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SaI-T— Earth-salt— Saltpetre. Abkari and Opium— Arrack— Foreijjn liquor —
Toddy— Opinm and hemp-dru^s. Income-tax. Stamps.

The salt consumed in Madura comes chiefly from tlie factories
in the Tinnevelly district. The lighter Bombay product has
not so far entered into competition with this. The fact that the
frontiers of Pudukkottai and Travancore States both march in
places with those of Madura occasions no difficulty in the main-
tenance of the Government monopoly, for the Durbar of the
former State consented in 1887 to entirely prohibit the manufac-
ture of salt and salt-earth within its limits on condition of
receiving from the British Government an annual compensation of
Rs. 38,000 ; while that of the latter agreed, by a Convention of
1865, to adopt within the State the British Indian selling price.
In the one case, therefore, there is no salt to smuggle across the
frontier into Madura, and in the other there is no inducement to
smuggle it.

Earth-salt has never been largely manufactured illicitly in any
part of Madura except INIelur taluk, where alone salt-earth occurs
with any frequency. In this area, liowever, the temptation to
make it is considerable, as there are many places on the numerous
rocky hills which serve as admirable evaporating-pans and tha
local salt-eartli makes very pure and white salt. Formerly the
Kalians and Valaiyans of this part regularly made this ilKcit
product, and murderous affrays occurred in consequence between
them and the Police ; and only a few years ago some 70 cases of
illicit manufacture were detected in and about the one village of
K araiyapatti, about eight miles north-west of Melur.

The process of manufacture was tlie same as elsewhere, the
salt-earth being placed in a chatti in the bottom of which was a
small hole plugged with a bit of rag. Water was then stirred
with it, and the brine so formed filtered through the hole into a
smaller pot placed beneath, and was eventually evaporated in the
sun in shallow pans made on the rocks.

Saltpetre is only refined at one place in the district (a factory
owned by a Sh^nan at Kusavapalaiyam, a hamlet of Anuppanadi,


just south of Madura town) and operations tlierc are on a small CH iP. XII.
scale, less than 500 maunds being made in the latest year for Salt.
which figures are available.

Hound about Palni and Ayakkudi a good deal of crude salt-
petre is made by the ordinary process of lixiviating the alkaline
efflorescence of the soil, and this is sent to be refined at Dhara-
puram in the Coimbatore district, whence a good deal of it is
ultimately exported to the Nilgiris to be used as a manure on the
coffee-estates there.

The abkdri revenue of the district consists of that derived from AbkXri and
arrack, foreign liquor, toddy and hemp-drugs. Statistics regarding '^^^^' ^-
each of these items, and also concerning opium, will be found in the
separate Appendix to this Gazetteer.

The arrack revenue is managed under what is known as the Arrack,
contract distillery supply system, under which the exclusive
privilege of manufacture and supply of country spirits throughout
the district is disposed of by tender, and the right to open retail
shops is sold annually by auction. The successful tenderer at
present is M.H.Ey. T. Ratnasvami Nadar, who makes the arrack
from palmyra jaggery at his distillery at Tachanallur iu Tinnevelly
and supplies the district from a warehouse in Madura town.

No difficulties occur with Pudukkottai State. The arrack
made in the distillery there is about the same strength as the
Tachanallur brand, and the duty levied is nearly as high as in
British territory ; so prices on both sides of the frontier are fairly
equal. The case of Travancore is less simple, but the existing
rate of duty on this side of the boundary is not high enough to
encourage smuggling.

The supply of foreign liquor is controlled in the usual manner, Poroio-n
licenses to vend wholesale or retail being issued on payment of the li(|iior.
prescribed fees. This liquor all comes from Madras. It appears
to be growing in popularity with the richer of those classes which
are not prohibited by caste custom from touching strong waters,
and to be in some degree ousting the cheaper but harsher country

Since October 181)5 the toddy revenue has been managed on Toddy, ")
the tree-tax system, under which a tax is levied on every tree
tapped and the right to open retail shops is sold annually by
auction. The toddy is obtained chielly from cocoanut, but to
some extent from palmyra, palms. The number of the former
tapped is eight or ton times as many as that of the latter. Date
trees are never utilised, nor, except here and there in the Lower
Palnis, are sago palms. Cocoanut and palmyra toddy are never


CHAP. XII. blended in the sliops, but are sold separately, some consumers
AbkXri and preferring one, and some the otlier. The best cocoanut palms are
Opiuji. tliose in tlie neig-libourhood of Madura town, and along the
banks of the Yaigai, and toddy is sent from these, in casks by rail
and road, as far asMelurinthe north-east, Ramnad in the south-
east and Virudupatti in the south-west.

