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character, exhibited in the subject of the prefent memoirs, is rendered still more interesting by his adventures, his talents, his successes, and his misfortunes, detailed in the following sheets, it may not only form the best apology for the compiler in submitting these memoirs to the public view, but also afford some useful instruction to the reader. .
From the best information we could procure, it appears that Mr. George Thomas first came to India in a British ship of war, in 1781-2. His situation in the fleet was humble, having served as a quarter master, or, as is affirmed by some, in the capacity of a common sailor.
Shortly after landing in the vicinity of Madras, the activity of his mind, overcoming the lowliness of his situation, he determined to quit the ship, and embrace a life more suitable to his ardent disposition.
· His first service was among the Polygars to the southward, where he resided a few years. But at length setting out over-land, he spirit
edly traversed the central part of the Peninfula, and about the year 1787 arrived at Delhi. Here he received a commission in the service of the Begum Sumroo. This lady is well known in the history of the transactions of modern times. Soon after his arrival at Delhi, the Begum, with her usual judgment and discrimination of character, advanced him to a command in her army. From this period his military career in the north-west of India may be said to have commenced.
In various and successive actions against the Seiks, and others of the Begum's enemies, Mr. Thomas, by his courage and perseverance, rendered her authority respectable. By these successes, he obtained a considerable influence over the mind of his mistress, and was for some time her chief adviser and counsellor.*
* Among other brilliant acts, performed by Mr. Thomas, during his service with the Begum, was the circumstance related in the History of Shah Aulum. The Compiler of these Memoirs did not know, at the time, that Mr. Thomas was the officer who commanded the party. But that gentleman, during his residence at Benares, communi
· But, unfortunately for the mutual interests of both parties, after a residence of six or seven years, Mr. Thomas had the mortification to find himself supplanted in the good opinion of the Begum. His authority was assumed by a more successful rival. .
This conduct in the Begum, exciting much animosity and many heart-burnings between the two rival commanders, Mr. Thomas resolved to embark his fortunes on a different service. He therefore quitted the Begum Sumroo, and about 1792 betook himself to the frontier station of the British army, at the post of Anopshire.
· Here he waited several months, in the ex. pectation of receiving overtures for employment from some of the native powers. He was not deceived in these expectations. In the beginning of the year 1793, Mr. Thomas, being at Anopshire, received letters from Ap
cated a detail of the affair, which, with a slight variation in a few particulars, happened as is stated in the printed work. See the History of Shah Aulum, page 167, et seq.
pakandarow, a Mahratta chief, conveying offers of service, and promises of a comfortable provision.
To comprehend the nature and use of Mr. Thomas's services at that juncture, it will be necessary to recur to the previous situation and prospects of Appakandarow..
This chief had formerly been himself in the service of Madhajee Scindiah, who gave him the command of two battalions of infan: try, raised and disciplined by the celebrated General Duboigne. In return for Appa· kandarow's services, Scindiah had also, sub
sequently, entrusted to his management the districts of Gualier and Gohud. These, for fome time, he conducted with success: but having, in the year 1790, invaded Bundelcund, and being unsuccessful in his operations, he was compelled to contract debts to a considera able amount. This irregular and improvident conduct occasioned, first, his removal from command, and afterwards, his dismission from Scindiah's employ. Of a haughty and impatient fpirit, Appakandarow ill brooked this humiliation, and from that time fought, by his own exertion, to establish an independency. It was at this period he was joined by Mr. Thomas, who had with him 250 cavalry, chosen men, and of tried valour on several occasions. .
This accession of force was highly acceptable to the Mahratta chief; he was, at that time, unable to keep under subjection several diftricts, which, on account of his ill success, had rebelled against his authority, and withheld the payment of their accustomed tribute.
Mr. Thomas was now directed by Appakandarow to raise a battalion consisting of 1000 men and 100 cavalry. For the maintenance of this force, he assigned to him the pergunnas of Thajara, Thopookara, and Ferozeepoor, They are all in the Mawatty district, situated to the south-west of Delhi. Those districts had, some years preceding, been in a state of rebellion, nor was Appakandarow able to reduce them to submission. · The inhabitants, when a large force was sent against them, usually took shelters in the mountains ;