Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

LIV.

representation, I fear the nabob's agents for that

“ business are very inattentive; I therefore think That the distresses of the said women grew so “ it requisite to make you acquainted with the urgent on the night of the said 6th of March,

the

“circumstance, that his Excellency the nabob day when the letter above recited was written, that may cause his agents to be more circumspect Captain Leonard Jaques aforesaid did think it “ in their conduct towards these poor unhappy necessary to write again, on the day following, to women.” the British resident, in the following words: “I beg leave to address you again concerning the

LIX. “ women in the khord mohul (the lesser palace). Their behaviour last night was so furious, that That, although the resident Bristow did not then “there seemed the greatest probability of their think himself authorized to remove the guard, he

proceeding to the uttermost extremities, and that did apply to the minister of the nabob, who did they would either throw themselves from the promise some relief to the women of the late nawalls, or force open the doors of the zenanah. bob, confined in the lesser palace : but apprehend

I have made every enquiry concerning the cause ing with reason, that the minister aforesaid might “ of their complaints, and find from Lattafit Ally not be more ready or active in making the neces“ Khân, that they are in a starving condition, sary provision for them than on former occasions, having sold all their clothes and necessaries, he did render himself personally responsible to and now have not wherewithal to support na- Major Gilpin for the repayment of any sum, equal ture ; and as my instructions are quite silent to one thousand pounds sterling, which he might

on this head, I should be glad to know how to procure for the subsistence of the sufferers. But “ proceed in case they were to force the doors of whatever relief was given (the amount thereof not " the zenanah, as I suspect it will happen, appearing) the same was soon exhausted ; and the “ should no subsistence be very quickly sent to number of persons to be maintained in the said " them.”

lesser palace being eight hundred women, the LV.

women of the late sovereign, Sujah ul Dowla, and

several of the younger children of the said soveThat in consequence of these representations it reign prince, besides their attendants, Major Gilappears, that the said resident, Richard Johnson, pin was obliged, on the fifteenth of November foldid promise, that an application should be made lowing, again to address the resident by a repreto certain of the servants of the nabob vizier to sentation of this tenour : “ Sir, the repeated cries provide for their subsistence.

“ of the women in the khord mohul zenanah for

“ subsistence have been truly melancholy. LVI.

LX. That Captain Jaques being relieved from the duty of imprisoning the women of Suja ul Dowla, They beg most piteously for liberty, that the late sovereign of Oude, and ally of the com they may earn their daily bread by laborious pany, who dwelt in the said lesser palace, and Ma servitude, or to be relieved from their misery jor Gilpin being appointed to succeed, the same " by immediate death. malicious design of destroying the said women, or the same scandalous neglect of their preservation

LXI. and subsistence, did. still continue ; and Major Gilpin found it necessary to apply to the new re “In consequence of their unhappy situation, I sident Bristow, in a letter of the 30th of October “ have this day taken the liberty of drawing on 1782, as follows:

you in favour of Ramnarain, at ten days sight,

“ for twenty Son Kerah rupees, ten thousand of LVII.

“ which I have paid to Cojah Latafut Ally Cawn,

“ under whose charge that zenanah is.” Sir, “ Last night about eight o'clock the women in

LXII. “ the khord mohul [lesser palace) or zenanah “ (women's apartment) under the charge of La That, notwithstanding all the promises and re“ tafut Ally Khân, assembled on the tops of the iterated engagements of the minister Hyder Beg

buildings, crying in a most lamentabie manner Khân, the ladies of the palace aforesaid fell again for food, that for the last four days they had into extreme distress; and the resident did again got but a very scanty allowance, and that complain to the said minister, who was considered yesterday they had got none.

to be, and really and substantially was, the minis

ter of the governour-general Warren Hastings LVIII.

aforesaid, and not of the nabob, (the said nabob

being, according to the said Hastings's own acThe melancholy cries of famine are more count, “a cipher in his [the said minister's] easily imagined than described ; and from their “ hands,)” that the funds allowed for their sub

sistence were not applied to their support. But notwithstanding all these repeated complaints and remonstrances, and the constant promise of amendment on the part of his the said Hastings's, minister, the supply was not more plentiful or more regular than before.

LXVIII. “ If the prayers of these poor men will avail, you will, at the LAST TRUMP! be translated to “ the happiest regions in heaven.”

LXIII.

LXIX.

