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riantly from cuttings ; and obtained copper sugar-
boilers from Bengal, in order to try and improve
the quality of the Sugars. His paper on the Sugar,
culture and manufacture of sugar in India is
among the most interesting which has been pub-

Culture of Cochineal in India.
Dr. Roxburgh further mentions having re- cociiineai—

, . /. 1 ^ .r-k. • 1 • 1 cultivation aU

ceived slips of the Cactus or Opuntia, obtamed tempted ;

by Sir Joseph Banks from the Royal Gardens at

Kew, and sent out by the Court of Directors,

which, he states, grew astonishingly. Attention

had been called to this subject by Dr. James by Dr. James


Anderson, physician-general of the Madras army,
who Mas distinguished as much for his pro-
fessional attainments as for his constant atten-
tion to whatever would afford employment to
the natives, and improve the productive resources
of the countrv. Dr. Anderson had found an
insect, which he imagined to be a kind of Co-
chineal, and with which he had dyed pieces of

* An Account of the Hindoo method of cultivating the
Sugar-cane, and manufacturing the Sugar and Jagary, in the
Rajahmundry Circar, interspersed with such remarks as tend
to point out the great benefit that might be expected from
increasing this branch of Agriculture, and improving the quality
of the sugar ; also the process observed by the natives of the
Granjam district in making the sugars of Barrampore. By Dr.
William Roxburgh, Samulcottah, 20th June 1792.



Cochineal cul-
ture in India
by Sir J Banks.

Flannel, Shawl, and Satin. Specimens were for-
warded to the Court of Directors, and by their
order subjected to various experiments, but were
found to be entirely useless in dyeing.

Sir Joseph Banks obtained similar results, but
having ascertained (22d May 1787), that the
specimens sent him were those of a real species
of Coccus, he conceived the idea that the true Co-
chineal might easily be cultivated on the Coro-
mandel Coast, as the " climate was as good as
that of the West-Indies (where it had been in-
troduced) ; the soil suitable to the production of
the Cactus with few spines, and labour as cheap,
if not still more so, than in Mexico."* The Com-
mittee of Warehouses of the Court of Directors
were led to entertain the same view, as they state
in April 1788 — " The supposed discovery of
^/,PT"'"^® Dr. Anderson in the environs of Madras, which,

of Warehouses.

although unsuccessful in the issue, has, neverthe-
less, led your Committee to conceive that the
Insect may very successfully be introduced and
propagated in the British settlements in India,
to the advantage of the natives, the Company,
and the British nation, by giving to the former a
new article of Culture, to the second an addi-
tional article of Commerce, and to the latter a
participation in a lucrative article of Trade,

• Letters to Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., P.R.S., on the subject
of Cochineal Insect, discovered at Madras; 1788. By James
Anderson, I\I.D., Physician-General, Madnis.


which has hitherto been enjoyed unrivalled by
a neighbouring power." At their recommenda-
tion sealed orders were given to the captains of
some ships proceeding to the Brazils, to pro-
cure, if possible, some of the real insect, and
carry it to the coast.

Dr. Anderson was in the meantime permitted Nopairy or

' _ Cactus Garden,

to establish, with Dr.Berrv placed under him as established by

^ ^ the East- India

superintendent, a garden to be called the Com- company.
pany's ISopalry, for the cultivation of the several
kinds of Cactus, on which alone the true Cochi-
neal feeds.

Plants of Cactus were obtained with consi- Cactus plants

. obt-iined ;

derable difficulty. One species, extremely com-
mon in many parts of India, was undervalued as in India ;
being thought unsuited to the insect. It is called
by the natives nag-kalU and nag-phuneet and
by Dr. Roxburgh Cactus indicus, being thought
to be indigenous ; but it was probably intro-
duced by the Portuguese. Plants were also ob-
tained from Canton, Manilla, and the Isle of and from can-
France, as well as from the Kew Garden. All isfe of^raS*ce,
these four. Dr. Anderson states, were alike in ^„ ^^ "'
appearance. In the course of three years, there
were not fewer than two thousand Opuntia plants
in the Hon. Company's Nopalry — all obtained
from the few Kew plants. Specimens were dis-
tributed throughout the Presidency, as well as
sent to the Botanic Garden at Calcutta.

