
sacrificed a great career 
in England. 

Rebellious state of 
the Punjab. Lord 
Hardinge made India 
over to him in a state of 
perfect tranquillity, and 
Lord Dalhousie, like so 
many Governors before 
him, on assuming office, 
declared himself to be a 
man of peace. He soon 
found, as they too had found, that to preserve the em- 
pire he could not avoid war. Lord Hardinge, after the 
conclusion of the first Sikh war, had placed the Punjab 
during the minority of the Maharajah Dhulip Singh under 
a regency of Sikh nobles, controlled by the British Resident 
at Lahore. The arrangement did not work well, for 
the Sikh nobles disliked having to answer for their 
conduct to the Resident, and did not mean to co-operate 
with him. The Punjab, though outwardly calm, was 
seething with discontent, and the vanquished Sikhs, 
though sullenly acquiescing in their defeat, were cherish- 
ing the bitterest animosity and longing for the day of 

Outbreak in Multan. In 1848, Mulraj, the Governor 
of Multan, rather than render to the Resident an account of 
his government, tendered his resignation. His resignation 
was accepted, and the resident dispatched two young English 
officers with a small escort to instal his successor. Mulraj 

Lord Dalhousie. 


had never expected to be taken at his word, and had no inten- 
tion of resigning his office. With feigned humility, however, 
he handed over charge of it, but at the same time, with a 
view to recovering it, secretly incited a rebellion among the 
Sikh soldiery. The two young officers, with their slender 
escort, shortly found themselves surrounded by a rabble 
mob from the city, and after a brief and gallant defence they 
were overpowered and killed. Mulraj then returned to the 
fort and resumed his Governorship. This was the signal for 
a general revolt throughout the Punjab. 

Brilliant exploits of Lieutenant Edwardes. 
News of what was happening at Multan reached Lieutenant 
Edwardes at Dera Fateh-Khan, two hundred miles away, 
and hastily collecting as many men as he could, about four 
hundred in all, he hurried to the scene. He was joined 
later by the loyal levies of the Musalman state of Bhawal- 
pur. Edwardes was a born soldier, daring without rashness, 
prompt to make the most of an advantage, and capable of 
inspiring patience and courage in those whom he com- 
manded. With his small force he not only succeeded in 
keeping Mulraj at bay, but defeated him in two pitched 
battles, and drove him back into Multan with the loss of 
eight of his guns. The defeat of Mulraj was a wonderful 
achievement, but without speedy reinforcements the little 
force could not long hold its ground. 

Reverse at Multan. Lord Gough, the Comman- 
der-in-Chief, seems not at first to have realised the 
seriousness of the situation; for though an outbreak at 
Lahore was clearly imminent, and the frontier tracts were 
already in revolt, he did nothing. It was not till five 
months had passed that a force with heavy guns arrived to 
undertake the reduction of the fortress. Along with the 
relieving force came a contingent of Sikhs numbering 5000, 
supplied by the Eegency at Lahore. To attempt to take 
the fortress by storm was impracticable, so the besiegers 
determined to reduce it by a regular siege. In the midst of 
the operations the Sikh contingent, as might indeed have 
been foreseen, suddenly went over to the enemy. Their 
defection completely reversed the situation, and made it 
necessary to raise the siege. The British force, in some 
danger of being surrounded, was withdrawn to a place 


of safety a fevA^ miles away, while reinforcements were 
sent for. 

The second Sikh War, 1848-1849. Meanwhile, the 
whole Punjab had risen, and to make matters worse the 
Afghans, forgetting their inveterate hatred of the Sikhs in 
their passionate longing for revenge against the British, were 
pouring down the Khyber Pass to aid them. The military 
authorities, incredible as it may seem, still failed to realise 
that a crisis had occurred requiring prompt and energetic 
action. But the indications of a widespread revolt were not 
lost upon Lord Dalhousie, who, though far away in Calcutta, 
thoroughly grasped the situation. * There is no other course 
open to us,' he wrote, ^ but to prepare for a general Punjab 
war, and ultimately to occupy the country.' He perceived 
what those on the spot had failed to recognise, that the 
Sikhs, while outwardly acknowledging their defeat, did not 
consider the result of the first Sikh war as final, and were 
united in their resolve to try conclusions again with the 
British. Mistrusting the judgment of those upon the spot, 
he set out at once himself for the Sutlej, and ordered up all 
available troops to the front with the least possible delay. 

Indecisive engagements at Ramnagar and 
SaduUapur. In November, 1848, Lord Gough took the 
field with a force of 20,000 men and nearly 100 guns. 
The brave old soldier, though a dashing and brilliant 
leadcx-, was too rash and headstrong as a general. The 
first encounter took place at Eamnagar, across the Ravi. 
The Sikhs were driven from the field by a magnificent 
cavalry charge, but little was gained thereby, while the 
British loss was heavy. This was followed by an indecisive 
engagement at Sadullapur. 

Reduction of the fort of Multan. Meanwhile the 
British force outside Multan had been reinforced, and the 
siege had recommenced in earnest. After a tremendous 
battery from 64 heavy guns for ten days, during which the 
magazine of the fort was exploded by a shell, the city was 
stormed and captured. Mulraj surrendered the citadel the 
next day and gave himself up to the British commander, 
January 3rd, 1849. The major portion of the besieging 
force then went north to join Lord Gough. 

The battle of Chilianwala. The bloody but inde 


cisive engagement of Eamnagar had not taught Lord Gough 
the need of caution, but had, on the contrary, only made 
him more impatient to get at the enemy. On the 12th 
January he came up with the main Sikh army under their 
most redoubtable leader, Sher Sing, drawn up in a very 
strong position near the village of Chilianwala; protected 
by jungle and brushwood. All the next day the Sikhs 
kept up a heavy and annoying fire upon the British camp, 
till at last, being unable to bear it patiently any longer. 
Lord Gough rashly ordered an advance, though only an 
hour or two of daylight remained The intervening jungle 
proved a fearful obstacle, and as the British worked their 
way through it they were mown down in hundreds by the 
Sikh artillery. More than once the issue was in doubt, and 
only the dogged courage of the British infantry and the 
gallantry of their leaders saved the day from being one of 
disaster. But when night fell the Sikhs had been driven 
off with heavy loss, leaving behind them 40 guns. The 
British, though victors, were in a sorrowful plight ; all ranks 
were in the utmost confusion, their loss amounted to more 
than 2200 men, and four of their guns and the colours of 
three regiments had been captured by the enemy. They 
dared not remain upon the ground they had so hardly won ; 
for they were in no condition to withstand an attack should 
the enemy rally and return to the fight on the morrow. So 
in the darkness they withdrew as best they could to a safer 
position a mile to the rear, and waited in some anxiety for 
the dawn. But the Sikhs had had enough, and when day- 
light came the British found themselves in undisputed 
possession of the field. 

The battle of Guzerat. When the news of this 
disastrous battle reached England it caused something 
like consternation. Lord Gough was universally blamed 
for his rashness, orders for his recall were issued, and 
Sir Charles Napier was sent out at once to supersede 
him. But before Sir Charles Napier arrived Lord Gough 
had brought the war to a conclusion and retrieved 
his reputation by the decisive battle of Guzerat. There, 
on the 20th of February, the British came face to face 
with a force of 40,000 Sikhs, with 60 cannon. The 
battle commenced in the early morning with a tremendous 


cannonade on both sides, the British on this occasion 
making as much use of their artillery as the enemy. 
Though the Sikhs fought with their usual courage, the 
advantage was throughout with the British, who drove 
them from position after position, and occupied the ground 
as they evacuated it. At last, towards evening, by a 
splendid charge of the British cavalry, they were driven in 
great confusion from the field, leaving behind 56 of their 
cannon, their standards, and all their camp equipage. The 
British loss on this occasion was comparatively small, being 
only 90 killed and 700 wounded. 

General Gilbert finishes the war. Lord Dalhousie 
resolved to follow up the victory by giving the Sikhs no 
chance of rallying. The very next day he dispatched 
General Gilbert after them with a force of 12,000 horse, 
foot and artillery. They were hunted down towards the 
frontier and given no rest till they submitted. By the 
middle of March the whole Sikh army had surrendered 
unconditionally and been disarmed. General Gilbert then 
turned his attention to the Afghans hovering about the 
frontier, and chased them out of the Punjab, and up into 
the Khyber Pass. "They had ridden down through the 
hills like lions," it was said, "and ran back into them like 
little dogs." 

Settlement after the war. Lord Hardinge's policy 
of administering the country by British officers in the name 
of its ruler having failed, Lord Dalhousie decided that the 
only course now open was to dethrone the Maharajah and 
annex the country. On the 28th March, at Lahore, Dhulip 
Singh formally resigned his kingdom to the British, and 
retired on a pension of 50,000 a year. The Punjab was 
made into what is called a non-regulation province; that is, 
the code of civil and criminal procedure in force in British 
India was modified to suit its particular needs. The 
administration was entrusted to a commission of four, at 
the head of which was Sir Henry Lawrence. But in 1853 
the Board of Commissioners was abolished, and Sir John 
Lawrence, brother of Sir Henry, was made Chief Commis- 
sioner. Under the rule of the Lawrences the Punjab 
speedily settled down into one of the most prosperous and 
orderly provinces in the empire. After the tyranny which 


they had had to endure under the Sikh rule, the people 
appreciated the mild and just government of the British. 
Oppressive taxes were abolished, and burdensome but 
necessary ones were lightened, and a settlement of the land 
revenue was made at a considerable reduction on the former 
assessment. Even the disbanded soldiery settled to peaceful 
pursuits, and soon became as loyal and industrious as their 
neighbours. One of the greatest benefits conferred upon 
the province was the splendid system of roads and canals 
planned by Colonel Robert Napier, afterwards Lord Napier 
of Magdala. 

The second Burmese War, 1852. Three years of 
peace for the empire followed the overthrow of the Sikhs, 
and then Lord Dalhousie had to prepare to wage another 
war. The Burmese had not sufficiently taken to heart 
their severe punishment in the first Burmese war, but had 
continued to behave towards the British Government in 
the most arrogant and haughty manner. At last, in 1852, 
the King of Ava deliberately provoked hostilities by 
insulting and ill-treating British subjects at Rangoon and 
refusing redress when it was demanded. War was therefore 
declared, and an attack made upon the province of Pegu 
both by land and sea. Its principal cities^ Rangoon, 
Martaban, Prome and Pegu were one after another taken ; 
and as the King of Ava still refused to treat, the province 
was annexed, much to the delight of its inhabitants, who 
had suffered grievously at the hands of their Burmese 
governors. The whole of Lower Burmah became henceforth 
British territory, and, like the lately annexed Punjab, soon 
became a thriving and contented portion of the empire. 

Dalhousie's annexation policy. Lord Dalhousie 
had no scruples about annexation. He contrasted the state 
of the country under the Company's administration with 
what it had been under its former rulers, and with what 
it still was in the independent native states. British rule, 
wherever it had penetrated, had replaced oppression and 
violence by peace and good government. There could be 
no doubt that the people were everywhere better off under 
British than native rule. It was therefore just and right 
to extend the protection of his Government as far as he 
could by every legitimate means. Where the subjects of a 


native stato were groaning under the tyranny of a suc- 
cession of worthless princes, he held it to be the duty of 
the paramount power to interfere on their behalf, and, if 
there were no other way of securing good government, to 
depose their ruler and annex the state. He felt such deep 
sympathy with the miseries of down-trodden peoples, and 
so earnestly desired to ameliorate the condition of the 
toiling millions, that he was impatient of old-world govern- 
ments which did not seek directly to secure their happiness. 
Therefore, when a native ruler of a backward and mis- 
managed state died and left no son, he welcomed the 
opportunity afforded him of sweeping away an obsolete 
government and annexed the state to British India, on the 
ground that for failure of heirs in the direct line of suc- 
cession it had lapsed to the paramount power. 

Application of the " doctrine of lapse." On the 
death of the Rajah of Satara (the last of Sivaji's line) without 
heirs, Lord Dalhousie refused to recognise his adopted heir 
and annexed the much-misgoverned state. On like grounds 
he annexed the State of Jhansi ; and in 1853, when the 
Bhonsla Rajah of Nagpur died without a son, natural or 
adopted, he took over his kingdom also. In the same year, 
too, he forced the Nizam of Hyderabad to hand over Berar 
for the support of the subsidiary force which he had 
stipulated to maintain. The Nizam had failed to meet his 
treaty obligations, and there was no other way in which the 
huge debt he had contracted could be cleared off. He did 
not allow sentimental considerations, such as the historic 
interest of a kingdom or the length of a dynasty, to inter- 
fere with his policy. When the pensioned Nawabs of 
the Carnatic and Tan j ore died without heirs, Dalhousie 
abolished their titles ; and when Baji Rao, the last of the 
Peshwas, died childless at Bithur, he refused to grant either 
the title or the pension to his adopted son. Nana Dhundu 
Pant, though he allowed him to inherit his immense 

Misgovernment in Oudh. The most shamefully 
misgoverned kingdom was Oudh, but to it the doctrine of 
lapse could not be applied. From the days of Olive as we 
have seen, successive Governor-Generals had been troubled 
with its affairs. The Nawabs owed their security to 


British protection, and the British Government, because it 
supported them, had always in a measure recognised its 
responsibility for the affairs of Oudh. The scandalous 
misgovernment of the country had long been- felt as a 
reproach to British rule, and efforts had constantly been 
made to bring home to the Nawabs a sense of their public 
duty. But the Nawabs, steeped in all the vices of Eastern 
potentates, had paid no heed to warnings or threats, and 
had continued to oppress their people. Wajid Ali, the 
reigning Nawab, was, if possible, even more careless and 
incorrigible than his predecessors. His wretched subjects 
under his misgovernment were being reduced to an appal- 
ling state of misery ; and the country, famed from earliest 
times for its richness and fertility, was being gradually 
ruined by lawlessness and violence. 

Annexation of Oudh. Lord Dalhousie felt his own 
responsibility for this state of things keenly, and he deter- 
mined to put an end tg it. -In a letter to the Directors he 
strongly urged upon them the duty of intervention ; and so 
powerfully did his description of the miseries of Oudh im- 
press them that they decided on the extreme step of annex- 
ing the country. Lord Dalhousie had not wished to go so 
far ; but as he was not prepared to protest, he set about 
carrying their order into execution. On the 13th of 
February, 1856, Oudh was annexed by proclamation, and 
Wajid Ali was dethroned. He would not acquiesce in the 
justice of his sentence, but he did not attempt to resist.' 
Sir James Outram, the Resident, then took over the ad- 
ministration, and Wajid Ali was removed to Calcutta for 
safe custody, and a pension of 120,000 a year was granted 

The annexation of Oudh completed the list of additions 
to British India made during the Governor-Generalship of 
Lord Dalhousie ; and it is noteworthy that the empire has 
remained ever since substantially what he made it. In fact 
with him the great work of empire building begun by Olive 
came to an end. 

