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Articles of Charge of High Crimes and Misdemeanors
AGAINST Warren Hastings, Esquire, late Governor-
General OF Bengal : presented to the House of Com-
mons IN April and May, 1786. — Articles VII.-XXII.

Art. All. Contracts 3

YHI. Presents ....... 22

IX. Resignation of the Office of Governor-
General 42

X. Surgeon-General's Contract ... 60

XL Contracts for Poolbundy Repairs . 60

XII. Contracts for Opium 63

Xni Appointment of R. J. Sulivan . . 70

XIV. Ranna of Gohud 72

XV. Revenues. Part L . . . . 79

Part II 87

XVI. Misdemeanors in Oudb .... 95

XVII. Mahomed Reza Khan 179

XVIII. The Mogul delivered up to the Mahrat-

TAS 202

XIX. Libel on the Court of Directors . 228

XX. Mahratta "War and Peace .... 238

XXI. Correspondence 266

XXII. Fyzoola Kuan.

Part I. Rights of Fyzoola Khan, etc., be-
fore THE Treaty of Lall-Danq . . 268


Part II. Rights of Fyzoola Khan under the
Treaty of Lall-Dang 275

Part III. Guaranty of the Treaty of Lall-
Dang 278

Part IV. Thanks of the Board to Fyzoola

Khan 286

Part V. Demand of Five Thousand Horse 287

Part VI. Treaty of Chunar .... 296

Part VII. Consequences of the Treaty of
Chunak 302

Part VIII. Pecuniary Commutation of the
Stipulated Aid ...... 306

Part IX. Full Vindication of Fyzoola Khan
BY Major Palmer and Mr. Hastings . .313
Appendix to the Eighth and Sixteenth Charges 319

Speeches in the Impeachment of Warren Hastings,
Esquire, late Governor-General of Bengal.
Speech in Opening the Impeachment.

First Day: Friday, February 15, 1788 . , 829
Second Day: Saturday, February 16. . 396
















THAT the Court of Directors of the East India
Company had laid down the following fundamen-
tal rules for the conduct of such of the Company's
business in Bengal as could be performed by contract,
and had repeatedly and strictly ordered the Governor
and Council of Fort William to observe those rules,
viz. : That all contracts should be publicly adver-
tised , and the most reasonable proposals accepted ;
that the contracts of provisions, and for furnishing
draught and carriage bullocks for the army, should
be annual; and tliat they should not fail to advertise
for and receive proposals for those contracts every

That the said Warren Hastings, in direct disobedi-
ence to the said positive orders, and, as the Directors
themselves say, by a most deliberate breach of his duty,
did, in September, 1777, accept of proposals offered
by Ernest Alexander Johnson for providing draught
and carriage bullocks, and for victualling the Euro-
peans, without advertising for proposals, as he was
expressly commanded to do, and extended tlic con-
tract for three years, which was positively ordered to


be annual, — and, notwithstanding that extension of
the period, which ought at least to have been compen-
sated by some advantage to the Company in the con-
ditions, did conclude the said contract upo7i terms
less advantageous than the preceding contract, and there-
fore not on the lowest terms procurable. That the said
Warren Hastings, in defiance of the judgment and
lawful orders of his superiors, which in this case left
him no option, declared, that Ag disapproved of publish-
ing for proposals, and that the contract was reduced too
low already : thereby avowing himself the advocate of
the contractor, against whom, as representative of the
Company, and guardian of their interests, he prop-
erly was party, and preferring the advantage of the
contractor to those of his own constituents and em-
ployers. That the Court of Directors of the East In-
dia Company, having carefully considered the circum-
stances and tendency of this transaction, condemned
it in the strongest terms, declaring, that they would
not permit the contract to be continued, and that, " if
the contractor should think himself aggrieved, and
take measures in consequence by which the Compa-
ny became involved in loss or damage, they should
certainly hold the majority of the Council responsi-
ble for such loss or damage, and proceed against
them accordingly." — That the said "Warren Hast-
ings, in defiance of orders, which the Directors say
were plain and unequivocal, did, in January, 1777,
receive from George Templer a proposal essentially
different from the advertisement published by the
Governor-General and Council for receiving proposals
for feeding the Company's elephants, and did accept
thereof, not only without having recourse to the proper
means for ascertaining whether the said proposal was


