Images de page

A. D. 1780.



Câzee and other fit persons to investigate and re- brought an action of trespass against the governor port on.

Their opinion was, that neither party and council. They refused to plead ; the Court had established their claims ; and they recom- grew furious, and declared that they would proceed mended that the estate should be divided, the in the case as in any similar one. Men's minds widow, as was the law, to get a fourth, and the were in expectation of something direful, when remainder to go to the brother of the deceased, suddenly the storm dispelled : Cossinât Baboo, no namely, the father of the nephew. This was done, | one then could tell why, discontinued all legal the widow giving every opposition in her power, proceedings against the rajah and all others. and finally refusing to accept her share, or give up A measure was effected very soon after, which the title-deeds which she had secured. The ne- may throw some light on that transaction. The phew petitioned the council; and the Câzee and courts of Dewannee Adawlut, it was said, had Muftees were directed to use measures to force proved inconvenient and even 'dangerous, and the her to compliance ; and they set a guard over her, court of Suddur Dewannee Adawlut had never according to the rule of Mohammedan law. been brought into operation. Hastings then pro

The widow now was advised to bring an action posed to the council that the constitution of this in the Supreme Court against the nephew, the court should be changed, and the chief justice be Câzee, and the Muftees ; and she laid her damages vested with its powers, to hold them during the at 600,000 rupees. The nephew was pronounced pleasure of the governor and council. A large subject to the jurisdiction of the Court; for, as a salary was of course to be annexed, and Hastings renter, it was asserted he was a servant of the expressed his belief that this “ would prove an Company. The plea of the others, that they had instrument of conciliation between the council and acted in obedience their lawful superiors, was the court ;" that is, that the chief justice, when answered by the legal maxim, Delegatus non potest thus holding office and salary at their will, would delegare. They were arrested ; judgment was given never dare to oppose them. Francis and Wheeler against them, damages 300,000 rupees with costs ; of course disagreed with the governor-general, and they were brought to Calcutta (the Câzee, an old their arguments were cogent and well-founded. man, dying on the way) and thrown into prison, But Hastings was a more practical statesman, and where they remained till released by Parliament, he knew the man he had to deal with ; for Sir in 1781. The widow also obtained 15,000 rupees Elijah Impey saw at once the great advantages of damages against Mr. Law and two other members the plan, and willingly consented to accept the of the council of Patna ; which money was paid by office with a salary of 60,000 sicca rupees, and the Company

7200 as rent for an office; thus, for paltry lucre, In September, 1777, an attorney at Dacca pro- freely giving up all claim to respect, and all chance ceeded to arrest the dewan of the foujdar, at the of his preceding conduct being judged charitably. suit of a common pyke, who had been confined for He did not even long enjoy his new office : for in a misdemeanour and had brought his action for May, 1782, an address to the Crown for his recal, false imprisonment. His bailiff, who produced no on account of it, was voted by the House of Com. warrant, having been repelled, he himself, attended mons, and he was menaced with an impeachment 10. by a parcel of his followers, went to the house of Throughout the whole of this contest with the the foujdar, broke open the gates, and forced his judges the conduct of Hastings is entitled to praise. way in. A scuffle ensued, in which the attorney The last measure must make necessity its plea for himself shot the foujdar with a pistol in the body. justification. One of the judges wrote to the military officer at Before the arrangement with the chief justice Dacca, highly commending the conduct of the at- was completed, Mr. Francis quitted India, where torney, and requiring him to give him assistance. his presence had certainly produced little good. The Provincial Council gave bail for the dewan. It seems to us almost certain, that in the arrange

