Mountstuart Elphinstone.

Selections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir online

. (page 28 of 41)
Online LibraryMountstuart ElphinstoneSelections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir → online text (page 28 of 41)
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14th. We shall make the Dasara Puja together.

15tli. Invitations to marriages, etc., shall be first
given to me.

IGth. The Slieh'i given on P^its (marriages of widows,
or rather contracts answering the chief end of marriages)
is to be shared between us.

17th. The present of the Dhangars from their flocks
shall Ije equally shared by us.

IStli. Half the Giil and Til given on the San-
knmt shall be yours, and half mine. In this manner


yon and I, etc. (confirming the rights transferred to all

Then the witnesses' names.

Remark. A confirmation of this deed was granted by
former Governments, and the copy of the deed, above
translated, was found among the records.

(Signed) H. D. Kobertson.

Extract of a Letter, dated the dth March 1818, from
Captain llohertson, Provisional Collector at Puna, to
the Honourable M. Elphinstone.

On the nature of the tenures by which the land is
held by the Deccan Kunbis, my inquiries have been
more successful. The general divisions of husbandmen
are two — Thalkaris, or men who cultivate their own
fields ; and Kulwaris or Upris, men who labour on
lands not their own. The Thalkaris tenure is uniform ;
the occupancy of the Kulwari is of different kinds.

The Thalkari is also called a Mirasdar. Thai
signifies a field, and perhaps the literal meaning of
Thalkari is a man belonging to, or who labours in, a
field. The term Mirasdar is more expressive of the
actual condition of the Thalkari ; Miras signifying
patrimony, heritage, succession. But whatever argu-
ments could be adduced against the word Thalkari or
Mirasdar, as definitive of the condition of the person
known by these appellations, there can be no doubt
entertained of what that condition really is, for he is
considered, and acknowledged by the Government, to
have the propertj' of the lands he cultivates. I am j-et
uninformed, and perhaps it may never be clearly
established, at what period the Deccan landords acquired


their rights to the property of the soil, by purchasing'
it from the Government, or the viUage, or whether it
has ahvaj's been inherent to them, and that the Govern-
ment has either usurped their rights in some instances,
or broken through a custom of allowing lands lying
waste from a deficiency of population afterwards to
become the inheritance of the multiplying descendants
of the original number of land proprietors.

The Deccan landlord is proud of his situation, and
is envied among his brethren, who are the cultivators
of lands not their own : their feeling of attachment to
their fields is remarkably keen, and no consideration but
the utmost pecuniary distress will induce them to abandon
their rights of proprietorship. These rights are either
inherited or purchased, and it is a remarkable circum-
stance, that in the body of the deed of sale it is
invariably usual to record that he who sells his lands
has begged of him who buys them to become the
purchaser. It would seem that this information is
deemed requisite as a safeguard to the buyer, in conse-
quence of the known reluctance of all landlords to part
with their lands, to .show that no subterfuge was used
to force or trick them from the original proprietor. I
have the honour to enclose the translation of two deeds
of sale of land. The first has been executed and acted
on without any reference to the Government. The
second has been secured to a confirmation, first on the
part of the ruler during whose reign it was executed,
and afterwards by his successor. When a Thulkurree
dies without heirs, or leaves his native country to
reside in another, his lands become the property of the
village, unless the proprietor returns before thirty

The lands of the ])eccan villages arc all measured,
or supposed to be so. The village accounts are made


up by accounting for the disposition of its lands. Every
field lias a name. The lands are appraised according
to their quality of Utam, first rate, Madhyam, middling,
and Kanist, or poor land. The Thalkari pays laud-
rent to Government according to the extent and quality
of his lands. This land-rent is supposed to admit of
no increase.

The Kulwari ought probably to be pronounced
Kaulwari, which would signify a person holding a
Kaul or permission. The Kulwari, whatever be the
origin of his name, is, in fact, a farmer. He cultivated
lands not his own under different names, according to
the nature of his airreement.

Translation of a KJiaredi Patra, or Deed oj Purchase,
dated 1739 Shah Ishicar Nam Samivatchar Chaitra
Shuddya Tritid.

To Pandurang Eav Kamchandar Binge, of the village
of Underi Taraf Haveli Kriyat Mawal, Pargana Puna,
from Bheyji, the son of Mahadaji, and Madoji, the son
of Jagoji Kassid, of the same village. Sur San Saba
Ashar Maj^a Tain va Alaf, 122G FasaH.

