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 25 of 33)
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is guilty of such a crime (which we heartily hope will not
be the case), he is immediately to be dismissed our service
and sent to England by the first conveyance that offers.
But, should he be at Madras, and he proves guilt}^ of what
is here laid to his charge, 3'ou are to signify these our orders
to our President and Council there, which are on no pretence
to be evaded.

" If Colonel Calliaud should, contrary to our hopes, be found Punishment if
culpable, you are to make our resentment of so high a crime
as public as possible, even to the Shahzada himself ; that all
the world may know how jealous we are of the honor and
reputation of the Company; and that we shall always, to the
utmost of our power^ preserve the same unsullied by the
severest resentment against any of our agents, of whatsoever
rank or station, who shall violate the same.

" Should any other Europeans, either in our service, or otherEuropenns,
residing under our protection, be concerned in or accessory bVpuni she'd in''
to the crime imputed to Colonel Calliaud, they are also","''' "'"°°""'
upon being found guilty, in like manner to be sent home
immediately ; and, should any Natives of India be concerned
therein, they are to be treated with the utmost severity.^

" In our letter of the 30th September last we gave you our compiaintsof
sentiments in general upon the late revolutions in Bengal, revoiuiron!"^"'^
since which we are further informed of the Shahzada^s defeat,
bis throwing himself upon your protection, and the immense
expense of his maintenance out of the Comjiany^s money, of
no less than one thousand rupees a day, and of some views of

1 If will suffice to say tliat the necessary explanations were furnished, and
that Colonel Calliaud was fully and honourably acquitted of the charges
broujjht against him.


placing" bim upon the throne of Delhi. It is alleg-ed, indeed,
that cave will be taken that the Nawab defrays the said daily
expense^ which we hope will be the case, or at least that
some other certain means be fixed upon to reimburse that
expense and all other expenses on his account.^ Upon a view
of the frequent revolutions, the great designs proposed to be
executed, and the consequent heavy expenses too justly to be
apprehended, we are filled with the utmost anxiety lest the
events should turn out to the prejudice of our affairs; and, in
particular, the scheme of assisting the Shahzada, we hope
has been well considered, and, if entered upon, carried out
with that prudence as may leave no room to impeach your
Tranquillity in " It is from a Quict Situation of affairs onlv in Beno-al that

lii-n^al most i i i r- r i

iiesirabio. wc Can hope to have the benent of the large revenues we are

at present in possession of. A permanent tranquillity, there-
fore, must be the constant object in view ; for, extensive as
our territories and revenues are, they must be exhausted by
the army, which, by your treaty with the present Nawab, is
to be paid out of the produce of them.

Revenue of fifty " Thc three districts granted to the Company by the treaty

lakhs Yearly • ■> , -i -vt i -ii • j- f t

under ihe treaty witli the present JNawaD, you say. Will in time 01 peace, under

with Meer

cossim most proper regulations, produce an annual revenue of fifty lakhs

satisfactory. x r o .> i j

and [upwards.^ This is a noble object and well worth your
utmost care and attention, more especially at this time, when
our wants are so great and our expenses so heavy. We shall
accordingly depend upon your taking such prudent measures
as may secure to us the quiet possession of those territories,
and the collection of the revenues to as large an amount as
may be consistent with the ability of the inhabitants, and

' The amount was paid by NaWab Cossim. The money was probably
spent for the purpose of securing letters of investiture of the post of Nawab
of Bengal, Behar, and Orissa.

2 General letter from 19th February 1762.

3 This was the estimated revenue of the three districts of Burdwan, Mid-
napore, and Chittagong, which had beeu ceded to the Company by Meer Cossim
on his accession. Fifty lakhs, roughly stated, are equivalent to about half
a million sterling.


tliat humane lenity which we would always have observed on
such occasions.

