Giovanni Paolo Marana.

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*^e l^etters Containing
Hints for the Improvement of
stablishments in India















Printed in the Year MDCCLXXXL


LETTERS, & c .



TH E recefs of Parliament, by giving
your Lordfhip a temporary releafe from
the fatiguing duties of the Houie,
has left you the leifure to examine, with more y
attention, the various interefls of the nation at
this important crifis. Poffibly there is no one of *
thefe fo difficult for your Lordfhip to decide
upon, no one fo little underftood by the public,
as that which relates to our dominion in India ;
whether it be confidered on the fide of com-
merce, of revenue, or of politics : had it fortu-
nately been otherwife, the interefts of the Com-
pany, and thofe of the nation, would never for
a moment even have been confidered in different
)oints of view; nor would thof9 advantages
A which



which have been obtained, by the exer*
rlons of the Company, under the counte-
nance and fupport of government, at any time
have been made the fubject of contention be-
tween them. It is with a view, my Lord,
to obviate, as far* as lies within' my narrow abili-
ties, fuch prejudices, and to conciliate interefts
which, from their nature, mould ever be infe-
parable, that I prefume to addrefs the following
fketches immediately to your Lordmip.

Aware of the value and importance of your
jLordfhip's time, I mall confine myfelf to the
mere outline of fuch ideas as have occurred to
me. The few arguments which I lhall venture
to adduce, are principally drawn from experience :
thofe of wider fpeculation, and of more en-
larged policy, will be more effectually fupplied
by the abilities and judgment of your Lordfhip.

The chart of India will point out how the
poffeflions of the Englim are fnrrounded, on
every fide, by the powerful rival ftates that have
been formed there out of the ruins of the Mogul
empire : the march of the army from Bengal to
Surat has (hewn, by the apprehenfion it excited*
the inconveniencies and dangers attending this
peculiarity of fituation : and the conqueil and
reftitutkm of Tanjore, with the yet undecided
claims of the Nabob of Arcot, are incontrover-

t .3 3

cible proofs that, from the want of fyftem in our
political conduft, we are daily adding to thefe . v

Nor are our commerce and revenues in a flate
of better fecurity than our pofieffions ; for, in-
dependently of the influence which our political
fituation muft always have upon them, the for-
mer is now diverted into foreign channels from
the want of a more regular courfe of remittance ;
and the latter cannot long refill the effects of an
accumulating fpecie, locked up in the treafury
of Calcutta - 9 for the expences of the Maratta
war have caufed but a temporary draft from that
treafury, which will be reimburfed with intereft
by the fuccefs that we have now every reafon to
hope from it.

Thefe are fuggeftions that will have little
weight with thofe who think the natives of the
Bail incapable of military exertion; and who
confider the empire and the commerce of India
as decidedly fecured to us by the expulfion of
the French. But your Lordlhip's better judg-
ment will have feen, in the late treaty concluded
by the government of Bombay with the Marattas
of Poonah in 1779, that the poffelTion of Pon- V
dicherry and of Mahe could not fave the army
of Bombay from fubmitting to the moft hu-
miliating engagements: and the expedition pro- /\
A 2 jeded

[ 4 ]

jefted from the French iflands, though now
rendered abortive by the fuccefs of the Bengal
troops under general Goddard, muft evince to
your Lordfhip the neceflity of the mod vigilant
policy on our fide, to watch over, and to coun-
teract the wily machinations of our enemies.

With regard to our commerce, the increafed
navigation of the Portuguefe, the Danes, and
the Dutch, with the reviving trade of Oflend,
are proofs, that the extirpation of the French
has only ferved to increafe the number of our
competitors , and that while individuals are
precluded from a direct remittance to England,
neceflity will compel them to give their money
to foreigners, who by means of a very high
exchange, of funds for which they pay no in-
tereft, and of low wages to feamen, are enabled
to underfell the Englifh India Company in all
X the markets of Europe.

It is unneceflary to urge to your Lordfhip
the evils attendant upon a reduced circulation of
Ipecie ; but I cannot omit to remark, that it is
not long fmce they were feverely felt in Bengal,
in confequence of the vaft fums which were
exported from thence to China -, and it can need
no argument to mew, that whether the fcarcity
of money be occafioned by the fending of it
abroad, or by the locking of it up in a treafury,


t 5 3

the effefts upon fociety for the time muft be

The fliort period of the Eaft India Company's
charter has hitherto fupplied the Court of Dk
reflors with too good an excufe for the -tem-
porizing, undecided plan which lias of late been
purfued. It is now expiring, and the public
have reafon to hope that your Lordfhip, in
giving it a new eftablifhment, will give exertion
and vigor to the machine of government.

