WADE, SIR CLAUDE MARTINE (1794-1861), soldier and diplomat, son of Lt-Col Joseph Wade of the Bengal army, was born on 3 April 1794. He joined the Bengal army in 1809 and was promoted Lieutenant in 1815. He served in operations against Scindia and Holkar, and the Piṇḍārīs (1815-19) and officiated as brigade-major to British troops in Oudh (1820-21). In February 1823, he was appointed assistant at Ludhiāṇā agency, becoming political agent in 1832 which position he held till 1840.

        Martine Wade was one of the few British functionaries on the Sutlej who by their tact and amia-ble disposition had won the esteem and affection of the Sikhs. He remained at Ludhiāṇā for 17 years as assistant to agent (1823-27), political assistant (1827-32), and then as political agent (1832-40). In his relations with the Sikh Government, Wade balanced the interests of the two States in such a manner as, in due course, he became a personal friend of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh, who valued his advice and counsel on political matters. In the adjustment of territorial disputes between the two governments, Wade advocated to his own government a policy of judicious settlement in opposition to Captain Murray, the political agent at Ambālā, who favoured an outright rejection of Raṇjīt Siṅgh's claim to territories in the cis-Sutlej area, including Wadnī, Himmatpur, Fīrozpur, the Āhlūvālīā and Kaṅg possessions, Siālbā, Anandpur and Chamkaur.

        Wade was chiefly instrumental in arranging the Ropaṛ meeting between Raṇjīt Siṅgh and Lord William Bentinck in October 1831. By his tact, he persuaded the Mahārājā to join the Indus navigation scheme and forgo his claim on Shikārpur and Sindh. He impressed upon Lord Auckland the necessity of retaining the powerful Sikhs as allies, as against the advice of Alexander Burnes who had proposed that Peshāwar should be taken from the Sikhs and restored to the Afghāns. Wade's personal influence with Raṇjīt Siṅgh was one of the factors in the ratification of the tripartite treaty of 1838.

        After the death of Raṇjīt Siṅgh, Wade's relations with the Sikh court became less harmonious. He offended Kaṅvar Nau Nihāl Siṅgh and Rājā Dhiān Siṅgh, and the Sikh Government demanded his recall from Ludhiāṇā. On 1 April 1840, Lord Auckland replaced Wade by George Russell Clerk at the North-West Frontier Agency. Wade was appointed resident at Indore. He held this office till his retirement in May 1844. Wade died on 21 October 1861.


  1. Banerjee, A.C., Anglo-Sikh Relations. Calcutta, 1949
  2. Gupta, Hari Ram, Panjab on the Eve of First Sikh War. Chandigarh, 1975
  3. Hasrat, Bikrama Jit, ed., The Punjab Papers. Hoshiarpur, 1970
  4. Buckland, C.E., Dictionary of Indian Biography. London, 1906

B. J. Hasrat