At length the Supreme Court and the govern- ment made previous to the departure of Mr. Bar. ment came into direct collision. Cossinat Baboo, well, he had promised to give the governor no a wealthy native, brought an action against the opposition on the subject of the Maratta war. In rajah of Cossijura, and a capias was issued. The fact, if he did not, Hastings must have conceded rajah, however, had absconded ; a writ was then every thing and he nothing. Hastings asserted issued to sequester his property, and the sheriff's that he had, Francis denied it; and the result officer, attended by about sixty Sepoys and armed was, that one day, when the council had risen, seamen, proceeded to execute it. They broke into Mr. Francis requested a private interview with the house, forced their way into the zenana, or the governor. They retired, and he then handed woman's apartment, so sacred in the East, and him a written challenge. Hastings accepted it; arrested the rajah's dewan. The government, and two mornings after (July 17, 1780,) they met however, acting on the opinion of Sir John Day, and exchanged shots. Francis was wounded in the their legal adviser, that zemindars were not sub- side, but not dangerously. In the following month ject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, had of December he sailed for England. given orders to Col. Achmuty to send soldiers and seize the whole party, which was done. Notice 10 His successor was the learned, accomplished, and virwas then given by the government to all zemindars tuous Sir William Jones. and landholders, directing them not in any way to recognize the authority of the Supreme Court over them. The Court, return, prepared to issue attachments against the officer commanding the military party, Mr. Naylor, the Company's attorney, and others, and even the governor-general and Mr. Barwell. Cossinat Baboo, at the same time,

What a contrast!

concluded by which he yielded up Salsette and

Bassein, with the Maratta share of the revenue of CHAPTER XVI.

Surat, Baroach, and other places. He was also to

bear the expenses of the troops sent to his aid, to Affairs of the Marattas–Treaty of Poorundur-Capitulation pay other sums of money, &c. &c. at Wargam--March of Col. Goddard-Takes Scindia's

Matters being thus arranged, Ragoba, who was Camp--Exploits of Capt. Popham--Capture of Gwalior

in the vicinity of Cambay, was joined on the 19th Of Bassein-Ascent of the Ghâts -- Treaties with the

April by a force of 580 Europeans and 1560 Marattas.

native troops, with a train of artillery under Col. Having brought the affairs of Bengal down thus Keating. It then moved southwards; and on the far, we must now occupy ourselves for some time 18th May it encountered the troops of the miniswith those of the other two presidencies, com

ters, and, owing to a panic caused by a mistake mencing with that of Bombay, which had hitherto made by an officer of the grenadiers, the British engaged little in the game of Indian politics. lost seven officers, eighty Europeans, and two hun

This presidency was quite surrounded by the dred Sepoys, and want of cavalry prevented their dominions of the Marattas. These comprised the deriving the due advantage from their victory. original Maratta state, of which Sattâra and Poona As Ragoba's own troops refused to cross the Ner. were the capitals; Berar and Orissa, held by the budda till their arrears of pay were discharged, family of Ragujee Bôsla; the possessions of Morari

and as the rains were at hand, the troops were put Râo in the South, and those of Holkar and Scindia | into quarters about fifty miles north of Baroach. in Malwa, and Gûzerât ruled by the Guicawar The government of Bengal, to which the other family.

presidencies were now subordinate, had highly On the death of the Peishwa, Balajee Râo !, | disapproved of the treaty with Ragoba. Hastings leaving two sons, Madhoo Râo and Narrain Râo, proposed that it should be cancelled and the troops both minors, the power of the state was for some withdrawn, except under certain circumstances. years wielded by his brother Ragonath Râo, com- But the majority ordered the withdrawal of the monly called Ragoba, as regent. After some time troops at once, provided it would be safe; and then Madhoo was enabled to take the reins of govern- having condemned the government of Bombay for ment into his own hands. But he died in 1772, taking part with one side, they took the other, and was succeeded by his brother Narrain. This voting that a negotiation should be opened with prince, however, was shortly after murdered in the ministers in order to obtain Salsette and Basconsequence of a plot which Ragoba, though with sein. They resolved to send for this purpose an out intending such a consummation, had formed agent of their own. Hastings proposed Col. Dow, against him. Ragoba then was acknowledged as

