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cited. The proposal of the Company to send out another set of supervisors was negatived, and a determination to regulate their affairs, whether they would or not, was openly expressed. A bill, embodying the views of the ministry, was brought in; and as by it the constitution of the Company would be greatly altered, all possible opposition to it was made, both in and out of Parliament. The Company and the shareholders who would be disfranchised by it petitioned, and were heard by counsel at the bar of both houses against it. The city of London also petitioned against it, as of dangerous consequence to all corporations whatever. But in vain : the propositions of the minister were carried by large majorities; and in June and July, 1773, two acts respecting the Company received the royal assent.

The first was financial. Government agreed to lend the Company 1,400,000l. at 4 per cent., and not to demand the 400,000l. a year till that debt had been discharged; the Company during that time was not to divide more than 6 per cent., and not more than 7 per cent. till their bond-debt was reduced to 1,500,000l. After this, the Government was to receive three-fourths of the surplus receipts, and the other fourth to go to the liquidation of the bond-debt, or to the formation of a fund for contingent expenses; the territorial possessions to remain to the Company for the remaining six years of their charter.

By the other bill, the qualification for voting in the Court of Proprietors was raised from 500l. to 10007.; the holder of 3000l. stock to have two, of 60007. three, and of 10,000l. four votes; the stock to have been in the possession of the voter for twelve months. The Directors were to be elected for four years, a fourth to go out annually. The government of Bengal, Bahâr, and Orissa was to be vested in a governor-general, with a salary of 25,000l. a year; and four councillors, with 8000l. a year each. The other presidencies were to be subordinate to that of Bengal. A supreme court of judicature was to be established at Calcutta, consisting of a chief justice, with 8000l. a year, and three puisne judges, with each 60007. a year, to be appointed by the Crown. The first governorgeneral and councillors were to be named in the act, and were to hold their office for five years; the Company were then to appoint, subject to the approbation of the Crown. All the Indian correspondence relating to civil, military, or financial affairs was to be laid before the ministry. No person in the King's or Company's service was to receive presents; the governor, councillors, and judges were not to engage in trade.

Such were the legislative acts which led to a new æra in the history of the Company. For those who, writing long after the events, judge all measures and events by an imaginary standard of right, and make no allowance for human ignorance and fallibility, nothing is more easy than to find fault with, and condemn all these measures; but

6 Mr. Mill is, if we may use the term, of the Smell-fungus school of philosophy, whose followers find fault with every thing, propose nothing, and their censures are frequently contradicted by experience. Thus he sneers at the idea of large salaries being any security against corruption, "as if there was a point of saturation in cupidity;" yet experience, both in India and England, has shown that it is a security,

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MR. CARTIER was succeeded in the beginning of 1772, as governor of Bengal, by Warren Hastings, Esq., the second member of council at Madras.

This distinguished man, whose name will ever be associated with that of the British empire in India, was born in the year 1732, of an ancient, After honourable, but greatly reduced family. having been at one or two ordinary schools, he was placed by his uncle at that of Westminster. Here he greatly distinguished himself; but on the death of his uncle, the charge of him fell to a very distant relation, who being an East India Director, and not liking to be at the expense of giving him a classical education, resolved to send him out as a writer to Bengal.

Hastings reached Calcutta on the 8th October, 1750, just within two months of completing his eighteenth year. After stopping a couple of years in that city, he was sent to the factory of Cossimbazar, and he was there when it was taken by Sûraj-ud-dowlah. He was made a prisoner, but suffered to go at large, the chief of one of the Dutch factories giving bail for his appearance, and he remained at Moorshedabâd. He afterwards joined the fugitives from Calcutta at Fulta. In the subsequent negotiations with that prince, Hastings was joined with Mr. Amyatt, and after his overthrow he was placed as a kind of resident at the court of Meer Jaffier. Clive saw his talents, and seems to have reposed much confidence in him. After Clive's departure he remained at the court of Meer Jaffier, and had a share in the act of his deposition, though it does not appear that he approved of it. When Mr. Sumner and others were dismissed, he became a member of council at

and the best that could be devised. On one point Mr. Mill gives a decided opinion in favour of a measure, namely, the use of the ballot in popular elections; but with the example of the United States before our eyes, few now, we hope, will be found to share his admiration for that mode of voting. 7 See above, p. 82.

