George Thomas (soldier)

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George Thomas (born Roscrea, Tipperary, c 1756; died Barhampur, India, Aug. 22, 1802) was an Irish mercenary who was active in 18th-century India. From 1798 to 1801, he ruled a small kingdom in India, which he carved out of Rohtak and Hisar districts.


His father was a poor Catholic tenant farmer near Roscrea who died when George was a child. Originally press-ganged at Youghal, where he worked as a labourer on the docks, Thomas deserted from the British Navy in Madras in 1781. Still illiterate, he led a group of Pindaris north to Delhi by 1787, where he took service under Begum Samru of Sardhana. Supplanted in her favour by a Frenchman, he transferred his allegiance to Appa Rao, a Mahratta chieftain. [1] He carved out an independent kingdom in the districts of Rohtak and Hissar and made Hansi as his capital.[2] During his short period of rule, he established a mint in Hansi and released rupees of his own kingdom. His area of control included area from Ghaggar to Beri in south and from Meham to Baharda in west. He rebuilt Hansi, which was in ruined state and built defensive walls and fortifactions.[2] He divided his area of control into 14 paraganas.[2]

In 1796 AD, he built Jahaj Kothi at Hisar, Haryana which was his residence. He ruled the area independently upto 1801, when he was driven out by Sikh-Maratha-French confedracy.[2] He was finally defeated and captured by Scindia's army under General Pierre Cuillier-Perron. He died on his way down the Ganges on 22 Aug. 1802.[1]

Areas under the East India company's control, 1765-1805

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ a b c d "Haryana District Gazetteers" (PDF). Gazetteer of India, Haryana. Haryana Gazetteers organisation, Revenue Department, Haryana. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Thomas, George". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ; Endnotes:

  • Francklin, Military Memoirs of Mr George Thomas (1803)
  • Compton, Military Adventurers of Hindustan (1892).

Further reading[edit]

  • Hennessy, MN "George Thomas - the Rajah from Tipperary", London, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1971. ISBN 0-283-48492-6
  • "George Thomas - the Rajah from Tipperary", The Calcutta Review, No. CXL (1880) (reprint of H. G. Keene, George Thomas – An episode from the Great Anarchy)
  • Bidwell, Shelford, Swords for hire: European Mercenaries in Eighteenth Century India (1971). John Murray.
  • Haefs, Gisbert, Raja (2000), btb Verlag, a historical novel in German