Dalhousie's administrative labours. But Lord 
Dalhousie's fame does not rest only upon the great additions 
which he made to the Company's dominions. He has a 
nobler title to renown than that. His determination to 


ameliorate the condition of the people, his sympathy with 
them, his horror of oppression, and his strict regard for 
justice found expression in many reforms. The list of his 
administrative acts and works of public utility is a long and 
noble one. Among the most important of the former were : 
the throwing open of appointments in the civil service to 
competition among the natural born subjects of the Com- 
pany, Indian as well as European; the organisation of a public 
works department ; the creation of a Legislative Council to 
represent both European and native opinion ; and the 
appointment of a separate Lieutenant-Governor for Bengal. 
Among works of public utility should be mentioned the 
construction of the Great Ganges Canal, the laying down of 
2000 miles of road, the opening of the first railway, the 
introduction of the telegraph, and the adoption of cheap 
postage throughout the whole of India. In addition he 
laboured unceasingly to promote trade and agriculture, and 
gave his earnest attention tnjlifl iprj^irl of primary educa- 
tion. The suppression of abhorrent rftes and strange forms 
of crime, was as much a car to him as to his predecessors, 
and he made the most stitmuous efforts to abolish slavery 
throughout the length and breadth of the vast dominions 
over which he ruled. H(4,^^as indefatigable ; and while he 
spent his days and nights in Ir vising schemes for the good 
of the civil population, he did not forget to look to the 
comfort and efficiency of the soldiers, both European and 

Close of his career. It is no wonder that under the 
excessive strain of such constant and heavy labour his 
health began to fail. Yet he would not relinquish his 
work while he had yet strength to perform it, but struggled 
on at his gigantic task getting weaker with each succeeding 
year. When in March, 1856, after eight years of incessant 
toil, he laid down the reins of government, his health was 
completely shattered, and it was clear to all and to himself 
that he would never recover. Four years after his return 
tb England he died, at the comparatively early age of 
forty-eight ; yet he had already done enough to win 
the foremost place among contemporary Englishmen, and 
to entitle him to rank among the greatest of the Governor- 


His words of warning. He has been blamed for 
ignoring the condition of the Sepoy army, and for disregard- 
ing the temper of the people, but his farewell words show 
how well he understood the dangers which beset British 
rule in India. 'In the very midst^of us,' he said, 'in- 
surrection may rise like an exhalation from the earth, and 
cruel violence worse than all the excesses of war may be 
suddenly committed by men who, to the very day in which 
they broke out in their 
frenzy of blood, have been 
regarded as a simple, 
harmless, and timid race.' 
His last act was to press 
upon the Directors a re- 
organisation of the native 
army, and an increase in 
the number of British 
soldiers to guard against 
this very danger. 

Lord Canning, 1856- 
1861 the Persian 
^A^ar. He was succeed- 
ed by Lord Canning, a 
nobleman who had already 
won distinction in Eng- 
land as a statesman. The 
new Governor - General 
entered upon his duties 
towards the close of 

February, 1856, and set about the peaceful work of 
improvement with all the zeal of his predecessor. He 
had reason to hope for no warlike interruptions ; for 
India enjoyed profound repose when he landed, and no 
external troubles threatened. But in November of the 
same year the aggressive and insulting attitude of the Shah 
of Persia forced him reluctantly to declare war on that 
country. The Persians had not yet given up their designs 
upon Herat, nor had they forgotten that but for British 
interference the city would have been captured by them in 
Lord Auckland's time. They were now again, in spite of 
remonstrances, threatening Northern Afghanistan, and had 

Lord Canning. 


brought matters to a crisis by wantonly insulting British 
subjects. They were in fact bent on war, and Lord 
' Canning had no option but to fight. An expedition was 
therefore dispatched into Lower Persia against them under 
Sir James Outram. When confronted by the British, for 
all their boastfulness, they made but a poor resistance, and 
soon begged for peace. This was granted to them on their 
agreeing to pay compensation, to give up all claims to 
Herat, and never again to invade the territories of the Amir 
of Afghanistan. 

The Indian Mutiny, 1857-1859. Soon after the 
termination of the Persian war, Lord Canning was called 
upon to face the most appalling crisis that it has been the 
lot of any ruler of British India to confront. The mutinous 
spirit of the Sepoys of the Bengal army had been the 
subject of comment for some years past. Sir Charles 
Napier had called attention to it in 1850, and had warned 
the Government that unless some steps were taken to check 
it, it might lead to a formidable insurrection. It was the 
fear of this that had led Lord Dalhousie to recommend 
the Directors to raise the proportion of British troops in 

Indiscipline of the Bengal native regiments. 
Several causes had combined to undermine the discipline of 
the Bengal Sepoys. They looked upon themselves as the 
flower of the native army; and they complained that they 
were not treated with sufficient consideration, seeing how 
great a part they had played in the establishment of 
British supremacy in India. They had as a matter of fact 
obtained several privileges not accorded to the Sepoys of 
Madras and Bombay, but they clamoured for more, and 
considered themselves aggrieved when they did not obtain 
them. Their arrogance and discontent were steadily in- 
creasing ; and latterly they had grown openly disrespectful 
and insubordinate to their regimental officers. Unfor- 
tunately, the authorities, who should have checked them 
sharply, encouraged them to make frivolous complaints by 
lending too ready an ear to their appeals against the action 
of their immediate superiors. But what had most seriously 
undermined discipline was the baneful practice then in 
vogue of taking away British officers from native regiments 


to serve in -civil posts. Civil employment, holding out 
better prospects and being more remunerative than military, 
had attracted the best of the younger men ; and thus it 
had come about that those who were left with their 
regiments were often disappointed men with little interest 
in their profession. Moreover, several of those in command 
of districts and divisions were notoriously unfitted for such 
responsible positions, some by reason of their manifest 
inefficiency, and others because they had reached an age 
when they were long past discharging military duties. In 
a word, while the Sepoy's opinion of himself was rising, his 
faith in the capabilities of his officers was diminishing. 

Seditious agitation. There were not wanting politi- 
cal intriguers and disaffected persons who were only too 
ready to encourage this bad spirit, and to inflame the 
minds of the Sepoys against their employers. The emissaries 
of dethroned princes or of their dispossessed heirs and 
widows went unchecked among the soldiery, and by 
bribes, promises, and misrepresentations of the motives 
of Government tampered with their loyalty. In this 
campaign of sedition, Ganga Bai, the widow of the last 
Rajah of Jhansi, and Dhundu Pant, better known as Nana 
Sahib, played a conspicuous part. The sons, too, of 
Bahadur Shah, the puppet Emperor of Delhi, went freely 
to and fro among the Sepoys inciting them to mutiny. 
The Muhammadans were told that the time had come 
for re-establishing Mudhammadan supremacy. in Northern 
India; while the Hindu soldiers, many of whom were 
high caste Brahmans of Gudh with most conservative 
instincts, were warned that it was the intention of the 
Government to destroy their caste. In proof of this they 
were bade to observe how Western innovations, such, 
for instance, as the railway and the telegraph, were being 
introduced in order to break down the old regime and 
undermine their cherished customs and beliefs. Yet so 
well was the secret kept that those in authority, both 
civil and military, had no notion of the seriousness of the 

The Sepoys, both Hindu and Muhammad an, were densely 
ignorant, credulous, and superstitious. They therefore 
listened readily to the absurd stories spread about by 

H.I.H.S. '^ 


crafty and designing men concerning the acts and motives 
of the British Government. Religious fanatics and 
devotees, who saw their influence waning with the spread 
of Western ideas and education, eagerly joined in inciting 
the Sepoys to rebellion; and all that large class which then 
abounded in India of men who lived by plunder, or by 
hiring themselves out for desperate undertakings, and all 
the disbanded soldiers and servants of the late King of 
Oudh who had not yet settled down, hung about the 
Sepoys, and called upon them to join in a general rising 
to expel the British. 

The air was full of strange and alarming rumours, and 
men's minds were disturbed with a sense of some impending 
calamity. It was the centenary of the victory of Plassey; 
and a report got about in Northern India that an old 
prophecy foretold that the rule of the British should come 
to an end a hundred years after that event. It was no 
doubt invented by the conspirators, but as it was generally 
believed, it much encouraged the disaffected, and helped to 
gain over waverers. 

Outbreak of the mutiny. It wanted but a spark to 
light the train of rebellion, and that was thoughtlessly 
struck by the military authorities themselves. A rumour 
gained currency that cartridges greased with the fat of 
cows and pigs were being supplied to the troops. At first 
it was contemptuously denied by the British officers, but 
investigation proved that it was not destitute of foundation. 
By some incredible carelessness it had actually in certain 
instances occurred. Every effort was then made to quiet 
the minds of the Sepoys, and to convince them that it was 
due to a mistake. But a report, started by political agitators, 
spread like wild-fire among the native troops that it was 
part of a plot to defile them preparatory to forcing them 
into the Christian faith. Nothing would now persuade 
them that it was not a deliberate act of treachery upon the 
part of their rulers, and they were wild with horror and 
indignation. The mischief was done, and on Sunday, the 
10th of May, 1857, the Sepoy Mutiny commenced. 

Seizure of Delhi by the mutineers. The native 
troops at Meerut were the first to break out. The officer 
in command was old and feeble, and though he had in 


cantonments sufficient British troops to overawe the 
mutineers he did nothing. The mutinous Sepoys were 
speedily joined by the scum of the population, and together 
they massacred all the defenceless Europeans and Eurasians 
they could lay hands on, plundered the houses, and, having 
set fire to the station, made off unmolested to Delhi. The 
next day similar scenes were enacted at Delhi. The 
European officers and their families were murdered, some 
at. the palace in the very presence of the Emperor, and the 
Christian population of the city hunted down and indis- 
criminately massacred. But by the courage of a little 
band of Englishmen, the arsenal, the largest in Northern 
India, was prevented from falling into the hands of the 
-mutineers. After waiting for relief from Meerut which 
never came, they decided that to defend it was hopeless, 
and blew it up. Amid this turmoil, the old king was 
proclaimed Emperor of Hindustan. 

General Sepoy revolt.-^The seizure of the Moghul 
capital by the rebels was the prelude to a general revolt 
in Northern India. In nearly every military station in 
the United Provinces and Bengal, the Sepoys rose and 
murdered their officers and massacred such of the defence- 
less Christian population, European and native, as they 
could lay their hands on. In this cruel work they were 
eagerly joined by all the bad characters and riff-raff of the 
bazaars. In some places not even the women and children 
were spared. 

Loyalty of the Punjab. The suddeness of the out- 
break and the rapidity with which the mutiny spread from 
district to district seemed to paralyse the authorities, and 
in place of energy and resolution there was hesitation and 
delay. But in the Punjab there were at any rate men 
equal to the occasion. Sir John Lawrence and his officers 
promptly ordered the disarmament of all the Bengal troops 
in the province suspected of harbouring treacherous designs. 
A terrible example was made of the only regiment that 
resisted the order and mutinied. After a brief struggle it 
was surrounded and' practically annihilated. Several native 
officers caught in the act of inciting their men to rebellion 
were straightway hung. It might have reasonably been 
expected that the Punjab so recently subjugated would 


have been a rallying place for the disaffected ; but owing 
to the prudent and sympathetic administration which had 
followed its annexation, the very reverse was the case. 
The Sikh population now not only bore no ill-will to their 
conquerors, but had learnt to admire and respect them ; 
and the people of the Punjab generally, who had benefited 
so much by British rule would have nothing to do with the 
mutineers. There could be no more striking testimony to 
the good feeling that existed between the conquerors and 
the conquered than that Sikh chiefs, even several who had 
fought against the British, came forward with offers of 
assistance in quelling. the rebellion. The Punjab, in fact, 
instead of being a source of danger, proved* a source of 
strength ; for it furnished throughout the mutiny relays of 
loyal troops to help in its suppression. 

The outbreak at Cawnpore. The mutiny soon 
centred round three points, Delhi, Lucknow, and Cawnpore. 
At the last-named place, when the news of what had 
happened at Meerut and Defhi reached him, the general in 
command of the station, who was both old and incompetent, 
ordered all the Europeans, some 400 soldiers, and about an 
equal number of women and children, into an entrenched 
position, which he had prepared in anticipation of the 
outbreak. But the site chosen was the worst possible ; for 
not only was it exposed on all sides, but was situated close 
to the Sepoy lines. When the crash came, and the en- 
trenchment was surrounded by mutinous Sepoys, so utterly 
did the authorities mistake the real nature of the rebellion 
that they insisted in spite of strong remonstrances on inviting 
the arch conspirator. Nana Sahib, to come with his rabble 
soldiery from Bithur to their assistance. They had soon good 
cause to know that they could not have summoned a more 
bitter and revengeful foe ; for no sooner did the Nana 
arrive than, casting aside all pretence of friendship, be took 
the lead in urging on the attack upon the entrenchment. 

The massacres at Cawnpore, For nineteen days 
the garrison held out against enormous odds, bravely 
enduring the horrors of a siege in an open space behind a 
low mud wall, exposed to a tropical sun, and harassed day 
and night by a furious cannonade. The sufferings of the 
women and children were terrible, and many died from 


wounds and disease during the siege. At last, unable any 
longer to endure the sight of so much misery, and deeming 
further resistance vain, the general in command, who had 
not yet lost all faith in the Nana, listened to overtures 
for surrender. Honourable terms being promised, the 
survivors of the heroic defence marched out under arms 
from the entrenchment to the Ganges, and there embarked 
on country boats to go to Allahabad. But no sooner were 
the boats pushed out into the stream than a murderous fire 
directed by Tantia Topi, the Nana's principal general, was 
opened upon them from the bank. A scene of indescribable 
confusion followed, while the doomed occupants of the boats 
made frantic efforts to save themselves. With the exception 
of four men, who escaped by swimming down the ^ver till 
they reached the protection of a friendly Rajah living on 
the opposite bank, and of five men and two hundred and 
six women and children taken alive, the rest were all shot 
or drowned. The hideous story of what befell the wretched 
captives is soon told. They were taken back to Cawnpore, 
and a couple of weeks later butchered in cold blood by the 
orders of the Nana, and the dying and the dead flung 
together into a disused well. 

Flight of the Nana and the rebels. This last 
inhuman act of Dhundu Punt's was dictated by motives of 
spite and desperation, as much as by his thirst for blood. 
For a force from Calcutta, under Colonel Neill, had already 
scattered the mutinous Sepoys at Benares, and relieved 
Allahabad, and now joined by General Havelock had started 
to the relief of Cawnpore. The day before the massacre 
the Nana had gone out with his troops to drive it back, but 
had been ignominiously routed and forced to retreat to 
Cawnpore. He knew that his cause was lost, and in hate 
and baffled fury he determined that the British troops 
should not have the satisfaction of rescuing any of their 
countrymen and women. Two days after the perpetration 
of this horrid crime the British entered Cawnpore, but the 
miscreant Nana and the rebel army had fled. 

The siege of Delhi. While these events were hap- 
pening at Cawnpore, a British force was hastily mobilised 
at Umballa and dispatched against Delhi. It reached its 
destination on the 8th of June, and took up its position on 


a ridge extending for a couple of miles along the north-west 
front of the city. The whole force' numbered barely 3000 
men, and .was quite inadequate for attempting a regular 
siege ; but the general in command dared not risk an 
assault. It was soon practically invested itself, and could 
barely hold its ground ; for the number of the rebel troops 
within the city was daily increasing, and the mutineers were 
growing bolder and more enterprising. But on the 14th of 
August reinforcements arrived from the Punjab under 
Brigadier Nicholson. The arrival of this dashing and 
determined soldier changed at once the aspect of affairs. 
There were now upwards of 30,000 rebel Sepoys in Delhi, 
while the beseiging force scarcely numbered 7000. Yet 
such was the effect of Nicholson's inspiring presence that 
the besieger's henceforth more than held their own. Early 
in September siege guns arrived ; and now it Was determined 
in spite of tKe fearful odds to try and capture the city by 
storm. On the 13th a breach was effected by the guns, 
and the next day the assault was delivered. It was so far 
successful, that the British got within the walls before night- 
fall ; but their loss had been heavy, and worst of all the 
gallant Nicholson had fallen mortally wounded at the head 
of the storming party. The general in command was for 
retiring, but the younger officers would not hear of it, and 
the dying Nicholson strongly supported them. It was 
decided to continue the attempt ; and for six days the 
British stubbornly fought their way through the streets 
driving back the rebels. On the morning of the seventh 
resistance ceased and Delhi was won. The next day, first 
Bahadur Shah, and then his two sons, and his grandson 
were captured. An attempt was made to rescue the latter 
as they were being conducted through the streets, and as it 
seemed probable that they who were the ringleaders and 
had been guilty of the foulest crimes might escape, they 
were there and then shot by their captor, Hod son. Bahadur 
Shah was reserved for trial, and later on, being found guilty 
of treason and murder, was transported to Burmah, there to 
be kept a state prisoner till his death. 

