Capture of Ganjam

With the grant of Dewani in 1765, Lord Clive obtained from Emperor Shah Alam the Northern Circars consisting of Chicacole, Rajahmudry, Ellore and Guntur as free gift in which the present undivided Ganjam district was included. The British East India Company also got Midnapur which was a part of Odisha. Thus, the British authorities acquired Oriya speaking tracts, both in South and in the North. This facilitated them to conquer Odisha with ease.

The contract of 1765

The firman issued to the British East India Company on 12 August, 1765, was put into practice on 12 November, 1766 when another treaty was concluded between Nizam Ali, the ruler of Hyderabad and Colonel Forde. Accordingly, letters were issued to all zamindars of Northern Circars suggesting them to regard the British East India Company as their sovereign in future. Henceforth, they should pay their rents and show respect to the British authorities.

Inquiry of Cotsford

In this way, the Northern Circars consisting of the Chicacole circar of which the undivided Ganjam district then formed a part, came under the British occupation. The English administrative officers moved from Madras immediately to secure Ganjam and Icchapur. Cotsford, an English engineer, was appointed as the Resident of Ganjam by an order in the council passed on 2 December, 1766. Cotsford viewed the political situation of the area and found that territories lying north of Visakhapatnam, were in a state of turmoil on account of the grand design of Narayanadeva of Paralakhemindi. He intimated this fact to Madras.

Contract with Narayanadeva

The Madras Government now wanted to deal with Narayanadeva scorn and contempt. Colonel Peach was sent from Masulipatam to deal with that refractory chief. At this arrival, Narayanadeva became panic-stricken and fled away from Paralakhemundi, after being defeated at the hands of the British troops at Jalmur in May 1768. He then went to Maliahs and was forced to take shelter there. The administration of Paralakhemundi was entrusted upon his Dewan. Cotsford safely arrived and took over his charge as the Resident in July 1768. In this way, Ganjam was annexed to Madras province and came under the sway of the British administration.