Attention having thus been turned to the sub-
ject, the Cochineal insect was obtained by Capt.


cochineaiin. Neilson,of H.M.74th Rcgt., on his return to India

sect brought ' o *

from Brazil by jn Jung 1795 When the fleet in which he sailed

Capt. Neilson.

repaired for refreshments to the coast of Brazil,
Capt.N., in his walks at Rio Janeiro, saw a planta-
tion of Opuntias, and obtained several plants with
the insect on them.* Many of them died during the
passage to Bengal; and a few only remained alive
on the last plant, of which several of the leaves
had withered. Capt. N., on his arrival at Cal-
sent to cai- cutta, scut the survivors to the Botanic Garden,

ciitta Botanic 1 i 1 1 •

Garden; whcrc they were placed on the several species

of Cactus, or Opuntia. On the China and Ma-
nilla species of the Nopal, and even on that
from Kew, the survivors began to die fast. It
fortunately occurred to make trial of the indi-
genous Opuntia, on which they were luckily

thrive remark- found to thrive amazingly ; and so rapidly, that
Captain Neilson himself writes, on the 3d Au-
gust 1795, that he had the day before seen at
the Company's Garden near Calcutta about one
thousand fine plants covered with the insects :
enough to stock all India. He hopes that Dr.
Anderson had received the plants and insects
sent by Dr. Roxburgh ; and expresses his in-
tention of bringing a fresh supply, with the
hopes of " seeing in a very few months the plant
and insect an object of cultivation over all the

• Miscellaneous Communications, by James Atiderson, M.l).,
Physician-General, Madras, from March 1794, to October



Carnatic, which I am inclined to think a more insect distn-
favourable climate for it than that of Bengal :" di'a^
Capt. N. concludes by saying, that great numbers
of gentlemen in Bengal have already begun No-
pal Plantations; and that Dr. Roxburgh had sent
the insect to different parts of the country.

The insects sent to Dr. Anderson were deli- introduced
vered over to Dr. Berry, Superintendent of the •"'^^*^'^5
Company's Nopalry at Madras, who, on the
26th August, reported, that the climate seemed
most congenial to them in all exposures, as they
had gone through all their stages from 28th July
to the 24th August. He found the same want of
success with the foreign, and, as in Calcutta,
was obliged to have recourse to the country
jNopal. As this was common everywhere, the
culture and collection of the Insect very rapidly distributed
spread, particularly as the Collectors of Revenue sidency.
were each furnished with a small quantity, and
directed to exert themselves in the most strenu-
ous manner ; also to enclose spots of ground
fifty or sixty feet square at some of the villages subsidiary
under each coUectorate. On the 8th December, wished.

1795, Dr. Berry further reported, that this Co-
chineal dyed casimere, cloth, and flannel with a Used as a dye.
colour equal in brightness to the best scarlet,

but that four times the quantity of the Sylvestre
Cochineal reared in India was required to pro-
duce the same colour as that produced by the
Grana Fina Cochineal of Mexico. In March,

1 796, the Madras Government having determined
to hold out the most solid encouragement to the


Madras Go- cultivators of Cochineal, offered one pagoda per

vemment offer i o r

to purchase the pound for the Cochineal, to such of the natives


as might be disposed to employ their industry
in its culture, this being considered by Dr. Berry
an allowance liberal enough to encourage the
Sent from In. Specimens of the insects collected and dried,

dia to Eng-
land; both on the coast and in Bengal, were sent to

the Court of Directors.* These specimens were

submitted to examination by the best judges

of the commodity in England, who all agreed

found to be the that it was the Sylvestre, or wild species; and

Sylvestre, or . ft

wild species of that there was little prospect of its being: culti-

Cochineal. r r &

vated to any advantage for the supply of the
Europe market, unless it could be offered at
about one-third of the price of the Grana Fina,
or at from 5s. to 6s. per pound, freight and all
charges included.
Quantity col- The Madras Government had collected, in Sep-

lected and pur- ^ ^

chased by Ma- tcmbcr 1797, 21,744lbs., and fresh supplies were

dras Govern- . . , • • i

ment. then coming in, at the average price of nearly

one pagoda per pound. By a statement, showing
the issue of the sales of the Madras Cochineal in
England in the years 1797, 1798, and 1799, it
appears that 55,196lbs. were sold at an average
of 8s. S^d. per pound, which was little more than
its prime cost in India. In 1807, the manage-
ment of the purchase of Cochineal at Madras
was transferred to the Board of Trade, who re-

• Memoir on the Bengal Cochineal, by Dr. N. Pontana. —
Asiatic Annual Register, vol. i,, 1801.


