« ForrigeFortsæt »
tion of charges made against him by his rivals in was reasonable we should not lose sight of Mathe nabob's court, they having insinuated to the homed Reza Khân's past services; he has nabob, that a design was formed for deposing him “ sued the company's interest with steadiness and and placing Mahomed Reza on his throne; but diligence; his abilities qualify him to perform on examination the president and council declare, “ the most important services. The unavoidable that “ he had so openly and candidly accounted charges of his particular situation are great ; in “ for every rupee disbursed from the treasury, that dignity he stands second to the nabob only ;
they could not, without injury to his character, “ and as he engages to encrease the revenues, "and injustice to his conduct during his short “ without injustice or oppression, to more than the “ administration, refuse continuing him in a share “ amount of his salary, and to relinquish those " of the government."
advantages, to the amount of eight lacks of - V.
rupees per annum, which he heretofore enjoyed,
we thought it proper, in the distribution of That the company had reason to be satisfied salaries, to consider Mahomed Reza Khân in a with the arrangement made, so far as it regarded light superiour to the other ministers. We have him; the president and council having informed only to observe further, that great and enormous them, in the following year, in their letter of the
sum must appear, which we have allotted 9th of December 1766, that “ the large encrease “ for the support of the ministers of the govern“ of the revenue must, in a great measure, be ment, we will not hesitate to pronounce, that it is “ ascribed to Mr. Sykes's assiduity, and to Ma necessary
and reasonable, and will appear so on “ homed Reza Khan's profound knowledge in the “ the consideration of the power, which men emfinances."
ployed on these important services have, either VI.
“ to obstruct or promote the publick good, unless
“ their integrity be confirmed by the ties of gratiThat the then president and council, finding it “ tude and interest.” necessary to make several reforms in the adminis
VII. tration, were principally aided in the same by the suggestion, advice, and assistance of the said Ma That the said Mahomed Reza Khân continued, homed Reza Khân ; and, in their letter to the with the same diligence, spirit, and fidelity, to execourt of directors of the 24th of June 1767, they cute the trust reposed in him, which comprehended state their resolution of reducing the emoluments large proportion of the weight of government, of office, which before had arisen from a variety of and particularly of the collections; and his atpresents, and other perquisites, to fixed allowances; tachment to the interest of the company, and his and they state the merits of Mahomed Reza extensive knowledge, were again, in the course of Khân therein, as well as the importance, dignity, the year 1767, fully acknowledged and stated to and responsibility of his station, in the following the court of directors : and it further appears, manner :
that by an incessant application to business his “ Mahomed Reza Khân has now of himself, health was considerably impaired, which gave oc“ with great delicacy of honour, represented to us casion in the year following, that is, in February “ the evil consequences, that must ensue from the 1768, to a fresh acknowledgment of his services “ continuance of this practice; since, by suffering in these terms: “we must, in justice to Mahomed “ the principal officers of the government to de “ Reza Khân, express the high sense we entertain
pend for the support of their dignity on the pre- “ of his abilities, and of the indefatigable attention carious fund of perquisites, they, in a manner,
“ he has shewn in the execution of the important s oblige them to pursue oppressive and corrupt “ trust reposed in him; and we cannot but lament “ measures, equally injurious to the country and “ the prospect of losing his services from the pre“ the company; and they accordingly assigned sent declining state of his health.” “ twelve lacks of rupees for the maintenance and “ support of the said Mahomed Reza Khân, and
VIII. “ two other principal persons, who held in their “hands the most important employments of that That as in the encrease of the revenue the said
government; having regard to their elevated Mahomed Reza Khân was employed as a person “ stations, and to the expediency of supporting likely to improve the same without detriment to " them in all the shew and parade requisite to keep the people, so, when the state of any province “ up the authority and influence of their respective seemed to require a remission, he was employed as “offices, as they are all men of weight and con a person disposed to the relief of the people, with"sideration in the country, who held places of out fraud to the revenue; and this was expressed
great trust and profit under the former govern- by the president and council as follows, with relament. We further propose, by this act of ge- tion to the remissions granted in the province of
nerosity, to engage their cordial services, and Bahar; “ that the general knowledge of Mahomed “ confirm them steady in our interests, since they “ Reza Khan, in all matters relative to the Duan“ cannot hope, from the most successful ambition, nee revenues, induced us to consent to such de“ to rise to greater advantages by any chance “ ductions being made, from the general state of “ or revolution of affairs. At the same time it “ that province at the last poonah, as may be
“ deemed irrecoverable, or such as may procure | the resident at the nabob's court at Muxadavad, " an immediate relief and encouragement to the in a publick character and trust with the nabob, to ryots in the future cultivation of their lands." arrest in his capital, and at his court, and without
any previous notice given of any charge, his prinIX.
