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Anglo-Sikh Treaty5 - 1846

Bhyroval - December 1846

Signed on 16 December 1846 between the East India Company and the minor Maharaja Duleep Singh, provided for a British-controlled regency till the Maharaja came of age. Maharani Jind Kaur, who was acting as regent of her son, Duleep Singh, had believed that, as stipulated in the treaty of Lahore (I1 March 1846), the British force would leave Lahore. But she was soon disillusioned as the British, instead of quitting, started strengthening their authority over Lahore administration. Governor-General Henry Hardinge sent to Lahore his secretary, Frederick Currie, who isolating Maharani Jind Kaur, manipulated the leading sardars and chiefs into requesting the British for a fresh treaty. This led to the signing of the Treaty of Bhyroval. By this agreement every article of the treaty of 9 March 1846 was reaffirmed except article 15, which precluded, British interference in the internal administration of the State of Lahore. The regent (Maharani Jind Kaur) was pensioned off; a British resident was to direct and control the administration of the State of Lahore with a new council of regency of eight members.

A British force was to remain at Lahore for the protection of the Maharaja and the cost for its maintenance (22 lakh rupees) was to be borne by the State of Lahore. The Governor-General could also disband and recruit Sikh armies and occupy any fort in the Punjab. The council of ministers was to hold office during the pleasure of the British resident. The treaty of Bhyrowal effective during the minority of Maharaja Duleep Singh, was to terminate on 4 September 1854 when the Maharaja would attain the age of sixteen.

The treaty of Bhyrowal transformed the Sikh kingdom into a virtual British protectorate. The Durbar became a willing instrument subservient to the authority of the British resident, who was to superintend the internal and external affairs of the State in accordance with the instructions of the Government of India. This is how the new arrangement was described by John Marshman: An officer of the company's artillery became, in effect, the successor of Ranjit Singh.

The Text of the Treaty:
ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT concluded between the BRITISH GOVERNMENT and the LAHORE DURBAR on 16 December 1846

Whereas the Lahore Durbar and the principal Chiefs and Sirdars of the State have in express terms communicated to the British Government their anxious desire that the Governor-General should give his aid and assistance to maintain the administration of the Lahore State during the minority of Maharajah Dulleep Sing, and have declared this measure to be indispensable for the maintenance of the Government; and whereas the Governor-General has, under certain conditions, consented to give the aid and assistance solicited, the following Articles of Agreement, in modification of the Articles of Agreement executed at Lahore on the 11th March last, have been concluded on the part of the British Government by Frederick Currie, Esquire, Secretary to Government of India, and Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Montgomery Lawrence, C.B., Agent to the Governor-General, North-West Frontier, by virtue of full powers to that effect vested in them by the Right Honorable Viscount Hardinge, G.C.B., Governor-General, and on the part of His Highness Maharajah Dulleep Sing, by Sirdar Tej Sing, Sirdar Shere Sing, Dewan Deena Nath, Fukeer Nooroodeen, Rai Kishen Chund, Sirdar Runjore Sing Majethea, Sirdar Utter Sing Kaleewalla, Bhaee Nidhan Sing, Sirdar Khan Singh Majethea, Sirdar Shumshere Sing, Sirdar Lall Sing Morarea, Sirdar Kehr Sing Sindhanwalla, Sirdar Urjun Sing Rungurnungalea, acting with the unanimous consent and concurrence of the Chiefs and Sirdars of the State assembled at Lahore.


Article 1. All and every part of the Treaty of peace between the British Government and the State of Lahore, bearing date the 9th day of March, 1846, except in so far as it may be temporarily modified in respect to Clause 15 of the said Treaty by this engagement, shall remain binding upon the two Governments.

Article 2. A British officer, with an efficient establishment of assistants, shall be appointed by the Governor-General to remain at Lahore, which officer shall have full authority to direct and control all matters in every Department of the State.

