« ForrigeFortsæt »
to all the local commerce thereof, and therefore I lick auction, or even by private contract, there was, unqualified for the management of such a concern; as he affirmed, no sale, did, under pretence of and that the said Sullivan, instead of executing finding a market for the same, engage the company the contract himself, did, shortly after obtaining the in an enterprise of great and certain expence, subsame, assign it over to John Benn, and others ; | ject to a manifest risk, and full of disgrace to the and in consideration of such assignment did re- East India company, not only in their political ceive from the said Benn a great sum of money. character, as a great sovereign power in India, but
That from the preceding facts, as well as from in their commercial character, as an eminent and sundry other circumstances of restrictions taken off, respectable body of merchants : and that the exe(particularly by abolishing the office of inspector cution of this enterprise was accompanied with into the quality of the opium,) and of beneficial sundry other engagements with other persons, in clauses introduced, it appears that the said Warren all of which the company's interest was constantly Hastings gave this contract to the said Stephen sacrificed to that of individuals favoured by the Sullivan in contradiction to the orders of the court said Warren Hastings. of directors, and without any regard to the interests That the said Warren Hastings first engaged in of the India company, for the sole purpose of a scheme to import one thousand four hundred creating an instant fortune for the said Sullivan at and sixty chests of opium, on the company's acthe expence of the India company, without any count, on board a ship belonging to Cudbert claim of service or pretence of merit on his part, Thornhill, half of which was to be disposed of in a and without any apparent motive whatever, except coasting voyage, and the remainder in Canton.that of securing or rewarding the attachment and That, besides the freight and commission payable support of his father, Lawrence Sullivan, a person to the said Thornhill on this adventure, twelve of great authority and influence in the direction of pieces of cannon belonging to the company were the company's affairs, and notoriously attached to lent for arming the ship; though his original proand connected with the said Warren Hastings. posal was, that the ship should be armed at his ex
That the said Stephen Sullivan neither possess- pence.—That this part of the adventure, depended nor pretended to possess, any skill in the busi-ing for its success on a prudent and fortunate ness of his contract; that he exerted no industry, management of various sales and resales in the nor shewed, or could shew, any exactness in the course of a circuitous voyage, and being exposed performance of it, since he immediately sold the to such risk both of sea and enemy, that all pricontract for a sum of money to another person, (for vate traders had declined to be concerned in it, the sole purpose of which sale, it must be pre- was particularly unfit for a great trading company, sumed the same was given,) by which person and could not be undertaken on their account another profit was to be made ; and by that person with any rational prospect of advantage. the same was again sold to a third, by whom a That the said Warren Hastings soon after enthird profit was to be made.
gaged in another scheme for exporting two thouThat the said Warren Hastings, at the very time sand chests of opium directly to China on the when he engaged the company in a contract for company's account, and for that purpose a
accepted engrossing the whole of the opium produced in of an offer made by Henry Watson, the company's Bengal and Bahar in the ensuing four years on chief engineer, to convey the same in a vessel of terms of such exorbitant profit to the contractor, his own, and to deliver it to the company's superaffirmed, that“ there was little prospect of selling cargoes.—That after the offer of the said Henry “ the opium in Bengal at a reasonable price; and Watson had been accepted, a letter from him was " that it was but natural to suppose, that the price produced at the board, in which he declared, that “ of opium would fall from the demand being he was unable to equip the ship with a proper “ lessened :"—that in a letter, dated the 5th of number of cannon, and requested, that he might May 1781, he informed the directors, “ that owing be furnished with thirty-six guns from the com“ to the indifferent state of the markets last season pany's stores at Madras, with which request the “ to the eastward, and the very enhanced rates of board complied.—That it appears, that George
insurance, which the war had occasioned, they Williamson, the company's auctioneer at Cal“ had not been able to dispose of the opium of cutta, having complained, that by this mode of “ the present year to so great an advantage as they exporting the opium which used to be sold by
expected ; and that more than one half of it publick auction, he lost his commission as auction“ remained still in their warehouses.”—That the eer, the board allowed him to draw a commission said Warren Hastings was guilty of a manifest of one per cent. on all the opium which had been breach of trust to his constituents and his employers or was to be exported. - That it appears that the in monopolizing for their pretended use an article of contractor for opium (whose proper duties and commerce, for which he declared no purchasers emoluments as contractor ended with the delivery had offered, and that there was little prospect of of the opium) was also allowed to draw a commisany offering; and the price of which, he said, it sion on the opium then shipping on the company's was but natural to suppose would fall. That the account; but for what reason, or on what presaid Warren Hastings having, by his own act, tence, does not appear. loaded the company with a commodity, for which, That the said Warren Hastings, in order to pay either in the ordinary and regular course of pub- the said Stephen Sullivan in advance for the opium furnished, or to be furnished, by him in the first factory estimate the loss to the company, includyear of his contract, did borrow the sum of twenty ing port-charges, demurrage, and factory charges lacks of rupees at eight per cent. or two hundred allowed the captain, at sixty-nine thousand nine thousand pounds sterling, to be repaid by draughts hundred and ninety-three dollars, or about twenty to be drawn on the company by their super-cargoes thousand pounds sterling, in China, provided the opium consigned to them That the company's factory at China, after should arrive safe ; but that if the adventure stating the foregoing facts to the court of direcfailed, whether by the loss of the ships, or other-tors, conclude with the following general observawise, the subscribers to the above loan were to be tions thereon :-“on a review of these circumrepaid their capital and interest out of the com- stances, with the extravagant and unusual terms pany's treasury in Bengal.
