James Talboys Wheeler.

Early records of British India; a history of the English settlements in India, as told in the government records, the works of old travellers, and other contemporary documents, from the earliest perio online

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Online LibraryJames Talboys WheelerEarly records of British India; a history of the English settlements in India, as told in the government records, the works of old travellers, and other contemporary documents, from the earliest perio → online text (page 10 of 33)
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three or four hundred horse would signify little to Sivaji's
three or four thousand in the field, though we feared not
ten times so many here ; but there it would turn the King
Aurungzeb^s money and our people into great danger.
Thereupon desired him (the Mogul^s Life Guard) to consider
well of it. Whereupon he desired permission to bring it
into Town ; but hearing of our war in Bengal he requested
that the President would give him his word and hand that he
and his treasure should be safe, and have liberty to carry it
away when he thought convenient. Which being agreed
to by all, ho was told by the President that the Town was
free to all persons, and that no prejudice should be done to
him by the English, but that they should fare as we did,
and that he might choose what place he pleased to reside in ;
desiring him to send no more people than necessary, and
those to be sober and civil. Whei*eupon he was dismissed
with rosewater and betel, and seemed pleased with the dis-
course and the entertainment."

Friday^ 13th January. — " Letters last night advise that Mahratta
Sivaji's forces had plundered Conjeveram, killed about 500
men, destroying the Town, and put the inhabitants to flight,
dispersing themselves about the country, and many of them
run hither ; and about twelve this day came a letter from
Chingleput advising the Governor that they had certain
news from the Mahratta camp, that they had drawn out a
party of about 2000 horse and 5000 foot under the command
of a General, to assault this place, giving them encourage-
ment that the plunder should be their own. Upon which
advice the Governor and Council ordered that the Portuguese
and Geutoos [/. e., Hindus] should be summoned to their
arms ; one man from each family that had two therein, and



Aflairs at


two from each family that bad six and many therein^ from
15 to 60 years of age."

Simday, 6th May 1688. — " Letters from Mr. Chardin at
Golcouda to the Governor, of April last, give the following
account. That the Mogul would free his sou Shah Allum
from his long confinement, but the Prince generously refused
it except he would also enlarge Abul Hassan, the Sultan of
Golcouda, because he (the Prince) was instrumentally the
ruin of the Sultan ; having formerly engaged his word that
neither the Mogul, nor he, should ever come with power to
trouble him ; and that he would rather choose to lose his life,
than break his faith and word with the Sultan of Golconda,
which was confirmed by his faith. That Sivaji's troops, join-
ed with Siddee Masson^s, are within six leagues of Golconda
burning and destroying all before them, they expect them
there in a little time. That Nabob Rowalloo Khan had sent
his jewels and treasure into the castle, and he and his family
are on the following thereof. That there are no soldiers in
the Fort (of Golconda), nor provisions fit to withstand an
enemy, so that if the enemy comes, he may with great faci-
lity take the Fort. That the Dutch and the French are much
in the Mahratta^s favour, and all roads are full of robbers.
That the King of Persia marcheth in person with a great
army after Sultan Akbar,' to give him help, in case the
60,000 horsemen he hath already sent be not sufiicient,- and
sworn upon his beard that he will set him upon the Indostan

Monday, 18th March. — " Letters from the MoguFs Dewan
[i. e.y Finance Minister] wherein he descants upon the small-
ness of our rent and present, in consideration of the great
profits and revenues we made of the place, which now was
under the MoguFs dominion, and therefore not to be as in
the Sultan of Golconda's time. His chief design herein
being to get a great present from us, which being well con-
sidered of, it is resolved not to concede to, since it can do us
little kindness and may encourage their exactions. •

^ Akbar was a rebel son of Aurungzeb, who had fled to Persia.


" Tlie Dowan's messcng-or, a fjrcat Moorman that was sent
with the letter and to discourse more partieuhuly in this occa-
sion, was sent for and civilly treated ; who, after many stories
and mag-nifyin'^ his Master's interest and power in the Mo-
gul's Court and this country ; the President told him that we
were and should be very desirous to continue the Dewaii's
friendship, which we hope he w^ould not deny ns, in considera-
tion of the many great advantages our settlement and trade
brought to the country ; and that he was misinformed of our
profits by it, the Revenues not defraying" half the charge we
were at in maintaining* it and the poor; however it was our
own, given us by the grant of several sovereigns, and solely
raised and built by the Right Honorable Company's charge
from a barren sand; which we should defend against all op-
posers of our right ; and so dismissed the Moor with calmer
thoughts and expectations than he brought."

