of India, but hastened down to Calcutta in the hope of averting hostilities. Three separate demands for redress having been met by evasive replies, and in one case by insult to the British officers who were deputed to demand redress, Dalhousie, after giving the king of Burma a final opportunity, resolved to prepare for war. In a minute which he recorded on the subject under date 12 Feb. 1852, he declared that the government of India ‘could not, consistently with its own safety, appear in an attitude of inferiority, or hope to maintain peace and submission among the numberless princes and peoples embraced within the vast circuit of the empire, if for one day it gave countenance to a doubt of the absolute superiority of its arms, and of its continued resolution to maintain it.’ The commander-in-chief, Sir William Gomm, was consulted, and with his concurrence Dalhousie resolved to entrust the command to General (afterwards Sir Henry Thomas) Godwin [q. v.], an officer who had held a command in the former Burmese war, and was then employed as a divisional commander in Bengal. He himself undertook the supervision of all the preliminary arrangements, and in the words of Marshman, the historian, ‘astonished India by the singular genius he exhibited for military organisation.’ Rangoon was taken by assault on 14 April, Bassein in the following month, and the town of Pegu in June. In September Dalhousie repaired in person to Rangoon, and in October, under his advice, a force was sent to Prome, which was captured with the loss of only one man. In November the small British force garrisoning Pegu, which was besieged by six thousand Burmese, was relieved. The relief of this force brought the military operations to an end; for Dalhousie resolved to be content with the annexation of the province of Pegu, or Lower Burma, as it is now called, and on 20 Dec. that territory was proclaimed to be a British province. Owing mainly to the admirable arrangements made by the governor-general and effectually carried out by General Godwin, the health of the troops suffered much less than had been the case in the first Burmese war. The administration of Pegu was entrusted to a chief commissioner, acting under the direct orders of the government of India, and was framed very much upon the plan which had been adopted in the Panjáb. The result was so satisfactory that when the mutiny broke out in 1857, it was deemed safe to leave Lower Burma without any European troops.
In the following year Dalhousie found himself compelled to deal with a long-pending question of the debt due to the British government by the nizam of Hyderabad for the payment of the Hyderabad contingent. This was settled by the assignment of a portion of the Hyderabad territory to the British government in perpetual trust for the nizam, into whose territory the net surplus of the revenues, if any, after defraying the cost of the administration and the expense of the contingent, was to be paid.
The feature in Dalhousie's administration which has been most assailed is his so-called annexation policy. During the eight years that he ruled over India he extended the British Indian dominions by the conquest of the Panjáb in the north-west and of Lower Burma in the east. The justice of these annexations, which were in each case the result of war in no way sought by the British Indian government, has never been seriously called in question; but in the cases of native states within the Indian frontier, of which several, owing to the failure of heirs, were brought directly under British rule, Dalhousie's policy has been much attacked. This is a subject on which there has been, and still is, a good deal of misapprehension. The doctrine of ‘lapse,’ as it was called, under which these states were incorporated in the British territories, owing to their chiefs having died without leaving any natural heirs, is commonly supposed to have been invented by Dalhousie. But so far back as 1834 the court of directors had ruled that the consent of the government of India to recognise adoptions for the purpose of transmitting principalities was to be treated as an indulgence, which should be the exception and not the rule, and ‘should never be granted but as a special mark of favour and approbation.’ Under the Moghul empire such lapses had not been infrequent when the claimant failed to pay the tribute required by the emperor. Lord Auckland's government in 1841 had refused to sanction an adoption in the case of the small state of Angria's Colába, declaring their intention ‘to persevere in the one clear and direct course of abandoning no just and honourable accession of territory or revenue, while all existing claims of right are at the same time scrupulously respected’ [see Eden, George, Earl of Auckland]. Two years later Lord Ellenborough's government had acted upon a similar principle in the case of the small state of Mándavi [see Law, Edward, Earl of Ellenborough]. Matters were in this position when, very shortly after his arrival in India, Dalhousie was called upon to consider the question of recognising an adoption which had been made by the rájá of Sattára two hours before he died. This