Mangalorean Recipes

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

India after te Moghuls

E-mail Print PDF

Portuguese in India

Portuguese India included a number of enclaves on India's western coast, including Goa proper, as well as the coastal enclaves of Daman (Port: Damão) and Diu, and the enclaves of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, which lie inland from Daman. The territories of Portuguese India were sometimes referred to collectively as Goa.

The first Portuguese encounter with India was on May 20, 1498 when Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut (Kozhikode) in the present-day Indian state of Kerala . Over the objections of Arab merchants, Gama secured an ambiguous letter of concession for trading rights from the Zamorin, Calicut's local ruler, but had to sail off without warning after the Zamorin insisted on his leaving behind all his goods as collateral. Gama kept his goods, but left behind a few Portuguese with orders to start a trading post.

In 1510, Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the Bijapur sultans with the help of Timayya, on behalf of the hindu Vijayanagara Empire, leading to the establishment of a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa). The Southern Province, also known simply as Goa, was the headquarters of Portuguese India, and seat of the Portuguese viceroy who governed the Portuguese possessions in Asia.


Afonso de Albuquerque (or d'Albuquerque - disused) (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈfõsu dɨ aɫbuˈkɛɾk(ɨ)]; 1453, Alhandra - Goa, December 16, 1515) was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, a naval general officer whose military and administrative activities conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian ocean. He is generally considered a world conquest military genius, given his successful strategy: he attempted to close all the Indian ocean naval passages to the Atlantic, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and to the Pacific, transforming it into a Portuguese Mare clausum established over the Turkish power and their Muslim and Hindu allies.[1] He was responsible for building numerous fortresses to defend key points that he was taking. Shortly before his death he was awarded first "Duke of Goa" by king Manuel I of Portugal, being the first Portuguese duke not of the royal family, and the first Portuguese title landed overseas. For some time he was known as The Tirribil, The Great, The Caesar of the East, Lion of the Seas and as The Portuguese Mars.

An exquisite and expensive variety of mango, that he used to bring on his journeys to India, has been named in his honour, and is today sold throughout the world as Alphonso mangoes.[30]


Jahangir  1569-1627

Born as Prince Muhammad Salim, he was the third and eldest surviving son of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar's twin sons, Hasan and Hussain, died in infancy. His mother was the Rajput Princess of Amber, Jodhabai (born Rajkumari Hira Kunwari, eldest daughter of Raja Bihar Mal or Bharmal, Raja of Amber, India).


Shah Jahan   1592-1666

Even while very young, he could be pointed out to be the successor to the Mughal throne after the death of Jahangir. He succeeded to the throne upon his father's death in 1627. He is considered to be one of the greatest Mughals and his reign has been called the Golden Age of Mughals. Like Akbar, he was eager to expand his empire.

Aurangzeb  1618-1707  

Aurangzeb was the third son of the fifth emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Bānū Begum). After a rebellion by his father, part of Aurangzeb's childhood was spent as a virtual hostage at his grandfather Jahangir's court. Muhammad Saleh Kamboh had been one of his childhood teachers

The archdiocese of Calcutta

The Ecclesiastical province of Calcutta comprises practically the old Indian province of Bengal, where the Catholic Faith was introduced very early. About the middle of the sixteenth century Portuguese merchants were trading with the ports of Bengal. But they did not stay in the country, their ships came to Bengal with the monsoon at the end of May, and went back to Cochin in October. About 1571 they obtained from Akbar, the great Mogul emperor then residing in Agra, very important concessions: they were allowed to build a town in Hugli, to erect churches, send for priests and baptize the natives who might wish to become Christians. Portuguese merchants and settlers soon flocked to Hugli, many natives became christians, so that in 1598 the number of Catholics in Hugli was five thousand, of Portuguese, native, or mixed origin.


Quite different were the origin and the character of the other Catholic communities which sprang up all over Bengal at the end of sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. Native rulers whose states were continually exposed to the raids of their enemies, appealed for protection to the Portuguese adventurers then numerous in India and famous for the undaunted bravery. They settled in bandels, generally situated on the bank of a river, and received for their military services lands, a monthly pay, and a share of the booty. Their numbers increased rapidly, for they married native women, and many native converts came to them for protection and security. These converts were called topassees, because they wore a hat, like the Portuguese (topa means hat). In 1598 there were on the coast of Chittagong and Arracan 2500 Catholics of Portuguese or mixed origin, besides the native Christians. All the Catholic communities of Bengal were under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Cochin, erected in 1557. But no regular provision had been made for the supply of priests and the building of churches. Hugli alone had a church and a parish priest. Elsewhere Catholics depended for spiritual ministrations on any priest who happened to be travelling through the country. On 9 January, 1606, the Diocese of San Thomé de Meliapur was erected, and Bengal was put under its jurisdiction.


Two Jesuits had gone to Bengal temporarily in 1579, and two others were sent there from Cochin in 1598 to report on the hopes and prospects of a Catholic mission. They erected in Hugli a school and hospital, in Chittagong two churches and residences; two churches were contemplated or begun in Siripur and Bacala. The native rulers were very favourable, and even generously endowed the new missions. But political disturbances ruined these happy beginnings; churches and residences were destroyed in 1603, and the four Jesuits then in Bengal were recalled by their superiors. In the meantime a permanent provision had been made for the Catholics of Bengal by the Bishop of Cochin, Don Fray André, a Franciscan. He had entrusted Bengal to the Augustinians of Goa, and is said to have conferred upon them the exclusive right to the parishes of the country. In 1599 five Augustinians landed in Hugli, built a convent of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and took possession of the church or churches existing in the town. A few years afterwards we find them established in Angelim (Hidgelee), Tambolim (Tumlook), Pipli; about 1612 in Dacca, Noricul, Siripur, Katrabo in 1621 in Chittagong; and after 1640 in Balasore, Ossumpoor, and Rangamati.


Chittagong deserves a special notice. The Moguls of Bengal were continually trying to wrest Chittagong from the dominion of the Emperor of Arracan. Twice they almost succeeded in taking it in surprise, and from that time this potentate always kept a large body of Portughese in his service at Dianga, near Chittagong. Instead of waiting for the attacks of the Moguls, these Portughese found it easier and more effective to carry the war into the enemy's territory, and they began to make periodical raids on the coast of Bengal, carrying away whole populations of Hindu and Mohammedan villages. Thus between 1621 and 1634 they brought back with them to Chittagong 42,000 slaves, of whom the Augustians baptized 28,000. They converted besides five thousand natives of the country, called Mugs or Mogos.


This barbarous warfare of the Portuguese of Chittagong brought about, amongst other causes, the ruin of Hugli in 1632. Shah Jehan, the Mogul emperor ordered Khasim Khan, Nawab of Bengal, to destroy Hugli. After a siege of three months, the town was stormed; four priests and many Christians were sent prisoners to Agra. However, the Portuguese were restored to favour the next year (1633). Either by the exertions of the Jesuits of Agra and Lahore, the intervention of a Mogul prince called Assofokhan or the negotiations of the Viceroy of Goa Christians were allowed to settle, not in Hugli itself, but on a spot outside the town, called to this day Bandel. They erected there in 1660 a church and an Augustinian convent, still existing. The prior of the convent was the captain of the band, with power to try minor but not capital offences. There also was erected a convent of Augustinian nuns, which has been the occasion of the accusations levelled by travellers against the morality of Bandel. The canonical standing of this convent seems to have been rather undefined. In 1666 Aurangzeb succeeded in taking Chittagong, and the Portughese colony was transferred to Felinghee Bazar, near Dacca.


The Jesuits went back to Bengal about 1612. Their ministry was hampered by the rivalry of the Augustinians who strongly maintained their exclusive privilege. The former soon confined their exertions to their church and college of St. Paul in Hugli. These were built in 1621, destroyed or damaged in 1632, and reappear in 1655. For many years only one Jesuit priest was stationed there, till, in 1746, church and college were given up. In 1688 the French started a factory in Chandernagore, a few miles from Hugli. The Augustinians of Bandel claimed the right to be the parish priests of the new town, but, yielding to the representations of the French authorities, the Bishop of Meliapur created there on 10 of April, 1696, a special parish entrusted to the French Jesuits. In 1753 there were in Chandernagore 102,000 inhabitants and only 4000 Catholics. The Capuchins had settled there and built a church in 1726.


In 1690 Charnock founded Calcutta. Portuguese from Hugli settled in the new town. They built a chapel and were attended by Augustinian priests. In 1799 the chapel was replaced by the beautiful church dedicated to Our Blessed Lady of the Rosary, which is used today as the cathedral. The Augustinians of Bengal have been severely criticized by Protestant travellers, and, it must be granted, not without foundation. It can cause no surprise if in some cases the conduct of half-trained priests who were sent to outstations, far from any spiritual help or control, should not always have been exemplary.  The defect lay in the way they were recruited. The Augustinians of Goa refused all candidates of native or mixed origin, and were therefore compelled to accept all European candidates, however unfit. As the supply was not equal to the demand, the training was necessarily short. Even so, Catholic communities had to remain without a priest for many years. The Augustinian superiors of Lisbon did not approve of such a policy; they pointed out that it was much better to select at the best of the native candidates than to accept indiscriminately the young adventurers whom their families had sent to India to get rid of them. These superiors and the King of Portugal himself, in virtue of his right of patronage, threatened more than once to recall the Augustinians from Bengal. The bishops of Meliapur insisted on better organization and discipline. All was useless; the best regulations, the most stringent orders could not be enforced at such a distance and on Mogul territory. Francis Laynez. S.J., Bishop of Meliapur, (Mylapore) visited all the stations of Bengal in 1712, but his efforts were fruitless. In all questions of reform clergy and people were against him. They even went so far as to appeal to the Mogul authorities to stop the exercise of his episcopal jurisdiction.


At the end of the eighteenth century there were Augustinians in Calcutta and Bandel only; elsewhere the Catholics were attended by clerics from Goa. The condition of the 25,000 Catholics then living in the eleven parishes of Bengal may be summed up in two words: ignorance and corruption. They were an easy prey for Kiernander, called the "first Protestant missionary in Bengal", who went to Calcutta in 1758. But what did more for the perversion of Catholics was the erection, at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century, of a number of well-endowed Protestant Schools. There was no Catholic school in Bengal before 1830. About 1829 division set in among the Catholics of Calcutta. One party, with the parish priest of the principal church at its head, wrote to Rome to obtain a British vicar Apostolic and British priests. On 18 April, 1834, the pope created the Vicariate Apostolic of Bengal, and entrusted it to the Jesuits of England. Robert St. Leger, an Irish Jesuit, was nominated first Vicar Apostolic of Bengal, and landed in Calcutta with five companions in October, 1834. The parish priest of the principal church received him in his church. The companions of St. Leger started a little college of St. Francis Xavier, which increased slowly. Most of the Catholics accepted the authority of the Vicar Apostolic; only a few sided with the Goanese priests of the Boytakhana church, which was interdicted. St. Leger was recalled in 1838, and Mgr. Taberd, titular bishop of Isauropolis and Vicar Apostolic of Cochin China, then living in Bengal, was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Bengal ad interim. He earnestly promoted Catholic education and endeared himself to all, but died suddenly 31 July, 1840. Division set in again amongst the Catholics of Calcutta. Dr. Carew who had just succeeded Dr. O' Connor as Vicar Apostolic of Madras, was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Bengal, 20 November, 1840. He built in Calcutta the church of St. Thomas, founded Schools, orphanages, asylums, and the little college of St. John. Difficulties arose between him and the Jesuits. The latter were recalled by their superior and their flourishing college of St. Francis Xavier was closed in 1846.


In 1850 Eastern Bengal and Arracan were constituted a separate vicariate, which became in 1886 the Diocese of Dacca. Dr. Oliffe, coadjutor of Dr. Carew, consecrated in October, 1843, was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Bengal. In 1852 the districts of Bengal south of the Mahanadi River were entrusted by Dr. Carew to Bishop Neyret, Vicar Apostolic of Vizigapatam. In 1853 the Foreign Missions of Paris consented to take over Assam, which has since become a prefecture Apostolic. In 1855 Dr. Carew made over to the Foreign Missions of Milan the districts of Central Bengal, which became in 1870 a prefecture Apostolic, and in 1886 the Diocese of Khrishmagur. Dr. Carew remained Vicar Apostolic of Western Bengal, and died 2 November, 1855.


The Archdiocese of Calcutta extends along the sea-coast from the Khabadak to the Mahanundi River. After the death of Dr. Carew, Dr. Oliffe, the Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Benga! took possession of the Vicariate of Western Bengal. This vicariate, increased by the addition of the districts of Hazaribagh in 1871, Kurseong in 1881. Purneah, Santhal Pargannahs, Darjeeling in 1887, is today the Archdiocese of Calcutta, with two suffragan dioceses, Dacca and Krishnagur, and the Prefecture Apostolic of Assam. Taught by experience, Dr. Oliffe entrusted at once with the approval of the Propaganda, his former vicariate to the Fathers of the Holy Cross. Three years afterwards he also obtained permission to put the Jesuits in charge of his Vicariate of Western Bengal. The British Jesuits being unable to undertake the work on account of their small number, the pope entrusted the Bengal Mission to the Belgian Jesuits. Dr. Oliffe died at Naples in May, 1858. On 28 November, 1859, four Belgian and two English Jesuits with a lay brother, landed in Calcutta and started at once, in the old St. John's College, the new College of St. Francis Xavier. In 1842 their predecessors estimated the Catholic population of Calcutta at 8000. Carew's estimate was 15,000, which seems much too high, for the Belgian Jesuits found only 6000 Catholics in Calcutta in 1859. A few hundreds were spread over Western Bengal. As the new mission was still in its experimental stage, no vicar Apostolic was appointed till 9 September, 1864, when Father Augustus Van Heule, S.J., was nominated Vicar Apostolic of Western Bengal. Unfortunately he had been only four months in Calcutta when he died suddenly 9 June, 1865.


