BUXERRY, s. A matchlock man; apparently used in much the same sense as Burkundauze (q.v.) now obsolete. We have not found this term excepting in documents pertaining to the middle decades of 18th century in Bengal; [but see references supplied by Mr. Irvine below;] nor have we found any satisfactory etymology. Buxo is in Port. a gun-barrel (Germ. Buchse); which suggests some possible word buxeiro. There is however none such in Bluteau, who has, on the other hand, “Butgeros, an Indian term, artillery- men, &c.,” and quotes from Hist. Orient. iii. 7: “Butgeri sunt hi qui quinque tormentis praeficiuntur.” This does not throw much light. Bajjar, ‘thunderbolt,’ may have given vogue to a word in analogy to P. barkandaz, ‘lightning-darter,’ but we find no such word. As an additional conjecture, however, we may suggest Baksaris, from the possible circumstance that such men were recruited in the country about Baksar (Buxar), i.e. the Shahabad district, which up to 1857 was a great recruiting ground for sepoys. [There can be no doubt that this last suggestion gives the correct origin of the word. Buchanan Hamilton, Eastern India, i. 471, describes the large number of men who joined the native army from this part of the country.]

[1690.—The Mogul army was divided into three classes—Suwaran, or mounted men; Topkhanah, artillery; Ahsham, infantry and artificers.

[“Ahsham — Banduqchi-i-jangi—Baksariyah wa Bundelah Ahsham, i.e. regular matchlock-men, Baksariyahs and Bundelahs.” —Dastur-ul-’amal, written about 1690-1; B. Museum MS., No. 1641, fol. 58b.]

1748.—“Ordered the Zemindars to send Buxerries to clear the boats and bring them up as Prisoners.”—Ft. William Cons., April, in Long, p. 6.

„ “We received a letter from … Council at Cossimbazar … advising of their having sent Ensign McKion with all the Military that were able to travel, 150 buxerries, 4 field pieces, and a large quantity of ammunition to Cutway.”—Ibid. p. 1.

1749.—“Having frequent reports of several straggling parties of this banditti plundering about this place, we on the 2d November ordered the Zemindars to entertain one hundred buxeries and fifty pike-men over and above what were then in pay for the protection of the outskirts of your Honor’s town.”—Letter to Court, Jan. 13, Ibid. p. 21.

1755.—“Agreed, we despatch Lieutenant John Harding of a command of soldiers 25 Buxaries in order to clear these boats if stopped in their way to this place.”—Ibid. 55.

„ “In an account for this year we find among charges on behalf of William Wallis, Esq., Chief at Cossimbazar:
“ ‘4 Buxeries20 (year) .240.’ ”

MS. Records in India Office.

1761.—“The 5th they made their last effort with all the Sepoys and Buxerries they could assemble.”—In Long, 254.

„ “The number of Buxerriés or matchlockmen was therefore augmented to 1500.”—Orme (reprint), ii. 59.

„ “In a few minutes they killed 6 buxerries.”—Ibid. 65; see also 279.

1772.—“Buckserrias. Foot soldiers whose common arms are only sword and target.”—Glossary in Grose’s Voyage, 2nd ed. [This is copied, as Mr. Irvine shows, from the Glossary of 1757 prefixed to An Address to the Proprietors of E. I. Stock, in Holwell’s Indian Tracts, 3rd ed., 1779.]

1788.—“Buxerries—Foot soldiers, whose common arms are swords and targets or spears.”—Indian Vocabulary (Stockdale’s).

1850.—“Another point to which Clive turned his attention … was the organization of an efficient native regular force.… Hitherto the native troops employed at Calcutta … designated Buxarries were nothing more than Burkandaz, armed and equipped in the usual native manner.”— Broome, Hist. of the Rise and Progress of the Bengal Army, i. 92.
). In the Life of Hyder Ali by Hussain ’Ali Khan Kirmani, tr. by Miles, we read that Hyder’s Kuzzaks were under the command of “Ghazi Khan Bede.” But whether this leader was so called from leading the “Bede” Horse, or gave his name to them, does not appear. Miles has the highly intelligent note: ‘Bede is another name for (Kuzzak): Kirkpatrick supposed the word Bede meant infantry, which, I believe, it does not’ (p. 36). The quotation from the Life of Tippoo seems to indicate that it was the name of a caste. And we find in Sherring’s Indian Tribes and Castes, among those of Mysore, mention of the Bedar as a tribe, probably of huntsmen, dark, tall, and warlike. Formerly many were employed as soldiers, and served in Hyder’s wars (iii. 153; see also the same tribe in the S. Mahratta country, ii. 321). Assuming - ar to be a plural sign, we have here probably the “Bedes” who gave their name to these plundering horse. The Bedar are mentioned as one of the predatory classes of the peninsula, along with Marawars, Kallars, Ramusis (see RAMOOSY), &c., in Sir Walter Elliot’s paper (J. Ethnol. Soc., 1869, N.S. pp. 112-13). But more will be found regarding them in a paper by the late Gen. Briggs, the translator of

  By PanEris using Melati.

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