Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 3 A Viceroy and Three Governors Section III: Lopo Soares & Diego Lopes

Canberra, 3 December 2022 [Detailed accounts of the tenures of the first Viceroy and three Governors who succeeded him have been given for the reader to get a flavour of the activities that these individuals undertook to perpetuate Portuguese presence in the Indian sub-continent and to create a monopoly on the lucrative spice trade, which […]

Continue reading

Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 3 A Viceroy and Three Governors Section II: Afonso D’Albuquerque

Canberra, 03 December 2022 When he assumed the office of Governor of Estado da India on 5th November 1509, Afonso D’Albuquerque, was 56 years of age, an old man for that period. His first action was to assist Marshal Coutinho to attack Calicut, which he was reluctant to do, but had to agree considering the […]

Continue reading

Europeans in India The Portuguese Part 3 A Viceroy and Three Governors Section I Francisco D’Almeida (1505-1509)

Canberra, 03 December 2022 ‘The Portuguese of the 16th and 17th centuries had nothing to teach the people of India except improved methods of killing people in war and the narrow feeling of bigotry in religion. Surely these were not matters of such importance as to make it necessary for Indians to feel grateful towards […]

Continue reading

Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 2 The Portuguese Vanguard

Canberra 19 November 2022 The Zamorin of Calicut welcomed the Portuguese in a friendly manner, as he was his custom with all merchants who came to trade at his port. He sent a local pilot to take the foreign ships to shelter from the fury of the on-coming South-West Monsoon rains. However, Vasco da Gama […]

Continue reading

Europeans in India – The Portuguese Part 1 Background: Ancient and Medieval

Canberra, 09 November 2022 The Indian sub-continent was known to the people of Europe in antiquity, with the ancient Greeks recording their knowledge of India in some of the texts of the time. Cyrus the Great (r. 558–530 BC) of the famous Achaemenid Dynasty of Persia, built the first universal empire, stretching from Greece to […]

Continue reading

The Marathas Part 23 Evolution of the Civil Administration

Canberra, 11 October 2022 The Maratha Empire originated as a small jagir handed over to a young Shivaji by his father to learn the rudiments of land management under the watchful eyes of Dadaji Kondadev. As Shivaji gradually grew it into a kingdom, of necessity the administrative system of the budding State also changed, expanded […]

Continue reading

The Marathas Part 22 Ruling the Waves Section IV: A Requiem for the Maratha Navy

Canberra, 04 October 2022 There is no mention of the Peshwa possessing a naval fleet up to the mid-1700s, even in any of the treaties concluded with the Europeans. The first mention of a Peshwa fleet is in the treaty that he signed with the English in 1739 and then again in 1740–41 in the […]

Continue reading

The Marathas Part 22 Ruling the Waves: The Maratha Navy Section III: The House of Angre is Brought Down

Canberra, 04 October 2022 Kanhoji Angre had many children from several wives and concubines, of whom six sons are known by name in history—Sekhoji, Sambhaji, Manaji, Tulaji, Yesaji and Dhonaji. Sekhoji, probably the eldest son, succeeded to his father’s position without any contest or dissention from his siblings, receiving the robes of investiture from the […]

Continue reading

The Marathas Part 22 Ruling the Waves: The Maratha Navy Section II: Kanhoji Angre Takes Over

Canberra, 04 October 2022 The crisis that followed Shivaji’s death was such that the fledgling Maratha kingdom was at the doors of extinction under constant Mughal and Muslim onslaught. The Maratha polity was saved by the efforts of a number of extraordinarily talented young men who willingly came forward to shoulder the enormous responsibilities of […]

Continue reading

The Marathas Part 22 Ruling the Waves: The Maratha Navy Section I: Shivaji Lays the Foundation

Canberra 04 October 2022 A seafaring tradition had existed among the people of the Western Coast of Maharashtra for centuries, although there is no evidence of any attempt at creating a naval power before the 14th century. It could be said that the sea was a new and untested element for the Marathas, in terms […]

Continue reading