Billeder på siden

proper to create the office of Advocate General in hoped to be protected against any future enquiry Bengal, and to appoint Sir John Day to that into his conduct :—that it was of itself highly office, it was resolved by a general court of pro- criminal in the said Warren Hastings to have so prietors, that a salary of £3,000 a year should be wasted the property of the East India company, allowed to the said Sir John Day in full consider and that the purpose to be obtained by such waste ation of all demands and allowances whatsoever was a great aggravation of that crime.—That for his services to the company at the presidency among the various instances of profusion, by which of Fort William :- that the said Warren Hastings, the civil establishment of Fort William was ennevertheless, shortly after Sir John Day's arrival creased to the enormous annual sum hereinbein Bengal, did encrease the said Sir John Day's fore mentioned, it appears, that a salt-office was salary and allowances to six thousand pounds a created of six commissioners, whose annual emoyear, in direct disobedience to the resolution of the luments were as follow : viz. court of proprietors, and of the order of the court of directors :—that the directors, as soon as they President, or comptroller, per annum f.18,480 were informed of this proceeding, declared, “ that 1st member

13,100 they held themselves bound by the resolution of 2d do.

11,480 “the general court, and that they could not 3d do.

13,183 " allow it to be disregarded by the company's 4th do.

6,257 servants in India ;” and ordered, that the en- 5th do.

10,307 creased allowances should be forthwith discontinued.

£.72,807 That the said Warren Hastings, after having first thought it necessary, in obedience to the orders of the court of directors, to stop the ex- That a board of revenue was created by the said traordinary allowance, which he had granted to Sir Warren Hastings, consisting of five commissioners, John Day, did afterwards resolve, that the allow- whose annual emoluments were as follow : viz. ance, which had been struck off, should be repaid to him upon his signing an obligation to refund the 1st member, per annum

£.10,950 amount, which he might receive, in case the di- 2d do.

9,100 rectors should confirm their former orders, already 3d do.

9,100 twice given :—that in this transaction the said 4th do.

9,100 Warren Hastings trifled with the authority of the 5th do.

9,100 cu’npany, eluded the repeated orders of the directors, and exposed the company to the risk and

£.47,350 uncertainty of recovering, at a distant period, and perhaps by a process of law, a sum of money, which they had positively ordered him not to pay. That David Anderson, Esq. first member of the

That, in the latter part of 1776, by the death said board, did not execute the duties, though lie of Colonel Monson, the whole power of the received the emoluments of the said office; having government of Fort William devolved to the go-acted, for the greatest part of the time, as amvernour and one member of the council; and bassador to Madajee Scindia, with a further that from that time the governour-general and salary of £.4,280 a year, making in all £.15,230 council have generally consisted of an even number of persons, in consequence of which the casting That the said Warren Hastings did create an voice of the said Warren Hastings has usually office of agent victualler to the garrison of Fort prevailed in the decision of all questions.—That William, whose profits, on an average of three about the end of the year 1776 the whole civil years, were £.15,970 per annum :—that this establishment of the said government did not ex- agency was held by the postmaster-general, who, ceed £.205,399 per annum; that in the year 1783 in that capacity, received £.2,200 a year from the said civil establishment had been encreased the company, and who was actually no higher to the enormous annual sum of £.927,945. than a writer in the service :—that the


who -That such encrease in the civil establishment held these lucrative offices, viz. John Belli, was could not have taken place, if the said Warren private secretary to the said Warren Hastings. Hastings, who was at the head of the government That the said Warren Hastings created a nowith the power annexed to the casting voice, had minal office of resident at Goa, where the comnot actively promoted the said encrease, which he pany never had a resident, nor business of any had power to prevent, and which it was his duty kind to transact, and gave the said nominal office to have prevented :—that by such immoderate to a person, who was not a covenanted servant of waste of the property of his employers, and by the company, with an allowance of £.4,280 a such scandalous breach of his fidelity to them, year. it was the intention of the said Warren Hast- That these instances are proofs of a criminal ings to gain' and secure the attachment and profusion, and high breach of trust to the India support of a multitude of individuals, by whose company in the said Warren Hastings, under united interest, influence, and intrigues, he whose government, and by means of whose special

a year.



