John William Kaye.

The life and correspondence of Major-General Sir John Malcolm, G. C. B., late envoy to Persia, and governor of Bombay; (Volume 1) online

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THE



LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE



MAJOE-GENEEAL



SIE JOHN MALCOLM, G.C.B,



LATE ENVOY TO PERSIA, AND GOVEENOR OP BOMBAY;



UNPUBLISHED LETTERS AND JOURNALS.



JOHN WILLIAM, KAYE,



AUTHOR OF THE " LIFE OF LORD METCALFE," " THE HISTORY OF THE WAR IN
AFGHANISTAN," &C.



IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. I.



LONDON :
SMITH, ELDEE, AND CO., 65, COENHILL.

BOMBAY: SMITH, TAYLOR, AND CO.

MDCCCLVI.

{,The right of Translation is reserved.'\



\ /



V, I



4 DEDICATION.



^ TO

I THE HONORABLE MOUNTSTUART ELPHINSTONE

THESE IVIEMOIES

OF ONE OF HIS

MOST DISTINGUISHED COTE]MPOEAEIES AND ATTACHED
FEIENDS

AEE KESPECTFULLY AND GRATEFULLY

INSCRIBED.






PREFACE.



As I believe it will be more generally asked why the
Life of Sir John Malcolm was not written before, than why
it now makes its appearance, I think it is well to state,
that many years ago the late Captain Hamilton, the ac-
complished author of "Cyril Thornton," undertook to
perform the task, which has since devolved upon me;
but death arrested his labors. He had proceeded but a
little way with his work, when he was thus prematurely
lost to the world. Some of the earlier papers had been
placed in his hands ; he had marked a few passages in
the correspondence, and he had written, with little result,
some letters of inquiry to the few surviving friends of
Malcolm's boyhood ; but I have not been able to learn
that he ever wrote a line of the Memou\

From the time of Captain Hamilton's death, in 1842,
up to the autumn of 1854, when I undertook to prepare
the present work for the press, the voluminous cor-
respondence of Sir John Malcolm (with the exception of
one very valuable collection of letters) remained in the
possession of the family, with the fullest intention on
their part, as soon as fitting opportunity should present it-



vi PREFACE.

self, of publishing some selections from it, accompanied
witL. a narrative of Malcolm's eventful career. When this
correspondence was placed in my hands, I found that the
only difficulty it presented to the biographer was the diffi-
culty of selection. Sir John Malcolm began, at a compara-
tively early date, to adhere rigidly to the custom of keep-
ing copies of all his own letters on public affairs, and
preserving those which were addressed to him. As these
letters were, for the most part, arranged in books, and
were in a very tolerable state of preservation, I had no
reason to complam of the quality or quantity of my ma-
terial. It is true that the records of Malcolm's early life
were somewhat scanty ; but this is a deficiency with
which biographers have so commonly to contend, that
neither writers nor readers feel any disappointment at its
occurrence. It may be observed, too, that Malcolm, in
his younger days, AVi^ote both rarely and briefly to his
friends; in that respect fm-nishing a strong contrast to
Munro and Metcalfe, whose biogi'aphies are among the
few exceptions to the rule of which I have spoken.

Voluminous as were the family papers placed at my
disposal, they by no means constituted the whole of my
materials. I had many large collections of Malcolm's
letters in my possession before those papers passed into
my hands. Some of the letters derived from foreign
sources were the originals of those in the family letter-
books. Others were hastily- written, but often suggestive
communications referring to immediate topics of the day,
of which no copies had been preserved. These undress
effusions are often of more value to the biographer than
more studied compositions; and it may be mentioned.



PREFACE. Hfil

whilst on this subject, that the very best biographical
raaterials at my command have been Malcolm's letters to
his wife.

