Annexation of Thana
|Annexation of Thana|
|Part of 1st Maratha War|
|Date:||12th - 28th December 1774|
|Location:||Thana, Salsette Island, Maharashtra|
|Result:||British capture Salsette Island and gain full control of Bombay Harbour and the surrounding waterways|
|East India Company||Maratha Empire|
|Brigadier General Robert Gordon (land forces), Commodore John Watson (naval forces)||Anand Rao Ram Bivakalar|
|620 European, 1,000 sepoys and 200 gun lascars||Garrison forces|
|100 Europeans plus native soldiers||Garrison forces were put to the sword|
Siege of Thana Fort 1774
This was an event during the 1st Maratha War.
The East India Company appointed Thomas Mostyn as envoy to the Peshwa’s court in Poona 1st April 1772, the aim was to curry favour and to prevent other colonial countries gaining access to Bombay’s Harbour, and the surrounding waterways. The real intention was to get possession of Salsette Island and the Bassein port from the Marathas. Mostyn's negotiations for the cession of Thana were rejected.
Urged by the news that a fleet had left Portugal to recover Salsette and Bassein, including possession of Thana. This would have left the Bombay isthmus isolated from the mainland of India. An assault was made on Thana Fort under Brigadier General Robert Gordon, on the 12th December 1774. On the 17th an attempt to fill the ditch was repulsed with the loss of 100 Europeans, a breach in the defences was made on the 24th, but it was not until the evening of the 28th the fort was taken, and the greater part of the garrison were put to the sword.
During the siege Commodore Watson, who was in command of the naval force, was mortally wounded by particles of sand driven into his body by a cannon shot, which struck the ground close to him.
Thana fort is geometric with strong earthwork revetments radiating from the core. Seen from above, the defences are still visible.