Lord Clive obtained the Northern Circars of Chicacole, Rajahmudry, Ellore, and Guntur as a free gift from Emperor Shah Alam in 1765 through the grant of Dewani, which included the present undivided Ganjam district. Midnapur, which was a part of Odisha, was also acquired by the British East India Company. Thus, the British authorities acquired tracts of Oriya in both the south and north. This enabled them to easily conquer Odisha.
The 1765 contract
The firman granted to the British East India Company on 12 August 1765 was implemented on 12 November 1766 with the conclusion of another treaty between Nizam Ali, the ruler of Hyderabad, and Colonel Forde. As a result, letters were sent to all zamindars of Northern Circars advising them to view the British East India Company as their future sovereign. They should now pay their rents and demonstrate respect for the British authorities.
Inquiry of Cotsford
Thus, the Northern Circars, which included the undivided Ganjam district at the time, came under British occupation. English administrative officers immediately relocated from Madras to secure Ganjam and Icchapur. Cotsford, an English engineer, was appointed Resident of Ganjam on 2 December 1766 by an order of the council. Cotsford examined the area’s political situation and discovered that territories north of Visakhapatnam were in turmoil as a result of Narayanadeva of Paralakhemindi’s grand design. He informed Madras of this fact.
Contract with Narayanadeva
The Madras Government desired to deal with Narayanadeva’s contempt and scorn at this point. Colonel Peach was dispatched from Masulipatam to deal with the chief’s obstinacy. Narayanadeva became panic-stricken upon this arrival and fled from Paralakhemundi, having been defeated by British troops at Jalmur in May 1768. He then proceeded to Maliahs, where he was forced to seek refuge. His Dewan was entrusted with the administration of Paralakhemundi. Cotsford arrived safely and took over as Resident in July 1768. As a result, Ganjam was annexed by Madras province and came under the British administration’s control.