“ of the freight, demurrage, factory-charges, &c. That the said Warren Hastings, having in this “ &c. we cannot help being of opinion, that primanner purchased a commodity, for which he said “ vate considerations have been suffered to interthere was no sale, and paid for it with money, “fere too much for any benefit, that may have which he was obliged to borrow at a high interest, “ been intended to the honourable company. We was still more criminal in his attempt, or pretended "hope for the honourable court's approbation of plan, to introduce it clandestinely into China. That “ our conduct in this affair. The novelty and the importation of opium into China is forbidden nature of the consignments have been the source by the Chinese government; that the opium, on of much trouble and anxiety; and though we seizure, is burnt; the vessel, that imports it, con- “ wished to have had it in our power to do more, fiscated; and the Chinese, in whose possession it " we may truly say we have exceeded our expectamay be found for sale, punished with death.
That the governour-general and council were That every part of this transaction, from the well aware of the existence of these prohibitions monopoly, with which it commenced, to the conand penalties, and did therefore inform the super-traband dealing, with which it concluded, crimicargoes in China, that the ship belonging to the nates the said Warren Hastings, with wilful disosaid Henry Watson would enter the river at China bedience of orders, and a continued breach of as an armed ship, and would not be reported, as trust ; that every step taken in it was attended bearing a cargo of opium ; that being a contra- with heavy loss to the company, and with a sacriband trude.—That of the above two ships, the fice of their interest to that of individuals, and first, belonging to Cudbert Thornhill, was taken that, if finally a profit had resulted to the comby the French; and that the second, arriving in pany from such a transaction, no profit attending China, did occasion much embarrassment and dis- it could compensate for the probable risk, to tress to the company's super-cargoes there, who which their trade in China was thereby exposed ; had not been previously consulted on the forma- or for the certain dishonour and consequent distion of the plan, and were exposed to great diffi- trust, which the East India company must incur culty and hazard in the execution of their part of in the eyes of the Chinese government by being enit. That the ship was delayed, at a demurrage of gaged in a low clandestine traffick, prohibited by an hundred dollars a day, for upwards of three the laws of the country. months, waiting in vain for a better market.—The
XIII. APPOINTMENT OF R. J. SULLIVAN.
That, in the month of February 1781, Mr. them in favour of certain projects of the said naRichard Joseph Sullivan, secretary to the select bob, which had been reprobated by the company: . committee at Fort St. George, applied to them That the said Sullivan was soon after appointed for leave to proceed to Calcutta on his private af- back again by the said Warren Hastings to the fairs. That, being the confidential secretary to office of resident at the durbar of the said nabob the select committee at Fort St. George, and con- of Arcot. That it was a high crime and misdesequently possessed of all the views and secrets of meanour in the said Hastings to encourage so the company, as far as they related to that govern- dangerous an example in the company's service, ment, he went privately into the service of the and to interfere unnecessarily with the government nabob of Arcot; and under the pretence of pro- of Madras in the discharge of the duties peculiarly ceeding to Calcutta on his private business, un- ascribed to them by the practice and orders of the dertook a commission from the said nabob to the company, for the purpose of appointing to a great governour-general and council, to negociate with and confidential situation a man, who had so re
cently committed a breach of trust to his em- | pany's service, though that fact was known at ployers.
