At the time of the death of Aurangzeb the Deccan was divided into the provinces of Berar, Aurangabad, Bidar and Bijapur. Sholapur which formed part of the province of Bijapur passed to Kam Baksha, Aurangzeb's son, who had been appointed governor of Bijapur and continued under him till in 1708 he was killed in an engagement with his brother Bahadur Shah (1707-1712). In the contest for the imperial throne among Aurangzeb's sons, prince A'zam on promise of steadfast allegiance, released Shahu, Sambhaji's son, who had been a prisoner in the Moghal camp since Sambhaji's execution in 1689. Shahu was also promised the tract conquered by Shivaji from Bijapur with additional territory between the Bhima and the Godavari. This tract included Sholapur; but A'zam's defeat and death at Agra by Bahadur Shah prevented Shahu, when master of Satara, from taking possession of the country promised by A'zam. Shahu's claims to the Maratha
chiefship were resisted by Tarabai, the widow of Rajaram, on behalf of her son. While Shahu was marching towards Satara from the banks of the Godavari the people of a village named Parad, about 25 miles north of Daulatabad, fired on his troops. The village was immediately assaulted. During the attack, the patil of the village was killed. His widow carrying a boy in her arms rushed towards Shahu and threw the child before him calling out that she devoted him to the Raja's service. Shahu took charge of the boy, always treated him like a son, and in memory of his first success called him Fattehsing to which he added his own surname of Bhosle. This Fattehsing Bhosle became the founder of the family of the Rajas of Akkalkot in Sholapur. In 1709, Daud Khan, the Moghal governor of the Deccan, settled with such Maratha chiefs as acknowledged Shahu's authority, to allow them one-fourth of the revenue of the six Deccan provinces, but reserved the right of collecting and paying it through his own agents. This arrangement continued till 1713 when Daud Khan was removed to Gujarat and Chin Kilich Khan, the future founder of the Hyderabad Nizam's family, was appointed in his place with the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk. In the same year Shahu appointed Balaji Vishwanath as his Peshwa. At Delhi Bahadur Shah had died and Farrukhsiyar had ascended the throne. Nizam-ul-Mulk, the new viceroy, was partial to the Kolhapur branch of Shivaji's family and was hostile to Shahu. He set aside Daud Khan's settlement and took one Rambhaji Nimbalkar who had deserted Shahu into his service with the title of Rav Rambha. Rambhaji distinguished himself in the Moghal service, particularly in Pune and was rewarded with an estate near Pune. In 1715 the Nizam received into his service another Maratha noble, the son of Haibatrav Nimbalkar and rewarded him with Barshi and other districts.
In the same year Nizam-ul-Mulk was transferred and was succeeded by Sayyad Husain Ali Khan, one of the Sayyad brothers who wielded most of the power in Delhi, as the new Moghal Viceroy of the Deccan. In his scheme for the destruction of the Emperor Farrukhsiyar who now resented the overbearing nature of the Sayyad brothers (1712-1719), Sayyad Husain courted Shahu, who, as the price of his alliance, demanding among Shivaji's old possessions the tract of country east of Pandharpur. It may be stated here that the Sayyad brothers first tried to put down the Marathas but without success. Subsequently when the emperor intrigued against them they decided to make a common cause with the Marathas against the emperor. In 1719, in reward for the help given to Sayyad Husain Khan and his brother in deposing the Emperor Farrukhsiyar Shahu received, besides two grants for levying chauth or one-fourth and sardeshmukhi or ten per cent of the revenues of the six Deccan provinces, the country east of Pandharpur as part of his home rule
or swarajya. The country watered by the Nira and the Man which includes east and part of south Sholapur, and which was noted for good horses, hardy soldiers, and some ancient and independent Maratha families was also placed under the authority of Shahu. [Grant Duff's Marathas, 200.] With the obtainment of the formal grants, in 1719, new Maratha officers flocked to Shahu's court and begged him to supply them with fields of work and employment elsewhere. As a matter of fact the changed circumstances gave a new impetus to Maratha aspirations. Shahu obliged by allowing them the liberty to spread out. Like the Pratinidhi and Kanhoji Angre who were allotted definite territories as their respective spheres of influence, Fattehsingh Bhosle, the god-son of Shahu, was stationed at Akkalkot on the southern frontiers of the Maratha kingdom by way of check upon the Nizam of Hyderabad. Each of these officers was supposed to keep a certain number of trained fighters for the service of the State whenever called upon, to defray his expenses out of the chauth he collected and pay the balance into the Government treasury rendering regular accounts of his transactions to the Chhatrapati.
In 1720 Balaji Vishwanath died and was succeeded by his son Bajirao as the Peshwa. At Delhi the power of the Sayyad brothers was eclipsed, Sayyad Husain Ali being murdered and Sayyad Abdulla confined and subsequently put to death at the connivance of the emperor Muhammad Shah. Nizam-ul-Mulk who had seized power in the Deccan was appointed Wazir in January 1722. He was soon tired of the court intrigues. In 1724, he marched towards the South outwardly professing allegiance to the emperor but in reality determined to establish himself permanently in the Deccan. In the battle of Fatch Kharda fought in October 1724, Mubariz Khan, the Subhedar of Deccan, was killed. The emperor had then little choice but to confirm Nizam-ul-Mulk to the subha of the Deccan. He now became the master of the Moghal dominions south of the Narmada. The fort and town of Sholapur, Karmala, and other portions of north and west Sholapur, which did not form part of the Maratha home rule or swarajya, then passed on to the Nizam. Nizam-ul-Mulk introduced fresh vigour into the government of the Deccan. The roads which for long had been so infested with robbers that traffic was virtually stopped, were made safe. In 1727 Rambhaji Nimbalkar received Karmala in exchange for his estate in Pune. The Nizam divided the revenue with Shahu in the parts of the Deccan and the Karnatak which were not either wholly ceded in jagir or included in the Maratha swarajya or home rule. This division of revenue caused frequent wars between the Nizam and the Marathas. Nizam-ul-Mulk refused to recognise Maratha
