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Next morning a council was held, and the com- Mr. Bristow, whom they had sent to replace Mr. mission and the Company's letter were read. The Middleton, they forced a new treaty on Asof-udlatter strongly inculcated unanimity and concord dowlah. By this the Company were to guarantee among the members of the government; it also him Corah and Allahabad, and he in return was to directed that past abuses and oppressions should cede to them the territory of Benares, held by be inquired into, and their recurrence be prevented. Rajah Cheit Sing, raise the allowance to their It would seem that the three new members con- troops to 260,000 rupees a month, and pay all the ceived their chief business to be to listen to all money due by his late father. Mr. Hastings rekinds of charges from all quarters against the fused to concur in these terms, as in themselves governor-general, and to be at concord only among unjust, and beyond the power of Azof-ud-dowlah themselves, and to unite in showing him neither to fulfil. The Directors, in their first letter on the favour nor justice. · At least so we might infer subject, disapproved of the conduct of the council, from their conduct ; and henceforth we shall have holding their engagements with Shujah-ud-dowlah to contemplate acts and scenes discreditable to the to be permanent. But in their second, after they English name.
had heard of the increase of revenue, and of pay They would fain have set about their self- of the troops, they signified their entire approbation imposed task at once ; but on Hastings' observing of the treaty that had been concluded. In fact, at that Mr. Barwell was at some distance, they this time, the Directors were sure to approve of agreed to wait till the 25th for his return. On
every measure, however unjust, that brought that day was read a minute of the governor's, giv- money to their treasury. ing a view of his policy and conduct since the time Every one who could frame a charge of any paof his appointment. They denounced the treaty ture against the governor-general met with favour of Benares as impolitic, and the war not only so, from the majority, who received all sorts of perbut unjust. But to understand the inatter clearly, sons for this purpose at their private residences. they required the whole of Mr. Middleton's cor- Thither then repaired discontented or place-seeking respondence to be laid before them. This Hastings Englishmen, and crafty natives, especially Nundrefused, as that correspondence having been se- comar ; and charges of peculation soon began to cret, it must have contained many other matters be brought forward. The first accusation came which it would not have been honourable, or per from the Ranee of Burdwân, the widow of the rahaps even safe, to make public ; but he offered jah who had held the zemindary of that district. to produce every part of it that related to the Her son, a minor, had been at first left under her subject under consideration. Not content with guardianship, but he had afterwards been withexpressing their indignation and hinting their drawn from it, and the affairs of the zemindary suspicions, the majority, as we shall henceforth were managed by persons appointed by the Engcall the three, voted Middleton's immediate recall. lish. She now accused the Dewan of corruption,
It might be supposed, that men who had so and Mr. Graham, the resident, of supporting him peremptorily pronounced on the injustice of the for the sake of the bribes which he obtained from Rohilla war, would have been anxious to obliterate him. The majority resolved that the Dewan the disgrace of the British name, to cause the should be removed, at least for a time, and that innocent Rohillas to be restored to their country, the Ranee should, as she desired, be allowed to and to force the vizîr to make them some com- come to Calcutta with her son. Hastings and pensation. But their justice and humanity were Barwell opposed these measures, as unjust or unof a different kind; and it sufficed them if they necessary. Mr. Graham made an indignant reply. could blacken the governor's character. They Among other things, he showed that he had left forthwith wrote, without knowing whether the war Burdwân six weeks after the rajah’s death, an was ended or not, to Col. Champion, who was to event antedated three years by the Ranee, for the take Middleton's place for the present, to insist on sake of making out a case against him. He also immediate payment of the forty lacs, the price of required that the Ranee should give security to the extermination of the Rohillas, and of all other pay an equivalent penalty, in case she failed to sums due by the vizîr on other accounts. He was establish her charges. This was a law or usage of also to lead his troops, within fourteen days, into the country, in order to put a check to false or caOude ; and in case of the vizîr's not complying lumnious accusations. The majority, however, with his demands, to withdraw from him, and would not impose it. A variety of accounts were enter the Company's territories. Hastings re- presented, in which were entered various sums monstrated, but of course in vain, against these paid by the Dewan to the servants of the Commeasures, as precipitate, and dangerous to the pany, among which was a petty sum of 1500 rupees Company's interests.
