Battle of Buxar

The Battle of Buxar was fought on 21 October 1764, between the forces under the command of the British East India Company, led by Hector Munro, and the combined armies of Mir Qasim, Nawab of Bengal till 1763; the Nawab of Awadh Shuja-ud-Daula; and the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II.[4] The battle was fought at Buxar, a "small fortified town" within the territory of Bihar, located on the banks of the Ganges river about 130 kilometres (81 mi) west of Patna; it was a decisive victory for the British East India Company. The war was brought to an end by the Treaty of Allahabad in 1765.

Battle of Buxar
Part of Bengal War
Battle of Buxar -Crown and company- Arthur Edward Mainwaring pg.144
Date22 October 1764
Location
Near Buxar
Result British East India Company victory
Belligerents

Mughal Empire[1]

British East India Company
Commanders and leaders

Shah Alam II[1]

Hector Munro of Novar
Strength
40,000
140 cannons
7,072
30 cannons
Casualties and losses
Disputed
British claim:[2]
2,000 killed
1,000 killed, wounded or missing[2][3]

Battle

The British army engaged in the fighting numbered 7,071[5] comprising 859 British, 5,297 Indian sepoys and 918 Indian cavalry. The alliance army's numbers were estimated to be over 40,000. According to other sources, the combined army of the Mughals, Awadh and Mir Qasim consisting of 40,000 men was defeated by a British army comprising 10,000 men. The Nawabs had virtually lost their military power after the battle of Buxar.

The lack of basic co-ordination among the three disparate allies was responsible for their decisive defeat.

Mirza Najaf Khan commanded the right flank of the Mughal imperial army and was the first to advance his forces against Major Hector Munro at daybreak; the British lines formed within twenty minutes and reversed the advance of the Mughals. According to the British, Durrani and Rohilla cavalry were also present and fought during the battle in various skirmishes. But by midday, the battle was over and Shuja-ud-Daula blew up large tumbrils and three massive magazines of gunpowder.

Munro divided his army into various columns and particularly pursued the Mughal Grand Vizier Shuja-ud-Daula the Nawab of Awadh, who responded by blowing up his boat-bridge after crossing the river, thus abandoning the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and members of his own regiment. Mir Qasim also fled with his 3 million rupees worth of Gemstones and later died in poverty in 1777. Mirza Najaf Khan reorganised formations around Shah Alam II, who retreated and then chose to negotiate with the victorious British.

Historian John William Fortescue claimed that the British casualties totalled 847: 39 killed and 64 wounded from the European regiments and 250 killed, 435 wounded and 85 missing from the East India Company's sepoys.[2] He also claimed that the three Indian allies suffered 2,000 dead and that many more were wounded.[2] Another source says that there were 69 European and 664 sepoy casualties on the British side and 6,000 casualties on the Mughal side.[3] The victors captured 133 pieces of artillery and over 1 million rupees of cash. Immediately after the battle Munro decided to assist the Marathas, who were described as a "warlike race", well known for their relentless and unwavering hatred towards the Mughal Empire and its Nawabs and Mysore.

Aftermath

The British victory at Buxar had "at one fell swoop, disposed of the three main scions of Mughal power in Upper India. Mir Kasim [Qasim] disappeared into an impoverished obscurity. Shah Alam realigned himself with the British, and Shah Shuja [Shuja-ud-Daula] fled west hotly pursued by the victors. The whole Ganges valley lay at the Company's mercy; Shah Shuja eventually surrendered; henceforth Company troops became the power-brokers throughout Oudh as well as Bihar".[6]

Gallery

Shah Alam II, Mughal emperor of india, reviewing the East India Companys troops

The Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, as a prisoner of the British East India Company, 1781

अवध के नवाब शुजाउद्दौला

Shuja-ud-Daula served as the leading Nawab Vizier of the Mughal Empire, he was a lifelong of Shah Alam II.

Mughal amir horseback large c hi

Mirza Najaf Khan Baloch, the commander-in-chief of the Mughal Army.