"It gives us pleasure to observe that the King of the Reaieanspof tho
Burmas, who caused our people at the Negrais to be so Kui^'Hsh iu"
cruelly massacred, is since dead, and succeeded by his son,
wlio seems to be of a more friendly and humane disposition.
However, the intention of withdrawing all the remaining
people and effects from thence is a right measure, especially
as the country is so much involved in troubles as you represent
it. We have reason to think the late King would not have
proceeded to such a cruel extremity without some provocations.
The President and Council of Fort St. George, under whose
more immediate cognisance the aflfjiirs of that country falb
appear by their last advices to be making some enquiries into
the causes of the King's indignation against the English
We therefore defer giving our sentiments thereon until we
have the final result of those enquiries. We cannot omit
observing, however, that it has been alleged the people belong-
ing to some of the country ships had taken part with the
Peguers and behaved in a hostile and violent manner. We
hope by this time our President and Council have gone through
the enquir}^ ; and, if they find any truth in this allegation, that
the persons concerned have been duly censured, for we will
never suffer our affairs to be embroiled by the indiscretions
and bad conduct of private persons residing in India under
our protection. You will be informed from Fort St. George
whether any persons belonging to Calcutta have been any
way guilty in this afijiii-, and we shall expect you will resent
this behaviour as it shall appear to deserve.

" It is very disagreeable to us to find so many pages in your nivhiy aissatia.
diaries filled with dissents and disputes in the transacting !!i4u'''si'il''iho
some interesting part of our affairs pointed out in your letter councu.''
of the 12th November 1761. We have read and re-considered
the whole very attentively, and must express the great dissa-
tisfaction it has given us to find our interest and the general
welfare lost in these warm altercations.^' ^

> Sepamtc letter o.'' 66 liiirus., dated 17ll) December 1762.



Further TliG foregoiiig extracts may appear somewhat

despatches to n i i j i

the Court of tedious to mociem readers, but they reveal the en-

Directors. ' *'

ormous difficulties under which the English laboured
dui'ing this troubled period. The Court of Directors
were anxious that the conduct of their servants
should be governed by right principles, but they
were hasty in their conclusions. Meantime the
President and Board at Calcutta were despatcliing
further information to the Court of Du-ectors. The
extracts from the general letters to England tell
their own story : —

Results of the " We acquainted Your Honors in our address of the Sth
Warren Hastings April that Mr. Hastings was g-one on a deputation to the
Nawab with a view chiefly to confirm the friendship between
us^ and remove some little apprehensions that we had reason
to imag-ine he had received from some false reports that had
been industriously spread in the country ; and with further
instructions from the majority of the Board to make a de-
maud of the twenty lakhs he had offered the President and
the other gentlemen present of the Select Committee at
the time of concluding- the treaty for making him Nawab.
To the first of Mr. Hastings^ instructions, the Nawab
answered that the little disputes which fell out between
his people and ours, and w^hich would sometimes unavoid-
ably happen, did not weaken his confidence in our frieud-
sliip, upon which he rested his chief dependence. To the
second, he absolutely refused to comply with the demand
for twenty lakhs, urging that he had fulfilled all his engage-
ments, and was under no obligation to give such a sum or any
sum to the Company or any person whatever. For further
particulars we beg leave to refer your Honors to our corre-
spondence with Mr. Hastings during his absence, and the
memorial delivered to him by the Nawab, entered in Consul-
tation of the 14th June.^

1 General letter, Fort William, 30tb October 1762.


" In Consultation of the 4th October, the President sent to Proposed aiiianec
the Board a letter wliieh he had receiv^ed from Mr. Verelst Munipur against
at Chittagong-, eontainiuy,' an invitation which had been made Burma,
to him and his Council by the Rajah of Meckley^ to assist
him in obtaining- redress for some grievance he complained to
have suffered from the Burmas, and enclosing- a i)a{)er of
articles of alliance which the Rajah had tendered to be
executed between him and us for this purpose ; which letter
and articles of alliance being- taken into consideration, it was
the opinion of the Board that the articles were very favour-
able, and that the opportunity would be no less so if we could
with propriety come into the scheme for obtaining- reparation
from the Burmas for the repeated ill-treatment of our factory
at Negrais ; but, as it was judged necessary and proper, before
we proceeded further, to call for the opinion of Colonel Coote
and Major Caruac upon the subject, the Secretary was ordered
to summon them to the next consultation.