they named Col. Upton. The latter, of course, Peishwa ; but it appeared soon after, that the

was appointed, and he set out for Poona on the widow of Narrain was with child. The ministers 17th July. The government of Bombay sent Mr. of the late Peishwa proclaimed the event, and Tayler, a member of council, to Calcutta, to try to carried her to the fort of Poorundur for safety. obtain aid in men and money; and it was Hastings' Ragoba, who was absent, endeavouring to obtain opinion, that they should be supported, but the arrears of chout from Hyder Ally, and Mohammed majority were inexorable. Ally, returned with his army and defeated that of Col. Upton did not reach Poona till the beginthe ministers; but hearing that Holkar and Scindia ning of January, 1776. The ministers assumed a had been gained by them, he took panic and fled high tone with him; they asked why the governto Gûzerât. The widow was delivered of a son,

ment of Bengal, which so strongly condemned the who was generally acknowledged as Peishwa (May war, should seek to avail themselves of the advan1774).

tages of it. They finally declared that they knew Ragoba now addressed himself to the English at

of no alternative but war. On the receipt of this Bombay, who readily listened to his overtures; for intelligence, the government of Bengal resolved they were very anxious to obtain possession of the (March 7) to make the most vigorous preparations isle of Salsette, of Bassein, and some other places for the conflict. But soon after (April 1) came a in their neighbourhood, which the Marattas had letter from Col. Upton, to say that the ministers taken from the Portuguese. They had already had yielded, and that a treaty was in progress. offered the Maratta government, in exchange for The English renounced their claim on Bassein, of them, Baroach (which they had lately seized) and which they never, it appeared, had had possession, some places on the coast, but to no purpose. While

and were confirmed in that of Salsette, and the

little islands about it. they were now in treaty with Ragoba, they learned

Altogether, the treaty from Goa, that the Portuguese were fitting out an

named of Poorundur, was far less advantageous expedition for their recovery. They therefore hesi- than that with Ragoba ; and, strange enough, just tated no longer, but, signifying both to Ragoba and

as it was concluded, came the Directors' letter to the government at Poona. that it was merely a approving of that treaty, matter of precaution, they landed troops in Sal

Matters remained tolerably tranquil till 1778, sette, and having reduced the fort of Tanna, be when intelligence came of the arrival of a French came masters of the island. Ragoba, however, ship

in one of the Maratta ports, having on board did not appear at all inclined to cede this place a French agent, who had proceeded to Poona, but he and his allies from Gûzerât having sus

where he was received with much favour. This tained a defeat from the troops of the ministers, proved to be an adventurer, already well known in he was glad to get the aid of the English on any

India. He called himself the chevalier St. Lubin, terms, and on the 6th March, 1775, a treaty was

and he had persuaded the minister of marine that

he could effect much by means of the Marattas. See p. 48.

While the government of Bengal was deliberating

A.D. 1779-80.



on the best course to pursue, a split in the mi- | rised them to join in the plan, and promised to nistry at Poona occurred, and one party, headed assist them with men and money. With this view by Succaram Baboo, declared for Ragoba. The a detachment, commanded by Col. Leslie, was Presidency of Bombay was empowered to treat assembled at Calpee, in order to be sent to Bomwith them, and a new arrangement was made, by bay. On the 19th May it commenced its march; which Ragoba was to act as regent, in the name of but Leslie, instead of advancing, as he was directed, the young Peishwa. But the party of Siccaram with as much speed as possible, actually wasted Baboo soon appeared so strong, that it seemed four months in Bundelcund, trying to make up the likely to be able to dispense with Ragoba and the quarrels in the family of the rajah, and negotiate English. Scindia, however, threw his weight into useless treaties. In consequence of this “ wild the opposite scale, and the party, headed by Nana conduct," as Hastings terms it, the board unaniFurnovees, became ascendant ; and their rivals mously agreed to recal him (October 9), and give now called on the English.