On 11 January, 1867, the Very Rev. Walter Steins S.J., Vicar Apostolic of Bombay, was transferred to the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Bengal. He had accompanied in 1859 the first Belgian Jesuits to Calcutta to help them with his experience, and had been appointed in 1861 Vicar Apostolic of Bombay. He left Calcutta in 1877 for Australia, where he was appointed Bishop of Auckland. He died there 1 September, 1881. On 31 December 1877, Father Paul Goethals, S.J., was nominated titular Archbishop of Hierapolis and Vicar Apostolic of Western Bengal On 23 June, 1886, a new concordat was concluded between Pope Leo XIII and the King of Portugal. A concordat had already been signed between Pope Pius IX and the King of Portugal in 1857, but the difficulties caused by the double jurisdiction had subsisted in Bengal, though in a lesser degree than elsewhere. The new concordat established a permanent peace. On 1 September, 1886, the Bull "Humanae Salutis Auctor" erected the Catholic hierarchy in India. Leo XIII sent to India Mgr. Agliardi as Apostolic Delegate, to carry out the dispositions of the Bull and settle minor points connected with the padroado or Portuguese patronage. On 25 November, 1886, Dr. Goethals was appointed Archbishop of Calcutta, and ecclesiastical province of Calcutta was constituted above explained. In the archdiocese two churches remain under the Portuguese jurisdiction: the church of Boytakhana in Calcutta and the church of Bandel with its annexed chapel of Chinsurah. The Augustinians having given up Bengal in 1867, these churches are attended by secular priests of the Diocese of Meliapur. Their juridiction is personal over all those who were adhering to the Portughese priests at the time of the Concordat of 1857 and all those who go to Calcutta, Bandel, or Chinsurah from a territory belonging to the Diocese of Maliapur.


On 9 January, 1894, the first council of the province of Calcutta opened. His Excellency Mgr. Ladislas Zaleski, titular Archbishop of Thebes and Delegate Apostolic, presided, and there were present, Archbishop Goethals of Calcutta, Bishop Francis Pozzi of Khrishnagur, Bishop Augustine Louage of Dacca, and the Very Rev. Angelus Wuenzloher, S.D.S., Prefect Apostolic of Assam. The Constitutions of this council, revised at Rome, were promulgated 25 July, 1905. Archbishop Goethals's health had for some time been declining, and he died, July, 1901, at the age of sixty. Father Brice Meuleman, S.J., Superior of the Bengal Mission, was nominated Archbishop of Calcutta, 21 March, 1902, and consecrated in the cathedral 25 June following.


The area of the Archdiocese of Calcutta is about one hundred thousand square miles inhabited by a population of about twenty-seven millions. Of these, according to thestatistics of 1906, 126, 529 were Catholics; 81,000 were baptized, and 44, 759 were catechumens. The number increased during 1906-1907 by about 25,000 new catechumens. There are besides in Calcutta and Bandel about 1200 natives belonging to the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Meliapur.


One hundred and ninety-three Jesuits, most of them Belgians, of whom 107 are priests, are working in the mission. Besides there are two secular priests. In Calcutta there are about 13,000 Catholics under the jurisdiction of the archbishop. They are mostly of mixed blood, called Eurasians, and many are very poor. The town is divided into eight parishes attached to the following churches: the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, St. John's, St. Xavier's, St. Thomas's, St. Theresa's, St. Patrick's (Fort-William), St. Joseph's (for the Madrassees), and the church of the Sacred Heart.

Educational and charitable work


To give an exact idea of the Calcutta Mission it will be best to consider the educational and charitable work carried on exclusively by religious communities, the railway and military chaplains, and the native missions. The Jesuits have built for the training of their junior members a house of theological studies (St. Mary's), in Kurseong and a house of probation (Manresa House), in Ranchi. They have opened two colleges for boys, St. Xavier's in Calcutta with about 800 boys and St. Joseph's in Darjeeling with about 200 boarders. In 1847 Dr. Carew had begun in Calcutta a little congregation of Brothers, which Goethals succeeded in affiliating to the Irish Christian Brothers in 1890. In Calcutta they have charge of the Male Orphanage with 300 boys and St. Joseph's High School with 800; in Howrah, of St Aloysius' School with 70; in Assansol, of St. Patrick's High School with 240, in Kurseong, of the Goethals Memorial Orphanage with 150. Thirty-five Brothers are working in the arch-diocese. The Loreto nuns from Rathfarnam, Ireland, went to Calcutta in 1842. They have charge, in Calcutta, of the Chowringhee, Bowbazar, Dhurrumtollah, and Sealdah schools and the Entally orphanage, with about 1500 pupils; in Assansol, of a school with 140 girls; in Darjeeling, of a boarding school with 160, and in Morapai, of 160 native Bengali girls. There are ninety nuns of this order. The Daughters of the Cross of Liège, Belgiunn, located in Calcutta on 22 December, 1868. They have charge in Calcutta of St. Vincent's Home with 252 inmates in Howrah, of a school with 120 girls; in Chaybassa, of a native school and orphanage with 70 girls, in Kurseollg, of St. Helen's High School with 220 pupils. There are forty-five nuns. The Ursulines of Thildonck, Belgium, went to Bengal in January, 1903. They have twelve nuns in charge of the native girls' schools in the Chotanagpore Mission, and convents in Ranchi, Khunti, Tongo, Rengarih. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny have had charge since 1903 of the native girls' orphanage in Balasore, where five nuns take care of 80 inmates. The Daughters of St. Anne are a native congregation begun five or six years ago. The Bengali branch is under the direction of the Loreto nuns in Morapai, the Chotanagpore branch under the direction of the Ursulines in Ranchi.

Railway and military chaplains


For British Catholic soldiers in Bengal there are four military chaplains stationed at Darjeeling, Dumdum, Calcutta (Fort-Willarn). They are paid by the Government. The priest at Serampore attends to the soldiers stationed at Barrackpore. Railway employees are attended to by seven railway chaplains stationed at Sealdah, Assansol, Khargpur, Purneah, Kurseong. All these chaplains attend also to the Catholic population not belonging to the railway or the army.

Native missions


One of the great difficulties met with in the conversion of the natives is the thirty-five languages spoken in the archdiocese. The Mohammedans seem to give no hope of conversion, the Hindus little more. But the Catholic Faith has made great progress among the aborigines during the last twenty-five years. There are small native missions in Kurseong, Darjeeling, Purneah, Jhargram, each with a few hundred catholics. During the famine of 1866 Father Sapart gathered at Balasore a number of native orphans. Later on the station of Khrishnochondropur was founded in the native state of Morbhunj. The number of Ouryia converts is about 1800. There are two priests, one church in Balasore, 6 native chapels, a schools with about 220 children. The Sunderbunds missions were started in 1868 among the 1868 Bengalis who cultivate the marshy swamps of the Gangetic Delta, south ofCalcutta. There are two central stations with two priests each, Morapai and Raghabpur; 3200 Bengali converts are spread over a great many villages. There are 2 churches, 22 native chapels, 7 schools with 450 children. In the Chotanagpore missions, west of Calcutta, the population is mostly of Dravidian (Ouraons) or Mogul (Mundas) origin with a few minor tribes. They believe in one Supreme God who, however, they say, is so good that they need not trouble about him; they worship the devil who can do them harm, and to him they offer sacrifices. At the end of 1868 a priest started a mission in Chaybassa without great success. In February, 1876, another priest was sent to Ranchi to take care of 200 Madrassee soldiers stationed there, and opened a native mission in Buruma, in the direction of Chaybassa. The priest of Chaybassa started then a mission in Burudi, in the direction of Ranchi.


It was only in 1885, when Father Lievens, the real founder of the Chotanagpore mission, appeared on the scene, that the mission began to make great progress. His policy, followed by his successors, was to help the natives in every way, to protect them against the tyranny of their landlords and the native police, and to feed them in times of scarcity. In return he wanted them to send their children to his schools, where they were trained as good Christians. The Lutherans of the Gossner Mission had been working for more than fifty years in Chotanagpore, and had met till then with great success. But they opposed in vain Father Lievens's generous efforts. He never spared himself, and within six years broke down in health. He returned to Belgium in September, 1982, and died at Louvain in November, 1893, of consumption. But he had started the work on permanent lines, did not die with him. Today there are in Chatanagpore more than 100,000converts, baptized or catechumens; in the year 1906-1907 more than 25,000 catechumens joined the Catholic Church. The difficulty is to cope with such a number spread over an immense country. There are fifteen stations with thirty priests. In all these stations there are central schools; in villages more important a catechist and a school. The four convents built by Ursulines in Ranchi, Khunti, Tongo, and Rengarrih exercise a great influence for good in the family life of these neophytes. Ranchi is the headquarters of the mission, and has a central boys' school for select pupils from the districts, an Apostolic school to train catechists and help vocations to the priesthood, and a central girls' school, where the native Daughters of St. Ann are trained under the Ursulines nuns. The need of this mission may be summed up in these two words: men and money. More men and more money would allow the mission to extend in definitely the field of operations westwards, so as to create a zone of Catholic country across the whole of India from Calcutta to Bombay. This mission has 8 churches, 281 native chapels, 85 schools, with more than 3000 pupils.


Adil Shahi Rule – Bijapur Sultanate

Adilshahi dynasty ruled the Sultanate of Bijapur in the Western area of the Deccan region of Southern India from 1490 to 1686. Bijapur had been a province of the Bahmani Sultanate (1347–1518), before its political decline in the last quarter of the 15th century and eventual break-up in 1518. The Bijapur Sultanate was absorbed into the Mughal Empire on 12 September 1686, after its conquest by the Emperor Aurangzeb.[1]


The founder of the Adil Shahi dynasty, Yusuf Adil Shah (1490-1510), was appointed Bahmani governor of the province, before creating a de-facto independent Bijapur state. Yusuf and his son, Ismail, generally used the title Adil Khan. 'Khan', meaning 'Chief' in Persian,conferred a lower status than 'Shah', indicating royal rank. Only with the rule of Yusuf's grandson, Ibrahim Adil Shah I (1534–1558), did the title of Adil Shah come into common use.


The Bijapur Sultanate's borders changed considerably throughout its history. Its northern boundary remained relatively stable, straddling contemporary Southern Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka. The Sultanate expanded southward, first with the conquest of the Raichur Doab following the defeat of the Vijayanagar Empire at the Battle of Talikota in 1565.   -  The Battle of Talikota Kannada Tellikota) (January 26, 1565), a watershed battle fought between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Deccan sultanates, resulted in a rout of Vijayanagara, and ended the last great Hindu kingdom in South India. Talikota is situated in northern Karnataka, about 80 km to the southeast of the city of Bijapur.  -  Later campaigns, notably during the reign of Mohammed Adil Shah (1627–1657), extended Bijapur's formal borders and nominal authority as far south as Bangalore. Bijapur was bounded on the West by the Portuguese state of Goa and on the East by the Sultanate of Golconda, ruled by the Qutb Shahidynasty. At the height of its extent, the Bijapur Sultanate covered an area roughly four times the size of modern France.


The former Bahmani provincial capital of Bijapur remained the capital of the Sultanate throughout its existence. After modest earlier developments, Ibrahim Adil Shah I (1534–1558) and Ali Adil Shah I (1558–1580) remodelled Bijapur, providing the citadel and city walls, Friday Mosque, core royal palaces and major water supply infrastructure. Their successors, Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580–1627), Mohammed Adil Shah (1627–1657) and Ali Adil Shah II (1657–1672), further adorned Bijapur with palaces, mosques, mausolea and other structures, considered to be some of the finest examples of Deccan Sultanate and Indo-Islamic Architecture.


Bijapur was caught up in the instability and conflict resulting from the collapse of the Bahmani Empire. Constant warring, both with the Vijayanagar Empire and the other Deccan Sultanates, curtailed the development of state before the Deccan Sultanates allied to achieve victory over Vijayanagar at Talikota in 1565. Bijapur eventually conquered the neighbouring Sultanate of Bidar in 1619. The Portuguese Empire exerted pressure on the major Adil Shahi port of Goa, until it was conquered during the reign of Ibrahim II. The Sultanate was thereafter relatively stable, although it was damaged by the revolt of Shivaji, his father was Maratha commander in the service of Mohammed Adil Shah. Shivaji founded an independent Maratha state which goes to become largest empire in India. The greatest threat to Bijapur's security was, from the late 16th century, the expansion of the Mughal Empire and into the Deccan. Although it may be the case that the Mughals destroyed the Adilshahi it was Shivaji's revolt which weakened the Adilshahi control. Various agreements and treaties imposed Mughal suzerainty on the Adil Shahs, by stages, until Bijapur's formal recognition of Mughal authority in 1636. The demands of their Mughal over-lords sapped the Adil Shahs of their wealth until the Mughal conquest of Bijapur in 1686.