And I do not think that any reader will have just
ground of complaint that I have suffered, in this work,
the historical to overlay the biographical. The Life of
Sir John Malcolm is the life of a man actively employed
in the public service, with rare intervals, for half a cen-
tury. And of these public services the Memoir furnishes
a detailed account. But it may with truth be said, with
reference to all the great historical events glanced at in
this Memoir, that Malcolm was not merely in them, but
of iheiTL—pars magna. To use one of his favorite ex-
pressions, the " laboring oar" was always in his hand. So
large apd so distinct was his individuality, that the man
himself is ever to be seen in the foreground, impressing
himself upon all the events with which he was connected,
and shaping them by the force of his own personal cha-
racter. I believe it would be no exaggeration to say
til at the History of India can be but imperfectly under-
stood without an understanding also of the character of
Sir John Malcolm.

And I am reminded by this of the obligations which
I owe to some of the surviving friends of the subject of
this Memoir, for oral communications of more value than
written documents. As I never saw Sir John Malcolm,
who died whilst I was on my way out to India as a cadet,
Lhave endeavom^ed to the utmost to supply the wants of
my own personal knowledge by gathering unrecorded
information from those who knew him best. And as he
was not one to pass readily out of the recollection of any



viii PREFACE.

who had once known him, I have seldom failed to elicit
some characteristic reminiscences from the cotemporaries
whose assistance I have sought.

It remains only to be observed, that, with the excep-
tion of two or three letters, the correspondence quoted
in this Memoir is now published for the first time. In
the later editions of the Wellington Correspondence may
be found one or two of the Duke's letters to Malcolm,
which appear also in the first of these volumes. The
publication of the remamder, however, has not been an-
ticipated by Colonel Gurwood. There was no one to
whom the Duke of Wellington wrote more unreservedly
than to Sir John Malcolm. This unreserve has rendered
necessary a cautious use of the correspondence ; but
enough is still given to show the intimate terms on
which they corresponded, and to illustrate, at the same
time, many interesting traits of the Duke's character.

On turning over these printed pages, before finally dis-
missing them to take their chance with the Public, and
on again referring to the materials (literally a room-full)
out of which the Memoir has been shaped, I cannot re-
sist a strong sensation of regret at the thought of the
many interesting and valuable papers still lying unused
aroimd me. I must console myself with the thought that
a selection from these may some day be laid before the
Pubhc.

J. W. KATE.

London, November, 1S5G.



CONTENTS OF YOL I.



CHAPTER I.

THE BOYHOOD OF JOHN MALCOLM.

[1709—1782.]



PAGE



Tlie Home in Eskdale — Ancestors — Parentage — Misfortunes of George
Malcolm.— The Family at Burnfoot — Offer of a Cadetsbip— John's Visit
to London — Ordeal at the India-House — Departure for India . . 1

CHAPTER n.

SUBALTEKN-LIFE IN SOUTHERN INBIA.
[17S3— 1791.]

Arrival at Madras — Departure for Vellore — Pii'st Years of Service —
Idleness and Extravagance — Early Reformation — TheWar with Tippoo
—Operations of the Nizam's Force — Oriental Studies — First Staff Ap-
pointment — Return to England ....... 9

CHAPTER III.

EUULOTJGH TO ENGLAND.
[179'1— 1795.]

Restoration of Health — Detention in London — Introduction to General
Clarke — Visits to Burnfoot and Alva — Resolution to Return to
India — Arrangements for the Voyage— Appointment to the StalT of
General Clarke— Departure from England— Capture of the Cape of
Good Hope 30



X CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV.

IHE STAFF AT MADKAS.

[179G-179S.]

PAGE

Appointment to the Staff of the Commaucler-iu-Chief — The Military Se-
cretaryship — Letters to Burufoot — Departure of Sir Ahu-ed Clarke —
Appointment to the Staff of General Harris — Departui"e of Lord
Hobart— The Town-Majorship of Fort St. George .... 49

CHAPTER V.

HYDEKABAD AND MYSORE.

[1798—1799.]