Monday y 4th December 1689. — "Having received certain I'^s'^^n^s i" "'«

-, . . . . ilahiatta Kiija.

advice that Rama Raja, king of the Mahrattas, is come over
land from his kingdom and army at Poona to the government
and castle at Ginjee, and that the French and Dutch have
already sent persons with considerable presents to congratu-
late him into the country, each reported to be to the amount
of nearly 1400 pagodas; and it being also expected that we
should likewise pay our respects to him in the same nature, as
well for the favourable assistance done the Right Honorable
Company at Bombay, as also for the protection of our Garri-
son and trade in his country ; and though he may expect to
be visited by one of our Council, yet lest that should give sus-
picion to the Mogul government and army in these parts and
exasperate them against us, which they seem now inclined
to from the late news and troubles at Bombay : —we therefore
conclude it more safe and expedient that the Chief of Coni-
mere,* with a suitable retinue, do go and visit Rama R:ija at
Ginjee, with a present from thence, wherein not much to ex-
ceed the amount of pagodas COO, Since the J'rench circum-

' Coniincrc was a small KiiLjlish faclory near Giiijuc or Jinjcc. It was
wllliUrawu shortly afterwards.







and Mahratta

stances and ours in those parts are different, where they hav-
ing their chief residence and settlement in that government,
and lately built a considerable Fort at Pondicherry/'

Tuesday, 10th December 1689. — "This day came news
from Gouimere that the Mahrattas had besieged the French
at Pondicherry, demanding great sum of money from them,
notwithstanding they had lately received a considerable pre-
sent from them ; and that the Conimere Government and the
Dewan^s peons have likewise been very pressing with our
merchants there for 1,000 or 500 pagodas a man loan from

The country between the rivers Kistna and Kole-
roon is known by the general name of the Carnatic.
Politically it was divided into a northern and a
southern region, wliich may be distinguished as
the Moghul Carnatic and the Mahratta Carnatic.
The Moghul Carnatic had been previously a province
of Golkonda ; it had now become a province of
the Moghul ; it included the English settlement
at Madras. The Mahratta Carnatic comprised the
southern region wliich had been conquered by
Sivaji the Mahratta ; it included the Prench settle-
ment at Pondicherry.
Frontier fortress Tlic froutlcr betwccn Moghul and Mahratta do-

of Ginjce or

jinji. niinion was formed at tliis period by the celebrated

fortress of Ginjee or Jinji. This notable fortress
was seated on three precipitous hills or rocks about
six hundred feet high. They were connected
by lines of works, and enclosed a large triangular
plain inside. Por ages this fortress had been
regarded as the strongest in the Carnatic. It had
been the stronghold of the old Rajas of Chola.
In 1677 it had been captured by the first Sivaji.


111 1689, as already seen, it was in the possession
of liis son Ram Raja, It was the frontier fortress
of the Mahrattas against the Moghiils.

In 1G90 Zulfikar Khan commanded the Mosrhul zumkar Khan.

~ first Nawab of

army in the Carnatic, He laid siege to Jingi. A ^^^ ^a^"*''''-
rebellion broke out in the Moghul army. Mr. Elihu
Yale was Governor of Madras. He supplied Zulfikar
IChan with powder and rendered other services.
As a reward he obtained a firman from the Mo-
ghul general, confirming the English Company in
the possession of all their settlements in Golkonda
territory and Jinji territory.

In 1691 the Mahrattas were still masters of English settle-

T« •' -T-» T» • • 1 1 nieut at Fort

Jinji. Ram Raja was sovereign over the whole ^^- ^■^''^'^^
country from Jinji to the river Koleroon. So
firmly was his power established, that the English
purchased the site of Port St, David^ from the
Mahratta Raja.

In 1692 Zulfikar Khan was still besies^ing Jinii. siegcofjinji
He was accompanied by the youngest son of the
Emperor Aurungzeb, named Kambakhsh.^ The
Moghul army before Jinji was in wretched
plight. In December 1692 the Moghuls were de-
feated by the Mahrattas ; many of the Moghul
officers fled to Madras in disguise, and were well

In January 1693 an En owlish soldier in the Privations of

^ ^ the Moghuls.

service of Zulfikar Khan returned to Madras. He

1 Fort St. Darid was about a hundred miles to the south of Madras, aud
sixteen miles to the south of Poudicherry.

* This prince was known to our forefathers as Cawn Box. In Herodo-
tus and Xcnophon the name appears as Cambyses,



Tronblos at the
Uojjhul camp.


broil ""lit a budget of news from the Moghul camp.
Kambakhsli had tried to go over to Eam Raja ;
he was seized and imprisoned by Zullikar Khan.
The camp was reduced to starvation from want of
provisions. Zulfikar Khan made a peace for twenty-
four hom'S with Eam Haja, and then retired to
Wandiwash, leaving most of his baggage at the
discretion of the Mahrattas.