A deed of purchase is executed to this effect for this
reason, that inasmuch as we formerly received from you
917 rupees on account of six Rukas of the Thai field,
called Gana, transferred to you along with the well in
mortgage for 27 years, and that at the end of the above-
mentioned period j^ou, having received from the enjoy-
ment of the land the value of your money, were to
restore it to us; and that as at this time Q>1 j-ears of


tlie period of the mortgage having expired, 20^ years
still remain, and we are reduced to distress and to the
chance of dying from want of food, we have now come
to yon, to fall on your neck and to petition jou, that as
you have a right to our land for 20 h years, and we are
reduced to want, you will in consequence of our joint
desire accept for ever of half — namely, three Rukas of
the land mortgaged to you, with half the well — on
condition that you will immediately yield your title to
the other half to us, making the price of the half we
give you up, on a calculation of what we should have to
pay, to redeem the whole six Rukas mortgaged for
20 2^ years, 675 rupees.

We, therefore, herehy give to you the land above-
mentioned for 675 rupees, the sum we may be said to
owe you for the whole land mortgaged, and with its
half the well attached to it, and the western half of the
tenement we possess, Thalkaris in the village, with
whatever walls there may be thereon, namely, by —
Hatlis in length from north to south, and twelve Haths
in breadth from west to cast. You are bound to pre-
serve all the customs of the village, and to conform
to particular customs heretofore established in respect
to the land and rights now made yours ; such as the
payment of the Sarki'ir's revenue, Purclapan, etc., the
rights of the Kulkarni, and the Balut of the Ba-
lutics ; and you will enjoy, you and your sons, and
your sons' sons, to future generations, the land above-
mentioned ; and on the ground in the village given to
3^ou, you will build a place, what you please, and be
undisturbed ; and we engage to be answerable for any
molestation given you by any of our friends or relations
so that you will sustain no injury. This deed of pur-
chase which we have written is valid (Sahi), dated the
loth of the month Jamadihikhar.



Written out in tlic handwriting of Gop;il Sicllieshwar
of the above-mentioned viUaii'e.


The Mukadams of the
said village Kusoji Bin
Sakoji Patil Kanwa, and
Khandoji Bin Villoji

Bheyie Bin Krishnoji
Pankur, of the same vil-
lage, etc., etc., etc.

(That is, signature shaped
so) Trimbakji Bin Es-
saji, the Carpenter. Ja-
noji Bin Piamjuellorary,
the Barber. Willoji Bin
Bherjuthi, Gurav Rama-
ji Bin Punja, the Currier,
etc., etc., etc.

(Signed) H. D. Robertson,


Translation of a Government Confirmation of the Deed of
Purchase of Land.

To the Deshmukh and Deshpande of the Prant of
Puna. Be it known that to you, Mahadaji Bin Na-
jojee and Namaji Bin Ansojee Shejeoul, Rayats of the
village of Wadki Taraf Haveli, there is an Inam-
patra and Minis-patra given as follows. (Here is
mentioned the year and date.)

You having come to Puna have represented that
both your grandfathers Raiji, alias Raghoji, and his
younger brother Chahuji, lived together in the year
1639, and that the Patils of the above-mentioned
village having been reduced to distress, accepted from
your said relations a sum of money, and voluntarily
gave them a portion of their lujim land, measuring
Ih Rukas and 7^ of Minis land, and that
having thus sold their lands a deed of purchase was


executed in the name of Raiji, alias Eaghoji, to the
following purport :

(Here follows a deed of purchase similar to Enclosure
No. 1.)

A deed of purchase of the above tenour having been
executed was confirmed in the j^ear Sursan Maya Wa
Alaf by the deceased, Baji Eav Pandit Pradhan
to your grandfathers, at which time Santaji's son
Makaji and Tukaji Patil having been brought to
the presence and asked what lands they had voluntarily
transferred to your grandfathers, stated as follows :

1st. — Part of our In;im lands, to equal to 1 1 Rukas,

viz., belonging to Makaji Patil - - Ruka ^

Ditto to Tukaji ditto - - - - - ,, 1

Rukas 1 ^
2nd.— Part of Miras land—

1. Of the field called Soandur, containing 24 - Rukas 6

2. Of the do. do. Kole Thai, containing 12 - „ 1-|

Ruk;is 7h

And 3rd. — A part of our premises in the village, 45 Haths long
and 40 broad.

Now you having brought a deed of purchase corre-
sponding with the above statement, and having all
produced a document executed by the deceased Baji
Piav, confirming its validity, and as you arc desirous
that the present Government should also testify the
same, it is hereby decreed that you and your sons and
descendants shall enjoy in Inam and in Miras the
lands, etc., according to the tenor of the confirmatory
act of the late Baji Piav Pandit Pradhan, and that
you shall continue to conform to the practices of the
village, in regard to the lands you have acquired.

(Signed) H. D. Robertson.


Extract of a Letter, dated the ^'iiid December, 1818, from
Captain Bri(j

Online LibraryMountstuart ElphinstoneSelections from the minutes and other official writings of the Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, governor of Bombay. With an introductory memoir → online text (page 28 of 41)