to Mr. Hastings himself! The whole amounted In the beginning of 1775 the vizîr died, and was to upwards of nine lacs ; but nothing could be succeeded as Sûbahdâr of Oude by his son, who proved. took the title of Asof-ud-dowlah, to whom also, This charge having failed, a new one was brought after some delay, the emperor granted the office of forward. A statement was made by a native, that vizîr. In public treaties it is generally under- the foujdar of Hooghly was paid by the Company stood, that they are to be of a permanent charac- | 72,000 rupees a year, and that out of this he ter, and not to depend on the life of the persons annually paid the governor 36,000, and his native making them; those therefore made with Shujah- secretary 4000, having only 32,000 for himself ; ud-dowlah should in justice extend to his successor. for which sum the accuser would undertake to do But the majority took a different view. They the duties of the office, and thus save the Company maintained, that all engagements with the late 40,000 rupees a year, of which they were now Sûbahdar were personal, and that the present one defrauded by Mr. Hastings. The motives of this must make new terms for himself; and through person are tolerably clear ; yet the majority went
A, D, 1775.
CHARGES AGAINST HASTINGS.
into the case. The foujdar having objected to be sworn, which Hindoos of high caste regard as a degradation, he was held to be guilty, and dismissed, and the office was given to another—not, however, the accuser-at 36,000 rupees a year.
Any one, we are persuaded, who considers the preceding conduct of the majority, must feel that it was malignity toward Hastings, and not a love of justice, that actuated them. This was certainly Hastings' own feeling ; he viewed them as his enemies and his accusers, and would not allow them to be his judges. He denied their right, sitting in council and in his presence, to receive charges against him, and asserted that he would not lower the dignity of his office by answering charges made by any one who chose to come before them. If they wanted to inquire into his conduct, let them resolve themselves into a committee, and then lay the charges before the Supreme Court or the Directors. And he declared his resolution to dissolve the council as soon as they should enter on any inquiry relating to himself. This he always did, and he and Mr. Barwell retired ; but the majority then voted Gen. Clavering into the chair and proceeded.
On the 11th March, Mr. Francis stated to the Board that he had been waited on that morning by Nundcomar, who had delivered him a paper which he requested him to lay before them. He did not think, he added, that he had a right to refuse a person of Nundcomar's rank. As to the contents of the paper, he knew them not, but had a suspicion that it contained charges against the governor of taking bribes from himself and from Munnee Begum.
Some days after, another paper from Nundcomar was presented; and Monson then moved that he should be called before them to substantiate his charge. Hastings refused in very strong terms, and he dwelt indignantly on the unworthy conduct of Francis. He said he had expected this attack ; for he had seen a paper containing many accusations against him, which he was told had been carried to Col. Monson by Nundcomar, who had been some hours in private with him, explaining the charges. Monson denied having seen any paper containing charges against the governor-general (perhaps he meant he had not read such a paper); but he made no reply to the charge of the private interview. The motion, however, was carried of course ; Hastings and Barwell retired ; Nundcomar was then examined, and a resolution was passed, that Hastings had received 3,54,000 rupees, which of right belonged to the Company; and by another resolution he was called on to refund them. Hastings refused to receive or answer these resolutions; and it was then resolved that the proceedings should be transmitted to the Company's attorney, to consult counsel how to proceed for the recovery of the money.