Vijayanagar Empire 1336-1646

a South Indian empire based in the Deccan Plateau. Established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I, it lasted until 1646 although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose impressive ruins surround modern Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in modern Karnataka, India. The writings of medieval European travelers such as Domingo Paes, Fernao Nuniz[1] and Niccolò Da Conti and the literature in local vernaculars provide crucial information about its history. Archaeological excavations at Vijayanagara have revealed the empire's power and wealth.


The empire's legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known being the group at Hampi. The previous temple building traditions in South India came together in the Vijayanagara Architecture style. The mingling of all faiths and vernaculars inspired architectural innovation of Hindu temple construction, first in the Deccan and later in the Dravidian idioms using the local granite. Secular royal structures show the influence of the Northern Deccan Sultanate architecture. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies like water management systems for irrigation. The empire's patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in the languages of Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor.

The Portuguese acquired several territories from the Sultans of Gujarat: Daman (occupied 1531, formally ceded 1539); Salsette, Bombay, and Baçaim  Vashi (occupied 1534); and Diu (ceded 1535).

These possessions became the Northern Province of Portuguese India, which extended almost 100 km along the coast from Daman to Chaul, and in places 30–50 km inland. The province was ruled from the fortress-town of Baçaim. Bombay (present day Mumbai) was given to Britain in 1661 as part of the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza's dowry to Charles II of England. Most of the Northern Province was lost to the Marathas in 1739, and Portugal acquired Dadra and Nagar Haveli in 1779.

Portuguese in Kerala- 1498 to 1660 Though the Portuguese were in Goa from 1530 till 1960, the Portuguese under Vasco Da Gama first came to Calicut in 1498 and then shifted their base to Kochi and Kollam, where they ruled (or influenced the rule) and had their major presence for nearly 160 years changing the course of history in regard to politics, religion and trade in Kerala. From their base in Northern Kerala, they were able to defeat the Vijayanagar kings and shift their capital to Goa in 1530 or so.

The Luz Church in Mylapore, Madras (Chennai) was the first church that the Portuguese built in Madras before the Portuguese discovered (?) the remains of St. Thomas in San Thome and built the San Thome church. The Portguese came to Madras (Mylapore) in 1523.


Thus there are Portuguese footprints all over the western and eastern coasts of India, though Goa became the capital of Portuguese Goa from 1530 onwards until the liberation of Goa and its merger with the Indian Union in 1961.



Queen Elizabeth I 7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603

Defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588 has associated her name forever with what is popularly viewed as one of the greatest victories in English history.

East India Company

The East India Company was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies – (lands to the east of Africa), but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The Company was granted an English Royal Charter, under the name Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies, by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600

James I 1603-1625

On 24 March 1603, as James I, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died without issue.[2] He then ruled the kingdom of England, Scotland, and Ireland for 22 years, often using the title King of Great Britain, until his death at the age of 58.[3]

In 1615, Sir Thomas Roe was instructed by James I to visit the Mughal Emperor Nuruddin Salim Jahangir (r. 1605 - 1627) to arrange for a commercial treaty which would give the Company exclusive rights to reside and build factories in Surat and other areas. In return, the Company offered to provide the Emperor with goods and rarities from the European market. This mission was highly successful as Jahangir sent a letter to James through Sir Thomas Roe:

“Upon which assurance of your royal love I have given my general command to all the kingdoms and ports of my dominions to receive all the merchants of the English nation as the subjects of my friend; that in what place soever they choose to live, they may have free liberty without any restraint; and at what port soever they shall arrive, that neither Portugal nor any other shall dare to molest their quiet; and in what city soever they shall have residence, I have commanded all my governors and captains to give them freedom answerable to their own desires; to sell, buy, and to transport into their country at their pleasure.

For confirmation of our love and friendship, I desire your Majesty to command your merchants to bring in their ships of all sorts of rarities and rich goods fit for my palace; and that you be pleased to send me your royal letters by every opportunity, that I may rejoice in your health and prosperous affairs; that our friendship may be interchanged and eternal.”[12]

Bengal Presidency

Bengal, was a colonial region of British India, which comprised undivided Bengal, which is present day Bangladesh and West Bengal, as well as the states Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Orissa and Tripura. Later at its height, gradually added, were the annexed princely states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab in India, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh and portions of Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra in present day India, including the provinces of North West Frontier and Punjab in Pakistan, and Burma (present day Myanmar). Penang and Singapore were also considered to be administratively a part of the Presidency until they were incorporated into the Crown Colony of the Straits Settlements in 1867. Calcutta was declared a Presidency Town of the East India Company in 1699, but the beginnings of the Bengal Presidency proper can be dated from the treaties of 1765 between the East India Company and the Mughal Emperor and Nawab of Oudh which placed Bengal, Meghalaya, Bihar and Orissa under the administration of the Company. The Presidency of Bengal, in contradistinction to those of Madras and Bombay, eventually included all the British territories North of the Central Provinces (Madhya Pradesh), from the mouths of the Ganges and Brahmaputra to the Himalayas and the Punjab. In 1831 the North-Western Provinces were created, which were subsequently included with Oudh in the United Provinces (Uttar Pradesh); Just before the First World War the whole of Northern India was divided into the four lieutenant-governorships of the Punjab, the United Provinces, Bengal, and Eastern Bengal and Assam, and the North-West Frontier Province under a Commissioner.


 But a city called Bangala, near Chittagong, which, although now washed away, is supposed to have existed in the Muslim period, appears to have given the name to the European world. The word Bangala was first used by the Muslim rulers; and under their rule, like the Bangla pre-Muslim times, it applied specifically to the Gangetic delta, although the later conquests to the east of the Brahmaputra were eventually included within it. In their distribution of the country for fiscal purposes, it formed the central province of a governorship, with Bihar on the north-west, and Orissa on the south-west, jointly ruled by one deputy of the Delhi emperor. Under the English the name has at different periods borne very different significations. Francis Fernandez applies it to the country from the extreme east of Chittagong to Point Palmyras in Orissa, with a coast line which Purchas estimates at 600 m., running inland for the same distance and watered by the Ganges. This territory would include the Muslim province of Bengal, with parts of Bihar and Orissa. The loose idea thus derived from old voyagers became stereotyped in the archives of the East India Company. All its north-eastern factories, from Balasore, on the Orissa coast, to Patna, in the heart of Bihar, belonged to the Bengal Establishment, and as British conquests crept higher up the rivers, the term came to be applied to the whole of Northern India.


The East India Company formed its earliest settlements in Bengal in the first half of the 17th century. These settlements were of a purely commercial character. In 1620 one of the Company’s factors was based in Patna; in 1624-1636 the Company established itself, by the favour of the emperor, on the ruins of the ancient Portuguese settlement of Pippli, in the north of Orissa; in 1640-1642 an English surgeon, Gabriel Boughton, obtained establishments at Balasore, also in Orissa, and at Hughli, some miles above Calcutta, where the Portuguese already had a settlement. The difficulties which the Company’s early agents encountered more than once almost induced them to abandon the trade, and in 1677-1678 they threatened to withdraw from Bengal altogether. In 1685, the Bengal factors, seeking greater security for their trade purchased from the grandson of Aurangzeb, in 1696, the villages which have since grown up into Calcutta, the metropolis of India, namely Kalikata, Sutanuti and Govindpur. They were given exemption from trade duties and exactions in part of Bengal in 1717 by the Emperor Farrukhsiyar. During the next forty years the British had a long and hazardous struggle alike with the Mughal governors of the province and the Maratha armies which invaded it. In 1756 this struggle culminated in the fall of Calcutta to Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah followed by Clive’s battle of Plassey and recapture of the city. The Battle of Buxar established British military supremacy in Bengal, and procured the treaties of 1765, by which the provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa passed under British administration. The other important institution which emerged in this period was the Bengal Army.


.Bombay – Surat - Presidency

In 1608, ships from the British East India Company started docking in Surat, using it as a trade and transit point. In 1613, the British Captain Best, followed by Captain Downton, overcame Portuguese naval supremacy and obtained an imperial firman establishing a British factory at Surat following the Battle of Swally. The city was made the seat of a presidency under the British East India Company after the success of the embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to the court of emperor Jehangir. The Dutch also founded a factory

The naval Battle of Swally took place on 29-30 November 1612 off the coast of Suvali (anglicised to Swally) 21°10′N 72°37′E / 21.167°N 72.617°E / 21.167; 72.617, a village near the city of Surat, Gujarat, India, and was a victory for four British East India Company galleons over four Portuguese naus and 26 barks (rowing vessels with no armament).

Coincidentally, on September 13, 1612 a squadron of 16 Portuguese barks sailed into Surat. On September 22, 1612 Captain Best decided to send an emissary to the Emperor asking for permission to trade and settle a factory at Surat. If refused he planned to quit the country.[1] This may have been partly because King James I had extended the Company’s charter in 1609 on the basis that it would be cancelled if no profitable ventures were concluded within three years.


On September 30, 1612 Captain Best got news that two of his men, Mr Canning (the purser) and William Chambers were arrested while on shore. Fearing the worst, Captain Best detained a ship belonging to the Governor of Gujarat and offered to release it in exchange for his men.


On October 10 Captain Best and his ships sailed to Suvali, a small town about 12 miles North of Surat. This may have been because the Governor (Sardar Khan?) was battling a Rajput rebellion at a fort situated in the town. Between 17-21 October, amidst negotiations he managed to obtain a treaty with the Governor allowing trading privileges, subject to ratification by the Emperor.


On November 27, Captain Best was advised by his men on shore that a squadron of four Portuguese ships was sailing up to attack him.


The Portuguese ships (four great galleons and some twenty-six oared barks) arrived on the 28th, and anchored outside the roadstead placing the English vessels between themselves and the town.


A skirmish took place between the two navies on the 29th without much damage to either side.


At daylight on the 30 November, Captain Best in Dragon sailed through the four larger Portuguese ships running three of them aground, and was joined by Hosiander on the other side. The Portuguese managed to get the three galleons refloated.

At 9  pm that night in an attempt to set the English ships alight, a bark was sent towards them as a fire ship. But the English watch was alert, and the bark was sunk by cannon fire with the loss of eight lives.

A standoff remained until the 5 December, when Captain Best sailed for the port of Diu.

Maratha Empire 1674-1818

Maratha Confederacy was a Hindu state located in present-day India. It existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire’s territories covered much of South Asia.

After a lifetime of exploits and guerrilla warfare with Adilshah of Bijapur and Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the local king Shivaji founded an independent Maratha kingdom in 1674 with Raigad as its capital. Shivaji died in 1680, leaving a large, but vulnerably located kingdom. The Mughals invaded, fighting an unsuccessful War of 27 years from 1681 to 1707.

The Maratha Empire was at its height in the 18th century under Shahu and the Peshwa Baji Rao I. Losses at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 suspended further expansion of the empire in the North-west and reduced the power of the Peshwas. In 1761, after severe losses in the Panipat war, the Peshwas slowly started losing the control of the kingdom. Many sardars like Shinde, Holkar, Gaikwad, PantPratinidhi, Bhosale of Nagpur, Pandit of Bhor, Patwardhan, and Newalkar started to work towards their ambition of becoming kings in their respective regions. However, under Madhavrao Peshwa, Maratha authority in North India was restored, 10 years after the battle of Panipat. After the death of Madhavrao, the empire gave way to a loose Confederacy, with political power resting in a ‘pentarchy’ of five mostly Maratha dynasties: the Peshwas of Pune; the Sindhias (originally “Shindes”) of Malwa and Gwalior; the Holkars of Indore; the Bhonsles of Nagpur; and the Gaekwads of Baroda. A rivalry between the Sindhia and Holkar dominated the confederation’s affairs into the early 19th century, as did the clashes with the British and the British East India Company in the three Anglo-Maratha Wars. In the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was defeated by the British in 1818. Most of the former Maratha Empire was absorbed by British India, although some of the Maratha states persisted as quasi-independent princely states until India became independent in 1947.

Third Battle of Panipat in 1761

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on January 14, 1761 at Panipat (Haryana State, India), situated at 29°23′N 76°58′E / 29.39°N 76.97°E / 29.39; 76.97 about 60 miles (95.5 km) north of Delhi. The battle pitted the French-supplied[1] artillery of the Marathas against the heavy cavalry of the Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali. The battle is considered one of the largest battles fought in the 18th century.[2]

The decline of the Mughal Empire had led to territorial gains for the Maratha Confederacy. Ahmad Shah Abdali, amongst others, was unwilling to allow the Marathas’ gains to go unchecked. In 1759, he raised an army from the Pashtun tribes with help from the Baloch people and made several gains against the smaller garrisons. The Marathas, under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau, responded by gathering an army of 100,000 people with which they ransacked the Mughal capital of Delhi. There followed a series of skirmishes along the banks of the river Yamuna at Karnal and Kunjpura 29°42′57″N 77°4′49″E / 29.71583°N 77.08028°E / 29.71583; 77.08028 which eventually turned into a two-month-long siege led by Abdali against the Marathas.

The specific site of the battle itself is disputed by historians but most consider it to have occurred somewhere near modern day Kaalaa Aamb and Sanauli Road. The battle lasted for several days and involved over 125,000 men. Protracted skirmishes occurred, with losses and gains on both sides. The forces led by Ahmad Shah Durrani came out victorious after destroying several Maratha flanks. The extent of the losses on both sides is heavily disputed by historians, but it is believed that between 60,000–70,000 were killed in fighting, while numbers of the injured and prisoners taken vary considerably. The result of the battle was the halting of the Maratha advances in the North.