cipal minister, the aforesaid Mahomcd Reza Khân,
and to bring him down to Calcutta ; and he did That the said Mahomed Reza Khân, in the exe- carefully conceal his said proceedings from the cution of the said great and important trusts and knowledge of the board, on pretext of his not powers, was not so much as suspected of an am- being acquainted with their dispositions, and the bitious or encroaching spirit, which might make influence which he thought that the said Mahohim dangerous to the company's, then recent, med Reza Khân had amongst them. authority, or which might render his precedence injurious to the consideration due to his colleagues
XII. in office; but, on the contrary, it appears, that a plan having been adopted for dividing the admi That the said Warren Hastings, at the time he nistration, in order to remove the nabob's jealousies, gave his orders as aforesaid for arresting the said the same was in danger of being subverted by the Mahomed Reza Khân, did not take any measures ambition “ of two of his colleagues, and the exces
to compel the appearance of
persons as “ sive moderation of Mahomed Reza Khán.” And witnesses, declaring it as his opinion, “ that there for a remedy of the inconveniencies, which might “ would be little need of violence to obtain such arise from the excess of an accommodating temper,“ intelligence as they could give against their though attended with irreproachable integrity, the former master, when his authority is taken from president and council did send one of their own “ him ;” but he did afterwards, in excuse for the members, as their deputy, to the nabob of Bengal long detention and imprisonment of the said Maat his capital of Muxadavad ; and this measure homed Reza Khân, without any proofs having been appears to have been adopted for the support of obtained of his guilt, or measures taken to bring Mahomed Reza Khân, in consequence of an en
him to a trial, assure the directors, in direct conquiry made, and advice given, by Lord Clive, in tradiction to his former declaration, “ that the his letter of the 3d of July 1765; in which letter he“ influence of Mahomed Reza Khân still preexpresses himself of the said Mahomed Reza Khân“ vailed generally throughout the country, in as follows: “it is with pleasure I can acquaint “ the nabob's household, and at the capital, and
you, that the more I see of Mahomed Reza was scarcely affected by his present disgrace,” “ Khán, the stronger is my conviction of his --notwithstanding, as he, the said Hastings, “ honour and moderation ; but that, at the same doth confess, he had used his utmost endea"time, I cannot help observing, that either from vours“ to break that influence, by removing his
timidity, or an erroneous principle, he is too“ dependants, and putting the direction of all
ready to submit to encroachments upon that “ the affairs, that had been committed to his care, “ proportion of power, that has been allotted “ into the hands of the most powerful or active of
“ his enemies ; that he depended on the activity X.
“ of their hatred to Mahomed Reza Khân, incited
“ by the expectation of rewards, for investigating That the nabob Jaffier Ali Khân dying in Fe “ the conduct of the latter ; that with this the inbruary 1765, Mahomed Reza Khân was appointed “stitution of the new Duannee coincided, and guardian to his children, and administrator of his “ that the same principle had guided him in the office, or regent, which appointment the court of “ choice of Munny Begum and Rajah Gourdass, directors did approve. But the party opposite to “ the former for the chief administration, the latter Mahomed Reza Khân having continued to cabal“ [the son of Nundcomar, and a mere instrument against him, sundry accusations were framed rela “ in the hands of his father) for the Duannee of tive to oppression at the time of the famine, and “ the nabob's household, both the declared enemies for a balance due during his employment of collec- “ of Mahomed Reza Khân." tor of the revenues; upon which the directors did order him to be deprived of his office; and a strict
XIII. enquiry to be made into his conduct.
That although it might be true, that enemies will XI.
become the most active prosecutors, and as such
may, though under much guard and many preThat the said Warren Hastings, then lately ap- cautions, be used even as witnesses ; and that it pointed to the presidency, did, on the 1st of April, ought not to be an exception, supposing their chaand on the 24th of September 1772, write letters racter and capacity otherwise good, to the appointto the court of directors, informing them, that on ing them to power; yet to advance persons to the very next day after he had received (as he as power on the ground not of their honour and inserts) their private orders, “ addressed to himself tegrity, which might have produced the enmity “ alone,” and not to the board, he did dispatch, of bad men, but merely for the enmity itself, by express messengers, hisorders to Mr. Middleton, without any reference whatsoever to a lauda
ble cause, and even with a declared ill opinion | justice, and in consequence of letting the province of the morals of one of the party, such as was of Bengal in farm by the said Warren Hastings, actually delivered in the said letter by him, the said several dangerous and mischievous innovations Hastings, of Nundcomar, (and which, time has were made by him, the said Warren Hastings, and shewn, he might also on good ground have con- the criminal justice of the country was almost ceived of others,) was, in the circumstances of a wholly subverted, and great irregularities and criminal enquiry, a motive highly disgraceful to disorders did actually ensue. the honour of government, and destructive of impartial justice, by holding out the greatest of all
XVII. possible temptation to false accusation, to corrupt and factious conspiracies, to perjury, and to every That the council general, established by act of species of injustice and oppression.