8 Suspected to be the author of The Letters of Junius. He had all the requisite malignity and disregard of truth.


A. D. 1772.

Calcutta, and he there gave his support to Mr. Vansittart against the domineering majority. In 1762 he was sent on a mission to Meer Cossim but his prudent and moderate suggestions were rejected by Johnstone and his party. In 1764, Mr. Hastings returned to England in the same ship with Mr. Vansittart. He was then the possessor of only a very moderate fortune, and no servant of the Company had ever left India with a fairer character.

The narrowness of his circumstances soon obliged Hastings to seek for employment again in India. The knowledge which he displayed when examined on Indian affairs in the House of Commons had increased his friends in the Direction; and in 1769 he was appointed second in council at Fort St. George, and a member of the select committee there, nominated for the purpose of restoring the Company's affairs in the Carnatic. His succession to the office of president after Mr. Dupré, the present occupant, was also secured to him.

In Madras, Hastings devoted his energies to improving the mode of providing the Company's investments; and his conduct gave so much satisfaction to the Directors, that, in 1771, they nominated him second in council in Bengal, with the assurance that, on Mr. Cartier's retirement, he should be his successor. This event took place early in 1772, and Hastings became governor of Bengal.

The plan of divided sovereignty between the Nabob and the Company, devised by Clive, had not been found to answer, and the produce of the dewannee was nothing like what had been calculated on. It was therefore deemed advisable in 1769 that servants of the Company, named supervisors, should be placed in each district, for the purpose of superintending the native functionaries; and two councils, with authority over the supervisors, be established, the one at Moorshedabâd, and the other at Patna. This plan, however, was not found to answer any better than the former; and the Directors, anxious to get an income in any way, determined to effect a social revolution, such as had never hitherto taken place in India, and, as they expressed it, "to stand forth as Dewan," and manage and collect the revenues by the direct agency of their own servants. The plan adopted by Mr. Hastings and the council for collecting the revenues was, to let the lands on leases of five years; a committee, composed of the president and four members of council, should make circuits of superintendence through the country; the supervisors should be named collectors, and each have a native dewan joined with him; no collector's banyam or servant should be allowed to form any part of the revenues, and no presents should be accepted by any person high or low; and no money be lent on interest to any persons connected with

the land. As the terms offered for the lands did not prove satisfactory, the plan of letting them by auction was adopted, the preference being given to the actual zemindâr or other middleman, when he offered a fair value; if not, he was pensioned off, and the lands let to another. The ryot was secured against taxation by a lease,

The Khalsa, or supreme court of revenue, was removed to Calcutta; the office of Naib Dewan was abolished; the council formed a board of revenue; and a native functionary named Roy Royan


acted in the Khalsa as superintendent of the district dewans.

As the new system did away with the zemindary courts, those great instruments of oppression, two new ones were appointed in each district; a criminal named Foujdaree Adawlut, presided over by the collector with the Câzee and Muftee of the district, and two Moolavees or Mohammedan lawyers; and a civil, named Mofussul Dewanee Adawlut, of which the collector also was president, aided by the dewan of the district, and other native officers, Two courts of appeal were established at Calcutta, a criminal, named Nizâmut Suddur Adawlut, and a civil, named Suddur Dewanee Adawlut.

The office of Naib Dewan of Bengal had been held by Mohammed Reza Khân, whom Clive had made Naib Nizâm to the young Nabob. Against this man serious charges, all apparently originating with the infamous Nundcomar, had reached the Directors, and they sent out strict orders to seize himself, his family, his partizans and adherents, and bring them prisoners to Calcutta. This business was managed with great secrecy and dispatch by Hastings; and one of the chief reasons he assigns for so doing is, that Mohammed Reza Khân must, from his great wealth, have established "an interest with such of the Company's agents, as, by actual authority, or by representations to the Honourable Company, might be able to promote or obstruct his views ;" in plain English, he must have bought them. Shitab Roy, the upright and honourable Naib Dewan of Patna, probably as a partizan or adherent, was also arrested and sent to Calcutta. Neither of them, however, was thrown into prison, they were only required not to leave that city.

