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BOOK IV
CHAP. 8.

1768.

66

The victory gained over the united forces of the allies, and their final separation by treaty, elevated the Madras government to a high tone of ambition. They resolved not only to carry their arms into Mysore, but to make the conquest and acquisition of the country. They pressed Mohammed Ali to join the army, that the war might as far as possible appear to be his.

They pompously” (as the Directors afterwards reproached them)“ appointed him Phousdar of Mysore,” and afterwards accused nim, for accepting that very title, “ of an insatiable desire of extending his dominions.”? To bring the conduct of the war still more under the control of the Presidency, they sent to the army two members of council, as field deputies, without whose concurrence no operations should be carried on. These members compelled the commander of the troops to renounce his own scheme of operations, that he might act offensively against Mysore. The English army, however, too feeble for the enterprise, acted without energy; and the summer of 1768 passed in unavailing movements and diminutive attempts. Hyder, the newness of whose government could not long dispense with his presence, was well inclined to postpone his struggle with the

press a strong opinion on the passion of their servants for interfering extensively with the native powers. “We cannot take a view of your conduct, from the commencement of your negotiation for the Circars, without the strongest disapprobation; and when we see the opulent fortunes, suddenly acquired by our servants, who are returned since that period, it gives but too much weight to the public opinion, that the rage for negotiations, treaties, and alliances, has private advantage for its object more than the public good.Ibid. p. 520, 521.

| Letter from the Directors to Governor and Council of Madras, 17th March, 1769.

CHAP. 8.

1769.

English, and made in September an overture towards BOOK IV peace. It was received, however, with great haughtiness by the Presidency, whose persuasion of the weakness of their enemy, and hopes of a speedy conquest of his realm, it only tended to increase and inflame. In the mean time Hyder was by no means inattentive to the war. He took the considerable fort of Mulwaggle; and gained some advantages over Colonel Wood, who attempted in vain to recover the place. The Presidency, dissatisfied with the progress of the war, under Colonel Smith, who was highly exasperated by the control of the field deputies, recalled that respectable officer; and Mohammed Ali, whom they had in some measure forced to join the army, but who was now unwilling to leave it, they commanded, under pain of deprivation, to return. The army became weak and despondent, through sickness and desertion. Hyder displayed increasing vigour. He attacked Colonel Wood, who was unable to save his baggage. Before the end of the year he had recovered all the conquered districts; and in January, 1769, carried his usual ravages into the Carnatic. He penetrated into the district of Trichinopoly; and detached one of his Generals into the provinces of Madura and Tinivelly, which he plundered and laid waste. The English army were unprovided with horse, and could neither overtake the march of Hyder, nor interrupt his devastations. No part of the southern division of the Carnatic escaped his destructive ravages, except the dominions of the Raja of Tanjore, who saved himself by a timely accommodation, and whose alliance Hyder was solicitous to

CHAP. 8.

1769.

BOOK IV gain. Colonel Smith was again placed at the head

of the English forces, and by judicious movements straitened the operations of Hyder. He even interposed with dexterity a detachment between Hyder and his own country, which was of the less importance, however, to that warrior, as he drew his resources from the country in which he fought.

Hyder now meditated a stroke, which he executed with great felicity and address. Sending all his heavy baggage and collected plunder home from Pondicherry, which during this incursion he had twice visited to confer with the French, he drew the English army, by a series of artful movements, to a considerable distance from Madras, when, putting himself at the head of 6000 cavalry, and performing a march of 120 miles in a space of three days, he appeared suddenly on the mount of San Thomé, in the immediate vicinity of the English capital. From this he dispatched a message to the Governor, requiring that a negotiation for peace should immediately be opened; and that in the mean time the approach of the army in the field should be forbidden. The Presidency were struck with consternation. The fort might undoubtedly have held out till the arrival of Smith ; but the open town, with its riches, the adjacent country, and the garden houses of the President and Council, would have been ravaged and destroyed. The Presidency were now seriously inclined to peace; and notwithstanding the unfavourableness of their situation, they agreed to negotiate upon Hyder's terms. A treaty was concluded on the 4th of April, 1769, consisting of two grand conditions ; first, a mutual

CHAP. 8.

repose. It is

restitution of conquests, including the cession to BOOK IV Hyder of a small district, which had formerly been cut off from the Mysorean dominions; and secondly, 1769. mutual aid, and alliance in defensive wars.

The disasters of the war in the Carnatic, with the disorders which pervaded the government of Bengal, excited the most violent apprehensions in the Company; and reduced sixty per cent. the price of East India Stock. The treaty with Hyder was the bed on which the resentments of the Directors sought to

It is very observable, however, that their letters on this subject abound much more with terms of vague and general reproach, than with any clear designation of mischief to which the conditions of the treaty were calculated to give birth. They accuse the Presidency of irresolution, and incapacity; and tell them that by the feebleness with which they had carried on the war, and the pusillanimity with which they had made peace at the dictation of an enemy, “ they had laid a foundation for the natives of Hindustan to think they may insult the Company at pleasure with impunity.” Yet they pretended not, that a mutual renunciation of conquests was not better than a continuation of the war; or that the vain boast of driving Hyder's light cavalry from the walls of Madras would not have been dearly purchased with the ravage of the city of Madras, and the surrounding country. The Presidency affirm that they “were compelled to make peace for want of money to wage war.”? And the only imprudent article of the treaty, in which, however, there was

· Letter to the Court of Directors, 23rd March, 1770; Rous's App.

p. 1415.

CHAP,9.

1769.

BOOK IV nothing of humiliation or inconsistency with the

train of the Company's policy, was the reciprocation of military assistance; because of this the evident tendency (a circumstance however which seemed not ever to be greatly deprecated,) was, to embroil them with other powers.

CHAPTER IX.

Public opinion in England, Proceedings in the

India House, and in Parliament.-- Plan of Supervisors.- Plan of a King's Commissioner.-Increase of pecuniary Difficulties.-- Dividend raised.

Company unable to meet their Obligations. Parliamentary Inquiry.Ministerial Relief.An Act, which changes the Constitution of the Company.— Tendency of the Change.— Financial and Commercial State.

The affairs of the Company excited various and conflicting passions in England ; and gave rise to measures of more than ordinary importance. The

For these transactions, besides the printed official documents, the well-informed, but not impartial author, of the History and Management of the East India Company, has been, with caution, followed, together with Robson's Life of Hyder Ali, corrected from authentic MSS. by Mr. Grant.-M. A more authentic and accurate account is to be found in Colonel Wilks's Historical Sketches of the South of India.-W.

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