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John Clark Marshman.

The history of India, from the earliest period to the close of Lord Dalhousie's administration / by John Clark Marshman (Volume 2) online

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the sovereignty of the young raja, whom we came professedly
to protect, but have been plundering to the last lotah water-
pot since he fell into our hands."

Effect of the The capture of Bhurtpore is a salient point in
capture, 1826. ^ e hi s tory of British progress in India. Though
absolute masters of the whole continent, our prestige still
seemed to be suspended upon the issue of the siege, which
was watched with extraordinary interest throughout the
country, and more particularly in the metropolis. Government
had been constrained to open a loan in the month of August,
but the moneyed classes hung back from it till the result of the
siege was known. The privilege of private posts had not
then been abolished, and the Calcutta bankers received daily
intelligence of the progress of operations before Bhurtpore
more speedily than the Governor-General obtained it through
the public mail, and the first intimation which the Govern-
ment received of the capture of the town was from the sudden
influx, of subscriptions to the loan, to the extent of thirty
lacs of rupees, as soon as the treasury opened for the
day. Bhurtpore was dismantled, and the proud walls which
had baffled the hero of Laswaree and Delhi were levelled with
the ground. The capture of the town and fort by the skill
of British engineers diffused a salutary feeling of awe
throughout India, and, combined with the simultaneous sub-
mission of the Burmese, dissolved the hopes of the dis-
affected, and strengthened the power of Government.

The gross mismanagement of the Burmese war

Honours con- .

ferred on Lord had created great discontent in England, but the



Amnerst, 1826, g^^ssfui termination of it brought the Governor-
General a step in the peerage as Earl Amherst of Aracan
though the most disastrous of his expeditions and a vote of
thanks from the Court of Directors for " his active, strenuous,
and persevering efforts in conducting to a successful issue
the late war with the King of Ava." On the return of peace
he made a progress through the north-west, and held stately



XXIX.] HIS TREATMENT OF THE PRESS. 411

durbars, and the native princes who had recently been medi-
tating the downfall of British power, hastened to offer their
homage to it. In the summer of 1827 he proceeded to Simlah,
the delightful climate and majestic scenery of which was then
for the first time selected as a summer retreat by the head of
the Government. His example has been followed by his suc-
cessors, and this sanatarium has now become the annual resort
of European officers and residents in the north-west from the
heat of the plains to such an extent as to support a banking
Financial results, establishment. The financial result of Lord
1828 - Amherst's administration was calamitous. The

wealth left in the treasury by Lord Hastings was dissipated ;
the surplus of revenue was converted into a deficit, and an
addition of ten crores was made to the public debt. Of this
sum about one-fourth was obtained from the hoards of the
King of Oude, the perennial reservoir of the Calcutta treasury.
Large sums were likewise subscribed by native chiefs and
bankers after the capture of Bhurtpore, and Bajee Rao him-
self was induced to invest in " Company's paper" some portion
of the accumulations of his annuity. Lord Amherst, imme-
diately after his arrival, and while new to the

Lord Amherst

and the Press, country and to the community, was led by the
Tory members of the Government to continue
those truculent proceedings against the press which they
had originated. But it was not long before he adopted a more
generous policy, and on his departure was complimented by
the journals in Calcutta " on the liberality and even magna-
nimity with which he had tolerated the free expression of
public opinion on his own individual measures, when he had
the power to silence them with a stroke of his pen." It was
during his absence at Simlah, and without his concurrence,
that the Vice- President in Council revoked the licence of one
of the Calcutta papers, and ruined the proprietor, for a racy
but innocent squib on the higher members of the service,
similar to those which form the weekly attraction of the
London " Punch." This was happily the last interference on



412 DEATH OF SIR THOMAS MUNRO. [CHAP.

the part of the public authorities with the local press. Within
thirteen months of this vindictive act Lord William Bentinck
practically restored its freedom, and on his departure, Sir
Charles Metcalfe placed that freedom on a legal basis,
sir Thomas Sir Thomas Muuro, the Governor of Madras,

Munro, 1827. wag anxious to resign his post in 1824, but was
solicited to assist in fitting out the Burmese expedition, and
in supplying its wants. His advanced age and the state
of his health required repose, but he resolved to obey the call of
duty. So energetic were his exertions as to draw from Lord
Amherst and his Council the graceful acknowledgment, that,
but for his aid, " it would have been impossible to undertake
the vigorous measures which were adopted." The year after
the conclusion of the war, while preparing to return to his
native land, he was smitten down by an attack of cholera.
He ranks among the greatest of the Company's servants. He
was a man of strong mind and original thought, and united a
solid and practical judgment with broad views of policy.
Mr. Canning was proud of having selected him for the
government of Madras, and stated in Parliament that
" Europe never produced a more accomplished statesman, nor
India, fertile as it was in heroes, *a more skilful soldier." He
was one of the very rare instances of a good Governor of
Madras, and presented a very marked contrast to his pre-
decessor, Mr. Hugh Elliott, and to Mr. Lushington, who suc-
ceeded him. Mr. Canning took equal credit to himself for the
appointment of Mr. Elphinstone to the government of Bom-
bay. He was second to none of the great men who have
contributed to render the Company's rule successful and illus-
trious. It was he who organised the institutions of the
Bombay Presidency after it had been enlarged to its present
size by the territories acquired from the Peshwa, and one of
his last acts was the completion of the Bombay code, which
bears his name, and has served in no small degree to enhance
his reputation. Mr. Jenkins had been charged with the
management of the Nagpore territories after the deposition of