parliament in the year 1773, did restore the said
Mahomed Reza Khan, with the consent and apXIV.
probation of the nabob, (but under a protest from
the said Warren Hastings,) to his liberty, and to That in consequence of the aforesaid motives, his offices, according to the spirit of the orders and others pretended, which were by no means a given by the court of directors as aforesaid ; and sufficient justification to the said Warren Hastings, the court of directors did approve of the said he did appoint the woman aforesaid, called Munny appointment, and did assure the said Mahomed Begum, who had been of the lowest and most Reza Khân of their favour and protection, as long discreditable order in society, according to the ideas as his conduct should merit the same, in the prevalent in India, but from whom he received seve- following terms; as “ the abilities of Mahomed ral sums of money, to be guardian to the nabob in “ Reza Khân have been sufficiently manifested; as preference to his own mother, and to administer the “ official experience qualifies him for so high a affairs of the government in the place of the said “ station in a more eminent degree than any other Mahomed Reza Khân, the second Mussulman in “ native with whom the company has been connectrank after the nabob, and the first in knowledge, “ed; and as no proofs of maleadministration have gravity, weight, and character, among the Mussul- “ been established against him, either during the men of that province. And in order to try every “ strict investigation of his conduct, or since his method, and to take every chance for his destruc- “ retirement, we cannot under all circumstances tion, the said Warren Hastings did maliciously and “ but approve your recommendation of him to oppressively keep him under confinement, for a " the nabob to constitute him his naib. We are part of the time, without any enquiry, and after- “ well pleased, that he has received that appointwards, with a slow and dilatory trial, for two ment, and authorize you to assure him of our years together.
favour, so long as a firm attachment to the inXV.
“ terest of the company, and a proper discharge
“ of the duties of his station, shall render him That notwithstanding a total revolution in the worthy of our protection.” And the said Mapower, in part avowedly made for his destruction, homed Reza Khấn did continue to execute the the persons appointed for his trial did, on full same without any complaint whatsoever of malenquiry, completely acquit the said Mahomed versation or negligence, in any manner or degree, Reza Khân of the criminal charges against him, in his said office. on account of which he had been so long perse
XVIII. cuted and confined, and suffered much in mind, body, and fortune; and the court of directors, in That in March 1778 the said Warren Hastings, their letter of the 3d of March 1775, testify their under colour, that the nabob had completed his satisfaction in the conduct and result of the said twentieth year, and had desired be placed in the enquiry, and did direct the restoration of the said entire and uncontrouled management of his own Mahomed Reza Khân to liberty, and to the offices, affairs, and that Mahomed Reza Khản should be which he had lately held, which comprehended the removed from his office, and that Munny Begum management of the nabob's household, and the his step-mother, the dancing-girl aforesaid, “ should general superintendency of the justice of Bengal; take on herself the management of the nizamut
“ but according to the orders of the court of direc- [the government and general superintendency of tors, his appointments were reduced to thirty criminal justice) without the interference of any thousand pounds a year, or thereabouts, of which person whatsoever;" and, notwithstanding the he did make grievous complaint on account of the contradictions in the pretended applications from expences attendant on his station, and the heavy the nabob, with whose incapacity for all affairs he debts, which he had been obliged to contract was well acquainted, did, in defiance of the orders during his unjust persecution and imprisonment of the court of directors, and without regard to aforesaid.
the infamy of an arrangement, made for the eviXVI.