In 1694 there was more news from the Moghul
camp. Zulfikar Khan was quarrelling with his
officers ; it was said that Aurungzeb had sent orders
to arrest him. The Moghul horse were plundering
the country. Zulfikar Khan sent ten camels load-
ed with rupees to Eam Eaja ; they were inter-
cepted by another Moghul general named Daud
Khan. The Moghul officers were waiting an oppor-
tunity to arrest Zulfikar Khan. The Mahrattas
had poisoned the water ; they mixed milk hedges in
some of the tanks, wliich killed abundance of people.

In 1696 the Mahrattas were increasing in

Zulfikar Khan
straitened for


strength at Jinji. The English at Tort St. David
were warned to be on good terms with Ham Haja
a,nd his officers. The Mahrattas would certainly
continue masters of the country, unless a consider-
able army was sent to reinforce Zulfikar Khan.

In the following March, Zulfikar Khan was in
such straits for money that he sent to Madras to bor-
row a hundred thousand pagodas, equivalent to above
thirty-five thousand pounds sterling. Mr. Nathaniel
Iligginson was Governor of Madras. He sent a pre-
sent, but declined to lend the money. It was feared


tliat Zulfikar Khan would resent the refusal. He,
however, distributed a small sum amongst his army,
and ostentatiously praised the liberality of the
English at Madras. His only object had been to
gain time ; to amuse the soldiery with prospects of

In the followini:? November, it was feared that Nawab expected

^ to attack

Zulfikar Khan would attack Madras. The follow- ^^"^''■'''^•
ing extract from the " Consultations " shows the
feeling which prevailed at Fort St. George : —

Thursday y 5ih Novemler 1696. — " It may be objected that
it is very pVobable that the Nawab Zulfikar Khan cannot make
war against this place without the King-^s [i. e., Emperor's]
order. But it may be also considered that the Nawab hath
frequently done greater things than that, not only without
but against the King's order. He has imprisoned Kambakhsh
the King's sc^n ; and though the King for a time did express
resentment, yet there followed no effect. He hath been fre-
quently ordered to take Ginjee, and it hath been in his power
to do it and destroy all the Mahrattas in the country ; but
instead of that it appears plain that he hath joined council
with them, and notwithstanding all the endeavours of his
enemies, his father Vizier Asad Khan still prevails at court to
keep the Nawab in his Government. And if he hath an
interest to defend himself against so potent enemies, he caa
more easily baffle any complaints that we can make to the
King. And it is in his power, if he be so inclined, to trouble
and plague us, and to raise new impositions to the stoppino*
all business ; and it will not be in our power to procure a
remedy at last, but by the same means that he and his officer
now aim at, that is by a more considerable present.'^

In 1697 Zulfikar Khan had grown more for- jtosi.ui»
midable. He had defeated the Mahrattas near
Tanjore. In 1098 he captured Jinji.


Nawab's fri.nd-; Zulfikai' Kliaii was one of the most distinguished

sliip f.ir the ~

Kugihh. giandees of his time. He was not only in com-
mand of the Moghul army in Jinji, but exercised
a powerful influence at court. He was the adopted
son of Asad Khan, the Vizier. He was inclined
to favour the English at Madras. He had already
granted firmans confirming them in the possession
of their territorial settlements in Golkonda and
Jinji. He now procured them firmans from the
Vizier in the Emperor's name. The English were
told that the firmans were ready on the payment
of 'ten thousand pagodas, nearly four thousand
■ pounds sterling. There was some demur, but the
money was paid.

Baud Khan In 1701 Zulfikar Khan was succeeded by Daud

eoconcl Nawab «'

otthecaruatie. ^hau as Nawab of the Carnatic. The English
sent him letters and presents. A present valued at
seventeen hundred pagodas was given in public ;
and a donation of three thousand rupees was given
in private. The proceedings are su£B.ciently ex-
plained in the following extracts : —

