Raja serfoji ll passed away on 8th March 1832. The sad demise of the noble king was reported by the acting resident J. Blackburn to the secretary to the government at fort St. George. A true extract of the letter is produced below, which will indicate the high esteem in which he was held by his subjects.
“The Right Honorable The Governor will be much grieved to be informed His Highness Maharaj Serfoji is no more.
His decease took place at 4 a.m yesterday morning and his life had been despaired of for 18 hours previous to the final dissolution.
The ceremonies prior to the removal of the body in procession then commenced and by 6 p.m. The corpse was consumed in sight of an assembled multitude of little short of 90,000 persons; and I endeavoured that every possible honour should be paid on the part of the British government.
During the protracted and varying state of His Highness’s illness I passed much of my time in the palace as did also Mr. Assistant Surgeon Bill and Mr.Acting Superintendent Surgeon Currie, and I cannot resist bearing my testimony to the firmness, perfect resignation and cheerfulness with which his highness bore it throughout. The time carried attendance, soliciture, and care of some of his highness’s relations, principal officers and servants was such as to impress me with the highest respect for the kindness of heart and social qualities that could have called them forth is so eminent a degree. The testimony of deep respect and regret shown towards the corpse on the whole line of the procession by all rank of people, two thirds of whom must have been in the intimate knowledge of his behavior,to and government of, his subjects goes far to prove the moderation the equity and liberality of his rule over them. In some countries of Europe I have witnessed similar scenes but never Did I witness over where the expressions of regret were so touching or apparently so sincere, it seemed as the whole community were deprived of their common father and friend.
Our common feeling of sorrow seemed to pervade the whole,and I am assured that the whole population of the fort in number about 25,000 abstained from good the whole day, and that upwards 30,000 persons again attended his highness Shivaji when he returned to collect the ashes of his father this morning.
It will be proper to bring to the observation of the right honorable the governor, that the fact of the queens having been dissuaded from ascending the funeral Pyle of her husband will have most effectually and entirely broken the practice of this place such as permission can now never again be given from the palace.
May I request the favour of you to procure me the orders of the Government for the installation of his highness the Raja Shivaji ll.
May I request you also to bring to the right honorable the governor’s notice the extract from the general letter of the court of directors under date January 12th 1831, contained in yours of the 1st November 1831 directing the discontinuance of the office of resident in the demise of his highness the late Maharaja and with reference to the subsequent recommendation of the government for the continuance of the office and procure me his commands”
March, 9th 1832