Raghuji III, 1818-1853

When Appasaheb was arrested the Resident Mr. Jenkins decided to adopt Bajiba, the son of Banubai, as the successor to the Bhosle gadi. Banubai was the daughter of Raghuji II. The adoption ceremony was performed on 26-6-1818 and Bajiba was renamed Raghuji III. He was then only ten years old. It was the Resident who took the entire administration into his own hands during the minority of Raghuji III. Bakabai was to look after the palace affairs. Her ambition to rule may be said to have been fulfilled at least partly. Prior to his retirement the Resident held a grand darbar and read out the terms of the treaty with Raghuji III on 1-12-1826. It was ratified by the Governor General on 13-12-1826.

The terms of the treaty were
(1) The terms of this treaty which were not contradictory to the subsidiary alliance of 1816 were accepted by the Raja.
(2) The Raja was not to have any relationship with the other Maratha States. He was to retain the title of Sena-saheb-Subha but was to relinquish the honours connected with it.
(3) The Raja should give to the English territory worth Rs.7.5 lacs for the maintenance of the subsidiary force. He was hereafter not required to keep the contingent force as decided previously by the subsidiary alliance of 1816. The English promised to continue the raj in the house of the Bhosles perpetually.
(4) The raj was given over to the King as he had come of age.
(5) Canda, Devagad, the territory up the Ghats, Lanji and Chattisgad were to be under the English along with the feudatories of these regions. The Raja was to receive Rs.17 lacs from these territories after deducting the expenses. The Raja was to rule over Nagpur and the rest of the territory.
(6) the Raja should act on the advice of the English in respect of the appointment of officials, the Raja’s privy purse and the laws of the territory. The English had the right to inspect the King’s treasury and the accounts of his kingdom.
(7) In the event of maladministration the English were free to appoint their own officers and manage things.
(8) The English were free to take over Sitabuldi or any other fort they required.

Mr. Jenkins gave charge of his office to Captain Hamilton on 29-12-1826 and proceeded to Bombay for further journey.(NPI., pp. 486-88)

Jenkins deserves praise for the peace and good administration he gave to the Bhosle raj during his ten years career. He was able to turn the deficit of the kingdom into a surplus treasury. His treatment of the Bhosles was far more considerate than the one meted out to the Pesvas by Malcolm. He could have easily annexed Nagpur to the British territory had he meant so.

Jenkins took care to educate Raghuji III. Raghuji was introduced to the ‘Three R.’s’ and had working knowledge of Persian and Marathi though he had no inclination for learning.(Ibid, p. 482) In the early part of his royal career Raghuji took keen interest in administrative matters but later neglected them. He loved music and dancing and later indulged in gambling to the neglect of his duties. He was addicted to drinking and during his last illness he drank desperately. Apart from these personal vices Raghuji was on the whole a just and good administrator. He was a popular King.

Raghuji was not blessed by progeny though he had in all eight wives. He had one son who died in infancy after whom he probably did not get any issue. He does not seem to have cared for his successor. He probably considered his being without a son as a blemish and left the question of succession to its own fate. This, however, proved to be detrimental to the Bhosle House as is borne by facts. Raghuji was not on Rood terms with Resident Mansel. This might have adversely affected the succession question.

Raghuji had been to Kasi, Gaya and other holy places on a pilgrimage in 1838. He was accompanied by Captain Fitzgerald with his Madras contingent. Raghuji died at the age of 47 after a long illness of 25 days on 11th December 1853. His obsequies were performed by his nephew Nana Ahirarav and it was decided to adopt his son Yasavantrav as the next successor.(NPI., pp. 507-08)

This article is part of MARATHA PERIOD (Complete History of Nagpur)