The charges against Mohammed Reza Khân were, monopoly of rice in the time of the famine, embezzlement of the money of the Nizâmut, a balance due and not accounted for by him since the death of Meer Jaffier, as renter of Dacca, and a correspondence with the emperor and the Marattas. On all these charges he was honourably acquitted, after all the evidence that could be obtained against him had been produced. Shitab Roy, against whom there was really no charge, was likewise acquitted, and he was immediately appointed Roy Royan and Naib Nazîm of Bahâr; but he died soon after his arrival at Patna, and his son was appointed to succeed him in both his offices. It is due to Mr. Hastings to observe, that throughout all this business he seems to have acted with great fairness.

A very important part of the office of the Naib Nazîm was the superintendence of the person and household of the Nabob. This it was resolved to divide into two offices, analogous to the guardianships of the person and of the property appointed by our court of Chancery. There were two per

sons who seemed to have a claim to the former office; the mother of the Nabob, and his uncle Ateram-ud-Dowlah, the brother of Meer Jaffier. Yet both of these were set aside, and the office was bestowed on Mooni Begum, a second wife or concubine of Meer Jaffier's. The reason assigned was, the ascendancy she had over the mind of the Nabob, being the only person of whom he stood in awe, and her having no children of her own. Hastings, in a private letter to the Directors, gives a further reason-her being the declared

enemy of Mohammed Reza Khân, and therefore likely to be active in procuring evidence against him. As to the uncle, there was the danger of himself or his sons, as next heirs, practising against the life of the Nabob. The reasons for rejecting the mother do not appear.

The other office, Dewan of the household, was given to Rajah Goordass, the son of Nundcomar. The reason assigned was, their known enmity to Mohammed Reza Khân. It was expected that his own probity, joined with the talent of his father, by whom it was known he would be influenced, though it was hoped not controlled, would cause him to perform the duties of the office in a creditable manner 9.

The emperor Shâh Alum had, from the time that Clive had made the arrangement with him, been most anxious to prevail on the English to convey him to Delhi, and replace him on the throne of his ancestors. Unable to prevail on them, he had listened to the overtures of the Maratta chiefs Tûkajee Holkar, Madhajee Sindia, and Kishn Visajee, whom the Peishwa had sent with a large force into Hindûstan, in order to recover the influence lost at the battle of Pânîput, and to punish the Rohillas for their share in that event. They of course exacted hard conditions for their services; the emperor had no alternative but to submit, and on the 25th December, 1771, he made his entrance into Delhi. The Marattas, having suffered him to remain there only a few days, hurried him into the field, and their united force entered the nearest part of the Rohilla territory, Seheranpûr, the jagheer of the late minister, Nujub-ud-Dowlah, and which was now held by his son, Zabita Khân. This chief, though he made a spirited defence, was defeated and forced to fly to the camp of Shujah-ud-Dowlah, and his country was ravaged by the Marattas, who, regardless of their ally, kept all the plunder to themselves. The principal remaining Sirdar (chief) of the Rohillas now was Hafez Rahmut Khân; and through him an agreement was formed with Shujah-ud-Dowlah, by which, on the Rohillas engaging to pay him forty lacs of rupees, he undertook to cause the Marattas to retire from their country. Of these lacs Hafez paid five; and as the Marattas soon after retired of their own accord on account of the rains, he demanded that the bond should be cancelled; but the vizîr still retained it. In all these transactions Sir Robert Barker acted a prominent part, with the approbation of the government of Calcutta.

The emperor had returned to Delhi, highly disgusted with his allies. On his refusal to comply with some more of their demands, they invested Delhi, and on the 22nd December, 1772, about a year from the time they had put him into possession of it, he was forced to surrender it to their arms. He became now a mere instrument in their hands, and the first use they made of their power was to force him to cede to them the provinces of Allahabad and Corah.

The Marattas now prepared to cross the Ganges and enter Rohilcund again; and they made great

• Some members of the Council objected to this appointment, on account of the political character of Nundcomar. Hastings, in reply, asserted that it was without blemish, "though," he adds, "he will not take on him to vindicate his moral character."

offers to the Rohillas if they would give them a free passage through their country to Oude. The Rohillas temporized; the vizîr exerted himself to prevent that union, and, as Hafez Rahmut asserts, offered to give up the forty lacs of rupees; and they finally united their troops with his and the English, when they entered their country, to oppose the passage of the Ganges by the Marattas. No action, however, took place; and in May, the state of their affairs in the Deckan obliged this people to return to their own country.