The rebellion in Oudh. The fall of Delhi was the 
turning-point in the mutiny. The rebels had lost their 
great stronghold and rallying-point, aT\d the hopes of 


re-establishing the Muhammadan Empire over Northern 
India were gone. But though Cawiipore and Delhi were 
taken the mutiny was by no means at an end. The rebel 
soldiery infested the whole of the United Provinces and 
Central India, and in Oudh the population generally had 
risen against the British. In this province alone the mutiny 
had developed into a regular rebellion ; in other parts the 
townsfolk and the villagers for the most part remained 
aloof. The reason why in Oudh the mutiny became a 
general rebellion was that the people had not yet settled 
down under the new regime. In the time of the Nawabs 
the central authority had been so weak that the Talukdars, 
or territorial magnates, had been accustomed to do much as . 
they pleased. Many of them were lawless and violent men, 
constantly at feud with one another, and when they found 
that under British rule they would have to keep the peace 
and* render obedience, they regarded the change of govern- 
ment with dismay. They therefore hailed the mutiny as a 
chance of deliverance, and used all their local influence to 
persuade and coerce the people of Oudh, who had not yet 
learnt to trust their new rulers, to rise in rebellion against 

The defence of the Lucknow Residency. After 
the fall of Delhi all eyes were turned upon Lucknow, where 
a desperate struggle was going on. Sir Henry Lawrence, 
the Chief Commissioner of Oudh, was a man of a different 
stamp from the timid or incompetent officers who had so 
mismanaged things in the United Provinces. He had 
early foreseen the possibility of an attack, and had pro- 
visioned and fortified the Residency as well as he could to 
stand a siege On the 1st of July, 1857, the British garri- 
son, consisting of one weak regiment and a few hundred 
loyal sepoys, and the European civil population, num- 
bering in all some 1700 souls, assembled at the Residency 
and were almost immediately invested by thousands 
of rebels. From every side they were subjected to a 
hail of shot and shell : and in the upper stories of the 
houses surrounding the Residency grounds native sharp- 
shooters crouched on the watch to pick off those who 
exposed themselves. On the fourth day of the siege Sir 
Henry Lawrence, whose forethought alone had made the 


defence possible, was mortally wounded by the bursting of 
a shell. His loss was a severe blow ; but though it depressed 
it did not discourage the garrison. Time after time the 
mutineers made desperate efforts to carry the weak defences 
by storm, but always retired baffled and dispirited. 

But while the garrison was thinned by wounds and 
disease the rebels were being constantly reinforced; so that 
the situation was daily growing more desperate. Yet the 
gallant defenders never lost heart, and continued the 
unequal struggle with undiminished vigour, enduring with 
patience and fortitude unexan>pled hardships and dangers. 
At last, after nearly three months, a relieving force arrived 
. under Havelock, Outram, and Neill. The mutineers made 
strenuous efforts to repel it, but stubbornly fighting its way 
from street to street it reached the Residency on September 
25th. But the gallant Neill, while passing through a narrow 
lane, was shot dead. 

The pacification of Oudh. The relieving force, 
though it was able to bring help to the beleaguered garrison, 
was not strong enough to extricate it, and was itself invested 
along with it. But in November Sir Colin Campbell 
arrived in Oudh with a large and well-equipped force, 
and catting his way into Lucknow, effected the relief 
of the heroic garrison. He did not, however, occupy 
Lucknow, but turned his attention to the pacification 
of the surrounding country. The Begum of Oudh, the 
Nawab of Bareilly, and the infamous Nana were hovering 
about doing their utmost to stimulate the mutineers to 
fresh exertions ; and Tantia Topi, at the head of the 
Gvvalior contingent, which, despite the efforts of the loyal 
Maharajah, had at last joined the mutineers, was once more 
threatening Cawnpore. But the back of the mutiny was 
now broken; and Sir Colin Campbell, after driving away 
Tantia Topi and clearing the country between Lucknow and 
Cawnpore, returned and captured Lucknow in spite of the 
most determined and desperate resistance. The mutineers 
rallied again at Bareilly, but were driven out. Their last 
stronghold being now taken from them, they were chased 
from place to place, losing heavily in every engagement ; till 
by the end of 1858 the province was cleared, and the broken 
renmant driven across the frontier of Nepal. 


The campaign in Central India. A force from 
Bombay under Sir Hugh Eose^was meanwhile operating in 
Central India. The campaign was a most brilliant one, 
for though the Bombay army had to operate in a hilly 
and most difficult country, yet within three months it 
subjugated the whole. Kalpi, the great arsenal of the 
rebels, was first taken, and then Jhansi was besieged; and 
though Tantia Topi, with 20,000 men, came to its relief, it 
too was captured. But the cruel and revengeful Eani, who 
had put to death every European, male and. female, who had 
fallen into her hands, made her escape. Tantia Topi, who 
was indeed the only capable commander the mutineers pro- 
duced, was soon in sore straits and obliged to abandon his 
guns ; but he managed to elude his pursuers by a series of 
the most skilfully conducted retreats. At length he came 
to G-walior. The Maharajah, who had remained loyal to 
the British at great personal risk, made an attempt to drive 
him off, but was defeated and fled to Agra. The rebel 
party in Gwalior thereupon seized the government, gave to 
Tantia Topi an enthusiastic welcome, and placed at his 
disposal the treasury, the magazine, and the artillery of the' 
Maharajah. Thither also shortly came the Rani of Jhansi 
with the remnant of her "followers. 

The capture of Tantia Topi. The rebellion had 
entered upon a new phase by this time. All hope of re- 
establishing the Moghul Empire being at an end, the 
Hindus of Central India needed a new rallying cry. As a 
last desperate resource Tantia Topi therefore proclaimed the 
Nana Peshwa, although the latter was at the time a fugitive 
and in hiding. Tantia Topi, flushed with the apparent 
success of this wild scheme, went out with a large force 
to give battle to Sir Hugh Rose, who was advancing on 
Gwalior. The result was hardly what he expected ; for he 
was so severely beaten -at Morar that he was obliged to 
retreat precipitately to Gwalior and shut himself up in its 
fortress. Sir Hugh Rose lost no time in following up his 
victory, and attacked the place so vigorously that, after a 
brief resistance, it was captured. In the assault the Rani 
of Jhansi fell fighting bravely at the head of her troops, 
but Tantia Topi slipped away as usual. After dodging to 
and fro for nearly a year with rapidly diminishing adherents, 


he was at length betrayed into the hands of the British by 
one of his own followers, and, being tried for his share in 
the massacres at Cawnpore, was condemned and hanged. 

The end of the mutiny. With the capture and 
execution of Tantia Topi in April, 1859, the mutiny 
virtually came to an end ; for the few surviving leaders had 
already made their escape from Indian territory. What 
became of the Nana Sahib was never known ; he was 
chased into the terai, the heavy jungle at the foot of the 
Nepal hills, and thene lost sight of for ever. 

Treatment of the mutineers. Lord Canning 
throughout this anxious period had displayed a wonderful 
calmness and presence of mind ; but when it was all over, 
he showed that he also possessed firmness and humanity. 
There were many whose relations and friends had met a 
cruel death, and many besides who had lost all their pro- 
perty, and, now that the mutiny was over, they clamoured 
wildly for vengeance. But Lord Canning was careful to 
discriminate between those who iiad merely participated 
in the rising and those who had been implicated in the 
murder and massacre of Europeans. He proclaimed a 
general amnesty to all who threw themselves on British 
mercy, provided they were not found guilty of these 
offences. Those who had helped the British, and they 
were many, were rewarded with titles, grants of land, and 

Lord Canning's clemency. Lord Canning was 
accused of undue clemency by those who would have 
retaliated upon the natives of the disturbed districts 
generally for the shocking crimes committed by the rebel 
Sepoys and the scum of the bazaars. But that he showed 
no dangerous leniency came to be admitted when the 
passions excited by the horrors of the mutiny had subsided. 
The lands of the disloyal TaluMars of Oudh were confis- 
cated, and no indulgence was shown to those who had taken 
a prominent part in the rebellion. It was his mission to 
pacify the country and to allay popular excitement, and he 
nobly performed it, paying no heed to the storm of detrac- 
tion and abuse which his conciliatory policy aroused among 
a certain section of the European community. 

Assumption of the government of India by the 


Crown. The mutiny marks a turning-point in the history 
of India. It was a vain struggle of the old order to check 
the march of civilisation ; and ever since a silent re- 
volution has been going on, modifying, transforming, and 
even pulling down in parts the ancient fabric of custom 
and belief. But the chief result of the Indian mutiny, from 
an administrative point of view, was that it immediately 
brought about the fall of the East India Company. It was 
felt in England that the affairs of so vast an empire ought 
no longer to be administered by a company, but that the 
sovereign in Parliament should assume direct responsibility 
for them. The East India Company, in spite of the most 
able advocacy on behalf of its preservation, was abolished, 
and the administration of India transferred to the CroWn. 
By an Act of Parliament which received the royal assent 
on August 2nd, 1858, the powers of the Board of Control 
and of the Court of Directors were vested in a Secretary of 
State, and a council of fifteen members eight of whom 
must have previously served in India called the Indian 
Council, was created to advise him. The Governor-General 
in India received the additional title of Viceroy, or repre- 
sentative of the sovereign, and was placed under the 
control of the Secretary of State. The responsibility of the 
Secretary of State to Parliament was assured by giving him 
a seat in the Cabinet. 

End of the East India Company. Thus came to 
an end the old East India Company. Its career is without 
parallel in historj^ Step by step, and often against its 
inclination, did a company of merchants, which started 
with no other object than to trade with the East Indies, 
develop into a great territorial ruler, and in the course 
of its development lay aside its trading interests and 
assume responsibility for the peace and well-being of 
a mighty empire. Whatever may have been its short- 
comings in the earlier phases of its growth, it came at 
length, under the rule of the Governor-Generals, to recog- 
nise its duties to the millions entrusted to its charge in a 
way in which no previous government had done not even 
that of Akbar. 




The Queen's proclamation. On the 1st of Novem- 
ber, 1858, it was announced by royal proclamation 
throughout India that Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen 
Victoria had assumed the responsibility for the administra- 
tion of the Indian Empire through a Secretary of State. 
The proclamation has fittingly been called the ^ Magna 
Charta of India. In it equal justice and religious toleration 
were declared to be the guiding principle of the Queen's 
rifle ; a general amnesty was announced to all who had not 
taken part in the massacres accompanying the mutiny ; 
and all existing treaties, rights and titles were confirmed. 
Its publication did more than any acts of forcible repression 
could have done to quell the mutiny ; and the spirit of 
rebellion which still lingered in certain localities began at 
once rapidly to subside. 

The right of adoption admitted. In July, 1859, 
peace was proclaimed throughout Hindustan; and in the 
cold weather of that year Lord Canning went on a tour 
through Northern India. At a great durbar, held at Agra, 
he received the loyal native princes, and after decorating 
those who during the mutiny had displayed conspicuous 
devotion to the British Government, he announced that the 
right of adoption would henceforth be conceded to them. 
This important announcement was received with unbounded 
satisfaction; for the previous refusal to recognise the right 
of native princes to adopt heirs had given rise to much 
bitterness of feeling. 

Financial measures. The suppression of the mutiny 
had cost 40 millions sterling, and the measures to be taken 
to prevent its recurrence, would cause, it was estimated, an 
annual increase in the budget of 10 millions sterling. A 
huge deficit had to be met, and provision at the same time 
made for the increase in the annual expenditure. The 
financial outlook was indeed gloomy, till Mr. Wilson, a dis- 
tinguished financier, was sent out to India by the Secretary 
of State to grapple with the problem. By his advice the 


customs system was revised, a state paper currency issued, 
and a license duty and an income-tax imposed. These 
measures in three years extinguished the deficit, and at 
the same time considerably increased the annual income 
of Government. 

Administrative reforms. Lord Canning spent the 
remainder of his tenure of office in carrying out administra- 
tive reforms. In 1859 a Eent Act was passed to protect 
the cultivators of Bengal from the oppression of the land- 
lords j in 1860 the India Penal Code, which had been 
drawn up by Macaulay, passed into law; and in 1861 the 
Civil and Criminal Procedure Codes were brought into 
operation. Other important reforms were the abolition of 
the Supreme Court and the Sadar Adalat, and the estab- 
lishment of a High Court in which the functions of both 
were amalgamated, and the founding of Universities in 
Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta. 

Character of Lt)rd Canning. Lord Canning left 
India in 1862, and in June of the same year he died. If 
he was slow in grasping a situation, and slow in making 
up his mind, he atoned for these shortcomings by his 
wonderful calmness throughout a period of stress and 
danger unexampled in the history of British India, and by 
his firmness in pursuing, after it was over, the course which 
he knew to be the right one. His country recognised 
his great services by creating him an earl on his return, 
and by erecting a monument to him in Westminster Abbey 
when he died. 

The first Lord Elgin, 1862. Lord Elgin, who had 
gained experience as an administrator in Canada, and had 
lately returned from a mission to China, succeeded him in 
March, 1862. Some uneasiness was caused by a petty 
rebellion on the north west frontier of a fanatical sect 
of Muhammadans known as Wahabis. The rising in itself 
would have been insignificant but for the discovery that it 
had been fomented by seditious men in India, and that 
there was reason for fearing that it might spread among the 
wild Afghan tribes of the border. The turbulent hill-men 
have been a thorn in the side of every Indian Government 
from the earliest times ; and the British Government, like 
its predecessor the Moghul Empire, has been almost con- 


stantly at war with one or other of the tribes. The war 
with the Wahabi fanatics was still going on in the winter 
of 1863, when Lord Elgin, who had started on a tour in 
the north-west of India, was taken seriously ill, and died. 
He lies buried at Dharmasala in the Himalayas. 

Trouble with Bhutan. Sir William Denison, 
Governor of Madras, came up to Calcutta to officiate for 
him. His brief tenure of office was marked by the storming 
and capture of the Wahabi stronghold at the top of the 
Umbeyla Pass. Bat the fanatics, though depressed 
thereby, were not yet sufficiently humbled to give in. 
Meantime trouble was imminent in the north-east corner. 
A powerful Rajah of Bhutan had taken to raiding the 
Duars, the tract of British territory lying at the foot of 
the Himalayas along the southern border of Bhutan. An 
embassy which had been sent into Bhutan to remonstrate 
had been subjected to the grossest insults, and war was 

In England it was believed that a grave crisis was again 
at hand, and the Government was persuaded to depart 
from the established custom of sending out to India, as 
Governor-General, a man of distinction but with no 
previous experience of the country, and to send out Sir 
John Lawrence, who had so ably administered the Punjab, 
and done so much towards suppressing the mutiny in 
Northern India. 

