Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/166

This page needs to be proofread.

162 THE MARATHAS. posed of three European and three Native members, on the charge of attempting to poison the Resident, and deposed. But the British Government refrained from annexing the State, and raised a descendant of the founder of the family from obscure poverty to the State cushion. First Maratha War with, the British, 1779-1781. — While the four northern houses of the Marathas were pursuing their separate careers, the Peshwa's power was being broken to pieces by family intrigues. The sixth Peshwa, Madhu Rao Narayan, was born after his father's death ; and during his short life of twenty-one years the power remained in the hands of his minister, Nana Farnavis. Raghubd, the uncle of the late Pesh- w4, disputed the birth of the posthumous child (Madhu R&o), and claimed for himself the office of Peshwd. The infant's guardian, Nand Farnavis, having called in the French, the British at Bombay sided wiih Raghubd. These alliances brought on the first Maratha war (1779-1781), ending with the treaty of Salbdi (1782). That treaty ceded the islands of Salsette and Elephanta near Bombay, together with two others to the British, secured to Raghubd a handsome pension, and confirmed the child-Peshwa in his sovereignty. But the young Peshwa only reached manhood to commit suicide at the age of twenty-one. Second Maratha War, 1802-1804. — His cousin, Bajf Rao II., succeeded him in 1795 as the seventh and last Peshwa. The northern Maratha house of Holkar now took the lead among the Marathas, and forced the Peshwd to seek protection from the English. By the treaty of Bassein in 1802, Bajf Rao the Peshwd agreed to receive a British force to maintain him in his dominions. The northern Maratha houses combined to break down this treaty. The second Marathd war followed (1802-1804). General Wellesley (afterwards Duke of Welling- ton) crushed the forces of the Sindhia and Nagpur branches of the Marathas on the fields of Assaye and Argaum in the south, while Lord Lake disposed of the Maratha armies at Laswari and Delhi in the north. In 1804, Holkar was completely defeated at Dfg. These campaigns led to large cessions of territory to the British, to the final overthrow of French influence in India,