Arrival of Lord Wellesley — The Hyderabad Assistantship — Disbaudment
of the Erench Corps — IMalcolm's Share in the Operations — Voyage to
Calcutta — Meetiug with Lord Wellesley— The Siege of Seringapatam
— The Mysore Commissionership— Return to Hyderabad ... 63

CHAPTER VI.

ACROSS THE PENlNStJLA.

[1799—1800.]

Malcolm's Appointment to the Persian Mission— Its Objects— Rumored
Invasion of Zemaun Shah — Local Attachments — Malcolm's Journey to
Hyderabad — Business there— Incidents of Travel — Return to Bombay 89

- _ CHAPTER VII.

THE PERSIAN EMBASSY.
[ISOO— 1801.]

Arrival at Muscat — Negotiations with the Imanm — Delays at Bushire —
Presents and Ceremonies — Reception at Shiraz — Halt at Ispahan —
Journey to Teheran — Interviews with the King — Negotiation of the
Treaties — Their Character — Approval of Government — Return to
India 105

CHAPTER VIII.

THE PRIVATE SECRETARYSHIP.
[ISOl— 1803.]

Dangerous Voyage to Calcutta — Departure for the Upper Provinces-
Intercourse witli Lord Wellesley — The River Voyage — Letters to Mr.
Barlow — Confidential Mission to Madras — Retui-n to Bengal — Death
of the Persian Ambassador — Mission to Bombay — Journey across the
Peninsula — Dealings with tlic Persians— Return to Calcutta — Appoint-
ment to the Mysore Residency 155



CONTENTS. XI

CHAPTER IX.

GENEBAL WELLESLEY's CAMP.

[1S03— 1804.]

PAGB

Llaliratta Politics — Plight of the Peishwah — .The Treaty of Basseiu —
Malcolm at Head-Quarters — Intercourse Tiitli General Wellesley — Re-
storation of the Peishwah — The Maliratta War — Illness of Malcolm —
Departure from Camp — Effects of liis Return— The Treaty of Peace . 199

CHAPTER X.

THE TREATY VITH SCIXDIAH.
[1803—1804.]

Progress of the "War — Malcolm's Return to Camp — His Genial Presence
— Wattel Punt — Mountstuart Elphinstoue — Negotiations for Peace —
The Subsidiary Alliance — ]\Iission to Scindiah's Camp — Scene at
Dui-bar — Conclusion of the Treaty — Approval of Lord Wellesley —
Death of Malcolm's Father 235

CHAPTER XL

THE GWALIOK CONTKOVEESY.
[1S04.]

Malcolm's Continuance at Scindiah's Durbar — The Question of Gwalior
and Gohud — Historical Antecedents — Opinions of General Wellesley,
Malcolm, and the Governor-General — Correspondence with Calcutta —
Displeasure of Lord Wellesley — Review of Malcolm's Conduct . . 262

CHAPTER XII.

MYSORE A^'D CALCUTTA.

[1804—1805.]

Departure from Sciadiah's Coiu't — Residence at Vizagapatam and Ganjam
— Correspondence with General Wellesley — Yoyage to Madras — The
Mysore Residency — Departure of General Wellesley — Correspondence
with the Governor-General — Summons to Calcutta — Councils of State 288

CHAPTER XIII.

LOHB lake's CAMr.

[1805—1806.]

Journey to the North — Arrival at Head-Quarters — Malcolm and Met-
calfe— Lord Cornwallis Governor-General — Malcolm's Perplexities —
Succession of Sir George Barlow — Tlie Treaty with Scindiah — Resto-
ration of Gwalior and Gohud— Piu'suit of Holliar — The Peace . . 314



Xil CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XIV.

CALCUTTA AND MYSORE.

[1806-1807.]

PAOB

Malcolm and Barlow — Detention at Calcutta — Correspondence with Sir
Arthur Wellesley— Departure for Madi-as— Return to Mysore— Pro-
posed Expedition to Turkey — Love, Courtship, and Marriage . . 366

CHAPTER XV.