Mr. Bristow's

1782

That the said resident Bristow, finding by ex- And the resident Bristow, knowing how acceptperience the inefficacy of the courses, which had able the said proceeding would be to all the peobeen pursued with regard to the mother and grand-ple of Oude, and the neighbouring independent mother of the reigning prince of Oude, and having countries, did generously and politi- Mr. Bristow's Major Gilpin's received a report from Major Gilpin cally (though not truly) in his letter letter, 12 Dec. letter , 18 Nov. informing him, that all, which could to the princess mother attribute the 1782

be done by force, had been done ; said relief given to herself, and the release of her and that the only hope, which remained for real- ministers, to the humanity of the said Warren izing the remainder of the money, unjustly ex- Hastings, agreeably to whose orders he pretended

acted as aforesaid, lay in more lenient to act ; asserting, that he the said Hastings “ was letter, 2d Dec. methods; he, the said resident, did, of “ the spring from whence she was restored to her his own authority, order the removal

“ dignity and consequence." And the account of the guard from the palaces, the troops being of the proceedings aforesaid was regularly translong and much wanted for the defence of the mitted to the said Warren Hastings on the 30th frontier, and other material services; and did re- of December 1782, with the reasons and motives lease the said ministers of the said women of rank, thereto, and a copy of the report of the officer who had been confined and put in irons, and va- concerning the inutility of further force, attended riously distressed and persecuted, as afore recited, with sundry documents concerning the famishing, for near twelve months.

and other treatment, of the women and children

of the late sovereign; but the same appear to LXIV.

have made no proper impression on the mind of

the said Warren Hastings : for no answer whatThat the manner in which the said inhuman

soever was given to the said letter until the 3d of acts of rapacity and violence were felt, both by the March 1783, when the said Hastings, writing in women of high rank concerned, and by all the his own character and that of the council, did enpeople, strongly appears in the joy expressed on tirely pass by all the circumstances before recited, their release, which took place on the 5th of De- but did give directions for the renewal of measures cember 1782 ; and is stated in two letters of that of the like nature and tendency with those, which date from Major Gilpin to the resident, in the (for several of the last months at least of the said words following:

proceeding) had been employed with so little adLXV.

vantage to the interest, and with so much injury to

the reputation, of the company, his masters, in “ I have to acknowledge the receipt of your whose name he acted; expressing himself in the “ letter of the 2d instant, and in consequence im- said letter of the 3d of March 1783, as follows: “mediately enlarged the prisoners Behar Ally “ We desire you will inform us what means have “Khân and Jewar Ally Khản from their confine- “ been taken for recovering the balance (the pre“ment; a circumstance, that gave the begums, “ tended balance of the extorted money] due from "and the city of Fyzabad in general, the greatest “the begums (princesses) at Fyzabad; and, if “ satisfaction.

necessary, you must recommend it to the vizier LXVI.

to enforce the most effectual means for that

purpose." And the resident did, in his answer “In tears of joy Behar and Jewar Ally Khân to the board, dated 31st March 1783, “ expressed their sincere acknowledgments to the peremptory order, again detail the particulars

governour-general, his Excellency the nabob aforesaid to the said Warren Hastings, referring “ vizier, and to you, Sir

, for restoring them to that him to his former correspondence, stating the utter “invaluable blessing, liberty, for which they would impossibility of proceeding further by force, and

ever retain the most grateful remembrance ; mentioning certain other disgraceful and oppres" and at their request I transmit you the enclosed sive circumstances; and in particular, that the so letters.

company did not, in plundering the mother of the LXVII.

reigning prince of her wearing apparel and beasts

of carriage, receive a value in the least equal to “I wish you had been present at the enlarge- the loss she suffered ; the elephants having no “ment of the prisoners. The quivering lips, with buyer but the nabob, and the clothes, which had “the tears of joy stealing down the poor men's last been delivered to Middleton at a valuation of “ cheeks, was a scene truly affecting.

thirty thousand pounds, were so damaged by ill

on this

enced great

keeping in warehouses, that they could not be sold, " and that it was unavoidable at the time;"—the even for six months credit, at much more than said minister declaring to him, that it would be about eight thousand pounds; by which a loss in sufficient if he allowed them “money for their a single article was incurred of twenty-two thou necessary expences, and that would be doing sand pounds out of the fifty, for the recovery of " enough. which (supposing it had been a just debt) such