The facts of the case were these. After Nundcomar had opened the business, as above related, Mr. Grant, accountant to the council at Moorshedabâd, sent some accounts which he said he had received from a native who had been a clerk in the Nabob's treasury, from which it appeared that Munnee Begum had received 9,67,963 rupees more than she had accounted for. The clerk,. when examined, stated that her head-eunuch had endeavoured to induce him to restore the papers and
return to her service ; and Mr. Grant declared himself willing to swear that similar attempts had been made on himself. The majority, Hastings and Barwell in vain opposing, determined to send Mr. Goring to investigate the
conduct of the Begum, whose power was meanwhile to be withdrawn from her and committed to Rajah Goordass. The instructions to Mr. Goring were, to receive from the Begum all the accounts of the Nizâmut for the last eight years, and deliver them to gentlemen who were to examine and report on them to the Board. This might be expected to occupy some time; but he reached Moorshedabad on the 20th May, and on the 22nd he sent to Calcutta memorandums of payments to Hastings and others, obtained, as it seems, by intimidation, and with a view to the inculpation of Hastings. In these it was stated that 1,50,000 rupees had been given to the governor, as entertainment money, when he went to Moorshedabad, in 1772, and a similar sum to Mr. Middleton. The latter, we may here observe, was never denied ; the former Mr. Hastings, at a subsequent period, acknowledged and attempted to justify 3.
The prime mover in all this business, as we may see, was Nundcomar. Him Hastings regarded as his deadly enemy, and him, he owns , he hated above all men living. We must therefore be cautious in examining every thing relating to this man,
In the month of April an indictment was preferred against Nundcomar, and Messrs. Joseph and Francis Fowke, in the Supreme Court, at the instance of Mr. Hastings, Mr. Barwell, Mr. G. Vansittart, Mr. Hastings' banyan, and the Roy Royan of Calcutta, for a conspiracy, to force a man named Cummâl-ud-dîn to write a petition against them. After the examination before the judges, Mr. F. Fowke was discharged, and Nundcomar and Mr. J. Fowke were held to bail, at the suit of Mr. Hastings and Mr. Vansittart, the other parties having withdrawn their names. On the following day the majority paid Nundcomar a visit of ceremony.
A few days after (May 6) Nundcomar was arrested, on a charge of forgery, at the suit of a native named Mohun Persad, and committed to the common gaol, notwithstanding his wealth, his rank, and his being a Brahmin by caste. The majority, of course, declared on his side ; and while he lay in prison, as we have seen, they promoted his son Goordass. He was brought to trial, tried by a jury of Englishmen, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. None of the natives, however, had the slightest idea that the sentence would be carried into execution. The fatal day (Aug. 5) at length arrived, and there was no reprieve. Nundcomar
3 In his Defence before the House of Lords. He said that the Act of Parliament prohibiting the receipt of presents had not been passed at that time; that it was the custom of the country, and that the Nabob, when he visited Calcutta, received one thousand rupees a day on this account; that he added nothing to his fortune by it, and must have charged the. Company as large a sum if he had not received it. This, however, was two thousand rupees a-day for the time he was at Moorshedabâd; but Hastings was notorious for want of economy in his own affairs, and did not look closely after the expenditure of those about him. Mr. Wilson (Mill, iii. 635), if we rightly understand him, says that this money “was acknowledged, and carried to account.”
4 See his letter in Gleig.
took a solemn leave of his friends, and then occu- the chief justice, who was Hastings' school-fellow pied himself writing notes and examining accounts. and friend, acts with extreme rigour ; Hastings He mounted the palankeen which was to convey who had power to respite, declines to exercise it, him to the place of execution, and ascended the and rather submits to lie under the imputation of steps of the scaffold with the utmost firmness, in removing in this manner a dangerous witness, and the presence of an immense crowd. When all was of thus deterring others from appearing against ready the drop fell, and Nundcomar soon ceased to him. The very circumstance of the prisoner exist. The Hindoos uttered a wild and piercing being his enemy would, we think, have caused a cry, and fled from the spot; and none remained man of generous feelings to make every effort to but the officers of justice, and a few Brahmins, save his life 6. who were to take charge of the body.
