Treaty of Lahore

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The Treaty of Lahore of 9 March 1846, was a peace treaty marking the end of the First Anglo-Sikh War. The Treaty was concluded, for the British, by the Governor-General Sir Henry Hardinge and two officers of the East India Company and, for the Sikhs, by the seven-year-old Maharaja Duleep Singh Bahadur and seven members of the Lahore Durbar acting on his behalf.

The terms of the Treaty were punitive. Sikh territory was reduced to a fraction of its former size, losing Jammu, Kashmir, Hazara, the territory to the south of the river Sutlej and the forts and territory in the Jalandhar Doab between the rivers Sutlej and Beas.[1] In addition, controls were placed on the size of the Lahore army and thirty-six field guns were confiscated.[2] The control of the rivers Sutlej and Beas and part of the Indus passed to the British, with the proviso that this was not to interfere with the passage of passenger boats owned by the Lahore Government.[3] Also, provision was made for the separate sale of all the hilly regions between River Beas and Indus, including Kashmir, by the East India Company at a later date to Gulab Singh, the Raja of Jammu.[4]

The Anglo-Sikh treaties of 1846[edit]


Maharaja Ranjit Singh Sukerchakia had made Lahore the capital of the Sikh Empire of the Punjab, which he built up between 1799 and his death in 1839. After his death, factions and assassinations destroyed the unity of the State, causing alarm to the British because it weakened the buffer against the perceived threat of invasion from the north. Provocative acts by both the British and the Sikhs escalated tension and, on 13 December 1845, Hardinge issued a proclamation declaring war on the Sikhs.[5]

During the First Anglo-Sikh War, the British came close to defeat at the Battle of Ferozeshah, but were eventually victorious. After the defeat of the Sikhs at the Battle of Sobraon, the British marched unopposed into Lahore on 20 February 1846.[6]

Peace treaty[edit]

The peace treaty was negotiated and drafted by Frederick Currie, assisted on military matters by Brevet-Major Henry Lawrence, acting under powers vested in them by Hardinge. Currie's diplomatic skills so impressed Hardinge that the British authorities rewarded him with a baronetcy in January 1847.

On 11 March 1846, two days after signature of the Treaty, a supplement, comprising eight Articles of Agreement, was signed by the same parties.[7] It provided that a British force would remain in Lahore until no longer than the end of the year "for the purpose of protecting the person of the Maharajah and the inhabitants of the City of Lahore, during the reorganization of the Sikh Army". This supplementary agreement was at the request of the Lahore Durbar. The Lahore army would vacate the City, convenient quarters would be provided for the British troops and the Lahore Government would pay the extra expenses.[8]

The Agreement also provided that the British would respect the bona fide rights of jagirdars in the Lahore territories and would assist the Lahore Government in recovering the arrears of revenue justly due to the Lahore Government from the kardars[9] and managers in the territories ceded by the provisions of Articles 3 and 4 of the Treaty.[10]

The Treaty of Amritsar[edit]

The British demanded payment of 15 million rupees[11] (one and a half crore) as reparations for the cost of the war. As the Lahore Government was unable to pay the whole of this sum immediately, it ceded some of the territories mentioned above, including Hazara and Kashmir, as equivalent to 10 million rupees (one crore). The Maharaja was also required to pay 6 million rupees (60 lakhs) immediately.[12]

The British then sold Kashmir to the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, for 7.5 million rupees (75 lakhs). The treaty of sale was concluded on 16 March 1846, in the Treaty of Amritsar and signed by Gulab Singh, Hardinge, Currie and Lawrence.[13] Gulab Singh thus became the founder and first Maharaja of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu.

The Treaty of Bhyroval[edit]

The supplementary Articles of Agreement had specified that the British troops would remain in Lahore until no later than the end of 1846. When the time approached for the British to leave, the Durbar requested that the troops should remain until the Maharaja attained the age of 16. The British consented to this and new articles of agreement were drawn up, forming the Treaty of Bhyroval.[14] This was signed on 26 December 1846, by Currie, Lawrence and 13 members of the Durbar and later ratified by Hardinge and the young Maharaja.

A key condition of the British agreement was that a Resident British officer, with an efficient establishment of assistants, was to be appointed by the Governor-General to remain at Lahore, with "full authority to direct and control all matters in every Department of the State".[15] The Regent, Maharani Jindan Kaur, mother of the Maharaja, was awarded an annual pension of 150,000 rupees and replaced by a Council of Regency composed of leading Chiefs and Sirdars acting under the control and guidance of the British Resident.[16] This effectively gave the British control of the Government.