In all these transactions little, if any, blame attaches to the conduct of the Rohillas. But, as we have already seen 1, their country had always been an object of cupidity to the rulers of Oude. In a meeting between the vizîr and Mr. Hastings at Benâres, in the month of September, the former asked for an English force to put him in possession of the Rohilla country. In this project he was actually encouraged by the latter; and it was finally arranged that he should bear all the expenses of the English troops which should be given him, and pay the Company forty lacs of rupees on the accomplishment of the enterprise.

In his own account of this transaction, Mr. Hastings never says one word of its justice or the contrary; he only speaks of expediency. The vizîr, he says, was the only useful ally of the Company; the acquisition of the Rohilla country would be very beneficial to him and the Company; and he dwells on the advantage of getting forty lacs of rupees, and having a large portion of their army supported at the expense of their ally. When writing an account of this Benâres treaty (the whole of which we have not yet seen), he says, "I am not apt to attribute a large share of merit to my own actions; but I own that this is one of the few to which I can, with confidence, affix my own approbation."

The remaining part of the treaty related to the emperor. On the pretext of his having joined the enemies of the Company, and given to them the provinces which had been assigned him, they were resumed, and were given to the vizîr for fifty lacs of rupees, twenty to be paid down, and the remainder in two equal annual instalments. On the application of the emperor for the arrears of his tribute, and his demand of punctual payment in future, Mr. Hastings' reply was, that he "would not consent to let a rupee pass out of Bengal, till it had recovered from its distresses, which had been principally occasioned by the vast drains that had been made of its specie, for his remittances;" in other words, that he should get nothing more from the Company.

No act more flagrantly unjust than this is to be found in history. The emperor's right to confer the dewannee, and other advantages acquired for the Company, was undoubted, and the annual sum which he was to receive was their own offer. There was no condition made with him that he should not attempt to regain possession of his paternal dominions; and though the Company might consider the Marattas dangerous, they were not, properly speaking, their enemies. As to his cession of the provinces, it was well known to have been an act of compulsion; and from the specimen he had had of the Marattas, there was little likeli

1 See above, p. 46.


A. D. 1774.

hood of his again seeking their friendship, and as the vizîr was unable to defend his own dominions without the help of the English, they might as well defend the two provinces for the descendant of Timûr as for him. But even granting a political necessity in this matter, the refusal of the tribute was robbery and breach of faith. Still the whole of the guilt must not fall on Hastings, who in this, as in so many other points, only carried out the wishes of his masters, who had long been watching for a pretext to stop the payment of the tribute. On the 11th November, 1768, they had written out," If the emperor flings himself into the hands of the Marattas, or any other power, we are disengaged from him, and it may open a fair opportunity of withholding the twenty-six lacs we now pay him." And on the treaty of Benâres they bestowed their entire approbation.

Another point arranged with the vizîr in the Benares conference was, the appointment of a civil agent to reside at his court and be the medium of communication between him and the governor. This task had hitherto been usually executed by the military officer on the spot, but it was a part of Hastings' policy to raise the civil over the military power. The first resident, as these agents were called, at the court of the Vizîr was Mr. Nathaniel Middleton, and he was directed to communicate secretly with the governor.

The vizîr did not seem inclined to attack the Rohillas at once. He advanced towards Delhi, and assisted the emperor in taking Agra from the Jâts, gave him some money, and finally concluded a treaty by which the troops of the emperor were to join him against the Rohillas, and he was in return to have a share of the plunder, and half the conquered country.

In November the vizîr unexpectedly called on the president for the promised aid. Hastings had some difficulty in obtaining the assent of his colleagues; but in January, 1774, the second brigade received orders to join the vizir; in February Col. Champion came and took the command of it, and it entered the territory of Oude, and on the 17th of April the allied forces entered the Rohilla country. On the 19th, Col. Champion wrote to the president, stating that the Rohilla chiefs were most anxious for accommodation, but that the demands of the vizîr had now risen to two crores of rupees!