IGI1908India1765a

Political map of the Indian Subcontinent in the year 1765.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b History of the Freedom Movement in India (1857–1947), p. 2, at Google Books
  2. ^ a b c d Fortescue, John William. (2004). A History of the British Army: Volume III. p. 102. The Naval and Military Press. Uckfield, Sussex. ISBN 978-1843427155.
  3. ^ a b Black, Jeremy and Wyse, Liz. (1996). The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: Renaissance to Revolution, 1492-1792. p. 160. The Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521470339.
  4. ^ Parshotam Mehra (1985). A Dictionary of Modern History (1707–1947). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-561552-2.
  5. ^ Sir Edward Cust, Annals of the Wars of the Eighteenth Century, Vol. 3, p. 113, at Google Books, Mitchell's Military Library (1858). ISBN 1235663922
  6. ^ Keay, John. (1993). The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company. Paperback edition. p. 374. HarperCollins Publishers. London. ISBN 978-0-00-638072-6.

External links

89th (Highland) Regiment of Foot

The 89th (Highland) Regiment of Foot or Morris's Highlanders was an infantry regiment in the British Army from 1759 to 1765.The regiment was raised during the Seven Years' War in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire by Lieutenant-Colonel Staats Long Morris. Early in 1760, half the regiment embarked for India under the command of Major Hector Munro and were joined by the remainder later in the year. After linking up with the Army at Patna, they took part in the Battle of Buxar in October 1764.

They were disbanded soon afterwards, many of the men joining local East India Company regiments.

96th Regiment of Foot (1760)

The 96th Regiment of Foot was a short-lived infantry regiment of the British Army which was raised during the Seven Years' War and existed from 1760-1763.The regiment was posted to India, where the British East India Company were engaged in hostilities with the French and the Mughal emperors. After taking part in the Siege of Pondicherry they were engaged in the Battle of Buxar, in which the East India Company, supported by British Army troops, defeated the combined Mughal forces in the Ganges valley during the Carnatic War. This pivotal British victory sealed the fate of Mughal domination of North India.

The regiment were disbanded in 1763 following the Treaty of Paris.

The Colonel Commandant throughout its existence was Colonel Hon. George Monson.

Balwant Singh of Benares

Rafa'at wa Awal-i-Martabat Raja Sri Balwant Singh Sahib Bahadur, known as Balwant Singh, (born 1711, died 1770) was a ruler of Benares State in northern India.

Balwant Singh succeeded his father, Mansa Ram, as Raja of Kaswar and Nazim of Benares in 1738. During the 18th century the Mughal Empire was weakening, and the British were expanding from their base in Bengal. Mansa Ram's territory included most of present-day Bhadohi, Chandauli, Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, and Varanasi districts, including the city of Varanasi. Leading a much more martial life, he built a fort and established a capital at Gangapur, but later moved to Ramnagar, across the Ganges River from Benares. Balwant Singh expelled Fazl Ali from present-day Ghazipur and Ballia districts, and added the area to his domains. In 1751, he expelled the representative of the Nawab of Awadh in an attempt to carve out a principality at Benares, but had to flee after a fierce fight when the Nawab invaded his domain in March 1752; a settlement was made between the two and he was restored to his titles by the Nawab. Emperor Alamgir II granted him a jagir in Bihar two years later. The first of his house to fight with the East India Company, he joined Shah Alam and Shuja ud-Daula in their 1763 invasion of Bengal. Following the Battle of Buxar in 1764, Emperor Shah Alam transferred Balwant Singh's zamindari to the Company, but the Company refused it along with the Treaty of Benares signed by the Emperor the same year. Instead, the zamindari reverted once again to the Nawab of Awadh in 1765, five years before Balwant Singh's death in 1770.

Balwant Singh had built Ramnagar Fort.

Balwant Singh was succeeded by his son Chait Singh.

