A pirate fortress?
Admiral of the Maratha navy 1698 – 1729, Kanhoji Angre, father of Taluji.
The East India Company described Tulaji Angre, the master of Suvarnadurg, as a pirate because he attacked their ships. However he was the legitimate independent ruler of lands that had been given to his father by the Marathas.
Tulaji felt entitled to attack any ship that did not have a pass of safe conduct issued by his men. When Tulaji attempted to make peace with the East India Company in 1754, he received the reply:
‘Can you imagine that the English will ever submit to take passes of any Indian nation? This they cannot do. We grant passes, but would take none from anybody.’
Not all the British regarded him as a pirate. One Mumbai-based Englishman wrote in 1757:
‘…the term pirate, applied to him, is a very mistaken epithet (name) and can have arisen from no other foundation but his general captures…’
Tulaji surrendered to the Marathas just before the fall of Geriah in 1756, rather than fall into the hands of the British. He remained a prisoner for the rest of his life.