Gun Powder Plot

On the eve of the state opening of the second session of James’s first Parliament, on 5 November 1605, a soldier named Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellars of the parliament buildings guarding a pile of wood, not far from 36 barrels of gunpowder with which he intended to blow up Parliament House the following day and cause the destruction,  The sensational discovery of the Catholic Gunpowder Plot, as it quickly became known, aroused a mood of national relief at the delivery of the king and his sons which Salisbury exploited to extract higher subsidies from the ensuing Parliament than any but one granted to Elizabeth.[57]

The moment of co-operation between monarch and Parliament following the Gunpowder plot represented a deviation from the norm

As James’s reign progressed, his government faced growing financial pressures, In February 1610 Salisbury, a believer in parliamentary participation in government,[61] proposed a scheme, known as the Great Contract, whereby Parliament, in return for ten royal concessions, would grant a lump sum of £600,000 to pay off the king’s debts plus an annual grant of £200,000. James then ruled without parliament until 1621, employing officials such as the businessman Lionel Cranfield, who were astute at raising and saving money for the crown, and sold earldoms and other dignities, many created for the purpose, as an alternative source of income.[65]

The Gunpowder Plot reinforced James’s oppression of non-conforming English Catholics; and he sanctioned harsh measures for controlling them. In May 1606, Parliament passed the Popish Recusants Act requiring every citizen to take an Oath of Allegiance denying the Pope’s authority over the king.[82] James was conciliatory towards Catholics who took the Oath of Allegiance,[83] and he tolerated crypto-Catholicism even at court.[84] However, in practice he enacted even harsher measures against Catholics than were laid upon them by Elizabeth. A notable success of the Hampton Court Conference was the commissioning of a new translation and compilation of approved books of the Bible to confirm the divine right of kings to rule and to maintain the social hierarchy, completed in 1611, which became known as the King James Bible, considered a masterpiece of Jacobean prose.[87]

The King James Version (“KJV”) of the Bible was dedicated to him, being published in 1611 as a result of the Hampton Court Conference which he had convened to resolve issues with translations then being used. This translation of the Bible is still in widespread use today.

In Scotland, James attempted to bring the Scottish kirk “so neir as can be” to the English church and reestablish the episcopacy, a policy which met with strong opposition.[88] In 1618, James’s bishops forced his Five Articles of Perth through a General Assembly; but the rulings were widely resisted.[89] James was to leave the church in Scotland divided at his death, a source of future problems for his son.[90]

Bombay Presidency

The Bombay Presidency was a former province of British India. It was established in the 17th century as a trading post for the British East India Company, but later grew to encompass much of western and central India, as well as parts of post-partition Pakistan and the Arabian Peninsula.

At its greatest extent, the Bombay Presidency comprised the present-day state of Gujarat, the western two-thirds of Maharashtra state, including the regions of Konkan, Desh, and Kandesh, and northwestern Karnataka state of India; It also included Pakistan’s Sindh province and the British territory of Aden in Yemen. It consisted partly of districts, which were directly under British rule, and partly of native or princely states, which were ruled by local rulers under the administration of a governor.

The first British settlement in the Bombay Presidency was in 1618, when the East India Company established a factory at Surat in present-day Gujarat, protected by a charter obtained from the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. In 1626 the Dutch and British made an unsuccessful attempt to gain possession of the island of Bombay in the coastal Konkan region from Portugal, and in 1653 proposals were suggested for its purchase from the Portuguese. In 1661 it was ceded to the British crown, as part of the dowry of the infanta Catherine of Braganza on her marriage with Charles II of England. So lightly was the acquisition esteemed in England and so unsuccessful was the administration of the crown officers, that in 1668 Bombay was transferred to the East India Company for an annual payment of £10. At the time of the transfer, powers for its defence and for the administration of justice were also conferred; a European regiment[1] was enrolled; and the fortifications erected proved sufficient to deter the Dutch from their intended attack in 1673. In 1687 Bombay was placed at the head of all the Company’s possessions in India; but in 1753 the government of Bombay became subordinate to that of Calcutta.

Madras Presidency

During  the reign of King James I, Sir William Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe were sent to negotiate with the Mughal Emperor Jahangir for the establishment of factories in India on behalf of the Company.[10] The first factories of the English East India Company were established at Surat on India’s west coast[11] and Masulipatam on India’s eastern seaboard.[12] Of the trading posts on India’s east coast, Masulipatnam is the oldest having been established in the year 1611.The port is only a roadstead, where vessels anchor 5 m. out. A branch line from Vijayawada on the Southern Mahratta railway was opened in 1908. The port of Machilipatnam today is in need of modernization. It has not seen any ships in the last decade. In its heyday, the port used to handle exports of items weighing more than 2.7 lakh tonnes and imports of 37,000 tonnes. It used to export Iron Ore to Japan.[6] In January 2006, the Government of Andhra Pradesh revealed plans to revive the Machilipatnam port at a cost of Rs. 1200 crores. It has allocated 6000 acres (24 km2) of land for the project.[7]  In 1625, another factory was established at Armagon a few miles southward and both the factories were placed under the administration of an Agency based at Machilipatnam.[12] However, soon after the establishment of these factories, the British authorities, owing to the lack of purchasable cotton cloth, their chief item of trade on the east coast, as well as annoyances from the Sultan of Golconda’s  (Golkonda (or Golconda) Telugu గోల్కొండ , a ruined city of south-central India and capital of ancient Kingdom of Golkonda (c. 1364–1512)., is situated west of Hyderabad.) local officers, felt the need to move their new factory to a location farther south.[12] Francis Day was sent southward for this purpose and after negotiating with the Raja of Chandragiri, succeeded in obtaining the land grant for setting up a factory in the village of Madraspatnam.[12] A fort was constructed at the aforesaid place and christened Fort St George     It succeeded in purchasing a piece of coastal land, originally called Madraspattinam (Channapatnam - by a few accounts.), from a Vijayanagar chieftain named Chennappa Nayaka based in Chandragiri, where it began construction of a harbour and a fort. The fort was completed on April 23, coinciding with St. George's Day, celebrated in honour of St. George, the patron saint of England. The fort, hence christened Fort St. George faced the sea and a few fishing villages, and soon became the hub of merchant activity.

An agency was created to govern this new settlement and factor Andrew Cogan of Masulipatnam was deputed as the first Agent. All the agencies along India’s east coast were subordinate to the presidency of Bantam in Java. By 1641, Fort St. George had been raised to the position of the Company’s head-quarters on the Coromandel Coast.

The Presidency had its origins in the Agency of Fort St George established by the British East India Company soon after the purchase of the village of Madraspatnam in 1639. However, there have been Company factories at Machilipatnam and Armagon ever since the early 1600s. Madras was upgraded to a Presidency in 1652 before reverting to its previous status as an Agency. In 1684, Madras was elevated to a Presidency once again and Elihu Yale was appointed its first President. From 1785 onwards, as per the provisions of the Pitt’s India Act, the ruler of the Presidency of Fort St George was styled Governor instead of President and was made subordinate to the Governor-General at Calcutta. Madras made a significant contribution to the Indian freedom movement in the early decades of the 20th century. Madras was the first province in British India where the system of dyarchy was first implemented. The Presidency was dissolved when India became independent on August 15, 1947. On January 26, 1950, when the Republic of India was inaugurated, Madras was admitted as one of the states of the Indian Union.

Madras was one of the three provinces originally established by the British East India Company as per the terms of the Pitt’s India Act. The head of state held the title of Agent from 1640 to 1652 and 1655 to 1684, and President from 1652 to 1655 and 1684 to 1785, and Governor from 1785 to 1947. The judicial, legislative and executive powers are rested in the Governor who is assisted by a Council whose constitution has been modified by reforms enacted in 1861, 1909, 1919 and 1935. As per the Montague-Chelmsford reforms of 1919, a system of dyarchy was established and regular elections were conducted till the outbreak of the Second World War. The head of the government was known as Prime Minister. In 1908, the province comprised 22 districts each under a District Collector. Each district was further sub-divided into taluks and firqas. The smallest unit of administration was the village.

Charles I 1625-1649

Successor         Charles II (de jure)

Council of State (de facto)

Charles I, (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649), was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his regicide.[1] Charles famously engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England. He was an advocate of the Divine Right of Kings,[2] which was the belief that kings received their power from God and thus could not be deposed (unlike the similar Mandate of Heaven). Many of his English subjects feared that he was attempting to gain absolute power. Many of his actions, particularly the levying of taxes without Parliament’s consent, caused widespread opposition.[3]

Religious conflicts permeated Charles’ reign. He married a Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria of France, over the objections of Parliament and public opinion.[4][5] He further allied himself with controversial religious figures, including the ecclesiastic Richard Montagu and William Laud, whom Charles appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Many of Charles’s subjects felt this brought the Church of England too close to Roman Catholicism. Charles’s later attempts to force religious reforms upon Scotland led to the Bishops’ Wars that weakened England’s government and helped precipitate his downfall.

His last years were marked by the English Civil War, in which he fought the forces of the English and Scottish Parliaments, which challenged his attempts to augment his own power, and the Puritans, who were hostile to his religious policies and supposed Catholic sympathies. Charles was defeated in the First Civil War (1642–45), after which Parliament expected him to accept its demands for a constitutional monarchy. He instead remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Wight. This provoked the Second Civil War (1648–49) and a second defeat for Charles, who was subsequently captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high treason. The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England, also referred to as the Cromwellian Interregnum, was declared. Charles’s son, Charles II, became king after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.[3] In that same year, Charles I was canonized by the Church of England.[6]

Charles II 1660-1685

Charles II (29 May 1630 OS – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Charles II’s father King Charles I was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War. The English Parliament did not proclaim Charles II king at this time. Instead they passed a statute making such a proclamation unlawful. England entered the period known to history as the English Interregnum or the English Commonwealth and the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell. The Parliament of Scotland, however, proclaimed Charles II King of Scots on 5 February 1649 in Edinburgh. He was crowned King of Scots at Scone on 1 January 1651. Following his defeat by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, Charles fled to mainland Europe and spent the next nine years in exile in France, the United Provinces and the Spanish Netherlands.

Oliver Cromwell 1599-1658

Oliver Cromwell (born April 25, 1599 Old Style, died September 3, 1658 Old Style) was an English military and political leader best known for his involvement in making England into a republican Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was one of the commanders of the New Model Army which defeated the royalists in the English Civil War. After the execution of King Charles I in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658.

Cromwell was born into the ranks of the middle gentry, and remained relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life. At times his lifestyle resembled that of a yeoman farmer until his finances were boosted thanks to an inheritance from his uncle. After undergoing a religious conversion during the same decade, he made an Independent style of Puritanism a core tenet of his life. Cromwell was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Cambridge in the Short (1640) and Long (1640-49) Parliaments, and later entered the English Civil War on the side of the “Roundheads” or Parliamentarians.

An effective soldier (nicknamed “Old Ironsides”), he rose from leading a single cavalry troop to command of the entire army. Cromwell was the third person to sign Charles I’s death warrant in 1649 and was an MP in the Rump Parliament (1649-1653), being chosen by the Rump to take command of the English campaign in Ireland during 1649-50. He then led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650-51. On April 20, 1653 he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as the Barebones Parliament before being made Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland on 16 December 1653 until his death. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, but when the Royalists returned to power in 1660, his corpse was dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded.

Cromwell has been a very controversial figure in the history of the British Isles – a regicidal dictator to some historians (such as David Hume and Christopher Hill) and a hero of liberty to others (such as Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Rawson Gardiner). In Britain he was elected as one of the Top 10 Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll.[1] His measures against Irish Catholics have been characterized by some historians as genocidal or near-genocidal,[2] and in Ireland itself he is widely hated.[3][4]

English Civil War 1641-1651

The English Civil War (1641–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists. The first (1642–46) and second (1648–49) civil wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third war (1649–51) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The Civil War ended with the Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.

The Civil War led to the trial and execution of Charles I, the exile of his son, Charles II, and replacement of English monarchy with first, the Commonwealth of England (1649–53), and then with a Protectorate (1653–59), under Oliver Cromwell’s personal rule. The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament’s consent, although this concept was legally established only with the Glorious Revolution later in the century.

A political crisis following the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in Charles being invited to return and assume the throne in what became known as the Restoration. Charles II arrived on English soil on 27 May 1660 and entered London on his 30th birthday, 29 May 1660. After 1660, all legal documents were dated as if Charles had succeeded his father in 1649. Charles was crowned King of England and Ireland at Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1661.

Charles’s English parliament enacted anti-Puritan laws known as the Clarendon Code, designed to shore up the position of the re-established Church of England. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code even though he himself favoured a policy of religious tolerance. The major foreign policy issue of Charles’s early reign was the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1670, Charles entered into the secret treaty of Dover, an alliance with his first cousin King Louis XIV of France under the terms of which Louis agreed to aid Charles in the Third Anglo-Dutch War and pay Charles a pension, and Charles promised to convert to Roman Catholicism at an unspecified future date. Charles attempted to introduce religious freedom for Catholics and Protestant dissenters with his 1672 Royal Declaration of Indulgence, but the English Parliament forced him to withdraw it. In 1679, Titus Oates’s revelations of a supposed “Popish Plot” sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles’s brother and heir (James, Duke of York) was a Roman Catholic. This crisis saw the birth of the pro-exclusion Whig and anti-exclusion Tory parties. Charles sided with the Tories, and, following the discovery of the Rye House Plot to murder Charles and James in 1683, some Whig leaders were killed or forced into exile. Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1679, and ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685. He converted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed.

