Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

quire an influence over the rajah, and over his written to the resident at Benares signifying, that

country, which would in effect render him the they had ordered the proper instruments to be “ master of both. This consequence might not prepared, specifying the terms concerning the re“ perhaps be brought completely to pass without mittance of the rajah's tribute to Calcutta, as well " a struggle and many appeals to council, which as the several other conditions, which had been “ in a government constituted like this cannot fail already agreed to; and that they should forto terminate against the rajah; and, by the “ ward it to him, to be delivered to the rajah.”

construction, to which his opposition to the And on the 20th of March following, the board agent would be liable, might eventually draw on did again explain the terms of the said tribute in him severe restrictions, and reduce him to the a letter to the court of directors; and did add, mean and depraved state of a mere zemindar.“ that a sannud (grant or patent) for his (Cheit

Sing's) zemindary should be furnished him on X.

these, and the conditions before agreed on.

That in order to satisfy the said rajah of the

XIII. intentions of the company towards him, and of the true sense and construction of the grants to him, That during the course of the transactions aforethe said rajah, to be made, the governour-gene- said in council, and the various assurances given ral (he the said Warren Hastings) and council to the rajah and the court of directors, certain did, on the 24th August 1775, instruct Mr. Fowke, improper and fraudulent practices were used with the resident at the rajah's court, in the following regard to the symbols of investiture, which ought words: “ It is proper to assure the rajah we do to have been given, and the form of the deeds, by “ not mean to encrease his tribute, but to require which the said zemindary ought to have been “ from him an exact sum. That, under the sove- granted; for it appears, that the original deeds “ reignty of the company, we are determined to were signed by the board on the 4th September “ leave him the free and uncontrouled management 1775, and transmitted to Mr. Fowke, the resident “ of the internal government of his country, and at the rajah's court; and that, on the 20th of “ the collection and regulation of the revenues, so November following, the court of directors were “ long as he adheres to the terms of his engage acquainted by the said Warren Hastings and the “ment; and will never demand any augmentation council, that Rajah Cheit Sing had been invested “ of the annual tribute, which may be fixed.” with the sannud (charters or patents) for his

zemindary, and the kellaut (or robes of investiXI.

ture) in all the proper forms. But, on the 1st of

October 1775, 'the rajah did complain to the That the said Warren Hastings and the council governour-general and council, that the kellaut general, not being satisfied with having instructed (or robes) with which he was to be invested acthe resident to make the representation aforesaid, cording to their order, is not of the same kind, to remove all suspicion, that by the new grants as that which he received from the last vizier any attempt should insidiously be made to change “ on the like occasion.". In consequence of the his former tenure, did resolve, that a letter should said complaint, the board did, in their letter to the be written by the governour-general himself to the resident of the 11th of the same month, desire rajah of Benares, to be delivered to Mr. Fowke him “to make enquiry respecting the nature of the the resident, together with his credentials; in kellaut, and invest him with one of the same which letter they declare “the board willing to “sort, on the part of this government, instead of “continue the grant of the zemindary to him in as “ that which they formerly described to him."

full and amplc a manner as he possessed it from And it appears highly probable, that the instruformer sovereigns ; and on his paying the annual ments which accompanied the said robes of in“ tribute, &c.” And in explaining the reasons for vestiture, were made in a manner conformable to granting to him the mint and criminal justice, they the orders and directions of the board, and the inform him, that this is done in order “ that he conditions by them agreed to; as the rajah, who “ may possess an uncontrouled and free authority complained of the insufficiency of the robes, did " in the regulation and government of his zemin make no complaint of the insufficiency of the “ dary."

instruments, or of any deviation in them from those

he had formerly received from the vizier. But XII.

a copy or duplicate of the said deeds, or instru

ments, was in some manner surreptitiously disposed That on the 26th February 1776 the board and of, and withheld from the records of the comcouncil did order, that the proper instruments pany, and never was transmitted to the court of should be prepared for conveying to the rajah directors. aforesaid the government and criminal justice, and mint of Benares, with its dependencies,“ in the