Bengal Presidency

The Bengal Presidency (1757–1912), later reorganized as the Bengal Province (1912–1947), was once the largest subdivision (presidency) of British India, with its seat in Calcutta (now Kolkata). It was primarily centred in the Bengal region. At its territorial peak in the 19th century, the presidency extended from the present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in the west to Burma, Singapore and Penang in the east. The Governor of Bengal was concurrently the Viceroy of India for many years. Most of the presidency's territories were eventually incorporated into other British Indian provinces and crown colonies. In 1905, Bengal proper was partitioned, with Eastern Bengal and Assam headquartered in Dacca and Shillong (summer capital). British India was reorganised in 1912 and the presidency was reunited into a single Bengali-speaking province.

The Bengal Presidency was established in 1765, following the defeat of the last independent Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 23 June 1757, and the Battle of Buxar in 22 October 1764. Bengal was the economic, cultural and educational hub of the British Raj. It was the centre of the late 19th and early 20th century Bengali Renaissance and a hotbed of the Indian Independence Movement.

The Partition of British India in 1947 resulted in Bengal's division on religious grounds, between the Indian state of West Bengal and the Pakistanian province of East Bengal, which first became East Pakistan in 1955 under Pakistanian rule and finally the nation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Buxar

Buxar is a city in the state of Bihar in the eastern part of India bordering eastern Uttar Pradesh. It is the headquarters of Buxar District. The Battle of Buxar and Battle of Chausa were fought in the vicinity. Buxar Railway Station lies on Patna–Mughalsarai section of Howrah–Delhi main line. It is approximately 125 km from the state capital of Patna. The local language of Buxar is Bhojpuri.

Buxar district

Buxar district is one of the thirty-eight districts of Bihar with headquarters at Buxar City. The district was carved out from Bhojpur District in 17 March 1991. It shares a border with Uttar Pradesh and is located on the banks of the Ganges River.

This place was also known as "Siddhashram", "Vedgarbhapuri", "Karush", "Tapovan", "Chaitrath", "VyaghraSar", "Buxar" in ancient history.

Fakir-Sannyasi rebellion

The Sannyasi rebellion or Sannyasi Revolt (1770-1820) (Bengali: সন্ন্যাসী বিদ্রোহ, The monks' rebellion) were the activities of sannyasis and fakirs (Hindu and Muslim ascetics, respectively) in Bengal against the East India Company rule in the late 18th century. It is also known as the Sannyasi rebellion (সন্ন্যাসী বিদ্রোহ) which took place around Murshidabad and Baikunthupur forests of Jalpaiguri. Historians have not only debated what events constitute the rebellion, but have also varied on the significance of the rebellion in Indian history. While some refer to it as an early war for India's independence from foreign rule, since the right to collect tax had been given to the British East India Company after the Battle of Buxar in 1764, others categorize it as acts of violent banditry following the depopulation of the province in the Bengal famine of 1770.

Giles Stibbert

Lieutenant General Giles Stibbert (1734–1809) was Commander-in-Chief, India.

Jean Baptiste Joseph Gentil

Jean Baptiste Joseph Gentil (1726-1799) was a French army colonel, Knight of the Royal and Military Order of Saint-Louis, who worked in India. He is known for the collections he made of historic manuscripts and artifacts from India and for his cartography and documentation of Mughal history.Gentil was born in Bagnols in a noble family on the 25th June 1726. He joined the army in 1752 in India and served under Dupleix, Bussy, Law de Lauriston, Comte de Conflans and Lally. After the English took over Pondicherry in 1761, he served with General Lauriston to block the English advance in Chandernagore in Bengal. The French joined hands with Nawab Mir Qasim and declared war on the English East India Company forces. He became a friend of Khwaja Gregory (Gorgin Khan, Armenian minister and commander-in-chief of the Nawab of Bengal from 1760-1763) and was a witness to his assassination following internal conspiracies. Gentil later joined the court of Shuja-ud-Doulah at Oudh, becoming the French Resident there. He also helped set up a battalion of French mercenaries who served Shuja-ud-Doulah. The battalion was disbanded after his death.While serving at Oudh, he purchased a large collection of objects of natural history, weapons, medals and manuscripts in many languages. When he returned to France he donated these collections to the royal library and museum. He also produced maps of the region and wrote on the history of the Moghul Empire. He was present at the battle of Buxar.Gentil married Theresa Velho at Faizabad in 1772. Theresa was a grand-niece of Juliana Dias da Costa. He retired to France in 1778 and died in Bagnols in 1799.