officers and openly declared Sambhaji of Kolhapur as the Maratha Chhatrapati. The hostility resulted in the battle of Palkhed fought on 28th February 1728 in which the Nizam was humbled and forced to accept Maratha terms. The emperor and the Nizam had to recognise the fact that the Marathas were a power to reckon with. The subsequent years saw the expansion of the Maratha power in Gujarat with the defeat of Dabhade at Dabhoi and incidentally of the Nizam who had gone to his succour with the powerful artillery at his command. The enmity between the Marathas and the Nizam again led to a clash of arms between the two at Bhopal in December 1737 when the latter was again humbled. In 1740 Bajirao died and was succeeded as Peshwa by his son Balajirao, otherwise known as Nana Saheb. It is not necessary here to discuss the political events till the death of the Nizam in May 1748 as they do not concern the history of Sholapur district. The death of Nizam-ul-Mulk was followed by that of Chhatrapati Shahu, an year and a half later, in December, 1749. As Shahu had no son, a search for a successor had already begun before his death and Shahu had nominated Ramraja whom Tarabai, his aunt (Rajaram's wife), claimed to be her grand-son, born of her son Shivaji and who had been brought up secretly at Pangaon, six miles south of Barshi. He was crowned king on Thursday, 4th January, 1750. Though Balaji Bajirao was entrusted with absolute powers by Shahu at the time of latter's death, his task was by no means easy. The new Chhatrapati could not reconcile himself to a position of insubordination; neither was Tarabai happy with her lot. The Peshwa, therefore, invited both of them as well as stalwarts like Raghuji Bhosle, Sarlashkar Somvanshi, Shinde, Holkar and others to Pune to thrash out the differences. The Peshwa impressed upon the assembly that in the interest of the State, the executive power must remain in his own hands and that he would not tolerate any interference with the administration from the Pratinidhi or the Sachiv or any one else. The Chhatrapati gave his written sanction to this proposal to which Raghuji Bhosle gave his full support. The Sachiv as also the Pratinidhi were the opponents of the Peshwa and partisans of Tarabai. The Pratinidhi was a weak-kneed person but his Mutalik Yamaji Shivdev was clever and intriguing. The Pratinidhi held the important territory between Karad and Pandharpur bordering on the east of Satara from where it was possible for the Pratinidhi or his Mutalik to create trouble for the Peshwa. The Peshwa, to thwart any offensive move by the Pratinidhi, demanded the cession of Sangola about 20 miles south-west of Pandharpur. He also informed the Pratinidhi and his Mutalik that any hesitation on their part to accede to his demands would render them liable for dismissal from their hereditary posts. Soon after, the Peshwa dispatched Sadashivrao Bhau and Ramchandra
Baba With an adequate armed force and Ramraja himselt at their head to take possession of Sangola from Yamaji Shivdev so that Yamaji might have no excuse for resistance. Yamaji threw himself into the fort of Sangola and waged a short struggle for two weeks. He was subsequently overpowered by the Peshwa's artillery and delivered Sangola over to Sadashivrao on 25th September, 1750. The neighbouring place of Mangalvedha was also reduced and assigned to Patwar-dhans for future defence. At Sangola was drawn up the scheme under the orders of the Chhatrapati for the future regulation of the Maratha State. The scheme was drawn up by Ramchandra Baba and executed by Sadashivrao Bhau's arms. Under the scheme, the Chhatrapati agreed to confer the entire power of the State upon the Peshwa and to lend his sanction to whatever measures the Peshwa might pursue, provided a small tract round Satara was assigned for his own management. The old system of eight ministers had already fallen into disuse and now the Peshwa began to wield supreme power. The Sachiv became perfectly innocuous hereafter. With a view to deprive the Pratinidhi of any power of mischief Bhawanrao was now brought to Sangola and formally installed as Pratinidhi by the Chhatrapati and in place of Yamaji Shivdev, his nephew Vasudev Anant who was more amenable to the Peshwa was appointed Mutalik to the Pratinidhi. The position of Ramraja at Satara was also defined by making appointments of various persons to serve him such as Govindrao Chitnis, his principal manager, Bapuji Khanderao, his military captain, Trimbak Sadashiv, Peshwa's representative, Yeshwant Potnis and Devrao Lahate. his personal companions and advisers etc. Many other minor appointments were also made at Sangola. The affairs of Fattehsing Bhosie of Akkalkot were falling into mismanagement at this time. Trimbak Hari Patwardhan, one of the Peshwa's trusted defendants, was appointed as the principal manager of Fattehsing Bhosle.
The perfect understanding arrived at between the Chhatrapati and the Peshwa was resented by Tarabai who regarded the Chhatrapati as the fountain-head of power. She, therefore, decided to oppose the Peshwa and take Ramraja under her control. She left Pune for Satara in October, 1750. Ramraja who was then at Sangola also left for Satara which he reached on 17th November, 1750. No sooner he arrived at Satara than he was made a prisoner by Tarabai for his refusal to accede to his grand-mother's wishes. She declared him as an impostor and started intriguing against the Peshwa with the Nizam. An open clash of arms was, however, avoided and reconciliation was soon brought about between the Peshwa and Tarabai.
When these events were taking place in the Maratha State, things were moving in the State of Hyderabad. After the death of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah, his son Nasir Jung had succeeded him. He was
murdered in December 1750 in the south and after a short rule ot Muzaffar Jung, Salabat Jung, the third son of Nizam-ul-Mulk, was declared as the Nizam. In 1751, accompanied by the French, he marched from Aurangabad against the Marathas. It was at this time that Karmala, the residence of Janoji Nimbalkar, was visited by Sayyad Lashkar Khan, the minister of Salabat Jung, the Nizam. Now the Marathas persuaded Gaziuddin, the eldest son of Nizam-ul-Mulk, who had so far been in the north to proceed to the Deccan. The Marathas intended to depose Salabat Jung and make Gaziuddin the Nizam. Sayyad Lashkar Khan and Janoji Nimbalkar had an interview with Balaji Bajirao who, by the advice of Gaziuddin, detained both of them and took them to Gaziuddin's camp. The Marathas in their effort to make Gaziuddin the Nizam would have been all but successful but Gaziuddin met with his death suddenly by poison. The two above-mentioned officers of the Nizam remained with Gaziuddin till his death. The Marathas now marched against Salabat Jung and surrounding him at Bhalki completely defeated him. The following years saw the Marathas scoring resounding victories in the Karnatak region. The influence of the French under Bussy had now become too overbearing for Salabat Jung, the Nizam and the latter brought about the dismissal of Bussy from his service with the machinations of Sayyad Lashkar Khan and Shah Nawaz Khan immediately after the fall of Savanur in the siege of which he had been engaged by the Marathas during their Karnatak campaign. After his dismissal, Bussy marched towards Hyderabad pursued by a detachment of the Nizam's army under Janoji Nimbalkar of Karmala. A detachment of 600 Arabs and Abyssinians enlisted at. Surat was marching to Bussy's aid, but the party was intercepted by Janoji Nimbalkar who killed fifty of them and the rest surrendered. Salabat Jung was, however, no match to Bussy and in the end he was completely humbled giving a written agreement to Bussy reinstating him in his former position.
The treaty signed between the Nizam and the Marathas after the battle of Bhalki was, however, not a lasting one and the understanding arrived at during the Maratha campaign in Karnatak between the two proved only temporary. The power of the Marathas was growing which was not to the liking of the Nizam supported by his crafty brother Nizam Ali. Hostilities again erupted between the two. Two memorable battles were fought between the Marathas and Nizam Ali, one at Sindkhed in December 1757 and the other at Udgir in January 1760, in both of which the Nizam's forces suffered defeat.