XIV. “ usual form ; expressing the conditions already resolved on in the several proceedings of the That several months after the said settlement board.And on the same day a letter was and investiture, namely, on the 15th of April 1776,

the same,

the secretary informed the court, that he had pre- displeasure against him. In that year, he, the pared a sannud, cabbolut, and pottah (that is, a said Warren Hastings, retracted his own act of patent, an agreement, and a rent-roll) for Cheit resignation of his office, made to the court of direcSing's zemindary; and the board ordered the same tors through his agent Mr. Maclean; and, calling to be executed. But the resident, on receiving in the aid of the military to support him in his

did transmit the several objections made authority, brought the divisions of the government, by the rajah thereto, and particularly to a clause according to his own expression, “ to an extremity in the patent, made in direct contradiction to the bordering on civil violence.” This extremity he engagements of the council so solemnly and re-attributes, in a narrative by him transmitted to peatedly given ; by which clause the former patents the court of directors, and printed, not to his own are declared to be null. That on the representa- fraud and prevarication, but to what he calls “ an tion aforesaid, on the 29th July, the secretary was attempt to wrest from him his authority;” and ordered to prepare new and proper instruments, in the said narrative he pretends, that the rajah omitting the clause declaring the former patents of Benares had deputed an agent with an express to be null, and the said new patents were delivered commission to his opponent Sir John Clavering.to the rajah; and the others, which he objected This fact, if it had been true, (which is not proved,) to, as well as those which had been delivered to was in no sort criminal or offensive to the comhim originally, were returned to the presidency. pany's government; but was at first sight nothing But neither the first set of deeds, nor the fraudú- more than a proper mark of duty and respect to lent patent aforesaid, nor the new instruments the supposed succession of office. Nor is it posmade out on the complaint of the rajah, omitting sible to conceive in what manner it could offend the exceptionable words, have been inserted in the the said Hastings, if he did not imagine, that the records, although it was the particular duty of the express commission, to which in the said narrative said Warren Hastings, that all transactions with he refers, might relate to the discovery to Sir John the country powers should be faithfully entered; Clavering of some practice, which he might wish as well as to take care, that all instruments trans- to conceal; the said Clavering, whom he styles mitted to them on the faith of the

company

should his opponent," having been engaged, in obebe honestly, candidly, and fairly executed accord dience to the company's express orders, in the dising to the true intent and meaning of the engage- covery of sundry peculations, and other evil pracments entered into on the part of the company; tices, charged upon the said Hastings. But giving by the said complicated, artificial, and although, at the time of the said pretended depufraudulent management, as well as by his said tation, he dissembled his resentment, it appears to omitting to record the said material document, have rankled in his mind, and that he never forstrong reason to presume, that he did even then gave it, of whatever nature it might have been meditate to make some evil use of the deeds, which (the same never having been by him explained); he thus withheld from the company, and which he and some years after he recorded it in his justifidid afterwards in reality make, when he found cation of his oppressive conduct towards the rajah, means and opportunity to effect his evil purpose. urging the same with great virulence and asperity

as a proof or presumption of his the said rajah's disaffection to the company's government; and, by his subsequent acts, he seems the first to have resolved, when opportunity should occur, on a

severe revenge. PART II.

II,
Designs of Mr. Hastings to ruin the Rajah of
Benares.

That having obtained, in his casting vote, a

majority in council on the death of Sir John ClaI.

vering and Mr. Monson, he did suddenly, and

without any previous general communication with That the tribute transferred to the company the members of the board, by a minute of conby the treaty with the nabob of Oude, being sultation of the 9th of July 1778, make an extra£.250,000 a year sterling, and upwards, without ordinary demand, namely, “ that the rajah of any deductions whatsoever, was paid monthly “ Benares should consent to the establishment of with such punctual exactness, as had no parallel “ three regular battalions of sepoys, to be raised in the company's dealings with any of the native and maintained at his own expence ;” and the princes, or with any subject zemindar, being the said expence was estimated at between fifty and only one who never was in arrears; and, accord- sixty thousand pounds sterling. ing to all appearance, a perfect harmony did prevail between the supreme council at Calcutta and

