Henry Montgomery Lawrence.

Essays, military and political, written in India online

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the remaining small marauding bands, while he, himself,
proceeded to Goa, and by the union of firmness and
conciliation induced the Portuguese authorities to
remove their sympathizers from the frontier, and to sub-
stitute a cordon of such troops as would prevent the
Q-oa territory being made the place of ambusli from
which the insurgents should at discretion devastate
Sawunt-waree. And now we may be permitted to con-
gratulate Grovernment on their selection of such a man
as Colonel Outram to the important duties of the
Satara Eesidency. Our satisfaction would be increased
could we persuade the authorities to give him such
assistants as he can trust at Satara and Waree, and
place him in authority at the central post of Kolapoor,
with combined powers as Eesident, Commissioner, and
Military Commander.

Improved arrangements, we are aware, have already
been made. The Anglo-native agent at Kolapoor has
been replaced by an able British officer, and in Sawunt-
waree there could not be a better local superintendent
than the officer lately appointed. Captain Jacob is,
like Colonel Outram, a good soldier as well as an able
and conciliating civil officer. Such are the men re-
quired: men who, personally despising danger, are
forward in the hour of action, and, reckless of their own
blood, are chary of that of others. In no quarter of
India are such men more appreciated than in the
Southern Mahratta country, where their names alone
are worth regiments. They will preserve peace if it is
to be preserved, and if the sword must be drawn, will
carry on war, so that it shall speedily end in permanent
and prosperous tranquillity.

After more than six months of military operations,


and the employment of nearly ten thousand troops,
in so insignificant a corner of India, peace has been
secured, or, more correctly, war has ceased. Let
us now, by honestly and carefully looking into past
abuses and errors, and by not too rigorously judging
those who have been driven or reduced to misconduct,
secure the future tranquillity of the country. This can
be effected only by 2^ permanent system of good manage-
ment consonant to the spirit of the people. We should
remember that rude tribes are not ripe for refined in-
stitutions, and that it is better to work on quietly, slowly,
and surely, than to risk new convulsions by sudden,
even though beneficial changes. The people of Kola-
poor and Sawunt-waree have, we believe, been partially
disarmed and many of their fortresses have been dis-
mantled. Both these measures should be completed.
Broad military roads should also be constructed to
intersect these territories in all directions, and the
jungle cleared at least a hundred feet on either side.
Such operations will involve present expense, but they
will prevent future sacrifices. ISTo country, such as that
under notice, can be reckoned secure until those respon-
sible for its peace have facilities for quickly reaching
its most remote corners at all seasons of the year.

Half a dozen good officers under such a man as
Colonel Outram might, in a few years, wipe away the
reproach that is now attached to our name in the South
Mahratta country. Under their supervision, all real
rights and immunities would be clearly defined, and
speedily established; and all imaginary claims dis-
missed. A revenue system would be organized cal-
culated to protect cultivators from undue exaction, and
a scheme of police might be enforced that would make
the rock and the bush too hot for marauders. The
Mankurees, Chiefs, and Jaghirdars, would settle down


into their places. The Eaja of Kolapoor and the Sin
Dessaee of Sawunt-waree would each, also, find his
level; they would respectively be the pageants that
mild, meek sovereigns in the East, who have the good
fortune to possess toise and virtuous Yiziers, usually are.
They would be treated with respect, and they would
profit by the amelioration of their territories. The
labour, the responsibility, and let us not forget, the
honour of all improvements, would belong to the British
officials, who, eschewing the fiction of a double govern-
ment, putting aside all screens of dewans, ministers, or
karbarees, would openly stand forward as the avowed
managers of the country, on behalf of the ruling power.
The readers of these Essays will observe that we
distinguish between the cases of these Mahratta States
and that of Oude, where every measure short of super-
seding the King has been fruitlessly tried. Our rela-
tions with Kolapoor and Sawunt-waree stand in a dif-
ferent position. We have ourselves been for years the
managers of these countries ; the present disorganization
has been matured before our own eyes, and in our own
hands ; we should therefore nurture our change until its
health is thoroughly recruited, and restore full sove-
reignty to the legitimate princes, if we can then find
among them any whose characters will justify that
measure; otherwise we must continue to be the direct
managers, and persevere in a course so manifestly
advantageous to the hereditary chiefs themselves. No
pains should be spared to explain to them the eventual
intentions of Government in their favour, and they
should be as clearly informed that intrigue or treachery
will, at once and for ever, forfeit their thrones. Free
personal communication on the part of the European
superintendents with these princes, and constant,
though not intrusive, endeavours to enlighten their


minds may gradually effect much. But whatever be
the result, the British Government will have done its
duty, and the good administration of the country will
have been secured, either in our own hands or in those
of the hereditary rulers.