As to the majority, who certainly must have The execution of Nundcomar, it is well known, had the power to prevent the execution of the senwas the subject of much discussion, and even of tence, we fear that we must agree with Hastings' a parliamentary impeachment, where Mr. Burke biographer, in suspecting that they let Nundcomar did not hesitate to assert that Mr. Hastings had perish, in order to have a charge against Hasmurdered him by the hands of Sir Elijah Impey. tings. We will, therefore, dwell a little on the subject. Charges, now that Nundcomar was gone, ceased
The crime for which Nundcomar suffered, was to come in against the governor-general. By an unknown as a capital offence to either Hindoo or order of the Court of Directors, Mohammed Reza Mohammedan laws. The act with which he was Khân was appointed to the offices held by Goorcharged took place in 1770, and the supreme dass, and the latter was made Roy Royan. The court with its powers was not created till 1774, Directors also censured Hastings for allowing his he, therefore, it would appear, suffered on an banyan to farm several districts in Bengal, conex post facto law. Further, the law making forgery trary to the finance regulations of 1772. His decapital, did not extend to India, as the colonies fence was, that he himself had no share in the are never included unless expressly named in the profits, of which, in fact, there were little or none?. statute, and one Indian for an offence against The plan which had been devised for collecting another Indian should have been tried by a the revenue had proved a failure; the produce native tribunal. Such were the arguments of was not what had been anticipated, for the farmers those who asserted the injustice of the sentence ; in general had contracted for more than they were to which it was replied by Sir Elijah Impey, that able to pay. Angry debates, of course, took place Nundcomar, by making Calcutta his residence, in the Council. Hastings then proposed that each was amenable to English law, and that the doc- member should devise a plan, to be forwarded to trine was false of a penal statute not extending to the Directors. That of himself and Mr. Barwell a colony not named in it ; that natives had hitherto been subject to, and tried by English law in the
other papers to the Supreme Court, on whose very first courts of Calcutta, and that ignorance of the law
sitting of oyer and terminer the indictment was prepared is no excuse for the breach of it. As to this last
and tried. This would, indeed, exonerate Hastings comargument, we may observe, that nothing but nar- pletely; but is it not most strange, that neither he himself row-minded legal pedantry would cause any man nor any of his defenders should have noticed the circumto make use of it; the preceding one has more
stance? Mill, Gleig, and Thornton, seem all equally igno
rant of it. apparent weight ; for owing to an omission in the charter of justice granted in 1753, the company's
6 It is said, no doubt, that he could not interfere with the servants had sometimes extended the penalties of
proceedings of the Supreme Court; but he showed in a sub
sequent case that he could, and would interfere. English law to natives, and one native had not
It is a remarkable trait in Hastings' character, that he long before been tried and convicted of forgery
never seems to have been conscious of acting wrong. This and sentenced to death by the mayor's court, but
may, as is asserted, have proceeded from his enormous selfhe had been recommended to mercy and pardoned.esteem ; but he appears also to have held, that whatever On the whole, by the mere letter of the law, the law allows is right. The circumstances of his marriage court that condemned Nundcomar was not to seem to show this. In the ship in which he sailed to India, blame. By this alone the judges, who were mere in 1769, there was as a passenger a German baron, named lawyers, were guided ; the spirit of the law, and Imhoff, who was going out as a portrait painter to Madras. the principles of equity, seem to have been un- He was accompanied by his wife, a very attractive young known to them; and when the counsel for the
woman, and by whose charms Hastings was captivated.