Article 3. Every attention shall be paid in conducting the administration to the feelings of the people, to preserving the national institutions and customs, and to maintaining the just rights of all classes.

Article 4. Changes in the mode and details of administration shall not be made, except when found necessary for effecting the objects set forth in the foregoing Clause, and for securing the just dues of the Lahore Government. These details shall be conducted by Native officers as at present, who shall be appointed and superintended by a Council of Regency composed of leading Chiefs and Sirdars acting under the control and guidance of the British Resident.

Article 5. The following persons shall in the first instance constitute the Council of Regency, viz., Sirdar Tej Sing, Sirdar Shere Sing Attareewalla, Dewan Deena Nath, Fukeer Nooroodeen, Sirdar Runjore Sing Majeethea, Bhaee Nidhan Sing, Sirdar Utter Sing Kaleewalla, Sirdar Shumshere Sing Sindhanwalla, and no change shall be made in the persons thus nominated, without the consent of the British Resident, acting under the orders of the Governor-General.

Article 6. The administration of the country shall be conducted by this Council of Regency in such manner as may be determined on by themselves in consultation with the British Resident, who shall have full authority to direct and control the duties of every department.

Article 7. A British Force of such strength and numbers and in such positions as the Governor-General may think fit, shall remain at Lahore for the protection of the Maharajah and the preservation of the peace of the country.

Article 8. The Governor-General shall be at liberty to occupy with British soldiers any fort or military post in the Lahore territories, the occupation of which may be deemed necessary by the British Government, for the security of the capital or for maintaining the peace of the country.

Article 9. The Lahore State shall pay to the British Government twenty two lakhs of new Nanuck Shahee Rupees of full tale and weight per annum for the maintenance of this force, and to meet the expenses incurred by the British Government. Such sum to be paid by two instalments, or 13,20,000 in May or June, and 8,80,000 in November or December of each year.

Article 10. Inasmuch as it is fitting that Her Highness the Maharanee, the mother of Maharaja Dulleep Sing, should have a proper provision made for the maintenance of herself and dependants, the sum of one lakh and fifty thousand rupees shall be set apart annually for that purpose, and shall be at Her Highness' disposal.

Article 11. The provisions of this Engagement shall have effect during the minority of His Highness Maharajah Dulleep Sing, and shall cease and terminate on His Highness attaining the full age of sixteen years or, on the 4th September of the year 1854, but it shall be competent to the Governor-General to cause the arrangement to
cease at any period prior to the coming of age of His Highness, at which the Governor-General and the Lahore Durbar may be satisfied that the interposition of the British Government is no longer necessary for maintaining the Government of His Highness the Maharajah.

This agreement, consisting of eleven articles, was settled and executed at Lahore by the Officers and Chiefs and Sirdars above named, on the 16th day of December, 1846.
(Sd.) F. CURRIE H.M. LAWRENCE (Sd.)

Sirdar Tej Sing (L.S.)
Sirdar Shere Sing (L.S.)
Dewan Deena Nath (L.S.)
Fukeer Nooroodeen (L.S.)
Rai Kishen Chund (L.S.)
Sirdar Runjore Sing Majethea (L.S.)
Sirdar Utter Sing Kalewalla (L.S.)
Bhaee Nidhan Sing (L.S.)
Sirdar Khan Sing Majethea (L.S.)
Sirdar Shumshere Sing (L.S.)
Sirdar Lal Sing Morarea (L.S.)
Sirdar Kher Sing Sindhanwalla (L.S.)
Sirdar Urjan Sing Rungurnungalea (L.S.)
(Sd.) Hardinge (L.S.) & (Sd.) Dulleep Sing (L.S.)

Ratified by the Right Honorable the Governor-General, at Bhyrowal Ghat on the left bank of the Beas, twenty-sixth day of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-Six.
(Sd.) F. CURRIE,
Secretary to the Government of India

Source:Encyclopaedia of Sikhism - Harbans Singh

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