It is from this view that I derive an additional
motive to intrude this letter upon your Lord-
fliip, and that I propofe (in my next) to enlarge
upon fome of the points that I have Jiere but
ppened to your obfervation.

I have the honor to be,

My LORD, &c. & c .




IT is not yet a century fmce the Mogul empire
attained its greateft extent, and was governed
with wifdom and vigor by the politic Aureng-
zebe ; yet the fucceflbr of Aurengzebe doth not
at th'is time poffefs a town which he can call his
own. Thirty years are fcarcely paft, fmce the
vaft provinces of Berar, Malva, the Deccan,
Vreiapour, and the Carnatic, to Cape Comorin,
were united under the government of the cele-
brated Nizam-ul Mulluck ; yet the fon of Ni-
zam-ul Mulluck finds difficulty in keeping the
disjointed Deccan fubject to his authority ; and
the vaft power of the Maratcas, which within
thirty years impofed tributes throughout Indof-
tan, is now divided into three feparate and dif-
cordant ftates.

Revolutions fo quick, and of fuch importance,
(hew how much our political ideas upon India
ihould be determined by the particular characters
of its refpective rulers. If further proofs of this
mould be thought neceflary, they are offered to
jus in events ftill nearer to our own time. The


t 7 ]

government of Myfore, weak and contemptible
under its Raja, became powerful and formida-
ble as foon as the enterprifing Hyder Ally af-
famed the reins : whilft the provinces of Bengal
were no fooner deprived of the ileady rule of
Aliverdy Cawn, than they were plunged into
diforder, and ripened for revolt. The military
abilities of Mahadarow enabled the Marattas of
Poonah, in the years 1770 and 1771, to revive
the exorbitant claims of that nation, and to lay
the Deccan and Myfore under contribution ;
when the early death of that chieftain, with the
divifions that followed relative to his fucceffion,
prefcribed new limits to the ambition of that
ariftocracy, and added whole provinces to the
dominions of the Soubah of the Deccan, and
of Hyder Ally Cawn.

At prefent, the preponderating power is with-
out a queftion in the Englilh 5 but this tenure
too, my Lord, is precarious, for we no longer
hold military difcipline in monopoly - y and it
cannot derogate from the high reputation of
Lord Clive, to afcribe the rapid growth of this
power, in fome meafure, to the enemy's igno-
rance in that art : this ignorance no longer fub-
fifts j every Mahommedan prince has now his
battalions and artillery ; and the creation of a
refpectable army, within the fpace of three years,


r s j

by the Nabob of the Carnatic, not only unaided j-
but publicly difcountenanced by the govern- 1
ment of Madras, proves within how fhort a time
we might be formidably oppofed ; for by the
the fame means whereby the Nabob of the Car-
natic fucceeded, that is, by employing the mili-
tary adventurers who find their way to India,
every other prince may form fimilar eftablifh-
ments, and no other will certainly have the com-
plaifance to difband them at our defire, as that
Nabob has done.

Good policy, therefore, now calls upon us to
provide againft a danger, which, if left to ex-
tend itfelf, may threaten the very exiftence of our
government-, and happily our own immediate
interefts-, as well as the general tranquillity of
India, point out to us the remedy.

From the fituation of our poflefiions, we have
neceflarily been led into political connections with 1
all the great powers of India -, and from a variety
of caufes it has happened, that our arms arc
iow employed in the North, to protect the domi-
nions of Oud ; in the South, to fnpport the Na-
bob of the Carnatic ; and in the Weil, to give
a Chief to the government of Poonah ; whilft we
(fond engaged, by treaty, to fend a military aid
to Myfore and the Deccan, in the events of un-
provoked hoftility againft thofe powers ; and are


t 9 1

opening a negotiation with the Raja of
to eftablifh a brigade in his dominions.

