John Hessing

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John Hessing
Born Year 1777
Died July 21, 1803
Agra, India
Allegiance Maratha Empire
Years of service Unknown - 1803
Rank Military officer
Battles/wars Battle of Kardla

John Hessing (c. 1740 – July 21, 1803) was a military officer who served in the armies of the Maratha Empire in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


Hessing commanded 3000 Maratha regular troops in the Battle of Kardla, where the Maratha armies defeated the Nizam of Hyderabad on March 12, 1795. In June 1801 Hessing commanded four battalions outside Ujjain, which were attacked and defeated by Yashwantrao Holkar, the Maratha ruler of Indore. Hessing fought with the Maratha armies against the British in the Second Anglo-Maratha War. He died in Agra on 21 July 1803 while in command of the Maratha forces there.


Red Taj, Tomb of John Hessing

Hessing's tomb is located in the Padretola, or Padresanto, a Christian cemetery in Agra:

The tomb of John Hessing, hard by, is a still more splendid edifice, being a copy, in red sandstone, of the famous Taj Mahal, and on a pretty extensive scale too, though far smaller than the original. The tomb, which was completed in or about the year of the British conquest, bears an inscription in good English, setting forth that the deceased colonel was a Dutchman, who died Commandant of Agra, in his 63rd year, 21 July 1803, just before Lake's successful siege of the place.*

The Tomb was built by John Hessing's wife, Alice.


  • Keene, H. G. (1887) The Fall of the Moghul Empire of Hindustan.

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