Lord Lawrence, 1864-1869 the Bhutan War. 
On January 12th, 1864, the new Viceroy and Governor- 
General landed in Calcutta. With his advent the war- 
clouds quickly rolled away. The rising on the north-west 
frontier was soon put down, though not without a heavy 
loss in men and money. An expedition sent into Bhutan, 
after encountering great difficulties in its passage into that 
wild and mountainous land, captured two of the principal 
forts of the kingdom, and brought the Bhutias to a 
humbler frame of mind. But the season was so unhealthy, 
and the country so unfavourable for offensive operations, 
that it was decided to make peace and retire. It cannot 
be said that the Bhutan war was brought to a glorious 
termination, but the course adopted was no doubt the 
best possible in the circumstances ; for the campaign was 


a costly one, and there was no prospect by continuing 
it of obtaining in the end an indemnity. It at any rate 
served its purpose well, for the Bhutias have never since 
raided British territory. 

Famine. During Sir John Lawrence's administration, 
one of those appalling calamities, to which India has been 
so frequently subjected, occurred. In the year 1866 a 
terrible famine in Orissa swept away two millions of people. 
The Government of Bengal seemed powerless to cope with 
it. There was also at the same time much suffering due 
to scarcity in Madras ; but there Lord Napier, the Governor, 
rose to the emergency and devised means which mitigated, 
though they could not prevent, distress. 

These terrible visitations have from the earliest times 
recurred more or less at regular intervals. The references 
to drought and the frequent invocation of Indra, the sky 
that rains, in the hymns of the Rig Veda, are significant, 
while the Buddhist chronicles are full of allusions to the 
dread visitation ; and though Megasthenes, the Greek 
Ambassador at Chandra Gupta's Court, was told there had 
never been a scarcity of food in the Kingdom of Magadha, 
there need be no doubt that famines were as common 
in ancient days as now. Failure of the rains is no new 
phenomenon, and the conditions of life among the masses 
have never greatly varied. In the Ain-i-Ahhari we learn 
how Akbar attempted to provide against these dread- 
ful scourges. Nevertheless, in 1596 there was so severe 
a famine that the people died by thousands of starva- 
tion, cannibalism became common, and corpses lay about 
unburied in the public thoroughfares. In Jehangir's 
reign, also, a similar calamity occurred ; and again in 
the reigns of Shah Jehan and Aurungzeb famines swept 
away large numbers of the people. In the long years 
of anarchy and misrule that followed the break up of 
the Moghul Empire, when the lawlessness of the country- 
side made intercommunication well-nigh impossible, fertile 
and thickly populated areas were converted by famine into 
desolate wastes. In 1784, owing to a prolonged drought, 
such was the scarcity of food that' the famished people 
wandered into the jungles in search of roots and berries, and 
there numbers were devoured by beasts of prey; and wolves, 


and even tigers driven by hunger from their natural haunts, 
prowled at night about the towns and villages, devouring 
the corpses that lay uncared for in the streets. 

Systematic relief instituted. The awful nature of 
the calamity in Orissa, and the inability of the Bengal 
authorities to cope adequately with it brought home to the 
government of India the necessity of making some regular 
provision for such emergencies. It was felt to be a duty 
of government to undertake the systematic conduct of 
measures of relief The responsibility of the state for the 
lives of its subjects in times of famine and scarcity had 
never before been recognised in India ; though benevolent 
rulers like Akbar had been moved by humanity to take 
measures to alleviate distress. The British Government 
having once laid upon itself the burden of responsibility, 
has since taken up the task of famine administration in 
right earnest ; and learning by sad experience how best to 
deal with these frequently recurring calamities, has devised 
scientific methods of relief which have saved the lives of 
helpless millions who would most certainly under former 
conditions have died of starvation. 

The policy of "masterly inactivity." In 1868 
another rising occurred on the North- West Frontier ; this 
time in the Hazara district, but the same influences were 
again at work which brought about the earlier Wahabi 
affair. It was, however, speedily and effectually put down. 
In Afghanistan at the same time a fratricidal war was 
being carried on among the sons of Dost Muhammad for 
the throne. At length Sher Ali, having defeated his 
brothers, made good his claims to succeed. He had 
previously appealed for help to the Indian Government, 
but Sir John Lawrence had declined to interfere. The 
policy of non-interference, or, as it was called, ^'masterly 
inactivity," was much in favour at the time. But while it 
did not, as events will show, save India from further trouble 
in the north-west, it provoked the resentment of Sher Ali, 
and by alienating him, opened the way to Russian intrigues 
at the court of Afghanistan. 

Sir John Lawrence retires. Sir John Lawrence 
retired in January, 1869, and was raised to the peerage for 
his long and meritorious service. He died ten years later, 


and was laid among the honoured dead in Westminster 

Lord Mayo, 1869-1872. He was succeeded by Lord 
Mayo, a nobleman of great ability and inexhaustible 
energy. With a view to conciliating Sher Ali, the new 
Viceroy invited him to an interview at Umballa. Sher 
Ali accepted the invitation, came, and was sumptuously 
entertained, and a magnificent durbar was held in his honour. 
Great things were expected to result from his visit ; but the 
Afghan ruler proved exacting and uncompromising, and 
because he did not obtain all that he wanted, went away 
with his former resentment increased by his disappointment. 
This was a bad beginning, but Lord Mayo soon retrieved 
his reputation by his labours in the field of internal reform. 

The Provincial Contract System. The state of 
the finances called for the most serious consideration. The 
deficits of the last three years had amounted to nearly six 
crores of rupees ; and as it had become a practice to meet 
every fresh deficit by raising a fresh loan, the liabilities 
of the Government were accumulating at an alarming rate. 
Lord Mayo went thoroughly into the question, and con- 
cluded that the chief cause of this unsatisfactory state of 
things was that the local governments had no incentive 
to economise. Under the existing system the local govern- 
ments, towards the close of the year, presented their 
estimates of expenditure for the coming year, and the 
Indian Government, after revising the estimates, made its 
allotments. Under such a system the local governments 
knew that the more they asked for the more they were 
likely to get, and they were not therefore anxious to keep 
down their estimates. Nor had they any inducement to 
economise ; for whatever they saved out of their annual 
allotments, lapsed to the supreme Government. Naturally, 
as they did not get the benefit of economy, they were not 
economical. Furthermore, they had no direct inducement 
to expand the revenue ; for whatever was collected by 
them had to be made over to the Government of India. 

Lord Mayo perceived that the best way in which to 
encourage economy was to give the local governments a 
share in the savings effected thereby, and that to interest 
them in revenue collection, they must be allowed to profit 

H.I.H.S. u 


by their vigilance in supervising it. With these ends in 
view he devised a method of allotment known as the Pro- 
vincial Contract System, which, with certain modifications, 
is still in force. Certain shares in the land revenue and 
other sources of income were to be made over for a term of 
five years to local governments to meet their expenditure ; 
and whatever savings were effected by a local government 
during the contract period were to become its absolute 
property, and not as formerly to lapse to the supreme Govern- 
ment. It will be readily seen that by the contract system the 
local governments have an inducement to economise, and a 
direct interest in the expansion of the revenue. The 
wisdom of the measure was immediately apparent. There 
was no deficit the year after it came into operation, and at 
the end of the second year there was actually a surplus. 

Assassination of the Viceroy. Lord Mayo carried 
out many of Lord Dalhousie's projects for the development 
of the material resources of the country, which had been sus- 
pended in consequence of the mutiny. There was during his 
term of office a great extension of roads, railways, and canals. 
An agricultural department was created, and the public 
works department was remodelled. Lord Mayo was popular 
with all classes of the community, but he was specially 
successful in his dealings with native princes and nobles. 
His dignified presence, and his courtly manners strongly 
appealed to a class which set great store by such qualities. 
He had besides a strong and attractive personality which 
impressed itself indelibly on those who came in contact 
with him. He was indeed in all respects an ideal Viceroy. 
With what a shock therefore was the news received that 
such a man had been assassinated. While at Port Blair, 
the chief town of the Andaman Islands, to which he had 
gone in 1872 with a view to enquiring on the spot into the 
condition of the convict settlement there, he was stabbed 
to death by a fanatic Afghan convict. 

Lord Northbrook, 1872-1876. Lord Northbrook was 
appointed to succeed him ; and in the interval between Lord 
Mayo's death and his arrival from England, Lord Napier was 
sent for from Madras to officiate for him. 

Hostile Russian influence. The rapid expansion of 
the Russian Empire in Central Asia towards the confines of 


Afghanistan and the constant reports of Kussian intrigues 
at the Court of Kabul, hostile to British interests, had 
created considerable anxiety in England and in India. The 
suspicion that Russia had designs on India itself had been 
entertained for several years, and a variety of causes had 
combined latterly to strengthen it. There were many, and 
those not the least experienced, who severely criticised the 
policy of * masterly inactivity' so strongly advocated by 
Lord Lawrence. They pointed out how Kussia was taking 
advantage of it to establish a predominant influence along 
the north-west frontier, in furtherance of her sinister 

Understanding \vith Russia. Lord Northbrook 
steered a middle course between the exponents of inter- 
vention and of * masterly inactivity.' He did not share in 
the general alarm, but he recognised the necessity of coming 
to some understanding with Russia as to the respective 
spheres of influence of that country and the British Indian 
Empire. He accordingly seized the first opportunity which 
offered itself to eff'ect this object, by showing the Eussian 
Government that the Indian Government had no desire to 
interfere in Central Asian affairs. Chiefly through his 
instrumentality a friendly arrangement -was come to 
between the two governments, by virtue of which each 
pledged itself to respect the other's sphere of influence. The 
actual boundaries of the spheres of influence were not then 
definitely settled; but the recognition of their existence was 
a most important step towards a complete understanding 
between the two countries. 

The famine in Behar. In 1874 the Indian Govern- 
ment had an opportunity of putting into practice its 
declaration of responsibility for the lives of famine-stricken 
subjects. The scarcity which was affecting parts of Bengal 
owing to a partial failure of the monsoon in Behar deepened 
as the year advanced into acute famine. Lord Northbrook 
nobly responded to the task of saving life, and his efiforts 
were energetically seconded by Sir Eichard Temple. Relief 
works were opened, upon which the starving people were 
employed in digging tanks, making roads, and throwing up 
embankments for prospective railways. More than a million 
and a half of people obtained the means of livelihood in this 


way. Grain was poured into the affected districts at Govern- 
ment expense, and everything that could be done was done 
to save life. The extent of the operations for famine may 
be judged by the expenditure, which exceeded eight crores 
of rupees. 

Misconduct of the Gaekwar. In the same year 
Lord Northbrook had the unpleasant task of asserting the 
right of the supreme Government to interfere in the affairs 
of a feudatory state. The relations between the Government 
of India and the native princes had been steadily improving, 
and the latter were beginning to recognise that their 
dominions formed integral portions of a great and glorious 
empire. It was the more unfortunate, therefore, that an 
instance of mismanagement and misconduct so gross should 
have occurred, as to necessitate the adoption of strong 
measures with one of their number. The Gaekwar of 
Baroda had for some time been shamefully misgoverning 
his state, and there were grave suspicions that he had 
lately made an attempt to poison the British Kesident at 
his Court. As the result of a commission of inquiry he was 
considered unfit any longer to rule. He was therefore 
deposed, and a young kinsman installed in his place. 

Visit of the Prince of Wales. If any bad impres- 
sion was created by this unfortunate case it was the next 
year dispelled by the visit to India of the Prince of Wales, 
now His Majesty King Edward VU. Wherever His 
Koyal Highness went his presence evoked spontaneous 
outbursts of loyalty among the people ; and it was notice- 
able that the native chiefs and princes in particular vied 
with each other in doing him honour. 

Lord Northbrook spent the remainder of his term of office 
over questions of finance. He retired early in the year 1876, 
and was succeeded by Lord Lytton. 

Lord Lytton, 1876-1880 assumption of the title 
of Empress of India by the Queen. On the 1st 
January, 1877, the new Viceroy held a magnificent durbar 
at Delhi to proclaim to the princes and peoples of India that 
Her Majesty Queen Victoria had assumed the title of 
Empress of India. The event was celebrated in a manner 
worthy of the occasion. Princes, nobles, and high officials 
flocked from all quarters to the great assembly. On 'The 


Kidge' made for ever memorable as the encampment of the 
valiant besiegers of Delhi in 1857 and overlooking the 
historic city, the news that all India was for the first time 
in its history united under one Imperial ruler was pro- 
claimed to the assembled multitudes amid a scene of 
unexampled splendour. 

The famine in the Deccan. In contrast to this 
gorgeous celebration in the north, a long-continued drought 
was causing grave anxiety in the south. In the autumn 
of the year, owing to a second failure of the monsoon rains, 
the worst fears were realised, and scarcity deepened rapidly 
into famine over the whole of the Deccan. Lord Lytton 
himself went down to Madras, where the suffering was the 
severest, to mark his sympathy with the stricken people 
and to watch the measures of relief. Money' w^as freely 
and ungrudgingly spent, and the most* strenuous exertions 
were made to provide food for the starving ; but in spite 
of all that could be done, the loss of life by starvation and 
the diseases incident to famine was considerable. 

Strained relations with the Amirof Afghanistan. 
The next year was taken up with the affairs of Afghani- 
stan. It has already been mentioned that since the Vice- 
royalty of Lord Lawrence, the Amir Sher Ali had cherished 
a feeling of resentment against the Indian Government, and 
that Lord Mayo's efforts to remove it had only embittered 
him. The occupation of Quetta by the British, for stragetic 
reasons, greatly annoyed him ; and when his protest against 
it had no effect, he turned for support to Russia. A mission 
from that country was received with great honour at his 
Court. Lord Lytton did not wish to interfere in Afghan 
politics if he could avoid it, but he regarded the possibility 
of Russia establishing her influence in Afghanistan with 
alarm. He therefore dispatched a British envoy to Kabul ; 
but Sher Ali rudely turned him back at the entrance to the 
Khyber Pass, thus clearly showing that he was favouring 
Russian designs. So direct an insult could not be tolerated, 
and the inevitable result was a declaration of war. 

The second Afghan War, 1878-1879. British 
columns advanced upon Afghanistan by three different 
routes, and pushed their way through the passes. Jellala- 
bad was occupied towards the close of 1878, and Kandahar 


a little later. Sher Ali did not wait to meet the forces 
converging on his capital, but fled northAvard to Balk ; and 
there a little later he died. Yakub Khan, his son, seeing 
that no help was to be expected from Russia, entered into 
treaty with the British at Gandamak on the 25th May, 
1879, and was recognised as Amir on condition that he 
would receive a British Resident at Kabul. 

Murder of the British Resident. The appointment 
of a Resident was unpopular with the Afghans, and the 
catastrophe which followed the first Afghan war might 
have warned Lord Lytton against such an arrangement. 
But he was bent upon counteracting Russian influence at 
Kabul, and he saw no other way than by establishing a 
British Residency there. Sir Louis Cavagnari was sent to 
occupy this hazardous post. The fears that were enter- 
tained for his safety were soon seen to have been only too 
well founded. On the 3rd of September the sullen and 
treacherous Afghan soldiers broke out into mutiny, attacked 
him and his escort, and massacred every soul. 