We are quite aware of the difficulties in the way of
our scheme, and of the tact that will be required to
carry it out, but we are not the less confident of the
result, if the superintendence of affairs is entrusted to
the hands we have suggested. Intrigue, nay rebellion,
may at first arise ; but it will not be repeated, if
summarily and decidedly dealt with. As our scheme
admits of no just cause being given for insurrection,
and provides that determined malignancy shall receive
no quarter, we can perceive no likelihood of the arrange-
ment meeting with prolonged opposition. It is the
spasmodic tyranny of weak rulers that invites continual
attack. The Government that is one day oppressive,
the next cowardly, and the third day frantically venge-
ful, may fairly calculate on insurrections on every
emergency. The British administration of the present
day happily acts in another spirit, and the East India
Company has only, where legitimate openings offer, to
carry among the ryots of its protected princes some
portion of the benevolence that now influences its
dealings towards its own subjects, and protected India
will soon assume a new aspect. Blessings will, then, be
poured out, in many a rich plain and fruitful valley,
where curses are now plentifully showered on those who
have, unwittingly, given over the husbandman, the
strength and marrow of the land, bound hand and foot,
to the tender mercies of his irresponsible tyrants.

Note. — The deliberate opinion we perusal of that florid romance, en-
have formed of Colonel Outram, has titled, " The Conquest of Scinde,"
in no respect been altered by the concocted by the Governor of Guern-



sey from facts and fictions furnished
hy the Governor of Scinde. The
foregoing remarks were written be-
fore the appearance of Colonel Out-
ram's letter to General Napier ; a
letter that was not needed to set
" the Bayard of the Indian army "
(as Sir Charles Napier in an inspired
moment happily designated him)
right in the eyes of the Indian pub-
lic. Still less do they require a
further vindication of his conduct,
though they will welcome every item
of information that he may feel jus-
tified in giving. We fearlessly assert
that every right-minded man ac-
quainted vnih the progress of events
during the year 1842, not only acquits
Colonel Outram of the absurd and
contradictory charges alleged against
him by the Napiers, but recognises
in his conduct throughout Scinde
transactions, both civil and military,
the spirit of a soldier, a gentleman,
and a Christian. We may hereafter
have the gratification of sketching
the career of this much-abused man,
who, with a singularly conciliatory
and kindly disposition, had the for-
tune to incur the hatred of two first-
rate haters (Lord Keane and Sir
Charles Napier), men too, who fully
appreciated his good qualities, till
his manliness and honesty thwarted
their own views. In the year 1838,
Outram carried to Afghanistan a
character such as could not be paral-
lelled by any officer of his standing
in India. His services during the
first AfFghan campaign were second
to those of no ofiicer then and there
employed. Had he remained in the
Ghilzee country or at Khelat, many
of our disasters might have been

But it is by his civil management,
first, of lower Scinde, and then of
both the Upper and Lower Provinces
and of all Belochistan, that Outram
has won our highest admiration.
When the European inhabitants of
Calcutta trembled for our Indian
empire ; when, in the highest places,
men grew pale at the evil tidings
from AfFghanistan, Outram held his
frontier post with a firm hand, a

