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George Thomas (born Roscrea, Tipperary, c 1756; died Barhampur, India, Aug. 22, 1802) was an Irish mercenary who was active in 18th-century India. In the 1790s he was the most successful general in India.



Areas under the East India company's control, 1765-1805

His father was a poor Catholic tenant farmer near Roscrea who died when George was a child. Originally press-ganged at Youghal, where he worked as a labourer on the docks, Thomas deserted from the British Navy in Madras in 1781. Still illiterate, he led a group of Pindaris north to Delhi by 1787, where he took service under Begum Samru of Sardhana. Supplanted in her favour by a Frenchman, he transferred his allegiance to Appa Rao, a Mahratta chieftain. [1]

He was finally defeated and captured by Sindhia's army under General Pierre Cuillier-Perron. He died on his way down the Ganges on 22 Aug. 1802.[1]

See alsoEdit

  • Company rule in India



Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) "Thomas, George" Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press ; Endnotes:

  • Francklin, Military Memoirs of Mr George Thomas (1803)
  • Compton, Military Adventurers of Hindustan (1892).

Further readingEdit

  • Hennessy, MN "George Thomas - the Rajah from Tipperary", London, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1971. ISBN 0-283-48492-6
  • "George Thomas - the Rajah from Tipperary", The Calcutta Review, No. CXL (1880) (reprint of H. G. Keene, George Thomas -An episode from the Great Anarchy)
  • Bidwell, Shelford, Swords for hire: European Mercenaries in Eighteenth Century India (1971). John Murray.
  • Haefs, Gisbert, Raja (2000), btb Verlag, a historical novel in German

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