The toddy-drawers are all Shanans by caste, and their methods
do not differ from the ordinary. They employ Pallans, I'araiyans
and other low castes to help them transport the li(]uor, but
Musalmans and Brahmans have in several cases sufficiently set
aside the scruples enjoined by their respective faiths against
dealings in potent liquors to own retail shopo and (in the case
of some ivlusalmans, at least) to servo their customers witli tlieir
own hands.

Toddy shops sometimes proclaim their presence by a sign
consisting of the small earthen pot which is specially used for
toddy inverted on a long stick, v.'hile arrack shops similarly
disi^lay a glass bottle.

No smuggling appears to take place from Pudukkottai or
Travancore States. The former has adopted tlie tree-tax system
and the selling price of toddy differs but little on the two sides
of the frontier. The boundary of tho latter, where it adjoins
Madura, consists of a high range of hills on which toddy-
proclucing- trees do not grow and across which it would be a
difficult matter to smuggle a drink which keeps good for so short
a time.

The consumption of toddy is usually heaviest at the periods of
the year when paddy seedlings are transplanted into the fields
and when the paddy harvest is reaped. The cooly classes, the
chief consumers of this drink, have money in their pockets at
those seasons and moreover are so continuously at work that they
require a pick-me-up in the evening. Judged from the official
statistics of the incidence of the revenue therefrom per head of
the population, the consumption of toddy in Madura is compara-
tively small, and the similar incidence of the revenue from toddy
and arrack together is lower in this district than in any other in
the £outh except Tinnevelly.

A little sweet toddy and some palmy i a jaggery is made at
Paganattam and Nallur in tlie Dindigul taluk and at Saadaiyur
in Tiramangalam, where palmyra trees are plentiful, but practi-
cally nowhere else.
Opium and The sale of opium, ganja and poj)py heads is controlled on

einp-arugi-, ^^^ usual system.


Opium is supplied from tlie Madras storehouse, bliang from CHAP. XII.
the storehouse at Daggupad in the Guntiir district and ganja AuKifKi and

from this latter and that at Kaniyambadi in Nortli Arcot, where '

the crop from the Javadi hills is kept. Tlie consumption of ganja
in the district is considerable, owing cluefl}' to the number of
north-countrj boirdgU (who arc greatly addicted to it) who pass
through on their way to tlie sacred shrines at Madura, Palni and
Eamesvaram. Neither Pudukkottai nor Travancore produce
either opium or hemp-drugs, and they arc supplied with both
from the British storehouses. Consequently no difficulties about
smuggling arise.

Income-tax is levied and collected in the usual manner ; Income-tax.
statistics will be found in tlio separate Appendix to this volume.
Including tlie zamindaris of Eamnad and Sivaganga (separate
figures are not available for the other taluks by themselves) the
incidence of the tax per head of the population and per liead of the
tax-payers both in the triennium ending with 1901-02 and in that
ending with 1904-05 was higher in Madura than in any other
district in tiie Presidency but the Nilgiris and the Presidency town,
tlie circumstances of both of which are exceptional. This, however,
is largely due to the presence^ in the Tiruppattur and Tiruvadanai
divisions of Sivaganga, of large numbers of the wealthy Ndttukottai
Chettis. A special Deputy Collector has recently been appointed
to relieve the deputy tahsildars and the Divisional Officer of the
licavy work connected with the assessment to the tax of tliesc
pjeople, whose accounts and methods of business are complicated
and who trade all over India, Burma, Ceylon and the Straits Scttle-
^nents. The collection of the tax under Part II of the Act (profits
of Companies) is increased by the existence in the district of a
large number of ' Elanidhis,' or auction chit associations.

Botli judicial and non- judicial stamps are sold on the system Stamps.
usual elsewhere : statistics of the receipts will be found in the
separate Appendix. The amount of the revenue from stamps in
a district has with justice been held to be an index to its prosperity,
and judged by this criterion Madura is a wealthy tract ; for (includ-
ing again the Ramnad and Sivaganga zauiindaris) the receipts
within it from the sale of judicial stamps in tlie latest year for
which figures are available were higher than in any other district
in the Presidency except Tanjore and Malabar, and those from
non-judicial stamps were in excess of tlie figures of any district
excepting Malabar.