Aware now that arms, not equity, must decide their fate, the Rohillas prepared for action. On the morning of the 23rd, the English advanced to the attack. Col. Champion, as a generous enemy, bestows the highest praise on the desperate valour and even the military skill displayed by the Rohillas and their leaders. But valour was unavailing; and after a severe contest of nearly three hours, they fled, leaving 2000 slain, including many Sirdars, among whom were the gallant Hafez Rahmut and one of his sons. The doughty vizîr, it will easily be believed, had no share in this victory. He had even refused to lend some of his cannon, and broke his promise of being at hand with his cavalry. But when the victory was gained, and plunder was in prospect, then his troops put forth their activity, and, says Col. Champion, " We had the honour of the day, and these banditti the profit." According to the same authority, the excesses committed by the vizîr and his troops, and


his barbarous treatment, not only of the Rohillas, but of the innocent Hindoo cultivators, were shocking to humanity 2.

The army shortly after marched to Bissouly, in the centre of the Rohilla country, where they found the emperor's general, Nujuf Khân, with his army. As the country might now be regarded as conquered, and as the emperor had performed his part of the treaty, though the rapidity of the English had prevented his sharing in the conquest, Nujuf Khân demanded for him his share of the country and of the plunder. The vizîr was unable to deny the treaty; but positive orders came from Calcutta to the English commander, to support him in the violation of it; and of course it was set at nought.

A Rohilla chief, named Fyzoola Khân, was still in arms at the foot of the mountains. He sent, offering to hold his district as a renter from the vizîr; but the latter positively declared that he would suffer no Rohilla chief to remain beyond the Ganges. The army was then put in motion to attack him; but when they came near to where he was posted, the vizîr, from some unexplained reason, became anxious for accommodation. After a good deal of negotiation, it was agreed that Fyzoola Khân should surrender one half of his effects to the vizîr, and receive in return a jagheer of nearly fifteen lacs of rupees in Rohilcund.


Arrival of Members of Council-Quarrels with HastingsDeath of the Vizîr-Abrogation of Treaty-Charges against Hastings-His Conduct-Execution of Nundcomar for Forgery - Death of Col. Monson-Hastings' tendered Resignation-His Exercise of Power-Reconciliation with Francis-Monstrous Pretensions of the Supreme CourtAppointment of the Chief-Justice to a new office-Duel between Hastings and Francis.

ON the 14th October, the vessel carrying the new members of council and the judges of the Supreme Court anchored in the Hooghly. Mr. Hastings immediately sent the second member of council to congratulate them on their safe arrival. They landed at Calcutta on the 19th, under a salute from the batteries, and were conducted by an officer of the governor's staff to his private residence, where all the members of the government were assembled to receive them. But courtesies of this kind had little effect on the minds of those to whom they were shown. The men whom Parliament in its wisdom (that is, the favour of the minister) had selected to regulate the affairs of an empire, had remarked on their landing that the batteries had fired only seventeen, instead of twenty-one guns, and that no guard of honour had met them on the beach; and they showed much real or affected indignation.

2 In the correspondence between Hastings and the vizîr in 1773, there occur these terms, thoroughly exterminate the Rohillas, and exterminate them out of the country. Mill takes the word exterminate in its ordinary English sense, of destroy; while Wilson would take it in its (algebraic) sense, of remove, drive away. The former seems to us the more natural sense.

Next morning a council was held, and the commission and the Company's letter were read. The latter strongly inculcated unanimity and concord among the members of the government; it also directed that past abuses and oppressions should be inquired into, and their recurrence be prevented. It would seem that the three new members conceived their chief business to be to listen to all kinds of charges from all quarters against the governor-general, and to be at concord only among themselves, and to unite in showing him neither favour nor justice.. At least so we might infer from their conduct; and henceforth we shall have to contemplate acts and scenes discreditable to the English name.

They would fain have set about their selfimposed task at once; but on Hastings' observing that Mr. Barwell was at some distance, they agreed to wait till the 25th for his return. On that day was read a minute of the governor's, giving a view of his policy and conduct since the time of his appointment. They denounced the treaty of Benâres as impolitic, and the war not only so, but unjust. But to understand the matter clearly, they required the whole of Mr. Middleton's correspondence to be laid before them. This Hastings refused, as that correspondence having been secret, it must have contained many other matters which it would not have been honourable, or perhaps even safe, to make public; but he offered to produce every part of it that related to the subject under consideration. Not content with expressing their indignation and hinting their suspicions, the majority, as we shall henceforth call the three, voted Middleton's immediate recall.

