Second Anglo-Sikh War

The first major conflict during the early period of Lord Dalhousie was the Second Anglo Sikh war in 1848-49, which ended with annexation of Punjab and end of Sikh Kingdom. After the Treaty of Lahore, Sir Henry Lawrence was appointed at the Lahore Darbar to control the policies. He left England due to some disease, and in his place a lawyer named Sir Frederick Currie was appointed at the Lahore Durbar.

Sir Frederick Currie, was a legalist and a puritan, who asked the somewhat independent Governor of Multan, Diwan Mulraj to pay arrears of the taxes. When the British officers were sent at the Mulraj’s fortress, he revolted, attacked and wounded them. These wounded officers were saved by some people but the angry mob killed them the next day. But the small army of Mul Raj was defeated, but again there was a rebellion. The war prolonged for months and Sikhs were defeated.

  • The whole of Punjab was annexed on 29 March 1849.
  • Rani Jind Kaur was imprisoned and the 11 year old Maharaja Duleep Singh was “abducted” by the British.
  • The Kohinoor diamond was also taken from him.
  • A few years later , he was later sent to England and was retired on “pension”

Now Punjab was under the British. This was a major success under Lord Dalhousie, who not only subdued the rebellions in the region, but also annexed a large territory to the British India. In next few years he had problems with the eastern neighbor Burma.