In January 1761 the Marathas suffered great defeat in the battle of Panipat. Soon after on 23rd June 1761 the Peshwa Balaji Bajirao died. He was succeeded by his son Madhavrav as Peshwa. In Hyderabad, Nizam Ali had usurped all the power from his brother Salabat
Jung. Taking advantage of the Maratha debacle at Panipat he marched on Pune and ravaged it. He was, however, checked at Uruli. Raghu-nathrao, the Peshwa's uncle, made peace with Nizam Ali by ceding territory yielding 27 lakhs from the Subhas of Aurangabad and Bidar. After returning to Hyderabad, Nizam Ali defeated his brother Salabat Jung and proclaimed himself the Nizam (1762).
Raghunathrao's relations with the Peshwa were far from happy and dissensions soon broke out between the two. The former obtained the support of Nizam Ali and Janoji Bhosle and agreed to cede to the Nizam territory worth 50 lakhs. In a clash of arms with his uncle the Peshwa was defeated. With a remarkable foresight he surrendered to Raghunathrao who now took the reigns of the State in his hand. The Nizam now foresook his ally and formed an alliance with Janoji Bhosle, promising to instal him as Chhatrapati.
Raghunathrao prepared to fight this confederacy by forming a union with Maratha chiefs. For over five months from March 1763 to July
1763 the armies of both the combatants busied themselves in ravaging each other's territory. When the Marathas entered the Bhosle's possession in Berar, the Nizam came upon them. But the Marathas avoiding direct action with the Nizam moved southwards to Sholapur and Naldurg which they ravaged. The issue was finally decided in the battle of Rakshasbhuwan fought on August 10, 1763, when the forces of the Nizam were routed. The Nizam agreed to a treaty whereby territory worth 82 lakhs was surrendered to the Marathas. After the battle, Madhavrao, who was mainly instrumental for the victory, came into his own. He led a successful campaign against Haider Ali in
1764 and 1765 and subdued Janoji Bhosle. He added another diplomatic triumph to his successful career by making friends with Nizam Ali. The cordial relations thus established between the Marathas and the Nizam lasted till the battle of Kharda (1795). Another person with whom the Peshwa had to deal was Babuji Naik Joshi of Baramati, a relation in the Peshwa's family, but who looked upon the rise of the Peshwas with jealousy. His was a singular personality having witnessed the regimes of six consecutive rulers. He was found to have intrigued with Haider Ali during the Peshwa's Karnatak campaign. He possessed two strong forts, viz-, Sholapur and Wandan where he fortified himself and stored his valuables. The Peshwa now could not trust his loyalty and ordered that the two forts be taken out of his possession. The Naik resisted the Peshwa's demand and refused to surrender the forts. Consequently, the forts were attacked by the Peshwa's commander Ramchandra Ganesh and captured (March 1766). Babuji Naik, thereafter remained sulking at Baramati, his jagir place, and no longer opposed the Peshwa. The next two years of the Peshwa were spent fighting against Janoji whom he humbled in March 1769. The Peshwa 1763
did not last long after all his successes and died at Theur on November 18, 1772. Narayanrao, his brother, succeeded him as Peshwa but he Was soon after murdered (August 30, 1773) wife the connivance of Raghunathrao who now assumed the robes of Peshwaship. The Pune Ministers, however, declined to support him and declared him usurper.
Raghunathrao now became a fugitive and moved towards Pandharpur. The pursuit by the Pune ministers drove Raghunathrao to seek the support of the English. This led to the first war between the Marathas and the English. The close pursuit of Raghunathrao was continued by Trimbakrao Pethe and others who were fast moving against him from different directions with a large force of some 50 thousand. However the English attack on Thane gave Raghunathrao some respite to re-group his forces. Raghunathrao, to throw his pursuers off the track, addressed a letter to Trimbakrao Pethe offering to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the dispute. After this ruse Raghunathrao suddenly attacked Pethe near Kasegaon eight miles south of Pandharpur. The other Maratha officers, viz., Patvardhan, Raste, Naro Shankar, Virthal Shivadeo made hurried marches to the succour of Pethe but before they could reach him, on March 26, 1774, Raghunathrao effectively concentrated his artillery on the slender force of Pethe. Pethe was mortally wounded in the desperate action that followed and captured. [The English account of the old Gazetteer states that Raghunathrao with a force considerably inferior to that of his opponents gained a complete victory. Raghunathrao was one of the foremost in the charge supported only by his division of about 10,000 horse. Gangadhar Raste, second-in-command of Trimbakrao's army, was wounded but escaped. The account further states that Raghunathrao was enabled to raise large sums in Pandharpur partly by contributions and partly by pawning a portion of some prize jewels he had brought from north India. This account cannot be regarded as necessarily reliable.]
A week later he died of these wounds. The triumph of Raghunathrao at Kasegaon was only momentary. Haripant Phadke immediately hastened from Satara and arrived in time to retrieve the situation by putting fresh courage into the disheartened ranks and organising them for a fresh engagement. Haripant on his way was quickly joined by the forces of Bhosle and Nizam Ali. Raghunathrao was forced to retreat against a determined attack by Haripant Phadke and fled towards north to Burhanpur after crossing the Godavari. The Pune ministers' hands were further strengthened by the birth of a son to Gangabai, the wife of the late Peshwa, on 18th April, 1774.
In the meanwhile Raghunathrao eluded Haripant and established his base at Burhanpur. He tried to secure the help of Shinde and Holkar and failing in his attempts, sought the help of the English at Bombay. He was, however, forcibly brought back by Shinde and Holkar to Burhanpur where Nana Phadnis proceeded to have talks with him. While the talks were going on Raghunathrao became
suspicious and escaped to Surat after being defeated by Haripant at Vasad on 17th February 1775. There he signed the ignominious treaty with the English on 6th March 1775. He left Surat with a force of 2,500 and an indecisive battle between the English and the Marathas was fought at Surat. The action of the English at Bombay was frowned upon by Warren Hastings, the new Governor-General, and he sent his ambassador Upton to Pune for negotiations. The result was the treaty of Purandar (1st March 1776) signed between the English and the Marathas after protracted negotiations and a short clash of arms. The English, however, refused to surrender Raghunathrao as agreed and a showdown seemed inevitable. The English suffered a defeat in the battle of Wadgaon in January 1779. They surrendered Raghunathrao who agreed to accept Sawai Madhavrao as Peshwa but his restless nature took the upper hand and while he was being taken to Jhanshi he escaped to Goddard, the English general at Surat. The English won over Fatesingh Gaikwad and together they started war upon the Marathas in Gujarat. It was a difficult situation with which the Pune ministers were faced.