Circumftanced in this manner, it is no longer
a queftion, whether we can withdraw ourfelves
within the limits of our own pofleffions, and
confine our attention to their fecurity and im-
provement ; as we are evidently involved, under
the fanction of public treaties, in all the intri-
cacy of a wide and yet unformed fyftem : but we
have it in our power to give fhape and confift-
ency to this fyftem ; and in doing fo, to fecure
permanency to our empire. A

In Bengal, the foundation of this great ftruc-
ture has been already laid by the treaty with the
Nabob of Oud, which, by transferring to the
Englifh arms the protection of that country, has
converted into a fubfidiary ally the only formi-
dable neighbour we had in the North. The
treaty with the powerful Raja of Berar, whofe
pofleffions lie to the fouth-weft, has the fame
objefts in view ; and if it fhtJuld take place, will
relieve the rich provinces of Bengal from every
apprehenfion of danger, and reduce the charges
of the military eftablimment under that govern-
ment, by nearly a fourth part of their prefenc
amount : as the Raja, like the Nabob of Oud,
is to affign funds equal to the expenditure for
the troops that may be ftationed in his country.
B Thus

t 10 ]

Thus far, my Lord, we are well advanced
towards this great object in the North ; nor are
we lefs forward in the South, where every refource
of the Carnatic lies open to our power: yet,
to complete it, we are flill at a diftance. The
vail fpace between thefe extremities forms fuch a
V barrier to our communication, and feparatesBom-
bay fo entirely from the other prefidencies, that
until we have converted the cold, difregarded
treaties of defenfive alliance, which now unite us
to Mifore and the Deccan, into a firm boi\d of
union that lhall give us military ftations in thofe
countries, we can have no abfolute fecurity for
our own pofieffions, nor can we hope to maintain
a controlling influence over the government of
Poonab, without which the tranquillity of India
can never be eftablifhed and preferved.

It may not be uninterefting to your Lordfiiip
to advert to the caufes which have hitherto kept
back a fyftem fo advantageous to the public, and
to the reafons whpthe prefent moment is parti-
cularly favourable for bringing it forward.

When the capture of Pondicherry, in 1761,
had removed the laft and only formidable obfta-
cle to the eftablilhment of Mahommed Ally
Cawn in the Carnatic, the policy of our go-
vernment faw the necefilty of forming a counter-
poile to the increafed power and riches of that


t " ]

ally v and the general ftate of India being thea
little known to us, this counterpoife was fought y
for in Tanjore.

The ceffion of the northern circars in 1765,
by leading us into negociation with the Sou-
bah of the Deccan, firft extended our political
views on the fide of Coromandel, beyond the
Carnatic, and gave us a territory to protecl:, not
only independent of, but entirely feparated from,
that country.

It was impoffible that Mahommed Ally could
fee with indifference this new connection, or that
the principle which had engaged us to feek a
counterpoife to him in the Carnatic, mould not
now operate on his part to make him oppofe the
progrels of our union with his former fuperior
(the Soubah of the Deccan), as well as that
which we afterwards contracted with Hyder Ally
Cawn, the friend and fupporter of his late rival
Chunda Saheb.

Here, therefore, a political difiention com-
menced between the Nabob of the Carnatic, and v
the Eaft India Company , and it is in this diffen-
tion that we are to look for the caufe of the little
intercourfe that has hitherto taken place between
the Englifh. and the governments of Myfore and
the Deccan. For the Nabob, jealous of the in-
fluence which thefe powers might have upon our
B ? coilnfels,

counfels, and fearful of the decline of his con-
fcquence with us, in proportion to the dignity
and confideration of fuch allies, oppofed any
communication with them, but fuch as fhould
pafs through his agency ; and the fufpicions
which thefe powers entertained of him, precluded
the negotiation of any important object through

Fortunate would it have been for the Na-
bob, and for us, if our political diffentions had
produced no greater evils j and if by mutual
concefiions, in fome inftances, we had always
kept in mind, that the reduction of the French,
the eftablimment of the Nabob's family, and
the profperous fituation of our own affairs, had
been the happy effects of our mutual confidence,
and united efforts : we Ihould then have had no
reafon to charge him with dtftruft in forming a
feparate military eftablimment, which threatened
foon to render the aid of our troops unneceffarjr
for his protection ; nor fliould we have been lia-
ble to the recrimination of having (after affifting
him with our forces to reduce Tanjore) compelled
him to reflore that country to the Raja, under
conditions of great pecuniary advantages to the

But it is not my defign to lead to invidious
reprofpection \ jealoufies are not to be healed by

[ '3 ]

it ; and befides, the prefent date of India requires
a more enlarged fcale of conduct than has hitherto
been purfued. Syftem and vigorous exertion are
become abfolutely necelTary in the adminiftration
of our affairs there ; and neither the one or the
other can be hoped for, until, forgetting pad
injuries and fufpicions, we cordially return to
pur former confidence ; and until we adopt fome
honorable and confident plan for uniting the
power of the Carnatic, and bringing it effec-
tually under our direction.