Charles was popularly known as the Merrie Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court and the general relief at the return to normality after over a decade of rule by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles’s wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no children, but Charles acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate children by various mistresses.

. In 1626 the Dutch and British made an unsuccessful attempt to gain possession of the island of Bombay in the coastal Konkan region from Portugal, and in 1653 proposals were suggested for its purchase from the Portuguese. In 1661 it was ceded to the British crown, as part of the dowry of the infanta Catherine of Braganza on her marriage with Charles II of England. So lightly was the acquisition esteemed in England and so unsuccessful was the administration of the crown officers, that in 1668 Bombay was transferred to the East India Company for an annual payment of £10. At the time of the transfer, powers for its defence and for the administration of justice were also conferred; a European regiment[1] was enrolled; and the fortifications erected proved sufficient to deter the Dutch from their intended attack in 1673. In 1687 Bombay was placed at the head of all the Company’s possessions in India; but in 1753 the government of Bombay became

James II 1685-1701

James II & VII (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701)[2] was King of England and Ireland as James II, and Scotland as James VII,[1] from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Some of James’s subjects were unhappy with James’s belief in absolute monarchy and opposed his religious policies, leading a group of them to depose him in the Glorious Revolution. The Parliament of England deemed James to have abdicated on 11 December 1688. The Parliament of Scotland on 11 April 1689 declared him to have forfeited the throne. He was replaced not by his Catholic son, James Francis Edward, but by his Protestant daughter, Mary II, and his son-in-law, William III. William and Mary became joint rulers in 1689. James II made one serious attempt to recover his crowns, when he landed in Ireland in 1689 but, after the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamite forces at the Battle of the Boyne in the summer of 1690, James returned to France. He lived out the rest of his life under the protection of his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV.

James is best known for his belief in absolute monarchy and his attempts to create religious liberty for his subjects. Both of these went against the wishes of the English Parliament and of most of his subjects. Parliament, opposed to the growth of absolutism that was occurring in other European countries, as well as to the loss of legal supremacy for the Church of England, saw their opposition as a way to preserve what they regarded as traditional English liberties. This tension made James’s three-year reign a struggle for supremacy between the English Parliament and the Crown, resulting in his deposition, the passage of the English Bill of Rights, and the Hanoverian succession.

Expansion of Madras Presidency

In 1684, Madras was once again elevated to the status of a Presidency and William Gyfford was appointed as the first President.[17] During this period, the Presidency expanded manifold reaching its present dimensions in the early 1800s. At the same time, the early years of Madras Presidency were tormentous as the British had to bear the repeated attacks of the powerful Mughals, Marathas and the Nawabs of Golconda and Carnatic.[18] In September 1746, Fort St George was taken by the French who ruled Madras as a part of French India till 1749 when Madras was made over to the British as per the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle.[19] On September 1774, by the terms of the Pitt’s India Act, which was passed by the British Parliament to the regulate the administration of territories owned by the British East India Company and to create an unified authority, the President of Madras was made subordinate to the Governor-General based at Calcutta.[20]

William III 1689-1702

William III (14 November 1650 – 8 March 1702)[1] was a sovereign Prince of Orange by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland, and as William II over Scotland.[2] He is informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as “King Billy”. A member of the House of Orange-Nassau, William won the English, Scottish and Irish crowns following the Glorious Revolution, in which his uncle and father-in-law James II was deposed. In England, Scotland and Ireland, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II, until her death on 28 December 1694.

A Protestant, William participated in several wars against the powerful Catholic king of France, Louis XIV, in coalition with Protestant and Catholic powers in Europe. Many Protestants heralded him as a champion of their faith. Largely due to that reputation, William was able to take the British crowns when many were fearful of a revival of Catholicism under James. William’s victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is commemorated by the Orange Institution in Northern Ireland to this day. His reign marked the beginning of the transition from the personal rule of the Stuarts to the more Parliament-centred rule of the House of Hanover.

East India Company ….

After a rival English company challenged its monopoly in the late 17th century, the two companies were merged in 1708 to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, commonly styled the Honourable East India Company, and abbreviated, HEIC; the Company was colloquially referred to as John Company, and in India as Company Bahadur (Hindustani bahādur, “brave”).

George I     1714-1727

George I (George Louis; German: Georg Ludwig; 28 May 1660 – 11 June 1727)[1] was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 until his death, and ruler of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698.

George was born in Lower Saxony in what is now Germany, and eventually inherited the title and lands of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, and in 1708 he was ratified as Prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of Queen Anne, he ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Although over fifty Catholics bore closer blood relationships to Anne, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the throne, and George was Anne’s closest living Protestant relative. In reaction, the Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Anne’s Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed.

During George’s reign the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of Cabinet government led by a Prime Minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual power was held by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain’s first de facto Prime Minister. George died on a trip to his native Hanover, where he was buried.

George II    1727-1760

George II (George Augustus; German: Georg II. August; 10 November 1683[1] – 25 October 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.

Battle of Plassey 1757

The battle was waged during the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) and in a mirror of their European rivalry, the French East India Company sent a small contingent to fight against the British. Siraj-ud-Daulah had a numerically superior force and made his stand at Plassey. The British, worried about being outnumbered and so promising huge amounts in bribes, reached out to Siraj-ud-Daulah’s deposed army chief - Mir Jafar, along with others such as Yar Latif, Jagat Seth, Maharaja Krishna Nath and Rai Durlabh. Mir Jafar thus assembled his troops near the battlefield, but made no move to actually join the battle, causing Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army to be defeated. Siraj-ud-Daulah fled, eventually to be captured and executed. As a result, the entire province of Bengal fell to the Company, with Mir Jafar appointed as the Company’s puppet Nawab.

This is judged to be one of the pivotal battles leading to the formation of the British Empire in South Asia. The enormous wealth gained from the Bengal treasury, and access to a massive source of foodgrains and taxes allowed the Company to significantly strengthen its military might, and opened the way for British colonial rule, mass economic exploitation and cultural domination in nearly all of South Asia. The battles that followed strengthened the British foothold in South Asia and paved way for British colonial rule in Asia.

Pôlash (Bengali: পলাশ), an extravagant red flowering tree (Flame of the forest), gives its name to a small village near the battlefield. A phonetically accurate romanization of the Bengali name would be Battle of Palashi, but the anglicised spelling “Plassey” is now conventional in English.

Company rule in India, which effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, lasted until 1858, when, following the events of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and under the Government of India Act 1858, the British Crown assumed direct administration of India in the new British Raj. The Company itself was finally dissolved on 1 January 1874, as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act.

George II was the last British monarch to have been born outside Great Britain, and was famous for his numerous conflicts with his father and, subsequently, with his son. As king, he exercised little control over policy in his early reign, the government instead being controlled by Great Britain’s parliament. Before that, most kings possessed great power over their parliaments. King George II was the last British monarch to lead an army in battle (at Dettingen, in 1743).

George III 1760-1820

George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738[1] – 29 January 1820 [N.S.]) was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. He was concurrently Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and prince-elector of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire until his promotion to King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors he was born in Britain and spoke English as his first language.[2] Despite his long life, he never visited Hanover.[3]

George III’s long reign was marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years’ War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India.

The war began with Frederick the Great of Prussia’s invasion of Saxony. Fighting between Britain, France and their respective allies in North America had broken out in 1754, two years before the general conflict, as part of an Imperial rivalry. The fighting in America is sometimes considered a separate war, the French and Indian War.

The name French and Indian War refers to the two main enemies of the British: the royal French forces and the various Native American forces allied with them. The conflict, the fourth such colonial war between the nations of France and Great Britain, resulted in the British conquest of Canada. The outcome was one of the most significant developments in a century of Anglo-French conflict. To compensate its ally, Spain, for its loss of Florida to the British, France ceded its control of French Louisiana west of the Mississippi. France’s colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the tiny islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Britain’s position as the dominant colonial power in North America.

French settlers moved southward to the Louisiana, along the Ohio and the Mississippi valleys. France allied with the majority of the First Nations in North American, with the intent of defeating the British. According to one observer:    “All the Indian nations were called together and invited to join and assist the French to repulse the British who came to drive them out of the land they were then in possession of.”[5]

However, many of its American colonies were soon lost in the American Revolutionary War, which led to the establishment of the United States. A series of wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France, over a twenty-year period, finally concluded in the defeat of Napoleon in 1815.

In the later half of his life, George III suffered from recurrent and, eventually, permanent mental illness. Medical practitioners were baffled by this at the time, although it has since been suggested that he suffered from the blood disease porphyria. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III’s eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent. On George III’s death, the Prince Regent succeeded his father as George IV. Historical analysis of George III’s life has gone through a “kaleidoscope of changing views” which have depended heavily on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources

George IV 1762-1830

George IV (George Augustus Frederick; 12 August 1762 – 26 June 1830) was the king of Hanover and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father’s relapse into insanity from an illness that is now suspected to have been porphyria.[1]

George IV is remembered largely for his extravagant lifestyle that contributed to the fashions of the British Regency. By 1797 his weight had reached 17 stone 7 pounds (111 kg or 245 lb),[2] and by 1824 his corset was made for a waist of 50 inches (127 cm).[3] He was a patron of new forms of leisure, style and taste. He commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, and Sir Jeffry Wyatville to rebuild Windsor Castle. He was largely instrumental in the foundation of the National Gallery, London and King’s College London.

Soon after he reached the age of 21, the Prince of Wales fell in love with a Roman Catholic, Maria Anne Fitzherbert, who was a widow twice over; her first husband, Edward Weld, died in 1775, and her second husband, Thomas Fitzherbert, in 1781.[10] The Act of Settlement 1701 declared those who married Roman Catholics ineligible to succeed to the Throne, and a marriage between the two was prohibited by the Royal Marriages Act 1772, under which the Prince of Wales could not marry without the consent of the King, which would have never been granted. Nevertheless, the couple contracted a marriage on 15 December 1785 at her house in Park Street, Mayfair. Legally the union was void as the King’s assent was never requested.[11] However, Mrs. Fitzherbert believed that she was the Prince of Wales’s canonical and true wife, holding the law of the Church to be superior to the law of the State. For political reasons, the union remained secret and Mrs. Fitzherbert promised not to publish any evidence relating to it.[12]

The Prince of Wales was plunged into debt by his exorbitant lifestyle. His father refused to assist him, forcing him to quit Carlton House and live at Mrs. Fitzherbert’s residence. In 1787, the Prince of Wales’s allies in the House of Commons introduced a proposal to relieve his debts with a parliamentary grant. The prince’s personal relationship with Mrs. Fitzherbert was suspected, but revelation of the illegal marriage would have scandalized the nation and doomed any parliamentary proposal to aid him. Acting on the prince’s authority, the Whig leader Charles James Fox declared that the story was a calumny.[13] Mrs. Fitzherbert was not pleased with the public denial of the marriage in such vehement terms and contemplated severing her ties to the prince. He appeased her by asking another Whig, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, to restate Fox’s forceful declaration in more careful words. Parliament, meanwhile, was sufficiently pleased to grant the Prince of Wales £161,000 for the payment of his debts and £60,000 for improvements to Carlton House.[7][14]

[edit] Regency crisis of 1788

It is now believed that King George III suffered from the hereditary disease porphyria.[15] In the summer of 1788 his mental health deteriorated, but he was nonetheless able to discharge some of his duties and to declare Parliament prorogued from 25 September to 20 November. During the prorogation George III became deranged, posing a threat to his own life, and when Parliament reconvened in November the King could not deliver the customary Speech from the Throne during the State Opening of Parliament. Parliament found itself in an untenable position; according to long-established law it could not proceed to any business until the delivery of the King’s Speech at a State Opening.[13][16]

Although theoretically barred from doing so, Parliament began debating a Regency. In the House of Commons, Charles James Fox declared his opinion that the Prince of Wales was automatically entitled to exercise sovereignty during the King’s incapacity. A contrasting opinion was held by the Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, who argued that, in the absence of a statute to the contrary, the right to choose a Regent belonged to Parliament alone.[17] He even stated that, without parliamentary authority “the Prince of Wales had no more assume the government, than any other individual subject of the country.”[18] Though disagreeing on the principle underlying a Regency, Pitt agreed with Fox that the Prince of Wales would be the most convenient choice for a Regent.[13][16]

The Prince of Wales—though offended by Pitt’s boldness—did not lend his full support to Fox’s philosophy. The prince’s brother, Prince Frederick, Duke of York, declared that the prince would not attempt to exercise any power without previously obtaining the consent of Parliament.[19] Following the passage of preliminary resolutions Pitt outlined a formal plan for the Regency, suggesting that the powers of the Prince of Wales be greatly limited. Among other things, the Prince of Wales would not be able either to sell the King’s property or to grant a peerage to anyone other than a child of the King. The Prince of Wales denounced Pitt’s scheme, declaring it a “project for producing weakness, disorder, and insecurity in every branch of the administration of affairs.”[20] In the interests of the nation, both factions agreed to compromise.[16]