LXXI. rigorous means had been employed, after having actually received upwards of five hundred thousand That the faith given for the restoration of their pounds in value to the company, and extorted landed estates being thus violated, and the money much more in loss to the suffering individuals. for necessary expences being as ill supplied as And the said Bristow, being well acquainted with before, the women and children of the the unmerciful temper of the said Hastings, in late sovereign, father of the reigning ter, 29th Jan. order to leave no means untried to appease him, prince, continued exposed to fre- 1784, with ennot contented with the letter to the governour- quent want of the common necesgeneral and council, did on the same day write saries of life; and, being sorely pressed by famine, another letter to him particularly, in which he they were compelled to break through all the prindid urge several arguments, the necessity of using ciples of local decorum and reserve, which constiof which to the said Hastings did reflect great dis- tute the dignity of the female sex in that part of honour on this nation, and on the christian reli- the world, and after great clamour and violent gion therein professed ; viz. “ that he had experi- attempts, for one whole day, to break the enclo

embarrassment in treating with her sure of the palace, and to force their way into the “the mother of the reigning prince]; for, as the publick market, in order to move the compassion “ mother of the vizier, the people look up to her of the people, and to beg their bread, they did, " with great respect; and any hard measures, on the next day, actually proceed to the extre

practised against women of her high rank, create mity of exposing themselves to publick viewman "discontent, and affect our national character.” extremity, implying the lowest state of disgrace And the said resident, after condemning very and degradation; to avoid which many women in unjustly her conduct, added, “ still she is the India have laid violent hands

upon

themselves -"mother of the prince of the country, and the and they did proceed to the publick market-place

religious prejudices of Mussulmen prevail too with the starving children of the late sovereign, “strongly in their minds to forget her situation.” and the brothers and sisters of the reigning prince !

-A minute account of the transaction aforesaid LXX.

was written to the British resident at Lucknow

by the person appointed to convey intelligence to That the said Warren Hastings did not make him from Fyzabad, in the following particulars, any answer to the said letter. But the mother of highly disgraceful to the honour, justice, and huthe prince aforesaid, as well as the mother of his manity of this nation : father, being, in consequence of his the said Hastings's directions, incessantly and rudely pressed

LXXII. by their descendant, in the name of the company, to pay to the last farthing of the demand, they did “The ladies, their attendants, and servants, both positively refuse to pay any part of the pre were still as clamorous as last night. Letafut, tended balances aforesaid, until their landed estates “the daroga, went to them and remonstrated were restored to them; on the security of which “ with them on the impropriety of their conduct, alone they alleged themselves to be in a condition “ at the same time assuring them, that in a few to borrow any money, or even to provide for the days all their allowances would be paid ; and, subsistence of themselves and their numerous de “ should not that be the case, he would advance pendants. And in order to put some end to these " them ten days subsistence, upon condition that differences, the vizier did himself, about the be they returned to their habitation. None of ginning of August 1783, go to Fyzabad, and did them, however, consented to his proposals; but hold divers conferences with his parents, and did were still intent upon making their escape consent and engage to restore to them their landed “ through the bazar (market-place), and in conestates aforesaid ; and did issue an order, that they sequence formed themselves into a line, arrangshould be restored accordingly: but his minister “ing themselves in the following order : the chilaforesaid, having before his eyes the peremptory “ dren in the front; behind them the ladies of the orders of him the said Warren Hastings, did per seraglio; and behind them again their attendsuade his master to dishonour himself in breaking“ ants; but their intentions were frustrated by his faith and engagement with his mother and “ the opposition which they met from Letafut's mother of his father, by first evading the execution,“ sepoys. and afterwards totally revoking his

LXXIII. Shoka from the vizier to Hyder said publick and solemn act, on preBez Khan, 24 tence, that he had agreed to the grant “ The next day Letafutwent twice to the

“ from shame, being in their presence, women, and used his endeavours to make them " [the presence of his mother and grandmother,] return into the zenanah, promising to advance

.

more

[ocr errors]

~ them 10,000 rupees ; which, upon the money “ being exposed to the view of the rabble. Upon “ being paid down, they agreed to comply with; “ which Letafut produced the letter from the “but night coming on, nothing transpired. “ nabob, at the same time representing, that he

was amenable only to the orders of his ExcelLXXIV.