It might be supposed, that men who had so peremptorily pronounced on the injustice of the Rohilla war, would have been anxious to obliterate the disgrace of the British name, to cause the innocent Rohillas to be restored to their country, and to force the vizîr to make them some compensation. But their justice and humanity were of a different kind; and it sufficed them if they could blacken the governor's character. They forthwith wrote, without knowing whether the war was ended or not, to Col. Champion, who was to take Middleton's place for the present, to insist on immediate payment of the forty lacs, the price of the extermination of the Rohillas, and of all other sums due by the vizîr on other accounts. He was also to lead his troops, within fourteen days, into Oude; and in case of the vizîr's not complying with his demands, to withdraw from him, and enter the Company's territories. Hastings remonstrated, but of course in vain, against these measures, as precipitate, and dangerous to the Company's interests.

In the beginning of 1775 the vizîr died, and was succeeded as Sûbahdâr of Oude by his son, who took the title of Asof-ud-dowlah, to whom also, after some delay, the emperor granted the office of vizîr. In public treaties it is generally understood, that they are to be of a permanent character, and not to depend on the life of the persons making them; those therefore made with Shujahud-dowlah should in justice extend to his successor. But the majority took a different view. They maintained, that all engagements with the late Sûbahdar were personal, and that the present one must make new terms for himself; and through

Mr. Bristow, whom they had sent to replace Mr. Middleton, they forced a new treaty on Asof-uddowlah. By this the Company were to guarantee him Corah and Allahabâd, and he in return was to cede to them the territory of Benâres, held by Rajah Cheit Sing, raise the allowance to their troops to 260,000 rupees a month, and pay all the money due by his late father. Mr. Hastings refused to concur in these terms, as in themselves unjust, and beyond the power of Azof-ud-dowlah to fulfil. The Directors, in their first letter on the subject, disapproved of the conduct of the council, holding their engagements with Shujah-ud-dowlah to be permanent. But in their second, after they had heard of the increase of revenue, and of pay of the troops, they signified their entire approbation of the treaty that had been concluded. În fact, at this time, the Directors were sure to approve of every measure, however unjust, that brought money to their treasury.

Every one who could frame a charge of any na. ture against the governor-general met with favour from the majority, who received all sorts of persons for this purpose at their private residences. Thither then repaired discontented or place-seeking Englishmen, and crafty natives, especially Nundcomar; and charges of peculation soon began to be brought forward. The first accusation came from the Ranee of Burdwân, the widow of the rajah who had held the zemindary of that district. Her son, a minor, had been at first left under her guardianship, but he had afterwards been withdrawn from it, and the affairs of the zemindary were managed by persons appointed by the English. She now accused the Dewan of corruption, and Mr. Graham, the resident, of supporting him for the sake of the bribes which he obtained from him. The majority resolved that the Dewan should be removed, at least for a time, and that the Ranee should, as she desired, be allowed to come to Calcutta with her son. Hastings and Barwell opposed these measures, as unjust or unnecessary. Mr. Graham made an indignant reply. Among other things, he showed that he had left Burdwan six weeks after the rajah's death, an event antedated three years by the Ranee, for the sake of making out a case against him. He also required that the Ranee should give security to pay an equivalent penalty, in case she failed to establish her charges. This was a law or usage of the country, in order to put a check to false or calumnious accusations. The majority, however, would not impose it. A variety of accounts were presented, in which were entered various sums paid by the Dewan to the servants of the Company, among which was a petty sum of 1500 rupees to Mr. Hastings himself! The whole amounted to upwards of nine lacs; but nothing could be proved.

This charge having failed, a new one was brought forward. A statement was made by a native, that the foujdar of Hooghly was paid by the Company 72,000 rupees a year, and that out of this he annually paid the governor 36,000, and his native secretary 4000, having only 32,000 for himself; for which sum the accuser would undertake to do the duties of the office, and thus save the Company 40,000 rupees a year, of which they were now defrauded by Mr. Hastings. The motives of this person are tolerably clear; yet the majority went

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