A significant technical impediment to any Regency Bill involved the lack of a Speech from the Throne, which was necessary before Parliament could proceed to any debates or votes. The Speech was normally delivered by the King, but could also be delivered by royal representatives known as Lords Commissioners; but no document could empower the Lords Commissioners to act unless the Great Seal of the Realm was affixed to it. The Seal could not be legally affixed without the prior authorisation of the Sovereign. Pitt and his fellow ministers ignored the last requirement and instructed the Lord Chancellor to affix the Great Seal without the King’s consent, as the act of affixing the Great Seal in itself gave legal force to the Bill. This legal fiction was denounced by Edmund Burke as a “glaring falsehood”,[21] as a “palpable absurdity”,[21] and even as a “forgery, fraud”.[22] The Prince of Wales’s brother, the Duke of York, described the plan as “unconstitutional and illegal.”[20] Nevertheless, others in Parliament felt that such a scheme was necessary to preserve an effective government. Consequently on 3 February 1789, more than two months after it had convened, Parliament was formally opened by an “illegal” group of Lords Commissioners. The Regency Bill was introduced, but before it could be passed the King recovered. The King declared retroactively that the instrument authorising the Lords Commissioners to act was valid.[13][16]

As the Prince of Wales became Prince Regent on 5 January,[33] one of the most important political conflicts facing the country concerned Catholic emancipation, the movement to relieve Roman Catholics of various political disabilities. The Tories, led by the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval, were opposed to Catholic emancipation, while the Whigs supported it. At the beginning of the Regency, the Prince of Wales was expected to support the Whig leader, William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville. He did not, however, immediately put Lord Grenville and the Whigs in office. Influenced by his mother, he claimed that a sudden dismissal of the Tory government would exact too great a toll on the health of the King (a steadfast supporter of the Tories), thereby eliminating any chance of a recovery.[34]

In 1812, when it appeared highly unlikely that the King would recover, the Prince of Wales again failed to appoint a new Whig administration. Instead, he asked the Whigs to join the existing ministry under Spencer Perceval. The Whigs, however, refused to co-operate because of disagreements over Catholic emancipation. Grudgingly, the Prince of Wales allowed Perceval to continue as Prime Minister.[35]

On 10 May 1812, Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham. The Prince Regent was prepared to reappoint all the members of the Perceval ministry under a new leader. The House of Commons formally declared its desire for a “strong and efficient administration”,[36] so the Prince Regent then offered leadership of the government to Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, and afterwards to Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira. He doomed the attempts of both to failure, however, by forcing each to construct a bipartisan ministry at a time when neither party wished to share power with the other. Possibly using the failure of the two peers as a pretext, the Prince Regent immediately reappointed the Perceval administration, with Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, as Prime Minister.[37]

George as Prince Regent, in the robes of the Order of the Garter. Painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1816).

The Tories, unlike Whigs such as Earl Grey, sought to continue the vigorous prosecution of the war in Continental Europe against the powerful and aggressive Emperor of the French, Napoleon I.[38] An anti-French alliance, which included Russia, Prussia, Austria, Britain and several smaller countries, defeated Napoleon in 1814. In the subsequent Congress of Vienna, it was decided that the Electorate of Hanover, a state that had shared a monarch with Britain since 1714, would be raised to a Kingdom, known as the Kingdom of Hanover. Napoleon returned from exile in 1815, but was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, brother of Marquess Wellesley. That same year the British-American War of 1812 came to an end, with neither side victorious.

Also in 1815, George’s brother-in-law the reigning Duke Frederick William of Brunswick was killed fighting at the Battle of Quatre Bras. George became Regent of the Duchy of Brunswick from 16 June 1815 until Duke Charles II came of age on 30 October 1823[39]. The House of Hanover were next in line to the throne of Brunswick after Duke Charles and his younger brother William.

During this period George took an active interest in matters of style and taste, and his associates such as the dandy Beau Brummell and the architect John Nash created the Regency style. In London Nash designed the Regency terraces of Regent’s Park and Regent Street. George took up the new idea of the seaside spa and had the Royal Pavilion in Brighton developed as a fantastical seaside palace, adapted by Nash in the “Indian Gothic” style inspired loosely by the Taj Mahal, with extravagant “Indian” and “Chinese” interiors.[40]

He had a poor relationship with both his father and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, whom he even forbade to attend his coronation. For most of George’s regency and reign, Lord Liverpool controlled the government as Prime Minister. Though George IV played little part in the Napoleonic Wars, he did influence politics. He resisted Catholic emancipation, and introduced the unpopular Pains and Penalties Bill to Parliament in a desperate, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to divorce his wife.


Raja Ram Mohan Roy 1772-1833

was a founder (with Dwarkanath Tagore and other Bengali Brahmins) of the Brahma Sabha in 1828 which engendered the Brahmo Samaj, an influential Indian socio-religious reform movement. His remarkable influence was apparent in the fields of politics, public administration and education as well as religion. He is best known for his efforts to abolish the practice of sati, the Hindu funeral practice in which the widow was compelled to sacrifice herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. It was he who first introduced the word "Hinduism" into the English language in 1816. For his diverse contributions to society, Raja Ram Mohan Roy is regarded as one of the most important figures in the Bengal Renaissance. His efforts to protect Hinduism and Indian rights by participating in British government earned him the title “The Father of Bengal Renaissance” or “The Father of Indian Nation.”

Roy was born in Radhanagore, Bengal, in 1774 [1] (some sources suggest 1772). His family background displayed an interesting religious diversity. His father Ramkanta was a Vaishnavite, while his mother Tarinidevi was from a Shivaite family. This in itself was unusual for Vaishanavites did not commonly marry Shaivites at the time.


    "Thus one parent prepared him for the occupation of a scholar, the sastrin, the other secured for him all the worldly advantage needed to launch a career in the laukik or worldly sphere of public administration. Torn between these two parental ideals from early childhood, Rammohun vacillated the rest of his life, moving from one to the other and back.[2]


However, Ram Mohan Roy was married three times by the time he was ten years old, which fell in the strict framework of his polygamous and caste customs. His first wife died early in his childhood. He conceived two sons, Radhaprasad in 1800 and Ramaprasad in 1812 with his second wife, who later died in 1824. Roy's third wife outlived him.


Roy's early education was controversial. The common version is


    Rammohun started his formal education in the village pathshala where he learned Bengali and some Sankrit and Persian. Later he is said to have studied Persian and Arabic in a madrasa in Patna and after that he was sent to Benares (Kashi) for learning the intricacies of Sanskrit and Hindu scripture, including the Vedas and Upanishads. The dates of his sojourn in both these places is uncertain. However, we will go by the commonly held belief that he was sent to Patna when he was nine years old and two years later to Benares."[3]


The period in which the Raja was born and grew up was, perhaps, the darkest age in modern Indian history. An old society and polity had crumbled down, and a new one had not yet been built in its place. Devastation reigned in the land. All vital limbs of society were paralysed; religious institutions and schools, village and home, agriculture, industry and trade, law and administration, all were in a chaotic condition. An all-round reconstitution and renovation were necessary for the continued existence of social life and order. But what was to be the principle for organisation? For there were three bodies of culture, three bodies of civilisations, which were in conflict, - the Hindu, the Moslem, and the Christian or Occidental; and the question was, - how to find a rapport, of concord, of unity, amongst these heterogeneous, hostile and warring forces. The origin of Modern India lay there. The Raja by his finding of this point of concord and convergence became the Father and Patriarch of Modern India, an India with a composite nationality and a synthetic civilisation; and by the lines of convergence he laid down, as well by the type of personality he developed in and through his own experiences, he pointed the way to the solution of the larger problem of international culture and civilisation in human history, and became a precursor, an archetype, of coming Humanity.[4]

—Brajendra Nath Seal


His faithful contemporary biographer writes,


    "Rammohun with his new found madrasa knowledge of Arabic also tasted the fruit forbidden to Brahmins of Quran and was converted to its strict monotheism. Rammohun's mother Tarini Devi was scandalised and packed her son off to Benares (to study Sanskit and Vedas) before he could take the irrevocable step. In Benares, Rammohun's rebellion continued and he persisted in interpreting the Upanishads through the Holy Quran's monotheist strictures especially against idolatry. Benares, the spiritual seat of traditional Hinduism, was awash with temples to the billion gods of Hindu pantheon, and Rammohun would not complete his formal Vedantic education there. He instead travelled widely (not much is known of where he went, but he is said to have extensively studied Buddhism at this time) to eventually return to his family around 1794 when a search party sent by his father tracked him down to Benares in the company of some Buddhists with similar notions. Between 1794 and 1795 Rammohun stayed with his family attending the family zamindari holdings. There was considerable friction in the family between Rammohun and his father, who died in about 1796 leaving some property to be divided amongst his sons.

Christianity and the early rule of the East India Company (1795 - 1828)

During these overlapping periods, Ram Mohan Roy acted as a political agitator and agent, representing Christian missionaries[5] whilst employed by the East India Company and simultaneously pursuing his vocation as a Pandit. To understand fully this complex period in his life leading up to his eventual Brahmoism is not easy without reference to his peers.


In 1792 the British Baptist shoemaker William Carey published his influential missionary tract "An Enquiry of the obligations of Christians to use means for the conversion of heathens.[6]


In 1793 William Carey landed in India to settle. His objective was to translate, publish and distribute the Bible in Indian languages and propagate Christianity to the Indian peoples.[7] He realized the "mobile" (i.e. service classes) Brahmins and Pundits were most able to help him in this endeavor, and he began gathering them. He learnt the Buddhist and Jain religious works to better argue the case for Christianity in the cultural context.


In 1795 Carey made contact with a Sanskrit scholar - the Tantric Hariharananda Vidyabagish [8]- who later introduced him to Ram Mohan Roy who wished to learn English.


Between 1796 and 1797 the trio of Carey, Vidyavagish and Roy fabricate a spurious religious work known as the "Maha Nirvana Tantra" (or "Book of the Great Liberation")[9] and pass it off as an ancient religious text to "the One True God" actually the Holy Spirit of Christianity masquerading as Brahma. Carey's involvement is not recorded in his very detailed records and he reports only learning to read Sanscrit in 1796 and only completed a grammar in 1797, the same year he translated from Joshua to Job, itself a massive task.[10] (The explanation later given by Ram Mohan Roy to his family concerning his whereabouts during this period is that he went to "Tibet" –then as far away as "Timbuktoo"). For the next 2 decades this amazing document was regularly and conveniently added to . Its judicial sections are used in the law courts of the English Settlement in Bengal as Hindu Law for adjudicating upon property disputes of the zamindari. However a few British Magistrates and Collectors begin to suspect its "convenient" forgeries and its usage (as well as the reliance on Pundits as sources of Hindu Law) was quickly deprecated. Vidyavagish has a brief falling out with Carey and separated from the group to go about his mendicancy but maintains lifelong personal and familial ties to Ram Mohan Roy.[11] (The Maha Nirvana Tantra's significance for Brahmoism lay in the wealth that accumulated to Rammohun Roy and Dwarkanath Tagore by its judicial use, and not due to any religious wisdom within –although it does contain an entire chapter devoted to "the One True God" and his worship).


In 1797, Rammohun reached Calcutta and became a "banian" (ie. moneylender) mainly to impoverished Englishmen of the Company living beyond their means. Rammohun also continued his vocation as Pundit in the English courts and started to make a living for himself. He began learning the rudiments of Greek and Latin.


In 1799, Carey was joined by missionary Joshua Marshman and the printer William Ward at the Danish settlement of Serampore.


From 1803 till 1815, Rammohun served the East India Company's "Writing Service" commencing as private clerk "munshi" to Thomas Woodforde, Registrar of the Appellate Court at Murshidabad[12] (whose distant nephew - also a Magistrate - later made a rich living off the spurious Maha Nirvana Tantra under the pseudonym Arthur Avalon).[13] Roy resigned from Woodforde's service due to allegations of corruption. Later he secured employment with John Digby a Company collector and Rammohun spent many years at Rangpur and elsewhere with Digby, where he renewed his contacts with Hariharananda. William Carey had by this time settled at Serampore and the old trio renew their profitable association. William Carey is also aligned now with the English Company, then headquartered at Fort William, and his religious and political ambitions were increasingly intertwined[citation needed].


The East India Company was draining money from India at a rate of 3 million pounds a year in 1838, also known as the “Drain Theory”. Ram Mohan Roy was one of the first that tried to estimate how much money was being driven out of India and where it was disappearing. The military expenses were infinite pits that were frequently and carelessly being fulfilled with valuable Indian resources. He estimated that around one-half of all total revenue collected in India was sent out to England, leaving India, with a considerably larger population, to use the remaining money to maintain social wellbeing. This caused a stagnant in the per capita income among not only India residents, but British colonialists. This negligent action from the British led to utilization of Indian commodities and thus created conflict not only at a social level, but at an economic level.[14] Ram Mohan Roy saw this and believed that the unrestricted settlement of Europeans in India governing under free trade would help ease the economic drain crisis. With an introduction of a permanent settlement of British, in theory, would decrease the large sums of money in which the company was exhausting out of India because these newcomers would formulate a considerate population that would take pride in instilling reservation of India’s wellbeing.[15]


At the turn of the 19th century the Muslims, although considerably vanquished after the battles of Plassey and Buxar, still posed a formidable political threat to the Company. Rammohun was now chosen by Carey to be the agitator among them.[16] He thus embarked on a remarkable new career described by the contemporary biographer as,


    "Rammohun's remaining life is a melange of his denunciation of various religious beliefs, if now Islam, then Hinduism and finally Christianity in his career as political agent for diverse vested interests.