Mir Jafar

Mir Jafar Ali Khan Bahadur (c. 1691 – 5 February 1765) was the first dependent Nawab of Bengal with support from the British East India Company. He was the second son of Sayyid Ahmad Najafi. His rule is widely considered the start of British imperialism in India and was a key step in the eventual British domination of vast areas of the subcontinent. Mir Jafar served as the commander of Bengali forces under Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, but betrayed him during the Battle of Plassey and succeeded him after the British victory in 1757. Mir Jafar received military support from the British East India Company until 1760, but failed to satisfy various British demands. In 1758, Robert Clive discovered that Jafar had made a treaty with the Dutch at Chinsurah through his agent Khoja Wajid. Dutch ships of war were also seen in the River Hooghly. Circumstances led to the Battle of Chinsurah. British company official Henry Vansittart proposed that since Jafar was unable to cope with the difficulties, Mir Qasim, Jafar's son-in-law, should act as Deputy Subahdar. In October 1760, the company forced him to abdicate in favor of Qasim. However, Qasim's independent spirit and plans to force the East India company out of his dominion led to his overthrow, and Jafar was restored as the Nawab in 1763 with the support of the company. Mir Qasim however refused to accept this and went to war against the company. Jafar ruled until his death on 5 February 1765 and lies buried at the Jafarganj Cemetery in Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.

Mir Qasim

Mir Qasim (Bengali: মীর কাসেম; 8 May 1777) was the Nawab of Bengal from 1760 to 1763. He was installed as Nawab with the support of the British East India Company, replacing Mir Jafar, his father-in-law, who had himself been supported earlier by the East India Company after his role in the Battle of Plassey. However, Mir Jafar was in conflict with the East India company over too many demands and tried to tie up with the Dutch East India Company. The British eventually overran the Dutch forces at Chinsura and played a major role in replacing Mir Jafar with Mir Qasim. Qasim later fell out with the British and fought them at the Battle of Buxar. His defeat has been suggested as the last real chance of preventing a gradual British expansion in large parts of North East India following Britain's victory in the Seven Years War.

Mirza Najaf Khan

Najaf Khan (1723– April 26, 1782) According to British historians, he was a Persian

a detailed heritage monument by Mirza Najaf Khan’s information on red stone marble near his tomb in Hindi, he was a Baloch from the Korai tribe adventurer from Iran in the court of Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. He came to India around 1740 and may even have come a year earlier His sister married into the family of the Nawab of Awadh. He also held the title of Deputy Wazir of Awadh. He served during the Battle of Buxar and his main contribution in history was as the highest commander of the Mughal army from 1772 till his death in April 1782.

Najmuddin Ali Khan

Najm ud-din Ali Khan, better known as Najm-ud-Daulah (or Nazam-ud-Daulah) (Bengali: নাজিমুদ্দীন আলী খান; ca. 1747– 8 May 1766), was the Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from 1765 to 1766. He was the second son of Mir Jafar.

Najm-ud-Daulah was crowned as the Nawab following the death of his father Mir Jafar. During his coronation he was only 15 years old. He ascended to the throne on February 5, 1765.

In 1765 after the victory in the Battle of Buxar the British had formally gained Dewani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from Shah Alam II. The Nawab formally conferred this Dewani to the British on September 30, 1765.

Najmuddin died soon afterwards, on May 8, 1766, apparently from a fever caught at a formal party given at Murshidabad fort in honour of Robert Clive. He was buried at Jafraganj Cemetery and was succeeded by his younger brother Nawab Nazim Najabat Ali Khan.