Madras on the 31st of the preceding January, did That the court of directors, in their letter to recommend the said Sullivan to be ambassadour at Bengal, dated the 12th of July 1782, and received the court of Nizam Ally Cawn, subahdar of the there on the 18th of February 1783, did condemn Deccan, in defiance of the authority and orders of and revoke the said appointment. That the said the court of directors. directors, in theirs to Fort St. George, dated the That even admitting, what is highly improba28th of August 1782, and received there the 31st ble, that the dismission of the said Sullivan from of January 1783, did highly condemn the conduct the service of the said company was not known at of the said Sullivan; and, in order to deter their Calcutta in forty-three days from Madras, the lastservants from practices of the same kind, did mentioned nomination of the said Sullivan was dismiss him from their service.
made at least in contempt of the censure already That the said Hastings knowing, that the said expressed by the court of directors at his former Sullivan's appointment had been condemned and appointment to the durbar of the nabob of Arcot, revoked by the court of directors, and pretending, and which was certainly known to the said Hastthat on the 15th of March 1783 he did not know, ings. that the said Sullivan was dismissed from the com
XIV. RANNA OF GOHUD.
That on the 2d of December 1779 the go- That in conformity to the above-mentioned vernour-general and council of Fort William, at treaty, in the fourth article of the treaty of peace, the special recommendation and instance of War- concluded on the 13th of October 1781, between ren Hastings, Esquire, then governour-general, Colonel Muir on the part of the English company, and contrary to the declared opinion and protest and Madajee Scindia the Mahratta general, the of three of the members of the council," (viz.) said ranna of Gohud was expressly included. Philip Francis and Edward Wheler, Esquires, who That, notwithstanding the said express provision were present; and of Sir Eyre Coote, who was and agreement, Madajee Scindia proceeded to atabsent, (by whose absence the casting voice of the tack the orts, and lay waste the territories, of the said Warren Hastings, Esquire, prevailed,) did said Ranna, and did undertake and prosecute a conclude a treaty of perpetual friendship and al-war against him for the space of two years ; in the liance, offensive and defensive, with a Hindoo course of which the ranna and his family were prince, called the Ranna of Gohud, for the express reduced to extreme distress, and in the end he was purpose of using the forces of the said ranna in deprived of his forts, and the whole not only of opposition to the Mahrattas.
his acquired possessions, but of his original doThat, among other articles, it was stipulated minions, so specially guarantied to him by the with the said ranna by the said Warren Hastings, British government in both the above-mentioned “ that whenever peace should be concluded be treaties. “tween the company and the Mahratta statė, the That the said Warren Hastings was duly and “ Maha rajah should be included as a party in regularly informed of the progress of the war “ the treaty, which should be made for that pur- against the ranna, and of every event thereof;
pose ; and his present possessions, together with notwithstanding which, he not only neglected in “ the fort of Gualior, which of old belonged to any manner to interfere therein in favour of the “ the family of the Maha rajah, if it should be said ranna, or to use any endeavours to prevent “ then in his possession, and such countries as he the infraction of the treaty, but gave considerable “ should have acquired in the course of war, and countenance and encouragement to Madajee Scin“ which it should then be stipulated to leave in dia in his violation of it, both by the residence of “ his hands, should be guarantied to him by such the British minister in the Mahratta camp, and by treaty.”
the approbation shewn by the said Warren HastThat in the late war against the Mahrattas the ings to the promises made by his agent of observsaid ranna of Gohud did actually join the British ing the strictest neutrality, notwithstanding he army, under the command of Colonel Muir, with was in justice bound, and stood pledged by the two battalions of infantry, and 1,200 cavalry, and most solemn and sacred engagements, to protect did then serve in person against the Mahrattas, and preserve the said ranna from those enemies, thereby affording material assistance, and rendering whose resentment he had provoked only by his essential service to the company.
adherence to the interests of the British nation.