the command to Lieut.-Col. Goddard, a man of a A division of the army which had been assem- very different character?, who marched without bled, was immediately sent forward. It consisted delay for the Nerbudda, where he was to enter the of about 4500 men, under the command of Col. dominions of Moodajee, the ruler of Berar. For Egerton, an inefficient officer; and to make matters Hastings had long been in treaty with this chief, worse, Mr. Mostyn, late resident at Poona, and with the design of aiding him to obtain the office Mr. Carnac, a member of Council, were sent as of rajah of Sattâra, as being of the family of field-deputies, who, with the commander, were to Sevajee, form a committee for controlling all matters. They On the 1st of December Goddard crossed the set out about the beginning of December, advanced Nerbudda. He found that Moodajee was not inslowly through the Čôncan, and on the 23rd they clined to contract any engagement, but that he had ascended the Ghật, and reached Condola. would act in a friendly manner. He there received They were now within about thirty-five miles of letters from Bombay urging him to advance withPoona, for which place they set out on the 4th out loss of time. He set out on the 16th of JanuJanuary, 1779, with provisions for twenty-five ary (1779), and on the 22nd he was at Charwa, days. Mr. Mostyn, from illness, returned to Bom- on the road to Bûrhanpûr. Here he received bay; and the same cause obliged Col. Egerton to letters from the committee of the Bombay army resign the command to Col. Cockburn, though he dated the 11th, telling him not to advance, and still continued to act in committee. On the 9th one next day from Bombay, urging him to it. (for they moved at a snail's pace) they were within Though perplexed he went on, and on the 30th sixteen miles of Poona, where they found an army he reached Bûrhanpûr. On the 6th of Febprepared to oppose them. Ragoba had sought to ruary, having received certain intelligence of the impress them with the necessity of gaining some disaster of the Bombay army, he marched for advantage, in order to induce his friends to declare Surat. By the celerity of his movements he for them; but now, on its being announced that escaped a body of 20,000 horse sent from Poona there were only provisions for eighteen days re- to intercept him ; and by the discipline which he maining, and on Cockburn's asserting that he could maintained the people of the country were induced not protect the baggage, without a body of horse, to stay in their houses and supply the army with the committee resolved to retreat! On the night all it required. He reached Surat on the 30th }, of the 11th, having thrown the heavy guns into a whence he proceeded to Bombay ; and though his tank, and burnt the stores, the army commenced troops were not to be placed under the orders of this disgraceful movement. They thought to have that presidency, but to be solely under the authogone off unobserved; but before daybreak the rity of the Supreme Council, he was requested to enemy was upon them, and continued to harass sit with the council, and recommended for the them till four in the afternoon of the second day post of commander-in-chief. (13th), when they reached Wargâm. Here the Mr. Hornby the governor refused to ratify the commander-in-chief declared that it was impossible convention of the Ilth of January. In this he to bring back the army to Bombay. Capt. Hartley, was perfectly justified, for the committee had who had commanded the rear, proposed a plan by clearly stated that they had not power to conclude which it might be effected, but in vain; it was re- a definitive treaty ; but he was willing to ratify solved to negotiate. The surrender of Ragoba the treaty with Scindia. On both points the Suwas made a preliminary; this they agreed to; but preme Council agreed with him. The good sense, he had already secured himself with Scindia. In moderation, and dignity shown by Hastings in his fine, a treaty was concluded, by which Salsette and conduct toward the Bombay authorities who had the other places were to be restored, the march of committed such gross errors, do him great honour. the troops that were coming from Bengal to be No taunts, no insults, no reproaches escaped his stopped, Baroach to be given up to Scindia, and lips or his pen. two gentlemen left as hostages. On these terms Early in 1780, Goddard (now a general,) put the army was allowed to depart. The Directors, his troops in motion, and on the 15th of February when they heard of this disgraceful affair, dismissed, he took Ahmedabad in Güzerât by assault. Meanand most justly, Egerton and Cockburn from their time Scindia and Holkar were advancing with service, and degraded Mr. Carnac.