"At our next consultation the Colonel (Coote) being indis- Application of
posed could not attend, but the President and Major (Carnac) iieiVto r'^eovM
being both present, the consideration of this aflfair was
resumed, when the President laid before the Board translates
of some letters which he had received from the King and
Shuja-u-daula, earnestly soliciting the assistance of a large
body of troops to enable the King to gain possession of the
capital. This application, we are informed by a letter from
Mr, Ellis to the President laid before the Board at the same
time, has been, owing to a powerful alliance made by the
former Vizier, Ghazi-ud-diu Khan,^ against Shuja-u-daula.
As we cannot yet foresee what revolutions and troubles may be
produced from this alliance, and how far they may affect Bengal,
we judged it impro])er for the present to detach any Europeans
to so distant a quarter as Meckley {i. e., Munipur) ; but it
being likeiwse thought prudent not to lose the opportunity of
contracting an alliance with the Rajah of IMeckley, it was re-
solved to detach a force of six Companies of Sepoys, commanded

1 Meckley is a proviuce about 250 miles to the eastward of Chittagong,
and Moiieypoor {i. e., Muuipur) is the capital of the said province.

8 (jhazi-u-diu was the Vizier who put to death the father of Shah Aluiu.



Reply to Shah
Alan) : Mr. Van-
sittart proposes
seeing the King
at Moughjr.

Mr. Vansittart
will also concili-
ate Meer Cossiui,

Further enqui-
ries about Ram
Churn; implica-
tion of Nund-
cooinar in the

by three Officers, to take a post there, and under tie
direction of Mr. Verelst or one of his Council, make them-
selves acquainted with the strength, nature, and dispositions
of the Burmas, and of this intelligence to send us advice, but
to proceed to no hostilities without our positive directions.
We are hopeful that this undertaking will open to us a road
for obtaining satisfaction for the many injuries we have
suffered from the Burmas ; and, in case nothing disturbs our
tranquillity to the northward, we shall certainly; embrace it.

" In answer to the King's application for troops, the Presi-
dent has wrote him a complimentary letter, informing him of
his intended journey up the country, and that he will again
pay his more immediate respects to him when he arrives at
Monghyr. When the President arrives there, he purposes
conferring with the Nawab on this subject; and, having by
this means gained time to be further informed of the views
and connections o£ the several chiefs, we shall pursue such
measures as shall seem most proper for preserving the tran-
quillity of these provinces, and securing the Company's
possession and interests under our care.

" With this view, as well as for the sake of a change of air,
the President set out a few days past for Monghyr, where he
will have an interview with the Nawab, and concert with
him the most necessary measures for obtaining those salutary
ends. This meeting, which the Nawab has frequently urged
and requested, will, we are hojieful, have the effect of remov-
ing entirely all those idle reports which a few busy people
have industriously propagated about the country, with the
design of alarming and making him uneasy; as likewise those
mutual jealousies which it has not failed to cause between our
people and the government in most parts of the country to
the interruption of the private trade.

" In our address of the 8th April 1762 by the Godolpliln,
we informed you of an enquiry we had had before us concern-
ing a parcel of letters stopped on the road to Cuttaek, and said
to be a correspondence between Ram Churn and Kunder Khan ;
and in our packet by that ship we transmitted our proceedings


at longtli in the said enquiry. We remarked to Your Honors
lu our said address that several strong- circumstances appeared
to give reason to believe that the whole packet was a forgery.
Fresh circumstances appearing since to confirm the said belief,
we entered into a further examination of this matter, our pro-
ceedings wherein are likewise transmitted in the Godolphin's
packet. This farther examination has fully convinced us that
the letters were forged : and there is great reason to think that
Nundocoomar was contriver thereof, with a design of ruinino*
Kam Churn. \Ye cannot say there are such direct proofs as to fix
the crime upon him with an absolute certainty; nor, indeed, is it
possible there should be positive proofs while he and his Mun-
shi (the only persons supposed to be present when the letters
were forged) have resolution enough to persist in denyino* it.

" The before-mentioned Nundcoomar is the same person Dangerous
who was convicted some time ago of carrying on a corre- Nundcoo'nl'ir.
spondence with the Burdwan Rajah of a nature inconsistent
with his duty and hurtful to your interest. We find also
that the same Nundcoomar was instrumental in carryino* on
a correspondence between the Shahzada and the French
Governor General before the capture of Pondicherry. This in-
formation was given to the President, and by him being laid be-
fore the Board, was proved by such positive evidence as to leave
no room to doubt of the fact. The least we could conclude
upon such crimes was, that Nundcoomar, being a person
improper to be trusted with his liberty in your settlement, and
capable of doing mischief if he was permitted to go out of
this province, either to the northward or towards the Dekhan,
should therefore be kept confined to his own house under so
strict a guard as to prevent his writing or receiving letters."