FoRMKR Courts. Civil Justice — Existing courts —Amount of litigatiou —
Registration. Criminal Justice — The various tribunals— Ciime — Criminal
castes. Police — Previous systems — The existing force. Jails. Appendix,
List of Judges.

CHAP. XIII. In tlie days before the Company acquired tlie district, there were

Former no reerular courts, either civil or criminaL In the time of the
' ' Nayakkans the poligars to wliom (see below) the responsibility for

the suppression of crime within their estates had been delegated
administered criminal justice in a rough and ready way and also
constituted the only civil tribunal available in rural parts. Suits
were also settled by arbitration, by the intervention of the friends
of both parties, by ordeals by fire, oil and water, or by one of the
sides swearing to the truth of his case before the god of some
temple. The Nayakkans appear, from native MSS., to have them-
selves held a kind of court at their capital in which quarrels were
settled, with the aid of learned Brdhman assessors, as far as
possible in accordance with the known customs of the caste or castes
concerned. Thus it is recorded that the king decided a dispute
between the Sedan weavers and another caste as to which of them
was entitled to precedence in receiving betel on public occasions,
and settled a quarrel between the Saivites and the Yaishnavites
regarding the placing of a certain image in the Piidu mantapam
at Madura.
Civil Under the Muhammadan governors who followed the Ndyakkans,

Justice. matters were apparently managed on an even more casual system.
For some time, too, after the British acquired the country there
were no regular courts. Rebels and freebooters seem to have been
dealt with by martial law, and other criminals were punished by the
Collector, who also settled such civil cases as were brought before
him. By the Regulations of 1802 which introduced Lord
Cornwallis' judicial system into Madras, the first Zilla Court was
established at Ramnad and the Collector's judicial powers were
abolished. In the Appendix to this chapter w^ill be found a list
of the Judges w^ho thenceforward administered justice in the
district. Appeals from the Zilla Court lay to the Provincial Court
at Trichinopoly. The former was soon moved from Ramnad to
Madura. Subsequent changes in the judicial system were the
Sftine in principle ae el&ewherC; and it is not necessary to trace


tliem in detail. In 1816 district munsifs were established in a CIIAP. XIIT.
few places under Regulation VI of that year. Act VII of 1843 Civir.
effected important alterations in the sj^'stem, the Provincial Courts usnr. .
of Appeal beino- abolished and new Zilla Courts established with
far wider powers than tlieir predecessors. The existino- District
and Sessions Court was established by the Act of 1873.

Besides this last tribunal there are in the district two Sub-Courts, Existing/
those of Madura (East) and Madura (West), the usual district and courts,
village munsifs J and revenue courts for the trial of suits under the
tenancy law, Act VIII of 1865.

The district munsifs are four in number; namely, those of
Dindigul, Madura, Periyakulam and Tirumangalam.

More village munsifs hear civil cases in Madura than in any
other district, and the Bench Courts established in 1895 under Act
I of 1889 at the various taluk head-quarters also try more suits
than the similar bodies in any other Collectorate.

!Madura is one of the most litigious areas in the Presidency. Amount of
Including the Eamnad and Sivaganga zamindaris, the ratio of ^it^i^ation.
suits to population is higher in this district than anj^iere else
except Tanjore, Malabar and Tinnevelly.

The registration of assurances is effected in the usual manner. Registration.
A District Eegistrar is located at Madura and there are eighteen
sub -registrars. The latter are stationed at the eight taluk head-
quarters and also at Vedasandur in Dindigul, Ponmeni and
Solavandan in Madura, Nattam in Meliir, Sattirapatti in Palni,
Bodindyakkanur and Uttamapdlaiyam in Periyakulam, and Kalli-
gudi, Peraiyur and Usilampatti in Tirumangalam.

The criminal tribunals are of the same classes as in other Criminat,
districts. Special magistrates exercise powers under the Towns J^st'ce.
Nuisances Acfc in Nattam and Bodinayakkanur. and benches with ^i-n^unals" '^
second-class powers sit at Dindigul and Madura.

The district is one of the most criminal in all Madras. An Crimc
average of ten years' statistics shows that tlie number of persons
who were convicted in it of the graver classes of crime was hii»-her
than in any other Collectorate, and that in respect to offences
against the public tranquillity it stood at the head of all the
districts ; in regard to thefts was second among thorn ; in respect
to murders, hurts and assaults and cattle thefts, ranked third ; was
fourth in other offences against property ; and fifth in culpable
lioraicides and dacoities.