dent and declared purpose of delivering not only
the family with the prince, but the government and That on the removal of the said Mahomed Reza justice of a great kingdom, into such insufficient, Khân from the superintendency of the criminal corrupt, and scandalous hands; and though he has
declared his opinion, “ that our national character “ others with kindness, just as they think proper to " is concerned in the character, which the nabob “ advise him : their view is, that, by compelling me “may obtain in the publick opinion,” on obtaining to displeasure at most unworthy treatment, they a majority in council, without any complaint, real may
force me either to relinquish my station, or or pretended, remove the said Mahomed Reza from to join with them, and act by their advice, and all his offices, and did partition his salary as a spoil appoint creatures of their recommendation to in the following manner :—to Munny Begum, the “ the different offices, from which they might draw dancing-girl aforesaid, an additional allowance of profit to themselves.” seventy-two thousand rupees [£.7,200) a year; to the nabob's own mother but half that sum,
XXI. that is to say, 36,000 rupees [£.3,600] a year ; to Rajah Gourdas, son of Nundcomar, (whom he That, in a subsequent letter to the governour, had described as a weak young man,) 72,000 the said superintendent of justice did inform him, rupees [£.7,200] a year, as controuler of the the said Warren Hastings, of the audacious and household; and to a magistrate, called Sudder ul corrupt manner, in which by violence, fraud, and Hock, who in real subserviency to the said Munny forgery, the eunuchs of Munny Begum had abused Begum was nominally to act in the department the nabob's name, to deprive the judicial and exeof criminal justice, 78,000 rupees [£.7,800] acutory officers of justice of the salaries, which they year; the total of which allowances exceeding the ought to have drawn from the company's treasury, salary of Mahomed Reza Khân by 18,000 rupees in the following words:-“The begum's ministers, [£.1,800) yearly, he did, for the corrupt and “ before my arrival, with the advice of their counscandalous purposes aforesaid, order the same to “sellors, caused the nabob to sign a receipt, in be made up from the company's treasury.
consequence of which they received, at two dif
“ferent times, near 50,000 rupees [£.5,000) in XIX.
“ the name of the officers of the adawlut, fous
dary, &c. from the company's circars ; and That Mr. Francis and Mr. Wheler having moved, having drawn up an account-current in the that the execution of the aforesaid arrangement, manner they wished, they had got the nabob to the whole expence of which, ordinary and extraor sign it, and sent it to me.” And in the same dinary, was charged upon the company's treasury, letter he asserts, “ that these people had the pabob and therefore could not be even colourably disposed“ entirely in their power." of at the pretended will of the said nabob, might be suspended until the pleasure of the court of
XXII. directors thereon should be known; and the same being resolved agreeably to law by a majority of That the said Warren Hastings, upon this reprethe council then present, the said Hastings, urging sentation, did, notwithstanding his late pretended on violently the immediate execution of his corrupt opinion of the fitness and the right of the nabob to project, and having obtained, by the return of the sole administration of his own affairs, authoritaRichard Barwell, Esquire, a majority in council in tively forbid him from any interference therein, and his own casting vote, did rescind the aforesaid re-ordered, that the whole should be left to the magissolution, and did carry into immediate execution trate aforesaid ; to which the nabob did, notwiththe aforesaid most unwarrantable, mischievous, standing his pretended independence, yield an imand scandalous design.
mediate and unreserved submission ; for the said
Hastings's order being given on the first of SeptemXX.
ber at Calcutta, he received an answer from Mux
adavad on the third, in the following terms : That the consequences, which might be expected Agreeably to your pleasure I have relinquished from such a plan of administration, did almost in “ all concern with the affairs of the fousdary stantly flow from it. For the person appointed to " and adawlut, leaving the entire management execute one of the offices, which had been filled by “ in Judder ul Hock's hands.” Which said cirMahomed Reza Khân, did soon find, that the cumstance, as well as many others, abundantly eunuchs of Munny Begum began to employ their proves, that all the nabob's actions were in truth power with superiority and insolence in all the and fact entirely governed by the influence of the concerns of government, and the administration of said Hastings; and that however the said Hastjustice, and did endeavour to dispose of the offices ings may have publickly discouraged the corrupt relative to the same for their corrupt purposes, and transactions of the said court, yet he did secretly to rob the nabob's servants of their due allowances; uphold the authority and influence of Munny Beand in his letter of the 1st September 1778, he sent gum, who did entirely direct, with his knowledge a complaint to the board, stating, “ that certain and countenance, all the proceedings therein. For “ bad men had gained an ascendency over the “ nabob's temper, by whose instigation he acts.”