ported that since the date of the Court's letter Board of Trade
of September, 1800, with the above statement, purchaTeTbeLg
73,366ilbs. of Cochineal, amounting to pagodas ai'Sot ^ofit-
40,883:14:29, had been sent to England; and ^*'^^-
that from the London Price Current, it did not
appear to be an article of profit to the Company;
and they, therefore, suggested the propriety of
discontinuing the purchase, or reducing the price
to two and one rupee per pound. The Govern-
ment, in reply to this date, directed purchases to
continue ; and in this determination the Court of
Directors expressed their concurrence in the fol- ordered to be

. . . continued by

lowmg terms: — "As the prices which we have court of du


obtained for the Cochineal on sales have not been
such as to reimburse the prime cost and charges,
our sole reason for continuing to suffer a con-
siderable annual loss upon this article, has been
with a view to encourage the breeding of the
insect, until it should become perfectly under-
stood among the natives."

In 1807, Mr. William Webbe, of the Madras Rewardoflfered

11 ^^^ *^^ intro-

Civu Establishment, suggested through Dr. An- duction of the

, 1 ^1 •^•11 GranaFinaln-

derson to the Governor in Council, the expe- sect into India.
diency of advertising a reward for the introduc-
tion of the Grana Fina, or real Mexican Cochi-
neal, into India. The Court ofDirectors concurred
in the reward offered by the Indian Government
of two thousand pounds for this purpose.*

* Measures which have been pursued by the Court of
Directors and the Governments in India with a view to the


Observations The details which have been given with respect

on the causes , -r» i ^ i • i i • .l-

of failure in to the Fcppcr and Lochmeal cultivations are

both the Pep- . i • i • i i

per and Cochi- important, as shewing that, even with the greatest
energy in individuals, and the utmost necessary
patronage in the Government, success is unattain-
able, unless equal precaution be taken with every
part of an experiment. Here the utmost degree
of success was obtained that was possible with
the materials. The plants succeeded perfectly, but
it is doubtful whether any of them was the true
Cochineal-Cactus of Mexico ; and, in fact, the
Insects (certainly the inferior kinds) preferred
the Cactus already in India to that which had
been procured expressly for them, though this
was found an excellent remedy for scurvy, and
a vegetable for voyages at sea. The Grana Syl-
vestre Insect — unfortunately the only kind pro-
cured — being one-third only of the value of the

The same ex- Graua Fiua, while the expenses of its cultivation,

penses incurred ^ *

in the Syivestre collcctiou, and drying, wcrc ncccssarily the Same ;

as would bene- , . , .

cessary for the the pHcc also paid foT the Insect being high,

Grana Fina. • i i - t n

because intended as an encouragement in the nrst
instance, made this culture, like all experimental
ones, more expensive than would be necessary
when success was established. The results also
appear more unfavourable than they actually are.
The Cactus, instead of requiring the best grounds

Introduction of the True Cochineal Insect into the British
Territories in India. — Trans. Asiat. Soc. of Calcutta, vol. vi. ;
Appendix, p. 85.


and garden culture, will flourish in the most sterile observations

1 • 1 1 • 1 1 on the result

parts of the country, needing but little subsequent of the experi-

, 1 1 •! 1 1 ments on Co-

attention; and as women and children may be chineai culture.

employed in the care and collection of the insect,

the expenses should, therefore, not be great. The

experiment was so successful with the Grana Syl-

vestre, that no doubt can be entertained respecting

equal success with the Grana Fina Cochineal,

whenever it can be introduced; and this, with the

same care and no greater expense, would be so

much more valuable as a dye, and as an article of


With regard to the Pepper Cultivation, we On the Pepper

, , - . cultivation.

have seen that complete success was not attained;
in fact, as far as a profitable culture was concerned,
the Pepper Plantation at Samulcottah was a
failure. Every thing, however, appeared favour-
able, for the Pepper of the Hills was pronounced
by dealers to be of excellent quality: the Garden
was established close to where the plant was in-
digenous; and Dr. Roxburgh was a most careful,
and at the same time skilful Superintendent; but
at that time, never having seen the true Pepper

* It is not easy to estimate the expenses of the experiment,
as so many small gardens were established in different parts
of the country : but those of the principal one at Marmalong,
near Madras, were restricted to 200 pagodas a month : £500
was paid to the brother of Capt. Neilson; and 13,397 pagodas,
17 fanams, and 20 cash, to Dr. Anderson in 1795, for disburse-
ments, on account of the introduction of the Cochineal and
Silk-worm upon the coast.



