Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

...

was apportioned suitably among Skanda, Pura and Narasimha as below Skanda

455-47013

48014 Pura

480-48515 Narasimha

485-535 Kumāra

535-550 This is how it happened ; and the dates have remained unchallenged since. But there is, az a fact, no authority for any of these dates. Now that we hive an inscription, the reliability of wbich is beyond doubt and which as shown above does not fit in with the dates bus d upon Hiuen Tsang, well might one ask if we have not been wrong all these years. In my paper in the

Hindustan Review mentioned above I have given reasons at length for disbelieving Hiuen Tsang and have shown that there are political, epigraphic and numismatic considerations against bringing the lower limit of Narasimha's reign to 535 A. D.16 It was Yashodharman, not Narasimha, who really defeated Mihirakula. This is clear from his inscriptions, and has been proved independently by Mr. K. P. Jayaswal.17

It is gub nitted therefore that the chronology adopted in 1889 wben nɔ inscription al data was available be now modified in the light of recent discoveries ; or if the existence of a thir) Kumāra is mooted the difficulties pointed out above be considered and solved.

Leaving the Kumārguptas aside, let us turn to Budhagupta. There can be no doubt that he ruled from 477 to

a

13 Hærnle, J. 4. S. B., 1889, p. 96. No reason given. Q. Was 470 selected sclely as being more of a round number than 467 ?

14 V. Smith, E. H. I., p. 311. This date was based upon a wrong reading of the dite on a coin. J. R. A. S., 1889, p. 133, Pl. IV, fig. 4. The correct reading is 464 A.D., vide Allan's Gupta Coins, p. 133. Coin No. 548.

15 V. Smith, E. H. I., p. 311. No reason given.

18 The dates suggested by me are :-Skanda 455-467; Pura 467-469; N1:a. simh 1 469-473; Kumāra !I, 473-477. The Sārnāth inscription would thus relate to this the second Kumara, and Badhagupta would follow him as a real Gupta Emperor.

1' Ind. Antiq., 1917, p. 163.

494 A.D. over the whole of the country then under the Gupta Empire, from Malwa to Bengal. Why then has he left so few coins ? The British Museum Catalogue has only three silver coins; and there are not very many more elsewhere. We know how eager Indian rulers and usurpers, even those whose reigos did not last more than a few days, were to mint coins. This paucity of Budhagupta coins is inexplicable. It may be that a systematic search has not been made for his coins, he being considered so far to be a minor chieftain of Malwa. Now that he is being rehabilitated, I hope an attempt will be made by members of the Bihar Research Society to search systematically in the bazars of Bibar and Bengal to find more coins of the later Gupta Emperors, and all “ finds” 1e; orted to that Socie y or to the Numismatic Society of India.

V.Shivaji and the English in Western

India.*

By Jadunath Sarkar, M.A.

I.

After slaying Afzal Khan (September 1659) and routing his army, Shivaji pursued the Bijapuris to Panhala, cap ured that fort, and then entered the Ratnagiri district in South Konkan and began to “take possession of all the port and inland towns." The Bijapuri governors of these places fled to Rajapur, which was at first spared, “because it belonged to Rustim-i-zaman, who is a friend of Shivaji.” (Rajapur to Surat, 10 October 1659, F. R. Rajapur).

On the fall of Dabhol, its defeated governor made his escape to Rajapur with three junks of Afzal Khan, of 450, 350 and 300 tons burden respectively. The Magistrate of Rajapur, by order of his master Rustam-i-zaman, received the junks and landed their cargoes. In the meantime Shivaji had encountered and routed near Panhala the combined armies of Rustam and Fazal Khan (the son of Afzal). The latter, who bore the brunt of the battle, lost many of his followers, while Rustam, who hail been lukewarm in the contest, retreated to Hukri with slight loss. (Rajapur to Bassein, 4 February 1660, F. R. Rajapur.)