the lowest that would be offered, but with auother
actually before the board nearly thirty per cent lower
than that made by the said George Templer, to whom
the said Warren Plastings granted a contract, in the
terms proposed by the said Templer, for three years,
and did afterwards extend the same to five years, with
new and distinct conditions, accepted by the said War-
ren Hastings, without advertishig for fresh proposals,
by which the Company were very considerable losers :
on all which the Court of Directors declared, " that
this waste of their property could not be permitted ;
that he, the said Warren Hastings, had disregarded
their authority, and disobeyed their orders, in not tak-
ing the lowest offers" ; and they ordered that the con-
tract for elephants should be annulled : and the said
Directors further declared, that, " if the contractor
should recover damages of the Company for breach
of engagement, they were determined, in such case,
to institute a suit at law against those members of the
board who had presumed, in direct breach of their or-
ders, to prefer the interest of an individual to that
of the Company." — That the said Warren Hastings

did, in the year 1777, conclude with Forde

a contract for an armed vessel for the pilotage of the
Chittagong river, and for the defence of the coast
and river against the incursions of robbers, for the
term of five years, in further disobedience of the
Company's orders respecting the mode and duration
of contracts, and with a considerable increase of ex-
pense to the Company. That the farming out the de-
fence of a country to a contractor, being wholly un-
precedented, and evidently absurd, could have no real
object but to enrich tlie contractor at the Company's
expense : since either the service was not dangerous.


and then the establishment was totally unnecessary,
or, if it was a dangerous service, it was evidently the
interest of the contractor to avoid such danger, and
not to hazard the loss of his ship or men, which must
be replaced at his own expense, and therefore that an
active and faithful discharge of the contractor's duty
was incompatible with his interest. — That the said
Warren Hastings, in further defiance of the Compa-
ny's orders, and in breach of the established rule
of their service, did, in the year 1777, conclude a
contract with the master and deputy master attendant
of the Company's marine or pilot service, for supply-
ing the said marine with naval stores, and executing
the said service for the term of two years, and with-
out advertising for proposals. That the use and ex-
penditure of such stores and the direction of the pilot
vessels are under the management and at the disposi-
tion of the master attendant by virtue of his office ;
that he is officially the proper and regular check upon
the person who furnishes the stores, and bound by his
duty to take care that all contracts for furnishing
such stores are duly and faithfully executed. That
the said Warren Hastings, by uniting the supply and
the check in the same hands, did not only disobey
the Company's specific orders, and violate the funda-
mental rules and practice of the service, but did over-
set the only just and rational principle on which this
and every other service of a similar nature ought to
be conducted, and did not only subject the Company's
mterest, in point of expense, to fraud and collusion,
but did thereby expose the navigation of the Bengal
river to manifest hazard and distress : considering
that it is the duty of the master attendant to take
care that the pilot vessels are constantly stationed in


the roads to wait the arrival of the Company's ships,
especially in tempestuous weather, and that they
should be in a constant condition to keep the sea ;
whereas it is manifestly the interest of the contractor,
in the first instance, to equip the said vessels as scant-
ily as possible, and afterwards to expose them as lit-
tle as possible to any service in which the stores to be
replaced by him might be lost or consumed. And,
finally, that in June, 1779, the said contract was
prolonged to the said master attendant, by the said
Warren Hastings, for the further period of two years
from the expiration of the first, without advertising
for proposals. — That it does not appear that any of
the preceding contracts have been annulled, or the
charges attending any of them abated, or that the
Court of Directors have ever taken any measures to
compel the said Warren Hastings to indemnify the
Company, or to make good any part of the loss in-
curred by the said contracts.