That in the only attempt made to sound the That it was a gross and scandalous mockery in disposition of Madajee Scindia, relative to a paci- the said Hastings to defer an application to obtain fication between him and the ranna of Gohud, on honourable terms for the ranna, and safety for his the 14th of May 1783, Mr. Anderson, in obedi- person and family, till he had been deprived of his ence to the orders he had received, did clearly and principal fort, in defence of which his uncle lost explicitly declare to Bhow Bucksey, the minister his life, and on the capture of which his wife, to of Madajee Scindia, the sentiments of the said avoid the dishonour consequent upon falling into Warren Hastings in the words following :—" that the hands of her enemies, had destroyed herself “it was so far from your (the said Hastings's) by an explosion of gunpowder. “meaning to intercede in his (the said ranna's) That, however, it does not appear, that any “ favour, that I only desired him to sound Scin- offer of mediation was ever actually made, or any “dia's sentiments, and in case he was desirous of influence exerted, either for the safety of the
peace, to mention what I had said; but if he ranna's person and family, or in mitigation of the “ seemed to prefer carrying on the war, I begged, rigorous intentions supposed by Lieutenant Ander" that he would not mention a syllable of what son * to have been entertained against
* 29 February “ had passed, but let the matter drop entirely.”. him by Madajee Scindia after his
That it afterwards appeared, in a minute of the surrender. said Hastings in council at Fort William, on the That the said Hastings, in the in22d of September 1783, that he promised, at the structions given by him to Mr. David 4th of Noveminstance of a member of the council, to write to Anderson for his conduct in negociatLieutenant James Anderson in favour of the ranna ing the treaty of peace with the Mahrattas, exof Gohud, and lay his letter before the board. pressed his determination to desert the ranna of
That nevertheless the said Hastings, professing Gohud, in the following words: “ you will of not to recollect his said promise, did neglect to course be attentive to any engagements subsistwrite a formal letter to Lieutenant Anderson in “ ing between us and other powers, in settling the favour of the said ranna of Gohud, and that the terms of
and alliance with the Mahrattas; private letter, the extract of which the said Hast- “I except from this the ranna of Gohud.”ings did lay before the board on the 21st of Octo- “ Leave him to settle his own affairs with the ber 1783, so far from directing any effectual inter
“ Mahrattas.” ference in favour of the said ranna, or commanding
That the said Anderson appears very assiduously his agent, the said James Anderson, to interpose to have sought for grounds to justify the execution the mediation of the British government to procure of this part of his instructions, to which, however, “ honourable terms" for the said ranna, or even he was at all events obliged to conform.
safety to his person and family,” contains the That even after his application for that purpose bitterest invectives against him, and is expressive to the Mahrattas, whose testimony was much to of the satisfaction, which the said Hastings ac- be suspected, because it was their interest to acknowledges himself to have enjoyed in the discuse, and their determined object to destroy, the tresses of the said ranna, the ally of the company. said ranna, no satisfactory proof was obtained of
That the measures therein recommended appear his defection from the engagements he had entered rather to have been designed to satisfy Madajee into with the company. Scindia, and to justify the conduct of the British That moreover, if all the charges, which have government in not having taken a more active and been pretended against the ranna, and have been a more hostile part against the said ranna, than alleged by the said Hastings in justification of his an intercession on his behalf.
conduct, had been well founded, and proved to be That though no consideration of good faith, or true, the subject-matter of those accusations, and observance of treaties, could induce the said Hast- the proofs, by which they were to be supported, ings to incur the hazard of any hostile exertion of were known to Colonel Muir before the conclusion the British force for the defence or the relief of the of the treaty he entered into with Madajee Scinallies of the company, yet in the said private letter dia; and therefore, whatever suspicions may have he directed, that, in case his mediation should be been entertained, or whatever degree of criminality accepted, it should be made a specifick condition, may have been proved against the said ranna, that, if the said ranna should take advantage of previous to the said treaty, from the time he was Scindia's absence to renew his hostilities, we ought so provided for and included in the said treaty, he in that case, on requisition, to invade the do- was fully and justly entitled to the security stipuminions of the ranna.