lency, and that whatever he ordered it was his

duty to obey; and that had the ladies thought On the day following their clamours were proper to have retired into their apartments

violent than usual. Letafut went to con quietly, he would not have used the means he “ sult with them on the business of yesterday, “ had taken to compel them. The begum again

offering the same terms. Depending upon the “ observed, that what had happened was now fidelity of his promises, they consented to return over. She then gave the children 400 rupees, to their apartments, which they accordingly did, “ and dismissed them, and sent word by Jumrud

except two or three of the ladies, and most of “ and the other eunuchs, that if the ladies would “ their attendants. Letafut then went to Hush “ peaceably retire to their apartments, Letafut “mund Ally Cawn, to consult with him upon “ would supply them with 3 or 4,000 rupees for “ what means they should take. They came to a re “ their personal expences, and recommended to “ solution of driving them in by force; and gave them not to incur any further disgrace, and that “ orders to their sepoys to beat any one of the “ if they did not think proper to act agreeably to

women, who should attempt to move forward. “ her directions, they would do wrong. The ladies “The sepoys consequently assembled ; and, each “ followed her advice, and about ten at night

one being provided with a bludgeon, they drove “ went back into the zenanah. The next morn“ them by dint of beating into the zenanah. The ing the begum waited upon the mother of Shuja

women seeing the treachery of Letafut, pro- “ Dowla, and related to her all the circumstances “ ceeded to throw stones and bricks at the sepoys, “ of the disturbances. The mother of Shuja “ and again attempted to get out; but finding “ Dowla returned for answer, that after there being " that impossible from the gates being shut, they no accounts kept of crores of revenues, she was

kept up a continual discharge of stones and “not surprised, that the family of Shuja Dowla, “ bricks till about ten ; when finding their situa “ in their endeavours to procure a subsistence, “tion desperate, they retired into the kung mohul, “ should be obliged to expose themselves to the “ and forced their way from thence into the pa " meanest of the people. After bewailing their “ lace, and dispersed themselves about the house “ misfortunes, and shedding many tears, the begum " and garden; after this they were desirous of took her leave, and returned home.” “ getting into the begum's apartment, but she be That the said affecting narrative being sent with

ing apprized of their intention ordered her doors others of the same nature, on the 29th of January “ to be shut. In the mean time, Letafut and 1784, to the said Warren Hastings, he did not “ Hushmund Ally Cawn posted sentries to secure order any relief in consequence thereof, or take “ the gates of the lesser mahal. During the whole any sort of notice whatsoever of the said intelli“ of this conflict, all the ladies and women re gence. “mained exposed to the view of the sepoys. The

LXXV. begum then sent for Letafut and Hushmund Ally Cawn, whom she severely reprimanded,

That the court of directors did express strong “ and insisted upon knowing the causes of this doubts of the propriety of seizing the estates afore“ infamous behaviour. They pleaded in their de- said, and did declare to him the said Hastings, “ fence the impossibility of helping it, as the “ that the only consolation they felt on the occa“ treatment the women had met with had been “sion is, that the amount of those jaghires, for “ conformable to his Excellency the vizier's orders. which the company were guarantees, is to be “The begum alleged, that even admitting that through our resident at the court of the vizier ; “ the nabob had given those orders, they were “ and it very materially concerns the credit of

by no means authorized in this manner to dis your governour on no account to suffer such grace the family of Shuja Dowla; and should

payments to be evaded.But the said Warren they not receive their allowance for a day or Hastings did never make the arrangement suptwo, it could be of no great moment: what was posed in the said letter to be actually made, nor

passed was now at an end; but that the vizier did he cause the resident to pay them the amount “should certainly be acquainted with the whole of their jaghires, or to make any payment to them. “ of the affair, and that whatever he desired she And the said Hastings being expressly ordered “ should implicitly comply with. The begum by the court of directors to restore to them their " then sent for five of the children, who were estates, in case the charges made upon

them should “ wounded in the affray of last night, and, after not be found true, he the said Hastings did con“ endeavouring to sooth them, she sent again for tumaciously and cruelly decline any compliance “ Letafut and Hushmund Ally Cawn, and in the with the said orders until his journey to Lucknow,

presence of the children expressed her disap- when he did, as he says, "conformably to the

probation of their conduct, and the improbabi “ orders of the court of directors, and more to “ lity of Asuf ul Dowla's suffering the ladies and " the inclination of the nabob vizier, restore to “ children of Shuja Dowla to be disgraced by “ them their jaghires, but with the defalcation,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ according to his own account, of a large portion" and dignity of this government is so materially “ of their respective shares ;" pretending, without concerned ; and that such information may be the least probability, that the said defalcation was “ transmitted to the court of directors.” And he a voluntary concession on their part.” But did further propose heads and modes of enquiry, what he has left to them for their support, or in suitable to the doubts expressed by the court of what proportion to that which he has taken away, directors. But the said Warren Hastings, who he has no where stated to the court of directors, ought long before, on principles of natural justice, whose faith he has broken, and whose orders he to have instituted a diligent enquiry in support of has thus eluded, whilst he pretended to yield some his so improbable a charge, and was bound, even obedience to them.

