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Documents and extracts illustrative of the British period of Indian history .. (Volume 1) online

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Documents and Extracts

Illustrative of the British Period




Part I.


" The roots of the present lie deep in the past, and nothing
in the past is dead to the man who would learn how the present
comes to be what it is. It is true, constitutional history has a point
of view, an insight, and a language of its own ; it reads tlie exploits
and characters of, men by 'a different light from that shed by the
false glare of arms, and interprets positions and facts in words that
are voiceless to. those who have only listened to the trumpet of


For the sober student, history is no mere record of chance hap-
penings. Events are only the exemplification of the working of
immutable laws.

The analysis and criticism of partisan records supply abundant
scope for the most severely scientific methods.

Ad2ims* ti'Evo/u/ion of Educational Theory.

Printed by R. Chatter] i.
The University Printing & Publishii^g Co., Ld.
J40/5 Bowbazar A i, Gan^adhur Babu Lane,


. T>5



The Hon'blr Justice
Sir Asutosh Mookerjee, Ka\,

C.S.I., M.A., D.I.., n. SC, K.R.A.S., F.R.S.E.,

Snraswati,, Sasfra-VacJuispaf't,
Vicc-CJiancellor of the University of Calcutta

whose sympathy has been an unfailing source of

inspiration tG>me in my historical and literary

studies, and who hds done .50 much for the

promotion of true education amon£^ his

countrymen, this unpretentious

collection is, by permission,

humbly dedicated.

Calcutta^ igi2. Compiler.


The object of the present compilation is to put
together in a compendious form a few of the more im-
portant documents which tend to throw Hght on the
British ,period of Indian History with special reference
to the times of Warren Hastings, CornwalJis and Wel-
lesley — the three Governors General with whose names
the rise and progress of British power in the East is
most intimately associated. At the same time an
attempt has been made to trace chronologically
through these documents the successive stages in the
constitutional development of British authority in India.
It may thus be hoped that these papers will, to some
extent, serve the purpose of a constitutional History of
British India. A good deal may, no doubt, be urged in
favour of the view that despatches and minutes and
such like contemporary records are but the dry bones
of history into which life has to be breathed through
the constructive imagination or the systematising genius
of some master-mind. But the educative value of the
examination of old records will hardly be disputed in
these d^ys. If history is to serve as a preparation for
citizenship in Modern India, no more fruitful method
ofstudy may be indicated to our younger generation
than the investigation of original sources of information,
involving, as it does, a careful sifting of evidence and
a careful weighing of conflicting arguments and
frequent appeals to our powers of judgment and to
our moral perceptions.

( ii )

The ideas with which modern sociological writers
have made us' familiar are those of evolution and
gradual development, and adaptation to circumstances
in the social and political organism, discernible in all
communities. The student of history would fain believe
that in India, as everywhere else, the present has
grown historically out of the past and that the course
of Indian History also is marked by the working out of
certain definite principles and the operation of certain
general causes. We would fain believe that out of the
union of the East and the West brought about by the
genius and energy of Clive and Hastings, certain
definite ideal as regards the government of dependcni-
cies and certain definite conceptions regarding the
nature and responsibilities of Empire are being evolved
in the English political world in accordance with the
march of events in English History since the days of
Lord North's Regulating Act of 1773.

The present compilation is an attempt to help to ,
promote the study of Indian Historv from these

That the present Government of India with its
complicated administrative machinery should have
grown out of a trading corporation not composed of
the best which England had to give to the ^ cause of
maritime adventure and colonial expansion, offers a
historical problem of the highest interest. Its study
cannot but be full of instruction and practical sugges-
tions for us all.

Calcutta, igi2.



Introductory —


i. Tl-^e founding of the East India Company ... i

ii. The Charter of Elizabeth .,, ... 3

II. Alalcohn's summary of the growth of the j^jolitical

power of the English in India ... ... 30

III. Before Plassey ... ... ... 32

IV. Plassey and after , ... ..' ... 58
V. The Dewany... ... . ••• ... 67

VI. The State of Bengal in 1772 ... ... 70

VII. The Regulatin

Online LibraryMantuanus BaptistaDocuments and extracts illustrative of the British period of Indian history .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 42)