Under Carey's secret tutelage[citation needed] in the next 2 decades, Rammohun launched his spirited attack against the bastions of Hinduism of Bengal, namely his own Kulin Brahmin priestly clan (then in control of the many temples of Bengal) and their priestly excesses. The social and theological issues Carey chose for Rammohun were calculated to weaken the hold of the dominant Kulin class (especially their younger disinherited sons forced into service who constituted the mobile gentry or "bhadralok" of Bengal) from the Mughal zamindari system and align them to their new overlords of Company. The Kulin excesses targeted include - sati (the concremation of widows), polygamy, idolatory, child marriage, dowry. All causes equally dear to Carey's ideals.


In the final analysis of Rammohun's life in this extraordinary period, we find that Rammohun's religious reform is but a tool to implement his powerful social reform agenda which lays the foundation for modern India.


Here is what Roy's contemporary biographer records for this period,


    "In 1805 Rammohun published Tuhfat-ul-Muwahhidin (A Gift to Monotheists) - an essay written in Persian with an introduction in Arabic in which he rationalised unity of God. Although a critique of the deception and universal falsehood prevalent in all organised religions, it was a paen to "rational ego" and Rammohun's own hitherto unrecognised divine gift of intellectual power and acquired knowledge. Being published in Persian, it particularly antagonised sections of the Muslim community and for the next decade Rammohun travelled to serve with John Digby of the East India Company as munshi and then as Diwan. His English and knowledge of England's Baptist Christianity increased tremendously. He also cultivated friendship in a Jain community to better understand their approach to Hinduism - rejecting priesthood (which for long in Bengal demanded bloody ritual sacrifices) and God itself,


    In 1815 after amassing large wealth, enough to leave the Company, Rammohun resettled in Calcutta and started an Atmiya Sabha - as a philosophical discussion circle to debate monotheistic Hindu Vedantism and like subjects. Rammohun's mother, however, had not forgiven him and ironically from 1817 a series of lawsuits were filed accusing Rammohun of apostasy with the object of severing him from the family zamindari. Rammohun countered denouncing his family's practice of sati where widows were burned on their husband's pyres so that they laid no claim to property via the British courts. 1817 was also the year when Rammohun was alienated from Hindu zamindars in an incident concerning the Hindu (later Presidency) College involving David Hare. Hindu public outrage in 1819 also followed Rammohun's triumph in a public debate over idolatry with Subramanya Shastri, a Tamil Brahmin. The victory, however, also exposed chinks in Rammohun's command over Brahmanical scripture and Vedanta whose study he had somewhat neglected. The trusted younger brother of Hariharanda, a Brahmin of great intellect Ram Chunder Vidyabagish was brought in to repair the breech and would be increasingly identified as Rammohun's alter-ego in matters theological for the rest of Rammohun's life especially in matters of Bengali concern and language. By now it was suspected (but never established) that Carey and Marshman were behind Rammohun's English works, a charge repeatedly made by the Hindu zamindars. From time to time Dwarkanath Tagore a young Hindu Zamindar had been attending Sabha meetings and he privately persuaded Rammohun (financially reduced by lawsuits and in constant danger from Hindu assassins) to disband the Atmiya Sabha in 1819 and instead be political agent for him."


    From 1819, Rammohun's battery now increasingly turns against Carey and the Serampore missionaries. With Dwarkanath's munificence he launches a series of attacks against Baptist "Trinitarian" Christianity and is now considerably assisted in his theological debates by the Unitarian faction of Christianity." [17]


Brahmo Samaj 1828

On 20 August 1828 the first assembly of the Brahmo Sabha (progenitor of the Brahmo Samaj) was held at the North Calcutta house of Feringhee Kamal Bose. This day is celebrated by Brahmos as Bhadrotsab (ভাদ্রোৎসব Bhadrotshôb "Bhadro celebration"). This Sabha was convened at Calcutta by religious reformer Raja Rammohun Roy for his family and friends settled there. The Sabha regularly gathered on Saturday between seven o'clock to nine o'clock. These were essentially informal meetings of Bengali Brahmins (the "twice born"), accompanied by Upanishadic recitations in Sanskrit followed by Bengali translations of the Sanskrit recitation and singing of Brahmo hymns composed by Rammohun. These meetings were open to all Brahmins and there was no formal organisation or theology as such.[11][12]


On 8 January 1830 influential progressive members of the closely related Kulin Brahmin clan[13] (scurrilously[14] described as Pirali Brahmin ie. ostracised for service in the Mughal Nizaamat of Bengal) of Tagore (Thakur) and Roy (Vandopādhyāya) zumeendar family mutually executed the Trust deed of Brahmo Sabha for the first Adi Brahmo Samaj (place of worship) on Chitpore Road (now Rabindra Sarani), Kolkata, India with Ram Chandra Vidyabagish as first resident superintendent.[15]


On 23 January 1830 or 11th Magh, the Adi Brahmo premises were publicly inaugurated (with about 500 Brahmins and 1 Englishman present). This day is celebrated by Brahmos as Maghotsab (মাঘোৎসব Maghotshôb "Magh celebration").


In November 1830 Rammohun Roy left for England


Arya Samaj

Arya Samaj (Sanskrit ārya samāja आर्य समाज "Noble Society") is a Hindu reform movement founded in India by Swami Dayananda in 1875. He was a sannyasi (renouncer) who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda advocated the doctrine of karma and reincarnation, and emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya (chastity) and sanyasa (renunciation). There are approximately 3-4 million followers of Arya Samaj worldwide.

Dayanada Saraswati 1824-1883

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was the first to proclaim India for Indians [1][2]. Lokmanya Tilak also said that Maharishi Dayanand was the first who proclaimed Swarajya for Bharat i.e.India.


One of his notable disciples was Shyamji Krishna Varma who founded India House in London and guided other revolutionaries like Madam Cama, Veer Sawarkar, Lala Hardyal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Bhagat Singh and others. His other disciples were Swami Shradhanad[3], Lala Lajpat Rai and others who got their inspiration from his writings.


His book SATYARTH PRAKASH contributed to the freedom struggle by inspiring the freedom fighters. On the basis of these facts some believe that Maharishi Dayanand rightfully deserves to be called as Rashtrapitamah (Grandfather of the Indian Nation).[4]


He was a sanyasi (ascetic) from his boyhood, and a scholar, who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas.


Dayananda advocated the doctrine of karma, skepticism in dogma, and emphasised the ideals of brahmacharya (celibacy and devotion to God). The Theosophical Society and the Arya Samaj were united for a certain time under the name Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj.


Among Maharishi Dayananda's immense contributions is his championing of the equal rights of women - such as their right to education and reading of Indian scriptures - and his translation of the Vedas from Sanskrit to Hindi so that the common man may be able to read the Vedas. The Arya Samaj is rare in Hinduism in its acceptance of women as leaders in prayer meetings and preaching.

Madras Presidency  1774-1858

From 1774 to 1858, Madras was a part of British India ruled by the British East India Company. The last quarter of the 18th century was a period of rapid expansion. The successful wars against Tipu, Velu Thambi, Polygars and Ceylon added vast chunks of land and contributed to the exponential growth of the Presidency. Newly-conquered Ceylon was a part of Madras Presidency from 1793 to 1798.[21] The system of Subsidiary Alliances originated by Lord Wellesly also created a lot of princely states subordinate to the Governor of Fort St George.[22] The hill tracts of Ganjam and Visakhapatnam were the last to be annexed.[23]

This period also witnessed a number of rebellions. The Vellore Mutiny of 1806 precedes the First War of Indian Independence by half-a-century.[24][25] The rebellion of Velu Thambi and Paliath Achan and the risings of the Polygars were other notable insurrections against British rule. The Madras Presidency, however, remained relatively undisturbed by the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

The kingdom of Mysore was annexed to Madras Presidency in 1831 on accounts of maladministration.[26] The kingdom was restored to the rightful heir in 1881.[27] Thanjavur was annexed in 1855, following the death of Shivaji II without a surviving male heir.

William IV 1830-1837

William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death on 20 June 1837. William, the third son of George III and younger brother and successor to George IV, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the House of Hanover.

He served in the Royal Navy in his youth and was, both during his reign and afterwards, nicknamed the “Sailor King”.[1][2] He served in North America and the Caribbean, but saw little actual fighting. Since his two older brothers died without leaving legitimate issue, he inherited the throne when he was 64 years old. His reign saw several reforms: the poor law was updated, child labour restricted, slavery abolished in nearly all the British Empire, and the Reform Act 1832 refashioned the British electoral system. Though William did not engage in politics as much as his brother or his father, he was the last monarch to appoint a Prime Minister contrary to the will of Parliament. Through his brother, the Viceroy of Hanover, he granted that kingdom a short-lived liberal constitution.

At his death William had no surviving legitimate children, though he was survived by eight of the ten illegitimate children he had by the actress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he cohabited for 20 years. He was succeeded in the United Kingdom by his niece, Victoria, and in Hanover by his brother, Ernest Augustus.

Warren Hastings 1773-1785

Warren Hastings (6 December 1732 - 22 August 1818) was the first Governor-General of Bengal, from 1773 to 1785. He was famously accused of corruption in an impeachment in 1787, but was acquitted in 1795. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1814.

Bengal Administrative reform and the Permanent Settlement

Under Warren Hastings (British Governorships 1772-1785) the consolidation of British imperial rule over Bengal, and the conversion of mere trade into an entire military occupied territory under a military backed civil government got solidified. To another member of the civil service, John Shore, afterwards Lord Teignmouth, was due the formation of a regular system of legislation. Acting through Lord Cornwallis, then Governor-General, he ascertained and defined the rights of the landholders in the soil. These landholders under the previous system had started, for the most part, as collectors of the revenues, and gradually acquired certain prescriptive rights as quasi-proprietors of the estates entrusted to them by the government. In 1793 Lord Cornwallis declared their rights perpetual, and made over the land of Bengal to the previous quasi-proprietors or zamindars, on condition of the payment of a fixed land tax. This piece of legislation is known as the Permanent Settlement of the Land Revenue. It was designed to "introduce" ideas of property rights to India, and stimulate a market in land. The former aim misunderstood the nature of landholding in India, and the latter was an abject failure. The Cornwallis code, while defining the rights of the proprietors, failed to give adequate recognition to the rights of the under-tenants and the cultivators. This remained a serious problem for the duration of British Rule, as throughout the Bengal Presidency ryots (peasants) found themselves oppressed by rack-renting landlords, who knew that every rupee they could squeeze from their tenants over and above the fixed revenue demand from the Government represented pure profit. Furthermore the Permanent Settlement took no account of inflation, meaning that the value of the revenue to Government declined year by year, whilst the heavy burden on the peasantry grew no less. This was compounded in the early 19th century by compulsory schemes for the cultivation of Opium and Indigo, the former by the state, and the latter by British planters (most especially in the district of Tirhut in Bihar). Peasants were forced to grow a certain area of these crops, which were then purchased at below market rates for export. This added greatly to rural poverty.


So unsuccessful was the Permanent Settlement that it was not introduced in the North-Western Provinces (taken from the Marathas during the campaigns of Lord Lake and Arthur Wellesley) after 1831, in Punjab after its conquegal. The province of West Bengal then consisted of the thirty-three districts of Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Midnapur, Hughli, Howrah, Twenty-four Parganas, Calcutta, Nadia, Murshidabad, Jessore, Khulna, Patna, Gaya, Shahabad, Saran, Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Monghyr, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Santhal Parganas, Cuttack, Balasore, Angul and Khondmals, Pun, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Palamau, Manbhum, Singhbum and Sambalpur, and the princely states of Sikkim and the tributary states of Orissa and Chota Nagpur.


This decision proved highly controversial, as it resulted in a largely Hindu West Bengal and a largely Muslim East. Serious popular agitation followed this step, partly on the grounds that this was part of a cynical policy of divide and rule, and partly that the Bengali populat[Malda District]] and the States of Hill Tripura, Sylhet and Comilla were transferred from Bengal to a new province, Eastern Bengal and Assam; the five Hindi-speaking states of Chota Nagpur, namely Chang Bhakar, Korea, Sirguja, Udaipur and Jashpur, were transferred from Bengal to the Central Provinces; and Sambalpur and the five Oriya states of Bamra, Rairakhol, Sonepur, Patna and Kalahandi were transferred from the Central Provinces to Bengal. The province of West Bengal then consisted of the thirty-three districts of Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Midnapur, Hughli, Howrah, Twenty-four Parganas, Calcutta, Nadia, Murshidabad, Jessore, Khulna, Patna, Gaya, Shahabad, Saran, Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Monghyr, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Santhal Parganas, Cuttack, Balasore, Angul and Khondmals, Pun, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Palamau, Manbhum, Singhbum and Sambalpur, and the princely states of Sikkim and the tributary states of Orissa and Chota Nagpur.


This decision proved highly controversial, as it resulted in a largely Hindu West Bengal and a largely Muslim East. Serious popular agitation followed this step, partly on the grounds that this was part of a cynical policy of divide and rule, and partly that the Bengali population, the centre of whose interests and prosperity was Calcutta, would now be divided under two governments, instead of being concentrated and numerically dominant under the one, while the bulk would be in the new division. In 1906-1909 the unrest developed to a considerable extent, requiring special attention from the Indian and Home governments, and this led to the decision being reversed in 1912. The same year saw the separation from Bengal of Bihar and Orissa, later itself subdivided into the Province of Bihar and the Province of Orissa, the former with its capital at Patna, the latter administered from Cuttack. This change proved a popular and lasting one.