The news of this battle greatly alarmed Rustam's agent at Rajapur, who tried to escape to the open sea in one of the junks arrived from Dabhol. From this incident sprang the first collision between the English and the Marathas, but its real cause was not any hindrance offered by Shivaji to the legitimate trade of the East India Company or its servants. It was solely

* The references are to two sets of MS. letters, consultations, etc., preserved in the India Office, London, entitled Factory Records and Original Correspondence. These have been copied for my ase. Some of the old factory records have been preserved only in the copios made by Orme, in Orme MSS., India Office.

a

nor was.

due to the greed and crooked dealing of one of the Company's officers, Mr. Henry Revington, the chief of the Rajapur factory. An Indian broker employed by him had lent some money to Rustam-i-zaman and taken a bill for it, falsely in the Company's name as creditor. When the governor was trying to run away from the town, the broker influenced Mr. Revington to assist him in getting his money back. Mr. Revington sent an English ship, the Diamond, to stop the junk occupied by the governor and make him pay what he was pleased to represent as “monies due to the Company". A part of the amount was immediately paid in goods. But just then Shivaji's horsemen appeared on the bank to seize the junks of Afzal Khan and called upon the English to give up the one in which the gover

The English declined, and the governor gladly seized this device for escaping capture by the Marathas and urged the English “to take possession of two of these junks and own them.” Mr. Revington took one of the vessels over, renamed it the Rajapur Merchant, and placed it under an English Captain.

In a parley with the Maratha general, the English refused to give up the goods in the junk unless he gave them an order on the revenue of the town for the money claimed by them. The largest junk, which had not been taken over by the English, weighed anchor and fell do:vn the creek to beyond the range of the Maratha guns, after firing on Shiva's men on both banks. At this disappointment, the Mirathas seized the English brokers, Baghji and Balji, at Jaitapur (at the mouth of the creek, 11 miles west of Rajapur), on the ground that " " the English would not take the junk for them, but let her go. (Ibid ; also Surat Council to Company, 6 April 1660, F. R. Surat, Vol. 85.)

Mr. Philip Gyffard was sent to the Maratha camp to demand the release of the brokers, but they seized him too, and carried away the three prisoners to Karapatam (mod. Kharepatan) fort that night, threatening to detain them unless the English captured the junks for the Marathas and delivered to them the goods they had taken on the governor's junk. (18 January 1660.)

On 13th February, Revington wrote a letter to Shivaji promising him the friendly help of the English in an attack on Danda Rajpyri, and soliciting an order for the release of the two captives, as they had been seized only because the English “would not take the junks lying in Rajapur river and be enemies to those who are our friends." But before this the broker had already appealed to Shivaji and Rustam-i-zaman, and orders had come from them for the release of the two. Balji was immediately set free, "but Mr. Gyffard was kept by a rogue Brahman in Karapatam castle, out of lucre and espectation of a bribe.” Mr. Revington protested against it to Shivaji and Rustam. (Rajapur to Surat, 15 February 1660)

Shivaji condemned the attack on his ally's town of Rajapur, dismissed Doroji, the general responsible for it, "commanded all things that his soldiers took from the townsmen (at Rajapur) to be restored” and put Rustam-i-zaman's agents again in possession of the town and port. (Ibid, 20 February.)

Before any reply could come from Shivaji, Mr. Revington, learning that the Maratha governor of Karapatam was sending Mr. Gyffard away to Satavli (9 miles north-west of Rajapur) or to Khelna fort, despatched a party of 30 soldiers, who waylaid tho Maratha escort in a town 10 miles from Rajapur and rescued Mr. Gyffard by force. (Ibid, 23 February.)

II.

The second Maratha attack on the English took place at the end of the same year, and here the Englishmen were clearly in the wrong, though the Company's official attitude was correct and neutral.

In June 1660, while Siddi Jauhar, acting on behalf of the Bijapur Government, was investing Shivaji in Panhala fort, the former purchased from the English at Rajapur some grenades “ which undoubtedly will be the chiefest disturbers of the besieged ”. Some Englishmen of Rajapur were also bribed to go to the

« PreviousContinue »