40,000 men towards Surat. By rapid marches When the government of Bengal was informed Goddard arrived on the 8th of March in the by that of Bombay of the proposals made for the vicinity of their camp and was preparing to attack restoration of Ragoba, aware that war had now

2 Leslie died a few days after. Hastings speaks of his broken out between France and England, and that

sordid disposition, and morose and disgusting manners." it was therefore of the utmost consequence to de- 3 This was the first British force that marched across stroy the French influence at Poona, they autho- India,

[ocr errors]

it in the night, when Scindia released the two under Col. Hartley remained in the Côncan to English hostages, and sent a Vakeel with them to secure the collection of the revenues, and to cover open a negotiation. But Goddard could place no the siege of Bassein. Hartley defeated a large reliance in him ; and after several fruitless attempts Maratta force, and finally falling back to within to bring him to action, he succeeded in entering his nine miles of Bassein, repelled all the attacks of an camp before dawn on the 3rd of April, and reached army of 20,000 men that was coming to raise the the very centre of it before he was perceived. siege. Hardly any resistance was made, and the whole The affairs of the Carnatic were at this time in Maratta army fled, leaving the English - in posses- a dreadful condition, and a union of all the great sion of both their camp and the country. As the powers of the Deckan against the English was to rains commenced soon after, both sides retired ; and be apprehended. This, with the want of funds, Goddard sending back the Madras troops, put bis and the violent and unprincipled opposition which own detachment into cantonments.

he experienced from Francis, made Hastings most Hastings had some time before formed an alli- anxious to conclude a peace with the Marattas. ance with a Rajpût rajah named the Rana of He thought to effect it through the mediation of Gôhud, whose territories lay between those of the rajah of Bêrar; but that chief appeared now Scindia and the Jumna. In consequence of an quite lukewarm in his friendship. As a means of invasion of the Marattas, the Rana called on the forcing the Marattas to conclude a peace, he sent English for aid, and Capt. Popham, who was in directions for Gen. Goddard to direct his march command of a detachment intended to reinforce for Poona. The general, then leaving Bassein, and Goddard, was ordered to lead it to his assistance. driving the Maratta army before him, reached the Popham soon drove off the Marattas, and then foot of the pass named the Bhore Ghât on the 8th entering their own territory, laid siege to the fort February. Aware of the importance of dispatch, of Lahăr. Having no heavy guns he was unable he sent forward that very night a party of grenato effect a sufficient breach ; but having made an diers under Capt. Parker to force the pass. The imperfect one with his light guns he resolved to enemy was driven from all his posts, and next day storm. The garrison made a most gallant resist- the whole army reached the summit. Negotiations ance, and did not yield till nearly the whole of were then entered into with Nana Furnovees, but them were slain. The English loss was 125 men. no terms could be arranged; and as the enemy had

Popham soon after achieved a far more brilliant determined to burn Poona if the English advanced conquest. The fortress of Gwaliôr in Gôhud, to it, and no advantage seemed likely to be derived now held by the Marattas, had always been re- from remaining above the Ghâts, Gen, Goddard garded as impregnable. It lay on a lofty insulated resolved to descend and make the war merely a rock, scarped nearly all round, and was garrisoned defensive one. On the night of the 17th April the by 1000 men. Sir Eyre Coote had pronounced it troops secretly descended the Ghât, and though absolute madness to attack it with so feeble a harassed by the desultory attacks of the Marattas detachment as Popham's ; yet this gallant officer in the Concan, they reached their destination withresolved to make the attempt. Taking his position out any great loss of men or stores. in a village at a little distance from the fort, he Meantime a force from Bengal under Col. Carnac kept spies constantly employed in examining it. of five battalions, including Popham's detachment, They at length reported that there was one place had entered Scindia's territories to make a diverwhich seemed practicable. At that place the sion in favour of Goddard. On reaching Serônj, height of the scarp was sixteen feet; from thence Carnac found himself surrounded by a powerful to the wall the steep rock was forty yards, and the army, his supplies cut off, and the rajah, whom he wall was thirty feet high. Popham resolved to had expected to join him, keeping aloof. Having attempt that place, and made all the requisite pre- continued for some weeks in that situation, vainly parations; and at daybreak on the 3rd August, the expecting to be joined by Col. Muir from Gôhud, storming party, led by Capt. Bruce, arrived at the he called a council of war. Capt. Bruce, who had foot of the rock. By means of wooden ladders commanded the storming party at Gwaliór, recomthey mounted to the top of the scarp; they then mended a night attack on Scindia's camp. The clambered up to the foot of the wall, and the spies plan was adopted and executed the next night having climbed up and fixed rope-ladders to it, the (Mar. 24) with the usual success, the enemy flying Sepoys ascended with great rapidity.