This fubject is probably now under your Lord-
fhip's consideration : I will therefore only obferve
upon it, that the late revolutions at Tanjore, by
making the Nabob feel our power, and by leav-
ing him dill to hope from our friendfhip, have
now totally removed the caufe which kept us A
fo long at a diftance from the Soubah and from
Hyder Ally : that the fubfidy drawn from the
Tanjore country, of near 200,000 a year, has
greatly increafed our refources : and that no lon-
ger alarmed by the ambition of the Nabob, who,
in difbanding his army mud have appeafed our
jealoufy, we are more than ever prepared to
form an union with thofe powers, upon the
broad bafis of mutual intereft and fecurity.

The hour, therefore, feems now arrived, when
your Lordihip may, and I mud add, when the


[ H )

intereft of the nation makes it necefiary, that
you fhould adopt a general and a decided plan
of conduct, in refpect to our pofleffions and
government in India. We are at this moment
free almoft from the intrigues of the French ;
our army is augmented ; the Soubah of the
Deccan continues to folicit the aid of our friend-
Jhip j the fituation . of the Maratta affairs calls
for vigorous exertion , and the government of
Myfore, though ftill animated by the fpirit of
Hyder Ally, is not yet become powerful enough
to difpute our fuperiority, or to difregard the
terms of our alliance.

Under circumftances fo favourable, can we
hefitate to render ourfelves the umpires of India ?
we want no further extenfion of territory : we
leek no new revolutions : we are at the zenith
of our power : our intereft, our future fafety,
and the common good of India, all unite in
calling upon us to employ this happy crifis of
our influence, for perfecting, with moderation
and juftice, a fyftem that mail fet bounds to,
the future ambition of our neighbours, pre-
fcribe limits to our own, and effectually fecuro
to them, and to ourfelves, the undifturbed poA
feffion of our prefent refpective dominions.

I have faid, that the Soubah of the Deccan
continues to folicit the aid of our friendlhip :


I '5 ]

impatiently defire, on our part, that .he
convert our reverfionar-y right to the
province of Guntoor into prefent occupancy } v'
for the mod profitable articles f our trade are
drawn from that province, which abounds with
manufactures 5 its revenue is confiderabje ; and
it feparates our northern pofTefTions from theCar-

The government of Madras opened a nego-
ciation lail year upon this -fubject with Bazalet-
Jung, he being, under his brother the Soubah,
tenant for life of Guntoor ; but either the mode
they adopted, or the matter with which they
accompanied their negociation, proved fo offen-
five to the Soubah, and has been thought fo
exceptionable by the fuperintending council of
Bengal, that it has been judged neceffary to
interpofe the controuling power of that govern-
ment : and the negociation with the Soubah js
now in their hands.

Under the direction of Mr. Haftings it cannot N
fail of fuccefs, though it muft be believed, that
he will think no fuccefs complete, until, with
the full pofieflion of the province of Guntoor,
he can obtain for the Company an abfolute re-
leafe from the tribute of 86,000 a year, which
they are bound by treaty to pay to the Soubah,


t '6 ]

for that and the other provinces now in their
pofiefiion, and known by the name of th
Northern Circars*

But conceflions of fuch importance afe
not to be obtained, my Lord, without fome
return j and the only one of any value which
we can make to the Sou bah, will be to lend
him the affiftance of our troops to be em-
ployed for the fupport of his government,
-and the protection of his dominions ; that is to
lay, for retaining in due fubjeftion thofe of his
dependants, who, prefuming upon the general
eonvulfions of India, arm upon every occafion
to oppofe his authority ; or thofe, who feeing
an exemption from tribute in the public dif-
turbances, cabal with the neighbouring powers
to excite them, and in the moment of neceflity
ftipulate with their fuperior, before they will
fend him that aid to which he is entitled by the
general conftitution of Indoltan.