Nana Phadnis rose to the occasion and formed a grand coalition composed of the Marathas, the Nizam, Haider Ali and Bhosle against the English. But the Nizam and the Bhosles of Nagpur were detached by the English. Many running battles were fought and places changed hands. Ultimately negotiations started and both the sides came to terms as per the treaty of Salbye (17th May 1782). The next few years saw intense Maratha activity in the north under Mahadji Shinde and concerted action by the Marathas and the Nizam against Tipu Sultan of Mysore. In 1784 Sarbuland Jung, an officer of the Nizam, was appointed to chastise the unruly proprietors of Sholapur, [Eastwicks Kaisar-Nama-i-Hind, 90.] and in 1786 probably in reward for this service, the same officer with the title of Warden of Sholapur, received the command of 5,000 and a curtained palanquin and jewels. [Ibid., 97.] In June 1790, the Marathas, the English and the Nizam formed the tripartite alliance against Tipu resulting in the latter's defeat and submission in February 1792.
In 1792 the country south of Pandharpur was open, woody and well-watered. The soil, though rich, bore no grain crops. Pandharpur, which was in the territory belonging to Parashuram Bhau Patwardhan, contained many buildings and had a market supplied not only with grain, cloth and other local products but with a variety of English articles, which filled a whole street of shops of Bombay and Pune traders. The road 17 miles north-west to Malkhambi led through fair soil. Akluj on the south bank of the Nira was a large respectable
town with a well-supplied market and with several handsome buildings. [Littles Detachment, 339-342.]
Cracks now began to appear in the friendship that existed between the Marathas and the Nizam on the question of payment of chauth which had considerably accumulated. Nizam Ali refused to pay the arrears. Negotiations failed to solve the dispute and both parties had recourse to arms leading to the battle of Kharda fought on 11th March 1795. In the battle, the Nizam suffered so heavy a defeat that he was forced to cede to the Marathas a large tract of country including his possessions in Sholapur.
The Peshwa Sawai Madhavrao died shortly afterwards on October 27, 1795. The subsequent years saw unparalleled confusion and trouble in the Maratha State. Bajirao, one of the three sons of Raghunathrao, now aspired for Peshwaship and won over Daulatrao Shinde to his side. Though Nana Phadnis favoured Chimnaji, another son of Raghunathrao, he came to a compromise with Bajirao accepting him as the Peshwa and agreeing to work as his principal minister.
This enraged Daulatrao Shinde who adopted an intransigent attitude. Fearing danger to his life, Nana Phadnis fled to Mahad and sought the help of the Nizam agreeing to surrender all the gains of Kharda. Nana also won over several Maratha chiefs to his side. He left Mahad for Pune which he reached on 25th November 1796. Bajirao was now proclaimed as a Peshwa. These disturbances which followed the death of Peshwa Madhavrao II were further aggravated by the disputes among the sons of Tukoji Holkar who died in August 1797. This led to resumption of hostilities between Shinde and Holkar with the former supporting Kashirao, one of the sons of Tukoji Holkar. In a stray encounter, Malharrao, another son of Tukoji, was killed. The other two sons fled to jungles and took a life of brigandage devastating Shinde's territory. The feuds which had erupted into the Holkar family did not spare the Shinde family also, the three widows of Mahadji Shinde demanding independent maintenance from Daulatrao. They marched to Pune and civil war ensued on the outskirts of Pune. Nana Phadnis agreed to seek a compromise but insisted on Daulatrao Shinde leaving for the north to which Bajirao could not agree. The ladies' affair thus remained unsettled. They started depredations southwards making common cause with the Satara and Kolhapur rajas.
They plundered Sangola, Kasegaon and other places on their southern route and exacted whatever they could from the innocent inhabitants. Now Yeshwantrao Holkar joined the war against Daulatrao Shinde. In the meanwhile Nana Phadnis died on 13th March,
1800. Daulatrao, on hearing of the depredations of Malharrao, left Pune and moved to the north. His brother Vithoji carried fire and sword throughout Maharashtra. He was, however, captured and put to death by Bajirao. To avenge his brother's death Yeshwantrao moved southward and inflicted a crushing defeat on Daulatrao who now offered to negotiate. Yeshwantrao refused but agreed to the directions from Bajirao to take up his residence at Thalner. Yeshwantrao now demanded the redress of his grievances. Bajirao not only refused but confiscated the estates of Holkar. Now Shinde moved from the north towards Yeshwantrao who in exasperation moved south. He sacked Ahmadnagar and burnt Shinde's palaces at Shrigonda and Jambgaon. One of his officers, Fattesinh Mane, descended upon Pandharpur when the priests and religious managers of the place held a large congregation for a week conducting fervent prayers night and day for the safety of the Shinde from spoliation. Mane arrived at Pandharpur but refrained from doing any harm and even gave some present to the deity. Bajirao now followed delaying tactics hoping for the arrival of Shinde's troops. Yeshwantrao proceeded towards Baramati and wrote to Bajirao in cordial terms. Still he did not relent. On 25th October, 1802 Yeshwantrao completely overwhelmed Shinde. Bajirao, terror-stricken, fled Pune, and inspite of the hand of friendship again offered by Yeshwantrao sought protection of the English. He signed with them, on 31st December 1802, the treaty of Bassein under the terms of which he practically surrendered the sovereignty of the Maratha State to the English. The issue now became a general one, of a conflict between the English and the Maratha State. In April 1803 in accordance with the treaty of Bassein, General Wellesley passed through Pandharpur and Akluj to Pune to reinstate Bajirao Peshwa who had been driven away from Pune by Yeshwantrao Holkar in October 1802. At Akluj, General Wellesley was joined by Colonel Stevenson, the detachment under whose command was reinforced by the Scotch Brigade. [Wellington's Despatches, III, 70-72.] Wellesley informed Yeshwantrao that he would not be disturbed if he withdrew from Pune. In the absence of any firm support from Shinde or any other Maratha chief, Holkar agreed and accordingly withdrew from Pune. The English plan was to temporarily appease Holkar and make him innocuous, lull Bajirao into inactivity and destroy Shinde whose power was yet to be reckoned with. Wellesley reached Pune on 20th April 1803 and cm 13th May Bajirao was installed as Peshwa. [General Wellesley returned from Pune in February 1804 and on his return dispersed a band of free bootery who had gathered in numbers a bout Akkalkot (Wellington's Despatches, III, 463, 465).] Daulatrao who was then at Burhanpur decided a plan of concerted
action against the English with Bhosle of Nagpur. The English, however, succeeded in detaching Amritrao from the coalition. Bajirao on the other hand indulged in revelry and lost precious time. The English motives were very clear and were aimed at the destruction of the Maratha State. They now declared war on Shinde and Bhosle. The English won a decisive victory over Shinde in the battles fought at Asai and Adgaon in October and November 1803, respectively. The war with Holkar was protracted but ultimately in 1805 he also sued for peace. The elimination of the alliance against the English and the signing of separate treaties with the principal Maratha chiefs ended all semblance of Peshwa's control over them and he became one like them.
