James Skinner (soldier)
Skinner was born in India, son of Lieutenant-Colonel Hercules Skinner and a Rajput lady. Because of his Indian heritage, Skinner was unable to serve as an officer in the East India Company army and, at the age of eighteen, he entered the Mahratta army under Benoît de Boigne, where he soon showed military talent. He remained in the same service under Pierre Cuillier-Perron until 1803, when, on the outbreak of the second Anglo-Maratha War all Anglo-Indians were dismissed from Mahratta service.
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