III. the rajah. But though the rajah of Benares furnished no occasion of displeasure to the board, That the said requisition did suppose the conyet it since appears, that the said Warren Hast- sent of the rajah, the very word being inserted in ings did, at some time in the year 1777, conceive the body of his, the said Warren Hastings's, mi

nute ; and the same was agreed to, though with that year. And the said rajah did write to the some doubts on the parts of his colleagues, Mr. said Hastings a letter, in order to mitigate and Francis and Mr. Wheler, concerning the right of mollify him, declaring to the said Hastings, that making the same, even worded as it was. But his sole reliance was on him, “ and that in every Mr. Francis and Mr. Wheler soon after finding, “ instance he depended on his faith, religion, prothat the rajah was much alarmed by this departure “mises, and actions.” But he, the said Warren from the treaty, the requisition aforesaid was strenu- Hastings, as if the being reminded of his faith and ously opposed by them. The said Hastings did, promises were an incentive to him to violate the notwithstanding this opposition, persevere, and by same, although he had agreed that his demand his casting vote alone did carry the said unjust should not be drawn into precedent, and the payand oppressive demand. The rajah submitted, ment of the £.50,000 aforesaid should continue after some murmuring and remonstrance, to pay only for one year, did, the very day after he had rethe sum required; but on the express condition, ceived the letter aforesaid, renew a demand of the (as has been frequently asserted by him to the said same nature, and on the very same pretence, this Warren Hastings without any contradiction,) that year, even less plausible than the former, of three the exaction should continue but for one year, battalions to be raised. The said rajah, on being and should not be drawn into precedent. He also informed of this requisition, did remind the said requested, that the extraordinary demand should Warren Hastings, that he engaged in the last be paid along with the instalments of his monthly year, that but one payment should be made, and tribute : but although the said Warren Hastings that he should not be called upon in future ; and did not so much as pretend, that the instant pay-pleading inability to discharge the new demand, ment was at all necessary, and though he was declared himself in the following words to the said urged by his before-mentioned colleagues to mo- Warren Hastings :-“ I am therefore hopeful you derate his proceedings, he did insist upon imme“ will be kindly pleased to excuse me the five diate payment of the whole ; and did deliver his “ lacks now demanded, and that nothing may be demand in proud and insulting language, wholly “ demanded of me beyond the amount expressed unfit for a governour of a civilized nation to use “ in the pottah." towards eminent persons in alliance with, and in honourable and free dependence upon, its govern

V. ment; and did support the same with arguments full of unwarrantable passion, and with references That on the day after the receipt of this letter, to reports affecting merely his own personal power that is, on the 28th of August 1779, he, the said and consideration, which reports were not proved, Warren Hastings, made a reply to the said letter ; nor attempted to be proved; and, if proved, fur- and, without any remark whatsoever on the alleganishing reasons insufficient for his purpose, and in- tion of the rajah, stating to him his engagement, decent in any publick proceedings. That the said that he, the said rajah, should not be called upon Hastings did cause the said sums of money to be in future, he says, “ I now repeat my demand, rigorously exacted, although no such regular bat-" that you do, on the receipt of this, without talions, as he pretended to establish as a colour for “ evasion or delay, pay the five lacks of rupees his demand on the rajah, were then raised, or any “ into the hands of Mr. Thomas Graham, who has steps taken towards raising them. And when the said 6 orders to receive it from you ; and, in case of rajah pleaded his inability to pay the whole sum at your refusal, to summon the two battalions of once, he, the said Hastings, persevering in his said sepoys under the command of Major Camac outrageous and violent demeanour, did order the “ to Benares, that measures may be taken to resident to wait on the rajah forthwith, and “ de- oblige you to a compliance'; and, in this case, "mand of him in person, and by writing, the full “ the whole expence of the corps, from the time

payment in species to be made to him within “ of its march, will fall on you.' “five days of such demand ; and to declare to “him, in the name of this government, that his

VI. “evading or neglecting to accomplish the payment “thereof within that space of time should be That the said rajah did a second and third time

deemed equivalent to an absolute refusal ; and represent to the said Warren Hastings, that he "in case of non-compliance with this (the resi- lad broke his promise, and the said Hastings did “ dent's) demand, we peremptorily enjoin you to in no manner deny the same; but did in contempt "refrain from all further intercourse with him ;" thereof, as well as of the original treaty between the said Hastings appearing by all his proceed the company and the rajah, order two battalions ings to be disposed to bring on a quarrel with the of troops to march into his territories, and in a prince of Benares, rather than to provide money manner the most harsh, insulting, and despotick, for any publick service.

as if to provoke that prince to some act of resist

ance, did compel him to the payment of the said IV.

second unjust demand ; and did extort also the

sum of £.2,000, on pretence of the charge of the That the said demand was complied with, and troops employed to coerce him. the whole thereof paid on the 10th of October

VOL. II.