[ocr errors]

power, derived from the effect of his casting voice, the following declaration : “ the agent being upon all the said waste and profusion did take place. honour with respect to the sums charged in his

That at the end of the year 1780, when, as the accounts for the cost of the articles supplied, I court of directors affirm, the company were in the

“ did not think myself authorized to require any utmost distress for money, and almost every de- voucher of the sums charged for the demurrage partment in arrear, and when it appears, that there “ of sloops, either as to the time of detention, or was a great scarcity and urgent want of grain at “ the rate of the charge, or of those for the articles Fort St. George, the said Warren Hastings did “ lost in going down the river ; and on that ground accept of a proposal made to him by James Peter “ I thought myself equally bound to admit the Auriol, then secretary to the council, to supply sums acknowledged as received for the sales of the presidency of Fort St. George with rice and “goods returned, without requiring vouchers of other articles, and did appoint the said Auriol to “the rates, at which they were sold.”—That, in be the agent for supplying all the other presiden- this transaction, the said Warren Hastings has cies with those articles :- that the said Warren been guilty of a high breach of trust and duty in Hastings declared, that the intention of the ap- the unnecessary expenditure of the company's pointment was most likely to be fulfilled by a money, and in subjecting the company to a prois liberal consideration of it," and therefore allow- fusion of expence, at all times wholly unjustifiable, ed the said Auriol a commission of 15 per cent. on but particular y at the time when that expence the whole of his disbursements; thereby rendering was incurred.-- That the said Warren Hastings it the direct interest of the said Auriol to make his was guilty of breach of orders, as well as breach disbursements as great as possible ;—that the of trust, in not advertising generally for proposals; chance of capture by the enemy, or danger of the in not contracting indifferently for the supplies sea, was to be at the risk of the India company, with such merchants as might offer to furnish them and not of the said Auriol :—that the said Warren on the lowest terms; in giving an enormous comHastings declared personally to the said Auriol, mission to an agent, and that commission not con“ that this post was intended as a reward for his fined to the prime cost of the articles, but to be

long and faithful services.”—That the president computed on the whole of his charges; in acceptand council of Bombay did remonstrate against ing of the honour of the said agent as a sufficient what they called the enormous amount of the voucher for the cost of the articles supplied, and charges of the rice, with which they were supplied, for all charges whatever, on which his commission which they state to be nine rupees a bag at Cal- was to be computed ; and finally, in giving a lucutta, when they themselves could have contracted crative agency for the supply of a distressed and for its delivery at Bombay, free of all risk and starving province, as a reward to a secretary of charges, at five rupees and three-sixteenths per state, whose labours in that capacity ought to have bag; and that even at Madras, where the distress been rewarded by an avowed publick salary, and and demand was greatest, the supplies of grain by not otherwise.—That, after the first year of the private traders, charged to the company, were said agency was expired, the said Warren Hastnineteen per cent. cheaper than that supplied by ings did agree, that for the future the commission the said Auriol, exclusive of the risk of the sea, to be drawn by the said agent should be reduced and of capture by the enemy.—That it is stated to five per cent. which the governour-general and by the court of directors, that the agent's commis- council then declared to be the customary amount sion on a supply of a single year (the said com- drawn by merchants ; but that, even in this remission being not only charged on the prime cost duction of the commission, the said Warren Hastof the rice, but also on the freight, and on all other ings was guilty of a deception, and did not in fact charges) would amount to pounds sterling twenty- reduce the commission from 15 to 5 per cent. six thousand eight hundred and seventy-three, and having immediately after resolved, that he, the by the said Auriol himself is admitted to amount agent, should be allowed the current interests of to £.18,292 :—that William Larkins, the accomp- Calcutta upon all his draughts on the treasury tant-general at Fort William, having been ordered from the day of their dates, until they should be to examine the accounts of the said agent, did re- completely liquidated : that the legal interest of port to the governour-general and council, that money in Bengal is twelve per cent. per annum, he found them to be correct in the additions and and the current interest from eight to ten per cent. calculations ; and that then the said Larkins adds