The Text of the 1846 Treaty of Lahore[edit]

Treaty between the British Government and the State of Lahore - 1846:[7][17]

"Whereas the treaty of amity and concord, which was concluded between the British government and the late Maharajah Runjeet Sing, the ruler of Lahore, in 1809, was broken by the unprovoked aggression, on the British Provinces, of the Sikh army, in December last; and whereas, on that occasion, by the proclamation, dated 13th December, the territories then in the occupation of the Maharajah of Lahore, on the left or British bank of the river Sutlej, were confiscated and annexed to the British Provinces; and since that time hostile operations have been prosecuted by the two Governments; the one against the other, which have resulted in the occupation of Lahore by the British troops; and whereas it has been determined that, upon certain conditions, peace shall be re-established between the two Governments, the following treaty of peace between the Honourable East India Company and Maharajah Dhuleep Sing Bahadoor, and his children, heirs and successors, has been concluded on the part of the Honourable Company by Frederick Currie, Esquire, and Brevet-Major Henry Montgomery Lawrence, by virtue of full powers to that effect vested in them by the Right Hon'ble Sir Henry Hardinge, G.C.B., one of her Britannic Majesty's Most Hon'ble Privy Council, Governor-General, appointed by the Honourable Company to direct and control all their affairs in the East Indies, and on the part of His Highness Maharajah Dhuleep Sing by Bhaee Ram Sing, Rajah Lal Sing, Sirdar Tej Sing, Sirdar Chuttur Sing Attareewalla, Sirdar Runjore Sing Majeethia, Dewan Deena Nath and Fakeer Nooroodden, vested with full powers and authority on the part of His Highness.

Article 1. There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the British Government on the one part and Maharajah Dhuleep Sing, his heirs and successors on the other.

Article 2. The Maharajah of Lahore renounces for himself, his heirs and successors, all claim to, or connection with, the territories lying to the south of the River Sutlej, and engages never to have any concern with those territories or the inhabitants thereof.

Article 3. The Maharajah cedes to the Hon'ble Company, in perpetual sovereignty, all his forts, territories and rights in the Doab or country, hill and plain, situated between the Rivers Beas and Sutlej.

Article 4. The British Government having demanded from the Lahore State, as indemnification for the expenses of the war, in addition to the cession of territory described in Article 3, payment of one and half crore of Rupees, and the Lahore Government being unable to pay the whole of this sum at this time, or to give security satisfactory to the British Government for its eventual payment, the Maharajah cedes to the Honourable Company, in perpetual sovereignty, as equivalent for one crore of Rupees, all his forts, territories, rights and interests in the hill countries, which are situated between the Rivers Beas and Indus, including the Provinces of Cashmere and Hazarah.

Article 5. The Maharajah will pay to the British Government the sum of 60 lakhs of Rupees on or before the ratification of this Treaty.

Article 6. The Maharajah engages to disband the mutinous troops of the Lahore Army, taking from them their arms and His Highness agrees to reorganize the Regular or Aeen Regiments of Infantry upon the system, and according to the Regulations as to pay and allowances, observed in the time of the late Maharajah Runjeet Sing. The Maharajah further engages to pay up all arrears to the soldiers that are discharged, under the provisions of this Article.

Article 7. The Regular Army of the Lahore State shall henceforth be limited to 25 Battalions of Infantry, consisting of 800 bayonets each with twelve thousand Cavalry - this number at no time to be exceeded without the concurrence of the British Government. Should it be necessary at any time - for any special cause - that this force should be increased, the cause shall be fully explained to the British Government, and when the special necessity shall have passed, the regular troops shall be again reduced to the standard specified in the former Clause of this Article.

Article 8. The Maharajah will surrender to the British Government all the guns - thirty-six in number - which have been pointed against the British troops and which, having been placed on the right Bank of the River Sutlej, were not captured at the battle of Subraon.

Article 9. The control of the Rivers Beas and Sutlej, with the continuations of the latter river, commonly called the Gharrah and the Punjnud, to the confluence of the Indus at Mithunkote and the control of the Indus from Mithunkote to the borders of Beloochistan, shall, in respect to tolls and ferries, rest with the British Government. The provisions of this Article shall not interfere with the passage of boats belonging to the Lahore Government on the said rivers, for the purpose of traffic or the conveyance of passengers up and down their course. Regarding the ferries between the two countries respectively, at the several ghats of the said rivers, it is agreed that the British Government, after defraying all the expenses of management and establishments, shall account to the Lahore Government for one-half the net profits of the ferry collections. The provisions of this Article have no reference to the ferries on that part of the River Sutlej which forms the boundary of Bhawulpore and Lahore respectively.