She attended him in an illness on board. The intimacy prisoner asked the foreman of the jury to join in
was continued at Madras; they accompanied him to Benan application to the judges for mercy, the chief
gal. There is no reason to suppose there was any thing justice censured him severely in open court.
improper between Hastings and the baroness; but all this On Hastings this event has cast a shade of sus
time, a suit for a divorce was going on in the courts of picion which, perhaps, will never be dispelled. Franconia; and when it was obtained, Hastings married Nundcomar was his accuser ; he had instituted the lady, taking also her three children, and in the words of legal proceedings against him, which were likely the gentle biographer, “the baron returned to his native to fail; when a native, who could hardly be sup- country a richer man than he ever could have hoped to posed to know or admire English law, charges him become, by the mere exercise of his skill as a painter;" with an offence committed some years before ;
i.e. he sold his wife, almost like the former Smithfield sales of wives. It is worthy of remark, that Hastings was the
most affectionate of husbands, and that their union was 5 Mr. Wilson, however, says that proceedings had been eminently happy. He acted like a father to her children. commenced by Mohammed Persâd, in the Dewannee 7 Mr. Wilson says he needed to make no defence, as it Adawlut, and Nundcomar had been confined, but was libe- was collectors that were mentioned (see p. 101), and he was rated by Hastings; the forged instrument had been depo- no collector. But surely he acted against the spirit of the sited in the mayor's court, and was transferred with all its law.
A. D. 1776-77.
HASTINGS' TENDERED RESIGNATION.
was to let the districts on leases for life, or for two that the resignation should be accepted, and Mr. joint-lives, giving the preference always to the Wheeler was nominated to fill the vacant place in Zemindar, when his offer was a fair one. Mr. the council, and the consent of the crown to the Francis, going on the erroneous principle, that the appointment was obtained. property in the land was neither in the sovereign On the 19th June, 1777, the intelligence reached nor in the cultivator, but in the Zemindar, pro-Bengal. Hastings immediately declared that he posed a land-tax, fixed once for all, and never to had not resigned, and would not resign ; Clavering be changed, on the Zemindars, the ryots to be pro- maintained that he himself was now governortected against them by leases. The Directors did general: Barwell adhered to the one, Francis to not deem it advisable to adopt either of these the other. There were two councils and two goplans ; but directed that the lands should be let vernors-general. Orders and counter-orders were for one year, on the most advantageous terms, but issued. There seemed to be no mode of decision not by auction. The average of the collections of but an appeal to force; when Hastings proposed, the preceding years was finally made the basis of and the other party agreed to leave the matter to the new arrangement, and this continued to be the the decision of the judges of the Supreme Court. mode for some years.
This decision was, as in justice it must have been, In the beginning of September, 1776, Col. Mon- in favour of Hastings; for, in the Directors' letter, son died; and as this event made the two parties his resignation was spoken of not as a thing that equal in number at the board, and the governor had occurred, but which was expected to occur; necessarily had the casting voice, Hastings became and Gen. Clavering had no right whatever to asonce more supreme. A very curious and obscure sume the office till Hastings had formally resigned transaction is connected with this affair.
it to him. But in their mutual desire of annoying In 1775 Hastings, when galled by the mode in each other, neither party thought much of what which he was continually thwarted by the majo- was right and proper. rity, empowered Mr. Graham and a Col. M‘Lean, This soon appeared by the way in which Hastwho were returning to Europe, to tender his resig- ings used his victory. He and Barwell immedination unless certain conditions therein specified ately passed a series of violent and absurd resolucould be obtained. It is to be observed that Lord tions, declaring that Gen. Clavering, by his late North’s ministry, partly in consequence of the ac- usurpation, had forfeited his office of senior councounts they received from the majority, partly cillor, and his place of commander-in-chief, &c. from their desire to get the patronage of India, Mr. Francis tried to act as mediator, and exhibited were hostile to Hastings. The same was the case on the occasion a good deal of sense and judgment; with some of the most influential Directors. On but Hastings would listen to no arguments. The the 8th of May, 1776, a motion was carried in the judges were again appealed to, and they again Court of Directors to address his majesty, praying decided agreeably to laws and justice, declaring him to remove Hastings and Barwell from office. that Gen. Clavering had not forfeited his offices. But in a Court of Proprietors on the 15th, a mo- Hastings was obliged to yield to this authority : tion that the Directors should be recommended to but Barwell soon obtained the post he coveted, for reconsider their resolution, was carried by a ma- Gen. Clavering died in August, his death being, as jority of 106, though the whole strength of the it was