The third Afghan War, 1879-1881. To avenge his 
death another war was necessary. General Sir Frederick 
Roberts (now Field-Marshal Lord Roberts) advanced with 
a force rapidly on Kabul and occupied the neighbouring 
heights. Sir Donald Stewart, who was marching to 
reinforce him, met and defeated on the way an Afghan 
army in a desperate fight at Ahmad Khel. Kabul was soon 
occupied in force, and Yakub Khan was removed to India. 
By this time practically the whole of Afghanistan was 
seething with rebellion, and the position of the British 
garrison at Kabul was becoming critical. General Roberts, 
however, brilliantly repulsed an attack and dispersed the 

Lord Ripon, 1880-1884. Lord Lytton at this juncture 
resigned, and the Marquis of Ripon was in April, 1880 
appointed to succeed him. Shortly after his arrival news 
was brought that Ayub Khan, brother of Yakub Khan and 
Governor of Herat, had defeated a British force at 
Mai wand. Once again General Roberts came to the rescue, 
and, marching rapidly from Kabul to Kandahar, fell upon 
Ayub's army and completely routed it. This splendid feat 
of arms, one of the most brilliant of the century, virtually 


put an end bo the rebellion. Abdur Rahman Khan, a 
cousin of Yakub Khan, was invited to Kabul and placed 
upon the vacant throne. In March, 1881, the British 
withdrew from Kabul and from all interference in the 
internal affairs of Afghanistan. 

Liberal reforms. Lord Eipon had now leisure to 
devote himself to the task of internal reform. His Vice- 
royalty is memorable for the introduction of certain 
important liberal measures. The Vernacular Press was 
freed from the special restrictions which his predecessor 
had devised to control it, and made subject only to the 
ordinary laws relating to printed matter. In 1882 a Local 
Self-Government Act was passed, giving to the people of 
towns in which municipalities exist a greater share 
in the management of their affairs. He also by a series of 
enactments largely increased the powers of rural boards 
and placed them upon a more representative basis. He 
hoped, by delegating authority to the citizens themselves in 
matters of purely local concern, to awaken public interest 
among them, and, by rendering municipalities less de- 
pendent on official control, to make them serve as instru- 
ments of political education. Lastly, a commission was 
appointed to enquire into and report on the state of educa- 
tion with a view to its extension on a broader basis. 

Employment of Indian troops abroad. In the 
year 1882 an event took place which deserves special 
mention. A contingent of Indian troops was dispatched 
to Egypt to take part with the British forces in the occupa- 
tion of that country. This contingent acquitted itself 
most creditably, and proved to the world that India is a re- 
serve of strength to the British Empire, and that the valour 
and endurance of her native soldiers are forces in its general 
scheme of defence to be reckoned with by any invader. 

Retirement of Lord Ripon. Lord Ripon retired in 
1884. No Viceroy or Governor-General has so much 
endeared himself to the natives of India ; and his memory 
will be long cherished by them with peculiar gratitude and 
affection for his liberal reforms, and for the trust and con- 
fidence which he so unhesitatingly reposed in them. 

Lord Dufferin, 1884 i888 the Boundary Com- 
mission. He was succeeded in December, 1884, by Lord 


DufFerin. Immediately upon his arrival his attention was 
taken up with affairs beyond the north-west frontier. A 
crisis in Central Asia seemed at hand, owing to the 
aggressive attitude of the Eussian Government. Its policy 
of extension of territory had been so steadily pursued that 
the whole of Central Asia had now been absorbed into the 
Eussian Empire, down to the very borders of Afghanistan. 
Eussia seemed now to be making every preparation for the 
seizure of Herat, which was the key to Afghanistan. In 
view of a Eussian advance upon India, Herat would be a 
place of the greatest strategical importance, and the Indian 
Government, in self-defence, could not tolerate its occupa- 
tion ; and, moreover, to stand by and permit it would be a 
violation of its obligations towards the Amir of Afghani- 
stan, the integrity of whose territory it had guaranteed. 
Lord Dufferin warded oif the danger of an immediate 
collision between Eussia and Afghanistan by proposing a 
joint Boundary Commission of English and Eussian officers 
to settle the borders of Afghan territory. This was agreed 
to, and Eussia relinquished her project of occupying Herat. 
Disputes between the Eussian and English commissioners, 
however, at one time very nearly led to an open rupture 
and to war between the two countries. 

Loyalty of the native princes. It was during this 
acute crisis that the native princes gave a gratifying proof 
of their loyalty to the paramount power. When war 
seemed imminent, they hastened to come forward with 
generous offers of assistance to the Indian Government. As 
a result of the scare, the bonds of union between the native 
princes and the Indian Government have been drawn 
closer, and an Imperial Service Contingent, for emploj'ment 
in defence of India, has since been organised in every 
important native state. 

Misconduct of the Burmese Government. In 
1885 the conduct of the Government of Upper Burmah 
made war upon that country inevitable. It had continually 
violated its treaty obligations, and not only had it failed to 
afford the promised protection to British traders, but had 
even itself ill-treated them. King Thebaw and his advisers 
so grossly misgoverned the country that it was rapidly 
sinking into a state of anarchy. His kingdom was infested 


by organised bands of robbers, who committed without fear 
of punishment the most brutal atrocities. At length, 
emboldened by impunity, they began to raid British 
territory. The Burmese Government, when called upon 
to suppress them, returned scornful or evasive answers. 
But in November, 1885, King Thebaw brought matters to 
a crisis by a crowning act of folly. He announced his 
intention of invading British territory. This was too much, 
and war was forthwith declared upon him. 

The third Burmese War, 1885. The Burmese 
offered practically no resistance to the expedition sent 
against them, and Mandalay, the capital, was occupied 
without the need of striking a blow. Thebaw, who was a 
cruel tyrant besides being an incapable ruler, was deposed 
and transported as a state prisoner to India ; and Upper 
Burmah was annexed on January 1st, 1886. The whole of 
Burmah has since been formed into one province and 
placed under a Lieutenant-Governor. The task of putting 
down the robber bands, whose depredations King Thebaw's 
misrule had encouraged, has been a difficult one, but it has 
been satisfactorily accomplished ; and Burmah, as part of 
the Indian Empire, has now a great future before it. 

Gwalior restored to the Maharajah. The last act 
of importance of Lord DulFerin's administration was the 
restoration of the fort of Gwalior to the Maharajah Sindhia. 
Ever since the days of the mutiny, when it had served the 
rebels as a rallying place, it had been held by the British. 
Its restoration to the Maharajah was a recognition of the 
altered conditions obtaining since the mutiny and an 
expression of the confidence which the Indian Government 
reposed in its feudatories. 

Lord Lansdowne, 1888-1893 the Manipur War. 
Lord Dufferin retired in 1888 and was succeeded by Lord 
Lansdowne. Affairs on the north-west frontier again occupied 
considerable attention, owing to the persistency with which 
Eussian officers with detachments of troops kept crossing into 
Afghan territory. By the firmness with which the Indian 
Government made it plain that they would support the Amir 
in protecting his territorial rights, the Russians were induced 
to retire. At the same time the boundaries of Afghanistan 
to the east and south were clearly demarcated. 


The Manipur War. A rising in the small native 
state of Manipur resulted in the murder of the Chief Com- 
missioner of Assam and four British oflficials. The two 
British officers in command of the escort feebly retreated 
without making an effort to punish the crime. This show 
of weakness might have had serious consequences, but 
fortunately the gallantry and resource of other officers in 
charge of isolated outposts in the neighbourhood retrieved 
the situation. A force hurriedly despatched from Calcutta 
to suppress the rising had no difficulty in capturing the 
capital and pacifying the country. The Rajah, a usurper, 
was deposed and sent as a prisoner to the Andamans, and 
those who had taken a prominent part in the treacherous 
murder of the officials were hanged. The Indian Govern- 
ment, true to its policy, did not annex the state, but raised 
to the vacant throne a boy belonging to the royal family. 
The country is now being administered by a British officer 
during the minority of the present ruler. 

Election of members to the Councils. The only 
other matter of importance during Lord Lansdowne's 
Viceroyalty was the passing of an Act providing for the 
election by public bodies of a certain number of members 
to the Supreme and Provincial Legislative Councils, with a 
view to giving the Government the benefit of unofficial 
views ^on matters under discussion. 

The second Lord Elgin, 1894-1899 the Chitral 
Expedition Plague. Lord Elgin, son of the successor 
to Lord Canning, succeeded Lord Lansdowne in 1894. An 
important step was taken during his first year of office 
towards the amicable settlement of the difficulties arising 
out of Russian aggressions in the north. Russia was 
induced to accept the Oxus as her southern boundary, and 
to take part in a boundary commission to settle the limits 
of disputed territory to the east. The settlement then 
made has proved to be a lasting one, and there has been no 
further anxiety on this head. But excepting this affair, no 
Viceroy has had to contend with so continuous a succession 
of misfortunes. A heavy fall in the exchange value of the 
rupee caused a deficit iiT the revenue of two and a quarter 
crores. A disturbance at Chitral, placed within the British 
sphere by the agreement with the Amir during Lord 


Lansdowne's time, led to a costly expedition, and to the 
occupation of that remote post by the British Government. 
Then followed an outbreak of bubonic plague, which, 
commencing in Bombay, rapidly extended throughout the 
surrounding country, and made its appearance in distant 
places as well. The measures taken to prevent its spreading 
over the whole continent were misunderstood by the people 
and misrepresented by designing persons, and at first gave 
rise to much alarm and mistrust. The panic and disorder 
which its presence caused did great injury to trade and 
industrial enterprise in the Western Presidency. The 
ignorance of sanitation, and the state of unreasoning 
superstition among the people of India, which the outbreak 
disclosed, have shown how much yet remains to be done in 
the matter of education. 

Famine. In the autumn of 1897, while plague was 
still raging, there occurred a most widespread famine. 
Eelief operations were undertaken on a stupendous scale, 
and were liberally supplemented by private charity. The 
parts chiefly affected w^ere the United Provinces, Behar, 
and Central India. But owing to the admirable system of 
relief devised, and the able direction of Sir Anthony (now 
Lord) Macdonell, the mortality directly due to famine 
was little above the normal in the United Provinces, 
and even in the Central Provinces, where the famine was 
the most severe, the deaths from starvation were, consider- 
ing all things, remarkably few. 

Earthquake. On the top of these calamities the most 
violent and far-reaching earthquake recorded in Indian 
history took place in North-Eastern India. The loss of 
life caused thereby was surprisingly small, but the loss of 
property, the destruction of buildings, and the damage 
done to public works, particularly railways, was very great. 

Unrest on the north-west frontier. The year 
1897 was a year of great unrest. In India the accumula- 
tion of disasters, the sufferings of the people, and the 
measures taken for the prevention of plague gave rise to 
much unreasoning bitterness and discontent. Across the 
north-west frontier, the warlike and fanatical tribesmen 
were greatly excited by the news of the defeat of the 
Greeks by the Turks. Their spiritual leaders, ever ready 


for a chance of mischief, persuaded them that the time had 
come for a general rising of Muhammadans. The mis- 
fortunes of the Indian Government seemed to promise a 
chance of success ; and in the autumn of the year, one tribe 
after another rose, till all the borderland was \ip in arms. 
The great caravan route through the Khyber was closed, and 
raids were made by frontier tribes into British territory. 

The Tirah Campaign. It was needful to teach the 
tribes a lesson that they would not forget, and a big war 
was therefore undertaken against them. The preparations 
made for it were on an unprecedentedly large scale. Sir 
William Lockhart, who was appointed to the command of 
the punitive expedition, led across the border the largest 
army that had ever been employed on such a purpose. 
After much hard fighting the tribes were driven back and 
pursued into their hills and fastnesses. The expedition, 
which is known as the Tirah Campaign, was a long, arduous 
and costly one, and many valuable lives were lost ; but the 
tribesmen were thoroughly humbled before it was finished, 
and their country, which they had counted inaccessible, was 
traversed from end to end. 

Lord Elgin left India after a five years' administration, 
with a reputation greatly enhanced by the way he had faced 
each succeeding disaster, and had overcome his difficulties. 

Lord Curzon, 1899. He was succeeded by Lord 
Curzon, who relinquished the office of British Under- 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in order to take up 
his Indian appointment. 

Frontier affairs. His first task was to endeavour to 
effect a permanent settlement with the wild tribes across 
the north-west frontier. British troops were gradually with- 
drawn and tribal levies substituted for them, and the tribes 
were left to manage their own affairs without molestation. 
But the withdrawal was accompanied by a concentration of 
troops on the Indian side of the border and the completion 
of strategic railways, so that the tribes might understand 
that punishment would follow swiftly if they made raids 
into British territory. Though the compromise has not 
been completely successful it has on the whole worked 
well ; but with men so turbulent and so loosely governed 
as the trans-frontier tribesmen no agreement that will be 



held by them to be finally binding can be made. Hitherto 
frontier affairs had been the care of the Punjab Govern- 
ment, but it had long been felt that a change in their 
administration was necessary. They needed special expert 
handling and treatment 
quite different from that 
obtaining in a settled pro- 
vince, and Lord Curzon was 
convinced that the only way 
in which they could secure 
it was by forming the trans- 
Indus districts of the Punjab 
into a separate Province. A 
Chief-Commissioner, respon- 
sible direct to the Govern- 
ment of India was appointed 
to control the province thus 

Plague and famine. 
Bubonic plague continued to 
spread throughout the whole 
of Lord Curzon's adminis- 
tration despite all efforts at prevention, and in the year 
1904 it is computed that it carried off upwards of a million 
people. Its subsequent decline has been very gradual. 
But the epidemic has had one good result, in that it has 
focussed much needed attention upon the subject of sani- 
tation and led to great improvements in drainage and the 
housing of the people. Unfortunately plague was not the 
only calamity affecting the country, for Lord Curzon was 
called upon in the first year of his administration to meet 
an even worse famine than that which crippled the resources 
of India in his predecessor's time. But if the famine, which 
it was his misfortune to face, almost at the commencement 
of his term of office, was one of the severest known- to 
history, it was also more skilfully and successfully combated 
than any previous one. Its extent and severity may be 
gathered from the fact that no less than six and a half 
miHion people w^re at one time in receipt of relief. 

\A^ar with Thibet. Lord Curzon, who displayed 
throughout his term of office a zeal for reform not 

Lord Curzon. 


exceeded by Lord Dalhoiisie himself, was not destined to 
escape altogether from the need of waging war. In 1 904 
the Dalai Lama of Thibet, the chief spiritual leader of 
the Thibetan Buddhists, who exercised temporal power as 
well, began to show unmistakable signs of hostility to 
the British and undue favour to the Russians. A mission 
which was sent under Sir Francis Younghusband to 
negotiate with him met with resistance, and an advance 
in force to Lhasa had then to be undertaken. Before 
Lhasa was reached, however, the Dalai Lama fled. In his 
absence a satisfactory settlement was negotiated with the 
leading men of the country, who proved not at all unfriendly, 
and the force then withdrew. The expedition had been 
rather costly, but the Thibetans offered so little real 
resistance that few lives were lost in marching through 
the wild and difficult country met with on the way. The 
march to Lhasa had proved that the Indian Government 
was not to be trifled with and the lesson is not likely soon 
to be forgotten by the Thibetans. 

