Soldiers of Misfortune

 the history of mercenaries
French officer in India

Pierre Cuillier-Perron (1755-1834)

Pierre Cuillier-Perron was a French soldier of Fortune in India. He was born as the son of a merchant with the name Pierre Cuillier, at Château du Loire in France. In 1780 he came as a sailor on a French ship to India and deserted on the Malabar coast. He went north and enlisted in a mercenary corps under a Scotsman named Sangster. In 1790 he took service under the famous general De Boigne and became commander of the second brigade.

In 1795 he assisted to win the battle of Kardla against the nizam of Hyderabad. After De Boigne's retirement he became commander-in-chief of Sindhia's army. At the battle of Malpura (1800) he defeated the Rajput forces.

After the defeat of Ujjain (1891) he refused to send his troops to the aid of Sindhia. His treachery on this occasion shook his position, and on the outbreak of war between Sindhia and the British in 1803 Perron was superseded and fled to the British camp.

In the battles of Delhi, Laswari, Ally Ghur (now Aligarh) and Assaye, Perron's battalions were completely destroyed by Lord Lake and Sir Arthur Wellesley. Perron returned to France with a large fortune, and died in 1834.