XXIX.] DEPARTURE OF LORD AM1IERST. 413

Appa Sahib, during the minority of his successor, and resigned
it into his hands in 1826, when he came of age. His adminis-
tration was the most honest and beneficial the Bhoonslay
kingdom had ever been blessed with, and was rendered the
more memorable by the condition to which it relapsed when
again subjected to native rule. The same lamentable result
followed the removal of Sir Charles Metcalfe to Delhi, and
the consequent abandonment of the administrative system he
had introduced into the domains of the Nizam. By a singular
coincidence, each of these statesmen, though civilians, had
enjoyed an opportunity of acquiring laurels in the field, Sir
Charles Metcalfe at Deeg, Mr. Elphinstone at Kirkee, and
Mr. Jenkins at Seetabuldee ; but it was the revenue settle-
ment and civil administration of the large kingdoms confided to
them at Hyderabad, Bombay, and Nagpore, which formed the
chief distinction of their career. They may be considered, in
conjunction with Sir John Malcolm, Sir Thomas Munro, and
Sir David Ochterlony, as forming that galaxy of talent which
gave solidity and splendour to the Company's government
during the first quarter of the present century.
Lord Amherst's Lord Amherst was constrained to leave Cal-
departure, 1828. cu fta earlier than he had expected through the
illness of his son, and embarked for England in February,
1828. Mr. Bayley, the senior member of Council, a dis-
ciple of Lord Wellesley's school, succeeded temporarily to the
office of Governor-General, and was for four months employed
in discussing and maturing some of those great measures of
reform which rendered the next administration memorable iu
the history of British India.



GLOSSARY.



Binian. A Hindoo merchant; manager of a European's concerns

Butta. An allowance to troops in the field.

cyum. The lady of a noble or prince.

Bvnjarees. The hereditary and professional carriers of India.

Cazee. A Mahomedan judge and notary.

Chout. The fourth of revenues exacted by the Mahrattas.

Cowrie. The lowest coin in India; a shell.

Crare. Ten millions of rupees ; one million sterling.

Daroga. Superintendent of Police.

Dewan. The principal minister of finance ; a head manager

Dewanny. The management of the revenue.

Dewanny Court. Court of civil justice.

Doodb. The country lying between any two rivers.

Durbar. A levee; a cabinet council.

Firman. An imperial grant, order, or charter.

Fouzdar. A commander of military police ; a criminal judge.

Ghaut. Stairs leading to a river; a mountain pass.

Gold mohur. A gold coin worth 32s.

Harem. The seraglio.

Jaygeer. An estate, not hereditary, held on military service.

J/n/geerdar. The holder of a jaygeer.

Jezzia. The poll-tax imposed on infidels by Mahomedans.

Kayusts. The writer caste, ranking next to the Brahmins.

Kihelriyu. The second, or military caste.

IMC. One hundred thousand.

Maun. An Indian weight, about 82 Ibs.

Muonslff. A civil judge of the lowest grade.

Muharanee. Queen, princess.

Omra. A noble.

Puijoda. A Madras coin, value 8s.

Pariar. An outcast.

Peshcvsh. Tribute. ,

Fottah. A lease.

Rupee. Two shillings.

Kyi)t. An agricultural tenant.

Seer. A variable weight generally 21bs.

Sepoy. A native soldier.

Shastrus. The sacred writings of the Hindoos.

Sirdar. A chief.

Sir-desh-mookhee. The tenth of the produce exacted by the Mahratts

Soobah. A province.

Soobadar. The governor of a Soobah.

Soodra. A man of the fourth or lowest caste.

Sudder cheif. Sudder Dewanny. The supreme civil court,

Siuaiud. A patent for office.

VakeeL An envoy or representative ; an attorn -y.

Vizier. Prime minister.

Zemindar. A landholder.

Zemindary. A landed estate.

. The female apartments.



DATE DUE



:cis



GAYLORD



1969



PRINTED IN U.S.A.






Online LibraryJohn Clark MarshmanThe history of India, from the earliest period to the close of Lord Dalhousie's administration / by John Clark Marshman (Volume 2) → online text (page 38 of 38)