That in the year 1777 the said Warren Hastings
did recommend and appoint John Belli, at that time
his private secretary, to be agent for supplying the
garrison of Fort William with victualling stores :
that the stores were to be purchased with money ad-
vanced by the Company, and that the said agent was
to be allowed a commission or percentage for his risk
and trouble ; that, in order to ascertain what sum
would be a reasonable compensation for the agent, the
Governor-General and Council agreed to consult some
of the principal merchants of Calcutta ; that the mer-
chants so consulted reported their opinion, that twen-
ty per cent on the prime cost of the stores would be
a reasonable compensation to the agent ; that, never-
theless, the said Warren Hastings, supported by llu;


voce and concurrence of Richard Barwell, then a mem-
ber of the Supreme Council, did propose and carry it,
that thirty per cent per annum should be allowed up-
on all stores to be provided by the agent. That the
said Warren Hastings professed that "he preferred
an agency to a contract for this service, because, if it
were performed by contract, it must then be adver-
tised, and the world would know what provision was
made for the defence of the fort " : as if its being
publicly known that the fort was well provided for de-
fence were likely to encourage an enemy to attack
It. That in August, 1779, in defiance of the principle
laid down by himself for preferring an agency to a
contract, the said Warren Hastings did propose and
carry it, that the agency should be converted into a
contract, to be granted to the said John Belli, without
advertising for proposals, and fixed for the term of
five years, — " pretending that he had received fre-
quent remonstrances from the said agent concerning
the heavy losses and inconveniences to which he was
subjected by the indefinite terms of his agency," not-
withstanding it appeared by evidence produced at the
board, that, on a supply of about 37,000^., he had al-
ready drawn a commission of 22,000^ and upwards.
That the said Warren Hastings pledged himself, that,
if required hy the Court of Directors^ the profits arising
from the agency should he paid into the Company's
treasury, and appropriated as the Court shoidd direct.
That the Court of Directors, as soon as they were
advised of the first appointment of the said agency,
declared that they considered the commission of
twenty per cent as an ample compensation to the
agent, and did positively order, that, according to the
engagement of the said Warren Hastings, " the com-


mission ijaid or to be paid to the said agent slionld be
reduced to twenty pounds per cent." That the said
John Belli did positively refuse to refund any part of
the profits he had received, or to submit to a diminu-
tion of those which he was still to receive ; and that
the said Warren Hastings has never made good his
own voluntary and solemn engagement to the Court
of Directors hereinabove mentioned : and as his fail-
ure to perform the said engagement is a breach of faith
to the Company, so his performance of such engage-
ment, if he had performed it, and even his offering to
pledge himself for tlie agent, in the first instance,
ought to be taken as presumptive evidence of a con-
nection between the said Warren Hastings and the
said agent, his private secretary, which ought not to
exist between a Governor acting in behalf of the Com-
pany and a contractor making terms with such Gov-
ernor for the execution of a public service.

That, before the expiration of the contract herein-
before mentioned for supplying the army with draught
and carriage bullocks, granted by the said Warren
Hastings to Ernest Alexander Johnson for three years,
the said Warren Hastings did propose and carry it in
Council, that a new contract should be made on a
new plan, and that an offer thereof should be made to
Richard Johnson, brother and executor of the said
contractor, without advertising for proposals, for the
term of five years ; that this offer was voluntarily ac-
ceptzd by the said Richard Johnson, who at the same
time d3sired and obtained that the new contracts
should \)Q made out in the name of Ciiarles Croftcs,
the Company's accountant and sub-treasurer at Fort
William ; that the said Charles Croftes offered the
said Richard Jolmsou as one of his securities for the