They then and leaving every thing behind. Soon after Col. pushed on for the main body of the place ; the Muir joined and took the chief command. The garrison fled after a brief resistance, and thus the two armies lay near each other for some months, formidable Gwaliôr was captured. Popham was but no action took place; and in October a treaty raised to the rank of major for this splendid achiev. was concluded, the English restoring to Scindia all ment, at the fame of which the Mārattas quitted their conquests beyond the Jumna, except what all the surrounding country.

had been given to the Rana of Gôhud. In October, Gen. Goddard being reinforced from On the 17th May, 1782, a treaty was also conMadras, moved from Surat in order to attack Bas- cluded with the Poona government. The English sein. Owing to the state of the roads and the resigned Bassein and all their other conquests rivers he did not arrive before it till the 13th No- made since the treaty of Poorundur; the Marattas vember. As the place was strong and the garrison engaged on their side to make Hyder give up all numerous, he resolved to proceed with caution and his conquests in the Carnatic. No Europeans but regularity, and began to erect batteries. The ap- the Portuguese were to have factories within the proaches were duly made : on the 10th December Maratta dominions. Scindia was to have Baroach, a breach had been effected, and next day the and Ragoba was to have 25,000 rupees a month enemy surrendered at discretion. While Goddard from the Peishwa, if he would reside in Scindia's was thus engaged, a division of the Bombay army dominions,

A, D. 1772-1775.



the flock of European vultures which filled his

court; and in his letters home to the ministers, CHAPTER XVII.

represented him as the most excellent and the

most ill-used of princes. Mohammed Ally's Agent in England-Powers given to Sir

In the treaty concluded with Hyder Ally there John Lindsay-Reduction of Tanjore-Mr. Paul Benfield was, as we have seen, a stipulation of defensive -Arrest and Death of Lord Pigot-Strange Conduct of alliance, and at this time, being hard pressed by Hastings-Capture of the French Possessions-Quarrel the Marattas, he called on the English for aid, to with the Nizâm-War with Hyder Ally-Destruction of which he had a manifest right. At the same time Baillie's Detachment-Arrival of Coote-Defence of Wan- the Marattas, by threats of invading the Carnatic, dewash-Victories of the English-Lord Macartney-Re- | tried to draw the English to their side. The duction of the Dutch Settlements--Destruction of Braith- Nabob, supported by Lindsay, was urgent with waite's Detachment-Encounters of French and English the présidency to join the Marattas; but they deFleets-Storm and Famine at Madras-Death of Hyder

cided on neutrality, inclining rather to the side of Death of Coote-Attack on Cuddalore--Dismissal of Gen. Stuart-Operations on West Coast–Surrender of Bednore

Hyder. Meantime the ministry, somewhat alarmed -Of Mangelore-Peace with Tippoo.

at the accounts of the dissensions at Madras,

adopted the sage expedient of recalling the person, In the Carnatic, to which we now return, events of but leaving the authority. The result was what importance had been taking place, and war, with any person of sense might have anticipated. Lindall its horrors, had been renewed.