In 1804 to add to the miseries of the country which had been ravaged by Holkar's troops in 1802 the late rains of 1803 failed and a fearful famine followed. Whole districts were depopulated and the survivors sought refuge in the forts built in the larger villages. The country was completely exhausted and the villages empty and large tracts of rich land waste. The Bhils and other wild tribes taking advantage of the confusion gathered in large bands and completed the ruin of the land. Only very stern action temporarily restored order but subsequently disorder became as general as ever.
To Bajirao the first few years of his Peshwaship under the British protection were those of ease and prosperity. He now no longer tequired the services of the Maratha chiefs. Under the treaty of Bassein he had virtually surrendered his right to control them. Bajirao could not understand the implication of this subtle clause of the treaty. He now tried to reduce the possessions of Maratha chiefs for increasing his own income and expected the English to support him. The Maratha chiefs especially the Patwardhans, the Rastes, the Panses and the Desais of Nipani resisted Bajirao's attempts to coerce them into obedience. The position had become aggravated when Elphinstone arrived at the residency. He did not think it right to have the chiefs crushed out of existence and suggested a scheme for settlement. The Peshwa resented this interference on the part of the English in his internal administration but at last at Pandharpur on 18th July 1812 the award was signed under severe pressure by the Peshwa along with the chiefs that were present. The award contained the following provisions:-
(1) Past injuries should be forgotten by both parties.
(2) The Peshwa was not to make fresh demands upon the jagirdars beyond those that were stated in their sanads or accepted in long practice.
(3) The jagirdars should serve the Peshwa with their quota of troops as specified in their sanads.
(4) The Peshwa was not to confiscate their holdings without the permission of the British Government.
(5) The Peshwa should accord the jagirdars the usual forms of respectful treatment.
(6) The jagirdars should cede to the Peshwa all the lands to which they had no title.
(7) The personal security of the jagirdars and their relatives was guaranteed by the British Government.
(8) In case of disagreement both were to accept the decision pronounced by the British Government.
(9) The British Government reserved the right of making any separate treaty with the jagirdars.
Bajirao now considered it necessary to have a disciplined corps of
infantry. The permission to have such a corps was granted by the Governor-General and a force was raised under Major Ford. However, as years passed on, the troubles with the English began to increase and Bajirao expecting a war sooner or later started preparations by augmenting his forces. His executive officers in immediate attendance were Khanderao Raste and Sadashiv Mankeshwar, the latter of whom hailed from Tembhurni and pursued the profession of a religious preacher. To these two was later added Trimbakji Dengle. Now dispute arose between Bajirao and Fatesing Gaikwad of Baroda in regard to the payment of yearly tribute amounting to 24 lakhs and which had accumulated considerably. To settle this dispute with Bajirao, Fatesing sent his agent Gangadhar Shastri to Pune. Bajirao's love of intrigue and the influence which Trimbakji Dengle had over him made the Gaikwad so afraid of treachery that before sending Gangadhar Shastri to Pune he obtained from the English a formal guarantee of Gangadhar Shastri's safety. Finding his efforts at Pune fruitless Gangadhar Shastri determined to return to Baroda and leave the settlement to the English arbitration. This disconcerted Bajirao's plans whose real object was to arrange an union with the Gaikwad against the English and he and Trimbakji Dengle after much persuasion induced Gangadhar Shastri to stay. In order to put Gangadhar Shastri off his guard Bajirao proposed to accompany him on a tour of pilgrimage to Nasik, Trimbak and Pandharpur and to have his son's marriage performed at Nasik.
The Pune Court-party started for Nasik accompanied by Elphinstone, the Shastri and Bapu Mairal, his help-mate, on 7th May, Trimbakji during the journey showing unprecedented intimacy to the Baroda guests. Nasik was reached without any untoward incident and the month of June was spent there in the usual routine. In July fell the Ekadashi day when a visit to Pandharpur was considered
necessary, and to minimise the expense only a short hurried journey with a small party was proposed. Bapu Mairal was asked to proceed to Pune and Elphinstone was given liberty to please himself. He availed himself of the opportunity to pay a short visit to the Ellora caves, as they happened to be near. The party separated towards the end of June, Bajirao with Trimbakji and the Shastri proceeding from Nasik direct to Pandharpur and the major portion of the party going to Pune. Elphinstone went to Ellora.
While travelling to Pandharpur Bajirao increased his personal guards on the way and warned them to be vigilant in their watch. Shortly after their arrival at Pandharpur the Shastri came across a letter written by Govindrao Bandhuji, in which intimation was given that the Shastri would not see Baroda again. The knowledge of this warning kept the Shastri mostly in his home with a few personal servants attending on him. The Ekadashi was over and the return journey was to commence on the 21st July. In the evening of the 20th Trimbakji arrived at the temple and sent his clerk to invite the Shastri there for offering the last prayer adding, "there is no crowd here now, so do come to the temple." The Shastri returned a reply with his own man." I am far from well, so may be excused." Thereupon Trimbakji repeated the same request and pressed the Shastri to come out. The Shastri found it indecorous to decline such pressing friendly calls and proceeded from his home with seven unarmed followers through a short narrow street to the temple. While walking he heard some one asking the question "Which is the Shastri ?" and the reply " That one with a necklace on ", with a pointed finger. The Shastri then arrived at the temple, was received by Trimbakji and the two after bowing to the deity sat down for a few minutes and chatted, when an old priest of the temple spoke to the Shastri and gave him sweetmeats. Thereupon the Shastri started on his return, preceded by Trimbakji's guides through the same lane by which he had come. It was now quite dark and as the party proceeded a few paces, a band of armed men came rushing after them calling out " make way, make way". They hacked the Shastri to pieces. His four followers ran away after receiving some wounds. A cry arose, as the old priest and the Shastri's three servants came with lighted torches and the sweets in their hands and noticed the dreadful sight. They found five men with drawn swords running back towards the temple. All those who witnessed the affair attributed its authorship to Trimbakji. The next day the Shastri's men requested Trimbakji to make an enquiry, when he replied, " How is it possible to trace the culprits? So many were the Shastri's enemies, Sitaram in Baroda, Kanhoji Gaikwad and others.". The next day the Shastri's party returned in a hurried unceremonious manner to Pune and there received a message from
the Peshwa that they should no longer come to see him. Bajirao and Dengle did not reach the capital for several days. They led a life of seclusion with strict guards watching over their persons. They made no enquiry into the affair themselves, and circulated a stern warning that no one should talk of the subject. Spies were posted in the city for preventing such talk.
The news of the murder of a high class Brahman at a sacred place of ancient repute spread a wave of consternation throughout the land. Elphinstone received the news at Ellora on 25th July, and at once wrote the following letter to the Peshwa :-" A foreign ambassador has been murdered in the midst of your Highness's Court. A Brahman has been massacred almost in the temple during one of the greatest solemnities of your religion; and I must not conceal from your Highness, the impunity of the perpetrators of this enormity has led to imputations not to be thought of against your government. I think it my duty to state that your Highness may see the necessity of refuting calumnies so injurious to your reputation. I beg also to observe that while Trimbakji remains at large, his situation enables him to commit further acts of rashness, which he may undertake on purpose to embroil your Highness with the British Government. For these reasons it is absolutely necessary that immediate steps should be taken to apprehend Dengle as well as Govindrao Bandhuji, and Bhagvantrao. I beg that your Highness's reply may be communicated through some person unconnected with Trimbakji."