Subsequently the Coui't of Dii-ectors reviewed ucspatbcos from
the events above recorded at considerable length,
and expressed themselves to the following effect' : —

" It gives us great pleasure to find that the country en- Highly gratified
joys a perfect tranquillity. We earnestly recommend that you rraDquimty'^aucl

■ — prosperity.

' Gcucral Icttei with headings, London, 8Lb March 17G'3, 128 paras.


use your best endeavours to keep it so, as the only means to
secure to us the advantages we may hope for, and which
we have in some deforce experienced by the investment you
have made ; and in the agreeable assistance you have given
Madras and Bombay to furnish money for our China ships
which were to be despatched from them ; and as your senti-
ments respecting the conduct to be held towards the Country
Government, and adopted by you, coincide so fully with our
orders, we shall not enlarge on this subject.
An advance to " From the general view you have given us with respect to

Delhi would be ° -.i ,i oi i i i i i i •

most injudicious: your tfausactions With the ananzada who has been proclaim-

the best policy *' n r- i i T

is isolation and ed King at Delhi, as well as from the several proceedings

neutrality. ° ' . ^ c i

on the same subject, which appear at large in your Select
Committee's Diary, we observe Major Carnae and Colonel
Coote were both very solicitous to have engaged in the pro-
ject of accompanying the King to the capital with a body
of our forces. However, we are better pleased that the
King left the province without our being obliged to engage
in such a hazardous enterprise; and, had Colonel Coote's
regiment arrived before the urgency of the King's afiPairs
required his [?". e., the King's] moving forward to the capital,
yet we should have hoped you would not, even then, have
been tempted to engage in so distant an undertaking, but
have contented yourselves with the right step you have taken
in treating that Prince with all due respect during his stay
in the Province of Bengal, and escorting him with a proper
force to the borders. For, in short, our sentiments are, that,
if we can secure our present possessions and privileges in
l^engal, preserve the peace of the province, and the Nawab
in the government, and prevent the borders from being
invaded or disturbed by the neighbouring Rajahs or other
Powers, we shall be fully satisfied, and think our forces judi-
ciously employed in answering these principal points. For
we are by no means desirous of making further acquisitions,
or engaging our forces in very distant projects, unless the
most absolute necessity sliould require it to answer one or
other of the principal views before mentioned.


" The Suimiids being sent by the King to the Nawab for Nawab Meer
the three provinces is a very agreeable circumstance. But havr b.cn bettor

1,1 1 T i • • i\ 11- supixirleil in

although you do not mention in the general advices any com- iiaiminf; the

,. Til -NT 1 1 1 • 1 • ITT Sunnmls for

plaints that the JNuwab made on his bemg obho-ed to pur- Kintrai, Behar,
chase those grants at a much greater expense to him after «'>ah Aiam.
the King passed the borders, than he vsrould have had to pay
for them while the King was at Patna, if the Nawab had been
properly supported in his pretensions by our Commanding
Officer then there, yet something of this appears in your
diaries ; and if true, surely our force and influence were not
so effectually applied as they might have been. And, al-
though we are unwilling to pass a censure on any particular
person on this point, yet we hope to have no occasion in
future even for a doubt that the interest of a Prince^ we are
so closely connected with by treaty has been slighted. For,
if the difficulties are multiplied upon him, and his power
and influence not supported by us when he wants our assist-
ance, he must suffer by such measures, as our interest must
likewise do in the end.

