Though the family lost most of its possessions during the Mahratta invasion in the 14th century, it never became tributary to any Malwa chief.
The wazir now bethought him that he had a good opportunity for satisfying an old quarrel against the adjoining tribe of Rohillas, who had played fast and loose with him while the Mahratta army was at hand.
But the government of Bombay had hurried on a rupture with the Mahratta confederacy at a time when France was on the point of declaring war against England, and when the mother-country found herself unable to subdue her rebellious colonists in America.
On the part of Bombay, the Mahratta war was conducted with procrastination and disgrace.
Captain Popham, with a small detachment, stormed the rock fortress of Gwalior, then deemed impregnable and the key of central India; and by this feat held in check Sindhia, the most formidable of the Mahratta chiefs.