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General Goddard had been vested at the Superior Board. They regarded it as Chap. III. an encroachment upon the rights conveyed to them, both by the act of parlia-' ment, and the commands of the Directors; and they had declared that they would sustain no responsibility for any of his acts. At first they alleged the great exhaustion of their resources as a reason against taking any considerable part in the war; but when the General held up, as the first object of his operations, the acquisition on which they had long attached their affections, of a territorial revenue adequate to all the demands of the Presidency, they agreed to supply as great a portion of their troops, as the security of Bombay could allow; and furnished him with powers and instructions to treat with Futty Sing Guicawar, whose assistance, as placing a friendly country in the rear, it was of the greatest importance to obtain. With regard to Ragoba it was proposed to feed him with such hopes, as would ensure the advantage of his name; but to engage themselves as short a way as possible for a share in the advantages of the undertaking, to the success of which it was so little in his power to contribute.
On the 2d of January, 1780, General Goddard had crossed the Tapti, with Goddard takes a view both to stimulate the good inclinations of Futty Sing, and to reduce thethe e fortress of Dubhoy. On the 19th the army appeared before the place. On the next day it was evacuated by the enemy, when the whole district, yielding by estimate a revenue of two lacs of rupees, was taken possession of in the name of the Company. On the 26th, Futty Sing was at last, with some difficulty, brought to trust so far in the power of the Company, as to accede to the terms proposed; and it was agreed that the Guzerat country should be divided between the Company and himself, the Company obtaining that proportion which had formerly accrued to the Mahrattas; and the remainder being rendered independent of the Poonah government, and freed from every exterior claim. Beingjoined by the cavalry of this chief, the General marched towards Takes AhmeAhmedabad, the capital of the province, before which he arrived on the 10th ^^jj of6 of February, and in five days carried it by storm, with inconsiderable loss. The Guzeratunited armies of Scindia and Holkar, amounting to 40,000 men, were in the mean time advancing towards Surat. The English General, by rapid marches, arrived in the neighbourhood of their encampment, near Brodera, on the 8th of March, and intended to attack them in the night, but was prevented by a letter from one of the gentlemen, left as hostages with Scindia, signifying that professions were made by the Mahratta chiefs of a desire to establish amity with the English government. Of this, Scindia afforded a favourable indication the following day, by sending back the hostages, and along with them a vakeel, or
Book V. commissioner, who acknowledged the hatred borne by his master to Nana Furnavese, and his desire of a separate arrangement with the English. Upon further explanation, it appeared that he was anxious to get into his hands Ragoba, and his son, as an instrument for aggrandizing himself in the Mahratta state; a proposition to which General Goddard would by no means accede. Scindia, at the same time, was offering terms to Govind Row, the brother and opponent of Futty Sing, and had actually received him in his camp. Not convinced of his sincerity, and suspecting his design to waste the season, till commencement of the rains, when he would return home to the business of his government, and to his intrigues, General Goddard was desirous of forcing him to a battle, which he constantly avoided, by retreating as the English Surprises the army advanced. To defeat this stratagem, the General, on the 3d of April, diTMand puts" marched silently from his camp, about two o'clock in the morning, with four flightTM3't° battalions of Sepoy grenadiers, four companies of European infantry, and twelve pieces of field artillery. The distance was about seven miles to the camp of the enemy, which he entered at dawn. He reached the very centre of the encampment before he was perceived. The enemy were thrown into their usual confusion; and, though some troops were collected, and made a show of resistance, they