brave heart, and cheerful tone, that
oicffht to have been contagious. Vigi-
lant, conciliatory, and courageous, he
managed, with his handful of troops,
not only to prevent the Ameers from
taking advantage of our disasters,
but to induce them to aid in fur-
nishing sui)plies and carriage for the
relieving, then considered the re-
treating, army. The merits of his
exertions on that occasion are little
understood. He obeyed, as was his
duty; but he did not the less clearly
perceive the ruinous tendency of the
Government orders. He had the
moral courage to sacrifice his own
immediate interests by stemming
the then prevalent tide of cowardly
counsel. James Outram in one quar-
ter, and George Clerk — a kindred
spirit — in another, were the two who
then stood in the breach ; who forced
the authorities to listen to the fact
against which they tried to close
their ears, that the proposed aban-
donment of the British prisoners in
Afighanistan would be as dangerous
to the State as it was base towards
the captives. These counsels were
successfully followed : the British
nation thanked our Indian rulers,
while, of the two men, without whose
persevering remonstrances and exer-
tions Nott and Pollock might have
led back their armies, without being
permitted to make an effort to re-
trieve our credit — Clerk was slighted,
and Outram superseded. As cheer-
fully as he had stepped forward did
Outram now retire, and again when
his services were required was he
ready to act in the field, in willing
subordination to the officer who had
benefited by his supercession.

The Napiers accuse Outram of
jeopardizing the British army in
Scinde : this is mere nonsense. His
negotiations, followed up by Sir
Charles Napier's acts, were suffi-
cient to endanger his own life. They
did so, and nothing but his own
brilliant gallantry and that of his
small escort rescued them from the
toils. The British army was able to
take care of itself. Had Outram,
however, when deputed to Hydra-



bad, been permitted tlie fair discre-
tion that his position demanded,
had he been authorized definitely to
promise any reasonable terms ; his
abilities and his character would
have secured an honourable peace ;
but it was not in human nature that
the Ameers should long continue to
listen to an envoy sent to demand
everything, and to offer nothing.
Tliis was not negotiating, it was
dragooning. A British officer es-
corted by a single company was not
the proper delegate for such a mis-
sion. Sir Charles Napier at the
head of his army was the fitting

Oatram's chivalrous defence of his
assistant Lieutenant Hammersly is
one of the many instances in which
he advocated the right at the peril
of his own interests. Hammersly
was as brave, as honest-hearted a
young soldier as ever fell a victim to
his duty. We knew him well, and
no one who did so need be ashamed
to shed a tear over his fate. He was
literally sacrificed /or telling the truth
— a truth too that was of vital im-
portance to the beleaguered Canda-
har army — nay, to the interests of
British India. — Peace be to the
memory of this noble fellow !


[written IN 1847.]

The general diffiision among our countrymen in India
of a spirit of fair and candid inquiry is a marked and
gratifying sign of the progress of improvement. A
course of enlightened and consistent policy in a ruler is
now certain of being met with calm and dispassionate
consideration, and, when shown to be characterized by
integrity and honesty of purpose, of being received with
cordial approval.

We may, therefore, safely predict that the admini-
stration of Lord Hardinge which has become, by his
departure from India, matter of history, will be unani-
mously praised by all who make Indian affairs their
study; and that the Eastern career of this soldier-
statesman will commend itself to their judgment and
approval as strongly as it evidently has done to that of
the Court of Directors and both sides of both Houses of

We proceed to detail those acts ; prefacing them with
a few words regarding the early and Peninsular career
of Lord Hardinge, chiefly compiled from the Memoir of
Lieutenant-General Sir Benjamin D'Urban.

Lord Hardinge is descended from an old Eoyalist
family of King's Newton, county Derby ; through which
he traces his ancestry up to the Conquest. His imme-



diate ancestor raised troops for Charles I., hazarded
his life and lost his estates in the service of the Stuarts.
Lord Hardinge's uncle, Eichard Hardinge, of Bellisle,
county Fermanagh, was created a Baronet in the year
1801, and was succeeded by his Lordship's elder brother,
the Eeverend Charles Hardinge, of Bounds Park, Kent,
and Eector of Tunbridge. Lord Hardinge had three
other brothers : of whom one died young ; Col. Eichard
Hardinge of the Eoyal Artillery, still alive ; and Captain
Nicholas Hardinge, who, in his 27th year, when in com-
mand of the " San Fiorenzo" fell in the moment of
victory at the close of a three days' action with " La
Piedmontaise'' an enemy's ship of far superior force. A
monument in St. Paul's Cathedral records his achieve-