H

said Hastings could only have made in hopes of VII.

provoking the rajah to some imprudent measure,

or passionate remonstrance. And this arbitrary That the third year, that is to say, in the year demand of cavalry was made, and peremptorily 1780, the same demand was, with the same me insisted on, although in the original treaty with naces, renewed ; and did, as before, produce seve the said rajah it was left entirely optional whether ral humble remonstrances and submissive com or not he should keep up any cavalry at all : and plaints, which the said Hastings did always treat in the minute of consultation it was expressly as crimes and offences of the highest order : and mentioned to be thus optional; and for whatsoalthough in the regular subsidy or tribute, which ever cavalry he the said rajah should furnish, he was monthly payable by treaty, fifty days of grace should be paid fifteen rupees per month for each were allowed on each payment, and after the ex- private, and so in proportion for officers; yet the piration of the said fifty days one quarter per cent. demand aforesaid was made without any offer only was provided as a penalty, he, the said War- whatsoever of providing the said payment accordren Hastings, on some short delay of payment of ing to treaty. his third arbitrary and illegal demand, did pre

X. sume of his own authority to impose a fine or mulct of £.10,000 on the said rajah ; and though it That the said Hastings did soon after, but

upon does not appear whether or no the same was ac what ground does not appear by any minute of tually levied, the said threat was soon after fol-council, or from any correspondence contained in lowed by an order from the said Hastings for the his narrative, reduce the demand to fifteen hunmarch of troops into the country of Benares, as in dred, and afterwards to one thousand; by which the preceding year.

he shewed himself to be sensible of the extrava

gance of his first requisition. VIII.

XI, That these violent and insulting measures failing to provoke the rajah, and he having paid up the That in consequence of these requisitions, as he whole demand, the said Warren Hastings, being asserts in his narrative aforesaid, the rajah “did resolved to drive him to extremities, did make on "offer two hundred and fifty horse, but sent none." the said rajah a sudden demand, over and above But the said Hastings doth not accompany his the ordinary tribute or subsidy of £. 260,000 per said narrative with any voucher or document whatannum, and over and above the £.50,000 extraor- ever; and therefore the account given by the dinary, to provide a body of cavalry for the service rajah, and delivered to the said Warren Hastings of the Bengal government.

himself, inserted by the said Warren Hastings

himself in his narrative, and in no part thereof IX.

attempted to be impeached, is more worthy of

credit; that is to say, The demand, as expressed in the minute of “ With respect to the horse, you

desired me

in consultation, and in the publick instructions of the your letter to inform you of what number 1 board to the resident to make the requisition, is “ could afford to station with you. I sent you a “ for such part of the cavalry entertained in his particular account of all, that were in my ser“ service as he can spare ;” and the demand is in vice, amounting to one thousand three hundred this, and in no other, manner described by the “ horse, of which several were stationed at distant governour-general and council, in their letter to

“ places; but I received no answer to this. Mr. the court of directors. But in a narrative of the “ Markham delivered me an order to prepare said Warren Hastings's, addressed to Edward " a thousand horse. In compliance with your Wheler, Esquire, it appears that upon the rajah's “ wishes, I collected five hundred horse, and a making difficulties according to the representation “ substitute for the remainder, five hundred Burof the said Hastings, relative to the said requisition, “ kundasses, [matchlock men] of which I sent the correspondence concerning which the said you information; and I told Mr. Markham, Hastings hath fraudulently suppressed, he, the “ that they were ready to go to whatever place said Hastings, instead of adhering to the requisi they should be sent. No answer, however, came tion of such cavalry as the rajah could spare, and from you on this head, and I remained astowhich was all, that by the order of council he was nished at the cause of it. Repeatedly I asked authorized to make, did, of his own private and “ Mr. Markham about an answer to my letter arbitrary authority, in some letter, which he hath “ about the horse ; but he told me, that he did suppressed, instruct the resident Markham to not know the reason of no answer having been make a peremptory demand for 2000 cavalry, " sent. I remained astonished.” which he well knew to be more than the rajah's finances could support, estimating the provision for

XII. the same at £.96,000 a year at the lowest, though the expence of the same would probably have That the said Hastings is guilty of an high been much more : which extravagant demand the offence in not giving an answer to letters of such

importance, and in concealing the said letters from you had it in your power to raise a large sum the court of directors, as well as much of his “ for the company by accepting an offer, which correspondence with the residents; and more “ had been made for his districts by the vizier." particularly in not directing to what place the ca- And the said Anderson, in the declaration aforevalry and matchlock men aforesaid should be sent, said, made at the request of the said Hastings, and when the rajah had declared they were ready to addressed to him, expressed himself as follows: go to whatever service should be destined for “ that you told me you had communicated our them, and afterwards in maliciously accusing designs to Mr. Wheler (his only remaining the rajah for not having sent the same.