That, before the appointment of the governour- | money passed into those of the said Warren general and council of Fort William by act of Hastings, are named ;—that such particularity on parliament, the allowances made by the East India the face of such a charge, supposing it false, is company to the presidents of that government favourable to the party wrongfully accused, and were abundantly sufficient; and that the said pre-exposes the accuser to an instant and easy detecsidents in general, and the said Warren Hastings tion; for though, as the said Warren Hastings particularly, was restrained by a specifick covenant himself has observed on another occasion, “papers and indenture, which he entered into with the may be forged, and evidences may appear in company, from accepting any gifts, rewards, or “ numbers to attest them, yet it must always be gratuities whatsoever, on any account or pretence an easy matter to detect the falsity of any forged whatsoever.-That, in the regulating act passed paper produced by examining the witnesses in the year 1773, which appointed the said War- "separately, and subjecting them to a subsequent ten Hastings, Esquire, governour-general of Fort cross examination, in which case, if false, they William in Bengal, a salary of £.25,000 a year “ will not be able to persevere in one regular conwas established for him, to which the court of di sistent story.” rectors added, “ that he should enjoy their prin Whereas, if no advantage be taken of such par"cipal houses, with the plate and furniture, both ticularity in the charge to detect the falsehood “ in town and country, rent free.That the same thereof, and if no attempt to disprove it, and no law, which created the office, and provided the defence whatever be made, a presumption justly salary, of the said Warren Hastings, did expressly, and reasonably arises in favour of the truth of such and in the clearest and most comprehensive terms, charge.—That the said Warren Hastings, instead that could be devised, prohibit him from receiving of offering any thing in his defence, declared, that any present, gift, or donation, in any manner, or he would not suffer Nundcomar to appear before on any account whatsoever; and that the said the board as his accuser.—That he attempted to Warren Hastings perfectly understood the mean indict his said accuser for a conspiracy, in which he ing, and acknowledged the binding force, of this failed ; and that the said Rajah Nundcomar was prohibition, before he accepted of the office, to soon after, and while his charge against the said which it was annexed. He knew, and had de- Warren Hastings was depending before the counclared, that the prohibition was positive and de- cil, indicted upon an English penal statute, which cisive ; that it admitted neither of refinement or does not even to Scotland, before the sumisconstruction ; and that in his opinion an op- preme court of judicature, for an offence said to have position would be to incur the penalty.

been committed several years before, and not capiThat, notwithstanding the covenants and en tal by the laws of India, and was condemned and gagements above mentioned, it appears in the re executed. -That the evidence of this man, not corded proceedings of the governour-general and having been encountered at the time, when it might council of Fort William, that sundry charges have and ought to have been, by the said Warren Hastbeen brought against the said Warren Hastings ings, remains justly in force against him, and is for gifts or presents corruptly taken by him before not abated by the capital punishment of the said the promulgation of the act of 1773 in India, and Nundcomar, but rather confirmed by the time and that these charges were produced at the council circumstances, in which the accuser of the said board in the presence of the said Warren Hast-Warren Hastings suffered death.—That one of the ings : that, in March 1775, the late Rajah Nund- offices, for which a part of the money above mencomar, a native Hindoo, of the highest cast in his tioned is stated to have been paid to the said Warreligion, and of the highest rank in society by the ren Hastings, was given by him to Munny Begum, offices which he had held under the country go- the widow of the late Myr Jaffier, nabob of Bengal, vernment, did lay before the council an account whose son, by another woman, holds that title at of various sums of money paid by him to the said present.—That the said Warren Hastings had been Warren Hastings, amounting to £.40,000 and instructed by the court of directors of the East upwards, for offices and employments corruptly India company to appointa minister to transact disposed of by the said Warren Hastings, and did the political affairs of the government, and to offer and engage to prove and establish the same “ select for that purpose some person well qualiby sufficient evidence. That this account is “fied for the affairs of government, to be the stated with a minute particularity and precision ; " minister and guardian of the nabob's minority.” the date of each payment down to that of small - That, for these offices, and for the execution of sums is specified; the various coins, in which such the several duties belonging to them, the said payments were severally made, are distinguished; Warren Hastings selected and appointed the said and the different persons, through whose hands the Munny Begum, a woman evidently unqualified

[ocr errors]

for, and incapable of, such offices, and restrained prevailed in the collection of the revenues, or from acting in such capacities by her necessary any part of the civil government of the presiseclusion from the world, and retirement in a se dency, and to communicate to the directors all raglio.—That a considerable deficiency or em “ information, which they might be able to obtain bezzlement appearing in this woman's account of “ relative thereto, or to any dissipation or embezthe young nabob's stipend, she voluntarily de “ zlement of the company's money.”—That the clared, by a writing under her seal, that she had above petition and instruction having been read in given £.15,000 to the said Warren Hastings for council