Before Henry Hardinge had attained his fifteenth year,
he joined his regiment in Canada. At the peace of
Amiens he returned to England, and, having studied at
the Eoyal Military College, was selected for a situation
on the Quartermaster-General's Staff with- the expe-
dition, in 1807, under Sir B. Spencer, to the coast of
Spain. He was actively employed under Sir A. Wel-
lesley in the campaign of 1808, was present at the
battle of Eoleia, and severely wounded at Vimiera. At
the close of the war he conveyed despatches to Sir John
Moore, with singular rapidity through many dangers.
With the rear-guard at the side of his heroic chief, he
shared in the many severe affairs of the retreat on Co-
runna, and was one of the officers near him when he
fell. In March of the same year (1809) he was ap-
pointed Lieutenant-Colonel and Deputy Quartermaster-
General of the Portuguese Army, under Sir B. D'Urban.
He served at the passage of the Upper Douro, on the
borders of Gallicia; afterwards in Castile; and at the
battle of Busaco.


Highly distinguished in the campaign of 1 811 under
Lord Beresford in the Alemtijo and Spanish Estre-
madura, it was at Albuera that his brightest wreath
was won. The fight had gone against the handful of
British soldiers. Half of those under fire had fallen,
when Colonel Hardinge, on his own responsibility
pointed out to Major-General Sir Lowry Cole, that on
his moving up his division depended the fortune of the
day. These fresh troops were, on the instant, hurled
against the enemy's left flank; while Colonel Har-
dinge caused the right to be simultaneously assailed by
the re-inspirited brigade of Abercrombie. The heavy
columns of the superb French Infantry were thus
checked, rolled back and broken : the British guns,
already limbered up and ready for retreat, were again
brought into action, and the enemy driven from that
tierce field.

This glorious turn in the tide of that fight, which
itself turned the tide of the Peninsular War, was the
achievement of Lieutenant-Colonel Hardinge, then only
25 years old; immortalized by Alison in his record of
Albuera, as "the young soldier with the eye of a
general and the soul of a hero."

Lieutenant- Colonel Hardinge served at the siege and
capture of both Ciudad-Eodrigo and Badajoz ; and
especially distinguished himself at the storm of the
strong outwork " La Picurina." During the operations
which led to the battle of Salamanca, he ofiiciated as
Quartermaster- Greneral of the Portuguese Anny, and
for his conduct received the Military Order of the
Tower and Sword.

At Vittoria, Colonel Hardinge was severely wounded
in the body, and while still sufiering from a painful sur-
gical operation, resumed his duties in the Pyrenees.
He afterwards served at St. Sebastian, at the passage of

Q 2


the Bidassoa, and in the battles of the Nivelle and

In Tebruaiy, 1815, when in command of a Portuguese
brigade of infantry, he, in conjunction with General
Byng's brigade, gallanily carried with the bayonet
some strongly -occupied heights near Pallas. He was
then engaged at Orthes, and in the operations ending
with the battle of Toulouse. For the battle of Orthes
Colonel Hardinge received his ninth medal.

During the whole of the Peninsular War, Col.
Hardinge was never absent from his duty except for
very short periods after his wounds at Yimiera and Yit-
toria. At the peace, his signal services were rewarded
by his Sovereign with a Company in the Gruards, and
by the distinction of Knight Commander of the Bath,
an honour usually reserved for general officers.

Sir H. Hardinge accompanied Sir C. Stewart to the
Congress of Yienna, and on the renewal of the war was
attached by the Duke of Wellington in a political ca-
pacity, with the rank of Brigadier-General to the head-
quarters of the Prussian army under Blucher. At the
sanguinary battle of Ligny on the 16th June, Sir H.
Hardinge again distinguished himself. About 4p.m. his
left hand was shattered by a common shot, but, refusing
to dismount or leave the field, he placed a tourniquet on
his arm and sat out the battle, retiring after night-fall
with the Prussian army. At midnight, in a hut by
rushlight, attended by a single servant, he had his hand
amputated. Sir Henry had previously despatched his
brother, who was his aide-de-camp, to report to the
Duke the fate of the day, and to bring an English
surgeon. At daylight the French beat up the bivouac,
when Sir Henry, determined not to fall into the enemy's
hand, though faint from loss of blood, accompanied the
retreating Prussians. At Wavre he rejoined the gal-


lant Blucher, wlio, though still suffering from a fall,
and from having been ridden over by a whole brigade of
cavalry, got up and kissing his friend affectionately,
begged he would excuse the garlic (with which he was
perfumed), and condoled with him on Ligny, but cha-
racteristically added, "Never mind, my friend, if we
outlive to-morrow, Wellington and I will lick the

After the battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington
devoted a separate gazette to the merits of Sir Henry
Hardinge and to a notification of his own regret for his
severe wound. From bad management in the first
instance Sir Henry's arm had to be several times re-
dressed, causing him extreme torture ; yet within the
fortnight he rejoined the army at Paris, where he was
received with military honours by Blucher, in the
palace of St. Cloud, and there placed in possession of
the apartments of Marie Louise.