performance of the said contract, who was accepted
as such by the said Warren Hastings ; and that, at
the request of the said contractor, the contract for
victualling the Europeans serving at the Presidency
was added to and united with that for furnishing bul-
locks, and fixed for the same period. That this ex-
tension of the periods of the said contracts was not
compensated by a diminution in the charge to be
incurred by the Company on that account, as it
ought to have been, but, on the contrary, the charge
was immoderately increased by the new contracts,
insomuch that it was proved by statements and com-
putations produced at the board, that the increase on
the victualling contract would in five years amount
to 40,000Z., and that the increase on the bullock con-
tract in the same period would amount to above
400,000Z. That, when this and many other weighty
objections against the terms of the said contracts
were urged in Council to the said Warren Hastings^
he declared that he should deliver a reply thereto ; but
it does not appear that he did ever deliver such re-
ply, or ever enter into a justification of any part of
his conduct in this transaction. — That the act of
Parliament of 1773, by which the first Governor-Gen-
eral and Council were appointed, did expressly limit
the duration of their office to the term of five years,
which expired in October, 1779, and that the several
contracts hereinbefore mentioned were granted in
September, 1779, and were made to continue five
years after the expiration of the government by which
they were granted. That by this anticipation the dis-
cretion and judgment of the succeeding government
respecting the subject-matter of such contracts was
taken away, and any correction or improvement there-


ill rendered impracticable. That the said Warren
Hastings might have been justified by the rules and
practice or by the necessity of the public service in
binding the government by engagements to endure
one year after the expiration of his own office ; but
on no principles could he be justified in extending
such engagements beyond the term of one year, much
less on the principles he has avowed, namely, " that it
was only an act of common justice in him to secure
every man connected with him, as far as he legally
could J from the apprehension of future oppression."
That the oppression to which such apprehension, if
real, must allude, could only consist in and arise out
of the obedience which he feared a future govern-
ment might pay to the orders of the Court of Direc-
tors, by making all contracts annual, and advertising
for proposals publicly and indifferently from all per-
sons whatever, by which it might happen that such
beneficial contracts would not be constantly held by
men connected tvith him, the said Warren Hastings.
That this declaration, made by the said Warren Hast-
ings, combined with all the circumstances belonging
to these transactions, leaves no room to doubt, that, in
disobeying the Company's orders, and betraying the
trust reposed in him as guardian of the Company's
property, his object was to purchase the attachment
of a number of individuals, and to form a party capa-
ble of supporting and protecting him in return.

That, with the same view, and on the same prin-
ciples, it appears that excessive salaries and emohi-
ments, at the East India Company's charge and ex-
pense, have been lavished by the said Warren Hast-
ings to sundry individuals, contrary to the general
principles of his dutv, and in direct contradiction to


the positive orders of the Court of Directors : partic
ularly, that, whereas by a resolution of the Court of
Proprietors of the East India Company, and by an in
struction of the Court of Directors, it was provided
and expressly ordered that there should be paid to
the late Sir John Clavering " the sum of six thou-
sand pounds sterling per annum in full for his services
as commander-in-chief, in lieu of travelling charges
and of all other advantages and emoluments what-
ever," and whereas the Court of Directors positively
ordered that the late " Sir Eyre Coote should receive
the same pay as commander-in-chief of their forces
in India as was received by Lieutenant-General Sir
John Clavering," the said Warren Hastings, nev-
ertheless, within a very short time after Sir Eyre
Coote's arrival in Benga,l, did propose and carry it
in Council, that a new establishment should be cre-
ated for Sir Eyre Coote, by which an increase of ex-
pense would be incurred by the India Company to
the amount of eighteen thousand pounds a year and
upwards, exclusive of and in addition to his salary
of ten thousand pounds a year, provided for him by
act of Parliament as a member of the Supreme
Council, and exclusive of and in addition to his sal-
ary of six thousand pounds a year as commander-in-
chief, appointed for him by the Company, and ex-
pressly fixed to that amount.

That the disobedience and breach of trust of which
the said Warren Hastings was guilty in this transac-
tion is highly aggravated by the following circum-
stances connected with it. That from the death of
Sir John Clavering to the arrival of Sir Eyre Coote in
Bengal the provisional command of the army had de-
volved to and been vested in Brigadier-General Giles