, it was moved, that the petitioner should an entertainment; which declaration corresponds be ordered to attend the next day to make good with and confirms that part of the charge pro- his charge.—That the said Warren Hastings deduced by Rajah Nundcomar, to which it relates.clared, “ that it appeared to him to be the purpose That neither this, nor any other part of the said “ of the majority to make him the sole object of charge, has been at any time directly denied or “ their personal attacks.—That they had taken disputed by the said Warren Hastings, though “ their line, and might pursue it.—That he should made to his face, and though he was repeatedly “ have other remarks to make upon this transacaccused by his colleagues, who were appointed “tion, but as they would be equally applicable to by parliament at the same time with himself, of many others, which in the course of this business peculation of every sort.—That instead of pro were likely to be brought before the board, he moting a strict enquiry into his conduct for the “ should say no more on the subject;"—and he clearance of his innocence and honour, he did re-objected to the motion.—That by the preceding peatedly endeavour to elude and stifle all enquiry declaration the said Warren Hastings did admit, by attempting to dissolve the meetings of the coun that many other charges were likely to be brought cil, at which such charges were produced, and by against him, and that such charges would be of a other means; and has not since taken any steps similar nature to the first, viz. a corrupt bargaining to disprove or refute the same.—That the said War- for the disposal of a great office, since he declared, ren Hastings, so long ago as September 1775, as that his remarks on that transaction would be sured the court of directors, “ that it was his fixed equally applicable to the rest ; and that, by object“ determination most fully and liberally to explaining to the motion for the personal attendance of the

every circumstance of his conduct on the points, accuser, he resisted and disobeyed the company's " on which he had been injuriously arraigned, and instructions; and did, as far as depended on his “ to afford them the clearest conviction of his own power, endeavour to obstruct and prevent all en"integrity, and of the propriety of his motives for quiry into the charge. That in so doing he failed

declining a present defence of it;" and having in his duty to the company; he disobeyed their never since given to the court of directors any ex- express orders, and did leave the charge against planation whatever, much less the full and liberal himself without a reply, and even without a denial; explanation he had promised so repeatedly, has and with that unavoidable presumption against his thereby abandoned even that late and protracted innocence, which lies against every person accused, defence, which he himself must have thought ne- who not only refuses to plead, but, as far as his cessary to be made at some time or other ; and vote goes, endeavours to prevent an examination which he would be thought to have deferred to a of the charge, and to stifle all enquiry into the period more suitable and convenient than that, in truth of it.—That the motion having been neverwhich the facts were recent, and the impression theless carried, the said Warren Hastings did, on of these and other charges of the same nature the day following, declare, “ that he could not sit against him was fresh and unimpaired in the minds “ to be confronted with such accusers, nor suffer of men.

“ a judicial enquiry into his conduct at the board, That on the 30th of March 1775, a member of “ of which he was president; and declared the the council produced and laid before the board a “ meeting of the board dissolved.”—That the petition from Mir Zein Abul Dheen, (formerly far-board continued to sit and examine witnesses, mer of a district, and who had been in creditable servants of the phousdar, on oath and written stations,) setting forth, that Khân Jehan Khấn, then evidence, being letters under the hand and seal of phousdar of Houghly, had obtained that office from the phousdar, all directly tending to prove the the said Warren Hastings, with a salary of seventy-charge; viz. that out of the salary of seventy-two two chousand sicca rupees a year; and that the said thousand rupees a year paid by the company, the phousdar had given a receipt of bribe to the patron said phousdar received but thirty-two thousand, of the city, meaning Warren Hastings, to pay him and that the remainder was received by the said annually thirty-six thousand rupees a year, and also Warren Hastings and his banyan.-That the to his banyan, Cantoo Baboo, four thousand phousdar, though repeatedly ordered to attend the rupees a year, out of the salary above mentioned.- board, did, under various pretences, decline atThat by the 35th article of the Instructions given to tending, until the 19th of May, when the letters the governour-general and council, they are direct stated to be his, that is, under his hand and seal, ed“ immediately to cause the strictest enquiry to being shewn to him, it was proposed by a member “ be made into all oppressions, which might have of the board, that he should be asked, whether he “ been committed either against the natives or had any objection to swear to the truth of such