thought, accelerated by the irritation of his ministry and their adherents was put forth to mind, caused by the constant state of warfare in defeat it. The resolution respecting the removal which he was kept; for he seems to have been in of Hastings and Barwell was afterwards rescinded; the main an honest well-meaning man. Mr. Wheeler but still some of Hastings' friends did not think now came into the council, and, as he usually sided he could hold out against his powerful enemies, with Francis, the council was divided as heretoand they endeavoured to secure for him an honour- fore. able retreat. Matters were in part arranged with One of the first acts of Hastings, after the death the minister, and then M‘Lean wrote to the Court of Col. Monson, had been to remove Mr. Bristow of Directors, stating that he was authorised to offer from the residency of Oude, and re-appoint his the governor-general's resignation, and requesting friend Middleton. He owned he had no fault to them to nominate a successor. On the 18th Decem- find with Mr. Bristow : and the act need not be too ber, the letter was taken into consideration, and severely censured, as it was merely what takes place M'Lean was called in and questioned as to his in a change of ministry at home. Hastings at the authority. He offered to give it ; but as in the same time reversed another appointment of the papers to which he must refer, it was mixed up
majority by recalling Mr. F. Fowke, who had been with very confidential matters, he requested to be placed as a kind of resident at Benâres in 1775. allowed to submit them to only three of the Direc- His pretext was, that the mission had been special, tors. The chairman, deputy, and Mr. Becher were and that its purposes had been accomplished. appointed to confer with him, and they reported Next day, however, he moved, and, of course, (Mr. Becher, however, not concurring) that they arried a resolution, that a civil servant of the had seen Mr. Hastings' instructions in his own Company's, with an assistant, should be sent to handwriting, declaring that he would resign if reside af Benares ! The name of the former was conditions (" of which,” they add, “there is no Graham, of the latter Barwell. Justly might Gen. probability ") could not be obtained ; that Mr. G.
Clavering, in his minute, call this " a vindictive Vansittart declared that he was present when the measure, couched under the appearance of a public instructions were given, and that Mr. Stuart de- service.” The Directors expressed their strong clared that Mr. Hastings had told him he had disapprobation of these measures, and ordered given them. It was then unanimously resolved, both those gentlemen to be re-instated; but Hast
ings took no heed of their commands. Here again 8 See p. 28.
we are not to condemn him too unconditionally; the majority in the Direction were his personal practises in one court rarely enters another. To enemies, and were glad of any opportunity of mor- find men possessing the knowledge requisite for tifying him; and it was to the Proprietors, and not the judges of the Supreme Court, and with minds to the Directors, that he looked for support and sufficiently enlarged to believe that there might be approbation.
something agreeable to reason, and adapted to the Soon after Mr. Wheeler took his seat in council, state of the country and of society in India in the Mr. Hastings laid before the Board a letter from native laws, was no doubt nearly impossible. It is the young Nabob, complaining of Mohammed Reza probable, however, that the ministry gave themKhân's severity, and praying that, as he was now selves little trouble on this head ; and the men twenty years old, he might be allowed to admi- that had interest got the appointments without any nister his own government and affairs. Francis great regard to their fitness. Four more unfit and Wheeler said, as that regulation had been men certainly could not have been selected. They made by the Company, the letter should be trans- were perfect specimens of the narrow-minded, mitted to the Directors; Hastings and Barwell self-sufficient, domineering English lawyer, who, maintained that justice admitted of no delay. regarding the law of England as being what lawEach party on this occasion used the arguments of yers, and lawyers alone, proclaim it to be—the their opponents on the subject in 1775. The perfection of reason,-and holding every other prayer of the Nabob was granted ; and then letters system in sovereign contempt, would force it and came from him requesting that Munnee Begum their own authority on all those whom, by any should have the management of the Nizâmut, with legal quirks and subtleties, they could draw within out the interference of any person. Accordingly its sphere. When such were the judges, and Goordass and others were reinstated in their when we add that a host of attorneys came to India offices, and their united salaries came to 18,000 in their train, the reader may be prepared for the rupees inore than Mohammed Reza Khân had results that followed. received, and the affairs of the country soon fell We have seen an instance of their criminal into a precious state of confusion. A due regard justice in the case of Nundcomar. In civil matfor his own character, and the opinion of the ters they had hardly commenced their duties, world, would liave withheld a man of more pru- when their writs flew about in all directions ; dence than Mr. Hastings from engaging in such a zemindars, and other persons residing at a disbusiness as this '.