say's successor, Sir Robert Harland, proved to be A Scottish adventurer in India, named John violent and intemperate, even beyond his predecesMacpherson, having ingratiated himself with Mo- sor. He zealously seconded the Nabob in his efforts hammed Ally, was empowered by him to go to to make the presidency accept the alliance of the England and try to obtain from the crown the Marattas, who were now masters of all Mysore justice which he fancied was denied him by the except the fortresses; but they still remained firm, Company. The Duke of Grafton was premier and at length, in 1772, the Marattas were induced when Macpherson arrived in England; and in his to conclude a peace with Hyder on receiving from interviews with this minister, he did not suffer him both money and territory to a large amount. truth to stand in his way when pleading the cause Mohammed Ally, amidst all his difficulties, had of his employer, whom he represented as a man of never his eyes off the fertile little realm of Tanunsullied honour, an accomplished statesman and jore, on which in reality he had no just claim gentleman, one to whom Britain owed the rise of whatever. In 1771, he induced the presidency to her power in India. He had even the courage to aid him in overrunning that kingdom. Toward offer the duke what he calls “the credential pre- the end of September, Gen. Smith reduced the sents” of Mohammed Ally; and on his refusal, he strong fortress of Vellum; he then marched against endeavoured to force them on his secretary, Mr. the city of Tanjore. By the end of October his Bradshaw, but without effect. He then offered, batteries had effected a breach, and he was prein the name of the Nabob (who was a beggar), to paring to storm, when he learned that Omdut-ulinvest seventy lacs of rupees in any funds the Omrah, the Nabob's son, by whom he was accomminister would name, or to lend that or even a panied, had concluded a peace with the rajah, and larger sum to government at two per cent. He thus deprived the troops of the plunder they had wrote pamphlets and articles in newspapers, and expected. caused them to be written by others. He sought The rajah had, of course, been obliged to proby all means to cause dissension between the mi- mise to pay large sums of money. In 1773 his nistry and the Company, and at length succeeded debt was brought down to ten lacs of rupees. He so far that the ministry resolved to support Mo- either actually had applied to the Marattas and hammed Ally.

Hyder for protection, or, as it is asserted, the artiThe mode of carrying their resolution into effect fices of the Nabob had made the Presidency beadopted by the ministry, was not a very creditable lieve he had done so, conduct which they them

The Directors having applied to them for selves declared was not to be at all wondered at, some ships of the line, they agreed to give them, as they could not support him against the Nabob. provided their commander should have a large still they resolved to take the present opportunity and conspicuous share in all treaties with native of destroying him, lest, as they could not give him princes, as, by the peace of Paris, they said, the “a firm promise of support in his just rights,” he crown was bound to maintain the rights of certain might on some future occasion join the French, or Indian princes. The Directors refused; the minis- some native power. Actuated by these motives, try affected to acquiesce, but they secretly gave they made all the requisite arrangements with the these powers to Sir John Lindsay, who was sent Nabob, and early in August, 1773, the British out in command. This officer arrived at Madras forces appeared before the city of Tanjore. On on the 26th July, 1770, and astonished the ser- the 16th September the place was taken, by the vants of the Company by announcing his powers, stratagem of making the assault in the heat of the and calling on them to appear in his train when he day, when the greater part of the garrison had went in state to deliver to the Naboh his Majesty's retired for shelter or refreshment. The rajah and letter and presents. They declined, assigning very his family being made prisoners were delivered up sufficient reasons. In the correspondence which to the Nabob, who was also put into possession of ensued, Sir John exhibited abundance of the un- the whole of that prince's dominions. reasoning insolence then almost characteristic of Owing to various causes it was not till April, the British naval commanders. He attached him. | 1775, that the Court of Directors were able to self blindly to the cause of the Nabob, lent a cre. come to a decision on the subject. They then condulous ear to all the representations of him, and demned the whole transaction as unjust and dan


« PrécédentContinuer »