XXIII. And after complaining of the slights he received from the nabob, he adds, “ thus they cause the That on the 13th of the same month of Septem“ nabob to treat me, sometimes with indignity, at ber he did receive a further complaint of the cor
rupt and fraudulent practices of the chief eunuch | another occasion he had requested him to permit of the said Munny Begum ; and these corrupt to remain in the hands which then held them) practices did so continue and encrease, that on the into his own disposal ; telling him, or rather the 10th of October 1778 he was obliged to confess, woman and eunuchs, who governed him, “ that if in the strongest terms, the pernicious consequences “ his Excellency has any plan for the manageof his before-created, unwarrantable, and illegal “ ment of the affairs in future, be pleased to comarrangements; for, in a letter of that date to the "municate it to me, and every attention shall be nabob, he expresses himself as follows : “At your “ paid to give your Excellency satisfaction.” By “ Excellency's request, I send Sudder ul Hock which means not only particular parts, as before, “ Khân to take on him the administration of the af- but the whole system of justice, was to be afloat, “ fairs of the adawlut and fouzdary, and hoped by and to be subject to the purposes of the aforesaid “ that means not only to have given satisfaction to corrupt cabal of women and eunuchs. “ your Excellency, but that, through his abilities “ and experience, these affairs would have been
XXV. “ conducted in such manner as to have secured " the peace of the country, and the happiness of That the court of directors, on receiving an ac“ the people; and it is with the greatest concern I count of the above arrangements, and being well “ learn, that this measure is so far from being at- apprized of the spirit, intention, and probable “tended with the expected advantages, that the effect of the same, did, in a clear, firm, and deci“ affairs both of the fouzdary and adawlut are sive manner, express their condemnation of the “in the greatest confusion imaginable, and daily measure, and their rejection and reprobation of “ robberies and murders are perpetrated through all the pretended grounds and reasons, on which “out the country. This is evidently owing to the the same was supported ; marking distinctly his “want of a proper authority in the person ap- prevarication and contradictions in the same, and “ pointed to superintend them. I therefore ad-pointing to him their full conviction of the unwor“ dressed your Excellency on the importance and thy motives, on which he had made so shameful “ delicacy of the affairs in question, and of the an arrangement; telling him, in the 17th para“ necessity of lodging full power in the hands of the graph of their general letter, of the 4th of February “person chosen to administer them ; in reply to 1779, “ the nabob's letters of the 25th and 30th “ which your Excellency expressed sentiments co “ of August, of the 3d of September, and 17th of “ incident with mine; notwithstanding which, “ November, leave us no doubt of the true design “your dependants and people, actuated by selfish “ of this extraordinary business being to bring “ and avaricious views, have by their interfer forward Munny Begum, and again to invest
ence so impeded the business, as to throw the “ her with improper power and influence, notwith“ whole country into a state of confusion ; from“ standing our former declaration, that so great “ which nothing can retrieve it but an unlimited a part of the nabob's allowance had been em
power lodged in the hands of the superinten “ bezzled and misapplied under her superintend“dent. I therefore request, that your Excellency
ence.” “ will give the strictest injunctions to all your de“ pendants not to interfere in any manner with
XXVI. “ any matter relative to the affairs of the adawlut " and fouzdary; and that you will yourself re That in consequence of the censure and con“ linquish all interference therein, and leave them demnation of the unwarrantable measures of the “ entirely to the management of Sudder ul Hock said Warren Hastings by the court of directors, “ Khân: this is absolutely necessary to restore
on the aforesaid and other weighty and substan“ the country to a state of tranquillity.” And he tial grounds, they did order and direct as follows, concluded by again recommending the nabob to in the 20th paragraph of the general letter of the withdraw all interference with the administrator same date : “ As we deem it for the welfare of aforesaid; “ otherwise a measure, which I adopt the country, that the office of naib soubadar
ed at your Excellency’s request, and with a view “ be for the present continued, and that this high “to your satisfaction, and the benefit of the coun “ office should be filled by a person of wisdom, “try, will be attended with quite contrary effects, experience, and of approved fidelity to the com“ and bring discredit on me.
pany; and as we have no reason to alter the
opinion given of Mahomed Reza Khân, in our XXIV.
“ letter of the 24th December 1776, we positively
direct, that you forth with signify to the nabob, That the said Hastings, in the letter aforesaid, “ Mobarek ul Dowla, our pleasure, that Mahomed in which he so strongly condemns the acts, and “ Reza Khân be immediately restored to the office so clearly marks out the mischievous effects of the “ of naib soubadar; and we further direct, that corrupt influence, under which alone the nabob “ Mahomed Reza Khân be again assured of the acted, and under which alone, from his known in “ continuance of our favours, so long as a firm capacity, and his dependence on the person sup
“ attachment to the interests of the company, and ported by the said Hastings, he could act, did a proper discharge of the duties of his station, propose to put all the offices of justice (which on “ shall render him worthy of our protection.”