With this final partition, the Bengal Presidency ceased to exist in all but name, and even this disappeared after the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of 1919 reconstituted Indian Provincial Government

Bombay Presidency The first Maratha War

During the 18th century, the Hindu Maratha Empire expanded rapidly, claiming Konkan and much of eastern Gujarat from the disintegrating Mughal Empire. In western Gujarat, including Kathiawar and Kutch, the loosening of Mughal control allowed numerous local rulers to create virtually independent states. The first conflict between the British and the Marathas was the First Anglo-Maratha War

The First Anglo-Maratha War was the first of three Anglo-Maratha wars fought between the British East India Company and Maratha Empire in India. The war began with the Treaty of Surat and ended with the Treaty of Salbai.

After the death of Madhavrao Peshwa in 1772, his brother Narayanrao became Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. However, Raghunathrao, Narayanrao’s uncle, had his nephew assassinated in a palace conspiracy that resulted in Raghunathrao becoming Peshwa, although he was not the legal heir.

Narayanrao’s widow, Gangabai, gave birth to a posthumous son, who was legal heir to the throne. The newborn infant was named ‘Sawai’ Madhavrao (Sawai means “One and a Quarter”). Twelve Maratha chiefs, led by Nana Phadnis directed an effort to name the infant as the new Peshwa and rule under him as regents.

Raghunathrao, unwilling to give up his position of power, sought help from the British at Bombay and signed the Treaty of Surat on 6 March 1775. According to the treaty, Raghunathrao ceded the territories of Salsette and Bassein to the British, along with part of the revenues from Surat and Bharuch districts. In return, the British promised to provide Raghunathrao with 2,500 soldiers.

The British Calcutta Council condemned the Treaty of Surat, sending Colonel Upton to Pune to annul it and make a new treaty with the regency. The Treaty of Purandhar (1 March 1776) annulled that of Surat, Raghunathrao was pensioned and his cause abandoned, but the revenues of Salsette and Broach districts were retained by the British. The Bombay government rejected this new treaty and gave refuge to Raghunathrao. In 1777 Nana Phadnis violated the treaty with the Calcutta Council by granting the French a port on the west coast. The British replied by sending a force towards Pune. The tangle was increased by the support of the London authorities for Bombay, which in 1778–79 again supported Raghunathrao. Peace was finally restored in 1782.


1782 treaty of Salbai, by which the island of Salsette, adjacent to Bombay island, was ceded to the British, while Bharuch was ceded to the Maratha ruler Scindia. The British annexed Surat in 1800. British territory was enlarged in the Second Anglo-Maratha War which ended in 1803. The East India Company received the districts of Bharuch, Kaira, etc., and the Maratha Gaekwad rulers of Baroda acknowledged British sovereignty.

In October 1802, Peshwa Baji Rao II was defeated by the Holkar ruler of Indore, at the Battle of Poona. He fled to British protection, and in December the same year concluded the Treaty of Bassein with the British East India Company, ceding territory for the maintenance of a subsidiary force and agreeing to treaty with no other power. The British also had to check the French influence in India.

In 1803 the Bombay Presidency included only Salsette, the islands of the harbour (since 1774), Surat and Bankot (since 1756); but between this date and 1827 the framework of the presidency took shape. The Gujarat districts were taken over by the Bombay government in 1805 and enlarged in 1818; The numerous small states of Kathiawar and Mahikantha were organized into princely states under British suzerainty between 1807 and 1820. Baji Rao II, the last of the peshwas, who had attempted to shake off the British yoke, was defeated in the Battle of Khadki, captured subsequently and pensioned (1817/1818), and large portions of his dominions (Pune, Ahmednagar, Nasik, Sholapur, Belgaum, Kaladgi, Dharwad, etc.) were included in the Presidency, the settlement of which was completed by Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor from 1819 to 1827. His policy was to rule as far as possible on native lines, avoiding all changes for which the population was not yet ripe; but the grosser abuses of the old regime were stopped, the country was pacified, the laws were codified, and courts and schools were established. The period that followed is notable mainly for the enlargement of the Presidency through the lapse of certain native states, by the addition of Aden (1839) and Sindh (1843), and the lease of the Panch Mahals from Sindhia (1853). The establishment of an orderly administration, one outcome of which was a general fall of prices that made the unwonted regularity of the collection of taxes doubly unwelcome, naturally excited a certain amount of misgiving and resentment; but on the whole the population was prosperous and contented, and under Lord Elphinstone (1853-1860) the presidency passed through the crisis of the Revolt of 1857 without any general rising. Outbreaks among the troops at Karachi, Ahmedabad and Kolhapur were quickly put down, two regiments being disbanded, and the rebellions in Gujarat, among the Bhils, and in the southern Maratha country were local and isolated. Under Sir Bartle Frere (1862-1867) agricultural prosperity reached its highest point, as a result of the American Civil War and the consequent enormous demand for Indian cotton in Europe. The money thus poured into the country produced an epidemic of speculation known as the Share Mania] (1864-1865), which ended in a commercial crisis and the failure of the bank of Bombay (1866). But the peasantry gained on the whole more than they lost, and the trade of Bombay was not permanently injured. Sir Bartle Frere encouraged the completion of the great trunk lines of railways, and with the funds obtained by the demolition of the town walls (1862) he began the magnificent series of public buildings that now adorn Bombay (Mumbai).

The Presidency was divided into four commissionerships and twenty-six districts with Bombay City as its capital. The four divisions were the northern or Gujarat, the central or Deccan, the southern or Carnatic, and Sind. The twenty-six districts were: Bombay City, Ahmedabad, Bharuch, Kaira, Panch Mahals, Surat, Thane, Ahmednagar, Khandesh (partitioned into two districts in 1906), Nasik, Poona (Pune), Satara, Sholapur, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad (Dharwar), North Kanara, Kolaba, Ratnagiri, Karachi, Hyderabad, Shikarpur, Thar and Parkar, and Upper Sind Frontier.

The native states comprised 353 separate units, administered either by political agents or by the collectors of the districts in which the smaller states are situated. The chief groups of states are North Gujarat, comprising Cutch, Kathiawar Agency, Palanpur Agency, Mahi Kantha Agency, Rewa Kantha Agency and Cambay; South Gujarat, comprising Dharampur, Bansda and Sachin; North Konkan, Nasik and Khandesh, comprising Khandesh political agency, Surgana and Jawhar; South Konkan and Dharwar, comprising Janjira, Sawantwadi and Savanur; the Deccan Satara Jagirs, comprising Akkalkot, Bhor, Aundh, Phaltan, Jath and Daphalapur; the southern Maratha states, comprising Kolhapur and other states, and Khairpur in Sind. The native states under the supervision of the government of Bombay are divided, historically and geographically, into two main groups. The northern or Gujarat group includes the territories of the gaekwar of Baroda, with the smaller states which form the administrative divisions of Cutch, Palanpur, Rewa Kantha, and Mahi Kantha. These territories, with the exception of Cutch, have a historical connection, as being the allies or tributaries of the Gaekwad until 1805, when final engagements were included between that prince and the British government. The southern or Maratha group includes Kolhapur, Akalkot, Sawantwari, and the Satara and southern Mahratta Jagirs, and has a historical bond of union in the friendship they showed to the British in their final struggle with the power of the peshwa until 1818. The remaining territories may conveniently be divided into a small cluster of independent zamindaris, situated in the wild and hilly tracts at the northern extremity of the Sahyadri range, and certain. principalities which, from their history or geographical position, are to some extent isolated from the rest of the presidency.


Sir John Macpherson 1785-1786

In February 1785, as senior member of the council, he became governor-general on Hastings’s resignation. Owing to the long and desperate war in which the English had been engaged, he found the finances in great disorder. Pressing demands for assistance were coming from Bombay and Madras, the arrears of pay due to the troops amounted to two millions sterling, and the deficit in the revenue of the current year was estimated at 1,300,000 Pounds.

Charles Cornwallis 1786-1801

In 1786 Cornwallis was appointed Governor-General and commander in chief in India. He instituted land reforms and reorganized the British army and administration. He was increasingly aligned with the government of William Pitt, writing home about his relief at King George III’s recovery from illness, which had prevented the radical opposition led by Charles James Fox from taking power.[16]

Third Mysore War

Main article: Third Anglo-Mysore War

In 1792 he defeated Tippu Sultan, the powerful sultan of Mysore by capturing his capital Srirangapatnam, which concluded the Third Anglo-Mysore War and paved the way towards British dominance in Southern India.

Cornwallis was created Marquess Cornwallis in 1792. He returned to England the following year, and was succeeded by Sir John Shore. His time in India did much to re

The Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798–1799) was a war in South India between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company under the Earl of Mornington.  British (one of which contained a division that was commanded by Colonel Arthur Wellesley the future 1st Duke of Wellington) - nevertheless marched into Mysore in 1799 and besieged the capital, Srirangapatnam after some engagements with the Tipu’s armies. On 8 March, a forward force managed to hold off an advance by Tipu at the Battle of Seedaseer. On 4 May, the armies broke through the defending walls and Tipu Sultan, rushing to the breach, was shot and killed. Tipu was betrayed in this war by one of his commanders, Mir Sadiq, a traitor who was bought by the British. He sent the army to collect wages at the height of the battle thus giving the British a chance to enter through the hole made through bombardment of the wall.[citation needed]

David Baird, a British officer, discovering the body of Tipu Sultan

One notable military advance championed by Tipu Sultan was the use of mass attacks with iron-cased rocket brigades in the army. The effect of these weapons on the British during the Third and Fourth Mysore Wars was sufficiently impressive to inspire William Congreve to develop the Congreve rockets.

This was the last of the four Anglo-Mysore Wars. The British took indirect control of Mysore, restoring the Wodeyar dynasty to the Mysore throne (with a British commissioner to advise him on all issues). Tipu’s young heir, Fateh Ali, was sent into exile. The Kingdom of Mysore became a princely state of British India, and ceded Coimbatore, North Kanara, and South Kanara to the British.

The war, specifically the Battle of Mallevey and the Siege of Seringapatam are portrayed in the novel Sharpe’s Tiger which portrays many of the key protagonists.

Lord William Bentinck 1828-1835

On his return to England, Bentinck served in the House of Commons for some years before being appointed Governor-General of Bengal in 1827. His principal concern was to turn around the loss-making Honourable East India Company, in order to ensure that its charter would be renewed by the British government.

Bentinck engaged in an extensive range of cost-cutting measures, earning the lasting enmity of many military men whose wages were cut. Although his financial management of India was quite impressive, his modernising projects also included a policy of westernisation, influenced by the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, which was more controversial. Reforming the court system, he made English, rather than Persian, the language of the higher courts and encouraged western-style education for Indians in order to provide more educated Indians for service in the British bureaucracy.

Bentinck also took steps to suppress sati, the death of a widow on her husband’s funeral pyre, and other Indian customs which the British viewed as barbaric. Although his reforms met little resistance among native Indians at the time, it has been argued[citation needed] that they brought on dissatisfaction which ultimately led to the great Mutiny of 1857. His reputation for ruthless financial efficiency and disregard for Indian culture led to the much-repeated story that he had once planned to demolish the Taj Mahal and sell off the marble. According to Bentinck’s biographer John Rosselli, the story arose from Bentinck’s fund-raising sale of discarded marble from Agra Fort and of the metal from a famous but obsolete Agra cannon.[2]

Bentinck returned to the UK in 1835, refusing a peerage, and again entered the House of Commons as a Member for Glasgow.

Indian Railways

A rail system in India was first proposed in 1832 in Madras but it never materialised. In the 1840s, other proposals were forwarded to the British East India Company who governed India. The Governor-General of India at that time

, Lord Henry Hardinge GG 1844-1848  deliberated on the proposal from the commercial, military and political viewpoints. He came to the conclusion that the East India Company should assist private capitalists who sought to setup a rail system in India, regardless of the commercial viability of their project.

In 1832 a proposal was made to build a railroad between Madras and Bangalore, and in 1836 a survey was conducted for this line.[1]

On September 22, 1842, British civil engineer Charles Blacker Vignoles, submitted a Report on a Proposed Railway in India to the East India Company.[1] By 1845, two companies, the East Indian Railway Company operating from Calcutta, and the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) operating from Bombay, were formed. The first train in India was operational on December 22, 1851, used for the hauling of construction material in Roorkee. A few months later, on April 16, 1853, the first passenger train between Bori Bunder, Bombay and Thana covering a distance of 34 km (21 miles) was inaugurated, formally heralding the birth of railways in India.

Continued in India after 1857 Revolt




Bookmark with:    Digg Digg    reddit reddit    Facebook Facebook    StumbleUpon StumbleUpon    Newsvine Newsvine



WOW MOM - Please send this link to your friends in Mumbai.

Hair Accessories, Snap Clips, Bobby Pins, and creative stuff. Visit my page - Click on the Pic - -------------------------------------

Artwork For SALE

Artwork By Ruchi - Please send this link to your friends in Mumbai.

Art by Ruchi Pais - Contact: 9821611343 Mumbai Click on the Picture ------------------------------

Face Book Badge



Walter J. Pais

Mangalorean Recipes Facebook Page


Who's Online

We have 147 guests online

Google Ad 3 CLICK

Google Ad: Click

Mangalorean Recipes Facebook Group

I invite you to join our group on Face Book. Click the picture

Ranjit and Ruchi Pais, Hair Stylists

Mumbai's Trendiest Cuts Ranjit and Ruchi now operate from Goa. Call them for appointments. Timings: 9:30am - 9:30pm Call +919821611343 for appointments Click on the picture below:

Google AD 2: Click

Web Links

Links: Find other websites of interest here. Create your account and post a Web Link of your own. Click on the link below

HTML Module Ad 4