The Peshwa now took strong measures for the protection of his own person. New troops were entertained and brought from a distance. During the return journey his palki was surrounded by a thousand Karnatak troops. Elphinstone left Ellora on 26th July and reached Pune on 6th August. Trimbakji arrived there the next day, the Peshwa also making his entry secretly two days later in a closed palanquin without the usual salute. Elphinstone at once took a strong attitude and handled the situation with fearless initiative and firm determination. He immediately wrote a strong report to the Governor-General indicating the action he proposed to take and requested necessary powers in that connection. On his way back to Pune he met some people of Pandharpur, from whom he gathered that Dengle was generally held to be the author of the murder, in which Bajirao himself was personally implicated. Elphinstone, therefore, considered it a sufficient punishment for the Peshwa to have his favourite Dengle adequately dealt with, if an enquiry yielded sufficient evidence to prove his guilt. As a measure of protection in case of emergency, he ordered the Subsidiary Force at Jalna to be moved to the camp on the Ghod river and a battalion to be sent on to Pune.
Bajirao and Trimbakji now started preparation for war. Elphinstone
acted promptly and demanded the surrender of Trimbakji Dengle. Bajirao made an evasive reply and allowed Dengle to roam about and raise the standard of revolt. He informed Elphinstone that " I am keeping Trimbakji myself under restraint. You must not demand his surrender." Elphinstone sent a curt rejoinder stating that " if you don't comply and leave Pune, you must be prepared for the consequences." With no alternative left Bajirao surrendered Trimbakji as also the other culprits in the Pandharpur murder. Trimbakji had been confined in the fort of Thane from where he made good his escape on the evening of September
12, 1816. He rode through jungles to north Khandesh and later moved south and took shelter in the Mahadev hills east of Satara. Bajirao covertly supported him. It appeared that hostilities would again start between the English and the Marathas. In June 1817, the English imposed another treaty on Bajirao with stricter terms, thus depriving him of all power and authority.
Bajirao had signed the treaty of June 13 under severe pressure nursing in his heart a bitter sense of wrong. He went to Pandharpur on his annual visit and did not return to Pune for some three months occupying himself in preparation for a war with the English. After performing his Ashadh worship on 25th June, Bajirao proceeded from Pandharpur to Mahuli and from thence to Pune. He secretly invited several Indian powers for an anti-British rise. He put a crore of rupees at the disposal of his commander Bapu Gokhale for creating an efficient army. Elphinstone now found the situation so alarming that he dispatched an urgent message to Surur asking for help. Petty skirmishes between the Maratha and English forces were followed by a general action at Kirkee in which success crowned the English. Pune capitulated and the Peshwa became a fugitive.
Action near Pandharpur, 1817: After his defeat at Kirkee, Bajirao accompanied by his chief commander Bapu Gokhale, fled from Pune through Satara to Pandharpur. He was pursued by General Smith who was accompanied by Mr. Elphinstone. The Peshwa fled from Pandharpur fifteen miles north to Karkam, but 5,000 of Gokhale's horse threatened the rear and left of the English troops. On the march towards Pandharpur, the English troops went almost in square, the flanks well protected with cavalry and infantry and the auxiliaries in front and rear of the baggage. Except near Pandharpur, there were no signs of tillage. About Pandharpur the Peshwa's troops, 6,000 or 7,000 strong, came in sight on the rear and to the right of the rear. They were in three or four solid bodies which kept at a great distance, probably three miles, while many single horsemen advanced to within 250 or 300 yards of the English. These thickened about the rear, firing their matchlocks and occasionally rocketing, inspite of the riflemen who were unsuccessful. At length
a ball wounded General Smith's orderly's horse, a rocket fell in the midst of the cavalry and wounded a man and a horse, and Captain Tovey descried three rocket camels within reach. It was resolved to charge them and General Smith dashed off with the three troops of cavalry and a galloper or light horse artillery gun. Mr. Elphinstone joined the cavalry after they had come up with the camels. The cavalry was halted and immediately divided into two parties. The division on the left charged and that on the right with the gun came on at leisure as reserve. Though the left division charged with great spirit, a body of the Marathas formed up to it and showed a determined front. As they advanced to meet the left division the right division came on the right flank. At this moment General Smith injudiciously halted. The left division also halted and began to fire their pistols. This discouraged the men of the right division for there was ground for alarm, as the body in front of them stood firm and their balls whizzed round in great numbers and to the right the plain was covered with horsemen, numerous though not compact. Then the left division retired on the right by order, and came in haste and confusion, followed by the Marathas shouting, with their lances at rest. The right squadron was astonished, but not unsteady; and the men moved on and checked the enemy with their pistols. The left division also formed rapidly and pistoled. This checked the enemy, who stopped at a short distance and fired, while Captain Bruce was sent to bring up the infantry. At this moment an injudicious word of command to retreat, unauthorised by General Smith, nearly lost all. As it was, the cavalry was brought back instead of the infantry being brought forward which was dangerous; but the fire of the infantry, though not more than twenty men and these unsteady, checked the Marathas. The English force remained unable to retreat waiting anxiously for the recovery of an over-turned gun, when Captain Tovey appeared with a gun, of the horse artillery, followed by two companies of the rear guard. The gun opened on the Marathas close at hand, yet they did not show much panic. The infantry afterwards came up but did not fire. The English cavalry who were drawing off halted to pick up a dead trooper and again drew off without being insulted or molested. [Colebrooke's Elphinstone. II, 10.12.]