CONTEMPLATED EXPEDITION TO PERSIA,
[1808—1809.]

The Peace of Tilsit— The Mission of Sir Harford Jones— Malcolm's De-
parture for the Gulf — State of Politics at Teheran — Failure of Mal-
colm's Mission — Voyage to Calcutta — Second Mission to the Gulf —
Recall to the Presidency 399

CHAPTER XVI.

THE MADRAS MUTINY.
[1809.]

Abolition of the Tent-Contracts — Conduct of General Macdowall — Arrest
of Colonel Muuro — Excesses of the Army — Measures of the Madras
Government — Tlie Mutiny at Masulipatam — Malcolm despatched
tliither — His Treatment of tlie Mutineers— Return to Madras — Disap-
probation of Sir George Barlow — Opinions of Sir James Mackintosh —
Reappointment to Persia 457



Appendix 513



ERRATA.

Page 42, line 10 from bottom, for "for those feelings," read "to those
feelings."

Page 91, line 4, for "Oosliegs," read " Oosbegs"

Page 33(), line 18, for " millah," read "nullah."

The name of Admiral Sir P. Malcolm should be spelt throughout "Pulteney."



THE



LIFE OF SIE JOHN MALCOLM.



CHAPTER I.

THE BOYHOOD OF JOHN MALCOLM.
[1769—1782.]

HIS HOME IN ESKDALE — ^ANCESTOES — PABENTAGE — MISFORTUNES OF GEOEGB
MALCOLM — THE TAMILY AT BUENFOOT — OFFER OF A CADETSHIP — JOHN's VISIT
TO LONDON — ORDEAL AT THE INDIA-HOUSE — DEPAETUBE FOE INDIA.

On the banks of the Esk, in the parish of Westerkirk,
three miles from Langholm, in Dumfries-shire, lies the
estate of Bumfoot. In all pleasant Eskdale there are
few pleasanter spots. There the heather-covered hills
slope down towards the sparkling waters of the river, as
it ^vinds in a devious fantastic com^se over its stony bed,
now between high wooded banks, and now between low
grass-lands. A comely modern mansion,* almost on the
water's side, stands where once stood the house in which
John Malcolm was born.

The Eskdale Malcolms were a younger branch of the
Malcolms of Lachore, in Fifeshire. The first who settled
in Dumfries-shire was Robert Malcolm, Son of David
Malcolm and Elizabeth Melvill, he had been educated
for the Scottish Church, and, in 1717, on the recom-

* Now in the possession of Mr. "William Elphinstoue Malcolm.
VOL. I. B



2 THE BOYHOOD OF JOHN MALCOLM.

mendation of tlie Lord President of Scotland, nominated
by tlie Earl of Dalkeith to the ministerial charge of the
parish of Ewes, which borders on Westerkirk. During
little less than half of the eighteenth century he con-
tinued to occupy the manse, diligently and faithfully per-
forming the duties of his office, dwelling among his own
people, rich in their affection and respect. But the
revenues of the parish were small, and it was with the
kindly mtention of increasing them that his patron
granted him a lease of the farm of Burnfoot at little more
than a nominal rent. The farm was in those days mainly
a sheep farm. Literally and figuratively, the concerns
of the Eev. Robert Malcolm were of a pastoral character.
But he had married Agnes, daughter of the Rev. George
Campbell, Professor of Divinity, a man of rare piety and
learning, one of the ablest and best, indeed, of the old
Scotch divines ; and when, in due time, his son George
grew to man's estate, he was entrusted with the manage-
ment of the farm.

In 1761, to the grief of all his parishioners, the good
minister died. In the same year, George Malcolm took
to wife Margaret, daughter of James Pasley of Craig.*
The young man had been intended for the Church, and
had received with that object a liberal education ; but
some defect in his articulation caused an abandonment of
the project, and he had devoted himself to agricultural
and pastoral pursuits. On the death of his father, the
lease of Burnfoot had been renewed to him, and he had
become the tenant also of the adjoining farm of Douglan,
under the proprietorship of his friend John Johnstone
of Alva.