The impoverimed ftate of the Soubah's trea-
fury can be no objection at this time to osr
giving him the afliftance of our troops, as the
charges incident to fuch a fervice might be defray-,
ed from the funds we fhould hold in our own
hands ; as the tribute of ^86,000, and the re-
\J venue of Guntoor, which may be eftimated at


[ '7 ]

,iGo 5 ooo a year, would be more than adequate
to the expence, and fhould in reafon be applied
to it, until the fervices we might render to the
Soubah, fhould enable him to make us other

Powerful, and confident as Hyder Ally may be
in his own refources, the jealous fears of an In-
dian court would not fuffer him to fee, without
uneafmefsj fo marked an afllirance of our attach-
ment to the intereft of the Soubah, whofe claim
of fuperiority over the country of Myfore is ftill
unimpaired, even by any pretended concefllon of
the Mogul. It may too be prefumed that,
drawing near the verge of life, the favorite
object of Hyder' s mind muft now be to
eftablifh the fucceffion in his family : and this
might be endangered, if he were to die at enmity
with us, for he is ftill confidered by the Myfo-
reans as an ungenerous ufurper ; and their at-
tachment to the Raja, whofe place he has afiuna-
cd, would probably difcover itfelf under the coun-
tenance of an Englifh army, co-operating on the
North with the Soubah, on the South with the
Nabob of the Carnatic, and in the Weft, uphold-
ing the government of Poonah.

Hyder Ally is too wife and too experienced a

politician not to fee all the extent of fuch a dan-

G ger;

t 18 J

get ; and feeing it, not to provide againft it in
time, by foliciting that the government of My-
fore may not be the only one excluded from our
protection. Hyder Ally will therefore requeft a
military aid from us, and propofe afiignments for
its fupport : fo that our very rivals, upon the prin-
ciple of their own intereft and fecuricy, will be-
come inftruments to put us in pofTeffi'on of what
we are called upon, from fo many motives, to
make the firft object of our policy.

The balance of India will thus necelTarily
be placed in our hands. With a decreafe of
expence we mall have a great increafe of force :
and our attention, drawn from our affairs ac
home by one object, only, will leave us the
leifure to inveftigate our internal fyftem, and
to correct its defects. Our population and
induftry will increafe ; plenty and happinefs
will diffufe themfelves amongft our own im-
mediate fubjects ; and every inhabitant of that
cxtenfive region will have caufe to bkfs and pray
for the prefervation of that juflice, policy, and
moderation, which feeure, upon the bafis of Bri-
tifh power and wifdom, the peace and happinefs
of India.

Inducements fuch as thefe become their own
advocates. They need no ornaments of diction to
give them weight. Founded upon facts, they are


t '9 ]

urged with confidence ; and having reference to
the great interefts of the nation, they are addreffed
to your Lordfhip.

J have the honor to be,

My LORD, &c. &c.





IN the preceding letter I have endeavoured to,
trace the outline of a political plan for the
conduct of our interefts in India, and to point out
the advantages that may be derived from fuch a
fyftem. I mufl not, however, conceal from your
Lordfhip, that the national wifdom hath not yet
relieved the India Company from one great
embarraflment in their military arrangements ^
and that without this aid, we may, in the very
exertion of our policy, fow the feeds of our

I allude to the manner of recruiting the army
in India, and the confequent difficulties, not
only of completing the regiments, but of pro-
curing any men fit for foldiers to engage in the.
fervice of the Company -, although it is a fact
beyond contradiction, that the appointments of
the foldier are no where fo high, nor more regu-
larly paid j and I may venture to add, that the
nation is no where more interefted in having a
well-formed European army, whether we con-
fider its comparative numbers with the native
troops in the fervice of the Company, the extent


t ]

of empire to be protected, or the vaft importance
of its revenue, and of its commerce.

I will not intrude on your Lordmip's leifure
by a detail of the embarraffments and evils at-
tending the prefent method of enlifting for India,
as I am confident no man, who can be confulted
upon it, will undertake its defence i nor will I
examine why the bills, that have at different times
been propofed to parliament for removing thefe
cmbarraffments, have failed of fuccefs. The
neceflity of adopting fome plan, by which the
army in India may be well and completely re-
cruited, has never before, perhaps, been felt in
its full force. It is now only, that every motive
of national honor, intereft, and fafety unite in
calling the attention of the public to this object :
ic would therefore be unjuft to conclude from
any former difappointments, that any man, or
body of men, will now be found fo wanting in
duty to their country, as to oppofe a meafure
calculated folely for the improvement of an efta-
blifhment, upon which our very exiftence in the

1 3

Online LibraryGiovanni Paolo MaranaThree letters containing hints for the improvement of our establishments in india : addressed to a noble lord → online text (page 1 of 3)