lated for him by the company, and had a right to That no beneficial effects could have been pro- demand and receive the protection of the British cured to the said ranna by an offer of mediation government. delayed till Scindia no longer wanted
ist- That these considerations were urged by Mr. “ance to crush so fallen an enemy;" at the same Anderson to the said Warren Hastings, in his time that no reason was given to Scindia to ap- letter of the 24th of June 1781, and were enforced prehend the danger of drawing upon himself the by this additional argument, “ that in point of resentment of the British government by a dis- policy, I believe, it onght not to be our wish, regard of their proposal, and the destruction of " that the Mahrattas should ever recover the for
“ tress of Gualior; it forms an important barrier
“ to our own possessions. In the hands of the Hastings has complained of the insufficiency of the “ ranna it can be of no prejudice to us; and laws of this kingdom to enforce this doctrine“ by “ notwithstanding the present prospect of a per- “ the punishment of persons in the possession of “ manent peace betwixt us and the Mahrattas, it “ power, who may be impelled by the provocation “ seems highly expedient, that there should always “ of ambition, avarice, or vengeance, stronger than “ remain some strong barrier to separate us, on “ the restrictions of integrity and honour, to the “ this side of India, from that warlike and power- “ violation of this just and wise maxim.” “ ful nation.”
That the said Hastings, in thus departing from That the said Warren Hastings was highly cul- these his own principles, with a full and just sense pable in abandoning the said ranna to the fury of of the guilt he would thereby incur, and in sacrihis enemies, thereby forfeiting the honour, and ficing the allies of this country
to the provocainjuring the credit, of the British nation in India,“ tions of ambition, avarice, or vengeance,” in notwithstanding the said Hastings was fully con- violation of the national faith and justice, did vinced, and had professed, “ that the most sacred commit a gross and wilful breach of his duty, and “ observance of treaties, justice, and good faith, was thereby guilty of an high crime and misde
were necessary to the existence of the national meanour. “ interests in that country.”—And though the said
anny, or collection of the revenues :- that about PART 1.
the year 1770 the provinces of Bengal and Bahar
were visited with a dreadful famine and mortality, That the property of the lands of Bengal is, by which at least one third of the inhabitants according to the laws and customs of that coun- perished :—that Warren Hastings, Esquire, has try, an inheritable property, and that it is, with declared, “ that he had always heard the loss of few exceptions, vested in certain natives, called “ inhabitants reckoned at a third, and in many zemindars, or landholders, under whom other na- “ places near one half, of the whole; and that he tives, called talookdars and ryots, hold certain“ knew not by what means such a loss could be subordinate rights of property, or occupancy, in “ recruited in four or five years, and believed it the said lands that the said natives are Hindoos," impossible.” That nevertheless the revenue was and that their rights and privileges are grounded violently kept up to its former standard, that is, upon the possession of regular grants, a long se- in the two years immediately preceding the apries of family succession, and fair purchase : pointment of the said Warren Hastings to the gothat it appears, that Bengal has been under the vernment of Fort William in consequence of dominion of the Mogul, and subject to a Ma- which the remaining two thirds of the inhabitants hommedan government, for above two hundred were obliged to pay for the lands now left withyears :—that, while the Mogul government was out cultivation ; and that from the year 1770 to in its vigour, the property of zemindars was held the year 1775 the country had languished, and sacred; and that either by voluntary grant from the the evil continued enhancing every day :—that said Mogul, or by composition with him, the native the said Warren Hastings, in a letter to the secret Hindoos were left in the free, quiet, and undisturb- committee of the court of directors, dated 1st Seped possession of their lands, on the single condition tember 1772, declared, “ that the lands had sufof paying a fixed, certain, and unalterable revenue, “ fered unheard-of depopulation by the famine or quit rent, to the Mogul government :--that this “ and mortality of 1769 ;—that the collections revenue, or quitrent, was called the Aussil Jumma, violently kept up to their former standard, had or original ground-rent, of the provinces, and was “ added to the distress of the country, and threatnot encreased from the time when it was first set- “ened a general decay of the revenue, unless imtled in 1573 to 1740, when the regular and effec- “ mediate remedies were applied to prevent it.” tive Mogul government ended :—that, from that That the said Warren Hastings has declared, time to 1765, invasions, usurpations, and various “ that, by intrusting the collections to the hererevolutions took place in the government of Ben-“ ditary zemindars, the people would be treated gal, in consequence of which the country was con- “ with more tenderness, the rents more improved, siderably reduced and impoverished, when the" and cultivation more likely to be encouraged ; East India company received from the present “ that they have a perpetual interest in the counMogul emperour, Shâ Alum, a grant of the dew- try; that their inheritance cannot be removed;