Графични страници
PDF файл
[blocks in formation]

such hill territories as were guaranteed to him by the British government, and that Sirdar was to be admitted to the privilege of a separate treaty with the British, in consideration of the good services rendered by him in procuring peace.

The limits of the Lahore territories are not to be changed without the British concurrence.

This treaty, consisting of sixteen articles, was signed by the Maharajah and his ministers, and by the governor-general of India and his secretaries, on the 9th of March, 1846.

The day following the signature of this treaty, on the governor-general paying a visit to the Lahore court, a paper was read, conveying the thanks of the Sikh Sirdars to his excellency for his generosity, kindness, and mercy shown towards the Sikh nation, and for having consented to leave a force for the maintenance of the Sikh government, until a satisfactory settlement of affairs could be arranged, provided that could be effected within twelve months.

In the separate treaty concluded with Ghoolab

[blocks in formation]

Singh, the British government transferred, as an independent possession to that chief, all the hill countries east of the Indus* and west of the Ravee.

In consideration of this transfer, Ghoolab Singh bound himself to pay to the British Government a sum of seventy-five lacs of rupees, (750,0001. sterling.)

Ghoolab Singh bound himself to refer any disputes between himself and any other state to the arbitration of the British Government. Also to join, with his whole force, the British troops, when employed within the hills adjoining his possessions; and the British engaged to aid in protecting the sirdar from external enemies.

Ghoolab Singh engaged to take no British subject, nor European, nor American, into his service without the consent of the British ; and, in acknowledgment of the supremacy of the British Government, promised to present, an

* This includes the whole of Cashmere, and other smaller tracts, in addition to the lands formerly held by Ghoolab Singh.



nually, a horse, twelve shawl goats, and three pairs of Cashmere shawls.

This treaty was concluded at Umritsir, on the 16th of March, 1846.

Whilst these treaties were in progress, continual meetings between the chiefs occurred, and it was a matter of much interest to view the changed deportment which the vis fortioris had inflicted on the Sikh sirdars. Runjoor Singh, who had directed the operations at Buddewal and Aliwal, requested a special introduction to his friend, Sir Harry Smith; and Tej and Lal Singh, the commandants at Moodkee and Ferozeshuhur, now converted into ministers of state, were most diffuse in their expressions of friendship and gratitude towards the British chiefs.

The coin which was brought for the payment of the fine inflicted, proved pretty correctly that the vast treasures stored by Runjeet Singh in the treasury of Govindghur, had been melted down into soldiers' pay, and that the sirdars had been too lavish in their expenditure to retain much ready money for the benefit of the commonwealth.



Russian, Persian, Chinese, and Afghan currencies, intermingled with gold and silver jewellery, were scraped together to meet the exigencies of the case, and the far-boasted wealth of the Punjaub appeared to have evaporated during a two months' campaign.

Silver being the current coin throughout India, the counting out of large sums occupied a very considerable time, and thus afforded leisure to the Lahore Durbar to make exertions to raise the sums of money demanded, which they had with much alacrity promised to pay, but which they counted out with much difficulty and evident reluctance.

News having ere this reached the furthermost parts of the country of the termination of the war, it became necessary to hasten the reduction of the Sikh forces to the stipulated amount; and orders were forwarded to the killedars of forts, and commandants of districts, to take measures for effecting this purpose. Less difficulty than was apprehended was experienced with the portions of the army which were cantoned in distant parts of the country,



and, with the exception of a fortress of great strength, named Kote Kangra, in the hill districts, none of the Sikh officers held out for any time against the British mandates.

The army of the Punjaub had been so heavily disabled at Sobraon, and during each of the previous actions the loss in artillery had been so considerable, that these circumstances could not be concealed from their fellowsoldiers and countrymen, which tended to dishearten the rest of the



further resistance.

The fanatic Akalees, so notorious in the military annals of Runjeet Singh, and who had been exceedingly abusive formerly to such British officers as had attended at reviews of the Sikh army, were scarcely ever beheld during our late engagements, nor did I see a man wounded by a quoit* during any of the battles. told by a Sikh officer in Lahore, that this race of priest soldiery had been so active and forward during the Lahore massacres of the few

I was

* The favourite weapon of the Akalees.

« ПредишнаНапред »