tance, were ousted on the oath of any person, Strange quarrels and as strange reconciliations however mean and discreditable, dragged up to take place among public men ; we need not there- Calcutta, and if they could not give bail, often to a fore be surprised to find Hastings and Francis large amount, flung into the noisome prison of that reconciled. The occasion was as follows. Mr. city. Gloom overspread the whole country ; the Barwell, who had made a large fortune in India, English law, with all its dark enigmas and inconwhere he had spent three and twenty years, was ceivable technicalities, hanging over it like a anxious to return to Europe, and Hastings would murky cloud. The revenue seemed about to cease thus lose his main support ; for though Sir Eyre altogether; for the authority of the zemindar was Coote, who had come out as commander-in-chief subverted, and the ryot withheld his rent. The with a seat in council, voted in general with the provincial courts of Dewannee Adawlut were also governor, he was a crotchety man, and could not rendered inoperative ; for there were attorneys always be relied on. It was, therefore, natural everywhere to advise the defaulters who were that Hastings should wish to soften down the brought before them to sue out a writ of habeas enmity of Francis, who on his part was anxious corpus in the Supreme Court. to see Barwell depart from India, where he still The Nizâmut, or penal jurisdiction exercised in lingered at the earnest wish of Hastings. An the name of the Nabob, the Supreme Court disarrangement was effected by which, on the gover. dained to recognize. “ The Act of Parliament,” nor's agreeing to re-instate Bristow, Fowke, and said one judge, “ does not consider him as a soveMohammed Reza Khân, Francis engaged not to reign prince; the jurisdiction of this court extends oppose him in certain important matters. Mr. over all his dominions.” “ This phantom, this Barwell then set sail for Europe.
man of straw,” said another, “it is an insult to the Soon after this a compromise was effected with understanding of the Court to have made the the chief-justice, which put an end to pretensions question of his sovereignty." As to the Dewannee of the Supreme Court, which had threatened to of the Company, one of the judges declared that ruin the whole of Bengal.
there could be no distinction in law or justice beWhen the Supreme Court was instituted it was tween the Company, as a trading Company, and as given most extensive power. It was a court of Dewan of these provinces, and that in their managecommon law and of equity, of oyer and terminer, ment of the revenues they were subject to the jurisand gaol delivery, of admiralty and ecclesiastic diction of the king's court. Thus, in effect, did those affairs. Its criminal jurisdiction, however, was four presumptuous, inflated men, assume to them. confined to British subjects, or to those in their selves the government of the three provinces. service ; its civil, to those and to such of the We will now give some specimens of their pronatives as had agreed to submit to its decision. ceedings. On the 2nd January, 1777, a suit com
The division of labour among the members of menced before the Provincial Council of Patna, the English bar is very complete ; the man who between the widow and the nephew and adopted
son of a Mohammedan of rank and property. The 9 “We always have, and always shall consider a letter of
widow produced a will in her favour, the nephew business from that Nabob, the same as a letter from the
maintained it was a forgery, and that at all events Governor-general and the Council,” said the Judges of the
his uncle had been for some time of weak intellect. Supreme Court, in 1775.
The case was, in the usual manner, referred to the