The position of Madura in these tables is no doubt adversely
affected by the facts that the figures are absolute, and not worked




f'TTAP. XIII. out proportionatoly to tho popnlation, and tliai incliifling tho

Criminai, ]7ainnad and vSivaqan^a zamindaris tlie district is one of tlio most
Justice. • .t t-i • i t> j jit .i
j^opulons in t!io i rosulcnej. but nono tho Joss tlio rosults ai'o

strikinof. Dacoitios of ti'avollors on tlio ]>uLlic roads used nntil

roeontly to bo common, but the gangs v.-lrlcli infested tlio most

unsafe of tlio roads, tluit from Ainmayanayakkanur to I'eriyaaulam,

have now been Ijroken up and this class of crime is comparatively

rare. Special ' road talaijaris,' paid from Police Funds, still patrol

the Dindigul-Palni road.

Jail statistics amply prove that a very large proportion of the
crime is committed by one caste, the Kalians, and it is not too
much to say that if these people could by any miracle be reclaimed
from, their evil ways the district would immediately lose the
unenviable reputation it now possesses. Some account of the com-
munity and its methods has already been given on pp. 88-96 above.

The other criminal castes may be dismissed in a few words.
Tlie Maravans and Agamudaiyans, who are prominent in the
Ramnad zamindari and the north of Tinnevelly, commit but little
crime in ^Afadura. The Kuravans and Valaiyans give some trouble
in Palni taluk, the former being addicted chiefly to theft and the
latter being daring at house-dacoity, especially on the Coimbatore
border. A certain number of wandering gangs, composed of castes
who are generally classified as criminal, visit the district, but their
share of the crime committed is small. They are chiefly Oddes
(Woddahs) from Salem and Anantapur, Valaiyans from Coimbatore,
Dcisaris from the Nellore country and Togamalai Kuravans from
Trichinopoly. The last two, especially the T(%amalai Kuravans,
are often prominent at festivals, where they commit much
skilful petty theft among the pilgrims. Several other sub-divisions
of tlie Kuravans, such as those which practise ear-boring and
basket-making, are common in the district, but they are usually
harmless folk.

As in the other southelm districts of the Presidency, the only
police force in Madura in the days before tho Company acquired
the country was that supplied by what was known as the J;nmli
system. This was arranged as follows : In the days of the
Mayakkans, as has been explained in Chapter XI (p. 180) above,
the district was divided into a number of estates which
were handed over to chiefs called poligars on condition that they
collected the revenue, sent a certain proportion of this to the royal
exchequer, spent a part on maintaining a fixed cjuota of troops
ready for immediate active service, and were responsible for kdvali
or the maintenance of law and order, in their charges,




The last of these duties was usually fulfilled by appointing- a CHAP. XIII.
head Jcdvalgdr, or watchman, who was given land free of rent, and Police.
was authorized to collect certain periodical fees in money or kind
from the inhabitants on the understanding that he put down crime
and made good any property which was stolen. Under this head
kdmlgdr were a number of subordinate hdvalgdrs who received
similar emoluments and undertook a similar responsibility in each
village or group of villages.

After the downfall of the Nayakkans, the system was less
rigorously enforced, and it degenerated by degrees into little less
than the organized extortion of black-mail.

When the British took over the country they accordingly
resumed the inams and emoluments of the head kdvalgdrs, and
themselves took over their duties by appointing talaiyaris and
peons to guard the villagers from thefts. The system was a failure.
The talaiyaris were badly paid and worse supervised, and the
conflict between their revenue and police duties resulted in the
neglect of the latter.

The present police force, like that in other districts, was estab- The existing-
Hshed by Act XXIV of 1859. It is under the control of a ^"'■°^-
superintendent. As elsewhere, it includes a ' reserve ' of picked
men at head-quarters who are better drilled and armed than the
main body and would be of use in case of open disturbance of the
public peace.

The prisons of Madura comprise the District Jail at the head- Jails.
quarters, and the sub-jails at the stations of the tahsildars and
deputy tahsildars elsewhere.

The present District Jail stands (see the map facing p. 258) to
the north-east of Madura town and just north of the road thence
to Dindigul. The building- was begun in 1 866 with convict labour
and was finished, at a cost of about Es. 65,000, in December 1869.
A proposal to locate it on the race-course was thoug-ht to be
dangerous, since if an outbreak occurred among- the convicts when
the Vaigai was in flood it would not in those days have been
possible to cross the river to suppress it. The old District Jail
was in the building near the north-west corner of the temple which
is usually called ' Mangamm^l's Palace,' and the civil prisoners
remained in this even after the convicts had been transferred to
their new quarters.

