PESHWA (Prime Ministers)



TITLE: Peshwa (Prime Minister) ANNEXATION: 3rd June 1818


Peshwa (also known in Marathi as Peshwe) were Brahmin Prime Ministers
to the Maratha Chattrapatis (Kings), who began commanding Maratha
armies and later became the hereditary rulers of the Maratha empire of
central India from 1749 AD to 1818 AD. They oversaw the greatest
expansion of the Maratha Empire around 1760, and also its eventual
annexation by the British East India Company in 1818. The word Peshwa
may have originated in Persian, meaning “foremost”, and was introduced
in Deccan by the Muslim rulers. After his coronation as a Maratha
Chhatrapati in 1674, the founder of the Maratha Empire, Shivaji
appointed Moropant Trimbak Pingle as the first Peshwa. Duties and
authorities of a Peshwa were equal to that of a Prime Minister. The
position moved to the Bhat family of Shri Vardhan in the Konkan region,
upon appointment of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat as Peshwa by the fourth
Chattrapati Shahu in 1713. It was the appointment of his son, Baji Rao
I as Peshwa in 1719 by Shahu that made the position hereditary in the
Bhat family. Shahu, who also appointed Baji Rao’s son as Peshwa in 1740
, gave considerable authority to the Peshwas to command the Maratha
armies, and they responded well during his reigns.By the time of
Shahu’s death in1749 , the Bhat Peshwas were the effective rulers of
the Maratha state, and they moved their administrative capital from
Satara to the new city ofPune. Shivaji’s descendants remained as the
titular Raja of Satara, were called Swami (Marathi
:spiritual leader) by the Peshwa who used to report to them, and seek
guidance periodically. The first Bhat family Peshwa was Balaji
Vishwanath Bhat, a Chitpavan Brahmin . He was succeeded as Peshwa by
son Baji Rao I, who never lost a battle. Baji Rao and his son, Balaji
Baji Rao, oversaw the period of greatest Maratha expansion (see map at
right), brought to an end by the Maratha’s defeat by an Afghan army at
the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. The last Peshwa, Baji Rao II, was
defeated by the British East India Company in the Third Anglo-Maratha
War in 1818. The Peshwa’s territory in central Maharashtra was annexed
to the British East India Company’s Bombay province, and he was
pensioned off.

    , Peshwa 1713/1719, born 1662, a
    Chittpawan Brahmin who became the first Peshwa on 16th November 1713,
    he initially worked as an accountant at Chiplun, then he was
    Sar-subhedar at Pune 1699/1703, appointed as Senakarta (Army Commander) in
    1713,  married 1stly, Rani (name
    ), married 2ndly, Rani Radhabai, born 1700, died 1752,
    and had issue. He
    died 2nd April 1719.

    • Peshwa Baji Rao I (qv)
    • Shrimant
      Anubai Sahiba, married Shrimant Venkatrao Narayanrao Ghorpade of Ichalkaranji, and had issue.
    • Shrimant Chimnaji Rao, born 1708, married and had issue.
      He died 1741 (aged 42!).

      • Shrimant Bhao Sahib
  • Peshwa BAJI RAO I
    [Baji Rao Vishwanath Bhatt], Peshwa 1719/1740,
    born 18th August 1699, is said to have fought over 36 battles without
    losing one, he moved the administrative capital of the Maratha Empire
    Satara to the new city of Pune in 1728; married (a) Rani Kashibai,
    married (b), Rani Radhabai, and had
    issue, as well as issue by his mistress, Mastani. He died
    25th April 1740 and was cremated on 28th April 1740 at Raverkhed on the
    Narmada river.

    • Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao [Nana Saheb] (by Rani Radhabai)
    • Peshwa Rahunath Rao (qv)
    • Shrimant Janardan Rao, died young.
    • Shrimant Sadashiv Rao, died 14th January 1761 in the
      Third Battle of
    • Nawab Shamsher Bahadur I (by Mastani), born
      1734, married and had issue (see Banda). He died 14th Janaury 1761 in
      the Third Battle of

      • Nawab Ali Bahadur I, Nawab of Banda 1790/1802, married
        and had
        issue. He
        died 1802.

        • Nawab Shamsher Bahadur II, Nawab of Banda 1802/1825,
        • Nawab Zulfikar Ali, Nawab of Banda in 1802 and
          married and had issue.