soon abandoned their camp, and occupied a neighbouring ground. The English made no delay in proceeding to charge them, when the Mahrattas dispersed, and left them masters, not only of the field, but of the country in which it was contained. A detachment from Bombay took possession also of Parsek, Bellapore, Panwel, and Callian, and extended the command of the Presidency along the coast and towards the passes of the hills in the way to Poonah. On the 6th of April the General was joined by six companies of European infantry, and a company of artillery, which had been sent to his assistance from Madras; and about the same time five companies of Sepoys arrived for him at Surat. As the rainy season now commenced, Scindia and Holkar withdrew into their own countries; and the General, after sending back. ■Goes into can-the Bombay detachment, put his troops into cantonments, and prepared for the
tonmeots. 1, *
succeeding campaign. Treaty with Sir Eyre Coote, who had been appointed to succeed General Clavering, both Cohud. 88 Commander in Chief, and as a Member of the Supreme Council, had arrived at Calcutta in the beginning of April, 1779; and without showing an unvarying deference to the opinion of the Governor-General, commonly supported his measures. Early in November of that year, in consequence of an application from the Rajah of Gohud, commonly known by the name of the Ranna, a Hindu chieftain or prince, who governed a hilly district of considerable extent, lying on Chap. III. the Jumna, between the territories of Scindia and the Nabob of Oude, the Gover-'' —'
nor-General proposed a treaty, by which the Ranna might be empowered to call for the assistance of the English against the Mahrattas, of whom he stood in constant danger, and should agree to assist the English with his forces, when they should undertake any enterprise against the adjoining powers. The Governor-general, who contemplated the continuance of the war with the Mahrattas, proposed this alliance, both as a barrier against an invasion, in that direction, of the territory of the Company or their allies; and as an advantage, by there invading the territory of the Mahrattas, for operating a diversion in favour of the enterprises which might be undertaken on the side of Bombay. The measure was opposed by the opposite side of the Board, both on the ordinary and general ground of the importance of abstaining from war, and also in consideration of the weakness of the Ranna, who had few troops, and not revenue to pay even those whom he kept. Of him, in consequence, the aid would be of little avail, and the protection a serious burden. In the objections of the opposing party the General concurred; and even transmitted his protest against the terms of the connexion. But, as he was absent, the casting vote of the Governor-General gave his opinion the superiority, and the treaty was formed.
In the mean time intelligence arrived by a letter from General Coote, dated Captain Popthe 20th of November, of an invasion of the territory of the Ranna, by a body guUh^hknof Mahrattas, whom his want of resources made it impossible for him to resist. ?elf fn £efend
* ing the Kanna.
Instructions were dispatched to afford him such assistance as the exigency of the case might require, and the state of the English forces permit. A detachment of the Company's army had been prepared in that quarter, under the command of Captain Popham, for the purpose of augmenting the forces of Goddard; but from the consideration, partly that they could not arrive in time on the Bombay coast, partly that they might contribute to the success of his operations by an attack upon the part which was nearest of the Mahratta frontier, they had not been commanded to proceed; and in the beginning of February, 1780, they were sent to the assistance of the Ranna of Gohud. Captain Popham found means in this service of distinguishing his enterprise and talents. With a small force, and little assistance from the Ranna, he expelled the Mahrattas from Gohud; crossed the Sind, into their own territory; laid siege to the fortress of Lahar, the capital of the district of Cutchwagar; and having effected an imperfect breach, which the want of heavy cannon enabled VOL. II. 3 II
Bookv. him not to complete, he, on the 21st of April, successfully assaulted and took
v v 'possession of the fort. 1780.