In August 1872 the construction of separate wards at the new
jail for civil debtors was sanctioned, and these were completed in
1874-75 at a cost of nearly Es. 20,000. In 1882-83 separate
wards and solitary cells for female prisoners were built. They
cost Es. 10,000.






List of Judges.

No. Date.




20 Oct.


Mr. D. Cockburne.


5 Jnne


Mr. W. R. Irwin.


25 >5ept.


Mr. J. D'Acre (Acting).


31 (Jet.


Mr. W. R. Irwin.


18 Jau.


Mr. T. A. Oakes (Acting).


13 May


Mr. W. R Irwin.


2] May


Mr. E. Powney (Acting).


21 July


Mr. G. F. Cherry (Acting).


17 Aug.


Mr. E. Powney (Acting),


15 April


Mr. J. Long.

(No records.)


14 Sept.


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeare (Acting).


11 Nov.


Mr. J. Long.


6 Ang.


Mr. J. Riddell.


26 May


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeai-e (Acting).


7 March


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeare.

(No records.)


17 Jan.

J 822.

Mr. Q. W. Saunders (Acting)".


23 Feb.


Mr. W. 0. Shakespeare.

(No rec



18 July


Mr. S. Nicholls.


31 Au?.


Mr. H. Wroughton (In charge).


24 Oct.


Mr. S. Nicholls.


14 Feb.


Mr. W. R. Taylor (Acting)


22 Dec.


Mr. E. Bannerman (Acting).


27 March


Mr. A. E. Angelo (Acting).


2 June


Mr. E. Bannerman.


26 Dec.


Mr. J. C. Scott (Acting).


7 ilay


Mr. G. S. Hooper (Acting).


19 f eb.


.Mr. R. H. Williamscn (In charge).


17 March


Mr. J. C. Scctt (Acting).


28 July


Mr. G. S. Hooper.




Mr. E. P. Thompson (Acting).


5 Oct.


Mr. D. R. Limond (In charge).


20 Aug.


Mr. T. A. Anstruther (Acting).


6 Oct.


Mr. W. Elliott (Acting).


3 July


Mr. H. Babington.


24 Feb.


Mr. J. Horsley (Acting).


1 June


Mr G. F. Bishop (Acting).


6 July


Mr. J. Horsley.


16 Oct.


Mr. F. Copleston (In charge).


20 Oct.


Mr. J. G. S. Bruere (Acting).


2 March


Mr. W. Elliott (Acting^.


9 June


Mr. W, A. Forsyth (Acting).

(No records.)


9 Jan.


Mr. W. Douglas.


6 Sept.


Mr. W. Elliott (Acting).


10 Oct.


Mr. G. S. Hooper.




Mr. G. S. Greenway.




Ml-. C. R. Baynes.

* The entries Nos. 1 to 44 were prepared from the records available in the
Collector's office, and the date given against each officer is the date of the first
of the letters written by him to the Collector, and not that of his appointment.



juisi Of juages — cont.


-i Appendix.





Feb. 1855.

Mr. A. W. Phillips.


14 April 1855.

Mr. T. Clarke.


Oct. 1855.

Mr. H. D. Cook.


April 1856.

Mr. A. W.Phillips.


18 Jan. 1858.

Mr. D. Mayne.


11 March 1858.

Mr. R. K. Cotton.


17 Feb. 1864.

Mr. J. D. Goldingham.


1 March 1864.

Mr. C.E,. Polly.


1 Feb. 1865.

Mr. J. D. Goldingham.


May 1865

Mr. C. N. Pochin.


Oct. 1865.

Mr. 11. 11. Cotton.


April 1867

Mr. E. C. (t. Thomas.


June 1868.

Mr. G. P. Sharpe.


28 Sept. 1868.

Mr. J. H. Daniel.


1 Oct. 1868.

Mr. J. D. Goldingham.


23 Oct. 1872.

Mr. P. P. Hiitchins.


13 March 1874.

Mr. F. U. WoodrotTe.


30 July 1875.

Mr. H. W. Bliss.


1 Sept. 1875.

Mr. W. H. Glenny.


15 Dec. 1875.

Mr. P. P. Hutchins.


16 June 1879.

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