03 June 1818
Final victory of the British over the Marathas
The third Anglo-Maratha War came to an end with a decisive British victory over the various Maratha powers on 3rd June 1818.
- By the end of the Second Anglo-Maratha War, large parts of Central India, which were formerly under the Marathas came under the British.
- British residents were placed in Maratha courts and were frequently interfering in internal matters much to the consternation of the Marathas.
- The Marathas wished to make one last attempt at restoring their former prestige.
- For this, the three Maratha chiefs Peshwa Baji Rao II (Pune), Mudhoji II Bhonsle (Nagpur) and Malharrao Holkar (Indore) united against the British.
- The fourth chief Daulatrao Shinde stayed away due to diplomatic pressure from the British.
- The British were annoyed with the Marathas because they objected to the Maratha support given to the Pindari mercenaries.
- In 1813, Governor-General Lord Hastings imposed many measures against the Marathas.
- The Peshwa Baji Rao II, as part of the united Maratha front also roped in the support of the Pindaris. He also brought about certain changes in his administration with a view to increasing revenue.
- The British then accused him of maladministration. They continued to harass the Marathas with several demeaning treaties.
- The Peshwa, losing his patience with the British high-handedness, sacked and burned the British residency in Pune.
- Some British troops were also attacked.
- War ensued between the British and the three Maratha forces in 1818. The British had a huge victory.
- Several treaties were signed between the Maratha chiefs and the British which gave them hegemony over the Maratha Empire. Baji Rao II surrendered on 3rd June 1818. He was pensioned off to Bithur in Kanpur. His estates and territories were taken away and added to the Bombay Presidency. His adopted son, Nana Saheb, became one of the main leaders of the Revolt of 1857. One of the reasons for Nana’s disenchantment was that he was denied the inheritance of his estate.
- The territories annexed from the Pindaris became part of the Central Provinces.
- This war led to the end of the great Maratha Empire in India. A descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji was made the titular head of the Maratha Confederacy and placed at Satara.
- With this, the British controlled almost all parts of the subcontinent either directly or indirectly. This was the last major war they fought in India before the Revolt of 1857.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.