for his own honour, as well as for the satisfaction

of the court of directors, to take a strong part in LXXVI.

the said enquiry, did set himself in opposition to That the said Warren Hastings having made a the same, and did carry with him a majority of malicious, loose, and ill-supported charge, backed council against the said enquiry into the justice of by certain unsatisfactory affidavits, as a ground for the cause, or any proposition for the relief of the his seizing on the jaghires, and the treasures of the sufferers ; asserting, that the reasons of the vizier's mother, solemnly guarantied to them; the “ court of directors, if transmitted with the orders court of directors did, in their letter of the 14th “ for the enquiry, will prove in effect an order for of February 1783, express themselves as follows “ collecting evidence to the justification and acconcerning that measure ;—“ which the gover- quittal of the begums, and not for the investi“ nour-general (he the said Warren Hastings) in gation of the truth of the charges, which have “ his letter to your board, the 23d of January been preferred against them." That Mr. “ 1782, has declared he strenuously encouraged Stables did not propose, (as in the said Hastings's and supported; we hope and trust, for the ho- minute is groundlessly supposed,) that the reasons

nour of the British nation, that the measure of the court of directors should be transmitted

appeared fully justified in the eyes of all Hin- with the orders for an enquiry. But the appre“ dostan. The governour-general has informed hension of the said Warren Hastings of the pro“ us, that it can be well attested, that the begums bable result of the enquiry proposed did strongly

(the mother and grandmother of the nabob indicate his sense of his own guilt, and the inno

aforesaid) principally excited and supported the cence of the parties accused by him; and if, by “ late commotions; and that they carried their his construction, Mr. Stables's minute did indicate

inveteracy to the English nation so far, as to aim an inquiry merely for the justification of the at our utter extirpation.”—And the court of parties by him accused, (which construction the directors did further declare as follows :-“ that motion did not bear,) it was no more than what the “ it no where appears from the papers at present obvious rules of justice would well support; bis “ in our possession, that they (the mother and own proceedings having been ex parte ; he having

grandmother of the nabob of Oude) excited employed Sir Elijah Impey to take affidavits

any commotions previous to the imprisonment against the women of high rank aforesaid, not only of Rajah Cheit Sing, and only armed themselves without any enquiry made on their part, but with “ in consequence of that transaction; and it is out any communication to them of his practice “ probable, that such a conduct proceeded from and proceedings against them; and equity did at “ motives of self-defence, under an apprehension, least require, that they, with his own knowledge, “ that they themselves might likewise be laid and by the subordinates of his own government, “ under unwarrantable contributions.”—And the should be allowed a publick inquiry to acquit themsaid court of directors, in giving their orders for selves of the heavy offences, with which they had the restoration of the jaghires, or for the payment been by him clandestinely charged. of an equivalent through the resident, did give this order for the restoration of their estates as

LXXVII. aforesaid on condition, that it should appear from enquiry, that they were not guilty of the That he, the said Hastings, in order to effecpractices charged upon them by the said Hastings. tually stifle the said enquiry,

did enter on record a Mr. Stables, one of the council general, did, in further minute, asserting, that the said enquiry execution of the said conditional order, propose an would be productive “ of evils greater than any enquiry, leading to the ascertainment of the con- “ which have already taken place, and which time dition, and did enter a minute as follows: “ that has almost obliterated;" as also the following-“ the court of directors, by their letters of the “ If I am rightly informed, the nabob vizier and “ 14th of February 1784, seem not to be satisfied, “ the begums are on terms of mutual good-will. "s that the disaffection of the begums to this go- “ It would ill become this government to intervernment is sufficiently proved by the evidence“ pose its influence by any act, which might tend “ before them; I therefore think, that the late to revive their animosities, and a very slight " and present resident, and commanding officer “ occasion would be sufficient to effect it. They " in the vizier's country at the time, should be “ will instantly take fire on such a declaration, " called on to collect what further information “ proclaim the judgment of the company in their " they can on this subject, in which the honour |“ favour, demand a reparation of the acts, which

VOL. II.

K

« ForrigeFortsæt »