“ colleague); and I believe, but I do not positively recollect, you

said he concurred in them.” But XII.

no trace of any such communication or concur

rence did, at the time referred to, or at any time That, on the 3rd of February, 1781, a new de- ever after, appear on the consultations, as it ought mand for the support of the three fictitious batta- to have done; and the said Hastings is criminal lions of sepoys aforesaid was made by the said for having omitted to enter and record the proWarren Hastings : but, whilst the rajah was pay- ceeding. That the said Wheler did also declare, ing by instalments the said arbitrary demand, the but a considerable time after the date of the consaid rajah was alarmed with some intelligence of versations aforesaid, that, “on the eve of the secret projects on foot for his ruin ; and being well governour-general's departure, the said Hastings apprized of the malicious and revengeful temper had told him, that the rajah's offences (not of the said Hastings, in order to pacify him, if “ stating what offences, he having paid up all the possible, offered to redeem himself by a large “ demands, ordinary and extraordinary) were ransom, to the amount of two hundred thousand declared to require early punishment; and as his pounds sterling, to be paid for the use of the wealth was great, and the company's exigencies company. And it appears, that the said alarm pressing, it was thought a measure of policy was far from groundless; for Major Palmer, one " and justice to exact from him a large pecuniary of the secret and confidential agents of the said “ mulct for their relief. The sum, to which the Hastings, hath sworn, on the 4th of December governour declared his resolution to extend the 1781, at the desire of the said Warren Hast- “ fine, was forty or fifty lacks; his ability to pay ings, before Sir Elijah Impey, to the following “ it was stated as a fact, that could not admit of a effect: that is to say,

“ that the said Warren “ doubt; and the two alternatives, on which the “ Hastings had told him, the said Palmer, that he, governour declared himself to have resolved, the said Hastings, had rejected the offer of two were to the best of my recollection, either a “ hundred thousand pounds made by the rajah removal from his zemindary entirely; or, by “of Benares for the publick service; and that he“ taking immediate possession of all his forts, to

was resolved to convert the faults committed “ obtain out of the treasure deposited in them the by the rajah into a publick benefit, and would “ above sum for the company.

exact the sum of £.500,000 as a punislıment “ for his breach of engagements with the govern

XV. “ment of Bengal, and acts of misconduct in his “ zemindary; and, if the rajah should absolutely That, in the declaration of the said Wheler, the “refuse the demand, that he would deprive him time of the conversation aforesaid is stated to be on " of his zemindary, or transfer the sovereignty the eve of the governour's departure, and then said “ thereof to the nabob of Oude.”

to be confidential ; nor is it said, or insinuated,

that he knew, or ever heard thereof, at a more XIV.

early period, though it appears by Major Palmer's

affidavit, that the design of taking not four or five, And Mr. Anderson, in his declaration from but absolutely five hundred thousand pounds from Scindia's camp, of the fourth of January 1782, the rajah, was communicated to him as early as did also, at the desire of Mr. Hastings, depose the month of June. · And it does not appear by (though not on oath) concerning a conversation the declarations of the said Wheler, he did ever between him and the said Hastings (but mention- casually or officially approve of the measure; ing neither the time nor place where the same was which long concealment and late communication, held); in which conversation, after reciting the time not being allowed to his colleague to consider allegations of the said Hastings relative to several the nature and consequences of such a project, or particulars of the delay and backwardness of the to advise any precaution concerning the same, is rajah in paying the aforesaid extra demand, and a high misdemeanour. his resolution to exact from the rajah “siderable sum of money to the relief of the

XVI. company's exigencies," he proceeds in the following words: “that if he (the rajah) consented, That the said Hastings, having formed a resolu

you (the said Warren Hastings) were desirous of tion to execute one of the three violent and ar" establishing his possessions on the most perma- bitrary resolutions aforesaid, namely, to sell the "nent and eligible footing ; but, if he refused, company's sovereignty over Benares to the nabob

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a con

« ForrigeFortsæt »