René-Marie Madec

René-Marie Madec (February 7, 1736 – 1784), called Medoc in Anglo-Indian writings, was a French adventurer in India.

Madec was born at Quimper in Brittany of poor parents.

Aged twelve, he embarked as ship's boy on a boat from Lorient heading for the island of Hispaniola (present day Dominican Republic). From there, he embarked for Pondichéry, French trading post in India. Madec lived there for about twenty five years, sometimes French corsair, sometimes British corsair. He became soldier under Joseph François Dupleix and sergeant under Lally-Tollendal. Being taken prisoner by the British, he enlisted in the Bengal army. Deserting with some of his companions shortly before the battle of Buxar (1764), he became military instructor to various native princes, organizing successively the forces of Shuja-ud-Dowlah, Nawab of Oudh, and of the Jats and Rohillas.

In 1772 he took service under the Great Moghul Shah Alam II, who gave him the title of Nawab, reserved to the highest dignitaries of the sultan's court. When that prince was defeated at Delhi by the Mahrattas, Madec rejoined his own countrymen in Puducherry, where he took an active part in the defence of the town (1778). He became King of the Deccan, defender of the Indies for the King of France and he accumulated great wealth.

After the capitulation of Puducherry, in 1779, he returned to France with a considerable fortune. The King appointed him Colonel and named him Chevalier de Saint Louis. He then settled in Quimper, at the number 5 of the street which nowadays bears his name, not far from his birth-house. He lived a fabulous life until a bad fall off a horse in 1784. He died soon thereafter. He is buried in the graveyard at Penhars.

At one time he formed a scheme of a French alliance with the Moghul emperor against the British, but the project came to nothing.

Shah Alam II

Ali Gohar (25 June 1728 – 19 November 1806), historically known as Shah Alam II, was the sixteenth Mughal Emperor and the son of Alamgir II. Shah Alam II became the emperor of a crumbling Mughal empire. His power was so depleted during his reign that it led to a saying in the Persian language, Sultanat-e-Shah Alam, Az Dilli ta Palam, meaning, 'The empire of Shah Alam is from Delhi to Palam', Palam being a suburb of Delhi.Shah Alam faced many invasions, mainly by the Emir of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, which led to the Third Battle of Panipat between the Maratha Empire, who maintained suzerainty over Mughal affairs in Delhi and the Afghans led by Abdali. In 1760, the invading forces of Abdali were driven away by the Marathas, led by Sadashivrao Bhau, who deposed Shah Jahan III, the puppet Mughal emperor of Feroze Jung III, and installed Shah Alam II as the rightful emperor under the Maratha suzerainty.Shah Alam II was considered the only and rightful emperor, but he wasn't able to return to Delhi until 1772, under the protection of the Maratha general Mahadaji Shinde. He also fought against the British East India Company at the Battle of Buxar.

Shah Alam II authored his own Diwan of poems and was known by the pen-name Aftab. His poems were guided, compiled and collected by Mirza Fakhir Makin.

Shuja-ud-Daula

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Shuja-ud-Daulah (b. (1732-01-19)19 January 1732 – d. (1775-01-26)26 January 1775) was the Grand Vizier, Subedar and Nawab of Oudh from 5 October 1754 to 26 January 1775 .

Though a minor royal, he is best known for his key roles in two definitive battles in Indian history – the Third Battle of Panipat which temporarily halted Maratha domination of the northern regions of the Mughal Empire and overthrew Shah Jahan III and reaffirmed Shah Alam II as the rightful emperor of the Mughal Empire. He had allied himself with Mir Qasim and took part in the Battle of Buxar, which ended in defeat.

Subsidiary alliance

A subsidiary alliance, in South Asian history, describes a tributary alliance between a Native state and either French India, or later the British East India Company. The pioneer of the subsidiary alliance system was French Governor Joseph François Dupleix, who in the late 1740s established treaties with the Nizam of Hyderabad, and Carnatic.