          • Nawab Ali Bahadur II, Nawab of Banda 1850/1858,
            and had issue, three sons. He died 1873.
        • [?Raja Jagat Bahadur fl.1833]
    [Nana Saheb], Peshwa 1740/1761, born 1721, a
    vigorous builder, he transformed the village into a city, establishing
    many new neighbourhoods, he constructed the Parvati Temple, and the
    first permanent bridge over the Mutha River, he also established a
    reservoir at
    the nearby town of Katraj to provide clean running water to the city
    (which is still functioning), he married (amongst
    others), Rani Gopikabai [née Raste], born 20th December 1724 in
    Supa near Pune, died 11th August 1778 in Nashik, and had issue. He died

    • Shrimant Vishvas Rao (eldest son, by Rani Gopikabai),
      born 1743, engaged to, Shrimant Radhikabai. He died sp on 14th
      January 1761 at the Third Battle of Panipat.
    • Peshwa Madhav Rao I (by Rani Gopikabai) (qv)
    • Peshwa Narayan Rao (by Rani Gopikabai) (qv)
  • Peshwa MADHAV RAO I,
    Peshwa 1761/1772, born 16th February 1745,
    died 18th November
  • Peshwa NARAYAN RAO,
    Peshwa 1772/1773, born 1749, married (a), Rani Ganga
    Bai, died July
    1777, married (b), a daughter of Sardar Bhikaji Naik, and had issue. He
    murdered by the bodyguard of his uncle in 1773 in
    Shaniwarwada, Pune.

    • Peshwa Madhav Rao II (qv)
    Peshwa 1773/1774, born 1734, he was
    instrumental in exapnding the Maratha empire up to Attock (in present
    day Pakistan) to 1760, after his brother’s death in 1761 he was
    appointed as regent for the new Peshwa but intrigued against his nephew
    and soon fell out of favour, a conspiracy with the Nizam of Hyderabad
    was discovered and he was imprisoned and released only after Peshwa
    Madhav Rao’s death in 1772, he married 1stly, Rani Janki Bai,
    died 1755, married 2ndly, Rani Anandi Bai, died April 1794, and had
    He died 24th February 1784.

    • Shrimant Amrit Rao, married and had issue.
      • Shrimant
        Vinayakrao, married [Rajkumari Malatibai, daughter of Meherban
        Raja Vinayakrao
        Hariharrao [Nana Saheb] Patwardhan of Kurundwad
        Jnr, and his wife, Rani Gangabai], and had issue.

        • Shrimant Narayanrao, died sp.
        • Shrimant Madhavrao, educated at Government College,
          Bareilly; in 1877 he was receiving a pension of 2,000Rs per mensem from
          the Government; married and had issue, two sons.
        • generation
          • Rao Balwant Rao, head of the family at Karwi, born
            1828, his two uncles joined in the rebellion of
            1857, and their estates were confiscated, and themselves deported,
            married and had adoptive issue.

            • (A) Rao
              Moreshwar Rao, born 17th August 1872.
    • Shrimant Bhaskar Rao, born 26th February 1762.
    • Shrimant Durga Bai
    • Peshwa Baji Rao II (qv)
  • Peshwa MADHAV RAO II,
    Peshwa 1774/1795, born 18th April 1774
    posthumously, married Rani Yasoda
    Bai (she adopted Peshwa Chimnaji Appa). He died sp on 25th
    Peshwa 1795/1796, born 1783, died 1830.
  • Peshwa BAJI RAO II,
    Peshwa 1796/1818, born 10th January 1775 in
    Dhar, the last Peshwa of the
    Maratha Confederacy, concluded the Treaty of Bassein in December 1802
    with the British, who utlimately  triumphed in the Second and
    Third Anglo Maratha Wars, the Peshwa was made to retire near Kanpur on
    a pension, married (amongst
    others), 6thly, Rani Saraswati Bai Pendse, and had issue, as well as
    adoptive issue. He died 1851.

    • Shrimant Vaman Rao, born 1810.
    • Shrimant Gangadhar Rao
    • Shrimant Dada Saheb Peshwe, married and had issue.
      • Shrimant Pandurangrao Peshwe
    • Shrimant Baija Bai, married the son of Sardar Babasaheb
      Apte of Gwalior.
    • Rani Saraswatibai [Yogabai], born 1843, married 1855,
      Meherban Raja
      Ganpatrao I Hariharrao [Bapu Saheb] Patwardhan of Kurundwad Jnr. She died 1858.
    • (A) Shrimant Govind Dhondu Pant [Nana Saheb], died
      about 1859,
      possibly in


  • Shrimant
    Vinayakrao Peshwe, married Rajkumari Malatibai, daughter of Meherban
    Raja Vinayakrao
    Hariharrao [Nana Saheb] Patwardhan of Kurundwad
    Jnr, and his wife, Rani Gangabai.


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