The one success of his Oxford career was the winning the Newdigate Prize by his poem "Salsette and Elephanta," which he recited in the Sheldonian Theatre (June 1839).
Claimants to the throne of the peshwa, agreed to cede Salsette and Bassein to the British, in consideration of being himself restored to Poona.
Raghunath Rao, the English claimant, was set aside; Gujarat was restored, and only Salsette and some other small islands were retained by the English.
At this time Bombay was threatened by the Mahrattas from inland, by the Malabar pirates and the Dutch from the sea, and was cut off from the mainland by the Portuguese, who still occupied the island of Salsette and had established a customs-barrier in the channel between Bombay and the shore.
Meanwhile the Mahratta conquest of Bassein and Salsette (1737-1739) had put a stop to the hostility of the Portuguese, and a treaty of alliance with the Siddis (1733) had secured a base of supplies on the mainland.
The first collision of the English with the Mahratta power was in 1774 and resulted in 1782 in the treaty of Salbai, by which Salsette was ceded to the British, while Broach was handed over to Sindhia.
In 1803 the Bombay presidency included only Salsette, the islands of the harbour (since 1774), Surat and Bankot (since 1756); but between this date and 1827 the framework of the presidency took its present shape.