Friday, 17th January 1706^ — " Daud Khan being ordered
by the King- (Auruugzeb) Nawab of the Carnatic and
Ginjee countries who has been several months on his
march from the King's Camp. Two days ago we were
advised, by people that we keep in his Camp to give
us intelligence, that he was come to Arcot above four
days' march from hence. We have had several letters of
compliment from him, wherein he has desired sundry sorts
of liquors, which accordingly have been sent him; and it
being the custom of all Europeans to present all Nawabs and
Governors when they come first to their Government in
order to procure a confirmation of their privileges, besides at


present we are currying on 'a great investment here and at
Fort St. David, and Lave a great deal of money spread up
and down the country ; further a few days ago we have
advice from Surat by Armenian letters that our affairs are
embroiled there ; all of which induces us to consider of a con-
siderable present for the Nawab and Dewan and their officers,
and fitting- persons to send with it ; though before we heard
the news from Surat, we intended to have sent two English-
men, but altered our resolution, not knowing but that the
troubles there may affect us here. So there being one Senor
Nicholas Manuch, a Venetian and an inhabitant of ours for
many years, who has the reputation of an honest man,
besides he has lived at the King^s Court upwards of thirty
years, and was a servant to one of the Princes, and speaks
the Persian language excellently well ; for which reasous we
think him the properest person to send at this time with our
Chief Dubash Ramapab ; aud have unanimously agreed with
the advice of all capable of giving it, to send the presents."

The Nawab sent back the presents. It was clis- More demands

T , , . 1 . TT - tor money.

coYered that he was m a rage. He was bent upon
having ten thousand pagodas hke Zulfikar Khan.
He threatened to ruin Madras and set up St.
Thome in its room.

Mr. Thomas Pitt was Governor of Madras. He is Resolution of

'■tit 1 ji 1PJ1 p Governor Pitt.

said to have been the grandiather of the famous
Earl of Chatham. At any rate, he had the
Chatham spirit. He utterly refused to pay the
money. Ten thousand pagodas had been paid to
Zulfikar Khan on account of the firmans ; but no
firmans were wanted from Nawab Daiid Khan.
A new Nawab might come every month, and de-
mand ten thousand pagodas in like manner.
Governor Pitt prepared to resist to the last ; landed


quotas of men out of the Europe sliips ; iucreasod
the traiu bands ; and raised a force of Portuguese.
N.nvabPuu,! Nawah Dui'id Khan beajan to ffive in. His

'"^ officers expressed their fears that something would

happen to their good friends the English unless the
ten thousand pagodas were paid up. Governor Pitt
was ol)durate. At last the Nawab condescended to
receive the present which he had previously refused.
The Nawab now became friendly and cordial.
Govornor Pitt's Tlic followin£? cxtracts from the " Proceedinsrs"
describe an entertainment that was given by Mr. Pitt
to the famous Nawab Daiid Khan : —

Propavation for Friday , 11th Juljj.TiOl. — " This day tlie Nawab sent lis
Nnwah DiUui word that to-morrow himself, the Dewan, and Buxie would
dine with us, and desired to know witli what attendance we
would admit him.' We would fain have evaded it, but the
messenger he sent, pressing us so hard for a direct answer, we
sent him word that the honour was too great to desire it, and
greater than we expected ; and if he pleased to come, he should
be very welcome, and we be ready to receive him in the
Garrison with one hundred horse. So all imaginable prepara-
tion is ordered to be made, and Messrs. Marshall and Meverell
(two of the Council), attended with ten Files of Grenadiers,
ordered to meet and receive him at Mr. Ellis's Garden to
conduct him into town.^'

1 These three officials — the Nawab, the King's Dewan, aiul the Buxie
or Bakkshi — were appointed to every province in tlie Moghul empire.

The Nawab held the military command of the province, and enforced
obedience to the laws.

The King's Dewan took charge of the revenues iu the name of the
King, Padishah, or Emperor. He paid the salaries of all the higlier officials,
iuciuding the Nawab. He remitted the surplus revenue to the iVIoghul
Court as the King's due. Sometimes the Dewan also held the post of Nawab.

The Buxie, properly Bakhshi, was Paymaster of the Army, but often
held the rank of General,