Article 10. If the British Government should, at any time, desire to pass troops through the territories of His Highness the Maharajah, for the protection of the British territories, or those of their Allies, the British troops shall, on such special occasion, due notice being given, be allowed to pass through the Lahore territories. In such case the officers of the Lahore State will afford facilities in providing supplies and boats for the passage of rivers, and the British Government will pay the full price of all such provisions and boats, and will make fair compensation for all private property that may be damaged. The British Government will, moreover, observe all due consideration to the religious feelings of the inhabitants of those tracts through which the army may pass.

Article 11. The Maharajah engages never to take or to retain in his service any British subject - nor the subject of any European or American State - without the consent of the British Government.

Article 12. In consideration of the services rendered by Rajah Golab Sing of Jummoo, to the Lahore State, towards procuring the restoration of the relations of amity between the Lahore and British Governments, the Maharajah hereby agrees to recognize the Independent sovereignty of Rajah Golab Sing in such territories and districts in the hills as may be made over to the said Rajah Golab Sing, by separate Agreement between himself and the British Government, with the dependencies thereof, which may have been in the Rajah's possession since the time of the late Maharajah Khurruck Sing, and the British Government, in consideration of the good conduct of Rajah Golab Sing, also agrees to recognize his independence in such territories, and to admit him to the privileges of a separate Treaty with the British Government.

Article 13. In the event of any dispute or difference arising between the Lahore State and Rajah Golab Sing, the same shall be referred to the arbitration of the British Government, and by its decision the Maharajah engages to abide.

Article 14. The limits of the Lahore territories shall not be, at any time, changed without the concurrence of the British Government.

Article 15. The British Government will not exercise any interference in the internal administration of the Lahore State, but in all cases or questions which may be referred to the British Government, the Governor-General will give the aid of his advice and good offices for the furtherance of the interests of the Lahore Government.

Article 16. The subjects of either State shall, on visiting the territories of the other, be on the footing of the subjects of the most favoured nation.

This Treaty consisting of sixteen articles, has been this day settled by Frederick Currie, Esquire, and Brevet-Major Henry Montgomery Lawrence acting under the directions of the Right Hon'ble Sir Henry Hardinge, G.C.B., Governor-General, on the part of the British Government, and by Bhaee Ram Sing, Rajah Lal Sing, Sirdar Tej Sing, Sirdar Chuttur Sing Attareewalla, Sirdar Runjore Sing Majeethia, Dewan Deena Nath, and Faqueer Noorooddeen, on the part of the Maharajah Dhuleep Sing, and the said Treaty has been this day ratified by the seal of the Right Hon'ble Sir Henry Hardinge, G.C.B., Governor-General, and by that of His Highness Maharajah Dhuleep Sing.

Done at Lahore, this ninth day of March, in year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-six; corresponding with the,tenth day of Rubbee-ool-awul, 1262 Hijree, and ratified on the same date.

(Sd.) H. Hardinge (L.S.)
(Sd.) Maharajah Dhuleep Sing (L.S.)
Bhaee Ram Sing (L.S.)
Rajah Lal Sing (L.S.)
Sirdar Tej Sing (L.S.)
Sirdar Chuttur Sing Attareewalla (L.S.)
Sirdar Runjore Sing Majeethia (L.S.)
Dewan Deena Nath (L.S.)
Faqueer Noorooddeen (L.S.)"

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Articles 2, 3 and 4
  2. ^ Articles 7 and 8
  3. ^ Article 9
  4. ^ Article 12
  5. ^ All About Sikhs The First Anglo-Sikh War
  6. ^ Punjab - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 20, p. 273.
  7. ^ a b All About Sikhs The Lahore Treaty of 1846
  8. ^ Article 1 to 4 of the supplementary Agreement
  9. ^ kardar: an official entrusted with the collection of tax
  10. ^ Articles 5 and 6 of the supplementary Agreement
  11. ^ these were Nanak Shahi Rupaiya, the main currency of the Sikh Empire, named after the first Guru of the Sikhs
  12. ^ Articles 4 and 5 of the Treaty
  13. ^ Kashmir Legal Documents Treaty of Amritsar
  14. ^ All About Sikhs The Treaty of Bhyroval
  15. ^ Article 2 of the Treaty of Bhyroval
  16. ^ Articles 4, 5 and 10 of the Treaty of Bhyroval
  17. ^ The British Library, India Office Records