Reforms. Lord Curzon's reforms touched all branches 
of the administration, and his own indomitable energy 
infused new life into every part of it. The fluctuation 
in the value of the rupee which had caused such grave 
anxiety during his predecessor's administration was effec- 
tually prevented by the simple device of making the 
British sovereign legal tender, creating a gold reserve and 
accepting fifteen rupees as the practical equivalent of the 
sovereign. By a Land Alienation Act an attempt was 
made to protect the simple Punjab cultivators from being 
dispossessed wholesale by the money-lenders ; and agricul- 
tural or co-operative banks were instituted all over India 
to encourage self-help among the peasantry and to 
enable them to obtain loans at low rates of interest. In 
1904 a new department was instituted for Commerce and 
and Industry, and an extra membership of the Viceroy's 
Council created in order to give the head of the Department 
a seat thereon. No subject had for Lord Curzon a deeper 
interest than that of education. Throughout the wljole 
of his administration it engrossed much of his attention. 
The machinery of the Departments of Education in the 
provinces was overhauled from top to bottom, large grants 


were ^iven for the improvement and extension of various 
forms of education and reforms were set on foot that 
should secure steady advance on the fight lines. The 
Indian Universities Act of 1904, a measure which at the 
time met with considerable opposition in some quarters, is 
now generally recognised as having effected much needed 
improvements and as having made possible a general raising 
of the standard of attainment. Other measures were the 
improvement of agricultural education, the preservation 
and restoration of ancient monuments, and the establish- 
ment of a board of scientific advice. Strenuous efforts 
were also made to improve the morale of the police force 
and to render the service attractive to a better class of 
men ; and the efficiency of the native army was considerably 
increased by a reorganization of the Transport Service, the 
rearmament of the troops, and the strengthening of the 

Death of Queen Victoria. In January 1901 the 
Queen -Empress died. The event occasioned genuine mani- 
festations of sorrow among all classes of her Indian 
subjects. Since the day of her first proclamation to 
them in 1858 she had never ceased to take the closest 
and most sympathetic interest in their welfare, and they 
repaid her care for them by cherishing a deep affection 
for her and by preserving the memory of her goodness 
by countless memorials throughout the length and breadth 
of the country. In 1903 Lord Curzon held a Durbar at 
Delhi of unparalleled magnificence to celebrate the coro- 
nation of her son, His Majesty King Edward YIL The 
Durbar was attended hy more than a hundred ruling princes. 

Partition of Bengal. To mark appreciation of the 
great services which Lord Curzon had rendered India by 
iiis reforming zeal, at the end of his term of office in 
1904 he was reappointed for a further term. The Province 
of Bengal had long been regarded as too unwieldy for 
proper administration, and it had for some time been 
recognised that subdivision was inevitable. Lord Curzon 
after anxious thought and much discussion decided to form 
a new Province by handing over the districts of Eastern 
Bengal to Assam and creating a Lieutenant-Governorship 
for Eastern-Bengal and Assam. The measure, which had 


been decided upon purely on administration grounds, 
created a storm oi opposition among the Bengali speaking 
peoples, who regarded the division of Bengal as a menace 
to their national solidarity. The feeling aroused by the 
measure created a great deal of unrest, and the echoes of 
the controversy reverberated throughout the whole of 

Resignation of Lord Curzon and appointment 
of Lord Minto. In the midst of the excitement aroused 
by the partition of Bengal Lord Curzon resigned and left the 
country. A difference between him and Lord Kitchener, 
regarding the relations between the Commander-in-Chief 
and the Military Department of the Government, seemed 
to Lord Curzon to be of vital importance, and, since the 
British Government sided with the Commander-in-Chief, 
he felt that he could not remain at his post. He was 
succeeded in 1905 by the Earl of Minto, a grandson of the 
former Governor-General of that name. 

Lord Minto, 1905-1910. Thoughtful observers had 
for some time been noting the growth in India of a new 
spirit. The educated middle-classes throughout the country 
were beginning to realize that Indians of whatever race, 
caste or creed had certain common aims and aspirations 
and to manifest dissatisfaction with a form of government 
in which, however just and beneficent it might be, they 
desired a larger share. The strenuous administration of 
Lord Curzon and tlie controversies aroused by certain of 
his measures of reform had had the effect of stimulating 
this new spirit into much greater activity. Moreover, 
the remarkable achievements of Japan in her war with 
Russia had greatly stirred men's minds and helped the 
growth in Asiatic countries of the idea of national unity of 
purpose. When Lord Minto assumed office a period of 
political unrest had set in. The task before him was one 
of extreme difficulty ; for unrest took . many forms, from 
legitimate and moderate demands for a share in the govern- 
ment of the country to sedition and plots to subvert it. 
To allay discontent by concession without weakening the 
hold of British Eule in India was a formidable problem of 
statesmanship. But Lord Minto' and Lord Morley, the 
Secretary of State, were determined at whatever hazard to 


pursue a path of liberal reform. Both were much averse 
from repressive measures ; events, however, forced their 
hands. The agitation against the partition of Bengal did 
not die down so quickly as was expected, and the bitterness 
it had caused remained. Serious disorder broke out in 
some of the affected districts, and the anxiety of the govern- 
ment to avoid coercion was misunderstood. In the wake 
of disorder followed anarchical crime and organized dacoity 
for political purposes. These were symptoms so grave 
that they could not be overlooked ; moreover, the mis- 
chief was clearly spreading to other parts of India. It 
was necessary to strike quickly and at the same time to 
strengthen the hands of officials in dealing with incipient 
rebellion. The ringleaders were arrested suddenly and 
deported and an act, called the Seditious Meetings' Act, 
making prompt action possible to suppress disloyal agita- 
tion, was rapidly passed into law. 

The display of firmness had the effect of checking the 
growth of rebellion, even if it did not succeed wholly in 
putting an end to disorder and anarchical outrage. But 
while the government had given signal proof that it would 
not shrink if need be, from resort to strong measures, it 
was not to be deterred by the need for them from pursuing 
a policy of liberal reform. It did not wait for the disappear- 
ance of all signs of political trouble, but boldly introduced 
constitutional changes of a momentous nature in the form 
of government. The Indian Councils' Act of 1909, by 
which title the measure embodying these changes is known, 
enlarged considerably the Local and Supreme Legislative 
Councils, giving in the case of the former a preponderance 
to non-official membership, while it introduced a system of 
popular election of a proportion of the members of both. 
Along with these changes it conceded greater freedom of 
discussion and criticism at council meetings. Executive 
Councils were at the same time enlarged and increased in 
number, and Indians were for the first time admitted to 
membership of them. Lord Morley, who was ever alixious 
to get into closer touch with Indian views and sentiments, 
even went a step further and reserved two places on his 
own council at the Indian Office for Indians. 

Lord Minto's Viceroy alty will be famous chiefly for this 

H.I.H.S X 


courageous step forward in the direction of popular govern- 
ment. In importance it overshadowed all other events of 
his somewhat troubled rule. In tlie early part of it His 
Majesty, the Amir Habibullah of Afghanistan, was sump- 
tuously entertained at a Durbar in Agra, and the exchange 
of views which then took place improved relations between 
the two governments upon the frontier. Later a small 
frontier war was undertaken to punish a tribe, called the 
Zakka Khel, for depredations in British India, and quickly 
brought to a successful conclusion. In May 1910 His 
Majesty King Edward YII. died, and the spontaneous 
manifestations among all classes in India of sorrow at his 
loss and loyalty to the British Throne, which his death and 
the succession of his son, King George V., called forth, 
were clear proof of the better feeling which the recent 
political reforms had engendered. In November of the 
same year Lord Minto retired and was succeeded by Lord 

Lord Hardinge, 1910. =The Viceroyalty of Lord 
Hardinge will be ever memorable for the occurrence during 
it of an event unprecedented in the annals of India and 
of the British Empire. Their Imperial Majesties, King 
George Y. and Queen May, left the centre of the Empire to 
announce in person their coronation to their Indian sub- 
jects. On December 12th, 1911, at Delhi His Majesty, 
wearing his Imperial Crown, was proclaimed King Emperor 
of India, amidst a scene of unexampled splendour, and 
there received the homage and allegiance of the Kuling 
Chiefs of India. At the conclusion of the ceremony His 
Majesty announced the transfer of the seat of the govern- 
ment of India from Calcutta to the ancient capital of Delhi, 
the re-union of Bengal under a Governor in Council and the 
creation of a new Province of Behar, Chota-Nagpur and 
Orissa under a Lieutenant Governor and Council. The 
Durbar and the ceremonies attending it brought home to 
the Indian people vividly the fact that His Majesty is 
the reigning Emperor of India, and his own gi*acious 
words have assured them of his sympathy for and trust in 
them and of his earnest concern for their welfare, peace 
and contentment. 


Abdali, 266. 

Abdullah, 174, 176. 

Abdur Rahman, 311. 

Abul Faizi, 133. 

Abul Fazl, 133, 134. 

Adam Khan, 125. 

Adams, 259. 

Afghanistan, 6, 26, 36, 48, 53, 66, 

89, 96, 251, 267, 271, 287, 288, 

309, 310, 311, 312. 
Afghans, 116, 117, 118, 122, 123, 

125, 127, 178, 192, 193, 194, 195, 

206, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 280, 

Afzal Khan, 156. 
Agmahal, 127. 
Agra, 112, 114, 122, 123, 125, 150, 

153, 244, 246. 
Ahmadabad, 143, 218. 
Ahmad Bahmani, 112. 
Alimad Khel, 310. 
Ahmadnagar, 112, 114, 128, 129, 

138, 145, 164, 167, 243, 245. 
Ahmad Shah Abdali, 192, 193, 201, 

Ain-i-Akbari, 133, 303. 
Ajatasutru, 33, 34. 
Ajib Singh, 176. 

Ajmir, 95, 125, 138, 153, 246, 258. 
Ajodhya, 15, 26. 
Akbar, The Gveat, 121, 122, 123, 

124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 

131, 132, 133, 134, 137, 168. 
Akbar Khan, 268. 
Akbar Namah, 13.3. 
Akbar, Prince, 163, 164, 166. 
Alamgir, 155. 

H.I.TI.S. X 

Alauddin Ghori, 94. 
Alaiiddin Hasan Gangu, 109. 
Alauddin Kilji, 102, 103, 105, 108. 
Alauddin Syed, 112. 
Alberuni, 93. 
Albuquerque, 142. 
Alexander of Epirus, 48. 
Alexander the Great, SO, 37, 38, 

39, 40, 41. 
Alexandria, 40. 
Alighar, 244. 
Ali Mardan Khan, 146. 
Ali Vardi Khan, 180, 195. 
Aliwal, 276. 

Allahabad, 57, 68, 204, 211, 293. 
Alor, 86. 

Altamsh, 99, 100, 101. 
Amara, 64. 
Amarkot, 119. 
Am bar, Raja of, 126. 
Ambur, 184. 

Amherst, Lord, 259, 261. 
Amir Khan, 255, .257. 
Anangapal, 90, 91. 
Andamans, 306. 
Andhras, 49, 50, 53, 56, 70. 
Andras, 77. 
Anga, 34. 
Antigonus, 48. 
Antiochus, 48. 
Anwaruddin, 181, 183, 184. 
Arabs, 85, 86. 

Arakan, 146, 153, 159, 160, 260. 
Aranyakas, 20. 
Aravalli Hills, 103, 126. 
Arcot, 181, 183, 187, 189, 220, 241. 
Argaon, 244. 




Arikera, 233. 

Arjuna, 75. 

Arras, 217. 

Aryan Migration, 1. 

Aryavarta, 20, 21, 26. 

Asaf Jah, 176. 

Asaf Khan, 125, 144. 

Ashti, 257. 

Asoka, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 53, 54, 

55, 59, 67. 
Assaye, 243. 

Assam, 57, 158, 159, 260, 314, 319. 
Atharva Veda, 8. 
Attila, 62. 
Auckland, Lord, 266, 267, 268, 

269, 270, 271. 
Aurungabad, 138. 
Aurungzeb, 146 to 171. 
Ava, 260, 283. 
Avanti, 26. 
Avitabile, 274. 
Ayub Khan, 310. 
Azani, 163, 164, 166, 171. 

Babar, 113, 116. 

Babylon, 40, 53, 140. 

Bactria, 40, 45, 48, 51. 

Bahadur Shah L, 117, 118, 171, 

172 173. 
Bahadur Shah IL, 289, 294. 
BahlulLodi, 112. 
Bahmani kingdom, 112, 114. 
Baillie, Col., 219, 223. 
Bairam Khan, 121, 122, 12.3, 124, 

Baird, Gen., 240. 
Baji RaoL, 178, 179, 180. 
Baji Rao IL, 241, 242, 256, 284. 
Bakhtiyar Kilji, 96. 
Balaji Baji Rao, 180. 
Balaji Bishwanath, 172, 175, 177. 
Balban, 100, 101. 
Balk, 266, 310. 
Baluchis, 272. 
Baluchistan, 40. 
Balydit^'^a, 62. 
Banabhatta, 75. 
Banda, 171, 172, 175. 
Bangalore, 233. 
Bararaahal, 234. 
Bareilly, 296. 

Barlow, Sir George, 249, 250, 258.' 

Barsilor, 158. 

Barwell, 214. 

Bassein, 179, 217, 218, 242. 

Bay ley, Butterworth, 261. 

Beas, 49. 

Begums of Oudh, 215, 225, 226, 

228, 296. 
Beliar, 6, 14, 30, 34, 53, 57, 96, 

112, 118, 192, 200, 204. 
Behat, 140. 
Benares, 14, 53, 59, 68, 150, 212, 

214, 224. 
Bengal, 57, 88, 96, 109, 110, 117, 

118, 126, 127, 145. 179, 180, 192, 

195, 199, 200, 202, 204, 209, 210, 

221, 319. 
Bengal, dual system in, 204. 
Bentinck, Lord William, 261, 262, 

263, 264, 265, 266. 
Berar, 50, 69, 114, 129, 180, 284. 
Best, Capt., 143.- 
Bhagalpur, 28, 34. 
Bharatas, 10. 
Bhartpur, 176. 
Bharukachcha (Bharoeh), 71. 
Bhaskara Acharya, 93. 
Bhatindah, 90, 95. 
Bhawalpur, 279. 
Bhikkhunis, 33. 
Bhikklms, 33, 60, 71, 82. 
Bhils, 12, 2.55. 
Bhilsa, 102. 
Bhima, 167. 
Bhoja, 93. 
BhojaL, 88. 
Bhokhara, 53. 

Bhonslas, The, 206, 257, 284. 
Bhopal, 178. 
Bhurtpur, 247, 261. 
Bhutan War, 302. 
Bidar, 112, 114, 128, 150. 
Bijapur, 114, 128, 145, 155, 156, 

157, 158, 164, 165. 
Bimbiesara, 30, 33,. 34. 
Bindusara, 45. 
Birbal, Raja, 128, 132. 
Bithur, 257, 292. 
Bodhi Tree, 65, 68. 
Bombay, 169, 216, 297. 
Bourquin, Gen., 244. 



Brahma, 82. 

Brahmanas, 9, 14, 17, 18, 22. 

Brahman caste, 24. 

Brahmanism, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 

18, 20, 22, 23, 28, 33, 35, 46, 70, 

83, 230. 
Brahmarshidesa, 20. 
Braithwaite, Col., 220. 
Broach, 245. 
Buddha, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 

Buddhism, 43, 45, 49, 54, 55, 59, 

62, 66, 70, 71, 85. 
Buddhist Councils, 33, 46, 55, m. 
Buddhists, 49, 50. 
Buddhist Scriptures, 60. 
Budge-budge, 197. 
Bukka Rav, 108. 
Bundelkhand, 244, 250. 
Burhanpur, 138, 245. 
Burmah, 259. 
Burmah, Lower, 48. 
Burmese, 259, 260, 283, 312, 313. 
Burmese Wars, 259, 283, 313. 
Burnes, Sir A., 268. 
Bussy, Gen., 184, 186, 187, 190, 

191, 222, 223. 
Butwal, 253. 
Buxar, 118, 202. 
Byas, 39. 

Calcutta, 169, 174, 195, 196, 197, 

Calicut, 141, 207. 
Cam bay, 143. 

Campbell, Sir Archibald, 259, 260. 
Campbell, Sir Colin, 296. 
Canning, Lord, 287, 288, 298, 300, 

Carnatic, 149, 181, 186, 206, 208, 

219, 241. 
Caste, 7, 12, 24, 25. 
Cavagnari, Sir Louis, 310. 
Caveri, 240. 