Causes of plant, he mistook for it a nearly allied species,
percuitivation; yielding excellcnt Pepper, but which for the rea-

by Dr. Rox- -^ *5 fl' >

burgh, a wrong sons Stated (p. 65) was more difficult of culture-

plant. .

Dr. Heyne, however, (v. infra), has given a diffe-
by Dr. Heyne, rent rcasou for the want of success in the culture.
culture; Hc succccded Dr. Roxburgh in the charge of the

Pepper Plantations, and, having afterwards an
opportunity of visiting Bencoolen, he made par-
ticular inquiries respecting the culture of Pepper
Culture in Su- in Sumatra. He learnt that the Malays plant the

nnatra. \ * _

Pepper vine at distances of five cubits in every
direction, and support it on pieces of the Mootchy
tree (Erythrinae, sp.); that the Pepper grew luxu-
riantly where it had much moisture, and hence the
vallies were the most favourable situations for
Pepper gardens. After the first planting in Sep-
tember the vine required but little attention, being
left to its fate for twelve or eighteen months,
when it received a peculiar treatment, which Dr.
Heyne thinks, is the cause of its great fertility.
The whole plant, with all its branches, being
Plant buried in then buvicd in such a way " that only a small arch

the ground . , . , i « i-i >i •

whentweiveor 01 the stcm Tcmams above ground, rvom this
monthToid. arch new shoots soon sprout out, three or four of
which are allowed to climb up the prop tree,
and are expected to produce flowers and fruit in
a year after this operation. Dr. Heyne supposes,
that by this practice the strength and vigour of
the plant, — by the multiplication of its organs of
nourishment, the roots — being so much increased,
it cannot only produce large crops of flowers.


but bringr the fruit also to its greatest perfec- Causes of

"^ . failure m Pep-

tion. The omission of this practice, Dr. Heyne per cultivation.
supposes, was the cause of failure at Samul-
cottah, as he says, " the plants that were raised
from cuttings seemed indeed to thrive well, and
soon produced blossoms ; but such as had male
flowers only. To account for this circumstance,
we supposed that the hermaphrodite plant had
been withheld by the people who sent us cuttings
from their hills, where pepper is cultivated to a
small extent, when, in fact, we had starved our
plants into celibacy. (Tracts, p. 402.) It would
be an interesting and very useful experiment, as Experiment
well as one easily put into execution, in any
of the Botanic or Horticultural Gardens favour-
ably situated in India, to ascertain whether the
Malayan treatment applied to the Pepper Vine
of the Northern Circars would make it more

At the same time that so much pains was other cultures

* attempted.

bestowed on the cultivation of the Pepper, Cactus,
and Cochineal, considerable attention was also
directed to the culture of the Mulberry and the Mulberry;
Silkworm, as well as to that of Sugar, and to siik: sugar;
the introduction of Indigo. But as these were indigo.
attempted in consequence of their success in
Bengal, their notice may be deferred.

It is interesting to observe, that even at this Cotton.
early period the indefatigable Dr. Anderson was
employed in sending "Mauritius Cotton Seeds," as
well as " Brown Cotton Seeds," to different parts

F 2


Useful plants of the Peninsula. The latter had been brought

introdiiced into

India. from Malta to India by Major Macdonald, Go-

vernor of Penang, in 1796, who, in writing for
some useful plants to be sent him, says, " I forward
two boxes of plants from Mr. Smith, the Com-
pany's Botanist here, addressed to Dr. Heyne,
Botanist at Samulcottah ; No. 1, containing .360
plants of the India Rubber, and No. 2, 353 of
the Dammar."

Dr. Heyne, J)y, Heyne, SO favourably known by his " Tracts

on India," succeeded Dr. Roxburgh at Samul-
cottah, and afterwards acted as assistant to Col.
Mackenzie, Superintendent of the Mysore Survey.

his attention to jje paid Considerable attention to Botany, made

Botany and ^ •' _

a large collection of Plants, some of which are
contained in the East-Indian and Banksian Her-
baria, and some were described by Roth ;* but he

Mineralogy, chiefly studicd Mineralogy, and his Tracts t are
full of original information concerning the Rock
formations, the Minerals, and Soils of the Penin-
sula. With respect to practical subjects, it is in-

introdnction tercstiug to find him observing, that Potatoes were
first introduced into the neighbourhood of Ban-
galore and of Nundydroog by Col. Cuppage, and
since 1800 by himself among the natives, whom,

* A. G. Roth, Novae plantarum species praesertim Indise
Orientalis ex coUectione Doct. Benj. Heynii. Halberstadii,l821«