Stibbert, the eldest officer on that establislimciit.
That in this capacity, and, as the said Warren Hast-
ings has declared, " standing no way distinguished
from the other officers in the army, but by his acci-
dental succession to the first place on the list," he,
the said Giles Stibbert, had, by the recommendation
and procurement of the said Warren Hastings, re-
ceived and enjoyed a salary, and other allowances, to
the amount of 13,854Z. 12s. per annum. That Sir
Eyre Coote, soon after his arrival, represented to the
board that a considerable part of those allowances,
amounting to 8,220/. lO.s. per annum, ought to de-
volve to himself, as commander-in-chief of the Com-
pany's forces in India, and, stating that the said Giles
Stibbert could no longer be considered as command-
er-in-chief under the Presidency of Fort William,
made a formal demand of the same. That the said
Warren Hastings, instead of reducing the allowances
of the said Giles Stibbert to the establishment at
which they stood during General Clavering's com-
mand, and for the continuance of which after Sir
Eyre Coote's arrival there could be no pretence, con-
tinued the allowances of 13,854/. 12s. per annum to
the said Giles Stibbert, and at the same time, in or-
der to appease and satisfy the demand of the said Sir
Eyre Coote, did create for him that new establish-
ment, hereinbefore specified, of eigliteen thousand
pounds per annum, — insomuch tliat, instead of the
allowance of six thousand j^ounds a i/ear, in lieu of
travelling charges, and of all emoluments and allow-
ances ichatsoever, to which the pay and allowances of
commander-in-chief were expressly limited by the
united act of the legislative and executive powers of
the Company, the annual charge to be borne by the


Company on that account was increased by the said
Warren Hastings to the enormous sum of thirty-eight
thousand two hundred and seventeen pounds ten
shillings sterling.

That on the 1st of November, 1779, the said War-
ren Hasthigs did move and carry it in Council, " that
the Resident at the Vizier's court should be furnish-
ed with an account of all the extra allowances and
charges of the commander-in-chief when in the field,
with orders to add the same to the debit of the Viz-
ier's account, as a part of his general subsidy, — the
charge to commence from the day on which the gen-
eral shall pass the Caramnassa, and to continue till
his return to the same line." That this additional
expense imposed by the said Warren Hastings on the
Vizier was unjust in itself, and a breach of treaty
with that prince : the specific amount of the subsidy
to be paid by him having been fixed by a treaty, to
which no addition could justly be made, but at the
previous requisition of the Vizier. That the Court
of Directors, in their letter of the 18th of October,

1780, did condemn and prohibit the continuation of
the allowances above mentioned to Sir Eyre Coote in
the following words: " These allowances appear to us
in a light so very extraordinary, and so repugnant to
the spirit of a resolution of the General Court of Pro-
prietors respecting the allowance made to General
Clavering, that we positively direct that they be dis-
continued immediately, and no part thereof paid after
the receipt of this letter." That on the 27th of April,

1781, the Governor-General and Council, in obedience
to the orders of the Directors, did signify the same to
the Commissary-General, as an instruction to him that
the extraordinary allowances to Sir Eyre Coote should


he discontinued, and, no part thereof paid after that day.
That it appears, nevertheless, that the said extra allow-
ances (amounting to above twenty thousand pounds
sterling a year) were continued to be charged to the
Vizier, and paid to Sir Eyre Coote, in defiance of the
orders of the Court of Directors, in defiance of the
consequent resolution of the Governor-General and
Council, and in contradiction to the terms of the orig-
inal motion made by the said Warren Hastings for
adding those allowances to the debit of the Yizier,
viz., " that they should continue till Sir Eyre Coote's
return to the Caramnassa." That Sir Eyre Coote
arrived at Calcutta about the end of August, 1780,
a,nd must have crossed the Caramnassa, in his return
from Oude, some weeks before, when the charge on
the Vizier, if at any time proper, ought to have
ceased. That it appears that the said allowances were
continued to be charged against the Vizier and paid
to Sir Eyre Coote for three years after, even while he
was serving in the Carnatic, and that this was done
by the sole authority and private command of the
said Warren Hastings.

That the East India Company having thought prop-
er to create the office of Advocate-General in Bengal,
and to appoint Sir John Day to that office, it was
resolved by a General Court of Proprietors that a
salary of three thousand pounds a year should be al-

Online LibraryEdmund BurkeThe works of the right honorable Edmund Burke (Volume 9) → online text (page 1 of 35)