At the expiration of the occupation of Paris, the
'King of Prussia, in testimony of his high opinion of
his political and military services, decorated him, at a
grand review, with the Order of Merit, and of the Eed
Eagle; ai\d the Duke of Wellington, personally, pre-
sented him with the sword from his own side.

During these eventful seven years Sir H. Hardinge
had received four wounds, and had four horses killed
under him ; nor was he singular. Men long unaccus-
tomed to warfare are frightened at such losses as those
of Ferozeshah, Mudki, and Sobraon ; and forget, in these
recent events, the casualties of Albuera, Talavera, and
Waterloo. If, after a hard day's fight in India, all
the ''means and appliances" of a cantonment hospital
are not found upon the field; if doolie-bearers, (who
get no pensions !) run away and leave their wounded
charge to be cut up by a straggling enemy ; and every


wound is not dressed and soothed with cerate on the
instant ; loud is the cry against the " culpable negli-
gence of the authorities :" hut let them talk over Wel-
lington's campaigns with any of his veterans, and learn
how men of the best famihes of the land, lay stiff and
cold where they fell, unattended for hours and hours, or
even for the whole night, as Ponsonby on the field of
Waterloo ; or (to take a still nearer example) as our own
gallant old chief. Lord Gough, whose wound at Tala-
vera remained undressed for two whole days, though a
Lieutenant-Colonel commanding a regiment; and as
Sir Henry Hardinge, who though attached to the Prus-
sian army, in a high and honourable position, had to
wait eight hours for a surgeon to amputate his hand.

Peace came at last, and with it peaceful duties. Sir
Henry Hardinge now served for some years as a Captain
in the Guards; he then entered Parliament, and for
twenty years sat as Member for Durham and Launces-
ton. During this period he was employed for a short
time as Clerk of the Ordnance; on two occasions as
Secretary-at-War, and twice for short periods as Secre-
tary for Ireland. Sir Henry was early distinguished
for his clear business-like statements, his matter-of-fact
manner of transacting his official duties, and for the
vigour which he threw into all his actions. It is as
much the fashion to decry " Military Civilians," as to
undervalue " Heaven-born " warriors. Such men as the
Duke of Wellington, Sir H. Hardinge, and a host of
others of all ages, should ere this have taught the folly
of the first error, as Cromwell, Washington, Clive, and
Blake, that of the other. When will the world perceive
that wisdom, foresight, and courage, are the gifts of God,
and not the mere results of social position ?

The quickness of perception, the physical and mental
energy and business habits which had been so often


tried in the field, were now to be tested in the Cabinet,
and in the Parliament of England — the noblest arena
in the world. Here Sir Henry's temper is described by
a candid political opponent as warm, but generous,
kindling at the least imputation, but never " allowing
the sun to go down upon his wrath." His adversaries
described him as " really a kindly and generous man,
warm in friendship, placable and scrupulous in hostility.
Plain, sincere, straightforward, just, and considerate."
They allowed him not only these personal qualities, but
all the ordinary ones of a safe practical executor of the
suggestions of others. They gave him credit for " un-
derstanding what he undertakes, and undertaking no-
thing but what he understands." Still, in reference to
his nomination to the post of G-overnor-Greneral of
India, the same party observed that, " to consolidate
our Indian empire by ameliorating its institutions;
improve justice ; remove remaining restrictions on in-
dustry ; lighten taxes ; to execute great public works ;
to extend education ; and above all to raise the natives
and give them a higher social position, a more elevated
tone of feeling, and a greater share of political power,
require a great and zealous man. But to achieve such
results, or even to propose them, requires higher quali-
fications than we can give credit to Sir Henry for pos-

Online LibraryHenry Montgomery LawrenceEssays, military and political, written in India → online text (page 18 of 39)