MADiiAs UNi)i':i{ Tin-: .mcxiiiuls. 105

Saliirihvj, 12th Jnli/ 1701. — " Aliout twelve this noon, tlic The Dinner.
Nawab, the King's Dcwan, and Buxie were couducted into
town by Messrs. Marshall and ]\Ieverell ; the streets being
lined with soldiers from St. Thome Gate up to the Fort, and
the works that way manned with the Marine Company hand-
somely clothed with red coats and caps, and the curtain of the
Inner Fort with our Train Bands, all which made a ver}^ hand-
some appearance. The Governor, attended with the Council,
the Mayor, the Commanders of the Europe ships, and some of
the Principal Freemen, received him (the Nawab) a little way
out of the Gate of the Fort ; and after embracing each other,
the Governor presented him with a small ball of Ambergrease
cased with g-old and a gold chain to it, and then conducted
him into the Fort and carried him up to his lodgings -, when
after sitting some time, the Nawab was pleased to pass very
great compliments upon us, commending the place as to
what he had hitherto seen of it, and gave us all .assurance of
his friendship ; after which the Governor set by him two
cases of rich cordial waters and called for wine, bidding him
welcome by firing 21 pieces of Ordnance. Soon after the
Governor drank to him the Moghul's health with 31 pieces of
Ordnance ; and the principal Ministers of State (our friends),
as also the Nawab, Dewan, and Buxies, with 21 pieces of
Ordnance each, all which healths the Nawab pledged in the
cordial waters. So, soon aftei", the Dinner being ready, which
was dressed and managed by a Persian inhabitant, the Gov-
ernor conducted the Nawab into tlie Consultation room,
which was very handsomely set out in all respects, the dinner
consisting of about six hundred dishes, small and great, of
which the Nawab, Dewan, and Buxie, and all that came with
him, eat very heartily, and very much commended their enter-
tainment. After dinner they were diverted with the dancing
wenches. The Nawab was presented with cordial waters,
French brandy, and embroidered China quilts, all which he
desired. The Dewan, upon his promising us a Perwanna, had
a Ruby Ring. The Buxie had one likewise offered him, but
refused it, and seemed all day out of humour, occasioned, as

Return to


we are informed, by some words that had passed this day

between the Nawab, Dewan, and him before they came hither.

" About six in the evening they returned to St. Thome ;

St. Thum(?. ^i^g Governor and Council, and gentlemen in town, with the

Commanders of the Europe ships, waiting on them without

the Gate of the Fort, where they mounted their horses and

were attended by Messrs. Marshall and Meverell to the place

they received them, and at their going out of St. Thomas's

Gate were saluted with 31 pieces of Ordnance.

Nawab proposes " Mcssrs. Marshall and Meverell returning, acquainted the

t^hl^Eug'iisr''^ Governor that the Nawab desired to-morrow morning to go

^^'P**' aboard one of the Europe ships, and in order thereto that six

Mussoolas [i. e,, Mussoola boats] might be sent to Triplicane ;

which was accordingly done, and the English ships' boats

ordered to attend him."

How prevented. Sunday, -49U July 1701. — "About seven o'clock this

/2>- morning Messrs. Marshall and Meverell went to Triplicane, in

order to wait on the Nawab aboard the English ships, and the

Commanders went off to receive him, but the Nawab having

been very drunk over night, was not in a condition to go, and

deferred it till to-morrow morning.

" The Breakfast we intended aboard ship for the Nawab
was sent to St. Thome, which he accepted very kindly."
Proposed visit Tuesday, loth July 1701. — "This morning the Nawab
Garden; also gent word to the Governor that he would make him a visit
at the Company's Garden ; whereupon Narrain was sent to
endeavour to divert him from it, which if he could not do,
that then to advise the time of his coming. So Narrain
about twelve at noon sent to the Governor to acquaint that
the Nawab was coming with a great detachment of horse
and foot with all his elephants, and what he meant by it
he could not imagine. So the Governor ordered immediately
to beat up for the Train Bands and the Marine Com{)any,
and drew out a detachment of a hundred men under Captain
Seaton to attend him and those gentlemen of the Council
who went to the Garden to receive the Nawab. But Narrain


seeing- the Niiwub eomiug iii such a mauncrj told hiin it
would create a jealousy iu the Governor^ and desired him
to halt until he sent the Governor word and received his
answer. But before the answer came, the Nawab was got
into a Portuguese Chapel very drunk and fell asleep,
and as soon as waked, which was about four o'clock in the
afternoon, he ordered his Camp to march towards the little
Mount, where he pitched his tents, and sent to the Governor
to excuse his not coming" to the Garden, and desired him to
send a dozen bottles of cordial waters, which were sent him/'

About this time, the Emperor Aurimzeb took Extraordinary

A (lemauus of

an extraordinary resolution against the different ^^'^^^''''•
European settlements in India. Both he and his
subjects had suifered heavy losses from the depre-
dations of European pu'ates. Accordingly, he
ordered that compensation for these losses shoidd
be made by the servants of the different European

In the first instance, these demands were made Mo^hui ideas of
on Surat and Bombay. Kliafi Khan, the Moghul
historian, has drawn up a narrative from a Moghul

Online LibraryJames Talboys WheelerEarly records of British India; a history of the English settlements in India, as told in the government records, the works of old travellers, and other contemporary documents, from the earliest perio → online text (page 10 of 33)