Europeans, and into all abuses, that might have answers as he might make to the questions pro

posed by the board. ---That the said Warren Hast-cil, constituting a lawful act of the governourings objected to his being put to his oath.—That general and council, the said Khân Jehan Khân the question was nevertheless put to him, in con was dismissed from the office of phousdar of sequence of a resolution of the board.—That he Houghly for a contempt of the authority of the first declined to swear, under pretence, that it was board.-- That, within a few weeks after the death a matter of serious consequence to his character of the late Colonel Monson, the number of the to take an oath ; and, when it was finally left to council being then even, and all questions being his option, he declared, “ mean people might then determined by the governour-general's cast“ swear, but that his character would not allowing voice, the said Warren Hastings did move, and “ him; that he could not swear, and had rather carry it in council, that the said Khân Jehan “ subject himself to a loss.”—That the evidence in Khần should be restored to his office; and that support of the charge being on oath was in this restoration, not having been preceded, accommanner left uncontradicted ; that it was admitted panied, or followed, by any explanation or deby the said Warren Hastings, that neither Mussul- fence whatsoever, or even by a denial of the men or Hindoos are forbidden by the precepts of specifick and circumstantial charge of collusion their religion to swear. That it is not true, as the with the said Khån Jehan Khân, has confirmed said Warren Hastings asserted, that it was repug- the truth of the said charge. nant to the manners either of Hindoos or Mussul That, besides the sums charged to have been men; and that if, under such pretences, the na- paid to the said Warren Hastings by the said tives were to be exempted from taking an oath, Nundcomar, and Munny Begum, and Khân Jehan when examined by the governour and council, all Khân, and besides the sum of £.110,000, already the enquiries pointed out to them by the com- mentioned to have been accepted without hesitapany's instructions might stop, or be defeated.- tion by him, as a present on the part of the nabob That no valid reason was, or could be, assigned, of Oude and that of his ministers, the circumstances why the said phousdar should not be examined on of which have been particularly reported to the oath ; that the charge was not against himself; House of Commons, it appears by the confession and that, if any questions had been put to him, of the said Warren Hastings, that he has, at diftending to make him accuse himself, he might ferent times since the promulgation of the act of have declined to answer them.—That, if he could | 1773, received various other sums, contrary to the have safely sworn to the innocence of the said express prohibition of the said act, and his own Warren Hastings, from whom he received his declared sense of the evident intent and obligation employment, he was bound in gratitude, as well thereof.—That in the month of June 1780 the as justice, to the said Warren Hastings, to have said Warren Hastings made to the council, what consented to be examined on oath.—That not he called, a very unusual tender, by offering to having done so, and having been supported and exonerate the

company from the

expence of a abetted in his refusal by the said Warren Hastings particular measure, and to take it upon himself; himself, whose character and honour were imme “declaring, that he had already deposited two diately at stake, the whole of the evidence for the “ lacks of rupees (or twenty-three thousand truth of the charge remains unanswered, and in pounds) in the hands of the company's subfull force against the said Warren Hastings, who “ treasurer for that service." That in a subseon this occasion recurred to the declaration he quent letter, dated the 29th of November 1780, had before made to the directors, viz. “ that he he informed the court of directors, that “ this “ would most fully and liberally explain every money, by whatever means it came into their “ circumstance of his conduct,” but has never since possession, was not his own ;" but he did not that time given the directors any explanation then, nor has he at any time since made known to whatsoever of his said conduct. —And finally, the court of directors from whom, or on what acthat when the court of directors, in January 1776, count, he received that money, as it was his duty referred the question (concerning the legality of to have done in the first instance; and notwiththe power assumed, and repeatedly exercised by standing the said directors signified to him their the said Warren Hastings, of dissolving the coun- expectation, that he should communicate to them cil at his pleasure) to the late Charles Sayer," immediate information of the channel, by which then standing council of the East India com “ this money came into his possession, with a pany, the said Charles Sayer declared his opinion complete illustration of the cause or causes of in favour of the power; but concerning the use so extraordinary an event;" — But, from evidence and exercise of it in the cases stated, did de- examined in England it has been discovered, that clare his opinion in the following words: “ I be- this money was received by the said Warren Hast“ lieve, he, Warren Hastings, is the first goverings from Cheyt Sing, the rajah of Benares, who “nour that ever dissolved a council enquiring into was soon after dispossessed of all his property, “ his behaviour, when he was innocent.” Before and driven from his country and government by he could summon three councils, and dissolve them, the said Warren Hastings. he had time fully to consider what would be the That notwithstanding the declaration made by result of such conduct, to convince every body be the said Warren Hastings, that he had actually yond a doubt of his conscious guilt.

deposited the sum above mentioned in the hands That by a resolution of a majority of the coun of the company's sub-treasurer for their service,

« ForrigeFortsæt »