Saturday 04 Feb 2023

Noted Goans during Peshwe era in Pune-3: 2 Goans follow illustrious kin


Lt Col Jose Antonio Pinto was one of the most decorated names in the Maratha army during the regime of Bajirao II and belonged to the famous Pinto family of Candolim. Such was his influence that his brother and a relative joined the Maratha army in Pune.

Major Francisco Caetano Pinto

Francisco Caetano Pinto was born in 1769, in the illustrious Pinto family of Candolim. Following in the footsteps of his brother Lt Gen Jose Antonio Pinto, he joined the Maratha army in Pune. With sheer grit and valour, he rose to the rank of a Major in Peshwe’s forces.

He fought gallantly on behalf of Peshwe during the decisive wars of 1817 and 1818. He demonstrated his Christian humanitarian virtue when saving two British officers, Hunter and Morrison. During one of the battles with East India Company, these two British cavalry officers were captured by Gen Bapu Gokhale’s forces. These prisoners were chained and tortured cruelly. Maj Francisco could not bear such inhuman treatment to the prisoners and used his good office to avoid cruelty to these prisoners.

He returned to Goa in 1818 after the defeat of Peshwa. In view of his humanitarian gestures to English officers, the East India Company conferred on him an annual pension of 5,000 xerafins about Rs 25,000. After his demise, this pension continued to his wife, but for half the amount.

His first wife, Mariana da Conceicao da Cunha of Chorao died issueless. On his return from Pune, he remarried Carlota de Souza from Calangute.

Captain Jose Joaquim Pinto

Jose Joaquim Pinto was born at Candolim on October 14, 1771. He hailed from the illustrious Pinto family of Candolim but belonged to another branch of the Pinto family. Like his cousins, Lt Col Jose Antonio Pinto and Maj Francisco Caetano Pinto, Jose Joaquim also went to Pune and joined the Maratha army.

However, he was in the division of another noted Goan General and his close relative, Joaquim Antonio Luiz Vaz from Diwar. On behalf of General Vaz’s battalion, he participated in a battle at Jalna, which is about 300 kms from Pune in Marathwada, in the territory of Nizam.

Captain Jose Joaquim Pinto faced a defeat in this campaign. The blame for this defeat of Marathas was put on this brave captain who fought valiantly. He was put in prison in Pune along with his fellow Goan, Lt Joao Salvadore Mendes. Around 1800, after the death of General Vaz in a duel, he was set free. He returned to Goa and led a peaceful life. He remained a bachelor and died on 7th June 1854.

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