Jung Bahadur, Sir, Maharaja

JUNG BAHADUR, SIR, MAHARAJA (1816-1877), P"me minister of Nepal, was a grand-nephew of Bhim sena Thapa (Bhim sen Thappa), the famous military minister of Nepal, who from 1804 to 1839 was de facto ruler of the state under the rani Tripuri and her successor. Bhimsena's supremacy was threatened by the Kala Pandry, and many of his relations, including Jung Bahadur, went into exile in 1838, thus escaping the cruel fate which overtook Bhimsena in the following year. The Pandry leaders, who then reverted to power, were in turn assassinated in 1843, and Malabar Singh, uncle of Jung Bahadur, was created prime minister. He appointed his nephew general and chief judge, but shortly afterwards he was himself put to death. Fateh Jung thereon formed a ministry, of which Jung Bahadur was made military member. In the following year, 1846, a quarrel was fomented, in which Fateh Jung and thirtytwo other chiefs were assassinated, and the rani appointed Jung Bahadur sole minister. The rani quickly changed her mind, and planned the death of her new minister, who at once appealed to the maharaja. But the plot failed. The raja and the rani wisely sought safety in India, and Jung Bahadur firmly established his own position by the removal of all dangerous rivals. He succeeded so well that in January 1850 he was able to leave for a visit to England, from which he did not return to Nepal until the 6th of February 1851. On his return, and frequently on subsequent dates, he frustrated conspiracies for his assassination. The reform of the penal code, and a desultory war with Tibet, occupied his attention until news of the Indian Mutiny reached Nepal. Jung Bahadur resisted all overtures from the rebels, and sent a column to Gorakpur in July 1857. In December he furnished a force of 8000 Gurkhas, which reached Lucknow on the nth of March 1858, and took part in the siege. The moral support of the Nepalese was more valuable even than the military services rendered by them. Jung Bahadur was made a G.C.B., and a tract of country annexed in 1815 was restored to Nepal. Various frontier disputes were settled, and in 1875 Sir Jung Bahadur was on his way to England when he had a fall from his horse in Bombay and returned home. He received a visit from the Prince of Wales in 1876. On the 25th of February 1877 he died, having reached the age of sixty-one. Three of his widows immolated themselves on his funeral pyre. (W. L.-W.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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