•j- Tracts, Historical and Statistical, on India ; with Journals
of several Tours through various Parts of the Peninsula, &c.
By Benjamin Heyne, M.D. F.L.S., Surgeon and Naturalist on
the Establishment of Fort St. George. London, 181 -l.


he says, " I was enabled by Government to sup- introduction

.of Potatoes.

ply with Seed Potatoes of the best kind from the
St. Helena stock, and to offer them a sale for
their produce, which, however, they soon found
for themselves, in all parts of the country where
Europeans reside. Since that time they have even
supplied Madras, where their potatoes are pre-
ferred to those of Bengal."*

Botanic Garden established at Calcutta.

The Botanic Garden of Calcutta was first Calcutta Bo-

tanic Gardeii

established in 1786, part of it having been pre- established.
viously cultivated as a private garden by Col CoUKyd.
Kyd, to whom the genus Kydia^ was dedicated
by Dr. Roxburgh. Dr. Carey, in his Introduction Dr. Rori>urgii
to the Hortus Bengalensis^^ justly says, " The un-

* Dr. Heyne not having had leisure to publish the results of
all his observations, says, " I have in the mean time not been
sparing in communicating my specimens to such as will be
able to make them usetul ; and this, on the whole, was and is
the primary object. It matters but little whether it be known
by whom a thing is collected, provided it only be used for the
good of the community. Many of my friends seem to be of the
same opinion !** Tracts, Preface, p. vii.

-J- "In memory of the late Col. Robert Kyd, whose love for the
science induced him, at the desire of the Honourable the English
East-India Company, to begin the Botanical Garden and Public
Nursery at Calcutta, in Bengal, which he conducted with much
success during his life." Roxb. Corom. Plants, iii. p. 11 ; pub-
lished in 1819.

X Hortus Bengalensis, or a Catalogue of the Plants growing
in the Honourable East-India Company's Botanic Garden at
Calcutta. Serampore, 1814. Introduction by Dr. Carey.



Results of Dr.
Roxburgh's la-

Catalogue of
the plants con-
tained in the
Calcutta Bo-
tanic Garden.

Dr. Carey.

Uses of Bo-
tanic Gardens

remitted attention paid by Dr. Roxburgh to the
improvement of the Garden, and his eminent
abilities as a Botanist, are far more fully exhibited
in the following Catalogues than they could pos-
sibly be by any eulogium from a friend." The
number of described species now in the garden
amounts to about 3500, for the knowledge of no
fewer than 1510 of which, as named and described
in this Catalogue, we are indebted to his inde-
fatigable and discriminating researches. Among
these are a great number of new genera, some of
which have already a considerable number of
species ascertained. To these should be added
those plants contained in the second Catalogue,
which, though not yet in the Botanic Garden,
have been described, and many of them accu-
rately drawn by him — these amount to 453. This,
indeed, forms as important a part of his valuable
labours, as the description of those already in
that rich repository of Indian Plants. The total
number of Plants drawn and described by him is
1963. (Introduction, p. 2. 3).

Dr. Carey, celebrated for his missionary labours,
and knowledge of Asiatic language, whence he
was appointed Professor in the College at Cal-
cutta, as well as for his attention to Botany, justly
remarks in his Introduction, that by the formation
of Botanic Gardens the labours of scientific men
have been called forth and greatly aided, as these
afford facilities for the improvement of Botanical
Science, which might have been sought for in vain
witliout the aid of such institutions. '* But the


Botanical Gardens, and other noble collections Botanic car-
of Plants in Europe, could never have been
brought to the perfection in which they now
appear, had not public or private repositories of Uses of.
plants been formed in the different settlements in
Asia, Africa, and America." This, however, as
he further observes, is not the only use of such
institutions, as they are intended chiefly for the
benefit of the country in which they are estab-
lished. Useful plants, such as Grains and Timber-
trees, are first introduced, and then spread into introduction of

, , , useful plants.

the culture or the country; others also employed
in the domestic economy of the inhabitants, or
which by their beauty contribute to the enjoy-
ment and pleasure of mankind. Thus are intro-
duced Flowers, Shrubs, and Timber-trees, Grains
supplying food for man and beast. Esculent and
Medicinal Plants, and those which yield Colour-
ing matter, or are employed as Mordants.

" It is readily granted," continues the vene- Agricuituna

Societies —

rable Carey, " that Agricultural Societies would
more effectually accomplish the object of im-

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