The Peshwa continued his march northwards to Junnar in Pune, keeping the Raja of Satara and his mother and brother in his camp. From Junnar he was again driven south to the Karnatak. On arriving on the banks of the Ghatprabha he found the country to the south already in the hands of Colonel Munro's troops. The rapid progress of Colonel Munro in the south and the advance of General Pritzler
from the north-west compelled Bajirao to march north-east to Sholapur. After the reduction of Satara on the 10th of February General Smith, at the head of two regiments of cavalry, a squadron of the 22nd Dragoons, 1,200 auxiliary horse and 2,500 infantry marched in pursuit of Bajirao who was near Sholapur levying heavy contributions. General Smith followed by moderate marches in order to gain on him with fresh troops. On the 19th of February he arrived at Velapur about twelve miles south-east of Malshiras and heard that the Peshwa was on the route from Sholapur towards Pandharpur. General Smith made a corresponding movement the same night, but on his way hearing that Bajirao had suddenly turned on Karkam about fifteen miles north of Pandharpur, he changed his course, crossed the Bhima at Karauli, and heard that the Peshwa was camped at Ashta. Taking the cavalry and horse artillery, and desiring the rest to follow in all haste, he continued the march without break by Mendhapur and came in sight of the Marathas at eight on the morning of the 20th as they were moving off the ground. The Marathas were not ignorant of the approach of the cavalry, and, though unable to avoid a conflict, they were not without time to prepare for it. The Peshwa, who did not consider himself safe in a palanquin, mounted a horse, and fled in haste with a sufficient guard, leaving Bapu Gokhale with eight to ten thousand horse to cover his retreat, and, if possible, to save the baggage. Before leaving Ashta, Bajirao taunted Gokhale for allowing the army to be surprised; Gokhale replied that he might rest assured his rear would be guarded. Probably thinking the entire Fourth Division with its baggage was advancing Gokhale further assured Bajirao that he would amuse General Smith who would, as usual, open his guns. When the English cavalry alone were discovered moving over the hill., Gokhale was forced to make other dispositions. [Blacker's Maratha War, 249.] His friends advised him to retire for support and return better prepared to meet the English. He replied, "whatever is to be done must be done here." His force was divided into several bodies, which made a show of supporting each other. Between them and the English cavalry was a difficult streamlet which the attacking body must cross. Meanwhile General Smith's corps was advancing in regimental columns of threes at forming distance, the two squadrons of the 22nd Dragoons in the centre, the 7th Madras Native Cavalry on the right, and the 2nd on the left. On the outer flanks a little retired, were the Bombay horse artillery and galloper guns, the Horse artillery under Captain Pierce on the right, and the galloper guns under Captain Frith on the left. Thus disposed they approached the Marathas, and were about to form when Gokhale, with a body of two thousand five hundred
horse with several ensigns, advanced from opposite the left, cleared the streamlet, and delivering a volley from matchlocks as they passed, charged obliquely across the front to the place where the 7th Cavalry were unprepared to receive them. About three troops were imperfectly formed. These with the rest of the regiment advanced through broken ground and ravines, as the Marathas circled round their right flank, to which they couched their lances and gained the rear. This manoeuvre threatened the right flank and rear of the 22nd Dragoons who were then engaged to the front. But Major Dawes, with the presence of mind of an old soldier, threw back the right troops and bringing forward the left, charged in turn. Gokhale was foremost to receive the attack, and met in conflict a young officer of the Dragoons, Lieutenant Warrand, who had the honour of receiving from him a wound on the shoulder. Gokhale had many more antagonists and tell at the head of his corps with three pistol-shot wounds and two sabre-cuts covering his head with his shawl as he fell. [Blacker's Maratha War, 249-250.] He fought bravely to the last, dying as he had promised, with his sword in his hand. His person was large, his features fine and manly, and his complexion nearly fair. He wore on the morning of the action a rich dress of gold kinkhab with a pearl necklace, diamond ear-rings, and a turban ornament of immense value. [Fifteen Years in India
(1822), 522.] General Smith was on the right as the Marathas made their charge, and, before he could quit that position, received a sabre-cut on the back of his head. In the confused mixture of dragoons, native cavalry, and Maratha horse, the 2nd Cavalry formed on the left and threw out a squadron which checked some parties of the Marathas who were still in the rear of the other regiments. The fall of their chief deprived the Marathas of hope, and they fled towards the left, in which direction their main body, who had never come into action, left the field pursued by the 2nd Cavalry. A squadron of this corps were met by a band of Marathas, which proved to be the Raja of Satara and his brother and mother all of whom voluntarily sought English protection. The remaining regiments, as soon as they recovered a little order, joined in the pursuit. In the hollow beyond the village of Ashta they found a body of horse which had never been engaged and still made a show of covering the retreat of the baggage. These fled on a nearer approach; and twelve elephants, fifty-seven camels and many palanquins fell into the pursuers' hands. The Marathas were followed for about five miles and completely scattered. The horse artillery on the right had been ordered in the first instance not to fire as it would prevent the immediate charge of the cavalry; and the difficulties of the ground opposed their subsequent passage of the streamlet in time to be
brought into action. The galloper guns on the left found greater facility of crossing and opened with some effect. The Marathas lost about two hundred killed, including some chiefs besides Gokhale, while the English loss amounted to no more than fourteen Europeans and five native cavalry killed and wounded. The cavalry returned to the field of action, and encamped near Ashta where they were rejoined by the infantry and baggage from the rear. Thus closed this brilliant affair, which, with little loss, freed the Satara family, and completely ended the enterprise of the Peshwa's horse. [Grant Duff's Marathas. 661; Backer's Maratha War. 248-253.]
About three months after the battle of Ashta, during which the Peshwa's Satara strongholds were reduced, Sholapur was again the seat of severe fighting. After reducing the greater part of the Bombay Karnatak, General Munro marched towards the Bhima and the Ghatprabha between which the Peshwa's choicest infantry and guns were camped. General Munro's army was not strong enough to enable him to push on the war. On the 19th of April he was joined at Nagar Manoli in North Belgaum by General Pritzler's division of the reserve force from Satara. This force consisted of two companies of artillery under Lieutenant-Colonel Dalrymple; the European flank battalion composed of the flower of four regiments, who not with standing the difficulties of maintaining in a state of regularity, a corps composed of various details, under Major Giles' command, had been as remarkable for their discipline and order as for their gallantry; the four companies of Rifles, the second battalion of the 22nd Native Infantry, the second battalion of the 7th Bombay Native
Infantry, and a detachment of pioneers. Two much-needed iron eighteen pounder guns, and two mortars were likewise brought from the Bombay battering train. With this force General Munro marched north, passed Gherdi about twelve miles south-cast of Sangola, and arrived at Sidapur on the Bhima which was crossed on the 7th of May. The approach of Munro's force compelled the Peshwa's troops to fall back on Sholapur to make their final stand. On the 8th of May the English force crossed the Sina at Patri and on the 9th took up ground within two miles of the Maratha position, which General Munro immediately under a continual fire closely reconnoitred. A summons, with an offer of terms, had been sent forward by a native officer Chensing, subhedar of the 2nd battalion of the 4th Regiment. His singular intelligence and address had in many cases enabled Chensing to induce garrisons to come to terms. On this occasion, inspite of the holiness of his flag, Chensing was cruelly murdered by the Arabs under the walls of the fort. Nothing remained but to begin the siege.