To George and Margaret Malcolm the words of the
old Hebrew benediction were literally fulfilled. Whilst
the good man cultivated the lands of Burnfoot, there

* And sister of Adinkal Six- Thomas Pasley, Baronet.



CAREER OF HIS FATHER. 3

grew up around him a tliriving family of sons and
daugliters. But his worldly wealth did not increase
with his progeny. George Malcolm was a strong-minded,
an honest, and a pious man — but he was not a pros-
perous one. The necessities of a numerous family
prompted him to look beyond his farm for means of
support. He entered into speculations for which his pre-
vious habits had not fitted him ; and carried on, in part-
nership with others, mainly with borrowed capital, they
failed. Mr. Malcolm's private estate was saddled with
a large portion of the debts of the concern ; and all his
little property was sold.

A close investigation into his concerns revealed only
the just dealings of the man.* Many sympathised with
him. Some were eager to assist him. Not last or least of
these was his brother-in-law, Dr. Gilbert Pasley, Chief
Physician at Madras, who in this hour of need rendered
him essential service.

There was enough in this fatal miscarriage to cloud
the happiness of any one. But George Malcolm of
Burnfoot was something better than a man of a robust
nature ; he was a Christian in the largest sense of the
word. " I know not at this moment," wrote one
whose testimony is worthy of all acceptationf to one of

* He was so honest a man that he f The E,ev. Sir Harry Moucreiif,

would not even cheat a friend, or a father of the late Lord MoncreifF, and

stranger, in horseflesh. On one oc- grandfather of the present (1S56) Lord

casion, he sent an agent to a fair with Advocate of Scotland. Lord Cockburn,

a very good-looking horse to be sold in his " Life of Jeffrey," says of him :

there ; but charged him, at the same " The prominent qualities of his mind

time, with a letter to be delivered to were strong integrity and nervous

the intending purchaser, indicating the sense. There never was a sounder

defects on account of which he wished vinderstandiug. Many men were more

to dispose of the animal. On another, learned, many more cultivated, and

the same agent was selling one of Mr. some more able. But who could match

Malcolm's cows at Langholm Fair, him in sagacity and mental force ? The

when that gentleman joined the group opinions of Sir Harry Moncreiff might

who were looking at her, and said, at any time have been adopted with

" Ay, ay, gentlemen, she has a fine perfect safety, without knowing more

show of milk — but she does not give about them than that they were his."
much,"

B 2



4 THE BOYHOOD OF JOHN MALCOLM.

Mr. Malcolm's cliildren, " whom I could conscientiously
compare with your father, in sterling worth, in sound
understanding, in the best affections of the heart, in un-
affected enlightenment and genuine godliness." He felt
the burden that was upon him, for he was a man by
nature of an anxious and sensitive temperament ; but,
sustained by a good conscience, he bore up bravely
beneath it. There was not, perhaps, a day of his life in
which he did not remember his misfortunes — but he suf-
fered with true Christian resignation, and was thankful
for the blessings which remained.

And chiefest of these were his wife and children.
Margaret Malcolm was a woman of higli principle and
sound understanding — but womanly in all ; of quick parts
and ready resources ; strong in doing and in suffering ;
but gentle and affectionate ; a support in adversity to
her husband ; and to her children a tender, a watchful,
but not an over-indulgent mother. How much they all
owed to her it is difficult to say. She lived to be the
mother of heroes, and was worthy of such a race.

To George and Margaret Malcolm ten sons and seven
daughters were born ; a healthy and a vigorous tribe, who
forded the Esk, clomb the steep hill-sides of Douglan and
Craig, and gambolled in the heather. There was a good
parish school in Westerkirk ; but, better still, there was
plenty of fresh air and free scope for exercise, and the
boys in early childhood, swimming in the flooded waters
of the river, or scampering about the country on rough
ponies, learnt lessons of independence, which were of
service to them to the end of their lives.