Cawnpore, 292, 293, 296. 
Central authority, 130. 
Central Provinces, 12, 50. 
Ceylon, 22, 28, 46, 48, 79. 
Chalukyas, 61, 78, 79, 80. 
Cham pan ir, 117. 
Champi, 34. 

Chanda Sahib, 181, 183, 184, 186, 

187, 189, 190. 
Chand Bibi, 129. 
Chandernagore, 170, 197. 
Chandra Gupta (Sandrocottus), 39, 

40, 41, 42. 
Chandra Gupta I. , 57. 
Chandra Gupta II., 58, 61. 
Chandragupta Vikramaditya, 58, 

Chand Sultana, 129, 130. 
Chasthana, 56. 
Chedis, m. 
Chenab, 37, 39. 
Chengiz Khan, 97, 99. 
Cheras, 22, 53, 77. 
Chet Singh, 215, 224. 
Chillianwallah, 280, 281. 
China, 55, 97. 

Chin Kalich Khan, 175, 176. 
Chinsurah, 200. 
Chitral, 314. 

Chittagong, 146, 159, 259. 
Chittor, 102, 103, 105, 117, 138. 
Chitu, 255, 258. 
Cholas, 22, 53, 70, 77, 78, 79. 
Chunar, 117, 118, 225. 
Cis-Sutlej Sirdars, 251. 
Clavering, Gen., 214, 215. 
Clive, 183, 187, 189, 190, 191, 197, 

198, 199, 200, 201, 203, 204, 205, 

Cochin, 141. 
Code of Manu, 23, 43. 
Coimbatore, 240. 
Colbert, 170. 
Combermere, Lord, 261. 
Company, East India, 169, 252, 

261, 264, 299. 
Conjeeveram, 70. 
Coorg, 230, 234, 262. 
Coote, Sir Eyre, 191, 198, 201, 

219, 220, 221, 222. 
Cornwallis, Lord, 231, 232, 233, 

234, 235, 248. 
Cuddalore, 222. 
Curzon, Lord, 316. 

Dacca, 160, 259. 
Dadoji Kondadeo, 155. 
Dahir, 86. 



Dalai Lama, 318. 

Dalhousie, Lord, 277, 278, 280, 

281, 282, 283, 284, 318. 
Danyal, 134. 
Dara, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 

154, 157. 
Darius I., 36. 

Daud Khan, 127, 174. 

Daiilata])ad, 107. 

Daiilat Khan, 113. 

Daiilat Rao Sindhia, 241, 242, 

243, 244, 245. 
De Boigne, 244. ^ 

Deccan, 22, 28, 50, 57, 65, 103, 105, 

109, 110, 114, 115, 129, 138, 139, 

155, 156, 157, 161, 162, 164, 166, 
167, 169, 175, 176, 179, 241, 309. 

Delhi, 90, 95, 100, 101, 103, 106, 
107, 110, 111, 113, 114, 121, 122, 
123, 125, 175, 177, 178, 179, 192, 
193, 209, 244, 247, 290, 291, 292, 
^93, 294. 

Denison, Sir William, 302. 

Deogaon, 245. 

Dera-Fateh-Khan, 279. 

Devagiri, 102, 107. 

Devas, 60. 

Dewani Khas, The, 147. 

DhanyakataJ^a, 77. 

Dharmasala, 302. 

Dharma Sutras, 23. 

Dhulip Singh, 275, 282. 

Dig, 247. 

Diler Khan, 158. 

Dindigal, 234. 

Doab, 9, 13, 14. 

Dost Muhammad, 266, 267, 268, 
269, 271. 

Downton, Capt., 144. 

Dravida, 70. 

Dravidians, 21, 22. 

Duars, 302. 

Dufferin, Lord, 311, 312, 313. 

Dupleix, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 
190, 191. 

Dupleix-Fatah-abad, 187. 

Dutch, 143, 200, 220, 251. 

Dwara Samudra, 103, 105. 

Edward VII., King, 319.^ 
Edwardes, Lieutenant, 279. 

Egypt, 311. 

Egyptians, 12. 

Elgin, First Lord, 301, 302. 

Elgin, Second Lord, 314, 316. 

Ellenborough, Lord, 270, 271, 272, 

273. . 
Ellis, 202. 
Elphinstone, Mountstuart, 251, 

Etawah, 96. 

Fa Hian, 58, 59, 60, 66, 67, 74. 

Famines, 303, 304, 309, 315, 317. 

Farukh Siyyar, 174. 

Fatehgarh, 151, 152. 

Fatehpur, 152. 

F'atehpur Sikri, 116. 

Firdausi, 93. 

Ferozshahr, 275, 276. 

FerozTuglak, 109, 115. 

F^ive Rivers, 10, 40. 

Forde, 200. 

Francis, Philip, 214, 215, 224, 226, 
227, 2-29. 

Eraser, Gen., 247. 

French, 169, 182, 183, 184, 186, 
187, 190, 191, 200, 201, 220, 221, 
222, 237, 238, 2.39, 251, 252. 

French Settlements, 170. 

Fullerton, Col., 223. 

Fulta, 196. 

Gaekwar, 180, 194! 

Gaekwar of Baroda, 206, 236, 247, 

Gahrwal, 254. 
Gandamak, 310. 
Gandhara, 26. 
Ganga Bai, 289. 
Ganges, 34, 57, 146. 
Gangu, 109. 
Gaur, 118, 119 
Gautama, 28, 29. 
Gawilgarh, 245. 
Gaya, 68, 69. 
Ghazi-Beg, 106. 
Ghazipur, 53, 215, 249. 
Ghazi-uddin, 192, 193, 200. 
Ghazni, 89, 90, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 

99, 266, 268, 270. 
Ghiasuddin, 106. 



Ghiljis, 268. 

Ghor, 94, 96. 

Ghulam Kadir, 245. 

Gilbert, Gen., 282. 

Ginji, 186. 

Goa, 142, 144. 

Godavari, 243. 

Goddard, Col., 217, 218, 221'. 

Gohud, 230, 249. 

Golconda, 114, 128, 149, 150, 164, 

Gondophares, 51. 
Gonds, 12. 

Good Hope, Cape of, 141. 
Gough, Sir Hugh (afterwards Lord 

Gough), 275, 276', 279, 280, 281. 
Greece, 48. 
Gil j rat, see Giizerat. 
Gimtur, 219, 232. 
Guptas, 56, 59, 60, 61. 
Gurkhas, 253, 254. 
Guzerat, 6, 53, 55, 58, 70, 71, 88, 

92, 96, 102, 103, 108, 110, 117, 

125, 126, 176, 179, 218, 281. 
Gwalior, 90, 99, 120, 125, 130, 153, 

218, 225, 249, 256, 272, 273, 297, 


Haidar Ali, 207, 208, 209, 219, 

220, 221. 
Hamilton, 174. 
Hardinge, Sir Henry (Lord Har- 

dinge), 275, 276, 277, 278. 
Hard war, 67. 
Harris, Gen., 239. 
Harsha, 65, 68, 74, 75, 78. 
Harshavardhan, 65, 66, 67, 68. 
Hasan, 109. 

Hastings, Marquis of, 153, 154. 
Hastings, Warren, 197, 201, 209, 

210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 

217, 220, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 

227, 228, 229. 
Havelock, Gen., 293, 296. 
Hazara, 304. 

Hemu, 120, 121, 122, 123. 
Herat, 99, 266, 267, 287, 288, 312. 
High Path, 55. 
Hinayana, 55. 
Hislop, Sir John, 257. 
Hodson, 294. 

Holkar, 177, 178, 180, 193, 194, 
203, 206, 236, 241, 246, 247, 249, 
250, 255. 

Holwell, 196. 

Hoogly, 145, 146, 197. 

Houen Tsang, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 
71 72 75. 

Hum'ayun, 116, 117, 118, 121. 

Huns, 61, 62, 63, 64, 74. 

Hiisain Ali, 174, 175, 176. 

Hiivishka, 55. 

Hyderabad, 177, 187, 207. 
. Hyderabad (Sind), 40, 50, 272. 

Ibrahim Lodi, 112, 113. 
Ikbal, 112. 

"Image Breaker," 92. 
Impey, Sir Elijah, 227. 
Indo-China, 48. 
Indore, 242, 246. 
Indraprastha, 9. 
Indus, 36, 49. 
Indus districts, 267. 
Invasion of India, 36. 
Irrawady, 259. 
Islam, 85, 86, 90. 
Islam Shah, 120. 
Ispahan, 178. 

Jahandar Shah, 173, 174. 

Jahangir, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140.- 

Jahansoz, 94. 

Jaichand, 95, 96. 

Jain, 26. 

Jainism, 35. 

Jaipal I., 89. 

JaipallL, 90. 

Jaipur, 126. 

Jalaluddin Kilji, 101. 

Janaka, 15, 27. 

Jaswant Rao Holkar, 242, 246, 257. 

Jaswant Singh, 158, 161, 163. 

Jats, 92, 177, 179, 209. 

Jaimpore, 110, 112, 116, 118. 

Jay Mai, 126. 

Jay Singh, 176. 

Jay Singh' of Jaipur, 150, 158. 

Jellalabad, 269, 270, 309. 

Jhansi, 284, 297. 

Jhelum, 37, 38, 137. 

Jina," 35. 



Jiziya, 163. 
Jodhpur, 126, 163. 
Juma Miisjid, The, 147. 

Kabul, 36, 42, 66, 113, 121, 122, 

125, 128, 148, 251, 266, 268, 269, 

271, 307, 309, 310, 311. 
Kadphises, 51. 
Kadphises II., .53, 54. 
Kafiir, 103, 105, 108. 
Kahror, 62. 

Kalanjar, 120, 126, 251. 
Kali, 264. 
Kalidas, 64. 
Kalingas, 45, 69. 
Kalpi, 297. 
Kalunga, 254. 
Kam Baksh, 171. 
Kanipilla, 10. 
Kamran, 117, 119. 
Kanara, 230, 240. 
Kaiiauj, 10, 65, 67, 75, 88, 89, 90, 

91, 95, 96, 107, 118. 
Kanchi, 70, 77, 78. 
Kandahar, 26, 66, 94, 128, 146, 

147, 267, 268, 270, 309, 310. 
Kanishka, 54, 55, 66. 
Kapila, 23, 30. 
Kapilavastu, 29, 33, 59, 68. 
Karim Khan, 255, 258. 
Kanial, 178. 
Kashgar, 54. 
Kasliis, 14, 20. 

Kashmir, 6, 39, 48, 66, 127, 277. 
Kassimbazar, 195. 
Kathaians, 39. 
Kauravas, 66. 
Kausambi, 26, 58. 
Keating, Col., 217. 
Kemendin, 259. 
Khajua, 152. 
Khalsa, 275. 
Khandesh, 1.30, 176. 
Khan Jahan Lodi, 145. 
Khan Zaman, 125. 
Khatmandu, 254. 
Khilji Dynasty, 101, 105. 
Khizr Khan, 112. 
Khokhars, 97, 100. 
Khotan, 54. 
Khurram, 138, 139, 140, 144. 

KhusruIL, 78. 

Khusru, Governor of Lahore, 94, 

Khusru, Malik, 105. 
Khusru, son of Jehangir, 137, 138. 
Khusru, son of Salim, 134. 
Khyber Pass, 38, 89, 111, 128, 270, 

28(T, 282. 
Kirki, 138, 256. 
Kirttivarma, 78. 
Kitchener, Lord, 320. 
Konkan. 114, 155, 156, 157, 176. 
Kora, 204, 211. 

Kosala, 14, 20, 26, 27, 34, 39, 59, 68. 
Krishna, 45, 78, 88. 
Krishnadeo R^Ci, 109. 
Kshatrapas, 51, 56. 
Kshattriyas, 12, 13, 15, 16, 24, 28, 

37, 69, 79, 80. 
Kulburga, 109. 
Kumara Devi, 57. 
Kumara Gupta, 61. 
Kumarila Bhatta, 80. 
Kurd Kabul, 269. 
Kurdla, 235. 
Kurram, see Khurram. 
Kurukshetra, 113. 
Kuru Panchala War, 67. 
Kurus, 9, 14. 
Kushans, 51. 
Kusinagara, 59, 68. 
Kutb Minar, 97. 
Kutbuddin, 96, 97, 101. 

Lahore, 89, 91, 94, 95, 99, 113, 

123, 137, 192, 251, 266, 277, 

Lake, Gen. (afterwards Lord), 243, 

247, 248. 
Lally, 191. 

Lansdowne, Lord, 313, 314. 
Lasvvari, 244. 
Lawrence, Colonel, 190. 
Lawrence, Sir Henry, 282, 295. 
Lawrence, Sir John (afterwards 

Lord Lawrence), 282, 291, 302, 

303, 304. 
Lhasa, 318. 

Lichchhavi, 27, 34, 57. 
Lockhart, Sir William, 316. 
Lodi Dynasty, 112. 



Low Path, 55. 
Lucknow, 292, 295, 296. 
Lyttoii, Lord, 308, 309, 310. 

.Macartney, Lord, 221, 223. 
Macaulay, Lord, 265. 
Macdonell, Sir Anthony, 315. 
MacNaghten, Sir William, 268. 
Macpherson, Sir John, 231. 
Madho Rao, 206, 218. 
Madhyadesa, 20. 
Madras, 169, 182, 183, 187, 191, 

208, 209, 216, 219, 221, 222, 

224, 231, 240, 303, 309. 
Magadha, 26, 34, 36, 39, 42, 44, 

45, 49, 50, 56. 
Niagadhi or Pali, 46. 
Mahabharata, 14, 15, 66, 88. 
Mahamaya, 29. 
Maharajpur, 272. 
Maharashtra, 70, 79, 105, 145, 166, 

169; 181, 195. 
Mahavira, 35. 
Mahayana, 55. 
Mahendra, 48. 
Mahmiid Gawan, 114. 
Mahmud of Ghazni, 89, 90, 91, 92, 

93, 97. 
Mahmud Lodi, 116. 
Mahmud, Sultan, 151, 152. . 
Mahrattas, 145, 161, 162. 164, 165, 

166, 167, 169, 172, 173, 174, 175, 

177, 178, 179, 180, 186, 193, 194, 

195, 201, 203, 207, 208, 209, 211, 

212, 213, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 

230, 231, 233, 235, 242, 243, 244, 

246, 255, 256, 257. 
Maiwand, 310. 
Malabar, 207, 222, 234. 
Malaon, 254. 

Malcolm, Sir John, 251, 257, 258. 
Malhar Rao Holkar, 177. 
Malik Amber, 138. 
Mallavelli, 239. 
Malwa, 6, 26, 56, 58, 61, 64, 70, 

101, 110, 117, 120, 176, 177, 178, 

179,246, 250,^255. 
Mangalore, 207, 222, 223. 
Manipur, 313. 
Mankot, 123. 
Man Singh, Raja, 132. 

Manu, Code of, 23, 43. . 

Martaban, 283. 

Martin, 170. 

Marwar, 120. 

Marwar, Raja of, 126. 

Masulipatam, 200. 

Mathews, Gen., 222, 223. 

Mathura, 59, 66. 

Mauritius, 237, 251. 

Mauriya, 49, 50. 

Mayo, Lord, 305, 306. 

Meerut, 292. 

Megasthenes, 42, 43, 44, 303. 

Mehidpur, 257. 

Menander, 49, 51. 

Metcalfe, Sir Charles, 251, 265, 

Metempsychosis, 18. 

Mewar, 126. 

Miani, 272. 

Middle Land, 20, 26. 

Mihiragula, 62, 63, 66. 

Minto, Lord, 250, 251, 252, 320. 