It had, however, been importunately urged, both by Coote and Goddard, and was acknowledged by the Governor-general, that the force employed on the Mahratta frontier under Captain Popham was far from adequate to any such important operations as could materially affect the result of the war. After some fluctuation of plans, and great debate and opposition at the Superior Board, in which Mr. Francis in particular vehemently opposed the extension of military efforts, it was determined that a detachment of three battalions, stationed at Cawnpore, under Major Carnac, with a battalion of light infantry, under Captain Browne, should threaten or invade the territories of Scindia and Holkar. Takes the ce- In the mean time Captain Popham, with the true spirit of military ardour, after tress of Gua- securing with great activity the conquest of the district of Cutchwagar, turned hor. his attention to the celebrated fortress of Gualior, situated within the territory of the Ranna of Gohud, but wrested from his father, and now garrisoned by the Mahrattas. This fortress was situated on the summit, three coss in extent, of a stupendous rock, scarped almost entirely round, and defended by a thousand men. By the princes of Hindustan it had always been regarded as impregnable.' And Sir Eyre Coote himself, in his letter to the Supreme Council, dated the 21st of April, had pronounced it "totally repugnant to his military ideas, and even absolute madness," to attack it with so feeble a detachment, and without a covering army to keep off the Mahrattas in the field, and preserve the line of communication. Captain Popham moved to the village of Ripore, about five coss distant from Gualior, and employed his spies in continually searching if a spot fit for escalading could be found. After many and dangerous experiments, they at last brought him advice that one part only afforded any appearance of practicability. At this place the height of the scarp was about sixteen feet, from the scarp to the wall was a steep ascent of about forty yards, and the wall itself was thirty feet high. "I took the resolution," says Captain Popham, "immediately. The object was glorious: and I made a disposition to prevent, as much as in my power, the chance of tarnishing the honour of the attempt, by the loss we might sustain in case of a repulse." At break of day, on the 3d of August, the van of the storming party arrived at the foot of the rock. Wooden ladders were applied to the scarp; and the troops ascended to the foot of the wall. The spies climbed up, and fixed the rope ladders, when the Sepoys mounted with amazing activity. The guards assembled within, but were. quickly repulsed by the fire ofthe assailants. The detachment entered with Chap. III. rapidity, and pushed on to the main body of the place. In the mean time the v v-—«* greater part of the garrison escaped by another quarter, and left the English masters of one of the greatest and most celebrated strong holds in that quarter of the globe. This brilliant achievement, for which Captain Popham was rewarded with the rank of Major, struck the Mahrattas with so much consternation, that they abandoned the circumjacent country, and conveyed the alarm to Scindia in his capital.*
The opposition which was made by Francis to these proceedings for pushing Duel between the war on the Jumna, brought to a crisis the animosities which the struggle JJjj ^Franbetween him and the Governor-General had so long maintained. On the 20th cis" of July, 1780, Mr. Hastings, in answering a minute of Mr. Francis, declared, "I do not trust to his promise of candour, convinced that he is incapable of it. Ijudge of his public conduct, by my experience of his private, which I have found to be void of truthand honour." The ground of these severe expressions, the Governor-General stated to be a solemn agreement formed between him and Mr. Francis, which Mr. Francis had broken. Of this transaction the following appear to have been the material circumstances. When the parliamentary appointment, during five years, of the Governor-General and Council, expired in 1778, the expectation of a change in the Indian administration was suspended, by the re-appointment, upon the motion of the King's chief minister, of Mr. Hastings, for a single year. Upon the arrival of this intelligence in India, an attempt was made by some mutual friends of Mr. Hastings and Mr. Francis, to deliver the government, at a period of difficulty and danger, from the effects of their discordance. Both parties acknowledged the demand which the present exigency presented for a vigorous and united administration; and both professed a desire to make any sacrifice of personal feelings, and personal interests, for the attain- .ment of so important an object. On the part of Mr. Francis it was stipulated that Mahomed Reza Khan, Mr. Bristow, and Mr. Fowke, should be re-instated in conformity to the Company's orders; and, on the part of Mr. Hastings, that * For the transactions relative to the Mahratta war, the materials are found in the Sixth Report of the Committee of Secrecy in 1781, and the vast mass of documents printed in its Appendix; the twentieth article of the Parliamentary Charges against Hastings, and his answer; the Papers printed for the use of the House of Commons on the Impeachment; and the Minutes of Evidence on the Trial of Mr. Hastings. The number of publications of the day, which on this, and other parts of the History of Mr. Hastings' Administration, have been consulted, some with more, some with less, advantage, are far too numerous to mention.