Of these boys, John was the fourth. He.was born on
the 2nd of May, 17G9.* If he was conspicuous for any-

* On llic clay after the birth of the tically a year of heroes. Napoleou Bo-
Duke of "Wcliiugtou. It was empha- napartc was boru in the same year.



THE FAMILY AT BURNFOOT. 5

thill o: in his cliildhood, it was less for a studious habit
than for a certain quickness of parts, which enabled him
to prepare his lessons as he trudged up the hill on his way
to school; and for that fearlessness of heart and activity
of body, the boyish result of which is commonly mischief.
The tradition is, that "Jock" was the scapegrace and the
scapegoat of the family. The "Westerkirk schoolmaster,
Mr. Archibald Graham, used to declare, whatever wild
pranks Avere committed, that " Jock was at the bottom
of them." No matter how little apparent his participation
in the exploit may have been, still the preceptor clung to
his formula, and exclaimed, " Jock's at the bottom of it."*

It mi2;ht well have been a matter of serious concern,
even to one in prosperous cu-cumstances, how to pro\T.de
for all these robust boys. To George Malcolm, after his
misfortunes, it was the study and anxiety of his life.
Fortunately he had many friends — friends in his own
native Eskdale, and friends in the great English metro-
polis. For the eldest boy, Robert, an appointment was
obtained as a writer in the service of the great Company
of Merchants trading to the East Indies. James, f the
second son, was provided for in the Marines, with a fair
field of distinguished service before him. For the third
boy, Pulteny,J a midshipman's berth was secured in a
man-of-war, and he was on the road to become a great
admiral, and one of England's best naval heroes. And
now, when yet only eleven years old, John was set down
in the Burnfoot book of fate for a military career in the
East.

Among Mr. Malcolm's friends, it has been said, were

* The schoolmaster lived to address have not, however, been able to authcu-

his old pupil as Sir Jolm. There is an ticate the details of this story,

anecdote in the family, that on the ap- f The late Sir James Malcolm,

pearance of his " History of Persia," K.C.B.

Malcolm sent a copy of it to ]Mr. Gra- J The late Admii-al Sir Pulteny Mal-

ham, with an inscription on the fly-leaf colm, G.C.B.
of "Jock's at the bottom of it." I



6 THE BOYHOOD OF JOHN MALCOLM.

the Jolinstones of Alva. One of the family was the well-
known " Governor Johnstone," whose influence at the
India-House was not unwillmgly exerted in behalf of the
tenant of Burnfoot. By him a nomination to the military
service of the Company was tendered to Mr. Malcolm for
his son John before the close of 1780;* but the extreme
youth of the boy rendered it doubtful whether the offer
could be turned to immediate accomit. The winter and
spring passed away, and Jock remained in Eskdale, at the
bottom of all the mischief as before. But in the course
of the summer a visitor appeared at Burnfoot, who pro-
posed to carry off the boy to London, and obtained the
parents' ready consent.

This was John Malcolm's maternal uncle, Mr. John
Pasley, a London merchant of high character and posi-
tion — a man of a kindly disposition and a generous nature,
who had rendered much good substantial service to the
Burnfoot party in their troubles, and whose knowledge
of business was yet to be exercised to the profit of the
younger members of the family. His summer visit to
Eskdale was now a momentous one. It was agreed that
Jock should return with his uncle to London. So mere
a child was he, that on the morning of his departure,
when the old nurse was combing his hair, she said to
him, " Now, Jock, my mon, be sure when ye are awa'

* John Johnstone to George Malcolm; point, that youn^ as Jolm is, it maybe
December 6th, 1780. " The enclosed, doing the best thing to embrace the
from my worthy brother, the Governor, offer. My brother's health is far from



Online LibraryJohn William KayeThe life and correspondence of Major-General Sir John Malcolm, G. C. B., late envoy to Persia, and governor of Bombay; (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 50)