Mir Jafar, 197, 199, 200, 201, 202, 

Mir Jumla, 149, 150, 152, 153, 
158, 159. 

Mir Kasim, 201, 202. 

Mithila, 15, 27. 

Mlechcha-desa, 21. 

Moggali, 46. 

Moghuls, 97, 99, 100,' 101, 102, 
103, 105, 106, 113, 114, 116, 117, 
118, 119, 121 to 181, 192, 200, 

Moira, Earl of (Marquis of Hast- 
ings), 253, 254, 255, 256, 258. 

Monghyr, 202. 

Monson, Col., 214, 215, 247. 

Morar, 297. 

Morari Rao, 189. 

Mornington, Lord, 236, 237, 238, 

Muazzim, 163, 164, 166, 171. 

Mubarak, 105. 

Mudki, 275. 

Muhabat Khan, 139, 140, 144. 

Muhammad, 83, 86. 

Muhammad Adil, 120, 122, 123. 

Muhammad Ali, 186, 187, 191. 

Muhammad Ghori, 94, 95, 96, 103. 



Muhammad Shah, 176, 179, 180. 
Muhammad, son of Kasim, 86. 
Muhammad Tughlak, 106, 107, 

108, 109, 112. 
Mulhar Rao, 257. 
Mulraj, 278, 279, 280. 
Multan, 40, 86, 99, 148, 192, 278, 

279, 280. 
Mumtaz Mahal, 144, 147. 
Munro, Major Sir Hector, 203, 

Murad, son of Akbar, 129, 133. 
Murad, son of Shah Khan, 148, 

149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 

Murshidabad, 201, 211, 259. 
Muttra, 162, 247. 
Muzaffar Jung, 183, 184, 186, 187. 

Nadir Shah, 178, 179. 

Nagarkote, 91. 

Nagpur, 245, 257. 

Nahapana, 56. 

Nalanda, 69. 

Nana Furnavis, 216, 217, 218, 221, 

231, 233, 236, 241. 
Nanak, 166. 
Nana Sahib (Dhundu Pant), 284, 

289, 292, 293, 296, 298. 
Nanda, .S4, 39, 41, 42. 
Napier, Sir Charles, 272, 281, 288. 
Napier, Col. Robert (afterwards 

Lord Napier of Magdala), 283, 

Napoleon Buonaparte, 237, 239. 
Narayan Rao, 216. 
Narnaul, 162. 
Nasiruddin Ahmad, 100. 
Navaratna, 64. 
Nawab of Bengal (Siraj-ud-Daw- 

la), 195 to 200. 
Nawab Vizier of Oudh, 194, 200, 

202, 203, 209, 212, 214, 225, 226, 

Nayars, 231. 
Nazir Jung, 183, 186. 
Negapatam, 220. 
Neill, Col., 293, 296. 
Nepal, 28, 75, 253. 
Nicholson, Brigadier, 294. 
Nirvana, 29. 

Nizams of Hyderabad, 177, 178, 

181, 200, 206, 207, 219, 232, 235, 

238, 243, 284. 
Nizam ul Mulk, 176. 
Non- Aryans, 1, 5, 10, II, 12, 19,' 

24, 25, 60, 83, 255, 264. 
Northbrook, Lord, 206, 207, 208. 
Northern Circars, 114, 200, 204, 

Nott, Gen., 270, 271. 
Nund Kumar, 215, 216. 
Nur Jahan, 139, 140, 144. 

Ochterlony, Col., 247, 254, 261. 
Orissa, 28, 57, 69, 88, 127, 192, 204, 

244, 245, 303. 
Oudh, 20, 30, 35, 57, 96, 176, 177, 

212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 236, 245, 

284, 285, 294, 295, 296. 
Outram, Sir James, 285, 288, 296. 
Oxenden, Sir George, 158. 

Pagahn, 260. 

Pali, 46. 

Pallavas, 77, 79, 80. 

Panchalas, 10, 14. 

Pandavas, 66. 

Pandyas, 22, 53, 77. 

Panini, 23. 

Panipat, 113, 116, 122, 194, 195. 

Pasenadi, 30, 34. 

Partliians, 51. 

Patala, 40. 

Pataliputra, 42, 45, 49, 57, 60, 61, 

Pathans, 89, 114, 118, 127. 
Patna, 118, 200, 202. 
Pegu, 283. 

Permanent Settlement, 234, 235. 
Persia, 36, 43, 178, 251, 267. 
Persians, 178, 287, 288. 
Peshawar, 38, 54, 89, 90, 99. 
Peshwa, The, 239, 254. 
Peshwaship, 172, 216. 
Philip 11. , 143. 
Piyadasi, 46. 
Pilaji GaekAvar, 177. 
Pindaris, 255, 256, 257, 258. 
Pitt, William, 229. 
Plague, 314. 
Plassey, 198. 



Pollock, Gen., 270, 271. 

Pondicherry, 170, 182, 186, 191. 

Poona, 145, 180, 181, 218. 

Popham, Capt., 218. 

Popham, Major, 225. 

Port Blair, 306. 

Porto Novo, 220, 221. 

Portuguese, 141, 142, 143, 144, 
145, 146, 179. 

Porus, 37, 38, 39. 

Prabhakara, 64. 

Pratap Singh, 126. 

Prayag, 68. 

Presidencies, 169. 

Prithvi Raj, 95. 

Proclamation, the Queen's, 300. 

Prome, 260, 283. 

Provincial Governors, 170. 

Ptolemy, 48. 

Pulikesin, 66, 70, 78. 

Punar, 186. 

Punjab, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, 16, 23, 26, 
34, 39, 51, 57, 89, 90, 91, 94, 100, 
101, 107, 110, 112, 119, 125, 171, 
178, 179, 192, 193, 206, 273, 274, 
278, 280, 282, 283, 291, 292, 317. 

Punnair, 273. 

Puranas, 83. 

Puranic Hinduism, 82, 85, 88, 93. 

'Purdah' System, 8. 

Pushyamitra, 49. 

Quetta, 309. 

Raghaba, 193, 206. 

Raghaba, Peshwa, 216, 217, 218. 

Raghuji Bhonsla, 180, 236, 242, 

243, 244. 
Raghunath Rao, 221. 
Raigarh, 156, 158. 
Raighar, 162. 
Rajagriha, 26, 33, 34, 42. 
Raj Mahal Hills, 12. 
Rajputana, 92, 96, 99, 102, 110, 

125, 126, 163, 179, 209, 246, 258, 

Rajputs, 79, 80, 83, 84, 85, 86, 89, 

92, 93, 95, 96, 100, 101, 102, lO.S, 

116, 120, 125, 162, 163, 164, 179, 

Rajaraja, 79. 

RaJ3'avardhan, 64, 65. 

Rama, 15, 88. 

Rama Raja, 128. 

Ramanuja, 94. 

Ramayana, 15, 88. 

Ramnagar, 280. 

Ranaji Sindhia, 177. 

Rana of Chittor, 102, 103. 

Rana of Me war, 126. 

Rana of Udaipur, 138. 

Rangoon, 283. 

Rani of Jhansi, 297. 

Rani of Jodhpur, 163. 

Ranjit Singh, 251, 266, 268, 274. 

Ranthambhor, 99, 101, 102, 120, 

Rashtrakutas, 78, 79. 
Ravi, 39. 
Raysia, 120. 
Raziya, 100. 

Regulating Act, 213, 214. 
Rhotas, 119. 

Rig Veda, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17, 83. 
Ripon, Lord. 310, 311. 
Rishis, 7. 
Roberts, Gen. Sir F. (afterwards 

Lord Roberts), 310. 
Roe, Sir Thomas, 138, 144. 
Rohilkliand, 179, 209, 213. 
Rohilla Chief, 194. 
Rohillas, 212, 213. 
Roruka, 71. 
Rose, Sir Hugh, 297. 
Roshan Akhtar, 176. 
Rudradaman, 56. 
Russia, 266, 306, .S07, 309, 310, 312. 

Saadat Ali, 177, 236, 245. 
Saadat Khan, 176, 178. 
Saadullah Khan, 147. 
Sabuktigin, 89. 
Sacred Singers, 20. 
Sadasheo Rao, 194. 
Sadullapur, 280. 
Sahu, 171, 172, 174, 180. 
Saivas, 83. 
Saka, 53, 55, 58. 
Saka Era, 53. 
Sakas, 51, 77- 
Sakyat;, 28, 29, 33, 34. 
Salabat Jung, 187. 



Salbai, 221, 230. 

Sale, Gen. Sir Robert, 269, 276. 

8alim, Prince, 126, 134, 136. 

Saljuk Turks, 93. 

Salsette, 217, 218. 

Sama Veda, 8. 

Sanibaji, 164, 165. 

Sanigarh, 151. 

Samiidra Gupta, 57, 77. 

Sandrocottus, 39. 

Sangala, 39. 

Sangha, 33. 

Sanghamitra, 48. 

Sangram Singh, 116. 

Sankara Acharya, 82. 

Sankhya, 23. 

Sanscrit, 17, 55, 62. 

Santals, 12. 

Saras wati, 5, 20. 

Sasdnka, 65. 

Satara, 172, 180, 183, 256, 284. 

Sati prohibited, 263. 

Satnamis, 163. 

Saunders, 187, 189, 190. 

Saurashtra, 51, 55, 56, 58, 70. 

Scythians, 37, 51, 79. 

Sea Route to India discovered, 

Sedasir, 239. 
Segauli, 254. 
Seleucus 40 
Sepoys, 249* 288, 289, 290, 291, 

292, 293, 294, 296, 297, 298. 
Seringapatam, 208, 222, 233, 239, 

Shahabuddin, 94. 
Shah Alam II., 202, 203, 204, 209, 

211, 230, 245. 
Shah Jahan, 144, 147 to 152, 156, 

Shahji Bhonsla, 145, 1.56, 157. 
Shah Namah, 93. 
Shahpar, 176. 
Shahriyar, 139, 144. 
Shah Shuja, 266, 267, 268, 269, 

Shaista Khan, i52, 157, 160, 170. 
Shazada, 200, 202. 
Sheoraj, 253. 
Sher Ali, 305, 309. 
Sher Shah, 117, 118, 119, 120. 

Sher Sing, 281. 

Shore, Sir John, 235, 236, 245. 

Shuja, son of Shah Jehan, 148, 149, 

150, 152, 153, 154, 159. 
Siddartha, 29, 35. 
Sikandar, 121, 122, 123. 
Sikandar Sur, 123. 
Sikandar Lodi, 112. 
Sikhs, 138, 166, 171, 175, 179, 192, 

206, 251, 273, 27-1, 275, 276, 277, 

278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 292. 
Sikkim, 254. 
Siladitya, 65. 
Simla, 261. 
Sind, 6, 86, 110, 128, 251, 271,272, 

Sindhia, 177, 178, 180, 198, 194, 

206, 209, 218, 221, 229, 230, 236, 

243, 244, 249, 255, 313. 
Siraj-ud Daw la (Nawab of Bengal), 

195 to 200. 
Sirhind, 121, 123, 171, 206. 
Siva, 83. 
Sivaji, 155, 156, 157, 158, 161, 162, 

164, 257. 
Skanda Gupta, 61. 
Skylax, 36. 

Slave Dynasty, 97, 101. 
Sleeman, Sir William, 264. 
Smith, Col., 207, 208. 
Smith, Gen. Sir Harry, 276, 277. 
Sobraon, 276. 
Solinghar, 220. 
Soma, 7. 
Somnath, 92. 
Spain, 14.3. 
Sravasti, 26, 59, 68. 
Sriharsha, 75. 
Srirangam, 190. 

St. David, rort,.183, 187, 191, 197. 
Stevenson, Col., 243, 245. 
Stewart, Sir Donald, 310. 
St. Thome, 183. 
Stuart, Col., 223. 
Stuart, General, 239. 
Subsidiary S.ystem, 238. 
Sudder Adalat or Central Court 

of Appeal, 227. 
Suddhodana, 29. 
Sudras, 13, 24, 25, .S4. 
Sulaiman Shikoh, 150, 153. 



Sultan Feroz Tuglak, 109. 

Sungas, 49, 50. 

Sunnis, 162. 

Supreme Court, 227. 

Surat, 143, 144, 157, 158, 218. 

Sutlej, 90, 280. 

Sutras, 22, 23, 24. 

Swally, 143. 

Syeds, 174, 175, 176. 

Syed Dynasty, 112. 

Taj Mahal, The, 148. 

Takkasila, 26. 

Talikot, 128. 

Tamerlane, 110. 

Tamils, 22. 

Tanjore, 241. 

Tantia Topi, 293, 296, 297. 

Tartars, 110. 

Taxila, 26, 37, 38, 39, 45. 

Taxiles, 37. 

Telingana, 105, 112, 114. 

Temple, Sir Richard, 307. 

Tenasserim, 307. 

Thaneswar, 64, 66, 91, 95, 113. 

Thebaw, King, 312, 313. 

Thibet, 75, 317, 318. 

Thibetans, 127. 

Thugs, 263, 264, 277. 

Timur, 110, 111. 

Tippu, 220, 222, 223, 230, 232, 

233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 

240, 241. 
Tirah, 316. 
Tissa, 46. 

Todar Mai, Raja, 127, 131. 
Tonk, 258. 
Toraman, 62. 
Torna, 156. 
Trajan, 53. 
Travancore, 233, 251. 
Trichinopoly, 181, 187, 189, 190. 
Tritsu, 10. 
Tughlakabad, 106. 
Tughlak Dynasty, 106, 112. 
Turkomans, 125. 

Udaipur, 126, 138. 
Uday Singh, 126. 
Ujjain, 26, 45, 56, 62, 90, 99, 101, 

Umballa, 293, 305. 

Umbeyla Pass, 302. 

United Provinces, 6, 112, 203, 

Upanishads, 23. 

Vaisali, 34, 35. 

Vaisnavis, 83, 88, 94. 

Vaisyas, 13. 

Vajjians, 27, 34. 

Valabhi, 70, 71. 

Vamsa, 26. 

Vansittart, 201. 

Varahamihira, 64. 

Vararuchi, 64. 

' Varna,' 7. 

Vasco da Gama, 141. 

Vedantic Philosoph}^ 82. 

Vedas, 8, 9, 16, 22, 80. 

Vedic Faith, 15, 18, 19, 83. 

Vellore, 250. 

Victoria Empress, 300, 308, 319. 

Vidahas, 14, 15. 

Videhans, 27. 

Vidudabha, 34. 

Viharas, or Monasteries, 48. 

Vijayanagar, 108, 112, 128, 129. 

Vikramaditya, 63, 64, 78, 93. 

Vilivayakura II., 56. 

Vindhya, 12, 21, 54, 57, 99. 

Vishnu, 59, 78, 83, 94. 

Vishvamitra, 10. 

Viswas Rao, 194. 

Wahabis, 30r, 302. 

Wajid Ali, 285. 

Wales, Prince of, 308. 

Wandewash, 191, 201, 221. 

Wang Houen Tse, 75. 

Warangal, 105. 

Wargaom, 218. 

Watson, 197. 

Wellesley, Col. (Duke of Welling- 
ton) afterwards Gen. Wellesley, 
239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 246. 

Wellesley, Marquis of, 241, 246, 

Wilson, Mr., 300. 

Wynaad, The, 240. 

Yajur Veda. 8. 



Yakub Khan, 310. 

Yarkand, 54. 

Yasodharman, 62, 63, 64. 

Yendabu, 234. 

Younghusband, Sir Francis, 318. 

Yueh-chi, 51, 53. 

Zamindars, 2.34. 
Zamorin of Calicut, 141. 
Ziilfikar Klian, 171, 173, 174. 





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