The methodology was subsequently adopted by the East India Company, with Robert Clive imposing a series of conditions on Mir Jafar of Bengal, following the 1757 Battle of Plassey, and subsequently those in the 1765 Treaty of Allahabad, as a result of the Company's success in the 1764 Battle of Buxar. A successor of Clive, Richard Wellesley initially took a non-interventionist policy towards the Native states but later adopted, and refined the policy of forming subsidiary alliances. The purpose and ambition of this change are stated in his February 1804 dispatch to the East India Company Resident in Hyderabad:

His Excellency the Governor-General's policy in establishing subsidiary alliances with the principal states of India is to place those states in such a degree of dependence on the British power as may deprive them of the means of prosecuting any measures or of forming any confederacy hazardous to the security of the British empire, and may enable us to reserve the tranquility of India by exercising a general control over those states, calculated to prevent the operation of that restless spirit of ambition and violence which is the characteristic of every Asiatic government, and which from the earliest period of Eastern history has rendered the peninsula of India the scene of perpetual warfare, turbulence and disorder...Richard Wellesley, 4th February 1804

In a subsidiary alliance, princely rulers were not allowed to make any negotiations and treaty with any other ruler. They were also not allowed to have an independent armed force. They were to be protected by the East India Company but had to pay for the subsidiary forces that the company was to maintain for protection. If Indian rulers failed to make the payment, part of their territory was taken away as penalty. For example, the Nawab (ruler) of Awadh was forced to give over half of his territory to the company in 1801, reason provided by British officer was Maladministration. Hyderabad was also forced to cede territories on similar grounds.

By the late 18th century, the power of the Maratha Empire had weakened and the Indian Subcontinent was left with a great number of states, most small and weak. Many rulers accepted the offer of protection by Wellesley, as it gave them security against attack by their neighbours.The alliance was forced upon rulers so their territories could be annexed by the British

Treaty of Allahabad

The Treaty of Allahabad was signed on 12 August 1765, between the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, son of the late Emperor Alamgir II, and Robert Clive, of the East India Company, as a result of the Battle of Buxar of 22 October 1764. The Treaty marks the political and constitutional involvement and the beginning of British rule in India. Based on the terms of the agreement, Alam granted the East India Company Diwani rights, or the right to collect taxes on behalf of the Emperor from the eastern province of Bengal-Bihar-Orissa. Thus East India Company were appointed as the imperial tax collector for the Eastern province (Bengal-Bihar-Orissa). These rights allowed the Company to collect revenue directly from the people of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. In return, the Company paid an annual tribute of twenty-six lakhs of rupees (equal to 260,000 pounds sterling) while securing for Shah Alam II the districts of Kora and Allahabad. The tribute money paid to the emperor was for the maintenance of the Emperor's court in Allahabad. The accord also dictated that Shah Alam be restored to the province of Varanasi as long as he continued to pay certain amount of revenue to the Company. Awadh was returned to Shuja-ud-Daulah, but Allahabad and Kora were taken from him. The Nawab of Awadh also had to pay fifty lakhs of rupees as war indemnity to the East India Company.

The Nawab of Awadh, Shuja ud Daulah, was made to pay a war indemnity of 5 million rupees to the Company. Moreover, the two signed an alliance by which the Company promised to support the Nawab against an outside attack provided he paid for services of the troops sent to his aid. This alliance made the Nawab dependent on the Company. This was a turning point in Indian history.

Zamindars of Bengal

The Zamindars of Bengal were influential in administration of territories in present-day West Bengal and former East Bengal, contemporary Bangladesh. The Nawabs of Bengal ruled the area under the Mughal Empire from 1717 to 1880. Murshid Quli Jafar Khan governed the area, through his feudal chiefs, the zamindars, which mirrored the European system of serfdom. The zamindars dominated most of the villages in Bengal. Zamindars were the landholders of demarcated areas, responsible for collecting revenue for the monarchy and rose into prominence during the British colonial era, owing to the opportunity availed by the British in India. Mostly credited with cultural, architectural, educational, economical development and urbanisation of Calcutta and discredited for exploitation of rural Bengal.

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