Siege of Sholapur, 1818: The Sholapur fort is an oblong of large
area, with a wall and faussebraye or rampart-mound of substantial masonry flanked by capacious round towers. A broad and deep wet ditch encircles the place, and the north and east sides are covered by a large town surrounded by a good wall and divided into two parts, of which one is close to the fort. To the south, communicating with the ditch, a lake, surrounded on three sides by a mound, formed a respectable breastwork to the Maratha position under the walls. Their force thus strongly posted amounted to 2,000 Arabs, 1,500 Rohilas, 1,000 Sidis, 700 Gosavis, 5,000 Infantry, and 1,500 Cavalry. Major De Pinto, a country-born European, commanded the regular infantry and Ganpatrao Panse was the hereditary commandant of the Peshwa's artillery. [Blacker's Maratha War, 299. The details of the force vary. According to Blacker the Maratha force amounted to 850 horse, 5,550 foot including 1,200 Arabs, and fourteen guns independent of the garrison estimated at 1,000. This is, in Gleig's opinion (Life of Munro, 1.494), an under-estimate and the strength in the text was obtained from official returns. According to General Munro's official report in the Bombay Courier dated the 25th of July, 1818, the strength of the Marathas amounted to 4,500 infantry, of whom 1,200 were Arabs with thirteen guns and about 700 horse] Nothing effective could be attempted against the fort while the covering army continued unbroken, and to hazard an attack on the army without gaining possession of the works on which it leaned was useless. General Munro accordingly turned his attention chiefly to the reduction of the town. Finding that the walls were not so high or the ditch so deep as to make it impracticable he resolved to try and take the town by escalade. At three on the morning of the 10th of May, the English troops chosen for the attack began to get under arms. The second battalion of the 12th Madras and the 2nd battalion of the 7th Bombay Native Infantry, except their flank companies, remained in charge of the camp under Lieutenant-Colonel Fraser. The remaining troops were formed in the following order:- for the escalade of the town walls, under the general orders of Colonel Hewitt, two columns commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Newall and Major Giles, each composed of two European flank companies, two companies of rifles, one incomplete battalion of Native Infantry, and one company of Pioneers; for the support of the escalading force, a reserve, under the personal command of General Pritzler, consisted of a squadron and a half of dragoons with galloper guns, two European flank companies, four native flank companies, four six-pounders, and two howitzers. The escalading columns took up positions 1,000 yards from the point of attack till the day broke. At daybreak they moved briskly forward preceded by the Pioneers carrying scaling ladders, while the reserve, from a position opposite the same face, opened a smart fire on the front and flanking defences. The ladders were planted with promptitude; and the heads of both columns topped
the walls at the same moment. As soon as a sufficient number of men were formed by each column, the towers to the right and left were taken, parties were sent to open the gate, and the whole force entered. The right column, under Lieutenant-Colonel Newall, followed the course of the wall by the right; and, having gained the wall which divides the town, occupied three large houses in the quarter close to the fort. Major Giles with the left column, which was accompanied by Colonel Hewitt, separated into two parts one of which kept along the wall on the left, and the other advanced up the central street to the opposite end after forcing the gate which divided the town. The outer gate was also forced and the columns, both parts of which here rejoined, passed through and, by detaching a company of European grenadiers, dislodged a party of the Marathas posted in a neighbouring suburb. Meanwhile outside of the town Ganpatrao left his position near the fort, and, passing round by the eastern side, placed himself with seven guns and a respectable body of horse and foot opposite the reserve on which he immediately opened fire. General Munro, finding himself too weak in men to storm this position and with too few guns to silence the fire, withdrew the reserve under the wall of the town and sent to Colonel Hewitt for a reinforcement. Before the reinforcement came, one of the Maratha tumbrils blew up and the order was given to attack with the bayonet. General Pritzler headed the dragoons, and Colonel Dalrymple, the infantry, joined by the artillerymen from the guns, while General Munro then fifty-seven years old directed the charge in person vociferously cheered by the Europeans whose delight at the veteran's presence among them excused the noisy freedom of their greeting. Meanwhile the Marathas lost their commander who was severely wounded, and their second in command who was killed by a common shot. They began to draw off their guns, but not in time to prevent three of them falling into the hands of the reserve, while their foot were driven into a garden and enclosures from which they were dislodged by Colonel Newall with a body of Europeans and rifles from the town. In retreating to their original position near the fort the Marathas passed the south gate of the town, from which Colonel Hewitt ran out a field piece and opening suddenly on them caused much annoyance. A gate leading into the inner town was taken by a company of the 69th Regiment and three companies of Native Infantry. But as the range of their position was found by one of the Maratha guns, the gate was abandoned and the troops confined to the main street and the avenues leading into it. The Marathas kept possession of the parts of the town which their matchlocks could reach from the fort. The reserve returned to camp which had meanwhile been moved from the west to the north of the town. It was here joined by Duli Khan, an officer in the Nizam's
service with eight hundred irregulars, of whom three hundred were horse. During the day the garrison made some faint attempts to extend their possession of the town. As these efforts proved unsuccessful, their friends outside seemed anxious to quit their position which the events of the morning had made unsafe. As soon as this movement was known in the camp, the detachment of dragoons and as many auxiliary horse, with the two galloper guns, were ordered out under General Pritzler; and Duli Khan's horse was directed to follow with all speed. The Marathas had left their guns that their flight might not be checked and had fled seven miles before they were overtaken. The gallopers opened on their rear with grape, while a half squadron took ground on each flank of the retreating column, which maintained an unsteady matchlock fire. When the half squadron came in contact with the Marathas the guns limbered up, and followed as a reserve with the remaining half squadron and Duli Khan's horse till these likewise and the auxiliary horse joined in the general destruction. Before night put an end to the pursuit on the banks of the Sina the force was completely dispersed. Nearly a thousand men were left dead on the field. Those who remained sought their homes in small parties of ten or fifteen, many of them wounded. The cavalry were back in their lines by ten at night.
After the attack on the town no time was lost in beginning operations against the fort. The southern face was chosen as the most favourable for an approach, as on that side there was considerable cover, and as the ditch there was partially dry. On the 11th a battery of one mortar, one howitzer, and two six-pounders, was established behind the dam of the lake to keep the Marathas within the walls, and to cover the working parties and advanced posts. This battery was enlarged on the same evening by three additional mortars which opened on the following morning with some effect. On the 13th an approach was made towards the fort, and, under cover of the fire, the beginning of a breaching battery was laid; from the mortars and six-pounders the practice from which was so admirable as to silence the Maratha guns at many points. An enfilading or raking battery was also marked out for two twelve-pounders and six-pounders and was half finished towards evening, while the garrison were busily employed in throwing up retrenchments. This as well as the breaching battery was completed during the night, and both opened on the morning of the 14th with unremitting vigour. By noon the breach of the outer wall was reported practicable; and at the same time the enemy, viewing the rapid progress which had been made, sent to demand terms. They were promised security for themselves and their private property, and on these terms marched out on the following morning. The principal officers received passports to proceed to Pune and the troops dispersed to their
homes. In the fort were thirty-seven one to forty-two pounders, including eleven field-guns. There were also thirty-nine one to three-pounder wall-pieces. The reduction of this important fort deprived Bajirao's troops of their last rallying point in the Bombay Karnatak; while the losses they had suffered during the operations completely disheartened all abettors of his cause. The loss of the British troops as of the Marathas occurred almost entirely on the 10th and amounted to 102 men including four officers.