"Your refusal of the Dewani of Bengal offered by the Approve of the

T7 - -1 1 n'r>i-ii-i rf fwsal of the

King was right, and we are well satished with the lust and uewani offered
prudent reasons you o^ive for declining that offer. However, ingratitude of

'■ J » & _ 'the Kiu?.

it seems something extraordinary to us that, at the time the
King makes this advance, he should return the applications
made to him for the Sunnuds to confirm our privileges and
possessions in Bengal, in so loose and unsatisfactory a manner,
and even to require a present before he passes the order in
due form. The great services we had rendered His Majesty,
and the generous treatment he met with from us, as well as
from our ally the Nawab, during his stay at Patna, surely
claimed a more distinguished treatment, and at least a full
grant of our requests, without such an expensive demand
annexed. The time and manner of the refusal seems like-
wise very extraordinary ; your applications being returned
at the very juncture Major Carnac was escorting him to the
River Karamnassa, or borders of the province, a service which

1 By Prince is meant the Subahdar or Nawab in Bens;al.


must then be fresh iu the King-'s memory; and therefore
there is reason to apprehend the King is not so cordially
attached to us as we mig-ht have expected. However, if you
judge the obtaining such Sunnuds to be absolutely neces-
sary, you have, we doubt not, continued your application
to have them perfected. It was a prudent consideration in
you to add to your applications on this subject our ally the
Nawab of Arcot, which we suppose you have or will con-
tinue to do when you think it proper to move again in
this affair; and if the King should succeed in his preten-
sions to the throne, the sooner the grants are obtained,
the less we apprehend will be the expense attending it.
Surprised at the " We cannot Comprehend on what grounds the majority of

unwarrantable , r~i -i i i i j_i t>

dcniaiKi of twenty the Couucil, Contrary to the remonstrances made by the rre-

lakli^ from the . -ii i-h/ittj*

Kawab. sideut agamst it, could venture to authorise Mr. Hastings

to demand of the Nawab in our name twenty lakhs of rupees,
upon the bare pretence that he had made an offer of that
sum to Mr. Yausittart and the Select Committee at the time
of making the treaty for his accession, and which had been
then so properly and so honorably refused. We rejoice at the
just and spirited refusal he gave to that unwarrautable
Full apologies to "And that we may vindicate ourselves in the mind of the
NawabTu u!o '^'^ Nawab from such unfavourable impressions which this demand.
Company."' or othcr Unfavourable circumstances, must naturally have left
upon him, we direct that the President in your name do in
the most respectful manner by letter acquaint him that
we are truly sorry that the conduct of any of our servants
has given him umbrage, or created in him a moment^s distrust
of the sincerity of our friendship ; that we totally disapprove,
and shall properly resent, all such misbehaviour ; and to
assure him that it is our most earnest wish, and our posi-
tive orders to you (which we strictly direct), that our
servants join him in every reasonable measure for his support
and welfare, and observe every engagement entered into

i Separate letter, dated London, 13tli May 1763.


with him. You will acquaint him, likewise, that we shall
have the honor to give him these assurances by letter the
next opportunity ; the ship Pitt being upon the point of her
departure, we have not leisure to do it now."

It will be seen from the foregoing records that wonk capacity
Mr. Vansittart was a man of good intentions. He ""■"»•
had refused to receive any of the money offered
by Meer Cossim; yet Mill's History, on very
doubtful evidence, says that the twenty lakhs were
paid at the time, equivalent to two hundred
thousand pounds sterling, and that Mr. Vansittart
received five lakhs, or fifty thousand pounds. But
whilst Mr. Vansittart proves liimseK to have been
strictly honom'able, it is certain that he lacked the
capacity and strong will of Clive. It is a grave
question whether he was justified in abandoning
Pwam Narain to the tender mercies of the Nawab ;
as a matter of fact, the Hindu grandee was deprived
of all his wealth and put to death. CHve was
bitterly incensed at the violation of his guarantee ;
he declared that it set every Hindu in the thi'ee
provinces against the English.




Private trade.

Extension of
private irade

A. D. 1763.

rr^HE next batch of Calcutta records refers to
-*- events quite as revolutionary as those connect-
ed with the change of Nawahs. It refers to proceed-
ings wliich were unquestionably lawless ; but the
lawlessness was not that of Europeans, but that
of their native agents or gomastas. This quarrel,
so petty in its rise, led to the most lamentable
results; to a war betw^een the EngHsli and the
Nawab, which led to the dethronement of Meer
Cossim and the restoration of Meer Jaf&er.

The servants of the English Company derived

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 25 of 33)